"before returning safely to Earth"
That's not bad for a first attempt. Certainly better than some countries with bigger budgets managed.
Iran’s first monkey astronaut successfully completed its debut mission into space on Monday in what the Islamic republic said is a prelude to manned expeditions within the next few years. The courageous simian travelled in a bio-capsule aboard the Pishgam (Pioneer) explorer rocket and orbited the planet at an altitude of 120km …
That's not bad for a first attempt. Certainly better than some countries with bigger budgets managed.
Except it's not their first attempt. Nor the first successful one either. They've previously sent smaller creatures into space successfully. Their first attempt at sending a primate was a few years ago, which wasn't successful.
Silly me. I thought that when the first four words of the article said "Iran’s first monkey astronaut " I thought it meant it was Iran's first monkey astronaut. I shall go to bed without supper tonight feeling suitably chastised..
Does Islam allow men to travel in space?
Islam doesn't stop Muslims going into space, the only problem is knowing which direction to pray as they always have to face Mecca.
> is knowing which direction to pray
"Down" should usually cover it.
Not as complicated as for Jewish astronauts. An Israeli who was on a Shuttle mission had the problem that the Sabbath is every 7 days (or 7 sunsets on earth), unfortunately the Shuttle was orbiting every 90 minutes, meaning a Sabbath comes around every 10.5 hours, which would have been quite distracting. They resolved it by deciding that he could observe the Sabbath as if he were at Cape Canaveral.
Maybe anybody on a space mission could give up their superstitions for the duration of the trip, making life easier for everybody.
This raises the question of stasis chambers for deep space travel: should Jewish and Muslim astronauts be defrosted (once a week, resp. 5x a day) to do their praying?
(Same for Catholic monks, of course, just with more singing at dawn and vespers.)
I too prefer Science Fiction (stasis chambers?) over Religious Fiction (gods?) but we shouldn't pretend they are not both fiction, for the moment at least, before we get too bogged down in planning intergalactic defrost cycles.
Perhaps supernatural beliefs will die out before stasis chambers are invented (or are needed). That may be a depressing or a hopeful thought. You decide.
"This raises the question of stasis chambers for deep space travel: should Jewish and Muslim astronauts be defrosted (once a week, resp. 5x a day) to do their praying?"
No. Lets leave the crazies here. We don't want to take that nonsense with us.
"I too prefer Science Fiction (stasis chambers?) over Religious Fiction (gods?) but we shouldn't pretend they are not both fiction, for the moment at least, before we get too bogged down in planning intergalactic defrost cycles."
But one of them may, one day, become real. The other has no hope.
Surely occupying the same location as 'god' would sort some of their heads out.
"I thought that when the first four words of the article said "Iran’s first monkey astronaut " I thought it meant it was Iran's first monkey astronaut."
It may not be the first intended astronaut, just that its predecessors didn't get far enough from land to get the title before they became an ex-monkey.
Did it go into orbit in one piece?
That's the major issue.
Anyway, BBQ'd monkey (even if in bits) is hallal food.
Mo would approve, I am sure - because a monkey got closer to his god, than he did.
Satan - because all sorts of weirdo's throw rocks at her.
Giving up reflex prejudice* whilst commenting would be useful too. We're all different - better live with it than fight it.
* against anyone
Even if he did obey the sabbath every 10.5 hours, if would hardly have been the end of the world. If would have only last 90 minutes.
I read some years ago about a Muslim who was in the US Navy and who had the problem that, since the ship could often be manoeuvring, it was very difficult for him to pray towards Mecca.
He asked his Imam who apparently told him "Which is more important? That you pray towards Mecca or just that you pray?"
Oh and to some of the posters above, I don't share his faith, I don't have any religious beliefs, but I'm willing to respect his Right to hold those beliefs in the hope that he will reciprocate and not say "You must think the same way as me" as certain fanatics do...
I have no doubt that in the future someone will invent a gimbal-mounted platform that auo-orients to Mecca for orbital prayer.
On a related note, are Jews permitted to fire thrusters on the sabbath?
"That's not bad for a first attempt......" It's not their first attempt, that failed. They also only got the monkey on this launch to sub-orbital space. So far the Iranians have two failed satellite launches and a sub-orbital monkey - hardly comparable to the Chinese, Indian or Japanese programs. Indeed, a quick look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launchers_families) would show they are just following many other countries, the difference being the other programs are building satellite launch vehicles and not ICBMs in disguise (excepting probably their equally whacky buddies in North Korea).
"......Certainly better than some countries with bigger budgets managed." Do you mean countries that did original research and development, as opposed to the Iranian effort, which is just a rehash of Sixties Russian unguided missile tech and some tech they bought from China (which copied/stole it from Russia)? The Pishgam rocket was a Safir-2 which is based on the Shahab-3, which is a copy of the Chinese Nodong-1, which is in turn just a minor development of the old Russian Scud. You can see a pic of it here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21230691) on the BBC site - does that look like a proper launcher compared to an Ariane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariane_5) or an Altlas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_V)?
Since we are ALL on a "space mission" aboard the good ship "Earth", I second that motion and suggest it therefore apply to everybody, now.
I'm sure that by the time we sort out stasis chambers and extended space flight, this whole religious conflict malarkey will have sorted itself out, and everyone will be much more tolerant of each other and not so obsessed with 2000-year-old rituals.
"I'm willing to respect his Right to hold those beliefs in the hope that he will reciprocate and not say "You must think the same way as me" as certain fanatics do..."
If someone had a crippling mental illness, say, OCD effecting them to the point where it took up an hour of their time, would you not suggest they need help?
An adult having an imaginary friend who helps you is seen as a mental illness, unless you claim they are God, Jesus or some other deity.
'US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that if the launched had taken place it would be viewed as “a serious concern”, according to Reuters`.
Israel is concerned about an Iranian nuclear missile.
'That concern may arise because the launch probably violated UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which bans “any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology"'.
Israel told the US to pretend Israel doesn't have a nuclear missile ...
I also don't understand how it can "probably" violate Resolution 1929. It achieved orbit (not sub-orbital or ballistic) and if they've managed to launch satellites before they already have the capability to launch a ballistic missile. To get to 100km you only need 1.4km/s Δv, to get into LEO, 9.4km/s Δv is needed.
The words Horse, Stable and Door spring to mind when I saw that quote.
So does resolution 1929 mean that if you already have ballistic missiles (US, Russia, UK, China, etc etc), then you're allowed to keep them but if you don't have ballistic missiles you're not allowed to develop them? And by extension, does that mean "if you're not a member of the nuclear club, we're not going to alllow you to explore space?"
Right now there is only 1 country in the middle east that has nukes. There's only 1 country in the middle east that has delivery capability to at least elsewhere in the middle east. And there's only 1 country in the middle east that is occupying territors that isn't theirs, in violation of a number of UN resolutions not to mention those vetoed by the US.
Israel DOES have legitimate security concerns, to which I am extremely sympathetic. Thing is, I would be a LOT more sympathetic to their concerns if they weren't using them as cover to cynically expand their territory in ways that make it impossible to achieve a 2-state solution, while at the same time publically proclaiming that they're ready to talk peace, only not now because teh conditions aren't right.
So bottom line, screw the US state department concerns, and congrats to Iran for a good tech achievement.
"Right now there is only 1 country in the middle east that has nukes. There's only 1 country in the middle east that has delivery capability to at least elsewhere in the middle east. "
I think you'll find they have orbital capabilities. It's IIRC a 4 stage solid but it takes a big hit on payload because they have to launch over the Med as dropping spent stages on the neighbours is likely to annoy them.
"but it takes a big hit on payload because they have to launch over the Med as dropping spent stages on the neighbours is likely to annoy them"
What, annoy them more than bombing their cities because you feel like it, seizing their land, or asassinating their scientists?
Personally I can't see the neighbours giving a hoot about a manky bit of used rocket dropping in the desert - and if it's because they are delivering a warhead on some other neighbour, you're not exactly going to register a complaint, are you?
Since 1988 the Shavit launcher has made six successful launches out of nine and has put three satellites in orbit. However, the Israelis decided it was cheaper to buy launches on the Indian PSLV program instead.
The 1980s Shavit was acknowledged to be based on the already operational Jericho 2 ICBM, which is thought to have been developed into a Jericho 3 variant that entered service in 2008, and possibly tested a fourth version in 2012. Going on leaks and Shavit performance, it is reckoned the Israelis have a current ICBM capability with 750kg to 1300kg payload (depending on range), and the tech to put MIRV warheads into the package, capable of hitting any spot in the Mid East, Africa, Europe, possibly all of Asia, and even as far as South America. The number of Jericho 2 and 3 ICBMs in service is guestimated as anything from ten to 200.
".....What, annoy them more than bombing their cities because you feel like it, seizing their land, or asassinating their scientists?...." <Yawn> Change the record, we've debunked all those pet assertions in previous threads.
"....Personally I can't see the neighbours giving a hoot about a manky bit of used rocket dropping in the desert...." It's more of a case of the overflight being mistaken for an attack or intrusion, in which case a panicky Jordanian, Iranian, Syrian or even Lebanese officer could fire something back and kick off another war. After all, Hezbollah got shirty and started firing when the Israelis cut down a sapling on the border (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-10851692), do you think they'd remain calm at a piece of superhot stage casing, possibly accompanied by burning residual rocket fuel, falling on Lebanese territory?
"<Yawn> Change the record, we've debunked all those pet assertions in previous threads."
Ahh look, it's Matt The Twatt. No "we" haven't debunked anything, and in fact neither have you. You have in your usual noisy, pompous manner disagreed, and evidently in recent threads persuaded yourself that you're correct, even when (as often) you're not, or the issue is more nuanced than your primitive black and white thinking can accept. Perhaps that's because you often go off on some illogical tangent.
In this case you're on topic for a rare change, just wrong. Israel has in recent history fired into Syria, Gaza, Lebanon as they see fit, without provoking any meaningful wars, so a bit of smoking debris isn't going to start any war.
So again, you're talking out of your arse.
".....haven't debunked anything, and in fact neither have you...." Oh dear, that goldfish memory of yours must be playing up. If you like we can skip right back to A$$nut's fake illness saga for examples of where you blindly posted something that had been debunked weeks before (http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/11/29/julian_assange_lung/#c_1644387).
"....persuaded yourself that you're correct...." Being able to post verifiable facts rather than just ranting and frothing (as you do) is pretty good for the old conviction thingummy. You should try it some time.
".... Israel has in recent history fired into Syria, Gaza, Lebanon as they see fit...." "as they see fit"? Really? So you can post verifiable links to news items for those events? Oooh, is that a flying pig? Any time Israel has fired into any neighbouring state (or the hellhole of Gaza) is in response to attacks on Israel. Even the targeted killings that you no doubt prefer to call murder or assassinations are of known terrorists with records of violent attacks on Israel, or (such as the scientists and Revolutionary Guards in Iran) those facilitating or planning attacks on Israel.
