What Means Are Available To Resume a Path Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 30, 2008
Israeli Missle Attack in Gaza

DipNote Editors' Note: Due to ongoing events in the Middle East, this entry will remain the "Question of the Week" for two weeks.

Although conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, polls conducted prior to the recent violence indicated that majorities of both Palestinians and Israelis favored a peaceful, negotiated solution to their differences.

What possible means are readily available to resume a path toward peace between Israel and Palestine?

Comments

Comments

Roger
|
North Carolina, USA
December 29, 2008

Roger in North Carolina writes:

A resolute demand from the U.S. that Israel take the lead by actively promoting peace regardless, not throwing gas on the fire unproportionately. As long as the U.S. permits Israel to act like WE did in Iraq... It will never end.

Albert
|
Pennsylvania, USA
December 30, 2008

Albert in Pennsylvania writes:

Hamas charter is to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state. No peace is possible with Hamas. Israel has to eliminate all the leaders of the terror group called Hamas.

Albert
|
Pennsylvania, USA
December 30, 2008

Albert in Pennsylvania writes:

None as long as Arabs want the destruction of Israel. They continue holding Arab refugees in camps supported by the UN and we pay for it as a weapon against Israel. Israel absorbed more Jewish refugees from all Arab lands now empty of Jews.

Hamas reason for existence: The destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state instead.

No peace possible today. QED

Yael
|
West Virginia, USA
December 30, 2008

Yael in West Virginia writes:

Can you be more specific about the polls you reference, because a poll headlined in the New York Times in March showed that "Most Palestinians Favor Violence Over Talks." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/world/middleeast/19mideast.html?_r=1

Here's a quote:

RAMALLAH, West Bank A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians [84%] support the attack this month on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem that killed eight young men, most of them teenagers, an indication of the alarming level of Israeli-Palestinian tension in recent weeks.

The survey also shows unprecedented support for the shooting of rockets on Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip and for the end of the peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel.

"There is real reason to be concerned," Mr. Shikaki said in an interview at his West Bank office. His Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.

herb
|
Pennsylvania, USA
December 30, 2008

Herb in Pennsylvania writes:

Relocate all Arabs to Arab lands - it will be less expensive in human and financial terms for the betterment of all.

Matt
|
Michigan, USA
December 30, 2008

Matt in Michigan writes:

The U.S. needs to avoid condemning/endorsing either side in this conflict and urge Israel to behave like a modern nation state should, exhausting diplomacy and cooperating with international bodies to broker a continual process.

The U.S. State Department also needs to publicly acknowledge that it has actually made use of terrorists and terrorist groups in its own efforts to secure its national interests and stop talking like it has a place to condemn the actions of Hamas.

The U.S. needs to stop sitting back and throwing armaments at this conflict and play a tireless role in contributing to an international process of peace brokering.

DipNote
|
District Of Columbia, USA
December 30, 2008

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Yael in West Virginia -- You're absolutely right Yael. In fact, you're actually reinforcing the point of this question. Polls conducted after the current wave of violence began indicate growing skepticism. However, polls conducted by the same source prior to the current wave of violence (i.e. December, 2007 and March 2008) indicated a greater willingness to favor a peaceful, negotiated solution to their differences. Regardless of past poll results, the focus of this question is to explore the best means to move back toward the path to peace. Thanks for your question.

Bennett
|
New Jersey, USA
December 30, 2008

Bennett in New Jersey writes:

You would be a lot more believable if you would provide a link to that poll. I have heard many claims that such a poll exists, but no one who has made such a claim--including Condoleezza Rice--have ever produced that poll.

DipNote
|
District Of Columbia, USA
December 30, 2008

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Bennett in New Jersey -- The source of the poll referenced by Yael in West Virginia appears to be: http://www.pcpsr.org/index.html.

Yael
|
West Virginia, USA
December 30, 2008

Yael in West Virginia writes:

If there is a path to peace, it does not run through the U.S. State Department, where the "foreign desks" of Arab countries outnumber Jewish ones fifty-something to one. Sadly, the U.S. has not been an honest broker in recent "peace talks," and in fact has betrayed Israel's trust by not keeping the commitment -made to Ariel Sharon in the famous April 14, 2004 letter- that the Roadmap and only the Roadmap would oblige the signatories. The Bush administration -and specifically Secretary Rice- have surreptitiously replaced the Roadmap with the "Annapolis process," consisting of $1.7 billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority, multiple Israeli concessions and negotiations over borders and the status of Jerusalem held in secret. It is obvious to astute and dedicated observers that "Annapolis" is code for the Saudi Plan (for Israel's destruction).

