More silliness — and dishonesty — from the United Nations

From


U.N. report criticizes U.S. over CIA ‘targeted killings’¹


By David S. Cloud, TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU

GENEVA, Switzerland – The escalating campaign of CIA drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan has made the United States “the most prolific user of targeted killings” in the world today, according to a U.N. official who said the spy agency should not be in charge of the program.

Philip Alston, a New York University law professor and the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, made the comments Wednesday as he released a report on targeted killings that criticized the United States for asserting “an ever-expanding entitlement for itself to target individuals across the globe” as part of its antiterror fight.

The findings, which Alston is due to present Thursday to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva, form one of the most critical assessments to date of U.S. drone strikes, a tactic that has been stepped up significantly under the Obama administration and that U.S. officials have credited with inflicting severe blows against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

As the drone attacks have expanded, they have drawn increasing criticism from human-rights groups and international legal scholars. Some say aspects of the program violate international law and risk generating a backlash in Pakistan and other countries where the strikes are carried out.

Although the United States does not officially acknowledge the CIA drone strikes, much of the report was dismissed by Obama administration officials.

One U.S. counterterrorism official who was not authorized to comment publicly, and spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We have a way to get at dangerous terrorists operating in areas otherwise inaccessible to the central government or to conventional military units. It’s effective, exact, and essential.”

What, they would prefer we do it the old-fashioned way, send in an army to push through and conquer and slowly encircle, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, to get to the leadership?

The Predator drone attacks aren’t quite “exact,” as the anonymous “U.S. counterterrorism official” said; there is often collateral damage, and it has happened more than once that the targeted terrorist leader wasn’t in the location we thought he was when the missiles struck. But the drones have successfully killed several al Qaeda and Taliban leaders who would otherwise have been safe.

Let’s be completely honest here: the objection isn’t that the United States is using armed drones to eliminate terrorist leaders, but that the United States is fighting the terrorists, period. When you are dealing with people who would like to, and are trying to, kill you, the soothing words that the United Nations would apparently like us to use aren’t all that effective.

Administration officials explained our policies:

In fact, two officials said, the Obama administration has limited who may be targeted in drone strikes outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan to members of al-Qaeda and allied terror groups — a tighter standard than existed during the Bush administration.

U.S. officials say that careful precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties and that each target is carefully vetted, sometimes by hours of aerial surveillance that is matched against other intelligence to create a portrait of a potential target, known as a “pattern of life” analysis.

Such air strikes, officials say, are one of the few viable options for going after extremists who have taken refuge in the lawless border region.

What the “officials” didn’t seem to acknowledge is that, for the critics, it doesn’t matter how tightly controlled the weapons are or how thoroughly vetted the targeting is; if the weapons could be guaranteed to be 100% effective in killing or injuring only those terrorists targeted, they would still protest because we were fighting our enemies in the first place. If the CIA could develop a Star Trek device that would simply disintegrate Osama bin Laden, without the man standing next to him so much as smelling a whiff of smoke, the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission would still object!

It isn’t just the United States which is the subject of the righteous ire, however. No, Israel must be blamed as well. Some so-called “peace activists,” on a flotilla including a boat named the MV Rachel Corrie, after the complete idiot brave woman trying to be a human shield by standing in front of a bulldozer, tried to run a blockade to deliver “humanitarian supplies” to Hamas in Gaza, and the Israelis enforced their blockade, much more peacefully than they might have; they could — and should — have simply sunk those boats. Fortunately, a couple of op-ed pieces in demonstrate why Israel was right to take the action she did:


An Assault, Cloaked in Peace


By Michael B Oren²
Published: June 2, 2010

PEACE activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.

Millions have already seen the Al Jazeera broadcast showing these “activists” chanting “Khaibar! Khaibar!”— a reference to a Muslim massacre of Jews in the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century. YouTube viewers saw Israeli troops, armed with crowd-dispersing paintball guns and side arms for emergency protection, being beaten and hurled over the railings of the ship by attackers wielding iron bars.

What the videos don’t show, however, are several curious aspects Israeli authorities are now investigating. First, about 100 of those detained from the boats were carrying immense sums in their pockets — nearly a million euros in total. Second, Israel discovered spent bullet cartridges on the Mavi Marmara that are of a caliber not used by the Israeli commandos, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers “injured” by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred.

The investigations of all this evidence will be transparent, in accordance with Israel’s security needs.

There is little doubt as to the real purpose of the Mavi Marmara’s voyage — not to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, but to create a provocation that would put international pressure on Israel to drop the Gaza embargo, and thus allow the flow of seaborne military supplies to Hamas. Just as Hamas gunmen hide behind civilians in Gaza, so, too, do their sponsors cower behind shipments of seemingly innocent aid.

Much more at the link. Also see A Botched Raid, a Vital Embargo. The activists repeatedly refused Israeli offers to inspect the cargo for military contraband, and then allow the inspected cargo — stripped of any weapons or other contraband — to be delivered. They were trying to create an incident, and in that, they succeeded. Israel would have done better to simply sink the boats and be done with it; the outcry would have been no worse, but the next flotilla would never be launched.

There are times that I wonder what sort of concise term could be put on such sympathetic idiocy from our friends on the left. Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t quite fit, in that the victims of such leftist lunacy were never actual captives of the terrorists. Yet, if they were never actual captives, so many seem to have made themselves vicarious captives, full of sympathy for the downtrodden, for the underdogs, and all the while ignoring the fact that the downtrodden are out there trying to kill their enemies.

With the Palestinians, it is more obvious. They are the only people of whom I can think who could win their war for independence by simply ceasing to fight. If the Palestinians simply quit fighting, they’d get their Palestinian state, in Gaza and the West Bank, fairly quickly. But, of course, though the educated Western mind sees that as the obvious, split-the-differences solution, Hamas doesn’t see that as a solution at all; to Hamas, the only acceptable solution is for all of the Levant to become an Islamic, and Islamic-ruled, state.³ The liberal Westerners sympathetic to Hamas and what they see as the Palestinian struggle rarely understand what the motivations and goals of Hamas are, and seem to think that, somehow, some way, Hamas really is willing to compromise if only those stubborn Israelis were.

Similarly, the liberal Westerners who seem to have some sympathy for the Islamic extremists really have no flaming idea just what it is they are supporting. Were the Islamists to actually win, to actually get their way, the cherished Western ideals of racial equality, of equality for women, of religious freedom and freedom of speech, of acceptance of homosexuality, and of democracy itself, would be submerged in a sea of blood.

The Jews learned their lesson, the hard way: they learned that, when it comes to their own defense and security, relying upon the reasonableness of others, and counting on other people not to try to kill them, in the final extreme simply does not work. The Westerners who are so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause ought to understand that, given that it was we good Christian Westerners who taught the Jews that lesson.

And while we in the United States are not in the vulnerable position of the European Jews of the 1930s and 1940s, the lesson they learned applies to us as well: it does no good to coddle an enemy, it accomplishes nothing to be nice to those who want to kill you.
______________________________
¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, 3 June 2010, p. A-2
² – Mr Oren is Israel’s Ambassador to the United States
³ – See the Hamas Charter, specifically Article XI.

253 Comments

  1. Israel is free to declare war on Turkey if it would like to fire on Turkish ships in international waters. But it seems like they want to have it both ways – they want to be able to apply military force against citizens of other countries – including ours – outside the borders of Israel, but they don’t want any of the necessary consequences of that, like declaring war on a NATO nation and its allies.

  2. Let’s be completely honest here: the objection isn’t that the United States is using armed drones to eliminate terrorist leaders, but that the United States is fighting the terrorists, period.

    This is, of course, crap.

    The drone strikes contravene international law. Your claim is rubbish.

    Consider, Cuba has a right to strike back at dissidents attempting to overthrow its government. If it was setting off car bombs in Miami to try and kill them, with collateral casualties, it would be completely ludicrious to state that US objections were simply because they objected to “Cuba defending its government”.

    And let’s take a closer look:

    Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died.

    And the stupidity of the comments you quote on the Israeli piracy have already been noted in the blogosphere:

    The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday

    As someone stated, it was indeed truly horrible how the Turkish freighter chased down the Israeli helicopter in international waters, forced it to remain still using special terrorist forcefield technology, and then forced the hapless Israeli commandos to rappel out of the chopper using special terrorist mind control.

    This is on the level of someone whining that they bruised their knuckles beating down a robbery victim on a city street.

    With the Palestinians, it is more obvious. They are the only people of whom I can think who could win their war for independence by simply ceasing to fight.

    You seem to forget – the blockade was imposed by Israel because Hamas won an election fair and square. It wasn’t because of fighting – it was because of an election. And the blockade isn’t just about weapons – it prevents food and medical supplies from reaching the Gaza, imposing a collective punishment on a captive population for having the temerity to not do precisely what Israel wants.

    Wikipedia:

    United Nations

    On January 24, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip, allow the continued supply of food, fuel, and medicine, and reopen border crossings.[70] According to the Jerusalem Post, this was the 15th time in less than two years the council condemned Israel for its human rights record regarding the Palestinian territories.[71] The proceedings were boycotted by Israel and the United States.

    On December 15, 2008, following a statement in which he described the embargo on Gaza a crime against humanity, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk was prevented from entering the Palestinian territories by Israeli authorities and expelled from the region.[72] The Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Itzhak Levanon[73] said that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was “hopelessly unbalanced,” “redundant at best and malicious at worst.” [74]

    In August 2009, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised Israel for the blockade in a 34-page report, calling it a violation of the rules of war.[75]

    In March 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the blockade of Gaza is causing “unacceptable suffering” and that families were living in “unacceptable, unsustainable conditions”.[76]

    A UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity:

    “Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.”[7] The Goldstone report recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months.

    In May 2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed since the imposition of the blockade.[77]

    Even for you, Dana, this is a new low. Would you care to attempt to justify the Serbian massacre of Bosnians now, on the grounds that the Bosnians were Muslims and had it coming?

  3. That Hamas won the elections — which they certainly did — does not make Hamas any less of a terrorist group.

    Israel completely evacuated Gaza, and let the Palestinians have it, to run as they’d like. If they had taken the opportunity to try and make a life there rather than using it as a base from which to shoot into Israel, the Palestinians would have had their independent nation by now, in Gaza and the West Bank. But that’s not what Hamas wants; Hamas would actually consider that a defeat.

    There’d be no blockade of Gaza were the Palestinians peaceful. Even Egypt, which shares a short border with Gaza, has blockaded it, because the Egyptians don’t want the troublemakers. The silly statement:

    Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country

    is just that, silly, because Israel does not completely surround Gaza.

  4. There are times that I wonder what sort of concise term could be put on such sympathetic idiocy from our friends on the left. Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t quite fit, in that the victims of such leftist lunacy were never actual captives of the terrorists.

    Dana, heavily armed Middle Easterners boarded a ship in international waters and killed an American citizen. And yet you’re all for it because it’s Israel, and that’s different.

    Who here has Stockholm Syndrome?

  5. Israel completely evacuated Gaza, and let the Palestinians have it, to run as they’d like. If they had taken the opportunity to try and make a life there rather than using it as a base from which to shoot into Israel, the Palestinians would have had their independent nation by now, in Gaza and the West Bank

    No, they wouldn’t.

    From that quote:

    “Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.”

    Those are not acts of retaliation or attempts to protect Israel. Those are the acts of an apartheid nation enforcing a bantustann.

  6. Israel completely evacuated Gaza, and let the Palestinians have it, to run as they’d like.

    Well, unless they want to enter it, or leave it, or bring in things, or export things. Israel’s in charge of all that. But, sure, other than coming, going, importing, or exporting – Palestinians are free to do as they please! Unless, of course, they want to farm – seeds are embargoed. Or build – framing timber and concrete are embargoed. Or read – newspapers are embargoed. Or actually be their own nation – Israel rejects the “two state solution”, and maintains that the Gaza Strip will remain a part of Israel forevermore.

    But, you know, except for all that, Palestinians are completely free.

  7. Again, I point out – Dana is defending the rights of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on international waters if they so choose.

    Why does Dana hate America so much?

  8. Dana, overall, you’ve got a good grasp of the essential elements involved. (Ignore the usual mindless carbon units who infect CSPT, their criticisms are irrelevant.) My only objection is a too quick resort to sinking the vessels. That’s unnecessary.

    Better to simply disable them with naval cannon fire directed at the engine room and associated steering controls, and to the bridge of course, if the other options fail to produce the desired result.

    In which case the terrorists are isolated aboard their boats, are incapable of making way, and are thus dependant on towing assistance, or for timely evacuation if necessary.

    Consequently, the shipboard terrorists, and their enablers, are contained, the blockade is intact, no weapons are allowed to reach the Gaza Strip, and only a few engine compartment mechanics have been exposed to the effects of modern naval guns.

    With the offending boats dead in the water, it would be up to the authorities at the port of departure to retrieve their wayward vessels, or petition the Israelis for aid and assistance.

    Any other nation wishing to come to aid the stricken vessels would first be required to assume formal responsibility for the boats including all passangers and crew, and to guarantee access for Israel’s authorities to examine the cargo prior to releasing the vessels for towing.

    All in all, the procedure outlined above, admittedly informed by hindsight, is well worth consideration as a working model for similar incidents in the immediate future.

  9. Consequently, the shipboard terrorists, and their enablers, are contained, the blockade is intact, no weapons are allowed to reach the Gaza Strip

    Does it even reach down to your level of comprehension when I point out that, had these vessels penetrated Israel’s blockade and discharged their cargo into Gaza, no weapons would have reached the Gaza strip anyway?

  10. Consequently, the shipboard terrorists, and their enablers, are contained

    Because, you know, bringing food and medical supplies to the besieged is terrorism in ropelight’s world.

    Of course, a real Catholic might identify them as two of the corporal acts of mercy. Fortunately we don’t have one of those in these discussions.

  11. Wow, listen to this CIA veteran, his name is Ray McGovern. He weighs in with much thought provoking information on this subject.

  12. Ah, here we go (Chris Hedges, 2007):

    The effects of the siege are disastrous. Palestinians in Gaza are not allowed to travel abroad. They cannot enter Israel for work. They do not fish off the coast because Israeli gunboats open fire at any vessels that are more than a mile offshore. Gaza has seen 75 percent of its factories closed since June, with the loss of 68,000 jobs, according to the World Bank. There is a 70 percent unemployment rate, and 1.1 million of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza depend on U.N. assistance to survive. The boycott has forced the United Nations to suspend $93 million worth of construction projects for homes, schools and sewage treatment in Gaza because cement and other building supplies have run out. These U.N. projects once employed 121,000 people. About 80 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza survive on $2 a day. Basic foodstuffs such as milk powder, baby formula, vegetable oil and medical supplies are running out. Families, unable to get food or find work, are living on little more than tea and bread.

    BTW, Dana, still waiting for you to explain why you support the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on internatonal waters…

  13. You know, our friends on the left are just hysterically funny. Sure, Israel restricts the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza, because the Palestinians in Gaza are trying to do the Israelis harm! There’d be no blockade if the Palestinians were peaceful, there’d be no travel restrictions were the Palestinians not fighting. Everything about which you are combitching is a direct result of the Palestinians having used Gaza as a base from which to attack Israel!

    The Phoenician quoted, from 2007:

    Gaza has seen 75 percent of its factories closed since June, with the loss of 68,000 jobs,

    But, of course, Israel evacuated Gaza in August of 2005. The Palestinians had plenty of time to be peaceful, and Israel allowed them that time, before the continual rocket attacks and border skirmishes forced the Israelis to finally say, “Fornicate these idiots, we’re closing the border.”

    Palestinians used to work in Israel proper . . . before the Palestinians went nuts in the first intifada. Should anyone be surprised that the Israelis closed the border to people trying to kill them?

    It’s really simple: if the Palestinians acted like civilized human beings, they’d have their own country by now and wouldn’t have to worry about Israeli defense restrictions. But, because they act like savages, the Israelis defend themselves against the savages.

  14. If Phoeny, Chet, Perry and the rest of the useful idiots had their way, Israel wouldn’t even be here for them criticize.

    Here’s the bottom line: If Hamas and rest of the genocidal maniacs would lay down their arms today, there’d be peace tomorrow. If Israel would lay down its arms today, it wouldn’t be here tomorrow.

  15. Maybe we can label all these U.I.s “anti-Semites” since, after all, we’ve seen how easily they apply the “racist” label to anyone with whom they disagree, eh?

    Turnabout …

  16. Ya know, Hube, I got the impression that NZT wanted to call us “Jew lovers” with all his vitriol. Wouldn’t that be mean? … or something.

  17. Disgracing America:
    Townhall.com, June 4, 2010, by Mona Charen

    President Barack Obama, who got his start in politics in the living room of domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and spent his first year in office apologizing for American history, has now decisively tipped U.S. foreign policy toward America’s enemies. Events of the past week have left no doubt.

    There is a pattern. President “Let No Crisis Be Wasted” Obama twists events to justify his radical agenda. A financial crisis becomes the excuse for a massive health care entitlement. An oil spill is exploited to push an unpopular energy tax. And a jihadist publicity stunt — the Gaza flotilla — becomes the occasion to throw Israel to the wolves.

    One mentions Ayers and Dohrn not to dwell on the past but because — hello! — the pair has been involved with the Free Gaza movement, one of the organizers of the so-called “Freedom Flotilla.” Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has announced that he, too, would like to participate in the next running of the blockade — and why not? Obama has blessed the project with success.

    By 1) declaring through Secretary of State Clinton that the blockade of Gaza is “unsustainable and unacceptable”;

    2) joining the United Nations Security Council in “condemn(ing) those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded”; and

    3) having a White House official tell the Washington Post that there is now a “general sense in the administration that it’s time to change our Gaza policy,” the Obama administration has handed the terrorists a victory…”

  18. Anthony D’Amato, a professor of international law at Northwestern University School of Law is among those who believes the raid was illegal:

    “That’s what freedom of the seas are all about. This is very clear, for a change. I know a lot of prominent Israeli attorneys and I’d be flabbergasted if any of them disagreed with me on this,” he said. … Regev cited a provision in the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea, which states that merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral states outside neutral waters can be intercepted if they “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”

    But D’Amato said the document applies to a situation in which the laws of war between states are in force. He said the laws of war do not apply in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which isn’t even a state. He said the law of the Geneva Conventions would apply.

    But Professor Avi Bell differs:

    There is nothing in the Geneva Conventions overruling customary rules of maritime boycotts as expressed in the San Remo Manual. And there is nothing in the San Remo Manual itself limiting itself to cases of international conflicts.

    To the degree that Gaza is not a state, D’Amato’s claims are even further undermined. The distinction between international and non-international conflicts makes non-international conflicts less regulated, giving parties more freedom of action, not less. Common paragraph 2 of the Geneva Conventions explicitly limits states that the Conventions do not apply (except for common article 3) to non-international conflicts. In other words, if Gaza is not a state, that rules out application of the Geneva Conventions in almost their entirety.

    Moreover, San Remo refers to sea actions, while Geneva refers almost exclusively (with the exception of some provisions of Geneva Convention II) to land.

    The bottom line is that customary law expressed in San Remo applies in its entirety, while, arguably, almost none of the Geneva Conventions apply. And, incidentally, nothing in the Geneva Conventions limits or alters the customary rights presented in the San Remo Manual, meaning that nothing in the Geneva Conventions limits Israel’s rights to enforce a maritime boycott.

    Further, Dr. Aaron Lerner:

    … a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.

    Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.

    … there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.

    Even Human Rights Watch says

    Israel is within its right to “control the content and delivery of humanitarian aid, such as to ensure that consignments do not include weapons.”

  19. Dana, you are ignoring some of the basic facts re Palestine.

    Since we are overexposed to the US/Israeli/Dana Pico version of the History of Palestine, it would be wise to review the version of the other side, of which this is but one .

    Firstly, the Zionists gradually occupied Palestine over a period of about a half of a century, aided by certain colonial powers, namely the US and the UK. This is basic and should not be forgotten.

    Secondly, the basis for Israeli occupation of Palestine is religious dogma dating to more than two millennia prior. Since when is this a recognized argument for an occupation?

    Thirdly, Israel has functioned as a US puppet in the area, thus a coalition of Jews and Christians, up against Muslims. So the US and Jews have formed a powerful united front, fortified with nuclear weapons, against the rest of the Middle Eastern population.

    Is it any wonder that there should be an extremist reaction, willing to fight to death with the most primitive of weaponry, like stones and mortars?

