Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Since it IS Apartheid, what should we do? Part 6

As I mentioned in previous posts, recently on the Israel Palestine Forum there have been a number of comments posted on the topic Palestine: Occupation not Apartheid. I have argued that it is apartheid. I am posting excerpts from some of my posts where I suggest that international law be used since it says that apartheid is a crime against humanity.

Quote from X
If a court case is unlikely and communication with our government is useless, where does that leave us?

I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to live in a place where there was a government backed up by a powerful military force which treated me and my family brutally and inhumanely. Then add to it not only would this government not listen to my crying out for justice for 40 years but I could not even gain access to a court for relief. Now imagine you are a Palestinian and you believed that this was your situation. Where would that leave you?

Another Quote from X
To practically help the Palestinians get at least something to start with, there has to be negotiations between the two sides. If I understand you correctly, you are saying there is no use talking with Israel (sorry, the government of Israel) And this is my main point of difference with you.

That is the main point of difference with us. I think that the Annapolis conference is a waste of time.

My perspective is probably best reflected in an article by Gideon Levy in the November 20, 2007, issue of Ha'aretz entitled What do you mean when you say 'no'? which begins with these two paragraphs
A festive day for peace: Israel is planning to announce a freeze on construction in the settlements as compensation for refusing to discuss the core issues. The Palestinians are ecstatic at all the good-will gestures Israel is throwing their way. First came the release of prisoners, now a freeze on construction, and the prime minister has already spoken with the settler leaders and informed them of the decision. They said it was a "difficult meeting," as it always is, winking at each other deviously.

Undoubtedly, Israel wants peace. But a tiny detail seems to have been forgotten: Israel has signed a series of binding agreements to freeze settlement activity, which it never intended to fulfill. Of the 40 years of occupation, only during three has construction been stopped despite all the agreements and promises to do so. There is no reason to believe that Israel will behave differently this time.

Here is the rest of the article.

Did you read this?

Do you disagree with Gideon Levy?

In any event our difference is about whether there is any reason for the Palestinians to even bother to negotiate with the Government of Israel (as you note I almost always use the phrase the "Government of Israel" rather than the word "Israel" or "Israelis" since I attribute the gross violations of laws and moral codes to those who run the Government of Israel not its people. In the same way, it is the Government of the United States, not Americans, which has committed illegal and immoral actions in the United States and in foreign countries.)

There are many who would agree with you and who sincerely believe that the negotiations with the Government of Israel could lead to a just peace. For them (and you?) there is an upcoming conference in Annapolis, Maryland, where the Palestinians will have the opportunity to negotiate with the Government of Israel. Is this an example of what you mean when you say that the Palestinians need to negotiate?

Do I hope that it fails to accomplish anything? Of course not. But we should observe and analyze what happens there and then honestly reevaluate our positions. We can then discuss whether we believe that the Palestinians got, as you say Quote:
at least something to start with.

Would you agree to our doing that?

But we digress. This topic is Palestine: Occupation not Apartheid.

Your issue about the need for the Palestinians to negotiate with the Government of Israel would be more appropriately pursued in the topic Annapolis - Should We Hold Our Breath

After hopefully a good night's sleep, I would like to talk more about apartheid and this comment of yours.

Another Quote from X
From what I am hearing on this forum, we are already convicted. True this forum is not a court and therefore has the freedom of accusing with no need for proof without doubt. For me, this shows the starting point of any such trial and If I was the Israeli government I wouldn't join this "game" either.

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