Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu makes a fair point.

Poor old Bibi was being wildly misquoted on the basis of the normal level of exaggeration you would expect from a politician playing to a particular gallery.

If you read the actual text of his recent speech, you can see it was just a bit of hyperbole not central to anything. You also get this bit of poetry:

The sixth lie is that the reason we have this increase is not only a surge in settlements, it’s the stagnation in the peace process.

Well, some of the worst terrorism that Israel has experienced in its history occurred when the peace process was at its peak.

We’ve had terrorism when there was a peace process. We’ve had terrorism when there was no peace process.

We’ve had terrorism when there was an Israel. We’ve had terrorism when there was no Israel.

We’ve had terrorism when there were settlements. We’ve had terrorism when there were no settlements, when we didn’t even control Judea and Samaria.

The real reason we have this terrorism is not because the terrorists are frustrated in the peace process. They’re frustrated because there’s a State of Israel and that frustration will continue.

Even though we'll have to mark him down for the slight contradiction about there being terrorism (by Arabs against Jews, presumably) before the State of Israel existed, and then saying that terrorism will continue as long the State of Israel exists.


Antisthenes said...

We will always have terrorism or at least social unrest or dissatisfaction with how different societies or even sections of our own society behave because of inequality of opportunity(not equality) and because we are hard wired to be envious and have an inherent desire to accumulate wealth and power. We are like this because when we are born we have only two basic natural forces driving us survival and procreation. Wealth and power the greater of both we have the greater the chance of our survival and the more the opposite sex will want to procreate with us. If others have it and we don't we don't like it.

Being equal is not what we desire or even desirable although most believe it is. It is opportunity if lacking is the great conflict bringer. In the case of the Palestinians they have a society that allows the installation of leaders that do not have the ability to create prosperity or political stability anywhere near the level that Israel has achieved. This in turn turns on the envy gene. This causes frustration not with oneself which is where it should be go but with others. If it was directed where it should be it would cause them to change their own regime with violence if necessary (of course there is an element of that now). However with assistance from those whose anger it should be concentrated on a scapegoat is found and in this case it is Israel.

Ben Jamin' said...

Perhaps they should try LVT as the solution, as it would be illogical for a landlord to bomb his own property.

But the Israelis would never agree to that, because they are a bunch of land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, murdering, fascists.

As for terrorism, didn't they go around stringing up our soldiers? Nice people.

Just saying :)

Mark Wadsworth said...

Anti, agreed.

Bj, hang on, the Israelis only want about 0.01% of the area of the middle East and maybe 1% of the coastline. They are only wealthy because they are organised and work hard.

Bayard said...

"They are only wealthy because they are organised and work hard."

We don't know to what extent they are only wealthy because they are being subsidised by the wider Diaspora, whose wealth, sad to say, mainly comes from rent in its various forms.

"We’ve had terrorism when there was no Israel"

Yup, as BJ points out, that's when you were the terrorists, Mr Netenyahu. There's no getting round the fact that there was no terrorism before the Jews started to return to what was then Palestine. In fact there was very little terrorism anywhere in the Middle East before the World Powers stirred it all up with a big stick after the first World War.

Ben Jamin' said...

@ MW

Apparently Palestine and Lebanon were very nice prosperous Countries before WW2. Nothing special about the Israelis. Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing and murder. Nothing special about that. And if the Palestinians want to do the same back, well that's all perfectly normal too. With Iran's help they may well get their wish, and who could possibly blame them?

Injustice breeds injustice. There is only one solution that would work, but I doubt if the Israelis are prepared to share. They are God's Children after all, and that means they don't share with Untermensch like us.

Bayard said...

BJ, I think you should make that "before WW1". That's when things started to go tits up, with the Sykes-Picot agreement. I don't suppose the area that is now Israel would have been described as a "land flowing with milk and honey" in the Bible if it wasn't a fairly fertile area.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BJ and B, perhaps Palestine and Lebanon were at similar levels of prosperity between end of Ottoman Empire and WW2.

But look at the trajectories of Lebanon or Gaza Strip/West Bank vs Israel since then. Admittedly, the Israelis pinched the water supply, but the Arabs have got half the world's oil. For sure, all Israelis have a rich uncle in America but that's peanuts compared to having half the world's oil. And the fact that many of their rich uncles in America are rent collectors is neither here nor there. The free world could impose LVT and Israel would still be more successful than the rest of the Arab countries.

As to the history of it, this was all Ottoman empire and the westerners carved it up post WW1 into new countries which vaguely followed ethnic lines (rather badly, it must be said). What is so wrong with earmarking 1% of that territory for jewish people who have lived there a sight longer than Muslims?

Ben Jamin' said...

@ MW

"jewish people"? Come on. You must be leg pulling now.

We are all Africans. Why not send the "jewish people" right back to where we really all came from. FFS.

Why pick on the poor old Palestinians for being murdered and ethnically cleansed from their homes?

No wonder why so many Muslims don't think much of the West. IMHO.

Bayard said...

"jewish people who have lived there a sight longer than Muslims"

Having spoken to a Jew whose family was living in Palestine when all the European Jews started arriving, it seems that the few Jews who had lived in Israel longer than the Muslims got about as raw a deal from the incomers as everyone else there.

"But look at the trajectories of Lebanon or Gaza Strip/West Bank vs Israel since then."

Then why is land so expensive in the Gaza Strip? Methinks we are not getting the whole story.

"The free world could impose LVT and Israel would still be more successful than the rest of the Arab countries."

The unscrupulous are usually more successful than the scrupulous. Otherwise there would be little point in cheating, if it didn't give an edge over those who play by the rules (that's not to say that the Arabs are at all scrupulous, just that "being successful" doesn't necessarily mean not being a bunch of right bastards). Ol' Bibi is trying to make out it's all envy and anti-semitism, but if you look at the record of the Jews in Israel, they haven't done much to make friends and influence people right from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like the Israel-Palestinian issue to raise the temperature!
"earmarking 1% of that territory for Jewish people who have lived there a sight longer than Muslims?"
The 1% thing is a bit disingenuous. They are taking more land every day and the people they are taking it from are often families that have lived there for many generations and the people they are giving it to are mostly American and European religious Zionists who's connection to Israel is far from established.
eg; I am a Jew and my claim to the land is that my ancestors were thrown out by the Romans. Were they though? I haven't a clue but for certain most were not. Jews remained in what became Palestine long after the destruction of the Temple which supposedly sparked the exodus. Then again how many western Jews even can trace their history to that region? Many Jewish communities emerged in the post Roman and pre Roman era 'outside' of Israel. It was especially popular before Christianity emerged. So it's not credible to talk of a group of people today emgirating to Israel as somehow having a more definite connection to the ancient land of Canaan than the indigenous Palestinians, many of whom are likely from the same Canaanite stock.

Anonymous said...

Further to the comments of Netanyahu. It's a bit rich him talking about the violence as if it is unconnected to the building/land grabbing project which has been ongoing for decades now. He more than any Jewish leader alive is responsible for escalating the land transfer from Palestinian farmer/tenants to newly arrived immigrants from Brooklyn NY etc.
He also talks of terrorism as if the Israeli State don't engage in it. They have a history of bloody massacres to their name. Former PM Ariel Sharon was probably one of the worst culprits. This States don't do 'terrorism' shtick is pure propaganda. Organised acts of terror was first and foremost a tool of the state from the time of the French Revolution. Little has changed. Especially in the M.E.

Pablo said...

The Solution to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Bayard said...

PC156, I think the best way of looking at the problem in what was Palestine is that it is not a case of goodies and baddies, it's baddies and baddies.