I side with Israel on this issue for whatever various reasons. You side with the Palestinians. I will admit that Israel, especially under Sharon, has done some really bad and unnecessary things, atrocities, to the Palestinians. But for you to say that the Palestinians "may" hit innocent children while lobbing rockets, or "may" kill innocent Israelis while suicide bombing, is just ludicrous.
What else would you recomend they do? A man does not take genocide and oppression lying down. If I had a choice between dying in the streets of Ram Allah while trying to scrounge some food or dying in Tel Aviv and taking a few of the bastards with me I think I'd lean towards the latter option. You have to see the kind of desperation these people endure. They're going to die either way and because the Israeli storm trooper is made well nigh invulnerable by all his technology the Palestinians have to select targets they can actually defeat.
The fact is, the Palestinians, however noble or not noble there cause, do not CARE if they hit innocent children or civilians. If a Palestinian dedicated to suicide bombing is on a bus, he doesn't care if it's filled with children or if it's filled with members of the Israeli army. As far as he is concerened, they are all the enemy, and he will kill them all.
All Israelis serve in the military at one point in time. They have compulsive military service for men and women. Therefore an Israeli woman is a combatant. Sure, Israeli innocents may get *caught in the crossfire* but when has a Palestinian, even a so-called "terrorist" comitted an act like this. They saw her through their scopes, they saw she was unarmed they saw she was a child and then they continued this ruthless and cowardly act of murder and then desecrated the corpse of an innocent. No suicide bombing is as monstrous as this terrorist act.
When you blow up a bus with innocent men, women, and yes, children, from babies to teenagers, then yeah, I'd say that's pretty monstrous.
All Israelis serve in their government's acts of genocide. Israelis VOTED for Ariel Sharon. They are RESPONSIBLE for everything he does. Palestinians never voted for Jyhad, Hamas, Al Aqsa Martyrs, PFLP or other groups to conduct suicide bombings against Israeli targets. And yet 3000 Palestinians have been murdered by the aggressor nation. And again, the Israelis *TARGET* innocent women and children. When the Palestinians do it it's only because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm not saying the killing of Israeli children is excused, but the active targeting of children is more appauling than a suicide bombing. I'm not saying the death is any less meaningful, I'm saying it's the intention that is worse. Whereas the Palestinian says
"Oh look, a bus full of potential zionist soldiers, I'd better kill them before they kill me and my whole family and if there are innocents on here than that's too bad"
You see, innocent people are not TARGETED in this case. But look what was clearly going through this guy's head.
"Hey, a Palestinian girl. I wonder if I can hit her right between the eyes. Oooh she's still moving, better empty my clip she could be a threat."
Now do you see why one is worse than the other? And lets not forget the frequency. For every ten people killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing Thirty people are murdered by Israel, some probably in the same conditions as this child. So who is the worse killer?
"It just seems to me, and this is a purely subjective, not-at-all-fact-based viewpoint, that the majority of Israelis, as people, are good-hearted, who just want the violence to end. Of course they won't give up their homes that they've now been living in for half a century, many of whom are first generation and all they know is Israel, but they just want peace."
I agree. A lot of Israelis could care less whether they own the west bank and gaza strip. They just want to not get bombed and be cool with their neighbours. I think the Palestinians want the same thing, but more. They want liberty, they want homes, they want land, they want a nation. How can you negotiate on things like that? How can you say "Well, we'll take Liberty, but you can have our homes... and I suppose if you give us some land you can keep our national aspirations."
I agree with Hamas. These things are non negotiable. Until Israel recognizes the rights of Palestinian refugees, the right of Palestine to independence and their own army, the right of Palestinian sovereignty from Israeli manipulation through threat or force, the right of Palestinians to control ALL of the West Bank and the Gaza strip, and the right of the Palestinians jailed and tortured by Israel to be freed, until these conditions are met there can be no peace and resistance action must continue. Do you realize that without terrorism the Israeli populace would find nothing wrong with what their government is doing? That form of resistance is the only way Palestine can fight back. If ONE Palestinian, just one, loses their home and cannot regain it because of negotiations than it is a betrayal worthy of Judas. Yasir Arafat saw this. You said the Israelis offered them 90% of what they wanted. How does a man accept being given 90% of his freedom? Or 90% of his country? I say that the Intifadah's continuation is justified until ALL Palestinian demands are met.
have such a deep hatred of the Jews (not Israelis, notice, the Jews) that they could not give up the fight even if it would leave to better lives for them
They don't hate the Jews, you're bringing race into this issue simply because it creates sympathy for the Jews. The only racial side to this conflict is that when Israeli soldiers see a Palestinian they start shooting. That's racism. Fighting an oppressive invader that just so happens to be Jewish is NOT in any way racist. Do you really consider that if it were Hindus invading Palestine and driving tanks through homes and murdering little girls with assault weapons that I, or any other Palestinian or sympathizer or so-called "terrorist", would stop fighting? Is it logical to suggest that we'd say "Oh, well the Hindus are invading Palestine but, hey, at least it's not Jews. Cuz man if Jews were invading Palestine I couldn't take that but since it's Hindus its ok." No. I would be just as enraged if this was done by atheists, Budhists or Christians and so would all Palestinians.
have such a deep, unhealthy religious belief in the land (one that the Israelis have too) that it is the only land they will settle for.
Once again you're bringing race and religion into this. The Israelis are the ones who believe god said this is their land. The Palestinians are being rational and saying "Hey, we lived here, they came here and now they want us out." That IS a crime against god and that makes this a holy war for them, but it is for earthly reasons, not because it says in the Quran that Palestine belongs solely to Palestinians.
And JM, no negatiator will do anything with them. Biased or not, negotiations with other nations will not work. They have to settle this on their own, as I said. Either introduce technology and other forms of energy in the middle east to make them subsist on their own and become, like Israel, a democracy (as much as I don't like what Sharon is doing, Israel still is remarkable because it is a democracy and a free, civilized society in the middle of all of those third-world countries), or have great, level-headed men from both sides realize that what is going on cannot continue. Neither of those are too likely, though I would go with choice a) rather than at this point.
Palestine is a democracy and Israel is not. Democracies do not participate in torture of their own citizens and foreign nationals. Democracies do not require military service. However I agree that the nations around Palestine are a large part of the problem so a wider solution is desirable. I remember the Arab league offered a full peace treaty to Israel that they turned down. I think negotiations have a chance just as long as it starts from a background of neutral respect for eachother's countries. I don't think it's fair asking an occupied territory to negotiate with its occupier.