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[P]
The tears of the people run together...

By m0rzo in Op-Ed
Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 05:37:45 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

As Israeli military might rolls thunderously into the disputed West Bank, and the world turns its weary eyes onto this tumultuous region, it's easy to overlook the real people who live with the constant, very real fear of death. People on both sides, Israeli and Palestinian, are living with death and tragic loss, their only crime being the place of their birth. A chance discovery of an Israeli blog encouraged me to search further afield into finding the diaries of real people.


No-one sees things like those that have to live there day by day, not even the journalists of the international media. For those on kuro5hin who, like me, have had quite enough of spoon-fed journalism, I sincerely encourage you to check some of these out.

What follows are a few blogs purporting to be both Israeli and Palestinian that I have found insightful and intensely thought provoking.

http://talg.blogspot.com  - An Israeli's day-to-day, fairly impartial, descriptions of life in Jerusalem.

http://electronicintifada.net/diaries/ - electronicintifida is really a variety of different Palestinian blogs. Different authors post on the same page which is aptly entitled, 'Live from Palestine'.

http://jerusalem.indymedia.org/ - Not a blog but still remarkable. Indymedia isn't well-known for it's journalistic integrity so keep your wits about you; it's giving a pretty one-sided account here of what's going on in Palestine.

http://israeltruth.blogspot.com/ - Quite a partisan blog from an Israeli who has served in the Israeli Defence Force who claims to 'Uncover the Truth about Israel' - I'll leave that for you to decide...

I'm sure there must be plenty more of these blogs out there on the web; I just haven't found them. If you know different, feel free to post them below for everyone to see. The one profound thing that hit me about these diaries was that these people aren't that much different. Sure, the politicians will wage their own 'my dick's bigger' battles, but when it comes to the real people they're all feeling screwed. They're experiencing the same anguish, they're losing friends and loved ones, and I'm sure if there was an easy solution to this all the vast majority would take it. The hurt runs deep, and I'm in no position to decide who's right and who's wrong - in fact, I think both sides are pretty much rotten when you follow it through to the top of the hierarchy. In these days of the internet, it'd be nice to think that problems could be solved by the people talking to each other across the barricades - In a perfect world, maybe...

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Display: Sort:
The tears of the people run together... | 225 comments (202 topical, 23 editorial, 0 hidden)
It does make a change to hear the people... (4.83 / 6) (#8)
by nobby on Sat Apr 06, 2002 at 06:00:06 PM EST

I placed a diary entry asking for references to non bias histories etc.. I also placed a link there which may be applicable . It contains entries from people supposedly giving the truth, and points the reader to indymedia. (so same caveat as in story applies)


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
hrm. (4.50 / 6) (#10)
by delmoi on Sat Apr 06, 2002 at 06:11:56 PM EST

Hrm? http://talg.blogspot.com - An Israeli's day-to-day, fairly impartial, descriptions of life in Jerusalem. fairly impartial Fairly impartial? dosn't really seem that way to me

Maariv reported that 93% of Israelis support the current actions against the Palestinian Authority. I'm one of them of course...

Intresting, however.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
biases (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by hawaii on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 05:49:08 PM EST

Hey, at least this guy admitted his bias, which is unlike many other indy reporters (including many K-5ers). A survey conducted 2-3 weeks ago, maybe by Maariv as well, cited 87% of Palestinians as supporting suicide bombers, and a similar 87% of Palestinians as believing Israel has no right to exist. Does this mean that 87% of Palestinian indy sources cannot be considered impartial either?

[ Parent ]
biased sources (2.00 / 1) (#39)
by Maserati on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:16:23 PM EST

A biased source is just as valuable as the hypothetical unbiased source provided you know what the bias is.

--

For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.
[ Parent ]

Spin : Electronic Intifada is similar but opposite (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by hawaii on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 06:05:10 PM EST

From the top page of the Electronic Intifada: "A resource for rountering myth, distortion, and spin from the Israeli media war machine".

This should indicate the rather apparent partiality of this site as well. Note it doesn't say "truthful accounts of the current intifada" or something like that. It seems to merely offer counters to pro-Israeli media.

It seems that everybody has their opinion, and whatever supports that opinion is unbiased, and whatever doesn't support that opinion is biased.

[ Parent ]

value (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by CluelessNewbie on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:05:02 PM EST

It seems that everybody has their opinion, and whatever supports that opinion is unbiased, and whatever doesn't support that opinion is biased.

True, but to be impartial/unbiased you need to be free of the emotion of the subject. It doesn't mean that the source has no value. It just means that the source needs to be read/understood with reference to other sources across the range of opinions.


-------------------------------------------------
"Do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by a 'orrible cunt. Me."
BrickTop
[ Parent ]
Impartiality (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by hawaii on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:15:15 PM EST

rue, but to be impartial/unbiased you need to be free of the emotion of the subject. It doesn't mean that the source has no value. It just means that the source needs to be read/understood with reference to other sources across the range of opinions.

Yup. Unfortunately, it seems that there aren't many folks around that are free of the emotion of the subject.

Agreed, with respect to understanding the bias so the articles can be calibrated to put the facts and figures into perspective. Unfortunately, alot of articles are immediately dismissed as being pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian. As long as there's truth without obvious omissions and/or fabrications, there's something of at least some worth.

[ Parent ]

Palestinian commuters (4.80 / 5) (#11)
by guet on Sat Apr 06, 2002 at 06:13:40 PM EST

nice to see somebodyrefrain from taking a position on Israel/Palestine, even though it is op-ed :p

Here's another eyewitness account that was on the BCC yesterday, in text and in pictures, the journey of a Palestinian woman travelling from her work in Ramallah to the town of Nablus and the roadblocks, checkpoints and diversions that added up to make the daily journey take 3 hours each way (before the present fighting of course).

Some cubans swim to the usa...nm (1.40 / 5) (#24)
by pepperpusher on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 01:21:20 AM EST

Well, when are the next elections in palestine?

[ Parent ]
Yes (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by BlackTriangle on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:32:50 PM EST

But do Cubans swim to the US, and then swim BACK?

Do you ever make statements that aren't nonsense , pepperpusher?

Moo.


[ Parent ]
It's not nonsense, you just have to look deeper. (1.00 / 1) (#101)
by pepperpusher on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:19:12 AM EST

Nothing I'm saying is nonsense, I can't tell all I wanna tell because some things shouldn't be told. Just try to look deeper into the meaning of what I'm saying and you'll understand. It's o.k. if you don't understand.

[ Parent ]
Now you've piqued my curiosity (none / 0) (#153)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:39:33 PM EST

Nothing I'm saying is nonsense, I can't tell all I wanna tell because some things shouldn't be told. Just try to look deeper into the meaning of what I'm saying and you'll understand. It's o.k. if you don't understand.

Now with a comment like that, it sounds you've actually got a decent analogy there, but you need to elaborate on it since it's not an 'obvious' analogy.

Please, explain the analogy.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
analogy (none / 0) (#163)
by pepperpusher on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:25:39 PM EST

i.e. that comment (==) was just a way to write in some sort of graffiti language that I find this piece of propoganda very stupid, propoganda is a business for professionals who get paid with our taxes, right?

[ Parent ]
Are you saying the tale was exaggerated? (none / 0) (#164)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:29:48 PM EST

In Japan, many people ride for hours per day on the train to and from their work.

Why is it so absurd to believe that in other parts of the world, people spend large amounts of time going to and thro?

Moo.


[ Parent ]
'cause (none / 0) (#172)
by dkrstic79 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:44:35 PM EST

It would probably take her less then an hour ('am only guessing here, but guessing based on some stories that I've read) if there were no check points etc.

[ Parent ]
And...? (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:21:20 PM EST

It would probably take fifteen minutes to get from Capital Hill to Downtown Seattle, if it weren't for all the traffic lights. I'd have to argue that military checkpoints are a totally reasonable precaution in light of the Palestinians' modus operandi. If that old lady doesn't like her commute, maybe she should do something about the Palestinian gangsters that are living in her neighborhood.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Elections (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by katie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:00:35 AM EST

I think the Palestinians would be justified in arguing that not only can they not currently conduct a regular political system, they haven't been able to for the last few decades and at the current rate aren't likely to be able to anytime soon.

Think of it more as living under a perpetual "state of emergency".

Palestinian elections are amongst the least of things to worry about in the region.


[ Parent ]
Palestinian elections are the most important thing (1.00 / 1) (#100)
by pepperpusher on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:16:13 AM EST

Palestinian elections are the most important thing for the peace process.

Had they only used their spare energy for constructing a modern country instead of constructing a terror network they'd have peace and elections.

[ Parent ]
An elected puppet is still a puppet. (none / 0) (#146)
by Pizza on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:44:43 PM EST

What good will elections do? Okay, they'll get someone else at the top of the totem pole. That new person will still have no power whatsoever, will still have his/her hands tied, will still be subject to the random whim of the Israeli government and militiary..

Modern country, you say? What is the point of building any infrastructure when it's the very first thing targetted by the Israeli military? What's the point of building water infrastructure when you don't have access to fresh water? The EU is mightily pissed about the IDF's destruction of the Palestinian airport and radio stations -- paid for by EU taxpayer money.

Onto their economy. They exist as slave labor for Israel. They can't trade with anyone else as they have no external borders. There have been TWO days in the past year where there hasn't at least been a partial lockdown in which many, if not all, people with jobs aren't allowed to commute!

And then let's not get into how Sharon demands Arafat crack down on "terrorists" even while he has Arafat completely barricaded and is systematically destroying the very police infrastructure Arafat is expected to use.

Yeah, my bad. If there were elections, all of these problems would just disappear. Whatever.

- Pizza

[ Parent ]
An elected puppet is still a puppet. (none / 0) (#147)
by Pizza on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:44:54 PM EST

What good will elections do? Okay, they'll get someone else at the top of the totem pole. That new person will still have no power whatsoever, will still have his/her hands tied, will still be subject to the random whim of the Israeli government and militiary..

Modern country, you say? What is the point of building any infrastructure when it's the very first thing targetted by the Israeli military? What's the point of building water infrastructure when you don't have access to fresh water? The EU is mightily pissed about the IDF's destruction of the Palestinian airport and radio stations -- paid for by EU taxpayer money.

Onto their economy. They exist as slave labor for Israel. They can't trade with anyone else as they have no external borders. There have been TWO days in the past year where there hasn't at least been a partial lockdown in which many, if not all, people with jobs aren't allowed to commute!

And then let's not get into how Sharon demands Arafat crack down on "terrorists" even while he has Arafat completely barricaded and is systematically destroying the very police infrastructure Arafat is expected to use.

Yeah, my bad. If there were elections, all of these problems would just disappear. Whatever.

- Pizza

[ Parent ]
Random Whim?!? (1.00 / 1) (#167)
by pepperpusher on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:45:33 PM EST

Last month:
* a favorite restaurant was machinegunned (3 dead, 35 injured)
* my fav. cafe had a homicidle visitor killing 1 and injuring many.
* 2 more hotels and restaurants, some cases up to 26 dead and 100+ injured (in one incident).

When I'm saying "injured" I mean this.
It's in hebrew but the pictures would tell. 10 month in hospital, before and after. That was the price for visiting a discoteque in tel aviv.

Now don't tell me that operation protective wall is a "Random Whim"...
In order to reach peace they have to have a stable leader who for once in 50 years doesn't support terror
and can actually stand the first demand of the israeli government: 7 days without terror (stoning soldiers and cars doesn't count as terror, just random animality)
If you think we put that demand because we know they can't do it then here, 3-4month ago we changed it to 2 days. till now no luck. Then maybe it's time the weak puppet will go and a smarter, saner puppet will come.

Amen.

[ Parent ]
You know what? (none / 0) (#185)
by Caton on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 03:20:03 AM EST

can actually stand the first demand of the israeli government: 7 days without terror

Done. :)

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

good one ;) (none / 0) (#191)
by pepperpusher on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:28:39 AM EST

hehehehe.....

[ Parent ]
destroying the very police infrastructure Arafat i (none / 0) (#168)
by pepperpusher on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:51:13 PM EST

"destroying the very police infrastructure Arafat is expected to use"

Yes, alot of convicting evidense was found at their offices and also at arafat's compound.
Alot of illegal not-marked weapons and some other scary illegal sh*t you don't want to know about. you don't.

[ Parent ]
Another blog... (4.00 / 7) (#22)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 01:08:23 AM EST

BillGraziano.com - from a friend of mine, he doesn't live in the Middle East (more like the MidWest USA), but he has a lot of opinions on the matter (mostly pro-Israel)... he links to a lot of good articles and blogs, worth checking out...

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Pretty good propaganda, really. (2.66 / 3) (#26)
by pepperpusher on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 01:39:23 AM EST

This site has excellent propaganda, it reflects some of my opinions, but some not.
coexistence in Efrat??? C'mon... arab loving settlers my *ss....

[ Parent ]
I know, I know... (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by kaitian on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 02:17:44 PM EST

This site has excellent propaganda

If it doesn't feed into your preconceptions, it must be a lie.

[ Parent ]

Welcome to K5! (1.00 / 1) (#53)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:48:57 AM EST



[ Parent ]
nice but (2.00 / 2) (#29)
by turmeric on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:38:34 AM EST

of course reading these things can be traumatic, especially for someone who has been through similar events, so like, of course people want the CNN sanitized version instead.!

Especially American (2.40 / 10) (#30)
by p0ppe on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 01:27:13 PM EST

Yeah, we wouldn't want those poor Americans to find out about these blogs. It would destroy their whole world view; everything isn't always as it's portrayed on CNN.


"Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
[ Parent ]
Excellent post (none / 0) (#122)
by wurp on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:50:43 PM EST

You've clearly demonstrated how well you understand the evils of racism and rabid nationalism.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
notable omission (4.25 / 4) (#32)
by aminorex on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 02:27:03 PM EST

http://palestinechronicle.com

Everyday Palestinians and the Intifada? (3.60 / 5) (#35)
by hawaii on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 05:58:26 PM EST

Has anybody run across any of these independent reports mentioning Palestinian opinions of the intifada?

I'm taling about whether most ordinary (meaning non-militant) Palestinians have favored the intifada that started 18 months ago. Both Israeli and Palestinian lives have been turned completely upside down in the past several months as a result of this intifada. The lives of the Palestinians have been made especially bad.

That being said, most of the current set of affairs has resulted specifically out of the intifada. Ie, without the intifada, the Israeli incursions wouldn't have occurred, and Palestinian life would have been more what it was like 2 years ago.

Yet, the opinions I've heard from Palestinians (through these blogs) is that the intifada must go on, the fight must continue, armed struggle, etc etc etc. However, the lives of the Palestinians would almost certainly be much better off without this call for jihad and intifada.

That being said, has anyone encountered opinions of Palestinians that say something like "I wish we never launched this war? It's tearing our lives apart?" From what I see, most of the blame occurs on Israel, for fighting back, and I haven't seen any Palestinians really lament any Palestinian responsibility of the uprising.

I'm just curious if anyone has seen accounts like this, of Palestinians that would have preferred no intifada, so their lives wouldn't be as upside-down now as they unfortunately are.

Intifada (3.50 / 2) (#43)
by marx on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:35:29 PM EST

Ie, without the intifada, the Israeli incursions wouldn't have occurred, and Palestinian life would have been more what it was like 2 years ago.

It's not like the Palestinians were bored and decided to start an Intifada to have something to do. You can say "without the intifada", X would not have happened. But you can also say that without the actions of Israel, the Intifada would never have happened.

Yes, both sides are violating human rights and both leaders are assholes in their own special way, but the fact remains that the Palestinians have the right to a real state and right now they certainly don't have it.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Hold on there Tex (3.50 / 2) (#44)
by hawaii on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:43:00 PM EST

Yes, both sides are violating human rights and both leaders are assholes in their own special way, but the fact remains that the Palestinians have the right to a real state and right now they certainly don't have it.

Whoa whoa whoa, dude, hold on a second. I agree with everything you've said above, but I think you're misunderstanding me.

I never said nor implied that the Palestinians don't have a right to their own state or their own human rights. They most certainly do have a right to freedom, as do all humans equally.

I merely want to know if anyone's heard testimony from any Palestinians that would have preferred that the intifada wasn't launched the way it was, if launched at all.

My point is that this intifada has certainly made life hell for the Palestinians. I'm not pointing any blame on one or another side (well, I'll agree with you that both sides have done very very bad things). I'm just saying that the life of your typical Palestinian now is thousands of times worse than 18 months ago (and similarly for the Israelis, although probably not as bad).

That being said, how many Palestinians out there would have rather worked for peace/statehood/independence through a different angle instead of the violent intifada? Right now there's almost unanimous support for the intifada to continue, as Israel keeps it's incursions going.

My question is are there any Palestinians that would have preferred that the latest intifada didn't occur? I would assume that the quality of life for your typical Palestinian would be thousands of times better, had this been so. And furthermore, peaceful attempts at negotiations would have probably reached much further ground then they have during the violence caused by both sides.

[ Parent ]

Strange question (4.00 / 5) (#45)
by marx on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:23:47 PM EST

I just think it's a pretty strange question. It's like asking an American if he thinks the war of independence was a bad idea, or a black South African if the uprising against apartheid should have been avoided because it brought some discomfort with it.
My question is are there any Palestinians that would have preferred that the latest intifada didn't occur? I would assume that the quality of life for your typical Palestinian would be thousands of times better, had this been so.
Franklin's "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" is carved into the brainstem of every American, and it's the same for most western people. Yet you think Palestinians would do just that, give up their essential liberty for a little temporary safety?

I guess there are always dissenting people, but since ca. 75% of the Palestinian population support suicide attacks, I think a reasonable guess would be that 90-100% support the Intifada. Even I as a relatively hardcore pacifist understand why they're doing it.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

War of Independence (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by hawaii on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:20:53 AM EST

I just think it's a pretty strange question. It's like asking an American if he thinks the war of independence was a bad idea, or a black South African if the uprising against apartheid should have been avoided because it brought some discomfort with it.

I agree with your war of independence comments regarding the war of independence, and I have argued that point many times in the past regarding other issues. But the path of war is usually embarked upon when all other solutions have failed. Yet, before the intifada, the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress on reaching accords, at the Camp David accords, which are now looked upon as a failure and breakdown.

I don't think it's a strange question, though, because there are other opportunities instead of armed struggle and calls for holy war. We probably all agree that war is hell and that it makes lives on all sides pretty damn bad.

It seems that regarding the Camp David talks, which occurred just before the intifada, and the Saudi initiatives, which occured 18 months into the intifada, would be good points to work out political solutions peacefully and diplomatically instead of killing each other into submission.