Oh look, you've just been debunked again.
@Matt Bryant - out of the three " bombing their cities because you feel like it, seizing their land, or asassinating their scientists?", I'll grant you one - the bombing of cities 'because they felt like it'. When Israel has bombed arab cities recently it's been in retaliation for rocket attacks or bombs, not on a whim. Whether the Israeli response was proportional is another matter*.
Regarding "asassinating their scientists" I might even give you half a point because it's never been conclusively proven that Israel was behind the assassinations even though it's a sort of assumed open secret. It certainly is not "debunked"
I leave the best for last, you think it's "debunked" that Israel have seized land that isn't theirs? All of the settlements on the West Bank are an illegal land-grab. saying that they only occupied this land after being attacked by arabs is a red herring. Firstly that was 50 years ago, secondly, it's still not their land. By their reasoning, it would have been OK for England to send over a bunch of English people to build new cities in Germany after the second world war displace the Germans and render them second-class citizens in their own land. If Israel REALLY were just concerned about their security, they would just leave some military outposts on the west bank until a 2-state solution is found. Putting their settlements there is de-facto saying they do not want a 2-state solution, they want to permanently annex that land. What Israel SAYS in the matter is irrelevent if it's the exacz opposite of what they DO.
*Personally I think it's WAAAY disproportionate, but thenI'm not in teh line of fire so I can give them the benefit of the doubt
(such as the scientists and Revolutionary Guards in Iran) those facilitating or planning attacks on Israel
How clever of you to conflate "scientists and Revolutionary guards" together as if they were the same thing. Hint : they are not. the scientists killed were civilians, working on nuclear power technology. It's only in the deranged minds of Israel's and USA's far right that Iran is a threat to Israel. Ahmadinajed is all bluster no substance. Iran's supreme leader has publicly, clearly and repeatedly stated that using nuclear weapons is a grave sin, and for all their bluster Iran knows full well that their attacking Israel will result in tehran being nuked.
But sure, otherwise go on believing whatever Fox news tells you
".....I leave the best for last, you think it's "debunked" that Israel have seized land that isn't theirs?....." So who does it belong to? The Arabs in the area often claim "ownership" of land they do not live on or have only recently moved to. The E1 area which is causing the current level of chest beating is a good example - barren hillsides and peaks not even used for grazing, with no Arab housing, villages or farms in the area, but suddenly it's "vital" land when the Israelis want to build on it.
"......All of the settlements on the West Bank are an illegal land-grab......" Illegal how? All we hear is this "illegal" claim yet it has never been taken to court of law as it has long been acknowledged the laws in question simply do not apply.
"..... saying that they only occupied this land after being attacked by arabs is a red herring....." In the UK the government can seize land to build a road or government structure. This is quite legal and draws no comment outside the loonie Green quarter. A perfect example is the "new towns" of the Sixties, such as Milton Keyne. Same goes in the US or any part of Europe. Compensation is usually paid. In the West Bank, in the areas not ceded to PNA control under the Oslo Accords (which the PNA is in breach of anyway), the Israeli government is the legal controller, even if you want to apply the international law of one military occupying another sovereign state (which "Palestine" is not), and can confiscate land with exactly the same legal rights and pay compensation if an owner comes forward. No-one accused the builders of Milton Keynes of being "illegal settlement builders". Even in the case of occupation of sovereign states (which "Palestine" is not) there are plenty of precedents. For example, in post-War Germany, no-one accused the Allies of "illegal settlement building" when they ordered the building of refugee housing for non-German refugees. Until the PLO sits down and negotiates a proper peace with Israel that's the simple and legal truth. Do you really think any of the heavy-hitter anti-Israel politicians in America alone would have let Israel get away with it if it really was so easy to prove in court it was "illegal"?
"..... it would have been OK for England to send over a bunch of English people to build new cities in Germany after the second world war displace the Germans....." I suggest you go look at some of the massive building projects the Allies completed in occupied Germany post-War. Some of the military bases built did resemble cities and did involve lots of confiscation of German land.
".....and render them second-class citizens in their own land....." Seeing as Fakeistinians seized Jewish land in the West Bank, you can argue that the Arabs are "illegally occupying" as well. Many areas in question had Jewish people living in it before the Jordanians chased then out in 1948. Indeed, many Arabs moved to the West Bank before 1948 to work on Jewish farms. Either way, those Jewish refugees that survived the ethnic cleansing by the Jordanians were absorbed and integrated into Israel without any problems, despite the lack of resources of that nascent state. Yet the Arabs forced the Arab refugees to become "second-class" citizens, in contravention of international refugee laws, and despite their much greater resources. Even when Jordan was in control of the West Bank they did nothing to integrate the Arab refugees.
".....If Israel REALLY were just concerned about their security, they would just leave some military outposts on the west bank until a 2-state solution is found....." Under the Oslo Accord, Bibi can declare any area of the West Bank a military zone, giving him complete control of the area. If the Israelis really did want to just clear out the Arabs as you pretend then Bibi would have a perfectly legal tool to do so. Try reading and thinking for yourself, it might help.
".....Putting their settlements there is de-facto saying they do not want a 2-state solution...." How? Is there some minimum amount of land required to declare a state? Better not tell Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg or Andorra. In fact, all this male bovine manure about E1 making it impossible to create a Palestinian state is complete rubbish, as proven by the above countries. Indeed, Monaco is only 2.05 square kilometers, which makes even the Gaza Strip look big, and is TWICE as densely populated, exposing another bit of bleating about Gaza. In short, the only thing stopping the two-state solution is Arab refusals to negotiate.
