Comments on the Current Situation in Israel and Palestine

Lord Hylton

The issues of settlements or colonies in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem is a crucial one. Of equal importance are East Jerusalem as a capital for Palestine, together with access for all who wish to visit Al Aqsa/The Temple Mount, in a peaceful way.

The people of Israel will very soon have to choose. Are they prepared to agree to two viable sovereign states living alongside each other? If they won’t have this, the world will insist on a single state on the whole of pre-1948 Mandated Palestine, with equal rights for all citizens. This would mean the end of a specifically Jewish state, with privileges for Judaeism.”

29 comments for “Comments on the Current Situation in Israel and Palestine

  1. Carl.H
    25/03/2010 at 2:52 pm

    “The people of Israel will very soon have to choose.”

    So there`s going to be a referendum is there?

    Not all Israeli`s are against a Palestinian State. I have my doubts that the World can push the Israeli Government to accept anything.

    My Lord, I have followed closely the events since the 6 day war, looked at the history, the rights and the wrongs on all sides. I cannot make peace for them, only they can do that. There is clear suffering on both sides of the divide but it is even clearer none are man enough to want to make peace with the other, fear fuels this long division. Stop the fear and there maybe a chance of co existence.

  2. Gareth Howell
    25/03/2010 at 4:12 pm

    You should hear what people in Eastern Europe/ Central Asia say about the future of Israel, in line with the opinion of Ahmedinejadd, and “two viable states” would be the least of worries.

  3. John RD Kidd
    25/03/2010 at 5:57 pm

    The clear message is: Do not trust Israel. The Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that the most senior Israeli spy in Britain, a member of the Israeli embassy in London, is being expelled after investigation exposed a profound disregard for the sovereignty of the United Kingdom following the deliberate misuse of British passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai this January.

    Mr Miliband went on to say that cooperation between countries must be based on transparency and trust.

    The EU should abrogate the EU-Israel Association Agreement the provisions of which Israel has been in breach, year after year.

    The European Union does not need to buy Israeli bombs or guns and can purchase cut diamonds and oranges elsewhere

    With 27 member countries and a population of nearly half a billion, the European Union does not need to trade with the State of Israel.

    With its neighbours and others, the EU works to spread prosperity, democratic progress, the rule of law and human rights beyond its frontiers. The European Union is the world’s biggest trading power and a major donor of financial and technical assistance to poorer countries.

    The European Union does not need to trade with the State of Israel that holds it, and the United Kingdom, in such contempt.

  4. Carl.H
    25/03/2010 at 6:48 pm

    Mr. Kidd I think you underestimate the friends of Israel in the cause of Judaeism. This is not as easy as sanctions against Zimbabwe and the ilk.

    Mr. Milliband is part of the diplomacy game and that is not a World to be entered lightly. Declaring Israel bad for doing it today, doesn`t mean it wasn`t condoned yesterday or maybe tomorrow.

    Israel has been in contempt of lots of things for years but SOME Palestinians are not exactly neighbours of the month either.

    I do not know the answers, Lord Hylton and more wise people who understand far more than I are having great difficulty brokering peace. I do understand however that not buying Jaffa`s will make not the slightest difference.

  5. Frank W. Summers III
    25/03/2010 at 7:04 pm

    I would not pretend that justice has much to do with the issues here. In fact the claim for two equal states or a return to the pre-1948 mandate is simply open hatred, false logic and an extension of that savagery which now calls itself Civilization. No other country is held to a similar standard. A FEDERAL SOLUTION WITH SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR THE CURRENT REPUBLIC of Israel and with several other accomodations alone would approach justice.

