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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Of course. I largely accept that, at present, a comprehensive deal may not be possible due to Hamas' intransigence. However, a deal with the PA / Fatah is possible and even if it weren't, the Israeli side must continue to be willing to talk whenever the Palestinians are.

    Netanyahu has no interest in pulling out of the West Bank, even on a deal that allows the Israelis to keep the largest settlement blocs like those around Ariel and Maale Adumim.

    The Israeli right is simply too dogmatic, too narrow-minded, too bigoted (and too much in hock to the settlers) to ever make serious moves toward contracting a lasting peace deal.
    No change on that front anytime soon, by the looks of things. By current polling come the next election Netanyahu will be even more dependent on Bennett and Jewish Home.

    The really interesting thing to see will be what happens when Bibi finally steps down. Sa'ar seems the most likely successor right now, but I wouldn't count out a more right-leaning candidate who will basically kill off the post-Oslo peace process for good.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    No change on that front anytime soon, by the looks of things. By current polling come the next election Netanyahu will be even more dependent on Bennett and Jewish Home.

    The really interesting thing to see will be what happens when Bibi finally steps down. Sa'ar seems the most likely successor right now, but I wouldn't count out a more right-leaning candidate who will basically kill off the post-Oslo peace process for good.
    I fear there are reasons why even a left-wing government may choose not to opt for a deal. This passage from an article makes a very good stab at why Israel has not made a grand bargain with the Palestinians;

    Israel, for its part, has consistently opted for stalemate rather than the sort of agreement outlined above. The reason is obvious: the deal’s cost is much higher than the cost of making no deal. The damages Israel would risk incurring through such an accord are massive. They include perhaps the greatest political upheaval in the country’s history; enormous demonstrations against – if not majority rejection of – Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem and over the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary; and violent rebellion by some Jewish settlers and their supporters.

    There could also be bloodshed during forcible evacuations of West Bank settlements and rifts within the body implementing the evictions, the Israeli army, whose share of religious infantry officers now surpasses one third. Israel would lose military control over the West Bank, resulting in less intelligence-gathering, less room for manoeuvre in future wars, and less time to react to a surprise attack. It would face increased security risks from a Gaza-West Bank corridor, which would allow militants, ideology and weapons-production techniques to spread from Gaza training camps to the West Bank hills overlooking Israel’s airport. Israeli intelligence services would no longer control which Palestinians enter and exit the occupied territories. The country would cease extraction of the West Bank’s natural resources, including water, lose profits from managing Palestinian customs and trade, and pay the large economic and social price of relocating tens of thousands of settlers.

    Nor have the moral costs of occupation for Israeli society been high enough to change the calculus. Ending international opprobrium is indeed important to the country’s elites, and as they find themselves increasingly shunned, the incentive to withdraw from the occupied territories will likely increase. But so far Israel has proven quite capable of living with the decades-old label of “pariah”, the stain of occupation and the associated impact on the country’s internal harmony and relations with diaspora Jews

    Nor have the moral costs of occupation for Israeli society been high enough to change the calculus. Ending international opprobrium is indeed important to the country’s elites, and as they find themselves increasingly shunned, the incentive to withdraw from the occupied territories will likely increase. But so far Israel has proven quite capable of living with the decades-old label of “pariah”, the stain of occupation and the associated impact on the country’s internal harmony and relations with diaspora Jews.

    he real explanation for the past decadesof failed peace negotiations is not mistaken tactics or imperfect circumstances, but that no strategy can succeed if it is premised on Israel behaving irrationally. Most arguments put to Israel for agreeing to a partition are that it is preferable to an imagined, frightening future in which the country ceases to be either a Jewish state or a democracy, or both. Israel is constantly warned that if it does not soon decide to grant Palestinians citizenship or sovereignty, it will become, at some never-defined future date, an apartheid state. But these assertions contain the implicit acknowledgment that it makes no sense for Israel to strike a deal today rather than wait to see if such imagined threats actually materialise. If and when they do come to be, Israel can then make a deal.

    It is hard to argue that forestalling an agreement in the present makes a worse deal more likely in the future: the international community and the PLO have already established the ceiling of their demands – 22% of the land now under Israeli control – while providing far less clarity about the floor, which Israel can try to lower. Israel has continued to reject the same Palestinian claims made since the 1980s, albeit with a few added Palestinian concessions. In fact, history suggests that a strategy of waiting would serve the country well: from the British government’s 1937 Peel Commission partition plan and the UN partition plan of 1947 to UN Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo accords, every formative initiative endorsed by the great powers has given more to the Jewish community in Palestine than the previous one. Even if an Israeli prime minister knew that one day the world’s nations would impose sanctions on Israel if it did not accept a two-state agreement, it would still be irrational to strike such a deal now. Israel could instead wait until that day comes, and thereby enjoy many more years of West Bank control and the security advantages that go with it – particularly valuable at a time of cataclysm in the region.
    I completely agree with everything written here. No deal can be premised on Israel behaving irationally. But the international community has to change the self-interest calculus for Israel, they won't do it themselves.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    The Israeli right is simply too dogmatic, too narrow-minded, too bigoted (and too much in hock to the settlers) to ever make serious moves toward contracting a lasting peace deal.
    Now enjoy and apply the same words to the new leader of the Labor party Avi Gabbay, who rejects any evacuations of West Bank settlements in the context of a peace solution with the Palestinians.
    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    But the international community has to change the self-interest calculus for Israel, they won't do it themselves.
    So, what you prefer? Economic blockade of Israel? Military aggression?
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    (Original post by admonit)
    Now enjoy and apply the same words to the new leader of the Labor party Avi Gabbay, who rejects any evacuations of West Bank settlements in the context of a peace solution with the Palestinians.
    As I said in my post above, there are reasons to believe that even the Israeli left will decline to make a peace deal (read the quoted paragraphs about why it is not in Israel's material interests to make a deal now... I accept that analysis).

    So, what you prefer? Economic blockade of Israel? Military aggression?
    Of course not. I've been to Israel three times, I think it is an island of democracy and modernity in a sea of backwardness and authoritarianism. I am extremely fond of the Israelis. But the present situation is untenable and unacceptable.

    I believe the first step would be cancelling the US annual subsidy to Israel of $3 billion and also slowly withdrawing military support (without a constant supply of spare parts, all that complex American military equipment eventually becomes unusable), on the understanding that this support would be restored if Israel proceeds to make a grand bargain with the Palestinians.

    I did see in an Israeli forum these right-wingers claiming that they don't need the US, that they could get a "better deal" elsewhere and who needs to have the US telling them what to do. That is completely deluded, do the Israeli right really think Russia or China would provide the level of support the US does? In any case, buying Russian or Chinese weapons would see the end of Israel's qualitative military advantage.

    I do not want to harm Israel, and I do not agree with economic boycotts (except of goods produced in the settlements). Of course I do not want military aggression against Israel; in fact, during the previous summer wars with Hamas in 2014 and 2012, I was very vocal in supporting their right to self-defence and arguing against the people who claimed Israel was using excessive force.

    I am a supporter of Israel, but I fear for what it is becoming (increasingly religious and right-wing); this is taking it away from its noble, spartan socialist roots. The occupation of the West Bank should be ended (with appropriate land swaps) and if the settlers don't like it, they should start looking for another homeland. Of course, we know the religious and settler right will use terroristic violence against their fellow Israelis in any scenario of West Bank withdrawal.

    A better plan would simply be for the Israeli state to say, "Anyone who wants to voluntarily leave, we will pay you compensation, help you find new housing, etc. Those who insist on staying, well, the army is pulling out so you are on your own. See how you fare now that you are part of the Palestinian state"
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    I fear there are reasons why even a left-wing government may choose not to opt for a deal.
    The difference in my opinion is that the left to some extent still believe in the peace process, even if they're not prepared to accept the necessary conditions of it. The right is now split between those like Bennett, Hotovely, etc, who openly no longer believe in a peace deal, and the more pragmatic types like Netanyahu who clearly no longer believe in it privately, but recognise the political and PR benefits of pretending they do. Though weirdly enough, despite his ultra hawkishness and authoritarianism, I think Lieberman actually does believe in it.

    This passage from an article makes a very good stab at why Israel has not made a grand bargain with the Palestinians;



    I completely agree with everything written here. No deal can be premised on Israel behaving irationally. But the international community has to change the self-interest calculus for Israel, they won't do it themselves.
    Indeed. Like a lot of ethnic conflicts, Israel's essentially in the position at the moment where there's no obvious gain to making peace right now - all the potential problems from not making a deal won't be apparent until it's too late.

    Personally I'm expecting a long slog - I think we're looking at a couple more decades of worsening conditions before a deal (and by then some form of one state deal will likely be the only option), unless there's some sudden change in the situation in the next few years to finally spur the Oslo model to completion.

    Regardless of what happens, in the lead-up to any deal I'd also expect to see a lashing out by the Israeli far-right in an attempt to sabotage the agreement. It's happened loads of times in similar conflicts - Eugene Terre'Blanche and the AWB in South Africa, Billy Wright and the LVF in Northern Ireland, Raoul Salan and the OAS in Algeria, etc.
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    (Original post by admonit)
    Well, I've read THIS:

    "Tanya Cariina Hsu is a British Saudi-US Political Analyst. She lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

    :cool:
    Well ya she lives in Saudi but her name is clearly not Muslim. Tanya is a Jewish name.
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    (Original post by Sadiii01)
    Well ya she lives in Saudi but her name is clearly not Muslim. Tanya is a Jewish name.
    Actually Tanya could also be Slavic (Tatiana).
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    As I said in my post above, there are reasons to believe that even the Israeli left will decline to make a peace deal (read the quoted paragraphs about why it is not in Israel's material interests to make a deal now... I accept that analysis).
    I suppose you agree with everything written in the Guardian.
    As was said in one article "Quite simply, no matter what the Palestinians do, or what peace overtures Israel makes, Israel is always to blame for the lack of progress on peace".
    Of course not. I've been to Israel three times, I think it is an island of democracy and modernity in a sea of backwardness and authoritarianism.
    That's why you propose to disarm Israel? OK.
    I believe the first step would be cancelling the US annual subsidy to Israel of $3 billion and also slowly withdrawing military support (without a constant supply of spare parts, all that complex American military equipment eventually becomes unusable), on the understanding that this support would be restored if Israel proceeds to make a grand bargain with the Palestinians.
    Very interesting, considering that a year ago one of the most anti-Israel presidents approved record military aid to Israel.
    I do not want to harm Israel
    Yeah, you just want to disarm it.
    I am a supporter of Israel, but I fear for what it is becoming (increasingly religious and right-wing); this is taking it away from its noble, spartan socialist roots.
    From my point of view you are a supporter of a controlled socialist Jewish ghetto, which is not the same.

    The occupation of the West Bank should be ended (with appropriate land swaps) and if the settlers don't like it, they should start looking for another homeland.
    Which one? Anti-Semitic Europe?
    Of course, we know the religious and settler right will use terroristic violence against their fellow Israelis in any scenario of West Bank withdrawal.
    Who "we"? Readers of the Guardian? You really are obsessed by violent rebellion by Israelis in the West Bank.
    A better plan would simply be for the Israeli state to say, "Anyone who wants to voluntarily leave, we will pay you compensation, help you find new housing, etc. Those who insist on staying, well, the army is pulling out so you are on your own. See how you fare now that you are part of the Palestinian state"
    No comment.
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    (Original post by Sadiii01)
    Well ya she lives in Saudi but her name is clearly not Muslim. Tanya is a Jewish name.
    1. "clearly not Muslim" doesn't necessary mean "clearly Jewish". :cool:
    2. A name is Jewish if it is mentioned in Tanakh (Jewish Bible). You can find Sarah there, but not Tanya.
    3. "Tanya is the Slavic hypocoristic of Tatiana."
    "Tatiana (also romanized as Tatyana, Tatjana, Tatianna, Tatijana, etc.) is a female name of Latin origin. The short form of the name is Tanya (Russian: Таня)."
    4. My comment was not about the name of the author of the article, but rather meant two points:
    1) "Jewish woman" couldn't write from Saudi, because Jews are forbidden to live there.
    2) If a person, living in Saudi, starts an article with "We are Israel.", then it is worth to think a little bit about the real meaning of the article before shouting about "victim card".
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    (Original post by Sadiii01)
    Well ya she lives in Saudi but her name is clearly not Muslim. Tanya is a Jewish name.
    Why do you care about this lady name people called their children whatever names they like she could be Muslim nor not.
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    (Original post by looloo2134)
    Why do you care about this lady name people called their children whatever names they like she could be Muslim nor not.
    never seen a mualim named Israel or Jehuda....xd
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    (Original post by Kathy89)
    never seen a mualim named Israel or Jehuda....xd
    If you go to a some part of Africa you can find both Muslims and Christians with Biblical names. At work a Muslim man from West Africa second name was Israel.
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    (Original post by looloo2134)
    If you go to a some part of Africa you can find both Muslims and Christians with Biblical names. At work a Muslim man from West Africa second name was Israel.
    OK, you proved your point.
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    (Original post by admonit)
    I suppose you agree with everything written in the Guardian.
    I'm sorry but that's preposterous. BDS types have accused me of being a far-right Likudnik because I believe the creation of the state of Israel was justifiable, because I do not believe there is a right of return, and I strongly support Israel's actions in defending itself from the Hamas threat.

    So no, I do not agree with everything written in the Guardian. If you'd even bothered to actually read what I quoted, it was pointing out that a peace deal is against Israel's material interests, at present. You seem like a fairly extreme person who has little interest in genuine debate, and basically anyone who doesn't immediately accept and agree with what you say suddenly becomes an evil Israel hater leftie.

    That's why you propose to disarm Israel? OK.
    Actually I said I want to continue Israel's qualitative military superiority over its Arab neighbours, with supplies off US and European technology. But that cannot be premised on, "We give Israel everything it wants, and they have no reciprocal obligations in return".

    If Israel takes our guns and then spits in our face, then no; we should not continue to arm them. I want the subsidy and the arms shipments to continue, but only if Israel starts making serious moves toward a lasting resolution of the conflict even if that means a unilateral withdrawal (just as Sharon correctly did in Gaza).

    But it's clear you have little interest in genuine debate. Either you are too stupid to see the nuance in my position, or you are too dishonest. Either way, I'm not going to waste my time with you.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    It's happened loads of times in similar conflicts - Eugene Terre'Blanche and the AWB in South Africa, Billy Wright and the LVF in Northern Ireland, Raoul Salan and the OAS in Algeria, etc.
    That's a very juicy analogy, I like it. I'm quite impressed that you know about Terre'Blanche and the AWB.

    I hope that doesn't sound patronising... obviously you are very intelligent and well-read, I like that your knowledge of world historical matters goes beyond simply the Middle East.

    It's not unusual to meet people who are reasonably well informed about a particular subject (although your knowledge on Israel/Palestine issues goes beyond simply well-informed... despite our differences in political orientation on this subject), but it's much rarer to meet someone who has a good grasp of political history across numerous fields.

    On the South African question, have you read the biography of Joe Slovo? He was (I have a feeling you probably already know all this so this might be superfluous) the General-Secretary of the South African Communist Party during the second half of the 1980s, when they worked closely with the ANC.

    Under Slovo's leadership they carried out some really big attacks against the SA state apparatus, including (iirc) a huge car bomb that blew up outside the HQ of the South African Air Force. Slovo was a Polish Jew whose family came to SA in the 1930s, after the end of apartheid he spent a couple of years as a minister in the ANC SA government.

    Went off on a bit of a tangent there, just thought I'd say I find 1980s and early 1990s SA history to be fascinating. The period in the early 1990s when it was clear the National Party would end apartheid but before that actually occurred, and you saw the emergence of all these weird groups like the AWB, and indeed Chief Buthulezi's actions at this time (I wonder if he was basically a tool of South African intelligence), makes for very interesting reading.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    X
    Btw, have you watched the documentary The Gatekeepers? (the one where all five living former heads of Shin Bet go on camera to give interviews and commentary, interspersed with the history of the conflict, and all five attack the occupation and call for its end)

    I may have asked you that before. If so, then disregard. If not, then drop what you're doing and watch it ASAP (available here for free: https://archive.org/details/TheGatekeeper). It's the best doc I've seen on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I found it actually quite emotionally moving. I found the sections about the Jewish religious extremist terrorist groups quite interesting as well, and no doubt Israel can expect more of that in the future if it engages in a withdrawal from the West Bank.

    No doubt a TSRian like Admonit would attack these Israeli patriots, these securocrats who spent decades arresting, interrogating and killing terrorists, as leftie 'Israel-haters'. I think it's the background of The Gatekeepers that make their testimony so profound and morally urgent.

    As someone who considers himself a supporter of Israel, I also appreciate the documentary because you see these Shin Bet heads are not monsters. They are not men who went around thinking, "Arghhh kill the Palestinian children!!1!1!"; they are thoughtful and intelligent men. I find it a good antidote to some of the more hysterical claims about the motives of the IDF in wartime.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    So no, I do not agree with everything written in the Guardian. If you'd even bothered to actually read what I quoted, it was pointing out that a peace deal is against Israel's material interests, at present.
    You do agree.

    "Israel, for its part, has consistently opted for stalemate rather than the sort of agreement outlined above. The reason is obvious: the deal’s cost is much higher than the cost of making no deal."
    "It was, is, and will remain irrational for Israel to absorb the costs of an agreement when the price of the alternative is so comparatively low."
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...s-always-fails
    You seem like a fairly extreme person who has little interest in genuine debate, and basically anyone who doesn't immediately accept and agree with what you say suddenly becomes an evil Israel hater leftie.
    How do you think I care about this your nonsense?
    Actually I said I want to continue Israel's qualitative military superiority over its Arab neighbours, with supplies off US and European technology. But that cannot be premised on, "We give Israel everything it wants, and they have no reciprocal obligations in return".

    If Israel takes our guns and then spits in our face, then no; we should not continue to arm them. I want the subsidy and the arms shipments to continue, but only if Israel starts making serious moves toward a lasting resolution of the conflict even if that means a unilateral withdrawal (just as Sharon correctly did in Gaza).
    And you again confirmed: you are ready to disarm Israel if it doesn't fulfill all your demands.
    But it's clear you have little interest in genuine debate. Either you are too stupid to see the nuance in my position, or you are too dishonest. Either way, I'm not going to waste my time with you.
    Personal insults? So predictable..
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    (Original post by admonit)
    And you again confirmed: you are ready to disarm Israel if it doesn't fulfill all your demands.
    Withdrawing military aid and subsidies to Israel wouldn't disarm them. No-one doubts they could buy equipment from countries like China, that they could get as many rifles and rocket-propelled grenades etc as they wanted. They would have weapons.

    But they wouldn't have advanced Western military technology. And yes, why should the West subsidise and arm Israel with the best military technology when it spits in our face and acts contrary to our interests?

    You exhibit the same astonishing sense of entitlement and victimhood as most of the rest of the Israeli far-right. The idea that Israel is entitled to these arms and this $3 billion a year, no matter what it does and how contrary to Western interests it behaves, is one of the reasons Israel continues to become ever more unpopular. Eventually that will affect the political calculus in the West.

    The fact that you (and the Israeli right generally) attack even people who support Israel and want to see it continue to exist and thrive, show that you are basically like rabid dogs. You attack everyone. For the Israeli far-right, unless you support everything Israel does (including the settlements and the lunatic religious wing of the settler movement), then you are an Israel hater. Well, good luck with that.

    Personal insults? So predictable..
    It's not a personal insult to say something truthful that happens to be adverse to you. It is truthful to say you are either too stupid to understand what's being proposed or you are completely disingenuous.

    Anyway, that is my last comment to you. Adding you to my ignore list, you've always been a tedious troll and I'm surprised it took me this long
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    This is real quote btw
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Btw, have you watched the documentary The Gatekeepers? (the one where all five living former heads of Shin Bet go on camera to give interviews and commentary, interspersed with the history of the conflict, and all five attack the occupation and call for its end)

    I may have asked you that before. If so, then disregard. If not, then drop what you're doing and watch it ASAP (available here for free: https://archive.org/details/TheGatekeeper). It's the best doc I've seen on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I found it actually quite emotionally moving. I found the sections about the Jewish religious extremist terrorist groups quite interesting as well, and no doubt Israel can expect more of that in the future if it engages in a withdrawal from the West Bank.

    No doubt a TSRian like Admonit would attack these Israeli patriots, these securocrats who spent decades arresting, interrogating and killing terrorists, as leftie 'Israel-haters'. I think it's the background of The Gatekeepers that make their testimony so profound and morally urgent.

    As someone who considers himself a supporter of Israel, I also appreciate the documentary because you see these Shin Bet heads are not monsters. They are not men who went around thinking, "Arghhh kill the Palestinian children!!1!1!"; they are thoughtful and intelligent men. I find it a good antidote to some of the more hysterical claims about the motives of the IDF in wartime.
    I watched part of it a while back, though I'll get round to watching the rest at some point. Personally, what I saw of it somewhat reinforced my view that the two leaderships understand the peace process somewhat differently, but the surface-level similarity of their goals somewhat obscures this (this isn't at all unusual, it happens in many ethnic conflicts).

    Broadly, I'd say the Israelis are divided between two positions:
    - Maximalists - those who want Israel to be the only state between river and sea, to annex or permanently control all much of the Occupied Territories as possible, with the Palestinians either being expelled, denied citizenship or confined to bantustans.
    - Partitionists - those who support some sort of independent Palestinian state existing alongside Israel.

    This argument's basically been raging since the disputes among the Yishuv leadership over the Peel Proposals in 1937.

    By contrast, I'd say the Palestinians are split between three positions:
    - Nativists - the Palestinian counterpart to the Maximalists; those who want one Palestinian state between river and sea, in which Palestinians will clearly predominate, and most if not all Jews will be considered recently arrived foreigners not entitled to the same rights as Palestinians.
    - Republicans - those who support a single, binational/multiethnic state between river and sea, in which Jews will be accepted as full citizens and partners.
    - Partitionists - those who support an independent Palestinian state in the 1967 borders alongside Israel.

    Nativism was usually the most popular opinion among Palestinian leaders during the Mandatory period, though the passage of time has marginalised it (though I guess the officially Muslim-dominated state favoured by the Islamist groups could be considered a kind of nativism). Republicanism was generally the favoured position of the early PLO under Arafat through to about 1988, when they essentially accepted partitionism.

    Though despite the surface-level similarities, I think there's something of a significant difference between Israeli and Palestinian partitionists. There's something of an idealism to the Israeli position, as expressed in the whole "two states for two peoples" slogan. The Israeli centre-left see two major ethnic groups in the region of former Mandatory Palestine, and see division of the land into one ethnic nation-state for each as an ideal solution.

    By contrast, the Palestinian partitionists are more reactive. Historical circumstances and international law have left two states as the most obvious and realistic option, so that's what they go for. They don't talk about "two states for two peoples", just "two states".

    Ultimately, I think this is the main problem behind the negotiating impasses, as it leads to rather different interpretation of the issues. It's why the Israelis view the borders as largely still up for negotiation, while the Palestinians view it as having largely already been decided. It's why the Israelis see the question of "recognition as a Jewish state" (as distinct from generic diplomatic recognition) as a basic demand, but the Palestinians see it as none of their business at best, and potentially threatening to Arab Israelis/Palestinian citizens of Israel at worst.

    Like I say though, this is common to ethnic conflicts. For instance, if it wasn't so horrific the misunderstandings in the early stages of the Bosnian peace negotiations would quite amusing. Karadžić would repeatedly turn up thinking they were negotiating territorial division, while Izetbegović assumed it was all about constitutional reform.
 
 
 
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