yeah, like I'm not completely retarded, but I guess I think of Jewishness/Israel as separate, largely bc of like aqcuaintance w/ Israelis and also Jewish ppl of various nationalities and it just seems natural to separate them in a way that is more separate than just diaspora/native (like its a weird situ. where the diaspora kind of predates the country itself, but I realise that island living might have simplified my understanding of national borders somewhat) I mean, the mainstream equating of Jewish ppl and Israel feels more gallingly racist than it seems to be received as but again....
― plax (ico), Monday, 31 May 2010 21:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
Sleeve, I'd prefer if people didn't die. I'm not a big fan of violence in any direction, and I'm not really a fan of deciding whose actions are legitimate and whose aren't. So I was hoping that if the IDF killed those people, as tragic as it is, it wouldn't blow up into a huger much more horrific tragedy. I think it's pretty obvious tho that I don't think it was a positive thing for the world that Israel boarded the flotilla and killed those people. I think you're missing the perspective that limiting violence is a pretty great thing to try and do, even if everything else isn't perfect. There's some kind of belief that if you push the conflict hard enough, eventually it'll get so violent and horrible that a change will have to happen. That might be true, but there are plenty of cases in history where violence didn't lead to good stuff. I'd prefer peace was achieved through peaceful means. At this point, that means hoping that a) the IDF didn't act like psychos randomly killing sleeping civilians and b) that it doesn't escalate even further.
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 21:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
And I'm pretty sure that comparing Israel with Eichmann puts me definitely not in the camp of defending Israel. Unless you're such a hardliner that you think Nazi comparisons are actually too good for them. (I'll admit, I didn't put big flashing NAZI lights out, but I called their approach to Gaza as evil as I think evil comes in the world -- totally self-centered, tribal and thoughtless. I would think you could've read between the lines yourself.)
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 21:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
how does Israel compare with eichmann? i can't see any similarities between how Israel treats Gaza and the holocaust.
― nevermind312, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
I meant in terms of allowing horrific things to happen by virtue of thoughtlessness (that was Arendt's conclusion in Eichmann in Israel -- that evil only exists in one's inability to think through the meaning and consequences of their actions). Yes, totally different designing killing machines and being so thoughtless that you allow the suffering to continue in Gaza without taking drastic steps to alleviate it, or board a ship marked with humanitarian supplies for Gaza. I guess I'm more pro-Israel than a lot of people on ILX because I believe in a Jewish State of Israel (I can't understand how you can be against that but different conversation), so I realize how tricky most situations are in terms of protecting the State. But something like this seems so horrific and thoughtless that it can't be justified. Tbh, Bibi's coalition should be declared unconstitutional and Lieberman shouldn't be allowed in politics. Dude should be working with Livni full-time (she should be in charge imo, but even if not, she should at least be working in the cabinet). The government has totally gone over the edge and acting in just a totally careless, inhumane way.
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
I also believe Lieberman is actually really a fascist. Without scare-quotes or considerations.
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
I hate it when I edge closer to the line of thinking of the Free Palestine pamphleteers who lurk outside the underground.
― Gee, Officer (Gukbe), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm just curious, people like Sleeve + k3v who clearly believe Israel is 100% at fault here -- what exactly do you believe they should have done? Do you believe they shouldn't worry about weapons being smuggled into Gaza for use on border cities like S'derot? Do you think there's a better compromise they can make -- like remove the blockade but set up some kind of inspection organization? Do you think Gaza has the right to weapons to use against Israel, and Israel should just deal with it? (I'm not being disingenuous about the last option -- maybe it's legit. Apparently Margaret Thatcher had a policy of 'acceptable violence' vis-a-vis the IRA, and that seems to have worked out.) Do you think they had a right to the blockade but just handled the actual maneuver incorrectly?
Personally I believe there shouldn't be a blockade. How can you expect a State to organize itself if they can't trade with other State actors? But I don't know how you successfully balance that with national security. I know Israel (and Egypt) offered to let the flotilla dock and have the aid carried from inside Israel or Egypt, but the activists clearly wanted to make a point about the blockade. I assume they believe there should be no blockade, but do they believe Israel shouldn't be concerned about imported weapons? I mean, what exactly is the magic solution here that makes me look like a total asshole for not feeling 100% that Israel is the worst country in the history of the planet? What makes this black + white instead of shades of horrible grey?
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:25 (2 years ago) Permalink
man that mpac cartoon!
radio 4 just had SAS novelist andy mcnab on, criticising the idf's tactics: "see, what you want to do is swamp the ship, not drip-feed your soldiers in, get it over quicker, safer for everyone".
