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DavidV

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20558817

So the UN has voted to recognise a "Palestinian state". But what is that state exactly? There are two authorities claiming to represent them, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah on the West Bank. What are the borders of this state, and still pressing for the "right of return".

Moreover, the debate on exactly what constitutes a nation and its people. After all, it can be argued that a nationality can be "invented" or "artificial" as are national borders. And that this applies not only to the Middle East (boundaries drawn up in 1920) but even Europe as well.
NeasOlc

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By stepping around the back door and avoiding negotiation with Israel all this has accomplished is further entrenchment and conflict. Nobody wins.

DavidV

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It's all so sad really. A solution must be found to establish coexistence without human costs. But there are intransigents on both sides, shall we say, "maximalists", whose ultimate goal is tantamount to ethnic cleansing- namely repeating the horrors of the 1948 population expulsions carried out by both sides (except that most people seem to have forgotten the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands they had lived peacefully in for centuries).

The nationality issue being itself a product of the 20th century folly of drawing up arbitrary and artificial borders, hence the appearance of a Palestinian identity and cause. Yet Gaza came under Egyptian occupation in 1948 (with a Palestinian puppet government for about a decade), and the West Bank was annexed to Jordan in 1950. Some people say "Jordan is Palestine" or "Palestine is Jordan" which is itself controversial for a number of reasons, yet the "Jordan option" is far from dead. I just fear that any Palestinian state, like others in the region, will be invariably conflict-ridden and unviable.

The Palestinians deserve better than the choice between the corrupt Fatah and violently oppressive Hamas. They deserve better than being made pawns whose suffering is exploited for hateful propaganda.
clark

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeasOlc
By stepping around the back door and avoiding negotiation with Israel all this has accomplished is further entrenchment and conflict. Nobody wins.



Israel is not interested in serious negotiation. Their continued settlement of the West Bank and underhanded tactics(tearing up Palestinian olive orchards, forcing non-Jews out of Jerusalem, etc).  should be proof of that.
BaronVonServers

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Israel has seen the result of 'negotiating'.   They give up land for 'peace', and the other side keeps up the 'war'.  They've shown remarkable restraint.  There is no 'state of Palestine' and never has been.

 

 


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royalcello

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A plague on both their houses.  The whole region was better off under the Ottoman Empire, which is not even one of my favourite monarchies.
Ethiomonarchist

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I guess I have to disagree with the majority here on the forum on this one.  I'm not enthused by either Hamas or Fatah, and their governance of Gaza and the West Bank respectively.  However, Israel, having formally commited itself to a two state solution, has since the Netanyahu administration's assumption of power, done everything to scuttle the possibility of a settlement.  Israel consistently undermind Fatah and that more than anything helped Hamas emerge and drive Fatah out of Gaza.  If they keep it up they will lose what small opportunity they have for peace.  Likud has done everything to sink the peace process, has alienated even the King of Jordan, and soon Israel will have no possible partners left for peace.  They are leaving Israel diplomatically isolated with only the U.S. left to support them in world forums now. 
 

I second our moderator's statement, but I have to say right now I hold Israel more responsible for the degeneration of the peace process than the Arabs.

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Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
DavidV

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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcello
A plague on both their houses.  The whole region was better off under the Ottoman Empire, which is not even one of my favourite monarchies.


I would say the real mistakes were made after the Ottoman Empire was dismembered. The Sykes-Picot Agreement essentially created the present-day borders, while on the other hand aspirations for self-determination of Kurds, Lebanese Christians, Druze, Alawites and others who desired a homeland of their own. It was all about conflicting ideologies and visions, but the original ideals of 1916 had never been allowed to stand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist
I guess I have to disagree with the majority here on the forum on this one.  I'm not enthused by either Hamas or Fatah, and their governance of Gaza and the West Bank respectively.  However, Israel, having formally commited itself to a two state solution, has since the Netanyahu administration's assumption of power, done everything to scuttle the possibility of a settlement.  Israel consistently undermind Fatah and that more than anything helped Hamas emerge and drive Fatah out of Gaza.  If they keep it up they will lose what small opportunity they have for peace.  Likud has done everything to sink the peace process, has alienated even the King of Jordan, and soon Israel will have no possible partners left for peace.  They are leaving Israel diplomatically isolated with only the U.S. left to support them in world forums now. 
 
I second our moderator's statement, but I have to say right now I hold Israel more responsible for the degeneration of the peace process than the Arabs.


