OneMideast.org Written up by Blanford, CNN and All4Syria

To promote Arab-Israeli peace, Arabs and Israelis argue against it
The OneMideast project formally debuted online Wednesday at a time when hopes for Arab-Israeli peace are dim. The website asks Arab and Israeli participants to jump into tough issues in hopes of provoking new solutions.
By Nick Blanford, Christian Science Monitor, May 19, 2010

The website, OneMideast.org, asks Arab and Israeli participants to jump into tough issues in hopes of provoking new solutions.
(screengrab from OneMideast.org)

Beirut, Lebanon — Most grassroots peace efforts in the Middle East try to build on areas of mutual agreement, but one group of Israelis and Arabs has taken a different tack – looking for arguments against peace between Israel and Syria.

The OneMideast project, which formally goes public on Wednesday, is making its debut at a time of high tension between Syria and Israel, with gloomy prospects of resumed peace talks and very real fears of another war roiling the region. The effort drew together two teams of 10 Arabs – most of them Syrian – and 10 Israelis, each of whom who were asked to come up with a list of objections to peace between Israel and Syria.

“The dominant paradigm of peace process initiatives is to begin by searching for common ground, postponing discussion on problematic areas,” says Elias Muhanna, a Lebanese political analyst and author of the Lebanese affairs blog Qifa Nabki. “OneMideast turns this model on its head, beginning with the stickiest issues, and trying to see if they really are as insoluble as they seem.”

Grew out of heated exchanges

The idea developed a year ago from the heated daily exchanges in the comments section of the Syria Comment blog authored by Joshua Landis, director for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. As with many blogs dealing with contentious Middle East affairs, Syria Comment attracts devoted Arab and Israeli readers whose variant views provoke stimulating and sometimes impassioned arguments.

“As each new Israeli and Syrian would find the site and begin discussion, often they would start with the repetition of accusations and casting of blame, then little by little a shared humanity would emerge as would a shared interest in finding a way out of the cyclical insults,” says Mr. Landis.

Israel and Syria are in an official state of war, which makes personal contacts between Israelis and Syrians problematic. But the Internet allows citizens from both countries to penetrate the political wall separating them – and a dialogue to flourish.

“We want people to know that dialogue is possible, and that the Web offers new opportunities to learn firsthand about the human beings on the other side,” says Yoav Stern, an Israeli commentator and journalist.

Requirements for peace
The requirements for a peace deal between Syria and Israel are well known. Syria’s main stated priority is the full recovery of the Golan Heights, the volcanic plateau that was seized by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s chief priority is to ensure that Syria no longer poses a threat, either directly or through supporting radical groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah.

Although achieving a peace deal between the two countries theoretically is far less complicated than the Israeli-Palestinian track, there have been no direct bilateral negotiations for 10 years. The continuing impasse encourages grassroots efforts such as OneMideast to broaden the debate from the diplomats to the peoples of both countries.

The project began when some Israeli contributors to Syria Comment proposed a separate discussion to further explore the arguments raging on the blog.

Camille-Alexandre Otrakji, a Syrian and founder of Creative Syria, offered to build a private website dedicated to the dialogue – OneMideast.org.

“This site is designed in a totally symmetrical way that does not give any side more time or space [by limiting the lines allowed for each side’s arguments and counterarguments] and therefore no one can complain that their side was the victim of biased moderation, like they do in other discussion forums, in the media or elsewhere,” Mr. Otrakji says.

The forum gathered a mix of academics, students, journalists, analysts, engineers, and business executives. The Syrian members were asked to come up with a list of objections to peace with Israel from the Syrian perspective. The Israeli members were asked to do the same from their point of view. The results were then swapped and both sides wrote two or three counterarguments. The results were posted on the website.

Sparring on Golan Heights
One of the Israeli objections accuses Syria of supporting terrorism against Israel. Among the three counterarguments, one notes that Syria’s support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas is because Israel illegally occupies the Golan Heights.

“This support can change its form under a peace treaty guaranteeing the security of Syria and Israel,” it says.

A Syrian objection asserts that what was taken by force – the Golan Heights – can only be taken back by force. One of the Israeli responses says that the “objection sounds familiar because we Israelis have heard it from our own demagogues…. Those who said it were wrong.”

