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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:07 AM
Original message
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Calls for Ceasefire, Palestinian Unity Government
link: /

"Israel must change its strategic objective in Gaza from toppling Hamas to rescuing the Annapolis process, and with it the last chance for a two-state solution. This requires not only a cease-fire with Hamas, but also a return to a Palestinian national unity government that alone can offer the peace process the vital legitimacy that it lacks today. Without the resurrection of the Mecca agreement, which put Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization in a coalition government, Hamas cannot expect to secure its control of Gaza and the PLO cannot deliver a peace settlement with Israel.
The notion, dear to the architects of the Annapolis process, that peace can be achieved only when a wedge is driven between Palestinian "moderates" and "extremists" is a misconception. A Palestinian national-unity government would not impede a settlement for the simple reason that the moderates now negotiating with Israel must in any case strive for an agreement that the extremists could not label as a treacherous sell-out. Hence, the difference between the Palestinian positions in the current negotiations and those they may hold when a unity government is restored would only be very minor."

link to full article: /

link to original OP-ED in the Lebanon Daily Star (registration required):

"Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, is the vice president of the Toledo International Center for Peace and the author of "Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy." Amazon link:


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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. Bum! I think you have to pay to access the archives...
I would have loved to read Ben-Ami's op-ed...

I'm still wading through 'Scars of War, Wounds of Peace' after getting distracted and reading another few books after I started it...
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. well it only $2.00 USD for one article
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 08:21 AM by Douglas Carpenter
I wish they didn't do that...but its better than the NYT that charges $4.95 USD.

I would say that "Scars of War Wounds of Peace" is certainly well worth reading. Few books have ever been written by a staunch partisan of a cause (in his case Israel and Zionism) where more effort has been made to try to understand the other side.
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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. Can anyone discuss the forces in Israel that prevent these common sensical
actions from taking place?
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. what I find important about Dr. Ben-Ami's point
Is that a Palestinian led unity government which included Hamas actually offers a unique opportunity to bring along virtually the entire Palestinian body politic into a peace agreement with Israel.

The Hamas election victory which leads to negotiations led by the PLO but acquiesced to by Hamas actually offers a far, far better chance for peace settlement that would actually hold. It seems Dr. Ben-Ami recognizes this.
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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes that would make sense if Israel truly desired a peace agreement. nt
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think many, probably most Israeli people do
but no, I find it hard to find any evidence that the Israeli state/security apparatus has any such intentions.
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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I've been thinking a lot about how a state appratus can take on a life of its own...
and I suspect that's what happened in Israel.

Doug, do you watch The Wire?
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. no I'm not familiar with, "The Wire"
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 08:49 PM by Douglas Carpenter
but yes I think its true that a state apparatus take on a life of its own.

Although for decades it has been clear that the vast majority of Americans want the U.S. to intervene less in the world, especially militarily, the U.S. keep intervening more and more in the world.
A "life of of its own" has been created. So even if we the people elect a President committed to the goal of less intervention that President it is completely dependent on an established apparatus within the State Department, the military, the intelligence services, commercial interest, lobbying interest and I suppose even at times the media which pushes policies contrary to the volitional will of the people and at times molds the will of the people away from their genuine interest and better judgment. I think we saw a fair amount of that during the years of the Carter Administration.

I also think that Israel like the United States and many other countries are trapped in their own propaganda and historic narrative. They have spent so much time and effort convincing their own people, their supporters abroad and indeed many others dehumanizing and demonizing Palestinian and Arab people and arguing that the core issue is that "Arabs hate Jews" and will never be satisfied until all Jews either gone or dead. As I mentioned elsewhere the natural implication of such propaganda is that peace with the Palestinians and the broader Arab world is flat out impossible. Thus making themselves prisoners of their own propaganda - mutual acceptance does become unthinkable and peace impossible.

