Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 15, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ISRAEL AND THE BLOGOSPHERE.....Via email, Matt Yglesias suggests that I address the topic of why the liberal blogosphere doesn't write very much about Israel-related subjects. I can only speak for myself, of course, and my own reasons for light blogging on this subject are both predictable and banal. Still, here they are:

  1. It sparks unusually vicious comment threads, something this blog hardly needs since comments here spin out of control often enough anyway. Needless to say, this phenomenon is fairly universal. For examples, see here and here.

    (In case you're curious, the other subjects that seem to spawn more venom than usual are posts related to religion or feminism.)

  2. The fight between Israel and the Palestinians is over half a century old and seems intractable. It follows the same rhythms decade after decade, full of hypocrisy and posturing from both camps, and there seems little to say about it that doesn't eventually boil down to, "Both sides need to ratchet down the rhetoric and rein in their own extremists." Aside from being pointless, there are only just so many ways you can say this.

    (NB: This may be a plausible excuse for inaction coming from a pundit or a blogger, but it's worth pointing out that it's not a plausible excuse for a president of the United States. Are you listening, George?)

  3. The conflict is fantastically complex, and the partisans on both sides are mostly people who have been following events with fanatical attention to detail for many decades. Ordinary observers can hardly compete in this atmosphere do you know the detailed history and long-accepted norms of behavior that have developed in the conflict over the Shebaa Farms since 1967? and this has produced an almost codelike language of its own over the years. One misuses this code at ones peril (see #5 below).

  4. As with the conflict itself, punditry is heavily dominated by extremists on both sides. I normally take my cues on subjects I'm inexpert in from people whose sensibilities are similar to mine, but it's nearly impossible to figure out who those people might be in this case.

  5. Related to 1 and 3, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism. (I gather that the opposite is more frequently the case in Europe.) Language is actually as big a problem as substance here, since words and phrases that are used innocently often have specific meanings to longtime partisans that are unknown to the rest of us.

I guess that's about it. As usual, however, I'd add that liberals have a bigger problem here than conservatives. As near as I can tell, most conservatives simply take the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way. The fact that this hasn't worked very well in the past doesn't deter them. Liberals don't really have a similarly undemanding position that's suitable for the quick-hit nature of blogging.

Of course, in the same email Matt pointed out that "you can't hermetically seal Israel issues off from Iraq issues or Iran issues or even really big-picture questions about what our general attitude toward the war on terrorism or the United Nations ought to be." True enough. Maybe we should all be trying harder and not letting feeble excuses like #1-5 get in our way. I'm not making any promises, though.

Kevin Drum 1:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (161)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Well, if the neo-cons like Bill Kristol have their way, you better start brushing up. See Glenn Greenwald today and the idea that Israel's enemies are our enemies and that we need to bring it on in Israel, Syria and Iran. A political blog will be pretty lame without an opinion on an active war.

Posted by: Martin on July 15, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Related to 1 and 3, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism.

And for good reason. Look at the leftist blogosphere's hatred of Joe Lieberman. Liberals hate him because of his pro-Israel stance. The liberation of Iraq resulted in greater security for Israel and liberals don't care. But liberals can't be honest about their anti-Semitism against Lieberman and other people of the Jewish faith so they decided to make up the word "neo-conservative" which is just a code word for Jew. When liberals attack their political opponents as neo-conservatives, this is just a code word by liberals labeling someone as being Jewish.

Posted by: Al on July 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

it's not a plausible excuse for a president of the United States

Why on earth not? Putting myself in GWB's velcro-closured shoes, I can easily imagine setting ideal, yet completely unrealistic, goals which need be met before the US will get involved, on either side.

Posted by: biff3000 on July 15, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals don't hate Lieberman because of his pro-Israel stance. We hate him because of his pro-Bush stance.

Posted by: don Hosek on July 15, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

You're all anti-semetic.

Posted by: Al on July 15, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"punditry is heavily dominated by extremists on both sides."

Kevin, I think this statement is ludicrous. The punditry is obviously dominated by people with non-extreme but strongly pro-Israel views. It also includes some people with extreme pro-Israel views, like William Krystal. (And the term pro-Israel is misleading since to be pro-Palestinian independence IS to be pro-Israel). The only pundits who get air-time who can be called pro-Palestianian are Novak and Buchanan, but their views (on this one issue) are hardly extreme.

Please name one well-known pundit who has extreme pro-Palestian views. Just one. Otherwise please retract the statement.

Posted by: david mizner on July 15, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

As a jewish-American, I have to say Kevin is right. There is little point in commenting, and little new to be said. Both sides behave poorly. Israel should behave better, and I do expect them to behave better because they are a western democracy. The arabs should behave better, but do you really expect that they will. The situation is sad, but except for oil, it would not be our problem. Let's work on energy independence and walk away.

Posted by: pete on July 15, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Put UN peacekeepers on the ground in Palestine and force the parties to the table. Bold and decisive decision-making usually trumps "intractable".

Posted by: Jimm on July 15, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

So when are we going to get an Amy post on religion and democrats' inattention thereto? I want to participate in a shitstorm.

Posted by: nut on July 15, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK
Look at the leftist blogosphere's hatred of Joe Lieberman. Liberals hate him because of his pro-Israel stance.

No, liberals hate him because of his his pro-Republican-talking-point stances. Virtually every Democratic senator is "pro-Israel"; the unique distaste for Lieberman has nothing to do with Israel.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 15, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

"liberals have a bigger problem here than conservatives."

Maybe so, because to be against Palestianian independence is to be anti-liberal. Sorry but there's only one valid, intellectually honest liberal position to hold.

Please explain: how can you be a liberal and support the occupation of a people?

Posted by: david mizner on July 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. A blogger admitting he doesn't write about something because he doesn't know as much about the subject as he should? Most refreshing piece of honesty I'll see all day outside of catching bits of The Colbert Report or The Daily Show.

Posted by: Nathan64 on July 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

p.s. I don't care much about the history, but making it "history". And I'm not ashamed to say I desire this for the good of America. Letting Israel control the ground has allowed this to become "intractable". Put the UN peacekeepers, and you effectively declaw all parties, making them stay on best behavior in order to wrangle the best deal out of the Security Council-led negotiations (which ought to start with Geneva Accord parameters).

This problem is not intractable, it's just enabled by powerful allies until the desired party gets what it wants.

Posted by: Jimm on July 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

I never knew Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald were anti-semites. Go figure.

Posted by: Jeff Fecke on July 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals don't really have a similarly undemanding position that's suitable for the quick-hit nature of blogging.

This is because liberals want to wish away the problem too while sucking up to the pro-Israeli lobby, which only hopes to extend the conflict so that more ground can be taken before final resolution.

The honest and principled liberal position should be taking away the keys from all parties in the conflict, since all have been shown unfit to drive, and compel a solution through the UN. This will not happen, or the hope of such happening by keeping tensions low, if Israel dominates the air and ground space of Palestine.

UN peacekeepers need to be put in Palestine, and this conflict (the most overt parts of it, including the Israeli occupation) resolved. The Geneva Accord is more than fair to all parties, and can be the basis for beginning negotiations, which should not be allowed to go on too long, or far afield.

Posted by: Jimm on July 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK
Put the UN peacekeepers, and you effectively declaw all parties, making them stay on best behavior in order to wrangle the best deal out of the Security Council-led negotiations (which ought to start with Geneva Accord parameters).

UN peacekeepers only work where both sides are committed to peace (even if only from exhaustion) and the peacekeepers serve to provide security for both sides; distrust of the international community and UN—for good cause— on both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict mean that simply putting in UN peacekeepers won't help, particularly with a typical mandate.

It might be possible to do something if major world powers made a major commitment of force to both provide security for (for instance) Lebanon and Palestine while actively taking on the extremists there, though that would be a complete disaster without significant local support (enough to give the security forces pretty much completely free reign) on the Arab side, and would require a credible threat of waging war with Israel without restraint if necessary.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 15, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Once peacekeepers are in place, and negotiations begun, all parties will need to be on their best behavior, or face being left out and having no basis for appeal to the international community.

Once the agreement is in place, the most onerous standards of respect between peoples and states will be held on all parties. Those who break this will be targeted as international rogues and pariah and dealt with decisively and accordingly.

Posted by: Jimm on July 15, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think that the primary reasons are fear of being attacked as an anti-Semite, and unwillingness to even seem to oppose Israel. Israel is a foreign nation and any two nations disagree from time to time, but if you suggest that the US supports Israel too much of the time, you're accused of being the new Eichmann.

The worst, most intransigent elements in Israeli society, American society, and Palestinian society are cooperating to make sure that this war has not peaceful or compromise outcome. The odds are that the Israelis will succeed in destrpying the Palestinians entirely in the long run, with full American support all the way. However, if America slips seriously, it's possible that the Palestinians will succeed in destroying Israel, and that's what the fiercest Palestinian militants are hoping for.

There are many compromise possibilities in between, theoretically, but they are not real because there are too manby people on all three sides intent on wrecking any compromise.

If the US committment to Israel were less absolute, and if the US crazies didn't egg the Israeli crazies on, Israel would be better off, and at least some Israelis know this.

Posted by: humble blogger on July 15, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

A sensible and convincing post, Kevin. I agree exactly with the points you raise. I once ventured a remark to the effect that the Israelis, in one specific instance a year or so ago, seemed overbearing and the person I was talking to immediately accused me of anti-semitism, in spite of the fact that she knows me well and knows I am in no degree anti-semitic. It's just a reflex...

Posted by: LeisureGuy on July 15, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

You should just always trust my judgement. It's much simpler =)

Posted by: Brian Ulrich on July 15, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it would be that hard cmdicely. Most of the tensions arise from Israel being a heavy-handed force in control of the ground. Hamas and Hezbollah are not going to act against UN peacekeepers as they would Israeli ground troops, especially if they are as externally controlled by Iran and Syria as Israel likes to claim. The Palestinian bitterness mainly stems from being dictated terms by the "bully" with the massive army and air power (Israel).

Take away the "bully", put in the UN peacekeepers, install the new UN "bully", compel both parties to the table, and we'll be much further along. We can't eliminate all conflicts, but we can eliminate the statelessness of Palestine, and make the issues much more clear after that, in terms of aggression.

Those who are afraid to take decisive action because they aren't sure it will work don't really understand that it's not only "not working" right now, but spiralling into epochal violence and threatening other nations' security.

Therefore, we must act decisively to change course, and at the very least to clarify the situation so that Palestine has a state and if aggression continues after that from one party against another they will know that the UN and international community is pledged to stamp out that aggression one way or the other.

Posted by: Jimm on July 15, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum:

As near as I can tell, most conservatives simply take the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way.

As near as I can tell, the U.S. government simply takes the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way.

But as near as I can see, the U.S. government, which serves as the security arm of the corporate state, has a vested interest in the oil reserves of the region. By means of protection agreements with local oppressors, it extracts and depletes a resource rightfully belonging to the entire population. While the oppressors are kept rich in exchange for their cooperation, they are also kept weak, lest they be empowered enough to throw off the corporate bandits. This weakness allows discontent to foment into the formation of groups dedicated to freedom and self-rule. Under the banner of religion, because their oppressors use it to appease them, they strike out at the U.S. corporatists' client state, Israel, its brutal local policeman, which is also appeased by a phony respect for its religion.

So you're right - it's not complicated at all.

Posted by: DDE on July 15, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

But liberals can't be honest about their anti-Semitism against Lieberman and other people of the Jewish faith so they decided to make up the word "neo-conservative" which is just a code word for Jew.


...funny. Talk about deflection. Neo-con is code for Nazi. It's the religious right who want to save Israel. But that's all. It's the rest of the neo-con right who hate the "liberal jew-owned newspapers and media" , ad nauseum......

But the kool-ade drinkers of the Neo-con Copy and Paste keyboarders don't see the contradictory "flip flop" of what they are saying. It's all in a vacuum.

Figures.

Posted by: jcricket on July 15, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone is interested in what it's like being on the other end of Israel's "self defense" can come seem my blog.

My friends and I are pretty much holed up in Beirut while Israel bombs the country back twenty years. It's pretty easy to criticize Israel when you can't sleep at night because of the Isreali shelling that's destroying Lebanon's infrastructure.

Posted by: sean on July 15, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Isreal seems to have a policy of creating "failed states" on its boarders. How is this a good long term policy? I am puzzled.

Posted by: dilbert dogbert on July 15, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sean's URL:

http://www.thehumanprovince.blogspot.com/

Posted by: humble blogger on July 15, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Great, I now await your grrlfriend Althouse's informing her readers yet again that email is used to control left wing bloggers while right wing conservatards only use blogs. All hail Matt!\

Anti-semitism in left bloggers Al? That's right, as Ezra said the other day, Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias, Max Sawicky, and Lindsay Beyerstein, are all anti-semites. Duncan Black would have been gassed too, so he is also a self-loating anti-semite. Feingold, Clark (!), Boxer, Sanders, Kerry (!), all anti-semites.

Most American Jews, self-loathing anti-semites.

Me? Al-loathing self-loathing American Jewish anti-semite. Well 1/2 is true.

Posted by: jerry on July 15, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I'm sorry if the notion that Israel has the right to respond to terrorist attacks isn't complicated enough for you. Maybe they should talk about their feelings instead, over some nice tofu?

Posted by: American Hawk on July 15, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Related to 1 and 3, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism.

Wow. I've read a few comments on this thread agreeing with this and I just have no idea where it comes from. Either online or in real life, when talking to fellow liberals I am often the only one to defend Israel, which I tend to (try to) do as calmly and objectively as possible while being screamed at by anyone in the vicinity. We must be hanging out in different places. Wanna switch?

Posted by: Kiril on July 15, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kiril, you lead a sheltered life.

Posted by: humble blogger on July 15, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum wrote "posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism." Not only that, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Israelis run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of bias against Palestinians, Moslems, and Arabs.

david mizner wrote "The punditry is obviously dominated by people with non-extreme but strongly pro-Israel views." In the New York Times that may be true, but on the left, far from it. Pacifica Radio is way, way off the deep end in suppressing anything even slightly pro-Israel and is practically a propaganda arm of Hamas. Salon continually runs news and opinion that blames Israel for everything. The leftist press in the United States, both news and editorial, overwhelmingly sides with the Palestinians at every turn.

dilbert dogbert wrote "Isreal seems to have a policy of creating 'failed states' on its boarders." Withdrawing from Gaza and leaving behind some newly-enhanced functioning greenhouses that provide nice income for the local population demonstrates a policy of creating a successful state on its border. It was the Palestinians who chose for that to fail, not the Israelis.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 15, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Matt pointed out that "you can't hermetically seal Israel issues off from Iraq issues or Iran issues or even really big-picture questions about what our general attitude toward the war on terrorism or the United Nations ought to be."

But that is exactly what almost all Americans do.

Posted by: James E. Powell on July 15, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

unfortunately, Kevin, this appears to be a concession that palestine is yet another topic on which we are willing to cede the parameters of the discussion to the right wingnut viewpoint.

Posted by: Nads on July 15, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Absolutely. Well-made points.

I know anti-semitism when I see it -- and I scourge it mightily. "karen" and "tj" know when they're around and start in with their "stealth Jews" theory that they're in for an ass-whuppin' in the most vulgar language I can invent :)

But I'm still on the balance pro-Palestinian and believe that the creation of Israel cast the first stone.

A complicated situation? Sure. Morally ambiguous? -- not so much.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 15, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

david mizner wrote "The punditry is obviously dominated by people with non-extreme but strongly pro-Israel views." In the New York Times that may be true, but on the left, far from it. Pacifica Radio is way, way off the deep end in suppressing anything even slightly pro-Israel and is practically a propaganda arm of Hamas. Salon continually runs news and opinion that blames Israel for everything. The leftist press in the United States, both news and editorial, overwhelmingly sides with the Palestinians at every turn.
Posted by: Anomalocaris

I'm curious, do you seriously think that salon's and pacifica's coverage reach an equal fraction of the population as the NYT's??? and why stop with the pro-israel stance of the NYT ... why not add CNN, wash post, LA times???

I could only wish that liberal media were as influential as the default pro-israeli lobby. Then maybe we'd have some balance in our palestine/israel coverage.

It's exactly this kind of false equivalency which people use to justify israeli aggression, which somehow invariably seems to lead to more palestinian civilian deaths than does the reverse situation.

Posted by: Nads on July 15, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kiril, you lead a sheltered life.

Ha! How did you know I'm from New Orleans?

Posted by: Kiril on July 15, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Examine the Facts:

Israel is a state defined by total domination by one racial sub-group (in this case, a particular group of semite tribes) and the dominance of a single state religion (Judasim).

Fact: To establish this state, the Zionists took land and personal property at gunpoint from other people already living there. The peoples already living in Palestine were defined as 'aliens', 'stateless peoples' and regarded as part of a 'population problem' (genetic/cultural impurity) that needed to be driven out.

Fact: The Western democracies were complicit in this theft... especially the United States and Great Britian.

Fact: Israel iteslf was established largely through terrorist acts. Israeli PM Mehachim Begin was the leading terrorist bomber of his era and Israeli PM Yitzak Shamir, an asassin. (the list goes on).

Fact: To maintain their racial/religous domination, Israelis have established an aparthied state supported by the best weaponry that money can buy.

Fact: To maintain their racial/religous domination of the region, the Israelis have invested tremendous amounts of money in establishing political operations and media outlets in the United States which dominate that 'operational theater'.

Fact: Any criticism of Israeli or Zionist policies in the United States will result in swift and well-coordinated retribution by their political operatives.

Fact: Politicians and pundits alike tremble in fear of the Israeli lobby... and that's why you won't see much blog activity on this subject.

In the longer run, the establishment of an Israeli state will go down in the history books as the greatest injustice of our times. (Should we survive long enough for history books to be written).

Any qestions?

Nice little article here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)

Posted by: Buford on July 15, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Alright -- here's a summation of my views on the situation from a thread yesterday. It's pretty much the alpha and omega of my stance on Israel / Palestine -- and I'm sure it's going to provoke some Israel supporters into fearsome rebuttals.

As somebody famous once said, "Bring it on!"

Mike K:

Okay you wanna know the bottom line for me, Mike? Israel -- or rather
the international community in the horrific aftermath of WW2 and the
Holocaust -- perpetrated the first wrong.

The problem isn't political Zionism. Hertzl would've taken parts of
New Zealand, Uganda or perhaps even Antartica. The problem isn't
"Zionism = racism." The problem is *religious* Zionism, which equates
one's holy book with a retroactive land contract. If European Jews had
to displace a previously settled population, doubtless they'd see it
in more self-refective and equitable terms if the land in question
wasn't granted by God to Moses.

Jews had been settling in Palestine since at least the latter 19th
century, with very little problems with the locals. They had good
relations with the Arabs who had lived there for centuries, and some
of that is because Muslim culture -- at least when it's the dominant
party -- feels less threatened by outsiders in its midst than
civilized Christian Europe at the time.

But then after '48, Jews from ravaged Europe began pouring in by the
thousands. Relations with the locals quickly deteriorated, and Jewish
terrorist groups practiced ethnic cleansing in a brutal fashion. This
was the beginning of the emnity between the two sides that has little
to do with some abstract racial/religious hatred than it does with
simply the history of that time. Prosperous Arabs had their land
stolen and their livelihoods taken away. How would you or your family
feel?

Now -- I agree that the Jews needed a homeland after WW2. "Never
Again!" is not an empty slogan for me. But simultaneously, it's simply
wrong to transplant the problems of centuries of European
anti-semitism onto a population that had, before '48, always treated
the Jews in their midst equitably.

The Jews who poured into Palestine were the cream of European
civilization. Highly educated technical people who felt that they
could "make the desert bloom" and use the land more profitably than
the Arabs who had lived their way of life virtually unchanged since
Biblical times. This imparted a "Manifest Destiny" quality to the
settlement of Israel right at the very dawning of the anti-colonial
age, when Europe was about to start relinquishing her colonies in the
name of national self-determination.

America had acted out of a similar Manifest Destiny and decimated --
even genocided -- whole swaths of indigenous North Americans. Israel
was attempting to get away with that 100 years and more after we did
it -- right at the dawn of the age of the 1948 UN Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.

Many Americans feel horrifically guilty about what we did to the
Native Americans. Many Israelis -- especially on the right -- seem to
be in deep denial about this central fact of the forming of their
nation.

Thus it's not remotely anti-semitism (you should see me attack rabid
anti-semites on this blog) that motivates my bias towards the
Palestinians -- but rather a historically justified sense of fairness.

I'm Irish-American, after all. I don't need to hate the English people
(I love them, actually) or support the "real IRA" to hate what the
British did to my country of origin.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 15, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

hawk, i know conservatives hate peace. what's more fun than counting corpses, right? but israelis and arabs have been shooting each other for nearly sixty years and the only thing its accomplished is creating a nice market for arms dealers and morticians. i don't want to see arms dealers nor morticians starve, but you know only idiots keep trying the same failed behavior for this long and expecting it to succeed. israel has every right to defend itself and so do the palestinians. the only way to stop the violence is for both sides to recognize that fact and to stop shooting at each other and start talking. obviously this is not an easy task but your beloved w might want to use the prestige of his office and this great country to attempt to broker some kind of deal. it'll probably fail, but what is there to lose at this point? ok hawk?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on July 15, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Neo-con is code for Nazi

Usually, but not always.
The tin-foil hat brigade see the neo-cons, and their attempts at government, as puppets of Israel.
All of whom together are trying to destroy our American way of life. [You know there are many Walmarts where you cannot buy a gun? Proof!]

Mmmmmmmmm Tofu

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 15, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I can appreciate the perils of the Israel/Palestine debate but it is of central importance to American foreign policy. The invasion of Iraq has made understanding the issue essential. It would be fine to avoid it if this were a blog about Dutch politics.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 15, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

When, exactly, and why, were the beliefs, obsessions, and blind spots of the Israeli right incorporated so unquestioningly into American conservatism?

I'm not really asking so much about the "neocons" themselves, like Feith, Wurmser, and the like. I'm more curious about why so many other conservatives without the same dual loyalties all seem to toe the same line anyway. What's their excuse?

I'm also aware of the alliance of convenience with the Christian evangelicals, but that doesn't explain everything either. Reagan was genuinely sympathetic to Israel, but he never adopted the Likud agenda as his own (let alone launching a war in the region to help "secure the realm"). Why and how did we get from his kind of approach to that of the Powerline guys? Just wondering.

Posted by: nandrews3 on July 15, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

The only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue is to turn Jerusalem over to the Buddhists.

Think about it.

The Nobel peace prize winning Dahli Lhamma is an internationally respected figure. Having been expelled from Lhasha, he needs a base of operations, which Jerusalem could fill quite nicely.

It actually happens to be a point of Buddhist doctrine that one can simultaously be a Buddhist and either a Jew or a Muslim ( or both - so far as the Buddhists are concerned ). Therefore there should be no religious issues.

The benefits abound.

Posted by: Thinker on July 15, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think "conservatives" are just happy with the status quo. As long as the body count is 10 to 1. It's hard to believe that they really think excessive military force and failed states are going to bring an end to terrorism. Well, I guess if they believed the flower throwing nonsense in Iraq . . .

Posted by: B on July 15, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

The fight between Israel and the Palestinians is over half a century old and seems intractable.

This is a rather narrow lens. It's probably better to view the conflict from the late 19th century, when Zionists start getting their act together. If you go back that far, the "complexities" you lament tend to dissolve a bit and the narrative of colonisation and ethnic cleansing, on which the state of Israel is based, pops its ugly head to the surface. At least, then, you're forced to deal with it. If you only go back to '48, it's quite easy to see the conflict primarily as an "intractable" battle between Jews and militant Arabs.

It follows the same rhythms decade after decade, full of hypocrisy and posturing from both camps, and there seems little to say about it that doesn't eventually boil down to, "Both sides need to ratchet down the rhetoric and rein in their own extremists."

Please. You could say the same thing about anything. Why follow American politics when it invariably "follows the same rhythms decade after decade." This is bullshit and anti-historical.

As with the conflict itself, punditry is heavily dominated by extremists on both sides.

Hahaha. Name me one prominent, "extremist" pro-Palestinian commentator in the American media. You can't.

The debate in this country is dominated by the Israeli point of view, with a good number of the pundits being extremist zealots who'd have no trouble seeing all of historic Palestine ethnically cleansed of Palestinian Arabs.

At bottom, there's no balance in the American media when it comes to the I/P conflict and by failing to challenge the bias -- or at least keep it in check -- you privilege the Israel narrative.

...posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism.

And your point is? Does that mean you should shut up about something, just because you're afraid someone's going to call you a bad name? If you don't harbor anti-Semitic feelings, you really shouldn't be all that concerned about people calling you one. Especially when it's widely acknowledged that the label of 'anti-Semite' is systematically abused by those that want to hush up any criticism of Israel.

In general, the key point is that the I/P conflict pops up in discussion here, and generally elsewhere, only when something bad happens to Israel. Palestinians are trampled on every day and nary a peep is heard about their plight in the media.

The fact that this blog was virtually silent throughout June, when Gaza was being pummeled and strangled by Israel, with scores of civilians killed and wounded, is quite telling.

Kevin, I'm sorry, but this ham handed approach of an explanation to why you don't post about the conflict is, in itself, offensive.

Posted by: Bill on July 15, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin is both smart and honest on political issues, but he is normally very weak on military issues and foreign issues in general. This post supports my view.

First, Kevin acknowledges that he is "inexpert" on the subject. Then, he proceeds to declare the current situation as a "fight between Israel and the Palestinians" and that Israel's approach has not worked very well in the past. The current situation is not Israel versus Palestinians, and Israel's past approach has been very successful in winning wars, and establishing and maintaining a free and democratic country against the hostility and efforts of hundreds of millions of enemies seeking to destroy it. I think Kevin's weaknesses on these issues are generally representative of liberal thought, although the issue does not break down as easily on liberal/conservative lines as many other issues.

Posted by: brian on July 15, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is nationalism. It is the appreciation of power for powers sake- the right of the strong to dominate the weak because of Providence, or the Will of God or the Will of the People or of the blessings of history.

There is also a family resemble between American manifest destiny, American exceptionalism and Zionism in its strongest form. I think among certain conservative American communities, particularly in the South, there is an appreciation of the notion of a master race or a chosen people. This is separate from evangelical millennialism and Israels role in the end times.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 15, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Reading Bill Kristol's and the National Review piece is showing me that there is a potential split in the conservative base. You have neo-cons who advocate even more military action, against the current Bush administration who shows no stomach for any more military action, with the approval ratings in the polls being decidedly against Bush. I disagree that military action will increase Bush's ratings - if there is talk of military action, given the mess that Iraq is in now, public opinion will surely be against such action. So now, you have some conservatives starting to bash Bush for more military action, which is going to create ideological fissures in the Republican party. As long as Democrats present themselves as moderates, I don't see how they won't gain significant seats in upcoming elections.

Posted by: Andy on July 15, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

You're all anti-semetic.

Posted by: Al on July 15, 2006 at 1:29 PM

You, sir are anti-semantic!

Posted by: Snorri Sturluson on July 15, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

So brian, you're happy with the status quo? I guess that's a realist viewpoint.

Posted by: B on July 15, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Re Point No. 5, I think some of this image of Europe is stereotyping by certain Jewish-American organizations and their Religious Right bedfellows.

Not all of it, to be true. But, some of it.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 15, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Andy,

Maybe I'm just a prude, and maybe I need to lighten up and chill out, but looking for domestic political advantage out of a situation where so many innocent Israelis, Palestinians and Lebanese are dying, and a possible world war is brewing, just puts an ugly taste in my mouth.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on July 15, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

bellumregio,

Those are interesting suggestions. I'm trying to square them with my sense that the current degree of loyalty to Likud assumptions is a recent development on the American right.

What you say about bigoted habits of thinking rings true, I think. Ironically, perhaps, I think this would often have been manifested as anti-Semitism -- I'm pretty sure that was a lot more widespread in the South during past generations. But maybe the same impulse is expressed today as prejudice against Arabs, or (as Kevin Drum says) the assumption that Palestinians are basically all terrorists.

Posted by: nandrews3 on July 15, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The fight between Israel and the Palestinians is over half a century old and seems intractable.

I hear this excuse a lot. Israel is only abble to fight as a hegemon due to US military and economic aid. Stop the aid as a condition of going back to 1956 borders, along with a guarantee of security for those borders, and Israel will become a much better neighobr. It is US subsidy of the Israeli war machine that makes the conflict intractable. That and Palestinian refusal to let their nation die.

It sparks unusually vicious comment threads

Why are so many bloggers milquetoasts?

Posted by: Hostile on July 15, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

B,

I am happy that Israel has survived and prospered all these years and still appears able to defend itself. I don't think the critics of Israel are very realistic, and they certainly don't have the stake that Israel has in the issues.

It has been obvious for 60 years that Israel would cut a deal to live in peace with its neighbors. So at the risk of stating the obvious, the problem is caused by the terrorists and now the jihadists.

Posted by: brian on July 15, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I've just been re-reading my old testament. And I'm struck by how nothing has changed in that region for the last 3500+ years. The only difference is that Israelites have the heavy artillery and jets. The Canaanites and the Amorites, because they don't have the weapons, become human bombs. This form of warfare offends the Levitican sensibilities of Israelites -- after all dead bodies need to buried intact and not scattered in little pieces -- and they can't imagine that anyone else could imagine getting into Paradise in little pieces. So the Israelites are rightfully angered and puzzled on how to respond effectively. Even more frustrating for the more god-fearing of them, Yahweh hasn't smote anyone yet. But I expect that a certain other middle eastern country that is trying to build some Yahweh-class bombs (nukes) can expect some smiting from the Israelites -- after all, that Satellite that the Russians launched for them a few months back would certainly be useful for locating those smite-inducing nuke factories.

Sorry that I wax cynical, but I find that I can't sympathize with either side in this conflict. Israel should behave better than they are, because the have a 3500-year-old moral framework to rely on. And, well, the Palestinians don't seem to be able to keep themselves from sabotaging their own best interests. I can't help but wonder what would have happened with the early intifada if the Palestinians hadn't started singing "we shall overcome" and sitting-in instead of throwing rocks and molotov cocktails. Think how that would have changed the hole dynamics of this conflict!

Too late now...

Posted by: beowulf888 on July 15, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

My two cents:

A one state solution; a secular state whose constitution guarantees the right of return for all Jews and Palestinians: The Republic of Israel and Palestine.

I guess that could be called an anti-Israel position, but it's not to my mind.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on July 15, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

So basically you are afraid to discuss an issue that has cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decades, or am I missing something?

Posted by: Bill Kristol on July 15, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK


In the next phase Israel will invade Syria with the professed intention of creating a buffer against Finland.

Kevin needn't ratiocinate over his muteness on the Palestinian issue. Walt and Mearsheimer already have covered the real whys and wherefores.

Posted by: skip on July 15, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Skip is correct. If Mr. Drum really believes what he said he should recommend that we completely disengage from the issue rather than reflexively support Israel. This would clearly be in the US national interest if we accept Mr. Drum's axioms as true. There is no other logical answer. But he demures.

Posted by: Bill Kristol on July 15, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I can augment your futility by blending a piece from The History Channel, Battles of the Bible with the ongoing, very readable, Blogging the Bible by Jacob Plotz on Slate: Irrational Hatred Begets Exuberant Belief in the Publicists of Ones God.

This conflict began before the written word. Yet it contains enough fuel to continually fester as a sore on humanity. Item #5 (language) is fully inculcated, completely corrupt, and the major reason no one can write or speak without approbation. Who can define Zionism or Anti-Semitism without a spokesperson?

Because the current situation is foreign affairs and (by definition) not the bailiwick of anyone other than our president, every thoughtful American should be frightened: When asked about the current conflict, President Bush answers with jokes on eating pork.

Go back to my first paragraph and realize rampant passions quickly lead to loss of control. We do not need history to prove the point: 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq are in the present tense. That many people cheer this on in hope of fostering the End-of-Days is pathetic: Love dont hate, Forgive dont accuse, Live for your progeny.

Posted by: Literate_Fool on July 15, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

What passes as conservatism in the US is really a textbook case of nationalism which developed from the anticommunist movement of the middle 20th century. Nationalism depends on a sense of besiegement of the true people by an enemy that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The identity of the enemy is not important but it is convenient if he is both inside and outside the society- a traitor on whom you can blame all the failures of the true nation. Jews classically played this role in European societies. In the US it came to be communists, socialists, and liberals. Muslims can be the pariahs de jour as well.

More importantly, I think most American politicians know nothing about the Israel/Palestine conflict; I suspect they just take on policies that are presented to them by advocates of Israel- the so-called neocons. If there were more Palestinian lobbyists you would see a different approach in Washington. So the primacy of Israel in American foreign policy is really because of a vacuum created by the end of the Cold War- a military-industrial complex with nothing to do. I also think the Israeli get tough style appeals to many in Congress and the White House.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 15, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

i have found it impossible to have a rational conversation that includes any criticizm of Israel, without being accused of being an anti-semite.

Unfortunatley, the Holocaust, in addition to the tragedy to its many victims, it seems, has furnished a convenient excuse to make Israel, Zionists and their supporters, sacred cows.

Ideological sacred cows can be devastating to human civilization.

When the zionists finally provoke their neigbors into an all out war that ultimately ends in nuclear holocaust and the destruction of the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps then we can have a dialogue about "doing unto others"

Until then, color me heartbroken

Posted by: marblex on July 15, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

If the situation were simple, then simple answers would be answers.

The conditions of peace are easy to define whether in single-state or two-state solutions (Israel/Palestine).

1. Acceptance of minority rights
2. Renunciation of terror as a means
3. Application of law consistently applied in a color-blind manner

That earnest outcome will satisfy all except the Islamic expansionists and the Zionist expansionists. It will satisfy even most of the orthodox Jews for whom Jewish national community supercedes Jewish political sovereignty. I don't know the Islamic perspective well enough to know if there is a plausible non-exclusive solution.

The majority though want peace more than they want one of those fanaticisms.

The hope of Palestinians for self-governance is real and should be applauded. The hope of Jews for self-governance is real and should be applauded.

Hence the two-state proposal, whether it is permanent, long-term, or temporary; towards some other prospective integration.

Posted by: Richard W on July 15, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I was right about the Israelis that were kidnapped and killed on Israel's northern border having crossed into Lebanon, so it seems it wasn't an incursion by Hezbollah at all. This is from the Asia Times:

[...]They back this argument by saying that Israel still controls the Sheba Farms, which are part of Lebanon, and still has Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. Also, they add that the Israeli tank destroyed by Hezbollah, and the soldiers captured and killed on July 12, had trespassed into Lebanon's side of the border with Israel.

Kind of puts a different spin on events doesn't it?

Posted by: michele on July 15, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

I waiting for Kevin to write a post on "Women of the Christian Right in the Middle East."

Posted by: Zathras on July 15, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

michele,

not really. israel is the good guy and the terrorists/jihadists are the bad guys.

Posted by: brian on July 15, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

not really. israel is the good guy and the terrorists/jihadists are the bad guys.
Posted by: brian

bwahahahahahahaha ... this comment alone should preclude you from future commenting ... at least until your testicles descend and you grow some chest hair.

juvenile fucking pissant.

Posted by: Nads on July 15, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well Jimm, you hit pretty close to the problem. I would revise what cmdicely said a bit and say that the UN only works when the permanent members of the security council all back action. In the case of Israel/Palestine, the problem is the United States. We went along with those two UN resolutions passed decades ago (242 and 338?) that said Israel could not keep the occupied territories, but since that time we have never had the will power to help enforce them.

Every Arab/Muslim/Persian knows this and resents it. The United States is the great Israeli enabler is many many ways.

Carter had a big breakthrough with the Camp David Accords, but Israel immediately began to fudge when he left office. Egypt was Israels most serious threat in those days, but rather than capitalize on that momentum, Israeli and U. S. right-wingers worked overtime to kill it.

What is frustrating is the ignorance of the average U. S. citizen. Its ridiculous to blame everything on the Palestinians. Thats got to end. Many moderates in Israel know this, and have always known this, but they have not prevailed in recent years.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 15, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is one of the only issues where a moderate or balanced view is considered to be raw opposition by both sides. That makes it pretty sticky for bloggers.

Posted by: Erik on July 15, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

The following comment was inadvertently posted on the Iran thread below. Since I referred to Kevin's point #2 I though I should move it here:

I've been reading lefty bloggers for a few years now, and will admit against interest to being pursuaded on one issue. I think the US and Israel have a faulty calculus on the issue of civilian casulties/collateral damage when responding to the new challenges. I first started thinking this way back when Clinton was running his focus-group directed campaign against the Serbs. In that case we pesky neocons mostly supported the goals of the war, but challenged the idea that 2500 civilian casualties from high altitude airstrikes was preferable to 3 dozen ground troop American losses. Of all the criticisms of our efforts in Iraq, which I still support, the one I'm most troubled by is the charge that GWB has not done the job in a way that we should have, preferring tax cuts and such to sincerely making the sacrifices of blood and treasure needed to prove our good faith.
Now Israel is lashing out at those sectors of Lebanese society that have not had the strength to take on Hezbollah rather than doing the dirty work of running sweeps with ground troops through the Shia neighborhoods. I do not agree with Kevin's point #2, that there is equivalence on both sides, but I do think that Israel's actions don't serve it's long-term interests.

Posted by: minion of rove on July 15, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove:

Then I'll respond to it as I did in the other thread.

Thank you for an honest and unhypocritical response.

I only wish you could talk some sense into your warmongering right-wing buddy rdw.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 15, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Erik:
As far as I know, the official position held by the entire world, except Israel, is that a two-state solution must be reached. Now, of course the Bush administration does not seem to place high priority achieving this result.

So why not do what Jimm suggests and install UN peacekeepers until an agreement can be reached on boarders? It is not true that the resistance would come equally from both sides. I would bet my own money that the Palestinians would go along with that. I would bet a lot more of my own money that Israel would resist fiercely. If Im right, does that tell you anything?

It tells me that too many people in Israel want that land. Certainly the Israel settlers and their supporters want the land.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 15, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism

Very true. And that is bad, bad, bad. The people making those accusations are not doing Israel any favours.

Why? Support. I teach in the Toronto area. Some of the finest people I have ever met are my Palestinian students. They are now fellow citizens in Canada. Their presence affects us. We have to recognize that we went overboard in our support for Israel in the past. That point is past debate. Our citizens in North America of Arab descent are going to make this point clearer and clearer, so we need to clean up our acts now. If we can't talk with temperance, why should they?

One can make all sorts of wild statements on the Internet, but any discussion in the real world now has to take account of our fellow Arabic citizens. I would lose my job instantly if I were to say in a college setting half the things that so-called pundits say. They are not restrained by knowledge, intellectual honesty or any code of civilized behaviour. No leadership there because no temperance there.

Light blogging is a good compromise.

Posted by: Bob M on July 15, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for this post, Kevin. It is indeed a difficult subject--in all senses of that word--and you haven't exaggerated the pitfalls inherent in discussing it.

But Nads is right when he says: unfortunately, Kevin, this appears to be a concession that palestine is yet another topic on which we are willing to cede the parameters of the discussion to the right wingnut viewpoint.

And way up top, Martin gets it right, too: Well, if the neo-cons like Bill Kristol have their way, you better start brushing up. See Glenn Greenwald today and the idea that Israel's enemies are our enemies and that we need to bring it on in Israel, Syria and Iran. A political blog will be pretty lame without an opinion on an active war.

Posted by: shortstop on July 15, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm from the Red Country:

Israel has accepted the two-state solution. The only party that remains equivocal on the subject (I am putting it nicely) are the Palestinians.

Posted by: Wombat on July 15, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wombat:

Why do you think that is?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 15, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

This blog posting is debunkable on multiple levels, but I'll make the obvious points:

1. "It sparks unusually vicious comment threads"

So? The very reason why such comments are posted leads to the focus of this article. They (and when I say "they" I mean the pro-Israel extremists) want to control the discussion and prevent any positive assessment of occupied Palestinians. THEY want to make sure that Israel is portrayed as the victim, and the Palestinians as the aggressors, because if enough people actually remember that the Palestinians are the occupied victims it might actually lead to pressure being put on Israel to end the occupation.

2. "The fight between Israel and the Palestinians is over half a century old and seems intractable."

It only "seems" intractable. The reality is that the US has increasingly given Israel carte blanche to do whatever the fuck it wants to the Palestinians, and so it has come to now where the Israelis are basically drawing their own borders, and in fact would make their borders even broader if it wasn't for those pesky little things (we call them "Palestinians") littered about the countryside in their way.

The issue is not at all intractable. There's just been a lack of courage on the part of American politicians to put a stop to the madness of supporting Israel no matter what they do. Or if it's not an issue of courage, it's an issue of money, as in the amount of money AIPAC has given a politician to buy them off and make them spew the pro-Israel line no matter how out of context or blatantly pandering it may seem.

The discussion is now completely controlled by pro-Israel forces, from the Whitehouse to Congress to the cable news networks. Whenever we speak of Palestinians we use the words "terrorists", "murder", etc. but when we speak of Israelis we use the words "self-defense", "restraint", etc. Total hypocrisy of a kind never known in human history.

3. "The conflict is fantastically complex"

No, it's not. It's simple: the Palestinians are under brutal occupation by Israelis. Full stop. That's all you need to fucking know. Israel is in violation of countless UN resolutions, and the only reason they haven't been sanctioned out of existence is because the US, at least in recent history (i.e. the past 20 years) faithfully blocks every UN resolution proposed that is critical of Israel, even when the criticism is equally distributed to all sides (see recent UN resolution proposal vetoed by the US).

4. "As with the conflict itself, punditry is heavily dominated by extremists on both sides"

Yes, sadly there are extremists. In every issue. But why do you cower from this issue because of the extremists? This is just a cowardly out for you to avoid talking about the most important issue of our time.

5. "Related to 1 and 3, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism"

This hits the nail on the head. A total lack of honesty and a desire to defend Israel at all costs, no matter what crimes of aggression or genocide it commits, results in hordes of pro-Israel zealots flooding every form of media with rants, viscious attacks, and even threats in order to silence the other side.

"I gather that the opposite is more frequently the case in Europe."

No, there's no inverse analog. The Europeans just happen to not have their heads completely crammed up their ass like the American audience does. One would think that we have this super-sized hard-on for Israel and that's why we support them so much, but the fact of the matter is that rabid pro-Israel extremists control the news media in this country and paint a very biased picture of events in the Middle East. Of course I hear the cries of "anti-semitism" over this comment. But check for yourself: watch CNN for half an hour and see how many times you see Wolfie or Lou describe the Palestinians or any Arab fighters as "terrorists" and the Israelis in terms of "self-defense". Bias is the name of the game. What other reason would the news media have for looking favorably upon the Israelis? It's either because they're racist, or because it's controlled by pro-Israel extremists. So go figure.

Kevin Drum is just a big pussy. If he doesn't want to tackle the primary issue that has our world on the brink of self-destruction then that's his perogative, but he could at least be honest about it and not come up with pissant excuses for why he doesn't have the courage to deal with it.

Posted by: Sellam Ismail on July 15, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

This conflict began before the written word.

I do not think so. It began when England kept Palestine a colony. If England leaves Palestine and the Palestinian state is established in 1919, then there is no Israel.

As an aside, when the Israelites exterminated the Canaanites, I think their was writing. It seems even when you commit genocide against your neighbors, it is still not the final solution even YWH hoped for.

Posted by: Hostile on July 15, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Great post--many in America are unwilling to cast a suspicious or even questioning eye on Israel, and that keeps us from making rational decisions.

Posted by: JP on July 15, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin, for not joining the endless ruminating over Israel and Palestine. In my opinion, it's all the obsession from pundits and the media that fuels the conflict, by inflating the religious self-importance of the region. People die everywhere all over the world for different reasons, yet when 2 people die in Gaza or Tel Aviv, it's expected to grip the world's attention (and anyone who doesn't care is either anti-semitic or not sympathetic to human rights). Pardon me if I give that a big ho-hum.

Meanwhile human rights tragedies like the Tibetan occupation (just one example - not trying to say this is the world's only important issue!) are hopelessly underreported. And while you can always convince some section of the world to take urgent, coordinated action to support either side of the Israel / Palestine conflict, just try and drum up the same level of concerted action to curb global warming. It's just so stupid, and any blog or media outlet that can't be bothered to cover the conflict earns me as a lifetime reader.

Keep doing what you're doing, and don't let the Alan Colmes's of the world convince you otherwise.

Posted by: s5 on July 15, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Wombat: give me a break. How aggresive can you be. Grab land, build settlements that the whole world disapproves of, build permanent walls in and around Palestine.

And show me where the Palestinians have not petitioned for a two-state solution. And don't quote some radical Hamas statement made before the last elections.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 15, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

It is pointless to discuss Israel. There is zero respect for any position even slightly critical of Israel. Making an effort to write a reasoned post just invites flaming. Why bother?

Posted by: anon on July 15, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to thank all of you for the fact that this discussion has been remarkably free on name-calling, and remarkably focussed on the issue at hand.

It gives me heart to read posts from Jimm and others, recognizing that the situation in the Near East has been contributed to by Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, etc., AND THE US, and that NO nation or group of people in this conflict can claim entire innocence. The whole situation is tragic. Thousands and probably even millions of innocent lives have been wasted.

Israel keeps doing the same thing, bombing and sometimes overtly warring, on Palestine, Lebanon, etc. Palestine keeps doing the same thing, suicide bombers, bombing public buses, etc. Both sides seem to somehow believe that they are teaching the other side a "lesson" and some of you posting here believe the same thing. The only "lesson" learned is that the opposite side are "monsters". "But THEY did"...whatever. "THEY started it." Such statements sound like a bunch of kindergartners.

Until we can get people to admit that there has been wrong on all sides, and to admit that all sides have rights which must be respected, but that no side will get everything they want, there is NO possibility of a solution. Continued war, bombing, sniping, etc., only ensures more continuation.

Jimm, I like your idea of a UN-brokered settlement, with UN forces stationed to reinforce it, but the best we can hope for is that more overt warmaking actions can be nipped in the bud. There will still be lots of bombing, sniping, and strafing for a long time to come.

I would also favor establishing an international court in Jerusalem, before which people who commit acts which kill and main other people, can be brought and accused, and also given a chance to defend themselves. With juries made up of Israelis, Palestinians, and people from neutral countries. Proven offenders would be jailed in maximum security prisons. If this were done fairly and offenders from all sides were jailed, people would eventually begin to trust in this. There is no trust now.

Those of you who strongly favor one side or the other and who refuse to recognize that the other side has legitimate grievances, are, frankly, blowing smoke out your rears, and are part of the problem. Please try to remove your blinders.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on July 15, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be in the position of agreeing with Bill Kristol (editor and -- or perhaps the upper lip -- of the neocon mouthpiece, the Weekly Standard), but Kevin shouldnt be afraid to take a stand on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (which I prefer to call the Israeli/Hamas-Hezbollah conflict). I think Kristol's question is apropos

So basically you are afraid to discuss an issue that has cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decades, or am I missing something?

Yes, why shouldnt we discuss an issue that could drag this country into another no-win conflict -- one that carries the risk of focusing the wrath of other terrorist groups (rather than just Al Qaeda), potential troop casualties, oil embargoes, etc.? The current Middle East situation is a powder keg. The fuse is lit, and the neocons want drag us into the room where the powder is stored. Come on, Kevin, stir things up!

Posted by: beowulf888 on July 15, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK
I'm sorry if the notion that Palestinians has the right to respond to terrorist attacks isn't complicated enough for you. American Hawk 2:10 PM
Change one word, and you express a more accurate version of the history of Palestine. See how easy? Here's a link so you can see what your Israeli ally is doing [warning: pictures of dead bodies.] Cross-Border Shooting Kills Civilians By GREG MYRE Published: July 15, 2006

METULA, Israel, July 15 - In another day of cross-border shooting exchanges, Israeli air strikes killed more than 20 Lebanese civilians on Saturday, including at least 15 who died when their convoy of vehicles was attempting to flee the south Lebanon border area, according to news reports.

It was the Palestinians who chose for that to fail, not the Israelis. Anomalocaris2:23 PM

The Gaza Ghetto is a concentration camp, not a country.
It has been obvious for 60 years that Israel would cut a deal to live in peace with its neighbors. brian 3:53 PM : Israel has accepted the two-state solution. Wombat 6:58 PM

That is why Israel keeps building settlements on the West Bank. Who says the second state has to be viable or contiguous? /sarcasm

Here is an article on the various offers for peace that Israel has turned down.

Here is brief history of the conflict

Posted by: Mike on July 15, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ok I couldn't resist responding to this particular bit of nonsense

Once peacekeepers are in place, and negotiations begun, all parties will need to be on their best behavior, or face being left out and having no basis for appeal to the international community.

Once the agreement is in place, the most onerous standards of respect between peoples and states will be held on all parties. Those who break this will be targeted as international rogues and pariah and dealt with decisively and accordingly.

First of all Jim the only peacekeepers that will be on the ground if there is any kind of real danger will be Americans.

Second can you give an example of some nation that was dealt with effectively and really gave a damn about being labled as international rogues?

Saddam certainly didn't over a decade of resolutions and condemnations did nothing. Kim Jung Il certainly doesn't give a damn. Sudan? Israel for that matter which has more resolutions against it than any other nation (based on the Arab leaning UN) doesn't give a damn what the UN says.

I wonder why? because other than the US the UN is a spineless amoral group of nitwits.

Posted by: The Ugly American on July 15, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

We clearly have different ideas as to what consitututes a "shitstorm". The two examples you linked to at TPM seemd to me like perfectly reasonable disagreements, stated in perfectly resonable language. Maybe you are just extremely sensitive?
No offence intended, but to avoid the most serious political issue in the world today out of fear of strong language, or fear of powerlessness, is a pretty lame excuse for a political blog, no?

Posted by: billy on July 15, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

As to the current problems that have spiraled into a near full scale regional war, Im convinced that the solution to the many issues rests solely upon one defining problemfrom which all others emanate and from which all others can be resolved. In fact, in what some may call my fanciful Hollywood formulaic prescription, one particular movie quotation seems to capture the essence of my proposed story lineIf you build it, they will come. The it is none other than a Palestinian state.

Read an analysis on the Middle East that posits that the solution to the regions turmoil rests in the immediate creation of an independent Palestinian state...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on July 15, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

To begin --- the "Israelites" did not kill off the "Canaanites" -- they were Canaanites themselves. Israelites lived in Israel, an organized society populated by "Canaanites" in North Eastern Palestine before the unorganized semi-nomadic tribesmen in an area much much smaller to their south ever began to become the Hebrews/Jews. "Israel" is another untrue purloining by Judaism.

Why do so many posters persist in saying "anti-semitism" when they mean anti-Jew or anti-Zionist. Every single Arab is a Semite, you ill-educated dumb crows!

rmck1 was pretty good back there.

PNAC/AIPAC has sold the US a sadly dangerous bill-of-goods. Their one-eyed jingoistic messianism bloinds them to the long term. There are more Russians, in more space, with more oil and other natural resources.

If for no other than commercial survival reasons it is really dumb of the US to piss off the owners of most of the reat of the world's oil reserves by helping some unentitled Europeans steal the land of the historic owners and then one-eyed because all our politicians are persuaded (I am too scared to say 'threatened and 'bribed') to give billions every year to keep the boil suppurating.

The fundamentalists would have remained marginal if we had not been so consistent in our support for our colony Israel. The MSM, and most of the blog site owners too, do not tell us that Israel is the chief spy on things American, that it sells US military technology, that this tiny srea gets more money per head given it every year, that it is the terrorist in that neighborhood, that it has never acceded to a Security Council Resolution.

It is to the Palestinians enormous credit that they have ever been prepared to accept anything other thaqn the return in its entirety of their lands with full reparations.

Only those Jews whose total descent is from people shown on the last Turkish census should be permitted to remain, with all othrs required to return to their, their parents', their grandparents', countries of origin.

It is Unamerican to support Israel. It is
Bad for Business!!!!! Go out to the Near, Middle and Far East and try to sell things American; it gets harder and harder. This is a 1.3bilion people market and they have a lot of oil. It is time to unload this terrible burden about the size of New Jersey!

I hope you are all reading Justin on antiwar.com, and please follow the links to educate yourselves a little.


Posted by: maunga on July 15, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

我向大家推荐:上海新丝路国际商务旅行社提供各种飞机票包括打折机票特价机票国际机票上海机票;除机票预定外,还提供火车票查询。购上海机票及飞往各地机票请至上海尚游旅行社,提供打折机票特价机票国际机票等各种飞机票。上海国际机票网还提供其他旅行社的打折机票特价机票国际机票等。

hawk, i know conservatives hate peace. what's more fun than counting corpses, right? but israelis and arabs have been shooting each other for nearly sixty years and the only thing its accomplished is creating a nice market for arms dealers and morticians. i don't want to see arms dealers nor morticians starve, but you know only idiots keep trying the same failed behavior for this long and expecting it to succeed. israel has every right to defend itself and so do the palestinians. the only way to stop the violence is for both sides to recognize that fact and to stop shooting at each other and start talking. obviously this is not an easy task but your beloved w might want to use the prestige of his office and this great country to attempt to broker some kind of deal. it'll probably fail, but what is there to lose at this point? ok hawk?

Posted by: sam on July 15, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

The statement that there is no solution and this never will be solved
is spin put out by the Present Power Structure in Israel.

The Zionists position is any single event can stop the peace process.
This is not democracy. One persons violent veto out weights the majorities
desire on both sides for negotiations leading to peace.
I think this is allowed because those in power are threatened by peace.

They are threatened because of the unequal status and benefits of various citizen and non-citizen groups in Israel. The un-equality is based on which Jewish denomination, or lack there of, an individual belongs to.
The Orthodox have the top status, receiving subsidies, exemption from the military and various other benefits and special positions of power that control the lives of the majority of the population.

If there were peace, the existing power structure which is only critizized now, would come under direct attack and have to change.
Working for peace thus is a threat to the internal status quo of the powerful
and that is one of the major reasons that it is subverted at every turn.

Posted by: Shadow Play on July 15, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals don't really have a similarly undemanding position that's suitable for the quick-hit nature of blogging.

If we don't defend democracy in Israel then democracy will disappear there. I think that contemporary liberals can't make a non-ironic commitment to defending an imperfect (European in origin, no less) democracy against perfectly intolerable enemies. when voiced aloud and clearly, it sounds to liberals like imperialism.

As near as I can tell, most conservatives simply take the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way. The fact that this hasn't worked very well in the past doesn't deter them.

So far the Israelis have successfully resisted the relentless attempts of the Arabs to destroy their nation. They have done so by always attacking threatining Arab military power in the maximal possible way. Your word "provocation" shows your misunderstanding of the what the Arabs are actually attempting to accomplish; they are trying to destroy Israel, not provoke it.

Liberals can't say anyting simple because liberals can't grasp the fundamental point.

Posted by: republicrat on July 15, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

"...your misunderstanding of the what the Arabs are actually attempting to accomplish; they are trying to destroy Israel, not provoke it."

I really wish you stupid partisans would shut the hell up with this tired old cliche. ISRAEL IS TRYING TO DESTROY PALESTINE TOO! In fact, they have been trying to do so since the Balfour Declaration gave them a loophole to grab as much land as possible. If we're going to talk about this, let's stop making banal and meaningless generalisations.

Posted by: george 3rd on July 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

here's a simple liberal position for you: those who use violence as a means to an ends are wrong, be it muslim or jew.
.

Posted by: jesus said it so on July 15, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

All this bull about how complicated this issue is and how all sides are guilty shows just how suseptable people are to non-stop propaganda. The facts are simple, Zionists claim that God, in a book written by Jews, not God, made them "the chosen people" (the Master Race?). Europe and America didn't want them and gave them someone elses land. And America is the only country that supports what is a racist occupying group that got what they wanted through terrorism. Yet we are bombarded with lies about the whole thing. If you actually study the details of Israeli actions from the day it was founded right up to the present atrocities taking place, you are a victim of your own ignorance. Study this piece that states, without rancor or hysterics the position of the poor, dispossesd, racially cleansed owners of the land. Put yourself in their position and re-think whatever it is you think you know.


