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#174195 - Mon May 26 2003 10:32 PM On The Road To Peace?
chelseabelle Offline
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Does this mark a turning point? Will the road map to peace now begin to materialize?

Sharon: 'Occupation' terrible for Israel, Palestinians

Sharon, Abbas plan to meet on 'road map'
From Kelly Wallace
CNN


JERUSALEM (CNN) --Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to be urging Israelis to accept giving up land for peace and advocating an end to what he called "occupation."

"You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation -- to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians," he said Monday.

Those were stunning words from the longtime hawk and backer of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

"It can't continue endlessly," Sharon said. "Do you want to stay forever in Jenin, in Nablus, in Ramallah, in Bethlehem? I don't think that's right."

On Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet voted to accept -- with reservations -- the U.S.-supported "road map" to peace, clearing the way for a series of steps that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state within three years.

The first phase of the road map involves the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian zones reoccupied during the current uprising and a freeze on settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian officials are required to crack down on militant groups that have carried out attacks against Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority accepted the plan last month after it was drafted by the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, the so-called Mideast Quartet.

The Israeli Cabinet's 12-7 vote, with four abstentions, marked the first time an Israeli government has formally accepted the principle of a Palestinian state.

But Sharon faces a skeptical public. In a newspaper poll Monday, 51 percent said implementing the road map would not lead to peace, while 43 percent said it would.

The stakes will be high for this week's expected meeting between Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas will call for immediate implementation of the road map, including an end to Israeli military operations in Palestinian areas and a freeze on any settlement expansion, Palestinian advisers said.

Both steps are key to convincing radical Palestinian groups to stop attacks against Israel, the Palestinians said.

But Israeli sources said Sharon will reiterate his long-held position that the first step must be a clear and visible Palestinian crackdown on groups such as Hamas, which has claimed responsibility for four recent suicide bombings against Israelis.

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, has acknowledged attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers and has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Daniel Ayalon, Israel's ambassador to the United States, said Israel wants to see a "complete dismantling of the infrastructure of terror" by Abbas' government.

"We cannot have negotiation by day and killing us at night," Ayalon said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Sharon and Abbas failed to achieve any breakthroughs in their last meeting more than a week ago.

And a series of suicide bombings by Islamic militant groups befinning shortly before the meeting was seen as a "declaration of war" by Sharon's government.

Now the two men face U.S. pressure to deliver, with a possible Mideast summit -- with President Bush as host -- perhaps hinging on what comes out of this week's talks.

A three-way summit involving Sharon, Abbas and Bush could be called within 10 days.

A senior Bush administration official told CNN that the White House would not agree to a summit until it sees initial steps taken by both sides -- a Palestinian crackdown on militants and the lifting of Israeli economic restrictions.

Nevertheless, a Bush administration advance team left Sunday morning for Egypt to begin preparations for the possible summit, an administration official told CNN. The team is also set to go to Jordan, which Bush might visit early next month.
http://cnn.com

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Should Bush get involved in a summit with Sharon and Abbas, or is this too risky a move for the President to undertake at this time?
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#174196 - Sat May 31 2003 02:02 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
chelseabelle Offline
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Posts: 10282
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It does seem as though true progress is being made...finally:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 31, 2003
Palestinians Hopeful on Terror Cease - Fire
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Filed at 9:06 a.m. ET

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said he hopes to have a cease-fire deal with militants in hand for a summit with President Bush next week, as the U.S. Embassy warned of possible plans to kidnap Americans in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has demanded Abbas crack down decisively on Palestinian militant groups in the West Bank and Gaza responsible for attacks against Israelis. Abbas has said he preferred to use persuasion to stop the attacks.

Abbas said Friday that militant group Hamas could agree within a few days to a cease-fire agreement, and hoped to have one in hand before Wednesday's summit with Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

``I believe we will reach a full agreement that we will be able to trust and to act on,'' he told Israeli television Friday night.

The leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group also offered a conditional cease-fire. However, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to the mainstream Fatah movement, said it would continue attacks.

