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Old 05-17-2008, 04:24 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,313,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
See, if you and I could have done the negotiations, the Middle East problems would have been solved years ago...
Probably...especially if we'd had since 1967 to accomplish it. Of course, things might have been a little rough right there at the get-go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
It is a shame that so many lives are ruined due to the failure to compromise.
Not just in the Middle East...
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:31 AM
 
Location: illinois
62 posts, read 89,559 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Sometimes leaders have to take the hit of being less popular for a while. It's a small trade-off if what you get back for it is beneficial in the long-run to the interests and prospects of those you represent. There were problems in the proposal for both sides, but there had never been a better offer on the table, and prospects for seeing a better one any time soon were not good. After years of being offered hamburger or dog food, there was a steak on the plate. Taking the steak and putting that much in the bank might have been the better way to go. There would have been ample time to argue later over whether it would be rice or a baked potato on the side. There are plenty of ways to argue that all (or at least too many) of the actual concessions were being made by the Palestinians, but in leaving the table with nothing firm in hand, it was back to Square One. Better perhaps to have taken half a loaf, than face the prospect of more years of lives lost and ruined just to get that half back as a hoped-for part of two-thirds.
In an ideal situation, yes. But let us remember that this was not presented as a step toward an end. This was a take it or leave it deal. So in other words, it was accept this deal, and drop any other claims you had, for this matter is settled for good. So in effect, yes this might have been the best deal given to the Palestinians as of then, but it also rejected the three main points of the conflict, Jerusalem, refugees return and sovereignty and border control. But even then, Arafat never rejected the plan, he asked for further details and specifics, it was Barak and Clinton that pushed him to sign the deal before discussing any details (Barak was up for elections, Clinton was 20 days shy of ending his presidency and wanted a legacy). Arafat simply came to the conclusion that any Palestinian would have came to, mainly, how could I sign a deal that would deem the conflict as settled when it does not even address the three most important Palestinian issues. Even then, he did not reject it, but asked for more negotiations, which Israel rejected and soon the Intifada started by Sharon's visit to the Aqsa mosque.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:20 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,313,751 times
Reputation: 4002
None of this is news, except perhaps for that part about how Clinton's term was going to expire in August of 2000, rather than in January of 2001. I have to admit that I had missed that bit at the time.

Otherwise, the talks began as an effort to revive negotiations over the nature of permanent status. The meetings themselves were not intended or expected to be some high-stakes, one-shot, take-it-or-leave-it deal. In the end Arafat simply left without indicating what if any next steps he was willing to take or consider. This may have been appropriate. He may have sensed, and perhaps accurately so, that Israel was not going to go any further and felt that it was better to have no part at all in a second-class deal than to secure everything in classes two and below and use those very substantial gains as a basis for going forward. I would simply tend to disagree with that judgment. You say he did what any Palestinian would have done. If any Palestinian would have done it, there was no need to have sent Arafat. As I noted above, leaders sometimes have the job of leading. The same would of course apply to the Israeli side, and there is not a lot of credit to be spread around there either. It is in the profound interest of Israel to see this situation resolved, not enflamed and prolonged, and an insistence that any deal making fit neatly within the ebb and flow of partisan politics within Israel itself is not necessarily helpful toward those ends. The issues involved are not intractable, They are merely made very difficult by the respective attitudes that the sides have taken toward them and refuse to put away. The right of return, for instance, would have applied to a few hundred thousand in 1967. Today, it would be nearer 5 million. The entire population of Israel is something over 7 million. Something like the compromises of 2000 on the matter is necessary. Neither is it possible for two distinct states to have full sovereignty over the same pieces of land. Not one, but both sides will need to accommodate to such concepts as control and authority as opposed to outright sovereignty in these cases. Israel in particular must recognize that its legitimate security interests do not include a right to treat a neighboring Palestinian state as if it were just another refugee camp.

