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« Fatwah Watch | Main | Cause of Death - Censored »

November 22, 2004



Hi Steve,

I was wondering if you happened to watch the "Checkpoint" documentary last night about Israeli checkpoints in the territories, and if so, what you thought of it?


I saw a bit of it, and taped the rest. Once I have watched it I will then post on it.

But my general reaction to the first half hour is this:

The show lacked commentary, which perhaps added to the effect of the film. But, it detracted from the context of the situation. The film was shot during the worst parts of this current armed uprising. No explanation was ever provided regarding why there were these curfews or closed check points. The reason often was that there had just been suicide attacks, or attempted attacks. Attempted attacks greatly outnumber succesful attacks. After each attempted attack the curfews need to be placed and the checkpoints closed so that they can corner the terrorists into certain areas.

Its ugly, but so are suicide attacks. The film made it seem that Israel closed off areas simply to make it harder for Palestinians to get from point A to point B. But the reality is that real suicide attacks take place and Israel needs to try and prevent this.

A movie on ceckpoints before 2001 would have been much more boring, as there were not as many suicide bomb attacks, so curfews were not a regular occurence. Remember that before this uprising, after olso, isral had withdrawn from all Palestinian population centres. That is why the first stage of the road map for peace calls for an end to the armed uprising as well as a full Israeli withdrawal to where they were nder Oslo - before this bloody intifadah.

But after Arafat said no to the clinton parameters without offering a counterproposal, this armed uprising began, and its effects are felt on the innocents trying to get throughcheckpoints.

I hate, HATE having to have check points. I foolishly supported Oslo as well as Camp David. The Clinton parameters, which were accepted by Barak would have ended the need for all of the check points in the Palestinian territories. Arafat could have ended all of this. Contact me by mail if you would like to understand exactly what these parameters offered - or wait as I have a huge category planned explaining what happened at Camp David and then at Taba.

I have personally been at check points. You know, its a great worry and stress that the soldiers face. If there is a curfew or closure, and their sympathy allows them to let a Palestinin through, imagine if that Palestinian happened to be a terrorist? The soldier would be responsible for ruining so many innocent lives. Its easy to sit and judge when its not you who has to make that decision. Often, OFTEN, the soldiers really just want to let them through and be sympathetic. But there is a huge cost if they are wrong just once.

Separation is the only solution - two separate and independant states.


Good analysis, I definitely agree that it missed something by not providing context as to why there were curfews, closures etc. It also showed that many Israeli soldiers didn't particularly relish being there and they for the most part didn't seem to behave like arrogant occupiers enjoying their jobs, they seemed to view it as a necessary evil. But there were two soldiers who were arrogant and racist especially the one border policeman.

In response to your entry on the causes of Arafat's death, the nephew is doing a nice job of perpetuating the poison conspiracy I completely agree, but I also think you should consider that by bringing up aids, you could be perpetuating the opposite meme. There is no credible evidence so far to suggest that Arafat died of aids related causes.


"But there were two soldiers who were arrogant and racist especially the one border policeman."

And Im sure there are more than just two. These are real people with real issues. Some are nice, some are bitter and hardened by four years of war. No-one wants to be there. When i finished school, I didnt even contemplate having to join a rough army for 3 years. When I was 18 I would have felt it unfair for me to be responsible for so many lives.

I have to tell you Bronwyn, after having read so much about oslo, camp david, and the start of intifada, I have no hope for the future. Barak's government was the best possible government that Arafat could have ever hoped for. His govt was full of peaceniks who put pressure on him not to respond initially at the start of the intifada but rather to continue the peace process. At one point he issued a 48 hr altimatum to arafat - stop the violence or peace process is off. Dennis Ross says that arafat was really scared and that Barak should have stuck to his guns. But when the altimatum ended, barak, under pressure from his leftist govt and from the europeans, extended it. The restraint only intensified the violence, culminating in the lynching of two israeli reservists at a palestinian police station.

Still barak held out and under fire he agreed to the clinton parameters which went further than what he offered at camp david. under fire he said yes and conceded israels bottom line position without having ever got arafat to move. But by now arafat realised that public opinion was swaying back in his favour after the world was critical of him for his behaviour at camp david. the violence allowed him to leverage on the picture of him as a victim. and intl opinion was back on his side. He could have ended everything there and then but didnt. even with the US president who has been the Palestinians best ever friends - clinton.

If clinton and the barak govt couldnt bring peace, then it will never happen. Each side needs to end their mythologies and untruths. but it will never happen. they need to concentrate on "needs" (as barak did) instead of perceived "rights" (as arafat did).

I no longer have any hope. I am filled with discouragement and disillusionment.

"but I also think you should consider that by bringing up aids, you could be perpetuating the opposite meme."

You are correct. I just cant stand how they can openly perpetuate a myth that incites so much hatred and prevents an atmosphere of tolerance and compromise. and so i hit back - but, as you say, i probably shouldnt.

do more than 3 people contribute/write/edit this site?



Almost Supernatural is run by myself, without any assistance from anyone. I do it in my spare time, as I work a full time job. I would love some help, if only I could find a lunatic like myself willing to waste his time on this.

How come you ask?

I assume its because I sometimes sound right wing and sometimes sound central.

One thing I am consistent about however - I have no hope about the conflict.

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