Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Negotiation room

Chas came up with the idea of putting Lirun and myself in a virtual room so that we can work out our differences when the discussion heated up between us this last July.

I want to borrow this idea and try it out here with a few of the commentators who always seem to be in a dispute about issues in the world and the Middle-East.

I know the dispute can and will go on forever so this is more of a committee with a specific question to answer. The question that Andrey asked me early on in this blog. What are we doing to bring peace to the ME? The focus of the question is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It cannot be separated from neighboring countries so we can discuss that in the light of its effect on the Israeli/Palestinian issue alone.

So the assignment could be very interesting: Lirun, Andrey, Snurdly (and anyone else who's interested) on one hand could represent a spectrum of political opinions but will naturally represent Israel's interests and Rhiannon, mone and myself (and anyone else on this side) will naturally represent Palestine's interests.

By now we know we have differences in opinions and we are well aware of these differences so there is no point in repeating them. At the same time i don't see the use in pointing fingers or going back to the past. We have to look at what we have at hand and try to suggest a solution that will please all. If people like us with such opposing views could reach a middle ground, i don't see why politicians can't. Greed and power of course but in the process of reaching an understanding ourselves, we might at least see that clearly.

We will start with the two state solution of course and go from there.
Some members on both sides might be to the extreme but this is only a good representation of the political elements on the ground.

I elect Zee to be the moderator since he is objective (after all he's swiss) and throughout the discussions we had in the past he showed opposition to both sides.

So i say we start by suggesting the first step in a plan to bring peace. What would that be in your opinion? More importantly why hasn't it been implemented yet? You can engage in a discussion here in the comments section or answer on your blogs and i'll be happy to show your answers here.


Lirun said...

sounds cool.. although i thought he meant something else by a room.. get your mind out of the gutter thank you.. yeah please? thank you.. i meant like a conference room or a cafe or somewhere we can meet face to face..

and so im willing to go that far..

mirvosh.. i challenge you to a frank discussion with me on ME politics in NY next month..

i'm glad to do the flying..

balls in your court..


we can then submit our conclusions to our respective blogcommunities and see how we progress from there..

wa'dya reckon?

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

waiting in anticipation, mirv.

Mirvat said...

Lirun that's a great idea. you're willing to fly all the way here for peace negotiations :) i wish we were in power to make changes then. for now let's have a proposal to start from.

Lirun said...

ok ok.. truth is the ticket is booked.. so if you are keen let me know offline..

i think it would be a phenominal experience given that we have sooo much knowledge of eachother's view..

Lirun said...

by the way..

we are very much in a position to make changes..

Mirvat said...

so now we're talking :) when are you coming exactly? i hope it's after my defense. i'm around after Feb 8 and before Feb 25, let me know. this would really be great! and no fighting i promise :)

it makes me very hopeful to think that we can make a change. let's hope that.

Anonymous said...

I think that we have been blabbering enough already, and as I see it, your proposal is to talk seriously, which in my point of view means everybody should drop the accusations, try to be rational (and not emotional), and most important: throughout all of the discussion to set himself the goal of coming to an accepted solution, and not as it have been up till now - to convince the other side, that he isn't right. Some of that, was said by Mirvat on her post...
About form of the discussion, I think that it should be stricted and led by rules, if only not to let it become a "turkish salad" (eastern metaphor) or "italian movie" (western metaphor) - wich will bring us to an end (of the discussion). The form I propose is 1 specific question at a time, and when someone starts to talk off the topic - others stop him. If we will succeed to start moving forward, we will come to a concensus, and move to another question.
And now finally, we come to your question: "we start by suggesting the first step in a plan to bring peace". Let me start by not agreeing, as I think that we should start from the other end: How do you see the final solution to the Israely-Palestinian conflict? What will it be like, this situation, in wich there will be an equilibrium between the achieved and unachived demands of both sides, between what is just for these and those and of course what is just (period). Why start with this question? Because you can move the discussion on from here, with questions like: "What are the obstacles towards achieving that", "How do we deal with those obstacles" and so on.

Mirvat said...

Fair enough Andrey.
I said before and i say it again. I'm for the two-state solution. Two states will have to imply defined borders and since people are very good with excuses and blame, the borders should be defined with the surrounding countries once and for all. plans should be presented to the UN, land mine maps and so on.

It should start with a respect of neighboring countries' borders and resources. sea, air and water and that will include palestine.

A just well-defined withdrawal will push the two palestinian entities in power into aggreeing on the proposed solution. that way hamas won't be obliged to dismiss fateh and traitors because they conceded to whatever is given to them. something arafat couldn't do during the oslo accord.

we need to learn from past mistakes. the unilateral withdrawal and the punishment mentality doesn't work and is still under the abuse of power mentality.

israel is supported by the US and is the 4th strongest military power in the world but that shouldn't imply that israel should use its power on its neighbor. Hamas, on the other hand, need to have defined 'demands'. the palestinians need a fair representation on the way of their independence.

same with lebanon and external influences, the iranian or american supports should not interfere with the people living with each other wanting peace. the people should refuse to be a battlefield for the external disputes and for the politicians trying to snatch power and resources.

think simple. any israeli would not wish to bomb the palestinians and any palestinian would not wish to bomb the israelis.
who's creating this?
the politicians and we're paying for it and our children will after us. we need to stop the denial. i say there's a dangerous theocratic mentality controling us and you have to say there's a neo-zionist movement trying to draw the map for the new middle-east. both scare me to death. we need to say that neither represent people like us. most of the poor people who just want to be safe and go on with their daily life are like me and you.

how do we educate a new israeli generation that is not mostly military and how do we raise a new arabic generation that don't hate israel?

we need to stop the violence as soon as possible and hope that those kids will forget the late events.

we all agree on peace. how do we bring forth the people's opinions.

So andrey the final solution as i see it is two independent countries. defined borders. palestine will need the help of other countries (hopefully arabic countries as well) to recover economically. prosperity gets rid of anger. we need to forget the past and the best way to do it is to make it a thing of the past asap. we saw the renewed hateful feelings of the lebanese. that's not the way to go. we need to forget the showing our muscles technique.

andrey, we can start going to specific matters if you want.

snurdly said...


