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Vision of Hope
file under: vision of hopeTurkeySyrian SpringMiddle East PeaceHamasArab Spring 11 Aug 2011 3:58 PM
Are Turkey and Israel Kissing Cousins Again? Posted by Nissim Dahan


Relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained to the breaking point, ever since nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara tried to run Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, and were killed by Israeli naval commandos in May of last year. In the years preceding this incident, relations between the two countries were relatively good, including strategic cooperation, tourism, economic cooperation, and the like. But since the Mavi Marmara affair, any attempt at rapprochement by Israel was met with; "apologize first," by Prime Minister Erdogan.


In light of this recent and contentious history, rumors that Turkey may be willing to help mediate the prisoner exchange by which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, now being held by Hamas militants, would be released, seemed too good to be true. Why, in the face of such strong positions taken by Turkey, would Prime Minister Erdogan even consider helping Israel secure the release of her soldier, Gilad Shalit?


The answer may well be the "Arab Spring," or more specifically the "Syrian Spring." The turmoil in the Arab world is plain to see, and is most vividly brought home by the relentless killing of demonstrators in both Libya and Syria. Particularly in Syria, the killing spree by the government seems to know no bounds, and is affecting Turkey directly by the swell of refugees crossing over the border.


There is little doubt that Turkish attitudes have changed, as the current harsh realities of the Arab street are factored in. And in fact, as Turkey searches for some measure of stability in the region, is it a wonder that she may look to Israeli in that regard? The ups and downs of Israeli/Turkish relations may well pale by comparison, as compared to the existential threats posed by the "Syrian Spring," with its widespread and far reaching implications for the region as a whole. In short, a strategic partnership with Israel may be a bitter pill to swallow, but may also be the right medicine at the right time.


Rumors have it that we will soon see: the appointment of new ambassadors to Tel Aviv and Ankara, a renewal of a strategic partnership between the two countries, an Israeli apology for last year's flotilla fiasco, and official confirmation of the Turkish mediation efforts in the Shalit affair. Much of the progress in this regard has been fostered and encouraged by President Obama and his administration, which is trying to bridge the divide between Washington and Ankara, and which sees a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey as indispensable in this regard.


If it is true that the "Syrian Spring" has played a significant role in bringing Turkey and Israel closer together, then this has widespread implications for the region as a whole. There is no doubt that the history of the Middle East is replete with enmity between Israel and much of the Arab world. Rightly or wrongly, and I believe wrongly, Israel and the U.S. have been blamed for much that has gone wrong in that troubled region.


However, the "Arab Spring" may have ushered in a new day, a turning point of sorts. Whereas in the past, Israel and the U.S. have served as convenient scapegoats, as a way of diverting attention away from the inadequacy of corrupt and oppressive leadership, today, in light of new realities on the Arab street, Israel and the U.S. may better serve as friends in need, as  partners who may be of help in averting existential threats, and helping to usher in a new age in the Middle East, based on a Vision of Hope for the region, a vision of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom.


It would be quite ironic indeed if all this came to pass, but no less ironic than some of the other craziness that takes place on a daily basis in this mysterious place we call the Middle East.

Comments (36)Add Comment
Written by Moshe on Mideast Youth.Com
written by Nissim Dahan, August 12, 2011
Wrong, nothing good will come from Turkey in the future. They just want the Arab world to see how they twisted Israel’s arm so they will get more respect. Please note there will be no trust from either side in the future. Turkey’s Muslim direction will make things worse.
Written by Mark on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 12, 2011
Yes they are .Israel knows that Turkey is must kept friend in the area, they share smae security concerns, and Turkey knows the power of Israel in US congres, but Israel will have to opologize and pay fr the families of the victims, once that clear and gone Turks and Jews wil be what they used to be for ,ore than 1,500 years friends and Jews always had a home to go to when going got thuff for them, was Turkey, Turkey was home to man Jews like my family escaped the killing by Greeks in Tseloniki in Greece only 10,000 Jews survived that massacare inculuding my grandmothers, Turks were good to Jews and we should be good to Turks ,history is the proff
Written by Ahmed Zidan on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 12, 2011

Always optimist Mr. Nissim. So do I!

Syrian massacres are horrible indeed. Peace in the region could be an impossibility if Islamists reached to power either in Egypt or Tunisia. But we can still push for reforms anyway.

Turkey’s interests are with Israel, not with Arabs, and it’s very understandable why does she want to mediate. To everyone his interests, and this is the rule of the game.
Good Points
written by Nissim Dahan, August 12, 2011
Moshe, there is no doubt, as you suggest, that an apology from Israel would be a feather in Erodogan’s hat. He could say to the Arab world that he made Israel bend.

However, don’t you think that Netanyahu and his government could see through that? In other words, why would they play along if they have nothing to gain?

My guess is, and it’s only a guess, that Israel may well agree to this aplogy, this concession, because she calculates that the net result, in terms of a better relationship with Turkey, would be worth it, in the long run, for her strategic and economic interests.

And that’s exactly the point. Sure, people need their pride, and may want to score points in this endless game of diplomacy. However, what is even more important is to find common ground based on mutual self-interest, and to build on that with models that have people making money together, and providing security for one another. This ultimate result, by which people are tied together in this manner, is more important than saving face by refusing to aplogize, or to admit that something may not have gone well in the past.

And Mark, I appreciate your comment, and your personal experience that Turkey did provide a safe haven for Jews at differnt times in the past. I would even venture to say that throughout Jewish history there were many times when Jews found safe haven, and even more, in parts of the Muslim world, and even in the Arab world.

This may be a time when Jews could perhaps return the favor. Israel is in a unique position to be able to help to provide some measure of security in the region, and to help revitalize the region with good paying jobs. This may be a time when the Arab world could benefit immensely from such help, especially given the demands of the man on the street for jobs and personal freedoms.

The grand bargain, if you will, would be to use Arab capital and knowhow, along with Israel and U.S. knowhow, to form a strategic/economic alliance, with two purposes in mind: to provide security against the forces of extremism, and to revitalize the region with good paying jobs: jobs which grow our economies, jobs which protect the environment, and jobs which weaken the hold of extremist thinking.

What would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago, may be possible today, not because people love one another, not because they want peace, not because they are good, no, none of that crap, but because some of the key players in the region are worried about the same existential threats, and may actually need one another, for a change, to stave off these very common threats.

