Curious News From Gaza

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khaledmeshaalr_468x602.jpgLast week Hamas militants arrested two members of the hard-line Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group while the men were in the act of setting up mortars to fire into southern Israel.
This may not seem like big news, but it comes amid various developments in the interminable slog known that is the “peace process.”
Hamas has more or less maintained a cease-fire with Israel for the past few months. In this time Hamas has arrested other militants trying to attack from Gaza, and the group’s leaders have taken a somewhat more conciliatory tone towards Israel. For instance, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal implied in a May interview with the New York Times that Hamas would not be averse to a two-state solution along the 1967 borders or a long-term truce, a hudna, with Israel. Then again, in the same interview he categorically refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, something not entirely inconsistent with a hudna.
But behind the scenes, some gradual movement is taking place. Egypt claims to be on the verge of negotiating the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, though Egyptian President Mubarak angrily blamed Israel recently for ruining a potential deal. Israel and Syria also continue to talk to each other through intermediaries–both sides continue to proclaim that they want peace and will negotiate, even while blaming the other side for intransigence. Still, the recent announcements that America and Saudi Arabia are sending ambassadors back to Syria are steps forward, and leave open the possibility that Israel and Syria may eventually work out a deal either for outright peace or at least a reduction in Syrian support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
Of course, it is also possible that these new arrests were just another example of Hamas consolidating power in Gaza. Ha’aretz speculated two weeks ago that past Hamas arrests of PIJ members were part of an effort to absorb the group into Hamas, an effort that has met resistance among PIJ leaders opposed to any negotiation with Israel or political compromise.
Furthermore, the move could have been a response to recent investments in Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank. The Washington Post reports that as part of General Dayton’s efforts to build a Palestinian security force America has provided barracks, arms and ammunition while Russia is supplying 50 armored personnel carriers.
Or it is possible that the arrests meant nothing, that they were a minor event in a mind-bogglingly complex environment. Many issues loom on the horizon: Syria is hedging its bets, moving towards negotiation while still vocally supporting Ahmadinejad’s Iran. Finally, Palestinian reconciliation remains a fantasy, and will not be helped along by bolstering security forces without building institutions. As the head of New America’s Middle East Task Force Daniel Levy has argued, this buildup forces Palestinians to police their own occupation and undercuts the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority.
In the meantime Gaza remains buried in rubble, a state which will persist into the foreseeable future without a political agreement or an Israeli return to past commitments to investment in Gaza’s infrastructure and ease movement in and out of the still-blockaded strip.
— Andrew Lebovich

Comments

280 comments on “Curious News From Gaza

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    Ooops!… bad English (and horrible in Norwegian as well!)

    Reply

  2. arthurdecco says:

    “…barking at the liars and licking the asses of the truth-tellers…” Paul Norheim
    “licking the asses of the truth-tellers”
    I bet it scans better in a Norwegian, even if the sentiment expressed is still as adolescent and untrue as always.
    There’s no need to lie to score points, Paul.
    Try wit instead.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    My “reflex reaction” is based on the fact of the blockade in Gaza, and the controls Israel maintains over borders, and the behavior of the settlers.
    Each of these is a major pressure point, and each of these could be managed somewhat differently, while, as I said above somewhere, maintaining reasonable security.
    I think the real difference between us is that I think that the threat to Israel is partially of Israel’s own creation and partially not, whereas you seem to think it’s none of it Israel’s own.
    I do think Hamas is a problem at some level, but I also think that the effectiveness of any radical political organization can be lessened by social circumstances. People generally want to have love, raise kids, see trees, make money, go shopping, gossip, and enjoy life. These plans are occasionally interrupted by more urgent concerns, but that urgency can be mitigated and people can return to “cultivating their gardens”
    What occurs to me, under this basic rubric, is that Israel can do a few things to encourage the return to the garden, or it can continue to encourage the state of urgency that helps convince teenagers to give in to deep cruelty on both sides of the border.
    Instigators can be very effective in both directions, and for now the instigators are pushing urgency.
    I don’t think I’m able to read the I/P situation in your way, Nadine, because I’m not as caught up in the urgency, I’m not panicked in either direction.

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    Well Arthur,
    I don`t see much point in talking to you either. 99 % of the time
    here you don`t distinguish between different points of view, but
    between sincere people and obfuscating liars.
    Like drug dogs, you seem to imagine that you`ve been trained
    by a policeman from the Truth Department to detect dishonesty;
    that commenting on a foreign policy blog is not first and
    foremost about discussing ideas, but about sniffing through the
    threads until you`ve detected the scent of insincerity; barking at
    the liars and licking the asses of the truth-tellers. On blogs
    where the majority of the participants are anonymous (the art
    decco nostrils of the dog included), I regard this as a misplaced
    and absurd activity.
    Was that honest – or just earnest?

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    “Yes Hamas could conceivably wiggle, but it’s hard to wiggle under the present circumstances, and Israel likely has a moral obligation to be a little less nasty”
    Questions, I think you misunderstand the conditions under which Hamas can wiggle to the extent that you have got them exactly backwards.
    Hamas is committed to jihad against the Zionists until all of Palestine is liberated. This is their creed, this is what they believe. The only good excuse for not proceeding with the jihad is belief that the cause will actually be set back, not forward by attacking now. Under those circumstances it is not shameful to lay low (remember, we are talking about a honor/shame motivated society). But should the enemy be seen to project weakness, then it becomes imperative to attack and shameful not to.
    This is why Hamas began yelling essentially, “we got’em on the run, boys!” when Israel withdrew in 2005 and began attacking. Easing up anything becomes very dicey under those situations. Basically, Israel has to project strength while easing up. It’s worked since February – because of what happened in January.
    “The fact remains that Gaza needs a functioning economy not one based on the black market and smuggling. … Being denied these chances, whether by internal or external pressures, is a radicalizing force. If Israel can ease pressure without harming their security, and I believe pretty firmly that they can, then there’s a clear moral obligation to do so.”
    Based on what do you believe so? Your own wishes? And what’s with this “internal or external pressures” pussyfooting? Hamas runs Gaza as a police statelet. Those internal pressures are applied by them, and while the Gazans may need an economy, Hamas sure doesn’t. An economy based entirely on aid, arms and smuggling is an economy they control. They like it just fine, thank you very much.
    You really have this reflex reaction to assume Israel is in control of Gaza despite having left in 2005. Well it’s not. It’s just trying to control the Gaza/Israel border enough to limit suicide bombers and arms smuggling.

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    Thank you for dealing so forthrightly with the points I raised in my post, Mr. Norheim.
    Oh…you didn’t deal with a single issue I raised…?!? You skirted every point I raised?…?
    Stop talking to me or about me, Mr. Norheim. You may be an earnest man but you’re certainly not an honest one.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Arthur:
    Naomi Klein has an explanation for the Iraqi war and occupation
    that differs from yours, but also from Chomsky`s and
    Geenspan`s – in her essay “Baghdad Year Zero”, linked to by POA
    on the other thread.
    Now, is she just honest, but naive and ignorant – or is she actually
    one of the dissemblers and obfuscators, like Chomsky?

    Reply

  8. easy e says:

    Outraged American – We’re in Ahwatukee (as far as possible from McCain), but frequent the corridors regularly (Central, Camelback). Used to eat at Carolina’s often—love the soft tortilla’s. Also enjoy Mrs. White’s and Lolo’s. And the sounds of the Rhythm Room.
    Too bad about Richardson’s.
    Will plan to follow up with Steve.

    Reply

  9. Outraged American says:

    Easy E, we’re near Central and Northern within walking distance
    of McCain’s former “mansion” (which was really tacky — Cindy –
    – what were you thinking) – are you anywhere close?
    We walk our dogs down the Bridle Path at least once a day.
    It would be a lot of fun to talk.
    OK, I’ll ask Steve for your contact info and you can ask him for
    mine.
    BTW: Have you ever been to Carolina’s? My dad was Carolina’s
    first repeat customer back in something like 1973 when it was
    about as small as a bathroom, and Carolina herself loved my
    dad.
    El Norteno on Roosevelt & 7th Ave. Cockroach hole IMO,, but
    the tamales…

    Reply

  10. easy e says:

    Posted by Outraged American, Jul 20 2009, 5:28PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I’m in the metro PHX area; the dogs and one of my sons are glued to the A/C (dry heat!?!). Have Steve give you my contact info. Seeking more “like-minded” folks in this blood-red state.

    Reply

  11. arthurdecco says:

    Posted by questions, Jul 21 2009, 6:58AM
    Damned fine post, Sir!

    Reply

  12. arthurdecco says:

    “So, those who suspect oil to be the main reason for invading Iraq are deliberate dissemblers and obfuscators (arthur), while I, who trust the historical evidence that Holocaust actually happened (but think the numbers are too high), am guilty of “making the case for why there has been “anti-Semitism””?
    Do you really expect me to take these lunatic, paranoid interpretations of world events and politics more serious than I take Nadine`s brutal and bigoted versions of the Israel/Palestine conflict?” posted by Paul Norheim
    I think you just accused me in that quote of presenting “lunatic, paranoid interpretations of world events”, Mr. Norheim. And then you had the audacious effrontery to equate the opinions you made up and dishonestly attributed to me with Nadine’s psycho pig poo.
    Surely you’re not that stupid, stupid, stupid? Did you engage your brain before you started hitting the keys, I wonder…? What happened? No coffee? Or did you run out of Oxycontin?
    For your information, I made the claim that Noam Chomsky was guilty of being a dissembler and an obfuscator for claiming the Iraq war was about oil. I didn’t mention anyone else or refer to anyone else’s opinions. Just Mr. Chomsky’s. By the way, in believing this to be true, I’m hardly alone. Nor is my point of view remotely lunatic or paranoid. Rather it is a carefully calculated opinion based on the published testimony of several thinkers much closer to the subject than I am – some of whom toil tirelessly for the Israelis.
    There are thousands of people who honestly believe the war in Iraq was all about oil because they’ve been told by people they trust that this is so. They’ve been authoritatively reassured by dissemblers and obfuscators like Noam Chomsky and Alan Greenspan, (my least favorite Ayn Rand groupie), that this is the case. So the fact that many people believe the war was about oil doesn’t make them dissemblers or obfuscators, Paul – it simply proves they’re ignorant of the facts behind the headlines, something Noam Chomsky shouldn’t be when we take his academic position and his widely respected curiosity and intelligence into account. In my opinion he either has to know the real reasons behind the invasion, and for whatever reasons is deliberately obscuring them in order to protect Israel’s already shattered reputation and/or perhaps to shield Israel’s world-wide assemblage of political and financial bullies arrayed against the truth and warranted criticism, OR he’s ignorant of the facts still, after all these years gone by, and is therefore too incompetent to be taken seriously at all.
    Your choice…
    Oh… and I didn’t mention the Holocaust (Industry) once. Not. Once. Your comparison between the two in the quote I excerpted above was a puzzling non-sequitur.
    Now…deeeeep breath…
    This time I remained remarkably reserved, (for me), in typing my rebuttal to you, Mr. Norheim. But a word of warning – you pull a stunt like this again – (because this is the SECOND TIME you’ve laid this kind of kiddie krap on me in the past week) – suggesting this time – without having the courage to say so out loud and plainly – AND without a single fact to back up your hyperbole, that I present “lunatic, paranoid interpretations of events” and I’ll respond in kind. And I promise you I will bring every ounce of my prodigious talent for Snark along for the ride.
    So, whasit gonna bee, Babe – Discussion or WWF-style Dee Struck Shun?
    As I said…your choice…

    Reply

  13. Outraged American says:

    Paul, I apologize, I read one of your post as saying that posters
    were Jewish Holocaust deniers. I am not, I just think that, with
    every single historical event since the beginning of the U.S. that
    we, the “common” people, were lied to. Especially historical
    events that lead to wars. Sinking of the Luisitania, the Maine,
    etc., and ad nauseam.
    Easy E, where are you in the Great State of Arizona? 😉 I hope
    not where I am because I think that my dogs are literally toast
    by now so I better get them inside so they can wreck the house
    the minute they get into A/C and show some signs of life.
    The kids I could care less about 😉 I’m sick of their mess and
    constant sniveling and if they were 12 or so years older I’d be
    happy to ship them off to fight Iran or whatever war Israel and
    the military industrial complex, and all the other various ghouls
    who shape our daily lives, have planned for us next.
    THAT WAS A JOKE. I love the kids. Kind of. I’ll offer them up for
    free — in fact I’ll PAY you to take them. Anyone want a five-
    year-old and an almost seven-year-old? They know how to do
    laundry. Not really, but they’re trainable.
    Questions, you’re sounding really compassionate and rational in
    that last post. Bravo or brava as the case may be.
    Israel’s imploding. A one-state solution is the only thing that
    will work and it better happen fast. And again, Jews in the
    diaspora are doing just fine, at least in the US, the UK, Brazil,
    etc.

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    Nadine,
    I think your most recent post is a little weaker than it needs to be. Yes Hamas could conceivably wiggle, but it’s hard to wiggle under the present circumstances, and Israel likely has a moral obligation to be a little less nasty. That is, without in the least bit affecting security, Israel could run the checkpoints differently. Israel could have avoided building the wall through people’s orchards. Israeli soldiers could intervene when the nutwing settlers go on nutwing rampages through other people’s houses, when they start their spitting contests, when they physically attack or verbally berate Palestinians. Generally, it seems that soldiers stand back and let it all happen. The road system could be done differently. Movement could be handled differently in general.
    On the economic issues, I’m in over my head, so I’m not going to argue the points. I would guess that there are other readings of the situation that differ from yours and are fairly defensible. So I’m just going to duck this one out loud, but leave a caution that I don’t think you’re presenting a full enough case of the economics of the area. “It’s been tried before” is a “weasel phrase” that gives a lot of room for inaccuracy and leaves out all of the detail of precisely WHAT has been tried before….
    The fact remains that Gaza needs a functioning economy not one based on the black market and smuggling. People need jobs, a chance to raise their kids, take care of their parents, develop their talents and the like. Being denied these chances, whether by internal or external pressures, is a radicalizing force. If Israel can ease pressure without harming their security, and I believe pretty firmly that they can, then there’s a clear moral obligation to do so.
    If Israel refuses to take some small steps then one wonders what the ulterior motive is, for it cannot be security at that point.
    Think, then, about what you are defending. Security is fine. Cruelty is not. The two do not necessarily go together, and what you KNOW, you may not actually know. (The point about Gates, Jr. holds here.)

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, Outraged American,
    I`ll give it a try. You said above:
    “But dare anyone question the Jewish Holocaust, and the
    numbers reported and they’re anti-Jew!
    Paul, your kids are not going to be sent to Iran, when Israel
    starts that conflict. There’s a good chance that a few of the
    ones in my family are.”
    I hope not. A war with Iran would be disastrous. But here is
    what I said above about the “numbers”:
    “I am not referring to exact numbers here (like the sacrosanct
    “six millions”); but to the proved fact that the Third Reich made
    an organized and systematic effort to exterminate the Jews in
    the country— ”
    My point was obviously to say that I find the sacrosanct official
    numbers (six millions) dubious and unproved, but not the latter
    part (the systematic killing, known as “Holocaust”).
    I am well aware of the Holocaust industry. I can`t count how
    many times I`ve said at TWN that Israel misuses Holocaust (and
    especially anti-semitism in general) to legitimate its current
    policies, and also possible future actions – like attacking Iran.
    But still, I don`t deny Holocaust as a historical fact (one, three,
    or six millions is not the point here, but the organized attempt).
    Nor do I deny anti-semitism as a historical and current fact.
    I don`t risk having kids sent to a war in Iran? True. Does this
    make me less entitled to this position? Would my judgement
    somehow become more honest and correct if I ran that risk?
    Would my arguments somehow become more credible if I were
    so redneck-outrageous that I completely lost the ability to
    distinguish between Holocaust as a documented fact, and the
    Israeli abuses of that fact for political reasons?

    Reply

  16. easy e says:

    Wonder when the last time was that TWN hit 300?
    * * *
    Posted by Outraged American, Jul 20 2009, 5:28PM
    >>>>>
    Excellent point OA. Good to know that I’m not alone here in red state AZ -:)

    Reply

  17. easy e says:

    Posted by easy e, Jul 20 2009, 11:33PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    or this…..
    WHAT NETANYAHU WANTS FROM OBAMA’S ‘SELF-HATING JEWS’
    By Akiva Eldar
    Who is to blame for the latest dispute with the United States over the new neighborhood going up in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah area? Mayor Nir Barkat? Certainly not. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood behind him? Ridiculous. Any child knows that everything is the fault of other Jews: Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, two American administration officials who are inciting President Barack Obama against their own people…..
    continued…http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1101415.html

    Reply

  18. easy e says:

    Since this thread has become dynamic, let’s go for 300 with this:
    THE HEAD NAZI-HUNTER’S TRAIL OF LIES
    The Sunday Times July 18, 2009
    Simon Wiesenthal, famed for his pursuit of justice, caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated much of his own Holocaust story
    Since the early 1960s Simon Wiesenthal’s name has become synonymous with Nazi hunting. His standing is that of a secular saint. Nominated four times for the Nobel peace prize, the recipient of a British honorary knighthood, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Légion d’honneur and at least 53 other distinctions, he was often credited with some 1,100 Nazi “scalps”. He is remembered, above all, for his efforts to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious war criminals.
    His reputation is built on sand, however. He was a liar — and a bad one at that. From the end of the second world war to the end of his life in 2005, he would lie repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting exploits. He would also concoct outrageous stories about his war years and make false claims about his academic career. There are so many inconsistencies between his three main memoirs and between those memoirs and contemporaneous documents, that it is impossible to establish a reliable narrative from them. Wiesenthal’s scant regard for the truth makes it possible to doubt everything he ever wrote or said…
    continued http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article6718913.ece

    Reply

  19. nadine says:

    “I think the “what should the Israelis do” question is valid. They certainly cannot go back in time and uninvade or unwar or unwhatever. We are all in the present and we all have to deal with what there is.
    So yes, there’s a dilemma. Hamas may well come back with suicide bombers or real rockets. And I’d guess the chances are pretty good that that would happen were the wall to be knocked down.”
    Chances are indeed excellent that Hamas will keep on doing what it does if it gets another chance.
    Of course, you can pick any point on the timeline for this question of how to deal with the situation. I have heard torrents of abuse heaped on Israel for its actual responses to the rockets. What I never heard was what they supposed to do. What I heard instead was dismissal of the rockets as toys because only a few Israelis were actually dying, as if it would have been more moral for Israel to forbid their citizens from using the bomb shelter and take one for the state instead.
    “But I have to ask some of the following. Let’s say first that some kind of self-protective system is utterly rational for Israel to put in place. Walls and checkpoints make sense. Restricted passing makes sense. Inspections of cargo make sense. I will for now agree with all of this.
    The questions remain: WHERE do you build the wall, WHERE do you put the check points, WHO runs the check points, WHAT products are allowed in, can fishermen have a few hundred feet of water in which to fish, can medical emergencies be better dealt with, is collective punishment the best response, are there somewhat more humane ways to manage a deeply unfortunate mess?”
    The ‘where’ is not a question in Gaza, since the line is on the Green Line. Details like this come up in any checkpoint situation, and rather than wade into them I will ask again: do you have a better idea? A blockade will be resented whatever the details – and Israel does permit aid to flow in, and has not cut off water or electricity, which I believe it supplies about half of to Gaza. They do have humanitarian concerns, to the frustration of their own hardliners. They will still be hated for it.
    “Even under the current circumstances, then, there really is likely some maneuvering room for Israel to be something of a better neighbor even while maintaining a security state for the time being.”
    Aren’t you forgetting somebody? Hamas also gets a vote. The security apparatus has been loosened many times, as it is now loosened on the West Bank. But Hamas doesn’t have much ideological wiggle room to leave off jihad, so every time it loosens they start up again with attacks and things tighten again.
    Your ‘development aid’ scenario has been tried again and again. Hamas is not interested in it and don’t cooperate with it. A free market needs rule of law, peace and open borders. There won’t be any in Gaza while Hamas rules it. They will see to it. You keep forgetting that they rule in Gaza.
    “I would guess that Israel’s history of the importation of cheap labor has made it harder for Palestinian economic development”
    From 1967 to 1993 (when the PA was created and handed to Arafat), the GDP of the WB and Gaza grew by more than 10% year over year. Israel brought in electricity and running water, and permitted universities to be established (these had been forbidden before 1967). Since Arafat took over, Palestinian GDP cratered. Governance matters.
    “I agree that Israel has drifted towards the right, but swings in political preferences are pretty standard.”
    Swings can last a long time if they mark the repudiation of a former policy. If you think Bibi is in due to mere party turn-taking, you are mistaken. This is a serious shift in national consensus.

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    I think the “what should the Israelis do” question is valid. They certainly cannot go back in time and uninvade or unwar or unwhatever. We are all in the present and we all have to deal with what there is.
    So yes, there’s a dilemma. Hamas may well come back with suicide bombers or real rockets. And I’d guess the chances are pretty good that that would happen were the wall to be knocked down.
    But I have to ask some of the following. Let’s say first that some kind of self-protective system is utterly rational for Israel to put in place. Walls and checkpoints make sense. Restricted passing makes sense. Inspections of cargo make sense. I will for now agree with all of this.
    The questions remain: WHERE do you build the wall, WHERE do you put the check points, WHO runs the check points, WHAT products are allowed in, can fishermen have a few hundred feet of water in which to fish, can medical emergencies be better dealt with, is collective punishment the best response, are there somewhat more humane ways to manage a deeply unfortunate mess?
    Palestinian anger is real, but anger can be channeled into highly productive creation rather than horrible destruction. You can start a ballet company or a bullet company. The daily misery of Gazan life makes bullets kind of attractive.
    And on aid to the Palestinians, sorry to have facts off (it’s REALLY not my field!), but I have read a fair amount of lit on “appropriate aid” and the targeting of aid to encourage local development. I think aid that is geared towards the creation of reasonable institutions with local appeal is crucial, and I think that it would be nice to encourage Israel, say, not to burn down fields and bulldoze houses and destroy schools. Gaza has no chance of building and becoming if the destroyer is always around the corner. It’s really Hobbesian. No creation in the face of certain destruction.
    Even under the current circumstances, then, there really is likely some maneuvering room for Israel to be something of a better neighbor even while maintaining a security state for the time being.
    The suspicion is that Israel has no interest in being that good neighbor because Israel would rather not be a neighbor at all. Because there is room for ambiguity in reading Israel’s intentions (and intentions are basically inscrutable by definition), it is within the realm of possibility that Israeli policy is less about its own real security within limited borders and right next door to Palestine, and more about destroying any possibility of a thing that could be called “Palestine.” Much rests on the answer to this question. If Israel would really be willing to live smaller, it should enact policy changes.
    ***
    The rich/poor nation dynamic is, I think, more involved than your gloss suggests. The poor nation can be poor because of internal dynamics, but I think more likely, the internal problems are caused by the external neighbors and the kinds of corruption that external neighbors can encourage. I think the US has been a problem for much of Latin America. Trade policies and the like can be very damaging for the possibility of political development. I would guess that Israel’s history of the importation of cheap labor has made it harder for Palestinian economic development. And clearly, the lack of statehood for the Palestinians has made political development much less likely.
    ****
    I do, indeed, have a knack for understatement. I think it helps avoid fights that I think are not at all worth the effort.
    ****
    I agree that Israel has drifted towards the right, but swings in political preferences are pretty standard. My guess is that eventually the left will have its day again, and my hope is that there will be a general drift towards easing some of the brutality.
    ******
    A small, and I hope useful anecdote (designed to drive Sand crazy) —
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested today in front of his own house. He was “breaking in” because he locked himself out. Gates knows himself to be well-regarded, famous even, important, smart, Harvard-employed, human, decent and the like. The police officer seemed to know him as a typical black male criminal. They both KNOW their facts and truths. The knowledge on the part of the arresting officer is, of course, troubling. It’s the same knowledge that allows police to use what might be considered by some “excessive force” but is officially considered “reasonable force.”
    I think we really need to deal with “excessive” and “reasonable” as they apply to the I/P situation. What feels reasonable might not actually be reasonable. And institutions and individual responses need to be recalibrated.
    David, thanks (twice! — love that captcha!)

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    Outraged American,
    If you hadn´t been so paranoid, you may had seen that I
    indirectly questioned the number (the “six millions”), but not the
    event.
    “Seriously Paul, you and Nadine are starting to make the case
    for why there has been “anti-Semitism.””
    Are you able to explain that statement in a coherent way?
    Or would you just join arthurdecco in blaming those who don`t
    share his particular form of paranoia of being liars?
    Here is what Arthur said an hour ago on the Russian-Iranian
    energy thread:
    “Posted by arthurdecco, Jul 20 2009, 8:05PM – Link
    Noam Chomsky insists the invasion of Iraq was for oil. So much
    for his bona-fides.
    He’s a deliberate dissembler and obvious obfuscator – perfectly
    placed to smooth the waters that swirl around Israel and it’s
    fatal infection, Zionism – only from the left hand side of the
    political pile of poo.”
    ———————-
    So, those who suspect oil to be the main reason for invading
    Iraq are deliberate dissemblers and obfuscators (arthur), while I,
    who trust the historical evidence that Holocaust actually
    happened (but think the numbers are too high), am guilty of
    “making the case for why there has been “anti-Semitism””?
    Do you really expect me to take these lunatic, paranoid
    interpretations of world events and politics more serious than I
    take Nadine`s brutal and bigoted versions of the Israel/
    Palestine conflict?
    You`re just illustrating my point, OA.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Why is it that they want more outrage about the already heavily covered Gazans, but have so little to spare for other places with casualties a thousand times higher?”
    Because this thread is about Gaza, not Sri Lanka, you ignorant racist twit.
    “Why is it that I have asked about five times, what was Israel supposed to do about the rockets falling on its civilians from Gaza and have never yet received an answer?”
    I have answered it. It was Israel that broke the cease fire, on November Fourth of 2008. So when you imply that Operation Cast Lead was in response to rocket attacks, you are simply LYING. And if you’ve asked five times, that means you’ve ignored the answer five times.

    Reply

  23. arthurdecco says:

    “…what was Israel supposed to do about the rockets falling on its civilians from Gaza…?
    Are you referring to the civilians living on land that still belongs to Palestinian families forced into Gaza by the terrorist IDF? …Well, Israel should relocate those civilians, obviously – back to Russia where they came from. And then they should just get out of the way of the Palestinian families who actually own the land the toy rockets are falling on so that they can go home to the countryside that will always be theirs in the eyes of the real law – not the faux variety foisted on the world by the thieving Israelis.
    You see, Nadine, someday the rule of law will return to the region, replacing the savage rule of the Israeli-made battlefield that exists there now. Sooner than later, actually, if events keep unfolding in the ways they have been.
    “But I am the one arguing that Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers, Israel and Hamas should all be judged against the Geneva Conventions by the SAME standard.” nadine
    No you’re not. That’s just another lie. We’ve all seen how casually you lie, nadine. You no more think that Israel should be held to the same standards as the rest of the world than I think pigs can fly.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    But I am the one arguing that Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers, Israel and Hamas should all be judged against the Geneva Conventions by the SAME standard. It is TWN that applies completely different standards and wields a very selective outrage.
    Why is it that they want more outrage about the already heavily covered Gazans, but have so little to spare for other places with casualties a thousand times higher?
    Why is it that I have asked about five times, what was Israel supposed to do about the rockets falling on its civilians from Gaza and have never yet received an answer? Was there a TWN approved policy?

    Reply

  25. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine, everything is contextual. Stop whining. You compare apples and oranges like you’ve been traumatized by a fruit market. In context, stop trying to defend the indefensible.
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    “My question to you was: why do you admit that the Sri Lankan army committed atrocities, while denying even the theoretical possibility of the IDF doing anything wrong in the same kind of circumstances (i.e. terrorists and fighters hiding among the civilian population?)”
    Here’s what the Geneva conventions say: A state is not condemned to sit with its hands folded while it is attacked by guerillas or terrorists that hide among civilians. But in attacking, it must take due care to minimize collateral damage inasmuch as it can do so consistent with its military aims.
    So each case is a judgment call: what forces did the army have? what were its military objectives? did it exercise due care for civilians or did it just pound the targets without care for civilian lives?
    Sri Lanka pounded the target area with artillery. Israel did not. Israel went in house to house with strict orders to avoid civilian casualties. Israel bombed only specific military targets and took unprecedented steps, such as phoning up the targets to warn them in advance, to minimize civilian casualties. From what I can read of their operations by military men such as the British Col. Kemp, they took due precautions and at least three quarters of the casualties were combatants, a sign of great care considering the dense urban conditions. Any Israeli war crimes, such as the use of human shields, were individual incidents which ought to be investigated and punished. OTOH, Hamas’ entire strategy was a war crime.

    Reply

  27. David says:

    questions,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, even though the topic is, of course, about as far from something enjoyable as one can get. Anyway, thanks for weighing in with some very thoughtful commentary.

    Reply

  28. David says:

    questions,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, even though the topic is, of course, about as far from something enjoyable as one can get. Anyway, thanks for weighing in with some very thoughtful commentary.

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    This is a reasoned response. I’ll try to answer your point one by one.
    “Actually, Nadine, I just read a piece the other day about the labor situation at counterpunch.org, so I’m not totally out of date. But I should have made that clearer. Sorry.”
    No problem.
    “As for the timeline issue, the point is that whatever Palestine is or is to become, it is economically connected to the region and dependent on Israeli jobs for survival. Such a situation generally comes about because of policy. (We have a vaguely similar situation in our border relations with Mexico and the dependence on the US for jobs and remittances.)”
    I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘policy’ here, unless you are referring to the general dynamic that occurs when a poor and dysfunctional country is next to a richer and more functional one. Then people cross the border for jobs and send remittances home. Hamas had a policy to send suicide bombers across the border and this resulted in the borders being closed. This should not be surprising. Actually, Palestine is economically not very connected to the region at the moment due to the vast amounts of international aid it consumes. It is economically connected to the sources of aid instead.
    “When Israel pulled back from Gaza unilaterally, it was, as I have read, a sort of passive-aggressive move, rather than a carefully coordinated move. ”
    Yes, I suppose you could say that. At any rate, it was a unilateral move.
    “The PA was unable to govern, near as I can tell. Corruption and lack of services was, I think, a significant issue (would appreciate correction if this is wrong.) ”
    Yes, it’s a huge issue. the PA is hugely corrupt and confines itself to militias, patronage and propaganda services, basically. Hamas ran the welfare agencies in Gaza and was far less corrupt.
    “It may have been helpful to have an intense aid/development program. If there was such work, I’d love to read about it, but it’s my understanding that there wasn’t. (Again, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this. As I have said, I’m not an area specialist.)”
    Are you kidding me? There is an ENORMOUS aid program for the Palestinians, starting with UNWRA (their own special UN agency), running through the big NGO groups, ICRC and so on, who have large permanent Palestinian wings, and winding up with the billions in government largesse from the Euros and the US. The Palestinians are per capita the world’s highest consumers of international aid. And that doesn’t even count the free arms and missiles from Iran and Gulf.
    “When Hamas won the election, perhaps it would have helped to continue with aid.”
    The aid did not stop. Hamas is certainly not going to stop it. Lots of Hamas’ militiamen have day jobs working for the UN.
    “As I understand it, Hamas had something of a monopoly of good government social service support. That is, they were popular because they were somewhat effective as a governing body.”
    Sort of. They were “somewhat effective as a social services agency” would be more accurate, I think. The Gazans had no experience of them as a governing body before 2006 and I don’t think they are very happy with their experience now. But now Gaza is effectively a police state so they are stuck.
    “Note that I do not give Hamas much in the way of credit for exemplary behavior. As I have said, they are in a system and need to work within that system. Both sides have to take steps, and neither side can take a step unless the other side does first. In this kind of double-bind, you have to throw away a goal, or caution, or something to shift the balance and allow action.”
    You have a knack for understatement. I have asked before and now I will ask again, when Hamas began shooting thousands of Qassams and Chinese B22s over the border, what exactly was Israel supposed to do about it?
    “The status quo equilibrium is a vile equilibrium. It’ll stay put, but it’ll be vile. Far better to try for some kind of shift. And again, there are numerous Israeli writers who live in Israel, know the place better than I do, would be just as at risk as any other Israeli, who nonetheless advocate something akin to what I suggest here.”
    Yes but the majority of Israeli voters completely reject your ideas. Even the Israeli Left now rejects it. The ideas you support have become fringe ideas, and that is due to the actions taken by Hamas et. al. in response to the Israeli withdrawal.
    “And, indeed, there are plenty of Israelis who advocate the current vile equilibrium.”
    Because they reckon that your alternatives will kill a lot of Israelis and not move a single step closer to peace.

    Reply

  30. Outraged American says:

    Hey Paul, historical revision? That NEVER happens, right? We
    found out just about two years ago that the Gulf of Tonkin never
    really happened. How many years after it was used to escalate
    the Vietnam conflict and kill millions?
    WW II: we now know that the US had broken Japan’s code and
    that Roosevelt knew somewhat if not all of what was coming
    before Pearl Harbor. We know now that Japan was going to
    surrender and yet the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
    Whatever your belief is about 9/11 (and I don’t have one second
    for the official 9/11 narrative) we knew fairly soon afterwards
    that Bush was delivered a document in August of 2001 that Bin
    Laden was determined to fly hijacked planes into buildings.
    Saddam’s WMD’s — the ones that were going to put mushroom
    clouds over America according to the official story – had been
    destroyed years before, but now more than one in 25 Iraqis are
    dead because of our actions. And those casualty #s are from a
    VERY CREDIBLE Johns Hopkins study from 2006, not 2009, so
    there are even more dead Iraqis now because of us.
    So Paul, you too feel that the Jewish Holocaust and the numbers
    routinely pushed, are sacrosant? No room to question those
    numbers, because “The Holocaust” is untouchable, right Paul?
    I toured Auschwitz and Birkenau. Part of my major was math. I
    would seriously have a hard time believing the official number
    of deaths at Auschwitz and Birkenau, Jew or non-Jew.
    A 12-year-old who could multiply and had been taught critical
    thinking would have a very difficult time believing those
    numbers had she toured Auschwitz and Birkenau.
    Auschwitz has had to revise the official death toll down -did you
    know that Paul?
    And Wiesel’s memoir of Auschwitz has now been exposed as a
    work of fiction.
    But dare anyone question the Jewish Holocaust, and the
    numbers reported and they’re anti-Jew!
    Paul, your kids are not going to be sent to Iran, when Israel
    starts that conflict. There’s a good chance that a few of the
    ones in my family are.
    Israel is an apartheid, rogue, terrorist nation that will take the
    world into WW III. And yet we’re supposed to allow that, because
    Jews, whether there were six million or three million or even
    one, killed during WW II, are forever owed reparation according
    to the Zionists.
    Seriously Paul, you and Nadine are starting to make the case for
    why there has been “anti-Semitism.” I would give your
    arguments a rest. I can distinguish between these things, but I
    would venture to guess that some of my redder-neck neighbors
    won’t be able to once their kids are drafted and they figure out
    why.

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    Actually, I have heard about it, Nadine.
    My question to you was: why do you admit that the Sri Lankan
    army committed atrocities, while denying even the theoretical
    possibility of the IDF doing anything wrong in the same kind of
    circumstances (i.e. terrorists and fighters hiding among the
    civilian population?)
    Here are a couple of posts I wrote about the Sri Lankan events
    back in February this year. The first one contains quotes about
    the events, from BBC, while the second one contains reflections.
    I think you may find some of the reflections and questions
    relevant:
    ………………………………………………..
    Posted by Paul Norheim, Feb 02 2009, 4:23AM – Link
    The recent invasion of Gaza provoked outrage all over the
    world, also at TWN. Now a similar event is happening in Sri
    Lanka: The government army attacking the Tamil Tigers and
    killing a lot of civilians as well in a densely populated area. This
    event, however, is not as symbolically charged as the Israeli-
    Palestinian conflict. But if you read the news from Sri Lanka,
    you`ll immediately see the striking similarities.
    Here are a couple of quotes from the BBC online cite:
    “An army offensive has pushed the rebels into a 300 sq km (110
    sq mile) corner of jungle in the north-east of the island, which
    aid agencies say also holds 250,000 civilians.
    The government says the number of civilians is closer to
    120,000 and that the army has a policy of not firing at civilians.
    It accuses the Tamil Tigers of not allowing civilians to leave,
    saying they are being used as human shields.
    The rebels say the civilians prefer to stay where they are under
    rebel “protection”.
    The reports cannot be independently confirmed as neither side
    allows journalists near the war zone.
    (…)
    Nine people have been killed by shells which hit a hospital in a
    rebel-held area of north-east Sri Lanka, the Red Cross says.
    The hospital, in the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu
    district, was hit three times in 24 hours, aid officials said.
    UN spokesman Gordon Weiss told the BBC the shells had hit a
    crowded paediatric unit. It is not clear who fired them.
    Sri Lanka’s army has denied it was behind the shelling.
    There has been no comment so far from the rebel group, the
    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
    Puthukkudiyiruppu is situated in an enclave held by the rebels,
    and is home to tens of thousands of civilians.
    Mr Weiss said the first shell hit the hospital – one of area’s last
    functioning health facilities, which has some 500 inpatients –
    shortly before midnight (1830 GMT).
    He said the last message the UN had received from their staff
    member on the ward said: “Woman and kids’ ward shelled… Still
    trying to count the dead bodies.”
    He said it was not yet clear how many people had been killed
    but that the hospital had been so full, with many patients lying
    on the floor, that anything landing on it was “almost guaranteed
    to cause significant casualties”.
    Mr Weiss called the strikes “significant breaches of international
    humanitarian law”.
    The earlier strike prompted a protest from the Red Cross.
    “We’re shocked that the hospital was hit, and this for the second
    time in recent weeks,” said Paul Castella, head of the Colombo
    delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross
    (ICRC).
    “Wounded and sick people, medical personnel and medical
    facilities are all protected by international humanitarian law.
    Under no circumstance may they be directly attacked.”
    —————-
    Does all this sound familiar?
    You can read more here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7863538.stm
    —————————————-
    —————————————–
    Posted by Paul Norheim, Feb 02 2009, 5:30AM – Link
    The problem with news coverage in the big Western media
    corporations is not restricted to bias, propaganda, distortions
    and lies. At times an even bigger problem is the near total
    ignoring of events that perhaps are bigger than those covered,
    distorted and lied about.
    In my comment above, I referred to events that are not less
    horrible for those affected than what happened in Gaza – but
    this time in a hospital in the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu in the
    north-eastern part of Sri Lanka.
    Sure, it may not have the same geopolitical impact as what
    happened in Gaza. And when I write the word
    Puthukkudiyiruppu, no one would try to pronounce it. Even my
    spelling program left a red line under the word, which it never
    does when I write, say, Kabul or Gaza. It`s a place that doesn`t
    exist.
    In two weeks, I`m going on a vacation trip to Ethiopia. Last time
    I was there, exactly ten years ago, there was a war between
    Ethiopia and Eritrea, and in February that year (1999), 12 000
    soldiers were killed on one day, in one battle. It was hardly
    mentioned in European and American mainstream media. You
    had to do a pretty active search to find out what was going on.
    At that time, I intended to stay in Ethiopia for at least two or
    three months, but discovered that I enjoyed traveling from place
    to place, and continued to move around in several East African
    countries for two years before I came back home – among them
    some neighboring countries to The Democratic Republic of
    Congo.
    A war was going on in Congo, it involved seven countries,
    among them two that I visited. I`ll not bother you with details,
    but here is a small quote from Wikipedia, if you click on The
    Democratic Republic of Congo. Read it slowly:
    “The war is the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II
    killing 5.4 million people.
    Today at the dawn of 2009, people in the Congo are still dying
    at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per month and already
    2,700,000 people have died since 2004. This death toll is due
    to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost
    half of the individuals killed are children under the age of 5.”
    Two point seven million have died AFTER the war ended, almost
    50 % children under the age of 5. You may argue that Africa is a
    huge tragedy, and countless of people are dying there all the
    time. And although it is tragedy, it does not impact us.
    But what about Afghanistan?
    I`m not thinking about the recent American invasion, but the
    Soviet invasion in 1980. This was almost a non-event in
    Western media. The Vietnam war was as highly charged,
    symbolically, as the Israel-Palestine conflict, and was in the
    media every day – also in Europe. But the war between the
    Soviet Union and Afghanistan did not fit into any recognisable
    Western narrative, and had no symbolic impact.
    In the real world, however, it had a huge impact. The Soviet
    Union may have fallen sooner or later, but because of the war in
    Afghanistan, it fell sooner. The geopolitical impact of that war is
    immeasurable. Exit the Cold War, enter al Quaeda and the first
    decade of this century. Enter the peak and the possible demise
    of the American Empire, the Global War On Terror and all the
    implications, discussed every single day at TWN.
    Like so many others at TWN, I have participated passionately in
    the debates about the Israeli attack on Gaza. For the sake of
    balance and proportion, I`ll try to pronounce and remember the
    name of a remote town in South Asia.
    Puthukkudiyiruppu.