Israel has shown itself willing to negotiate these matters which all Palestinians are fighting for, and I think most Israelis, including politicians, want an end to this conflict. The difference is in the details, and as long as this difference exists, then there will be conflict. Now either this conflict can be expressed on the battlefield, or it can be expressed through diplomacy. Which path do you think would provide for better quality of life?

I was asking my question because it seems that just before the beginning of the intifada, Israel and Palestine were very close to achieving something. Obviously there were disagreements about the details, but dammit, that was closer than anything since Rabin's time.

I guess there are always dissenting people, but since ca. 75% of the Palestinian population support suicide attacks, I think a reasonable guess would be that 90-100% support the Intifada. Even I as a relatively hardcore pacifist understand why they're doing it.

I'm replying to this part of your comment because I think it's VERY important that people from both sides understand why both sides are doing what they're doing.

For any kind of settlement and peace to result, both Israelis and Palestinians must fully understand why the other side is choosing the path that it is choosing. And I mean this in terms of real logic, not in terms of a simple denigration of the 'enemy' as having no common sense and only wanting to wage a war for war's sake.

Until this mutual understanding can happen, then both sides will be at a dead end for any diplomatic solution.

[ Parent ]

Choice (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by Wulfius on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:48:46 PM EST

Intefada is a popular uprising against an invading foreign power. When an agressor has taken over your country and is treating your citizens like second class peasantry the urge to resist is a natural SURVIVAL trait not a luxury. You choose to have Ceasars salad for lunch. You choose the color of your new car. You are compelled to defend your country.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
"Invading foreign power"? (2.00 / 1) (#65)
by RSevrinsky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:27:18 AM EST

Exactly when was the country known as Palestine invaded by the Israeli army?

[ Parent ]
Choice (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by Wulfius on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:49:34 PM EST

Intefada is a popular uprising against an invading foreign power.
When an agressor has taken over your country and is treating your citizens like second class peasantry the urge to resist is a natural SURVIVAL trait not a luxury.
You choose to have Ceasars salad for lunch. You choose the color of your new car. You are compelled to defend your country.


---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Oh, for God's sake. (2.66 / 3) (#52)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:46:49 AM EST

For the last(Ha! Not likely!) goddamn time:

1)There was never a Palestine. There has been an Israel for thousands of years.
2)It wasn't Israel that invaded the disputed territories.

[ Parent ]
thousands of years? (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by ooch on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:53:27 AM EST

I am really interested which timeperiods Israel existed for thousands of years. Last time I counted it was something like 350 years for lower Israel, en 400 for upper Israel.

"The extended kingdoms of David and Solomon, on which the Zionists base their territorial demands, endured for only about 73 years...Then it fell apart...[Even] if we allow independence to the entire life of the ancient Jewish kingdoms, from David's conquest of Canaan in 1000 B.C. to the wiping out of Judah in 586 B.C., we arrive at [only] a 414 year Jewish rule." Illene Beatty, "Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan."

[ Parent ]

Umm... no (none / 0) (#162)
by dimroed on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:23:22 PM EST

As far as I remember from a recent research project, the kingdom of David was placed at circa 1000 BC. While it fell apart into Judea and Israel, and Israel was later conquered, the area was still largely a Jewish state, and mostly independent. There was a brief exile from 730-622 ish to Babylon, and then there was the return to Israel/Judah. The area was under Greek control since Alexander the Greek, around 332 BC, but it was still populated by Israelis and thus an Israeli region. Same thing under the Roman occupation. This brings us to the rebellion of 70 AD, when most Jews left, although some might stretch it to 140 AD. Either way, gives a figure of circa 1000 years, even excluding the Babylonian Exile, and ignoring the fact that for about 200 years prior to David's kingdom the area was inhabited by Jews which were not in a united kingdom.

My point: 1 millenium, not 400 years

[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:53:12 AM EST

How easy it is to disqualify oneself from a discussion... You seem to do it very efficiently.

1) There were at least a couple of times in history when the region was formally known as Palestine. And there used to be a long time when there was no Israel. So apart from your point being irrelevant it is also not true.

2) No, just like it wasn't US, UK and USSR who invaded Germany in 1945. (Take a second to think). Previous events have no bearing on definition of invasion. If you send your troops into a territory which you do not currently control, you're invading.


So it turns out that both of your points are hot air. Got any points which actually make a point?

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Really (2.00 / 1) (#79)
by Oblom on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:11:17 AM EST

1) There never were State of Palestine, or country called Palestine.

2) West Bank was invaded by Jordan and Gaza strip by Egypt in 1948. Israel won those terretories in Six-days war. ( so before Israel got there, they already were invaded/occupied)

[ Parent ]
Still not true (2.00 / 1) (#82)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:33:59 AM EST

I'm not saying you're lying, but all of this is hot air.

1) What is a state and what is a country is a VERY debatable issue. Is Scotland a state or a country or both? Are Wales, Gibraltar, Falklands states? Are they countries? What about Puerto Rico? What about Upper Austria, Alabama, Chechnya? Were Roman provinces states? Would you claim that under Romans Egypt wasn't a country? Was Syria Palestinae a state? Was british protectorate of Palestine a state? Was it a country?

All very confusing and utterly irrelevant.

2) I'm not contesting that. I'm just saying that Israel in fact DID invade West Bank and Gaza. When, why and how come has nothing to do with it. It all happened 35+ years ago and is as relevant to today's problems as let's say French Indochina wars in the 50's were relevant to Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in the 80's.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Depends on prespective (2.00 / 1) (#89)
by Oblom on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:58:52 AM EST

1) I meant that Palestine never had thier own goverment or independence. Last time it had independence it was in the time of Jewish kingdom there.

2) My only point was that Israel hadn't invaded soverigine terretory.
Hell, if there will be Palestinian state soon (there will be), you will be able to write in history books that Israel liberated Palestin ( from Jordan and Egypt who occupied it) and gave Palestinians thier own country.

[ Parent ]
Of course it does (2.00 / 1) (#92)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:15:02 AM EST

That's precisely what I'm trying to say.

1) PA (and before that PLO) is the recognized representative of Palestinian people and the (future) country of Palestine. Whether it is a government is, again, debatable.

2) Egypt and Jordan at the time considered Gaza and the West Banke to be their sovereign territory.

We could continue this ad nauseam. But my point is that neither of these two have any relevance to "right" and "wrong" at this point of time. What matters is people getting killed and people not being able to lead normal lives because of fear. Solutions are in the future, not in the past.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Earth to Zocky! Are you there, Zocky? (none / 0) (#124)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:51:40 PM EST

1)You obviously can't hold up an argument against my first point, so you fall back on semantic games. Israel was, and is, a nation. Palestine was never a nation, no more than New Jersey is a nation separate from the United States.

2)By your "definition", the horrible French 'invaded' France when they pushed out the Nazis. Despite all common sense and logic, you persist in calling an action of self-defense(occupying the occupied territories) invasion.

[ Parent ]
You're always good for a laugh, Demiurge (none / 0) (#133)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:10:05 PM EST

By your "definition", the horrible French 'invaded' France when they pushed out the Nazis.

AHAHAHAHAHAH. God you're funny.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
I'm not even really disputing your points (none / 0) (#134)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:15:26 PM EST

I'm just stating that they're totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

But since

a) you started the war of semantics, as a reaction to Wulfius' (1) "has taken over your country" and (2) "invading foreign power"

b) I have won the war of semantics (for further reference please see a dictionary on "country", "state" and "to invade", you might want to check "nation", too)

I at least get to glee.

z.

p.s. As for the French, why do you think it's called the Invasion of Normandy?

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

the Palestenian state. A bit of a rant. (none / 0) (#160)
by Vogue State on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:15:16 PM EST

I don't think anyone's arguing with you. Just like any other people, the pals have the right to their own state. There's a catch, though: they have to act like statesmen instead of murdering scumbags. At last poll, only 13% of them actually support doing that. What they fail to realize is that if they develop some minimal respect for human life, they'll get a lot more listening time everywhere in the civilized world (obviously, about half of that Islamic Council doesn't qualify). The IDF actions aren't exactly heartwarming, but at least they realize that Semtex does not belong at a Palestenian family dinner, much less places where the few teenagers left on that side that aren't aspiring to blow themselves to bit might congregate to relax and dance or eat some pizza. Sharon is an extremist loon, but it was Palestenian terror attacks that got him elected in the first place -- now they're complaining. Where were these poor, oppressed people when the moderate leaders of the past were willing to compromise them 95% of all they demanded? They chose violence and terror instead. Now, they reap the whirlwind.

Everyone is demanding an Israeli pullout. Hello?! Were you awake two weeks ago, when Israeli forces *were* out of the West Bank? In the vain hope that the Zinni peace mission might actually do some good, they remained out through some of the worst attacks ever -- but they just kept coming. Eventually the camel's back snaps; a government has to do something, anything to protect its civilian population and even respect for General Zinni could not keep the Israelis standing idly by. So you get what we have now.

The best part, however, is that the Hamas leadership SAYS that the explicit goal of those attacks was to sabotage the peace process. Peace with Israel is out of the question, their goal is its destruction. (But fear not -- the Israeli people are free to live there under "an Islamic state under Islamic law", says the good doctor. Well, that's nice. Faced with a proposition like that, I'd resort to much harsher tactics than those currently used by the IDF).

Whether the common Palestenian man wants peace, coexistence or whatever, Hamas & Co -- who are the ones actually fighting this so-called intifada -- want more carnage, more bloodshed, more destruction...so much as an attempt at peace drives them to more violence in a bid to derail it. Yet the majority of the Palestenians continue to support these groups. Fine, but all they're going to get is some well-deserved disdain in the process (not to mention some brutal retribution). When these poor people wake up and decide to support peace -- instead of the butchers who send them off to die merely to provoke the IDF to come back and kill them again -- Israel will welcome them with open arms. Until then, the negotiations will continue to fail, because you cannot negotiate with murderers. Do my fellow Americans in this forum support cessation of hostilities and negotiations with Al Qaeda? ("Sure bin Laden is a terrorist, but he is their chosen leader! We must talk to him!").

The sad part is that although I am ranting like a madman, this is what's actually happening. Am I stretching the truth here? If so, I'd love to be corrected.

--
Now is the time
Get on the right side...
You'll be Godlike!


[ Parent ]

Two weeks ago... (none / 0) (#175)
by linca on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:18:34 PM EST

>Were you awake two weeks ago, when Israeli forces *were* out >of the West Bank?

When was Tsahal out of the "West Bank"? It has stayed there since 1967. It's a easily forgotten fact that the west bank remained a patchwork of small cities, divided by Israel-controlled land. To the point that for some times, Arafat hasn't been able to move within his own country. And you want Palestinians to behave like statesmen? That require being treated as such, not as slave labor until enough people can be brought in from Thailand to work in their stead.

Also, if the real terrorrists are Hamas&Co (They are, though their support in Palestine also comes from their charity nature), why is Israel targetting more specifically Arafat's administration, rather than the Hamas'?

[ Parent ]
Why Target Arafat? (none / 0) (#188)
by Demiurge on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 05:08:53 AM EST

Mr.Araft was concerned by the Islamist extremists who attacked Israel, and weren't under his control

So, what does he do? Does he work with Israel to curtail the actions of these murderers?

No! He sets up his own goon squad, one that is now responsible for over 70% of suicide bombings.

[ Parent ]
The opressed (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by Wulfius on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:43:42 PM EST

The oppresed have no luxury of 'chosing' not to fight a war. At the end of the day an overpowering military force has squashed any signs of independence in Palestine. The Palestinians are the victims of circumstance. Who is at fault does not matter. What does matter is return to peace. The brutal savegery of the IDF brings shame to the US the so called defender of freedom. The US bought the tanks and apache choppers for the IDF. Its a gift from the taxpayers of america. Echoing the educated public opinion, the UN security council, the US state department and the US president; Violence must stop NOW, unconditionaly.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Violence must stop? (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:37:58 AM EST

There has been no suicide attack or other terrorism activity in Israel for days now. Seen from here, it looks like a direct consequence of the IDF operation. Any person, country, organization that thinks Israel should withdraw immediately should ask, am I willing to take responsability for the next suicide attack? Let's make it personal -- will you, personally, shoot/hang/drown yourself if there is a suicide bombing in Israel after the IDF withdraws? I won't -- so I won't "call for" anything. The most important government job is the security of its citizens. This is what Sharon's government is doing. I don't like the way it's done, but it's effective. And I haven't seen any idea, here or in the media, that could be effective.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Calls for withdrawl. (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by katie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 04:45:30 AM EST

This was kind of my take on things. The Americans and now us (Britain) are apparently really keen on them stopping. I just can't quite see what we're offering the Israelis to motivate them: we're going to talk to Arafat on their behalf? I mean, come on, Arafat is either unwilling or unable to stop the terrorist attacks, talking to him won't help.

If that's the promised alternative, the Israelis lack of ability to hear the west is kind of understandable.

What we do to fix it, I don't know. But I'm not entirely sure we (the west) should be sticking our oar in. Again. The best we're going to end up with is not having the Israelis want to listen to us about anything.


[ Parent ]
Calls... (3.50 / 2) (#73)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:01:43 AM EST

What we do to fix it, I don't know. But I'm not entirely sure we (the west) should be sticking our oar in. Again. The best we're going to end up with is not having the Israelis want to listen to us about anything.

And the worse is what's happening in France: some idiots (from both sides) think fighting out in this country is a good idea.

See here and here for the demonstration, and these three for the attacks (in French).

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Arafat and stuff (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:16:38 AM EST

I mean, come on, Arafat is either unwilling or unable to stop the terrorist attacks, talking to him won't help.

What's wrong with you people? Your, my, american, european, israeli opinion of Arafat counts 0, zilch, nothing whatsoever.

He is the recognized leader of the Palestinian people and any attempts to sideline him and talk to "responsible palestinian leaders", not to forget the "role for arab nations" (in getting rid of Arafat, as I understand Bush the Lesser) is just making the negotiations less likely to even occur, let alone succeed.

What would the Israelis say if some foreign power said that Sharon is just far out and that from now on they will talk to, let's say, Peres and regard him as the representative and leader of Israel, because, well, we like him better. Any citizen of Israel with any sense of pride would, regardless of simpathies for Sharon, rightfully tell them to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Recognised leader (3.66 / 3) (#78)
by katie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:55:41 AM EST

Well, it's OK to say that. But if the recognised leader of the palestinians won't/can't stop the terrorist attacks and you're not happy with anyone talking to anyone else, warfare is what you get.

To stop a war you have to give the combatants some other options. Currently, the israelis don't have any other option. The "peace plans" rely on "if you start talking the bombings might stop" which doesn't seem likely from history.

They've tried talking, they've tried just closing off the country to palestinians but everything they try just makes them get more criticism for oppression and doesn't stop the bombings.

So they've finally snapped and are engaging in open warfare. The palestinians would seem to want that to stop, we in the west feel we have a moral obligation to stop it, but if you've noticed, the US and the UK have asked the Israelis to stop and finally they've replied "actually, no."

Everytime something like this happens, there's a million sideliners heckling possible solutions. If the US does nothing, they're accused of siding with the Israelis, if they talk to Arafat the Israelis don't believe the terrorism will stop, if they don't talk to Arafat, that's wrong as well. Talking to Eygpt is selling out Israel, and conducting any talks with Israel is selling out the Arabs... Storming in like an angry parent and forcible seperating both sides (like Yugoslavia) gets called imperialism... yet everyone demands SOMETHING be done.

The palestinians want the violence to stop but someone vetos every concept anyone comes up with. If it had been me, I wouldn't have been on TV asking the Israelis to withdraw. I'd right now be cancelling all the support and military and financial aid. To everyone in the region. And my TV announcement would be "Shut the F up. We're all bored of this" and wait while the killing stops.

To summarise:

"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for today, teach him to fish and he'll eat for life, but you'll spend the rest of your life defending yourself from accusations of cultural imperialism plus you've got another fisherman trying to outproduce you. Give him a fish and he'll be back tomorrow, starving again, plus you'll be accused of not giving a fish to everyone who wants one, only those you favour in some way. Of course, if you don't give him a fish he'll either attack his neighbour for his fish or he'll starve to death and either way everyone rails on you because both those thing'll be your fault as well. You could throw the fish away, but that's squandering the world's resources and not catching them at all is denying the world your access to technology..."



[ Parent ]
Everyone? (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:23:31 AM EST

Everytime something like this happens, there's a million sideliners heckling possible solutions. If the US does nothing, they're accused of siding with the Israelis, if they talk to Arafat the Israelis don't believe the terrorism will stop ... yet everyone demands SOMETHING be done.

I for one don't want anything to be done. I want them to sort it out themselves.

If US actually did nothing, noone would be accusing them of anything. But since the US is actively supporting Israel with huge amounts of money and weaponry, "doing nothing" (i.e. continuing current policy) is siding with the Israelis.

Nothing wrong with supporting an ally, mind you, as long as you don't claim to be impartial.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Do US & EU finance terrorism? (3.00 / 1) (#108)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:05:09 PM EST

But since the US is actively supporting Israel with huge amounts of money and weaponry, "doing nothing" (i.e. continuing current policy) is siding with the Israelis.

There is proof the Palestinian Authority financed and ordered suicide attacks against Israel. And the Palestinian Authority is financed by the US and the EU. Ergo, the US and the EU finance the suicide attacks against Israel. So does Iraq...

Or is there something wrong in this reasoning?

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Oh Come On (3.00 / 1) (#110)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:33:18 PM EST

Are you really comparing the aid that EU and US give to PA to the aid that US gives to Israel? US aid to israel amounts to billions of dollars a year, while combined EU+US aid to PA is smaller by a magnitude.

Also, neither EU nor US sell high tech weaponry to PA.

(And I'm not even going to discuss proofs conveniantly found at the time a side needs them. I live in former Yugoslavia and have seen much too much of propaganda wars to believe stuff like that.)

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Why should I? (3.00 / 2) (#111)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:41:07 PM EST

Just pointing out that the US (and the EU) are siding both with Israel and the PA.

About amounts... what's the cost of crashing an AA airliner into, say, a WTC tower compared with the cost of a tank?

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Are you living on this planet? (1.00 / 1) (#113)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:52:47 PM EST

Israel is clearly and publically US ally no.1 in the Middle East. US is clearly and publically Israel's ally no. 1, period. Neither Israel nor US deny this. I don't mind this. Any state has a right to chose allies.

What I do mind is US pretending to play an impartial intermediatory role. It can't and it doesn't.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Allies are not servants (none / 0) (#114)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:03:43 PM EST

Israel is clearly and publically US ally no.1 in the Middle East. US is clearly and publically Israel's ally no. 1, period. Neither Israel nor US deny this.

Agreed.

