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Posted by Richard Ruquist on April 30, 2002 21:04:07 UTC

Please forgive the introduction of a serious topic on a forum that has not been serious for a while. But I am interested in your opinions on the following. I feel that this subject is appropriate for this forum as religion and religious rights to the biblical lands are fundamental to the problem.

It seems that both the Arab nations and the rest of the world's nations, at least the rulers, are coming to accept the reality of two states using 1967 borders as the only possible solution of the Israel/Palestine problem. The big change is of course that the Arabs, at least the ruling Arabs, are now in favor of a two state solution, a change from what was previously favored.

The problem is that the present rulers, both in Israel and Palestine, seemingly want a one state solution, their own state- all Israel or all Palestine. So the rest of the world will have to impose a two state solution on them.

Part of that imposition is to define right and wrong. The members of this forum are quite good at words and definitions and that is why I am solicitating your opinions.

Using the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, we can define offense or invasion versus defense, and we can define terrorists versus freedom fighters.

On this basis, the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are an invasion of Palestine. It is clear that they will have to go in a two state solution, even though one of the significant reasons they were allowed by the Israeli government is that they protect Israel- not all of them, but most of them are quite strategic in their location. My suggestion is that the Israeli settlers themselves, family by family, turn their residences over to Palestinian refugees, thereby partially solving the right of return problem. But that is a reach.

So in a two state solution it is clear who the invaders are.

WE may also distinguish between terrorists and freedom fighters. You are a freedom fighter if you are fighting an invading force on your own land, especially if the government in your land supports you. If you go to another country and do the same thing you are a terrorist. So the recent killings in the Israeli settlement would have to be excused on this logical basis even though women and children were killed. But the suicide bombers in Israel proper must be condemned.

This distinction is important because even after a two state political solution is implemented, Hammas and like groups who are fundamentally against peace will continue to try to prevent a peaceful solution.

Hammas was the reason that the Oslo Accord did not get implemented in 1993. They upped the terrorist activity until the Israelis voted in a right wing government that reversed the unsettling of the settlements in the West Bank. Since then the settlements have more than doubled in size and numbers.

So I think that it is important for world opinion to recognize that the Israeli settlements are in effect an invasion force of civilians: men, women and children. The alternative is continued warfare and the perhaps remote possibility of WWIII.

Is this logical? Have I missed something that would prevent this from becoming an eventuality, regardless of what people think right now. My point is that if the two state solution is the only possibility, then identifying who the terrorists are and who the invaders are will hasten that eventuality.

What do you think? Lets get a diversity if opinion.



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