The late Tanya Reinhart (she sadly passed away with cancer about one year ago), Professor at Tel Aviv University wrote just prior to her death two excellent books specifically dealing with the the whole issue of how the Israeli state's security apparatus system is the real obstacle to peace. A major theme of Dr. Reinhart's was that the majority of Israelis do want peace, but the state security apparatus dominates regardless who wins the elections. As Professor Reinhart points out that even if a Shlomo Ben-Ami or Yossi Beilin were to become Prime Minister and even if they had a working majority in the Knesset to implement a viable peace plan, they would be completely dependent on the intelligence services and broader security apparatus to guide them in all their decision making. To complicate matters all the more - they of course have pressure from the domestic settler lobby and large elements of their domestic media which sympathizes with them.

Amazon link to Dr. Reinhart's two recent books:

The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003 by Tanya Reinhart - (Sep 25, 2006):

Israel/Palestine: How To End The War Of 1948 by Tanya Reinhart (Feb 28, 2006):

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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. That's an interesting parallel, Doug.
I have to think about what most americans want when it comes to intervention. I think what americans want most of all, is to have their "way of life" continue unabated, without change or sacrifice. Clearly, if that means invading the Middle East to ensure a more stable oil market, a few may squawk, working famlies may send their sons and daughters, but the majority of americans go about shopping and guzzling gas, in the SUVs with yellow ribbons on the back. Most are quite willing to believe the ridiculous propaganda that the administration in charge feeds them.

Is it the same in Israel? Maybe.

But there is clearly something to notion that the security apparati play a huge role in the propagation of this conflict.

I'll PM you about "The Wire."
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Douglas, there is no propaganda
to the "Arabs hate Jews" rhetoric that is so rampant all throughout the Arab world. I don't know how you could possibly deny the words in the Hamas charter (after all, those are their words, not Israelis), or the words of the Iranian president, or any of the other rhetoric in the Arab press.

It is not Israeli "propaganda"; it is the Arabs themselves, using their own words to say exactly what you are saying is propaganda. Hamas itself claims to have a goal of ridding the former Palestine of all Jews. What is propaganda about taking them at their own word?

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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. of course there is terrible rhetoric all over the place
Edited on Mon Mar-17-08 10:30 AM by Douglas Carpenter
that I don't deny...but the categorical statement, "Arabs hate Jews" is no more relevant than saying "Jews hate Arabs".

The vast majority of Arabs do not hold a personal hatred of Jews. I certainly hope that the vast majority of Jews do not hate Arabs either.

It is hardly unusual in the heat of conflict for language to take on ethnic overtones. In fact that is the norm. Would one explain the Basque revolt in Spain by saying its because "Basque hate Spaniards?"
Or the Turkish/Greek conflict with with explanation "its because Turks hate Greeks". Would one say that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because Japanese hate Americans?

When I have told people that many westerners think that the Arab/Israeli conflict is caused because Arabs hate Jews, quite literally people look at me in disbelief and break out laughing.

The one encouraging note is that almost every Arab I know who has gone to work or study in American reports that they have acquired Jewish friends. Which tells me that when removed from conflict whatever mutual loathing exist suddenly dissipates.

Trust me, Arabs are much more apt to think that Jewish people hate them and look down on them as subhumans then they are to harbor any personal dislike whatsoever.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I would wager that most Arabs don't care a fig about "the Jews".
And most of the rest would love to be able to do that too.
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Dick Dastardly Donating Member (741 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Pew Global Attitudes -Anti-Jewish sentiment is endemic in the Muslim world.
Edited on Tue Mar-18-08 12:53 AM by Dick Dastardly
For their part, people in predominantly Muslim countries have mixed views of Christians and strongly negative views of Jews.

Anti-Jewish sentiment is endemic in the Muslim world. In Lebanon, all Muslims and 99% of Christians say they have a very unfavorable view of Jews. Similarly, 99% of Jordanians have a very unfavorable view of Jews. Large majorities of Moroccans, Indonesians, Pakistanis and six-in-ten Turks also view Jews unfavorably.