I like the idea/offer. I don't think we can have this discussion without bringing up the past because that is naturally where the distrust lies. For example...2 state solution...proposed in 1936, a no-go in '48. But OK, slate clean of the past...2 state solution is what everyone wants. The Palestinians have to form a unity government and stop the truce-breaking between Hamas and Fatah first. Then the "recognition of Israel" question comes into play which you posted about in you last blog entry. Israelis need to be convinced that '67 borders will suffice.

Mirvat said...

ok. i like to be honest but at the same time i need to stick to the rules here so i'm not going to argue against your 48 point because that is in the past and doesn't help matters now.

you raise valid points:
1- unified representation for palestine in the form of a legitimate government diplomatically respected by the international community (which i wish existed) is crucial.
2- the question in the previous entry was about the difference between accepting a two state solution and accepting israel's existance versus accepting israel's right to remain as it is today. right to the point. no one should accept israel's right to remain as it is today beginning with you and that brings us to your third point,
3- you say 67 border, i say and return what belongs to syria and lebanon to shut them up, no? then if HA won't have a cause, syria won't have an excuse and the will be content if agreement was reached and they will ask to be left alone.

snurdly said...


The first 3 points are great. The last one is tricky because HA said that that's not enough. HA is very much like Hamas just with a much better militia. Gaza is also much like Lebanon is now just much poorer but with a comparable internal strife. So if currently both areas can't agree internally Israel wouldn't agree to anything because they wouldn't know what they were getting into. Syria would likely accept a deal but are actually hindering efforts between Israel/Palestinians because they know that Israel/Syria negotiations are of lower priority for Israel (just like they used HA to indirectly hijack the Palestinian cause this past summer).

Anonymous said...

Ok, we agree on 2 state, if somebody will disagree, we'll come back to it later.
Now before moving on to the "3 great issues", I would like to say something about the form of the states. (1) Based on 67 or the 67 borders themselves, I think that it would be a good thing for Gaza and the Bank to be connected, by land, constructing 2 parts of Palestine and 2 parts of Israel - all connecting in one point (use your imagination), I think that it would be fair, and it would give the Palestinians a better feeling about the arrengment - so they would not tell that they have been tricked. Also people would not have to pass through check points that way, while going from Gaza to the West Bank. Also, if the border includes jewish settelments inside the west-bank, they should be given the right to choose to stay under the Palestinian rule (there are many normal people behind the green line, not just "settlers").
And now the 3 issues:
1. Refugees.
2. Jerusalem.
3. Borders + Water. This is actualy not such an issue, water can be dealt with as we have seen in Jordan-Israel peace treaty, where Israel is obliged to supply a given amount of water to Jordan per year. Projects like the National Water Carrier can be built to Palestine, or better: Palestine can be connected to the soon to be built Israely-Turkish pipe line (of gas, oil and water). The question is about the borders between Israel and Palestine: there are some families scattered around the 2 sides of the border, and so on.

I will have to disapear in few hours, have to go to Nazareth for a couple of days....

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy - me as a "moderator" of this discussion - are you sure Mirvat?

That essentially means that I have to slow down, can't push forward my own opinions and instead have to listen to all of you equally and keep most of my comments on hold.

OK, I will give it a shot. But I will only try to do it in an encouraging way, namely only say little tid bits to things here and there to what has been posted and to be encouraging to actual solutions.

"...think simple. any israeli would not wish to bomb the palestinians and any palestinian would not wish to bomb the israelis" is what Mirvat said.
Maybe we start there.

Anonymous said...

All sounds good, if it was the matter up to the few of us, I think the war would have stopped a long time ago.
Few points here:

1- I wonder however, what is the exact ambition of the Israeli government. What is exactly the driven principles behind the Israeli Government backed by the US, especially after I found out more about the philosophy of the "elite" and their own ambition of controlling the world no matter how it maybe destructive to their people or others...

2-The other part which I wonder about, if the two state solution is formalized, would that bring final peace. It will help for sure but will it stop the fundamentalists and their teachings from both sides? Israel can't be compared to the formulation of US. IE, the new formed country is completely occupied and isolated.Israel was formed in the middle of Arabic Region that speaks one language "Arabic" and have similar background. It actually seeks an isolated "identity" from its surrounding neighbors. Can this entity get accepted any time in the short or long future? putting helpful emotions aside, I think not

I believe, sooner or later, perhaps in 50 or 100 or more years, the idea of Israel will have to change to accept a kind of openness toward amalgamation of its entity with the surrounding Arabic entities or the pals.One country for both, 2 languages and an elected officials from whoever fits the position.

Andrey said...

One country for both, 2 languages and an elected officials from whoever fits the position.
You mean in 50-100 years, or now? (it's not clear from the text)

Anonymous said...

it seems more like 2 to 10 years from now ...

Mirvat said...

- zee's point, this is a great place to start and i think we're already there by having this dialogue.

- mone, this is true and i imagine when Rhiannon shows up, she will be bringing up some of those concerns as well, by that i mean your first point which is the issue of trust in the intentions of the powerful today. let's start by saying trust is shattered on both sides. so let's not adhere to this point for now. also let's not think of what the politicians want but what we want and go from there for the sake of formulating solutions.

as for your second point, the idea of identity is also valid but we can think about this as europe. we all know that not all arabic countries are that connected in terms of culture or a unified language as much as we like to believe. i for once can only understand spoken arabic of like 5 or 6 rabic countries :) so this doesn't need to be a crisis. also we're all unified as a world today under a global culture that we all understand. little by little we dream of breaking all these barriers so in terms of mutual living and exchanging culture that shouldn't be holding us.

snurdly, i am aware of the sabotaging that occurs on all sides to keep the money flowing to the political figures and this is why in my first comment i said, we need to get rid of the reasons, the compelling reasons, that make it easy for figures and leaders to rally people behind them. HA have a list of wrongdoings by israel as part of their mission statement. if these reasons don't exist (the prisoners, palestine..) people won't follow even if they try. we have a saying in lebanese, make it an issue, it becomes an issue.
that's why people always say it has to be a just peace so that it can be a remaining peace.

andrey, i like how you're thinking. these are exactly points we should be addressing.
excellent points. gaza and the west banks should be connected. checkpoints have to go. settlements have to go or be under palestinian governmental ruling.
jerusalem should belong to both, by then if peace prevails this should be a place that brings all together.