Abbas told Sharon in a meeting Thursday night that the planned cease-fire would only be the first phase of a crackdown, a senior Palestinian official said Friday. Afterward, if Israel refrained from military operations in Palestinian areas, the Palestinians would collect illegal weapons and force the militant groups to integrate into the Palestinian political system, the official said.

Sharon understood that efforts to shut down the extremist groups would have to start with a cease-fire, Sharon adviser Zalman Shoval said.

``There was an understanding, but I want to be clear that they have to start cracking down on terror immediately,'' Shoval said. ``If they want to do this by starting with a cease-fire, then we welcome this.''

In general, the Israelis believed Abbas was heading in the right direction, he said.

``We got the impression that the Palestinians were serious about fighting the terror,'' Shoval said.

Also Friday, the U.S. Embassy announced it had received ``credible reports'' of plans to kidnap U.S. citizens in the Gaza Strip.

``At this time, Americans are advised to be particularly cautious,'' the Embassy said in an announcement on its Web site, adding that citizens should also follow already-existing recommendations to defer travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

The U.S. Embassy declined to elaborate. The U.S. government has been more active in sending out warnings since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad are mainly based in Gaza. Both groups have claimed responsibility for scores of attacks in Israel that have killed more than 350 people in the past 32 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Though Americans have been killed over the years in the Mideast conflict, they have usually died in attacks that specifically targeted Israelis, not them.

``We are battling with the Zionist enemy and not with the United States,'' Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi told The Associated Press on Friday, referring to Israel. Hamas ``will not target any American or any other nationalities.''

Some Palestinian and Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip hold American citizenship, and there also are a number of U.S. citizens in the area as international aid workers and peace activists. The U.S. Embassy said there are less than 500 Americans in Gaza.

The security issue has been a main sticking point ahead of the two leaders' summit with Bush planned for the Jordanian resort of Aqaba on Wednesday. The Palestinians are demanding Israel make a clear statement endorsing their right to a state at that meeting.

Declarations by each side recognizing the rights of the other to statehood and security are supposed to be the first step of the U.S.-backed road map peace plan, which begins with a halt to the violence and leads to a full-fledged Palestinian state in 2005.

A committee of Israeli and Palestinian officials were meeting Friday and Saturday in an effort to finalize agreements on those declarations, said Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath.

``I think that the draft will be ready before the Aqaba meeting,'' he said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns and Elliott Abrams, who heads the Middle East desk at the National Security Council, met separately Friday with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Palestininian security chief Mohammed Dahlan and on Saturday with Abbas and Shaath. The U.S. officials told both sides that Bush intends to set up American-led groups to closely monitor the implementation of the road map.
http://nytimes.com

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Those who saw Sharon as rigidly committed to a particular agenda apparently judged him incorrectly. And those who did not see Arafat as an obstacle might have to rethink that now too.

Right now this is moving along as well as one could hope.
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#174197 - Sat May 31 2003 02:58 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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Only one problem, and it's a rather large one: the word "cease-fire" is a mistranslation.

The Arabic word "Hudna" actually means "temporary ceasefire". Once the time period of the Hudna (which is agreed upon in advance) is up the Hammas et cetera are free to resume the terrorist attacks. Thus all the Hudna really is is a time for the terrorist organizations to regroup and rearm without having to worry about Israeli "interference". According to the agreement they have about six months to strengthen themselves, collect weapons, plan terrorist attacks, recruit new members, build new hiding places, and put together new explosives belts, and on January 1, 2004 they are under no obligation whatsoever not to resume their killing, no matter what happens in the interim period.
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#174198 - Sat May 31 2003 03:09 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
A Member Offline
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SNM - I know your being pedantic about the actual meaning of a specific word - but if everyone takes that stance then Peace is unattainable. Everyone has to give a little and take a little to have a lasting peace. I know the "little" is a major step for either party in a debate but until the leaders can accept the little step there is no chance of agreement!
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#174199 - Sat May 31 2003 03:45 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Coolupway Offline
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By what line of reasoning is the difference between a "temporary ceasefire" and a cease-fire per se, "LITTLE"?