His Majesty King Abdullah,

The American Magazine

November, 1947 Summary

This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein's grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe.

Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti- Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

"As the Arabs see the Jews" His Majesty King Abdullah,

The American Magazine

November, 1947

I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

So many billions of words have been written about Palestine perhaps more than on any other subject in history that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda. The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.
Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered minority in our home. Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever. Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti- Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous. No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.

Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us present, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land." Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their "historic claim." I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago! If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.
Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most "but not all"of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines "not the Jews"gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia." Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly "but not all "the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense. This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even laim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And uppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as "or just as fantastic"as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid. In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country "Arab", what does?

The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs "and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World "are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine. May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.
The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now "almost three years after wars end" still languish in cold, depressing camps. Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West. And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine "a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East" to accept the entire burden.

"We have hurt these people terribly," cries the West to the East. "Why you please take care of them for us?"

We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore "cruel and heartless nationalists"? We are a generous people: we are proud that "Arab hospitality" is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we. But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us "even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

And yet this same America "the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known "refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab. Perhaps you have been informed that "the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine."

This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.

The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go! You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.

Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: "My Jewish advisors tell me so." He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse. Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them. The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them. If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives "or Palestine" we would both choose Palestine, too. But open up any other alternative to them "give them any other choice, and see what happens!

No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors "just a little"to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years "unless stopped now" it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home. Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place or 200,000 Jews "about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide. We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs "promises made in cold print which admit no denying. We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people.

Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it, in 1927 almost twice as many.

But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger. But the next year "the year of Hitler" it jumped to 30,000!

In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000! It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.

I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it. Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows. The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.
The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine "to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before. It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers "your allies" and Arab citizens "your friends".

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing. I have the most complete confidence in the fair- mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that ou know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place. What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst "enough to dominate your country "merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?

Our answer is the same.

And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

Ours will be the same.

Posted by: Jaxon on July 15, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

US subsidy of the Israeli war machine is intractable. This is the reason the Palestinians suffer. Americans do not understand this, but Arabs do.

Posted by: Hostile on July 15, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat, you must be 'al' or 'norom' or 'tbrosz', surely, or even 'Billy Cristol'. Read Sallem Ismail, rmck, or me above, to learn a few facts before shooting your mouth off. 'Israel' is not a democracy by any test.

The Palestinians want their land back, a perfectly reasonable desire, and this country, despite all practical common sense, is determined to continue to feed poison to what is already a boil. There is no legal nor historical justification for
Israel to exist.

Ever since it declared itself a state Israel has delivered disproportionate violence to the legal owners of the land, the Palestinians, poisoning wells, stealing water, murdering men, women and children in exponential numbers above the numbers of illegal immigrant Israelis killed by Palestinians.

You do know about Israel's succession of proud terrorist leaders do you............ Ben Gurion, Meir (an American!), Begin, Shamir, Sharon (the last a war criminsl too!)?

Meir said of a UN officer I knew ...... "Is he too stupid a soldier to recognise a bribe?"

You will, of course, know that Shamir murdered
Count Bernadotte, the UN Representative, way back in the 40s, won't you, and that Israel 'engineered' the Six Day War when it had finished building the tunnel for stealing the water from the confluence of the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers. You will know too, of course, that Israel's 'settlements' on the West Bank, in direct flouting of Sec Council 242 and 338, are deliberately placed to steal 85% of the aquifier under the West Bank........ Americans do not know this sort of thing because Israel's supporters not only control all parts of the political process of the US, the Administration and both parties in Congress, but they own pretty well all the nationsl media too. You have been lied to for sixty years about Israel.

It is thus entirely reasonable that Americans have no idea of the extent to which they have been conned and why we are in Iraq fighting Israel's proxy war.

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Jaxon, you are a star; I read King Abdullah years ago and had forgotten it.

His grandson, that grand and honourable man, Hussein, tried very hard to negotiate with Golda Meir, but he was acting in good faith and Meir, like all Israelis (and Americans on the subject of Israel!!!) was acting in bad faith so there could naturally be no good outcome.

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Kiril wrote "when talking to fellow liberals I am often the only one to defend Israel, which I tend to (try to) do as calmly and objectively as possible while being screamed at by anyone in the vicinity." I share Kiril's experience; moreover, there are some places liberals gather where it is pointless to even try to defend Israel, as everyone has clearly made up their minds that in every instence Israel gets 100% of the blame. (There are some such individuals who have posted to this thread.)

Of course, there are other equally unthinking individuals who have clearly made up their minds that in every instance Israel gets 0% of the blame.

Bob wrote, "But I'm still on the balance pro-Palestinian and believe that the creation of Israel cast the first stone. A complicated situation? Sure. Morally ambiguous? -- not so much." Pro-Palestinian, nothing wrong with that! But, if you believe that the creation of Israel amounts to the original sin justifying all Palestinian behavior since 1948, by that argument Tibetans would be justified blowing themselves up in the buses and cafes of Beijing and Cherokees would be justified blowing themselves up in the buses and cafes of the United States. Bob, you seem unaware of the many Jews living in Israel at the time of its creation and the many Jewish refugees from Arab and Moslem countries that Israel absorbed shortly thereafter more, in fact than the number of Arab refugees from Israel. With near-unanimous vote, the UN partitioned Palestine; then Transjordan took most of Palestine, Arab countries attacked, and Israel won part of the rest in the war of independence.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Buford wrote "Israel iteslf was established largely through terrorist acts." Could be, but the Israelis were frequently victims of terrorist attacks, including in Hebron in 1929 and the British stood by.

rmck1 wrote "The Jews who poured into Palestine were the cream of European
civilization." And many Jews poured into Palestine from Iran, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, and other Arab and Moslem countries. Get this, people. Israel is not some outpost of European imperialism in the Middle East. Most Israelis are from the Middle East, chased out of their former countries.

Horatio Parker favors a "one state solution." The problem with that is most Israelis and most Palestinians favor a two state solution.

bellumregio wrote "the primacy of Israel in American foreign policy is really because of a vacuum created by the end of the Cold War- a military-industrial complex with nothing to do." No, the primacy of Israel in American foreign policy is rooted in the widely-shared observation that the Arab countries attempted to destroy Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and other times, and that Hamas is still committed to the destruction of Israel. Note: these facts do not give Israel a moral blank check. Israel has plenty to apologize for.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

little ole jim from red country wrote "Its ridiculous to blame everything on the Palestinians." True! and equally, it's ridiculous to blame everything on Israeli as much of the leftist press does.

little ole jim from red country wrote "As far as I know, the official position held by the entire world, except Israel, is that a two-state solution must be reached." Israel's official position is that a two-state solution must be reached ... but until the Palestinians make this goal safe, Israel will protect itself, by proportionate or sometimes disproportionate means. :-(

Sellam Ismail wrote that the U.S. gives Israel carte blanche. However, the record is that in 1991, Iraq fired scud missles against the largest population center of Israel, and under U.S. pressure, Israel refrained from taking any retaliatory action. That was a carte noire, not a carte blanche.

little ole jim from red country wrote "don't quote some radical Hamas statement made before the last elections." Why should radical Hamas statements, or the Hamas charter, which declares Hamas' dedication to the destruction of Israel, be unquotable in this forum?

maunga wrote "PNAC/AIPAC has sold the US a sadly dangerous bill-of-goods." There is plenty of cause to critize both organizations, but they are not the same thing, or two versions of the same thing, and most AIPAC members are not PNAC members.

george 3rd wrote "ISRAEL IS TRYING TO DESTROY PALESTINE TOO!" That would explain why Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, leaving behind newly-renovated greenhouses that the Palestinians promptly looted into junk.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

maunga wrote "Israel 'engineered' the Six Day War" maunga is forgetting that Egypt unilaterally blockaded Israel's southern port and massed troops on the border, and those Arab actions were among those that led to the Six Day War in June 1967.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

What's this 'anti-Semitic'= antiJewish crap?? aren't Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians etc just as 'semitic' as any Jews. The origin of the term is lingustic, not ethnic.

Posted by: David on July 16, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Resident George Bush was not elected in 2000. Al Gore had more votes in Florida and America. Georege W. responded to the attack on our nation on 9/11 by sitting still in a classroom of children for 7 minutes while he waited for someone to tell him what to do. Instead of completing the mission to get Osama, Bush engaged us in a war in Iraq to ensure corporate America's access to oil profits and is currently building military bases to try to provide protection for American companies looking to take advantage of our temporary conquest.

The utter dislike for George Bush and his policies that we all share however, should not translate into hatred for Israel just because he supports Israel. As has long been said, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I have just read this whole string of almost entirely anti-Israel comments and the most telling thing of all is how many so-called facts are just plain wrong.

The bulk of you have absolutely no knowledge of the history of the Middle East or the creation of the State of Israel, yet you speak as though you are experts.

For example, you have no knowledge of how many Jews lived in what is now Israel in 1900 or that there was never, ever, a Palestinian state.

Moreover, the Jews who lived alongside Arabs in what is now Israel were frequently murdered by them in large numbers for years before the modern State of Israel came into existence because certain religiously fanatical Arabs did not like Jews living amongst them. They wanted to force the Jews to leave by ethnic cleansing them.

The now entirely Arab city of Hebron in the West Bank was once populated by a majority of Jews who were largely driven out by such ethnic cleansing in the early part of the 20th Century.

My first recommendation to you folks is to crack a few books and take a class or two before spouting hatred at a whole nation of people.

The funniest thing is how often you call conservatives hateful while you spout hate out of the other side of your mouths.

I, myself, am a real liberal. I am not into hating people or calling names. I am into actual facts, fair treatment for all (which doesn't always mean equal), equal justice under the law (not handed out by terrorists), protection of the civil rights of all minorities from the tyranny of the majority, and I am against using violence to achieve political ends. Violence must be used on occasion but should be considered a last resort in defense of yourself or others who can't entirely defend themselves.

Perhaps, most importantly, I'm willing to re-examine my beliefs when I learn new facts. How many of you are prepared to take a fresh look at your hatred for Israel if the facts you think you know turn out to be wrong?

A little reality check here before I go on.

Liberals helped create Israel and supported it against conservatives who were largely anti-Semitic (a term associated for many years with being anti-Jewish regardless of its literal meaning by the way) or pro-Arab purely for access to oil.

You may not know this but, even after the Holocaust, Jews were discriminated against throughout this great nation. They were banned from certain restaurants, hotels, and clubs and unable get some jobs without changing their name and hiding their identity. Although not enshrined in law, this was considered acceptable practice by corporate America and known - and largely ignored - by the religious leaders of America's majority religion.

Nonetheless, from President Harry Truman (who supported Israel while holding many personal anti-Semitic views) through one of the leading political opponents of the Vietnam War, Sen. Robert Kennedy, and including the most liberal members of the Congress to this day, real liberals have been the loudest and strongest supporters of the creation and defense of the State of Israel - making up the core of the Israel lobby - because they knew, and know, the real history.

"The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz, admittedly a Jewish lawyer, is worth your time if you still have an open mind. It states opposition views about Israel and rebuts them with provable facts. Before further spouting, you should challenge yourselves to read that book and consider what it has to offer in the way of a fully-researched presentation of why Israel is not a Colonial power or any other kind of evil empire created to do America's bidding.

One thing that may surprise you is that the modern State of Israel was created by socialists and the nation's majority party for the first half of its existence was called The Labor Party. Israel was, and remains, more pro-labor (pro-worker) than any American government has ever been and America's labor leaders still support Israel for that reason. Being pro-worker, for those unfamiliar, is a core element of being a liberal in America.

As regards the current situation, Hamas and Hezbollah are proud to use murder and terror to achieve their political ends. For my fellow real liberals who should believe in Martin Luther King, Jr. and non-violent change, this should be unacceptable - no ifs - ands - or buts - about it.

The State of Israel and the majority of American Jews believe in a two-state solution. When the Kingdom of Jordan controlled the West Bank prior to 1967, they refused to consider creating a separate nation for Arabs living there when it was first raised by Yassir Arafat in 1964. Had Jordan not declared war against and attacked Israel in 1967, it would still be refusing to do so today.

Today, Israel believes so strongly in a two-state solution that they removed all of their citizens from Gaza in order to begin the process of creating the separation demanded by the Arabs living there. Jews left living in Gaza, even without Israeli control, would be killed. They are a fun-loving people those Gazans.

In return for this dramatic gesture, Israelis living outside Gaza have been attacked and murdered. I guess that seems humane and appropriate to most of you. It doesn't to me and, I'm happy to say, even many of Israel's harshest critics around the world could not and have not justified it.

I could go on, and no doubt I will on some other occasion, but for now, I will leave you with this thought.

There are many Arabs nations in the Middle East and jut one nation devoted to protecting the Jewish people - a nation that came into being after 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe just because they were Jewish.

Literally few, if any, Jews can live safely in Arab nations. Over one million Arabs live safely and well in Israel.

Even with its flaws, those Arabs don't choose to move to an Arab nation because they would lose the freedoms they have come to love in Israel. If Arabs prefer living, working, legislating, serving on the Supreme Court and otherwise supporting Israel with their tax dollars, maybe there is more to this story than you have considered.

Posted by: Real Liberal on July 16, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Consider that Israel's pathological behavior may have surpassed the Nazis. The Nazis only lasted about 10 years or so; Israel has been perfecting disgusting Nazi tactics on the Palestinians for 50 years longer than the Nazis. They've also had 50 years more to come to their senses. Plus, the Nazis never had or threatened use of nuclear weapons.

Yes, we've all heard of Godwin's Law, but considering the extreme *relevance* of the descriptor "Nazi" these days in relation to historical events, Godwin's (first) Law is clearly defunct. Thus, Godwin's Second Law was born:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of being wrongfully smeared as an anti-semite approaches one."

Tradition has it that once such a smear is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the anti-semitism has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. Godwin's Second Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, the anti-semite smear might be apt.

Those are some pretty nifty arguments for ignoring what may likely escalate into a full gobal nuclear exchange. We can't talk about it, because it might be contentious. Now I'm no fan of John Derbyshire, but his observatio on this point sounds right in line with your excuses for silence.

