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jdobbin

Grits, Tories battle for Jewish support in next election

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Which various governments, including Canada, are trying to get them to stop.

Perhaps .. if only (sssssssssss) those friendly governments ... only just tried ... a little tiny bit less one side friendly... and very miniscule little bit more practical and impartial, approach... a miracle could happen?

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They stopped in one place to continue and accelerate in another. News or new settements or expansion of existing ones is a regular event.

They stopped in one place and removed all settlement.

Has all the "critical support", or "supportive criticism" in the past decades been able to achieve any real movement (= actual freeze or god forbid, reduction) on this one single major obstacle to peace? There you go, everything else is just talk and spin. Funny one has to resort to resort to it, just like their right wing arch enemy. No, all can't be bad with Harper's international policies after all!

The focus as you well know is on the West Bank.

OK, I made an honest effort to find an official Liberal position on that one, and quite honestly, failed. But found several references to the "right to defend". So if you come across any, I'd be indepted for sharing it.

The Liberal response is the right to defend itself against violent attacks.

Ignatieff caught hell on his disproportionate response on the issue of Qana. His mistake in my view was to say that a crime had been committed there when he did not have enough information on the subject. Nor did he have the authority to decide a crime had been committed there.

However, Ignatieff has been fairly clear on the right to defend needs to measured by civilian casualties.

Really? When you would be also puzzled and maybe even concerned by apparent, obvious and utmost inefficiency of "critical" support policies to achive the actual progress in stopping the expansion of settlements (aka illegal land grab) as well as multitude of other things like excess violence, rights of population in the occuplied territories. Along with, most certainly, the right of people in Israel proper to peace and security.

And you believe that the Liberals have not spoken up on those things?

I'm not sure who are the hypothetical "some" being referred to, or what they do. I'm only asking for a principled balanced approach, the one based on facts and actual situation, rather than wholesale "friendship" committments based on ideological proximity. In such approach, unprovoked attacks on civilians on one side, and illegal annexation of territory by the other would both receive clear and unambiguous condemnation. BTW and for the record though I'm getting tired repeatng it, I also do not consider legitimate criticism of illegal policies and practices by any state as hostility toward its people, that should be obvious, n'est ce pas?

Hypothetical hostility? I think we have seen enough full support against Israel to know that it isn't hypothetical. Thankfully, no political party in Canada questions Israel's right to exist as a state but that viewpoint is certainly expressed in a number of quarters in this country.

We also see enough anti-Semitic behaviour to know that isn't hypothetical either.

Ignatieff has said that criticism of Israel is legitimate. He is critical of the building going on on the West Bank now.

You obviously want more done.

Certainly sounds like a symptom of gang mentality, when any legitimate, civil critisim of "mine" is immediately perceived as "hostility". The standard accusation is the combined effect of 1) dropping any pretense to impartiality (an impartial observer would be able to comment on any specific issue logically and with substance, without any need to resort to generic "hostility" claim); and 2) insufficient confidence in one's position, hence the need to throw back accusation, rather than addressing issues specifically and with substance. Overall, isn't at all different from what's been thrown around all these years, a definite step back from a balanced, impartial position, the only credible position of a trusted mediator, and certainly won't be of any help in the real resolution of the conflict.

It has been the illegitimate criticism and outright hatred that I sometimes hear. Some have sided completely with the Palestinians in this.

You obviously have a solution to the problem of Canada's response to Israel. Let's hear it.

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Perhaps .. if only (sssssssssss) those friendly governments ... only just tried ... a little tiny bit less one side friendly... and very miniscule little bit more practical and impartial, approach... a miracle could happen?

So what is your solution? You think Israel will respond to less friendly? How less friendly?

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I know Iggy wants to send troops into to stop them.

He wants to send troops from Canada right now to stop the building?

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He wants to send troops from Canada right now to stop the building?

Well he wrote an article in 2002 saying Bush should do so and if he was leader he would. I can only assume that is what he thinks is right.

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They stopped in one place and removed all settlement.

....

And you believe that the Liberals have not spoken up on those things?

....

Hypothetical hostility? I think we have seen enough full support against Israel to know that it isn't hypothetical. Thankfully, no political party in Canada questions Israel's right to exist as a state but that viewpoint is certainly expressed in a number of quarters in this country.

