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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Roque Nuevo
    Ignored
    says:

    Could you give me a reference to the article you read? ThanksReport

  2. Avatar Roque Nuevo
    Ignored
    says:

    The fanaticism of some of the settler population is not in doubt. The hatred between the settlers and the Palestinian Arabs is not in doubt. But I do doubt that the settlement problem in itself is a central point in the conflict. Like Goldberg says, in the article you link to:

    Many Israelis believe that evacuation of many settlements—even all of the settlements—would not satisfy the Palestinians. The Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, even while negotiating with Israel in the framework of the Oslo accords of the nineteen-nineties, never prepared his people for compromise. Palestinian schools continued to teach about the evils not only of occupation but of the very idea of Israel. Arafat refused to recognize any historical Jewish connection to Palestine, and, in the climactic negotiations at Camp David in 2000, he rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of the entire Gaza Strip, nearly all of the West Bank, and a capital in east Jerusalem, and abandoned the talks. Many of Barak’s critics accused the Prime Minister of mishandling the negotiations and of making miserly concessions that were impossible for Arafat to accept. But the dispositive fact of Camp David is this: Barak made an offer, and Arafat walked out without making a counter-offer. Emphasis added

    Goldberg doesn’t mention that Barak included an offer on the right of return of Palestinian refugees, in line with UNR 194. This was also rejected out of hand. Meanwhile, the so-called Second Intifadah was being planned.
    What explanation can you find for Arafat’s behavior? What explanation can you find for the indoctrination of Palestinian children with hatred—as Goldberg says? My explanation accepts this indoctrination as official ideology: Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians find “the very idea of Israel” hateful. Therefore “many Israelis” are correct that the evacuation of the settlements will not satisfy the Palestinians.
    Goldberg’s conclusion is also to the point here:

    I suggested that he try to imagine himself in the place of a Palestinian. “You’re a Palestinian, you’re here, you have your farm, your grandparents are from here, and—”

    But Moshe interrupted me. “Stop being Jewish!” he yelled. “Stop being Jewish! Only a Jew would say, ‘Imagine yourself as a Palestinian.’ Could you imagine a Palestinian imagining himself as a Jew?”

    Report

  3. Avatar E.D. Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes, but many Israelis find the very idea of Palestine hateful, too. The point is, this cuts both ways. The settlers, whether or not “most Israelis” consider them the major stumbling block (as though this is up for public opinion votes) certainly are one of the most contentious issues, no matter how hard you work to glean all the most one-sided passages you can possibly find from this article. The point is, Israel is held to a higher standard because they are the functioning government, they have the democratic system, they are the more powerful, and supposedly more morally grounded of the two parties.Report

  4. Avatar Roque Nuevo
    Ignored
    says:

    many Israelis find the very idea of Palestine hateful, too. The point is, this cuts both ways.

    I don’t deny this. What I’m saying is that the settlements are not the “major stumbling block” that you say they are. This does not depend on cherry-picking passages from a four-year-old New Yorker article. It depends on the facts. Israelis can agree or disagree and we can find surveys to support the idea or not, but the point you fail to recognize is that

    Palestinian schools continued to teach about the evils not only of occupation but of the very idea of Israel. Arafat refused to recognize any historical Jewish connection to Palestine, and, in the climactic negotiations at Camp David in 2000, he rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of the entire Gaza Strip, nearly all of the West Bank, and a capital in east Jerusalem, and abandoned the talks.

    As the party that is “the functioning government, [that has] the democratic system, [and] the more powerful, and supposedly more morally grounded of the two parties,” they made a serious offer to the Palestinians to hand over more than 95% of the West Bank, along with land swaps to account for some 3% more land. The Palestinians simply said “no” in spite of Clinton’s demands that they at least come up with a counter offer and if spite of the warning that showing this kind of disrespect for the President of the United States would poison their relationship with the US for years.

    What’s your conclusion from this? Mine is that Palestinians are mired in a rejectionist mentality. Therefore, I say that this is the major stumbling block. Getting Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims to give this mentality up should be the goal. This is what I mean by saying that they must be defeated before a durable peace can ensue. I do not believe that this can be accomplished by military means alone. I do not believe that there must be a bloodbath. I do not place lesser value on Palestinian life than on Israeli life. I believe that Israel is a legitimate state that must be accepted by Arabs/Palestinians/Muslims, like they accept any other state in the world. If they did that, then the settlement “stumbling block” would be easily resolved, along with all the other “stumbling blocks.”

    How will this end? I think I know how. It will end with Arab/Muslim/Palestinians overrunning Israel and exterminating it. This has been their goal from the beginning and it hasn’t changed. The sheer demographic weight of the Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians guarantees this outcome sooner or later. They take the long view—the Crusader/Zionist alliance will be defeated and expelled from their holy land like the last one was, under Saladin, after more than a century of occupation. I don’t think that this will happen while I’m still alive, but if it does, I’m going over there to die instead of sitting around over here wringing my hands over violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention or whatever.Report

  5. Avatar Bob
    Ignored
    says:

    Mr. Kain, You are a sentimental idiot. Me too. I love, love, this.

    “I miss the simplicity of childhood. I romanticize this at times. A song or a smell carries me back. The other day it was James Taylor, Sweet Baby James, and I was suddenly driving up the Canadian coast, in the backseat of my parents’ giant brown Chevy Beauville, watching the wet trees drift by like ghosts, counting roadsigns, listening to the murmur of my mother’s voice. What a thing to be always carried about in a backseat, uncertain and uncaring of the way here or there. Unaware and content. Safe in the knowledge that someone else is at the wheel. Someone else has the map and knows the way home.”Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks, Bob. I am a sentimental idiot – though I prefer the term “Romantic.” (Then again, perhaps more of an idiot in Dostoevsky’s sense of the word…)

    I have decided to let my sentimental side out more, in life and in my writing. I’m tired of being jaded.Report

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