    Reply

  32. questions says:

    Nadine,
    Paul is really the wrong target. Really.
    And the world isn’t really screaming in outrage at what happens to the Palestinians. That’s actually a common theme here.
    Why any conflict gets headlines and another doesn’t is something of a mystery to me, at least. The US collective imagination was gripped by Iran for a while. It seems to have eased up some. But other long-standing conflicts get less attention. The Uigurs seem to be getting some coverage. Tibet occasionally pops up. But lots of conflicts don’t. And the I/P situation doesn’t come up in mainstream media the way it does here.
    Is there suspicious obsession? Is there obsession with suspicion?

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    So why aren’t you screaming in outrage, Paul? Why isn’t the whole world screaming in outrage? Can you just imagine, if Israel had used artillery on an area crowded with civilians and killed 20,000 people? There would be four inch headlines in every paper on the planet!
    Yet you never even heard of it, Paul. Tell me, why are Tamils’ lives worth so very much less than Gazans’?

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    Actually, Nadine, I just read a piece the other day about the labor situation at counterpunch.org, so I’m not totally out of date. But I should have made that clearer. Sorry.
    As for the timeline issue, the point is that whatever Palestine is or is to become, it is economically connected to the region and dependent on Israeli jobs for survival. Such a situation generally comes about because of policy. (We have a vaguely similar situation in our border relations with Mexico and the dependence on the US for jobs and remittances.)
    When Israel pulled back from Gaza unilaterally, it was, as I have read, a sort of passive-aggressive move, rather than a carefully coordinated move. The PA was unable to govern, near as I can tell. Corruption and lack of services was, I think, a significant issue (would appreciate correction if this is wrong.) It may have been helpful to have an intense aid/development program. If there was such work, I’d love to read about it, but it’s my understanding that there wasn’t. (Again, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this. As I have said, I’m not an area specialist.)
    When Hamas won the election, perhaps it would have helped to continue with aid. As I understand it, Hamas had something of a monopoly of good government social service support. That is, they were popular because they were somewhat effective as a governing body.
    Note that I do not give Hamas much in the way of credit for exemplary behavior. As I have said, they are in a system and need to work within that system. Both sides have to take steps, and neither side can take a step unless the other side does first. In this kind of double-bind, you have to throw away a goal, or caution, or something to shift the balance and allow action.
    The status quo equilibrium is a vile equilibrium. It’ll stay put, but it’ll be vile. Far better to try for some kind of shift. And again, there are numerous Israeli writers who live in Israel, know the place better than I do, would be just as at risk as any other Israeli, who nonetheless advocate something akin to what I suggest here.
    And, indeed, there are plenty of Israelis who advocate the current vile equilibrium.

    Reply

  35. Outraged American says:

    ArthurDecco: Birkenau was much bigger than Auschwitz and
    there weren’t any guides, whereas with Auschwitz you felt that
    you were on a museum tour. Except that I missed the Auschwitz
    tour so was stuck just wondering where all that hair came from,
    and why the Nazis would have cared to save it as their Reich fell
    apart.
    Birkenau was almost like a meadow with only some buildings,
    rubble, and the front part surviving at that point, which again
    was 1996, late August.
    I don’t know exactly how big Birkenau is. I would guess maybe
    a mile long and half a mile wide — Auschwitz you could see
    from end to end. The barracks at Birkenau were small. Again
    I’m guessing, but the surviving women’s barrack that I saw the
    dangerous water sign was probably about a thousand square
    feet.
    There were two other Birkenaus that I didn’t have the time to
    explore, but this was the main Birkenau.

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    I don`t understand. The Tamil Tigers were hiding among the
    civilian population during the assault by the Sri Lankan army. Why
    do you blame the Sri Lankan army of doing anything wrong
    during that event?
    Wasn`t the Tamil Tigers responsible for the killing of those more
    than 20 000 civilians – since they hided among the civilians
    during the massacre?
    More than 20 000… Are you sure? Isn`t that an exaggeration by
    the UN? Any reason to believe that this is not propaganda
    produced to harm the Sri Lankan government?

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    “So forget the Bible. Forget the rockets (indeed, yes), forget the cafe bombers, forget the wall, the olive trees, the land grabs, the checkpoints, the kidnappings, the crap, the crap the crap.
    Forget it all and start NOW.”
    I’d love nothing better, but NOW includes people’s intentions NOW and Hamas’ intentions have not changed one bit. Take down those walls, open those border crossings, and I give you a couple of weeks max before the suicide bombers start up again. It’s not as if this dance of opening borders, then closing them after explosions, then opening them again, hasn’t been played out a hundred times already. You just didn’t notice it, so you can claim it doesn’t exist.

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    Paul,
    Sri Lankan army accused of massacring 20,000 Tamil civilians in final assault
    More than 20,000 civilians were killed in the final government onslaught on the Tamil Tigers according to confidential United Nations estimates, it has been reported.
    By Ben Farmer
    Published: 9:54AM BST 29 May 2009
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/5405085/Sri-Lankan-army-accused-of-massacring-20000-Tamil-civilians-in-final-assault.html

    Reply

  39. nadine says:

    “It’s not enough to pull back if you then blockade.”
    But they didn’t pull back then blockade. Check the timeline:
    The pull back was in August 2005. The PA ran Gaza. No blockade. In 2006 Hamas won elections and reneged on PA agreements. Still no blockade. In June 2007 Hamas took complete control of Gaza in a coup and began in earnest with the rockets. Then Israel imposed the blockade. If Hamas had continued to run a lawful PA government, there would have been no blockade. This is an example of what I mean when I say you filter out half the facts.
    “Read up on labor policies, too. Israel has Palestinians, the US has Mexico”
    Not anymore. Now Israel has Thais and Rumanians. Your knowledge is out of date. Since the second intifada the borders have been closed too much for most workers to make it through.
    “It’s really ugly, the labor exploitation.” So I guess you can rejoice, it’s stopped. Now they are unemployed instead if they can’t find a UN job.

    Reply

  40. Paul Norheim says:

    Sri Lanka? What are you referring to, Nadine?

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    And to get back to the first question you raised — there’s been much reasonable work written on Israel’s lack of good faith in the withdrawal from Gaza and a host of other peace initiatives.
    It’s not enough to pull back if you then blockade. It’s not enough to say, “Do what you want” if you then put up the wall through someone’s olive tree grove. It’s not enough to be “for” free Palestinians if you make their walk to school every morning traumatic, absurd, and basically impossible. Read a few pieces on basic mobility around checkpoints, getting from home to farm or work, getting medical care in the occupied territories, and you see a different world from the one you respond to.
    Read up on labor policies, too. Israel has Palestinians, the US has Mexico. It’s really ugly, the labor exploitation. Anyone on the left has to feel something on this account alone.
    So I’m just not convinced that the peace efforts have been, well, efforts at peace-making. And it’s the seeming lack of good faith on Israel’s part that triggers a percentage of the response you see typified here.
    I respond with a lot less anger because the game theory part of me says, of course they’re going to do it that way. Israel has power, rational goals of regional dominance, internal politics that push what they do, and so on. But the ethics/dreamer part of me wishes for something else.
    None of this post is meant to bait you, Nadine. Rather, I hope that you see that there are other issues to respond to besides the “existential threat,” (a phrase I don’t love because “existence” is a loaded term here.)

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    I think I’d respond the following way. First, I am absolutely not an expert in the area studies. I remember about 3 Hebrew letters and a small set of prayers and songs. I don’t know any Arabic at all. I don’t read the local press, except for occasional pieces in the English-language Ha’aretz. I’m iffy on the names of politicians. I couldn’t tell you who is who in a way that would help enlighten the deal making that probably needs to happen. Crucial disclaimers, all.
    Second, Israel and Gaza/Palestine/the West Bank are in a system of tit-for-tat, TIT-for-tat, and TIT-for-TAT (and any other emphasis pattern I missed). The point is that for any action you point out, POA will respond with an anecdote and for every action he points out, you will do the same.
    The back-and-forth here mirrors what Israel and Palestine do all the time.
    One cannot, simply cannot, go back to the first event. Aristotle talks about the “unmoved mover” or the “prime mover” as that which started everything but never was itself started. I’d just as soon do without the first cause and dive in right where we are now. This instinct is the basis of my general atheism. I don’t really care about first causes.
    Such a move is healthier for relationships in general (it gets rid of the whole “YOU started it” thing) and it’s really the only possible move after a time.
    So forget the Bible. Forget the rockets (indeed, yes), forget the cafe bombers, forget the wall, the olive trees, the land grabs, the checkpoints, the kidnappings, the crap, the crap the crap.
    Forget it all and start NOW.
    Of course, it’s not going to happen because any time people are ready to forget the crap, some politician or parent or instigator or bomber or teacher or book or movie will conveniently remind them to hate.
    BUT, IF people could conveniently forget some huge chunk of grievance, they might start to remember some huge chunk of humanity.
    Yes, it’s a fantasy, but fantasy is kind of all there is left for the region.
    People are dying now, and so the risk of death may actually be lesser than one thinks. It’s certainly scary because different people will die under a different regime. But maybe it’s worth the trade off.
    Rawls, following Kant, reminds us that we cannot morally overly prefer our time to that of the future, ourselves over others. Maybe a security risk, a land swap, a daring move now, is the only fair and moral thing to do for the benefit of the future. Maybe it’s a real debt, maybe it’s owed and it should be paid.
    I can say all of this from many miles and words away from the scene. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
    I do know that the interests of politicians who refuse the general will but always enact their particular wills are going to make policy shifts difficult. This is a universal problem in politics. I know there are Israeli writers whose work is not miles from my thinking. I think Oz Shelach does some beautiful work. There are others whose names escape me for now. So, Nadine, your views are not the only ones possible, and that alone should give you a moment of pause, even as views that don’t agree with mine force me to think more about what I advocate.
    I think it’s worth the time to grapple with the peaceniks, with the dreamers, with those who think we are not utterly bound by the world as we see it, but that we can actually see things otherwise.
    (If you tend to go towards the paranoia/fear side of things, Aristotle would counsel you to compensate by going the other direction and ending up at the mean between the extremes. Aristotle often has good political and ethics-related advice.)
    It is also worth spending some time reading game theory.
    Somehow, these two kinds of thinking should to come together within the brain of an area specialist. Something really interesting might emerge.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    Hey, Paul, how come when looking for other bad behavior you have to go back to the US in the Vietnam War? Surely you can find an example from today’s headlines? Maybe if you try real, real hard you can find some examples that are being done today by, say, Sri Lanka or China or Iran or Syria.
    Oops I forgot. You’re not allowed to notice them. Well back to the Vietnam War I suppose.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    Hey questions, you talk reasonably about contextualization and I’m all for that. But how can you contextualize anything if you spend all you time staring at a small subset of the context and ignore the rest?
    Israeli attacks on Gaza, settler incidents – fixated upon. Israeli withdrawals, peace offers – ignored. Arab rockets, terror attacks – ignored or excused. Openly stated Arab plans of genocide? La, la, la I didn’t hear anything and you’re a racist. If forced to pay attention to Hamas or Fatah, either you excuse it as a response to conditions or you shoot the messenger so you can ignore the evidence. Then you can moralize about Israel’s territorial aggression unimpeded. Israeli territory has been shrinking, not growing, since 1979 in the quest for peace, much good it did them.
    If Israel is a fairly normal nation, then it should not be expected to accept 7000 rockets landing on the heads of its civilians without a forceful response, okay? You think the US would tolerate it? Of course not. Yet every single damn thing that Israel did as a response is immediately condemned as a war crime, when it was not a war crime and would not have been called a war crime had anyone else done it. If Israel is a fairly normal nation then let’s judge it by fairly normal standards, shall we?

    Reply

  45. Paul Norheim says:

    “The letter always arrives at its destination.”
    I`m glad to see that you received my letter.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    I don’t think it’s about excusing or defending Israel so much as it is, for me at least, about contextualizing the outrage.
    Nations, as I said somewhere above, are nasty enterprises designed precisely to institutionalize the preference of one kind of person over another. Already, then, there’s a kind of moral violence in the very foundation of the nation-state system.
    I am quite capable of maintaining a sense of outrage at Israel’s actions, but I think it’s unhelpful to say the least to treat Israel as exceptionally bad. The tone of many posts here seems to hold to Israeli exceptionalism while missing out on what is entirely too typical about Israeli policy.
    The more Israel is singled out as unusually wicked, the less helpful is the criticism. A typical nation will respond to typical cost/benefit scenarios. A typical action can be altered by typical responses. It’s only when one gets to the exceptional that one needs some drastic new strategy.
    I think I would also want to say that locating Israel’s actions in the mildly distant past (100 years ago) but seen through contemporary moral eyes misses out on the fact that territorial aggression is pretty contemporary. Iraq and the permanent bases, moves against Iran, on again off again incursions into South and Central America…these are headlines.
    While it doesn’t excuse Israel that the US “does it too,” it does contextualize Israel’s actions and shows the lack of singularity.
    If Israel is a fairly normal nation, it will, again, respond to fairly normal incentives, and I tend to think that that is where the emphasis should be.
    So instead of freaking out about Nadine’s posts, use them as a tool to see just how deep the fear can go. The fear of loss needs to be dealt with if Israel is to move. The racism is a symptom of the fear, as we in the US well know. And individual politicians and whole political parties profit from playing on the fear. This structure is universal.
    Every Holocaust denier who comes out of the woodwork, every stupid comment about circumcision and the like, ends up confirming Nadine’s suspicions and every time Nadine responds, her response confirms POA’s suspicions.

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    Just another comment to what I said above. I made it clear that I
    don`t regard Israeli atrocities and intents as comparable to the
    crimes committed by the Third Reich.
    Sometimes Americans who defend, or excuse Israel say: – Hey,
    compared to what America does, this is nothing. And of course,
    comparing to what the United States have committed since
    Israel was born, the unjust actions of Israel are peanuts – no
    question.
    Just one example among many: what USA did to Laos during the
    Vietnam war – in the words of Wikipedia:
    “Massive aerial bombardment was carried out by the United
    States. The Guardian reported that Laos was hit by an average
    of one B-52 bombload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day,
    between 1964 and 1973. US bombers dropped more ordnance
    on Laos in this period than was dropped during the whole of the
    Second World War. Of the 260m “bombies” that rained down,
    particularly on Xieng Khouang province, 80m failed to explode,
    leaving a deadly legacy.[3] It holds the dubious distinction of
    being the most bombed country in the world.”
    Compared to this, what Israel did in Gaza last winter pales in
    comparison.
    However, it`s absurd to excuse or defend abuses and crimes
    committed by a tiny state by referring to the abuses and crimes
    committed by the biggest superpower in world history.
    But more important, what I meant by comparing Israel to old
    fashioned European colonialism (I`m of course not alone in
    making this comparison), is that it`s a difference in goals,
    strategy and method from the policies of the United States.
    USA has a global hegemony, not through settlements and
    permanent occupations and colonization of other countries in
    the old European fashion, but through other, more flexible
    strategies and tactics. Americans and Europeans react against
    Israeli policies not because the scale of their atrocities are
    comparable with the worst atrocities in history, but because this
    tiny but aggressive, highly advanced and modern country acts
    more or less like the European colonizers acted 100 years ago –
    and we see these acts through contemporary moral optics,
    judging their policies and attitudes as outrageous.

    Reply

  48. questions says:

    Paul, a nice (as usual!) balanced reading of this thread and the universe in general.
    The paranoia and hatred run thick and seem to justify themselves. Zizek has a piece somewhere in which he says “The letter always arrives at its destination.” The point being that WHEREVER the letter ends up, we will interpret it to have arrived properly, even if it ends up not where it was seemingly meant to have ended up. (My grandfather went to the wrong house for a date, met my grandmother and the rest is history. It was fate, NOT the wrong house. And therefore, the “wrong house” was the “right house.”)
    So any act by Israel “arrives at its destination” — that is, is proof of whatever hypothesis one has, and every act by the Palestinians will equally be read after the fact as fitting in to the theory. EVERYthing justifies “MY” position, regardless of the thing.
    If we’re going to work our interpretations this way, we’ll never get anywhere but our destination. It might be better to hope for getting lost.
    So Nadine, you see the world one way, interpret everything through the fear of one kind of loss, OA through another kind of fear (seemingly the betrayal of her whole childhood or something, hard to tell), I read everything through the lens of indeterminacy. Even if something is clear, it isn’t to me. POA reads it all through moral outrage, even if maybe sometimes there’s something justifiable or precisely what he’d do in the same circumstance, and so on.
    We need to get away from our “destinations” and try to go somewhere we’ve never been. But if the letter does always reach its destination, maybe we can’t really escape from our narratives and find something besides fate, or precisely the story we expected.
    It’s an interesting issue in interpretive theory.
    And by the way, as long as I’m posting, I should note that I have been drawing on David Laitin’s work on ethnicity and violence through a rational choice model. Lots of stuff on language choices and costs and benefits inherent in language politics. Bears pretty directly on POA’s post about Israel’s changing the street signs in order to push Hebrew and Jewish/Israeli identifications.
    And POA, when you say that I think El Camino Real should be King’s Highway, I think either I didn’t express myself well, or you didn’t quite see my point. I don’t think we’re much much of a melting pot and I am unconvinced that we’re more than a veneer away from ethnic violence. But the veneer is there for now, and so we don’t anglicize every single street name, monitor store signs (as is done in Quebec), and force people to speak English all the time.
    We do, however, have frequent attempts to make English the official language, have plenty of employers who don’t allow communication in languages other than English as an office policy (have read articles in the newspaper about this issue) , have ethnic gang fights, struggle mightily over bilingual education, live in largely separate ethnic enclaves, and so on. Identity is felt pretty deeply and the state sees this issue as a huge challenge for its maintenance of power.
    If the state can raise the cost of maintaining non-Anglo identity, it will. And so when Israel changes its street signs, the deed may be regrettable, but it’s certainly typical statist behavior.

    Reply

  49. Paul Norheim says:

    Don,
    I share your hope (or should we rather say: a wish?) that more
    reasonable voices in Israel and beyond prevail.
    I have to add to my comment above that there are many people
    who still regard themselves as “pro-Israel” Jews, who feel shame,
    sadness, embarrassment and disgust, watching what Israel is
    doing today. “Pro-Israel” is still a very complex and ambivalent
    concept.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    Paul, better watch out before you drown in that ‘fever swamp of the left’ that we all know and have come to love as TWN.
    Anyway, I hope that “Nadine” is not totally representative of current Israeli though across the spectrum, but she does articulate it clearly. An there is no doubt, much like the herd majority in most countries, she retreats to black and white thinking when challenged, externally or internally. I do not think, however, that she is some new iteration but a continuation of the zealotry that has held Israel captive from advancing in international politics, and that threatens to solidifiy Israel as an enclave of zealots as it’s potentially more reasonable core cowers.

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    “You are a window into the driving force behind Israeli policies,
    and its not a pretty picture.” (POA)
    I agree. I think we should be thankful that Nadine provides us
    with an updated version of Israeli attitudes, sans makeup.
    It looks like a couple of commenters here are hinting to
    Holocaust more as a product of propaganda, than as a historical
    fact – unable to distinguish between an event, and how that
    event is used as a tool to legitimate current policies. I am not
    referring to exact numbers here (like the sacrosanct “six
    millions”); but to the proved fact that the Third Reich made an
    organized and systematic effort to exterminate the Jews in the
    country – an effort that is not entirely unique (The American
    Indians, the Armenians, Rwanda, Pol Pot`s camps are among
    the historical parallels); but the scale, as well as the intent and
    systematic implementation was without doubt a monstrous
    event in modern history.
    Those who deny this (and I don´t know for sure if certain
    commenters at TWN are among them) in many ways mirror the
    view of Nadine – but from the other side.
    To be clear: I am not saying that Israel has committed anything
    on a scale that is comparable to the Third Reich. I alluded in a
    comment above to the sentiments among common Germans
    before the Kristallnacht in 1938. However, the racism and the
    atrocities shown by Israel today seem more akin to the practices
    and attitudes of old fashioned European colonizers – including
    famous figures like Winston Churchill in the early 20`th century,
    or- to mention a recent example, South Africa at the end of the
    century. Holocaust seems to give them a license to become like
    the dominant European powers of yesterday.
    What I am trying to say, is that many Israelis, as well as pro-
    Israeli Jews in the diaspora, are a more or less exact mirror of
    those Arabs, Europeans and Americans today who deny that
    Holocaust took place as an historic event.
    These Israelis and pro-Israeli Jews don`t believe in documented
    facts proving that there are victims on the “enemy” side, among
    the Palestinians. They regard all this as pure distortions, lies,
    exaggerations and propaganda in a war against “us” and “them”
    with almost universal proportions — with terrorists, Arabs,
    NGO`s, the UN, Red Cross, mullahs, and naive, or Jew-hating
    leftists and liberals on one side, and Israel, Jews, and their allies
    on the other side.
    Ahmedinajad is the most prominent of those Holocaust deniers
    mentioned above. David Irving is another one. Of course there
    are plenty of them in the Arab world as well, seeing Holocaust
    as a conspiracy, and historical evidence related to the event as
    propaganda. And there are nuts and paranoid types both on the
    left and on the right in America today who more or less agree,
    seeing Holocaust as part of a global Zionist plot constructed by
    corporal media or the government or both.
    If Nadine is a “window” into the current Israeli attitude – and I
    think she is – this window shows us that the dominant ideology
    in Israel today somehow has inherited that paranoid world view
    from it`s enemies and perceived enemies. I am not only
    thinking about hate, cynicism, and contempt here, but the
    extreme suspicion regarding documentation of the suffering on
    the “other side”. Israel never produces victims. It is the other
    side who produces victims.
    Every single source that opposes the Israeli version of events
    like Gaza, is seen as anti-semitic or pro-Hamas, pro-“Arab”,
    pro leftist propaganda.
    …Just like all historical sources giving evidence referring to
    Holocaust; just like everything said in mainstream media, is
    seen as parts of a universal Jewish-Zionist plot on the other
    side, among American nuts on the left and the right.
    Also within the Middle East, it`s getting more and more difficult
    to distinguish between the main players. Both sides blur the
    distinction between innocent civilians and fighters; both sides
    take human shields; both sides believe in universal media
    conspiracies etc.
    They have been obsessed with each other for more than half a
    century, and are getting more and more like each other (except
    for the fact that one side (Israel) is uncomparably stronger than
    the other side). Nadine`s many comments here in recent days
    have illustrated this in an exemplary way.

    Reply

  52. Samd says:

    Nadine:
    “…Holocaust denial /blah blah blah/ anti-Semites everywhere /blah blah blah/ Hamas hates Jews /blah blah blah/ Washington Note posters hate Jews /blah blah blah…/ did I mention I see everywhere people denying the Holocaust /blah blah blah/ Hamas with their killer home-made missiles /blah blah blah/ Israel under attack /blah blah blah/ — Israel has to kill kids with white phosphorus /blah blah blah/ Jews are the chosen ones we can do what we want /blah blah blah/ God gave us the land and the right to use white phosphorus /blah blah blah/ Jews are so fucking awesome [except Jeremy Ben Ami] /blah blah blah/ non-Jews hate hate hate /blah blah blah/ Nazi Nazi Nazi /blah blah blah/…”
    Yes Nadine… listening to you is just like listening to someone from the ‘nut’ home. It gets really boring after a while.

    Reply

  53. nadine says:

    questions,
    Well now we sidling off into Holocaust denial, AIPAC controls America, and a “searing indictment of Zionist complicity in the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime” (actually, I checked Amazon, and Transfer Agreement looks like a respectable history, which mainly accuses the Labor Zionists of undermining the boycott of Germany in their efforts to get German Jews out of Germany in the early days of the Third Reich, hardly the same thing).
    A generation ago, hard core anti-Semites hung out on the Right with the John Birch crowd. Today here they are, in the fever swamps of the Left. I invite you to review the thread and check out how few voices (just you and few others) respond with argument and how many respond with pure vitriol and hatred, aimed at Israel and anyone who defends Israel. Talk about Israel’s problem controlling the wingnuts; how about the Washinton Note’s?

    Reply

  54. easy e says:

    HOW ISRAEL LOBBY TOOK CONTROL OF US FOREIGN POLICY
    By Jeff Gates
    July 19, 2009
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23098.htm
    AIPAC becomes foreign agent dominating American foreign policy while disguised as domestic lobby.
    In the early 1960s, Senator William J. Fulbright fought to force the American Zionist Council to register as agents of a foreign government. The Council eluded registration by reorganizing as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC has since become what Fulbright most feared: a foreign agent dominating American foreign policy while disguised as a domestic lobby.
    Israelis and pro-Israelis object when they hear that charge. How, they ask, can we so few wield such influence over so many? Answer: it’s all in the math. And in the single-issue advocacy brought to bear on US policy-making by dozens of ‘domestic’ organizations that now compose the Israel lobby, with AIPAC its most visible force.
    The political math was enabled by Senator John McCain whose support for all things Israeli ensured him the GOP nomination to succeed Christian-Zionist G.W. Bush. McCain’s style of campaign finance reform proved a perfect fit for the Diaspora-based fundraising on which the lobby relies. Co-sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, this change in federal election law typifies how Israeli influence became systemic.
    ‘McCain-Feingold’ raised the amount (from $1,000 to $2,300) that candidates can receive from individuals in primary and general elections. A couple can now contribute a combined $9,200 to federal candidates: $4,600 in each of the primary and general elections. Primary elections, usuall low-budget, are particularly easy to sway.
    Importantly for the Diaspora, this change also doubled the funds candidates can receive without regard to where those contributors reside. A candidate in Iowa, say, may have only a few pro-Israeli constituents. When campaign support is provided by a nationwide network of pro-Israelis, that candidate can more easily be persuaded to support policies sought by Tel Aviv.
    Diaspora-based fundraising has long been used by the lobby with force-multiplying success to shape US foreign policy. Under the guise of reform, John McCain doubled the financial resources that the lobby can deploy to elect and retain its supporters.
    Fulbright was Right
    The influence-peddling process works like this. Candidates are summoned for in-depth AIPAC interviews. Those found sufficiently committed to Israel’s agenda are provided a list of donors likely to “max out” their campaign contributions. Or the process can be made even easier when AIPAC-approved candidates are given the name of a “bundler.”
    Bundlers raise funds from the Diaspora and bundle those contributions to present them to the candidate. No quid pro quo need be mentioned. After McCain-Feingold became law in 2003, AIPAC-identified bundlers could raise $1 million-plus for AIPAC-approved candidates simply by contacting ten like-minded supporters. Here’s the math:
    The bundler and spouse “max out” for $9,200 and call ten others, say in Manhattan, Miami, and Beverly Hills. Each of them max out ($10 x $9,200) and call ten others for a total of 11. [111 x $9,200 = $1,021,200.]
    Imagine the incentive to do well in the AIPAC interview. One call from the lobby and a candidate can collect enough cash to mount a credible campaign in most Congressional districts. From Tel Aviv’s perspective, that political leverage is leveraged yet again because fewer than ten percent of the 435 House races are competitive in any election cycle (typically 35 to 50).
    Additional force-multipliers come from: (a) sustaining this financial focus over multiple cycles, (b) using funds to gain and retain seniority for those serving on Congressional committees key to promoting Israeli goals, and (c) opposing any candidates who question those goals.
    Jewish Achievement reports that 42% of the largest political donors to the 2000 election cycle were Jewish, including four of the top five. That compares to less than 2% of Americans who are Jewish. Of the Forbes 400 richest Americans, 25% are Jewish according to Michael Steinhardt, a key funder of the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC was led by Jewish Zionist Senator Joe Lieberman when he resigned in 2000 to run as vice president with pro-Israeli presidential candidate Al Gore.
    Money was never a constraint. Pro-Israeli donors were limited only by how much they could lawfully contribute to AIPAC-screened candidates. McCain-Feingold raised a key limit. The full impact of this foreign influence has yet to be tallied. What’s known, however, is sufficient to apply the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Of the top 50 neoconservatives who advocated war in Iraq, 26 were Jewish (52%).
    Harry Truman, a Christian Zionist, remains one of the more notable recipients of funds. In 1948, he was trailing badly in the polls and in fundraising. His prospects brightened dramatically in May after he recognized as a legitimate state an enclave of Jewish extremists who originally planned to settle in Argentina before putting their sights on Palestine.
    That recognition was opposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the bulk of the diplomatic corps, the fledgling Central Intelligence Agency and numerous distinguished Americans, including moderate and secular Jews concerned at the troubles that were certain to follow. Not until 1984 was it revealed that a network of Jewish Zionists had funded Truman’s campaign by financially refueling his whistle-stop campaign train with $400,000 in cash ($3 million in 2009 dollars).
    To buy time on the public’s airwaves, money raised from the Israel lobby’s network is paid to media outlets largely owned or managed by members of the same network. Presidents, Senators and Congressmen come and go but those who collect the checks rack up the favors that amass lasting political influence.
    The US system of government is meant to ensure that members of the House represent the concerns of Americans who reside in Congressional districts—not a nationally dispersed network (a Diaspora) committed to advancing the agenda of a foreign nation. Federal elections are meant to hold Senators accountable to constituents who reside in the states they represent—not out-of-state residents or a foreign government.
    In practical effect, McCain-Feingold hastened a retreat from representative government by granting a nationwide network of foreign agents disproportionate influence over elections in every state and Congressional district. Campaign finance ‘reform’ enabled this network to amass even more political clout—wielding influence disproportionate to their numbers, indifferent to their place of residence and often contrary to America’s interests.
    This force-multiplier is now wielded in plain sight, with impunity and under cover of free speech, free elections, free press and even the freedom of religion. Therein lies the perils of an entangled alliance that induced the US to invade Iraq and now seeks war with Iran. By allowing foreign agents to operate as a domestic lobby, the US was induced to confuse Zionist interests with its own.
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23098.htm

    Reply

  55. easy e says:

    Certainly becomes clearer and clearer the “special” relationship that existed between South Africa and Israel…..no?
    Since Auschwitz and Birkenau were raised on previous posts, inquiring minds may want to google the late Brit scientist David Kelly and his bio-weapons involvement with the ole’ South African regime. Yes, the same ole’ boy who supposedly committed suicide over the Iraq and WMD.
    The common denominator? $$$, profits, power, greed, the-love-of…..

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel’s plan to wipe Arabic names off the map
    New battlefront over road signs
    by Jonathan Cook
    Global Research, July 17, 2009
    Nazareth. Thousands of road signs are the latest front in Israel’s battle to erase Arab heritage from much of the Holy Land.
    Israel Katz, the transport minister, announced this week that signs on all major roads in Israel, East Jerusalem and possibly parts of the West Bank would be “standardised”, converting English and Arabic place names into straight transliterations of the Hebrew name.
    Currently, road signs include the place name as it is traditionally rendered in all three languages.
    Under the new scheme, the Arab identity of important Palestinian communities will be obscured: Jerusalem, or “al Quds” in Arabic, will be Hebraised to “Yerushalayim”; Nazareth, or “al Nasra” in Arabic, the city of Jesus’s childhood, will become “Natzrat”; and Jaffa, the port city after which Palestine’s oranges were named, will be “Yafo”.
    Arab leaders are concerned that Mr Katz’s plan offers a foretaste of the demand by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
    On Wednesday, Mohammed Sabih, a senior official at the Arab League, called the initiative “racist and dangerous”.
    “This decision comes in the framework of a series of steps in Israel aimed at implementing the ‘Jewish State’ slogan on the ground.”
    Palestinians in Israel and Jerusalem, meanwhile, have responded with alarm to a policy they believe is designed to make them ever less visible.
    Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator in the Israeli parliament, said: “Minister Katz is mistaken if he thinks that changing a few words can erase the existence of the Arab people or their connection to Israel.”
    The transport ministry has made little effort to conceal the political motivation behind its policy of Hebraising road signs.
    continues…….
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14410
    Kinda ties into the debate above about “melting pots”, doesn’t it? Taking questions’ argument at face value, one would think that by now the El Camino Real would have been renamed “King’s Highway”. Or Santa Barbara would now be called “Little Dover”.
    Fact is, the above described Israeli efforts to erase Arabic street names is just one more glaring example of the openly racist policies of the current Israeli leadership. I suggest that we henceforth call Israel “Bigotonia”. Has a nice ring to it. And calling Nadine a Bigotonian would be far less incendiary than than simply calling her the racist ghoul she has shown herself to be.

    Reply

  57. arthurdecco says:

    “Birkenau, which is 3 km from Auschwitz, is a different story.” Outraged American
    What are you suggesting? What does this sentence mean?

    Reply

  58. questions says:

    DonS,
    I actually never mind having my spelling corrected. Either it’s a typo, or a screw up. Typos just happen no matter how hard I work to proofread. Misspellings I way prefer having corrected. So thanks! And this one was a misspelling. It even had the red line under it and I assumed it was the spell check program’s unfamiliarity with Latin. Turns out it was mine! Oh well.

    Reply

  59. Outraged American says:

    Auschwitz, not Birkenau, is tiny. By which I mean much less than
    the size of an average US shopping mall. The “Arbeit Macht Frei”
    gate is REALLY small — I would estimate about 12-14 ft. high
    or less and 15 ft. across if that.
    And I was wondering when I was there in 1996, and that was
    when I was completely sympathetic to Israel, how all that hair,
    etc., survived. Like, wouldn’t it have been blown off in the wind?
    Were the Nazis still planning to make wigs just before the
    liberation?
    The gas chamber at Auschwitz is about twice the size of my
    living room — I got there too late for the formal tour so I’m sure
    that there was an explanation. There were four to six ovens (I
    would have to check back on my photos) that looked like pizza
    ovens, for cremating the bodies.
    It was, to a rational person, much less one who knew how to
    mulitpy, not believable that the amount of deaths and
    cremations attributed to Auschwitz death camp happened.
    Birkenau, which is 3 km from Auschwitz, is a different story. But
    most of it is blown-up so it’s hard to tell.
    I just remember in one of the women’s barracks, and I have a
    picture, there was stenciled on the wall in German (and in multi-
    cultural Arizona I did learn basic German in high school, which
    is probably why I’m a Nazi sympathizer to this day 😉 “Don’t
    drink the water, it’s dangerous.”
    That struck me as odd as well. It could have been put there
    anytime after Birkenau’s liberation as a joke, because why
    would the Germans care about prisoners they didn’t kill?
    Anyway, that was an awakening that things that we had been
    told about WW II might not have been as they were portrayed in
    the history books.
    And since both Nadine and Questions say that violence works,
    well, then let’s just blow Israel up, right? Because she is driving
    the world into WW III — so get rid of the problem now, right
    Nadine and Questions?

    Reply

  60. arthurdecco says:

    Nadine’s at it again. Sigh…and here I go jumping in the bushes…
    For those interested in what really went down in the despicable deal drawn up between the American Zionists under the firm hand of Sam Cohan and the Nazis who had stolen Germany, you can do no better than to read “The Transfer Agreement”, by Edwin Black.
    It is a searing indictment of Zionist complicity in the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its impeccable scholarship has had to be deflected by a deliberately misleading introduction purportedly written by Abe Foxman, an acknowledged master of hyperbole and obfuscation who has always been in the forelock-tugging service of Israel, in the later editions.
    http://www.transferagreement.com/
    Remember, by buying a copy, you’ll be enriching someone who had the temerity, (if only once), to write something that challenged the official story line on this subject. For a Jewish writer to write a book like the Transfer Agreement and live to tell about it is a testament to the veracity of its contents because Rule # 462 for the Hasbarabots:
    If you can’t bully it or buy it, bury it.

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    What Happened to the Suicide Bombers of Jerusalem?
    Nasty, fanatical old men, not human emotions, decided who died and when.
    By Christopher Hitchens
    http://www.slate.com/id/2222734/

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Vatican teaching Hezbollah how to kill Jews, says pamphlet for IDF troops
    By Ofri Ilani
    The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
    Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade.
    The booklet was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in cooperation with the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, and has been distributed for the past few months.
    Advertisement
    The booklet, titled “On Either Side of the Border,” purports to be the testimony of “a Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel.”
    “The book is distributed regularly and everyone reads it and believes it,” said one soldier. “It’s filled with made-up details but is presented as a true story. A whole company of soldiers, adults, told me: ‘Read this and you’ll understand who the Arabs are.'”
    The copy obtained by Haaretz included a Pesach greeting from Shalom, “in the name of the Nahshon Brigade.”
    The story is narrated by a man named Avi, who says he changed his name from Ibrahim after he left Hezbollah and converted to Judaism. Avi says he was once close to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and describes Hezbollah’s purported close relationships with the Vatican and European leaders.
    The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement: “The book was received as a donation and distributed in good faith to the soldiers. After we were alerted to the sensitivity of its content, distribution was immediately halted.”
    According to the book, Nasrallah was invited to join a delegation to tour France, Poland and Italy, including the Vatican. Nasrallah could not refuse an invitation from the Vatican, Avi explained: “We knew [the Pope] identified with Hezbollah’s struggle.”
    The book describes the alleged visit of Hezbollah officials to Auschwitz, led by the Vatican: “We came to the camps. We saw the trains, the platforms, the piles of eyeglasses and clothes … We came to learn … Our escort spoke as he was taught. We quickly explained to him: Every real Arab, deep inside, is kind of a fan of the Nazis.”
    continues…..
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1101158.html
    Pretty astounding, eh? Ya read Nadine’s wackjob bullshit, and you hope such bigoted insanity is confined to a few lunatics like Nadine, posted on a small number of blogs. Then, much to your dismay, you find out that the IDF is being pumped full of the same brand of perverse bullshit.
    There’s a lot of crazies out there, people. And some of then are actually running the show.
    God help us.

    Reply

  63. Outraged American says:

    Hey-my Catahoula mix could take down Steve’s Weimaraners
    any time, any day, anywhere. She’s snoring at my feet just now
    but that’s just because she’s gearing up for the fight.
    My Chihuahua mix could take down Steve’s Weimaraners. He’d
    lick them to death.
    Growing-up in multi-cultural Arizona, we had Mormons living
    next door always, because the guy who owned the property was
    Mormon and would only rent it out to Latter Day Saints.
    This one family, called, ironically enough, the Smiths, had a
    Weimaraner named “Adolf” who was tremendously energetic, but
    I bet my Catahoula mix could take Adolf too, especially given
    that Adolf is either dead or 35 people years old.
    I don’t think that the Mormons next door named the dog after
    Adolf Hitler or Adolf Eichmann (the Zionist facilitator). But
    perhaps the Mormons next door did choose to name their dog
    “Adolf” because they were closet Nazi sympathizers, as
    Mormons, and everyone else on Earth, tend to be.
    THAT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE.
    But there was a Mormon-owned Weimaraner next-door named
    Adolf and my snoring Catahoula mix, a pound hound if there
    ever was one, could take down not only Adolf, but also Annie
    and Oakley COMBINED.
    Steve — up for a grudge match?

