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High Court allows Israel to mine Palestinian Territories

In rejecting a petition regarding Israeli-owned quarries in the West Bank, the court rules that they benefit the Palestinians as well

Who owns and is allowed to use the sand and rocks of the West Bank? This question was at the center of a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice, submitted by Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din in 2009. Yesh Din asked the court to stop the operations of eight quarries under Israeli ownership, claming that they take away valuable resources from the Palestinian people and from a future Palestinian state.

Some 94 percent of the materials produced in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel, accounting for the needs of more than a quarter of the market.

The petition relied on an article in the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, allowing an occupier to use the resources in the occupied land only for the needs and benefits of the occupied people.

Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.

Yesterday (Monday) the Israeli High Court rejected the petition, allowing the quarries to continue their work.

Here is a link to the full ruling [Hebrew only]

Some of the arguments the court gives are very strange, if not entirely corrupt: The court accepts, for example, the claim that since Palestinians are employed in mining work for the Israeli companies who own the quarries, one could say that Israel is actually helping the local economy. It also notes the fact that the quarries pay (low) taxes to the army’s administrative authority in the West Bank, which uses the money for its daily operations in the area.

In other words, the quarries not only take advantage of the the Palestinians’ natural resources, they are also used to cover the expenses of maintaining the occupation, which makes them even more profitable for Israel.

The court also cites previous cases, in which it declared the circumstances of the Israeli occupation “unique,” in a way that demands certain “adjustments” to the rights and duties of the occupiers. What is the reason for this unique situation? Among other things, that the Israeli occupation has been going on for so long. Israel, the court says, “is responsible for the development and growth of the area, in various ways” (article 10 in the ruling). Only in the Orwellian language of the occupation can developing the area be interpreted to mean profits through the shipping of its natural resources to Israel.

Addressing these arguments, Attorney Michael Sfard, legal advisor for Yes Din, said of the ruling, “Quarrying natural resources in an occupied territory for the economic benefit of the occupying state is pillage, and the court’s reasoning that a long-term occupation should be treated differently cannot legalize an economic activity that harms the local residents.”

Finally, the verdict also quotes the fact that in the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians agreed to let the quarries operate until the final agreement on the status of the land. The court fails to mention that the final agreement should have been signed, according to the Oslo Accords, by 1999. Still, this rationale demonstrates the destructive role the Palestinian Authority currently plays by allowing Israel to avoid the full legal implications and political consequences of its policies in the territories it occupied in 1967.

The Court concludes that the petition should be rejected for the reasons above, in addition to a few others. The head of the court, Dorit Beinisch, wrote the ruling herself. It was accepted unanimously by the two other justices hearing the case.

————

The Israeli High Court is often praised as a liberal institution and a unique model of judicial supervision in the toughest of circumstances. The Court has in fact registered some achievements in Israeli society and even with regards to the Arab minority of Israeli citizens, but in the West Bank and Gaza, it has done nothing but provide Israel with a cover of legitimacy for its activities.

The High Court’s track record is very clear: It never questions or stops Israeli policies. At best, it asks for some adjustments to be made.

In the late seventies, the High Court approved the settlements, only adding limits to the State’s ability to confiscate private land belonging to Palestinian individuals; a decade later, the court sanctioned torture (but also issued some vague rules over the circumstances in which it could be used); it allowed targeted assassinations; and it approved the construction of the separation wall deep inside Palestinian territory, only demanding it be moved it in a few cases.

In short, the High Court has never been a venue to challenge the occupation, but quite the opposite – it is one of the branches that institutionalized it, by setting rules and providing a legal cover to colonial policies, for political persecution and for oppression. One can only conclude that in the context of the West Bank, the High Court has been and still is a fundamental element in the construction and maintenance of what is, in essence, apartheid.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. emet

      This article is really important.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Laila

      Wow, your using the word apartheid, this is impressive I’d have to say!

      Reply to Comment
    3. directrob

      My guess is that the high court of (in)justice has no jurisdiction whatsoever over the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Dimi Reider

      Laila, the word “apartheid” appears in over 100 articles on the site. I think your expectations of the site’s political scope might be set a little low ; )

      Reply to Comment
    5. Noam Wiener

      This is the second time that +972 puts me in the awkward position of having to correct it’s legal analysis…

      The Israeli Supreme Court did not sanction torture, it ruled that torture is illegal. In response to the Shabak’s attempt to apply the excuse of duress to torture in an apriori manner, ruled that this excuse can only be applied ex-post facto, like all other criminal law excuse type defenses.