The refugees.. i don't know.. anyone?

ok zee where do we go next?

Andrey said...

Mone, there are many things that will bring Israel and Arab countries closer - tourism and economics. Tourism: Israelis love traveling, and if it's cheaper its better. Druze, Bahai, Christians - all have holy places in Israel. As for economics, I don't think that you can imagine the amount of Israelis in Arab countries once these markets will open. Another thing is lots of mizrahi citizens - many speak arabic (so do many ashkenazy, who studied well at school), their home cooking is arabic, there is a whole branch of eastern music in hebrew in Israel. And 20% of Israel are Arabs who speak both hebrew and arabic (so do many Palestinians). Anyway, in time of peace Israel won't be isolated, slowly but certainly everyone would be speaking Arabic here.

Anonymous said...

We can entertain ourselves, that is OK by me, but realistically what our hearts is telling us will work maybe different from the cumulative interest that is drawing more complicated conflicts to the region as well. I don't want to sound negative, just cautious..anyways I ll play along.

I think Zee can see my second point.
The accent that is differentiated between Arab countries is not the same as a complete new language that showed up in that region. By saying that we are dreaming of breaking up barriers, is true but who is "we"? We the educated abroad, or the people who are living in the ME all our lives surrounded by thousands old cultures and religions? The ones who have our sisters and brother killed just few years back, or the ones contemplating how to solve this in a Sauna listening to eminem?
Despite all the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel, Israel today is still most hated in Egypt, ask Egyptians living there, watch their movies and listen to their songs...
Same will continue on and on, Israel will be looked at as the aggressor and occupiers and unjust people. Internal conflicts looked at always differently which is natural human attitude. Europe also is very different example. Europe languages and countries still have similar background, and cultures that grew together for hundreds of years.

One country will serve while democratic elected boards or senate will hold both entities will help the region understand (not me and you) that there is no longer an aggressor but country formulated by two...

However, I don't think personally the solution will be ready in 2 or 10 years, I think, both sides will suffer much more before they brake the barriers (and the cement blocks that they just built) and try to shake hands and live together...

Anonymous said...

Yes Mone, I can see your second point.
But as far as I am aware, the "Jewish" population is rapidly decreasing while the "Arab" population is happily increasing in Israel. What that means, is that the state of Israel will soon (next 2-10 years) be faced with a dilemma, that there are more "Arabs" than "Jews" within their hegemony. That is why I brought up the "2-10 year time frame". I mean, in the US you have a saying "when the shit hits the fan", and that time is close. Elections, communal or national, will be influenced by such developments.
But what is probably more important is that cultural (or religious) barriers become translucent through these demographic movements. I'm trying to stay an optimist!

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

mirvat, if you guys hold this openly in public, like a university auditorium, i will fly to NY and encourage others in the blog community to do the same..

Mirvat said...

ibj, let's see where this takes us for now and we can always plan something like that. it would be great.

the next question now will be,
two-state solution or one state with common borders and equal representation in the government for its people, which mone brought up, would that ever work?

Lirun said...

damn my comment post got wiped..


im in ny 25 jan to 3 feb..

thumbs up for two states..

too early for one.. need to wait for a cananite culture to supersede the current dual desire for self determination.. may take some time..

peace keeping force running along the borders may be helpful..

on Tuesday july 25 http://emspeace.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_emspeace_archive.html I wrote about peaceful competition.. I think this is something that can easily be cultivated.. There are many ways that we can grow closer.. Look at the soccer game that’s on tonight in saville as an example..

personally i am also in favour of jerusalem being a double capital.. i think it is poetic and only adds dignity to the city.. it will have to be done with a very careful recipe.. one that allows for the good without giving scope for the bad..

Rhiannon said...

Release prisoners illegally detained in israel...
Give back Shebaa Farms to Lebanon
Give back Golan Heights to Syria
Note: If Lebanon and Syria want to nitpick over land let them. If Palestine wants to argue about what to do about their new found freedom of borders, land, sea, etc....and Hamas and Fatah stir the pot, let it be. It is their problem. Just like Iraq should have been left alone to solve Her own problems.
Yes, checkpoints must go, the wall must be torn down, the settlements should go. East Jerusalem should be given to the Arabs.

Zee makes a very good point: the jewish population is decreasing and the Arab population is rapidly increasing. I say let it go and see what happens, after all, it isn't the fault of the Arabs that they have a higher population - that is just the way it is.

I say, let the Palestinians be given a chance drumming up solutions for harmony. I say, the ball is in Israel's court to relinquish a huge piece of trust to Palestine and let her try to solve many of these issues.

Rhiannon said...

[Mone] "Despite all the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel, Israel today is still most hated in Egypt, ask Egyptians living there, watch their movies and listen to their songs..."

Yeah...israel has a lot to make up for. But look at it this way, on a positive note: God's chosen...What God actually meant was that these people were to be the light of all nations...So israel has to become what it was meant to be...God's Chosen: letting go of this suffocating control, getting rid of hate, greed, and to begin trusting other nations - live and let live. Israel can also begin by making restitution to the orphans and widows it created.

Mirvat said...

sounds good rhiannon.
do we all agree?

snurdly said...

Rhiannon wants God's Chosen the lack of self defense...we've heard that before. Read the speech below...an elder (Mordechai Rumkowski) in one of the Jewish ghettos says they should give up 20,000 children to the Germans so the others can be saved.///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

"A grievous blow has struck the ghetto. They are asking us to give up the best we possess - the children and the elderly. I was unworthy of having a child of my own, so I gave the best years of my life to children. I've lived and breathed with children, I never imagined I would be forced to deliver this sacrifice to the altar with my own hands. In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children!