A second phase to the project is in the pipeline, says Otrakji, in which a large sample of political science students will be questioned on the list of objections to allow an analysis of the popularity of these arguments and counterarguments.

“This will help decisionmakers in Syria, Israel and elsewhere who are involved in the quest for a solution for that complex conflict,” Otrakji says.

Notes Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, “The cost of not finding a way out of this conflict is very high.”

The Israeli army has gradually come around in recent years to supporting a peace deal with Syria that includes the return of the strategic Golan. But, says Mr. Stern, the Israeli commentator, the Israeli public is losing interest in peace with a country that it views as a supporter of terrorism.

“Nevertheless, losing hope is bad, very bad,” he says, “and so we keep hoping that the atmosphere can eventually change.”

Here is an article in French about the site

الغارديان تتحدث عن لقاء بين مدونين سوريين وإسرائيليين

سي ان ان العربية
19/ 05/ 2010
قالت صحيفة “الغارديان” البريطانية إن مدونين سوريين وإسرائيليين قرروا اللقاء على شبكة الإنترنت، وإجراء حوارات دائمة بهدف تحسين العلاقات بين الطرفين، وهذا يحصل للمرة الأولى.

وقالت الصحيفة إن أكاديميين ومحللين سياسيين وصحفيين ورجال أعمال من البلدين التقوا العام الماضي في مؤتمر بغرفة خاصة في منتدى على شبكة الإنترنت. وقام هؤلاء بإنجاز قائمة بأبرز عوائق السلام بين البلدين، كما وجدوا 20 شيئا مشتركا بين المجتمعين السوري والإسرائيلي.

وأما الخطوة القادمة للموقع السوري- الإسرائيلي، بحسب الصحيفة، فهي دعوة خبراء وصانعي الرأي من الدولتين لمناقشة عملية السلام ليتم نشرها لاحقا في وسائل الإعلام. إلا أن الصحيفة لم تنشر أي أسماء لمدونين سوريين موجودين داخل سوريا واكتفت باسم واحد قالت إنه يعيش في كندا وهو من أصول سورية

One commentator on All4Syria uses the name of Mr. Zouher Hamad, a General in the Syrian Secret Service, and claims to be watching this terrible site…. which is a form of treason and breaks Syrian law. This is, of course, nonsense. Syria’s security chieftains do not write on websites under their name. The idea is intriguing, however.

زهير حمد 2010-05-19 13:34:24
نعم لقد تابعنا اللقاء والمدون هو كميل – الكسندر قطرنجي .
وسيتم معاقبة المدونين الموجودين في سورية لخرقهم القانون السوري وبتهمة العمالة
كما تم توجيه تنبيه شديد اللهجة للسفير السوري في واشنطن الذي رعى عدة مقالات وحوارات في هذا المنتدى

All4Syria website claims that the Syrian Ambassador to Canada has been recalled over the issue of OneMideast.org. In the comment section of the article, a number of commentators cast doubt of the connection between the end of the Ambassador’s five years of exemplary service and this new academic effort. [This is nonsense. JL]

بعد قصة المدونين : مرسوم بعودة السفير السوري من كندا
طباعة أرسل لصديق
مراسل المحليات – كلنا شركاء
20/ 05/ 2010

صدر مرسوم بعودة السفير السوري المعتمد في اوتاوا السيد جميل صقر وذلك بعد ان انهى خدمة خمس سنوات …….وتزامن صدور المرسوم مع الضجة التي حصلت بنفس اليوم واثارتها المقالة البريطانية التي كشفت عن لقاءات وحوارات بين مدونين وشخصيات سياسية وديبلوماسية واكاديمية سورية مع نظرائهم الاسرائيليين والتي كانت مستمرة منذ اكثر من سنة حيث يقوم بتنسيقها وادارتها الشاب كميل قطرنجي المقيم في كندا .
وقد ربط البعض بين صدور قرار اعادة السفير في كندا وعدم التمديد له لمدة عام اضافي وبين هذه القضية , وقد منح السفير صقر مدة شهرين لانهاء التزاماته والعودة لدمشق .