"..... they want to permanently annex that land....." From a security viewpoint it makes sense. Whenever Israel has withdrawn from an area in the hope of peace (such as the Gaza Strip or Southern Lebanon) the Arabs have immediately used the returned land to launch rocket attacks on Israel's civilians. If Israel is to protect their own people in a future two-state deal, it needs to have military security and hence the high ground around Jerusalem and down the old 1968 Disengagement Line (which was NOT an international border before you start that rubbish). Prior international peace treaties have concluded with parties gaining more land than they started so it is neither unique nor illegal, the creation of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 being a perfect example. And since the Fakeistinians won't sit down to negotiate it gives the Israelis a perfect tool to beat them back to the negotiating table. Israel gave up the far more important oil fields and settlements in the Sinai for peace with Egypt, so maybe you should stop shrieking assumptions about what Israel may do and instead start looking at simple facts such as the Fakeistinian refusal to negotiate and ask yourself why they won't.
"....Israel SAYS in the matter is irrelevent if it's the exacz opposite of what they DO." Wow, where did you get that amazing insight spoonfed to you?
".....How clever of you to conflate "scientists and Revolutionary guards" together as if they were the same thing. Hint : they are not. the scientists killed were civilians, working on nuclear power technology...." Actually they were directly employed by the Iranian government, often by the Revolutionary Guard, making them part of the government structure if not part of the Revolutionary Guard structure. This makes them just as valid targets as the civilian German rocket scientists working on Peenemunde in 1943.
".....Iran's supreme leader has publicly, clearly and repeatedly stated that using nuclear weapons is a grave sin...." Wow, how gullible are you? Khomeini himself stated publicly that he wanted to return to Iran to support a democracy and had no plans for forcing a theocracy on the Iranian people, you want to pretend that happened too? But I see appealing to reason is a lost cause so maybe you should go ask the IAEA why they are convinced Iran is making nuke weapons?
"This makes them just as valid targets as the civilian German rocket scientists working on Peenemunde in 1943"
German rocket scientists were valid targets because UK and Germany were, you know, at WAR with each other. Israel isn't at war with Iran, so Israel is wrong to assassinate any Iranian.
Re gullibility, did you believe there were WMDs in Iraq? Do you think the US is winning the war in Afghanistan? I have no doubt that, as the IAEA says, that Iran is building the CAPABILITY of making nukes, that they want to have nukes, and maybe they even will build some actual nukes. Why? Because Israel has them, and when you're in a territorial standoff (US vs USSR cold war, India vs Pakistan), it's better to have nukes when your opponent has them.
What I do not believe is that they will randomly decide to lob one at Israel. Thinking that Ahmadi is waiting poised with his finger over a big red button, waiting for it to light up so he can press it is just nuts!
Yes it's so generous of Israel to occupy all the land they want and let Palestine have a state with what's left over.
Israel really has 2 choices:
1) Help to set up a real 2-state solution and reach a deal with a Palestinian government that acknowledges Israel and can co-exist peacefully. The size of Luxembourg and Monaco cuts both ways - by your same reasoning that viable states can be tiny, Israel does not need to expand. Israel is undermining this by grabbing more and more land. Just because 'there's no one there right now' is no justification. Also don't forget the protected corridors between settlements which means that even if Israel only has settlements on a tiny amount of west bank, in reality it controls a huge part of it. Like I said, Israel can be perfectly justified to have military bases in west bank till things are agreed, but settlements are de-facto annexation of territory.
2) Officially annex west bank and make it part of Israel. But in that case it has to either grant citizenship to all the arabs there, or else become a new apartheid south africa where arabs are second-class citizens
Israel says it's all for (1), and in the meantime it's doing (2) bit by bit and unofficially .
"German rocket scientists were valid targets because UK and Germany were, you know, at WAR with each other. Israel isn't at war with Iran...." Oh puh-lease! Iran's support and arming of Hamas and Hezbollah is grounds enough for a declaration of war, let alone Iran's many pronouncements of wanting to wipe Israel off the map. Whilst they are not in an open, declared and conventional war, they are very obviously in a covert war, a Cold War if you like. Hence why Israel did not claim responsibility for killing the Iranian scientists. Put it this way - when Clinton sent cruise missiles into the AQ camps in Afghanistan in 1998, part of the reason was to hit civilian bomb-makers and scientists working on chemical and biological weapons for bin Laden. Do you consider those scientists as invalid targets seeing as there was no declared war with Afghanistan?
Ironically, pre-revolution Iran was invited to be on the UN body that came up with the Partition Plan. The Shah rejected the Plan as he predicted that it would not lead to peace and hence did not recognise Israel in 1948, but Iran was one of the few Muslim nations (alongside Turkey) that built up close relations. It wasn't until Khomeini arrived and proclaimed Isreal "The Little Satan" that relations soured.
"....Re gullibility, did you believe there were WMDs in Iraq?...." Gee, I've never had to deal with that sheeple boilerplate before! Oh, actually I have. Under UN Resolutions 687 and later 1441, Saddam had to submit to UN inspection to ensure ALL his chemical weapons were accounted for, destroyed and their production facilities disassembled. He was barred from developing or producing chemical, biological, nucleur and certain missile weapons after 1991. For you to grasp what that means, just one tear gas grenade in post-1991 Iraq was enough to be in breach of those Resolutions, let alone the 550 155mm mustard gas shells still not accounted for. Now, take a deep breath, adjust your ideological blinkers, then go read this http://www.iraqwatch.org/profiles/chemical.html. If your head hasn't exploded then go read the other sections on biological, nuleur and missile work all in breach of the UN Resolutions and all WMDs. Then go tell whomever spoonfed you the claptrap you bleat they were wrong.
