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Former senior EU officials: 'Oslo process has nothing more to offer'

An unprecedented letter by former European leaders and peace process veterans recognizes Western support for the occupation and calls for immediate steps that will bring an end to it. 13 European states support labeling products from Israeli settlements.

Catherine Ashton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Past statements, wrote the officials, have “not been matched by any action likely to improve the situation” (European Union / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A group of senior former European officials, including former prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats, is urging the European Union to abandon the Oslo process and come up with new urgent measures that will put an end to the occupation, Ali Gharib reports for Open Zion. In a letter addressed to the Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, Catherine Ashton, the former officials write:

We are […] appealing to you, and through you to the members of the Council of Ministers, to recognize that the Peace Process as conceived in the Oslo Agreements has nothing more to offer. Yet the present political stalemate, while the situation deteriorates on the ground, is unsustainable.

Perhaps the letter’s greatest novelty is a recognition that the West is contributing to the occupation. ”It is time to give a stark warning that the Occupation is actually being entrenched by the present Western policy,” wrote the former officials.

Among the signatories to the letter are Guiliano Amato, Former Prime Minister of Italy Lionel Jospin, Former Prime Minister of France Miguel Moratinos, Former Foreign Minister of Spain and Javier Solana, as well as the Former High Representative and Former NATO Secretary-General. Solana was also the EU’s representative in the Quartet who was supposed to lead the peace process.

The signatories of the letter express disappointment from the (lack of) leadership on the part of the U.S., and are now calling for “a realistic but active policy,” which will include a recognition of the state of affairs in the West Bank as occupation; an action against the erosion of the ’67 borders by Israel, and perhaps most important – a re-evaluation of the financial arrangements with regards to the Palestinian Authority (in other words, the 19 signatories want the EU to stop bankrolling the occupation).

The letter has no formal bearing, but that fact that it includes some of the senior EU officials who dealt with the Middle East peace process attaches an extra value to it. This is also a clear vote of no-confidence for the American leadership, perhaps due to the degree of Israeli influence over U.S. foreign policy in the region.

A fundamental change in EU policy is somewhat unlikely, mainly due to the consensus mechanism which is used to determine foreign policy. Out of the 27 member states, there are always a few governments – even one is enough – who back the Israeli policy in the occupied territories, or at least oppose any effective measures against it. Currently, the Czech Republic is considered the most supportive of the Israeli policies.

Still, some changes take place on state level: Akiva Eldar reported yesterday in Al Monitor that 13 member states of the EU including Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands, support labeling of products imported from West Bank settlements.

The following is the full letter which was sent to Representative Ashton by the former EU officials:

THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

Dear High Representative

We, the under-signed members of the European Eminent Persons Group on the Middle East Peace Process, are writing to you to express our strong concern about the dying chances of a settlement based on two separate, sovereign and peaceful states of Israel and Palestine.

The Eminent Persons Group is composed of a number of former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and senior officials of EU Member States who have decided to concert their efforts to encourage a lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

We have watched with increasing disappointment over the past five years the failure of the parties to start any kind of productive discussion, and of the international community under American and/or European leadership to promote such discussion. We have also noted with frustration and deep concern the deteriorating standards of humanitarian and human rights care of the population in the Occupied Territories. The security and long-term stability of Israel, an essential objective in any process, cannot be assured in such conditions, any more than the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people.

President Obama made some of these points during his March 2013 visit to the region, particularly in his address to the people of Israel, but he gave no indication of action to break the deep stagnation, nor any sign that he sought something other than the re-start of talks between West Bank and Israeli leaders under the Oslo Process, which lost its momentum long ago.

We are therefore appealing to you, and through you to the members of the Council of Ministers, to recognise that the Peace Process as conceived in the Oslo Agreements has nothing more to offer. Yet the present political stalemate, while the situation deteriorates on the ground, is unsustainable, given the disturbed politics of the region and the bitterness generated by the harsh conditions of life under the Occupation.

The concern of the European Union at this deterioration, clearly expressed in a series of statements, not least the European Council Conclusions of 14 May 2012, has not been matched by any action likely to improve the situation. The aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis and the interests of the European Union, prominently referred to in those Conclusions and in other relevant EU documents, cannot be met by the current stagnation.

It is time to give a stark warning that the Occupation is actually being entrenched by the present Western policy. The Palestinian Authority cannot survive without leaning on Israeli security assistance and Western funding and, since the PA offers little hope of progress towards self-determination for the Palestinian people, it is fast losing respect and support from its domestic constituency. The steady increase in the extent and population of Israeli settlements, including in East Jerusalem, and the entrenchment of Israeli control over the OT in defiance of international law, indicate a permanent trend towards a complete dislocation of Palestinian territorial rights.

We have reached the conclusion that there must be a new approach. Letting the situation lie unaddressed is highly dangerous when such an explosive issue sits in such a turbulent environment.

A realistic but active policy, set in the context of current regional events, needs to be composed of the following elements:

- a sharper focus on the essential need for a two-state solution, as the most likely outcome to offer lasting peace and security for the parties and their neighbourhood and the only one recognised by UN resolutions as just and equitable;

- an explicit recognition that the current status of the Palestinian Territories is one of occupation, with responsibility for their condition falling under international law on the occupying state;

- an insistence that Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 lines are illegal, must cease being expanded and will not be recognized as one of the starting points in any new negotiations;

- a stipulation that any representative political organisation with a valid claim to participate in negotiations must renounce the use of violence outside established UN norms;

- the renewal of efforts to establish a unified Palestinian representation of both the West Bank and Gaza, without which a comprehensive peace cannot be successfully negotiated and the absence of which serves as an excuse for inaction;

- the encouragement of reform of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, including representation of all the main Palestinian parties committed to non-violence and reflecting the expressed wishes of the resident Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza;

- a vigorous international drive for the implementation of much improved humanitarian and human rights conditions in both the West Bank and Gaza, monitored by the United Nations, whatever the state of peace negotiations might be at any time;

- a reconsideration of the funding arrangements for Palestine, in order to avoid the Palestinian Authority’s present dependence on sources of funding which serve to freeze rather than promote the peace process;

- a clear and concerted effort to counter the erasing of the 1967 lines as the basis for a two-state outline. This should include a clear distinction in EU dealings with Israel between what is legitimate – within the 1967 lines – and what violates international law in the Occupied Territories;

- a clearer willingness within the EU to play a political and not just a funding role and to resume a more strategic dialogue with the Palestinians.

For all the good sense of EU statements on this issue over the years, the EU’s inactivity in the face of an increasingly dangerous stagnation is both unprincipled and unwise. European leaders cannot wait for ever for action from the United States when the evidence accumulates of American failure to recognize and promote the equal status of Israelis and Palestinians in the search for a settlement, as accepted in United Nations resolutions.

Later generations will see it as unforgivable that we Europeans not only allowed the situation to develop to this point of acute tension, but took no action now to remedy the continuing destruction of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. We regard it as essential for EU interests that the Council of Ministers and you take rapid action to correct this unacceptable state of affairs.

We are sending copies of this letter to Members of the Council of Ministers and to the US Secretary of State.

Members of the EEPG send you their respectful greetings.