    Reply

  64. DonS says:

    I feel somewhat bad about the whole “suicide bomber” thing since I originally linked to an official Israeli source that showed the virtual elimination of attacks circa 2007. As I recall there had/have been a series of poorly observed cease fires, hudnas, etc., all moving toward some possible groundwork for ‘serious’ peace negotiations.
    Anyway, we all know one suicide attack is one too many, one phosphorous attack one too many, one targeted drone one too many, etc., etc. As I mentioned before, that occasioned a stream of invective and ridicule, being Israeli-centric is a special disorder that seems to obliterate all the normal rules of reason.
    BTW Questions, it’s “non-sequitur”, not “non-sequitor”. (I’m the worst speller on earth so this is not intended in any but helpful way).

    Reply

  65. nadine says:

    “Hamas has more or less maintained a cease-fire with Israel for the past few months. In this time Hamas has arrested other militants trying to attack from Gaza, and the group’s leaders have taken a somewhat more conciliatory tone towards Israel.” End of quote.”
    That is quite true. Hamas has more or less observed a cease-fire (with occasional Qassams) since February.
    Something happened in January. Could the events of January have caused the cease-fire of February? Just maybe?
    And Israel in return for the cease-fire has not invaded Gaza again.
    Lousy situation, but it has stopped the shelling.

    Reply

  66. nadine says:

    “So Zionist Jews were working with the Nazis to get Jews out of Germany. Why would the Nazis even help Jews get out of Germany if they were hell bent on exterminating them all?”
    If you are actually interested in the answer to this question, Lucy Dawidowicz’ The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 is a classic work of history. Short answer: the “Final Solution” of pure extermination was not developed at once, but gradually; and even after it was in place, there were still Nazi officials who would subvert government policy to line their own pockets.
    But perhaps you just mean to imply that if any Jews bribed Nazi officials in an effort to save European Jews from death, that must mean they were Nazi collaborators. That’s how you made it sound.
    I doubt Jeremy Ben Ami made himself too many friends with that we-American-Jews-must-stop-parroting-the-Likud-line editorial. There’s something to offend everyone there: the neocons are saying thanks a bunch for calling us parrots who don’t have our own ideas, and the American Jewish left-wing peace camp is saying thanks for saying that we don’t exist except for you. Michael Lerner of Tikkun must be going, what am I, chopped liver?

    Reply

  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    OMG!!! Outraged American is a racist too!
    She’s a damned Weimaraneriphobe. I knew it!!!

    Reply

  68. Outraged American says:

    Hey AD, speak for yourself about wasting time with the pro-Israel
    propagandists 😉
    The hike we were supposed to go on today in northern AZ was
    cancelled. The spouse is out, the kids are who knows where, so I’m
    just sitting here with my dogs, waiting for my lap pool to open.
    BTW Steve: all my dogs are from the pound. And they’re all much
    cuter that Annie and Oakley — suck it up Steve — my dogs are
    cuter than yours and they’re all mutts.
    Folks, there were 30,000 animals euthanized in my county alone
    last year, so if you want a pet, ADOPT FROM THE POUND.
    How’s that for being off topic?

    Reply

  69. TWN COMMENTERS says:

    “Nadine”: GO S-C-R-E-W YOURSELF!!!”

    Reply

  70. arthurdecco says:

    “Go screw yourself. Anyone buying your bullshit is an idiot.” typed POA
    I second that emotion.
    I went back just now to the original post that generated these 200 plus comments…
    From the beginning paragraphs of the original post:
    “Last week Hamas militants arrested two members of the hard-line Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group while the men were in the act of setting up mortars to fire into southern Israel.
    This may not seem like big news, but it comes amid various developments in the interminable slog known that is the “peace process.”
    Hamas has more or less maintained a cease-fire with Israel for the past few months. In this time Hamas has arrested other militants trying to attack from Gaza, and the group’s leaders have taken a somewhat more conciliatory tone towards Israel.” End of quote.
    This nugget is why we have been forced to read the incessant Screeching of Nadine and her linebacking protectors since before forever.
    Her job is to Take Our Eyes Off The Ball.
    Regrettably she’s succeeded. With me as much as anyone…for over 200 comments!
    Let’s wrap it up: Hamas is acting responsibly. It is Israel who is balking at making nice.
    You need an example? How about today’s incursion into Gaza by the IDF in armoured vehicles to burn some grain fields down? Just when they were all bright and golden…and dry as sand. And, of course, ready to be harvested and sold… Does that count?
    Full Stop.
    Of course, that’s what I consider smart thinking ONLY when I’m not compelled against my will to follow Nadine’s scent off into the bushes…like so many of us have been wont to do on this thread…
    LMAO!
    I’d like to re-post what POA originally said to another of the Hasbarabots up-thread, this time directed at Nadine:
    “Go screw yourself.”
    The rest of the original quote had been repeated so often and is so self-evidentially true it doesn’t require repeating.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “OA sounds badly disappointed that Isreal has figured out how to stop the suicide bombers, doesn’t he?”
    Actually, no, you despicable ghoul, thats not at all how I took his comment. Nor do I suppose anyone else took it that way.
    But if your argument is that Israel has inflicted such horrendous abuse upon the Palestinian people that Israel now needs to wall off those that it seeks to eradicate, for fear of reprisals, I would tend to agree with you.
    And don’t be put off by questions’ trepidation about associating himself with your rabid bigotry. I suspect his empathy with your damaged pysche is far stronger than he dare admit. He’s just more than a tad smarter than you are, and recognizes the wisdom of keeping such bigotry closeted.

    Reply

  72. Outraged American says:

    Jeremy Ben Ami, a founder of J Street, the new Israel lobby,
    talked about how his grandfather worked with Eichmann (a Nazi)
    to relocate Jews.
    So Zionist Jews were working with the Nazis to get Jews out of
    Germany. Why would the Nazis even help Jews get out of
    Germany if they were hell bent on exterminating them all?
    Here’s Jeremy Ben Ami in his own words, again, a co-founder of
    the new Israel lobby J Street:
    For Israel’s Sake, Moderate American Jews Must Find Their Voice
    http://www.forward.com/articles/13154/
    “Dispatched abroad before and during World War II, he (Jeremy
    Ben-Ami founder of J Street’s grandfather) negotiated with
    Hitler’s henchman Adolph Eichmann over payments to smuggle
    Jews out of Europe”

    Reply

  73. nadine says:

    “What is claimed to be unique about the Holocaust, which one could dispute with FACTS, is the deliberate governmental policy of wiping out 6 million Jewish people, 12 million people in all. A governmental policy.”
    Not just any government, but the German government. Germany, the country of Goethe and Beethoven. Germany, the country with the best university system and the best scholarship in the world. A civilized European government.
    Before World War II, nobody would have believed that a civilized European government could have implemented such barbarity as a deliberate policy. They would have said that only savages could have behaved like this, tribes in Africa, the Tatars. Not Europeans. The knowledge that Germany not only could but did implement the Holocaust has created a civilization crisis from which we have not yet recovered imo.
    I find it curious that OA does have some knowledge of the partition of India. Millions suffered terribly, there is no doubt of it. Maybe he’ll answer you how many of these people and their descendants are in refugee camps today. Ask him why they aren’t multi-generational refugees like the Palestinians. Think he will answer you, or just call you a racist bigot too?
    OA sounds badly disappointed that Isreal has figured out how to stop the suicide bombers, doesn’t he?

    Reply

  74. questions says:

    “The Vietnamese boat child
    whom I remember being particularly bewildered by the Jewish
    Holocaust documentary Night & Fog or whatever it was, was
    struggling with his English, which was almost non-existent. ”
    I believe the error is called “non sequitor.”
    “We had a Navajo girl just off the Rez too. She could not
    understand English, while most of the Native Americans students
    could to some extent.
    This Navajo girl had a blank face on when we had to discuss the
    “Diary of Anne Frank” — we didn’t discuss “Bury My Heart At
    Wounded Knee” we discussed “The Diary of Anne Frank.” ”
    I believe the error is called, “non sequitor.”
    “Frank Rich is Jewish.”
    Irrelevant.
    OA, I doubt there is a person on the planet who denies that there has been suffering all over the planet. I suppose you could be godly enough to think that it all balances out in the end (or subject of parody a la Voltaire’s Candide’s Dr. Pangloss.)
    What is claimed to be unique about the Holocaust, which one could dispute with FACTS, is the deliberate governmental policy of wiping out 6 million Jewish people, 12 million people in all. A governmental policy.
    In the same breath, many talk about Pol Pot, African slavery, the Armenians, and a few other instances.
    Partition was brutal. I do not know enough about the events to know how much death was deliberate governmental policy and how much was individual or group policy. My knowledge is limited to some newspaper accounts, mentions in a few books, and a particularly disturbing movie in a tetrology, but I don’t remember the title. Maybe partition should go on the list. Maybe there are other events that are deliberate governmental policies to wipe out an entire genetic stock. This is the place of history, not histrionics.
    And yes, Nadine, there are points of agreement and disagreement and a lot of necessary evaluation. But I have to run for now.

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!
    Now the racist lyin’ ghoul is going to lecture us on TRUTH???? You gotta be kidding me.

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You keep bringing up bus bombings. Tell us, Nadine, when was the last one?”
    “Isn’t that the point?”
    No, it is NOT the point when this racist buffoon Nadine keeps using “bus bombings” as a PRESENT TENSE justification and excuse for Israeli atrocities.
    But you knew that, didn’t you, questions? Like I said a few threads again, you will even defend obvious dishonesty, such as Nadine’s, through attempted obsfucation.
    “With these other guys, they are not for peace, they are just rooting for the other side”
    Go screw yourself. Anyone buying your bullshit is an idiot.

    Reply

  77. nadine says:

    question, you are right that I fear for Israel’s safety. I also have deep fears for European civilization, of which America is a part. When journalists no longer care whether the story they send to their papers is real or staged, when they willingly print staged propaganda and defend themselves by saying that there is no such thing as “truth,” then it’s not just Israel, but the whole world, that’s in trouble.
    Civilizations that don’t believe in truth tend to be replaced in fairly short order by civilizations that not only know there is truth, they have the Truth.

    Reply

  78. Outraged American says:

    Questions: Frank Rich is Jewish. The Vietnamese boat child
    whom I remember being particularly bewildered by the Jewish
    Holocaust documentary Night & Fog or whatever it was, was
    struggling with his English, which was almost non-existent.
    The Vietnamese kid almost literally had just escaped a horrible
    situation created by the US, but now his US “Land of the Free”
    teachers were demanding of him that he feel that people in a
    completely different situation 30 years before had suffered more
    than he just had.
    We had a Navajo girl just off the Rez too. She could not
    understand English, while most of the Native Americans students
    could to some extent.
    This Navajo girl had a blank face on when we had to discuss the
    “Diary of Anne Frank” — we didn’t discuss “Bury My Heart At
    Wounded Knee” we discussed “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
    See, this is where Zionist Jews shoot themselves in the foot —
    the believe that their suffering is all that counts.
    It’s not. My parents and grandparents lived through the
    partition of India and Pakistan. News flash – millions of non-
    Jews died in the years surrounding Partition just as Israel was
    being “born.” But that doesn’t count to the Zionists because they
    weren’t Jewish.
    I was in Sri Lanka during the war, and, as a journalist, have
    talked to people in Gaza as UsRael’s bombs dropped around
    them.
    Questions — OTHER GROUPS BESIDES JEWS HAVE SUFFERED.
    Seriously, all you people on here who blindly support Israel, you
    need to cut it out, because what you’re doing is conflating the
    actions of Israel with all Jews, and that will eventually cause Jews
    yet again to be hated.
    If you care about Jews, please understand that supporting
    Israel’s apartheid state and her non-stop warmongering and
    attacks on her neighbors and the jail that is Gaza, will eventually
    lead to much worse.
    It’s almost as if, which I think is a good theory, that Zionists
    WANT Jews to be hated so that they’ll all be forced back to
    Israel, instead of US Jews for example, doing just fine in the
    disapora.

    Reply

  79. nadine says:

    “”You keep bringing up bus bombings. Tell us, Nadine, when was the last one?”
    Isn’t that the point? The walling, humiliation, wickedness, teenage border guards, blockade, and all the other crap Israel does are all effective techniques at stopping the suicide bombs.
    Free travel and open borders will lead to a new round of suicide bombers. Until there’s actual trust, there won’t be an end.
    Violence is wicked. Violence works.”
    Hi questions, finally a voice of reason. With you I could have an argument over what policies Israel should follow. We wouldn’t agree on much but we would at least be arguing over a set of facts that more or less are acknowledged by both sides.
    With these other guys, they are not for peace, they are just rooting for the other side. They don’t want to admit it, but an intensely myopic focus that sees nothing but Palestinian civilian suffering and Israeli war crimes leads to only one operational effect.

    Reply

  80. easy e says:

    With Israel’s continued biligerence, can anyone be surprised about Palestinian militance.
    Cause and effect.
    * * * * * * * * * *
    AP 19 July, 2009: ISRAEL REJECTS US CALL TO HALT JERUSALEM PROJECT
    By Amy Teibel
    JERUSALEM – Israel on Sunday rejected a U.S. demand to suspend a planned housing project in east Jerusalem, threatening to further complicate an unusually tense standoff with its strongest ally over settlement construction.
    Israeli officials said the country’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, was summoned to the State Department over the weekend and told that a project made up of 20 apartments developed by an American millionaire should not go ahead.
    Settlements built on captured lands claimed by the Palestinians have emerged as a major sticking point in relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of their potential to disrupt Mideast peacemaking.
    Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently yielded to heavy U.S. pressure to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state, he has resisted American demands for an immediate freeze on settlement expansion.
    On Sunday, Netanyahu told his Cabinet there would be no limits on Jewish construction anywhere in “unified Jerusalem.”…..
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090719/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

    Reply

  81. questions says:

    David,
    It doesn’t really matter if the US is a Christian nation in the eyes of the founders or the Constitution so much as it matters that the vast majority of the country starts from basic Christian concepts such that the violations of the Constitution’s provision for separation between church and state just seem normal.
    Pushing back against Christianity and theism is very difficult to do. Most people are deeply suspicious of atheism, don’t mind the motto on money, don’t mind the 10 Commandments on display, don’t mind “moments of silence.” And in many parts of the country, teacher-led, Christian prayer starts the school day.
    We don’t explode because of the numbers who want this (almost everyone else just copes), because we have a strong state and an overwhelming police force that is more likely to, itself, cause racial tension because of its general strength, because enough people don’t egg each other on to do the violence thing, and so on.
    In fact, we could easily break out in some pretty nasty rioting under the right conditions.
    What I’m really objecting to, which I have objected to before, is a kind of Israeli exceptionalism that locates the nutwings and violence over there and refuses to see the possibilities over here. Yes we can! Be really really nasty as well. We have done it before and we will do it again. The melting pot stuff is more myth than OA seems to see.
    But I guess that OA has lived in so many peaceful places where the lion and lamb snuggle up and BOTH manage to wake up in the morning in time for work that she misses the places in the country where there are real ethnic/racial/economic tensions. (I’m thinking, LA gets pretty violent, NYC has problems, Arizona is pretty kooky….)

    Reply

  82. questions says:

    OA from above,
    “In Arizona, in my high school in the 1970s, we were
    beaten over the head with the Jewish Holocaust. We had to read
    Anne Frank’s diary and watch movies about the Jewish
    Holocaust.”
    Frank Rich from today’s NY Times:
    “Then again, Coburn was so unfamiliar with Jews he didn’t have a clear fix on what happened in the Holocaust until 1997, when he was 48.”
    I’m so sorry you had to suffer through a whole novel (wow, is that a lot of work) and some movies (terrible, terrible). So so so so so so sorry. You poor dear. You’ll never recover. Think about all the things you could have done instead of reading Anne Frank and watching some movies. You could have studied the Civil War!!!
    “So a Vietnamese kid straight off the boat, thrown into the very
    strange world of 1970’s Arizona, is indoctrinated BY THE
    ARIZONA SCHOOL SYSTEM into thinking that the horrors of what
    he has just experienced is nothing compared to the Jewish
    Holocaust.
    And believe it or not, I bought into it. I even visited Auschwitz/
    Birkenau back in 1996.”
    I’m so so so so so so sorry once again that you were so badly harmed by your school system. Mercifully, you have recovered and found the truth, hallelujah!!!!! And probably the Vietnamese will never recover from being told by the country that was fighting a war on their land that their suffering was worth curriculum space.
    (Honestly, does any country ever spend huge amounts of time grappling with the suffering that they are currently inflicting? If anyone is that introspective at the moment of the event, one would think that he or she or they would cancel the event. Introspection works that way.)
    And the tragedy of it all is that in the 70s, US political culture and textbooks and teachers hadn’t quite caught up with the Viet Nam war’s tragedies. That’s how political and educational culture works. You try to teach something outside of the textbooks, you get in trouble. So you stick with the textbooks that have to be marketed across the country (I have heard that Texas has a pretty major veto over textbook content because of market share issues.) So there’s a lag.
    But again, mercifully, you have recovered. And you certainly write like a recovery/survivor/convert!!!!!
    And I’m thrilled to hear how multi-culti your neighborhoods have always been and how no one you know has ever encountered racial violence or the loss of individuality or other deep and painful struggles as they learn to get by. I would love to know how (JOSEPH ARPAIO?????) they do this in (JOSEPH ARPAIO????) Arizona!
    And New (Abner Louima) York (Amadou Diallo) City!
    On my block, there are people from all over the world. And in my town, there is racial violence, drug dealing, police brutality, gang violence, economic violence, racial steering, poverty, foreclosures, a big race gap in test scores, insufficient funding for schools, lots of culture gaps and misunderstandings…. But I guess you live in a melting pot, and I live in a boiling pot.
    And they hardly spend any time on the Holocaust! So there’s a small part of paradise for you here, but you have to take all the social crap along with the curriculum thing. Good and bad always go together I guess.
    You can close your eyes to the violence of all types in the US. You can make Israel be the site of all ethnic violence. You can be mystified that your block works and Israel doesn’t. But you’ll be missing the point.

    Reply

  83. Outraged American says:

    Amen 😉 David!

    Reply

  84. David says:

    The fundie propagandists have been successful in creating the misguided notion that America is a Christian nation. It most certainly was not founded as a Christian nation (see Treaty of Tripoli from early 1800s), is not now, and pray god never will be officially anything but a secular republic.
    Jay Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice are dead wrong, and if their notions ever are accepted by Congress, an America of, by, and for the people, with liberty and justice for all is dead. And the Ten Commandments are not the basis for the American system of justice. Some of them are useful cultural precepts (the one about Thou shalt not kill is quite appealing), others are useful only as a part of sectarian dogma (so long as that dogma does not drive members of that particular sect to deny non-members their basic human rights.
    In God we trust simply is not true of our common civil body politic, and really doesn’t belong anywhere but in churches and religious texts, just as under God, imposed under Eisenhower, does not belong in the Pledge of Allegiance, and intrusion which has exacted a terrible price because it misleads children.

    Reply

  85. Outraged American says:

    Questions, about what is taught in schools in the US, it’s not
    uniform. In Arizona, in my high school in the 1970s, we were
    beaten over the head with the Jewish Holocaust. We had to read
    Anne Frank’s diary and watch movies about the Jewish
    Holocaust.
    We had Vietnamese boat people in my class. We had Native
    Americans, some straight off the reservations. Hopi, Navajo,
    Pima, Apache, and yet we barely learned their history, we learned
    the Jewish Holocaust and how it was The Tragedy to End All
    Tragedies.
    Why? Who the hell knows. We were responsible for Vietnam and
    for slaughtering the Native Americans, yet the only thing that we
    were taught to feel guilty about was the Jewish Holocaust, which
    we were only peripherally (and sorry I have never been a good
    speller) responsible for by not bombing the train tracks and not
    allowing Jews in…whatever.
    So a Vietnamese kid straight off the boat, thrown into the very
    strange world of 1970’s Arizona, is indoctrinated BY THE
    ARIZONA SCHOOL SYSTEM into thinking that the horrors of what
    he has just experienced is nothing compared to the Jewish
    Holocaust.
    And believe it or not, I bought into it. I even visited Auschwitz/
    Birkenau back in 1996.
    Israelis actions now make a mockery of what happened to their
    ancestors.
    Just the fact that most Israeli survivors of the Jewish Holocaust
    live below the poverty line, having gotten no or extremely little
    share of the money various countries gave in Holocaust
    reparations, should make a mockery of The Holocaust Industry.
    Many Americans aren’t buying it anymore, but with any luck,
    most Americans will stop before Israel gets the spineless whores
    in “our” Congress to attack Iran.

    Reply

  86. arthurdecco says:

    Could Nadine be a paid propagandist working for the Palestinians?!?
    OR
    Could there be some other explanation for her deliberately provocative bigotry still being defiantly on display after days of being slapped down by every one of the rational and honest people on this thread? Even some of those who aren’t particularly known for their honesty or clarity on these issues have been forced to take her to task.
    Could she be stark, raving bonkers?
    Some have said as much as 20% of the American population is sociopathic. She certainly appears to meet the criteria, doesn’t she?
    One thing’s for sure – if she keeps it up, Mossad, or some even sneakier Israeli Murder Club will be forced to “eliminate” her while she sleeps – if only to stop the further erosion of support for Israel on American political blogs.
    LMAO!
    For myself, I continue to encourage her and her fellow travelers to UP their efforts in defense of the “shitty little country” presently squatting in the Middle East. I want the Nadine’s of the world to shout out their bigotry and hate MORE – not less!
    Because nothing less will bring about the political and social changes we so desperately need faster than having as many opportunities as possible for as many people as possible to examine the flaccid and fatally flawed thinking of these Hasbarabots. Only by looking deeply into the immoral depths of darkness that fill the skins of those afflicted with this virulent Zionist madness – a madness that ultimately threatens the security of every single individual on the planet in one way or another, will we be freed from the chains they are systematically trying to wrap us all up in.

    Reply

  87. Outraged American says:

    I did live in L.A.: on my block alone we had Hispanics, Iranians,
    Italians, Koreans, Chinese, Canadians, Argentinians, Japanese,
    Syrians (hyphenate most of these with American — some were
    from that country and some were descendants of immigrants
    from those countries) Israelis and who knows what else.
    No one seemed to hate each other because of their ethnicity,
    religion or culture.
    Now I’m back in my home state of Arizona. On this block we
    have Romanians, Germans (both immigrant families) African-
    Americans, Hispanics, and mixed Hispanic marriages, two
    “white” Bible thumpers, two “Satanists,” two Native Americans, a
    lot of Jews.
    You get the picture.
    Fights between neighbors in both places were about someone
    parking in the wrong spot, or someone letting their dog poop on
    another’s lawn.
    They were not about race, religion or culture.
    So in one of the reddest of red states, people are still getting
    along.
    I’ve also lived in NYC — ditto.
    Again, I think a one state solution is the only thing that will
    work for Israel, and it will most probably be a relief to the more
    secular Israelis.
    Certainly it will cause the rest of the world a lot less grief given
    that Israel is hell bent on causing WW III.

    Reply

  88. questions says:

    When it’s economically viable to do something like learn another language, when the social structures reward getting along, when one’s friends and cohorts engage in something other than violence, than one does as well. But these moments of calm can be overturned by instigators, by sudden events, by failing institutions, by weak central governments, by economic hardship and so on.
    Right now, Israel is hitting just about every condition that leads to ethnic violence — the state can’t control the nutwings, there are land disputes, there is little or no incentive to cooperate, suicidal willingness is pretty much impossible to battle, resources are scarce, people egg each other on to violence, and shame each other’s peace efforts.
    Until these conditions change, the fight is “rational”. (Note, technical use, not common use.)
    Nadine’s raw fear comes out in her posts. WW’s quieter fear comes out. Far better to acknowledge the fears that motivate the positions than to steamroll. Dealing with the political anxiety may actually lead to some kind of move towards some vaguely better policy understanding.
    Fear is a potent political force.

    Reply

  89. questions says:

    “You put people like questions in the unenviable position of having to backpeddle their advocations and arguments”
    Not backtracking on anything, actually. Don’t, and haven’t ever, agreed with Nadine on much of anything. Don’t really agree with you either. Got my own take, alter my take as needed.

    Reply

  90. questions says:

    “You keep bringing up bus bombings. Tell us, Nadine, when was the last one?”
    Isn’t that the point? The walling, humiliation, wickedness, teenage border guards, blockade, and all the other crap Israel does are all effective techniques at stopping the suicide bombs.
    Free travel and open borders will lead to a new round of suicide bombers. Until there’s actual trust, there won’t be an end.
    Violence is wicked. Violence works.

    Reply

  91. Outraged American says:

    About how well the US works as a melting pot: The LA Times
    IIRC had an article a few years ago about how in what is called
    “Koreatown” a part of Los Angeles that had the second largest
    population of people of Korean descent outside of Seoul, many
    people aren’t learning English.
    Why? Because Spanish speakers are learning Korean and
    Koreans are learning Spanish, ONLY. This is right in the middle
    of LA, right next to downtown in fact. How much better does a
    melting pot get?
    During the LA riots of 92, which were horrible — I was there —
    there was some animus between Korean Americans and
    Hispanics. Now it seems that by living side-by-side and
    attempting to understand each other and LEARNING TO SPEAK
    TWO VERY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, they’re creating their own
    community.
    Towards the end of the riots the Korean Americans marched
    through the streets wearing white, which IIRC is the Korean color
    for peace, but it’s been a long time and I try to block the riots
    out.
    And it worked along with Rodney King’s “Why can’t we just get
    along?” And people were just tired of all the fighting.
    Now if only the Israelis could learn from that example.

    Reply

  92. questions says:

    “But we’re not an apartheid
    state like Israel.”
    We have our own homegrown version.
    “Or even been to
    Los Angeles?”
    Rodney King?
    “The melting pot works better here than anywhere
    else.”
    1865.
    The US has the luxury of having already had its founding war, its civil war, and a number of race wars of various sorts. We got the border thing set up, we kicked out the natives already. Been there, done that.
    Israel is newer and is doing basically the same crap we did. The main difference, I would think, is that we have the distinct “moral” “advantage” of forgetting from what wickedness we come while we bash those whose founding process is current.
    Nations are violent. It’s really an immoral concept in a way, a nation is.
    My sense of moral outrage, then, is modified by modesty and self-awareness. There’s more we have in common with Israel than not. We just bury our nastiness in old paintings and grainy black and white photos is musty, unread history books.
    Doesn’t justify anyone else’s nasty actions, but it should provide some sense of the business end of nations.
    And I would guess that there are multi-ethnic nations that don’t have the level of violence that you, being an Angelino(?), must be blind to miss.
    We are not the greatest, best, most whatever… and if you think we are, perhaps you had too many years of US history in school where they teach this crap.
    **************
    http://www.aisisraelstudies.org/2004papers/Lustick_AIS_2004paper_updt.pdf
    A paper on emigration from Israel. Some emigration is expected after periods of intense immigration as people decide they’ve made a mistake and want to go home. Some emigration seems pretty clearly related to Palestinian violence. There is likely a lag between emigration and violence as people wait on the decision. Complexities abound. Demography is a complicated topic. But at some level “market” functions are there and either Israel “sells” itself to its citizens, or it fails and people leave. It’s an interesting pressure.

    Reply

  93. arthurdecco says:

    “And let’s face it, Israel’s actions do not reflect well on Jews BECAUSE Zionists continue to conflate Israel’s actions with the views of every Jew. That could not be further from the truth e.g., many of the leaders of the antiwar movement are Jews.” Outraged American
    And look at how effective the antiwar movement has been! Your statement actually proves the opposite of what you claim. The antiwar movement is hamstrung precisely because many of its “leaders” are Jewish and are either ideologically in agreement with the NEOS on the issue of wars in the Middle East or are in positions where Zionist Jews of Influence can destroy them, their families and careers if they don’t toe the party line.
    “The U.S. proves that for the most part a melting pot approach works. It’s hard to dislike someone of another race or religion once you get to know them as a person.” Outraged American
    Absolutely true – which is why most Americans live in communities/neighborhoods geared to their ethnicity and/or religion and take no willing part in the “melting pot approach”.

    Reply

  94. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You keep bringing up bus bombings. Tell us, Nadine, when was the last one?
    Tristan Anderson is a vegetable, shot at close range while engaged in peaceful protest. Is that a hoax too?
    And I suppose all of these human rights groups and organizations, world wide, that are exposing Israeli war crimes and human rights abuses, are all part of a huge anti-semitic cabal of conspiratorial jew haters, nazis, and leftists, eh?
    Its quite telling that you lump all “Palestinians” into a seething mass of bloodthirsty fanatics in your posting, until you are called on it, then you add qualifiers, such as you did above with your addition of the term “terrorists”. I tend to think the sentiments that first roll off of your keyboard are the window into your character and intent, and the subsequent addition of qualifiers is, on your part, an intellectual recognition of your own bigotry. Your knee jerk reflexive responses to examples of Israeli atrocities portray a preverse disdain for the Palestinian people as a whole.
    Its called bigotry, Nadine. And it oozes out of your every paragraph. It is a HUGE mistake for people like you to argue on Israel’s behalf. You put people like questions in the unenviable position of having to backpeddle their advocations and arguments, because bigotry such as your’s MUST be opposed if any pro-Israel argument is to be deemed credible. And you help underscore the underlying bigotry that drives the commentary of people like Wig-wag, because their failure to strongly dissent against your bigoted rationals and justifications (for the behaviour of the Israeli leadership and IDF forces) implies a sympathy with your opinions.
    You discredit a pro-Israel stance with your comments. And you add credibility to the arguments of people like myself. The bigotry masked behind the historical diversions contained in the arguments of those such as Wig-wag, or the obsfucations of those such as questions, is brought directly into the forefront by the unabashed barring of your base self. You are a window into the driving force behind Israeli policies, and its not a pretty picture. Most defenders of Israel’s actions are astute enough, and sensitive enough, to avoid such open displays of raw bigotry. But for whatever reason, probably a deep seated flaw in your very essence, you cannot seem to grasp the despicably inhumane foundation upon which your comments seem to be constructed. Perhaps, in a way, this makes you less the ghoul than those who are able to intellectually sidestep a direct exposure of their own bigotry, for you seemingly cannot help but expose yourself, it simply comes naturally.
    I would like to say I pity you for these flaws, but I am unable to muster any feelings of sympathy, empathy, or mercy for your failings. To my way of thinking, you represent all that is evil within the ranks of mankind. Your unfeeling dismissal of the suffering of the Palestinians is sociopathic, and not unlike the expressions of indifference to human suffering that the Charlie Mansons, Ted Bundies, and Joseph Mengeles have exhibited when confronted with the reality of their crimes.
    Me? I’d rather have a limp dick, or be the victim of henpecking, (as you and Wig-Wag are so fond of insinuating), than live for one second in your sick and corrupted pysche. (Fortunately, I don’t have to suffer any of these three options).
    So carry on, Nadine. Your every comment only buttresses the veracity of my own commentary. For this, I must thank you.

    Reply

  95. Outraged American says:

    Hey Questions — ever lived in another country? Or even been to
    Los Angeles? The melting pot works better here than anywhere
    else. And I even grew-up, and now live again, in a red state.
    And we have laws to address disparities, and we work towards
    equality, however imperfect it might be. But we’re not an apartheid
    state like Israel.
    For instance, we have separation of church and state here while
    Israel was formed as a Jewish state.

    Reply

  96. questions says:

    “The U.S. proves that for the most part a melting pot approach
    works. It’s hard to dislike someone of another race or religion
    once you get to know them as a person.”
    I almost feel like letting this one stand on its own.
    But since YOU brought up the Civil War, I’m just going to mention the fact that YOU brought up the Civil War in the same post that talks about how well our “melting pot” melts us together.
    Slavery.
    Lynchings.
    Beatings.
    Ghettos.
    Drug War.
    Police Violence.
    Segregation.
    The KKK.
    Racial Profiling.
    Racial Steering in Housing.
    Test Score Differentials.
    Using Property Taxes to Fund Schools.
    Ending Welfare As We Know It.
    Black Unemployment.
    Crack/Cocaine Sentencing Differentials.
    Some melting pot!!!!!!!

    Reply

  97. questions says:

    “A one state solution. Israel’s construct is based on religion,
    something we wouldn’t tolerate here. ”
    If you were to google the phrase, “America is a Christian nation,” how many links would you find?
    If you were to visit rural southern public schools, how many do think would actually start the day with teacher-led explicitly Christian prayer?
    If you were to go through the public schools across the country, how many do you think might have some religious display in violation of the separation of church and state?
    How many “science” “teachers” give time to “creationism”?
    It’s all over the place. In fact, non-Christians tolerate a fair number of practices that are clearly violative of the Constitution. Because the overwhelming majority of the country is nominally Christian, the US simply doesn’t face what Israel does where it’s closer to 50/50, and would soon switch over to a Jewish minority under a one-state system.
    Where you can see the US’s concerns is with “majority minority” status. And indeed, some segments of AMERICA have deep anxiety about this one. We’ll have our turn eventually trying to figure out what it means for such a demographic change, and I doubt we’ll do it without some screaming. Just spend some time thinking about the idiotic response to the “wise Latina” remark to get a sense of what it’ll be like when there are more Latinas than white women.
    What I would wish for Israel isn’t necessarily what Israelis would wish for themselves. But then, I don’t live their under the feeling of threat, panic, anxiety and terror, however ill or well founded, that Nadine seems to feel.

    Reply

  98. questions says:

    “Americans of my generation (mid-forties)
    seem to have been taught more about the Jewish Holocaust than
    we were taught about the Civil War. ”
    Oh, for heaven’s sake.
    Kindergarten through about about 5th grade is American community — family, kinds of jobs, the 50 states, the fact of countries, basic geography (rivers and mountains and plains, average rainfall, tropical forests, cold places, ocean life), a couple of units on Native Americans, the Civil Rights era, and a little bit about the branches of government (as in “pick a president and write a report,” and “Congress makes the laws, the President enforces the laws, the courts interpret the laws,” and “pick a Supreme Court Justice and write a report.”) Slavery is pretty big throughout because it’s a theme the kids can understand when they are young.
    That’s the point of developmentally appropriate education. What are things little kids with no time sense at all can understand? Well, they know family, jobs, and they don’t like being told what to do. They “get” rainfall, hills, and wagons crossing the country. (What do you pack for a wagon trip?!)
    6th, 7th and 8th grade are focused on US history. 9th and 10th grade tend to be world survey courses — the WHOLE of the world in a year– starting with the earliest records of human kind. And then you can do it again!
    11th is another year of US history, AP or honors, or not. If they get through WWII, they are lucky. (This depends upon whether the district requires 2 years of h.s. social studies or 3. If 3, there’s more room for the world, if 2, the focus is more strongly on US history.)
    12th grade is either no history at all or AP European.
    Of course there are variations, but your line is way off base. US history is the main theme of social studies throughout the US, and the Civil War gets plenty of coverage. If people can’t name the Civil War generals or battle sites, my guess is that they also can’t name a whole lot of German generals, concentration camps, ghettos, and the like either.
    Since you use that line to establish a rhetorical “mood” the line deserves significant condemnation.

    Reply

  99. Outraged American says:

    Megaphone does have at least 100,000 people pushing Israeli
    propaganda (hasbara). I would suggest to them to be less
    wordy, something I’m guilty of myself.
    One of the things the Israeli government fears the most is
    emmigration. I read that the Russians who came to Israel, some
    on very dubious claims of being Jews, had their passports held
    for five years by the Israeli government. Now a good percentage
    are leaving Israel as are another good percentage of the
    youngest and the brightest.
    I think that this might be the solution — most Jews are now
    doing really well in their diaspora. A lot of the “anti-Jewishness”
    no longer exists. Americans of my generation (mid-forties)
    seem to have been taught more about the Jewish Holocaust than
    we were taught about the Civil War.
    And let’s face it, Israel’s actions do not reflect well on Jews
    BECAUSE Zionists continue to conflate Israel’s actions with the
    views of every Jew. That could not be further from the truth
    e.g., many of the leaders of the antiwar movement are Jews.
    Let Israel disarm her nukes and let whoever wants to stay there
    stay in ONE state, and force the Israelis to learn how to live with
    their neighbors, both physical and in the region, in peace. The
    U.S. should not provide ONE MORE CENT, NOR ONE MORE
    WEAPON, even a hand grenade, to Israel.
    A one state solution. Israel’s construct is based on religion,
    something we wouldn’t tolerate here. So let’s not tolerate it in
    our client state. I say “client”, because that’s the propaganda
    term for Israel, but we’re actually the dog and Israel’s the tail
    that wags us.
    That would force Egypt into a real democracy too and help stop
    the rise of Islamic fundamentalism among the Palestinians. The
    Muslims in that area used to live in peace with Christians and
    Jews, until the “West” came and mucked it all up.
    It would also take away one of the primary reasons, at least
    initially, that some Muslims became angry with the “West.”
    And it would help stop our “War on Terror” i.e., Israel’s war on
    Islam that became ours and has been used to justify the
    destruction of our Bill of Rights, and led us into endless war.
    We could have sat down and negotiated for that oil, if it was
    indeed only oil that led us into all these wars. It would have
    been and still would be a heck of a lot cheaper than what we’re
    spending on war.
    The U.S. proves that for the most part a melting pot approach
    works. It’s hard to dislike someone of another race or religion
    once you get to know them as a person.
    Let Israel become a melting pot, and forget about this Biblical
    rubbish. Let those nutball settlers from Brooklyn buy their own
    weapons, and if they die, well at least they died on “holy” soil.
    Here’s a good site that gives facts about Christians in Palestine,
    specifically Bethlehem, which is being strangled by Israel. It’s
    ironic that “Christian” Zionist provide the voting bloc for Israel
    while Israel is trying to destroy the birthplace of Christ:
    http://www.openbethlehem.org/

    Reply

  100. Neo Controll says:

    . . . like I said, too much air time for propagandist “Nadine”.
    Endorsing “A Clean Break”, emblematic of all that has proven sick and treasonous in the zealot-Neocon alliance. Let her slink back to her handlers.
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  101. nadine says:

    I notice your list of the 1000 dead kids starts out with a proven hoax, Mohammed al Dura. Numerous investigations and now a French legal case have proved that not only could he not have been shot by the IDF, the shooting was a staged-for-tv hoax http://www.theaugeanstables.com/al-durah-affair-the-dossier/
    Very effective propaganda, as it was shown thousands of times all over the Arab world. France 2 and Charles Enderlin are deeply implicated in putting out the false story.
    Let’s hope the rest of the names are more accurate. One thing to notice about them is: they are nearly all 14, 15, 16, 17 year old boys killed at “demonstrations”. Meaning they were boy soldiers killed in the fighting. Now the death of a boy soldier is sad but if you’re going to get all outraged about the poor kids maybe you better save some outrage for the guys who send them to the front. The Israeli kids, you will find, really were non-combatants, both boys and girls, who were blown up while riding a bus or eating a pizza, because the IDF doesn’t send children out to fight.

