Read my blog at Huffington Post

I also blog at Huffington Post's new UK site; please click here to read my posts there.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Israel and Tibet at Liberal Democrat Conference

Well, before I get into Conference, I'm sure that all Liberal Democrats will be pleased by this JC Diary story about Lord Palmer's latest contribution to the work of the Coalition Government...So, to Conference. My highlights included being on a communal computer which posted one of my blog postings on someone else's blog, which I noticed fast enough to delete immediately. And, while I was talking to an old university friend about how neither of us remembered knowing George Osborne when we were all at the same university together, a slightly  confused woman, with whom I had hitherto been unacquainted, interrupting me to say: "You don't remember George Osborne? But he's the Chancellor of the Exchequer!" before she launched into an extended monologue about my hair, which apparently is what her granddaughter would call very modern, because it sticks up. "The worst thing to say about hair is that it is ordinary, so very well done," she said. OK...

Also, a few people have commended me for asking the Chinese Ambassador a question about Tibet at a fringe meeting on Wednesday. For which "thanks", but it didn't take much doing. I don't know very much about Tibet. The ambassador had spoken at length and with some candour about a range of topics including human rights, without any mention of Tibet. I wonder if an Israeli Ambassador could speak at such a meeting without mentioning the Palestinians? So in the Q&A, I courteously asked if His Excellency could please offer the meeting an update on how his government sees the situation in Tibet. Which he did, at some length, and that was appreciated.

The UK, EU and international community to continue their support for the fundamental human rights of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people, and to step up efforts to promote peaceful negotiation between Israel and the freely elected representatives of the Palestinian people which will lead to a comprehensive and final peace treaty between the two sides based on the legitimate entitlements of each in international law, including their right to live in peace and security
Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel actually supported this amendment, with Sarah Ludford MEP (one of our Vice-Presidents) speaking in the debate. It really is an excellent amendment, which ought to appeal to anyone who cares about Israel and the Palestinians. Having been passed by Conference, it is presumably party policy. The only qualification of my support for this amendment would be to say that the bit about "freely elected representatives of the Palestinian people" can be taken as a reference to Hamas. Israel (and the UK Government) argues that it would be quite willing to negotiate with Hamas if Hamas recognised Israel's right to exist, renounced violence and agreed to abide by past agreements entered into by the Palestinian Authority. The door is open to Hamas if it does those three things, which it arguably ought to do before it is an acceptable negotiating partner (should the Palestinians re-elect Hamas, which I very much hope that they won't).

Finally, there is obviously nothing more tedious than Lib Dem bloggers who come online to say: "I've just been on BBC Radio Finchley to talk about the mansion tax!" On which note, further to the World Service thing that I posted the other day, I was twice approached for my views by Winkball, along with many other Conference attendees. The first time, I seem to have adopted the guise of a Mr Matthew Herris, whoever he is, and the second time, you'll see that I went on at great length and was enormously controversial.



58 comments:

  1. Richard Millett emailed to say that he tried to post a comment here, but something went wrong technically and it failed to appear. Richard wanted to say:

    "the freely elected representatives of the Palestinian" - just shows how naive this Lib Dem amendment is. When was anyone "freely elected"? 5 years ago if not more? Any idea when the next election will be? Or do they remain "freely elected" because sometime in the distant past they were "freely elected"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Richard, I have read the amendment again. I think what it means is that the Palestinians should freely elect representatives who will then negotiate with Israel. I agree that the Palestinians need to have fresh elections - elections that I very much hope that Hamas would not win.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish you and Ludford would stop pretending you support a Palastinian state - you do nothing of the kind. And perhaps rather than trying to shift the blame on the Palastinians you should put the blame were it lies: Israel's brutal and racist occupation indeed only last yesterday Israel annexed palastinian land and not a word from any of you. Like I said stop pretending you are in favour of a palastinian state

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Andi. I strongly favour the resumption of such negotiations as could bring about the creation of a viable Palestinian state that would live in peace alongside a secure State of Israel - do you?

