Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lebanon's government - the only way out!

Yesterday was a noteworthy day because the Lebanese government pushed forward a proposal to finally send the Lebanese Army into southern Lebanon with the objective of filling the vacuum that would ensue from an immediate Israeli withdrawal. Although not explicit, the Lebanese government also stated that Hizballah would remove its militia from the Southern border as well (numerous officials claimed that the Lebanese Army would be the only armed presence in the South).

Most people though, missed the more important development that took place yesterday – one that was subtle, but nevertheless fundamental in importance.

The major news of the day, for me at least, was the Lebanese government’s actual act of proposing a solution, as opposed to the solution itself. As if to emphasize that point even more, foreign ministers from all over the region traveled to Beirut, despite the war, and held their conference in the Lebanese Serrail (House of the Lebanese Government). These ministers’ apparently exclusive role was to show support for the Lebanese government, and to support a Lebanese initiative to bring this conflict to an end.

The message was clear, and very much needed: the way out of this mess is through the Lebanese state. Only the Lebanese state can absorb the remnants of Hizballah's military wing and subordinate it. More importantly however, the Lebanese state can only do so if it is given the opportunity, and provided with the needed resources and moral support.

Time is not on its side though. Every extra day the conflict lasts, it loses its legitimacy as a result of its impotence, and its resources are stretched to the point where even its current humanitarian functions become untenable.

I hope those seeking a diplomatic solution in New York remember that reality as they try to arrive at an agreement: the only way out of this mess is the Lebanese state. There is no other choice.

374 comments:

1 – 200 of 374   Newer›   Newest»
Lirun said...

there would have to be soo much that those arab states could do to assist lebanon to qwell it sunrest with HA..

there may well be subliminal talks about it..

but it doesnt seem like lebanon receives much help on that front at all..

can someone please enlighten me if my impression is wrong..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

Fighting Sullyvan said...

Raja - If the LAF integrates Hezbollah, wouldn't that make a the LAF a largely Shia army, with sympathies towards Hezbollah? That would be a pretty sweet spot for Hezbollah to be in. They can maintain their seats in the government and hold sway because they control the armed forces. They would also get a whole new set of military toys to play with and maintain the ability to start up trouble with Israel if they saw it in their interest. Ahem, Iran's interest.

Is there a way to co-opt Hezbollah without giving them control of the LAF?

Also, how are Lebanese preparing for the cessation of violence and the possible retribution attacks against different parties. This is an incredibily unappetizing issue to contemplate, but we've seen the results of not addressing difficult issues.

I'm interested in hearing from any Lebanese that are currently in Lebanon or planning on being there once there is a ceasefire.

Itai said...

Fighting Sullyvan
even if that would be the case if HZA is integrated into the laf Lebanon will be responsible for its actions. This will stop any provocation or attack from their side unless they are willing to face the retaliation.
We have to take into account that sooner or later the Shias are going to be the majority in Lebanon so it's better to deal with them as a recognized political entity.

Jacques said...

Raja. Gush Shalom published today in Haaretz (Gush Shalom is Uri Avnery's pioneer peace group whose marginal opinions often become later (i.e. after too many corpses) the opinion of most of the Israelis):

The war is against Hizbullah. The cease-fire must also be with Hizbullah. A settlement without Hizbullah and Syria will not be worth the paper it is written on.

What do you think about this?

To my own opinion, both your point of view and the one of Gush Shalom may become valid. It all depends on the strength and the intern and extern support of the Lebanese government versus the Hezbollah and Syria.

Since the Lebanese government was not able to do it since 2000, I doubt they will be able to enforce it now with Hizbullah having now even more support, but I hope I'm wrong.

Moreover, from my point of view, and for the sake of the Lebanese people, I hope the Siniora won't stick over the Shebaa farms issue (now at least). Because if Israel leave the farms, it will be seen as a new big Hezbollah's victory and then the Lebanese authorities will be weaker than ever. He is right to demand it, but I think he would be wise to accept that he doesn't get it now. Barak and Sharon were stupid enough to leave lands without negociations. Palestinians, Lebaneses and Israelis are now paying the price. So I think it wouldn't be wise (to say the least) to go even further this way.

Yaakov Kirschen said...

The West has, for too long, ignored the plights of both Lebanon and Israel.
And now Iran is using Hezbollah against the both of us.

As for absorbing HZA into the LAF...
...you might as well forget sending troops and just ship the LAF uniforms to the south so the HZA guys can suit up!

peace, shalom, salaam
Dry Bones
Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973

dany said...

Fighting Sullivan,

The LAF had to deal with a somewhat similar experience when they integrated a significant number of Lebanese Forces militants as well as militiamen from various groups.
The experience worked pretty well, since these elements have been oriented to have a National ans supra-confessional vision (you might want to call it "positive brainwashing") and most of all, the army command was smart enough to split the recruits in different mixed brigades, avoiding concentration of a single group into a single brigade which would take too religious a coloration(it also had to do with the influence of the Syria secret service who wanted to divide the pro-Aoun elements at the time). Also, brigades shifted positions evry six months, to avoid possible collusions with local groups.

dany said...

jacques
As my friend Lirun knows, I had posted a comment a couple of days ago, including a proposal for settlement of the issues at stake.
This proposal included a precise timetable for implementation. If parties commit to implement decisions at a certain time, then the PR of each signatory can play on either the date of signature or the date of implementation to show their crowd that they made a winning deal. In the end, the important thing is that issues are resolved even if the other guy is able to claim victory, when he has in fact lost. I understand that it may be hard to accept, but in certain instance on might need to swallow his pride.

Lirun said...

and yet again i agree with you dany..

and again i lament our failure to be appointed PMs of our respective countries..

maybe next round matey

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

Raja said...

dany thanks for the comment, although, I think that tentatively at least, the Hizballah units will remain in-tact (albeit under a different command structure - i.e. LAF, as opposed to HA).

As for the Israeli commenters, let me say the following: there are no ideal solutions. If you believe that you are able to eliminate Hizballah as a military force, please think twice because that just ain't gonna happen.

You can't kill Hizballah. But you can suffocate its military component by preventing arms from reaching it... and for that to happen, you need to look elsewhere (i.e. not Lebanon).

The worst thing that could happen to both Lebanon and Israel is a long drawn out war under the delusional pretense that Hizballah can be eliminated.

I believe that I can use an economic concept to elaborate a little more: The Law of Diminishing Returns. (Ghassan, what do you say?)

The marginal return of increasing military force by one "unit" eventually start to decrease over time. I believe that you/i.e. Israel have already passed the peak of that curve.

dany said...

Itai,

One of the main advantages we have been trying to salvage is a system were numeric majority does not mean much, and were power is shared between communities.
Before you say anything, I know that this sytem has not worked as well as it should have, but that it because of flawed implementation (due to corruption, external influences, remnants of feudalism and clientelism), not because the system is bad.
So we're not overly worried that the Shi'a may become a majority. In fact, we may even continue with the great tradition of not having a census for almost half a century, which made all claims of majority hard to substantiate.

Lirun said...

dany - perhaps you can shed some of your learned light on a query i have..

a friend of mine in beirut who has a muslim dad and a christian mother told me that sectarian mixing was very much on the rise..

is this your impression?

sigri said...

Hi. I am a norwegian journalist writing about blogging in these times of war. I wonder if its is possible to not only quarrel, but also talk about solutions and maybe learn something from each other trough these blogs and comments? what do you think? I would very much like a word from loli, tears for lebanon and yuval from tlv, lirun and others who have thoughts about this... Thank you!

dany said...

By the way, Fighting Sullivan, I ama Lebanese, presently in Lebanon.

Lirun said...

Hi Sigri

SOLUTIONS

it is certainly possible.. if you examine this blog on the 2 August you will see how Dany and I negotiated a peace deal based on his proposal with my amendments..

LEARNING FROM EACHOTHER

i think anyone seeking to learn certainly can and has.. another blogger to note is chas - who has experiences from ireland who has been sharing his observations as well.. adding a unique dimension..

BRIDGING THE HATRED

i think if you trawl through the posts and comments of th elast few days you will note a change in the general air of the commenters.. people are seeking less to bombard eachother with laundered propaganda and more to bring to the forum fragments of breaking news for discussion and group review..

a lot of us are seeking to blog - for peaceful purposes..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

dany said...

lirun

while i can't tell for sure, it has also been my impression lately that mixed marriages are slightly on the rise. This may be due to either of:
-it is less of an issue, so people talk about it more than before. I know of some marriages in the not-so-far past were people would not admit publicly that their spouse was of a different religion and would even attempt to pretend that it was not a mixed marriage. This was the case not only in inter-religious marriages (muslim and christian), but also in inter-sectarian marriages (maronites and orthodox, or sunni and shi'a)
-people are marrying at an age older than in the past. Newlyweds are more mature and less prone ot be influenced by the older generation for whom mixed marriages were less acceptable

sigri said...

thank you lirun for your quick answer, yes I have seen then trend you are describing, do you think this is a general tendence or just for this area espacially? do you have some links to other bloggers where it is possible to see the same? and by the way? who are you?

Solomon2 said...

The major news of the day, for me at least, was the Lebanese government’s actual act of proposing a solution, as opposed to the solution itself...the only way out of this mess is the Lebanese state.

That sounds very responsible. Yet...if "the only way out is the Lebanese state", why did the Lebanese government need to call a conference of Arab foreign ministers for their approval first?

Raja said...

solomon, images speak much lowder than words. the image of Lebanon taking the lead, and then asking the Arab delegation to support its initiative, spoke volumes yesterday!

Lirun said...

i am an avid commenter of this blog.. i post on another blog as well www.emspeace.blog.com

i generally surf blogs of people who respond to my posts and comments but other than that i find it time consuming enough just focussing on these two..

however i have actually noticed that some of the people posting peaceful comments on my blog - started their own blogs originally with much more violent messages.. it was encouraging to note that they had since moved forward to other ways of thinking..

i'm a 30 yo israeli guy who grew up around the world.. ive lived in australia.. north america.. asia.. europe and now i am a lawyer/musician in israel..

i studied international law in china and am extremely passionate about peace..

anyway.. enough about me.. all you need to do is google and you'll find heaps ;)

grateful nevertheless to all journalists who publicise the blogging phenominon - to me it represents a process of undermining the hatred.. and verifying the mainstream press.. we challenge eachother's news and we mirror eachother's stories of sadness and together build a much more balanced perspective.. whether or not we emotionally subscribe to it..

forging friendships with people across political lines potentially can strengthen the region's immunity against aggression..

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

At last! This stupid government should have done this earlier and could have avoided this crisis in the first place. This is probably because of the 3urube Siniora referred to yesterday: never do anything unless somebody kick your ass first (and then present it as a victory).

SadLebaneseGirl said...

Why should lebanese army be deployed in southern lebanon, and why we shouldn't wait for the international force:
this is an article by Ran Hacohen:

The UN Security Council resolution draft on Lebanon reflects a new stage of Western colonialism in the Middle East, and perhaps a historic precedent: for the first time, the UN Security Council – should the resolution draft be endorsed – breaches the fundamental principle of the right of people under occupation to resist, and in fact legitimizes the violent partition of the sovereign state of Lebanon.
The American-French draft reflects the interests of three central colonial powers in the region: the U.S., the main colonial power in Iraq and Afghanistan; its client and proxy Israel, which is occupying the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza as well as part of Syria, and occupied south Lebanon for 22 years (1978-2000); and France, the former colonial empire in Lebanon after WWI. No wonder that the draft, which pays lip-service to Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity, in fact suggests a partition of this small land.
Challenged Sovereignty
Lebanon's sovereignty has always been challenged. France and Great Britain did not end their colonialism until after WWII. Syria considered Lebanon one of its provinces. Israel's first leader, David Ben-Gurion, believed the natural border of the Jewish state should be Lebanon's Litani River, and this legacy has apparently guided the Israeli army ever since.
Up to the last half decade, Lebanon was in fact partitioned into two power spheres: the Israeli-occupied south, and the Syrian-occupied rest of the country. Both countries used each other's occupation of Lebanon as an excuse not to end their own. Finally, Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, but it has not respected Lebanon's sovereignty for a single day since. As every UN report for the years 2000-2006 stresses, Israeli jets have violated Lebanese air space by daily overflights, sowing anxiety by sonic booms over populated areas. At the same time, pressure grew on Syria to end its occupation. At last, the international – mainly Western – community made president Assad Jr. withdraw the Syrian forces from Lebanon in 2005.
These developments, which looked like the rehabilitation of Lebanon's sovereignty, now seem to lead to the very opposite: a renewed Israeli occupation of south Lebanon, supported by the U.S. and France and backed by a UN Security Council resolution.
Israel's Return
With strong American backing, Israel is at present in a four-week effort to reoccupy south Lebanon.
The decisive player in Israeli politics – the military – is aware of the painful memories many Israeli families still have from 22 years in the so-called "Lebanese mud." Therefore, the reoccupation has been carried out in what the Israeli army jargon calls "a rolling operation." At first, the public and the cabinet were assured that only the air force would be used. A few days into the war, with dozens of Hezbollah missiles reaching as far as Haifa, military sources started to indicate that "Israel cannot win by using air force alone." Ground forces were sent into Lebanon, first in what was described as limited commando operations, then to take over small enclaves close to the border and "cleanse the Hezbollah front line." Four weeks into the war, Israel is seeking to reoccupy the "security zone" it abandoned six years ago, with indications that the Israeli-held area might stretch north to the Litani River and perhaps even further.
Leaflets and heavy fire directed indiscriminately at civilians have driven out most of the population of south Lebanon; many have no houses to return to. The purpose of this ethnic cleansing – similar to that carried out in Palestine in 1948 and in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1967 – is to facilitate the Israeli occupation in the future.
Israel's Occupation Legitimized
The U.S. has so far blocked any attempt to make Israel cease its fire. Now that Israel is about to reach its desired territorial aims, the U.S. deems it the right time to anchor Israel's occupation in a UN Security Council resolution.
According to the current resolution draft, the UN Security Council "calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations." Note the asymmetry, as well as the term "immediate." While Israel is occupying Lebanon, Hezbollah – or, as it is often called in Lebanon, "the resistance" (al-muqawama) – is not allowed to take any military action against this occupation. If it does, the resolution draft allows Israel to defend its occupation militarily, as long as it uses "non-offensive" means. Thus the UNSC, perhaps for the first time, waives the moral and internationally accepted legal principle of the right of occupied peoples to resist occupation. The resolution draft not only forbids Hezbollah resistance to the occupation, but also legitimizes Israel's right to defend its occupying forces against any Lebanese resistance.
No "International Force"
This immediate, interim phase should end when a new UN-mandated international force is formed and deployed to Lebanon. This seems to be the American concession to France. In order to win the past colonizer's consent, the U.S. offered France a military foothold in the form of an international force that would consist mainly of French troops. The French, however, have been fooled: having betrayed Lebanon for the sweet smell of a colonial foothold, they will get none. The resolution draft sets no timetable for the creation of this new force, which at any rate needs to be authorized in a further UNSC resolution before it is constituted.
Furthermore, this second, future UNSC resolution is made dependent on a "confirmation to the Security Council that the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel have agreed in principle to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 6 above, and subject to their approval." As any experienced observer of Middle Eastern diplomacy knows, this condition can be endlessly abused to gain time, just as we witnessed in the Oslo process with the Palestinians, and Israel has a clear interest in procrastination. As long as the two governments have not agreed – and this may take years – Israel can stay in Lebanon as an occupying force protected by a UNSC resolution.
Not surprisingly, then, a senior Israeli official has already said that "there would be no international force, because no agreement about it would be reached." (Ha'aretz, Aug. 7, 2006, Hebrew only; omitted in the English version, and not without reason.)
Vae Victis
Lebanon cannot but object to the proposed resolution, which in fact legalizes its partition. Indeed Lebanon does object. This objection must have been anticipated by the colonial powers. Therefore the mechanism set to implement Lebanon's partition is deliberately bypassing its government. Since a new international force cannot be deployed in Lebanon without its consent, the resolution draft uses UNIFIL instead: UNIFIL is already on the ground in Lebanon, so it doesn't need any further Lebanese consent. For this reason, Israel's request to get rid of UNIFIL had to be rejected; this was portrayed in the Israeli press as a great concession (Ha'aretz's top headline, Aug. 6, 2006: "Israel Backs Down: UNIFIL Stays").
The Israeli plans to make Lebanon understand its role in the new regional order – that is, to submit to Israel's superiority and give up its South – were hinted at briefly at the outset of the war in the words of Israel's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz: "we will turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years." By now, we have a more detailed plan:
"A senior General Staff officer told Ha'aretz that for the first time since the fighting began, Israel plans to attack strategic infrastructure targets and symbols of the Lebanese government […] 'we are now in a process of renewed escalation. We will continue hitting everything that moves in Hezbollah – but we will also hit strategic civilian infrastructure.' […] IDF will recommend an additional significant expansion of the operation, including the conquest of most of Lebanon south of the Litani River, including the area around Tyre, and a significant increase in air strikes on infrastructure targets. 'It could be that at the end of the story, Lebanon will be dark for a few years,' said one." (Ha'aretz, Aug. 7, 2006)
In order to preclude any resistance to its partition, then, Lebanon should be devastated.
The Alternatives
The resolution draft has not been endorsed yet. If endorsed and imposed on Lebanon, it will undoubtedly be good news for the weapons industry: Lebanon will unite behind Hezbollah as the only effective force fighting its partition. Syria will support Hezbollah, being doubly humiliated both by the enduring Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights and by being kicked out of Lebanon just in order to let Israel reoccupy it. Half of Israel, perhaps more, will remain a frontier zone, constantly under the threat of rockets and missiles from Lebanon. And this is just the optimistic scenario, in which a regional war is avoided.
Another option is for the UN to demand immediate Israeli withdrawal to the international border with Lebanon and Syria(!), urge all parties involved to respect each other's sovereignty, and help Lebanon follow its own interest by disarming Hezbollah or incorporating it into its regular army. This might be bad news for the weapons industry, but good news for millions of Lebanese and Israelis who are now under mutual fire.

Fearless said...

Do you really think that the Israelis will fall for this "crap"?

Seniora should stop crying and start acting!!!
Will a half shiite Lebanese army, that had shown nothing but impotence prevent the Hizb. from penetrating the South? From smuggling weapons from Iran and Syria through the Syrian border?
Will it disarm the Hizbullah?

This is a non -starter ( based on deplorable past experience). They were supposed to be deployed after the Israeli withdrawal 6 years ago. What they did not do 6 years ago they will do now?



The widening arena of Hezbollah’s attacks stemmed from Nasrallah’s perception that Jews anywhere are legitimate targets. In fact, Nasarallah has said: If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

Shiite scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb analyzed the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology in her book Hezbollah: Politics & Religion. In it, she quotes Hassan Nasrallah describing his antipathy toward Jews: If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli. (New Yorker, Oct. 14, 2002)

Nasrallah also incoroporates anti-Semitic rhetoric in speeches. For example, he has characterized Jews as the “grandsons of apes and pigs” and “Allah’s most cowardly and greedy creatures.” (MEMRI: Al- Manar, Feb. 3, 2006)

Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan [America] is absolute …

I conclude my speech with the slogan that will continue to reverberate on all occasions so that nobody will think that we have weakened. Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, Death to America will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America. (BBC Monitoring: Al-Manar, Sep. 27, 2002)



It is our pride that the Great Satan (U.S.) and the head of despotism, corruption and arrogance in modern times considers us as an enemy that should be listed in the terrorism list…I say to every member of Hezbollah (should) be happy and proud that your party has been placed on the list of terrorist organizations as the U.S. view it. (United Press International, Nov. 4, 2001)

Martyrdom operations - suicide bombings - should be exported outside Palestine. I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Don’t be shy about it. (Washington Times, Dec. 6, 2002)

Fighting Sullyvan said...

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my question posed earlier. I'm pulling for you guys. All you guys. (i.e. Lebanon and Israel). Do be careful though with Hezbollah. My spidey sense tells me they are going to do everything in their power (and Iran and Syrias) to maintain their ability to strike out at Israel, and incur more damage to Lebanon.

I am friends with a Lebanese guy who is married to a Marionite. He is Druze. Neither one is particularly religious, which is why they are such a good match for each other.

Ergotelina said...

@..............................
How new weapons come to Hizbulaah
since Syria is surounded by
countries friendly or occupied
by US?

are the weapons coming
through the sea?.....

If Satellite find the roads the weapons
are circulated,then the solution
to peace is more close.

ronen said...

moral ground:
I don't know how old are you, but
I've already faced few wars here at the region include first war in Lebanon at the 80th.
The same story repeat itself- terrorist group (today Hizbollah) aim to destroy Istrael and act agressivly by fire rockets into our cities at the north border.
Do you think we can be tollerate with it. I don't think so. The blame is on Iran and Syria who really control Lebanon, and we should defend ourselves.
Get rid of Hizbollah and you'll have quite in Lebanon. Don't you see that Hizbollah as a militery group of terrorist is aiming to destroy Lebanon. I feel pity for you if you don't understand it because as long as Hizbollah will continue his aggression upon Israel
there is no future for Lebanon. If you don't understand that it's your problem not us.
We told before the current operation that enough is enough but Hizbolla ignored our warnings.
How can you explain pectures from setlites who clearly shown Hizbollah rockets fired from civilian areas such as tyre. And how can you explain rockets which Hizbollah hide at houses in villeges? and how can yoo explain kidnapping innocent soldiers who didn't cross the border? And finally how can you explain the fact that most of the population in Lebanon doesn't want Hizbollah being around at all.
If you have good unswers to this and not just swaring you're most welcome to share with me.

ronen said...

Dear Sherri,
The truth is that Hizbollah militery organisation created by Iran and Syria and back up by them.
There are even an iranian soldiers who joined Hizbollah. You cannot trust them and I don't blame the lebanese prime minister but he is a doll. He cannot control Hizbollah and the only reasonable step which we can eccept at this stage is that we will stay in Lebanon until a real army take place at south Lebanon, and not a lebanese army which is a joke.
We are about to reach an agreemnet which will include disarming Hizbollah from their weapons and rockets. Hizbollah of course doesn't want it and we know why- they want to destroy Israel by the encourage of Iran and Syria.
And Seniora is fully scared from Syria and Iran and therefore he won't disarm Hizbollah because if he do so (which realisticlly he can't) he would be killed.

Solomon2 said...

Raja, I still feel that the "message" of yesterday is the opposite of what you interpret: that the Israel-Hizbollah War is now a pan-Arab affair and can only be solved on that basis, and the Lebanonese government is to be treated as the mouthpiece of the group, not as a party that has the power to actually negotiate anything.

How is anyone supposed to arrive at a different conclusion? If the Leb gov't was truly independent, why call for a meeting of other Arab foreign ministers at all?

GSH - Observer said...

Fighting Sullyvan;

you're right to be cautious about HA, so far i've heard that HA doesn't agree on a UN force to support the LAF.

dany said...

We're not kidding ourselves into thinking that the LAF is a super-strong army which can force HA into submission (hell, even the IDF can't do that!), but you can't overemphasize the buffer role that can be played by the Leb army.
First, Nasrallh has gone out of his way to appear Lebanese, saying that HA's sacred mission is to defend Lebanon and that it has never turned its weapon against any Lebanese (which is a fat lie by the way, since HA has fought with Amal on several occasions in the past). So it will be difficult (?? let's say...uneasy) for HA to shoot past Lebanese soldiers, let alone fight them, and keep his "lebanese" stance. (I am not kidding myself: Hassan is on a Syrian-Iranian agenda indeed ! I'm just saying that it will be more difficult for him to hide it to his audience)
The fact that HA fighters are insulated from Israel, defeats the arguments of "having weapons to fight Israel" or "acting as first line of defence against Israel" (a Lahoud favorite!). It makes the request to disarm polically easier.
Finally, it is unfair to blame the LAF for allowing weapons shipments to pass through the Syrian border for both HA and the pro-Syrian palestinians. An official army statement said it out bluntly several weeks ago, when one of these shipments was discovered by the public: "the current ministerial declaration (by which a newly formed government states its vision and objectives) clearly says that resistance to Israel is legal, why then should the Army stop arm shipments to the resistance ?". The problem there is not the ability of the LAF to stop these shipments (it would have easily been able to do it), but rather the lack of political will to deal with HA in time, claiming that it might provoque civil war. Today, Siniora wants to send the Army to the South. I bet we will not have a civil war about it.
Isn't it ironic that Berry and Nasrallah were the ones voicing concerns about a civil war ? well, if THEY decided not to engage in this civil war, how the hell could it happen ?

wiseman7777 said...

It would be naive to think that all the past 30 days of destruction and we arrive at a half-baked, semi-solution of hope, based on keeping Hezbollah intact.
So far, Hezb seems to have been emboldened rather than weakened, and that isn't going to sit well with Israel or smart Lebanese people.
Israel should have hit Syria and Iran, the source and the root cause of Hezb's strength. It's not too late- yalla Israel: go weaken Iran and Syria if you want to end this for sure, and stop being afraid to die by avoiding close combat with Hezbollah. You will need more support from Lebanese in the future, so the more destruction you accomplish, the less support you get, and the more you play into Hezbollah's schemes. Why not change the playing field entirely and take it outside the obvious battlefield which is a very porous and difficult one because Hezb is the mine field of South Lebanon.

yuval from tlv said...

i do hope those troop will be sent as soon as possible..

to allow israel to see there's a "good will" from Lebanese gov'..

but i know that it won't happen cause again both sides are facing a dead end -

Israel claims that untill HB won't stop to fire showers of missiles over it's civil cities, there no way the IDF going to with draw again..

Lebanon claims that untill the IDF won't with draw they cannot and will not take any action to fulfil their soverignity in southern Lebanon.

i do put my hope on a joint UN forces, coming after an UN resolution..

both sides do not share trust at each other, therefor Israel doesn't believes that HB will be disarmed, and HB don't believe that Israel is not aiming to occupy Lebanon again.

mis. sadlebanesegirl

i don't see where you're heading..
if you view that international force as another occupying force, while on the same time, you claim that Lebanon will not risk it self in another civil war in order to disarm HB, so what do you think the solution should be?

to return to the previous fucked up situation that we had, when an armed milition is doing what it wants with it's fire power, without Lebanon to have control over them?

if that's what you want, then i won't be suprised if you also support the return of the Syrian occupation..