From France 24 in Arabic

سوريون وإسرائيليون يتحاورون على الأنترنت
للمرة الأولى تحتضن الأنترنت مبادرة للحوار بين سوريين وإسرائيليين، هدفها إزالة العوائق التي تحول دون قيام السلام بين دمشق وتل أبيب.
سيباستيان سايبت (نص)

شريط من الصور، منارة حيفا، قلعة حلب، دمشق القديمة، شاطئ تل أبيب… تجده على صفحة استقبال موقع الكتروني جديد أطلق في 17 مايو / أيار تحت اسم “شرق أوسط واحد”، وهدفه كما يقول المشرفون عليه توفير منبر حوار بين السوريين والإسرائيليين.

وكما هو معروف فأن الاتصال والحوار المباشر بين مواطني سوريا والدولة العبرية ممنوع من حيث المبدأ وهذا ما يطمح الموقع الجديد إلى تجاوزه، ولا يخف كميل اوطرقجي، المدون الكندي السوري الأصل وصاحب فكرة موقع “شرق أوسط واحد” هدفه من المشروع في حديث لموقع فرانس24 حين يقول “نريد قبل الحديث عن حلول للصراع بين الدولتين أن يعرف الناس لماذا فشلت في كل مرة المفاوضات”.

ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة

والنتيجة كانت لائحتين، واحدة سورية وأخرى إسرائيلية، من 20 عائقا تمنع قيام السلام بين الدولتين، ففي اللائحة الإسرائيلية اتهام لسوريا بدعم الإرهاب، ورد من سوريا يقول بأن الدول بوسعها أحيانا ترويض تطرف بعض المنظمات والحد من تشددها، كما تؤكد اللائحة السورية على المقولة العربية الشهيرة “أن ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة” وعلى حاجة الدولة العبرية لهذا الصراع كي تستمر في الحياة.

ويطمح الموقع حسب كميل اوطرقجي أن يكون “مرآة تعكس صفحتها بصدق مواقف الشعبين من قضية السلام”، مضيفا أن استخلاص العبر لا يحصل بين ليلة وضحاها. ومن المبكر التكهن بمستقبل “شرق أوسط واحد”، رغم أن صدور الموقع يعتبر نجاحا في حد ذاته.

وقد بدأت فصول هذه القصة في العام 2007، حين نشر اوطرقجي مقالة في صحيفة “هآرتس” الإسرائيلية في الذكرى الأربعين لاحتلال الجولان، ويتذكر جوشوا لاندس وهو من المدونين المشاركين في الموقع وصاحب مدونة “سيريا كومنت” أن مقالة اوطرقجي أثارت شهية المعلقين، الذين تابعوا نشر تعليقاتهم على صفحات مدونته بشكل مواظب. وفي سبتمبر / أيلول 2009 قرر البعض الذهاب بعيدا في هذا الموضوع، ما اضطر المشرفون على الموقع إلى غربلة التعليقات وتنظيمها وحذف التعليقات الكثيرة غير النافعة أو تلك التي تدعو إلى العنف حسب كميل اوطرقجي.

“كنت على قناعة بأننا سنفشل”

والتقت هذه المجموعة الصغيرة من البشر والتي ضمت جامعيين وصحافيين ومدونين في منتدى خاص تتطلب المشاركة فيه استعمال كلمة مرور، وأمضت المجموعة 8 أشهر من النقاشات “المفيدة” حسب اوطرقجي حتى توصلت إلى وضع اللائحتين ويضيف الرجل “كانت المرة الأولى التي يحصل فيها هذا النوع من التواصل بين الطرفين”.

ولكن نشر كل ذلك لم يكن بالمسألة الهينة، يقول المدون جوشوا لاندس “كنت على قناعة بأننا سنفشل” ويضيف بعض السوريين كانوا خائفين من عيون نظام دمشق، والعديد من الإسرائيليين كانوا يتخوفون من الظهور بمظهر “اليهودي السيئ” أمام مواطنيهم. وفي النهاية قررت المجموعة التكتم على أسماء المشاركين وأعلنت بأن “شرق أوسط واحد” يضم 10 من المهاجرين السوريين و10 إسرائيليين، وأن الناطقين باسمها هما كميل اوطرقجي و جوشوا لاندس.

ولم يخف هذا الصحافي السابق في “هآرتس” انزعاج البعض من الأطروحات المدرجة على الموقع خصوصا السلطات السورية التي حاولت أكثر من مرة إغلاقه وعطلت إمكانية دخوله من أراضيها.