― naglpuss (c sharp major), Monday, May 31, 2010 10:42 PM (40 minutes ago) Bookmark
that sounds about right, but it depends on what you're trying to achieve! that isn't clear, but i think im right in saying that the IDF boarded a bunch of other ships without bloodshed(?) tbh it looks like fuckin' amateur hour, as if they didn't expect a hostile reception. also the whole "doing it in international waters" bit was never going to be a strong look. (obviously it wouldn't have gone down this way if the IDF had waited longer, right?)
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
Apparently Margaret Thatcher had a policy of 'acceptable violence' vis-a-vis the IRA, and that seems to have worked out.)
whatever abt anything else, that is so far off the mark
― plax (ico), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
could you expand?
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
Off the mark that she had that policy? It's what I've read, is it wrong?
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
h8 thatcher and everything but n ireland was in less of a completely shitty situation in 1990 than in 1979
sidebar: the royal navy intercepted libyan shipments to the IRA
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'll admit, I'm not a scholar of British/NRA history at all. Here's Sullivan discussing it:
I'm more mindful of the British example, since I lived during it. For years, IRA terrorists bombed Britain's pubs and shops and eventually nearly killed the entire cabinet in the Brighton hotel bombing. Those terrorists lived among the population in both the republic and Ulster? Did Britain bomb Ireland in response? Were republican areas in the north sealed off and pulverized as happened in Gaza? Were British casualties one hundredth of Irish casualties in response?None of this happened. Margaret Thatcher no less accepted what became known as an "acceptable level of violence" because the alternative would a) have caused domestic outrage and b) made the situation far, far worse and recruited a new army of terror. Again, one has to ask: why is Israel different?
None of this happened. Margaret Thatcher no less accepted what became known as an "acceptable level of violence" because the alternative would a) have caused domestic outrage and b) made the situation far, far worse and recruited a new army of terror. Again, one has to ask: why is Israel different?
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
Did Britain bomb Ireland in response?
this is an insane nonsequitur
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
fuck israeli octopi
― spud webs (am0n), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
Again, one has to ask: why is Israel different?
its local enemies are backed by syria and iran, which pose an existential threat... there are similarities, of course, between the two situations. but there are simply no equivalents in modern british history to the all-out military offensives carried out by neighbour states against israel. the comparison is unreal on any number of levels.
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
― Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
i mean, just one example of why this is retarded: the republic of ireland also helped intercept libyan arms bound for the IRA!
― transient truff (history mayne), Monday, 31 May 2010 22:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
About a good as thread as any for Eric Hoffer's famous and challopy "Israel's Peculiar Position" article from 1968.
May 26, 1968
"The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.
Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations — when they are defeated — survive and recover, but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.
There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we did in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to American and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us."
― Cunga, Monday, 31 May 2010 23:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
― Mordy, Monday, May 31, 2010 6:25 PM (49 minutes ago)
i haven't read anything that says weapons were being smuggled on the boat. israel is at fault because they stormed a boat full of civilians in order to enforce their blockade (which we all find repugnant) and, inarguably, used wildly disproportionate force after they attacked the boat. i'm not eager to wait for 'all the facts' because i literally cannot conceive of a situation in which killing a dozen or so people was necessary, whether they had big metal poles or were throwing soldiers overboard. (if there was live fire from the activists, they must have had really bad aim.)
