Israel to World: "Suck It."

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Basically. Israel severs all ties to Arafat -- who, whatever else you can say about him, is the most reasonable and concessionary major statesman Palestine is likely to offer up, and quite possibly the only Palestinian statesman able to represent a significant portion of Palestine as a whole (beyond Arafat are only minor figures, with strictly regional support, and apart from a couple significant exceptions far more strident).

I'm not sure how to see this as anything but a great big "suck it" to the idea of a non-militaristic peace: Sharon's coalition has snapped and no longer cares to justify itself. (Although I dearly hope they have some sort of realpolitik moral justification for the fact that this route will mean more Israeli civilian deaths, by gun or bomb -- after all, these are the same folks who consider Arafat "directly responsible" for suicide bombings, contrary to all known definitions of the word "direct.")

The only positive development here seems to be that Israel's defenders can no longer go on and on about Arafat walking out on Israel's Camp David offers, as Israel has in essence pulled a similar give-up. A crucial distinction being that Arafat's balks are explained by his actually representing his constituency; he was the only person who could get away with making concessions for Palestine, but if he made too many concessions, he'd only have been killed and the situation would have worsened. But note that cutting ties with him has essentially the same effect. So long as Arafat is "irrelevant," as they're saying, Israel has absolutely no hope of getting anything out of Palestine, because no one else has the clout to make such decisions. (You can make arguments that Arafat wasn't doing as much as he could have to hold various ceasefires or arrest various "terrorists," but it's hard to argue that you're better off without even having him there to go through the motions, or even just as the one person who could potentially accomplish these things.) No, this is an all-out "suck it," and it spells bad, bad news for Palestinian civilians.

So: What do you think? What happens next? How serious do you think Israel is about cutting off Arafat and just rolling over Palestine with military might?

Nitsuh, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Oh I think they're very serious. Expect imminent face-spiting.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

From my limited understanding of the situation this was pretty much inevitable, eventually, from the moment Sharon was elected, no?

Tom, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW? DECADES OF BLOODSHED OR A BLOODBATH THAT ENDS IT ALL?

Mike Hanle y, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Both.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

True, Tom, but I figured even Sharon wouldn't go so far as to marginalize Arafat. Here's why: Arafat makes Israel look good. Most people in the west don't have strong affinities for either side in this, and don't really care to sort through the messy historical details and form an opinion -- it's easier to just look at two figures, Sharon and Arafat, with two populations who are continually killing one another in various ways. An even match, of sorts; as much blame can be thrown at Arafat (who hardly anyone really likes) as at Sharon. Without Arafat, that falls apart -- it becomes a situation in which a government and its military leaders are steamrolling a population with no recognizable leader, no visible command structure, no statesman at the negotiating table. (Similarly, imagine how much more morally questionable our adventures in Afghanistan would look without bin Laden or the Taliban as strong recognizable foes.)

Another way of saying this is: who will Israel blame from now on? Are they essentially hoping that hardline groups like Hamas will fill the spotlight, lending more justification to their activities? Is cutting off Arafat maybe a way of racheting up the conflict, giving them license to do, well, whatever they want?

Nitsuh, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't know myself how I feel about this, but is Israel's militarism at all understandable if not justifiable after a thousand years of "World to Jews: Suck It"?

fritz, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Related question: What will happen to Arafat's leadership of the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, and Fatah if he's no longer welcome to Israel? Assuming he continues in these capacities, won't that make all three organizations entirely oppositional to Israel?

Nitsuh, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Fritz -- Understandable, sure, in the same way it's understandable that some American blacks adopt a "Black People to America: Suck It" attitude. And understandable insofar as the nation of Israel is situated among nations which are largely hostile to its existence. But, similarly, Palestinian suicide-bombing is just as "understandable" (i.e., we can grasp and possibly empathise with the motivations behind it) -- what we should be more worried about is what's justifiable, helpful, productive, and sound.

And note that I hold a federal government more responsible for those qualities than I do small groups or individuals. An "understandable" militaristic proclivity is one thing psychologically, but quite another politically.

Nitsuh, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

It's understandable certainly. Justifiable? Well, not really. The world has hardly been kind to the Arabs, after all. If we assume that centuries of prejudice and oppression have given Israel carte blanche to do what it likes, militarily, should we not treat Islamist rhetoric about "crusaders" with a similar respect? (And vice versa)

Nitsuh - my assumption would be that Israel no longer cares whether or not it looks good. Sharon has realised he's in a position to call the international community's bluff.

Tom, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

A SAD SITUATION BUT THE TITLE OF THIS THREAD WOULD MAKE A FUNNY HEADLINE

Mike Hanle y, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

my assumption would be that Israel no longer cares whether or not it looks good

Yeah, hence my thread title. I guess I'm just the slightest bit shocked by this, whereas you've been, if not expecting it, mentally prepared for the eventuality. Shame on you, pragmatist!

Nitsuh, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

right, I just wanted to point out that history makes the "helpful, productive, and sound" route very hard for both sides to see and leads to "not caring whether they look good or not".

fritz, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

http://www.peterlowe.org/images/speakers/LarryKing_md.jpghttp://aviv.k12.il/geopolitics/gifs/arafat.jpg

A head-on comparison is better, but this is all I could find. Have these two ever been in the same room together?

Nude Spock, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

In response to Fritz, my question here is: Does the Shoah justify anything Israel does?

Simon, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

But, similarly, Palestinian suicide-bombing is just as "understandable" (i.e., we can grasp and possibly empathise with the motivations behind it)

Count this as one of those attitudes which simply boggles my mind.

And note that I hold a federal government more responsible for those qualities than I do small groups or individuals.

So Palestinian terrorist organazations are free to kill Israelis but Arafat isn't responsible? If Arafat cannot stop these bombings and killings, what is the point of dealing with him?

bnw, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

(I was replying to anthony)

fritz, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

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

anthonyeaston, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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

Samantha, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

I guess the fact that other people in human history have also done bad things is a pretty good excuse for 54 years (and counting) of military occupation

― symsymsym, Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:55 AM (twelve hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Every people has a right to self determination, so nothing justifies oppressing a people who has a desire for it. Turns out that also include the jewish people having a right to live in their ancestral homeland, that includes Palestinians having a right to live in their ancestral homeland, so far I am not seeing a lot of openness to cohabitation or desire to let go of ethno-state ideals from both parties. On one side part of that is the depiction of Israelis as whites europeans wanting to chill in a new land like Australians and Americans do on new continents, plus a long standing notion that jews are second class humans unworthy of nationhood, both of which holds no historical or moral scrutiny and is absolutely a reason why the conflict is on-going.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 17:31 (five months ago) link

The right of any people to self-determination is of course a high ideal but the fact that your post is so full of ridiculous conflations (self determination and colonialism, palestinian liberation and israeli nationalism) and evasions or ommissions (the actual, seemingly endlessly ongoing, brutal occupation of gaza and the west bank , the ridiculous 'denying settlers this brand of ice cream is terrorism' allegation that is currently under discussion) suggests that you are either too disingenuous or too stupid to be worth arguing with.

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 18:31 (five months ago) link

In which way do I omit the brutal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank? Didn't I just say that Palestinians have a right to self-determination? Am I arguing for the continuation of ethno state paradigms? Did I say I agree that B&J boycotting the OT is terrorism? I suppose when Jews have the very human desire to live in their homeland from which they were expelled and treated as second class by colonial forces, it's automatically colonialism (suggesting otherwise seems to be conflation), but when Palestinians have the very human desire to live in their homeland free from the control of the apartheid state, it's liberation.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:11 (five months ago) link

the genocide of the palestinians is the israeli national project.

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:14 (five months ago) link

the great majority of peoples in the world do not live where they lived 2000 years ago and we would never accept any national people today moving on mass to their "ancestral home" expelling the people who have been living there for centuries.

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:15 (five months ago) link

except israel was formed in the 40s and the europeans felt guilty and the people living there were just arabs

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:16 (five months ago) link

xp It really isn't, any more than declining to sell ice cream in the occupied territories is "terrorism"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:17 (five months ago) link

if a palestinian marries an israeli they are barred by law from getting israeli citizenship

israel is a jewish state, half the population under its control is not jewish

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:20 (five months ago) link

there's been a clear and deliberate plan by every israeli government for decades to promote the building of settlements that bit by bit destroy any meaningful contiguous palestinian area in the west bank, destroying any possibility of a palestinian state

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:24 (five months ago) link

the great majority of peoples in the world do not live where they lived 2000 years ago and we would never accept any national people today moving on mass to their "ancestral home" expelling the people who have been living there for centuries.

