Israel to World: "Suck It."

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bnw: If Palestinian suicide bombing "boggles [your] mind," I suspect you aren't using your imagination properly. If I perceived that a nation had been illegitimately created in the land of my own people, and that my own people had subsequently been expelled to the margins of that land, and then expelled from even those margins as they were progressively colonized by the same nation I considered illegimitate in the first place, and said nation systematically assasinated most every individual I found fit to speak on my behalf in this dispute, and plenty of innocent bystanders in the process without too much moral balking at that process ... well, I think I can at least sort of grasp why someone would perceive the situation in this manner and thus act in the manner we're talking about. To say it "boggles the mind" that anyone would do this is just plain silly, and on certain levels amounts to saying that the complaints of the Palestinian people are psychotic, illogical, and unreasonable, which is neither a valid statement nor, I think, a helpful one.

So Palestinian terrorist organazations are free to kill Israelis but Arafat isn't responsible?

Precisely! It's ludicrous to imagine that Arafat has the clout to control the actions of every Palestinian, considering that he's not even democratically elected as their representative. To hold Arafat responsible for the actions of, say, Hamas -- an organization with is completely at odds with Arafat -- is like trying to hold Bill Clinton responsible for Timothy McVeigh's actions: it is, quite simply, stupid. To assume Arafat has the capacity to reign in dozens upon dozens of groups and thousands upon thousands of individuals is to take a ridiculously reductive view of politics which assumes that Arafat is some sort of Queen Bee whose orders are specifically followed by all Palestinians (which is ludicrous), and pays no attention whatsoever to the pretty precarious position he was, up until recently, in: trying to speak for an inchoate populace, trying to make concessions on their behalf without offending them them enough to lose the very power to make those concessions.

And I don't think my distinction above is a very radical one. The Israeli military is by definition at the command of the Israeli government, thus the government is fairly directly responsible for its actions. The Palestinian populace is certainly not beholded to Arafat in nearly the same fashion.

If Arafat cannot stop these bombings and killings, what is the point of dealing with him?

See my comments above: even if he's not in a position to completely control the entirety of Palestine, he's as close as Israel is going to get to someone who can, and his presence and stature is in and of itself entirely remarkable. To not deal with him is to be content with devolving into outright war -- and if your main concern is "these bombings and killing," that's not the best route to take, is it?

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Actually, let me clarify so no one tries to call me on the McVeigh analogy, which doesn't address the whole issue. Obviously Arafat could have tried to quash nacent terrorism in Palestine, but we can't ignore the fact that such an attempt would most likely have (a) been largely unsuccessful, and (b) likely lead to a massive loss of clout for Arafat, if not his own death. (We are, after all, talking about folks who will gladly suicide-bomb Israeli civilians -- you think it's a stretch that they'd try the same with Arafat if he stood in their way?) I really think that Israel has to a certain degree taken Arafat for granted, or at least ignored the pretty awful middleman position he's been in -- striving at least the slightest bit for diplomacy on the behalf of a populous that could well reject too much of a diplomatic stance on his part. Much as we'd sometimes like to pretend otherwise, I simply don't think he's ever been in a position to accomplish as much as Israel has asked of him without losing his credibility -- and what would that accomplish anyway? He could have jailed hundreds of "terrorists" only to be supplanted or assasinated by someone else who'd have just set them free again -- what would that have improved?

Or greater importance, I think, is Who Comes Next -- a diplomat whom the Israelis don't mind, or a hardliner? Given this, I'm guessing the hardliner.

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Apparently the reason that Arafat is so uniquely unable to control Hamas/ Jihad now is that he made an agreement- which came into effect two days before Israel's targeted killing of that same leader- which would have limited attacks to Gaza/West Bank settlements. Israel has directly rendered Arafat impotent, and (if one were cynical) has actively encouraged escalation through its recent policies.

Sharon is a dangerous capitive of the religious right; one of the aspects of the conflict which especially mystifies me is the lack of empathy between the Likud Right in Israel (most of whom were members of Irgun Levi in the decade before independence, and carried out similar atrocities against the British, eg. the bombing of the King David Hotel in '47) and the Palestinians who have suceeded them as 'terrorists'. Incidently, Israel also funded Hamas as a religious rival to the secular PLO in the 1980s.

charles, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

If Arafat and the Palestinian Authority cannot control the Hamas, Israel is going to do it themselves. How is it that the Hamas doesn't represent the Paelstinian people except when Israel threatens to "roll over" them?

What boggles my mind is not Palestinian discontent, but your acceptance of it at the level of consitently and intentionally killing innocent civilians. As for being helpful and reasonable, where doessuck it fall into that?

Equating McVeigh with the Hamas is quite a stretch. Enitrely different situations and motives not the least of which is that McVeigh's bombing was a rogue act of domestic terrorism. Its quite possible that Clinton knew nothing about McVeigh until it happened. The same cannot be said for Arafat and the Hamas. Having the Hamas continue to kill people with no culpability was just unaceptable to the Israeli government. When the PA couldn't hold the terrorists off for a 48 hour stretch, it doesn't make any "peace" talks seem realistic or productive. I mean, Israel should talk about concessions while the Hamas is blowing up buses? Yes, it is a hard line they are taking, and I doubt they'll root out the Hamas or Hizbollah problem in any sufficient way. The true stickyness to me is that division between people's army and terrorists groups. The situation is a mess, and is getting worse. I just think your view is lopsided.

bnw, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Israel wants to get rid of Arafat because he offers the Palestinian movement an (admittedly very shaky) air of legitimacy. With no Arafat and a power vacuum in his place, the Hamas will likely emerge as at least first among equals politically. In this situation Israel can declare the Palestinian people to be "ruled by terrorists" and therefore legitimate targets for military agression (anyone who posts arguing that Arafat is a terrorist will get the smackdown regardless of whether they're accurate).

Tim, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Well, Frankly Everyones Fucked.
Arafat has given legimtacy to Palstineian Statehood. This is dangerous to Israel who have been pretty nasty and unforgiving to there neighbors . The Middle East seems tro be an unextractable mess of oil and nationaislm and G-d , not even G-d but Fundamental Regilous Sentiment . Not only Islam but Zionism and this bizarre Christan Last Time Sentiments .

anthony, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

AS well anyone who criticiaes Israel gets the Shoah card pulled or the Anti Semitism card. Like YOu hate jews and we are the ultiamte victims , we need support . I do not think that the Shoah was not the greatest horror ever visisted on humanity but it seems a little more then crass to use that for explicict poltical gains , esp. when they are so bloodthirsty in gaza .

anthony, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

my prediction:

at some point over the next year Israel will shut down the Palestinian authority and permanently reoccupy all of the West Bank and Gaza, killing thousands of Palestinians in the process. Arafat will die during this process, as will Barghouti. This may happen before or after elections that put Netanyahu back in power. They will then invite the neighbouring Arab countries to come and have a go if they think they're hard enough. Which they don't, so they won't.

However, the West Bank and Gaza are so awash with arms that resistance will continue. Given the assymetric nature of the conflict - tanks, helicopter gunships, nuclear weapons on one side, machine guns and suicide bombers on the other - resistance will largely take the form of terrorist strikes against soft Israeli targets - civilians inside Israel, pieds noir settlers in the Occupied Territories.

Continuing violence will lead to voices in Israel demanding more and more violent responses. With no Palestinian Authority to kick around the Israelis will engage in ever more draconian acts towards their subject peoples - land confiscations, home demolitions, 24 hour curfews, eventually leading to concentration camps and mass expulsions.

Can't wait.

DV, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

the Shoah/anti-semitism card literally makes me feel sick. There's a long history to how the holocaust has been used:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/189

Alasdair, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

You're all so right - Anti-semitism is so 14th Century! They should really just get over it!

While the Shoah does not justify more evil, I think it's incredibly short-sighted to dismiss the issue of anti-semitism as a "card" - as if it's some kind of underhanded trick even to mention it. And to acknowledge it as a defining feature of Israeli policy does not mean that one condones those policies - nor can it be used to somehow outweigh Arab suffering. But how can you even discuss the issue without addressing the religious conflict and history ?

fritz, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Thats not what i am sayiing, you would have to be to a fool to fail to recognize how much anti semistims infects the reaction to Israel esp. among the arabs . Thats said the minute you call israel on any of there noxius policices they say your an anti semite and the debate shuts down.

anthonyeaston, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

bnw, you're consistently misreading my statements.

How is it that the Hamas doesn't represent the Paelstinian people except when Israel threatens to "roll over" them?

I haven't said that Hamas ever represents the Palestinian people. I just thought you might have noticed that every Isreali action in Palestine -- assassinations, town occupations, etc. -- winds up killing almost as many civilians as the average suicide bomb. It's not as if they stride in, arrest these people, and leave: they bulldoze through entire towns or rocket out entire intersections. Last week's assassination took out a toddler.

What boggles my mind is not Palestinian discontent, but your acceptance of it at the level of consitently and intentionally killing innocent civilians.

And I've never said that I "accept" those actions -- only that I grasp the motivation behind them. And yes, I'm not going to be quite as morally upset at a people living under military occupation in an apartheid system as I am at a recognized nation with a powerful military. Would the Palestinians -- and everyone else on Earth -- have been better off if they'd framed their struggle peacefully, as black South Africans more or less did? Undoubtedly. But isn't that near-saintly behavior to expect?

As for being helpful and reasonable, where doessuck it fall into that?

Here is where you're quite obviously not paying attention, because you're agreeing with me! (And I'm not trying to be rude -- I just don't understand the statement at all.) My whole point in starting this thread is that Israel's big "suck it" to diplomacy is neither helpful or reasonable, so I'm not sure what you're getting at here.

Equating McVeigh with the Hamas is quite a stretch.

Again, I'm not "equating." Simply an example of how in no other situation do we hold a political figure responsible for the actions of every member of his constituency! (Doubly so with Arafat in that he's not a proper "leader" of the Palestinian populace, and triply so with Arafat in that most of the groups organizing such attacks are entirely opposed to Arafat and the PLO.) If the man had a state, and he were its leader, there'd be a little more grounds to criticize his police work.

Having the Hamas continue to kill people with no culpability was just unaceptable to the Israeli government.

I should think assassination without trial constitutes some culpability, doesn't it? And I feel like you're thinking Hamas is a tool of Arafat's, which simply isn't the case: the very reason Arafat can't reign in groups like Hamas is that they are his competitors!

I mean, Israel should talk about concessions while the Hamas is blowing up buses?

See, I think you have to stop viewing the situation by looking at terrorism first. Someone could just as easily say: Palestine should talk about concessions while Israel is blowing up buildings? Palestine should talk about concessions while Jewish-only settlements continue to exist? It's as if you're pretending that the sole problem to be solved is Palestinian terrorism, and everything Israel does is just a response to that -- but both history and the present are a lot trickier than that.

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

You've definitely got a point there - and that attitude has been bolstered by the US's unquestioning support for far too long. The history of enmity just makes me lose hope for there ever being peace there.

fritz, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

(I was replying to anthony)

fritz, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

its this huge mess . i do not have alot og hope either .

anthonyeaston, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Oh, and bnw -- I do admit that I have been focusing on one side of the argument here. I also completely understand that it's precisely what I've been saying about Arafat above -- the difficulty of solidfying, regimenting, and properly representing Palestine -- that explains Israel's qualms about taking their hands off of the region: obviously they don't want to share borders with an unruly, unstable, deeply divided state that's largely hostile toward them. I grasp that even more than I grasp the motivations behind suicide bombing.

The thing is, I just can't morally justify the segregation and oppression of an entire populace simply because portions of it are violently hostile to you. It comes down one group depriving another of liberty simply to guarantee its own -- Israel segregating, restricting, and occupying the lands of Palestinians simply because they (legitimately) don't think they can feel safe if Palestinians have the rights of full citizens either in Israel or in a Palestinian state*. And I'm sorry -- this is untenable, and only feeds on itself, as the longer you deprive a group of liberty, the more hostile they'll grow toward you. I think that is my central problem here.

* And note that it was Israel who initially decided this with their mass expulsion of Palestinians who were, by and large, living peacefully within Israel proper -- and note that of all the attacks on Israel carried out during the past few years, only two, IIRC, have been conducted by Israeli Arabs. Both of these things hint that the liberty-for-safety trade was not only a bad one but an unnecessary, counter-productive one.

