how the world sees america

American-Israeli Settler Holds Out in Hebron

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

HEBRON - "Make no mistake. The Americans are enemies," argues David Wilder, the spokesperson for the Hebron Jewish Community. "Under the leadership of Rice and Bush (in that order), the United States has been transformed into one of Israel's most dangerous foes."

Hebron is a heavily contested, Biblical town in the West Bank. Abraham is believed to be buried here, along with Isaac. Now one hundred thousand Arabs live here, and about ten thousand Jewish settlers surround the city in the Kiryat Arba settlement. But smack in the center of the Arab town live David and a group of eight hundred Jewish settlers. In addition, about 500 Israeli soldiers are assigned to guard them round-the-clock -- which is one reason many other Israelis dislike the settlers.

Together, the settlers' and soldiers' presence makes Hebron possibly the most tense city in the West Bank. The settlers have cordoned off the adjacent streets for security, evicting Arab storekeepers and delivering a blow to the local economy. The adjacent streets are empty, save a few Israeli armored vehicles and soldiers with assault rifles. It feels like a ghost town. A few large Hebrew signs curse their Arab neighbors with various epithets for "stealing their land." A bumper sticker on David's front door reads, "Without Arabs, there would be no terrorism."

David's devoted the past two decades of his life to settling Hebron and multiplying as fast as possible, in the hopes of one day "returning Hebron to Israel." But he fears his country of birth, America, will curb his ambitions if he doesn't act fast enough.

David was born and raised in small-town New Jersey. A Reform Jew with a Roman Catholic best friend, he claims classmates regularly taunted him, an experience that only sowed the seeds for him to identify more seriously with Judaism. At college in Cleveland, Ohio, David got his first chance to visit Israel as part of a study abroad program.

It was 1974. Israel was reeling from the traumatic Yom Kippur War of 1973, which was the first real blow to the nation's morale after their victory over Syria and Egypt in 1967. Israel's existential struggle gripped his imagination. There was a purpose here. David decided to stay on a bit longer, and then a bit longer. His parents weren't thrilled with his decision to move overseas.

But soon he became engaged with orthodox religion and spent the next eight years moving from one Yeshiva, or Jewish religious school, to another. In holy books, he claims he found his personal calling: to populate the land of Judea and Samara and reclaim it for the Jews.

So after just nine days of courtship, David got engaged to an Israeli woman and soon after they gave birth to their first child. Now he has seven children, a moderate number for this settlement where many have over a dozen kids.

David-as-a-Child-in-the-U.S.jpg
A young David Wilder in the U.S.

"If we have more children, it will become harder and harder for Israel and America to negotiate our land away," David explains. "I raise my kids to relate to America as a force to be dealt with…one that is not necessarily on our side." His two oldest daughters, 27 and 25, both married at 19; each already has three children, and expects more.

Outside his third-floor apartment in the settlement of Beit Hadassah, dozens of schoolchildren play on a basketball court. Beside it lies a daycare center, a gift from an American Jewish couple.

"The [orthodox] American Jewish community is instrumental to our existence here and our survival here," David explains. Each year David and the Hebron Jewish Community host a fundraiser in New York where tickets cost $180 per head. Attendance regularly tops twelve hundred. He sends out regular podcasts to American faithful over iTunes, explaining how America is crucial to providing funds for social services like schools and maintenance operations. They're also important, he says, for settling.

"When I see a Jew in America, even those supporting us, I think, 'Why are you over there? You should be here.'" About fourteen of the 90 families in the center of Hebron, roughly 13%, hail from the U.S., a significant percentage. American's aren't lured to Israel for financial reasons, like other immigrants might be. They largely come with great curiosity or purpose, he believes. And he hopes to bring more over to settle the West Bank.

David's determination to stay in Hebron is typical of the attitudes of many hardcore Israeli settlers here, and shows just how difficult it is going to be for the Israeli government to get them to vacate the West Bank as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

As for coexistence with Arabs, he says, "A two-state solution is fine, as long as we get all of Israel [including the West Bank] and the Arabs go somewhere else." He says anything short of this would be suicide.

This proposition is nowhere on the Annapolis negotiating table, I point out. “Do you really believe that’s possible?”

David responds: “To live here, you have to have a strong idealistic streak; you have to have a lot of faith.”

Join Monthly Mailing List | Del.icio.us | Digg | Facebook

Comments (348)

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

From another thread:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/saul_singer/2007/12/to_help_pakistan_fight_iran/all_comments.html

You know this discussion about the apparently growing alliance between India, the US and Israel is not really off topic. It is very central to the subject of this thread on what the future holds for Pakistan, given the heated Indo-Pakistani feud over Jammu and Kashmir.

The front page news yesterday was the first ever crossing of the $100 per barrel threshold for oil. This is a 100% price increase in just the last year, and this trend is likely to continue given the increasing demand for energy in China, India and the rest of the developing world. We have already passed “Peak Oil” production capability, so availability will decline in coming years as demand rapidly increases. This will make China, Russia and Iran natural allies as the following article notes:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GF04Ad07.html

June 4, 2005

“The military implementation of the George W Bush administration's unilateralist foreign policy is creating monumental changes in the world's geostrategic alliances. The most significant of these changes is the formation of a new triangle comprised of China, Iran and Russia.

Growing ties between Moscow and Beijing in the past 18 months is an important geopolitical event that has gone practically unnoticed. China's premier, Wen Jiabao, visited Russia in September 2004. In October 2004, President Vladimir Putin visited China. During the October meeting, both China and Russia declared that Sino-Russian relations had reached "unparalleled heights". In addition to settling long-standing border issues, Moscow and Beijing agreed to hold joint military exercises in 2005. This marks the first large-scale military exercises between Russia and China since 1958.

The joint military exercises complement a rapidly growing arms trade between Moscow and Beijing. China is Russia's largest buyer of military equipment. In 2004, China was reported to have signed deals worth more than $2 billion for Russian arms. These included naval ships and submarines, missile systems and aircraft. According to the head of Russia's armed forces, Anatoliy Kvashnin, "our defense industrial complex is working for this country [China], supplying the latest models of arms and military equipment, which the Russian army does not have". Russia's relations with China are not limited to military trade. In the past five years, non-military trade between Russia and China has increased at an average annual rate of nearly 20%. Moscow and Beijing have targeted non-military trade to reach $60 billion by 2010, from $20 billion in 2004. One of the key components of commercial trade is Russian energy exports to China.

In early 2005, Moscow agreed to more than double electricity exports to China, to 800 million kilowatt hours (kWh), by 2006. Officials at Russia's electricity monopoly, Unified Energy Systems, are also courting Chinese investment in the development and renovation of Russia's electricity system. In October 2004, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russia's Gazprom signed a series of agreements intended to study how Russia can best supply natural gas to China. At the same time, Russia signed specific agreements with China on oil exports.

Russia's oil shipments to China are slated to reach 10 million tons in 2005, increasing to 15 million tons in 2006. All of these shipments will be made by rail. However, this agreement was overshadowed by talks concerning the construction of an oil pipeline from Siberia to northern China. Russia has been pondering an oil pipeline to China for nearly 10 years. In 2002, plans for this pipeline received a boost when Moscow pledged to invest $2 billion in an oil pipeline running from the Siberian city of Angarsk to Daqing in northeastern China…”

The article goes on to say that at the request of Japan, who is willing to finance the entire $10 Billion plus cost of the pipeline, the pipeline will terminate at Russia's Pacific port of Nakhodka. The pipeline will still pass within 40 miles of the Russian border with China, so it will be a simple matter to add a spur directly into China.

So what we have brewing here is an alliance between China, Russia, Iran and possibly Japan. I can see Pakistan and Afghanistan joining this alliance. The question then is which way would Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the other Gulf Oil States go? Iraq would undoubtedly go with their Shiite brethren in Iran. The presence of the Zionist occupiers of Palestine in the US_Israel_India axis of evil would probably drive the Suni Gulf Oil States to hold their nose and join the Russia_China_Iran axis.

So if I were you Dolivaw, I would reevaluate your growing ties with the US_Israel axis of evil. This would also tend to keep your large Muslim minority from attempting to secede. The future world superpowers will be in the Russia_China_Iran axis.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSASSINATION OF BENAZIR BHUTTO

This is a glimpse of the world’s future if the Zionist so called “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA don’t wise up and vacate the Middle East.

That’s right Victoria, they can’t blame this one on the general Muslim population.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/bhutto_conspiracy_theories_wil/all_comments.html

We may find out, however, that the culprit is the Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) who are enabled by the foolish greed of the colonial USA and Israel.

Certainly Musharraf is one of those with the most to gain. He can now postpone elections indefinitely and hold onto his power, although he may have quite a revolt on his hands if he does so.

On the other hand, Bhutto was a strong ally of the US and an outspoken opponent of the Islamic fundamentalists. That is the kiss of death in this region of the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/world/asia/28pakistan.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

“In October, Ms. Bhutto survived another deadly suicide attack in the southern city of Karachi on the day she returned from years of self-imposed exile abroad to contest the parliamentary elections. Ms. Bhutto blamed extremist Islamic groups who she said wanted to take over the country for that attack, which narrowly missed her but killed 134 people. But she also complained that the government had taken insufficient steps to safeguard her parade…

She was openly critical of Mr. Musharraf’s ineffectiveness at dealing with Islamic militants and welcomed American involvement…

The assassination comes just days after Mr. Musharraf lifted a state of emergency in the country, which he had used to suspend the Constitution and arrest thousands of political opponents, and which he said he had imposed in part because of terrorist threats by extremists in Pakistan…”

So this is how my crystal ball has it. We just took another step along the path to WW III. The Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) hold all the cards. Musharraf may or may not be making a serious effort to rein them in. He may be playing live and let live as they build their strength in NW Pakistan and continue to weaken Afghanistan.

The Zionist invader in Palestine keeps the entire Middle East inflamed at both them and the USA for supporting them. Of course our preemptive attack on Iraq and continued occupation of Afghanistan just adds fuel to the flames.

China, India and Pakistan’s thirst for Middle East oil makes them natural allies of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf oil states. They will be eager to supply whatever these countries need in the way of precision guided land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) like the US Tomahawk. These are precision, Global Position System (GPS) satellite guided, low flying cruise missiles that hug the earth and can be programmed to attack Israel from multiple directions. Israel will never know what hit them. These will not be like the thousands of ballistic Katyusha rockets fired from Southern Lebanon, which mostly land in the olive orchards and sage brush fields. These missiles will each have a high rise building or other high value target and street number programmed in them like our Tomahawk attacks on Baghdad in 1991 and 2003.

Our thirst for oil and 10 Trillion dollar national debt, with much of it owed to China, puts us in a very weak strategic position. China could bankrupt us at will by flooding the market with our worthless paper IOUs. That’s why the US dollar has lost ~33% of its value relative to the Euro, which is on its way to becoming the world standard currency. The US dollar will soon be known as the US Peso.

Israel only produces ~1% of its required oil from its own oil wells, and must import 99%, 90% from Russia. Russia is anything but a reliable ally and is known to have used its natural gas supplied to Eastern Europe as a political tool in the past.

So standby for action the so called Zionist “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA. We live in interesting times.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is and interesting post by JDLEDELL @ December 27, 2007 7:26 AM from Yossi Melmans’s blog:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/hopeful_for_bethlehem/all_comments.html

Yossi - Pay no attention to the extremists on both sides that populate this blog. I am extremely pessimistic about the chances for peace. I have dozens of relatives living in West Bank settlements and I have been going to Israel, at least annually, for more than 40 years. I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly of this situation.

It's easy to put the blame on the Palestinians for they have made numerous mistakes which have significantly aggravated the problem. Suicide bombers, rockets and armed resistance are just a few of the well known errors. However, Jewish mistakes are less well known. The settlement enterprise is the primary problem. My sister and her family were one of the first to move from Haifa to the West Bank after the 67 war. Settlements were planned with three express goals: first, dividing up the west bank with Jews so that a viable Palestinian state could never emerge. Second, to surround Jerusalem with Jewish settlements so that Palestinians could never use it as their capital (to that end, in 1967 Israel tripled the size of Jerusalem's historical dimensions). Third, to build on top of and control the West Bank aquifers.

I’m sure you are aware that Israel is not really trying to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The settlement game is still being played. Some of my settler relatives are being recruited to seed a new settlement in Atarot, for a 11,000 person city on the doorstep of Ramallah. Others are being recruited to seed Giv’at Yael, a 20,000 person settlement near Bethlehem. Plans have been developed to build another new settlement, Shimo’n Hatsedeeq , near Abu Dis.

Eventually the world will catch on to Israel’s word games. Like Jerusalem's expanded boundries, Ma’ale Adumim's municipal boundries extend all the way to Jericho, empty land that can accomodate hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Ariel city boundries are proposed to expand to encompass all the small surrounding settlements that will make Ariel geographically 4 times larger, on the theory Ariel will be allowed to stay under a peace agreement. These kind of games will not lead to “land for peace” or “peace for peace”.

Look at the maps the settlers pass around, you will see four “reservations” for Palestinians with Israel taking all the rest, including the Jordan Valley. This is the game plan and I don’t think any Israeli politician is strong enough to stop it or slow it down. There is no such thing as the status quo, if peace is delayed Israeli settlement expansion will surely prevent the birth of a viable Palestinian state.

This is a recipe for disaster as internal and external Palestinians demand citizenship and a bi-national state. Yossi, our mutual dream of a Jewish homeland will disappear as it has so many times in the past few thousand years. I, for one, find that to be an unforgivable mistake. However, an even worse outcome is possible, the loss of the jewish soul. I have seen IDF and settler depravity first hand in the West Bank. I have two nephews serving in the IDF and they are thugs, who have already lost their souls to hatred, along with numerous of my relatives. I cherish my Jewish faith and the wisdom of the Torah but I see too many Israelis abandoning this wisdom in their greed and visceral hatred for “others”. If we lose our soul, land will not matter.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

PRO-ISRAEL FORCES WANT TO RE-OPEN A PIPELINE FROM IRAQ TO HAIFA, ISRAEL

The fact that American-Israelis in our government are endeavoring to use the war on Iraq as a way for Israel to gain control over oil in the Middle East is rarely reported in the mainstream pro-Israel US media with your average American readership, however it has been reported in Jewish newspapers with Jewish readership and in Israeli papers.

A case in point is the fact that American-Israelis in our government want to "re-open" or re-instate, the pipeline that used to exist between Iraq and Palestine, which is now specifically Haifa, Israel. When Israel was created in 1948, that pipeline was re-directed by Iraq to Syria. Now pro-Israel forces are actively seeking to cut off the pipeline to Syria and re-direct it to Haifa, Israel. For more information on this, please do a Google-search using such keywords such as "Iraq oil pipeline to Haifa, Israel" and see what you come up with.

Just as Israel's connection to the war on Iraq has been kept out of the US mainstream media (as you may have noticed, Israel has not even been mentioned as one of our "allies" in the war on Iraq), this choice nugget of information with regards to Israel's ambition to get a basically free supply of Iraqi oil is also kept out of view for vast American public consumption.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Enough said my friend. I believe that we have exhausted this topic several times over.

Be well.

Alan:

Rick

I like that you made it clear that every Israeli is a military target ("foot soldier"), even children. My friend, your military target is called terrorism by everyone else.

It is not stolen land. They bought their homes at first. The local populace didn’t like the new immigrants. They tried to eliminate the new immigrants. The new immigrants survived and erected borders. Nobody under the age of 74 who is Palestinian has any memory of living in Israel. For that reason alone, they should agree to live in the other 90% of the former British administered land. They would be residing a whole 20 miles from where their Great Grandparents lived.

Israel settled its 400,000 Jewish refugees who had to flee the Arab countries. The Arab countries didn’t settle its 400,000 refugees. It is the fault of the Arab countries that Palestinians still live in refugee camps. They are identical in language and religion to the surrounding populace. They are not like most immigrants—you can’t tell them apart from the surrounding populace. The goal of keeping them in refugee camps is to build sympathy for them in the multifaceted war to eliminate the Jews. This war includes terrorism, public relations, manipulation of oil money to get poor countries to side with the Arabs, and dare I say, writers fluent in English with views like yours to counter rational arguments on web posts.

And even if you disagree with the above, I still believe national movements or injustices should not be fought by trying to kill children. Poll after poll of Palestinians shows their support for such actions. No such polls exist among the Israelis, who don’t celebrate when an Arab child is killed while playing next to a missile launcher. It’s a war crime to launch missiles onto civilians without any military target whatsoever. It’s a war crime to arm and use these weapons where civilians live.

Terrorism is the enemy. If we reward the Palestinians for using terrorism, then many more terrorists around the world will learn that terrorism pays off. We will all suffer. If we reward Hamas for their news reporters’ fear of death, we will also suffer.

I encourage anyone to read the last few posts in the argument Rick and I are having. Rick supports Hamas and thinks the American military is guilty of war crimes in Iraq. One of the most common “war crimes” we commit is the murder of noncombatants who happen to live where terrorists hide. Rick doesn’t feel it’s enough to try to avoid civilian casualties, as is the case with the militaries of the US and Israel. Rick is angrier at the militaries of the US and Israel than he is at Hamas. My Christmas post at 11:59 lists the hideous things about Hamas that I managed to put together in only 30 minutes. There are probably a lot more heinous things about Hamas that I didn’t cover. Rick views Hamas as moral compared to Israel.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

You say:

“I believe terrorism is targeting innocent civilians, even children, without a military objective.”

That is the whole point. There are no innocent civilians in the so called “State of Israel”. They are all living on stolen land from which they have driven the rightful owners into refugee camps in unimaginably horrid living conditions. Thus they are all foot soldiers in this struggle to the death. It matters not whether they or their fathers or their grandfathers stole the land. They all live on stolen land and are all valid military targets.

To see this, imagine that an armed stranger enters your home and forces you and yours out into the cold. Further assume that the LA police force will do nothing about it for ethnic reasons. Would you consider that you have the right to take up arms and take back your home?

Alan:

Rick

You said my list about Hamas shows them to be “atrocious” . Thanks.

I believe terrorism is targeting innocent civilians, even children, without a military objective. You believe terrorism is Israel “stealing the land”. Sorry, but this wasn’t theft, and even if it was, it ain’t terrorism. Israelis defended themselves when they were attacked by several Arab countries. The Arabs lost, should be happy with the 90% of the land they occupy that was formerly administered by the British and should dela with it, since probably fewer than 5% of them have any memory of living in Israel.

By your reasoning, the entire US, Canada, and Australia must be terrorists for living on stolen land. At least the Israelis bought the land when they arrived. Maybe the Arabs shouldn’t have tried to eliminate them.

You beleive that every Jew in Israel is a War Criminal for living on stolen land. Even though over 80% of that land was administered by the Ottomans or Brits for 500 years. You feel the Palestinians are justified to target innocent Jewish civilians because those civilians are “zionist war criminals”.

I believe in the Road Map for Peace, even though it’s supported by the UN, EU and Russia—not exactly Jew lovers. The US also backs the Road Map, but you feel the US military is a terrorist entity because of its actions in Iraq.

I believe terrorism itself is the enemy. You believe that any country defending itself from terrorism has no right to go after the terrorists if they hide behind innocent civilians. You blame the US or Israel for killing noncombatants when going after terrorists whereas I blame the terrorists for operating from within civilian areas. I say don’t reward terrorism no matter what the justification is, because it would teach the world that terrorism pays off. We would all suffer for a long time. Many more people will die than have died to date because bombs get smaller and more powerful.

You want to reward terrorism with a political victory. I say ostracize any country supporting the targeting of civilians no matter the justification.

Since you always discuss water, I would like you to find one piece of evidence showing that the West Bank ever had more water than Israel provides now. If the current water agreement is unfair, I said I would back the Palestinians as soon as they abandon terrorism. As for Arafat signing the interim agreement in 1995, the link that you request is already on this website.

For anyone reading out there, check out my last post on Hamas. Rick, you actually believe Israel is more morally corrupt than Hamas. Classic. Is the US military more corrupt than Hamas becuase it kills noncombatant civilians in Iraq? Is Iran corrupt in providing Hezbollah and Hamas with crude missiles that are exclusively made to kill civilians and have no military value whatsoever?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

“I’m impressed enough to quote you by saying “Codswallop.”

Isn’t that a satisfying swear word. I must admit that I borrowed it from my friend DuckPhup from another board.

“The road map to peace says the violence stops before negotiation starts.”

That is the root of our friendly disagreement. I don’t accept the Road Map to nowhere any more than do the true Palestinian representatives, Hamas. The Roadmap calls for the establishment of the “State of Israel” in its pre-1967 borders, which would be a horrific injustice to the Palestinian people.

“Also, Arafat himself signed the current water agreement in 1995, which provides more water than Jordan ever supplied when it was in control of the same region.”

Please provide a reference to support this or stop making this ridiculous claim.

“In short, we both agree that killing innocent bystanders is horrendous—our difference lies in the fact that I blame the terrorists for operating among civilians whereas you blame the US and Israeli militaries. That being said, you might want to stop writing that I don’t care about innocent bystanders being killed.”

I respectfully disagree. I think that the difference is in our definition of terrorist. I say the terrorists are the users of overwhelming military might to overthrow sovereign governments and chase innocent people from their homes and land, by bombing the victim population centers with 500 lb or 1 ton bombs from thousands of feet.

I will stop saying that you don’t care about innocent bystanders being killed when you stop supporting the Zionist war criminal.

“I asked you in a previous post why there are no Palestinian equivalents to the Israeli Human Rights group B’Tselem. You said, “…of course not. The Palestinians only have time to defend themselves from the onslaught of their terrorist neighbor who is intent on bulldozing their homes and assassinating their leadership…” Sorry but I have to say it’s more likely that Hamas wouldn’t allow this than the alternative explanation, namely, that 10 writers can’t find a typewriter because they are too busy fighting the Jews.”

I think that to compare life in Gaza to life in Israel is absurd. To think that the Gazans have time to worry about whether their freedom fighters are playing fair is beyond absurd when they are being denied food, water and electricity and their children are being slaughtered in a 17 to 1 ratio to the Zionists.

Your list of 15 items is indeed atrocious, and pales only in comparison to the actions of the Zionist invaders and war criminals that started the conflict in the first place, terrorized an entire population by chasing them from their ancestral home of thousands of years and engage in slow genocide by depriving them of their basic human rights and dignity and the most basic human sustenance such as water.

How can you support such a terrorist entity? Have you no shame?

Alan:

Rick

Well written and not a personal attack. I’m impressed enough to quote you by saying “Codswallop.”

If Israel has been unfair with water, they need to address that issue the minute after the Palestinians say they will stop negotiating with suicide bombs. The road map to peace says the violence stops before negotiation starts. I will personally support the Palestinians in the West Bank with water equality when that happens. But for anyone out there reading this, please note that the water that Israeli Arabs can use is the same as Israeli Jews. Also, Arafat himself signed the current water agreement in 1995, which provides more water than Jordan ever supplied when it was in control of the same region.

As for the “Zionist war criminals” killing innocent Palestinian children, I’ll stick with my previous argument. The tough guys who launch missiles toward Israeli civilian centers should not be driving around with machine guns or missiles in neighborhoods filled with children. We both know that Israel goes after those missiles and does a good job avoiding civilians whenever possible. Rick, I know that you believe that civilian casualties Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon are “war crimes”. But you’re also on record as saying that the US Military in Iraq is guilty of committing “war crimes” like this. In both cases, I’ll say that it’s obvious that both of these militaries try hard not to kill civilians and thus are almost always not guilty of war crimes. To me, the responsibility lies with the terrorists and militants who ply their trade from within civilian population centers for the principle reason that they feel more protected in these areas because they know the US or Israeli military tries not to kill innocent bystanders.

I will quote you again: “Your constant whining that suicide bombers kill women and children, a tiny fraction of the women and children slaughtered by the Zionist war criminal, is disgusting in the extreme.” I believe that murdering children on a bus is worse than children getting killed because a missile launcher is intentionally hiding his missiles in civilian areas. I also believe that the principle problem with the Palestinians is that they overwhelmingly support killing civilians, even children, in poll after poll. You count the numbers of children to support your argument. I blame those numbers on the terrorists in the West Bank (and in Iraq), not on the US or Israeli militaries that try hard not to kill innocent bystanders. In short, we both agree that killing innocent bystanders is horrendous—our difference lies in the fact that I blame the terrorists for operating among civilians whereas you blame the US and Israeli militaries. That being said, you might want to stop writing that I don’t care about innocent bystanders being killed.

I asked you in a previous post why there are no Palestinian equivalents to the Israeli Human Rights group B’Tselem. You said, “…of course not. The Palestinians only have time to defend themselves from the onslaught of their terrorist neighbor who is intent on bulldozing their homes and assassinating their leadership…” Sorry but I have to say it’s more likely that Hamas wouldn’t allow this than the alternative explanation, namely, that 10 writers can’t find a typewriter because they are too busy fighting the Jews.

Since you like numbered lists, I will now summarize atrocious actions and war crimes committed by the nice folks at Hamas, who were elected by the Palestinians even though they glorify “martyrs” who have killed children. And espouse racist drivel such as “Jews started WW1 and WW2”, which is in their charter. I won’t delve into Mickey Mouse programs where the Jew tortures and murders Mickey. Who votes for guys like this?

Here’s a list about Hamas to compare to your list about Israel

1) No tolerance for any opinion that criticizes Hamas. Death to those who do.

2) No freedom of press. Journalists and editors fear death

3) Not much in the way of gay rights.

4) Christians in Gaza live in fear for their lives.

5) Article 22 of the Hamas Charter: Jews started WW1 and WWII

6) Article 7: “…The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).”

7) Article 24: “The Islamic Resistance Movement does not allow slandering or speaking ill of individuals or groups, for the believer does not indulge in such malpractices.”

8) Article 28: “Zionism… relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.”

9) Article 28, again: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. "May the cowards never sleep." Not much tolerance for other religions.

10) Let’s move on to war crimes: I only had time to check one website, I’m sure there are others. You might check out this link from Human Rights Watch: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/06/13/isrlpa16156.htm

11) Human Rights Violation: Tolerates launching missiles from civilian areas to cities in Israel with no military target intended.

12) Human Rights Violation: Kills sick people in Hospitals (see the link above)

13) Human Rights Violation: Executes a cook for the former prime minister by tying his hands and feet together and throwing him off a building. (nice)

14) Human Rights Violation: Does not allow its captive Israeli soldier to meet with the Red Cross

15) Human Rights Violation: A quote from the link above: “Hamas military forces have summarily executed captives, killed people not involved in hostilities, and engaged in gun battles… inside and near Palestinian hospitals.”

It’s sad that you are so anti-Zionist (anti-Jewish?) that you would support these guys or the population that elected them.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

You seem to have a very high opinion of yourself and what a great job you are doing of convincing your audience that your arguments and conclusions are valid.

I think that nothing could be further from the truth. You have not been able to refute the following facts:

1. The Zionist invader is occupying stolen land that it acquired by force, with an assist from the world’s superpowers, and so has no grounds for complaint when it is attacked in return by the displaced native population.

2. Israel continues to increase its illegal acquisition of Palestinian land in the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza. It has withdrawn from Gaza (for the moment) but continues to suppress the economy and limit access to vital resources such as water, fuel and electricity.

3. Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the occupied population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

4. Israel is violating the international law on water since the water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources…

5. Israel’s use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements is a breach of article 55 of the Hague Regulations.

6. Israel is in breach of Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory; since the quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians.

7. Israel is in breach of article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. Examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

8. Even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”.

9. Israel hogs 80% of the regions water supply to keep their swimming pools full and lawns green, while leaving the Palestinians less than half the amount considered necessary of minimum health requirements by the WHO and USAID organizations.

10. The Zionist war criminals have killed more than 6 times the number of Palestinian civilians, as Palestinians have killed Israeli civilians.

11. The Zionist war criminals have killed more than 17 times the number of Palestinian children, as Palestinians have killed Israeli children.

12. Your repeated excuses that the Zionists drop leaflets to warn civilian population centers that are about to be bombed back to the stone ages, and apologizes after the fact, are disgusting in the extreme.

13. Your constant whining that suicide bombers kill women and children, a tiny fraction of the women and children slaughtered by the Zionist war criminal, is disgusting in the extreme.

Alan, why do you continue to support the bad guys? Have you no shame?

Alan:

I never knew I could have such a fun past-time. Thanks for giving me mild mental exercise. I say mild because most smart folks who read our posts and haven’t made up their mind would agree with me.

Alan (from a previous post) “You’ve said every Israeli is responsible for their government’s actions and you’ve never stated that Palestinian support of terrorism is horrendous.”
Rick’s Response: “ Palestinians don’t support terrorism of course. It is not terrorism to fight for your basic human rights and dignity, to kick the racist Zionist invaders and land/water thieves from your home.”
My current reply: We both know that Palestinians support racism because of multiple polls. Here’s a quote from the Pew Global Website: “In Lebanon, for example, just 34% of Muslims say suicide bombings in the defense of Islam are often or sometimes justified; in 2002, 74% expressed this view. However, Palestinians stand out for their broad acceptance of suicide bombing. Seven-in-ten-Palestinians say this tactic is at least sometimes justified.”
The Link: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=257
It is confirmed at this link as well: Check out question 18:
http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=28550
I’m not saying the Palestinians should be judged for fighting to dislodge the Jews from Israel. But they should be judged for wholeheartedly supporting the murder of Jewish children and celebrating the “martyrs” who commit such atrocities. People who wish to achieve a political gain should not be rewarded for such sentiment. You can probably find examples of Israeli atrocities. But they are few and far between and the population doesn’t celebrate the atrocities. When they get their Martin Luther King, I’ll support them.
Rick, you posted a great quote here: “We all feel much better because the Zionist terrorists apologize while they gleefully slaughter hundreds of innocent Palestinian women and children.” Yeah, dude, the Jews gleefully slaughter hundreds of innocent Palestinian women and children. You and I know this isn’t true and I suggest anyone ask an Israeli that they meet if it’s possible. As for the Harper’s article, I don’t believe the writer. But let’s pretend it’s true. You managed to find 8 bad guys with guns. Even US soldiers commit atrocities. It’s not the same as the 70% of Palestinians who approve of suicide bombings. Find a poll of Israelis who support murdering children. You can’t.
Regarding my surfer quote. I apologize if I misquoted you. I thought you said it’s fair game, an expression that I don’t use too often. It may have been another writer. But the “gleeful slaughter” part of your argument gives me back my street cred.
Alan to Rick in the last post: “To repeat an earlier point, if the Palestinians drop terrorism and institutionalized racism and terrorism, I would support them in any injustices they face.”
Rick’s Response: “Codswallop! The whole world knows that the Palestinian freedom fighters are only defending themselves with sticks and stones from the world’s foremost terrorist super powers, the USA and Israel who are practicing slow genocide upon them by withholding their water supplies.”
My current response: Blowing up buses and then celebrating the murderers isn’t sticks and stones. As for your false genocide claims regarding water, I stick with my earlier replies. Also, my I point out to any American lurkers that the US is, in Rick’s opinion, a terrorist superpower.
Rick, I don’t think you’re from Virginia. I never met anyone from that state that uses the term “Codswallop”. Are you from the Hamas disinformation center or the Hizbollah Center of Beirut?
I won’t answer the quote from Btselem. If you can’t see the difference, don’t worry. Others can.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

You fail History 101 again my friend.

You say:

“You’ve said every Israeli is responsible for their government’s actions and you’ve never stated that Palestinian support of terrorism is horrendous.”

Palestinians don’t support terrorism of course. It is not terrorism to fight for your basic human rights and dignity, to kick the racist Zionist invaders and land/water thieves from your home.

You say:

“You’ve said that a 16 year old surfer in Tel Aviv is fair game for terrorism regardless of whether his or her great-grandparents stole a Palestinian home.”

Sorry Buddy, there you go again, lying again, destroying your dwindling credibility once again.

Here is what I said in response to your ridiculous claim that the Jews may have bought 95% of their land:

You said:

“By the way, I never said the Jews bought 95% of the land. I was just asking you for argument’s sake if you would change your opinion if I could prove this fact to you. Interesting that you wouldn’t answer that question.”

It is pretty hard to take such a question seriously when we know that 83.6% of the land actually belongs to the Palestinians and only 16.4% belongs to the Zionists. But if 95% of the Zionists had actually purchased their homes and land like normal people, then no one would have a reason to consider them Zionist invaders and land thieves. Your hypothetical 16 year old girl surfing on the beach in Tel Aviv would then be no different than a 16 year old girl surfing on the beach in the French Riviera, and would not have a care in the world.

However, since this is clearly not the case, if this hypothetical 16 year old girl surfing in Tel Aviv happens to encounter a randomly fired Katyusha rocket, or suicide bomber; then that is a very unfortunate incident, for which we can thank the Zionist invaders and land thieves who occupy 80.4% of the so called “State of Israel”.

So do you get it yet? I didn’t say that it was OK to target the 16 year old girl, but if she was accidentally hit by a Katyusha rocket or suicide bomber, who mistook her for one of the terrorist Zionist invaders and land/water thieves who occupy 80.4% of the so called “State of Israel”, then that is a very unfortunate incident, for which we can thank the Zionist invaders and land thieves who occupy 80.4% of the so called “State of Israel”.

Now, do you get it yet? Or will I get this same disingenuous charge again on your next post? You know that your motives and methods are transparent to the lurkers out there who you mistakenly believe are taking your bigoted side in this issue and you continue to lose credibility the more that you dissemble and obfuscate.

You said”

“In this context especially, when you write that “B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are RACIST WAR CRIMINALS”, it necessitates a quote that says exactly that. A better quote would have been that B’tselem considers the water policy to be unethical because it discriminates on racial grounds and is illegal. That’s not the same as “Israelis are racist war criminals”. You would fail History 101 for your deliberate attempt to confuse or distort the truth.”

Are you serious? Here are the words again:

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

What part of “discriminates on racial grounds” and “flagrantly breaches international law” don’t you understand?

That sounds like racist war criminals to me.

Do you get it yet? I didn’t think so.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan.

Your posts become more confused and your credibility continues to evaporate the more desperately you try to defend the indefensible terrorist Zionist war criminal regime.

We all feel much better because the Zionist terrorists apologize while they gleefully slaughter hundreds of innocent Palestinian women and children.

Fortunately as Victoria reports above, the world has had its fill of the Zionist terrorists; even young American Jews have had enough and say be gone.

You ask if there are human rights organizations in Palestine; of course not. The Palestinians only have time to defend themselves from the onslaught of their terrorist neighbor who is intent on bulldozing their homes and assassinating their leadership by indiscriminately firing rockets and dropping 500 lb bombs in populous areas from the safety of US provided warplanes and helicopters form thousands of feet above.

You say:

“To repeat an earlier point, if the Palestinians drop terrorism and institutionalized racism and terrorism, I would support them in any injustices they face.”

Codswallop! The whole world knows that the Palestinian freedom fighters are only defending themselves with sticks and stones from the world’s foremost terrorist super powers, the USA and Israel who are practicing slow genocide upon them by withholding their water supplies. And you gleefully support the racist war criminals as defined by their own human rights organization.

You say:

“Israel makes every effort not to kill innocent bystanders.”

And:

“The Israelis don’t celebrate when a Palestinian child is caught in the crossfire.”

Is this your idea of a cross fire:

“Hunting Children for Sport

In a 2001 issue of Harper's Magazine [Chris Hedges, A Gaza Diary , Harper's Magazine, October 200], veteran American journalist Chris Hedges exposed how Israeli troops in Gaza systematically curse and provoke Palestinian children playing in the dunes of southern Gaza. Then, when the boys finally get irritated enough and start throwing stones, the soldiers premeditatedly respond with live ammunition from rifles fitted with silencers. “Later,” writes Hedges, “in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.” He then concludes, “Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered, […] but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.”

Alan, wake up my friend you are supporting the bad guys.

Alan:

Rick:

You’ve said every Israeli is responsible for their government’s actions and you’ve never stated that Palestinian support of terrorism is horrendous. You’ve said that a 16 year old surfer in Tel Aviv is fair game for terrorism regardless of whether his or her great-grandparents stole a Palestinian home. In this context especially, when you write that “B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are RACIST WAR CRIMINALS”, it necessitates a quote that says exactly that. A better quote would have been that B’tselem considers the water policy to be unethical because it discriminates on racial grounds and is illegal. That’s not the same as “Israelis are racist war criminals”. You would fail History 101 for your deliberate attempt to confuse or distort the truth.

But this is nothing new for you. You are well versed in obscure 80 year old historical documents, know the details about Zionists leaders’ personal lives 100 years ago and understand intricacies of water rights issues. Yet somehow you didn’t pick up on the fact that Arabs vote in Israel. I believe that anyone who is as well versed in the obscure issues of that region as you would HAVE to know that Israeli Arabs vote. This last statement leads me to believe that you deliberately distort the truth but want to be seen as reasonable, so you apologize when you are caught.

To repeat an earlier point, if the Palestinians drop terrorism and institutionalized racism and terrorism, I would support them in any injustices they face. The biggest differences in our argument is that I believe in the Road Map to peace and you don’t. I also believe that if you reward terrorism, the entire world will pay for that with more terrorism. Any injustice that is being fought against by INTENTIONALLY killing innocent children should not be addressed while that tactic is being used.

As for the number of innocent Palestinians killed, it is a tragedy. But I would blame the missile launchers and bomb makers for doing these things from populated areas. There’s a war crime for you. Since Hamas is in charge, and the Palestinians voted for them, does this make every Palestinian a “racist war criminal”? Of course not.

Israel makes every effort not to kill innocent bystanders. Of course, they screw up but this is no different with any army operating against civilians. But since you feel the US military is just as guilty in Iraq as Israel is in Gaza or the West Bank, I can’t argue you on this point. I think you are wrong, but I can’t prove to you that killing non-combatants isn’t horrendous. But blame the militants and terrorists for launching missiles and building their bombs in crowded areas as a means to protect themselves.

There is a difference between Israel and the Palestinians that you don’t consider. We both know that the Palestinians honor “martyrs” and their families for killing innocent Jewish children. The Israelis don’t celebrate when a Palestinian child caught in the crossfire. Just like the US doesn’t celebrate when an Iraqi child is killed with an errant bomb. Is every civilian in the US fair game for terrorism because our military has killed so many innocent people in Iraq?

By the way, you never answered my question at the end of my December 5:56 PM post: “Rick, do you think there are Palestinian human rights groups watching over the actions of Hamas? A rhetorical question, because in Gaza, one is not allowed to have an opinion different from the Government’s. The penalty is death. You’re supporting the bad guys, Rick.”

VICTORIA:

im reposting this-

because the ideology of the zionists is not resonating with the younger generation in america-
depsite efforts by haters like the rabbi, his twice weekly show- and the jewish task force and its abundant propoganda-

its important for reason to prevail-
this shows reason rearing its head on both sides of the arab/israeli debate-

THIS WEEK AT WAR WILL DOBSON FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE-
transcript of show


FOREMAN: Wow. Just amazing. Dear Osama, we're breaking up. Another one of your headlines. What does that mean?

DOBSON: That's right. In September, a very prominent radical cleric in Saudi Arabia denounced Osama Bin Laden. This is important because this is a man who once mentored Osama Bin Laden. So this is a very important shift because it suggests that there's real fissures, differences of opinion even in the corners of radical Islam and a place like Saudi Arabia.

FOREMAN: When you look at things like the awakening movement in Iraq, do you see that as being related to this?

DOBSON: Well, it's clear right now that there is a war within Islam of ideas going on right now. And so this, we may look back at this as being a turning point where people began to ask questions. And this is important because this is a real blow to Osama Bin Laden's ideology and following.
***************************************
FOREMAN: A very controversial idea is your next headline here. AMERICAN JEWS TURN AWAY FROM ISRAEL. What do you mean?

DOBSON: Well, as we know, the U.S. foreign policy is made up by many different lobbies and one of them that's often credited that's being particularly powerful is the Israel lobby. Well, right now in America, a new study that really was just completely overlooked, it appears that though Americans, young American Jews, are beginning to feel less of an attachment to Israel.

In a survey that was done, young American Jews, 48% under 35 said they would not consider it a personal tragedy if Israel was destroyed. That's compared to 77% of those 65 and older. Likewise, 54% of young American Jews said that they felt no - they were even uncomfortable with the notion of a Jewish state compared again to 81% of those 65 or older. So what's clearly there is a shift, a generational shift going on in the Jewish community in America today.

FOREMAN: Well, that must cause enormous angst among the older Jewish community. So many of whom have memories of World War II and who feel like Israel was so hard-won to the young people saying you must understand your heritage.

DOBSON: That's exactly right. I mean, clearly what we're seeing and the authors of the report said one, this is a by-product of intermarriage between faiths. People are feeling less of an attachment to the homeland. And it's also a little bit of distance from history. They don't remember the holocaust as being the personal experience that their grandparents do. And so clearly, it's causing a weakening among Jews in America of seeing their jewishness as a collective identity.

INTERESTING, YES?


VICTORIA:

this guy has a show on queens public tv every week-
hes known as the racist rabbi mordechai friedman-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtPnu0XX1GA

can you imagine if a muslim, or an african american said such things in public?

they would be ridden out on a rail- yet this fellow has access to spout the most frothing virulent hatred-

why? hes pro-israeli

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=jtf.org

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Here is a good site for nice people like yourself who like to root for the good guys. Notice that the Zionist terrorist war criminals have killed more than 6 times the number of Palestinian citizens as Palestinians have killed Israeli civilians. The Zionist war criminals have killed more than 17 times the number of Palestinian children as Palestinians have killed Israeli children. Alan, it is you who are supporting the bad guys.

Notice that this information was also provided by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/pubs/20001127fs.html

Fact Sheet Number 1: Casualties in Palestine and Israel from the First Intifada until October 30, 2000

Total casualties in the Occupied Territories and Israel from December 9, 1987 to September 30, 2000:

Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces - 1,407
Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli civilians - 140
Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian civilians - 270
Members of the Israeli forces killed by Palestinian civilians - 135

Israeli and Palestinian minors killed from December 9, 1987 to September 30, 2000:

Palestinian minors killed by Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories - 285
Palestinian minors killed by Israeli civilians in the Occupied Territories - 23
Israeli minors killed by Palestinians in the Occupied Territories - 4
Israeli minors killed by Palestinian civilians in Israel - 14

Killings by Israeli undercover units in the Occupied Territories (including East Jerusalem) from December 9, 1987 to September 30, 2000:

Palestinians - 166
Israeli civilians - 1
Members of the Israeli forces - 4

Adapted from B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

What planet are you from?

“My driving point in all of these letters has been that the principle enemy the world needs to fight is terrorism, because bombs become more advanced and smaller. The world should fight together and ostracize all countries that consider blowing up school buses as an acceptable means of political gain. No matter what the injustice is in the first place. If the Palestinians give up terrorism and legitimately protest unfair Israeli policies, the world will get behind the Palestinians.”

And:

“Of the two, it seems logical to choose the Road Map’s solution and not to discuss this until terrorism is abandoned.”

And:

“You’re supporting the bad guys, Rick.”

Do you really think that Martin Luther King type peaceful protest would have the slightest impact on the brutal, racist, Zionist regime, which cares about nothing but stealing land and water from the helpless Palestinian people?

The Road Map envisions the “State of Israel” surviving in its pre-1967 boundaries, which will never happen.

You are supporting the bad guys, Allen. The Zionist invaders, land thieves and water thieves are the bad guys. Abbas and the PLA are the bad guys. The elected government of Hamas represents the Palestinian people, not the appeaser and collaborator Abbas.

Alan:

Rick

Here’s your original quote: “What do you think of the B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are racist war criminals for….”

Btselem doesn’t use the term “racist war criminals”. Your sentence above is exposed for using that term. It isn’t in the website. Were you hoping I wouldn’t find the site?

As for me lying: Here is the quote from the “Jewish Propaganda Website” as you might call the Jewish Virtual Library: “Israel has fulfilled all of her obligations under the Interim Agreement. The water quota agreed upon, and more, is being supplied. Jurisdiction over water was transferred completely and on time, and Israel approved the additional digging of wells. Israel and the PA carry out joint patrols to locate cases of water theft and other water-related problems.”

The link, my friend:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf18.html#g

The injustice regarding water could be true. If so, Arafat shouldn’t have signed the interim agreement. Israel should change its allocations. But as the Road Map to Peace suggests, the issue should not be considered until the Palestinians stop honoring “martyrs” who have killed school children. They should also stop the Hamas PBS style Mickey Mouse programs that vilify Jews. Terrorism, no matter the justification, should never be rewarded or all of our lives will become more unpleasant. When the Palestinians protest with Ghandi-like principles (or MLK, for an American reference), I’ll be there for them.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“Can you please copy and paste a link to the part about the Israelis being “racist war criminals”? I think you were lying about this, so prove me wrong. I believe your quote was “What do you think of the B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are racist war criminals for….”

Here it is pal. How is my credibility now? I hate to say it, but I'm afraid that yours is in tatters. The quoted paragraph is at the bottom of the page.

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/Without_Running_Water.asp

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

See, even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More from B’Tselem on International Law relative to water rights and the Israeli war criminals:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/International_Law.asp

International law on water

In examining international law, it is necessary to distinguish between Israel's obligations as an occupying state to the population under its control on one hand, and the use of water sources shared by Israel and the Palestinians, which are considered international waters, on the other.

A. Administration of the water sector in occupied territory

1. Prohibition on altering legislation

Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits an occupying state from changing the legislation in effect prior to occupation. The military orders that Israel issued regarding the water resources and the supply of water in the Occupied Territories significantly changed the legal and institutional structure of the water sector. The water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources.

2. Illegal utilization of water resources

Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of occupying states to utilize the water sources of occupied territory. The use is limited to military needs and may not exceed past use. Use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements does not meet these criteria and therefore breaches article 55.

3. Discrimination between Palestinians and Israeli Settlers

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory. The quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians. Similarly, the regularity of supply is much greater in the settlements. This discrimination is especially blatant during the summer months when the supply to Palestinians in some areas of the West Bank is reduced in order to meet the increased demand for water in the settlements receiving their water from the same pipelines.

B. Utilization of shared international water sources

Under international law, the main principle for division of shared water between states is the principle of equitable and reasonable use. This principle is based on the limited-sovereignty doctrine, which provides that, because all parts of the drainage basins of watercourses are hydrologically interdependent, states are not allowed to utilize water located in their territory as they wish, but must take into account the other states that share the resource.

This principle does not state a precise formula quantifying the rights of each state sharing an international watercourse. Rather, it lists the factors to be considered in negotiations between the states to determine the division. Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses enumerates seven of these factors:

1. The natural features of the shared watercourse (geographic, climatic, hydrologic, and the like);

2. The social and economic needs of the watercourse states;

3. The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse state;

4. The effects of the use of the watercourses in one watercourse state on other watercourse states;

5. Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;

Conservation, protection, and development of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;

The availability of alternatives to a particular planned or existing use.

Taking into account the components of the principle of equitable and reasonable use, examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

At this site:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/2007/12/israeli_soldiers_us_sderot_terrorism.html#more

On December 21 @ 9:59 AM you said:

“…you should note that in 1995 Arafat and Rabin agreed to something called the interim agreement. Here's another quote: "Israel has fulfilled all of her obligations under the Interim Agreement. The water quota agreed upon, and more, is being supplied.”

And you supplied this link to your favorite propaganda site, the Jewish Virtual Library to prove your point:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/interim.html

Unfortunately the article at this link says nothing about a water quota, let alone that Israel has fulfilled her obligations or that the agreed upon quota is being provided. Where did that nugget come from? Please provide a link that supports it if you want to continue to pretend that you have one iota of credibility. I think that you are lying about it.

Alan:

Rick

The Btselem site shows that the current agreement signed by Yassir Arafat is unfair. I don’t know about the organization, but it seems legitimate. Can you please copy and paste a link to the part about the Israelis being “racist war criminals”? I think you were lying about this, so prove me wrong. I believe your quote was “What do you think of the B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are racist war criminals for….”

For the topic of asymmetric warfare being legitimate: I think there’s a difference between trying to sneak attack soldiers vs. celebrating when a bus full of school children blows up. The fact that the Palestinians attack Israeli soldiers is not nearly as heinous as the fact that they wholeheartedly support terrorism in poll after poll.

My driving point in all of these letters has been that the principle enemy the world needs to fight is terrorism, because bombs become more advanced and smaller. The world should fight together and ostracize all countries that consider blowing up school buses as an acceptable means of political gain. No matter what the injustice is in the first place. If the Palestinians give up terrorism and legitimately protest unfair Israeli policies, the world will get behind the Palestinians.

If you ever get to an impasse in your argument, it is a useful tactic to bring up an unrelated issue. You did this in your most recent post with the subject of Lebanon. Cute and childish technique, as is the name calling.

But since you did bring up Lebanon, I addressed this in earlier posts which you read, but I will post the basics for any lurkers. The Israelis dropped notifications before bombing so the residents would leave. The Israelis dropped 30,000 bombs on Lebanon and killed under 1000 people. That’s probably a better ratio of avoiding civilian casualties than the US pulls off in Iraq. It is horrible that innocent Lebanese were killed, but I blame Hezbollah for firing 5000 Iranian missiles aimed at Israeli cities. Let me go on record as saying that you already stated before that you feel the US is guilty of committing similar actions in Iraq (i.e. unintentional killing of noncombatants). I support our troops in Iraq and know that they make every effort not to kill civilians. Same with the Israelis.

Keep calling me racist. Nearly anyone reading these posts would say that I’m not. But your name calling takes away your credibility, which is an enjoyable new hobby of mine.

Rick, do you think there are Palestinian human rights groups watching over the actions of Hamas? A rhetorical question, because in Gaza, one is not allowed to have an opinion different from the Government’s. The penalty is death. You’re supporting the bad guys, Rick.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“If the water agreement that Arafat signed in 1995 is unfair, then I agree with you that water policy should be changed.”

You just can’t bring yourself to state unequivocally that it is an unfair policy can you? That is because you are the racist anti-Semite that you hypocritically accuse others of being.

What do you think of the B’Tselem charges that the Israelis are racist war criminals for violating international law with respect to an occupied people’s water rights as I have previously noted?

Why are you surprised that an occupied and tortured people would rebel by using asymmetric warfare techniques against the terrorist Zionist invaders and land thieves who oppress them?

They are only behaving as any terrorized population would. How many Palestinian and Lebanese people including women and children have been killed by the powerful Israeli war machine for every Israeli that has been killed in return?

Alan:

Rick

If the water agreement that Arafat signed in 1995 is unfair, then I agree with you that water policy should be changed. In the road map to peace, the first step is for the Palestinians to reject terrorism. Subsequent steps include negotiating borders and water rights. Since the Palestinians have not abandoned terrorism, I point the finger in their direction rather than Israel’s.

I will support changes to Arafat’s 1995 water agreement as soon as the Palestinians adopt Martin Luther King tactics and stop celebrating “martyrs” who have murdered Jewish children. The Palestinians government might also consider canceling the Mickey Mouse type shows, which teach hatred of Jews to Palestinian children.

So we both agree that Arafat’s water agreement seems unfair. The difference is that you blame the Jews while I blame terrorism. If the Palestinians abandon terrorism and negotiate a deal similar to the one that Arafat torpedoed in 2000 in Camp David, then the Palestinians will be swimming in money and Evian water. Too bad most of them would rather support terrorists and hold onto their hatred of Jews.

You repeatedly have called me an anti-Semite and racist. This opinion of yours is generated by the fact that I blame the Palestinians rather than the Israelis for not achieving change. So I will clarify: I don’t hate the Palestinians. I feel sorry for them and hope they can reject terrorism and improve their lives. I weigh the two scenarios--the possibility that Arafat signed an unfair agreement vs. negotiating changes to that agreement immediately (which rewards terrorism). Of the two, it seems logical to choose the Road Map’s solution and not to discuss this until terrorism is abandoned. The fact that I agree with the Road Map’s concept of rejecting terrorism before negotiating to change Arafat’s agreement doesn’t make me a racist. You insult people who have been victimized by racism when you call me a racist.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Good post, as I said before; but it is just an exact verbatim repeat of your previous post from yesterday @ December 22, 2007 4:24 PM, which I have accepted as more or less accurate with the exception that it does not address the charge that the entire so called “State of Israel” is a war criminal entity because of its water policy toward the Palestinians.

It does not address the serious war criminal charges raised by Israel’s own B’Tselem human rights organization, which considers Israel’s water policy to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”.

Since you and William apparently support this illegal travesty of a policy, you must admit that you are both hypocrites of the highest order and are squarely in the racist anti-Semite camp of which you are so fond of accusing others.

Alan:

Rick

Israel is abiding by Arafat’s signed water agreement from 1995. The West Bank receives what they are supposed to receive. And it’s more than they ever got when Jordan was running things. I believe the Road Map starts with a cessation of violence and terrorism on the part of the Palestinians. Borders and water rights deals get struck later. By the way, the road map isn’t written by the US (it also involves the UN, the EU, and Russia) so you don’t need to be concerned about unfairness that could arise due to nefarious American Jewish lobbyers.

At this time, the Palestinians prefer terrorism by a wide enough margin to have elected Hamas, the nice folks who bring you Mickey Mouse cartoons that vilify Jews, as well as erect billboards with angelic posters of “martyrs’ who have intentionally murdered children.

Once the Palestinians discard state sponsored racism and terrorism, they will have their own country, supported by the world, and will be given enough water and money to improve their lives. Unfortunately, William’s concept of humiliation driving the Palestinians seems accurate. To paraphrase, he states that many of them are driven more by their humiliation at losing wars to Jews than by a desire to improve their own economic success. They, not the Israelis, are responsible for their conditions. You might want to stop blaming the Jews until after the Palestinians have found their Martin Luther King. If they do find one, Israel will gladly leave the West Bank.

Now for Apartheid. I already mentioned that Arabs vote, attend university, and can join the military if they want to. They don’t have to live in separate cities. Check out the Arab population of Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. As for representation in parliament, did it ever occur to you that not every Arab votes for an Arabic party? Did you know that Mexican Americans make up a much larger proportion of the US than can be found in Congress? Is the US not giving Mexican Americans fair representation? Do all blacks vote for black candidates and Mexicans for Mexican candidates?

How about that first cabinet minister you mentioned? In the US, we just recently saw the first black secretary of defense and secretary of state. Is America apartheid? I notice that Black people tend to live in Detroit and whites have moved to the suburbs. Is this apartheid? There are no laws against white people living in projects in Detroit. Or blacks living in the nice suburbs. Yet this separation often exists.

I already told you that the Arab couple, if there is an injustice, will have their day in court. You seem to ignore that point, namely, that there is legal recourse when discrimination occurs. How’s the legal recourse in Saudi Arabia for rape victims? How come all the Jews fled Arab countries in the last 60 years? Do you think the courts are nice to Jews in Arabic countries?

As for schools, I already refuted your points by showing you that Arab schools have 22% of the population and 18.4% of the resources. I gave you an example that it costs less to run a school in Mississipi than in New York City. Similarly, it probably costs less to run a school in smaller Arab villages than in Tel Aviv, where rents are high and people make more money.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

More from B’Tselem on International Law relative to water rights:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/International_Law.asp

International law on water

In examining international law, it is necessary to distinguish between Israel's obligations as an occupying state to the population under its control on one hand, and the use of water sources shared by Israel and the Palestinians, which are considered international waters, on the other.

A. Administration of the water sector in occupied territory

1. Prohibition on altering legislation

Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits an occupying state from changing the legislation in effect prior to occupation. The military orders that Israel issued regarding the water resources and the supply of water in the Occupied Territories significantly changed the legal and institutional structure of the water sector. The water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources.

2. Illegal utilization of water resources

Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of occupying states to utilize the water sources of occupied territory. The use is limited to military needs and may not exceed past use. Use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements does not meet these criteria and therefore breaches article 55.

3. Discrimination between Palestinians and Israeli Settlers

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory. The quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians. Similarly, the regularity of supply is much greater in the settlements. This discrimination is especially blatant during the summer months when the supply to Palestinians in some areas of the West Bank is reduced in order to meet the increased demand for water in the settlements receiving their water from the same pipelines.

B. Utilization of shared international water sources

Under international law, the main principle for division of shared water between states is the principle of equitable and reasonable use. This principle is based on the limited-sovereignty doctrine, which provides that, because all parts of the drainage basins of watercourses are hydrologically interdependent, states are not allowed to utilize water located in their territory as they wish, but must take into account the other states that share the resource.

This principle does not state a precise formula quantifying the rights of each state sharing an international watercourse. Rather, it lists the factors to be considered in negotiations between the states to determine the division. Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses enumerates seven of these factors:

1. The natural features of the shared watercourse (geographic, climatic, hydrologic, and the like);

2. The social and economic needs of the watercourse states;

3. The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse state;

4. The effects of the use of the watercourses in one watercourse state on other watercourse states;

5. Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;

Conservation, protection, and development of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;

The availability of alternatives to a particular planned or existing use.