It goes something like this: Israel surrenders Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem and accepts millions of foreign-born, hostile Arabs within its (1949) "Auschwitz" borders. The Arab world will graciously and generously "recognize" the existence of Jewish state that is defunct and defenseless.

Israel rendered the Gaza strip Jew-free and then gave it to the Palestinians in exchange for nothing, and proceeded to absorb thousands of rocket attacks from the gifted territory, in addition to releasing hundreds of convicted terrorists from Israeli prisons, dismantling checkpoints and opening crossings to hostile enemies. The Palestinians have made not a single contribution nor concession in the so-called peace process and the United States has asked of them only that they accept our hundreds of millions of dollars in aid as tribute, and keep making the same old worn and broken promises to try and stop killing Jews.

To my mind there is only one "means" to peace and it depends entirely upon the attitude of the Arabs to Jews and to Zionism. Until that changes, nothing will change.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
December 30, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

This depends on what means one wishes to use to remove roadblocks to peace.

In the case of Hamas, obvously a decision has been made to use whatever means neccesary.

I think that average Palestinians need to take stock of who they elected in Gaza. Now they are reaping the results of letting terrorists run their affairs.

If anyone now thinks their best interests were served by allowing their elected to launch rockets into Israel during the middle of an ongoing peace process, they did not want peace in the first place, and cannot call themselves "oppressed" or "victims" being these are qualities of life born through their own stupidity.

This is going to go on for awhile so I suggest the international community think about evacuating women and children from Gaza to temporary safe haven, and send the bill to Hamas.

Jay T.
|
California, USA
December 30, 2008

Jay in California writes:

Abandoning apartheid might be a good start.

Zharkov
|
United States
December 30, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

The State Department has tried for over 40 years to solve this UN problem and obviously has failed, repeatedly, with road maps, processes, accords, agreements, cease fires, ad naseum, while the U.N. does nothing for the situation it created.

The one way that might have settled the matter was if the people in Palestine had received in 1948 full compensation for taking of the lands they claimed were theirs. Money damages might still be offered but the cost will be much more today than it would have been in 1948.

Regardless, the conflict between Israel and arabs now is a blood feud that neither side is willing to forget. Enough people have been killed on both sides so that neither side will shed tears over genocide of the other.

This conflict is a natural result of a fiat global government arbitrarily taking land from one group to give to another. If the UN cannot resolve this conflict to the satisfaction of both sides, perhaps it should cease creating new nations out of other people's land.

Edite
|
Canada
December 31, 2008

Edite in Canada writes:

From the age of reasoning and on..... 12 years and up.... gather together 2 guys and 2 gals from each representative age groups such as 12 year olds, then 15.....,18.....21.....25 and on up through the ages. Equal numbers of Palestinian and Israeli children and students are gathered together in a common room , neutral in its decor,conducive to conversation and reaching solutions voiced by the generations that will be most affected in the future.... their children's children. Ask them how they would like to see these issues resolved so that everyone can live in peace, harmony and friendship. After all, we have the same hunger, the same thirst, the same need for love, the same need for laughter and sunshine......and we shed the same blood...it runs together as one colour.....

Robert
|
California, USA
December 31, 2008

Robert in California writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A. -- You are more right than you know about "creating new nations out of other people's land." The land of Israel has been historically Jewish for over 3,000 years. There have been several Jewish states existing for centuries. There has never been an independent Arab state in that land, under the name of Palestine or any other.

Penelope
|
United States
December 31, 2008

Penelope in U.S.A. writes:

Having recently return from the West Bank and Israel in the last few weeks I was deeply saddened by the situation. Where "separate but equal" is considered acceptable, daily discrimination, mistreatment and humilation are a reality it is hard not to imagine the people and particularly the Palestinian youth are not impacted. However, I found in the West Bank and through several countries I traveled in the Middle East that Palestinians seek the same needs nearly all Americans desire. In this majority there is great opportunity to work for peace. This vast resource for peaceful opportunity can only truly be tapped when the discrimnation and unnecessary hardships applied upon the West Bank (and Gaza) are eliminated or at least minimized to level acceptable to our concepts of humanity.