Signed

Guiliano Amato, Former Prime Minister of Italy; Frans Andriessen, Former Vice-President of the European Commission; Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Former Vice-Prime Minister of the Netherlands; John Bruton, Former Prime Minister of Ireland; Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Former European Commissioner and Former Foreign Minister of Austria; Teresa Patricio Gouveia, Former Foreign Minister of Portugal;  Jeremy Greenstock, Former UK Ambassador to the UN and Co-Chair of the EEPG; Lena Hjelm-Wallén, Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden; Wolfgang Ischinger, Former State Secretary of the German Foreign Ministry and Co-Chair of the EEPG; Lionel Jospin, Former Prime Minister of France; Miguel Moratinos, Former Foreign Minister of Spain; Ruprecht Polenz, Former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag; Pierre Schori, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Sweden; Javier Solana, Former High Representative and Former NATO Secretary-General; Peter Sutherland, Former EU Commissioner and Director General of the WTO; Andreas van Agt, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Hans van den Broek, Former Netherlands Foreign Minister and Former EU Commissioner for External Relations; Hubert Védrine, Former Foreign Minister of France and Co-Chair of the EEPG; Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia.

Related:
EU diplomats recommend sanctions against Israeli settlements
Resource: EU Heads of Mission report on Israeli settlements

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn9

      This document is hilarious.

      1) Apparently the way of reinforcing the Palestinian Authority is to remove its funding so that it, in its layoffs and failure to provide services, will be more popular among the Palestinians. That is just precious.

      2) Hamas is expected to renounce violence and adopt non-violence, make nice nice with the Palestinian Authority and join the PLO on the basis of accepting the two state solution. Hahahaha.

      3) The lines on the ground in the land of Israel will apparently be defined by the declarations of a bankrupt European Union. These declarations are expected to counter the 550,000 Israeli Jews that live, are born and die across the green line, the wall, the transportation infrastructure and the IDF.

      4) Israel it appears is expected to accept Europe as a mediator even though it has taken a hostile position towards Israel since 1973 (other than Germany and the Netherlands and more recently the Eastern European states), something that will maybe happen when Greece balances its books. It would appear that Europe believes that being even more hostile to Israel is the way to endear Europe to Israeli negotiators.

      5) The approach taken here by European dipomats seems to be two states, peace optional. Again, good luck getting Israel to agree to a process where a hostile state arises within mortar distance from its main international airport. Not only that but it is actually counter to UNSC resolutions which quite explicitly set Israeli withdrawal from territories within the context of overall security arrangements.

      6) The US is supposed to stand aside and allow the Europeans to take over negotiations. Why would the US surrender a position that grants it a central role in the Middle East? And of all entities, to the European Union! Hahaha.

      The only part of this document likely to take place is the reconsideration of funds going to the Palestinian Authority, but most likely this will be the result of a need for those funds closer to home in the European Union.

      Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        They are saying that the lack of peace stems entirely from Israel’s 46-year occupation and incessant land-grabbing. Not that complicated.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Exactly. They are saying that the European Union is going to come into the picture as a body hostile to Israel and set the terms of reference in favor of the Palestinians. They are also saying that they wish to basically bypass the Palestinian Authority (defund it, ignore it) and are praying that they can find a magical Palestinian negotiating body that will represent a Palestinian consensus which includes Hamas and yet is explicitly interested in non-violence and a two state solution. They are also saying that the sides (including the Israelis on whom they are trying to force these terms of reference) will accept the bankrupt and collapsing European Union as a mediator.

          This is a hilariously misguided adventure by an illustrious group of European has-beens.

          Reply to Comment
          • berz55

            “This is a hilariously misguided adventure by an illustrious group of European has-beens.” Yes, it is, you must be talking about Peres, Nutinyahoo and their ilk.

            Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        I think what they are really saying is that the two-state solution has failed, and it is time to think of a new solution to this conflict (i.e. a one-state solution). Of course, Israel will never willingly agree to a 1SS, which is why the Europeans are hinting at potential sanctions to make it agree (ban on settlement goods). I happen to think that that alone will not be enough to force Israel to give the Palestinians their human rights, and probably much sterner measures will need to be adopted.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Nope, I thought initially that I might agree with you but it just isn’t there. Pretty much every step in that letter is a reaffirmation of the two state solution, although certainly their emphasis is on the rise of a Palestinian state rather than an actual solution. In other words, two states, no peace.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Richard Witty

      The things that stall the peace process now are the same things that stalled it for seven decades.

      Unwillingness to accept the other on the part of a significant minority in each community.

      For example, the report states that no progress on a peace process is possible without unification of the various Palestinian factions, but the only way that they would unify would be if there is no peace process with Israel.

      It is a big obstacle. “Palestine at 67 borders” is a very very different status than recognizing Israel at 67 borders (Hamas).

      They are frustrated with the gradualism (delayable) of Oslo, and propose another gradualism.

      Oslo and all peace processes are based on the principle of mutual consent, and then consent of the governed.

      The left urges pressure to force consent more than construction to make consent feasible.

      The premise of this proposal is dual, bi-polar, urging both consent (basis of Oslo) and pressure.

      They’re impatient. Got it.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Tzutzik

      It is the same old story.

      1. There is no peace, the occupation continues, the problem has not been solved.

      2. Israel is it fault.

      3. Israel must be pressured into making concessions.

      4. Israel makes more concessions

      Go back to 1. And start the cycle all over again.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Tzutzik

      This formula proposes to do the same thing that has been done to date over and over again, BLAME and PRESSURE ONLY ISRAEL yet expect a different outcome. That is the very definition of insanity.

      How about a pause for sanity and start to make a few demands on the Palestinian Arabs too for a change?

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Far from insane, the proposed steps are necessary (and even moderate).

        It is high time Europe treats Israel as a rogue state. Israel is a friend that takes and never gives.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          You do know that Europe has a reasonably large trade surplus with Israel, right? What is it precisely that Israel takes from Europe but doesn’t give?

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Friendship.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The EU that is consistently interfering in Israel’s internal affairs through sponsoring various bodies whose entire objective is to present Israel in a negative light (972mag included). Most of the EU sides against Israel (or abstains) in international votes. The EU is determined to intervene in manners Israel sees as strategically vital which to the EU are marginal. This is the supposed ‘friendship’ that the you think Israel doesn’t reciprocate?

            So, I am listening. How is Israel being unfriendly to Europe?

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Bouchiki, al-Mabhouh, Markuszower, Millar, Liberty, Lavon, Vanunu.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Interesting list. Most of those cases have nothing to do with Europe, but great. How does it compare with Europe refusing to recognize terrorist acts on its own soil when Israelis were killed? What was the average stay in a European prison of a terrorist in the 1970s that attacked Israelis on European soil? three years? How does it compare with the Europeans directly funding the entire extreme left in Israel in order to influence the political system while hypocritically espousing non-intervention in other states?

            Who is being unfriendly again?

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            6 out of 7 are directly related to Europe.

            As far as I know in 91, 73, 67 and 56 the Netherlands delivered war material to Israel. In 1973 during Yom Kippur 250 Centurion tank engines and whatever else Israel asked by airlift from Gilze-Rijen by El Al Boeings.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “As far as I know in 91, 73, 67 and 56 the Netherlands delivered war material to Israel”

            Here is a bit of perspective about how Europe really behaved.

            I don’t know about 1991, you may want to elaborate.