Taking into account the components of the principle of equitable and reasonable use, examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is an article from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/Without_Running_Water.asp

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

See, even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is the water agreement, it was under Oslo 2:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/Oslo_Accords.asp

Water issues under the Oslo Accords

"The interim agreement that Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed in September 1995 (Oslo 2) includes the most updated understanding on water that has been reached in the peace process framework…

The point of departure for the understanding on division of water from the shared sources is that the quantity of water that Israel consumes, both within the Green Line and in the settlements, will not be reduced…This means that almost every addition of water to the Palestinians under this agreement must come from the Eastern Aquifer of the West Bank, which, according to the agreement itself, is the only source that had not been fully utilized prior to signing of the agreement.

In the Oslo Accords, Israel recognized that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank comprise one territorial unit. However, the Interim Agreement stipulates that, regarding water resources, the Gaza Strip will constitute a separate water sector. Other than the small quantity that Israel undertook to sell, residents of the Gaza Strip will have to meet their needs solely from resources located within its borders, i.e., they are not allowed to obtain water from the West Bank…As a result, the severance of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank continued, further damaging the Gaza Aquifer because of the necessity to continue the over-extraction.

Pursuant to the Interim Agreement, the parties established the Joint Water Committee (JWC), the body charged with approving every new water and sewage project in the West Bank. The JWC is comprised of an equal number of representatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. All its decisions are made by consensus, and no mechanism is established to settle disputes where a consensus cannot be attained. This method of decision-making means that Israel is able to veto any request by the Palestinian representatives to drill a new well to obtain the additions stipulated in the agreement.
Israel's control of extraction of water from the shared aquifers is not limited to its veto power in the JWC over new drillings. If a well approved by the JWC is situated in Area C, which is under Israel's complete control, the High Planning Committee of the Civil Administration must also approve the project."

In any case, the 5 year time period of this interim agreement has expired; but it sounds like the Israelis are treating it as still valid.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Here is an article on the Oslo Accords:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo_peace_process

“The Accords were finalized in Oslo, Norway on August 20, 1993, and subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993, with Mahmoud Abbas signing for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Shimon Peres signing for the State of Israel. It was witnessed by Warren Christopher for the United States and Andrei Kozyrev for Russia, in the presence of US President Bill Clinton and Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with the PLO's Chairman Yasser Arafat.”

I don’t find a reference to an interim water agreement signed by Arafat. If you have one, please provide it.

“It was anticipated that this arrangement would last for a five year interim period during which a permanent agreement would be negotiated (beginning no later than May 1996).”

Since this interim period has long passed, I would expect that any interim agreement would be null and void anyway.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Good post, those were very effective rebuttals to most of my arguments and I must accept all but two:

1. “Israel is abiding by Arafat’s signed water agreement from 1995. The West Bank receives what they are supposed to receive.”

That is still a racist anti-Semite remark. Millions of Palestinians are not getting the daily minimum required to maintain good health, while the Zionist invaders are consuming 5 times as much.

“And it’s more than they ever got when Jordan was running things.”

That is an outright prevarication unless you can show that the Jordanians prevented the Palestinians from drilling wells as do the Israelis.

Here is what the Zionist invasion and land theft has meant in terms of the drain on the region’s most precious resource:

In one day Israel National Water Carrier delivers the volume of water used in all of 1948, but it is not enough.

http://www.mideastweb.org/nutshell.htm

2. “Once the Palestinians discard state sponsored racism and terrorism, they will have their own country, supported by the world, and will be given enough water and money to improve their lives.”

Once the Israelis discard state sponsored racism and terrorism and vacate their stolen land, the Palestinians will have their own country, the pre-1947 Palestine supported by the world, and will have enough water and money to improve their lives.

Alan:

Rick

Israel is abiding by Arafat’s signed water agreement from 1995. The West Bank receives what they are supposed to receive. And it’s more than they ever got when Jordan was running things. I believe the Road Map starts with a cessation of violence and terrorism on the part of the Palestinians. Borders and water rights deals get struck later. By the way, the road map isn’t written by the US (it also involves the UN, the EU, and Russia) so you don’t need to be concerned about unfairness that could arise due to nefarious American Jewish lobbyers.

At this time, the Palestinians prefer terrorism by a wide enough margin to have elected Hamas, the nice folks who bring you Mickey Mouse cartoons that vilify Jews, as well as erect billboards with angelic posters of “martyrs’ who have intentionally murdered children.

Once the Palestinians discard state sponsored racism and terrorism, they will have their own country, supported by the world, and will be given enough water and money to improve their lives. Unfortunately, William’s concept of humiliation driving the Palestinians seems accurate. To paraphrase, he states that many of them are driven more by their humiliation at losing wars to Jews than by a desire to improve their own economic success. They, not the Israelis, are responsible for their conditions. You might want to stop blaming the Jews until after the Palestinians have found their Martin Luther King. If they do find one, Israel will gladly leave the West Bank.

Now for Apartheid. I already mentioned that Arabs vote, attend university, and can join the military if they want to. They don’t have to live in separate cities. Check out the Arab population of Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. As for representation in parliament, did it ever occur to you that not every Arab votes for an Arabic party? Did you know that Mexican Americans make up a much larger proportion of the US than can be found in Congress? Is the US not giving Mexican Americans fair representation? Do all blacks vote for black candidates and Mexicans for Mexican candidates?

How about that first cabinet minister you mentioned? In the US, we just recently saw the first black secretary of defense and secretary of state. Is America apartheid? I notice that Black people tend to live in Detroit and whites have moved to the suburbs. Is this apartheid? There are no laws against white people living in projects in Detroit. Or blacks living in the nice suburbs. Yet this separation often exists.

I already told you that the Arab couple, if there is an injustice, will have their day in court. You seem to ignore that point, namely, that there is legal recourse when discrimination occurs. How’s the legal recourse in Saudi Arabia for rape victims? How come all the Jews fled Arab countries in the last 60 years? Do you think the courts are nice to Jews in Arabic countries?

As for schools, I already refuted your points by showing you that Arab schools have 22% of the population and 18.4% of the resources. I gave you an example that it costs less to run a school in Mississipi than in New York City. Similarly, it probably costs less to run a school in smaller Arab villages than in Tel Aviv, where rents are high and people make more money.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“What you can’t refute about the water rights is that Yassir Arafat signed the water agreement in 1995. It is being followed to the letter. You also can’t deny that The West Bank gets more water than they did when Jordan was running things.”

Is this the agreement that you are talking about:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5037.html

“Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank's water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.

The new plans call for seawater to be desalinated at Caesaria on the Mediterranean coast, and then pumped into the West Bank, where a network of pipes will deliver it to large towns and many of the 250 villages that currently rely on local springs and small wells for their water.

Israel, which wants the US to fund the project, would guarantee safe passage of the water across its territory in return for an agreement that Israel can continue to take the lion's share of the waters of the West Bank. These mainly comprise underground reserves such as the western aquifer, the region's largest, cleanest and most reliable water source.”

If Arafat signed that he was an idiot; and if it is fine with you, that the Palestinian people don’t have enough water to maintain healthy living conditions, then you prove yourself to be a racist anti-Semite yet once again.

By the way, why don’t the Israelis build a desalination plant for themselves, and leave “the underground reserves such as the western aquifer, the region's largest, cleanest and most reliable water source” to the West Bank Palestinians, the rightful owners.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“I close with my second to last paragraph in my last post because you never addressed it. You called Israel and apartheid state so I responded with the following: “You can find injustices in Israel, but they are not apartheid. Arabs can vote (which you obviously knew but didn’t admit), become elected to parliament (which you also knew but didn’t admit), and are protected by law from injustices that occur in any society. There are no signs at swimming pools or bathrooms stating “Arabs not allowed”. Your use of the term Apartheid is invalid. Compared to the rest of the Middle East, Israel is a beacon of light. Try being Jewish in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria or Lebanon.”

I have addressed this Red Herring on at least three different occasions as repeated below. My question was relative to whether Muslims were fully represented in the Israeli government in proportion to their portion of the population. I had heard that they were not, and indeed I was right. As shown by the post on December 17, the Israeli Parliament just recently approved its first Muslim minister. Also, the Palestinians, with 20% of the population have only 10% of the members of Parliament.

I had also heard that Muslims were not drafted into military service, and wondered if they were free to serve if they wished. According to the post from December 21, they are excluded from military service except for a relatively small Druze population. They also live in segregated communities, go to segregated schools, and receive fewer than their share of resources.

So the so called “State of Israel” is indeed a segregated apartheid system.

@ December 15, 2007 9:42 AM: “Vic is arguing for a secular (non-Jewish) state solution for Israel. How surprising! What does this mean? Does this mean there is no limit on the proportion of Muslim citizens? Can Muslims serve in the military, and at any level in the parliament? Please come back and elaborate”

@ December 17, 2007 1:51 PM: I was aware that they could vote, but I doubted that they (20% of the population) had fair representation in the apartheid Zionist government, and I was right.

Here is a link that I have uncovered thus far:

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/210/story_21070_1.html

“Israeli Parliament Set to Approve Appointment of First Muslim Minister...

@ December 21, 2007 5:26 PM: “Here is a good article that appeared on the WP front page day before yesterday and describes some of the discriminatory practices of the
apartheid “State of Israel”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902681.html

For Israel's Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion

Here is a young, just married Palestinian couple Fatina and Ahmad Zubeidat, Arab citizens of Israel, who want to rent in Rakefet, a nearby town where 150 Jewish families live on state land close to the mall project Ahmad is building. After months of interviews and testing, the town's admission committee rejected the Arab couple on the grounds of "social incompatibility."...

Arabs and Jews study in separate schools in Israel -- the Arab system receives fewer resources…

Except for a relatively small Druze population, Arabs are excluded also from military service mandatory for all but ultra-Orthodox Jews, an essential shared experience of Israeli life and a traditional training ground for future political leaders…”

Alan:

Rick

You speak of who is pumping which amount of water to where in the West Bank. I’m not a water pumping expert, so I’ll defer to your “expertise”. What you can’t refute about the water rights is that Yassir Arafat signed the water agreement in 1995. It is being followed to the letter. You also can’t deny that The West Bank gets more water than they did when Jordan was running things.

You accuse me of being racist--where do you get that idea? Also, I couldn’t find the quote “that’s fine with me” in my last post. I believe the quote was “If the amount of water was good enough for Yassir Arafat, it’s good enough for me.” I still stand by it. Do you think Arafat was hoodwinked and bamboozled? He never seemed like that sort of guy to me.

From your last post, we now know that Arabs didn’t like Jewish immigration in the 1800’s and early part of the 1900’s. All of those immigrant haters are dead. The Palestinians should deal with the fact that they will end up on 85% of the land that Britain administered until 1949 and the Jews will end up on 15%. But the Palestinians can’t deal with that fact because the state next to them would have the ‘zionist invaders’ as you call them.

I close with my second to last paragraph in my last post because you never addressed it. You called Israel and apartheid state so I responded with the following: “You can find injustices in Israel, but they are not apartheid. Arabs can vote (which you obviously knew but didn’t admit), become elected to parliament (which you also knew but didn’t admit), and are protected by law from injustices that occur in any society. There are no signs at swimming pools or bathrooms stating “Arabs not allowed”. Your use of the term Apartheid is invalid. Compared to the rest of the Middle East, Israel is a beacon of light. Try being Jewish in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria or Lebanon.”

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“They also give the West Bankers more water than the Jordanians ever did before the Israelis took over the administration.”

Did the Jordanians ever pump 80% of the water from the West Bank Mountain Aquifers to supply the citizens of Jordan while forbidding the Palestinians to dig wells? Did they do this even though the average Palestinian only has 50% of what WHO and USAID consider the minimum necessary to maintain health, and in some cases only 7% of the minimum required daily allowance? If so, please provide your reference to support this. Please exclude reference to your Jewish Virtual Library propaganda.

And you say this is “fine with me”. Don’t you think that your racist anti-Semitism is showing again?

“After legal Jewish immigration based on land and home purchases, the Arabs rioted and attacked in order to “drive the Jews into the Sea”. I guess they don't like immigrants too much.”

They like having their country over run by immigrants about as much as we do, and rightly so. There was no “legal immigration” because the local native population was opposed to it. The corrupt imperialists who allowed it did not represent the people.

http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/concepts/d2.html

Under Ottoman Rule 1882 - 1917

From the beginning Jewish settlement met with opposition from the local Arabs. While at most times this opposition was dormant, there were many instances when it was expressed publicly, taking the form of sporadic attacks, usurpation of lands and the like…

In 1891, nine years after the beginning of the first aliyah, the first sign of political opposition to Zionism made its appearance. Arab notables from Jerusalem called upon the Ottoman administration to prohibit the immigration of and the sale of land to Jews. This request was repeated time and again…

One of the most important results of the Young Turks revolt in 1908, which brought to the fore new rulers, was the rise of Arab nationalism.

The Arab national movement developed mostly in Syria, Lebanon and the Land of Israel, where Arab newspapers were founded and engaged in systematic incitement against Jewish immigration and settlement.

In Constantinople, the Arab members of parliament denounced Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and described the Zionist Movement as a danger to the Ottoman Empire.

Anti-Jewish riots in 1920 and in 1921

In March 1920 anti-Jewish riots broke out in Jerusalem ("Bloody Passover"). The British military authorities gave the Arabs a free hand, while arresting the Jewish defenders, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, who were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

Alan:

Rick:

So the Ottoman Empire, the British Government and the Israeli Government administered 85% of the land for 500 years. And you still blame every single Jew in Israel for stealing all of the land from Palestinian landowners. We’ve come to an impasse. Thank goodness that most lurkers reading this would agree with me that you can’t blame every single Israeli for the actions of successive governments that have controlled the land for 500 years. I made the point that the Jews don’t blame German teenagers for the actions of their complicit Great Grandparents. The Palestinians have no right to kill Israeli children for their Great Grandparents actions, or according to the 85% number above, inactions. Do you still think every Israeli is a “Zionist Invader”? I know the answer to this rhetorical question but some lurkers might not.


The fact that you still think every Israeli teenager is fair game for Palestinian terrorism is a good thing for my side because people see who you really are.


You ask: “How does the fact that the distant capital of the Ottoman Empire exerted administrative control over the region for 400 years give Britain and the USA authority to displace the native population and supplant it with the Zionist invaders? And why should we want to do so?” The Ottomans, the Brits and the Jews didn’t displace anyone. After legal Jewish immigration based on land and home purchases, the Arabs rioted and attacked in order to “drive the Jews into the Sea”. I guess they don't like immigrants too much. Many Palestinians fled. There was an exchange of 400,000 Jews fleeing Arab countries for 400,000 Palestinians who left Israel. It’s a wash. The Jordanians and Lebanese should have settled those people the same way Pakistan settled a huge migration of Muslims from India in the late 1940’s.

RE--Your WHO water argument. The Palestinians need more water. I agree it’s unfair that Israeli settlers get more water than Palestinians. But the fact is that the Israelis have observed the interim agreement that Yassir Arafat signed and approved. They also give the West Bankers more water than the Jordanians ever did before the Israelis took over the administration. Again, we’re at an impass, but I am happy and confident to report that most normal folks will side with me again on this one: If the amount of water was good enough for Yassir Arafat, it’s good enough for me.

I agree that the couple in the article you’ve mentioned is being treated unfairly and expect the Israeli courts to come to that conclusion. This beats the Saudi Courts, which issues lashings to rape victims. Or the Jordanian courts, which only recently started punishing the perpetrators of “honor killings”, where it’s OK to kill your sister or daughter if she dates the wrong guy.

You can find injustices in Israel, but they are not apartheid. Arabs can vote (which you obviously knew but didn’t admit), become elected to parliament (which you also knew but didn’t admit), and are protected by law from injustices that occur in any society. There are no signs at swimming pools or bathrooms stating “Arabs not allowed”. Your use of the term Apartheid is invalid. Compared to the rest of the Middle East, Israel is a beacon of light. Try being Jewish in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria or Lebanon.

Keep up your good search for more reasons to label all Israeli Jews as Zionist Invaders and to suggest they deserve the terrorism that the Palestinians and Hezbollah inflict upon them.

Simple: What do you think of Rick? You never answered my questions about Kuwait. I know you've got Christmas plans, but I'm anxious.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“…you should note that in 1995 Arafat and Rabin agreed to something called the interim agreement. Here's another quote: "Israel has fulfilled all of her obligations under the Interim Agreement. The water quota agreed upon, and more, is being supplied.”

Here is an article from the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington D.C. to refute your Jewish Virtual Library propaganda.

Note that according to both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), a minimum of 100 liters a day per capita are needed for balanced and healthy domestic consumption in rural households. According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, the Zionists allocate more than three times this amount (350 liters/day) and about 5 times the amount that the Palestinians receive (35-80 liters/day).

http://www.fmep.org/analysis/articles/water_policy_maher.html

“The Mountain Aquifer underlying, for the most part, the West Bank, provides approximately 30% of Israel’s water supply. It supplies Israel’s growing settlements as well as its military infrastructure in the West Bank, and a substantial amount is redirected to the state of Israel proper. In terms of groundwater obtained, Israel “receives 79% of the Mountain Aquifer and the Palestinians 21%.”

The discrepancy in comparative usage and consumption is glaring…And Palestinian residents continue to be denied access to surface water from the Lower Jordan River. As a result of this lopsided water usage, water consumption levels are reaching dangerously low levels in certain Palestinian areas.

According to recommended standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), a minimum of 100 liters a day per capita are needed for balanced and healthy domestic consumption in rural households. In contrast, B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, documents that Israeli per capita consumption of water already reaches 350 l/day, about five-times Palestinian consumption. Per capita consumption of water in Israeli settlements, most of which are strategically located directly above main water extraction sources, can reach even higher levels, estimated at “seven-fold” the Palestinian consumption rate. In contrast, Palestinian consumption rates per capita vary between 35-80 l/c/d , well below WHO and USAID recommendations, and in some communities, water consumption can dip to as low as 7 l/c/d under certain conditions.”

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“Government land can be leased by anyone, regardless of race, religion or sex. All Arab citizens of Israel are eligible to lease government land.”

Here is a good article that appeared on the WP front page day before yesterday and describes some of the discriminatory practices of the apartheid “State of Israel”. I’m sure that you will enjoy it and find it enlightening.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902681.html

For Israel's Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion

Here is a young, just married Palestinian couple Fatina and Ahmad Zubeidat, Arab citizens of Israel, who want to rent in Rakefet, a nearby town where 150 Jewish families live on state land close to the mall project Ahmad is building. After months of interviews and testing, the town's admission committee rejected the Arab couple on the grounds of "social incompatibility."...

They petitioned Israel's high court to end such screening, claiming discrimination, a charge town officials are challenging.

"We can't just be good citizens," said Fatina, 27, who is expecting the couple's first child. "If they won't develop our villages, then we will choose where we want to live. The problem lies not with us, but with Jewish society that does not accept the other."

With most of Israel's land controlled by a government agency, Israeli Arabs have long had more trouble acquiring property than Jews, who outnumber them five to one in a population of about 6.5 million people. In response, Arab lawmakers joined a Jewish parliamentary majority this year in endorsing the construction of a new Arab city in the Galilee, where demographic rivalry and ethnic separation are most pronounced. Arabs say it will be the first city built on their behalf since the state's founding...

Arabs and Jews study in separate schools in Israel -- the Arab system receives fewer resources…

Except for a relatively small Druze population, Arabs are excluded also from military service mandatory for all but ultra-Orthodox Jews, an essential shared experience of Israeli life and a traditional training ground for future political leaders…

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

“Newsflash--The Ottoman Empire took control of this land in the 1600's”...

So, does this have some significance to your argument?

“The context of this argument is that every Jew in Israel is a "zionist invader" because nearly every Jew lives on stolen land or in stolen houses. Since the Turks were in control of 85% or so of the land for 400 years, your argument is shot…

How so? How does the fact that the distant capital of the Ottoman Empire exerted administrative control over the region for 400 years give Britain and the USA authority to displace the native population and supplant it with the Zionist invaders? And why should we want to do so?

Alan:

Rick

So you agree that the Israeli government administers most of the land formerly administered by The Ottoman Empire. Newsflash--The Ottoman Empire took control of this land in the 1600's. Sorry, Bud, but your argument is looking more and more ridiculous.

The context of this argument is that every Jew in Israel is a "zionist invader" because nearly every Jew lives on stolen land or in stolen houses. Since the Turks were in control of 85% or so of the land for 400 years, your argument is shot. Your obsessions with the Jews are duly noted.

Wasn't it you who pointed to legitimacy for missile launches into cities because the "zionist invaders" live in those cities?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

From another site for the Lurkers:

Alan:

“You're ignoring my first paragraph in the last post. How come?”

Here it is:

“I still don't get it. To summarize, the Ottoman Empire owned 83% of the land and the Israeli government administers it now. How does that land belong to the Palestinians? It was government "owned" before and remains government owned, probably for a hell of a long time. I think that the Ottoman Empire was around for a while. When did the Turks first appropriate the land from the Palestinians?”

The reason that I ignored this is that it has been answered so many times that I don’t figure that it will be productive to answer it once again; but here goes anyway:

Just because “Johnny did it” doesn’t mean that it’s OK for you to do it. Didn’t your mother tell you that when you were younger. I’ll bet she did, many times, I can hear her now.

Just because the Jews stole the publicly (Government) and privately owned land, from the Canaanites and Philistines 15 millennia ago, then the Romans stole it from the Jews 2 millennia ago, then the Ottomans stole it from the Romans, then the Brits stole it from the Ottomans and gave it to the Jews, doesn’t mean that it legally belongs to the Jews. It belongs to the Palestinians (and a small number of Jews, ~2% of the total population) whose ancestors have lived on the land, farmed it, and tended their flocks and orchards for possibly more than 15 millennia, and at least for many centuries.

Now, do you get it yet? I didn’t think so.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

From another site:

“What percent of the land and homes formerly occupied by Palestinians was taken over by other Palestinians? Remember my point about Palestinians living in Palestinian villages. When they left, how many of their homes were taken over by their neighbors?”

Why should we assume that the current Palestinian land owners with only 3.25% of the land “took over” their neighbors’ land? Isn’t that a bit of a stretch? Isn’t it far more likely that the 5 Million Zionist invaders who now hold 96.75% of the land took over the refugees’ land? Aren’t you allowing your racism and anti-Semitism to show a bit?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Allan:

“Your math doesn’t add up. There was a lot of dead space in what is now Israel that wasn’t occupied. Why don’t you find out how much land was in fact owned by the Palestinians, many of whom are still in Israel.”

Well, the JNF has purchased 13.1%, the Zionists have purchased 3.25%, the Palestinians who live in Israel have purchased 3.25% and the Israeli government has 80.4% that it inherited from the British Mandate. This 80.4% was Ottoman Empire government land, so belonged to (and still belongs to) the Palestinian people. The Palestinians who live in Israel and the refugees thus own 83.6% of the “State of Israel”; while the Zionists and JNF own the remaining 16.4% (3.25 + 13.1%).

Alan again:

“By the way, I never said the Jews bought 95% of the land. I was just asking you for argument’s sake if you would change your opinion if I could prove this fact to you. Interesting that you wouldn’t answer that question.”

It is pretty hard to take such a question seriously when we know that 83.6% of the land actually belongs to the Palestinians and only 16.4% belongs to the Zionists. But if 95% of the Zionists had actually purchased their homes and land like normal people, then no one would have a reason to consider them Zionist invaders and land thieves. Your hypothetical 16 year old girl surfing on the beach in Tel Aviv would then be no different than a 16 year old girl surfing on the beach in the French Riviera, and would not have a care in the world.

However, since this is clearly not the case, if this hypothetical 16 year old girl surfing in Tel Aviv happens to encounter a randomly fired Katyusha rocket, or suicide bomber; then that is a very unfortunate incident, for which we can thank the Zionist invaders and land thieves who occupy 80.4% of the so called “State of Israel”.

Alan:

You're analysis can't be argued against, but I'm still not sure I agree with it. Your comparison with Canada seems reasonable, although they have a 200 year history and the West Bankers have a 40 year old history. I hope you are wrong, because the only possible solution is a two state solution and the West Bank is pretty small to be isolated from Jordan. Let's hope the combining of East and West Germany can provide an example of people who were more separated than the Palestinians in Jordan and the West Bank. As for Gaza, it has been isolated for years, even when Egypt ran the place.

When you read about Kuwait and you see things like "the Jews started WWI and WWII in Hamas' charter", do you still think it's unreasonable for Jews to feel that there is alot of anti-Semitism out there which often is manifested as anti-Zionism? I'm not saying anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism. I just think that for alot of "anti-Zionists", the two are interlinked.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

I did make a math error didn’t I; in order for Mexican immigrants to make up 50% of the USA population, we would need 300 Million to immigrate, not 150 Million to double our population of 300 Million. Unfortunately, the total population of Mexico is only 108,700,891. So we would have to allow the entire population of Mexico, plus Central and South America to immigrate except for Brazil, in order to have a comparable effect to the Palestinian immigration on Jordan. We would only allow 7,698,909 of the total 187,550, 726 Brazilian population to enter the country.

Mexico 108,700,891
Belize 301,000
El Salvador 7,002,000
Guatemala 14,076,000
Honduras 7,405,000
Nicaragua 5,912,000
Panama 3,284,000
Venezuela 25,375,281
Columbia 42,954,279
Ecuador 13,363,593
Peru 27,925,628
Bolivia 8,857,870
Paraguay 6,347,884
Chile 15,980,912
Uruguay 3,414,912
Guyana 765,283
Suriname 438,144
French Guiana 195,506
South Georgia 0
South Sandwich Is. 0
Brazil 7,698,809

Total 300,000,000

Simple Observer:

Alan:

I have not had the chance to read up about Kuwait. I do intend to, but time does not allow for it just now. My family will be celebrating Christmas next week and preparations are taking an inordinate amount of my time.

The quote by Zahir Muhsein is similar or a repeat of quotes posted by William before. Unfortunately, it does not include a historic context. If it is a 40 year old quote, I might be inclined to agree with it. I don’t think it applies today. There may well be a feeling of Arab unity, but I don’t get the feeling from news reports and other sources that it is universally shared throughout the region. I don’t, for instance, believe that Jordanians see themselves as Syrians or Saudis. These political entities have forged a national identity for their people just as being born an Israeli has. There may be many issues that they agree on, but I don’t think there is currently a movement or feeling that is leading in the direction of a Pan-Arab nation. Frankly, indications are that there is way too much tribalism among the Arabs for that to happen at this time. Additionally, after decades of dealing with Palestinian political entities, it seems unrealistic to claim that they are not a distinct group by now.

In regards to the identity of West Bankers, I don’t see why you are having such difficulty understanding the concept. You yourself have said that Israelis no longer see themselves as German or Iraqi, but as Israelis because the were born there and share the same national experience. It separates them from that of their recent ancestral homes. The same can be said of those Palestinians in the West Bank.

I never suggested that those living in the West Bank would not “Get along” with their Jordanian cousins, but I still believe that there will be a separate identity because of a shared experience in the Occupied Territories that is not duplicated by life inside Jordan. Jordanian Palestinians don’t deal with Israeli security, and are not subject to military incursion by the Israeli army. The Jordanians are not affected by Israeli Settlements, movement and employment restrictions, or controls on economic activity. I can name plenty of things that happen or are experienced in the Occupied Territories that are not part of Jordanian life. That shared experience molds attitudes and identities more than media and products do. Canadians living along the border with the U.S. watch U.S. TV, drive American cars, and until recently shopped in U.S. stores. They don’t however think of themselves as Americans. We joke about it, but Canadians have a different health care system, a different form of government, and a different education system. They may enjoy some of the benefits of our society, but they won’t identify themselves as Americans because they aren’t. They are Canadian. Living close to Jordan and having a similar history does provide them with very similar identities, but 40 years of an exclusive experience by those in the Occupied Territories can only lead to a separate identity. Look at Central or South America. If there was a population that shared a language, religion, and history, it’s them. They aren’t however one people. Columbians and Venezuelans see themselves as distinct. Don’t call a Salvadoran a Mexican unless you wish to insult him. I believe it is the same principal. 40 years and 3 or more generations are plenty to mold a new identity. Apparently it takes even less for Israeli immigrants.

Alan:

In Lebanon, Israel was less heavy handed than any country would have been had terrorists aimed at their destruction rained missiles upon their cities. Your argument focuses on buildings in Beirut. We can argue block by block about which bombings were justified but it would be a waist of time. Israel could easily have killed tens of thousands, but didn’t. They gave notice before bombing and it probably cost them in military objectives. If your argument is that they were trying to kill civilians, we both know they could have killed many more if they wanted to. My point--they didn’t want to. Their message was, send 5000 Iranian missiles to our cities and you’re going to pay for it. What would any country have done in that situation? Are they a pariah because of their actions? Not in my book. Hezbollah is the evil entity, not Israel.

I would still like to ask you what proof you have that West Bankers and Jordanians are much different people. Or that West Bankers now have a “West Bank Identity”. Israelis who have been living there for four generations have no identity as Germans or Iraqi or Egyptian, because they are now Israeli. The West Bank Palestinians watch Jordanian TV, purchase Jordanian music, read Jordanian books, and converse with Jordanians with undetectable accents. Jordan is 50% Palestinian. The West Bank and Jordanian Palestinians probably get along just fine, unless you have evidence that proves otherwise. So far, not much evidence.

What do you think about the quote from Zhir Muhsein in William’s post?

Ever read up on Kuwait?

If Begin killed innocent people (including children) intentionally in a marketplace, he was scum. But I still haven’t seen it in writing.


Rick:

Your math doesn’t add up. There was a lot of dead space in what is now Israel that wasn’t occupied. Why don’t you find out how much land was in fact owned by the Palestinians, many of whom are still in Israel. I would bet that Israeli Arabs are more likely to be living on refugees’ land than Israeli Jews, because Jews and Arabs for the most part didn’t live in the same villages.

Regardless, the point is moot for these reasons: The Jews were attacked, won the war, resettled its 400,000 refugees, and the Jordanians and Lebanese didn’t. The Palestinians will have to somehow deal with the fact that they will live 20 miles from Great Grandpa’s village in the West Bank or Jordan, which together are ten times the size of Israel. Hopefully, the world will look at these two peoples and realize that the Palestinians do not have freedom of the press, are not allowed an opinion other than the popular one that the government holds, honor suicide bombers of buses, celebrate 9/11, fabricate destruction at the hands of the Jews (i.e. the “Jenin Massacre” that never took place), and more.

Last points. We both know what would have happened to the Jews had they ever been overrun. It would have been a lot worse than checkpoints and arrests.

By the way, I never said the Jews bought 95% of the land. I was just asking you for argument’s sake if you would change your opinion if I could prove this fact to you. Interesting that you wouldn’t answer that question.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

William:

“According to the Peel Commission, appointed by the British Government to investigate the cause of the 1936 Arab riots, "the field in which the Jewish National Home was to be established was understood, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, to be the whole of historic Palestine, including Transjordan."

Shucks, I was expecting to get one more jab at you before you retreated from the field of battle. I have recently stumbled across a reference to the Peel Commission Partition of Palestine following the 1936 riots, which amounted to a small fraction of the UN partitioned “State of Israel”; certainly not the whole of the British Mandate.

Aha, here it is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

This site has a map of the Peel Commission Partition proposal. The proposed Israeli portion is tiny indeed by comparison with the “State of Israel” today.

This was followed by the Woodhead Commission which proposed an even smaller Israeli homeland.

“The British response was to set up the Woodhead Commission to "examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan" [3] This Commission declared the Peel Commission partition unworkable (though suggesting a different scheme under which 5% of the land area of Palestine become Israel). The British Government accompanied the publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy rejecting partition as impracticable.”


Simple Observer:

William:

I'm disappointed that you have chosen to throw in the towel. I had considered it myself over the past weeks but felt compelled to address what I see as your own stubborn position.

The Weizmann-Faisal agreement is an interesting injection into the discussion, and one I'll admit I was unaware of, but I still don't believe that there is real evidence of British intention to follow through with the creation of a Jewish State. What became of this agreement, and how did it dissolve into the Great Uprising just 15 years hence?

I would be interested any evidence you could provide that would support the notion of British intent. Nothing that I have seen demonstrated a real effort to create a Jewish Homeland, particularly in light of the immigration policies they enforced. They were particularly known for elitist attitudes towards those they administered, and there seems to be little to suggest that they looked upon the Palestinian Mandate any differently. Why too would they be so supportive of a Jewish homeland while ignoring the nationalist aspirations throughout their Empire, particularly in India?

Finally, Because Might was the primary means of succession of control for the 4000 years before, does not mean it is right or appropriate in the modern world. The League of Nations was founded in part on the notion that all peoples had the right of self-determination. Why was it then OK for the British to ignore that and divide up the region as it felt was expedient? We are no longer thuggish brutes who rule by the sword. Why would you revert to that to serve your own purposes while decrying those who would do the same?


At a minimum, I appreciate you intellect and hope, if you chose not to return, that we will spar again at another time.

Regards and Happy New Year.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Simple:

“It was never my position that the Palestinians living in Jordan do or don’t identify themselves with those living in the West Bank. Frankly, little is written or reported about Palestinians living in Jordan.”

The population of Jordan is ~5.9 Million.

Palestinian refugees in Jordan comprise close to 50% of the total population. Asking Jordan to permanently accept these refugees would be comparable to expecting the USA to accept 150 Million illegal Mexican immigrants. To their credit, they have granted full citizenship to all but 120,000 (7%) who were originally from Gaza and administered by Egypt. Living conditions are particularly squalid for these refugees who are not eligible for Government jobs and do not have the right to vote.

From:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugee

Palestinian refugees by country currently:

Jordan 1,827,877 refugees
Gaza 986,034 refugees
West Bank 699,817 refugees
Syria 432,048 refugees
Lebanon 404,170 refugees
Saudi Arabia 240,000 refugees
Egypt 70,245 refugees

After the 1967 Six-Day war Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank were allowed to apply for passports and live in Jordan. Palestinian refugees living in Jordan were considered full citizens. In July 1988, King Hussein severed ties with the West Bank. From that point on, any person living in the West Bank would have no right to Jordanian citizenship. Entry into Jordan by West Bank Palestinians is time limited, and they are considered tourists. More recently, entry of Palestinians into Jordan has been limited.

In 2002, King Abdullah II of Jordan claimed that Jordanians of Palestinian origin are 40-45% of the total population, although some think that they comprise more than 50% of the population.

And from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugee_camps

There are 10 official camps in Jordan with 304,430 refugees:

1955, Amman New Camp (Wihdat), 49,805
1968, Baqa'a, 80,100
1968, Husn (Martyr Azmi el-Mufti), 19,573
1968, Irbid camp, 23,512
1952, Jabal el-Hussein, 27,674
1968, Jerash camp, 15,696
1968, Marka, 41,237
1967, Souf, 14,911
1968, Talbieh, 4,041
1949, Zarqa camp, 17,344

According to www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/jordan:

All Palestine refugees in Jordan have full Jordanian citizenship with the exception of about 120,000 refugees originally from the Gaza Strip, which up to 1967 was administered by Egypt. They are eligible for temporary Jordanian passports, which do not entitle them to full citizenship rights such as the right to vote and employment with the government.

William, San Antonio:

Alan:

If you are not already familiar it, there is an increasing body of empirical evidence to support the thesis that increased aid to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria only serves to increase their murderous activities. I have believed for some time that funding the “Palestinians” is a bad idea. In a broader, historical context aiding your enemy in the hope of pacifying him has proven a deadly game indeed. But people like Shimon Peres who has been quoted as saying, “I have become totally tired of history, because I feel history is a long misunderstanding” continue the chimera. Not only do his foolish policies (he was an architect of Oslo) continue to cause real harm to his fellow Israelis but they also fail to serve the “Palestinian”. All this falls under the rubric of something that you may also be familiar with, that is: He who is compassionate toward the wicked will in the end be cruel to the righteous.

Also, if you are not familiar with why I italicize the word Palestinian, it is because I subscribe to the views of ex-PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein (thankfully deceased) when he said:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.”

As for those who continue to comment, it I clear that NSSO cannot be moved beyond moral equivalences and that Rick’s objectives are no different from those of Hamas. So, I am going on vacation for a while. You have done well and if for any reason you are in need of future support, I have a “safe” email address, it’s NulesThudd@live.com. The moniker reminds me of how foolish it is to comport with ones foes. Take care.

William, San Antonio:

NSSO:

Since there “there was never any intention to make a homeland a reality…” in your mind and there is nothing that I can do to disabuse you of that notion, I won’t “wave” anything in depth at you. I assumed when I initially responded that nothing I could produce would remedy your misconceptions. Nonetheless here is a bit of history to chew on:


The Weizmann-Faisal Agreement
January 1919

His Royal Highness the Emir FAISAL, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of HEJAZ, AND Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people, and realising that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations, is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

The Arab State and Palestine in all their relations and undertakings shall be controlled by the most cordial goodwill and understanding and to this end Arab and Jewish duly accredited agents shall be established and maintained in their respective territories.

Article II

Immediately following the completion of deliberations of the Peace Conference, the definite boundaries between the Arab State and Palestine shall be determined by a commission to be agreed upon by the parties hereto.

Article III

In the establishment of the Constitution and Administration of Palestine all such measures shall be adopted as will afford the fullest guarantees for carrying into effect the British Government’s Declaration of the 2nd of November, 1917 (Balfour Declaration-SEH).


There are six more articles and a disclaimer from Faisal at the end. The deal was contingent on the formation of an Arab state in Syria, but France refused to recognize Syria's independence. The British eventually designated him King of Iraq and his brother Abdullah was recognized, by those same British, as emir of the region that became known as Transjordan - all in an attempt to assuage Arab sentimentality.

British authority to do so emanated from their victory in World War I and was further formalized by the League of Nations. It must be remembered that it was through the process of imperialistic, aggressive warfare that Arabs came to control these lands in the 7th century and then the Ottomans in the 16th. In the final analysis, the land will be controlled by those with the will to keep it. I’m afraid that Djinni came out of the bottle just after the expulsion from Eden and all of your wishful thinking will not put it back in.

Simple Observer:

Alan:

Here is a link to a list of Irgun attacks in the 1930’s. I will concede that these attacks occurred during the Great Uprising, but I will not accept that there is justification for targeting of civilians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irgun_attacks_during_the_1930s

Lebanon: A significant number of the civilian casualties resulted from the bombing of population centers in Beirut. Because of the limited range of the rockets used by Hezbollah, there is no way that Beirut targets could be considered legitimate for the purpose of halting rocket attacks. Further, The Lebanese Government may have been unable to halt the actions of Hezbollah, but they were in no way supporting them. What justification is there for bombing the Airports and Sea Ports? What purpose was there in attacking roads with refugees fleeing north, away from the fighting? What about the blockade of the ports that kept even humanitarian relief at bay? Bombing inside the zone that was within range of Israeli cities (about 25 miles) is not unreasonable, but striking tightly packed apartment complexes in Beirut is not.

It was never my position that the Palestinians living in Jordan do or don’t identify themselves with those living in the West Bank. Frankly, little is written or reported about Palestinians living in Jordan. I will only state my belief that those who live in the West Bank, and the ones born there in particular, are defined by that residency. Just as you think the Israelis born in Israel feel themselves linked to the land, the residents of the West Bank no longer consider themselves residents of Jordan. Could they live with the Palestinians from Jordan? Probably, but that has little bearing on my basic point. The West Bank was carved out of Jordan 40 years ago. Simply though the shared experience and group history unique to the West Bank residents, they would not identify themselves as anything but Palestinians from the West Bank. The refugees in Jordan may not identify themselves as Jordanians, but their own shred experience provided for their Identity. If they feel like they have a closer kinship with the West Bankers, it would not surprise me. I doubt, though, that they have the same sense of Identity as those who were born in, and grew up in the West Bank.

I will look at the articles about the Kuwait.

Regards

Simple Observer:

William:

Let me start at the bottom. I’m not really sure what you hope I will say. Are you looking for me to support this man’s actions or justify the statements of his father? I see that paragraph quite simply. The bomber was a dedicated radical Islamist (and presumptively an anti-Zionist/Semitic). His father was aware of his son’s activities. I can only assume from his last statement that based on his knowledge of his son’s political and religious leanings, he would have expected his son to be involved in an attack on Jewish targets before an attack on an Arab government. The statement does not make clear the Fathers attitude towards Jews, but I suspect he too is anti-Zionist/Semitic. I have never denied that these sorts of people exist, nor have I suggested that I applaud their actions. They are simply a reality. I’m certain that neither of us would have any trouble in providing plenty of examples of this sort of attitude. The statement would seem to give credence to suggestions regarding Arab honor and its influence on social attitudes. I’m sure I wouldn’t need to look too hard to find examples of equally hateful attitudes by Jews towards Arabs. Look back to the article that started this blog for instance. Where does that get us?

In discussing the Balfour Declaration, I think it simplest to address the last question first since I think it will be the briefest answer of all the points you brought up. I believe that the statement “ or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” would indicate that it was NOT the intention of Balfour to suggest that, were it to create a Jewish Homeland, that the British government further supported the wholesale export of Jews to any newly formed homeland. They are essentially saying that the declaration should not be interpreted as support in any way of persecution against Jewish communities in other countries or their forced relocation.

I agree with you that the discussion of the Balfour Declaration must be taken in the context of European history in the decades before and after the date it was published. There is no doubt that there was wide spread anti-Semitism in Europe in the decades preceding the First World War. The Zionist movement got its start in Austria, and spread in popularity through the Jewish communities of Europe and elsewhere. By the beginning of WW I, it was a recognized movement that had garnered support from some of the Western Powers, particularly in Britain. There was even a letter sent in the 1860s to the Sultan of the Ottoman empire by a future Prime Minister (his name escapes me now) suggesting that the Ottoman Empire would become enriched by encouraging the immigration of Jews to the Holy Land. I haven’t seen any indication, though, that there was ever a truly benign desire to support the Zionist aspirations of their Jewish citizens. Rather, it tended to be an anti-Semitic desire to be rid of the troublesome communities that did not fit well into their Christian oriented societies. There continued to be prejudice and mistrust of Jews and their intentions through and beyond the First World War.

With the onset of WW I, and the entry of the Ottoman Empire on the German/Austrian side, Britain saw the opportunity to gain control of large sections of the Middle East through the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. With the help of the Arab tribes, in exchange for promises of support for Arab Nationalism, the British drove the Ottoman Empire out of modern day Palestine. Balfour’s Declaration was made in 1917, before Allied victory was assured, and without acknowledgement (or perhaps knowledge of) promises made to the Arabs. With the end of hostilities the Versailles Treaty conference was held in Paris January through June of 1919. Ignoring the Arabs, Jews, select indigenous populations asking for autonomy, and Wilson’s 10 points, the British and French divvied up German and Austrian colonial holdings, and divided the Middle East to suit their global aspirations.

Britain joined the League of Nations which gave lip service to many issues including the partition of Palestine, but it must be remembered that Britain was first and foremost an empire. They had no intentions of relinquishing control over any of the areas to which they held sway. In the newly acquired Mandate of Palestine they now held an overland route from the Egypt and the Suez Canal all the way to their Mandate in Iraq. Giving full autonomous control of those regions to either the Arabs or the Zionists could potentially jeopardize those routes and with them the strategic advantage afforded by them.

The Balfour Declaration was, as you pointed out, brief. In its brevity was plenty of ambiguity common to diplomatic language of the time, and perfectly worded to provide the British Empire with an out. It would “use its best endeavors” to “facilitate the achievement” of a Jewish homeland in Palestine (which it of course did not control at the time of the declaration). It is the language that states in part “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine…” that enabled them to ignore the first statement. No where in this brief statement did they say “Christian” communities, and no where in their policies following the Versailles Conference did they take any action that did not immediately benefit the Empire to the exclusion of the rights or claims of other peoples or nations. The strict limits on Jewish immigration during the period of British control further demonstrated their lack of commitment to a Jewish Homeland.

As such, I submit that the Balfour Declaration fails to stand up as justification for the establishment of a Jewish State or any real proof of a commitment by the British Government to support one. Without British cooperation in the mater, the League of Nations had no way of bringing it to fruition. With the violent agitation by groups such as Irgun and Lehi, the British were even less inclined to support the notion of a Jewish homeland lest they (here’s a line for you Alan) surrender to Terrorists. You can wave all of the maps and signed agreements you like, but history bears out my point. There was never any intention to make a homeland a reality, and it only became a reality because of the flood of Jewish immigrants into the region, and the British inability to hold the Empire together, following WW II.

Now, I know that is neither what you expected to see, nor what you wanted to read, but that is my informed opinion. I look forward to your response.

Regards

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Concerning your ridiculous claim that the Jews “may have” purchased 95% of the land of the so called “State of Israel” legally, here is an interesting article from Middle East Quarterly that claims that the true number is 16.4%. So I stand corrected, all Israeli Jews may not be land thieves; only 83.6% of them are:

http://www.meforum.org/article/370

What do you think about them as a source? I’m sure that they are not as unbiased as The Jewish Virtual Library, but they claim to be an honest source of information. Here is what they say about themselves:

“Since its founding in 1994, the Middle East Quarterly has become America's most authoritative journal of Middle Eastern affairs. Policymakers, opinion-makers, academics, and journalists turn first to the Quarterly, for in-depth analysis of the rapidly-changing landscape of the world's most volatile region. The Quarterly publishes groundbreaking studies, exclusive interviews, insightful commentary, and hard-hitting reviews that tackle the entire range of contemporary concerns – from politics to economics to culture, across a region that stretches from Morocco to Afghanistan. The Quarterly, founded by Daniel Pipes and edited by Michael Rubin, appears in a print edition, and is available in full-text (except the current issue) on this website.

The Quarterly welcomes submissions of original articles, and will consider pre-publication of chapters from forthcoming books. The Quarterly specializes in timely and expeditious publication of articles that impact on today's critical issues.”

[I would say that they are about as unreliable as The Jewish Virtual Library given the pro-Israeli slant on the article that follows; nevertheless it will prove useful for our purposes. It will show that in 1901, 8.7% of the current land area of the “State of Israel” had been purchased by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). More than 70% of the remainder was public land vested in the British Mandatory Authority (Meaning that it was owned by the people, and the vast majority of the people were Palestinians).

With the establishment of the “State of Israel” in 1948, the new government inherited the state-owned lands formerly in the possession of British Mandatory authority as well as property abandoned by Arab refugees. The situation today is that 80.4% of the land is owned by the government, 13.1% is owned by the JNF (These lands were never sold, either to Jews or Arabs, but instead were leased on a long—term basis for kibbutzim and other forms of Jewish settlement), and only 6.5% is evenly divided between Arab and Jewish owners. So the 13.1% of land owned by the JNF plus 3.25% privately owned by Jews amounts to a total of 16.4% of the land of the current “State of Israel” that was actually purchased by the Jews; a far sight from your 95% number.]

Alan:

William:

Nice quote from the father. I appreciate irony.

Not So Simple:

Sorry I haven’t answered the big question—I thought I had. So if the Balfour declaration said something along the lines of the rights of the local populace should be intact, then those people should be allowed to vote, attend religious services, keep their home, etc. Notice—the ones who stayed can do all of these things. Once Israel was attacked and the people fled, they lost their rights because they left. Is it fair? No. Is it their fault? No. Should they be recompensated? Yes? Will they be? Hopefully. My guess is that Israel will bring up the point in negotiations that the numbers of Palestinians who fled were roughly equivalent to the number of Jews who fled to Israel after being ethnically cleansed from their homes in the Arab world. I’ll leave this to the academics to figure out. So I agree with you on this one that the former residents of Israel should be recompensated.

Regarding Begin and blowing up marketplaces. If he did do this, he is scum. How’s that for direct? I can’t find it in a reputable website, so if you can point me in that direction, I’d appreciate it. Please avoid any website that also discusses the horrors of the “Jenin massacre”. I’d be shocked that he won the nobel prize and while still supporting terrorism. Maybe he and Arafat had both repudiated terrorism. If so, Arafat resurrected it.

Don’t forget, my point was the Israelis don’t have too many terrorists. It would seem pretty easy for them to kill Palestinians randomly but they don’t, even though the Palestinians enjoy blowing up buses with school children.

As for Kuwait and the Palesinians, here are two links:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-12/13/content_399763.htm

http://gulfwar1991.com/Gulf%20War%20Complete/Chapter%2010,%20Palestinians%20in%20Kuwait,%20Terror%20and%20Ethnic%20Cleansing,%20By%20Hassan%20A%20El-Najjar.htm

Why was there no outcry? Answer: Because Jews weren’t involved. Another proof of my theory that anti-Semitism is still mainstream. Danish cartoon—Big response. Kuwait’s ethnic cleansing and Darfur’s murders---no response in the Arab world. Jews causing traffic jams looking for bombs---big response.

My point has always been that Israel is guilty of a lot, but in the context of facing populations who would like to exterminate them, the Israelis are more benign than other countries but receive disproportionate attention. I believe this attention is often due to anti-Semitism. The entire Muslim block spends its time in the UN drafting resolutions against Israel. The fact that one third of all resolutions that have ever been passed are passed against Israel is a joke. The fact that the UN’s Durban conference became a platform for anti-Semitism is sad and should alert anyone to the fact that the UN can be misused.

So to clarify once again, my point is that you can find ways that Israel acted poorly, but in the context of the heinous crimes committed by others, it is shocking that the world looks at Israel as the principle devil. Sorry, but the Israelis are so much better than Russia, China, Kuwait, Darfur, etc. that it is bizarre how much they are vilified. And the folks who vilify them usually don’t condemn Palestinian atrocities.


As for the bombs that Israel sent from its aircrafts in Lebanon, we both know that they were aimed at terrorist missile launchers targeting Israeli civilian centers. Or at roads and bridges to prevent the terrorists rearming with missiles designed to innacurately target cities. If Israel wanted to kill more southern Lebanese, they wouldn’t have dropped warning slips letting the local population know that the bombs were coming. I would say the Israelis in Southern Lebanon acted better than most countries would if terrorists dedicated to their countries destruction launched 5000 missiles indiscriminately into their country. And don’t forget who started it. Yes, there were only two soldiers kidnapped, but there were several missiles (maybe 400) launched before the kidnapping. If Hezbollah launched even one toward an Israeli city, the Israelis had a right to try to take them all out at their time and choosing. It wasn’t just the two guys who were kidnapped.

You never answered this question from my last post:

“What evidence do you have that Palestinians (who comprise 50% of Jordan) residing in Jordan have different identities than Palestinians in the West Bank? Moreover, are these differences so huge that they can’t live together?”

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

An interesting article in today’s WP on Allen and William’s favorite anti-Semite; i.e. Arab hater brethren:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121301470_pf.html

Churchill's Other Alliance
Why the British leader bucked the anti-Semitism of his time.

Reviewed by Glenn Frankel

Sunday, December 16, 2007; BW04

CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS

A Lifelong Friendship

By Martin Gilbert

Henry Holt. 352 pp. $30

"Even Winston had a fault," Gen. Edward Louis Spears, a dear friend of Winston Churchill, once told historian Martin Gilbert. "He was too fond of Jews."...

Churchill's profound admiration for the Jews, which was not shared by many of his closest political colleagues, was all the more amazing because it survived the rise of Bolshevism, which Churchill abhorred and which he believed was dominated, intellectually and politically, by men and women of Jewish origin. It even survived the turbulent years during and after World War II when Zionist extremists conducted a campaign of political murder against British officials, policemen and soldiers. That campaign reached its nadir with the 1944 assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, Britain's top colonial administrator in the region and one of Churchill's closest friends, and the 1946 bombing of British administration offices at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 people died...
Why did the great man shower his affection on a people that could be, by his own reckoning, so cantankerous and problematic? It was, Gilbert writes, partly because Churchill saw Jewish ethics as the foundation stone for Western moral teachings... [Codswallop!]

It's also the case that Churchill had little use for Muslims... [A true anti-Semite in the tradition of Allan and William]

Churchill was often accused by political opponents and anti-Semites of being in the pocket of wealthy Jews...

Lord Alfred Douglas, the poet and former lover of playwright Oscar Wilde, alleged that Churchill accepted bribes from Jewish financiers during World War I to manipulate wartime information for their financial advantage while he was secretary of the Royal Navy. Douglas was convicted of criminal libel and sentenced to six months in prison. [Let that be a lesson to you, it never pays to speak truth to power.]

William, San Antonio:

NSSO:

You have asked: “What of the line in the Balfour Declaration that referred to not affecting existing communities?” It is a valid question and it deserves a response. It may not be the answer that you are looking for, but it will be accurate.

First, you must understand that the brevity of the document detracts nothing from its importance, for like many foundational records they are terse indeed. Second, The Balfour Declaration must be understood in the context not only of the times in which it was issued but of the decades prior to its inception and the decades after. I am going to give you a very short answer and, depending on your response and how well I believe my time would be served, will reply in as excruciating detail as you wish.

If you look at the declaration you should note that the purpose of the primary clause, “a national home for the Jewish people”, is not meant to be abrogated by the subordinate clause that concerns you. There were many established religious communities, mostly Christian, in the “Holy Land” then and now and this was one concern of the creators of the document. You will also note that what you focus on is concatenated with “or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”. What do you think that strange language means?

You have also asked about “Lebanon” and the “the right of return”, and stated that “the British had no right to allocate land in the Middle East” and that “double standards” are applied when discussing Irgun and Lehi. I know that you did not address me so I won’t give you my views on these matters, but I would very much like your views on this:

Reactions to the December 11, 2007 Algiers attacks killing at least 67 people

"'Abd Al-Rahman Abu 'Abd Al-Nasser Al-'Asimi," who targeted the seat of the Constitutional Council in the Ben Aknoun neighborhood, was a 31-year-old former member of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) whose given name was Larbi Charef. He had received a pardon under the provisions of the National Reconciliation law, and mere days after his release in 2006 joined up with the GSPC. His father, Mouloud Charef, said that his son's action had brought him no honor, and that he didn't understand how he could have blown himself up among Muslims, adding "We are not among Jews, where I could imagine my son doing something like this."

Simple Observer:

Alan:

I am increasingly amazed at your ability to rationalize violence perpetrated by Jews both before and after the creation of Israel while condemning the same sort of violence by others. How many shades of grey are there in your world? Yes, from 1936 – 1939 there existed in the British Mandate of Palestine what is commonly referred to as the “Arab Uprising”. There was a lot of violence between Jews and Arabs, but there is most certainly a difference (even by your reckoning) between defending ones self and family and the “Deliberate Targeting of Civilian” as you wish such acts to be called. Time and again through 1938 and 1939 Begin and the Irgun targeted Arabs by bombing marketplaces killing scores of civilians. I don’t suppose Begin expressed his regret then, and what of it? You would defend such violence as “Defending themselves from riots and wars dedicated to their destruction” but call Palestinians animals and terrorists for doing same thing. You wondered how I could have come to the conclusion that you felt that the Israelis were justified in doing any act because of 2000 years of persecution. Well, this is why. Your ability to apply double standards to conducts seems to have no bounds.

The Palestinian refugees may have left their homes at the urging of the attacking Arab states in 1948, but how does that make it appropriate for them to be denied the right of return? If they fled to avoid the violence, does that mean they forfeited their property rights as well? And what of those who fled in 1967, or those who were forcibly expelled? What of their rights? Were they consulted by the governments to see if they approved of a conflict through their back yard? They were caught in the middle. Now I guess it’s just too bad. Israel controls the land, so you have lost everything. Get over it. Is that what you are trying to suggest?

What does the expulsion of Jews from other countries have to do with those who fled the violence in Israel? Was it wrong to expel the Jews from the Arab countries, but OK to do the same to the Arabs? Maybe you think it is just fair, an eye for an eye for instance. Do you think the Jew or the Arab feels any less abused? Do two rights make a wrong in your world? And what difference does it make if the Jordanians speak the same language and have the same religion? Does that compensate the refugees for the loss of their homes? How selfish are you? Oh, and one more thing, 10% of nothing, is still nothing. The British had no right to allocate land in the Middle East, so it doesn’t matter if it is only 10% of the Mandate. Those who lost their land and livelihoods could care less. They were not given the opportunity of self determination.

Lebanon: I had no intention of mentioning Sheba Farms. As I have posted earlier, I don’t have enough information to have an informed opinion, but just because Kofi Anan “Absolved them” hardly seems as though it will bring an end to the dispute. Once again, though, you try to deflect the actions of Israel by trying to point out that it was no worse than the Russian bombing of Grozny. I’m sure Grozny was a terrible, but I really don’t know enough about it to decide, nor do I care. We aren’t debating what the Russians did. We are debating the justifications for using military force against population areas by Israel in Lebanon in 2006. Am I to understand that for you, it is not predictable that Palestinians in the occupied territories would become radicalized after 40 years, but it is predictable that the Israelis would fly hundreds, if not thousands, of sorties against road systems, airports, and civilian population centers because 2 soldiers were kidnapped? Even if that were the case, what is your response to my question? What justification is there for that level of violence targeted against civilian populations? Are you proposing that the 1000+, mostly innocent Lebanese who died were a fair trade off for the 25+ Israeli civilians and 2 kidnapped soldier?

I can’t provide much of a comment about what you are calling ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Kuwait. Other than your reference to it, I have never heard anything about it. Assuming it happened just the way you suggest, it is terrible, but I wouldn’t know why there wasn’t any protest. I won’t comment on an issue I don’t have reasonable knowledge of. Maybe the reason there continues to be such outcry about Israeli treatment of Palestinians is simple because the Israelis have been illegally occupying the West Bank and Gaza for 40 years. Maybe there are a majority of the world who don’t accept the Israeli justification for their actions. Perhaps the actions of others have no bearing on those of the Israelis. Right or wrong is not relative to what the Russians or Chinese do. They aren’t right either, but it does not detract from what Israel is doing. It is not less wrong for me to throw a rock through my neighbor’s window just because the guy living across the street did the same to his neighbor a week ago. When my neighbor confronts me about it, do you really think he cares about the guy across the street? Because Israeli settlements are in only 5% of the Occupied Territories doesn’t make them any less illegal or unwanted.

When are you going to address my questions? What of the line in the Balfour Declaration that referred to not affecting existing communities? You have avoided the question 3 times? Perhaps acknowledging it eliminates the Balfour Declaration as Justification for the Establishment of Israel. How about the suggestion of your home and livelihood being taken? Did it hit too close to home?

How about trying this; I have stopped using Suicide Bomber. How about you try to justify the actions of Israel without falling back on anti-Semitism and 2000 years of persecution as a crutch.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Scanning the newspapers this morning I see that Paris conferees have pledged $7.4 Billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that an infusion of cash would help the peace process begun by the United States last month in Annapolis, Md.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700210.html

“But some delegates said that pumping money into the West Bank and Gaza Strip would not lead to long-term economic growth or political moderation as long as Israel continued expanding Jewish settlements and imposing a regime of checkpoints and closures that was strangling the Palestinian economy...

"Economic development is the best guarantee of lasting peace and long-term security for Israel," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the conference host...

But it was unclear how much of the $7.4 billion pledged Monday would go to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic group whose forces expelled the Palestinian Authority from the strip in June.

Events that followed the Nov. 27 Annapolis conference contributed to Palestinian resentment here and in the territories leading up to the Paris meeting. A week after both sides pledged to adhere to the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace -- a plan launched in 2003 that calls for Israel to stop settlement activities and for Palestinians to disarm militant groups and boost security -- Israel announced the construction of more than 300 homes on occupied land on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"I'll be eager to implement all our commitments under the road map, and I expect the Israeli side to do the same, comprehensively, and without excuses from our side or theirs," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the delegates. "I expect them to stop all settlement activities, without exceptions."

There is a fat chance that the Zionists will let up on their expansionist settlements and strangle hold on the Palestinian economy. They will prefer to keep their West Bank settlements, hog 80% of the water supply to keep their lawns green and swimming pools full, while denying the Palestinian natives the right to drill wells; even though both the UN and USA agree that the Palestinians are being deprived the minimum amount of water to maintain health.

Some people cannot be lived with; they must be expelled once again from the Middle East.

Alan:

Rick

I would say the Israelis are a lot like us in overcoming racism. Just like the United States finally had a black secretary of state and defense by the year 2000, Israel appointed an Arab Cabinet Minister. This is not a perfect representation but it is a major step in the right direction. Both the US and Israel are becoming more progressive in this regard. Since 10% of the Israeli parliament members are Arabic, I would say the Arabs probably don’t all vote for Arabic members of parliament. Either that, or Israel is manipulating the vote and nobody has ever found out about it. Rick, which do you think is more likely?

After reading your interpretation of 80 year old documents and William’s, I lean toward William because you haven’t rebutted some of his points. However, realistically, even though I’m pretty sure William is correct and you are incorrect, there is a more interesting issue at hand. Specifically, the issue is your absolute certainty that your interpretation of events 80 years ago is definitely correct. The issue is big because in this country, at least, we are taught that you are innocent until proven guilty. You haven’t proven that you are 100% correct because you haven’t refuted each of the facts in William’s arguments. But even if there is a 95% chance that you are correct, which you aren’t , you have no right labeling every Jew in Israel as a ‘Zionist Invader’ living on stolen land. Why? Because of the 5% of the chance that you’re wrong. Your certainty about those events is remarkable considering you didn’t even know Arabs can vote in Israel. If you were wrong about that, you might consider that you could also be wrong about the documents and conferences 80 years ago, or who stole what from whom. Your labeling every Jew in Israel as guilty in stealing land belies your obsession to hold tightly onto your views. Because most of them do not live on stolen land or in stolen homes.

You never answered my accusation that anyone reasonably well versed in 80 year old conferences and declarations should know that Israeli Arabs vote. What do you think of my contention that you must have known this simple fact yet chose to ignore it, since anyone capable of pouring over 80 year old documents can certainly read a current day newspaper to find out that Arabs vote?

Simple

My own understanding of history minus the 80 year old documents and conferences:

Jews moved into Palestine after the turn of the last century and bought land. They were residing mostly in the Western portion of the British areas (now know as Israel, The West Bank and Jordan). There is a possibility that they were attacked by the Arabs (who can get riled up over Danish cartoons, let alone Jews making the desert bloom). They defended themselves from riots and a war dedicated to their destruction. The responsibility for the Palestinians fleeing Israel is laid at the hands of the Arabic countries who said “get out of there so we can bomb the place” (I’m sure many also left because they were afraid of the Jews retribution, which never occurred). The Arabs, humiliated at losing the war, never resettled those people. The Jews who were kicked out of every surrounding Arab country were resettled in Israel, an exchange of populations not dissimilar to what happened in India and Pakistan. Jews ended up with a sliver of those Arabic lands occupied by the British. Arabs can’t sleep at night seeing the Jews designing microchips, medicines, agriculture, and the like. Palestinian attempts to kill Jewish civilians resulted in checkpoints that strangled the Palestinian economy. Most of those checkpoints weren’t there in the 1990’s, before the current intifada.

Whether the Brits were right or wrong to issue the Balfour declaration makes no difference today. The fact is that 4 generations of Israelis are living on less than 10% of that land that the British administered. You make good point about Jordan and Lebanon not allowing the Palestinians out of their camps. I disagree and think they should have allowed them to resettle after 60 years. Again, you might say West Bank and Gaza Palestinians now have their own identities distinct from Jordanian Palestinians but I say they speak the same language, share the same religion, and have fewer differences with Jordanians than your typical Irish American had with his next door Italian American neighbor back in the day. What evidence do you have that Palestinians (who comprise 50% of Jordan) residing in Jordan have different identities than Palestinians in the West Bank? Moreover, are these differences so huge that they can’t live together?

Regarding Lebanon, I’m inclined to believe that Hezbollah fired its missiles regularly into Israel trying to provoke a conflict before the war started. This despite the fact that Israel left Lebanon in 2000 (according to the UN). Please don’t answer that they still are in part of Lebanon because Kofi Anan absolved them of that. The Sheba farms were Syrian, not Lebanese. Regardless, the Israeli response to having it’s soldiers attacked was predictable. It’s response to thousands of missiles being launched at their cities was a lot nicer (include warning fliers of where they would bomb each day) than Russia’s bombings of Grozny. Do you think the Israeli response in Lebanon was more extreme than Russia’s in Grozny?

You never answered my point about the Arabs not protesting the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Kuwait after 3 generations had resided there. Do you think the Israelis have been more unfair than the Kuwaitis? Please don’t answer that Kuwait was never a Palestinian country in the first place. It’s a poor argument because we’re talking about people who were living there for decades. This ethnic cleansing would be equivalent to Germany deporting all Turks. Where was the outcry? Do you think the lack of outcry is because the Jews weren’t doing the ethnic cleansing in Kuwait? In other words, is this double standard because of anti-Semitism?

What do you think of Rick? Racist or not? Reasonable or not? I know you’ve argued against some of what he says, but I wonder what you think of him?


William:

Thanks for educating me, especially with your post at 1:29 PM. I’m saving that one. Please don’t let Rick rattle you. Rick says that every Jew in Israel is a criminal and is directly responsible for any crimes committed by great grandparents 80 years ago. He doesn’t feel the same way about the Nazi’s great grandchildren because Jews aren’t living in refugee camps. Rick’s racism should be fought against by exposing him in a dispassionate manner because he isn’t worthy of you increasing your blood pressure. Treat him like a clown rather than someone who punches you in the face. Laugh at him and expose him.

William, San Antonio:

Rick:

You had such a fondness for Wikipedia until you got it stuffed; now, now let’s see how deep your allegiance is to the Jewish Virtual Library:

According to the Peel Commission, appointed by the British Government to investigate the cause of the 1936 Arab riots, "the field in which the Jewish National Home was to be established was understood, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, to be the whole of historic Palestine, including Transjordan."

The Mandate for Palestine's purpose was to put into effect the Balfour Declaration. It specifically referred to "the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine" and to the moral validity of "reconstituting their National Home in that country." The term "reconstituting" shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews' home. Furthermore, the British were instructed to "use their best endeavors to facilitate" Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to "secure" the Jewish National Home. The word "Arab" does not appear in the Mandatory award.

The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/balfour_commentary.html

Let me guess: Not only is the Balfour Declaration immoral and invalid, so is the League of Nations and thus the United Nations. More PLO Charter rhetoric! And, your idiotic rationalization of the definition of anti-Semitism is really a hoot. It’s so much fun to wind you up and watch you froth at the mouth.

Alan: I’m sorry, I just can’t help it. At some point playing catch with a two year-old gets tedious.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

“Rick refuses to have command of the facts. For this reason, I think he’s racist but can’t come to terms with his racism. Or he’s racist and hides his racism.”

What garbage! As we all have seen, the Encyclopedia Encarta article above, endorsed by both you and William tracks my version of the history of the region much more closely than yours. And here is the verbatim Balfour Declaration yet one time:

"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".

And as pointed out by Simple: “Again, when will either of you acknowledge the language that states in part “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”?”

And when will either of you admit that nowhere does it support William’s ridiculous claim: “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland.”

If anyone here is “racist and anti-Semite”, it is you and William. Arabs are Semite too you know, and you are determined to deny them their basic dignity and human rights. The Zionists are perfectly justified, according to you, in chasing the Palestinians from their homes and land and into refugee camps by the millions.

Simple Observer:

Rick,

I understand where you are coming from, but you do need to check your facts a little. At a minimum, your numbers are a little exagerated (to say the least). Some of your facts are off as well.

Alan and William, it is clear that the single most obvious difference in this debate is your belief that there was a legitimate claim by immigrant Jews to a homeland in the region commonly known as Palestine. THe Balfour declaration is a statement of government policy, not a justification for said homeland. The Brits had no more right to divy up that part of the world than did the UN. Had there been a proper referendum, excluding the illegal immigrants that flooded into the region after WW II, this would not be an issue today.

Simple Observer:

I’m not certain what point you are trying to make with the listing of Articles from the PLO and Fattah. I think we can all agree that the Arabs don’t support the Zionist movement or the justification used for the establishment of Israel. I want to point out that nowhere in those select articles is there any promotion of violence. I think they fail to make your point.

The Hammas Article is indefensible. It has no basis in fact and is clearly the ranting of fanatical Islamists. Is anyone surprised? It is no surprise either that Alan is all over it, pointing to it as further proof that Hammas is evil. Yes, yes, we get that. I, at least haven’t argued that their actions are violent and deplorable. What neither of you are willing to accept is that they are ultimately predictable.

Below is the Balfour Declaration. Again, when will either of you acknowledge the language that states in part “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”? How is the creation of Israel not prejudiced to the civil rights of non-Jewish communities if one of the founding tenants of the League of Nations was the civil right of self determination? Was there ever a Plebiscite?

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.

As to my comments regarding the populations of the Occupied Territories, the concept is simple. Just as with Alan’s example of immigrants to Israel feeling a link to the land like 2nd and 3rd generation Americans, it is reasonable for the population of the occupied territories to feel that same about their inclusion in a body of people unique in their shared experience. It has been 40 years since the territories were taken over by Israel. The effected peoples of the West Bank and Gaza are now defined by that as much as those who have immigrated to Israel are defined by their residency. There have been no less than 3 generation born into the territories. Those in the West Bank no longer see themselves as a part of Jordan any more than they believe they are Israeli.

As to Alan’s insistence that the bordering Arab nations should have simply integrated the refugees into their own society simply because they spoke the same language is unacceptable. I agree that over the last 60 years there should have been more action by the Arab states to accept them into their societies, but why should they accept them as citizens? There is a reasonable expectation that they should be allowed to return to their homes. There is a reasonable expectation that they should not be left holding the bag after these people either fled for fear of violence or were forcibly expelled by the Israelis. By that token, Jordan and Syria should now make all of the Iraqi refugees citizens. They all speak the same language. Apparently, by Alan’s reckoning, as soon as they crossed the border, they automatically become the wards of the subject state.

No, I do not think that U.S. military pilots are criminals. What I see in effect for them are strict rules of engagement that are designed specifically to protect civilians from harm in almost all cases. What I see from the Israelis however, is an indiscriminant and disproportionate use of military force that results in an unacceptable toll on civilian populations. You will never see the U.S. fire an Air-to-Ground missile at a car traveling through a residential area for the sole purpose of killing a suspected terrorist inside the car. It particularly would not happen during hours of daylight while innocent people are in the streets and susceptible to collateral injury. There are many examples of this type of attack by Israel, and others just as unacceptable. How can there be a justification for the death of more than 1000 civilians and the displacement of 100,000 others in Lebanon during the 2006 incursion. Let’s see, 2 soldiers (not civilians) were kidnapped. Israel commenced to bombing all major transportation links in the entire nation, bombed residential areas inside Beirut, and fired on clearly marked, and often announced, medical relief columns. The supposed target of this incursion was Hezbollah. I accept that they retaliated by firing missiles at Northern Israel which resulted in the deaths of some 25+ Israeli civilians. I don’t applaud these deaths any more than those suffered in Lebanon, but the missile attacks didn’t start until after Israel started bombing. Can Hezbollah’s response be considered justifiable, or is the targeting of civilians justifiable only if Israel is doing it?

Now we come to the issue of Begin and how his actions and those of his contemporaries relate to the issues today. There are many, many examples of bombings by Begin and the Irgun on civilian targets. I won’t list them here, but can easily do so if the realities of their actions are disputed. The Irgun’s actions reflected its world view that “Political violence and Terrorism” were “Legitimate tools in the Jewish national struggle for the land of Israel” (Perlinger and Weinberg, 2003, p100). The actions of these men do not reflect directly on the citizens and supporters of Israel today. What I do see, however, is a societal blindness to the same kind of violence they are subject to today. It would seem that the violence of the Irgun and groups like them are acceptable and justifiable because they were Jewish people fighting for a Jewish homeland. When it is Arabs agitating for their own freedom, they are vicious beasts. Why the double standard? The crackdowns by the British were far less harsh than those of the Israelis on the populations in the West Bank and Gaza, and yet it was somehow acceptable back then, particularly when the violence targeted not the British military, but Arab civilians.

Alan and William would have us believe that Israel is but an innocent victim of anti-Semitism and Islamic anti-social inclinations. Why should there be such animosity towards Israel since they have such a small portion of the land? I wonder Alan and William, if you would be so willing to look the other way if the UN decided it wanted to set up the new Arab Anti-Defamation League (AADL) HQ on your property? You have to leave, you have no right to return to collect any of your heirlooms before they knock your house down, and if you protest too loudly, you will be arrested Oh, and there will be no monetary compensation for your losses. Your neighbors all object to this unreasonable seizure of your house and property, but sorry, you can’t move into their house and take up permanent residence. They will let you set up a shanty in the corner of their yard, but they aren’t going to feed, cloth, or educate you because they have their own family to support. The UN action has been approved by the UN Security Council, and based on a British promise to provide land in LA to Arab Immigrants who claim they are descendants of Native Americans whose god gave them the land. Why should anyone complain? It is such a small part of the City. A week from now, the AADL will annex the portion of the land your neighbor let you live on. You can still live there, but the security guards will shoot at you and your family from time to time. The louder you object, the more they shoot at you, until the security guards clamp down on you and keep you from going to work. Since you can’t work, you can’t afford to feed your family, or get them medical care, or see to the children’s education. The AALD has the full political and financial support of Saudi Arabia, but you can’t be mad at them either. They couldn’t possible be held responsible for the actions of the AADL. They might provide them with money and give them the guns the guards use to shoot at you with, but they won’t be held accountable.

AS always, it is too simple to sit back in warmth and comfort and pass judgment. I am not immune to that, but I at least try to be unbiased. Have Israelis suffered? Absolutely! Has there been persecution of Jews for the last 2000 years? Yes there has. Did 6 million Jews die at the hand of the Nazis? Without a doubt. Are the Arabs responsible for that? Should the Arabs feel cheated by the Western Powers? Was an arbitrary decision made as to the disposition of the land they have lived on for hundreds, if not thousands of years? Can any of the residents of the Occupied Territories point to the actions of the Israelis as justification for anger?

There is enough blame for violence by both sides. Don’t give me the “Blowing up Kids” crap. I’m tired of the shades of grey used to justify violence. Glorifying it today is no worse than looking back 70 years and glorifying it. Why is Begin any less a villain for blowing up Arab civilians than the man who blows himself up at an Israeli market today? Hatred and Terrorism are symptoms of a problem. Solve the problem, and the symptoms go away. If you think you can wait to pull that tooth until the pain goes away, it will be a long and agonizing wait.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

William,

Thanks for the post.

Actually, I think this term more aptly describes your childish name calling rants. It’s amazing what one can learn on this site:

screed

Pronunciation:
skrēd

Function:
noun

Etymology:
Middle English screde fragment, alteration of Old English scrēade — more at shred

Date:
circa 1789

1 a: a lengthy discourse b: an informal piece of writing (as a personal letter) c: a ranting piece of writing

2: a strip (as of a plaster of the thickness planned for the coat) laid on as a guide

3: a leveling device drawn over freshly poured concrete

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Thanks for the post. I will respond to your latest comments first since your rhetoric is more relaxed and reasoned than Williams childish rants.

“The lack of peace and the bomb search checkpoints are never the fault of Palestinians even though they reject peace and overwhelmingly support suicide bombings in poll after poll. In other words, Palestinians can’t be responsible for their own racist hatred of the Jews and are thus not complicit in their own suffering.”

Correct. The fault is always with the aggressor, the invader, never the man who is defending his home and family against overwhelming military might.

“He knows that Jordan and Lebanon have caused incredible misjustice to Palestinians for generations by not allowing them to integrate with the rest of their society, attend university, etc. He blames this on the Israelis. And views their searches for weapons as a greater injustice than the fact that Jordan and Lebanon are repulsive in their failure to have resettled these people.”

Not correct. Jordan and Lebanon have not caused the injustice. They are not required to “integrate” illegal immigrants into their society; any more that we are required to integrate “illegal” Mexican immigrants. The Arabs are a proud people. They reject the subjugation of their basic dignity and human rights, as they should.

“He ignores the fact that Palestinians are stuck in refugee camps because the Arab world wants them there, even though they speak the same language and are the same religion as most of the people in both of those countries.”

No, they are in refugee camps because the Zionists put them there.

“He views the American military as criminals when noncombatants are killed. I’ll give Rick this—his only inconsistency is that he states that American pilots are not personally responsible for killing noncombatants (their generals are responsible) but Israeli pilots are directly responsible. In fact, he states that Israeli pilots who obviously try not to kill civilians have as heinous a set of morals as a “martyr” who looks a child in the eye before pulling the rip cord on his vest.”

No, for the 3rd time now:

The answer is still the same as the last time I answered this question @ December 16, 2007 9:05 AM and again @ December 17, 2007 12:53 PM:

“The Israeli Air Force is no different for the US Air Force in its guilt for the hundreds or thousands of innocents they have slaughtered. Of course the armed forces members themselves who carry out the orders from their superiors are not the ones who are to blame. It is the Generals and politicians back home in Washington or Tel Aviv who are the murderous cowards, and those of us who approve their misdeeds.”

Note that this statement includes both the Israeli and American pilots, despite your repeated protestations to the contrary.

“This being the case, it is astounding that he doesn’t know that Israeli Arabs vote, attend Israeli universities, can freely join their military, and freely worship their religion.”

No, please don’t misquote me. The question that I asked @ December 15, 2007 9:42 AM was:

Can Muslims serve in the military, and at any level in the parliament?

I was aware that they could vote, but I doubted that they (20% of the population) had fair representation in the apartheid Zionist government, and I was right.

Here is a link that I have uncovered thus far:

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/210/story_21070_1.html

“Israeli Parliament Set to Approve Appointment of First Muslim Minister...

JERUSALEM, Jan. 29 - Israel on Monday installed the first Muslim Cabinet minister in its 58-year history Monday, with parliament approving his appointment by a wide margin...

The appointment was mired for weeks in political infighting and charges of racism. It drew criticism from hard-liners who said the move was little more than political expediency. Even Arab lawmakers dismissed the development, saying the government has little real interest in improving the lot of Israel's Arabs...

Majadele, a parliamentary backbencher from the centrist Labor Party, said his appointment is meant to give representation to Israel's Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the country's 7 million citizens...

Israel's parliament has always had Arab lawmakers - today, they number 13 members out of 120. But the country has had only one Arab Cabinet minister before: Salah Tarif, a Druse, who was appointed in 2001 and forced to resign nine months later under a cloud of corruption allegations...

[And even these lower level lawmakers are about half in number what should be expected to represent 20% of the population.]

But Arabs lag behind Israel's Jewish population in income, education and standard of living, and have long lacked representation in government commensurate with their numbers...

"Progress for Israel's Arabs depends on changing the entire discriminatory approach of the government over the past 58 years, and not on the appointment of a minister or deputy minister," Taha said. Israel was founded in 1948...

Olmert dragged his feet on approving the appointment pending an upcoming Cabinet shuffle, and some members of the Yisrael Beiteinu party opposed the appointment on ideological grounds, with one member decrying it as "a fatal blow to Zionism...

[Yup, it’s a fatal blow to Zionism alright.]

In the end, hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman was the only Cabinet member to vote against the appointment. Lieberman accused Peretz of exploiting the nomination to seek Arab backing in the primary voting. But he rejected allegations of racism.”

William, San Antonio:

Rick:

You’re a sick puppy: “I will yield…” “Not that it matters...” Framed by mindless Jew-hating screed. Do you get extra credit for spewing this garbage?

William, San Antonio:

Alan:

Whatever the pathology of Rick’s disinformation and his fervency in disseminating it, the important thing is that he and his ilk are effectively countered. The conundrum is that such a tiny minority of people, the Jews, could stimulate such outrageously disproportionate responses (obsession as you put it). It is even more puzzling when it happens in America. I think that I understand the phenomenon, but that’s a topic for a different forum. Now for the Encarta comments.

On the whole, in my view, the Encyclopedia is accurate. It appears, however, to insert several items simply for the purpose of “balance”. I have listed them below.

“…at times, Jewish purchases led to the displacement of Arab peasants from the land.”

Perhaps, but two things need to be understood. First, most of the rural lands were owned by absentee landlords and worked by local Arab fellahs (peasant, farmer or agricultural laborer) and that this was not an established policy:

“Under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them. Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement, should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price.”

Written statement (1920), as quoted in Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs : From Peace to War (1985) by Shabtai Teveth, p. 32.

Second, improvements by Jews on the land itself and through improved social practices in general greatly reduced poverty, disease, and malnutrition. In fact, these improvements actually drew migrant Arabs to the area.

Now, regarding the Husein-McMahon Correspondence versus the Balfour Declaration. British perfidy in these matters is the subject of endless debate. The core of the matter is that the Jews had already made gains toward a homeland in Palestine and had every legitimate reason to believe that their efforts would bear fruit. Although the entire original Mandate was to have been theirs for that purpose, when Transjordan was detached there was no significant protest. After all, the Arabs now had broad measures of independence in Syria, Iraq, Transjordan and the entire Arabian Peninsula, wasn’t it the Jews turn? The Arabs thought not. Only when legitimate Jewish aspirations were jeopardized by Arab violence beginning in 1920 did the current turmoil begin. It is most important to note that Arab violence aimed at Jews was not uncommon and can be documented chapter and verse for a hundred years (and beyond if necessary) before Zionism took hold, so Arab pogroms were not new. The difference beginning in 1920 was that something unthinkable occurred: The Jews began to resist – they began to protect themselves and to strike back. And, it was only when it was clear that British appeasement of Arab violence jeopardized the possibility a Jewish state did the Jews turn on the British. It is also important to remember that all appeals for reasonable solutions met with unmitigated Arab interagency; and, they still do.

Other that these clarifications, I think that the Encarta article is well done.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

You say: “What do you think of that Microsoft Encarta post by Lurker? My guess is that the Jews have too much influence with Microsoft.”

I find it very interesting; nope this narrative would never be approved by the Jewish Virtual Library. It tracks very closely with what I have been saying:

“In the 1890s Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist living in Austria, advocated reestablishing a Jewish state in Palestine. Herzl believed Zionism (the reuniting of Jewish people in Palestine) would match 'a people without a land with a land without a people.'”

It tracks very well with my previous statement about the incredible simpleton who founded the Zionist movement and never anticipated that existing non-Jewish population of Palestine may not like the idea of a “State of Israel” being formed on their land.

“Palestine was already inhabited, however. The countryside was home to Arabs, most of them Muslims, while the larger towns contained both Arabs and Jews.”

Amen to that. Just prior to the turn of the 20th century (1895), the total population of Palestine was about 500,000 of whom 47,000 were Jews who owned 0.5% of the land.

“Nonetheless, the area served as a land corridor between Europe, Asia, and Africa and thus had strategic importance. It was also near the Suez Canal, which, when opened in Egypt in 1869, connected the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. Palestine was therefore important to the British, who occupied Egypt in 1882 and depended on control of the canal for its fortunes.”

Yup, that’s what the initial thinking was. The Brits thought that their Israeli allies would help keep the Canal open for them to maintain commerce with their eastern empire. Much like President Bush wants to install his puppet government in Iraq to keep the cheap oil flowing.

“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.”

Amen to that. Where is William’s ridiculous claim; i.e. “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland.”

The Balfour Declaration clearly states support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

Note that means a home in Palestine, not that they would be given all of Palestine and Transjordan.

It also states “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

That does not say drive millions of people from their homes and land into refugee camps.

It is also noted that the land did not belong to Britain in the first place, so they have no right to give any of it away to the Zionists. If the Palestinians choose not to donate any land for a Zionist state, they are perfectly within their rights to do so.

“The British did not elaborate on what would happen if both groups wanted the same land. Following the war, Britain sought and received a mandate from the League of Nations to rule Palestine and develop it according to the premise of the Balfour Declaration.”

Would you say that they demonstrated just a bit of lack of forethought? Not that it matters, the land was not theirs to give away in the first place.

“In 1922 the British separated Palestine into two territories: land east of the Jordan River became the Emirate of Transjordan (now Jordan); land to the west, from Lebanon and Syria in the north to Egypt in the south, remained Palestine. It was in this limited territory that Zionists clashed with Palestinian Arab nationalists. Both Jews and Arabs conducted terrorist attacks and intermittent, low-level warfare. Both groups resisted the British, particularly when a British policy was believed to benefit one side over the other.”

Still no mention of your claim @ December 13, 2007 3:33 PM: “I would submit to you that the Israelis got a sliver of land in what was then TransJordan”; or Williams corroboration @ December 15, 2007 5:38 PM. Or William’s ridiculous claim; i.e. “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland.”

What is clear is that it “was in this limited territory [west of the Jordan River called Palestine] that Zionists clashed with Palestinian Arab nationalists”.

I will yield that the original Palestine Mandate (sometimes referred to as British Mandate) included what later became Palestine and Transjordan. But this mandate did not even exist in 1917 at the time of the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration merely stated that Britain favoured the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in “Palestine” while saying nothing about the borders of said homeland.

Not that it matters; we should not be quibbling to this extent over the wording of this document, since neither the Zionist nor the Arabs give it any authority.

“Both Jews and Arabs conducted terrorist attacks and intermittent, low-level warfare. Both groups resisted the British, particularly when a British policy was believed to benefit one side over the other.”

However, it is clear that the Palestinian cause was just, as they were the native landowners being attacked by the Zionist invaders, with an assist from the British.

“Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere continued to resist the idea, but on November 29, 1947, the United Nations (UN) passed Resolution 181, which called for a partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the resolution, but the Arabs opposed it. On May 14, 1948, the British mandate was terminated and at midnight the Jewish state of Israel declared its independence.”

And the rest is bloody history. Of course the land of Palestine was no more the UN’s to give away than it was Britain’s, as readily agreed to by both the Zionists and the Palestinians. This is demonstrated today by the Zionist refusal to acknowledge the hundreds of UN Resolutions against them for their atrocities committed against the Palestinian people.

“Rick, what do you think of article 22 of the Hamas covenant? What do you think of the fact that Article 22 states that Jews are responsible for both world wars?”

I am not as familiar as you and William with the Hamas covenant. If that is what it says, then it is wrong. However, this is a trivial childish name calling type issue compared to the Zionist theft of homes and land in Palestine, the driving of millions of Palestinian families into refugee camps, and the slaughter of hundreds or thousands of innocent Palestinians.

“How would you feel if I was able to prove to you that fewer than 5% of Israelis live on “stolen land”? Would it change your mind about the 16 year old surfer in Tel Aviv being a Zionist invader? Consider this a "what if" thought exercise.”

We will cross that hypothetical bridge in the unlikely event that we ever reach it.

“Last thing: I noticed that you felt that the US and Israeli militaries both engage in criminal behavior when noncombatants are killed by mistake. Why do you think the Israeli pilots are cowards and murderers but the American pilots are just taking orders from Generals who should be completedly responsible? In other words, are American Pilots in Iraq as guilty as Israeli Pilots, who you say are no different and may be worse than suicide bombers aiming at civilians?”

The answer is still the same as the last time I answered this question @ December 16, 2007 9:05 AM:

“The Israeli Air Force is no different for the US Air Force in its guilt for the hundreds or thousands of innocents they have slaughtered. Of course the armed forces members themselves who carry out the orders from their superiors are not the ones who are to blame. It is the Generals and politicians back home in Washington or Tel Aviv who are the murderous cowards, and those of us who approve their misdeeds.”

Note that this statement includes both the Israeli and American pilots, despite your repeated protestations to the contrary.

Alan:

William

Is Rick Jones radicalized? I believe he is simply obsessed with the Jews (actually, the "zionist invaders", as he calls Israelis) and holds hard onto many arguements that he believes are accurate. Unfortunately, he has come to a number of unusual conclusions based on his maverick views on ethics and his willingness to ignore obvious facts.

Rick feels responsible for Palestinian suffering because he is American and this country supports Israel. He holds every Israeli responsible for any possible transgressions that their great grandparents might have caused to Palestinians. As such, every Israeli (Zionist Invader) is responsible for Palestinian suffering. The lack of peace and the bomb search checkpoints are never the fault of Palestinians even though they reject peace and overwhelmingly support suicide bombings in poll after poll. In other words, Palestinians can’t be responsible for their own racist hatred of the Jews and are thus not complicit in their own suffering.

He knows that Jordan and Lebanon have caused incredible misjustice to Palestinians for generations by not allowing them to integrate with the rest of their society, attend university, etc. He blames this on the Israelis. And views their searches for weapons as a greater injustice than the fact that Jordan and Lebanon are repulsive in their failure to have resettled these people. When I pointed out that Jews don’t hold the great grandchildren of Germans responsible for the holocaust, he says that this is because the Jews aren’t stuck in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, waiting to return. He ignores the fact that Palestinians are stuck in refugee camps because the Arab world wants them there, even though they speak the same language and are the same religion as most of the people in both of those countries.

He views the American military as criminals when noncombatants are killed. I’ll give Rick this—his only inconsistency is that he states that American pilots are not personally responsible for killing noncombatants (their generals are responsible) but Israeli pilots are directly responsible. In fact, he states that Israeli pilots who obviously try not to kill civilians have as heinous a set of morals as a “martyr” who looks a child in the eye before pulling the rip cord on his vest.

He searches for maps and obscure historical data to support his contention that all Israelis today, even a 16 year old surfer, is a “Zionist Invader.” He can quote 1920’s maps, knows about the Zionist founders’ personal lives 100 years ago, and is reasonably well versed in conferences and mandates from 80 years ago. This being the case, it is astounding that he doesn’t know that Israeli Arabs vote, attend Israeli universities, can freely join their military, and freely worship their religion. This “lack of knowledge” (too astounding to be true) allows him to call Israel an apartheid state. He also refuses to accept that Arab parliament members could have any power, when it is well known that their votes kept Barak in power for a considerable period of time. When someone has that harsh of a view and ignores simplicity while paying great attention to obscure details, he or she is biased, or, perhaps in this case, racist.

I personally don’t believe it’s possible for someone as smart as Rick to know about these obscure details yet ignore the existence of something as obvious as the fact that Israeli Arabs vote. With all of his research and posting, I find it harder to believe his ignorance and easier to believe he’ll ignore real obvious facts in order to support his views. For this reason, I don’t believe he is radical or mis-taught. A radical can usually support their views and has a reasonable command of the facts. Rick refuses to have command of the facts. For this reason, I think he’s racist but can’t come to terms with his racism. Or he’s racist and hides his racism. Nobody could be that opinionated and smart, yet be that ignorant at the same time without one of these conclusions. It’s sad that he picks the misogynistic, homophobic, racist (Mickey Mouse cartoons telling kids to hate the Jews), nihilistic (celebrating “Martyrs” who kill children) and Bin Laden supporting people, rather than the other side, who are a lot nicer in comparison.

William, San Antonio:

Rick:

I usually have better uses for my time on Sunday that responding to Hamas mouthpieces, but I have a few minutes now.

Since you are enamored with Wikipedia, I have selected parts of articles for your perusal. From the article on Palestine, look at the two following excerpts:

The Zionist Organization's representative at Sanremo, Chaim Weizmann, subsequently reported to his colleagues in London:

"There are still important details outstanding, such as the actual terms of the mandate and the question of the boundaries in Palestine. There is the delimitation of the boundary between French Syria and Palestine, which will constitute the northern frontier and the eastern line of demarcation, adjoining Arab Syria. The latter is not likely to be fixed until the Emir Feisal attends the Peace Conference, probably in Paris."[101]

And:

Even before the Mandate came into legal effect in 1923 (text), British terminology sometimes used '"Palestine" for the part west of the Jordan River and "Trans-Jordan" (or Transjordania) for the part east of the Jordan River.[105][106]

If you follow the link (text) to the article British Mandate of Palestine, you will find:

The British Mandate of Palestine comprised territory that now comprises most of modern-day Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Now, I don’t know how you’ve become radicalized: Whether through militant atheism and its concomitant moral equivalency or via a college program. I recall having an avowed communist as an instructor in Texas history when I attended the University of Texas. He taught the Battle of the Alamo from a Marxist perspective and his deconstruction of Davy Crockett was particularly amusing. If this scenario have been your route to radicalization please tell me, was your Middle East History instructor also the Gender Studies professor or did you have the resources to be brainwashed by an Edward Said clone? I’ve shared with you; please tell me your route to being an apologist for Hamas, Fatah and the PLO.

As an addendum, I will comment on the Encarta piece later.

Alan:

Rick

What do you think of that Microsoft Encarta post by Lurker? My guess is that the Jews have too much influence with Microsoft.

Your comments stand for themselves. I hope people read them carefully. Rick, what do you think of article 22 of the Hamas covenant? What do you think of the fact that Article 22 states that Jews are responsible for both world wars?

How would you feel if I was able to prove to you that fewer than 5% of Israelis live on “stolen land”? Would it change your mind about the 16 year old surfer in Tel Aviv being a Zionist invader? Consider this a "what if" thought exercise.

Last thing: I noticed that you felt that the US and Israeli militaries both engage in criminal behavior when noncombatants are killed by mistake. Why do you think the Israeli pilots are cowards and murderers but the American pilots are just taking orders from Generals who should be completedly responsible? In other words, are American Pilots in Iraq as guilty as Israeli Pilots, who you say are no different and may be worse than suicide bombers aiming at civilians?

Simple Observer

Can you explain this quote from your last post more completely? “the regions occupied as a result of the 1967 war have been separate from Egypt and Jordan so long now that the population now see themselves as a separate population regardless of their original countries. Just as the Israelis not feel linked to the Land, so do those who can properly be considered Palestinians.”

I still disagree with you on Begin. If his targets were military and he issued regrets for non-combatants being hurt or killed because of his negligence, then he is not a terrorist. Please let me know if his apologies in his autobiography are valid, since you mentioned that the Jewish Website isn’t. Of the things that I copied and pasted from that website, is there anything inaccurate?

For argument’s sake, lets pretend that Begin was a terrorist. Congratulations, you’ve found one sixty years ago. My point was that the Palestinians as a people overwhelming support child murder and honor those who have committed atrocities. You countered by saying Israel honors those who commit terrorism and used Begin as an example. Do you think that Israel’s laying of a plaque means that most Israelis support terrorism? Perhaps they are supporting revisionist history (according to you) rather than honoring the targeting of innocent civilians.

Terrorism is the act of intentionally targeting civilians without a military objective. The enemy for all of us is terrorism and racism. If we acquiesce to its demands, we are inviting more of the same into our lives in the future. Give the Palestinians justice as soon as they stop using terrorism and racism as a means to spare themselves from humiliation. May they find their Martin Luther King. Until they do, most people should blame the Palestinians for their suffering rather than the Jews.

The Israelis were prepared to give back the West Bank and Gaza in the year 2000. The Palestinians chose terrorism as a response—they prefer wiping Israel off the map. When they want their country, they can have it as soon as they stop terrorism and state sponsored TV programs espousing hatred of Jews.

Do you also (like Rick) think the US military personnel are criminals because of killings of noncombatants in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is killing of noncombatant children the same as blowing up a bus with school children? If so, what do you think about the differences between manslaughter and murder in this country? Is there a difference in killing someone unintentionally (eg. Taking out the wrong people when aiming for missile launchers) vs intentionally (eg. Blowing up a school bus).


Rick

Lurker:

II. ORIGINS OF ZIONISM AND THE ARAB-JEWISH CONFLICT

Throughout recorded history the land of historic Israel and Palestine, located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, was conquered many times by invaders. The area is the homeland of the Jewish people, who immigrated to the area beginning in the 13th century BC as Hebrew tribes. The tribes confederated as the Israelites who ruled much of the area from the 11th century to the 6th century BC. The Jews formed an identity as the people of the covenant but subsequently came under the rule of others until they succeeded in establishing an independent Jewish state called Judea in 168 BC. The Romans expelled the Jews from Judea in AD 135. In subsequent centuries many Jews maintained the idea of regaining control of the area, which they considered home. In the 1890s Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist living in Austria, advocated reestablishing a Jewish state in Palestine. Herzl believed Zionism (the reuniting of Jewish people in Palestine) would match 'a people without a land with a land without a people.'

Palestine was already inhabited, however. The countryside was home to Arabs, most of them Muslims, while the larger towns contained both Arabs and Jews. Some of the Jews were long established there, while others were religious pilgrims from Europe who had come to live near the holy sites in Jerusalem and other cities. (Because the vast majority of Palestinians were Muslim Arabs, the term Palestinians now usually refers only to them, not to the Jews of Israel. Most Palestinians are Muslims.) The land was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, but the Ottomans saw little of value in Palestine and neglected the area. Consequently, poverty, disease, and malnutrition were widespread. Nonetheless, the area served as a land corridor between Europe, Asia, and Africa and thus had strategic importance. It was also near the Suez Canal, which, when opened in Egypt in 1869, connected the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. Palestine was therefore important to the British, who occupied Egypt in 1882 and depended on control of the canal for its fortunes.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Zionist movement gained strength in Europe, and large numbers of Jews immigrated to Palestine. The movement focused on self-reliance through agriculture, and many immigrants settled in the countryside. To do so, Jews had to buy land from local Arab holders of small tracts and from absentee Arab landlords of large areas. As a result, Jews and Arabs came into increasing contact; at times, Jewish purchases led to the displacement of Arab peasants from the land. Although the Ottoman government sought to slow the Zionist movement, Jews established a significant and expanded presence. Their success furthered the world debate about whether and how to establish a Jewish homeland, and it also created apprehension among Arabs.

III. THE BRITISH MANDATE

With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914-1918), control of Palestine shifted from Muslim to Western powers. In return for their help in the war Britain had promised autonomy to both Zionists and Arabs. In a series of letters known as the Husein-McMahon Correspondence (between Husein ibn Ali of Mecca, who ruled Arabs in the Al Ḩijāz on the Arabian Peninsula, and Sir Henry McMahon, the British high commissioner in Egypt), the Arabs were promised the right to a new Arab nation in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire. The promise to the Jews came in the form of the Balfour Declaration (named for the British foreign secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour, who communicated the declaration). Issued by the British in 1917, it read:

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.

The British were not troubled by potential contradictions between the Husein-McMahon Correspondence and the Balfour Declaration. They explained that they had not promised all the land of the Ottomans to either the Arabs or the Jews; they had merely promised parts of it to each group. The British did not elaborate on what would happen if both groups wanted the same land. Following the war, Britain sought and received a mandate from the League of Nations to rule Palestine and develop it according to the premise of the Balfour Declaration.

In 1922 the British separated Palestine into two territories: land east of the Jordan River became the Emirate of Transjordan (now Jordan); land to the west, from Lebanon and Syria in the north to Egypt in the south, remained Palestine. It was in this limited territory that Zionists clashed with Palestinian Arab nationalists. Both Jews and Arabs conducted terrorist attacks and intermittent, low-level warfare. Both groups resisted the British, particularly when a British policy was believed to benefit one side over the other. The struggle was reflected in political efforts to control land, institutions, and the economy.

Initially, Britain took several steps to aid the Arab side. For example, before World War II (1939-1945) the British did not allow large numbers of Jews to come to Palestine from Europe, where they were often persecuted. Nonetheless, Zionists gradually gained the upper hand through steady land purchases, slow but continual immigration, and community organization. After World War II the world became aware of the murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust, and opinion began to favor creating an independent Jewish state. Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere continued to resist the idea, but on November 29, 1947, the United Nations (UN) passed Resolution 181, which called for a partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the resolution, but the Arabs opposed it. On May 14, 1948, the British mandate was terminated and at midnight the Jewish state of Israel declared its independence. The new state came under immediate attack from the Palestinian population and Arabs of the surrounding countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

William,

Where have you been all day, looking for a reference to support your ridiculous claim; i.e. “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland.”

Keep searching, surely it’s out there someplace.

William, San Antonio:

Lurkers out there:

I stand by every syllable of the brief history that I gave above. It will stand scrutiny. Rick of Arabia’s hit-and-run tactics are indeed similar to those of a Bedouin raider (or a slip-and-fall lawyer). If pressed I suspect that Rick would even endorse Arafat’s claim that the Jewish temple never existed in Jerusalem but in Nablus. Now, I am willing to go out on a limb and wager that Rick is a proud militant atheist and interprets the U.S. Constitution in a manner similar to his interpretation of other historic documents. That would account neatly for his pathologies. Speaking of historic documents I thought his rhetoric sounded familiar.

PLO Charter:

Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.

Hamas Covenant

Article Twenty-Two: You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

Fatah Constitution:

Article (6) UN projects, accords and resolutions, or those of any individual which undermine the Palestinian people's right in their homeland are illegal and rejected.

Article (7) The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial and aggressive in ideology, goals, organisation and method.

Article (8) The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism.

Simple Observer:

I've been on the sidelines for a couple of days and have seen lots of back and forth. I continue to see those who support one side or the other conveniently ignore certain facts.

Before I address a few of those, let me return to Alan's response to me regarding Begin and the Irgun. You used the Jewish Virtual Library?! Way to find an unbiased source! It is no surprise that Begin and his fellows are considered heroes. Their contemporaries considered these men criminals. They engaged in bombing and assassination. Apparently, because they were Jewish, that excuses their actions with you, but not for me. They were terrorists in their time, and would be considered terrorists today.

"Zionism" is the proper term for the movement that advocated the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. "Zionists" were those who participated in the movement. Not all current Jewish residents of Israel can be considered Zionists, but those who support the continued existence of Israel for religious reasons can be. To try to use term that generates less emotion is inaccurate and disingenuous.

For the rest of you, lets make a few points clear about the partition of the area referred to as Palestine. It was a mandate created by the victors of WW I. The British, after promising to support for Arab nationalism in exchange for Arab help in defeating the Ottoman Empire proceeded to screw them at the Versailles conference, and further with the formation of the League of Nations and the partition of the Middle East. The Balfore Declaration held no more meaning than the promised made to the Arabs. Furthermore, everyone again seems to ignore the simple statement that was part of that declaration. After promoting the creation of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, it also stated "Nothing should be done to prejudice the rights of existing communities there"

Oops! Screwed that up didn't they?

The term Palestinians is a modern word to refer to those peoples who were indigenous to the region commonly referred to as the Mandate of Palestine. The area has been referred to as Palestine (at least in the west) since Roman times. To say that "Palestinians" as a word was invented by Arafat is just incorrect.

The simple creation of a Jewish state denied the Arab residents of their right to self-determination that was a significant part of the League Of Nations Charter and a foundation of the UN Charter. At this point, Israel exists, but the regions occupied as a result of the 1967 war have been separate from Egypt and Jordan so long now that the population now see themselves as a separate population regardless of their original countries. Just as the Israelis not feel linked to the Land, so do those who can properly be considered Palestinians.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

William,

Ah yes, you never tire of peddling your garbage I see. Here is the Balfour Declaration verbatim:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration_of_1917

The declaration, a typed letter signed in ink by Balfour, reads as follows:
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

Please note the distinct absence of your rhetoric:

“The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland.”

In fact it clearly stated that:

“…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…”

Is this what you call what is presently going on in Palestine?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Good Morning Alan,

“I understand your arguments. Every Jew in Israel is responsible for what you perceive is injustice to the Palestinians.”

Thank you for responding to my post and understanding my position, even though you do not agree with it, as I respectfully disagree with yours. Yes, every Jew and every American (yup, even you and I) is responsible for the atrocities that we are perpetrating on the Palestinian people, because we passively acquiesce to the actions of our democratically elected governments.

“Sorry, but the Jews bought land at first.”

How many of the present day Jews are descendents of those few original Jews who actually bought their land? That will be the thesis for an interesting research paper for a Masters Degree student in the History of the Middle East.

“Jews don’t hate Germans because of the actions of their grandparents. Too bad the Palesinians can’t imitate that type of behavior.”

I expect the Jews would hate the German’s if millions were still stuck in squalid refugee camps in countries surrounding Germany, and millions still living in an apartheid Germany as 2nd class citizens.

“The fact that you can find maps from the 1920’s to support your arguments is interesting in light of the fact that you didn’t even know that Israel’s 1 million Arabs have the right to vote, regularly elect Arabic members in Parliament and attend Israel’s best universities in much higher numbers than you see minorities in this country attending our best schools.”

In our wonderful day of Google, maps of Palestine and Transjordan are easily found by anyone with a healthy dose of curiosity. Ignorance is no excuse today.

You will forgive me if I doubt that the Palestinians are fairly represented in the apartheid government of Israel. Thank you for the suggestion. That will be an interesting focus for additional research

“Can you tell me how it’s different from the US airforce in Iraq, which has bombed plenty of civilians? Are our pilots cowards? I think we’ve killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq. Are our soldiers murderers? Are our soldiers as bad as terrorists? Do Israelis post angelic billboards of people who intentionally murder or mutilate children?”

The Israeli Air Force is no different for the US Air Force in its guilt for the hundreds or thousands of innocents they have slaughtered. Of course the armed forces members themselves who carry out the orders from their superiors are not the ones who are to blame. It is the Generals and politicians back home in Washington or Tel Aviv who are the murderous cowards, and those of us who approve their misdeeds.

And I’m sure that our Palestinian and Iraqi victims feel much better that we apologize for our mistakes.

“It’s not like the Palestinians are foreigners in Jordan. They make up around half its population or more. My point is that the adjustment is less for Palestinians than for many other displaced populations after major wars.”

That will be a good subject for a future post, the rights and living conditions of Palestinians in Jordanian Refugee camps. It won’t be pretty.

“I enjoy your term “The Zionist Invaders” to describe an entire country of people whose great grandparents may or may not have been responsible for Palestinian injustice.

By virtue of willfully living in stolen homes on stolen land they have earned the term.

“And you don’t feel you’re at all anti-Semitic?”

No, I am anti-Zionist. I have no grudge against American Jews and invite the 6 Million Zionist Jews to abandon their folly and come to America and join their brethren in a legitimate national homeland comprising 80% of the Jews on the planet.

“Do you think the Jews have control of the US Government and Media?”

Not absolute control but way too much influence.

“…then I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW that your “all Israelis are Zionists and should be accountable” argument is illogical and is presented because you have an agenda.”

Call it what you like; it is simply the truth.

“Too bad you can’t refute the concept that most of them who are alive today had nothing to do with the injustice that you speak of concerning the Palestinians. If you call a sixteen year old surfer girl from Tel Aviv a Zionist invader because her Great Grandparents were kicked out of some other country and ended up in Israel, you lose all credibility. Should most Jews consider a sixteen year old German girl a Nazi?”

By happily living in stolen homes on stolen land they are voluntary foot soldiers in the on-going death struggle. The girl in Germany is not in a similar situation. If she were, then she would be equally guilty.

“I post this response not to educate you, because I believe you have an agenda or obsession with Israel for the reasons mentioned above. Instead, I've posted it to educate lurkers out there who might be wondering if you are correct.”

We should all have an agenda or obsession with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as we are responsible for it; and as President Bush has recently observed, it is threatening to drag us into WW III.

William, San Antonio:

Alan:

I appreciate your efforts with Rick but as I said when I addressed John, he doesn’t merit the effort. I will briefly tell you the story of the maps.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 granted all of the Palestine Mandate (including what is now Jordan) to the Jews as a homeland. This was further acknowledged by the San Remo Conference of 1920 which added the authority of the League of Nations. It was not until 1922 that the territory east of the Jordan River was forbidden to Jews. This was the result of the Arab riots of 1920 and 1921 and the Churchill (yes, Winston) White Paper. Another chunk of what was left to the Jews was given to Syria in 1923. Arab riots in 1929 caused the issue of another (this time the Passfield) White Paper which limited Jewish immigration for the first time. More Arab riots in 1936 prompted the Peel Commission in 1937 to recommend a further partition of what was left of the original Jewish Homeland. 1937 was the first of four times (not counting the detachment of Transjordan) that the Arabs of Palestine were offered a separate state and flatly refused.

The trend is unmistakable – Arabs riot and kill Jews, British authorities appease Arabs and then Arabs kill more Jews. This trend was in sync with the general European appeasement of the Nazis and it had similar results. It should be no surprise then that major Arab figures at that time were in cahoots with the Nazis about how to deal with “the Jewish problem”.

The maps that demonstrate the shrinkage of the Jewish homeland from 1917 to 1937 are available to any literate individual. Now, if Rick Jones is a different Rick from the Rick that I spoon-fed this to several weeks ago then he’s got a beef. But I don’t think so. My bet is that this is the same individual that other bloggers referred to as “Rick of Arabia”. But, whoever he may be, if he tries to peddle propaganda from electronicintifada.net, if he can’t properly interpret Wikipedia maps and if his positions towards Israel mirror the Hamas Covenant then he isn’t worth a serious reply.

Alan:

Rick

I understand your arguments. Every Jew in Israel is responsible for what you perceive is injustice to the Palestinians. Sorry, but the Jews bought land at first. When the Arabs objected to this, battles started, and eventually war. When you try to overrun a country and lose, after sixty years you ought to learn to deal with it. It’s been three or four generations--the only people with memories of their Arabic villages would be at least 70 years old. Jews don’t hate Germans because of the actions of their grandparents. Too bad the Palesinians can’t imitate that type of behavior.

The fact that you can find maps from the 1920’s to support your arguments is interesting in light of the fact that you didn’t even know that Israel’s 1 million Arabs have the right to vote, regularly elect Arabic members in Parliament and attend Israel’s best universities in much higher numbers than you see minorities in this country attending our best schools. As for the military, they are free to sign up. Israel just doesn’t draft them. How could you study this issue so intensely (you can quote 1920’s maps and know about Herzl’s personal life) but can’t even figure out that Arabs have the right to vote? The most likely reason is that you are obsessed with the Jews to such an extent that you search for anything to use against them while intentionally missing easy to find things like Arabs’ freedom to vote, worship and enter the military.

I love the following quote from you because it tells a lot about who I think you are: “What you could say about them [vest wearing terrorists] is that they have a lot more courage than the murderous cowards who prefer to kill many more women and children by dropping 500 lb bombs from the safety of US provided jet aircraft or helicopters from thousands of feet.” Israel’s airforce kills innocent civilians when they screw up. Can you tell me how it’s different from the US airforce in Iraq, which has bombed plenty of civilians? Are our pilots cowards? I think we’ve killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq. Are our soldiers murderers? Are our soldiers as bad as terrorists? Do Israelis post angelic billboards of people who intentionally murder or mutilate children?

Now for your Transjordan argument. I don’t have maps from the 1920’s, and I’m not going to spend hours researching old maps. I'll leave that to William, the most intellectual of all of us.

For argument’s sake, let’s pretend there is no such place as Transjordan. If you take all the British land administered during that time,it included Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. When the joint Arab armies tried to overrun Israel, and the Jews ended up winning that war (without American aid), the Jews were left with a sliver of land. The rest of the land was Arabic, with mostly Muslims and fewer Christians, residing in what became Jordan. This land includes the West Bank and Jordan and dwarfs Israel in size. You might be interested to know that there isn’t much difference between a Jordanian Palestinian and a West Bank Palestinian. They speak the same language and share the same religion. I’m pretty sure, but not positive, that their accents are the same. It’s not like the Palestinians are foreigners in Jordan. They make up around half its population or more. My point is that the adjustment is less for Palestinians than for many other displaced populations after major wars.

I enjoy your term “The Zionist Invaders” to describe an entire country of people whose great grandparents may or may not have been responsible for Palestinian injustice. And you don’t feel you’re at all anti-Semitic? Do you think the Jews have control of the US Government and Media?

I will quote you again: “Every Israeli who lives in stolen homes, on stolen land, because they are afraid to live anywhere else in the world, because they think the rest of the world is out to get them, is a Zionist.” But you already said that all six million Jews in Israel are Zionists. So that means all of them live in stolen homes, on stolen land. I know that even you know better than to think that all of the Jews live in Israel in stolen homes and land, solely because they are afraid to go anywhere else. If you’re smart enough to study maps from the 1920’s and are well versed in the San Remo Conference, Herzl, and the British Mandate, then I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW that your “all Israelis are Zionists and should be accountable” argument is illogical and is presented because you have an agenda.


Let’s continue with the fact that the reason most Israelis stay in Israel has nothing to do with the fact that the rest of the world is out to get them. I tried to explain that they have an identity of being Israeli that is similar to the identity of immigrants to America. You never refuted this point. Especially the example of how Americans who have been living here for two generations celebrate Thanksgiving and talk about “our forefathers Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington”. It’s similar in Israel. They are there because they are Israeli; their culture and heritage are Israeli and mostly Jewish. Too bad you can’t refute the concept that most of them who are alive today had nothing to do with the injustice that you speak of concerning the Palestinians. If you call a sixteen year old surfer girl from Tel Aviv a Zionist invader because her Great Grandparents were kicked out of some other country and ended up in Israel, you lose all credibility. Should most Jews consider a sixteen year old German girl a Nazi?

You might want to check out the website “shoebat.com”, in which a Palestinian dispels many of the myths that you obsess about.

I post this response not to educate you, because I believe you have an agenda or obsession with Israel for the reasons mentioned above. Instead, I've posted it to educate lurkers out there who might be wondering if you are correct.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

William,

Sorry my friend, but you are wrong once again. It was Alan and I who had the conversation that you refer to about Transjordan, not John. And I don’t think that I have “been referred to maps of Palestine when the San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations to Britain”, that depicts the map of Transjordan as you and Alan describe it. That would be a good trick if you could provide it.

Here is a link that shows the map at the time that the Emirate of Transjordan and Palestine were created as I remembered and described it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transjordan

“The Emirate of Transjordan was an autonomous political division of the Mandate for Palestine, created as an administrative entity in April 1921 before the Mandate came into effect in September 1923. It was geographically equivalent to 1942–1965 Kingdom of Jordan (slightly different from today's borders), and remained under the nominal auspices of the League of Nations and British supreme rule, until its independence in 1946.

Initially, both the territory to the East and the West of the Jordan river were within the British Mandate for Palestine. "Transjordan" was a name coined as a reference to the part of Palestine "across the Jordan", i.e., on the far (eastern) side of the Jordan River. On the western side of the Jordan River was the remaining 21% of the Palestine Mandate, which contained many places of historical and religious significance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”

William, San Antonio:

John Smith:

You can deal with Rick Jones as you please, but he has been previously refuted at length to no avail. For instance, you commented:

“I would submit to you that the Israelis got a sliver of land in what was then TransJordan…”

Then he responded:

“Perhaps you can provide a reference for this. All the maps that I have seen of the region during the British Mandate show Trans Jordan east of the Jordan and Palestine west of the Jordan.”