    While Issrael is singled out we do punish countries based on dominance and reward those encouraging lawlessness. This is a vast pattern I cannot describe here in depth.The thing is that law and justice are roundly mocked and made ridiculous everywhere. Yet, we dare use them to cloak these discussions. This is not new to the human condition but it gets worse. Norse savagery may have its way in squeezing the Jews out of life and land but they have only my respect for not being so deluded as to cooperate. There are Arab and Lebanese lands where the Palestinians find closely related cultures and in Israel they have many rights whereas Arabs and Moslems often persecute all outsiders and further the Jews were driven out in waves of blood by Germans and Romans and return to land long claimed. As for the Moslems of Eastern Europe and Central Asia whom Gareth Howell mentions they may see a war as inevitable and perhaps they will be on the clearly winning side but I do not think every Hellenic person in the world, or every Hindu or Buddhist or other person has a short memory and a vast love of all they stand for. Israel may be doomed but be judicious in calling their enemies “the world.” Some regional animosities go back to most of your ancestors riding ponies and smeared with woad and have been kept alive ever since. Perhaps they will not matter much — but they exist.

  6. Gareth Howell
    25/03/2010 at 7:44 pm

    “the most senior Israeli spy in Britain, a member of the Israeli embassy in London, is being expelled”

    I did make a reported public pronouncement when Milliband was appointed, that having somebody of Jewish extraction should make absolutely no difference to the way the UK deals with the Middle East, and of course isn’t that so? (my being an Islamist of a sort)

    Highly amusing that he should have done so though. Can there possibly be such a thing as an Israeli spy?!

  7. bum boy
    25/03/2010 at 10:50 pm

    excellent read

  8. John Kidd
    26/03/2010 at 9:51 am

    @CARL H
    “Mr. Kidd I think you underestimate the friends of Israel in the cause of Judaeism”

    I think, Carl, that you conflate two completely different issues, which of course is precisely the intent of certain parties.

    Political Zionism and Judaism are in no way synonymous. In many ways, they are antonyms.

    There are thousands of Jews, worldwide, who are completely horrified at the inhuman and undemocratic actions of the current Israeli government. Judaism is an ancient religion that believes in the sanctity of human life and human dignity. Political Zionism, as practised by Likud, is to many, abhorrent.

  9. Carl.H
    26/03/2010 at 6:04 pm

    There is no conflation by myself you are mistaken. I merely report what I view and you yourself stated similar in stating it was the intent of certain parties.

    There are many Muslims who do not wish war on Israel but many have declared Holy war against Judaeism as a whole, not just Israel. We have seen Worldwide attacks not just upon Israel itself.

    I may not have wanted war with Iraq or Iran, I maybe a conscientious objector but the Taliban or Al Qaida will not differentiate me.

    It is not I or even Israel at times that state Judaism and Israel are synonymous.

    “However, the Palestinian religious leaders, all appointees of the PA political leadership, are publicly preaching that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is part of Islam’s eternal religious war against the Jews. Jews are portrayed as the eternal enemies of Allah, and the killing of Jews as Allah’s will. On the national level, Allah prohibits acceptance of Israel’s existence and will destroy it.”

    http://www.aish.com/jw/me/48883732.html

    • Carl.H
      26/03/2010 at 9:09 pm

      I`m sorry I had to write a bit more, the above text from the site is upsetting me, it is repugnant. I am on no ones side, I believe Palestine should be a state and should live in harmony with Israel.

      How can anyone hate to that level where you`d wish genocide on a whole race of people, most of whom would never do you harm. I wonder how the world would view such a site if it was German or Austrian ?

      How do you begin to negotiate with people who think like that ? Yes the State of Israel has done some abominable things, killing lots of innocents and causing untold suffering but there are many in Israel who have nothing but kindness for Palestinians. I`m sure the doctrine of Allah does not preach genocide which scientifically would be ludicrous as both Jew and Arab share a link by DNA.

      I do not know an answer, neither it appears does anyone else and that is a great sadness to me.

      Wa Alaykum As Salaam
      Shalom aleichem

  10. 26/03/2010 at 10:51 pm

    The discussion of Judaism is never going to be very easy, rational or well received. In the East, Hinduism is the ancestor (directly or indirectly) of Buddhism, Sihkism and most forms of Jainism and we underestimate how hard their discussions can be to carry out. However, Judaism is so much the ancestor of Christianity and is in large part the ancestor of Islam and of varied post Christian religions (Mormonism here in the USA for example). Jews with a history of persecution often want to avoid seeing those ties and those in the later faiths whether by hate or guilt over filial impiety have often chosen to minimize these ties as well. Yet they are vital to understand. But Jews are a people and nation more than they are adherents to Judaism. The similarity with Hinduism obtains here. Buddhism is worldwide and cosmopolitan while even at its most diverse Hinduism is mostly Indian. It is almost impossible for a Christian to speak of purifying Judaism and be understood. Yet the truth is that Judaism is largely about a real homeland in Zion and running a country. It has been corrupted by milennia of Exile. Whether devout or not the Zionists are as much prophets as almost anyone in the tradition. Christianity and Islam also have something to say to any really renewed Judaism but we are far from that being practical. We have a swamp of lies, hatred and excuses for which Germany and Austria bear large responsibility and should be scolded most but are not scolded at all.

    • Twm O'r Nant
      27/03/2010 at 9:35 am

      111

      “But Jews are a people and nation more than they are adherents to Judaism”

      Diaspora is a word one might have expected to see in 111’s post. Where is the home base of the diaspora though, Israel, or NY.

      The very closeness of the religion of the people of Utah and a hybrid of the Reformed and Orthodox Synagogue, is startling.

      Unlike Israel, there is no purpose in going to SLC ,for anybody who is not interested in
      Mormonism.

      Perhaps Zionists should think again, and found a new secular state, join forces with Utah and declare it a Zionist state!

      Such moves must be considered somewhere!

      • 27/03/2010 at 6:20 pm

        Tom Edwards,
        You should know by now that the one thing I simply cannot abide is any kind of sarcasm.
        FWS3

      • Twm O'r Nant
        29/03/2010 at 7:18 am

        “You should know by now that the one thing I simply cannot abide is any kind of sarcasm.
        FWS3”

        Isn’t it awful FWS111?

        Hd28

  11. John R D Kidd
    26/03/2010 at 11:16 pm

    CARL, you provide a link to aish.com which is a strongly pro-Zionist organization that naturally promotes right-wing opinion. There are dozens of these sites on the web as indeed there are strongly left-wing, anti-Zionist sites.

    None of this propaganda alters the fact that modern day Israel has virtually no resemblance to the vision of Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, of just over 100 years ago. He envisaged a wholly different society that would live on the land in co-operation and harmony with its indigenous neighbours.

    What we now have is a brutal conflict in which the hate that is engendered daily by the often gratuitous brutality of the occupying force, will take a minimum of three generations (75 years) to erase from the time that such brutality ceases. That day is still distant. In the meantime children from both Palestine and Israel are taught to hate and kill eachother indiscriminately. And the world, up to now, does nothing other than to supply the combatants with bombs, guns and missiles. (One side also gets F15 strike aircraft, tanks, white phosphorus and cluster bombs).

    This is the way to WW3, not to peace.

    • Carl.H
      27/03/2010 at 1:23 am

      John I did not know the link was to a pro-zionist site, I was merely showing that it is not I who conflates Judaism and Israel.

      The text on the site:Material provided by Palestinian Media Watch, an independent, Jerusalem-based non-profit organization which monitors the Palestinian media.

      I m absolutely with you on this one, in the fact I would like to see peace, no more suffering or killing on ANY side.

      You talk of 75 years to forgive, if you talk to Brits even my age what do they know of the Stern Gang ? In the 70`s I lost friends to the IRA, we forgive for the sake of peace. We try to understand the other side.

      Both sides are wrong in this, they are where they are today and they both play games in the diplomacy stakes, the new settlements I dare say are yet another ploy, piece to play with. Would you see Israel unable to defend itself in it`s situation ? What do you honestly think would happen without the support it gets ? The absolute brutality it dishes out to ordinary Palestinians is a crime.

      I try to stay away from this subject where I can because I don`t have answers, I can see all sides. It`s like a friend having terminal cancer and theres nothing, absolutely nothing you can do or say.

    • Gareth Howell
      27/03/2010 at 9:25 am

      Mr Kidd,
      The only real problem is that, while the state of Israel is a colony of the Citizens of New York, the stateless Palestinians may only have Dubai to think about.

      It is not as though they can not go abroad to work, on a Jordanian passport. It is not as though they are not citizens of the world like the rest of us.

