Date: Sun 24 Nov 2002 - 18:48:53 GMT
> Yes, there was a mixed relationship between Ben Gurion and the
> Irgun/Stern Gang 'terrorists.' It was a relationship quite similar to
> that of Arafat and Hamas/Al-Aqsa Brigades/Islamic Jihad, and now to
> Sharon and the terror elements of the Israeli vigilante right-wing.
> The dynamics of these relationship are very similar, and the memes
> that the parties used to modulate those relationships eerily similar.
> Ben Gurion, Sharon and Arafat are the politicians and diplomats, and
> the Irgun/Stern/terror night-riders/vigilantes/Hamas/Al-Aqsa/Jihad
> groups the muscle. At times, the politicians decry the excesses of
> the muscle, and use the threat of the muscle to assert that their, the
> politician's, hands are tied, they can only compromise so much. Yet
> the communications between the two are continuous and their actions
> knowingly synergistic. When the muscle needs to lie low, the
> politicians pass those instructions along, and when there is time for
> a demonstration of power, the muscle is unleashed. If the muscle feels
> the politicians are being too cautious, they let the politicians know
> it, and expect a hardening of the politician's stand.
> We can also draw the same parallels between the Israeli government
> today and the terror elements within parts of the current Israeli
> right-wing (e.g. the settler who shot up the Dome Mosque worshippers,
> or the Hebron night-riders).
> Did Ben Gurion control his 'terrorists'? Not entirely. Does Arafat
> control his 'terrorists'? Not entirely. Does Sharon control the
> terror activities of right-wing settlers? Of course, the British found
> it convenient to assert that the Irgun and Stern Gangs were tools of
> Ben Gurion and the Zionist movement, as Israel now finds it convenient
> to assert that Arafat controls Hamas, etc., as the Palestinians find
> it convenient to blame Sharon for the acts of the terrorist
> right-wingers. But the reality is quite a bit more complicated, nor
> are the distinctions as important as many assert.
> I do believe that both the Palestinians and the Israelis can come to a
> peaceful, compromise resolution despite their respective terrorist
> elements and history. Conditions do not favor this now, of course,
> but it remains the central truth and necessity over the longer-term,
> and the majority of the people who count most in the matter -- the
> Israelis and Palestinians themselves -- seem to agree with this.
I find this to be a most reasonable post.
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