In the Asian countries surveyed, views of religious groups are generally more moderate. India, with its substantial Muslim minority, is closely divided with respect to views about Muslims; 46% hold a favorable view while 43% view them unfavorably. Opinions of Christians are considerably higher: 61% favorable compared with 19% unfavorable. Most Indians (56%) offer no opinion on Jews; those that do split 28% favorable to 17% unfavorable.

In China, half view Muslims unfavorably while only 20% hold a favorable opinion. Views about Christians are scarcely better: 47% unfavorable compared with 26% favorable. Chinese views of Jews are essentially the same as their attitudes toward Christians: 49% negative vs. 28% positive.

See section
Views of Religious Groups
for a chart and more info

I. How Muslims and Westerners See Each Other

While there are concerns in Western countries about Islamic identity and extremism, these do not necessarily translate into unfavorable views of people of the Muslim faith. In Europe and North America, majorities in Great Britain, France, Canada, the U.S., and Russia, as well as pluralities in Spain and Poland, say they have somewhat or very favorable views of Muslims. Only in the Netherlands and Germany does opinion tilt toward an unfavorable view (51%-45% unfavorable in the Netherlands; 47%-40% unfavorable in Germany). While fewer hold positive opinions of Muslims relative to either Jews or Christians in every Western country surveyed, the differences are relatively modest compared to the gap between views of these groups among publics of most Muslim countries surveyed.

Predominantly Muslim countries have mixed views of Christians and strongly negative views of people of the Jewish faith. Majorities in Jordan (58%) and Indonesia (58%) have positive views of Christians. In Lebanon, with its large Christian minority, more than nine-in-ten (91%) think favorably of Christians; these overwhelming positive views hold among both Muslim (86% favorable) and Christian (100% favorable) Lebanese. However, in both Turkey and Pakistan, the majority view of Christians is unfavorable, by margins of 63% unfavorable to 21% favorable in Turkey and 58% unfavorable to 22% favorable in Pakistan.

Throughout the Muslim world, opinions of Jews are highly unfavorable. Dislike of Jews is universal in Jordan and Lebanon, with 99% of the publics in both countries saying they have a very unfavorable view of Jews (the remaining 1% in Jordan takes a "somewhat unfavorable" view, while in Lebanon 1% offer no response). Similarly, 76% of Indonesians, 74% of Pakistanis, and 60% of Turks have an unfavorable opinion of Jews.

In India, with its Hindu majority and substantial Muslim population, the public tends to hold a favorable opinion of Christians, but is closely divided with respect to opinions of Muslims. About six-in-ten Indians (61%) hold a favorable view of Christians a figure that holds among both Hindus and Muslims. Among the Hindu majority in India, views of Muslims are closely divided with 42% viewing them favorably and 44% unfavorably; for all Indians, the divide tilts favorable by 46% to 43%.

In China, however, majorities or pluralities hold negative views of Muslims, Christians and Jews. A 50% majority views Muslims unfavorably while only 20% have a favorable opinion. Similarly, 47% view Christians unfavorably while just 26% express a positive opinion. Chinese respondents express comparable opinions of Jews (49% favorable/28% unfavorable).

more including charts
How Muslims and Westerners See Each Other

In Turkey only 60% dont like Jews which is good considering many others are 99% 100% 88% and so on
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. and some more polls
75% percent of Israeli-Jewish students believe that Arabs are uneducated ,uncivilized and dirty

Polls of Israeli attitudes toward Palestinian citizens of Israel


"The poll showed that 75 percent of Jewish students believe that Arabs are uneducated people, are uncivilized and are unclean.
On the other hand 25 percent of the Arab youth believe that Jews are the uneducated ones, while 57 percent of the Arab's believe Jews are unclean."

This was poll was actually based on 1600 students at 22 high schools within Israel.

""The data was presented at a bi-lingual conference held in Haifa. The study, titled "Perception of 'the Other' among Jewish and Arab Youth in Israel" included 1,600 students studying in 22 high schools around the country.