    ReplyDelete
  5. All Israel needs to do is pull out of the west bank and gaza, and East Jurseleum and the Palastinians have their state. It does not require negoatiatons. It appears to me that when people talkof negoatiations what they mean is, make it look as though Israel wants a Palastinian state while at the same time taking more and more Palastinian land. If Israel continues to refuse, the Palastinians should dismantle the PA, campaign for one person one vote in a peaceful way, and declare Israel a apartheid state until it does.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/35687/peace-those-who-want-it

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very nice. But that is the opinion on Clinton and the author of the article both of whom are pro - israel supporters. What it dosn't say, and do, is explain why the Palastinians should have acepted 95 per cent of the land, and reward israel with 5 per cent for pulling out. If I had been Arfat, I would not have acepted 5 per cent either. If you or anybody else can explain why Israel should be rewarded with 5 percent of Palastinian land, I would be delighted to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Could you not support a peace deal that included agreed land swaps? Under such a deal, Israel could keep the settlement blocs on or near its West Bank border in which 80% of the settlers actually live; in return for being allowed to keep this land, Israel would cede other land from 'Israel proper' to the new Palestinian state.

    ReplyDelete
  9. But that would be rewarding Israel for maintaining a racist and brutal occupation for over 40 years. Israel should withdraw to its 1948 boarder (not pre 1967) because any land they aquired after the 1948 war was land they concqured and then occupied, and therefore not entitled, and then peace deal can be signed. You don't reward a country that occupys another persons land by giving them land, and you don't reward settlers who knew they were building houses on land that didn't belong to them by giving them that land. Let Israel pull back to her 1948 boarder, respect international law, and people like me who consider themselves supporters of Israel would be pleased.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am confused by your reference to a 1948 border. Prior to the Six Day War of 1967, the borders of the State of Israel had been set by the armistices that followed Israel's War of Independence in 1948/9. Are those the borders (often referred to as the pre-1967 borders) that you have in mind? It was with those borders that Israel was admitted as a member-state of the United Nations. If you are saying that you want a peace deal to be based on those borders, than I agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/05/observer-post-and-those-pre-1967.html?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  12. The 1948 boarders did (like now) move slighly in favour of Israel. By the way, Israel has been witholding Palastinian funds and not a word from Ludford and those other unelected lords in our party. Pity, because in my view Palastinian taxes should be paid directly to the Palastinians and by pass Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  13. In 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with an international zone in Jerusalem. The Jewish leadership accepted this UN partition plan; the Arab leadership rejected it. In 1948, the Jewish leadership declared the creation of the State of Israel in the territory allotted to it by the UN. Five Arab states immediately sent their armies to invade the new state, starting Israel's War of Independence (1948-9), which Israel won. That war ended in armistices between Israel and its Arab neighbours, creating the borders with which Israel was then admitted to the UN - borders that then remained unaltered until the Six Day War of 1967. That is the history of what you call "the 1948 borders".

    This is interesting re:- PA taxes

    ReplyDelete
  14. I meant post this link: http://www.thejc.com/news/israel-news/58937/pressure-netanyahu-hand-cash-pa

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes it always amazes me that when muslim states break international law (not that iran is breaking any)we imposesantions,go to war drop bombs from f15's but when israel breaks the law we express concern, but never do anything......as we are part of goverment lets pay the taxes directly to the palastinians seeing as israel is stealing the money and keeping it for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  16. On which Muslim state is Britain dropping bombs from F15s?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Eh! Let me think, Libya, Iraq...

    ReplyDelete
  18. I didn't know that Britain was currently dropping bombs on either Libya or Iraq. There are 57 Muslim states and precisely one Jewish state. Britain has obviously not intervened militarily in the vast majority of those 57 countries, despite the appalling human rights situations in many of them. So are you calling on Britain to bomb Israel to improve the Palestinians' situation? How, precisely, would such bombing achieve anything positive? And would you also advocate bombing of Saudi Arabia to end gender apartheid in that country?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm not calling on Britain to bomb anybody - there you go again twisting words to suit your own arguments. I saying Britain should impose santions on Israel with the same zeal it seems determined to push on Muslim states....the latest case being Iran. Isreal is a brutal and racist occupier and merely saying 'we are concerned, but do nothing is not enough.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I do not recognise your characterisation of Israel as "a brutal and racist occupier". I do not believe that that is an accurate description of the situation faced by the Palestinians and other Arabs who live in the West Bank, Gaza (which Israel no longer occupies), the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. My criticism of Israel's activities in those places does not extend to my believing that Israel is either 'brutal' or 'racist'. I do, however, believe that Hamas is brutal in its suppression of the human rights of Palestinians living in Gaza. I also believe that it is racist for some Palestinian leaders to state that no Jews will be allowed to live as citizens of an eventual Palestinian state.