I had a suspicion something was going to befall us. I anticipated "something" and was always like a watchman: on guard to prevent it. But I was unsuccessful because I did not know what was threatening us. The taking of the sick from the hospitals caught me completely by surprise. And I give you the best proof there is of this: I had my own nearest and dearest among them and I could do nothing for them!
I thought that would be the end of it, that after that, they'd leave us in peace, the peace for which I long so much, for which I've always worked, which has been my goal. But something else, it turned out, was destined for us. Such is the fate of the Jews: always more suffering and always worse suffering, especially in times of war.
Yesterday afternoon, they gave me the order to send more than 20,000 Jews out of the ghetto, and if not - "We will do it!". So the question became, 'Should we take it upon ourselves, do it ourselves, or leave it to others to do?". Well, we - that is, I and my closest associates - thought first not about "How many will perish?" but "How many is it possible to save?" And we reached the conclusion that, however hard it would be for us, we should take the implementation of this order into our own hands.
I must perform this difficult and bloody operation - I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself. I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well - God forbid.


I have no thought of consoling you today. Nor do I wish to calm you. I must lay bare your full anguish and pain. I come to you like a bandit, to take from you what you treasure most in your hearts! I have tried, using every possible means, to get the order revoked. I tried - when that proved to be impossible - to soften the order. Just yesterday, I ordered a list of children aged 9 - I wanted at least to save this one aged-group: the nine to 10 year olds. But I was not granted this concession. On only one point did I succeed: in saving the 10 year olds and up. Let this be a consolation to our profound grief.
There are, in the ghetto, many patients who can expect to live only a few days more, maybe a few weeks. I don't know if the idea is diabolical or not, but I must say it: "Give me the sick. In their place we can save the healthy."
I know how dear the sick are to any family, and particularly to Jews. However, when cruel demands are made, one has to weigh and measure: who shall, can and may be saved? And common sense dictates that the saved must be those who can be saved and those who have a chance of being rescued, not those who cannot be saved in any case...
We live in the ghetto, mind you. We live with so much restriction that we do not have enough even for the healthy, let alone for the sick. Each of us feeds the sick at the expense of our own health: we give our bread to the sick. We give them our meager ration of sugar, our little piece of meat. And what's the result? Not enough to cure the sick, and we ourselves become ill. Of course, such sacrifices are the most beautiful and noble. But there are times when one has to choose: sacrifice the sick, who haven't the slightest chance of recovery and who also may make others ill, or rescue the healthy.
I could not deliberate over this problem for long; I had to resolve it in favor of the healthy. In this spirit, I gave the appropriate instructions to the doctors, and they will be expected to deliver all incurable patients, so that the healthy, who want and are able to live, will be saved in their place.
I understand you, mothers; I see your tears, alright. I also feel what you feel in your hearts, you fathers who will have to go to work in the morning after your children have been taken from you, when just yesterday you were playing with your dear little ones. All this I know and feel. Since 4 o'clock yesterday, when I first found out about the order, I have been utterly broken. I share your pain. I suffer because of your anguish, and I don't know how I'll survive this - where I'll find the strength to do so.
I must tell you a secret: they requested 24,000 victims, 3000 a day for eight days. I succeeded in reducing the number to 20,000, but only on the condition that these be children under the age of 10. Children 10 and older are safe! Since the children and the aged together equals only some 13,000 souls, the gap will have to be filled with the sick.
I can barely speak. I am exhausted; I only want to tell you what I am asking of you: Help me carry out this action! I am trembling. I am afraid that others, God forbid, will do it themselves .
A broken Jew stands before you. Do not envy me. This is the most difficult of all orders I have ever had to carry out at any time. I reach out to you with my broken, trembling hands and beg: Give into my hands the victims! So that we can avoid having further victims, and a population of 100,000 Jews can be preserved! So, they promised me: If we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace!!!

(shouts from the crowd about other options....some saying "We will not let the children go alone - we will all go!!!" and such).

These are empty phrases!!! I don't have the strength to argue with you! If the authorities were to arrive, none of you would be shouting!
I understand what it means to tear off a part of the body. Yesterday, I begged on my knees, but it did not work. From small villages with Jewish populations of 7000 to 8000, barely 1000 arrived here. So which is better? What do you want? That 80,000 to 90,000 Jews remain, or God forbid, that the whole population be annihilated?
You may judge as you please; my duty is to preserve the Jews who remain. I do not speak to hot-heads! I speak to your reason and conscience. I have done and will continue doing everything possible to keep arms from appearing in the streets and blood from being shed. The order could not be undone; it could only be reduced.
One needs the heart of a bandit to ask from you what I am asking. But put yourself in my place, think logically, and you'll reach the conclusion that I cannot proceed any other way. The part that can be saved is much larger than the part that must be given away!"


NOTE: The Jewish Police were given extra rations for themselves and their families for their participation in the round-ups. Those with "connections" used all means possible to have themselves or their loved ones exempted...but the quota meant that someone else go in their place. The conditions in the ghetto were so terrible that soon the grief over the children simply absorbed itself into the everyday horror of what was happening - slow and utter starvation. The people were in such terrible condition that the loss of the children simply became another price paid to the Germans for survival. To ease the blow, rumors were spread that the children were alive and being employed as helpers in gardens...though most figured the worst. On subsequent deportations, trainloads of clothing in sacks began arriving every day exactly 10 hours after the trains would leave. Ghetto currency ("Rumkies") and papers were found by those sorting out the clothing for re-distribution. How could this be, the people in the ghetto asked? Only one horrifying conclusion could be reached.
One person, who had survived by hiding among the sacks and had made the round-trip, told how the transports were taking the people to a slaughterhouse at Kulmhof (Chelmno) - but hardly anyone could accept that it was the truth.
Nearly a quarter million people were murdered at Chelmno

snurdly said...

In other words...if you just give us more of your tiny land we'll leave you alone. Rhiannon thinks she means well...big on demands just a little short on help. *s*

Mirvat said...

this is hopeless
i can't believe you went back to that snurd.

something i noticed. when you say we, you mean we arabs. you say give us back from your tiny land. this is not about arabs versus jews in the region. this is about how much land and rights all the people living in palestine and israel have and share

Lirun said...

"Yeah...israel has a lot to make up for"

this is where you are going wrong my friend.. you continuously see your side as the victim.. and you ignore what pain your side has inflicted..