      It is not as though the Zionist who does migrate to Israel has a golden future, nor the Palestinian who leaves it, but the latter is more likely.

  12. John R D Kidd
    27/03/2010 at 8:03 pm

    “The text on the site:Material provided by Palestinian Media Watch, an independent, Jerusalem-based non-profit organization which monitors the Palestinian media”

    CARL, you were not to know, but I confess I allowed myself a smile. An independent non profit organization based in Jerusalem, is anything but independent! There are many of these, some with very innocuous names that pretend they are based in the UK in order to disseminate primarily pro-Israel propaganda in the (EU and British) media and which have their own web sites configured to give this impression. One such was uncovered in a recent (I think) Channel4 investigative program.

    In regard to the wider issue, and Gareth’s point. The conflict can only be resolved by the creation of an independent Palestinian state. But this can only happen when the US agrees to abstain from its veto on any UN resolution critical or pertaining to Israel.

    When that occurs, then positive movement can take place without delay. The UN Security Council needs to resolve the issues at hand and the international community then must implement the decision(s).

    When and if the US government acts responsibly, instead of taking instructions from a non-elected lobby group, then the Middle East conflict can at last be resolved.

    Israel, as already pointed out, is dependent on the EU and the US for essential bilateral trade. The cards and the tools are entirely within the hands of these two super-power blocks, which together represent nearly 850 million people!

    Seems incredible, doesn’t it, that over three quarter of a BILLION voters can be effectively controlled by a small non-elected lobby? But that is the current, astonishing position.

    • Carl.H
      28/03/2010 at 12:42 pm

      This then leads to an enigma. If we cannot believe any of what we hear, see or read from any source then we either become paranoid or totally apathetic to the situation.

      This is a major problem specifically with this issue, everyone appears to have an agenda. There can be no trust at all. Even I when entering debate on this issue distrust information from others, yes even yourself.

      It is a world of politics and diplomacy, of wheeling and dealing and that is the horrific part. People are being blown up, children suffering and families disenfranchised of any type of normality on both sides. Leaders play diplomatic games and innocents die,are maimed or become products of a feud.

      “Seems incredible, doesn’t it, that over three quarter of a BILLION voters can be effectively controlled by a small non-elected lobby? ”

      Equally it is incredible that how many Moslems and Nations want to eradicate Israel, that we are fighting against stubborn radicals who threaten our lives daily with bombs and attacks for the sake of leverage on the other side. There are two lobbies at work here, please don`t forget that.

      Israel suffers attacks even when it is apparently peaceful, we have to judge what is reasonable. When 9/11 and 7/7 took place the US, UK and allies went to war not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but virtually worldwide against radical terrorists and the people that harbour them. Israel appears to do no less in their given situation. Can we honestly state we are any different ?

      Without the support of the West, Israel would be eradicated, there would be untold bloodshed. Perhaps if the rest of the Arab world helped Palestine in peaceful building of its lands, of a State, instead of proffering the demise of Israel and supplying arms things may get better for all. Of course Israel has to allow this to take place.

      Mr.Kidd you are right there is a lot of propoganda on this subject and one has to be wary of lobbyists. Can you honestly say that people will read this debate and decide you are of a neutral stance because I would think to most your points will appear tainted. I`m sorry if that offends it isn`t meant, it is how I feel.

      I have no answers but I do know only Palestinian`s and Israeli`s can resolve this problem and stop the suffering.

    • Twm O'r Nant
      29/03/2010 at 7:21 am

      “three quarter of a BILLION voters can be effectively controlled by a small non-elected lobby? But that is the current, astonishing position”

      What an interesting thought, and it is astonishing. They must be keen!