This Palestinian majority can help as a tool for peace, but the crucial component is the means to gain their support by eliminiating the inhumanity of the situation. In my endless talks with everyday Israelis, Palestinan, Arabs and Christian of the region and those inbetween I have realized the best means for immediate and lasting peace is the use of America as a true mediator and if this is not possible, the removal of the US from the process. Over the years the US has not met the minimum requirements to consider itself a mediator; i.e. objective, without predetermined viewpoints and decisions, and equally fair and separate from both sides in the dispute. No genuine mediator can claim to support one side unwaivering and expect the other side to feel the mediator is non-bias and fair. I would prefer the US over all other countries to be this genuine mediator as it has the economic, military and political persuasion to enforce the agreements upon both sides. The means are simply up to the Bush Administration in their last three weeks to truly be the mediator the world needs. If not, it seems we must step aside as we (America) have lost our way.

Millie
|
United States
December 31, 2008

Millie in U.S.A. writes:

@ Yael in West Virginia -- To Yael (and others that may make such assumptions),

I was quite interested to read in the paper today that over 80% of Israel's favored the bombing into Gaza to attack Hamas, while only some 30% actually thought it would hurt or remove Hamas. It seems 50% of the polled Israel's are OK with punishment upon Hamas and Gaza civilians for peace or justice. That seems disturbing and although I heard some fantastically absurd hate mongering comments and rants from Israel's I am aware enough to know that such ignorant comments I hear (such that all Arab are born evil, whether in the middle east, USA or anywhere)is not the viewpoint of all Israelis. In my personal and direct experience I know such absolutes and cruel majority group-think does not exist within the Palestinian majority as well.

Yael, unless you have interacted (non-confrontationally) with Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and even spent time in their cities and villages I am confident that your viewpoint on a whole group of people is uninformed and peppered with your personal political, historical and religious viewpoint. Thus, the means to peace if for people like Yael, average Americans, Palestinans and Israelis to personally educate themselves on a personal level on the humanity on both sides of this conflict. Then, get involved, joined organizations and entities to seek peace.

Robert
|
Florida, USA
December 31, 2008

Robert in Florida writes:

Israel must submit to a truce and end the blockade. Only then will the climate of hopelessness and desparation subside in Gaza. The genocide must stop, and the Israelies must submit to the mandates of the United Nations which they have for all too long ignored.

For well over a year, there have been repeated calls from the United Nations and respected leaders throughout the world urging Israel to end its unlawful blockade of Gaza. The present Israeli government refused, and now our government blames the Palestinians/Hamas for "breaking the truce." Exactly what kind of truce is it that bars the international media, imposes a military blockade, and permits a humanitarian crisis against helpless civilians?

The United States must recover its senses and reclaim its heritage of justice and truth so that we may once again become the honest and respected broker of a fair and just peace. Until these things happen, I see little hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
December 31, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I would say a reality check by Palestine Leadership and some guts to go againist a false population base ideology for the greater good of it's people.

I had the good fortune to meet Golda Meir many, many years ago to do some work for the Great Country of Israel. Oddly, my team mate was a Palestinian, #$%^a, and we worked together to solve a problem which falsely misrepresented the Palestinian people and created deep problems within the Hebrew/Jewish community. The problem was solved with the aid of a Palestine: because, the offensive actions taken were considered offensive to both cultures and any future development.

The criminal hold that Hamas now has over the new government is indicative of the non developmental aspect of all criminal elements in the limitations and control of its population by keeping it in chaos and poor. Certainly there is a more educated and business element of Palestine which should peruse the elimination of such negative persona and work WITH Israel in their elimination.

It is a shame that a false political structure re-seeded by Russian Communist methodology decades ago when the U.S. maintained the backing of the Israel State ruins any fiscal development of the Gaza strip which would help it citizens...and:

To think that any proposed caretaker of their community would rather maintain war and have its people starve, rather than develop its natural resources (oil in this case) of land given in a desire of Peace by Israel, should more than prove the true nature of Hamas; which is one not representative of any Good and Graceful God, including that of Islamic or Muslim nature.

They are an Evil which needs to be eliminated completely and should be done with the co-operation of the International community as well as viable and competent Palestine Officials. People of this nature hold no place in society today and are detrimental to the citizens they supposedly represent as well as creating International conflict. Who are they to be respected in any official capacity that they are even given creedence at all?

"Idleness is the devils workshop.." and perhaps a realistic leadership in Palestine would realize that development within the Gaza strip is more beneficial than any idealistic war which serves no beneficial purpose and one which is not of any Good God in any Scope of any Faith on this earth. Free Trade developement is a good tool here you would think.

