"I guess that one would need to know what exactly was being proposed before determining whether opposition was the right course or not"
The proposal has been the same since the 1970s - the international consensus of a two-state solution, with the pre-1967 borders, and mutual recognition for both sides. It has the support of the entire international community with the exception of the United States.
"I agree with you about the settlements ... from what I know, they should be torn down, didn't Israel actually agree to do this at some point?"
No. At one point a few years ago, they agreed to take some settlements down, whilst wildly expanding their illegal settlements elsewhere.
"But really, that gets back to the blame game. 'You fired rockets', ... 'But you built settlements' ... 'You launched suicide bombers' ... 'But you kept us in poverty and sickness by locking the borders' ... etc., ad nauseum"
But this is drastically missing the point. The point is that the Palestinians have been under a brutal, harsh, military occupation since 1967 that has reduced the nation to an apartheid-state. Regardless of what happens now and who does what first now, the primary concern is that the brutal occupation must end - and again, everyone agrees to this with the exception of the US.
But couldn't a reasonable person respond that that
is drastically missing the point - that prior to 1967 Israel had nothing to do with Gaza, the Sinai, Golan Heights and the West Bank, but then it was invaded by the Arabs who had the declared intention of wiping Israel off the map? ... that Israel fought back, and pushed the Arabs back, conquering these lands in the process ... no 1967 invasion of Israel -- no occupation. Simplistic of course, but is it not true?
A reasonable reading of history might suggest that it wouldn't have ever occurred if Israel had not been attacked. And now with rockets fired into Israeli civilian areas from the Gaza strip by Hamas (who has sworn the destruction of Israel), I can see why Israeli policy makers might hesitate to set these areas free without an agreement for peace they can trust. It gave the Sinai back to Egypt in return for a peace treaty, so maybe there is hope ...
I agree with you strongly, the military occupation has
been brutal and harsh. But (addressing your final point), I don't think the US is at all against the occupation ending, they just want it to end like the one of the Sinai did (peace with Egypt, lasting 20 years or more now), not leaving a situation where Israel's security is mortally threatened. Just my opinion, of course ...
By the way J_Moondog, thank you for engaging me and educating me about this. My source of information is generally the mainstream media here in the States, and I don't get the chance to talk to people with other points of view very often.