    Also note that the Israelis have been steadfastly unwilling, over time, for the most part, to sit down at the peace/bargaining table without their preconditions having been met ahead of time. This does not indicate a willingness to make peace.

    Finally, how are the Israelis behaving as we speak?
    **- extending their occupation into the Palestinian West Bank
    **- extending their settlement into Arab East Jerusalem
    **- attacking maritime vessels on the high seas

    You frame Israeli actions as though they are responding to threats to their safety and security. Why not frame Palestinian actions as their response to illegal Israeli occupation extensions and inhumane treatment of Gazan citizens?

    On the attack of the boats, why did not Israel agree to permit the boats to dock, then inspect the off-loading?

    In my mind, Gazans/Palestinians are in a no-win position, which is just fine with you, correct Dana?

    Based on the reaction at the UN, in Turkey, in fact world wide, Israel and the US are in the minority position. I think it is time for Israel and the US to step up with genuine peace initiatives, otherwise this festering Middle East sore will continue to fester with Palestinians the losers by default!

    Your position, Dana, continues to be unsustainable, which over a hundred years of history has well demonstrated, and which you and your fellow righties continue to ignore!

  20. Dana Pico:
    That Hamas won the elections — which they certainly did — does not make Hamas any less of a terrorist group.

    We keep being reminded by the Left that elections do have consequenses, and Israel let it be known they will not deal with Hamas if elected.

  21. Here is Perry, defending the indefensible as usual. Notice in his last comment there is no mention of the legality bestowed by [his beloved] United Nations which created the Partition Plan — the Plan which established TWO states, one Jewish and one Arab (Palestinian).

    The Jews accepted the Plan. The Arabs did not. The Arabs promptly attacked the nascent Jewish state in an attempt to control the entire land area.

    Egypt and Jordan promptly gobbled up the territory allocated for the Palestinians, another fact Perry forgot.

    Perry also forgot that Israel had to fight for its life in 1967 and 1973. This doesn’t even include the myriad “minor” skirmishes the state has fought its entire existence.

    There is nothing “illegal” about the territories Israel had and now has. Territory gained in defensive wars is under no obligation to be given back, especially when there are zero concessions made, unlike the Egyptians at Camp David. Thus was the Sinai returned.

    One should wonder about the moral relativism of folks like Perry. What really motivates them? Is it the infection of extreme “progressivism” that causes folks to root for the underdog — at any cost? Why do such folks constantly condemn Israel, when if groups like Hamas and Hizbollah laid down their arms today, there would be peace?

    People like Perry invoke “fairness” and “taking sides.” But there is nothing “fair” about siding with a side that wishes to eradicate Jews — PERIOD!

    So, again, what really is the motivation behind folks like Perry?

  22. “If the CIA could develop a Star Trek device that would simply disintegrate Osama bin Laden…”

    Your unquestioning faith in Obama’s choices, and those of his political appointees, is noted.

    I’m sure you probably also have no problems with this new trend: http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns where cops are making it illegal to catch them in illegal acts. Let the abuses flow unabated! You have nothing to fear if you’re a cop, or you’re already in jail!

    How silly of the United Nations that it has a problem with indiscriminate, inexact killing. I wonder if any other groups or individuals have a problem with, say, me tossing explosives at people I suspect are my enemies. Especially when it’s too hard for me to prove they are my enemies. After all, I have a flag for myself and I can wave it quite proudly. I suspect tossing explosives and nerve gas is the only way for me to remain free, so it’s right, correct?

  23. John H.: “Ya know, Hube, I got the impression that NZT wanted to call us “Jew lovers” with all his vitriol.”
    I get the impression that John wants to rape and eat babies. Bad, bad John!

    (My straw man is more flammable than yours. But no more absurd.)

  24. Hube: “So, again, what really is the motivation behind folks like Perry?”

    Merely to examine the Palestinian side in this long-standing dispute, Hube.

    I understand very well that you wish to continue to label me an anti-Semite. Let me reiterate: I am not an anti-Semite, nor anti-Jew. I am for a peace that takes the needs of both sides into account.

    Regarding the partition, which was carried out by then colonial and super powers who controlled the UN, would it have suited us if some power came in and partitioned the US, at some critical point in our history, like before the Civil War? It was just this that occurred in 1948.

    The partition was made without input from the Palestinian natives, who at the time were in the majority. How can we expect them and their allies to agree to such a mandate?

  25. Politico, June 01, 2010

    Newt Gingrich: There was ‘no humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza

    Israel faces worldwide condemnation in the aftermath of its raid Monday on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid ships, which resulted in the death of at least 10 civilian activists. But the Jewish state has its fair share of defenders in the United States.

    Asked about the fairness of the raid at a Memorial Day premier of a Korean War documentary yesterday in Washington, D.C., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told POLITICO:

    “There was a deliberate effort to create an unacceptable intrusion, which Turkey should’ve stopped. The Israelis have been very clear about sustaining a blockade of Gaza, and they have every right to sustain a blockade of Gaza. Hamas is actively every day trying to kill Israelis, and as a matter of international law, Turkey should not have allowed that flotilla to go down there.”

    Ditto!

  26. “Israel is within its right to “control the content and delivery of humanitarian aid, such as to ensure that consignments do not include weapons.””

    Correct. But Israel could have done so by allowing the boats to dock and inspect the cargoes upon off-loading.

    Let us next see what happens when the next vessel attempts to dock at the Gaza harbor.

  27. Perry: For one who is ultra-quick to reach for the “racist” label, you should be well prepared to fall on your own sword, so to speak.

    Regarding the partition, which was carried out by then colonial and super powers who controlled the UN

    Ah yes, so we quickly go from the UN as the “epitome of legality” to “a puppet of colonial powers” when it suits your purposes. Of course.

    would it have suited us if some power came in and partitioned the US, at some critical point in our history, like before the Civil War?

    Nice try. We were already a sovereign state. There was no sovereign Israel or Palestine prior to the UN plan.

    The partition was made without input from the Palestinian natives, who at the time were in the majority. How can we expect them and their allies to agree to such a mandate?

    Baloney. They wanted the entire land area, period. But since they were not a sovereign state, it, frankly, was too bad the plan wasn’t to their liking. Not all the Jews were satisfied with it, either. That’s what compromise is — imperfect solutions. And the Partition Plan was just that.

    Funny, again, how you refuse to address the genocidal notions of the leaders of Gaza — elected by their own people!!

  28. Perry:

    “Israel is within its right to “control the content and delivery of humanitarian aid, such as to ensure that consignments do not include weapons.””

    Correct. But Israel could have done so by allowing the boats to dock and inspect the cargoes upon off-loading.

    Let us next see what happens when the next vessel attempts to dock at the Gaza harbor.
    4 June 2010, 9:22 am | Edit

    Perry, next time do a little research on your own before commenting. Israel offered a port for them to dock, get inspected, offload their cargo and Israel would’ve borne the cost of transporting over land the rest of the way into Gaza. Oh, and the other ships in the flotilla went to port and got offloaded.

    Or are you suggesting Gaza cede a port to Israel so Israel can do the inspecting inside what would otherwise be Gaza?

  29. Hube: “…ultra-quick to reach for the “racist” label…”

    There is an ongoing effort to attack the word ‘racist’ and rob it of meaning, eliminate its proper use, and make the application of real racism effective once again. This most often presents as an attack on anyone who uses the word, and as ostensible ignorance of the use of racist code words.

    Be a part of this effort, if you like, but it will not work.

  30. Here is the other side of the story in Salon.com:

    With its deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that left nine civilians dead and dozens injured, Israel once again resembles a self-destructive Goliath to much of the world.

    Predictably, though, American pundits seem distracted by Israel’s double-talk and moral justifications and intent on reducing this latest episode to a question of who threw the first punch on the ship. Instead, we should analyze the tragedy as a recurring symptom of Israel’s brutal 43-year occupation of Palestinian territories, which has had grave consequences for the security of Israel, Palestine and the United States.

    America’s ideological, financial and military support of Israel’s occupation is “untenable.” It erodes international solidarity, leads to cultural isolation, and further engenders anger and mistrust among Muslim communities around the world.

    Since 1967, Israel has, in violation of international law, occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all the result of its “Six-Day War” against Arab nations (a conflict launched by an Israeli preemptive strike against Egypt). Following that war, the United Nations immediately passed Security Council Resolution 242, which called for “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East” and the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent [1967] conflict.”

    But today, 43 years later, nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers reside in occupied Palestine, 300,000 of them in the West Bank — all of this in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, the European Union and the United Nations. ….

  31. Be a part of this effort, if you like, but it will not work.

    Yes, indeed, Nang. It isn’t those who arbitrarily use “racist” for anything they don’t like which is lessening the term’s meaning, it’s those who question such usage. Right, got it.

    Therefore, I should be free to call you, Perry, and anyone else an anti-Semite. After all, if you question that, then “there is an ongoing effort to attack the word ‘anti-Semite’ and rob it of meaning, eliminate its proper use, and make the application of real anti-Semitism effective once again. This most often presents as an attack on anyone who uses the word, and as ostensible ignorance of the use of anti-Semitic code words.”

  32. Nangleator:

    John H.: “Ya know, Hube, I got the impression that NZT wanted to call us “Jew lovers” with all his vitriol.”
    I get the impression that John wants to rape and eat babies. Bad, bad John!

    (My straw man is more flammable than yours. But no more absurd.)
    4 June 2010, 9:13 am | Edit

    For those of you with a diminutive intellectual skillset (that would be folks like NZT, naggy, Perry, /it’s not nice to fool mother nature/, etc), my above quoted comment could be placed in the “zinger” classification as it an unserious comment based on the well-known history of the actual target of my comment.

    All the hate from the left spewed against Israel, which is a Jewish nation in the same manner the US is a Christian nation, suggests a hatred of Jews and a hatred of anyone who supports Jews.

    I have more to say on this but I’d rather stop here for now, so I can give you more rope with which you will hang yourselves.

  33. Since 1967, Israel has, in violation of international law, occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all the result of its “Six-Day War” against Arab nations (a conflict launched by an Israeli preemptive strike against Egypt).

    Y’see, this is the crap I’m talking about. “launched by an Israeli preemptive strike against Egypt” totally ignores the facts that the surrounding Arab armies were totally mobilized for attacking Israel, and indeed were about to do so. Israel had NO reason to wait to be attacked just to satisfy some “progressive’s” notion of what is “fair.” It’s complete nonsense.

    And again, Israel is under no obligation to return lands it captured in a defensive war:

    International jurists generally draw a distinction between situations of “aggressive conquest” and territorial disputes that arise after a war of self-defense. Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel’s case: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.” Israel only entered the West Bank after repeated Jordanian artillery fire and ground movements across the previous armistice lines; additionally, Iraqi forces crossed Jordanian territory and were poised to enter the West Bank. Under such circumstances, even the UN rejected Soviet efforts to have Israel branded as the aggressor in the Six-Day War.

  34. There’s more from the above cite:

    The 4 million Palestinians who live on these lands exist in squalid, occupied environments. Desmond Tutu, one of the leading opponents of apartheid in South Africa, said Palestine “reminded me of what happened to us black people in South Africa.” He further warned, “[Israel would] never get true security and safety through oppressing another people.”

    Jimmy Carter has described this as “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.”

    As Israel and the United States make excuses and as the impotent international community fails to budge them, Palestinians languish without self-determination and statehood. Their daily existence is paralyzed by roadblocks, humiliating checkpoints, a non-functioning economy, extrajudicial killings, and a 403-mile wall through and around the West Bank — which effectively imprisons West Bank Palestinians while allowing Israel to further annex large swaths of Palestinian land.

    Despite empathizing with the “humiliation” of the Palestinian people and condemning the settlement expansion as “illegal,” President Obama recently pledged a record-breaking $3 billion of military aid to Israel.

    Citing “shared democratic values” and “shared strategic vision in the Middle East,” the U.S. has guaranteed Israel a “qualitative military dominance” over its Middle East neighbors since 1967. Israel is the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War II.

    To read the rest of the other side of this dispute, go here.

  35. Desmond Tutu, one of the leading opponents of apartheid in South Africa, said Palestine “reminded me of what happened to us black people in South Africa.” He further warned, “[Israel would] never get true security and safety through oppressing another people.”

    What a laugh. Apartheid is actually practiced by Arabs against Jews, not the reverse. How many Jews were forcibly expelled from Arab lands in 1948 and after? How many Jews can live peacefully within the borders of Egypt? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Syria?

    Exactly.

    How many Arabs live freely in Israel? Oh, that’s right, many.

    Citing “shared democratic values” and “shared strategic vision in the Middle East,” the U.S. has guaranteed Israel a “qualitative military dominance” over its Middle East neighbors since 1967.

    Good! This has ensured the country’s very survival!

  36. I see Hube that you agree that the 1967 war was preemptive.

    Hube: “And again, Israel is under no obligation to return lands it captured in a defensive war:”

    Not according to the UN! And one certainly could not argue that the UN of that time was dominated by Arabs and Persians.

    My point is that there are two sides, but to you, there is only one: Israel/US good, Palestinians/Arabs bad. That view is patently biased and stupid, and will never lead to peace as long as we in the US insist on our bias.

    I note also that the name calling and ad homs have started, a sign of weakness employed by desperate people who fear the outcome of an honest debate.

  37. Hube: “How many Jews were forcibly expelled from Arab lands in 1948 and after?”

    Ha! Hube slipped. Sure they were Arab lands! That’s a major point! Even though the vast majority of the occupants were Arab in 1948, the partition did not reflect that fact.

    And how many Jews were expelled in 1948, compared to the number of Arabs? And then we have the Arabs expelled by the 1967 War — how many? These civilians became the infamous refugees, a persistent problem not yet settled.

    You also have yet to address the current West Bank and East Jerusalem expansions by the Israelis, and the strangulation of Gaza.

  38. I note also that the name calling and ad homs have started, a sign of weakness employed by desperate people who fear the outcome of an honest debate.

    Perry, the king of name-calling and ad hom, has noted the name-calling and ad hom has started.

    Perry, who has a long and documented history of rejecting histo-facts and other documentary evidence, notes name-calling and ad hom (which he does on a regular basis) is “a sign of weakness employed by desperate people who fear the outcome of an honest debate.”

    So it’s settled. Perry is a self-loather… or a hypocrite… or a hypocritical self-loather.

  39. Yorkshire: “Post WW1 French-British partition of the Muddled East”

    Thank you for making my point, Yorkshire, indicating the role of the colonial powers in mandating the fate of the Palestinian natives, as well as other Arab nations formerly part of the Ottoman Empire.

  40. Once upon a time a scorpion wanted to cross the Jordan River, so he called out to a turtle swimming near the bank, “Give me a ride across the river.”

    The startled turtle yelled back, “No! You might sting me.” The scorpion dismissed the turtle’s fears saying, “Obviously I can’t swim, so of course I won’t sting you because then you’d sink and I’d drown.”

    Persuaded, the turtle let the scorpion ride on his back as he paddled for the opposite bank. About half way across the river the scorpion stung the turtle.

    “Why did you do that? Now we’re both going to die.” the turtle asked as he slowly sank beneath the water. The scorpion shrugged and replied, “It’s the Middle East.”

  41. But for a great perspective, read this:

    Source, the (1965) [Novel]
    by James A. Michener Rating: No votes (Rate!)
    Reviews: None (show them) Review!

    Summary :
    In his signature style of grand storytelling, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the Holy Land, thousands of years ago. By exploring the lives and discoveries of modern archaeologists excavating the site of Tell Makor, Michener vividly re-creates life in and around an ancient city during critical periods of its existence, and traces the profound history of the Jews, including that of the early Hebrews and their persecution, the impact of Christianity on the Jewish world, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition. Michener weaves his epic tale of love, strength, and faith until at last he arrives at the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East. The Source is not only a compelling history of the Holy Land and its people but a richly written saga that encompasses the development of Western civilization and the great religious and cultural ideas that have shaped our world.

    Then read The HAJ

  42. Perry:
    Yorkshire: “Post WW1 French-British partition of the Muddled East”

    Thank you for making my point, Yorkshire, indicating the role of the colonial powers in mandating the fate of the Palestinian natives, as well as other Arab nations formerly part of the Ottoman Empire.

    Perry, the fate of this area was formed 5,000 years ago.

  43. “Therefore, I should be free to call you, Perry, and anyone else an anti-Semite.”

    Knock yourself out. But this incident has nothing to do with religion. Religion motivates some of the actors, but doesn’t impact or excuse the humanitarian and legal issues.

  44. Yorkshire: “Perry, the fate of this area was formed 5,000 years ago.”

    Are you saying that the colonial powers were taking into account 5000 years of history? It seems to me that the inhabitants of Palestine should have had some say about the partition of their lands, especially in 1948.

  45. Not according to the UN! And one certainly could not argue that the UN of that time was dominated by Arabs and Persians.

    If the UN followed international law, this wouldn’t be an issue. And see what I mean about Perry using the UN when it suits his purposes? Here it does; in 1948 it did not.

    Ha! Hube slipped. Sure they were Arab lands! That’s a major point! Even though the vast majority of the occupants were Arab in 1948, the partition did not reflect that fact.>

    How is that a slip? Everyone knows there were “Arab lands” prior to and in 1948. Not only did I mean Arab areas of Palestine, but other Arab territories and countries.

    And how many Jews were expelled in 1948, compared to the number of Arabs?

    Arabs were free to remain in the Jewish side of the Partition, Perry. Many refused. This was not the case on the other side, however. Your preposterous moral repugnancy is slipping through again.

    And then we have the Arabs expelled by the 1967 War — how many?

    Where? Who was expelled? The Israelis took over these areas, yes, but where were the occupants “expelled” to?

    You also have yet to address the West Bank and East Jerusalem expansions by the Israelis, and the strangulation of Gaza.

    Where haven’t I addressed it? Israel is under no obligation to return these lands until Hamas et. al. drop ALL their ideas of a second Holocaust. Period. End of story. If they do, they’ll probably be the beneficiaries of a similar situation like Camp David.

    I note also that the name calling and ad homs have started, a sign of weakness employed by desperate people who fear the outcome of an honest debate.

    Get bent, Fossil. These types of blatantly hypocritical complaints are so tiring as to inflict chronic fatigue syndrome. For the Nth time, if you stop, maybe others will.

  46. Knock yourself out. But this incident has nothing to do with religion. Religion motivates some of the actors, but doesn’t impact or excuse the humanitarian and legal issues.

    Sigh. Nor does racism stand behind every criticism of Obama, or issues surrounding race, now does it? But yes — it does in your view, as demonstrated by your previous comments.

    So yeah — I will knock myself out. No such ridiculous rationalizations (like above) will spare you, just like no reasoning from me or others is sufficient to thwart your “racist” epithets.

  47. It seems to me that the inhabitants of Palestine should have had some say about the partition of their lands, especially in 1948.

    They did. And they didn’t like the plan. But, as they were not a sovereign nation, it ultimately wasn’t up to them.

  48. Perry:
    Yorkshire: “Perry, the fate of this area was formed 5,000 years ago.”

    Are you saying that the colonial powers were taking into account 5000 years of history? It seems to me that the inhabitants of Palestine should have had some say about the partition of their lands, especially in 1948.

    Perry, the history of that area since 1948, is a speck of time of the continual shifting of sands of the continuous deserts of the area.

  49. BTW, since the Palestinians never accepted the Partition Plan, and the lands alloted to them were gobbled up by Egypt and Jordan, how exactly is Israel “occupying” these areas? Weren’t Egypt and Jordan occupying them (illegally) in the first place?

  50. Perry:
    Yorkshire: “Perry, the fate of this area was formed 5,000 years ago.”

    Are you saying that the colonial powers were taking into account 5000 years of history? It seems to me that the inhabitants of Palestine should have had some say about the partition of their lands, especially in 1948.

    If you look at the 1920′s partition of the area, it gave no rhyme or reason to the historical thoughts of the area. That’s why Iraq wound up with Sunni’s and Shiites. Jordan had a King that was not of the area and so on. If you look at what is Jordan is called Palestine on other maps.

  51. Hube: “…your “racist” epithets…”

    I think I recall suggesting someone was a racist on this blog just once. Months ago. If I give the impression that I’m suggesting racism here often, it’s a mistaken impression.

  52. I think I recall suggesting someone was a racist on this blog just once. Months ago. If I give the impression that I’m suggesting racism here often, it’s a mistaken impression.

    Fair enough, Nang. But that doesn’t change your lame characterization of those who question the use of the term “racist/racism.”

  53. York, thanks for reminding me about Michener’s The Source. I read it in 1966 while I was stationed at Hickam Field. I’ll get a copy of The HAJ. Michener is a bit long winded, but he does do his homework.