He has been referred to maps of Palestine when the San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations to Britain without effect. As his comments increase in length I recognize that they are simply cut and paste from previous diatribes with “stolen” land and “stolen” water inserted at random. All you will get from him, in essence, is cute little one-liners surrounded by prefabricated garbage.

At any rate, I read today that:

“On Monday, in Paris, Mr. Abbas and Mr. Fayyad will attend a donors conference of Western countries who are likely to pledge the $5.6 billion in budgetary and development support over the next three years, in large part to try to show Gazans that Fatah’s willingness to negotiate a peace with Israel is a preferable path.” – New York Times

I predict that despite these infusions (baksheesh) there will be little advancement toward peace. I contend that Peres, et al. were delusional in embarking on the so-called Oslo process; and, although it’s easy to speculate, that these kinds of approaches actually prolong opportunities at achieving anything meaningful or long-lasting. Arab irredentistism will not cease.

You seem to be well versed in the history of the region so I am interested in why, other that it seems the right thing to do, would you invest any optimism in its prospects?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Since we are giving the term Zionism a lot of use, here is some information on recent events with respect to the incredible simpleton who founded this movement.

Here is the 2nd of two articles in the WP last week about the exhumation in Washington D.C. and reburial in Israel of Theodore Herzl’s grandson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502025_pf.html

Here is the link to the 1st.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

This is the tragic story of the Zionists’ greatest hero. The first article mentions in passing what an incredible simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the invading Zionists with open arms.
"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

From the 2nd article:

“Sixty years after jumping off a bridge to his death, the last descendant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery bearing his grandfather's name _ bringing an end to a torturous family saga and finally fulfilling Herzl's century-old will.

Herzl's son also committed suicide. He had a daughter who was mentally ill and another who was killed in the Holocaust. In the past year, three of the founder's four descendants have been buried in Israel_ no easy task because of rabbinical injunctions against Jewish burials for those who have killed themselves or converted to other religions.”...

"His vision was realized, and now there is an exemplary nation," said Liora Herzl, the great-granddaughter of Herzl's cousin. But she noted that Zionism's founder left behind a broken, cash-strapped family. "He was completely consumed with his commitment to the Zionist idea, and his family ultimately paid the price for that."

“Norman was the lone family member committed to Herzl's Zionist cause. He read about his grandfather's work and was active in his movement.”

So here we have the idealist Zionist simpleton who is the principal founder responsible for the incredible mess we have in the Middle East today. The question for us to unravel is: what are we going to do about it?

Clearly, the rightful owners of the land of Palestine are in no mood to welcome the Zionist invaders with open arms and they continue to demand the return of their land. The USA is stuck with the consequences of its incredibly poor judgment in siding with the Zionists on this issue.

We are stuck with only two very unattractive options that I can see:

1. Continue with the present approach of funding (with my tax dollars) the slow genocide of the Palestinian people through the denial of their basic human rights and dignity. This is a fate worse than death as evidenced of the tasteless joke of the occasional exploding Muslim. The Israelis confiscate most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

2. Admit what horrendous mistakes were made by the League of Nations in the 20th century with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 and correct them. How do we correct them? Restore the original pre-1947 boundary of the map of Palestine, go back to the single state solution, recognize the Palestinian Refugee right of return, form a UN mandate to control the allocation of water and enforce the peace. The Israeli planes, tanks, ships and nuclear weapons and all Palestinian arms would be destroyed.

To my mind the 2nd option is the clear choice. What are the odds of this happening? I would say not so great. It is very difficult to admit when one has made a mistake.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

John,

1. “When a warrior's "enemy" is a woman, child, etc., the "thing to be said" about that warrior is that he or she is a murderer. I suppose you could also say some things about the people or cultures that justify such "warriors."

What you could say about them is that they have a lot more courage than the murderous cowards who prefer to kill many more women and children by dropping 500 lb bombs from the safety of US provided jet aircraft or helicopters from thousands of feet.

2. “You have heard incorrectly with regard to whether Muslims can serve in the Israeli Parliament or military, however, Israeli Muslims are not drafted at the age of eighteen like Israeli Jews.”

Thank you.

3. “Not every Israeli is a Zionist. This should have been proven to you numerous times already. The Jew that flees to Israel because her Arab/Polish/Hungarian neighbors threatened her life is not a "Zionist" anymore than an assault victim that goes to a hospital is a doctor. Your refusal to refer to Israeli citizens as anything other than "racist invaders" greatly undermines your credibility and makes you look like an unreasonable, racist zealot.”

Every Israeli who lives in stolen homes, on stolen land, because they are afraid to live anywhere else in the world, because they think the rest of the world is out to get them, is a Zionist.

John Smith:

William, I read your latest post about militant secularists and see that I guessed right.

And Rick, I'm not going to address your posts because I doubt you can be reasoned with, but your last post had some things in it that I'd like to try to point out to you.

1. When a warrior's "enemy" is a woman, child, etc., the "thing to be said" about that warrior is that he or she is a murderer. I suppose you could also say some things about the people or cultures that justify such "warriors."

2. You have heard incorrectly with regard to whether Muslims can serve in the Israeli Parliament or military, however, Israeli Muslims are not drafted at the age of eighteen like Israeli Jews.

3. Not every Israeli is a Zionist. This should have been proven to you numerous times already. The Jew that flees to Israel because her Arab/Polish/Hungarian neighbors threatened her life is not a "Zionist" anymore than an assault victim that goes to a hospital is a doctor. Your refusal to refer to Israeli citizens as anything other than "racist invaders" greatly undermines your credibility and makes you look like an unreasonable, racist zealot.

John Smith:

Rick, my statement regarding your ignorance and racism was an observation, not an attack. You suggest in your response that Arab countries were justified in expelling Jews because of what was happening in Palestine or that Jews living in Arab countries that had nothing to do with Zionism somehow "deserved" being hung from lampposts. This is a very stupid thing to think. In any case, you completely missed or willfully ignored the reason that I even brought up the point anyway, which was to illustrate that my criticism of your post was in fact grounded in reasoning and logic. I understand your position perfectly and find it ridiculous; if you can't even comprehend my posts then just don't read them.

William, I'm not sure if I understand your point about "militant secularists." If you're suggesting that a one-state solution is a viable option then I'd have to disagree for the simple reason that the Israelis would never accept such an arrangement and could probably not even be compelled to do so. I think none of the groups you mentioned - namely Islamic fudamentalists, militant secularists (I'm guessing that you are referring to the "New Left"), or those guided by Judeo-Christian values - have particularly reasonable or pragmatic ideas concerning what "should" be done. It is much easier to assign blame or to air one's contempt for the opposition than to think of possible solutions, or even acknowledge that there is no viable solution and identify what the regional issues are that prevent one. Of course, this is just my opinion on the subject.

Rick Jones, Fredreicksburg, VA:

Alan,

You have correctly taken me to task for some of my statements. I hope you won’t mind if I gently take issue with a few of yours.

@ December 4, 2007 9:48 AM: “That’s not to say there isn’t subtle racism, but it’s not even on the level of racism against blacks in this country…”


Can Muslims serve in the parliament and the military, as the blacks can in this country? I hear that they cannot.

“To those of you espousing all of the land being united under one country, I support Israel’s right to keep their own sliver in the same way that the Quebec people can choose whether they remain in Canada…”

I’m not familiar with the situation in Quebec. Did Quebec choose to secede? I had better start paying closer attention to the news. If they did, or are considering it, they probably did not (or won’t) import an alien minority to displace Canadians from their homes and land.

@ December 7, 2007 2:49 AM: “Specifically, I suggest we stop using the term suicide bombings and start using “targeting innocent civilians” or "suicide killers" because it it the innocent civilian loss of life that is abhorent, not the act of killing oneself for political reasons…”

The problem is that there is nothing innocent about people living in stolen homes on stolen land. These invaders, occupiers and land thieves are the foot soldiers in this death struggle, and there is nothing innocent about them; much more on this later in following posts. Let’s not bite off too much in one chunk.

“Whatever Israel is doing in the West Bank pales in comparison to Saddam’s heinous acts, to Al Qaeda’s murder of Shiites…”

What has this to do with anything? Surely you do not suggest that just because Saddam was a villain that justifies Israeli behavior in the West Bank.

“The Palestinians' identity is wrapped up in hatred of the Jews and needs to change…”

I expect it will change when the Zionists return their stolen land and homes.

@ December 8, 2007 12:03 AM: “The Palestinians have managed to lose the world’s sympathy because of their support for atrocities…”

Actually, I think that most of the world (including the Europeans) supports the Palestinians in this conflict because of the atrocities that Israel has perpetrated on them after stealing their homes and land. I will try to find the polls I have seen on this and posted on not long ago. Only America continues to unconditionally support the atrocities committed by the Israelis.

@ December 11, 2007 2:02 AM: “The pilot trying to stop a missile launcher and killing the wrong persons is not as evil as the vest guy looking into the eyes of his victims…”

I don’t know; there is something to be said for the warrior who looks his enemy in the eye and knows that he will die as well as the enemy.

“I would submit to you that the Israelis got a sliver of land in what was then TransJordan…”

Perhaps you can provide a reference for this. All the maps that I have seen of the region during the British Mandate show Trans Jordan east of the Jordan and Palestine west of the Jordan.

@ December 14, 2007 10:29 AM: “I'll end things with my usual diatribe: The enemy is racism and terrorism, no matter what the justifications are.”

Ah yes, but here is the rub. Who is the racist and terrorist? I submit that the racist/terrorist is the Zionist invader and occupier who stole the homes and land from the Palestinian owners, who refuses to allow Palestinians living in the “State of Israel” to hold office or serve in the military, who hogs 80% of the water supply in the region, etc.

@ December 15, 2007 2:45 AM: “By the way, doesn’t the term “Zionists” sound kind of harsh? How about “Israelis”...”

Zionist is the proper term and reminds us that the racist invaders have stolen the homes and land they live on. The term Israeli infers that they are just normal people who came by their homes and land honestly.

@ December 15, 2007 11:33 AM: “In a previous post, I gave you my “Thanskgiving and War of 1812” analogies of how most secular Israelis identify with their country after 3 or 4 generations. They aren’t going anywhere. What do you think of those analogies…”

The analogies are good and we have debated this at length in previous posts. Their ancestors were guilty, as were ours, of invading, stealing and occupying land that did not belong to them. However, those whom we dispossessed are resigned to their fate. That cannot be said of the Palestinians. They want their land back and will not desist until they get it. This situation is the root cause of serious unrest in the world today, and some say could ignite WW III.

William, San Antonio:

Alan:

Militant secularists would be antiestablishment left wingers.

As for you interest in “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”, the word “Palestinian” is a fabrication of Arafat and the Soviet KGB. See:

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB106419296113226300-H9jeoNjlaZ2nJ2oZnyIaaeBm4.html

And, you will also find Arafat’s roll in instigating the 1967 war interesting.

When in 1969 Golda Meir said "There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” she was denounced throughout the world. It was at that point that world opinion began to turn against Israel, the conflict became Israeli-Palestinian instead of Arab-Israeli, and anti-Zionism became the new anti-Semitism.

The world is full of bigotry, racism and prejudices of all stripes, but anti-Jewism is the most persistent and most virulent of them all. One of its strangest components is that it thrives despite all attempts of Jews to assimilate and despite the fact that Jews can hardly described as monolithic. Jews wearing First World War Iron Crosses were gassed alongside Jews with side curls.

Even stranger to me and worthy of real scrutiny is the fellowship of the left and Islam. The nexus has to be their mutual embrace of tyranny and concomitant disdain for the Judeo-Christian ethic; but, I suspect that, on a deeper level, the commonality is simple envy.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

John Smith,

“Rick is either ignorant or racist, or more likely, a combination of the two…”

Ah yes, the classic defense, if you can’t make your case based on logic and reasoning, then resort to childish name calling.

“Most of the Jews that live in Israel did not move there for ideological reasons, but rather out of necessity - nearly a million Jews living in Muslim countries were forcibly expelled and had their property confiscated…”

And why was that? It couldn’t have been in response to the Israelis stealing most of Palestine from the Palestinian owners could it?

“…while nearly all European Jews that emigrated to Israel did so for obvious and legitimate reasons that need not be discussed here…”

Oh go ahead, let’s discuss it. Let me guess, was it because they were being persecuted by the Germans? And what does that have to do with Palestine?

“Anyone with a modicum of reason that isn't blinded by ideology can see that the only peaceful solution involves two states…”

I take it that covers most everyone who doesn’t agree with you.

Alan:

Rick

That was a crafty and well written summary. My only disagreement is with your conclusion. In a previous post, I gave you my “Thanskgiving and War of 1812” analogies of how most secular Israelis identify with their country after 3 or 4 generations. They aren’t going anywhere. What do you think of those analogies?

How will the Israelis survive? By continuing to invent microchips, internet technology, medications that the world needs, etc… As for military superiority, they will continue to keep it as long as most of their Arab neighbors study religion to the exclusion of science and math. The US aid is nice but Israel was thinking of turning it down during Netanyahu’s administration. They probably don’t need the aid that much.

The biggest problem for Israel is that the Arab or Persian world, in its feeling of hatred for the Jews, might conclude that it would be better to lose a nuclear war to Israel than to accept Israel’s existence. I’m not sure if he meant it, but Rafsanjani, the “moderate” former prime minister of Iran, implied in 2001 that a first nuclear strike of Israel, even if it means losing a nuclear war, would be acceptable. Apparently, he feels that the tradeoff of 6 million Jews would be worth the loss of hundreds of millions of Muslims. But the Israelis who live in Israel believe so strongly in their identity and country that they are more than willing to stay in the face of such threats. We in the US should be glad they are willing to fight the Islamic extremists. If Israel disappears, Turkey will be the next area of focus by the folks who want you to pray at your local minaret. Al Qaeda isn't going away if Israel disappears.

Alan:

William

A Palestinian statelet would be viable in the West Bank because it would be contiguous with Jordan, which is already about 50% Palestinian. As far as economic viability, I have a feeling that no deal gets made until the financial matters are arranged. The world coffers would open. However, these points about peace are probably null and void because it won’t happen until the Palestinians turn off the racist TV programming, tear down the angelic billboards of the “martyrs” hanging everywhere, and come out once and for all and adopt a Martin Luther King approach rather than a “target Jewish children” philosophy.

You might be right about the Palestinians fixating on getting rid of Israel rather than establishing their own country. Your concept of Arab rage stems from, I am paraphrasing, the humiliation of living near a successful Jewish country which has defeated them militarily and has outperformed all of the Arab countries combined in Sciences, Medicine, Economy, etc… In short, Israeli success fuels Arab humiliation and rage. Your influence on me personally is that I now wonder whether the Palestinians would rather suffer and hold onto their rage as opposed to improving their lives from an economic perspective.

I’ll define racist through examples. “Arabic culture is a shame culture”. Not a racist comment. “Many Arabs support Bin Laden’s terrorism”. Not racist. “The Arab mind is …….fill in the blanks” would be racist. “The six million Zionists in Israel have a universal distaste for Christians” is racist. Here’s another example: “Jews are overbent on manipulating the US government” is racist, considering that most Jews would rather watch the NFL on Sundays. Also, hating AIPAC would be questionably racist unless you also hate the NRA and every other lobbying group, including the Arab equivalent of AIPAC. I’m not tackling subtle racism, which I believe we all have to an extent. An example of this would be feeling more threatened if three black teenagers follow you into a parking lot than if it were three Asian teenagers.

Now for militant secularists. I don’t know who you mean or what they are. I prefer to consider hard core antiestablishment left wingers. These folks are more prevalent in Europe than in the US. Most of them are secularists who prefer rational reasons for governmental actions rather than religious reasons. Unfortunately, the left wingers often identify with the Palestinian cause. Left wingers view Israel as an American client state and look at Palestinian suffering in the West Bank and Gaza as caused by Israel rather than by Palestinian adoption of terrorism as their principle means of achieving nationhood. These left wingers see American tanks on TV and come to simple conclusions about the poor underdogs. The anti-establishment pro-Palestinian left wingers ignore the fact that Israel can’t be compared to Arab traditions of misogyny, religious intolerance, homophobia, etc.

I checked out the Shoebat site. That guy has huge huevos. I hope he lives a long time but my opinion is that he better watch his back—a few people might not like him very much. For those of you who don’t know, he was an Arabic resident of the West Bank. I presume he now lives in the US.

Here are a few quotes that I thought were interesting:

“Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”

“No one (Arab or Jew) has a "right of return". Jews who fled Arab persecution from 1948 to 1956 should have no right of return to Arab lands, and Arabs who ran away in 1948 and 1967 should have no right of return either. This should end all argument. Yet the Jews accept this judgment, while the Arabs reject EVERYTHING. - Walid Shoebat”

Thanks for your usual thought provoking posts.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan, S.O., William, Vic:

Now that we have had fun getting our definitions straight, like who is or is not racist, anti-this or anti-that, we are getting closer to resolving the more important issue; i.e. what is the future likely to hold for this region?

S.O.: “As I said, I'm not Jewish, and don't accept the justification, but I don't suggest that Israel should be dissolved either. After 60 years, we simply have to accept that it is there and deal with the issues as they are today.”

[I think that you are saying that forming the “State of Israel” was unwise, but is done, and we must live with it. As my friend AM, Vienna, VA says: “You can make omelet from egg, but not egg from omelet”.]

Alan: …“the non-religious Jews in Israel…have as strong a bond to their country as we have to ours. They don’t want to go anywhere other than where their grandparents lived.”

But hopefully, the Palestinians will accept living in three countries, Lebanon, Jordan, and The West Bank, which dwarf Israel in size. In my ideal solution, the Palestinians can reside within 20 miles of their grandparent’s villages, not a huge sacrifice when you compare it to historical movements of other peoples after wars.”

William: “In the early 1920s, with the assistance of a truly great statesman, Fridtjof Nansen, much of the Greek population of Turkey was exchanged with the Turkish population of Greece in the interests of peace. In 1945 Czechoslovakia expelled virtually the entire ethnic German population so that there would be no future pretext for German invasion. There are numerous recent historical examples of similar actions.

Why are the Palestinians the only war losers entitled to reclaim lands that were lost? It must be remembered that they were to have directly benefited from those wars.

My prognosis is that, absent any softening of their position, the Palestinians will remain losers and that their position will continue to deteriorate. My guess is that if that softening were to occur, the entire world would open their collective hearts and treasuries. However, Islamic honor will not allow that to happen. If it is the case, which I believe it to be, that I am forced to take sides, I choose the Jews.”

[This is a very interesting observation by William. I agree that Islamic honor will never allow submission to the Zionist invader, that I am forced to take sides, and that I choose the Palestinians for reasons that I have explained from a simple sense of justice.]

Vic: “So there are two movements that HAVE to take place to solve the violence permanently, and it's going to take some rational heads to produce the results. One is Israeli…The idea that they want Israel recognized as a Jewish state is the dumbest talking point they are sticking to…This isn't exactly going to bring about a one-state solution, but Israel is going to have to have a huge social upheaval that puts war on the backburner as their way to solve disputes…

Meanwhile, Hamas and their ilk…have to make a big political change, one working hard as a unit for social change in Israel while keeping their politics in the realm of the peaceful…”

[Vic is arguing for a secular (non-Jewish) state solution for Israel. How surprising! What does this mean? Does this mean there is no limit on the proportion of Muslim citizens? Can Muslims serve in the military, and at any level in the parliament? Please come back and elaborate.]

So here is how we see the future as I understand our positions:

1. Allan, William, S.O. and Vic think we will have a peaceful two-state solution along the 1967 borders, with the cooler heads winning out in time. Vic thinks Israel will be secular, non-Jewish, but we need more information on what this means. Can Muslims immigrate as freely as Jews, serve in the military and parliament? William is not sure that the Palestinians really want a state.

2. I think we will have a single Palestinian state, with the Israelis moving to the USA and leaving Palestine to the Arabs.

I must admit that my position seems to be the most unlikely by far today. However, this does not mean that I am wrong. The Israelis are clearly the unwelcome newcomer minority in the region; and are only hanging on by virtue of their overwhelming military might and unconditional support of their big brother, the world’s last remaining super power (for the moment).

As oil supplies dwindle over the coming decades, China’s and Russia’s stars rise, the US dollar fades against the Euro, our $10 Trillion national debt continues to explode with much of it owed to China, and our War on Islam isolates us further and further from the world’s powers; the fate of the Israelis (who import 90% of their oil from Russia) becomes evermore precarious. As China and the countries of the Arabian Gulf become more interdependent and greater trading parties, they will become natural allies. The US and Israeli positions will become more precarious and dependent on Russia for oil.

William, San Antonio:

We’ve been through so many iterations that there are few related pebbles unturned. One of these may be a really big rock (RBR) rather that a pebble. John Smith above alluded to it almost by accident. When he appended “if they wish to be viewed as legitimate nations” almost parenthetically to his point, I believe that he hit on if not a 900 pound gorilla then the really mischievous monkey in the room. Do the so-called Palestinians really want a state or is this a chimera externally imprinted on them by those who fail to grasp the true dynamics of the situation? To the two-state advocates I must ask, what leads you to believe that any Arabs, much less the Palestinian Arabs want a separate state? And, if imposed on them, what leads you to believe that a Palestinian statelet would be viable?

Secondly, the notion of “justice” in his final sentence is most telling. It is clear, at least to me, that the fault lines exposed herein are symptomatic of larger issues. These larger issues are the world views of the commentators. Justice when viewed by militant secularists differs significantly from the notions of justice held by those with a Judeo-Christian world view. That is not a particularly novel idea; but, what is curious is that the notions of “justice” held by secularists and Islamo-Fascists are virtually identical. Today, as I scanned the news, I found these quotes embedded in various articles:

"You Christians brought this on yourselves … All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world." – Matthew Murray

“When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth.” – James Corbett

"This occupation of Arab-Muslim land shows how racist we really are," she said. "If we can justify it by saying it's OK to kill a million Iraqis, but at least my family is safe... No, that is not okay!" – Cindy Sheehan

These words are deranged, vacuous and cowardly; but, they do not differ greatly from the vast majority of comments on this and many like blogs.

Thirdly, if not directly then more ambiguously, I have been categorized as a racist. I would counter that assertions made of groups in a general sense do not necessarily indicate racism. Whatever assertions have been made are not generalities in the mathematical sense, that is, where general implies “all are to the exclusion of the rest”; but, general in the sociological sense which implies that a sufficient number are to make the assertions useful. It should not be necessary to make this distinction, but I’m going to make it anyway. If the assertions are unusable or demonstrably false then an issue can be had. That said, is there a larger definable group more monolithic that Muslims? Eboo Patel’s blog about “moderate Muslims” and his criticisms of Ayaan Hirsi Ali are classic avoidance mechanisms characteristic of Islam. He does, however, mention something in passing that is noteworthy: Islam is internally self-contradictory; but, only as he equivocates, in the context that so is every other faith. The fact is that here is no moderation in Islam. The majority are passive but not moderate. They tolerate what we call extremism because they submit; and, this is what Islam is all about – submission. Take a look at the videos and the testimony here, see for yourself:

http://www.shoebat.com/

And finally, John, it was not my intention to be critical of your post. It was well said and represents to a large degree my position in the matter.


Alan:

Simple:

Terrorism is simple. It is the act of trying to kill or maim innocent civilians without a military objective. This is different than an insurgency where military targets are sought after.

The IED’s in Iraq are no different than booby traps in Vietnam or minefields anywhere else. They are horrible but are not terrorism. If the US uses the term terrorist to describe insurgents trying to kill our soldiers, then the US is using the wrong term.

Regarding Begin:

Found this from the Jewish Virtual Library:
“The King David Hotel was the site of the British military command and the British Criminal Investigation Division. The Irgun chose it as a target after British troops invaded the Jewish Agency June 29, 1946, and confiscated large quantities of documents. At about the same time, more than 2,500 Jews from all over Palestine were placed under arrest. The information about Jewish Agency operations, including intelligence activities in Arab countries, was taken to the King David Hotel.
A week later, news of a massacre of 40 Jews in a pogrom in Poland reminded the Jews of Palestine how Britain's restrictive immigration policy had condemned thousands to death.
Irgun leader Menachem Begin stressed his desire to avoid civilian casualties and said three telephone calls were placed, one to the hotel, another to the French Consulate, and a third to the Palestine Post, warning that explosives in the King David Hotel would soon be detonated.
On July 22, 1946, the calls were made. The call into the hotel was apparently received and ignored. Begin quotes one British official who supposedly refused to evacuate the building, saying: "We don't take orders from the Jews."1 As a result, when the bombs exploded, the casualty toll was high: a total of 91 killed and 45 injured. Among the casualties were 15 Jews. Few people in the hotel proper were injured by the blast.2”
You might also read this review from Begin’s book, The Revolt. I copy the following from the amazon site:

“Another claim made by detractors is that Irgun was a terror group. After reading numerous histories of the group and supplementing it with this book the truth comes to light that Irgun never wanted the death of innocents, only those fighting against it, such as militant Arabs and British soldiers. Begin even shows regret to the innocents that were killed in attacks.”

So it seems Mr. Begin regretted the nonmilitary deaths and made three phone calls to warn of the impending time-bombs. Since he did issue regret in his book, I would say this is quite different than the current Hamas government, which hangs billboards honoring the guys who wear vests and look children in the eye before killing them. The important point is that the Palestinians support suicide targeting of civilians by a percentage that few American presidents get to see in their approval ratings. This wholesale support for terrorism isn’t the case in Israel, plaque or no plaque.

By the way, after reading Rick Jones’ posts, do you see why Jews might mistakenly conclude that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are often interlinked? I appreciate Mr. Jones’ regrets for sounding racist when he accused all 6 million “Zionists” in Israel of having a universal distaste for Christianity.

By the way, doesn’t the term “Zionists” sound kind of harsh? How about “Israelis”? Why the harsh sounding term? Zionists believe Jews have the right to live in Israel, a country where you can freely practice any religion. Compare this with the Arab countries, which often suppress non-muslims from worship. The religious intolerance in the Arab world is far more unjust than the fact that the Jews want their own homeland. An Arab can pray in Tel Aviv. A Jew can’t pray in Damascus or Riyadh. Maybe this religious intolerance is a good reason for Zionism. You can argue that it is unfair that Jews only want other Jews to move to Israel. But compared to the religious intolerance in the Arab world, this is a minor transgression. Protesting against Israel’s preferential selection of Jewish immigrants is another double standard—why not protest against Arab religious intolerance instead?

I believe that 5 or 6 posts ago, I was trying to get you to see that it is reasonable for Jews to think anti-Semitism is often intertwined with anti-Zionism. This was in answer to your accusation that Jews should stop pointing toward anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized so disproportionately. Do you still think it is illogical for Jews to feel that way? Do the double standard type issues I mentioned (Darfur, Tibet, Chechnya and Kuwait’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians) give you enough pause to consider that the Jews might not be delusional on this point? Is there any chance that the “two anti-s” could be intertwined in many cases?

Regards


Simple Observer:

Alan:

You may have opened a can of worms this time. In your last post you said “Menachem Begin was apparently involved in blowing up British Military targets, the largest of which was the King David Hotel. Going after military targets is not terrorism. And if innocent bystanders were killed, nobody in Israel would have celebrated their deaths.”

There are two points there that I won’t dispute. 1. Begin was involved in the attack on the King David Hotel, and 2. Israeli’s (Jewish leaders in 1946) did not celebrate it. After that, it gets just a little bit more convoluted. Before I begin, I want to point out that my source of information is Wikipedia.

The day after the attack on the King David Hotel, the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, addressed the House of Commons. In part he declared the attack a “Brutal and murderous crime”. He also said “By this insane act of TERRORISM, 93 innocent people have been killed or are missing in the ruins.”

In 2006, The Israeli government held an anniversary CELEBRATION to commemorate the bombing. The British Ambassador and the Consoler General in Jerusalem issues a statement which said in part “We do not think it is right for an act of TERRORISM … to be commemorated.” The ceremony went on without them and included the placing of a commemorative plaque that in part blames the British for the loss of life because they did not act fast enough to evacuate the hotel.

Some additional information surfaced while I was researching the facts about the King David Hotel attack. The organization that carried out the attack was the Irgun. They had carried out attacks prior to WW II, but at the outbreak of the war, they suspended attacks and supported the British against Nazi Germany. What I don’t understand is why they would renew their activities against the British in August of 1944 at the height of the struggle against Germany. A smaller group, the Lehi, never ceased actively attacking the British. So while their fellow Jews were being persecuted, enslaved, and killed in Europe, these people were attacking one of the Western Powers actively engaged in defeating Germany?

I’m forced to ask a couple of questions. You refuse to call Begin and the Irgun terrorists, but the British, who were the party being attacked did, and do so to this day. So who’s right? Are they terrorists for attacking The Hotel? It was a military HQ, but the majority of those killed were civilian employees including 17 Jews. Is your position that they weren’t terrorists? And is that because they were Jewish? How can they justify their actions when the British were not persecuting them? Are you calling this an act of Freedom fighters? The officially recognized Jewish Agency called the Lehi a “Terrorist Organization in Palestine” after the assassination of Lord Moyne in November of 1944. The Jewish Agency of Palestine ultimately became the provisional government of Israel. Were they mistaken in calling these people Terrorists?

Now to the subject of the Israelis not celebrating the death of innocent people. It sure looks to me that holding a ceremony 60 years later, hosted by the Israeli Prime Minister, could be considered celebration. They commemorated the act with a plaque, even though Jewish leaders of the day (Of the Yishuv) called the Irgun criminals. And what about the 17 Jews who died? Were they innocent or not?

Finally, how does your statement that attacking a military target is a legitimate action jive with events of today. By that token, the IED attacks on US troops are a legitimate attack, yet our government has called such attacks acts of terrorism. So which is it? Are IED attacks terrorism or not. If they are, how do they differ from the attacks made on the British in the 1930’s and 40’s?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

S.O.,

“Truman did not want to recognize Israel. It simply became politically expedient.”

How right you are:

http://www.mideastweb.org/us_supportforstate.htm

“He wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt on August 23, 1947, apparently in the wake of one or another Jewish terrorist atrocity:

"I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on top they are just as intolerant and cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath. I regret this situation very much because my sympathy has always been on their side."...

And

“For better or worse, Truman was given to frank self-expression at all times, so these beliefs found their way into the historical record as well...

The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes...

At least in this case, Truman was expressing a philosophy about underdogs rather than venting against the Jews in particular. He was also frustrated by the opposition to allowing admittance of Jews to the United States. The 250,000 displaced persons were a problem he had to solve somehow, yet all rational solutions seemed to be blocked...

Marshall argued that the Jewish State would be overpowered by the Arabs, and that it would need US military help, pitting the US against the Arabs. He claimed argued that those pressuring Truman to recognize the Jewish state, meaning Clifford, were more interested in domestic politics than in international stability. There is no doubt that the upcoming elections loomed large in all these considerations, explicitly or implicitly...

However Truman signed the letter of recognition shortly after 6 PM, giving de facto recognition to the new state and its government...

So much for “The buck stops here”!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

“At least you've thought this through, even though I disagree with most of your writings.”

Ditto and thank you. I have had plenty of practice getting things sorted out in my own mind thanks to hours of friendly debate with our good friends William and Vic on other boards.

“One thing you might want to think about until then is that the vast majority of Jewish Israelis do not have a distaste for Christians. I know because I lived there for 18 months. I never heard such a comment. Your reading it on web posts does not prove that this is a mainstream concept.”

I can accept that; thanks for the input. Actually, that makes sense, because the American Christian evangelicals I believe are much stronger supporters of Zionism than are the American Jews; something to do with the claim that the Jews must return home to Israel before the next return of the Messiah.

This changes very little of what I have said about the Zionists irrational (I believe) claim to be unsafe anywhere in the world other than Israel; i.e. the world (except for the Christian evangelicals) is out to get them. Actually, David Wilder is closer to being right on this issue (I believe) than are the majority of Zionists that you mention. America will be no friend of the Zionists when she finally gets her head unplugged from her a$$, whether they be settlers in the West Bank, or in the present day internationally recognized “State of Israel”.

“Please answer the following question: Did you really state that "this statement [that there is a “universal distaste” for Christians, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and everyone else but Jews] applies to the 6 Million Zionist Israelis"? If so, once again, you are assigning group conclusions to all of the Jews who live in Israel. Sorry, but I think you've crossed the racist line again.”

Yup, I did it again didn’t I? It never pays to assign characteristics (positive or negative) to an entire group of people. That illustrates the value of an open debate of this type. When we step out of line, as most of us do on occasion, someone will be glad to straighten us back out. It is too bad that this subject is not give a more public airing, as I understand is the case in Israel. If it were dealt with honestly by our politicians and the mainstream media, e.g. Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, etc; we would not be in the mess that we find ourselves today.

Thanks for the post; and BTW, I normally answer to Rick rather than Mr. Jones.

John Smith:

Rick is either ignorant or racist, or more likely, a combination of the two. The justifications for his assertions are ludicrous, such as how the Palestinians have been there for "thousands of years," and all 6 million Jews living in Israel have a "distaste for Christians and Muslims" because they happen to live in the "Zionist State." Most of the Jews that live in Israel did not move there for ideological reasons, but rather out of necessity - nearly a million Jews living in Muslim countries were forcibly expelled and had their property confiscated, while nearly all European Jews that emigrated to Israel did so for obvious and legitimate reasons that need not be discussed here. It follows that Rick's presumption about the Israelis alive today is at best based on meaningless and idiotic inferences. It is not fair to hold an Israeli settler as representative of "the Jews," anymore than it is to hold Osama bin Laden as representative of "the Muslims." I find it troubling to see people that are so clearly deficient in knowledge relevant to the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict posting messages with such self-righteous authority and indignation.

The fact of the matter is that the Israelis will not go anywhere barring a forcible expulsion, and they have no incentive whatsoever to allow millions of uneducated, unskilled people that most likely harbor a fanatic hatred of Jews and the state of Israel to reside in their territory. Anyone with a modicum of reason that isn't blinded by ideology can see that the only peaceful solution involves two states, dismantled settlements, and Palestinian refugees given the choice of returning to Palestinian territory or becoming naturalized citizens of whatever country they've been living in for the last few decades. To suggest that there exists a viable solution to the contrary would necessitate the use of "magical thinking." It may be true that most of the Muslim countries in the region find the idea of a non-Muslim state unacceptable, but many authority figures in these countries also find the notion of basic human rights unacceptable. At some point cultures and governments must abandon attitudes and beliefs suited to nomadic desert societies if they wish to be viewed as legitimate nations.

The choice is between real peace or someone's inevitably biased idea of "justice," and frankly, I don't see why it should be a difficult decision for any rational person.

Alan:

Mr. Jones and S.O.

Just read Simple’s response. I thank Simple for saving me a lot of time thinking about this. For once, I agree with everything he wrote. Including his musings on what if the Mexicans wanted California back as part of Mexico in the 1920’s. Perhaps it’s not a fair comparison, other than the original point, which was to show that if your family lives somewhere for 80 years, you’re often not going to want to leave.

I’ll add a few more thoughts. The twenty year olds living in Israel are mostly third or fourth generation, except for the children of Russians who arrived in the last 15 years. The secular population identifies with their country in historical, sociological and cultural senses. I think it’s similar to immigration over time in the US. Here’s how: in the US, if one’s grandparents came here from somewhere else, one usually thinks of oneself as an American. One has Thanksgiving dinner and thinks of the Pilgrims even if one’s family arrived from Mongolia 35 years ago. Discussions about politics often are described as “our forefather’s intentions were…..” Lewis and Clark, slavery and emancipation, Paul Bunyan, Tippeecanoe and Tyler too, The War of 1812 (etc.) are all things that most Americans think of as being part of their history, even the Americans whose great grandparents came in the early part of last century. Italian Americans who’ve been here for 80 years know about the War of 1812 but few can discuss Italy’s history in Europe or name an Italian prime minister.

This concept is similar in respect to the feelings and the identities of the non-religious Jews in Israel. They have as strong a bond to their country as we have to ours. They don’t want to go anywhere other than where their grandparents lived. This doesn’t mean that the Palestinians didn’t suffer. But hopefully, the Palestinians will accept living in three countries, Lebanon, Jordan, and The West Bank, which dwarf Israel in size. In my ideal solution, the Palestinians can reside within 20 miles of their grandparent’s villages, not a huge sacrifice when you compare it to historical movements of other peoples after wars.

One more thing. Menachem Begin was apparently involved in blowing up British Military targets, the largest of which was the King David Hotel. Going after military targets is not terrorism. And if innocent bystanders were killed, nobody in Israel would have celebrated their deaths.

I'll end things with my usual diatribe: The enemy is racism and terrorism, no matter what the justifications are.

Regards


Simple Obserever:

Alan, Mr. Jones:

I'm forced to take issue with a few of the interesting writings above. Having spared with Alan lately, I understand his position rather well, but I am not comfortable with your equating California in 1920 to Israel of today. First, California became one of the United States long before 1920. All of the residents at the time (this included the former Mexican citizens and American immigrants, but not Native Americans) voted to be included in the union. California was not formed and recognized through an international organization, nor was there a significant religious overtone to the process.

Truman did not want to recognize Israel. It simply became politically expedient. Up through the 1960's, US policy was reasonably cool towards Israel. It was only in 1973, during the Yom Kippur war, that the US started to provide real material and monetary support. This was as much in response to Soviet overtures to Egypt and Syria as a general agreement in policy goals. Since that time however, US policy has become increasingly pro-Israeli. Before 1973, we voted against Israel on UN Security Council Resolutions. Since then, we have either vetoed resolutions, or kept them from coming to a vote at all.

The quote about driving the Jews into the sea is legitimate. I don't recall the exact quote, or its author, but that was the rhetoric at the time of Israel's formation.

The question of Anti's was one I engaged Alan on. I think that he has adequately acknowledged that the two are not automatically linked. Anti-Zionists are not necessarily anti-Semites, but I would suspect that the opposite is true for the most part. Anti-Semites are can most likely be considered anti-Zionist. The assertion though that you must know the definition of each of these words in order to be one is ridiculous. Ignorance does not change the definition of the word.

As to the history of the Zionist movement, it must be acknowledged that the early Zionist movement acquired land in Palestine through legal means. They purchased it, and immigrated via accepted practices at the time. That is not to say that there wasn't some illegal immigration, but the majority of that did not occur until after WW II.

I stated in a previous post that I don't consider myself an anti-Zionist. As I said, I'm not Jewish, and don't accept the justification, but I don't suggest that Israel should be dissolved either. After 60 years, we simply have to accept that it is there and deal with the issues as they are today. I was a little amused the other day though, when the notion hit me that one of the base claims of the Zionists about Israel is that the Old Testament states that God gave them that land as the Chosen people. Didn't the Jews write that book?

Finally, I think my point about why we pay so much attention to Israel and the problems there compared to other examples of occupation has been ignored. Simply put, the media gives it attention because the region has the attention of our government. The "War on Terror" has increased that attention. Tibet has no significant resources that would require our government's attention. If they had Oil, or Uranium, or any other important commodity, they would get attention from the government and as a result, the media. Without that government interest the media has no interest. This country's fascination with celebrities is all that has brought these issues to light. HRM Diana dies in a car crash and it is all you hear about for weeks. If Bono talks about Darfur, it starts to get attention until Britney stops at Starbucks without her drawers on, and Darfur is all but forgotten. It is sad, but there you go.

Regards

Alan:

Jones

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I'll answer you in the next 24 hours. At least you've thought this through, even though I disagree with most of your writings.

One thing you might want to think about until then is that the vast majority of Jewish Israelis do not have a distaste for Christians. I know because I lived there for 18 months. I never heard such a comment. Your reading it on web posts does not prove that this is a mainstream concept.

Please answer the following question: Did you really state that "this statement [that there is a “universal distaste” for Christians, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and everyone else but Jews] applies to the 6 Million Zionist Israelis"? If so, once again, you are assigning group conclusions to all of the Jews who live in Israel. Sorry, but I think you've crossed the racist line again.

Regards. I'll answer you more elaborately in the next 24 hours or so.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

“However, to clarify, I know plenty of Jews and would guess that the number of Jews who have a “universal distaste for Christians” is limited to a fringe minority.”

I agree; that is my experience as well. However, one could infer that the Zionists who are in Israel have a “universal distaste” for Christians, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and everyone else but Jews; as they seem to believe that the “State of Israel” is the only place on God’s green Earth that they will be safe from persecution. Note that this statement applies only to the 6 Million Zionists in Israel, and not to the 5 Million Jews in America or 2 Million scattered over the rest of the world.

“Therefore, I would consider your universal distaste concept null and void, unless you can give me proof that this distaste is, indeed, universal.”

I cannot provide proof. It is merely my experience in discussing this subject on these boards that I constantly get this excuse. The Jews have tried to live in other countries of the world, but have been constantly persecuted for thousands of years wherever they go. I reply that the American Jews appear to be doing OK. The reply back is: “But will it last? The European Jews were doing OK as well for a time, and then they were not.”

“Back to the big question: "Are the two “anti-s” often related?" You still haven’t given me a good reason why most folks look at Israel as a horrific moral problem whereas Chechnya, Tibet, Darfur, or Kuwaitis ethnic cleansing of Palestinians does not receive focus.”

I believe that I have answered this clearly. Israel is our problem. We created it. Chechnya, Tibet, Darfur, and Kuwait are someone else’s creation. We are only responsible for our own actions. I also would quibble with your “most folks”. Most Americans side with the Israelis by a considerable margin in this conflict. Most anti-Zionists (like me) I expect feel as I do; i.e. we are responsible for our own actions, and no one else’s.

“Your personal reason for anti-Zionism, namely, that you are a US citizen feeling guilty for the actions of Truman 60 years ago is understandable even though I think you are incorrect.”

As I said, it is far more than Truman’s actions 60 years ago. It has been our continuing policy for the past 60 years with no end in site.

“Do you really believe that there are not a significant number of anti-Semites among anti-Zionists? Take yourself for example. You believe you are not anti-Semitic but feel that “Jews have a universal distaste for Christians…” Sorry, but it sounds a little racist to me.”

Yes, I agree, that is racist. And our continuing discussion has led me to understand and to clarify that this “distaste” for Christians, Muslims and everyone else applies to the 6 Million Zionist Israelis, and not to the remainder of the world’s 7 Million Jews.

“I would guess that a smaller percent of Jews vs. Christians in the US have a distaste for Muslims.”

I agree.

“As for Israel’s justification for being there, it is at least as good as white America’s justification for being here.”

I agree; said justification being that “might makes right”, which is no justification at all. However, what we did to the Native Americans and the Mexicans is over and done with. The victims in this case are resigned to their fate, and are not causing a major disruption of world order. That is not comparable to the situation in the Middle East today.

“Most Israelis are secular, don’t give a crap about the biblical stuff, and are there because they believe they have a right to be there.”

I agree that is what they believe, but they are wrong. They have no right to be there.

“The Arabs were threatened and angry at the new immigrant group and didn’t accept the situation. Eventually, the Arabs tried to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’ but couldn’t.”

I agree, except for the rhetoric: ‘drive the Jews into the sea’. As this is in quotes I suppose that is from an historical reference that I am not familiar with. However, I’m sure that we agree that words of the occasional hot head are not indicative of an entire people. No doubt the Palestinians of the day wanted to drive the Zionists back to where they came from. Just as we want to drive the “illegal” Mexican immigrants back to Mexico. As you have aptly pointed out, the Palestinians were much more justified in driving the “illegal” Zionist immigrants from their land, which the natives of that region had occupied for thousands of years, than we who have occupied this land for only a few hundred years. Can you imagine what our response would be if the minority of ‘illegal” Mexican immigrants started using the terrorist attacks of Menachem Begin’s Irgun to drive us from our homes? Only the “illegal” Mexican immigrants would not have the full support of the world’s greatest super power to bail them out.

“If you think the US should not have given back California in the 1920’s, then kindly explain what appears to be a double standard.”

There is no explanation for it. Our treatment of the Native Americans and Mexicans was and is unjust. However, the Native Americans and Mexicans are resigned to their fate and are no major threat to world peace. In the words of the honorable George W. Bush, we are on the verge of WW III due to our monumentally incompetent Middle East policy.

Alan:

Error in my last posting. Disregard this sentence: "I would even guess that a smaller percent of American Jews have a distaste for Muslims when compared to American Christians."

The change: I would guess that a smaller percent of Jews vs. Christians in the US have a distaste for Muslims.

Alan:

Mr. Jones

First I want to apologize for substituting the word hate for distaste. It was an accident and was purely my fault with no ill intent. However, to clarify, I know plenty of Jews and would guess that the number of Jews who have a “ universal distaste for Christians” is limited to a fringe minority. I personally have never met any. Jews don’t hold present day Christians responsible for the actions of their ancestors hundreds of years ago. Similarly, I know very few Jews who have a universal distaste for Germans because of the actions their grandparents may or may not have taken. Therefore, I would consider your universal distaste concept null and void, unless you can give me proof that this distaste is, indeed, universal.

My point about anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism being related was not answered in your reply. Before I get started, I used the term “many” rather than “most” when describing anti-Zionists as anti-Semites. Looks like we’re both guilty of substituting the wrong word. I still believe it’s many and have no idea if it’s more than 50%.

Back to the big question: "Are the two “anti-s” often related?" You still haven’t given me a good reason why most folks look at Israel as a horrific moral problem whereas Chechnya, Tibet, Darfur, or Kuwaitis ethnic cleansing of Palestinians does not receive focus. Israel getting disproportionate attention compared to these examples makes me believe anti-Semitism is often intertwined with anti-Zionism. Your personal reason for anti-Zionism, namely, that you are a US citizen feeling guilty for the actions of Truman 60 years ago is understandable even though I think you are incorrect. Regardless, we both seem to agree that it is not the principle reason most anti-Zionists dislike Israel. Please elaborate on why the average anti-Zionist doesn’t care about the horrendous examples of bloodshed I listed above—why are they so focused on Israel and so disinterested about far worse goings on?

Do you really believe that there are not a significant number of anti-Semites among anti-Zionists? Take yourself for example. You believe you are not anti-Semitic but feel that “Jews have a universal distaste for Christians…” Sorry, but it sounds a little racist to me. A little worse, in fact, than stating that blacks have a universal taste for watermelon. The qualifier that Jews have become more tolerant of Christians of late is meaningless. I don’t know what Jews thought of Christians 300 years ago. I just know that nearly all Jews do not have a distaste for someone because they are Christian. I would even guess that a smaller percent of American Jews have a distaste for Muslims when compared to American Christians.

As for Israel’s justification for being there, it is at least as good as white America’s justification for being here. The religious people in Israel, which is a minority of the population, believe the land is theirs because of biblical history. Most Israelis are secular, don’t give a crap about the biblical stuff, and are there because they believe they have a right to be there. Their ancestors came and bought land at first. The Arabs were threatened and angry at the new immigrant group and didn’t accept the situation. Eventually, the Arabs tried to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’ but couldn’t. The Jews have a right to stay there after 80 years of being there. It’s no different than the American West in the 1920’s, about eighty years after the Mexican American war. Should the Americans who had been living in California for 80 years have given back the land? Maybe. But it’s not any different than the facts on the ground in Israel. If you think the US should not have given back California in the 1920’s, then kindly explain what appears to be a double standard.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

“I respect your feelings but would like to hear you acknowledge that your thinking would probably not be listed on Family Feud as one of the top 5 reasons for anti-Zionism. Most people who are anti-zionists probably do not know about the Truman administration’s decisions in the Middle East. If that’s the case, then you can’t answer my point about why Israel’s actions are viewed in a much worse light than the Chechnya, Tibet, and Darfur examples I elaborated on in my recent post.”

I don’t watch Family Feud, am I missing something interesting? But I take your point is that most anti-Zionists don’t know much about the history of the Middle East and Harry Truman’s role in it, but are still anti-Zionists and hence also anti-Semite.

If I read you correctly, I will cede your premise that most people are ignorant of the history, but will take issue with your conclusion that this implies that most anti-Zionists are also anti-Semite. Actually, most people probably don’t know what Zionist and Semite are. However, anyone who is anti-Zionist probably knows what Zionism is; i.e. the preposterous belief that on the basis of having lived in Palestine prior to being expelled some 2000 years ago, they are now entitled to return and expel those who have been living there for the past two millennia. This is also coupled with the ludicrous notion that they are God’s chosen people, and that He has given this land to them.

Furthermore most people who follow the news at all (which admittedly rules out most) know that our present government is strongly pro-Israel, and that Israel receives a much more generous portion of our total foreign aid budget than do the Palestinians. These people also know that the Israelis have an overpowering military war machine, compliments of our government and tax dollars, and it is being used to bomb the local Arab population back to the stone ages.

In summary, of course the average anti-Zionist would be more concerned about the Arab/Israeli dispute than the other atrocities that you mention; i.e. Chechnya, Tibet, and Darfur. So I still reject your argument.

You also say:

“You are wrong about Jews “having universal distaste for Christians and Muslims”. So wrong that it’s hard to take your other arguments seriously. Such a revolting belief, namely, that Jews hate Christians or Muslims could easily be viewed as racist and inflammatory.”

I am obviously missing something here. Please help me understand. I think that you have been arguing that the Jews have been persecuted for thousands of years by most everyone (Christians, Muslims, agnostics and atheists) who hate them for religious or racial reasons, or both. Yet it is revolting, racist and inflammatory to imagine that Jews would have distaste for these people in return. I notice that you substitute “hate” for my word “distaste” in order to amp up the rhetoric, and ignore my statement that I think the Jews have become more tolerant of Christians of late. At least I haven’t known them to crucify anyone lately.

Simple Observer:

William:

At what point did I try to say that there weren't radical fundamentalist who would stoop to even using babies as weapons. Are you going to try to say that they did this because they were sexually frustrated? Let's be clear. There are plenty of whackos out there that will sink to any depth to forward their cause. Blowing up Bhutto can hardly be an act of anti-Semitism, though. Using kids to spew hatred and Mickey Mouse to teach hatred are. Nonetheless, you still have not provided information on how effective the propaganda is.

My reference to the KKK march was perfectly apt. There were plenty of people on the street, but the hate speech fell on deaf ears. That may or may not be the case with Hammas TV, but lets have some data before we debate it. On the same token, how many people listen to either you or I?

By last report, 60% of Palestinians support the current peace initiative. Is that all Palestinians or just those in the West Bank? Does Hammas TV reach the West Bank, or is it just available in Gaza? If Gazans don't support the peace initiative, one must ask if they are getting accurate information regarding it.

My point here is that information is all relative to the source, its audience, and the number of audience members. Add to that the other sources of information available, education levels, and economic levels of the audience, and there is a wide difference in receptiveness. There are all kinds of hate speech out there, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily getting through.

I am not defending any kind of hate speech but lets make sure we keep it in perspective. Muslims aren't the only ones to use kids to preach hatred. There are a pair of young teen twins who sing and dance for Hitler. They are just cute as a button!

Mr. Jones:

Alan is right. Your are making some mighty big assumptions there.

Alan:

Mr. Jones

You’ve given me a good explanation as to why you are anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic. To paraphrase, you feel that the government of the United States is to blame for the misfortunes of the Palestinians because of poor decisions made by Harry Truman in the 1940’s. I respect your feelings but would like to hear you acknowledge that your thinking would probably not be listed on Family Feud as one of the top 5 reasons for anti-Zionism. Most people who are anti-zionists probably do not know about the Truman administration’s decisions in the Middle East. If that’s the case, then you can’t answer my point about why Israel’s actions are viewed in a much worse light than the Chechnya, Tibet, and Darfur examples I elaborated on in my recent post.

I would submit to you that the Israelis got a sliver of land in what was then TransJordan. The Arabs tried to kill them and lost. It is quite common through history for peoples to fight over land. We all know the Jews didn’t start the war in 1948. Rather, the Arabs started that war with the usual rallying cry of “kill the Jews”. They lost and should accept Israel’s existence. The same thing happened again in 1967. Not much different result other than Israel held Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel may have acted with racial bias in the past, but most of their occupation is set towards protecting its own population rather than for expansion. Yes, the Israelis were morons for building apartments and houses in the West Bank and Gaza, but they more or less admitted that in the 1990’s when they voted for Mr. Barak, whose stated goal was to return most of the Palestinian territories. Unfortunately, the Palestinians didn’t accept Mr. Barak’s offer of peace and decided to blow up buses with innocent children instead. Your blaming the US and Israel is sad because the Israelis tried to make peace. Even if there were poor actions that occurred during the past sixty years, these could be rectified once the Palestinians eschew racism and terrorism.

Perhaps you might consider blaming Arab terrorism for the Palestinian’s current plight. The Isreali land confiscations are horrendous but they would be willing to reverse much of this once the Arabs stop teaching their children to honor those that have murdered a Jewish child. It might also be nice for the Palestinian government to stop showing anti-Semitic Mickey Mouse programs. In contrast, the Israelis are less racist toward Arabs than we in the United States are toward Blacks. (I hate racism of any sort).


You are wrong about Jews “having universal distaste for Christians and Muslims”. So wrong that it’s hard to take your other arguments seriously. Such a revolting belief, namely, that Jews hate Christians or Muslims could easily be viewed as racist and inflammatory.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan,

Demetris Zettos @ December 3, 2007 10:12 PM says:

“Now, as to your use of the term "anti-Semite" to characterize anyone who criticizes expansionist Zionism and the acts of the Israeli Occupation forces. I cannot help but laugh equating your use of the term with a piece of used chewing gum in your mouth. But that laugh changes into sadness when I see the actions of people like you causing humanity to accept the term of anti-Semite as a badge of honor.”...

Not So Simple @ December 8, 2007 11:54 AM says:

“I don’t equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism because Zionism is not universally supported within the Jewish community. Not every Jew is a Zionist. I never said I was anti-Zionist.”

You @ December 9, 2007 10:21 AM say:

“I don’t think that ALL people who dislike Zionism are anti-Semitic. I think a large percentage of them are anti-Semitic. Why? Because of the disproportionate amount of hate against Israel and because of the double standards. When I listed those other problem countries in my previous post, I was showing that the disproportionate amount of hatred is likely a result of anti-Semitism on the part of MANY of the anti-Zionists, NOT for all of them. But if someone objects to Israel more than objecting to those other countries I listed, they should ask why are there so many people who ignore those other countries and focus their efforts on the Jews? Two millenia of the Jews being hated almost mythologically offers a pretty reasonable explanation.”

Demetris and Not So Simple are correct I believe, and you are mistaken. Let me offer my explanation for the “disproportionate amount of hate against Israel and the double standards” that you cite:

In my case, I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semite. The reason that I am focused on the Israeli invasion and occupation of Palestine, and not the equal or greater sins of other countries, is that my government is responsible for making possible the Israeli theft of Palestine by virtue of its ill advised vote for partition and recognition of the illegitimate “State of Israel” in 1947. My government is also answerable for its continued support of this atrocity for the past 60 years by virtue of its gift of hundreds of billions of our tax dollars to Israel in the form of outright grants and gifts of military hardware. Therefore I am compelled to speak out against this atrocity.

As to your “Two millennia of the Jews being hated almost mythologically”, I think that mythological is a good term to describe this; not because it did not exist, but because its root is in the various myths of the three great Abrahamic myths (I mean religions). For many (if not most) Christians, people who don’t love Jesus are people who should be despised. Today you can see this behavior applied almost universally to Muslims, but not to Jews. I don’t know when, or why this shift in attitude occurred, but when I was a young Southern Baptist growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee; I remember the term Jew being used in a not so Christianly manner. Of course in those days we had some not so Christian words for blacks as well. I have since become a skeptic of religion, just as I am skeptical of the possible future success of the two-state solution. So I am no longer cursed with this bigotry.

In a similar manner Muslims have universal distaste for Christians and Jews, and I dare say Jews have universal distaste for Christians and Muslims; though they too, I believe, have become more tolerant of Christians over the years.

William, San Antonio:

NSSO:

The fact is that these behaviors are pervasive in the Muslim world and that they bear fruit (see Bhutto link and excerpt below). Moral equivalences with the KKK cannot mitigate these facts. Palestine radio recently lionized Hitler as part of a Ramadan quiz. Mein Kampf is a best-seller in PA-controlled areas. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was dramatized and serialized on Egyptian state run TV. Mahmoud Abbas received his doctorate in holocaust denial. This is Islam preached:

http://www.memritv.org/search/en/results/0/0/0/2/0/0/0/0.htm?k=+Mudeiris+

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071213/FOREIGN/112140015/1001

A man had gotten close to her armored truck, the former prime minister said, and had been trying to hand across a small child as her motorcade inched through the thronged streets of Karachi. She remembers gesturing for the man to come closer.

"It was about one or two years old, and I think it was a girl," Mrs. Bhutto recalled. "We feel it was a baby, kidnapped, and its clothes were rigged with explosives. He kept trying to hand it to people to hand to me. I'm a mother, I love babies, but the [street lights] had already gone out, and I was worried about the baby getting dropped or hurt." She would have been dead, she said, if she had not just dipped back inside her vehicle to loosen the shoes on her swollen feet.

