No Means No!

 

I think we should take the Palestinians at their word: they are saying “no” to peace and prosperity; we should say “no” to providing them any more help.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt should pack up their portfolios, hand-outs, graphs, easels, and charts and come home. The U.S. has spent far too much time trying to assuage a people that hates us, that is corrupt, and that holds the world hostage to their threats of violence and hand-wringing. It’s time for the U.S. to stop beating its head against the proverbial wall and let the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian people.

I’m serious. How long do we try to maintain the masquerade that there is any chance of bringing peace to the Middle East? The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. They refuse to negotiate territory. They refuse to be accountable for the billions of dollars they squander away. They continue to pay support for families whose members died as terrorists.

In spite of their refusal to attend the Bahrain conference, and stating that any Arab country that does attend is a traitor, they’ve asked Arabs to give them $100 million per month to resist “pressures” from Israel and the U.S. And they have no desire for peace or resolution to the conflict:

Since rejecting the suggested partitioning, the 1937 Peel Commission, Arab leaders have thwarted the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan River more than six times depending on whether one considers refusal to talk to mean refusing the possibility of a state. Thus, if anything is to be gleaned from the Bahrain conference boycott, it is that the Palestinian leadership does not have a genuine interest in bettering the lives of their own people—and perhaps that they are quite unprepared for actual statehood.

I suggest the Middle East countries and the U.S. take a whole different approach. Any money that they are prepared to pledge to the Palestinians should be used to defend Israel against the Palestinian terrorists. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar—all countries who have agreed to come to the Bahrain conference—should create a defense organization that demands that the Palestinians stand down. Terrorist attacks by Hamas and Fatah will undergo retribution from these countries, who will act in concert with Israel. The U.S. will not send our men, but we will provide whatever support we can.

At the same time, Caroline Glick’s ideas regarding the one-state solution can be used as a starting point for finding a way to integrate the Palestinians into Israel, or assisting them to immigrate to other countries. (Much data supports the premise that the Jewish population is growing more rapidly than the Palestinian population.)

It is time to demand an end to useless negotiations and support Israel in its efforts to bring peace and stability. Israel will more than likely experience violence, but if given the chance, I hope they would agree it’s time that they’re able to fully embrace their statehood

No means no.

Published in Foreign Policy
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There are 49 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    The other Arabs don’t want them.

    • #1
    • June 24, 2019, at 12:05 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The other Arabs don’t want them.

    They don’t want them to come to their countries, but maybe they’d pay money to keep them where they are. Also, maybe other Arab countries would take them if Israel financed their leaving. We have to get creative here, @michaelkennedy!

    • #2
    • June 24, 2019, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    IMO the “two-state solution” is a ridiculous, hypocritical fiction propagated by the globalists and progressives in order to undermine Israel. Circumstances will never be right, the conditions will never be satisfactorily met, the Palestinian terror organizations will never willingly disarm. I think American administrations have known this, but don’t want the hassle (and perhaps danger) that a truthful look at the realities requires, so they play the game and take the bows when things seem to be temporarily improving.

    Israel is Israel. The West Bank is a part of Israel. The Golan Heights is part of Israel. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. No more dissembling.

    • #3
    • June 24, 2019, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Well said,@JoelB!

    • #4
    • June 24, 2019, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn:

    Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt should pack up their portfolios, hand-outs, graphs, easels and charts and come home. The U.S. has spent far too much time trying to assuage a people that hates us, that is corrupt, and that holds the world hostage to their threats of violence and hand-wringing. It’s time for the U.S. to stop beating its head against the proverbial wall and let the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian people.

    I’m serious. How long do we try to maintain the masquerade that there is any chance of bringing peace to the Middle East? The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. They refuse to negotiate territory. They refuse to be accountable for the billions of dollars they squander away. They continue to pay support for families whose members died as terrorists.

    Agree. I’ve thought this for the longest time. If we are truly allies of Israel, we should no longer subsidize any Islamic adversary, or allies who refuse to back Israel.

    I’d love to tell Merkel, “Your forefathers tried to extreminate the Jewish people. Why do your so-called “ambassadors” to the UN continue to support resolutions condemning the Jewish state?

    I don’t mind having allies who don’t agree with our positions, but when they actively oppose our efforts (hello, Europe!), we should reconsider their status . . .

    • #5
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Kevin Schulte Member

    Susan Quinn: At the same time, Caroline Glick’s ideas regarding the one-state solution can be used as a starting point for finding a way to integrate the Palestinians into Israel,

    Like injecting your bones with cancer cells.

    • #6
    • June 24, 2019, at 4:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Jim Chase Member

    The problem is, our government isn’t unified on this matter. Even if the current administration were to cut funding to the Palestinians, the next Democratic one would restore them. We’d end up in a situation like we did with federal abortion funding several years ago, turning off and on with each change in regime. Perhaps it would be a start, but it would nonetheless be impermanent.

    • #7
    • June 24, 2019, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: At the same time, Caroline Glick’s ideas regarding the one-state solution can be used as a starting point for finding a way to integrate the Palestinians into Israel,

    Like injecting your bones with cancer cells.

    Maybe when we do that, we need to trust our own immune system to reject them.

    • #8
    • June 24, 2019, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Jim Chase (View Comment):

    The problem is, our government isn’t unified on this matter. Even if the current administration were to cut funding to the Palestinians, the next Democratic one would restore them. We’d end up in a situation like we did with federal abortion funding several years ago, turning off and on with each change in regime. Perhaps it would be a start, but it would nonetheless be impermanent.

    I think if enough gets started, it will be hard to turn back. If we work from that belief, we might as well not try to do anything. Get rid of regulation? Don’t bother–they’ll just add new ones. Stop illegal immigration? Don’t bother–they’ll just find ways to get around the law. At some point we’ve got to say that we can do enough to make the effort worthwhile.

    • #9
    • June 24, 2019, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Unsk Member

    Susan -“I think we should take the Palestinians at their word: they are saying “no” to peace and prosperity; we should say “no” to providing them any more help. ”

    Absolutely.

    “Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt should pack up their portfolios, hand-outs, graphs, easels and charts and come home. The U.S. has spent far too much time trying to assuage a people that hates us, that is corrupt, and that holds the world hostage to their threats of violence and hand-wringing”

    Absolutely again.

    “It’s time for the U.S. to stop beating its head against the proverbial wall and let the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian people.”

    The only problem with letting “the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian People” is that the Arab countries like using “Palestinian Problem” as a way to incite hatred against Israel. I have a friend who grew up in Lebanon. He says Arab TV shows alleged Israeli gross mistreatment of the Palestinians 24/7 every day of the year. The Arabs clearly do not want to give up their prized propaganda vehicle – so they do not want to fix the problem and really could care less about the Palestinian people no matter what they say.

    Susan – what do you think of Caroline Glick’s “one state solution”, where Palestine is simply absorbed into Israel and the Palestinian problem is handled by Israeli security forces?

    • #10
    • June 24, 2019, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. I Walton Member

    Of course there should be no financial support for the Palestinians. And efforts must be made to shut off other countries’ support for terrorist enclaves, especially Palestine. Without centrally controlled support they might reduce systematic destruction of their own economy and lose support from growing pieces of those who live there. The neighbors will continue to not want them so they have to form some kind of economy or remain as they are. 

    • #11
    • June 25, 2019, at 4:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Unsk (View Comment):
    The only problem with letting “the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian People” is that the Arab countries like using “Palestinian Problem” as a way to incite hatred against Israel. I have a friend who grew up in Lebanon. He says Arab TV shows alleged Israeli gross mistreatment of the Palestinians 24/7 every day of the year. The Arabs clearly do not want to give up their prized propaganda vehicle – so they do not want to fix the problem and really could care less about the Palestinian people no matter what they say.

    Thanks for your comment, @unsk. Yes, the rhetoric is ongoing about Israel, and yet some of those Arab countries are working with Israel behind the scenes; I think they are also getting disgusted with the Palestinians and their recalcitrance. And I think sympathizing with them is not useful anymore; many Arab countries don’t need to support them. As you say, they could care less about the Palestinians, and I think they’d consider getting them out of their hair.

    Unsk (View Comment):
    Susan – what do you think of Caroline Glick’s “one state solution”, where Palestine is simply absorbed into Israel and the Palestinian problem is handled by Israeli security forces?

    I think it’s the only way to go. The Palestinians are incapable of governing themselves (Hamas and Fatah have proved that in spades); they will never stop fighting Israel; and with the exception of trying to figure out what to do with Gaza (even the Egyptians don’t want them), many Palestinians in Jewish areas secretly like being under their governance. I highly recommend Glick’s book.

    • #12
    • June 25, 2019, at 5:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. SkipSul Moderator

    It’s worth pointing out that a number of Palestinian Arabs are not Muslim, but Christians, though their numbers are dwindling. They’ve been squeezed by both Fatah and Israel for quite some time now, and at this point do not have especially good things to say about either. But they’ve been deeply integrated into their communities for two thousand years at this point and have no desire to leave. Not all of the West Bank is a hot zone, yet in recent years Israel has greatly restricted crossings, shunting a lot of tourism to places like Bethlehem while nearly cutting off other communities. A number of these Christians used to work in Israel too, but daily limits on certain crossings have cut them off from jobs they used to hold.

    • #13
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Kevin Schulte Member

    Annexing a mass of people who hate you and want you dead. What could go wrong ?

    I understand not all of them are in this state of mind. However, impossible to sift the weat from the sword. 

    • #14
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s worth pointing out that a number of Palestinian Arabs are not Muslim, but Christians, though their numbers are dwindling. They’ve been squeezed by both Fatah and Israel for quite some time now, and at this point do not have especially good things to say about either. But they’ve been deeply integrated into their communities for two thousand years at this point and have no desire to leave. Not all of the West Bank is a hot zone, yet in recent years Israel has greatly restricted crossings, shunting a lot of tourism to places like Bethlehem while nearly cutting off other communities. A number of these Christians used to work in Israel too, but daily limits on certain crossings have cut them off from jobs they used to hold.

    I’ve no doubt that there is a lot of animosity by those Christians toward Israel. First, they have been victimized by the conflict. Second, they are probably not loved by Palestinian Arabs either. It would make sense that they would lean toward supporting the people within their own community against those who make life even more difficult. Then again, Israel would not put in all the restrictions if it were not for Palestinian violence. I would think that the Christians must experience a kind of cognitive dissonance at times. All of the West Bank may not currently be a hot zone, but given the history, the potential is always there; it’s not like it’s a huge country. There are sentries all over. Everyone suffers when forced to live in a state of limbo.

    • #15
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Annexing a mass of people who hate you and want you dead. What could go wrong ?

    I understand not all of them are in this state of mind. However, impossible to sift the wheat from the sword.

    It will be very difficult. But the current circumstances are very difficult. I suspect that when Palestinians already living with Israeli governance feel they can speak freely (without Fatah breathing down their necks), they will celebrate the living conditions that the Israelis offer them. When you can have decent schools, infrastructure and relative predictability, I think minds will be changed.

    • #16
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Kevin Schulte Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Annexing a mass of people who hate you and want you dead. What could go wrong ?

    I understand not all of them are in this state of mind. However, impossible to sift the wheat from the sword.

    It will be very difficult. But the current circumstances are very difficult. I suspect that when Palestinians already living with Israeli governance feel they can speak freely (without Fatah breathing down their necks), they will celebrate the living conditions that the Israelis offer them. When you can have decent schools, infrastructure and relative predictability, I think minds will be changed.

    Not being argumentative. I see the logic in this view.

    I would like to point out. I thought we could bring democracy to Iraq. This was western wishful thinking.

    I acknowledge Caroline glick might just have the solution. 

    • #17
    • June 25, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Annexing a mass of people who hate you and want you dead. What could go wrong ?

    I understand not all of them are in this state of mind. However, impossible to sift the wheat from the sword.

    It will be very difficult. But the current circumstances are very difficult. I suspect that when Palestinians already living with Israeli governance feel they can speak freely (without Fatah breathing down their necks), they will celebrate the living conditions that the Israelis offer them. When you can have decent schools, infrastructure and relative predictability, I think minds will be changed.

    Not being argumentative. I see the logic in this view.

    I would like to point out. I thought we could bring democracy to Iraq. This was western wishful thinking.

    I acknowledge Caroline glick might just have the solution.

    I didn’t think you were argumentative at all, @kevinschulte! I’m open to discussing the issues. And there are a ton of them. I like when people bring up their reservations. I will try to address them, but I may not be able to do so to the satisfaction of others–or even to my own satisfaction! ;-)

    • #18
    • June 25, 2019, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Caryn Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s worth pointing out that a number of Palestinian Arabs are not Muslim, but Christians, though their numbers are dwindling. They’ve been squeezed by both Fatah and Israel for quite some time now, and at this point do not have especially good things to say about either. But they’ve been deeply integrated into their communities for two thousand years at this point and have no desire to leave. Not all of the West Bank is a hot zone, yet in recent years Israel has greatly restricted crossings, shunting a lot of tourism to places like Bethlehem while nearly cutting off other communities. A number of these Christians used to work in Israel too, but daily limits on certain crossings have cut them off from jobs they used to hold.

    This is a bit disingenuous on two counts. The Christian population in Israel, as a proportion of the total population, has remained stable over time, while the Christian population in “Palestinian” areas, has dwindled from a majority to 2% in many places. Even Bethlehem, which was 86% Christian in the 1950s, is currently only 12% Christian. Unfortunately for them, the Christian Arabs decided to be Arabs before Christians, throwing their support to their Muslim fellow-Arabs, blaming Israel for all of their woes. I suggest reading this article, in a Christian journal, for some background and clarification. The second count is claiming that Israel’s Arab Christians have been there for 2,000 years. Just because they are Christian, it does not follow that they have been there since the time of Jesus. Bethlehem predates Christianity by over a millennium, and was a Jewish and Canaanite city. While some Arabs lived in Israel before independence and even before the Zionist migration, the numbers were small and were largely due to the Arab expansion by conquest. Immigration to Ottoman occupied “Palestine” by Arabs increased with the Jewish migration, because the Jews brought comparatively modern farming and medical treatment and, consequently, jobs and a vastly increased standard of living

    • #19
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:11 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Kevin Schulte Member

    Caryn, pardon me if you already said.

    How do you feel about the 1 state solution described in this thread ?

    • #20
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Caryn Member

    I have, but haven’t yet read, Caroline Glick’s book. I did see her speak at a Women in Green event a couple of years ago. She proposes disbanding Fatah and the PA as unnatural and pernicious and then making agreements–with loyalty pledges–with tribal family groups. It’s rather an interesting idea as she presents it. For the most part, the villages and people-groups throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world function tribally, regardless of country. In fact, the governments and nations under which the people live are largely corrupt and dysfunctional. She proposes disbanding even the idea of a Palestinian Arab identity (which is made up, for political purposes, as an even cursory look at the history shows) in favor of a kind of emirates established within Israel based on these identifiable tribal groups. It is an interesting idea and I hope I did it justice (her lecture was in Hebrew, with simultaneous English translation and was several years ago). For those of you who read the book, is that how she presents it there?

    One reason I think it has merit is that it goes back to the way Arab culture truly works (see David Pryce-Jones, “The Closed Circle” for an excellent overview). On the other hand, there have been decades of lying about their history to the point that many don’t even know the truth. There has also been development of a victim mentality and terrible dependence that will both be hard to overcome. 

    Sadly, I don’t have a lot of hope. Too many people benefit from the status quo and, for the others, change is hard.

    • #21
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Kevin Schulte Member

    Caryn (View Comment):

    I have, but haven’t yet read, Caroline Glick’s book. I did see her speak at a Women in Green event a couple of years ago. She proposes disbanding Fatah and the PA as unnatural and pernicious and then making agreements–with loyalty pledges–with tribal family groups. It’s rather an interesting idea as she presents it. For the most part, the villages and people-groups throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world function tribally, regardless of country. In fact, the governments and nations under which the people live are largely corrupt and dysfunctional. She proposes disbanding even the idea of a Palestinian Arab identity (which is made up, for political purposes, as an even cursory look at the history shows) in favor of a kind of emirates established within Israel based on these identifiable tribal groups. It is an interesting idea and I hope I did it justice (her lecture was in Hebrew, with simultaneous English translation and was several years ago). For those of you who read the book, is that how she presents it there?

    One reason I think it has merit is that it goes back to the way Arab culture truly works (see David Pryce-Jones, “The Closed Circle” for an excellent overview). On the other hand, there have been decades of lying about their history to the point that many don’t even know the truth. There has also been development of a victim mentality and terrible dependence that will both be hard to overcome.

    Sadly, I don’t have a lot of hope. Too many people benefit from the status quo and, for the others, change is hard.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    • #22
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Old Bathos Member

    Google Nael Azmi Abu Hilail. He is the jihadi loser who stepped onto a bus in 2002, looked around at all the kids on the bus and detonated himself. His father: “`Our religion says we are proud of him until the day of resurrection. This is a challenge to the Zionist enemies.”

    They make trading cards with losers like this to instruct kids to emulate him. 

    I would make it a precondition of negotiations that the representative of the Palestinians public condemn this guy without qualification (or condemn any one of dozens of similar twisted, wasted jihadi youths–our choice). When they stop training children to admire homicidal futility and reject an utterly perverse theology we can talk. Until they do, they can rot.

    • #23
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Caryn Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Caryn, pardon me if you already said.

    How do you feel about the 1 state solution described in this thread ?

    Hi Kevin, My stuff is taking too long to write! Several comments pop up before I get mine fully finished and posted.

    My last comment might have begun to answer the question. Straight out, I am against Israel absorbing a large and hostile Arab population and immediately giving them citizenship and voting rights. Ideally, the population transfer that should have been done in 1948 and ’67 when hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from countries where they’d lived for centuries to millennia and a similar number of Arabs who had been living in Israel were made refugees, would occur. Unfortunately, despite the history (and eventual success) of such transfers, ie. in India/Pakistan in 1948, Germany and surrounding countries following WWII, Turkey and Greece, the idea is treated as suspect. Then again, following a war, moving enemy combatants to a hospitable ally is very good way to avoid having a destabilizing enemy within national borders. But that wasn’t done and isn’t practical now, really just for PR purposes. No one wants to be accused of “ethnic cleansing” even if it’s done peacefully and with restitution. As a side note, Israel has actually done this, only it was done forcibly and with Jews that had been living in Gaza.

    Long way of saying that I’d like to see the PA disbanded and Hamas defanged and the Arab population–somehow (magically?)–pacified and willing to move forward, living peacefully with their Jewish, Christian, Druse, and Bahai neighbors. Several suggestions have been made. I alluded to one in my previous comment: an series of semi or fully autonomous emirates made up of family groupings established by treaty or fealty with Israel. Another suggestion is of citizenship in Jordan, the original 2-state solution, with resident alien status in Israel–no one would have to move anywhere, Israel would annex the region and have overall authority, and the Arabs would not receive Israeli citizenship, but would vote (such as it is) in Jordan. Of course, Jordan would have to agree. Ah, there’s the rub. And the Palestinian Arabs would have to agree to end their state of ongoing war against Israel, grow up, and take care of themselves. And the current rulers, generations of whom have become filthy rich by stealing from the donations made by countries (many of which hate Israel/Jews) meant to benefit the people who live in terrible conditions of poverty and oppression. About those last two…realistically, not much hope. 

    • #24
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. SkipSul Moderator

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Just because they are Christian, it does not follow that they have been there since the time of Jesus.

    In the case of some communities, though, they’ve certainly been there for a very long time – pre Ottoman at the very least. There are a number of records of Arab Christian tribes in the region going back to before the Muslim conquest, including some populations that mingled with the early Jewish converts to Christianity. Not all of them were necessarily coming in after the Ottomans conquered the region.

    I fail to see how my comment was disingenuous – to say so is to accuse me of lying. 

    I simply noted that Christians within the West Bank are being squeezed (which is true). Because of the rest of the troubles in the West Bank, they’re basically lumped in with the rest. They’d rather not leave their homes, which they’ve had for a very long time (even if you wish to argue about the length, it’s still been a very long time). They can no longer as easily travel into Israel for work, and the economic situation in the West Bank is well known. I did not castigate Israel for taking the security measures it did, merely noted their effects on the Christian communities.

    In fact one of the articles you linked bears this out:

    According to Baboun, the unemployment rate in Bethlehem is 27 percent, the highest in the Palestinian territories after Gaza. Average unemployment in the West Bank is 22 percent.

    Part of the obstacle towards economic development is that many of the large infrastructure projects must be coordinated with the Israeli Civil Administration, the Israeli Army, the Palestinian Authority, and the Bethlehem City Council, she said. Much of the city does not have running water, and residents must get water delivered privately. Additionally, there are no wastewater treatment areas in the region, a major environmental issue.

    Coordinating between the Israeli government, the Israeli army, the PA, and the city council? I very much doubt those 4 groups work terribly well together.

    Consider meanwhile the case of Taybeh, another West Bank town (and one that was majority Christian going well back to Roman times). The local Muslims and Christians have gotten along reasonably well, and have even resisted some of the fanatics from trying to pick fights, but have had to picket to keep off Israeli settlers from taking over Christian areas. In an interview with the family that runs the brewery there (obviously Christian), they noted that they get their drinking water and electricity from the Israeli government, but only a couple of days a week – it’s rationed. Between PA incompetence and corruption on the one hand, and Israeli power plays on the other hand, they’re squeezed (they’ve invested heavily in cisterns, solar panels, and generators to keep things going). It’s hard to encourage Christians to stay there because the PA makes it difficult to have any sort of business due to corruption, Israel rations the water and power, and locals cannot commute to Israel like they used to be able to do some 30 years ago. It is a squeeze.

    Caryn (View Comment):
    The Christian population in Israel, as a proportion of the total population, has remained stable over time

    This may well be the case, but there are a number of ancient Christian churches and monasteries in Israel proper that have been continuously used since Roman times, and the reports that I’ve heard back from friends who have travelled there recently have said that while there are clergy and monastics who would like to help rebuild them, or repopulate them, the Israeli government generally will not allow any more than a few token monks and priests to live there today – enough to keep the tourists and pilgrims happy, but no more. The issue seems to be that certain Christian denominations are favored over others (Evangelicals over Orthodox especially).

    • #25
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Kevin Schulte Member

    I began to laugh toward the end of your last comment Caryn. Not because I disagree. Infact I agree. But, because.

    There ain’t no fixxin this mess.

    In my theology, an antichrist will come eventually and make a false peace for a time. But this is no place for that discussion. ;)

    • #26
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Google Nael Azmi Abu Hilail. He is the jihadi loser who stepped onto a bus in 2002, looked around at all the kids on the bus and detonated himself. His father: “`Our religion says we are proud of him until the day of resurrection. This is a challenge to the Zionist enemies.”

    They make trading cards with losers like this to instruct kids to emulate him.

    I would make it a precondition of negotiations that the representative of the Palestinians public condemn this guy without qualification (or condemn any one of dozens of similar twisted, wasted jihadi youths–our choice). When they stop training children to admire homicidal futility and reject an utterly perverse theology we can talk. Until they do, they can rot.

    We could make a list of all the despicable things they have done, and they would have no intention to express regret. That’s why I think it’s time to end “negotiations” and move forward. Thanks, @oldbathos

    • #27
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. SkipSul Moderator

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Ideally, the population transfer that should have been done in 1948 and ’67 when hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from countries where they’d lived for centuries to millennia and a similar number of Arabs who had been living in Israel were made refugees, would occur. Unfortunately, despite the history (and eventual success) of such transfers, ie. in India/Pakistan in 1948, Germany and surrounding countries following WWII, Turkey and Greece, the idea is treated as suspect.

    I’ve been studying some of these population transfers – and they’ve all been brutal for those involved, even if they do tend to benefit the descendants of those who were moved. It’s still a wrench to be chucked out of an area your family has called home for centuries. As Americans I think we sometimes miss how much of a wrench it is to leave behind the lands where your ancestors were buried – us Americans are all restless and often don’t even stay in the same state where we grew up, much less the same village.

    I think a large part of the reason that massive population shifts have been so resisted since the aftermath of WWII is that to make them is to concede the argument that people of different religions or races cannot be trusted to live peaceably together, and to concede that argument in any way is to betray the messages of peace and ethnic tolerance and understanding that has been normative in the western world since the aftermath of WWII. 

    And we should be honest that the partition of India, for instance was horrific, and I would not argue it was all that successful. Pakistan and India remain enemies to this day. The Turkish occupation of 1/3 of Cyprus was brutal (they evicted Cypriot families from homes they traced back to pre-Roman times in some cases). The eviction of Jews from every Muslim country that accompanied the creation of Israel was terrible.

    I would worry greatly, for instance, that should any other forced major population moves occur, you’d be making the case for yet more after that. The Coptic Christians, in Egypt, for instance – should they be made to move out because they’re the minority now?

    I don’t consider, on net, all such transfers successful. Many have been barbaric.

    • #28
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    the Israeli government generally will not allow any more than a few token monks and priests to live there today – enough to keep the tourists and pilgrims happy, but no more. The issue seems to be that certain Christian denominations are favored over others (Evangelicals over Orthodox especially).

    Thank you for this thoughtful comment, @skipsul. I think that in trying to understand the motivations of the Israeli government, it’s difficult to know every factor that goes into their decision process. For example, if there were more monks and priests, and there was an attack or bombing and people died, the Israelis might be blamed ( for lack of security, for example). Their reasons might not be valid, but I’m suggesting that although the Israeli may be making self-serving decisions, there could also be other reasons involved. All the more reason to stop delaying a final decision and let people move on with their lives.

    • #29
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Kevin Schulte Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    The issue seems to be that certain Christian denominations are favored over others (Evangelicals over Orthodox especially).

    Skip,

    Is there a universal sentiment toward the state of Israel in the Orthodox church ? Is it similar to Evangelical sentiment ?

    • #30
    • June 25, 2019, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
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