      That this ruling is being circumvented is testament to the ever declining status of the rule of law in Israel, but the Court can only be blamed for so much.

      Having said that, this decision is very very bad.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Aaron

      Or high.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Aaron

      Darn. My comment above was supposed to immediately follow Dimi Reider’s.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Dimi Reider

      Aaron, you’d like it to be narrower?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Aaron

      I didn’t read the decision, but the argument from the Hague Convention seems pretty shaky. This wouldn’t seem to be, legally, an occupation in the sense of the Convention. In the link given, it says, “military authority over the territory of the hostile STATE.” In 1907, occupation was something states did to each others’ territories.
      §
      From what’s said here, though, it seems like a horrible example of exploitation, whatever the legal issues involved. Exploiting resources of the, uh, disputed territories is just theft, whether or not it’s legal.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Aaron

      Yeah, personally I would like the use of “apartheid” to be narrower, but I don’t want to tell you guys how to edit your site, which is excellent as is. It was just a snarky comment, which I would erase now if I could.

      Reply to Comment
    11. @Noam: I don’t agree. The court closed the door and left a window open. It actually left it in the hand of interrogators to determine what is a “necessity” allowing torture (a logic not very different from the targeted killings ruling).

      Furthermore, if I remember correctly, the court avoided defining torture and only referred to the specific methods raised by the petitioners in the famous ruling in the mid 90′s. But I am not sure on this.

      Maybe one could argue that on the issue of torture the court went further than in any other ruling regarding rights under the occupation, but I don’t think that saying that the court completely banned torture is the correct reading of the verdict, and it is certainly not the way the state read it.

      Reply to Comment
    12. a

      Time for the Palestinian miners to go home, and for the community to find other ways to support them.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Noam W

      Noam S. I think we will agree to disagree. Perhaps it is a difference in understanding legal language, perhaps it is wistful thinking on my part.

      Necessity is a legal defense that is available to every person always. That is the meaning of a legal defense. When we commit a potentially criminal act, and we think we are acting out of necessity, we are expected to act in an objectively reasonable manner. If a court of law later determines that we were not reasonably, we are found guilty, if the court finds we did, then our action is justified and we are found to be not guilty.

      The Court could have ruled that necessity never applies to torture – but that would be a very fundamental departure from what the criminal statute in Israel currently states. Perhaps it is a worthy change, but I think that expecting the Court to do that is expecting too much.

      Reply to Comment
    14. bill

      Per Noam and Noam’s discussion – B’Tselem and PCATI say the judgment banned three forms of physical violence against detainees, plus deliberate sleep deprivation, but accepted the applicability of the penal code’s “necessity defense,” which exempts interrogators who employ illegal interrogation techniques, including physical violence, from criminal responsibility in certain circumstances. The ruling did not narrowly define those circumstances. PCATI further says: “When an interrogee complains of torture, the Attorney General orders an initial investigation of the complaint to clarify whether the case fits the ‘necessity defense’ which exempts the interrogator of responsibility.”

      If I remember correctly, from 2001-2010 there were around 650 complaints by Palestinians of torture or other abuses allegedly committed by ISA interrogators, of which none had been criminally investigated.

      Reply to Comment
    15. A

      First time I have nothing to say, but totally agree with the post, without any buts (sadly).

      Reply to Comment
    16. directrob

      “The Court could have ruled that necessity never applies to torture – but that would be a very fundamental departure from what the criminal statute in Israel currently states.”
      .
      On this site you always learn something new. Isn’t torture strictly forbidden by international law? I always thought the UDHR officially trumped Israeli law…
      .
      UDHR Article 5.
      No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Noam W

      Directrob,

      Torture is always forbidden. The question of necessity comes up as a defense in criminal action.

      To use another much less serious crime, for example, breaking and entering. Breaking and entering is forbidden in all legal systems I am familiar with. But if, for example, you know there is a fire in a building and to put it out you as a private citizen, need to break into somebody’s apartment to put out the fire, then you action, despite being illegal, is considered justified, and you bear no criminal responsibility for your actions.

      The idea of necessity with torture is basically similar – if you torture somebody because there is a necessity, you are not criminally responsible.

