I am sorry cfitz, but your comments here, unless properly qualified, are a damned sight more damaging than anything said prior.
Define "Group A" for me please.
If you are seriously saying that 3.5 million people are terrorists, then I'm afraid this is simplistic in the extreme, and exactly the sort of dangerous thoughts which pollute this world.
It is far too easy to portray the Palestinians as the evil side in this conflict. Equally, it was a commonly-held opinion among the lazy-thinkers in the UK in the 70s and 80s that all "Catholics" in NI were evil. "They" were the ones blowing up shopping malls in the British mainland, and attempting to murder our democratically-elected prime minister in 1984. This is truly poisonous thinking, and is in effect a racial slur of the worst possible kind.
And why would I call a suicide bomber, a "freedom fighter"? The reason I don't verbally condemn the scum behind these attacks (though not necessarily the actual bombers themselves who are demonstrably brainwashed in most cases) is that it goes without saying. Likewise, when a terrorist hides behind children, that is reprehensible -- but then so is shooting into the crowd of said children indiscriminately and asking questions later.
be that as it may, i think that on the whole, Israel is on the higher side of the moral scales.
Perhaps. The main problem I have with the Israeli position however is this: Israel is a free nation. "Palestine" is not. In the 21st century there are a number of areas where a democratic state should be acting more responsibly IMO. Fighting terror with more terror is not the answer. Their brand of terror may well be worse, but you are the country with the laws and the institutions. Israeli soldiers don't go into Palestinian areas and deliberately shoot innocents, of course they don't, but 600 dead civilians this year is clear evidence that the first thing that is taught to any soldier, that you keep civilian casualties to the minimum even if it compromises your objective, is either not being taught or is being forgotten. Essentially, Israeli troops need to become more disciplined.
Western Europe is oh my so enlightened, isn't it?
just have a look at your own history.
Bloody Sunday was just one incident. the most extreme one perhaps. but there were others.
look at what the French did in North Africa and Vietnam. what Israel is doing in the west bank looks like a picnic by comparison.
I have never sought to imply that my country is in some way above all this -- indeed the way Israel was handled by the British and other nations in the first place is arguably one of the chief reasons Israelis and Palestinians are in the mess they now find themselves. But just because pretty much no developed country is free from blood on their hands over the years does not negate the need for criticism where it is due.
In any case, I'm not going to sit here and attempt to defend the French, that would by like asking an American to stick up for Canada
sorry, couldn't resist.....
The sad truth of this whole sorry affair is that both the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to be oppressed peoples as long as corrupt, incompetent and frankly criminal governments on both sides refuse to compromise, and allow the terrorising of their own people to go effectively unchecked for dogmatic and selfish reasons.
As someone of Irish descent, with both Protestant and Catholic blood in my veins, it truly pains me to see another two populations making the same mistakes and going through the same pain over bits of land and power which the pawns in the middle never see any of in any case. My uncle had part of his leg blown off in an IRA bombing attack in 1982 in Belfast city centre. He was buying Christmas presents for his young children. My grandparents had shit posted through their letterbox on a regular basis, and had to move on a number of occasions, for the horrendous crime of a Protestant marrying a Catholic. I myself was spat at in a Catholic area for having an English accent; I was eight years old, the group of youths must have been around 16 or 17. You don't know how utterly terrifying that is until you've experienced it. Ironically the so-called "Unionist" Protestants often treated the English little better. I have seen the effects of terrorism first-hand. I know how dehumanising the whole experience can be. And all the time, all I hear from Sharon and Arafat is disturbingly reminiscent of the intransigent rhetoric of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams -- "Never, never, never" -- which caused so much grief over the years. Both sides need to ask themselves -- do they want another 300 years of this? I have to say that Sharon's plan to build a wall, completely separating the two peoples and give them a couple of generations to calm down, might be the best thing that has ever happened. The problems come from (a) where you build the wall, and (b) who polices it. I do not understand why this cannot be done by the UN.
Trust me, you will never see peace as long as you continue to tolerate the mistakes made on your own side. The mistakes made by the other side are for the other side to rise up against. There is no "good" and "evil" side in the conflict. As long as people continue to think in black and white, rather than shades of grey (and frankly, I am disappointed with cfitz's post in this regard) there is no hope.
Even now I do not understand. Or, perhaps I do. Many of the supporters of group A are of the very same peoples and nations that throughout history's thousands of years have tried their own hands at exterminating group B. It appears that hatred runs deep and cold...
While the UK's record regarding the Jews (and any other minority group) is less than perfect to say the least, I don't think Americans can get holier-than-thou about this either. In fact it could be argued that the treatment of black minorities until fairly recently has been equally as bad if not worse. For the record, I am not anti-semitic nor am I anti-Israel; I think the situation could have been handled a lot better and I am not afraid to say so. What prompted the original post was the news that the Israeli soldier in question had been arrested. It just rattled me that this particular innocent victim should be singled out simply because he was a Brit. Something not quite right about that, I am sure you must agree on that point at least.[/quote]