".....Israel really has 2 choices...." <Yawn> Thankfully, you are not in a position to influence their or anyone elses' decisions as they really need someone a lot more imagintaive than you. Apart from option 3 - the status quo, where Israel carries on, the PNA never gets their state, and Hamas runs their own de facto state in Gaza regardless - you have failed to consider what happens between Hamas and Fatah. Israel can sit down and discuss a two-state treaty with Fatah and then have Hamas come along and tear it all up. In reality, one of the reasons Abbas does not want to negotiate with Israel is because he has to sort out the Hamas issue first, which probably means Abbas and his Fatah chums giving up power and all the trappings of luxury and corruption they have derived from it. Oh, and then there is Hezbollah, stridently using the made-up excuse of the Shebaa Farms area as an excuse to maintain a threat to Israel, plus rising radicalism in Egypt. Maybe you should sit down and realise the problem is not as straightforward as you think.
".....by your same reasoning that viable states can be tiny, Israel does not need to expand...." But Israel does need to be defensible. The eventual Palestine state will be surrounded by historic allies that have helped it attack Israel, they have no enemies in the region (well, until the likely Shia-Sunni war engulfs the region in general). There are dozens of friendly Muslim nations in the area and Worldwide. Israel is the only Jewish nation, is surrounded by enemies that have attempted to destroy her for years, and has no allies in the immediate neighbourhood. Palestinian security is easy to guarantee in any solution, Israels is not. Historically, relying on international goodwill has not worked for Jews, they'd kind of like to stop the whole Holocaust thing happening again. You were aware of the Holocaust, right, or are you going to deny that as well?
"You were aware of the Holocaust, right, or are you going to deny that as well?"
The standard trope of the neocon right - reasoned argument is never enough isn't it, you have to throw in thinly veiled accusations of anti-semitism. I have repeatedly said in my posts that Israel is perfectly justified in military (but not civilian) occupation of West Bank, and that it has a right to defend itself, so you are making that shit up. I think an apology and a retraction is warranted.
"Israel does need to be defensible"
Israel is perfectly defensible within its current borders and with it's current military strength, not to mention the support in both money and arms from the US. If Israel reaches an agreement with Palestinians for a viable 2-state solution, they don't need to annex parts of the west bank.
"The standard trope of the neocon right...." So standard I notice you concentrated on that rather than trying to deal with the points raised about Hamas and Fatah or Hezbolah or Egypt. This is my surprised face, honest.
"....Israel is perfectly defensible within its current borders...." If Israel withdraws to the 1967 ceasefire line it will commit itself to a country where every major city can be hit by conventional artillery, no need for Scuds, and where an enemy tank force could drive from the West Bank to the Med in an hour. One of the reasons they took the Golan Heights from Syria was they were sick and tired of the Syrians shelling Israeli towns from there.
You really don't understand the mindset of the Israelis, especially not the older citizens. One of the reasons the Israelis celebrated when the UN decided to kick Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991 wasn't because they loved the Kuwaitis (indeed, the Kuwaitis funded the terror attacks of the PLO for years), it was because they knew it meant Saddam's military machine was going to get pounded into the sand. The biggest defence nightmare for years for Israel was that Saddam would come to an agreement with Syria that would allow Saddam to bring his massive tank army down the Jordan Valley into the West Bank, creating a three-front war with Israel trapped between the Syrians to the north, Egypt to the south, and the Iraqis coming from the east. There is still a considerable number of ex-soldiers in Israel that insist the only way to ensure the safety of Israel is to control the northern end of the West Bank and the head of the Jordan Valley. As they have endured far too many massed attacks by the Arabs in the past, I can't see them just taking your word for the old frontiers being safe.
"Thinking that Ahmadi is waiting poised with his finger over a big red button, waiting for it to light up so he can press it is just nuts!"
A common mistake throughout history is for otherwise intelligent people to disregard the rhetoric of dictators and fail to take appropriate precautions, .often entering into dialogue or other forms of engagement with individuals and regimes whose intent was known and public.
Hitler made no secret of his intentions. No one should have been surprised. Saddam made no secret either, and he and chemical Ali had no hesitation of pushing the red button and gassing the kurds.
Just because YOU think "it's nuts" does not make it untrue. It merely indicates your limited fantasy and lack of historical education.
Just saying ...
"If Israel withdraws to the 1967 ceasefire line it will commit itself to a country where every major city can be hit by conventional artillery"
See, this is a core source of disagreement. In your worldview, it doesn't matter what settlement Israel reaches with Palestine, Israel will always be under attack from all sides so there is no point in even trying to improve relations with their neigbours. I can understand that old Israelis have this mindset, they HAVE been repeatedly attacked without provocation. BUT the last major attack by a state (not guerilla / terrorist activity) was as far as I know in 1967, nearly 50 years ago. It might be inconceivable to many Israelis that there will ever be a peaceful solution. But probably it was equally inconceivable to Germans, French, British etc in 1945 that there would be 70 years of peace after hundreds of years of almost uninterrupted conflict.
I happen to believe that if Palestine has a viable state, they won't be attacking Israel and everyone else will stop having an easy excuse to hit on Israel. They might not be best friends, but they can be at least civil neighbours, which is definitely possible (eg Jordan).
When people have a stable job and a family they tend to concentrate on that. When there are no jobs and no economy, the devil finds work for idle hands.
".... In your worldview, it doesn't matter what settlement Israel reaches with Palestine, Israel will always be under attack from all sides........" No, Israel has successfully negotiated peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Peace with Lebanon is blocked by Hezbollah, and Hamas will ensure there will be no peace even if Abbas was willing to negotiate, and Syria will probably have to wait until after the current civil war settles. The simplest immediate solution would be to partition the Gaza Strip off into a seperate entity, call it Hamastan or whatever, let the PNA create a state in the West Bank after negotiations with Israel, and then let Hamastan and the PNA negotiate if they want to merge afterwards. Obambi then has to bring real pressure on states like Turkey, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi, and whichever party rises to power in Syria, to stop them funding terror so that Hamas has to make peace. Threatening to leave them to the tender mercies of Iran might do the trick.
".....the last major attack by a state (not guerilla / terrorist activity) was as far as I know in 1967, nearly 50 years ago......" Apart from the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Oh dear, more reading for you! Since, Israel has fought a continuous series of small wars with terror groups, culminating in major incursions into Lebanon in 1982 (when it fought a very hot cold war with Syria) and 2006, due to terror attacks on Israel. Besides, it is stupid to say just because the last war was x number of years ago there will never be another. We had that idea in Europe after 1918, right up until Hitler got uppity. No-one thought modern Europe would ever see an armed coup after the Sixties, yet we had one in Portugal in 1974. Full on, genocidal civil war in a modern European country was also thought impossible, then we had Yugoslavia's break up in 1991. There is one tiny Jewish state in the whole World, and they only have to lose once through not being prepared and that is it, all finished, so relying on "it's unlikely" doesn't exactly seem a bright idea. Especially given that a key tenant of the fundamentalist Islamism still very prevalent in the World is wiping out Israel.
"......I happen to believe that if Palestine has a viable state....." So what is a "viable state"? Monaco is obviously a viable and very rich state on a much much smaller area of land than the PNA insists they need. The truth is the "viable state" bullshit is just a refusal to cede any land to Israel.
"...... they won't be attacking Israel and everyone else will stop having an easy excuse to hit on Israel....." So as well as not knowing about the 1973 war, you also don't know that the Hamas charter includes a blank regusal to recognise Israel, and that their stated aim is to take control of ALL the Palestine Mandate territory west of Jordan, including removing or killing ALL Jews? BTW, that is the very definition of ethnic cleansing. A lot more reading required on your part.
"......They might not be best friends, but they can be at least civil neighbours......" Lets see - Israel withdraws from Lebanon in the hope of peace but Hezbollah just carry on firing rockets at Israel until Israel has to invade again and smack them down. Hezbollah does not learn but instead starts restocking their rocket arsenal and now it looks like they are trying to smuggle chemical weapons out of Syria before Assad falls. Israel withdraws from Gaza and Hamas seize power and repeatedly attack Israel despite a major incursion and a an aerial bombing campaign against their rocket teams. Yeah, such nice neighbours.
"......When there are no jobs and no economy, the devil finds work for idle hands." Why do you think the Arab nations kept the Arab refugees poor and desperate in the refugee camps? Duh!
" The simplest immediate solution would be to partition the Gaza Strip off into a seperate entity, call it Hamastan or whatever, let the PNA create a state in the West Bank after negotiations with Israel, and then let Hamastan and the PNA negotiate if they want to merge afterwards. Obambi then has to bring real pressure on states like Turkey, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi, and whichever party rises to power in Syria, to stop them funding terror so that Hamas has to make peace. Threatening to leave them to the tender mercies of Iran might do the trick."
Finally, something we agree on :)
Re Hamas / Hezbollah attacks, you are completely right, they are crazy fundamentalists who will not be reasoned with. These are basically militant groups, sure they have more influence in Gaza / Lebanon than mere political parties. The only way to get rid of them is starving their recruitment. Better governmance in the middle east will help, besides this the one single factor that will undermine their credibility is the existence of a Palestinian state. As you state above, the best way to undermine Hamas is to negotiate a Palestinian state with Fatah/Abbas... only, so far, Netanyahu is going out of his way to undermine Abbas by continuing settlement expansion.
"viable" state - Monaco, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein are small rich countries because they are tax havens and/or have strong financial services industries,a combination that attracts rich people and wealth. Somehow I doubt that many playboy billionaires would move to Palestine, whatever the tax incentives. So 'viable' means they have enough land to comfortably accommodate the population, farmland for growing crops and other land to establish industry / power generation. Most importantly, access to water which is the single scarcest resource in the region. I don't really know the lie of teh land, but somehow I doubt that Israeli settlements are being built on random places in the west bank, rather, I suspect, they are taking teh prime spots.
It's long been the position of Israel itself, or was until a couple of years ago, that a 'fair' area for Palestine would be 1967 border + some land swaps of for any land that Israel keeps from the west bank. For me this is a reasonable position if both Israelis and Palestinians agree on what bits of land to swap. It is not a reasonable position if one side is taking the bits they want unilaterally.
"Why do you think the Arab nations kept the Arab refugees poor and desperate in the refugee camps?" I know and I agree, for the other arab states it's convenient to have Palestine as an excuse to rip on Israel. I mean, why the hell is Egypt 'blockading' Gaza but still let all the rockets through?