      NOW and a big NOW – you (and I) may think that torture is never justified. That turning a human being into an instrument, a vessel of information, rather than a cognitive being, is never justified. We may think that turning a human being’s very corporate being (her body) against her to manipulate her will, is completely and utterly in-human and should never be used.

      But that is, currently, not the opinion of our supreme court, our legislator, or, as best I am familiar, the opinion of most western democracies. I believe, though I have not researched it for a long time, that some states have excluded the defense of necessity from torture – but I cannot recall which states have done so, and as it were, if my memory serves me, they were by far a minority, which is why they were mentioned at all.

      I think this both summarized the legal point, and how I feel about torture.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Noam W

      Also as a PS – the UDHR is not a binding legal instrument.

      I hate coming off all right wing here – but we should be aware of our arsenal and the limitations of the arguments we can make…

      Reply to Comment
    19. directrob

      In European states the UDHR is binding through the The European Convention on Human Rights. Article 3 forbids torture. In Europe the UDHR trumps local law.
      .
      Israel also Ratified “the Convention Against Torture”
      .
      Article 2
      .
      1-Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
      .
      2-No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
      .
      3-An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
      .
      This sounds all very absolute to me. What did I miss this time?

      Reply to Comment
    20. directrob

      I fear this whole necessity argument is utter rubbish. It is just the state circumventing the law by un-prosecution.
      .
      ” … according to the Israeli government’s current position, torture can be authorized ex-ante by high-ranking officials. Yet it remains an illegal, even if un-prosecuted, practice…”
      .
      http://www.legalleft.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/2-necessity_procedure.pdf

      Reply to Comment
    21. Noam Wiener

      Regarding the UDHR you said it yourself – it is binding in Europe, not here.

      Regarding the CAT you are correct, except that this does not trump individual a defense in a specific case, but rather the use of an emergency as a general exception to the rule. That is hardwired into the criminal code.

      However, based on this clause, a court of law in Israel would probably find it hard to justify any use of torture in an individual case as well – if such a case was brought.

      At any rate, this would not be the first, second, or third time the Israeli Supreme Court deviated from Israel’s international law obligations…

      Reply to Comment
    22. directrob

      Noam, thanks, I learned something today. I guess the key phrase here is as so often in Israel, “if such a case was brought”.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Noam W

      No Directrob – you are correct – no case needs to be brought – if what the Supreme Court is saying is that necessity can be applied ex-ante or in general cases of emergency, it is in violation of the treaty.

      I just read the decision differently.

      At any rate the manner in which the Israeli Government reads the decision (I didn’t follow your source – so for the sake of argument I will take it as true) then it is definitely a violation of the treaty. I happen to think it is also in violation of the Israeli Supreme Court decision – I understand you think differently.

      Reply to Comment
    24. ToivoS

      I am puzzled. Israel seized the West Bank. They have taken control of the water resources. What is the big deal if they are extracting the limestone? Hasn’t it always been that the spoils go to the victors?

      Reply to Comment
    25. Khalid Khan

      Even Rudyard Kipling, the 19th century British Imperialist writer, recognised the limits of imperial power. “You can build a throne of bayonets, but you cannot sit on it”, he said (quoting an old Pathan saying).

      I pity Israel. It has raised injustice to an art form and transformed what was traditionally a gentle, peaceful, thoughtful Jewish culture into an intolerant, discriminatory and racist one.

      You suffered segregation for millenia. How then could you see wisdom in imposing segregation and discrimination on the Arabs? Did not you see that once you accept treating one group as alien or somehow subhuman then it is the beginning of the unravelling?

      Segregating Jew from Arab has already led inexorably to calls for segregation of male from female and Orthodox from non-Orthodox, and it will not end there. It is the drumbeat march of time, playing in reverse.

      Your young men and women will wake up with nightmares borne out of the injustice they visit on those whose land they illegally occupy and whose rights they subvert. And this barely a generation after the nightmare of injustice, suffering and persecution meted out on their parents and grandparents by a cruel, unjust and tyrannical oppressor. They should know better.

      You cannot equate “oppressor” with “oppressed”; and you would be foolish to confuse “occupier” with “occupied”. History will judge you. Time is not on your side. Every act of cruelty makes you weaker and their hate stronger. Do you really believe that there will not be a reckoning?

      Absent leadership and wisdom of a sort I have not seen displayed recently in Israel or Palestine, sooner or later there will be a price to be paid in blood by Jew and Arab. I do not look forward to that day.