    IMO, there’s no better insight into the early Middle East than the works of Ibn Khaldun.

  54. http://history1900s.about.com/cs/holocaust/p/balfourdeclare.htm
    Historical Importance:
    The 1917 letter that made public the British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine led the League of Nations to entrust the United Kingdom with the Palestine Mandate in 1922.
    Dates:
    November 2, 1917
    Overview of the Balfour Declaration:
    The Balfour Declaration, a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild in which the British made public their support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, was a product of years of careful negotiation.

    After centuries of living in a diaspora, the 1894 Dreyfus Affair in France shocked Jews into realizing they would not be safe from arbitrary antisemitism unless they had their own country. In response, Jews created the new concept of political Zionism in which it was believed that through active political maneuvering, a Jewish homeland could be created. Zionism was becoming a popular concept by the time World War I began.

    During World War I, Great Britain needed help. Since Germany (Britain’s enemy during WWI) had cornered the production of acetone — an important ingredient for arms production — Great Britain may have lost the war if Chaim Weizmann had not invented a fermentation process that allowed the British to manufacture their own liquid acetone.

    It was this fermentation process that brought Weizmann to the attention of David Lloyd George (minister of ammunitions) and Arthur James Balfour (previously the British prime minister but at this time the first lord of the admiralty). Chaim Weizmann was not just a scientist; he was also the leader of the Zionist movement.

    Weizmann’s contact with Lloyd George and Balfour continued, even after Lloyd George became prime minister and Balfour was transferred to the Foreign Office in 1916. Additional Zionist leaders such as Nahum Sokolow also pressured Great Britain to support a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    Though Balfour, himself, was in favor of a Jewish state, Great Britain particularly favored the declaration as an act of policy. Britain wanted the United States to join World War I and the British hoped that by supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine, world Jewry would be able to sway the U.S. to join the war.

    Though the Balfour Declaration went through several drafts, the final version was issued on November 2, 1917, in a letter from Balfour to Lord Rothschild, president of the British Zionist Federation. The main body of the letter quoted the decision of the October 31, 1917 British Cabinet meeting.

    This declaration was accepted by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922 and embodied in the mandate that gave Great Britain temporary administrative control of Palestine.

    In 1939, Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration by issuing the White Paper, which stated that creating a Jewish state was no longer a British policy. It was also Great Britain’s change in policy toward Palestine, especially the White Paper, that prevented millions of European Jews to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine.

    The Balfour Declaration (it its entirety):

    Foreign Office
    November 2nd, 1917

    Dear Lord Rothschild,

    I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

    “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

    Yours sincerely,
    Arthur James Balfour

  55. Hube, Naggy did stay above the slime pit, for which he deserves consideration. It was Phoney and Shet-head who were the primary perpetrators, Perry went along to a limited extent, but only as a fellow traveler, not a principal.

  56. Actually, I haven’t seen anyone call anyone else racist in this thread, which is appropriate.

  57. Nor does racism stand behind every criticism of Obama, or issues surrounding race, now does it?

    No, just the ones which continue to label him an “usurper” without being able to articulate a reason in the face of evidence demolishing any logical basis for such a claim.

  58. Ya know, Hube, I got the impression that NZT wanted to call us “Jew lovers” with all his vitriol. Wouldn’t that be mean? … or something.

    I made no such comment.

    Once again you show why you are a well-known liar, PB.

  59. I point out the simple fact, PB, that I have been talking about Israel, a nation-state on the Mediterranean Sea, which is a distnct entity from “Jews”. Indeed, some of the most vocal critics of Israels apartheid polices are Jewish.

    The first person to bring up Jews in this dicussion was – you. Which fits in with the tired old tactic of conflating the interests of a single nation state with a much larger globally dispersed religion, and using the historical suffering of the Jews as a cover for brutality by the country of Israel.

    For those of us who aren’t liars such as yourself, PB, there is a distinction:

    Though hundreds of Turks protested against Israel for the third day on Wednesday, the Turkish Jewish community seems to have scored an important success by publicly distancing itself from the Jewish state and the violent hatred aimed at it.

    Following the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla, Turkey’s Jewish community and chief rabbinate expressed their sorrow over the “military operation against the Mavi Marmara ship” and the “loss of life and injury resulting from the operation,” in a joint statement on the community’s official Web site, musevicemaati.com.

    “We share the public reaction this operation has created in our country and express our deep sorrow,” the statement read.

    In addition, during an interview with Israeli haredi radio station Kol Barama on Monday, Turkish Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva repeatedly praised the regime’s attitude toward its Jews, while softly condemning Israel for its recent operation, to the native-Israeli interviewer’s surprise.

    Turkey maintains strict separation between religion and state, and Jews there consider themselves Turks, which might strike some Israelis who automatically fuse religious and national identity as odd.

    The results of Turkish Jewry’s public voice were apparent in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Tuesday speech on the raid: Even as he slammed Israel’s “bloody massacre… deserving of any kind of curse and condemnation,” he not only praised his Jewish subjects for their loyalty, but spoke out against any hostilities toward them

    Now, what was it you were saying, liar?

  60. Anti-Semitism, or to be more precise, hatred for Jews surrounds, penetrates, and animates the vast majority of opposition to Israel’s existence. However not everyone who opposes the state of Israel is an anti-semite.

    Nor is anti-semitism the exclusive motivation behind all resistance to the continued existence of the State of Israel. However, the correlation is so strong in some instances that it nearly reaches the level of causation, nearly, but undeniably not conclusively.

    However, levels of individual anti-simitism must be distinguished from state sponsored anti-simitism.

    As an example: A good friend of over 20 years at the time of his wedding called and asked me to be Best Man. I agreed immediately.

    Soon, however, when I met his bride-to-be, her Iranian origins were unmistakable. Her family had immigrated during the reign of Shah Reza Pahlevi, and she was now well integrated into the economic and social life of the ex-pat Persian community in Los Angeles.

    Her sister was married to a leading Imam, and their home was a gathering place for Iranians, both resident in the LA area, and for transients. I have been an honored guest in many homes, and I say with confidence, I have never felt more welcome in the intervening 25 years or so, or been treated with greater kindness and consideration, than in my friend’s home or in the home of her sister under the Imam’s roof.

    It was there I met many dozens of Shiite Muslims. I found most of them to be intelligent, well educated, generous, and interesting people, largely concerned with the day to day tasks of modern life, births, deaths, weddings, employment, taxes, children entering college, buying a car, or moving to a new home.

    Then, one day I received a letter from a friend traveling in Iran. The stamp caught my eye. It depicted a young dark haired Persian girl, about 9 or 10 years old throwing a rock at the large glass window of building decorated with the Star of David. Clearly, it was a Synagogue, and I was holding evidence of state sponsored anti-semitism. I was shocked, perhaps I should not have been, but I was stunned. It’s stuck with me for years.

    My correspondent had never displayed the attitudes celebrated on that postage stamp. Perhaps it was all he could obtain in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, but the letter occasioned no hint of outrage by the US Postal Service. The deeply offensive stamp arrived seemingly without hindrance firmly affixed to the upper right corner of the envelope. I still have it.

    But, it changed things, I never quite looked at those people the same way again. I think they could tell.

  61. Anti-Semitism, or to be more precise, hatred for Jews surrounds, penetrates, and animates the vast majority of opposition to Israel’s existence.

    So you claim.

    However there was a huge amount of opposition to South Africa’s apartheid policies and aggression as well, and yet few people felt it necessary to scream about “anti-white” sentiment.

  62. I notice that Dana has ducked teh question, and other people seem to be avoiding it.

    So here it is again for those people defending Israel’s actions:

    Why are you defending the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on international waters?

  63. Well, I see the feculent poison dwarf obviously feels the urge to befoul himself again.

  64. Naggy, your observation at 11:46a is no longer valid. Phoney is unable to resist his Pavlovian predispositions.

  65. The activists repeatedly refused Israeli offers to inspect the cargo for military contraband, and then allow the inspected cargo — stripped of any weapons or other contraband — to be delivered. They were trying to create an incident, and in that, they succeeded.

    Uh-huh:

    It was clear from the moment news of the flotilla attack emerged that Israel was taking extreme steps to suppress all evidence about what happened other than its own official version. They detained all passengers on the ship and barred the media from speaking with them, thus, as The NYT put it, “refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel’s version of events.” They detained the journalists who were on the ship for days and seized their film, video and cameras. And worst of all, the IDF — while still refusing to disclose the full, unedited, raw footage of the incident — quickly released an extremely edited video of their commandos landing on the ship, which failed even to address, let alone refute, the claim of the passengers: that the Israelis were shooting at the ship before the commandos were on board.
    [...]
    But now that the passengers and journalists have been released from Israeli detention and are speaking out, a much different story is emerging. As I noted yesterday, numerous witnesses and journalists are describing Israeli acts of aggression, including the shooting of live ammunition, before the commandos landed. The New York Times blogger Robert Mackey today commendably compiles that evidence — I recommend it highly — and he writes: “now that the accounts of activists and journalists who were detained by Israel after the raid are starting to be heard, it is clear that their stories and that of the Israeli military do not match in many ways.” As Juan Cole says: “Many passengers have now confirmed that they were fired on even before the commandos had boots on the deck. Presumably it is this suppressive fire that killed or wounded some passengers and which provoked an angry reaction and an attack on the commandos.”

    Again, I ask – why are people here defending the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on international waters?

  66. Sure, Israel restricts the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza, because the Palestinians in Gaza are trying to do the Israelis harm!

    Because of the restrictions! It’s the perfect self-supporting justification for a regime of oppression that enriches Israel.

  67. If Phoeny, Chet, Perry and the rest of the useful idiots had their way, Israel wouldn’t even be here for them criticize.

    I have no problem or issue with the existence of Israel. I have a problem with the existence of oppression and apartheid.

  68. If Hamas and rest of the genocidal maniacs would lay down their arms today, there’d be peace tomorrow

    The last rocket attack was in March. Before that, the last rocket attack was the attack that started the Gaza war.

    March was two months ago. Has Israel lifted the blockade?

  69. I have no problem or issue with the existence of Israel. I have a problem with the existence of oppression and apartheid.

    As opposed to desires of complete annihilation on the part of the surrounding Arab states. Check.

    Moral equivalency at its most repugnant.

  70. The last rocket attack was in March. Before that, the last rocket attack was the attack that started the Gaza war.

    March was two months ago. Has Israel lifted the blockade?

    Has Hamas been ousted from power? Has it dropped the destruction of Israel from its charter? Until then, the point is moot.

  71. As opposed to desires of complete annihilation on the part of the surrounding Arab states.

    I’m not saying that Israel isn’t surrounded by enemies – though the border it shares with its most potentially military-capable border state is the smallest – Egypt’s – and the one which it currently enjoys the most favorable relations.

    But the idea that they’re under existential threat from Hamas, which has zero ability to achieve the destruction of the Israeli state, or from a population of Palestinians where 40 percent are under the age of 15, is ludicrous. Israel isn’t David, they’re Goliath – with an even bigger Goliath behind them. (Us.)

    I’m not a supporter of anti-semetism, or of the rejection of the legitimacy of Israel by the Muslim nations of the Middle East. But a lot of that rejection is fanned by Israel’s actions.

    I want Israel to survive, but their reflexive, brutal bellicosity and their oppression of Palestinians are a major strategic blunder. It makes Israel objectively less safe. It strengthens Hamas.

    Why are you supporting Hamas, Hube? Why do you aid the enemies of Israel?

  72. Has Hamas been ousted from power?

    So, you’re admitting it – the embargo isn’t for “security”, it’s to meddle in the electoral affairs of Palestinians. It’s a form of collective punishment for the people of the Gaza strip exercising their electoral prerogative.

    Well, it’s nice of you to admit it.

  73. So, you’re admitting it – the embargo isn’t for “security”, it’s to meddle in the electoral affairs of Palestinians. It’s a form of collective punishment for the people of the Gaza strip exercising their electoral prerogative.

    Yeah right — electing a group of genocidal thugs as your leaders — leaders that have the destruction of a group of people in their very charter — isn’t a security issue. No.

    And George W. Bush was president in 2000.

  74. Why are you supporting Hamas, Hube? Why do you aid the enemies of Israel?

    Then:

    I’m not a supporter of anti-semetism, or of the rejection of the legitimacy of Israel by the Muslim nations of the Middle East

    Sure you’re not, Chet. You just think genocide is less of a threat than a loss of some civil rights, is all. Your pathetic self actually thinks Hamas is somehow the only threat to Israel — “zero threat,” you said. As if every radical Muslim regime (and outliers) aren’t actively assisting them (and other groups) to cause as much carnage as possible. Like Iran, which is now on the verge of a nuke.

    Like I said, “useful idiots.”

  75. Science Alert: Attention First Officer

    Sensors have detected massive evidence of takion emissions indicating the Borg Collective is entering the Alpha Quadrant, reassembling under direct control of subspace domain transmissions.

    The Borg pseudo-race of cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, are organized as an interconnected collective animated exclusively by the hive mind.

    They operate solely toward the fulfilling of one purpose: “to substitute the tax paying abilities of higher advanced individuals for their own unwillingness to seek gainful employment.” All their efforts are focused on the pursuit of Marxist Utopian delusions.

    Their purpose is achieved through coerced assimilation, a process which begins with forced busing and continues with universal brainwashing in the public educational system. Eventually, it transforms individuals into Borg while reducing their intelligence and their ambitions, and simultaneously controlling, them by implanting or appending synthetic components.

    They must be resisted, isolated, and deprogrammed. Once taken into treatment, a two week period of exposure to Country/Western music has been shown to be an effective first step in a comprehensive reintegration program.

  76. “I have no problem or issue with the existence of Israel. I have a problem with the existence of oppression and apartheid.”

    That remark provokes a question: Does anyone here have an exact definition of what leftists mean when they speak of apartheid?

    I assume that they only mean a system applying to a legally enforced system of social and economic racial separation within the boundaries of a so-called nation state?

    For example, one self-identifying group of people walling themselves off from and denying some other “out group” of people a right of economic access to their developed systems of exchange, or to social affiliation and support, or to political association as peers, based on some generalized objection to, say, a behavioral or cultural characteristic which they find politically, and in general personally obnoxious, would not qualify as “apartheid”, would it?

  77. Here is the other side of the story in Salon.com:
    With its deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that left nine civilians dead and dozens injured, Israel once again resembles a self-destructive Goliath to much of the world.

    Problem is, that article was entirely one sided and neglected to address the decades of terrorist violence against Israel by Palestinians. They have essentially declared war on Israel, which gives Israel every right to fight back.

  78. Hube: “Before Perry spouts off about Res. 242 again:
    http://www.defensibleborders.org/db_rosenneb.pdf

    Of course I am going to spout off about Res. 242, as well as the 47 other proposed Resolutions that the US has used their veto to kill, without resorting to spin, unlike your citation author attempts to do.

    From Salon.com again, note the direct quote from Res. 242:

    Since 1967, Israel has, in violation of international law, occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all the result of its “Six-Day War” against Arab nations (a conflict launched by an Israeli preemptive strike against Egypt). Following that war, the United Nations immediately passed Security Council Resolution 242, which called for “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East” and the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent [1967] conflict.”

    Pretty hard for you to spin that one, eh Hube?

    Now take a look at what Tony Blair has to say about the Gaza blockade policy, again from the Salon.com piece:

    Although Israel claims the blockade is necessary to minimize terrorist violence perpetrated by Hamas, many international observers suggest that Israeli policy itself exacerbates extremism and further erodes humanitarian conditions. “We’re not helping the people and isolating the extremists,” Tony Blair has said. “We’re in danger of doing it the wrong way round … I’ve been saying that for the best part of two years that this [the blockade] is a policy that doesn’t work … At the present time it’s very hard to get materials into Gaza. We need to get not just humanitarian materials but materials that can rebuild the infrastructure.”

    Based on Chet, Nangleator, Piator and me, I’d say you have lost the debate, Hube, so has Dana!

  79. Yeah right — electing a group of genocidal thugs as your leaders — leaders that have the destruction of a group of people in their very charter — isn’t a security issue.

    A charter is just a piece of paper, Hube. It doesn’t say very much about the courage of Israelis (or conservatives) if they quiver in terror, as you do, at the specter of words on a piece of paper.

    Hamas’ aspirations may be the destruction of the Jewish State, but if Israel actually is weakened, it’ll be as a result of the support of people like you alienating Israel from its allies.

  80. Ropelight writes:

    “The Borg pseudo-race of cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, are organized as an interconnected collective animated exclusively by the hive mind. “

    Sounds about right

  81. The 4 million Palestinians who live on these lands exist in squalid, occupied environments.

    Oh boo hoo. If the whining crybabies don’t like things where they are, they should pack their bags and F-in MOVE already. The Israelis only treat them like savages because they act like savages!

  82. You just think genocide is less of a threat than a loss of some civil rights, is all.

    I think the threat of genocide from an outfit that has no capacity to cause it is less of a threat than oppression by the Middle East’s most capable military and sole nuclear power, yes.

    The only outfit materially capable of genocide in the Middle East is Israel. Hamas just has impotent rocket strikes – the last fatality in a Hamas rocket strike wasn’t even an Israeli – and words on paper.

    It’s part of a pattern – Israel assaults perceived “threats” with more-than-overwhelming military force, inflicts wildly disproportionate casualties on barely-armed civilians, generally with light injuries – if any – to Israeli forces, and then its deranged defenders like you paint it as the aggrieved victim. It’s theater of the absurd.

  83. If the whining crybabies don’t like things where they are, they should pack their bags and F-in MOVE already.

    They can’t move, stupid. They’re not allowed to leave.

  84. Eric: “Problem is, that article was entirely one sided and neglected to address the decades of terrorist violence against Israel by Palestinians.”

    I understand you very well, Eric: A terrorist is on whatever side you are against.

    You, like Hube, are unwilling to examine the Palestinian side.

    I have a feeling, if you were a Palestinian living in blockaded Gaza, having lost your grandparents to an Israeli bomb, hungry and unable to rebuild your bombed out home, with virtually no medical supplies to care for your family, that you might throw a few stones or fire off a rocket or two.

  85. Eric: “Oh boo hoo. If the whining crybabies don’t like things where they are, they should pack their bags and F-in MOVE already. The Israelis only treat them like savages because they act like savages!”

    Is this the proper attitude for a born-again Christian to take?

    I find it remarkable to note that the self-declared Christians on this blog are by far the most bellicose. (I don’t know what Hube is; I suspect he is of Jewish extraction.) In contrast, it is largely the agnostics and atheists on here who instead focus on ending bellicosity while seeking peaceful means to settle differences. Go figure!

  86. Naggy, at 3:53pm, thanks for the heads-up and the associated link. I’ll tune into Beck, on at 5pm, and see if he responds and what he has to say about Stewart’s forceful presentation.

    I don’t see how Beck can duck Stewart’s direct assault, especially since it was predicated on a clearly factual issue: was Beck, as Stewart claimed, talking about the film sequence of Israeli soldiers under attack as they roped down onto the vessel.

    If so then Beck has been caught out, making a fool of himself. That film sequence was played over and over again, so many times in fact that it’s nearly impossible to imagine that Beck, or someone on his staff wouldn’t have known it.

    On the other hand, if Beck was clearly talking about a different film sequence, one that wasn’t shown widely, then it’s Stewart who’s got some splainin’ to do.

    We’ll likely have a definitive answer within 90 minutes.

  87. The Phoenician wrote:

    Dana, heavily armed Middle Easterners boarded a ship in international waters and killed an American citizen. And yet you’re all for it because it’s Israel, and that’s different.

    Who here has Stockholm Syndrome?

    Not all Americans are good, and not all Americans are innocent. The American citizen was killed because he was stupid, trying to run a blockade.

    These people knew what they were doing, and they knew that they were risking their lives.

    The mentality of these “peace activists” is shown by the name chosen for one of their boats, the MV Rachel Corrie. Miss Corrie thought that she could defend the Palestinian terrorists, too, by standing in front of a moving bulldozer. Squish!

    And what was she defending? She was defending the “right” of the Palestinian terrorists to keep shooting at the Israelis! If they hadn’t been shooting at the Israelis, the Israelis wouldn’t have been in Gaza with dozers to demolish the homes of the Hamas members.

  88. Not all Americans are good, and not all Americans are innocent. The American citizen was killed because he was stupid, trying to run a blockade.