Simple Observer:

William, Alan:

I'd be most interested in your response to this article

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel/2007/12/ayaan_hirsi_ali_and_muslim_dir.html

I'll be posting a response. It conflicts somewhat with your evaluation of Muslims and their primary motivations.

Regards

Simple Observer:

William:

OK, it is well established that Hammas TV broadcasts inflammatory speeches aimed at the kids. That returns to points I have made in earlier posts regarding the radicalization of the population and the use of propaganda. How universally is this accepted and watched? Do you have any data on that? It makes little real difference if the only ones watching are those who are radicalized already.

The other point is that to marginalize this sort of rhetoric, changes should be made. If Palestinians are no longer being killed, there can be no claim of it. If Jerusalem was to be declared a neutral city, administered by the 3 major theocracies, and guarded by some mutually acceptable police force, there could be no more railing against Zionist occupiers.

Is what we see in that video any different than the kind of Hate that is spewed at neo-Nazi Rallies here in the States? I've watched KKK marches in Missouri; it's the same thing, hate. What really matters is how many people are actually listening. If a tree falls and no one is listening, did it fall?

Simple Observer:

Alan,

I have gone back and looked at our posts over the past week and concede that I apparently drew some conclusions that were unmerited. Please accept my apologies.

As to your most recent posts, I think you are providing plenty of evidence to support your arguments, but I suspect that they are ultimately irrelevant. Israel and the Palestinians will remain a primary focus until the issue is resolved. Regardless of the motivations, Arab and Non-Arab nations and people alike are focused on the dispute.

Doing away with the racism and terrorism are certainly desirable goals, but I doubt that they can be precursors to a peace settlement. Rather, I think that racism and Terrorism will diminish as a result of a peace settlement.

Before you get wrapped around the axel, I am not proposing that Israel should enter into an agreement with groups that are actively engaging in terrorist acts while the Instrument of a peace are being signed. Certainly, the Palestinians will need to put an end to such tactics before any peace can be achieved. I think however, that if a peace process is to be put on hold until the racism goes away, it will be a very long wait.

It has always been my belief that a great deal of the animosity and rhetoric are driven by the lack of a peace settlement. Peace does not require that the parties like each other, only that they have some level of trust that the other party will live up to their promises. Neither side has that right now, and the U.S. has done a poor job of ensuring equitable compliance in the past.

I believe that a peace settlement, with honest 3rd party enforcement, will have a two fold effect. First, it will remove to great extent arguments of mistreatment and the use of this dispute as a flash point for radicalism. If the Palestinians can achieve a level of success, the outside world can be mollified. There will always be those who will hate the Zionists, but it will certainly be more difficult to ramp up the rhetoric if the Palestinians, and a new Palestinian state, prosper. Second, after years of successful and peaceful coexistence, I think the hatred will abate. None of this will be easy or quick, but I think it is achievable.

Much of the turmoil I see in the region can be traced back to the issue of Israel's existence in general, and the problem of Palestinian independence specifically. I am not so naive as to believe that peace with the Palestinians will solve everything. The issues run way too deep and span far too many years to be solved with the stroke of a pen and some economic assistance. It has taken decades to get where we are today and decades more to change the attitudes in the region. Unless some start in that direction is made, there will be no progress.

William, San Antonio:
Alan:

Dimitris

The last post was for you. I meant to put your name in the header but I screwed it up.

Alan:

Here’s a quote from you that I’d like to address: “The Zionist fanatics’ aspiration is to use every means possible to create a incontestable “Eretz Yisrael” (Greater Usrael) stretching between the two great rivers: The Nile and the Euphrates.”

Israel gave back the Sinai to make peace with Egypt, gave back Southern Lebanon, etc. They probably would not like to administer 30 million Arabs. Do you think taking over a large swath of the Middle East is a mainstream concept in Israel? If so, please provide proof. Not a quote by some fringe lunatic.

As for the US siding with Israel, don’t forget that the Egyptians receive the same 3 billion dollars a year that the Israelis receive. But at least the US stands up against terrorism, which we view as worse than Israelis building apartments on 3% of the West Bank. If the Arab world hates the US, they might want to remember that it was the US, not Europe, that led the drive to stop the massacres of Muslims in Bosnia. I’m proud that the US sticks up for the only country in that region that is a democracy, with full rights for women and homosexuals, with religious freedom and university admissions open to all. Can you name an Arab country with those qualities?

You scoff at the concept of anti-Semitism being related to Anti-Zionism. I don’t know what percent of the time the two are linked, but it has got to be high. Israel is not evil enough to warrant the attention it gets from so many “observers” like yourself. Until more people protest Russia’s treatment of Muslims in Chechnya, or China’s treatment of Tibetans, I will think that there is a double standard when judging Israel’s actions. As for the UN, it’s a joke. The goal of the Muslim block is to pressure Israel with UN actions. Darfur is ignored, Chechnya is ignored, Tibet is ignored, Kuwaiti ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is ignored. Do you think there is a small chance that, in the context of these aforementioned examples, that the focus on Israel might have something to do with Anti-Semitism? Or is Israel truly more evil than those examples?

In your answer, spare me the talk about oil. There’s no oil in Israel or the West Bank. The Saudis have oil but they didn’t give a crap about the Kuwaitis and their ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the 1990’s. It ain’t the oil—it’s the Jews. An old theme, a standard theme, one that often allows dysfunctional societies to focus on the Jews rather than on their own problems.

Regards

Alan:

Rick Jones:

You’re quite an enigma. On the one hand, you point out that AIPAC and the neocons (i.e. Jews) are hurting this country. The underlying implication is that Jews are trying to control the U.S. On the other hand, you want to invite 6 million Israelis to settle here in the United States. I originally thought you hate the Jews, because you bring up the Jews-Taking-Over-The-World argument. But maybe I was wrong. Or maybe you’re actually a Middle Eastern Arab who would love the Jews to move to America. I’m not that experienced on these boards, but I’m impressed with your excellence at remaining an enigma.

I can’t argue about lobbying. I think you’re correct. The drug and insurance industry come to mind. So does Halliburton.

As for Jews leaving Israel and coming to the US, consider the fact that they might not want to leave. Should they run because the Palestinians want to kill them? I like the idea of Israel seceding the way the Quebec secession nearly occurred. The Palestinians should accept the contiguous lands of Jordan, the West Bank, and Lebanon, which together are gigantic compared to Israel. The Israelis liked this idea throughout the 1990’s. Unfortunately, the Palestinians destroyed the chance for peace when they supported targeting civilians to achieve their political goals.

You might want to realize that most Arabs never gave a crap about the Palestinians. The Lebanese and Jordanians never integrated them even though they speak the same language and share the same religion. Arab countries didn’t stop Kuwait from “cleansing” itself of 400,000 Palestinians in the 1990’s. Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians-- no problem. Jews causing traffic jams looking for bombs--big problem for the Arabs.

Why am I pointing this lack of Arab support for Palestinians? Because I am trying to show that most Arabs hate the Jews more than they support the Palestinians. I hope the Jews don’t want to leave Israel because that country’s success and existence is a near miracle. They contribute so much to the world in terms of science and medicine, computer technology, agriculture, and more. They are tough enough to want to keep their country as a safe haven from the hoards who would like to see them dead. They serve as the front line in the world battle against the large percentage of the Islamic World who would like to see everyone capitulate and start praying to Allah.

Are the Israelis perfect? No, they often screw up and worse. But compared to the rest of that part of the world, they are tolerant. They allow everyone in Israel to worship freely, Arabs attend Israeli Universities, Israeli doctors treat Arabic patients, Arabs are allowed to vote (and often do for parties that hate Israel!). Yes, the Isrealis have screwed up and worse (your example of water rights is excellent) but you should be protesting Saudi Arabian racism and religious intolerance before complaining about Israel.

Your one state solution wouldn’t work because Jews should be a little hesitant to live in a Muslim country. All it takes is a Teddy Bear or a Danish Cartoon to rile up the locals into a feeding frenzy. My solution is for giving back much of the land as envisioned by the road map to peace. The first step should be the Palestinians adopting wholesale rejection state sponsored racism. Furthermore, they should stop honoring anyone who killed school children on a bus.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Alan:

“Or even better, tell us how we should solve the problem of Jews influencing this country.”

The same way we should solve the problem of the oil lobby influencing this country; by outlawing all lobbyists other than you and me writing to our elected representatives. All federal elections should be financed by our tax dollars. That would be a bargain at twice the price in the long run.

But back to the basic problem; the two-state solution is a nonstarter. The Palestinians will never accept it, nor should they. The single-state solution is the only real option. Ideally, it would be a secular state, with Jews and Arabs living side by side as originally envisioned by Theodore Hertzl (with German as the national language no less). But this is also unlikely. So I agree with William:

“In the early 1920s, with the assistance of a truly great statesman, Fridtjof Nansen, much of the Greek population of Turkey was exchanged with the Turkish population of Greece in the interests of peace. In 1945 Czechoslovakia expelled virtually the entire ethnic German population so that there would be no future pretext for German invasion. There are numerous recent historical examples of similar actions.”

The best solution is to transport the entire population of 5.7 Million Israeli Jews to America, to join their 5 Million brethren and form a true, legitimate, Jewish homeland with 80% of the Jews on the planet.

They would have to learn to live under a true, democratic, secular government honoring separation of church and state. They would have to learn to live in an open non-racist society, where citizens of any race are allowed to hold public office or serve in the military. They would have to learn to share natural resources (like water) equally with the entire population. But they can learn to do it; at least we have plenty of it here (for the moment).

Alan:

Simple

Can you please copy and paste a few sentences from any of my posts showing that Israelis are justified in their actions because they are Jews who have suffered in the past? I don't think you'll find one.

My contention, and the one I've always made, is clearly stated in the previous post. In short, I'm not going to argue about who did the wrong thing sixty or eighty years ago. I'll leave that to our friend from the land of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. But I can argue what I believe is the key issue above all others. Come to an agreement after racism and terrorism are significantly reduced. Ostracize until that time.

I'll respond to your latest post in the next day or so. Your's too, Demitri.

Regards

Simple Observer:

To All: I have to admit that I am most grateful and humbled by the response I have received overall and the specific comments to my last. I want to apologize for my previous abruptness. It was a bad day all around. I will endeavor to return to a more balanced approach.

Let me return to a point I discarded yesterday. I think it illustrates part of the issue rather well.

The Palestinians are angered in part because they have been pushed off of their ancestral lands and had their property confiscated and/or destroyed. They have been forced to abandon businesses. They have been devalued as humans because of their ethnicity and religion. They have often been marginalized and forced into ethnic enclaves and ghettos. They have endured hardships and the indiscriminant deaths of family members. To add insult to injury, their Arab and Muslim brothers have abandoned them.

Alan proposes that the Israelis are justified in their actions because they are Jews. As Jews they have been persecuted for 2000 years. That persecution has included being pushed off of their ancestral lands. Often their property has been confiscated and/or destroyed. They have been forced to abandon businesses. They have been devalued as humans because of their ethnicity and religion. They have often been marginalized and forced into ethnic enclaves and ghettos. They have endured hardships and the indiscriminant deaths of family members. In their greatest hour of need they were abandoned by the western nations.

I am not proposing that we equate 2000 years of persecution and the Holocaust to what the Palestinians have endured over the last 80 years, but there are clearly similarities. To expect individuals to dismiss the acts perpetrated against them and their family is unrealistic. When it continues for years, and affects more and more people, it becomes a societal issue.

The argument that Israeli settlements are occupying “ONLY 3% of the West Bank” is hardly comforting to the man who has seen his olive groves bulldozed to create a security buffer for an Israeli settlement. That Olive grove, by the way, dates back centuries. I’m not referring to areas cleared because of demonstrated activity, but examples of actions taken around West Bank settlements. The settlers are the interlopers, why should a Palestinian loose his livelihood to protect them from a presumed threat?

We can go back and forth citing examples of violence and counter violence. I can give plenty of examples of innocent Palestinians suffering loss because of Israeli actions. The shop keepers in Hebron did nothing to David Wilder, but they were cleared from their shops to provide a security zone for him and his fellow settlers. How is that fair? Why should the Palestinian shop keeper not be angry? How do you know that he isn’t part of that 60% of Palestinians that support the new peace initiative? (Latest Poll as cited on NPR 12/12/07)

By placing the blame for failed peace almost exclusively on the shoulders of the Palestinians ignores the realities on the ground. New settlements continue to be build. Israel made demands on the Palestinian Authority to curb violence, while at the same time shackling the ability of the security forces to act. Israel then claimed the PA had failed to fulfill an obligation under the peace plan. Property continues to be confiscated without just cause or fair compensation. Force continues to be used disproportionately.

I have seen the Hammas’ Mickey Mouse. I don’t support that kind of activity, but I am not surprised by it either. Certainly you aren’t suggesting that there aren’t daily statements made by leading Israelis that are laced with stereotypes and hatred? I’m certain I can go to the Jerusalem Post and find Op-Eds to prove my point. And just because the television show is broadcast does not mean that it is universally watched or accepted. The same could be said of statements made by Israelis. There is no end to the hatred and propaganda from both sides. There are plenty (at least 40% from the same poll cited above) that don’t support peace from both sides. To achieve peace, the majority of the parties must look beyond the hatred and find common ground.

Finally, I and many who post here are burdened by the same problem. We evaluate and comment from within the sterile environment of our comfortable homes and the anonymity of the internet. We can not trace our lineage through the death camps of WW II, or the refugee camps of Palestine. No matter how conscientious we are to balance the information sources we use, we will never have the same sense of reality as those on the ground. For me to suggest that the combatants look past the hate and find common ground is based as much in hope as it is in reality. Because I can have no real role in changing events in that region, I can only hope to influence attitudes around me. In doing so, I hope that I can influence opinion and with it policy. By acknowledging this, I hope that I am at the same time acknowledging my own limitations and reminding others of their own. If we can all agree that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is fundamental to a stable Middle East and the first step to stamping out terrorism, then I can be satisfied.

Regards

Demetris Zettos:

Simple Observer;

Kudos to you. Our world is fortunate to have rational people like you view with reason and impartiality the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has plagued it for nearly sixty years.

It is a pity that some of the readers still refuse to remove their blinders and see that situation as it actually is and as I have portrayed it in my "long-winded" post.

I was hoping that the truth would be further illuminated if anyone who disagreed with my statements, would present counter arguments disproving them on an item-by-item basis. Instead, except for your mild endorsement and an ad hominem or two from the usual fanatics, there was no acceptance to my challenge. "Qui Tacit Consentit?"

Regards and my best wishes for the holidays

Alan:

So Mr. Rick Jones is alerting you to the fact that AIPAC isn’t the only way that Jews control the government. You all should be worried about the comments or actions of any individual Jews as well. His posting of Feith and Wolfowitz as the Neocon initiators of the war against Iraq is a not so thinly veiled attempt to alert you to the fact that these two Jews influenced the poor president into making mistakes. I make the Jewish connection because it comes on the heels of Mr. Jones’ AIPAC post.

Let’s say that two Jews screwed up or worse. What’s the solution to that problem? Should we get rid of all of the Jews in the US? Do you hold the 97% of Jews who never heard the name Feith accountable for Feith’s actions?

What’s interesting to me about Mr. Jones’ contributions is that I’ve learned that many folks hold the Jews collectively responsible for any idiotic quote or action taken by any Jew anywhere. This collective responsibility doesn’t exist for other minorities in the US. For example, consider our previous attorney general, Albert Gonzales, who was disgraced and “retired”. Do you see websites proliferating suggesting that the Hispanics are taking over and you better watch out for any Mexican American lobbying group? Similarly, when an African American former military head (i.e. Powell) makes mistakes at his speech at the UN, do you find posts about African American lobbying groups to collectively assign blame for Powell’s mistakes?

No, this stuff is mostly reserved for the Jews. Mr. Not So Simple, you might want to accept that the Jews have a persecution complex for a reason.

To Mr. Jones:

Please be aware that most Jews have never heard of Feith or Aipac. Most Jews would rather take their kids to little league games than take over the world. Most have successfully adopted American values and assimilated because their ancestors cherished America, warts and all, and wanted to “become” American as quickly as possible once they arrived.

If a few Jews want to lobby for Israel, it’s no different than Armenians lobbying for Armenia, or gun owners lobbying for the NRA. If the Jews are successful lobbyers for Israel, give them credit. They are protecting Israel as a Jewish homeland because they want Israel to remain a safe. Partially because they read posts like yours. Why don’t you point another finger at all of the Jews by posting some more misadventures by a few Jews? You might teach Mr. Not So Simple about Jewish “paranoia” towards anti-Semitism.

Or even better, tell us how we should solve the problem of Jews influencing this country.

Regards to all but Mr. Jones

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here’s a good example of how AIPAC is not the only source of Israeli influence that misled us into the disastrous preemptive invasion of Iraq and continues to stoke our world wide War on Islam:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/opinion/12dowd.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 12, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist
The Dream Is Dead

By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

“The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.

The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, “War and Decision,” conceded that the case could be made that “mistakes were made.” His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.”...

“In “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks wrote that Feith’s Pentagon office was dubbed the “black hole” of policy by generals watching him drop the ball...

Jay Garner, America’s first viceroy in Iraq, deemed him “incredibly dangerous” and said his “electrons aren’t connected.”

Feith’s disdain for diplomacy and his credo that weakness invites aggression were shaped, Ricks reported, by personal history: “Like Wolfowitz, Feith came from a family devastated by the Holocaust. His father lost both parents, three brothers, and four sisters to the Nazis.”...

What’s the answer to bin Laden? According to Feith, it was an attack on an unrelated dictator. He oversaw the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, whose mission was to amp up links between Saddam and Al Qaeda...

It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.

The Pentagon neocons dumped Condi Rice out of the loop. Yet, according to Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, Condi has now offered Wolfie a job. It wasn’t enough that he trashed Iraq and the World Bank. (He’s still larking around town with Shaha, the sweetheart he gave the sweetheart deal to.)
Condi wants Wolfie to advise her on nuclear proliferation and W.M.D. as part of a State Department panel that has access to highly classified intelligence.

Once you’ve helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country into war, shouldn’t you be banned for life from ever having another top-level government post concerning W.M.D.?”

Alan:

Simple Observer

I am sorry you feel exasperated. I was only trying to answer your criticisms of my previous post. I wish you had answered my questions and taught me more about altering my views. But if you have a strong opinion that counters mine, I don’t think it’s too confrontational of me to ask some questions or point out inconsistencies.

I want you to know that I don’t hate the Palestinians. I hate racism and believe it causes a great deal of suffering in the world. I believe the world should ostracize racists. I don’t believe people have characteristics “in their blood”. Believe it or not, when I spent that year as an exchange student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I felt that most of the Israelis I met were tolerant. As I told you in an earlier post, I believe that Israelis are, on the average, less racist than Americans.

When you suggest I should get past a Jewish persecution complex and paranoia, I understand where you’re coming from. It must seem unreasonable that Jews often expect to be subjected to racism or worse. But to me, it seems quite reasonable. I listed a ton of reasons in my last post as to why such “paranoia” is reasonable for Jews. It is curious to me that you can excuse the Palestinians for feeling humiliated (which, by the way, results in their abhorrent support for terrorism), while at the same time being callous about the Jewish mindset of feeling a little threatened and persecuted. I would say the Jews’ “paranoia” deserves at least as much credibility as the Palestinians’ humiliation.

As a side note for paranoia, you might want to read Rick Jones’ post suggesting that powerful Jews manipulate presidential candidates. If Obama did change his position vis a vis Israel and the Palestinians, there are two possible choices as to why. The first choice is that he hates Israel but can’t admit it because the powerful, lobbying Jews would stop his ascent toward the presidency. The second choice would be that he actually changed his mind for some other reason. The fact that Mr. Jones thinks it is definitely the first choice illustrates another type of anti-Semitism that I neglected to mention, namely, the Jews-control-the-world theory of thought. Again, is it really paranoia?

You mention that you think I believe the Palestinians should “shoulder all of the blame”. I wasn’t suggesting the Palestinians bear all of the responsibility for the problem. We’ve seen a great deal of debate on this blog about who was responsible for what nearly 80 years ago. So I will now declare that I can’t be sure whether the Palestinians bear all of the responsibility for the beginnings of this problem 80 years ago. But they do bear near complete responsibility for prolonging this conflict. Before Israel could consider making peace, the Palestinians need to reject the concept of killing civilians, stop honoring the ‘martyrs” who killed civilians, and end the racist Mickey Mouse TV programs and school lessons. The world needs to take sides against state sponsored racism and terrorism, no matter what the provocations or justifications. Bombs are going to get smaller and more powerful just like iPods do. If we don’t get the world to shun and cease trade with governments that sponsor racism or terrorism, we will eventually be longing for the good old days of peace and safety in the early 21st century.

Another side note: If you don’t believe the Palestinian state sponsored racism stuff, you might want to check the following youtube link to Mickey Mouse as brought to you by Hamas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4)

You also mention that I think that the Jews deserve credit for suffering for 2000 years at the expense of the Palestinians. Or that the Jews deserve Israel because they suffered. I never implied that. Where did you come up with that conclusion?

It is my hope that you can get me to change my mind with your opinions. But if they seem erroneous, I’ll point out the fallacies in as gentlemanly a way as I can.

Regards

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is an article that shows what we are up against. It shows how Barack Obama executed his abrupt flip flop on Palestinian support when he began his campaign for a US Senate seat from Illinois:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6619.shtml

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

...“In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”…

…“But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency." He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker -- now his national campaign finance chair -- scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.”…

…“If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.”…

“Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East. It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.”

It is clear to me that our only hope for an honest government is campaign finance reform with total taxpayer financing of political campaigns. All lobbying must be totally banned.

William, San Antonio:

Anonymous:

Please don't be too hard on our friend. He has been enormously patient and receptive.

William, San Antonio:

NSSO:

First, and not as simply a rote disclaimer but as genuine sentiment, I deeply sympathize with the Palestinian Arabs. They are in a virtually intractable situation much like being between the proverbial rock and a hard place; yet, there they are. Their situation, however, is generally viewed absent any historical context.

In the early 1920s, with the assistance of a truly great statesman, Fridtjof Nansen, much of the Greek population of Turkey was exchanged with the Turkish population of Greece in the interests of peace. In 1945 Czechoslovakia expelled virtually the entire ethnic German population so that there would be no future pretext for German invasion. There are numerous recent historical examples of similar actions. Why are the Palestinians the only war losers entitled to reclaim lands that were lost? It must be remembered that they were to have directly benefited from those wars.

My prognosis is that, absent any softening of their position, the Palestinians will remain losers and that their position will continue to deteriorate. My guess is that if that softening were to occur, the entire world would open their collective hearts and treasuries. However, Islamic honor will not allow that to happen. If it is the case, which I believe it to be, that I am forced to take sides, I choose the Jews.

As a postscript: Over 200 years ago U.S. foreign policy toward Arabs began and is memorialized by the Tripoli Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The inscription reads:

THE TRIPOLI MONUMENT

The oldest military monument in the United States honors heroes of the War against the Barbary Coast Pirates, the new republic's first war. In 1804, President Jefferson ordered the nation's tiny naval force to the Mediterranean to protect the expanding trade of the new United States against the pirates, who demanded ransom for safe passage of merchant ships. "Millions for defense, but not on cent for tribute" became the rallying cry for this war. Jefferson's action established the doctrine of extension of power overseas and created a permanent United States Navy.

On "the shores of Tripoli," young Americans took brave actions against the pirates, including torching their own grounded vessel, the USS Philadelphia, to prevent her use by the pirates. Six men were killed before Tripoli's "pasha" relented. Congress cited them for their gallantry and Captain David Porter, one of the pirates' captives, instituted a campaign for a monument to honor his former shipmates, now heroes.

The monument was carved in 1806 in Italy, of Carrera marble, and brought to the United States as ballast on board the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). From the Washington Navy Yard it moved to the west terrace of the national Capitol. It has stood at the Naval Academy since 1860.

http://www.dcmemorials.com/index_indiv0003204.htm

Thankfully, the response to Muslim terrorism is the same today as it was then. May it ever be so.
My very best to all and Merry Christmas and peace on earth to all men of good will.

Anonymous:

Simple: that's a pretty dismissive and weak response to what seemed like a logical argument by a person that isn't "eaten up" by hate.

Looks like there are a lot of people that lack empathy out there.

Simple Observer:

I give up. I've written and discarded 6 different responses. I don't want to be snide, but I can't get past your insistence that Israel bears absolutely no responsibility in creating the situation it finds itself in. From your perspective, the Palestinians shoulder all of the blame and should be happy with their lot in life. You refuse to even peek into this from a different perspective. All is justifiable because of the 2000 years of Jewish persecution.

How can I argue against that? Unless you are willing to grasp the suffering on both sides, there can be no consensus. Unless you are able feel empathy for those who have lost loved ones on both sides, there can be no peace. I hope that your hatred doesn't eat you up.

Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, Good Will towards Man

William, San Antonio:

More on shame societies and the strange things therein: I was reading an article on shame societies and recall a footnote at the bottom. It read: The mafia is a purported example of a shame society; or, words to that effect. I can’t find the piece because it wasn’t especially enlightening and I didn’t bookmark it, but I recall the footnote. Then, a while later I was watching a TV expose of the mafia in New York and one specific incident in that show hit home. It was about Paul Castellano and his intense shame about specific facts that were exposed during FBI surveillance. He wasn’t ashamed about any of the vicious crimes that he’d committed, but about the affair that he’d been having with his maid in his house under the nose of his wife. This violated the mafia code of honor about how their wives were to be treated. The incident puzzled the FBI and can only be understood when the mafia is indeed viewed as a shame society.

“Would you say that peace with Egypt and Jordan vis a vis Israel was an error for Israel?”

No. But they should be understood as hudnas.

“What do you mean by Islam is a logical fallacy?”

This is what I have also referred to as being double-minded. Islam allows for two conflicting ideas to simultaneously be held as true. There are many earlier verses of the Quran that are contradicted by later ones. Islam formalizes rationalizations (of violence and other bad behavior) to the degree that it can best be described as one huge criminal enterprise.

“Do you have any suggestions on how to enact changes/promote peace in spite of your position that the Arabs are pathologically incapable of accepting reasonable solutions?”

Yes. Take what they offer only with great care and never turn your back on them. Maintain a credible threat of overwhelming force as a response and use it when necessary. Repeat as necessary for 300 to 500 years until they collapse upon themselves or repudiate Islam.

Alan:

Simple

RE Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Let’s agree that some people are focused on the area because of oil but others focus on the Jews a little too much in a world with far greater horrors than the West Bank settlement building or checkpoints. Many people probably just root for the underdog without giving it real thought. The people who give this issue real thought and spend a lot of time constructing hateful arguments against Israel are probably anti-Semitic in many cases. What percent of the time, I’m not sure. I don’t believe the people who post anti-Israel commentary on this blog are obsessed with Israel because of its geographical proximity to Saudi Arabia and oil. Don’t you think there’s a possibility that many are anti-Semitic?


RE the following statement: “Had they been presented with the means and opportunity to strike back in any way, even striking back at German women and children, do you really suggest that they would have passed on that opportunity?” The answer to this is no way. All it would have taken is a butcher’s knife but it never happened. Moreover, in Israel, where there must be a million machine guns in private hands, there are very few Jewish caused terrorist incidents. And when they do occur, they are not celebrated by the majority of the population.

RE: The Irish. I don’t remember the Irish celebrating the deaths of protestant children. I don’t think the majority of IRA sympathizers thought it great that the terrorist was dead because now he will secure a better place in heaven. I don’t remember Irish television programs teaching that protestant children are pigs and dogs and that killing oneself to rid the world of Protestants is a godly act.

RE: Accidental civilian casualties vs. intentional civilian casualties. The pilot trying to stop a missile launcher and killing the wrong persons is not as evil as the vest guy looking into the eyes of his victims. What do you think of civilian casualties in Chechnya, or Iraq? Is Israel worse than the US in Iraq in this regard? Both countries kill people by accident.

RE the following statement: “You talk a big game, but if it were you holding the dead and broken body of your infant child, would you be so high minded? Would you not be enraged and inclined to strike back?” I might strike back, but I wouldn’t kill some random stranger’s child. I’d probably go after military targets, not nursery schools or kid’s bedrooms. And if I was psychopathic enough to commit the act, my brethren in Auschwitz would not have celebrated me for killing children.

Jewish persecution complex and paranoia: Sorry, but after 2000 years, it isn’t paranoia. It’s reality. Remember, you’ve got guys like Ahmadenijad funding Hamas and Hizballah, saying that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Everybody still trades with that country. Still think it’s paranoia?

You’ve got 50-70% of Palestinians saying it’s acceptable to kill Jewish children in a Jihad. Do you think their hatred of Jews is a little over the top? Is it paranoia for the Jews to think the Palestinians want to kill them?

You point to the fact that the in the world focuses on Israel because Arabs control the oil supply and these same folks support the Palestinians. Which motivates the Arab support more, helping the Palestinians or Hating the Jews? Answer: hating the Jews. Proof: When Kuwait ethnically cleansed itself of 200,000 Palestinians in 1992, few Arabs cared. Do they really love the Palestinians considering they ignored true ethnic cleansing of a Palestinian population? What right did Kuwait have to kick out people who had been residing there for decades? Did the Kuwaitis treat the Palestinians better than the Israelis? Is there a double standard that applies to Jewish treatment of Palestinians? Still think it’s paranoia?

Another contemplation regarding Jewish paranoia: Why doesn’t the rich Arab world give money to the poor Palestinians in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank? (At 90 dollars a barrel, Saudi Arabia could build Jacuzzi’s, swimming pools and golf courses in every Palestinian refugee’s home.) Answer: Because Palestinian poverty can be used as an excuse to ignite Anti-Semitism. Is this a reasonable conclusion? If so, maybe it isn’t paranoia.

When Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in 1973, what do YOU think would have happened to the Jews had they lost? What would Hezbollah or hamas do to jews if they took over part of the country. You know the answer. So do you really think it’s paranoia?

In spite of this legacy of racism and hatred, Israel still tried to make peace in the year 2000. The Palestinians didn’t want it. They answered Israel’s offer with terrorism.

For all of these reasons, I submit to you that the Israelis have a right to feel a little paranoid.

You say MAKE IT STOP. I have the answer: Stop blaming the Jewish checkpoints, arrests, and settlements and start blaming terrorism. Peace will happen when Palestinian mothers stop celebrating their dead sons and daughters’ arrival to heaven as Martyrs. This isn’t a “let’s be fair” argument. The principle enemy is terrorism. Not checkpoints or a 3% of the West Bank land grab.

Regards


Simple Observer:

I an again significantly pressed for time, but I want to post something.

William: Do you have any suggestions on how to enact changes/promote peace in spite of your position that the Arabs are pathologically incapable of accepting reasonable solutions? Do we just give up and say “To hell with the Arabs, give it all the Israelis”? I’m sure there is some merit to your assessment of the Arab society, but what the region needs is a break in the cycle of violence, not more reasons to distrust.

For all:

What Nemesis posted might be a conglomeration of similar events through out the period, but to dismiss it out of hand ignores the realities on the ground. There are many examples of similar events that certainly DID happen. When will there be an acceptance that the Israeli problem of Palestinian Terrorism is a monster of their own making. It may have has its roots in the original establishment of Israel in 1948, but it has been the occupation and subsequent treatment of the occupied population that has fanned those original sparks into the raging fire you see today.

Alan:

Let me briefly address some of your points. Any numbered passages refer to those numbered passages in your post.

As to the correlation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, I guess you accept the argument that they are not necessarily the same, but I get the feeling you still feel that most that don’t support the Zionist movement ARE anti-Semitic. I don’t agree, but we will table that debate. I don’t agree, however that the attention given to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict compared to other occupations around the world is driven by a “Mythological hatred of the Jews”. Rather, I think the attention is focused on the area because of its strategic importance to virtually everyone in the industrial world. Oil is the issue. The continued violence and conflict spreads problems throughout the region which threatens the flow of oil, and as such, threatens our way of life. The Chinese occupation of Tibet is just as tragic, but Tibet has no resources of interest to the American government. We therefore, don’t give it much diplomatic attention, and it receives correspondingly little media coverage. It’s sad, but a simple reality. The entire Middle East has been a focus of our foreign policy since the end of WW II. It has been a Cold War battleground of ideas, and is now the primary battleground in the “War on Terrorism.” The continuation of the conflict has served any number of governments and ideologies for decades. The problem is the people who have suffered as a result of this.

4. Your argument is circular. I never supported the targeting of civilians. I don’t suggest that Palestinian support of deliberately targeting civilian populations is an acceptable tactic. As an academic exercise, I can see how Palestinian anger has manifested itself in the attitudes and tactics we see today. Because other populations have not engaged in it does not change what is happening today. The Jews had no means of striking back as a community during WW II. If they were not in camps, they were hiding. Had they been presented with the means and opportunity to strike back in any way, even striking back at German women and children, do you really suggest that they would have passed on that opportunity? The decision to drop the bombs on Japan was correct at the time. We can not impose the same standards for decision making to today. The act of bombing Japan ultimately saved millions. We were the only ones to have the bomb. It is a sad chapter in our history, but it brought about the end of the bloodiest conflict this world has ever seen.

5. I disagree with your final conclusion. I don’t see it as a “Win” for terrorism. If you look into the solution more, you will see that the women of Irish society had had enough of seeing their sons and husbands dieing in a conflict that had no end. They were the impetuous for peace. Patience and courage won out. They should be looked to as an example of how differences can be overcome for the benefit of society as a whole.

8. So you can see justification in the indiscriminant use of military force? So it’s OK that Palestinian school children die as long as the suspected terrorists across the street from that school got killed with them? We’ll just apologize. That will make it all better. Oh, by the way, we’ll just do it again next week. It will be someplace else, and fewer kids got killed this time, so half the apology will suffice. Oh! And the dropping of those cluster bombs in civilian neighborhoods, a violation of international law, was just a mistake, even though it was ordered though the normal chain of command.

How many times, how many people must die, before the indiscriminant use of military force changes from being a “Mistake” to an abhorrent act? When does dropping a 500 lb bomb on a civilian neighborhood to kill 3 terror suspects become over-kill? Just because the Jews have been persecuted for 2000 years does not give Israel (a sovereign government) justification to kill indiscriminately. They can not act with impunity. They can not act in this manner and NOT expect to see the targeted population to look for ways to strike back. You talk a big game, but if it were you holding the dead and broken body of your infant child, would you be so high minded? Would you not be enraged and inclined to strike back?

None if this is right. Nothing justifies the deliberate targeting of civilians. Just because it is a military operation does not excuse it. Maybe the officer that orders the strike or the pilot who pushes the button don’t look in the eye of their victims before they “Pull the rip cord”, but the results are still the same. Civilians die and the cycle of violence is started anew. Stop hiding behind Jewish paranoia and persecution. I’ve said it before. There is plenty of blame to go around. It is time for both sides to say enough and find some way to solve this. If one more child dies in this conflict it is a tragedy. Does it really matter if it is an Israeli child or an Arab child? That child is still just as dead. MAKE IT STOP!

Alan:

William

Would you say that peace with Egypt and Jordan vis a vis Israel was an error for Israel?

My scenario includes the fact the Arabs will hate the Jews until the Arab enlightenment, some time in the next 300-500 years. Borders can be agreed to but Israel shouldn't trust these guys or think that the peace will involve co-mingling of the two populations at Starbucks. Fortunately for Israel, as long as they're making software, microchips, and developing biotech wonders, they will not be overrun because so many of the Palestinians prefer Koran school to computer engineering. The ones who don't like the hard core religious folks move to Dearborn, Michigan.


The Jihad article is long, persuasive and dispassionate. Pretty interesting. I need to re-read it.

What do you mean by Islam is a logical fallacy?

Regards

William, San Antonio:
William, San Antonio:

Alan:

I attempted to post but it was intercepted by what I can only guess is a “too many links” detector, so I’ve revised it thusly:

Start with part one and you may get a better sense of what I was trying to communicate.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/004628.php

As for "... if you can’t beat them, join them ...", in the short term only. In the long term never.

The west has logical fallacies. Islam is a logical fallacy. As for the Venn diagram the only place it leads to is entrenchment and siege. One can only hope that the turtle does not get flipped.

I am re-reading "Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest-Growing Faith". It is a short book and just came out in paperback. You can tell the quality of a book on Islam by its reception in the Muslim world. If you get the “Shame on you …”, “racist” stuff you can bet that the book is accurate.

William, San Antonio:

Alan:

I attempted to post but it was intercepted by what I can only guess is a “too many links” detector, so I’ve revised it thusly:

Start with part one and you may get a better sense of what I was trying to communicate.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/004628.php

As for "... if you can’t beat them, join them ...", in the short term only. In the long term never.

The west has logical fallacies. Islam is a logical fallacy. As for the Venn diagram the only place it leads to is entrenchment and siege. One can only hope that the turtle does not get flipped.

I am re-reading "Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest-Growing Faith". It is a short book and just came out in paperback. You can tell the quality of a book on Islam by its reception in the Muslim world. If you get the “Shame on you …”, “racist” stuff you can bet that the book is accurate.

Simple Observer:

I'm sorry Gentlemen, this is all the time I have to give to this today. I will respond to all of you within the next day or so. I haven't had the chance to give all of your thoughts the appropriate consideration, but I intend to.

Best Regards

Alan:

Simple

Thanks for another great post. And for understanding my euphemism concept.

1. Anti-Zionism and Anti-Racism. Your argument is sound but that doesn’t mean my argument is wrong. Also, the 1% of Jews who hate Israel are irrelevant in terms of supporting your argument, which goes something like this: Jews who hate Zionism are not anti-Semitic, so how could one view all others who are anti-Zionist as anti-Semitic?

I don’t think that ALL people who dislike Zionism are anti-Semitic. I think a large percentage of them are anti-Semitic. Why? Because of the disproportionate amount of hate against Israel and because of the double standards. When I listed those other problem countries in my previous post, I was showing that the disproportionate amount of hatred is likely a result of anti-Semitism on the part of MANY of the anti-Zionists, NOT for all of them. But if someone objects to Israel more than objecting to those other countries I listed, they should ask why are there so many people who ignore those other countries and focus their efforts on the Jews? Two millenia of the Jews being hated almost mythologically offers a pretty reasonable explanation.

2. Forget the Japanese thing

3. Very persuasive. I think we are now in agreement except for one thing. Let’s be clear. The “sensational reponse” probably does motivate additional targeting of civilians. Horrific in that you’ve got a population that celebrates the death of innocents, but probably true.

4. Excerpted this: “Is the targeting of civilians appropriate? From where we stand, it is never acceptable. From the perspective of those who may have seen family members (also civilians) killed as a result of the indiscriminant use of military force, or die because ambulances were not been allowed to pass through check points, can hardly be expected to be quite so high minded.” I disagree with you on this. Black Americans didn’t kill white school children seventy years ago. Black South Africans did not celebrate the deaths of children or their murderers. Jews didn’t murder German school children during World War II. We all have to fight terrorism no matter what the excuse is to use it. It should be vilified no matter what. Anyone who supports it should be marginalized. Otherwise, we allow for the slippery slope of eventual nuclear terrorism to achieve a political goal. Spare me Hiroshima and Nagasaki in your reply. The U.S. wouldn’t drop those bombs today. We won’t even use nuclear bunker busters in Iran because of the word “nuclear”.

5. Tony Blair engaged the political wing of the IRA. Very good point. Don’t see how to argue it other than to suggest that the benefits to England impose an eventual cost to the rest of the world, because of the lesson that terrorism pays off.

6. I agree with you and wish I were as eloquent.

7. Agree with most everything but the Saudi example. Even the rich Saudis are often racist and support terrorism. And as we know, occasionally fly into buildings for Allah. I like your optimism about the Palestinian economy improving resulting in less hatred or focus on the Jews. I’m not convinced you’re right, but there is a chance you’re right. So your optimism is as irrefutable as my pessimism. Let’s hope you’re more correct than I am.

8. This sentence bothers me: “There is no more justification for targeting civilian populations with a 500 lb bomb dropped from a plane than for a 10 lb bomb strapped to ones chest.” The 500 pound bomb that is aimed at militants but lands instead on civilians is not the same as the guy wearing the vest who looks at the children before he kills them. Israel issues regrets and investigates when bombs go astray. Pretty much nobody celebrates. It’s a military mistake that occurs in all wars. Palestinians celebrating the child killers is a much greater evil.


Let’s hope the world one day condemns terrorism, racism and religious intolerance no matter what the circumstances are.

Regards

Alan:

William

I congratulate you on another great post. Your conceptualization of the concept of a shame culture placing more importance on honor than honesty or tolerance is enlightening. The only problem I have with this theory involves the following excerpted clause: “because the mind of the Arab is so convoluted…” Your pragmatic approach to educating people to this concept will be viewed as repulsive by many because of that clause. Many people would view the comment that “the Arab mind is convoluted” as racist. So how about this instead: “If you can agree that the Arab culture values honor more than honesty or tolerance, the negative aspect is the logical conclusion that exposing a flaw in their conceptualizations would not induce change. Power could induce change, not contemplation.”

The reason I’m suggesting a different way to express the same ideas is that your enlightening concepts will be ignored by anyone who would conclude that you are racist.

I pulled out another similar clause: “rejected Islam’s fundamental tenants [sic]”. How about, “rejected the aspects of Islam which allow for unconscionable actions”. Sorry to be picky, but I’d rather see you avoid killing your meaningful contributions with a few words that could be used by others to criticize your arguments. Islam is a way of life. I would venture to guess that the “fundamental tenets” are much broader and more encompassing than the parts that we in the West would find distasteful. In other words, I would guess that the Koran probably spends a lot more time discussing history and daily life events than intolerance and getting other cultures to convert to Islam. If that is the case, then the rejection (by Darwish, Ali, et al) is one of “several tenets” but not “the fundamental tenets”.

I agree that terrorism or mob killings are easily induced in the Arab world. All it takes is a Danish cartoon or a teddy bear to start a riot. Or a manufactured rumor, such as the blood libel, the Protocols of The Elders of Zion, the “massacre” in Jenin, or what is probably an urban legend as posted by Nemesis above. The Jews would therefore never be permanently safe in a Muslim country.

As for the Ven diagram, I have already come to the most likely eventual scenario for the future. It goes like this: Once the Palestinians want to make peace and reject terrorism and anti-Semitism (don’t hold your breath), they should be allowed to settle in Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank or Gaza. I’ve given the reasons for this in previous posts (huge area, same language and within miles of their grandparents villages, etc.). The rumors and innuendos will contribute to wars after the peace is made. Israel will win those wars because they invest their time in science and technology more than their neighbors. The Palestinians, after loosing enough wars, will come to similar conclusions as those made by Anwar Sadat, meaning, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Nemesis:

If you aren’t lying about the above (which I doubt), your conclusion is still wrong. The sons should consider that the acts were either an anomaly (so make peace) or they should conclude that the attacks were typical (probably wrong, but I can’t blame them if they came to this conclusion). If the attacks were typical, they should go after the Army or those soldiers. Or protest nonviolently, like those who have followed King or Ghandi. What they shouldn’t do is use their own pain to justify murdering some random stranger’s children. They should not delude themselves into thinking that all Jews are evil because of the actions of nine soldiers.

Simple: More for you later.

Regards

Anonymous American:

Nemesis:

You're an idiot. You just posted that garbage on "Americans Don't 'Get' Terrorism" and got laughed off the blog. You won't get any better treatment here.

NEMESIS:

The following was narrated to me by a Palestinian.

"I am a Palestinian Christian of the Eastern Orthodox faith. I was born in 1958 on a farming village in what was defined as the West Bank. My father worked hard tending to an olive-tree orchard and a few acres of cereal crops. He had a wife and four small children to support. My father was a peaceful apolitical man who would never hurt even a fly.
In 1969, when I was 11-years old, I was returning from school one day with my siblings and I saw a group of armed Israeli soldiers with a bulldozer poised to demolish our home. I led my siblings to a spot behind a wall and watched. My Mother was standing at the door wailing and my father, with his arm around her, was trying to console her while he was shouting to the soldiers begging them not to destroy our home which had stood there for five generations.

Just as one Israeli was advancing toward my parents, another soldier aimed his machine-gun at my parents and killed them both. With only a casual glance at the murderer, and without removing the dead bodies, the Israeli in charge ordered the bulldozer operator to proceed with the demolition. Some of the soldiers -including the murderer- were laughing while the bulldozer's tracks ran over the bodies of my parents which were mixed with the debris.

Fearing for our lives, my siblings and I ran to the house of my grandparents. We found them also crying and when, in tears, I told them what we had just witnessed my grandmother fainted. My grandfather was also crying while he tried to revive my grandmother. 'They did the same thing to several other houses,' he said. At that moment, I took a silent oath in my parents' memory that I would avenge their murder. A year later, my siblings and I repeated the oath when we learned that our olive-tree orchard was leveled to clear the grounds for a Jewish settlement.

As the years passed, we became resistance fighters and our enemy is the Zionist occupation government and its armed instruments. The continuing murders and destruction in which the Israelis engaged with abandon was a constant motivating factor that urged us not to repress our rage but to continue until our last breaths.

I ask you: Are we entitled to met retributive justice where we had no other recourse to obtain justice?

The Israeli propaganda machine has succeeded in convincing the United States government to brand our retributive acts as terrorism. But who are the terrorists, Those who, so brutally and inhumanly, murdered our parents and destroyed our property or us?"

William, San Antonio:

Alan and NSSO:

I had forgotten how old “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” really is. But searching the Internet, I found that it still retains some authority. I also found that it may have been the first to formally introduce the notion of a shame culture as opposed to the western, guilt culture. Although there have been some recent modifications to it, I believe that If you investigate this concept further, you will profit from the effort.

If I may bore you a bit, I will offer up a little personal insight. You see, my look into these ideas began when I became infected by what is widely known as the Tahiti Syndrome. If this is unfamiliar territory, you may get some idea of what I mean by Googling Paul Gauguin AND Tahiti.

At any rate, my infatuation was with Siam but it’s the same idea. This infatuation led to a complete immersion into the Thai culture over a period of more than four years. Along with the immersion came some fluency in the language; and, it was that fluency that ultimately led to an antidote for the illness. If you don’t see where this is going, please indulge me a little longer. You see, I found that when you are a westerner in an Asian country and know the language, you experience a strange phenomenon - you become invisible. The natives wrongfully assume that you could not possibly know what they are saying and you thus become the quintessential eavesdropper. As my skill with the language increased, I was struck by much of what I commonly heard. As I listened even more intently and more often, it occurred to me that Thais in general had a world view so completely different from mine that what at first had been so attractive now became in many cases repellant. Thus, those “Tahitian” bubbles began bursting and I was eventually cured. That was all back when I didn’t even properly know what a world view was - long before I got smart.

This undisciplined experience helped eliminate resistance that I may have otherwise had to the formal lessons of “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”. The synthesis of the book which was part of my college education and my earlier experiences also served me very well in my later dealings with the Japanese. I am somewhat embarrassed to tell you all of this because it begs the obvious question “What took you so long to grasp such a simple idea?” But at least I knew what a world view was by this time.

Nothing I have seen or read since offers a better explanation for the some of the more deeply troubling things that we have been exploring. Going back over the whole thing and ending here in the middle again I believe that this is the best that I can do the in the hour or so that I’ve been hacking away; so, here it goes.

Thesis: The Muslim mind in general and more specifically the Arab mind is so radically different from ours that I cannot adequately convey the breadth of those differences. They are a classic shame culture but with a uniquely dangerous pathology. Arab scholars rail against the efforts of orientalists or anthropologists to categorize them by labeling the attempts as racist, stereotypical claptrap, etc. As scholars, one skilled in scholarship, the truth should be held paramount, but even the logical basis of truth as we understand it in the west is turned on its head for those invested in the shame culture. In my mind these scholar’s deflections not only serve to point out how near home has been struck but their protests substantiate the hypothesis. Deceit or projection or other devices to avoid being shamed are all distinguishing characteristics of a shame culture. One of the key things to remember is that maintaining honor is what is most important. Neither truth, justice, tolerance nor restraint is important - only gaining or regaining honor has any value. The second pillar of the theory is that as long as one remains unexposed there are no constraints on behavior - if no one knows, there is no shame and no accountability. The pathological problem with Islam as opposed to other shame cultures is that if a part of Islam is forced to submit, the resulting humiliation adds to the entire culture's sense of shame. At some time there must be a reckoning. The primary distinction with the Japanese is that for them the humiliation need not be perpetual. I suggest that you look at a simple diagram of the qualities that distinguish a shame culture from a guilt culture. There are plenty on the Internet and it is much easier to see then what I’m talking about.

It takes this kind of forensic approach much like NSSOs example of a “Criminologists need to ‘get into the mind of a serial killer’” to gain any degree of clarity. What I believe, therefore, gleaned from an admitted limited experience is that because the mind of the Arab is so convoluted, it is unresponsive to conventional remedies. It can only be mitigated temporarily by force or permanently, for example, as Nonie Darwish, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan have all done - they have openly and vocally opposed or completely rejected Islam’s fundamental tenants. This is not a sanguine perspective because there are so very, very few of these individuals; but, it is, I believe, a pragmatic, authentic appraisal. How, then, assuming this is the case, can all this be extrapolated to the conflict that we are discussing?

I believe that doing so reveals that there are few options.

It is the case that no Arab state will annex or substantially assist their brethren in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The entire Arab League has, in fact, a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. There is no honor in peace with Israel and even Egypt and Jordan are fragile and festering.

Given the previous condition, is it then possible for the territories west of the Jordan River populated primarily by Arabs to become an independent viable state? This is touted as the end-all solution, but is it really? I don’t think so. This territory has no natural resources, no infrastructure and no one competent to exploit or maintain either if they did exist. Who would control the air space? Certainly not the Arabs. Who would control the water? Certainly not the Arabs. Who would control the borders? Certainly not the Arabs. These lands and people are, in fact, wholly dependent upon the Jews. There has been little progress toward this end-all peace since 1967 and certainly none since the Oslo Accords were signed. Assuming the situation could somehow be pacified long enough to allow some productive interaction between the populations, something would invariably spark violence.

But there must be a way. So, let’s play Annapolis the board game, get creative and construct a Venn diagram using the following input and then seek out the overlapping areas:

1. Jews can live with an Arabs majority only as dhemmi.
2. Jews refuse to live as dhemmis.
3. Arabs can live with Jews only as a dangerous, grudging minority.
4. Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza refuse to live with Jews in control.
5. Jews refuse to allow significant numbers of Arabs to enter Israel,
6. Jews refuse to abandon Israel.
7. Arabs refuse to abandon Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

This must be complete to play, so have I forgotten anything?

William, San Antonio:

I see that you two have not succumbed to carpal tunnel syndrome. I just returned and would impose on you one more time if you are willing. I have to rest a while and will post in the early AM.

Best regards.

Simple Observer:

Alan:

I apologize if I slighted you. William was the only one to reference any specific academic experience, so I could make assumptions regarding his education. Frankly, if you took more than a couple of freshman courses some 25 years ago, your academic credentials far exceed my own.

I am not intentionally sanitizing my posts by using suicide bomber or violence to describe intentional targeting of civilians. I will try hard not to use those types of terms today. Frankly, suicide bomber is a commonly used, and universally recognized “Euphemism”. I use it mostly because my writing is primarily train of thought. Besides, I tend to be verbose enough. Adding longer phrases just contributes to that. My use of suicide bomber is definitely not a means diminishing the impact of the words or deeds. I don’t mean to give the idea that I support, or in any way, find the targeting of civilians an acceptable tactic. Yes, it is most abhorrent, but as an observer rather than a participant, I seek to understand how these behaviors developed, why they are accepted by a population, and what influences can be changed to stop the behavior. I want to see the killing and suffering end on all sides.

I’m not sure that the Palestinians have lost the support of the world because of their support of the intentional targeting of civilians. Judging by the volume of anti-Israeli posts on this blog alone should be proof of that. I think rather that the Israelis have lost the support by failing to address (at least in the eyes of these bloggers) the conditions that motivate that violence. I do agree whole heartedly with you when you say that the Palestinians lack a Mandela, Ghandi, or King. The very same notion came to me yesterday. One of the biggest problems with this conflict is the lack of leaders with true vision and courage.

Let me address your other issues in the same order as you presented them:

1. I don’t equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism because Zionism is not universally supported within the Jewish community. Not every Jew is a Zionist. I never said I was anti-Zionist. I am neither Jewish nor particularly religious. The concept of creating a homeland because of what is written in the Bible is a not a reasonable argument for me, but Israel exists, so there is nothing I can do to change that, nor do I particularly wish to. Jewish settlements that take land in the Occupied Territories is internationally viewed as illegal. As to the degrees of “Badness” when comparing Israel to Russia or China, your argument is flawed. There can be no degrees. Was slavery less “Bad” at Mount Vernon because George Washington didn’t beat his slaves, while the guy down the street did? Do the Palestinians feel less persecuted or victimized? Are the dead less dead, or the lands less confiscated? Is the targeting of civilians less abbhorant because the Palestinians have been under occupation for 40 years? Trying to understand the causes for such behavior does not mitigate or dilute them. Neither does the scope or justification by the oppressor. Bad is bad. It’s simple.

2. As to the Japanese, I think I have acquiesced on that point. No, they did not celebrate targeting of civilian populations. It was a different time and a different situation.

3. The discussion as to motivational factor for the individual killers of civilian populations was one that grew out of your question about the population supporting such activity. I found William’s argument interesting but incomplete. I think though, that the cause and motivation are intrinsically linked to the popular support of such acts. If there were no popular support, there would be fewer attacks. I think conversely that the successful execution of the attacks, and the resulting sensational response is part of what helps to motivate more such attacks and generate continued support. More below.

4. I think you again mistake my efforts to unemotionally discuss the targeting of civilian populations as support for the tactic. I don’t. I do believe that the terms I used, however, accurately communicate my point. The population is radicalized. They no longer view events, or respond to them, in the same way you would expect from a normal civil society. I am using “Normal” as we would judge it from our western perspective. Their perspective is colored by anger, hatred, desperation, and ideological differences. To expect such a group to respond in a manner we would accept as “Normal” is simply ludicrous. It is perfectly reasonable to anticipate a desire on the part of the group to seek revenge (a.k.a. strike back). They see the Israelis and/or Jews as their tormentors/persecutors and as such targets. Is the targeting of civilians appropriate? From where we stand, it is never acceptable. From the perspective of those who may have seen family members (also civilians) killed as a result of the indiscriminant use of military force, or die because ambulances were not been allowed to pass through check points, can hardly be expected to be quite so high minded. After 40 years of occupation, virtually every member of society has been touched by violence. Is it so hard to see how individuals or groups of people could not rationalize at some level a reciprocal response? Was the targeting of civilian populations acceptable during WW II? Was the firebombing of Dresden acceptable because they had similarly targeted civilians in London? Through the lens of historical review, we can now express our distain for the tactic, but there was very little if any objection to it at the time.

5. I doubt there is much I will say to change someone’s mind if they feel that engaging the Hammas led government would have been a mistake. I don’t. Even at the height of the Cold War, we were engaging the USSR. Engagement with China has resulted in a more open and modern society than the one we faced before Nixon’s visit. It was Tony Blair himself who engaged the political wing of the IRA and has taken credit for their disarming and active participation in the new Irish government. Engaging a Hammas government may well have begun the process of de-radicalizing at least the political wing. It is harder to shoot someone when you are looking them in the eye. Starving the government of money, at a minimum, has done nothing to endear a population that already mistrusts the U.S. and Israel. It provided another proof of our being two-faced (after encouraging Hammas’ participation in the political process), giving the radicals another propaganda talking point. There will be no progress towards peace without discourse. Sooner or later, Hammas will have to be engaged. My personal belief is that it would have been far more productive had it been conducted in the framework of “Normal” diplomatic exchange. Heaven knows when that sort of opportunity will avail itself again.

6. We are already seeing the seeds of peace in the region. I agree that surrendering land and other concessions without reciprocation would be a mistake. Peace will require a partnership. Both sides must give and take for the peace to be lasting. Your example of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon is very apt. I certainly am not proposing a similar approach in the Occupied territories. Both sides will need to sacrifice. In joint sacrifice there will be a building of trust. Trust does not equate to a lack of hatred, but it is a step in the right direction.

7. I agree that the brain drain is significant, and that may contribute to the lack of a Mandela type of leader. Economic assistance would of course need to include experts to help guide a new government as well as business owners. As to the Saudis, I don’t think they are an apt example for my point. First, the wealth is not evenly distributed. It is primarily situated with the Royal Family. Second, the level of education for the common people is dismal. Look into the number of high school (equivalent) graduates among non-royal family members. It is easy to promote a slanted viewpoint if there is little else to compare to. Lastly, and closely related to my last point, much of what they know and hear comes from the government and clerics. It is a very tightly controlled society with the flow of information strictly policed.
The best example I can think of to illustrate my point is South Africa. The black population engaged in violent acts of uprising, mostly centered in the impoverished ghettos of the “Black Homelands”. After the end of Apartheid, and the growth of a truly equitable economy, the violence abated. These people are not significantly better educated, skilled, or enriched, but they have reason to hope for a better future. There are many who have seen moderate improvements by our standards, but riches are measured differently in other societies and economic conditions. One only need look to the concept of Micro Loans to understand the economic impact of even tiny investments.