    ReplyDelete
  21. On the subject of Hamas and it being "racist for some Palestinian leaders to state that no Jews will be allowed to live as citizens of an eventual Palestinian state" I agree with u. However, to claim that israel is not a a brutal and racist occupier" is beyonned absurd. Brutal because it regulary shoots, beats, imprisions Palastinains almost of a daily basis. Racist because it rarely arrests and never shoot Jewish settlers in the Palastine. Racist because it has roads which prohibit Palastinians from traveling on, and puts thembefore kangaroo courts

    ReplyDelete
  22. To be 'brutal' is to be deliberately cruel, violent and unfeeling. I therefore do not believe that Israel is 'brutal' towards the Palestinians. An allegation does not become true merely because it is often repeated. Who are these people who are supposedly being killed, beaten and imprisoned on an almost daily basis? The situation is not remotely as bad as that, so why say that it is? Amnesty International describe how bad it is (http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/israel-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-2011) without resorting to false allegations about people being constantly, deliberately killed by 'brutal' Israelis.

    Can you please provide me with an example of one of these supposed 'kangaroo courts'? Palestinians have access to Israeli courts. Israeli human rights groups like Yesh Din themselves campaign for the Israeli rule of law to be upheld in the West Bank, to protect the rights of Palestinians.

    To be 'racist' is to be prejudiced against a group of people on the basis of its ethnicity. On that basis, Israel's behaviour towards the Palestinians is not racist. One can behave badly towards a group of people without such behaviour being racist.

    ReplyDelete
  23. To be 'brutal' is to be deliberately cruel, violent and unfeeling - excatly like I said Israel's brutal and racist occupation.

    Can you please provide me with an example of one of these supposed 'kangaroo courts'? All the israeli courts in the west bank are kangaroo courts

    Who are these people who are supposedly being killed, beaten and imprisoned on an almost daily basis? They are called Palastinians.....

    I noticed you never answered how many Jewish people have been killed in the IDF in the west bank......yes there some things even u can't twist.....arn't there



    To be 'racist' is to be prejudiced against a group of people on the basis of its ethnicity. You mean like banning Palastinians from buses.....in palastine on certain roads....

    ReplyDelete
  24. BTW The Palastinians don't want Israeli rule of law in the west bank - they want Israel out and to govern themselves

    ReplyDelete
  25. If you want to know what Palestinians want, then read the polling: http://www.pcpo.org/polls.htm Israel, as the power in possession of the West Bank, has a duty to maintain the rule of law in such a manner as to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people living there.

    West Bank Palestinians can access Israeli courts that are in Israel proper, not in the West Bank. From a Palestinian news source, here is news of Palestinians winning a case in the Israeli Supreme Court: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=441177

    A 'kangaroo court' is "a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted". Israel's highly developed, independent judiciary does not merit such a description.

    Where are Palestinians banned from buses?! Obviously not in Israel itself. Do you allege that is happening in the West Bank? Can you link to any specific evidence of that? I do not defend every decision that is taken about roads. See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/world/middleeast/29israel.html for more on that. Restricting a neighbourhood's residents' access to certain roads after terrorist attacks by some people living in that neighbourhood - such restrictions are imposed to prevent further such attacks. I do not consider that to be racist. It might be wrong, but that doesn't make it racist.

    Your false claim that Palestinians are regularly being brutally killed and imprisoned does not become any less false through repetition.

    ReplyDelete
  26. (If you want to know what Palestinians want, then read the polling: http://www.pcpo.org/polls.htm Israel, as the power in possession of the West Bank, has a duty to maintain the rule of law in such a manner as to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people living there). But if it did not maintain a brutal and racist occupation it would not be the power in possession of the West Bank"

    As for roads see highway 443 which is still not open to palastinians despite a court order.

    I'm still waiting for an answer. Thousands of Palastinians have been killed by the IDF in the west bank, how many israeli's have?

    ReplyDelete
  27. When you say that thousands of Palestinians have been killed by the IDF, what you seek to imply is that the Israelis are engaged in the deliberate, cold-blooded slaughter of Palestinians by the thousands, and that is not true. I have no idea how many Israelis have been killed by the Israel Defence Forces in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but for obvious reasons, I doubt it's very many. Given the high number of Israelis who've been killed by Palestinian terrorists, that's like me asking: "How many Palestinians have been killed by Palestinian terrorists?".