And Ahmed, I agree with you that the extremists pose a threat to the possibility of peace. That why you have to come up with models that work even if the extremists take over. If your model is based on job creation, then it may work, even if the extremists come to power, because they too will have to create jobs, especially if job growth begins to take place in other places, and in order to create jobs, even the extremists may have no choice but to play nice.

So, for example, if there are plans afoot to build a Green Industrial Zone in Raffa, which is in Gaza, which will create 250,000 jobs, then Hamas may agree to some sort of an arrangement with Israel, ot because it loves Israel, God forbid, but because it has no choice but to go along with job creation in order to consolidate its hold on political power.
written by GABE1, August 12, 2011
For the record, let me tell you that relations with Turkey soured after Davos when Erdogan walked out on the speech by Peres and when Turkey dressed down Israel after Cast Lead.

Can this be repaired, I say no. They may patch it up to some extent but the good old days of co-operation are gone. With the sacking and/or resignations of the top brass of the Turkish Armed forces it takes away any Israeli incentive to trust the Turks.

Turkey negotiated on behalf of Syria previously and was not an honest broker even then. They are on good terms with Hamas but will not do any better than the Germans and in fact may do quite worse as they are in bed with Hamas and have warm relations with Iran.

Ergogan is an islamist and sees an opportunity here, but an apology would be the stupidest thing Israel would do and other than Barak no one is even taking it seriously.

Israelis are no longer flocking to Turkey and that is hurting their economy. Let them apologize and stop with their threats. For Israel that may be a blessing as they can cultivate ties with Europe in the form of Greece and Cyprus and Armenia and other countries.
You May Be Right
written by Nissim Dahan, August 13, 2011
The rumors started in early July when Israel's channel 2 TV political commentator, Amnon Abramovitch, claimed that the release of Gilad Shalit was now being negotiated by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

Of course, these are still rumors since there is no official confirmation, however, neither side has denied these rumors as yet.

If it turns out that there is some measure of truth to these rumors then I think it is significant, because it may be a harbinger of things to come, in the sense that previous hard-line leaders are coming to the realization that some sort of accomodation with Israel is in their best interest.

The tricky part is that many of these leaders, like Erdogan, are walking on egg shells. In a very real sense, they are catering to several very diverse factions at the same time. Therefore, in an effort to try to please everyone, and to remain in power, they will say and do things, at different times, which are contradictory in tone and content.

So Erdogan, and the Saudis for that matter, may try to appease the extremists by railing against Israel, while at the same time trying to broker back channel understandings with her. For example, and I find this hard to believe, I've heard recently that there may even be an Israeli military base in Saudi Arabia. I can't confirm this, but if it's true, it certainly speaks of a dual approach to diplomacy: condemning Israel on the one hand, to appease extremists, and working with her on security on the other.

In terms of Hamas, I can imagine the same sense of duality coming to play. Until now they have needed Israel as an enemy to stir the passions of the people, in an effort to conslidate their hold on power. However, should Hamas decided to support job creation, as demanded by their people, then they may look to Israel as a partner, even as they rail against her.
written by Nissim Dahan, August 13, 2011
Written by Levo on Mideast

Plain and simple truth is Radical Zionist Israel is the “World’s Premier Terrorist State”!!! … After all it was neither Syria nor Iran who recently murdered ten unarmed Civilian Activists in International Waters and still insists on getting away with ‘innocent’s blood’ in her hands … it is America’s ultimate ‘Welfare State’ of delusional Zionist Israel!
You're Way Off Base My Friend
written by Nissim Dahan, August 13, 2011
Levo, look at your numbers.

You claim that Israel murdered ten unarmed civilian activists, even though video footage showed that they were armed, and that they violently attacked a soldier who attempted to board the ship.

What about the thousands of innocent civilians who are being killed in Syria even as we speak? What about the thousands who have been killed or injured or imprisoned in Iran?

Even if you just judge by shear numbers, then Israel is not the “World’s Premier Terrorist State”

Terror is when you set out intentionally to kill civilians. It is not terror when you defend yourself, and as a result innocent people get killed.

Even Gladstone himself, who initially concluded that Israel intentionally targeted civilians in Gaza, came to the recent conclusion that he had made a mistake, and that Israel went out of its way to avoid civilian casualties.

A British officer who witenessed that battle in Gaza testified to the UN that in the annals of military history he had never seen a greater effort by a nation to avoid civilian casualties.

As to being “America’s ultimate Welfare State” I would beg to differ as well. It is true that Israel gets U.S. military and economic assistance, as does Egypt, based on the Oslo Accords. However, welfare has nothing to do with it. These monies were allocated in an effort to close the peace deal between Israel and Egypt, and continue to this day because Americans feel a sense of shared values with Israel, and feel as well that the investment in Israel is worthwhile because America benefits from the strategic and other cooperation between Israel and the U.S. In other words, there is nothing to force America to make these investments if the American people believed that it was no longer in their best interest to do so. It’s not about welfare. It’s about a stratgic investment in a nation that you consider a friend.
Written by Levo on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 13, 2011
To: Dahan … More of the ‘usual Zionist Denialist arguments’? … Had it not been for the Zionist lobbies’ money in WDC politicians’ pockets the Megalomaniac Microscopic State of Israel would long have been cut off from the $ 3 Billion of American taxpayer’s hard-earned Dollars! Microscopic Israel is clearly a “Parasitcal Entity” which has already been declared as America’s #1 ‘Liability” and an increasingly larger numbers of US citizenry are beginning to take heed that much of the Anti-American Sentiment in the World is due to Zionist Manipulation of US Foreign Policy. Therefore soon enough the tiny “Murderous Zionist Entity” shall be left alone to its own devices at which time the Israeli electorate keen on electing one Religio-fascist Zionist War Criminal Administration after another are likely to line up outside of European Embassies for exit visas back to where they originally came from. Racist Zionism is detrimental not only to Israel’s neighbours but to her very own existence as well. For the time being a much belated apology or not the Terrorist Israel lost their most steadfast friend (now an ex-friend at best); Turkey for good. The Turks had helped Jewish people in need throughout human history since long before the US existed. However it is now over as the Zionist Lunatics in charge of Israel lost antagonized all Turks Secular and Pious alike … the biggest nail in Suicidal Lunatic Israel’s coffin by far up to now!
The Key to a Better Future
written by Nissim Dahan, August 14, 2011

I just saw a movie, Sarah’s Key, which tells the story of a young Jewish French girl who locked her brother in a closet, to protect him, just as she and her family were rounded up in Paris, and sent off to the concentration camps during World War II. She kept the key to the closet, and was worried to death as to whether her brother was able to let himself out. I don’t want to spoil the movie. An excellent film, well worth seeing.