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

the Shoah/anti-semitism card literally makes me feel sick. There's a long history to how the holocaust has been used:

Ah yes, those Jews have been using it for 50 whole years! I mean, for a religon thats been around almost 6000 years, that's a whopping less than 1%. And by the way, when are Americans going to shut up about Pearl Harbor? It's as if WW2 was central to their identity or something.

bnw, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I just thought you might have noticed that every Isreali action in Palestine -- assassinations, town occupations, etc. -- winds up killing almost as many civilians as the average suicide bomb.

I still think there's a difference between going after militants then going after people sitting in a cafe. And if the actions were reversed, Israel's government would be viewed as monstrously cruel. My point about "suck it" was directed at your interpretation of what Israel cutting off Arafat means. I'm saying your choice of terminology reveals an obvious bias towards the situation.

If the man had a state, and he were its leader, there'd be a little more grounds to criticize his police work.

There indeed would be, but what Israel contends is that Arafat was never doing all he could. Jailing militants overnight then releasing them the next working wasn't cutting it. I honestly don't know if cutting off Arafat will make the situation bloodier. What will is Israel storming in to try and take Hamas out entirely themselves. (See, I'm not attempting to entirely disagree with you about the situtation, just certain points.)

See, I think you have to stop viewing the situation by looking at terrorism first.

I do think you're right here. There is just no neat and clean cause and effect relationship, which is what makes defusing this type of situation so difficult. I don't believe the South African analogy is particular fair because it fails to acknowledge how Israel has been forced to become a military state due to constant attacks on its existence by neighboring Arab states. This doesn't excuse poor treatment of the Palestinians, but I think it is a large element in the Israeli mindset of trying to provide safety first. I think where we also disagree is in gauge of how much terrorism Israel is going to have to suck up, in order to get the peace process back on track. By suck up, I mean not retaliating. I think you put an unreasonable expectation on them in that regard.

bnw, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

And by the way, when are Americans going to shut up about Pearl Harbor? It's as if WW2 was central to their identity or something.

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!

Nude Spock, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

you've got it wrong. the war of northern aggression is central to our identity.

Samantha, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Suck it? well you have suffered alot Israel, so I don't see why not. let's see what we've got here.

Ronan, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Okay, bnw -- we seem to be finding some common ground here. Here are my only objections:

I still think there's a difference between going after militants then going after people sitting in a cafe.

Sure, there's a difference. A huge one. But when "going after militants" repeatedly results in the death or dislocation of basically innocent bystanders -- as innocent as the folks in those cafes -- it becomes a little harder to justify, morally speaking. And I stick with my point, above, which is that it's really difficult to start applying general consequences to the actions of individual, non- representative groups, whereas it's a lot easier to do so for the regimented military of a sovereign nation. I.e., you can't say that one side attacks the other, or vice versa, because in the case of Palestine there is no "other" -- just a mass of individuals without a state, without a leader, etc.

My point about "suck it" was directed at your interpretation of what Israel cutting off Arafat means. I'm saying your choice of terminology reveals an obvious bias towards the situation.

In one sense yes, but in one sense, no: I was originally going to use "fuck it," but decided to try and keep the boards a little cleaner. Maybe I should have stuck with "fuck," because what's going through Sharon or his coalition's heads can't really be that far from throwing up their hands and saying, "Fuck it -- we give up on talking to you." That's quite clearly the message, and I think it can describes that way even if you believe Israel is entirely justified in doing this.

[W]hat Israel contends is that Arafat was never doing all he could.

Define "could." Seriously. Because this is what I'm getting at above. It's undeniable that Arafat physically and politically could have tried more. But my point is that he could have done so without gradually abandoning his own clout and losing support to groups like Hamas -- which would, in the long term, have been a lot worse of a situation if peace were the end goal. He essentially had to walk a very fine line between making progress with Israel and pissing off militants in Palestine -- and sure, it's open to debate whether he walked that line close enough, but I'm just saying we should keep in mind that he was never really in a position to utterly subdue the entire Palestinian populace.

I don't believe the South African analogy is particular fair because it fails to acknowledge how Israel has been forced to become a military state due to constant attacks on its existence by neighboring Arab states.

I can't claim to be an expert on this history, but I think you'll find that black Africans did their fair share of attacking in colonial South Africa. Apartheid didn't stem simply from racism, but partly from the same thinking that seems to be in operation in the mid-East -- that a particular group of people pose a danger of rebellion or violence and thus must be pre-emptively subdued. I mean, look at your statement above: Israel becomes militaristic because of attacks by neighboring Arab states. The only sense in which this justifies their attitude toward Palestine is that Palestinians are also Arabs, and are thus ideologically disposed to be hostile toward Israel. From there it just becomes a matter of "We will segregate and suppress Arabs as a whole," which, however logical it may be, doesn't strike me as morally tenable. It's not just "militants" who are having their lands seized or their roads blocked in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip -- it's the vast majority of Arabs within greater Israel, including many who were expelled from Israel proper and are not allowed to return, based not on their activities but on their potential activities. Would a better analogy be the US's internment of Japanese during WWII?

I think it is a large element in the Israeli mindset of trying to provide safety first. I think where we also disagree is in gauge of how much terrorism Israel is going to have to suck up, in order to get the peace process back on track.

"Safety first" may trump a lot of other concerns, but for me -- and this may be personal -- it doesn't trump basic human rights. The internment apparently struck people as a perfectly reasonable safety measure at the time, but I hope we'd all agree that even if some of those interned would have been more loyal to Japan than the US, the greater cost wasn't worth it. As far as sucking up, well, someone has to do some sucking up here, and thus far it's Palestinians who are sucking up being tenth-class citizens of the nation they ostensibly live in, plus progressive settlement. Put another way: given the choice to be an Israeli citizen or Palestinian, wouldn't you choose to be Israeli? And doesn't that hint that the threat of death by terrorism is significantly less onerous than the situation of the average Palestinian?

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

URGENT AND KET: That should read "my point is that he could not have done so without gradually abandoning his own clout..."

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Additional information / additional question:

From the AP: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who negotiated interim peace deals with Arafat, said he told Sharon that the decision to shun the Palestinian Authority was short-sighted. "I asked him, 'Suppose Arafat disappears, what will happen then?'" Peres told the Yediot Ahronot daily in an interview published Friday. "If we chase Arafat out of here, we will get into problems with the Arab world, and Egypt and Jordan will sever ties with us."