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

Like I sad yesterday;
at this point we can't let the military make decisions.
we have entered the political phase of this war.
IDF and HA need to stand down.

I truely believe that military don't want peace because they always think they are winning...and their objective is always to illiminate the enemy...things are not black & white (like the military think) in politics the only color is gray.
The Politicians - in both sides - need to take over now. The military got to play their hands, from this point on nothing the military will do or achieve would help the situation.

The LAF need to deploy in the south with International help..i see no other solution.

Does anyone has other solutions ?

yuval from tlv said...

gsh - observer


that's what i said..

but my point was that both nations will not take a major action like an Israeli with draw or Lebanese deployment in the south..

and why?
because we're both stuck..
and i don't see us going any where but into another Palastine in Lebanon.. i hope we're all aware of that..

take out your hate for a minuet (gsh i don't mean to you), and try to think like the other side..

then you'll get to understand the situation better.. not that you'll come up with a shinny solution though..


that's why i so strongly support that UN force.. it's a nutral force that will take over the area, and replace the HB milition, and the IDF..

we don't need to be delirious..
Israel & Lebanon simply cannot finish this all by them selfs.

surely comenters over here should not put more fuel into the fire..

let's all try to talk one with another to see, how the other side think that we got into this situation, and how we can return back the clock, only this time both nations will gain more soverignity..

Loli said...

People,

I see a lot of Israeli commentators don't trust the Lebanese gov, using the argument that "if it didn't do anything in the last 6 years, why should we trust it will do anything today. Plus it is very weak, so even if it had the good will, it won't be able to implement it..."

My response: you seem oblivious of the fact that up until last year, Syria was the one calling the shots in Lebanon. Syria never allowed such a thing to happen, and it still is trying to sabotage any attempt to weaken HA.
I agree with Raja that yesterday's Arab meeting in Beirut proper is very symbolic. Moreover, Arab regimes are concerned with the rise of shia fundamentalism, and I don't think they are willing to allow HA to gain more power, or it will threaten their political power in favor of Iran. I think this time around, people around us (except for Syria and Iran, of course), are serious about undermining HA power, at least militarly, but also politically. This was also illustrated by the Arab ministers' dismissal at the Beirut conf yesterday, of Syria's attempt to support HA. This is a good start.
On the other hand, we all know the LAF is weak. It needs to be trained and armed properly, and that's where Siniora may seek help, and I'm sure he will get it, as it in the interest of Lebanon, Israel, and the Arab world.

Peace to all of us. It's the only solution

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

in this case the UN force should be able to stop or deter any breach from IDF or HA...by using force if necessary.

we don't need observers, we tried them, they failed.

I wonder how HA will react to the UN presence !

dougjnn said...

wiseman
Israel should have hit Syria and Iran,

I’m afraid you aren’t living up to your name.

Hitting Syria runs the risk of toppling the regime. You could do far worse in Syria than what you have now – a weak secular government primarily interested in it’s own survival, and in regaining international stature as some sort of player in the region. You could get an Islamist government for example. A Shi’a based one would be worst I suppose, but a Sunni Islamist one wouldn’t be good either.

Hitting Iran would be like banging on a hornet’s nest, without irradicating it. You won’t change the government except perhaps for the even worse (more focused on Israel). You run the very great risk of losing lots of planes on that very long journey to Russian supplied SAM batteries. And you invite lots of rocket attacks and redoubled Iranian efforts to build accurate long range rockets to hit Tel Aviv.

Increasingly accurate rockets + Israeli extreme skittishness re: it’s own casualties = Israel has to give on the West Bank to Palestinians.

That won’t remove all the extremist’s grievances BUT it will greatly reduce them. And greatly increase world sympathy and pressure on the Muslim world to be more reasonable.

Loli said...

Yuval,

I'm with you. We need help, and ultimately we need a stronger Lebanon. Despite some hate comments that you may read in this blog, I think most Lebanese are really sick and tired of the war.
They have learned from the past, or at least that's my hope.

loli
An eye for an eye makes the world blind (Ghandi)

GSH - Observer said...

loli;

It's true, we need to have more trust in LAF, like you said it's not only Lebanon or Israel at stake here, it's teh whole arab world (and the none arab too).

We need to have more faith in this deployment because it has a very strong international support.

I would to see the Israelis having faith in LAF too (wow...that sounded weired...)

dougjnn said...

Loli said--
Arab regimes are concerned with the rise of shia fundamentalism, and I don't think they are willing to allow HA to gain more power

‘Willing to allow’ implies they are able to prevent. There’s no evidence of that at all. What steps are they taking or planning on taking? OK, Saudi has pledged lots of money for Lebanese reconstruction. That’s good. Strengthens the central government if it rather than Hez is parceling out funds to rebuild primarily Shi’a buildings and the like (in addition to bridge spans everywhere).

But that’s limited. What else?

On the other hand, we all know the LAF is weak. It needs to be trained and armed properly, and that's where Siniora may seek help, and I'm sure he will get it, as it in the interest of Lebanon, Israel, and the Arab world.

Yes. And the international force led by the French are the obvious ones to do it.

Loli said...

Sigri,

Yes, the trend is more towards rational communication. A number of people who were posting rather aggressive comments, sometimes with insults and death wishes, seem now more willing to discuss rationally. There are still a few who maintain the same attitude (and I am saying attitude because nobody is asking them to change their deep convictions), but I believe that even those are not closed to dialogue, otherwise they wouldn't bother post anything.

yuval from tlv said...

loli i support you on your 11:47 am comment..


gsh observer -

yes i think this UN force should be armed.. heavily..

and attack any one who tries to risk the other side.

no israeli planes over lebanon ( although i must say that it's the first time i hear this claim )..
no HB missiles on israel and terrorist bases on the border..

it is time to stop being fullish,
Syria with draw from Lebanon ( though i'm sure they hadn't fully stoped their influence )

israel should negotiate about the Lebanese claims for Shabaa, and another 2 prisoners ..
sorry but i strongly oppose to Samir Quntar being released, after murdering in his own hand, and in cold blood a father and his daughter..


i do think that what will lead both nations to cooporate together is the help we should all give into nature, after so many forests burned, so much oil spilled into the sea, and so many wild lifes have gotten into trauma, or left the area..

dougjnn said...

GSH - Observer said...

in this case the UN force should be able to stop or deter any breach from IDF or HA...by using force if necessary.

Just who do you think is going to fight a guerilla war against Hezbollah? You’re dreaming.

we don't need observers, we tried them, they failed.

What you need or think you need, and what you can get from the ‘international community’ are two very different things.

What this war did for you was enhance deterrent effect. The Israelis really are crazy and ruthless enough to wreck massive destruction on Lebanon for cross border raids and a few small rocket attacks now and again (prior to the Israeli bombing campaign) by Hezbollah, regardless of how much the central government tries to disavow those raids.

That deterrent effect has been going way down as the Israeli ground forces have shown themselves to be so ineffective against really well dug in Hezbollah.

Which is why Israel has lately been trying to get a ceasefire on attractive to Israel terms.

dougjnn said...

yuval from tlv said...
and attack any one who tries to risk the other side.

So you want the French and Turks to pick up your ground guerilla war against Hezbollah, and without air support? How realistic do you think that is?

Do you think the French are going to do it?

Let me clue you in. The international force is largely make believe for Israeli domestic consumption. Certainly the part where it's going to be something different from other UN peacekeeping forces is make believe.

ColdPhusion said...

ya 3ayni 3layk ya abou RIJ..
I agree with you.

yuval from tlv said...

dougjnn

i don't think that the israeli ground troop had been ineffective..

surely israel would like to see much less israeli soliders dead..
but infact 40 solider died since this war began, and i don't think that it's such a toll price comparing to the 400 HB men who died over southern Lebanon..

Lirun said...

yuval i agree - we're too deep.. we're all too deep into this.. we need to be bailed.. and we need not to be ashamed of reaching out for help..

everyone knows we have a strong army.. there is no need to waste more lives and forests and hope just to make sure its all we think about..

i think the arab world is trying very hard to tell us something..

i think they're condemnation of HA when the violence broke out and their cryptic announcements since cannot go unnoticed..

not too long ago their voices would have sounded out very differently with a wave of unequivocal condemnation of israel and unconditional support to HA and nayone perceived to be on the other side..

now not only are they cautious but i would argue behaving in an overly restrained manner insofar as signposting the plight of the average lebanese civillian..

we can blame the government of lebanon all we like.. in our western world - suffering a process - such as the arming of a terrorist group is considered to often be a form of participation when it is done by the ultimate authority ie the government..

however - what we need to consider is that the lebanese people.. while aspiring to democracy are a fledgling regime.. their democratic institutions were brutalised last year.. my heart cried out when that beautiful outspoken corageous female journalist got blown up.. i felt like a part of me was blown up.. after the attack was reported the local news here in israel showed an interview she ran - what a powerhouse of a women!! she was clearer a fighter for the cause of democratising lebanon.. but it was all the clearer that her battle was uphill on a rainy day on a muddy slope and against a mamoth..

i genuinely think that HA does not give a damn about the lebanese that are dying in our proovoked attacks and despite what some of my lebanese friends think.. i consider HA's attacks to be fundamentally unjust - .. i genuinely believe that the death of both lebanese as well as israeli civillians does not hurt our enemies at all.. i think it empowers them.. it would be like if a great looking girl punished me with kisses.. Of course i would continue to do everything i could to annoy.. furthermore it would sanctify my efforts and encourage me to escalate ;)

so what's left.. how do we convince our lebanese neighbours that their efforts to stabilise and ultimately enjoy the same freedoms we do - in the same way we do - and ultimately become our allies - are worthwhile.. how do we pursuade them not to flee their country for good and how to persist with their quest for stability and prosperity as the jewel of the east mediterranean..?

i'm not sure..

i just hope they dont give up.. i think we all stand to lose a lot more than just some regional good vibe..

wishing we have a speedy resolution to this conflict..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

dougjnn said...

yuval from tlv said...

i don't think that the israeli ground troop had been ineffective..

IDF ground forces have only pushed into a very narrow border corridor. They aren’t holding any major towns but rather are surrounding some. They retreated from Bint Jabil and now only surround it.

comparing to the 400 HB men who died over southern Lebanon.

Says the IDF without any substantiation. There’s every incentive to inflate and no reason to think they haven’t.

The IDF hasn’t made any dent whatsoever in rocket barrages.

The one thing you can say is that they’ve avoided having any more of their soldiers captured. Which seems to be a primary war aim for the IDF. Together with retrieving dead soldiers now matter how deep in enemy held ambush territory.

Not so terribly impressive my friend.

Not at all.

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

The Israeli breach of Lebanese air is true, although i believe they were scouting or taking pictures ..

as for Samir Quntar, I'll search and read about him online.I heard HA mentioning him a lot...so he might be a part of the deal.

keep in mind that when you get close to a peace deal you have to compromise - like i said before, nothing is black or white.

when teh civil war was over in Leb. lots of elements should've been executed (in my opinion), but we decided to forget about all the attrocities commited (remember that a crime against you is a fight for freedom for someone else and vice versa).

we decided to forget and forgive but we made it clear that from that point on if anyone commits any crime against the other no matter how small it is his past will be brought back and he'll be responsable for all his actions.

I think that worked really well, and i strongly believe that in order to reach peace both sides need to forgive and forget.

That might be hard, but peace is worth it.

PS:I haven't me a Lebanese who didn't loose someone during our civil war (incluyding myself) but we need to get along and move on.

yaser said...

i'm from syria and i want to contribute the following:
1-many in syria (myself included ) don't approve of those groups that undermines the security in the region and i regret that my country is percieved as a part of a "hatred" axes against israel.
2-syria choose ( at least declare )that peace is its strategic choice and our proposals to resume peace negotiations got neglected both by U.S and israel while lebanon choose the oher path (i.e resistence) and israel gave them south lebanon back while the golan hieght is still ocuppied so basiclly israel is sending the wrong signals.
for all israelis try for once to refrain from accusing us of every evil in the world and you may consider rewarding our peace commitment by resuming peace negotiations

Joel said...

Raja, I think you're missing an important point. Most people are.

The IDF can defeat Hezbollah with a primarily infantry campaign, supported by the IAF's air supremacy (if, under the circumstances, even "supremacy" isn't too weak a word). That's being demonstrated in villages across the south.

But while there's such a restrictive, self-imposed set of rules of engagement, it can't do so with acceptable levels of IDF casualties. And that, too, is being demonstrated in villages across the south. If the IDF kills ten Hezzies for every IDF soldier lost (which is probably about where it is right now), that's unacceptably high.

Is the Lebanese army, such as it is, going to be able to take on Hezbollah with acceptable casualties?

Rhetorical question; the answer is, of course, no.

This would require a much greater willingess to expend soldiers, even assuming that your army is going to take on Hezbollah at all (if they're just going to come south to provide more human body armor for Hezbollah, what's the point?).

Not going to happen.

But Israel has decided that the continuation of Hezzbollahland in the south is unacceptable.

Do the math -- the thing that's going to have to go is the IDF's restrictive rules of engagement.

I don't, at this point, propose to persuade Lebanese that the IDF's rules of engagement have been very restrictive, and that the roughly 1000 fatalities on the Lebanese side is proof of that.