ولكن ما الفائدة من موقع كهذا في ظرف يبدو فيه السلام حلم بعيد المنال؟ كميل اوطرقجي يأمل في التأثير على مواقف صناع القرار والرأي العام ويتابع “لو فلحنا في ذلك بوسعنا التحدث عن نجاح” ولكن زميله جوشوا لاندس أقل تفاؤلا “الظرف الحالي صعب للغاية، ولكنه ليس سببا للبقاء مكتوفي الأيدي”.

Press Release for OneMiddleEast in Arabic

بيان إعلامي
١٧ أيارو ٢٠١٠

تدشين موقع على الشبكة العنكبوتية للحوار بين مدونين مستقلين سوريين و إسرائيليين

قام عدد من المدونين السوريين و الإسرائيليين بإنشاء هذا الموقع بهدف تشخيص و توصيف عدد من العقبات الأساسية التي تواجه احتمالات السلام.

لقد أنشئ هذا الموقع بغرض فتح قناة مستقلة بين مدونين أفراد، سوريين و إسرائيليين ، للحوار في العقبات التي تعترض قيام السلام بين سوريا و إسرائيل. و قد أنشئ هذا الموقع بجهود خاصة و مستقلة و يعتبر الأول من نوعه في هذا المجال.

إن الهدف من هذا الموقع، و الذي ينشر اليوم بعد عمل استمر عاماً كاملاً، هو تشخيص المعوقات الأساسية التي تحول دون انجاز عملية السلام بين سوريا و إسرائيل، كما يراها المدونون المستقلون، و الذين عملوا على عكس الآراء الرائجة في الأوساط الأكاديمية و الثقافية و الشعبية و الرسمية، كل من طرفه، و من ثم محاولة بحثها و تفنيدها إن أمكن.

خلال المرحلة الأولى من المشروع، قام المدونون من كل طرف بإنشاء لائحة مفصلة من العقبات التي يرون أنها تحول دون تحقيق السلام المنشود. بعد ذلك، تم التصويت عليها لاختزالها و تركيزها في عشرين بنداً من كل طرف، بحيث تمثل هذه البنود العشرون ، خلاصة ما يرى مجموع المدونين أنها الأسباب الرئيسية لعدم إنجاز السلام حتى الآن. و بتحديد هذه البنود، انتقل العمل إلى المرحلة الثانية، و هي بعمل كل فريق على تقديم نقاط مضادة للاعتراضات المعروضة من الطرف الآخر. و قد تم كامل هذا النشاط عبر الإنترنت و بدون لقاءات مباشرة بين الأطراف.

إن نتائج هذا المشروع الأكاديمي المستقل متوفرة للتنزيل من الموقع OneMideast.org بشكلها النصي، أو بشكل سلسلة من الملفات الصوتية (Podcasts).

في المرحلة التالية، سوف يتم توجيه دعوات لعدد من المختصين من أعلام المختصين و أصحاب الرأي من الطرفين لبحث التحديات التي تم تشخيصها حتى الآن، و لتقديم مقترحات و آراء بناءة لنشرها على الموقع.

Comments (82)


Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. Yossi said:

Majid,

Thank you. Very deep.

Norman,

We’re not Christians… (you know “turn the other cheek” and all that)… :-)

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May 22nd, 2010, 2:08 am

 

52. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Norman,

The video is indeed from S. Lebanon. It is not about “resistance”.
It is about international / worldwide Guerrilla tactics.
And an Iranian / revolutionary-guards money and thinking. It has no meaning whether it is in Lebanon or Syria. The principles are the same, and so is the planning and the intentions.

Yossi,

Do you become Zionist again? Or post ‘post-Zionist’ ?
.

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May 22nd, 2010, 2:18 am

 

53. norman said:

Yossi,

That was funny ,

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May 22nd, 2010, 2:42 am

 

54. almasri said:

Norman,

I do not find anything heated up. So do not worry.