In another poll - Remembering both these polls refer to Palestinians who live inside Israel and hold Israeli citizenship -- people commonly refereed to as "Israeli-Arabs". A people who have certainly not been in a state of rebellion for most of the past 60 years:

"The poll presented Wednesday showed that 68 percent of respondents said they do not wish to live next to an Arab neighbor, compared with 26 percent who said they would agree.

Responding to a question about Arab friends, 46 percent said they would not be willing to have Arab friends who would visit them at their home.

Some 63 percent of the Jewish public sees Arab civilians as a security and demographic threat, and 34 percent of the Jewish public sees Arab culture as inferior compared to Israeli culture. Half of the population, according to the poll, is anxious and uncomfortable when hearing Arabic on the street.



some other polls of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship:

76 percent described Zionism as racist -- interesting anaylsis of the confliction
"Among the Arab respondents, 76 percent described Zionism as racist.

But more than two thirds said they would be content to live in Israel as a Jewish state, if it existed alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."
actually polls of Israeli-Arabs tend to show rather conflicting results.

"Only 3.4% of the 500 Arab citizens of Israel polled by phone felt that the Israeli government treats them as equal citizens. Some 49% said the government treats them as second-class citizens and 24% as hostile citizens who don't deserve equal rights."

"Two-thirds of Israeli Arabs were pleased with Hamas's win but even more believe the State of Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, according to a survey presented at a conference Thursday about the trends of the Arab voters at the University of Haifa.

But despite their claims of support for a Jewish state, "What they don't agree to is a Zionist state, meaning a state which has the right to preserve its Jewish majority," Prof. Sammy Smooha, one of three sociologists who made the poll, told The Jerusalem Post. "They accept there is a Jewish majority but not that the state has a policy and law of return to preserve and increase the majority."
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Dick Dastardly Donating Member (741 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-20-08 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Your polls are not even on the same subject or level as the Pew Global Attitudes
The hatred against Jews in ingrained in the Muslim world as the poll states. The links have sone interesting info
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. what do you think can be done to change all of this?
Edited on Fri Mar-21-08 01:39 AM by Douglas Carpenter
The Pew Poll does not use the word hate. They speak of an "unfavorable opinion". I suspect most British have an unfavorable opinion of the French.

And I'm sure that most of that "unfavorable opinion" among Arabs and Muslims developed as a result of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is hardly unusual for people to take on ethnic or national contempt when conflicts are flaring. I would guess that if Africans were asked prior to the establishment of majority rule in South Africa, "what did they think of white South Africans?" the opinions of most Africans would not have been pretty.

But either way, with hundreds of millions of Arabs and over one billion Muslims, what can be done to diffuse these tensions. They can hardly all be bombed into submission.

My suggestion is to pick up where the Taba talks left off. As Dr. Ben-Ami, the former Israeli Foreign Minister, points out - the restoration of a Palestinian Unity Government would be the first step. Because it allows the opportunity to restart the talks where they left off at Taba. These talks would be led by the PLO but would be acquiesced to by Hamas. Thus a settlement that included the acceptance of Hamas would bring with it almost the entirety of the Palestinian body politic.

Although peace between Syria and Israel has not been my major concern. I an convinced that given Syria's desperate economic problems and isolation not only from the West but also from its Arab neighbors - this would be a great time to resolve that issue as well. This could genuinely change for the better much of the political confusion in the Middle East and could greatly de-fang the Iranian threat. If given a choice I am almost certain the Syrians would welcome reintegration into the world economy rather than isolation and Eastern European style stagnation. This would of course require a withdraw from the Golan. But it would greatly reduced the threat of both Hamas and Hezbollah and would almost certainly mean peace with Lebanon.

The resolution of the Palestinian issue and the Syrian/Golan issue could very well mean full peace with Israeli Embassies in almost all Arab capitals. It could very well mean the ability to travel freely throughout most of the region for the Israeli people. It would mean open business and commerce between Israel and the Arab world.