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#174200 - Sat May 31 2003 06:03 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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The "little" difference between a ceasefire and a "hudna":

Quote:

"... a truce can be offered to the enemies of Islam only for tactical reasons — principally when the enemy is strong and the Muslims are weak. The truce period is to be used to change the balance of forces. When this is accomplished, and the stage has been set for a Muslim victory, the truce must be broken. This strategy follows the practice and teachings of Islam's founder, the Prophet Mohammed, who arranged a 10 year truce with the Quraysh tribe in 628, when his forces were not yet powerful enough to defeat the Quraysh. The truce has been known since then as the "Treaty of Hudaybiyah," after the site near the Quraysh city of Mecca where it was negotiated. Less than 2 years later, when Muslim forces were sufficiently strong, the Quraysh were defeated by the Muslims and Mecca captured. The Arabic term used to describe the truce with the Quraysh was hudna ..."
camera.org



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#174201 - Sun Jun 01 2003 12:46 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
ace_sodium Offline
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Must agree that this term 'temporary ceasefire' is the best way for the weaker side to regroup.

If you want specific instances outside Israel issue, look at LTTE (in Sri Lanka). They even went to the extent of having full scale peace talks (for purposes of regrouping, I say) and now it's back to square one.

LTTE is the guru for all the terrorist organisations - they perfected the art of sucide bombers, 'Temporary ceasefires', derailing peace talks.

Ceasefires have been misused so often that I doubt anyone would actually let his guard down....
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#174202 - Sun Jun 01 2003 08:00 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Coolupway Offline
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Ace, are you suggesting that the Tamil Tigers have a "terrorist" orientation?

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#174203 - Mon Jun 09 2003 07:33 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Coolupway Offline
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So much for the ceasefire. Sadly, snm has gotten a 100% on her vocabulary quiz, doubtless the last thing she wants.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/6044365.htm

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#174204 - Mon Jun 09 2003 08:02 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
ace_sodium Offline
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Quote:

are you suggesting that the Tamil Tigers have a "terrorist" orientation?




Don't they? They have attacking civilians for ages, now.
(Whatever Definition you use...)

They killed an Indian Prime Minister (Killed by a suicide bomber), many top Indian and Sri Lankan officials (including that enigmatic leader Premadasa)

Being a South Indian, I could easily identify myself with the Ealem cause. But their 'means' to achieving this is NOT winning over Indians (except for a good percentage of Indian Tamils)

I could easily say that LTTE isn't a Terrorist organisation (because I have a selfish interest) BUT then that makes me lose my moral ground (when it comes to Kashmir issue).
************************************************************

On the latest Hamas tactics, what can one do?

they (Palestinans) created a 'monster', now they should learn to deal with it....(Though, I doubt, Hamas or any other terrorist organisations will ever listen to reason)
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#174205 - Mon Jun 09 2003 12:40 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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Today, on the roadmap to "peace":

Israel begins dismantling settlements.*

Abu-Mazen vows that he will never fight the terrorist organizations and assures everyone that Arafat is still in charge.


* I can't possibly over-exaggerate the significance of this move, or the impact that it is having here.
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#174206 - Tue Jun 10 2003 10:05 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
chelseabelle Offline
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Posts: 10282
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I know that this isn't your favorite newspaper, snm, but what do you think of this editorial that appeared in the New York Times?

June 10, 2003
Beyond Mideast Promises

A rare and alarming collaboration took place on Sunday: three Palestinian terror groups carried out a joint attack at an entrance to the Gaza Strip, killing four Israeli soldiers. Two of the groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are militantly Islamic. The third, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, is associated with Fatah, the nationalist movement of Yasir Arafat. The attack came the day after Mr. Arafat belittled the peace summit meeting attended by the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas.

The events underline the need to repudiate Mr. Arafat, something Arab and some European governments fail to do by continuing to meet with him. It is also time to recalculate the divide within Palestinian society. Rather than categorize groups as Islamist or nationalist, one should distinguish between those that favor a negotiated two-state solution and those that pursue violence and terror. It is the difference between those who focus on their grievances and those working for peace. Although they theoretically accept a two-state solution, Mr. Arafat and Fatah radicals have become dangerous obstacles and must be seen as every bit as hostile as Hamas, which rejects Israel's existence.

