When Is Too Much Too Much? Israel Fires On Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office

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haniya.jpg
Israel knows that Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya is in the more compromising wing of Hamas.
Khaled Meshal, now in Syria and the figure who allegedly authorized the recent incursion inside Israel that led to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, seems to be more of an ideological hard-liner. He is the reason that Israeli jets buzzed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s palace.
But Israel didn’t attack Meshal today.
While Israel did kill one Hamas militant in an airstrike earlier — the major news is that Israel reportedly fired two missiles into the symbol of the Palestinian people’s recent democratic efforts: the Prime Minister’s Office.
When is Bush going to say enough is enough? His father would have been working this situation hard. But his son is singing tunes with Junichiro Koizumi in Graceland. Maybe we’ll learn later that Bush was making calls from Air Force One — but thus far, there is scant evidence that America has done much to get all sides to stand down and pause.
The British burned the U.S. Capitol in the War of 1812 and it only strengthened America’s resolve. This attack is likely to do the same with the Palestinians.
What does the Israeli government expect from the Palestinian people after firing on the PM’s office? Complacency? An outreached hand of understanding and empathy?
Israel seems determined to undermine Abbas and to further legitimate Palestinian militant extremists in the eyes of the Palestinian public. I hope that I’m wrong and that somehow Olmert and Peretz have some sort of track two negotiations going on that will somehow miraculously stabilize matters and reshuffle the best Hamas players from the worst — but I just don’t see or sense anything that brilliant underway.
I support Israel’s rights to pursue its soldier in a reasoned and calibrated campaign — but those who are staunch defenders of Israel’s recent over-the-top actions — rather than attacking me for my perspective — share with me the point that you think is too far.
Or is there simply no line that Israel can’t cross? Are all actions — no matter how high up the escalation ladder — acceptable because Hamas was elected to leadership in a free and fair election? To be fair to Israel, Hamas has not imposed a monopoly on the use of force and it has not moved far in either recognition of Israel or abandoning terror tactics — but those watching this carefully saw serious progress that Israel failed to cultivate.
Israel is a superpower in the region — and has enormous assets to shape the course of events in the Palestinian-Israeli relationship, but it is electing to crush the Hamas-led government, assuring that a major branch of militant Islam is taught once again not to even attempt to engage in democratic political process.
Let’s discuss this civilly. But if this report from MSNBC is true, I don’t see how Israel manages to stabilize matters.
I think this kind of assault is insuring long term strife and stress — at high cost to themselves and Palestinians, and also high costs for the United States that could really use some progress in Israel-Palestine relations to use constructively in America’s broader efforts in the Middle East.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

151 comments on “When Is Too Much Too Much? Israel Fires On Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office

  1. yael says:

    iv been in israel for 9 months. iv had to return to my home country, south africa, to renew my visa (after endless visits to numerous misrad apnim). i got here 10 july 2006, monday. the israeli soldiers were kidnapped that wednesday. 2 weeks later, when is was safe enough, i went to a kibbutz close to the lebanon border. the time we spent feeling the tanks blasting 24hrs a day drove me right back to tel-aviv. thursday night: en-route, the taxi driver we finally found who would risk driving from quiryat shmona to the kibbutz and then 30 min to the bus stop at 11PM let me off about with a large sum of the fee, waited with me at the stop, made sure i was geting on the correct bus, paid for the bus and helped me with my luggage! coming from a country and era not exposed to war, i found bus ride exciting. literally about 5 civilians and the rest… 18, 19, 22yrs old… WHAT!! these kids have just come from a base in the north. combat, anti-aircraft, a lieutenant… WOW! how exciting is this? actually not at all. u see, the 19 yr old sitting next to me has to be back at the base friday morning. what? its thursday, almost 00:00. what u going home for?
    “if i had to travel all night and early tomorrow morning to see my family for just one hour, i’ll do it.”
    ruby red glass shattered inside darkness, splintering my chest, leaving me breathless.
    i caught myself staring at him.
    he was looking forward to the feast eagerly awaiting his arrival; traditional home cooking, made by ima ve saftah :)
    need i say more guys? since then iv experinced the cotinual warmth, love, unity, strength, hope, courage, (do we need a thesaurus here????)… from this country. israel is a nation of peace.
    everyone has such a huge chip on their shoulders about israel but HELLLOOOOOOO PEOPLE!!!! wake up!! who the hell is sending crazy idots to blow themselves up all over the world? who is repeatedly terrorising the world? who is kidnapping who? and then returns our childrens bodies for 50 of their terrorists? who is repeatedly responding to media with disgusting remarks of racism towards Jews and the Jewish State of Israel?
    r u guys part of some religious group brainwashing u to believe that Israel is the enemy?
    OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    im not Jewish and im not Israeli but my life is dedicated to the Jewish State of Israel and to peace.

    Reply

  2. Gabe says:

    All I can say is try living there, and see how rational you’ll be.

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    I have an idea.
    Devote one whole posting to the actual factual history, event by event, of the Isr/Pal conflict, begining with the zionist movement in the 1800′s and immigration of Jews into Palestine even before the 1940′s up to the present time.
    Including links to all correspondence and memos’s in our Presidential libaries concerning Israel and links to every piece of legislation for Israel by the US congress since 1948.
    A huge task to be sure but then people will have to respond on the facts, not their feelings, emotions or previously held myths.

    Reply

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks for allowing this venue at all, Steve. What a relief to watch this discussion/tirade break down the invisible wall in this country
    that won’t allow any discussion at all.
    Somewhere between the battle lines I saw real discourse.

    Reply

  5. Steve Clemons says:

    Note to ALL Posters:
    I like publishing this blog and try and read as many of the comments as possible — but I get behind. I’m very impressed with some of the comments, particularly those that challenge me and my views in thoughtful ways.
    I tolerate dissent. I invite it.
    However, I strongly dislike the tendency in certain discussions for the commenters to devolve into name calling or to immediately assail the motivations that a poster has.
    I don’t censor my blog comments very often — but I will start doing so or may even cut off some commenters if their general style and demeanor does not improve. I’m not going to point fingers or counsel individuals. I DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR INTEREST IN DOING SO.
    And I will not get into back and forth email discussions about posting protocol.
    So, be warned — I may start just suspending certain IP addresses if the level of discourse between some people does not improve.
    And a piece of advice to those of you who feel assaulted by some commenters or “bullies” on this comments section. it takes two to make tensions escalate. I often just don’t respond to someone’s provocations and continue to make the argument that I think is important on the merits of a case. I try to listen and learn from others with different views and discard the emotional elements unless there is some special reason to consider the passion someone is pounding into their argument.
    But just look beyond the silly stuff. Just some advice.
    Now, I don’t want to post this kind of thing again. I will continue to post about Middle East and Israel-Palestine issues, and i will just not allow any public comments on those posts unless this board collectively decides that it can demonstrate how people of different views and perspectives can debate in a civil manner.
    I don’t want you all to agree — you won’t. But you better learn how to manage a civil discussion — or there will be no discussion.
    End of subject. Take this seriously.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  6. Den Valdron says:

    Well then, I wish you well on your reading of a complex and constantly evolving situation that is often smothered in inflammatory rhetoric.

    Reply

  7. Peter Schwartz says:

    Den wrote: “Peter, I hope that wasn’t sarcasm on your part.”
    It was not at all. You and Carroll have urged me to look at the facts as best they can be determined. I asked you both for places to look, and that was sincere. I think I have a pretty good grasp of some of the facts–more than can be presented here–but I try to keep my mind open. I think real solutions come from some mixture of understanding history (all sides of a debate to the degree that they have any validity, i.e., I’m not going to “debate” the validity of evolution vs. intelligent design or creationism) and daring to change what’s come before.

    Reply

  8. Den Valdron says:

    Peter, I hope that wasn’t sarcasm on your part. I do encourage you to read up on the subject. There is a lot of history on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and it moves constantly. The participants are partisan in the extreme, provocation is a way of life, and even within groups, politics can drive matters in hellishly unproductive ways.
    For instance, consider Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Dome of the Rock, a site in Jerusalem holy to both Muslims and Jews.
    Okay, old man visiting a holy religious site. Except that he brought an army of bodyguards and security, and did it in the most disruptive and confrontational way possible.
    Most current historians place the second intifada as beginning either out of that incident, or beginning from the civil unrest among Palestinians that arose out of the incident.
    You can trace that back every which way to all sorts of interpretations and actions.
    Was Sharon simply an old man wanting to visit an important religious site? Possible, but I doubt it.
    But if not, then why did he do it?
    The Palestinians took it as a deliberate provocation. More than that, they saw it as a deliberate enfringement and encroachment. These were people living under occupation, who saw every aspect of their lives controlled or annexed by Israel. The notion that now this control or annexation might be extended to their religious sites was very real and quite believable. The visit might be considered not just an act in and of itself, but the first step in the colonization and forfeiture of the holy site, removing it permanently from the Muslims and making it exclusively Jewish. Sounds paranoid? Perhaps, but not given the history and politics of the region.
    So, the thing is, that the second Intifada was a predictable or reasonable consequence of the visit. Certainly, Sharon must have known and expected this, or must have known or expected that there would be some extreme or violent response from the Palestinians.
    The question is, knowing what he ought to have known, why did he go ahead and do it.
    Possible explanations: He was stupid and simply didn’t bother to anticipate.
    Or perhaps he did anticipate it, and this reaction was what he wanted. Perhaps Sharon wanted the intifada or some other equivalent Palestinian uprising. If so, why? Did he like killing Palestinians? Did he see it as ultimately weakening the Palestinians, easing them into a position of ultimate strategic and tactical defeat? Did he see the intifada as strengthening his position within Israeli politics vis a vis his opponents? All of the above?
    Or none of the above? Perhaps he was simply indifferent to the Intifada, and it was the visit itself and the short term benefits which would accrue to him politically, and he just didn’t give a damn about the long term consequences.
    Or perhaps it really was a test, and if the Intifada had not emerged, he would have pioneered a new batch of oppressive policies, including taking the dome of the rock.
    So, some old guy goes to a religious site, and a few years later, thousands of people are dead, and the conflict is so baroque that hardly anyone remembers what started this latest round.
    And, you can find people prepared to argue honestly or dishonestly every which way, including those who will simply say that Sharon had every right to go to the Dome of the Rock and fuck the Palestinians. That’s a bold and jingoist approach, but its also partisan, irrational and quite oblivious to consequences.
    Its pretty much all like that. Honest men acting rashly. Dishonest men acting dishonestly. Competing good and bad impulses, baroque internal politics, endless weighting of possibilities along with imulsive actions, consequences flowing from everything, and a dozen motives attributable for any action.
    Everywhere there are facts which, although incontrovertible, admit to murky subtexts.
    Take the 6 Day War. Thats a fact. That’s a pretty incontrovertible fact. People died, things were blown up, three nations fought it out with Israel and Israel won handily, territory was occupied.
    Good enough. But then, what about this. Israel struck first, it was a pre-emptive war by Israel. This is one of the reasons that it won so handily, by catching the Egyptian air force and military on the ground and undefended.
    Of course, this is justified by noting that Egypt, Syria and Jordan were planning to attack Israel and that the attack was imminent.
    Or was it? Well, we know that there were certainly communications and arrangements between the arab countries. On the other hand, communications and arrangements and intrigue are a way of life in European and Middle Eastern capitals, and seldom lead to war, or much of anything at all. Was an attack really imminent? Was it planned? Scheduled? A high probability? Could matters have been resolved diplomatically? Was there a likelihood or possibility that the conflict would be or could be averted? Was the military posturing a ruse to push for diplomatic arrangements or agreements?
    To be honest, this is the sort of thing that partisans scream their lungs out over, and that historians wrestle with for years.
    What was really in Nasser’s mind on the day before the war started? What did the Israeli’s truly believe before they sent their air force across the border – were they really defending themselves in their minds, or merely seizing the moment… or did they even make that distinction?
    Consider the strained relations between Egypt and Israel in 1966-67… How much of that related back to the Suez Crisis of 1956, where Israel joined Britain and France in a surprise invasion and occupation of the Suez Canal… An invasion in which Israel executed captured Egyptian POW’s, humiliated and outraged the Egyptian populace and Nasser himself, and clearly and unequivocally identified Israel with Western Colonialism and aggression?
    For that matter, why did Israel participate in the Suez Crisis? What did they hope to gain from it?
    This is history in the middle east. Constant events, connecting to or arising from other events, themselves producing their own chains of events, and at every juncture, endless questions about motivation, what the real agendas were, who knew what and when, what did they believe and what objects did those actions pursue.
    Serious grist for those who are history minded. On the other hand, if you’re one of those who paints yourself blue, waves giant foam rubber hands and goes to football games to scream himself hoarse… well, there’s certainly a lot of that in middle east partisanship. I just don’t think the latter approach is helpful.
    If there is ever to be a solution, it must come from dispassionate and non-partisan approaches which are constantly tested and re-evaluated.
    Anyway, Peter, for better or worse, I’ll stand by my recommendation to read more on the matter.

    Reply

  9. Den Valdron says:

    I guess Alec, that the matter comes about because David, in a delicate and emotionally charged debate, lets it be known that he’s perfectly happy to swing the anti-semitic hammer at will.
    Now, David is certainly allowed his opinions of my or anyone elses character. On the other hand, his position, and his abrogation of a personal right to denounce at will, makes civil discussion or debate almost impossible. David essentially sets himself up as the moral arbiter of the discussion, as well as participant. He designates himself both advocate of a viewpoint and the judge of character of those who do not necessarily hold his viewpoint.
    I’m certainly not prepared to get into a discussion where my opponent is at liberty to denounce me personally at his whim. I would not recommend any person putting themselves in such a position.
    And anyone who offers those terms is an asshole.

    Reply

  10. Pissed Off American says:

    peter and david: i wouldn’t waste my time or energy debating with such people who resort to using this type of language. simply put, they’re not worth it AND they are powerless!!!
    Posted by alec
    Yeah, and you certainly have brought alot of intelligent input here. The smartest thing I have seen from you so far was your Swan Song, and THAT ended up being a lie.

    Reply

  11. Peter Schwartz says:

    Den: Thanks for your reply.

    Reply

  12. alec says:

    POA calls someone a “poor ignorant buffoon?”
    read what i said above.
    i’m sure POA was looking in the mirror when he made this pronouncement.
    btw, you sure have alot of time on your hands, POA/den… don’t you have anything more important to do than call people names?
    i doubt it.

    Reply

  13. alec says:

    question:
    why is it acceptible for den, POA and others to call people “assholes” and worse because of their political beliefs??
    what does that say about them? is this a reasoned political debate?
    can we all agree that there is no need for swearing ?
    it’s pathetic and it’s offensive. and it only proves that those swearing are “assholes” themselves.
    peter and david: i wouldn’t waste my time or energy debating with such people who resort to using this type of language. simply put, they’re not worth it AND they are powerless!!!

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    “No worries here. I don’t take much notice of the demands of cowardly bigots who hide behind pseudonyms so they can use all the really juicy naughty words without having to take responsibility for their conduct.”
    It always cracks me up when some idiot gets on and puffs themselves up by raving about “hiding behind pseudonyms”. Would you feel better if I told you my name, and gave you an address??? Gonna come beat me up?
    You poor ignorant buffoon.

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    “Disagreeing with me is certainly no criterion for determining antisemitism — if it were, my six-year-old daughter would undoubtedy qualify.”
    Well, she might just decide you are an ass, and it probably won’t have anything to do with you being a jew.

    Reply

  16. Den Valdron says:

    I’m not really in charge of your education, Peter. However, if you are interested in beginning a coherent reading on the matter, I think you would be best served beginning with histories of the British Trust Territories in Palestine, circa 1918 – 1945, for an adequate historical context.
    It’s now far enough away that a lot of the smoke and fury have faded and genuine scholarship is taking place. It makes for interesting reading and provides an effective historical context to shed light on subsequent developments.
    The short version is:
    - Palestine was one of the areas controlled by the Ottoman Empire, pre-1914. Due to proximity to Egypt, the British had previously established interests there, just as the French had previously established interests in Lebanon and Syria.
    - In 1918, Palestine was designated a ‘Trust Territory’ under British supervision. The nature of a trust territory was that it was not a colonial possession, but to be governed on behalf of and for the benefit of its inhabitants, with an eye to eventual self rule.
    - Around this time, the Zionist movement, which had been a wacky political fringe cult, began to be serious, and initiated settlement activities in Palestine.
    - The British, in defiance of their trust territory mandates, actively encouraged or supported European Israeli settlement in the area, at least initially.
    - This ceased, however, as complaints from the local Palestinians grew. The British found that they could not control the immigration if Jewish settlers, could not prohibit the importation of weapons, and could not enforce law against the interlopers.
    - During this period, there is evidence of land thefts, terrorism and other abuses of the local Palestinian population by Jewish settlers.
    - With the shift of policy by the British, they themselves became targets of Jewish terrorism, which continued to escalate through the 1930′s and 40′s, bringing the area to a state of ongoing civil war. During this time, the Palestinians, or some among them, engaged in reciprocal activities of murder and violence against Jewish settlers. However, by far most of the violence and the most dramatic violence occurred from the settlers.
    - In order to resolve the situation, the League of Nations stepped in seeking to divide the area peacefully between Jews and Palestinians. If you search the net, you will find a series of three or four maps detailing different partitions.
    - The beneficiaries of the breakdown of each partition were the Jewish settlers, since the new ‘partition’ following the failure of each old one left them with more and more territory.
    - Although it is tempting to attribute the breakdown of each partition effort directly and solely to the settlers, it should be understood that there was substantial Palestinian intransigence and bumbling. Their attitude was often that in being asked to accept a partition, they were being asked to share what they had originally wholly owned. So there was resistance to this. And given that their territory was being eroded from them, a sentiment that it should be eroded back to them.
    - These partition efforts eventually lead to the partition of 1948, its implosive collapse and the repudiation of newly minted Arab states in the region of colonial domination
    Quite interesting actually. I’d recommend checking out multiple sources. Watch out for ideologically based histories. If you do go through some of those, read between the lines.

    Reply

  17. Peter Schwartz says:

    Ven and Carroll: I’m totally open. Suggest some books, articles, documents.
    h, but here is the difference between us. I reference historical detail, you regurgitate propaganda. Maybe you could… go read a book?

    Reply

  18. Den Valdron says:

    Go fuck yourself, David.

