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Customer Review

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is easy to be for perfection, July 27, 2011
This review is from: Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine (Hardcover)
Were I a father of a son killed by those who would destroy Israel, I would have a distinct dislike of David Shulman. Being for peace is easy...when one is only working on one side of the problem. Shulman, smart, capable and with a big heart does not however take his message to the other side. Doubtlessly, the actions he described happened..but, we only get to see it through his eyes. He speaks continuously of TERROR caused by the Israeli's...but, I've no idea what he means when he uses the word. I see babies crumbled, women and children destroyed, innocents slaughtered. Shulman sees mistreatment. He does his adopted country a disservice. He has it anytime he wants, he puts himself and his family on a jet leaving Tel Aviv and lands with is sense of moral superiority intact, in Iowa. To actually test his thesis of peace, I'd suggest he take the idea to the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas and work out a deal whereby Israel, with ANY borders, has the sworn legal support of the Arab states or political entities to the existence of Israel as a state. What we know is the hundreds of millions of Arabs are determined to see to it that Israel and all its Jews are destroyed. Period. Negotiation means nothing when there isn't any kind of a middle ground to be reached. How does anyone negotiate with people what want the state and all of its inhabitants destroyed. Shulman would be dead in a few moments after crossing...well, maybe not...he is a great propagandist for the Arabs.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 8, 2011 5:33:38 PM PDT
1. The PA is clear it will accept Israel; Hamas has also has indicated diplomatically a willingness to compromise and to withdraw it's traditional opposition to Israel's existence. It ought to be perfectly obvious at this point that a negotiated settlement resulting in a sovereign Palestine co-existing with Israel would be enthusiastically endorsed by the entire Arab world.
2. Israeli terrorism against Palestinians has always, always, always, killed and wounded vastly more innocent Palestinians than Palestinian terrorism has inflicted against innocent Israelis. All terrorism is entirely wrong; it's incumbent on Israel, which hides behind claims of "democracy" but is militarily far more powerful than the people it attacks, to stop its terrorist attacks against the civilians populations of its enemies.
3. What is Israel's goal in all this? Do they want peace? If they could get anything they wanted from the Palestinians, what would they want? Would they accept the West Bank and Gaza as a Palestinian state if the Palestinians accepted Israel, gave up E. Jerusalem and gave up whatever other claims they currently have? If so, does that mean Israel would evacuate all the settlers back into Israel? It makes no sense. Or is Israel only willing to accept a Palestine with a map carved up into swiss cheese, riddled with permanent annexed settlements? How could such a thing ever be possible?
So, what does Israel actually want? It appears it is nothing less than the complete annihilation or enslavement of the Palestinian population in a single greater Israel. Is that not the case? If not, then what?

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 5:54:17 PM PDT
DKB says:
Suggest the author of this review might benefit from a reading of Avi Shlaim's recent book,Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations to update his understanding of the history of the two opponents. The review shows a strong grasp of the simple minded views that are widespread in the U.S. but not much sense of what has actually transpired.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 7:36:19 AM PDT
JerryJeweler says:
1. Most honest Arabs freely admit that any land concessions that they get from Israel are mere stepping stones in their eventual goal of eliminating Israel (which is the state goal in the very charters of some of these groups). What concessions do the Arabs ever make? None. If someone repeatedly tries to shoot you dead but you somehow succeed in wresting the gun away from them each time do you then simply keep handing it back to them? A return to pre-1967 borders would make Israel totally indefensible to those who vow to destroy it, and live for that purpose, raise their children to make that their purpose, and bestow hero worship, monetary rewards, etc on those who succeed in killing a Jew.
2. I hardly think that citing imbalanced numbers of those killed or injured determines anything at all - except who has military superiority. If Hamas is inept at aiming its rockets is Israel at fault for that? Or at fault because it is more effective at knocking out this threat? And please don't give me the children/civilian argument because while Hamas targets such people, Israel tries to avoid hitting anything but Hamas targets - but of course when you use your women & children as shields....The numbers have more to do with how many provocations there are that need to be dealt with. You reap what you sow. Is Israel supposed to apologize because more balanced numbers of its citizenry have not been killed. For being more planful, strategic, resourceful. etc.?
3. Israel's goal is peace. If its goal was to eliminate Arabs why would it allow Arabs to live in Israel as equal citizens? If there were no threats, not terrorism, no violence there would be no walls, no checkpoints, etc. But one thing I would acknowledge, in all fairness, is that Israeli settlers must be prevented or dealt with if they tread on the rights, properties, and livelihood of innocent, peaceful Palestinians