The question, which is moral and not logistical: Israel undertakes massive sweep in the West Bank, arresting several, killing several Palestinian policemen in armed confrontation. What do we think, morally, about a sovereign nation arresting and imposing its own justice system on (leave alone assassinating) individuals who don't likewise enjoy the full rights of citizenry in that nation? I stress that this is not specific or logistical, but a general moral question.

Nitsuh, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Dear wise Nitsuh:

And I stick with my point, above, which is that it's really difficult to start applying general consequences to the actions of individual, non- representative groups, whereas it's a lot easier to do so for the regimented military of a sovereign nation

This is true and yet doesn't it afford Palestinian aggression (equating that with the Hamas) an easy way out of any culpability whatsoever? (I know we've gone through that cul de sac already, but terrorism without consequences burns my ass.) I think any sort of posturing with Arafat and the PA was a better tactic than cutting him off directly. Perhaps a little double dealing of their own would have been wiser. Keep smiling and shaking hands with Arafat, while simultaneously going in after the Hamas. Make Arafat be the one to storm out (again).

He essentially had to walk a very fine line between making progress with Israel and pissing off militants in Palestine

If Arafat cannot offer any concessions, as in the Camp David talks, without pissing off the militants, then what does that say about the people of Palestine? Are they behind the Hamas in wanting to wipe Israel off the planet, or do they want to co-exist? What I'm saying is if these limits placed on Arafat are so immovable; doesn't that say something about the Palestinian willingness to discuss any sort of peace process? Kinda makes them look to be saying "suck it" all along. Also, I think Israel would contend that Arafat should be pissing off militants. He should be imprisoning them or assasinating them, as the PA does to those suspected of working with the Israeli government.

Oh and to follow Einstein's theory of political bickering: for every quote presented there will be an equal and opposite quote presented: “We will not arrest the sons of our people in order to appease Israel. Let our people rest assured that this won't happen.” — Chief of the P.A. Preventive Security in the West Bank, Jebril Rajoub
This I believe falls under what more Arafat "could" have done.

Apartheid didn't stem simply from racism, but partly from the same thinking that seems to be in operation in the mid-East -- that a particular group of people pose a danger of rebellion or violence and thus must be pre-emptively subdued.

Pre-emptive? If I can't use the cause and effect argument then neither should you. I could just as easily state that Israel is there because of terrorism. There also seems to be an overlooking of the Six Day War.

It's not just "militants" who are having their lands seized or their roads blocked in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip -- it's the vast majority of Arabs within greater Israel, including many who were expelled from Israel proper and are not allowed to return, based not on their activities but on their potential activities.

Funny, expelled is the same term I've read to what happens to Jews in Arabic countries. For what its worth, Arabs (or Muslims might be more fitting) are citizens in Israel. They receive the same rights, and can vote. Even the women. Would a better analogy be the US's internment of Japanese during WWII? I think so. Or perhaps American detainment of Arabic foreigners post 9/11. "Safety first" may trump a lot of other concerns, but for me -- and this may be personal -- it doesn't trump basic human rights. I think this where I differ from a lot of people on the left as I found out after 9/11. I think the first priority of a government is to protect its citizens. And I know this is more of a spectrum type argument, as to where do you draw the line between protecting and infringing on rights. As far as sucking up, well, someone has to do some sucking up here, and thus far it's Palestinians who are sucking up being tenth-class citizens of the nation they ostensibly live in, plus progressive settlement.Way, way one sided. Palestinians = victims. Israel = opressors. Come on, you know it isn't that simple. I am curious how much of the history of Palestine you're familar with. As a lot of liberal minded folks seems to be unaware of what exactly has transpired between Israel and its neighboring countries in the last 50 years. Like why was there no Palestinian state before Israel proclaimed its own statehood or before the 6 Day War?

Put another way: given the choice to be an Israeli citizen or Palestinian, wouldn't you choose to be Israeli? And doesn't that hint that the threat of death by terrorism is significantly less onerous than the situation of the average Palestinian?

Nah, more so because Israel has more of a Western lean i.e. its a capitalist Democracy.

What do we think, morally, about a sovereign nation arresting and imposing its own justice system on (leave alone assassinating) individuals who don't likewise enjoy the full rights of citizenry in that nation?

Sounds like America going after the al-Queda. Therefore, morally it depends on the reasoning behind the imposition. Still, you make it seem as if Israel does not want to recoginize Palestine as a state. (Perhaps we should boil down our arguments, if possible. I don't like running in circles. Thats more pointed at me than you.)

bnw, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Well, running in circles is pretty much par for this course -- no easy arguments on any side. I enjoy arguing it out, though, insofar as it's not a situation where I believe in my stance with absolute conviction, and talking = thinking / learning. Clarifications and rebuttals, though:

If Arafat cannot offer any concessions, as in the Camp David talks, without pissing off the militants, then what does that say about the people of Palestine?

You're absolutely right -- it says a whole lot of them consider Israel's very presence to be an affront (and I think there's a reasonable case to be made in this regard), and it says that a whole lot of them are stuck enough on this point that they're not content to co-exist. Absolutely. The question is how this situation -- which isn't going to be changed simply by telling them they're wrong -- would best be handled. Having normalized relations with a figure like Arafat seems the best available way to steer things in a less oppositional direction; Arafat has as much clout in Palestine as any single figure could reasonably be expected to have, he's somewhat beholden to appease the requests of the West, and his line is soft enough that organizations like Hamas are outright opposed to him. I think what I'm saying is that if you're dealing with a populace that's largely hostile to you, the logical route to changing this is to deal with the least hostile figure that populace can deliver, right?

Also, I think Israel would contend that Arafat should be pissing off militants.

This is where I think you're ignoring the point I tried to make above. For Arafat to have pissed of militants would have meant weakening of his support, and quite possibly his assassination. This would leave us with practically nothing but the very militants you're talking about, not even a weak check on those militants -- plus they would be, as you say pissed off. Surely this was part of Arafat's thinking -- that he could do more good alive and in power than otherwise. You're saying that Arafat should have served as a tool to certain ends, but what if too strenuous use would only have broken the tool?

The quote you provide is yet another example of this: no Palestinian figure could accumulate any support or maintain any power without such posturing.

Pre-emptive? If I can't use the cause and effect argument then neither should you. I could just as easily state that Israel is there because of terrorism. There also seems to be an overlooking of the Six Day War.