"I say, the ball is in Israel's court to relinquish a huge piece of trust to Palestine and let her try to solve many of these issues"

hang on.. this is so detached from reality.. the palestinians are the ones with demands for major change for peace.. and they have been consistently disruptive of our regional harmony..

i know you view things differently.. but what hide have you asking for us to place trust in a people that has squandered all aid.. defied every ceasefire.. iniated wide scale aggression.. and has a starting point of denying our right to exist..

you talk against unilateral moves but then you say that we should give up control and merely trust..

what you forget is that we are actually the ones who have made the most of a shitty situation and not the other way around..

this is far from practical.. and borders on the ridiculous.. it also has no connection to what the serious and intelligent and educated layers of palestinian society have to say..

Anonymous said...

The situation has become so bizarre, that sometimes it is hard to figure out who can do a first step towards betterment.
Look at it this way Lirun. The stronger one has the upper hand, therefore I believe it is up to Israel to do so. A step, a REAL STEP, not a wiggling of toes in the sand.
The whole issue with the wall/fence is outrageous. Why? Because it secures enclaves of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The wall, if it is to be build at all, at least should follow the "green line" and somewhat be set back onto Israeli territory.
So, as a first step I think Israel should tear down the wall and if they wish to, put it in their own "garden", I believe that would send a strong message. Perhaps then the "firecrackers" originating from Palestine or Hamas would stop.

Then you can look at the options of Palestine if above scenario is not going to happen (which probably will not).
So perhaps they have to be proactive and completely change their tactics to to solve the issues. Maybe they have to do the first step after all to protect their own survival. What this step would be, I don't know from a distance.

Whatever it is, an acceptable and non fluctuating border between Israel and Palestine would help out a lot.

Rhiannon said...

Well if you fellas are representative of the mindset of your "country", and I don't doubt that you are HOW SAD, then you are NOT the proper chosen as you fantasize you are, because you do not understand God's meaning.

Besides,you are atheists, and what a rich joke that is, isn't it? According to your "biblical chosen" of which you lied to the world, calling your contemporary zionist selves the chosen and fooling gullible people - the chosen was to be IN CLOSE PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.

Your tribe don't cut it, baby. But I would like to think that israel can turn this around and act accordingly, which is one of the reasons the this "state of israel" exists today. Soooo....ACT ACCORDINGLY. It can be done, so let it happen. Put your trust in Palestine.

I didn't demand anything more than what Mirvat, Mone, or anyone else... are requesting, and what the Palestinians themselves have wanted. So I clearly do not understand what you mean when you say...."it also has no connection to what the serious and intelligent and educated layers of palestinian society have to say.."


They cannot settle for less. They shouldn't have to.

Squandered aid? Defied ceasefire? You talkin' about the Palestinians? That is quite a reach when, instead, this nonsense completely applies to "israel".

Initiated scale aggression? The Palestinians? You can hang that tag on "israel" and plaster 99% right on it.

What the hell hide have you to not place trust in the Palestinians, when, after all, they were FORCED to "trust" you. And look at the perpetual mess you have made of their lives.

Yes you have certainly made the most of the situation, haven't you, by keeping them down, squashing them further, treating them like animals - your country started this shit, and hardly has it relented - what would you have the Palestinians behave like? A inanimated zombie design on your walls so you can tell yourgreat grand children "oh, I knew them when.....?

Detached from reality? And what of your "israel"? Foolish for you to think that "israel" can go on while Palestine suffers. Who has lost reality? YOU wake up. Start waking up to the reasonable fact that when it comes to "right to exist", forget about "israel", a most absurd and moot point. Instead, the question is:

Does Palestine have a right to exist? Another ridiculous question, as She does, but does your country LET HER? What exactly is your "country's" intentions concerning Palestines right to exist.

You take care of Palestine, and the problems of power-mad, power-hungry, USA-fed "israel" will be solved. I don't think the Palestinians want anymore of their children to be sick, uneducated, imprisoned or murdered. I am damn sure they are willing to make great efforts for peace - IF - YOU - LET - THEM.

60 years and what have you done? Less than Zero. Bring Palestine to the negotiation table, allow for many concessions, the least your country can do, and don't play games as your "country" has done in the past.

Yes, 'israel' has a lot to make up for! Why are you so blind to this glaring fact which completely over-rides the ambiguous and shady talk of 'israel's right to exist?

snurdee, you go too far with this German HIGHFALUTIN, zionist-crazed melodrama stink. Put it to bed once and for all.

What exactly, is the problem, lirum? Did I step on your big toe when I mentioned that East Jerusalem should go to Palestine?

Anonymous said...

So where do we go from here Rhiannon, besides the finger-pointing towards past issues and yelling at posters?
Do you know?
Be creative!
I personally have resigned to the fact that religious ambitions have overtaken political strategies in both Israel and Palestine.
Wouldn't it be a good thing to disentangle religion and politics as a first move, on either side?

Ingrid said...

Zee, can I co-moderate?? Thank you Mirvat (it's late, I have not read all the preceding comments so pardon me if I repeat anything) for taking the high road (and everyone else involved btw) and by NOT pointing fingers and going back to the past. And bravo for doing the two state solution. It will make a healing between the two parties easier to faciliate because healing and trust will make for good neighbourly relations. Now as a Dutch person (born and raised but with the advantage of having lived in the ME albeit the Saudi part of it) who's lived on three different continents, I've had the pleasure of experiencing different cultures and people from all religious persuasions. The people I have always connected with, were those who were open to 'outsiders'. Outsiders meaning people from outside their particular affiliation of class, race, religion, whatever the case may be.
So..find those 'types' of people from both sides to ensure that both parties are represented with people who are mature, understanding and accepting of the 'other', who are WANTING to come to a resolution. Not have their own particular political agenda 'back home' to deal with or to play towards. I also agree with Zee, that religion HAS to be taken out of the equation. However, that said, good luck doing that in a culture where religion is so much more steeped than here. It would be the equivalent of going back in time in Europe or the US where they would crucify you for saying anything that would or could be construed of going against God's will.
THAT SAID..the way to undermine the power and influence of fanatical/irrational/intolerant/
blank fill in your own..is to address real needs for people. On the Israeli side, I would think the need for feeling safe, on the Palestinian side, the basics of food, shelter, and safety also. When people's economic and basic needs are fulfilled or addressed, fundamentalism of any stripe loses its hold. Religion still plays a part in most countries in Western Europe Zee, just not overtly in the same way as in the ME. Case in point for example, in Holland, you have the CDA (christian something something, forgot the translation).. it's not the use of religion, but the type and the culture it is in that makes it objectionable. I'm referring to fundamentalism which we've had to contend with here in the US as well.
alrightie , great undertaking everyone. I hope to have time to come by again soon but I have not had much time lately..Good luck Mirvat and Lirun and all you who's names I forgot! (sorry)
bravo to you all,

