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24 responses to “Here we go again…”

  1. Kersebleptes

    Well, no doubt Obama has worked out a timescale on this. As long as the deal doesn’t collapse into a pile of steaming No. 2s before a certain date, it will have served its purpose.

    Because surely, as you say, the Seps can’t really think that this will actually help. In that part of the world most people are Jews and Muslims- but the only faith that prospers is bad faith…

  2. tim g

    So let’s see if I have this straight: Israel’s price tag for getting on board the peace train re Palestine is for the US to get into full-on Cold War mode re Iran.

    Ergo – cooling down the tension in one part of the Middle East is to be achieved by ratcheting up the tension in another part of the self-same Middle East.

    I believe this is known as the “whack a mole” theory of geopolitical strategy.

  3. Razor

    As if China is going to agree to restricting it’s access to Iranian oil.

    Once they arranged that and an effective agreement from Copenhagen I’d also like the next Mega Draw Lotto numbers.

  4. Jack Strocchi

    Why do we even care? What people get up to in those far-off lands is none of our business.

    Unless of course we find it in our national interest do a small favour for our imperial patrons.

    Moreover, even if we made it our business does anyone think we could do any good by poling our nose into it? Or that we would get any thanks for doing so? Not on your nellie.

    No, I think it best if we copy the Japanese in the matter of the ME and politely ignore all the hysterical carry-on in that region. Noticing it only encourages them and eggs them onto to greater mischief.

    (FWIW I think moral justice favours the Palestinian side in the dispute over Occupied Territories. But they had a great chance to build a lasting peace in the nineties when Clinton brokered a deal between Arafat and Barak and they blew it.)

  5. Brendon

    Its always a charade. Whenever someone really tries to broker a peacet they shoot him. Just ask Rabin.

    The not so hidden agenda for the Israel poitical leadership is to kick the Pals of whats left of their land and take all the land south of the Litani river. One year they are bombing southern Lebanon, the next Gaza. The year after they are kicking Pal families out of Jerusalem in the West Bank.

    After 5 to 10 years they take a break, let America pretend irs an honest broker.Then they start all over again. Bomb southern Lebanon, then….

  6. Michael

    I predict there will be full peace by the weekend…..and why not, it’s as good as any other prediction…….except for the prediction of no progress, which is the default setting.

  7. Nabakov

    Yes, here we go again. I have no doubt this thread will be energised but never productive.

    At heart, all the principals are fighting over different interpretations of some bloody invisible superhero from outer space. The same one they all worship in different ways.

    It’s the kinda stupidity that passeth all understanding.

    Fuckwitlippians 4:5-7

  8. CptR

    The “peace process” is successful in and of itself – it sets null objectives and meets them. But the oppression of the Palestinian people, whilst unpleasant to ponder, is not as distant as we may like – our government is a vociferous proponent of Israel’s colonial agenda, some of our local Christian Zionists are hardcore and active supporters of Israel’s agenda (and responsible for the propagation of a most disturbing and disgusting form of anti-semitism), and the question of European-Arab/Muslim power dynamics in occupied Palestine is a powerful fuel for local discourse around racial, colonial, imperial and multicultural issues. Even if our only contribution to the Middle East is to discuss it civilly and constructively, it has great potential to beneficially influence the dynamics of race and power in our own environs. That said, if others are interested, I think there are also questions of what really are the responsibilities of the privileged when it comes the terrible problems of the occupation and that putting this in the too-hard basket may be quite unacceptable.

  9. David H

    Go Peace yeah! Oh wait Israel has a right to something and the Palestinians did something else and the US wants to look good and now China’s on the scene – its just too complicated for words. Action, that’s good. Build a wall around all of Israel to keep out the marauding hordes, that will work. Its been done before. Go the wall yeah!

  10. Paul Burns

    I predict it won’t be long before pigs start to fly.
    I don’t know what the solution is to the Israeli-Palestine conflict, (short of driving the Isrealis into the sea, which isn’t going to happen.) They’re both there in that patch of godforsaken desert and they’re going to keep on fighting each other until one of them wipes the other out, or they wipe each other out.
    Maybe some-one will nuke the Israelis. Then, at least one side could go home happy.
    A plague on both their houses.

  11. Hal9000

    “But they had a great chance to build a lasting peace in the nineties when Clinton brokered a deal between Arafat and Barak and they blew it.”

    No, Jack. There was no deal brokered, and no ‘generous offers’ were made. That story was the spin agreed by Barak and Clinton in explicit breach of undertakings given to Arafat, who had been rightly suspicious of what was about to go down. A neat graphic about what was put on the table is available at http://www.gush-shalom.org/media/barak_eng.swf It shouldn’t take too long to realise why Arafat could never have agreed to it.

  12. Mercurius

    Australians would do better to look to their (*cough*) own (Indigenous) backyard before they (ahem) get too worked up (1970s-1990s support for Indonesian adventures in East Timor) about how Israelis and Palestinians treat each other.

  13. Robert Merkel

    Fair point Mercurius, but there’s the other side of the coin – the human misery on the participants, and the broader strategic implications. There’s dozens of conflicts hot and cold around the world that inflict more human misery, but none of them have the global implications of the Israeli-Palestinian one.

  14. Rob

    “Maybe some-one will nuke the Israelis. Then, at least one side could go home happy.”

    Suggest that to Iran’s Ahmadinijad. Oh, wait…

  15. Mercurius

    Sorry Robert Merkel, I ain’t buying it. A hierarchy of which conflicts we should address based on their ‘global implications’ is based on no calculus I can recognise as ‘ethical’.

    If the ‘global implications’ are the criteria we should use for deciding which injustices to address, then the world community was right to ignore the Rwandan genocides until there were 1 million corpses, Chechnya, and are right to ignore Darfur and the plight of Indigenous Australians now…do you see the problem with your ethical calculus?

    Besides, if you take all the standard legal or geopolitical arguments against Israel’s legitimacy and apply them to Australia, I daresay the legitimacy of Australia’s hold on this land is far more precarious than is the Israelis’ on theirs. The only meaningful difference I can see is that there is no organised or militarised resistance or competing claim that has any effective voice here. After all, what supra-national body has affirmed and ratified the claim of the Australian people to this land? We’ve displaced a people, denied them their traditional lands and practices, without treaty and outside international law. Should we now drive ourselves into the sea as an act of contrition?

    And can people keep the remarks about “nuking” anybody, however “jocular” they may be, to themselves please?

  16. Robert Merkel

    Mercurius, I wasn’t trying to make an ethical point. I largely agree with you as to what conflicts should be addressed as a high priority. I’m just making the obvious and cynical point that the West only gets interested in ones because a) of “strategic” (aka West-affecting) implications, and b) noisy domestic constituencies, particularly important in US politics.

  17. Brendon

    How long did it take?

    US hints at flexibility on Israeli settlement halt
    Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:46pm EDT

    U.S. hopes to announce resumption of peace talks soon

    Chances of peace deal seem slim

    By Arshad Mohammed

    WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations could possibly resume without a complete freeze in Israeli building of Jewish settlements, a senior U.S. official suggested on Thursday.

  18. Brendon


    historical social injustices and issues aside, comparing the situation today between Indigenous Australians and Palestinian refugees is ludicrous. Indigenous Australians have enough problems, but:

    They are prevented from returning to their homeland. An Indigenous Australian is able to live anywhere in Australia he likes.

    Over one thousand Palestinians were slaughtered by Israel’s military just this year.

    They were recently starved and blockaded.

    Scores of Palestinian families have been evicted by Israel to make way Israeli settlers this year. This does not happen today in Australia.

    They are tortured in Israeli prisons.

    Collective punishment where the family home is destroyed of a suicide bomber.

    Hospitals and schools targetted by Israel military

    Weapons used on Palestinians that are banned by the UN…

    I could go on…but really, comparing the two is an insult to both communities.

  19. Mercurius

    historical social injustices and issues aside, comparing the situation today between Indigenous Australians and Palestinian refugees is ludicrous.

    Well, yes, Brendon — if you just ignore 95% of the treatment of Aboriginal Australia by the more recent arrivals, then it is ludicrous to compare the two situations.

    But then, I would say it’s ludicrous to sweep the history of Australian settlement into a memory hole just in order maintain my righteous indignation at Israel.

    Aboriginal Australians are still refused service, still dying in custody, still being cooked alive in the back of utes driven across the desert, still being collectively punished by the intervention and still living 2-3 decades less than the rest of us. Instead of bullets and air strikes, it’s diabetes and poverty conducting the slaughter.

    Meanwhile, Israel actually has a UN mandate to be in most of the territory it occupies, and faces round-the-clock criticism and condemnation from most of the world for the bits it occupies illegally. Meanwhile, Australia, which has no treaty with the first inhabitants, gets off without a word of criticism.

    To repeat, the only material difference I see is that the Palestinians fight back.

  20. Brendon

    Mercurius: “To repeat, the only material difference I see is that the Palestinians fight back.”

    I find it hard to believe that you are serious when you say that.

    Anyway, this is a discussion on the current situation re the peace process. Not about a UN mandate, which didn’t include the Palestinians wishes, anyway.

    The current situation for many Palestinians is that they are regarded as refugees, they are starved, bombed, tortured, have land and housess stolen from them, are incacerated in prisons where they suffer state sanctioned slaughter torture, suffer discriminatory water distribution, are bombed, are not permitted to travel on roads built for Israelis in their own land, have sewage released down their streets or farms, and face other daily humiliations under the their occupiers.


    This does not happen in Australia today. I don’t why you think that it is.

  21. Brendon

    Might have been a little heavy handed trying to make a point last post. My appy polly loggies.

  22. Andrew E

    Only Nixon could go to “Red China”, and it was John Howard who did more for East Timor than all other Australian politicians, “action committees” and pamphleteers put together. If you want someone to sell out the settlements, Bibi is your man.

    He’s not the lion he was – a very sheepish little man this time around. Clinton had his measure and I think Obama does too. I think Egypt is missing in action on Gaza, and the reason for this is probably because they can’t read the signals from the Yanks – now that the Iranian regime have stopped blaming the Americans for their post-election riots I suspect things in that part of the world are going to get really interesting really quickly.

    Mercurius – hope you haven’t come down with one of those appalling illnesses endemic to remote Aboriginal communities, after having worked with them so closely and all (*cough* *cough*). Please don’t resent us for concentrating on more than one thing at a time. We voted for Rudd, we thought that would be a good start. Sorry for letting you down (*cough*).

  23. Brendon

    Just amazing.

    Israel refuses to recognize a Palestinian state. America stands ready to use its veto powers in the UN in support in case Abbas unilaterally decides to announce the formation of a Palestinian state.

    JERUSALEM (CNN) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday ruled out working with any Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas if Hamas does not agree to recognize Israel.


  24. jules

    Brendon thats seriously fucked isn’t it. I don’t think there will be peace till there is one state, not two, and it treats palestinians and israelis with the same respect. And probably the only way that’ll happen is if the jews write into their constitution that it’ll be their job to protexct Palestinians, and the palestinians do the same thing wrt jews, specifically in the context of preventing anything like another holocaust.

    Obviously that’ll never happen.

    Its a handy coincidence that you bumped this thread actually.

    Is the term Zionist an anti semetic code word for Jew?

    (I’ve been having an ongoing online debate with someone for about 3 years on this subject, just interested in peoples thoughts. I’m not interested in racist garbage tho.)