Here's where I'm really bothered, because you're using a sort of Palestinian Queen Bee reasoning that's simply not applicable. A child born in Palestine today is born into a situation where his home is occupied and open to seizure, his movements are curtailed, etc. That child did not fight in the Six Day War. Thus any treatment of that child that is in any way different from that of an Israeli child is essentially pre-emptive suppression -- pre-emptive in that the suppression is contingent on the idea that this child may be hostile toward Israel. I'm not saying it's pre-emptive in the sense that "Israel started it" -- just that their military oversight of the Palestinian populace is not based on every single Palestinian having done something to warrant it. Hence the internment analogy: it's not that they've individually done something, just that the entire population is viewed as a threat and suppressed accordingly.

For what its worth, Arabs (or Muslims might be more fitting) are citizens in Israel. They receive the same rights, and can vote.

"They receive the same rights" is the most laughable thing I've ever heard in my life. To name one thing: Jewish-Only Settlements.

I think the first priority of a government is to protect its citizens.

C'mon -- certainly some moral boundary must be put on this. Citizens of the US would theoretically be much safer if we just killed everyone who was ever involved in a violent crime, but would you find this morally defensible? We'd theoretically be safer if we could just nuke the entire eastern hemisphere, but surely there's the quibbling little concern of destroying half of the world's population to think about.

Way, way one sided. Palestinians = victims. Israel = opressors. Come on, you know it isn't that simple.

I'm sorry, but at this point, it basically is. The only "oppression" Palestinians have been able to visit on Israel is the fear of possible terrorist attack, which is not so much "oppression" as just plain "threat." In turn, even the most peace-loving Palestinian lives under a similar threat of death-by-reprisal (see that toddler, above), plus a systematic removal of rights, which is precisely what "oppression" means.

Nah, more so because Israel has more of a Western lean i.e. its a capitalist Democracy.

I'm not sure how you reconcile this with your contention, above, that Palestinians are Israeli citizens who enjoy all the rights and privileges of any other Israeli citizens. "They vote," you say ... but here you say that Israelis enjoy democracy and Palestinians don't.

Still, you make it seem as if Israel does not want to recoginize Palestine as a state.

Well, define "want." They don't want to -- something like 56% of Israelis think it's either a good or a necessary or an unavoidable idea, but it still remains a concession that's being made. And, as I said above, I understand why. But it's the same as the suicide bombers -- I understand the motivation, I just don't think it's morally tenable.

Nitsuh, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Goddamn, you reply fast! I was going to try and mention some common ground between us, and things I agreed on in your post before my last one which I neglected to bring up. Like Israel killing Palestinian civilians in its strikes. As well as mention how Israel attacking Arafat and the Palestinian police makes little sense to me. But now I must rest my poor brain to respond properly.

bnw, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Ah yes, those Jews have been using it for 50 whole years! I mean, for a religon thats been around almost 6000 years, that's a whopping less than 1%. And by the way, when are Americans going to shut up about Pearl Harbor? It's as if WW2 was central to their identity or something.

Um.. correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this thread about the modern state of Israel? (kinda post 1945?)

Secondly, i never asked anyone to shut up about the holocaust. The link i posted above was for the discussion of a book called the Holocaust and Collective Memory by Peter Novick (published by Fourth Estate), in which he examines the history of the way the Holocaust has been cited by Israel and american Jewish organisations since 1945. it's interesting in the sense that it shows there's always been a contemporary political agenda to using the holocaust as a moral imperative - like you do - and that until the 1960s, the holocaust was played down, and manifestly NOT pushed as central to the "jewish character" / justification for Israeli military action.

I should have said all this when i originally posted, but I assumed people would follow the link I pasted in.

Alasdair, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

it also occurs to me that I should point out -asap- that I'm not playing down the horrors of the holocaust for one minute.

And also that questioning the logic of it as a moral imperative that justifies the military occupation of parts of the west bank is really just building a straw man and setting it alight, in a pointless and potentially offensive way.

What I'm saying applies more to the US industry of holocaust rememberance that -sadly- all seems ultimately to say "never again will we allow Jews to be massacred by Nazis in central europe in 1945" without looking at the mechanics of genocide elsewhere or the current problems of the middle east, but still generating tacit emotional support for Israel to act however it chooses. So sorry if what i said caused any offence.

Alasdair, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Sorry, bnw -- I guess I stumbled back in here right after you posted. You know, I don't think I disagree with you about the situation as much as it might sound -- this just happens to be such a complex, contentious issue that a slight difference in thinking (say, "safety first" vs. "human rights first") can radically change the end conclusions one comes to.

The interesting thing about the Holocaust is that even if we do take it as central to the Jewish experience and character, and not just posturing or an attempt at justification, it's a rather unpretty argument, and a bit of another "suck it": the subtext is that Jews have historically been so threatened that they now have no qualms about steamrolling anyone who stands in their way. Certainly that's not an admirable thing?

Also -- and I tried to make this point when we did the "State of Israel: Classic or Dud" thread, I still don't understand how anyone justifies the necessity of a sovereign state of Israel. Without getting into the "what was worse than the Holocaust" argument, which is totally irrelevant, we can find countless other diasporas who have historically been massacred, enslaved, and scattered from their "homelands" in a similar fashion, but it tends to be agreed that we should strive to live pluralistically, not dislocate masses of people simple to return people to ethnically homogenous or ethnically restricted "homelands."

Out of curiousity, bnw, how do you feel about the violent seizure of white-owner farms in Zimbabwe?

Nitsuh, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

This is interesting and alarming. (Link stolen from Ethel the Blog.) The key passage being:

Alex Fishman is the main commentator on security matters for Israel's largest mass circulation paper, Yediot Achronot, a publication with right-of-center politics. Fishman is known for his excellent contacts in the military. On Sunday, Nov. 25, Fishman issued a prediction based on the recent assassination on Nov. 23 by Israel's security services of the Hamas leader, Mahmud Abu Hunud. It was featured in a box on the newspaper's front page.

It began, "We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line (Israel's pre-'67 border)." Since Fishman was entirely accurate in this regard, we should mark closely what he wrote next. "Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman's agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line, of the kind perpetrated at the Dolphinarium (discotheque in Tel-Aviv)."

