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Palestine/Israeli conflict

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by SWIMS, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    The body is an Essay I wrote on a book from the late 90s. It will be a major hot spot for the next generation. Just wondering what you think about the situation, how you percieve your own awareness of it.

    voice for peace

    In Voices From A “Promise Land a very personal and simple approach is used in educating readers in the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. The author, Penny Rosenwasser, presents the information in a simple, and un-bias manor by going directly to the people and listening to what the have to say. The reader is presented with a window into the peace process during the time. Published in 92’, it gives a personal, and emotional account of the mid-east between December 89 and November 91, a time of turmoil encompassing the second Intifada in Palestine. Printed in interview style, the book is a direct link to the people working for a peaceful life in a region of turmoil.
    The author, Penny Rosenwasser, grew up in a quiet W. Virginia suburb in the 50s and 60s. Raised by orthodox parents and schooled in a Jewish reform academy she identified with her Jewish heritage, but always felt is was something different from most people. Combining her inner activist with her past heritage she highlighted a need to fit in. I think this book portrays both her own personal struggles with the harsh reality, and how she helped build on these thoughts thru interaction with others.
    Taking part in the activism of the time she rallied in causes across the board from closing nuclear plants, to arranging women’s festivals and workshops to educate people on the race and ethnic conflicts. Coming from the very conservative, and Jewish background she voiced the need to combine both the rich cultural; heritage of her past, and the activist the burned inside her to precipitate social change. Being heavily swayed to her past by a book called Nice Jewish Girls by Evelyn Torton, she sought out her heritage and developed a very powerful opinion centered on the need for a “safe” place for Jews to live. This, conflicting with an increased social conscience and awareness of the present world, drew two very solid opinions. The 1st that anti-Semitism is a thriving evil and needs to be extinguished, and the 2nd that the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians is inhumane and inexcusable. These Ideals provided a secure base upon which she reached out into the world. Traveling for the first time to Palestine and Israel in Dec. of 89 she assimilated into the culture and searched out allies for her cause. Her interviews show a passion to learn, and thru this knowledge educate.
    In December of 1989 at cramped journalist office in Jabilia Rosenwasser interviewed Qassem Izzat, a Palestinian journalist working out of an office filled with too much stuff. A man with a burning spirit like so many others, he sat reserved with all emotions and thought contained in his eyes. Present at the start of the Intifada he recounts witnessing thousands in the street. A month full of constant violence and disruption, he talks about the hospitals. State owned, and therefore starved of money and equipment, he tells of a very dire situation in which a man’s home is a more attractive place to go then to try and venture into the overcrowded rooms with to many for the few nurses to care for. The only hope is that a private company will come in and tear down one of the old ones and build a new hospital fee of govt. control. To do this the people would first have to be let in and even this is being resisted.
    This, he points out is due to the “life of permission” inhabitants must live. In every detail of life you need permission, this combined with one of the most densely populated regions in the world creates a very dire situation. This is the cause for the struggle. If people are denied their rights to live then they must fight back in any way possible. As a journalist he sees, and feels the people. “The Intifada will not end until they (Palestinians) have their own independent state.” The main goal of the Intifada was to break this conflict and bring about a peaceful mindset, but he sees no progression in the Israeli or US policies. This persistent conflict will only breed more extreme violence. This has become painfully evident in the conflict we see today, and reinforces the need for a peaceful solution as soon as possible.
    Qassem proclaims that “all we need is freedom” and upon this fundamental right everything physical can be built. The people have the recourses and what he calls “potential energy”, or the energy built inside a person that exposes itself in times of conflict. Qassem noticed this potential energy from his time in prison. He recalls a regression to a childlike mindset in which happiness degrades itself to minor material things. This causes the mind to turn in and hold on to anything personal, or anything that can alleviate the body in its present state. Qassem is educated and working, but what happens when you revert a large groups to this level and the release them. It breeds conflict when there is no other alternative to channel emotion, but if a positive channel for progress can be developed then the “potential energy” can be released in a positive nature. In the Palestinian perspective this is the faith in the rapid progression of a modern secure state.
    The main point behind Qassem’s story is that the people have no hope for progress. He fights to raise awareness and this has ended him in jail, separated his family, and created a life where he has to weigh the doubt of whether or not he is going to make it home. He boar witness to his own friend getting shot in the gut while filming the conflict, a fate he has to face as possibly his own. He still has hope though. Thru international pressure, primarily thru US funding to Israel, the Palestinians can have their own free state and upon this utilize the potential of the people for constructive means, and not in violence.
    Zachariah Khoury operated as tour guide for the US Womens Peace Brigade in Dec. of 1990. A quiet and intelligent man with a boyish charm, he has spent his life working diligently for the Palestinian people. Living within the conflict he recalls the start of the war. The immediate reaction was a “declaration of martial law in all occupied territories, and the state of Israeli in a mobilized state of war”. Implying that “any action by the Palestinian population which might be against the movement of the army or the “security” of Israel would be faced with harsh punishment.” The use of the term security, not different to the way our own government uses it, allows unrestricted use of force in controlling the population. This imposed a virtual lockdown on the people within Palestine halting all aspects of daily life, and putting some 100,000 plus out of work due to the fact that they could not travel to their jobs if they were outside the enclosed area.
    This fundamental dismantling of any social mobility, be it for personal or economic reasons, completely dismantled the social structure of the Palestinian people. Only the businesses that support the Israeli economy were allowed to stay open, but the local stores like a bakery were forced closed. This creates a forced dependence on Israeli based goods, and further dismantled any pursuit of economic wealth.
    To further this trend the Israeli’s set up work permits for inside of Israel, but the permits have to be attained from the local military governor, and not the local Palestinian official. This completely invalidates any aspect of the Palestinian state. Creating a system where things were “as bad as they have ever been” fueled the fire of radical groups who advocated a forceful expulsion of Israeli’s.
    In the four months between their first meeting and the interview Rosenwasser noted a visible change the imposed curfew had on Zakaria. He stood “drawn and pale. The smile was still there, but the strain behind it was clear, and a dark tragedy seemed to lurk in the depths of his eyes.” Through all the hardships that change a man’s face to a hardened state, the actions that rob a man of being able to truly smile without a noticeable worry, he states “we have hope in our Intifada continuing until we achieve our right to self determination and establishment of our state on the West Bank and Gaza.” It is this spirit of continuing determination that embodies the voices of all peace activists in this book. They all deal with the conflict in its reality, and juggernaut head on into because there is always hope to change.
    An example of this persistent spirit is embodied in Roni Ben-Efrat, a leader in the Israeli women’s peace movement. Interviewed in Mach 1991, she recalls the fluctuation of the peace movement thru the Intifada, and thru it’s persistence during the Gulf War when many turned in mass patriotic support in place of social activism. Rosenwasser identifies her as a very powerful spirit right off the bat. Being a very determined woman herself she forces the question of “how I might have been the destined to struggle within Israel for a just and lasting peace. I wonder if I’d have Roni’s quiet stamina, steady principles, and tireless fortitude?” Imprisoned for her publication of atrocities in the occupied territories she is an example of the conflict within Israel, and it is this conflict that will breed the internal change needed for progress. This progress came under very powerful scrutiny during the Gulf War, and a movement that became so powerful during the three years of turmoil suddenly crumbled beneath them. A good example of how the majority of the population will follow the popular model.
    During the war the structure of the movement collapsed. Many women voiced the opinion of not playing the “game” anymore, finding uniform support of country to be a more attractive venture. We often see this pragmatic approach in politics. A sag-way can be made to our society in the opinion that some hold that the civil rights movement is over and those equalities that still exist are okay because we made some progress. The point I am trying to make is that the compromise is acceptable for the average individual.
    Roni defended her position in the face of popular opinion proclaiming that the occupation did not cease during the war so why should the opposition stop. Holding steadfast they reorganized the vigils they held on a weekly basis and slowly gained momentum. When faced with the feeling from Palestinian women that they were giving and getting less Roni developed a constructive means for powerfully integrating the two groups. By typing an Arabic leaflet describing the women’s principles, and distributing the flyers in the refugee camps with the Palestinian women they were able to make a strong symbol that they were a unified force backed by a common goal but also with an active political agenda. This highlights the effectiveness of women as better diplomats then men in this sense. We (men) view things in a conflict, or friend or foe based, structure when dealing with a situation. Women, as their nature, have a greater ability to come together on a common goal. This embodies the success of the dialogue between the women of these two intertwined cultures.
    It is this combination she says, will bring about the positive social change needed. The people need to protest because “the governments are damaging us, sacrificing our lives, and we just cannot afford to put our lives and security in their hands.” The responsibility ultimately relies in the people, and thru activism against oppression. Embodying the women’s movement, the Intifada, the true documentation of actions, or the resistance to prison time into the ideal that a peaceful solution can be reached in the region. The spirit of Roni also portrays the common thread in all these people, the fact that they do not deny the reality they live in and the need to change it.
    In order to understand the deconstruction of the Palestinian society at it’s most basic level we look towards an interview with Leah Tzemel. An Israeli lawyer who represents Palestinians, she rarely wins a case but embodied in the same spirit in her proclamation that it is the rightfulness of her actions that keep her going. The reality is that many Palestinian men marry abroad, and thru these marriages have children. The occupation prohibits these women and children from living in the West Bank or Gaza so many live “illegally” within the area. The problem is that the government has, and often enforces the power of deportation separating spouses and their children. This completely invalidates the practice of marriage, which stands as the basis for the family unit. The family unit stands as the most powerful positive release from the stress of society. Removing this blatantly imposes control over the person. Rationalized by the fact that this is in no sense a democracy in the occupied territories, it helps erase the sense that any positive social justice is possible. As Tzemel puts it “ it is an outside regime against the wish of a population.” “In contradiction of international law, human rights, basic principles of humanity” she pleads but to little success. She, like the others is not deterred. Her social awareness fuels a need to change the wrongs she is witness to.
    Veronica Kohen, a Halachicly Observant (Orthodox Jew), became active after reading an Israeli article on treatment of Palestinian prisoners. This prompted her to organize dialogue groups in which Palestinians and Israelis can come together and talk. Passed by word of mouth the groups traveled between the two sides, although recently they have to go to the Palestinians. Drawing about 30 people every week the groups promote a very grassroots based practice of social awareness thru positive dialogue. The open forum provides an arena for political and emotional based ideas to be discussed. The main thread in these talks is social awareness, or the dismantling of the fear that exists between these two cultures and the ability for the other to see the other as human. She educates the Palestinians on the history of Jewry and the reasons for the need of a safe place for Jews to live in the world. This causes the Palestinians to challenge their own feelings and become emotionally engaged in Jewish history. The Israelis then listen to the reality of a day in Palestine, and thru this become emotionally engaged in the pursuit of a peaceful homeland for both populations.
    This active civil discourse also helps apply the human being to the idea, in place of the idea to a whole people. Conflicts do arise. An example of an Israeli advocating transfer, which is the forcible movement of Palestinians from Israel to some other country, caused a spur of emotions, but a Palestinian man defied his first instinct to leave the room. He realized this would solve nothing; it made him realize this was a human being, a “misguided” one, but still a person. It is this type of civil interaction that promotes personal bonds on the most basic level; people feel a responsibility to attend these groups because they promote a very basic idea that social interaction brings about change.
    These groups have also provided an internal advocate for those who cannot speak. She supports her argument with numerous examples of times when their presence was able to provide a bridge between the Palestinians and the outside world. Highlighting one instance when their presence helped end the beating of a group of Palestinians. These groups reached a much deeper level. They have promoted bonds of friendship and comradely between Palestinians and Israelis.
    All this stands in the face of a lasting paradox. The Israelis won’t go to Palestine and the Palestinians can’t go to Israel. It is people like Kohen who are trying to deconstruct what has become a very fundamental paradox in the two societies. Kohen describes her pursuit as a “cry in the wilderness” but like the others she is not willing to turn her back on what she is aware of. On the most basic level she believes that if she meets somebody or something she doesn’t like, maybe she can change it.
    Embodied in the Spirit of all these people is a sense of reality and the need to change it. Some 10 years later we see some progress, but with the present Intifada, in some sense the Israelis and Palestinians are still in a perpetual state of conflict. I believe that the many of the people, but certainly the core ideals for progress are still there. This book provides an excellent window into the region, and embodies the emotional, political and every other foundation for the beliefs these men and women hold true to. The fact is that this region has been in a perpetual state of conflict in modern times since the United Nations mandate created the state of Israel. The fact is that you have an occupation of an entire people, and under this occupation the Palestinian people have been denied a very fundamental right of mobility, but more so the ability to operate within their own territories. The 90s showed some progress but the recent string of violence has regressed the two states back to a very isolationist perspective. The Israelis as we speak are building a physical wall to “secure” themselves from the Palestinian threat. It seems that more than ever the two sides are at odds, but just as every person in this book proclaims, there is always hope in progress.
    It is difficult to comprehend the extreme nature this conflict embodies. On the Palestinian side you have a continually oppressed people with little or no international recognition. Their only coverage in the United States is usually about a suicide bombing or factionist leader being killed. The image of a Palestinian to an American easily embodies one of these bombers of the face of a militant marching in the street. This completely voids any progressive nature in this conflict. Likewise we hear about Israeli forces moving in “response” to attacks, or “terrorist” targets being eliminated. These reports never include the internal peace process, or realistic portrayals of what is going on. We love to be alluded to what is happening so we listen to what we are told. Does this book not stand in direct contradiction of the average news story in context of the larger picture?
    A constructive solution reached by diplomatic means can only be reached when both sides are able to engage in open discussion without the pretext of fear. This book tries to deconstruct the fear associated with this conflict in its simplest nature, by going straight to the people and hearing their stories. It stays void of political theory and ideological solutions and gets right to the basic need of these people, both Palestinians and Israelis because it is these people who are going to initiate change in at the most basic level. My hope is that thru education and constructive dialogue a peaceful solution can be reached in the reason.
  2. FuckWhitey

    FuckWhitey Banned

    Joined: Dec 4, 2003 Messages: 482 Likes Received: 0
    On the Palestinian side you have a continually oppressed people with little or no international recognition. Their only coverage in the United States is usually about a suicide bombing or factionist leader being killed. The image of a Palestinian to an American easily embodies one of these bombers of the face of a militant marching in the street. This completely voids any progressive nature in this conflict. Likewise we hear about Israeli forces moving in “response” to attacks, or “terrorist” targets being eliminated. These reports never include the internal peace process, or realistic portrayals of what is going on. We love to be alluded to what is happening so we listen to what we are told. Does this book not stand in direct contradiction of the average news story in context of the larger picture?

    that part in your post was pretty accurate.

    the rest was longer than my dick.
  3. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    It seems as though your name is next to the title. Just wanted to let you know, in case you wanted to edit it out.
  4. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    good lookin bob,
    on top of reactions and ideas post any news sources if you got em. If anybodys interested I can post some newsgroups,journal, and the like
  5. TEARZ

    TEARZ Guest

    swims, check out the "israel goes on the attack" thread for some interesting 12oz commentary as well as legendary 12oz shit-talking arguments.
  6. old*824

    old*824 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2003 Messages: 1,362 Likes Received: 0
    i wanna go paint that giant segregation wall they are building.

    and video tape the demolitions of homes, maybe ill get shot or run over by a bulldozer.
  7. FuckWhitey

    FuckWhitey Banned

    Joined: Dec 4, 2003 Messages: 482 Likes Received: 0
    that segregation wall is like Berlin Wall part II, but in the middle east. Plus I hear that wall steals ALLOT of Palestinian territory and the Palestinians cant do shit since they dont get $$ and weapons from the US. anyway, I want to paint the wailing wall.
  8. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    the "wall" stands to make the settlements a permanent "suburb" of Israel proper. It would also provide Israel witht the ability to shut off the water to numerous towns on the West Bank. iF This wall is finished as planned it will make any peace impossible. Some interesting shit going on right now though. And yeah 85 foot roller "open your mind" Live life or die trying. Not quite like the wall in berlin but similar. The people in power in israel, the Lekuts, headed by sharon would like to continue the deconstruction and submision of every aspect of Palestinian culture. The average person in the occupied territories has no social or physical mobility. They, especially in Gaza, are trapped under the guise that Israel needs to provide "security" in order to ensure prosperity. Hmmmmm sound like someone we all love.Peace
  9. old*824

    old*824 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2003 Messages: 1,362 Likes Received: 0
    My best freind that i grew up with was from Gaza. The genocide of innocent peacefull people really upsets me to a point where i would rather join the body count as an american murdered than live the rest of my life in the american dream.

    i got issues when it comes to Palestine.
  10. wiseguy

    wiseguy Elite Member

    Joined: Mar 1, 2002 Messages: 2,543 Likes Received: 1
    its fucked there, just straight up depressing. fuck Israel.
  11. old*824

    old*824 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2003 Messages: 1,362 Likes Received: 0
    Life was all omnipresent when the Palestine 'terrorists' held up in the Church of Nazareth where Jesus was born for two months.

    Thats being a God about it.
  12. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    one fucked up corner of the globe.
  13. Gunm

    Gunm Banned

    Joined: Aug 31, 2003 Messages: 12,427 Likes Received: 1
    We should just take that land away from both peoples and send them all to sweatshops.

    i am sick to death about hearing about those two countires. just supply both sides with lots of weapons and let'em have it out battle royale style. Winner gets the land, problem solved.

    "Roadmap to peace in the middle east."...what a joke.
  14. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 235

    the only topic we've ever constantly agreed upon.

    seeks/cry wolf
  15. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6