    Reply

  102. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…….a coalition of groups calling for an end to the killing of children and a fair resolution of the conflict, reports that 1,056 Palestinian children and 123 Israeli children were killed between Sep 29, 2000 and early December 2008”
    Now, uh, Nadine. Do these stats mean nothing to you? It seems Palestinian deaths of children, over nine times more killed than Israeli kids, means nothing to you. Only Israeli kids lives are valuable?
    Do you see anyone on here saying “But the Israelis never treat a Palestinian teenager in this manner. Whenever they have gotten one in their power, they bash his head in”, despite the actual statistics that demonstrate far more Palestinian kids have died?
    Like I said; You disgust me.

    Reply

  103. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, you bigoted wretch, it looks like “All4Israel” is doing some laudable work.
    Its a real shame you are using their efforts and website to spread your racist horseshit.

    Reply

  104. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “That’s the case I was thinking of when I said that Palestinian terrorists killed any Jewish kids they got a hold of”
    Palestinian terrorists? Thats not what you said. What you said was…
    “But the Palestinians never treat a Jewish Israeli teenager in this manner. Whenever they have gotten one in their power, they bash his head in”
    Do you see the word “terrorists” in that statement? I don’t.
    Nadine, anyone reading your comments can see what a bigoted biased bullshitter you are. Your handlers are idiots for letting you carry Israel’s water.

    Reply

  105. nadine says:

    Hey, it really helps those old indignation juices when you get all yours news from electronicintifada and the like, and you believe everything it says about all those dead Palestianian children.
    Here’s a question for you: if a 16 year old joins Hamas and is killed firing at Israelis, does he become a dead Palestinian child if he gets killed? Ans: in a New York minute. Hamas uses LOTS of boys to throw rocks, grenades, retrieve rocket launchers, and serve as boy-soldiers. Ever heard of the “shabab”? If any of the boys get killed, Hamas has a two-fer: a new martyr to celebrate and a new Israeli war-crime to bewail to HRW. It’s part of their strategy. That’s one reason they have Mickey Mouse teaching the tots to kill Jews and die. They need a supply of children who are primed for martyrdom from an early age.
    The instances of Palestinian killing Israeli kids on purpose are many, and if you doubt them it only shows you never looked for any.
    In 2001 two 14 year old boys were found bludgeoned to death in a cave on the West Bank
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/may/09/israel1
    That’s the case I was thinking of when I said that Palestinian terrorists killed any Jewish kids they got a hold of. But here are others where children were singled out for death, just a small sample.
    April 2, 2009 – Shlomo Nativ, 13, was killed and a seven-year-old boy was injured in an attack carried out by a terrorist carrying an axe in the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin Thursday noon.
    March 6, 2008 – Eight students were murdered in a terrorist shooting attack in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem on Thursday night.
    Eleven were wounded, three in serious condition.
    The victimes are:
    Yochai Lifshitz, 18, from Jerusalem.
    Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, from Shilo.
    Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, from Kochav Hashahar.
    Neria Cohen, 15, from Jerusalem.
    Segev Peniel Avichail, 15, from Neve Daniel.
    Avraham David Moses, 16, from Efrat.
    Ro’i Roth, 18, from Elkana.
    Doron Meherete 26, from Ashdod.
    Shalhevet Pass (Hebrew: שלהבת פס‎) was shot in the head and killed by a Palestinian sniper while seated in her stroller on the streets of Hebron, where she and her family lived. Shalhevet’s father, Yitzchak Pass, who was pushing the stroller, was also wounded by the same bullet.[2][3] It is believed the snipers were intentionally targeting the baby – wikipedia

    Reply

  106. easy e says:

    “Nadine”, unless you can substantiate your bizaare claims, it’s time for you to go away and find another blog to troll/talkback on. The TWN community has got your number…..

    Reply

  107. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Now, Nadine, you lying sack of shit, please provide us with substantiation of your claim….
    “But the Palestinians never treat a Jewish Israeli teenager in this manner. Whenever they have gotten one in their power, they bash his head in”

    Reply

  108. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Remember These Children……
    http://rememberthesechildren.org/about.html
    …….a coalition of groups calling for an end to the killing of children and a fair resolution of the conflict, reports that 1,056 Palestinian children and 123 Israeli children were killed between Sep 29, 2000 and early December 2008.
    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports…..
    http://www.ochaopt.org/gazacrisis/admin/output/files/ocha_opt_gaza_humanitarian_situation_report_2009_02_02_english.pdf
    ….. that at least 431 Palestinian children (and no Israeli children) were killed during Israel’s Dec 27, 2008 – Jan 18, 2009 assault on the Gaza strip. This number does not include any killings of Palestinian children in the West Bank, which may have taken place since the beginning of 2009.

    Reply

  109. Carroll says:

    So funny. Zionistas are changing claims. The holocuast and anti semitism are drawing laughs when offered as the reason for Israel and defending Israel. So they have reverted to thr “Bibical and …”continuity of the Hebrews of Judea thousands of years ago”.
    http://tonykaron.com/2009/07/16/obama-abe-foxman-and-israels-purpose/
    Ever since Obama’s Cairo speech, Foxman’s concerns have become more pronounced……
    his concern — among others — was that Obama should have “made clear that Israel’s right to statehood is not a result of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.”
    He’s not the only one who argues this, of course; many on the Zionist right have long insisted that the movement claimed sovereignty in Palestine not on the basis of the Holocauast, but claiming to represent the continuity of the Hebrews of Judea thousands of years ago
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… Where on Earth did Barack Obama get this idea that Israel’s foundation was intimately tied to the Holocaust?
    Maybe it’s the fact that the first place Israel takes every visiting dignitary is to Yad Vashem, which as Avrum Burg has so eloquently argued, a visit designed effect what he calls the “emotional blackmail” that sears into the minds of the guest that Israel is the answer to the Holocaust, and that any criticism of the Jewish State must be muted for that reason.
    Or maybe it’s the fact that Israel’s leaders are always rabbiting on about every new challenger in the region being a reincarnation of Hitler. Begin said it about Arafat; Netanyahu says it about Ahmadinejad. For years, Israel’s leaders have spoken about the 1967 borders as “Auschwitz borders.” I could go on and on.
    If Israel’s claims were based only on a mythologized history of a Biblical kingdom, frankly it would have aroused no more sympathy in the Jewish world than Bin Laden’s fantasies about resurrecting the Islamic Caliphate have done in the Muslim world. Without the Holocaust, in other words, Zionism would have remained the fringe movement among Jews that it was before World War II.
    (does Aluf Benn really think Israel won the UN vote that enabled its creation because of the Biblical claims of the Zionist movement?
    Still, having told the world and the majority of Jews who live in it that Israel was the answer to the Holocaust and the inheritor of the mantle of the survivors (a contestable claim, to be sure, but you only have to look at the fact that Germany paid most of its “reparations” not to the survivors themselves, but to Israel), Foxman et al are going to have a hard time pivoting to the narrative of Biblical redemption.
    Essentially, the problem they face is that an ideological construct of their own making is no longer serving its purpose of ensuring a blank check for Israel’s endless dispossession of the Palestinians.
    The bad news,(for Israel) of course, is that justifying that dispossession on the basis of a Biblical narrative is going to get even fewer takers in America, of any persuasion.”

    Reply

  110. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israeli officer: I was right
    to shoot 13-year-old child
    Radio exchange contradicts army version of Gaza killing
    Thirteen-year-old Iman Al-Hams was killed when an Israeli officer emptied his weapon into her. Israelis have been responsible for killing over 600 other Palestinian children since September 2000.
    By Chris McGreal
    UK Guardian
    November 24, 2004
    An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza dismissed a warning from another soldier that she was a child by saying he would have killed her even if she was three years old.
    The officer, identified by the army only as Captain R, was charged this week with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions after emptying all 10 bullets from his gun’s magazine into Iman al-Hams when she walked into a “security area” on the edge of Rafah refugee camp last month.
    A tape recording of radio exchanges between soldiers involved in the incident, played on Israeli television, contradicts the army’s account of the events and appears to show that the captain shot the girl in cold blood.
    The official account claimed that Iman was shot as she walked towards an army post with her schoolbag because soldiers feared she was carrying a bomb.
    But the tape recording of the radio conversation between soldiers at the scene reveals that, from the beginning, she was identified as a child and at no point was a bomb spoken about nor was she described as a threat. Iman was also at least 100 yards from any soldier.
    Instead, the tape shows that the soldiers swiftly identified her as a “girl of about 10” who was “scared to death”.
    continues….
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/child-killed.html

    Reply

  111. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMOA!!!
    Now this racist piece of shit is giving us a personal anecdote, with no sourcing, no link, no nothing. And lord knows, we can trust anything that rolls off of HER keyboard, can’t we? The hardships and ill treatments of the Palestinians is just a figment of our imagination, a world wide media plot.
    “But the Palestinians never treat a Jewish Israeli teenager in this manner. Whenever they have gotten one in their power, they bash his head in. Only exception is Hamas, since they are disciplined enough to take captives for ransom”
    123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,487 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/stats/children.html#source
    1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 10,756 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/stats/prisoners.html#source
    You really are a despicable bigoted lying sack of garbage, Nadine.

    Reply

  112. nadine says:

    Hey, thanks for the link to “A Clean Break: A New
    Strategy for Securing the Realm” written for Israeli PM (then and now) Netanyahu in 1996.” Very good and more relevant than ever, after 16 years of peace processing that have only convinced the Palestinians that they don’t every have to make a deal, they can set and wait for Tel Aviv to be handed to them on a platter.
    You’ll have to explain which part of it you object to more: the part which recommends that Israel follow a capitalist rather than a socialist economy, or the part that points out it is impossible for any party to make peace unilaterally, since it takes two partners to make a peace?
    “Do you have any doubts that Palestinians treating a jewish Israeli teenager in this manner would be promptly shot, and their “terrorist behaviour” would be the reason given for their summary field execution?”
    But the Palestinians never treat a Jewish Israeli teenager in this manner. Whenever they have gotten one in their power, they bash his head in. Only exception is Hamas, since they are disciplined enough to take captives for ransom.
    And that’s if this story is true. The Palestinians habitually tell lies about the Israelis (they think it’s a virtue to tell lies about the Israelis) and left-wing journalists and NGOs habitually repeat their lies.
    Here is a true story I had from a veteran UPI professional photographer: One day when reporting from Jerusalem he went out with his Palestinian ‘fixer’ to the West Bank. This was in the middle of the second intifada. He was shown to a pile of rubble with a tent pitched in front of it, where he was told a piteous story of a home destroyed by the Israelis and a family made homeless. He thought the family looked a little too clean for the story they were telling, but he took pictures of them and the site anyway. Couple of days later he went out again, this time with a colleague, an AP journalist. This time they went with her Palestinian fixer. And where did they wind up at but the same pile of rubble, same tent, but completely different “family” telling a similar story of woe? He told her it was fake and he had the pics to prove it. She reported it all as gospel anyway. It fit the template she was looking for, so it passed muster as “fake, but accurate.”

    Reply

  113. PissedOffAmerican says:

    July 15th, 2009
    in:Palestine
    AL-KHALIL/HEBRON: Israeli soldiers assault unarmed Palestinian teenager, threaten rape. Youth remains committed to nonviolence.
    by Maureen Jack
    At 4:30 pm on Monday 13 July 2009, two Israeli soldiers attacked a sixteen-year-old Palestinian boy 150 yards from his home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron.
    The attack happened as he was walking to his home carrying heavy electrical cables necessary for repair work on his family’s house. Two workers accompanying him left to raise the alarm.
    The teenager reported that one particular soldier has often held him for ID checks lasting at least one hour. This soldier and another took his ID and told him to sit on the ground. Initially they made inappropriate sexual comments about the boy and his mother. They then assaulted him, kicking his leg, and hitting him on the neck and back both with their hands and with their rifle butts. He tried to telephone his father but a soldier grabbed the phone from him and hit him with it after removing the battery and SIM card.
    When the boy’s mother and cousin arrived, he tried to tell them what had happened. Soldiers told him, “Shut up or I will f*** you,” and threatened to rape the women.
    The soldiers then took the youth behind the family’s house, where some Israeli settlers were present. The soldiers cuffed his hands behind his back, blindfolded him, and again forced him to sit. One or more people kicked and hit him again, but because of the blindfold, he could not see whether his attackers were soldiers or settlers.
    continues…..
    http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2009/07/15/al-khalilhebron-israeli-soldiers-assault-unarmed-palestinian-teenager-threaten-rap
    “Its all Hamas’ fault” is Nadine’s refrain. Note that this account is written by Christian activists in Israel, not a Palestinian organization.
    Do you have any doubts that Palestinians treating a jewish Israeli teenager in this manner would be promptly shot, and their “terrorist behaviour” would be the reason given for their summary field execution?

    Reply

  114. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Palestinian home and olive tree destroyed by settlers in At-Tuwani
    Christan Peacemaker Team
    17 July 2009
    AT-TUWANI: On the morning of 17 July, a Palestinian family from the village of At-Tuwani discovered that their newly constructed house was destroyed during the previous night. In addition, the family discovered an olive tree located near the new house cut in half. The family believes that Israel settlers from the Ma?on settlement and Havot Ma?on outpost are responsible for the vandalism. Despite being threatened by both settlers and officers from the Israel military District Coordinator (DCO), the family plans to rebuild the house.
    On 16 July Palestinian residents of At-Tuwani began construction on six new small houses on land owned by the village. During the construction, Israeli settlers from Havot Ma?on outpost shouted at Palestinians working on the houses. Officers from the DCO told Palestinian land owners that the construction was illegal and threatened to arrest the workers. In addition, an officer told one At-Tuwani resident that everything he owned would be destroyed if he did not stop building. Despite these risks, Palestinians say that they plan to continue construction to assert their right to build on their own land.
    While the Israeli army restricts Palestinian building, Ma?on and Carmel settlements and Avigail and Havot Ma?on outposts in the area continue to expand. Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams have documented continuous settlement expansion since 2004.
    For photos of the demolished house, visit: http://cpt.org/gallery/album289
    For photos of recent settlement expansion, visit: http://cpt.org/gallery/album288

    Reply

  115. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israeli forces penetrate half kilometer into Gaza; burn fields
    Ma’an News
    July 17, 2009
    Gaza – Ma?an – Israeli forces made their deepest incursion into the Gaza Strip in months near Beit Hanoun, penetrating 500 meters past the buffer zone to burn 150 dunums of land.
    The agricultural field of wheat and barley crops belonging to the Shabat family was destroyed after an Israeli militarized vehicle left the Erez District Coordination Office (DCO) and drove into the Strip, stopping only to set the land on fire. Dry weather meant the crops burned quickly, consuming the much needed grains.
    The incident is a string in what farmers call persistent attempts by Israeli soldiers to prevent the harvesting of crops outside the Israeli-patrolled buffer zone near the Gaza border fence. Locals reported almost daily patrols of military jeeps on the outskirts of the town.
    http://uruknet.com/?p=m56109&hd=&size=1&l=e
    If a group of Palestinians burned the crops belonging to settler farmers, what would they be called? “Terrorists”, of course.
    Imagine. You have no modern weapons. You have busted your ass clearing land, tilling the soil, irrigating, seeding, crop tending, in stifling heat,over a period of months. Then some racist bunch of jackboots pull up in armored vehicles, toting modern weaponry that makes it IMPOSSIBLE for you to defend your crops, and they torch them.
    You can’t even throw rocks, because if you do, one of these jackbooted ghouls will kill you, without fear of reprisal or punishment.
    Our tax dollars at work.

    Reply

  116. easy e says:

    Posted by Outraged American, Jul 18 2009, 4:18PM –
    Needless to say, Perle made a fortune off of said invasion via his
    ties to the military industrial complex. So did Cheney and Senator
    Dianne Feinstein’s husband — funny how that works…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Indeed. The establishment GOP and Dem parties are beholden to the military industrial complex.$$$

    Reply

  117. Outraged American says:

    Correction: Richard Perle was a co-author of “A Clean Break” the
    Israeli neo-con manifesto, not Wolfowitz. Perle was chairman of
    the very influential Defense Policy Advisory Board in the run-up to
    our second invasion of Iraq.
    Needless to say, Perle made a fortune off of said invasion via his
    ties to the military industrial complex. So did Cheney and Senator
    Dianne Feinstein’s husband — funny how that works…

    Reply

  118. Outraged American says:

    Memri was co-founded by Meyrav Wurmser, one of the co-
    authors of the (Israeli) neo-con manifesto “A Clean Break: A New
    Strategy for Securing the Realm” written for Israeli PM (then and
    now) Netanyahu in 1996.
    That “realm” being Israel. Read it for yourself:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1438.htm
    Other co-authors included Wurmser’s husband, who worked his
    neo-con black magic inside Cheney’s office, Douglas Feith and
    Paul Wolfowitz. Feith and Wolfowitz were #2 and #3 at the
    Pentagon in the run-up to the second US invasion of Iraq.
    Feith ran the “Office of Special Plans” inside the Pentagon and
    routinely entertained Israeli operatives. Their Israeli lies on Iraq
    were then stove-piped to Dumbo Christian Zionist Bush, with
    Rumsfeld writing Biblical passaged on the reports to convince
    Bush that he was meant to be some kind of Messiah and restore
    Eretz Israel.
    Again, why waste your time arguing on a message board with
    Israel supporters? Use this old info to spread the word to your
    fellow Americans.
    Why I push the National Priorities Project so much is that it
    shows the cost of war to YOUR community. I’m surrounded by
    people in the red state that I live in now who have huge
    personal economic woes.
    I can natter on to Joe Six Pack about US foreign policy or I could
    break down how much all the wars that we’re waging are costing
    him daily.
    What better way to end war than to show people how much it
    costs them directly?
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

    Reply

  119. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Norheim, To wit: Sacha Baron Cohen is Nadine writ large.

    Reply

  120. arthurdecco says:

    “I am so sorry, Arthur. My indoctrinated mind initially laughed when it read the story – but sure, I now realize that it was unfunny. Very unfunny indeed, if you say so, sir.” Paul Norheim
    I didn’t say the story you excerpted wasn’t funny, Mr. Norheim. A less-casual reading of my very short and emphatic post would have told you that. I said HE wasn’t funny.
    As for your “indoctrinated mind” nonsense – you can stuff it where the sun don’t shine. The slimy, cowardly-because-unspoken undertone suggestion being of course that I’m an anti-Semite. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge innuendo like that diminishes you and disgusts me.
    If it becomes impossible to criticize the actions and motivations of Jews simply because they’re Jews, Mr. Norheim, where will that leave us? How will we ever see liberty again? Because allowing as successful an in-group as Jews to become immune to criticism based on their claimed faith or list of familial associations is a recipe for tyranny – especially when this particular in group’s self-described leaders regularly display such antipathy towards the opinions and values of the majority of their fellow citizens.
    Now back to the point of my post: I said HE wasn’t funny, Mr. Norheim – I intimated that he deliberately insults and humiliates anyone not sufficiently supportive of the Zionist Cause and that THAT made him a dangerous fifth columnist in my opinion. The fact that he’s getting rich and being turned into a media darling for doing these despicable things only fills me with more revulsion for him and the System that encourages this kind of mean-spirited, modern-day-fart-and-belch humor translated to the world’s mass-marketed political stage.
    This man’s humor isn’t funny on any level, based as it is on humiliation, racial stereotyping and lowest common denominator gutter humor. At least for me it isn’t.
    I apologize for not making myself clearer in my earlier post.

    Reply

  121. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Nadine, you’re a bigoted and despicable human being. Why you would think your damaged pysche merits respect or civility is beyond me.
    I cited three articles that call into question MEMRI’s credibility, for good reason. One of those articles does in fact decry the use of Palestinian children in the Mickey Mouse bit. I saw no need to underscore that fact, assuming you would actually READ the pieces.
    Lets get something straight, you ignorant racist ass; you disgust me. You do not deserve civility, respect, or response for your incessant and misleading propaganda. You have on a number of occassions here purposely lied about events concerning Iran, and the true conditions in Gaza.
    And you and wig-wag’s constant blather about penis size, implications of being “hen pecked”, opinions about Nina’s and my relationship, etc., only underscores what scumsucking low life propaganda spewing anything goes assholes you two really are. Bottomline, you hateful racist gnat, is that I don’t have to speculate about your private life, or base accusations on aspects of your existence I know nothing about. You tell us all we need to know about you with every word that rolls off your keyboard. You are your own worst enemy here, and you are too ignorant, and too blinded by your bigotry, to see it.
    Keep talking, you ignorant bigot. Your every word only buttresses my accessment of your character and intent.

    Reply

  122. nadine says:

    POA, you really are a remarkable POS even by the standards of a anonymous comment thread. You do nothing but spew insults and filth. You wouldn’t know how to muster an argument if one bit you in the backside. Do you kick your dog and beat your wife when she talks back to you? Actually you seem more like the hen-pecked type to me. That would explain why you have so much bile to spill into your computer keyboard.

    Reply

  123. easy e says:

    Perhaps it’s time for TWN to do a little expose’ on MEMRI and the hasbara net talkbackers.
    And Nadine, in the event you haven’understood, this is for you…http://www.calcalist.co.il/internet/articles/0,7340,L-3319543,00.html

    Reply

  124. nadine says:

    Heaven help us if ALL the readers of this thread are too stupid to see that after translating thousands and thousands of articles, the enemies of MEMRI are so desperate to find sins to accuse them of that they accuse them ‘mistranslating’ “I will become a martyr” into “I will commit martyrdom”. I mean, something that tiny and picyune is on the list of sins? That’s called scraping the barrel! That’s from hunger! Hey, in thousands of article there must be errors somewhere, and this is the worst they could find?
    I notice that don’t deny that Hamas is using Mickey Mouse to teach tiny tots to hate and kill Jews. But THAT’S not important, nothing to see here folks, move right along…
    Meantime, nobody will discuss Saeb Erekat’s announcement that the Palestinians intend to sit and wait to get the West Bank for nothing, no Jews will be allowed in Palestine – ever – and Hamas need not recognize Israel, that’s not a problem.
    The general idea in these quarters seems to be that we should not pay attention to what the Palestinian leadership says in Arabic. We should only pay attention to what the Palestinian leadership says in English. So much more encouraging! In English, they hint at moderation and promise Jews can become citizens of Palestine. Who would be so uncivil as to point out that they say the opposite in Arabic? Such a rude person is obviously against peace.
    Or so the thinking seems to go.

    Reply

  125. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Not so far-fetched that “Nadine” may actually be working for the Israeli government”
    One hopes so, because her blatant bigotry and active corruption of the truth perfectly underscores the nature and driving motives behind Israel’s actions.
    Steve’s blog is widely read, and it is encouraging seeing that the Israeli bullshit machine has seen fit to gift us with a daily reminder of the racist mindset that is now driving Israeli policy. If in fact Nadine is the face of Israeli propaganda, it gives me hope that funds will be cut off sooner rather than later, and the corrosive relationship we have with this monstrous murderous little middle eastern sandpit will be ended.
    Keep talking, you ignorant bigot.

    Reply

  126. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What they don’t argue is that these aren’t real newspaper articles and memri didn’t translate them right – because they can’t”
    Three separate articles outlining MEMRI mistranslations were cited.
    This crackpot Nadine is delusional.

    Reply

  127. easy e says:

    Not so far-fetched that “Nadine” may actually be working for the Israeli government. See article below.
    * * * * *
    Straight out of Avigdor Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry: a new Internet Fighting Team! Israeli students and demobilized soldiers get paid to pretend they are just regular folks and leave pro-Israel comments on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites. The effort is meant to fight the “well-oiled machine” of “pro-Palestinian websites, with huge budgets… with content from the Hamas news agency.” The approach was test-marketed during Israel’s assault on Gaza, and by groups like Give Israel Your United Support, a controversial effort to use instant-access technology to crowd-source Israel advocates to fill in flash polls or vote up key articles on social networking sites.
    Will the responders who are hired for this also present themselves as “ordinary net-surfers”?
    “Of course,” says Shturman. “Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the policy-explanation department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis. They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the Foreign Ministry developed.”…..
    more here… http://www.muzzlewatch.com/2009/07/14/that-angry-commenter-on-your-blog-may-actually-be-working-for-the-israeli-government/

    Reply

  128. nadine says:

    In the Hamas video clip issued by Memri, a Mickey Mouse lookalike asks a young girl what she will do “for the sake of al-Aqsa”. Apparently trying to prompt an answer, the mouse makes a rifle-firing gesture and says “I’ll shoot”.
    The child says: “I’m going to draw a picture.”
    Memri’s translation ignores this remark and instead quotes the child (wrongly) as saying: “I’ll shoot.”
    Pressed further by the mouse – “What are we going to do?” – the girl replies in Arabic: “Bidna nqawim.” The normal translation of this would be “We’re going to [or want to] resist” but Memri’s translation puts a more aggressive spin on it: “We want to fight.”
    Since Hamas normally uses the words “armed resistance” to refer to its terrorist activities, this is strictly nit-picking. What is not in doubt, however, is that Hamas is using a Mickey Mouse lookalike to teach a very small girl that it is good to shoot Jews, she ought to shoot Jews, and that she should aspire to become a martyr, whose primary meaning in the context of Palestinian “resistance” means “die while killing Jews”. Suicide bombings are called “martyrdom operations.”
    Now are you happy to see Hamas teach little innocent children to hate and kill? Don’t you think that this kind of brainwashing is terrible and we ought to call attention to it and tell them to stop it? Or is it okay, so long as the intended victims are Jews? Just asking here.

    Reply

  129. nadine says:

    Wow, memri translated a child’s mumble as “I will commit martyrdom” when it should have been “I’ll become a martyr”. Well, case closed, then, they are obviously untrustworthy.
    Is anyone here capable of noticing that the arguments against memri are all all ad hominem – they’re zionists! etc.
    What they don’t argue is that these aren’t real newspaper articles and memri didn’t translate them right – because they can’t. Saeb Erekat gave that interview and it puts the lie to everything Fayyad told the chumps who applauded him in Aspen.
    Now deal with what Erekat actually said and explain to me again how the PA is ready for peace, how the Arab regimes want peace, and tell me what steps they are taking to take advantage of the diplomat opening that President Obama is offering them.
    —sound of crickets chirping—-

    Reply

  130. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.mentalmayhem.net/mental_mayhem/2007/05/memri_lost_in_t.html
    An excerpt…
    “As a native speaker myself, I heard nothing about annihilating the Jews. What I heard was: بطخونا اليهود which translates into: “The Jews are shooting at us.” So the question becomes: Did MEMRI embellish their translation on purpose or was it simply an innocent translation mistake? I cannot say for certain. What I do know is media organizations should take MEMRI’s translation with a grain of salt, especially after this incident”
    End excerpt.
    Perfect Nadine, to cite a MEMRI translation? Next thing we know, she’ll be linking to Newsmax.

    Reply

  131. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/may/15/arabicunderfire
    An excerpt…….
    In the Hamas video clip issued by Memri, a Mickey Mouse lookalike asks a young girl what she will do “for the sake of al-Aqsa”. Apparently trying to prompt an answer, the mouse makes a rifle-firing gesture and says “I’ll shoot”.
    The child says: “I’m going to draw a picture.”
    Memri’s translation ignores this remark and instead quotes the child (wrongly) as saying: “I’ll shoot.”
    Pressed further by the mouse – “What are we going to do?” – the girl replies in Arabic: “Bidna nqawim.” The normal translation of this would be “We’re going to [or want to] resist” but Memri’s translation puts a more aggressive spin on it: “We want to fight.”
    The mouse continues: “What then?”
    According to Memri, the child replies: “We will annihilate the Jews.”
    The sound quality on the clip is not very good, but I have listened to it several times (as have a number of native Arabic speakers) and we can hear no word that might correspond to “annihilate”.
    What the girl seems to say is: “Bitokhoona al-yahood” – “The Jews will shoot us” or “The Jews are shooting us.”
    This is followed by further prompting – “We are going to defend al-Aqsa with our souls and blood, or are we not?”
    Again, the girl’s reply is not very clear, but it’s either: “I’ll become a martyr” or “We’ll become martyrs.”
    In the context of the conversation, and in line with normal Arab-Islamic usage, martyrdom could simply mean being killed by the Israelis’ shooting. However, Memri’s translation of the sentence – “I will commit martyrdom” turns it into a deliberate act on the girl’s part, and Colonel Carmon has since claimed that it refers to suicide bombers.

    Reply

  132. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Selective Memri
    Brian Whitaker investigates whether the ‘independent’ media institute that translates the Arabic newspapers is quite what it seems
    Brian Whitaker
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 August 2002
    For some time now, I have been receiving small gifts from a generous institute in the United States. The gifts are high-quality translations of articles from Arabic newspapers which the institute sends to me by email every few days, entirely free-of-charge.
    The emails also go to politicians and academics, as well as to lots of other journalists. The stories they contain are usually interesting.
    Whenever I get an email from the institute, several of my Guardian colleagues receive one too and regularly forward their copies to me – sometimes with a note suggesting that I might like to check out the story and write about it.
    If the note happens to come from a more senior colleague, I’m left feeling that I really ought to write about it. One example last week was a couple of paragraphs translated by the institute, in which a former doctor in the Iraqi army claimed that Saddam Hussein had personally given orders to amputate the ears of military deserters.
    The organisation that makes these translations and sends them out is the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri), based in Washington but with recently-opened offices in London, Berlin and Jerusalem.
    Its work is subsidised by US taxpayers because as an “independent, non-partisan, non-profit” organisation, it has tax-deductible status under American law.
    Memri’s purpose, according to its website, is to bridge the language gap between the west – where few speak Arabic – and the Middle East, by “providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew media”.
    Despite these high-minded statements, several things make me uneasy whenever I’m asked to look at a story circulated by Memri. First of all, it’s a rather mysterious organisation. Its website does not give the names of any people to contact, not even an office address.
    The reason for this secrecy, according to a former employee, is that “they don’t want suicide bombers walking through the door on Monday morning” (Washington Times, June 20).
    This strikes me as a somewhat over-the-top precaution for an institute that simply wants to break down east-west language barriers.
    The second thing that makes me uneasy is that the stories selected by Memri for translation follow a familiar pattern: either they reflect badly on the character of Arabs or they in some way further the political agenda of Israel. I am not alone in this unease.
    Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the Washington Times: “Memri’s intent is to find the worst possible quotes from the Muslim world and disseminate them as widely as possible.”
    Memri might, of course, argue that it is seeking to encourage moderation by highlighting the blatant examples of intolerance and extremism. But if so, one would expect it – for the sake of non-partisanship – t o publicise extremist articles in the Hebrew media too.
    Although Memri claims that it does provide translations from Hebrew media, I can’t recall receiving any.
    Evidence from Memri’s website also casts doubt on its non-partisan status. Besides supporting liberal democracy, civil society, and the free market, the institute also emphasises “the continuing relevance of Zionism to the Jewish people and to the state of Israel”.
    That is what its website used to say, but the words about Zionism have now been deleted. The original page, however, can still be found in internet archives.
    The reason for Memri’s air of secrecy becomes clearer when we look at the people behind it. The co-founder and president of Memri, and the registered owner of its website, is an Israeli called Yigal Carmon.
    Mr – or rather, Colonel – Carmon spent 22 years in Israeli military intelligence and later served as counter-terrorism adviser to two Israeli prime ministers, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin.
    continues…….
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/aug/12/worlddispatch.brianwhitaker

    Reply

  133. JohnH says:

    Good job, Nadine. Your delusional ravings do not disappoint. You paint a very black and white world, where giving Palestinians any rights whatsoever cannot result in anything but “national suicide.” Basing a national identity on the humiliation of an entire people to the point of putting them all into severe poverty is a pretty ghastly national identity. But that seems to form a core value of the Israel government’s value system these days–not a crumb to the Palestinians, ever.
    Thank goodness for people like Shulamit Aloni who still have their basic religious values and the integrity to call a spade a spade.

    Reply

  134. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Here’s the interview as translated by memri.org”
    Why would anyone read any further?

    Reply

  135. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s not news to either of us that Israel has people so concerned over the poor, poor Palestinians…..blahblahblah……..”
    You are such a bigot that it is actually physically nauseating to read your comments.
    You’re an abomination, Nadine. You have the kind of psyche that marched Jews into poisonous showers without question or remorse.

    Reply

  136. nadine says:

    While Fayyad was telling the suckers in America that some Jews could become citizens of Palestine, Saeb Erekat (the chief PA negotiator) was telling a different story in Arabic: Palestine must be Jew-free, the starting point for negotiations is 100% of the WB and Gaza + Right of Return + $140 billion dollars, and Israel keeps shifting its positions, so why should we ever compromise? Let’s use the Arab Peace Proposal to make Israel withdraw from the WB and Gaza as a precondition, then we’ll demand more later. And Hamas needn’t recognize Israel and Iran is no threat.
    Ah yes, refreshing candor. Here’s the interview as translated by memri.org
    In a June 25, 2009 interview with the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, Palestinian Authority negotiations department head Saeb Ereqat said that the previous Israeli government, under Ehud Olmert, had offered PA President Mahmoud ‘Abbas territory equal in size to 100% of the land occupied in 1967, by means of a land swap. Ereqat explained, however, that the PA would not agree to a land swap before Israel recognized the Palestinians’ right to sovereignty over all the territory occupied in 1967. He added that there had been a steady erosion in Israel’s position over the years, to the point that it had recently offered the Palestinians 100% of the territory; therefore, the Palestinians had no reason to rush into accepting the Israeli proposals. He stressed that the Right of Return and monetary compensation for the refugees were not mutually exclusive, and that the Palestinians would insist on receiving both.
    Addressing the issue of Hamas, he said that nobody was asking it to recognize Israel, but that any government in which Hamas was a partner would have to recognize Israel and the commitments undertaken by the PLO.
    Ereqat stated further that the Palestinians were acting in full coordination with Jordan and keeping it informed of all Israeli proposals and of their replies to these proposals. Regarding Iran, he said that it did not pose a threat, as was frequently claimed.
    Following are excerpts from the interview:
    “Once [the Palestinians] Establish Sovereignty, We Will Start Exchanging Land”
    “After the [November 2007] Annapolis talks, PA President Mahmoud ‘Abbas and [then-]Israeli prime minister [Ehud] Olmert held several closed-door meetings. [In fact,] from the [time of the] Annapolis talks until December 2008, there were 288 negotiation sessions by 12 [different] committees…
    “During the last negotiation session, the Israelis presented their position to ‘Abbas – and this was perhaps the first time that [Olmert’s] proposal was revealed. Under the June 4, 1967 borders, the area of the West Bank and Gaza, including east Jerusalem, is 6,235 square km, and there are also 46 square km of no man’s land, which are to be divided according to international law [i.e. equally between Israel and Palestine]. So all in all, our share of the territory is 6,258 square km.
    “Olmert showed ‘Abbas a map presenting Israel’s position. In the Salfit [area], there is the settlement of Ariel, which [the Israelis] want to excise from the West Bank, and there is another settlement in the Tul Karem area, called Qedumim, which takes up [another] 21 square km of the West Bank. These two settlements also sit over the Western Palestinian aquifer, comprising 400 million cubic meters of water…
    “Another densely populated area that [the Israelis] want [to keep] is the Maale Adumim [area], which is near Jerusalem, 13 km into the West Bank, and a third, called Gush Etzion, is located between Bethlehem and Hebron. Together, the areas that the Israelis want to keep constitute 6.5% of the West Bank, and in return they offered us [areas equivalent in size to] 5.8% in the Israeli territory south of Hebron, west of Bethlehem, and north of Jericho [near] Bet Shean. The remaining 0.7% will be a safe passage [between Gaza and the West Bank], 38 km long and 150 meters wide, connecting the town of Tarqumiya [near] Hebron with Bet Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.
    “‘Abbas told [Olmert] that, according to the map he had obtained from a friendly country, the [Israeli] settlements that have been built to date occupy 1.2% of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem. He added that he would like to make progress, but [asked], ‘How do you expect us to accept the principle of land-swap before we delineate the 1967 borders?’ We know that in 1965, Jordan and Saudi Arabia exchanged territories amounting to 29 sq km. [Land swaps were also made between] Jordan and Iraq, the U.S. and Canada, and the U.S. and Mexico. It is an [accepted] practice. However, in order to talk about [land] swap, sovereignty must [first] be established.
    “Olmert wanted first of all to trap us in his net. Without sovereignty, how can we accept the principle of land swap? It’s not as if [the minute] we sign a [land swap] agreement, a Palestinian state will be established the same day and Israel will withdraw the same day. Once we establish our sovereignty, we will start exchanging land.
    “But accepting the principle of land swap prior to that would be tantamount to waiving [U.N.] Resolution 242. It would be playing into [Israel’s] hands, because [the Israelis] will then say that the 1967 territories and borders are not set in stone. There is no point in discussing a land swap until we have established our sovereignty in practice.
    “‘Abbas told Olmert something else [while] I was there. [He said:] ‘I am not running a market or a bazaar, and I am not going to open one. There are the occupied territories, and there is Resolution 242, which states that occupation of other people’s land is unacceptable. Do you accept this principle?’
    “Many people say that the [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations of the last 10 or 15 years were useless and yielded nothing, but [that is not true]. In 1994 [i.e. during the Oslo negotiations] the Palestinian side could have capitulated and gained an achievement within one month. [That is,] we could have agreed to undertake the management of the education and health [systems] in the West Bank. [Likewise] Yasser Arafat could have accepted what was offered him at Camp David [in 2000], instead of [letting himself] be besieged in the Muqata’a and then murdered for no reason. President Mahmoud ‘Abbas could have accepted [Olmert’s] December 2008 proposal, [but he preferred to wait]…
    “We have an absolute right to east Jerusalem. We cannot not listen to the voices that ask who will run Al-Aqsa. We revere and sanctify the Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but they are no different from Rafah, Jericho, and the refugee camp of Aqbat Jabr. All these places were occupied by Israel, and I must not distinguish between them. No one should say that Al-Aqsa must be managed by a ‘Muslim’ or ‘Arab,’ [rather than by a Palestinian].
    “[Likewise], nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state]. We must not compare a Palestinian [whose family] lived in Palestine [long] before Netanyahu or his forefathers arrived, and who is still living there, to a settler who is living on Palestinian soil [and maintaining his presence there through] coercion, oppression and unacceptable [use of] force. We must not talk of land swap before we establish our sovereignty in practice…
    “Those who are willing to hand over Al-Aqsa to the Muslim countries are talking only for themselves, and do not represent the PA president, the PLO, or the PLO negotiation department. Some say that we will [be willing to] grant the settlers citizenship. We reject [this idea] out of hand…”
    The Right of Return and Compensation are Not Mutually Exclusive
    “The problem of the [Palestinian] refugees is not the result of a volcano [eruption], earthquake, or flood. Someone caused it. Before we talk of international law, we must pinpoint the element responsible, and Israel must acknowledge this responsibility.
    “The Palestinian decision makers do not have the right to decide the fate of the refugees; only the refugee himself can decide his own fate. It is not up to the international [community] either. It is the refugee who has the right to choose whether to return to Israel, return to Palestine, or remain where he is – and in all of these cases [he is entitled to] compensation.
    “It is not the Right of Return or compensation; it’s the Right of Return and compensation. Should Israel acknowledge its responsibility, and should the world want to resolve the conflict, there would be a need to establish an international mechanism to bear the cost. I estimate that we are talking about $140 billion.”
    Israel Is Slowly Softening Its Positions, So Why Should We Hurry?
    “[Some ask] where the negotiations with the Israeli side have brought us. First [the Israelis] said we would [only have the right to] run our own schools and hospitals. Then they consented to give us 66% [of the occupied territories].
    “At Camp David they offered 90%, and [recently] they offered 100%. So why should we hurry, after the all the injustice we have suffered? The agreement will not be stable anyway, unless it is based on international law and on justice.”
    Netanyahu’s Speech Was One Big “No”
    “Now a new Israeli government has arrived. Netanyahu comes from a home with a [specific] ideological [orientation]. His father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, is a 92-year-old professor who believes that there is a non-Jewish minority in Israel which must be treated with respect by [allowing it] to manage its own affairs in education, health, culture and religion.
    “Netanyahu’s speech stayed within the framework of this logic. First of all, he spent an hour dictating terms [to us], and then, in 10 seconds, he demanded that we come and talk to him without preconditions. Furthermore, the claim that he mentioned a Palestinian state is unfounded… Netanyahu was very clear and precise.
    “So when America published a statement saying that the speech had contained positive elements, I called the White House and said to one of the staffers there, ‘We seem to have heard two [different] speeches by Netanyahu. The one I heard did not include anything positive. If you heard a different speech, please tell me about it, because [in the one I heard,] Netanyahu… said ‘no’ to the two-state solution [based on] the 1967 borders, ignored the Arab [Peace] Initiative, and, [in an act of] unprecedented disdain for the Arab leaders, proposed to talk to them about water pipelines and gas pipelines.
    “He also said ‘no’ to [reaching] a final agreement on [the issues of] Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders and the refugees. He changed the meaning of the word ‘negotiation’ from ‘give and take’ to ‘take and dictate.’ He threw out the Road Map – especially the clause on freezing the settlements, including their natural growth – and rejected Obama’s vision. The latter spoke of the future and of a new Middle East, while Netanyahu spoke of the past and of the old Middle East…”
    “Netanyahu will tell [U.S. Envoy George] Mitchell that Israel is willing to agree to anything, but that there are housing units in the settlements that are [already] under construction as well as [construction] tenders that have [already] been issued [and cannot be stopped]. We have told the Americans that 3,290 new housing units are under construction in the settlements, and that tenders have been issued for the construction of 11,000 more, so that about 14,000 housing units will be built during the current [Israeli] administration and the following ones, until the construction is completed. The Americans are bound to fall into this trap.
    “This is why Obama must launch his initiative for reviving the peace [process] as soon as possible, for otherwise the region will be driven into an abyss of violence, chaos, and extremism, and that is a serious problem that must be addressed…
    “Everyone must know that President ‘Abbas and the Palestinians will not accept the proposals [of a partial freeze of the settlements], and ‘Abbas already made this clear in documents that he sent to Obama.”
    Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State Means Joining the Zionist Movement
    “Another issue is [recognizing] Israel as a Jewish state. On May 14, 1948, Truman was asked to sign [a document] recognizing [the establishment of] a ‘provisional Jewish state.’ After reading it carefully, he crossed out the words ‘Jewish state’ and in their place penned in the words ‘state of Israel’ – because asking someone to recognize a Jewish state is tantamount to asking him to join the Zionist movement. This movement believes that religion and nationality are one and the same.
    “There are also other well-known reasons [to avoid recognizing Israel as a Jewish state] – namely, the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the 1948 territories [i.e. Israel’s Arab citizens], as well as the Right of Return, etc… Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and has relations with the entire world. So why doesn’t it ask them to recognize [it as a Jewish state]? Why does it ask this only of me?
    The Arab Peace Initiative is Good for the Palestinians
    “Following Netanyahu’s speech, it is possible to obtain only one thing from the Arabs – namely, adherence to the Arab Peace Initiative. Here I want to reveal the secret of why we adhere to this initiative. It includes a clause that says: ‘Upon Israel’s complete withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem and Syria’s occupied Arab Golan, [the Arabs] will begin taking steps [of rapprochement] with Israel.” [Based on this clause], the Arabs can say to Israel: ‘We will not take a single step in your direction before the goal [of a full Israeli withdrawal] is achieved.’ This would help us. But there are those who want to torpedo the Arab Peace Initiative.”
    The Palestinians Coordinate All Their Actions with Jordan
    “After the Annapolis [summit], President ‘Abbas met with Jordanian King ‘Abdallah II, and asked him to form a joint [Palestinian-Jordanian political] ‘kitchen,’ so that every word we exchange with the Israelis would first be perused by the king. [We told him], ‘You are our partner. [We share] a border, and [our concerns about] security, water and refugees are [also] Jordanian interests. We will not surprise you. Every proposal we presented to Israel was first of all presented to our sister Jordan, and every proposal we received from Israel was presented to Jordan before we gave our reply, while taking into consideration the joint [Palestinian-Jordanian] interests. Relations between the Palestinians and Jordan have never been better than they are today. Everything that happens in Palestine affects Jordan. Besides, I cannot agree to the deployment of a third-party [military] force on the [Jordanian] border without Jordan’s consent, and I cannot take a single step in resolving the refugee problem without ascertaining the fate of the refugees in Jordan – [the country] that hosts the greatest number of refugees…”
    Hamas as a Movement Need Not Recognize Israel
    “Hamas won the elections, but it is not reasonable to say that [just] because it won the elections, the U.N. must now change its charter, its bylaws, its rules, and its resolutions; that the Arab League must withdraw the [Arab Peace] Initiative; and that the PLO must change the humiliating agreements that have been signed.
    “Nobody is asking Hamas to recognize Israel or the two-state [solution]. Nobody has asked Hamas to change even one letter in its [ideological] documents. It is the [PA] government that is required to recognize [Israel]. Resistance is a noble thing, and a sacred duty of anyone under occupation, but there is a great deal of difference between investing in resistance and carrying it out…
    “What is needed at the moment is a Palestinian [national] unity government that will recognize the PLO’s commitments, [because] this will enable us to reconstruct Gaza…
    “If [Hamas’] goal is to establish a unified Arab nation state, or a caliphate, we will pursue [these goals] even before [Hamas] does – but first it is necessary to liberate Palestine… If all we want to do fight – no problem, let’s bury the peace initiative, clean out the trenches, and do so…”
    Iran Poses No Threat to the Region
    “Is the Arab world really [divided] into a moderate camp and a resistance camp?… We do not see Iran as posing a threat to us. Iran is a country in the region with whom we [sometimes] disagree and [sometimes] agree.
    “I want Iran to stand by the Palestinians and support the Palestinian cause without favoring one side [i.e. Hamas] over the other [i.e. the PLO/Fatah]. But Iran does not pose a threat to the region; that is an invention used by Netanyahu to convince the world.
    “This region cannot tolerate more wars. The peaceful U.S.-Iran dialogue must succeed. I asked [former IAEA director-general] Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei in Vienna how many years it would take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, and he said 14 to 16 years. We must change this worn-out record [about the Iranian threat].”