    Reply

  19. Den Valdron says:

    “Why should only one side be required to uphold their moral obligations?”
    Because Adolf Hitler claimed self defense when he invaded Poland. Because the claim of every schoolyard bully is ‘he started it.’ Because the claim of every rapist is ‘she deserved it.’ Because when you peg your morals to what you think of the other sides conduct, then you have no morals at all.
    Morality which is contingent is not morality at all. Its merely a free license to do whatever you want, and blame it on the other guy.
    Let’s get real here, Peter. How is Tunisia’s conduct justifying land expropriation on the West Bank? How does a kidnapping justify bombing power plants or bridges?
    You’re talking a game, but you’ve got some problems. There are no direct relationships between Arabs alleged immoral acts and Israel’s acts in most cases, apart from the notion of license to atrocity. As part of your game playing, you’re fast and loose with your terms, particularly in reference to Arabs, which includes everyone from Iraq to Morocco, when you want it too, and which assumes a monolith when it doesn’t exist.
    “The disparity didn’t always work in Israel’s favour… four times”
    Doubtful. Are you referring to the period of Jewish terrorism in the 30′s and 40′s, including numerous brokered peaces which failed, in part because of the intransigence of the Jewish settlers? Are you referring to the 1948 conflict? To Israel’s participation in the 1956 Suez crisis? To Israel’s pre-emptive 1967 war? To the 1973 Yom Kippur War?
    You refer to 50 years of fighting. Isn’t that something of an exaggeration? Israel has not been attacked by any Arab state in 33 years. During this 33 year interval, Israel attacked, invaded and occupied Lebanon for 18 years. Israel has also, during this period, bombed Syria, conducted military raids on Iraq’s nuclear facilities, assassinated Iraqi personnel, and bombed Tunisia, as well as undertaking various actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
    You are arguing for a beleagured nation under siege from its neighbors. The reality seems to be a pugnacious local superpower throwing its weight around at will.
    You could argue that non-state actors, including the PLO and Hezbollah have maintained hostilities against Israel.
    Hezbollahs activities however, seem to be targeted against an Israeli occupation of Lebanon and subsequent incursions into Lebanon.
    The PLO, sitting in refugee camps, arguably has legitimate grievances against Israel, whatever you might think of their tactics (tactics which do include sitting at negotiating tables).
    In any event, Palestinian attacks on Israel can hardly be considered continuous. Within the occupied territories, there have only been two Intafadas. Palestinian terrorist actions from the expatriate refugees did not become substantial until the mid-seventies (which implies a substantial window during which their issues could have been and were not addressed), had peaks and valleys through the seventies and eighties, and declined substantially in the nineties.
    I don’t think, however, that post-1973 terrorism is one of the ‘wars’ you are referring to. In terms of actual wars, Israel struck first in 1967 and invaded Lebanon of its own volition, it participated with France and England in an initiative in 1956. The actions in the 30′s and 40′s are at best arguable. This leaves 1948 and 1973.
    In short, I don’t think your assertions as to history are all that informed or credible.
    Ah, but here is the difference between us. I reference historical detail, you regurgitate propaganda. Maybe you could… go read a book?
    As to Israel’s desire for an acknowledgement of its right to exist, my own view is that if this acknowledgement is perceived by Arabs as seeking an endorsement from them for Israel’s transgressions against the Palestinians… well, it may be a long time coming.
    Since Israel is the party with the power and the initiative, it strikes me that there is some obligation on the part of Israel to resolve its issues with the Palestinians.
    Your effort to equate genuine human oppression with the insults of diplomatic posturing is ingenuous. Again, its hard to tell whether you are genuinely dishonest, blinkered or merely stupid. I will say that you are obstinate in your error.

    Reply

  20. DIL says:

    Carroll: “The Israelis have exhibited they have NO HONOR in war or peace and the truth is not in them.”
    … and there you have it.
    Den Veldron: “David, I’m really not willing to engage in a discussion with someone who reserves the right to denounce me or anyone else as anti-semitic for disagreeing with him. Let’s just agree that I consider you an asshole and be done.”
    Disagreeing with me is certainly no criterion for determining antisemitism — if it were, my six-year-old daughter would undoubtedy qualify. The antisemitic turn rests on apologizing for or minimizing kidnappings, suicide-bombings, etc., while at the same time insisting that the only bad actors in this situation are the Israelis. If this describes your modus operandi, than I suggest you where the title proudly and honestly.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    And the last slammer is this….how on earth do you expect anyone to trust Israel and not quesiton who is really doing what is all the eposides in their region…THEY are the ones that DRESSED UP LIKE ARABS and bombed the King David Hotel to tyr and get the US and Uk to attack the Arabs. this seems to be a favorite despicable and cowardly ploy of the Israelis.
    I don’t defend terrorist but have you ever seen a report of ARABS dressing up like Jews and attacking their own allies to get them to attack the Jews as their proxy? No you haven’t.
    The Israelis have exhibited they have NO HONOR in war or peace and the truth is not in them. That will be their downfall. Don’t encourage it.

    Reply

  22. Peter Schwartz says:

    Thanks for the information, Carroll. I will check.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Peter… I don’t want to prolong this arguement because it just goes in circles.
    BUT…this is not true:
    “Peter: Not really. Because neither the Arab world nor the Palestinians has ever acknowledged–or acted in a way–that suggested Israel had a right to exist. And they struck first and four times and repeatedly in between wars. The fact that Israel got strong enough to beat its aggressors back is small comfort, though some to be sure. But it’s hardly the case that the Palestinians and other Arabs have, all along, been abiding by international law, accepting the UN resolution creating both states, and those nasty, land-grabbing Jews just won’t let peace bloom in the desert. Ah no.”
    If you would go to the actual facts and history and official documents ..and I’ll say this once again, they are available at the British National Archives…it is a FACT that the Palestines were harrased, attacked, murdered and run off for a considerable period of time before they struck BACK at the Israelis. Let’s not forget who was running around in charge of Israel at the begining…the Stern and Irgun terrorist gangs. You will also see memo after memo from the UK and the UN about the Israelis terrorist activities against the Arabs PRIOR to the Arabs attacking them and document after document from the UK, UN and the US regarding the Israelis ignoring the immigration quotas, ignoring the ban on importing weapons into Israel/Palestine,…this went on for a LONG TIME BEFORE the Palestines and Arabs retalitated against the Jews. You can view the letters back and forth between the US and the UK about trying to control the lawlessness of the Jews toward the Palestines and letters from the Zionist congress to the US and the UK defending the action of the Jews. You can even see the official reports on various Palestine villages that describe the murders and razing of villages for the purpose of running the Palestines off their land. And again this went on PRIOR TO any Arab attacks on Israel.
    Plezzzzzzzzeee….stick to the facts. If you honestly don’t know the facts, now you know where to find them. And then your “opinions” and “feeling’ will be given more consideration. but stick to the FACTS. It makes people who have bothered to get the facts crazy when trying to talk to someone who doesn’t know them or is trying to re write history.
    Thank you in advance.

    Reply

  24. Pissed Off American says:

    POA writes: “Yes it IS my country.” Unfortunately–for you–it’s not yours alone. It’s others’ as well, and they have differing views as to what it should do, how it should conduct itself, and whom it should support.
    Posted by Peter Schwartz
    Yeah you’re right. Not all of us think we oughta be shoving light sticks in Muslim assholes at Abu Ghraib, Schwartz. Or sending billions of dollars to Israel so they can kill off the Palestinians.

    Reply

  25. Peter Schwartz says:

    Den wrote:
    You’ve posited that the Palestinians and Arabs also have a moral obligation to Israel, as well as vice versa. This seems to be your way of sneaking in, yet again, the rather racist argument that the Palestinians are authors of their own misfortune.
    Peter: I thought, in your previous posts, that you were willing to concede that both sides had moral obligations to the other. It seems to me perfectly obvious that if Israel has the obligation to respect international law, so do the Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians, etc. That’s hardly a racist argument. Both sides have been, at different times, contributors to their own misfortune.
    By ignoring their moral obligation to Israel, they free Israel from a moral obligation to them?
    Is that what you are saying? Is it tit for tat? Moral obligations only apply selectively? To people that we like?
    Peter: No, it is not what I’m saying. But when one side chooses to ignore their moral obligation, it becomes harder to argue that the other side should do so. Why should only one side be required to uphold their moral obligation?
    Of course, your thesis of contingent or reciprocal moral obligations ignores the disparity in power dynamics. Israel has the power, it has the land, it has the physical and military predominance. It has the choices.
    Peter: First, the disparity didn’t always work in Israel’s favor, but rather, against it. Four times. Second, since Israel has had the upper hand, it should have–and should still–do much more to help establish a Palestinian state. Unfortunately, after 50 years of aggression from the Arab world, it becomes hard for Israel to muster the political will.
    Your assertion is that the intransigence of the Palestinians, or the Arabs (you seem quite flexible in this appellation), justifies Israel’s immoral acts. It’s equivalent to a child molester saying “I would stop beating her if she would stop screaming at me while I do it.”
    Peter: No, that is not my argument. But “intransigence” is hardly the word. Four wars to destroy Israel isn’t intransigence.
    Your argument, such as it is, seems dependent upon a selectively colour blind reading of both history and the relative power relations of the parties. I’m not sure whether this means you are being actively dishonest, blinkered or simply foolish.
    Peter: I disagree. Many horrible things were perpetrated by both sides. But the fact remains, Israel accepted the UN partition. The Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world chose war, four times.
    Turning to another point, you concede that the Palestinians pose no real threat to Israel. But having made that concession, you really don’t follow it through, do you.
    You just fall back on “well, suicide bombers and rockets and hamas are all really bad things and they have to defend themselves.”
    Peter: What would following through mean to you? While suicide bombers don’t pose a threat to Israel in a military sense, they are still horrible things to live through. They are made more horrible and ominous by the fact that they are issued by people who aren’t just saying, “Get off our backs, respect international law, stop razing our farmland.” They are issued by folks who are saying, “We will destroy you.” Can they destroy Israel? Probably not. But the rhetoric makes it hard to believe and hard for Israel to generate the political will to act differently.
    Okay, yes. But aren’t you then avoiding the real issues? At no point have you objected to my charges of wholesale land theft, ethnic cleansing and displacement, collective punishment, etc. And you have not asserted that the actions of Palestinians are anywhere of the magnitude that could justify such action… Much as I think you would like to. So, I take it that you acknowledge, or at least have no good answer, for any of these things.
    Peter: I do acknowledge these things. But do you acknowledge that neither the Arab world, nor the Palestinians themselves (with sole exception of Sadat) have ever said, “We accept the UN resolution creating the State of Israel. We admit that the four wars to destroy Israel were immoral and violated international law. We will renounce all mention of the destruction of the State of Israel. We merely want a Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in peace.” It is unreasonable to expect one side to follow the rules when other side refuses to.
    This poses a problem for you. If you and are are prepared to concede that Israel has a reasonable right to defend itself from Palestinians… Then don’t the Palestinians have a reasonable right to defend themselves from Israel?
    Peter: Not really. Because neither the Arab world nor the Palestinians has ever acknowledged–or acted in a way–that suggested Israel had a right to exist. And they struck first and four times and repeatedly in between wars. The fact that Israel got strong enough to beat its aggressors back is small comfort, though some to be sure. But it’s hardly the case that the Palestinians and other Arabs have, all along, been abiding by international law, accepting the UN resolution creating both states, and those nasty, land-grabbing Jews just won’t let peace bloom in the desert. Ah no.
    Frankly, your argument seems to boil to this: Israel beat back the Arabs and now has the upper hand militarily–what more do they want? Simple. Acknowledgement that they are have a legitimate, internationally recognized right to exist. Ironically, your argument comes down to “might makes right.”
    At this point, there have been so many tits for tats, it has been and will be very difficult to find a solution that both sides can accept.

    Reply

  26. Den Valdron says:

    David, I’m really not willing to engage in a discussion with someone who reserves the right to denounce me or anyone else as anti-semitic for disagreeing with him. Let’s just agree that I consider you an asshole and be done.

    Reply

  27. Den Valdron says:

    I’m quite well versed with history, Peter. And unlike you, I don’t cherry pick.
    You’ve posited that the Palestinians and Arabs also have a moral obligation to Israel, as well as vice versa. This seems to be your way of sneaking in, yet again, the rather racist argument that the Palestinians are authors of their own misfortune.
    By ignoring their moral obligation to Israel, they free Israel from a moral obligation to them?
    Is that what you are saying? Is it tit for tat? Moral obligations only apply selectively? To people that we like?
    Of course, your thesis of contingent or reciprocal moral obligations ignores the disparity in power dynamics. Israel has the power, it has the land, it has the physical and military predominance. It has the choices.
    Your assertion is that the intransigence of the Palestinians, or the Arabs (you seem quite flexible in this appellation), justifies Israel’s immoral acts. It’s equivalent to a child molester saying “I would stop beating her if she would stop screaming at me while I do it.”
    Your argument, such as it is, seems dependent upon a selectively colour blind reading of both history and the relative power relations of the parties. I’m not sure whether this means you are being actively dishonest, blinkered or simply foolish.
    Turning to another point, you concede that the Palestinians pose no real threat to Israel. But having made that concession, you really don’t follow it through, do you.
    You just fall back on “well, suicide bombers and rockets and hamas are all really bad things and they have to defend themselves.”
    Okay, yes. But aren’t you then avoiding the real issues? At no point have you objected to my charges of wholesale land theft, ethnic cleansing and displacement, collective punishment, etc. And you have not asserted that the actions of Palestinians are anywhere of the magnitude that could justify such action… Much as I think you would like to. So, I take it that you acknowledge, or at least have no good answer, for any of these things.
    This poses a problem for you. If you and are are prepared to concede that Israel has a reasonable right to defend itself from Palestinians… Then don’t the Palestinians have a reasonable right to defend themselves from Israel?
    Really, I’m tired of these dishonest little evasions of yours. You seem slightly smarter than David Haiblum and somewhat more civil, but at the end of the day, I really have to wonder if you have anything to offer to this discussion, apart from the usual generalities and worn out regurgitation of partisan talking points.
    Really, if thats all you’ve got, go preach to the choir. A serious discussion demands more than you seem willing to offer.

    Reply

  28. DIL says:

    POA: “Fuck you. I am so sick of this tactic from assholes like yourself. I’m not the one razing farmlands or bulldozing children. Why don’t you get the hell out my country if Israel is so ‘chosen’?”
    Well, clearly you’re still able to pound a keyboard, so you can’t be all *that* sick. I guess I’ll just have to try harder. Actually, you can’t find a single instance of my using the expression “chosen” in anything I’ve written. I don’t buy into religious arguments for political conduct, only political ones.
    Den Veldron: “You learned the wrong lessons, David. For all your passive aggressive whining, and whimpering bleating that you are being singled out, it all comes down to your asserting that Israel has a right to do whatever it wants to anyone.”
    Evidence that I have asserted any such thing, please. There are many, many steps Israel has taken in its dealings with Palestinians to which I raise objections, on moral as well as practical grounds. To mollify POA, I’ll even add that damaging farm land and crops belongs on this list. What would impress me is seeing one of the PA’s ardent defenders in this thread take exception to a single PA tactic. Kidnappings? Using residential areas in the PA as a base of military operations? Child suicide bombers? Anything?
    Den Veldron: “Kind of says it all doesn’t it? Might makes right, first, last and always? It is the natural order of things for the strong to oppress the weak? If you want something, take it?”
    An interesting point, but it argues against a case I’ve never made. Believing in the rational necessity to be well-armed against demonstrable hostility is not a “might makes right” argument. That Israel has misused its military superiority in its attempt to establish security is inarguable. That settlements in the West Bank and Gaza were a disastrously bad idea is a given. That such failures support the notion that Israel is an inherently invalid state — the clear implication of such epithets as “Nazi”, “genocidal”, “murderous”, “evil”, etc., and, of course, the official position of Hamas — this I reject.
    POA: “Yes it IS my country. And I do not place Israel’s interests above that of my own nation. Listen, asshole, as long as there is ONE SINGLE HUNGERY OR UNEDUCATED AMERICAN CHILD in America, I will fight TOOTH AND NAIL to STOP our government from sending Israel the OBSCENE amounts of money we are sending them so that they can mimic Hitler’s grand design.”
    Again, I think it would be a good thing for both countries for U.S. foreign aid to Israel to be reduced or eliminated.
    POA, again: “And YES, I AM advocating, even demanding, that people like you, that are willing to SELL US OUT to a bunch of zionist ZEALOTS and MURDERERS shag their asses OUT of my country.”
    No worries here. I don’t take much notice of the demands of cowardly bigots who hide behind pseudonyms so they can use all the really juicy naughty words without having to take responsibility for their conduct.
    The interesting thing about the perfectly valid argument that “one doesn’t need to be antisemitic to criticize Israel” is that it often seems to be taken to mean that “no one who criticizes Israel is antisemitic.” The progress of this discussion makes clear that nothing about the second proposition is implied in the first.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  29. Peter Schwartz says:

    Den wrote: “Gee Whiz Peter, now who is being facile? Do Arabs dispute Israel’s right to exist? Not in any practical sense. No Arab state has warred on Israel since 1973. Nor is any Arab state making any sort of effort to challenge Israel’s existence or status in any serious way or on any front. I assume that Israel’s Peace Treaty with Egypt means that Egypt recognizes Israel, and that similar holds true for Jordan. So in realpolitik, Israel’s right to existence as far as the Arabs are concerned is a foregone conclusion.”
    But you haven’t answered my question, Den. If there is a mutual obligation for both sides of this conflict to treat each other morally, when have the Arabs ever upheld their end of the bargain? Sadat, I believe, is the sole exception; and Israel reciprocated. Why should Israel have to settle for acceptance “in a practical sense”–you know, one that doesn’t commit anyone, really? It’s true, my arguments are old, but they are still true. Unfortunately.
    I agree that the Palestinians don’t pose a serious threat to Israel. In my book, that’s a good thing, because if they did, we know what they would do. Because they’ve told us.
    Nonetheless, does that mean Israel shouldn’t take seriously the expressed desire of, say, Hamas and Fatah before it? That strikes me as condescending: “Hey, they can’t really do us any harm. Let’s us just treat the rockets and suicide bombers like the daily weather report. They REALLY want to have peace with us. They really want to accept our existence…they just can’t say it or act like it.”
    Since 1948, the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world have had plenty of opportunity to say–and acknowledge in deed–and they haven’t.
    Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt–it is what I meant. You might brush up on your history, too.