...

We also see enough anti-Semitic behaviour to know that isn't hypothetical either.

....

Ignatieff has said that criticism of Israel is legitimate. He is critical of the building going on on the West Bank now.

....

It has been the illegitimate criticism and outright hatred that I sometimes hear. Some have sided completely with the Palestinians in this.

While building more in the other. Funny, isn't it? Like hopscotch, here I see, there I don't.

...

I don't know honestly, have they? If they had spoken strongly and clearly, as some of these acts deserve, I'm sure it wouldn't have gone unnoticed.

...

I'm trying to follow the logic here. There's any number of people in this country who are critical of any number of governments, regimes and states on this planet, so does it mean that Liberal Party of Canada should befriend them all (governments, regimes and states) for that reason? Why not? What would be the special case that should warrant that approach toward one particular country? Do we owe anything there?

...

And I'm even less sure what'd be the point of that statement in the context of this thread. Yes there may be deplorable incidents of antisemitism in this country, just as there're incidents of discrimination and hatred against other ethnicities, so how exactly does this relate to our country's (and your party's) foreign policy?

...

I wouldn't agree with those "some", that is exactly why I was calling for a balanced and impartial approach. Supporting one side is rarely a good way out of a conflict. But you think the solution to the balance is to put more cheerers (and helpers) to each side?

You obviously have a solution to the problem of Canada's response to Israel. Let's hear it.

It's not like I haven't said it, and not like once already. But once again, and only if we really really have to get involved, we can help by working out fair and impartial principles of the settlement and sharing our views with both sides. We could start noticing and condemn any violation of these principles clearly and strongly, regardless of which side is involved. We could make gross violation of such principles, such as unprovoked attacks on civilians, continuing annexation of territory, etc result in real practical measures for the side involved, such as diplomatic action, reducing assistence and so on. It isn't really difficult, if you undertstand what you want to say, and you are serious about making yourself heard.

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Well he wrote an article in 2002 saying Bush should do so and if he was leader he would. I can only assume that is what he thinks is right.

For today's situation with another president in place?

I guess we can assume then that if Layton was PM, we would have an immediate pull-out from Afghanistan and all our troops headed to fight in Sudan?

Edited by jdobbin

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While building more in the other. Funny, isn't it? Like hopscotch, here I see, there I don't.

There were similar backing and forthing in Northern Ireland as well. Ultimately, we have the situation we have now.

...

I don't know honestly, have they? If they had spoken strongly and clearly, as some of these acts deserve, I'm sure it wouldn't have gone unnoticed.

They didn't. The CJC and other Israeli lobby groups came down hard on the Liberals.

...

I'm trying to follow the logic here. There's any number of people in this country who are critical of any number of governments, regimes and states on this planet, so does it mean that Liberal Party of Canada should befriend them all (governments, regimes and states) for that reason? Why not? What would be the special case that should warrant that approach toward one particular country? Do we owe anything there?

I think when one nation allows or is responsible for attacks on another, it is where Canada should speak out. And I believe it does.

...

And I'm even less sure what'd be the point of that statement in the context of this thread. Yes there may be deplorable incidents of antisemitism in this country, just as there're incidents of discrimination and hatred against other ethnicities, so how exactly does this relate to our country's (and your party's) foreign policy?

My view is that the those aspects of intolerance are pushed to influence our foreign policy.

...

I wouldn't agree with those "some", that is exactly why I was calling for a balanced and impartial approach. Supporting one side is rarely a good way out of a conflict. But you think the solution to the balance is to put more cheerers (and helpers) to each side?

I never said that. I said that our friendship is not an uncritical one with Israel. We advocate for a two nation policy at every turn and have found success thus far in Gaza. The focus is now on the West Bank.

It's not like I haven't said it, and not like once already. But once again, and only if we really really have to get involved, we can help by working out fair and impartial principles of the settlement and sharing our views with both sides. We could start noticing and condemn any violation of these principles clearly and strongly, regardless of which side is involved. We could make gross violation of such principles, such as unprovoked attacks on civilians, continuing annexation of territory, etc result in real practical measures for the side involved, such as diplomatic action, reducing assistence and so on. It isn't really difficult, if you undertstand what you want to say, and you are serious about making yourself heard.

And I believe we do that now even if you don't.