            In 1973,
            “European countries refused to allow US airplanes carrying supplies for Israel to refuel at their bases, fearing an Arab oil embargo, with the exception of Portugal and the Netherlands. Portugal permitted the United States to use a leased base in Azores,[267] and the defence minister of the Netherlands, apparently acting without consulting his cabinet colleagues, secretly authorised the use of Dutch airfields.[268"]

            In 1967, De Gaule imposed a total arms embargo on Israel because Israel dared to defend itself.

            I agree with you about 1956. England and Israel became temporary allies in the Suez crisis because their interests momentarily coincided.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            What have the Libery, Lavon and Vanunu got to do with Europe?

            Nothing of course.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Liberty – nothing with Europe
            Vanunu – kidnapped in Europe
            Lavon – Israeli false flag terror attacks in Egypt against among others British.

            The English Wiki article does not know all. Try to read Dutch: http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/5009/Archief/archief/article/detail/2749496/1997/03/14/Nederland-leverde-Israel-wapens-in-vier-oorlogen.dhtml

            In 67 the French did deliver tons of parts for fighter planes to Israel, From Châteauroux by Fokker 27 to Gilze Rijen and from Gilze Rijen by about 14 unmarked Boeing 707′s to Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Of course Liberty was attacked with French planes …

            More on topic:

            The last umpteen years Europe has always overtly and secretly supported Israel. This mostly because Israel is seen as a strategic partner. Israel is a state that from the beginning to now acted like a rogue state and as such does not deserve this special treatment.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Of course Liberty was attacked with French planes …”

            Wow!!! That’s what one would call a bridge too far being built by a hater. To claim that using French planes was intended as a slap in the face of Europe.

            I keep on being surprised how low you “progressives” are willing to stoop in your constant attempts to try and smear Israel.

            “More on topic:

            The last umpteen years Europe has always overtly and secretly supported Israel. This mostly because Israel is seen as a strategic partner. Israel is a state that from the beginning to now acted like a rogue state and as such does not deserve this special treatment.”

            BS!!!

            You would do well to read an essay written by a sober European writer about Europe. The name of the Essay is:

            “The Tyranny of Guilt”

            If you do, you will learn a few home truths about how misguided Europeans have become simce they allowed themselves to be hijacked by “progressive” ideology. After reading it, I genuinely fear for Europe. They are between the devil and the deep blue sea. Right now, you “progressives” are busily destroying it. But I think a right wing backlash is building up. My fear is that this right wing backlash will morph into the ugly extreme xenophobic right wing that Europe was used to not all that long ago. Either way, you guys are in big trouble. And as usual, you will drag the rest of the world down with you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            Liberty – nothing with Europe

            Yet you listed it.

            Vanunu – kidnapped in Europe.

            Yes. A traitor who betrayed Israel and had the potential to give away further vital information about Israel’s nuclear capability thereby endangering Israel’s security.

            So if European countries are willing to release Arab terrorists within months of committing crimes on European soil (like the Munich massacre and for plane hijackings like Leila Khaled), then they can absorb the kidnapping of Vanunu, an Israeli citizen, too.

            “Lavon – Israeli false flag terror attacks in Egypt against among others British.” Really? Amongst others the British? Are you sure you are not making this up? Or quoting someone else who is?

            “The English Wiki article does not know all. Try to read Dutch: http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/5009/Archief/archief/article/detail/2749496/1997/03/14/Nederland-leverde-Israel-wapens-in-vier-oorlogen.dhtml

            Only if you learn Hebrew first.

            “In 67 the French did deliver tons of parts for fighter planes to Israel, From Châteauroux by Fokker 27 to Gilze Rijen and from Gilze Rijen by about 14 unmarked Boeing 707′s to Israel.”

            Maybe before the 1967 war but De Gaulle imposed an embargo on Israel AFTER the war because according to him, Israel had no right to defend itself.

            In fact, De Gulle refused to deliver to Israel gun boats that Israel already paid for. Pure bloody mindedness I would say.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            The airlift is described in a local website that writes about 100 year Gilze-Rijen. I must assume that the airport (and the locals that worked there) know their own history.

            http://www.heemkringmolenheide.nl/site/digitaal-archief/verhalen/100-jaar-vliegveld-gilze-rijen-publicatie-1-2/operatie-salomon

            The Lavon afair you can find all over the net including Wikipedia. You might prefer the heroic Israel friendly version of the Jewish Virtual Library. I have the story from the Avi Shlaim book the Iron wall.

            The basic message is the same. Israeli agents (trying to) bomb American and British targets in order to discredit Nasser. The affair killed the peace initiatives between Nasser and Sharett.

            Using French weapons to attack the American Liberty was certainly not nice, although it might have been accidental.

            Anyhow the fact that you think kidnapping and targeted killings inside friendly countries are OK just confirms my point. Israel is not a good friend.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >http://www.heemkringmolenheide.nl/site/digitaal-archief/verhalen/100-jaar-vliegveld-gilze-rijen-publicatie-1-2/operatie-salomon

            The story is not credible at all.

            “Zo’n veertien Boeing 707 vrachtvliegtuigen hebben naar schatting 160 ton legermateriaal vervoerd.”

            Boeing 707 can carry up to 40 tons of payload.

            160/14 = 11 tons.
            Why would anyone fly planes with only 1/4 payload?

            “Ooggetuigen beweren dat de Israëlische vliegtuigen helemaal grijs geschilderd waren en van alle herkennings-kentekens ontdaan.”

            Than how do the know that the planes were Israeli?

            It is somewhat similar to the story of massacre of Gazan zoo.

            IDF was blamed for killing some of animals, but the person who gave the account on TV was not even there at the time and could not be considered witness by any court of law.

            Obviously, Israel could be blamed for anything even if there is no proof. Especially when there is no proof.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            The story is confirmed by Parool journalist Frans Peters.

            See:
            http://www.refdag.nl/oud/bin/990213bin30.html

            He writes that French airplane parts were sent to Israel through Gilze-Rijen (no paper trail)

            He also writes that the boeings were not converted to freight planes and that ammunition boxes were put in passenger seats.

            (so Trespasser why fight it, it is just history)

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            WTF are you talking about?

            “Iedere nacht landen op de militaire vliegbasis Gilze-Rijen toestellen van El Al. In plaats van de berekende vrachtcapaciteit van 42 ton nemen de Boeings 707 maar liefst 57 ton aan wapens en munitie mee.”

            You make up your mind first, dude.

            ElAl Boeings 707 were either taking 11 tons of payload each, or 57 tons.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Anyhow the fact that you think kidnapping and targeted killings inside friendly countries are OK just confirms my point. Israel is not a good friend.”

            Israel is as much a friend of Europe as Europe is a friend of Israel. Is that good or bad, Rob? You tell me.

            As to what I condone or don’t condone, it does not matter. What matters is that you drag up long ago one off incidents perpetrated by Israel which may or may not be justifiable if one looks at it in isolation and without context is indicative of your own hatred and bias against Israel.

            Why do I say that? Because you never bring up much worse incidents which happen in Europe frequently and more recently.

            Things like the attack in Bulgaria against Israeli civilians by Hezbollah. And the daily antisemitic attacks against Jews by Arab youth in countries like France, Sweden, Norway, Britain, Italy and elsewhere. But of course that is not something you would care to write about is it Rob? Because that is just irrelevant for you. It isn’t even on your radar.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            @Directrob
            I put your Dutch link through a translator and even your own reference says this:

            “To circumvent a French arms embargo”

            So which bit of French arms embargo don’t you understand?