    Dana, are you aware that the Mavi Marmara was boarded more than 70 miles from the blockade, in the middle of the night? At that range there would have been absolutely no way to determine the exact course of the ship or whether it was bound for the Gaza strip, which is only 25 miles of coast.

    You’re making it sound like the Mavi Marmara was boarded as they attempted to plow on through a cordon of Israeli naval vessels. That’s not even close to the truth. The Mavi Marmara was boarded in international waters by Israeli commandos – not naval inspectors – who opened fire from the helicopter on sailors who had not attacked them and had no weapons. Only after being fired upon did the crew of the Mavi Marmara take up improvised weapons to defend themselves from an illegal attempt to board.

    In international waters, persons at sea are entitled to use force to repel boarders. What Israeli commandos did was piracy on the high seas (the traditional punishment for which is hanging, btw.)

    Miss Corrie thought that she could defend the Palestinian terrorists, too, by standing in front of a moving bulldozer.

    Indeed she did. I guess we should have known that Israel considers bulldozing a home so important that they have to kill people in order to do it.

    If they hadn’t been shooting at the Israelis, the Israelis wouldn’t have been in Gaza with dozers to demolish the homes of the Hamas members.

    The homes being demolished had no connection to Hamas whatsoever, and had never been used for violence against Israelis. They were just convenient targets.

  89. That film sequence was played over and over again, so many times in fact that it’s nearly impossible to imagine that Beck, or someone on his staff wouldn’t have known it.

    Beck just lies. He’s a liar. How can you not get that yet?

  90. The librarian quotes me and adds a response that in no way fits the quote. I guess it’s true, you don’t have to be able to read or to understand what you read in order to put a book on a shelf.

  91. Perry has a longish comment, well above. I had to work all day — and I’m still at work, though it’s wrapping up — so it’s been a while since I’ve been able to respond.

    Firstly, the Zionists gradually occupied Palestine over a period of about a half of a century, aided by certain colonial powers, namely the US and the UK. This is basic and should not be forgotten.

    Zionism was the brainchild of Theodor Herzl, who wisely foresaw that the Jews were simply never going to be really welcomed in Europe. He was the one who started the notion of Jewish migration back to the home lands from which they had been expelled in Roman times. The British opposed this, because they didn’t want problems from the Arabs, and took measures to stop it. Jewish migration to the Holy Land was often illegal before World War II, and many lost their lives in the attempt at crossing the Mediterranean in rustbucket boats, or trying to cross overland through Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

    Secondly, the basis for Israeli occupation of Palestine is religious dogma dating to more than two millennia prior. Since when is this a recognized argument for an occupation?

    The Levant is also the ethnic homeland for the Jews. We Americans sometimes forget, but the Old World is divided into nations largely based on ethnicity, and on conquest. Israel has been re-established by both.

    The Jews had tried to live amongst we good Christians in Europe, after having been expelled by the Romans. But they were different, different ethnically, different culturally, and different religiously, and we good Christians responded with 1,800 years of varying degrees of discrimination, dispossessions, pogromi, and finally genocide. The Third Reich managed to kill off only half of the Jews in Europe, but the livelihoods and property of the survivors were also destroyed.

    More narrowly, we good Americans refused to allow Jewish immigrants fleeing Europe to enter our country. We are not an ethnically-based country, but we didn’t want them either.

    So, they followed Theodor Herzl’s advice, and migrated to a largely empty, mostly barren land; they really had no place else to go. And we good Christians had taught them a valuable lesson: the Jews could not count on us, or anyone other than themselves, for their own security and protection. Even after World War II, the British tried to stop them, but, after the damage from the war, didn’t have the resources to do that job.

    Thirdly, Israel has functioned as a US puppet in the area, thus a coalition of Jews and Christians, up against Muslims. So the US and Jews have formed a powerful united front, fortified with nuclear weapons, against the rest of the Middle Eastern population.

    Is it any wonder that there should be an extremist reaction, willing to fight to death with the most primitive of weaponry, like stones and mortars?

    I’d hardly call Israel an American puppet; more people would say that the US has bent over backwards to accommodate Israel than the other way around. Israel’s and our interests mostly coincide, but on those occasions when they have been at odds, the Israelis have been perfectly willing to do what they thought was best for themselves.

    Have the Arabs been willing to fight? Yup, sure have! But unless you want to see Hamas obtain its objectives, to drive Israel into the sea, then you have to ask yourself why you would defend the Arabs for attacking Israel from land that the Israelis just flat gave them, free and clear, to do with what they could.

    It’s time to close the plant now; more later.

  92. DNW, loved your link to the Bob Hope Zombie clip. It made my afternoon. Bravo!

    Also, your comment on apartheid at 3:56pm brought back memories of my college days. I was taking a 3 course sequence on Racism in the Black Studies Department under the direction of Bishop Edward Crowther, he had been Anglican Bishop in South Africa, but had been declared Persona non-grata and forcibly ejected from the country for his sympathetic efforts to assist the Black African leaders of the anti-apartheid movement.

    During the course, Bishop Desmond Tutu, paid a visit to Santa Barbara as Crowther’s house guest, Tute came several times to our classroom and lectured on the evils of apartheid in many of its manifestations.

    Never having experienced apartheid myself, but based on those classroom discussions with emphasis on the personal experiences of both Crowther and Tutu, I can say with limited confidence that when most people, Leftists included, talk about apartheid, their opinions are more a demonstration of hysteria and hyperbole than anything else.

  93. Chet:
    If the whining crybabies don’t like things where they are, they should pack their bags and F-in MOVE already.

    They can’t move, stupid. They’re not allowed to leave.

    Says who? The Israelis would no doubt love to get rid of them, and would probably help pack their bags and maybe even buy them an airline ticket (one way of course) just to get rid of them. They could move to Jordan, Syria, even Saudi Arabia where no doubt their Arab brethren would welcome them with open arms.

    Seriously, all they do is whine about how bad they have it, yet they make no effort to improve their lot. If they adopted a policy of executing the terrorists in their midst, I’m sure Israel would be a lot more inclined to be nice in return. Look at India, where Gandhi managed to liberate an entire subcontinent without firing a shot, but the Palestinians would rather murder Israeli civilians, and then they expect Israel to reward them with their own homeland??

  94. I understand you very well, Eric: A terrorist is on whatever side you are against.

    Sorry, but your moral relativism doesn’t fly.

  95. Eric: “Oh boo hoo. If the whining crybabies don’t like things where they are, they should pack their bags and F-in MOVE already. The Israelis only treat them like savages because they act like savages!”
    Is this the proper attitude for a born-again Christian to take?

    Turning the other cheek is fine, but when you have a group of terrorist thugs deliberately killing your civilians for decades on end, at some point you have a right to act in self defense. Indeed, the civilized nations should be coming to Israel’s defence to help wipe out the terrorist scourge in much the same way civilizations acted a few centuries to stamp put the scourge of piracy.

  96. Hamas’ aspirations may be the destruction of the Jewish State, but if Israel actually is weakened, it’ll be as a result of the support of people like you alienating Israel from its allies.

    If that isn’t projection, I don’t know what is.

    Examine your anti-Jewish hatred, Chet. Quickly.

  97. You, like Hube, are unwilling to examine the Palestinian side.

    It’s all fine to examine the Palestinian side, but what about the Israeli side? There’s virtually no group on Earth that doesn’t have some sort of grievance based on history or territory or whatever, but most of them aren’t setting off bombs and killing civilians. If an American Indian group started blowing up buses and restaurants and demanded more land or autonomy in return, far from giving in, the US Government would crack down hard on the perps, and rightly so. That is exactly what Israel is doing. The best way to sum it up is it is civilization giving barbarism its due.

  98. I have a feeling, if you were a Palestinian living in blockaded Gaza, having lost your grandparents to an Israeli bomb, hungry and unable to rebuild your bombed out home, with virtually no medical supplies to care for your family, that you might throw a few stones or fire off a rocket or two.

    Or perhaps you could find a Martin Luther King type figure and rally around him, one who could negotiate in good faith, and thus bring long lasting peace and prosperity to your people. Instead, the Palis seem to flock to “Leaders” whose only aim is to kill as many Israelis as possible.

  99. Naggy, Glenn Beck’s show just ended, there was no mention of John Stewart’s accusation. Today was a regular segment of Beck’s “Founder’s Fridays” series, this one focused on Ben Franklin and occupied the entire hour. I couldn’t tell if the show was pre-recorded or live.

    But, Beck’s show was interesting on several levels. I didn’t know that Franklin practiced aerobic exercises, or that he edited Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence.

    Initially, it read, “Life, Liberty, and Property” but Franklin removed “Property” and inserted “the pursuit of happiness.” Which, of course, had a readily understood meaning in the 1770′s, which differs significantly from today’s presumptuous misconception.

    Since it’s unlikely you’re a regular viewer of Beck’s show, I’ll watch the next few shows and comment on this thread if Beck responds to Stewart or ducks the issue.

  100. Nangleator:
    ropelight: “…a two week period of exposure to Country/Western music…”

    That cure is worse than any disease!

    Beck caught in an amusing lie:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/04/stewart-slams-glenn-beck_n_600486.html

    If you had seen the Beck Show, there was a lot more video than what Stewart showed. It’s another fine day when Libs are disingenuous. All you have to do is go to the Fox web site and the Glenn Beck website to see footage not shown by Puffington.

  101. Says who?

    Says Israel, who won’t let the Palestinians leave the Gaza strip. They’re prevented from coming and going.

    Haven’t you been paying any fucking attention at all, stupid?

  102. Turning the other cheek is fine, but when you have a group of terrorist thugs deliberately killing your civilians for decades on end, at some point you have a right to act in self defense.

    Sure, but when the terrorist warfare is a direct response to your invasion and occupation of lands that were never yours, nor taken in defensive warfare, can you really call it “self-defense” when you’re the one that started it?

    I don’t support Hamas, but I don’t support Israel, either. Neither actor has acted in any manner approaching civility. The question can only be one of practicality – can you really tell me that Israel’s reflexive brutality against the Palestinian people will really result in them coming to embrace the Israelis as brothers?

    In the entire history of the world has a free people ever been successfully subjugated by systemic oppression? I mean, isn’t it the contention of conservatives that people have a thirst for freedom, and will fight to get it? If Israel’s plan for Gaza is to beat its inhabitants down until they love Jews, how likely is that going to work? Make that make sense to me.

  103. Examine your anti-Jewish hatred, Chet.

    I don’t hate Jews. I love Jews.

    Why do you love Hamas so much that you would insist that Israel play right into their hands?

    Stop weakening Israel. Nobody’s making you do it but you. You can stop anytime you like.

  104. There’s virtually no group on Earth that doesn’t have some sort of grievance based on history or territory or whatever, but most of them aren’t setting off bombs and killing civilians.

    Too bad you weren’t in England in the 90′s. I was, though; I was living in London when a Catholic firebomb took out a Sainsbury’s. Some people were killed, as I recall, but I was only 11 or so.

    How’d that embargo of Ireland work out? Oh, wait, there never was one. How did England firing on aid vessels work out? Oh, wait, they never did that. How did the system of anti-Catholic apartheid and oppressive collective punishment against Irish Catholics work out? Oh, wait, they never did that.

    Israel is hardly the only nation to live next door to the specter of domestic religious terrorism. People seem to completely forget that Irish Catholics waged a campaign of terror against the people of England for a decade.

    There’s another way for Israel, but one the conservatives – both here and there – won’t even consider. That’s because its a central principle of conservativism that the Israeli-Palestine conflict persist as long as possible.

  105. Or perhaps you could find a Martin Luther King type figure and rally around him, one who could negotiate in good faith, and thus bring long lasting peace and prosperity to your people.

    Israelis kill those guys.


  106. In Praise of Blockades


    By FPI Director William Kristol
    The Weekly Standard; June 14, 2010

    The Royal Navy’s blockade of Napoleon, most famously led by Lord Nelson, protected England from invasion and laid the groundwork for the liberation of Europe. Lincoln’s blockade of the South helped win the Civil War, preserve the Union, and end slavery. John Kennedy’s blockade of Cuba forced Khrushchev to withdraw nuclear weapons from that island and contributed to the eventual successful outcome of the Cold War.
    The history of blockades by free nations is an honorable one. Israel’s blockade of Hamas-run Gaza—a blockade that, unlike some of the above, permits the delivery of humanitarian and civilian aid—stands in that tradition. It preserves a tenuous peace in the short run. And it may result in the liberation of Palestinians from Hamas’s dictatorship, and prevent their exploitation by a terror-supporting Iranian regime, in the longer run.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza almost five years ago. Three years ago, Hamas took over in a military coup. Since then, Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas, which has launched missiles into Israel and which is committed to the killing of Israelis and the destruction of the state of Israel. Last week, Hamas sympathizers sought to break the blockade. Israel acted to stop them. It has nothing to apologize for. The blockade prevents Hamas, and its backer, Iran, from triggering a larger war from Gaza. It isolates Hamas and allows for continued progress on the West Bank. Israelis live in (relative) safety. The people of Gaza continue to have access to the necessities of life.

    The Palestinian Authority owes Israel thanks for keeping Hamas at bay. The Palestinian people owe Israel thanks for weakening Hamas. The Arab states owe Israel thanks for controlling Hamas and curbing Iranian influence. The Europeans owe Israel thanks for denying Iran a port on the Mediterranean.

    Israel will not receive public thanks from any of these entities. Nor, it appears, can Israel expect a full measure of understanding and support from the government of the United States, which one would have hoped would be less timid than the Palestinian Authority, less intimidated than the Palestinian people, less hypocritical than the Arab states, and less sanctimonious than the Europeans.

    But the United States these days is under unusually timid, intimidated, hypocritical, and sanctimonious leadership. Such a failure of leadership is not just disappointing. It is dangerous. According to one reliable reporter of the administration’s views, writing in the Washington Post, “The Obama team recognizes that Israel will act in its interests, but it wants Jerusalem to consider U.S. interests, as well. The administration has communicated at a senior level its fear that the Israelis sometimes ‘care about their equities, but not about ours.’?”

    This shows the Obama administration does not understand U.S. interests and equities. And it shows the administration does not understand that its pathetic desire to split the difference between the forces of civilization and the forces of terror simply emboldens our enemies—our enemies, not just Israel’s enemies. Our weakness makes the world more dangerous. The forces of civilization retreat.

    What can be done? Congress can speak for America. Congress can stand with Israel, expressing support for Israel’s right to defend itself. And Congress can act. Congress can demand that we pull out of the farcical U.N. Human Rights Council, and can deny the use of any U.S. funds for the biased, Alice-in-Wonderland-type “investigation” authorized by that council in a resolution that already includes a condemnation “in the strongest terms” of “the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces.” And for that matter Congress could authorize the shipment of weapons and materiel to Israel to help enforce the blockade.

    But it is not just a matter of congressional resolutions and pressure on the Obama administration. American political leaders can speak up. We survived the Carter presidency partly because men like Ronald Reagan and Scoop Jackson gave our friends hope a better day was ahead.

    The dispute over this terror-friendly flotilla is about more than policy toward Gaza. It is about more than Israel. It is about whether the West has the will to defend itself against its enemies. It is about showing (to paraphrase William Gladstone) that the resources of civilization against terror are by no means exhausted.

  107. Perry wrote:

    You (Eric), like Hube, are unwilling to examine the Palestinian side.

    And what is the Palestinian side, Perry? If the Palestinian side is that they should have Gaza and the West Bank as their own sovereign nation, well that’s the long-assumed outcome when you read forty years of articles in Foreign Affairs and other journals, it is the simply assumed proper solution in the Western mind.

    Trouble is, for a lot of Palestinians, such a solution is actually an admission of defeat, the acceptance of a loss. Any solution which leaves Israel in place and in peace is simply unacceptable to many Palestinians, including much of their leadership — such as it is — and Hamas. They see themselves as the victims of a military conquest — which they are — and they don’t like it but can’t reverse it.

  108. Chet wrote:

    Or perhaps you could find a Martin Luther King type figure and rally around him, one who could negotiate in good faith, and thus bring long lasting peace and prosperity to your people.

    Israelis kill those guys.

    And who amongst the Palestinians has ever filled that role? You’d have to be able to tell us who he was before your statement that the Israelis would kill him can be counted as valid.

  109. Eric wrote:

    Seriously, all they do is whine about how bad they have it, yet they make no effort to improve their lot.

    The Israelis gave them Gaza, free and clear. Gaza is poor in natural resources, but it does have one thing: it has a magnificent beach. Had the Palestinians decided to develop Gaza into a seaside resort (with warmer weather lasting longer than on the European coasts), something Egypt has done, the Palestinians would have brought in a lot of tourists, tourists with hard currency to spend. Trouble is, tourists tend to shy away from beaches where the bullets are flying.

    I don’t know if a conscious effort to develop the shore would have really made Gaza prosperous, but it sure would have made it less poor. But, as someone once said, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  110. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/idf-has-top-viewed-youtube-videos-flotilla-incident

    IDF Has Top-Viewed YouTube Videos on Flotilla Incident
    BY Mary Katharine Ham

    June 3, 2010 11:59 AM

    The international community may be determined to ignore videos clearly showing flotilla “peace activists” beating the mess out of IDF soldiers before they even hit the deck of the boat, but the rest of the world is tuning on on YouTube.

    And, what they’re watching on YouTube is the IDF’s case. The very clear video images of soldiers being brutally beaten, distributed outside traditional media through new media, are just what’s necessary to contest the media’s frequent willful misrepresentation of the “humanitarians” who came to blows with the IDF:

    In the online public relations arena, it appears that the Israel Defense Forces is winning the battle, at least for now. Three of the four most viewed clips on the popular video website YouTube in recent days were posted by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

  111. I don’t hate Jews. I love Jews.

    Said, no doubt, while he was guffawing at his monitor giving a “Sieg Heil” salute.

  112. Not all Americans are good, and not all Americans are innocent. The American citizen was killed because he was stupid, trying to run a blockade.

    So let me see if I have this straight:

    Either you are supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on international waters if they say said American is “not good” OR you are supporting the right to kill stupid Americans.

    If it is the latter, do Eric, Yorkshire and Hube in particular know about this policy?

    Why are you supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens in international waters, Dana? In 1985, Ronald Reagan ordered the hijackers of the Achille Lauro, the people who killed Leon Klinghoffer, to be forced down by F-14s and arrested. You seem to think that he was wrong to do so – that it is perfectly alright for Middle Easterners to murder Americans. Or at least, if you say they’re “stupid” Americans.

    Please clarify. Why are you supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens in international waters, Dana?

  113. Chet wrote:

    I’m not a supporter of anti-semetism, or of the rejection of the legitimacy of Israel by the Muslim nations of the Middle East. But a lot of that rejection is fanned by Israel’s actions.

    I want Israel to survive, but their reflexive, brutal bellicosity and their oppression of Palestinians are a major strategic blunder. It makes Israel objectively less safe. It strengthens Hamas.

    I’ve seen this sentiment a lot from some of our friends on the left, but, for me, it raises a simple question: why do they believe that they know what is better for Israel’s defense than the Israelis?

    It’s easy for us, safe and secure in the United States, to decide what is in Israel’s better interests, what would be a better defense policy for the Israelis, because if we’re wrong, we still won’t be the ones killed, we still won’t be the ones who lose their families and their homes and their livelihoods.

    It’s true that the Israelis are very cautious in their defense: they just don’t take what some people might call “chances for peace.” But they have a shared history of the consequences of trusting others, of taking others at their word, when their livelihoods and their lives are at stake. After four wars, countless skirmishes, and years upon years of terrorist attacks, they simply do not and cannot trust the Arabs. To the Israelis, it is better that the Palestinians go hungry than it is for the Palestinians to get in a shipment of food that might have additional weapons hidden among the food.

  114. The Phoenician tries to fan the flames of jingoism:

    Not all Americans are good, and not all Americans are innocent. The American citizen was killed because he was stupid, trying to run a blockade.

    So let me see if I have this straight:

    No, of course you don’t; such is never your intention. Rather, you try to seize on silly points, which you do well, but make ridiculous arguments.

    Either you are supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens on international waters if they say said American is “not good” OR you are supporting the right to kill stupid Americans.

    If it is the latter, do Eric, Yorkshire and Hube in particular know about this policy?

    Why are you supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens in international waters, Dana? In 1985, Ronald Reagan ordered the hijackers of the Achille Lauro, the people who killed Leon Klinghoffer, to be forced down by F-14s and arrested. You seem to think that he was wrong to do so – that it is perfectly alright for Middle Easterners to murder Americans. Or at least, if you say they’re “stupid” Americans.

