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May 01, 2002
Historical Background in Israel and Palestine

Brett Thomas over at McFreedom has an excellent analysis of the real issues (outside of the religious and anti-Semitic ones) of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This question was formulated over beers and burritos as Brett and I had a meal after coming back from some trap shooting.

I had stated - by pulling it out of my *ahem* - that I thought the situation was that Israeli settlement was on a practical level an exceedingly dumb long term strategy in the Gaza Strip particularly. However, I doubted that Israel was doing anything dramatically different than what the US did to Indian land in the 19th century. The property rights seem to both of us to matter and Brett found some answers that tend to support that what the settlers are doing is not exactly morally wrong. A fundamental difference is that unlike the US in the Indian Wars, this land was taken in a defensive war and still didn't belong to any individual.

From a realpolitik point of view Israeli settlement is a really dumb idea though. Every time I think about it I remember the 60 minutes piece on the beginning of this Intifada and the killing of the first Palestinian boy to get major coverage this time around. Something like 7 stucco monsters were guarded by a detachment of IDF that had to fly in the bread on Black Hawk helicopters and the Israelis living there saw nothing wrong. Even though it was only a year or so ago it has been a long time...

I also tend to agree with Brett about the rights of return as well.

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