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Basic rights - Israel's Declaration of Independence proclaims many of the same democratic principles that the United States adheres to, including, "complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex...(and) freedom of religion conscience, language, education and culture..."
Civil Liberties - Guaranteed in law, and guarded by numerous private organizations and citizen's action groups, which openly challenge and criticize the government.
Freedom of Religion - The Declaration of the Independence of the State of Israelguarantees freedom of religion to the entire population. Each religious community isfree, by law and in practice, to exercise its faith, to administer its own internal affairs, and to visit its holy sites.
Women's Rights - Unlike any other Middle Eastern nation, Israeli women are guaranteed equal rights and equal pay..
Independent Judiciary - In stark contrast to other Middle East nations, Israel has an independent judicial system, which protects the rights of individuals and operates under the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." (1)
Led by Grand Mufti Haj Amin El-Husseini, they rioted repeatedly and later revolted, creating a history of enmity between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
Israel has occupied the West bank and Gaza Strip (about 2,200 square miles) since the 1967 6-day war, and has built settlements with a population of about 220,000, mostly in the West Bank.
The Oslo accords were supposed to have led to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but continued Israeli settlement and Palestinian violence and incitement degenerated into open conflict in September 2000.
Mainstream Palestinians demand a state in the West Bank and Gaza. Right wing Israelis are opposed to creating a state, because, they claim, it would be a base for terror groups. In final status negotiations, the Israeli government agreed to a demilitarized Palestinian state with limited control over its borders and resources - a "state minus." The Palestinians have won a commitment for a state from the UN, and from US President Bush.
Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, took advantage of the anti-imperialist feeling to become the leader of a Pan-Arab secular ideology movement, which tried to unite Arabs beyond the confines of the nation states, and to encourage a program of modernization and secularization. This program met opposition from Muslim traditionalists. Pan-Arabism declined after Nasser instigated the Six-Day War with Israel, which resulted in a disastrous Arab defeat.
It cannot be described as a peace curriculum either (1)
It is this clerics teachings that the Wahhabis and the lesser known and even more radical Muslim Brotherhood preach at these schools. In this context, an endless cycle of violence is preached towards countries like Israel. Indeed most of the 911 hijackers were indoctrinated at these schools. But for the courage of leaders like Hussein and Sadat, and those of Israel stability in the area would not have been possible (Sadat payed for it with his life).
“Death of the martyrs for the unification people in the cause of god and his word is the happiest, best, easiest, and most virtuous of death” (2)
According to the Middle East Policy Council, as of May 18, 2004, over 3867 people have been killed as a result of the conflict since September 29, 2000. 892 Israelis (non-combatant civilians and IDF troops) have been killed by Palestinian militants or suicide bombers, and 2975 Palestinian civilians (all Palestinians except suicide bombers and Israeli assassination targets) have been killed by Israeli military forces or Israeli civilians.
In 1973, Mossad murdered Ahmad Bouchikhi, an innocent Arab waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, who had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of the Black September, a Palestinian guerrilla organization, which was responsible for the Munich Massacre.
After losing the 1999 election, Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed reports that he had engaged in secret talks with Syrian President Hafez Assad to withdraw from the Golan and maintain a strategic early-warning station on Mount Hermon. Publicly, Assad continued to insist on a total withdrawal with no compromises(1)
Every community in our country has a fundamental right to be free from fear. Each and every (one) has the right to feel secure in their home, to feel safe in the cities, towns and rural areas. People should not fear the night. They must be able to travel to work, to school and other places without danger. But these rights are being denied to many by criminals who do not hesitate to use violence to achieve their goals. (2)
During the 34 months from the beginning of the violence in September 2000 until the construction of the first continuous segment of the security fence at the end of July 2003, Samaria-based terrorists carried out 73 attacks in which 293 Israelis were killed and 1950 wounded. In the 11 months between the erection of the first segment at the beginning of August 2003 and the end of June 2004, only three attacks were successful, and all three occurred in the first half of 2003. Since construction of the fence began, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%. The number of Israelis murdered and wounded has decreased by more than 70% and 85%, respectively, after erection of the fence. The success of the anti-terrorist fence in Samaria means that the launching point for terrorists has been moved to Judea, where there is not yet a continuous fence.(1)
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not tactics. The Palestinian Arab people affirms its absolute resolution and abiding determination to pursue the armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution, to liberate its homeland and return to it to maintain its right to a natural life in it, and to exercise its right of self-determination in it and sovereignty over it.
Qalqiliya, a city with approximately 41,000 residents and the district center, will be hermetically sealed by the Wall, a looming concrete obstruction, eight meters (24 feet) high, with watch towers, electric fencing, and a military patrol. Qalqilya once had a dynamic market, serving over 85,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel; now 70% of the residents suffer from unemployment as business has plummeted without customers. Noha Nazal, a resident of Qalqilya, explains that Israel's caging of the city "has brought families under incredible stress. We are trapped without employment, health services, or higher education. Also, the Wall and [Israeli] closures have cut off family relations..."
It is quite dissimilar from some other organizations such as European Union, because it has not achieved any significant degree of regional integration and the organization itself has no direct relations with the citizens of its member states.
“Palestine is not only a part of our Arab homeland, but a basic part of southern Syria.”
— Syrian President Hafez Assad
Israel’s democracy promotes stability by providing an example of the benefits of a secular, free society.
1993: Chairman of the PLO Arafat declares in a letter to the Israeli Premier Minister Rabin that the principles of the Charter that denies the right of existence for Israel, are "inoperative and no longer valid" (2)
And finally, we are keenly aware of the impact of the fence on the lives of Palestinians. We have no wish to damage Palestinian quality of life. That is why we are constantly reviewing the humanitarian arrangements and the routing of the fence, and have already introduced changes. We are committed to continuing to review all aspect of the fence, to find the most effective and humane way of protecting lives without causing unnecessary hardship to the Palestinian population. (3)
Nowhere in the article is it noted that numerous terrorists from Qalqiliya have committed mass casualty attacks in Israel. In the past two years, the former Palestinian “hub” has dispatched no fewer than six suicide bombers, Israel considers Qalqiliya be such a hotbed of terrorism, that it has indeed, in a rare security measure, enclosed the town with the barrier, providing access through checkpoints. (4)
The invasion was widely criticized both in and outside Israel, especially after the Sabra and Shatila massacre and ultimately led to the death of 20,000 Lebanese.
The text of the Palestinian National Covenant remains as it was and no changes whatsoever were made to it. This has caused it to be frozen, not annulled. The drafting of the new National Covenant will take into account the extent of Israeli fulfillment of its previous and coming obligations... evil and corrupt acts are expected from the Israeli side... The fact that the PNC did not hold a special session to make changes and amendments in the text of the National Covenant at this stage... was done to defend the new Covenant from being influenced by the current Israeli dictatorship.
The debate in the Likud party has also been fuelled by a series of personal and party rivalries. "Unfortunately there is a group within the party that has been plotting against the government since its establishment," Mr. Sharon told the convention earlier.
The prime minister, who, more than anyone, has made the right a force in Israel, was rejected by the party he helped create. He can continue to govern but without the moral authority to do anything but manage the country.
A hearty round of applause for both of these participants. This was a great match-up on a very tough topic. It was almost a shame to have to choose a winner!
My vote goes to FredT. I felt he had the stronger position and presented the facts very well.
This was an even up debate as the participants got bogged down on the internal Israeli/Palastinian conflict, I was hoping for a much wider debate about the presence or absence of Israel and the effect on the region as a whole which seems more to the point of the debate subject.
It came down to the last few posts when Jamuhn made the most convincing point in the form of a question;
"If Israel can't even create a stable state for themselves, how can we expect them to help at all in stabilizing the Middle East as a whole?"
Keeping in mind the narrow topic and being as objective as possible on a very controversial subject I have to declare Jamuhn the winner.
Great job all around, as usual with the debates, but my vote is going for Jamuhn. I found Jamuhn more convincing and the posts seemed to be better researched.
Excellent debate by both parties, both should be proud. This was a very tough one to pick but I'm going to side with Jamuhn as his arguments seemed to pull me in more, a very good debating style.
It was the hardest one yet, both presented many sources and well thoughtout replies. After reading it two times, I had to determine that FredT was the winner. He showed alot of evidence that his side was right, and his evidence damned alot of Jamuhn's. Jamuhn did a great job and I nearly picked him as the winner, but reading it again FredT had the better defence.
I liked this debate quite a bit. As the debate was about Israel being a stabilizing force in the Middle East, and not a securer Israel, I believe Jamuhn better addressed this topic. Piece of advice for future debates, when providing links, please do so to specific pages, just to the websites home page doesn't provide the info needed.
A well structured and thought out debate. Both made good points, but I'm placing my vote with Jamuhn, as I felt that he made a better argument. I'd like to thank both fighters for a great history lesson; I learned some things I didn't know before about that region.