Majed @50

Your answer is very clear and to the point even without going to details – thanks.
But here are some details for the record. The so-called Jews of old times came to Egypt and the first thing they did they sold one of their own to slavery. They were Bedouins and accustomed to doing mischievous acts. The Egyptians were kind to them and they accepted them as slaves in the hope they will get rehabilitated. Slaves as Majed made it clear do not own anything. In fact, they themselves were owned by their masters, in this case the old Egyptians. Eventually, the Egyptians got tired of them because they did not show an ability to rehabilitate and so they were kicked out. I can only blame the old Egyptians for not trying harder to rehabilitate them. So, whether you (@51) turn your cheek one way or the other, Egypt remains the brow above your eye – if you know what that means. If not, ask. Many Arabs can explain it to you.

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May 22nd, 2010, 3:27 am

 

55. Yossi said:

An eyebrow? Nah, if you have to think of yourself as a hairy body part, start thinking in a different direction. A lower-body posterior one.

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May 22nd, 2010, 8:17 am

 

56. Shai said:

“Hungary, Poland or USA is none of your business. Palestine is diffrent.”

Well, Almasri, if Poland is none of my business, then neither is Palestine yours.

If everyone should “go back”, you might want to at least seem to be fair, and not innately against Jews.

Norman, I’m not upset. This racist Egyptian couldn’t upset me if he tried.

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May 22nd, 2010, 12:54 pm

 

57. Husam said:

Shai, Yossi, Norman:

Call it racism, verbal diarrhea, hot potatoe…the loud mouth we have here doesn’t speak for 80% of the Arabs.

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May 22nd, 2010, 2:26 pm

 

58. almasri said:

On second thoughts, Egypt has the moral responsibility to take the Jews back as slaves in order to solve the problem of the theft of Palestine. Even though, the old Jews came in mischievously and uninvited to old Egypt, the Egyptians must have tried harder as I said before to rehabilitate them into the civilized world. Jews must understand this time, however, that there is no room for mischief, and slaves live as eunuchs in Egypt. So welcome back to castration house. Any Jews who have abnormal sexual tendencies such as an urge to fill up a posterior hole may have to look somewhere else – check out with the Americans or the Polish, they may be interested.

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May 22nd, 2010, 2:33 pm

 

59. almasri said:

Let’s hear you speak Mr. 80% Arab.

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May 22nd, 2010, 3:44 pm

 

60. jon said:

what’s up with mentioning All4Syria along CNN in the title? I mean I like All4Syria and all.. I read it.. but c’mon

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May 22nd, 2010, 4:28 pm

 
 

62. Shai said:

Husam,

You’re absolutely right. I know he doesn’t speak on behalf of most Arabs. His choice of fighting “on behalf” of the Palestinians with his own version of racism is counterproductive. It only helps other racists hate him just as much.

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May 22nd, 2010, 5:26 pm

 

63. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

HolyLand was, is and always will be the property of the Jewish people and nation.

If you don’t agree, go and drink from the sea of Gaza.
.

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May 22nd, 2010, 6:53 pm

 

64. majedkhaldoun said:

Amir
You are wrong

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May 22nd, 2010, 10:43 pm

 

65. Averroes said:

Almasri,

Your comments are becoming increasingly anarchist and racist, and we already have enough of that in the region. Please weigh in on what you’re saying before posting it. Vicious attacks on “Jews” does not serve anything and is morally wrong so please stop it.

Who knows what the future holds. If Israelis fail to integrate with the region on an equal and fair basis, then they may well end up like the Crusaders, and may well end up getting kicked out of the region.

But that would be at a huge blood cost to both sides and would wedge great hatred for millennia to come. I really don’t want that.

Instead, Israelis can choose to change their ways and their approach, and agree to the only viable solution, which is a One State solution, where Arab and Jew can live and work together in a natural, normal country that belongs to all its citizens. They have to stop coming up with the mutated creations they’re offering the Palestinians such as a state over walled ghettos, that does not own its air space, nor its water, not its borders. Such a mutated creation will die because it is a freak of human history.

Palestinians who were terrorized out of their homes must be given the choice to return, and all the guarantees the world can give can be implemented to safeguard this agreement and the lives of the people involved. It can be done.

Imagine if that happens. We would look back at the 20th century as a time of turmoil and cruelty, and start to look forward to a real, prosperous future built on rock.

Do I see that happening? Not any time soon. Israelis have painted themselves into a corner and are way too high on their own supply. Before that can happen, they have to be educated to recognize the changes taking place around them. They have to realize how much humiliation and incredible pain they’re projecting upon everyone around them, and that they’re, literally, making larger, more dangerous, and more determined enemies.

