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Pope takes on 'increasingly unacceptable' Middle East conflict


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Pope takes on 'increasingly unacceptable' Middle East conflict

JERUSALEM - Pope Francis celebrated mass at a contested Jerusalem site on Monday at the end of a whirlwind pilgrimage which saw him making a personal bid for Middle East peace.


The 77-year-old pontiff, who has made interfaith dialogue a cornerstone of his papacy, made an impassioned call for an end to religious intolerance, and insisted that believers must have free access to sites they consider sacred within the Holy City.

Despite his insistence the trip would be "purely religious" he waded into the sensitive politics of the region, issuing a unique invitation to the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pray with him at the Vatican to end their "increasingly unacceptable" conflict.

Both accepted the invitation, although it was not clear when the visit would take place.

Full story: http://www.enca.com/world/pope-takes-increasingly-unacceptable-middle-east-conflict

-- eNCA 2014-05-27

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The Palestinians have refused numerous peace deals and a path to their own state over many decades. The pope needs to convince them to stop stonewalling, but he knows that will not happen, so he tries to, unfairly, place equal blame on the Israelis. Unless he is going to look at the situation honestly, he should just butt out.

In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed the partition of Palestine and the creation of an Arab state. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

In 1939, the British White Paper proposed the creation of a unitary Arab state. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

In 1947, the UN would have created an even larger Arab state as part of its partition plan. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

The 1979 Egypt-Israel peace negotiations offered the Palestinians autonomy, which would almost certainly have led to full independence. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

The Oslo agreements of the 1990s laid out a path for Palestinian independence, but the process was derailed by terrorism. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to create a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank and partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis. The Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

Also, from 1948 to 1967, Israel did not control the West Bank. The Palestinians could have demanded an independent state from the Jordanians, but they did not bother..

Edited by Ulysses G.
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I don't think that the Pope's visit to the Middle East will, in any way, promote chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

That said, I do believe the current Pope has a broad humanistic view on things, and a sincere intent to help if he can.

Almost unavoidably, both sides attempt to score political points from the visit. Personally I find it quite pathetic, really.

Interesting to note the harsh reactions to the visit from extremists, both Jewish and Muslim. An example not cited in

the OP, is that the Pope was accompanied by the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch (the last similar visit being in 1948), which

sparked a major political controversy in Lebanon.

The invitation for both leaders is a nice gesture, but doubtful if it would make a difference. A photo op with some extra

tit for tat politics more probable.

Edited by Morch
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Good list, but let's not forget this one:

In 1967, after a stunning victory against three Arab states who waged a war of aggression with the stated goal of, as Egyptian Radio put it, pushing every Jew into the sea, and raping their women with bayonets, Israel offered to give these same three states back everything but Jerusalem. The Arabs' response was the infamous "three nos of Khartoum." of September 1, 1967 by a conference of eight Arab heads of state. The Three No's were "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it..." At that time, there was not a single "settler" in the areas taken.

Odd statement. The war was launched by Israel who had overwhelming fire power and at the time of the attack had nearly twice the number of combat troops deployed than the Arab States.

You have overlooked East Jerusalem was Muslim for centuries and at the time of the 1967 War was 80% populated by Muslims, in addition nearly all the land was Muslim owned. Israel had made it clear that the occupied West Bank & Gaza was not on the table for returning to the relevant Arab States. Not at all surprising they rejected the Israeli terms.

Documentation has now come to light that it had been policy for decades to undertake action to destabalise & clear out the Palestinians from their traditional homelands for occupation, that makes a lie of many denials; refer to "The Unmaking of the Middle East". Whilst the book is a broadside against Zionist/Israeli actions and policy, in combination with critic of the policy duplicity of a number of Western countries in the M.E., it is backed up by referals to actual letters and documentation for further research

Edited by simple1
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Good list, but let's not forget this one:

In 1967, after a stunning victory against three Arab states who waged a war of aggression with the stated goal of, as Egyptian Radio put it, pushing every Jew into the sea, and raping their women with bayonets, Israel offered to give these same three states back everything but Jerusalem. The Arabs' response was the infamous "three nos of Khartoum." of September 1, 1967 by a conference of eight Arab heads of state. The Three No's were "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it..." At that time, there was not a single "settler" in the areas taken.

Odd statement. The war was launched by Israel who had overwhelming fire power and at the time of the attack had nearly twice the number of combat troops deployed than the Arab States.

Don't be ridiculous. "Launched" by Israel after weeks of Arab leaders threatening Israel with total annihilation. Along with with Egypt's ejection of United Nations forces, the closing of the Straits of Tiran, and the massing of troops on Israel's northern and southern borders, the hateful Arab rhetoric created a state of existential fear in Israel and the Arabs got exactly what they were asking for.

Egypt

"Our aim is the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel." – President Nasser of Egypt, November 18, 1965

"Brothers, it is our duty to prepare for the final battle in Palestine." – Nasser, Palestine Day, 1967

"Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight . . . The mining of Sharm el Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel." – Nasser, May 27, 1967

"We will not accept any ... coexistence with Israel. ... Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel .... The war with Israel is in effect since 1948." – Nasser, May 28, 1967

"The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel . . . . to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations." – Nasser, May, 30, 1967 after signing a defense pact with Jordan's King Hussein

"We are now ready to confront Israel .... The issue now at hand is not the Gulf of Aqaba, the Straits of Tiran, or the withdrawal of UNEF, but the ... aggression which took place in Palestine ... with the collaboration of Britain and the United States." – Nasser, June 2, 1967

"Under terms of the military agreement signed with Jordan, Jordanian artillery co-ordinated with the forces of Egypt and Syria is in a position to cut Israel in two at Kalkilya, where Israeli territory between the Jordan armistice line and the Mediterranean Sea is only twelve kilometers wide ... ." – El Akhbar newspaper, Cairo, May 31, 1967

Cairo Radio Statements:

May 19, 1967: "This is our chance Arabs, to deal Israel a mortal blow of annihilation, to blot out its entire presence in our holy land"

May 22, 1967: "The Arab people is firmly resolved to wipe Israel off the map"

May 25, 1967: "The Gulf of Aqaba, by the dictum of history and the protection of our soldiers, is Arab, Arab, Arab."

May 25, 1967: "Millions of Arabs are ... preparing to blow up all of America's interests, all of America's installations, and your entire existence, America."

May 27, 1967: "We challenge you, Eshkol, to try all your weapons. Put them to the test; they will spell Israel's death and annihilation."

May 30, 1967: "With the closing of the Gulf of Akaba, Israel is faced with two alternatives either of which will destroy it; it will either be strangled to death by the Arab military and economic boycott, or it will perish by the fire of the Arab forces encompassing it from the South from the North and from the East."

May 30, 1967: "The world will know that the Arabs are girded for battle as the fateful hour approaches."

Jordan

"All of the Arab armies now surround Israel. The UAR, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan, and Kuwait. ... There is no difference between one Arab people and another, no difference between one Arab army and another." – King Hussein of Jordan, after signing the pact with Egypt May 30, 1967

Iraq

"The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa." – President Abdel Rahman Aref of Iraq, May 31, 1967

Palestinians

"D-Day is approaching. The Arabs have waited 19 years for this and will not flinch from the war of liberation." – Ahmed Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, May 27, 1967

"This is a fight for the homeland – it is either us or the Israelis. There is no middle road. The Jews of Palestine will have to leave. We will facilitate their departure to their former homes. Any of the old Palestine Jewish population who survive may stay, but it is my impression that none of them will survive." – Shukairy, June 1, 1967

"We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors – if there are any – the boats are ready to deport them." – Shukairy, June 1, 1967, speaking at a Friday sermon in Jerusalem

Syria

Syria's forces are "ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united.... I as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." – Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad, May 20, 1967

"Our two brotherly countries have turned into one mobilized force. The withdrawal of the UN forces ... means 'make way, our forces are on their way to battle.'" – Foreign Minister Makhous on his return from Cairo

Others

"The freedom of the homeland will be completed by the destruction of the Zionist entity and the expulsion of the Americans and the British from the region." – Algerian Prime Minister Houari Boumedienne

"We want war. War is the only way to settle the problem of Israel. The Arabs are ready." – Yemeni Foreign Minister Salam

Edited by Ulysses G.
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It's propaghanda

"Propaganda" means information and in this case it is factual information. The Palestinians have rejected peace deals and their own state time after time. That is beyond dispute.

False propaganda would be your dishonest claim that a state where 20% of the population is Arab with full voting rights and representation in the government is an "apartheid state". It is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race and Arab citizens of Israel are represented in all parts of Israeli life. Arabs have served in senior diplomatic and government positions and an Arab currently serves as a justice on the Supreme Court. Israeli Arabs have their own political parties and representation in the Knesset. Arabs are members of the major Israeli political parties.

Edited by Ulysses G.
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Good list, but let's not forget this one:

In 1967, after a stunning victory against three Arab states who waged a war of aggression with the stated goal of, as Egyptian Radio put it, pushing every Jew into the sea, and raping their women with bayonets, Israel offered to give these same three states back everything but Jerusalem. The Arabs' response was the infamous "three nos of Khartoum." of September 1, 1967 by a conference of eight Arab heads of state. The Three No's were "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it..." At that time, there was not a single "settler" in the areas taken.

Odd statement. The war was launched by Israel who had overwhelming fire power and at the time of the attack had nearly twice the number of combat troops deployed than the Arab States.

You have overlooked East Jerusalem was Muslim for centuries and at the time of the 1967 War was 80% populated by Muslims, in addition nearly all the land was Muslim owned. Israel had made it clear that the occupied West Bank & Gaza was not on the table for returning to the relevant Arab States. Not at all surprising they rejected the Israeli terms.

Documentation has now come to light that it had been policy for decades to undertake action to destabalise & clear out the Palestinians from their traditional homelands for occupation, that makes a lie of many denials; refer to "The Unmaking of the Middle East". Whilst the book is a broadside against Zionist/Israeli actions and policy, in combination with critic of the policy duplicity of a number of Western countries in the M.E., it is backed up by referals to actual letters and documentation for further research

The 1967 war was launched by Israel, yes. Israel defines this as preemptive strike, a notion which might be argued. However, it cannot be said that the situation was stable prior to this, or that the actions of Israel's neighbors did not have something to do with it.

Israel did not have overwhelming firepower, not anything nearing "twice the number of combat troops deployed". Israel did, by taking certain calculated risks, concentrate power on specific fronts to achieve an advantage, while playing defensive on other fronts, until forces could be diverted.

The general state of mind after Israel's victory was cocky. "Hubris" comes to mind. One of the famous sayings was that they were waiting for a phone call from the Arab side. While it was quite obvious Jerusalem would not be handed back the notion of keeping hold of the West Bank was something that developed over time, and was not firmly decided right after the war. The hardline talk just after the war was more along the line of posturing for negotiations, not like they had a long term plan. I do not think that there was much attachment to the Gaza Strip, at least not from a heritage point of view. Needless to say, that the phone call never came, and both sides dug in their positions until the next round.

I am not sure which documentation you are referring to, but to say that Israel had a coherent long term policy planned and executed (for decades?) regarding the West Bank is quite absurd. Israel have seen a few government changes over this time, some hardliners, some made certain agreements with the Palestinian.

As for Jeremy Salt (yes, had a look following our last conversation smile.png ) - well, sorry. The man is on a one sided mission, as can be seen from other writings. Not what you'd call a highly objective observer. One of the banes (of blesses) of contemporary historical research is that there's quite a lot of documentation to choose from. While this may allow greater detail, it often allows one to adopt a point of view dismissive of alternatives.

Edit - a few lines accidentally cut:

But once again, this obsession with who hit first, who's more of a villain, etc....are basically leading nowhere. There is very little chance that all the events of the past will be agreed upon, and that's ok. The issue is more to do with what can realistically be done to improve this sorry state of affairs. Picking at scabs won't.

Edited by Scott
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if Israel wanted to give the west bank to the Palestinians so that it could avoid being an occupation or apharthied regime, then why have they spent billions building settlements

They want to trade land for peace. The same reason that Israel handed over Gaza to the Palestinians. Israel gave up every single inch of the land, uprooting thousands of settlers and relinquishing strategically vital territory. Instead of getting peace in return, Israel got terror: Hamas control of Gaza, Qassam rockets pouring down on southern Israel, and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. However, naive or not, they have made the offer anyway and the Palestinians rejected it.

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Good list, but let's not forget this one:

In 1967, after a stunning victory against three Arab states who waged a war of aggression with the stated goal of, as Egyptian Radio put it, pushing every Jew into the sea, and raping their women with bayonets, Israel offered to give these same three states back everything but Jerusalem. The Arabs' response was the infamous "three nos of Khartoum." of September 1, 1967 by a conference of eight Arab heads of state. The Three No's were "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it..." At that time, there was not a single "settler" in the areas taken.

Odd statement. The war was launched by Israel who had overwhelming fire power and at the time of the attack had nearly twice the number of combat troops deployed than the Arab States.

You have overlooked East Jerusalem was Muslim for centuries and at the time of the 1967 War was 80% populated by Muslims, in addition nearly all the land was Muslim owned. Israel had made it clear that the occupied West Bank & Gaza was not on the table for returning to the relevant Arab States. Not at all surprising they rejected the Israeli terms.

Documentation has now come to light that it had been policy for decades to undertake action to destabalise & clear out the Palestinians from their traditional homelands for occupation, that makes a lie of many denials; refer to "The Unmaking of the Middle East". Whilst the book is a broadside against Zionist/Israeli actions and policy, in combination with critic of the policy duplicity of a number of Western countries in the M.E., it is backed up by referals to actual letters and documentation for further research

The 1967 war was launched by Israel, yes. Israel defines this as preemptive strike, a notion which might be argued.

However, it cannot be said that the situation was stable prior to this, or that the actions of Israel's neighbors did not

have something to do with it.

Israel did not have overwhelming firepower, not anything nearing "twice the number of combat troops deployed".

Israel did, by taking certain calculated risks, concentrate power on specific fronts to achieve an advantage, while

playing defensive on other fronts, until forces could be diverted.

The general state of mind after Israel's victory was cocky. "Hubris" comes to mind. One of the famous sayings was that

they were waiting for a phone call from the Arab side. While it was quite obvious Jerusalem would not be handed back,

the notion of keeping hold of the West Bank was something that developed over time, and was not firmly decided right

after the war. The hardline talk just after the war was more along the line of posturing for negotiations, not like they had

a long term plan. I do not think that there was much attachment to the Gaza Strip, at least not from a heritage point of

view. Needless to say, that the phone call never came, and both sides dug in their positions until the next round.

I am not sure which documentation you are referring to, but to say that Israel had a coherent long term policy planned

and executed (for decades?) regarding the West Bank is quite absurd. Israel have seen a few government changes

over this time, some hardliners, some made certain agreements with the Palestinian.

As for Jeremy Salt (yes, had a look following our last conversation smile.png ) - well, sorry. The man is on a one sided mission,

as can be seen from other writings. Not what you'd call a highly objective observer. One of the banes (of blesses) of

contemporary historical research is that there's quite a lot of documentation to choose from. While this may allow greater

detail, it often allows one to adopt a point of view dismissive of alternatives.

Edit - a few lines accidentally cut:

But once again, this obsession with who hit first, who's more of a villain, etc....are basically leading nowhere.

There is very little chance that all the events of the past will be agreed upon, and that's ok.

The issue is more to do with what can realistically be done to improve this sorry state of affairs. Picking at scabs

won't.

Thought you would respondsmile.png

As you say not much point in rehashing who did what when, but fascinating mechanisations by all concerned. So…

At the time of the 1967 war some claim the Arab total forces deployed of around 150k plus, but total manpower of around 500k. At the launch of the Israeli attack more than 250k combat troops actually deployed for the attacks. We all know the huge successes achieved, a great deal contributed to the very poor co-ordination of the Arab forces. Naturally the professionalism and quality of equipment of the Israeli forces was a major factor, far outgunned the opposition

Just a point I wasn't specifically to the West Bank but to the general policy of what would today be emotively termed ethnic cleansing. I did acknowledge Salt has a bias, but a great deal of detail that undermines the narrative of some posters. e.g. the 1967 pre-emptive strike planning was known to the Egyptians and others, not the detail. A great deal of the noise being created by Nasser et al was for domestic consumption and this was acknowledged by US & Israeli intelligence, he was not actually signalling a concerted attack on Israel.

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"A great deal of the noise being created by Nasser et al was for domestic consumption and this was acknowledged by US & Israeli intelligence, he was not actually signalling a concerted attack on Israel.

Yeah, sure. Why would anyone pay attention to his - and all the other Arab countries - vicious threats? It is not like multiple Arab armies had ever attacked tiny Israel before. rolleyes.gif

We aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel."

– President Nasser of Egypt, November 18, 1965

Edited by Ulysses G.
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