Two Plus Two Older Archives  

Go Back   Two Plus Two Older Archives > 2+2 Communities > Other Other Topics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-20-2003, 03:28 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,103
Default Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

An interesting article that cuts to the heart of the matter: What do most Palestinians really want of Israel, and what are the implications for peace?

Polls conducted by a Palestinian organization and other groups shed some light on these matters, and offer a basis for further discussion.

I don't necessarily think things are quite as cut-and-dried as Pipes outlines in this brief article (because the situation is so complex in many ways), but I do believe he makes a vital point which should not be ignored.

http://danielpipes.com/article/1030
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-20-2003, 05:10 PM
andyfox andyfox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,677
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

I don't understand the logic of the article. The first poll Pipes cites, taken in 2002 when relations between Israel and the Palestinians were not exactly at a high point, says that the Palestinians are split roughly 50/50 on whether they want a state in the West Bank and Gaza or in all of historic Palestine. From this, he concludes that Palestinian rejectionism flourishes. One might just as logically conclude that since roughly 50% of the American elctorate voted against George Bush, American rejectionism of the proposed Rupublican administation, our current government, flourished in 2000.

Then, he cites two other polls, one showing that only about one in five in Israel believe that the Palestinians have accepted Israel's existence, and the other showing that only about one in five in the U.S. believe that the Palestinian Authority wants only a small state alongside Israel.

But if the Palestinians themselves are split 50/50, how can he say that Israelis and Americans demonstrate in these polls that they view the situation "realistically?" Only those who didn't answer or said they didn't know would have a chance to be correct, since the actual answer is that half of Palestinians want one thing and half want another. To conclude that "the Palestinians" want either would therefore be wrong.

Also, since the third poll Pipes cites refers to what Americans believe about the Palestinian Authority, it cannot be a realistic assessment of the feelings of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza.

And what is Pipes' solution for the problem? Well, what Israel does is irrelevant to the conflict. So, by Pipes' logic, we shouldn't worry about what Israel does. We should stop pressuring them to make concessions. Israel should move its capital to Jerusalem. This will certainly calm things down and lead to peace.

What is the vital point you see Pipes making that should not be ignored? I'd rather see everything Pipes say ignored.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-20-2003, 05:16 PM
IrishHand IrishHand is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 888
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

Thank God I hit refresh before I went to post - I was about to write pretty well the exact same things. That article is about as persuasive as the Enquirer.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-20-2003, 05:35 PM
B-Man B-Man is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 724
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

Andy,

Even though there may be logical leaps and stretched timeframes in the column, it does raise a valid point. There are a large faction of Palestinians that do not want peace, they instead want to destroy Israel and take over the entire region for themselves. According to the poll last spring, 51% insist on a state in all of "historic Palestine," whatever that means. Considering all the fighting that has gone on since then, I doubt the percentage is any lower now. How can any reasonable person expect Israel to make sacrifices for its own security when it suffers from constant attacks, and a majority of the Palestinian population wants to destroy Israel? That would be suicide.

Do you think the U.S. would be making concessions to Mexico if the Mexicans were firing rockets over the border and sending suicide bombers into our markets, discos, etc.? We would do to Mexico what we did to Afghanistan (and what we are going to do to Iraq).

The root of the problem is that the Palestinians (as well as other Arabs) teach their children to hate Israel and hate Jews. If they taught their children to hope for peace with Israel, instead of its destruction, then the situation would probably not be as bleak. To hope for a state in all of "historic Palestine" is not just unrealistic, it is absurd. Israel is not going anywhere. Unfotunately, a majority of Palestinians fail to grap that.

I don't know how to solve the problem. Frankly, I am not sure it can be solved during this generation, there may be too much mistrust on both sides. But I do know that Israel has every right to defend itself from terrorism, and every right to take preventative measures against terrorism. The right to self defense is a basic right.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-20-2003, 07:47 PM
andyfox andyfox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,677
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

No doubt a portion of the Palestinian population wants no Israel. No doubt a portion of the Israeli population wants no Palestinians. Both sides need to make sacrifices for their well-being and security precisely because of these facts.

If we were at war with Mexico for 55 years, yes, I would be calling on our government, and that of Mexico, to negotiate, to sacrifice 100% of what was wanted to try to make a better life for both peoples. What other solution suggests itself. 55 more years of war?

I agree with you that hatred is at the root of the problem. I believe this is not a one-sided issue. I have seen first-hand how the Israelis treat and think about the Palestinians, and it is not a pretty sight. I also agree with you that I can see no end in the foreseeable future, not with the likes of Arafat and Sharon running the show.

However, one can hope. I have recently read a book called Oasis of Dreams, about a village called Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam ("Oasis of Peace"), a Jewish-Arab village where people live and teach peace and equality. To quote from the book:

"The 'School for Peace' conflict resolution program is geared toward bringing Jewish and Palestinian adolescents from all over Israel and the West Bank together for workshops conducted by well-trained facilitators in the village; it has been operating since 1979. The underlying message of the elementary school and the 'School for Peace' workshops is the overriding importance of maintaining personal, social, and national identity for both Jews and Arabs within an egalitarian perspective. . . By 2000, more than 20,000 Palestinian and Jewish adolescents have had the opportunity to attend the 'School for Peace' workshops.

. . .if peace can happen in this village, there is the possibility it can happen in other areas of Israel. . ."

[I hope John Feeney reads this.]
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-20-2003, 07:48 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,103
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

To address your first point:

There is a world of difference between Americans' preferences between political parties, and Palestinians' acceptance or non-acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Whether Americans choose Democrat or Republican leaders, the country will go on and things will continue more or less as before. In the case of Palestinians' choosing between co-existence with Israel or insisting on the elimination of Israel, the end results will be dramatically different for all concerned. And it only takes a significant fraction of people--considerably less than 50%-who are committed to non-acceptance to ensure that peace remains impossible. So the percentage of Palestinians who believe in the necessity of the elimination of Israel is very significant at over 50%, in terms of its effect on the chances for peace--it literally makes it impossible. The half that is opposed to peace can always nix it through violence--again, it's not at all akin to Americans choosing between Prsidential candidates. In this sense the "nays" have far more power in this matter.

I'm not sure that all of Pipes' conclusions flow from the statistics he presented, but with the exception of one vital point, I don't think they are the gist of the article anyway. That one vital point is that in order for there to be peace, the Palestinians have to give up on the impossible dream of eliminating Israel by force and establishing a greater Palestine in its place. According to the poll, they haven't--or at least enough Palestinians haven't to ensure that peace remains impossible.

What Israel ought to do is another matter and a complex one, but I think Pipes hit it on the head as far as identifying one of the critical prerequisites for peace: Palestinian acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Without this, how can there ever be peace?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-20-2003, 10:56 PM
andyfox andyfox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,677
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

"in order for there to be peace, the Palestinians have to give up on the impossible dream of eliminating Israel by force and establishing a greater Palestine in its place"

The Palestinian Authority has recognized Israel's right to exist. It now needs leadership courageous enough to act accordingly. Israel also needs leadership courageous enough to renounce the dream of a greater Israel (the "historic" Eretz Yisrael), and leadership courageous enough to act accordingly.

Pipes' error is to place all of the blame on the Palestinian side. He specifically says that the trouble has nothing to do with what Israel has done. Even a cursory knowledge of the history of Zionism and the state of Israel belies this. Those who likewise believe that the Palestinians are blameless are equally misguided.

Incidentally, I believe, but cannot prove, that the belief among some Palestinians that they can eliminate Israel by force derives from their experience, or rather, the experience of their parents and grandparents, who saw the Zionists defeat the British by force in their (the Palestinians') homeland.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-20-2003, 11:29 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,103
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

First of all, just because the Palestinian Authority has claimed to recognize Israel's right to exist doesn't mean it truly does...just as actions speak louder than words. And even if this governing body has done so, it is completely insufficient as long as over half of the Palestinians on the street have not. Also, as we can see, even smaller percentages (such as the militant groups completely dedicated to Israel's overthrow), have it in their power to scuttle any peace proceedings by their actions.

Pipes isn't placing all the blame on the Palestinian side in this article: he isn't even placing blame, as far as I can see. I don't think this article is about blame per se. Pipes is simply saying that if one side rejects the other's right to exist, peace is impossible. I don't think anyone can really disagree with that statement. And as the poll shows, a great many Palestinians do apparently reject Israel's right to exist.

Let's just forget about blame for a moment. Don't you agree that lasting peace is impossible with those who refuse to recognize your right to exist?

I believe most of the greater Arab world doesn't accept Israel's right to exist--while the Palestinian Authority pays lip service to it only.

If Palestinian rejectionism runs so deep, then what Israel does may worsen or better things temporarily--but the conflict will never end. I don't think Pipes is saying that Israel's actions are irrelevant to the current sad state of affairs; rather, he is saying that even if Israel did everything it could to better the Palestinians' position, there would still be conflict--due to so much bedrock rejectionism. If the poll is accurate, then it would seem to me that in this he is right.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-21-2003, 12:53 AM
andyfox andyfox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,677
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

"First of all, just because the Palestinian Authority has claimed to recognize Israel's right to exist doesn't mean it truly does...just as actions speak louder than words."

I said I felt the Palestinian leadership needs to act on its professed intentions. Israel's leadership does also. Both sides talk peace but their actions belie their words.

"even if this governing body has done so, it is completely insufficient as long as over half of the Palestinians on the street have not."

-Not sure if this is so. Especially in non-democracies, leaders can do what they want. So a Palestinian leadership, recognizing Israel and devoted to resolving the issues and stopping the violence, could go a long way towards doing so in spite of what the "man in the street" thinks. And they could go a long way towards influencing what that man in the street thinks.

"Pipes isn't placing all the blame on the Palestinian side in this article"

-He most definitely is. He says that Israel's action are not responsible for the lack of peace, merely its existence.

"Pipes is simply saying that if one side rejects the other's right to exist, peace is impossible."

-Let's assume that this is what Pipes is indeed saying. You say actions speak louder than words, and I agree. Israel proclaims it wants peace and has always wanted it, yet has denied the Palestinians their basic rights. I say the rejectionists have had their way on both sides, not just the Palestinian side.

"Don't you agree that lasting peace is impossible with those who refuse to recognize your right to exist?"

-Yes.

"Let's just forget about blame for a moment"

-I'd like to forget about it permanently. Pipes does not. There is more than enough to go around for everyone. As I have said before, neither the Jews nor the Palestinians have acted honorably and neither has shown themselves worthy of this land which they both say they regard as holy.

At one time, Egypt was Israel's most implacable foe. Yet two men who one would have thought unlikely leaders to do so got together and created a peace that has lasted between them for a generation. What's needed is statesmanship and courage on both sides. The cause of peace is not furthered by insistence that one side is completely to blame, as Pipes has done in this article, and elsewhere. Listening to Pipes is a recipe for disaster.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-21-2003, 07:16 AM
Chris Alger Chris Alger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,160
Default Re: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace (short article)

Re-written with the cast changed (and pretending it's 1985), tell me if this makes any sense to you:

"Why are Americans so angry at the Soviet Union? There are two possible reasons.
Political: They accept the existence of a Soviet state but are angry with this or that Soviet policy.
Rejectionist: They abominate the very existence of the Soviet Union and want to destroy it.
Which is correct has many implications. If Americans only want changes in what the Soviet Union is doing (such as placing missiles in Cuba), then it is reasonable to ask the Soviet Union to alter those actions - and the main burden of resolving the conflict falls on the Soviet Union.
But if the Soviet Union's existence remains at issue, then it follows that the conflict will end only when the Americans finally and irrevocably accept the Soviet state. Seen this way, the main burden falls on the Americans.
If it's a routine political dispute, diplomacy and compromise are the way to make progress. But if the Americans reject the Soviet Union's very existence, diplomacy is useless, even counterproductive, and the Soviet Union needs to convince the Americans to give up on their aggressive intentions. More bluntly, the Soviet Union would then need to defeat the Americans."

Notice how Pipes differentiates only between the desire "to destroy" Israel and a "final and irrevocable acceptance" of Israel, with no possibility of any other altenative. Why are Palestinians the only people in the world called upon to accept the preposterous logic of this argument?

You can substitute the "United States" for the Soviet Union and "American Natives" for the Palestinians and the point is perhaps more obvious: peace does not require states and parties to first acknowledge the "final" and "irrevocable" nature of their respective constitutions, or the legitimacy of their respective "existence." To do so would imply the legitimacy of each side's version of events that gave rise to the need for negotiations about peace, which obviously means that no peace could ever be negotiated. Of course Palestinians will never recognize Israel's right to expel hundreds of thousands of them from their homes and seize their property, to terrorize and tyrannize them, while turning those that remain into second class citizens of an alien ethnocracy, not even having the right to own real property. Why should they? At the same time, if the Palestinians agree to compromise and accept a portion of their former homeland as their sovereign territory, and provide meaningful guarantees for the security of Israel inside it's boundries, then why shouldn't Israel agree regardless of what the Palestinians think of the legitimacy of the Jewish state?

To make it plainer, there is no need for the U.S. to acknowledge North Korea's "right to exist" in order for North Korea to negotiate with the US, just as there was no need for the U.S. to acknowledge the Soviet Union's right to exist to negotiate arms control and other issues of peace and security. Indeed, we can easily negotiate borders and armaments while being on record publicly as hoping that sometime in the distant future the Korea's are united, so that there is no more "North" Korea, or that Russia lets its various republics go and stops being a "Soviet" state. Having reservations about the legitmacy of or even denying the legitimacy of a state does not require perpetual war and genocide, as Pipes implies. (Or whatever it is that he means by "defeat the Palestinians"). This is the reason that a "right to exist" is not a term of art under international law and finds no discussion outside of anti-Arab Zionist propaganda: states don't have a "right to exist," they have a right to national sovereignty, secure borders and peace.

This whole non-issue is also another example of the racist double standard that with infects Israel partisans like Pipes. Although Israel demands that Palestinians unequivocally accept Israel's "right to exist," it refuses to reciprocate, or indeed even fathom the possibility of equal national rights to the land of the former Palestine.

The PLO has since the 1970's and officially in 1988 acknowledged Israel's right to live and remain in peace behind rational, secure borders. Every nation in the Arab League has effectively done the same. Yet Israel has never acknowledged any right of Palestinians to equal sovereignty in any part of the occupied territories or limited it's territorial claims to the occupied territories (Israel being the only state on earth without declared borders, raising the obvious question of the location of this country the Palestinians are supposed to accept). If Israel persists in refusing to recognize any right of Palestinians to a homeland of their own, then why should the Palestinians acknowledge the legitimacy of the state that displaced them from their homeland?

Similarly, Israel contends that the existence of any Palestinians who question Israel's right to exist -- by implication to displace indigenous people and turn them into refugees -- provides an insurmountable obstacle to peace. Yet the Palestinians must accept the existence of an Israeli government that accords them no rights and Israelis in high office that openly regard Palestinians as inferior beings deserving of being driven from their homes and cities to make way for their Jewish betters, a process that is likely to actually start with the commencement of the invasion of Iraq..

The argument reminds me of Colonels Korn and Cathcart in Catch-22, when they tell Yossarian that he can escape the insanity they've helped create for him if he agrees to "like us." In the case of Israel's 56-year-war to displace and subjugate the Palestinians, however, the insanity is real and unending.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.