8. I agree completely. If I were not opposed (judgmental) of the bigotry of David Wilder (remember him?), I would never have posted comments on this blog. I have said repeatedly that despite feeling that I understand the motivations of the Palestinians, I do not support the violence that is its end result. There is plenty of blame and finger pointing to go around. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians can claim to be victims and be condemned for acts of violence. There is no more justification for targeting civilian populations with a 500 lb bomb dropped from a plane than for a 10 lb bomb strapped to ones chest. The question is whether there are adequate numbers on each side who are tired of violence and the cycle of hatred that feeds it. Will they finally stand up and say “Enough!” despite the efforts to shout them down by those who define their existence by that hatred.

I hope that I have been able to adequately address your questions. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Regards (yes I am) Simple Observer.

Simple Observer:

Alan:

I apologize if I slighted you. William was the only one to reference any specific academic experience, so I could make assumptions regarding his education. Frankly, if you took more than a couple of freshman courses some 25 years ago, your academic credentials far exceed my own.

I am not intentionally sanitizing my posts by using suicide bomber or violence to describe intentional targeting of civilians. I will try hard not to use those types of terms today. Frankly, suicide bomber is a commonly used, and universally recognized “Euphemism”. I use it mostly because my writing is primarily train of thought. Besides, I tend to be verbose enough. Adding longer phrases just contributes to that. My use of suicide bomber is definitely not a means diminishing the impact of the words or deeds. I don’t mean to give the idea that I support, or in any way, find the targeting of civilians an acceptable tactic. Yes, it is most abhorrent, but as an observer rather than a participant, I seek to understand how these behaviors developed, why they are accepted by a population, and what influences can be changed to stop the behavior. I want to see the killing and suffering end on all sides.

I’m not sure that the Palestinians have lost the support of the world because of their support of the intentional targeting of civilians. Judging by the volume of anti-Israeli posts on this blog alone should be proof of that. I think rather that the Israelis have lost the support by failing to address (at least in the eyes of these bloggers) the conditions that motivate that violence. I do agree whole heartedly with you when you say that the Palestinians lack a Mandela, Ghandi, or King. The very same notion came to me yesterday. One of the biggest problems with this conflict is the lack of leaders with true vision and courage.

Let me address your other issues in the same order as you presented them:

1. I don’t equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism because Zionism is not universally supported within the Jewish community. Not every Jew is a Zionist. I never said I was anti-Zionist. I am neither Jewish nor particularly religious. The concept of creating a homeland because of what is written in the Bible is a not a reasonable argument for me, but Israel exists, so there is nothing I can do to change that, nor do I particularly wish to. Jewish settlements that take land in the Occupied Territories is internationally viewed as illegal. As to the degrees of “Badness” when comparing Israel to Russia or China, your argument is flawed. There can be no degrees. Was slavery less “Bad” at Mount Vernon because George Washington didn’t beat his slaves, while the guy down the street did? Do the Palestinians feel less persecuted or victimized? Are the dead less dead, or the lands less confiscated? Is the targeting of civilians less abbhorant because the Palestinians have been under occupation for 40 years? Trying to understand the causes for such behavior does not mitigate or dilute them. Neither does the scope or justification by the oppressor. Bad is bad. It’s simple.

2. As to the Japanese, I think I have acquiesced on that point. No, they did not celebrate targeting of civilian populations. It was a different time and a different situation.

3. The discussion as to motivational factor for the individual killers of civilian populations was one that grew out of your question about the population supporting such activity. I found William’s argument interesting but incomplete. I think though, that the cause and motivation are intrinsically linked to the popular support of such acts. If there were no popular support, there would be fewer attacks. I think conversely that the successful execution of the attacks, and the resulting sensational response is part of what helps to motivate more such attacks and generate continued support. More below.

4. I think you again mistake my efforts to unemotionally discuss the targeting of civilian populations as support for the tactic. I don’t. I do believe that the terms I used, however, accurately communicate my point. The population is radicalized. They no longer view events, or respond to them, in the same way you would expect from a normal civil society. I am using “Normal” as we would judge it from our western perspective. Their perspective is colored by anger, hatred, desperation, and ideological differences. To expect such a group to respond in a manner we would accept as “Normal” is simply ludicrous. It is perfectly reasonable to anticipate a desire on the part of the group to seek revenge (a.k.a. strike back). They see the Israelis and/or Jews as their tormentors/persecutors and as such targets. Is the targeting of civilians appropriate? From where we stand, it is never acceptable. From the perspective of those who may have seen family members (also civilians) killed as a result of the indiscriminant use of military force, or die because ambulances were not been allowed to pass through check points, can hardly be expected to be quite so high minded. After 40 years of occupation, virtually every member of society has been touched by violence. Is it so hard to see how individuals or groups of people could not rationalize at some level a reciprocal response? Was the targeting of civilian populations acceptable during WW II? Was the firebombing of Dresden acceptable because they had similarly targeted civilians in London? Through the lens of historical review, we can now express our distain for the tactic, but there was very little if any objection to it at the time.

5. I doubt there is much I will say to change someone’s mind if they feel that engaging the Hammas led government would have been a mistake. I don’t. Even at the height of the Cold War, we were engaging the USSR. Engagement with China has resulted in a more open and modern society than the one we faced before Nixon’s visit. It was Tony Blair himself who engaged the political wing of the IRA and has taken credit for their disarming and active participation in the new Irish government. Engaging a Hammas government may well have begun the process of de-radicalizing at least the political wing. It is harder to shoot someone when you are looking them in the eye. Starving the government of money, at a minimum, has done nothing to endear a population that already mistrusts the U.S. and Israel. It provided another proof of our being two-faced (after encouraging Hammas’ participation in the political process), giving the radicals another propaganda talking point. There will be no progress towards peace without discourse. Sooner or later, Hammas will have to be engaged. My personal belief is that it would have been far more productive had it been conducted in the framework of “Normal” diplomatic exchange. Heaven knows when that sort of opportunity will avail itself again.

6. We are already seeing the seeds of peace in the region. I agree that surrendering land and other concessions without reciprocation would be a mistake. Peace will require a partnership. Both sides must give and take for the peace to be lasting. Your example of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon is very apt. I certainly am not proposing a similar approach in the Occupied territories. Both sides will need to sacrifice. In joint sacrifice there will be a building of trust. Trust does not equate to a lack of hatred, but it is a step in the right direction.

7. I agree that the brain drain is significant, and that may contribute to the lack of a Mandela type of leader. Economic assistance would of course need to include experts to help guide a new government as well as business owners. As to the Saudis, I don’t think they are an apt example for my point. First, the wealth is not evenly distributed. It is primarily situated with the Royal Family. Second, the level of education for the common people is dismal. Look into the number of high school (equivalent) graduates among non-royal family members. It is easy to promote a slanted viewpoint if there is little else to compare to. Lastly, and closely related to my last point, much of what they know and hear comes from the government and clerics. It is a very tightly controlled society with the flow of information strictly policed.
The best example I can think of to illustrate my point is South Africa. The black population engaged in violent acts of uprising, mostly centered in the impoverished ghettos of the “Black Homelands”. After the end of Apartheid, and the growth of a truly equitable economy, the violence abated. These people are not significantly better educated, skilled, or enriched, but they have reason to hope for a better future. There are many who have seen moderate improvements by our standards, but riches are measured differently in other societies and economic conditions. One only need look to the concept of Micro Loans to understand the economic impact of even tiny investments.

8. I agree completely. If I were not opposed (judgmental) of the bigotry of David Wilder (remember him?), I would never have posted comments on this blog. I have said repeatedly that despite feeling that I understand the motivations of the Palestinians, I do not support the violence that is its end result. There is plenty of blame and finger pointing to go around. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians can claim to be victims and be condemned for acts of violence. There is no more justification for targeting civilian populations with a 500 lb bomb dropped from a plane than for a 10 lb bomb strapped to ones chest. The question is whether there are adequate numbers on each side who are tired of violence and the cycle of hatred that feeds it. Will they finally stand up and say “Enough!” despite the efforts to shout them down by those who define their existence by that hatred.

I hope that I have been able to adequately address your questions. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Regards (yes I am) Simple Observer.

Alan:

Not So Simple Observer

I won’t take it too personally that you deferred to William’s academic expertise but not to mine. Unfortunately, I was studying chemistry when I should have been learning history and English literature.

Once again, your post was profound and took me several readings to grasp your conclusions and to understand your technique of constructing an argument. My biggest criticism is your use of another sanitized euphemism, “violence”, to describe intentionally killing civilians. I think many people would view “violence” as a reasonable option for the Palestinians. It implies attacking police or soldiers.

I respectfully request that you use the terms “intentionally killing civilians” or “targeting civilians” rather than “violence” or “armed resistance”. I wish I understood your motivations not to use these more accurate terms. Could your last post have been as persuasive had you used these terms? Do you realize that targeting civilians rather than soldiers is the abhorrent aspect of Palestinian behavior? Do you realize that the Israelis were moving toward peace and land exchange in the year 2000 and that it all went up in smoke with the bus bombings?


A hopeless population could find sympathy from many by attacking police or armies. But large scale support of the suicide bombers who look at the children they are about to kill is beyond understanding. Please read my numbered comments that follow, which elaborate on this concept.

The Palestinians have managed to lose the world’s sympathy because of their support for atrocities. Some will argue that the world doesn’t universally support Palestinians because of prejudice against Moslems, but they wouldn’t be taking Bosnia into account. The U.S.A. and even Europe stopped that massacre. The Palestinians need a Mandela, a Ghandi, or a King. Not a government that honors the “rip cord guys” mentioned above.

I will now address your points paragraph by paragraph, in the order you wrote them.

1. Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism. I believe that Dr. King is correct for the most part, but I think the statement should be able to stand on its own without having to give credit to MLK. Why do I believe it’s correct? Because of the double standards that exist uniquely when discussing Israel. The Jews in Israel aren’t one tenth as bad as the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese in Tibet, or The Egyptian treatment of Muslim Brotherhood folks, yet are condemned and focused on by so many. Anti-Semitism is probable because the outrage and condemnation should first be directed toward the worst offenders, rather than toward the relatively mild Israelis who happened to be Jews.

2. Japanese culture: William is way beyond me but I hope to read the Crysanthemum… and learn the difference between a guilt and a shame culture. One simple observation is that the Japanese accepted suicide bombings of war ships, not school buses. I don’t remember them celebrating somebody who was aiming at children.

3. What motivates the mind of the bomber/murderer? We could theorize all week about this, but the fact is that their motivations are less important than the fact that most of the Palestinians celebrate or support them.

4. On how a population could become “radicalized”. Another palatable euphemism was used, namely, “striking back”. I’ll respond more fully if you would use the term “targeting innocent civilians” instead of “striking back”. Nobody can argue against striking back, which is why I believe you used this term.

5. Starving the new government and isolating Hamas. Tony Blair recently stated in a lecture in Los Angeles that, in the 1800’s, the world reacted against piracy by refusing to trade with countries that tolerated pirates. This embargo ended piracy. He feels that terrorism is today’s piracy, and that the world needs to ostracize any government that tolerates it, much less one that supports it. I agree with the Western world’s shunning of Hamas. Short term gain by treating Hamas with dignity is not worth the long term trade off of speaking to those who tolerate the targeting of civilians or the deification of their murderers.

6. You have taught me about the perspective of Palestinian anger regarding settlements and land confiscation. However, the Palestinians have the power to change this by abandoning terrorism and state sponsored racism. An Israeli offer of peace before Palestinian rejection of terrorism will be viewed in two ways by Palestinians: First, they will learn that “terrorism is effective”. Second, they will mistakenly believe they are strong, Israel is weak, and will forever be looking for concessions all the way to Tel Aviv. Nasrallah and colleagues are a good example of the disastrous consequences of such conclusions.

7. Regarding economic changes. I hope you are right and I’m wrong. The brain drain from the West Bank and Gaza is scary. You still haven’t answered the Saudi Arabia paradox, namely, a rich Arabic country whose citizens do not protest terrorism against Jews and where television programs and school texts are often deeply anti-Semitic.

8. About abandoning reason to understand “abhorrent acts.” Maybe I misread your intentions. I agree with trying to understand the Palestinians in a dispassionate manner in order to help solve this problem. But this is not the same as trying not to be judgmental of their support of targeting civilians. We must all be judgmental about terrorism and racism even while we dispassionately try to elucidate their roots.

I enjoy learning about your perspective and thank you again for your thought provoking comments.

Regards

Simole Observer:

W. San Antonio and Alan

William:

Wow! I don’t know that I was thrashing before, but I might be now. It’s clear to me that your academic credentials are superior to mine, but I think I am managing to keep my head above water none the less. As an aside, I want to point out that your assessment of my “regard to appeals to authority” might be a little broad since I responded to just one statement regarding Dr. King. I hold Dr. King in great regard. I simple did not agree with his belief that anti-Zionism equated to anti –Semitism. There have been many who declared that they were Jewish on this blog who did not support the Zionist ideal. I doubt you would equate that to anti-Semitism.

Having clarified my acceptance of authoritative appeals, I will concede your superior knowledge and experience regarding Japanese society. I did not mean to infer that because the Japanese celebrated the sacrifices of the Kamikaze, that they would now, 65 years later, support Palestinian suicide bombers. The Bushido code was one of service and personal honor. That does not equate to the actions of the Muslim Assassin in the classic definition. I was simply trying to demonstrate examples of societies glorifying acts of suicidal sacrifice. They both have their own shades of religious fervor, but the Bushido code of the warrior has faded into the past. Today’s Japan is very different in its sensibilities and the value it places on individual life.

Alan: I will include responses to your comments and questions along with Williams. Much of what you said relates closely to Williams comments and I hope to be able to address both of you in the same post. There will be specific references to individual posts, and I will try to differentiate as I go along.

William, it is clear that I created my response to your initial post as you were fleshing out your comments. I think I have addressed points 1-5 fairly simply and they seem to agree with you for the most part. Some further discussion below will highlight my differences in opinion, but I hope you will agree that I have accepted your statements as reasonable and acceptable. As to point 6 and the comparison to Japanese Kamikaze, please see my comment above. Ok, now for the meat and potatoes:

We continue to return to an assessment of what motivates and, in the mind of the bomber, justifies their actions. I understand why William feels that Muslims are psycho-sexually deficient, but I am having difficulty accepting that as the primary reason these young men are recruited and motivated. They aren’t blowing themselves up in a crowd simply because they believe that they are finally going to get laid. That’s way over-simplified and ignores many of the issues that pervade Palestinian society. It also does not adequately address the increasing number of female bombers. I suppose women in Muslim society may well be sexually frustrated, but men and women view sex and sexuality differently in all societies, and I can’t believe that both men and women are being motivated by the same argument. Besides, I don’t believe there is an alternative story that promises 70 studs as a reward. Revenge, rage, and ideological differences are all plausible and likely contributors to the motivation behind these crimes.

I want to return to the original question that led us to the above discussion. Alan asked how a population could support suicide bombing. I repeat that I believe that it is viewed as a legitimate means of armed resistance. That type of attitude by a population stems from a group dynamic. The population as a whole sees itself as powerless to affect the policies and actions of their presumed oppressor. They lack the means of mounting a significant military response. Any action that is seen as striking back would likely result in generating a positive view of such actions. Certainly propaganda factors greatly in encouraging these views, but it stems from the radicalization of a population that sees no real hope for change after 40 years of hardship.

Similarly, the election of Hammas to a controlling majority of the Palestinian Parliament should not be as much of a surprise as it would seem to have taken Israel and the U.S. government. Keep in mind that Arafat’s Palestinian Authority had done little over the last 40 years to bring about real change, or bring to reality a true, independent State. Hammas, while acting violently through its military wing, has also been providing extensive humanitarian and social services. They have their own infrastructure for providing medical care, financial assistance, housing, etc. Faced with a choice of remaining with the corrupt and ineffectual P.A., Hammas was able to see its own candidates gain prominence. The population was ripe for change. Unfortunately, after being encouraged to participate in the political process, the U.S and Israel refused to deal with Hammas in any way once they had won. They missed a significant opportunity to engage in real dialog and promote peaceful governance. Starving the new Palestinian government of money only crippled their ability to operate day-to-day, crippled the already meager economy, and increased animosity for both the U.S. and the Israelis.

Williams assertion that the conditions within the occupied territories do not differ greatly from those in other Arab administered slums ignores a great many things. Not all of the effected areas of the occupied territories can be considered slums. The areas of East Jerusalem, and the farms and olive groves of the West Bank are just a few examples. The animosity towards Israel often comes from the confiscation of land for the new wall, or to secure illegal settlements. The actions of the police and army towards the Arab residents is no less brutal, nor is it any more accommodating to basic human rights. As to hating the Jew, well of course they hate the Jews. It is a Jewish nation that has been the source of the conflict. I submit however, that had it been Catholics, or Hindus who had carved a homeland out of that region, it would be them and not the Jews that would be the target of Arab hatred. Nothing is going to change history as it stands now.

You both disagreed with my position that improved economic opportunities would help diminish the violence. I thought that both of you were a little disingenuous, and tended to view such changes from your own perspectives. Keep in mind that how we define “Rich” here in the U.S. and how they define it elsewhere is very different. Economic prosperity is relative. For decades, Palestinian products and produce have been difficult, if not impossible to export to Israel or other nations in the region. Produce is left to spoil at border crossings. Palestinian shop owners have been forced to sell Israeli products and produce before that which was produced locally. Jobs have been at a premium. Some of this stems from the realities of security, and limits on travel imposed on Palestinian men. Some is a result of Palestinian industries inability to grow and prosper for lack of outside markets for their products. It is a viscous circle. No jobs means there is no money to be spent. Without money to be spent, there is no local market for products. No market, no money, etc. Prosperity could be measured by job creation. Even a small increase, by western standards, in weekly income could generate significant benefits to individuals and society. There would be reason to be hopeful for the future. There would be fewer disgruntled, unemployed young men with nothing to occupy them. Hatred would not disappear, but there certainly would be more to occupy the population than hate. Building a future has a strange way of distracting people.

Finally, I want to address Alan’s concerns about abandoning reason. Humans are always seeking reason. We want to understand why things happen the way they do. Some things however, defy reason. Additionally, we all view things from our own perspective. We are raised with certain morals and values that we apply to the things we see and experience. These values and morals vary with the society, educational and economic levels, as well as external stressors that may affect your well being. When we observe acts of violence, we find it offensive, but often can not comprehend the source or motivation because it conflicts with our morals and values. One need not abandon those morals in order to view an event or act from a different perspective. Criminologists need to “get into the mind of a serial killer” in order to generate a profile. They don’t embrace the killer’s values, but rather observe and try to comprehend their motivations unemotionally. Having done this, they can then make a moral judgment of that person or act, but they still proceeded using a perspective that was essentially foreign to them. Trying to account for the factors and influences that manifest themselves in the Palestinians accepting violence as an acceptable means of resistance is not an act of acceptance. Rather, it is a means of evaluating what steps could be taken to mitigate those factors that contribute to what we view as abhorrent behavior.

I went much longer than I expected to, but the discussion has taken many unexpected detours along the way. It is always a pleasure to engage in real debate in a thoughtful and intelligent manner. I look forward to your respond. Best Regards.

Simple Observer:

I'm still here. I've been unable to give this any attention. I will have a response today.

Regards

Alan from L.A.:

William and Not So Simple Observer:

I wish I could write as well as you guys, or that I possessed a portion of your historical acumen. Those were great posts—original and thought provoking. Thanks for the effort. For William, I looked for the Crysanthemum Book on Amazon and couldn’t find it. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s not new. You don’t seem like a pop literature sort of guy. Did I just look for a two hundred year old book?

Kidding aside, I am going to say that William covered the concept of suicide bombings more elaborately and persuasively than I could have. I look forward to Not So Simple’s response. You might want to read Still Life with Bombers, a book written by author David Horovitz, which explores this issue in an emotional yet simultaneously objective fashion.

Simple’s argument to my post is fascinating to me. Before I get to the interesting part, I’m going to define a term which has been confusing in these posts. Specifically, I suggest we stop using the term suicide bombings and start using “targeting innocent civilians” or "suicide killers" because it it the innocent civilian loss of life that is abhorent, not the act of killing oneself for political reasons. Also, I am not always certain which of the two Simple was addressing.

If I asked questions in my post that point to what I thought were logical conclusions, one would hope for agreement or disagreement. But to suggest that I look at the situation with a reasonable perspective and must account for evil by understanding an unreasonable frame of mind points me to one of two possible conclusions. First, when debating a particular point, if one comes to an impasse that might implode one’s house of cards conclusions, it is less than rigorous to suggest considering suspending reason. Reason can not be suspended to come to a conclusion. If the Palestinians have been forced to consider murder by justifying it through “unreasonable frames of mind”, they need to become more reasonable.

I agree with William that the occupiers being Jews is the principle aspect of the Palestinian grievances. Whatever Israel is doing in the West Bank pales in comparison to Saddam’s heinous acts, to Al Qaeda’s murder of Shiites (and disagreeable Sunni’s!) in Iraq, to Russia’s actions in Chechnya, to Kuwait’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians after the first Gulf War, or to Egypt’s actions against the Muslim Brotherhood or homosexuals. In short, I’ve listed a lot of heinous acts against populations. Hopelessness should never be given as an excuse for murder. Jews maybe, but not hopelessness. (A little sarcasm can't hurt.)

Let’s also clarify that the murderers are beyond judgment. We can wonder what makes someone commit suicide to achieve a political goal, but the biggest problem is not the few freaks that will go to these lengths. William, the psycho sexual aspect, with what I guess would be impotency, rage, and simulated orgasm is a fascinating and intellectually interesting viewpoint of the suicide killer. However, the killers themselves are less relevant than the fact that the Palestinian population celebrates these guys. Or votes for a government that honors these guys with TV shows, posters and the like.

The Palestinians' identity is wrapped up in hatred of the Jews and needs to change. When it changes,they will get peace. Simple, I disagree with you about Economics changing this hatred for two reasons. The first, I don't see them getting richer. There's a pretty big brain drain to Dearborn and London. Second, even if they did get rich, they'll still probably hate the Jews. William's point about the Saudi's being wealthy and supporting terrorism and (I'll add) intolerant Wahabism is sad because it shows that economic freedom alone will not break the patterns of hatred, the mainstream acceptance of terrorism, or religious intolerance. Remember, Arabs can pray in Israel. Could a Jewish synagogue exist in Beirut, or Riyadh?

Jeffrey:

Good reading but too much. Can only handles the small stuff.

Assassins
Assassins, secret society of Muslims that existed during the Crusades. Founded in Iran in the 1090s by a Fatimid missionary, Hasan-I Sabbah, the order was purportedly composed of users of the drug hashish. The Assassins originated in the Ismaili branch of the Shia sect of Islam. They had a hierarchical system of power, headed by the Shaykh-al-Jabal, who was known to the Crusaders as the 'Old Man of the Mountains.' This leader was aided by two groups of subordinates, and below them were members of the society who obeyed the commands of their chief, even unto death.
From their base in the city of Qazvīn in Iran, the Assassins originally spread their influence throughout the Islamic world by establishing a chain of hill forts in northern Iran and by pursuing a policy of secret assassination against their enemies. Toward the close of the 11th century, the Assassins also gained a foothold in northwestern Syria, where they are said to have terrorized the invading Crusaders in a campaign of systematic murder.
In 1256, however, the Persian strongholds of the order were destroyed by the Mongols under Hulagu, founder of the il-Khanid dynasty in Persia. Sixteen years later the Assassins in Syria were wiped out by Baybars I, ruler of the Islamic Mamluks.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


as•sas•sin [ə sáss'n]
(plural as•sas•sins)
noun
murderer: a killer, especially of a political leader or other public figure

[Mid-16th century. Via French < Arabic ḥašāšīn "hashish users"]

Microsoft® Encarta® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:


To elaborate on my previous.

1. These phenomena (suicide attacks) are not limited to the population with which you empathize.

Name an Arab country - from Algeria to Yemen! Does this need to be argued?

2. The phenomena are not new.

This is demonstrated by the lengthy Marco Polo quote. Its roots, however, can be traced past the incarnation of Islam to the very heart of the tribal Bedouin.

3. It is a tactic used against any perceived enemy - frequently against fellows.

Again see the Marco Polo quote. Suicide attacks in recent times are directly attributable to the Muslim Brotherhood (the grandfather of Hamas and the PLO), the latest incarnation of Muslim assassins. Their creed is:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Their tactics are used just as readily against fellow Arabs as against Jews. The Hama massacre, a little publicized incident, was a response to the Brotherhood’s activities in Syria. If you want a realistic assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Saudi benefactors please read Rachel Ehrenfeld. She has a Ph.D. in criminology which makes her especially well qualified to comment on these matters. The Brotherhood's official position of opposing attacks against civilians is pure dissimulation. They are aligned with Hamas and many other terrorist groups. They use the standard Arab tactic of farming out terror to a never-ending stream of splinter groups to protect their greater viability - to distance themselves from actual operations.

4. Many of the perpetrators are neither poor nor poorly educated.

Look at the education levels of the 9/11 perpetrators. Does this need to be argued?

5. Comparisons with stressed groups such as the Donner party are invalid.

The Donner party was a true example of a group in extremis but they ate only those already deceased. They killed no one!

6. Comparisons with other cultures such as the Japanese are invalid.

Please don’t attempt to equate Japanese Kamikaze with Arab suicide murderers. I readily admit that I have had little direct contact with Arabs (just a few Saudis and Kuwaitis) or Arab culture (I have never been to the Mideast); however, my language major in college was Japanese. I lived in Japan for over 3 years and my wife is half Japanese. I can speak with some authority on the Japanese people and their culture. I know that you have little regard for appeals to authority re the MLK quote, but hear this: The only similarity that the two cultures share is that they are both shame cultures. (I would suggest that, if you are not familiar with the distinction between a shame culture and a guilt culture, you familiarize yourself with these concepts.) To underscore the differences between the two cultures, one only needs a cursory view of Japanese history and the Japanese reaction to modernity. First came confrontation and adaptation then conflagration and assimilation. They made the leap partly because of a willingness to break with the past and finally because they had no choice. If you want a one volume primer on the Japanese read “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”. From my experience, I feel very comfortable in asserting that the Japanese view of Arab suicide bombings is one of identifying it as repugnant and criminal.


I also repeat that it is my assessment that suicide bombings are carried out by deranged individuals with criminal enablers. Young males with psycho-sexual deficiencies in any culture are ripe for murder-suicide. Again, take Robert A. Hawkins or Seung-Hui Cho, as examples. These are, however, examples with which we can relate. The acting out of demented fantasies whether they are sexual or as martyrs or a combination of both is unfamiliar to us. (I suspect that it is this unfamiliarity that leads many to wrongly ascribe the behavior as grievance based.) The Muslim culture incubates and exacerbates both of these tendencies to the extreme. The evidence is clear to any who want to seek it out. The sources to support this assessment are many and readily available to those who are interested.

Secondarily, the conditions that you so frequently speak of are often inflicted on them by their gangster co-religionists. I am compelled to re-post the following quote:

“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.” - PLO spokesman Mahmud Abbas ("Abu Mazen"), Falastin a-Thaura, March 1976

The fact is, however, that Gaza and the so-called West Bank are little different from any other Arab slum in any other Arab country and the inhabitants receive no worse treatment. The major difference, the difference that propels our conversation, is that the treatment is at the hands of Jews while attempting to maintain some semblance of law and order. Something seldom considered is that similar problems when confronted by Arab authority are most frequently resolved like the Hama massacre or Saddam’s mass executions. The Jews are tender in comparison.

Allow me give you an example of the typical course of so many of these “grievances”. In March at least four “Palestinians” drowned in a deluge of raw sewage when a water treatment reservoir burst, flooding a village in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas blamed the disaster on the suspension of foreign aid despite the billions upon billions of dollars in aid from Europe and America that have gone missing. A little know fact is that the supply of pipe that may have ameliorated this situation was also suspended. Israelis could no longer maintain the supply of piping intended to shore up the aging infrastructure in Gaza because it was being shot back at them in the form of Qassam rockets.

Finally, the conditions in which these people live are stark and all the more so when contrasted to what we are used to or those that exist so near to them in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. But, their conditions would improve only marginally if the focus of their grievances and all of their anguish and despair, the Jews, disappeared today. And that is in reality what they strive for – it is their raison d'être.


Addendum:

“The only way I see to change that is to lighten the hopelessness of the society, provide opportunities, and limit the sources of animosity that allow extremists room to take root. Prosperity breeds contentment.”

If this were the case, the Saudis would be the most content. But, if all of the veils were drawn back, there we would find wealthy Saudis financing it all.

I sense that you are thrashing, my friend. I will be gone for a few days. If the blog is still active, I will be most happy to pick up the conversation.

Best regards.

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:
Wow! Psycho-sexual deficiencies? You do challenge, don’t you?

Here goes:

1 – 4 No the phenomena of suicidal attack, by a group of individual, is not new. They are not limited to Muslims, nor are Muslim suicide attackers limited to the Palestinian population. I also agree that the perpetrators are not limited to the poor and uneducated. On need only look to the pilots of the 9/11 planes to see that. Even educated minds can be twisted by extremist ideology.

Having said all that, I continue to stand by my assessment of the suicide attacks as they pertain to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Although there are certainly well educated men who have blown themselves up, most of them have been young, unemployed men. The prevalence of extreme unemployment, strife, high emotion, and large numbers of young, impressionable men make for an environment ripe for twisting of minds towards religious extremism. When a population is faced with a hopeless situation, it is not unreasonable to believe that they will turn to the one constant that may well be the only source of hope. That is religion and its promise of salvation. Islam may be particularly susceptible to this bending of scripture with its passages regarding jihad. Most main-stream Muslim clerics have condemned the interpretation of Islam that promotes this sort of violence, but it is easy to see how it could take root in a population ripe for revenge. In cases such as the extremism and suicide attacks in Pakistan, I believe it more a case of indoctrination from birth of an extreme form of Islam that has been prevalent in that region for centuries.

Your statement that the bombers are deranged and enabled by criminals is a fair assessment. It could be argued that that statement is shaded by western sensibilities, but remains basically sound. One must keep in mind that no matter how we view it, or even how the Palestinian population feels about it, the bombers feel justified. With that justification comes a strength of purpose that makes them difficult to stop. The only way I see to change that is to lighten the hopelessness of the society, provide opportunities, and limit the sources of animosity that allow extremists room to take root. Prosperity breeds contentment. There is little in the way of suicidal martyrdom among the prosperous western societies. Most cases of suicidal attack (Nebraska Mall) are due to mental illness, not religious fervor. We have hope and opportunity. We have reason to live rather than seek salvation and fulfillment through suicidal sacrifice.

As to my comparisons, I’ll concede that the Donners are probably a poor comparison to the Palestinians. May main point remains. Until you have walked a mile in their shoes, it is difficult to genuinely view events from an Israeli or Palestinian perspective. I try very hard to be a neutral observer of behavior, but it has its limits. Similarly, what each of us is capable of in desperate situations is a mystery. What lengths a population will go to, and what depths they will sink to can only be guessed. The Irish executed bombing attacks on civilian targets. What kind of violence was perpetrated by the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto during WW II. Granted it was a war in its classic sense, but did that make that wretched starving population any less desperate at the time? Some would call their revolt, doomed to failure because of the strength of their German tormentors, a hopeless, suicidal effort. It is very different from the acts of the suicide bombers of today, but it goes to show the lengths to which a desperate people will go to.

I think the Japanese comparison is apt. It was a population and government with its back against the wall, with limited resources, fighting a numerically and militarily superior foe. There was a societal glorification of suicidal sacrifice. The suicidal act was different, but no less deadly or shocking to its victims.

Finally, I have to assume that you presented the Marco Polo account to highlight the “Reward in Paradise” claim so often given for the willingness of these men to martyr themselves. Since this is a secular story, however, I now question the validity of the justifications so often cited. Is there also a reference to Paradise and 70 some virgins in the Koran? Can someone clarify this? Do these Muslim men expect that type of reward or is the Assassin story incorrectly attributed to them?

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

Look up the etymology of assassin. Gotta go.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

I am very limited for time so am able to only outline an answer.

The difficulties in your assessment of the phenomena of Muslim suicide bombers are several.

1. These phenomena are not limited to the population with which you empathize.

2. The phenomena are not new.

3. It is a tactic used against any perceived enemy - frequently against fellows.

4. Many of the perpetrators are neither poor nor poorly educated.

5. Comparisons with stressed groups such as the Donner party are invalid.

6. Comparisons with other cultures such as the Japanese are invalid.


My assessment is that suicide bombings are carried out by deranged individuals with criminal enablers.

Young males with psycho-sexual deficiencies in any culture are ripe for murder-suicide. Take Robert A. Hawkins as an example. The Muslim culture exacerbates these tendencies.

Please use the following as food for thought.

Excerpted from : The Travels of Marco Polo
Translated by Ronald Latham
Amaris Books, Inc., Copyright 1982, pages 55-58

Now let us proceed farther, and I will tell you about a country called Mulehet.

Mulehet, which means 'heretics' according to the law of the Saracens, is the country where the Sheikh of the Mountain used to live in days gone by. I will tell you his story just as I, Messer Marco, have heard it told by many people.

The Sheikh was called in their language Alaodin. He had had made in a valley between two mountains the biggest and most beautiful garden that was ever seen, planted with all the finest fruits in the world and containing the most splendid mansions and palaces that were ever seen, ornamented with gold and with likenesses of all that is beautiful on earth, and also four conduits, one flowing with wine, one with milk, one with honey, and one with water. There were fair ladies there and damsels, the loveliest in the world, unrivalled at playing every sort of instrument and at singing and dancing. And he gave his men to understand that this garden was Paradise. That is why he had made it after this pattern, because Mahomet assured the Saracens that those who go to Paradise will have beautiful women to their hearts' content to do their bidding and will find there rivers of wine and milk and honey and water. So he had had this garden made like the Paradise that Mahomet promised to the Saracens, and the Saracens of this country believed that it really was Paradise. No one ever entered the garden except those whom he wished to make Assassins. At the entrance stood a castle so strong that it need fear no man in the world, and there was no other way in except through this castle. The Sheikh kept with him at his court all the youths of the country from twelve years old to twenty, all, that is, who shaped well as men at arms. These youths knew well by hearsay that Mahomet their prophet had declared Paradise to be made in such a fashion as I have described, and so they accepted it as truth. Now mark what follows. He used to put some of these youths in this Paradise, four at a time, or ten, or twenty, according as he wished. And this is how he did it. He would give them draughts that sent them to sleep on the spot. Then he had them taken and put in the garden, where they were wakened. When they awoke and found themselves in there and saw all the things I have told you of, they believed they were really in Paradise. And the ladies and damsels stayed with them all the time, singing and making music for their delight and ministering to all their desires. So these youths had all they could wish for and asked nothing better than to remain there.

Now the Sheikh held his court with great splendour and magnificence and bore himself most nobly and convinced the simple mountain folk round about that he was a prophet; and they believed it to be the truth. And when he wanted emissaries to send on some mission of murder, he would administer the drug to as many as he pleased; and while they slept he had them carried into his palace. When these youths awoke and found themselves in the castle within the palace, they were amazed and by no means glad, for the Paradise from which they had come was not a place that they would ever willingly have left. They went forthwith to the Sheikh and humbled themselves before him, as men who believed that he was a great prophet. When he asked them whence they came, they would answer that they came from Paradise, and that this was in truth the Paradise of which Mahomet had told their ancestors; and they would tell their listeners all that they had found there. And the others who heard this and had not been there were filled with a great longing to go to this Paradise; they longed for death so that they might go there, and looked forward eagerly to the day of their going.

When the Sheikh desired the death of some great lord, he would first try an experiment to find out which of his Assassins were the best. He would send some off on a mission in the neighbourhood at no great distance with orders to kill such and such a man. They went without demur and did the bidding of their lord. Then, when they had killed the man, they returned to court - those of them that escaped, for some were caught and put to death. When they had returned to their lord and told him that they had faithfully performed their task, the Sheikh would make a great feast in their honour. And he knew very well which of them had displayed the greatest zeal, because after each he had sent others of his men as spies to report which was the most daring and the best hand at murdering. Then, in order to bring about the death of the lord or other man which he desired, he would take some of these Assassins of his and send them wherever he might wish, telling them that he was minded to dispatch them to Paradise: they were to go accordingly and kill such and such a man; if they died on their mission, they would go there all the sooner. Those who received such a command obeyed it with a right good will, more readily than anything else they might have been called on to do. Away they went and did all that they were commanded. Thus it happened that no one ever escaped when the Sheikh of the Mountain desired his death. And I can assure you that many kings and many lords paid tribute to him and cultivated his friendship for fear that he might bring about their death. This happened because at that time the nations were not united in their allegiance, but torn by conflicting loyalties and purposes.

I have told you about the Sheikh of the Mountain and his Assassins. Now let me tell you how he was overthrown and by whom. But first I will tell you something else about him that I had omitted. You must know that this Sheikh had chosen as his subordinates two other Sheikhs, who adopted all his practices and customs. One of these he dispatched to the neighbourhood of Damascus, the other to Kurdistan. Let us now turn to the subject of his overthrow. It happened about the year of Our Lord's nativity 1262 that Hulagu, lord of the Tartars of the Levant, knowing of all the evil deeds this Sheikh was doing, made up his mind that he should be crushed. So he appointed some of his barons and sent them against this castle with a powerful force. For fully three years they besieged the castle without being able to take it. Indeed they never would have taken it so long as the besieged had anything to eat, but at the end of the three years they had no food left. So they were taken, and the Sheikh, Alaodin, was put to death with all his men. And from that time to this there have been no more of these Sheikhs and no more Assassins; but with him there came an end to all the power that had been wielded of old by the Sheikhs of the Mountain and all the evil they had done.

Simple Observer:

Alan:

I stand by my statement that I believe that the Palestinians see suicide bombers as a legitimate form of armed resistance. It is not a defense of a deplorable act, nor is it an attempt on my part to sanitize the tactic. It is simply an observation. Something you must keep in mind, though, is that it is not a sanitary situation over there.

I’ve read, and re-read your post a couple of times. What strikes me about your position is that it is coming from a “Reasonable” perspective. The problem with that perspective is that it fails to account for the unreasonable frame of mind that is left to a population that has lost hope. The religious extremism that has taken root and has spread through a goodly portion of the population is not a mind set of reason. As I understand it, all Israelis, children included, are seen as the enemy of the Palestinians and Islam. Blowing one’s self up, and taking as many of the “Enemy” as possible with you, is a means of achieving paradise. That seems entirely unreasonable to me, but I view it (just as you do) through a lens of western sensibility. There is no end to what populations will resort to in desperation. You wouldn’t think twice about eating your neighbor’s wife. I’m sure the Donner party wouldn’t either had they not been in a desperate situation. None of what I have said justifies these acts of violence. They are deplorable, but in order to make unemotional and clinical observations of human behavior, you must first suspend your own perspective. Once the observation has been made, you can then judge it by your own standards. That however does not change the observation itself.

As to the predictability of these events, I again stick to what I have said. Would anyone have predicted 30 years ago that Palestinians would be blowing themselves up on busses today? Of course not. What astounds me is the reaction of surprise to desperate acts and what is seen as unreasonable attitudes of the Palestinians in the light of their desperate situation. I’ve listed previously any number of hardships they have endured as individuals and as a population. Why is it such a surprise that they would act in what we consider an unreasonable way? There are plenty of examples of desperate peoples acting in desperate ways. Would Americans have flown airplanes into warships during WW II? Our own western sensibilities would prevent that kind of waste, but not so with the Japanese. They not only were desperate, but their social values differed so significantly from ours, that we were shocked and appalled by the Kamikaze. In Japan they were honored. I might also point out that horrific acts are not the choice solely of desperate people. The Jews did not kill German children during WW II, but there were some who rose to political prominence in Israel who had no reservations to blowing up British citizens (including civilian nurses) while agitating for a Jewish Homeland.

Finally, to speak of an ethical equilibrium again imposes your values onto a situation which you do not endure. There is nothing wrong with your values. I share them, but we can’t expect someone who has seen his family killed, or his home destroyed, or livelihood taken away to act with the same values and ethics as you and I. It is too easy to judge from thousands of miles away. I want to point out that my statement applies to all parties in the region. There has been plenty of loss to go around, and plenty of vengeance to go with it from both sides of the fence. Failure to achieve peace will not be the fault of the Palestinians alone, nor will it be the fault of the Israelis. The failure of peace will be just why Vic Van Meter has pointed out above and on other blogs. It will be the fault of cowards. It will be the fault of those who do not have the courage to rise up and say “Enough” in spite of the pain they have endured.

Alan from L.A.:

Simple Observer:

I would like to respond to the following quote in your December 5th, 2:04 PM post:

“I personally believe that the Palestinians see the suicide bombers as a legitimate form of armed resistance. It is easy to sit here in the US and condemn it as barbaric, but I honestly believe that it is a predictable, desperate response from a population of hopeless people. That does not mean that I support the tactic. Frankly, I think any form of armed resistance would be condemned, but after years of fighting tanks and jet fighters with rocks and small arms, is it so surprising that they would resort to a violent act, predicated on religious extremism, that gets the maximum response with a minimum of resources?”

“Armed resistance” to an occupation sounds reasonable. It is, however, a sanitized euphemism. “Armed resistance” sounds much nicer than the alternative but more accurate “suicide bombings aimed at civilians”. Armed resistance implies fighting police or military—this term should not be used when describing a terrorist looking at children on a bus before pulling the rip cord on his vest. It is no longer armed resistance but instead is heartless terrorism. Did you intentionally use the term as a persuasive means of supporting your tenets or was your use of this euphemism unintentional?

If this act is indeed “predicated on religious extremism”, why is there such widespread support among local Palestinians? Is this mindset extreme or mainstream?

As far as suicide bombs being “a predictable response from a desperate group of people”, I would like to respond in the next few paragraphs. The checkpoints that strangle the Palestinians have multiplied in number because the Israelis are searching for bombs. Reasonable Palestinians should realize that the bombs end up hurting their cause. A more “predictable response” might be to organize a protest against targeting civilians. I suggest that the less predictable response would utilize the twisted logic that supports the bombs as a means to end the occupation, the primary manifestation of which is checkpoints that search for bombs.

There are plenty of desperate people in the world. There aren’t too many desperate populations that overwhelmingly honor and support those who have intentionally murdered children. This is not “predictable” as you suggest. It’s too horrific to be predictable. Not to point fingers, but Jews didn’t murder German children during World War II.

I often see an ethical equilibration of the following two scenarios. In the first, there is the horrific negligent violence that occurs when an Israeli bomb goes astray and kills the wrong persons. The Israelis issue regret. Few celebrate. The second scenario is the one where the guy looks at his victims before pulling that vest-cord with the intent to kill. The murderer is celebrated as a national hero. The World and the Palestinians need to understand that the two scenarios just mentioned are not morally equivalent, even if the same number of persons die in both scenarios.

Support of such evil needs to disappear from mainstream thought throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Until the Palestinians move away from this mindset, failure to obtain a peaceful solution should be considered their fault—not the Israelis’ faults.

Regards and thanks for the thought provoking posts.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

I, too, am optimistic; but, under circumstances that are enforceable and preceded by verifiable concessions from the other side. The treaties constructed with Egypt and Jordan are positive examples. No less should be considered from any belligerent. One possibility that must always be considered is that the current situation (in the territories) may not be solvable. It may be the case that tolerating the status quo is the best possible alternative. To reach into the ether again, fundamental mathematics has demonstrated that the ancient problems of squaring the circle, doubling the cube and trisecting an angle are impossible. One of the reasons that I was keen to offer Robert Aumann’s mathematical arguments are that they are so formidable in describing competitive economic behavior which is an intimately related problem. I do not oppose looking to any discipline for creative solutions. I only oppose repeating failure. Einstein defined this as insanity.

Vic van Meter:

Simple Observer, you're a breath of fresh air.

I would like to bring up one of your poitns as the West's biggest failure, and the West's example of how they're not helping the situation. We don't like Iran's government. But it would be absolutely foolish to say that they're not in power because we don't like them there (though you'll hear that often as news outlets and government officials here in the States would often like to tell you who is REALLY in power down there....like it matters).

Likewise, most of us think Hamas is an absolutely inhuman branch of government. But other parties like it have had power in Palestine and failed. It should have been held up to the standard of modern government, but it should at least be included for one big reason.

The big reason is that Hamas has the guns. Even without popular support, they should have been contacted about Israeli peace. Even if peace is made in the region, it's going to be Hamas firing rockets into Israel unless we can somehow get them on board. The western side of the arguement made a huge blunder by saying that, just because peace was more likely with Palestine's other leader, they should exclude Hamas. I hate Hamas like I hate any coward who throws rocks and hides behind his friends, but we can't just pretend they don't have power. They certainly do, and they proved it in their takeover. So even though they will be the most difficult group to negotiate with, it is absolutely imperative that a dialogue be opened between them and the sponsers of Israeli peace.

Otherwise, even if a peace deal is reached, Hamas will continue to attack Israel. It obviously does not need a legitimate, UN mandated reason to attack Israel.

We've seen how harmful a lack of diplomacy is in foreign relations in America's dealings with Iran. Seriously, it would be best if America had a very open dialogue. Even if the Iranian government exists as a self-stated counterpoint to ours, we should talk to them. We don't have to like them, but we'd better be talking, at least, in the hopes that we will arrive at compromises.

I'll say again, as well, that any peace is going to be difficult to achieve. And I guarantee that any peace deal destined to last is not going to leave either side completely happy. But as long as both sides are equally unhappy, peace shall reign. Knowing America will likely be the chief peace broker in any kind of settlement, there is certainly something Americans can do. We don't have much of a say in the primaries, but when two candidates ARE selected, if you're looking for our image to improve in the Middle East, you'd better pick the candidate who you think can actually objectively broker the deal. Slimy, greaseball politicians work best as diplomats. Manipulative, sniveling weasels of politicians. Luckily, we've still got Hillary, Rudy, and Romney in the race. They all seem like flip-flopping little weasels. Perfect for really making a deal, making both sides feel somewhat cheated, but making sure everyone feels like they came out on top.

Again, not campaigning here for anyone in particular, but if you're American and want America's image abroad to improve, Israel is your numero uno. That peace deal is kind of the common cold cure that would make any doctor a legend. So think before we elect a straight-up ideologue again. If your candidate hasn't done some flip-flopping already, it doesn't necessarily mean they can make a decision. It means they might not always be listening to the other side.

But the above problem in America is the biggest problem in the conflict, obviously. I'm just tying back into the thread that we, at least in America, are suspicious of anyone who seems to change their minds because we start to think they made a wrong decision. Obviously people have made them all over this conflict. And flip-flopping on abortion isn't NEARLY what we're asking the politicians in Israel and Palestine to do. The elected governments there are literally elected on a basis of warfare leadership. Hamas is a party whose one biggest hallmark is the destruction of Israel, and Israel's right-wingers tend to pay peace just a bit of CNN-captured lip service. Those people are going to have to change their minds on the issue they were elected on to gain peace.

Political minds, apparently, aren't allowed to change. But in this situation, they absolutely have to. The scum has floated to the top of the lake, and it's the scum we'll have to deal with. A Palestinian truck driver, while I'm sure he sometimes likes the occasional hit on Israel, would give all that up for a chance to deliver to Tel Aviv without risking arrest. But the leaders who he elects out of fear are the ones who have banked on war. So we'll have to make peace more profitable by making sure both sides have enough to declare victory, but not enough to actually have it.

Tightrope walk, but I'd say the majority of our problems in foreign policy today come right from that chunk of dirt south of Syria. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, most of those problems would be less severe except that Israel and Palestine is something we can't back out of, but can't keep pushing on one side. We're just spinning in circles. And with an issue coloring our foreign image so much, it's something we really have to start considering as an electorate. All our Presidents WANT peace, but not all of them can necessarily get us there.

I'm sure this applies elsewhere, but I'm just putting out there that there's something we can do. I don't want anyone thinking I'm hijacking the issue. I'm just not downplaying the role of the American President in an upcoming deal of any kind. Like Simple Observer said, Annapolis's biggest problem wasn't the Middle Eastern leaders (though not many of them helped the situation much), it's Bush and his commitment to peace. Because that's a long, hard road to walk. And it's not one he can pretend to walk now, on his way out of office. So we have to put Israel and Palestine on the front of our Middle Eastern foreign policy plate. Even though the terrorists are everywhere, killing us and our friends in other countries, Israel and Palestine are the base of the flame.

And that's where you always aim the extinguisher, if any of you remember your Smoky the Bear.

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:

Your suggestion of the possibility of memetic behavior is an interesting one. I'll admit that I had not considered that, but as I understand memetics, it is not impossible for positive memes to propagate as well.

No one here has suggested that a peace process would be easy. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome. Hatred and mistrust are just the most outwardly observable issues, and the Palestinians and Israelis are not the only peoples that would need to change attitudes and basic beliefs. There will need to be a major shift in how each are dealt with, what type of trade is conducted (do we put an embargo on arms trade to the region?), and how the issues of security and compensation be addressed.

Every journey begins with a single step. This journey will require both sides to step simultaneously in the same direction. It will be cautious at first. There will be backward steps along the way, but nothing will be accomplished if the parties throw their hands up in the air in defeat before the process has even begun.

Maybe I am too optimistic. Maybe I am an idealist. I would rather believe in the spirit of man to ultimately seek a peaceful solution than surrender to those who would preach hatred and violence. That is probably easier for me to say knowing that I will return to my home, secure in the suburbs, but I have faith that there are those in the region with the courage to see the process through. Will you stand in their way, or cheer them on?

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

You may want to consider that the hatred you acknowledge is a memetic (to borrow a term coined by Richard Dawkins) behavior not amenable to externally induced social reconstruction. The Western concepts of civil and revolutional conflict, renaissance and reformation are absent in the Arab world. Further, it could be reasonably argued that rather than evolve the Muslim systematically devolves when confronted by modernity. Your concerns are commendable but your solutions may be built on sand.

Simple Observer:

Alan:

Those are all very pointed, yet reasonable questions. They all address issues that will have to be dealt with in one manner or another in order for peace to last.

On the subject of Lebanon, I think you will find that there is some disagreement as to the completeness of the Israeli withdrawal. There are those, Hezbollah in particular, who feel that at least a small portion of Lebanon remains in Israeli hands and is used by Hezbollah as justification for some of their actions. I don’t know enough of the facts to address that specific grievance, but the fact of its existence is no secret. Beyond that, Hezbollah formed as a militia to fight against the Israeli occupation. Had Israel showed more restraint in it’s response to the Hezbollah kidnapping last summer, I suspect that Hezbollah would not have grown with such speed into a major political force in Lebanon today. It would simple be speculation as to what may have happened to Hezbollah without the Israeli incursion, but I genuinely believe that without Israeli occupation and/or incursion, their influence in the region would have diminished significantly. It remains in Hezbollah’s best interests to agitate as much as possible and interfere with any peace process. Knowing this, I feel it prudent to measure response and continue to work towards a legitimate peace with the Palestinians. That more than anything would be detrimental to Hezbollah.

I think the issue of suicide bombers and the mystical hatred of the Jews are basically the same issue. Past peace efforts have shown that when real progress is made towards peace, as with the Oslo accords, there is a marked reduction in violence. There have even been declared Cease Fire periods. A return to this state of reduced violence from both parties can be achieved again and will be a necessary trust building step in the road to permanent peace. No less than 3 generations of Palestinians have been born and grown up under Israeli occupation. They have seen their land taken, restrictions on their movements, and disproportionate military force used against them. Many of them have lost their homes and livelihood, been jailed without trial, and forced to live in squalid conditions. It is no surprise that they are angry. Regardless of your feeling on the matter, I personally believe that the Palestinians see the suicide bombers as a legitimate form of armed resistance. It is easy to sit here in the US and condemn it as barbaric, but I honestly believe that it is a predictable, desperate response from a population of hopeless people. That does not mean that I support the tactic. Frankly, I think any form of armed resistance would be condemned, but after years of fighting tanks and jet fighters with rocks and small arms, is it so surprising that they would resort to a violent act, predicated on religious extremism, that gets the maximum response with a minimum of resources? In the creation of a Palestinian state, the use of such tactics becomes militarily insignificant. Other more conventional military actions would be more practical for an elected government that is fully recognized and capable of mounting a standing army. That isn’t to say that suicide bombing will go away. There are always those who would act in a twisted sense of righteousness. Just look at the bombings of the London underground. I do believe however, that the establishment of a Palestinian state, even the process towards such an establishment, will have a significant effect in limiting the number of these kinds of attacks.

It will take decades to get rid of most of the hatred. History shows that there will always be those who hate. With time, the building of economic and social ties, and a lasting peace, the worst of that hatred will abate. The English and the Irish have found a way to solve their disputes. A mutual desire to see an end to bloodshed had more to do with that than anything. I can’t believe that given a chance for real peace and a hope for prosperity that the average Palestinian would ignore it and press for continued violence. I won’t guarantee that; no one can. I think it will require a belief in the desires of each person for stability, peace and prosperity. Mothers and Fathers of all faiths and ethnic origins want the same for their children. If there is a way to achieve it, I can’t believe they would turn their backs on it.

Alan from L.A.:

Simple Observer

Your last post was excellent because it avoided the angry invective often seen on this and other boards. (Compliments to William from San Antonio as well.)

I would like to concentrate on your concept of a two state solution based on Israel trading land for peace. Most Israelis were in favor of such a solution before Camp David in 2000 but there are several reasons they should be wary about making peace at this time.

First, think about their experience in Lebanon. They left 100% of Lebanon and were still attacked by Hezbollah. The Shiites mistakenly came to the conclusion that the Israeli withdrawal showed that Israel was weak and Hezbollah strong. More importantly, suicide bombs were shown to be an effective tool against the Israeli army. So my question to you is, what would you tell Israelis who would be concerned that trading land would show Palestinians that suicide bombings are effective? Perhaps the average Israeli would be concerned that suicide bombs would be used in the next dispute after a two state peace.

The second reason Israelis might be wary of making peace is that many Palestinians have developed a near mythical hatred for the Jews or their patrons over the past 20 years. How else can you explain honoring the “martyrs”, or celebration after 9/11? How else can a population support suicide bombings of innocent civilians in poll after poll? What should Israelis think about a population that would elect Hamas to root out P.A. corruption, even though Hamas still honors the suicide bombers and sponsors state run television and media programs that vilify Jews? The Israelis ask themselves, what kind of population would support a government that honors suicide bombers who have blown up buses?

So my next question to you is: Will the vast majority of Palestinians change their minds about Jews and about terrorism? Could anyone guarantee such a change? If someone could, why should Israelis trust that a religious extremist government could not be elected? The reason I ask this is because such governments are excellent at motivating populations to hate the Jews. It’s an old trick the Jews have seen for two millennia.

Regards

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:

I understand the point you are trying to make, but I don’t agree with the perspective from which you present it.

A. I am not objecting to the existence of Israel, or advocating it destruction in any way. It was established in 1948. It has existed for 60 years. Rather, I have advocated the recognition of its existence by Arab states as a further condition of a lasting peace.

B. The issue from the original article was the existence of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (Occupied Territories), the legitimacy of those settlements, and the attitude of the American-born leader of a Hebron settlement towards the U.S., Arabs in general, and the local Arab (Palestinian) population in particular.

C. Since the West Bank and East Jerusalem are commonly considered (outside of Israel at least) to be illegally occupied (reference international law and UN Security Council Resolutions), the creation of a Palestinian state within those boarders could hardly be considered appeasement.

The plight of the Arab residents of the Occupied Territories, including poor economic conditions, limited civil rights, a constant threat of violence, and a disproportionate use of force by Israeli police and Army units is one of the primary sources of animosity between the State of Israel and the rest of the world, particularly within the Arab states.

To enter into a peace agreement that involves the creation of a separate, but equal, Palestinian state out of what is now highly disputed real estate will benefit both the residents of that real estate and ultimately the Jewish Homeland itself. There has been no suggestion in any negotiations to date (that I am aware of) that Israel disarm or in any way limit it’s ability to respond militarily to outside threats. There are a lot of issues regarding the manner in which it currently uses that capability, but I will reserve that debate for another day.

Ultimately, there can be no peace if Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, and the Arab population living with those boarders are not free to choose their own form of governance so long as it is one that is willing peacefully coexist with an Israeli neighbor. To accomplish this, trust must be built, economic ties must be developed, and international influence must be exerted to held smooth over disputes. Before any of that can happen, Bigoted and extreme attitudes, like those of Mr., Wilder and the likes of Hammas, must be modified.

William, San Antonio:

Instead of investing in a treatise, I decided to challenge those interested with two professionals who present the point far better than I.

Kenneth Levin, a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Princeton-trained historian, and author of “The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege” remarked:

“As Israeli Nobel laureate Robert Aumann recently observed, for all the external threats, there is no greater threat to Israel’s future than Israelis not understanding the rightness of their living in this land, the rightness of the sovereign Jewish state in the ancestral Jewish homeland.”