― 《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, July 22, 2021 3:15 PM (fourteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I guess the FNIM will just have to cope I guess!

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:32 (five months ago) link

comparison makes no sense.

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:34 (five months ago) link

the Former Nation In Macedonia?

tean mean poleand cheaseang theas means hamseak feasts (breastcrawl), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:36 (five months ago) link

first nations, inuit, and métis

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:37 (five months ago) link

ive also never heard any first nations activist make common cause with the israelis, quite the opposite

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:37 (five months ago) link

I see, back to Canada - thanx

tean mean poleand cheaseang theas means hamseak feasts (breastcrawl), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:38 (five months ago) link

no ice cream = terrorism sounds like something my 9 year old would say.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:39 (five months ago) link

comparison makes no sense.

― 《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, July 22, 2021 3:34 PM (sixteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

You are literally asking Jews to just make peace with the Diaspora despite all the atrocities that derived from it, and acting as if the effect of that Diaspora is inconsequential to the present day. Doing the same for any sort of displaced people would be considered morally unacceptable, it would be so for the FNIM, just like it is for the descendants of the Nakba. I just believe that the incapacity to imagine many different people living peacefully in the same land is incredibly sad, and that allowing one people in a land over another is reprehensible. I don't think it's out of bounds to remind ourselves than Palestinians in power, today and for the many centuries prior, are guilty of the same 'us vs them' mentality.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:01 (five months ago) link

In which way do I omit the brutal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank? Didn't I just say that Palestinians have a right to self-determination? Am I arguing for the continuation of ethno state paradigms? Did I say I agree that B&J boycotting the OT is terrorism? I suppose when Jews have the very human desire to live in their homeland from which they were expelled and treated as second class by colonial forces, it's automatically colonialism (suggesting otherwise seems to be conflation), but when Palestinians have the very human desire to live in their homeland free from the control of the apartheid state, it's liberation.

― Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 19:11 (forty-five minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Liberation and colonialism derive their meaning from the present existing powers of domination. In this instance there is a population of millions who for generations have been denied basic human rights. I'm not really sure this can be understood as 'automatically' because it has entailed decades of militarised occupation which tends to involve much more agency on the part of the colonial powers than the word 'automatically' would imply. If you want people to take you seriously be serious.

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:08 (five months ago) link

xp In this thread especially, VHS, you have one of the worst argumentation styles on the site. Just a gish gallop of "what about..." and inane comparisons.

Seriously: "what if the subaltern party had power, and used it poorly" is not the good argument you think it is? Especially when it seems clearly intended to place the Palestinian and Jewish Israeli experiences on equal terms, when it's just so, so clearly not.

vcrash, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:10 (five months ago) link

The problem is that you seem to think that I'm okay with Israel occupation and apartheid policies, which I am not. I just happen to think that Jews have the right to build a state for themselves in their ancestral land, and that the building of that state ought not to exclude the rights of self-determination of Palestinians like it is at the moment. My only problem is when it is argued that Jews don't have a right to the land the same way Palestinians does, that there is an ascendency of one people over the other. I reject that and lot of arguments are made explicitly to deny one's people self-determination, which I do believe to be a sacred human right.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:15 (five months ago) link

Right, but you seem to conflate "express any support of Palestinians" with "completely agree with Hamas"; if not, I think you're just not in conversation with what people in this thread are actually saying/concerned about.

vcrash, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:17 (five months ago) link

I am not conflating those two. I don't think anyone support Hamas here, but the notion that Australians, Canadians and Americans in Oceania and North Americas is exactly the same paradigm as Israelis is to me, absolutely false. And not only does it play to anti-semitic tropes of never belonging and erase jewish culture and history, it also erases many century of colonialism by several different entities in the region, forms of colonialism that wouldn't be accepted today by these same people.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:22 (five months ago) link

You brought up the comparison? In order to, basically, say that B&J are hypocritical to sell in Canada, since Canada is worse, in your view? (Also a Canadian here, also horrified at the general attitude toward indigenous people here, especially on a government level.)