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  30. Matthew says:

    Baffled: I agree. Who quotes Charles Krauthammer for anything? Last week he opined that the Palestinians were responsible for killing the Palestinian family because the IDF wasn’t shelling the beach at that moment. And for some crazy reason a Palestinian family waited for a lull in the bombardment before spreading out their picnic blanket. My favorite part of his article was his “safe harbor,” i.e., noting that in the unlikely event the family was killed by sheling, it was Palestinians’ fault for creating the need for the shelling. I wonder if Krauthammer’s supporters realized the irony…

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  31. Den Valdron says:

    Gee Whiz Peter, now who is being facile? Do Arabs dispute Israel’s right to exist? Not in any practical sense. No Arab state has warred on Israel since 1973. Nor is any Arab state making any sort of effort to challenge Israel’s existence or status in any serious way or on any front. I assume that Israel’s Peace Treaty with Egypt means that Egypt recognizes Israel, and that similar holds true for Jordan. So in realpolitik, Israel’s right to existence as far as the Arabs are concerned is a foregone conclusion.
    So, what prevents them from formally acknowledging this? Well, among other things, because this creates problems for them in international law vis a vis the unresolved issue of the Palestinians. You remember, the people who were there first? Who were expropriated and displaced? Who still have valid claims? Until such time as Israel is prepared to resolve matters with the Palestinians, I think that matters will remain outstanding.
    Your reference to the tired old cliches does you no credit, Peter. If you’re going to bring up these trite arguments, try and apply a little logic and analysis. Or at least update them.
    “Israel has an obligation to treat the Palestinians humanely.”
    Ahhh, the way a white man has an obligation to treat a cat or dog humanely? Is there a bit of racism showing?
    Or perhaps I’m a bit cynical. Perhaps what you meant was that Israel has an obligation to respect the human rights of Palestinians, to comply with international law, not to engage in collective punishment, not to steal their lands, to respect their rights to self determination and to compensate them for losses that they inflict. Maybe thats what you meant.
    On the other hand, that “let them rot” reference does do mightily indeed seem to be a bit of coded racism? What do you think? It seems an irrelevant statement in the context of the discussion. It only works as a little ‘shiv’ to the back of those dastardly Arabs. Making the point that they’re baaaaad, and undeserving.
    “Hard to do when the Palestinians are trying to destroy Israel.”
    Yes, with their mighty arsenals of stone throwing teenagers, desperate suicide bombers and inaccurate rockets… Yep, Israel, the mightiest military power in the region, with legions of state of the art tanks, jets, artillery, soldiers and nuclear weapons really has its back to the wall. Yep, one of those days a band of rock throwing teenagers might push you into the sea if you aren’t vigilant.
    Let’s get serious here. We both know that the Palestinians of the occupied territories POSE NO MILITARY THREAT WHATSOEVER to Israel, much less to its survival. Your crack is merely an effort to shift blame onto the victims. Israel’s maltreatment of the Palestinians below whatever arbitrary pet standard you feel comfortable with is then justified because ‘the Palestinians’ brought it on themselves.’
    I suppose I could go on, but is there a point? I don’t sense any kind of dialogue from you Peter. Merely the party line of trite and repetitive talking points, empty of analysis, with an underlying racism (perhaps unconscious) both subtle and pervasive.
    Yes, Peter, the Palestinians have done it all too themselves. They forced the Jews to steal their lands, they doubtless funded the Stern gang and encouraged terrorism. They lured Israel into the occupied territories. They ignore their obligations to the nation that stole their lands and occupies their population. For fifty years, from mud huts and refugee camps, armed with the finest sticks they can find, they’ve waged war against a modern industrial state.
    Well, so much for that. Is there any point in even bothering to try and have a discussion with you? You bring nothing to the table but your ingrained prejudices.
    I’ll say however, that we agree on one thing. You are ignorant of history. I’m afraid that’s your choice.
    goodbye Peter

    Reply

  32. baffled says:

    “Only in the United States would people take Krauthammer seriously.
    Posted by Den Valdron at July 5, 2006 01:51 PM”
    drum roll–cymbal crash!

    Reply

  33. Peter Schwartz says:

    Den writes: “Does Israel have a right to exist? Of course it does.
    Peter: The problem is, the Palestinians don’t. Nor do many of the Arab nations (in the beginning, none of them did). They didn’t in 48, 56, 67, or in 73. Fatah had the destruction of Israel in its charter for many decades and Hammas does now. For you to say, “of course,” is facile, because what you think doesn’t matter on the ground. What matter is what the Arabs think and do. As you know, before 67, Israel didn’t have possession of the West Bank and Gaza. Arabs owned those lands, and they let their brethren rot.
    Having acknowledged Israel’s right to exist, the next question must be: What moral or legal obligations does Israel have to the Palestinian peoples it dispossessed?
    Peter: Israel has an obligation to treat the Palestinians humanely. That becomes difficult, however, when they are trying to destroy you. But the obligation still exists, I agree.
    I see no more moral obligation on the part of Israel to commit suicide, than I see a right on the part of Israel to commit genocide upon the Palestinians.
    Peter: I agree. However, I wouldn’t characterize Israel’s actions as genocidal, as bad as they are. Genocide is what happens when one people is wiped out. Palestinians outnumber Jews. I’m sure, though, by this point, there are many Jews who wish the Palestinians would disappear.
    But absent suicide or genocide, what are Israel’s obligations to the Palestinians that it has wronged? What is your position there, Peter? Do you dispute that the Palestinians even exist as a people? Is your response ‘tough titty, they’re on their own’? Or do you acknowledge some sort of moral obligation? If so, what are the dimensions of that obligation? And what exactly has Israel done in respect of that obligation?
    Peter: The Palestinians do exist as a people. Israel would be well-served, morally and politically, I think, if they did everything they could to help build a Palestinian state. Overall, I think that’s Steve’s point as well.
    Now me, I’m thinking that there is an obligation. And I’m thinking that Israel has spent the last fifty years ignoring that obligation and actively committing immoral acts with respect to the Palestinians.
    Peter: When you’ve been constantly attacked for 50 years by the other side, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet those obligations. Repeatedly and with the overt intention of throwing you into the sea. At that point, one’s primary obligation is to protect oneself. But to address your point more directly, the moral obligation goes both ways, I’m sure you’d agree. Please point to those places and times during the last 50 years when the Palestinians or the Arab has met its moral obligations to Israel. On the contrary, they’ve repeatedly tried to destroy it.
    As to your interesting point about “right to conquest,” I confess ignorance of its history. But your examples hardly seem apposite to Israel and Palestine and its neighboring countries. For obvious reasons: The Arab world tried to erase Israel from the map, not the other way around. The Israelis accepted the UN compromise; the Arab world didn’t. Israel took the land because she felt it part and parcel of not committing suicide. I, personally, would be happy to give it all back if it meant that the Arab world would truly accept Israel and let it live in peace.

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  34. Den Valdron says:

    Krauthammer seems fairly lunatic today. His assertion is what? “Gaza is free of occupation, yet Gaza wages war”?
    Gaza is free of occupation in the same way that an American Indian Reservation is free of the United States, or in the same way that a man in prison is free, or the way that the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were free of Nazi occupation.
    Let’s not do violence to reason here folks. Gaza “free of occupation” is still part of the occupied territories, its borders are still controlled by Israel. It is 1.8 million people, with no resources, no economy and with its infrastructure forcibly degraded by Israel, existing in a state of perpetual misery and subservience. In short, it isn’t a happy place.
    Israel’s motives in pulling settlers out of Gaza appears to be twofold, gaining the leverage for quid pro quo grabs of vastly more valuable West Bank lands, and essentially enhancing its security by confining the ghetto and imposing dependent ‘self rule.’ Hardly honourable.
    Krauthammer also refers to the Palestinians of Gaza as a sort of collective being. This is a dishonest little dodge of his. More properly, he should talk about what the ‘government’ of Gaza is doing, but of course, the ‘government’ of Gaza, the Palestinian Authority, is a weak and ineffectual joke. Worse, Israel has designed the Authority to be a joke and crippled its effectiveness at every turn.
    Which means that Krauthammer is really talking about groups or individuals within Gaza who may or may not be representative, but who do not claim to rule or represent the place.
    Of course, if he acknowledges that it is not the actions of a society or community, but of a group within it, then he has a problem. He can’t defend collective punishment, he can’t indulge in his hysterical paranoia. He can’t couch this in life or death terms.
    Worse, he might be forced to ask uncomfortable questions… Like why is the Authority so ineffectual, or what exactly is happening to people?
    Nope, Krauthammer’s only recourse is a naked appeal to racism. Instead of people, the Gaza is transformed into a giant, one-minded, slavering subhuman monster, driven by hatred, carrying out decades old conspiracies, and probably harbouring designs on white women as well.
    Only in the United States would people take Krauthammer seriously.

    Reply

  35. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “Yes it IS my country.” Unfortunately–for you–it’s not yours alone. It’s others’ as well, and they have differing views as to what it should do, how it should conduct itself, and whom it should support.

    Reply

  36. Den Valdron says:

    You are right Peter. God has nothing to do with it.
    Having gotten that far though, I’m afraid we’ll have to part company. But let me offer you a few thoughts.
    1) You seem to have some thesis that Israel’s right to its territories derives from conquest. The reality is that by the late 1890′s, the theory of ‘right to conquest’ was seen as increasingly illegitimate. In 1899, for instance, the US could not claim Cuba as a possession, and occupied the Phillipines ‘beneficially’ on behalf of the inhabitants. The right to Conquest was repudiated by the league of nations, resulting in the liberation of several small European states and in the designation of Ottoman and German colonies as ‘trust territories.’ The last gasp of ‘Right to Conquest’ as a valid concept was Nazi Germany’s attempts to redraw the map. The result of that was of course the Nuremberg trials, the United Nations, and the condemnation forever of wars and conquest as a means of redrawing international borders. The position you take on this front, Peter, is both ignorant, obsolete, in violation of the norms of international law and embraces the Nazi’s. Hardly a place you really want to be.
    2) As for your comment as to two sides having legitimate claims, and the need to see both sides. Well, without being too waggish on the point, I can see where you are coming from. On the other hand, I’m suspicious of the sort of facile reductionism you espouse. It opens the door to claiming that all viewpoints are equally valid… in which case, simply pick the one you like best? Or go with the one who shouts loudest? The truth is that not all claims are equal, not all opinions or arguments are on the same plain. You and I could disagree on the shape of the Earth, but frankly, I’d be right if I said it was round, and you’d be wrong to call it flat.
    For all your ‘fair mindedness’, your positions seem neither fair nor minded, which is rather disappointing, but rather, you seem partisan and reflexive.
    You seem to take the view that history legitimizes Israel’s conduct. It does not, as I have shown. You refer to both sides claims, but ignore the Palestinians altogether. As nearly as I can boil down your arguments into something coherent, it is that Israel’s perception of its own needs and security justifies and makes moral any action which it chooses to take, regardless.
    You accuse me of not acknowledging both sides. Hardly truthful. You attempt, in my view, to recast the debate in dishonest ways.
    So, let me address this issue properly.
    Does Israel have a right to exist? Of course it does.
    Having acknowledged Israel’s right to exist, the next question must be: What moral or legal obligations does Israel have to the Palestinian peoples it dispossessed?
    I see no more moral obligation on the part of Israel to commit suicide, than I see a right on the part of Israel to commit genocide upon the Palestinians.
    But absent suicide or genocide, what are Israel’s obligations to the Palestinians that it has wronged? What is your position there, Peter? Do you dispute that the Palestinians even exist as a people? Is your response ‘tough titty, they’re on their own’? Or do you acknowledge some sort of moral obligation? If so, what are the dimensions of that obligation? And what exactly has Israel done in respect of that obligation?
    Now me, I’m thinking that there is an obligation. And I’m thinking that Israel has spent the last fifty years ignoring that obligation and actively committing immoral acts with respect to the Palestinians.
    More particularly, what are Israel’s obligations with respect to the Occupied Territories and the people living within them? Specifically, does Israel have a right to steal or expropriate lands? To reduce the inhabitants to second class citizens? To expropriate resources, disenfranchise and impoverish, to control, own and oppress? Who do the occupied territories belong to? Israel or the inhabitants? Think carefully about your answer, and the consequences which flow from it.
    Finally, with respect to your averral of ‘two sides’, I have a few questions.
    Acknowledging Israel’s right to existence and legitimate self defense… What are the limits? Are there limits? Is ‘right to conquest’ a legitimate form of self defense? Unilateral annexation of territory for walls or settlements or security zones? Land theft? How about an ‘apartheid’ system? Collective punishment? Using machine guns on rock throwing teenagers? Using fighter jets to blow up old men in wheelchairs? Forced population relocation? Indirect coerced population relocation? Extirpation of communities or populations? When is response so disproportionate that self defense no longer applies?
    And on the other side of the coin, I would ask you whether Palestinians in the occupied territories have any legitimate right to resist the occupation or strike at the occupiers? What are the dimensions of that right, if it exists? What courses are available to the Palestinians, beyond resistance in some form or other?
    Equally, do displaced Palestinians in exile have any legitimate rights to challenge Israel or demand an accounting or restitution? And there, what is or is not legitimate? In your acknowledgement of two sets of competing claims, do you propose to endorse the worst excesses of the PLO? Or is it merely Israel that gets a free hand?
    I’d be interested in seeing something out of you more complex than “Israel Uber Alles” because frankly, that’s soooo 1939.

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    Just ask him how razing farmlands is helping to get their soldier released. That seems to shut them up for awhile.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 5, 2006 11:14 AM
    I noticed….

    Reply

  38. ontheotherhand says:

    a differeing view of the situation in gaza from today’s nyt’s:
    By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1209965,00.html
    Israel Invades Gaza. That is in response to an attack from Gaza that killed two Israelis and wounded another, who was kidnapped and brought back to Gaza ….which, in turn, was in response to Israel’s targeted killing of terrorist leaders in Gaza…which, in turn, was in response to the indiscriminate shelling of Israeli towns by rockets launched from Gaza.
    Of all the conflicts in the world, the one that seems the most tediously and hopelessly endless is the Arab-Israeli dispute, which has been going on in much the same way, it seems, for 60 years. Just about every story you’ll see will characterize Israel’s invasion of Gaza as a continuation of the cycle of violence.
    Cycles are circular. They have no end. They have no beginning. That is why, as tempting as that figure of speech is to use, in this case it is false. It is as false as calling American attacks on Taliban remnants in Afghanistan part of a cycle of violence between the U.S. and al-Qaeda or, as Osama bin Laden would have it, between Islam and the Crusaders going back to 1099. Every party has its grievances–even Hitler had his list when he invaded Poland in 1939–but every conflict has its origin.
    What is so remarkable about the current wave of violence in Gaza is that the event at the origin of the “cycle” is not at all historical, but very contemporary. The event is not buried in the mists of history. It occurred less than one year ago. Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew, every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation was uprooted and taken away.
    How do the Palestinians respond? What have they done with Gaza, the first Palestinian territory in history to be independent, something neither the Ottomans nor the British nor the Egyptians nor the Jordanians, all of whom ruled Palestinians before the Israelis, ever permitted? On the very day of Israel’s final pullout, the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border. And remember: those are attacks not on settlers but on civilians in Israel proper, the pre-1967 Israel that the international community recognizes as legitimately part of sovereign Israel, a member state of the U.N. A thousand rockets have fallen since.
    For what possible reason? Before the withdrawal, attacks across the border could have been rationalized with the usual Palestinian mantra of occupation, settlements and so on. But what can one say after the withdrawal?
    The logic for those continued attacks is to be found in the so-called phase plan adopted in 1974 by the Palestine National Council in Cairo. Realizing that they would never be able to destroy Israel in one fell swoop, the Palestinians adopted a graduated plan to wipe out Israel. First, accept any territory given to them in any part of historic Palestine. Then, use that sanctuary to wage war until Israel is destroyed.
    So in 2005 the Palestinians are given Gaza, free of any Jews. Do they begin building the state they say they want, constructing schools and roads and hospitals? No. They launch rockets at civilians and dig a 300-yard tunnel under the border to attack Israeli soldiers and bring back a hostage.
    And this time the terrorism is carried out not by some shadowy group that the Palestinian leader can disavow, however disingenuously. This is Hamas in action–the group that was recently elected to lead the Palestinians. At least there is now truth in advertising: a Palestinian government openly committed to terrorism and to the destruction of a member state of the U.N. openly uses terrorism to carry on its war.
    That is no cycle. That is an arrow. That is action with a purpose. The action began 59 years ago when the U.N. voted to solve the Palestine conundrum then ruled by Britain by creating a Jewish state and a Palestinian state side by side. The Jews accepted the compromise; the Palestinians rejected it and joined five outside Arab countries in a war to destroy the Jewish state and take all the territory for themselves.
    They failed, and Israel survived. That remains, in the Palestinian view, Israel’s original sin, the foundational crime for the cycle: Israel’s survival. That’s the reason for the rockets, for the tunneling, for the kidnapping–and for Israel’s current response.
    If that history is too ancient, consider the history of the past 12 months. Gaza is free of occupation, yet Gaza wages war. Why? Because this war is not about occupation, but about Israel’s very existence. The so-called cycle will continue until the arrow is abandoned and the Palestinians accept a compromise–or until the arrow finds its mark and Israel dies.
    Copyright © 2006 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
    Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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  39. amr says:

    it is clear to me, after reading the responses above, that carol does not like jews.
    why not just admit the fact?
    let’s hope that the rest of the world does not make the blanket pronouncements against americans that you make against jews.
    are you a murdere too, carol??
    after all, your tax dollars have been killing innocents for a long time…

    Reply

  40. Pissed Off American says:

    Yes it IS my country. And I do not place Israel’s interests above that of my own nation. Listen, asshole, as long as there is ONE SINGLE HUNGERY OR UNEDUCATED AMERICAN CHILD in America, I will fight TOOTH AND NAIL to STOP our government from sending Israel the OBSCENE amounts of money we are sending them so that they can mimic Hitler’s grand design.
    And YES, I AM advocating, even demanding, that people like you, that are willing to SELL US OUT to a bunch of zionist ZEALOTS and MURDERERS shag their asses OUT of my country. If what Israel is doing is so essential to their survival in your mind, than Goddamnit get your ass over there and man a bulldozer or pick up an Uzi. But don’t expect me to respect YOU as a contributing member of this nation while the citizens of New Orleans are treated like trash as we send MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A DAY to your masters in Israel.