I'll save that argument for later on, when the gloves come off.

I wish that, at this point, I could see an alternative, but there really isn't one. The question is not, I think, whether, but when.

It's a pity.

yuval from tlv said...

dougjnn -


why should HB fight in the first place?

i think it's more important..

now - my answer is this, yes!
let the french do it!
if they love so much to talk about the human right issue, and the israeli right to defend itself, so they actualy complainning about both sides,
so let's give them the opportunity to show us how it should be done..

infact i would love to see sweedish, norwagen, french, german, & british soliders solving this by them selfs..

while israel and lebanon negotiating the shabaa farm, the lebanese prisoners and off course the israeli prisoners..

unfortunatelly HB don't hold a realistic requests..
they want thousands of prisoners of PL,lebanese, syrian, etc to be free for our 2 soliders..

now let's be realistic the PL prisoners - it is something that israel should negotiate with the PL themselfs..
the Syrians - we don't have peace with them, and they also don't want to make one..
lebanese prisoner - i fully understand except Samir Quntar as i mentioned..

that is how i wish things will go in the future..
if you say - international force wont help..
israeli force won't help
the Lebanese don't have enough force, so it doesn't help..

so what are you actualy saying?

Lirun said...

yuval i like your suggestion..

we are regularly criticised by all of those nations.. and i think its only fair for them to demonstrate once and for all how it should be done..

besides - i want peace.. the israeli army is well oiled.. if need be they can always theoretically go back..

we currently have hundreds of rockets a day hitting us..

its not like we have that much to lose by giving peace a chance

wishing we did

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

yuval from tlv said...

yaser -

during 2000 our PM had tried to negotiate with syria for peace..

the problem was that Syria neglected the israeli proposal..

not long time afterwards the 2nd intifada had began..

that's why the peace process with Syria had stopped..

and you cannot say that your gov. wants peace with israel when they show full support to the Iranian gov' and it's fanatic idea's of destroying Israel..

that's my friend - clearly not a message for peace..

dougjnn said...

Lirun said...

yuval i agree - we're too deep.. we're all too deep into this.. we need to be bailed.. and we need not to be ashamed of reaching out for help..

Yes, this needs to end now. For Israel as well as Lebanon.

Israel has gotten all the deterrent effect she’s gonna get. At least unless she wants a many months war with many hundreds of Israelis killed. Not worth it.

I don’t think once a ceasefire has been agreed that Hez is going to be lobbing any more rockets.

The most important thing for Israel to get in the ceasefire agreement is an embargo on more rockets into Lebanon, or other arms for militias (Hezbollah), enforced on the Syrian border by the Lebanese army and for a time as well by the international force in a “training” and confidence building role.

OK a border buffer role for these two forces on Israel’s border as well, but any who think this is going to be much more than a traditional UN peacekeeping force are kidding themselves. EU NATO forces may be fighting skirmishes with al Qaeda in Afganistan (and wailing about it back home). Al Qaeda inspired forces have killed hundreds of Europeans, in addition to Americans. But forces that are volunteering in this role aren’t going to fight Hezbollah for Israel. They’ve already said as much.

yaser said...

yuvalfromtlv,
i agree with you
let me tell you that i am personally against our "alliance" with iran because they are as you said fanatics.
ofcourse israel has the right to exist
but again maybe some positive approach can save my country from this unfavorable state of affairs that it've stuck into.

yuval from tlv said...

dougjnn -

that is why i think Israel should shout for the world to put it's powers into southern Lebanon like they have in afghanistan..

cause as i view it israel is doing what it can in order not to hurt civilians, and i'm sure many here will disagree..

what i want to see is all those north-west europian nations do that!
god i pray for that day..

i want to see them trying to stop HB terrorist squat tring to fire at Israel, and get those missiles upon them selfs..
believe me - after seeing that spain was willing to fight marrocco for a pathetic uncivilized island, after seeing how the french are dealing with the immigrants conflict they had recently and after what they've did to the rainbow warior 2 of greenpeace, and all other EU nations after what they've done in Iraq, and let's not even mention those 10,000 dead civilians in cosovo.
i wish to see how they gently take care of HB..

i'm sure the Lebanese will cry for thinking the europian politness is taking action in wars too..
and after every lebanese civilian being killed - i promiss to go and take a hard demonstration against their embassies.
as well as i will hope israel will force the un to invastigate them for it like they're doing to us..


and don't you get me wrong - i'm totally against civilians being killed..
but because people are thinking israel is brutal i want them to have a taste of the europian brutality..

yuval from tlv said...

yaser -

i understand what you mean..

i do recognize that israel is not perfect and i'm sure id did many mistakes and not only with syria..

but i do think that on this one - the dictationship of the Baath party, is simply unwilling to have a true peace with israel..

i'm sure that even if we had signed a peace trity, you would still have the same old propoganda against israel on your t.v.

that's not a true peace..

dougjnn said...

yuval from tlv said.

let the french do it!

Oh the French will come in. But they won’t do much if any fighting. Perhaps just a tad. Regardless of developments and how much you think the “have to” or “agreed to”. They’ll make sure there are weasel words. The world other than Israel doesn’t expect them to fight for Israel. Including the US doesn’t – not really.

if you say - international force wont help..

I didn’t say they won’t help. I did say they aren’t going to pick up or restart Israel’s ground offensive against Hezbollah. They aren’t going to disarm Hezbollah by force, or scour them out by force after they infiltrate back into close border towns.

israeli force won't help

Not so long as Israel is so unwilling to take it’s own casualties to kill core Hezbollah fighters – who actually aren’t a dime a dozen and can’t be recreated from the sea of Shi’a overnight.

the Lebanese don't have enough force, so it doesn't help..

A political process may well help. Deploying the army can be part of that largely political process. I agree it should be accompanied by an international force lead by the French.

so what are you actualy saying?

I’m saying that Israel isn’t going to get everything she wants and isn’t going to get perfect security from Hezbollah.

The rockets Hez has fired so far and appears to have haven’t really damaged Israel all that much. Hurt the northern economy for a month mostly.

But bigger, longer range and especially more accurate rockets could. The most important thing for Israel to work for in negotiations is an effective border and ports force and agreement to keep those out of the hands of militias (Hezbollah).

The other important thing you could achieve you have achieved. Deterrence. Firing Katyushas into Israel or kidnapping her soldiers will seem a VERY expensive thing to do, and when tempers cool and stock taking occurs, the Lebanese are going to be sending this message loud and clear to Hezbollah.

dougjnn said...

Yaser—

A question for you. A genuine question.

If Syria concluded a peace deal with Israel in which she got back all or virtually all of the Golan Heights, and the Shabba farms issue was resolved between Syria / Lebanon / Israel, and Syria recognized Israel as Egypt and Jordan have done in their peace deals, would the popularity of the Assad government go up, or would it go down?

I don’t know the answer, but I’d like to. I’m a non-Jewish secularist American, by the way.

yaser said...

yuvalfromtlv,
this is unfortunate
you made a good point ...i have even wrote a post earlier about the propaganda in our media in my blog
hopefully we can bridge the gap and overcome this barrier to peace by building routes of communications between our countries
dougjnn,
first of all i hope that come true secondly ,we in syria want as we say the peace of courge not giving up and that if president Assad can accomplish his popularity will go up , but, however i think as yuvalfromtlv said, as long as this undemocratic regime continues we can't have that kind of peace

yuval from tlv said...

dougjnn -


down.
he'll be considered as a person who surrendered to the "zionist mission"..

not saying all Syrian believes that, off course..

but that's what on their t.v.

yuval from tlv said...

yaser i would love to have a look over your blog..
i just don't know how to get into it..

leave me a message and i promiss to return,
right now i gotta go,
take care all of you :)

dougjnn said...

yuval from tlv said...

that is why i think Israel should shout for the world to put it's powers into southern Lebanon like they have in afghanistan..

You can shout but you won’t get. Even if the force looks as robust as some of the units sent to Afganistan they won’t fight like (really only the Brits, aside from the Americans) have fought in Afganistan.

what i want to see is all those north-west europian nations do that!
god i pray for that day..


i want to see them trying to stop HB terrorist squat tring to fire at Israel, and get those missiles upon them selfs..

Well you can want to see it, but you aren’t going to get it. Not really. Just pretend.

The international force will be peacekeepers who will tell on Hezbollah if it violates what it’s supposed to do in negotiated agreements. They will also probably train the Lebanese army.

Euros by wide majorities see Israel’s terrorist problem as Israel’s fault – continued occupation of the West Bank, and regular brutal treatment of Palestinians. (I’m not saying I entirely agree with this. It is more complicated. I am saying it’s what Euros tend to think.) They also think their own and America’s Islamist terrorism problem is in important part due to Israeli actions and inactions keeping the Arab and Muslim world at a boil, while Euro governments don’t completely brake with Israel. (I even less completely agree with that, but it does have SOME truth to it.)

Anyway, as I’ve said the most important thing for the international force to do is to backup (and monitor) while supposedly training the Lebanese army as it enforces the embargo on rocket shipments to Hezbollah. Syrian border and ports patrol.

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

any president that gets back the Golan to Syria (withing an honorable deal) will be considered as a hero.

Returning the Golan is very important to Syria and it's not necessary to be done by force, any honorable means are accepted.

yaser said...

yuvalfromtlv,
here is a link to that post
http://roneceve.blogspot.com/2006/07/syrian-official-media-should-be-more.html
gsh-observer,
your are correct the Golan heights are important to us and we would like to get it back , but more importantly (in my view) is to be able to live in this region in lasting and commprehencive peace

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Yaser,

I'd love to hear what life in Syria is like? What are your feelings about the future of Syria? What are the general attitudes of people towards: 1) Lebanon, 2)Israel?

GSH - Observer said...

yaser;

we need a change of mentality and regimes in our area.
we can't go like that.

If it was up to the people (in any side) things would have been different, but our area is either ruled by dectatros or religious fanatics or religous right wings(which are ver very close to being fanatics).

this is the ME problem, moderates don't have a chance or voice.

I'm sure that even in Israel the right wing suffocate the moderates.

Can anyone from the Israelies bloggers comment on that ?

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

gsh,

In Israel the the ruling party (Kadima) is moderate, and it's major coalition partner is left (Labour Party). Generally (until Kadima came into power), the power used to swtich between the left and the right wing party almost every election. The extreme right parties have gained some strength since the second intifadah, but are still not a major power. The Ultra Orthodox party is another issue, (they personally piss me off) but are not nearly as right wing as the extreme right.

Percentage wise, I'd say that the Israelis are 7.5% extreme left, 25% leftwing, 30% moderate, 20% right wing, 7.5% extreme right, 10% ultra orthodox. However, probably atleast 70% of Israelis accept the 2 State solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

yaser said...

boris the bullet dodger,
i appreciate your interest in my country,
syrians is trying to modernize their coutry and society and be open to the world . we had hope when president Assad assume power (i.e inherted the power), but with out democracy there will be no moving forward and we are trying to change things for the better,and we tend (rightously i believe) to resist any thing imposed from the outside
considering lebanon we see them as our arab "brothers" as raja likes to put it
and we don't have anything against israelis actually we share a lot of things (we are both semites and our languages stem from the same source )maybe if israel gives the golan back to us syria ans israel relations would be much better than any other arab country

GSH - Observer said...

boris;

with the following structure peace is possible;

i have 3 questions:

1- what are theultr orthodox.
2- how does the Israelies think about 1 state solution (both people living in one country as one people with equal rights).
3- what is the border of Israel ?

stevedecatur said...

gsh I'm not Israeli but I know that the leftwing ruled in Israel in the early 90s with Rabin. Even after he was assassinated it was still a moderate political atmosphere. But as always violence sends the Israeli politics spiraling to the right. The Hamas bus bombings of the mid 90s did more kill people, it marginalized the left wing. Then the second intifada shot down the moderates and brought in Sharon. Now the rockets from Gaza and the attacks by Hezbollah again hurt the credibility of the left which supported withdrawal.

J said...

hey guys, i'm new to this blog so forgive me if i'm way behind the convo here. but i wanted to say this, i think the lebanese proposal is significant on a number of levels, mostly the political one--it shows they're looking for a solution and for once actively participating for peace. i know the LAF are pretty much a laugh when it comes to ability to take on israel or fight HZ, but as a lebanese i think that's reflexive of how we view military power--we're not military fighters, years of civil war has produced a more pacifist view for a lot of people (obv. not HZ). finally, i was reading through some comments that the int'l force to follow would do little if nothing to aid the LAF and disarm HZ, but i wanted to point out that the drafters are seeking article 7, meaning that they want the force to have active rules of engagement and not the observer unifil status.
gsh-observer
finally, i agree totally with youh:
'this is the ME problem, moderates don't have a chance or voice.'
lebanon is the most moderate country in the ME in my opinion and look who's hijacked the spotlight, extremists in both lebanon and israel. we're a nation who prefers to talk, but you can't here our voices over the bombs.

GSH - Observer said...

steve;
inspite of our history with Israel Rabin's assassination was a loss to peace...i may be gullible but i think peace never seemed so real then when Rabin was Israel's PM.
when he was assassinated i knew that peace was - again - a dream in the region.

I think that the Extremest (every where), will do what's in their power to keep the war waging. Peace means the end of radicalismwhich will spare no opprotunity to silence the moderates and the sound of reason.

