Bishops call Israeli occupation of West Bank, Gaza a 'scandal' [CWN]


#1

At the conclusion of a recent visit to the Holy Land, bishops from eight nations decried the situation in areas occupied by Israel following the Six Day War in 1967.

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#2

I hope they call the not allowing Jews into Bethlehem wrong as well.

And the Turkish occupation of the Holy land 1000 years ago.


#3

Word, it is a scandal.


#4

There is a big difference between preventing a people from entering a place and making life miserable for people already living in a place.

And the Turkish occupation of the Holy land 1000 years ago.

The Turks are no longer occupying the Holy Land.


#5

I saw that!


#6

Perhaps so. Israel must somehow become more flexible in making peace with the Palestinians. But, at the same time, Arab leaders’ actions, past and present, hardly make it easier for Israel to trust them and eliminate the occupation, in fear of losing their country in the process. There are still two sides to this ugly situation.


#7

I find it difficult to understand why some people, other than Islamists, want the West Bank to be Jew-free.

I also find it difficult to understand why these bishops would have said Gaza is occupied by Israel. It isn’t. No Jews are there at all. Israel does maintain a blockade to keep arms from coming into Gaza and to keep terrorists from coming into Israel. Egypt does the very same thing, and for the same reason. It’s a terrorist state that really should be blockaded.


#8

Flexibility will have to come from the ground-up, IMO. We can all start by praying for a solution that maximizes justice for everyone. We can start by praying for a change of heart, to let go of hatred and resentment, and seek to forgive and ultimately reconcile.

I appreciate your balanced approach.


#9

I find it difficult to understand why some people, other than Islamophobes, want the US to be Muslim-free.

I also find it difficult to understand why these bishops would have said Gaza is occupied by Israel. It isn’t. No Jews are there at all. Israel does maintain a blockade to keep arms from coming into Gaza and to keep terrorists from coming into Israel. Egypt does the very same thing, and for the same reason. It’s a terrorist state that really should be blockaded.

There are ordinary people living there who are not terrorists. The blockade is destroying their lives. They do not deserve to be punished for the acts of the terrorists.


#10

I must echo what OneSheep said. I appreciate your balanced approach.


#11

Do you think Israeli leaders would find cause to be more flexible if they only needed to negotiate with Fatah?


#12

I don’t know that any significant number of people want Muslims banned from the U.S., so long as it presents no threat of terrorism or Muslim political power. The first is uncertain because it is manifestly not possible at present to seine the terrorist-minded out, and the outcome of the latter is never good. Perhaps a vetting formula can yet be devised. Among some of the possibilities would be to give preference to Muslims who are not from the hotbeds of jihadism, like Burma, for example, or perhaps Bangladesh.

It’s a difficult thing, and not amenable to easy ansers.

I have not the least doubt there are people in Gaza who are not terrorists, despite the best efforts of Hamas to poison the minds of the young. Israel and Egypt blockade Gaza for a reason, though, and it’s not to make the people suffer.

One notices that there is a great deal of trade and cross-border labor between Israel and the West Bank, however. But the West Bank is not governed by Hamas, at least not yet.


#13

Very difficult to know. Egypt, by way of example, maintains a total blockade (unlike Israel) because of Hamas. Egypt at least says it will allow cross-border traffic if it’s managed by Fatah instead. But the likelihood of that is pretty much nil.

Fatah, according to some, is very weak despite all the support it gets, and some even say it would be swept away by Hamas in the West Bank if Israel didn’t provide security there. Given the history of Fatah’s fate in Gaza, one suspects it’s true.


#14

Unfortunately, the political winds in Israel are blowing in the opposite direction. This is a corrosive effect of prolonged occupation, which dehumanizes both the occupied and the occupier.

[quote=meltzerboy] But, at the same time, Arab leaders’ actions, past and present, hardly make it easier for Israel to trust them and eliminate the occupation, in fear of losing their country in the process.
[/quote]

The Arab leaders have been totally feckless at times, so yes, I agree with that as well.

Yet Israel has tacit understandings with its closest Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. The elephant in the room is the occupation and the denial of statehood to the Palestinians. Solve that, and I have no doubt that Israel could come to terms with its Arab neighbors.


#15

I have to agree. If someone was telling me my country had no right to exist I’d be doing everything I could to defend myself, my family and my homeland…


#16

How has Gaza turned out? There is not a single Israeli in Gaza, and yet Hamas vows to kill all Jews everywhere, not just in Israel. One should take them at their word.

And is a West Bank state to be “Judenrein” like the Arab states and Gaza are? If so, why should we countenance that? Perhaps the best way for West Bank Arabs to learn to live with their Jewish neighbors is exactly to live with them. Exclusion of Jews from Gaza did nothing to aid peace. On the contrary, it gave a base to terrorists.


#17

Gaza is a humanitarian disaster, thanks primarily to the Israeli siege. You keep bringing up Hamas, yet Gaza was in sorry shape before Hamas, which, by the way, the Israelis helped give birth to and nurture in an effort to divide the Fatah movement. Hamas is clearly a malevolent force. I would argue that it only continues to be so, and that it has the popular support it has due to the dire condition in which Israel keeps the inhabitants of Gaza, who in their desperation will turn to anyone strong enough to resist foreign oppression.

If the Palestinians in Gaza were allowed any kind of a hope for the future, they would reject the militancy of Hamas

[quote=Ridgerunner]And is a West Bank state to be “Judenrein” like the Arab states and Gaza are? If so, why should we countenance that?
[/quote]

We should not countenance that, just as we should not countenance an Israel based on the superiority of one race over another.


#18

Hamas makes it near impossible to even sit at a table and negotiate; when the terms do not allow for your existence.

Fatah took the step as Jordan did. Recognized the right of Israel to exist. Now, as we know, Jordan is far from the perfect relationship for Israel – but it’s the best the region offers. Thus a model, IMO.

To begin any sort of two-state solution today; it would need to begin with Fatah - while isolating and secluding Hamas. As we know, such a decision would result in rocket explosions, military responses and the killings would be on every screen and paper in the world.

It may take another generation or two for the hatred and prejudice to subside enough to talk reasonably.


#19

In all of the “Palestinian state” talk, I have never yet heard a cogent argument for the proposition that Jews should be excluded from the West Bank. And yet, we know establishment of (a third) Palestinian state in the West Bank would be either that or a horrific civil war battleground that the Jews are likely to win (again) anyway unless it turns into a regional conflagration, perhaps involving world powers. 1/3 or so of the population of the west Bank are Jews, and they won’t go quietly.

What is so wrong about the West Bank being a sort of confederated area in which both Jews and Arabs can live? If there is ever to be hope of Jews and Arabs living together peacefully (as is the case in Israel, but in no Arab nation) they must, in fact, live together.

Having a mixed population in the West Bank is, however, intolerable to the “Palestinian state” westerners. One wonders why.


#20

The problem I see with the continued settlements of Israelis in the West Bank is the fact there is no settlement with the Palestinians. It defies any prudent course. It’s a tough argument to forward that the Jews aren’t welcome when they move into some areas that were not agreed upon (some areas where agreed upon); especially, in an area where a group of people are trying to gain some independence. It would be viewed as quite disrespectful to most people.

Netanyahu really needs to get at a table with Abbas. They may not be able to hash out much but it shows they are in control of the situation and don’t need foreign input.

I read some of Sec of Defense Mattis’ critical thoughts on the settlements in the West Bank, I’m not sure his input will be solicited but the President. He seems one of the few in the cabinet with such opinions.


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