    Reply

  41. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “BTW, seriously, I agree with you. Theres no way God would have a hand in what you fanatics are doing, nor would he endorse your rationalizations and justifications. I am GLAD you see that God does not have a hand in what you are doing to the Palestinians. Nor does he pull the trigger for the Palestinian missile launcher sending death into Israel. Sadly, these are the acts of religious zealots who long ago chose to walk a different path than that that God would have us walk. That would be YOU, Schwartz. You have about as much to do with GOD as a Catholic priest does as he fellates an 8 year old little boy. Frankly, ALL the fanatics that murder or pervert in the name of God make me sick, be those like yourself, those blowing themselves up in public marketplaces, or those preying on the faith of children. Screw all of ya.”
    Lots of accusations here, POA. Please back up your claims. On another topic, it sounds like you know a lot about the “path that God would have us work.” Perhaps you can talk about that, a bit. BTW, I’m not Jewish. A lot of people think I am, though, because of my name. What’s your name?

    Reply

  42. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hmmm. Pretty strong accusation. Perhaps you can show me where I’m murdering Palestinians.”
    Posted by Peter Schwartz
    Ignorance and hatred is murdering both the Jews AND the Palestinians.
    So there you have it, Schwartz, direct proof that you are murdering Palestinians.

    Reply

  43. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “Fuck you. I am so sick of this tactic from assholes like yourself. I’m not the one razing farmlands or bulldozing children. Why don’t you get the hell out my country if Israel is so “chosen”?”
    Is it really YOUR country? Sounds a wee bit like, “America: Love it or Leave It.” Don’t know how old you are, but that was a favorite phrase of the pro-war faction during the VietNam War.

    Reply

  44. Pissed Off American says:

    “As far as I’m concerned, God has nothing to do with it.”
    Posted by Peter Schwartz
    Oh really??? Well hooray, I wish Bush would see it that way too. But hey, it is just so much easier to do the work of the devil if you endeavor to do it in God’s name. Heck, theres always a fringe group willing to drink the kool-aid. But theres hope for you, Schwartz. I mean, you DO have the option of not swallowing.
    BTW, seriously, I agree with you. Theres no way God would have a hand in what you fanatics are doing, nor would he endorse your rationalizations and justifications. I am GLAD you see that God does not have a hand in what you are doing to the Palestinians. Nor does he pull the trigger for the Palestinian missile launcher sending death into Israel. Sadly, these are the acts of religious zealots who long ago chose to walk a different path than that that God would have us walk. That would be YOU, Schwartz. You have about as much to do with GOD as a Catholic priest does as he fellates an 8 year old little boy. Frankly, ALL the fanatics that murder or pervert in the name of God make me sick, be those like yourself, those blowing themselves up in public marketplaces, or those preying on the faith of children. Screw all of ya.

    Reply

  45. Peter Schwartz says:

    Matthew writes: “Instead of wasting time rehashing the history–no one serious minimizes the Holocaust as a huge factor in Isareli policy or denies the Palestinian dispossession, let’s focus on a bigger problem. If our alliance with Israel requires us to continue to bend international legal norms, what kind of future will we have. My biggest problem with the Bush Administration is that he, particularly in relation to the Middle East, is leaving a much worse World than he inherited. When our Imperial Moment ends–as it inevitably will by mid-century–what kind or World will we be living in? Will there be any international legal standards? A Geneva Convention? Or will China and India inherit a World that acts on the One Percent Doctrine?”
    I agree with this comment. Except this: It is vital to understand history IN ORDER to move beyond. Both sides are acting out of their historical understandings. If you blunder in without a clear understanding of history, then you will blunder. Unfortunately, the ahistorical or anti-historical perspective is very American. We see it at work in full bloom with GWB and the Iraq war (but not only there).

    Reply

  46. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “Nope, ain’t gonna happen. God is currently helping Bush kill Iraqis, so poor Scwartz will hafta murder Palestinians on his own for awhile.”
    Hmmm. Pretty strong accusation. Perhaps you can show me where I’m murdering Palestinians.

    Reply

  47. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “See, Jews are bigots, so who are they to call me one?”
    I KNOW why you call me a bigot. Because it is seemingly the only defense you can offer for Israel’s actions. If you can’t counter the facts, point a finger and squeal “anti-semite” at the top of your lungs. And as far as the law allowing “non-jews” to marry, the bigotry involved in THAT process needs no explaining. Now that THATS settled, Schwartz, care to tell us how razing farmlands is helping get the soldier released?
    Actually I didn’t call you a bigot–go back and read the post. Nor do I play that card to defend Israel’s actions, which I haven’t, including the razing of farmlands. Maybe you can show me where I said that, since you seem to be accusing me of a lot of things here.

    Reply

  48. Pissed Off American says:

    THE EXTRA TERRITORY ISRAEL HAS OCCUPIED WAS GAINED (MOSTLY) IN THE COURSE OF THESE FOUR WARS,
    Read the above 4 posts I put up, you liar. THATS how Isreal has gotten most of its land recently. By STEALING it, and by making the rightful owners indigent and unable to feed their families or to work. But you Hitler mimicking bigots don’t want to discuss THAT, do you?

    Reply

  49. Peter Schwartz says:

    “Nah Peter, its all one big slippery slope. First you denounce the inexcuseable, then you find yourself making excuses for it, then you start understanding, from there you go to sympathizing, and then approving, and then one bright day, its you marching people into a gas chamber and telling yourself its all for the best. Y’see Peter, its an old, old road, and lots of people have been down it. But you know how it is, don’t you. I’m not about to dissuade you.So all I can say is enjoy the trip, don’t bother to let me know how it ends, heard it before. And if you should see God, think real hard about what you’ve got to say for yourself.”
    Sorry, can’t agree with your analysis. In a situation where two sides have legitimate claims, it’s absolutely essential that you understand what motivates each side. If you see only one side, you’ll have nothing useful to contribute to finding a solution. That would appear to be your position (but correct me if I’m wrong). As far as I’m concerned, God has nothing to do with it.

    Reply

  50. Peter Schwartz says:

    Carroll writes and my response in CAPS (but not shouting)
    “You see, you think that the Jews are “entitled” to their own nation because they are Jews.
    NO. I THINK JEWS HAVE A RIGHT TO THEIR OWN NATION BECAUSE THEY ARE A PEOPLE. ALL OTHER PEOPLES ALSO HAVE A RIGHT TO THEIR OWN NATIONS, TOO.
    What if gentiles though of the US as the “Paris” of the gentiles? What if we formally declared the US a “Christian” nation and based our laws and rules of citizenship on that? And somehow you think it’s the worlds fault that the Jewish race or religion, howver you chose to describe it, has always been a smaller population than other populations in the world and we are all responsible for making sure they don’t become extinct by catering to their every whine, desire and demand even if it means wiping out another population.
    NO, NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE JEWS BEING A SMALLER GROUP THAN OTHER PEOPLES. AND NO, I DON’T BELIEVE THE WORLD SHOULD CATER TO THEIR EVERY WHIM OR WHINE.
    As far as the Jews right to their “homeland”, they had a period of rule in Palestine, a short one, shorter than any of the other tribes during those centuries. The Holy Land was nothing but a musical see saw of tribes and invaders..but the fact remains that the Arabs remained thruout the centuries as the majority, not the Jews.
    I GUESS YOU’RE SAYING THAT MIGHT DOES MAKE RIGHT–AND MAJORITY SHOULD ALWAYS PREVAIL OVER THE MINORITY.
    This notion that because the Jews had a 79 year kingdom out of 19 centuries in Palestine they are entitle to go back and have the world “give’ them a “nation” is the height of insanity.
    WELL, THE WORLD, OR AT LEAST THE UN, DID GIVE THEM A HOMELAND, A SMALL ONE. AND THEY GAVE THE PALESTINIANS A HOMELAND, TOO. THAT SEEMS LIKE A FAIR SOLUTION TO A SITUATION IN WHICH THE TWO GROUPS WERE NOT GETTING ALONG.
    Imagine if the Romans or the Otterman’s insisted that their former rule and ownership be restored to them. And yea I know you will say …but,but…look at how the Jews have been driven out of every country, Egypt, Rome,Europe, Spain, Russia, Germany. Well O.K. let’s look at it….why is that I wonder?…could it be that among the Jews you have always had an element of nutcase leaders that have preached this ‘exceptionalism” and that use Judism to foster it and refuse to let the Jews become part of the world at large and keep this victim tribalism insanity going? I don’t know, but something is going on there when they have been run out of every country on earth just for being Jews….cause no one will ever convince me that a majority of humans thruout the centuries just woke up one day and decided to hate their fellow humans just because they are Jews.
    WELL, CARROLL, YOU’RE NAIVE AND IGNORANT OF THE HISTORY. THEY DIDN’T JUST WAKE UP AND START HATING THE JEWS; THEY’VE HATED THEM FOR A LONG TIME. LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE POGROMS. LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE PASSION PLAYS (GIBSON’S IS THE LATEST). LOOK AT THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, RECENTLY THE BASIS OF A MUTLI-PART MOTION PICTURE THAT BROKE ALL RECORDS IN EGYPT. WHETHER YOU’RE A JEW OR NOT, THE HISTORY OF VIRULENT ANTI-SEMITISM IS LONG AND WELL-DOCUMENTED. ITS CAUSES, HOWEVER, AREN’T WELL UNDERSTOOD. YOUR REMARKS HERE CERTAINLY AREN’T ADDING TO THE UNDERSTANDING. JEWS LIVED IN ENFORCED GHETTOES IN EASTERN EUROPE WEHRE THEY HAD ALMOST NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT EKE OUT A LIVING, READ THEIR HOLY BOOKS, LIVE THEIR RELIGION AND CULTURE. IN SPAIN, THEY PARTICIPATED FULLY IN THE CULTURE UNTIL TORQUEMADA DECIDED THEY NEEDED TO CONVERT OR BE KILLED. IN GERMANY AND FRANCE AND ITALY POST-ENLIGHTENMENT, THEY WERE THE PROUDEST AND MOST PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS OF THEIR COUNTRIES. MANY JEWS FOUGHT FOR GERMANY IN WWI, WHILE THEIR FRENCH COUNTERPARTS FOUGHT FOR THE FRENCH. AND SO ON. NEITHER EASTERN NOR WESTERN EUROPEAN JEWS DID ANYTHING TO OPPRESS THEIR NEIGHBORS OR FELLOW CITIZENS. IN THE END, IT DIDN’T MATTER WHICH WAY THEY WENT.
    I can be convinced though that the zionist types, who are the evil twins of of any similar ethnic group of Aryan nation types or master race types have caused the Jews to be tossed because they wouldn’t leave well enough alone in their mad power driven scheme to ‘create’ their own nation and using “the Jews’ was a good vehicle to get them there.
    HMMM…ANTI-SEMITISM LONG PREDATES ZIONISM, AT LEAST IN ITS MODERN, POLITICAL FORM. YOU HAVE A POOR GRASP OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZIONISM AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
    And I can be convinced that the zionist are demonizing the Arabs and the Palestines in the same way they were demonized in Germany.
    As far as Israel’s existance, it’s there, let it stay, but make it conform to the rest of the universe and stick to the original borders it was given by the UN.
    I AGREE; THAT WOULD BE NICE. UNFORTUNATELY, HAMAS DOESN’T. NOR DID FATAH FOR A GOOD PART OF ITS HISTORY. NOR DID THE REST OF THE ARAB WORLD IN FOUR WARS FOUGHT TO OBLITERATE IT. THE EXTRA TERRITORY ISRAEL HAS OCCUPIED WAS GAINED (MOSTLY) IN THE COURSE OF THESE FOUR WARS, WHICH THE ARABS FOUGHT TO ENSURE THAT ISRAEL DID NOT EXIST IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. MOST BORDERS CHANGE TO SOME EXTENT IN THE AFTERMATH OF WARS. IT IS UNREALISTIC TO EXPECT THAT ISRAEL WILL GO BACK TO THE EXACT BOUNDARIES OF THE 1948 AGREEMENT– THOUGH IT WOULD BE NICE IF IT BROUGHT ABOUT TRUE AND LASTING PEACE.

    Reply

  51. Pissed Off American says:

    Army cuts farmers from their land by installing barbed wire fence around a army post
    IMEMC & Agencies – Tuesday, 04 July 2006, 13:23
    The Israeli army has cut farmers off from their land by installing a barbed wire fence
    around a military post east of the West Bank city of Tubass.
    According to local residents, the army has finished installing the fence today after working on it for last two days. Army bulldozers have opened trenches around the military post, making it impossible for the farmers to to get to their land, local sources reported.

    Reply

  52. Pissed Off American says:

    Yet more…….
    Army attacks a non-violent demonstration in Hebron, several protestors wounded
    Manar Jibrin-IMEMC & Agencies – Tuesday, 04 July 2006, 16:09
    The Israeli army attacked a non-violent demonstration conducted by the residents of two towns near the West Bank city of Hebron. The peace activists were protesting the bulldozing of lands in the area carried out by the Israeli Army in preparation for the construction of the annexation Wall and settlers’ road near the illegal Israeli settlement Karmi Tzur.
    The settelment is built on Palestinian privately owned lands confiscated from the towns of Halhul and Biet Ummer north of the West Bank city of Hebron. Several International peace activists and residents were injured after the army attacked them.
    Local eyewitnesses reported that clashes erupted when the protestors attempted to stop the military bulldozers from leveling the lands. The army attacked the protestors, fired tear gas, and arrested several residents and one of the internationals. At least five residents were injured after the army attacked them, several others were treated after inhaling tear gas.
    Abed Al Hadi Hantash, member of the Palestinian Committee for land defense, said the Israel army uprooted hundreds of almond and vine trees in the area and confiscated at least 18 acres of farmlands from Halhul and Biet Ummer. This was done in preparation for the construction of the annexation wall. In addition, dozens of acres were confiscated to build a bypass road that is at least one kilometer long and 200 meters away from the eastern side of the Karni Tzur illegal settlement.

    Reply

  53. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres more. Who in their right mind can fail to recognize what Isreal is doing?? It is their intention to make life completely impossible for the Palestinians, until, eventually, they are…well…..EXTINCT.
    Mas’ha village land seized for expansion of Elkana settlement
    IMEMC & Agencies – Monday, 26 June 2006, 02:12
    The ‘Jews-only’ settlement of ‘Elkana’, built on illegally seized Palestinian land, has begun construction of an additional 54 houses on farmland belonging to Mas’ha village farmers.
    Elkana settlement has been taking over Mas’ha lands, east of Salfit district, since the 1970’s. New expansion plans will further take over village land that has been isolated behind the Apartheid Wall. While the gates and the wall are barring farmers from reaching their lands, settlement construction is currently destroying their plantations.
    Villagers learned about the new settlement expansion on their land through a Call for Quotation to build 54 housing units in Elkana settlement which was published in Israeli newspapers. The new housing units will be built north of the current settlement construction on the village lands isolated by the wall.
    Since the beginning of this Intifada, the Israeli military has destroyed hundreds of olive trees belonging to Mas’ha farmers and bulldozed farmlands. The construction of the Elkana settlement in the late 1970s initially took about 2,000 dunum of Masha land. The construction of the Israeli Annexation Wall over the last two years has isolated another 4,000 to 4,500 dunum from their owners. These lands are full of olive trees and many are cultivated with vegetables and greenhouses.
    Two gates have been built to complete the Wall. One closes the village from the West. It is built for the exclusive use of Hani Amer and his family, whose house has been caught between the Apartheid Wall and the fencing of Elkana in a veritable prison. The other gate bars the way to the lands north of Mas’ha. It has been dubbed a “seasonal gate” and it is almost always closed. Farmers have been allowed to pass 5 days since the beginning of the year (during February and March) to prepare the land for the planting season. Even those few days gave only villagers “with permit” access to their lands. In Mas’ha, 150 farmers did not get any permits while some 500 villagers got “permits” for a gate near Beit Amin, one hour away from Mas’ha. Most of the farmers have no transportation so were unable to reach their lands (the north gate is not more than 10 minutes away from the village).
    Mas’ha village farmers once owned 8,800 dunum of land but the illegal Israeli seizures have left the village with less than 1,800 dunum. According to the local leaders of the Grassroots Committee Against the Wall, the building of the Wall on their land and the expansion of the Elkana settlement is a tactic being employed by the Israeli occupiers to “fragment and destroy Palestinian existence in Salfit district for the sake of expansion of ‘Ariel Finger’ settlements.”
    All Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land seized and occupied during the 1967 War have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Transfer of civilian populations onto militarily-occupied land is a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, of which Israel is a signatory since 1953.

    Reply

  54. Pissed Off American says:

    Note the date on the following little snippet. Funny how people like Schwartz or DIL are always drooling this crap about the Palestinians being the antagonists, eh???
    Troops bulldoze farmlands to expand settlement near Nablus
    IMEMC & Agencies – Saturday, 17 June 2006, 15:22
    Friday and Saturday, Israeli soldiers started bulldozing farmlands belonging to Palestinian families from Sabastia village, near Nablus, in an operation that aims to expand the nearby Shavei Shomron Settlement. Resident Fayez Mohannad Abu Ghazal reported that soldiers confiscated over half of his land and used military bulldozers to uproot his olive trees. He added that the soldiers have given no consideration to how this will affect the livelihood of the families that depend on the land. According to army sources, the orchards were annexed for “security reasons”. Annexing the orchards means for space for the illegal settlement and its “security zone” that surrounds it. Several residents from the village are trying to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court in an attempt to stop the bulldozing and annexing of their orchards for settlement expansion. The Court, however, refused to recognize the Palestinian right to its own land, and decided to allow the resumption of land confiscation and settlement expansion. The residents call on human rights organizations to take the needed procedures to stop and expose the Israeli violations. All settlements remain illegal under international law, although Israel continues its refusal to recognize this fact.
    http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19418&Itemid=1

    Reply

  55. Pissed Off American says:

    “YOu know DIL…you are so far gone I can’t even respond to your convoluted translations of what I and others on here have said…cause whatever facts or questions anyone presents instead of presenting a different fact or explaination, your only theme is all the world is anti-semitic, sprinkled with remarks on the bloodlust of anti-semitic gentiles and etc…….I don’t know whether to feel sorry for you or disgust, cause your life has to be one huge paraniod nightmare…”
    Just ask him how razing farmlands is helping to get their soldier released. That seems to shut them up for awhile.

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    YOu know DIL…you are so far gone I can’t even respond to your convoluted translations of what I and others on here have said…cause whatever facts or questions anyone presents instead of presenting a different fact or explaination, your only theme is all the world is anti-semitic, sprinkled with remarks on the bloodlust of anti-semitic gentiles and etc…….I don’t know whether to feel sorry for you or disgust, cause your life has to be one huge paraniod nightmare…
    You do realize what you are actually saying is that you are anti-everyone..anti gentiles, anti Arabs….anti everyone in the world except Jews….if it wern’t so pitiful it would be funny how you don’t understand that you are creating foder for the minority of real anti-semites..those people who really do think all jews are like you…but maybe that’s what you want to do…..and …er…you might notice that you are proving my theory above that among any group, jews or gentiles, there are neurotic crazies on a mission to spread their craziness.