"Derbyshire's First Law": Anything anything whatsoever that a Gentile says about Jews or Israel will be taken as rabidly antisemitic by somebody, somewhere."

Posted by: Godwin's Second Law on July 16, 2006 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

It seems we have run out of real solutions to this problem. All solutions seem to depend upon both sides being reasonable.
What about an amnesty program that would allow Israeli and Palestinian people who are tired of perpetual war in their lands to immigrate to the US? If they behave, give them citizenship.

Posted by: jhgeorge on July 16, 2006 at 5:32 AM | PERMALINK

Godwin's Second Law and Anomalocaris

The usual AIPAC distortions ...... or are you Al, Norom, tbrosz?

Begin with The Bible Unearthed by Finkelstein and and Silberman.

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

Good thing we let a lot of mad Irishmen immigrate to the U.S. or Britain would have been goners a century ago. It does shock and disappoint me that someone on the last Israel thread suggested that Israel deliberately pursued a lot of deliberate "ethnic cleansing" in 1948 and that is why so many Palestinians ended up in camps.

I get weary of the capricious way mentally lazy postmoderns throw around claims of ethnic cleansing. In 1954 a lot of Catholic, pro-Western Vietnamese had to flee Hanoi and settle around Saigon in order to feel safe. In 1975-1978 many of them had to flee Saigon and now live in Seattle and L.A., where they have done very well. A lot of Slavic people were chased out of Croatia in recent times, but the MSM gave that a very light treatment, being partial to Germanic peoples for some reason.

Then there is the Native American or First Nation if you live in Canada, shibboleth . From the perspective of the original inhabitants of North America successive waves of immigration have always been a problem, reaching back some 15,000 years or more. When the white man came starting in 1492 there was always a lot more cooperation than conflict, but the conflict has always gotten bigger press.

There was, in fact, a lot of intermarriage. The main reason that Native Americans welcomed the first Europeans into any area was that the former really did desire the technology that the newcomers brought with them. If you have lived your whole life trying to stay warm with robes a Hudson Bay wool blanket is a quantum leap in lifestyle. Today a comparable quality blanket to the early trade items will cost you close to a thousand bucks at Pendleton, Oregon, and it still beats the synthetic materials all hollow. Then too, the Europeans had a way of taking some Native American foods and making them better after a century or so, like maize and the potato. Pretty soon you end up gardening with a steel hoe or even a plough.

A certain type of historian never mentions it, but when some pioneers had to lighten their wagons and ended up leaving their iron stoves on the prairie, Native Americans always picked them up and began using them. Of course, they had to abandon the mobile teepee in favor of building a log cabin (and immediately ran into the problem of the squaw saying, "Honey, will you please go out and chop some wood? Now!" which tended to end the nomadic way of life. Central Plains Indians were only nomadic because the white man had brought the horse back to North America. Of course, the woman would also want glass windows for the cabin, a feather mattress, and a fabric dress or two, one for every day and the other to cover with glass beads for show around guests.

Once you get some iron pots, knives, stoves, and some axes of all sizes, your lifestyle really changes. You start baking bread, brewing coffee, and wondering on the -40 nights on the great plains how you ever survived trying to burn buffalo chips in an open fire in the teepee.

The worst thing that happened to the Indians was that most of the Europeans they inter-married with were Irishmen, which exacerbated the firewater problem and explains a lot of my family history. The most remote Cook ancestor was apparently forced on to a ship from Dublin because of "chronic drunkeness" back in the home county.

Early Montana pioneers speak a lot of marksmanship contests with passing Indians with the winner keeping the other's rifle and also
of inveterate card playing between the old and new cultures, as both cultures were addicted to gambling. Except for the missionaries, of course, who ventured into Montana very hard on the heels of the fur trappers and began building European style buildings for themselves and their converts immediately.

I have the impression that Jews and the Palestinians have not intermarried much and that neither side is greatly into heavy drinking and gambling. This may be the true core of the problem. That, and they live in such a damnably hot place they don't need wool blankets.

Posted by: Mike Cook on July 16, 2006 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Today a comparable quality blanket to the early trade items will cost you close to a thousand bucks at Pendleton, Oregon, and it still beats the synthetic materials all hollow.
I think so!!

Posted by: Nicole on July 16, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

Real Liberal is selling Kool Aid. The ingredients are sugar mixed with half truths.

Posted by: fat karl on July 16, 2006 at 7:58 AM | PERMALINK

There is an undeniable Jew-hating quality of the left, judging from the behavior that goes on at large rallies that are supposedly "anti-war" but often seem to endorse things like jihad (a war) intifada (a war) and resistance (war). Some leftists own up to their sympathy for terrorism and the most extreme fascist interpretation of Islamism and jihadism. Most don't, but secretly nod at it with approval.

There also seems to be an enthusiastic and predictable use of Nazi terminology to describe anything that Israel does to defend itself. You can see it in this thread. The limp moral equivalency of "both sides are wrong" is another common tactic.

But both sides truly aren't wrong- there is something clearly inhuman and monstrous about a society that sends actual human beings wrapped in explosives to detonate themselves amongst other actual human beings. What can be done to respond to such a thing? One side doesn't get concessions simply because it is willing to be more barbaric and inhuman-- or to commit more race-based violence than the other.

The left seems to often hold Israel to an impossible standard when it carries out actions to defend itself. The other common trend for leftists is to assume that Jew in any other given situation in the middle east --would be treated fairly or allowed to live freely or safely at all. The idea that palestinians will simply give up a lifetime of carefully indoctrinated hatred towards Jews (not just Israelis, mind you, but hatred for Jews) and want to live alongside us happily (once enough concessions have been reached) is also laughable at best. When the left starts talking about how Israel should be dissolved and "anti-zionism" they are in effect asking for us to surrender ourselves to racial extermination and they know it.

And further, how can we take seriously the international advice or opinions of people who seem to hate or at least disregard their own countries?

Because the left is somehow incapable of grasping any of this, it delegitimizes liberalism itself, and in turn this delegitimizes all political causes connected to it. I think this is tragic.

I know I'll get hit in comments. I expect I'll hear a lot of "No, you.. YOUR'E the nazi!!!" stuff. But I want you to know, I honestly don't hate the palestinians or muslims or you or anyone else. I simply don't trust people who have sworn to murder me and my family as a matter of policy, and I am not willing to trust people who declare their sympathies for them.

Posted by: P_Mahal on July 16, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

I know I'll get hit in comments. I expect I'll hear a lot of "No, you.. YOUR'E the nazi!!!" stuff.

Sorry; though you do seem to be hoping for that, it never crossed my mind. Would instead point out that your argument, which was going along fine, fizzles into irrelevancy with this:

And further, how can we take seriously the international advice or opinions of people who seem to hate or at least disregard their own countries?

This sort of crap brands the speaker as a reactionary, you're-either-with-us-or-against-us, American-brooks-no-criticism Bushco apologist. And it delegitimizes everything you say from that point forward.

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what you're talking about, Kevin. The left side of the blogosphere has been loud and clear in it's analysis.

Posted by: K T Cat on July 16, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I've been pondering France's assertion that Israel's reaction to the Hezbollah cross-border raid was not "proportional" to the original offense, that killed three (?) Israelis and captured two.

When you really think about it, the Biblical rule of "an eye for an eye" is rather conservative. If a street ruffian hits one of my family in the face, causing them to lose an eye, I don't want the attacker's eye gouged out. If I am present the strong impulse will be to empty a clip into him. When Pancho Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916, the attack by his 500 followers was pretty effectively fended off by locals and a small U.S. Army contingent who killed 77 of the intruders. Nevertheless, a Punitive Expedition had to be mounted which turned into an "eye for an eye" type of thing which was as inconsequential as the provocation.

A "proportional response" to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter would have saved many hundreds of thousands of lives and we wouldn't have a Martin Luther King day to celebrate. A "proportional response" to Pearl Harbor would have meant that the U.S. could have just called things good after the Battle of Midway and signed a truce right then. Japan would have then had to fight wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Bush didn't look for a "proportional response" after 9/11. He looked for someplace he could engage the shadowy al Qaeda organization and kill them. We seem to have found, rather blunderingly, the right place, as Osama himself now proclaims that al Qaeda "must win" in Iraq.

We lost in Vietnam because the enemy was always allowed a variety of sanctuaries where they could retreat, regroup, and plan their next attack. Syria is the immediate sanctuary against the state of Israel. I wonder for how long?

Posted by: Mike Cook on July 16, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Of course the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is intertwined with the Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon issues. And these issues are far from complex.

How many times did Yassar Arafat walk away from the negotiating table?

On how many occasions was Yassar unable to control rogue groups?

How many Arab nations have stepped up to offer a peace accord with the Palestinians and offer some of their land?

How many Arab nations have honestly acknowledged Israels right to exist?

How many Arab leaders have called for Israel to be eliminated?

How much land does Israel have to concede to achieve peace?

How many suicide bombers has Israel sent into Arab communities?

In what part of Judaism and Christianity does it call for jihad against infidels?

Only self-loathing, confused people are unable to see the black and white of this broad, global conflict.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Jay. Questions for you.

How about the ones with the nukes, aircraft carriers, F-16s, killing scores of civilians now?

Nah, not them!

How many nukes has Hamas dropped?

How many countries has Hamas invaded?

How many WMDs has Hamas claimed existed before they invaded?

How many false flag terror operations has Hamas done on its own people?

Etc ...

Posted by: Jonathan Pollard on July 16, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Still full of shit, Jay. Read all of the above which is critical of Israel: it is almost all completely accurate. The Pro-Israel posts are almost all your AIPAC-mantra distorting lies. I suggested months ago that to comment from knowledge you should read 'The Bible Unearthed' and some real history; you plainly have not done so. Please stop wasting our time.

How can the left be "Jew-baiting" (You mean Anti-Zionist: be accurate, please.) when "the Left" is the Democratic Party which until lately was even more Israel Always than the Republicans. It is brilliant of the always unnamed ---- here it is ---- lethal Arthur Finkelstein and his disciples led by Billy Kristol, to have conned the Republican Party into being even more biased towards Israel than the Democrats........

It is especially brilliant in view of the Republican Party being largely the business party when it is plainly amazingly Bad For Business to support Israel.

Unless the Sensible Right turns Cowboy Up back very quickly, we are more screwed than ever.


Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck it. I'm sick of hearing about these damned drama-queens. On both sides. Load them all on a bus and ship them off to Jordan, and be done with it already.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 16, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Inept military analogy alert! (A right-wing speciality)

Hezbollah violates a de-facto cease-fire, Israel wrecks country that already lacks the means to act against Hezbollah, making it more or less likely that Hezbollah will continue to act in Lebanon? This brilliant strategy also worked well against the Palestinians, helping bring Hamas into power, and making it impossible for the PA to act against it, and not particularly willing to in the first place.

Perhaps Mike Cook is too young to remember how well the invasion and occupation of Southern Lebanon worked. A disproportionate response has yet to do anything other than make a difficult position worse, and in unanticipated ways.

Posted by: Wombat on July 16, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

The ridiculous analogies that are routinely presented by the right all have one thing in common: They are examples of warfare between entities of roughly similar capabilities, not examples of asymmetric warfare in the modern era.

The latter requires a different way of thinking, which the US military is beginning to grasp, if not the current political leadership, and those who slavishly back it.

Tragically, the country that has faced asymmetric warfare for decades (Israel) has been singularly unsuccessful in fighting it.

Posted by: Wombat on July 16, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I would suggest a different explanation for why the leftist bloggers are for the most part ignoring the current war between Israel and Iran/Syria/Hezbollah/Hamas.

I believe the answer is cognitive dissonance.

Part of the leftist weltanschuuang is a belief that Israeli intrasigence - a refusal to trade land for peace, a determination to occupy land that belongs the poor, downtrodden Palestinian - is the only obstacle to peace in the region. If Israel would only withdraw to the armistice lines in effect before the Six-Day War of 1967, the naive pacifists of the left say, peace would come. Well, now we have the fact, the very uncomfortable fact for those in love with the belief in Jewish evil and the innocence of the Palestinian Arabs, that Israel unilaterally withdrew to the pre-1967 armistice lines both in Lebanon and Gaza and was rewarded for withdrawal that with hundreds of rockets and military raids across the border.

Gee, what could be the problem? Could it be that the Palestinian Arabs in fact do not want to live in peace side by side with the State of Israel? Certainly, many of those posting above (rmck, to pick one) think that they should not have to, that the existence of a Jewish state is a crime, and that the Palestinian Arabs should be encouraged to wage war by whatever means to the ends of time until they have succeeded in killing all the Jews or at the least driving them into the sea. (To those who peddle tall tales of a single, united, secular Palestine: telling Jews to accept minority status in an Moslem majority state is the same thing as saying you want them dead or exiled.)

In short, cognitive dissonance is why the left doesn't blog about the current war, despite its great importance to the United States. There's no way to reconcile the current inconstestable facts with the left's deeply felt beliefs and prejudices.

Posted by: DBL on July 16, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yglesias is naive. The UN has always been quite chummy and supportive Of Hezbollah.A UN ceasefire would certainly hold back Israel, but,would it hold back Hezbollah for long and will it bring Israel's captured soldiers back. Oh sure, it will, but they would have to free 1000 prisoners for to get their soldiers back. Its ludicrous to ask the UN to solve the Hezbollah problem, when they themselves are fervent Hezbollah supporters.

Posted by: Ken on July 16, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jonathan,
Hezbullah killed three and kidnapped two Israel soldiers and lobbed a reported one hundred missles into Israel, unprovoked. Israle should annihilate them, not just kill a few hundred.

maunga, you presenting me with "the Bible unearthed" is a complete fucking joke. Nothing but anti-christian propaganda. You are a waste of flesh and time and the blood of the ME is squarely on the hands of confused stupid people like you.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Neo-conservative = Jew?????

LOL What a ludicrous statement!

I'm a Jew and most neo-cons *I* know of are evangelical Christians or people indistinguishable from them.

Posted by: davidbodhi on July 16, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am neo-con and neither evangelical or that much of a christian, so quit fucking stereotyping, liberal asshat.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Some interesting facts...