The road map to peace that is supposed to be guiding Israelis and Palestinians over the next few years requires not just encouraging words but constructive actions. It was gratifying yesterday to note that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, did not duck his promise to begin dismantling settlement outposts. The first groups of uninhabited hilltop trailers were torn apart by Israeli soldiers last night and promises were made for the removal of another dozen or so.

The Palestinian response was one of derision. While it is true that removing a few uninhabited trailers and a water tower or two hardly constitutes the "painful sacrifices" that Mr. Sharon has advertised, it was an important first step, one that Mr. Sharon might have delayed under right-wing pressure following the killing of the soldiers. All the outposts need to come down immediately and then action should follow on the real settlements, starting with a freeze on their growth.

But Mr. Abbas must also do more than issue promises. Yesterday he gave assurances once again that he was working to bring Hamas and Islamic Jihad into a truce against attacks on Israelis. His own house — Fatah — must be put in order by ending the terror of the Al Aksa brigade. It seems likely that Mr. Arafat is egging on the attacks to undermine Mr. Abbas. This means that other key Palestinians — writers and thinkers, supporters abroad and legislators — need to get behind the Palestinian prime minister. He seems genuine in his desire for peace. But he must find a way to move beyond words — and everyone, including Israel and the United States, must help him.
http://nytimes.com
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#174207 - Wed Jun 11 2003 05:35 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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It's pretty much right on the mark, cb.

Of course this was before some smart-ass from our side decided to have a go at Rantisi. I'm all in favour of assassinating the bastard, but could they possibly have chosen worse timing? And then, for all their trouble, they missed him?!? Not that it's going to make any difference in the long run, the roadmap was already going nowhere, but it certainly gives the Palestinians an edge in their propaganda campaign. Now they're saying they're going to attack us in revenge- like they needed an excuse. Sunday, and the thousands of terrorist attacks that have preceded it, were in revenge for what, exactly?

What's happening now is this: we have extremists, they're a small minority of the population, their worst crime is building a few illegal settlements, and we're confronting them. The Palestinians have extremists, they comprise a rather large part of the population (and of the government, for that matter), they are in the habit of blowing up buses and murdering babies in their beds, and Abu-Mazen and Dahlan are not only not confronting them, they are also vowing that they never will confront them.
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#174208 - Wed Jun 11 2003 09:23 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
chelseabelle Offline
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A bomb blew apart a Jerusalem bus today--there appear to be heavy casualties:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/06/11/mideast/index.html

I don't quite understand why Bush was so critical of Israel's most recent actions--without being equally critical of the other side. Going after Rantisi was exactly the same sort of thing the U.S. would do in a similar circumstance. Unfortunately, we seem to have the same sort of bad luck when it comes to actually killing these terrorist leaders.

It may well happen that there will be a civil war in Palestine before this situation can really be brought under control. It may also be necessary to send a peacekeeping force into the area. That would likely be a U.S. led action, and, personally, I wouldn't be thrilled to see our military get involved in the situation although there might not be other options.
I do think it is necessary to bring a halt to the terrorist mentality, as well as to the actual acts of terrorism. The mentality is as much of an obstacle to peace as anything else.
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#174209 - Wed Jun 11 2003 02:38 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Tielhard Offline
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"I'm all in favour of assassinating the bastard, but could they possibly have chosen worse timing?"

So now you are supporting terrorism?

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#174210 - Wed Jun 11 2003 02:45 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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Tiel, I am constantly amazed by your ability to twist things: so now assassinating a well-known and self-proclaimed terrorist leader is "terrorism"?
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#174211 - Wed Jun 11 2003 03:35 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Tielhard Offline
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I twisted nothing, the words are yours, not mine. I ask you again, so now you are supporting terrorism?

