mlah The culture that has evolved here isnt conducive to sissies

August 19, 2004

Middle East Peace

Filed under: Politics — mlah @ 11:46 pm

Fatah is a double entendre

ok, first off, i just watched the womens olympic gymnastics all around. carli patterson won, and i’m very happy about it, but in light of my recent professing a proclivity to skinny girls, i have to say. svetlana khorkina needs to eat a cinnabon. she is too skinny. skin and bone skinny.

now, to my post.

f-in cheney asked a question in my ‘we’ve been duped’ post’. i suspect he’s just trying to get me out on a limb, so he can throw rocks.

the question he poses is ‘mlah, in all seriousness and respect, what do you think is THE SOLUTION to the Israel-Palestine thing?’

i want to see what happens.

the answer is simple.

there is no solution to the israeli palestinian thing. at least not in our lifetime. it can be affected by us, but solved? not going to happen.

A Palestinian Bomb

that’s not pessimism. it’s a firm belief based on many observations.

elaborating on my reasons will be a stream of consciousness post. i will offer no proof, as i am not relying on others. this is from me. from the mind of mlah. so beware.

most people do not even really understand what the problem is between the israelis and palestinians.

i think most people would simply ‘not know’, or reply that somebody has ‘taken some land’ if asked. an informed person would probably reply that israel has occupied palestine. few would know the real underlying sources of the blood feud.

sources of the problem:

1. who does that land belong to? it indisputably belonged to the judaens by until roman conquest. at that point it belonged to the romans. many nations conquered the area, and arguably have a claim every bit as legitimate as the israelis or palestinians. no? the israelis say it was sold to soloman. Soloman was not the first man. maybe it belonged to the hittites? the filistines landed/invaded after the judaens. but because the romans had so much trouble subduing the region with a judaen population, the romans scattered the jews. they kicked them out. then, at that time, the palestinians populated that little sliver of land. for nearly 2000 years, they were the local population.

Another Bomb

so in 1913 with the balfour agreement, the concept of repatriating jews to the british mandate of palestine became a reality. it became problematic for the british, and they withdrew. there was a brief war. the israelis won the territory of what is now considered israel. the west bank was absorbed into jordan. gaza was absorbed into egypt. a lot of palestinians fled what had just become israel. they feared oppression and scattered like the jews had at the whip of the romans.

so there’s the rub.

the israelis were unjustly kicked off of their land by a state which had hegemony over the area at the time. they want their land back. they have claimed the right of return.

the palestinians were unjustly kicked off of their land by a state which had hegemony over the area at the time. they want their land back. they have claimed the right of return.

does the group that was wronged more recently have the more legitimate claim to the land?

you literally have children growing up in houses in israel that wer built by their grandfathers. their grandfathers worked hard to build those houses. and at the same time, you have granfathers in the west bank, looking across the wall, and saying that is my land. it was my father’s, and his father’s before him.

Wonder Why This Happens?

2. Religion.

everybody knows the the clash of judaism and islam. but what they don’t realize is that islam has never really been conquered by somebody else. there have been small little incursions, which were eventually righted by the islamic world. but really conquered? never has happened.

the abbasid dynasty (first caliphate) was setup by mohammed and his heirs in damascus after the initial arab conquests. they took the north of the african continent into the sudan, across the sahara to timbuktu, and most of spain. they briefly crossed into france before being halted by guy martel. they did not advance far to the north, the slowly dieing byzantine empire still had enough of a punch to stop their advances in asia minor. then they advanced far into central asia, into some of china and india. eventually making it into the islands of the south seas. much of the expansion to the east was completed by the second islamic caliphate, the umayyid dynasty, centered in baghdad. the third and most recent caliphate was seated in istanbul as suleiman made it to the gates of Vienna. lately i cringe as i hear muslims name osama bin laden caliph. i take it as a threat, and not an idle one.

only in four places has a muslim advance been rolled back. the spanish reconquista. the death spirals of the ottoman empire freed the balkans. the birth of the russian empire saw them pushing the turks inexorably back across the black sea, and israel.

An Israeli Beauty

india? no, pakistan is muslim india. the crusades? where are they? gone, they failed. 90 years? they’re gone.

the crusades lasted 90 years. 3/2’s as long as the modern state of israel has existed. then they were beaten. the templars were beheaded by saladin (salah al din) and eventually disbanded on friday the 13th by a crooked pope, and the king of FRANCE. the crusades failed. especially in the muslim mind.

the closest that islam has ever come to really being conquered was at the hands of the mongols. they sacked baghdad, and began to push towards egypt. an egyptian army met them at ain galut, very close to jerusalem, and beat the tattered mongol army. that was the silver horde. yes, i meant silver. not golden. but they too were eventually beaten and pushed away.

this is extremely important when you ponder the question at hand. to our (the west) point of view, israel is a country. to islams eyes, israel is an abhorration that will be shortly righted. they’ve faced worse, much worse, and still prevailed.

Same Israeli Girl

the verb to conquer in arabic is nasara, except when it is an islamic nation conquering a non-muslim nation. then the verb of choice is fataha. which is the same as the verb to open. like opening a door. the first pic i put up on this post is the symbol for ‘fatah’. the p.l.o.. in arabic, the plo is harakat tahreer filisteeneeyah. or htf. spell htf backwards. fth is to conquer. the palestinians will never really give up the goal of removing the word ‘israel’ from the map. i don’t care what any politician tells you. he’s lieing, stupid, or wrong.

3. maximum negotiation.
i had a palestinian instructor at DLI. he used to go to garage sales and not buy anything. he didn’t want anything going in, and he didn’t care what they had, he knew he wasn’t buying anything. he just wanted to haggle. it was a sport to him.

haggling (musawamah) is an art to the muslims. this is my own conclusion based on my observations at dli, in the west bank, turkey, morocoo, tunisia, and the uae. it is a value thing.

not value as in how much something is worth, value as in ethic.

girls prize men in the middle east who are superior hagglers. being able to get a stupidly high amount for anything is highly esteemed. or being able to buy something valuable for an extremely low price, and the chicks dig you (personal observation). sound silly and unrelated to peace in the middle east? any time anybody has twisted israel’s arm into actually ceding something, anything, the palestinians have not and will not ever accept. professional muslim diplomats could negotiate with other muslims. being taken by another muslim is forgiveable. being taken by an infidel is not. if israel really is ever prepared to make concessions, the palestinians will immediately suspect the israelis of getting a good deal, and therefore it is possible for them to get more. it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but it has been documented and discussed before me.

i may add further points to this list later, but right now it is late and i need to move on with my post.

Same Israeli Girl

oh, like the girl? she’s an israeli. make you want to eradicate jews? killing isn’t the first thing i think of.

now. how to actually affect the peace between the two sides.

easy.

tax.

i hate to say it. and taxes are contrary to my basic political belief. but this is a necesary tax. a tax on petroleum based products. period. even our own.

but this isn’t a tax that should be relied on as a source of revenue. it would produce huge revenue initially, but that is not my intent.

tax anything having to do with petroleum. gas, diesel, plastic, anything. and i’m not talking about a nickel a gallon. try 5 bucks a gallon. yeah, i hate SUVs, but this is not aimed at them.

100 years ago, who cared about the middle east? the brits for the suez canal. the turks? it gave them symbolic claim to the third caliphate. and some revenue. who really gave a shit?

if you remove the importance that oil has currently the middle eastern states begin to fall by the wayside. you might think this would not bring middle eastern peace, just regionalize it. at first that would be true. but ask yourself another question. how many weapons does any middle eastern nation produce? virtually everything they have is imported, or foreign designed. after a war or two, they will have shot their wad.

i actually couldn’t care less if israel existed or not. except that a final muslim conquest of israel would send waves of immigrants into the u.s.. all of those who could escape slavery. take a look at that girl again. what do you think her destiny is if israel loses……. just once.

higher tax on crude would make non oil based fuels competitive, like gasahol. then that money goes to midwestern farmers. not arab sheiks (or south american strongmen). the mideast has a finite amount of weaponry. but near limitless resources to replenish them.

yes, i’m aware of kerry’s desire to raise taxes. and not just on the rich. but he is lacking in so many other areas.

i don’t think the two sides in the mideast will ever stop fighting. i believe the safest route to travel would be to diminish the lethalness of the weapons available to them.

but that will never happen.

i should really proof read this, but i’m going to bed.

13 Comments »

  1. That’s really interesting and thoughtful. I was not baiting you. Say what you will about my political opinions, but I am an honest and honorable sonuvabitch.
    Beyond all this context you provide, what do you think about Israel retreating to the pre-1967 borders? I happen to believe they should.
    Palestinian right of return, that isn’t as clear for me.
    And the Israeli settlements have really thrown a wrench into everything. Do you really find them legitimate? How many UN reprimands does it take?

    Comment by f-in_cheney — August 20, 2004 @ 2:20 am

  2. Israel was ganged up on by its Arab neighbors in 1948, 1967, 1973 (although in one case Israel noticed the preparations and attacked pre-emptively owing to the clear and present danger to its survival). It won in each case. The nations against which it defended its existance refused to acknowledge their defeat, nor Israel’s right to exist, until Carter came along, and then only Egypt, in return for which Israel returned the land it had seized from Egypt less the Gaza Strip (for geostrategic reasons; ironically Gaza was apparently never distributed to any of the 12 Tribes, nor claimed by Judea nor in the preceeding empires of David and Solomon). And then the Egyptian claimer of peace was assassinated for doing so. Jordan has made its peace, now, too.

    Israel has kept the West Bank, which as Mlah pointed out was seized by Jordan back in 1948, because of the historic boundaries of Judea/Israel. That ensured the holy city of Jerusalem (with its remnants of the most holy temple) returned to Jewish control. The third-most holy Muslim shrine Al-Aksa is a johnny-come-lately to that city, built as a political means to diminish Jewish influence during the Caliphates.

    WRT the West Bank, whose modern (20th Century) claim is more legitimate? Jordan’s seizure of it as a spoil of war in 1948? Or Israel’s seizure of it as a spoil of war in 1967? Or the Brit trusteeship of the land as a spoil of war following the WWI defeat of the Turks (even though the Brits left in 1948)? Or perhaps we could return it to the Turks (who originally claimed it as part of the Caliphates, a spoil of war)?

    So, spoils of war, or competing historical claim. Which is more valid? Whose claim is the right claim? Why should Israel give up the gains made in 1967 (during which they ‘returned’ to historic boundaries)?

    Why should Israel pay any attention to UN reprimands when the UN has shown itself lately to be nothing more than another forum for Israel’s enemies to voice their views (cite the infamous Conference on Racial Equality or something like that in South Africa a few years ago). Why, when the new wall on the West Bank has proven effective in preventing Palestinian murderers from entering Israel and killing their children, should Israel listen to the UN (or the EU) and remove it, just because it unfairly keeps Palestinians out of Israel?

    The Palestinians claim right of return. They left because they perceived their lot to be worse if they stayed. They could have been absorbed into neighboring Arab countries (Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan — who share a Muslim faith with them). But they were kept in temporary camps –why? because those countries believed it would be only a short time before Israel was wiped out and the Palestinians could be sent back (that’s certainly what the Palestinians under Arafat believe)? because the Arabs really don’t think much of the Palestinians?

    The Jordanian king once even admitted that Jordan was the Palestinian homeland, since Israel had came along.

    You have such a black-and-white, cut-and-dried view of the whole situation, Gus. Why?

    Comment by yup — August 20, 2004 @ 8:02 am

  3. I only know so much about it. It’s tough to hold it all in one’s mind at once. I’m not picking fights on this topic, I really am curious.
    An old friend of mine who is now a professor at Jerusalem University is a liberal peacenik Jew who advocates the pre-1967 borders as one part of the solution. I’m not sure of the full reasoning behind it, to be perfectly frank with you, but I know she has never lead me astry before. I love her so much, and she’s living in the middle of it, her extended family was exterminated in the Holocaust, her parents were in Stalin’s gulags– so she’s no Holly Golightly, you know what I’m sayin?
    As for the UN, it is composed of many more countries than make up Israel’s natural enemies. The preponderance of votes against the settlements (isn’t it usually just the USA and Israel voting against the rest of the world) inclines me to believe that there is some higher level of justice being administered.
    Work with me here. Humor me. You needn’t jump down my throat, Yup.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — August 20, 2004 @ 1:35 pm

  4. Was I the only one just looking at the pictures of the pretty girls and not paying attention to the history/current events lesson?

    Comment by medium john — August 20, 2004 @ 3:26 pm

  5. i put them there just for you john

    Comment by mlah — August 20, 2004 @ 4:24 pm

  6. Well done Mlah…and no, we won’t solve it in our lifetime.

    The religious ties are too sensitive, and no one wants to give up the shrines.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — August 20, 2004 @ 5:19 pm

  7. The chicks were a nice touch. It’s like that Russian newscast read by a topless woman.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — August 21, 2004 @ 12:39 am

  8. “just because it unfairly keeps Palestinians out of Israel?”
    http://www.stopthewall.org/
    There seems to be more to it than that. Destruction of homes and orchards, seizure of private property, collective punishment, arbitrary gate closings, blocked access to medical facilities, schools, jobs, even water wells.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — August 21, 2004 @ 6:44 am

  9. Arabs have been fighting each other with their Fatwas for hundreds of years.

    If it wasn’t the Israelis, there would still be fighting and Terrorism going on among themselves………(and then they still have to wipe us out too)

    It will not be solved, totally, for much more than a lifetime, and that’s sad.

    I still believe that if Palestine became a country with the borders they wanted, there would still be Suicide Bombers.. They won’t be happy until every last Israeli is destroyed or pushed out of Israel.

    I am generally an optimist too, but not in this case.

    Comment by Peach — August 21, 2004 @ 7:20 pm

  10. “I still believe that if Palestine became a country with the borders they wanted, there would still be Suicide Bombers.. They won’t be happy until every last Israeli is destroyed or pushed out of Israel”
    I’m more optimistic than that. If that happened, both I and Europe would stop supporting them. It’s really not a good enough theory to justify Israel’s continued occupation. In fact, I’m inclined to believe that America would be a lot safer from terrorism is we nudged Israel along in that direction. It’s obvious, actually. Israel is so safe militarily, it’s not even funny. Anyone who attacks them has to answer to us. The unneccesary paranoia behind “They’ll never accept Israel’s right to exist” may be the single largest source of Middle East Constipation, and can’t be taken out of the context of occupation. They have to cede things. Wasn’t that Tony Blair’s condition for supporting the Iraq invasion, that Bush would do more to take this on?

    Comment by f-in_cheney — August 23, 2004 @ 3:46 am

  11. f-in cheney, i hate to give you an ego, but i’m sure the palestinians hold you in as much esteem as all of europe. as in NONE!

    if they can manipulate us, or anyone else into somehting beneficial for them, they will. otherwise, they just won’t care.

    i need to follow this up with a post about ‘the wall’

    Comment by mlah — August 24, 2004 @ 12:11 am

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