1earth said...

i have 3 questions:

1- what are theultr orthodox.

The strictest of the religious Jews that rarely serve in the army or work.


2- how does the Israelies think about 1 state solution (both people living in one country as one people with equal rights).

Never going to happen. As far as most Israelis are concerned the Palestinians already got a Palestinian state, ie Jordan, which was carved out of the original British Palestine intended for the Jews. The Palestinians/Jordanians got 75% of the land meant for the Jews, and the Israelies are willing to give up another 10% for a Palestinian state.

There won't be a one state solution because in the past when the Jews lived with Arabs as neighbors the Arabs in Palestine would go on riots and murder hundreds of Jews and the government wouldn't protect them.

Read this:
On August 20, Haganah leaders proposed to provide defense for 600 Jews of the Old Yishuv in Hebron, or to help them evacuate, but the community leaders declined these offers, insisting that they trusted the A'yan (Arab leadership) to protect them.

The next Friday, 23 August, Arabs, inflamed by false rumors that two Arabs had been killed by Jews, started an attack on Jews in the Old City. The violence quickly spread to other parts of Palestine.

Throughout Palestine, British authorities had only 292 policemen, fewer than 100 soldiers, six armored cars, and five or six aircraft.

While a number of Jews were being killed at the Jaffa Gate, British policemen did not open fire. By August 24, 17 Jews were killed in the Jerusalem area.

The worst atrocities occurred in Hebron and Safed, where massacres of Jews occurred. In Hebron, Arab mobs killed 65-68 Jews[4], wounded 58, and raped women.[5][6]. The lone British policeman in the town, Raymond Cafferata, was overwhelmed, and the reinforcements he called for did not arrive for 5 hours (leading to bitter recriminations).

Cafferata later testified that:

"On hearing screams in a room I went up a sort of tunnel passage and saw an Arab in the act of cutting off a child's head with a sword. He had already hit him and was having another cut, but on seeing me he tried to aim the stroke at me, but missed; he was practically on the muzzle of my rifle. I shot him low in the groin. Behind him was a Jewish woman smothered in blood with a man I recognized as a[n Arab] police constable named Issa Sherif from Jaffa in mufti. He was standing over the woman with a dagger in his hand. He saw me and bolted into a room close by and tried to shut me out-shouting in Arabic, "Your Honor, I am a policeman." ... I got into the room and shot him."

The remaining Jews survived by hiding in their Arab neighbors' houses. The surviving Jews were evacuated from the town.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Palestine_riots#Aftermath


3- what is the border of Israel ?

Final borders depends on if Israel has a partner in peace with the Palestinians or not.

GSH - Observer said...

j, Yaser;

I believe that the arabs worst enemy was and still is their regimes and leaders...not the Israelies (i'm not deffending Israel and I'm not saying that Israel likes the arab).

stevedecatur said...

gsh, possibly, but then again Rabin died before he had a chance to fail, so his legacy survives unblemished. Israel lost Sharon as well who redeeming himself as a powerful peacemaker as he was a military commander.

yaser said...

gsh-observer;j,
there are more of us (moderates)than of them ,
and eventually we will prevail.

GSH - Observer said...

1earth;

These acts took place in the 40's - if i read it correctly - I also read that "The remaining Jews survived by hiding in their Arab neighbors' houses"
after 60 years don;t you think that people need to let go their past for the sake of their future?
after all you are going to be neighbours for a long time, sooner or later you need to reconsile, you kiiled them , they killed you....then what ??? how long is this going to last ???

as for Israel border can you be more specific....let's say the Palestenians got the west bank and Gaza...

What i'm asking really is do you still beleive that ISrael's border is from teh Nile to Eupherates ???

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

gsh,

1- what are theultr orthodox.
The ultra orthodox party (called Shas), is a religious party whose members mainly focus on the welfare of the ultra-orthodox (many of whom study the bible and don't work). They also sometimes try to impose their will on the secular Israelis, however, they have gained much ground in that area since the 1990s, with civil marriages and other law reforms...

They currently have I think 12 seats in the Knesset (out of 120 seats). They have accepted the two state solution, including giving up some of the historical Israel (read most of the West Bank and Gaza).

I believe that they are a drain on Israeli society, as many of them don't work, and expect Israelis to pay for their religious studies. I don't like them in general.

2- how does the Israelies think about 1 state solution (both people living in one country as one people with equal rights).
Israelis do not trust the Palestinians enough to have a 1 state solution. A one state solution would mean a Jewish minority, which is unaccetable for most Israelis, as they see Israel as a safe heaven for Jews. And most Israelis still remember that Israel was created because of the Holocaust. Notice, that 20% of Israel's citizens are Arab (also Druz and other minorities), and they do have full citizenship (however there is shamefull discrimination against them, which most of us abhor). Israeli Arabs are those Arabs who live within Israel proper (ie not those who live in the West Bank or Gaza).

Personally, I think that after maybe 40 or 50 years of peace, due to the geographic realities, Israel and Palestine will merge, but that could only happen after a sustained peace has been achieved.

3- what is the border of Israel ?
I don't understand the question. What do I think the border of Israel should look like? If that's what you mean, than I believe Israel should mark its border basically along the Green Line (1967 border). I think a just solution to the conflict with the Palestinians is something along the lines of the Taba proposal ( http://www.mideastweb.org/taba.htm ).

Ran said...

Raja,

You make an excellent point. History proves that intervention from the outside ultimately fails. In the end it is the Lebanese government and people that have the best chance to contain Hizbullah; not because they have the force to beat it militarily, but because they have leverage of a more political nature.

gsh,

It is tempting to blame the "military mindset". However, it is a bit simplistic. In many cases it is the military that has tried to infuse reality into the grandious plans of delusional politicians. The most recent example is of course the US invasion of Iraq. The US military was against it (as did the oil companies, by the way), but in the end it was the civilians (the neo-cons) that prevailed.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

1earth,

I think we should stop complaining what happend 50 or 70 years ago. Those are not the realities of today (which is probably a very good thing...).

FreeCyprus said...

Breaking news:

Hizbollah fighter tells Israel he trained in Iran


fact or fiction?

-- FreeCyprus
Hellenic Reporter

Omer (israeli) said...

gsh

The ultra orthodox are the black dressed jews. We call them in slang "pinguins" cause of there funny look. They piss many off because they try to force as many reliigous laws possible throu state politics (like no buses in shabbat, pig made illeagle etc...).
They are generly right winged, but they are not so extreme as most, and usally make it with left-winged parties as long as they get the money comming in (money for their sector).

Most israeli's would reject the one state solution for numerous reasons:
1. Racism
2. Its a precived threat (Dont forget the parnoia jews have form genocide).Casued mostly from abundent anti-semite propoganda among the arab world. In 48 those people rose on israel, and we still have that paranoia.
3. So to continue to be a "Jewish" state. The logic we give is usally that every major religion has at least one country. So it can peacfully and fully explore and study his religion.

But if you ask me point 2 is the most common and with most influance. While we wan't peace, we don't expect that the arab world like us in any case. Just that we will be safe from war.
We are not South Africa, and i think that most Israelis have a problem to trust someone after years of mutual hatred.

AS boris said, about 70% are for peace within the 67 borders. As far as the golan heights is conserned, i have no idea. But i belive that most israeli's if offred true (and propoganda less) peace, we would give that too.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

*In my comment about Shas, I meant to say they lost much ground, not gained much ground.
/oops

GSH - Observer said...

ran;

I agree with you when you say:
it is the military that has tried to infuse reality into the grandious plans of delusional politicians.

but - i think - when it comes to the IDF and HA they will keep on fighting till god knows when.
HA wnats to defeat the IDF (which is not going to happen)
and the IDF wnat to destry HA (which again it's not going to happen).

IDF and HA's target in unachievalble, in this situation i beleive they are the delusional

1earth said...

GSH - Observer

You fell for extremist Arab propaganda if you believe Israel ever wanted borders from the Euphrates to the Nile.

Israel's borders should be the Green line, with minor adjustments for security that result in equal land exchanges with the Palestinian state. See the Taba plan for more details.


As for what happen 60 years ago, who knows what would happen again. If anything Arabs are more hostile to Jews today then they were 60 years ago when they were only familiar with the Jew that accepted dhimmitude.
.
There are over 20 Arab states, 1 Jewish state comprising 1% of the middle east shouldn't be an obstacle to peace.

GSH - Observer said...

1earth;

No the Jewish state should not be an obstacle to peace;

Guys;
I simply can't understand how a conflict can go so far; 2, 3 generations later and nothing have changed - it even got worse.

I'm not a victim of the Arab propaganda - or else i wouldn't be conversing with you, but keep in mind that we know nothing about each other, and that's our chance to clear the picture.

One more thing - with all due respect to religious bloggers - I don;t believe that religion should have a country, beacuse it will simply make followers of the other relgious second class citizens...add to this that I DON'T trust religion.

Omer (israeli) said...

"One more thing - with all due respect to religious bloggers - I don;t believe that religion should have a country, beacuse it will simply make followers of the other relgious second class citizens...add to this that I DON'T trust religion."

GSH, you are correct. Most Israelis are secularists. But a country having a religion, doesn't mean its ruled by reliigon. You must agree that there are many chirtian, muslim, hindu and buddhist states.
That doesn't mean that the country isn't democratic and give eqaul rigths to all religion and minorities. It should also be a place for member of these religion a place where they can feel safe from prosecution. And where its culture can flourish.

Its funny thou as most Israeli's are highly influenced by new age reliigon. That should give jewdism a strange twist in years to come.

Omer (israeli) said...

One more thing,
Politicly we see our self as part of europe, more going usa now from obvious reasons.
As for eurpean suport, well the tide changes. When saddam thru rockets at israel (for no obvious reasons, we weren't even in the war), europeans were all over us. After the PL's get there land, possibly they\Iran\however opens a war with israel, we get that support too. European love the "Victim" "Agressor" theme. While americans like the "Good guy" "Bad guy". Israeli's (and most PL's i would think) are more into "Peace" "No peace" kinda of thinking.

1earth said...

GSH - Observer

So why single out Israel for a one state solution? Why not focus on Pakistan, India and Bangledesh becoming one state again? Why not bring back Ottoman rule over the entire Middle East?
Omer said it best about people having a place of their own.
When it comes down to it, it's about celebrating diversity in the world.

dougjnn said...

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

However, probably atleast 70% of Israelis accept the 2 State solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yeah, but what you need if that two state solution is going to do you any good is something that seems at least somewhat reasonable to most Palestinians, and hence after awhile, most Muslims.

The trouble is Olmert’s proposed route for the unfinished fence digs really deeply into the West Bank, particularly in two places.

Such a division will never get Israel peace. Muslim will continue to feel deeply aggrieved. The radicals will continue to flourish taking the line of death to Israel.

Far fewer would take that line after a little while if the fence were build more or less along the Taba lines.

All the arguments about showing weakness will in the end get nothing. Israel has to show strength and a willingness to use power, yes. But also a willingness to move a distance to try to meet other’s sense of justice.

I understand how the Palestinian demand of the right to return (to Israel) can never be met and preserve the Jewish state. It’s also not something with much precedent, particularly after so long a time.

But the occupation of the West Bank must be SEEN to have been ended, essentially. As opposed to not really at all, which is how the reality post Olmert’s completed fence will be viewed.

Omer (israeli) said...

"Such a division will never get Israel peace"

I agree. The only solution is with an agreement and not forced one. But only when both sides agree. If one side agrees and the other doesn't, you haven't done a thing.
I think israel needs to learn from these. In gaza and lebanon there was no agreement and looked what happened in both. Jordan and Egypt signd peace, and we haven't had trouble from them (untill religious fanatics takes over that is).

dougjnn said...

J said—

finally, i was reading through some comments that the int'l force to follow would do little if nothing to aid the LAF and disarm HZ, but i wanted to point out that the drafters are seeking article 7, meaning that they want the force to have active rules of engagement and not the observer unifil status.

You have an interesting and constructive voice.

I don’t think either the international force or the Lebanese army are going to fight hot engagements with Hezbollah. Maybe rare skirmishes, but unlikely.

The question is, is there any realistic prospect of getting them to disarm politically?

I mean their rockets are obviously DISASTROUSLY dangerous for Lebanon in their hands. Look what’s happened. I guess you can argue that their training and anti-tank weapons and the like have kept Israel from invading deeper into Lebanon, but it’s the rocket attacks that have enabled Israel to justify it’s bombardment of Lebanese infrastructure and “rocket launching and hiding” areas, etc.

If Siniora has Shebbaa farms and rebuilding aid to work with – both made contingent on Hezbollah agreeing to disarm and then actually doing it, could it work?

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

gsh,

I think it is easier to think of Jews as an ethnicity (ie like Lebanese are an ethnicity) in addition to being a religion. For example I consider myself Jewish (and Israel), but do not believe in God.

Dougjnn,

I actually agree with you. The West Bank Wall/Fence/Barrier (whatever you want to call it), should be very close to the Greenline. However, it is not the final border Israel is willing to accept (but it might be if Israel cannot make a real deal within the next 3.5 years).

Ironically, the West Bank barrier is the brain child of Barak and the Israeli left.

Omer (israeli) said...