My view is that Harper should be more public in advocating for the solutions that are presently being talked about now. Like the Obama administration, Harper has to push for an end of the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

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There were similar backing and forthing in Northern Ireland as well. Ultimately, we have the situation we have now.

No, wrong. The settlements are growing steadily and ever, in times of "peace" and conflict, over decades. To not notice that, or attribute it to some minor fluctuations looks a lot like deliberate blindness, perhaps inspired by "friendship"? Nor will gentle rattling half voice and mostly privately do anything to stop it, as it didn't ever since 1967.

I never said that. I said that our friendship is not an uncritical one with Israel. We advocate for a two nation policy at every turn and have found success thus far in Gaza. The focus is now on the West Bank.

We already agreed that the problem is how we understand the "uncritical" and other words. For me it means working out clear and fair principles and insisting clearly and strongly on them being respected by either side. While you seem to be advocating unwavering political, financial and militarty support to one side, no matter what they do, doing occasional (very rare and far in between) light chiding in case of most extreme incidents, but without any real, practical, consequences.

And I believe we do that now even if you don't.

And I may believe in fairies. But is there a visible practical ground for your belief? What was our response to ongoing settlement activity so far? How did we react to excessive use of military force resulting in massive civilian casualties in Lebanon and Gaza?

My view is that Harper should be more public in advocating for the solutions that are presently being talked about now. Like the Obama administration, Harper has to push for an end of the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

We all know that Harper won't do it because of his well known "friendly" position. I'm not sure what the Liberals would do but this latest development isn't very encouraging. Looks like in foreign policy, as in other areas, they are becoming virtually indistinguishable from Conservatives.

Edited by myata

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When we've sold reactors, it hasn't been to let countries develop nuclear technology. I suppose we could have hoarded the technology but Canada's goal from the beginning is to discourage proliferation. We have had the knowledge since 1945 to make a bomb and never have. We've led by example.

Easy to do when we have the big brother US at the ready to fry anyone they choose should the need arise.

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Easy to do when we have the big brother US at the ready to fry anyone they choose should the need arise.

So, as a measure of independence we should have our own nuclear arsenal?

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No, wrong. The settlements are growing steadily and ever, in times of "peace" and conflict, over decades. To not notice that, or attribute it to some minor fluctuations looks a lot like deliberate blindness, perhaps inspired by "friendship"? Nor will gentle rattling half voice and mostly privately do anything to stop it, as it didn't ever since 1967.

The settlements are not growing in Gaza. They are gone.

The focus is now on the West Bank.

We already agreed that the problem is how we understand the "uncritical" and other words. For me it means working out clear and fair principles and insisting clearly and strongly on them being respected by either side. While you seem to be advocating unwavering political, financial and militarty support to one side, no matter what they do, doing occasional (very rare and far in between) light chiding in case of most extreme incidents, but without any real, practical, consequences.

While you advocate cutting Israel off until they stop all building and in the West Bank and withdrawal back to 1967 borders?

And I may believe in fairies. But is there a visible practical ground for your belief? What was our response to ongoing settlement activity so far? How did we react to excessive use of military force resulting in massive civilian casualties in Lebanon and Gaza?

How would you like us to act? You keep saying a well thought out response. Be specific. Cut off trade? Pull our ambassador? Arm neighbors around Israel? What?

What do you think will be influential?

We all know that Harper won't do it because of his well known "friendly" position. I'm not sure what the Liberals would do but this latest development isn't very encouraging. Looks like in foreign policy, as in other areas, they are becoming virtually indistinguishable from Conservatives.

And the NDP or Greens or whatever are about to end support for Israel? I think you forget how fast the NDP climbed off their position last time.

Our influence is fairly limited overall but is always focuses on the two nation idea and to have Palestinian rocket attacks end and for the Israelis to end expansion into the West Bank.

Until I hear actual specifics about what you think would work, I don't think we would have any influence positively. Withdrawal of all contact from either side is not exactly conducive to peace.

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The settlements are not growing in Gaza. They are gone.

Gosh, it must be really challenging (deliberately?!) to put exactly two numbers together: 1) ## of illegal settlers in the all of the occupied territories on the start of the year; 2) the same ## on the end of it. Enjoy!

