February 25, 2004
While I'm on the topic of religious hipocrisy and such, I'll move into the Middle East conflict. Nicholas Kristof has written an ariticle in the NY Times pointing out the double standards of each side. Israel and Sharon get pummeled for this a lot. It's not completely undeserved, however he points out that Sharon really isn't in direct violation of UN policy. That doesn't make his actions of occupying Palestinian territories right, but the crime does tend to be exaggerated. Moving on to the Arabs, Kristof points out that they are quite guilty of allowing fellow Arabs to terrorize, while condemning Israel for their actions. I've often wondered about this, and it appears I'm not alone. I'm in no way an authoritative source on Arab policy, but they seem to have extremely strong nationalism (as an Arab nation), and unwilling to look amongst themselves.Nor is the US completely innocent in treating the two sides equally, though I still feel that Israel has taken more steps towards peace than the Palestinians have.
Posted by charr at 8:45 PM
I agreed with pretty much all of that.Israel is a major US ally and it would be suprising if the US could be wholy impartial.One question I have never fully understood the answer to is, if there is such a strong Arab nation, why don't most arab countries allow Palestineans to move into their countries (thus ending the major impetus behind the conflict). Sure I know historically that when it was tried, that the Palestineans tried to over throw a couple countries. Still you have to think that the idea would be a simple fix and with a big, powerful country like Egypt, it would be pretty risk free.
The reason why other Arab countries don't accept Palestinians into thier counties is because those countries are where most Palestinians are from. Palestinians are a group of people who have been kicked out of various Arab countries for various reasons. Those countries don't want them back.
Well, some countries, especially Jordan and Syria have huge Palestinian populations. However, probably the biggest issue for them is having their own state, not being given refuge in another state. They feel Israel came in and kicked them out of their own land. They want to go back to "their" land. The sworn goal of Hamas is to remove Israel from Palestine. However, Israel can claim that it was their land to begin with (back from Mosaic/Abrahamic days). There's not a clean solution. Most peace plans call for both and Israeli and a Palestinian state, but not all want that. The Palestinians at least want a "Right of Return," basically saying they can return to the lands (in Israel) they once had. Israel will not allow that. It's really a mess.
We can thank the UN for that mess. I can't imagine what I would do if there was a knock on my door and I had to leave Omaha to make way for the descendants of Native Americans who lived here 170 years ago. But that I could almost see the justification in. On the other hand, if I was told to leave Omaha to make way for descendants of people who lived here over a thousand years ago, I think I'd be kind of PO'd.