In any case, it was regretable in my view that, wherever the fault for it may lie, no real progress came out of what was, for once, a promising chance at it. Arafat did little to keep a lid on the Intifada once it began, and of course, Bush simply washed his hands of the whole nine yards of it on the day he took office. A lot of lives and time and treasure have been spent since in exchange for nothing more than new bitterness and increased hatreds. That isn't the sort of progress I would like to have seen accomplished.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:03 PM
 
Location: illinois
62 posts, read 89,559 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
None of this is news, except perhaps for that part about how Clinton's term was going to expire in August of 2000, rather than in January of 2001. I have to admit that I had missed that bit at the time.

Otherwise, the talks began as an effort to revive negotiations over the nature of permanent status. The meetings themselves were not intended or expected to be some high-stakes, one-shot, take-it-or-leave-it deal. In the end Arafat simply left without indicating what if any next steps he was willing to take or consider. This may have been appropriate. He may have sensed, and perhaps accurately so, that Israel was not going to go any further and felt that it was better to have no part at all in a second-class deal than to secure everything in classes two and below and use those very substantial gains as a basis for going forward. I would simply tend to disagree with that judgment. You say he did what any Palestinian would have done. If any Palestinian would have done it, there was no need to have sent Arafat. As I noted above, leaders sometimes have the job of leading. The same would of course apply to the Israeli side, and there is not a lot of credit to be spread around there either. It is in the profound interest of Israel to see this situation resolved, not enflamed and prolonged, and an insistence that any deal making fit neatly within the ebb and flow of partisan politics within Israel itself is not necessarily helpful toward those ends. The issues involved are not intractable, They are merely made very difficult by the respective attitudes that the sides have taken toward them and refuse to put away. The right of return, for instance, would have applied to a few hundred thousand in 1967. Today, it would be nearer 5 million. The entire population of Israel is something over 7 million. Something like the compromises of 2000 on the matter is necessary. Neither is it possible for two distinct states to have full sovereignty over the same pieces of land. Not one, but both sides will need to accommodate to such concepts as control and authority as opposed to outright sovereignty in these cases. Israel in particular must recognize that its legitimate security interests do not include a right to treat a neighboring Palestinian state as if it were just another refugee camp.

In any case, it was regretable in my view that, wherever the fault for it may lie, no real progress came out of what was, for once, a promising chance at it. Arafat did little to keep a lid on the Intifada once it began, and of course, Bush simply washed his hands of the whole nine yards of it on the day he took office. A lot of lives and time and treasure have been spent since in exchange for nothing more than new bitterness and increased hatreds. That isn't the sort of progress I would like to have seen accomplished.
For the most part I agree with your post. My disagreements are again on little details. I disagree with you that this was not a take it or leave it deal, in fact that was the premise Barak presented his offer on.

1- No was assumes all 5 million Palestinian refugees will go back to their homes, for most have started and built lives in whatever place they ended up after their expulsion. But rather that all of them have the right to go back, or get compensated (I fail to see any kind of compensation for being forced out of your home for over 60 years). Having the right to do so, does not mean that all Palestinians will just pick up and move to their homes.

2- The sovereignty issue, What Israel suggested in the offer, that it has control over all Palestinian borders with other nations (Egypt and Jordan), and total control over Palestinian air space, and the right to go into Palestinian territory if it so chooses. So this was not a case of corporation or logistics, this was more of the Israeli mentality that we want to always control the Palestinians.

3- Sure leader are to take hard decisions when deemed necessary, but Arafat would have been bordering on lunacy had he accepted such offer not addressing any of the 3 most important issues, in fact deeming them void.

4- I was referring to the last talks held in December and early January in Egypt between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with full support from Clinton. Till then there was a hope that the Intifada and the Israeli violence could have been stopped. It was the failures of these talks that led to the escalation of an already sad chapter in ME history. It was then that Clinton asked Arafat to sign first and discuss later, something he refused to do.