    Reply

  57. Den Valdron says:

    “…the Palestinians are suffering *because* of the history that has driven jews to realize force of arms is all they can depend upon with certainty…”
    Kind of says it all doesn’t it? Might makes right, first, last and always? It is the natural order of things for the strong to oppress the weak? If you want something, take it?
    All these charming notions were repudiated in 1945.
    You learned the wrong lessons, David. For all your passive aggressive whining, and whimpering bleating that you are being singled out, it all comes down to your asserting that Israel has a right to do whatever it wants to anyone.
    The arguments you use are old ones, they’re used by every warmonger and oppressor who cloaks themselves in the robes of victimhood.
    This is your big sin in this debate. You are utterly unoriginal.
    Hell, I remember there was a funny looking guy back in the 30′s, Germany I think. Talked just like you.
    Didn’t end well, as I recall.

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    “Which brings me back to my original point. Ultimately, as history makes clear, as nothing in recent history has disproved, and as the violence bordering on bloodlust that characterizes the thinking of POA and Carroll confirms in spades,”
    Fuck you. I am so sick of this tactic from assholes like yourself. I’m not the one razing farmlands or bulldozing children. Why don’t you get the hell out my country if Israel is so “chosen”?

    Reply

  59. DIL says:

    Carroll: ‘You see, you think that the Jews are “entitled” to their own nation because they are Jews. What if gentiles though of the US as the “Paris” of the gentiles? What if we formally declared the US a “Christian” nation and based our laws and rules of citizenship on that? And somehow you think it’s the worlds fault that the Jewish race or religion, howver you chose to describe it, has always been a smaller population than other populations in the world and we are all responsible for making sure they don’t become extinct by catering to their every whine, desire and demand even if it means wiping out another population.’
    “Wiping out a population?” One of the key “on-the-ground” realities driving the disengagement policy is that Palestinian population growth is many times that of Israeli Jews. What kind of “wiped out” population experiences geometric growth?
    Which brings me back to my original point. Ultimately, as history makes clear, as nothing in recent history has disproved, and as the violence bordering on bloodlust that characterizes the thinking of POA and Carroll confirms in spades, Jews can really count only on themselves for their own survival. Jewish malfeasance is *always* worse than anyone else’s malfeasance — and will ultimately be declared the responsibility of the group rather. Jews will *always* be required to justify their non-”extinction,” as Carroll rather enthusiastically puts it, in a way that will be required of no other human group.
    Carroll thinks that none of this matters — history is over, what matters is right now, and right now it is the Palestinians who are suffering most cruelly. I think he is wrong. The Palestinians are suffering *because* of the history that has driven Jews to the realization that force of arms is ultimately all they can depend upon with certainty, and cold comfort that is indeed. Resentment-crazed bigots like POA and Carroll don’t even realize how they and their kind contribute to the situation by confirming the Jewish suspicion that the last thing in they world they can afford is to let their guard down.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  60. Carroll says:

    Well, the truth just keeps coming….it might not be as shocking if it wasn’t coming from a people who went thru the same thing themselves and who have spent all their lives suing every country, bank, company, railroad, enitity and individual they could find, for every dime and scrap of goods they lost in WWII and then some. On top of having their hand out for aid for 57 years while they were doing this and have spent every moment since the Palestine election trying to make sure Palestine gets not a penny of aid even for medical care. I think eventually the Palestines will get Israel into court..recent pronouncements out of Switzerland on the latest actions by Israel are trending toward taking a very hard look at them concerning all their international law flaunts over the years…the wheels of justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine. Unbeliveable hypocritics…absolutely unbelieveable…demanding reperations from the world for their “loses” while at the same time stealing another people and country blind with the same tactics the nazis used on them.
    Ministry admits ‘blacklist’ of Palestinians who left W. Bank
    By Akiva Eldar
    The government maintains a “blacklist” of Palestinians who left the territories during the 1967 Six Day War, and have since been barred from coming back, lest they sue for the return of their land, the Defense Ministry admitted for the first time Tuesday.
    The property has been used to establish settlements and military bases in the Jordan Valley.
    The blacklist began with 100 people, but swelled to over 2,000 by late 2004, when Brigadier General Ilan Paz, then-commander of the army’s Judea and Samaria (West Bank) District, ordered that no new names be added henceforth. Palestinians on the list who sought to rejoin their families in the territories, or even to come on brief visits, were refused permission “for security reasons.”
    Following a report on the blacklist published in Haaretz on March 14, the head of Meretz’s Knesset faction, Zahava Gal-On, demanded a response from Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Tuesday, Gal-On received a letter from Peretz’s bureau which said that the practice of “approving the entry of Palestinians on the basis of the background described above has been canceled.”
    By confirming the cancelation of this practice, the letter also implicitly confirmed its existence. And with the practice confirmed, Palestinian landowners now will be able to sue the state for the return of their property, as well as for financial compensation for its use over the past few decades.
    However, they may still be unable to enter the territories, since Israel has barred almost all Palestinians from returning to, or visiting, the areas since the intifada began in 2000.
    According to a 2005 State Comptroller’s Report, thousands of dunams of “Palestinian-owned lands were allocated to Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley” during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Numerous ministers, senior government officials, and officials of the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division were involved in this process.
    By law, however, property owned by absentee Palestinians was supposed to be held in trust by the Civil Administration’s Director of Government Property, a representative of the Custodian General. Such land could not legally be used for settlements, and it could be used for security purposes only if an official expropriation order were issued.
    But according to military sources, a significant portion of the Jordan Valley settlements were established on land owned by Palestinian absentees. Parts of the absentees’ lands were also given to local Palestinians in exchange for their lands, which were than transferred to the settlements.
    In a legal opinion drafted in October 2003, the legal adviser for Judea and Samaria warned that the use of these lands was illegal, and suggested that the government find a way to resolve the problem, since if it ended up in court, “it would not benefit the state in any way, and would cause a chain reaction that would endanger the entire fabric of the relevant settlements.”

    Reply

  61. Carroll says:

    BINGO!….give Matthew the prize…
    “If our alliance with Israel requires us to continue to bend international legal norms, what kind of future will we have.”
    When our Imperial Moment ends–as it inevitably will by mid-century–what kind or World will we be living in? Will there be any international legal standards? A Geneva Convention?”

    Reply

  62. Matthew says:

    Instead of wasting time rehashing the history–no one serious minimizes the Holocaust as a huge factor in Isareli policy or denies the Palestinian dispossession, let’s focus on a bigger problem. If our alliance with Israel requires us to continue to bend international legal norms, what kind of future will we have. My biggest problem with the Bush Administration is that he, particularly in relation to the Middle East, is leaving a much worse World than he inherited. When our Imperial Moment ends–as it inevitably will by mid-century–what kind or World will we be living in? Will there be any international legal standards? A Geneva Convention? Or will China and India inherit a World that acts on the One Percent Doctrine?

    Reply

  63. Pissed Off American says:

    And if you should see God, think real hard about what you’ve got to say for yourself.
    Posted by Den Valdron
    Nope, ain’t gonna happen. God is currently helping Bush kill Iraqis, so poor Scwartz will hafta murder Palestinians on his own for awhile.

    Reply

  64. Den Valdron says:

    Nah Peter, its all one big slippery slope. First you denounce the inexcuseable, then you find yourself making excuses for it, then you start understanding, from there you go to sympathizing, and then approving, and then one bright day, its you marching people into a gas chamber and telling yourself its all for the best.
    Y’see Peter, its an old, old road, and lots of people have been down it.
    But you know how it is, don’t you. I’m not about to dissuade you.
    So all I can say is enjoy the trip, don’t bother to let me know how it ends, heard it before.
    And if you should see God, think real hard about what you’ve got to say for yourself.

    Reply

  65. Carroll says:

    Well Peter, with all due respect I think I do get the point….and it’s in your counterpoint…
    “Of course, millions of other people were killed. But there’s still a Russia. There’s still a Germany. There’s still a France. There’s still an Italy. But there is no more Jewish civilization in what used to be the “Paris” of the Jewish world. It’s past is gone and its future is gone. There is no point in asking Jews to forget or get over it, any more than there is a point in asking anyone else to forget their tragedies.”
    You see, you think that the Jews are “entitled” to their own nation because they are Jews. What if gentiles though of the US as the “Paris” of the gentiles? What if we formally declared the US a “Christian” nation and based our laws and rules of citizenship on that? And somehow you think it’s the worlds fault that the Jewish race or religion, howver you chose to describe it, has always been a smaller population than other populations in the world and we are all responsible for making sure they don’t become extinct by catering to their every whine, desire and demand even if it means wiping out another population.
    As far as the Jews right to their “homeland”, they had a period of rule in Palestine, a short one, shorter than any of the other tribes during those centuries. The Holy Land was nothing but a musical see saw of tribes and invaders..but the fact remains that the Arabs remained thruout the centuries as the majority, not the Jews.
    This notion that because the Jews had a 79 year kingdom out of 19 centuries in Palestine they are entitle to go back and have the world “give’ them a “nation” is the height of insanity. Imagine if the Romans or the Otterman’s insisted that their former rule and ownership be restored to them. And yea I know you will say …but,but…look at how the Jews have been driven out of every country, Egypt, Rome,Europe, Spain, Russia, Germany. Well O.K. let’s look at it….why is that I wonder?…could it be that among the Jews you have always had an element of nutcase leaders that have preached this ‘exceptionalism” and that use Judism to foster it and refuse to let the Jews become part of the world at large and keep this victim tribalism insanity going? I don’t know, but something is going on there when they have been run out of every country on earth just for being Jews….cause no one will ever convince me that a majority of humans thruout the centuries just woke up one day and decided to hate their fellow humans just because they are Jews. I can be convinced though that the zionist types, who are the evil twins of of any similar ethnic group of Aryan nation types or master race types have caused the Jews to be tossed because they wouldn’t leave well enough alone in their mad power driven scheme to ‘create’ their own nation and using “the Jews’ was a good vehicle to get them there. And I can be convinced that the zionist are demonizing the Arabs and the Palestines in the same way they were demonized in Germany.
    As far as Israel’s existance, it’s there, let it stay, but make it conform to the rest of the universe and stick to the original borders it was given by the UN.
    This zionist refusal to look at their own behavior and madness and blame anti-semitism for all the evils that have befalled the Jews really needs to end…except of course, that is the point, to continue all this in order to be the ‘exception” to all the rules.
    And before you start yelling about how the US is no different ..You are right…parts of our population, and obviously our current goverment, the “neo’s” the “evangelicals” for example, are just as infected with the same sort of “exceptionalism” madness as zionist, nazis and all the other lunatics thruout history.
    So when we discuss what is going on right now, let’s just leave off the bibical myth, the whines, the excuses, the justifications, ancient history, and all the other crapola…and concentrate on what is going on right now that is wrong.

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  66. Pissed Off American says:

    “See, Jews are bigots, so who are they to call me one?”
    I KNOW why you call me a bigot. Because it is seemingly the only defense you can offer for Israel’s actions. If you can’t counter the facts, point a finger and squeal “anti-semite” at the top of your lungs.
    And as far as the law allowing “non-jews” to marry, the bigotry involved in THAT process needs no explaining.
    Now that THATS settled, Schwartz, care to tell us how razing farmlands is helping get the soldier released?

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  67. Peter Schwartz says:

    “Ironic Peter, that you start off with claiming that the Holocaust does not excuse inexcuseable behaviour… And then you proceed to do just that.
    Posted by Den Valdron at July 4, 2006 12:29 PM”
    Big difference between excusing–particularly on a moral basis–and understanding or, even, having sympathy with.

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  68. grytpype says:

    So much for the old saw “Democracies don’t wage war on each other.”
    The previous favorite, “Democracies don’t wage aggressive war,” went down the tubes in 2003.

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  69. Den Valdron says:

    Ironic Peter, that you start off with claiming that the Holocaust does not excuse inexcuseable behaviour… And then you proceed to do just that.

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  70. Peter Schwartz says:

    Carroll: I think you miss the point. Of course, millions of other people were killed. But there’s still a Russia. There’s still a Germany. There’s still a France. There’s still an Italy. But there is no more Jewish civilization in what used to be the “Paris” of the Jewish world. It’s past is gone and its future is gone. There is no point in asking Jews to forget or get over it, any more than there is a point in asking anyone else to forget their tragedies.
    To be plain, the Holocaust is NOT an excuse for inexcusable behavior. And I don’t excuse it. And I don’t excuse our government for funding it or condoning it. However, I think anyone can see that it does give Jews an impetus for not letting it happen again. The surrrounding Arab countries did try to do it again–four times–in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973–and throughout the years when the PLO had the destruction of Israel in their charter. And now Hammas–democratically elected though it may be–has the destruction of Israel also as their explicit aim. To the best of my knowledge, precious few Arab countries have embassies in Israel, which would seem to be the basic condition for recognizing a country’s right to exist.
    And prior to 1967, there was no occupied West Bank; there was no occupied Gaza. Those lands belonged to Jordan and Egypt. But still Israel’s borders and right to exist were on the chopping block. So it’s a little hard to believe–though possible–that if Israel were to pull out from the occupied lands and a Palestinian state was born that the Arab world would send ambassadors to Israel and all would be fine.
    BTW, I am FOR Israel pulling out of the occupied territories and working hard for a Palestinian state. It is the right thing to do morally, and it is in Israel’s best interests.
    When you put a country’s right to exist into question, the conflict becomes a matter of survival. All kinds of bad, twisted, and self-defeating things take place. I agree with Steve that, at this point, Israel should feel and act more secure in its ability to survive. But I also understand why a lot of its people don’t. And I also understand why a lot of people’s attitudes, on both sides of the line, have hardened. It becomes tough to understand and give credit to the other side. Here, in the US, we shouldn’t have that problem.
    SONA: Totally agree, except with your point that they’re not “semitic.” That distinction, right or wrong, never seems to help when push comes to shove, nor is it key to the Jewish people’s identity. All Jews are part of the Jewish people, whether they live in Shanghai or London.
    POA: In all the UN resolutions you listed on another TWN thread, you didn’t list the one which established the State of Israel. Why not? If the Arab world isn’t willing to abide by this basic resolution, then why should Israel be expected to abide by all the votes that went against her? I happen to believe she should have (in certain cases and as a matter of principle), but it’s easy to see why she didn’t. I don’t excuse, but I see why.
    As for the marriage article, if you go to the trouble of posting an article that clearly shows progress, you should say, “That shows progress.” Otherwise, what’s your point? Progress on the intermarriage front is obviously no excuse for razing farmland; anyone can see that. But the point of your posting the article certainly seemed to be, “See, Jews are bigots, so who are they to call me one?” As you’ve pointed out many times, and Carroll does above, two wrongs don’t make a right. Clearly, Israel is making progress on this front based on the article you posted; are you? If I’ve misconstrued your reason for posting the article, please do give me your real reason.
    PAUL writes: “The Palestinians are fighting an illegal 40 year occupation. They have the right to use terror tactics to end that occupation. I don’t hear many Israelis apologising for the occupation, or admitting that it is a repugnant tactic.
    I also see Israel’s existence as a moral imperative, but the fact remains that it was all done wrongly. ”
    As I say, I believe the Israelis should pull out of the occupied territories. I believe they have a right to fight for their independence (as everyone on this thread believes that the Jews had a right to fight for their independence, yes?). But, as a matter of fact, there is an Israeli peace party, small though it may be. The Supreme Court does act to protect Arab rights. Arabs are citizens (though second-class in some respects) of Israel. And Arabs are elected to the Knesset. As paltry as these achievements are, you won’t find anything–to my knowledge–that even remotely resembles this in the Arab world. In fact, after Israel was founded, many Arab countries cleansed themselves of their Jews. (A little bit the equivalent of the US cleansing itself of French citizens because, hey, you’ve got a country. Not exact, but you get my point.)
    As far as Israel having been done “wrongly,” I can agree. It would have been nice if everyone involved could have agreed. But given that what you say is true, where do go from here? Are you suggesting that Israel should go away simply because its birth was done wrongly? What country has come into existence rightly? (Certainly not yours. Should we all go away?) Second, I can hardly think of a country’s whose birth was negotiated by an international body. I can hardly think of a comparable situation where land was set aside for both parties with claims to the land. (Israel’s was smaller, though proportionately larger, but did include a big chunk of desert.) So, on the scale of countries coming into existence rightly or wrongly, I think Israel scores pretty high, warts and all. And if Israel’s right to exist is impugned because it wasn’t the product of an immaculate conception, then I have to say that Israel is being held to a standard that no other country (except perhaps the most isolated) has ever achieved or is likely to. That strikes me as a basic bias–you know, like blacks having to be twice as bright to get the same job an averagely bright white person gets. But I see the complexity in your thinking and, of course, recognize that you do feel that Israel’s right to exist is a moral imperative.

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  71. Paul Holloway says:

    Anne Lieberman: you conveniently forget that while those 700 home-made Qassam rockets were being fired out of Gaza in Sderot, Israel sent over at least as many more powerful bombs from their side of the line, killing and injuring many more people than the puny Qassams.
    You claim that the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade claimed to have produced chemical weapons. That information comes from a *leaflet* distributed in Gaza, not a press release from Fateh, and is probably misinformation. It certainly hasn’t been reported by any reputable news source.
    The power plant at Ashkelon is close to the range of the Qassams, and some have landed nearby. However, a Qassam does not have sufficient firepower to destroy the power plant, though minor damage could occur if they were very, very lucky. Ashkelon also provided Gaza with power, by the way.
    The picniccers on the beach at Gaza were undoubtedly killed by an Israeli shell; an independent US ballistics expert has examined the site and decided that that is the only explanation. He rejects outright any idea that it might have been a Palestinian mine or old ordinance. There is a pattern of denial by Israel in similar cases; I note that it was only when the international disapproval became overwhelming that Israel declared that it was not one of their shells that hit.
    The Palestinians are fighting an illegal 40 year occupation. They have the right to use terror tactics to end that occupation. I don’t hear many Israelis apologising for the occupation, or admitting that it is a repugnant tactic.
    I also see Israel’s existence as a moral imperative, but the fact remains that it was all done wrongly. From ben-Gurion’s initial unilateral declaration of independence, followed by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their own land, followed by the premature international recognition of Israel by the US, the Arabs of the region have been treated like dirt by the international community. Had things remained in the UN it might have taken ten or twenty years to reach an accomodation, but that would have saved so much of the last forty years of problems.