  13. 27/03/2010 at 11:50 pm

    Kidd,
    This is pretty broad stuff:
    “When and if the US government acts responsibly, instead of taking instructions from a non-elected lobby group, then the Middle East conflict can at last be resolved.”
    The voters lobby and are always unelected as lobbyists. I assure you that many are sincere. Secondly, was the situation involved when Turks, Arabs, Jews, Europeans and North Africans were killing eachother in Palestine in much of the early twentieth century? Or was it resolved when the Turks conquered (sort of) many other interests? Was it when Napoleon was invading Egypt and the Uk kept him trapped in the region? Was it during the Crusades (which most of all)? When Arab Muslims had really started persecuting Christian Pilgrims? Was it when the Arabs conquered the land in Bloody manner from the mostly Greek, Hebrew, Roman- African and Eastern inhabitants of a weakend byzantine province? Was it when the Romans wiped out a very high Hebrew civilization in the latter Jewish Wars? Or was it when they took over as allies to the Maccabees? Was it when the Maccabees fought off incoming Greeks? Peerhaps it was during the Babylonian invasion and Exile? Was it during the Assyrian invasion and exile which profited from the Civil War creating the North and South Kingdoms? Or was it during that Civil War? Or was it During the long Davidic wars on their former allies the Philistines? Or was it during the long pre-Davidic wars between Hebrews and Philistines? or was it when Hebrews and philistines took advantage of of country exhausted by tribal and Princely wars and the collapse of their mutual enemy the Hitites? Or was in the bloody Hitite occupation? Or was it when Egypt garrisoned the area till the constant bllodshed exhausted them? Or was it when the nomads fought over pastures? When was it easy to be in that spot?

    Just not entirely sure…

  14. Senex
    28/03/2010 at 7:16 pm

    LH: I came across the book ‘A Farewell to Alms’ by economist Professor Gregory Clark on my continuing online trawl through English Parliamentary history; at around 9 GBP a pop its cheap enough to buy but it is somewhat of a dry read.

    Prof Clark demonstrates a number of things but what must be of interest to Israeli politicians are his observations (preview page 28) that technological advances increase personal income only temporary as this is swallowed up by increases in population.

    By building outwards into disputed areas to support population increases Israeli politicians are doing their citizens no favours economically. Israel has a high dependence on technological innovation.

    In the conclusion on page 375 (not previewable), figure 18.1 ‘Average income per capita and average happiness, Japan, 1958-2004’ he shows that increased income does not really change what makes you happy. In fact the level of happiness drops slightly at the high end of earnings.

    One thing Israel does know about is that businesses are expanding from Turkey into Syria but not into Israel. This means that goods manufactured in Syria attract a ‘Certificate of Arab Origin’ allowing duty free exports into the Pan-Arab Free Trade Areas (PAFTA) of: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

    A Palestinian Arab State helped in part by Israeli finance and know-how would bring prosperity and stability to all. A Palestinian state would have preferential trading status within the free trade area. The challenge would be to marginalise and contain the bigotry and hatred that denies this prosperity.

    A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    Gregory Clark, 2007, Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0-691-1213
    http://books.google.com/books/princeton?hl=en&q=&vid=ISBN9780691121352
    Arab Republic of Egypt: Pan-Arab Free Trade Areas (PAFTA)
    http://www.mfti.gov.eg/english/Agreements/Pafta.htm

  15. John R D Kidd
    29/03/2010 at 3:21 pm

    It has been reported that more than three-quarters of the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to Hillary Clinton, the Foreign Secretary, stating that current tensions with Israel, be eased, as they are not in America’s interests.

    Given Israel’s intransigence and its clear intention to treat both the US and international law with contempt, such a letter is evidence of the disproportionate influence of the powerful Israel lobby over the American lower House.

    It is to be hoped that the 27 member states of the European Union, including Britain, France and Germany, will refuse to be intimidated by a political lobby that campaigns on behalf of Israel to the apparent detriment of any proposals for peace in the Middle East, and in opposition to President Obama’s substantive moves for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and an end to the occupation.

    The world is being drawn ever nearer into an escalating conflict that will inevitably spill over into Europe unless the EU takes a firm stand against US- backed, Israeli belligerence that seeks to maintain the status quo.

    • franksummers3ba
      29/03/2010 at 3:51 pm

      Mr Kidd,

      I do not know how old you are. I myself was born long after World War Two. Israel is responsible for the entire area in which it routinely operates and is therefore not really a beligerent in my view ( nor is the PLA for the same reason). However you are very possibly building towards a beligerence which those of us who survive it will have no doubts about whatever.
      As I recall things can get worse than old Jews putting their patio furniture in places one does not like and their neighbors throwing rocks at them. That is about two thirds of our current crisis. The deadly and horrible third is not ignored here but I doubt everyone there would vote to be dead if they could chose. That could possibly happen.