Hezbollah

According to the liberal Council on Foreign Relations, the Hezbollah is a Lebanese umbrella organization of radical Islamic Shiite groups and organizations. It opposes the West, seeks to create a Muslim fundamentalist state modeled on Iran, and is a bitter foe of Israel.

Hezbollah, whose name means "party of God," is a terrorist group believed responsible for nearly 200 attacks since 1982 that have killed more than 800 people.

Hezbollah and its affiliates have planned or been linked to a lengthy series of terrorist attacks against the United States, Israel, and other Western targets. These attacks include:

a series of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon, including several Americans, in the 1980s;

the suicide truck bombings that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983;

the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, which featured the famous footage of the plane's pilot leaning out of the cockpit with a gun to his head;

and two major 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina - the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy (killing twenty-nine) and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center (killing ninety-five).

In addition, Hezbollah is sponsored, funded and armed by Iran and Syria who use the organization as a proxy to fight Israel and to destabilize the region. Hezbollah is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department.

Shebaa Farms Controversy

On May 24, 2000, Israel completed the unilateral withdrawal of all IDF forces from southern Lebanon, in accordance with Israeli government decisions and UN Security Council Resolution 425, ending an 18-year presence there.

On June 18, 2000, the UN Security Council endorsed the Secretary-General's conclusion that, as of 16 June, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with Resolution 425.

As explained by Israel's Foreign Ministry, the Shebaa Farms area is not, and should not be, considered disputed territory - its status was clarified by a number of United Nations statements following the withdrawal of Israel forces from Lebanon in May 2000.

The United Nations views the Shebaa Farms area as Syrian territory. Therefore, UN Security Council Resolution 425 - which concerns Lebanon - does not require Israel to withdraw from this area.

While Lebanon claims to be the owner of the Shebaa Farms area, the UN has encouraged the Lebanese and Syrians to negotiate between themselves as to who is the rightful owner.

If Syria were to cede ownership of the area to Lebanon, then it is probable that Israel and the UN would then reconsider the status of the territory. In the meantime, the issue of the Shebaa Farms is used simply as an excuse for the Hezbollah to maintain itself as an armed force in the region.

Posted by: Real Liberal on July 16, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, we're well aware of Hezbollah's capture of 2 Israeli soldiers, as the US media has been repeating it ad nauseum. Here's the missing part of the story, courtesy of the Asia Times, which is not heavily self-censored like the US media:

"It all started on July 12 when Israel troops were ambushed on Lebanon's side of the border with Israel. Hezbollah, which commands the Lebanese south, immediately seized on their crossing. They arrested two Israeli soldiers, killed eight Israelis and wounded over 20 in attacks inside Israeli territory."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HG15Ak02.html

Lied to again, right into World War 3.

Posted by: Jonathan Pollard on July 16, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

No Jay, The Bible Unearthed demonstrates there is no historic justification for Israel, and the only basis on which 'Israel' exists todays is its claim of historic ownership of the land. As I have said over and over again, even the word 'Israel' is a lie in that 'Israel' was a Canaanaite country in the north of what is now Palestine before the Hebrews/Jews existed and before the Old Testamant was written. Finkelstein's and Silberman's book's last chapter is 585- c.440BC, just slightly before Jesus, I think. Christianity does not get a mention, therefore. you really should try not to be so silly.

This is the sort of thing, Sewermouth Jay, which shows you do not know what you are talking about. You mean the Near East BTW, the 'ME' begins at the Gulf.

We are backing the wrong horse and always have. Having begun with stridency on the Left in its support for Israel we now have the real dregs on that bandwagon, you Neocons led by Arthur FinkelsteinBoilly Kristol through their lapdogs Cheney and Bush. It is weird, because at the same time as the US has caused the Islamic fundamentalists to rise to prominence, so the Christian fundamentalists in our own society are rising. They are, I suppose, at about the same place in development, and unable to countenance moderation.

Also BTW Sewermouth Jay, ---- if they were tae pit teeth in ra bum ye could eat with it as well as talk out of it!

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

You back the horse you want loser. I'll back mine. Israel has as much right to their land as any country on this planet has to theirs. You are a muslim brainwashed bitch pawn.

Have a nice day.

Excellent analysis Real Liberal.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I have just read this whole string of almost entirely anti-Israel comments and the most telling thing of all is how many so-called facts are just plain wrong.

An interesting (and erroneous) assertion, which you then go on to support by submitting a barrage of discredited drivel that no one with even a modicum of scholarly understanding would conside

"The bulk of you have absolutely no knowledge of the history of the Middle East or the creation of the State of Israel, yet you speak as though you are experts."

Oh, foolish knave. I nominate this for Extremely Ironic Statement of the Century.

"For example, you have no knowledge of how many Jews lived in what is now Israel in 1900 or that there was never, ever, a Palestinian state."

Do you? You didn't post any numbers. To clue in people who aren't as perhaps as "informed" as you are, the number was less than 100,000, while there were millions of Arabs. And this ratio was the demographic norm for over a millenia. Jews did not have a relatively significant population in Palestine since before the first Crusades. Funny I bring up the Crusades, huh? That's because the Crusaders significantly diminished the Jewish population that did exist in the Holy Land. In fact, Christians, and not Arabs or Muslims, continued to persecute Jews in large numbers up to and through WWII, when Hitler, a Christian, killed more Jews than anyone else in recorded history.

"Moreover, the Jews who lived alongside Arabs in what is now Israel were frequently murdered by them in large numbers..."

The Arabs sought to expel the Western colonists who invaded Palestine, trying to claim it as their own by some curious "right" they read in some book.

"The now entirely Arab city of Hebron in the West Bank was once populated by a majority of Jews who were largely driven out by such ethnic cleansing in the early part of the 20th Century."

Really? The now entirely Israeli country of Israel was once populated by over a million Arabs, who have largely been ethnically cleansed by a colonial invading force of Western Jews.

"My first recommendation to you folks is to crack a few books and take a class or two before spouting hatred at a whole nation of people."

Good advice! Perhaps you should heed it yourself?

"I, myself, am a real liberal."

Oh! Ok, I'll take your (ahem) word for it...

"Violence must be used on occasion but should be considered a last resort in defense of yourself or others who can't entirely defend themselves."

Thank you for this rather, uh, interesting definition of what a "real" Liberal is. Does this credo equally apply to the mostly defenseless Palestinians that are currently being bombed out of existence by Israeli tanks, planes, and gunships?

"Perhaps, most importantly, I'm willing to re-examine my beliefs when I learn new facts."

Start re-examining, foolio.

"'The Case for Israel' by Alan Dershowitz, admittedly a Jewish lawyer..."

That leaves out a bit of relevant background. Alan Dershowitz is a Jewish lawyer, yes, but also advocates the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as well as the collective punishment that is currently being metted out to the Palestinians. So his words are actually worth less than yours, and that's saying QUITE a bit.

"...It states opposition views about Israel and rebuts them with provable facts."

Are these "facts" located in the same sections of text that Dershowitz plagiarized? His work has been thoroughly debunked and discredited (see Finkelstein, Chomsky, etc.)

"Israel was, and remains, more pro-labor (pro-worker) than any American government has ever been..."

Is this why Israel has over a million of its citizens living in poverty:

http://www.israelnewsagency.com/israelpovertychildrenyomkippur4831210.html

"...and America's labor leaders still support Israel for that reason."

Here's concrete proof that you don't know what the
fuck you're talking about.

"As regards the current situation, Hamas and Hezbollah are proud to use murder and terror to achieve their political ends."

And Israel is as pure as a spring virgin? You've got some nerve defiling the Liberal and Labor labels by positing this defective drivel under the auspices of those movements.

Hamas and Hezbollah are legitimate resistance movements. Israel is a state terror actor. There is no moral equivalence.

"Today, Israel believes so strongly in a two-state solution that they removed all of their citizens from Gaza in order to begin the process of creating the separation demanded by the Arabs living there."

True, and now they are removing all Arab citizens as well by attempting to kill them off ten by ten. Of course there's no mention of the cancerous settlements that litter the West Bank, which would form the bulk of the Palestinian state should the Israelis ever be "generous" enough to allow them to have it in total. After all, the Palestinians were generous enough to give Israel the rest of its 78% of land mass so that Jews could have a homeland.

"I could go on..."

Please, no. You've embarrassed yourself adequately.

"There are many Arabs nations in the Middle East and jut one nation devoted to protecting the Jewish people - a nation that came into being after 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe just because they were Jewish."

And let's not forget, murdered by a Christian. But anyway, what does this have to do with the "right" of anyone to take anothers' land for their own? Since you seem to be so generous with other people's land, I assume you would be the same with yours? E-mail me your address so I can come set up a settlement in your backyard (the part with the water and the best land of course).

"Literally few, if any, Jews can live safely in Arab nations. Over one million Arabs live safely and well in Israel."

Thousands of Jews remain living, safely and securely, in countries throughout the Middle East. Here's a fact that your exhaustive "research" apparently didn't uncover: over 25,000 Jews live safely in Iran. Does 25,000 people equate to "literally few" in your interpretation?

"Even with its flaws, those Arabs don't choose to move to an Arab nation because they would lose the freedoms they have come to love in Israel."

Um, no. They won't leave Israel because the land they live on is THEIRS, regardless of the fiction called "Israel", and the land has been theirs for hundreds and thousands of years, going back further than any Western Jew could ever claim.

"...maybe there is more to this story than you have considered."

Or maybe you're just an obnoxious tool who has more oral flatulence than actual valid thought.

Posted by: Sellam Ismail on July 16, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding this:

"Yes, we've all heard of Godwin's Law, but considering the extreme *relevance* of the descriptor 'Nazi' these days in relation to historical events, Godwin's (first) Law is clearly defunct. Thus, Godwin's Second Law was born:

'As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of being wrongfully smeared as an anti-semite approaches one.'"

There is a related logical axiom. We all know "reductio ad absurdum" ("reduction to the absurd"). Leo Strauss coined "reductio ad Hitlerum": an attempt to refute a view by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler.

I submit to you, dear readers, "Reductio ad anti-Semitum": an attempt to refute a view by claiming the writer/speaker is an anti-Semite.

Posted by: Sellam Ismail on July 16, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

The world agrees that Hezbollah is at fault for initiating this conflict by its cross-border invasion, murder and kidnapping of Israelis.

"...the leaders believe that "first of all, that the Israeli soldiers must be returned unharmed, that the attacks on Israel must stop and that then, of course, also the Israeli military action must be ended." - AP

-----------

G-8 leaders demand halt to Mideast attacks

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer 1 hour, 53 minutes ago

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - World leaders, managing to resolve sharp differences over an escalating crisis between Israel and Lebanon, declared Sunday that extremist groups in the region cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos and must immediately halt their attacks.

The leaders of the world's eight industrial powers issued a strong statement condemning Hezbollah militants but also urged Israel to exercise restraint in its military actions against Lebanon.

The statement said it was critical for Israel to "be mindful of the strategic and humanitarian consequences of its actions." It called on Israel "to exercise utmost restraint" by seeking to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure.

"It is a strong message with a clear political content," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.

The statement called for two captured Israeli soldiers to be freed, for the attacks on Israel by Hezbollah militants to stop and for Israel to end its military action. It also expressed support for the Lebanese government.

The crisis has dominated talks among President Bush and the other leaders attending the annual G-8 summit of major industrial countries. The Group of Eight is made up of the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada.

Israeli warplanes began striking Lebanon after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the border on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. The guerrillas struck back at Israeli cities, and on Sunday fired a relentless barrage of rockets into the Israeli city of Haifa, dramatically escalating the conflict.

Bush and European leaders disagreed on who should be blamed for the violence, and those differences had to be overcome for the G-8 nations to issue a joint declaration.

While other G-8 leaders questioned whether Israel's response to the capture of its soldiers went too far, Bush has placed blame squarely on Hezbollah and its state sponsors Iran and Syria and has declined to press Israel for a cease-fire.

Bush described the escalation of violence as "a moment of clarification" that should show the world how Hezbollah is disrupting the peace process.

In their statement, the leaders expressed "deepening concern about the situation in the Middle East, in particular the rising civilian casualties on all sides and the damage to infrastructure." At least 130 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Lebanon, while about a dozen Israeli civilians have lost their lives.

Merkel, speaking to reporters, said: "We do not want to let terrorist forces and those who support them have the opportunity to create chaos in the Middle East. Therefore we place value on clearly identifying the cause and effect of events."

She said the leaders believe that "first of all, that the Israeli soldiers must be returned unharmed, that the attacks on Israel must stop and that then, of course, also the Israeli military action must be ended."

Merkel also said they are "convinced that the government of Lebanon must be given all support and that the relevant U.N. resolutions regarding the south of Lebanon must also be implemented, and we also demand that in addition to the U.N. activities, another observation and security mission is established. That must be worked out through the U.N."

The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1559 in September 2004, calling for the disarmament of all militias and strict respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence. Hezbollah, which operates in southern Lebanon, has refused to disarm, saying it is a resistance movement.

Posted by: Real Liberal on July 16, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

DBL wrote:

"If Israel would only withdraw to the armistice lines in effect before the Six-Day War of 1967, the naive pacifists of the left say, peace would come. Well, now we have the fact, the very uncomfortable fact for those in love with the belief in Jewish evil and the innocence of the Palestinian Arabs, that Israel unilaterally withdrew to the pre-1967 armistice lines both in Lebanon and Gaza and was rewarded for withdrawal that with hundreds of rockets and military raids across the border."

Wow, they gave up a whole 3 square miles of crappy land. How generous of those Zionists! Now, what about the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Shebaa Farms...oops! Sorry, didn't mean to so easily destroy your "cognitive dissonance" theory, or at least turn it back around to land on you like a missile on a convoy of fleeing refugees.

Posted by: Sellam Ismail on July 16, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Real Liberal" opens his piehole again and blathers:

"Hezbollah, whose name means "party of God," is a terrorist group believed responsible for nearly 200 attacks since 1982 that have killed more than 800 people."

Wow, only 800 people? That's the number of Palestinians that Israel eliminates in a year. Those silly Hizbollites had better work much harder if they're going to be competitive in the terror game.