This past summer, Iran and Syria tried to make a deal with Hamas to use the shoreline for a base...again, neither of which are Palestine or care about the people, only the strategic location of the Gaza strip and the oil. The innocent people mean nothing to them, it is one evil feeding upon another for no good end purpose.

If a cancer was creeping upon its citizens, I know of no competent leader who would not eliminate it.

May God, YHWH be with all Israel in this time and may Palestine Leaders realize what is in the best interest of its people and help eliminate the cancer which is growing in it's land...

Bimheirah b'Yameinu, may this problem be solved...

Hamas is an evil which needs to be eliminated from this spheare we call earth...HATE can be spelled HAMAS theologicaly and we need no more of it...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
December 31, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Robert in Florida -- If Abbas and the PA inherit Gaza as a result of Israel actions to completely remove Hamas physically from the political spectrum, then Israel will have no need to blockade Gaza to prevent arms and munitions sent from Iran being used upon them by terrorists. Abbas won't buy what Iran is selling on an ideological level either.

I don't like it any more than you do, but I understand why Israel is forced to take these steps.

And legally, they do have the right to self defense.

I do however think that Israel and her government should draw some lessons learned from the U.S. in the sense that we've not only addressed terror through military might, but also engaged in nation building as a means to help populations achieve a better future for themselves and their children.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 2, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- Joe wrote:

"Hamas is an evil which needs to be eliminated from this sphere we call earth..."

With all due respect Joe, and in agreement with all aspects of your post with this one caveat;

Don't you think you might be giving Hamas a little too much credit for having the required intellectual capacity to be defined as evil?

Evil by its nature, can only exist through the total lack of empathy. It requires a fair degree of stupidity to consciously circumvent this natural human emotion on the part of an individual, let alone a government or other political entity.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
January 2, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

WE ALL WANT PEACE BETWEEN THIS TWO NATIONS

I don't think anyone really truly wants to be at war, or to continue fighting for a cause that cannot be won. My view is "bad programming robot" we have now seen history repeat itself because people have a root to being programmed with the wrong message.

I believe the Hamas people have shame written all over their faces from this war. They continue to launch attacks and then scream timeout when it doesn't go their way like kids act in a school yard.

The solution to this problem I believe comes down to simple programming of the mind. It appears to me that for whatever reasons these Arabs can no more find peace than we can find the Top Terrorist in the world.

It's quite possible they just do not want to live in peace. You give someone a foot and they take a yard. You can also take a horse to water and it may not drink. We can try to force the hand for peace but if it's not in their hearts to find peace, they will never get it.

In a way, I think one other solution might be for God to solve this problem. He has been keeping an eye on the events so maybe he has a plan, a vision or maybe a great idea that will solve it once and for all. Maybe we all can put our trust in God's plan and see what he comes up with to find Peace.

I just think it alot like a computer "Gargage in, Gargage out" you can brainwash a computer in its language. Generations, we all have been programmed or brainwashed in some things in life. We have all had some kind of training, education, have skills, have knowlege, but how did we get all this intelligence?

- Peers
- Teachers
- Ministers
- News Media
- Books and videos
- Mentors
- Friends & Family
- Schools, Colleges
- Social activities

The people of Hamas shouldn't be making rockets but only to destroy human life. They should be displaying the white flag for surrender and find peace. They should be baking cookies or cakes not making devices that would only cause more deaths. Both sides need to find common ground and accept the good and the bad of what they like or have an opinion to what they don't like, but to destroy mankind because of land or because of religion is just plain wrong.

"My prayers will always be that Peace will be found. People can respect other peoples view, points, respect the religion, the way of lives, but also to put an end to the attacks, end to destroying and focus on the living. The true light in darkness only shines when your fears are gone! Focus on the good things, not embelish on the negative which continues to destroy human life like cancer!

God bless!

Happy New Years!

mack
|
Netherlands
January 2, 2009

Mack in The Netherlands writes:

UN resolutions on the matter and a consideration to the Arab peace initiative. There are many possible ways to bring peace. There are well hearted people believe deeply in peace. So far the USA and its policies has been one of main obstacles to bring peace. The U.S.A. will be an asset for peace if it simply stop the role of mediation between the parties and let a fair and responsible country to play this role. Don't take my opinion as a criticism, I'm just being honest. The U.S.A. has failed to live up to its duties and promises toward its moderate friends in the region. It has no credibility but I think you know it already.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
January 2, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

2 January 09

"When people of all races all religions and from all countries can finally sit down and end the violence, communicate their views without the use of swords, then we will have peace on earth!"