    Reply

  137. nadine says:

    It’s not news to either of us that Israel has people so concerned over the poor, poor Palestinians that they are willing to commit national suicide, or maybe I should say, just plain suicide, for their sake. I find it kind of ironic to wish to deliver yourself into the hands of Hamas because you hate the religious Zionists so much. That’s really jumping from the frying pan to the fire!
    The Meretz crowd had their chance to show the correctness of their views when they rammed the Oslo accords through on a bare majority. The results since then have convinced most Israeli voters that they are not be trusted.
    So we get this wild hyperbole, thrilling to the heart of Israel-haters everywhere, about Israel annihilating the Palestinians. Geez in 1967 there were 1 million Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza. Today there are what, 3 million? If Israel is annihilating them it is doing a piss-poor job of it.

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  138. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “and we stop seeing the Jews drinking the blood of Muslim children”
    Hmmmm, well, perhaps frying them in white phosphorous, starving them, depriving them of medical care, and destroying their chances for an education and a future can be seen to be representative of “drinking their blood”, eh? Maybe if Israel stopped “feasting”, such symbolic images wouldn’t be drawn.
    And don’t feed us that horseshit about it being Hamas’ fault. Hamas is in power BECAUSE of Israel’s atrocities, Israel’s atrocities are not because Hamas is in power. You have it ass backwards.
    “It is NOT the will of the Iranian people that hundreds of millions of dollars are sent abroad for Hizbullah and Hamas while gas is rationed in Tehran”
    It must be nice to speak for a whole population of people when you have no evidence to support your assertion. Convenient just to make this shit up as you need it, isn’t it? I have to admit, your direct and open horseshit is far more entertaining then questions’ constant obsfucations are. Except when you show your nastily bigoted side, which is far too often.
    Lets change the wording, a tad, shall we?
    “It is NOT the will of the American people that tens of billions of dollars are sent abroad to Israel while gas is at three dollars a gallon in Los Angeles”
    Might not be true yet, but we are getting there. Keep talking, Nadine. With spokesmen like you carrying Israel’s water, it won’t be long before we turn off the spigot.

    Reply

  139. JohnH says:

    “For 42 years we have been occupying, oppressing and stealing lands that are not ours. To be free in our land do we need to become thieving Cossacks, uprooters of trees, burners of fields and harassers of women, the elderly and the very young? “We have this land, we have it,” goes the song, but what should have been said is “We have the power, we have it, we have the money, we have it, and we are allowed, we are,” to starve an entire population, imprison it and annihilate it using air strikes, cluster bombs and white phosphorous. Because we are the lords of the land and God has chosen us to rule. For the shame of it.
    “A unique people,” wrote David Ben-Gurion. Alas, for that uniqueness. Instead of a Jewish and democratic state they have delivered us a Jewish state controlled by religious fanaticism, one that maintains the purity of the race. They have delivered a democracy in the most primitive sense – not the preservation of democratic values but rule by the demos, the populace that is dictating the transformation of Israel into a totalitarian ethnocracy.” –Shulamit Aloni (former Israeli Minister of Education)
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090366.html
    Can you imagine the names that someone who said exactly this on this blog would be called? (Actually, not too hard to imagine.)
    Go Nadine! Tell us what an ignoramus Shulamit Aloni is!

    Reply

  140. nadine says:

    jdlebell, I know it is very frustrating that I ask you to muster facts and arguments. If it makes you feel better to contribute to J Street, that’s your prerogative.
    But if you want to persuade me that Saudi Arabia or Syria are serious about diplomatic efforts, you are going to have to demonstrate what behavior makes you think so. A nice editorial by the Crown Prince of Bahrain doesn’t cut it.
    Now if King Abdullah of KSA had written that editorial, I would agree it was significant. If the state mosques tone down the Jews as sons of apes and pigs stuff, and we stop seeing the Jews drinking the blood of Muslim children as Ramadan TV, that would be a positive change too. It would be better still if KSA takes the crown prince’s advice and actually starts taking to Israel, even at a low diplomatic level.
    It would also be hugely helpful for Middle East peace if the current Iranian regime fell or was reformed. It is NOT the will of the Iranian people that hundreds of millions of dollars are sent abroad for Hizbullah and Hamas while gas is rationed in Tehran. If these groups lost their external funding, they would no longer be in a position to veto any pending deal.

    Reply

  141. questions says:

    Paul,
    Thanks for the Bruno link, whatever your deep psychic motives for having posted it!
    It was a fun enough movie, though weaker than Borat. He still knows how to sting a range of facets of American culture, and the ME peacemaking was pretty funny! As was the adopt-a-baby stuff, the swingers party contrasted with the other sex scenes, the tarot card reading, the discussion of musical instruments with the guy who “cures” gays. And the finale was perfect! I think the biggest problem is that the targets were just so easy to hit.
    I guess I’m a conspiracist or something for having enjoyed the movie!

    Reply

  142. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You’re not paying attention to what I have written”
    That should work in your argument’s favor, Nazine.

    Reply

  143. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks Dan for enlightening me on the real issues – especially
    the 400-year night and the fast and libidinous women… You`ve
    inspired me to start writing a patriotic biography of Sondre
    Norheim as a male hero, brave local patriot and skier, instead of
    transferring my issues to remote, theoretical topics on The
    Washington Note…

    Reply

  144. nadine says:

    The “Arabs Need to Talk to the Israelis” editorial was very nice. Bahrain has been an exception to the rule of Arab states for some time, inasmuch as they don’t act as if the conflict is one of the pillars of the regime and they don’t incite against Israel the way the other regimes do. But they can’t get the Saudis to follow their lead. If some low level Saudi diplomat could be seen to meet somewhere with some low level Israeli diplomat, simply to discuss the Arab peace initiative, that would make a big positive change in the tone. But the Saudis’ non-recognition of Israel is so absolute that they won’t pollute themselves by ever talking to an Israeli, much less ever going to Israel or permitting an Israeli to come to KSA, a country that routinely forbids Jews to enter its borders. This is what I mean by no diplomatic follow-thru.

    Reply

  145. Dan Kervick says:

    Paul Norheim,
    I think the motivation behind your concern for people in other countries is an unspoken, dimly cognized grief over the vanished reign of Haakon Haakonson, despair over the lost dismal centuries of the 400-year night, and an embarrassed consciousness of modern Norweigian humiliation, at the hands of the wreteched Finns and Austrians, of their once proud ski jumping dominance. Where have you gone, Sondre Norheim!
    I’m sure a painful sense of male sexual ineptness and inadequacy in the presence of fast and libidinous Norwegian women is also part of what drives modern Norweigio-fascism.

    Reply

  146. nadine says:

    I don’t know why you are having such difficulties wrapping your head around the idea that a system of political beliefs is not a law of nature, it comes from somewhere and something, and that somewhere and something can be examined and analyzed by the historian and the political anthropologist.
    “That an Iraqi Arab Muslim would care about what is happening to other Arab Muslims in Palestine is no more unusual than the fact that an American Jew in New York, Philadelphia or Florida would care what is happening to other Jews in Israel.”
    What might seem less obvious is why he would care so much when the Palestinians suffer at the hands of Jews and so little when they suffer at the hands of other Arabs. Or why he should care more about Palestinians than Algerians or even fellow Iraqis. These are also questions that deserve to be asked, and asking them doesn’t imply that he doesn’t really believe what he says he believes.
    “But most of the young guys who carry out terrorist acts don’t think much about the crimes that happened in the past if those crimes are not continuing in the present.”
    Actually, the jihadists never forget a grievance and it all happened yesterday. It’s a rather anti-historical mindset. Remember Osama bin Laden’s famous line “The tragedy of Al Andalus must not be repeated in Palestine.” He’s still mad about the Moors losing Spain, and that happened in 1492!
    jdledell seems to be of the opinion that an “honorable peace deal” is something that can be struck unilaterally, without the other side’s agreement.
    Let’s consider the Palestinian political situation: Hamas rules Gaza, Fatah maintains a shaky hold on the West Bank. Mubarak has tried repeatedly to mediate unity talks but has now thrown up his hands. Abu Mazen is titular head of the PA but no more, and now PLO hard-line FM Farouk Qaddumi is accusing him of having assassinated Arafat. Other leaders of Fatah, like Mahmoud Dahlan, are declaring that Fatah is reverting to its original goal of total victory over Israel. Their official policy is to demand Obama make Israel give them the West Bank for free without any deal.
    Oh yes, their affairs are all in order, I’m sure they could make the hard compromises necessary to do a deal and keep Hamas from blowing it up! I mean, what are you smoking? It takes two to tango. One side cannot make a peace deal by itself. If what you really want is that Israel surrender the West Bank for nothing, at least be honest enough to say so.
    As for the Arab regimes, they have been offered and cajoled many times to take some of the small private diplomatic steps to show that their utterly vague “peace deal”, which doesn’t even offer normalization, is not just diplomatic flimflam. They resolutely decline; and continue to use the conflict as a major prop of their regimes. Rational observers conclude that they don’t consider that a peace deal is in their national interests. Rational observers base their policies on the idea that countries will pursue what they consider to be in their national interests. This is strictly realpolitik.

    Reply

  147. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, jdledell already made the main point in response to your post from earlier today: That an Iraqi Arab Muslim would care about what is happening to other Arab Muslims in Palestine is no more unusual than the fact that an American Jew in New York, Philadelphia or Florida would care what is happening to other Jews in Israel. It’s no more unusual than the fact that a Russian Slav in would care about what is happening to other Slavs in the former Yugoslavia, that a British socialist would care about what is happening to other socialists in Spain, that a Cuban-American would care about what is happening to other Cubans in Cuba, or that an American Christian would care about attacks on Christian churches in Iraq. People have all sorts of identities and loyalties that stretch across existing state borders.
    You ask “why do the TV and the mosque keep harping on the far-away cause?” I don’t know – Why does Nancy Grace spend so much time on kidnapped little girls? Why did Ted Koppel spend 444 days on “America Held Hostage” in Iran? I imagine it’s because they have lots of viewers who care about those issues, and so they give their viewers the kinds of information they want.
    You might think these non-Palestinian Muslims are stupid to care about the remote events they care about. But the fact is they *do* care about them. It seems to me that your own subjective assessment that the things Israelis are doing in Palestine are just not that bad has lead you to conclude that these concerns among Middle East Muslims are mysterious, unless we posit some other hidden cause. But a better answer is that to Middle East Muslims the things Israel is doing appear very, very bad indeed.
    And the events are not so remote anyway. It’s only about 400 miles from Jerusalem to Fallujah. On the other hand, it’s about 5700 miles from New York to Tel Aviv.
    Your discussion of Russia, the US and the Muslim world only help make my point, and show why Lewis’s reasoning is tortured. When Eisenhower was helping the Egyptians defend the Suez Canal, we weren’t facing attacks from Egyptians and other Arabs. But since the US has spent the last four decades evincing ever-increasing favoritism and assistance toward Israel and the Israeli occupation, and throwing away whatever cred we once had as an honest broker, we have faced a concurrent increase in attacks by Israel’s enemies. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, they faced a jihadist shit-storm in response. But contemporary terrorists don’t waste time attacking Russians for things the Russian’s fathers and grandfathers did. If the Russians had and occupation force in Iraq, or were sending pallets of cash and weaponry to Israel, they would probably be facing the same things we are.
    Lewis might know the history himself. But most of the young guys who carry out terrorist acts don’t think much about the crimes that happened in the past if those crimes are not continuing in the present. Jihadists aren’t attacking Americans to get revenge for Jefferson’s war against the Barbary Pirates. They also aren’t attacking Mongolians to get revenge for the sack of Abbasid Baghdad. They are attacking Americans because they are trying to get us stop doing thing we are doing *right now*.

    Reply

  148. jdledell says:

    Nadine – It is only your suposition and opinion that the arab regimes want the conflict to continue. It is NOT a fact!!!!!! No matter how many times you state it. Say what you will about the viability of the Arab Peace Initiative but the offer is out there for a full cessation of hostilities and normalizing relations with Israel. All the Arab states signed on.
    Read Bahrain’s Shaikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071602737.html
    Agreed that Iran is funding Hezballah significantly but I don’t think much funding is reaching Gaza since Hamas would be shooting more than toy homemade rockets if they were.
    I don’t know what your game is but all you are doing by your incessant hasbara is to increase my contributions to J Street and IPF. Furthermore, two months ago I resigned from my Conservative Synogogue and all the money that they used to extract from me is now going to B’Tselem. That is a much better way to fight. Good Night!

    Reply

  149. Paul Norheim says:

    It looks like I`ve been manipulated by the global Zionist
    movement to post excerpts from an article about the world`s
    unfunniest unactor, the Zionist Jew Sacha Baron Cohen.
    I am so sorry, Arthur. My indoctrinated mind initially laughed
    when it read the story – but sure, I now realize that it was
    unfunny. Very unfunny indeed, if you say so, sir.

    Reply

  150. Neo Controll says:

    “Nadine” is a unrepentant zealot, probably Israeli by the blunt and offensive tone and manner, who is getting entirely too much air time.
    She is an embarrassment to sensible Jews; a dead ender who will never give up her entitlement as a ‘victim’.
    She will sell even more thousands of US, Arab, Muslim lives down the river for any perceived way to advance the zealot’s cause.
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  151. arthurdecco says:

    If Sacha Baron Cohen, the world’s unfunniest unactor wasn’t a Zionist Jew, he wouldn’t have been hired to sweep a sound stage, let alone star in a movie made on one.
    Consider how the targets of his ridicule and contempt, from almost every Arab and Muslim ever born to Hassidic Jews are opponents of both Zionism or the Diaspora Jews behind the movement.

    Reply

  152. Paul Norheim says:

    LATEST FROM THE MIDDLE EAST:
    Bruno’s ‘Middle Earth’ peace plan is no joke in the Mideast
    By The Associated Press
    Bruno’s flamboyant sashay across the Middle East has
    succeeded in one thing – uniting Sacha Baron Cohen’s unwitting
    Israeli and Palestinian victims in their joint disdain for his latest
    comedic creation.
    Bruno is an over-the-top gay Austrian fashionista with a Nazi
    streak whose goal is to become the biggest Austrian celebrity
    since Hitler. To do so he travels to America, where he is told he
    must take on a charitable cause to achieve worldwide fame. So
    he decides to bring peace to a troubled place he calls Middle
    Earth.
    There, he nearly sparks a riot in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish
    neighborhood in Jerusalem when he struts down the street in a
    sexed-up Hassidic outfit that includes skintight shorts. On the
    Palestinian side, he tries to convince a West Bank militant to
    kidnap him, while giving the man condescending fashion tips.
    Bruno confuses the popular chickpea spread hummus with the
    Islamic militant group Hamas when he tries to bring together
    Israeli and Palestinian personalities to make peace.
    Baron Cohen, an observant, Hebrew-speaking Jew with close
    ties to Israel, has ribbed the region before. (…) In Bruno he goes
    a step further, taking aim at the Middle East’s most sacred cows.
    (…)
    The locally shot scenes got big rounds of applause and hearty
    laughs at a recent Jerusalem screening. But the subjects of his
    pranks don’t seem to be in on the joke.
    “This man, I think he is not a man,” said Ayman Abu Aita, a
    former member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant
    group that has been largely disbanded. “He is not saying the
    truth about me. He lied.”
    In their scene together, Bruno identifies Abu Aita as a terrorist
    and asks to be abducted.
    “I want to be famous, and I want the best guys in the business
    to kidnap me,” Bruno says. “Al-Qaida are so 2001.”
    Before Abu Aita has a chance to reply, Bruno suggests that the
    mustachioed man lose his facial hair. “Because your King Osama
    looks like a kind of dirty wizard or a homeless Santa,” he says
    before being kicked out.
    In an interview with David Letterman, Baron Cohen, 37, said he
    set up the meeting in the West Bank with the help of a CIA
    agent.
    Abu Aita’s Israeli-Arab lawyer, Hatem Abu Ahmad, denied his
    client has been involved in any acts of violence. He said he is
    preparing a lawsuit against Baron Cohen and Universal Studios
    alleging that the terrorist reference could get Abu Aita in
    trouble with the Israelis and the homosexual association could
    get him killed by Palestinians.
    “This joke is very dangerous. We are not in the United States,
    we are not in Europe. We are in the Middle East and the world
    operates differently here,” Abu Ahmad said.
    The jokes apparently had their share of dangers for Baron
    Cohen as well. His production team said he narrowly escaped an
    angry mob during his prance in the ultra-Orthodox
    neighborhood of Jerusalem.
    Jonathan Rosenblum, an ultra-Orthodox columnist, said he
    hasn’t viewed the scene but said the reaction was to be
    expected.
    “It was offensive. It was meant to be offensive and it succeeded,
    he said. I don’t have any interest in going to the movie but I am
    sure it will have its fans.
    Yossi Alpher, a former Israeli Mossad officer, and Ghassan
    Khatib, a former Palestinian Cabinet minister, are apparently not
    among them.
    In a panel Bruno holds with them in the movie, he tries to find
    common ground.
    “Why are you so anti-Hamas? I mean isn’t pita bread the real
    enemy here?” Bruno asks with a straight face.
    The dumbfounded interviewees look awkwardly at each other
    before taking the bait.
    “You think there is a relation between Hamas and Hummus?”
    Khatib asks.
    “Hummus has nothing to do with Hamas,” Alpher insists. “It’s a
    food. We eat it, they eat it.”
    To which Khatib responds: It’s vegetarian, it’s healthy, it’s
    beans.
    Continues
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1100952.html

    Reply

  153. nadine says:

    jdledell, you are having major comprehension problems. What I have said about 10 times now is that the Arab regimes wish the conflict to continue and have the means to insure it. Now Iran as well is paying for the conflict – to the tunes of 100s of millions of dollars – by arming Hizbullah and Hamas.
    Either you don’t believe this, in which case you are blind and deaf, or you do believe it but think Israel should proceed anyway, in which case you are a fool. Fortunately the Israelis aren’t such fools so even the Israel Left doesn’t think like you and Meretz is down to 3 seats in the Knesset.

    Reply

  154. Paul Norheim says:

    It`s funny: I sometimes write about what is going on in the
    Middle East, and sincerely believe that these are important issues.
    But of course: behind it all you`ll find family issues and
    disagreements with the Norwegian authorities.
    it`s just that I am not aware of it. A psychologist would easily
    detect the conflict with my aunt and resentment against the
    school system and infrastructure policies of my country.

    Reply

  155. jdledell says:

    The American Jewish community is very animated by what happens in far off Israel. On Shabbat you are likely to hear a lot about the “situation”. By your notion American Jews should not be bothered by happenings any more than Iraqis should not be bothered by what happens to Palestinians. Give me a break.

    Reply

  156. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I have read cynical BS before but you take the cake. No peace is possible because the Palestinians and arabs are irreparably incapable of honoring it and by implication irreparably evil. You say “not at this time” but your description of the reasons indicates peace is never possible.
    I think you are gutless and merely don’t want to put yourself out on a limb to describe the specifics of an honorable peace. Either that or you don’t want to tip your hand that what you really want is either the transfer of the Palestinians or shuting them off into “Indian Style Reservations” and illustrating your inhumanity towards muslims.

    Reply

  157. nadine says:

    Dan, I think you have set in opposition – as having to be either/or – two things that are not really in opposition at all, the sincerity of adherents to a political movement and an examination of reasons for the existence and development of that political movement. One can believe the testimonial of the adherents to be perfectly sincere and yet wonder what caused the political movement to seize upon certain issues but not others.
    It may make sense for a Palestinian to be animated against Israel but it doesn’t really make sense for an Iraqi. It is a perfectly sensible question for a historian to inquire what forces are animating the hatred. It doesn’t mean he doubts the sincerity of the adherents. The adherents may be perfectly sincere even if they are moved by TV images and Friday sermons alone without any personal experience. But why do the TV and the mosque keep harping on the far-away cause, that’s the deeper question.
    “He then goes on to wonder why the same level of hostility is not directed against Russia and the former Soviet Union. But this is very perplexing. Surely he doesn’t think that there is anything comparable in the Russian relationship with Israel over the past few decades and the American relationship”
    Surely he does think it, for Lewis remembers the 40s and 50s well. During that time, Israel was a socialist country and the USSR was a supporter of it. Israel fought the war of independence with Czech arms. The US didn’t supply Israel with arms at all during the 50s and early 60s. In 1956 Eisenhower pulled Nasser’s chestnuts out of the fire by siding with Nasser against Britain, France and Israel in the Suez crisis. Yet by the 1960s Nasser moved into the orbit of the USSR, not America, and Lewis is asking why. He sees the Arab anti-American movement as tapping into the deep wellsprings of anti-Western hatred, which in turn tap into the 1400 year old wellsprings of the war between Christendom and Islam. Lewis is a historian and he thinks long-term.

    Reply

  158. nadine says:

    To wigwag, Nadine and others – Both of you profess to be in favor of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians
    Not under current conditions. You’re not paying attention to what I have written. Say Israel offers the deal you want. Because the Arab states want the conflict to continue, and of course Fatah, Hizbullah and Hamas want to the conflict to continue for ideological reasons (& are being paid to continue it) all a serious offer would engender is a huge spike in terrorist activity. Abu Mazen would demand he be given it all in return for nothing – no agreement, no deal. Oh, and the “international community” would regard the offer as the starting point for next time, they always do when it’s Israel.

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  159. Carroll says:

    “It’s a Trick, We Always Use It.” (calling people “anti-Semitic”)
    Shulamit Aloni on American “anti-Semites”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUGVPBO9_cA
    And her article in Haarezt….
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090366.html
    Where she quotes Rothchild’s letter in which he refuses to support or finance a Jewish state on the grounds that it would eventually become it’s own ghetto of fanatical preducies excluding all other people.
    And basically that is what has happened. The political problem is that they are also “acting this out” beyond their borders and authority…which makes it a problem for other people and other countries.

    Reply

  160. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 17 2009, 11:09AM
    >>>>>>>>
    I wouldn’t pay much attention to that. The Times has been doing those “plant” articles all along with unnamed Israelii sources and etc…part of the Israeli chest beating routine.

    Reply

  161. PissedOffAmerican says:

    West Offering to Endorse Israeli Attack on Iran as Part of Settlement Deal
    Israel Would Recognize Palestinian Land Claims
    by Jason Ditz, July 16, 2009
    Email This | Print This | Share This | Comment
    The Times of London is citing unnamed Western diplomats as saying that the deal between Israel and the West on the issue of Palestinian statehood is taking shape, and that Western officials are offering to back an Israeli attack on Iran in return for certain concessions, including the recognition of some of the Palestinians’ land claims.
    Israeli forces have been moving into position to launch such an attack recently, and with the West publicly coming out in favor of a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran it seems incredible to learn that behind the scenes they are offering not only to turn a blind eye to a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, but to openly endorse it.
    Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, claiming the nation is covertly developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concedes that there is no evidence that Iran is actually seeking nuclear weapons.
    continues…..
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/07/16/west-offering-to-endorse-israeli-attack-on-iran-as-part-of-settlement-deal/
    One reads stuff like this, and cannot help but pray its untrue. But considsering the course this nation has taken, and the obscene fealty and subservience that our politicians cede to Israel, who can doubt such possibilities?
    Do these fucking maniacs really think Russia will idly stand by and watch an American sanctioned attack on Iran occur without reacting?

    Reply

  162. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Dragged into the Israeli inflicted carnage in the ME? WTF? We aren’t “dragged into it”, for chrisakes, we’re financing it. We are also enabling it with our UN votes. We ARE the Israeli inflicted carnage in the Middle East. You cannot separate Israel’s actions from our own, we are partners. Every cluster bomb, every incinerated Palestinian, every inch of stolen Palestinian land, has our signature on it. As does Israel’s defiance of over sixty UN resolutions.
    To somehow imply that this doesn’t work against our national interests, and doesn’t fuel hatred and violence against the United States is just plain ludicrous. These history lessons here, that both sides jerk each other off with bury common sense and simple logic in a huge pile oif horseshit. One need only spend thirty seconds at the AIPAC website to decide whether or not these racist fanatics at the helm of Israel are actively involving the United States in its constantly evolving crusade against all things Muslim.

    Reply

  163. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, I have read that essay by Lewis, as well as several of Lewis’s books, which I like. What is interesting is that despite the fact that Lewis is a historian who is accustomed to looking at documents, he has tended to eschew, or at least discount, examination of direct testimonial evidence from the people involved in terrorism and other anti-Western and anti-American violence. He instead offers speculative psychological analyses of deep, unspoken sources of rage, and locates those sources in perceptions of humiliation connected with long historical processes of cultural change and civilizational clash. By his own account in the essay, opposition to “modernism”, which he thinks is very important, is “neither conscious nor explicit.” I think Lewis may be letting his own experience as an experienced historian with a sweeping view of a long history color his view of the motivations of simpler and younger people, who tend to focus more on present realities. The people who engage in terrorism usually produce explicit statements about what motivates them. But for some reason, people like Lewis tend not to believe these statements. They argue that the reasons can’t be as simple as the reasons the terrorists give. This is part what I meant before by the tendency to engage in denial and deflection when faced with direct testimonial evidence.
    Lewis says:
    “The cause most frequently adduced for anti-American feeling among Muslims today is American support for Israel. This support is certainly a factor of importance, increasing with nearness and involvement. But here again there are some oddities, difficult to explain in terms of a single, simple cause.”
    He then goes on to wonder why the same level of hostility is not directed against Russia and the former Soviet Union. But this is very perplexing. Surely he doesn’t think that there is anything comparable in the Russian relationship with Israel over the past few decades and the American relationship. Just to take one example of the contrast: Russia is not the country that has blocked a string of Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. Now Lewis is certainly right when he holds that American support for Israel is not a single, simple cause. But he otherwise seems to be manufacturing confusion and complication over something that is more straightforward.
    If we interviewed groups of young American Jews who had moved to Israel and joined the IDF, and they said that the reason they went was to fight Hamas savages who are attacking Israel, launching rockets and killing Jews, wouldn’t we just believe them? So why is it so hard to believe that a devout young Arab Muslim man who sees images and hears reports every day about Israeli dispossession of Palestinians in the West Bank, and the ongoing brutality of the Israeli occupation, is actually mad about the things he claims to be mad about?
    What you do get from almost all the statements and manifestos of Arabs and Muslims engaged in anti-Western and anti-American violence is a general sense that they perceive the Muslim world to be under military and cultural attack from America and the West, and Palestine is seen as just one battleground in that attack, involving one specific colonial power.

    Reply

  164. jdledell says:

    To wigwag, Nadine and others – Both of you profess to be in favor of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. We should all cut to the chase and put our cards on the table(wow – a double cliche). To that end, what are the specifics of such an agreemnt.
    1 – What are the borders between Israel and the West bank. Specifically which settlements are incorporated into Israel and which are left in Palestinian territory or abandoned. Particular attention should be paid to Kiryat Arba and the surrounding small settlements. Also, while Betar Illit should be incorporated, how about the settlements further east like Efrat?
    If Ma’ale Adumim is incorporated into Israel does that also include the Mishor Adumim Industrial area further east? How about the settlements designed to cut off access to Ramallah like Geva Binyamin and Ofra?
    Can Ariel be incorporated without undue damage to Palestinian continuity? How about the settlements east of Ariel like Eli and Shilo? Is it possible to eliminate the small settlements to the west of Ariel to reduce the footprint of access to Ariel?
    How do you handle the settlements surrounding Nablus like Elon Moreh and Itamar?
    2 – How do you handle Jerusalem? Can the Palestinians have East Jerusalem as their capital or are you going to make them settle for Abu Dis?
    How should the administration of the Holy Basin be handled?
    3 – How should the borders with Jordan be handled? Will Israel continue to control all ingress and egress?
    4 – What will the IDF presence in the West Bank be. What, if any, multi-national forces should be stationed in the West Bank and where?
    5 – How should Palestinian airspace be handled? Should Israel have access to the space? Should Israel have control of all air access if effect telling the Palestinians who can come and go?
    6 – Should Israel control the airwaves? Will they allow Palestinian cell companies equal; access?
    7 – Should Israel continue to control all West Bank water resources?
    8 – How should Palestinian refugees be handled? A total ban? or a token face saving return? How about compensation to refugees?
    9 How should Gaza be handled? A peace with the Werst Bank first? Gaza deferred until they join the new Palestinian government? Does the blockade stay until they join the new government and peace agreement? Is there a land corridor between Gaza and the West Bank? If so, is it Palestinian or Israeli sovereignty?
    10 – Should the peace agreement be subject to a vote by the Palestinian and Israeli people?

    Reply

  165. nadine says:

    Paul,
    I think that the Israeli/Pal conflict has dragged on for 60 years without dragging the US into a war, and is unlikely to drag the US in even if it goes on for another 60, unless the US does something really dumb. What DID drag the US in, and could again, was the need to keep open the Straights of Hormuz.
    Remember: in 1990 Saddam invaded Kuwait. He didn’t do this because of Israel, despite the immediate Arab impulse to blame Israel for it, because Israel just had to be responsible somehow (I remember watching one rather surreal panel show on the subject shortly after the invasion). His tanks rolled to the border of Saudi Arabia, whose princes immediately began preparing to flee. If Saddam took Arabia, he would control 2/3 of known oil reserves of the world.
    With me so far? GHW Bush, after a spine implant from Maggie Thatcher determined that the US would reverse this situation, and so we assembled an alliance & went to war with Saddam. This lead to an inconclusive conclusion where we ended the war too soon to topple Saddam, which left us holding the containment bag in an unsatisfactory way (not to mention the huge loss of life among the Kurds and Shia).
    Thus we were well and truly “dragged in,” but not by Israel. If you read Osama bin Laden’s fatwa from 1998, you will see that grievance #1 is US troops on the sacred soil of KSA (he was really bitter the King didn’t use his help instead), #2 the Gulf War itself, #3 which he considered cover to distract from the occupation of Jerusalem at the bidding of Israel (in their conspiracy theories, the Arabs can never seem to decide whether the US controls Israel or vice-versa). Jerusalem reads like an add-on, a longstanding grievance but nothing in outrage to having the Crusaders actually pollute the sacred soil of Arabia.
    So, yes, I think the US is already “dragged in” due to its role as the world’s one superpower. Being dragged in, the US should think about how it intends to win what is a long ideological war about how the Arab world will be run: brittle police states (the existing regimes’ idea), some kind of representative government (our idea), or Islamofascist totalitarian emirates (Osama bin Laden’s idea). Tossing Israel aside would only lose a valuable ally and project weakness. It won’t appease anybody.

    Reply

  166. Dan Kervick says:

    Here is part of the video statement of Shehzad Tanweer, one of the perpetrators of the London bombings in 2005:
    “What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq. And until you stop your financial and military support to America and Israel.” Tanweer argued that the non-Muslims of Britain deserve such attacks because they voted for a government which “continues to oppress our mothers, children, brothers and sisters in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya”
    Once again, the the events in Palestine are identified as a motivating factor, though not the sole motivating factor.

    Reply

  167. jdledell says:

    First to wigwag – On Lebanon you completely ignore the fact that Hezballah won 55% of the popular vote, a higher percentage than in the 2005 election. The widely perceived speculation that Hezballah should win the elections, was fear mongering put out by the Hariri camp to boost voting by their Sunni and Christian alliance. I have to laugh at your feeble attempt to ignore inconvienient facts.
    Second to Nadine – The IDF is NOT a good test lab for the US in how to run an occupation. As we learned in Iraq and Afganistan winning the hearts and minds of the populace is crucial to proper COIN tactics. The IDF does everything in it’s power to humiliate and create hatred with the occupied populace.

    Reply

  168. Paul Norheim says:

    However there is more to say about your comparison of America
    using Israel as “a kind of test lab for fighting the War on Terror
    (sort of like the Spanish Civil War was to WWII)”, as well as the
    concept of “Islamofascism”.
    That`s more or less the neocon view in US politics – except for
    the fact that several neocons were pro-Israel Jews who would
    certainly not regard Israel as a “test lab”.
    In any case, your expressed view here explains why you don`t
    really care whether America get dragged into catastrophic wars
    due to it`s unconditional support for Israel (Dan`s point), since
    America already is sort of dragged into a “war on terror” akin to
    WWII” anyway.
    Or did I misinterpret you?

    Reply

  169. Paul Norheim says:

    “Because the Spanish Civil War had become part of the larger
    struggle against Fascism, just as the Israeli/Palestinian struggle
    has become part of the larger struggle against today’s
    Islamofascism. Or against “the Crusaders and the Jews” if you
    are viewing it from the other side.”
    Sory, I didn´t see that comment when I posted my last one
    (struggling getting past the “captcha”.)
    Well, to me it actually looks like we agree here, while WigWag
    seems to deny that the Israel/Palestine conflict plays any
    significant role in “the other side”`s fight against “the Crusaders
    and the Jews” – also as a recruiting and motivating factor.
    But he certainly sees the Israel/Palestine struggle as part of the
    larger struggle against what you call “today`s Islamofascism” –
    he`s confirmed this in several comments.

    Reply

  170. nadine says:

    I’m not sure you read my posts, Paul, because I never denied that Palestine was a symbolically charged issue. That’s exactly why the Arab regimes get so much mileage out of it, and why they work to ensure that the conflict continues.
    Their problem, however, is that other powers not friendly to them are also getting mileage out of the conflict – the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots (Hamas and Al Qaeda) and Iran. The Arab regimes have created the conditions for their own benefit, but others are taking advantage of them.
    The Arab regimes know how to keep the local Islamists down. That’s what the mukhabarat (secret police) is for. But Iran is a real threat to them, and if they get scared enough, we may see them change their minds on the usefulness of the Israeli/Pal conflict. Then new possibilities may emerge. But not until then.