Levo, you say that the Turks had a long history of helping the Jews. I do appreciate it, and thank them for that. But you see, after 2000 years of persecution, culminating in the Holocaust, Jews prefer not to have to depend on others to save them. Can you really blame them?

And that’s where Israel comes to play. Israel is a safe haven for the Jews, no matter what befalls them, and Israelis aim to keep it that way.

You say that Israel is “racist.” But if she is racist, she has a funny way of showing it. You would think that as a racist country, Israel would no allow Palestinian Arabs to become citizens. But they are citizens, and comprise 20% of Israel. You would think that Israel would not allow them to hold positions of power. But they serve on the Supreme Court and in the Kenesset. You would think that they would not be allowed all the personal freedoms that are given to Jewish Israelis. But in fact, Arabs are allowed to protest against the government, to assemble, and to organize themselves politically.

And in fact, Israeli Arabs enjoy a higher standard of living and more freedoms than any other Arabs in the Middle East. How do we explain that such is the case in a racist country?

Is there some measure of discrimination against Israeli Arabs? Yes. But show me a country where there is no discrimination. That is a goal we should all strive for. But discrimintion, in and of itself, does not make Israel a “Murderous Zionist Entity as you call her.

To be quite honest, I don’t see that scapegoating and demonizing Israel has gotten the Arab world very far. If you ask me, all this demonization is a diversionary tactic designed to divert attention from inadequate leadership, corruption, and oppression in the Arab world. It’s time for something new.

If you are honest with yourself, and if you visit Israel, and talk to the people there, instead of blindly railing against them, you will find that Israel has much to offer the Arab world. In fact, I would venture to say that Israel has precisely what the Arab world needs: a thriving economy, personal freedom, protection of minorities, the rule of law, equal rights for gays, equal rights for women, freedom of expression, democratic rule, etc., etc., etc.

Instead of demonizing Israel, how about partnering with her to reviatlize the Middle East with good paying jobs, and personal freedoms?

Yes, we have to find a way to bring justice to Palestinians. We have to bring into being a Palestinian State and to have the two states living side by side in peace. But it will not come by demonizing the Jewish state. All you’re doing when you do that is to set the clock back to the past. If you really want justice for Palestinians, it’s time to turn the page on the past, and to put in place a new model for the future. That will take imagination, and the courage to put some of our biases aside. But that’s the only way to move forward, and to break the chains of the past.
written by GABE1, August 14, 2011
It is never a time to "turn the page on the past" and especially when the deeds of the past are being repeated and in fact are intensifying with each Israeli concession. Peace cannot come as a result of appeasement through giving the Palestinians what is not and never was theirs.A nation that was formed simply to pressure Israel and not the British and Jordan into making Israel indefensible.

If the Arabs wanted a state, they could have had it in 1949 but they were more interested in annihilating Israel through invasion, they could have had a state 1949-1967 but they were more interested in annihilating Israel through terror. Israel gave them autonomy in 1993 and all they got in return was suicide bombings, Israel gave the Gaza and all they got in return were Qassams.

You still have that notion that if ONLY Israel forgets this past and current attempt to destroy her through terror, demonization and flooding by foreign Arabs than she will have peace.

All I can say to that is "PURE NONSENSE"

As for Turkey. Turkey is in competition with Iran in the leadership race of the Arabs and both have changed since the Shah and Erdogans win. They are both Islamists with their own interests in that venture. Their interests are proving to the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood that they are on their side and not as honest brokers.
In our quest to see things that are not there we just accept at face value any tidbit that we gather as being what is contrary to prevailing reality.

Written by Zvi on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 14, 2011
“Relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained to the breaking point, ever since nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara tried to run Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and were killed by Israeli naval commandos in May of last year.”

This is not correct.

Relations were strained to the breaking point long before that, when the Turkish government supported the terrorist organization Hamas, cuddled up to Syria and Iran, supported Hezbollah, attacked Jews in state-sponsored blood libels, ran blood-soaked television programs in which Israeli Jews were depicted as malevolent and evil. Erdogan’s very public tantrum against Israeli President Peres at the WEF, coupled with Turkey’s accusations that Israel committed war crimes, were not at all the actions of a friend, nor was Turkey’s last-minute withdrawal from previously scheduled joint US-Israel-Turkey military training activities and other cooperative ventures. The Mavi M incident, itself, would never have happened had the Turkish government not facilitated the participation of IHH members bent on seeking martyrdom and slaughtering Israelis.

The fact that Israel has tried desperately to ignore the obvious – and has agreed to the continued suppression of a UN report on the incident that is highly critical of Turkey’s role in the Mavi M events – does not make the obvious any less true. Relations were strained to the breaking point long before; the only difference is that Israel had wanted to retain these relations, while Erdogan’s government patently wanted to destroy them.

The Turkish side had already hamstrung the relationship with Israel long before the Mavi M incident and was taking advantage of every excuse to further put it behind them, because the AK Party patently believed in a neo-Ottoman future that required Turkey to assume a leadership position in the strongly anti-Israel Arab world.

Yes, the new friends that Turkey chose have turned out to be mass murderers, but never mind. Over the last few years, Erdogan’s AK Party has become emotionally invested in savaging Israel that it feels no inclination to return to the friend that it stabbed in the back.

Mr. Dahum –

Writers (you are not alone in this regard) inevitably describe the Mavi M incident as having brought Israel-Turkey relations close to the breaking point. But this description places all blame for the state of affairs on Israel and ignores the increasingly virulent anti-Israel behavior displayed by the Turkish government during the several years leading up to that incident. It is not fair to place the blame on Israel, either explicitly or by framing the discussion in a context that ignores everything that Turkey did in advance of the incident.

I ask that you, and other writers who discuss this topic, please avoid framing the incident as the cause of the break between the two countries.


- Zvi
Written by Levo on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 14, 2011
Regardless of more ‘Zionist Denialism’ the Microscopic Terrorist Criminal Welfare State of Israel with only ‘halft the population of Istanbul’ shall issue a belated apology for her unblatanat murderous behavior after which the Turks Secular and Pious shall decide whether to accept the apology or NOT!!! In all likelihood the apology shall be rejected by the bulk of the Turkish Society as the Murderous Criminal Zionists cannot bring back the wilfully premeditatedly assasinated unarmed gang of Civilian Activists.