These are some of the theses of Aumann's Nobel lecture, named "War and Peace”:

1. War is not irrational, but must be scientifically studied in order to be understood, and eventually conquered;
2. Repeated game study de-emphasizes the "now" for the sake of the "later";
3. Simplistic peacemaking can cause war, while arms race, credible war threats and mutually assured destruction can reliably prevent war.

Aumann’s third point draws attention to what may be discerned from historical experience, that is, making concessions without reciprocation (appeasement) is singularly dangerous. These conclusions were drawn from mathematical investigations in advanced game theory.

Levin’s book analyzes how people who have lived under perpetual siege are likely to internalize the hatred that is directed at them and thus become delusional about their own self-interest.

Levin has also said:

“The phenomenon of Diaspora Jews embracing as truth the indictments of Jew-haters has been so commonplace that a literature on the subject emerged under the rubric ‘Jewish self-hatred.’ A similar predilection evolved in Israel, particularly among the nation's cultural elites, in the context of the Arab siege.”

I would only add that they’re going to hate you anyway. What you do to try to mitigate (appease) that hatred may only encourage it.

Joseph:

Is it true that Hebron means "Golden Calf" in Ancient Hebrew?

Simple Observe:

Vic:

Your basic assessment of the situation seems quite sound. It will take the changes you have outlined for there to be any progress. As to the newsworthiness of the common man, that seems to be a significant part of the problem. There is so much attention given to the random acts of violence and the international rhetoric, that very little consideration is given to the day-to-day plight of the guy on the street.

I am encouraged by a couple of developments. Although I thought that Annapolis was a joke, perhaps it will generate actual discussions. I was deeply disappointed in the level of involvement by Bush, but there seems to be some movement by this administration in the right direction. The request for Palestinian economic aid is an important step and shows that someone is finally realizing that the cycle of poverty and hopelessness must be broken if the violence is to be stopped.

Had the administration dealt with Hammas as a duly elected government, Hammas would have been forced to act like a responsible government and take on the responsibilities inherent to that. Instead, funds were cut off and no contact would be made. The paranoia and hatred were fed anew and nothing good came of it. Now they are dealing with a West Bank Government and ignoring a Gaza government. That too is doomed to failure. Unless there is reason for all Palestinians to believe that there is a brighter future for them in peace and compromise, the violence will continue.

As for Hezbollah, their power is linked to the level of animosity towards Israel. If there is peace and prosperity, Hezbollah will no longer have an issue to hang their hat on. They will do what they can to derail peace. All that can be done is to demonstrate the courage of conviction and plow forward towards a fair and equitable peace. If the Palestinians see hope in a peace settlement, and believe it is achievable this time, the violence will subside. If the violence subsides, the Israelis will get behind the peace. Through out, care must be taken to measure responses to violence and be sure that a response, if necessary, is not arbitrary.

Vic van Meter:

Observer, the common man definitely wants the above things, and so peace is in his interest. But after reading the above, we realize that the common man isn't much more to the readers of news than a casualty statistic when something blows up. Common men are hardly newsworthy. However, the man above certainly provided enough readership and dialogue that no rational man has yet garnered.

Just an interjection. Having read the back and forth here up until you and Will began this little dialogue, I was pretty sure that middle ground where nobody should be shooting each other was turning into a tightrope.

Bless moderation! So I'm posing the following question. The Palestinian arabs have turned to violence, in large part, for current issues having nothing really to do with the creation of Israel (so hopefully you and Will can hash out the past not many people are still alive today to truly be insulted by). This puts them in a strange predicament. Their own approval of the violence has perpetuated the stereotype that the Arabs are trying to push the Jews out of Israel. Which causes a harsher Israeli crackdown and more suspicion. Which gives more causus belli to the extremists. Which in turn garners the support of the Palestinian Arabs. Und so weider.

So there are two movements that HAVE to take place to solve the violence permanently, and it's going to take some rational heads to produce the results. One is Israeli. The Israeli change revolves around social equilibrium. The idea that they want Israel recognized as a Jewish state is the dumbest talking point they are sticking to. The Holy Land isn't Jewish, it's home to three religions who all call those lands sacred. Maybe Syria can call itself an Islamic nation, but Israel can't get away with it if it's looking for peace. Their property is way too hot, if you will. This isn't exactly going to bring about a one-state solution, but Israel is going to have to have a huge social upheaval that puts war on the backburner as their way to solve disputes. Obviously, war has led to only short-term gains at best and long-term heartache in just about all cases. They have the big guns and can wipe most Islamic nations off the map. And so their entire challenge is the social challenge of turning themselves from a nation of warlike Jews into a nation of Western acceptance.

Meanwhile, Hamas and their ilk have done much more damage to their cause than good. Like the Israeli military, their gains are all short-term and in the long-term they have brought little but grief to their people. They have to make a big political change, one working hard as a unit for social change in Israel while keeping their politics in the realm of the peaceful. Hamas and Hezbollah might survive the counterattacks Israel sometimes decides to drop on their heads, but they aren't going to win a war. At least they won't win a war on the scale it will take to push the Israelites into the sea. At this point, they're doing both too much killing and, at the same time, too little. They won't do enough to really damage Israel, but they're killing enough people that the world has applied a label to the Palestinian people. So the Palestinian Arabs are going to have to work systematically, peacefully, and loudly to work towards their own freedoms.

If both changes, the Israeli social change and the Palestinian political change, do not occur at the same time, we can count on more people like David above to keep tightening the nooses around their throats.

Simple Observer:

Perhaps the same could be said of Mr. Wilder. It is his approach and attitude towards the Arab neighbors for whom he would seem not to credit with the same aspirations that troubles me. There appears to be no wiggle room in his beliefs. That land belongs to the Israelites and that's it. The Arabs are trespassing because God gave it not to the Arabs but to them. There is no ground given to the notion of centuries of living in the same place rather than immigrating there from somewhere else. Regardless of Mr. Wilder's faith, he is not a native. His ancestry is traced through the U.S.. Beyond that, I could only speculate as to his lineage. Any claim to those lands would seem tenuous at best. At least the original Zionists bought land rather than take it, and then hold it by force of arms. I simply can not accept that.

William, San Antonio:

It may be early tomorrow EDT for a full exposition. I have many other responsibilities. My simplistic answer to your last is twofold:

1. Were it so!
2. Could the same possibly to apply David Wilder?

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:
I am always happy to engage in real discussion. Too often on this site, the posts are simply venom filled and misinformed. I am willing to explore other sources of information on this matter, but lack the time for true scholarly research.

I continue to believe that the Arab population of the Occupied Territories, AKA Palestinians, have not been treated fairly. Without supporting the kind of violence that has spilled into the streets of Israel, the radicalization of their population is entirely predictable. With little recourse in Israeli courts, significantly limited economic opportunity, and a constant threat of violence, the population has little hope of a prosperous future. Their own governing body has been rife with corruption while the Israeli government has on one hand made unattainable demands, while on the other making it increasingly impossible for a true government to function.

The rage and frustration was bound to manifest itself in some form. Unfortunately, that form has been radical Islamic extremism and violent revolt. Until such time as this cycle is broken, the violence will continue, and there will be no lasting peace.

Would you be willing to admit that the common Arab man on the street, in Hebron or Bethlehem, has the same aspirations for himself and his family as does the common Israeli in Tel Aviv? Do they not both wish first and foremost for a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a means to make for a better future for their offspring? These are the basic necessities of life that the common Israeli takes for granted, but can not so easily be found for the Palestinian in the territories. Once a common goal is found, would it be so hard to use it as a foundation for a lasting peace? Rather than looking for those things that separate you, why not look for those things that are common to every single person regardless of faith, birth, or upbringing.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

Thank you for taking the time to respond and your willingness to engage in a discussion that goes beyond slogans and invective. It will take a short while to form a proper response, so please do not think that I have abandoned the field.

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:
I have looked into the references you made. As to the area allotted to a Jewish homeland during the San Remo Conference of 1920, the map I found showed a proposed state that encompassed virtually all of the British Mandate of Palestine. Now, it is clear to me that this map was drawn up as a result of the conference’s adoption of the Balfour Declaration. What seems so conveniently forgotten when that declaration is mentioned is the declaration supports a Jewish homeland as long as “Nothing should be done to prejudice the rights of existing communities there”. Since the British had already promised the Arab kings (the Hashemites) control of those lands in exchange for their support in fighting the Turks, there seems to be a simple conflict. Plus, how were the British to provide all of Palestine for a Jewish homeland without prejudicing a few of the locals? The Brits were talking out of both sides of their mouth while hoping to maintain control the region themselves, along with the potential oil reserves. Add to that the persistent anti-Semitic attitude in Europe throughout the lat 19th and early 20th century, I find it as no surprise that the British looked to their control of Palestine as a means of addressing what they saw as the problem of the Zionist movement at the time. Considering all the promises made, I think the proposal was less than genuine, and hardly possible.

As to the Organization of Islamic Conference, I can only assume that you object to the statement that they exist in part to “Support the struggle of the Palestinian people and assist them in recovering and liberating the occupied territories”. I wasn’t able to easily find a definition of “Occupied territories”, but since the organization was founded in 1969, I assume it refers to those territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Were you aware that the organization was started in response to an arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem? I wonder who was responsible for that act of violence. It certainly couldn’t have been anyone you would support I hope? I am familiar with Shariaa law, and I found both the root definition and modern connotations for the word Ummah. I found no reference to them in the home page or articles of the Organization for Islamic Conference, so I won’t comment on them in reference to the OIC. There are those who would support the modern connotation of an Islamic Ummah, but to make a statement that all Muslims support the notion would be a generalization. I won’t deal in generalizations. It might also be noted that the organization has done very little in any concrete manner to assist the “Palestinian struggle”. Just as with the individual nations themselves, the Palestinian people have been abandoned by the OIC and forgotten except when it is to the nation’s advantage to speak out. If the plight of these people were a true priority rather than a political football, real progress might have been made years ago to solve this issue peacefully.

I found no information that linked Palestine, Israel, or the Zionist movement to Fridtjof Nansen. In more than one place, his “Greatest Achievement” was described as his efforts to assist Greek and Turkish refugees following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I suspect however, that you were referring to the so called Nansen Passport for refugees. He received his Nobel Prize for his efforts in the Continent of Europe following WW I, so I really am not sure what point you wish to make. If the Immigrants that flooded into Palestine following WW II used the Nansen Passport, I guess I understand, but it seems to have little bearing on Mr. Wilder and his followers, their bigoted attitude, and the current state of affairs in the occupied territories.

BTW, please let me extend a genuine Happy Hanukkah to all who will celebrate the holiday beginning at sundown tonight. I extend the same even to you Mr. Wilder. I hope that you find some warmth and happiness in your family and the gathering of the season.

Alan, Los Angeles:

To William of San Antonio

I agree that anti-Semitism is often equivalent to anti-Zionism. This is not always true, but it is true often enough.


To the rest of you:

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank at the present time is about looking for suicide bombs and not about subjugation. The checkpoints had to be reinstated when the recent suicide bomb popularity increased. Regardless, the inconveniences caused to Palestinians, who overwhelmingly support suicide bombings, most often involves traffic jams with economic consequences. Compare this with China’s actions in Tibet, Russia’s actions in Chechnya, or Sudan’s in Darfur, and you will understand why Israelis feel the world is anti-Semitic. To those who hate Israel and have never been there, ask yourselves why you chose that country to dislike rather than the three I just listed. Could anti-Semitism be involved? The anger and double standards that I see on this board makes me understand why there should be a safe homeland for the Jews.

To those of you who speak of Israeli racism or apartheid, I lived there for a year during a university exchange. One quarter of my college dormitory population were Arabs, who voted freely in elections and had the ability to worship freely. That’s not to say there isn’t subtle racism, but it’s not even on the level of racism against blacks in this country. I never heard the equivalent of the word “N-gger” in Israel. I don’t think you can debate this point, but if you disagree, my undebatable answer is that American racism thirty years ago was much more severe. Israel is heading in the same direction as the rest of the West with regard to eliminating the racist mindset. But if you read one nut job’s quotation and think it’s indicative of an entire country, you might want to ask yourself if you are racist or anti-Semitic.

For more on racism, you might want to check out the fact that racism among Arabs is encouraged on state sponsored media including television programs for kids. The “Jews are pigs and dogs” lesson comes after addition but before geometry. Plus, you might want to consider the Palestinian mindset that would elect a government, namely Hamas, that honors the “martyrs” who blow up school buses. Spare me the P.A. corruption talk--in America, we don’t elect terrorists when we hate a government official. We also would not support or honor someone whose husband looks at children on a bus before pulling the rip cord.

The solution is not for all the Jews to vacate the land they’ve lived on for generations and where they feel safe. So what happens to Palestinians whose Grandparents lived in what is now Israel? They wouldn’t have a tough time in the West Bank, Jordan, or Lebanon, which together are probably 10 times the size of Israel. Jordan is composed of a large percentage of Palestinians, perhaps over 50%. All of these areas speak the same language and share the same religion. It’s not a huge sacrifice to live 20 miles from your Grandparents’ village when you compare this to living in refugee camps. Jordan and Lebanon should have resettled those camps 60 years ago, when they opened.

To those of you espousing all of the land being united under one country, I support Israel’s right to keep their own sliver in the same way that the Quebec people can choose whether they remain in Canada. Some of you will say, “Sliver?!”. Yes, it’s the size of a postage stamp compared to the surrounding Arabic countries. If you were Jewish in an Islamic country, would you feel safe? All it takes is a cartoon or a Teddy Bear to start a lynching mob in the Muslim world. Until the Muslim world rejects racism, terrorism, misogyny and homophobia, they should not expect the Jews to want to live inside an Islamic state.

VICTORIA:

mr wilder-

anecdotal incidences are not carte blanche or validation for ones own prejudices, or POV.

ive never found this a useful tool to rebut.

however, i did ask a pointed and relevant question to you specifically.

what exaclty is the religious, or particularly specific scriptural inspiration for your move from comfortable new jersey to a contentious situation in israel?

i promise to receive your answer in the good grace with which you share it

peace

Anonymous:

Now sham and detritus, time for your meds.

Demetris Zettos:

To David Wilder

Mr. Wilder; Obviously the truth hurts you.
In my "long-winded" post I tried to cover the Israeli-Palestinian issue on a "cause and effect" basis and every statement I made is based on pure and unadulterated facts unlike the obfuscatory and diversionary blabber discerned in your posts.

During WWII my family helped a Jewish family avoid being sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis. Had the Nazis discovered us, we would have been arrested and executed or sent to a concentration camp to face a possible different death. In a hypothetical similar situation would I place my life at risk to save a Jew? In a breath, Mr. Wilder, in a breath. Even if that Jew was you and I was aware that I was saving a religious fanatic who had little regard for the life of his neighbors. One who had destroyed their home and stolen their land.

Now, as to your use of the term "anti-Semite" to characterize anyone who criticizes expansionist Zionism and the acts of the Israeli Occupation forces. I cannot help but laugh equating your use of the term with a piece of used chewing gum in your mouth. But that laugh changes into sadness when I see the actions of people like you causing humanity to accept the term of anti-Semite as a badge of honor.


Shame On You:

Joe, The reason for these posts is to warn all of you that there is NOT GOING TO BE A TRADE.

In the long term, Irael is finished.

Your best hope is for the US and others to take you in.

We here in the US will be stronger for it.

Tom: Thank you.

William of SA:
The US is not going to let the Hebrews be driven into the sea. What the US is going to do is to bring them here; which is what FDR and Truman should have done when they had the opportunity.

What is it that you an others do not understand about nationalism and Islam.

You cannot win. You cannot safely stay. Please get the H out. It is to the benefit of EVERYONE.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read the post that I referenced. Before we discuss a "Viable Solution" please do some background work.

1. Find a map of the area allotted to a Jewish homeland after the San Remo Conference of 1920.
2. Research Fridtjof Nansen and what has been described as his greatest single achievement.
3. Familiarize yourself with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its dedication to Shariah and the Ummah.

Can't leave home without it.

SImple Observer:

W San Antonio:
Am I supposed to gather from your statements above that you would support the statements of Mr. Wilder without regard to their generalization? He repeatedly strikes out at Muslims and Arabs as a group without differentiation. In his mind they are all evil and bent on the destruction of Israel and the western nations. It was the same generalized belief, without regard to individuals, that fed the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazis. Unless you have some defense for that, my statement about Mr. Wilder remains the same. He is no better than the Nazis if he is a bigot. I find it odd that the 500 soldiers are there to protect him and the other 800 settlers and not the 10,000 other Israelis that surround Hebron. If he and his compatriots were less bigoted and more intent on living peacefully and fairly with their Arab neighbors, those 500 soldiers might not be so necessary.

As for my own position, I have made no generalized statement about Jews, the Jewish faith, or Israel other than to say that I did not believe that the majority of the people of Israel were anything but reasonable and in search of peace. My statements were directed specifically at Mr. Wilder and the extremists he associates with. His stated desire was to pass on his personal form of poison to his family. That would seem to be the type of attitude that would defy reasonable discourse.

As a matter of reasonable discourse, I will reconsider my full support of the statements of Mr. Zetto. Having reread them, I can see how they could be construed as anti-emetic. I do however fully support his assertion as to the steps that will be necessary to achieve a "Viable Solution".

Finally, just because Dr MLK equates statements condemning Zionism with anti-Semitism does not make it so. I don't believe in the Zionist movement, nor do I accept the basis for their beliefs, but I am not Jewish, so that is not a surprise. Had the movement restricted itself to the legal and accepted purchase of property within the region of Palestine, I doubt it would have developed into a problem. The continued occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in violation of international law and UN Resolutions is the problem. These settlers, whose presence force the removal of Arab Palestinian residents and the confiscation of Arab land in the name of security, are also a problem. The action of the Israeli government in this regard is unacceptable. It affords no recourse to those affected, and disregards centuries of family ownership and stewardship of those lands. Again, to blame the abused dog for biting back is to ignore the root problem and make it impossible to achieve a durable solution.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

The topics of Jews, Zionism and Israel will not yield to any ambiguous middle ground. For example, Tom Miller’s post above may seem to be among the most innocuous of the lot, but it belies the true nature of the conflict we are discussing with an almost obscene type of Rodney King vacuousness.

Your comments, however, are on an entirely different order. You state that David Wilder is “…no better than the anti-Semitic Nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust” That kind of rhetoric is beyond any reasoned discourse. I don’t know David Wilder from Adam, but I defy anyone reading this to demonstrate that he has harmed anyone, much less advocated or planned for anyone’s harm. If you want to read his own words on the matter look at:

http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=248

The fact that “500 Israeli soldiers are assigned to guard them round-the-clock” is a commentary not on Wilder but on the character of his neighbors.

Now, you claim that you “hold no animosity towards Jews or the Jewish faith” and I refer you again to my post of 3:25 AM today and the MLK quote. If there is any good will to be had here, I would urge you to reappraise your choice of words.

SAM:

Israel is nothing but another South africa of the Middle East.The only solution for this chronic Dlemma is establishing one secular country on all the land of Historical Palestine for Jews,Moslems and Christians with equal rights and responsibilities and without any kind of descrimination.

Westerner:

David Wilder is a hero in his own mind. And it's pretty sad. He regards anyone who doesn't agree with him about Israel as an anti-semite or is anti-israeli. Israel itself agreed that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was to be given to the Palestinians. He seems to forget that the jews themselves were not the first people to live in Hebron, and therefore jews are not entitled to Hebron any more than the palestinians. In addition, he blames the United States for not preventing the Holocaust?!? WTF?!? What the heck did he expect our grandparents to do?

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:

I will admit that some of Mr. Zetto's statements edge towards the course, but I hardly see how the quote you refer to constitutes anti-Semitism. I will say again, I hold no animosity towards Jews or the Jewish faith. Objections to the actions and policies of the duly elected government of Israel does not constitute anti-Semitism.

Look again at what I wrote: David Wilder...."You are no better than the anti-Semitic Nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust". That was a statement directed at Mr. Wilder directly. His statements and actions are bigoted and demonstrate that he has no regard for the lives of anyone but his own and those of his fellow extremists.

William, San Antonio:

Simple Observer:

You're known by the company you keep. You're the one who chimed in with Zettos.

"Mr. Zettos:

A little long winded, but complete. Well argued."

If you agree with his assertion that “…the Jews decided to disperse among charitable nations which provided them with refuge”, then any derision that I aim at you is more than well deserved.

There is no need for you to accept responsibility for the Holocaust. There is, however, a responsibility to see that it doesn’t happen again. And, please, don’t use that tired cliché: “The Nazi Israeli’s are perpetrating a holocaust on the poor, poor, ancient Palestinians.” Read my post of 3:25 AM today for a response to your simple observations. Most especially, read the Abbas quote. Live by taqiyya, die by taqiyya.

Tom Miller:

Mr. Wilder, it appears that nothing anyone can say or do will change your mind but I personally believe that God is on the side of the future and not the past. It doesn't seem that way today with all of the hate and "devine" justifications spewing forth from all of the extreme Imams, ministers, and rabbis but I bet that God would prefer that his chosen people (those of us lucky to have been born somewhere on earth) all stop hating our neighbors and learned to live together in peace.

Thanks to God we God's people live on the planet earth, not some narrow restricted ground supposedly ordained by God thousands of years ago. I believe that the promised land is round, not a thin carving of land in the Middle East. If we care about our children and their futures, we'll start protecting God's planet and his people of all colors and religious persuasions.

I don't know what to say about your anecdotal story about the Arab next to your friend who stated that Washington, D.C. will be the capital of Islam in the future. Do you take to heart every opinion submitted to your friends? All of this fear and paranoia because "someone" said this to a friend of yours standing in a line?

Immigration and the integration of cultures is a world-wide phenomena today and all of the problems are not simply between Islam and the West. It seems to me that globalization has made this likely to increase, not decrease. There is no doubt that problems will occur as societies try to assimilate new ideas and new people but to suggest that everyone go back to a land that God gave them thousands of years ago seems absolutely ludicrous to me. Would you prefer that the world became nothing more than stovepipes of "pure" societies that exclude all others and rigourously defend their divine right to exist?

I agree with you that you are an extremist and fortunately I don't believe that you represent the Jewish state or it's people. I hope that you will listen to your children as they grow and question your "wisdom" someday because I bet they will.

Simple Observer:

W. San Antonio:
Not once in any post have I ever expressed a hatred for Jews. I hold no animosity towards Jews or the establishment of Israel. I object to the notion that the Arabs, particularly those who were forced from their homes in 1947, 1967, and today, are only being selfish in not allowing Israel to have their “meager 7%” of the Middle East. It is far too simple to dismiss their objections by throwing the Holocaust in our faces and justifying the actions of a sovereign nation with that. Those Arab farmers, shop keepers and peasants were not responsible for the death of 6 million Jews. The lives of those displaced Arabs are no less valuable than those of the immigrants who would displace them. The acts of a sovereign nation are not those of a religion. I do not accept that objecting to the policies of Israel equates to being anti-Semitic. If the western nations were guilty of allowing the Holocaust to happen, then it was the failing of our Grandfathers. I will not accept responsibility myself, and will not allow that to justify the unfair and prejudice actions of the duly elected government of Israel.

David Wilder:
Israel was established within a set boundary. The social and political climate of Post-WWII led to its establishment, and today they exist. I do not propose that Israel should be dissolved, or that the majority of their citizens are not reasonable and peaceful people. You on the other hand are no better than those you brand as terrorists (all of the Arabs) and seek to displace. At what point did your life and aspirations become more important than those you would seek to replace. Hebron, and all of the West Bank, was not in the original boundary. The continued occupation of those lands and the systematic removal of resident Palestinians, as well as their subjugation, is what has fueled the violence that has troubled that region for 60 years. The removal of locals in Hebron, and damaging of the local Palestinian economy is nothing less than Ethnic Cleansing. You wrap yourself in the cloak of the Holocaust, decry the barbarity of "Those People" (the Muslims) and claim somehow that because of an ancient text you are justified in your actions. No Sir, you are not. You are no better than the anti-Semitic Nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust. You are no better than the radical Muslims who perpetrate terrorist acts of mass murder in the name of their own God. If you want to live in Hebron, fine; live there, but you need to do it without displacing others, and imposing your twisted view on those whom you can't even consider to be fellow human beings. Israel will continue to exist, but the occupied territories will become a Palestinian state. Are you prepared to accept your just deserts then?

Mark:

David Wilder, you gave a nice little 'the muslims want to take over the world' rant. Would have been a little believable if you and your ilk hasn't stooped over AND STOLE THE MUSLIM LAND FROM THE MUSLIMS AND DROVE THEM AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Talk about Chuzpah.

Joe:

The graves at Hebron are the second holiest dite in Judaism. They have been for thousands of years. The holiest site is the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple is not even number three to Muslims and Hebron is barely on their map - except as yet another way to try for religious dominance over others by co-opting the holy sites of other religions.

I need to ask? Why is it that Muslim holy sites get knee-jerk respect and multicultural obeisences from the left, while Jewish ones are seen as not relavent?

I propose a trade. We'll let you have Hebron if we can tear down the abomination of a mosque on our holiest ground. We'll give you the same deal for it that you want to give us in Hebron - none of you will ever be permitted to the Temple Mount again.

I mean that is what you are offering us right?

Now why should we give up our second holiest site?

Joe:

Tell you what, Hebron, wether you like it or not, is the second holiest site in Judaism. The most holy site is the Temple in Jerusalem.

So I propose a deal. If Jews can not have access to their cultural legacy in Hebron, how about a trade? We get to tear down the abomination of a mosque on our holiest ground - to you it isn't even number three... and you get to build a mosque at Hebron - and no whining.

Wait you already are building a mosque there?
And those evil Israelis are letting you do it because they believe in freedom of religion?

Oh I'm sorry, keep whining. This one-sided and repugnant reporting is atrocious. Why is it that Muslim holy sites are considered holy and the whole left knee-jerks about multi-culturalism and respect for them, while Jewish holy sites are just archaic religious symbols that no-one should care about?

Dear David:

have you ever stopped to think whose company you keep when you use phrases like "these people" to describe a billion people who share a common religion or language, when you draw conclusions about your neighbors based on headlines of events that are happening two countries away, when you divide the world into flat blocs of terrorists and victims? You and I share the same homeland, country of residence, and religion, and yet we share none of the same beliefs. If someone referred to me and you as "these people" or held me responsible for your crimes (or you for mine) he would clearly be an idiot. Do you even know your neighbors? Are you aware of how your life has impacted theirs? Murder is not only perpetrated with a gun: the forced closure of a major city's economic infrastructure is violent. Not allowing ambulances or cars to enter a city that houses hundreds of thousands of people results in death just the same as pulling the trigger of an M16. Hurling invectives and rocks at children on their way to school terrifies them: one may even say that it is terror. And so they move away. Which is the point in the first place. There is nothing wrong with Jews living in Hebron; there is nothing wrong with anyone living anywhere. There is everything wrong with aggressively attempting to rid a city of its residents. It doesn't matter whose ancestors were there first. (Though, even in your biblical logic you must admit that Ishmael too was the son of Abraham who made that purchase, the first son, in fact, and the very verses that support Abraham's claim on Mahpelah prove that the surrounding land was in fact not his--"I am a stranger and a sojourner here," says Abraham (Gen 23:4) So, according to your logic, the cave is "yours" and the surrounding lands Hittite.) This is a classic argument used in favor of expelling Jews from every country in Europe and you can see its contours in many of the anti-semitic posts on this page: they are squatters on a country that doesn't belong to them because our ancestors were here first. (Note the use of "they" and "our" that you too employ in your arguments, that completely erases the elaborate genealogies and migrant patterns of human history.) Abraham acted with kindness and humility in his wanderings through this region, and if you consider yourself one who honors his name and memory, you would be wise to do the same. Don't move out of Hebron: learn how to live there without doing violence to your neighbors.

William, San Antonio:

Yossi:

Irrational hatred. You make my point perfectly.

Yossi:

David Wilder...you're a thief, pure and simple. Do not bring up what happened in Sudan, or try to deflect the subject. We are concerned about you, and the fewer of your kind, the better the world will be. The problem is not Arab terrorism, the problem is low life thieves like you who steal arab land while flying the flag of zionism. If someone asks, why do you hate jews, all that person has to do is show your picture and the whole world will understand. You are filth, with less morality than a child pornographer or dealer who sells crack to children. Hopefully, you and your like scum will be evicted from Hebron and we can expect peace in the middle east once again.

Anonymous:

Wow, that's quite and eye opener.

William, San Antonio:

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/israel.htm

"While President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared to be sympathetic to the Jewish cause, his assurances to the Arabs that the United States would not intervene without consulting both parties caused public uncertainty about his position. When President Harry S. Truman took office, he made clear that his sympathies were with the Jews and accepted the Balfour Declaration, explaining that it was in keeping with former President Woodrow Wilson's principle of "self determination." Truman initiated several studies of the Palestine situation that supported his belief that, as a result of the Holocaust, Jews were oppressed and also in need of a homeland. Throughout the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the Departments of War and State, recognizing the possibility of a Soviet-Arab connection and the potential Arab restriction on Oil supplies to the United States, advised against U.S. intervention on behalf of the Jews."

William, San Antonio:

Demetris Zettos, Shame on You, Simple Observer, et al.: You swerve from taqiyya to delusional Jew-hatred. The fact that Jews now protect themselves in their own sovereign nation has driven you mad. Your madness serves only to cement their resolve that no longer will Jews be demeaned in dhemmitude or herded to gas chambers; or, G-d forbid, driven into the sea. May righteous men everywhere increase their support for Israel in double measure.

FER :

David sounds a great deal like Dr. Baruch Goldstein, the American physician who migrated to the Hebron area and in early 1994 stopped in where Muslims were praying at The TOMB of the Patriarchs and proceeded to murder some 29+ Muslims as they were in prayer. Seized and beaten to death on the spot, his grave in a near by settlement is honored with a perpetual flame. Much to his family's distress, the Israel govt. refused to prosecute those who caused his death. The government's fear of this radical element still prevents their removal from an untenable location.

Anonymous:

Wow, that's quite and eye opener.

FER:

Harry Truman was hardly a supporter of Israel. When he recognized Israel, after it declared statehood in 1948, he was locked in a very uphill presidential campaign with Thomas Dewey and came under terrific political pressure by the pro-Israel forces in New York. Despite his less than enthusiastic opinion of a state of Israel, politics won out and so did he in the 1948 election. The timing of the statehood declaration was masterful in placing him on the spot at that point in time. Interestingly, his Sec. of State, George C. Marshall (formerly Gen. Marshall of Marshall Plan fame) told Truman that the recognition of Israel by the US would result in there never being peace in the Middle East. A prophet he surely was!

Joseph:

What a warped world-view you have, David. The US gives Israel $4-6 billion a year, turns a blind eye to her treaty violations, regularly blocks UN Security Council regulations against her, and even guarantees her a supply of oil. But that makes the US an enemy because it does not do enough for Israel.

Simple question, David: why do you imagine the US owes even as much as we give to Israel, let alone the blank check you insist on? Did not several of my uncles sacrifice years of their lives and their personal safety to end the Nazi regime and to end the Shoah?

If G-d brought you back to Eretz Yisrael, I say let G-d see to protecting you there.

David Wilder - Hebron:

OK - I think the time has come to respond. First of all, of course, my remark about the Americans being enemies refers to the present administration in the White House. Rice and Bush. To all of you who have problems swallowing this fact: the United States, together with Europe, the Russians, and the UN, is attempting to force Israel to acquiesce to Arab terror. The US declared war on terror around the world, except in the Middle East, except pure Islamic terror. Have any of you, who wrote so viciously against me, against Israel and against Jews, seen the news over the past few days. Thousands of 'peace-loving Moslems demanded to, at the least whip, if not execute a poor woman in Sudan who allowed seven year olds to name a teddy bear Muhammad. These are cultured, peace-loving people? What about the poor woman who was raped and whipped for allowing herself to be raped?
I'll relate to you a true story that happened to a friend of mine - who stood in line with an Arab from Bethlehem in a Jerusalem office building. They had a great discussion until they reached the front of the line, when the Arab turned to my friend and said, "don't take any of what is happening (terror and killing) personally. It is not directed against you. One day Washington DC with be the capital of the the Islamic empire of the world."
These people want to conquer the world - Israel is only a stepping stone. Ask residents of France, England, Scandinavia, where Moslems are pouring in - the people there are petrified of their countries being transformed into religious Islamic states. If the United States succeeds in pressuring Israel to concede to Arab terror, the Arabs will continue on the same path which brought that victory - killing, killing and more killing! That terror will ricochet back into the heart of the US and Europe, making 9/11 look like a kindergarten exercise.
Much of what is written here is pure anti-semitic, anti-Israel trash. However, others, more serious, I suggest you learn a little history, about Israel, the Jews and our Arab neighbors. Hebron, where I presently live, is the first Jewish city in the land of Israel, home of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the roots of Judaism and all monotheism. The Cave of Machpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the 2nd holiest site to the Jewish people in all the world, was off-limits to Jews and Christians for 700 years because it was declared a mosque. So much for freedom of worship. The building atop the caves was build 2,000 years ago by Herod, when he was king of Judea. That is, of course, over 600 years before Muhammad was born, but a Mosque it was. Why can't a Jew live in the first Jewish city in the land of Israel? Where Jews lived continuously for hundreds and thousands of years? During the 1929 riots, Jews in Hebron were slaughtered by their next-door neighbors. Women were raped and their breasts cut off. Men were tortured and castrated. Men, women and children were butchered by their neighbors. The British, who were ruling in Israel under a mandate from the League of Nations to prepare a national home of the Jewish people in Israel, (but preferred Arab oil money) expelled the Jews who survived. Today, we have come back - we have come home.
Why am I defined as an extremist? I've never shot anyone, never killed anyone, never threatened anyone. I am an idealist, true, living an Ideal. My children do not grow up on drugs, prostitution, and a craving for money and sex. They are educated on true human values, Jewish values, which are are G-d given, ideals of purity and love. This is not extremism, or perhaps it is, compared to the way you live, and the values you have and do not have. I prefer my 'extremism' to your senseless, valueless lives any day.
Much of what many of you have written leads me to understand why the United States did nothing to prevent the Holocaust, 60 years ago, allowing between six to seven million Jews to be slaughtered. That was not an enemy administration to the Jewish people? Many of you would allow it to happen again, sitting on the sidelines, cheering. Don't worry. We won't let it happen again, not in Israel, or anywhere else in the world.
G-d brought us back to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, after a 2,000 year exile. He didn't bring us back to throw us out again. We are here to stay: In Jerusalem and Hebron, Tel-Aviv and Beer-Sheva. This is our home. Forever!

RE: NOT IN MY NAME :

In all these one-hundred some-odd posts, yours is the only one that means anything, probably because you are the only one personally affected by the situation. People can squabble about historical "facts" and their personal opinion on the significance of the Bible from now until doomsday, but the righteous invective used to chastise the enemy makes them no better than any gun-wielding fanatic in the West Bank.

I am American and I am Jewish and I'm in Hebron at least once a week fighting under the same banner as the Palestinian who posted "Not In My Name." My mother's family has generations of history in Jerusalem and Hebron and experienced the trauma of the 1929 riots; my father's family was slaughtered in the second world war. In my opinion, you can read these events as a Jew and join the JDL or you can read them as a human being and swear off reactionary racist binary logic. It's irrelevant who did what when and where in the years leading up to the catastrophe that stands today: the militarization of Israel is destroying not only Palestine, but Israeli society as well; the same is true for the militarization of Palestinians. People don't "deserve" a country or freedom depending on whether their grandfather agreed or disagreed with a UN resolution in 1947 or left their home willingly or under duress or depending on whether or not some irrelevant Americans approve of their religious beliefs. And no borders are holy or natural, so it doesn't really make all that much of a difference where one place stopped and another began long ago. If you are against Zionism, as so many of the people posting profess, be against the kind of thinking that turns people into symbols and enemies. Don't accept a simplistic victim-victimizer ideology. Stand against your own government when it turns the entire world into two warring parties: those who are with us and those who are against us. Don't hate the Jews for the Palestinians' sake or the Palestinians for the Jews'; Do us all a favor and stop hating. Uprooting settlements might sound like a good idea when you're an ocean away and have no idea what a settlement is, but these places are cities and no different than Tel Aviv except in the year they were founded and history, even unjust history, can't simply be reversed. The point is to be a person who can keep an Israeli and a Palestinian in their head at the same time without wanting to explode either one. Then you aren't Zionist and you aren't anti-semitic and we, who live in this beautiful land, are one person closer to a shared state with equal rights for all.

monet11744:

Amar,

Please keep up the good work of showing a variety of perspectives on your journey - especially those perspectives that people seldom hear about (even if they're unsavory/unpopular or unimaginable to some) because it's this diversity of opinion that makes world issues and politics as sensitive, complex and subjective as is it for folks on the ground and helps illustrate why leaders struggle to find compromises to some situations. Your posts add human faces and stories to perspectives both broad and segmented that add to our ability to understand and discuss these issues. thank you.

hank:

Zionism is the real enemy of the jews....

HillRat:

Extremists of all ilks ALWAYS see anyone who doesn't march along to their own 'goose-steps' as their enemy.

So, what's new?

Simple Observer:

Mr. Zettos:

A little long winded, but complete. Well argued.

Fahad Zafar:

You intrude into others property and throw them out. Can there be peace in such situation?

Annapolis conference can only bring positive outcome if all concerned sections of Palestinians including Hamas are brought onboard.

Learn from South Africa, white people are living side by side with natives because of a durable peace treaty.

I hope peace minded people wake up and dont just follow the 'War Machizmo' Mr Bush.


Demetris Zettos:

The Zionist fanatics’ aspiration is to use every means possible to create a incontestable “Eretz Yisrael” (Greater Usrael) stretching between the two great rivers: The Nile and the Euphrates. To accomplish that the existence of five nations (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq) has to be compromised. If the world allowed Israel to pursue such a schizophrenic course what would be the consequences?
Zionism comes from the bowels of the Old Testament. A book written by Jews for their own self-serving interests.
In a display of chutzpah even more galling than the Balfour Declaration, the first Zionists invented a God who “commanded them” to commit genocide. After declaring that their “God gave them” land which had belonged to other peoples for thousands of years, the spiritual ancestors of today's Zionists embarked upon a campaign of mass murder:
…”In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has “commanded” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
The Jebusites were the people of Jerusalem, and like the other nations that were slated for destruction, they had no quarrel with the Israelites. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that The People Of The Book were bent on genocide according to the modern definition of the word:
"They should be utterly destroyed and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses . . Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling..."(Joshua 11:20 . . . First Samuel 15:3).
Then the Jews decided to disperse among charitable nations which provided them with refuge. By the end of the 19th century, using the lessons provided by their religious books, they managed to elevate themselves to positions of economic and political power which enabled them to influence the decisions of the Superpowers that eventually allowed them to reclaim part of the land which they had originally grabbed, claiming that “God had promised” it to them. But that land was already occupied for thousands of years by the Palestinians (descendants of ancient Canaanites and Philistines); and the Palestinians had to be evicted sometimes by the same methods that the ancient Jews used: Genocide and extermination.
Item: Israel has perpetrated many well documented massacres as well as ethnic cleansing operations against Palestinians (http://www.ummah.net/unity/palestine/massacres.htm).
Item: For the past 59 years, Israel has pursued a policy of brutal oppression against a people whose homeland was arbitrarily taken away from them. During the same period, Israeli occupation forces have killed thousands of Palestinians and never hesitated to kill unarmed Palestinian children or to arrest and torture them in order to elicit from them information regarding members of resistance organizations including possibly their parents.
Item: It is documented that a large portion of the US financial aid to Israel is used for the construction of settlements most of which are on illegally occupied territory. Many of the settlement homes are used by American and European Jews as summer vacation or retirement homes.
Item: Whereas Israel owes its existence to a United Nations resolution, it has repeatedly violated the provisions of the U.N. charter and with the concurrence of the United States arrogantly thumbed its nose to subsequent U.N. resolutions regarding its borders, and its persistent violations of the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinians.
Item: The U.S. legislative and executive branches, kowtowing to the powerful Zionist lobby (11 Senators, 26 Congressmen, tens of pro-Zionist organizations, many Zionists in key decision-making positions), have blindly aligned themselves with Israel giving over two hundred billion dollars of US taxpayers' money in economic and military aid to Israel's oppressive regime. US arms were and are still being used against Palestinians. (The total cost in lives and financial resources incurred by the United States in its support for Israel to date is immense). This selective, one-sided, US policy has aptly branded the US as an accomplice to Israel's crimes against the Palestinians and is the root cause of many terrorist acts against the United States.
Item: In the absence of any other rational explanation for the blind subservience to Israeli interests, would it be unreasonable for one to assume that some of the aid funds are sent back to the United States and are given to American-Jewish organizations or individuals who, in turn, pass them on as political contributions to both party candidates for office in order to secure their support for the Israeli cause?
Item: There are some people who say that Israel is a friend of the United States and deserves such unquestioned support. The intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 172 American servicemen (http://www.ussliberty.com) is indicative of the absurdity of such blind support of Israel. As one of the survivors of the attack stated: “With friends like Israel, the U.S. needs no enemies”
Item: During WWII, in virtually all the Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the patriotic resistance against the occupiers was encouraged and actively supported by the United States. Many of the freedom-fighters did not hesitate to place their own lives on the line in the cause of freedom from their Nazi oppressor. The similarity with the acts of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation forces is evident and a distinction should be made between freedom-fighters and terrorists.
Item: Many of the past and present Israeli political and military personalities had also been leaders or members of Zionist terrorist organizations such as the “Irgun Z'vai Leumi”, “Stern Gang”, “Haganah”, “Giddy Paglin”, “Palmach” etc. (The assassination of U.N. mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte was an act of one of these organizations). These Zionist organizations “wrote the book” on modern terrorism which, until their appearance, constituted but random and isolated acts by anarchists.
Item: When Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel, he had adopted the satanic ploy of demanding from Palestinian Chairman Arafat to “rein-in the terrorist groups”. This impossible-to –comply-with demand had allowed Sharon to launch his hard line campaign of assassination and destruction with presumed impunity. Unfortunately, this absurd demand had also been echoed by President Bush. Given the facts that there are almost 3.5 million Palestinians living in Israel the West Bank and the other occupied territories and that every Palestinian family has been brutally victimized by the Israeli occupation forces, how in the name of reason could Yasser Arafat know who the next Palestinian -who had had sufficient reasons to seek revenge and, in his or her desperation, was determined to sacrifice his or her life to achieve it- be reined-in? Furthermore, How could Arafat arrest resistance fighters when the Israeli occupation forces systematically targeted Palestinian police installations and policemen? Needless to say, similar irrational demands are constantly made on the Palestinians by the intransigent Israeli government. Such demands seem to have one purpose: to stonewall any final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Out of the tragedy of the terrorist atrocities of September 11th, renewed hopes had also emerged that a permanent solution would be found to the 59-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of a solution, and in spite of the obvious ability of the U.S. -as the sole Superpower- to impose one, we became witnesses to a severe deterioration of the situation with hostilities from both sides. In light of this, the US foreign policy, blatantly supportive of Israel's aggressive posture, has to be re-evaluated using more pragmatic and objective criteria. For a correct assessment of that situation, one has to view the above historical facts through their proper perspective. By so doing, one will discover one of the real causes of the September 11th attack on the United States. (The other being the unabashed U.S. support of oppressive regimes in Muslim nations.)
Is there a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The answer is yes. But the solution has to be fair and just, based on international laws and treating both parties impartially and without prejudice.
In order to bring an end to the wanton killings and to the suffering of millions of people, and since the United States government is the key sponsor and supporter of Israel, the initiative rests with the United States. However, any final agreement has to be endorsed and enforced by the United Nations.

Following are some suggestions for a viable solution:

To begin with, an immediate cessation of all hostilities must be IMPOSED by the United Nations on both sides..
The city of Jerusalem should be completely demilitarized and declared a neutral “Holy City”
protected by the United Nations.
Israel must be compelled to:
1) Declare unequivocally that it has no aspirations to any land other than that whose boundaries were defined in the U.N. Declaration which established it as a state.
2) Withdraw from the occupied territories including all the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights.
3) Accept the creation of an independent Palestinian State.
4) Allow the return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes under the Israeli ethnic
cleansing campaign.
5) Provide just compensation for the homes and lands previously owned by Palestinians and
forcibly appropriated by Israel or return such homes and lands to their rightful owners.
6) Accord and guarantee equal human rights and civil liberties to all Palestinians who choose to
live within Israel as stipulated by the U.N. resolution which created the state of Israel.
7) Adhere to all U.N. resolutions aimed at establishing peace in the region.
8) Sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.
9) Recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the World Court as the sole arbiter of disputes regarding international law.

The Palestinians:
1) Must accept that the existence of the state of Israel is a fact with which they must live.
2) They must refrain from future hostile acts against Israel.
When Israelis and Palestinians have fulfilled their obligations, the Palestinians can redirect their energies into building a peaceful and prosperous nation without animosity for their neighbors. Time can be relied-upon to heal many wounds opened by both sides.
Both sides must exclude the religious fanatics from the peace-making processes.
The other Arab nations must also regognize Israel as an independent sovereign state.

Unless both sides can “bite the bullet” and sincerely work towards establishing permanent
peace, it is obvious that the world can anticipate the open wound of their conflict to become an
incurable gangrene that would cause the demise of the afflicted and perhaps the entire humankind.

Simple Observer:

M Olgilvy:
Your statements regarding the current state of affairs in Gaza seem to avoid some very important facts. Certainly, Hammas continues to drop missiles on Israel, but you seem to infer that Israel left them a paradise with its "Vibrant Agriculture". What a farce. What was left to the Gazens was an over crowded strip of land with no viable sea port, air port, or self administered border crossings. The "Benevolent" Israelis refused to provide any of the millions of dollars in revenue that should have gone to them because they didn't like the outcome of the elections they encouraged. This left the government and the economy devastated. With no way of importing raw materials or exporting finished goods and agricultural products, there is no way for the Gazens to support themselves. Left dependent on foreign aid and the charity of the Israeli government, subsistence is a goal, not a reality. Now you condemn them for lobbing missiles. I don't support violence, but how can you expect us to believe that you are shocked by their reaction? How could you not have predicted it? You chain a dog up, beat it, and feed it only rarely, and then wonder why it bites the hand that offers the food?

Just how deluded are you?!

This has nothing to do with the hatred of Jews or the creation of a Jewish state out of nothing. This has everything to do with fairness and equitability. The land wasn't free for the giving. The colonial powers never had a claim to the land, but rather controlled it through might. The land belonged to the individual farmers and shop keepers who could trace their ancestry in the same area back though generations. What of their rights? What of them? You claim the Arabs have all this land and should freely give up the little percentage that makes up Israel, but it never addresses the claims of the individuals who continue to be tossed off of their lands to make room for European immigrants whose claim to the land is tenuous at best.

Israel is here to stay, but it is high time that the rest of the world stop coddling them and force a fair solution to these problems. They need to start by tossing the likes of David Wilder and those like him back into Israel proper, or better yet, into the sea.

Robert:

I took the time to read about 25 to 30 'replies.'

What a bunch of over-excited loons.

The internet is truly a hiding place for moral cowards to shout from - on both sides.

When the Arabs 'get' democracy, maybe this thing can be worked out (but I think that's about as likely as the aforementioned 'loons' gaining some true insight.

You see, point of view is NOT true insight.

Let Iran get that bomb, and much of this squabbling will stop.

Boko999:

Is Hebron a walled city? Maybe we should round up the world's religious fundamentalists issue each one a pick handle lock them up in the town and let them wail away. The TV rights would be worth a fortune, I know I'd pay good money to see that.
I got dibs on the Sihk extememists.

BobL-VA:

This nothing but another case as to why the US should pull back it's economic and military support of Israel. It's a waste of money to support a religious conflict.

SHAME ON YOU:

RELEVY:

Shame on you as well. Your first point - the Arabs refused the UN resolution. Well, of course they did. Why would they acquiesce to a theft of their lands? (BTW purchases made while the buyer points a rifle at your daughters head are not purchases at all - they are THEFTS).

Right of return - my point exactly. When the Brits and the US had the opportunity to avoid this blood letting, they chose the blood letting rather than welcome the Hebrews after WWII; instead, continuing the theft started by the Brits.

ETC., (but I must leave soon).

William, SHAME ON YOU.

You mislead - trying to defend theft of land by saying the immigration of Hebrews - encouraged and protected by the Brits - was legal. Not legal and certainly not moral. (You must read the documents).

You mislead about the Arab states being recent creations.
You try to equate the formation of Arab states with Israel. You would have to demonstrate that the Brits gave someone's land to the Arabs at the point of a rifle.
The Arab states were long established parts of the Ottoman Empire.

As you stated, the Hebrews in Europe needed a safe haven. We in the US should have provided that haven; and, we will, ultimately.

Your statements regarding Islam are hyperbole - a patent rationalization with only disregard for historical facts.

Heart of darkness? Look no further than Israel.

I cannot support a people who take other people's property. They could call themselves the Children of the Blessed Trinity rather than Zionists. BS known by any other name is BS - King's statement notwithstanding.

If you want a good schooling, please read the following:

The Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The McMahon-Hussein correspondence.
The Hogarth message.
The Sykes-Picot agreement.
Refresh your understanding of the Commandments.

Know that I use the Socratic method. You will be exposed as the ignorant and immoral person that you are but you will be a much better person for having been schooled.

The footnote will read:
Truman trying to cash Balfour's check with Arab and Hebrew blood alike.

another david:

excuses excuses excuses.
the land has so many uses.
wasn't it suleman who invited jews back?
for economic reasons? as long as they would be a subservient minority? does anyone deny that arabs would run apartheid states if they could? try visiting mecca.

israel has many arabs within its borders
but all jews should leave the west bank, gaza, the siani, north africa , iraq, iran, wherever. without right of return or compensation.
why cant we all get along? no one tries.

if jews must leave the west bank towns like hebron, why shouldnt arabs have to leave nazareth?

america can boast mosques and temples in the same neighborhoods, americans can understand this nonsence but never approve it.

israel and palestine both need more diversity and individual self control not less.

no new thoughts at annapolis?: how about the oil states, secure in their wealth, offering to help the jews build a third temple on the mount? how about opening the siani to palestinians and jews?

there is room enough, oh rechovotim,
in the lands of milk and honey and oil.
dance together all my children into jeruselem.

Jim:

I am sick of hearing Jews use UN proclamations to justify their theft of Palestinian land. Answer this question and maybe you will understand the bogus Jewish UN claims. America, Britain and France, permanent members of the Security Council, represented Israel, who represented Palestine in the UN when these decisions were placed into law? Bush demonstrates and Clinton demonstrated an unbalanced American affection for Israel and open hostility towards Palestine. They reflect American, British and French attitudes of unconditional support for Israel and hatred for Palestinians. And you wonder why Palestinians refuse to honor these obviously biased decisions. END THE WAR IN IRAQ.

Anon_KG:

Oddly enough. David's experience sounds quite similar to the experience of young British Muslims that visit camps in Pakistan, fall for religious hocus-pocus and start believing that their true calling is to terrorize, occupy and steal from others...

Perhaps the solution lies in building a scientific temper in the young people, who can put religion in its right place as a set of abstract moral guidelines (written more than 2000 years back) that must be reinterpreted to guide one's PERSONAL choices. That's all.. not to divide people, not to create religion based countries and not to tell others how to live their lives..

Jim:

Jews in America should be Americans first and Jews second. They are not Israelites. America is fractured among racial, religious and ethnic lines but the one thing most Americans are proud of is being American. Jews seem to be different. American Jews want America to put Israel first. This silly mans very survival is dependent upon America. American subsidies and the guarantee of superior military weapons are the only reasons David Wilder is on the face of this earth. 500 soldiers guard these land robbers twenty-four hours a day, how ridiculous is that? END THE WAR IN IRAQ.

William, San Antonio:

My love is for the Jews killed in the 1929 Hebron riots.

been there, done that:

Arthur Gittelman -
I suggest you spent some time in the West Bank before making the assertion that 'most Palestinians are very religious.' It's broad generalisations like this that lead to even more misunderstanding and hamper chances for peace.

Yiros:

Some of these posts read like Leon Uris on Ice. Politics is the science of the possible, not fanasty.

tough guy:

@William, San Antonio: Where's the love?

William, San Antonio:

Now, “shame on you” et al., Hamas propaganda is one thing fact another. The fact is that Jewish immigrants into the districts that “Palestine” comprised were authorized and regulated by the Ottoman regime as were Jewish land purchases. Although the history of that area is complicated because the Ottoman Empire was in decline, to characterize Jewish immigration during that period as illegal is simply false. After the Balfour Declaration the point was moot. It was not until 1934 that the question of the illegal immigrants (maapilim) arose in the context of British appeasement of the Arabs in contravention of the Balfour Declaration. Further, to insinuate that Jews stole anything is nothing short of malicious misinformation. Every dunam of land was bought and paid for. It was not until 1948 that the question of “theft” became an issue. This so-called theft was a direct result of the Arab invasion of the nascent State of Israel. Even the current chairman of the Palestinian National Authority occasionally lets the truth slip:

“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.” - PLO spokesman Mahmud Abbas ("Abu Mazen"), Falastin a-Thaura, March 1976

It was abundantly clear then, most especially given revelations about the treatment of European Jews from 1934 to 1945, that a sovereign Jewish homeland was essential for Jewish safety. The United Nations agreed. The Arab states, all recent creations just as the State of Israel, did not. Unfortunately, Arab belligerence has not moderated to this day.

It is also clear, from even a cursory investigation into the causes of Arab intransigence, that the inherent anti-Semitism in Islam is central to their inflexibility. Claims of robbing Arabs of their ancestral land by European colonialist enterprises are simply unfounded attempts to deflect criticism from the true “root cause” of the current conflict. In fact, Islam is not only at perpetual war with the Jews specifically, it is at perpetual war with civilization in general. Current headlines about a certain teddy bear in Sudan serve as a stark reminder about how little is necessary to incite the Muslim heart of darkness.

Now, regarding the attacks on Zionism that permeate many of the above comments: Dr. Seymour Martin Lipset wrote an article "The Socialism of Fools: The Left, the Jews and Israel" which was published in the December, 1969 (page 24) edition of Encounter magazine. The article states: "Shortly before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr., was in Boston on a fund-raising mission, and I had the good fortune to attend a dinner which was given for him in Cambridge... One of the young men present happened to make some remark against the Zionists. Dr. King snapped at him and said, "Don't talk like that! When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism!"

I agree with Dr. King.

PS Because so little of the comments above are new, neither are parts of this response. Some of it has been copied from one of my previous posts.

RELEVY:

I cannot believe that I am reading such mindless hateful spiteful drivel. The Israeli-Palestinian situation is so much more complicated than any of you simple minded people can ever imagine. Having just returned to this country from Israel I find it so frightening to be reading such hatred of the Jewish people in this space.
!. The Arabs refused to accept the UN resolution that created the country of Israel. Their leaders pledged to drive the Jews into the ocean and all the land would be theirs once more. The reality? They became "Palestinians" and moved into festering camps in other Arab countries that still do not accept them as full citizens.
2. Right of return. OK, let's deal with that. My family lived in Cairo, Egypt for many generations. They had businesses there and homes. Other Jews lived in Arab countries all over the Middle East--Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt. They were forced to leave homes, businesses, possessions, money and expelled from these countries in 1948-1949. Why? Because the UN had the audacity to allow a separate country be born that Jews could call their home. Where is my family's right of return? And for that matter, for every Jew in the world that has been expelled from Germany, from France, from Russia, from Poland.....where is their right to return? For every country that refused them entry and sent them back to die in concentration camps--where is your outrage?
3. The Palestinians elected their own leaders. They need to demand from their leaders accountability. Where is all the money that should be going to help their own people? Why does Arafat's widow reside in luxuory in Paris while so many thousands say they are hungry in the West Bank and Gaza? They are cutting off their own noses to spite their faces. Gaza has the potential to become the Monte Carlo of the Middle East--beautiful beaches, educated workers, a history of hospitality. But are they interested in their own developement? No. Playing the victim for all these years is so much easier.
4. Stop the suicide bombs and the riots and civil disturbances. it's very simple. No one on either side can take a continuous state of potential death for ever and ever. The wall is a last resort. The check points are there because the Palestinians kept trying to get suicide bombers through! Why is that overlooked all the time? There are many Palestinians that worked in Israel---don't you think that Israel needs those workers as much as the Palestinians need the jobs?
5. There are many Arab towns and settlements in Israel. These Arabs live a good life with all the rights of an Israeli citizen. They have access to a good education, to good medical care, to good jobs. They have established businesses and communities.
And as a matter of fact, are reproducing at a rate that many Israelis are concerned about since their birth rate is much higher that most secular Jews'.
Do you think that I am an apologist for Israel? Far from it. I think that Bush is using Israel's needs to further his own agenda and if push came to shove, he would push Israel under the bus. And he is also increasing the amount of anti-Jewish sentiment in the US as much as he is increasing the amount of Anti-Americanism in the Arab world. I know that there are politicians in Israel that are just as despicable as many in this country.
So, what is the solution? The Arab world is going to have to accept the original UN mandate of two separate countries with a shared border . Jerusalem will be under UN forces protection as an international and religious city, or separated into two separate capitals. Commerce can resume between the two countries. Terrorism will have to stop if relations are to be normalized. And counter-terrorism too. What the West Bank and Gaza needs is to see that it is in their best interest to stop funding terrorism and use that money to buy bread, not guns, for its people. It is not a matter of honor or dignity to send your children to die with bombs strapped to their bodies.