Or are you just arguing with left's few posts, and doing it in a manner that seems pretty out of left field?

vcrash, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:29 (five months ago) link

I was arguing with left yes. Those are two separate arguments. One is about the hypocrisy of the Unilever subsidiary and the other is about the Jewish connection to Israel.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:39 (five months ago) link

No you brought it up first

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:41 (five months ago) link

Left vs. VHS. Clash of the Titans.

Soundtracked by an eco jazz mixtape. (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:44 (five months ago) link

ben and jerry’s rather famously insisted on a unique clause allowing it a lot of independence on social justice issues as a condition of its sale to unilever. should they do more? probably? except they already do way more than most companies do? and this one act has already got people talking about the morality of doing business in occupied lands in a way that few other corporate actions have. so…. job done imo. it’s not their responsibility to be consistent or solve everything. it’s their job to sell ice cream. but with this they’ve raised visibility on the occupation and that’s fantastic. spare me your “grains of salt” VHS.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:45 (five months ago) link

I don't think anybody here is gullibly going along with some notion of an ice cream brand doing credible activism but it does surface (by being so silly) the cynicism of the Israeli government in how it responds to any opposition (no matter how minor) to its current actions (which include spraying peoples homes with something that smells of excrement) and the apparent straight faces credulity that has met this response.

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:52 (five months ago) link

I believe there's an emotional aspect in being singled out that should not be underrated, there's a feeling of victimhood considering the coverage of the P/I conflict has long overshadowed other conflicts despite its relative small proportion in size, so it works very well just for any politician to just shout outrage in order to get votes and I don't think any of this will have a direct impact in changing policies in Israel. I honestly do think it would have been more effective it if stopped selling ice creams throughout the whole country and not just the OT and yeah, as long as we are arm-chairing here, and yeah, I do believe they if they really cared for anything but their bottom line they would be a little less timid to boycott other deserving nations.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:10 (five months ago) link

plaxico OTM

symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:10 (five months ago) link

what current canadian policy do you believe a ben and jerry's boycott would be attempting to end?

xp

symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:11 (five months ago) link

I wonder if any company in the 80s who announced South Africa boycotts met the same avalanche of what-abouts

symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:13 (five months ago) link

I wonder if any company in the 80s who announced South Africa boycotts met the same avalanche of what-abouts


I think they did but SA didn’t hit upon the genius move of getting US states to ban boycotts of South Africa.

KEEP HONKING -- I'M BOBOING (Boring, Maryland), Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:17 (five months ago) link

Palestinians in power, today and for the many centuries prior

lol come on

symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 21:27 (five months ago) link

(xp) They didn't need US states do that with Thatcher in power in the UK.

Wouldn't disgrace a Michael Jackson (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 July 2021 22:04 (five months ago) link

I wonder if any company in the 80s who announced South Africa boycotts met the same avalanche of what-abouts

Yet another part of conservative dogma was that a liberal double standard was being practiced against South Africa. "Gorbachev can kill as many Afghans as he likes," complained National Review on July 18, 1986, "by a factor of perhaps 500 to 1 over deaths in South Africa, and no House vote imposes 'sanctions' on him. Let's kick the midget." The August 2, 1985, Wall Street Journal opined that "the nuclear-freeze movement having vanished from the headlines, bashing the Boers has suddenly become the approved outlet for demonstrating your own morality." Dinesh D'Souza, writing in the August 20, 1985, New York Times, stated that liberals were "preoccupied more with ideology than with people" in their call for sanctions. He claimed that if liberals were consistent, they would apply the same arguments to South Africa that they applied to the Soviet Union: "the South African people are not monsters, as they are often portrayed, but 'people just like us.' " Of course, D'Souza failed to realize that this is exactly what conservatives were saying about South Africa.

