יום ראשון, פברואר 19, 2006

Everyone needs a chair

I was out of the country for Katif and Amona. I'm still trying to figure out my take on it all. I am appalled by the treatment/attitude taken towards the people who used to live in Aza but that's a different post.

From a few days ago I found Yael K's post. It's an idea I've heard before but found it better food for thought this time in the aftermath of Amona.

-----------I was reading a new poll showing that pretty much everyone thinks that there will be even more violence with pull-outs from illegal and legal settlements alike. A not small percent thinks that the violence will even be of the deadly nature. I've got a position on this that I will probably change, probably moderate, but, depending on how things pan out could certainly go the other direction.

I don't see why our military or our police should be involved at all in future pull-outs. No, let me rephrase that. I think they should be available to help and support those who, having exhausted their petitions through court proceedings (we're talking in the event that those proceedings go against them) and then having accepted a relocation compensation package need help with packing and transporting their things. Those who refuse to move and refuse compensation should simply be left where they are. They want to stay there, let them stay there. They should at that point be treated like any other ex-pat living anywhere else in the world. The IDF is not there protecting Israelis living in New York, or Paris. Our soldiers and police are not there for those in London, Berlin, Rome, or Sydney. People choosing to live in those places must rely on the rules and laws and protection of the place they are in, not on Israeli protection. By choosing not to remove within the legally designated borders, as decided by our government and our courts, they are choosing to be ex-pats and that's fine. There are Israelis living all over the world. But once you choose to live on the outside, you are on your own --in Paris or Amona or anywhere else.

The sad reality is that those people who stayed behind would be murdered very quickly. Take as an example the destruction of the Synagogues left behind in Aza. I agree it would be a good way to avoid all the internal strife but it would leave us party to the murder of many.

Question #1: What would be the moral implications of this scenario?

Once I was thinking about alternative solutions, the other thought of mine is: If the govt is OK moving Jews from place to place, could we make it a two way swap? Could we move both Jewish and Arab populations to create continuous, defensible, and economically viable areas?

Allow me to dream a moment: Clear all the Jews out of a nice big area around Aza. Sderot through to Askelon. Heck, I'd even give 'em Ashkelon, power plant, seaport and all. Next, move all the Arabs out of the Gallie, J-lem, and Hebron hills areas. Double check to make sure that the areas are roughly equivalent and stop the music. Everyone sits back down in different chairs and everyone has a seat. The Arab populace comes out somewhat ahead on quality of living but let's leave that aside. It might help us keep the world from bombing us to Tokyo.

The last part would be to say to our Arab cousins that we are sorry we could not live peacefully together and that we hope we will be able to live peacefully next door. We then declare an international border and proceed to build the biggest Berlin-wall the world has ever seen and seal it up. They have housing, farmland, industry, ports, a border with a friendly country (Egypt), basically everything an independent country needs to thrive.
{end dream}

Question #2: While I know this would be hard to do, and is unlikely to ever happen, what do you think? What do you think of this idea from a humanitarian perspective? What are the scenarios that might unfold politically?

I've had this scenario as a dream for years and this is the first time I'm sharing it with people. Please share your thoughts on my questions. And thank you Katie for the impetus to write this out.


At 3:53 לפנה״צ, Blogger Yael K said...

Before I even think about responding to this I'd like a bit of clarification. When you say "arabs" I'm assuming you are talking about Palestinians and not Arab-Israeli citizens, is this the case? Because I personally know many (actually I've only met one Arab-Israeli citizen who would prefer to throw his lot in with the palestinians and to live in a palestinian country rather than here) Arab-Israelis who are extremely proud to be Israeli citizens and think of themselves as Israelis first and arabs second.

At 5:36 לפנה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Yael, Arab-Israeli citizens are Palestinians.

At 6:10 לפנה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I found both of the ideas presented in this post interesting. Yours, ys, is not feasible, because Palestinians will not give up East Jerusalem nor should they. The rest of your scenario I found rather complicated and I'll have to read it again to make sure I understand it.

As for your comment:
"The sad reality is that those people who stayed behind would be murdered very quickly"
I am wondering why you assume this. Are you aware that there are Jews who live in the Palestinian Territories? No one is murdering them. I have had a couple of Jewish friends who lived there for awhile. If the settlers actually agreed to assimilate and follow the laws, I don't see why they wouldn't be welcomed by most Palestinians. But the reality is that most of the settlers are interested in maintaining a separate life and separate laws. Many of them are living in communities that are built on land stolen from Palestinians. How is that situation going to be worked out? If the settlers want to live in the Palestinian territories they will have to settle, no pun intended, for a different lifestyle. Is there any evidence that they would be willing to do so?

At 9:58 אחה״צ, Blogger YS said...

