Middle East Opinions - opinions about all aspects of the middle east region

Monday, March 21, 2005

Israel pulls out of West Bank

Once again it looks like "peace" talks are on the move. Israel has begun to hand over control of 5 major (5 of the biggest) Palestinian cities to the Palestinian Authority. The cities to be handed over to Palestinian control (in order) are:

  • Jericho
  • Tulkarem
  • Qalqilya
  • Bethlehem
  • and Ramallah

    I would like to point out two very important things to bear in mind about this return of control of these cities to the Palestinian Authority. So:

  • Firstly, this is return of control to the PA, so in order to understand this correctly we need to know when last the PA had control of this cities. The answer is in 2000 before Arafat and his minions released the latest wave of terror attacks on Israel after Camp David. For those who don't remember the Camp David summit was held in 2000 by Bill Clinton and was attended by Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat. Arafat was offered 97% of what was asked for and declined saying he would not compromise with Israel. (97% is not even a true compromise; it's more like a landslide victory. Still enough for Arafat to say no to though. Compromise as I was taught is roughly 50/50 not 97/3. In retrospect, nothing less than everything would have been accepted.) So back to the point. At this stage (Camp David) the Palestinian Authority was already in control of virtually all Palestinian areas in an attempt to prepare for a "Palestine". Despite this level of control and the offer made by Barak, the Palestinian Authority decided to launch a new war against Israel. This war as decided and planned before the Camp David summit (what does that say about the PA?) would be characterized by the virtually exclusive targeting of civilians in an attempt to cause maximum damage and break the spirit of the Israeli people. As a result of this new war (intifada - I'll speak to this term in another post) Israel retook control of these areas. This was not as a means of revenge or tit-for-tat retaliation but an attempt to protect Israeli citizens. In doing so Israel managed to stop almost 90% of attempted attacks (that's right what is on the news are only successful attacks). Unfortunately this situation caused a large setback in the "peace process" as well as in the furthering of the Palestinian quality of life. Once again people are made to suffer for their leaders egotistical and thoughtless actions. So the need for return of control comes from the Palestinian Authority attacking Israelis citizens in a planned and methodical wave of terrorism. It follows logically then that the most important thing the PA can do now with their new control (assuming their interest is the Palestinian people and not the destruction of Israel) is to start improving the lives of Palestinians in these areas, while keeping a short leash on militants. Unfortunately this also means the PA will actually have to punish militants and extremists for violence as well as inciting violence.

  • Secondly, let's understand what is meant by a "Palestinian city". These cities are not necessarily built by Palestinians or were originally under Palestinian control. In fact at least three of these cities were originally Jewish or Christian (long before the notion of a Palestine). What this means is that these cities are today predominantly Palestinian. In many cases this is so because of Palestinian intolerance towards other people. There are many recorded cases of Jews being expelled from traditionally Jewish cities at the threat of violence or death by Palestinians. In a lot of these situations the cities non-Arab artifacts and landmarks were destroyed and the city called a "Palestinian city". One has to remember that in some of these cases this is simply a political means to a greater end - the belief in the eyes of the world of the Palestinians as a people forced out of their land, merely trying today to return. (A 2000 year old Palestinian city backs this up quite well, especially if we don't understand that it is only Palestinian today and that the city is 2000 years old not the Palestinian claim to it.) The point is simply put that these cities are today Palestinian and that does not mean that they were originally.

    So with these things in mind, the handover is positive. It is another chance for the Palestinian Authority to use diplomatic means to further its aims and put a hold on the incredible levels of terrorism within the Palestinian people. In order to successfully and effectively stop this terrorism the Palestinian Authority needs not only to halt the flow of terrorism but dismantle the infrastructure and deal with Palestinian attitudes to Israel (largely due to massive amounts of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda perpetuated by the Palestinian Authority). The point as I see it is that Israel has come to the table but the Palestinians need to respond not only with rhetoric but with actual tangible results in terms of addressing terrorism (and its support) amongst Palestinians.

  • Thursday, March 17, 2005

    A warm insurgent welcome

    I was reading about the latest bomb in Afghanistan in Khandar where 5 people were killed and at least 32 wounded. The words that come to mind are bloody ridiculous! This was timed for a visit that Condoleeza Rice had with Hamid Karzai to discuss elections. Earlier on the local news they were commenting on the ways different cultures welcome people (South African delegation to Jamaica). It seems that “insurgents” welcome people by means of a celebratory sacrifice of their own people. Now let’s be fair an insurgent according to the dictionary is “a person who rises in revolt against civil authority or an established government” or “one that acts contrary to the established leadership (as of a political party, union, or corporation) or its decisions and policies”. Now the “insurgents” in Iraq are opposed to America or its policies and that’s the right. According to them it is for the sake of Iraq and its people. Ok, so we have a group of people out for the good of their people opposing the evil oppressor (end quote).
    Now aside from the fact of whether America should be there or not and its policies or even if the question of violence as an acceptable means of “diplomacy”, there is an obvious problem. These Iraqis are killing Iraqis to make their point.

    So if we paraphrase – in order to protect the innocent Iraqi people from external forces of evil we will keep killing Iraqis (that the evil forces don’t care about) until the external forces stop.

    Now excuse me if there is a slight tinge of sarcasm to this post but this is in essence what is being said by these attacks. Aside from the obvious statement that violence is an acceptable means to bring about political or social change; this definitely seems the wrong target. I won’t go on too long now about the logic of it because clearly logic and truth have very little to do with it. The point is that “insurgents” does not even come close to describing these animals. There is only one word that defines people like this – murderers. Plain and simple murderers.

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Middle east opinions

    Welcome to my newest middle east blog!

    This blog is a spin off from my first middle east blog - Middle East Cartoons. Whereas MEC was devoted to cartoons about the middle east region with a touch of my opinion, this site will be centered around my middle east opinions!
    This blog is a forum for opinions about all aspects of the middle east region from history and current events to anything else that inspires thought or reaction. From news about Israel and Iraq to the changing dynamics of the entire middle east. I hope that with time I'll add some contributors and showcase a multitude of opinions about the middle east and its politics.

    In the meantime, I am blogger, hear me roar!