Turkey’s Foreign Policy prerogatives are none of tiny Israel’s business as nobody in Turkey cares what a handful of spoiled Israelis surviving on American goodwill and financial hand-outs think.

Turkey is the World’s 16th biggest economy with the fastest developing GDP on the planet and certainly does not need the headache of the ME as an ally. Iran and Syria are ‘trading partners’ both of whom are far more legitimate in the public opinion.

Turkey aims to increase the trade volume up to $ 0 Billion with Iran and likewise trade with the rest of the ME is of great economic benefit to Turkish Companies. Of course since the intransigent Parasitical Zionist State is a US ‘Welfare Recipient’ utterly incapable of survival on her own this may not be uncderstood by awoved oner track-minded crown with the ‘God’s Chosen Complex’.

As for relations since the Powerhouse Turkey, having exported $ Billion in Military Equipment last year to other countries, has ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for Israel it is the latter who will suck up to Ankara or get left behind as the most isolated ‘toy state’ in the ME.

w/o Corrective Action the new ambassador to Ankara form the Terrorist Israel shall in all likelihood be rejected which will leave the Religio-Fascist Israel all alone with her feeble attempt at survival.

Zvi’s inexplicable argument is proof enough that the Zionist State is the greatest threat to peace in the ME if not the entire World as she is totally Morally Bancrupt. The rest of the World already condemned the Zionist Entity for the multiple murders of unarmed Activists in International Waters.

One always reaps what one sows! … it is already ‘too late’ for apologies at this point.
Some Good Points, and Some that are Off the Wall
written by Nissim Dahan, August 14, 2011
Zvi, thank you for your clarifications.

I do agree with you that relations between Turkey and Israel began to deteriorate long before the Mavi Marmara incident. Turkey took a progressively hard line against Israel, in contrast to the relatively good relations that preceded that hard line.

What I was trying to suggest is that the Mavi incident, it seemed to me, was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. In other words, it worsened an already bad diplomatic situation between these two nations.

And I would agree that Turkey, in taking such a hard line against Israel, was perhaps trying to bolster its credentials for taking leadership in the Arab world. I would add as well that Erdogan’s hard line against Israel was directly related to his attempt to consolidate political power among his base supporters.

So it may well be, that even though there were benefits emanating from the period of good relations between these two nations, those benefits could not outweigh the political considerations that were at play, and therefore, it became expedient for Erdogan to dump Israel.

Let’s assume all this is true. However, as you also suggest, the newly found friends of Turkey, such as Iran and Syria, burned out to be “mass murderers” as you call them. I would ask you, Zvi: Is it possible, that in light of the chaos on the street, the the mass killings that are taking place even as we speak, is it possible that Turkey may well rethink its strategic positions, and opt to partner with Israel once again, as a way of bringing to the fore the benefits that Israel could offer, in terms of strategic and economic cooperation?

It’s just a thought. I’m not saying it’s absolutely the case. I’m saying that it may well be possible that a monkey wrench has been thrown into the works, and what made sense before, no longer does.

And Levo, if I were more of an artist, I’d draw pictures ofthe things you have to say, because in a real sense, you make a caricature of yourself. You come off as an extremist cartoon of some sort.

When you say that Iran and Syria are more legitimate in the eyes of the people, you really show your trues colors. Syria’s government is killing thousands of innocent, unarmed protesters, and you call her “legitimate?” Are you serious? At least Israel was defending herself against an armed and violent mob which was in the process of attacking a soldier. What excuse does Syria and Iran have?

You are so one sided in your approach, that you cancel whatever legitimate points you may have. And as far as Israel’s “…feeble attempt at survival…” I think that Israel has proved herself much more capable of surviving than that.
Leave a Comment
It's Hard to Argue With Some of Gabe's Points
written by Nissim Dahan, August 14, 2011
Gabe, you make some valid points, but I don't see anything in what you say that totally nullifies the possibility that under the right circumstances, opportunities may arise for new strategic alliances to be formed, which could benefit Israel and those who choose to partner with her.

You say, for example, that Palestinians in particular, and the Arab world in general, could have had a Palestinian state long ago, but chose instead to forgo that in favor of trying to destroy the Jewish state.

That is true. The UN proposed a partition plan before Israel came into being. Israel accepted. And the Arabs said no.

In the year 2000, Barak and Clinton put a proposal on the table which came close to meeting most Palestinian demands. Arafat said no, and launched the second Intifada.

I understand as well that Abbas and Olmert came very clost to closing a deal, but once again the answer was "no."

The question is: Are there today, new conditions on the ground, which make the likelihood of a deal more likely? Or another way to think of it, could we be doing something now, which we are not doing, which would put us in a better position to take advantage of an opportunity for peace, even if that opportunity has not as yet made itself known?

Gabe, I am not really shooting for a peace deal at this moment. I think the sides are too far apart. However, I do believe that a model could be put in place, which would better condition people for the possibility of peace.

As for Iran and Turkey, I understand that they are competing for a leadership role in the Arab world, and that as part of that competition, they may be inclined to appease extremist forces such as Hamas and the like.

However, while this may be the case, the question still remains: What can we be doing, that we're not doing, that will allow us to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise, in this competition that is taking place between Iran and Turkey.

In other words, it would be unrealistic to assume that these two will work together in peace and harmony as they set forth to take the region over. Therefore, if conflict between these two should arise, can something be done to take advantage of that, which would enhance Israel's standing in the Arab world, and in the world at large?
written by GABE1, August 15, 2011
Turkey is should be a valuable ally, but not at any cost.You have taken a position ,which I believe is untenable, just like your Vision of hope. Alliances shift and any nation that does not allow for that is ignorant and in the case of Israel, suicidal.

If it was not for both houses in the USA, the USA would be a enemy state if Obama got his way. France was once the main arms supplier and very close to Israel in Nuclear Power co-operation. Where is France now.When oil starts coming out of the ground in Israel ,you will see a strong alliance between Israel, China and India. PS. Did you know that the Defence minister of China is coming to Israel as a reciprocity.

So how can Israel make peace at this time or build bridges with the Arab world and the outside world. At this stage it is almost an impossibility because of the oil lobby. That will change slowly and Israel must toughen it out until than.