            Yes, the Israelis together with some European sympathisers including a French person, circumvented the French arms embargo. Does that mean there was no French arms embargo? Sheeeesh …

            Actually I remember the affair. The newspapers were full of it after the story broke at the time.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            for 1973 (the one with overloaded plains) see (English):
            http://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=340249

            I do not know all details are right but it shows weapon transports are way to complicated for a one man action. The Dutch government knew (and many more). It also mentions the 1967 transports but no details.

            For 1967 it is harder to get details but I trust the information from Glize Rijen.

            There surely were arms boycot (and rightly so) but that does not mean things cannot happen. Things like (1973) sending Dutch tank grenades to Israel and replacing them with held up Israeli grenades from England.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >There surely were arms boycot (and rightly so)…

            Yeah, I know that you’d rather seen couple millions of Israeli Jews massacred.

            >but that does not mean things cannot happen.

            And your point being?

            >Things like (1973) sending Dutch tank grenades to Israel and replacing them with held up Israeli grenades from England.

            So?

            Reply to Comment
      • Jonny

        What? Demand the Palestinians stop being occupied? Yeah maybe that will work, after all all that pressure on Israel ($3 billion US weapons p.a., preferential trade agreements, UN veto etc) don’t seem to work at all at ending the occupation.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          How about getting them to accept generous peace terms offered by previous Israeli governments? By Ehud Barak in 2000/2001 and by Olmert in 2008?

          Too much to ask?

          Reply to Comment
          • carl

            again with this “generous offer”. use the brain and don’t repeat always the same things. it was not generous at all. stop it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Yes, indeed use your brain. Which part of an offer where one side proposes to give 98% of disputed territory to the other side would not be considered generous?

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            the 98% is a LIE. it was the 98% of what the occupier was willing to negotiate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “the 98% is a LIE. it was the 98% of what the occupier was willing to negotiate.”

            Ok so come out with it don’t beat around the bush. What extra land should the “occupier” be willing to negotiate in your opinion? Tel Aviv too?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ed

            The borders of ’67 are acceptable borders to everyone except Israel. Palestinians have in fact (not fiction like most of the comments here) on several occasions offered to accept these borders for a two state solution. Israel rejected it just as much times, because why should they negotiate if they can just take it all? Look at the actions and not the hollow words. Why are these settlements on palestinian territory? Why is this wall on palestinian territory? Why do Israeli want to live in the centre of Hebron or in East-Jerusalem. Not because of the view or the nice neighbourhood; they want the land and they want it all.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “how about respecting the legal borders of before the war in 1967?”

            I feel sad for you because you come here and betray your ignorance.

            What you so pompously call 1967 borders were in fact the 1949 armistice lines. And article VI clause 9 of that agreement says:

            “9. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

            Go check it out here:

            http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/F03D55E48F77AB698525643B00608D34

            Do you understand what that means? If not, just ask me and I will happily explain it to you.

            Reply to Comment
          • ruth

            No Ken Shiro, it would be enough to give back to the occupied people the sovereignty over many entirely Palestinians districts and areas such Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, At-Tur….that the occupier simply is not willing to negotiate.

            Reply to Comment
          • tod

            I agree that the 98% offer is a total lie.
            …Barak’s demand to annex large settlement blocs (9% of the West Bank) with no Israeli land given to a proposed Palestinian state in return, the lack of contiguity that the settlement blocs cause for a Palestinian state, lack of trust in the commitment and/or possibility of the Israeli government to evacuate the thousands of non-bloc Israeli settlers in the 15-year timeline, limited sovereignty for Palestinians in Jerusalem (the historically important Arab neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan,and At-Tur would remain under Israeli sovereignty, while Palestinians would only have sovereignty over the outer Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem), the lack of Palestinian sovereignty over holy sites in Jerusalem (Palestinians would only receive “administrative control” over their holy sites, and the Old City’s Muslim and Christian Quarters, however Israel was to receive complete sovereignty over Jewish holy sites, and the Old City’s Jewish and Armenian Quarters.
            Stop cheating please.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Barak’s demand to annex large settlement blocs (9% of the West Bank) with no Israeli land given to a proposed Palestinian state”

            Typical selective argument by a “progressive”. He picks one of three peace offers by Israel, the one offered in 2000 and then tries to shoot it down with lies and false arguments.

            But even people like Bill Clinton disagree with him. He clearly blamed Arafat for missing a historic opportunity to make peace and the chance to establish an independent Palestinian state.

            Here, read about it:

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit

            But of course like all good progressives, Tod dilligently skips mentioning Ehud Barak’s year 2001 peace offer which further improved the territorial concessions by Israel.

            Nor does he mention Ehud Olmert’s year 2008 offer which improved the offer even further to the equivalent of giving up 100% of the West Bank but with land swaps which would allow Israel to keep the major settlement blocks.

            In fact, Tod, like all good “progressives” is being disingenuous. He forgot to mention that even the Palestinian Arab negotiators verbally agreed with the territorial aspects of Israel’s offer. The reason why there was no positive outcome was because the Arabs also insisted on the so called right of return. Of course, Israel cannot accept that and Israel never will accept that. Why? Because that is just a formula for the elimination of the state of the Jewish people.

            And … Because it is unfair to want to establish yet another 100% majority Arab state, the 25th one, called Palestine and to insist that the only Jewish state in the world, Israel, should be eliminated demographically. We will never allow that to happen ok Tod?

            Reply to Comment
          • tod

            Olmert was alreadt out of power.
            Robert Malley is just a bit more reliable then Bill (and Hillary) Clinton
            No one wants to establish “another 100% majority Arab state”.
            Any Jew who wants to live in a Palestinian homeland can do it only following the rules that this entails and not as a stealing cowboy.
            People fight in order to have a Palestinian state on their only homeland.
            Victimhood is your favourite (and only) card.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Olmert was alreadt out of power.

            Nonsense.

            >Robert Malley is just a bit more reliable

            Malley is an idiot, like anyone who suggests that Hamas should be part of negotiations.

            >No one wants to establish “another 100% majority Arab state”.

            A lie. 1 state solution + right of return = Arab majority state.

            >Any Jew who wants to live in a Palestinian homeland can do it only following the rules that this entails and not as a stealing cowboy.

            Crystal clear bullshit.
            1 – There is no “Palestinians”
            2 – The land of Palestine was inhabited by both Jews and Arabs
            3 – Rules that this entrails is that Jews and Christians are declared official 4th grade (after women and dogs) citizens.

            >People fight in order to have a Palestinian state on their only homeland.

            A lie.

            Palestinian Arabs had refused to coexist with Jews in 1919 and refused to declare own state in 1947, 2000, 2002 and 2008.

            >Victimhood is your favourite (and only) card.

            No, silly. The right of self-determination, is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Olmert was alreadt out of power.”

            FACT 1: Olmert made his offer in September 2008 (Google it).

            FACT 2: Olmert lost power in March 2009 (Google it).

            Abbas had 6 months to accept the offer. Did he? Of course not.