Fishman stated flatly that such an agreement did exist, even if neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas would admit it in public. "It is a fact," he continued, "that, while the security services did accumulate repeated warnings of planned Hamas terrorist attacks within the Green Line, these did not materialize. That cannot be attributed solely to the Shabak's impressive success in intercepting the suicide bombers and their controllers. Rather, the respective leaderships of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas came to the understanding that it would be better not to play into Israel's hands by mass attacks on its population centers."

In other words, Arafat had managed to convince Hamas to curb its suicide bombers. This understanding was shattered by the assassination of Abu Hunud. "Whoever decided upon the liquidation of Abu Hunud," Fishman continued, "knew in advance that that would be the price. The subject was extensively discussed both by Israel's military echelon and its political one, before it was decided to carry out the liquidation. Now, the security bodies assume that Hamas will embark on a concerted effort to carry out suicide bombings, and preparations are made accordingly."

Phil, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Well, there we go: that, bnw, is essentially how I've been looking at the situation throughout this thread. Arafat may not have been as strong a check on terrorism as Israel wanted him to be, but he was still a significant check, and circumventing him means there's no one left to make even the most minimal overtures toward peace.

Nitsuh, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Nitsuh's posts have all been excellent as usual. I've been reading all the papers and I still learn more from this thread than anywhere else.

Tim, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I should get credit for being the antagonist! Anyway...

Hence the internment analogy: it's not that they've individually done something, just that the entire population is viewed as a threat and suppressed accordingly.

Roadblocks I understand. Demolishing houses, I don't understand that logic at all.

"They receive the same rights" is the most laughable thing I've ever heard in my life. To name one thing: Jewish-Only Settlements.

Well, are we talking Arabs within Israel or within the occupied territories? Jewish-only settlements - I am amazed people will actually move into these places honestly.

In turn, even the most peace-loving Palestinian lives under a similar threat of death-by-reprisal (see that toddler, above), plus a systematic removal of rights, which is precisely what "oppression" means.

I'd argue that "death-by-reprisal" is not near to the degree of the terrorist attacks. Gunning down a busload of civilians is not something you see the Israeli army doing.

They don't want to -- something like 56% of Israelis think it's either a good or a necessary or an unavoidable idea, but it still remains a concession that's being made.

No doubt, its become a more hawkish state under Sharon. Sure would be nice to extract the word "yes" from Arafat's mouth about a year ago when Barak was offering statehood, practically all the settlements, and part of Jerusalem.

bnw, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

it's a rather unpretty argument, and a bit of another "suck it": the subtext is that Jews have historically been so threatened that they now have no qualms about steamrolling anyone who stands in their way. Certainly that's not an admirable thing?

Jews = 0.3% of earth's population. Nobody is getting steamrolled. You are talking Israel and Palestine, not "anyone." I just wanted to clarify that.

Also -- and I tried to make this point when we did the "State of Israel: Classic or Dud" thread, I still don't understand how anyone justifies the necessity of a sovereign state of Israel.

Obviously, it is impossible not to mention the factor of the Holocaust in an discussion about Israel's statehood. The thing that bothered me about your argument in that thread is that you seemed to lambast Israel for being a Jewish state, when clearly there are many Arab nations that are Muslim enforced states. Obviously one doesn't justify the other. But it seems to me that if one is wrong, both are.

Out of curiousity, bnw, how do you feel about the violent seizure of white-owner farms in Zimbabwe?

Honestly, I know next to nothing about it except that it sounded terrifying. A case of the "haves and the have-nots"? I can't even begin to get my head around the tribal violence in Africa.

bnw, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Obviously, it is impossible not to mention the factor of the Holocaust in an discussion about Israel's statehood. The thing that bothered me about your argument in that thread is that you seemed to lambast Israel for being a Jewish state, when clearly there are many Arab nations that are Muslim enforced states.

HUGE difference: my complaint about Israel was that it was created specifically as a homeland for people of a certain ethnic heritage, as dictated by the completely deplorable, imperialist, anti-pluralistic line of thinking that various sorts of people should separate themselves into self-determining "homelands" (even if this means massive dislocation and reduction of self- determination for someone else). This is somewhat different from the people of an existing land adopting Islamic law, which is woefully theocratic but in the end not so different a concept from our own religiously-inflected laws in the US. In those cases Muslims already constitute the dominant portion of a region, whether we like it or not. But to create a nation specifically so that one group can be dominant within it? The subtext is that people have some sort of right to be able to go to a country in which they are a part of the ethnic majority (and that said country should be situated wherever they ethnically "come from," regardless of whether someone else has arrived there in the meantime). We have to reject that logic. To not reject that logic is to doom the very idea of pluralistic societies, and to call for exactly the sort of violence we see in the area right now.

You might recall, in that thread, that I ragged on Liberia for the same reason as Israel. I rejected the idea that Jews deserved as self- determining Israeli homeland for the same reasons I rejected the idea that Germans deserved a self-determining Aryan Fatherland, just like I'd have rejected any suggestion that all of the black people in the 1870's US should have been shipped over to Liberia or given Alabama and Mississippi as their own sovereign nation.

And I think I pointed out, in that thread, that some of this may have to do with personal experience. I do not understand nationalism, because I don't have any nation to be nationalistic about: I'm a "foreigner" no matter where I go. And yet I completely reject the idea that I "deserve" or have a right to anything else; we should all be foreigners.

And while I'm not going to claim that this is what was going through Arafat's head, all of this is why I understand rejecting Palestinian statehood if it's not accompanied by a "right of return" for all of those who were expelled from Israel.

"Out of curiousity, bnw, how do you feel about the violent seizure of white-owner farms in Zimbabwe?"

Honestly, I know next to nothing about it except that it sounded terrifying. A case of the "haves and the have-nots"? I can't even begin to get my head around the tribal violence in Africa.

Not tribal violence -- I asked because it bears on our discussion, insofar as you would sort of have to support land redistribution in Zimbabwe in order to support the existence of Israel. The rationale behind land redistribution is that, well, the land is African land and belongs to Africans, and white ownership of it is the result of violent colonial seizure; thus it's time to give it back. I am rather sympathetic to this logic. I am not as sympathetic to the rather less clear-cut logic of the creation of Israel, where the link goes back a long time, and the creation of a diaspora and the shifting population of the region were due to more natural historical processes, and not a recent, easy-to-identify colonization -- plus the very existence of a diaspora, of millions who had left the region, for centuries upon centuries, and then try to make claims upon it?

