|I hope that this leads to peace. I do feel sorry for the settlers, but the plight of the displaced Palestinians was a greater threat to peace, in the long run, I feel. I tried to read Israeli papers online & also watch alternate media on DishTV. What frightens me is that the Palestinian young boys are growing up in deplorable conditions, they get hardened and embittered by their living circumstances, in addition to propaganda, & that plants the seeds that sprout into terrorists.
I totally agree. I feel more sorry for the Palestinian refugees than for the settlers. That said, those settlers did not rob the Palestinians directly. They got the funds from Israel, at the expense of Israel's poor people. Why is that that almost 40 years after the war, the Palestinians still live in those conditions? lots of reasons. Their leadership is mostly to blame IMO. The Palestinian leadership live in wonderful new neighborhoods in the Gaza strip. Great beautiful houses. There's a lot of corruption in the Palestinian Authority and a lot of the money (that they have received from the US, Europe, UN and the rich Arab countries) went right into the pockets of their leadership. They say Arafat left millions to his wife and daughter in Swiss bank accounts...
Originally Posted by Marge
It's so frustrating cause Barak was more open to change, if
Arafat hadn't been there we might have avoided years of blood shed. Clinton said that it was Arafat who wasn't going to budge. I suspect Arafat liked the lime light and being at Camp David etc, but never really left the mentality of a terrorist.
Aba Even once said about the Palestinians that they have never missed a chance to miss a chance. So sad and so true about the above mentioned peace talks... Barak represented a large part of the population in Israel, myself included, who were willing to move forward and negotiate even about Jerusalem, and pay a high price to give peace a chance. It's a shame that Arafat rejected that offer.
Personally, I'm so proud of Sharon today. Who would have thought that he of all people would do it! I think the settlers should have been evacuated and I'm glad it was finally done. We just never belived it would have been done so quickly! Israel has never annexed Gaza or the West Bank. Only East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights were ever annexed. The settlers in the Gaza strip and West Bank are/were there for many reasons. Some of for ideological and religious reasons, believing that God gave this country to the Jewish people (it is the Biblical land of Israel - there's no arguing about that), some because they thought it would make the government annex the territories and that this would improve Israel's defense, and some were there because certain Israeli goverments (ours change just as governments in any democracy do) put a lot of money into these settlements and made them very attractive financially (lower taxes, better infrastructure etc).
It all started back in 1967 and for the first 20 years there wasn't much of a problem. The Palestinians lived side by side with the settlers. Things changed in 1987 with the Palestinian Intifada (uprising). The Gaza Strip and the West Bank turned into a war zone. The settlements needed constant IDF (Israeli Army) protection. The children there had to be escorted by the military just to get to their school in the nearby settlement. Some of the settlers left. Others arrived, drawn by ideological passion to strengthen Israel's hold at what they considered to be holy land. The military had to physically seperate between the settlers and the Palestinians, often limiting Palestinians and their rights in the process. This created even more animosity on the Palestinian side (and personally, I can't blame them).
By the way, the Palestinians are also not of one mind. Some of them are more moderate and are willing to compromise and achieve peace eventually and others are more radical and simply won't rest until Israel is destroyed. The terrorists are on the radical front, and clearly will try and continue their activities even after Israel withdraws from all the occupied territories. So far, the Palestinian Authority will not or perhaps cannot (no one knows for sure which) control the radical factions.
Right now, what Israel is concerend with the most is that as the IDF leaves those territories, the Palestinians will be able to get better weapons, including long-range rockets. Right now with the IDF on their territory, they are very much limited in their capabilied. Once the army leaves, they can pretty much do what they want.
I still feel that getting the Jewish civilian population should be evaucated from those territories. The military should not be escorting kids to their schools. They should be fighting the terrorists instead. It's very much possible that following the evacuation of Jewish settlers, the terror attacks will be renewed and the IDF will step in again, going into the territories and even re-occupying them if necessary. It really is up to the Palestinians at this point.
Another problem is that there are still over 200,000 people in those settlements (that's 3% of Israeli population), some of them live in large towns, others in small communities, very close to Arab villages. It's a very complicated setup. I do hope Sharon will carry on and move on to gradually evacuate all of the Jewish settlers, at least those who live next door to Arab villages and towns. Some of the larger Jewish towns may be allowed to stay and perhaps this can be discussed as part of the peace treaty, with the Palestinians receiving other lands in return.
Long post, I know... from someone who doesn't post here that often
Please feel free to ask questions.