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  72. sona says:

    As a Jew with longstanding connections with Israel, I must say that it is not anisemitic to criticise Israel’s disregard for civilised response to the kidnapping of a soldier – it does no sensible jews proud to be associated with the crap thats going on. Many of us feel we have been hijacked by a bunch of bloodthirsty ruffians from Eastern Europe who were never semites in the first place.

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  73. enoughalready says:

    carol needs to get laid

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  74. Carroll says:

    Well gee Peter…what do you mean…
    …”even” Caroll had to admit that Israeli Supreme Court has been insrumental in upholding the rights of minorities…
    Sounds like you think I bash Israel unnecessarily most of the time. I think I give credit where credit is due and I certainly recongize that there are elements in Israel and among American Jews who protest the same Israeli actions that I do.
    However there is no getting around the fact that Israel isn’t held to any standards by some of the pro Israel crowd.
    It’s interesting that I haven’t ripped into the Israeli cult for anything that I haven’t also ripped into my own USA master’s of universe cult either.
    Even in my conviction that this “Israelization’ of the US “attitude” abroad by zionist influence and other nutcases has to stop…I have been equal in my blame on both the zionist cult and the corrupt US congress.
    But these arguements that “Johnnie did it too Mommie”..are ridiculous. Because we killed off the Indians and didn’t give blacks and women equal rights way back when..it’s suppose to be O.K. for us sit around and wait for you to evolve and grow up also while people are being abused and killed? Huummm..all this “you did it too” is too much like excusing what Israel is doing in Palestine because of what Hitler did to the Jews.
    My problem with your line of thinking is this “exception” in standards for Israel the zionst want to claim. It is a crock, a result of the world having induldged the Jews for their loss way beyond the point we should have simply because they were the loudest squeakiest wheel.
    Hilter and WWII was about more than the Jews and killed a lot more people than it did Jews.
    No one knows the exact number killed in WWII, but offical estimates of military killed is 45 to 60 million..including civilian populations it gets up to 100,000,000…the Russian lost 5 times the number of any other ally, did anyone compensate them?.
    So I have no patience with the zionist clinging to Jewish deaths as an excuse for bad behavior or for the “moral imperative of the existance of Israel”…Suck it up and Move on like every other population and country with millions of dead in that war. You owe the world now not visa versa…and it’s past time you started paying your bill.
    The victim card has been clx’ed by popular vote. Learn to consider other humans as important as you do yourselves or you will fall off the edge of the world.

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  75. CD says:

    To your comment on Israel knowing that Haniya is more compromising
    Our danger is Arab moderates, not the Arab extremists – Chaim Weizmann

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  76. weldon berger says:

    David, I venture to say that every war criminal believes himself provoked. That Israel is kind enough to let in supplies to help ameliorate the conditions created by what is without question an act of collective punishment isn’t the issue, and nor is the fact that some Palestinians are terrorists: it’s that Israel is punishing the civilian population of Gaza in order to pressure the actual guilty parties in the kidnapping to return Shalit, if one accepts response to the kidnapping as the motivating factor. That’s a wholly unambiguous war crime, and one of a type with which members of my own family had personal experience during World War II.

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  77. Pissed Off American says:

    “History has dealt the area with some unfortunate circumstances. People can dwell on the past, but that is unlikely to lead to a solution. What’s more important than the past is the present and the future. There seems more discussion of the past than on ways to improve the future.”
    Posted by GQ
    Yeah, walls, razed farmlands, destroyed utility infrastructures, and kidnapped and incarcerated Palestinian politicians bodes real well for a “discussion” on “ways to improve the future”. These things are happening AS WE SPEAK. Are we to ignore them?

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  78. Pissed Off American says:

    “So, if you hold Israel to a standard that no other country, including your own, upholds in even remotely similar circumstances, then one has to wonder what the substance of your argument is.”
    You seem to have misunderstood. Our government is acting just as despicably as your country is towards the Muslims. Have you missed noticing our CRIMINAL INVASION OF IRAQ??? I hold BOTH countries to a far higher standard than EITHER of them are meeting. Simply put, WE should be better than this. What Israel does, as despicable as it may be, is beyond our control. I just wish these pimps in Washington would quit FUNDING and ABETTING Isreal’s despicable actions.
    “Moreover, to use this example, if you dismiss or disparage progress within Israel…it’s a little bit like saying, “See how bad they are? They’re improving!”
    Oh, well hey……..excuuuuuuuse me. I should have said….”Gee, the Israelis are letting “non-jews” marry, while they murder, starve, and cage Palestian children. Gosh, what progress”.
    BTW, how come none of you want to talk about this business of “razing farmlands”???

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  79. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA wrote: “Consider the implications of the following article. Despite some of these assholes here calling people “anti-semitic” for their oposition to Israel’s policies, an accusation that is little different than calling us “bigots”, they feel they need to LEGISLATE to allow marraige unions involving as “non-jewish” partner. So whos the bigot? Can you imagine Mississippi adopting a law aimed at “allowing” blacks and whites to marry?”
    I certainly wouldn’t call you a bigot simply for criticizing Israel’s policies. How could I? Israelis themselves are among the most critical of their own country’s policies. I would wager (sorry, no links) that the Israeli public is the most self-critical of any public in the region. And no one with eyes to see would ever assert that Israel is even close to perfect–what country is? But even Carroll had to admit that Israeli Supreme Court has been insrumental in upholding the rights of minorities. So, if you hold Israel to a standard that no other country, including your own, upholds in even remotely similar circumstances, then one has to wonder what the substance of your argument is. Moreover, to use this example, if you dismiss or disparage progress within Israel…it’s a little bit like saying, “See how bad they are? They’re improving!” And what is your model? The US? Syria? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Libya?
    If Hamas is successful in instituting sharia, we can look at the results and talk again.
    As far as Mississippi is concerned, there were of course anti-mecegenation laws for quite a long time. So yes, it is easy to imagine. You are living in the land of bigotry. Built on the ashes of tens of millions of Native Americans and the sweat of millions of slaves. Hey, it was only 1964 that blacks were guaranteed the right to vote. Right now, and for some time, Arabs have served in the Knesset.

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  80. GQ says:

    Fundamentalism in all forms–religious or secular–is dangerous. I think the I-P debate is littered with fundamentalists, as this thread so dramatically shows. It shouldn’t be up to me, as a non Israeli and non Palestinian to determine the compromise and declare what should be done. Nor do I think American do-gooders should be the ones to draw up the terms. That is for the people themselves to decide, not foreigners.
    History has dealt the area with some unfortunate circumstances. People can dwell on the past, but that is unlikely to lead to a solution. What’s more important than the past is the present and the future. There seems more discussion of the past than on ways to improve the future.

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  81. Reg says:

    To All:
    Remember what Theodore Herzl asserted as the leader of the World Zionist Congress at the end of the 19th century:”We will drive the penniless Arabs from the land.” Now, do you begin to under the long-range strategy of the State of Israel.
    It is my opinion that the USA is paying dearly for its complicity in the immoral scheme.

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  82. Pissed Off American says:

    Consider the implications of the following article. Despite some of these assholes here calling people “anti-semitic” for their oposition to Israel’s policies, an accusation that is little different than calling us “bigots”, they feel they need to LEGISLATE to allow marraige unions involving as “non-jewish” partner. So whos the bigot? Can you imagine Mississippi adopting a law aimed at “allowing” blacks and whites to marry?
    Justice Ministry drafts civil marriage law for ‘refuseniks’
    By Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondent
    The Justice Ministry is drafting a bill that would institute a type of civil marriage for couples who cannot marry in Israel according to Jewish law. Justice Minister Haim Ramon intends to introduce the bill during the Knesset’s winter session.
    The law is aimed at solving a problem faced by 300,000 Israelis who cannot marry because one of the partners is not Jewish, or his or her Jewishness cannot be determined. Ramon’s proposal is more restrictive than the civil marriage (or “matrimonial covenant”) plan devised by a committee headed by Roni Bar-On during the last Knesset session.
    The ministerial legislative committee rejected Sunday a private member’s bill submitted by a group of MKs headed by Yuri Stern (Yisrael Beiteinu) for a civil-marriage registry that would also deal with couples who are eligible for an Orthodox marriage, but do not want one. This bill, which resembles others submitted in the last Knesset session, would permit any couple in which the man and women are at least 18 and not currently married to register as a couple in a separate registry administered by the Justice Ministry. The couples would receive the same marriage benefits as other married couples, and in the event of divorce, it would be handled in family court and not the religious courts.
    continues at…..
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/734034.html

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  83. Friendly Fire says:

    I wish Steve would post fresher posts. What’s been going on in Gaza since 1967 has been a war crime.
    Steve, your blog must have considerable traffic these days……… please present your solution today to resolve tha capture/abduction issue and a two-state solution.
    It’s like Israel has only one bogeyman, the poor people who are walled-in and send home-made pipe rockets into nowhere.
    Meanwhile Israel have all the power and the weapons and they have fuck all diplomacy and humanitarian thoughts.

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  84. Pissed Off American says:

    Zionism and Israel Information Center Forum – The Zionist Lobby …American Enterprise Institute, The New York Times and The Wall Street … at Best of the Web (here and here), or Anne Lieberman at Boker tov, Boulder! …
    http://www.zionism-israel.com/cgi/yabb/YaBB. cgi?board=Activism;action=display;num=1143383194 – 206k – Cached – Similar pages

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  85. Pissed Off American says:

    “Does anyone here know that before Israel struck the Gaza power station, the Palestinians were targeting (and came very close to hitting) a major Israeli power station in Ashkelon?”
    Oh bullshit. Back his CRAP up with some facts and sources. As I asked before, what explanation do you have for your heroes razing Palestinian farmland? Perhaps they were afraid those nasty Pal kids were gonna throw carrots at innocent Israeli shoppers.
    “Sadly, I doubt that many readers of this blog know that Israel is supplying the Palestinian Authority with ambulances, or that yesterday they opened the Karni crossing in order to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza – even at the risk of also facilitating the flow of suicide bombers in the other direction.”
    What pure unadultered HORSESHIT. Are you saying that they opened the crossing in both directions??? Yeah right. Has it ever occurred to you that when you offer such obvious CRAP as an argument you are only underscoring the fact that you need LIES to bolster your defense of these murderous bastards currently forming the Israeli policies towards Gaza?

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  86. Den Valdron says:

    Anne, let me just make a few observations about the IDF commission that exonerated the IDF.
    1) First, its the IDF investigating the IDF and determining that they didn’t do anything wrong. That’s hardly free of conflicts of interest.
    2) The theory of the IDF commission is that although the IDF did indeed fire several shells at that beach within a few hundred yards of the family, and within ten minutes of the family blowing up, it was not them. It was a coincidence. That’s a hell of a coincidence.
    3) The coincidence is dependent on one of two scenarios. First, the family just happened to be sitting on a munitions dump which just happened to be buried at a public beach which just happened to go off at the right time. Calculate the odds on that please.
    4) The alternative scenario is that it was a set up by the terrorists, Hamas or Hezbollah or whoever, who apparently had advance knowledge down to the minute, and knowledge of location of IDF shelling down to a few yards, of the IDF’s activities, with sufficient advance time for them to plan, put resources and personnel in place, and blow up a family WHO JUST HAPPENED TO BE THERE in time to blame Israel. One reduces the towering scale of coincidence by attributing superhuman powers to the enemy.
    5) Ohmert or Olmert, or whatever he is called, did in fact apologize, which means that whatever the IDF’s whitewash, Israel has acknowledged and taken responsibility for that particular massacre.
    6) Don’t drag horseshit through a room unless you’re prepared to get on your hands and knees to clean it up. Transparently dishonest nonsense, no matter how sincerely proferred, brings a taint of dishonesty to all the rest of your arguments, no matter how sincere or truthful these might turn out to be.

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  87. Punchy says:

    “people are SURE that they alone know the score in a country THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN VISITED!”
    What a sham argument. So know I cannot “know” parts of Africa are starving because I have not been there? I cannot “know” that Greenland has lots of ice and snow becuase I’ve not trekked that far north? I cannot “know” Baghdad is a war-torn mess b/c I’ve never found a cheap flight over there?
    If presence in a country is the only marker of “knowing” and “understanding” a situation, then how can *anyone* dare make any comments/statements about North Korea?

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  88. Bozell says:

    After reading Anne’s comment I support the transpotation of the Palestinians out of the land of Israel to wherever in cattle cars of the most tasteful interior design, IF they don’t shape up. I am against the extermination of the Palestinians, IF they don’t shape up, since it is immoral.
    This can be achieved using as a model the expulsion of the Sudetenland Germans from Czechslovakia after WWII, IF the Palestinians don’t shape up.
    But I fear they won’t SHAPE UP ’cause they’re consistent.

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  89. alec says:

    bottom line:
    people are SURE that they alone know the score in a country THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN VISITED!
    so ignorant. so american. opinions based on heresay. not much different from your hated president, huh?
    rock on “carol.”
    hypocisy is as hypocrisy does.

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  90. Nell says:

    Anne, many people who support Israel’s right to exist and to use force in its efforts to recover Gilad Shalit have serious moral objections to the reckless, disproportionate response of Ohlmert’s government. But let’s put those aside.
    There are equally serious pragmatic objections. The Israeli government’s decision to respond by taking down the elected government is hurtling the whole region, already in a heightened state of violence, into chaos. Decisions taken almost entirely for immediate domestic political purposes have consequences far beyond the moment. This has no chance of turning out well for Israel in the medium, much less the long term.
    Unfortunately, we are burdened with a government that makes its decisions in the same way as the Kadima leaders have done this week. The Israeli government response has reminded many here of our own feckless, bomb- and-detain-first/ask-questions-later White House, and the similarity erodes popular support for Ohlmert and U.S. aid to Israel.

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  91. Anne Lieberman says:

    It strikes me that the commenters here know only the parts of the story that affirm a preexistent anti-Israel position. This blog’s audience does not seem to know that since Israel withdrew from Gaza last August, more than 700 Kassam missiles have been launched from there targeting innocent Jewish civilians in southern Israel. One of these rockets hit a house just yards from the home of Israel’s Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Did anyone here then accuse the Palestinians of going too far?
    Does anyone here know that before Israel struck the Gaza power station, the Palestinians were targeting (and came very close to hitting) a major Israeli power station in Ashkelon? Has anyone here even heard of Ashkelon? Or Sderot, the town of 20,000 that has borne the brunt of the Kassam attacks?
    Does anyone here know that the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade (Fatah military) announced on Sunday June 25 that after three years of effort, they have succeeded in manufacturing 20 different types of chemical and biological weapons which they intend to add to these Kassam rockets?
    Did anyone here read the results of the IDF’s inquiry commission into the cause of death of the seven Palestinian family members in the Gaza beach explosion? Since the shrapnel did not match Israeli ammunition used that day, there are two possible explanations: The blast could have been caused by an unexploded IDF artillery shell that landed on the beach weeks or months beforehand, or the blast could have been caused by an explosive device planted by a Palestinian terrorist group. How many in this forum are willing to even consider the second possibility?
    Because someone here mentioned that Hamas is being “demonized,” I have to wonder if any of you have ever read the Hamas charter, or watched their “official” videos. How do you demonize people who publicize views such as this (and I quote) “… message to the loathed Jews is that there is no god but Allah, we will chase you everywhere! We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children’s thirst with your blood. We will not leave until you leave the Muslim countries.”
    I have to wonder if anyone here has ever heard of Mariam Farhat a/k/a Umm Nidal, one of the newly (and democratically) elected Hamas legislators. In a videotaped interview on Egypt’s Dream2 TV in December, she said, “I am proud and honored to be a terrorist for the sake of Allah.” Of her ten sons she said, “I will sacrifice them all. If my duty requires me to sacrifice them all, I will not refuse – even if it costs me a hundred sons.” I can’t even imagine what it would take to “demonize” a mother who would rather see her children die than live.
    Sadly, I doubt that many readers of this blog know that Israel is supplying the Palestinian Authority with ambulances, or that yesterday they opened the Karni crossing in order to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza – even at the risk of also facilitating the flow of suicide bombers in the other direction.
    Of all the accusations levelled against Israel in this forum, no one has offered the criticism with which I could agree, that Israel is inconsistent: they fight the Palestinians with one hand and care for them with the other. Nor has anyone here praised the Palestinians for their greatest strength: they are completely consistent. Not one Palestinian organization – or faction or wing of a faction – deviates from the call to liberate the land of Israel from Zionist oppression (or from my perspective, Zionist sovereignty).
    While I appreciate the challenge to engage in civil discussion, I don’t think it’s feasible, given the a priori assumption -ubiquitous in this forum- that Israel can do no right.
    More basic even than that is the question of how someone like me, who sees Israel’s very existence as a moral imperative, would go about discussing it with those… who don’t. You may dislike the metaphor, but it’s kind of like inviting me to have a “civil discussion” about the interior design of cattle cars. Why would I do that?

    Reply

  92. Justaguy says:

    “Leaving aside, as every contributor to this discussion has, the moral distinction between deputizing children to go blow up other children in a bus or a restaurant vs. trying (even when failing) to focus retaliation for such attacks on the plotters and planners.”
    If you want to say that killing people is wrong under any circumstances, that would be great. It would be a moral distinction. If you’re going to start talking about which methods of killing people are better than others, its more of a discussion of the aesthetics of murder.
    Is there a moral distinction between strapping explosives to yourself and blowing yourself up, and packing explosives in phallic containers to be dropped from above? How so?
    What magic is posessed by the nation state that makes its killing good, whereas in a non-state entity it is bad?
    The argument that Israeli’s kill innocents by accident whereas Palestinians do so by design becomes pretty weak when you look at the ratio of non-combatant deaths involved. If killing civilians is evil and trying not to is good, it is interesting that the Israelis manage to do much more evil by being good.
    There is a certian type of violence that the weak can wage against the strong, and another that the strong can wage against the weak. As we live in a powerful society, there is an instinct to support the violence of the powerful agianst the weak, and view the violence of the weak against the powerful as pathological.
    I think that not killing people is generally preferable to killing people. I view that as a moral value. Communities with different abilities and with different resources will find different ways to kill with different results. Choosing between them is picking a team, it isn’t making a moral judgment.

    Reply

  93. Punchy says:

    And then there’s the conspiratorial view: That Israel is prolonging any negotiations for release in order to green light itself to destroy the Hamas gov’t and all of the infrastructure.
    Looks like they’re halfway there already. Incredible.