I believe that the Israeli people could very well find integration into the region. In fact it would be in the long run suicidal for them not to. In fact it would be in the interest of the Arab peoples for the Israelis to become an accepted and vital part of the region.

Ten or fifteen years ago it would have been extremely difficult to sell this in the Arab world. At this point and time, I believe that the vast majority of the Arab world would be quite willing; both the people and the governments.

BTW: I have lived in the Middle East close to half my life..And I have personally observed the changes. In spite of everything, there is a window of opportunity. And the time is now. Later might be too late.

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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. I see a lot of what Israel will "give up"
(the Golan, the WB, etc), but what is the compromise point for the Arab world? When Israel has given up land in the past, there has been no reduction in violence. What makes you think giving up the Golan would result in peace with Lebanon and no more threat from Hezbollah?

I am curious as to what you see that Arab compromise points are, or do you see none? Reduction of violence hasn't happened, even with Israeli compromise.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Israel doesn't have to "give up" anything
Edited on Fri Mar-21-08 08:23 AM by Douglas Carpenter
Israel has to withdraw from occupied land.

What would Israel gain?


Acceptance into the Middle East and peace with all of its neighbors. The ability for Israelis to travel and live normally. And for that matter the ability for Palestinians and Arab neighbors of Israel to travel and live normally. Probably a business boom as well - with all of the states of the region including the Gulf states opening up their markets and their doors for commerce.

When Israel made peace with Egypt and Jordan, Egypt and Jordan have kept their part of the bargain.

During the Oslo process Israel dramatically increased their expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and dramatically increased their system of controls over the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Lives of the Palestinians were made worse, not better.

So this must be a genuine peace based on genuine withdrawals and the requirements of international law. It must include a fully independent and sovereign Palestinian state; contiguous with unimpeded movement with unimpeded access to the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem with shared sovereignty and mutual respect governing the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.

A peace treaty with Syria would by its very nature greatly neutralize Hezbollah and any other hostile forces in Lebanon. Currently Syria's incentive for backing Hezbollah and Hamas is rooted in the point of contention over the Golan. Syria's alignment with Iran is rooted in its isolation from the international community. They simply need the money and support from someone. The international community would offer far more than what Iran is capable of offering. Everyone on all sides agree that peace with Syria would mean peace with Lebanon - just as contention with Syria means contention with Lebanon. An open Syria would completely alter the political realities of the Middle East and greatly reduce the Iranian threat. Given Syria's political/economic realities - it would not be that difficult to achieve a settlement:

"Bill Clinton: Israel-Syria peace deal could be reached within 35 minutes" 16/04/2007 link:

A peace agreement between Israel and Syria could be reached within 35 minutes, former U.S. president Bill Clinton told the Lebanon-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in an interview published Sunday.

Clinton said Israel and Syria were very close to reaching an agreement in 1998, adding that an accord could be reached assuming Iran does not play a role in the issue.

The former U.S. president also said that, in his opinion, the 1995 assassination of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin led to the failure of the peace process.

" Arafat really trusted Rabin, and the assassination of Rabin killed the peace process," he said.

Clinton told the newspaper that secret negotiations, like those conducted in Oslo that led to the 1993 Declaration of Principles between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, are the only way through which to resolve the conflict in the Middle East.


What does Israel have to gain? Same thing the Palestinians and the Arab world has to gain. An end to this whole God damned conflict! You want that don't you?

The Arab Peace Initiative, 2002

Official translation of the full text of a Saudi-inspired peace plan adopted unanimously by the Arab summit in Beirut, 2002.


The Arab Peace Initiative

The Council of Arab States at the Summit Level at its 14th Ordinary Session,

Reaffirming the resolution taken in June 1996 at the Cairo Extra-Ordinary Arab Summit that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic option of the Arab countries, to be achieved in accordance with international legality, and which would require a comparable commitment on the part of the Israeli government,

Having listened to the statement made by his royal highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in which his highness presented his initiative calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land-for-peace principle, and Israel's acceptance of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel,

Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:

1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.