In a further attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what a complete dunderhead he is, he then goes on to spew this:

"The United Nations views the Shebaa Farms area as Syrian territory. Therefore, UN Security Council Resolution 425 - which concerns Lebanon - does not require Israel to withdraw from this area.

While Lebanon claims to be the owner of the Shebaa Farms area, the UN has encouraged the Lebanese and Syrians to negotiate between themselves as to who is the rightful owner."

Ok, for argument's sake let's just say that today Syria and Lebanon decide that the Shebaa Farms belongs to, oh, let's pick Syria. Will Israel then withdraw tomorrow? Or will they wait for another UN Security Council resolution (that is, if the US doesn't veto it) that they will then properly proceed to ignore for several years or decades?

Please leave the political commentary and analysis to the adults.

Posted by: Sellam Ismail on July 16, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Blog This! http://www.theindyvoice.com/

Posted by: The Indy Voice on July 16, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Will Israel then withdraw tomorrow"
Sellam

Well as demonstrated by the Israelis conceeding land in Lebanon in 2000, and in Gaza in 2005, yes they probably would.

You are nothing more than a muslim apologist pawn. They brainwashed you and you're too stupid to realize it.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sellam Ismail wrote "Wow, they gave up a whole 3 square miles of crappy land." Uh, the area of Gaza is approximately 140 square miles, and the inhabitants think it is holy and precious, not "crappy."

As for Shebaa Farms, as you recall, Syria attacked Israel in the Six Day War in June 1967, and as a result of this murderous blunder, Israel occupied the Golan Heights, including Shebaa Farms, which was part of Syria, not Lebanon. Now if the leaders of Syria can find the courage to follow the lead of Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, and end the state of war against Israel, Israel will make peace with Syria, just as Israel did with Egypt in 1978 (giving up Sinai) and Jordan in 1994.

Sellam Ismail then discounts the 800 Israelis killed by Hezbollah on the theory that Israel has killed more Palestinians than this. In other words, because Israel and the Palestinians are not getting along, it's OK for terrorists from a third country to lob bombs over the border, as long as the bombs kill fewer people? With such logic you would make a superb peace maker. [/irony]

What Sellam Ismael does not say is that Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel, and so is Hezbollah. Tell us, sir, please, how do you define occupation? Are Haifa and Tel Aviv part of the occupation? Hamas and Hezbollah think so.

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Sellam is a muslim coward. Don't expect any honest answers.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, be quiet you pathetic child ............ I think perhaps the word for you might be nebbish, but I also think it possible nebbish is of grown-ups.

Your religio-racist name-calling shows you for what you are.

Sallem was plainly not educated in the US: he actually has KNOWLEDGE.

Real Liberal, DBL et al, you obviously have heard only small parts of entrely one-sided propaganda. Sellam Ismail is correct in every detail......... What a shame you all know so few facts but just spew the mantras your masters have instructed you to utter.


And No, Animal Canis, The Six Day War was an Israel invention to take the West Bank and the Golan, and very cleverly manipulative they were too.

You AIPAC guys have too many years of lying behind you, too many years of using 10% fact to lace the 90% of lies........... but then you are supporting a group of illegal immgrants who even stole their country's name from the Canaanites/Palestinians who were anation before the Hebrews/Jews ever formed anything cohesive.

We do not actually expect you to know what the truth is: you have had 2,400+ years of brain-washing since the fictional Old Testament was written, and lots of big big money spent on continuing the lies.

At least there is external evidence for the existence of the man Jesus. It must piss you all off enormously that one of those deliverers of the outside evidence was the Jew Josephus.

The fact is that we backed the wrong horse in backing Israel. We should be currying favor with the owners of the black gold to help us keep and edge on the Russians ----- with the Chinese rushing up behind!

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

maunga, mulsim bitch. Having knowledge, as you profess Sallem to have, hardly means that it is balanced or right.

You're a confused puppet of the cockroaches that illegally occupy the land of Israel. The civilized community, that doesn't include you, needs to eliminate the cockroach infestation that has plagued Israel and most of the middle east. Then, maybe the destruction will cease.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

"What Sellam Ismael does not say is that Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel"

Bullshit as of 6 months ago:

Hamas drops call for destruction of Israel from manifesto
http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5372294-103681,00.html

Posted by: Mythbusters on July 16, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

mythbusters, don't mean to dispel your myth, but Hamas is funded by Tehran which has just recently called for the elmination of Israel.

You're another muslim bitch.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

JayAlNoromTbrosz

Your uncouth rudeness renders what you write even less plausible and ineffective.

You are still missing the point. The Democrats backed the wrong horse way back in 1948 and now the Republicans have been suckered too. It does not matter a tinker's cuss who are the good guys and who are bad guys, 'cos we have made them all into Bad Asses; it just matters that it is Bad For business to have backed the wrong horse.

So if you are not AIPAC stooges, get your wee mind to work. All countries, especially big and strong ones have to do business with some pretty unpleasant guys, so we need not be squeamish here.

BTW -- from the poor tone of your writing I expect I am more Euro than you, but all the same, zift mugli, Ya'alaam dienech ibn sharmit.

Oh and since you are a Christian you say, though you are behaving in rather unChristian tones, you do know that a significant proportion of Palestinians are Christian, don't you, and also that Israel systematically digs up and destroys all the ancient Christian sites it can find.........

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

I guess maunga would prefer to back a tyranical and oppressive theocracy that treats women as second class citizens. Is that the horse we should back maunga? What guy!

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I am hardly a christian but when I see a confused bitch like yourself that apologizes for evil, I don't hold back.

Posted by: Jay on July 16, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Mythbusters, whose e-mail address reveals his or her bias, wrote, "Hamas drops call for destruction of Israel from manifesto." Perhaps there is a difference between a manifesto intended as window-dressing for the outside world, and the Covenant or Charter of Hamas, which still calls for the destruction of Israel.

See: http://www.pmw.org.il/tv-hamas.htm

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

Posted by: Anomalocaris on July 16, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how you claim to deplore treating women as second-class citizens, while you indulge in gender bigotry with your abuse of the word "bitch." You discredit yourself nicely.

Exac how would you window dress the following racist statements?

"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands."
-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everything we don't grab will go to them."
-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

"Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

"If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force...."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.

"I would have joined a terrorist organization."
-- Ehud Barak's response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha'aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

"Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories."
-- Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

"(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls."
-- Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

"[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!"
-- Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

"[Israel will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat."
-- Yitzhak Rabin (a "Prince of Peace" by Clinton's standards), explaining his method of ethnically cleansing the occupied land without stirring a world outcry. (Quoted in David Shipler in the New York Times, 04/04/1983 citing Meir Cohen's remarks to the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee on March 16.)

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."
-- Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."
-- David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p. 99.

"Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country."
-- David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

"We must expel Arabs and take their places."
-- David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
-- David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Posted by: Mythbusters on July 16, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Jay's epithet choice shows how young he is, hein, Mythbuster?

Mythbuster has left out, Jay et al, that the King David Hotel was blown up by Menachem Begin in 1946. Those murders, which he proudly owned, caused him never to land in London on his travels to Camp David for fear of arrest on his own admission. And, BTW, the King David was owned by an old old Egypt and Palestine-dwelling Jewish family called Moseri. They had probably evacuated to Egypt in 70-77AD!

And do not forget that other peach of a terrorist, Yitzak Shamir, who murdered Count Bernadotte in King George Avenue in 1948. You know, that same Bernadotte who saved thousands of Jews from the Germans.

They are all peachy and lovely, are they not Jay and Animated Canis? And you think they are BETTER than others in that neighborhood? What queer folk you are.

The US has done and is happily doing business with all sorts of thoroughly nasty individuals. Why are you being so selective, surely not because the little lists above are such pure citizens?

Women as second class citizens Jay? How much wealth of the US is owned by women, Jay? The answer is about 14%. In Sa'udi arabia, Jay, it is nearly 50%.

Please try to get honest --- just own up you are AIPAC plants. If they are not paying you already you should ask for money.

Posted by: maunga on July 16, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

The United States needs to "pull the plug" on Israel and the billions we have given them. If necessary, turn Israel and Palestine over to a United Nations Governing Board. Deal harshly with any opposition, give equal rights to all residents of the territory.

The alternative is nuclear destruction!

When it comes to choosing between oil and Israel, I choose oil!

Posted by: Gramps on July 17, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

As near as I can tell, most conservatives simply take the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way.

That's a good illustration of why you were probably better off going with your instincts. "Maximal possible way"? It doesn't take a "fanatical attention to detail" to avoid such utter horseshit. It just takes a basic attention to facts, and something that is at least the beginning of a start of an honest try at common sense.

Posted by: Joel Rosenberg on July 17, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

ISRAELS STRATEGIC FUTURE:
The Final Report of Project Daniel
http://www.acpr.org.il/ publications/ policy-papers/ pp155-xs.html
check this out

Posted by: ren on July 17, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

here is another related site..
ISRAELS STRATEGIC FUTURE
The Final Report of Project Daniel
http://www.acpr.org.il/ ENGLISH-NATIV/ 03-ISSUE/ daniel-3.htm

Posted by: ren on July 17, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Not blogging about Israel because your are afraid of being called "antisemitic" is a pathetic cop out.

As I have said on this forum before, at this point in time if you are called "antisemitic" in the context of a discussion on the Middle East, it most likely means that you believe that Muslim and Christian Palestinians are just as human as Israeli Jews. Therefore, what is normally taken as a perjorative should be taken as a compliment.

Posted by: Disputo on July 17, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine why someone would allege that the blogging left is anti-Semitic. We all would die for the opportunity to kiss Russ Feingold's feet. Anyone wanna hazard a guess as to what Feingold's ethnicity is?

Posted by: Isaac on July 17, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I can see why Kevin wants to avoid this shitstorm. Unfortunately, the shit is raining down as we speak, Kevin, and as bad as this little rhetorical catfight is, it is worse for those suffering on both sides in the Mideast.

I agree with other commentators that if we on the left just walk away from the argument, we cede to the most radical elements of both sides. This comment space is a lovely case in point. But I'd argue that the spittle gets frothiest and the invective most hate filled when the person speaking it is most aware (at least subconsciously) that they are in the wrong (ahem... cough, cough... Jay?)

But just because one gets hate mail doesn't mean that one should give up the fight. Martin Luther King got plenty of it (and much, much worse) but kept his struggle for peace. We in the blogosphere are doing much less, but seem to fear much more...

Posted by: picaresque on July 17, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I hear it all the time: "Those crazy Iraelis and Palestinians deserver each other..." I think this is what Kevin is basically saying. Did the South African black majority and the Afrikans white majority "deserve each other"? Was the issue in South Africa "too complex" to wrap our feeble little brains around? Hell no. This is simple: The strong preying on the weak. Don't chicken out: examine the information out there and take a stand!

Posted by: Swanny on July 17, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

For more information on the topic read the links at this post

Posted by: Ozzie on July 18, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

The conflict is rather complicated but still not.
Problem is that the sides still live in a tribal world most of us left 1000 years ago.

Also the count Bernadotte that was killed was not the same count Bernadotte that saved jews during ww2, that count was thrown in jail before that time by the soviets. It's a large family.

Now to the conflict.
Israel has the rigt to defend itself, but all self defense have to be proportional. Destroying a country isn't.
Colonizing a area occupied by other people isn't legal, doesn't matter what the other people has done. This means all settlements are illegal (idealy it means that the borders should be 1948 as dictated by the UN but that is impossible so 1967 borders are generally the accepted ones for discussion)
Fringe lunatics on all sides should be ignored.
The things that is needed to be done is that Israel leaves teh westbank and allows the palestinians to get a viable state. This means more or less the 1967 borders.
To gurantee Israeli security they should be let into NATO and the EU (yes most americans seem to despise these organizations but they are the best available, not to mention that Israel is already dependant on the EU for it's trade)
A UN peacekeeping force in all border areas from NATO countries with enough mandate to do something.

Trying to find the first stone isn't important. Nor is trying to solve all problems in the middle east at once. But starting with the immidate palestinian state is probably the best one.

Iran and Syria would loose a lot of influence when that happens. If the palestinian state doesn't fail due to isolation.

Posted by: Peo on July 18, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Israel has NO RIGHT IN LEBANON.
It has NO RIGHT TO DESTROY LEBANON'S INFRASTRUCTURE to 'rescue' TWO SOLDIERS.

Has everyone here gone insane?
Fifty per cent of the Arab countries is under the age of fifteen.
Do you enjoy the sight of dead babies on the news? Well, you are not being shown them since most people don't enjoy the sight. But they are dying nevertheless and for no other reason than the madness of their elders.

Israel is wrong in this fight. It is the Lebanese who have the right to defend themselves.

And I am a Jew writing this, who hates war and slaughter of the innocents.

Israel is its own worst enemy, it has become just like the Nazis. And our Government enables these monsters. America, too, is its own worst enemy.

Posted by: upharsin on July 18, 2006 at 6:27 AM | PERMALINK

Peo at 3.01

The Shamir-murdered Count Folke Bernadotte did indeed save numbers of Jews.

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/folke.html


If the US had required Israel to comply with all the post 1967 Resolutions there would have been peace many years ago and almost certainly Islamic fundamentalism would have remained a fringe practice. (I wonder if the rise of Fundamentalism here is a parallel?).

Because of Israel's violent and terrorist messianic intransigence since 1967 positions may now be so entrenched on the Palestinian side that would be very difficult to return there.

"Peace-keeping forces" work only when the two sides being kept apart are will to try to be peaceful. Since Israel has considered all the varieties of UN to appear on its borders groups either to be ignored or cheated there is no chance for a "peace-keeping" force, but only a fighting one. Since AIPAC has so suborned the political and administrative processes of the US it is unlikely that the US would be part of such a force, and anyway, the DoD has demonstrated in Iraq it has no idea how to run such things. Unless the US closed down the money it gives Israel so that Israel could not maintain the ludicrously unbalanced arsenal it has, there would be the certainty of the UN force fighting the proxy US.

Actually, the UNEF force in Gaza post-1956 was pretty good because its first general, WAG Burns of Canada, was prepared to fight.

It is wonderful to read so many posters who see the light ---- who have ralised how bad for the US present and future it is to fund our economic colony Israel.

Posted by: maunga on July 18, 2006 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly