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Hatfields and McCoys feuding again...
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One has to imagine this would be a setback on the roadmap to peace...
Israeli ground troops pushed into the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a military operation aimed at freeing a captured soldier whose fate has transfixed much of the country. The incursion was the military's first major move into Gaza since the Israeli government withdrew all troops and settlers from the enclave nine months ago.
Militant groups like Hamas don't usually respond productively to force. And yet, in the midst of this activity, Hamas seems to be softening their stance on Israel and inching closer to implicit (albeit not explicit) recognition of the State of Israel. Perhaps this diplomatic progress is a result of their newfound position of responsibility, perhaps of the weakened bargaining position in which they find themselves, or perhaps it's merely a feint for better bargaining position. (following the typical Palestinian pattern of "negotiation—>agreement—>lull—>intifada")

All of this underlines the importance of Israeli extraction from the occupied territories and from the Palestinian's internecine conflict. So long as progress is predicated on Palestinian cooperation and control of their own radical groups, then the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be controlled by those least interested in peace.

Unless the Palestinians can reign in their extremist elements, there just aren't a lot of good ways of reaching a diplomatic settlement. In the meantime, Israel could disengage with the Palestinian territories, treating them as a sovereign state and responding to continued violence from Palestine as an act of war, rather than internal unrest. That could short-circuit the problem of intractable radicals. If terrorism becomes a threat to the existence of the Palestinian government, rather than a useful excuse for its impotence, one would expect more Palestinian policing or self-restraint.
 
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Absolutely. One of the useful things about the Iraq War is that is allows for a good test case of, whatever the failings of the US policy, how much worse Israeli policy is. I’m not even talking on a moral level - leave it to getting the job done.

Imagine the US had invited Utah mormons and Texas rednecks to set up huge mansions on large tracts of civilian land around Iraq after toppling Saddamn Hussein, set up parallel road and school systems for Americans, obviously failed to prosecute them when Americans went on a bender and went around pissing on mosques, and had been in Iraq for 30 years with no end in sight. Morals aside, it would be insane. It’s a lot harder to fight terrorism when you allow Islamic radicals to blend their cause with legit anticolonialism and nationalist elements. The terrorists we’re doing well against, like Al Quieda, have no nationalist or colonialist crutch to hide behind.

The disengagement will go a long way towards creating the conditions where a semi-responsible Palestinian government can arise and control their extremists. And if they don’t do so at first, a combination of robust Israeli military action to incentivize them and international capacity-building to support them, will do the trick.

Simultaneous land and peace is the fairer of the ideas, but for pragamatic reasons, the land has to come first. Otherwise the sh*t will continue to roll downhill.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Jon, there you go again...
One has to imagine this would be a setback on the roadmap to peace..."Israeli ground troops pushed into the Gaza Strip early Wednesday..."
But daily Qassam rocket fusillades into Israeli towns inside the green line are not? You are sounding too close to the peace-at-the-cost-of-the-last-Jew ideologues who infect far too many bodies of the news media these days. How else to explain such drivel as "implicit (albeit not explicit) recognition of the State of Israel"?

C’mon! Couple together "calls for the creation of a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders" with "We said we accept a state in 1967 — but we did not say we accept two states." or "They do exist. It’s tangible, they exist, we recognize the fact they exist. What we don’t recognize is the legitimacy of the occupation." and you have something that sounds like an intent to continue the same war as before. New Boss = Old Boss. Only a starry-eyed war-is-never-justified-believing pacifist could accept this as anything else.

 
Written By: D
URL: http://
This is a very shallow analysis.

If Israel were to utterly cease any response to the Palestinians (cross-border shelling after rocket attacks, bombing terrorist leaders and bomb makers, etc), the attacks on Israel would continue. Note in support of this that Israel did withdraw from Gaza and for a long, long time forebore any response to cross-border rocket attacks and attempted suicide bombings from Gaza.

If the Palestinians were to stop the cross-border rocket attacks and suicide bombings, the violence would cease almost immediately.

Blaming the Israelis for escalating the violence, because they are trying to recapture a soldier taken when the Palestinians attacked inside of Israel’s 1967 borders, is unreasonable. It’s not unlike the way the British jail homeowners who hurt armed robbers in the process of robbing the homeowners. It is, in fact, reprehensible.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
If Israel were to utterly cease any response to the Palestinians [...] Blaming the Israelis for escalating the violence, because they are trying to recapture a soldier taken when the Palestinians attacked inside of Israel’s 1967 borders, is unreasonable.
I’m not sure who you’re responding to, but I certainly hope it’s not me. At no point have I suggested that the Israelis ought not respond at all, or that they had no justification to respond. I’ve merely pointed out that they would be in a much better position to respond productively were this an inter-State problem, rather than an occupied territories problem.
But daily Qassam rocket fusillades into Israeli towns inside the green line are not? You are sounding too close to the peace-at-the-cost-of-the-last-Jew ideologues who infect far too many bodies of the news media these days.
Ain’t that something. I write a post about how Israel should adjust so that they can respond "to continued violence from Palestine as an act of war", and commenters think I mean "peace-at-the-cost-of-the-last-Jew".
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I write a post about how Israel should adjust so that they can respond "to continued violence from Palestine as an act of war", and commenters think I mean "peace-at-the-cost-of-the-last-Jew".
Well, when you identify "implicit recognition" where no such thing exists outside of some threadbare media spin you leave yourself wide open to such accusation.

As for me, anything outside of "explicit recognition" is not recognition.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Have the Palistinians responded productively to anything but force?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Let me see if I get this:
All of this underlines the importance of Israeli extraction from the occupied territories and from the Palestinian’s internecine conflict. So long as progress is predicated on Palestinian cooperation and control of their own radical groups, then the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be controlled by those least interested in peace.
Your truth statement is that "progress is predicated on Palestinian cooperation and control of their own radical groups" because "Israeli extraction from the occupied territories" has not happened. If the truth statement were falsified by "Israeli extraction from the occupied territories" taking place, then the consequence statement, "the Israeli/Palestinian conflict [is] controlled by those least interested in peace", is not longer valid. So you are saying, so far as I can deconstruct it, that Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories so that Israel can respond to Palestinian attacks as acts of war, and thus remove the veto of "those least interested in peace".

Gaza, from whence the attack originated and which Israel is now re-entering in a limited way to find their soldier, is not occupied territory. If this had happened in the West Bank, you would have had a point and I wouldn’t have said anything. But this happened in Gaza (more precisely, the attackers were from Gaza, and attacked from Gaza into Israel’s pre-1967 borders), from which Israel had already withdrawn more than a year ago.

So either you are saying that Gaza is occupied terroritory, or that Israel should not respond to Palestinian attacks at all. From your followup, I have to assume, bizarre as this sounds, that you simply do not realize that Israel has withdrawn from the Gaza strip.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Jeff,

I believe Jon means that unless Isreal does the same with the West bank and recognizes the Palestinian state the problem exists. That the attackers came from Gaza doesn’t invalidate the statement, if I read it right. Kind of like if part of the US was occupied (say the Southwest) then returning East Texas might not mean that those in East Texas would consider that sufficient, nor would it keep the larger issues of occupation at bay. Now please, I am not really comparing the situation, just saing that Jon’s analysis is not invalidated by where the attackers came from. Now, Jon may be full of it for other reasons which I am sure you will elaborate upon.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
In the meantime, Israel could disengage with the Palestinian territories, treating them as a sovereign state and responding to continued violence from Palestine as an act of war, rather than internal unrest.
Exactly what Isreal has done and is doing in Gaza right now. This is a military operation to recover a man lost in hostile action from the enemy’s territory.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
I suppose that it’s also possible to conclude that the Palestinians have no concept of incentives and disincentives in human psychology. After all, you can conclude that intransigence and constant attacks drove Israel from Gaza. If that were the case, you would confirm that by no attacks from Gaza, and constant attacks from the West Bank. If you continue to attack from Gaza, and not from the West Bank (as is more or less the case now), the Israelis might instead conclude that the right path is to reoccupy Gaza, as that would prevent the attacks.

As for myself, I prefer to take the Palestinians at their words and actions. Even in the latest "softening" of Palestinian positions, the new position includes justification of attacks on Israel inside the 1967 borders even if Israel withdraws from the West Bank as they did from Gaza. I have to conclude that the Palestinians are not interested in peace with Israel, except the peace of an Israeli national grave.

More to the original point, though: if Israel responding is a bad step, then it is fair to conclude that Israel not responding is a good step. For the reasons I just gave, I don’t think that will lead to peace.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Solid column Jon although what you are proposing has been discussed already. The real problem with the solution of Israel simply withdrawing to pre-1967 borders, acknowledging a sovereign Palestinian state (regardless of whether Hamas likes it or not), and then treating homicide bombings and rocket attacks as legitimate acts of war is that it really wouldn’t change anything. On paper, it looks like a great idea and I personally think that it is creative and definitely would change the situation politically. The problem comes in that nothing would change on the ground. Ok, Hamas attacks Israel. Israel declares war (as there is now a legitimate Palestinian state to declare war against), they strike back, then what? Occupy the territory again? Fall back to Israel again so that Hamas can keep up rocket attacks? And all the while the UN, Europe, and American leftists will still be foaming at the mouth about Israeli imperialism, genocide of the Palestinians, etc. (despite this being a legally declared war at this point).

The only peace that Hamas and many Palestinians (and the above mentioned leftists) will accept is the death of every last Jew in Israel. It is a truly sad state of affairs, but this is, I’m afraid, a war of annihilation.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
It is a truly sad state of affairs, but this is, I’m afraid, a war of annihilation.
Assuming you are right (and Israel refuses to undertake genocide or ethnic cleansing) withdrawl from Gaza and the West Bank is the best approach. It affords Israel a militarily defensible position from which it can launch attacks. Occupation would place indefensible forces inside hostile territory - having outposts beyond your front line when the enemy possess effective rocketry is suicidal.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
Unaha-closp : Israel was founded to a certain extent with the very idea of rejection of genocide embedded in its core. As to the withdrawl, yes that is what they are doing, but I fail to understand your second statement. Occupying hostile territory would put Israeli soldiers in range of "effective rocketry." So pulling back to pre-1967 borders means that Israelis will be outside the range of such rocketry? The reason given for initially occupying Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights was to reinforce Israel’s position by denying its enemies the ability to launch rocket and mortar attacks into Israel and to widen the borders of the country so that in the case of invasion it could not be easily cut-in-two. Will the withdrawl now not simply mean that they will have to occupy the territory again (and even more territory given the longer range of weapons possessed by Israel’s enemies) to stop the same rocket attacks which will inevitably occur?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
As straight a defensive line as possible is better. Now this is achieved the palestinians have to fire blind and the Israelis can return fire ethically into enemy controlled territory. Previously the palestinians could see and know where the Israellis where and fire from a 360 degree arc from surrounding areas which Israel nominally controlled (requiring Israel to reply in a nominally controlled manner).
Will the withdrawl now not simply mean that they will have to occupy the territory again (and even more territory given the longer range of weapons possessed by Israel’s enemies) to stop the same rocket attacks which will inevitably occur?
Which would require removing all parts of Gaza city that fall within rocket range of Israel - ethnically cleanse pretty much all of it. That was the option Israel was unable to make because of it’s embedded values.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://

 
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