"Ironically, the West Bank barrier is the brain child of Barak and the Israeli left"

I didn't know that. really??? can you tell more?

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

This might be small point, but I think it is important. How can Israel give the Lebanese Shebaa farm, when the UN has explicitly stated that Shebaa farms are Syrian territory?

Notice, I don't care about that tiny piece of land, but I care about the principle of giving in to every single one of Hizballah's demends.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Omer,

It is discussed briefly in a wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier

He said it in interview a couple of times. Barak was is a good man, but a terrible politician.

Omer (israeli) said...

I think that deal with prisinors, land and other issues should only be done with the Lebanese goverment. But as long as Lebanon doesn't control its southern border its useless.

Itai said...

dougjnn,
Why split hairs? The fence/wall can be moved. The Palestinian's elected leadership believes whole heartedly and is obligated to this following covenant:
http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm
some highlights:
'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.'
(Preamble)
'The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.'
(Article 11)
'[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... Those conferences are no more than
a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of
Islam... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by
Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a
waste of time, an exercise in futility.'

(Article 13)

You can read the whole thing. Hamas leaders refused several times, even recently, to change any word in it. So what were you saying about the fence we built to defend ourselves from these islamofascists suicide bombers?
Sit and talk with them? (may I refer you to article 13 again?)

Omer (israeli) said...

Itai, oh, thats a problem too.

dougjnn said...

Omer (israeli) said...

AS boris said, about 70% are for peace within the 67 borders.

So then why did Kadima get the most votes and form a coalition government around a plan that carves out big big chuncks of the West Bank for Israel with the proposed unfinished fence?

Omer (israeli) said...

"So then why did Kadima get the most votes and form a coalition government around a plan that carves out big big chuncks of the West Bank for Israel with the proposed unfinished fence?"

The plan was to withdraw from 90% of the west bank. As itai said, we have no illusions about there politicians. The next plan is to withdarw the setllments from that 90% percent. There will be no reall peace with Hamas, and Israel needs to eat it in, in the meanwhile.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

dougjnn,

I said, 70% of Israelis accept a two state solution. The exact nature of the border is far more contentious.

The issue from Israels' prespective is something like this. If Israel withdraws exactly to the 1967 border, it loses all it's bargening chips, without gaining a lasting peace, that is completly unacceptable. Moreover, most of the areas that are on the "Israeli" side of security barrier are settlements, relocating them would be increadibly expensive (and extremly traumatic considering the trauma that moving only 8000 settlers from Gaza was).

Lastly, the security barrier is actually quite close to the Clinton Taba proposal (http://www.mideastweb.org/Rossmap_Dec20000.gif)

Youssef said...

I'm a lebanese and i just want to ask one question?! why should WE always pay for the conflict of OTHERS!!!?!?!?!?!?! For God's sake stop doing war and let us live we have had enough! We want Peace!
Youssef
http://youssefsblog.blogspot.com/

Omer (israeli) said...

youseef,
We wnat peace too. It wasn't our choice that HEZ choose your land.
Thou i do agree that the war is useless and painful for both sides.

dougjnn said...

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Notice, I don't care about that tiny piece of land [Shebaa farms], but I care about the principle of giving in to every single one of Hizballah's demends.

Agree now (in the 2nd UN resolution to be negotiated) to hand Shebaa over to Lebanon (except and to the extent that Syria formally declares to the UN by some deadline that she owns some or all of it), WHEN AND IF Hezbollah actually disarms.

You give something politically only if you achieve something politically that you haven’t achieved militarily (and are highly unlikely to achieve, much less keep in effect for long).

when the UN has explicitly stated that Shebaa farms are Syrian territory?

See above mechanism. As you know Syria has been saying it isn’t Syrian for a while now. To help Hezbollah justify making mischief, I understand, but they are on record. Perhaps not sufficiently formally yet.

dougjnn said...

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

(but it might be if Israel cannot make a real deal within the next 3.5 years).

What’s the , the term this government has left? I didn’t realize your governments had fixed terms.

Dimitry said...

So then why did Kadima get the most votes and form a coalition government around a plan that carves out big big chuncks of the West Bank for Israel with the proposed unfinished fence?

Israeli public is very fond of immideate, magic solutions. Peace now, you know. So when peace turned out to be elusive, complicated, takes time and effort, a new golden calf have risen - unilateral seperation. Israel builds a fence (any fence), locks to doors and throws the keys away, and viola, problem solved. We're here, they're there. That was the platform Kadima was running on, and this is why it got the most votes.


Yaser, a question - is there today any chance of peace with Syria without the Golan Heights? If no, is there a reason, aside from national pride?

Omer (israeli) said...

dougjnn,
We wan't peace with LEBANON. For that they need to be able to take responsibility on the southern border. Putting there army down there is the first step. But if they can't contain peace within there own land then what use does any treaty have? on one hand you wan't agreements on the other hand you put down politics. So how will it go? give everything just to find out that "Hamas" is in for "tactical peace", arming for the next confrontaion (with missiles reaching all of israel). Or HEZ not in for any agreement since all israel is "Ocupied" in their eyes.

Dimitry said...

I didn’t realize your governments had fixed terms.

What? Of course Israeli government has a fixed term. 4 years (perhaps with several months to spare) They rarely survive that long those days, though.

What, how did you think it worked?

dougjnn said...

Itai said...

Yes I realize Hamas is a problem, just as Hezbollah is. But they’ve grown up and expanded membership and supporters through periods of Palestinian hopelessness, and in Hezbollah’s case, Israel’s occupation of S.Lebanon and destruction of much of Beirut in 1982.

You can’t kill all of their member much less all of their supports and sea of available recruits.

Omer (israeli) said...

There will be no reall peace with Hamas, and Israel needs to eat it in, in the meanwhile.

I don’t understand the last part of that sentence. Can you explain?

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

dougjnn,

Syria has been also has been on record saying that Lebanon is part of greater Syria. Anyways, if Hizballah was dissarmed, I would have no problem of giving Lebanon Shebaa farms... You know what I'll we'll throw in Metula and it's Icerink for a lasting peace ;).

As for the timeline, Olmert has stated that if Israel cannot negotiate a final status peace deal with the Palestinians before 2008, Israel will unilateraly withdraw from most of the west bank.

dougjnn said...

Itai—

Why split hairs? The fence/wall can be moved.

The difference between the planned fence route and the green line isn’t remotely splitting hairs. All one has to do is look at a map of the proposed tortorus root with it’s deep salients into West Bank terrority, two in particular, to see that.

The point is what will work to start to dampen enthusiasm for terrorism and rockets.

Yes tough reprisals are part of the answer.

But so too is hope and some sense among Muslims that Israel is moving towards perceived greater fairness to Palestinians.

Dimitry said...

All one has to do is look at a map of the proposed tortorus root with it’s deep salients into West Bank terrority, two in particular, to see that.

Those represent settlment blocks that are simply too large to move.

Any reason the discussion moved copmletely toward the Palestinian issue?

Omer (israeli) said...

The Pl's voted Hamas for severl reasons. Most PL's like Israeli's are very practical. The Fatah was corupt and they punished them for that. They expected the Hamas to give them a better life. And also as Israeli failure to support abu-mazan the Hamsa were the preceived winners in the Gaza withdraw. What gave that option more reallity. The same thing happened in 2000. The arab world looked at this as weakness and gave new hope to exteminate israel. And you are right when you say that violance only encourges more violance. But do you expect israel to sit and get murdered on buses? In the last three weeks, 5 sucide bomber were captured. That rarely makes T.V outside of israel, and its because israels tight security. The issue for israel is security while for PL's it land. Both sides have legitmate claims, just how do you make it happen?

So yes we need to wait, and eat aggresion, till the PL's learn the hard way that they can "ONLY" get the 67 borders. Same with HEZ, same with Iran if they act on it. That what i mean "eat it in". We already learned the price of war, many times, the hard way. The question is will HEZ,Iran,Hamas ever get it?

yaser said...

dimitry,
i don't see that it is possible to achieve peace with out the golan hieghts ,although i wish it was..
well concerning the reason national pride is maybe one ,but there is tabaraya lake which is a source of water and of strategic importance and israel did not want to withdraw completly from our side of it and that we were told is the reason why peace negotiation halted.

dougjnn said...

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

As for the timeline, Olmert has stated that if Israel cannot negotiate a final status peace deal with the Palestinians before 2008, Israel will unilateraly withdraw from most of the west bank.

Meaning behind the fence as it’s currently proposed to be built?

IF so, I thought that was going to happen sooner than that. How long before the fence is completed?

dougjnn said...

yaser

The way the Golan Heights issue is generally explained to Americans is that it’s strategically important for Israel’s defense, but not for Syria’s.

Because if Syria has the heights it can fire artillery down upon the Gallile, whereas the Heights initiate a plateau on the Syrian side and there’s much less descent into Syrian territory. So the Heights are offensively strategic for Syria but not defensively.

Is this true from your perspective?

(Even if it is true I can see holes in it. Once was starts or is just about the best defense can often be a good offense and so on.)

dougjnn said...

Dimitry said...

Israeli public is very fond of immideate, magic solutions. Peace now, you know. So when peace turned out to be elusive, complicated, takes time and effort, a new golden calf have risen - unilateral seperation. Israel builds a fence (any fence), locks to doors and throws the keys away, and viola, problem solved. We're here, they're there. That was the platform Kadima was running on, and this is why it got the most votes.

I see. That’s helpful.

How well do you think the fence will work? (I can't but help thinking it would work better if more generous and less optically attrocious.)

I understand the bargaining chip rational in holding something back but it seems too much.

Will the West Bank be able to get ahold of rockets?

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

I am not sure when the entire barrier will be completed. Jews are not very good at doing manual labour you know ;). Currently, 55 sections of the barrier construction are frozen, because of legal petitions against them (http://www.seamzone.mod.gov.il/Pages/ENG/news.htm#news44)

I believe that Olmert will not unilaterally withdraw until probably late 2008 or early 2009 (if he has the political capital to do that at the time). Hopefully, there will be negotiations with the Palestinians before that, so that will not be necessary.

Andrey said...

Whoever wanted to see the "interview" with captured hezbollah fighter, here it is:

http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/3850/954268

Omer (israeli) said...

"Will the West Bank be able to get ahold of rockets?
"
The hez did it in six years

yuval from tlv said...

yaser -

hi i will enter your blog later on.. but i saved it on my favorites..


about the golan hights..
well my simpathy for nature it just too big to easily say good bye to that beatiful place, but i know that eventualy - sooner or later (or like in the middle east - much much later ), we will have to give it up..
but i see a deep mistrust of israelis in the syrians primarely because of HB, second because we don't have peace, third and important for being an ally of Iran..


but i do want to know about the syrian demography..
how many orthdox, shiite, sonnies, secular etc..
do you happen to know that?

wiseman7777 said...

dougjnn,

first, pls refrain from issuing judgments on people, "I’m afraid you aren’t living up to your name", and let's keep this discussion about "ISSUES".

Re: Hitting Syria runs the risk of toppling the regime.

I don't agree with that statement. As it stands, Syria and Iran are wringing their hands, and their position has been strengthened due to the survival of their Client: Hezb. One needs to weaken them without toppling them. They are the source of the venem in the middle-east, and Hezb would not be a military threat without them.

yaser said...

dougjnn,
this is maybe true , but even though i see that there is determination on our side to take back all of that area , afterall israel gave egypt and jordan all their land back why it refuses to do the same with us ,moreover when there is peace no body will be interested in firing misslles , because peace i think is the only gurantee for security(look what is happening in lebanon/gaza) and that's why we always reiterate what the madrid peace conferance has approved the famous saying: peace in return for land - alard moqabel alsalm

Dimitry said...

yaser

i don't see that it is possible to achieve peace with out the golan hieghts

This is something any Isreaeli could've told me... :p I'm seeking Syrian perspective.

About the Kinneret ("Sea of Galilee")... Well, technically, the so called international border is keeping the entire shore of it Israeli hands. 10 meters-wide strip of land in some places. Naturally, the Syrians took over those parts of shore Israel wasn't in position to defend back then. Indeed, the reason previous negotiations fell through was that Syrians insisted on getting the land they occupied beyond the international border.

So if we're in the bussiness of concidering the lines Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot as holy, Syria has no real claim to the Kinneret. Also, what strategic value?



dougjohn

How well do you think the fence will work?

It'll make infiltration more difficult, at least initially. But without either IDF staying inside, or Palestinian goodwill, it'll be of very limited use. And yeah, they will get rockets. Qassams are essentially homemade.



yuval

about the golan hights..
well my simpathy for nature it just too big to easily say good bye to that beatiful place, but i know that eventualy - sooner or later (or like in the middle east - much much later ), we will have to give it up..


Ever heard the term self-fullfilling prophecy?

dougjnn said...

Omer (israeli) said...

The hez did it in six years

Yeah but the non Israeli border of Lebanon is with Syria and Syria wanted them to get them. Made some for them in fact it seems. As well for four of those years Syria was in occupation and controlled the ports and airport.

The West Bank’s non-israeli border is with Jordan. Which probably doesn’t want radical Palestinians to be armed with rockets. So long as the King’s in power anyway.

yuval from tlv said...

dimitry -

it is called the Pigmalion effect, yes i've heard..

let's hope that Pigmalion works for peace..