The Arabs must come to the conclusion that war, terror and deligimization do not pay and they must come to the realization that Israel is here to stay and will not be made to disappear through ,what Arafat (mhrih) , called the salami tactic. Get what you can now and than win the rest through war.

We must stop with the feel good solutions that in reality have no snowball chance in hell to succeed.Vision of Hope. apologies, appeasements have all proven to be anything but a path to peace. Lets not make the Arabs feel that they have a valid grievance, THEY DO NOT. UN242 does not even mention the Palestinians and Jordan was given 78% of Palestine already and Jordan is 70% Palestinian already and they do live in Palestine.

Dismantle the so called refugee camps, which are anything but, and let them provide for themselves like the rest of us and if they need help with living like human beings of the 20th century and let us help them. Until than ,I have no sympathy nor pity for their self imposed poverty.
written by GABE1, August 15, 2011
NO, I do not believe that there is any new development on the ground in the past 82 years and the "Arab Spring" has evaporated into a mirage. Talking about it in terms that are oh so glowing is simply not realistic. In fact it may yet turn into a disaster for Israel, for the USA and especially for Europe and the Arab monarchies.

Show me anything that is new in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq Libya Tunisia. Other than platitudes there is nothing to show for the butchery that has occurred and is occurring. Nothing new in the Arab world other than that.
Alliances Do Shift
written by Nissim Dahan, August 15, 2011
I would agree with you, Gabe, that alliances shift, and that your friends could easily become your enemies, if they conclude that it is in their self-interest to do so.

I would not go as far as calling Obama an enemy of Israel. However, I don't think he played his card well in the Middle East. Rather than building consensus, he tried to win the Arab world over by pressuring Israel. First it was the settlement construction, which had nothing to do with anything. And then it went downhill from there, as with building permits in East Jerusalem and the like.

If I say so myself, I believe that a Vision of Hope idea would have worked better for the Obama administration, which would have stressed the need to form a stragic/economic alliance between the Arab states, Israel and the U.S. for the purpose of providing security against extremist elements, and revitalizing the region with good paying jobs.

And it is true, as you say, that France was with Israel, and then turned its back on Israel, for the sake of oil, and for internal political consumption.

And yes, developing countries like China and India do seem to share a certain kinship with Israel, with regard to business, and perhaps, with regard to strategic matters. I am not surprised to learn that the Chinese defense minister is about to visit Israel.

As a side note, in recent months, my website has received a relatively large amount of hits from China and India, when such hits were a rarity in the years preceding the Arab Spring.

And I would agree that if Israel could become an energy producer, including a green energy producer and innovator, then this could change strategic alliances for the better.

However, the question still remains? Could we doing anything more to create conditions which open the door to the possibility of peace, prosperity and freedom?

I say yes. I say, put a model in place, a green industrial in a crazy place like Gaza, a project that will speak louder than words, that will attract worldwide attention, and additional investment dollars, so that the project could be replicated, eventually, throughout the Arab world, and throughout the world as a whole.

Yes, Gabe, the Arab Spring has not as yet brought positive results. Yes, it could well turn very ugly for Israel, and for the world as a whole. That is precisely why, at this point in time, you put a model in place which competes with the extremist agenda. If you don't do that, then don't complain when everything goes down hill. It went down hill because we didn't put anything in place that pointed in a positive direction.

No, we can't make peace now. No, we may not be able to build solid bridges at this point in time. But that doesn't mean we're paralized. We can still move. We can still think. And we owe it to oursleves to put something out there that makes sense, and that points us in the right direction.
Written by Levo on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
The “Terrorist Israeli Credentials” have been confirmed the World over and even 100% of S. American populations are ready to recognize the Palestinian State which the Delusional Zionists with the ‘God’s Chosen Complex’ is trying to eradicate !

Once again the Welfare State of the US cannot survive on her own without generous American hand-outs which may be coming to an end in a gradual fashion as the US is in deep economic turbulence.

Therefore the Murderous Zionist State should start pondering the feasibility of unlikely survival strategies without the unconditional US support. After all having massacered tens of thousands of Arabs and having disregarded the value of human life in the case of her neighbors EVERY one of Terrorist Zionist State’s neighbors hate her!!! The dumb Undeclared War Criminal Administration of Bibi Admin just added the region’s most powerful state Turkey to the antagonists list.

Do odds now appear like ‘Mission Impossible’?

There simply is a new Sherrif in town; Turkey with its assertive foreign policy that will only defy and disregard the miniscule intransigent Delusional Zionist State. Choices offered by Ankara in the long run are simply; A) SHAPE UP or B) SHIP OUT?
Written by Zvi on Mideast
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
Mr. Dahan

Thank you for your kind response.

You write, “Is it possible, that in light of the chaos on the street, the the mass killings that are taking place even as we speak, is it possible that Turkey may well rethink its strategic positions, and opt to partner with Israel once again, as a way of bringing to the fore the benefits that Israel could offer, in terms of strategic and economic cooperation?”

It is certainly a possibility. I believe it to be a very distant possibility, but far stranger things happen – with some frequency, it must be said – in the middle east.

In the meantime, Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean rivals and detractors have jumped at the chance to profit from Erdogan’s mistakes.

Thanks again for your thoughts.


You write, “Zvi’s inexplicable argument is proof enough that the Zionist State is the greatest threat to peace in the ME if not the entire World as she is totally Morally Bancrupt. The rest of the World already condemned the Zionist Entity for the multiple murders of unarmed Activists in International Waters.”

The only inexplicable argument here, habibi, is your own. I summarized the one-sided beating that the AKP insisted on giving Israel, and noted that Israeli leaders insisted, for the most part, on ignoring this beating in the name of friendship. Hardly an aggressive response! Israel’s response was more like the behavior of a battered spouse.

As for the “tens of thousands of Arabs,” you apparently have no clue how low the Arab-Israeli casualty figures really are. In all the wars with Israel, from 1948 onward, fewer than 20,000 Arabs have died. The vast majority of these were the soldiers of Arab armies and the fedayeen and Palestinian gunmen. The number of Israelis killed is even lower. The Arab casualties in the entire sixty-plus-year Arab-Israeli conflict are lower than the 28,030 Arab civilians killed in 2006 alone in Iraq, or the 30,000 Arab civilians that Assad’s father slaughtered in Hama. The casualties of the entire six-decade-plus Israel-Arab conflict are tiny when compared with the 300,000 people killed in Darfur, or the 111,668 people killed in Iraq, or the nearly 1,000,000 people killed in the Iran-Iraq War.

And during every single year from 1967 onward, the Palestinian population and average life expectancy has increased.

Thus, your crazed belief in Israeli slaughter of tens of thousands of Arab civilians is simply without basis.

As is your mind-boggling assertion that a gang of axe- and knife-wielding jihadis intent on beating to death Israelis armed only with paint guns is the “premeditated assassination of civilian activists.” I know, you repeat what you read. Don’t you ever challenge the anti-Israel propaganda at all?

So anyway, you are living in a dark fantasy. As for kicking Israel out of the middle east, the “Zionist Crimes,” the “Zionist Entity,” etc. – you must find reality to be very frustrating, because it keeps destroying your cherished hope that tiny Jewish Israel will be obliterated. If I thought that you could actually profit from discussion, I would go on. But you seem to be one of those die-hard Israel haters who filter everything they see through the lens of your hatred. May you somehow achieve greater wisdom. Some day.

What's All the Killing About?
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
Zvi, I posted this article several years ago, and it relates to your point that the Middle East conflict gets a disporportionate amount of attention, when you consider that most of the other conflicts around the world have produced a great more casualities.

The reason for this amount of attention, I believe, is that this conflict, in particular, serves the ulterior motives of a great many people outside the conflict itself, and therefore, they choose to focus on the conflict, and to twist the facts as they see fit, as needed to serve their own political purposes.

What’s All The Killing About? (may not be suitable for people of a human persuasion) Posted by Nissim Dahan

Daniel Pipes, a renowned analyst of the Middle East, just published a list compiled, in part, by Gunnar Heinsohn, showing how many people were killed, since 1950, in all the various conflicts around the world. His point was that the Arab-Israeli conflict gets undo attention because it ranks only 49th among the 67 bloodiest conflicts, with “only” 51,000 fatalities, as compared to some of the others.

Please take the time to look at some of the numbers.

Red China, 1949-76 (outright killing, manmade famine, Gulag)

Soviet Bloc: late Stalinism, 1950-53; post-Stalinism, to 1987 (mostly Gulag)

Ethiopia, 1962-92: Communists, artificial hunger, genocides

Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa): 1967-68; 1977-78; 1992-95; 1998-present

Korean war, 1950-53

Sudan, 1955-72; 1983-2006 (civil wars, genocides)

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge 1975-79; civil war 1978-91

Vietnam War, 1954-75

Afghanistan: Soviet and internecine killings, Taliban 1980-2001

West Pakistan massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh 1971)

What's All the Killing About?
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
Nigeria, 1966-79 (Biafra); 1993-present

Mozambique, 1964-70 (30,000) after retreat of Portugal 1976-92

Iran-Iraq-War, 1980-88

Rwanda genocide, 1994

Algeria: against France 1954-62 (675,000); between Islamists and the government 1991-2006 (200,000)

Uganda, 1971-79; 1981-85; 1994-present

Indonesia: Marxists 1965-66 (450,000); East Timor, Papua, Aceh etc, 1969-present (200,000)

Angola: war against Portugal 1961-72 (80,000); after Portugal’s retreat (1972-2002)

Brazil against its Indians, up to 1999

Vietnam, after the war ended in 1975 (own people; boat refugees)

Indochina: against France, 1945-54

Burundi, 1959-present (Tutsi/Hutu)

Somalia, 1991-present

North Korea up to 2006 (own people)

Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, 1980s-1990s

Iraq, 1970-2003 (Saddam against minorities)

Columbia, 1946-58; 1964-present

Yugoslavia, Tito regime, 1944-80

Guatemala, 1960-96

Laos, 1975-90

Serbia against Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, 1991-1999

Romania, 1949-99 (own people)

Liberia, 1989-97

Russia against Chechnya, 1994-present

Lebanon civil war, 1975-90

Kuwait War, 1990-91

Philippines: 1946-54 (10,000); 1972-present (120,000)

Burma/Myanmar, 1948-present

North Yemen, 1962-70

Sierra Leone, 1991-present

What's All the Killing About?
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
Albania, 1945-91 (own people)

Iran, 1978-79 (revolution)

Iraq, 2003-present (domestic)

El Salvador, 1975-92

Eritrea against Ethiopia, 1998-2000

Sri Lanka, 1997-present

Zimbabwe, 1966-79; 1980-present

Nicaragua, 1972-91 (Marxists/natives etc,)

Arab-Israeli conflict 1950-present

North Vietnam, 1954-75 (own people)

Tajikistan, 1992-96 (secularists against Islamists)

Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79

Peru, 1980-2000

Guinea, 1958-84

Chad, 1982-90

Bulgaria, 1948-89 (own people)

Rhodesia, 1972-79

Argentina, 1976-83 (own people)

Hungary, 1948-89 (own people)

Kashmir independence, 1989-present

Jordan government vs. Palestinians, 1970-71 (Black September)

Poland, 1948-89 (own people)

Syria, 1982 (against Islamists in Hama)

Chinese-Vietnamese war, 1979

Morocco: war against France, 1953-56 (3,000) and in Western Sahara, 1975-present (16,000)

Congo Republic, 1997-99

South Yemen, 1986 (civil war)

*All figures rounded. Sources: Brzezinski, Z., Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century, 1993; Courtois, S., Le Livre Noir du Communism, 1997; Heinsohn, G., Lexikon der Völkermorde, 1999, 2nd ed.; Heinsohn, G., Söhne und Weltmacht, 2006, 8th ed.; Rummel. R., Death by Government, 1994; Small, M. and Singer, J.D., Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars 1816-1980, 1982; White, M., “Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century,” 2003.


What's All the Killing About?
written by Nissim Dahan, August 16, 2011
Incredibly, since 1950, about 85,000,000 people have been killed in bloody conflicts around the world. And that doesn’t even include World War I and World War II.

I have often said that more people have probably been killed, by the hand of man, in the last 200 years, than the previous 2,000,000 years of human existence. It turns out, as dramatized in the film The Rise of Man, on the Discovery Channel, that cavemen, who lived during the 2,000,000 years before the advent of “civilization,” were actually quite nice to one another. As hunter gatherers, there was no real reason to kill. Would you kill your neighbor just to steal a couple of peanuts? Why bother? Common sense told them to be good, and to help one another out, and they did.