      Wassalam.

      Khalid Khan
      Kuwait

      Reply to Comment
    26. Lightbringer

      Khalid Khan

      >It has raised injustice to an art form and transformed what was traditionally a gentle, peaceful, thoughtful Jewish culture into an intolerant, discriminatory and racist one.

      You should read Jewish Wars by Josefus Flavius – http://www.mcgoodwin.net/pages/otherbooks/fv_jewishwar.html
      Also, the Old Testament is anything but tolerant and peaceful

      Israelites have a long story of fighting for Promised Land, sometimes victorious, sometimes disastrous, but always extremely pricey to the enemy.

      >You suffered segregation for millenia. How then could you see wisdom in imposing segregation and discrimination on the Arabs?

      Wisdom? Hardly.
      A bare necessity rather.
      Besides, Arab society is extremely highly discriminative. I see no reason why you – Arabs – should not be treat the same way as you treat your own kin, let alone others.

      >Did not you see that once you accept treating one group as alien or somehow subhuman then it is the beginning of the unraveling?

      What we certainly see is that here, in the (Middle) East, any kind of good will is perceived as weakness.
      Rabin have signed Oslo Accords and got about 200 Israelis killed in suicide attacks alone.

      Barak was about to give up 97.5% of all territories and all he got was 2nd Intifada.

      Sharon withdrew from Gaza and let it’s citizens have democratic elections which Hamas has decisively won. I’m sure you know that #1 on Hamas’ agenda is destruction of state of Israel.

      You see, the problem is that for too long both sides have treated each other sub-humanly, we are talking about at least 1000 years.
      And now you expect it to change; right after we – Jews – have paid such high price for this parch of land – and made others pay even higher.
      A bit unrealistic I’d say.

      >Segregating Jew from Arab has already led inexorably to calls for segregation of male from female and Orthodox from non-Orthodox, and it will not end there. It is the drumbeat march of time, playing in reverse.

      Segregation issue is not as simple as it might seem from few thousand kilometers away.

      While Israeli society is segregated indeed, one should understand that for a very long time that was the way people have lived their lives on this land.
      Samaritans, Cherkes, Bedouins, Druze, Arabs, Armenians, all kinds of Jews – Morrokan, Ashenazi, Russian English-speaking, French, Ethiopian, secular or religious – everybody live more or less within community yet interacting on different levels.

      Alas, this issue is too big for a comment.

      >Your young men and women will wake up with nightmares borne out of the injustice they visit on those whose land they illegally occupy and whose rights they subvert.

      You see, the Arabs were against Jewish presence here from the very beginning, long before first Zionist. Jews have payed with blood, sweat and money for every square centimeter of what’s Israel today.
      No nightmares disturb us.

      >And this barely a generation after the nightmare of injustice, suffering and persecution meted out on their parents and grandparents by a cruel, unjust and tyrannical oppressor. They should know better.

      Oh, we know.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Hebron_massacre

      Arabs – not all of course, but more than enough – craved Jewish blood. But all they got was Jewish bullets and hand grenades. More than they thought they could handle.

      >You cannot equate “oppressor” with “oppressed”; and you would be foolish to confuse “occupier” with “occupied”. History will judge you. Time is not on your side. Every act of cruelty makes you weaker and their hate stronger. Do you really believe that there will not be a reckoning?

      Hurts to turn from oppressor into oppressed?
      Yeah. Poor Colonel Qaddafi.

      Occupier?
      At most we are occupying parts of Jordan and Egypt.

      History. Exactly.
      Time is fine with us. Jews have been around for a while now. Like cockroaches and crocodiles, you know.

      >Absent leadership and wisdom of a sort I have not seen displayed recently in Israel or Palestine, sooner or later there will be a price to be paid in blood by Jew and Arab. I do not look forward to that day.

      Have to agree with you on this one.
      No coherent leadership on either side. Factions caring for their own case – not even good…

      It all depends on how many Muslims in the world will be willing to die so there could be 23rd Arab country.
      I’d think twice and thrice before staring such conflict, there could be very little Arabs and Jews left in the world afterwards.

      Shalom

      Lightbringer
      Tel Aviv

      Reply to Comment
    27. Khalid Khan

      Thank you for your comments, Lightbringer. They made me smile.

      I am not an Arab, although I live in Kuwait. Nor am I a Jew, although some of the Pathans from the North West Frontier who are my kin claim descent from the lost tribes of Israel.

      As an outsider, I see many similarities in Arabs and Jews: “any kind of good will is perceived as weakness” – these words could just as easily come from an Arab as a Jew. They reflect a suspicious mindset shared by some among both Jews and Arabs. I disagree. For my part, goodwill and sympathy is a display of strength, not weakness.

      Likewise selfishness and self-absorption is a trait sometimes seen in both communities. There are many among the Jews who are blind to the suffering of Arabs, just as there are many Arabs who cannot see the suffering of Jews.

      I am as saddened and angered by the deaths of those 200 Israelis killed by suicide attacks on Israel as I am by the deaths of the (much larger number of) Palestinians killed by an Israeli bomb or bullet.

      But there is a difference. The Jews (not the Arabs) are the occupiers. Their occupation, usurpation and expulsion of people from their homes is wrong. The discrimination and injustice the occupation has engendered creates resistance and increased hatred.

      I have heard the word “necessity” used to justify many evil, cruel and inhuman acts by and to both Jew and Arab. Similarly, “I do to others what others do” has been the shallow mantra of the petty tyrant and oppressor for millenia. I would feel more optimistic if I saw Arab and Jew do what is right, fair, just and proportionate, rather than do that they think they can get away with.

      My memory of the Old Testament genealogy is a little rusty but I think it probably fair to say that Jews and Arabs have both been around a long time (and share a great deal more than simply common ancestry).

      I believe you’ll find just as many Jews as Arabs willing to die for their country, and I think you’ll find that the conflict has already started.

      It’s easier to start a conflict than to end it. A wise Jew once said “blessed be the peacemakers”. My regret is that noone on either side is prepared to “man up” to achieve peace and, until then, neither Arab nor Jew will enjoy untroubled dreams.

      Wassalam.

      Khalid

      Reply to Comment
    28. Lightbringer

      >Thank you for your comments, Lightbringer. They made me smile.

      My pleasure.

      >I am not an Arab, although I live in Kuwait. Nor am I a Jew, although some of the Pathans from the North West Frontier who are my kin claim descent from the lost tribes of Israel.

      There are many who claim their kinship of Israel
      Way too many to be just a coincidence (btw, Japanese are seem to be one (some) of lost tribes too

      >As an outsider, I see many similarities in Arabs and Jews: “any kind of good will is perceived as weakness” – these words could just as easily come from an Arab as a Jew.

      Truth

      —-
      They reflect a suspicious mindset shared by some among both Jews and Arabs. I disagree. For my part, goodwill and sympathy is a display of strength, not weakness.
      For your part. For mine too. Regretfully we do not represent the majority of Palestinians|Israelis|Muslims|Whatever

      >Likewise selfishness and self-absorption is a trait sometimes seen in both communities. There are many among the Jews who are blind to the suffering of Arabs, just as there are many Arabs who cannot see the suffering of Jews.
      Agree again.
      The saddest part is that most people on the both sides understand that conflict and suffering leading nowhere

      >But there is a difference. The Jews (not the Arabs) are the occupiers. Their occupation, usurpation and expulsion of people from their homes is wrong. The discrimination and injustice the occupation has engendered creates resistance and increased hatred.

      Probably it’s wrong (however it has been happening through human history so it couldn’t be THAT wrong)

      As I’ve said earlier – there is a VERY LONG story of bad blood between Jews and Arabs, so it’s unrealistic to expect any nation-wise open-mindness within any short time. Although there is LOTS of friendship cases between Jews and Arabs.

      >I have heard the word “necessity” used to justify many evil, cruel and inhuman acts by and to both Jew and Arab. Similarly, “I do to others what others do” has been the shallow mantra of the petty tyrant and oppressor for millennium. I would feel more optimistic if I saw Arab and Jew do what is right, fair, just and proportionate, rather than do that they think they can get away with.

      You see, the problem is that currently there is no other practical solution.

      There is still large enough number of Palestinians who are more than eager to kill an Israeli or two.
      I’m not discussing their reason, I’m sure that they know why they wanna do it, furthermore, I could even sympathize with some of their reasons, for instance, if some could’ve killed my GF, whom I dearly love, I would happily burn them alive, standing aside, smiling. Yet (for me at least) understanding someone’s reason does not necessarily make me accept it.

