Palestinian Independence, Cnt’d

Now that we have looked at how the US pursues its rational self-interest, let’s take a look at other countries. Palestine is surrounded by extremely rich Muslim countries. How easy would it be for those countries to keep Palestinians (who are relatively small in number) well-fed, well-provided for with medical care, clothes, housing, etc..?

How ultra easy would it be for them simply to take the Palestinians in? Of course, I know, Sunnis, Shiites, Wahhabi. But those divisions are surely not more difficult to get over than the ones between Muslims and Jews. Why can’t the richest countries in the world (Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) build a city each for fellow Muslims from Gaza?

“Ah, Clarissa,” you’ll say. “Now you are just being stupid on purpose. Can’t you see that these are completely unrealistic suggestions?”

Of course, I can and yes, I am doing this on purpose. Countries pursue their self-interest. All countries. Palestinians make very convenient martyrs who can be used for a variety of purposes.

As Rob F aptly put it:

Despite their public rhetoric about “Wiping Israel off the map,” the state of permanent confrontation gives leaders of those countries a convenient enemy to blame their own countries’ problems on. It gives them an excuse to have a vast military an security apparatus, allowing them to suppress dissidents in their own countries and to ignore solving their own countries’ problems.

I hope everybody sees now why I consider the BDS movement to be completely silly. There is nothing even remotely similar between the geopolitical, religious, geographic, etc. situations of South Africa and Palestine. The lazy folks at the BDS despise Palestinians so much that they refuse to see them as actual people and not part of a huge, indifferent, non-white non-Western mass.

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40 comments on “Palestinian Independence, Cnt’d

  1. Many Palestinians would love to shake the dust from their heels and start life anew somewhere else but are prevented from doing so by their so-called ‘allies’.

    Arab governments have consistently treated Palestinians far worse than Israel ever has (nb there’s tons of stuff to legitimately criticize about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians).

    Devotion to the Palestinian cause, IME, heavily relies on infantalizing the Palestinais (poor things they just can’t help themselves, they’re not responsible for anything that hurt anyone ever) and/or stubbornly ignoring what the Palestinians say and do (esp the rhetoric of those that win elections, such as they are, among them).

    I don’t think that Palestinian independence is a starter (too many ingrained interests against it among supposed Palestinian allies) and it will quickly degenerate into a failed state if it ever does have independence thrust upon it.

    OR… it will promptly declare overt war with Israel, lose badly (like always) and we’ll be right back where we’ve been several times before.

  2. The Palestinians could have had a peaceful state…

    in 1937 with the Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it;

    in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but they violently rejected it, pursuing their (in)famous battle-cry, “Itbach al-Yahud”–Slaughter the Jews;

    in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently rejected it. They chose instead to launch an offensive together with five regular Arab armies in an effort to “drive the Jews into the sea;”

    from 1948-1967 in the West Bank and Gaza, where the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every single Jew, but they violently rejected it. They chose instead to infiltrate the Jewish country and murder its civilians;

    after 1967, but instead, they and the rest of the Arab world issued the 3 No’s of Khartoum: No to peace with Israel, No to recognition of Israel, No to negotiations with Israel;

    after the 1993 Oslo Accords. But instead they chose to introduce their latest weapon against the Jews: The suicide bomber;

    in 2000 with the Barak offer, but they violently rejected it, and started the gruesome series of suicide massacres known as the “Second Intifada;”

    in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal of 2005, but they violently rejected it with thousands of missile and rocket attacks;

    in 2008 with the Olmert offer, but they violently rejected. Every single month there have been dozens of attacks and attempted attacks from both the West Bank and Gaza. The only things preventing a bloodbath in Israel are the Israeli security measures: The barrier and checkpoints in the West Bank, the border and anti-missile system in Gaza, and the intelligence that leads to preemptive arrests.

    The Palestinians had many chances.

    They rejected them all because destroying Israel was a higher priority.

    And it still is. They would only stop attacking Israelis and talk peace if Israel accepts the right of return, in other words, peace with Israel only if there is no Israel.

    This total rejection of the Jews’ right to self-determination, and the relentless attempts to murder Jews, may lead to events such as the ones brilliantly depicted in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning book, “Palestine,” in which actual history and future predictions are thinly veiled as fiction.

    • And here is an example of a very silly, reductive thinking on the matter. Note that the author doesn’t even try to analyze who is “they” in every one of the sentences.

      Of course, who needs analysis when you can so easily find an excuse to hate.

      This is the level of predominant discourse on the subject ON BOTH SIDES.

  3. These two posts of yours leave me confused.

    You assume nations pursue rational self-interests, without even defining what those interests are. You assume countries to be monoliths, with clearly defined goals that, when accomplished, somehow benefit the country. What does that even mean?

    I think this is a paternalistic daddy-knows-best view of government, which is surprising, coming from you. I don’t believe one can define these self-interests. In any case, governments make so many mistakes (Iraq war anyone) that it’s a grave mistake to assume that they’re always rational.

    “I see a piss-poor (no resources, no help from anywhere, ravaged by the decades of war) country ..”

    Is this a joke? America gave aid to Germany after WWII, a country that it bombed to smithereens. Do you really think Palestine would get no help from anywhere? That’s a really, really bad assumption.

    Look, there’s nothing more annoying than liberal do-gooders sticking their nose in places where they’re not wanted. But this is different. Palestinians are asking the rest of the world for help, to raise awareness of this issue. Something! They’re not saying, ‘leave us the fuck alone, we’ll figure this freedom thing by ourselves’.

    And regarding BDS, this is a non-violent movement designed to put pressure on a government that faces absolutely no consequences for its actions. None.

    I’m sure apartheid would’ve disappeared from south africa eventually, but the rest of the world imposing sanctions on them helped expedite the process, did it not?

    • “You assume nations pursue rational self-interests”

      – Every person, every group of people, every society is motivated by self-interest, even when that self-interest is a desire for obliteration.

      “I think this is a paternalistic daddy-knows-best view of government, which is surprising, coming from you. I don’t believe one can define these self-interests.”

      – In these posts, I tried to define my own self-interest and see if what the US governments are doing benefits them or not, that’s all. What the government of Ukraine was doing – with the tacit approval of my fellow Ukrainians – did not suit my interests. So I left.

      ” In any case, governments make so many mistakes (Iraq war anyone) that it’s a grave mistake to assume that they’re always rational.”

      – This war reached every goal it posed. (One of these goals being promoting the sense of national identity that is very tenuous in this country and needs to be fed with constant warfare. Another goal: the curtailment of civil liberties that the government wanted to take and the people were eager to get rid of. And these are just two of the goals that were completed perfectly.)

      ‘Is this a joke? America gave aid to Germany after WWII, a country that it bombed to smithereens. Do you really think Palestine would get no help from anywhere? That’s a really, really bad assumption.”

      – Yes, that is what I think. You have to know by now that I really dislike these empty comparisons where everything is equal to everything else regardless of objective circumstances. I’m sure you are well-aware of why the US helped Germany after WWII. I’m just as sure that you are well-aware that none of those reasons are even remotely present in Palestine. Who specifically will help? For what purpose?

      “I’m sure apartheid would’ve disappeared from south africa eventually, but the rest of the world imposing sanctions on them helped expedite the process, did it not?”

      – Another empty parallel based on absolutely nothing.

      • “You assume nations pursue rational self-interests, without even defining what those interests are. ”

        – I’m talking about a very very basic interest here which is that of survival through the acquisition of resources, that is all. There is no drive that is more basic. You don;t define the goals of breathing every time you take a breath, do you?

  4. In the end, remember, there’s a state that is powerful (Israel), and a people who are less powerful (Palestinians). Remember this when you (not you Clarissa) side with the powerful.

  5. -Another empty parallel based on absolutely nothing.

    This is such a trivial point that you keep making as if it’s some profound revelation. We get it, Israel is not South Africa. The spellings are different!! So Martin Luther King non-violent resistance was inspired by Gandhi. Little did he know that it couldn’t have worked because silly me, India and USA and totally different countries with different histories!

    I’ll repeat, there’s a powerful state (Israel) and there’s a less powerful people (Palestinians). The powerful state is not accountable for its actions and faces no consequences for it. A non-violent movement that calls for sanctions against this reckless nation is a very effective way for this nation to reconsider its actions. What’s so stupid about that? What, in your opinion, is a better alternative?

    I believe that your dismissal of both parties and maintaining a faux-neutral stance on this issue is craven. Because ‘neutrality’ in this instance means endorsing status quo. A status quo that means endless hell for Palestinians.

    • “This is such a trivial point that you keep making as if it’s some profound revelation. ”

      – The triviality of the Palestine/South Africa comparison deserves nothing more profound.

      “The spellings are different!!”

      – Keep looking for differences, I think you will find a lot more than the spelling.

      “So Martin Luther King non-violent resistance was inspired by Gandhi. Little did he know that it couldn’t have worked because silly me, India and USA and totally different countries with different histories!”

      – I know you are an intelligent person and this childish understanding of history is not really yours. This is why I will not try to enlighten you on the differences between Gandhi and MLK.

      ” A non-violent movement that calls for sanctions against this reckless nation is a very effective way for this nation to reconsider its actions.”

      – Let’s wait and see how effective it is, OK? I’ve been hearing about this idea for years, yet nothing has come of it so far. I think we can agree that it will only become effective when it achieves something other than giving a bunch of folks on campus something to blab about.

      “I believe that your dismissal of both parties and maintaining a faux-neutral stance on this issue is craven. Because ‘neutrality’ in this instance means endorsing status quo. A status quo that means endless hell for Palestinians.”

      – Let’s not exaggerate my importance on the world arena, eh? My “endorsement” or lack thereof has no influence on anything. I’m simply trying to gain an understanding that is more profound than the cowboy-movie inspired “good guys vs bad guys.”

      • Clarissa said: – Let’s not exaggerate my importance on the world arena, eh? My “endorsement” or lack thereof has no influence on anything. I’m simply trying to gain an understanding that is more profound than the cowboy-movie inspired “good guys vs bad guys.”

        Yes, but if you don’t use the magic part of your mind to side with good against evil, evil might triumph! Therefore let us persecute the parts of our minds that are open to questioning. Let us condemn nuance. Let us piss all over contingency. Long live metaphysics.

      • People – and I mean everybody I know – seem completely convinced that unless everybody immediately takes sides and declares who the good and the bad guys are in the story, the end of the world will come. And the issue has become for most so emotional that it is obviously not about either Israel or Palestine. There are many similar conflicts going on right now but nobody gives a crap or even knows about them. I’m starting to suspect people are projecting mother / father issues on the conflicting sides.

      • And it isn’t like anybody has presented any effort to create a workable solution that would go beyond these emotional outbursts. The Jews are trying to achieve a rapid increase of their population for obvious reasons. That population needs space. Space is very limited in the area. So they displace the Palestinians.

        What would be a practical solution here? Without the emotional drama. Practically, what should be done? Forced sterilization? What?

        I haven’t heard a single reasonable idea from either side of the conflict or their supporters.

        Of course, it’s easier to pontificate about poetic justice.

      • I think they are projecting issues. A long time ago, I concluded they were protecting themselves by projecting their white, colonial guilt into those who didn’t go into mea culpa mode and act all outraged, as if by the magic of outrage the situation would alter.

        Well, one situation could alter — and that is, one could project one’s guilt outside of oneself into those who do not adopt the purer than pure outraged posture.

        That seems to help some people.

      • “Well, one situation could alter — and that is, one could project one’s guilt outside of oneself into those who do not adopt the purer than pure outraged posture.”

        – Ha! This makes total sense. I love blogging because insights such as this one suddenly make things very clear. Thank you!!

    • “What, in your opinion, is a better alternative?”

      – It depends on the goal. If the goal is to end the conflict, I do not believe that anything can be done at this point. I already explained why many times. Both sides need violence to establish their national identities and the formal independence will change nothing. Israel has statehood. Has it stopped its violence? US has statehood. How about its aggression?

      If the goal is formal statehood for Palestine, I think it will happen within the next 10-15 years, depending, in a large degree, on who wins the next US elections and what happens in Iran.

  6. Re: self interest, I understand that we are all motivated by it, but we cannot pursue them unilaterally. I can define my self-interest as acquiring all the money from your purse, but I can’t mug you because, well, there are laws against it. So if this relentless pursuit of self-interest is not feasible on an individual level, why is it OK for nations to do it?

    • “Why cant they let israel people immigrate to usa.All problems will be solved.”

      – Ask your non-Jewish president and your non-Jewish congress and senate why it is so hard for anybody who is not a prostitute or a crazed religious fanatic to immigrate into your country. I’m seriously interested in hearing an answer.

      And yes, I totally agree that if instead of all those prostitutes you are so eagerly letting come in now, you allowed more Jews to come, this would solve many of the US’s economic problems.

      • Try to get a little informed before posting comments, OK? The only categories of immigrants that are legally accepted into the US are 1) people who claim to be persecuted for religious reasons, b) mail-order brides and grooms. Whether they are purchased in Mexico or anywhere else, nobody cares.

    • // Why cant they let israel people immigrate to usa.All problems will be solved.

      You are joking, right? Most of Israeli Jewish people don’t want to immigrate nowhere, even were it possible. Besides, why not let Palestinians to usa? Gaza and PO population is smaller than Israeli Jewish one.

  7. you allowed more Jews to come, this would solve many of the US’s economic problems.(Clarissa)

    Really? I wonder if people who knew Meyer Lansky or Bernard Madoff would agree with you. ;)

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