Does that mean that Israel is supposed to obey every whim of the US? That the US are responsible for every action of Israel? Or that the US are always siding with Israel, whatever Israel does or doesn't do? I don't think so.

When I read

But since the US is actively supporting Israel with huge amounts of money and weaponry, "doing nothing" (i.e. continuing current policy) is siding with the Israelis.

I remember how Al-Qaida justified the 9/11 attacks.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

I still don't get your point (none / 0) (#115)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:10:26 PM EST

Is your point:

1) that US doesn't side with israel (which it obviously does)

2) that it's not bad that US sides with israel (which I don't claim anyway)

3) that US is not responsible for every israeli action (which I also don't claim)

or

4) that I'm somehow comitting some sin by stating the same obvious fact that a terrorist organization states?

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Explanations (none / 0) (#119)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:41:12 PM EST

The only obvious fact here is that Israel and the US are two different countries with different national interests. No country will side with another if it is against its own national interest. The first national interest is protection of the citizens, which is what Israel is trying to do with this IDF operation. That is, of course, contrary to US (and EU) interests, because conflicts in the middle east have a tendency to spread. So no, in this particular operation, neither the US nor the EU side with Israel.

One vital interest for the US is to keep the oil flowing from the middle east. This is why there are US troops in Saudi Arabia, prepositioned weapons and supplies in Diego Garcia, and a strong alliance with Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, and UAE -- including financial aid to Israel and Egypt, military aid to Israel, Kuwait and Egypt, ...

One vital interest for the EU is to reduce US influence in the middle east, as it is the only way to increase EU influence -- and EU access to middle east oil. Another is to keep its muslim population calm, to avoid a civil war. So the EU are whining about Iraqi people, oppressed Palestinians, and so on ad nauseam.

When I read your post, I thought pointing out that the same arguments and logic could be used to prove the EU and US were siding with and financing terrorism would be enough to show that it is both ridiculous and dangerous to say that the US side with Israel. I did not want to point out that you are personally siding with extremist organizations (both muslims and jews) who want the conflict in the middle east to spread.

Here in France, the Berat networks as well as the Al-Qaida networks still exist, and are actively recruiting. I don't want them to succeed, I don't want the conflict to spread to the EU or the US. I don't even want the violence to reach former Yugoslavia. And that's why I am reacting negatively to any post that helps the spreading of the conflict, or in any way justifies it.

Is that clear enough? Or do you need additional explanations?

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Much better put (none / 0) (#128)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:01:25 PM EST

Of course US acts primarily out of its own interests. (calling the US government idealistic would be quite a stretch).

But, Israel is the only Mid-East US ally which is sure to stay a US ally even when the government falls - it's the only US Mid-East ally whose citizens like being an ally of US. Therefore Israel is much more precious to US than all its Arab neighbours.

Also, no other Mid-East country has a lobby in US comparable to Israel's. And Americans generally feel more afinity for Jews than for Arabs. Nothing wrong with that. Most Israelis immigrated from the Western world, so they're much closer culturally to US than the Arabs are.

So yes, I think that if there's an all-out war, the US would support Israel and not Arabs, regardless of who was to blame.

So US is not impartial. Nothing wrong with that either, as said before.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Not sure I understand (none / 0) (#130)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:04:36 PM EST

But, Israel is the only Mid-East US ally which is sure to stay a US ally even when the government falls - it's the only US Mid-East ally whose citizens like being an ally of US.

So you think Saudi Arabia might not stay a US ally? Interesting point of view...

Or do you mean that Israel is the only middle east country where the opinion of the citizens counts for something?

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Yes and mainly yes (none / 0) (#135)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:23:09 PM EST

Yes, I think that if the Saudi government is toppled, the (then-not-any-more-saudi) Arabia would not remain a US ally. The alliance with the US doesn't happen to be popular there. Hence Osama and friends.

And while the opinion of the citizens counts even in hard dictatorships, Israel is obviously by far the most democratic country in the region.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Hitler and stuff (none / 0) (#125)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:56:06 PM EST

What's wrong with you people? Your, my, american, european, israeli opinion of Hitler counts 0, zilch, nothing whatsoever. He is the recognized leader of the German people and any attempts to sideline him and talk to "responsible german leaders", not to forget the "role for european nations" (in getting rid of Hitler, as I understand Roosevelt the Lesser) is just making the negotiations less likely to even occur, let alone succeed. Do you get my point? Araft may be the autocratic strongman who sustains his rule over the Palestinians through their suffering, but that doesn't mean he should be. By trying to deal with more moderate Palestinian leaders, we have a chance to actually end(or at least cool down) the conflict. I'm sure the Palestinians would tell you to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut if you did something like replace Arafat with someone who actually has their best interests in mind.

[ Parent ]
And your point is? (none / 0) (#138)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:43:04 PM EST

I won't even get near the discussion of your Arafat-Hitler parallel.

But what do you think would have happened if European powers wanted to talk to "responsible german leaders" before WW2? Well, Germans would have told them to fuck off. Just what Serbs told Madeleine Albright when she was talking to "responsible Serbian leaders" during the Kosovo war. The guy who kissed her hand went from over 20% in one election to not getting into the parliament in the next. Even if most Serbs didn't like Milosevic (he hadn't won an election since early 1990's - he was always ruling in coalition with various former opposition parties), they felt enraged at this obvious act of treason.

And guess what, precisely the same thing happened when Serbs tried talking to "honest Albanians". Some of those were even assasinated by fellow Albanians.

It happens for the precisely same reason why you're not supposed to disobey your officers in army, even if you dissagree with them. Any faction in any conflict is much stronger when it acts together. Disobeying your line of command = relatively stregthening your opponent = treason.

Even if they find "responsible Palestinian leaders" to talk to, these leaders will have absolutely no standing with the Palestinian people, so the whole excercise is counter-productive.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Of course not! (none / 0) (#156)
by siobibble on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:55:43 PM EST

personally, shoot/hang/drown yourself if there is a suicide bombing in Israel after the IDF withdraws

But if the IDF continues their occupation for an extended period of time, will you "shoot/hang/drown" yourself if the suicide bombings INTENSIFY (let alone continue)?

Occupying Palestine doesn't solve anything, it makes it worse for both parties.

[ Parent ]

Non sequitur (none / 0) (#159)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:14:52 PM EST

Personally I abstain from giving unwanted (and unheeded) advice to the Palestinian Authority or the Israeli government. From here what I see is two parties that both want to fight. I am not stupid -- I am not going to put myself in the middle. I am not going to "call for" anything at all. I am especially not going to give Jew or Muslim extremists any excuse, pretext or other fake reason to spread the conflict in the EU or the US.

The violence from this conflict is starting to spread to France. In the US you lost two towers and a bit of the Pentagon. And you still want to put yourself in the middle.

You want the moral high ground? You can have it. It goes with Ground Zero.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Bah (none / 0) (#171)
by siobibble on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:48:40 PM EST

I am not going to "call for" anything at all.

I am not "calling" for anything either. I'm simply stating that what IDF did was stupid. Just like how you said it was "effective".

First post: The most important government job is the security of its citizens. This is what Sharon's government is doing. I don't like the way it's done, but it's effective.

I'm just saying it's NOT effective. It causes more problems than it solves. Doing _something_ may be worse than doing nothing at all. It's the age old stupidity of saying "Well we must do something! ... X is something. ... Therefore we must do X." Well doing X, or invading Palestine WILL cause more suicide bombings and instability. It will not stop the terrorists or make them fear. For god's sake, they're commiting suicide! Do you think some invasion is going to stop them? It's going to incite more people to fight for their cause, and possibly become coaxed into suiciding themselves.

In the US you lost two towers and a bit of the Pentagon. And you still want to put yourself in the middle.

Interesting how you assume I'm USAian ;-]. You've assumed correctly, though, so I'm not going to hold it against you. Anyway, the US has an obligation to put itself in the middle. Not because we're the police, it's because we fund the Israelies. If the US government did not give the IDF war supplies (and this is preferred), then the US has no reason to even touch that area. The debate now goes to whether the US should fund the Israelies, which I believe the overwhelming majority of K5 would side with no funding.

You want the moral high ground? You can have it. It goes with Ground Zero.

The moral high ground is not funding the area at all, and no involvement, unless someone requests it, and there we go into the iffy parts. I, personally don't have much of an opinion on whether we help out nations or more importantly, groups of people (esp. civilians) who request help. I tend to occasionally lean towards help only if civilians request it and there is proof that there is true "injustice." The moral high ground did not cause "Ground Zero," though. At least I don't believe it does. This is all speculation, just like your belief that the moral high ground causes "Ground Zero". But I believe that the US involvement in that region CAUSED "Ground Zero". Therefore, we should stop ALL involvement in that region, including funding of supplies to Israel, unless someone specifically requests help. Then it goes into consideration.

If "Ground Zero" was caused by the US taking the moral high ground, whatever it is, then the US should get involved. I do not believe such a thing is correct. The US currently does not have the moral high ground. Neither does the Israelies or Palestinians. In fact, both sides have done horrible things, but an invasion won't help calm things down. It just makes the masses feel like they have revenge. I can see why it is desired from the viewpoint of the people (althought one can blame revenge for the several thousand year old problems), but it just isn't the right way to go, calculating things. The US involvement in Afghanistan has many benefits to the government, including a nice oil pipeline. It will increase terrorism and is morally wrong, so I disagree with involvment. Just like I disagree with the Israeli invasion of Palestine. Except they don't get an oil pipeline.

[ Parent ]

Non-existent parity implied (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:10:50 PM EST

Both Israeli and Palestinian lives have been turned completely upside down in the past several months as a result of this intifada.

I'm sorry, but I believe the ways in which the Palestinian population has been affected are way more concrete and damaging than the Israelis (and when not more concrete, way more numerous).

I have Israeli friends here in Canada, in fact my officemate is from Israel, and I do know that the situation causes them a lot of stress, and they worry very much for the well being of their family and friends back there. I can imagine that these people, in turn, feel even more anxiety about the situation. But to take this anxiety as the equal of that of the Palestinians is offensive.

--em
[ Parent ]

Just flawless logic (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:45:01 AM EST

I never would have guessed people thousands of miles from the conflict would feel safer than those actually worried about gettting blown up by a homicide bomber every time they go shopping or pass through a crowded area.

[ Parent ]
Gaaah (4.66 / 3) (#54)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:24:46 AM EST

That message didn't quite come out saying what I intended as clearly as I hoped. Let me rephrase a bit.
I have Israeli friends here in Canada, in fact my officemate is from Israel, and I do know that the situation causes them a lot of stress, and they worry very much for the well being of their family and friends back there. I can imagine that these people [i.e. his family and friends back in Israel], in turn, feel even more anxiety about the situation.
Now, with that out of the way: I never would have guessed people thousands of miles from the conflict would feel safer than those actually worried about gettting blown up by a homicide bomber every time they go shopping or pass through a crowded area.

Which simply shows you don't get the point at all. Yes, this fear is real. But Palestinians have to live at all times not only with the corresponding fear of being imprisoned, tortured, or just shot by the IDF at checkpoints, or of tanks rolling into their neighborhood, but they have to live with the systematic destruction of their economy by Israel (bulldozings of homes and olive orchards, IDF checkpoints to go anywhere outside their towns, Israeli control of the water supply, the list goes on and on).

Israelis may be scared of going to crowded public places, but implying a parity between them and the Palestinians is like trying to cover the sun with your fingers.

--em
[ Parent ]

Apparently.... (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by RSevrinsky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:11:10 AM EST

Honesty does not attract your sympathy as well as propoganda.

One could argue that both sides of this conflict are presented through propoganda, and to a certain extent, they'd be right. But try for a minute to compare the degree of bias in the sources. In Israel, the left (in the current administration, "the opposition") is well-represented in both the political establishment and in the media. Within the Palestinian system, the left is executed.

Do you seriously think that any Palestinian would be willing to opine that suicide bombings are repugnant? That the IDF is really only hunting down known terrorists and removing illegally obtained weapons? That Arafat is ringleader of a group of thugs? That they'd vote against Arafat if elections were held tomorrow?

You will hear none of those opinions. You will hear, instead, about humiliation and injury, about killing and "war crimes" (sic). You will hear about the Israeli army training its tank guns on the Church of the Nativity, but you won't hear about the gunmen who shot their way into that shrine. You will hear about the Palestinian youths brutally massacred by the vastly more powerful IDF soldiers, but you won't hear about the bomb they were planting. To hear the Palestinian side of it, you'd think that Israelis find nothing as much fun as targeting Palestinian women and children.

The IDF, at very least, regrets the killing of innocent civilians and apologizes for it. When will Fatah and Hamas apologize for the Passover massacre? More importantly, when will electronicintifada speak out against it?

[ Parent ]

Your emotional response... (4.33 / 3) (#77)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:46:37 AM EST

...in its self-righteous insistence on the supposed doubtful moral character of a population that has been beaten down in all kinds of ways for decades now by their powerful neighbors, whose moral superiority you insist on (and likely, if pushed, will cite to justify the attack on the Palestinians), conveniently avoids the central issue I raised, which is the Israeli government's systematic actions to damage the Palestinian economy. Palestine can't develop as a viable state without a viable economy. Palestine can't have a viable economy when IDF tanks destroy orchards, block all the roads, arbitrarily abuse Palestinians at checkpoints (how can you develop an economy without freedom of movement?), control the water supply (of which they distribute 80% to a handful of settlers) and other natural resources, and so on.

This is the fundamental inequality I've been trying to emphasize throughout: the Palestinians "merely" kill innocent Israelis, while Israel kills a many Palestinians than that, and systematically uses its power to damage the Palestinian economy and dramatically lower the quality of life there.

--em
[ Parent ]

Oh, please (2.66 / 3) (#121)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:47:47 PM EST

The current situation is of Arafat's making. Time and time again, he's had a chance for peace, but he's thrown it all away, because he seems to prefer the role of violent revolutionary to benevolent peacemaker. He's a consumate liar, who's perfectly willing to intentionally and knowingly have innocents murdered if it things it will advance his(and by his, I mean Arafat's, not the Palestinian's) cause.

[ Parent ]
Interesting.... (2.00 / 1) (#150)
by Stickerboy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:57:55 PM EST

...considering that the 2nd Intifada has seriously hurt Israel's economy, not to mention the suicide bombers hurting Israeli way of life, too.

Both of you guys are looking at two sides of the same coin. Every Israeli action can be characterized as a response to some Palestinian outrage, and every Palestinian action can be characterized as a response to some Israeli outrage.

Or you can see them both at once, and see that neither side is truly justified in their current actions, and all the Palestinians and Israelis are doing are locking themselves deeper into a cycle of bloodshed.

[ Parent ]
You miss the point, too. (none / 0) (#173)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:46:58 PM EST

the 2nd Intifada has seriously hurt Israel's economy, not to mention the suicide bombers hurting Israeli way of life, too

This is something that can be examined more closely. What do you think an examination of the damage 30 years of occupation has done to Palestinians compared to what 18 months of Intifada have done to Israel will reveal?

--em
[ Parent ]

You want to talk about the economy..... (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by RSevrinsky on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:15:53 AM EST

Fine, let's talk about the economy. The fact is that, at present, the Palestinians rely on Israel as the basis of their economy. (I am ignoring, for the moment, the millions that have been given to the PA by the US and EU -- which have largely been embezzled by high-ranking PA officials.)

While the Palestinians demand an independant state, they also demand open borders to get to their jobs in Israel. In the '90s, every terrorist incident was followed by barring (temporarily) Palestinian entry into Israel proper. This closure would always be roundly condemned by Palestinian spokespeople and Israeli leftists, as crippling the Palestinian economy.

Let's say that a Palestinian state is established alongside Israel with all the trimmings: borders, government, police force/army, social services, UN representation, and currency. With a sigh of relief, Israel cleans its hands of the 35-year occupation and hermetically seals her borders. What then? You will probably hear the same spokespeople complaining that Israel has cut off all means of support for the Palestinian people. You will see a UN resolution demanding that international borders remain open for commuters (which the US will vote against, 'specially since that would allow in all those pesky Mexicans). And finally, once it becomes clear that Israel has no intention of allowing the Palestinians back in for work purposes, you will see a return to terror attacks or a full-scale war.

I am not implying that the Palestinains should not have a state, certainly not on my circumstantial slippery-slope argument. But they should know what they are in for. They should understand that political independance is closely followed by economic responsibility. Thus far, the PA has not demonstrated that they will be able to develop the economy to anywhere near self-sufficience.

[ Parent ]

honesty, sympathy, propaganda (none / 0) (#215)
by ragnarok on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:42:53 AM EST

Just a question - by

Within the Palestinian system, the left is executed.

do you mean the opposition parties? Or do you mean the collaborators?

Personally I don't have any objections to the Palestinians executing collaborators, since collaboration with the enemy - kapo to the Holocaust survivors, didn't you know - destroys the coherence of the community, and the trust between members of such a community.

Please get it right, for once.


"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
[ Parent ]

Please explain.... (none / 0) (#219)
by RSevrinsky on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 04:23:23 AM EST

...what is exactly is the difference to the Palestinian tribunal? If you don't have any objections to collaborators being executed, then perhaps Israel should deal similarly with its Arab members of Knesset who urge the Palestinians to violently resist.

To the Palestinian Authority, those in the opposition are collaborators, period.

[ Parent ]

Yours is flawed (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:42:34 AM EST

Check what is happening in France right now.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Computing and comparing the misery index (none / 0) (#203)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:24:52 AM EST

In conflicts like this people waste far too much time computing and comparing the misery index on either side. It's like the theories of racial superiority -- you will notice that people seldom theorize their own inferiority. It is so easy to rationalize, minimalize and justify the suffering of others, while cherishing your own suffering. We can take it for granted that to side A, the misery index "favors" side A and for side B, it "favors" side B. The details never really matter to the foregone conclusion.

There has never been an instance where the exalting your own misery has shown a way out of a conflict. The calculus of misery leads to the logic of retribution, and where there is no path to victory this in turn leads inevitably to the logic of genocide. However the palestinians lack the means for successful genocide, and for the Israelis it would be a terrible, self destructive irony. Each side should abandon the logic of genocide now. Has there ever been a better illustration Gandhi's proverb, "An eye for an eye only leaves the whole world bind" than the current situation in Palestine?



[ Parent ]

Boring, Sidney, really boring (2.45 / 11) (#40)
by General Lee on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:58:21 PM EST

It's really hard to care about this issue, as someone who thinks basing a country on religious principals fucking retarded. They both deserve each other for ignorantly clinging to outdated irrational thought. How do you expect to reason with anyone who believes there's this invisible man who lives in the sky?