Omer (israeli) said...

yaser,
Yet can the HEZ (backed by Syria and Iran) stop attacking? can they garunte it? if yes, then how?
If we give back the golan heights will HEZ still get ammo and support from Syria? It has to be more then just words.
Plus true peace means stop hatred media.
Do syrian agree with peace for land?

India said...

I was last 3 weeks in India, government there is very concerned and supports immediate peace-sollutions. I think it is a very good step forward what the Lebanon government by sending own forces to the South to protect their innocent citizens.
I don't understand why the Arab states are not putting more pressure on Amerika by cutting down the produktion and export of oil, it is holliday season there and many innocent Americans get mad at their government when the oilprices will go up to much. This could influence the silent help to Israel and stop the airattacks. Money talks in Amerika and Israel.

yaser said...

yuvalfromtlv,
your are right the golan hieghts is a very beautiful spot, for my part i don't care much about pieces of land (turkey took away the iskanderun-north of syria on the mederitanian - and we weren't able to get it back) and now we will give shebba farms to lebanon .i look forward to living in peace and work together for prosperity of the ME.
its unfortunate that you distrust syria because syria like lebanon have many liberal element in the society and is more receptive to new ideas .
conserning our demography (i'm secular btw)we have majority of sunnis and the alawites and we have cristians from the orient church as well as other churches,

Omer (israeli) said...

dougjenn,

The Hamas has alot of motivation, plus sea,air and land ports. It wont be as easy, but smuggling wont be that hard.
Araffat got cautgh with a boat load of arms.

But the most importent question is. What country are you from? would you take the chance if your home was under the range of fire?

Dimitry said...

Plus true peace means stop hatred media.

Concidering the Egyptian precedent... Ahem.

Omer (israeli) said...

dimitry,
We all know true peace is far away.

1earth said...

india, the arab states care more about their oil money than they do about the Palestinians or Lebanese.
Why else did they allow Syria to occupy Lebanon until last year? Why have they not spent the 0.01% of their oil wealth to build the Palestinians a modern state in the vast empty deserts of any of their countries? If they cared about the Lebanese why did OPEC promise a whopping 1.8 million dollars to Lebanon's reconstruction? The Egyptians could easily triple the living space of the Palestinians and it wouldn't even make a dent in the Sinai or Saudi Arabia. They could give the Palestinians more land than destroying Israel would net them... but the Arabs don't care about their "brothers."

The Middle East News Addict said...

To Raja

I applaud your amazing attention to details. Indeed the symbolism of the FM meeting in Beirut as support for the Lebanese government has evaded even me. I think that perhaps this is what made Syrian FM Walid Mualem storm out in anger as he was told that Hezbollah will no longer be allowed to use Lebanon as a platform for fighting for Syria's ambitions. It is undortunate though that the only person who in a normal democracy should be giving the most support for the government's authority on the state, the president, is not doing so. President Lahoud is still preoccupied with carrying furvor with his masters in Syria through support for Hezbollah rather than actually supporting the authority of the Seniora government.

GSH - Observer said...

Guys;

I'm little late for this descussion, but i have a question:

I understand that Israel has settlements in the east part of the west bank.
If you're giving teh west bank to PL. what will you do with the Settlments?

Dimitry said...

Smaller one evacuated, larger annexed (retreat won't be from the entire West Bank).

The Middle East News Addict said...

To fightingsullyven

Yes, the integration of Hezbollah to the Lebanese army would make it a predominantly Shia army with loyalties to Hezbollah. Yet it would also make the government the supreme authority over military decisions unless a military coup occurrs. If that happens, then we would be back in the start with Israel going back in in full force. Let us hope it will not have to come to that.

yaser said...

dimitry,
About the Kinneret ("Sea of Galilee")... Well, technically, the so called international border is keeping the entire shore of it Israeli hands. 10 meters-wide strip of land in some places. Naturally, the Syrians took over those parts of shore Israel wasn't in position to defend back then. Indeed, the reason previous negotiations fell through was that Syrians insisted on getting the land they occupied beyond the international border.

this the first time i learn about that and for that i blame our media the same demagogic media that is hijaking syrian opions and give false image about our public opinion.
let me tell you , people here don't percieve things as you do ,it is very strange to tell people here that syria occupied land from israel , as we doesn't view israel as any other country. our perspective is that the golan hieghts is all syrian and we want to regain control of the whole area .

The Middle East News Addict said...

To GSH

move them into Israel. However I see no point for this discussion now as I hope PM Olmert will ocntinue with the plan. So far Israel has evacuated Gaza and Lebanon and in both times saw it was not a perlude to negotiations but rather a perlude to further demands. If that continues, I do not see it a s likely that the Israeli public will continue support for any more concessions. Thank you Hezbollah and Hamas.

GSH - Observer said...

1earth;

sorry for being late and behind here,
you mentioned India and Pakistan, and the ottoman empire earlier.

1.India and Pakistan are very far from us, their dispute is not affecting our area..so bluntly, i don;t care about them.

2.the Ottoman empire has nothing to do with what we're talking about...i'm not talking about diversity here.

3. the way i see it :
Israel want the land,
Palestine want the land...well share it...
this might be too simple to say tehn to apply, but that's how i see it.

Loli said...

The Middle East News Addict said...
"It is undortunate though that the only person who in a normal democracy should be giving the most support for the government's authority on the state, the president..."

Who cares about "our" President. He's totally irrelevant. Nobody talks to or about him.

yuval from tlv said...

yaser -

it's not that i don't trust syria for no reason, surely it's not something with prejudice..
simply the only thing i view by syria are not attempts for peace..
allying with Iran is surely the most hazardous thing Syria could do to itself, except for the fact that the Baath party is secular and the majority of Syrians are soonis, i can't see the contribution Iran is giving to Syria..
therefor it seems that syria is simply aiming for the destruction of Israel and therefor they bond with Iran, the let the Iranians transport weapons through the border and especially to arm HB..

that is why my friend i'm having a hard time to think of Syria as a nation with a true potential for peace..

on the other hand it's those who we fight with - Lebanon & PL, i view the most potential to have peace with..

1. i view Lebanon as a moderate nation, that is truely sick of war, but unfortunatelly HB had took over the control over southern Lebanon..

2. the PL are a deferent issue, befor we had this shit about the Intifada and occupation etc, the PL actualy had a free access into Israel, and many of them worked in israel.. i also remember as a child that me and my family went to buy some PL franiture for our home because they were cheaper than the Israeli stores, and the PL markets were truely half PL and half Isrealies..

i simply can't understand how did we both let things go SO WRONG!
we could have lived together, in the ideal of 2 nations, but because of the geography, it was obviously that it was one nation.
we had PL workers in my city, and my parents worked with them..

when i come to realize now, it is like we both woke up into a nightmare come true, in the name of pride, respect, revange, anger, megalomaniac Arafat, and the stupid right party of Likud ( which i'm happy to announce that in the last elections they've crushed and truely hit the bottom).

GSH - Observer said...

the middle east new addict:

every time we are close to some solution...any solution, radicals screw it up....we know that. it has been proven time and time again, and i wish we can prevent it.

Dimitry said...

gsh
Due to simple numbers, "sharing the land" would mean the Palestinians get it. This is the crux of the problem, as far as Israelis are concerned.

Omer (israeli) said...

yaser,
Dimitry is wrong, Israel never had golan heights before 67.
But water is an issue. Israel grows vegtebales in the desert using specific technology. That technology is also one of our exports (in agriculture technology).
We have problem with water, and there were ideas even to import water from turkey.
Golan us samll compared to Syria, do you wan't up to die of thirst?

But i do see your point, maybe is syria can gurntee a supply of water then it might work. Thats left for negotiation.

Dimitry said...

omer

It might come as a shock to you, but 10 meters from the shoreline of the Kinneret isn't the Golan Heights yet. This is why Rabin's negotiations fell through - those 10 meters wide strip of land.

Sherri said...

I just saw on CNN bombing of mourners burying their dead, killed in previous air bombings. I heard the Red Cross issued a statement informing Israel that dropping leaflets and telling people to leave certain areas does not satisy their obligations under international law to protect civilians. Human Rights Watch issued a statement that the pattern of attacks establishes these bombings are not accidental attacks on civilians and constitute war crimes.

Where is Israel's humanity? Do you feel? Do you have hearts? Do you follow any international laws or are you above them all?

yaser said...

omer(israeli),
i despise our ivolvement with any terroist(or resistence) group,
some may think that it is a card in our hand to pressure israel , i believe the exact opposite if we distance ourselves from those groups this is how we put pressure on israel.
and let me tell you one thing that may surprice you: i think you must not reward such position (i.e supporting terroism/resistence) by giving us the golan hieghts , this not a valid basis for peace ,
i just hope we give up those dispecable tactics
p.s :also to be practical i don't see that syria can reign in hezbollah maybe late president hafez aasad could and secondly hezbolah is a lebanese party you seem to forget that.

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

I beleif Syria sided with Iran for the lack of allies(
Syria is surrounded by arab states who gave up to the USA completely)

and Syria doesn't want to "destroy" Israel...every body knows that no one can destry anyone anymore...the only extremest is Iran (have you heard any other country called for your destruction?)

i certainly believe that if Golan gets back to Syria, and the USA promiss them security... peace with Syria will be easy (keep in mind you don't have much of "bad blood" between each other).

1earth said...

Sherri, the Jews have no hearts, that's why they need fresh babies blood baked fresh daily in matzah to live. International laws only apply to gentiles, and some leftwing secular Jews, not super-zionist Jew cabals that run the world.

yuval from tlv said...

sherri -

and where is your hurt?!
everyday we're being attacked by more that 200 missiles by HB, aiming exactly to civil cities..

i don't hear you complainning about it.

1earth said...

GSH - Observer;

So Syria wants your land too. Why not share Lebanon with them? Historically Lebanese and Syrians have a lot more in common than Israelis and Arabs.

Joel said...

the Ottoman empire has nothing to do with what we're talking about...

You could hardly be more wrong.

The reason that revolts against the Ottomans were a nonstarter during their height of power has a lot to do with what's going on now -- almost as much as the iconical nature of triumph of the Abbasids over the Ummayads does.

The way that the Ottoman empire was broken up and handed out has created huge problems in the Middle East, from the creation of the synthetic Syrian and Iraqi states to the lopping off 3/4 of the Palestine mandate as a consolation prize to the Hashemites for having lost the war for Arabia.

It even contributed the change in Lebanon from being a primarily Christian and Druze one to the present sad state.

Too late to fix much of it, but not too late to learn from the errors.

Omer (israeli) said...

Sherri,
I hope your wrong. And i don't think that killing civilians help israel in the political field. The polotician know it, the army knows it, the people know this (and some of them are in the goverment and army).
This goes without even considering the humanity side.
I truely belive that israel is making stupid mistakes. But HEZ has responsibiliy too, funny how the same standerds dont apply to them. They are doing there best to kill us.

But dont worry, we will get punished in the long term (poilitically) for every civilian casulty. Olmert is a fool.

yuval from tlv said...

1earth -

i hope you were joking.



gsh -

i know that syria had went out of allies, but it had during the 2000s..

so i don't understand the sudden with draw from aiming towards peace into aiming toward darkness..

and besides the presidant of Iran, and the Spiritual leader Hamani, and HB, and the demonstrations they make in their capitals, where you see people burn the israeli flag and scream - death to israel, and you hear the Syrians backing up Iran,
i don't see any other reason to suspect...!

GSH - Observer said...

1earth;

correct Syria want our land....but we certainly don't want theirs.
and besides...we don't have a 60 years war raging with them because of that (it's a mear 30 so far) and i bet you Yasser don;t give a damn about joining Lebanon to Syrai...he is happy with Syrai as it is.

Sherri said...

1earth,
I am an American and ashamed I am an American. I believe this aggression on Lebanon was planned by the United States and Israel. It's a chance for Israel to get rid of its enemies, trying to wipe out the Shiite Muslim population, men, women, and children (if they kill the babies, there is noone left to grow up and hate them) in Lebanon, and the US has multiple motives. What is the US motive? Power and control, weakening and/or destroying Hezbollah and Iran and Syria, and the billions and billions of dollars arms makers in the US make on wars every single year.

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

I'm sure you've heard that in Leb. and Jordan and Egypt....does that mean these people will refuse peace.

It's ok if you shout and scream and burn as long as you don't go radical. Their is always a chance for peace when you talk to moderate secular entities.

yaser said...

gsh-observer,
i totally agree with you and that is the sad fact(i.e that misconceptions on both sides are preventing us from working towards peace)
omer(israeli),
we all can share the resource of this spot of land that we are in and hopefully we can make it a great place for all of us :)

GSH - Observer said...

sherri;

I can understand why earth1 answered in such a manner, and i hope that he also realize that by killing those people he is making more enemies....it's like feeding the fire with more fire.

btw I'm Lebanese...and i know that the USA is behing that.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Sherri,

I usually don't do this, but I will in your case. I am going to ask you a few questions.

How did this conflct get started?