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have no idea - or how many palastinians have been killed by israeli terrorists - if their was no brutal and racist occupation perhaps these numbers would be available. All israel needs to do is pull out of the west bank and east jursulem.....and take the settlers with them and peace can rain....nonned for talks just pull out

    ReplyDelete
  29. You know, of course, that after gaining the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights in the Six Day War of 1967, Israel immediately offered to return territories if the Arab countries would recognise Israel and commit to peaceful co-existence with it? To which the response, at the Arab League's Khartoum Conference, was the famous Three Noes: No to peace with Israel, No to talks with Israel, No to recognition of Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  30. True, and a silly mistake by the Arabs in my view. Still, that does not justify Israel maintaining a brutal and racist occupation now does it. Btw perhaps u can answer a question that Nick Clegg refuses to do so. Why did Clegg do a Sarah Ludford at the UN.....i'e tell everybody he is in favour of a Palastinian state - but vote against it, in his case with cameron in not voting for a palastinian state

    ReplyDelete
  31. The UK did not vote against Palestinian statehood at the UN, it abstained. Because, while the UK believes that the Palestinians have made enormous strides towards statehood, a state can only be created when the political conditions are right, which will only happen after there have been successful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  32. An abstaintion is as good as a no as well you know. If we had voted yes the Palastinians would have got nine votes and forced America to cast it's vote. As for you claim a state can only be created when the political conditions are right, which will only happen after there have been successful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel - that is pure nonsense. A state can only be created when Israel ends it brutal and racist occupation....that does not require negotiations it requires israel ending it...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Prior to the 1967 Six Day War, no Arab countries recognised Israel's borders. Indeed, those countries were all pledged to Israel's destruction at that time. The borders had not been set by the UN or by negotiation, but had emerged arbitrarily under the armistice agreements that ended Israel's 1948-49 War of Independence. The borders were quite irrational and bore little resemblance to any borders that would have emerged had the parties negotiated a peace deal. In that 1948-9 war, Egypt annexed Gaza and and Jordan annexed the West Bank, both of which had been allotted by the UN to proposed new Palestinian Arab state. Jordan also annexed East Jerusalem, which the UN had intended to be an international zone. Prior to 1967, Jordan and Egypt refused to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Is that the status quo to which you wish to return? You expect Israel to return to the pre-1967 borders as if its destruction had never been threatened? As if there never was a war in 1967 in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  34. The only rational solution is for Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a peace deal under which they agree on borders that make sense to both sides.

    ReplyDelete
  35. They already have boarders - problem is, the palastinians recognise them and Israel dosn't. Hence the occupation.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Which borders are you saying that the Palestinians recognise?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Right. That's Israel's pre-1967 borders, its borders as they were before the 1967 Six Day War. Borders that were not recognised by a single Arab country. Borders that had been created not through negotiations, but through the armistices that had ended the 1948-9 War (incidentally, despite those armistices, all of Israel's neighbours chose not to recognise Israel and insisted on remaining in a formal state of war with her, rejecting all Israeli offers to discuss peace, borders and refugees). Borders that left the West Bank occupied by Jordan (who expelled the area's ancient Jewish communities), Gaza occupied by Egypt and East Jerusalem occupied by Jordan (with brutal consequences for the city's ancient Jewish Quarter and its inhabitants). Borders that left Israel vulnerable to an attack that would have resulted in Israel's destruction as a state, as could have happened in a Six Day War?

    The only way to resolve this dispute is to negotiate an agreement to create a viable Palestinian state, secure borders for Israel and an agreement about Jerusalem.

    ReplyDelete
  38. No the only way to resolve this dispute is for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 boarders - there is nothing to 'negotiate'. Israel may not like its 1967 boarders but that's too bad. The real reason they won't withdraw is they want to steal palastinian land.....and this decison shows http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-agrees-to-expansion-of-west-bank-settlement-1.400876

    ReplyDelete
  39. Israel's borders are only one of the issues at stake in the conflict. Others include refugees, Jerusalem and water. If Israel simply withdrew to its pre-1967 borders without negotiations on borders or on anything else, then all of those other issues would remain unresolved. Without negotiations, how would you propose to resolve them?