    Reply

  171. Paul Norheim says:

    I`m not sure you read my post, Nadine. My main point was that
    events beyond local or national issues may become “symbolically
    charged” and play a motivating or recruiting role beside other
    issues closer to home. Vietnam was mentioned as a historical,
    Palestine as a current example.
    When you said above that the latter is “purely symbolic, not
    personal”, I would say: “Exactly!”

    Reply

  172. nadine says:

    “Why did people on the left from all over Europe go down to Spain to fight against the fascists (or on Franco´s side) during the civil war? Local issues in their home countries? Personal issues?”
    Because the Spanish Civil War had become part of the larger struggle against Fascism, just as the Israeli/Palestinian struggle has become part of the larger struggle against today’s Islamofascism. Or against “the Crusaders and the Jews” if you are viewing it from the other side.
    It’s not as if the leftists from all over Europe cared about the local Spanish issues. But the conflict had become a test case of the coming war against Fascism.

    Reply

  173. nadine says:

    “If the French riots were solely about social and labor conditions in France, and symbols played no significant role, why on earth would the students in Paris then want to hit that distant country
    called America?”
    I don’t think they did very much, except inasmuch as America could be implicated in the establishment they were rebelling against. Actually, I don’t recall America playing much role in those riots at all. They were chiefly against De Gaulle.

    Reply

  174. Paul Norheim says:

    We use Israel as a kind of test lab for fighting the War on Terror
    (sort of like the Spanish Civil War was to WWII)” (Nadine)
    Why did people on the left from all over Europe go down to Spain
    to fight against the fascists (or on Franco´s side) during the civil
    war? Local issues in their home countries? Personal issues?

    Reply

  175. nadine says:

    “Nadine claims that “The Arabs” (I assume that she refers especially to Arab leaders in this context) really want the Israel/Palestine conflict NOT to be solved. I would guess that
    this implies an Arab support to Hamas, simply because Hamas is a significant part of the problem.”
    “WigWag on the other hand claims that most of the Arab leaders want to see Hamas destroyed, because they regard its supporter Iran as a bigger enemy than Israel. By implication, the Arab leaders would support Fatah. According to WigWag, solving or not solving the Israel/Palestina conflict is a minor issue for the Arab leaders, compared to the prospect of Iran becoming a hegemon in the Middle East.”
    There is little disagreement between our opinions on this point as you will see if you go back and read again. The opinion of Arab leaders regarding Hamas is shifting. Until a few years ago, they were mainly supplied by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and could be safely counted on only to attack Israel. During this period they were supported by the Arab regimes. But now that Iran has taken over their management, they have become the base for attacks against Egypt and perhaps against Saudi Arabia, two enemies of Iran; so naturally those regimes don’t like Hamas so much anymore. That’s why you scarcely heard a peep of protest from Egypt during Operation Cast Lead in January. But I’m sure there are still Arabs who like the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots much more than the Mubarak regime who support Hamas.

    Reply

  176. Paul Norheim says:

    “What did Vietnam have to do with European riots, except as a
    convenient club to hit America with? The 1968 French riots were
    about social and labor conditions in France…”
    If the French riots were solely about social and labor conditions in
    France, and symbols played no significant role, why on earth
    would the students in Paris then want to hit that distant country
    called America?

    Reply

  177. nadine says:

    “So again: Why would you say that the Israel/Palestine conflict plays a less significant role in the radical Islamist movements
    today than the war between America and Vietnam played for the radical left a generation ago?”
    I’ll take a crack at that: because the issue is purely symbolic, not personal, for the vast majority of Muslims, even the vast majority of Arabs. It’s not as if the Palestinians are personally popular. It’s purely a matter of rooting for them vs. the Israelis.
    Whereas Vietnam was an enormous personal issue for the young men of America in the 1960s because there was a draft. What did Vietnam have to do with European riots, except as a convenient club to hit America with? The 1968 French riots were about social and labor conditions in France, not Vietnam, for example.

    Reply

  178. Paul Norheim says:

    It looks like there is a certain disagreements between Nadine
    and WigWag on a couple of significant points.
    Nadine claims that “The Arabs” (I assume that she refers
    especially to Arab leaders in this context) really want the
    Israel/Palestine conflict NOT to be solved. I would guess that
    this implies an Arab support to Hamas, simply because Hamas
    is a significant part of the problem.
    WigWag on the other hand claims that most of the Arab leaders
    want to see Hamas destroyed, because they regard its supporter
    Iran as a bigger enemy than Israel. By implication, the Arab
    leaders would support Fatah. According to WigWag, solving or
    not solving the Israel/Palestina conflict is a minor issue for the
    Arab leaders, compared to the prospect of Iran becoming a
    hegemon in the Middle East.
    Secondly, Nadine acknowledges that the conflict has
    implications beyond the borders of Israel and the occupied
    territories, while WigWag has been denying this for quite a long
    time. Less than a year ago there was a dispute over this, and
    WigWag asked for evidence. I quoted from a handful of
    speeches by bin Laden, showing the centrality of this issue in
    their recruitment efforts and ideology. Apparently this made no
    impression on WigWag.
    A quote from his last reply to Dan:
    “I think we also disagree about how much weight to attach to
    the fact that terrorist leaders or government officials usually
    mention Israel in their diatribes. Almost invariably they provide
    a long list of grievances including anger at Israel, sympathy for
    the Palestinians and fury that Jerusalem isn’t controlled by
    Muslims. I think the evidence is remarkably sparse that these
    are the factors that motivate young men to blow themselves up
    or kill hundreds of people. The factors that are critical for the
    recruitment of terrorists and the motivation for their suicides
    can be found in the grievances that afflict them and their
    families not a faraway dispute that they find to be of only
    theoretical relevance.”
    WigWag, nobody here said that this is THE factor, but that it
    appears to be ONE among a handful of important motivating
    factors, judging from the available evidence. But let`s look at
    the last sentence I quoted: you claim that the crucial factors for
    recruitment/motivation “can be found in the grievances that
    afflict them and their families not a faraway dispute that they
    find to be of only theoretical relevance.”
    What is the basis for this assumption? Are you saying that such
    groups are solely affected by what is happening directly to
    themselves and their own families, or to their ethnic group or
    nation – and that anything beyond this only has “theoretical
    relevance?
    Was it always like this (i.e. local, national, or direct issues are
    central, while other issues are peripheral), or do you see this as
    an effect of an increased weight on local issues, ethnicity etc in
    recent years?
    Let me use an analogy from a not so distant past: the
    revolutionary movements that spread like a global fire in the
    late 60`s and early 70`s – from Washington to Paris, from Italy
    to Copenhagen, from Berlin to Kabul and Addis Abeba. Of
    course there were plenty of local and national issues involved in
    this radicalism, that stretched from sofa-radicalism to maoism,
    from student protests and barricades to terrorism, sabotage
    and kidnapping.
    But one central factor motivating all this, according to the
    sources, was the Vietnam war. The sentiments against that
    distant war was not weaker in distant capitals like Berlin, Paris,
    Stockholm, Rome or London, than in America, which was
    directly involved in the war.
    Where you talk about “theoretical relevance” I would replace it
    with “symbolically charged”. And the Vietnam war was a highly
    symbolically charged issue in hundreds of distant towns and
    cities with no direct involvement in the war.
    Why would you think that the Israel/Palestine issue is less
    symbolically charged, and a less motivating factor among
    Muslim radicals today than the Vietnam war in the 60`s?
    I guess nobody here would say that the radicalism of the 60`s,
    – the student protests, the barricades, or the terrorism in
    Germany and Italy in the 70`s – would not take place if not for
    the Vietnam war. But all documents, all evidence points towards
    that the images of that war was a significant recruiting and
    motivating factor, also for the more extreme movements at that
    time.
    To me it seems like radicalism, or, to extend the argument a
    bit, communism in the 20`th century, has both a local, a
    national and a global component (if you will: Stalin versus
    Trotsky; sometimes the accent is on local, ethnic or patriotic
    issues, sometimes the global aspects are more important.
    Al Quaeda is without doubt among those groups who exploit
    nationalism and local grievances for universal aims; other
    groups exploit distant issues for local or nationalistic goals.
    So again: Why would you say that the Israel/Palestine conflict
    plays a less significant role in the radical Islamist movements
    today than the war between America and Vietnam played for the
    radical left a generation ago?
    Because you believe in a theory postulating that even the
    extremists of the 60`s were only motivated by local factors,
    despite what they claimed were among the motivating factors?

    Reply

  179. nadine says:

    “The passionate concern with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict across the region is undeniable. Indeed, Nadine claims that Arab governments don’t really care about the conflict, but just use it to distract their publics. But these tactics could hardly serve to distract their publics if their publics didn’t care about the issue. Every public opinion poll in the region, as well as Arab media consumption habits, indicates how strong the passions run on this issue. And a certain percentage of these people have turned to militant jihadism to act on their rage. Obviously Israel isn’t the only issue; but it is one of the big ones.”
    Dan, this may be true but yet not support your conclusion. There is a chicken-and-egg problem with passions when it comes to any longstanding propaganda campaign. If you polled the Germans in 1938, you would have found passions about the Jewish Question inflamed too; and they had a much shorter exposure to the propaganda.
    The question is: is Israel really the cause, or is it the symptom? If the cause, then solving the conflict (or just destroying Israel, which is what the Arabs are really after) might get rid of the problem; but if it’s a symptom, then the cause will still remain and break out in another symptom. Have you ever read The Roots of Muslim Rage? http://www.theatlantic.com/past/issues/90sep/rage.htm
    “but Nadine’s view seems to be that the US should just permit or encourage Israel to go on doing what it’s doing in the West Bank, and that the strife their can go on indefinitely, without much risk of expanding beyond the occupied territories. She seems to think that not much will happen as a result of a US choice to, as others have put it, “let Israel win””
    You are missing my main point, Dan. It’s not that the US should permit or encourage this end but that it is not in the power of the US to achieve any other end without the cooperation of the Arab regimes.
    Until the US and the Arab regimes all use their leverage in the same direction at the same time, the conflict will continue. I have given my reasons for believing that the Arab regimes not only want the conflict to continue, but are scared to death of it not continuing. They feel they need it.
    What I want the US to do most of all is to understand this reality, and stop banging its head on the wall chasing mirages. That hurts US interests by making us look stupid and feeble and it hurts Israel too, by making it throw its national security down the toilet piece by piece as concessions for the dysfunctional “peace process,” or perhaps “piece by piece process” might be a better name.
    Whatever price there is to pay for being seen as Israel’s ally (& I don’t deny there is one), we gain a lot more benefit by having a strong regional ally than a shaky one. We use Israel as a kind of test lab for fighting the War on Terror (sort of like the Spanish Civil War was to WWII), and having them stay strong is in our interests. No great power gains respect by selling its ally down the river, whatever diplomats say out loud. Behavior like that only convinces fence sitters that you’re not a safe power to ally with.

    Reply

  180. nadine says:

    “Nadine says ” . . .if Israel lifts the blockade against Hamas now, Hamas won’t improve the civilian infrastructure; they are going to import long-range Iranian missles instead; we know this from their track record”
    “I can neither agree nor disagree, because it is purely speculative. “Track records” in this regard are mostly speculative since I don’t see where we have been at this place before. It’s more like an excuse. I cannot believe Israel cringes at the thought of “Iranian missles” since, on the model of retaliatory strikes, that the Israelis are experts at, there is no reason to think they would not disproportionately punish the Palestinians.”
    Boy, I have seen cop-outs before, but this one deserves a prize. Speculative? That’s like saying, “I don’t know if President Obama will continue to press for health care reform, or will decide that he was all wrong and begin implementing the fiscal policies of Ronald Reagan tomorrow. ‘Track records’ in this regard are mostly speculative since I don’t see where we have been at this place before.”
    Suffice it to say that Hamas has been importing as many rockets as it can smuggle, and says that not only will it continue, but it will soon have the long-range rockets to hit Tel Aviv with. So if you believe them, they are very predictable. They have been as good as their word so far.
    “Israel controls the military picture, and refuses to get serious about political gestures so far.”
    They do? So why couldn’t they prevent Hamas from shelling Sderot? What are their options when the rockets begin hitting Tel Aviv instead of just Sderot? You will be crying, oh the poor Gazans! those poor sitting ducks! Israel, you mustn’t strike back! (now there’s a really predictable track record).
    It should be needless to say that having its major cities under artillery fire and their populations living half their lives in bomb shelters is entirely unacceptable for any civilized country. It should be needless to say it; but you expect Israel to just accept it. Only you don’t want to say this out loud, so instead you declare that Hamas’ intentions are an inscrutable mystery. Suddenly your powers of penetration, so clear when it comes to Israel’s military superiority, desert you utterly.
    Very funny. Very telling also.

    Reply

  181. easy e says:

    Enough on Gaza.
    Hey Steve, how about the latest TWN perspective on the CIA assassination program. Appears to be quite a bit here………..
    Make sure to also read the “comments” section in following links, especially the one by “DLD” in the first article (tpmmuckraker) and the few by “Kurt” in the second article (rawstory).
    Quite chilling. Would be interested in TWN/NAF positions on this.
    Report: CIA Assassin Program Could Operate Anywhere — Even Inside U.S.
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/07/report_cia_assassin_program_could_operate_anywhere.php?ref=fpb
    Report: ‘No geographical limitations’ on CIA assassination program
    http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/07/16/report-no-geographical-limitations-on-cia-assassination-program/

    Reply

  182. WigWag says:

    No need to enter pedantic territory here, Dan. Or for us to cite smaller and smaller facts. We just fundamentally disagree about this statement you made;
    “So my list was intended to cite a variety of things that have gone very wrong indeed for the US in the Middle East since 1967, in each of which US involvement with Israel was either a major or contributing causal factor.”
    My point is that for most of the examples you mentioned, relations between Israel and Palestine were at most a peripheral factor. To me for all the reasons that I cited, that seems self-evidently true; I understand you disagree.
    I think we also disagree about how much weight to attach to the fact that terrorist leaders or government officials usually mention Israel in their diatribes. Almost invariably they provide a long list of grievances including anger at Israel, sympathy for the Palestinians and fury that Jerusalem isn’t controlled by Muslims. I think the evidence is remarkably sparse that these are the factors that motivate young men to blow themselves up or kill hundreds of people. The factors that are critical for the recruitment of terrorists and the motivation for their suicides can be found in the grievances that afflict them and their families not a faraway dispute that they find to be of only theoretical relevance.
    It is also worth noting that Palestinian terrorism which was once common not only in Israel/Palestine but elsewhere in the world has now largely been eclipsed by Muslim terrorism in other places. The reason for that is simple; Palestinian terrorist groups have been hunted down, attacked and destroyed by the Israelis. The separation fence that many critics said would never work has eliminated the ability of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to send out suicide bombers and Israel’s targeted assassination campaign so disrupted Palestinian terrorist networks that they have their hands full in Gaza and the West Bank leaving them few resources to venture forth to the rest of the world. Israel’s assassination of Hezbollah leader, Imad Mughniyah also hindered Hezbollah’s ability to conduct terrorist activities outside of Lebanon.
    Also, to be fair to Hamas, the organization never had much interest in launching terrorist attacks outside of the Middle East; this is in sharp distinction to the PLO in its glory days which hijacked airplanes and cruise ships and planted bombs the world over. Of course once Israel kicked the PLO out of its bases in Lebanon its ability to launch world wide terrorism evaporated which is why Arafat explored the political route.
    In any case, the terrorism of the 21st century whether directed against American, British or French targets or targets in South Asia or Russia almost never have anything to do with Israel or Palestine. That’s why I think a settlement between Israel and Palestine, no matter how morally desirable it may be, won’t improve U.S. security or prosperity.
    While I don’t advocate that the United States does nothing to promote peace, I think the consequences of the U.S. doing nothing to promote peace are not be particularly great. Would there be a third intafada or would the myth of the Palestinian sense of nationhood collapse enabling a Palestinian merger with Jordan? Would pressure build for a Palestinian State or would the U.S. and Europe lose interest just as the new emerging world superpowers make it plain that they aren’t interested in Palestinian aspirations? Would another Israeli attack on Gaza in response to incoming rocket fire represent a major strategic problem for the United States or would it only concern a few American and European leftists with the rest of the world being disinterested?
    My view is that the Palestinians can be stateless forever; their national aspirations can be frustrated indefinitely (like the Kurds) and the effect on the United States and the rest of the world will hardly be discernable.
    You’ve said it yourself; the Israelis can afford to wait. The Russians, Chinese and Indians all have major problems with Muslim insurgents at least as bad as the Israeli’s have. These rising powers are even more hostile to Muslim extremists than the Israelis are. How long will it be before India and China are running the world; 25 years? 50 years? By then, Palestinian aspirations will be dead probably forever.
    But none of this means that’s what I think should happen. My predilection is that world peace is fostered by accommodating the national aspirations of as many religious/ethnic/linguistic groups as possible. If Palestinian aspirations can be accommodated in a manner that leaves Israel as safe or safer and as prosperous or more prosperous than it is now, I’m all for it even if the Israelis have to give up territory. One reason I favor fostering regime change in Iran is that I think inhibiting Iran’s ability to provide arms to Palestinian extremist groups enhances the chances for a two state solution.
    I also think that realist critics of Israel and its “special relationship” with the United States get it exactly backwards. I think that the United States has very few interests at stake in promoting a settlement. A settlement will undoubtedly end up costing Americans tens of billions of dollars and require American troops to be put in harms way policing the agreement. What does the United States get in return? Practically nothing.
    It’s the liberal internationalists who have the best case for American support for a peace agreement. They believe Americans should seek a two state solution because it’s the decent thing to do.
    They’re right about that.

    Reply

  183. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag,
    Several of the criticisms you make of my list are criticisms of claims I didn’t make. I initially said that various things could go very, very wrong for the US due to its entanglement with Israel. You said in response that “nothing has gone very wrong for the US since 1967”. So my list was intended to cite a variety of things that have gone very wrong indeed for the US in the Middle East since 1967, in each of which US involvement with Israel was either a major or contributing causal factor. I didn’t argue that those adverse historical events would occur again, or occur again in the same way. I think we can all imagine some of the scenarios connected with Israel and the Israeli-Palestinians conflict that keep national security professionals up at night in 2009, and they are not straightforward replications of the events of the past.
    I’ll say a few things about some of your claims about my list, but I want to say preemptively that I feel that we are in danger of entering into very pedantic territory here, which could degenerate into tit-for-tat exchanges about smaller and smaller details. The reason this could be pedantic is because I can’t believe that either you or Nadine sincerely believes that US support for and commitments to Israel are problem-free and don’t carry some rather substantial risks in the region, or that they have not been a contributing factor to hostility toward the United States in the past.
    But I will say right off that when I have debated this issue with people before, I have found that Israel’s defenders are often so determined that Americans not conclude that support for Israel plays any strong role in jihadist motivations that they will sometimes deny the evidence of those motivations even when confronted with direct first-person testimony to the contrary. They resort to speculative mind-reading, and argue that Arab and Muslim opponents of America don’t really care about the things they claim to care about, but are instead driven by some secret and ineffable motivation.
    Consider the case of the 1998 World Islamic Front fatwa that preceded the African embassy bombings by a few months, and declared a “jihad against crusaders and Jews.” In Zawahiri’s fatwa, three charges are leveled against America: occupation of the land of the Islamic holy places; blockades and sanctions against Iraq; assistance of Israel for the latter’s occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. What more evidence do you need that opposition to Israel’s occupation is at least one of the factors motivating al Qaeda leaders and their recruits?
    You retort that “the idea that fatwas issued by the likes of Ayman al Zawahiri’s against Crusaders and Jews will be cancelled or deterred by a reasonable compromise between Israelis and Palestinians is ludicrous.” That well may be the case. We know that ending the US presence in Saudi Arabia didn’t help much either, and now Zawahiri makes Israel even more of a point of emphasis, and did so as recently as January, 2009. But clearly the leaders of this jihadist movement believe that one of the motives that draws people into their movement is passionate opposition to Israeli behavior If they didn’t believe this they wouldn’t make such a point of including the Israeli issue in their rhetoric.
    The passionate concern with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict across the region is undeniable. Indeed, Nadine claims that Arab governments don’t really care about the conflict, but just use it to distract their publics. But these tactics could hardly serve to distract their publics if their publics didn’t care about the issue. Every public opinion poll in the region, as well as Arab media consumption habits, indicates how strong the passions run on this issue. And a certain percentage of these people have turned to militant jihadism to act on their rage. Obviously Israel isn’t the only issue; but it is one of the big ones.
    On the score of Iran, I’m surprised that you of all people would whitewash the Iranian revolution as purely driven by hatred of SAVAK. Do you think it is an “insult” to Ahmadinejad – a member of that revolutionary generation – and his many followers to say that anti-Israel sentiment figures very largely in their world view? That sentiment has been present since the very beginning of the Islamic revolution, and contributed to it. The Iranian revolution was a complex affair. In addition to Shiite conservatives and their clerical leaders there were socialists, communists and other varieties of nationalists involved. But Khomeini was the central galvanizing figure, and Khomeini was a paranoid ultra-religious fanatic, consumed by hate – particularly of Jews. Khomeini of course had many followers, and his anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish appeals built upon pre-existing dissatisfaction in Iran over the Shah’s close relationship with both Israel and the United States. His talk of Israel as “the Little Satan” didn’t come from a vacuum in his own brain. Iran had already voted for the 1975 General Assembly “Zionism is Racism” resolution. Opposition among Shia conservatives to the Shah’s relationship with the Great Satan and the Little Satan was long-standing. And one immediate consequence of the revolution was Iran’s ending of its diplomatic relationship with Israel.
    I will give you this: initially, hostility to Israel didn’t have that much to do with Palestinians, since the Iranian hard religious right seems to have hated Arabs as much as Jews. But the centrality of Palestine has assumed larger and larger proportions among the Iranian right since the revolution. At the same time, the religious and revolutionary element has declined in importance in Iran as a whole.
    You’re just wrong about the role of anti-Israel motivations in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Ramzi Yousef mailed letters to US papers prior to the attack making three demands: (i) the end to all US aid to Israel, (ii) an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel, (iii) a pledge by the United States to end interference “with any of the Middle East countries’ interior affairs.” Yes, US relations with other predominantly Muslim countries is clearly a factor, but so clearly is opposition to Israel.
    Nadine says that I see the events on 1982 as “all Israel’s fault.” But that wasn’t my point at all. My point was just that there obviously *is* a conflict between Israel and its US supporters, on the one hand, and the Palestinian movement and its regional supporters on the other, and that the US engagement with Israel in 1982 and 1983 contributed to its decision to introduce marines into Lebanon. And yes, Lebanon has many internal divisions. But the presence of a very large Palestinian refugee population in the south of Lebanon following the creation of Israel was a major causal factor leading to the Lebanese Civil War, and then obviously to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. No one can deny that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had a substantial spillover effect in Lebanon. Something similar might happen again if continued Israeli expansion in the West Bank produces a new intifada and a new wave of refugees and conflict. This is why the Jordanian government views Israel’s settlement policy as a grave threat to its national security, and strongly supports a revived peace process.
    In my view, in addition to the bad consequences for the US I have cited, there have been several near misses in which the US relationship with Israel could have lead to some very heavy consequences for Americans. There were moments during the Lebanon war in 2006 when agitation both in the US and Israel for an expansion of the war into Syria – and likely Iran after that – could have expanded fighting in ways that might have brought an intervention from the US military. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but it isn’t at all far-fetched to think it might have. And during the Gulf War, Saddam fired Scud missiles into Israel in an apparent effort to draw a counterattack from Israel, and thus bring in other Arab states on his side. What was (for the US) a manageable regional war could have exploded into something much more deadly and unpredictable for Americans. Fortunately he failed in his attempt. But it was touch and go for a while, and way too close for comfort.
    Obviously, the great specter looming over the region today is not the risk of a Saudi-Opec oil embargo, but the risks inherent in an Israeli war with Iran. A war between Israel and Iran would certainly disrupt the oil trade, and inflict major macroeconomic damage on a United States economy even less equipped than it was in 1973 to absorb that kind of shock. It could provoke retaliatory strikes against US allies and interests by Iranian agents operating in the region, and possibly in the US. Iran might well retaliate by seeking to close down the Straits of Hormuz, or by attacking shipping in the Gulf, or by attacking Saudi installations, or by provoking attacks on US soldiers in Iraq, or by encouraging Saudi Shiites to revolt in the (oil-rich) Eastern Province. Israel could attempt to open up a sort of second front against Iran and its Shiite allies by exploiting its new relationship with the Kurds. The US is precariously positioned right in the middle of all this.
    I suspect we don’t really disagree that all these risks exist, WigWag. I think our real disagreement is over what kinds of US policies toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would best deal with the risks and do the most to minimize the chances of major instabilities and disruptions. I’m not sure what your view is, but Nadine’s view seems to be that the US should just permit or encourage Israel to go on doing what it’s doing in the West Bank, and that the strife their can go on indefinitely, without much risk of expanding beyond the occupied territories. She seems to think that not much will happen as a result of a US choice to, as others have put it, “let Israel win”. I personally find that hard to believe. Eventually there will be another intifada, another war and another atrocious Gaza-like assault. US hopes for an improve relationship with the Arab and Muslim world will again be on hold, since we will not be able to work effectively with governments in the region as cooperation with America is stigmatized, and more strongly opposed by Arab and Muslim publics. And eventually, either Egypt or Saudi Arabia is likely to see a revolution. If between now and that fateful day we haven’t done more to align ourselves with ordinary Arabs and Muslims, and haven’t tilted away from the Israeli, Egyptian and Saudi governments, then just like Iran in 1979 there will be hell to pay as the new young leaders take out their aggressions on the US people who worked with their several old enemies.
    There remains one more intangible effect to consider, an effect hard to measure: that is the continuing, dripping corrosive damage to the US reputation around the world occasioned by the spectacle of a US government that allows its chief ally in the region to engage in openly expansionist and colonialist policies, policies that appear as a backward embrace of the universally repudiated norms of earlier centuries. If nothing else, the Obama administration has to try to send a believable, non-cosmetic message that it does *not* support this kind of behavior.

    Reply

  184. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel currently has 223 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/stats/settlements.html#source
    0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 18,147 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/stats/homes.html#source
    “Its all Hamas’ fault” – Nazine

    Reply

  185. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=34520
    Has anyone asked Nazine where she lives?

    Reply

  186. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Jewish settlers burn Palestinian crops
    Palestinian Information Center
    July 16, 2009
    NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers on Wednesday burnt more than 25 dunums of Palestinian lands in Burqa village near the evacuated settlement of Homesh to the west of Nablus city on Wednesday, locals reported.
    They said that the lands owned by five Palestinians were planted with olive trees.
    The sources noted that the settlers have escalated their assaults on Palestinian farms this summer in the hope of annexing those lands after their owners desert them.
    Also on Wednesday, Israeli police rounded up 81 Palestinian workers in the lands occupied in 1948 for “illegal” residence.
    The Israeli police routinely arrest hundreds of those workers for not possessing necessary work permits. Many of them are imprisoned, fined and humiliated before the IOF return them to the West Bank.
    continues….
    http://uruknet.com/?p=m56046&hd=&size=1&l=e
    “Its all Hamas’ fault” – Nadine

    Reply

  187. WigWag says:

    jdledell, you make several factual errors:
    1)The Hezbollah led coalition was widely expected to win under the rules currently in place; instead it lost. Hezbollah’s coalition partner, General Aoun, expected to win large numbers of Christian votes; he didn’t. Christians, Sunnis, and Druze voted overwhelmingly against the Hezbollah led coalition, the only votes Nasrallah got were from his own co-religionists. You call the Taif Accords outdated. I’m agnostic about that but it is pretty clear that a “one man one vote” system would not work in Lebanon. The result would be endless ethnic and religious strife that would undermine Lebanon’s viability as a state. As for your claim that the Shia are under represented, it’s a claim frequently made but hard to prove. The last full census in Lebanon was conducted in 1932 with a partial statistical update in 1956.
    By the way, the Taif Accords also benefit the Shia. While they may be the most numerous religious group in Lebanon the Shia are still a minority. Given the alliance between Sunni, Christian and Druze, if Lebanon selected its Chief Executive the way we do in the United States a Shia would never be elected.
    2) You ask if elections were held in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt who would prevail? Your assumption that the Muslim Brotherhood would prevail in Jordan and Egypt and the Whabbists in Saudi Arabia is not unreasonable but by no means is it certain. The Hezbollah led coalition was predicted to win in Lebanon and Ahmadinejad was supposed to win in Iran; both predictions turned out to be inaccurate. By the way, I notice you left Syria out of your hypothetical. We don’t know who would win a fair election in Syria but its a pretty safe guess that it wouldn’t be Assad or any member of the minority Alawi faith.
    3)Had the United States not had peace keeping troops in Lebanon those marines would not have been killed. How wise is it to repeat the same mistake policing a deal between Israelis and Palestinians?
    4) The September 11th attacks were hatched in South Asia. While Hamburg may have been a logistical base, to say that 9/11 was planned in Hamburg would be like saying it was planned in South Florida (because that’s where the flight schools were).

    Reply

  188. DonS says:

    Nadine says ” . . .if Israel lifts the blockade against Hamas now, Hamas won’t improve the civilian infrastructure; they are going to import long-range Iranian missles instead; we know this from their track record”
    I can neither agree nor disagree, because it is purely speculative. “Track records” in this regard are mostly speculative since I don’t see where we have been at this place before. It’s more like an excuse. I cannot believe Israel cringes at the thought of “Iranian missles” since, on the model of retaliatory strikes, that the Israelis are experts at, there is no reason to think they would not disproportionately punish the Palestinians.
    I’m responding to your questions, but I did not engage you earlier. Generally, there is no military situation that Israel does not have covered, albeit they have responded with overkill, despite protestations of some here that they are the most cautious military in the world in guarding civilian casualties, a meaningless statement when one considers that the Palestinians are virtually sitting ducks, a defenseless population.
    We have a situation where I do not accept you premise that somehow Israel faces an “existential threat”, and that the Palestinians are the leading edge. Not in terms of political/military realities, though Israel’s psychological warfare depends upon fostering this supposed apprehension. And the Iranians, poised as they are in ME politics, what are they supposed to do? Deny it? Roll over and claim they are paper tigers?
    Israel controls the military picture, and refuses to get serious about political gestures so far.

    Reply

  189. nadine says:

    jdledell, It’s quite true that the Islamist parties would probably win elections in Egypt and other places. The only sure-fire way to make Islamists less popular is to let them rule for a while.
    But if opposition to the Sunni regimes is centered in the Islamist parties, you can argue that the regimes arranged it themselves by allowing breathing room for opposition only in the mosques, and political attacks only against outside forces, never criticism of the regime. Domestic opponents of the regime just wound up in jail. So in a sense the Arab regimes have made their own beds, and now seem to be stuck in a position from which they can go neither forward nor back.
    So what you point out about the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood only underscores my arguments about the Arab regimes needing to sustain the conflict. Besides distracting the masses, they shield themselves from the full wrath of the Muslim Brotherhood. If the Mubarak government stuck its neck out to help mediate a peace deal between the Palestinian and Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood would go ballistic. Mubarak remembers how Sadat died. He was there.

    Reply

  190. jdledell says:

    wigwag – Your long treatise overstates your case by a considerable margin. Let me give you a few examples. Lebanon where the March 14th Alliance won a couple extra seats in the legislature vs the Hezballah alliance. It’s 71 seats vs 57. However, this advantage to Hariri’s group is only possible because of the outdated Taif Accords which limits Shia representation and overstates Christian. Hezballah’s Alliance actual won 55% of the popular vote vs Hariri’s March 14th group at 45%. Hardly a rejection of Hezballah and if true democracy reigned in Lebanon, Nasrallah would probably be Prime Minister.
    Speaking of Democracy, if elections were held in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudia Arabia what forces do you think would prevail? I will venture a darn good wager that the Palestinians would win in Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Whabbists in SA. Tell me how these three groups feel about Israel. The mideast can change in the blink of an eye and boycotts can happen again easily.
    Speaking of Lebanon and the October, 1983 Marine barracks bombing, it was not unexpected given the naval shelling of the Shite South Beirut areas by the USS Iowa and other ships the month before. We picked Israel’s side and we paid for it.
    I don’t have time to rebut each and every one of your points but I hope you realize you are making suppositions and opinions but very light on facts. For example, you state that 9/11 attack was planned in South Asia. Fact is that Hamburg. Germany was the key axis for Atta.

    Reply

  191. WigWag says:

    “WigWag acknowledges the suffering of the Palestinians but denies it’s significance used as a propaganda tool…”
    That is an accurate rendition of what I think. I think that Muslim terrorism is inspired by a variety of factors all primarily related to the indigenous experience of the individual terrorist.
    Palestinian terrorism is rooted in the Palestinian-Israeli issue; Saudi terrorism isn’t, Pakistani terrorism isn’t, Afghan terrorism isn’t, Iraqi terrorism isn’t, Tamil terrorism isn’t, Kashmiri terrorism isn’t, Chechnyan terrorism isn’t, etc.
    The fate of the Palestinians is at best a footnote when it comes to the main reason Muslim men (more often than not they’re men) decide to sign up with terrorist organizations.
    There’s simply no credible or convincing evidence to suggest otherwise.
    By the way, even if the Palestinian issue was a powerful recruitment tool for terrorists it wouldn’t change my opinion. The idea that the United States should promote an Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement to reduce the motivation of terrorists seems pretty craven to me.

    Reply

  192. nadine says:

    Hi Don,
    The general spluttering on this thread made the quote from Goldberg’s book Bias just too tempting to miss. I notice I’ve been called a “blood-drenched bigot” a lot, but when I say things like, if Israel lifts the blockade against Hamas now, Hamas won’t improve the civilian infrastructure; they are going to import long-range Iranian missles instead; we know this from their track record” nobody bothers to disagree.
    Do you agree or disagree? It seems to me that the point is an important one, and I am surprised by the general silence about it.
    If you disagree, you can argue that Israel should end the blockade. But if you agree, then Israel would be facilitating the creation of an Iranian proxy statelet bristling with long-range missiles if it drops the blockade unconditionally.
    Would that serve Israeli interests? No. How about US interests? No again. Hamas and Iraninan interets? Yes and yes.

    Reply

  193. Paul Norheim says:

    Promoting a democratic revolution? Yes, WigWag, that was also
    the Trotsky-inspired argument of the neocons: using the US Army
    and CIA as the main tools to revolutionize the Middle East
    through invasions and regime change.
    I think that was a very bad idea.

    Reply

  194. WigWag says:

    “Dan made a list of what he saw as examples of how the conflict – or US support of Israeli behavior – had damaged US interests in different ways in the past. He didn`t imply that exactly the same would or could happen today, in different circumstances.”
    That’s true, but Dan was replying to a post where I said that while the United States was morally justified in assisting Palestinians to achieve their national aspiration on humanitarian grounds that no vital interests of the United States would be appreciably advanced by a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal.
    Threats of terrorism would not be appreciably reduced; relations with Iran would not be appreciably improved; American energy security would not be appreciably enhanced; the threat of bad foreign policy decisions or military errors would not be appreciably lessened.
    In short the world confronting the United States after a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians will look pretty much indistinguishable from the world that confronts the Americans without a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.
    The other point that I was making was that almost none of the items mentioned in Dan’s laundry list were actually related to how Israels and Palestinians interact. And in the one instance where there was a relation (the American troops in Beirut) that Americans would be wise to learn from the mistake by not pushing for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
    And yes, Paul, I am pondering what the United States should or shouldn’t do vis a vis Iran. I haven’t formed any definitive opinions, but unlike Flynt Leverett and the rest of what Steve Clemons calls the “crack cocaine realists” I don’t think we should pretend nothing’s happened. And I can’t help but notice that some of the most well known advocates for engagement like Roger Cohen are now dead set against engagement.
    I don’t think that it is self-evident that the United States should do nothing to assist or even promote an Iranian revolution. But for the French and the extraordinary assistance they provided to the American Revolutionaries, all of us in the United States would be singing “God Save the Queen” instead of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
    That’s a precedent that could easily be a good guide for what the United States should do in assisting Iranian freedom fighters.
    At least it’s worth “pondering.”

    Reply

  195. nadine says:

    “A settlement between Israelis and Palestinians would certainly change Israel and Palestine. The effect on the rest of the region in general and Al Qai’da and the larger Muslim world in particular would be virtually zero.”
    Actually, here I may surprise you by coming down between you and Tony C. A settlement in 1995 or 2000 would have removed some of the oxygen from the extremists’ list of grievances. However, their list of grievances is long. When they pronounce against the “Crusader and Jews” they include all the West – Britain, France as former colonial powers, America as their heir, etc.
    But what Tony doesn’t appreciate is that for that very reason any approach to a deal would cause an immense SPIKE in extremist violence, since acceptance of Israel is anathema to them. Note that serious planning for 9/11 began in 1995, the height of Oslo. Hamas began blowing up buses in earnest in 1995 when Rabin and then the even more dovish Perez were PM of Israel.
    So if a settlement might make some moderates more moderate, it would definitely make extremists more extreme.
    Also, as I have pointed out, if the Arab regimes lost the Great Excuse called Israel, they’d have to invent another one.
    60 years ago, the regimes of many countries in Asia told their people, forget about democracy for now, and we’ll give you prosperity. 60 years ago, the Arab regimes told their people, forget about democracy for now, and we’ll give you the Arab-Israeli conflict. 60 years later, the Asians have prosperity and are beginning to democratize, while the Arabs are still poor and don’t have democracy, but they still have the Arab-Israeli conflict. BTW, this is not my argument, but Tom Friedman’s.
    Tony’s impulse is to say, well if the Arabs are so upset about it maybe we should humor them. He doesn’t want to say, so let’s help them destroy Israel” so he says something more humane about finding a peace deal. (Just to take a broader perspective, where else in the world does a country exist for 60 years yet the neighbors refuse to acknowledge its existence, sign an damn treaty already, and get on with their lives?)
    But if the root of the problem is the Arab refusal to deal with the permanent reality of Israel, a peace deal will make them more angry, not less. Now the Arab world is not monolithic and maybe most people would get less angry, but those who got more, would get very much more angry. In short, I think Tony is kidding himself about the nature of the conflict.

    Reply

  196. Paul Norheim says:

    And WigWag does not see, or does not want to see the obvious:
    how the conflict, and the suffering of the Palestinians, is
    something that various violent extremist groups have been
    using to great effect as a recruitment tool against Western
    interests. Bin Laden`s and Zawahiri`s speeches are full of
    references to the conflict – and I`m sure they knew what they
    were doing when they stressed this as one of the most
    important arguments for attacking American and Israeli
    interests.
    The difference between WigWag and Nadine on the issue of
    Palestinian suffering can be summed up like this:
    WigWag acknowledges the suffering of the Palestinians but
    denies it`s significance used as a propaganda tool, while Nadine
    acknowledges the propaganda aspect, but denies the suffering.
    WigWag blames Hamas for the suffering, while Nadine, who
    denies the suffering… blames Hamas for it anyway!

    Reply

  197. Paul Norheim says:

    Dan made a list of what he saw as examples of how the conflict
    – or US support of Israeli behavior – had damaged US interests
    in different ways in the past. He didn`t imply that exactly the
    same would or could happen today, in different circumstances.
    Obviously there is a huge gap between WigWag`s and Dan`s
    interpretation of the dynamics in the ME, both on details and on
    a more general level.
    Among the changed circumstances since the 1970`s, one could
    mention the current Iran issue. Obviously there is a risk that
    USA could be dragged into a war with Iran essentially due to
    Israel`s perceived interests.
    However, this does not worry WigWag, who since the Iranian
    election have been pondering all kinds of meddling in Iran, from
    assassinations of leaders, to supporting secessionist factions,
    attacks on the nuclear installations to even an outright invasion.
    Risks? What risks? WigWag doesn`t see them, or doesn´t want
    to see them, as long as Israel claims that an issue constitutes an
    “existential threat” that requires a military solution.