At root I am sympathetic to the idea that people need land to live on (see Zimbabwe), but hugely unsympathetic to the idea that people need a land. It's reductive, archaic, racist, stone-age thinking, and I simply can't support it.

Nitsuh, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

"Out of curiousity, bnw, how do you feel about the violent seizure of white-owner farms in Zimbabwe?"

The current situation is hardly cut and dried. My ambivalence is increased by the fact that impoverished black employees get detained, tortured and beaten senseless for working on these farms. Often they have no recourse but to work in such places in order to escape poverty.

The general populace are more concerned with survival than politics. In my experience, the overriding concern is with the increasingly totalitarian regime under President Mugabe.

Inspired somewhat by President Bush, his most recent tactic is to label any opposition party member a "terrorist" and have them dealt with accordingly.

The situation in Zimbabwe is spiralling rapidly out of control, and the forcible repatriation of white-owned farms is only one such example.

Trevor, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Oh, certainly: I didn't mean to imply that it was a simple situation by any stretch. Just comparing the root moral justifications, even if they're not the same as the actual motivations for action.

Nitsuh, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

my complaint about Israel was that it was created specifically as a homeland for people of a certain ethnic heritage, as dictated by the completely deplorable, imperialist, anti-pluralistic line of thinking that various sorts of people should separate themselves into self-determining "homelands" (even if this means massive dislocation and reduction of self- determination for someone else).

The base of your argument I agree with but the world has simply never been a pluralistic place. As with the case of Israel, the question becomes does the threat against the Jewish population justify the creation of Israel? I'd say yes; you'd say no, no degree of threat ever does. The interesting thing to me is wondering what amount of Western anti-Semitism played into creating a state of Israel? How much of it was "we don't want these refugee Jews in our country so let's give them Israel."

bnw, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...
Ask Imaam Imam Sunnah Sunni Deobandi Islaam Islam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama" Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuda

Afghanistan News Sunnah Sunni Deobandi Islam Islaam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama" ar-Rasheed trust

Sunnah Deobandi Sunni Islam Islaam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama"

copy, Sunday, 28 July 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

7 years pass...

Up to 16 killed as Israeli forces storm aid convoy

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/31/2914131.htm?section=world

ᵒ always toasted, never fried (crüt), Monday, 31 May 2010 07:15 (4 years ago) Permalink

Stay classy Israel.

Super Cub, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

Ask Imaam Imam Sunnah Sunni Deobandi Islaam Islam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama" Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuda

Afghanistan News Sunnah Sunni Deobandi Islam Islaam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama" ar-Rasheed trust

Sunnah Deobandi Sunni Islam Islaam Kashmir Afghanistan Jihad Jihaad Chechnya Kosovo Awliya Sufiyah Sufi Soofi Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro Sindh Punjab Balauchistan Balochistan Afghanistan Terror Terrorism War Militant Radical Extremist fanatic fundamentalist Sunni movement Special forces soldiers wahabi wahhaabi wahhabi Syedayn Shaheedayn Ambala Deoband Saharanpur Kandhla Thana bhawan Akora Khattak Balakot Hyderabad Karachi lyari MQM Hikayat Hikayaat peace spirit spiritual Waliullah wali saint worship veneration Sajda Ghairullah Ghayr Ghair Kufr Ilhaad Zanadaqah Wahdat ul Wajood Shahood Tassawuf Islaah Tazkiyah Nafs Shaytaan Satan Shaitan Zikr Dhikr Zakir Zaakir Dhaakir Abid Zahid Zuhd Istaghna Sabr "Safhaat min Sabr ul Ulama"

sir mountebank (velko), Monday, 31 May 2010 07:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

great point

ksh, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:20 (4 years ago) Permalink

Not to play Captain Defend an Israel, but acc. to the very sparse on details article, the people were killed when they resisted the commandos. If supposedly there were no weapons on board, what exactly were they resisting with? (For all I know, they just resisted by punching the commandos, or sitting peacefully, but that seems kinda unlikely.)

Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

Larger story from Haaretz, including:

"The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials." -- which is really fucked up that they aren't allowed in Gaza.

but also:

The military said in a statement: "Navy fighters took control of six ships that tried to violate the naval blockade (of the Gaza Strip) ... During the takeover, the soldiers encountered serious physical violence by the protesters, who attacked them with live fire."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/at-least-10-activists-killed-in-israel-navy-clashes-onboard-gaza-aid-flotilla-1.293089

Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

IDF claims they used tools and knives and someone went for a soldier's gun. Protesters claim that they only passively resisted. In any case, 14 protesters were killed in international by the IDF after commandos stormed their flotilla carrying aid to Gaza. Draw your own conclusions.

Super Cub, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:33 (4 years ago) Permalink

Just to preempt, I think the whole Gaza situation is totally fucked up, and that there is a lot more Israel + Egypt could and should be doing for the people living there. Either/both governments should stepped forward to work with any humanitarian mission if they are that concerned about weapon/rocket smuggling. That neither did, and just told the mission that they can't deliver the aid, is super cold hearted and basically evil by way of Hannah Arendt thoughtlessness. That said, if you want to deliver aid to Gaza, and you already know it's likely that Israel will step in and stop you (at least an even shot, some shipments are allowed through, some are halted), don't carry weapons. That a) sets you up for a violent conflict and b) justifies what Israel was complaining about in the first place -- that you're bringing weapons into Gaza -- and totally undermines any humanitarian mission you might have. And if you're going to carry weapons (maybe you need them in case of pirates? idk), don't open fire on the freaking army. How could that possibly end well?

Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

The statement quoted in Haaretz says they were attacked with live fire.

Mordy, Monday, 31 May 2010 07:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

and protestors say they only passively resisted

ᵒ always toasted, never fried (crüt), Monday, 31 May 2010 07:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

Israel to World: "Swallow It."

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Friday, 21 February 2014 00:43 (8 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

On the mess that is currently going on at my school, which has now escalated to companies bullying institutions of higher learning. *sigh*

(note: as I am both an employee of the university as well as a student, I didn't get to vote in this)

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2014/03/12/engineering-firm-threatens-to-cut-ties-to-u-of-w-over-isreal-divestment-issue/

Inside Lewellyn Sinclair (cryptosicko), Thursday, 13 March 2014 16:04 (7 months ago) Permalink

That referendum was passed when 758 undergraduates voted in favor of the boycott, 585 voted against it and 10 voted “none of the above” out of a student population of 14,000.