    Please clarify. Why are you supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens in international waters, Dana?

    I absolutely support the right of Western countries to defend themselves; if an American citizen is stupid enough to take actions against a Western nation like that, it’s on his own head. John Walker Lindh, though he was captured rather than killed, would be a good example.

    Note here that I said I supported the right of Western countries (meaning: those we would generally call part of Western civilization, which would include New Zealand, and even those Westernizing countries like Japan) to defend themselves. I do not subscribe to the silly notion that every nation is somehow equal to every other nation, and I do not support the right of places like North Korea or Iran to defend themselves; they are wholly anathema to reasonable notions of civilization, and the world will be a better place when their cultures and governments are significantly changed. Western civilization, in general, is simply superior to the others, morally and economically, and it is idiocy in the extreme to pretend that the others are somehow morally equivalent.

  115. I added the YouTube of the idiotic Helen Thomas to Yorkshire’s comment above:

    If the lovely Miss Thomas believes that the Jews should “go home,” to Germany and Poland, where we good Christians exterminated six million of them, and to the United States, where we denied Jews fleeing the Nazis entrance, one might ask where she thinks the Germans and Poles who live on the land she’d give to the Jews would go. After all, under the “Thomas Plan,” she’d be stuffing seven million new people into central and eastern Europe, and there are already people living there.

    Of course, if “home” for the Jews is Germany and Poland, we have to ask how they got here in the first place, and the answer is that they were expelled from their native land, the Holy Land to which they have returned, by the Romans. Perhaps Miss Thomas, whose parents were Lebanese immigrants, ought to leave the United States and return to Lebanon. After all, she’s living on land stolen from the Indians!

  116. However, the lovely Miss Thomas has apologized for her remarks:

    Helen Thomas issued the following statement today: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

    Hat tip to Sister Toldjah.

    Well, Sis wrote that she’s “Not.buying it.” And neither am I: someone like Helen Thomas doesn’t come up with an off-the-wall statement like she did without meaning it. She’s like 116 years old now1; she ought to have the courage to stand up for what she really believes.
    ____________________

    1. Actually, she was born on 4 August 1920, which makes her 89 years old. [back]
  117. As our favorite Kiwi Kommenter tries to play the “Why are you supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to kill American citizens in international waters, Dana?” card, note that one of those good American citizens, Rachel Corrie, who got squished when she tried to play human shield and stop an Israeli bulldozer, is shown in the photograph to the left burning a mock American flag. I wonder just how much sympathy I ought to have for such an American citizen?

  118. Dana: “I’ve seen this sentiment a lot from some of our friends on the left, but, for me, it raises a simple question: why do they believe that they know what is better for Israel’s defense than the Israelis?”

    For one, Israel’s defense strategies are unsustainable, as evidenced by this recent violent incident in international waters, and as evidenced by their continued unwillingness to work on a peace agreement, even knowing that they have Arab friends in Palestine, and Muslim friends elsewhere (Turkey), or at least they did.

    Their policies breed increased isolation. If it were not for us, they would not exist, so their continued existence is not in their control.

    What hope can Israelis have for ultimate security if they continue, as they have for decades, to insist on preconditions being met prior to peace negotiations, when the peace negotiations themselves would be focused on the precondition issues? Yet we support this approach by not rejecting it; thus we are Israel’s enablers.

    Is the Israeli strategy to pretend to want peace, while continuing to expand their territory, illegally, little by little, until they absorb all of Palestine, and while continuing to have preconditions to negotiations? And we support this approach? Well yes, so far!

    Since we have a continuing stake in Israel’s defense, so yes, I think we should have a say, unless we want to perpetuate these violent and inhumane positions. But then we must wish this perpetuation, as our actions ($3B plus no official criticism of behavior) speak louder than words.

    Thus, we continue to want Israel to be our military front line in the Middle East. We tried unsuccessfully to expand this military footprint with our failed invasion of Iraq, so Israel remains our lone military front.

    In the Middle East, we have yet to put ourselves and Israel on the path to peace, though people like Carter and Clinton and now Obama have tried. Instead, American and Israeli war-hawks have prevailed, much to the aforementioned unsustainability of this strategy due to the growing isolation that inevitably continues to emerge. Israel remains surrounded by enemies, after all these decades!

  119. Is the Israeli strategy to pretend to want peace, while continuing to expand their territory, illegally,

    You keep saying “illegally” but your only basis for this is “because the UN said so.” Then again, the UN’s creation of the Partition Plan somehow … wasn’t legal. Check.

    LOL … this is just like your ridiculous Kosovo rationalization vs. that of Iraq: “I like the former, so it’s OK.” Israel’s expansion into lands it acquired in a defensive war is “illegal” b/c the UN says so; however, when the UN said that the former British Mandate will be partitioned, somehow that’s NOT legal.

    You’re as transparent as an albino at the beach, Fossil.

  120. Dana: “I wonder just how much sympathy I ought to have for such an American citizen?”

    Just the fact that you should “wonder” speaks volumes about your support for the exercise of free speech without violent recriminations, like it’s OK to bulldoze a person brazen enough to burn an American flag!

  121. Exactly, Dana! People who put themselves in extremely dangerous situations shouldn’t expect anything to happen to them, period!

    LMAO …

  122. Members of the “peace flotilla”:

    In response to a radio transmission by the Israeli Navy warning the Gaza flotilla that they are approaching a naval blockade, passengers of the Mavi Marmara respond, “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz” and “We’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11.”

  123. Hube:

    You are the inconsistent one here, if you wish to make an issue of consistency as a diversion from the topic, and then you have the utter gall to question my alleged inconsistency off the topic. Talk about transparency!

    You accept the legality of the partition, but you question the legality of the pre-1967 boundary lines. That’s inconsistent, but understandable, based on your obvious bias to support Israel’s doing whatever it takes, regardless of the consequences.

    And you never will be able to resist the childish ad homs, will you Hube?

  124. You accept the legality of the partition, but you question the legality of the pre-1967 boundary lines. That’s inconsistent

    It’s a lot more consistent than your perpetual gibberish.

    1) Because there was NO sovereign state in Palestine in 1948 (or before), the UN was essentially free to do as it wished based on the transferral from Britain. 2) There is more than ample precedent that countries do not have to return lands acquired in defensive wars. If so, I’m sure you’re an advocate of us giving back Arizona, New Mexico and California to Mexico, right, Perry?

  125. Saturday, June 05, 2010


    Give Peace a Chance

    [Mark Steyn]

    In contrast to the general directions of Helen (“Go back to Germany and Poland“) Thomas, the peace-lovers aboard the Mavi Marmara were more specific:

    In response to a radio transmission by the Israeli Navy warning the Gaza flotilla that they are approaching a naval blockade, passengers of the Mavi Marmara respond, “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz” and “We’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11″.

    Such amusing conversationalists.

    These are not “humanitarian” “peace” “activists”. These are, in any objective sense, a party to the conflict. They’re not trying to bring “peace”, they’re trying to help their side win. That’s their choice, and may the best man win, but the media collusion in presenting them as “humanitarian” “aid” workers is Orwellian – and all the more so in a world in which the Turkish Prime Minister accuses Israel of killing children on the beach and in which the doyenne of the White House press corps no longer recognizes Israel’s “right to exist”.

    Now the Israeli navy is beseeching the MV Rachel Corrie (an Irish ship funded by the Malaysian government) to land in the port of Ashdod, where the authorities will deliver the (entirely unneeded) “humanitarian aid” to Gaza. The Rachel Corrie is flipping ‘em the bird and saying “Gaza, here we come.”

    This ship is merely the latest memorial to Miss Corrie, a foolish young American killed while enjoying the frisson of vacationing in someone else’s despair. There’s never been a better time to read Tom Gross’ piece on “The Forgotten Rachels“:

    Rachel Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of teenagers on 16 February 2002.

    Rachel Corrie’s diaries have been published in book form, turned into a hit London play at the Royal Court, and her name has been cited in The Guardian alone hundreds of times (“Remembering Rachel”, “Rachel’s War”, “Rachel Corrie: A True Martyr”, “The Lonesome Death Of Rachel Corrie”, “Rachel’s Words Are A Spur To Action”, etc).

    By contrast, Rachel Thaler was a British subject. Yet not a single British journalist has ever mentioned her, profiled her, interviewed her parents or other British relatives, or published her diary in a Fleet Street newspaper – except for a single solitary mention by the great (Jewish) comedienne Maureen Lipman noting that nobody ever mentioned her, or the other victims of Palestinian terrorism.

    Ah, but Israel is an “apartheid state”, and the Palestinians are the Europeans’ unending adopt-a-Third-World-pet project. I write in the new National Review (on sale now-ish) that, if old-school judenhass was a by-product of more or less traditional racism and conventional nationalism, the new judenhass advances under the cover of “anti-racism” and “multiculturalism”. The oldest hatred didn’t get that way without the ability to adapt.

  126. Hube: “In response to a radio transmission by the Israeli Navy warning the Gaza flotilla that they are approaching a naval blockade, passengers of the Mavi Marmara respond, “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz” and “We’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11.””

    Unfortunately, this sort of hatred exists on both sides. It is just this that all peace-loving individuals must work to oppose.

    Let us not forget that news reports indicate that the Israeli commandos fired before boarding. And, there were nine killed, none of whom were Israelis.

    Thus the charge that although Israel was within their rights to enforce their blockade, that they acted very clumsily.

    I continue not to understand why Israel did not merely guide the ships into port, then supervise and inspect the off-loaded cargo, except that they wished to continue to punish the Gazans with near starvation and no means to rebuild the damage from Israel’s over-the-top invasion.

    As long as neither side stops shooting, neither side will stop shooting! What a continuing tragedy we have here!

  127. Unfortunately, this sort of hatred exists on both sides.

    Actually no, it doesn’t. Not even close. This is Perry moral equivalence at its most pathetic. Though there are certainly a small % of Israelis whom I’m sure want the Palestinians eradicated, the sheer # isn’t even close to that of the Arabs. I mean, Hamas was freely elected — a group with the destruction of Israel in its very charter.

  128. Perry wrote:

    You (Hube) accept the legality of the partition, but you question the legality of the pre-1967 boundary lines. That’s inconsistent, but understandable, based on your obvious bias to support Israel’s doing whatever it takes, regardless of the consequences.

    The pre-June 1967 borders were, like the previous and subsequent Israeli borders, established not by international law, but by military conquest. There’s nothing wrong with that: virtually every nation, except places like Iceland, have borders and governments and dominant and minority populations established by military conquest. The dominant whites in New Zealand immigrated to an island certainly not their own, and conquered it, subjugating the indigenous population. Here in the US, white Europeans migrated here, and continually pushed back — and partially exterminated — the Indian tribes. When we got to the lands conquered by the Spanish immigrants, we fought them and took what they had conquered from the Indians as well. The borders of the Europeans, the ones who are just oh-so-supportive of the poor, mistreated Palestinians, have all been determined by centuries of warfare.

    The Israelis should have, after June 1967, rounded up and expelled all of the Palestinians living in the territories they conquered. That would have been extremely harsh, but it would have been over and done with long ago, and Israel would have shortened, much more defensible borders, while the Palestinian Arabs would now be part of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon; they’d be no worse off than they are now, living in those Hell holes in Gaza and the West Bank. Most of Israel’s problems today stem from being insufficiently harsh conquerors.

  129. Dana: “Now the Israeli navy is beseeching the MV Rachel Corrie (an Irish ship funded by the Malaysian government) to land in the port of Ashdod, where the authorities will deliver the (entirely unneeded) “humanitarian aid” to Gaza. The Rachel Corrie is flipping ‘em the bird and saying “Gaza, here we come.””

    This one paragraph tips us off to where Mark Steyn is coming from, and it is not positive nor conciliatory, instead, it is belicose, just like you Dana!

    “Humanitarian aid entirely unneeded”? Give me a break!!!

  130. Dana: “Most of Israel’s problems today stem from being insufficiently harsh conquerors.”

    You are very naive to believe that the Arabs would just melt away peacefully once expelled. The million or so who were expelled, the refugees, in 1967, have never forgotten their expulsion. It is acts like this that encourage the formation of terrorist groups and activities that can never be quenched, a lesson we have been learning, Israel as well, for decades. You have not been paying attention, Dana, or you are as stiff as a concrete reinforcing rod, I’m not sure which! :) :)

  131. Hube: “Actually no, it [hatred existing on both sides] doesn’t. Not even close. This is Perry moral equivalence at its most pathetic.”

    Hube, that’s total BS coming from a pro-Israel zealot who refuses to attempt to see this conflict from both sides.

    I think that Israel’s recent over-the-top invasions of Southern Lebanon and Gaza is enough evidence of their hatred. Now I am not saying that Israel’s taking some military response to rocket fire was not appropriate, but scorched earth? Come on!

    Whether Israel likes it or not, they must engage Hezbollah and Hamas at a negotiation table, otherwise the bloodshed continues forever!

    And why nearly always pre-conditions before sitting down to peace negotiations?

  132. Hube, that’s total BS coming from a pro-Israel zealot who refuses to attempt to see this conflict from both sides.

    No, it’s a fact coming from one attempting to deal with a repugnant Jew-hater who revises history and law to suit whatever sick whims he possesses.

    Should we have seen WW II from “both sides?” Korea? Kosovo?

  133. Perry wrote:

    You are very naive to believe that the Arabs would just melt away peacefully once expelled. The million or so who were expelled, the refugees, in 1967, have never forgotten their expulsion. It is acts like this that encourage the formation of terrorist groups and activities that can never be quenched, a lesson we have been learning, Israel as well, for decades. You have not been paying attention, Dana, or you are as stiff as a concrete reinforcing rod, I’m not sure which!

    That’s just it: Israel didn’t expel them, and they still haven’t forgotten. The greatest defeat and expulsion of the Palestinians was by King Hussein of Jordan, in 1971.

    I wouldn’t have expected the Palestinian Arabs to have forgotten, but Israel would have shortened, more defensible borders, and would not now be hosting a captive, occupied population of people who hate them. The Palestinians would be outside of Israel, and might still hate Israel, but would have to get on with their lives wherever it was they resided.

    By the way, steel reinforcing rods for concrete are actually flexible, depending upon their sizes and grades. We use pieces of #3 bar at the plant, to make lifting eyes for the 2′ x 2′ x 6′ blocks we make out of returned concrete, and all of us, take turns bending the straight bar into the hooks we use.

  134. Perry wrote:

    I think that Israel’s recent over-the-top invasions of Southern Lebanon and Gaza is enough evidence of their hatred. Now I am not saying that Israel’s taking some military response to rocket fire was not appropriate, but scorched earth? Come on!

    So, what is the proper response to people trying to kill you? What do you do when someone is shooting at you?

    Whether Israel likes it or not, they must engage Hezbollah and Hamas at a negotiation table, otherwise the bloodshed continues forever!

    Let’s see, Israel’s position is that it has a right to exist as a free, independent, Jewish state; Hamas and Hezbollah’s position is that all of Israel must be destroyed as an independent nation, and that the entire area must be viewed as an Islamic waqf, and that the area must be ruled according to the tenets of Islam. Just how does a nation negotiate on its own survival?

  135. Hube, having met Perry, I very much doubt that he is a “Jew-hater.” I’d bet a case of Mountain Dew that he’d be perfectly gracious as a host in his own home to any American Jews he happened to know in Lewes.

    But he has a clear sympathy for the underdog, and the Palestinians are the underdogs in this: they are poor and weak, and their anger is real. However, being a poor, angry underdog does not mean that they are automatically right or that we ought to take their side.

    We classical liberal Westerners seem to think that there is a middle ground to everything, the Arab-Israeli dispute being no exception. Me, I don’t think so. We all know what the middle ground is, and have known it since 1967 at the latest.

    But in the Levant, the notion of that middle ground is simply a choice between who wins and who loses for a whole lot of people; for Hamas, for Hezbollah, for many Palestinians, that middle ground is nothing but a dead loss for them, and a victory for Israel. Since it is the people in the area who have to make it work, it seems to me that their perceptions, not ours, govern the situation. Like them, I see the whole situation as a struggle between who wins and who loses, and in that case, I’d much rather see the Israelis win.

  136. Perry:

    For one, Israel’s defense strategies are unsustainable, as evidenced by this recent violent incident in international waters

    Perry, when did you become a military strategist?

  137. Hube: “No, it’s a fact coming from one attempting to deal with a repugnant Jew-hater who revises history and law to suit whatever sick whims he possesses.”

    Dana: “Hube, having met Perry, I very much doubt that he is a “Jew-hater.” I’d bet a case of Mountain Dew that he’d be perfectly gracious as a host in his own home to any American Jews he happened to know in Lewes. “

    You are correct, Dana; in fact, we even have a wonderful and loved Jewish family as part of ours, by marriage. I have found a great deal to admire in the Jewish culture I’ve come to know, going way back to childhood in West Philly, having had a best friend, a Jewish boy, who remains so to this day, about 70 years later. We were both born on the same day, in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools, graduated from the same U of P, go to Eagles games together, and meet for a meal every so often.

    And you are also correct about my having sympathy for the underdog, probably deriving from the fact that I come from an underdog youth period, so I know what it is like, as do you as well, Dana.

    More later, as duty calls now for a few hours.

  138. Dana: “Just how does a nation negotiate on its own survival?”

    Simple: By negotiating. Consider Egypt and Turkey. Times change!

  139. Dana:
    Of course, if “home” for the Jews is Germany and Poland, we have to ask how they got here in the first place, and the answer is that they were expelled from their native land, the Holy Land to which they have returned, by the Romans. Perhaps Miss Thomas, whose parents were Lebanese immigrants, ought to leave the United States and return to Lebanon. After all, she’s living on land stolen from the Indians!

    Generally, the Lebanese of a generation ago were Christian. It wasn’t until Syria took it over was it then flooded with Hezbullah arab muslim supporters.

  140. Yorkshire asked, sarcastically:

    Now I wonder how that operator missed Rachel standing in front of his dozer?

    I don’t know if the operator knew she was there or not; it seems that everyone has a different opinion. However, I’m probably the only one here who is actually a heavy equipment operator; from experience, I can tell you that you can’t see through the blade or the bucket.

    Operators look at the edges of the blade, usually the bottom right or left cutting edges, because that’s the angle of attack they take. They will look over the blade as they approach the work to be done, but most attention is paid to the outside cutting edges as they work.

  141. Dana Pico:
    Yorkshire asked, sarcastically:

    Now I wonder how that operator missed Rachel standing in front of his dozer (actually it wasn’t) :-) ?

    I don’t know if the operator knew she was there or not; it seems that everyone has a different opinion. However, I’m probably the only one here who is actually a heavy equipment operator; from experience, I can tell you that you can’t see through the blade or the bucket.

    Operators look at the edges of the blade, usually the bottom right or left cutting edges, because that’s the angle of attack they take. They will look over the blade as they approach the work to be done, but most attention is paid to the outside cutting edges as they work.

    You get a “spotter” and here’s how you dress around, not in front of a D-9.

    That’s Dana? :-) Not me or there would be one leg. But I got one from work for when I’m on my scooter.

  142. Hube, contrary to our indulgent host’s staggeringly inaccurate identification of the “underdog” in this conflict, at ll:48am, and his delightfully naive willingness to bet that Perry would welcome Jews into his home, I’m not persuaded. Why, some of Perry’s best friends are Jews.

    Especially if the Jews at the door didn’t share Perry’s eager anticipation of Israel’s destruction. Besides, personal hospitality isn’t at issue. One of the elements necessary for the survival of Israel itself is being contested on the sea routes leading to the Gaza Strip.

    The UN, the entire Islamic world, and America’s enemies, including our own establishment media, our own Democrat Party, and our homegrown Leftists have combined to press an attack against Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorists in Gaza.

    The enemies of freedom and democracy provoke incidents, distort the facts, blame the victim, and conspire to separate Israel from the one reliable ally Jews have depended on for military assistance and for political support.

    From the very beginnings of their modern nation-state, Israel has sought middle ground. The Palestinians and their Arab enablers are, and have been, the aggressors, the obstacles to peace, and have been unremittingly so from the outset.

    Palestinian terrorists leaders have rejected one peace agreement after another. For them it’s 100% their way or the bloody highway straight to hell for any Jew unfortunate enough to be caught once the final solution is once again underway.

    Does anyone doubt that a Second Holocaust would be implemented with even greater vigor and with even higher levels of barbarism that the first one? Or, that Leftists here would go right along with it, and be telling us that Jews had it coming?

    BTW, Hube, I’ve been very impressed with your comments. Well done! You too York, good job.

  143. Says who?
    Says Israel, who won’t let the Palestinians leave the Gaza strip. They’re prevented from coming and going.

    Actually, it’s the Israelis that left. Pulled out completely and left the Palis to rule as they saw fit.You are just wrong.

    Haven’t you been paying any fucking attention at all, stupid?

    When someone has to resort to foul language and name calling, they’ve usually lost the argument.

  144. Boy, a lot of water under the bridge since I was last here.

    About Beck; I think he knows a major part of his audience won’t look at any other news source, and thus he’s free to say what he wants about them. I think he can also lean rather heavily on the cognitive dissonance of the rest of his audience.

    Earlier we had a discussion, not about racism, but about the overuse of the accusation. ‘Meta-racism’ I guess you can call it. Well, I’ve seen lots of ‘Jew Hater’ accusations here against liberals who decry murderous and piratical behavior by a government. This seems like the pot calling the pure-driven snow black.

    With regard to Rachel Corrie burning a symbolic American flag… How dare she exercise her rights! That’s not what we gave them to her for! Is that the sentiment?

  145. Or perhaps you could find a Martin Luther King type figure and rally around him, one who could negotiate in good faith, and thus bring long lasting peace and prosperity to your people.

    Israelis kill those guys.

    No they don’t, because they don’t exist. Any potential King or Gandhi among the Palestinians would be murdered by his own kind as a traitor.

    You really don’t understand this at all.

  146. There’s virtually no group on Earth that doesn’t have some sort of grievance based on history or territory or whatever, but most of them aren’t setting off bombs and killing civilians.

    Too bad you weren’t in England in the 90’s.

    I was living in England before then, when the British army occupied Northern Ireland, so, yeah, I know the situation quite well. But peace eventually broke out in large part because both sides decided that being reasonable beat being violent as a long term solution.

    I have yet to see much reasonableness from the Palis. The Israelis are civilized. When the Palis start being as well, they will have their peace, and not before.

  147. Video footage taken from inside the cockpit of a D9 supports the Israeli Defense Force version of events. The operator’s view, already significantly limited in the best of circumstances, was even further restricted by the addition of armor and other protective structures.

    The video makes a “credible case”, Joshua Hammer wrote in Mother Jones, that “the operators, peering out through narrow, double-glazed, bulletproof windows, their view obscured behind pistons and the giant scooper, might not have seen Corrie kneeling in front of them.”

  148. Rachel Corrie’s diaries have been published in book form, turned into a hit London play at the Royal Court, and her name has been cited in The Guardian alone hundreds of times (”Remembering Rachel”, “Rachel’s War”, “Rachel Corrie: A True Martyr”, “The Lonesome Death Of Rachel Corrie”, “Rachel’s Words Are A Spur To Action”, etc).

    By contrast, Rachel Thaler was a British subject. Yet not a single British journalist has ever mentioned her, profiled her, interviewed her parents or other British relatives, or published her diary in a Fleet Street newspaper – except for a single solitary mention by the great (Jewish) comedienne Maureen Lipman noting that nobody ever mentioned her, or the other victims of Palestinian terrorism.

    This pretty much says it all. The true victim is ignored by those who claim to want “Peace”. Peace in our time is more like it.

  149. With regard to Rachel Corrie burning a symbolic American flag… How dare she exercise her rights! That’s not what we gave them to her for! Is that the sentiment?

    As far as I’m concerned, Rachel could have burned all the flags she wanted On USA Soil. But once out of the country she represents the USA whether she wants to or not. Burning a USA flag on foreign soil by a USA citizen to me is not a protest, but a denounciation of one’s citizenship.

  150. Whether Israel likes it or not, they must engage Hezbollah and Hamas at a negotiation table, otherwise the bloodshed continues forever!

    That’s like asking a lion and a lamb to get together to decide what’s for dinner. You don’t negotiate with people who want you blotted out of existence.

    Personally, I think the best thing to do is simply let the Israelis handle their own security issues and for the rest of the world to cut out the phony moralizing and moral equivalency.

  151. Should we have seen WW II from “both sides?”

    Hube, I do believe you have summed it up perfectly. There’s really nothing more to add.

  152. Whether Israel likes it or not, they must engage Hezbollah and Hamas at a negotiation table, otherwise the bloodshed continues forever!

    That’s like asking a lion and a lamb to get together to decide what’s for dinner. You don’t negotiate with people who want you blotted out of existence.

    LOL! Precisely! It’s like saying, “Whether the Jews like it or not, they must engage Hitler and the Nazis at the negotiation table!” And hey — the Nazis were elected too!

  153. Nangleator wrote:

    With regard to Rachel Corrie burning a symbolic American flag… How dare she exercise her rights! That’s not what we gave them to her for! Is that the sentiment?

    The lovely Miss Corrie had every right to express her opinion by burning a “symbolic” American flag. She even had a right to try to stop a bulldozer with her body. That I support her freedom of speech does not mean that I have to approve of what she said, or feel too terribly sorry when the consequences of her actions were something different than what she expected.

  154. Hube wrote:

    LOL! Precisely! It’s like saying, “Whether the Jews like it or not, they must engage Hitler and the Nazis at the negotiation table!” And hey — the Nazis were elected too!

    We should never forget that der Führer didn’t kill anyone himself; the murders he racked up were actually done by other people, many of them perfectly willingly.

    The German public probably had no idea what the “final solution” was going to be, but well before the war they supported the Nuremberg Laws and the subsequent decrees which continued to restrict the rights of Jews to own property, appear in public, do almost everything.

    Not everyone in Gaza is Hamas, but Hamas thrives there because the bulk of the people support them.

  155. Hey, does it matter to any of you Christians around here that Christians are in Gaza also? Yes, many Pallestinians are. But, the fact that all there are human ought to matter to you…period. It doesn’t though, does it? To you all that love the operations of conquest. Death is just an occurrence that you aren’t effected by, therefore, cheer on the dirty dogs that kill the best, that have the best warring machinery. Do you all have a soul? Oh, that’s right, you go to church, therefore you are all “clean”.

  156. In the Rachel Corrie picture Dana posted at 10:00am 5 June, she’s said to be burning a mock American flag. Well, now, just hold on for a minute or two, let’s take a closer look.

    First, it’s a very poor representation of an American flag, even a mock flag. Maybe it belongs to one of the two children shown below her right arm. Their faces are the only ones registering confusion and distress shown in the picture, other than Corrie, of course.

    All the other people in the picture, mostly children but also a few young adults, seem to be enjoying the spectacle, or at least finding the display interesting, some even seem to be yucking it up.

    Also, Corrie seems to tower head and shoulders above the crowd, like she was standing on a soap box or something similar, and she’s directly in front of the photographer, like she was performing for the camera, not for the assembled onlookers who are mostly being ignored, her back is turned against them.

    They don’t seem to mind though, maybe they already know they aren’t the intended audience, but I do wonder why Corrie is making that wide open mouth scream. No one else is screaming or even appears to be about to scream, or to clap hands, or do much of anything but watch what the highly animated American girl might be planning to do next.

    I gotta say, taken together, it sure seems like we’re looking at a staged propaganda photograph, sort of like the ones we once got from green helmet man. Just sayin’

  157. Eric, thank you for your recent comments, they’re insightful, topical, and informative. Plus you skewer your antagonists with wit and finality. I’m impressed.

  158. I absolutely support the right of Western countries to defend themselves;

    So you support the right of Middle Eastern countries to murder Americans if they call it “self defense” afterwards?

    I do not subscribe to the silly notion that every nation is somehow equal to every other nation, and I do not support the right of places like North Korea or Iran to defend themselves;

    Fine. So when Iran states that they think Israel shouldn’t exist (“crusading Zionist state” and all that) and support Hezbollah, you really don’t have any ground left to criticise them, do you?

    But I get your point. A country should be considered illegitamate if it violates Western ideals, such as by aggressively attacking other countries, torturing prisoners, using bombs on civilians in other nations, and engaging in the collective punishment of entire populations. Right?

  159. Dana writes:

    The pre-June 1967 borders were, like the previous and subsequent Israeli borders, established not by international law, but by military conquest. There’s nothing wrong with that

    and then:

    Let’s see, Israel’s position is that it has a right to exist as a free, independent, Jewish state

    By the logic you use above, Dana, Israel’s position is meaningless. If it could be conquered, every Jew within its border pushed back into the sea, then “there’s nothing wrong with that”.

    You use a amoral sociopathic-realist view to defend Israeli aggressions, and then a whining moralism to protest aggressions against Israel, without even considering the contradiction.

    And you are defending the right of Middle Eastern countries to murder American citizens in international waters.

  160. I don’t know if the operator knew she was there or not; it seems that everyone has a different opinion.

    Uh-huh:

    Tom Dale, an ISM eyewitness, had a clear view of the incident: “He [the driver] knew absolutely she was there. The bulldozer waited for a few seconds over her body and it then reversed, leaving its scoop down so that if she had been under the bulldozer, it would have crushed her a second time. Only later when it was much more clear of her body did it raise its scoop.”

    So the bulldozer didn’t just run over her – it reversed over her again.

    But, as we’ve seen on this thread, the American “patriots” here are supportive of the idea that Middle Eastern countries should be able to murder Americans with impunity.

  161. The feculent poison dwarf who befouls himself daily also leads a regular life.

  162. Dana: “Not everyone in Gaza is Hamas, but Hamas thrives there because the bulk of the people support them.”

    Right, Dana, and the more Israel blockades the Gazans, preventing them from getting an adequate supply of food, medicines, cement and such, the more extremist influence such as Hamas will grow.

    On the path that Israel has positioned herself, Israelis have become more isolated from friends. This strategy cannot possibly be construed as adding to their security, in fact, just the opposite.

    The result is to drive the Palestinian, a virtually powerless people, into more extreme behavior, thus less security for Israelis.

    In my view, Israel has to be willing to negotiate with their adversaries, otherwise there is little opportunity for enhancing their own security and stability, as just mentioned.

    We were making the same mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but have changed, being willing to work with adversaries. Israel needs to start doing something similar. The clumsy handling of their blockade enforcement was not a good sign, as they have further isolated themselves.

    The pro-Israel people on here like Hube and Eric basically want Israel to avoid negotiation and become more bellicose. That would be downright stupid, for reasons already stated.

    So let us see Israel focus more on Abbas and negotiations. There have been successes along these lines in the past, therefore it makes sense to persist, instead of expanding territories and attacking aid missions for Gaza. It is time to reempower Palestinian moderates and neighboring moderate Muslims.

  163. The Phoenician wrote:

    So the bulldozer didn’t just run over her – it reversed over her again.

    You really shouldn’t argue with me on this, because I am a heavy equipment operator, as I told you before, and yes, that includes bulldozers. Bulldozers run that way, pushing, then reversing, because dozers, as big as they are, normally only move an inch of material at a time. Why? Because at even an inch of cut, the material piles up behind the blade very quickly, and it becomes too massive to move; the dozer tracks simply tear up the ground without moving the machine or the mass.

    Watch a bulldozer operator in action sometime: you’ll see constant, repetitious cuts over the same ground, as the operator attempts to cut to the grade assigned.

    What you think is evidence is simply normal operation for a dozer.

  164. Piator: “But I get your [Dana's] point. A country should be considered illegitimate if it violates Western ideals, such as by aggressively attacking other countries, torturing prisoners, using bombs on civilians in other nations, and engaging in the collective punishment of entire populations. Right?”

    We Americans may not like to read an indictment like this, but tell me, isn’t it true?

    We need to continually examine our own behavior before being so quick to hypocritically criticize others.

  165. Hube needs to pay attention to this one too: “You use a amoral sociopathic-realist view to defend Israeli aggressions, and then a whining moralism to protest aggressions against Israel, without even considering the contradiction.

    And you are defending the right of Middle Eastern countries to murder American citizens in international waters.”

    So Mr. Consistency/Moral Equivalency, explain/justify this one!

  166. The Phoenician wrote:

    By the logic you use above, Dana, Israel’s position is meaningless. If it could be conquered, every Jew within its border pushed back into the sea, then “there’s nothing wrong with that”.

    I might not like that result, but yes, if the Israelis cannot hold their country against attackers, if they can be conquered, then Israel will cease to exist.

    It wouldn’t be the first time that happened, you know. The Babylonian captivity (597-538 BC) would be the first, and the Roman conquest of Judea in the first century BC, followed by the expulsion of the Jews during the 66-73 AD rebellion.

    The fact that I might not like a particular military conquest wouldn’t undo it, wouldn’t make it not so.

  167. Perry wrote:

    Piator: “But I get your [Dana's] point. A country should be considered illegitimate if it violates Western ideals, such as by aggressively attacking other countries, torturing prisoners, using bombs on civilians in other nations, and engaging in the collective punishment of entire populations. Right?”

    We Americans may not like to read an indictment like this, but tell me, isn’t it true?

    We need to continually examine our own behavior before being so quick to hypocritically criticize others.

    We have every right to do as we please, period, and I have made no bones about that. And you have certainly supported that yourself: Germany never attacked us in World War I or World War II, yet, in WWII, we certainly used bombs on German civilians and basically punished the entire population of Germany until we completely destroyed her ability to make war. Even before we were in the war, we were sending war materiél and other supplies to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, to be used to kill Germans, because it was President Roosevelt’s goal to defeat the Third Reich.

    We have engaged in other activities our friends on the left condemn — the overthrow of the communist Salvadore Allendé in Chile and of Mohammed Mossedegh in Iran, and our support of the Contras in Nicaragua, among other things — because they advanced American interests at the time, and we had every right to do so.

  168. Perry wrote:

    So let us see Israel focus more on Abbas and negotiations. There have been successes along these lines in the past, therefore it makes sense to persist, instead of expanding territories and attacking aid missions for Gaza. It is time to reempower Palestinian moderates and neighboring moderate Muslims.

    You know, President Reagan thought that he could deal, quietly, with the Iranian moderates, and send Iraq military supplies in exchange for captured Western hostages. And his policies did get a few hostages released, but, having thus established that hostages had a quantitative value, more were quickly seized. What President Reagan forgot, or never knew, or chose to ignore, is that there were no Iranian “moderates.”

    President Clinton had the deal that you expect to solve the Middle East crisis, and he had the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, accept that deal; Yassir Arafat threw it back in their faces, because, in the end, the Palestinian leadership has never been willing to actually agree to peace. President Clinton called the agreement the best deal that the Palestinians could ever hope to get, but it wasn’t good enough.

    Why? Well, I have theories, but they can’t be proven. First, it seems probable to me that Mr Arafat knew that if he accepted the deal, he would be killed, as Anwar al-Sadat was after he accepted the Camp David Accords. Second, after a lifetime of hate and struggle, Mr Arafat simply did not have it in himself to make peace; it was a step further than he could take.

    Mahmoud Abbas might actually be willing to accept a deal like the one Mr Arafat turned down, but if he did, he’d be killed, and he knows it. Too many of the Palestinian people are simply not ready to accept peace. Some may think that they want it, but war is all they know; it is a deeply ingrained part of their culture now, part of their lives and history, and is part of how they educate their children.

    President Abbas could, if he so chose, pick up the deal that Yassir Arafat rejected and say, “OK, Israel, here is what you offered; we accept.” That would put enormous pressure on Israel, and if Benjamin Netanyahu wouldn’t like it it or accept it, he might well be voted out, and quickly. But some how, some way, for some reason, that very simple offer has never been made by Mr Abbas or the Palestinian Authority.

  169. The Phoenician also cited:

    Tom Dale, an ISM eyewitness, had a clear view of the incident.

    ISM stands for International Solidarity Movement, the same group to which Rachel Corrie belonged. His testimony, such as it is, has to be considered wholly biased.

  170. Dana: “We have engaged in other activities our friends on the left condemn — the overthrow of the communist Salvadore Allendé in Chile and of Mohammed Mossedegh in Iran, and our support of the Contras in Nicaragua, among other things — because they advanced American interests at the time, and we had every right to do so.”

    By your logic, every sovereign nation on the globe has “every right” to do whatever they want. North Korea and Iran use exactly the same logic.

    It goes without saying that this attitude is outrageous, dangerous, and can lead to all manner of destruction and chaos, like as if your daughters, now over 18, used the same logic on you to justify any behavior they choose to enact.

    The other alternative, a proven workable one, is to negotiate, whether it be between sovereign belligerent nations, or between children over 18 and parents. The Right does not seem to understand this basic for resolving differences.

  171. Perry misunderstands:

    Dana: “We have engaged in other activities our friends on the left condemn — the overthrow of the communist Salvadore Allendé in Chile and of Mohammed Mossedegh in Iran, and our support of the Contras in Nicaragua, among other things — because they advanced American interests at the time, and we had every right to do so.”

    By your logic, every sovereign nation on the globe has “every right” to do whatever they want. North Korea and Iran use exactly the same logic.

    No, wrong. My logic is dictated on a firm belief in American exceptionalism specifically, and the superiority of Western civilization in general. Of course, if Iran or North Korea have the actual might to do whatever they want, then they can. We, on the other hand, have every right to stop them if we can.

  172. Perry wrote:

    It goes without saying that this attitude is outrageous, dangerous, and can lead to all manner of destruction and chaos, like as if your daughters, now over 18, used the same logic on you to justify any behavior they choose to enact.

    They are legally adults, and have the rights of adults. However, like adults, they bear the responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

    The other alternative, a proven workable one, is to negotiate, whether it be between sovereign belligerent nations, or between children over 18 and parents. The Right does not seem to understand this basic for resolving differences.

    Oh, we certainly understand negotiation, but we have a bit broader understanding of it than you do: we recognize that there are some people with whom you simply cannot negotiate, because their points of view are so different that no common ground can be found, or because they will simply violate any agreements they sign.

    Look at North Korea. In any Western country, Kim Jong-il not only wouldn’t be the leader, but he’d be locked in a rubber room. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be luckier; he’d just be a psychiatric hospital outpatient.

  173. John Hitchcock:
    I have one thing to say to the Perry types broadcasting here: Neville Chamberlain would be proud of you.

    How do you deal with someone who brainwashes their children in the madrasses to hate? Hopefully some western education allows to see disputes and judge them on merit. Madrasses do not do this. Nor does some US public schools. I remember 10 to 12 years ago my daughter came home from school and she said she was ashamed of being white. I was stunned silent.

  174. Dana: “What President Reagan forgot, or never knew, or chose to ignore, is that there were no Iranian “moderates.””

    One can hardly expect to detect moderates when a foreign power removes a duly elected head of state and replaces same with a dictator. This act of ours, 1953, provided the opening for Islamic extremists to gain power, in 1979, and they have been in power ever since. Smart move, CIA & M16!

    Regarding the Clinton/Barak deal that Arafat rejected, you did not mention certain details that may well be why Abbas does not step up as you suggest he consider doing. Here is what was missing: There was no resolution of the refugee problem, and most importantly, there was no agreement on a shared government of Jerusalem. There were other issues, but these two were most critical. These facts were not made known to the West at that time.

    The point remains: The Israelis must be willing to sit down for negotiations with both Abbas and Hamas, otherwise the peace process will not even get to first base.

  175. so, how many liberals rationalize Helen Thomas is a closet conservative since she outed herself as a racist? or maybe its ok to make racist remarks if it is a race liberals hate.

    out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. she has a dried up nasty bitter old heart evidently.

    oh the irony. i can hardly contain myself.

  176. The point remains: The Israelis must be willing to sit down for negotiations with both Abbas and Hamas, otherwise the peace process will not even get to first base.

    If anyone I respected would have said the above, I would have lost a great deal of respect for that person. Demanding Israel to negotiate with the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Iran is exactly like demanding Jews negotiate with Hitler, Goebbels, Goring. There is no difference.

    Hamas has, in its charter, the goal of eradicating Israel. All the above-named groups have as their ultimate goal the elimination of Jewish DNA from the face of the Earth. There can be no negotiation with that evil beyond “recant and live”.

  177. Perry:
    Regarding the Clinton/Barak deal that Arafat rejected, you did not mention certain details that may well be why Abbas does not step up as you suggest he consider doing. Here is what was missing: There was no resolution of the refugee problem

    After the 48/49 some “Palistinians” left, and some stayed. The ones who stayed still live in Israel. But at what point does one stop being a “refugee”? Also, Gaza was part of Egypt. When Israel returned the Sinai after the ’67 war, they kept Gaza, or Egypt was more than happy to be rid of it.

  178. My logic is dictated on a firm belief in American exceptionalism specifically, and the superiority of Western civilization in general.

    And, of course, Iran and North Korea can invoke the superiority of Islam or of Communism in justifying their invasions, tortures or murders.

    I’m wondering, though, how exactly is “Western civilization” so superior when you use it as an excuse for invasion, torture or murder?

  179. I might not like that result, but yes, if the Israelis cannot hold their country against attackers, if they can be conquered, then Israel will cease to exist.

    I didn’t ask “would” i asked “should”. You see nothing morally wrong in exterminating every single Jew in Israel if an enemy had the power to do so – because you see nothing wrong in Israel using whatever force is at its disposal to achieve its ends. Do you want me to start quoting the catechism again to show you’re not a very good Catholic?

    Then again, you’re not much of an American either, are you – you’re busy defending the right of Middle Eastern countries to murder Americans with impunity.

    ISM stands for International Solidarity Movement, the same group to which Rachel Corrie belonged. His testimony, such as it is, has to be considered wholly biased.

    This from a person who accepts IDF accounts at face value, when they have been shown to blatantly lie in the past?

  180. You really shouldn’t argue with me on this, because I am a heavy equipment operator,

    You really shouldn’t argue with me, because I’ve seen documentaries on the evidence. Have you?

    For example, are you aware of what was being said to the driver on the radio from other Israelis observing the bulldozer?

    Oh, wait, I forgot – you’re perfectly fine with Middle Eastern countries murdering Americans.

  181. I absolutely support the right of Western countries to defend themselves

    Let’s see how Israel is “defending” itself:

    Electricity: The siege has led to a significant lack of power in the Gaza Strip. In 2006, Israel carried out an attack on Gaza’s only power plant and never permitted the rebuilding to its pre-attack capacity (down to producing 80 megawatts maximum from 140 megawatts).
    [...]
    Water: Israel has not permitted supplies into the Gaza Strip to rebuild the sewage system. Amnesty International reports that 90-95 percent of the drinking water in Gaza is contaminated and unfit for consumption
    [...]
    Industry: Prior to the siege, the industrial sector employed 20 percent of Gaza’s labor force. One year after the siege began, the Palestinian Federation of Industries reported that “61% of the factories have completely closed down. 1% was forced to change their scope of work in order to meet their living expenses, 38% were partially closed (sometimes means they operate with less than 15% capacity)”.
    [...]
    Health: Gaza’s health sector, dramatically overworked, was also significantly damaged by Operation Cast Lead. According to UN OCHA, infrastructure for 15 of 27 of Gaza’s hospitals, 43 of 110 of its primary care facilities, and 29 of its 148 ambulances were damaged or destroyed during the war. Without rebuilding materials like cement and glass due to Israeli restrictions, the vast majority of the destroyed health infrastructure has not been rebuilt
    [...]
    Food: A 2010 World Health Organization report stated that “chronic malnutrition in the Gaza Strip has risen over the past few years and has now reached 10.2%. Micronutrient deficiencies among children and women have reached levels that are of concern.”

    So, in punishment for democratically electing a government they did not like, Israel has systematically herding 1.4 million into a bantustan, deprived them of employment and electricty, food, and clean water.

    And this is labelled as “defense” by so-called Americans who defend the rights of Middle Eastern countries to murder Americans with impunity.

  182. The civilized men, women, and children of Gaza are being victimized by Hamas terrorists and their enablers, held as a captive population in a brutal prison camp, and callously used as cannon fodder to shield bloodthirsty terrorist barbarians from extermination by legitimate authority.

    Supporters, enablers, and apologists of Hamas and the PLO, here and in the UN, are guilty of providing aid and comfort to the oppressors of the Palestinian people, and of extending their suffering needlessly.

  183. The Phoenician, in another moral equivalence moment, asks:

    I’m wondering, though, how exactly is “Western civilization” so superior when you use it as an excuse for invasion, torture or murder?

    We use it for the defense of Western civilization, which is worth defending. Western civilization is what gives you the freedom to use the internet to “travel” the globe proclaiming the moral equivalence of other cultures, cultures which think nothing of suppressing freedom, curtailing democracy, and denying people their rights.

    In war, nasty things happen. We have tried, and succeeded, in minimizing (not eliminating) non-combatant casualties, but yes, sometimes nasty things have to be done; if you don’t understand that, then you simply aren’t living in the real world.

  184. The Phoenician wrote:

    So, in punishment for democratically electing a government they did not like, Israel has systematically herding 1.4 million into a bantustan, deprived them of employment and electricty, food, and clean water.

    No, in response to the Palestinians allowing a terrorist group to use Gaza as a base from which to attack Israel; it’s amazing how that distinction seems to escape your educated mind.

    If Hamas were peaceful, then the Israeli actions would be unjustified, but, then again, if Hamas were peaceful, Israel wouldn’t be taking those actions in the first place.

  185. Dana, there’s a video from latma.co.il circulating now, it’s called “We Con the World” by the Flotilla Chior, and it’s apropos to the issues here. It’s also funny as hell. The video is also available on facebook.com/lat

    I won’t post it, but you should take a look and make the decision

  186. Perry wrote:

    Regarding the Clinton/Barak deal that Arafat rejected, you did not mention certain details that may well be why Abbas does not step up as you suggest he consider doing. Here is what was missing: There was no resolution of the refugee problem, and most importantly, there was no agreement on a shared government of Jerusalem. There were other issues, but these two were most critical. These facts were not made known to the West at that time.

    What you innocently put down as the “refugee problem” was actually the Palestinian demand for the so-called “right of return,” for Palestinians who fled from Israel in the 1948-1949 war of independence to be able to return to their old homes and become citizens. To allow this would be to destroy Israel; the Jewish state would be quickly overwhelmed by a non-Jewish population, and the Israelis know it and the Arabs know it; it cannot be done, period. The Israelis can’t be expected to commit suicide to get a peace agreement.

    President Clinton, in his book My Life, called the deal offered Yassir Arafat the best deal he could ever hope to get, and his refusal to accept the biggest mistake he ever made. I’m pretty sure that you trust former President Clinton’s judgement on things like that, and he was there, he was part of the process.


    The point remains: The Israelis must be willing to sit down for negotiations with both Abbas and Hamas, otherwise the peace process will not even get to first base.

    For Israel to “sit down for negotiations with both Abbas and Hamas,” when Hamas’ position is that Israel must be destroyed, is not the beginning of a “peace process,” unless by “peace process” you mean something which results in “peace in our time.”

  187. But I______I work in the Cat factory
    And I love the life I’m living
    And I love that I am free
    And I sure don’t want to be_____e
    No I sure don’t want to be_____e
    I sure don’t want to be_____e
    Rachel Cor-rie_______e!

  188. From JPOST via The Woodward Report, June 6, 2010

    Netanyahu: “Evidence shows separate group of violent Islamists boarded flotilla.”

    Accumulating evidence in the IDF’s investigation of the Gaza flotilla incident is pointing to the fact a separate group of Islamist radicals whose sole intention was to initiate a violent conflict was aboard the Mavi Marmara, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

    The prime minister’s remarks followed IDF reports that a group of about 50 men – of the 700 on board – had been identified as being well-trained, and a ringleader who recruited them from the northwestern Turkey city of Bursa.

    The group was split up into smaller squads that were distributed throughout the deck and communicated with one another with handheld communication devices. The men wore bulletproof vests and gas masks and laid an ambush for the Shayetet 13 soldiers as they rappelled onto the ship’s deck from a helicopter.

    He said that a group of street-fighters “boarded the ship at a separate port, did their own provisioning, and were not subject to the same security check of their luggage as all the other passengers.”

  189. I happen to agree with the Israeli blockade, but that doesn’t mean that Israel played this one smartly or well.

    It should have been announced, clearly, that these ships could continue to proceed in international waters, but that unless they agreed to be inspected, they would be sunk once they passed the twelve-mile limit. And if the ships proceeded, then the Israelis should have sunk them, period.

    That would have put the entire onus on the “peace activists.” They could allow their cargoes to be inspected, and proceeded safely, they could have turned around, or they could have tried to run the blockade, and sealed their own fate.

    It needs to be remembered that Israel does not completely surround Gaza; Gaza has a south-western border with Egypt, and the Egyptians have kept that border closed as well. If all the “peace activists” wanted to do was get food and medicine to the poor, poor people of Gaza, they could have arranged everything through the Egyptian government. They didn’t do that because that was never their intention; their intention was to provoke an incident. In that, they succeeded.

  190. Dana, your response to the failure of the Clinton/Arafat/Barak peace negotiation failure illustrates a major difference between the way the two of us view current and past events. At the risk of oversimplification, you seem to be black and white and pessimistic, I am grey and optimistic.

    I observe that there is less of a chance of resolution when the parties are at a stand-off and not talking, which is the current state of the Israeli/Palestinian situation, compared to when the parties are brought together, as with Clinton, as with Obama’s intentions.

    You will agree, I think, that Clinton staked much of his reputation on the Camp David talks, which ended in failure, so he finds Arafat to blame. Furthermore, you did not acknowledge the points I made. Problem is, Americans are subject to constant anti-Palestinian propaganda, otherwise how could our over $3 billion per year to Israel ever be justified, not to mention the strength of the Jewish/Israeli lobby in Congress.

    You bring up the refugee return issue, where you view it in black and white terms. Their returning or not returning are not the only alternatives for resolution. At the very least, they should be compensated. By and large these refugees are mostly innocent people who got caught up in a vicious war. Jordan, Syria and Lebanon have taken these people in. These governments should be compensated, as should the individual refugees.

    Finally, I even question your black and white assumption that refugees who return would be a major security risk for Israelis. As of 2006, 20% of the Israeli population were Muslim, yet we are not hearing about internal security breaches instigated by these people.

    I will sign off by noting that you did not discuss the Jerusalem shared-government issue, on which the Israelis are adamant: no shared government. Jerusalem is historically as critical to Muslims as it is to Jews. For the Jews to take their position as fixed and non-negotiable is extremely important as it is a road-block to peace that does not get addressed, and was not acknowledged by Clinton, whose main focus in the Peace Talks involved land and borders, not refugees and Jerusalem. Let’s face it: Clinton failed! But no, it’s all Arafat’s fault. I don’t agree!

    Finally: Several yes or no questions for black and white thinkers: Do you think that maintaining the current stand off between Israelis and Palestinians is going to enhance Israeli security over time? Will it improve the lives of Palestinians, Gazans in particular?

    Question for the grey thinkers: What outcome do we want to see?

    PS: Hube, I do not “hate the Jews”. I love the Jews! I love the Palestinians!

  191. Perry wrote:

    You will agree, I think, that Clinton staked much of his reputation on the Camp David talks, which ended in failure, so he finds Arafat to blame.

    No, actually, I don’t agree. These talks came at the very end of his presidency, when his reputation was pretty much set. Further, his autobiography was published in 2004; he had plenty of time between leaving office and completing the book to see what his reputation was, and to get over whatever feelings of blame he had for Mr Arafat.

    There was so much going on at the time of those talks — primarily the contentious end of the 2000 election — that the talks were pretty much ignored in the united States.

    Problem is, Americans are subject to constant anti-Palestinian propaganda, otherwise how could our over $3 billion per year to Israel ever be justified, not to mention the strength of the Jewish/Israeli lobby in Congress.

    [guffaws!] If you look at the propaganda that comes to us through the various media, I think you’d see that most of it is pro-Palestinian; you need look no further than the lovely Miss Thomas’ video posted above to see the attitudes of many in the professional media.

    We justify the aid to Israel because Israel is our ally, and is clearly the best, and most Western, nation in the region. Our second aid recipient, in terms of dollars, is Egypt, continuing to be bought off for signing the Camp David Accords.

  192. Black and white Dana offers this:“And if the ships proceeded, then the Israelis should have sunk them, period.”

    And what do you find objectionable to Israel’s permitting the ships to proceed to port and off-load their cargoes for inspection by Israeli (and Gazan?) authorities?

    Were Israel to do what you proposed, the unintended international consequences would be magnified, not to mention additional damage to the critical Israeli-American relationship, in my view.

    Moreover, you mention an Egyptian solution, ignoring the fact that Egypt had also closed this avenue until this event occurred.

    Israel has strained their relationship to Egypt and Turkey, and hopefully to America, by their clumsy handling of this confrontation, which is plain stupid, as Netanyahu is getting a good earful at home as we speak.

    Sorry Dana, but I just cannot find it in me to see the Gazan people literally strangled by the inhumane blockade for which they are undeserving victims. Shipments of necessities must be carried out under conditions of close inspections to prevent the import of weapons. The Israeli position is not only unpopular on the world stage, it is inhumane and unsustainable, unsustainable because if further inflames anti-Israeli sentiment, which Israel can ill afford, for security purposes.

  193. Let’s get something very clear: Israel offered a port for those ships. Israel guaranteed humanitarian aid from those ships would go to Gaza from the Israeli port at Israel’s expense. A great deal of humanitarian aid flows regularly across Israel’s border into Gaza. Thus, there is nothing inhumane about the blockade and there is no legitimate reason to run the blockade.

  194. Perry wrote:

    Black and white Dana offers this:“And if the ships proceeded, then the Israelis should have sunk them, period.”

    And what do you find objectionable to Israel’s permitting the ships to proceed to port and off-load their cargoes for inspection by Israeli (and Gazan?) authorities?

    If they proceeded to Israeli ports, none. But if you are going to have a blckade of Gaza, then you must enforce the blockade.

    Were Israel to do what you proposed, the unintended international consequences would be magnified, not to mention additional damage to the critical Israeli-American relationship, in my view.

    While I’m sure that the Palestinian sympathizers would have howled, they couldn’t be howling any louder than they are now. But if it was done as I suggested, with a clear warning at a specified point, it would have given the “peace activists” a clear point by which they must turn back, or face the consequences.

    Moreover, you mention an Egyptian solution, ignoring the fact that Egypt had also closed this avenue until this event occurred.

    And you really have to ask why Egypt closed their border with Gaza. Fellow Arabs, and fellow Muslims, and all that unity, yet Egypt closed the border. It’s really pretty simple: the Gazans, especially Hamas, are nothing but trouble, trouble Egypt doesn’t want or need.

    A dirty little secret for you: the Arabs all profess to support the Palestinian cause, but the other Arabs have no love for the Palestinians. The Egyptians don’t like or trust them, the Jordanians once had to expel them because they were so much trouble, and the Syrians and their Lebanese puppets don’t want them because they are unproductive whiners who can’t be controlled.

    Sorry Dana, but I just cannot find it in me to see the Gazan people literally strangled by the inhumane blockade for which they are undeserving victims. Shipments of necessities must be carried out under conditions of close inspections to prevent the import of weapons. The Israeli position is not only unpopular on the world stage, it is inhumane and unsustainable, unsustainable because if further inflames anti-Israeli sentiment, which Israel can ill afford, for security purposes.

    If they are victims, then they are victims of their own folly. I’ve said it many times: to “win” their struggle with Israel, all the Palestinians have to do is quit fighting! If the Palestinians in Gaza had had any fornicating sense, they’d have told the irredentists in Hamas, “Go fight from the West Bank, because we’ve got a chance to build something here, on our own land.”

    If they had done just that much, just stopped shooting, there would be a free flow of supplies through Israel, as Israel would be trying to demonstrate to the Palestinians living in the West Bank the value of being peaceful, there’d be no blockade, the Egyptians would have an easily crossed border, and they could have boatloads of European tourists for the fine beaches that they could have there.

    But no, they couldn’t do that. As Abba Eban once said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The Palestinians in Gaza let Hamas dictate policy, and voted them into power . . . and now they are suffering the consequences of their folly. Those hungry people for whom you have so much sympathy have been enabling Hamas!

    You see, Ariel Sharon gave the Palestinians in Gaza — a term I’ve used thrice in this post, which has its own interesting acronym — what you seem to think they want: their own land, to rule and build on as they see fit, free and clear, with no Israeli control, and it still wasn’t good enough.

  195. Here is an interesting read on the challenges faced by Israel in the Post WWII period by Daniel Kurzer, our ambassador to Israel during GW Bush, appearing on the Opinion Page of today’s WaPo, entitled: After the flotilla attack, it’s time for a new, kinder Israeli narrative

    Israel has long seen itself as the Alamo, a fortress under siege. Decades ago, a song titled “The Entire World is Against Us” hit the Israeli pop charts. At the time, there was some truth to the words: Arab states rejected Israel’s existence. An Arab economic boycott persuaded major companies in Europe and Asia to decline to do business in Israel. Trade with many countries had to be conducted through third parties.

    Indeed, Israel has faced recurring threats to its security and existence, a reality reflected in a maxim I heard often during my time as U.S. ambassador there early this decade: Israel goes to sleep with memories of the Holocaust and wakes up to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this context, the nation’s military power was seen as a necessary response. And in turn, Israel’s narrative portrayed the country as a David facing an Arab Goliath.

    Although the 1967 war changed this reality, Israel’s narrative never really caught up. Newly demonstrated military superiority and deepening ties with the United States provided a measure of security the country had not enjoyed before. Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat was the first Arab leader to recognize this new strategic reality, and in 1979, he made peace with Israel.

    But even as the outdated David vs. Goliath theme lingered in the minds of many Israelis, among other segments of the population a new, religious-national narrative that centered on settling and holding all of Eretz Israel was taking hold. Even though settlements complicated Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, and even though Israel had evacuated the Sinai settlements to make peace with Egypt — a move that vitiated the argument that settlements were required for security — activists such as Ariel Sharon continued to argue that they enhanced security.

    For a while, conditions allowed this new narrative to take root: The Palestine Liberation Organization was busy attacking Israel from Jordan, Lebanon and the United Nations and pursuing a tactical moderation designed to lull Israel into complacency.

    But soon this reality, too, began to change. The PLO decided in 1988 to officially support a two-state solution to the conflict and entered into dialogue with the United States. In 1991, Arab states participated in multilateral negotiations with Israel on water, the environment, economic development and regional security. Arab and Israeli business leaders met at international conferences. Israel’s diplomatic isolation eased as China, India and others established formal ties, and Israeli liaison offices opened in Morocco and Arab states in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, Jordan made peace, removing the security justification for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. And in 2002, Arab states announced an “Arab peace initiative” offering peace and security in return for Israel’s withdrawal from lands taken in the 1967 war.

    But the Palestinian intifada put a brake on these developments, ushering in a decade of violence. As Palestinian terrorists attacked not only soldiers and settlers in the occupied territories, but also civilians in Israeli cities, the Israeli storyline of the 1950s — David vs. Goliath — revived.

    ….

    By decade’s end, a frustrated Israel had sealed off and blockaded Gaza to try to stem the flow of arms to Hamas, but because of the worsening humanitarian situation there, it was losing the battle for international legitimacy.

    ….

    The fact is, however, that sovereign states make mistakes, and they apologize. Sovereign states rely not only on military might and insistent rhetoric to defend their people, but also on diplomacy and values of empathy and understanding. Sovereign states can be strong while fostering a narrative of caring about the consequences of their policies.

    In the aftermath of the flotilla fiasco, it is not just Israel’s military tactics and its blockade of Gaza that need a thorough reexamination. Its narrative does, too. A dose of empathy might be a place to start. Israel will not break by military force and tough rhetoric alone the political and moral double standards by which the world judges its actions. But it can make its case better by tempering force with diplomacy, by caring as much about the humanitarian distress among Palestinians as it does about humanitarian causes elsewhere in the world, and by developing a storyline infused with the moral and ethical standards by which Israelis judge their own behavior.

    Israel will make a gigantic mistake if it acts today in a manner that negates the forward steps that her Arab neighbors have taken toward a two-state solution!

  196. Perry asks for the solution:

    Finally: Several yes or no questions for black and white thinkers: Do you think that maintaining the current stand off between Israelis and Palestinians is going to enhance Israeli security over time? Will it improve the lives of Palestinians, Gazans in particular?

    Question for the grey thinkers: What outcome do we want to see?

    Most Westerners have known what the eventual outcome would have to be: Israel would have Arab recognition and guarantees of peace pretty much within the pre-June 1967 borders, and the Arabs would be granted sovereignty and control over Gaza and the West Bank. Originally that meant that the West Bank would be turned back over to Jordan, but that changed when Jordan ceded its rights there to the PLO.

    The trouble with that was that while we classical liberal Westerners knew it, the people involved in no way accepted it. Some Israelis thought that they should just annex everything. They may once have been a majority, but they’re now clearly a minority. Various governments encouraged or at least didn’t discourage Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

    As for the Palestinians, they never accepted that notion; to them, or at least to their leadership, accepting such would be accepting defeat by the Israelis. Since their position is that all of the land belongs to them, the existence of Israel within any borders constitutes a defeat.