I'm full aware of the January 20th change over.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:29 AM
 
11,127 posts, read 12,652,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
And that was preceded and that was preceded, and whatever preceded that was preceded by something else. The point was not to mischaracterize the history of the region, but to point out that a description of the post-WWII Israelis as merely tattered Holocaust survivors accepting the UN partition in peace is wildly inaccurate. Sharon's personal orders at Qibya were to maximize the killing and destruction of property. These are not the actions of a man of peace...
This single note is in my opinion one of the greatest challenges to any hope for peace in the region. When any peace talks or agreements come to the table, there seems to be no reference point from which to start. Who owns or has rights to what starts from yesterday and can be argued back well over 2000 years. Each side along the way pointing out which attack was retaliation for a previous attack, with the truth being that neither party in this has been honorable, noble, or just.

While I think the Road Map was a akin to offering bleached bone, there have been some instances where a settled peace seemed within grasp and actually possible, such as Oslo and Camp David. Yet since 9-11, the US role in the region has become not only lopsided but unobtainable.

Can't help but think of the Pandora's box that was opened in 48, and we arrive today with so few options. A single state partitioned is unlikely as the Muslim population will surpass the Jewish population in short order, and we end up with another South Africa since Israel by its own charter is a "Jewish only" state. A two state solution rolled back to the 67 borders seems to hold the most potential but when looking out on the landscape we see were radical Islam meets ultra-nationalist Israel. While evidence of radical Islam is well noted and documented each day in our news, I don't think many people realize the contentious and volatile nature of the Israeli Knesset and its politics in general. (just watch Kadima/Labor vs Likud argue over settlements in the occupied territories.)

At some point we have to view this situation from a broader and more strategic long term position, and I don't see that happening any time soon. With the self evident hatred towards Arab people and anything with the brand of Islam, coupled with the growing Antisemitic sentiments, more divisive and fractured will this area become. At least we can all feel better about ourselves since we will likely be funding both sides.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:08 PM
 
2,134 posts, read 3,474,165 times
Reputation: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisjusticeman View Post
Sorry if I misunderstood your post. Having worked with Palestinian refugees for two years, and having lived in Gaza and the West Bank for another 6 months, I would say did influence my thoughts more than any one book I have read. But to answer your question, I would suggest 1- Blaming the Victims Spurious Scholarship and the Question of Palestine (Edward Said). 2- The Palestinian People a History (B. Kimmerling)
Thanks. I think I'll pick up the Kimmerling book since it's a history. I start with what your side considers facts and read it with an open mind...and then compare to what I have read to be the "facts". Should be interesting.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:58 AM
 
Location: illinois
62 posts, read 89,559 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmonellie View Post
Thanks. I think I'll pick up the Kimmerling book since it's a history. I start with what your side considers facts and read it with an open mind...and then compare to what I have read to be the "facts". Should be interesting.
Great, nothing more eye opening than reading a book with an open mind. Please do let me know your thoughts/opinion/questions after reading. Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Mankato and Hopkins
71 posts, read 268,666 times
Reputation: 42
It is funny when the people who are saying death to Ayro don't even know the guy. Sadly this is what bigotry does to people. Use your own mind and become less of a robots.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Mankato and Hopkins
71 posts, read 268,666 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisjusticeman View Post
In an ideal situation, yes. But let us remember that this was not presented as a step toward an end. This was a take it or leave it deal. So in other words, it was accept this deal, and drop any other claims you had, for this matter is settled for good. So in effect, yes this might have been the best deal given to the Palestinians as of then, but it also rejected the three main points of the conflict, Jerusalem, refugees return and sovereignty and border control. But even then, Arafat never rejected the plan, he asked for further details and specifics, it was Barak and Clinton that pushed him to sign the deal before discussing any details (Barak was up for elections, Clinton was 20 days shy of ending his presidency and wanted a legacy). Arafat simply came to the conclusion that any Palestinian would have came to, mainly, how could I sign a deal that would deem the conflict as settled when it does not even address the three most important Palestinian issues. Even then, he did not reject it, but asked for more negotiations, which Israel rejected and soon the Intifada started by Sharon's visit to the Aqsa mosque.
What is Palestine without East Jerusalem? In most cases the American representatives where former AIPAC members so their nuetrality was shadowy at best. To expect them to be neutral is quite silly.
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