 I am tempted to believe "a plague on both their houses", despite my own efforts to understand both sides of the conflict. In conjunction with various efforts at Arab and/or Islamic unity promoted by various leaders (King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Nasser in Egypt, Assad in Syria, Saddam Hussein in Iraq) who all rejected the very existence of Israel while simultaneously attempting to establish (or impose) their own hegemony in the region- the sort of thing that explains Syrian occupation in Lebanon and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Pan-Arabism, like Pan-Germanism, lost a good deal of credibility because of the aggression an destruction resulting from those things.

But Israel is not blameless either, as it was foolish of them to take and then hold onto Gaza and the West Bank in 1967. And Israel also declined even the most reasonable Arab offers of peace- King Hussein's federation plan in 1972 (which would create a Jordan-Palestine dual monarchy and withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories) and Saudi Arabia's offer with the Fahd Plan of 1981 (which also called for Israel's withdrawal, and the creation of a Palestinian state).

On the other hand, bashing Israel has become a favourite cause of the Western Left who doesn't even recognise what it is doing and exactly who they may be helping. In town, I saw two leftist posters side-by-side: one calling for "Free Palestine" and another calling for "marriage equality". What a joke. They bash Israel despite its tolerance of religious minorities and gays unthinkable in most countries in the region. They claim to abhor racial prejudice, yet their anti-Israel rhetoric contains just that.

I'm sure most will agree the most ideal situation (if utopian at this point) is that the Arab world accepts Israel's right to exist, and that Israel withdraws from the West Bank (since they've long withdrawn from Gaza). But how exactly will the issue of "right of return" and expellees be solved? Considering that both sides were guilty of population expulsions without any restitution. On the other hand, what did most Arab nations do for Palestinians besides using them as pawns in their game? Jordan was the only country that naturalised them whereas they were (and are) barely tolerated in other countries, although not always without reason.
head_statue

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've been taking a look at Netanyahu's speeches as of late, and it seems he is doing his best to deliberately prove conspiracy theories about jews and Israel right and stir up anti-semitism. Someone should give him an award for the year for contributing to Israel's worst PR image.

He and Ehud Barak are two idiots who could have solved this problem a long time ago if they weren't concerned about how they will perform at the ballot box. Ehud Barak could have signed a peace treaty with syria over a decade ago.

Israel was supposed to be a pawn in the Cold War against the Soviet Union and now its become a massive liability in American foreign relations thanks to Obama having convinced himself that he can't talk netanyahu down because hes been accused of being a closet muslim.
DavidV

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Quote:
Originally Posted by head_statue
Israel was supposed to be a pawn in the Cold War against the Soviet Union and now its become a massive liability in American foreign relations thanks to Obama having convinced himself that he can't talk netanyahu down


The same Cold War dynamics that arrayed the region's monarchies against radical regimes, that also played itself out in the Lebanese Civil War. The Iranian Revolution added another dimension, and the eventual fall of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to be hoped for as it will make the region and the world safer.

Netanyahu cannot govern without the support of religious parties like Shas, United Torah Judaism (Agudat Israel) and Jewish Home (former National Religious, Mizrachi). Shas represents the Sephardic and Oriental Jews, including expellees from Arab lands (who make up a major part of Israel's Jewish population). UTJ/Agudat Israel and Mizrachi, like the ideological ancestors of Labour and Likud, originated in the lands of the Russian Empire around the early 20th century, and contested elections in pre-1939 Poland and Baltic states. But Shas and UTJ more or less advocate a theocratic regime.

The most radical of religious Zionist parties was Kach, led by Meir Kahane. During the 1980s, as Israel faced severe economic difficulties, the appeal of religious parties increased even among less observant voters disillusioned by corruption and mismanagement.
DavidV

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http://www.roozonline.com/english/news3/newsitem/article/palestine-is-more-important-than-irans-national-interest.html

A chilling insight into the sickness of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime that cares more for a "cause" than the welfare of Iranians, or Palestinians for that matter.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #12 
Most Christian Churches in the Holy Land are identified as being sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.  The majority of Christians in the region are ethnic Arabs who belong to one of the Orthodox or Catholic Patriarchates.  For the most part, only American Evangelical groups hold a strongly pro-Israel stance, but even evangelical churches are aparently not exempt from attacks by Israeli settlers and their sympathisers.  It is therefore not too surprising to see occurances such as this where Jewish militants attack Christian houses of worship in Jerusalem.

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/12/extremist-israeli-settlers-write-racist-graffiti-on-christian-monastery/

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
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