Yael, good point I did not make the distinction clear. In part because it is a difficult one. I know a number of (for lack of a better term) "people of Arabic ethnicity and culture" who are very proud to be Israeli and would not want to trade that for a PLO or Hamas government, regardless of physical location. I've served with some in the army who were more zionistic than I am. On the other hand, how do you differentiate out the person who wants to live here and is a contributing, law-abiding, happy member of society from the person who is under the Israeli govt. but under duress?

Using Israeli citizenship might be one way. Another one of my pipe dreams is to give every person living in Israel (disputed territories, refugee camps, etc.) a choice receive full citizenship and be a law-abiding member of society (with all the perks) or be deported. This might even be the way to sort things out.

*start dream again*
Everyone, Jew or Arab or Christian or Church of FSM, gets to chose between becoming a full member of society under one sovereign government (in which they could vote for elected officials) or being asked (or forced) to leave. Putting aside cases of tourist visa and the like, people could then chose. In the event that there are enough "people of Arabic ethnicity and culture" who do not want to become law-abiding members of society, we could either deport them to their countries of origin or, if they don't have such a place, create said country.
*end dream*

Whew, Elizabeth is gonna blast me for all this. Yael - did that work?

At 11:23 אחה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Why do you think I would "blast you" for what you wrote? Many people have proposed a one-state solution. (probably not many people in Israel, but a number of intellectuals here in the U.S.--of course that's because here we LIKE the idea of a pluralistic society).

I notice you didn't respond to points I made. hmmm.

Pretty soon I'm going to write something on my second blog about how and why Jews and Palestinians don't understand each other. Maybe that will be my response to what you wrote.

At 2:01 לפנה״צ, Blogger YS said...

The reason I assumed they would be murdered is what happened to the buildings left behind in Katif. The destruction of both holy sites and of good usable public buildings as part of an expression of I don't know what was awful. The Jewish idea of Ba'al Taschit is that wanton destruction is off limits. Can you honestly tell me that had a community of people wanted to stay, they would not have been killed? You can even choose a community that legitimately bought their land and held title documents. They sill would have been slaughtered.

Do I know this as a fact? No, there are to "control experiments" in real life. I can bring precedent of Jews living on land they legally bought being massacred by our "cousins". Please see Hebron 1929 as a good example, I'll be glad to give others.

But once we are considering your questions: "If the settlers want to live in the Palestinian territories they will have to settle for a different lifestyle. Again assuming we are talking about Jack and Jane Smith who legal purchased the land they live on and the farmland they farm, what would be the lifestyle differences they would have to undergo?

Oh, and while I was looking for photos of the burnt katif shuls I did find this: Looting in Katif. Talk about cutting your nose to spite... the Jews!

I did not find the images I was looking for so if anyone wants to post a link, please do.

I did find:
Yusof al-Qazaz in the Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadidah:
"The Jewish synagogues, the military outposts, infantry patrols and settlements are all symbols of Israeli military occupation... The settlements [in the West Bank] will become a flame burning the dreams of peace... There will be no peace with the wall and settlements."

Rajab Abu-Sirriyah in the Palestinian al-Ayyam:
"We have to make sure that Gaza remains free from occupation and block the way for the possibility of Israel's despicable attempt to return."

Now, you were going to tell me about your friends who lived Ramallah?

At 6:10 לפנה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

You can't POSSIBLY mean to equate destroying buildings with killing people?? You don't really think anyone who commits vandalism is also a murderer?

Lifestyle changes: Well first of all, they would not be able to drive on roads reserved for Jews. Secondly, they would have to pay taxes to the Palestinian government. They would have to obey all Palestinian laws--sorry I'm not totally familiar with them and cannot describe them in total, but for one thing, murdering people and harassing them is actually against Palestinian laws, so Israelis living in Palestine would no longer be able to shoot and beat up Palestinians with impunity while protected by Israeli soldiers, because the soldiers would have to leave if the occupation is to end. In case you don't believe me that this happens, I met someone who lost his brother that way; you can just reference the B'tselem website if you want statistics. Also, the PA is trying to ban open displays of weaponry (not having much success, but it is the law) which means Jews in Palestine could no longer walk around strapped with automatic weapons.

Communities would have to be integrated. People who own homes could not discriminate by refusing to rent them to Arabs or sell them to Arabs. There wouldn't be any more Jewish communities with Arabs only as household help.

I notice the two quotes you included reference "the occupation." The military occupation would have to end.

My guess is, if the military occupation ended, the settlers would flee. I don't believe very many would try to work something out with the Palestinian government and Palestinian communities. Not necessarily because of fear--but because I don't believe the majority are living there because they are so attached to the land. Once the perks are gone, most of them will leave of their own accord. That's my guess.