Just look at the photo of the chanting Israelis harassing that Palestinian woman in the next SC subject and you get a good picture of the mind set prevalent in Israel today. Peace cannot be made with this mindset at all.

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May 23rd, 2010, 3:02 pm

 

66. almasri said:

Averroes,

You are entitled to an opinion. I gave your comment due consideration. I concluded that I cannot agree with you.

Keep writing, however, and enlighten us with more of your ‘philosophical’ advices.

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May 23rd, 2010, 3:19 pm

 

67. Akbar Palace said:

Instead, Israelis can choose to change their ways and their approach, and agree to the only viable solution, which is a One State solution, where Arab and Jew can live and work together in a natural, normal country that belongs to all its citizens. They have to stop coming up with the mutated creations they’re offering the Palestinians such as a state over walled ghettos, that does not own its air space, nor its water, not its borders. Such a mutated creation will die because it is a freak of human history.

Averroes,

Since 1947 there has been, and there always will be, a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. I’m not sure how someone can conclude that it is “too late” for that. What data proves this?

The Palestinians (and their arab rejectionist backers) have always spurned the two-state proposals, and, IMHO, that is the reason why the peace process has failed.

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May 23rd, 2010, 4:45 pm

 

68. Ghat Albird said:

THIS IS THE WAY IT IS.

Party I keeps talking and talking about the piece process while continuously taking land and resources from P, S and L. Party I has over 200 nuclear missiles and keeps bitching about parties P, S and L acquiring non nuclear missiles.

Party I insists on being a state for just the “chosen few” who continueously claim that as Jews they are God’s chosen people and God gave them special rights and as soon as anyone mentions the word Jew that person is a racist.

Party I maintains and is supported by Party A that it has the right to defend itself ore-emptively by “attacking Parties P, S, and L as well in addition another Party named Iran.”

According to Party I parties P, S, L, and Iran do not have the SAME RIGHTS to defend themselves as Party I has.

Big Party A wants all concerned to kow tow to Party I’s demands and live peacefully.

Big big Party UN is unable to do what it is mandated to do and Party I anyhow ignores it.

A rational conclusion to the above after 60 odd years woud be the question “when is this comic opera going to end”? Who are the comics and who are the ones being made fun of ? What is the rational for Parties, P, S, L and Iran and nearby neighbors to continue to be members of Party UN that is not executing its own orders?

As things stand now Party I stands as the winner and all the rest as just plain losers. And human nature being what it is no one likes being the loser all the time.

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May 23rd, 2010, 5:19 pm

 

69. norman said:

Ghat,
That was interesting and so true , and i want to add what , Averroes,said that the longer party I keeps denying party P,S,L,I their rights the more likely more radical people will reach power and deny party I the right to exist in the first place , the question is will party I develop a strategic thinking and adopt what Shai and Yossi advocate and that live together as equal , I hope i got that right Shai, before things gets out of hand , i have strong doubts !.

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May 23rd, 2010, 5:44 pm

 

70. Ghat Albird said:

NORMAN said:

i have strong doubts !. I agree with your doubts too.

60 years ago its was the Stern Gang, the Irgun Zvai Lumi murdering Count Bernadotte, running trucks with naked Palestenian women in them and throwing out close to 700,000 into Lebanon and elsewhere.

There was no Hamas, Hezbollam, Al Queda, or Taliban. who knows how many more in say 5 or ten years.

The future does not augur well for peace as you suggest. M. Gandhi has an appropriate observation on how the world turns. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Que sera, sera.

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May 23rd, 2010, 5:59 pm

 

71. Shai said:

Ghat said: “Party I keeps talking and talking about the piece process while continuously taking land and resources from P, S and L. Party I has over 200 nuclear missiles and keeps bitching about parties P, S and L acquiring non nuclear missiles.”

Your premise insinuates that parties “P, S, and L” always wanted peace, and that party “I” only talks about it, but does the opposite. But clearly even you can recall that certain parties did not seek peace with “party I” prior to 1967. It is NOT the case, that parties “P, S, and L” were ready to accept Israel in this region, before Israel took over the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan.