2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:

I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.

II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.

III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:

I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.

II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.

5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighbourliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity.

6. Invites the international community and all countries and organisations to support this initiative.

7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European Union.



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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. As long as extremists want to take over all of Israel and expel all of the Jewish people
I don't think "normalized"relations are possible. The extremists will do anything possible to derail the peace process. They all have refused to talk to or acknoweldge Israel. What makes you think that Hamas would do anything more than a Hudna (while they don't control the rest of the militants)?

Also, do you really think Israel would give up its largest settlement blocs, that contain hundreds of thousands of people? Do you really think this is a reality, any more than Hamas tempering its inflammatory rhetoric, and its very deadly goals?
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-24-08 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. that would be a very, very, small minority that believes in the expulsion of all Jews
Edited on Mon Mar-24-08 08:42 AM by Douglas Carpenter
the polls listed below show just how small anyone would be to supporting such an idea. A much higher percentage of Israelis support expulsion of all Palestinians - some polls show it as high between 30% to 45%. While among Palestinians support for such an idea barely even rates.

Regarding the largest settlement blocks, it is entirely possible that in exchange for a land corridor connecting the Gaza with the West Bank and lengthening the Gaza to give greater access to the Mediterranean - the Palestinians could very well compromise on this issue. The concern regarding the settlement blocks is that some of them are extending so deep into the West Bank that they are almost touching the Jordan Valley - thus completely undermining contiguity. This has the danger of dissecting the West Bank into multiple parts of disconnected enclaves.

Most Palestinians certainly recognize the sure practicalities require mutually agreeable/mutually beneficial adjustments regarding a future border.

Although the Geneva Accord is far from perfect, it does demonstrate possible workable solutions to this and other problems:


And again I think it should be remembered that if a two-state solution is not reached prior to a two-state solution ceasing to be viable due to settlements along with their road systems and infrastructure completely and irrevocably dissecting the West Bank into disconnected enclaves..Israel/Palestine will then be expo facto be only one state; and soon it will be one-state with a Palestinian majority. Under such a configurations it will be materially impossible for this one state to remain both a Jewish and democratic state.
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Dick Dastardly Donating Member (741 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. [i]what do you think can be done to change all of this?[/i]
That is a good question DC. I don't know if there is anything that can be done about it in the short term, especially in a closed, religious and or authoritarian society. The people who have such ingrained views will keep them unless there is some opening of a society to new ideas. Over time with such and opening or enlightenment, some of those who have been ingrained with those views will keep them regardless and many will still have such views on varying levels but the new generations will be the one to put those unacceptable ideas to the ash heap(it wont completely die there will always be some people with some level of bigotry. It will be in the long term that there can be real change if there is a catalyst for it. A good example is the US South in the Jim Crow pre Civil rights days. There was no change overnight, it took decades picking up steam and momentum to make the acceptable unconscionable. It didn't just happen by itself either, it was enlightened ideas of some people over many generations growing in number within each generation until they had the power to effect change as well as the numbers and power to spread the enlightenment to the mainstream thought exposing the vile indefensible institutionalized and cultural racism that had been acceptable until then.
There are still racist like then but it is not the institutionalized and culturally accepted norm as then, for example, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks its ok to have colored and white water fountains even if they harbored some level of bigotry(all people have some bigotry in them) against blacks. While change can take place in a closed, religous and or authoritarian society it is much slower if it happens at all due to the inflexible nature and fear of change by the powers that be of such societies.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. and given how deeply racist Israeli society is, what do you think can and should be done about that?
Edited on Sat Mar-22-08 05:51 AM by Douglas Carpenter
First this excerpt from an essay by Israeli History Professor Avi Shlaim of Oxford University. link:

"The history of Zionism, from the earliest days to the present, is replete with manifestations of deep hostility and contempt toward the indigenous population. On the other hand, there have always been brave and outspoken critics of such attitudes. Foremost among them was Ahad Ha'am (Asher Zvi Ginsberg), a liberal Russian Jewish thinker who visited Palestine in 1891 and published a series of articles that were sharply critical of the aggressive behavior and political ethnocentrism of the Zionist settlers. They believed, wrote Ahad Ha'am, that "the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force." And they "behave toward the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency." Little seems to have changed since Ahad Ha'am penned these words a century ago. "


Still, I personally believe that a resolution of the conflict would do a great deal to decrease the worst of racism and bigotry coming from either side.