    Reply

  198. WigWag says:

    With respect Tony C you have it wrong when you say,
    “you fail to take into account just how profoundly the Middle East would change as a result of a true and fair resolution of the Palestinian issue. It would dramatically change the dynamics of the region, and much of the oxygen would be sucked out of radical groups such as Al Qai’da.”
    A settlement between Israelis and Palestinians would certainly change Israel and Palestine. The effect on the rest of the region in general and Al Qai’da and the larger Muslim world in particular would be virtually zero.

    Reply

  199. JohnH says:

    I guess it would have been easy for an American of German extraction, sipping a brew in front of his radio in Hoboken during the 1930’s to say blithely, “What I believe … is that there are a whole lot of people with political and monetary motives for hyping the suffering [in the camps], and it is rational to discount some of the hype.”
    “Furthermore, those who are suffering … suffer due to [their leaders] decisions.”
    Nadine, maybe you should educate yourself a little bit about Gaza before you show the embarrassing extent of your ignorance. Here’s a good ISRAELI source that describes the situation in Gaza: “80 percent of Gazan households now live below the poverty line, subsisting on less than 2,300 shekels a month for a family of six. Households in deep poverty, living on less than 1,837 shekels a month ($60/person), currently comprise 66.7 percent of the population. 80 percent of all Gazan families would literally starve without food aid from international agencies.”
    http://www.btselem.org/english/Gaza_Strip/Siege_Tightening.asp

    Reply

  200. Tony C. says:

    “…those who are suffering in Gaza suffer due to Hamas’
    decisions.”
    Well, Nadine, I do appreciate that you make little effort to mask
    your deep bias. Seriously, do you truly believe that Israel’s
    policies are either solely a reaction to Hamas’ behavior, or a
    reasonable reaction to it?
    WigWag –
    I’ll let Dan respond in detail (if he chooses), but I find a some of
    your responses to be much to literal in nature. What I mean is
    that while you make some fair points about direct causal
    connections (e.g. 9/11 and the Israel/Palestine issue), you fail to
    take into account just how profoundly the Middle East would
    change as a result of a true and fair resolution of the Palestinian
    issue. It would dramatically change the dynamics of the region,
    and much of the oxygen would be sucked out of radical groups
    such as Al Qai’da.

    Reply

  201. DonS says:

    Wigwag, thanks for the response, although I must say you are getting pretty crusty around the edges. I can empathize with the lack of respect you seem to get around here, but you do persist. And now you and Nadine have found each other which must be some solace.
    I’ll repeat, because Nadine insists on overtalking the point, that because one is not Israeli-centric does not make one biased towards Palestinians. Being US-centric, is not being pro-Palestinian. Being US-centric is not being anti-Israeli.
    Further Nadine, I have no delusion that I have “the golden mean of objectivity” as you allege, nakedly. Are you really accusing me, or just using me as a strawman for some generality???
    Lastly, accusing me of spluttering, you make another naked assertion, “that conservatives are far more used to hearing and answering liberal arguments than vice-versa” which doesn’t correspond at all to my experience nor to the CW, that conservatives are just convinced, whereas liberals want to discuss (not that I label myself a liberal, or anything for that matter; maybe apolitical).
    I note Nadine slyly shifting ground here; introduction the nefarious accusation of LIBERAL and, secondarily reducing the whole ME question to a simplistic equation of liberal vs conservative. Don’t know who’s bell that’s gonna ring. But it’s pretty hollow to me.

    Reply

  202. nadine says:

    What I believe about Gaza, Tony, is that there are a whole lot of people with political and monetary motives for hyping the suffering, and it is rational to discount some of the hype.
    Furthermore, those who are suffering in Gaza suffer due to Hamas’ decisions. Had they decided differently, the blockade would never have been imposed. If it is lifted now, Hamas will use the chance to import Iranian long range missiles, not to improve the civilian infrastructure. We know this from their track record.
    I also read accounts from Israeli doctors in Jerusalem who say that patients who are members of Fatah or their families are no longer being permitted to go to Israel for treatment. I believe these accounts. The wailing about civilian suffering is therefore entirely hypocritical on Hamas’ part.

    Reply

  203. WigWag says:

    In response to Dan Kervick’s well-reasoned and detailed post early Tuesday morning.
    Please note that this comment is dedicated to Tony C and DonS who practically begged me to write it.
    I’m afraid Dan that the recitation of history in your comment at 2:09 am is almost entirely in error. In some instances your explanation of the incidents you reference is entirely incorrect; in other instances it’s just mostly incorrect. Taken as a whole your comment fails to refute my argument that U.S. policy interest in a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians is de minimis. Your comment puts me in mind of Voltaire’s remark that “damned details are the vermin that kill masterpieces.”
    Note that I have numbered my responses to correspond with the points you made in your numbered sequence.
    1) The oil embargo of 1973 was 36 years ago. The idea that the threat of a new oil embargo is a policy factor that argues in favor of a strong American interest in an Israel-Palestine settlement is so silly that it hardly merits a response. The 1973 embargo was directed at U.S. support of Israel but as you surely remember in short order the embargo collapsed. In 1973 the Sunni Arab nations and Saudi Arabia in particular, limited oil shipments to the United States; in 2009 Sunni Arab nations actually sell oil to Israel. In 1973 Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world were able to play the Soviets and the Americans off against each other; they bought weaponry from both nations and could rely on both nations to protect their oil production and oil shipments in case of attack. Now the Saudis and the rest of their Arab brethren are completely dependant on the United States for protection.
    In 1973 the Saudis and the rest of the Arab nations (with the possible exception of Jordan) were implacable foes of Israel as the Yom Kippur War amply demonstrated. In 2009 the Israelis, Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Kuwaitis and the Palestinian Authority were virtually allies in the fight against Hamas. Israeli war ships believed to be carrying nuclear weapons traverse the Suez Canal and there are reports (unconfirmed) that Saudi Arabia will make its airspace available for Israel to attack Iran.
    The idea that the oil embargo of 1973 is a precedent for why the United States “needs” a settlement between Israel and Palestine falls apart under the lightest scrutiny.
    2) The idea that the Iranian revolution or the taking of American hostages was motivated by American support for Israel is almost completely belied by the facts. It’s insulting to the Iranians to suggest that their revolution had anything to do with what they did or didn’t think about Israel. As you know well, the Iranian Revolution was caused by revulsion against the Shah, outrage at the behavior of SAVAK and an incipient religious movement just beginning to sweep the Muslim world. The leader of the Iranian Revolution, Khomeini, safely advocated for his revolution for exile in Paris and hardly ever mentioned Israel when he was fomenting the uprising.
    As you yourself have pointed out on this blog, the Iranian people had ample reason to be very angry with the United States for toppling President Mosedeigh (which was of course not inspired by anything related to Israel but by fears that he would sympathize with the Soviet Union.) The taking of the hostages had everything to do with Iranian infuriation at American intervention and almost nothing to do with Israel. The fact that the Iranian hostage takers mentioned American support of Israel as one among many items in their long litany of complaints against the United States is largely irrelevant.
    Recent Iranian history is even more enlightening. The President and Supreme Leader of Iran have defined Iranian foreign policy as being hostile to Israel and to the United States and supportive of American and Israeli foes like Hamas and Hezbollah. But the recent Iranian elections demonstrate that the Iranian people don’t share their leaders’ animosity towards the United States and that they are far less concerned about Israel than some would like us to believe. Only by perpetrating a coup against Iranian “democracy” were the anti-Israel and anti-American Mullahs able to maintain power.
    The bottom line: nothing about the last 50 years of Iranian history or the last three months of Iranian history supports your contention that the United States has an interest in Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation because of Iran.
    3) You are correct that 220 American troops were killed by Palestinian terrorists in Beirut after Israel’s war with the PLO in Lebanon. But this precedent doesn’t argue for U.S. support for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, it argues against a U.S. interest in a peace deal. It is understood by virtually everyone that any peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians will need to be policed by foreign troops many if not most of which will be American. Those American troops will face the same prospect of Palestinian terrorism from Hamas and other radical Palestinians as the troops in Lebanon faced from the PLO. The longer the troops stay, the more likely ordinary Palestinians are to view them as occupiers increasing the probability that they will face attack like they have in Iraq and Afghanistan. The surest way to prevent another Lebanon is for the U.S. to abandon its effort to help Palestinians reach a peace deal. As long as there is no peace agreement, no American troops are needed on the ground.
    It’s pretty obvious when you think about it isn’t it?
    By the way, as with the case with Iran, recent Lebanese history is revealing. I am sure you remember when some hailed Hassan Nasrallah as the most popular leader in the Arab world. As it turned out, he wasn’t too popular in Lebanon. His brand of anti-Israel, anti-American rhetoric took a drubbing at the polls as he was defeated by a coalition of the most pro-American and Israel-tolerant politicians.
    4) You are incorrect that either the terrorist attacks of 1993 or 2001 were motivated primarily of even substantially by concerns about Israel. In fact, the 1993 attacks were primarily motivated by American support of Egypt not Israel. The attack took place on the orders of an Egyptian extremist cleric affiliated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The attack was motivated by American support of the Mubarak regime. The 2001 attack was hatched and planned in South Asia and ordered by (and mostly carried out by) Saudis angrered by the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia (as a result of the first Gulf War that had nothing to do with Israel either).
    It should also be pretty obvious that terrorists crazed enough to fly airplanes into skyscrapers are unlikely to be mollified by a compromise between Israelis and Palestinians. Regardless of the terms of the entente, the idea that it will be so welcomed by Muslim extremists that their hatred of the United States and Israel will abate is just silly on the face of it.
    5) The idea that the three terrorist bombings you refer to were motivated by U.S. support of Israel is as fatuous as the idea that the 1993 or 2001 attacks were motivated by American relations with Israel. The idea that fatwas issued by the likes of Ayman al Zawahiri’s against Crusaders and Jews will be cancelled or deterred by a reasonable compromise between Israelis and Palestinians is ludicrous; the evidence for it is non-existent. The hatred of Christians and Jews by the most radical Muslim extremists is motivated by their own vision of their relationship to the deity. Nothing that happens between Israelis and Palestinians is likely to change it.
    6) The claim that the War in Iraq was undertaken on behalf of Israel is another canard. Did many neoconservatives (some of whom were Jewish) support it? Yes. Were Sadam Hussein’s supposed threats against Israel one of many factors cited as to why an attack on Iraq was justified? Yes. So was Hussesin’s assassination plot against Dubya’s father; so was the trumped up fear of weapons of mass destruction; so was the desire to avenge the 9/11 attack against the easiest target; so was the neoconservative dream of promoting democracy in the Arab world. The idea that Bushes decision to attack Iraq can be laid primarily at the feet of the Israelis is simply wrong.
    It is equally incorrect to think that a peace deal between Israel and Palestine would have prevented American intervention in Iraq. A future peace deal between Israel and Palestine will do nothing to deter future Iraqs. Bad foreign policy decisions are a ubiquitous feature of American diplomacy. Bad military decisions are made all too often as well. Nothing that happens between Israel and Palestine will change any of that.
    7) The “estrangement” between the United States and the masses in the Arab and larger Muslim world have been proven to be more apparent than real. In the last two elections held in the Muslim world (Iran and Lebanon) parties advocating closer relations with the United States won and parties advocating “resistance” to the United States and its Israeli ally lost. American support of Israel doesn’t seem to have done anything to dampen the enthusiasm of Iranians for a rapprochement with the United States and a policy of resisting Israel didn’t seem to do Hezbollah or their coalition partners any good at all.
    Remember the polls showing how popular Nasrallah was both in Lebanon and the rest of the Muslim world? How did that work out?
    8) The vast majority of “radicalized” Muslims have been radicalized by circumstances virtually completely irrelevant to what happens between Israelis and Palestinians. The areas of the world most threatened by Muslim extremism are South Asia and parts of the Russia (and parts of the former Soviet Union). In every one of those cases, there are a multitude of indigenous causes; what happens between Israelis and Palestinians will not affect the ability of radical Muslim organizations to recruit terrorists or carry out operations.
    In my opinion, Dan, you’ve failed to identify any demonstrable American interest in peace between Israel and Palestine. Paradoxically, I’ve demonstrated (in the case of the need for an American constabulary force to police an agreement) how peace between Israel and Palestine could make Americans (or at least American troops) less safe.
    The irony is that the only people who care about the Palestinians are Americans and Western Europeans. The Chinese, Russians and Indians don’t care; care; the Sunni Arab governments hardly care, and the Muslim masses care only in theory.
    Personally I think the United States should try to promote peace between Israel and Palestine. I hope that a reasonable accommodation can be reached.
    But the United States interest in helping Palestinians achieve an abbreviated version of their aspirations is mostly just charity. It’s the right thing to do but it won’t make the United States any safer or any more prosperous.

    Reply

  204. Tony C. says:

    “When liberals hear conservative (or in this instance, pro-Israel)
    arguments for the first time, there tends to be a good deal of
    spluttering that anyone could think in such a politically incorrect
    manner. I mean, they should slink away in shame right? instead
    they dare to make arguments. How dare they!”
    What nonsense. It’s obviously the quality of the argument (or lack
    thereof) that rankles. Again, you apparently believe that life isn’t
    bad in Gaza, as it happens to be even worse in a couple of other
    places around the world. Don’t you see how difficult it is to take
    your views seriously, and consider you anything but deeply biased
    when you spout such profoundly insensitive garbage?

    Reply

  205. nadine says:

    “Don S. doesn’t like the “Israel-centric” point of view but seems to have no problem with the “Palestinian-centric point of view.” I guess he thinks that Nadine and I lack objectivity while he and all the Israel critics who comment here bask in objectivity.
    And DonS, thanks so much for explaining why the Israel critics are never able to “win arguments” at the Washington Note. I also appreciate your explanation for the “frustration” and “rudeness.” According to you, it flows naturally from the fact that those Israel-centric posters are just too dense to accept the Palestinian-centric viewpoint which is so self-evidently correct.
    Are Nadine and I ruining the morale around here, DonS? I can’t speak for Nadine, but I know I would never want to do that.”
    Me neither, wigwag. rofl. “I guess he thinks that Nadine and I lack objectivity while he and all the Israel critics who comment here bask in objectivity.” is nicely put, btw, and quite accurate. You have reprised the entire argument on liberal media bias in a nutshell.
    I remember a passage from Bernard Goldberg’s bias, in which he recounted a conversation with a TV news producer. It went something like this:
    Goldberg: Don’t you think it matters to your news product that 90% of your reporters are self-described liberals?
    Producer: Oh, no, I think my people are all professionals.
    Goldberg: So if they were 90% conservatives, it would not make any difference to the product they produce?
    Producer: Oh, no, in that case they would be biased.
    In other words, people like DonS do think their own position is the golden mean of objectivity; all other positions are therefore biased by definition.
    One upshot of the attitude is, that conservatives are far more used to hearing and answering liberal arguments than vice-versa. When liberals hear conservative (or in this instance, pro-Israel) arguments for the first time, there tends to be a good deal of spluttering that anyone could think in such a politically incorrect manner. I mean, they should slink away in shame right? instead they dare to make arguments. How dare they!

    Reply

  206. nadine says:

    Dan, I don’t think you can be reading my answers very carefully. My first and strongest point was the necessity of arriving at a model of motives and desires with predictive power – hardly a formula for assigning blame. I think that Obama has the model wrong, and this is demonstrable because his model doesn’t have good predictive powers. He is believing that something will work that he should have known was a complete non-starter.
    Second, just because somebody doesn’t agree with your take on things doesn’t mean they are “ungrateful” or in “defiant denial”. It means they are looking at a different set of facts and coming to a different conclusion, okay? If you want me to accept your take, you need to put together an argument, point by point.
    Third, it seems to me that you are the one fixated on assigning blame and the answer is always “Israel” in your blame model.
    Lebanon, for example, with it unique and strange confessional group democracy, always had a inherent stability problem, which was greatly aggravated when the PLO moved in and changed the balance of power. Ditto when Iran decided to create a Shiite Arab foreign legion in southern Lebanon. You seem to think that it’s all Israel’s fault because if Israel didn’t exist, these groups wouldn’t be there trying to destroy it, but this seems rather indirect and convoluted to me. Lebanon with its resources would still be there and a prize even if Palestine were an Arab state; and of course, the hypothetical Arab Palestine might have ambitions of its own.
    Nor would the US be uninvolved without Israel, for there would still be oil. Israel is small potatoes indeed in the scheme of world alliances compared to the need to keep open the Straights of Hormuz.

    Reply

  207. nadine says:

    “Nadine – You must know this is not true. Abbas has stated that the settlements can stay and as long as those Israelis follow Palestinian laws and pay their taxes they can stay. The pressure for a juderein Palestine comes from the settlers. It is the settlers who find living in a Palestinian state unacceptable – not the Palestinians. Thus the uncontested part of a juderein Palestine is because both sides recognize the settlers attitudes.”
    You have half a point here. Yes, the attitude of some of the settlers is a problem. However, you know that most of the settlers are there for economic reasons and have the same spectrum of views as other Israelis. Potentially those settlers could accept minority status in Palestine. Also, the actual offers that have been demanded and put on the table were for a Jew-free Palestine. If Arafat or Erekat ever breathed a word of accepting even a nominal number of Jewish settlers, it was never mentioned in any report of the negotiations. Have you seen something about it or are you just speaking hypothetically?
    I know Fayyad has said, in English, in America, that some Jewish settlers could stay. If Abbas said it, I never heard it. Barry Rubin discussed this question lately:
    ““At the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival on Saturday, former CIA director James Woolsey noted that there are a million Arabs in Israel, accounting for one-sixth of the Israeli population, and…then asked PA (Palestinian Authority) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: `If there is to be the rule of law in a Palestinian state, and if Jews want to live in someplace like Hebron, or anyplace else in a Palestinian state, for whatever reasons or historical attachments, why should they not be treated the same way Israeli Arabs are?’”
    “Fayyad responded: `The kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever. Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the State of Israel.’”
    There is much that one can say about these two paragraphs. The Western media and academia is replete with articles about the allegedly terrible lot of Arabs in Israel. They are noticeably empty about the really terrible lot of Christians in many Muslim-majority places. (To be fair, I am not talking about the PA-ruled West Bank here.) The same applies to alleged oppression or repression in Israel and the lack of information on the very real oppression and repression where the PA rules. So already Fayyad has a head start.
    What makes this especially disgusting is that leading figures in the PA recently attended a stage show at which Fatah bragged–as proof of its superiority to Hamas–of the mob murder, abetted by the PA police, of two unarmed Israeli reserve soldiers who took a wrong turn and found themselves in the middle of a PA-controlled city. The PA’s response? To threaten the Italian reporter who filmed the murder.
    Fayyad is lying. He knows he’s lying. The better-informed members of the audience know that he’s lying. So here’s what the audience did:
    “The crowd at the Greenwald Pavilion applauded enthusiastically.”
    I think you can acknowledge that there is a striking disconnect between claiming that Jews can stay as a minority in English to an American audience and boasting of lynching stray Israelis as one of the highlights of PA history in Arabic in Ramallah. Somebody is lying and I agree with Barry Rubin who that is.
    Seriously, if any Jews tried living in Palestine as a minority how long do you think they would survive? You need rule of law to protect minorities, when has the PA had that? Have you noticed the emigration rate for Christian Arabs since 1994? Bethlehem is down to 20% Christian.

    Reply

  208. Carroll says:

    Posted by Dan Kervick, Jul 16 2009, 2:09AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    *Amen.
    Posted by jdledell, Jul 16 2009, 7:00AM – Link
    “Speaking of racism, an uncontested point of the peace process is that Israel will continue to have a million Arab citizens but Palestine must be created Jew-free. Not one Jew allowed.”
    Nadine – You must know this is not true. Abbas has stated that the settlements can stay and as long as those Israelis follow Palestinian laws and pay their taxes they can stay. The pressure for a juderein Palestine comes from the settlers. It is the settlers who find living in a Palestinian state unacceptable – not the Palestinians.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    *Correct.
    Posted by Tony C., Jul 16 2009, 8:45AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    *Correct again.
    Posted by WigWag, Jul 16 2009, 12:40AM – Link
    The only penis obsessed jackass on this blog POA is you. Your emasculation complex is so obvious from your abusvie behavior that only a person as obtuse as you are could fail to see it.
    By the way, you never told me; does your friend Nina or your mother-in-law know how you behave? Have they watched you in action?
    Or are you to embarrassed to behave the way you do in front of people you actually know?
    By the way, there are devices that can help men like you.
    Try one, it could only help.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    *Anyone who wants to know about the types who are fixated on sexual gender and always resort to the to ‘picking on me because I am a woman routine’ should go ask a woman friend to explain it to them.
    The worse thing a man ,or another woman for that matter, can do to theses types is treat them like an equal and expect them to perform as such. Actually they don’t really want to be ‘equal’ and have to compete with men or even have to compete with other women in the man-woman society.
    Not to say sexual discrimination, like other discriminations, doesn’t exist. Yes indeedie I have seen it!
    When I was made chairman of business sector fund raising for the county Cancer chapter long ago some reversations were expressed by the board as to whether or not “a woman” could gain “entry” to those businesses as well as a man. I had only one business I called on that brushed me off and implied they had always dealt with a man on their donations. I said that’s fine, no problem and didn’t approach them again. Then as the fundraising period was coming to a close I sent out letters to all regular and new contributors listing contributions,showing the increase in donations and thanking them profusely, including that company, whose donation for that year was left blank. Then they called me to please come pick up their check. Never had that problem again.
    Basically misandry is the same as misogyny in men.
    Can we get off the sexual war now. ..the pumas lost you know.

    Reply

  209. WigWag says:

    Don S. doesn’t like the “Israel-centric” point of view but seems to have no problem with the “Palestinian-centric point of view.” I guess he thinks that Nadine and I lack objectivity while he and all the Israel critics who comment here bask in objectivity.
    And DonS, thanks so much for explaining why the Israel critics are never able to “win arguments” at the Washington Note. I also appreciate your explanation for the “frustration” and “rudeness.” According to you, it flows naturally from the fact that those Israel-centric posters are just too dense to accept the Palestinian-centric viewpoint which is so self-evidently correct.
    Are Nadine and I ruining the morale around here, DonS? I can’t speak for Nadine, but I know I would never want to do that.
    Cheer up, DonS; it’s only a blog. We’re just here for the fun of it.
    Remember?

    Reply

  210. DonS says:

    “ham-handed” was intended to refer to he propaganda. Sorry if that was not clear : ).

    Reply

  211. arthurdecco says:

    I like to think of my broadsides as modest attempts at “Gonzo Journalism”, (as in Hunter S. Thompson), Don S, NOT as ham-handed. (wink)
    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Gonzo_journalism

    Reply

  212. DonS says:

    Still waiting for a response to Dan’s takedown of Wigwag’s attempt @2:09 to obfuscate and minimize the many Zionist-influenced decisions upon the US, to wit: “Well nothing has gone very, very wrong for the United States since 1967.” And I expect Wigwag will come through with a longish post pretty soon. But for me it is this willingness to characterize events from the Israeli-centric point of view that gives the lie to honest argument. As usual, benign (in the short term) for Israel does not equal benign for the US. In fact, as Dan lists, quite deadly.
    Nadine uses this approach too and since a comment of mine on another thread elicited her response citing ‘no hunger’ in Gaza – which she continues to try to defuse/defend with ever more ridiculous gnat-like arguments – I continue to note this line of deception.
    There is little way to ‘win’ arguments that are based on personal interpretations, hence the fact that the Wigwags and Nadines of this world are blind, possibly willfully so to their Israel-centrism, calls forth frustration in some, rudeness in others, reasoned argument from others. Overall, I am grateful for those who challenge the propaganda, some slick and some ham-handed, that would subvert US to rw Israeli and Necon mindset at every turn.

    Reply

  213. arthurdecco says:

    “You see Nadine, when they are unable to attack the veracity of your positions, they attack you personally.”
    This from the blood-drenched sociopath who now claims her opponents’ opinions derive from the fact they have little dicks…
    My, oh my…! It isn’t just your eyesight that’s failing, is it, Ziggy Zaggie?
    And here are several more gems for the WigWag greatest hits comedy compilation CD:
    (Nadine), “Nothing you’ve said approaches the level of bigotry that all too often passes for informed commentary around here.”
    “Don’t let them get to you. From a purely intellectual point of view you’re more than holding your own.”
    (I laughed so hard at that one I’m numb. How did ZigZag type that without her head exploding, I wonder?)
    “They’re really just so angry because in their heart of heart’s you’ve said things they know are true but just can’t admit to themselves.”
    (I’m having trouble typing after suffering from paroxysms of laughter at the back-story behind that comment too, let me tell ya.)
    And finally: “There are several people who comment who would like the Washington Note to be a forum for Israel bashing. They would like it to be a gathering place where like minded people can get together and slander the country they love to dislike (or in some cases hate). In many cases it’s the only reason they come here at all; from time to time they say a few nasty things about the United States, but the criticism they heap on Israel as compared to the rest of the world that it is so disproportionate that it’s telling.
    But it looks like those people don’t rule the roost anymore. How sad for them!”
    I read , “How sad for them” with the cadence long in use by small children mocking,
    “Na na na-na Naaa! Na na na-na Naaa! Na na na-na Naaa!”
    Creepy, adolescent, “Lord of the Flies”-like pathologies on view for everyone to see. …and this is the behavior put on display by a self-confessed 80 year old?!? As POA would say: Gads! To which I would add: “Jay Suss H Kee Reist!”
    Are you suggesting that TWN has finally been successfully co-opted and/or overrun by right wing Zionist nutbars, Wig Wag?
    I have to admit brutal, blood-soaked bigots like the two of you dangerously damaged Psyches, who lip-smackingly approve the use of deliberate death and destruction as legitimate tools of social reengineering and resource theft, have lately generated a lot of noise and heat. But its noise and heat lost to the elements.
    You can type and type until your fingers bleed but Nobody but NOBODY, other than your fellow kool aid drinkers, are buying what you have for sale. We’ve comparison-shopped and your product can’t compare to the real thing, Wig Wag and Nadine.
    I would have thought that you, Old Person, would have learned by now Truth eventually trumps bullshit, no matter how glittery the packaging, given the same display space.
    But by all means, keep shrieking, you two. Or three… Or whatever… The longer and louder the better. That way the rest of us, the sane members of society, will always know which way to point our figurative cannons when we finally get to the point that becomes necessary to protect ourselves from your violent and hateful delusions.

    Reply

  214. WigWag says:

    Paul Norheim says,
    “And by the way: No, I don’t call women bitches or witches.”
    I didn’t think so, Paul. But somebody on this thread did.
    Dan Kervick says,
    “Oh, I have gone several rounds with WigWag in the past.”
    Perhaps I’m a masochist, but I found almost every one of those “rounds” thoroughly enjoyable. I could not ask for a more erudite and delightful opponent to spar with.
    But upon reflection, the boxing metaphors may not be the right ones. Perhaps in our own way we were more like later day Don Quixote’s jousting with windmills or puppets in a puppet show.

    Reply

  215. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, count me out of this one. Why anyone wants to dig past the surface in a manure pit is beyond me. If its shit on the surface, I doubt you’re gonna find gold underneath. Nadine’s first coupla comments on this blog was really all we needed to know about her.
    And Wig-wag’s defense of her just underscores what we already knew about him.
    BTW, Hillary is now talking “compromise” with Israel about the settlements, and rattling the military saber at Iran. Same o, same o. In the end, the racist fanatics in both Israel and the Arab community will light this whole fuckin’ kaboodle on fire, and we ALL will pay the price.

    Reply

  216. Tony C. says:

    Fair enough, Dan. Perhaps WigWag is capable of sticking around
    before suffering the (near) inevitable technical knockout. But
    Nadine, especially given her glass chin, would be well-advised to
    remain in her own weight class.
    Oh, and if we continue much further along this metaphorical path,
    Steve may become known as the Don King os political bloggers.

    Reply

  217. Dan Kervick says:

    “In fact, I don’t think that either of them are capable of going more than a round and a half with thoughtful critics of their transparently biased opinions.”
    Oh, I have gone several rounds with WigWag in the past, Tony C., so I think WigWag can handle it. But thanks for the vote of confidence!
    I’m not sure if any of those multiple round slugfests amounted to a Rumble in the Jungle. But since I use Firefox to browse the net, perhaps one or two constituted a Thrilla’ on Mozilla.

    Reply

  218. Tony C. says:

    While entirely sympathetic to POA’s basic take on Nadine and
    WigWag, I do agree that ad hominem attacks serve no useful
    purpose.
    What is much more revealing than POA’s lack of patience, is that
    neither WigWag nor (especially) Nadine are eager to engage Dan
    Kervick’s typically thoughtful and challenging posts. In fact, I
    don’t think that either of them are capable of going more than a
    round and a half with thoughtful critics of their transparently
    biased opinions.
    Finally, this comment of Nadine’s should – by itself – disqualify
    her from ever being taken seriously, let alone objective.
    “The standards that qualify as “suffering” or “hunger” in Gaza are
    standards that most places in Africa would gladly trade for in a
    minute. In Africa to be called starving you actually have to
    starve.”

    Reply

  219. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, fixated as you are on determining whose *fault* everything is (your short answer: the Arabs), you seem to have entirely missed the point of my comment 2:09AM comment in your 3:42AM “response”.
    My point was that there are many dimensions to the Israeli conflict with other people and states in their region, and that the close and almost uniformly supportive US relationship with Israel means that wherever that conflict is at risk of flaring up, the United States runs concurrent risks of becoming involved in the conflict and paying a price for that involvement. The 1973 oil embargo is a classic example. Part of my concern is that there are many in the United States who agitate incessantly and effectively for the United States to do various things on behalf of Israel, and that this successful agitation can easily produce similar harmful results in the future.
    You may say that instability in Jordan and Lebanon is really a “separate issue” from the Israeli Arab conflict. But apart from the fact that that statement is inherently implausible, you have to recognize that instability in Lebanon and Jordan is *not* separate for the United States and its people. US Marine peacekeepers were introduced into Lebanon as a direct result of the 1982 war between Israel and the PLO in Lebanon. It doesn’t matter if that war is the fault of the evil PLO or the evil Israelis, or both.
    There are about seven and a half million Israelis right now, but a few hundred million non-Israelis in the rest of the Middle East. The United States clearly can’t be admired and respected all around, but it is an inescapable fact that the US could be substantially more popular in the region if it had aligned itself differently with the people who live there.
    It is disturbing to me that not only are you ungrateful for the risks your American neighbors run on behalf of Israel, and the costs they have born for that relationship, but you are in defiant denial about the very existence of those risks and costs. This reinforces my perception that the core of US support for Israel constitutes a classic “special interest” whose passionate and devoted attachment to the Israeli cause to the exclusion of other US interests will lead them to continue to advocate foreign policies that are objectively risky and damaging to the United States. That’s why the US government needs to be more wary about allowing its foreign policy to be influenced by the agitation and activism of pro-Israel advocacy groups.

    Reply

  220. google says:

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    Reply

  221. jdledell says:

    “Speaking of racism, an uncontested point of the peace process is that Israel will continue to have a million Arab citizens but Palestine must be created Jew-free. Not one Jew allowed.”
    Nadine – You must know this is not true. Abbas has stated that the settlements can stay and as long as those Israelis follow Palestinian laws and pay their taxes they can stay. The pressure for a juderein Palestine comes from the settlers. It is the settlers who find living in a Palestinian state unacceptable – not the Palestinians. Thus the uncontested part of a juderein Palestine is because both sides recognize the settlers attitudes.
    During the Olmert/Livni negotiations this became a big issue because there is no way for Israel to incorporate Kiryat Arba into Israel without major dislocations to Palestinian viability. Kiryat Arba has never been considered part of the “settlement blocks”. There are about 10,000 Israelis who live in the area and they will never move or agree to be part of Palestine. They are the most rabid of settlers.
    There are a lot of things in the negotiations that are Palestinians fault but this isn’t one of them.

    Reply

  222. nadine says:

    Sure, Paul, and comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and the current situation to Kristalnacht are the soul of reasoned discourse.
    Meanwhile, Hizbullah and Hamas actively promote genocide of the Jews. But you think it’s racism to point that out.
    It might be racism to make it up. But it’s not racism to point it out if it’s true.
    Speaking of racism, an uncontested point of the peace process is that Israel will continue to have a million Arab citizens but Palestine must be created Jew-free. Not one Jew allowed. Only Arab citizens. What does this say about the relative racism of both sides?
    Or let me put it this way, if the Israelis decided to expel all the Israeli Arabs and make them move to Palestine, would you consider this an improvement in their behavior? I doubt it. Yet this is what is demanded by Palestinians, and accepted by you.

    Reply

  223. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    Apropos selective morality: This time I`ll resist the temptation
    to offer quotes describing the mentality of Arabs or Palestinians
    in general – written by the charming woman whom you greeted
    with a: “Cheers Nadine. Keep smiling!” after reading a handful of
    her most recent unpleasant remarks.
    However, if you insert “Jews” where Nadine have spoken about
    “Arabs” or “Palestinians” in the last days, you`ll se what I mean.
    But of course, that`s not anti-semitism; because anti-semitism
    always targets the Jews.
    Or perhaps not, WigWag. Last winter you accused “the
    Europeans” of today, with your characteristic fondness for
    generalizations, of “anti-semitism” – in the sense of feeling
    hostility and hate towards the Arab Muslim population on our
    continent.
    So perhaps you`ll agree, after all, that Nadine at least in this
    particular sense, is an anti-semite?
    And by the way: No, I don´t call women bitches or witches.

    Reply

  224. nadine says:

    “Putting the hasbaric spin aside, here seems to be a reasonable historical perspective. ”
    It’s anti-hasbaric all right, but is it more true or less true, or do you not even think in terms of fact? Do you have ANY idea?
    “While it is widely reported that the resulting war eventually included five Arab armies, less well known is the fact that throughout this war Zionist forces outnumbered all Arab and Palestinian combatants combined –”
    Wording this tortured should give a clue that some fancy footwork is going on. The war eventually included five Arab armies? It just happened to them? They didn’t intend to be there? The war overran them somehow? They didn’t start the war with an intention of winning it? Do you believe that?
    And note the careful contrast of “Zionist forces” vs “Arab and Palestinian combatants” – one side is being counted in full (I think they must have counted the entire male fighting age population), while only the Arab soldiers who were committed to the fight, not the whole armies, are being counted on the other side. According to more objective reports, the Zionists were outmanned and outgunned and were thought to be facing long odds at best.
    And so it goes. Go read a decent historian, and the closer in time to 1949 the better. Original sources are best.

    Reply

  225. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks for the link to Max Blumental`s film, easy e.
    Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, 2009. It`s hard not to be reminded of the
    atmosphere in Germany during the thirties – the years before the
    Kristallnacht (The Night of the Broken Glass) in 1938. Very sad.

    Reply

  226. nadine says:

    The PLO did not try to take over Jordan because of Israel, except inasmuch as the PLO wasn’t crushed earlier due to its promise to fight Israel. Then the PLO moved to Lebanon and began fighting with the Phalange, very bloodily, for territory. Again not because of Israel. Then, established, the PLO began attacking Israel. This is where Israel came into it. Then Reagan, in a couple of the stupidest moves he ever did, a) saved Yasser Arafat’s sorry ass and made Tunis give him a refuge, and b) sent Marines into Lebanon to be sitting duck peacekeepers. Then Hizbullah killed them.
    Instability in Jordan and Lebanon is really a separate issue from the Israeli Arab conflict. So is Iraq. Saddam did not invade Iran or Kuwait because of Israel. For that matter, Nasser did not invade Yemen in the 1950s because of Israel.
    Yet there is this weird reflexive attempt to assert that the Mideast would be one big garden of peace and love without Israel there. In reality, the Arabs would likely have fought each other more often and more bloodily without the existence common enemy. It’s one reason the non-revolutionary regimes have for maintaining the conflict. The conflict is a source of stability.
    Hatred of the West and of America from the Arab world has been a running theme since 1800, when the Arabs first figured out that “the Franks” had surpassed them in technology, and it took an English navy to throw a French one out of Egypt. Pathological hatred of Israel is a symptom of this broader hatred, not the cause. If it weren’t Israel, it would be American troops in Arabia (OBL’s cause) or some such.
    Arab claims of how great Arabs and Jews used to get along are exactly equivalent to the old Southern segregationist’s claims that there were never any race problems in the South when he was a boy. Of course not; the “darkies” (or the dhimmis in the Arab case) knew their place. Or else.

    Reply

  227. easy e says:

    No one side in this conflict has a monopoloy on terrorism. Pragmatic minds on all sides must prevail.
    * * * * *
    “Resentment of Arabs, minorities and designated foreign enemies ranging from Iranians to Barack Obama is now mainstream in Israeli society…”
    http://www.alternet.org/world/141310/video:_young_cosmopolitan_israelis_share_their_shocking_racist_views/

    Reply

  228. Dan Kervick says:

    “Well nothing has gone very, very wrong for the United States since 1967.”
    Really, WigWag? I count:
    (i) one crushing oil embargo in 1973 that was a direct result of the US decision to resupply Israel during the Yom Kippur war;
    (ii) one revolution and hostage crisis in Iran that was driven by a Khomeinist ideology that vilified the Shah for, among other things, his close cooperation with Israel;
    (iii) the deaths of 220 US Marines who had been inserted into Lebanon as part of a peacekeeping force overseeing the withdrawal of the PLO following Israel’s war with the PLO in Lebanon;
    (iv) two major terrorist attacks in New York, in 1993 and 2001, in both of which the perpetrators issues manifestos citing Israeli behavior in Palestine, and US support for that behavior, as prime motives for the attacks. The people who actually carried out the attacks were quite insistent about this;
    (v) three US embassy bombings in Africa by Egyptian Islamic Jihad following Ayman al Zawahiri’s fatwa calling for an “International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders”.
    (vi) one war in Iraq that has killed half a million people and drained the US treasury dry, and that was actively promoted by neoconservatives in the United States seeking to take out “a major state sponsor of terrorism” against Israel, and install a government that would be more Israel-friendly.
    (vii) isolation and estrangement from the broad mass of people in the Middle East, with disapproval ratings in the 90% range, again with US policies toward Israel always listed as a key (but not the only) factor.
    (viii) numerous other hostile and non-cooperative acts against Americans and their interests perpetrated by ever-evolving groups of Arab and Muslim militants who draw many volunteers radicalized by the spectacle of Palestinian suffering and outraged by US support for the Israeli agents of that suffering.
    Thanks for reminding me that in exchange for years of extremely costly and risky US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel, support that may very well be responsible for Israel’s continued existence, the typical response of Israel and Israel’s fanatical and ethnocentric supporters in America is arrogant and ungrateful contempt for non-Jewish Americans; cynical and manipulative guilt-tripping; obstreperous rage and opposition over the smallest and most reasonable US requests for modification of Israeli policies; espionage, intrigues and corruption of the US government; and utter carelessness about the costs born by Americans in exchange for their fatal attraction to Israel. This pattern of behavior is a good reason why Americans should never trust Israel not attempt to lure the United States into more conflicts, and bring more damage to Americans.