I disagree also with your suggestion that Israel is “talking about peace” while continuously “taking land”. We’re neither talking peace, nor taking more land. There’s no more to take – we have it all right now. We are building more settlements on Palestinian territory, if that’s what you mean, yes. But we already control all that territory. The question now, is if and when we’ll give that territory back. The more we wait, the more a One-State solution becomes de facto the only solution. In that sense, if certain Israelis who fear non-Jewish majority don’t wake up soon enough, they will not have the option to get their Jewish State. The Palestinians will simply refuse a non-viable state of their own.

I do agree with you, about the missile absurdity. But two things play in our favor – first, our so-called “nuclear ambiguity”, in which Israel never admitted to having nuclear capability, and second, the fact that we never used such missiles against the Arabs. We can “bitch” about missiles that have been launched against Israel, but it’s difficult for the Arab side to “bitch” against nukes that have yet to be seen.

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May 23rd, 2010, 7:02 pm

 

72. norman said:

Shai,

Israel was not recognized by party S,P,L and Egypt because Israel would not give the Palestinians their right as set by the UN of return to their homes , If Israel was working on that problem things might have been different ,

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May 23rd, 2010, 7:19 pm

 

73. Shai said:

Norman,

I disagree. Egypt and Jordan recognized Israel, as did the PLO itself, long before the Palestinians achieved their national aspirations and their rights. It is also likely that Syria would do the same, if Israel were to withdraw from the Golan tomorrow.

With the exception of Lebanon, all other territories Israel currently controls and occupies, have been held since 1967. Israel hasn’t “expanded” into further territory, it has in fact withdrawn from territory under its control, namely the Sinai, S. Lebanon, Gaza, and small areas in the West Bank.

While most Israelis today do not believe we should withdraw from the Golan, polls clearly indicate that a majority understands we’ll have to withdraw from most of the West Bank. The numbers range from 90-plus percent, to about 96%. Few Israelis still believe in a Greater Israel.

But while we do nothing, a One-State is de facto becoming our reality.

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May 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm

 

74. Ghat Albird said:

NORMAN.

Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.

Israel’s emerging state of psychosis
Gideon Levy writes:

Let us imagine the dream-country of most Israelis – without criticism, neither from within nor from without. It speaks in one voice and is eternally united, with devotion and cohesion; all-Jewish, that goes without saying. It stands unanimously behind its government, every government, and also, of course, behind its army, the Shin Bet security service and the Mossad espionage agency – Israel’s heroes.

There is not even a single “snitch,” no human rights organizations or peace movements, no nonprofit associations and no critical reports that are published here, or, heaven forbid, abroad. Its press never criticizes, never exposes, never investigates, publishing nothing but praise and admiration for the government and the state. It recites official statements and quotes from government and security briefings.

Every war that this dream-country wages is met immediately by nothing but cheers of approval. Any atrocity it commits in the occupied territories automatically earns across-the-board support – the most moral, the most just, the most security-oriented, in harmony. All residents must swear their allegiance, all those who wish to visit, too. Those who are faithful to Israel are welcome. All the rest must take the first plane (or truck ) out. In short, the country of one’s dreams.

But now let’s answer truthfully. Is that really the country we would want to live in? Moreover, would the world that is always-against-us appreciate and like Israel better if that was how we looked and spoke, uniform and devoid of all self-criticism?

The benchmark upon which all psychological health and pathology can be assessed is the relationship between self and other. The breakdown of this relationship at its extreme results in psychosis: a condition in which an unbridgeable chasm has opened between the individual and the world he inhabits.

Is this where Israel is heading? A nation so deranged that the only source of comfort it finds is in a conversation that it mutters to itself? A nation that lashes out at anyone who ventures too close? A nation whose existence rests on a foundation of fear?

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May 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm

 

75. almasri said:

The Palestinian refugees and their descendents must go back to the homes that they were driven from in 1947, 48, 56, 67, 73….

Foreigners who come from disparate parts of the world have no right to displace the inhabitants of Palestine who own over 97% of Palestine.

The theft of Palestine must come to an end. This theft cannot be reversed by one-,two-, three- or more states so-called solutions. The UN or League of Nations has no mandate to partition or allocate real estate or grant illegal mandates to any power.