Hmm

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 13 March 2014 16:26 (7 months ago) Permalink

Engineering firm's response is outrageous, obviously

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 13 March 2014 16:26 (7 months ago) Permalink

Well he would say that wouldn't he?

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 13 March 2014 16:56 (7 months ago) Permalink

so unfair that universities can't boycott other countries universities without consequences.

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:10 (7 months ago) Permalink

“I am reasonably certain that the majority … of this small percentage of the student body are of the Muslim faith, which promotes violence and hatred toward the Jews in the Middle East.”

I'd like to think they'd feel obliged to cut ties after this anyway

ogmor, Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:31 (7 months ago) Permalink

So unfair that countries can't illegally build settlements in occupied territories without consequences.

Frederik B, Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:45 (7 months ago) Permalink

If BDS's platform was exclusively about the settlements id agree w your analogy

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:52 (7 months ago) Permalink

I don't even support BDS and I think the university needs to set a minimum turnout if its referenda are to mean anything but (a) it's false and predictable for Netanyahu to call it plain anti-semitism and (b) it's obnoxious for a corporation to describe muslims in those terms while trying to bully a university into overruling a student vote.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:00 (7 months ago) Permalink

x-post: Yeah, I don't agree with BDS either. Followed a few links in the new articles, the leaders definitely say some worrying stuff. But the main reason BDS is in the spotlight in a country like Denmark is because of the settlements.

Frederik B, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:11 (7 months ago) Permalink

I agree w/ Bibi that 1. BDS is committed to the dissolution of Israel as the Jewish State, and that 2. Trying to destroy the Jewish State of Israel counts as an antisemitic act. I think there's room to disagree w/ those two points without being antisemitic, but I don't think it's 'false' (tho probably 'predictable') for Netanyahu to call it anti-semitism.

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:19 (7 months ago) Permalink

"Some supporters of the movement see it as a way to put pressure on Israel to end illegal settlements in the territories occupied in the 1967 war;

But opposing settlements alone, does not make one an anti-semite (as was discussed above)

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:29 (7 months ago) Permalink

Of course, I agree that you can oppose settlements without being an anti-semite. I think someone could even support BDS without hating Jews (and indeed, there has always been Jewish resistance to the state of Israel even pre-1948). But I do believe the BDS movement is an anti-semitic movement and that anti-semitism primarily motivates the majority of its participants. That's my impression from listening to BDS proponents, reading pro-BDS blogs (and their readerships), etc.

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:32 (7 months ago) Permalink

In one of those articles in the Guardian, a BDS-leader talks about a one-state solution that is 'secular' and 'democratic'. Which seems obvious dogwhistle-stuff to me. A one-state with elections would quickly become an islamic state, I think.

Frederik B, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:38 (7 months ago) Permalink

However, the response from the engineering firm is obviously islamophobic, openly islamophobic.

Frederik B, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:39 (7 months ago) Permalink

You can have nothing against Jewishness and not think there should be a Jewish state. Plenty of Jews feel the same way.

o. nate, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:45 (7 months ago) Permalink

and indeed, there has always been Jewish resistance to the state of Israel even pre-1948

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:47 (7 months ago) Permalink

I know antisemitism can be hard to detect but "anti-semitism primarily motivates the majority of its participants" is v far from my experience & when ppl state the possibility of supporting boycotts w/out being antisemitic like it's a concession or debatable I'm always a little doubtful of their judgement

ogmor, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:47 (7 months ago) Permalink

tho i wouldn't call it "plenty." the vast majority of jews support israel as a jewish state and even 99% of oppositional charedim fell in line after 1948 (neuturi karta being the only exception). xp

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:48 (7 months ago) Permalink

ogmor, I wonder if you read Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss?

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:49 (7 months ago) Permalink

I have never read either

ogmor, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:50 (7 months ago) Permalink

I think those are probably the two most visible pro-BDS communities at least in the anglosphere and both engage regularly in horrific anti-semitism particularly re conspiracies (look at Mondoweiss recent discussions of how Israel and the Jews are orchestrating the situation in Ukraine to get a real sense of BDS psychosis).

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:50 (7 months ago) Permalink

Jews should take advantage of the tumult to claim a second Jewish state in the Crimea. It's not fair that we can only have one Jewish state.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:51 (7 months ago) Permalink

It goes without saying that the Arabic press is stunningly anti-semitic as well, which goes without saying. Cartoons published in the UK pan-Arabic Al Quds al Arabi recently include:

and

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:52 (7 months ago) Permalink

if it really went without saying obvs i wouldn't have to repeat it so much lol

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:53 (7 months ago) Permalink

By "plenty" I didn't mean a large percentage, just that there have been prominent anti-zionist Jewish voices. I'm thinking more of secular Jews like Tony Judt, who advocated a one-state solution. xps

o. nate, Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:56 (7 months ago) Permalink

Mordy , Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:59 (7 months ago) Permalink

There are enough anti-semities in the BDS movement to make me deeply uncomfortable about it but not enough to tar the whole movement as such. Which I know sounds like watery liberal equivocation but there you go. I think critics of Israeli policy need to be a hell of a lot firmer about distancing themselves from the bigots. The fact that Gilad Atzmon is still cited as one of the good guys makes me think that's not going to happen for a long time.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 13 March 2014 19:01 (7 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't doubt that anti-semitism gives the BDS movement a bit of extra sizzle. It seems to attract a following out of proportion to other human-rights based boycott campaigns.

o. nate, Thursday, 13 March 2014 19:17 (7 months ago) Permalink

xp mordy
I don't doubt it. obv anything on Israel will attract these people, the boycott movement being focused & punitive especially, but people I've met who are involved have all also been involved w/ other political/humanitarian/human rights causes. it seems like it's obviously the audience BDS is courting.

ogmor, Thursday, 13 March 2014 19:20 (7 months ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

ⓢⓗⓘⓣ (am0n), Wednesday, 9 July 2014 16:20 (3 months ago) Permalink

Rolling MENA 2014

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 9 July 2014 16:24 (3 months ago) Permalink


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