The most sustained charge of hypocrisy was developed by Adam Wolfson in the organ of the Heritage Foundation, Policy Review, in the fall of 1985. Wolfson began by making the rather obvious point that South Africa was scarcely the only country in Africa systematically to violate human rights. Ethiopia, Burundi, Angola, and Zaire were also grievous offenders. "Americans," wrote Wolfson, "who call for freedom and democratization in South Africa (should) think about the best ways of achieving these goals in the rest of the continent as well." Wolfson granted that the "suppression of blacks in South Africa is in some ways more systematic than in most other African countries" but also contended that "in other respects, South Africa is freer than most African countries." In essence, the charge of hypocrisy was a recipe for inaction. The fact that other countries were violating human rights was something many liberal activists may have preferred to ignore, but conservatives were never particularly exercised about those human rights violations except in the context of defending South Africa.

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Thursday, 22 July 2021 22:13 (five months ago) link

Lot of depressing continuity there

rob, Thursday, 22 July 2021 22:58 (five months ago) link

thank you for the excerpt Yellow Kid!

charge of hypocrisy is a recipe for inaction huh

symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 23:38 (five months ago) link

the oblivious (if that’s the right word) racism of this:

”*the South African people* are not monsters, as they are often portrayed, but 'people just like us.' "


the full D’Souza op-ed:
https://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/20/opinion/liberals-hypocrisy-on-south-africa.html

also apartheid/racism isn’t *all that* bad:
But these are the same people who respond to Communist totalitarianism - which, unlike South Africa's system, deprives all of its citizens of human rights

tean mean poleand cheaseang theas means hamseak feasts (breastcrawl), Friday, 23 July 2021 06:46 (five months ago) link

if HALF the people are free ALL of the time, isn’t that better than NONE of the people being free ANY of the time?? LOGICK!1!11!!

Tracer Hand, Friday, 23 July 2021 07:32 (five months ago) link

charge of hypocrisy is a recipe for inaction huh

― symsymsym, Thursday, 22 July 2021 bookmarkflaglink

That's how VHS likes it

xyzzzz__, Friday, 23 July 2021 12:29 (five months ago) link

Patrolling West Bank Just Not Same Without Big Cone Of Chunky Monkey In Hand https://t.co/6vhK0VtvLU pic.twitter.com/ZLGacOFjaY

— The Onion (@TheOnion) July 23, 2021

MoMsnet (calzino), Friday, 23 July 2021 18:27 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

do they not have the money to pay for their own Dome of Iron?

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 23 September 2021 19:45 (three months ago) link

or it's just the easiest way to funnel money to the USA contractors that bribes the politicians?

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 23 September 2021 19:49 (three months ago) link

At this point I think it’s more the latter, as I don’t think Israel is really as dependent on US aid as it once was.

My neighbor used the neighborhood WhatsApp group to ask people to support iron dome which really annoyed me. It’s supposed to just be for help with flooded basements and giveaway stuff and events. Everyone seems to have ignored it though.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 24 September 2021 01:09 (three months ago) link

maybe his basement is flooded with US defense contractors and lobbyists

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 24 September 2021 01:20 (three months ago) link

"Aw, jeez honey, Raytheon's coming through the floors again!"

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 24 September 2021 17:22 (three months ago) link

I just saw a thing with Max Blumenthal where he was claiming Iron Dome was "actually an offensive weapon," the logic being that arms parity normally leads to detente but Iron Dome prevents there being any kind of parity and prevents Israel from having to face consequences from its aggression, and tbh this logic strikes me as dumb as shit. There would be no arms parity with or without Iron Dome, for one thing, and if you didn't have Iron Dome you'd just have more rockets falling on and killing or maiming Israeli civilians, which would in turn mean greater demands from the populace for retaliation against Gaza.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 4 October 2021 18:48 (three months ago) link

this logic strikes me as dumb as shit.

plax (ico), Monday, 4 October 2021 19:36 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Israel passes a budget. This government has certainly been more effective at, you know, actually governing the country than I would have imagined.

I feel like in the US the current coalition is more popular in the US with Democrats than with Republicans because He's Not Netanyahu and I feel like the fact that Bennett is in fact extremely right-wing is not very widely grasped. It's a different story if Lapid becomes PM but will this thing really last until August 2023?

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 5 November 2021 02:43 (two months ago) link


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