While you advocate cutting Israel off until they stop all building and in the West Bank and withdrawal back to 1967 borders?

That may be the ultimate option, if / when it fails to take in other real signs that continuation of these policies will not be tolerated (not to mention friendly "critical" advice). What would be problem with that? Do we want to achieve the result, or only show off some vague "concern"?

How would you like us to act? You keep saying a well thought out response. Be specific. Cut off trade? Pull our ambassador? Arm neighbors around Israel?

..

What do you think will be influential?

There you go, already some practical ideas! And we've only just started this discussion. And of course we could start by making a clear unambiguous official statement each time a settlement expansion happens, or excess violence is used, or human rights of civilians in the occupied terrtitories are abused. We haven't tried it yet have we? Before we move on to more serious practical measures... I can't guarantee how influential it would be, but from where we're now, any result would be an improvement. Plus, as a bonus, we'll actually act as a credible impartial and fair mediator, not some lopesided commentator nobody cares to listen to, because they only parrot whatever the senior partner has to say.

Our influence is fairly limited overall but is always focuses on the two nation idea and to have Palestinian rocket attacks end and for the Israelis to end expansion into the West Bank.

Sorry I don't believe you. I hear a lot of official statements why excess disproportional violence is OK (aka "right to defend itself"), and the rocket attacks are wrong, but virtually nothing (official) about expansion of settlements or violation of human rights. A clear symptom of your one-sided support strategy, that in fact supports the side in Israel that is bent on continuation and expansion of occupation, and therefore does nothing to end the conflict.

Until I hear actual specifics about what you think would work, I don't think we would have any influence positively. Withdrawal of all contact from either side is not exactly conducive to peace.

Yeah I know that strategy all well now. You can post specific in big letters, sing and dance them, read them aloud and still somebody somewhere wouldn't as much as notice, and ask you for specifics, again and again. Usually synomous with that state of the discussion when one can't support their position with rational arguments anymore, but would be reluctant to admit it.

And yeah, "would work", that's the key! We have better options! Like that friendly support strategy, there's great confidence that it "would work", i.e. it worked already so nicely in the past, right?

Indeed, withdrawing "support" that is conductive to the side consistently perpetrating violence may in fact be conductive to peace. What exactly our support, in its present form, is conductive to, promotion of peace, or encouragement of one side in continuation of occupation and violence, needs to be looked at very closely.

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Gosh, it must be really challenging (deliberately?!) to put exactly two numbers together: 1) ## of illegal settlers in the all of the occupied territories on the start of the year; 2) the same ## on the end of it. Enjoy!

It must be hard for you to reconcile that there are no settlements in Gaza now. What do you think led to that? Disengagement?

That may be the ultimate option, if / when it fails to take in other real signs that continuation of these policies will not be tolerated (not to mention friendly "critical" advice). What would be problem with that? Do we want to achieve the result, or only show off some vague "concern"?

I take that to be yes then. Disengagement.

There you go, already some practical ideas! And we've only just started this discussion. And of course we could start by making a clear unambiguous official statement each time a settlement expansion happens, or excess violence is used, or human rights of civilians in the occupied terrtitories are abused. We haven't tried it yet have we? Before we move on to more serious practical measures... I can't guarantee how influential it would be, but from where we're now, any result would be an improvement. Plus, as a bonus, we'll actually act as a credible impartial and fair mediator, not some lopesided commentator nobody cares to listen to, because they only parrot whatever the senior partner has to say.

I don't think you can guarantee any influence. And I suspect that some of our citizens on both sides of the conflict would be asking Canada to be engaged or they would do it on their own.

Sorry I don't believe you. I hear a lot of official statements why excess disproportional violence is OK (aka "right to defend itself"), and the rocket attacks are wrong, but virtually nothing (official) about expansion of settlements or violation of human rights. A clear symptom of your one-sided support strategy, that in fact supports the side in Israel that is bent on continuation and expansion of occupation, and therefore does nothing to end the conflict.

Then it would appear that you are not listening or ignoring the what is out there.

The official position of the Canadian government and all parties and stated again in the last week is that expansion is illegal. It is the position of every party in the House of Commons.

The Liberals and the Conservatives met with the Palestinian Authority last month and aid has flowed through the last few governments.

Yeah I know that strategy all well now. You can post specific in big letters, sing and dance them, read them aloud and still somebody somewhere wouldn't as much as notice, and ask you for specifics, again and again. Usually synomous with that state of the discussion when one can't support their position with rational arguments anymore, but would be reluctant to admit it.

I didn't post "specific" in big letters. I asked you what you solution would be in specifics. The only dancing I see is from you.

And yeah, "would work", that's the key! We have better options! Like that friendly support strategy, there's great confidence that it "would work", i.e. it worked already so nicely in the past, right?

Indeed, withdrawing "support" that is conductive to the side consistently perpetrating violence may in fact be conductive to peace. What exactly our support, in its present form, is conductive to, promotion of peace, or encouragement of one side in continuation of occupation and violence, needs to be looked at very closely.

It sounds like you don't any good ideas except to disengage.

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I guess we'll have to let the others decide who isn't listening here. I tried my best, everybody's witness, specifics, details and practical proposals, and I now officially give up as there's no point in reiterating all the same arguments all over, again and again, for somebody who wouldn't listen. Science have yet to find a cure for that condition. Sail you well in the hope that your "not uncritical" yet absolutely secure support would one day one moment bring a different result than always, for some mysterious, known only to yourself, reason.

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I guess we'll have to let the others decide who isn't listening here. I tried my best, everybody's witness, specifics, details and practical proposals, and I now officially give up as there's no point in reiterating all the same arguments all over, again and again, for somebody who wouldn't listen. Science have yet to find a cure for that condition. Sail you well in the hope that your "not uncritical" yet absolutely secure support would one day one moment bring a different result than always, for some mysterious, known only to yourself, reason.

I'm afraid you were unconvincing. It sounded like disengagement to me.

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So, as a measure of independence we should have our own nuclear arsenal?

We should, yes.

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We should, yes.

Then we shouldn't complain when other nations aspire for them as well. Let's all have nuclear weapons and see if detente really works.

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Can't convince everybody, it's wide, wild world. In any case, we've pretty much established that "engagement" strategy fails to bring real, i.e. practical results (you know what's meant because it's been described a few times in this very thread, including the numerical formula for calculating it - result i.e. Hopscotch i.e less here, more there, won't do - you know why - because not everybody here is, how to say it politely, slow of mental perception?). So why not try the opposite, for a change, what if a miracle happens? I think you forgot to provide not only convincing, but any arguments at all to that extent, so why not? Is the sky gonna fall on us? God's wrath strike us?

Btw, "disengagement" could really be applied only on bad years, i.e. where the result is negative, with full and fruitful engagement on those years where actual progress is achieved. A very simple strategy almost never fails - good result, reward, bad - "disengagement".. wonder why our elite has been so slow to discover it? Worked in South Africa like a charm, unlike earlier "positive engagement".

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Can't convince everybody, it's wide, wild world. In any case, we've pretty much established that "engagement" strategy fails to bring real, i.e. practical results (you know what's meant because it's been described a few times in this very thread, including the numerical formula for calculating it - result i.e. Hopscotch i.e less here, more there, won't do - you know why - because not everybody here is, how to say it politely, slow of mental perception?). So why not try the opposite, for a change, what if a miracle happens? I think you forgot to provide not only convincing, but any arguments at all to that extent, so why not? Is the sky gonna fall on us? God's wrath strike us?

Is that what it is? No one can understand your brilliant deductive reasoning so they must be suffering from some perception problem, perhaps a mental one?

You certainly didn't convince me nor did I hear real specifics. You dismissed our involvement in Northern Ireland which actually achieved real results. Somehow it didn't involve sanctions or disengagement.

Btw, "disengagement" could really be applied only on bad years, i.e. where the result is negative, with full and fruitful engagement on those years where actual progress is achieved. A very simple strategy almost never fails - good result, reward, bad - "disengagement".. wonder why our elite has been so slow to discover it? Worked in South Africa like a charm, unlike earlier "positive engagement".

Almost never fails? I would argue that sanctions were not the main motivator in South Africa although I believed in them when governments both Liberal and Conservative pushed them.

The main motivator came in 1990-91 with the loss of Soviet support for the South African regime. And that support as lost not because of any intent. It was because the Soviet system collapsed.

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Then we shouldn't complain when other nations aspire for them as well. Let's all have nuclear weapons and see if detente really works.

We don't complain when other nations aspire for them as well, except when those nation's designs pose a danger to us or our allies. The Western world didn't work too hard to stop India from acquiring nuclear weapons, for example. Nor even Pakistan.

It is the legitimate desire of any nation that wishes to ensure its sovereignty beyond any foreign intervention to obtain the tools necessary to do so, which are nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. And it is also the legitimate desire of nations to prevent their foes from acquiring such weapons. That is why Iran wants nukes, and why we must not let them get them, at least not with their current theocratic regime. With nukes they could pursue their policies of repressing their own people and financing terrorist organizations without us being able to do anything about it, while without nukes we have the option to intervene.

If Japan decided to get nukes in response to North Korea's recent tests, do you think anyone would complain? Maybe the UN would issue some token statement about non-compliance with the NPT, but certainly no one would do anything. If Canada decided to get nukes I doubt any of the Western nations would say a word against it. It's because we're not their enemies, and so us having nukes doesn't threaten them.

The treaty and its violation is just a convenient excuse, it's all about the reality of the situation that motivates nations to act or not to act.

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Is that what it is? No one can understand your brilliant deductive reasoning so they must be suffering from some perception problem, perhaps a mental one?

Indeed, I'm all too used by now to people claiming basic comprehension difficulties the moment they run into severe deficit of argumentation. While theres' certainly nothing even remotely brilliant about my arguments, only ability to see things as they are without ideological filter. Really Dobbin, your peaceful appeasement strategy isn't working. Anybody who could see things plain as they are, would be able to tell as much. There were two hugely disproportionate and destructive military campaigs with massive civilian casualties (Lebanon and Gaza). The condition of population in the occupied territories is in deplorable state, as attested by independent organisations like Amnesty, HRW, even in today's news. And, there's creeping, never stopping settlement activity. When something isn't working, and hasn't worked for at least two decades (at least; I'm only counting it since after the end of Cold War), would a rational individual, genuinly interested to achieve progress, (and therefore without some backroom agenda), keep on pressing the course that had failed? Keep playing the record until, on some zillionth repetion thing would somehow change (why?). There you go, nothing at all brilliant, only logic and common sense, thanks but I wasn't in any way deserving the praise.

While you, please note, still have not provided any argumentation as what exactly would be terribly wrong with "disengagement", applied, as was clearly stated, conditionally, and as a last resort?

You certainly didn't convince me nor did I hear real specifics.

I already responded to that line of argumentation previously and it's not in my habit to comb the thread for multiple examples of the above. Someone who won't see or hear, will always find a way to.

You dismissed our involvement in Northern Ireland which actually achieved real results. Somehow it didn't involve sanctions or disengagement.

I haven't dissmissed it and it's a completely different situation, for once there was willingness on both sides to achieve settlement. Parties in Middle East conflict have yet to come to that state of affairs. In that condition lending an unconditional, unquestioning support to one side is counter productive and will only exacerbate the situation. Just what we see on the ground, and in plain view. Moreover, in our current role as a close ally of one side, there's no chance we could be asked to play the same role as in N.Ireland, ie. that of a trusted, impartial mediator.

The main motivator came in 1990-91 with the loss of Soviet support for the South African regime. And that support as lost not because of any intent. It was because the Soviet system collapsed.

Really, Soviets supporting SA regime?? Are you breaking new ground here? I thought them, Soviets, supported Communist leaning guerillas, you sure you got it right?

In any case, in the essence of the matter, things are really very simple, 1-2-3: 1) you proclaim certain goal (you really, really need to help, right, otherwise why not simply get out and mind your, i.e. our, own business??); 2) you defined progress toward it (you want progress, right? Or is it just the perpetuous assistent job?); 3) you reward actual progress and you do something real if and when it does not happen.

So is it really calculus?

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Indeed, I'm all too used by now to people claiming basic comprehension difficulties the moment they run into severe deficit of argumentation.

Your claim of superiority in argument is just not convincing and then you claim that people just don't understand because there is something wrong with them.

While theres' certainly nothing even remotely brilliant about my arguments, only ability to see things as they are without ideological filter.

And you have no ideological stake in this at all. It is opinion of the unbiased observer.

Really Dobbin, your peaceful appeasement strategy isn't working. Anybody who could see things plain as they are, would be able to tell as much. There were two hugely disproportionate and destructive military campaigs with massive civilian casualties (Lebanon and Gaza). The condition of population in the occupied territories is in deplorable state, as attested by independent organisations like Amnesty, HRW, even in today's news.

All true. And I measure this against groups who refuse to acknowledge Israel's existence as a state and attack it and have attacked it since its founding.

And, there's creeping, never stopping settlement activity. When something isn't working, and hasn't worked for at least two decades (at least; I'm only counting it since after the end of Cold War), would a rational individual, genuinly interested to achieve progress, (and therefore without some backroom agenda), keep on pressing the course that had failed? Keep playing the record until, on some zillionth repetion thing would somehow change (why?). There you go, nothing at all brilliant, only logic and common sense, thanks but I wasn't in any way deserving the praise.

I don't believe your policy of disengagement will work. It is that simple.

While you, please note, still have not provided any argumentation as what exactly would be terribly wrong with "disengagement", applied, as was clearly stated, conditionally, and as a last resort?

Because I don't believe it will work and I don't think your example of South Africa shows it works.

I already responded to that line of argumentation previously and it's not in my habit to comb the thread for multiple examples of the above. Someone who won't see or hear, will always find a way to.

I didn't hear any examples except for the ones I gave in terms of trade and the like which you seemed to agree with. I don't really believe that ending trade with Israel will help.

I haven't dissmissed it and it's a completely different situation, for once there was willingness on both sides to achieve settlement. Parties in Middle East conflict have yet to come to that state of affairs. In that condition lending an unconditional, unquestioning support to one side is counter productive and will only exacerbate the situation. Just what we see on the ground, and in plain view. Moreover, in our current role as a close ally of one side, there's no chance we could be asked to play the same role as in N.Ireland, ie. that of a trusted, impartial mediator.

That's funny because just last month, the Palestinian Authority believed Canada could have a role and said so.

I don't believe our support is unconditional and unquestioning. You keep saying so but it doesn't make it true.

Really, Soviets supporting SA regime?? Are you breaking new ground here? I thought them, Soviets, supported Communist leaning guerillas, you sure you got it right?

Sorry, that should have read South African ANC rather than regime. Support of ANC ended in 1990-1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It changed the dynamic of the fight and de Klerk was able to negotiate with non-violent reformist elements.

Sanctions were ineffective against South Africa. They were not responsible for changing that country's behaviour.

In any case, in the essence of the matter, things are really very simple, 1-2-3: 1) you proclaim certain goal (you really, really need to help, right, otherwise why not simply get out and mind your, i.e. our, own business??); 2) you defined progress toward it (you want progress, right? Or is it just the perpetuous assistent job?); 3) you reward actual progress and you do something real if and when it does not happen.

So is it really calculus?

And I believe this type of calculus is ineffective. I haven't seen it work yet.

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I don't believe your policy of disengagement will work. It is that simple.

....

Because I don't believe it will work.

OK, thanks for clarification, that pretty much concludes the logical part of this discussion. There's no logical arguments against "I believe". By extension, should we also assume your belief in the "engagement" strategy, despite all the clear signs in reality of its successes so far?

That's funny because just last month, the Palestinian Authority believed Canada could have a role and said so.

What was said is "same role as in N.Ireland", please read carefully.

I don't believe our support is unconditional and unquestioning. You keep saying so but it doesn't make it true.

Then shouldn't we be able to see those "conditions and questions" in reality, not only your saying so?

Sorry, that should have read South African ANC rather than regime. Support of ANC ended in 1990-1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It changed the dynamic of the fight and de Klerk was able to negotiate with non-violent reformist elements.

Sorry, a bit slower, collapse of S.U. has weakend opposition to SA regime and that caused it (the regime) to abandon apartheid? Am I the only one noticing a slight jump of logic here? In any case, this isn't really relevant to the discussion.

Sanctions were ineffective against South Africa. They were not responsible for changing that country's behaviour.

Yet we all know the result. It happened after sanctions were deployed, and even more importantly, clear unambiguous condemnation of apartheid around the world, not during "productive engagement" or whatever, decades. Another case of stretching the reality to my vision of how it should be (have been)?

I haven't seen it work yet.

No surprise, many of us see only what they want to see.

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