In most instances, we demonstrate a certain sense of arrogance when we kill one another, an excessive sense of pride, and an extreme confidence in the validity of our convictions. When we kill, it is as if we cry out, for the world to hear, “We are right, and you will pay with your lives for the inadequacies of your beliefs.” It is sheer arrogance to kill one another so casually, even in the name of our deeply held beliefs. Look at it this way-if we were indeed created by God in His image, then when we kill one another, aren’t we, in effect, spitting at God’s face?

To my mind, for what it’s worth, there are only two reasons to kill: either someone is coming at you with an ax, or he’s coming at your buddy with an ax. That’s it; self-defense and the defense of others. No other reason to kill: not for our religion, not for our deeply held beliefs, not for politics, not for geopolitical considerations, not for the accumulation of wealth, not because we resent how someone thinks, or how he looks, or what he feels about us. Not for nothing. No other reason to kill.

Weapon systems are so advanced nowadays, that we would soon be able to kill one another in such magnitude, that previous death tolls would pale by comparison. Some of the bombs we have today are hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. We could literally wipe ourselves off the face of the earth.

Countries that are beginning to compete for scarce resources, like oil or fresh drinking water, could find themselves embroiled in a whole host of new conflicts, in the years to come. A global economy is a competitive economy, in which poor nations could easily find themselves on the losing end of the stick. But unlike previous times in history, when mostly everyone was poor, now there will be some who enjoy the prosperity that comes with economic growth, while a great many will be left behind, only to bear witness to their sense of deprivation and loss, and to their desperate struggle to survive.

The global economy offers promise for the future, but some pitfalls as well, as is often the case with new developments. The trick will be to sustain economic growth for ourselves, while allowing everyone on earth a place at the table, a stake in his or her future. Yes we will compete with one another, but we will invest in one another, as well. Yes we will work to augment our prosperity, but we will work for the prosperity of others, as well. Yes we will compete for scarce resources, but we will challenge one another to protect the environment, as well. Yes we will hold on to our deeply held beliefs, but we will find ways to talk to one another with common sense and with a sense of personal dignity, as well.

The secret to world peace, in contrast to the bloody history of the past, is not a secret at all. We have to find a way to connect, and to connect so cohesively, that we come to depend on one another. As such, it will be in our mutual best interest to keep the peace. By helping others, we help ourselves. Granted, it is a tall order, but it is probably the only way. Connect ideologically. Connect economically. Inspire in each other a sense of hope. And let the hope sustain the peace throughout the generations.
written by GABE1, August 18, 2011
Another atrocity committed by the beaceful Arabs against Isreal yet I heard no condemnation from any sources other than a sound bite by the USA embassy in Israel. I did hear a lot of anti Israel venom when it did retaliate.

I am all for getting along but not at the expense of Jewish land and Jewish security. To live in peace we must separate. The only separation that will work if Israel is in secure borders. The Golan, The Litani, the Jordan and the Sinai are natural buffers and would serve well as borders. This and not a Vision of Hope or the scraps by Turkey, is what we must be striving for.

In the meantime BUILD BABY BUILD in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem and slowly but surely destroy Gaza. One hundred buildings for each terror attack. Start close to the Israeli border and move on inland.

Let the UN, the Quarted and the EU kiss our collective O O 's
written by GABE1, August 27, 2011
I have been following a discussion about Non Violent Resistance on MEWAR and I found a reply by a Irit Hakim Keller really galling. It would seem that to her any killing are simply history that we must not dwell on or just simply ignore. She has (what she maintains is a circle of Arab friends)with who she has made a devils pact and who I believe agree that Israel is a occuppier, and racist apartheid state and therefore subject to violent reactions.

It is important that we as Jews support both the state of Israel and the homeland of the Jews. That entails both Jerusalem, Hevron as well as the settlers in their homeland. The world and the US Congress have agreed in 1922 that all of Judea and Samaria and Gaza and current pre 1967 Israel are to be a Jewish National Homeland and as far as I know that has not been overturned by any international court or any international body.

Some may wish to give the Palestinians a state on some of that land but it is not encored in any International treaty and law that I know of.

Even 242 does not talk about Palestinians but rather about Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
We're Back to Square One
written by Nissim Dahan, September 06, 2011
I just read an article, featured on this website, that Turkey has expelled the Israel Ambassador and has vowed to prosecute all those responsible for the deaths of the nine Turkish activists on that Marmara.

Some say that this negative development is a result of the upcoming UN report which makes it clear that the activists on the ship were not merely peaceful activists, but were rather quite aggressive in their physical attack against the Israelis who attempted to board the ship.

Others say that Turkey has concluded that an Israeli apology is no longer seen as valuable to Turkey in her quest to play a leadership role in the region.

Whatever the reason, Turkey has decided to pull back from an effort to rebuild relations between the two nations. This duality, between coming together on the one hand, and drifting apart on the other, is an on going process, which defines much of the region as a whole.

Leaders in the region will have to decide where their best interests lie.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, there is at least a strong possibility, that some of the key players will eventually come to the conclusion that coming together in common purpose is in their best interests, as a way of enhancing security, and revitalizing the region with jobs: jobs which grow our economies, jobs which protect the environment, and jobs which help to weaken the hold of extremist elements.
written by GABE1, September 07, 2011

That is the difference between us. Rather than courting them (appeasement) I prefer to call their bluff and bluster and come to their senses. I do not jump for joy every time a Muslim leader yells "peace".

Turkey has been on the slippery slope of Islamization fr a long time now and way before Marmara. Let them cool their heels for a while and than maybe? they will see the error of their way. Money-NADA, and that goes for not just Turkey but the wider Muslim world and specifically the Arabs.

No to Appeasement, but yes to Competition
written by Nissim Dahan, September 09, 2011
As I've said before, I am not a strong believer in appeasement. Nor do I subscribe to the notion that we can buy our way out of this mess.

There are times, and this is one of them when you have to be willing to confront your enemy head on. He will not be appeased, and he will not be bought off.

The question still remains, however: How do you be confront and defeat you enemy. Is the military appraoch, even though it is necessary, the only way to go? Or is there something else that could help us in this regard.

That's where a Vision of Hope comes to play. What we need, in my opionion, is to put in place a model that competes aggressively with the extremist agenda. If you build a Green Industrial Zone in a crazy place like Gaza, you put forth a model that envions Jews and Arabs working together, in common purpose, to support themselves economically, to tackle some of the environmental threats, and to weaken the allure of extremist thinking.

If an Arab looks at the table and sees only extremism then that's what he's going to buy into, because that's all there is.