    You fall into the trap of believing that 'the Occupation' is the single root cause of the conflict, and that if you removed that single root cause, then there would no longer be a conflict. In fact, the conflict has multiple roots. Indeed, given that the conflict was up and running long before 'the Occupation' began in 1967, then how can 'the Occupation' be the conflict's single root cause? The conflict was ongoing long before its supposed root cause even existed, which is clearly nonsensical.

    Can you name a single other territorial dispute that was successfully resolved without negotiations? Is there another instance of a country unilaterally withdrawing to insecure borders without first reaching a deal on security?

    We can say things like "The real reason they won't withdraw is they want to steal Palestinian land" and "The real reason they won't talk is because they want to destroy Israel" until the cows come home, all the while proclaiming that one side is completely in the wrong and that all that is required for peace is for that one side to stop misbehaving.

    Or, alternatively, we can accept that this multi-layered conflict will only end when both sides want to live at peace and are prepared to negotiate an agreement to resolve the many issues on which they are divided.

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a load of non - sense. The 1967 boarders means west Jerusalem belongs to israel and east Jerusalem belongs to the palastnians...... the palastinians are talking indirectly....when israel ends the occupation and the palastinians have their state based on 1967 boarders then discussions can begin....or israel going to maintain its brutal and racist occupation in order to steal land.....it can do one or another, not both

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jerusalem was part of Turkey's Ottoman Empire for centuries until the First World War.

    All of Jerusalem (East and West) was then part of the territory that the League of Nations placed under British control in the 1920s.

    In the 1940s, the UN voted to create an international zone ('corpus separatum') in East Jerusalem (the Old City).

    Instead of becoming an international zone, it was illegally annexed by Jordan (not by the Palestinians) in 1948. Jordan denied Jews access to the ancient Jewish Quarter and bulldozed many sites of Jewish religious importance.

    In 1967, Israel took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan and later annexed it. Neither Jordan's occupation nor Israel's annexation was recognised as being legal by the international community.

    So East Jerusalem was never ruled by the Palestinians and was allocated by the UN to international control.

    Under Israeli rule, all faiths have access to their holy sites (I've been there - have you?), which was not the case under Jordanian rule.

    Israel and the Palestinians both want their capital in Jerusalem. Christians would want access to the city's important Christian sites. Jerusalem contains Judaism's holiest site (Jews pray towards Jerusalem, just as Muslims pray towards Mecca) and is the third holiest city in Islam. Many of the three faiths' holy sites are very near to each other. All three faiths see Jerusalem as their patrimony. We need to find a way of sharing it without dividing it.

    Given that the Palestinians have never controlled it, and given that the UN voted to turn it into an international zone, how or why would Israel simply give it to the Palestinians, without first negotiating an agreement on access to holy sites, freedom of worship and the rights of everyone who lives there?

    ReplyDelete
  42. most of the world, even the US state department acknowledges the 1967 boarders.....so why should israel be given landit does not own simply because it won a war...

    ReplyDelete
  43. As President Obama told the BBC in May:

    "...the basis for negotiations will involve looking at the 1967 border, recognising that conditions on the ground have changed, and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides. That's on the one hand.

    "On the other hand, and this was an equally important part of the speech, Israel's going to have to feel confident about its security on the West Bank. And that the security element is going to be important to the Israelis. They will not be able to move forward unless they feel that they themselves can defend their territory, particularly given what they've seen happen in Gaza, and the rockets that have been fired by Hezbollah.

    "So our argument is let's get started on a conversation about territory and about security. That doesn't resolve all the issues. You still end up having the problem of Jerusalem, and you still end up having the problem of refugees. But if we make progress on what two states would look like, and the, a, reality sets in among the parties this is how it's going to end up, then it becomes easier for both sides to make difficult concessions to resolve those two other issues."

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yes but the 1967 boarders are what the law recognises.......not what obama or AIPAC decides it is. And the words recognising that conditions on the ground have changed....is code for settlements that israel had no right to build and should not be allowed to keep......like i said israel should withdraw to its 1967 boarders and end its racist and brutal occupation

    ReplyDelete
  45. “[The Quartet] envoys remain engaged and committed to assisting the parties resume direct negotiations to achieve a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East,” said a statement released by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, after the separate meetings with representatives from the two parties (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40727&Cr=Palestin&Cr1=).