    Reply

  94. dr2chase says:

    *Leaving aside, as every contributor to this discussion has, the moral distinction between deputizing children to go blow up other children in a bus or a restaurant vs. trying (even when failing) to focus retaliation for such attacks on the plotters and planners.*
    I think that Israel has enough data on the collateral damage of their focused efforts to know that in general, their retaliations will harm far more innocent people than the atrocities that they retaliate against. Intentional, immoral, ignorance, if you will.
    And further, if you look at the outcome (a democratically elected Hamas government) it’s pretty clear that Israel’s policies are not working (at least, not the way that I would define “success”). Israel needs to do something different, and it is indeed Israel’s responsibility, because they have all the power and all the options.

    Reply

  95. Carroll says:

    PissedOff…..you said..
    “I disagree whole heartedly. We are in bed with the “cult” you speak of. The democratic party is just as beholden to AIPAC and the Israeli zionists as the republicans are. Harry Reid is right up there in the top of the top ten as far as monies recieved from AIPAC. The United States, if it is to rid itself of the Israel’s meddling and destructive manipulation of policy, needs to COMPLETELY clean house in Washington.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Totally agree on Reid and dems,they are eaten up with AIPAC and Israeli firsters..that, among other things , is why I am not voting for them, in fact I have already switched my registration from Dem to independent.
    However a few points…”We” are not in this with Israel..the “congress, US zionist, neo-cons and religious cultist” are the ones in this with Israel..not the average American.
    I say there will be hell to pay because the rest of the world is Not, repeat is Not, going to let Isrmerica continue it’s rampage all the way to a ME tinderbox….not when it affects their in$erest in the ME also. And of course ordinary Americans will pay the price for whatever happens when the world decides it has had enough of Isrmerica.
    The good news is Hersh say there is a coup brewing among military commanders over the neo’s insistance on attacking Iran. The quote from his NYorker article regarding the dissenters on the an Iran attack:
    “A retired four-star general, who ran a major command, said, “The system is starting to sense the end of the road, and they don’t want to be condemned by history. They want to be able to say, ‘We stood up.” ”
    If..”starting to sense the end of the road”..and..”don’t want to be condemned by history” ..isn’t plain enough, nothing is.

    Reply

  96. Carroll says:

    Dear Alex….I think what you mean is you ran into people who actually are informed and therefore you are hightailing it some site where all the posters know about Israel is the Hollywood movie version…
    Bon voyage……

    Reply

  97. Pissed Off American says:

    Uhhhm, seriously. Anyone want to defend Israel’s “razing” of farmlands??? Care to explain to us how that helps get the Israeli soldier back?? Or maybe you’re gonna tell us its “anti-semitic” of us to ask.

    Reply

  98. Pissed Off American says:

    “i’m done with this confederacy of dunces.”
    Don’t worry about it, as soon as the subject changes, DIL will slither away. But gee, don’t let that stop you from doing the same.

    Reply

  99. Pissed Off American says:

    “(e.g., http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/733742.html,
    speaking of dead kids)”
    Great link, troll. It goes to nowhere. Just like your scripted bullshit does.

    Reply

  100. alec says:

    i find it is so interesting that people –CAROL– can have such definite opinions about the “truth” in countries THAT THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN VISITED FOR A SINGLE DAY!
    heresay. wow.
    i’m done with this confederacy of dunces. there are too many INFORMED people to debate.

    Reply

  101. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, the UN Security Council wanted to pass a resolution condemning Israel’s actions, but were blocked by the United States. Makes ya proud to be an American, don’t it? Hey, lets “raze” a little farmland, starve a few of them sand niggers’ kids, eh?
    Jesus’d be proud, by gum. God bless America and King George.
    Israel’s Infrastructure Warfare
    By Mike Whitney
    07/02/06 “Information Clearing House” — – Israel is now openly engaged in infrastructure warfare, the wanton destruction of the basic platforms of human survival. The bombing of the electric power plant has thrust the world’s most densely populated area into darkness; cutting off the vital flow of energy to hospitals, assistance centers, and the pumping stations which provide the city’s water. At the same time, Israel has bombed large sections of the main roads, government buildings, water lines and bridges. The Associated Press said, “Israeli tanks and bulldozers crossed the Gaza Strip and began razing farmland east of Khan Younis”.
    “Razing farmland” is critical in understanding the real motive behind the current aggression. The attack is directed against Palestinian civilians, not terrorists and not Hamas. Israel is purposely destroying the means for continued human survival in Gaza.
    continues at……
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13817.htm

    Reply

  102. DIL says:

    dr2chase: “Talk is pretty damn cheap, compared to a dead kid.”
    But apparently only compared to a dead Palestinian kid.
    I take no satisfaction from the all-too-frequent failure of the IDF to execute its missions with the care and precision it takes to prevent the death and injury of innocents. Nevertheless, given the huge disparity in means that exists between the IDF and its Palestinian adversaries, I’d have to say it’s rather amazing that the grisly ratio POA takes such apparent delight in totaling up is not significantly more imbalanced than it is. (Leaving aside, as every contributor to this discussion has, the moral distinction between deputizing children to go blow up other children in a bus or a restaurant vs. trying (even when failing) to focus retaliation for such attacks on the plotters and planners.) And nothing I’ve read in the last several days convinces me that the IDF has been anything less than remarkably disciplined during this operation.
    Yes, I’ll admit I had higher hopes for the Kadima-Labor coalition than I’ve had for any Isreali government since the Rabin assassination, and am as disappointed as Steve that it appears to have floundered its way into a missed opportunity. I also doubt it will propitiate anyone if I acknowledge, again, that I favor significant reductions in U.S. foreign aid to Israel, not least because of the unfortunate effect it has on American internal politics — but I’ll do it anyway.
    All that said, I’ll also reiterate my basic point: the intractable insistence that the only villain in this situation is Israel, maintained in the face of substantial, unremarked contrary evidence (e.g., http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/733742.html, speaking of dead kids) is deeply troubling. When murderers, kidnappers, and dispatchers of child-bombs get a complete pass by those who have an apparently inexhaustible supply of bile to pour on Israeli heads, the message delivered is clear.
    Imagine the effect if such bilious sentiments were to be enacted as actual policy. I, for one, do not relish the prospect of a well-armed, isolated Israel made to feel as though it has been backed completely against the wall, but I sense that I may be taking a minority position on that point as well.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  103. Pissed Off American says:

    excuse me, but i forgot to add one point:
    it is precisely this “know it all attitude” that america projects to the world that the world finds so infuriating.
    Posted by alec
    Yeah. I see you have added alot of factual info here, genius.

    Reply

  104. Pissed Off American says:

    “Fuck you, David. I respect your right to be a cheerleader for your team, and if necessary, an apologist for atrocities. I ‘venomously’ reject your assertion that you have any right to dictate the terms of the discussion, or to judge the character of those who disagree with you.”
    Ah Den……you have such a way with words. Hehehe…seriously though, I find it interesting that calling someone a “jew baiter” or “anti-semitic” falls under the heading of “civil discourse” yet accurately pointing out that the obvious troll is a lying scumbag asshole is “name calling”.

    Reply

  105. Pissed Off American says:

    “And Steve is right, what can’t continue won’t continue. When the international community wakes the US up from it’s drunken stupor and we realize what we have been party to in this Israeli insanity there is going to be hell to pay.”
    I disagree whole heartedly. We are in bed with the “cult” you speak of. The democratic party is just as beholden to AIPAC and the Israeli zionists as the republicans are. Harry Reid is right up there in the top of the top ten as far as monies recieved from AIPAC. The United States, if it is to rid itself of the Israel’s meddling and destructive manipulation of policy, needs to COMPLETELY clean house in Washington. There is going to be no “hell to pay” because the politicans with the power do not want there to be “hell to pay”. These fuckers in Washington have SOLD US OUT. Things are not going to get BETTER from here, they are going to get WORSE. Good God, look at what the Bush Administration has gotten away with so far. There is NO deterent to their actions, no accountability. If we cannot even hold our own government accountable under the law, how can you expect us to wake up and give “hell to pay” to Israel for ITS actions? Nope. Like I have said many times here, this is JUST BEGINNING. We haven’t seen ANYTHING yet, a WHOOOOOLE lot of people are going to die at the hands of this administration and their Israeli masters.

    Reply

  106. Den Valdron says:

    Well, I thought about posting a comment to this thread. But I note that someone named David Isadora Lieberman has reserved the right to call anyone who disagrees with him an anti-semite, for disagreeing with him. David has reserved the sole right to be the arbiter of racism, the moral gatekeeper, and all that good stuff. Under those circumstances, I think my only useful contribution would be to say “Fuck you, David. I respect your right to be a cheerleader for your team, and if necessary, an apologist for atrocities. I ‘venomously’ reject your assertion that you have any right to dictate the terms of the discussion, or to judge the character of those who disagree with you.”

    Reply

  107. Carroll says:

    Dear Alex..
    Yes, as a matter of fact I have been to the ME..I visited Egypt,Turkey and Morocco during the time I spent several months in Bahrain with my sister and brother-in-law who was on a contract with Gulf A/L….
    So what is it you would like to ask me about my impression of the ME?
    Or does it just gall hell out of you that Americans for the most part aren’t “know it alls” and don’t insist that or want every country on earth to be just like America and Americans and that we can understand other view points even ones we might not agree with?
    And how does having or not having been to the ME really have anything to do with the ability to distingush right and wrong in the Isr/Pal conflict? Huh?
    The Arab world is complicated within itself, but there is nothing complicated about Israel’s part.
    It is typical of zionst arguements to try to make this conflict about more than it is actually about…they plopped yourselves down in the middle of a land that was, in 1936; 634,000 Arab Muslims, 52,000 Arab Christians and 28,600 Jews….offical British census btw…they then proceeded with their little Stern and Irgun terrorist gangs ..officially listed as terrorist by the UK btw…for terrorist acts in the UK btw….to run off nomadic farmers and rural Palestines in order to gain more land then they been given by the UN….they ignored all the UN restrictions on orderly immigration and numbers into Palestine…
    I invite you to imagine what would have happen to the Israelis or all the Jews for that matter, if in 1948 they had plopped down in Maine USA or Georgia USA as their promised land and done the same things they did in Palestine….they would be extinct, a footnote in history. Wiped out in short order.
    So let’s not whine about Palestine not rolling over and giving up their land and resources shall we?. If I were in their place I would be in the basement every day baking up bombs to get the Israelis out of my country.

    Reply

  108. dr2chase says:

    *Again, the compulsion to vilify Israel and the willful blindness to Israeli attempts to take decisive action while minimizing loss to innocent life and limb*
    Either someone has lied to you, or you are lying, or the Israeli army is incompetent. If they were making an honest, competent attempt to minimize loss of innocent lives, we would not have the gross disparity in dead children. Or, if this is the very finest in minimal loss of innocent life, then that is one heck of a lot of decisive action, with not that much to show for it. How do you reconcile the body count with your claim? Talk is pretty damn cheap, compared to a dead kid.

    Reply

  109. alec says:

    excuse me, but i forgot to add one point:
    it is precisely this “know it all attitude” that america projects to the world that the world finds so infuriating.

    Reply

  110. alec says:

    carol:
    have you ever been to the middle east?
    many people here seem to be positioning themselves as geopolitical and historical experts on one of the most “complicated” areas of the world. it seems so american, and pardon me, small minded. black and white from his perspective. white and black from her perspective. anyone who thinks the “truth” is one-sided and easily explained shows how little they know about the middle east.
    it’s so easy to sit back and critique one side or the other from the safety of america.

    Reply

  111. Carroll says:

    BTW….
    Did the US attack the entire country of Iran when they held US hostages?
    Did we bomb Israel when they killed Rachel Corrie?
    Did the UN bomb Israel when they shot two UN peace keepers?
    Did the UK bomb Israel when they shot a UK citizen peace worker in the head and killed him?
    Did Great Britin attack Israel when their Stern gang kidnapped and hung two British officers?
    Did the US and the UK wipe out Israel when they dressed up as Arabs and bombed the King David Hotel killing 37 civilians?
    Did the US marines blow out the isralei tanks after they made repeated incursions into the de-m zones in Beruit after having been warned repeatedly not to?
    Did we nuke Israel after they attacked the USS Liberty?
    Israel’s get out of jail free holocaust passes are used up. Period. And our get out of jail free world superpower passes have also been cancelled.

    Reply

  112. Carroll says:

    Frankly, I think Steve should get a prize for honesty….since he has been a supporter of Israel, in so far, as their ‘right to exist.”
    As a non public figure of no influence except among my own friends I don’t have to be as “politic’ as those who have something to lose by being criticized for their opinions.
    I can speak “plainly” and have many times since watching the antics of Israel and of the pro Israel crowd and Israel apologist in this country for the past years as this Israeli fetish grew in our country.
    So let me give a common sense warning to Jews and non Jews alike..Get this zionist Israel Cult, and a “cult” is exactly what it is, under control now.
    This “cult with a military” has become some midget 21st century nazi and all their claims of self defense and security and right to do “anything” to protect their “Jewish’ state because of their holocaust victim status have long since been proven an excuse and a lie by their constant pattern of agression and lying and stalling any peace. Like all other cults or terrorist groups they claim the “right” to take any action, illegal or immoral, while condemning the same actions by anyone opposed to their goals or greater glory.
    And Steve is right, what can’t continue won’t continue. When the international community wakes the US up from it’s drunken stupor and we realize what we have been party to in this Israeli insanity there is going to be hell to pay.
    And no, the excuse of how bad some other countries “human rights ” are has nothing to do with “why pick on Israel”, so forget that excuse. We arent’ talking about other countries, we are talking about the US supporting the immoral and illegal acts of Israel.
    And I think is is pretty obvious that Israel is deliberately trying to esculate war in the ME to save their PNAC goals of realignment of power in the ME since it is afraid the US will back out of Iraq and not confront Iran militarlity as they had hoped.

    Reply

  113. DIL says:

    Friendly Fire observes: “At least Hamas only make threats…. mean Israeli subject Gaza residents to collective punishment… your reply?”
    A threat is only a threat until it is executed. And Hamas has sufficiently demonstrated its readiness and capacity to act on its threats to be taken seriously.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  114. karenk says:

    Purposefully cutting off power and especially water to thousands upon thousands of people is an action for which there is no excuse and tells me the level of animosity that this IS/PAL conflict has sunk to.
    As an RN I can only imagine the public health disaster this will create. Not to mention what people and of course the nurses there must be already be going through. I read a story that they had no power for the hospital’s ventilators. They have to manually ventilate patients. (Gets tiring but if you stop, they die-not a fun situation)
    Please “Google Earth” way back with me on this issue and let’s look at the big picture.
    Basically these 2 groups of people are fighting over dirt.
    IT”S DIRT FOLKS.
    OK call it soil, or even land. But ponder how this land has been imbued with such a significance that on each side they’re willing to kill and die for it.
    “God promised it to us!”
    “No it was ours!”
    That’s what they always say for what 80 years? Fighting over dirt for 80 years.
    Both sides says they know what God wants, but any “Good Book” you choose to read-and I do mean ANY- will tell you that what the Almighty Power really wants is for them to treat each other better. And forget the dirt already.
    And Yeah I know, it’s not hapnin-but I’ll keep the faith anyway.

    Reply

  115. Pissed Off American says:

    The figures I cited about financial “assistance” to Isreal and the Pal NGOs are from 1997. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much the numbers have INCREASED as far as Israel goes???? And we know that all finacial assistance has been CUT OFF to the Pals because they had rthe unmitigated GALL to actually democratically elect their government.(You know, the government that Israel is currently KIDNAPPING and INCARCERATING?)

    Reply

  116. Pissed Off American says:

    “There are so many similarities between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and Apartheid South Africa’s treatment of blacks, I find it extraordinary that the US supports Israel to such an extent.”
    Posted by Susan
    The Israeli government and military receive $15,139,178 from the U.S. every day; Palestinian NGO’s receive $232,290 from the U.S. each day.

    Reply

  117. Pissed Off American says:

    “Tit for tat, I suppose. Anyone care to guess whether those carrying out these proposed Hamas operations will see to it that the facilities they attack are unoccupied when struck?”
    David Isadore Lieberman
    121 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 734 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.
    3,960 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis have been killed since September 29, 2000.
    0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 4,170 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since September 29, 2000.

    Reply

  118. Friendly Fire says:

    David Isadore Lieberman says
    “Hamas’ armed wing threatened on Sunday to attack Israeli schools, institutions and power plants if Israel, pursuing a military campaign to free a kidnapped soldier held in Gaza, continued its air strikes against infrastructure in Gaza.”
    At least Hamas only make threats…. mean Israeli subject Gaza residents to collective punishment… your reply?

    Reply

  119. IrishMark says:

    Israel has an obligation to obtain its soldier back by any means necessary. This incident is the first military and political encounter between the newly elected Hamas controlled Palestinian government as Israel.
    Posted by TLittle at July 2, 2006 12:03 AM
    Not so.
    Apart from the shelling of the beach and the dozens of civilians murdered in what Israel calls “collateral damage”, there is this story, reported in the British Observer newspaper:-
    From the Observer (25th June) [2]
    “Gaza Strip arrests
    Israeli forces have detained two Palestinians, who the army said were Hamas militants, in the Gaza Strip, in what observers said was the first arrest raid in the territory since Israel pulled out of the area a year ago.”
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1805354,00.html

    Reply

  120. Peter Schwartz says:

    Dear David,
    Thanks for bringing some sanity and thoughtfulness to this discussion. Keep it up.

    Reply

  121. DIL says:

    Gary Sugar notes: “Collective punishment and other crimes of state terror against innocent Arab civilians is exactly what we voted for when we re-elected Bush.”
    An interesting argument. If I re-arrange the algebra slightly: “X and Y were exactly what the Palestinians voted for when they elected Hamas.” How, then, would you solve for X and Y?
    OK — maybe that *was* glib.
    Gary Sugar, again: “it hardly takes an antisemite to criticize Israeli war crimes.” Perhaps not, but it does push the envelope a bit to assume that any Israeli military action involving Palestinians perforce rises to the level of war crimes. Ha-aretz earlier today:
    “Hamas’ armed wing threatened on Sunday to attack Israeli schools, institutions and power plants if Israel, pursuing a military campaign to free a kidnapped soldier held in Gaza, continued its air strikes against infrastructure in Gaza.”
    Tit for tat, I suppose. Anyone care to guess whether those carrying out these proposed Hamas operations will see to it that the facilities they attack are unoccupied when struck?
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  122. Gary Sugar says:

    On the general point, it hardly takes an antisemite to criticize Israeli war crimes. But American critics should be mindful that Israeli militarism and aggression are hardly distinguishable from American militarism and aggression. None of this could happen with responsible leadership in our own White House. Collective punishment and other crimes of state terror against innocent Arab civilians is exactly what we voted for when we re-elected Bush.