      So, basically, as long as there is any Arab (Goi) who are willing to kill (all) Jews, there will be Jews willing to kill (all) Arab (Goyim)

      At the same token such behavior couldn’t (shouldn’t? wouldn’t?) be applied to Jews – I myself love telling someone propagating any kind of nationalism something like “People like your self have burned six million Jews” – and I’m not alone.

      >My memory of the Old Testament genealogy is a little rusty but I think it probably fair to say that Jews and Arabs have both been around a long time (and share a great deal more than simply common ancestry).

      Too long if you ask me.

      >I believe you’ll find just as many Jews as Arabs willing to die for their country, and I think you’ll find that the conflict has already started.

      It’s easier to start a conflict than to end it. A wise Jew once said “blessed be the peacemakers”. My regret is that noone on either side is prepared to “man up” to achieve peace and, until then, neither Arab nor Jew will enjoy untroubled dreams.

      Wassalam.

      Khalid

      Reply to Comment
    29. Lightbringer

      >Thank you for your comments, Lightbringer. They made me smile.

      My pleasure.

      >I am not an Arab, although I live in Kuwait. Nor am I a Jew, although some of the Pathans from the North West Frontier who are my kin claim descent from the lost tribes of Israel.

      There are many who claim their kinship of Israel
      Way too many to be just a coincidence (btw, Japanese are seem to be one (some) of lost tribes too

      >As an outsider, I see many similarities in Arabs and Jews: “any kind of good will is perceived as weakness” – these words could just as easily come from an Arab as a Jew.

      Truth

      —-
      They reflect a suspicious mindset shared by some among both Jews and Arabs. I disagree. For my part, goodwill and sympathy is a display of strength, not weakness.
      For your part. For mine too. Regretfully we do not represent the majority of Palestinians|Israelis|Muslims|Whatever

      >Likewise selfishness and self-absorption is a trait sometimes seen in both communities. There are many among the Jews who are blind to the suffering of Arabs, just as there are many Arabs who cannot see the suffering of Jews.
      Agree again.
      The saddest part is that most people on the both sides understand that conflict and suffering leading nowhere

      >But there is a difference. The Jews (not the Arabs) are the occupiers. Their occupation, usurpation and expulsion of people from their homes is wrong. The discrimination and injustice the occupation has engendered creates resistance and increased hatred.

      Probably it’s wrong (however it has been happening through human history so it couldn’t be THAT wrong)

      As I’ve said earlier – there is a VERY LONG story of bad blood between Jews and Arabs, so it’s unrealistic to expect any nation-wise open-mindness within any short time. Although there is LOTS of friendship cases between Jews and Arabs.

      >I have heard the word “necessity” used to justify many evil, cruel and inhuman acts by and to both Jew and Arab. Similarly, “I do to others what others do” has been the shallow mantra of the petty tyrant and oppressor for millennium. I would feel more optimistic if I saw Arab and Jew do what is right, fair, just and proportionate, rather than do that they think they can get away with.

      You see, the problem is that currently there is no other practical solution.

      There is still large enough number of Palestinians who are more than eager to kill an Israeli or two.
      I’m not discussing their reason, I’m sure that they know why they wanna do it, furthermore, I could even sympathize with some of their reasons, for instance, if some could’ve killed my GF, whom I dearly love, I would happily burn them alive, standing aside, smiling. Yet (for me at least) understanding someone’s reason does not necessarily make me accept it.

      So, basically, as long as there is any Arab (Goi) who are willing to kill (all) Jews, there will be Jews willing to kill (all) Arab (Goyim)

      At the same token such behavior couldn’t (shouldn’t? wouldn’t?) be applied to Jews – I myself love telling someone propagating any kind of nationalism something like “People like your self have burned six million Jews” – and I’m not alone.

      >My memory of the Old Testament genealogy is a little rusty but I think it probably fair to say that Jews and Arabs have both been around a long time (and share a great deal more than simply common ancestry).

      Too long if you ask me.

      >I believe you’ll find just as many Jews as Arabs willing to die for their country, and I think you’ll find that the conflict has already started.

      It’s easier to start a conflict than to end it. A wise Jew once said “blessed be the peacemakers”. My regret is that noone on either side is prepared to “man up” to achieve peace and, until then, neither Arab nor Jew will enjoy untroubled dreams.

      Wassalam.