".....Netanyahu is going out of his way to undermine Abbas by continuing settlement expansion....." Bibi knows Abbas is not a real partner for peace as the Hamas factor means Abbas cannot deliver on a peace unless he jettisons the Gaza Strip. So Abbas makes pointless excuses about settlement building for the sheeple to bleat about, and Bibi builds settlements to make "facts" on the ground to use as bargaining chips if Fatah and Hamas ever do reconcile. Remember, the Israelis evacuated settlements in the Sinai and Gaza Strip when they thought it would gain them peace.
"..... Monaco, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein are small rich countries because they are tax havens and/or have strong financial services industries,a combination that attracts rich people and wealth....." Ever heard of Dubai, a tiny Arab emirate with a very prosperous financial sector to rival Monaco's? There is nothing to stop even the Gaza Strip doing the same. Well, except for their preference for self-destructive holy war.
".....Most importantly, access to water....." They have a coastline, they can build a desalination plant. And they don't need to grow all their own food, they can import if they need to as long as they have an industry to export stuff in return. At the moment their only "exports" are rockets and mortars fired over the border at Israel.
Gaza strip/west bank can be another Dubai??? you're having a laugh, right? Dubai (and Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi etc etc) has built itself up on the back of humungous oil revenues that do not exist in either Gaza or West Bank. there is NO WAY that Palestine could set itself up as a financial services centre without a similair windfall, so a viable Palestinian state needs agricultural and industrial land. The only other source of revenue could be holy land tourism (which, besides being a small niche market, also requires access to holy sites such as Jerusalem + serious peace).
Water access - for Gaza, yes, however I was referring to West Bank which has a severe water shortage. (In 100% agreement with your revious post that the way forward is to ditch Gaza, at least temporarily, and in this case there needs to be a viable state on West Bank territory only). Yes, they could pipe it in from a nearby desalination plant, but in this case the pipes would have to pass through Israel, and possibly the desalination plants themselves would be in Israel.
(now that I think of it, it could be quite a coup for Israel to propose to build such plants and pipeline themselves as part of a peace deal. they would be giving a big peace offering to Palestine while at the same time have a 'cutoff switch' on the water flow that will get Palestine to think twice before starting any violence)
".....you're having a laugh, right? Dubai (and Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi etc etc) has built itself up on the back of humungous oil revenues....." Oh dear, you're just exposing your lack of education. Dubai was an important business center and trading port long before the discovery of oil. Indeed, Dubai's tourist and financial industries both make more then their oil industry, which has always been smaller than the oil industries of their neighbours. It is becoming very obvious that you didn't bother to learn anything about the Middle East before letting someone give you an opinion.
"..... there is NO WAY that Palestine could set itself up as a financial services centre without a similair windfall...." Really? So Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Isle of Man, the Bahamas - all started off the back of massive oil industries? No. All with intelligent and inventive taxation and financial systems, designed to appeal more than those of surrounding countries? Yes. Again, you don't have a clue. Indeed, Gaza was also a major historic trading port, just like Dubai, but it fell into decline whilst under Ottoman control.
".....so a viable Palestinian state needs agricultural and industrial land....." Apart from the fact that the Gazans terrorised the other Gazans that worked in the co-operative industrial parks set up by Israel, they also have plenty of agricultural land. But that also gives a lie to the PNA claims on the E1 area as they are an area not even used for goat grazing!
".....however I was referring to West Bank which has a severe water shortage...." Yeah, ever wonder what the West Bank is the west bank of? It's called the River Jordan, the largest river in the region. So, as well as history, you failed geography too?
"....they would be giving a big peace offering to Palestine while at the same time have a 'cutoff switch' on the water flow that will get Palestine to think twice before starting any violence." Reality check - Israel supplies the majority of the oil, gas, water and electricity to Gaza, but Hamas knows they can throw as many violent tantrums as they like and then get their Western sheeple to bleat about "collective punishment" if Israel threatens to cut off any supplies. So, that's history, geography, and current affairs, all to be added to your homework list.
Hmm, see up until then I thought you did have some clue, now it appears clear that you are contradicting anything I say for the heck of it. Have you ever been to Dubai? Do you really know ANYTHING about it? It was an 'important business centre' in the sense of regional boat trade up and down the gulf. 30 years ago it was just a desert and no international company except oil was present, and sure as hell no tourists ventured there. 20 years ago it was half-skyscraper-half-desert. Dubai was clever that it re-invested oil revenue very heavily into infrastructure like cheap hotels, relatively cheap intercontinental flights with Emirates, big salaries to attract ex-pats. Having an oil industry 'smaller than it's neighbours' still means it's huge resource, which they used to build an infrastructure for financial services and tourism.
You can have all the intelligent and innovitaive taxation systems in the world, no-one is going to put their money there if there isn't any stability. Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco are old established and STABLE states with clear rule of law, thinking Palestine can turn into Monaco is optimistic at best, and will anyway take decades. According to you Palestinians should say "OK, you know what, we can have Israel have big chunks of our land because after all we can develop into a financial services hub in a few decades"??
Re river Jordan - Once again, it's you who are showing your ignorance. 'Largest river in the region', how about 'ONLY' river in the region! Again, have you ever been to Jordan or West Bank, have you ever SEEN the river Jordan? I have, and calling it a 'river' is a joke, even 'stream' would be pushing it. According to historical roman records it was at maximum 1km wide. Now an olympic-level long-jumper can clear it. Jordan river levels and levels of dead sea are at record historical lows due to over-use of water and lack of rainfall. Jordan is the country that is listed as 4th dryest in the world. Obviously there are no records for West Bank as it's not classified as a country, but ball-park precipitation will be the same as Jordan.