Lirun said...


rhiannon.. if you read my post above you would see that i think there is great merit in jerusalem becoming what i call a double capital..

while most people tremble of the chances of it being divided.. i fantasise about how great it would be if it were to serve as the peaceful centre of two nations..

i think you only want to rant.. try listening genuinely.. it'll make a difference to this whole exercise..

Lirun said...

zee.. the problem is that productivity and strength are not synonymous..

if you know your opponents weaknesses then it doesnt matter if they are 100 times stronger - because that weakest link remains a single point of failure..

the problem is (i think) that by overmuscling the palestinians we have either immuned them from their weaknesses or perhaps lost track of what really matters to them or perhaps developed other debilitating internal mechanisms that do not allow us to deal with the daily threats that arrive from there effectively..

ingrid is right.. we want security - both physical and political.. i assume that the palestinians do as well..

i think the smarter approach for the palestinians would be to emulate the egyptian approach..

ie - start with the majority of your claim.. get that portion.. manifest your ability to remain stable enough not to violate a ceasefire.. once security is establish lay down your claim for the final additions that complete your ambitions and see that the other side is more receptive when the knife is removed from their throats..

while we evacuated the sinai almost 3 decades ago.. israelis still enjoy visiting and some have even gone to live there under egyptian rule.. the poin is if you love a land then you can do just that.. as long as that love is manifested peacefully.. i think this is a motto that we all need to learn from..

Anonymous said...

It s not the fact that Israel only has to make up for its previous actions. It s the fact that they are looked at as strangers and occupiers...this s the basic foundation of their country some 60 years ago.. How can you make up for this? This is there to stay for many years to come...

Anyways, in the short future, the only way to do anything is to separate these people into 2 nations, this will give security to Israel and let the pals have their own country with their own leaders and constitution. But Israel at same time MUST draw from other people's territories, IE Shaba's farm and Golan...

Anyone objects to this?

Lirun said...

ok now tell us a little bit about what the other side must do..

thank you

Anonymous said...


snurdly said...


Most Palestinians ARE still living in historical "Palestine". Jordan WAS part of Palestine until the British gave it to the Hashemites in 1920 with the other Arab (Palestinians) apparent acquiesance.

Rhiannon said...

Mone, I agree. I have said it all along. East Jerusalem for the Palestinians. Free borders, air space, sea, economy for Palestine....what Mirvat said. Pull all the settlers out of the West Bank, give back the Golan Heights to Syria, give back the land belonging to Lebanon, get rid of check points and 'israel' needs to give maps for the land mines planted. Monetary concessions do need to be made to Palestine, for their agriculture, hospitals, and educational systems - israel needs to figure a way to take care of this.

It is irritating to some that I brought up religion. True! This situation has nothing to do with religion and yet it does. Sorry, can't separate the issue from religion because not only is it of the past it is definitely today! "israel" would suffer greatly if the christian zionists cut off their millions to them. SUFFER. If you don't believe me, too bad you didn't see the documentary on christian zionists supporting 'israel' on CNN. Too bad if you missed it, it was scary, damn, good, and incredibly sad. I could go into much detail on this documentary but for now I will say, FACTUALLY, that "israel" was in part founded on the lie of being the "chosen", that jesus is a jew, and so much more. All twisted religious bunk! Why do you think these christians are supporting 'israel' so lavishly and for thirty years, monetarily?

I am not "pointing fingers", simply these are FACTS. And this has much to do with negotiations.

Sad but true and it this religious crap - in part - that is causing confusion, turmoil, and preventing negotiations past and present. GUARANTEED. The religious stuff really won't go away, unless, once again 'israel' would be honest and say to its christian zionists:

"hey, we want harmony with the Palestinians and Lebanese, we want a two state economy with borders, this is how we are going to work it out."

The christian deluded would cut them off very quickly. Does 'israel' dare to be honest? Does 'israel' want to sacrifice this generous funding/feeding?

Too bad! The religion thing, as distorted as it is, is a happening thing today with the ME. I'll say it this way: Religion is not relevant for the right reasons but it is for the wrong reasons.

Lirun said...

rhiannon.. you are clearly underinformed.. this exercise is not going to ever be productive..

you need to first learn what a fact is and then go find some..

putting words in caps or in bold doesnt enhance their veracity - unfortunate as it may seem to you..

Anonymous said...

Lirun, what part you disagree with her on? On part she agrees with 2 states which you agree on.. She mentions this documentary she saw which is interesting and personally I like to know more about on Jesus and being jew and all...that perhaps need a separate new discussion though

Snurd, On the right of return, return to their HOMES, IE: Neighborhood, their street and houses. Don't play politics and tell me Jordan is their home.

On the other hand, both sides need to stop teaching hatred based ideas that found their way in religion..

So Two states.
Withdraw from Golan and Shabaa.
Pals to return to own homes.
Stop teaching hatred on both sides.

Good enough?

Chas said...

Hallo everyone,
Happy Christmas and New year to all (Even if it is culturally inappropriate!)
Mirvat and Lirun
I am very pleased to see this idea resurface in such a constructive way. As I remember the original post I merely suggested that if you could both just survive your joint confinement, then there would be hope for peace. You have set yourselves a much more ambitious goal, and good on you for that!
The whole point about being locked in a room is that you can't walk away, as I did, when the going gets rough .. you have to put up with the ranting, the anger, the abuse, the insults which will undoubtedly come. Both sides here have a lot to be angry about.
Imagine if you were really locked in ... you would have days where you could not talk .. you would just glare at each other and wish the whole stupid exercise were over! So you need to respect the virtual locks on your virtual room .. you can't walk out of this now you have committed!
I wish you all the patience, tolerance, forbearance and courage you will need.

Good luck, Chas

Lirun said...

gday mate

i wanted to be.. im even flying to ny.. but mirvosh is not taking me too seriously


Anonymous said...

with all respect Lirun, I wouldn't either for two reasons.

1. You threatened to sue at one point given if you know the identity of one blogger.

2. After what you wrote about Lebanon bombings on the post below

Mirvat said...

sorry i've been missing in action.
Lirun i did take you seriously of course. i even gave you my schedule. and chas what you said is important, we have to committ to the idea of the room in a way that this is something we have to face and we have to reach a solution for.

Ingrid and zee, want to seperate religion from state and want to stop the violence. these are broad principles we all agree on.

let's recap.
what i tried to do here in the beginning is actual negotiation and i really saw a progress initially, why?
when zee says stop pointing fingers, he means this is futile and it is and i see we are back to that in this post. guys you can do this in other posts as much as you like but in this post please refrain from endless arguments and let's stick to solutions.

initially, i proposed some points and i included some of the issues that we, as arabs, have to work on. i tried to start by saying what we can work on and i left it to the israeli side to come back with their end of the negotiation.

for the first time
it was heart warming to hear snurd and lirun and andrey saying this is what we need to give the palestinians.

andrey suggested to link west bank and gaza so that the palestinians can have decent borders and real independence which was the first time i hear this much concern and this honest and real need for the 'others' to be stable and satisfied.

So let's stick to that approach.

forget about the mistakes.
even when mone brought up the identity problem, that was still constructive. we were trying to figure out a way for israel to be accepted in the ME.

snurd, recoiled so quickly into history and the holocaust, just because rhiannon was suggesting steps that israel should take. ok she didn't suggest any for the palestinians, you do it for her. what you chose to do is to go back in history to back up the present mentality.

WRONG and counterintuitive and this is not what we're doing here.

ok let's ge back on track please.

on the israeli side:
- wall should go
- withdrawal from gaza and west bank and occupied lands in lebanon and syria
- settlements and checkpoints should go
- stop the military operations on their neighbors (palestine)
on the palestinian side:
- unity of government
- stop the violence (the small operations that only lead to more violence)

total solution:
- two state solution
- jerusalim should be for both
- two seperate governments
- defined borders and defined governments with acceptance in the international community
- plans to share the water fairly
- plans for economical decelopment for palestine
- reach an agreement on the issue of the prisoners
- maybe lirun was right. peacekeeping forces with equal representation from european and arabic countries.

do we all agree? did i leave out anything?

Let's talk about the right to return.
i don't know alot about that actually.. anon do you mean return of the 48 palestinians?
what does everyone think about that?

Mirvat said...

I have a specific question for all of you:

Mone: where are you from? :) it's been a riddle for me but this is an inappropriate question. you don't have to answer. i think you're moderate. do you believe in half solutions and do you wonder if by being idealistic, we're just being selfish? kind of the Arafat's principle when he refused that the palestinian refugees in lebanon be given lebanese nationalitites so that the 'cause' won't be lost even when they wanted it.

Rhiannon: Lirun loves the country where he was born and i can identify with that. Do you acknowledge the right of the israelis who were born in israel (and i see you use quotation marks when you write israel) to their country? Can you understand that they love this country as much as the palestinians?

Zee: love and peace and a big Lenon dream and no borders and we all are children of the globe. religion is bad when mixed with business and when it inflicts suffering. violence is never the answer. All good. what's the point? what's the realistic solution?

Snurdly: where do you really stand? i heard opinions from you that made me sick before (with all respect). now you try to roam between being moderate and back to being close-minded and pro-israel. what does pro-israel mean to you? if it means israel with half the population unhappy (to say the least), are you ok with that? do you no care about the palestinians? i irespect an honest answer.

Lirun: you are very loyal to your country and you seem to forgive certain things that are opposite to your same personality even. you are for life and love an surfing and the sun and being open to cultures, how could you be for a police state and military solutions? i gather from some of the terms you use describing the palestinians, that you think they live in your country. that must come from a religious belief if any but you're not religious. how do you reconcile that? is it the idea that if you're ruling, why should you mess with that?

Andrey: why did you refuse to serve at one time in the military and what was the hardest mission you had to face? If this is the kind of information you can't reveal answer me indirectly. What bothers you the most about the situation in your country, in terms of effect on the quality of your life? what would you change?

Ingrid said...

quickly before my children seek me out again (it's a long holiday)...
perhaps an economic cooperative agreement of sorts, a 'mini' EEU or some kind of 'bloc' would encourage practical and ultimate working together on both sides. I am addressing economics and not religion because I think (and I hope I'd be correct) that the negative impact of religion (ie. people who preach intolerance or claim sole physical inheritance of a land) will just fade away. To attempt to tackle religion outright will only meet with resistance because people who have their blinders on will only feel the need to defend themselves. People who go along with the fundamentalists or exclusivists of sorts only because of their circumstances are the ones who will turn away from it so hence, my insistence of the focus on some mutually beneficial economic venture that both countries will have to put their work and effort into so they can both survive and economically benefit. (drat, there goes my train of thought, kid interruption, adieu!)

Lirun said...

mirvosh..wow..iloveyour change of voice..

must say..i subscribetomost of your ideas except that i dont a jewish israel..

during 2000 years of exile my family kept its links for good reasons.. at the same time my omni-israeli family maintained its identity for thesame reasons..

idont want a police state.. i want a state where the most thepolice do is give parking fines and ask you to turn the music down.. i want an army thatreally just gives you a cheap tertiary option and travel..

maybe coming in handy for the odd natural disaster or perhaps even for peace keeping elswhere..

i think the palestinians should have a state.. and i think israelis should have a state.. i dont think the palestinians deserve 1.5 states and israelis a half state..

ultimately however.. once your first list is fully implemented and that would have to be gradual (noting my one reservation) then we should certainly look at closer ties..

you are right - i love my country but moreso i love my land.. the earth beneath me and the air above me not to mention the water beside me..

it is a deep love that allows me to forgive all the hardship this place rolls into daily life..

i think that once we can respect eachother forloving the same place we will begin to be ableto shake off the need to hate each other's cause..

thank you mirvosh for showing your personal journey..

now about that schedule.. do i understand correctly that you are not around 25 jan to 3 feb - 'cause thats when ill be there..