      Khalid

      Reply to Comment
    30. Lightbringer

      >Thank you for your comments, Lightbringer. They made me smile.

      My pleasure.

      >I am not an Arab, although I live in Kuwait. Nor am I a Jew, although some of the Pathans from the North West Frontier who are my kin claim descent from the lost tribes of Israel.

      There are many who claim their kinship of Israel
      Way too many to be just a coincidence (btw, Japanese are seem to be one (some) of lost tribes too

      >As an outsider, I see many similarities in Arabs and Jews: “any kind of good will is perceived as weakness” – these words could just as easily come from an Arab as a Jew.

      Truth

      —-
      They reflect a suspicious mindset shared by some among both Jews and Arabs. I disagree. For my part, goodwill and sympathy is a display of strength, not weakness.
      For your part. For mine too. Regretfully we do not represent the majority of Palestinians|Israelis|Muslims|Whatever

      >Likewise selfishness and self-absorption is a trait sometimes seen in both communities. There are many among the Jews who are blind to the suffering of Arabs, just as there are many Arabs who cannot see the suffering of Jews.
      Agree again.
      The saddest part is that most people on the both sides understand that conflict and suffering leading nowhere

      >But there is a difference. The Jews (not the Arabs) are the occupiers. Their occupation, usurpation and expulsion of people from their homes is wrong. The discrimination and injustice the occupation has engendered creates resistance and increased hatred.

      Probably it’s wrong (however it has been happening through human history so it couldn’t be THAT wrong)

      As I’ve said earlier – there is a VERY LONG story of bad blood between Jews and Arabs, so it’s unrealistic to expect any nation-wise open-mindness within any short time. Although there is LOTS of friendship cases between Jews and Arabs.

      >I have heard the word “necessity” used to justify many evil, cruel and inhuman acts by and to both Jew and Arab. Similarly, “I do to others what others do” has been the shallow mantra of the petty tyrant and oppressor for millennium. I would feel more optimistic if I saw Arab and Jew do what is right, fair, just and proportionate, rather than do that they think they can get away with.

      You see, the problem is that currently there is no other practical solution.

      There is still large enough number of Palestinians who are more than eager to kill an Israeli or two.
      I’m not discussing their reason, I’m sure that they know why they wanna do it, furthermore, I could even sympathize with some of their reasons, for instance, if some could’ve killed my GF, whom I dearly love, I would happily burn them alive, standing aside, smiling. Yet (for me at least) understanding someone’s reason does not necessarily make me accept it.

      So, basically, as long as there is any Arab (Goi) who are willing to kill (all) Jews, there will be Jews willing to kill (all) Arab (Goyim)

      At the same token such behavior couldn’t (shouldn’t? wouldn’t?) be applied to Jews – I myself love telling someone propagating any kind of nationalism something like “People like your self have burned six million Jews” – and I’m not alone.

      >My memory of the Old Testament genealogy is a little rusty but I think it probably fair to say that Jews and Arabs have both been around a long time (and share a great deal more than simply common ancestry).

      Too long if you ask me.

      >I believe you’ll find just as many Jews as Arabs willing to die for their country, and I think you’ll find that the conflict has already started.

      Conflict have started more that 2000 years ago…
      You see, as of today, Jews have no other country but Israel, which basically means that most of 14 000 000 Jews will be ready (have) to die for the State of Israel whether they like it or not – another option is to be a second grade nation till the end of the days; Me personally would much happier die trying to be da fucking king that live like a scum.
      At the same time, there it 22 Arab states where live at least more than 300 000 000 Arabs – about 20 times more.

      So… if you can’t accept the reality of Jewish state… Well, we’ll make sure that you WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT it. No choice granted – all those who disagree are welcome to die.

      It’s easier to start a conflict than to end it. A wise Jew once said “blessed be the peacemakers”. My regret is that noone on either side is prepared to “man up” to achieve peace and, until then, neither Arab nor Jew will enjoy untroubled dreams.
      There is no one, and there won’t be anyone within observable time period. There is TOO much bad blood between Jews and Arabs to just make it work it out…

      Most of us, Israelis, are really sick and tired with this shit, but since there is no real chance for any real peace we have to keep status quo.

      Wassalam.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Lightbringer

      Dear moderator, please delete my current comment along with one of Thursday,
      December 29, 2011
      6:38 pm

      Thank you

      Reply to Comment
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