Check your facts (2.00 / 3) (#72)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:00:25 AM EST

<I>...as someone who thinks basing a country on religious principals fucking retarded. They both deserve each other for ignorantly clinging to outdated irrational thought.
</I>
<P>
Well, while the state of Israel is indeed based on religious principles and includes some forms of theocracy, it doesn't mean that it's a state of religious fanatics. After all, UK has a state church and many european countries favor the catholic church in little or big ways.
<P>
On the other hand, a significant minority of Palestinians is christian, some of their leaders are christians, some are atheists.
<P>
Pretending that this is a war of religion is stupid.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

The Killing Ground (2.50 / 6) (#41)
by underscore on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:59:03 PM EST

The middle east has been a killing ground from before the dawn of history. If, as Vico would have it and Jame Joyce would remind us, history is a nightmare from which we are struggling to awaken then those who are born into these cultures surely sleep the sleep of the dead.

I no longer suffer for those who live in the middle east and suffer neverending war. I, rather, feel anger that I have to suffer the politicians of my country, (Canada), and elsewhere, pretending to work toward solutions to problems that have defied solution for all of recorded time. Fence them off, warn them that any collateral damage to us will not be tolerated and let them slaughter one another until, hopefully, none survive. All of this in the name of a god... fuck it.


a geek possessed of animal cunning
is a most fearsome adversary

(OT) Wellgone Canada (1.00 / 1) (#60)
by Quietti on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:45:40 AM EST

Canadian politicians always acting like they know better than the people what's good for them and shafting them is nothing new. It's been going on for centuries.

RANT ON - What's amazing is, how the same politicians cluelessly complain when Canadian patriots end up slamming the door behind them and raising the middle one to their homeland one last time, vowing to never set foot there again. All of a sudden, they complain about how Canada's best talent is leaving. Too late for that, Charlie Brown. I'm about to become eligible for another citizenship and, once I have that, you can kiss my ass. - RANT OFF



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Contrast (4.66 / 12) (#50)
by arthurpsmith on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:35:48 PM EST

Maybe it's the selection here, but just compare the first Israeli blog with some of the ones from "electronicintifada". In Israel they're apparently worried about their friends getting called up to serve in the IDF, they critique the self-serving statements from Palestinian authorities, they doubt the reports accusing the IDF of massacre and mayhem, but they generally seem able to get on with life ok...

And then I read some of the reports from Palestinians. They're worried about their friends who have been arrested for no apparent cause (the guy in charge of USAID distribution for business development?!) and, at best, forced to stand in soaking rain for hours at a time; they're worried about their children who wake up screaming at the shelling at night, who have to huddle with parents in the center of houses; they're worried about how to get food and water (a baker shot dead on his way to work this morning???) they're worried about their houses which have been broken into and ransacked by the IDF, which on returning to later were found to have been soiled and looted; they're worried about buttoning their jackets or tripping, or any of a number of possibly fatal false moves at a checkpoint with a half-dozen guns pointed your way; they're worried about their children denied access to schools and all other activities for over a week now; they're worried about educational records for the region being destroyed with the IDF's attack on the Palestinian ministry of education.

Maybe it's because the selection of blogs was skewed (it was certainly limited). But I can't see how any objective reading of what's there right now would find the two equivalent, experiencing "the same anguish", etc. etc. The military capacity is obviously extremely one-sided; the suffering seems, from this reading at least, very one-sided as well.

Can the extreme lack of respect the IDF seems to be showing to every Palestinian result in anything but a hardening of their resolve to fight back? And of course, the US will be blamed for the suicide bombings that ensue, because we're forcing the Israelis to withdraw before they've had time to finish their mission...

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


Since the offensive was launched, (none / 0) (#120)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:42:11 PM EST

it's been the longest period without a homicide bombing since September.

Now, tell me again how Israel's plan won't work?

[ Parent ]
And that's why... (none / 0) (#123)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:51:32 PM EST

the longest period without a homicide bombing since September.

And that's why Israel won't withdraw.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Well shit.... (none / 0) (#151)
by rantweasel on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:59:44 PM EST

Bull Connor could have used similar reasoning, but that doesn't make it right. The British could have used it in India. I'm sure that any number of other occupying forces could have used that reasoning. It simply wont last. There have been uprisings before, and attempts at military solutions before. Each time, the military solution has failed, and usually extremists (on one side or the other) were the cause. A military solution to this situation simply will not last. A political and social solution will have to be reached, and to do that, Israel is going to have to realize that Palestinians are people too. Take a look at Northern Ireland. It certainly wasn't the SAS or the IRA that settled things, it was negotiatiors and politicians and people getting sick of the killing.

mathias

[ Parent ]
There have been attempts at political solutions. (none / 0) (#197)
by acronos on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:18:29 AM EST

There have been attempts at political solutions before. They have never worked. Face it, that area is going to be hell until BOTH sides want to change. To me, the palastinians are far more in the wrong than Israel. I think Israel would give up land if they really believed there would be peace. Palastinians promise future bombings regardless of any peace settlement. Yeah right, that is real incentive for Israel to get into an agreement that further protects palastinians at no gain to Israel.

[ Parent ]
Big deal - for a week's worth of "peace" (none / 0) (#169)
by pyramid termite on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:33:11 PM EST

... Israel has ensured many more years of resentment and hatred. That's why Israel's plan won't work.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#218)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:25:22 PM EST

If Israel manages to cut off the supplies and influx of weapons and bomb-making materials, the Palestinians' resentment won't be quite so hard to bear.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

You mean they have a plan? (none / 0) (#180)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:50:55 AM EST

I'd like to see how that plan reads.

"Piss off every country in the world. Ensure that future generations of Palestinians will look forward to blowing themselves up in a crowd of Israelis. Spend a hell of a lot of time and effort generating sympathy for Yasser Arafat."

I don't see that Sharon has a plan here. He's just angry, wants to blame Arafat for everything, and he has overwhelming military force.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

You make it so easy... (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by Demiurge on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 05:05:19 AM EST

Blame Arafat for anything? Since Arafat created his Al Aqua Brigade, it's been responsible for oevr 70% of homicide bombings.

And seeing as how, even before the intifada, over 60% of the Palestinian populace supported the bombings, it's not as if Israel is going to lose any friends in launching their offensive

The leftist hand-wringing over the perceived blowback from the Israeli operation strikes me just as ridiculous as the naive complaints against the Afghanistan campaign. Remember how Afghanistan was going to become another Vietnam, and millions of Afghans would be killed?

You can't argue with results. Like I said, the Israeli incursion has led to the longest period with the intentional murder of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists in months. The Israelis have tried overtures of peace. Arafat rejected them, what other choice do they have now?

[ Parent ]
Well, I probably shouldn't but ... (5.00 / 1) (#195)
by pyramid termite on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 08:11:15 AM EST

Blame Arafat for anything? Since Arafat created his Al Aqua Brigade, it's been responsible for oevr 70% of homicide bombings.

And when the bombings start again, who will you blame? Not Arafat - he's powerless - deposed - utterly out of the picture.

And seeing as how, even before the intifada, over 60% of the Palestinian populace supported the bombings, it's not as if Israel is going to lose any friends in launching their offensive

They've lost some in other places though, and once the troops withdraw and the reporters enter, a lot of ugly truths are going to escape.

Remember how Afghanistan was going to become another Vietnam, and millions of Afghans would be killed?

Well, even if it had, you see, we don't LIVE in Afghanistan and we didn't LIVE in Vietnam - that gives us an option the Israelis don't posess.

You can't argue with results.

I'd wait until all the results are seen, not just the immediate ones.

The Israelis have tried overtures of peace. Arafat rejected them, what other choice do they have now?

Free clue - the terrorists didn't want peace, they wanted war. They didn't want Arafat to be in a position where he could bargain for peace, they wanted him powerless and impotent. They didn't want a two nation solution to the problem - they wanted all or nothing. If peace had been made now, chances would have been fair that it could have still been peaceful 20, 30 years from now. This was unacceptable to the terrorists - they would just as soon keep fighting a war in which they are currently outgunned knowing that in time, say 20, 30 years, there will be a time when they have the weapons and backing they need to commit an allout assault - and yes, that probably means nuclear.

In short, Israel has been suckered into doing precisely what the terrorist/radical faction wanted them to do. For a week or two's safety, they have endangered the long term viability of their country.

So, what choice do they have now? Arafat's power is destroyed and he cannot enforce his end of any peace that would be agreed with - and who else is there to make a deal with? Who has the authority? Who will be respected? Who will have the power to enforce a treaty?

The answer - no one at all. I'm afraid the Israelis will learn the bitter truth of Oscar Wilde's statement - "There are two great tragedies in life - one is not getting what one wants. The other is getting it." The Israelis have what they and the terrorists wanted. I think they'll both find that it's going to be a bitter thing to have.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
A small historical point (none / 0) (#201)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:48:38 AM EST

The leftist hand-wringing over the perceived blowback from the Israeli operation strikes me just as ridiculous as the naive complaints against the Afghanistan campaign. Remember how Afghanistan was going to become another Vietnam, and millions of Afghans would be killed?

The American conequest of Afganistan is, thus far, not that remarkable. The Russians also conquered Afganistan in a matter of weeks. It took them a decade to find out they couldn't keep control of Afganistan by force. Nobody can.

Now there were differnces between then and now. The US took part in the proxy war agaisnt the Russians, providing the opposition with sophisticated weapons which denied the Russians the unfettered use of air power and transport. However, it is important to note that the potential quagmire scenario is still ahead of us. The Bush administration is learning this the hard way; they want out of Afganistan so they can move on to Iraq, but it hasn't really been possible to extricate ourselves.

I think the end can be different, but it depends on acting intellgently and consistently to improve the lot of the Afghans and to create and strengthen local institutions which will provide stability and material benefits to them. I'm not sure the Bush administration is up to the job. Am I the only one who perceives them as indecisive and running things by reacting to developments?

[ Parent ]

Okay, pay attention and I'll say it again (none / 0) (#211)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:16:09 AM EST

Sharon doesn't have a plan here.

My understanding is that mere hours before the invasion, Sharon intended to throw Arafat out of the country, changing his mind only after the intelligence services told him that this would be Really Really Stupid. Even now he's got Arafat penned up in a single room and he doesn't know what to do with him! Can't evict him, can't kill him, and has managed to make him into a heroic underdog for most of the world. I wouldn't have thought Arafat could ever be seen as a hero, but Sharon has somehow done the impossible here.

This isn't "leftist hand-wringing", or whatever strawman you are trying to prop up here. If you see any evidence of a plan, please share with the rest of us. I think Sharon is reacting out of anger and is only now beginning to think about what the hell he should do next.

And as for "results", I think they've shown that the suicide bombing rate falls when Israel conducts full-scale military operations throughout the occupied territories. What happens after these operations wind down? I'm not sure, but I know you're going to have lots and lots of pissed-off Palestinians. Is that what y'all wanted?

For Israel the problem isn't getting in, it's getting out. Remember Lebanon?


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

Impossible for the palastinians to hate more(NT) (none / 0) (#196)
by acronos on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:11:13 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Given Tom Brokaw or Gonzo, I'll take Gonzo (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by ip4noman on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:38:09 AM EST

http://jerusalem.indymedia.org/ - Not a blog but still remarkable. Indymedia isn't well-known for it's journalistic integrity so keep your wits about you; it's giving a pretty one-sided account here of what's going on in Palestine.
By who's standards is the integrity of Indymedia suspect? I have the opposite view, I think it is the corporate press which is suspect. And the fact the the anti-war dissenting opinion never makes it on the 7 O'Clock news begins to make sense once you realize that Jack Welch is footing the bill for John Seigenthaler's hair implants. ;^)

NYC.indymedia has a lot of co-mingling with people associated with Pacifica station WBAI, it seems to me, and I consider WBAI to be one of the best news outlets out there, in any medium. You may consider them to be one sided, but it's one side I never hear just about any other place: the side of pacifism, equality, harmony, sustainability, non-violence.



--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
This must be a new definition of pacifism (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:23:09 AM EST

One which endorses hacking those that disagree with it, and support the activies of violent anarchists and homicide bombers.

[ Parent ]
Well aren't we full of sound bites? (3.00 / 2) (#99)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:06:28 AM EST

Besides two second sound bites deriding the supporters of Palestinians, do you ever SAY anything, Demiurge?

Moo.


[ Parent ]
Ah, I see... (none / 0) (#126)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:57:32 PM EST

You can't dispute my claims, because you as well as I realize that Indymedia and their ilk do nothing to support peace, only inflame the sentiment that sends young Palestinians out to murder young Israelis.

[ Parent ]
So, information is bad and should be censored? (none / 0) (#200)
by ip4noman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:16:05 AM EST

Indymedia and their ilk do nothing to support peace, only inflame the sentiment that sends young Palestinians out to murder young Israelis.
Yes, it seems a tiny minority of Palestinians feel the suicide bombings provides... something. An answer to conflict? Doubtful. Probably like a powerful voice of protest, and one that I personally can't condone. I feel that *all* violence is reprehensible, no matter who does it to whom.

But there are bigger issues here. When I hear about a suicide bombing performed by some young girl, I think all kinds of things! My god! What sort of atrocities must one have endured which could motivate such a horrible act? That's what I ask myself.

And one cannot put blame of murder in the radical journalist who bucks the party-line and digs deep to try to discover the truth. If people feel they are so politically powerless to be motivated to commit murder as some sort of political change, I would recommend that the collected works of Martin Luther King, Mohandas K. Ghandi, Henry David Thoreau, Nelson Mandella, and Arundhati Roy be translated and distributed to these people. But the journalist should be venerated for revealing the truth, not blamed for the bloodshed.

That a tribe once persecuted by evil men (whose war-crimes were revealed by journalists) has now themselves become the violent tyrrants condemning the activities of journalists is perhaps one of the greatest examples of irony I know.



--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
Re Indymedia (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by coillte on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:42:05 PM EST

In the context of an open newswire - which is what Indyemedia purports to be - I feel that one has to expect a wide variety of opinions to be presented.

From my own reading of Indymedia - and I will not defend it as impartial - I don't find it to be - you seem to have picked extreme examples, and represented them as an editorial line.

Proposing that Indymedia supports hacking it's opponents, and supports violent anarchists would be like accusing Kuro5hin of having an editorial line that reflects every single comment that is posted to it.


If you don't like it's partiality, the option is there to post to it, either comment or news story, and redress the balance. Should you do so, does your contribution become the new editorial line?
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
[ Parent ]
Slanderous, baseless claims (none / 0) (#198)
by ip4noman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:50:01 AM EST

I've been listening to WBAI for years now, and I can say I have never heard the support for "violent anarchists". Yes, there are shows about anarchism, which is a legitimate political theory worthy of discussion. Anarchism BTW has more to do with equality than violence. And if you want to say "some anarchists are violent, therefore all anarchists support violence", then what would you you say if I performed the following substitution: s/anarchists/republicans/g ???

Your statement about supporting the activities of "homicidal bombers" is also utterly without merit or substance. Can you site one example from either WBAI or NYC.indymedia where someone voiced this opinion?

And what of your hacking claim? Of course by "hacking" you mean a malicious activity intended to deface or vandalise a web site? I assume you refer to the 2600 clan; have you ever read the magazine? Have you ever listened to the show? All of them are available on-line; about 10 years worth I think. Have a listen, and try to find any statement of support for malicious activity. I'm not saying it's not there, but I've never heard it.



--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
About the hacking reference (none / 0) (#221)
by thenick on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:08:47 PM EST

I believe that he is refering to the coverage of the closing of blackfist.com (not too sure of the name). I read Indymedia a lot during that time and I feel their coverage was the poorest of any news outlet, corporate or independent. When Indymedia first reported the story they only told the part of the story concerning the removal of the web site and the government raid. Indymedia failed to mention that the reason the raid took place was because the kid who ran the web site decided it would be a good idea to DoS sites that he didn't agree with politically. It was only after major news outlets broke the story that Indymedia began covering the whole story.

Indymedia did have good coverage of the Argentina collapse, but the biased articles, stuck in their ways users, and racist propaganda have driven me away from Indymedia. If you ask me, the phrase "Zionazi Filth" is used way to liberally over there.


"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
[ Parent ]
RaiseTheFist.com (5.00 / 3) (#224)
by ip4noman on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 09:43:33 PM EST

Raise The Fist

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
Indymedia is about as reliable as Usenet. (none / 0) (#118)
by Apuleius on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:25:35 PM EST

Remember the flap when Indymedia spread the rumor that the film of the 9/11 celebrations in Jerusalem was actually a 1991 clip?


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Compare to ... (none / 0) (#170)
by pyramid termite on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:38:25 PM EST

... the generous coverage of the celebrations in Jerusalem in the mass media to the near total silence about candlelight prayer vigils by Palestinians for 9/11 victims. If we're going to judge media outlets by one distortion or untruth then I guess we'd have to discredit the mass media too.

Oh, and one can get useful news from Usenet.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Think. (none / 0) (#190)
by Jonas Cord on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 05:58:02 AM EST

Corporate press is suspect? Care to be specific? Try doing that next time. Indymedia.org is unreliable, biased crap. I will not say the same about "all uncorporate press," because I'm not a inspecific cretin who can't think for myself.

[ Parent ]
Hair Implants! Cluster Bombs! ... Don't you see? (none / 0) (#225)
by ip4noman on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 12:00:04 AM EST

Care to be specific?
I was specific, you just weren't paying attention. For-profit defense contractors owning televisions networks! Is that specific enough? Hmm. Pro-war this <Click!> "Why do they hate us so?" that <Click!> ...A nation united as the defense department announces a full scale tactical strike against the suspected terrorist bunkers ... <Click!> "... and any signs of resistance will be met with strong resolve in the theatre of combat" the spokesman was quoted as saying... <Click!> ...CIA reportedly considers using torture against detainees... <Click!>

What disgusting, violent savagary! On ALL SIDES. These media outlets chartered to operate in the public interest do not operate in my interest, and I want a democratic media. Not corporate owned, government controlled, and not for profit. Profit corrupts very effeciently, and profit destroys, and profit silences dissent. At any given time there is an endlessly variable spectrum of voices, a pluralty of opinion in the shape of a rainbow. Why don't we hear them more often?

The "one voice" of savagery is not *my* voice. In fact, it's a big fat lie.



--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
Considering myself an impartial Israeli (4.66 / 3) (#57)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:37:16 AM EST

Of course I can't consider myself clean of emotions on the subject, as I'm living in Israel, but I believe you will find my views quite objective and rational (although sarcastic at times).

Since I take that this forum is seriously interested in some intelligent unbiased info on what's going on in this corner of the world, I would love to take questions from the audience....so-to-speak.



Question (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by chroma on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 04:28:42 AM EST

Israel is a mess right now. So how much more of this will it take before you leave?

[ Parent ]
Personally or Ethnically? (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:45:49 AM EST

It is not clear from your post if by "you" you mean me personally or "you Israelis" in general.

The first question is not necessarily relevant (although related) to the political issue. I, personally, am enrolling this fall for a PhD program in the States, crossing the Atlantic (and the Mediterranean for that matter) to a quieter existence. This has been planned for a while now, long before the recent violent outbreak.

If you mean the Israeli people, I wouldn't hold my breath. Save for a truly apocalyptic (and implausible) scenario, Israelis are not going to leave this area soon.

The general feeling "on the street" is that we can endure the current situation for a long while to come. Honestly, one must admit that it's not that horrible. Being afraid of being able to drink coffee at a sunny Saturday morning is far from what breaks a nation's spirit.

I'll say more: Even our Palestinian neighbours, who endure a much worse state of being, don't simply pack up and leave, so we can expect that there will be a long way to go before the State of Israel will pack its bags and search for another place to dwell...

IMHO

[ Parent ]
And where would Israel, and Israelis, go, anyway? (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by wiredog on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:30:05 AM EST

Somehow, I don't see the French, or anyone, welcoming several million irate Israelis to their shores.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
Why not? (3.00 / 1) (#91)
by m0rzo on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:12:26 AM EST

Europe, collectively, is curently welcoming vast numbers of unskilled, uneducated and impoverished people from the Balkans, Middle East and Asia.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Welcoming? (none / 0) (#143)
by Rk on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:21:57 PM EST

The politicians maybe. But your average European layperson is highly sceptical, if not outright opposed, to large amounts of immigration. It is highly unlikely that Europe will accept any substantial amount of Israel's five-and-a-half million residents, since most Israelis are skilled and therefore would be seen in Europe as competition.

[ Parent ]
I am not sure where you get your info (none / 0) (#154)
by eternal on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:48:26 PM EST

Europe is not (nor did it ever) 'welcome' unskilled and impoverished people from pretty much anywhere. I say this from personal experience, AND I was what you might call higly-skilled and far from being impoverished. I had not problems immigrating to Canada, though.

[ Parent ]
The "Peace Drain" (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by chroma on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:48:40 PM EST

It occurs to me that there may be a "peace drain" in the Middle East analogous to the "brain drain" in the third world.

Some people are able to get along with their neighbors without undue prejudice. It seems that these sort of folks would be the most likely to emigrate to a place where it's easier to do so.

[ Parent ]

Hey (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by m0rzo on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:03:41 AM EST

It would be really cool if you could set up a diary thread for this purpose, I'll ask Rusty if he could edit this story to include the link in it and then we could ask you there.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

At the risk of sounding stupid... (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:47:04 AM EST

What's a diary thread? What's the commitment on my side? What are the technicalities involved?

[ Parent ]
Click on "New Diary Entry" (2.00 / 1) (#88)
by wiredog on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:30:46 AM EST

That's also a good place to try out a story idea, btw.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
I'll try that (2.00 / 1) (#98)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:48:14 AM EST

Maybe later tonight (if I won't be bombed by then...)

[ Parent ]
I'd like that, too (2.00 / 1) (#90)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:04:09 AM EST


---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Israel stop (2.42 / 7) (#66)
by nonsense9 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:47:01 AM EST

When a young person, with most of his life ahead of him, straps on a bomb and kills himself it is not aggression. No one is willing to sacrifice everything for the chance to kill innocents.

Suicide bombings are acts of desperation. Desperation borne from living in refugee camps for 40 years. Desperation borne from being persecuted for your religion and background. Desperation borne from having no future at all in a country controlled by someone with a thick streak of paranoia against you.

The biting irony of this is that any Israeli should understand, better than anyone else, how the palestinians feel. They should know that keeping a people down by force will never make them falter. It will only make them stronger, their resolve more firm, and the acts they are willing to commit even more horrendous as the pressure increases.

From where Israel is today, there are only two roads to follow. Built concentration-camps and go for a "final solution" or start giving these people a chance at a future worth something.

So far they seem to have done the former...

nonsense9? well named. (3.50 / 4) (#69)
by Caton on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:31:32 AM EST

From where Israel is today, there are only two roads to follow. Built concentration-camps and go for a "final solution" or start giving these people a chance at a future worth something.

So far they seem to have done the former...

As a Jew whose whole family, except for my mother and aunt, were killed in Nazi camps, I should take exception at that.

But your nick says it all.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Ignore it (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by hjw on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:16:57 AM EST

There is a futile argument doing the rounds at the moment that tries to paint Israeli Jews in the same light as German Nazis. Comparisons can be made between anything. It's like the old (bad) joke: What have an apple and an orange got in common? Neither of them can drive a tractor. It's very easy to pick common traits of two very different actions and use them to draw comparisons.

[ Parent ]
Actually (2.00 / 2) (#107)
by PhillipW on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:53:29 AM EST

While I don't recall who exactly it was, or the exact quote, an Israeli official recently said that they had to take lessons from the past in methods of dealing with Palestinians. The official made a point of saying that even using the same tactics as the Nazis was something that should be done.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
who says I'm not jewish... (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by nonsense9 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:42:44 AM EST

...and have not had family members killed in concentration camps?

Please don't judge me on the basis of a comparison that was admittedly harsh. I was trying to show the strong irony of the situation, and how pointless the current Israeli actions are, but apparently I failed.

[ Parent ]
Pointless?! (2.50 / 2) (#127)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:00:38 PM EST

The Israeli incursions have led to the longest period without a homicide bombing since September. Is saving the lives of innocent Israeli citizens "pointless"?

[ Parent ]
Why is it (1.00 / 2) (#141)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:59:29 PM EST

That whenever I read a post by you, bile rises in my stomach?

The UN was right. You guys are racist motherfuckers.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
The tragedy survived (none / 0) (#152)
by eternal on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:39:15 PM EST

by the Jewish people does not justify behaviour that defyes any human rights convention in existence. I am an entirely unbiased observer of the current conflict in the middle east and find the actions of the Israeli Government as objectionable as those of their Palestinian counterpart.

[ Parent ]
But why (3.50 / 2) (#70)
by FredBloggs on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:45:22 AM EST

bother killing yourself? Its not going to make any rational person reposnd in their favour. The Palestinians are already converted, the Israelis get pissed off (well, when one of them managed to kill some non-arab Israelis) and respond by kicking the shit out of the Palestinians...so whats the point? Why not just go for military targets.

The Palestinians seem to be really easy to set up to do exactly what the Israelis expect/want them to do. Like now - a tank rolls into a Palestinian town, and loads of gunmen come out shooting! Why? You can`t take on tanks and helicopters and win! Stay indoors until they`re gone - you`ll live longer. Stop being so bloody predictable.

[ Parent ]
Well, nope. (none / 0) (#176)
by linca on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:35:11 PM EST

Since the Israeli army is afraid of snipers, their infantry advances through the buildings, literally. i.e., when they get from a building to another, they blow up the walls. with dynamite. If someone is unlucky enough to stand on the other side of the wall, he dies. Staying hom is not a viable solution anymore.

[ Parent ]
Of course, how could I forget (none / 0) (#189)
by Demiurge on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 05:11:16 AM EST

Just like how Israel is using Palestinians as human shields, and how they drink human blood, and control world media.

How about some half-way responsible citations for your outrageous, Jew-baiting claims?

[ Parent ]
Were did I talk about jews? (none / 0) (#207)
by linca on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 03:14:09 PM EST

I'm talking about the army of Israel. I don't care about who is in it. So fuck you.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by Betcour on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:09:31 AM EST

While it is easy (and understable) to focus on the victims of the bombing, most people (and especially the Israeli medias...) tend to forget that someone also killed him/her-self in the process. The bomber could have opted to just kill and get out if possible, or he could have choosed to kill himself only. So there's two messages sent by these bombings, one from the death of the victims and one from the death of the bomber. If we only listen to one of them, then we cannot understand what is really going on.

[ Parent ]
Ways of doings things.. (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by m0rzo on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:12:36 AM EST

..and suicide bombings against a civilian populace are not the right ways. I have tried to remain as objective as possible throughout this, but you are wrong. Of course I have sympathy for the those that take their own lives through desperation, but I'd have a whole lot more sympathy for them if they were blowing themselves up near military targets, rather than in shopping malls.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

OK (2.00 / 2) (#85)
by Betcour on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:54:09 AM EST

This is not an excuse, ... but (you saw this one coming eh ?) getting close enough to soldiers with a belt of explosive is almost impossible. Some movements tried to target soldiers but with little success. Also colons over the age of 18 should be considered soldiers (they are armed, and by living in colony they made choosed their side pretty clearly)

[ Parent ]
Colonists & Soldiers (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by Merk00 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:21:59 AM EST

Just because you happened to be armed doesn't make you a soldier. I can carry a gun around with me but I'm still not a soldier. It doesn't matter if I've picked a side to support, that still doesn't make me a soldier. To be a soldier, one of the requirements is that you wear a uniform (read the Geneva Convention). The colonists are not wearing military uniforms and hence aren't soldiers.

Now, that doesn't stop them from being murderers but that's a completely different issue. Just because you're armed doesn't make you a legitimate target.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Uniforms (4.00 / 3) (#109)
by Betcour on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:14:51 PM EST

There are a lot of non-uniform wearing troops that are soldiers by any definition of the word. Taleban didn't wear uniform. Most guerilla and resistance armies don't wear uniform, and those who do mostly do it for better camouflage, not to be recognised as soldiers.

Frankly, if I had been in the resistance against the Nazi occupation, I'd found that shooting at any armed german was fair game. That they had a SS uniform or not is not really the point. When you decide to carry a gun on you, no matter why, you accept the fact that the "other side" is gonna consider you as a major threat and a prime target. If you don't like this then don't carry a gun and put your life into someone better trained or willing to take the risk for you (army/cops/whoever is in charge)

[ Parent ]
Soldiers (1.00 / 2) (#112)
by Osiris on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:49:25 PM EST

You're right, being armed doesn't make you a soldier. Being a reserve or active member of the armed forces does, and nearly every Israeli adult falls into one of those two categories.



[ Parent ]
Kill the infants, too (4.00 / 3) (#129)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:04:33 PM EST

Hell, if you can kill every Israeli adult male because they "could" be called up to serve, why not take out the children before they get old enough to serve in the military!

Finish off the women as well, because their children might become soldiers.

By your "logic"(and I use the term lightly), Israel is perfectly justified in stomping into the occupied territories and smashing things up because every Palestinians "could" be a suicide bomber.

[ Parent ]
Logic (1.00 / 1) (#157)
by Osiris on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:04:01 PM EST

It's not 'my' logic. It's the logic the suicide bombers are using to to explain why they attack everyone they consider to be part of the occupying force- that every adult Israeli is part of that army.

Not every Palestinian has taken part in the violence, but almost every Israeli has been a member of the occupying military, so to the bomber's way of thinking, they're all soldiers. If you don't understand their motivation, you're never going to be able to stop them.



[ Parent ]
Uniform (4.33 / 3) (#136)
by Merk00 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:35:44 PM EST

As far as the rules of war, even if you are in the reserves and not on active duty, you are still considered a civilian. Just because you happen to be a soldier at some point in time does not make you a legal combatant.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Not an act of agression? (2.00 / 2) (#80)
by acceleriter on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:19:02 AM EST

If someone were to concede that the suicide bomber is committing an act of aggression (I don't--do you think that one last hurrah taking some of your enemies with you isn't really an act of aggression?), would you have them further concede that the planners, the men at the top, like those of Hamas and those with whom Arafat formerly openly associated aren't aggressors?

Frankly, after 9/11, I'm surprised to see the U.S. even make a lukewarm attempt to moderate Israel's actions in the occupied terrotories (which, incidentally, wouldn't be occupied by Israel save for the unprovoked attack by the Arabs in 1967 and are now part of Israel's territory. I guess stability in the Middle East is important for oil, because it sure isn't important for protecting the people dancing in the streets as the WTC fell in flames.

[ Parent ]

Agression? (4.50 / 6) (#96)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:37:16 AM EST

There are two half-truths to that one:

1. One must understand that minds (especially young minds) are not usually very autonomous thinkers. It would be simplistic to assume the simple "desparation -> suicide bombing" connection, without taking into account the culture, propaganda, education and leadership on the Palestinian side. The Palestinian Authority has a grave responsibility for "raising" these suicide bombers. There are organized mechanisms for recruiting, training and brainwashing these youngsters by blood-thirsty Palestinian leaders. It's not like someone wakes up in the morning, feels dispaired and then starts mixing explosives in his bedroom. That's an important point to make.

2. On the other hand, this propaganda and recruitment mechanism would have had no chance to land a such a huge public success were it not for the prolongued, provocative (=settlements, roadblocks, etc) and cruel occupation Israel has chosen to impose on the 1967 occupied territories. Israel bears the first and formost responsibility by creating humanly impossible living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.

While suicide bombing are undoubtedly a severely agressive form of political protest, the sad truth is that Israel has - for decades - ignored the Palestinian suffering and endured the degradation and enslavement (in form of cheap labor) of the Arab residents of the WB&G. Until there was a violent uprising, settlements were built (in contrast to international treaties) and millions demeaned without anyone in Israel as much as blinking. So, in a way, the Palestinians had no choice. Non violence was practiced for years and it didn't get them anywhere. Without Israeli casualties, Israel wouldn't even consider the Palestinians' rights.

The planners (and remember, there are planners) of suicide bombings are responsible for them and heartless agressors. The Israeli government is a violent, revenge-lusty regime not willing to admit to any historical wrongdoing. And as complicated and shade-of-gray this statement is, it is probably closer to the truth than any of the black and white "certainties".

And just a final remark, regarding the occupied territories being "part of Israel" now. This is, forgive my french, pure BS. Israel has never thought of annexing them. The Arab population in them has no civil rights, are not Israeli citizens or even residents. They can't work in Israel and live under military occupation. International law is very specific about what an occupying force is allowed to do in occupied territories. Population transfer and settlement building is not allowed.

Now you could say that it's theirs unless they're proven otherwise (by another, stronger, military power), but this is not the way the world works today and thank god it isn't.

IMHO

[ Parent ]
I agree (3.00 / 1) (#104)
by thenerd on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:34:42 AM EST

I think there is a big problem. If the Palestinian leaders say 'we renounce violence forever' and stick to that, then in some ways they are saying 'we will never fight back against the aggression'. When you say 'non violence was practiced for years and it didn't get them anywhere.' therein lies the rub. If they renounce violence, the only thing they *can* control, they have NO control, and are, in some ways, more vulnerable.

[ Parent ]
Ahem, well...yeah (2.00 / 1) (#105)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:44:48 AM EST

That was kind of my point.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, everyone knows non-violence never worked (none / 0) (#131)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:06:56 PM EST

Remember Ghandi? And how he didn't get anywhere until he started lobbing bombs at Londoners? Or Martin Luther King? Who incited racially-charged riots in his work to promote civil rights? Thank God they realized non-violence would never work!

[ Parent ]
True, that (none / 0) (#140)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:56:20 PM EST

If the Palestinians would stop their fight, they could go back to manufacturing Goods and providing Services for the virtuous residents of Tel Aviv.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#165)
by PhillipW on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:31:39 PM EST

And that time that America sat back and politely asked Osama Bin Laden to stop comissioning people to fly airplanes into our skyscrapers? Or how about in 1967 when the Israelis sat idly back?

While I definitely do not think that blowing yourself up in a shopping center is acceptable, I think it is a bit on the ridiculous side to expect anyone who thinks that they are being wronged to sit back and let it happen.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Excellent post, but (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by Sir Rastus Bear on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:35:53 AM EST

Non violence was practiced for years and it didn't get them anywhere. Without Israeli casualties, Israel wouldn't even consider the Palestinians' rights.

I disagree with this.

As far as I know, non-violent confrontation and widespread civil disobedience has not really been tried in this context. I really wish it were. Ghandi, a skinny old guy in a cloth diaper, beat the crap out of the pre-eminent colonial power of the day. Every day he was on hunger strike was breathlessly reported in newpapers around the world. Press coverage chased the British out of India.

I think the image of Palestinians handcuffing themselves to Israeli bulldozers is a much more compelling statement than some guy blowing the crap out of himself and several luckless bystanders.

Unfortunately, the middle east appears to be riddled with the macho attitude that "if you piss me off, I kill you". This kind of attitude doesn't win any public relations points, and the conflict here basically boils down to a PR battle. Whoever can keep the American viewing public's sympathies will be the winner.

Maybe I'm too US-centric, but I think the only place for the Palestinians to achieve justice is in the court of American public opinion. They don't have the military means. And it's hard to feel sorry for suicide bombers who take out innocent people. Can't they go light themselves on fire in public squares like that Buddhist monk during the Vietnam war? That single action went a long way in driving the US out of the conflict.

What if every suicide bomber had instead sat down in a public place, with lots of media around, announced that they would rather die than live under an unjust occupation, and blown themselves up without harming anyone else? They'd be just as dead, we'd have a few hundred more people still alive, and I think the occupation would have long since ended.


"It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
[ Parent ]

No, it is not desparation. (none / 0) (#117)
by Apuleius on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:23:21 PM EST

If it were desparation, the attacks would have happened in the years 1967 through 1971, when the occupation in the territories was particularly severe. The attacks are happening exactly for the opposite reason: the Palestinians are close to getting a state and are trying to maximize leverage.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
the people (3.33 / 3) (#93)
by paf0 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:16:12 AM EST

The average joe on both sides is suffering because of this conflict.

The terrorist organizations on the Palestinian side will not stop until Israel does not exist. This does not give Israel the excuse to impose curfews on all Palestinians. There are also legitimate Palestinian issues in regard to equal representation in govenrnment. What the Israeli government has to do is increase rights for the average Palestinian and at the same time go after the terrorist organizations.

I can understand the views of both sides and it is clear that there is no easy solution.
-----------
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. --B. F. Skinner
icq 3505006
Allow me to disagree (4.66 / 3) (#102)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:19:20 AM EST

The flame of terrorism is fed by occupational oil. I agree that some organizations will continue no matter what, but IHMO (and this is highly speculative) most terrorist organizations will die of recruit starvation if Israel will withdraw to the 1967 line and help establish a relatively health Palestinian state.

On your second point, there is no chance in the world that Israel will accept the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza (WB&G) as equal citizens in the State of Israel. Worse: Public opinion is pushing towards a de-civilization of current Arab citizens (living within the 1967 lines with "full" rights).

This is because the maintenance of a Jewish majority is probably the #1 national interest in Israel, and therefore they would never do the demographic suicide that you suggest. This may be sad, but it's true.

As long as Israel stays a racist (or nationalist) democracy and not a liberal constitutional one - the Arab people of the WB&G will be either second-class citizens (under military rule), citizens of a separate Palestinian state or, simply, deported.


[ Parent ]
Vic - an unrelated question for you (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by hawaii on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:52:20 AM EST

As long as Israel stays a racist (or nationalist) democracy and not a liberal constitutional one - the Arab people of the WB&G will be either second-class citizens (under military rule), citizens of a separate Palestinian state or, simply, deported.

Vic, since you're Israeli, I am curious of your opinion regarding this question. If Israel is racist for being a Jewish state maintaining a Jewish majority, in your opinion does this mean Islamic states with Islamic laws favoring Islamic majorities are also racist? Ie, is Israel any more racist than it's neighbors that accuse it daily of racism?

I'm wondering your reactions regarding the recent (relatively) UN conference that tried to denounce Zionism as racism. That is, many countries teamed up against Israel for doing very similar things that they themselves are doing. Was Israel unfairly singled out?

[ Parent ]

A tough one (4.66 / 3) (#132)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:09:27 PM EST

Are Islamic states racist? I would guess that most of them are, but this seems to be a side-effect of them being Islamic, not an inherent philosophical conclusion. Islam is not really a race (well...Judaism isn't either, but...). Islam is a missionary religion, which means that if a, say, Christian minority would be oppressed under Islamic rule, they could simply convert to Islam and be OK. They would probably live under a horribly chauvenistic and cruel regime, but the Islam (under my limited understanding of it) would rather have everyone converted to Islam than having a "different" group living between them adhering to different moral and religious standards. This is true at least for so-called fundamentalist countries.

Judaism, on the other hand, sees itself as a "people". Purely ethnically, this may not be true, but it certainly is in the religion's folklore. A converted Jew is not "really" a Jew, and the feeling is more like that of a large family that unites Jews all over the world. With that in mind, Judaism has no problem to have another group living under their reign honoring their own traditions. This - to Judaism - is a better solution than millions of Palestinians converting to Judaism.

So...who is the more racist? It is difficult to tell. Israel is most probably the most liberal and progressive country in the region and I can't think of an Islamic (or even Arab) country that gives more freedom of speech, liberty and/or democracy to its inhabitants. True, there are many problems with Israel's idea democracy and equality, but it's still much better (IMHO) than in the vast majority of Arab or Islamic states.

Alas, this is not only a racism pissing contest. The very principles of the state of Israel prescribe it to maintain a Jewish majority, which is exactly what implies the conclusion I have reached in my previous posting...

---

I may be a pessimist, but I believe that inherently, most if not all humans are racists. Including myself. Western civilization has made racism politically incorrect. This has not erased racism from people's heart, but at least removed it from their mouths, and from a majority of their actions. While this is not heaven, it is a big step towards a better world. Israel has not made that step, nor have many other coutries (I will even venture and say: the majority of countries worldwide). So in that sense, yes. Israel is being unfairly singled out.

Why?

This is probably due to the fact that the inherent racial problem is so out-in-the-open in my country. It's in the declaration of independence (where our founding fathers did some really interesting acrobatics to steer away from the dilemma, but eventually failed). In most countries it's much more implicit than it is in Israel. But, really, finally, I think it was UN politics that singled Israel out much more than it was philosophy.

To conclude: Israel is less racist than Islamic countries, but it is racist enough to pose some really tough moral problems...

IMHO

[ Parent ]
This does not ring true (2.00 / 1) (#137)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:38:08 PM EST

Islam is a missionary religion, which means that if a, say, Christian minority would be oppressed under Islamic rule, they could simply convert to Islam and be OK.

For a time, most of my friends were Persian. I don't recall a single time any of them ever tried to prosletize to me. None at all. Not even a hint of it. Perhaps you are over generalizing?



Moo.


[ Parent ]
In the same way that not all christians proletyse. (none / 0) (#177)
by linca on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:39:31 PM EST

However, the fundamental difference between the jewish religion and christianity/Islam is that the practitioners of the former see themselves as a people, distinct from the rest of the world, whose history can be traced back to Abraham or earlier ; whereas Islam and Christianity consider that anyone can become a member of their religion.

[ Parent ]
That was what I meant (none / 0) (#192)
by Vic Vega on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:42:36 AM EST

I feel quite misunderstood. I didn't say (and I don't think) that every Muslim or Christian is a missionary.

I was merely pointing out that Islam (even by its name) and Christianity have a mechanism to add members to their religion, whereas Judaism is more of a "genetic" religion.



[ Parent ]
thanks (none / 0) (#155)
by hawaii on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:49:43 PM EST

thanks for your detailed response.

I was curious what a moderate open-minded Israeli would think on that issue, and from your comments, you seem to be pretty open-minded about such things.

I agree that Israel has been singled out by many countries doing the same thing, and I was saddened to see a conference that was supposed to relieve the effects of hatred be dominated by hatred.

Anyway, peace out, thanks for your message.

[ Parent ]

The average Joe does pay the price (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:21:32 AM EST

I do agree though, that the averate Joe pays the price of ruthless leaders on both sides. But, you know, in history there are no average Joes. Only leaders, countries and processes.

[ Parent ]
Comparisons... (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by jason on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:17:22 PM EST

You know, I've yet to read a good comparison of the current Isreal / Palestine troubles with similar troubles of the past. How does this situation compare to Ireland? Both include settlements, religious differences, bombs, etc. What of other "occupations" or land battles? I'm not familiar enough with all of them to understand the differences. Anyone out there know more?

I'm mostly curious because of seeming parallels with Ireland. They gained greatly by giving up violence. Is it a good example, or are there other issues that make these situations fundamentally different?

In reply to your query about Ireland (4.75 / 4) (#139)
by coillte on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:45:07 PM EST

Interesting comment.

Apologies in advance, for the lenght of the comment.

OK - my context - I'm Irish, late twenties. Which translates into my having experienced the times that you are curious about.

The conflictin Northern Ireland, as a military conflict of proportion, began in the late sixties. 1969. It's history lies much further back than that. Ulster had always been a hotbed of nationalist insurgency, a problem partially solved by the colonialists through settling of the region with variously, soldiers, officers, and Scottish poor - crofeters, landless peoples. Essentially establishing a non native population with a vested fiscal interest in maintaining law, order, and the authority of the crown. This populations ancestors are present to this day.

Flash forward 300 years to the early twentieth century. The Irish War of Independence culminates in a ceasefire, and treaty negotiations. Treaty negotiations are set up, and achieve a free state (autonomous, but with key provisions in the treaty still tying it to the United Kingdom), and with the provision for a border comission to be set up subsequent to negotiations, to tease out the problematic question of Northern Ireland - a part of it's population considers itself British, a part Irish. Border commission - made up of British and Irish representatives, and presided over by a South African judge, assigns the 6 counties to remain in the Union.

Flash forward 40 years to the 1960s. Catholic civil rights marches, protesting perceived inequalities i Northern Ireland - bad housing, little or no representation in the police forces, lack of employment opportunities, lack of access to middle class success. The perception was that Catholicism equalled working class, Protestantism equalled middle class, and that the middle class used their economic, social, and legislative positions to maintain the status quo.

Subsequent to the frustration of the civil rights marches - marches that were primarily about rights within Northern Ireland, and not secession from the Union, - a frustration occasionally engendered by police violence, 30 years of paramilitary violence ensues, on both sides. The conflict polarises increasingly, perhaps in direct ratio to the bitterness experienced by both sides, along religious lines.

Flash forward to the early nineties. Unified protests by the people caught in the middle, who are sick and tired of being murdered indiscriminatley and particulaly efficiently by pretty much all sides of the conflict - British Army, republican paramilitaries, loyalist paramilitaries, encourage a nascent peace initiative at the highest levels of all organistaions.

In short, the people in the middle, the majority, tired of being killed by the extremist minority.

OK...so much for the precis....and it is just that, by no means comprehensive

Possible comparisons with Israel/Northern Ireland.

Decades of conflict partially the result of ill conceived treaties - the border comission in Northern Ireland, the 1948 creation of Israel by Britain.

Two cultures, traditions, religions sharing the same land.

To a large degree, both Israel/Palestine, and Northern Ireland share a deeply problematic and ultimately unhelpful concept of the state as religious, and not secular. It seems any equation of church and state in a context like this leads to an almost insurmountable intractability in the opposing sides. There is nothing like having God on your side to give you a pathological certainty of your manifest righteousness. And the clashes between non secular states have traditionally been bloody, exteneded, and bitterly fought. Allah is merciful, Jehovah is just.

There is a quote from a Northern Ireland paramilitary. I shall paraphrase....this conflisct is not about which community can inflict the most damage on the other, it is about the one which can endure the most suffering. The one which can suffer most will win. THis was most certailnly the case in Northern Ireland.

Perhaps the lesson learned was that both militants wings had the ability to dole out unlimited suffering, and leave the suffering to the non combatants to deal with. Non combatants counted for the overwhelming percentage of fatalities. And in the end, non combatants couldn't take the suffering anymore.

Thus another parallell with Israel/Palestine. Non combatants universally catch it in the neck. On both sides. By a percentage overwhelmingly greater than combatants. And generally as a result of being targeted as a matter of policy. Hey - yet another paralell. Lets not only kill the people in the middle. Lets do it on purpose. That'll learn them.

Another paralell. The language both sides use to describe one another - pigs, dogs, sons of monkeys, vipers, snakes, animals, beasts, inhuman. This has always been, I think, the language of war. Much easier to kill if you can deny the humanity of your target.

When will it end.Personally I think only when the warmongers on both sides realise how much the anger of those whom they thought did not matter - non combatants - really does.
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
[ Parent ]
Ireland/UK and Israel/Palestine (4.00 / 2) (#183)
by kzin on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:31:32 AM EST

Thanks for your thoughtful and educating description. I'm Jewish Israeli in my mid-twenties.

From what you are saying, it sounds to me like Ireland parallels the West Bank and Gaza, while Ulster parallels not Palestine but the Arab Israeli minority in the Gallil. The West Bank and Gaza are mostly Palestinian by a large margin, yet had been (until 1993 at least) ruled completely by Israel. Just like Ireland which was Irish yet ruled by England. If Palestine is given independence in most of the areas of the West Bank and Gaza (which looks unavoidable), are we going to eventually see similar uprising of Arab Israelis in the Gallil demanding civil autonomy or to join the Palestinians? So far the Arab Israelis are not completely happy about civil and social roles, but overall their overwhelming majority prefers to remain Israeli. Would a Palestinian state increase polarisation and separatism within Israeli society? What role do you feel that the Irish independence played in the eventual civil demonstrations in Ulster?

Of course, there are many differences between the two situations, especially the Irish not having any particular feelings to the land of the other island while Palestinians do consider all of Israel Palestine and vice versa. But there are also striking similarities: for example, about 50% of the Gallil population are Arabs and the other 50% are Jewish, and I understand that this is the ratio in Ulster also.

Decades of conflict partially the result of ill conceived treaties - the border comission in Northern Ireland, the 1948 creation of Israel by Britain.

Two cultures, traditions, religions sharing the same land.

I'm not sure the British could have done much to prevent or to change the way in which Israel was established. They pretty much folded and let the region sort itself out. What would you suggest instead, in both cases? If Ulster is 50% Protestant then it looks like you've got two cultures, traditions and religions sharing the same land already. In Israel the international community had long tried to attack precisely the problem that you are describing by partition, and pretty much a solution along these line was what happened in 1948, with continuing occupation following 1967 being a Israeli historical mistake.

Personally I think only when the warmongers on both sides realise how much the anger of those whom they thought did not matter - non combatants - really does.
It looks to me like in Ulster it's very unclear what the solution should be, and so its implementation must rely almost entirely on goodwill. In Israel/Palestine, on the other hand, everybody knows what the final settlement will be -- an independent Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank (with likely border corrections for the settlements, some compromise in Jerusalem etc, these are relatively minor issues). The facts are agreed on, and so the continuing conflict relies almost entirely on malovelent intentions and feelings of revenge and national pride.

And another question: in the Middle East conflict, the use of different terms is a way to label yourself as a supported of one side, and it is almost impossible to avoid being perceived as one who has a priori loyalty triggered solely by your use of language. For instance, Israel / Palestine, West Bank / Judea and Samaria, Al-Aqsa / Temple Mount, and so forth. Is that the case in Ulster / Northern Ireland too? Is Ulster the Irish term?

[ Parent ]

In reply to your comment (none / 0) (#205)
by coillte on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:26:27 PM EST

Thank you for your reply - again, both thoughtful, and educational.

As always, apologies for the lenght of my reply...

I guess what I was driving at was a description no of the politics themselves that exist in the Israel/Palestine situation, but an overall description of the comparable structures of the politics themselves.

That is, though the politics and morals of both situations are not necessarily the same, the way they relate to one another, the way they perceive one another, and the way their actions towards one another evolve based upon this relationship.

That said, I did include certain comparisons which could be construed as, and probably were, partial comments on the ethics of the situation.

With regard to demographics, your point about the geographical parallels is valid. But I would argue that with regard to the culture that exists between both parties, the comparison with Northern Ireland holds. This particular type f sectarian hatred can be expressed at close quarters, or at slight differences. The size of the disputed areas is, in geographical terms, minimal, so whatever paliation distance may provide is not on particularly possible.

Speaking with regard to the position of Arab Israelis within the borders of any feasible Isreali state....my guess as to what their reaction would be to a Palestinian settlement would be just that - a guess. I find it immensely difficult, for instance, to predict how Israeli Arabs are going to construct into their identities the current war being prosecuted by both sides. This is perhaps pertinent in light of my comments about the civil rights movement.

My perception would be that the violence in Northern Ireland, was, perhaps unavoidable. The civil rights marches were taken as a starting point for the troubles, not by what they represented in themselves - they were peaceful, modelled on Martin Luther King, and the American civil rights movements of the sixties - but because of the reaction of the authorities, and the middle class. Previously the British army had been welcomed into Northern Ireland by the Catholic/republican minority of the time. The violence of the authorities - shooting on marchers, and the later internment without trial, served to render the republican movement hostile to the authorities, to the army, and violently hostile to the Protestant/unionist majority. This is not to say the violence was justified. On any side. Explicable to a degree, but not justifiable.

My point with this is, the question of Arab Israelis and possible desires for autonomy very much depends, if the parallels hold, on their percepton of themselves, their role and position, and how they are perceived and treated in Israel. The latitude is there to present this population with a place in a democratic society, with economic security, education, an infrastructure, and a good quality of life. Also, democratic choice, and freedom of religion. In comparison to many of the surrounding sataes, this represents I think, a greater quality of life on offer in several Israeli neighbours. Wheter such a position is likely in the current conflict, and in it's aftermath is highly questionable.

I do not feel that Irish independence had a great role to play in the Civil Rights movements. There were links between North and South, both in terms of paramilitary supply routes, fiscal support, and moral backing, but the civil rights movement sprang fro a largely different motivation - one of equality within the State as it then existed, not a challenge to the right of the state to exist. It was, however, strengthened by support from The South.

The differences you mention do hold partially true. However I would argue that although the Irish did not hold particular feeling for the land of the British, the British did hold particular feeling for the land of the Irish. The rhetoric of colonialism was such that they had particular feeling for here - a mandated ownership of the country. Suffice to say, the UK justified it's colony by means of perceived superiority. This point does not obviate the difference between the situations, of course, but does draw another, not umproblematic parallell.

The resolution hopefully ongoing in Ulster relies on several things. Goodwill amongst them. The experience of prolonged peace has instilled in the general populace a deep, deep unwillingness to return to war. Stability is rather addictive, in these contexts, when it's stay has achieved normality. The concept of a final settlement that is forming in Ulster is one characterised by the democratic bnature of the process. The commitment is there by the general populace to democratic means. The republicans have predicted that within 14 years, there will be a democratically formed United Ireland. Currently, despite this strong possibility, the overwhelming commitment of almost all peoples is to this democratic solution. Why? I'd like to think it is because they finally tired of a war, lasting 30 years, which was unable to achieve any long term solution. A kind of mass waking up, if you will.

Finally - and I am not addressing all your points here - yes, language plays a huge part in Ulster, as do symbols - flags, sashes, days of the year, what sport you play, where you drink, where you pray to essentially the same God - a Christian one, where you live.....think of almost any aspect of life, and it will have been compartmentalised, and rendered with some sectarian meaning.

Oddly, the main exception is motorsport, and particularly motorcycle racing.
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
[ Parent ]
To both agree and disagree (none / 0) (#206)
by coillte on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:33:43 PM EST

Thank you for your reply - again, both thoughtful, and educational.

As always, apologies for the lenght of my reply...

I guess what I was driving at was a description no of the politics themselves that exist in the Israel/Palestine situation, but an overall description of the comparable structures of the politics themselves.

That is, though the politics and morals of both situations are not necessarily the same, the way they relate to one another, the way they perceive one another, and the way their actions towards one another evolve based upon this relationship.

That said, I did include certain comparisons which could be construed as, and probably were, partial comments on the ethics of the situation.

With regard to demographics, your point about the geographical parallels is valid. But I would argue that with regard to the culture that exists between both parties, the comparison with Northern Ireland holds. This particular type f sectarian hatred can be expressed at close quarters, or at slight differences. The size of the disputed areas is, in geographical terms, minimal, so whatever paliation distance may provide is not on particularly possible.

Speaking with regard to the position of Arab Israelis within the borders of any feasible Isreali state....my guess as to what their reaction would be to a Palestinian settlement would be just that - a guess. I find it immensely difficult, for instance, to predict how Israeli Arabs are going to construct into their identities the current war being prosecuted by both sides. This is perhaps pertinent in light of my comments about the civil rights movement.

My perception would be that the violence in Northern Ireland, was, perhaps unavoidable. The civil rights marches were taken as a starting point for the troubles, not by what they represented in themselves - they were peaceful, modelled on Martin Luther King, and the American civil rights movements of the sixties - but because of the reaction of the authorities, and the middle class. Previously the British army had been welcomed into Northern Ireland by the Catholic/republican minority of the time. The violence of the authorities - shooting on marchers, and the later internment without trial, served to render the republican movement hostile to the authorities, to the army, and violently hostile to the Protestant/unionist majority. This is not to say the violence was justified. On any side. Explicable to a degree, but not justifiable.

My point with this is, the question of Arab Israelis and possible desires for autonomy very much depends, if the parallels hold, on their percepton of themselves, their role and position, and how they are perceived and treated in Israel. The latitude is there to present this population with a place in a democratic society, with economic security, education, an infrastructure, and a good quality of life. Also, democratic choice, and freedom of religion. In comparison to many of the surrounding sataes, this represents I think, a greater quality of life on offer in several Israeli neighbours. Wheter such a position is likely in the current conflict, and in it's aftermath is highly questionable.

I do not feel that Irish independence had a great role to play in the Civil Rights movements. There were links between North and South, both in terms of paramilitary supply routes, fiscal support, and moral backing, but the civil rights movement sprang fro a largely different motivation - one of equality within the State as it then existed, not a challenge to the right of the state to exist. It was, however, strengthened by support from The South.

The differences you mention do hold partially true. However I would argue that although the Irish did not hold particular feeling for the land of the British, the British did hold particular feeling for the land of the Irish. The rhetoric of colonialism was such that they had particular feeling for here - a mandated ownership of the country. Suffice to say, the UK justified it's colony by means of perceived superiority. This point does not obviate the difference between the situations, of course, but does draw another, not umproblematic parallell.

The resolution hopefully ongoing in Ulster relies on several things. Goodwill amongst them. The experience of prolonged peace has instilled in the general populace a deep, deep unwillingness to return to war. Stability is rather addictive, in these contexts, when it's stay has achieved normality. The concept of a final settlement that is forming in Ulster is one characterised by the democratic bnature of the process. The commitment is there by the general populace to democratic means. The republicans have predicted that within 14 years, there will be a democratically formed United Ireland. Currently, despite this strong possibility, the overwhelming commitment of almost all peoples is to this democratic solution. Why? I'd like to think it is because they finally tired of a war, lasting 30 years, which was unable to achieve any long term solution. A kind of mass waking up, if you will.

Finally - and I am not addressing all your points here - yes, language plays a huge part in Ulster, as do symbols - flags, sashes, days of the year, what sport you play, where you drink, where you pray to essentially the same God - a Christian one, where you live.....think of almost any aspect of life, and it will have been compartmentalised, and rendered with some sectarian meaning.

Oddly, the main exception is motorsport, and particularly motorcycle racing.
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
[ Parent ]
The difference (2.00 / 1) (#158)
by dimroed on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:06:15 PM EST

The main difference here is that the Ireland conflict occured because Ireland has long been a part of Britain and wanted independence and equal treatment, as far as I understand.

On the other hand, Israel was repeatedly attacked by several Arab countries who want its destruction, and occupied the West Bank in 1967 after yet another of these attacks in order to defend themselves. The Palestinians, unlike the Irish, are not fighting for freedom but for the destruction of Israel.

[ Parent ]

The real difference (none / 0) (#181)
by felixrayman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:57:49 AM EST

Israel was repeatedly attacked by several Arab countries who want its destruction, and occupied the West Bank in 1967 after yet another of these attacks in order to defend themselves

The 1967 was not a war of self defense by Israel, Israel attacked the Arabs. The usual excuse given by Israeli apologists is that Egypt had put troops in the Sinai peninsula and that there had been border skirmishes with Syria. These excuses don't hold up when considered next to comments by Israeli leaders made later:

"I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it."
-General Yitshak Rabin (Le Monde, February 28, 1968 )

"All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, had never been considered our calculations prior to the unleashing of hostilities. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our defence against the Egyptian threat. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel's existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army."
-General Mattitiahu Peled (Le Monde, June 3, 1972)

"In June l967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."
-Menachem Begin (New York Times, August 21, 1982)

As far as the Syrian border hostilities, many of them were provoked intentionally by the Israelis as a pretense for military actions. Israel has used this tactic repeatedly both before and after the 1967 conflict. Another illuminating quote:

"Eighty percent of the incidents worked like this: We would send tractors to plow in an area of little use, in a demilitarized zone, knowing ahead of time that the Syrians would shoot. If they didn't start shooting, we would tell the tractors to advance until the Syrians would get aggravated and start shooting. We used artillery and later the air force became involved." - Moshe Dayan, Israeli Minister of Defense

The Palestinians, unlike the Irish, are not fighting for freedom but for the destruction of Israel.

The Palestinians, unlike the Irish, are not fighting for freedom but for survival.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
1967 (none / 0) (#184)
by kzin on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:45:11 AM EST

The 1967 was not a war of self defense by Israel, Israel attacked the Arabs. The usual excuse given by Israeli apologists is that Egypt had put troops in the Sinai peninsula and that there had been border skirmishes with Syria.
You forgot Nasser deporting the entire UN peackeeping force (which had been there for 12 years) from the Sinai Peninsula preceding the blockade, and that Jordan (previous holder of the West Bank) joined the fighting without Israeli provocation whatsoever.

And actually, the war with Egypt did not start until Egypt put a naval blockade on the Israeli port town of Eilat. That is an act of war, and it was done by Egypt, not Israel. Israeli apologies are unnecessary to explain an Egyptian naval blockade.

[ Parent ]

1967 (none / 0) (#186)
by felixrayman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 03:45:03 AM EST

you forgot Nasser deporting the entire UN peackeeping force (which had been there for 12 years) from the Sinai Peninsula

If refusal to allow UN peacekeeping forces in a territory is an excuse for war then Israel is in serious trouble.

and actually, the war with Egypt did not start until Egypt put a naval blockade on the Israeli port town of Eilat. That is an act of war, and it was done by Egypt, not Israel.

The Egyptian argument is that it is the right of any coastal state to prevent the passage of strategic cargo through its territorial waters to and from a belligerent state. Of course Israel would never enforce a blockade of say, the Gaza strip if arms were being shipped in by sea, now would it?

The main point stands, the Israel generals and other leaders believed there was no threat from Egypt and that Egypt had no plans of attacking Israel but they chose war anyway. More importantly their public comments reveal a conscious strategy of intentionally provoking their neighbors into attacks in order to justify wars of territorial expansion.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
References (none / 0) (#193)
by Vic Vega on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:50:05 AM EST

Do you have a way to confirm your quotations, maybe in their full context? Can you point us to the actual texts, or do you only have these soundbites.

I don't mean to undermine your credibility, but it seems to me that they were Copy-Pasted from a place with a clear agenda, and at the moment I can't treat them as anything but unbased and out-of-context.

[ Parent ]
References (none / 0) (#208)
by felixrayman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:43:06 PM EST

The first 3 comments cite references, which all happen to be major Western newspapers of nations that have supported Israel militarily and financially.

Do a quick google search for "Moshe Dayan" "eighty percent" and you get a dozen or so links to various articles that reference the fourth quote, including one from the Jerusalem Post if you want the right wing Israeli point of view on the quote, which seems to be "Yes, we provoked them but how dare those animals respond to our provocations."

As far as agendas go, asking for references for quotes that are clearly cited or easily accessible with a quick web search seems to reveal yours.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
1967 (5.00 / 1) (#194)
by kzin on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:54:36 AM EST

If refusal to allow UN peacekeeping forces in a territory is an excuse for war then Israel is in serious trouble.
We are not talking about refusal to allow UN peacekeepers to enter a territory. We are talking about an active deportation of an existing UN force that had already been there for 12 years under a mutually-agreed agreement whose express purpose was preventing or warning the sides in case of a war. I'm not saying this is casus belli, but it is certainly telling in understanding the Egyptian policy at the time. If you don't plan to start a war, you don't need to deport peacekeepers that you previously agreed to. Also, you neglected to mention it.
The Egyptian argument is that it is the right of any coastal state to prevent the passage of strategic cargo through its territorial waters to and from a belligerent state.
Totally bogus: "territorial waters" does not apply. The straits of Tiran, as are all waterways connecting international water bodies, are international waterways and their blockade is an act of war. Blocking them to the passage of another country's ships is reasonable in a war but the country blocking them can expect an armed response.
Of course Israel would never enforce a blockade of say, the Gaza strip if arms were being shipped in by sea, now would it?
And that is relevant how exactly? Actually, even if it were relevant, military marine control of the Gaza shoreline belongs to the Israeli Navy according to the Cairo agreement, while arms shipments of the size and type that was actually delivered contradicts said agreement.
More importantly their public comments reveal a conscious strategy of intentionally provoking their neighbors into attacks in order to justify wars of territorial expansion.
I'd say kicking out the UN keeping force and bringing two armed divisions to area that was previously agreed to be unarmed is an intentional provocation. So they ended up losing the war. So what?

And you still haven't explained Jordan's peculiar enthusiasm in joining Syria and Egypt (initially by shelling Western Jerusalem), if indeed it was an Israeli attack. Believing that Syria, Egypt and Jordan were picked as victims here is plain naivette.

[ Parent ]

1967 (2.00 / 1) (#209)
by felixrayman on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:57:57 PM EST

Nothing you have said addresses the core of my arguement and I would like to know exactly which part of it you disagree with.

To put it simply,
1) Israeli generals and politicians before the beginning of the 1967 war did not believe Egypt was planning to attack them and did not see Egypt as a military threat.

2) Israel, according to Dayan, the Minister of Defense at the time and the man responsible for making the decision to attack the Syrians, was by his own admission pursuing a policy of intentionally provoking border conflicts with Syria immediately before the 6 days war.

3) A country that sees no military threat from another nation, or that intentionally provokes a conflict with another nation, cannot then claim its attacks on those countries are defensive, or that they are preemptive strikes. Attacks on countries that do not represent a threat are attacks of aggression, as are attacks on countries which one is deliberately provoking into a conflict.

Now which do you disagree with?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
1967 (5.00 / 2) (#212)
by kzin on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:50:46 AM EST

1) Israeli generals and politicians before the beginning of the 1967 war did not believe Egypt was planning to attack them and did not see Egypt as a military threat.
Yet war started. The diplomatic manouvers preceding the war and their causes are a different matter. Egypt certainly acted to undermine the ceasefire agreements in a very militant way, which peaked in the formal act of war of blockade, making her the aggressor. What, in hindsight, was Nasser's ultimate goal, or whether the Egyptian army ever was a real threat to Israel's existence have no bearings on these facts -- which you have not disputed.
2) Israel, according to Dayan, the Minister of Defense at the time and the man responsible for making the decision to attack the Syrians, was by his own admission pursuing a policy of intentionally provoking border conflicts with Syria immediately before the 6 days war.
By farming demilitarized Israeli soil. In any case, this has no bearing on Egypt's naval blocakde, much less on Jordan's shelling of Western Jerusalem. The hostilities in both of these cases were Arab initiatives. The "but, well, you know, Israel was not nice" argument is immaterial, as they all they can say is "Israel tricked Egypt into attacking it".
3) A country that sees no military threat from another nation, or that intentionally provokes a conflict with another nation, cannot then claim its attacks on those countries are defensive, or that they are preemptive strikes. Attacks on countries that do not represent a threat are attacks of aggression, as are attacks on countries which one is deliberately provoking into a conflict.
Attacks on countries that blockade your cities or shell them is certainly defensive. We now know that the Israeli army ended up as the stronger one, because it won. Nasser might have or might not known that too, and the Israeli leadership probably did -- so what? Egypt and Jordan blockaded and shelled, IDF defended. It's a defensive war if you don't attack first.

[ Parent ]
2002 (2.00 / 1) (#213)
by felixrayman on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:18:49 AM EST

Yet war started

No, war didn't start. Israel started a war. Thats a point you refuse to address. That's kind of the whole point.

What, in hindsight, was Nasser's ultimate goal, or whether the Egyptian army ever was a real threat to Israel's existence have no bearings on these facts

These points are the core of the argument. If Nasser's ultimate goal was a war of territorial expansion and exaggerating threats to justify that war was the policy, then the war was not a defensive war. It was a planned war of aggression.

By farming demilitarized Israeli soil

By deliberately sending farmers into a no-mans land in order to provoke a conflict. Thats another point you refuse to address.

We now know that the Israeli army ended up as the stronger one, because it won

So might makes right. Enjoy your war. Best of luck.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
1967 (5.00 / 2) (#214)
by kzin on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:09:37 AM EST

No, war didn't start. Israel started a war. Thats a point you refuse to address. That's kind of the whole point.
No, Egypt started a war by blockading Eilat. That's not the whole point, that's the whole disagreement. I'm telling you Egyptian ships positioned themselves in the straits of Tyran, an international waterway, and threatened to shoot any civilian and military Israel ship that passes there, and Israel responded. That is a defensive action against a blockage. Your response to that is that Egyptian army might have not posed such a threat as generally believed, and that it's not quite clear whether Nasser wanted a war or not. That's not relevant at all. We really don't know what Nasser thought, whether he thought he could blockage Eilat (and expel the peacekeeprs, and so forth) and get away with it, or whether he did want a war afterall, or maybe he intended to lose, or maybe he was so enraged over Israel that he didn't think. All we know is, he did start one. He did move the divisions, did expel the peacekeeprs, and critically, did blockade Eilat.
These points are the core of the argument. If Nasser's ultimate goal was a war of territorial expansion and exaggerating threats to justify that war was the policy, then the war was not a defensive war. It was a planned war of aggression.
I think you mean "Israel", not "Nasser". The threat of a blockade on Eilat was not exaggerated and was not a threat, it was an undisputed reality. I did not invoke the "but the Egyptians were going to start a war" argument, which you are trying to attack. I'm saying that the Egyptians did start a war. Restrospective analysis of possible intents and relative power does not change how things happened. It might explain why they happened, but that is not what we are talking about. "Aggression" is certainly not the right word to describe response to a blockade, but that is the word you are using.
By deliberately sending farmers into a no-mans land in order to provoke a conflict. Thats another point you refuse to address.
Israeli soil according to accepted international borders -- but it wouldn't be a military action even if it were considered no-man's land. It wouldn't violate even the 1949 ceasefire agreement, much less be considered a military action even in this case. A border dispute it certainly was -- and Egypt/Syria chose war to solve it.
So might makes right. Enjoy your war. Best of luck.
I was trying to highlight your implicit assumption that because Israel won, or even knew it would win, it also started the war. You can start a war and lose it, and there are plenty of examples in history. Can you find a peaceful explanation to the blockade of Eilat?

[ Parent ]
Talg Blog (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:09:32 PM EST

I just followed the link to his blog. This person is distorting the facts and presents a right-wing approach to the conflict. Just thought I'd let you know.

For example (5.00 / 3) (#145)
by Vic Vega on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:43:42 PM EST

To illuminate what I meant: Tal G is quoting only the "Jerusalem Post" as the Israel side. The JPost is well known for its right wing orientation.

For example:

The Sharon speech quoted in the JPost is about 30% of the whole speech, making Sharon almost look like a peace activist. Now, even if we would ignore Sharon's actions, which IMHO speak louder than his words, this article left out another 70% of the speech which is far less reconciliary than the excerpts quoted on the JPost. Comes to show again that what you leave out is just as important as what you put in.

For example: The JPost title, "Sharon: 'I'm ready to go anywhere' to discuss peace" is also biased...I'm sure he wants to go anywhere, as long as on the other side there is a party willing to agree to a Pax Israeliana.

In case you would like to keep up with the news, I'd prefer A more responsible newspaper for that.

For example: Sharon's speech the fuller version

[ Parent ]

can you blame them? (1.00 / 1) (#148)
by anon868 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:18:41 PM EST

I've been reading this: http://electronicintifada.net/diaries/ site I'm not saying it's right, but from some of the stories there, http://electronicintifada.net/diaries/archives/00000070.shtml http://electronicintifada.net/diaries/archives/00000072.shtml can you blame them for strapping explosives to themselves and blowing people up? From my extremley uneducated point of view, it seems these people have been driven to the edge, to the point where they really don't have any other options.
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
Yes, you can (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:16:47 PM EST

Two "eyewitness" stories about messy kitchens from electricintifada can only justify the purposeful slaughter of innocent Israelis to amoral idiots like you.

[ Parent ]
Excellent! Encore, encore! (none / 0) (#166)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:32:26 PM EST

You are the Grand Master of Comedy, Demiurge. Your decision to forego facts and evidence, in favour of irony and biting sarcasm, really puts your opponents in their place!

Moo.


[ Parent ]
Little Green Footballs (3.00 / 1) (#149)
by graz on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:47:24 PM EST

This oddly named web site has a pretty good blog that's updated a couple of times a day.

Debka: A news source with conenctions (4.00 / 2) (#174)
by SinisterMcgee on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:56:54 PM EST

www.debka.com is up there in my books... Updated hourly this site has a lot of news hours and sometimes even days before "the media" picks them up. I assume they must have some sort of Israeli military connection or something. Yes, I know they can't design a webpage for the life of them.

They don't want to design one, yet. (2.00 / 1) (#223)
by snowwhite on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 11:23:01 AM EST

Well, from my secret sources I can tell you they don't to, or at least, didn't want to design a K5ish lookin' site.
This is the way of the underground.

b.t.w A new site design and system is on the way...

[ Parent ]
Frontline's recent piece on this conflict (4.00 / 4) (#199)
by SPYvSPY on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:53:31 AM EST

Frontline did an excellent story on the Israel/Palestine conflict. I really don't have much stake in this conflict, except to the extent that it involves US interests/reputation and implicates basic human empathy.

The Frontline piece was really a BBC piece, in which BBC journalists were given very candid access to the "footsoldiers" on both sides of the conflict. I came away from watching this with a few impressions. These are obviously my opinions, but you may find them interesting (esp. if you get to see this episode of Frontline):

1) The show begins with the Palestinians. My initial impression is that the militants are a motley crew of gangsters. The overriding impression that I had of these people is that they are children playing with guns. I decided that the Palestinian militants are like a nation full of Columbine murderers. They shoot off their guns randomly and irresponsibly. They shoot off their mouths, too. The Palestinians speak in non-sequitors. Their "logic" always ends abruptly with dogma. The "footsoldiers" of Palestine looked to me like well-armed (dis)organized criminals.

2) The Palestinians were constantly making excuses for their behavior. There is no excuse for firing randomly at housing settlements. There is no excuse for suicide bombing. I am not one of those people that believes that poverty is an excuse for behaving like animals. There are too many examples of people that overcame their circumstances to buy into this excuse. As a Scottish American, I am from the school of thought that the measure of a people is their ability to be industrious, disciplined and organized despite the circumstances. The Palestinians are constantly bragging about their training and organization, but they are about as organized as the L.A. gangs were in the 80's-90's. In other words, my impression of them was that they were a bunch of self-pitying thugs.

3) The show moved into a sequence where they followed various IDF personnel around. They focused on the Special Forces units. These guys are organized. A Palestinian voiceover complained that the IDF are cowards because they hide in tanks and helicopters. I don't call that cowardice -- I call it intelligence. Cowardice is sniping women and children. The Israeli Special Forces are not cowards -- this is for sure. They are shown in action, and they are not only organized, but they are visibly putting a lot of effort into not hurting the people that are hiding the militants. It's pretty remarkable how skillfully they run their operation, and what's more important is the fact that they are articulate about the moral questions that they face in their work. They speak intelligently about the dilemna presented by their targets. "Do you kill a man without a trial?" one of them asks. He goes on to explain the criteria for a situation where Israel feels compelled to do so. After seeing the Palestinian street, I tended to understand his position.