Anonymous:

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam
Henry Siegman


The Middle East peace process may well be the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history. Since the failed Camp David summit of 2000, and actually well before it, Israel’s interest in a peace process – other than for the purpose of obtaining Palestinian and international acceptance of the status quo – has been a fiction that has served primarily to provide cover for its systematic confiscation of Palestinian land and an occupation whose goal, according to the former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, is ‘to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people’.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n16/sieg01_.html

SHAME ON YOU:

Vic,
You are disingenuous to the point of lying. Your arguments fail to conform within your post.

What leads you to believe that your disingenuousness isn't patent to the rest of us?

The Brit's were justified because of a mandate?

You are ignorant as well as immoral when you state that: "The Palestinians themselves don't own the land any more than the Israelis."

Individual Palestians certainly do hold proper title - title to land and other property that was stolen over better than 3 decades as part of the illegal formation of Israel.

I suspect that you hold title.......to something.

These Palestinians are individuals just like you, Vic. Well, not quite; you haven't had your property stolen and your family, friends and neighbors murdered with the support of and financed by the UK and the USA.

These Palestinians deserve better than to have their land stolen by delusional christians and jews blinded by faith and/or greed in violation of the delusionals own 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th commandments (the number depends on the type of delusional - they do not agree on the numbering scheme).

Sam is correct - one state with land and property returned the proper title holders. Hebrew refugees get a free ride to the US.

PS Your African nations argument is just so much more of your - spin?........ no - garbage.

PPS
THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE NEED:

You can cure your ignorance.

A good place to start would be with the documents began this horrible mess made by the West:

The Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The McMahon-Hussein correspondence.
The Hogarth message.
The Sykes-Picot agreement.

The footnote will read:
Truman trying to cash Balfour's check with Arab and Hebrew blood alike.


leochen24551:

Someone recently posted that the Israelis are "winning" militarily in the Middle East.

That myth was destroyed after Israel's Invasion of Lebanon last year ended in a Military and Political defeat for Israel.

The Hezbollah militia in Lebanon fought for 34 days and won.

from AsiaTimesOnline:

The Israeli government violated the first principle of war - it showed contempt for its enemy, Hezbollah, and the resulting Intelligence Failure during its July campaign was Catastrophic.

It meant that, after the inability of Israel's air campaign to degrade Hezbollah assets in the first 72 hours of the war, a decisive victory for Israel became highly unlikely.

This left Israel with no alternative but to invade Lebanon with ground troops in the hope of destroying Hezbollah's Will To Prevail.

Israel's call up of reservists was the first clear sign that its air strikes against Hezbollah had not been successful. Then came false claims of towns captured and battles won, and the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions.

By any accounting - whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded - Hezbollah scored a decisive Military and Political victory.

The aftermath of the Israel-Hezbollah war will be felt for years, not months, and has redrawn the political map throughout the Middle East, not just in Israel and Lebanon.

And the upshot of it all is that if and when the US attacks Iran, it will lose.

Israel has compounded its military and political failure in Lebanon by being in deep and angry denial. Israel will most likely respond to its failure by initiating another invasion to demonstrate that it still has Military superiority in the region.

It's a big gamble, IMHO.

Stated another way, Israel has more to lose and less to gain from initiating another round of conflict. The many supporters of the Palestinians have less to lose and more to gain in defending the Palestinian People.

Besides, Wars of Liberation tend to succeed over time. And time may be on the Arab side.

The Arabs possess Black Gold -- Oil.

Israel possesses a myth, a subsidized myth.

JRLR, in Beijing.:

Hi Amar.

I can see you are still at it, Amar, after what can be described as that Kafkaesque welcome to Israel you have reported on. Indeed, reading your account and your telling us about your guilty feelings ("And I grow insecure. What might I have done wrong?") made me think of the effects of circumstances on the life and mind of Josef K, in Kafka's "The Trial". How anyone can possibly put up with such arrogant nonsense in that most endearing little plot of land will forever remain a mystery to me.

Given you have been asking for suggestions so often, here is one more, Amar. Why not visit China soon? Here, people are all smiles, truly polite and hospitable, charming in fact, as they have been for thousands of years, and healthy, seldom if ever obese. Chinese women are particularly beautiful (not that military type), and their femininity is absolutely exquisite.

In addition, what is happening here, right now, is unique in the history of mankind. You would not believe how much Westerners travelling to China are impressed by China's and the Chinese people's achievements, more particularly in the last ten years. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard them say "we have everything to learn from the Chinese".

While at it, why not begin to learn Chinese? To do so can undoubtedly take and keep one away from the same old American and Israeli worn-out discussions on permanent conflict and perpetual war in the Middle-East.

The world is so vast, Amar, and there is so much life and creativity in countries like China.

Anyhow, I thought you might like to have news from the other end of this world from someone who, like you, likes to get lost (to the world) at times...

Wish you were here, away from our never ending mediatic obsessions.

Zen regards...

Jim:

When I read blogs discussing Israeli-Palestinian matters it's easy to distinguish the pro-Israel group from the pro-Palestinian group. The pro-Israel group typically speaks in a historical/biblical context, and the pro-Palestinian group typically speaks in an illegal occupation context. The problem with the pro-Israel groups ramblings, is that it sounds silly to compare todays occupation of Palestinian lands with wars waged hundreds/thousands years ago; todays battles use satellites, precision guided bombs, high tech soldiers, etc. etc. What ever happened to fighting mano y mano. If there was an even playing field in terms of weaponry and Israel was holding it's on, then they would probably have more support for their cause. But as it is, you have a small country with a small population, that has a military funded by the US government, and stocked to the hilt with all types of modern weaponry. The Palestinians fight with rocks, machine guns, mortars, suicide bombs, and fists.

Bob:

This story is bewildering. There is a clear imbalance when the US government targets Muslim charity organizations for links to alleged terror cells, yet millions of dollars are being raised by Jewish charity organizations to fund David Wilder and friends, which in turn perpetuates the fighting and distrust, exacerbating terrorism and stifling any real peace.

Vic van Meter:

Okay, this will go out to a lot of people who ought to know who they are. Either you're misinformed, devious, or just plain confused. A lot of people are. Let me bring up some following points.

If you think what's happening in Palestine is the most brutal conquest in the world, you missed out on a lot of history. There were ethnic peoples hundreds of years ago who would have loved to be in the Palestinian position. Peoples conquered by Romans, Ottomans, Europeans, and so on didn't become disadvantaged citizens or security risks. They became serfs if they were fortunate, slaves if they broke even, and dead if they were unlucky. Even the Christian takeover of the Holy Land is worse than what the Israelis and Palestinians are inflicting on each other.

The Palestinians themselves don't own the land any more than the Israelis. The territory of Palestine was given over as a British territory to the Israelis despite America's protests (not about the land grab, but because of Britain's interest in colonies, so there are no saints in the region). Then, the region was called Palestine by the mandate, but included larger swaths of land than Israel could ever dream of holding, parts of Syria, Jordan, and so on.

Eventually, the Jews in Palestine, moved there by the English in a plan for a Jewish homeland (though, if you read into it, England did not want to allow a healthy chunk of the Holocaust survivors to go there), created the first two state solution, dividing the land for Jewish and Muslim use. The Jews agreed to the plan (why wouldn't they?) and the Arabs in the area decided not to take the deal. This led to the Arab-Israeli Wars which, after armistice, set the first boundaries of an independent Israel.

This was a pretty bad idea on the part of the Brits, but they had the territory under mandate. The Israelis have just as much claim to that land as the Palestinians because, before both of them, it was claimed by the British. So if you go back before current day Jews, you're looking at giving the land back to England. The only lands any Arabs owned directly before the initial partitioning at England's declaration of the end of their Mandate of Palestine that are now part of the Israeli country are the ones proposed for a modern Palestinian state. If you want to get technical, those are Jordanian and Syrian lands (or Egyptian, I don't know how much Israel kept from Egypt, if any, since they returned the Sinai Peninsula).

"Palestine" now is the name of a proposed country, but before that it was simply the name of a region that has been conquered by other countries basically since early history. So I'm not really impressed by saying the Israelis have no right to be there. If you look far back enough, EVERYONE has lived there. The Holy Land is a blood-drenched cluster orgy of conquerings and violence. It really shouldn't belong to anyone.

So after all that, I'm just asking for you to be more specific. What's Palestine, where don't the Israelis belong, and what snapshot in time are you looking back to to say they don't belong there? After at least sixty years of independent Israel, it's a bit naive to say that someone else belongs there. It's older than a healthy chunk of African nations at this point.

Also, I'd like to ask at what point you've decided to say that they're not disadvantaged? If the Mexican Army came up and killed a few thousand of our people, including a thousand of our military, and we killed 500 of their people, then I wouldn't call us winners. Israel's been giving as good as it's gotten, and the biggest problem is that they've been TOO successful. Proposed Palestine is set to be an independent nation on CONQUERED land from OTHER arab nations.

People just don't have any perspective. Calling down Hell on yourself and surviving isn't exactly respected in other areas of life but seems to be perfectly acceptable and rational to Hezbollah and Hamas supporters. If I started insulting some monster of a man at a bar, and he beat the life out of me, and I said that I came out ahead because he didn't kill me, it wouldn't exactly be sincere. I'm not saying these groups can't do damage, but I'm certainly questioning the intelligence or perspective of anyone who says that Hamas or Hezbollah are doing their respective nations any good.

Religiously, other zealots point to those groups when they demonize Islam. Politically, Hamas and Hezbollah have been the biggest reasons why Israel even CAN invade other countries. And if you just look at the raw numbers, Israel wins the match of sheer murder, even WITH the public outcry they deal more pain than they take.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the military establishment is good for Israel. But it's ridiculous to say it's not worse for Palestine. It's absolutely ridiculous.

George:

Sam, You are spot on.
You did not mention how and who would implement your suggested plan.

It would be better for Greater Palestine to come into existence in a controlled way rather than allow the horrible violence that will ensue when the Palestinians and Arabs, with the backing of the entire Muslim world and others reestablish control with force. and violence.

I hope the USA is more willing to take in the refugees than the good christians were in 1945. Everyone would benefit, especially the USA.

The BBC reported:
"Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would spell the end of the State of Israel".

There will never be a peaceful two state solution.

SAM:

Israel is nothing but another South Africa of the Middle East.The only solution for this chronic Dlemma is establishing one secular country on all the land of Historical Palestine for Jews,Moslems and Christians with equal rights and responsibilities and without any kind of descrimination.Establishing two separate states on the same land is worthless.

leochen24551:

It seems ironic, to me, that though the Arab -- particularly the Palestinians -- were minimally involved in the Holocaust, they never-the-less have suffered the most Brutal of Military Conquests, Occupation, Demonization, and Sustained Suffering under the heel of "Democratic" Israel.

If only the Palestinians would accept their lot, like our Native Americans, as being a conquered people.

If only their leaders submitted to Israel's Demands for Unconditional Surrender of THEIR Land and more, that they all Leave Israel, Disappear, or allow themselves to be Eliminated.

But alas, fools that these Palestinians are, they insist upon a hopeless Resistance.

Unfortunately for the Palestinians and for Israel, our America-As-Puppet-Of-Israel Middle East Foreign Policy initiatives are characterized by extremely generous Diplomatic, Economic, and Military support of Israel's ambitions and totally discount the Palestinians.

It's unfortunate for the Palestinians because they have no hope of ever being anything other than a conquered people under the Brutal Military Occupation of "democratic" Israel.

It is unfortunate for Israel because it believes that it can continue forever as a Garrison State.

Yet the rest of the world sees our position as a Losing Hand, which, I think, is self evident from the consequences of our strongly favoring Israeli and Jewish-American Zionists ambitions.

If the CIA World Fact Book is to be believed, Israel has had ZERO immigration growth in recent years, while the Arab population continues to expand within and outside of Israel. Anecdotal evidence suggests that if the Jewish population in Israel were given the opportunity to emigrate to our Promised Land, that they would eagerly do so, in droves.

Israel, because it CANNOT sustain itself, must of necessity continuously receive vast quantities of unending economic and military PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, mostly from us. From an Economic stand point, as the economic power houses of Asia and the West rush into the twenty second century, Israel's economic existence is a non-factor in the Global Economy.

The use of overwhelming military power, as practiced by us in Vietnam, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, haven't given us the results that we expected. But we keep trying. In my opinion, we've entrapped ourselves in Iraq and the Middle East with our wars of conquest.

And Third World Countries have demonstrated that they can resist our military might and occupation and, in the end, defeat us, our Green Zones not withstanding.

Energy Independence not withstanding, we are very beholden to the oil and gas exporting nations --a few friendly, most not so friendly.

Our Current Account Balance is a stark reminder that we are fighting our Iraq War and that our own economy survives on a credit card supplied by Japan and China.

In short, I think that the Twenty Second Century belongs not to us -- certainly not to Israel -- but to our very impressive Asian competitors, some friendly, most rather polite, as they watch us plunder our treasury and sacrifice our young in our Middle East adventures, confirming their opinion that we are indeed fools who reelected an idiot President.

In that light, Hezbollah, Hamas, and its leaders may not be at a disadvantage in the Palestinian/Israeli Wars, terrorists though they may be.

Chaotician:

Be realistic, creating a Jewish land using some one else’s land was never going to work! The issue of Jews from around the world, especially Eastern Europe, coming and stealing more land was never going to work! Using a self-serving God view of being "chosen" people giving a particular chunk of the planet is ridicules and no justification for anything! Creating one theocracy in the middle of opposing theocracies is just plain nuts! This festering sore will prevent world peace for generations; it is foreordained that a Jewish Theocracy can not endure in Palestine unless there is a total massacre of all Muslims...which is not likely; so some day the Jews will lose a crucial battle, they will be massacred again, there will be another Diaspora of any survivors, likely the Jews will use their terrible doomsday nuclear weapons with the probable response in kind; a terrible blow to the world and one that may not be survivable...is this suicidal belief system of the Jews really worth the inevitable destruction? Must the world be impotent because of the misguided American support of this crashing train wreck?

There is no basis for any 2 state solution in this blood soaked land; the only hope is for some larger single state where all peoples have equal rights and equal opportunities… and I see no way to ever get there…do you?

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hi Victoria,

Yes, it's been some coincidence! I was just looking into this question too, and came across this syllabus that might make an interesting starting point. I will get in touch with David hopefully and ask him what influenced him, and then together we can find other sources. http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:es1snDyWFdUJ:www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/isdf/syl/Seidler.pdf+religious+roots+of+zionism&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&lr=lang_en&client=firefox-a

William, San Antonio:

“Fabricating Israeli History: The 'New Historians'” is indeed a fine book. Benny Morris, for example, turned “We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places.” into “[We] must expel Arabs and take their places". It takes years and intensive effort to debunk authors such as Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim, Tom Segev and Simha Flapan. Many of the comments herein mirror their distortions and need to be recognized as nothing more than the graffiti of Jew haters.

Anonymous:

Washingtonpost uses Amar to voice rather one sided biased views "everyday" as his blog states. Many details left out. Why Israeli point of view is not given the same opportunity to post everyday.

Vic van Meter:

I come back after, what, two days? We've got ONE extremist Israeli viewpoint, and suddenly everyone is up in arms.

Obviously, this isn't the median opinion in Israel. This guy's obviously a religious fanatic who thinks that this city needs to be occupied in the name of his religion. The same mindset is causing people to suicide-bomb Israeli civilians, led the crusaders to the wars in Jerusalem, and kills people worldwide in the name of God. This is the mindset that is holding back peace. We've already gotten one of those crazy Hezbollah-supporting idiots, now we've got an Israeli settlement-supporting idiot. That's all this is.

And this guy IS an idiot. He's obviously one of the people making the situation worse. And the people in the government supporting him so that they can overwhelm the West Bank are a REALLY big part of the Israeli side of the problem. I've often said that if Israel wants peace, the settlements are the thing they can sacrifice. It is not something they want to build. Many Americans support the right for Israel to exist. Very few think their government should be paying to flood the West Bank with Jews.

On the other hand, everyone who points to him and says, "Israeli" is like one of our homegrown American bigots who sees any Muslim and says, "terrorist." You can't intelligently chunk a group of people together through the mindset of one obviously crazy person (and if you're reading this wondering why this scum is so crazy, you need to reexamine your life). No more than you can say every Palestinian says everyone should strap bombs onto pregnant women and run them into Israeli shop than you can say every Israeli thinks Jewish people should be used in a numbers war to try to flood out the Arabic community in the West Bank. Not only is the strategy sickeningly dehumanizing, it's also a huge Israeli wall to the peace process.

This man needs to be seen and heard, kind of like a crazy homeless man with a butcher knife. We need to know what's out there that can do a lot of damage. This is one of those men. This is an Israeli terrorist.

And like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, Israel has a hard time telling these settlers to leave because some of the hardcore faithful won't have it. That's part of what's so depressing.

There's a big difference, though. In Palestine and Lebanon, the problems are terrorist organizations. In Israel, they're colonists. This guy is no worse than a terrorist. This is what an Israeli terrorist looks like.

Anonymous:

The penchant for blaming Israel for the repeated Palestinian failures is so widespread and contagious that the absurdity of it goes completely unnoticed. And today reminds us why: the Palestinian addiction to the culture of victimhood. The Arab refusal to recognize the existence of the Jewish state has been at the core of the Palestinians’ inability to achieve a state of their own. When the Jews accepted the UN partition plan, the Arabs made a fateful – and indeed fatal – choice to reject it and invade the newly borne Jewish state, rather than coexist with it.

Had the Arabs accepted the UN’s decision, there would have been two states, one Jewish and one Arab, all this time, for the past 60 years. Had the Arabs not rejected the decision, palestinians would be represented as a Member State in the UN, not just as an Observer entity.

The terrorism we still see today stems from an innate refusal to recognize Israel, a refusal to recognize the Jewish state, and a refusal to recognize the value of our lives. So long as there is a denial of the existential issues, I fear, there can never be an agreement on the territorial ones.


Tragic:

Reported today 11/30/2007
JERUSALEM -- In unusually frank comments, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview published Thursday that "the state of Israel is finished" unless a Palestinian nation is created, saying the alternative is a South African-style apartheid struggle.

I agree with Ehud when he states that the state of Israel is finished; I do not agree with his condition.

It is all over but the misery.
What an incredible disaster.

You already know how the footnote will read.

Wallace Brand:

Ellis: You say the facts of the creation of Israel are "sickening". It is apparent you have accepted the word of the history revisionists. Try reading Efraim Karsh, "Fabricating History: The New Historians and you will see their history is created by fabrication and by taking statements of Israel's founders out of context.

Wallace Brand:

Ellis, you are wrong again. It is well documented that when Israel first learned from the US that the US planned to invade Iraq it suggested that instead we invade Iran. As the Israelis failed to persuade the US to do that, like a good ally, they went along with the US without complaining. .

They had much to complain about. Israel was relying on Hussein to keep the Iranians from being the superpower dominating the region.

Even Mearsheimer has the history straight. Look into it.

VICTORIA:

Hello Amar, I see you are turning up in hot spots again.

It seems you have a supernatural flair for showing up places just as the world turns its attentions on it.
As your agenda is already pre-planned- it can only be some extraordinary cosmic coincidence.

If you read this in time, (doubtful) and have a chance to ask mr wilder-

perhaps you could ask him to explain his position from his religous viewpoint.

you mentioned that he said he had discovered some scripture that opened his spiritual way to settle in israel.

i have never heard an explanation from a judaic standpoint that supports zionism as it is today-

if mr wilder is indeed so passionate- as he obviously is-
ask him if he could use his religious reasoning to help us understand exactly why he believes what he does.

or even maybe bakunin who mentioned the bible-

i have only heard religious arguments against zionism myself- so would welcome some chance to have a greater understanding of what exactly it is that scripturally validates the modern movement of jewish people to israel.
peace

Bakunin:

To my opponents:
1) It is better to spend my tax dollars on the return of the promised land to Israel, rather than on fighting AIDS in Africa and supporting the obnoxious salaries and all the imaginable benefits of our own haughty US government workers with incomes from $200,000 to $500,000 a year (as is the case of the Secretary of the Smitsonian Institution and the Director of the Library of Congress);
2) Drop all your fancy arguments and elaborate historical justifications about the Arabs and Jews in the Canaan. The Bible is clear: the Lord gave this land to Israel, period!
3) How many of you raised a finger over the genocide of Armenians in the past and present, about the ethnic cleansing in the Caucasus and the Balkans? Entire nations have been moved there in the course of the 1900s. Why is Armenia clear of Armenians? Come on, fellows, try to exercise your humanity somewhere else, leave the Palestine to Israel;
4) As for the Arabs, they have 24 counties to return, from the Atlantic to the Indian Oceans. Why none of you is shedding tears over the 6 million Germans expelled from Prussia, Silesia and the Sudetten?
My answer is this: because you are a product of PBS manipulation and campus liberalism.

leochen24551:

RAMALLAH, Nov 21 (IPS) - Al Walajeh Village was once a quiet but busy place. Just four kilometers from Bethlehem and 8.5 km from Jerusalem, its rolling hills filled with Fruit Trees, Natural Forests, and Blooming Vegetation made it a Prime Farming location. Easy access to large and consistent markets led its inhabitants to relative Economic Prosperity. Life was good.

Today, however, Al Walajeh village is a different place altogether.

"The Demolishing of Houses is a Weekly Event here in Al Walajeh, " Sheerin Alaraj, Al Walajeh Village Council member, told IPS.

"People have Nowhere Else To Go and so there are at least three Families living in every house, sometimes even more. Some Families have even been Forced to live in Caves," she said.

Since Israel’s Full-Scale Military Occupation of the West Bank began, more than Twelve Thousand Palestinian Homes have been demolished, making House Demolitions a Grim Hallmark of Israel’s Occupation Strategy.

Alaraj’s village, home to some 1,700 Palestinians, is Under Attack. But like the rest of her community, she is Refusing To Leave.

The Construction of the Israeli Wall, plus subsequent Land Grabs by Surrounding JEWISH Settlements, has Decimated the Villagers’ Land, and their Livelihoods.

Al Walajeh now consists of just four and a half kilometres of land -- it is 22 percent of its Original Size.

In June of 2004, the International Court of Justice declared that Israel’s Construction of The Wall "was Contrary To International Law".

The Court ruling stated that, "Israel is Under Obligation To Cease Construction And Dismantle The Wall... Israel should Compensate Owners Of Land SEIZED to construct the barrier and those Harmed By The Barrier... All States are under Obligation NOT to recognise the situation, and Ensure Israel's Compliance With International Law."

Israel has said It Will Not Accept the Court’s non-binding judgment, and has Continued To Construct The Wall which upon completion will stretch 703 km around the West Bank, often times cutting deep across the Green Line -- the Internationally-Recognised Borders demarcated between Israel and Jordan in 1949.

Israel has stated that the purpose of The Wall is to Prevent Suicide Bomb Attacks, but critics maintain that the Underlying Intention is to Annex AS Much Land as Possible to the Expanding Israeli Settlement Colonies Inside The Occupied West Bank.

Al Walajeh, land that was once fertile and green has Disappeared beneath the concrete of Three Major Israeli Settlements -- Gilo, Har-Gilo and Giv’at Yael.

What Trees remain are now Under Attack -- Large Swathes of the village’s remaining trees are being hacked down to make way for a New Section of The Israeli Wall.

When this section is completed, the Villagers Will Be Separated from more than 90 percent of THEIR Agricultural Land.

They will be Completely Surrounded by The Wall, and Forced to use A Terminal To Get Into, And Out Of, Their Own Village. Al Walajeh will be reduced to an area of just 2.2 square kilometers.

The Villagers still REFUSE to leave.

"The Residents of Al Walajeh Are Being Manipulated And Squeezed by the Israeli State to "voluntarily" leave THEIR village," states a Joint Study by the Jerusalem based Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) and the Land Research Center (LRC).

So far this policy has failed.

Even in the face of Brutal Circumstances, the people of Al Walajeh are holding onto What’s Left of THEIR land.

For those unlucky enough to be living in the way of, or on the other side of The Future Wall, House Demolition is imminent.

Munthar Hamad, now a Homeless Citizen of Al Walajeh, has had his home Destroyed twice. First bulldozed in January of 2006, his home was again Destroyed in December of the same year.

According to the ARIJ-LRC report, Mr. Hamad "invested 50,000 Shekels ($12,000) to rebuild his 120 square metre house for the second time, and now Israel has not only Bankrupt[ed] him but also turned him, along with his other 5 Family Members, into REFUGEES."

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention the Destruction of Private Property by an Occupying Power is Prohibited unless such Destruction is lawfully justified as being imperative to the security of the occupying power.

For the 12,000 Palestinian Families, including those from Al Walajeh, whose Homes have been Destroyed, it’s hard to understand how Israel’s Security is dependent upon their Homelessness.

Surrounded by Jewish Settlements from the north, south, and west, Encircled by The Wall, and Controlled by an Israeli Entry And Exit Terminal, the villagers of Al Walajeh will soon become Virtual PRISONERS on THEIR Own Land.

"It’s like a Life Sentence in Prison for Everyone here, even for those who are yet to be born," said Alaraj, "People outside need to know what’s happening here."

This is An Example Of ISRAELI Continued Implementation And Self-Serving Interpretation Of THEIR RIGHT TO EXIST -- at the Continued Expense of the Palestinian People!!

Does that bother the conscience of the Israelis?

Does that bother the conscience of the American Jews?

Obviously, not very much at all.

After all, the Palestinian People are terrorists.

After all, the Palestinian People are expendable.

After all, Jews are God's Chosen People -- sez so right here in the bible.

Johnson, Boston:

Excuse me Mr. David but what you are doing is not many of the Christian right you are trying to woo would like to see in this conflict-ridden holly land. You treat Palestinians like monsters but time is on their side and they will eventually triumph and regain their dignity and land. You are living on borrowed time and you have to live with the fact that your grandchildren might not live in a walled-in illegal settlements.
PM Olmert was right on the mark when he equate the rising tide against Israel to what apartheid regime faced. Even the most pro-Israel in US administration or those controlled by AIPAC will be hard-pressed justifying our continued support for a country that tramples the most basic human rights of Palestinians. America is hated today because our taxpayer dollars are used to murder and humiliate Palestinians. Also, keep in mind that your children might learn to tolerate their Palestinian neighbors and live a more secure environment that the one your currently call home.
And please, stop trying to cheat the Christians into believing that what you doing is the will of God. As he looks down, he must be disgusted by what you are doing to your fellow human beings. Palestinians are loving people and will readily live side by side with you if you respect them and treat them with dignity.

Alcibiades:

So that's how they gather money for terrorists in New York? So we are now going to compete by seeing whose daughters can produce more. Given that one man can only do so much, what happens when the man is not up to it, or the wife has a headache? Is it open sex then, to serve the Great Cause? Fornicate till you drop? Maybe the Mormons had a point, and the Muslims. I hope this info is public so that everyone can have a real toga party in Sodom and Gomorrah !

What a Nazi punk. German women used to procreate for the Big Guy too. Are we seeing an equivalence here?

Brian:

am truly appalled by David's statements. And I am not sure how an all American education like the one David got in the U.S. could produce such a fanatic zealot. We have always conveniently assumed that fanaticism is only grown in the madrassas in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, we have always -- and more conveniently assumed -- that Fanaticism is an all Muslim thing!! I guess we were soundly wrong on both counts. David is a vivid reminder that fanaticism has no geographic home nor a religious one for that matter. As a Christian American (I really hate to identify myself like that) -- we are all Americans -- I feel betrayed. I believe that no other country in the world has offered so much help to Israel -- financial, military and diplomatic -- as has the United States! We actually have made ourselves the most hated country in the world -- particularly amongst 1.2 billion Muslims of the world -- because of our unmatched and unconventional support to the Jewish state! I guess that is what we deserve to get from the ever grateful David and his likes.

Anonymous:

THE MOST TROUBLING thing above are the rabid
remarks stating that Israel owns the land, and, in effect,will do what they like, and GO TO HELL TO EVERYONE ELSE, BECAUSE THEY'RE STAYING...

They might want to read a little history, not only early mid century Germany, but in in every country they've lived in, in every century.

There's an awful story about how Jews in Germany dismissed and put down early stories of real problems, with something of the same attitude.
For God's sake...

ken:

Mr. Bakshi,

Re: your message this morning:

SO the Post and the Israeli Lobby, et. al. are giving you a rough time for your column?

DON'T BACK DOWN. Truth is truth, and we get very little from the Jewish owned MSM!

Americans need to know that they are not alone in the feelings being expressed above.

wE cannot imagine, or maybe we can, how much you must being pressured. Those doing the pressuring need to know that the stuff is out of the bag, for sure, after their successful censuring of any such for years. It is roiling.

Anonymous:

Mr. Bakshi,

Re: your message this morning:

SO the Post and the Israeli Lobby, et. al. are giving you a rough time for your column?

DON'T BACK DOWN. Truth is truth, and we get very little from the Jewish owned MSM!

Americans need to know that they are not alone in the feelings being expressed above.

wE cannot imagine, or maybe we can, how much you must being pressured. Those doing the pressuring need to know that the stuff is out of the bag, for sure, after their successful censuring of any such for years. It is roiling.

m.ogilvy:

Palestinian arabs are absolutely "philistine" in the way they have been behaving since they stole the name "Palestinian", i.e. in the last half century, however, despite the efforts to re-write history, they have nothing in common with the original philistines. In fact they are arabs who entered the Land of Israel (or Palestine of the British Mandate)from all around the mid-east, coming at times as far as Sudan, as they do even today.So,despite the efforts of arab propagandists that try to connect these arabs to ancient inhabitants, palestinian arabs are no different than their brothers who invaded other territories,such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi, Egypt, Lebanon etc. and they should be integrated within these "states" where they will find enough despotic rulers,bearded bigots,islamic fanatics to nicely mix with,without necessarily creating one "more of the same". With their well known contribution the arabs made to humanity,well being of the world,arts and sciences, peace, freedom and democracy, they surely are undeserving of the attention they get.Heck,tens of millions of Kurds -among many others-are struggling for a place under the sun and getting nowhere, and a couple of millions of arabs, especially kept in destitution by their brothers to be a thorn on Israels'side, are getting all the attention of uncle Sam. Analogies such as "red indians", Harlem Blacks, southern segregationists (the last one, a pearl dropped by Condi Rice)have no validity: Israel is unique, Israel is uncomparable. Instead of accepting this fact and trying to live in peace with it, the Arab bullies who occupy endless lands,have their sights on the tiny stretch of Israel, and America does not call them to order. However, it will do so soon, when environmental worries will reduce the dependence on mid-east oil, killing two birds with one stone: pollution and Islamic terror.
I can assure the readers and David of Hebron that
the "palestinian problem (!)" will then worry America less than Darfur, Kurdistan, Ruanda, Erithrea, Cuba, Kashmir, Korea, Chechnia, Lebanon, Iraq etc. etc.
Hypocrisy will eventually vanish.

Ricardo:

I've read that the Government of Israel is a big supporter of Linux.I would have thought that a government that enlightened would care more about their Palestinian brothers and sisters.They are all children of Abraham,are they not?The world needs peacemakers not warmongers.

BarbaJim:

Zionism comes from the bowels of the Old Testament. A book written by Jews for their own self-serving interests.
In a display of chutzpah even more galling than the Balfour Declaration, the first Zionists invented a God who commanded them to commit genocide. After declaring that their god gave them land which had belonged to other people for thousands of years, the spiritual ancestors of today's Zionists embarked upon a campaign of mass murder:
" In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded" (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
The Jebusites were the people of Jerusalem, and like the other nations that were slated for destruction, they had no quarrel with the Israelites. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that The People Of The Book were bent on genocide according to the modern definition of the word:
"They should be utterly destroyed and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses . . Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling..."(Joshua 11:20 . . . First Samuel 15:3).

Then the Jews decided to disperse among charitable nations who provided them with refuge. By the end of the 19th century, using the lessons provided by their religious books, they managed to elevate themselves to positions of economic and political power which enabled them to influence the decisions of the Superpowers that eventually allowed them to reclaim part of the land which they had originally grabbed, claiming that god had promised it to them. But that land was already occupied for thousands of years by the Palestinians; descendants of ancient Philistines, and the Palestinians had to be evicted sometimes by the same methods that the ancient Jews used: Genocide and extermination.

Item: Israel has perpetrated many well documented massacres as well as ethnic cleansing operations against Palestinians http://www.ummah.net/unity/palestine/massacres.htm).

Item: For the past 59 years, Israel has pursued a policy of brutal oppression against a people whose homeland was arbitrarily taken away from them. During the same period, Israeli occupation forces have killed thousands of Palestinians and never hesitated to kill unarmed Palestinian children or to arrest and torture them in order to elicit from them information regarding members of resistance organizations including possibly their parents.

Item: It is documented that a large portion of the US financial aid to Israel is used for the construction of settlements most of which are on illegally occupied territory. Many of the settlement homes are used by American and European Jews as summer vacation or retirement homes.

Item: Whereas Israel owes its existence to a United Nations resolution, it has repeatedly violated the provisions of the U.N. charter and with the concurrence of the United States arrogantly thumbed its nose to subsequent U.N. resolutions regarding its borders, and its persistent violations of the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinians.

Item: The U.S. legislative and executive branches, kowtowing to the powerful Zionist lobby (11 Senators, 26 Congressmen, tens of pro-Zionist organizations, many Zionists in key decision-making positions), have blindly aligned themselves with Israel giving over two hundred billion dollars of US taxpayers' money in economic and military aid to Israel's oppressive regime. US arms were and are still being used against Palestinians. (The total cost in lives and financial resources incurred by the United States in its support for Israel to date is immense).
This selective, one sided, US policy has aptly branded the US as an accomplice to Israel's crimes against the Palestinians and is the root cause of many terrorist acts against the United States.

Item: In the absence of any other rational explanation for the blind subservience to Israeli interests, would it be unreasonable for one to assume that some of the aid funds are sent back to the United States and are given to American-Jewish organizations or individuals who, in turn, pass them on as political contributions to both party candidates for office in order to secure their support for the Israeli cause?

Item: There are some people who say that Israel is a friend of the United States and deserves such unquestioned support. The intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 172 American servicemen http://www.ussliberty.com)is indicative of the absurdity of such blind obsequiousness to Israel. As one of the survivors of the attack stated: "With friends like Israel, the U.S. needs no enemies"

Item: During WWII, in virtually all the Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the patriotic resistance against the occupiers was encouraged and actively supported by the United States. Many of the freedom fighters did not hesitate to place their own lives on the line in the cause of freedom from their Nazi oppressor. The similarity with the acts of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation forces is evident and a distinction should be made between freedom fighters and terrorists.

Item: Many of the past and present Israeli political and military personalities had also been leaders or members of Zionist terrorist organizations such as the 'Irgun Z'vai Leumi', 'Stern Gang', 'Haganah', 'Giddy Paglin', 'Palmach' etc. (The assassination of U.N. mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte was an act of one of these organizations). These Zionist organizations 'wrote the book' on modern terrorism which, until their appearance, constituted but random and isolated acts by anarchists.

Item: When Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel, he had adopted the satanic ploy of demanding from Palestinian Chairman Arafat to "rein in the terrorist groups". This impossible to comply with demand had allowed Sharon to launch his hard line campaign of assassination and destruction with presumed impunity. Unfortunately, this absurd demand had also been echoed by President Bush. Given the facts that there are almost 3.5 million Palestinians living in Israel the West Bank and the other occupied territories and that every Palestinian family has been brutally victimized by the Israeli occupation forces, how in the name of reason could Yasser Arafat know who the next Palestinian -who had had sufficient reasons to seek revenge and, in his or her desperation, was determined to sacrifice his or her life to achieve it- be reined in? Furthermore, How could Arafat arrest resistance fighters when the Israeli occupation forces systematically targeted Palestinian police installations and policemen? Needless to say that similar irrational demands are constantly made on the Palestinians by the intransigent Israeli government. Such demands seem to have one purpose: to stonewall any final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem.


Out of the tragedy of the terrorist atrocities of September 11th, renewed hopes had also emerged that a permanent solution would be found to the 59-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of a solution, and in spite of the obvious ability of the U.S. as the sole Superpower to impose one, we became witnesses to a severe deterioration of the situation with hostilities from both sides. In light of this, the US foreign policy, blatantly supportive of Israel's aggressive posture, has to be re evaluated using more pragmatic and objective criteria. For a correct assessment of that situation, one has to view the above historical facts through their proper perspective. By so doing, one will discover one of the real causes of the September 11th attack on the United States. (The other being the unabashed U.S. support of oppressive regimes in Muslim nations.)

Is there a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The answer is yes. But the solution has to be fair and just, based on international laws and treating both parties impartially and without prejudice.

In order to bring an end to the wanton killings and to the suffering of millions of people, and since the United States government is the key sponsor and supporter of Israel,the initiative rests with the United States. However, any final agreement has to enjoy the concurrence of the United Nations.


Following are some suggestions for a viable solution:

To begin with, an immediate cessation of all hostilities must be IMPOSED by the United Nations on both sides.

The city of Jerusalem should be completely demilitarized and declared a neutral 'Holy City'
protected by the United Nations.

Israel must be compelled to:
1) Withdraw from the occupied territories including all the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights.

2) Accept the creation of an independent Palestinian State.

3) Allow the return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes under the Israeli ethnic
cleansing campaign.

4) Provide just compensation for the homes and lands previously owned by Palestinians and
forcibly appropriated by Israel or return such homes and lands to their rightful owners.

5) Accord and guarantee equal human rights and civil liberties to all Palestinians who choose to
live within Israel as stipulated by the U.N. resolution which created the state of Israel.

6) Adhere to all U.N. resolutions aimed at establishing peace in the region.

The Palestinians:

1) Must accept that the existence of the state of Israel is a fact with which they must live.

2) They must refrain from future hostile acts against Israel.

When Israelis and Palestinians have fulfilled their obligations, the Palestinians can redirect
their energies into building a peaceful and prosperous nation without animosity for their
neighbors. Time can be relied-upon to heal many wounds opened by both sides.

Both sides must exclude the religious fanatics from the peace making processes.

Unless both sides can 'bite the bullet' and sincerely work towards establishing permanent
peace, it is obvious that the world can anticipate the open wound of their conflict to become an
incurable gangrene that would cause the demise of the afflicted and perhaps the entire humankind.


Eileen Fleming:

I remarked to Jerry Levin, my guide through Hebron that Hebron was the most painful place I had ever been.

Levin replied, "You haven't been to Gaza!"

Jerry Levin had been CNN's Mid East Bureau Chief in Lebanon in the 1980's. A secular Jew at the time, he was kidnapped by Hezzbulah and held for nearly a year until he escaped unharmed after having a mystical experience of Jesus on Christmas Eve. Jerry is now a CPT/Christian Peacemaker Team volunteer, one of hundreds of concerned global citizens who guard children going to and from school against the violence of the out of control settlers.


In June of 2005, 450 Israeli settlers and 3,000 IDF populated the once thriving Palestinian city.

Above the narrow winding stoned streets a thick deeply sagging netting is strung for protection from all the huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture and all manner of debris that have been flung onto it by the settlers in hopes it will give way and hit any Palestinian who is passing underneath it.

Many of the formerly Palestinian homes in Hebron have graffiti such as “GAS THE ARABS” and Stars of David painted upon them.


I felt like I had entered into every movie set and photograph I had ever seen of the ghettos during World War II.

When I returned to my room at the Ambassador Hotel that afternoon I had no intention of going back out. But the second I got out of the shower, the phone rang and it was Tony from Ramallah, whom I ‘met’ through the Palestinian Christian Yahoo Group.

Tony just happened to be in Jerusalem that day seeing a Doctor and he invited me to dinner. We walked towards the Old City in search of a restaurant and on our way was St. George Cathedral where Vanunu had been living.

I suggested we stop in and if Vanunu were there we could invite him along. As we entered the courtyard, Vanunu-the whistle blower of Israel's WMD Program was leaving for a meeting.

I imagine if we had arrived a few minutes later we would have missed him completely.

But, that chance meeting led to my opportunity to spend a few hours with Vanunu over the next few days.

I was curious as to what kind of a kid he had been and why he became a Christian.

Those stories are in both my books, but since January 2006, I have been reporting on Vanunu's historic freedom of speech trial and six month sentence for interviews he gave foreign media in 2004. His appeal begins January 8, 2008.

"30 Minutes with Vanunu" taped 2006 is freely streaming on WAWA

Eileen Fleming, Reporter and Editor WAWA:
http://www.wearewideawake.org/

Author "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"

Producer "30 Minutes With Vanunu"


George Robertson:

I would take exception to M. Ogilvy's comment that not a single American has perished in defense of Israel. That's why Bush went into Iraq- because Saddam was arming and financing the suicide bombers. More American soldiers have been killed in Iraq than Israelis were killed by suicide bombers. I don't object to defending Israel within their internationally recognized 1967 borders if FIRST the Israelis will agree to negotiate in good faith with their Arab neighbors and stop trying to steal Arab land one foot at a time. That's what has the entire Arab world enraged at the US- the fact that our government continues to allow Israel to get away with this. This has nothing to do with defense. If Israel were doing this for its self-defense, they would ring the coastal mountain range with settlements and relocate areas like Qalqilya. The Israeli settlers are going right into the heart of the Arab country over top of the water aquifers when they do their settlements. The Israelis are the new kids on the block, plus they have money, so why shouldn't they pay for deslinization of water if they want to continue to live there? Obviously it's a lot easier just to take all the water than to do this. To those who say that this is Israel's land because of something that happened more than 2500 years ago, I hope you would not apply the same logic to native Americans here in the US- we would all have to leave and go back to Europe if native Americans had the military power and political clout to do what Israel is doing. I'm sure the Europeans would be happy to re-settle 300 million of their descendants. See? It works both ways. The Arab refugees, of course, will be re-settled, but they need something to be resettled on. If Israel keeps seizing all the best land, this will not be possible.

Amar C. Bakshi:

Just a quick note. David Wilder represents one of the most hardcore settlements in Israel. Settlers are a small fraction of the Israeli population, and David represents a small fraction of that fraction. So please keep his views in perspective.

I think a fruitful debate could engage the stance of the U.S. toward settlements, and the way to negotiate peace in the face of entrenched resentments.

Also, to give you a brief preview of next week: Monday will most likely have a post again from Hebron. Tuesday will focus on Israeli high-tech and it's linkages to the Silicon Valley and Wednesday will take a look at young soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces operating near Gaza in the town of Sderot.

m.ogilvy:

Ref.WHO DESERVES "PALESTINE" MORE: few peoples in the world have so much to prove that the territory "historically" belongs to them,compared to Jews: from relics in evey corner of the ground, all the way to the Bible,they can prove their link to the Land of Israel, including Hebron which initiated this discussion for a full 3000 years !
Ref.AMERICAN TAXPAYER'S MONEY WASTED ON ISRAEL:It actually is 100% channelled to the USA industry and thus provides jobs in America.On top,for decades the US got paid back by boundless Israeli cooperation in intelligence, defence, technology. America invests a lot more on Arabs and other nations, including the basket case called Egypt,without getting anything in return,except occasional hits such as 9/11.
Ref. the LANDTHAT ISRAEL "STOLE" FROM THE ARABS:
It almost never belonged to an independent arab entity (all current "arab states" are fabrications of the UK&France between WW1 and WW2)
The arabs have nothing to weep about any stolen property.However,they have thievery and phantasy so ingrained in themselves that by repeating the same lie they end up in believing it.Israel was not created by American Marines or British Tommies, but had to fight terrible military odds to re-affirm its right to the land. Not a single American soldier lost his life fighting for Israel...countless have already perished for the sake of the Saudis,Kuwaitis, Iraquis, Lebanese, Afghans etc. etc. Israel is among the leaders at Nasdaq, and Egypt would perish without the yearly American hand-out.
AND THE BEST PART OF IT: Israel is probably the greatest and most unique success story in the annals of human race - Look where the land starved Israel is in 60 years and look where its petro-dollar choked arab opponents are- Its opponents should make no mistake...despite spineless leaders that occasionally emit noises of despair that encourage its enemies, the people of Israel is determined to protect its freedom and its accomplishments.

rk:

While I admit that, combining free land with fundamentalist religion was an inspired tactic, the Israelis have, in the end, created something that now seeks to take over the whole country. The settler movement has become like the fundamentalist mosques in Saudi Arabia, in that they were both funded by governments who are having a difficult time keeping them in check.

Anonymous:

In reading most of the comments on this post supports even more the right of Israel to exist and defend itself against people seen here who call for their destruction. Take away the weapons from the Palestinians and there will be peace. Take them away from Israel and there will be no Israel. Thank goodness the majority of the US has people who care about humanity as opposed to the bigots seen here.

Babyface:

Interesting how an opinion of one person who represents a minority is being often used to generalise. Israel was established on ashes of WWII and after 2000 years of opression mostly by Europeans whose only source of education over centuries were the preaches in churches. Finally, after slaughtering millions of innocent people the jewish nation had the honer to get from the UNO 2 1/2 squer miles of desert, to be shared with Arabs who have already just 22 countries. Now not enough, the arab leaders did not accept it, and attacked Israel the next day it was founded, and certainly are expecting to receive back all the territories after the wars they innitiated and lost. The major difference between jews and arabs is following: For Arabs, it is merely a game to gain even more land and influence, for jews it is not more and not less a survival question - without an Israel there will be whithin the next couple years a second Holocaust - but this time much more effective than the Germans have orchestrated based on christian rased hatred and with help of almost all European countries. Computers and loss of privacy will deliver the last jew hidden in the basement. Therefore, the once who preach against Israel are preaching for the next Holocaust - whether knowingly, or not; whether negligent, or not - for the killed once this fact won't make any diference. And then, once it's fullfilled, then we will start building the museums and remember, what a beutifull nation those jews were, Einstein, and thousands other genies who contributed so much to our culture and knowledge.
Regards

Mack:

Come on guys!
Let us be friends. Forget and forgive mistakes that our parents made. Let it be peace and tranquillity all over the world. Life is short, please don’t make it shorter. Be wise, this is a historical opportunity to show what true humanity means. World belongs to no one, we are here only today, but humanity deserve to survive.
Peace be with you all

chekhov:

The UN would have been much wiser to give the Jewish people a corner of Nebraska as a homeland. But the deed is done, and Israelis should be happy with this and get back inside the UN borders. God chose one group of people over another? Give me a break. I hate to disappoint the settlers, but God and I had coffee the other day, and, since I picked up the tab, He told me that the West Bank was mine. Will all the settlers please get off my land? You have until Tuesday.

Tim:

What happens in the long run when two peoples in such a small country try to outbreed each other?

George Robertson:

I think that Harry Truman and Richard Nixon, both strong supporters of Israel, would be horrified at what their generosity to Israel has yielded. That's what's wrong in this whole debate. This is why the Arabs opposed Israel's right to exist in 1947; they thought if you let them have a separate state they would then try to take over the whole country, so they kept trying to destroy it and it finally backfired on them in 1967. Then after 1973 when the Arab states were willing to sit down to discuss a peace treaty with Israel, Kissinger did everything he could to stop it. He got the Syrians and Egyptians to accept UN forces separating them from Israel. Israel then lost all interest in negotiating a peace treaty until Jimmy Carter twisted their arms to sign the Camp David treaty with Egypt. In that treaty, Israel pomised not to settle the territories they had occupied in 1967, which they have since violated in spades. Why? Because they knew that the Soviet Union was teetering on the verge of collapse, and that there might be the possibility of a million or more Russian refugees- some of whom they hoped to siphon off as settlers. That's pretty much what happened later on in the 1990s. With that source gone, now they hope to lure in more people like the David in this article. Every year that goes by, more and more Arab land is lost to the settlements. The American news media seldom reports that there are now 60,000 Israeli settlers in the Golan Heights also, which is why Syria is so concerned about the situation. And then we wonder why the Arabs hate us for supporting Israel? Is it any wonder the Arabs are upset with Israel? The only solution is to do like the first President Bush tried to do, and cut off funding for the settlements. That's what forced Israel into the Oslo negotiations. If Clinton had kept up that kind of pressure, there would have been a peace. Of course, Bush has caved-in so much to the Israel lobby that he's never even tried to make a peace until now when it suits his purposes of having a united front behind his back when he attacks Iran.
When all sides can acknowledge factual issues and deal with them, instead of spouting political or religious rhetoric, there may be some hope for a peace.

George Robertson:

I think that Harry Truman and Richard Nixon, both strong supporters of Israel, would be horrified at what their generosity to Israel has yielded. That's what's wrong in this whole debate. This is why the Arabs opposed Israel's right to exist in 1947; they thought if you let them have a separate state they would then try to take over the whole country, so they kept trying to destroy it and it finally backfired on them in 1967. Then after 1973 when the Arab states were willing to sit down to discuss a peace treaty with Israel, Kissinger did everything he could to stop it. He got the Syrians and Egyptians to accept UN forces separating them from Israel. Israel then lost all interest in negotiating a peace treaty until Jimmy Carter twisted their arms to sign the Camp David treaty with Egypt. In that treaty, Israel pomised not to settle the territories they had occupied in 1967, which they have since violated in spades. Why? Because they knew that the Soviet Union was teetering on the verge of collapse, and that there might be the possibility of a million or more Russian refugees- some of whom they hoped to siphon off as settlers. That's pretty much what happened later on in the 1990s. With that source gone, now they hope to lure in more people like the David in this article. Every year that goes by, more and more Arab land is lost to the settlements. The American news media seldom reports that there are now 60,000 Israeli settlers in the Golan Heights also, which is why Syria is so concerned about the situation. And then we wonder why the Arabs hate us for supporting Israel? Is it any wonder the Arabs are upset with Israel? The only solution is to do like the first President Bush tried to do, and cut off funding for the settlements. That's what forced Israel into the Oslo negotiations. If Clinton had kept up that kind of pressure, there would have been a peace. Of course, Bush has caved-in so much to the Israel lobby that he's never even tried to make a peace until now when it suits his purposes of having a united front behind his back when he attacks Iran.
When all sides can acknowledge factual issues and deal with them, instead of spouting political or religious rhetoric, there may be some hope for a peace.

David Ellis:

No one ever says the Arabs don't have their problems. They most certainly do. And no one ever says the zionists are the only people to practice racism and ethnic cleansing; they most certainly are not. But facts are facts, and the facts of Israel's creation are truly sickening. So is the story of the American Indians. But one can be dealt with, while the other is basically history.

Why do most of the Israel defenders I read here start in the MIDDLE of the story? Yes, it's true, there have been many Arab attacks on Jews since 1917, when Britain decided to give Palestinian land to Jewish settlers. Who can possibly blame them? Are they supposed to say, "Here, Mr. Chosen One, take my land. Take my house. Take my wife..." C'mon, folks.

My point is this: Once a war is started, like the zionist's war against the Palestinians was started in 1917, there will always be those who choose to fight, rather than submit to occupation. And the hatred grows stronger every year, on both sides. But in this particular conflict, one side clearly started it all. And it WASN'T the Palestinians.

And to NOT IN MY NAME, I'll say this: If you are really a Palestinian and you really don't want me to defend you, with WORDS, not weapons, fine. I'll quit now. But I'm not going to shut up about our American soldiers who are dying right now doing Israel's dirty work. Nor about the Iraqis and the sick war the zionist neocons have started there. And now that we're probably days away from war with Iran, when is a good time to get mad enough to tell the zionist neo-cons to *&%#$ off?

DWayne:

Bakunin:

I am proud that my tax dollars support the people of faith like this settler! God has given this land to Israel, which is clearly written in the Bible.
****************************************************

You obviously know NOTHING about the truth in the Torah.
Here's a fact for you. There are more true Jews in Iran than there are in occupied Palestine.
Just because the zionists call themselves Jews doesn't make them true Jews.
Just like George Bush calling himself a conservative doesn't make him one.
The terrorist state of israel in blasphemy.

DWayne:

david says, A bumper sticker on David's front door reads, "Without Arabs, there would be no terrorism."
****************************************************

What this really means is that the israelis have no intention of ending their terrorism until there are NO Arabs left living in Palestine or the middle east.
Until then the israelis will continue with their war of terrorism.

Zevonsky:

Bakunin: Frankly, I don't think my American tax dollars should be spent on delusional zealots on the other side of the world living out their personal fantasies at the expense of all around them. I wouldn't want you to pay taxes to support madrassas, Taliban training camps, or any other extremist's pet cause that has nothing to do with our national interest.

I'm getting pretty sick and tired of remote-control Israeli wannabes who act like they're front-line settlers while having all the benefits of living in the United States. If it's so important that you support settlers like these, make a contribution to whatever sect you belong to, or move to Israel.

DWayne:

The zionist state of israel in occupied Palestine is the enemy of every non zionist in the world.
This terrorist state should be destroyed by any means possible.

m.ogilvy:

How many "Palestinians" are there ? About 5 million (!).
How many would want to emigrate into Israel, if given a chance ? About 15 million !!
The muslim world is full with millions of "Palestinians"...Arabs are flooding into "hated / fascist / racist" Israel not only from neighbouring Gaza,Jordan,Iraq, but also from as far as Sudan.With a personal income of a couple of US$ per day, these universal "Palestinians" will allways flock into hated Israel where they know there is medical care,social insurance,jobs and minimum wages of a thousand dollars per month,plus freedom of speech, a working judicial system,full women's rights,free press...things arabs can only dream of in most of the so called arab "states". The same thing was true in the late 19th &early 20th centuries where job opportunities created by Palestinian Jews attracted arab migrants from all around. The arabs and their advocates are not after freedom, a modern & prosperous life for the arabs...they rather have Israel's destruction at hearth. Many left-wing Israelis thought the arabs will turn Gaza into a dynamo like Hong-Kong,once the whole territory with its vibrant agriculture was turned over to them.Instead the Gazan arabs chose to live in ruination,as long as they have the gratification of lobbing a few rockets onto the green lawns of their neighbours,on the Israeli side. So, David of Hebron is right, the gullible leftist Israelis and Western patrons of jihadi arabs totally proven wrong, again. If Uncle Sam had the guts and the means, he would have compelled the despotic rulers of the arabs&Iranians to turn their attention inwards, improve the lot of their populace,terminate exporting islamo-fascism and terror,and be grateful to the "Colonial" powers that granted to them endless territories replete with petrol.

Bakunin:

I am proud that my tax dollars support the people of faith like this settler! God has given this land to Israel, which is clearly written in the Bible. The Arabs have 24 countries and we can help them to return to Arabia as did the Germans after the Second World War. But the Arabs are insisting on remaining on whatever lands and countries they have conquered. Where are the Egyptians, the Babilonians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Sumerians, the Berbers, the Christians of the Levant and all other nations fallen under the Arab invasions? Why does only the Arab nation dominate such an extremely rich and diverse [in the past] ancient lands of the Middle East? Why should the Arbas receive a special treatment on the terms of modern Western humanity if they have themselves exterminated all these nations? The only solution to Palestine problem is an organized relocation of the Arab settlers, multiplying at the speed of hurricane, back to Arabia.

Anonymous:

Currently there are about 5,000,000 Arabs who claim to be "refugees" from Israel.
In most of the world, according to the definition used by the UN Commisioner for Refugees a "refugee" is a person who has been expelled from his indigenous country. The exception is Palestine. Here, anyone who had been in Palestine for at least two years in 1948, was considered to be a refugee. In fact, they didn't even have to prove that to gain food and shelter from the refugee camps established by UNRWA. A high official of that organization said they did not ask anyone in need to leave.

In any event, about 600,000 to 700,000 left Israel. Most left of their own accord. Some were expelled for military reasons.

Also, in 1948 or thereafter, Jews living in Arab countries were expelled or fled for their lives, many required to leave without the opportunity to sell their real property or to bring with them their money or personal property. These numbered about 700,000 to 800,000. These fled, for the most part, to Israel where they were integrated into the economic and social life of the country. In contrast, the Arabs who fled Israel were denied the opportunity to work in the countries to which they had fled or to become citizens of those countries. They were kept festering in camps so that they could focus their rage on Israel.

Several hundred thousand Arabs were permitted to return to Israel under a program permitting families to be reunited. That stopped not too long ago when Israel found that those admitted under that program were terrorists or aiding terrorists.

Israel had a policy shortly after 1948 of permitting back into Israel, those Arabs who were willing to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors. You can understand why not that many came back. That was the condition in UN Resolution 242 that is frequently cited as being violated by the Israelis. No one ever focuses on the condition of willingness "to live in peace with their neighbors".

Few of the original 700,000 are still alive. The remaining 4,300,000+ are children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who have never even seen the places from which they are supposed to have come from.