Friday, March 4, 2011

More From J Street: An Interview

My thanks to Marc Steiner for an interesting interview.


Potter said...

Prof. BA- You did not say much that you have not already said, but it needs saying as often and to as many and varied an audience as possible. Your general calm belies the words at one point of your anxiety. Arrows point to violence if there is no movement-(real movement not time wasters). I do hope there is no eruption in Israel-Palestine as you describe not because it won't knock some sense into people- or awaken them, but because I don't want to see blood, ethnic cleansing etc. People I love live there; when I look around in Israel it's amazing what has been built in such a relatively short period. But violence would certainly disrupt "global Israel's seeming complacency and scare a few others even more. That is why I wonder why you are not for instead some boycott or divestment or sanctions- okay well targeted, not at academia- which is bloodless.

Y. Ben-David said...

If take an HONEST look at what has happened since the Oslo fraud was foisted on Israel in 1993, the periods of GREATEST VIOLENCE occur at the times of the GREATEST MOVEMENT in the "peace process", NOT at the times when there is "no movement" as you put it.
After Arafat was imported to the territories in 1994 there began a big wave of suicide bombings. After Rabin's assassination, Peres carried out a quick withdrawal of the IDF from the Palestinian towns and this led to another big wave of suicide bombings which contributes to Peres' defeat in the 1996 election. Netanyahu was elected on a platform of slowing down the "Oslo process" (not stopping it) and there was a major decline in terrorist attacks. Barak was elected in 1999 on a platform of having the IDF run away from southern Lebanon and accelerating the "peace process". This led to Camp David and the biggest Israeli concessions up to that time (please don't point out that they weren't enough-we already know the Leftist-Progressive arguments). At this point the massive suicide bombing campaign was unleashed leading to the deaths or wounding of thousands of Israelis. Meanwhile Barak accelerated the talks and made further concessions. Sharon replaces Barak and finally is forced to take action to stop the terrorism. Just as he succeeds in doing this, he announces another "step forward" in the "peace process" which is the destruction of Gush Katif. This is followed Olmert coming to power and promising yet another major unilateral withdrawal. This is accompanyed by a major increase in rocket fire from Gaza and ultimately by TWO wars, one in Lebanon and the other as Operation Oferet Yetzuka in Gaza, all the while Olmert is meeting Abbas and making even further concessions, including Olmert's agreement to give the Palestinains all the major Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall, Jewish Qtr. of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Mt. of Olives.

So please don't make the nonsensicle statement that the "peace process" prevents violence. IT CAUSES IT by showing Israel is weak.

Potter said...

What is truly nonsense is the idea that showing the kind of strength that Israel has been showing- force force and more force- prevents violence. This attitude, or view, despicable, requires Palestinians to be subdued and cowering sub-humans taking whatever handouts they can get. Forget justice. Forget that it does not work, and from your point of view should be seen as making things worse for Israel, making Palestinians stronger, more determined after their traumatic losses.

Yet Jews have a reputation for intelligence....I don't know...they are not showing it as a nation.

When you look at the past, in particular compare death numbers and levels of oppression suffered by ordinary folks on either side, the ability to live normal life. Add that to your equation about the causes for eruption of violence. Palestinians have learned they suffer far more deaths and casualties and have achieved very little for violent uprisings. That is why, more than Israel showing military strength ( and MORAL weakness) Palestinians have evolved to not using violence at this time. They gain more support and sympathy in the world while Israel sinks in the eyes of many, including, more and more, Jews.

You don't mention that Palestinians also have lost faith in the peace process because they see it as a way Israel steals and stalls while continuing to settle their lands, lands that are to be a Palestine state. BY DESIGN, settling makes it MORE DIFFICULT for Israel to agree to borders.

*You don't mention that Rabin's assassination was evidence of ISRAELI extremist opposition to the peace process.

You don't mention Sharon announces PRIOR to his election, disinterest in negotiation, the CLEARING of the negotiating table after 2000. YOu don't mention the UNILATERALIST move to leave Gaza ( for security reasons, not peace, Gush Katif was not any longer practically defensible). You don't mention the sealing of Gaza and attempt to control/destroy Hamas failed and strengthened Hamas. You don't mention that Hamas says it will accept peace deal if Palestinians vote for it in referendum.

You mention that Netanyahu and coalition are in charge now to stall on the peace process, not to end the occupation- but even slowing down is more and more time goes on, harmful to Israel.

So I conclude and maybe do and extremists do and gain support- and I don't wish it believe me-- it's only when Israeli citizens suffer - and of necessity it's through some form of asymmetrical warfare ( rockets, suicide bombers) despite formidable suppressive military defenses-- that we see any indication of Israeli's waking up to the reality that military force is not keeping them safe, that the situation is not sustainable, and it's not looking good for the future.

Ben-David-I find your account dangerously blind, actually DISHONEST.

By the way- Tell me why did Netanyahu choose to HUMILIATE Obama for months and months and months? Why? Why? Why?.. since you complain about Abbas decision, out of frustration, to ( as you say) cause Obama a headache by bringing the issue to the UN.

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