Dimitry said...

sherri

Yup. Israel is systematically killing of the Shi'ite population. In a rate of, let's be generous and say 1000 a month, it'll completely finish them off in about a 1000-1500 months, which is 80-130 years. Assuming natural growth of exactly 0, which, as we all know, reasonable expectation of a deeply religious population.

yuval from tlv said...

gsh -

Iran is clearly by your definition - out of the question..


but Assad's has everyway he want to get out of the mess he placed him self into..

he can comeout and say, o.k. i've had enough..
i'm stopping my bond with Iran and i stop support the HB terrorizm..

i ask Israel to return to negotiane for peace.. and believe me Israel will be MORE than happy to do so, if we'll see that he's truely meanning it.

It's like Hamas, when they declair out loud to destroy Israel, but the ask for a cease-fire, while we tell them we will stop if you will take responsibility for your Kassam missiles, who somehow are being fired at israel.

GSH - Observer said...

joel;
Didn't mean to ignore you, but can you ellaborate on your point please..i didn't get your point.

Omer (israeli) said...

Sherri,
I hope this does not sound distateful amidst all the dead but if Israel truelly wanted to commite genocide, then more casulties would be. If we hadn't used leaflets in beirut then south beirut would have crumbled with all its population. We can use more massive weapons (and still leagle), shoot indiscreimently rockts from israel (and we have way more fire power then HEZ in that respect, our rockets are bigger, longeranged and more fatal).
While it is a tradegy i dont see the pattern for "genocide".

I'm not trying to unjustify your pain. But plz, take the things in proportion

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

teh Issue with Syria is not Israel...at least not now.

it is the USA; I don;t think Assad is going to give up to the USA, and by doing what you suggested he will be giving up...do you see the problem.

it's a confrontation btw Syrai and the USA, Israel conflict took a back seat.

yuval from tlv said...

gsh -

but who led into this?

israel surely didn't attacked syria neither syria attacked israel..

during 2000 syria was clearly not isolated, eventhough they occupied Lebanon (and we all know how occuping someone is horrible for both sides),

so if syria didn't wanted to be seeing as a nation that goes for peace with israel when the PL issue escilated, they could simply be nutral..

but arming HB, supporting iran and totally shuting down the connection with israel is a bit more than suspention relationship with israel..

you cannot blame US totally for that

Sherri said...

boris the bullet dodger,

In the US, the media repeats over and over and over and over how, completely unrevoked, Hezbollah crossed the border into Israel and kidnapped 2 soldiers. But we have not been told the entire truth here. There have been constant skirmishes between Hezbollah and Israel at the borders for the past 6 years. And this includes Israel flying over Lebanese airspace on a regular basis and crossing over into Lebanon on its own missions. Suddenly, one particular incident is suddenly viewed as a threat to Israel's very existence, and such an extreme threat, that Israel has to react in the extreme fashion that happened here. There was no attempt to resolve the incident diplomatically, at all.

De ja vu. This takes me back to the time when the US started the last war with Iraq. "Saddam Husein was committing genocide on his people." There was suddenly an "immediate threat of invasion by Iraq against the US." It was all a lie.

Ami Grossman said...

Yaser,

Excuse me, but many Israelis, including me, don't share your views about the Golan heights. Here are the reasons:

1. your very basic assumption is that this is a syria land ,and therefore should go back to Syria.
I don't agree. Here is a brief of the Golan recent history:
In the 1st half of the 20th century, the British Empire and France contolled all the Middle East. When they went out , they formed the current states - Lebanon,Syria & Israel, and the division was rather arbitrary.

Syria had the Golan heights till 1967, but still it didn't want to live in peace with Israel. It tried to take all the water of the Jordan river to itself, which would cause Israel to dry. Also, bombing of Israeli villages and towns located below the Golan, was very common.
Then in 1967 Israel conquered that area and it is holding it since then, for almost 40 years till now. Syrian controlled it for only 20 years

2. If you dig into the old history, you'll find that Jews lived in the Golan before Jesus was born, long before Muhamad established the Isalm and the Arab nation.

3. I am NOT very happy with the peace we made with Jordan and Egypt. Don't get me wrong- peace is very important to me (and for most Israelis). But I feel that we gave too much ,and got too little.
This is a very "cold" peace, nothing more than a ceasefire. There is no tourism, no students exchange, very little trade. The Egyptian government don't allow its people to visit Israel. When some tried to do it, they were boycotted. The government-controlled papers are very hostile to Israel ,and so is the TV. Even worse: It is not only anti-Israeli, but also anti-semite.
The only good thing is that Egypt didn't attack Israel since 1973, but also Syria didn't attack us since then.
Therefore, it is nothing more then a ceasefire. For real peace ,I am ready to pay a lot, even to return land which I consider mine. Therefore, I could accept a deal where the 2 coutries sign peace now, and the Golan will be given to Syrin in 20 years. If we give you the Golan now, you'll lose your interest in peace, just like Egypt did....

yuval from tlv said...

i think that Assad simply felt weaker from his dad Haffez..

therefor he looked for a strong nation to give him support, but instead of choosing an EU nation or the US etc.. the chose Iran..

they climbed a tree that they cannot go down from..

therefor negotiating now with syria is meaningless like the Unifield forces in Lebanon are now..

Dimitry said...

ami,

While I too think that the consession of Sinai was a mistake, I'm perfectly pleased with the peace with Jordan. Any pieces of land traded there were pretty insignificant.
Besides, you're jumping on the wrong person. See one of his recent posts
and let me tell you one thing that may surprice you: i think you must not reward such position (i.e supporting terroism/resistence) by giving us the golan hieghts , this not a valid basis for peace

GSH - Observer said...

yuval;

i can see why they supported the PL, its a levarage point to use when negotiating, the same as HA...you see they can;t go to the nogtiation table with Israel empty handed. Israel has the Golan, what does Syria has ???

but i'm still not sure why they stoped the negotiation.(remind me when was that..i totaly forgot to be honset with you)

as for the USA;
yuval...you've been in the army, and i'm sure you've been tought that you don;t completly serround your enemy because at this point your enemy is pretty much suicidal and more dangerous...you always leave an exit...
the USA foreign policy is totaly ignorant i really don't see a single politician in the current US Gov., the USA has cornered Syria with no way out (I don't think they did this becasue they like us....they will sell the Harrirr issue in a heart beat), i beleive this led the Syrian to side with Iran.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Sherri,

In addition to the crossing of the border, killing 3 soldiers and kidnaping 2 more (actual numbers), did Hizballah also fire rockets and mortar bombs at Israeli town of Shlomi on the Wed morning of the attack?

Hint: check http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5173078.stm

yuval from tlv said...

well i'm off to bed..

goodnight to you all..

and just remember, words cannot kill a person, but they can surely make him you most vicious enemy.

therefor keep chating and understand one each other in respectable way.
that's the only hope for us - the middle eastern population.


Raja - your blog became the most sain place in the ME, you can honestly be proud of yourself :)

Lirun said...

omer and yuval

i hate to say this - but directing messages to sherri is a waste of time.. she doesnt listen to anything you say and frankly she's not interested in answers to her questions.. i think she's on a bit of an atraf..

she reminds me of this lady that used to stand in front on my apartment block in telaviv when i was a kid - the lady looked a bit like jesus is said to have (beard and all) and she used to stand underneath my balcony and scream out different fragmented of biblical text.. we had no idea what she was saying but she'd yell and yell and yelland every third word you'd hear "lord" "jesus" etc.. it was so annoying/creepy.. so one day one of the neighbours asked the police to relocate her to a park or something..

she wasnt very happy about the move but we had quiet..

anyway.. im about to go to sleep - i wish us all a safe and peaceful night and hope we have a workable solution very very soon..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
war sux

GSH - Observer said...

ami;

for gods sake...every time someone talks about anything one of you will bring back an 800 years old history....what's with that...wake up...
who lived inteh Golan when you occupied it??? Syrian Druze...and they are still living in their land...if you build settlments that doesn't change the facts....

1000 years the jews were in KSA...what...do you want to take it too ???

yuval from tlv said...

gsh -

that's not a good levarage point..

and they stopped negotiating israel during 2000..
there's no actualy date, they simply stopped the meetings..

and Israel is not greedy, Syria has the most important thing to give Israel much more then Lebanon and the PL..

they have water! plenty of it!
we don't..

think about it..

good night..

yaser said...

amigrossman,
well , i respect your views ,however; israel captured the golan hieghts by force ,so it is an occupying force and possessing a piece of land iligitamely for a period of time doesn't entitle you to claim it yours and there is the UN resulation that consider israel desicion to annex golan hieght iligal and null and you have un scr that ask israel to withdraw from the golan hieghts.
concerning the other peace treaties i have posted previously that the syrian society just like the lebanese have many liberal and open elements and it will be a much more constructive relationship between syria and israel than any other arab country, if we managed to achieve peace .

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

yaser,

I have another question, which might be a bit tough to answer. What do you and Syrians in general think of Hama?

Sherri said...

boris the bullet dodger,

The point I am making is this was not an isolated incident. Isn't it true there were frequent skirmishes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces and frequent invasions of each others borders before this incident.

Why were there no attempts to diplomatically resolve the matter?

Do you think it is possible there was a prior plan in place to pursue the actions taken against Hezbollah that were taken and that the US could have been a party to that plan?

1earth said...

"well , i respect your views ,however; israel captured the golan hieghts by force ,so it is an occupying force and possessing a piece of land iligitamely for a period of time doesn't entitle you to claim it yours"

So can the mosque that the muslims built on top of the Jewish temple come down? Muslims took the land by force, just because they occupied it for a long time, built settlements in the region doesn't mean they can claim it as theirs.

yaser said...

boris the bullet dodger,
i believe you are refering to the bombardment of hama because of violence of the muslim brothers in the 80s
i only can talk for myself: i hate extremism , however ;this is no way to handle the situation because you just create more extremism by oppressing people , i believe there is a british saying that if you want to get rid of bad idea let it be vented so people can see how wrong it is .
so by violence you create more violence and you don't solve the issue and this lead us back to the current crisis.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

Sherri,

Does any western gov't negotiate with terrorists?

The last time Israel negotiated with the Hizballah, they got three bodies (and a shaddy civilian) for 400 Hizballah fighters.

Considering that Israel was unable to save it's captured soldiers, and is still unable to prevent massive barages on it's cities, I believe that Israel has not planned the war.

GSH - Observer said...

Guys;

It seems that we are having a problem whith going back in history for god knows when...

Syrai is not reponsable for the Muslims acts when they expanded.

if you really want any logical fruitfull descussion then stick to the time when the region's border were drawn.

going back to byblical times is a waist of time for both of us...

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

yaser,

I agree, I was just curious to hear a Syrian perspective on the issue.

Dimitry said...

Well, it appears to me it bombing Hama did solve the problem, at least for several decades. Whether the remedy was worse than the problem is another matter entirely.


gsh, this raises the question of why borders drawn by British and French 100 years ago out of concideration of the interests their nations had back then is a good guideline.

GSH - Observer said...

boris;

I don't like extremest and i don't like the Assad clan -sorry Yasser- but if Hafez El Assad didn't take care of the Brotherhood of Islam in Hama he would've ended up like Egypt (do you remember the Brotherhood attacks on tourisms ?)

it was brutal, but a blow to the extremests.

Lirun said...

yaser

you represent your country well my friend..

one of my best friends overseas was a syrian muslim who was a member of the local israeli chamber of commerce - and we used to go to chamber functions together..

i can tell there are many more decent folk like him and i hate that i am asked by international relations to feel animosity to syria.. its absurd.. we need to learn to separate the silliness of leaders with the average decent folk who have to suffer those leaders enough as it is..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
we're not that different

GSH - Observer said...

dimitry;

I know for a fact that when the french and british drew Lebanon as it is now it was to guaranty a Christian majority at that time.

The british and the French did the worst damage to the area and the world.

their maps didn't take into consideration nations or cultures, that was a terrible terrible thing they did.

take a close look at the Kurd nation...it is was split into 4 pieces (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran).

Sherri said...

Labeling people or groups or counties as "terrorists" and refusing to speak to them is not going to make them go away. Those Israel calls terrorists and those who support their position consider Israel the "terrorist state" for its repeated indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations. As I stated already, human rights organizations are referring to these acts as war crimes.

Dimitry said...

Actually, wasn't specifically that (the border between Lebanon and Syria) internal French divison?

yaser said...

dimitry,gsh-observer,
i am secular so i am not a muslim, and i would like syria to continue and uphold secularism and if force is needed to preserve that and to ensure the country's security then fine by me ,so i partly agree with you that it was a needed blow to extrimists .
lirun,
thank you very much ,our people deserves much better conditions than the current state of affairs.

GSH - Observer said...

what do you mean ? sorry didn't get the question.

GSH - Observer said...

Yasser;

You simply can't have a dialoge with radicals...they've already made up their minds...what's to talk about???

John said...

I think that sherri isn't worth communicating with - she just says the same things over and over again in order to make people angry.

responding is main componant that differantiates dialog from monolog. what sherri is doing is a pure monolog, deaf to other voices.

Dimitry said...

gsh

I know for a fact that when the french and british drew Lebanon as it is now it was to guaranty a Christian majority at that time.

Did the British influence the border between today's Lebanon and Syria? I was under the impression this was purely French creation.

Boris the Bullet Dodger said...

sherri,

Does detonating a Jewish community center and killing 100 civilans in Argentina count as terrorism?

GSH - Observer said...

the british inflenced the border between Leb\Syria and Palestine, but true the Syrian-Lab. border was a pure French deal, I'm not aware of any British influence.

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