As I mentioned above it is hardly unusual for language to take on ethnic overtones while conflicts rage. As we see now in Tibet, innocent Chinese civilians are being attacked and their businesses' are being burned to the ground by angry Tibetan mobs. I'm certain that if anyone were to ask many Tibetans, "what to they think about Chinese?", the answers might be quite nasty. Conversely, I'm equally certain that if anyone were to ask many Chinese people in and around Tibet and perhaps even elsewhere in China, "what do they think about Tibetans?" one would also hear a lot of ethnic slurs and nasty comments.

I believe a resolution to the conflict would dramatically change the picture - provided the resolution brought a sense of justice along with normalization of relationships and also included the integration of Israel into the region as a vital part of the Middle East.
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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Wow. Looks like most of the world holds "unfavorble views" about Others, doesn't it? nt
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. But then we are back to the very same point,
which is, if the intent is NOT to take back all of Israeli, and murder all of the Jewish citizens, why would Hamas write such a thing? Do you doubt them at thir word? They don't acknowledge Israel and refuse to negotiate with Israel.

This isn't "hatred of Jews"? When there is an expressed wish to take over their whole state, I rather doubt there is an affinity for the people.

So maybe it is semantic nitpicking, and the Arabs really don't "hate" Jews (although their media certainly belies that). Then it is time for them to change their hideous charter, and for the Arab world to change their inflammatory rhetoric. Otherwise, we have no reason to doubt them at their word.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I have personally watched Schindler's list on Arabic TV -
Edited on Tue Mar-18-08 12:50 AM by Douglas Carpenter
subtitled into Arabic obviously presented for an Arabic audience.

Not everything in the Arabic media is negative. I have also read Uri Avnery's column in numerous Arabic newpapers, calling for the two state solution and peaceful coexistence Israelis and Arabs.

I wish there was more positive things like this. But understanding has to start somewhere.


The Hamas Charter simply does not speak for the Arab World. Nor does this 1988 document represent very many people at all.

I do however agree with 64% of Israelis and a long, long list of Middle East experts that it is both possible and desirable for Hamas to be brought into the political process and for there to be talks. I also agree with former Israeli Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami that the current situation actually offers a unique opportunity for real negotiations lead by the PLO but within the context of a unity government that included Hamas to bring about a genuinely lasting peace. Because such an agreement would actually hold because it would include the whole of the Palestinian body politic.

As far as the media is concerned I would be the first to agree that there is a lot of crap all over the world this is highly inappropriate and deeply racist. One hardly needs to go to the Middle East to find it.
Move after movie and TV show after TV how represents Arabs in the most narrow and racist way imaginable. Just consider how it would look if the Disney cartoon movie "Aladen" used anti-Semitic sterotypical images the way it used overtly racist anti-Arab stereotypes.


But let's just take a look at a poll of what Palestinians in the Occupied Territories believe about finding a solution to the conflict:

Poll of Palestinian opinion in the Occupied Territories:

Polling Data - Aug. 2007

Some believe that a two-state formula is the favoured solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict, while others believe that historic Palestine can't be divided and thus the favoured solution is a bi-national state on all of Palestine where Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal representation and rights. Which of these solutions do you prefer?

Two-state solution: an Israeli state and a Palestinian state

Bi-national state on all of historic Palestine with equal rights and equal representation

One Palestinian state

No solution

Islamic state


Don't know / No answer


Source: Jerusalem Media & Communication Center
Methodology: Interviews with 1,199 adults in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, conducted from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

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