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 7:39:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2013 7:45:18 PM PDT
1. "Honest Arabs"? Who are you talking about? Can you give some specific examples of "honest Arabs" who say this? And how on earth would the 1967 borders make Israel, with the most powerful military force in the Middle East, "totally indefensible"?
2. This argument is completely incoherent. You seem to be saying Israel kills such great numbers of innocent Palestinians because they are so incredibly superior militarily and always strive never to kill innocent people. But normally one would expect military and moral superiority to result in fewer deaths of innocent people, not more. And the claim that Israel doesn't target innocent civilians has been debunked many times. It's complete baloney. The Israeli government has long practiced a policy of "collective punishment" against Palestinians for the crimes of small numbers of violent militants.
3. "Israel's goal is peace." That ignores the question I asked by replacing a real political answer with a vague generality. Sure, everyone wants "peace"; the issue is, what does that actually mean? In other words, if Israel really wants a peaceful Palestine, what do they envision that looking like? What kind of borders? What does Israel want to happen to the settlements in the West Bank? Can Israel envision a Palestine that controls its own borders? Etc. And thanks for acknowledging that settlers don't have the right to treat peaceful Palestinians the way they do -- but do you think the settlers have the right to continue stealing land from innocent Palestinians? How about the discrimination faced by Israeli Arabs?

On a personal note: for many years I knew nothing about the Israel/Palestine conflict. It was confusing and I ignored it, but I always opposed terrorism, so I assumed Israel's policies were probably essentially sound. I changed my mind only a few years ago when I decided to begin reading seriously about the issue, and I read arguments and counter-arguments from both sides, and I tried as hard as I could to be objective. I concluded that, although both sides are in many ways morally bankrupt, the central claims of mainstream advocates for Palestine are essentially correct. In my experience, most people who advocate for Israel's policies have never taken the arguments of Palestinians seriously -- they tend to assume it's all propaganda, and they ignore or discount the possibility that the Israeli government itself engages is profoundly deceptive propaganda. This in turn is backed up by powerful memories of Holocaust history and the promise of Israel in its founding. But for me, sympathetic as I am to keeping alive the memory of the historic persecution of Jews, the truth about Palestine is that the state of Israel has become the victimizer. As more and more Israelis themselves are saying (including former heads of Israeli intelligence), current policies threaten not just Palestinians but the safety of Israel itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 8:21:56 PM PDT
You know very little about the history of the land or how it is that Israel happens to be a state the Palestinians do not (yet) have one (because they wouldn't accept one much larger than Israel. You shouldn't be concerned about keeping alive the memory of the historic persecution of should be concerned about not supporting the intended end of the Islamic States in the ME which is the complete and utter destruction of Jews and Israel. If your readings have not revealed that simple fact, back to the library or google search with you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 8:30:09 PM PDT
Will you supply the information supporting your statements about the PA accepting the State of Israel? Would you likewise do the same with your statement about Hamas and it's position? Can you tell us with whom Israel should negotiate other than those with whom they have negotiated? Who will negotiate with them if the only conclusion is that Israel has a right to exist as a state? Jordan did and Sadat did and paid with his life but were it not for the $2 Billion we give to the Egyptians (read Army and now Muslim Brotherhood), no such agreement would be in force. NO other country there has ever agreed to Israel's right to exist. They have all sworn to support only the eradication of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. It has never been different and it will never be different. It is based on Koranic passages, the final revealed word of God, and numerous Hadiths with one of them having Muhammed say on his deathbed that in Arabia, no religion other than Islam.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 8:36:50 PM PDT
Have you read The Jew Is Not My Enemy by Tarek Fatah? You might enjoy the enlightenment. I'm sure there have been evil deeds committed by Israeli's. I think that happens in a long war with wanton killing of civilians taking place by Arab terrorists. It seems revealing to me however that there is a large population of Arabs living as citizens in Israel and haing elected representatives in the Knesset. I don't see any effort by Israeli Arabs to flee the country and move to any neighboring country who would love to have them and the money they'd bring.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2013 9:31:46 PM PDT
The PA -- in the UN resolution proposed by the PA's UN representative, in which the UN recognized Palestine's statehood status, one can read this: The General Assembly "affirms its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the vision of two States: an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel on the basis of the pre-1967 borders."

Hamas -- The section on Hamas' attitude in the "Hamas" wikipedia article is interesting and shows the complexity of the question. But it is surely impossible to avoid concluding that Hamas has softened its attitude in recent years and is now explicitly committed to allowing Palestine's attitude towards Israel to be determined by the Palestinians. They've also moved from refusing any compromise with Israel to allowing a "temporary" twenty-year peace agreement. I find it difficult to conceive that they could live in peace for two decades, then suddenly change and launch a new war. Some in their leadership have also said their Charter's stated goal of eliminating Israel doesn't represent their current policy position. Obviously there's a lot that's still very bad with Hamas, but they are not as bad as they used to be.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt supports the Camp David peace agreement.

It is not difficult to find evidence of the commitment of various countries in the Middle East (e.g., Jordan, Saudi Arabia) to peace with Israel. You only have to look for it. Basically, if a country in the Middle East is a U.S. ally, they're going to be willing to compromise with Israel on pragmatic grounds.

Thanks for recommending Tarek Fatah; he sounds like an interesting writer. I just read about him in wikipedia. It's interesting that you attribute Muslim hatred of Israel to the Koran and Muhammad, while Fatah apparently rejects that idea. I'm skeptical of his claims about the extent of extremism within Islam, but I should hear him out. Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2013 3:45:57 PM PDT
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