            “Robert Malley is just a bit more reliable then Bill (and Hillary) Clinton”

            Really? Then read this:
            “In the 1970′s the Malley family lived in France, where Robert’s father Simon Malley, published a radical magazine about Africa, Afrique-Asie, which supported various leftist “liberation movements” as well as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. According to theWashington Post”

            I guess that is why you prefer him to the Clintons, right? Ahhh you progressives, you are so transparent …

            “No one wants to establish “another 100% majority Arab state”.
            Any Jew who wants to live in a Palestinian homeland can do it”

            Yea and pigs fly.

            “Victimhood is your favourite (and only) card.”

            Huh? Where did that come from? All you progressives ever do is whine about “Palestinian” victimhood and you say that to me with a straight face?

            I gotta laugh …

            Reply to Comment
    5. Barry Meridian

      The UN has been HIJACKED by the same Islamo fascist ideology which hijacked four passenger planes on 9/11 and flew them into buildings..

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        And your brain has been hijacked by the same islamophob nonsense like Breivik’s one.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Barry Meridian

      Jerusalem has had a Jewish population majority since the late 1850s – that’s 130 years already, before ‘Palestinianism’ was invented:
      Jews were expelled from East-Jerusalem by the Jordanian occupation at 1948. They lived in East-Jerusalem for thousands of years. They returned to their homes after Israel liberated the city in 67.
      Jerusalem was never in history the capitol of any Arab country.
      ISRAEL which is defending itself against Pan-Arabism, Arab imperialism and Arabization of the Middle East – that is the “problem these Europeans dont like.
      The real problem is global Arab/Moslem insistence to spread hate, violence, wars, terrorism, lies, false accusations against Jews and reducing Jews to subhumans or second class citizens – slaves or servants – without any human rights.

      Israel existed 1500 years before Muhammad was born. Look at Islamic countries and look at Sharia laws. Its a brutal, violent and an intolerant religion. It produces the most inhumane people on this planet. Besides Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East and North Africa was never Arab or Muslim. The thieving Arabs stole all the land from the Native peoples in the Middle East and North Africa in the 7th century and forced everyone they colonized to become Muslim. Anyone that didn’t convert, had there heads cut off. The Jews resisted the Mohammad and didn’t convert. There is a primary historical fact, that must be established now. There has never been, I repeat NEVER been, a civilization, Entity, or a nation referred to as “Palestine” There was never a Palestinian tribe, and there was never a Palestinian country in the Land of Israel to begin with! Israel is not for sale. It is not a pie to be sliced up and served to a clan of killers and their supporters.

      1: When did Jerusalem serve as a capital to any Arab Country? Never.
      2: When did Jerusalem serve as a Palestinian capital? Never.
      3: Only Israel have had Jerusalem as there capital in Ancient and modern times. Jerusalem was never in history an Arab capital and never will be one.
      4: How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran? Zero. Was Mohammed to so badly educated, he could not utter the word
      “J-e-r-u-s-a-l-e-m”

      Reply to Comment
    7. Ken Kelso

      Nowhere does the letter mention the issue of anti-Semitic broadcasting and hate speech in Palestinian official media, nor the matter of the glorification of terrorism and terrorists by the PA, and the impact such conduct has on prospects for peace.
      I urge anyone to go on Palmediawatch to see the racist murderous Palestinian media against Jews.
      http://www.palwatch.org
      I would think even the radicals on here would be horrified by Palestinians glorifying slaughtering Israeli children.

      PA glorifies Maalot massacre
      http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=6520
      PA TV glorifies terror attack that killed 22 children
      Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
      Feb. 29, 2012
      PA TV glorifies terror attack that killed 22 children
      and 4 adults in Ma’alot, in 1974
      Other terror attacks by DFLP also glorified

      http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1526
      Abbas honors terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37
      12/31/09
      This week Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas once again honored the memory of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi – this time by sponsoring a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her birth. Mughrabi led the worst terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians. Present at the ceremony were Palestinian dignitaries and a children’s marching band. Earlier this year, Abbas sponsored a computer center named after Mughrabi.
      The PA further glorified Mughrabi on the date of her birth when the Governor of Ramallah announced the naming of the “Dalal Mughrabi Square”

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Should I take a resource called “palwatch” seriously??

        Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          “Should I take a resource called “palwatch” seriously??”

          Should real people take YOU seriously?

          Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You would not complain about the domain name if that was a Palestinian website exposing truth about Israel, would you?

          I’m more than pleased to discover yet another Judeophobe among “progressives” ranks.

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Funny is that the site “palwatch” knows it is “Palestinian Media Watch” but Shmuel calls it “Palmediawatch”. Anyhow the site is not one of the sites I would ever trust as a resource.

            Of course I would always use a site that exposes truth, but a site similar to PMW about Israel would be just as useless and harmful as PMW.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Funny is that the site “palwatch” knows it is “Palestinian Media Watch” but Shmuel calls it “Palmediawatch”.

            What’s so funny?
            Obviously, “Palestinian Media Watch” = “PalMediaWatch” = “Palmediawatch”

            >Anyhow the site is not one of the sites I would ever trust as a resource.

            Anyhow, you haven’t produced any argument why they should not be trusted.

            >Of course I would always use a site that exposes truth

            Apparently not always, but only when the truth exposed corresponds to your agenda.

            >but a site similar to PMW about Israel would be just as useless

            By what standard a website which aggregates and translates information is useless?

            >and harmful as PMW.

            Harmful huh? Harmful to what? To the image of peace-seeking Palestinian Arabs? Maybe that is because there is very few such Arabs?

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Funny is that the site “palwatch” knows it is “Palestinian Media Watch” but Shmuel calls it “Palmediawatch”. Anyhow the site is not one of the sites I would ever trust as a resource”

            A petty comment truly worthy of you directrob. But I will respond nevertheless because what you say about what I wrote is inaccurate too. As is mostly everything else that you post here. Read again the two lines that I wrote. It seems you cannot tell the difference between a direct quote (of you) and an original statement.

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Calling Palestinians “Pals” sounds to me the same as calling Japanese “Japs”, an ethnic slur. A site make a list off all perceived faux pas of Palestinians should avoid to call Palestinians “Pals”.

            The site itself is hilariously one sided. It takes for example issue with calling the Balfour declaration a crime against the Palestinian people and with songs longing for a united land.

            For you that might be normal for me PMW is a silly hasbara site.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Calling Palestinians “Pals” sounds to me the same as calling Japanese “Japs”, an ethnic slur.

            Well, since there is no such ethnicity nor nationality as “Palestinians” there could be no ethnic slur to that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Tresspasser, I thought you claimed to be listening to the Palestinian Arabs for 150 years?
            Yet in the same breath deny there is even a Palestinian. I think you should work on forming consistent argument next time.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            My arguments are flawless.

            Certainly there is/was Palestinian Arabs – like there is/was Palestinian Jews.

            But there is not/was not ethnicity named Palestinians.

            Reply to Comment
    8. The overt confiscation of land, coupled with the interdiction of use rights in other land ostensibly under Palestinian ownership/control, is certainly contrary to self determination. Focus there. If Israel will not stop the settlers, Israel will not stop until there is annexation of the Bank.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Well, it looks like the Palestinians aren’t interested in self-determination so that isn’t really an issue. Have you ever seen a people that want self-determination refuse it on numerous occasions and place conditions on its implementation. “We want self-determination but only if you give us a, b, c, and d. Otherwise, you know what, we don’t really want it and we’ll just wait.”

        Reply to Comment
        • rose

          they simply refuse the “self-determination” that the occupier imaged for them. wake up, outside your little ideologic world there is an entire planet with other human beings.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Yep, they refused to take self-determination. How do you think self-determination works in general? You either win it in a war or you get it granted by whoever controls the land. This is the real world Rose. It would say hello but you have chosen to live in never never land.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ed

            I’m afraid it is you who lives in a fantasy world. Israel has never made a reasonable peace offer and they don’t need to, because up till now they always had the conditionless backing of the west (US and EU). Luckily there is more and more research and evidence to expose the evil practises of the occupation. Apart from the fact that the occupation itself is immoral and illegal according to international law (o.a. resolution 242), it is also illegal to move a civilian population into occupied territory. These settlements are however part of the ethnic cleansing policy which is adopted by Israel since it’s founding in 1948. This is also a fact confirmed by consensus among historians among which many Israeli. To say that the Palestians aren’t interested in self-determination, suggesting they are quite happy living under a military occupation and being ruled by an apartheid regime is simply ludicrous. Open your eyes and see the facts. It can be very refreshing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “I’m afraid it is you who lives in a fantasy world. Israel has never made a reasonable peace offer”

            Ok genious, what do you consider to be a reasonable peace offer? No comment? I didn’t think so. You people are good at whinging and whining but not so good at offering solutions.

            “and they don’t need to, because up till now they always had the conditionless backing of the west (US and EU).”

            Israel never had the same unconditional backing that the Arabs had for instance by the Soviet Union but alas, sadly (not) the Soviet Union is gone now. Aren’t you sorry?

            “Luckily there is more and more research and evidence”

            I would say more like polemics funded by petro dollars and other assorted haters of Israel/Jews.

            “to expose the evil practises of the occupation.”

            Yet it seems that the Palestinian Arabs did not seem to be too eager to end when they had had chances to end it because they would rather dictate terms of surrender to Israel.

            “Apart from the fact that the occupation itself is immoral and illegal according to international law”

            No international law states that if a country wins a war in which it was attacked by an aggressor, that the subsequent occupation of the aggerssor’s territory is illegal.

            “(o.a. resolution 242), it is also illegal to move a civilian population into occupied territory.”

            Resolution 242 says nothing of the sort.

            “These settlements are however part of the ethnic cleansing policy which is adopted by Israel since it’s founding in 1948.”

            Only the Arabs had the policy to ethnically cleanse Jews from our ancestral homeland. They openly said so till 1967 and Hamas still says so.

            “This is also a fact confirmed by consensus among historians”

            Revisionist “progressive” historians ONLY. And their opinion does not count.

            “Palestians aren’t interested in self-determination,”

            The facts speak for themselves. Three times in the last decade alone they were offered the chance to establish their own state and they in effect rejected each offer.

            Also between 1948 and 1967, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan and no attempt was made to establish an independent Palestinian state there. Not a single UN resolution was made to attempt to do it and there was no Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jordan between 1948 and 1967. Conclusion: they were happy to be part of Jordan.

            “suggesting they are quite happy living under a military occupation and being ruled by an apartheid regime is simply ludicrous.”

            Your brain is in apartheid state. You don’t even know what apartheid is. You need a brain transplant.

            “Open your eyes and see the facts. It can be very refreshing.”

            Ah ok … but you go first … be my guest, open YOUR eyes first.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ed

            A reasonable offer: how about respecting the legal borders of before the war in 1967? Palestinian negotiators among which even hamas members have repeatedly proposed this as basis for a treaty, but Israel has even so many times rejected this. This is documented stuff and can be easily researched.
            Research and documentation: many resputable historians and other scientists have published on this issue. I don’t believe Benny Morris (Israeli and Jew) and Noam Chomski (American Jew)are funded by petro dollars of are Jew/Israel haters. In fact once in a while there is an attempt to write pro-israeli stuff which tries to be scientific.For instance the book The Case for Israel, by Alan Dershowitz which is completely destroyed by the real (Jewish) scientist Norman Finkelstein. Google it, you might find it amusing.
            International law: Israel was never attacked by palestinians, they never had an army or militia so they were defenseless when Israeli militia attacked them immediately after the Brits left the territory. The fable abouth arab countries invading is a lie. Only after 6 months arab countries decided to help the Palestinians, without much success.
            I never said that the section about moving a civilian population was in resolution 242…in fact it is stated in the 4th Geneva convention, which I can image that you are not familiair with. But since you claim to have read the resolution you can see that it states that acquiring land by war is not permitted. Not even if you are attacked, which was not the case.
            Hamas has never said the things that you claim. More lies. They only stated that they don’t accept the legitimacy of Israel, which is not necessarily a obstacle for peace(treaty). Ghandi never accepted the legitimacy of Pakistan, but accepted it as a fact.
            Ancestral homeland: do you know how crazy this sounds? You accept the killing and dismissal of people from their land on the basis of some holy book without historical valueand and justify it by calling it their ancestral homeland. I hope you have kept the receit of your own house.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            Oh Ed, Benny Morris is a reputable historian. He does not pull any punches, he tells it like it is. Yes he mentions some things that Israel did wrong but like all good historians he presents what he says with perspective and context.

            I guess like all good “progressives” you practice selective reading when you read Benny Morris. You absorb the negatives about Israel and ignore context and perspective. Am I right?

            Otherwise you would have mentioned that Benny Morris said what I said. He says that the Paelestinian Arabs were the ones to start the violence and that their leaders espoused genocidal intentions towards the Jews of Palestine.

            Moreover, Benny Morris clearly blamed Arafat for the collapse of the Oslo Accord, go figure …

            As for the rest of them. Chomsky, Finkelstein and some other Jewish “progressive” ideologues. They have no credibility. Unless of course you assign credibility to someone (like Chomsky) who defended the Khmer Rouge? By the way, they are at least as much anti America as they are anti Israel. But I guess a “progressive” like you would consider that a merit wouldn’t you?

            PS
            Jewishness has nothing to do with it. Jewish progressives are just as idiotic as non Jewish progressives. Oh and both are not beyond being dazzled by monetary rewards.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >they simply refuse the “self-determination” that the occupier imaged for them.

            Yeah. They refused to coexist in 1919. They refused to declare own state in 1947, 2000 and 2002.

            Obviously, Palestinian Arabs would rather live like stateless outlaws that coexist with Jews.

            Reply to Comment
    9. Ken Kelso

      Shmuel says, Should real people take YOU seriously?

      Well if your a left wing Jew and you don’t mind Palestinian leaders glorifying Arab terrorists murdering Israeli civilians, i would say no.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ken Kelso

      The hypocritical Europeans who oppose a state for the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan.
      According to the Europeans, the Kurds are supposed to live the psychopath Arabs and Shiites in over there who everyday are killing civilians.
      Why don’t the Europeans live under these people?

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/who_truly_deserves_a_state_the_kurds_or_the_palestinians.html
      Who Truly Deserves a State? The Kurds or the Palestinians?
      Victor Sharpe
      Feb 19, 2012

      Reply to Comment
      • tod

        kurds and pals deserve both a state. but kurds are citizens of 3 different states, while Israel keep exploiting the situation without annexing the palestinian territories. in other words: let’s steal everything without taking any responsability and providing any right.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          “Israel keep exploiting the situation without annexing the palestinian territories. in other words: let’s steal everything without taking any responsability and providing any right.”