    That was after talks held today. The Quartet is the UN, US, EU and Russia. They are trying to negotiate a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians. You are saying that negotiations are not needed and that all the 'blame' is on one side of this very complex conflict. I am sorry that you do not support the Middle East Peace Process.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I do support the middle east process - I just don't agree with yours and other peoples views on how to go about it. I see no reason why Israel should be allowed to occupy other peoples lands simply because it is not happy with what it has. Israel should withdraw to its 1967 boarders without any further do. Further, despite Lib Dems (as part of the coalition goverment) not voting in favour of a Palastinian state (despite telling everybody they are in favour of it ) the Israeli goverment has not given you anything in return......indeed, since the Lib Dems have become part of goverment more and more settlements have been built.....why do u think that is?

    ReplyDelete
  47. I don't know - why do you think it is?

    ReplyDelete
  48. So tell me then Mathew, despite not voting for a palastinian state at the UN security council, or or membership at Unesco, and removing univesial jurisdiction to allow israeli war criminals to go free, what has isreal given the lib dem coalition in return .....settlements, more settlements and even more settlements.....Israel has not given one thing in return

    ReplyDelete
  49. Britain makes its own foreign policy, without expecting anything 'in return'. What has the Palestinian Authority given Britain 'in return' for millions of pounds in British aid?

    ReplyDelete
  50. It's given a committment to establish a free and democratic state - not much it can do until Israel ends its brutal and racist occupation can it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. A free and democratic state in which no Jews will be allowed to live - how is that either free or democratic?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Nope - quite the reverse. Still until Israel ends its occupation nobody can say for sure

    ReplyDelete
  53. Has not Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that no Jew will be allowed to live in the eventual Palestinian state? Did he not even say that if there were NATO or UN peacekeepers in the Jordan Valley, none of the peacekeepers could be Jewish? By which he meant that if there were, say, French, British or Turkish soldiers on this peacekeeping mission, none of those soldiers could be a French Jew, a British Jew or a Turkish Jew. That is as disgusting as it would be to bar British Muslims from serving on a British Army peacekeeping mission.

    Here we have a state that, before it is even founded, states that a specific ethno-faith group will be barred from living there - if that's not racist, what is? But then, in the 1920s, the British took 78% of Mandate Palestine and turned it into the new, separate Arab Kingdom of Transjordan (today's Jordan), which Jews were altogether barred from living in, so why should I be surprised? It seems that it is reasonable for the Jewish State of Israel to have an Arab minority living as free and equal citizens, but unreasonable for the Arab State of Palestine (or Jordan) to have a Jewish minority living as free and equal citizens. Total hypocrisy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The Palastinian state has already been founded, the 1967 boarder, the problem is it is occupied by Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  55. There has never been a Palestinian state. The proposal now is to create the first-ever Palestinian state, in the West Bank and Gaza. The West Bank and Gaza have never been held by the Palestinians. Prior to Israel's taking them in 1967, they were held by Jordan and by Egypt. Prior to that, they were held by the British. Prior to that, they were (for many centuries) part of a larger province of the Ottoman Empire. On that basis, where and when has a Palestinian state been founded? With the partial exceptions of Kosovo and Bangladesh, when has a new state been founded without negotiations about its borders?

    Can you name a single territorial dispute that has been peacefully resolved without negotiations to reach agreement on borders?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Palastine exsisted before Britian first occupied it and then decided to ship thousands of jewish refugees leading to arabs loosing their homes......this in turn led to israel and the occupation. In answer to ur question the 1967 boarders are in place all israel needs to do is leave..... it wont cos it wants the land....and as soon as the palastinians say they will meet israel does what it always does....announces it will either build new settlements or new homes in East Jurseleum....like it did on Monday

    ReplyDelete
  57. Britain did not 'occupy' Palestine; it was invited to rule it under League of Nations mandate in the 1920s. No Arabs lost their homes under British rule; the Arab population actually increased, partly thanks to migration from elsewhere in the Arab world. The British did not ship Jews into Palestine; on the contrary, they actively opposed Jewish migration and interned illegal Jewish immigrants in camps on Cyprus. Prior to the British Mandate, today's Israel/Palestine had been, for centuries, part of a larger province (not called Palestine) of Turkey's Ottoman Empire - it was never an independent state, and its Arab inhabitants never called themselves Palestinians.

    For Jerusalem settlements, see: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=252062

    ReplyDelete