5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

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5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby EvilerDictator » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:00 pm

http://www.cracked.com/article_20923_5-bizarre-realities-life-at-edge-gaza.html

I actually used all my down votes today on this article comments. So much trolling going on
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby Edgar Cabrera » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:08 pm

It always baffles me how most discussions about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have a high tendency to have people who's only answer to it seems to be along the lines of "THEY SHOULD ALL GO TO HELL!"
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby EvilerDictator » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:13 pm

The trouble we have over here is that people don't seem to appreciate that they couldn't now just kick out all the Israelis and give it all back to the Palestinians - they don't see beyond their need to protest about something they know precious little about. It's unfortunate that it's people who need changing but ultimately that's one of the hardest things to do.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby aviel » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:46 am

This was a really terrible article. Not just because it wasn't funny, or made points I disagreed with; it got basic facts about the conflict wrong.

First, the article had nothing to do with Gaza whatsoever. There are no Israelis in Gaza, and haven't been since 2005. This was talking to a settler in the West Bank. When the author gets such a fundamental fact about the issue wrong, it doesn't speak well to his ability to understand the more complex areas of the conflict.

Second, it does a very misleading job of describing the settlements and their interactions with the Palestinians. There are some settlements, like Kiryat Arba in Hevron, that are illegal even under Israeli law, and that because they are so close to the Palestinians, often encounter and engage in violence with the Palestinians like described in these articles. But the vast majority of Israeli settlers (depending on how you count, at least 80%) do not live in these areas, and Israel would not keep this areas under any peace agreement, even the ones it's proposed.

Instead, most Israelis live in large settlement blocks, largely separated from the Palestinians, and don't live there for religious reasons but because the housing is cheap. Ma'ale Adumim, for example, was created to provide cheaper housing for people who couldn't afford to live in Jerusalem.

It also misrepresents the commonness of violence. This isn't the second Intifada. Since the construction of the border fence, terrorist incidents have declined by well over 90%. If you're an Israeli, you're way way more likely to be hurt in a car crash than you are in a terrorist incident, and that is likely true even if you just limit it to Israelis living in the West Bank.

Finally, the article portrays the conflict as intractable when, in fact, several reasonable solutions were proposed. The only thing necessary for peace to happen is for the Palestinians to accept them.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby cmsellers » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:09 am

aviel wrote:reasonable solutions were proposed. The only thing necessary for peace to happen is for the Palestinians to accept them.

In that note, here is a fun little web app that you can use to draw your own borders in the West Bank, and it will calculate the land swaps from Israel.

The only thing that bothers me about the app itself is that I can't include E1, which isn't populated, but which most Israeli politicians want to include.

There are also some interesting video introductions. The project was made in collaboration with The Atlantic, and the commentators over there rather heavily accused the video authors of a pro-Palestinian bias. Personally, I only got that impression in three cases.

The first two are with land swaps. In the first case, the authors played up Palestine's "historic compromise," and backed the Palestinian view on what conditions should apply; indeed they applied those conditions to the app. For example neutral ground before the 1967 war counts as land that the Palestinians are giving up, while a permanent extraterritorial corridor between the West Bank and Gaza does not count as land that the Israelis are giving up.

In the second case, the authors note that Israeli land already inhabited by Arabs cannot be swapped for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, because the inhabitants object. Now the Lieberman Plan would also have forced them to swap Israeli citizenship for Palestinian citizenship, which is galling. But personally, I don't see anything wrong with including the Little Triangle in the Israeli land surrendered, as long as no current Israeli citizens lose citizenship as a result of the land swap, even if they decide to stay in their houses.

My third issue is with Jerusalem. If the authors are going to refuse to swap Arab land in Israel proper because the local Arabs object, shouldn't the same standards apply to the Arabs living in East Jerusalem? My understanding is that the Arabs of East Jerusalem generally don't want to live in a Palestinian state. If that is the case, it seems somewhat hypocritical to include their land in a Palestinian state against their wishes while insisting that it's unthinkable to do the same for Arabs living behind the 1967 borders.

Any rate, all of those cases seem relatively minor. And since I tend to have a mildly pro-Israel bias, I'm sure I overlooked cases where the authors appeared to come down on the Israeli side.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby aviel » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:00 am

cmsellers wrote:In that note, here is a fun little web app that you can use to draw your own borders in the West Bank, and it will calculate the land swaps from Israel.

This is friggin' amazing.

The only thing that bothers me about the app itself is that I can't include E1, which isn't populated, but which most Israeli politicians want to include.

If you include Ma'ale Adumim and surrounding settlements, which you realistically would, including E1 doesn't really change anything. It's in that area.

The first two are with land swaps. In the first case, the authors played up Palestine's "historic compromise," and backed the Palestinian view on what conditions should apply; indeed they applied those conditions to the app. For example neutral ground before the 1967 war counts as land that the Palestinians are giving up, while a permanent extraterritorial corridor between the West Bank and Gaza does not count as land that the Israelis are giving up.
That's pretty bullshit, but unfortunately a premise even accepted by the Israelis in practice, if not in word. The offers the Israelis give the Palestinians tend to give the Palestinians as much or almost as much land as they've asked for.

In the second case, the authors note that Israeli land already inhabited by Arabs cannot be swapped for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, because the inhabitants object. Now the Lieberman Plan would also have forced them to swap Israeli citizenship for Palestinian citizenship, which is galling. But personally, I don't see anything wrong with including the Little Triangle in the Israeli land surrendered, as long as no current Israeli citizens lose citizenship as a result of the land swap, even if they decide to stay in their houses.

Nah, I don't like this. The idea should be to minimize the number of people who end up in a country they don't want to be. Israel can do a 1 for 1 land swap with the West Bank beyond the Green Line without dragging surrounding Arab areas into it.

My third issue is with Jerusalem. If the authors are going to refuse to swap Arab land in Israel proper because the local Arabs object, shouldn't the same standards apply to the Arabs living in East Jerusalem? My understanding is that the Arabs of East Jerusalem generally don't want to live in a Palestinian state. If that is the case, it seems somewhat hypocritical to include their land in a Palestinian state against their wishes while insisting that it's unthinkable to do the same for Arabs living behind the 1967 borders.

It's actually the opposite: Arabs in East Jerusalem were given Israeli citizenship and almost 100% refused. But Israeli offers have ceded Arab areas of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby cmsellers » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:21 am

aviel wrote:If you include Ma'ale Adumim and surrounding settlements, which you realistically would, including E1 doesn't really change anything. It's in that area.

But you can't chose to include it in Israel, even though you can chose whether or not to include the Ma'ale Adumim Industrial Park.

aviel wrote:That's pretty bullshit, but unfortunately a premise even accepted by the Israelis in practice, if not in word. The offers the Israelis give the Palestinians tend to give the Palestinians as much or almost as much land as they've asked for.

The idea that land swaps should be 1:1 is accepted by the Israelis in practice. The issue is on the margins, with the corridor in particular meaning that according to the app, the Israeli proposals are not 1:1. There's a set of map layers where you can see one of the Israeli proposals, one of the Palestinian proposals, and the Geneva Initiative.

aviel wrote:Nah, I don't like this. The idea should be to minimize the number of people who end up in a country they don't want to be.

That's a good point.

aviel wrote:It's actually the opposite: Arabs in East Jerusalem were given Israeli citizenship and almost 100% refused. But Israeli offers have ceded Arab areas of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

They don't want to be citizens of Israel, but it seems that most of them would still rather live under Israeli jurisdiction .
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby aviel » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:32 am

cmsellers wrote:But you can't chose to include it in Israel, even though you can chose whether or not to include the Ma'ale Adumim Industrial Park.

Yeah, it's annoying that the map doesn't include it, but my point is just that it actually changes very little.

The idea that land swaps should be 1:1 is accepted by the Israelis in practice. The issue is on the margins, with the corridor in particular meaning that according to the app, the Israeli proposals are not 1:1. There's a set of map layers where you can see one of the Israeli proposals, one of the Palestinian proposals, and the Geneva Initiative.

Either way, I managed to get 76% of Israeli settlers in only about 3.25% of the West Bank, and it's easy enough to find that much land inside Israel no matter how you count it.

They don't want to be citizens of Israel, but it seems that most of them would still rather live under Israeli jurisdiction .

This is interesting; thanks for the link.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
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He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby EvilerDictator » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:00 am

I wish people I knew could talk about this subject in this kind of balanced way. Where were you two when there was fighting at that protest in my city last time?! :P
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby aviel » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:31 am

Sitting in my home, avoiding that kind of shouting match.

I don't like protests and large group things like that. My dad took me to a pro-Israel rally during the recent hostilities with Gaza, but largely just to see my mom who was working there at the time. When you have a bunch of people there to support one thing, a lot of them are going to support it for dumb reasons, or are going to support something else as well that you find abhorrent. For example, Orly Taitz, the Birther who embarassed herself on the Colbert Report, was at that rally, as was a person with a very large Bayit HaYehudi sign. It's best, then, just to say what I mean and not let other people do it for me.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby EvilerDictator » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:44 am

Yeah I prefer to avoid such things too - I might have been that type when I was younger (one anti Iraq invasion protest at my school) but now I avoid them completely some friends go to them for misguided reasons or because they think they can debate on the subject of Gaza, but I'd rather not get KOed by a guy hurling metal chairs from inside a pub (that was how people were greeted last time). There was a more muted one I passed outside a Sainsburys where they were encouraging people to boycott them because they sold Israeli goods but I don't think that really achieves anything at all. Plus they sell Osem Croutons and to deny me those is the worst.

We don't often get pro Israel or protests by Anti-Zionist people here because I think due to the large scale of the anti-Palestine protests they fear repercussions. I do too. Some of the comments I was hearing when I went out that night after that fateful chair throwing protest had happened with some old school friends and their other friends were beyond incredible.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby aviel » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:53 am

EvilerDictator wrote:. There was a more muted one I passed outside a Sainsburys where they were encouraging people to boycott them because they sold Israeli goods but I don't think that really achieves anything at all.

Not only does it not really achieve anything, it's counterproductive. First, it tends to hurt the Palestinians, many of whom are employed at Israeli companies within the West Bank. Second, it makes Israel feel isolated from the international community, which in turn makes them more likely to elect a right-wing government which might be less likely to deal with the Palestinians.

We don't often get pro Israel or protests by Anti-Zionist people here because I think due to the large scale of the anti-Palestine protests they fear repercussions. I do too. Some of the comments I was hearing when I went out that night after that fateful chair throwing protest had happened with some old school friends and their other friends were beyond incredible.

That's not good at all. Can people not request a police presence?
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby EvilerDictator » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:04 am

I think they probably can as other organisations such as the EDL did their protests in the city and they were surrounded by a wall of police officers (there had been an anti racism protest that morning regarding them) so I suppose they probably could have a presence if they wanted. It is very one sided in my city as the anti Israel protests attract hundreds of people.

The comments from the guy who was a friend of old friends of mine were apparently supposed to be jokes or "banter" as people like to say these days but I don't think particularly poisonous Jew jokes are fair. I tried to mention the Jewish roots of my mum's family but it didn't seem to deter him one bit
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby cmsellers » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:50 pm

aviel wrote:I don't like protests and large group things like that. My dad took me to a pro-Israel rally during the recent hostilities with Gaza, but largely just to see my mom who was working there at the time. When you have a bunch of people there to support one thing, a lot of them are going to support it for dumb reasons, or are going to support something else as well that you find abhorrent.

I do like protests. You get some sort of endorphin rush from being part of a crowd, all shouting the same thing. Which is, indeed, an argument against taking part. I remember coming home after my first protest and realizing a lot of the things I'd heard were really stupid. For example, the idea that blocking off traffic in the center of a college town would send a message to George W. Bush.

Of course the counterpoint is the Civil Rights movement. Without those marchers we probably wouldn't have had the Civil Rights and and Voting Rights act until generations later, and we certainly wouldn't have had MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech. But then they actually risked being assaulted and imprisoned, which means fewer people joined for frivolous reasons.

I stopped participating in the anti-Iraq War protests because they were filled with 9/11 truthers and the kinds of people whose "anti-Zionism" seems perilously close to anti-Semitism. I pretty much disowned the movement, after one of our local leaders claimed that Russia's violent invasion of the US ally of Georgia was justified retaliation for the US invasion of Iraq. That's not peace activism; that's kneejerk anti-Americanism.
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Re: 5 Bizarre Realities of Life at the Edge of Gaza

Postby cmsellers » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:08 pm

EvilerDictator wrote:I wish people I knew could talk about this subject in this kind of balanced way. Where were you two when there was fighting at that protest in my city last time?! :P

It's funny, at my school there was a conference for the BDS Movement, organized by a guy I generally had a good opinion of. He was inviting everybody to come, I told him that I tended to lean towards Israel on the issue, and he told me that was all the more reason to come.

So I went to a talk on the "One State Solution," which is the goal of the BDSM. Afterwards, I asked them how they expected a binational state with an Arab majority not to turn into a giant Zimbabwe. This especially given that Robert Mugabe had initially been opposed to ethnically cleansing the white population, while many Palestinian leaders and large portions of the Palestinian people supported making the area Judenrein, and the Jewish population had already been expelled from every Arab country except Morocco.

First I got some very polite and considered, yet utterly unconvincing answers. Then a Palestinian participant stood up and declared that some Jews lived in Palestine before the First Aliyah, and that their descendants should be considered Jewish Palestinians and allowed to stay. But all the Jews who came afterwards would have to go. What struck me was that this was a well-educated Palestinian calling for the ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews, and not one participant in the conference spoke after him to criticize him.

I guess what I'm saying is talking about the subject in a balanced way isn't any less disturbing than watching people shouting at a protest. Personally, I was far more concerned that in this room full of many reasonable people calmly discussing an issue, not one person was willing to stand up against the idea of expelling the Jews from yet another country.
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