      • franksummers3ba
        29/03/2010 at 4:42 pm

        CORRECTION:
        I usually leave my many typographical errors here uncorrected. However, I did not mean that the Chinese are or should be operating in Palestinian areas. Please read PLA as an anachronistic PLO or as PA. Chinese regular forces fighting there would be beligerents.

    • Carl.H
      29/03/2010 at 5:21 pm

      Mr.Kidd where is the honesty and integrity in your posts ? Israel is not the only culprit in this matter though it`s losses may appear less.

      You stated previously I conflated Zionism with Judaism, then later go on to say that Zionisn is conflated with the US in some way, and with three quarters of a billion people.

      A passioned plea for the innocent of Palestine I understand but please do not mistake everyone for fools that think ONLY Israel is to blame. There is a great deal wrong in the region and all sides are to blame. Western Nations will side with Israel whilst they are being bombed daily, having suicide bombers enter their towns and markets. Whilst Nations declare they REQUIRE the abolishment/demolishment of Isreal and scream for blood.

      Stop and think ! The EU Nations are still at war against terrorists and their activities and yes crimes there have been committed too but it is no different to that which we speak.

      Why do you not cry out for the Palestinian terrorists to give up their weapons and stop their crimes? Why do you not cry that Iran and other Nations stop their threats of annihilating Israel ?

      How do you propose Israel protects itself, if it gives up all you ask ? Or is it that you require a defenceless Israel ?

      Some Israeli`s may have crimes to answer for but so do some Palestinians and others.

      “establishment of an independent Palestinian state and an end to the occupation.”

      Methinks there is more to that statement. Occupation of what ? Israel ?

      Your last paragraph seem`s either threat, promise or phrophecy !

  16. John R D Kidd
    29/03/2010 at 4:29 pm

    It is my view, that if the American House and Senate insist on representing a lobby for a foreign government instead of the interests of their own constituents, then the EU should flex its muscle as the largest trading and political block in the world and IMPOSE a two-state solution in Palestine.

    In that case, the US would have abdicated its responsibilities in the Middle East.

    Arguably, of course, it has already achieved that invidious position by colluding in the myth of Israel’s ‘nuclear ambiguity’ to the detriment of virtually the entire international community that has signed up to the NPT and the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN.

  17. John R D Kidd
    29/03/2010 at 7:16 pm

    CARL H

    I assume that you must be aware that Israel is alleged to have killed 320 children and 110 women in Gaza, just fifteen months ago.

    I assume that you are aware that an independent UN fact-finding mission headed by an eminent jurist with an impeccable record of integrity in human rights issues, has reported that the Israeli army were guilty of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity in respect of the above killings.

    I assume that you are aware that the same report alleges that the IDF used Palestinian civilians as human shields. It also reported that the IDF used white phosphorus illegally as a chemical weapon.

    I assume that you are aware that the Israeli lobby tried to discredit that report and its eminent author.

    Need I continue with these facts which are public domain knowledge and can be verified by independent sources online?

  18. Carl.H
    07/04/2010 at 10:14 am

    Sorry it`s been so long Mr.Kidd.

    I have stated all the way through this debate I aware that some Israeli`s may have committed crimes but one has to be fair and this seem`s lacking in your posts. I could go on to list all Israeli casualties and go on about the constant rocket and mortar fire into Israel but I suspect you know of this.

    When looking for a solution one has to look at cause and effect. The casualties on both sides are effect but we need to find a solution to the cause, to stop it. Israel is not going to pack up and move and like any other nation has a right to protect itself and it`s people. Just stop and think how any other Nation would react if it were being bombed daily.

    It was good news in the last few days to hear Hamas was trying to stop all the rocket and mortar attacks and I hope they succeed. Perhaps once they manage to stop them, then more worldwide weight can be put on Israel to desist it`s illegal actions.

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