4) Let's talk about body language. I think it is very revealing about people. I'm not talking about subtle body language -- I mean the really obvious signals, e.g. lying, aggression, etc. I TiVo'd back over a number of interviews on both sides of the conflict. I noticed that there are some overwhelming trends in the body language on both sides. On the Israeli side, the interviewees were pleading, begging for understanding. Only in the case of the Jewish settlers was there any defiant arrogance. (The settlers were interviewed in a Bill Moyers program after Frontline. They are clearly hurting Israel's reputation and are the weak link in Israel's moral position.) On the Palestinian side, there was that now-familiar finger-wagging arrogance. The slow blinking, the chin thrust out, the bragging. This seems to be common behavior in the muslim extremist world. I've seen it from clerics from other arab nations. I can't understand how anyone could look up to a person that actually holds their finger up and waves it around while they drive home some total non-sequitor that flies in the face of empirical observation. To top it off, these Palestinian guys took obvious, visual pleasure in murder and mayhem. Again, they reminded me of the miserable, small-minded criminals that dominated the various phases of organized crime in America.

You probably think that I had a bias before I evaluated the Frontline story. You also might think that I am making broad conclusions based on a one hour television show (no matter how reputable). I want to assure you that I am always open to more information. What you see above are the impressions that I took away from this television program. I cannot understand how anyone can sympathize with the Palestinian militants and the people that hide them away. The image of the child throwing rocks at the IDF soldiers is apt. If the Palestinians were a kid in your kindergarten class, he/she would pick on you, punch you, torment you, and then run to the teacher when you finally strike back. To me, Palestinian militants are a force of chaos and destruction, bent on irritation and random murder due to the failure of their moral frameworks, due to the lack of control of parents over their children, due to their intellectual laziness, lack of practical industriousness (no, making crude, laughable bombs is not being industrious), lack of rigorous thinking, and lack of self respect.

I hope I don't offend too many people with these opinions. My hope is that you will give me your impressions of the same program.
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Oh really? (none / 0) (#202)
by BlackTriangle on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:57:25 AM EST

I really don't have much stake in this conflict, except to the extent that it involves US interests/reputation and implicates basic human empathy.

Then why have you been writing posts just like this one for an entire week?

(look at SpyvsSpy's history for a refresher course on "I don't have a stake buuuuuut.")



Moo.


[ Parent ]
Having a stake != Having an opinion (none / 0) (#204)
by SPYvSPY on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:26:43 PM EST

My opinions on this subject have been evolving over the years. My disclaimer about not having a stake is only meant to indicate that I'm not dogmatically aligned to Jews or Arabs by virtue of any religious/national/ethnic affiliation. Sorry about any confusion.
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[ Parent ]

Read the blogs (none / 0) (#210)
by arthurpsmith on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:42:54 PM EST

Given the total Israeli control over media in the West Bank as we've heard from all over, how can this possibly be a "candid" view? Read the cited blogs and you'll hear from articulate Palestinians who are not ranting or boasting or anything of the sort, but simply expressing intense suffering. You're not going to get anything like that from traditional media.

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
Good point. (none / 0) (#216)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:50:35 PM EST

The Israeli portion of the Frontline program explicitly included a disclaimer that the IDF had reviewed the footage. The Palestinian portion did not include any similar disclaimer. You may draw your own conclusions about that. As for listening to blogs over the media -- no thanks. I still believe in journalism.
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[ Parent ]

Some history. (1.00 / 1) (#220)
by yassertowelfat on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 06:24:54 AM EST

Quote form Koran,
The Qur'an tells us: "not to make friendship with Jews and Christians" (5:51), "kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (2:191), "murder them and treat them harshly" (9:123), "fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem" (9:5). The Qur'an demands that we fight the unbelievers, and promises "If there are twenty amongst you, you will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, you will vanquish a thousand of them" (8:65).

Allah and his messenger want us to fight the Christians and the Jews "until they pay the Jizya [a penalty tax for the non-Muslims living under Islamic rules] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (9:29). Allah and his messenger announce that it is acceptable to go back on our promises (treaties) and obligations with Pagans and make war on them whenever we find ourselves strong enough to do so (9:3). Our God tells us to "fight the unbelievers" and "He will punish them by our hands, cover them with shame and help us (to victory) over them" (9:14).

The Qur'an takes away the freedom of belief from all humanity and relegates those who disbelieve in Islam to hell (5:10), calls them najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (9:28), and orders its followers to fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left (2:193). It says that the "non-believers will go to hell and will drink boiling water" (14:17). It asks the Muslims to "slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace and that they shall have a great punishment in world hereafter" (5:34). And tells us that "for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (22:19-22) and that they not only will have "disgrace in this life, but on the Day of Judgment He shall make them taste the Penalty of burning (Fire)" (22:9). The Qur'an says that "those who invoke a god other than Allah not only should meet punishment in this world but the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to them, and they will dwell therein in ignominy" (25:68). For those who "believe not in Allah and His Messenger, He has prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!" (48:13). Although we are asked to be compassionate amongst each other, we have to be "harsh with unbelievers", our Christian, Jewish and Atheist neighbours and colleagues (48:29). As for him who does not believe in Islam, the Prophet announces with a "stern command": "Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin." (69:30-37) The Qur'an prohibits a Muslim from befriending a non-believer even if that non-believer is the father or the brother of that Muslim (9:23), (3:28). Our holy book asks us to be disobedient towards the disbelievers and their governments and strive against the unbelievers with great endeavour" (25:52) and be stern with them because they belong to Hell (66:9). The holy Prophet prescribes fighting for us and tells us that "it is good for us even if we dislike it" (2:216). Then he advises us to "strike off the heads of the disbelievers"; and after making a "wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (47:4). Our God has promised to "instil terror into the hearts of the unbelievers" and has ordered us to "smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them" (8:12). He also assures us that when we kill in his name "it is not us who slay them but Allah, in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself" (8:17). He orders us "to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies" (8:60). He has made the Jihad mandatory and warns us that "Unless we go forth, (for Jihad) He will punish us with a grievous penalty, and put others in our place" (9:39). Allah speaks to our Holy Prophet and says "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern against them. Their abode is Hell - an evil refuge indeed" (9:73).

He promises us that in the fight for His cause whether we slay or are slain we return to the garden of Paradise (9:111). In Paradise he will "wed us with Houris (celestial virgins) pure beautiful ones" (56:54), and unite us with large-eyed beautiful ones while we recline on our thrones set in lines (56:20). There we are promised to eat and drink pleasantly for what we did (56:19). He also promises "boys like hidden pearls" (56:24) and "youth never altering in age like scattered pearls" (for those who have paedophiliac inclinations) (76:19). As you see, Allah has promised all sorts or rewards, gluttony and unlimited sex to Muslim men who kill unbelievers in his name. We will be admitted to Paradise where we shall find "goodly things, beautiful ones, pure ones confined to the pavilions that man has not touched them before nor jinni" (56:67-71).

In the West we enjoy freedom of belief but we are not supposed to give such freedom to anyone else because it is written "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good) (3:85). And He orders us to fight them on until there is no more tumult and faith in Allah is practiced everywhere (8:39).

As for women the book of Allah says that they are inferior to men and their husbands have the right to scourge them if they are found disobedient (4:34). It advises to "take a green branch and beat your wife", because a green branch is more flexible and hurts more. (38:44). It teaches that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their husbands (66:10). It maintains that men have an advantage over the women (2:228). It not only denies the women's equal right to their inheritance (4:11-12), it also regards them as imbeciles and decrees that their witness is not admissible in the courts of law (2:282). This means that a woman who is raped cannot accuse her rapist unless she can produce a male witness. Our Holy Prophet allows us to marry up to four wives and he licensed us to sleep with our slave maids and as many 'captive' women as we may have (4:3) even if those women are already married. He himself did just that. This is why anytime a Muslim army subdues another nation, they call them kafir and allow themselves to rape their women. Pakistani soldiers allegedly raped up to 250,000 Bengali women in 1971 after they massacred 3,000,000 unarmed civilians when their religious leader decreed that Bangladeshis are un-Islamic. This is why the prison guards in Islamic regime of Iran rape the women that in their opinion are apostates prior to killing them, as they believe a virgin will not go to Hell.


Palestinians murder those who would resists Arafat and his criminal regime

Palestinian gunmen kill 'collaborators'

Israeli forces have entered several Palestinian areas

Masked Palestinian gunmen have shot dead 11 suspected collaborators, as Israel continues to widen its offensive in the West Bank.

Eight people were killed in the West Bank town of Tulkarm by two gunmen, who entered a building used by the Palestinian intelligence service, Palestinian security sources said.

Israel has been battered by a spate of of suicide bombings Perpetrated by those who hate life, the followers of Islam.

Earlier, two men also accused of helping the Israelis were found with gunshot wounds in the town of Qalqilya, and one man was killed in Bethlehem. Executed without trial, in cold blood, by thier own peoples.

Israeli troops and tanks firing heavy machine guns later thrust into Tulkarm as helicopters circled overhead. The army already controls Qalqilya, and more tanks have massed on the outskirts of Bethlehem. The lord looks favorably on the backs of the heros of the IDF.

Palestinian security sources say 10 tanks made their way to the centre of Tulkarm on Monday afternoon - while dozens of tanks remained on the outskirts and around the two refugee camps located there.

The incursions came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared war on what he called Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's terrorist infrastructure.

Mr Sharon had been speaking in a televised address to the nation after two suicide bombings killed 17 people and injured more than 30 on Sunday.

In Qalqilya, the Israeli military said it was conducting searches for militants and weapons in order "to destroy the terrorist infrastructure" in the town.


Qalqilya is close to the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Netanya, which have both been targeted by Palestinian suicide bombers.

Power and water supplies were cut off as at least 60 tanks took up position, and some exchanges of fire were reported.


And he urged political and religious leaders to work to end "the tragic sequence of attacks and killing that bloody the Holy Land."


Islamic foreign ministers meeting in Malaysia have warned that Israeli military action against the Palestinians is dragging the region towards all-out war.


Israeli police now say they are considering deporting the group of activists - most of whom are French.



Interesting history...

Cyrus the Great See also: Ancient History Middle Eastern Biographies

(si´res), d. 529 BC, king of Persia, founder of the greatness of the Achaemenids and of the Persian Empire. According to Herodotus, he was the son of an Iranian noble, the elder Cambyses, and a Median princess, daughter of Astyages. Many historians, following other ancient writers (such as Ctesias), deny this genealogy, and the whole of Cyrus' life is encrusted with legend. Cyrus overthrew Astyages, king of the Medes, sometime between 559 BC and 549 BC He entered Ecbatana and, taking over the Median kingdom, began to build a great empire after the Assyrian model. Cyrus' objectives were to gain power over the Mediterranean coast, secure Asia Minor, and civilize the east. Croesus of Lydia, Nabonidus of Babylonia, and Amasis II of Egypt, joined by Sparta, tried to build a strong alliance against him, but to no avail. He defeated and captured Croesus (546 BC), and Lydia became a satrapy under the Persian government. The Chaldaean empire of Babylonia fell to Cyrus in 538 BC He did not conquer Egypt, but he prepared the way for later Persian victories there. Cyrus demanded the surrender of the Greek cities that had been under Lydia, and they also became satrapies of Persia. Cyrus was much admired by the Jews, whom he favored, placing them in power in Palestine. His motive was probably to create a buffer state between Persia and Egypt, but the result was a rehabilitation of Israel. Cyrus was admired as a liberator rather than a conqueror, because he respected the customs and religions of each part of his vast empire. The exact limits of Cyrus' eastern conquests are not known, but it is possible that they reached as far as the Peshawar region. He used Susa, Ecbatana, and Babylon as his capitals but was buried at Pasargadae, where he had built a splendid palace. At his death his son Cambyses succeeded him, despite the ambitions of another son, Smerdis.

Jerusalem's history stretches back about 5,000 years. About 2500 BC, the Canaanites inhabited the city. Later, Jerusalem became a Jebusite citadel. When DAVID captured the city (c.1000 BC), the Jebusites were absorbed into the Jewish people. David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, and SOLOMON built the first Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. In 586 BC, the Babylonian NEBUCHADNEZZAR II destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylonia. Fifty years later (537 BC), CYRUS THE GREAT of Persia conquered Babylonia and permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple.



Yaser write the checks.
Arafat's Book-Keeping Department Yields
Bill Linking Him to Suicides
2 April: This piece of correspondence was discovered by Israeli troops who went through the files in Yasser Arafat's personal accounting department in Ramallah. It is an itemized bill signed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - Palestine, and dated September 16, 2001, exactly five days after the September 11 suicide attacks in the United States.
The document is a routine request for Arafat to approve the daily outlay for the arming of suicides with explosives and ammo, their memorial ceremonies and funeral posters.
It is part of the body of evidence Israeli troops gleaned at Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah and demonstrates that Arafat supervised every last detail of the Palestinian suicide offensive.
Translation into English:
1. Cost of posters for Martyrs of the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: Azam Mazhar, Osama Juabra, Shadi Afouri, Yasser Badawi, Ahad Fares (inserted by hand: NIS2,000).
2. Cost of printed notices, invitations and mourners' tents (inserted by hand: NIS1,250.
3. Cost of attaching personal photos of these martyrs to wooden panels, plus those of Tabeth Tabeth and Mahmoud al Jamil (inserted by hand: NIS1,000).
4. Cost of memorial ceremonies for martyrs. Memorial ceremonies held for Martyr Azam, Martyr Osama (inserted by hand: NIS6,000)
5. Cost of electrical goods and miscellaneous chemical substances (for manufacturing explosives and bombs - the largest item. (One prepared explosive device - NIS700 at least) We need 5-9 devices per week for the squads in the different regions (inserted by hand: NIS x 4 = NIS20,000 per month)
6. Cost of bullets (cost of Kalashnikov ammo is NIS -8 per bullet; M-16 bullets cost NIS2-2.5 each) We need bullets supplied on a daily basis.
7. Note: Available are 3,000 Kalashnikov bullets @ NIS2 each. We need a sum of money at once to buy them (inserted by hand: NIS22,500 for Kalashnikov bullets - NIS60,000 for M-16 bullets)
In conclusion, glory and pride to those who support our brave resistance against the occupation. Revolution until victory.


Overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation.

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E., the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands.

Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel. 18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Wednesday, April 3, 2002; 11:01 p.m. EST
Saddam's Suicide Bomber Reward Yields Deadly Results

It's been a month since Iraqi madman Saddam Hussein decided to boost the reward he offers to suicide bombers from $10,000 to $25,000 - and the pay raise is apparently paying off.

Since Iraq upped the suicide incentive, 12 Palestinian bombers have successfully blown themselves to smithereens inside Israel, including one man who killed 25, the Associated Press noted today.

The families of three human hand grenades recently reported that they received $25,000 checks.

The kamikaze killers are also often honored as fallen heroes, with their families reaping praise for their sacrifice to the cause. A particularly deadly bomber may even be memorialized with a street named after him.

One pro-Iraqi Palestinian leader told the AP the support payments for relatives often helped potential bombers to make up their minds.

"Some people stop me on the street, saying if you increase the payment to $50,000 I'll do it immediately," he added in apparent jest.

Counterfeit Money Found In the meantime, searches of Arafat's compound revealed forged dollars and Israeli money as well as plates for printing money, Sheetrit said.

Tuesday, April 2, 2002
JERUSALEM - Israeli troops Monday kept up their siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's bureau in the West Bank town of Ramallah while confronting Palestinians in Bitunia, Kalkilya and Tulkarim.
A senior security source who briefed reporters said the operation would widen drastically and eventually spread to the Gaza Strip.

The official indicated the Israelis were after Fatah Tanzim's leader in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti.

The operation, code named Defense Shield, would take weeks, Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit said. "If there will be a need, we shall go from place to place. We will look for all of them. Whoever has a role in terror will be caught. Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, he will pay the price."

The senior security source said he believed this time that the army was doing real work, unlike the previous sweep through West Bank towns and refugee camps in raids that seemed designed just to deliver a warning.

Israeli soldiers were surrounding Arafat's chambers in Ramallah, reportedly one wall away from the Palestinian leader.

Israel has promised the United States not to harm Arafat. Minister Sheetrit said 70 people they were looking for were with Arafat. They include Fuad Shubaky, who arranged a massive arms smuggling from Iran, the people allegedly involved in Tourism Minister Rehavaam Zeevi's assassination, and the head of the General Intelligence in the West Bank, Brig. Gen. Tawfik Tirawi.

Palestinian security officials denied Israeli claims that suspects were staying in Arafat's office and said that Israel made such claims as an excuse to break into Arafat's office and harm him.

The Israeli security source said the troops were reluctant to force their way through because Arafat might be hurt, and the situation remained in a stalemate.

However, he stressed, "We are not going to leave Ramallah without arresting all the fugitives."

Counterfeit Money Found

In the meantime, searches of Arafat's compound revealed forged dollars and Israeli money as well as plates for printing money, Sheetrit said.

Tanks were surrounding the Palestinian Preventive Security headquarters, where the Israelis believed some 250 people have taken shelter. One of them could be Fatah Tanzim's leader, Barghouti, but the Israeli intelligence is not sure of his presence.

Sheetrit said Fatah Tanzim was guilty of five times more attacks this year than Hamas.

The senior security source said Barghouti transferred money from Arafat to a cousin who then gave it to attackers.

Until Monday, Israeli units were not supposed to attack Barghouti. The Israeli authorities were concerned that killing him would make him a martyr and prompt a wave of terrorist attacks. The Israelis regarded him as a leader with whom they might eventually negotiate.

'No Negotiations'

"Now there are no negotiations. There is no one to talk to and we are going to put our hands on everyone involved with terror," the official said.

The source said Palestinian Security Chief Col. Jibril Rajoub, who they claim might be shielding Marwan Barghouti, was not on Israel's wanted list because he did not send attackers.

The source belittled Rajoub as a swollen balloon who talks a lot but does not like to fight and is a hostage of the Tanzim militia.

However, Col. Mohamed Dahlan, chief of preventative security in Gaza, said Israeli sources have confined Rajoub to the Betonia headquarters, where he claims Israli tanks are trying to break in.

Long live Mossad and the secular and modern nation of Israel.

*waves to Demiurge* (4.00 / 1) (#222)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:50:33 PM EST

Interesting history... Cyrus the Great See also: Ancient History Middle Eastern Biographies

Hi Demiurge, you racist pig. Guess I must have trolled you pretty damned well, for you to make a new user and write an entire article that would put Aryan Nation to shame in its unabashedly racist tone.



...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
The tears of the people run together... | 225 comments (202 topical, 23 editorial, 0 hidden)
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