Thursday, 17 July 2014
Some thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
On the rights issue, there's no debate as to where it's better to live. Yet there are many historic wrongs that have been perpetrated against the simple palestinian citizen. Israel never offered them the right to return - or at least, provide them with some funds for the property they seized from them.
Israel exists where it is because of western imperialism/colonialism.
In my opinion, Hamas is the life-essence for the israeli hawks and religious nuts. Without palestinian fundamentalists (other nuts) they can't justify their colonialist stance in the West-bank. Who the hell would even want to live with all that bloody strees and death in the West-bank, if they weren't religious zealots?
Gaza is a massive prison region. They don't have an army, they don't have a navy, an air force; but Israel has all these things including nuclear weapons. If anyone wants to invade them, they'll start a nuclear war - and I don't think anyone is willing to do that.
It's more than clear that Israel doesn't give a shit about the international community or the UN. They just use them to their convenience. Their argument is that "We want a bilateral negotiation with Palestine." Oh, yeah? Bilateral in the sense of the giant imposing conditions on the hobo. I for one don't believe in a two-state solution. It will either be a perpetual conflict and bloodshed in which civilians (and children) are gonna get slaughtered - or there will be a one state, secular, and multicultural.
And as for the PO, as long as their funding is coming from outside, they will be the whore of the political whims of others. Mosler's Palestinian Development plan should be on the top of their list of worries - not independence. Many countries in Africa are independent, and it's hell to live in these places.
The following is by a dude on the net, Roger Mexico
I mean, I've known some middle eastern people over the years--educated, liberal people--and they generally have a lot to say about this "Islam just hasn't evolved" meme.
It's not the "history of involvement" so much as current active involvement that fuels anti-Western militancy. India and South Africa haven't been bombed by a Western country in a while--this is not true of the Arab Levant or Central Asia, where Islamist militancy is most concentrated.
The reactions to what would be trivial symbolic provocations in the West (like the stupid movie full of bullshit about Muhammad, or the Danish cartoon thing) come from these things being seen, to use one guy's metaphor from a blog I read, "like the person who just broke your nose deciding he's also going to call your mother a whore." (That is, attempts to contain anger over a major provocation sometimes fall apart when another minor provocation is suddenly added to it.)
The whole "OMG somebody wants to build a mosque at Ground Zero" thing a few years ago--and the hysterical reactions it very much did provoke--would be a better comparison than the "Piss Christ" art show.
(The Danish cartoon controversy also specifically involved the editors of a right-wing newspaper advertising a "contest" designed to provoke objections from Muslim immigrants. The Muslims who got angry about it weren't just out randomly looking for blasphemy or something.)
What Westerners see from the outside is also often the result of effort to present a united front and keep internal debates internal. It's not that everybody in Gaza loves Hamas--it's just that they're not going to say "we hate Hamas" in front of Western TV cameras because that plays into the hands of the Israelis, and they have a lot of specific reasons to hate the Israelis, which may be the one thing they actually do agree with Hamas about.
The economic side of things has a lot to do with it all, too. Between the Israeli blockade, and the way that their "security measures" seem to conspicuously involve things like destroying farms and denying Arabs access to wells that Jewish settlers are still free to use, the Israelis don't exactly seem interested in alleviating the poverty that contributes to extremism in the occupied areas. (Rather the opposite--it looks a hell of a lot more like a "starve them out" policy of gradual ethnic cleansing.)
If these areas got properly developed--as I'm sure would be quite possible given how wealthy Israel proper is compared to the rest of the region--the amount of extremism and violence among the Palestinian population would almost certainly be reduced dramatically. Unfortunately Israeli policy at present seems to be not so much "we want there to be less violence" as "we want there to be fewer Arabs in what we will eventually annex into 'Greater Israel.'"
Eh, yeah, generally speaking the whole situation is a good illustration of how weak and irrelevant the UN currently is. This is really the exact kind of scenario the UN theoretically exists to deal with--the two parties are clearly unable to independently reach an agreement to stop an armed conflict which is destabilizing their entire region, meaning that outside arbitration is probably necessary and in the general interest of the international community as a whiole--but the UN is so toothless that at least one side feels confident in completely disregarding them.
I'd point out, though, that this is largely because of a longstanding policy of the US running interference to stop the UN from being able to enforce anything there. ICC proceedings would clearly be called for regarding the Hamas rocket attacks, but then if the Israelis acceded to the ICC having jurisdiction it would no doubt become relevant that the damn Geneva Conventions specifically prohibit moving civilian residents into disputed territory under military occupation. The US Security Council veto has been employed countless times to block proceedings on the settlement issue, and of course the US government still refuses to recognize the ICC as an authoritative judicial body at all.
I'm not overly idealistic here, but the ICC or something like strikes me as a pretty damn useful way of establishing an institutionalized international system for dealing with terrorism. Hamas isn't a real military threat to anyone--they're just a source of pointless mayhem--but what would seem like the obvious move of building an infrastructure to treat them and groups like them as criminals keeps faltering because governments like the US and Israel don't like the idea of legal constraints on their use of their militaries. It's kind of pathetic, really.
Now I know that the average palestinian and the average israeli don't want mutual annihilation, don't want for the other to dominate the other et all. But the people in charge HAVE NO interest to achieve peace in the region, nor development. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to be kept in power.
I'm gonna do a nazi analogy here, but not for Israel, but for Palestine. Hyperinflation didn't bring the nazis into office, austerity did. What's austerity? High unemployment, low wages, lack of proper services, poverty and humiliation. When the people in Gaza are faced with these things - how can you expect them to remain idle vis-a-vis all this hardship? Isn't it clear they will fall prey to extremism? Well, that happened to Germany, and the political colour of the new regime wasn't pink. Far from it.
The hyperinflation of the early 1920s hit brutally German society. Not yet brought Hitler into government. As Germany thalassodernotan of hyperinflation, the percentage of Nazis ranged below 4% (see the 1928 elections). In 1930 hyperinflation was tamed now. When the new Finance Minister Kurt von Brouningk imposed harsh austerity in the early 1930s, increasing unemployment vertically, gave the Nazis their first success (18.3% in September 1930). Two years later, under the ever harsher austerity Brouningk, unemployment and poverty drove Hitler to 37.2% in the 1932 elections. ~Yanis Varoufakis