Anonymous said...

To answer your question Mirvat, there is no "logical outside solution" as a first step. It is therefore that all negotiations between politicians in the past, all the "Oslo accords", all the "Camp David" meetings and so on were dew drops in the desert sand, mere little pebbles on the way to success.
My personal philosophy is, that neither Israel nor Palestine can count on outside help to solve this issue, they have to solely solve it themselves.
I don't know if you ever played chess Mirvat, but in that game there is this possibility for both parties to be stuck without ever being able to win, it's a position where no one can move anymore.
It is a rare occurrence, but it does occasionally happen. It also happened with Israel and Palestine on a different plane.
The only way I see out of this, is that either party tries a radical new approach, different from what has been tried for the last 40 years. It doesn't matter who makes the first step, Palestine or Israel.
If none of the two is willing to take such a risk, I only see doom and gloom on the horizon.

Let me put it into a simplified Zee structure:
* Israel could abolish settlements
* Palestine could abolish firecrackers

... but neither one is giving up.
Perpetual violence and abuse is programed to be continued.

What do I think? It is not my business to think and put it into words as long as the affinity to be a moderator on these postings feels right, I'd rather see and read what others speak!

Greetings, the Zee man.

Mirvat said...

lirun believe it or not i listen and i remember what you guys say. i will never forget andrey's question to me that completely changed my perspective and i understood a lot from the way you talk about your home. it doesn't change what i think about the fairness of the past events but that's the point. this doesn't matter. i'm trying to think about what will be fair and practical in the future. for that we all need to get over our emotions and think rationally and i hope others can in the near future.

i am working on my thesis and leaving to california for an interview end of january but i'll get back to you when i know which day i'm leaving.

now let's hear other answers.

Anonymous said...

bytheway, Lirun is born in Canada not in Israel, am I right Lirun?

Mirvat said...


Anonymous said...

As a moderator of this discussion here, I declare that arguments and suggestions for the Palestine/Israeli matter have been exhausted, Nobody seems to have a smart answer that could make a change in "real time" .
Therefore my honorary moderator status is now concluded.
I thank everybody for submitting their thoughts, some of them were quite provocative ,,, often in a good and constructive way!
I believe the discussion has to go on and continue ... until we are finally able to overcome the obvious hurdles.
When that will be - I do not know.
Be well, Zee.

Lirun said...

NO I AM NOT CANADIAN.. i was schooled there for a year and my brothers live there but none of us were born there and i dont even have a canadian passport..

Lirun said...

by the way - another contribution that the arab states could make to the palestinian solution would be to provide addition land.. i think gaza should be extended into the northern sinai and jordan should provide some of the east bank.. these countries are both vast and technically - had israel retreated less than it did in 67 then this could well have been the outcome..

Anonymous said...

So Lirun, were you born in Jerusalem ?

Lirun said...

no but my dad was and my maternal grandfather´s family lived in jerusalem for generations before moving to telaviv to open a bunch of stalls in the carmel markets.. my mother was born in telaviv and my parents settled in telaviv after getting married.. i am telavivian..

i love both cities.. very different and very unique - each with their own spirit..

were you born in canada or jerusalem?

Rhiannon said...

Mirvat, sorry for the late reply to your question:

"Lirun loves the country where he was born and i can identify with that. Do you acknowledge the right of the israelis who were born in israel (and i see you use quotation marks when you write israel) to their country? Can you understand that they love this country as much as the palestinians?"

I will acknowledge the right of israelis when "israel" becomes Israel. When they do indeed become the Chosen they claim they are - (although in twisted fashion they say they are really atheists). This dishonesty is the root cause of the hate "israel" breeds. What are they "chosen" for?

To step up to the plate.
They are the ones with the power and the money, they are the ones who have played a most unfair game all these years; it is 'israel' that must start the peace process first - THEY MUST:
Have an honest exchange with Palestinians and not play the games they have in the past, concerning rights, land, sea, borders, education and economy.
To dismantle all their hateful idealogies - one by one, if necessary - and rid their societal inventions of greed ie the WALL against Palestine.

For the peace process to start "israel" needs more of these people and their numbers must grow:

If I must kill a suicide bomber
on his way to a terrorist attack,
and even pay with my life for this,
in the knowledge that I save other human lives –
I will do this with all my heart.

But none of the so-called
selective annihilations was directed
against a terrorist on his way to an attack
(and the IDF corroborates this).

The fact that buses explode here,
does not justify Sharon, Mofaz and
Air Force Chief Dan Halutz decision to
"unintentionally" kill nine children in their sleep,
and to sow terror in a population of millions
who live under a reign of closures, curfews and checkpoints.

A population enclosed by walls and camps,
under the guns of an enormous
and frightening army,
equipped to the teeth with jet-planes
which shake the skies,
and attack-helicopters
who time and again send rockets
into cars and into the windows of houses,
in crowded and destitute cities."

An Israeli pilot speaks out
CounterPunch, 23 January 2004

Mirvat said...

excellent answer.
i feel the same. as much as i identify with one's identity and feelings towards home and the place they grew up, as much as i hate blind nationalism tha breeds bigotry and racism and mesanthropy.

based on this, i do recognize israel as a homeland for the people who grew up there but not as a principle or a state of mind because that is where the injustice towards palestine lies.

so as long as palestine has quotation marks around its name, which it does in reality, israel will too a far as i'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Me, no my friend I m not Palestinian.
So you were born in TelAviv.. that is interesting... I thought all this time you were born in Montreal..

I wish everyone peace for the new year... we certainly all need a "piece" of this peace..

Lirun said...

back at you my friend.. ;)

hope you are not too disappointed that i am not canadian hehe