Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is the argument israelis use for their settlements in the West Bank?

I understand that the palestinians feel as though they are being kicked out of their land. but what is the opposing side? is it just based on religious beliefs? is it just because they argue that its their land the "holy" land? what does each side argue in regards to the settlement?

This is obviously a very difficult issue.

There is the religious element that believes that God promised this land to the Hebrews. These people tend to be some of the more aggressive settlers.

From a more practical standpoint, it is claimed that many of the settlements are built on land that was mostly purchased legitimately from its previous Palestinian owners. If the land is paid for legitimately, how could it be wrong?

Another argument is that Palestinians are not a distinct "people", they are just South Syrian Arabs and have been for centuries. Some Israelis will argue that they would fit in perfectly find anywhere else in Arabia, while Israeli Jews wouldn't fit in anywhere. They show a map of Arabia and demonstrate that Israel is just a very tiny part of it.

Politically, many find the settlements useful because it gives Israel the upper hand in any future negotiations. These people argue that "land for peace" has failed and that they might as well take the land if there is no peace, or take more land so they have more to trade for peace.

Also, people point to the shape of Israel in order to demonstrate that it is long and skinny and thus hard to defend. In putting settlements in the West Bank, Israel is making itself more secure. If the Arab's hadn't tried to invade Israel three times in 60 years, there would be no need to increase the security perimeter.

Also, many people living in the settlements do so because it is cheaper than living elsewhere.

I am against the settlements myself, but there is a least a shred of validity to each of these arguments. But there are also problems with these arguments. The land was home to dozens of civilizations over thousands or years, so plenty of people have all sorts of ancestral claims to it. Some of the land was indeed bought legitimately, but property rights in the Palestinian areas aren't exactly clear so inevitably much of it is stolen. Palestinians are no less distinct from other Arabs than Israelis are from other Europeans. They are trying invade Israel because they were kicked out of their homes to make room for itâ€"most Gaza families lived in what is now Israel one 60 years ago.

As you can see, the situation is very, very complicated. Let's hope that one day they will all learn to get along and treat each other with respect. I live in Canadaâ€"a big empty country with a diverse populationâ€"so the idea of killing people over land or religion is very strange to me. I don't know the solution to this problem.

it was jewish land and the arabs moved into the israeli homes

there has been an israel for thousands of years and there has never been a country called Palestine

greed and theft

No comments: