Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Israelis Deciding the Future of West Bank

Old 03-28-06, 07:29 AM
  #1  
Admin-Thanos
Thread Starter
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,102
Israelis Deciding the Future of West Bank

Yahoo link
By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 8 minutes ago

JERUSALEM - Israelis voted Tuesday in a historic election billed as a referendum on the future of the West Bank, with the leading candidate, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, promising to pull back from most of the territory and draw Israel's final borders by 2010.

Barring an unexpected surge by hawkish parties, Israelis were expected to give a green light to Olmert's proposal to separate from most Palestinians after 39 years of military occupation.


Israel began the "disengagement" process last summer with its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, but Tuesday's vote marked the first time the leading candidate has laid out a concrete vision for the future of the West Bank.

"This is perhaps the most important election in all of Israel's life," said Mordechai Aviv, 76, of Jerusalem. "We are going to separate between us and the Arabs.

As Israelis voted, two people — an adult and a child — were killed in an explosion near the Gaza border. Initial reports by police and medics said the two were struck by a homemade rocket fired from Gaza by Palestinian militants. However, medics later said they two could also have been killed by ordnance lying in a field.

The Islamic Jihad militant group claimed responsibility, saying the attack was timed to disrupt the Israeli election. In the past, Palestinian violence has driven Israeli voters toward hard-line parties.

About 22 percent of the 4.5 million eligible voters had cast their vote by midday, five hours after polls opened, the country's Central Elections Committee said.

The turnout was slightly below levels from the nation's last election, in 2003. Analysts have said low turnout could hurt the prospects of the front-running Kadima Party.

Rafi Friedman, a resident of the Tel Aviv suburb of Kochav Yair, voted as soon as the polls opened before rushing off to the airport for a business trip. "Voting is not just a right. It's a duty," he said.

Security was extremely tight, with some 22,000 police and border police patrolling Israel's frontier with the West Bank, particularly around Jerusalem. The military had sealed off the West Bank and Gaza two weeks earlier, barring all Palestinians to prevent possible attacks by militants.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, attending the Arab Summit in Sudan, appealed to voters to back candidates who support a peace deal. "We hope that the Israeli voters will direct their vote to peace, for parliament members who are looking for peace, who want peace, because there is no future for us and for them, there is no security for us and for them without peace," he told The Associated Press.

Pollsters predicted that Olmert's centrist Kadima Party, founded in November, would win the most votes, well ahead of the center-left Labor Party and the right-wing Likud. However, an unusually large number of voters said they were undecided, and pollsters said large fluctuations were possible.

Success for Kadima has been defined as winning at least 35 of 120 seats in parliament. The party, which Olmert took over after its founder, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, lapsed into a coma following a stroke on Jan. 4, has been polling around 34 seats in recent days, several seats less than pollsters predicted at the start of the campaign.

In Israel's electoral system, the leader of the largest party is asked first to try to form a ruling coalition. No party has ever won a majority in parliament.

The shape of Olmert's government — whether stacked with moderate or more hardline parties — could well determine how far he can go in carrying out his plan.

Olmert has said he would only invite parties that back his plan, but might be forced to seek other allies if Kadima gets fewer seats than expected. Labor, in favor of territorial concessions, was expected to win around 20 seats, and Likud, which wants to keep most of the West Bank, was polling at 14 seats.

Israel captured the West Bank, home to about 2.5 million Palestinians, in the 1967 Mideast War.

Under Olmert's plan, Israel's partially completed West Bank separation barrier, expected to swallow about 8 percent of the area, would become the new border within four years, with some alterations. Settlement blocs on the Israeli side of the barrier would be beefed up, while tens of thousands of settlers living on the other side would be uprooted from their homes.

"We will determine the line of the security fence, and we will make sure that no Jewish settlements will be left on the other side of the fence. Drawing the final borders is our obligation as leaders and as a society," Olmert wrote Tuesday in an op-ed piece published in the Yediot Ahronot daily, once again laying out his vision.


Joined by his wife Aliza, Olmert cast his ballot near his Jerusalem home. Smiling for a crowd of TV cameras, Olmert slowly slipped the ballot into the box, then embraced his wife.

In all, 31 parties were competing, including about two dozen with narrow agendas, such as pensioner rights, legalization of marijuana and parties for the ultra-Orthodox. About a dozen parties were expected to clear the 2 percent-of-the-vote threshold to enter parliament.

Raheli London, 18, of Jerusalem, planned to support the ultra-Orthodox Aguda Yisrael party at the behest of religious leaders. "All the rabbis send me to them, so I vote for them," she said.

Olmert's idea of unilateral action gained support after the victory of the Hamas militant group in legislative elections. The Palestinian parliament was set to approve Hamas' Cabinet on Tuesday, sending it to Abbas for final approval.

During the campaign, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu had warned that unilateral pullbacks simply bring Hamas closer to Israel, and Labor leader Amir Peretz complained that the Kadima approach kills prospects for peace talks. Peretz, a former union leader, also has promised to narrow the growing gap between rich and poor.

Peretz voted in his hometown of Sderot, a working-class community in the southern Negev Desert, flanked by his wife.

Sharon's main legacy was to plant the idea that Israel need not wait for a formal peace treaty to separate from the Palestinians. His stand-in, Olmert, has positioned himself as the man most likely to make that happen.

"Olmert did what Sharon would not have done on the eve of elections: He told the voters what he intends to do," columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in Yediot. "He turned these elections into a referendum on the future of Judea and Samaria," he added, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.

Right-wing parties, aligned with religious forces, hoped to form a "blocking majority" of 60 seats that would prevent Olmert from carrying out his plan.
I think this is the right thing to do (pull out of most of the West Bank). Draw the borders, put up the fence and say basically, "Ok, this is what you've been bitching about for 30 years, here you go, here's the West Bank and Gaza." This will allow 2 things. It will be easier to police Israeli territory because they will have the fence to protect them and there will be less Palestinians inside Israeli territory. It will also give the Israelis some moral high ground to really kick some ass if they continue to get bombed given the fact that they pulled out, which was the main justification for the bombings in the first place (occupation).
VinVega is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 09:17 AM
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,192
Sounds like a good idea.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 11:36 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
problem is where do they pull out from. to the green line or some line they pick?
Venusian is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 11:44 AM
  #4  
Admin-Thanos
Thread Starter
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,102
Originally Posted by Venusian
problem is where do they pull out from. to the green line or some line they pick?
I think they are drawing a line around the most heavily populated settlements in the West Bank. They will then build the wall and at that point, all other settlements will be disbanded.
VinVega is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 11:53 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pleasantville - in black & white ;P
Posts: 5,970
It will show the Palestinians/Middle East don't just want the West Bank. They don't want Israel to exist. Period.
mosquitobite is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 12:02 PM
  #6  
Admin-Thanos
Thread Starter
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,102
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
It will show the Palestinians/Middle East don't just want the West Bank. They don't want Israel to exist. Period.
Well, I'm hoping that when that happens, that there will be more world support for Israel when they kick the Palestinians' butts.
VinVega is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 12:24 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 29,178
Originally Posted by VinVega
It will be easier to police Israeli territory because they will have the fence to protect them and there will be less Palestinians inside Israeli territory.
This is as much about demographics as it is about security.
eXcentris is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 12:31 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Originally Posted by eXcentris
This is as much about demographics as it is about security.
I don't agree with that at all - at least from the Israeli standpoint.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 12:41 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Ruler
 
General Zod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 21,179
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
It will show the Palestinians/Middle East don't just want the West Bank. They don't want Israel to exist. Period.
The world already knows this. The palestinians have come and said as much. All giving them this land will do is get them a little closer to their goal. Still, I like the fence idea. I wish America would get a clue and follow their example.

World support for Israel

Last edited by General Zod; 03-28-06 at 01:48 PM.
General Zod is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 01:47 PM
  #10  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
World support for Israel
Exactly.
bhk is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 02:26 PM
  #11  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,192
Originally Posted by General Zod
Still, I like the fence idea. I wish America would get a clue and follow their example.
When we have more terrorist attacks which can be linked to the border, only then will the idiots in Washington (Democrat and Republican) create such a border.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 02:48 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 29,178
Originally Posted by classicman2
I don't agree with that at all - at least from the Israeli standpoint.
The Palestinians have one of the highest birth rate on the planet. If Israel were to take Gaza and the West Bank and make them part of Israel proper, arabs would quickly outnumber jews. This issue is just as important for Israel as security is. It just doesn't get talked about much.
eXcentris is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 04:02 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
I hit myself in the head with a hammer repeatedly because it feels so good when I stop.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 04:38 PM
  #14  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,361
Originally Posted by eXcentris
The Palestinians have one of the highest birth rate on the planet. If Israel were to take Gaza and the West Bank and make them part of Israel proper, arabs would quickly outnumber jews. This issue is just as important for Israel as security is. It just doesn't get talked about much.
I've never understood why people don't get this simple fact.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 04:49 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Originally Posted by eXcentris
The Palestinians have one of the highest birth rate on the planet. If Israel were to take Gaza and the West Bank and make them part of Israel proper, arabs would quickly outnumber jews. This issue is just as important for Israel as security is. It just doesn't get talked about much.
Suicide bombers don't replace themselves, you know.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 05:07 PM
  #16  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,361
Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
What Israel seeks is territory, not the wretched souls that currently inhabit it.
I'm not quite sure what that means, but I'm fairly sure it has absolutely nothing to do with what eXcentris and I are talking about.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 05:24 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 29,178
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I'm not quite sure what that means, but I'm fairly sure it has absolutely nothing to do with what eXcentris and I are talking about.
As usual, it means that anything that falls outside the usual Israelis = good, Palestinians = bad rhetoric is not acceptable in these threads.
eXcentris is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 06:34 PM
  #18  
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: In mourning
Posts: 26,218
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I've never understood why people don't get this simple fact.

Enough of us in these threads have. So too has the Israeli leadership fortunately.

Last edited by Pharoh; 03-28-06 at 06:37 PM.
Pharoh is offline  
Old 03-28-06, 06:37 PM
  #19  
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: In mourning
Posts: 26,218
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I'm not quite sure what that means, but I'm fairly sure it has absolutely nothing to do with what eXcentris and I are talking about.

Methinks you are talking about the same things.
Pharoh is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.