          I wonder why extreme progressives agree with some right wing Israelis about annexation? Of course each have different motives and illusions about how such a solution would work out.

          FACT: israel made at least three realistic peace offers in the last decade two of which the Palestinian Arabs responded to with violence (extreme violence) and the last one they ignored and hoped that the offer will just go away. And of course it did. What a surprise.

          And now the “eminent” leaders and their “progressive” fans blame Israel for the status quo.

          CONCLUSION:
          They expect the aggressors, those who used violence, to prevent the two state solution since the UN vote for it in 1947, to dictate terms. And who are those aggressors, historically? The Palestinian Arabs of course, at every turn.

          Reply to Comment
      • ruth

        The fact that you provide us the link of this victor sharpe, a total unknown author full of hatred and ignorance on the issue, well explain why we need more than ever that external actors push Israel in the right direction.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Like so many other writings on Israel/Palestine, the letter by “the EU 19″ is mere words. It analyzes the “peace process”, finds it failed, but does not propose action to achieve anything else.

      As to settlements it merely suggesets that Israel not built any more –without calling for sanctions to require removal of all existing settlers, existing settlements, and existing wall.

      So sad.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ken Kelso

      Pabelmont, Its a wall which separates the Palestinian mass murderers from the Jews they want to murder.

      Eilat, Boston. What’s the difference? Same Muslim terror and mayhem. Islamic leaders sending people to die to kill the Jews because the fact one Jewish state exists not controlled by Islamic fascists bothers the Muslims.

      Reply to Comment
      • ruth

        Ken Shiro, that’s the ideology that you invented in order to keep stealing what it is not yours.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Since when exactly the land of Palestine belongs to Arab invaders?

          Reply to Comment
    13. Shmuel

      “Hamas has never said the things that you claim. More lies”

      They didn’t? Then how do you explain article 7 in their charter?

      “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” Hamas Covenant, Article 7″

      http://www.crethiplethi.com/hamas-its-nazi-ideology-and-record/israel/2010/

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ken Kelso

      Ruth, how do you steal land Jews were living in 1500 years before Mohammad was born?
      The Arabs are invaders from Saudi Arabia.
      Tell me Mrs Genius, how do the Arabs have 22 countries when all the Arabs come from 1 country.” Saudi Arabia.
      How did the Arabs get all of North Africa from the Berbers in the 7th century?
      I’m talking about what is today Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya
      Look at the Blacks in Sudan, Mauritania and Somalia. How did those people become Arab?
      Its called Mohammad and his Jihad armies in the 7th century invaded and took the entire Mideast and North Africa and forced everyone they defeated to be Islamic and Arab.

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        And which utterly nonsense “history” book are you sleeping with?

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You have no other argument but pathetic ad hominem attacks.

          Apparently, you haven’t slept with any books at all.

          Ever.

          Reply to Comment
    15. Ken Kelso

      As Caroline Glick said, The fact that the Palestinians from Fatah and Hamas alike are Jew-hating racists should surprise no one who has been paying a modicum of attention to the Palestinian media and general culture. Since the PA was established in 1994 in the framework of the peace process between Israel and the PLO, it has used the media organs, schools and mosques it controls to spew out a constant flow of anti-Semitic propaganda. Much of the Jew-hating bile is indistinguishable from anti-Jewish propaganda published by the Nazis.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Ken Kelso

      Ruth, there was never in history any state called Palestine governed by Palestinians.
      Tell us when did it ever belong to Palestinians? Answer Never. It was never a Pal land to begin with, so your question is invalid.The Palestinians never governed or controlled any land before 1993. To make it simple, please tell me one Palestinian President before 1948? Keep thinking. The Palestinians want a capital, which they never had, in a country that never existed.

      Reply to Comment
      • ruth

        You are ignorant and I don’t have time to lose with you. Capital, state, president, private property…ect…are all Western concepts that only in these last few decades were accepted (after that they were imposed) by the local populations.
        You have a western settler mentality and so you perceive the reality as a western settler. good luck.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “human rights”, “right of self determination”, “equality” and other rights are all Western concepts as well.

          What I really like about leftists if their selectivity.

          Reply to Comment
          • carl

            are equality and human rights ‘western concepts’? are you joking?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Of course they are. They are the product of the French revolution and Western liberal philosophy. Until then it was [even in the West] normal to accept that some people are better than others and should have superior rights.

            Reply to Comment
          • geremia

            You look a bit confused. It is exactly that enlighted Western world that spread the idea that black people (and others) were inferior
            and didn’t deserve any respect or attention.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            I’m not joking, I’m only somewhat educated, unlike you, apparently.

            Reply to Comment
    17. Shmuel

      “You are ignorant and I don’t have time to lose with you”

      You are the one who is ignorant Ruth. But I WILL devote a bit of time to you because there are too many other ignoramuses out there like you.

      You claim that the local populations had no concept about Capital, state, president, private property…ect but the absentee Arab Landlords who sold lands to Jews knew how to charge exhorbitant prices for those lands. And the Felahin who worked some of those lands (not all because some of the lands sold to Jews were useless swamps – or so the absentee Arab landlords thought) anyhow the Felahin knew that the land belonged to the absentee Arab landlords because they paid them for their tenancy hand over fist. So much for your story that they had no concept of private property …

      Now for your claim that they had no concept of state. That is BS too because they objected to Jewish immigration purely because the Jews wanted to form their own state.

      Mind you, they had no right to try and stop Jewish immigration because in the mid 1800s, when Jewish immigration started, there would not have been much more than 100,000 Arabs in the whole of Palestine so the land was sparsely populated and there was room in Palestine for both Arabs and Jews. And room for two states too.

      Indeed that is why the Ottoman Turks did not discourage Jewish immigration because they were hoping that the inflow of Jewish capital and skills would develop Palestine from the backwater that it was then and modernise it. Indeed that is exactly what happened and that led to not only further Jewish immigration but it encouraged Arab immigration from neighbouring Arab countries.

      There Ruth. Now you have learnt something in spite of yourself.

      Reply to Comment
      • ruth

        “private property” , “state”, “capital” were all concepts imposed/introduced in the region starting from the end of XIX century. you don’t have any clue about what you are talking about and I am not willing to educate you. adios.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >“private property” , “state”, “capital” were all concepts imposed/introduced in the region starting from the end of XIX century.

          Idiocy skyrockets.

          What kind of slurry should be in one’s head to suggest that until late XIX century there was no private property in Palestine, neither were Palestinian Arabs aware what a “state” is, nor there were people who had capitals.

          Reply to Comment
          • carl

            I do confirm, private property and “state” were totally irrelevant concepts in Ottoman Palestine. You really don’t know anything about this land. I am quite sure that you come from another continent otherwise you would not put yourselves under such a ridiculous light.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Private property is at the core of Islamic jurisprudence. The claim that the locals didn’t understand the concept of private property is idiotic to put it mildly.

            That they didn’t understand “state” is even dumber. The Ottoman state had a well developed bureaucracy. It taxed, conscripted, had a register of lands, had a system of governing religions, laws, courts, armies, diplomats, flags, a postal service and everything that makes a state a state. How do you come up with this absolute hogwash and still show your face to “confirm” something that is so absolutely retarded?

            Reply to Comment
          • tod

            Shtuiot, don’t write about staff that you don’t know.
            Miri land WAS NEVER considered private property.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Stuff. With “u”.

            The Ottoman Land Code of 21 April 1858 defined five classes of land ownership: ملك milk, وقف waqf, ميري mīrī, متروك matrūk and موات mawāt. Milk is “land in unrestricted private ownership,” land for which the raqaba (paramount ownership) is vested in the individual.

            Reply to Comment
          • tod

            Kid, study. Tabu and private property are 2 extremely different concepts.

            Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          “private property” , “state”, “capital” were all concepts imposed/introduced in the region starting from the end of XIX century.”

          Even if that were true, even if your racist idea of the unspoilt romanticised noble savages were true, so what? By your own admission, by the XIX century, when the first waves of Jewish immigration started to arrive to Palestine, your “noble savages” became aware of the ideas of private property and state.

          “you don’t have any clue about what you are talking about”

          Ahhhh shucks Ruth, don’t be like that. There I was, I took the trouble to educate you with some facts which you cannot refute, so you choose to ignore them, do the equivalent of a dummy spit, take your ball and go home?

          Reply to Comment
          • ruth

            “if your racist idea of the unspoilt romanticised noble savages were true”: who told that they were savages? Perhaps your settler mentality. People simply believed and considered important other ways of living and thinking.
            Trust me, you look like an high school student: ignorant and arrogant. You cannot educate anyone but yourself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            RUTH:”People simply believed and considered important other ways of living and thinking.”

            In other words, according to you they did not believe in private property and had no concept of statehood. A baseless assertion which you attempt to mask by calling others ignorant.

            But you could not counter facts which I presented in my earlier post so let me try again:

            1. Arabs sold lands to Jews at exhorbitant prices. Would a people who have no concept of private property do that?

            2. The Arab tenant farmers paid hand over fists to absentee Arab landlords for being allowed to work the land. Would a people who do that not have a concept of private property?

            3. The Palestinian Arabs objected to Jewish immigration because they wanted all of Palestine and were against the idea of Jews establishing a state in part of Palestine. Does that back up your assertion that they had no concept of statehood?

            Stop evading facts Ruth and stop pretending that your original statement confined your ignorant assertion to before the XIX century. You made a blanket statement that the Palestinian Arabs had no concept of private property and statehood and it was an ignorant statement asserted for ideological reasons.

            Reply to Comment
    18. Barry Rosen

      The Palestinians never owned any Land. If the radicals on here are so sure that “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history”, I expect us to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of “Palestine”:

      1. When was it founded and by whom?

      2. What were its borders?

      3. What was its capital?

      4. What were its major cities?

      5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

      6. What was its form of government?

      7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

      8. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date

      These so-called Palestinians have been living off aid from other countries for so long that now they demand it, even after attacking the people that are helping them. They do not even try to earn the respect of the world by being peaceful and productive, only resorting to cave-man violence to get their points across. Cut off all aid to them.

      The Palestinians will blow up the same hospital that gave them excellent care. The will try to blow up the power plant providing electricity from Israel. Their hate knows no end. Until they love their children more than they hate the Jews as Golda Meir said.

      The Palestinians are always simmering to kill and hurt someone or something. There always outraged or wronged just because they murder innocent children or old people or bystanders. What is the world coming to, to mistreat such a people as this?

      Having been given the opportunity to govern themselves in Gaza, they have created a corrupt, inept govt and a dark society of death that teaches its children to hate and uses women and children as slaves and human shields.

      Palestinians get more aid per capita then any people on earth yet they are always angry. All foreign aid should be cut off till they grow up, stop firing missiles at civilians, and learn to be productive humans instead of moochers and terrorists blowing up Israeli families.

      Reply to Comment
      • Leen

        Since the others have answered the majority of your questions except the currency one, I’d like to answer that one as well

        8. What was the name of its currency?

        It was called Palestinian pound and it was used until 1950 when Jordan occupied the West Bank.

        It was equal in value to the British Pound sterling.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_pound

        Reply to Comment
    19. ruth

      1. When was it founded and by whom?
      State=100%Western concept. Relevant in your New York. Irrelevant in Palestine.

      2. What were its borders?
      See above.

      3. What was its capital?
      Aasima – arabic word for capital -was introduced recently because it didn’t exist in the Middle East such a concept.

      4. What were its major cities?
      Akka, Askalan, Nablus, Ramle, Jaffa, Beisan, Lydda, Beit Jala, Jenin, Tulkarem, Gaza ect..ect….

      5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
      Olive, soap ect..

      6. What was its form of government?
      They were part of the Ottoman Empire, this does not erase their lives, histories, ambitions, rights….

      7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
      Shihab ad-Din Abulabbas al-Omawi al-Masri, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahim Jarallah, al din al ramli, Khalil al-Sakakini and few hundreds more. Political leaders are important just in a modern states. Religious leaders and intellectuals were the ones that did matter in a non-western reality such was the one of Palestine.
      -
      Guy, you are Ignorant and full of ideologies.

      Reply to Comment
      • Michael W.

        Are you telling me that an entity that taxes, provides protection and other services never existed before the fall of the Roman Empire? Or outside of ancient Greece, or even outside of Europe?

        Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        “1. When was it founded and by whom?
        State=100%Western concept. Relevant in your New York. Irrelevant in Palestine.”

        Entirely relevant considering that a significant number of Arabs deny Jewish rights of self determination through the Jewish state of Israel.

        “2. What were its borders?
        See above.”

        By what right do Arabs claim the entirety of Palestine then?

        - Obviously not by the rights of sovereignity

        - Not by the right of owning ALL the land. Because they never owned every square inch of Palestine.

        - Not by the right of having cultivated ALL the land? Because back in the 19th Century when Jews started to return en masse, vast areas of Palestine were not cultivated.

        By what right then? By the right of assertion?

        “3. What was its capital?
        Aasima – arabic word for capital -was introduced recently because it didn’t exist in the Middle East such a concept.”

        So Baghdad was not once the capital of the Arab caliphate?

        Kairo was not capital of Egypt?

        Or are you claiming that Palestinian Arabs never heard of those places?

        Reply to Comment
        • geremia

          Palestine, 1857, Herman Melville (1819-1891): “All who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs”.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            What? SOME OF Palestine yes. But all the land in Palestine? Including the undrained swamps that the Jews later drained? And including the Negev desert? And the rest of Palestine?

            Not bloody likely. Not according to travellers who visited Palestine around that time, like Mark Twain.

            Reply to Comment
    20. dukium

      The Ottoman empire (and Mamluks before it) taxed, provided some very elusive kind of protection and other services. So what?

      Reply to Comment
    21. In 2010 I published a book, “When Peace Fails: Lessons from Belfast for the Middle East,” in which I argued that the biggest lesson of the Northern Ireland peace process was the efficacy of the dual mediation model used in which a peace process is co-sponsored by parties or governments that have the trust of the parties to the dispute. I argued that for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this should be Washington and Brussels (the EU). Brussels has a credibility with the Palestinians that Washington lacks and provides a needed balance to the pro-Israel bias of the United States, just as Washington provides balance to Europe’s pro-Palestinian bias.

      But Europe has a very poor record in mediation (remember Bosnia in the early 1990s and the failure in Cyprus). This is probably beyond its capability, unfortunately.

      Reply to Comment
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