The Middle East is currently living in a state of criminal behaviour by so-called highly developed robbers who seek to sanction criminal behaviour and to live off the proceeds of crime. This criminal state is the source of the Middle East problem. The criminal tendencies of those participating (whether they say they belong to right, left or center of this robbery enetrprise) in the acts of displacing the legal inhabitants of Palestine must be punished and they must be prevented from engaging in further criminal activities.

The issue is not that of peace or war. It is a criminal issue.

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May 23rd, 2010, 7:50 pm

 

76. norman said:

Shai,
I want to disagree with you , Hafiz Assad once said that Syria was offered the Golan for abandoning the Palestinians and their rights , Syria refused then and Syria will refuse in the future ,and that is probably the real reason Israel is not forthcoming on giving the Golan and a peace treaty with Syria, and that is the reason that Syria consider what Egypt did abandoning Syria and the Palestinians as treason , you might say that Syria if given the Golan in 2000 she would have signed a peace treaty with Israel , that could have happened because the Palestinians at that time were close to a deal with Israel ,today is very different story ,

Ghat,
What did you mean by this ,

((( NORMAN.

Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.))

Inside what ?.

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May 23rd, 2010, 8:17 pm

 

77. Shai said:

Norman,

“If Israel was working on that problem things might have been different…”

The problem is, that many in my country would suggest that if the Arab World had accepted the UN Partition Plan, things might also have been different.

We can’t keep going around in circles, choosing different points of reference to support claims against one another, and rejecting other points as irrelevant. We need to move ahead, by finding the courage to take chances. Israel must take a chance, by withdrawing from all Arab lands captured after 1967, and the Arab World must take a chance, by making peace (even cold peace) with Israel, also prior to a final solution to the Palestinian problem.

In both cases, Syria and Palestine, we are 90% there. The question is only which will come first. Unfortunately, I believe the U.S. and Israel are both banking on the wrong horse.

Btw, Bashar Assad has given every indication that Syria will NOT require first the Palestinian problem to be resolved. Mahmoud Abbas himself traveled to Damascus apparently to give his “blessings” to such an agreement. He too understands that there are also advantages in having Israelis first withdraw from the Golan.

Withdrawal from the Golan is far easier than from the West Bank, and therefore nothing should stop it if negotiations are restarted and an agreement is reached. Personally, I cannot see a single Israeli voting to force tens of thousands of Jewish settlers out of the West Bank, while Hamas keeps launching Qassams from Gaza. A final withdrawal will occur only under agreement. Israel is unlikely to repeat the unilateral mistakes of Lebanon and Gaza.

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May 23rd, 2010, 8:23 pm

 

78. almasri said:

“and that is the reason that Syria consider what Egypt did abandoning Syria and the Palestinians as treason”

Indeed….
Treason it was, and more and more Egyptians and Jordanians are recognizing it as such day after day. Sadat who was paid for his treason a so-called Noble prize by the zionists was also made to pay for his treason at one of the most appropriate moments in his uneventful life in order to become an example. We know he’s rotting in a very low level in hell along with his zionist friends.

Egyptians are raising their voices and demanding the abrogation of the pact of shame and treason and so are the Jordanians. Hosni could not be where he is now if it wasn’t for the army of security agents around him. But sooner or later, the real Egyptians will take over and put an end to this shame and the chaotic order of theft imposed on Palestine by criminal zionists.

There shall never be peace with bandits and thieves. But certainly there can be war to put an end to this crime – unless the thieves hand back the stollen property, i.e. all of Palestine. That is as warm a it can get with these zionists.

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May 23rd, 2010, 9:01 pm

 

79. norman said:

Shai,

If there are only six million of you in Israel , peace would be a reality tomorrow , I doubt it though that you can multiply that fast , I can not do that either ,

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May 23rd, 2010, 9:12 pm

 

80. Ghat Albird said:

NORMAN.

Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.))

Inside what ?

Meaning that his views are not Arab views.

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May 23rd, 2010, 10:06 pm

 

81. almasri said:

In this gathering, Arab intellectuals from all over the Arab world and the West unanimously agree Resistance in all its forms is the only path forward:

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/587936B1-FE91-439F-BCF9-4A548854F713.htm

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May 23rd, 2010, 10:19 pm

 

82. norman said:

Ghat,
I am from Syria ,

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May 24th, 2010, 1:20 am

 

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