    There’s no reason to think that the 1967 borders are acceptable to the Arabs: the earlier, smaller borders never were. The Arabs attacked, and the result of the first Arab-Israeli War (1948-49) was the so-called “green line” borders of pre-June 1967.

    The Arabs didn’t like that result, and the Egyptians went to war with Israel in 1955; Israel defeated the Egyptians, and conquered the whole Sinai Peninsula, and then gave it back in 1957, at which point a UN Emergency Force was supposed to keep the Sinai demilitarized.

    In May of 1967, the Egyptian Army re-entered Sinai, which Israel saw as a grave threat. Israel took the problem to the UN, but the UN did nothing, so on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked the Egyptians, again pushing them west of Suez. Jordan attacked Israel a day later, and quickly lost the West Bank, which they had controlled. Syria attacked, and lost the Golan Heights in two days.

    The Resolution 242/338 idea of secure borders for Israel at the green line, and the return to the Arabs of the land they lost in the 1967 wars, seems just fine to us; it’s a split-the-differences agreement. But the Arabs never accepted those green line borders, and went to war to try and kick Israel off the land completely. It really doesn’t matter if the 242 lines make sense to us; if they are not agreeable to the people who have to actually live with them, then they won’t work.

    Abba Eban noted, after the 1948-49 war:

    I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.

  197. Here and here are examples of the debate taking place in Israel as we speak.

    From the first citation: A Special Place in Hell / The Second Gaza War: Israel lost at sea
    We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel’s Vietnam.

    From the second citation: Military, politicos blame each other for botched Gaza flotilla raid
    The politicians look at the bungled raid and see the cause in the operation’s planning – in the Navy and faulty intelligence. The General Staff says it was Netanyahu and Barak who assessed the raid wouldn’t raise such world reactions.

    So there are Israelis who choose to question their armed intervention and killing, and do not accept the glib view of one Dana Pico.

  198. Dana states: “As for the Palestinians, they never accepted that notion; to them, or at least to their leadership, accepting such would be accepting defeat by the Israelis. Since their position is that all of the land belongs to them, the existence of Israel within any borders constitutes a defeat.”

    While this is the way it has been, it is simply an inaccurate statement reflecting later Arab positions, as I quoted in an earlier post, but worth repeating here:

    But soon this reality, too, began to change. The PLO decided in 1988 to officially support a two-state solution to the conflict and entered into dialogue with the United States. In 1991, Arab states participated in multilateral negotiations with Israel on water, the environment, economic development and regional security. Arab and Israeli business leaders met at international conferences. Israel’s diplomatic isolation eased as China, India and others established formal ties, and Israeli liaison offices opened in Morocco and Arab states in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, Jordan made peace, removing the security justification for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. And in 2002, Arab states announced an “Arab peace initiative” offering peace and security in return for Israel’s withdrawal from lands taken in the 1967 war.

    And regarding the Abba Eban quote you used: “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

    Were Eban alive today, he might have substituted for ‘Israelis’ in place of ‘Arabs’.

    Incidentally, I admired Abba Eban, as I believe he was one of the few realists at the time, and certainly an articulate spokesman there with his British accent, and a friendly face besides, quite a contrast to Netanyahu’s scowl.

  199. ropelight: “Netanyahu: “Evidence shows separate group of violent Islamists boarded flotilla.” “

    If true, then why has Netanyahu rejected an independent international investigation of the incident?

  200. Let’s get something very clear: Israel offered a port for those ships. Israel guaranteed humanitarian aid from those ships would go to Gaza from the Israeli port at Israel’s expense. A great deal of humanitarian aid flows regularly across Israel’s border into Gaza. Thus, there is nothing inhumane about the blockade and there is no legitimate reason to run the blockade.

    As was shown above, PB, the Israelis are systematically depriving the Palestinains of food, electricity and clean water. That’s the report from UN observers on the scene – what’s your basis for your assertion?

    And, by the way, are you also in Dana’s camp, supporting the right of Middle Eastern countries to murder American citizens with impunity?

  201. According to Hamas, Gaza’s basic needs aren’t being covered by the world’s combined contributions flowing into the hands of the terrorists. The US alone kicks in over a Billion dollars a year in aid of all sorts, on top of at least that much twice over from other generous contributors.

    I’d like to see a per capita breakdown of the total foreign aid flooding into Hamas coffers as a function of Gaza’s population.

    If the deprived children of Gaza need a few more Katyusha rockets to go with their yogurt and tabouli salad, perhaps we can take up a collection at the next meeting of the United Nations World Peace Conference on Israeli Agression.

  202. Perry wrote:

    Dana states: “As for the Palestinians, they never accepted that notion; to them, or at least to their leadership, accepting such would be accepting defeat by the Israelis. Since their position is that all of the land belongs to them, the existence of Israel within any borders constitutes a defeat.”

    While this is the way it has been, it is simply an inaccurate statement reflecting later Arab positions, as I quoted in an earlier post, but worth repeating here:

    But soon this reality, too, began to change. The PLO decided in 1988 to officially support a two-state solution to the conflict and entered into dialogue with the United States. In 1991, Arab states participated in multilateral negotiations with Israel on water, the environment, economic development and regional security. Arab and Israeli business leaders met at international conferences. Israel’s diplomatic isolation eased as China, India and others established formal ties, and Israeli liaison offices opened in Morocco and Arab states in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, Jordan made peace, removing the security justification for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. And in 2002, Arab states announced an “Arab peace initiative” offering peace and security in return for Israel’s withdrawal from lands taken in the 1967 war.

    And how did that play out? Perhaps the PLO “decided in 1988 to officially support a two-state solution to the conflict,” but when actually offered such a thing, Yassir Arafat turned it down flat, refused to make a counterproposal, and walked out.

    There was a similar statement from the Arab League, but the Arab League has no power; the individual governments would have to take their decisions.

    It’s true enough that we’ve heard some noises from them, but when the offer was actually on the table, the Arabs just couldn’t say yes. It’s as though they know, in their heads, what they have to do, but cannot, in their hearts, ever agree to do it.

  203. Perry wrote:

    If true, then why has Netanyahu rejected an independent international investigation of the incident?

    Benjamin Netanyahu is far too intelligent to ever subject Israel to the judgement of others. The Jews learned a very tough lesson on what happens when they depend upon other people for their security and survival.

  204. From Wikipedia:

    (One source of aid to Palestinians)

    “In December 2007, during the Paris Donor Conference, which followed the Annapolis Conference, the international community pledged over $7.7 billion for 2008–2010 in support of the Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP).”

    Hamas which was not invited to the Paris Conference, demonstrated its gratitude for the concerns expressed by the International community’s generosity by calling the conference a “declaration of war” on Hamas and the Palestinians.

  205. The result is to drive the Palestinian, a virtually powerless people, into more extreme behavior, thus less security for Israelis.
    In my view, Israel has to be willing to negotiate with their adversaries, otherwise there is little opportunity for enhancing their own security and stability, as just mentioned.
    We were making the same mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but have changed, being willing to work with adversaries. Israel needs to start doing something similar. The clumsy handling of their blockade enforcement was not a good sign, as they have further isolated themselves.

    Israel has always been isolated, and has found depending on the goodwill of “The Global Community” to be an exercise in futility. They have a few allies, the USA being chief among them, but they know full well that if they don’t take care of their own security issues, no one else will.

  206. Benjamin Netanyahu is far too intelligent to ever subject Israel to the judgement of others. The Jews learned a very tough lesson on what happens when they depend upon other people for their security and survival.

    Thanks, Dana, for saying the same thing I did, only better and more concisely.

  207. Eric, thank you for your recent comments, they’re insightful, topical, and informative. Plus you skewer your antagonists with wit and finality. I’m impressed.

    Thanks, Rope. What I find interesting is how the Left claims to want “Both sides” to negotiate, but whenever violence breaks out they invariably blame Israel and never the Palestinians. The Left’s version of “Negotiations” is Israel ceding more and more with the Palestinians ceding nothing. Is it any wonder the Israelis want no part of it?

  208. Perry asked, “… why has Netanyahu rejected an independent international investigation of the incident?”

    Perhaps because he knows his history and isn’t about to put his country in the same position Captain Alfred Dreyfus found himself in over 100 years ago.

    The court which convicted Dreyfus on purely trumped up charges, rooted in religious bigotry, and the cover up which sought to conceal not only the fabricated evidence, but also the identities of the actual forgers, began to be revealed only when writer Émile Zola published his famous J’accuse, a vehement letter in a Paris newspaper in January 1898.

    In 1899 the resulting public outcry forced the government to bring Dreyfus back from Devil’s Island in Guiana, the same penal colony which later held Papillion, to be tried again. When all the accusations against Dreyfus proved to be fraudulent, baseless, charges, he was eventually exonerated, but only because the actual facts could no longer be concealed.

    When governments attempt to frame the innocent and shield the guilty only a free, honest, and open investigation will yield justice, and today those conditions do not obtain in any international community on this planet.

  209. Regarding the Clinton/Barak deal that Arafat rejected, you did not mention certain details that may well be why Abbas does not step up as you suggest he consider doing. Here is what was missing: There was no resolution of the refugee problem, and most importantly, there was no agreement on a shared government of Jerusalem. There were other issues, but these two were most critical. These facts were not made known to the West at that time.

    Perry, please see my piece above. Genuine negotiations means that both sides have to give up something of value, your version would mean the Israelis do all the giving while the Palis do all the taking. That’s not compromise, that’s capitulation!

  210. I will sign off by noting that you did not discuss the Jerusalem shared-government issue, on which the Israelis are adamant: no shared government. Jerusalem is historically as critical to Muslims as it is to Jews.

    No it isn’t. Jerusalem is absolutely vital to Jewish history, indeed, their very identity as a people. That city’s role in Islam is much smaller. Your suggestion would be as if the Israelis demanded half of Mecca, which the Muslims would never agree to, and rightly so. In short, you’re just not being very realistic.

  211. It needs to be remembered that Israel does not completely surround Gaza; Gaza has a south-western border with Egypt, and the Egyptians have kept that border closed as well. If all the “peace activists” wanted to do was get food and medicine to the poor, poor people of Gaza, they could have arranged everything through the Egyptian government. They didn’t do that because that was never their intention; their intention was to provoke an incident. In that, they succeeded.

    Dana, how dare you bring “Common sense” to a blog called “Common Sense Political Thought” … ??

  212. Eric, and anyone else, if you haven’t seen seen the YouTube video “We Con the World” by the Flotilla Choir (from latma.co.il), it well worth your time.

  213. What I find interesting is how the Left claims to want “Both sides” to negotiate, but whenever violence breaks out they invariably blame Israel and never the Palestinians. The Left’s version of “Negotiations” is Israel ceding more and more with the Palestinians ceding nothing. Is it any wonder the Israelis want no part of it?

    The West Bank Palestinians went the way of peace and cooperation (in the main) with the Israelis under the Palestinian Authority.

    Their reward was more and more land stolen via settlements, their “nation” turned into multiple bantustaans with Israeli military control over travel, and a slow ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem.

  214. I have made my case in detail, with documentation, but all you wingnuts, with the exception of Dana, come on here and make things up to suit your war-hawk mentalities. That is not very convincing to anyone who looks for factual information.

    Dana’s problem is that he is stubborn, so that in spite of the facts, as in the Clinton negotiation initiative, he refuses to see the issues from the Palestinian side.

    My point here has been to present the Palestinian side, because it is not communicated very often, as evidenced by the ignorance of it by the ideological righty commenters on this blog.

    It is noteworthy to me that regarding this Israel attack on the so-called humanitarian aid vessel, the Palestinian side is finally being presented more forthrightly in the media, not that I expect you righties to pay attention and respond sincerely.

    Dana: “If all the “peace activists” wanted to do was get food and medicine to the poor, poor people of Gaza, they could have arranged everything through the Egyptian government.”

    Not so easily done, Dana. You failed to mention why the Egyptians closed down their Gaza border, because arms and munitions were finding their way through the tunnels, of which Egypt wished to wash their hands.

    No one can here can honestly question the fact of the inhumane imprisonment that Israel has imposed on the Gazans with their blockade. I find it hard to believe that the Israelis cannot meet their security needs while simultaneously permitting the necessities of life to be imported into Gazans. Thew solution seems so simple, yet so far the Israelis refuse to come forward with one. Why is this?

    I take it as very telling that not one of you righties has commented on the plight of the Gazans, not a one of you. You folks could care less. Moreover, the only solution coming out of you is a continuation of the current position, which is a continuation of the current Israeli blockade policy.

    Dana went one step further. Sink the vessel, he said. Geeze, Dana, kind of glib and uncaring, aren’t you?

    Eric: “Perry, please see my piece above. Genuine negotiations means that both sides have to give up something of value, your version would mean the Israelis do all the giving while the Palis do all the taking. That’s not compromise, that’s capitulation!”

    As I have understood it, the Palestinians were giving up more than half of their former lands – That’s a compromise! The Palestinians were willing to have a shared government in Jerusalem – That’s a compromise. The Palestinians were willing to agree to compensation for those who gave up their homes and became refugees, instead of having the right to return – That’s a compromise. The problem is, most Americans, including you, Eric, are ignorant of these issues, or you choose to disregard them.

    Did any of you notice the citations I gave regarding the internal turmoil that has developed within Israel, as reported in one of their newspapers, Haaretz. Of course not! You do not want to be influenced by a few facts, as you go on spouting your ideological, war-hawk rhetoric.

    Dana: “Perry wrote: If true, then why has Netanyahu rejected an independent international investigation of the incident?

    Dana’s response: Benjamin Netanyahu is far too intelligent to ever subject Israel to the judgement of others. The Jews learned a very tough lesson on what happens when they depend upon other people for their security and survival.”

    Baloney! An innocent party would welcome an investigation. The fact that the Israelis have not, suggests an admission of bungling at least, or unjustified aggression at worst.

  215. I take it as very telling that not one of you righties has commented on the plight of the Gazans, not a one of you.
    You folks could care less. Moreover, the only solution coming out of you is a continuation of the current position, which is a continuation of the current Israeli blockade policy.

    To which I would respond that none of you libs and lefties has given a damn about the plight of the Israelis. They have put up with decades of terrorist attacks, and now you expect them to negotiate in good faith with an enemy that doesn’t know the meaning of the term?

  216. As I have understood it, the Palestinians were giving up more than half of their former lands – That’s a compromise!

    Sorry, but that’s pure BS. News accounts at the time stated that, in the 2000 peace plan presided over by Bill Clinton, the Palis would get 97% of the land they originally demanded, a very generous offer indeed. But Arafart basically said “Piss off” and walked away. As I just said, they weren’t interested in good faith negotiations and what’s the point in bargaining with those who refuse to bargain?

  217. Baloney! An innocent party would welcome an investigation. The fact that the Israelis have not, suggests an admission of bungling at least, or unjustified aggression at worst.

    And yet, curiously, no one on the Left ever demands an investigation whenever the Palis commit an act of terror against Israel.

    I guess that’s why Dana, myself, Hube, and John H refuse to take your complaints seriously, because we know they are all one sided. When you guys start demanding justice against Palestinian terrorists then we will know you are genuinely interested in peace in the region and not before.

  218. To which I would respond that none of you libs and lefties has given a damn about the plight of the Israelis.

    Israel is secure – there is no way that it is threatened as a country.

    They have put up with decades of terrorist attacks, and now you expect them to negotiate in good faith with an enemy that doesn’t know the meaning of the term?

    Let’s see:

    124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,441 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000

    1,072 Israelis and at least 6,348 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.

    8,864 Israelis and 39,019 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.

    1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 7,383 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

    The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.1%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 16.3% and 41.3% in Gaza

    Israel currently has 223 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land.

    We will now wait for the “might makes right” and “spoils of war” fandango to be danced by the same people who are screaming about the immorality of Palestinian terrorism.

    But what can you expect on a blog run by someone who’s closer to Israel than he is to America?

  219. And yet, curiously, no one on the Left ever demands an investigation whenever the Palis commit an act of terror against Israel.

    I guess that’s why Dana, myself, Hube, and John H refuse to take your complaints seriously, because we know they are all one sided. When you guys start demanding justice against Palestinian terrorists then we will know you are genuinely interested in peace in the region and not before.

    This is exactly it. The American left, anti-semitic Europe, Communist Asia and the entire Mohammedan world turn a blind eye to the terror and violence aimed at Israel but scream in horror every time Israel defends itself and demands its right to exist.

    Israel is secure – there is no way that it is threatened as a country.

    So says the liar from down under. Hamas’ charter? Palestinian charter? Iran’s declaration? Syria’s efforts with Hamas and Hezbollah? Al Qaeda? The Quran itself?

    When speaking against Mohammed or Mohammedans in Europe can get you jailed by the various governments or killed at the hands of Mohammedans but speaking out against Jews or Christians is perfectly acceptable, it’s very obvious where the blind eyes exist, and it ain’t with the Israeli supporters.

  220. Right, Piator, now you have demonstrated one more time that Eric makes things up. And you expect to have credibility with anyone other than your fellow prevaricators?

  221. So says the liar from down under. Hamas’ charter? Palestinian charter? Iran’s declaration? Syria’s efforts with Hamas and Hezbollah? Al Qaeda? The Quran itself?

    And? Is America’s existence threatened by Bin aden’s declarations?

    Really, PB, you’re going to have to try harder to work yourself up into a righteous lather.

  222. Eric: “Sorry, but that’s pure BS. News accounts at the time stated that, in the 2000 peace plan presided over by Bill Clinton, the Palis would get 97% of the land they originally demanded, a very generous offer indeed.”

    Wrong again, Eric. Make that 97% of the more than 50% of the lands that were taken away by the 1948 mandate. Oh, but you never thought of that, did you Eric? That is one example of my point about wingnut bias against the Palestinians.

    And sure, I care about the Israelis, as I have said before in this thread. And, they are their own worst enemies, as the article in Haaretz, which I cited before, demonstrates.

    I am still waiting for your comment on your concern about the Gazans. You just cannot come to express it, can you Eric?

  223. Wrong again, Eric. Make that 97% of the more than 50% of the lands that were taken away by the 1948 mandate.

    That’s a different thing entirely. I was obviously talking about the negotiations hosted by Bill Clinton. He spent almost all of his two terms trying to get the two sides to agree, and when a solid deal was on the table, the Palis basically walked away. Odds are they will never get a better offer, but like Dana said, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    And sure, I care about the Israelis, as I have said before in this thread.

    You say it, but you don’t really mean it. You cry for the Palis, yet totally ignore the Israelis. Where are your side’s demands for investigations when the Palis commit an act of terror? Your silence speaks volumes.

    I am still waiting for your comment on your concern about the Gazans. You just cannot come to express it, can you Eric?

    My patience for the Palestinians in Gaza has worn very thin. They have chosen the path of terror, under the leadership of a terror organization. You reap what you sow. In my mind, they are little different from the pirates of old. They routinely engage in the murder of civilians, and I’m expected to side with them??

  224. The opinions expressed here by Phoney, Shet-head, Perry, and a very few others, come from the same roots as the ones that got Helen Thomas dismissed from the White House Press Corps in disgrace.

    Think about that.

  225. Victor Davis Hanson:

    What has been missing from critiques of Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic diatribe is any discussion of the precise way in which it trumped the usual slurs we hear from political figures (e.g., Jesse Jackson’s “Hymietown,” Reverend Wright’s “them Jews”). By picking Poland and Germany as the ultimate destinations to which she wishes Israelis would go, Thomas was, deliberately or carelessly, saying that they should be uprooted and sent to places where 6 million of them were liquidated. In other words, Thomas was not voicing the usual prejudice, but something much creepier, a sort of flippant pop blueprint for a repeat of 1939–45, echoing the shout from one of the seaborne “peace” protestors, “Go back to Auschwitz!”

    Of course, Thomas doesn’t care that nearly half the Israelis are of Middle Eastern heritage, that many Israelis can claim a family residence in “Palestine” longer than her own in the United States, that a Jewish presence in Israel dates to the dawn of recorded history, that many of Israel’s older generation were ethnically cleansed from cities like Baghdad and Cairo after the 1967 war, or that her views are in sync with the Hamas charter and Iranian promises. Note also that Thomas is not concerned with occupation in such places as Tibet, Cyprus, or Ossetia; such human-rights violations as Turkey’s treatment of the Kurds; such violence on the high seas as the North Korean attack, Iran’s hijacking of a British ship, or the pirates off Somalia. All these are mere abstractions — unless they involve the Jews.

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