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
January 2, 2009

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

There will never be peace until one side or the other gains the decisive advantage in war and crushes the other. The path for peace will open when one side is completely disarmed and occupied, probably the Palestinians. Or at least rendered so incapacitated that they lose the will to fight. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. Israel is smaller than New Jersey and yet accorded a disproportionate amount of our national attention and finances.

Since neither side has the collective will to refrain from ignorant savagery, let them reap the consequences. A quick military conclusion is sometimes more humane than slow stranglation, anyways.

Richard
|
Texas, USA
January 2, 2009

Richard in Texas writes:

It is unconscionable that the United States places all blame for the tragic events in Gaza on Hamas, calling on them to stop firing rockets into Israel, while offering blind, total support to Israel. What's happening is heartbreaking -- and to hear the U.S. and Israelis placing all blame on Hamas with no acknowledgment of the circumstances in which Gazans have been forced to live is tough to stomach.

This sort of one sided approach is the cause of many, if not most of our problems in the Middle East, including many people's hatred of us as a nation. In the future we must respond much more harshly to Israel's policies of continuing to support illegal settlements, continuing to ignore UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice, and in military strikes like those of this weekend. Palestinian rocket fire at Israeli civilians constitutes a war crime and those responsible for it must be prosecuted. Israel is obligated to defend its civilians, but it must do so in compliance with international humanitarian law.

J M.
|
Georgia, USA
January 2, 2009

JM in Georgia writes:

With the U.S. invasion of Iraq all the way to the Isrealies declaring war on the Palestinian people, it appears that this new millenium has brought the death of the rule of law. Judge, jury, and executioner are now duties of leaders of countries and their militaries. The only humane way to bring about a sustainable peace is to end these governments based on religious beliefs, and instead base them on representation by the people it governs. Since Isreal is effectively governing the Palestine lands, it only makes sense that they allow these people to represent themselves in the government that is controlling their borders and assainating their elected officials. Instead of 2 countries living side by side warring with each other, you should make 1 country with laws applicable to all.

john
|
Greece
January 3, 2009

John in Greece writes:

According to my opinion: we should abandon mathematics and start geometry.

It's the first time -- it happens in the region for decades though -- that "political-religion science" must become stronger than "practical sciences."

What I mean is that you cannot easily have a logical approach, being sure that all the ships will follow the right GPS.

Middle East, AND THE NEIGHBORS, is not that easy to analyze.

It's maybe the only one area in the planet, where many CIRCLES can become a SQUARE! And probably the SQUARE: a CIRCLE!

I really do not know the area and it's too complicated for me, far more than simplifying it as just an Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The best way to describe my thoughts is this:

I invented a new "game" ...as Eric in NM would say- called "Scramble-Diplomacy:"

Here are the letters (circles&squares):

Hamas/Fatah and many other smaller "neighboring" religion sub-squares

&

Israel
"Palestine"
Syria
Turkey
Egypt
Lebanon

&

Iran
Iraq
India
Pakistan
Afghanistan

&
plenty of sheikhs in smaller countries in the region that nobody can be sure how they play the game or, how they will react in various future circumstances, depending on how the story will go.

Do you think that this scramble is playable and simple?

Do you think that it's simple enough to find the word "peace"?

No!

SD is right: continue "working toward a cease-fire that will not allow a return to the status quo ante and that will be durable.!" (as Dr. Rice said)

John
|
Greece
January 3, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- With all the respect Eric, trying to define evil is a dangerous path.

When you give "bad" a hypostasis, automatically you accept God too.

All of which is not bad, at least for me, because "in God I trust." But then, there is no evil, as long as God is the strongest and BETTER of all.

So, there is no Evil. There are only people, simple human beings like us, who can not exercise GOOD, as good enough we could have done it, if we had tried better.

That's the problem with Palestinians, among many other people on earth: They think that our Good is their BAD, while they are sure that their GOOD must become our GOOD...

P.S.: tough issues though, my dear Eric. Best Regards!

Albert
|
United States
January 3, 2009

Albert in U.S.A. writes:

Return the Gaza street to it's original creator, Egypt. Let Egypt deal with Islamic Brotherhood relative Hamas. After all the Islamic Brotherhood is also an Egyptian creation. Then there is the issue of "Arab wombs" as a weapon, the invention of none other than Arafat himself, an Egyptian calling himself something else. But all knew what he was because of his "funny accent."

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