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Mar 14, 2008

peacemaker1.jpgA death is not less of a death because the person was extreme or a soldier or settler or a militant.[…]Hamas is seen as extreme but in some eyes they were elected by a fair election. They are virtually ignored in the peace process. I believe they should be listened to. Maybe after they vented long enough, perhaps they would be willing to negotiate more fairly.

Thank you Z!

On the one hand I agree with you about “A death is not less of a death because the person was extreme or a soldier or settler or a militant.”. On the other hand I personally don’t see how venting the same tirade for 60 years “Wipe Israel off the map!” is going to change within the next 60 years just because we say we listen to them. Nor do I see how venting “King David’s Israel Now!” for 60 years is going to change within the next 60 years, just because we listen to them. Hamas like Kach are legally elected, but it doesn’t mean they represent the Peoples on a grand scale. I suspect Hamas was elected in response to the corruption and mismanagement carried out by Fatah, especially under Chairman Arafat. With the death of Arafat, and the election of Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine has found a leader who is strong. Just look at how he dealt with the Violent Elements in Gaza. It may seem like he lost, however I am not so sure about that. I think it was as much a strategical move as it was a result of not being able to deal with Hamas in a rational way.

Personally I believe that ACTION, such as a stop to military aggression, aid without conditions, removal of settlements and checkpoints, expectations of responsibility and curbing of Violent Elements through policial presence will in the end bring Hamas around. I also believe that to accomplish this Israel has to step up and offer such action. Yes, initially it will cost lives, most likely on both sides, as the Extremists on both sides try to fight each other. On a unrest/violence scale of 0-150 I have no doubt that when there is finally peace, we’ll have seen a level around 75-78. But, eventually Hamas and other Extremist elements will come around because they SEE that they are given what the Palestinian People NEED, more than what they think the Palestinians need or what Plaestinian Militants have achieved during 60 years of resistance to the 1947-48 partition plan.

I know it’s just a game - but this is what I did, playing as the Israeli Prime Minister:

1. Funded education, medical aid and cross-culture projects WITHOUT conditions.
2. Gradually removed settlements and with them checkpoints and bits and pieces of the Security wall. Reminding all that it’s a process, not a one-time thing. The aim is to eventually have removed all Settlements and Checkpoints.
3. Responded to unrest and suicide bombings with Police presence in-side Israel and at the same time asking the Palestinian President to clamp down on Militants in Gaza and the Westbank.
4. Increasing the work-permits and easing the curfews, releasing prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes.
5. Responded to unrest and suicide bombings with Police presence in-side Israel and at the same time asking the Palestinian President to clamp down on Militants in Gaza and the Westbank.
6. Stimulating the Israeli Economy, focusing on Trade Initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians, Education and Social Reforms on both sides.
7. Authorizing compensation for the Refugees.
8. What I absolutely didn’t do was letting myself be drawn into calls for retaliation or respond to violence by more violence. In fact I jailed a whole bunch of Jewish/Yesha Leaders when they took to the streets and went after Palestinians. Demanding the same move by the Palestinian President on his side.

I kept repeating this until I had the full approval of the Palestinans (minus the Militants) and the Palestinian President. Then I gradually allowed Refugees to return, in 100.000 increments, making clear that any unrest as a result of this would result in their deportation. By the time I had finished the third step I had 91% of the Israeli Approval and 100% of the Palestinian People, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad…who had both agreed to stop their aggressive actions and instead sit down and negotiate and done so - which was the fourth step - now given that I have not played at harder levels I have no idea what would happen if the level of violence was higher than it is today, but I am sure I’ll figure it out .

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Posted: Mar 14, 2008 10:38am
Mar 11, 2008

Yes, I believe that Peace is possible.
I believe that if you isolate the Extremists on both sides and Unite the Middle, give and take, you will eventually reach a point where Peace is more attractive to ALL than being right or having it all.
With small continuous concessions on both sides, small and continuous rewards on both sides Living will be more fruitful than Dying, for all.

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Posted: Mar 11, 2008 8:23pm
Mar 10, 2008

Bethlehem, West Bank - Fadi al-Amour and his friends – high school seniors – spent more time last week on the street than in class. Every day, they marched on Rachel's Tomb, guarded by Israeli soldiers, and, along with hundreds of other young Palestinians, pelted the nearest symbol of Israeli power with rocks and Molotov cocktails.

"We were implementing what our leaders in the prisons tell us we should be doing. Even Marwan Barghouthi has warned that this is where we're going: the third intifada," says Mr. Amour, mentioning the Fatah figure jailed by Israel in 2002 for his role in the last intifada, which lasted from 2000 to 2004.

From Gaza rocket strikes and West Bank riots to a deadly shooting inside Jerusalem late last week, many Palestinians are saying – or perhaps hoping – that these incidents of violence will spark a new, much broader conflict with Israel.

Those who are encouraging a further escalation say it's overdue. Others, including many who remember the misery of past intifadas, worry that this will just drag the Palestinian cause down a dead-end street.


"There might be an escalation in the coming weeks and months, and an escalation has already been going on in Gaza in recent weeks and months," says Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Birzeit University, near Ramallah.

But, he says, there might be a danger in rushing to label the events of the last few weeks as the start of another intifada. "People are feeling a sense of despair. They're frustrated by the [new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations] leading nowhere, and [by] the internal situation between Hamas and Fatah," he says. "But I don't see that translating into a concrete, continuous event, which I think is something that defines an intifada. Let's wait and see."

Escalation?!! Ok. My wife just said: "I didn't know the Second Intifada had ended...?!" I have to agree with her. It sounds a bit sensationalist to start talking about a Third Intifada, when the Second is still going on. But then, media has a big part in the conflict's more virulent elements.

JERUSALEM — The government of Israel said Sunday that it had approved the construction of hundreds of homes in a West Bank settlement north of Jerusalem, a move that could further complicate a peace effort already hobbled by violence.

Givat Zeev settlement

The announcement slightly eased pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from the right wing in his government, particularly after a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem fatally shot eight students, most of them teenagers, at a prestigious Jewish seminary in western Jerusalem on Thursday.

But the move occurred days before an American envoy, Lt. Gen. William M. Fraser III, was expected to arrive in the region for the first three-party meeting with Israelis and Palestinians on fulfillment of obligations under the 2003 peace plan called the road map.

The plan calls for the Palestinians to halt all violence and for the Israelis to cease all settlement construction, including building meant to accommodate “natural growth.”

Dumb move, Olmert, dumb move. However, being the Prime Minister of Israel cannot be easy. Trying to please both the Right and the Left and the Palestinians. But if he can get the Extremist Settlers to stop their "out-posting". The word "out-post" is some thing you have in war, along the enemy border, to keep an eye on them - it's no place to bring your wives and children. Why not just call it un-authorized settlement? That at least would be true.

I am sure all of this is a journalist's wet dream. Blood, gore, conflict and violence sell news papers and videos, raise the ratings and make a lot of people, including the journalists, rich. So of course it all has to be described as colorful as possible.

Why is it that media is not reporting about the regular Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis, who all go about their lives in a normal fashion. Sure building Settlements is a dumb and illegal idea, but at the same time it creates jobs - the two guys, in the picture of Givat Zeev, are Arabs, who feed their families building those Settlements. Would they have the same opportunity in Palestine? I am not too sure about that. So, every coin has two sides, which one you see is just as much up to you as to chance.

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Posted: Mar 10, 2008 4:33pm
Mar 9, 2008

Settlers vow revenge over Jerusalem massacre

As violence spirals and calls for peace talks grow, extremists say they will build a new West Bank settlement for each of the eight students killed

Palestinian: Settlement expansion 'a stick in the wheels' of peace

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A Palestinian official said Sunday that Israel's plan to expand settlements in the West Bank was "like putting a stick in the wheels of the peace process."

Israel Approves West Bank Construction

Olmert Approves New Construction in West Bank Settlement, Angers Palestinians

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian lawmaker near Nablus

Israeli settlers attacked Siham Thabit, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), on Friday while she was driving near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Settlers assaulted the car when it passed the Yizhar settlement, smashing the windshield. Thabit was taken to a hospital in Nablus.

Student killer was 'good boy with a future'

"He wasn't crazy, he was just one of us, a normal young guy who said he was heading out and said goodbye to his family on Thursday night," 'Mohammed', a cousin of Abu Dhaim's said.

"The first thing they heard was when they started getting calls from the media close to midnight on Thursday, saying their son was the gunman, then the Israeli police turned up and took away nine members of the family, even his father."
While I do not agree with all said in this Blog, I still recommend it as a good source for a basic overview... Informed Comment--- That aside - when will it end? When will Israel and Palestine realize that the ongoing spiral of violence, provocations and insults do not serve the individual Peoples? Hamas and Hezbollah only serve themselves, and Israel is playing hide and seek with the Extremists on both sides. Politicking by both parties, at the expense of the Peoples they claim to represent. I don't f**king care about the 1967 borders. Why? Because they are a violation of International Laws. I don't f**king care about splitting Jerusalem in two. If they can't agree to share and respect each other's holy places, then neither of them should have an inch. I care about the Peoples. Yes, the settlers too, and the terrorists - what are they except mirror images of each other? If it weren't for Extremists on both sides, there would be no war, no violence. There would be Peace and Negotiations.

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Posted: Mar 9, 2008 4:18pm


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