In answer to your question:

"so now assassinating a well-known and self-proclaimed terrorist leader is "terrorism"?"*

Yes of course assassination is always terrorism, have you forgotten where the word comes from? The nature of the target does not matter one way or the other terrorism is terrorism.

*Emboldening by snm.
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#174212 - Wed Jun 11 2003 03:45 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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Sorry, I still can't think of a single definition of terrorism which incorporates the assassination of terrorists. I'm finding this particularly difficult to fathom coming from someone who questions the fact that the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole and on the Pentagon were terrorist attacks.

Rantisi is a far greater hurdle on the "roadmap to peace" than his assassination ever could be.
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#174213 - Wed Jun 11 2003 03:53 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Coolupway Offline
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Count von Stauffenberg, evil, nefarious "terrorist"

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#174214 - Wed Jun 11 2003 04:04 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Tielhard Offline
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This is why an objective definition of Terrorism is so important. It is not as someone implied "self evident by inspection (I know it when I see it)" as this case clearly demonstrates.

You seem to think that it is acceptable to assassinate those you believe to be responsible for terrorism. I on the other hand know that assassination is terrorism. I suggest that any objective definition of terrorism will include assassination.

I am deeply concerned that you can write "Rantisi is a far greater hurdle on the "roadmap to peace" than his assassination ever could be." The idea that one can travel the road to peace by killing any obstacles along the way is not only sad it is morally bankrupt. Then again we all knew there was never any serious prospect for peace anyway. Too costly for Israel and not enough for Palestine.
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#174215 - Wed Jun 11 2003 04:20 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Coolupway Offline
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I think of those stoic Limeys toughing out the Battle of Britain, indeed sleeping in the London Underground during the aerial bombardment of that great city by the Germans in World War II, and I sincerely wonder if any of Tiel's countrymen living at that time would give a tinker's damn about the moral niceties and resonances of a plot to assassinate Hitler.

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#174216 - Wed Jun 11 2003 04:48 PM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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I was wondering more or less the same thing, although far less eloquently

Tiel, how many deaths has Rantisi been responsible for so far? How many more people will die because of him? This is a man who has vowed to erase "the Zionist entity" from the face of the earth, and has set about to do so. This is a man who has vowed to continue the "armed struggle" until there is no longer a single Jew breathing "our [the Palestinians'] air".

It's all very well to be high and mighty about the rights of terrorists when neither you nor your family or friends are threatened Tiel, but I am genuinely scared of what Rantisi and his friends may do to me. We're living in the real world here, not in some fairy-tale land where if we just respect the rights of terrorists and treat them nicely while they're busy killing us and vowing to keep on killing us until there are none of us left then everything will work out just fine in the end.

He wasn't targeted because he is a figurehead, he was targeted because he is a genuine terrorist leader.

Btw, would it be wrong to drop a bomb on Bin-Laden's head? According to your definition the answer to that question is a resounding "yes".


Edited by snm (Wed Jun 11 2003 05:37 PM)
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#174217 - Thu Jun 12 2003 12:00 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
ace_sodium Offline
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Oh No, is Mr Bond, James Bond a terrorist?

Tiel - could you explain to me how assassinations and terrorism are the same?

Well, in a way, you showed exactly what the problem with terrorism is?
One intreprets it as one likes (no matter how absurd it may sound)
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#174218 - Thu Jun 12 2003 05:43 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
Tielhard Offline
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Let me first address Ace_sodium who at least finally seems to have finally appreciated the point about an objective definition for terrorism. Your question to me hinges on this very point which I have been making for some time. Hence, I cannot answer your question "could you explain to me how assassinations and terrorism are the same?" meaningfully without an objective definition for the terrorism. Any argument I presented would simply be 'barracked down' by the 'usual suspects' on the grounds perhaps that 'it sounds absurd'.

Then we have Coolupway's contribution. Oh! You cheeky fellow argument by analogy again and so well directed too. Such an excellent way to destroy an argument without taking a firm position yourself. Let me then put you on the spot before I address your posts.

Question; do you condemn the terrorist acts currently being perpetrated on the Palestinian people by the ariel gunmen and storm troopers of the IDF in the name of the Israeli state?

