Over at Tightly Wound I got involved in a discussion of the joke that is the International Court of Justice. Because of the recent ruling the discussion naturally evolved toward the justice of Israel’s security wall. In that discussion, Andrew Riddles asked me
I agree with what you say about selective enforcement. That is my point. That the US supports the invasion of Iran by Iraq, but not of Kuwait doesn’t make either right. The lack of opposition to China’s invasion of Tibet doesn’t make it correct either.
As to your second question. Jordan stated on 31st July 1988 (I was in the ocuupied territotiries that day) when it relinquished claim to the West Bank and Jerusalem that that it was doing so in order to recognise the PLO’s right to form an independent Palestine. Now I am not saying Jordan, after 19 years of occupying the land itself, losing it in a war and then doing nothing to help the Palestinians get it back had any right to the land, to any opinion what happened to it or to try to enforce moral right, as a what was basically an abslute monarchy.
But the Palestinians have a right to self-determination. So the land should go to them. Most Palestinians and Israelis have come to terms with the notion of splitting the land a la the UN 1947 plan (but with the 1949 ceasefire lines).
What do you think should happen?
Presumably if the Palestinians have no right to a free independent state then none of us do.
Of course, the USA didn’t support the invasion of Iran by Iraq. Later, after the war was already well underway, the USA provided some minor help to Iraq in the hope that both odious regimes would exhaust themselves and not be quite so dangerous to the rest of the world afterwards. Most of the funding for the war on the Iraqi side was from the rest of Arabia (doesn’t anyone remember that one of the primary reasons for the later invasion of Kuwait was to cancel Iraq’s $14B debt to Kuwait for the Iran/Iraq war?) and military equipment from Russia, France and China. Unlike the EU, some nations have reasons that don’t revolve around the USA.
As for Jordan giving up claims to the West Bank, why didn’t they do that in 1964 when the PLO was formed, instead of only after the territory was lost? Color me cynical on that one (and I’m sure that Jordan would be just as happy to have Palestinian state on its border as Turkey would be to have a Kurdish one — see Black September for why). We also have to look at the fact that the concept of a “Palestinian” people (in who’s name Riddles is claiming self-determination) is an invention designed for two purposes:
The Palestinian nation didn’t exist until Israel had won a couple of wars - until then they were just Egyptians and Jordanians (if even that and not just Arabs). I don’t see it as unreasonable to revert them to that state. Sadly, the fiction has probably gone on too long to do that.
To answer Riddles’ question about what I think should happen, I believe that Israel should continue to build its wall. If the never-existed Palestinian state loses territory, so be it — that’s what happens when a state starts a war and loses. It’s a good discentive to start wars and given the propensity for violence from the Palestinians and their leadership every discentive helps.
What I’d like Riddles to answer is, if there were an independent Palestinian state on the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza and it attacked Israel, what should Israel do in response? Fight up to the 1949 borders, stop and wait for the next invasion? If not, how would that be any different than the situation today?