Monday, September 21, 2009

Knowing Your Enemies

The United States is under attack from outsiders that would love to destroy us. People that are interested in peace know that the first thing you should do to help alleviate the problem is attempt to understand the causes. Yet who is paying any attention to Osama bin Laden's latest letter to America?

Read the whole thing and look for any reference to his hatred of freedom, hatred of prosperity, or desire to spread Islam far and wide. That's bogus and all thinking people know it.

Once again his major problem is with U.S. support of Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank. He refers to Israel's use of white phosphorous in Gaza, which Israel has admitted using. Israel's crimes are well documented by Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem, among others.

So what's the hold up in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? One would think that it's so complex as to be unresolvable. We're between a rock and a hard place. But that's not true. The United States and Israel stand virtually alone in opposing a two state settlement, and have for 30 years. Every year around November a vote is called at the U.N. called "Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine." Check out the voting record shown in Figure 1 here. Here is a visual of the roll call from 2005. The whole world is prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist within secure borders, including the entire Arab world. Polls show that both Israeli and Palestinian majorities favor such a peaceful settlement. And yet the governments of Israel and the United States won't go along.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bin Laden is a criminal that deserves justice. But this doesn't mean none of his grievances are legitimate. Those that want peace must consider addressing legitimate grievances. Does U.S. and Israeli obstinance in the face of a worldwide desire for a settlement enhance the prospects for peace or does it provide bin Laden with his primary motivation for reacting to us violently? He claims the later is the case. I say we should listen.


Anonymous said...

The link to the Bin Laden letter says 2009 at the top, but then the banner under it says 2003. Which is it?

Jon said...

The 2003 must be a typo. Note the reference to phosphorous bombs. That happened early this year.

heman said...

Greetings Sir
A supporter of israel wrote :

over ONE MILLION MUSLIM ARABS living with Jews in Israel - going to school in Israel, working in Israel-tortured every day


what would happen to a Jew in Gaza?

................. ....................... ......................... ............

my question:

does 1 million muslim arabs in israel say anything about the treatment they receive in israel?

israel annex and occupies palestinian land, isn't that jews in palestinian land? are you going to take it lightly if you were boxed up in your loft and the occupiers of your house chilled out in the big rooms in your house?


israel's supporter wrote:

the arabs just have to recognize they are not entitled to every inch of the former Ottoman Empire

Jews were in Jerusalem one thousand years before the arabs

and 2 thousand years before islam

Mohammed said the first qibla was the qibla OF THE JEWS

................... ................ ........

my question:

doesn't the ot say that jews stole land from cannanites? isn't there referenc to a arab people before islam in israel?

Jon said...

Actually I understand that many Jews go to places like Gaza in support of the Palestinian people. Probably no other outside ethnic group has done more to fight the oppression of the Palestinians than Jews. Jewish human rights organizations, like B'Tselem very much recognize and oppose the Israeli governments atrocities and unwillingness to consider peace.

But beyond that, who would want to live in Gaza? Food and water are cut off by the Israeli government. Malnutrition is at an unbelievable level. Plus your risk of getting shelled is very high. Unemployment is around 50% due to the economic stranglehold imposed.

If Arab control of Palestine for the previous 1500 years wasn't enough to entitle a person in 1948 to remain in the home his parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc had built, then should every European evacuate the United States and return it to the Native population?