But if he looks at the table, and sees a job, and freedom, and a sense of hope, then now there is an alternative, and most people would choose a life, and would help us fight those who would take that life away.

Let's fight when we have to, but let's also beat the extremist at his own game.

If the extremist is ideological about violent Jihad, we will be ideological about common sense.

If the extremist invests peanuts in charitable handouts, we will use Arab money to invest in jobs.

If the extremist sell a vision of hope for martyrdom, or paradise, or virgins, or what have you, we will sell a vision of hope for peace, prosperity and freedom.

At every turn we will cut the extremist off at the pass, and beat him at his own game. In the final analysis, the ideological extremist will not be able to capture the public's imagination, once people begin to imagine a better life for themselves.
written by GABE1, September 09, 2011
I would have assumed that the whole Turkey fiasco would have shown that your vision is nothing but an empty shell and unsupportable in fact and reality.

Turkey is quite prosperous and has been an Israel ally for many years. The economies of Turkey-Israel are very rewarding for both as is the military sphere and the tourist trade.

So what happened and why is Turkey acting so extreme against Israel. Their human record is quite abysmal against Christians, Jews and Kurds. So how would your theory apply to bring Turkey back into sanity.
Fair Enough
written by Nissim Dahan, September 10, 2011
Gabe, let's say you're out on the trail selling a new pill on the market.

For some, your pill may represent a cure to what ails them.

To others, your pill may be a bitter pill to swallow.

And yet to others, your pill may be a death pill.

I am selling something that is not so palatable to certain players.

Afterall, I'm asking them to give up some of the beliefs they hold dear.

I'm asking them to invest in one another, when they wouldn't ordinarily do so.

I'm asking them to trash the models that have worked well for them in the past. like demonizing Israel as a way of diverting attention from internal political probems.

However, having said all that, it is possible that under the right circumstances, the pill you have to sell will appeal to some, who come to realize that there is no alernative.

Turkey is not Arab. Saudi Arabia, however, may see the writing on the wall, in the faces of Mubarak and Gadaffi, and may conclude that revitalizing the region with good paying jobs is in their interest, and that Israel may prove indispensable in this regard.

Turkey is playing a different game. She enjoys a strong economy. The president is playing to his base, and in an effort to extend Turkey's influence, he has concluded that using Israel as a convenient enemy is preferable to partnering with the Jewish state.

Fine. But that does not rule out that others in the region may come to different conclusions, and that when they do, Turkey may have no alternative but to reconsider her strategy.
written by GABE1, September 11, 2011
the basic point in all that wrapping is simple.

MONEY AND JOBS are not the panacea and Turkey proves it, Saudi Arabia proves it.

MORALITY ,lacking in the Arab world, is the culprit and that is what YOUneed to work on. A vision of hope only works if one is blind and willing to appease.
written by GABE1, September 11, 2011
are you aware that even Snake Oil, when packaged attractively works to relieve some symptoms.

The medical profession calls it a "placebo" and the resultant medical cures "the placebo effect"

Funny how the human minds works when one perceives something for what it is not and has a strong belief system in it.
Think Again
written by Nissim Dahan, September 11, 2011
Money and Jobs may not be a panacea, but they're pretty damn important.

You don't have to look far.

The U.S. needs to create jobs, and to grow her economy, and things are looking pretty bleak if we don't come up with an answer soon.

The Middle East is not outer space. People of the region are not strange aliens. They need jobs like everyone else, and there is an opportunity to deliver on that and to change the landscape of the place.

As you suggest, morality is important as well. And I don't ignore that, as I appeal on a morality based on common sense values. However, your efforts to teach morality are directly related to your ability to improve lives. Case in point: The extremists themselves. They can preach their nonsense on the one hand, because they work to improve lives on the other, with charitable handouts.

If we help to create jobs, people may listen more to what we have to say.

And yes, we can perceive something wrongly, and develope a belief system around it.

But on the other hand, we could perceive something correctly, even against what others say, and foster a sense of belief in a new way of thinking, and begin to create facts on the ground which speak louder than words, and which point to the possibility of a new day.

I am not sure if I perceive things correctly. You are certainly convinced that I'm wrong. But I'm not so sure. My common sense tells me that there is an opportunity here to move forward. It won't be easy, and we will stumble along the way, and there will be those who trip us at every step. But there is a chance to make something happen, not because people love one another, God forbid, or because they want peace, or because they want a better world for the kids. No, none of that nonsense.

There's a chance to move forward because people are beginning to worry about the same sorts of things, and may actually need one another, for a chance, to make things better.
written by GABE1, September 13, 2011
I remember in 1972 when unemployment Insurance went into effect in Canada (an affluent country) and most factories emptied of workers and unemployment lines swelled until a modification was inserted.

The Palestinians have been on the DOLE for 63 years without any demands for jobs whether under the Jordanians, Egyptians or Israelis. In fact jobs would be a hindrance to them and not a help or panacea.

Lets please wake up to reality. Arabs are not particularly enterpreneurial or industrious. Just visit Egypt or Jordan or any of the Gulf States and you will get the gist.
Change Is Called For On Many Fronts
written by Nissim Dahan, September 14, 2011
There is no question that change is called for in Palestinian society.

The education system teaches hate.

The media is skewed heavily in favor of confrontation.

And since Palestinians have come to depend on foreign assistance, to a greater extent then almost anywhere else, there is a need to create jobs, and to wean workers from public assitance.

To a great extent, these negative developments where not simply initiated and sustained by only Palestinians, but have been fostered by various Arab nations who wishes to keep Palestinians in a refugee status for their own political purposes. It was more convenient to use Israel as a scapegoat than a partner.

I would argue, however, that Arabs are very entrepreneurial and industrious, under the right conditions.

Trade and commerce has been an integral part of Arab culture over the centuries.

What needs to happen is not all that complicated: you help Palestinians to create jobs, even in crazy places like Gaza, and as you do, you cut public assistance, and transform the welfare economy into a business economy. As you do this, you reform the education system. You neutralize the hate in the media and in the mosques, with good paying jobs, and personal freedoms.

It is a change that could take generations. But there is a small window of opportunity to make something happen along these lines, or at least to start the process.

Egypt today is a mess. But the Egypt that my wife was born into was different. Jews ran some very successful businesses there, including my father-in-law. We can bring that back. It's not fantasy land. It's the right answer for our time, before we see things falling apart even more, and Israel finding herself totally isolated in a very hostile neighborhood.
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