Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fletch A Response To Brian Eno Regarding Israel

I notice That Brian Eno has written an article for the left-leaning Salon criticizing Israel's part in a "swag bag" of gifts given to Oscar nominees. (A five-star luxury trip to Israel for every nominee in the main acting and directing categories. The trip is sponsored by the Israeli government.).

He takes a swing at Israel using the usual tropes and arguments. I thought I'd reply in the comment section of the article, but for some reason my comments do not show up (Wonder why, ey?).

So I am reprinting my response below.

 I'm sorry Brian, but your article is coming from a place of ignorance. Let me just touch on a few points. You say that Israel is a great country "for at least half of its inhabitants". Actually, unlike pretty much every other country in the Middle East, everyone in Israel has the same rights, be they male or female, gay or straight, Jew or Christian or Muslim. Arabs even serve in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. Isreal is an island of democracy in the Middle East.

For instance, try coming out as gay in Iran and you'll most likely be hung or thrown from the top of a building (and stoned if the fall doesn't kill you). In just one example, Payam Feili, an openly gay Iranian poet, is seeking asylum in Israel. He was imprisoned in Iran over his sexuality before and faces a potential death sentence if he were to return home.

As far as the Palestinian "refugees"... do you know that just as many Jews were forced from Arab lands at the end of the 1940s? Almost a million Jews who lived in Arab lands were forced out. And do you know what happened to them all? Israel took them all in. The surrounding Arab countries could just as easily have taken in all the "Palestinian" refugees, but they did not want to. They wanted to use them to create sympathy for their cause and they are still doing so.

As far as the peace process, Palestine has rejected plans multiple times. For instance, in the year 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding, including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over  the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees.  Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, who was serving as an intermediary among the parties, urged Arafat to “take this deal.” Could you ever get “a better deal”? he asked. Would you rather negotiate with Sharon? As Arafat vacillated, Bandar issued a stern warning: “I hope you remember, sir, what I told you. If we lose this opportunity, it is going to be a crime.” But he walked away.

Then in 2008, the then Israeli PM presented Abbas with a map, that with land swaps, gave them almost 100% of the land of West Bank and Gaza prior to the June 1967 war. He also offered to divide Jerusalem to allow them to have their capital in the eastern half of the city. Guess what? They refused again. He walked out with the map and was never seen again.

Notwithstanding that Israel totally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, leaving a thriving greenhouse business for the new population to jumpstart their economy. What did they do? They smashed all the greenhouses and elected Hamas, leading to the lobbing of bombs at Israel.

Israel has bent over backwards for the peace process. They have always been willing to exchange land for peace as they did in 1979 when they signed a peace treaty with Egypt, totally withdrawing from the Sinai.

I'm sorry, but the Palestinians don't want a two-state solution, and they don't want peace. They want Israel destroyed. Open your eyes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lucia Cold War 2.0 (VICE on HBO: Season 3, Episode 14)