As for the rest of your reality checks, I am talking about West Bank, you keep banging on about Gaza. I know Gaza is a complete basket case / lost cause, I'm not talking about it. I'm talking only about establishing Palestinian state on West Bank territory pre-1967 lines (possibly with some land swaps), and the inadvisability of Israel building settlements there. The only 2 arguments you have given in defence of this are (1) "Palestinians aren't using the land so it's OK". This is a spurious argument that can be easily debunked by hypothetically reversing the roles. Can Palestinians just wander into an unoccupied area of Israel and set up camp there? Of course not, they would be kicked out in no time.
(2) Defensibility - This is the only argument that at least makes sense. I have argued that military outposts will do teh job just fine for now without needing settlements and long-term if there is peace then Palestine can have that land. If you don't believe that, fine, believe what you want.
BUT please stop inventing pipe-dreams like Palestine can survive as a state the area of Monaco by being a financial services centre, or that the river Jordan is a plentiful supply of water
"....Have you ever been to Dubai? Do you really know ANYTHING about it? It was an 'important business centre' in the sense of regional boat trade up and down the gulf. 30 years ago it was just a desert and no international company except oil was present...." Once again, you display nothing more than your ignorance and presumption - if anyone disagrees with you it must be because they lie! I was working in Dubai over thirty years ago and I have never worked for the oil industry. Don't assume everyone is as lacking in first-hand, real World experience as you are.
"....how about 'ONLY' river in the region!...." Now you're just being stupid. Well, even more stupid. You should have gone and looked that one up first, even Wikipedia can give you a comprehensive list of rivers in the area, such as the Yarmouk and Jabbok which drain into the Dead Sea, and some of which are the four tributaries of the River Jordan. If you are trying to convince everyone that you simply attack your keyboard without the slightest recourse to facts then you're doing a great job! If you're trying to convince anyone that your arguments carry merit then I would suggest that is unlikely.
"....Jordan is the country that is listed as 4th dryest in the world......" Jordan is largely desert, stretching from the east bank of the River Jordan to the Persian Gulf, so it's hardly surprising it would be dry..... duh!
"....As for the rest of your reality checks, I am talking about West Bank, you keep banging on about Gaza....." Ignoring your attempts to seperate the two, the West Bank is just as dependent as Gaza on Israel, it's just Abbas is currently being bribed by the UN, EU and US to try being peaceful. As soon as Hamas look like coming back to the West Bank he starts making anti-Israel comments to bolster his credentials with the Arab world, but the reality is he will be out of a job (and lose his corrupt incomes) if Hamas are ever allowed back into the West Bank. Who do you think told Israel where all the 20-odd Hamas reps they arrested yesterday in the West Bank were hiding? By getting Israel to do his dirty work, Abbas can pretend he wants reconciliation, but he has no intention of ever handing power over to Hamas, and whilst they do not agree there will not be any final solution with Israel. Instead of bleating about Israel, you should be paying more attention to what the PNA actually gets up to.
"....This is a spurious argument that can be easily debunked ....." So easily that you have completely failed to do so? Don't worry, I wasn't actually expecting you to be able to, that would be just cruel of me. Tell you what. I'll give you an easy one - please go read up and then explain why Bethlehem, which was origianlly included in the "International Zone" of the UN Partition Plan for Mandate Palestine, has not been handed back by the PNA? Surely, if your argument holds, then the PNA should give up Bethlehem to the international community, and any Arabs that have moved there in the years since Jordan annexed it in 1948, whether they are refugess from another area of Mandate Palestine or not, are "settlers" and need to be ejected? Surely a building ban should be imposed on Bethlehem until a final solution is agreed? LOL, I'm laughing at the idea of you trying to get your head round that one!
".....Can Palestinians just wander into an unoccupied area of Israel and set up camp there?...." No, but neither can Jews, they will get charged with trespass. But Arabs that did not flee the area were made Israeli citizens and given full rights, still own land and can vote in Israeli elections - they even have Israeli Arab MPs! Jews that didn't flee the Arabs in the West Bank were murdered or forced out. Even now, the PNA has insisted that it will never grant citizenship to Jews, even if the settlements are handed over to PNA control as part of any negotiated solution. Did you know Jews were living in Gaza and the West Bank even before Ottoman times? The Israeli government is not threatening to remove the Israeli Arabs, so which side is it you think is pushing ethnic cleansing? Oh, sorry, did I ask you to think?
"....BUT please stop inventing pipe-dreams like Palestine can survive as a state the area of Monaco by being a financial services centre, or that the river Jordan is a plentiful supply of water." LOL! So what do you expect any future sate of "Palestine" to do? You want to condemn them to being a Third World country simply because you think they can't do finances, that they are somehow too pathetic to manage? How arrogant of you. And as for the Jordan being low, it has completely dried up at times during its history. Shortage of water has always been a fact in the Middle East, but other countries in the area are dealing with it rather than trying to blame it all on Israel. Dubai is in a desert, it has NO rivers at all, yet I never went short of water there even in the Seventies! The Jordan tributaries arise in Syria and Lebanon - maybe you should point your ire at them instead, they draw water from them too. Indeed, the Lebanese are damming many of their rivers in an attempt to cut of water from Israel, but I don't see you complaining, or is it that you think cutting off water from Jews is different from Arabs? Gee, I wonder why - not.
If you insist on providing more unintentional amusement, please at least try the modicum of research before your next frothing rant.
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