    Reply

  123. Matthew says:

    Maybe DIL is on to something. By destroying the Palestinian power plants, Israel can episodically provide power to Gaza right after the cholera epidemic begins–they are “humanitarians” after all–and can then cut off power to Gazans on a whim if they reject Olmert’s unilateralism. You see only the Zionists in Israel and in the USA believe that the “withdrawal” from Gaza was an end to even a part of the Occupation. And our President, sadly true to form, has no idea how inane he sounds on television lecturing the Palestinains in light of Israel’s disproportionate response. Maybe Karl Rove told him his comments polled well….

    Reply

  124. King Colbert says:

    DIL,
    Before waxing glib about the magnanimity of Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip you might best have read this from today’s NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/world/middleeast/02gaza.html?
    (may require log-in)

    Reply

  125. Mary says:

    Neither Israel nor the US have the right to exist…..all that is open to them is the right to co-exist. Christians and Jews aren’t looking too great these days on that measuring stick.
    The US lost something so completely since the invasion of Iraq three years ago that we haven’t yet caught our breath. We lost the priviledge of judging any military abuse by any other country.
    Until we strip our own government entirely of it’s criminal actions (and we are the only ones that can), we are no authority, no example, and have no right to hold any other country to any standards whatsoever.
    We can’t speak to the criminal act of shutting down electricity that supplies clean water to families, without holding our own government responsible for it’s criminal bombing of Iraqi civilians and their water supply conduits.
    It’s gone. That is just one of the many great legacies of Trust me, I’m the President, George Bush et al. And we let them do it to us.

    Reply

  126. susan says:

    I just can’t imagine that this was what the people who voted in Kadima had in mind. I can’t really see where Netanyahu could have been worse. Ohlmert and his senior ministers are out of control, and why has the Meretz faction not stood up against it?
    Israel has become so used to playing by its own rules that it has become incapable of restraint, and now appears to have abandoned any principle of democratic government. Aided and abetted by its benefactor the US it has become a country governed by barbarians, indifferent to the suffering it inflicts on its occupied peoples, whilst loudly proclaiming its victim status to all the world.
    The hardliners know that with John Bolton in the UN, no resolution or rebuke will pass, and Bush and Rice don’t seem to have any interest in intervening.

    Reply

  127. billingsgate fish says:

    Good Cop, DIL.
    Bad Cop, “Israeli PM Ehud Olmert orders the military to intensify its actions in Gaza to secure the release of a captured soldier.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5138616.stm

    Reply

  128. DIL says:

    Again, the compulsion to vilify Israel and the willful blindness to Israeli attempts to take decisive action while minimizing loss to innocent life and limb in this discussion is striking, and lends itself to interpretations that some criticism of Israeli policy is driven by more than meets the eye. Did anyone actually *read* the MSNBC article Steve linked? Quoting:
    “Israel, meanwhile, planned to reopen its main cargo crossing with Gaza later Sunday to allow food and medical supplies to reach the impoverished strip, the Defense Ministry said. The Karni passage, sealed after the militant attack, will be open four days this week, the ministry said.
    “While food shortages have not been reported, human rights groups have cautioned that Gaza could face a humanitarian crisis because nearly half the territory’s electricity supply was knocked out after Israeli missiles struck Gaza’s only power station. Israel has since increased its supply of electricity to Gaza, the Israeli army said Saturday.
    “Fuel supplies were also dwindling after Israel cut off the flow to Gaza through a pipeline. Israel Radio reported that a separate crossing in southern Israel would be opened later Sunday to allow fuel through, but the Defense Ministry did not confirm this.”
    Now, I fully expect that none of these measures would satisfy those in this discussion who continue insist on denouncing the Israelis as war criminals bent on genocide, but, really, wouldn’t intellectual honesty at least demand *acknowledging* them? Clearly, Israelis have no expectation that such measures will win them any love among the Palestinians, and yet they do it anyway. Funny war criminals, these.
    David Isadore Lieberman

    Reply

  129. jhm says:

    Two points:
    1) It is the official policy of Israel that, if they do not have a partner with whom they can negotiate, they will move unilaterly to fix the borders.
    2) The Palestinians seemed to be on the verge of becoming unified on a very reasonable sounding position (’67 borders) which would greatly cramp the style of borders based in any way on Israel’s proposed barrier.

    Reply

  130. street says:

    They sure shouldnta blew to smithereens that Palestinian family picnicing on the beach. They said they were sorry, though. And with all those walls up and other impediments, a retaliatory suicide bomber was unable to traditionally even the score, thus a soldier was kidnapped, and we get more mayhem than if a suicide bomber was used.
    All the Palestinians really had to keep Israel somewhat in check was suicide bombers, now that has been taken away and the Palestinians have been reduced to kidnap. An unfair fight always seems disproportionate, and it is natural to side with the underdog, but unless the Pals can salvage something from this latest humiliation they cannot garner any respect from others no matter how underdog they are. Embarassing losers dregs of the earth deserve regular abuse in dog eat dog world reality. Serves as a lesson to all, “Don’t be like them, you don’t wanna grow up to be a ditchdigger, do ya?”

    Reply

  131. dr2chase says:

    **”It’s not in Israel’s strategic interests to play its hand so heavily now.”**
    *Steve, why do you say this? You seem convinced that Israel’s actions over the past few days are only the result of some sort of impulsive spasm of tactical or strategic stupidity.*
    My reaction to Israel’s behavior is that it is going to get their soldier killed. They’ve overplayed their hand — if this is what they do when they want him back alive, what war crimes do they intend to commit in retaliation for his death? Why should the kidnappers assume that they would survive the soldier’s recovery? Israel has created a situation in which a rational opponent would kill their soldier, and they surely must know this.
    I had not realized that the PA was repeating the kidnappers demands, but if it happens that the kidnappers’ demands merely echo an existing grievance, then they are not nearly so toxic. “Women and children” sounds pretty reasonable from this distance.
    And, in sheer terms of body count over the years, Israel is way ahead. They may have invented a logic that allows them to justify their killings, but the numbers are against them. Overwhelming force legitimizes future force (by their opponents); I can see where this leads long term, and I don’t want the US supporting it.

    Reply

  132. DIL says:

    On the issue of suffering and resolve, Steve notes: “The British burned the U.S. Capitol in the War of 1812 and it only strengthened America’s resolve. This attack is likely to do the same with the Palestinians.”
    This is true, but it’s also true that by the time of Madison’s presidency, the Federalists had largely collapsed and American government was effectively a single-party system. Also, the party in power benefited enormously from Andrew Jackson’s (post-armistice) military victory at New Orleans — if not for this, the war might well have been perceived by Americans as ending in a stalemate, and they might have been less enthusiastic about electing Madison’s Secretary of State James Monroe as his successor. My point is: resolve has to be coupled with at least the appearance of success in order to pay off politically, and this appears unlikely to be the case with Hamas’s handling of the Shalit kidnapping.
    David Isadore Lieberman

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  133. steve duncan says:

    Will any of this mayhem adversely affect the new season of American Idol? And aren’t those BROWN people suffering over there? Arabs? Isn’t the U.S. miltary in the business of killing brown people today? What does it matter if Israel lessens the load and takes out a few for us? Excuse me, I have a picnic to go to today and the weather here is beautiful. I’ll check the news when I get home later. Maybe someone will lob a nuke and give us something interesting to watch instead of these terrible summer reruns! Wouldn’t Anderson Cooper be adorable in nuclear fallout garb?! Fabulous!!! :-)

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  134. DIL says:

    Peter Eggenberger: “Assume that Israel’s current actions are to Israel’s short term benefit. Are the actions to Israel’s long term benefit? I suspect that they aren’t, because they weaken international support.”
    I’m not sure this is true. Once Hamas used its official status to make the PA the representatives of the kidnappers, they effectively pulled the rug out from under any state that might have been prepared to step up and condemn Olmert’s action. Moreover, the decision by Hamas leadership to throw in with the kidnappers was a gift to Mahmoud Abbas. I suspect most foreign offices with an interest in the region would like to see Abbas gain the upper hand in his power struggle with Hamas, and they’ll be prepared to let Hamas endure the consequences of this blunder for a good while. As Ha-aretz reports, while Hamas leadership are making a great deal of noise about the firmness of their resolve, behind the scenes the schism between the group’s power centers appears to be widening. I imagine they were surprised the international community did not leap to their defense the way it would to Arafat’s.
    Hamas used to blame Arafat and then Abbas almost as much as Sharon when Palestinians suffered for the blunders of their leaders; this was part of what brought them to power (a fact, by the way, which tests the assumption that suffering and oppression breeds unity). Having once set up this political logic and benefited from its effects, they are now unable to escape its consequences when it is they who bear the burden of leadership.
    David Isadore Lieberman

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  135. db says:

    Israel answers to no one, not even the giant tit of the USA it endlessly sucks from.
    And the ridiculous charges of anti-Semitism for daring to critize blatant barbarity are laughable, simply laughable and ridiculous.

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  136. Punchy says:

    Mr. Clemons writes:
    “Let’s discuss this civilly. But if this report from MSNBC is true, I don’t see how Israel manages to stabilize matters.”
    Israel wants war. They crave justification to destroy the West Bank, Gaza, etc. End game on a problem that’s plagued them for years….

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  137. Peter Eggenberger says:

    Assume that Israel’s current actions are to Israel’s short term benefit. Are the actions to Israel’s long term benefit? I suspect that they aren’t, because they weaken international support. Israel makes one foolish mistake after another, confusing short term benefits with long term gains. Here is the ticking bomb: The annual rate of increase in Israel’s population will decline, possibly turn negative. The Arab population will continue to increase. America will leave the Middle East. Surrounded by hostile states, without strong international support, it will be a parlous situation. Will Israel exist in 2060?

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  138. TLittle says:

    Israel has an obligation to obtain its soldier back by any means necessary. This incident is the first military and political encounter between the newly elected Hamas controlled Palestinian government as Israel. We can expect Israel to flex some of its political and military muscle. The US, as a strong ally, is sort of the strong man in the back of the room observing what goes on.
    As of now, we should not get involved. We need to let these two do what they will. However, it is a little cavalier of Israel to bring Syria into this mess. Most view Palestine as the problem when it comes to that region. By Israel continuing in this campaign, they are sacrificing some of that popular support.
    No one wants to back down, and the real nightmare is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region that the US may be forced to assist in.
    This is an exercise in power, nothing more. Hamas has a soldier and Israel wants him back, if Israeli continues a military incursion and then steps out they will be perceived as weak, but if Palestine gives in now, they will be perceived as weak. The soldier will likely be returned safely because it is in Palestine’s best interest to do so. However, the circumstances surrounding that are what will have repercussions in future dealings in that area.
    This is power politics, and someone always looses.

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  139. Piassed Off American says:

    “……look forward to informed, civil exchange on these issues……..”
    Gee, would that be where we get called “jew baiters” and “anti-semitics”????? You’re being conned, Steve.

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  140. Steve Clemons says:

    DIL — Many thanks for your note. I appreciate that clarification and look forward to informed, civil exchange on these issues — that I know are deeply personal for many.
    best,
    Steve Clemons

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  141. Pissed Off American says:

    On a separate note, I want to state that I do not believe, nor did I mean to imply, that Steve’s critique of Israeli conduct was an expression of antisemitism. I do believe, as I’ve made clear in another discussion, that a strong current of antisemitism informs the most violent attacks on Israel, and I will not be intimidated from speaking to this point by writers courageous enough to use lots and lots of naughty words. There is a significant difference between rational critique and venom-soaked outrage, and I’m sorry to have implied that Steve was on the wrong side of that line. I didn’t believe so then, and don’t believe so now.
    David Isadore Lieberman
    Posted by DIL
    You can sprinkle sugar on horseshit, but in the end, its still just horseshit.

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  142. Dan Kervick says:

    *”It’s not in Israel’s strategic interests to play its hand so heavily now.”*
    Steve, why do you say this? You seem convinced that Israel’s actions over the past few days are only the result of some sort of impulsive spasm of tactical or strategic stupidity. What is your basis for this claim? Exactly what do you understand Israel’s long-term strategy to be? And why is it that you don’t see these events as serving those long-term plans? Will you please explain your thinking more clearly?
    Another question: Suppose you became convinced that the actions of the past few days *were* in Israel’s long-term strategic interests. What would be your attitude toward these actions? Is your only objection that Israel is misplaying its hand?

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  143. Frank says:

    Israel’s invasion of Gaza is certainly helping us to win the hearts and minds of the Islamic people. They are doing such a great job in recruiting jihadists for Osama’s cause, that we should outsource to Israel our recruiting efforts for our volunteer army. Hell, we may as well get something out of the money we insanely give them each year.

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  144. weldon berger says:

    Blowing up the PM’s office is the least of the offenses here: Arafat’s offices were nothing but rubble by the time he died, and everyone muddled through, however poorly.
    What’s truly monstrous is the destruction of the power plant and water station, which have placed nearly a million civilians at immediate risk and can only be described as collective punishment on a truly massive scale.
    That’s a war crime, and the deliberate transformation of Gaza into what amounts to a ghetto is so macabrely ironic that it’s heartbreaking. I’ve long been a harsh critic of Israeli policies toward Palestinians but have tried to avoid anything smacking of hyperbole; in this instance, that’s not possible. Olmert’s government belongs in a prisoner’s dock at the Hague, and that includes Amir Peretz, in whom I not too long ago placed my hopes for the future of both states.

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  145. DIL says:

    Steve asks: “What does the Israeli government expect from the Palestinian people after firing on the PM’s office? Complacency? An outreached hand of understanding and empathy?”
    The government clearly gave up on winning the hearts and minds of Palestinians years ago. It’s a wrong-headed policy, and I expect little long-term success from it. That said, I haven’t noticed any of Israel’s detractors in the recent exchanges acknowledging that the PA essentially positioned itself as the sponsor of the kidnappers when it began advancing their bargaining position. What could they have been thinking would result from this? Can they have failed to recognize that Olmert’s political position made him not less but *more* likely to respond with overwhelming force to such provocation? Even a pro-forma condemnation of Shalit’s kidnapping from the PA would have given the international community the fig leaf it needed to stand strongly for reigning in the IDF. At this point, Ha-aretz is reporting that even the Egyptians are close to washing their hands of Hamas.
    Interestingly, the signals the Egyptians are getting from Hamas in Gaza and Syria suggest that the group is in some disarray; each wing is pointing to the other as bearing responsibility for the kidnapping operation. If it was Olmert’s intent to persuade the PA that such measures as killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers may not be a good idea, the eagerness of Hamas units to duck responsibility for the operation may suggest the message has been received.
    On a separate note, I want to state that I do not believe, nor did I mean to imply, that Steve’s critique of Israeli conduct was an expression of antisemitism. I do believe, as I’ve made clear in another discussion, that a strong current of antisemitism informs the most violent attacks on Israel, and I will not be intimidated from speaking to this point by writers courageous enough to use lots and lots of naughty words. There is a significant difference between rational critique and venom-soaked outrage, and I’m sorry to have implied that Steve was on the wrong side of that line. I didn’t believe so then, and don’t believe so now.
    David Isadore Lieberman

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  146. Susan says:

    Bombing the electricity supply in Gaza was way too far for me. Kidnapping politicians, and firing at the PM’s office are actions of a desperate or deranged government.
    It once again reminds me of Apartheid in South Africa, although the SA government was much more restrained! I keep wishing that the people involved in trying to find a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem would take a look at how the South African problem was solved. The nutshell version is that when it became clear that the majority of the population was not going to continue to quietly accept the discrimination imposed by the apartheid regime, and bombings and civil unrest was sharply on the rise, the prime minister at the time started talking to Nelson Mandela and others of the banned, “terrorist” ANC. They tried to force the ANC to renounce violence before entering into talks. The ANC refused, and for good reason. Violence was the only threat they had against the well intrenched power of the apartheid regime. Talks took place anyway, and the result was the peaceful (mostly) transition to an inclusive democracy.
    So I get tired of hearing the same deadend call from politicians and commentators that Hammas must renounce violence and accept that Israel has a right to exist before any discussion can take place. Why not call for a ceasefire (on both sides), and start talking? Demonizing Hammas is no path to a solution, and not giving them any bargaining room is also a recipe for failure.
    There are so many similarities between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and Apartheid South Africa’s treatment of blacks, I find it extraordinary that the US supports Israel to such an extent.

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  147. Justaguy says:

    Where is this possibly heading?
    I doubt that something on this scale would be undertaken without a long term goal in mind, but I can’t make a bit of sense as to what that could possibly be. Destroying the institutions of the Palestinian Authority won’t lead to a stable political situation. Of course the Israelis can be expected to respond to the kidnapping of their soldier, but this doesn’t seem rational at all.

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  148. bob mcmanus says:

    “Hamas has not established a monopoly of force…”
    says it all. Israel probably has gone too far. But if a militia in Detroit was mortaring Canada day after day, we would under no circumstances excuse Bush or expect Canada not to attack Detroit with all means possible.
    This is honestly going exactly as I expected, and expect to whatever further degree Palestine approaches statehood. They want a platform from which to allow “uncontrollable elements” to attack Israel, while claiming the rights and protections of a state.

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  149. vachon says:

    You know, it has never occured to me to financially support any of the Palestinia charity or education or relief funds.
    It’s occuring to me now.

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  150. Steve Clemons says:

    Janinsanfran — I appreciate the Haaretz reference. I sincerely hope that behind the scenes, Olmert and Peretz have worked out a Team B squad to work with Abbas and try to shore him up and to see what can be done to either break the Haniya wing from the militants — or to cobble together something where Hamas, or a significant portion of it, can find a way to move forward, and Israel too — or we are really going to see a lot of stress in the region. And what is even worse is that if Iran does press ahead with plans that will prompt a hot response from the U.S., Iran will exploit this instabiity in Israel.
    It’s not in Israel’s strategic interests to play its hand so heavily now. I am hoping I am missing something and that there are some tactical geniuses who have worked on pulling some magic off — but I don’t see it right now.
    Thanks — more later,
    Steve Clemons

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  151. janinsanfran says:

    I’m sure you’ll be attacked, but it might help to know that Haaretz editorialized that “the government is losing its reason” and that “…arresting people to use as bargaining chips is the act of a gang, not of a state.”
    Israel is engaging in thuggery, disproportionate and apparently without any sense that anyone will oppose such behavior. Can they do this forever and survive? This is ultimately the question.

    Reply

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