i'm not really willing to speculate on what they should have done 'given the circumstances', because that would just legitimize the situation they were in in the first place. thankfully, i'm not running for public office in israel, because i don't have the answers either - all i care is that not enough is being done, and national security isn't a legitimate excuse for denying food, medicine, and building supplies to the innocent men, women, and children who didn't choose to be born and live there. it's hardly a balance, either - it's national security and the rights of israeli jews first, rights of israeli arabs and palestinians second
― k3vin k., Monday, 31 May 2010 23:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
The problem, as it appears to me, is that you don't know which boats are smuggling what. So you're not really contending with how Israel should secure themselves vis-a-vis smuggling. 'legitimize the situation they were in in the first place,' I assume you mean the situation of having a blockade to enforce. Btw, I agree with you -- I think the Israeli government hasn't done nearly enough for the people in Gaza. But I think national security is definitely a legitimate consideration, and I don't know what kinds of metric you can use to measure food/medicine versus national security. If you let all imports through, standards of living will improve, but history also tells us that people will die from rocket fire. I can't imagine being the person deciding to make the decision of what to do (actually, it kinda reminds me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem), and it sounds like you don't have a perfect answer either. Anyway, that's why I'm often "defending" Israel on these threads. I don't know what the better solution is.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
also I totally don't condone any kind of violence by the people on the boat, if indeed they attacked first (if you can even call it that, given people with guns were dropping out of the sky). But I especially loathe killing a dozenish of them in response, which was highly likely disproportionate to the threat they posed (ha kind of a microcosm of my reaction to most of the violence in the area). Anyway i hold the soldiers to a higher standard, because they should at least have some semblance of organization and restraint - again i am not their commanding officer so i have little interest in how i would have handled it better - my conclusion is just that their handling was not good enough
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't blame the soldiers. If you rappel down onto a boat where you're being shot at (we'll see if there was live fire, but there was certainly slingshots, etc) and attacked, I can't imagine how hard it is to keep perspective. There are apparently seriously injured soldiers, so clearly there was danger to them. They very likely acted disproportionately, but I don't blame that decision in the moment. I think the bigger issue was the decision to send such a small group of soldiers to the ship. At best, they totally miscalculated the response they'd get (which seems really silly, if you're going to repel down with weapons drawn, expect to need to use those weapons), at worst they just didn't consider the possibilities of escalated violence because they didn't really care if it came to that. Either way, it's definitely leadership on the mission's fault.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:17 (2 years ago) Permalink
the video definitely changed my opinion on the 'threat they posed' - that's a pretty blood-thirsty mob
― iatee, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
I spelled rappel correctly the first time and incorrectly the second time. Weird.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:20 (2 years ago) Permalink
xp haha sorry i'm going on a tangent here
mordy our duty isn't to just throw up our hands and say "what else can be done?" - it's to demand that those in power figure out new ways to solve problems like these without taking away basic rights and necessities of unpopular people. Maybe we're different but my first concern is the living conditions of the people being oppressed (and not much research has to be done to know exact metrics reflecting the horrible conditions and laws they're subject to, something like 2/3 of children in gaza are born with anemia), it's not a secondary concern. but i'm a touchy feely type like that
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
not to suggest that you're not - i'm just saying i can't for a second rationalize a lot of policies of a lot of countries!
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, I hear you. Generally I feel totally alienated from locations of power + politics. I don't even vote in Israeli elections, and in the elections I do vote, I feel powerless. So how am I going to hold Israel accountable for finding better solutions? I'm much more interested in what I can do on a ground level, which requires that I take contradictory positions into account and try to think through ways of mediating them. If you ignore Israel's concern with security you're basically going to have as little intelligible input into the process as if you ignore Palestinian concern with health/education (also with security!). There are two parties involved. I just don't see the value of picking a side. I'd rather try and figure out what might work. But I get that you have a different agenda here. (Btw, if I'm misrepresenting you, I'm totally sorry. This is how I understand what you're saying, but I admit, I could be wrong.)
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
yeah i think that as a good bleeding librul, i'm always gonna instinctively side with the weak or oppressed against the strong - not that I condone any of the politics or actions of theirs, i of course despise and condemn violence from either side. i just feel it's especially important to call out israel when it does things i don't agree with, not because i'm "against" them, but because as the ones with actual power and leverage, change has to come from them. so i want them to figure out ways to reslove the conflict without killing innocent people, without denying food and medicine, and without blocking access to important roads. i wish i knew what the answer was, but i can't support a solution it if it involves any of the above
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
and sorry if i came off a little curt - i appreciate that we're coming at this with different perspectives and investments
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
It seems to me that Israel has this myopic view of all conflict: them or us. I can understand that to an extent, but every decision seems completely dominated by that dichotomy.
Israel's view on flotilla issue:1. do nothing, let arms into Gaza, Jews get killed2. take out flotilla, no Jews get killed
There must be a third way. Negotiations? Including a basically neutral third party in the resolution? Inspectors?
Clearly the flotilla organizers wanted confrontation, but it's just remarkable how Israel plays right into that design. Israel seems to consider any kind of strategic thinking or maneuvering as a sign of mortal weakness. It's only kill or be killed.
Can someone be an adult here???
― Super Cub, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
so were they smuggling weapons or did mordy just pull that out of his ass
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
^I realize numerous wars aimed to destroy you will create this mentality, but with Israel in a dominate position in the region, it seems like a chance for Israel to rethink its basic approach to security.
xpost to myself
― Super Cub, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 00:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, June 1, 2010 12:58 AM (47 seconds ago
I think weapon smuggling into Gaza is a reality, but most of it is through tunnels from Egypt. There are a HUGE smuggling operations along that border.