Question; If you do not agree with the statement above, why? Is it because you feel that terrorist acts are justified in defence of the state? Perhaps you hold that these acts are not terrorist? It may be something else, what?

Turning to your posts, yes assassination is terrorism, the target does not change that. I will concede some latitude in wartime but it does not change the central thesis. The situation in Israel/Palestine cannot of course be considered a war when one side in the conflict has such a total advantage over the other.

To address the point on this issue made by snm:

" .. would it be wrong to drop a bomb on Bin-Laden's head? According to your definition the answer to that question is a resounding "yes"."

Absolutely, to have the moral high ground one must occupy the moral high ground. As the USA becomes more of an imperial power we can see that its methods become more and more those of its enemies. More immoral, more open to question, more terrorist. Capability does not bestow righteousness, neither to Rome nor the USA nor indeed Israel. Israel was born in terrorism and ethnic cleansing, the longer Israel clings to these methods the further away peace will be, but then peace would be a disaster for Israel would it not?

You cannot have a "war on terrorism" it was a bloody and bloody stupid idea and a disaster from the start. Wars are between states or insurrectionist armies things which have a physical existence. Terrorism is a concept and it would appear an ill defined one at that. The way to deal with Bin-Laden is like any other criminal.

To snm:

"It's all very well to be high and mighty about the rights of terrorists"

In my eyes the Israeli state is no less a terrorist organisation than Hamas and in terms of capability far more so. If a just peace cannot be found then Israel will continue to oppress the Palestinians and Israelis will never be safe.

I notice that none of you has addressed the part of my post most relevant to this thread so I shall re-state it for you so that you can comment.

"I am deeply concerned that you can write "Rantisi is a far greater hurdle on the "roadmap to peace" than his assassination ever could be." The idea that one can travel the road to peace by killing any obstacles along the way is not only sad it is morally bankrupt. Then again we all knew there was never any serious prospect for peace anyway. Too costly for Israel and not enough for Palestine."


NB1: snm you assume I have no friends or family who are threatened. This is not the case, I have no family in the region but several friends in both camps.
NB2: Coolupway. I phoned my Mum and told her about my American friend who wrote about " ... those stoic Limeys toughing out the Battle of Britain, indeed sleeping in the London Underground during the aerial bombardment ..." and how they might approve of a plot to assassinate Hitler. I don't think she liked your description of her. Anyway she is disgusted with the idea, "its un-British" and she thinks you need "A good kick up the arse!"
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#174219 - Thu Jun 12 2003 08:43 AM Re: On The Road To Peace?
snm Offline
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First, for a definition of terrorism: I looked the word up in three random dictionaries, and here are the results:

Quote:

A mode of government by terror or intimidation.
Webster



Quote:

The systematic use of violence as a means to intimidate or coerce societies or governments.
Wordnet



Quote:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language



Say what you want about Israeli military actions (and I'm sure you'll say plenty) but the intention is never "to govern by terror or intimidation" or "to intimidate or coerce". The objective is to fight terrorism, plain and simple. You can't label every military action you don't agree with as "terrorism" just because you don't agree with it. Terrorism is a very specific thing. I'm sorry to say this Tiel, but the closest definition of "terrorism" to yours that I have come across is that used by the Palestinian terrorist organizations themselves.


Quote:

The situation in Israel/Palestine cannot of course be considered a war when one side in the conflict has such a total advantage over the other.



I don't see how that precludes this from being a war. However, for the sake of argument, if not "war" then let me provide you with another nice little piece of military jargon: Low Intensity Conflict. I'll leave it to you to research the term. It's actually a far better definition of what's going on here.


Quote:

Absolutely, to have the moral high ground one must occupy the moral high ground.



Until the day that the IDF starts shooting mothers and children at point blank range in their beds, blowing nails through old people in buses, stoning small children to death, shooting seven month old babies through the head using sniper rifles, sending children to summer camps where they learn to use firearms and make Molotov cocktails, placing mock-ups of bombed buses on university campuses (I'll spare you the nauseating photos), holding exhibitions where students can experience "paradise" through the eyes of a suicide bomber or see mock-ups of blown-apart restaurants, complete with fake body parts (I'll spare you the photos of these too, but if you do want to see them let me know and I'll be delighted to provide the links), et cetera et cetera et cetera, then I'm pretty sure we hold the high ground. I'm very sorry if you think that "holding the moral high ground" is synonymous with "refusing to fight back effectively". Like I said before, some of us live in the real world. It's a pretty ugly place, and "morality" isn't as clear cut as it is in the fairy-tale land known as "hey, it's only Jews and Americans being killed, we're not in nearly as much danger, let's lecture them about the moral high ground!".

As for the notion that "Israel was born in terrorism and ethnic cleansing", I simply suggest that you do a bit more study on the subject of early Israeli history. You can start here and then do some research on the "Saison". Just to give you a sampling of the article I have linked to, here is what newspapers in the Arab world had to say about the alleged "ethnic cleansing":

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• "The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem."
– Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph Sept. 6, 1948.
• "The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees."
– The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949.
• "Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it."
– The Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951.
• "The 15th May, 1948, arrived ... On that day the mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead."
– The Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, Oct. 12, 1963.
"For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy."
– The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953.




Btw, I've fully conceded on a number of occassions that "Lehi" and Etzel" were terrorist groups. When the Brits assassinated Avraham "Yair" Stern back in 1942, was that "terrorism"?


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…but then peace would be a disaster for Israel would it not?



This is the kind of nonsense that really gets to me. The ridiculous notion that Israelis don't want peace. The notion that Israelis prefer to live in fear. You're not the first to make this suggestion in this forum, Tiel, but from you I expected better.


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You cannot have a "war on terrorism" it was a bloody and bloody stupid idea and a disaster from the start…The way to deal with Bin-Laden is like any other criminal.



How many "criminals" do you know of who have already killed thousands, and have both the intent and the capability to kill thousands more? The only way to deal with terrorism is to fight it. Israel knows, because Israel has already tried everything else. Ten would-be suicide bombers have been arrested in the last week alone. If the army, any army, knew that there was a credible threat of a terrorist attack that could kill you or your family, wouldn't you want them to do everything in their power to stop it?

As for the passage of yours that you re-quoted, I've already addressed all the points that lie therein in both this post and the previous one, so I'll leave you with this:

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I haven’t written much about the “Roadmap to Peace” for the same reason I wouldn’t write much about attempts to crossbreed a llama with a vacuum cleaner: I don’t think it’s going to work. I never thought it would work. The only question is how many dead Israelis it will take before the point is made, for the 3,234th time.
The top-of-the-hour radio news played today's news just as you’d expect - everything shoved through the tit-for-tat template. Israel attempts to take out a terror leader; Hamas “responds” with a bombing. As if they’re equal. As if targeting the car that ferries around some murderous SOB is the same as sending a blissed-out teenager to blow nails and screws through the flesh of afternoon commuters so he can bury himself in the heaving bosom of the heavenly whorehouse. Cycle of violence, don't you know.

They don’t have helicopters, we're told, so they use suicide bombers. If they had helicopters, they would have strafed the bus and everyone waiting at the corner. Give them a nation where Hamas runs unchecked, and they’ll have helicopters. They won't be Apaches. The bill of sale will be calculated in Euros and the manual written in French. By then the excuse for the terror won't be oppression; it'll be "the legacy of oppression." Sometimes I swear the mainstream media won't take a look at the Palestinian's horrid death-cult subculture until we learn that a suicide bomber played "Doom" at an Internet cafe for five minutes. And then they'll blame Intel.
http://www.lileks.com/bleats/index.html




NB1- it isn't yourself, your family, your best friends, and most of the people you care about who are being threatened, you haven't had a number of close calls and neither has anyone in your immediate family, and you don't panic every time you hear of a terrorist attack because almost everyone you know has lost friends or family in terrorist attacks and you feel your turn is long overdue, so don't feed me crap about "I have several friends in both camps".

_________________________
"Talk is cheap, arms are not"- Victor Davis Hanson

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