One friend of mine did live in Ramallah (how did you know that, are you psychic?) as well as Jerusalem. She was very happy there. She was there for a year total, doing some volunteer work and maybe she did a little paid work too, not really sure how she paid the bills. She rented an apartment, just like most people. She's a secular Jew from New York. The other person I know is the person I traveled with when I went to the territories. Although I've lost touch with her, she was offered a part-time job at Bethlehem University and was planning on renting an apartment in Bethlehem. I assume she is there right now. Although our friendship deteriorated, if something had happened to her I'm sure someone would have told me. She's a secular Jew from New Mexico in the U.S. (a lot of people don't know New Mexico is in the U.S.)

I am getting the feeling that you have been heavily, heavily propagandized.

At 6:20 לפנה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, btw, did you see my second batch of photos? You can see me sitting in a restaurant in Gaza City--and I'm not even wearing a hijab! Strangely, no one tried to kill me.

At 1:57 אחה״צ, Anonymous אנונימי said...

"I am getting the feeling that you have been heavily, heavily propagandized."
yes, yes- obviously!
Why, disagreeing is a clear sign of that!
And that could not possibly have happened to someone on the opposite side of the argument (oh... yours! What a coincidence)
Could it?

Denigrating the opponent instead of their argument is rarely the way to go.

At 2:37 אחה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I think I made plenty of arguments. I guess for some people, making snide remarks anonymously is more fun than putting forth an argument of their own.

At 7:23 אחה״צ, Anonymous אנונימי said...

that's NOT the point.
You ended your discussion by saying that your opponent has probably got all the wrong information and throwing a shadow over anything they says.
It wasn't necessary.

I'm just saying that I don't think that's the way to have a discussion.

As for arguments, you seem to totally disregard anything ys says, so why should I bother?
Eg- you say that ys was equating with vandalism with murder, but that was clearly not true. It was a follow-on argument, with precedents to support it.
And you just go on like that, so as I say- not really bothered to respond at this point.

honestly, "Another one of my pipe dreams is to give every person living in Israel (disputed territories, refugee camps, etc.) a choice receive full citizenship and be a law-abiding member of society (with all the perks) or be deported"
that looked good to me. That has a lot of substance and fills a lot of gaps.

"probably not many people in Israel, but a number of intellectuals here in the U.S.--of course that's because here we LIKE the idea of a pluralistic society"
That, I hated. That's just sounds arrogant, bitter and scornful.

hmm- wonder if you read the article ys gave?
I quote..."Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar insisted his group would not disarm.
"These weapons will remain aimed at the chest of the enemy until we achieve liberation, God willing," he told the crowd. "We are not going to rest until we raise the flag of Islam over the minarets of Jerusalem."" --end quote
Well, Hamas has been elected now... and that was the kind of public statement they had been making...
"the flag of Islam over the minarets of Jerusalem"...?
Why is that fair? Why should I, or anyone, accept that?
How many seconds ago were you talking about pluralistic society?

ps- sorry to ys. The dream appears hijacked. Feel free to take it back.

At 1:26 לפנה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I don't see anything wrong with the flag of Islam flying over the minarets of Jerusalem. Isn't that typically the flag that flies over Palestinian minarets?

I also don't believe in false niceness and phoniness. These are serious discussions, not cocktail party conversation.

At 8:10 לפנה״צ, Anonymous אנונימי said...

It's not about being nice or polite.
It's just about being a fair player.

I'm just telling you how you sound to me. You sound like somoene who, unnecessarily, insults your opponent; yet is quite arrogant and angry yourself.
You don't seem like you're having a serious discussion. You seem like you're trying to sound superior and you're not really taking the other side of the argument seriously.
You're not in this discussion with a free mind; you've already decided. You reject a lot of arguments or information, simply because you disagree with them, without giving them their proper due.

That's not a real discussion...
It's just parading your views in an arrogant, scornful manner.
Or, at least, that's what I'm seeing.

At 9:56 לפנה״צ, Anonymous אנונימי said...

Ah- I've figured out a way to say exactly why I spoke up about this in first place.

In a discussion, every participant is equal and should be treated as such.

At 12:29 אחה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

anonymous: facts and misinformation are not equal.
p.s. I'm not interested in your assessment of my personality.

ys: I just posted my ideas on "Why Israelis and Palestinians Don't Understand Each Other" on my second blog, thoughtsopinionsrants.blogspot.com. I'd be interested in what you think of it.

At 9:14 לפנה״צ, Blogger Ezzie said...

Elizabeth: Your approach is very blind to the history and feelings in the region. There is a good reason there are only handfuls of Jews scattered throughout the Arab world: And I guarantee you that would I try to move to any, it would be impossible. Look at what happened at the beginning of this intifada - three people made a wrong turn, and were happily lynched!

At 1:58 אחה״צ, Blogger Elizabeth said...

What I remember from the beginning of the intifadeh is a dozen Palestinian protesters being shot dead.

How many Israelis want to move to Arab countries?


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