― Super Cub, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
J0rdan, the question isn't whether they were in this particular vessel (tho they had at least knives + molotov cocktails) but that weapons are constantly being smuggled into Gaza. Where do you think the rockets come from? (You are aware that they fire rockets into Israel consistently, correct?)
Super Cub: Israel + Egypt both agreed to let the flotilla dock in their countries, be searched, and then allowed to continue into Gaza. That seems like an attempt at compromise + negotiation. They probably should've pursued that more, I agree, but it's not like they're 100% myopic.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't think this is posted yet. No idea whether it's propaganda or true, but if true, they were definitely bringing shit into Gaza.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
personally i think that video puts the situation into a bit of a grayer area -- still by watching that video (as grainy as it is) i can't imagine why 12 of these people needed to be killed, that's a really excessive number compared to the amount of israeli soldiers that were injured -- that said, i would sympathize on a soldier-by-soldier basis with the specific soldiers who were being beaten with metal poles (or w/e) and being thrown overboard, in the dark no less, which i'm sure really complicated matters -- it's a pretty fucked up situation in general, in which both the people on the floatilla & the specific soldiers are at fault -- who was more at fault is a bit up in the air to me, but like i said, i can't see how the force didn't quickly move from "self-defense" to "extremely excessive"
i have a more of a problem with israel's post-attack response as outlined by nabisco, as well as the whole notion of a blockade & on top of that the whole notion of defending the blockade by storming civilian aid boats.
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
maybe a bit late here but
but n ireland was in less of a completely shitty situation in 1990 than in 1979
Wasn't the Provisional Wing of the IRA actually supposedly fairly limited memberwise until the hunger strikes where Thatcher let them starve to death, which lead to anger in nationalist communities and a huge propaganda boost to the Provisional IRA and membership increased in great numbers. The Brighton bombing was a response to the hunger strike deaths.
At least that's how it was always as perceived as being. maybe someone more in the know can correct this if it's wrong.
Was the ceasefire in effect by 1990?
― pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:06 (2 years ago) Permalink
― k3vin k., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
to the point - no guns in that confiscation video
like i think we can argue to the death about what happened on this specific flotilla without really getting very far because it has, in my mind, clearly emerged as a pretty complicated situation where this very regrettable outcome for both sides was exacerbated greatly by each side
i think the underlying issues regrading israel's strategies & feelings towards gaza and the public statements made by their officials are much more interesting & worrisome
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:08 (2 years ago) Permalink
btw the video i'm referring to in my post is not that one that mordy posted, but the night vision one that amon posted, haven't watched mordy's yet tho
My first post here after reading reaction all day, so tell me if this is out of line: the Israeli military, often considered the best in the world, surely had more...reasonable ways of dealing with belligerents than shooting them. Couldn't they have restrained the attackers?
― Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:12 (2 years ago) Permalink
or "immobilized" them or whatever
mordy's video hasn't really convinced me of anything besides the fact that maybe the people on the flotilla were too overly ready & eager for a confrontation -- if that video's trying to convince me that these people were smuggling molotov cocktails, wooden poles and power strips into gaza with which to "attack" israel, i wouldn't really have much sympathy for the country with the capabilities to rappel its soldiers onto boats via helicopter
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:12 (2 years ago) Permalink
they were definitely bringing shit into Gaza.
You mean knives and bats? I have that shit lying around my house. I thought we were talking about real arms, like explosives and rockets. I don't think that collection of household items will do much against M1A1 tanks, F-16s, and Apache gunships.
― Super Cub, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
My point way above is that if you're bringing supplies into Gaza, and Israel has already accused you of smuggling weapons, why make it easy for them by actually having frightening fucking knives and molotov cocktails? And if you need them for whatever reason, why would you use them on the army? Anyway, the real point about smuggling isn't about whether this ship had it or not. Smuggling weapons into Gaza is a legit problem. I don't know the percentages of smuggled stuff through tunnels v. through ships, though most ships don't get through. (I do remember a huge weapon cache was recovered being smuggled on a ship to Gaza a few years ago.) That's why the blockade is up. Not because Israel hates Palestinians and wants to torture them for their own sadistic pleasure. Any answer to the matzif is going to involve figuring out a way to keep weapons from being smuggled in while still allowing aid and stuff to come in. I think k3v is right that inspections through a third party neutral might be the way to go.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:17 (2 years ago) Permalink
I think Israel has legitimate concerns about weapons being brought it on boats.
― Mordy, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 01:18 (2 years ago) Permalink