    Reply

  229. easy e says:

    Putting the hasbaric spin aside, here seems to be a reasonable historical perspective.
    * * * * *
    SYNOPSIS OF THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE CONFLICT
    The following is a very short synopsis of the history of this conflict. We recommend that you also read the much more detailed account, “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict.”
    For centuries there was no such conflict. In the 19th century the land of Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population – approximately 86 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian, and 4 percent Jewish – living in peace.
    Zionism
    In the late 1800s a group in Europe decided to colonize this land. Known as Zionists, they represented an extremist minority of the Jewish population. Their goal was to create a Jewish homeland, and they considered locations in Africa and the Americas, before settling on Palestine.
    Historic Palestine
    more maps
    At first, this immigration created no problems. However, as more and more Zionists immigrated to Palestine – many with the express wish of taking over the land for a Jewish state – the indigenous population became increasingly alarmed. Eventually, fighting broke out, with escalating waves of violence. Hitler’s rise to power, combined with Zionist activities to sabotage efforts to place Jewish refugees in western countries, led to increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, and conflict grew.
    UN Partition Plan
    Finally, in 1947 the United Nations decided to intervene. However, rather than adhering to the principle of “self-determination of peoples,” in which the people themselves create their own state and system of government, the UN chose to revert to the medieval strategy whereby an outside power divides up other people’s land.
    UN Plan of Partition
    more maps
    Under considerable Zionist pressure, the UN recommended giving away 55% of Palestine to a Jewish state – despite the fact that this group represented only about 30% of the total population, and owned under 7% of the land.
    1947-1949 War
    While it is widely reported that the resulting war eventually included five Arab armies, less well known is the fact that throughout this war Zionist forces outnumbered all Arab and Palestinian combatants combined – often by a factor of two to three. Moreover, Arab armies did not invade Israel – virtually all battles were fought on land that was to have been the Palestinian state.
    Finally, it is significant to note that Arab armies entered the conflict only after Zionist forces had committed 16 massacres, including the grisly massacre of over 100 men, women, and children at Deir Yassin. Future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, head of one of the Jewish terrorist groups, described this as “splendid,” and stated: “As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.” Zionist forces committed 33 massacres altogether.
    By the end of the war, Israel had conquered 78 percent of Palestine; three-quarters of a million Palestinians had been made refugees; over 500 towns and villages had been obliterated; and a new map was drawn up, in which every city, river and hillock received a new, Hebrew name, as all vestiges of the Palestinian culture were to be erased. For decades Israel denied the existence of this population, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once saying: “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.”
    1967 Occupation
    more maps
    1967 War & USS Liberty
    In 1967, Israel conquered still more land. Following the Six Day War, in which Israeli forces launched a highly successful surprise attack on Egypt, Israel occupied the final 22% of Palestine that had eluded it in 1948 – the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since, according to international law it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war, these are occupied territories and do not belong to Israel. It also occupied parts of Egypt (since returned) and Syria (which remain under occupation).
    Also during the Six Day War, Israel attacked a US Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing and injuring over 200 American servicemen. President Lyndon Johnson recalled rescue flights, saying that he did not want to “embarrass an ally.” (In 2004 a high-level commission chaired by Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, found this attack to be “an act of war against the United States,” a fact few news media have reported.)
    Current Conflict
    There are two primary issues at the core of this continuing conflict. First, there is the inevitably destabilizing effect of trying to maintain an ethnically preferential state, particularly when it is largely of foreign origin. The original population of what is now Israel was 96 percent Muslim and Christian, yet, these refugees are prohibited from returning to their homes in the self-described Jewish state (and those within Israel are subjected to systematic discrimination).
    Second, Israel’s continued military occupation and confiscation of privately owned land in the West Bank, and control over Gaza, are extremely oppressive, with Palestinians having minimal control over their lives. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children are held in Israeli prisons. Few of them have had a legitimate trial; Physical abuse and torture are frequent. Palestinian borders (even internal ones) are controlled by Israeli forces. Periodically men, women, and children are strip searched; people are beaten; women in labor are prevented from reaching hospitals (at times resulting in death); food and medicine are blocked from entering Gaza, producing an escalating humanitarian crisis. Israeli forces invade almost daily, injuring, kidnapping, and sometimes killing inhabitants.
    According to the Oslo peace accords of 1993, these territories were supposed to finally become a Palestinian state. However, after years of Israel continuing to confiscate land and conditions steadily worsening, the Palestinian population rebelled. (The Barak offer, widely reputed to be generous, was anything but.) This uprising, called the “Intifada” (Arabic for “shaking off”) began at the end of September 2000.
    U.S. Involvement
    Largely due to special-interest lobbying, U.S. taxpayers give Israel an average of $7 million per day, and since its creation have given more U.S. funds to Israel than to any other nation. As Americans learn about how Israel is using our tax dollars, many are calling for an end to this expenditure…..http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/
    THE ORIGIN OF THE PALESTINE-ISRAEL CONFLICT
    As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational “terrorists” who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance: their homeland for over a thousand years was taken, without their consent and mostly by force, during the creation of the state of Israel. And all subsequent crimes — on both sides — inevitably follow from this original injustice…..http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html
    -peace-

    Reply

  230. WigWag says:

    “Hey. Why don’t you shove it, you ignorant racist bitch.” (Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 15 2009, 10:50PM)
    “Once again, you racist lyin’ witch” (Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 15 2009, 9:52PM)
    And that doesn’t sound sexist to you, Paul?
    What would?
    How often do you speak to women that way?

    Reply

  231. nadine says:

    “My chief concern now is that the Israelis can’t be trusted not to drag the United States into a war, a war that could exact very serious human, political and economic costs on the United States and its people.”
    You keep saying this, yet the Israeli/Arab conflict has dragged on for 60 years yet without dragging the US into a war yet. Why should that change now? You’re not making yourself clear. My take on regional politics is that the Arab regimes find the conflict very useful, and are in a position to see it continues. So it will continue.
    “What do you think the West Bank will look like in 10 years? In 20 years?”
    The West Bank, unlike Gaza, is muddling along in a not-too-bad state. If they avoid a Hamas takeover, I would guess it will look about the same. If Hamas takes over, it will look more like Gaza. Just a guess.

    Reply

  232. WigWag says:

    “There are a number of things that could go very, very wrong for the United States, stemming from possible future developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
    Well nothing has gone very, very wrong for the United States since 1967. The United States gets its oil delivered on tankers every day. The terrorist attacks the United States has experienced have been largely unrelated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. American allies are as close or more close to the United States as they have ever been. And Israel and the Sunni Arab states are cooperating militarily more than ever.
    With the Cold War over, American relations with Russia, China and India no longer suffer as a result of its ties to Israel. If anything, American interests (other than humanitarian and moral interests) are less impacted by the Israeli-Palestinian dispute than they have ever been.

    Reply

  233. nadine says:

    “It has been the Israeli plan to steal everything Palestinian, and the plan is well advanced.”
    John, this is so unbelievably stupid it is unbelievable. If that was the plan they would have kicked out EVERY Arab from land they took in 1948 and 1967. Nobody could have stopped them. Nobody! Nobody would even have tried. They were the weaker side, fighting a defensive war, and everybody could see it. Nobody had rewritten history yet.
    BTW, Jordan and Egypt kicked EVERY Jew out of the West Bank and Gaza when they took the land.

    Reply

  234. WigWag says:

    The only penis obsessed jackass on this blog POA is you. Your emasculation complex is so obvious from your abusvie behavior that only a person as obtuse as you are could fail to see it.
    By the way, you never told me; does your friend Nina or your mother-in-law know how you behave? Have they watched you in action?
    Or are you to embarrassed to behave the way you do in front of people you actually know?
    By the way, there are devices that can help men like you.
    Try one, it could only help.

    Reply

  235. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, Frankly Nadine, it doesn’t appear to me you have thought things through very well. As you yourself recognize, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in not hermetically sealed from the rest of the region, but is tied to regional politics in many ways. There are a number of things that could go very, very wrong for the United States, stemming from possible future developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the job of the United States government to do the best it can to prevent those things.
    You seem very interested in the present, and in moral and emotional responses to the character of the people involved in the conflict. I have my own moral and emotional responses, and they definitely tend to be more critical of Israelis than yours. But ultimately those moral assessments or character aren’t that important except insofar as they help us calculate the likely consequences of various kinds of action and inaction. My chief concern now is that the Israelis can’t be trusted not to drag the United States into a war, a war that could exact very serious human, political and economic costs on the United States and its people.
    What do you think the West Bank will look like in 10 years? In 20 years?

    Reply

  236. nadine says:

    JohnH,
    Seems more than fair to count Iran when counting the Mizrahi refugees, esp. as Iran has now become a major paymaster of Hizbullah and Hamas.
    “Now would you like to discuss who started the wars of 1956 and 1967? Hint: you might want to read Avi Shlaim’s The Iron Wall first.”
    You might want to read Michael Oren’s Six Days of War, it’s excellent. My answer is: Nasser engineered both conflicts.
    Remember the crisis of May 1967 as Nasser moved more and more men and guns to mass on Israel’s borders, having told the UN peacekeepers to get lost? Nasser announced his intention to destroy Israel on May 26. According to Michael Oren, Nasser was going to order the attack on May 27 but something Alexei Kosygin, the Soviet FM, said spooked him off. So Israel struck pre-emptively on June 4 and destroyed the Egyptian Airforce. The Israelis begged King Hussein to stay out of it, but Nasser talked him around, neglecting to mention his destroyed airforce. (We know because the Israelis managed to tape the conversation and published it) Jordan then attacked Israel.

    Reply

  237. Paul Norheim says:

    “There is certainly a vicious circle involved, condition wise, when
    such an ideology arrives.”
    The secular PLO used terrorism as a tactic before this ideology
    got a foothold with Hamas (thanks to Israeli support of Hamas to
    outmaneuver PLO and weaken Palestinian resistance). And Israel
    used terrorism as a tactic decades before PLO.
    However, it`s true that religious fundamentalism makes the
    conditions even more difficult.

    Reply

  238. JohnH says:

    “You know, it really didn’t have to come to this.” Yes, it did. It has been the Israeli plan to steal everything Palestinian, and the plan is well advanced. Sure, Hams and Fatah do a lot of cruel, stupid things. And those stupid, cruel things largely serve no purpose other than to help Israel justify the execution of its plan. If you read my previous link, settlements are not the random acts of religious nuts, they’re implemented according to a plan, approved in advance by the IDF.
    Now what would you do if you were a Palestinian, strew roses in the path of an Israeli bulldozer as it prepares to destroy your house?
    In its delusions, Hamas may want to destroy Israel, but it has zero capability of doing that. Israel, on the other hand, has been brutally efficient in stealing everything of value and destroying the rest. And its hasbara has been coldly efficient in convincing much of the world of Israel’s peaceful intentions.

    Reply

  239. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!
    Here we go, another marathon thread devoted to arguing with two bigoted jackasses.
    Does it suprise anyone that Wig-wag defends this Nadine bigot, ignoring her lying and her obvious bigotry?
    Frankly, Nadine’s nazi-like state of intellectual perversion is far more offensive than any simple rudeness can be.
    “Hostile environment”??? I would hope that people like Nadine are met with such, on the internet, or on the streets. Its sick twisted minds like hers that fuel the very kinds of human rights abuses and constant warfare that we are discussing. Like a Palestinian feeling justified lobbing a rocket into Israel, this abomination Nadine, in turn, sees no problem with dumping white phosphorous on Palestinian women and children. Screw these people like Nadine, they haven’t earned my respect or courtesy, they’ve earned my disdain. The more people telling these ghouls to get back under their rocks, the better off mankind will be.
    As for this penis obsessed jackass Wig-wag, “her” defense of Nadine tells you all you need to know about “her”, if in fact it is a “she”. I think she mighta started out that way, but I suspect her fascination with…..
    Oh, never mind.
    Brylcreame, a little dab’ll do ya.

    Reply

  240. WigWag says:

    And by the way, Paul, the flaccid one also made this comment about Nadine,
    “Once again, you racist lyin’ witch, IT WAS ISRAEL THAT BROKE THE CEASE FIRE ON NOVEMBER FOURTH.”
    the term “witch” is an insulting term exclusively used to demean women. All “witches” are female and the history of what men did to “witches” during the Spanish Inquisition or in Salem, Massachusetts is well known.
    POA is not only a bully; he’s a sexist bully.

    Reply

  241. nadine says:

    “I think I’d respond in the following manner: Hamas is not angelic. The treatment of women is not angelic. The conduct of war of any sort is not angelic, and asymmetric war is especially nasty because the weaker side has no tanks or planes with which to crush or strafe the other side.
    But Hamas’s nastiness comes in part at least as a response to conditions that, in my view, are set largely by Israel. Now I know we can have a chicken and egg debate where I say Israeli bad behavior is the cause and Hamas’s response and you say that Israel is responding to Hamas, and we could go on and on for three hundred posts.”
    questions, do you seriously and soberly believe that Hamas is sending the Vice police out to beat up women who don’t wear hijab as a “response to conditions”? Really? Israel is responsible even for this? Do you know how crazy this sounds?
    And if terrorism was a “response to conditions” then Sub-Saharan Africa would be the world’s hotbed of terrorism. We are talking ideology here, not “conditions”. Weak forces can fight guerilla wars without attacking civilians if they chose; many have. Not Hamas. They have made Jew-killing into the highest Islamic virtue.
    There is certainly a vicious circle involved, condition wise, when such an ideology arrives. Tens of thousands of Gazans used to work in Israel, but Hamas blew up the crossings and they are closed now. What exactly did you expect the Israelis to do? Did Hamas have to do this because of “conditions”? “Conditions” were better then.
    The only answer that is known is the COIN answer, a force that can protect the people from the gangster rule of the terrorists, but I don’t think the Israelis can implement this, partly due to their own track record I’m sure you will say, but also due to profound anti-Jewish racism among the Palestinians.
    You know, it really didn’t have to come to this. When Arafat first came to Gaza in 1994, Hilton Hotels came to discuss building a resort in Gaza. Gaza has beautiful beaches. If Arafat had wanted to become a statesman and rule Palestine, he could have encouraged them, promised them low taxes. Gaza could host a resort to rival Phuket. It would get a million European and a million Israelis visitors every year.
    Instead Arafat demanded 10 million dollars in cash. What for? Just because. Hilton got the message and went away.

    Reply

  242. WigWag says:

    Well, you’re entitled to your opinion Paul, but I can assure you that most women have experience in the workplace and a variety of other environments with men just like POA. They sound like him, they speak like him and they love to intimidate just like him.
    Like POA, these are men who consider any dissent a challenge to their manhood.
    When it comes to POA, I’m just telling it like it is.
    And by the way, Obama did say sexist things during the campaign like when he called the female reporter, “sweetie.”
    I don’t know what passes for appropriate in Norway, but in the United States calling a women reporter “sweetie” is demeaning based on gender no matter how you look at it.

    Reply

  243. Paul Norheim says:

    Sexism was the issue here. “You see he hates women almost as
    much as he hates Israelis.”
    Your accusations of sexism, WigWag, hasn`t been credible since
    you accused Obama of the same about a year ago.

    Reply

  244. WigWag says:

    “When POA says about a male commenter that he’s a stupid asshole; he’s just rude. When he says the same to a commenter who happens to be female, he is a misogynist. Logical, isn’t it?”
    POA isn’t just rude. There are plenty of people who post at the Washington Note and ubiquitously on the internet who are merely rude. POA has turned the Washington Note into a hostile environment. Behavior in the workplace similar to POAs would result in immediate dismissal. This blog is nobody’s work place other than Steve Clemons and his fellow posters; but that is no reason why people coming to share their opinion should be subjected to the degrading, insulting and intimidating environment POA creates. POA’s goal isn’t to encourage debate (which after all is the only reason to comment in the first place) it’s to stifle debate.
    Rudeness is fine, abuse and intimidation is not.
    Don’t you think POA is a bully?
    Why do you think men become bullies?

    Reply

  245. JohnH says:

    Nadine, I like you definition of peace: “a peace treaty with neighbors who a) recognize its right to exist and b) aren’t actively planning or attempting to destroy it.” But when in the last half century has Israel stopped trying to destroy everything Palestinian?
    http://justworldnews.org/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=3667
    How can Palestinians make peace with a government that wants to steal everything of value (air, land, water) and leave nothing for them? Why can’t Israel agree to freeze settlements and return stolen lands?

    Reply

  246. Dan Kervick says:

    Thank you WigWag, but I was really more interested in hearing what Nadine thinks, especially since her outlook seems more uncompromising and nihilistic than yours.

    Reply

  247. nadine says:

    “Nadine, since you’re an American, perhaps you would be willing to step back from the Israeli point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and say something about the nature of the US interest in the conflict. What do you see as the likely or possible outcomes of this conflict? Which of those outcomes would serve the US interest and which of those outcomes would damage the US interest? What American government policies and actions would help to bring about the best achievable outcome for the US?”
    I have no great answers or prescriptions for it, just some general points:
    1. It would greatly benefit the US to come to an accurate assessment of what the various players really want from the conflict, as opposed to what they say they want. Accurate assessments mean that when you do or say something, people react as you expect. Non-accurate assessments mean they don’t.
    (This would seem simplistic, I know, but surely Obama has been proceeding on the genuine idea that the Arabs will be helpful if he presses Israel? That he could actually have believed this is incredible to me. A totally non-accurate assessment.)
    2. My assessment of Israel is that they badly want to be accepted in the neighborhood and will pay a high price for it, but won’t risk suicide. Their security fears are real. They think Oslo was a ruse, and have no wish to see Hamastan replicated in the West Bank.
    3. My assessment of the Arab regimes is that they consider the conflict a source of stability, not instability, and will therefore work to preserve it. It serves two functions for them: it distracts their people from demanding internal reforms, and it serves as a Tar Baby for the United States: “Reform our economies? Hold a multi-party election? Oh, no, we just can’t do any of that while the Arab/Israeli crisis is unsolved. That is lynchpin of every problem in the Middle East. “B’rer Fox, Don’t hit that Tar Baby!” Arab regimes are rather weak and not regarded as legitimate by their populations. They prize stability over everything else.
    4. My assessment of the Palestinian leadership is that basically, criminals and religious fanatics have been elevated into permanent and irreplaceable leadership of the Palestinians, and funded hugely. They answer to their paymasters, who may insist that they “peace process” but would kill them as traitors if they ever did a deal that accepted Israel. They are also prone to bursts of fantasy politics “Wow, Obama will get tough with the Israelis and force them to give us the West Bank because we deserve it, without any peace deal! Great!” Expecting democratic institutions from this crowd is a pipe dream.
    5. Iran is the wildcard. If Egypt catches more Hizbullah/Hamas rings operating in Egypt, they may reassess the stabilization value of the conflict. That’s one reason you heard little complaint from Egypt in January; they were hoping Israel would destroy Hamas.
    That being said, all the forces to maintain the conflict remain in the place for the foreseeable future, so the conclusion is that it will continue. Therefore the US make decisions accordingly, and not be bamboozled into banging its head on the wall for the sake of mirage peace agreements.

    Reply

  248. WigWag says:

    “Nadine, since you’re an American, perhaps you would be willing to step back from the Israeli point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and say something about the nature of the US interest in the conflict. What do you see as the likely or possible outcomes of this conflict? Which of those outcomes would serve the US interest and which of those outcomes would damage the US interest? What American government policies and actions would help to bring about the best achievable outcome for the US?”
    I don’t know what Nadine thinks, but in my opinion the answer to this thoughtful question is remarkably easy. The U.S. interest in a successful conclusion to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is diminimis.
    The U.S. has significant interests in South Asia where a nuclear armed Muslim nation is unstable. It has interests along the coast of Africa where shipping is hampered by Muslim Pirates; it has interests in a stable China where a Muslim insurgency has recently gathered steam. It has interests in Iran where a fundamentalist Shiite regime is funneling arms to groups hostile to American allies. Few if any of these interests would be impacted by a settlement between Israel and Palestine. It is entirely possible that a settlement between Israel and Palestine, if done incorrectly, will make the Iranian Mullahs more powerful and more able to ship weapons to Palestine that will prove even more destabilizing to American allies.
    The American interest in the Sunni Arab states is limited to protection of oil supplies. Those supplies haven’t been threatened in 40 years despite the failure of Israel and Palestine to reach a political settlement.
    And of course the claim that Muslim terrorist groups threatening Americans are motivated solely or even mostly by the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a canard. The idea that a group that launches suicide attacks or airplanes into sky scrappers is going to be deterred by a political compromise between Israelis and Palestinians is absurd on the face of it.
    The United States has almost no political interest in a settlement between Israel and Palestine but it does have a humanitarian and moral interest.
    That’s why the United States should pursue a regional peace deal, not some imagined strategic interest which is mostly just a figment of overactive imaginations.

    Reply

  249. Paul Norheim says:

    When POA says about a male commenter that he`s a stupid
    asshole; he`s just rude. When he says the same to a commenter
    who happens to be female, he is a misogynist. Logical, isn´t it?

    Reply

  250. JohnH says:

    Actually, Wigwag is right to deal in facts.
    So let’s start with the part of the Israeli Creation Myth that falsely asserts that 800,000 Jewish refugees came from Arab lands. This number was inflated to serve as a justification for ethnically cleansing 800,000 Palestinians.
    Fact: (As of 1995) “Since the establishment of the State of Israel, 2.5 million immigrants
    have arrived in the country: 59% from Europe, 19% from Africa, 15% from Asia, and 7% from the Americas and Oceania. 795,000 (32%) are from the former Soviet Union. 345,000 (14%) are from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. 273,000 are from Romania, 172,000 are from Poland, 130,000 are from Iraq, 76,000 are from Iran, 71,000 are from the United States. 61,000 are from Turkey. 51,000 are from Yemen. 48,000 are from Ethiopia. 43,000 are from Argentina. 43,000 are from Bulgaria.”
    http://www.technion.ac.il/technion/aliyah/hot3.txt
    1) You must total ALL Jewish emigration from Africa and Asia to reach the 800,000 figure. It includes emigration from non-Arab lands, such as Iran, Turkey, and Ethiopia.
    2) Only 550-650,000 that came Arab countries. Some of them (181,000) came from Yemen and Iraq, where they had been forced to leave. A far larger number came from North Africa, where they represented a privileged class under the French. They left not because they were expelled, but because they believed there were greater opportunities available elsewhere, particularly as the end of the colonial era started eroding the perks and privileges they had enjoyed under the French. Most North African emigrants to Israel came from Morocco, where Jews were protected by the King (Morocco is a kingdom.) Most Algerian Jews preferred to emigrate to France.
    So, can we dispense with the part of the Israeli Creation Myth that talks about 800,000 Jews being expelled from Arab lands? Yes, there were Jews expelled, but the numbers were far, far smaller than the number of Palestinians expelled from Israel.
    Now would you like to discuss who started the wars of 1956 and 1967? Hint: you might want to read Avi Shlaim’s The Iron Wall first.

    Reply

  251. questions says:

    Nadine,
    I think I’d respond in the following manner: Hamas is not angelic. The treatment of women is not angelic. The conduct of war of any sort is not angelic, and asymmetric war is especially nasty because the weaker side has no tanks or planes with which to crush or strafe the other side.
    But Hamas’s nastiness comes in part at least as a response to conditions that, in my view, are set largely by Israel. Now I know we can have a chicken and egg debate where I say Israeli bad behavior is the cause and Hamas’s response and you say that Israel is responding to Hamas, and we could go on and on for three hundred posts.
    Rather than do the whole blame thing, then, it is better to look at the problem as a system (just like you’re supposed to do in family systems therapy, I think). Within the system, one ought not to lay blame (though one might be tempted!) and one ought to look into changing one’s responses to the other.
    The problem with any kind of therapy, though, is that it’s based on the good will of the partners in the therapeutic situation. Neither Israel nor Hamas, thus far, seems to be of good will.
    I don’t think that Israel is benevolent, or that it is trying to minimize harm, and I don’t think that the Gazans deserve the misery they are suffering. At the same time, I recognize that there are governance issues on both sides, there are incentives to do harm and refuse to cooperate. In fact, cooperation doesn’t make rational sense at the present time.
    The best we can hope for, in my view, is that outside pressure, or internal pressure, or some major event, or SOMEthing, will change the calculations such that a negotiated easing of tensions is rational.
    Every element of the system has to want the change, and every element has to be part of the change.
    No recriminations, no bitterness, no claims of infidelity, no passive aggressiveness and so on. Take every pop psychology concept you can think of and apply it to the I/P situation and see if you can come up with something that doesn’t merely stick to one side’s narrative. No one side ever has it completely right.

    Reply

  252. WigWag says:

    “Nope. She’s just dumb dirt stupid.”
    “You’re an asshole, Nadine. Anyone reading half a sentence of your bullshit cannot help but reach that conclusion.”
    One other thing, Nadine; you have to excuse POA. You see he hates women almost as much as he hates Israelis. He doesn’t like Mexicans much either, especially Mexican truck drivers who want to drive their trucks in the United States. If he sees some Mexicans when he’s in his pick-up and driving on a deserted road he gets very nervous too. I have a feeling he thinks alot of Mexicans are criminals.
    I’m not sure, but I think under Sharia there might be a way to deal with men like him; if you know what I mean.
    Wait a minute; what am I saying? Under Sharia men are allowed to behave the way POA does. As a matter of fact, POA would like you to behave the way many women are forced to behave in fundamentalist Muslim societies; he wants you to be neither seen nor heard.
    But as I say; you really can’t hold it against him.
    Let’s just say he has a flaccidity problem. The more flaccid he gets, the more angry he gets. That’s what accounts for his behavior at the Washington Note. If he treats women at the Washington Note the way he’s treated you, can you imagine how he treats them in real life?
    Oy!

    Reply

  253. Paul Norheim says:

    Personally I`ve never had any trouble admitting that, say, blowing
    up civilians in restaurants and busses in Tel Aviv is morally
    abhorrent and a strategic mistake. Nor that I have an intense
    dislike for religious fundamentalism, violent or non-violent,
    Christian or Muslim.
    But just like I and others have reacted when we see expressions of
    anti-semitism, I react when I see bigotry from the pro-Israeli
    side. I`ve explained somewhere on the monster-thread below
    why I don´t argue rationally and patiently against such views;
    TWN is not an elementary school, and I don`t see the point of
    doing that on a foreign policy blog.

    Reply

  254. nadine says:

    “Just remember, the more they attack you personally, the more you’re succeeding at pointing out uncomfortable facts they know to be true that they just can bear to hear.”
    Thanks, wigwag, and true enough. I came hoping to sharpen my arguments but this is beginning to resemble the old Monty Python skit “I didn’t come here for abuse – I came for an argument! Oh! in that case you want room 8.”
    I think it’s political correctness run amok, to the point where you are automatically a racist if you apply the same standard of judgment to Arabs as to Israelis. White people judging Arabs, that’s “Orientalist”! “Racist”! How dare you! Israelis, well, now, that’s a different story, it’s liberty hall to judge Israelis, to condemn them harshly on the basis of something or nothing. Anybody can do that.
    It’s very strange to me that people think they have a moral duty not to judge one side of a conflict, and stranger still that they call these mental contortions “liberal”.
    Nobody suffers from this more than the Palestinians themselves, for it condemns them to permanent misrule. They themselves cannot change their government because they do not fund it; it lives on international aid and does not need to listen to them. Yet the international community will not hold the Palestinian leadership to any standard. Nobody is more bitter about this than moderate Palestinians like Khalid Abu Toameh.

    Reply

  255. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, since you’re an American, perhaps you would be willing to step back from the Israeli point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and say something about the nature of the US interest in the conflict. What do you see as the likely or possible outcomes of this conflict? Which of those outcomes would serve the US interest and which of those outcomes would damage the US interest? What American government policies and actions would help to bring about the best achievable outcome for the US?

    Reply

  256. WigWag says:

    jdledell, says to Nadine:
    “The snark aside – you consistently berate anything Palestinian or arab.”
    In case you haven’t noticed a large number of commenters constantly berate anything Israeli.
    When you start criticizing them, your comment to Nadine will be more trenchant.
    “You have become the laughingstock of this board. Compared with you wigwag is an intellectual giant.”
    And what exactly does that make you jdledell? I haven’t seen any evidence of your extraordinary intellectual capabilities.
    By the way, if you think the relatives in Israel whom you consider deranged or your father and grandfather’s experience in Israel gives you any special insight you are sadly mistaken.
    If living in Israel or having relatives who live in Israel provides special insight, the millions of Israelis who reside their and voted for Likud can claim the same insight you can.
    Or is the level of your intellectualism such that you hadn’t figured that out?

    Reply

  257. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Now I’m laughing. You have no arguments beyond insult, none. Have you addressed any of my arguments? Used your supposedly superior knowledge to correct any of my facts? No”
    Hey. Why don’t you shove it, you ignorant racist bitch. “Your arguments” like “no children are hungry in Gaza”?
    Or your bullsit about the IAEA and El Baradei declaring Iran in violation of the NPT?
    You’re an asshole, Nadine. Anyone reading half a sentence of your bullshit cannot help but reach that conclusion.

    Reply

  258. nadine says:

    Now I’m laughing. You have no arguments beyond insult, none. Have you addressed any of my arguments? Used your supposedly superior knowledge to correct any of my facts? No.
    I have said that it was wrong if Israeli soldiers used human shields – but you cannot muster a single criticism of Hamas for having an entire strategy that is a war crime. The shoot at civilians while hiding behind civilians. It’s not humanly possible to fight them without putting civilians at risk no matter how careful you are. I notice none of you geniuses have any suggestions just what Israel was supposed to do about the rockets.
    I’m criticizing Hamas because you are ONLY criticizing Israel. If you too could criticize Hamas then we could have a reasoned debate about the effects of Israeli AND Hamas policy.
    Then perhaps we could dispense with leftist piece de resistance: I’m a racist because I criticize Arabs. Sure, that’s the only reason anybody could criticize Hamas. That must be it!
    I’ll leave you with the words of the “racist” Palestinian journalist Khalid Abu Toameh:
    “Hamas feels confident to do whatever it wishes in the Gaza Strip because the Obama Administration and its allies in France, Germany and Britain are too busy arguing with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu whether settlers should be permitted to build new homes or not.
    So what if young women in the Gaza Strip are being harassed and arrested by Hamas’s “morality police” for laughing in public or leaving their homes without hijabs?
    So what if young Palestinian women are banned from swimming unless they are covered from top to bottom? And so what if women are being banned from entering coffee shops and restaurants and other public places unless they are escorted by male relatives?
    So what if young men are banned from swimming in the sea topless? And so what if Hamas is now operating a secret police whose job is to separate males from females in public places?
    A Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip remarked: “The Americans and Europeans are fighting against Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan while Hamas is building a new fundamentalist entity here. The settlements may be an obstacle to peace, but Hamastan will soon become a major threat to stability in the region.” ”
    http://www.hudsonny.org/2009/07/as-hamas-tightens-its-grip.php

    Reply

  259. WigWag says:

    You see Nadine, when they are unable to attack the veracity of your positions, they attack you personally. It’s a sign of intellectual weakness and emotional immaturity to do that; but the frustration is so great that many of the points you are making refute your adversaries deeply held myths, that the best they can do is scream and yell about how horrible you are as a person.
    Of course, they don’t know what kind of person you are; you may be a devil; you may be a saint; more likely you resemble everyone else, neither a devil nor a saint. Just remember, the more they attack you personally, the more you’re succeeding at pointing out uncomfortable facts they know to be true that they just can bear to hear.
    As for me, I agree with much of what you’ve said and I disagree with many things you’ve said.
    But I don’t care what kind of person you or and aren’t. You’ve been unfailingly polite and you’ve stated your opinions in a straight forward and direct manner. While in some cases I think you’ve overgeneralized, that makes you just like everyone else who comments at the Washington Note. Nothing you’ve said approaches the level of bigotry that all too often passes for informed commentary around here.
    Unlike the people criticizing you on this thread, I’m not so narcissistic that I think I can tell what kind of person you are from a few short comments at the Washington Note. There are long time commenters here whom one can form a judgment about; you’re not one of them. Nor am I so narcissistic that I feel that need to put in print what I do or don’t think of you.
    Don’t let them get to you. From a purely intellectual point of view you’re more than holding your own.
    They’re really just so angry because in their heart of heart’s you’ve said things they know are true but just can’t admit to themselves.
    There are several people who comment who would like the Washington Note to be a forum for Israel bashing. They would like it to be a gathering place where like minded people can get together and slander the country they love to dislike (or in some cases hate). In many cases it’s the only reason they come here at all; from time to time they say a few nasty things about the United States, but the criticism they heap on Israel as compared to the rest of the world that it is so disproportionate that it’s telling.
    But it looks like those people don’t rule the roost anymore. How sad for them!
    Cheers Nadine. Keep smiling!

    Reply

  260. JohnH says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a recitation of the Israeli Creation Myth as succinct as Nadine’s. I guess everyone’s entitled to their own heroic mythology…as long as it doesn’t get in the way of rational, daily behavior.

    Reply

  261. David says:

    Like Jimmy Carter is making it up, Nadine?

    Reply

  262. Paul Norheim says:

    The lowest point in my view was reached with Nadine`s statement
    that the suffering in Gaza is just fake. “Malnutrition? Look at the
    starving children in Africa – they are real and honest sufferers!”

    Reply

  263. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Nope. She’s just dumb dirt stupid.

    Reply

  264. Paul Norheim says:

    Perhaps she`s paid by Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran to embarrass
    Israel?

    Reply

  265. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You have become the laughingstock of this board”
    I’m not laughing.
    Nadine is a racist abomination, and as such, is hardly a laughing matter. Her comments soil this blog. Such racism and hatred is a blight on mankind.
    And Paul, it was Wig-wag that was blathering on about the Palestinians using human shields. Besides, haven’t you heard, the IDF is “the most moral army in the world”. That is, when they aren’t shitting in Palestinian living rooms and writing racist slogans on the walls.
    Nadine’s defense of the use of white phosphorous is what you can expect from some effin’ racist like her. I wonder what Ms Dracula’s excuse is for clusterbombing farmlands and orchards. I’d ask her, but everytime she directs a comment towards me I feel like I should run jump in the shower.
    “questions, a serious question: what should Israel have done in response to thousands of rockets being shot from Gaza at its civilian populations?”
    Once again, you racist lyin’ witch, IT WAS ISRAEL THAT BROKE THE CEASE FIRE ON NOVEMBER FOURTH.

    Reply

  266. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine`s comments are so embarrassing that if I were
    responsible for Israeli propaganda, I would gladly have paid her
    for NOT posting anything on internet blogs.

    Reply

  267. jdledell says:

    Nadine – You claim to have such great insight into the Palestinian and arab mind can you tell us where you teach mideast studies? I’m sure you can enlighten us with your arabic conversations with the movers and shakers in the arab world.
    The snark aside – you consistently berate anything Palestinian or arab. You cannot seem to criticize Israel in even a small way. When confronted with reports of IDF crimes, you immediately jump to defend them by stating the other guys are worse. You come across as a know it all yet you speak neither Hebrew or arabic and as far as I know have never traveled in the mideast or ever met real Israelis and Palestinians.
    You have become the laughingstock of this board. Compared with you wigwag is an intellectual giant.

    Reply

  268. nadine says:

    questions, a serious question: what should Israel have done in response to thousands of rockets being shot from Gaza at its civilian populations?

    Reply

  269. nadine says:

    questions, Israel freely admits to using white phosphorous as a screening device. The US Army uses it the same way. We used it in Fallujah. This does not violate any international conventions. It is only a violation if it is used as an anti-personnel weapon. The hue and cry over it always fails to point that detail out. They always moan over its use “over civilian areas” as if one could ever fight Hamas anywhere BUT a civilian area. Fallujah is a civilian area too.
    John, what Israel means by peace is a peace treaty with neighbors who a) recognize its right to exist and b) aren’t actively planning or attempting to destroy it. See relations with Jordan for an example of peace. Hamas fills neither condition.
    “Yes, Hamas may not be not clear about which occupation they oppose–1948 or 1967. Thank you for reminding the world that there have been two. And many Palestinian refugees have been victims of both.”
    Oh Hamas is quite clear. So you admit you want Israel destroyed? Or are you too ignorant to realize that the “occupation of 1948” refers to all of Israel inside the Green Line?
    Yes, when you start a war, promise your people you can win quickly, and instead lose badly, multiple times (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973), it’s generally not a good lookout for your people. It’s much worse for them if you deliberately want to leave them in misery so you can pose as a victim, and this is what the Arab regimes did.
    There were 100 million refugees in the 20th century but only the Palestinians get the grand prize of being refugees for 5 and 6 generations. So the 700,000 Arab refugees of Palestine became the 5 million Palestinian “refugees” of today.
    Meanwhile the 800,000 Jewish refugees of the Arab lands became citizens of Israel. Guess the Israelis missed a trick, huh? They should have stuck all their refugees in camps and demanded that the UN feed them forever too, just like the Arabs did. Then maybe you’d cry for them too. Or maybe not.
    Did you even know there were wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973? Did you know there were Jewish as well as Arab refugees?
    Here’s the story: The Arabs refuse to sign a treaty, start a war, lose land during the war, then cry about how dare the Israelis not withdraw to the line before the war, the line the Arabs refused to recognize at the time.
    After 1948 the Arabs complained that Israel did not withdraw to the partition lines of 1947, which the Arabs had refused to recognize. After 1967 the Arabs complained that Israel did not withdraw to the Green Line, which was the Armistice Line of 1949. Naturally, the Arabs did not recognize the Green Line or Israel BEFORE 1967. See a pattern here? The Arabs always want do-overs on their wars. They also demand that Israel be responsible for all the refugees on both sides, Arabs and Jews.

    Reply

  270. questions says:

    From Hasbara Central,
    Posting just so that I don’t get accused yet again of being a coward….
    The Gaza incursion was brutal, and the use of white phosphorous was horrific. Wasn’t that settled a while ago, like when the army investigated itself and found itself innocent of all charges (yeah, right….)
    Israel does not conduct itself well, uses the panic as an excuse. In segments of the society, I would guess the panic is genuinely felt, there’s likely some reasonable grounding for the panic (return of suicide bombers and the like), but Israel certainly goes way overboard.
    (Luntz, himself, called me and told me to write this, fyi.)
    The question as always is how does everyone get out of the logic that got them where they are….

    Reply

  271. JohnH says:

    Hasbara (Nadine) speaks! Yes, Hamas may not be not clear about which occupation they oppose–1948 or 1967. Thank you for reminding the world that there have been two. And many Palestinian refugees have been victims of both.
    Now, Nadine, what does Israel mean by peace: (1)genuine peace or 2)eternal occupation without Palestinian resistance? And does Israel ever intend to finalize its borders? And why is Israel so afraid to take Hamas’ reigning in of the rockets as a possible positive gesture, lift the blockade, start negotiations, and see where that leads?

    Reply

  272. Paul Norheim says:

    Since the IDF used human shields and didn´t care to distinguish
    between civilians and fighters, then you are not able to continue
    your one-sided lambasting of Hamas committing the same
    crime.
    Since Israel has`t yet blown up Palestinian restaurants and
    busses in suicide attacks, I suggest that you stick to that one
    when you want to lambast Hamas. The human shield argument
    is lost.
    “…but if there was even one child with the stick limbs and big
    belly of serious malnutrition we all would have seen his picture
    and the NGOs would be yelling at the top of their lungs. The
    standards that qualify as “suffering” or “hunger” in Gaza are
    standards that most places in Africa would gladly trade for in a
    minute. In Africa to be called starving you actually have to
    starve.”
    Malnutrition isn`t serious unless the kids have stick limbs and
    big bellys? What do you know about malnutrition?
    Your particular blend of ignorance and brutality is astonishing.

    Reply

  273. nadine says:

    Clint, Hamas routinely speaks of the “occupation of 1948” and the “occupation of 1967” Their job, they say, is to end occupation. Well, what do you suppose they mean by that?
    “Israeli Hasbara will be sure to spin this in a predictable manner: “it’s a ruse designed to mask Hamas’ real intentions and to buy themselves time for an arms build up ending in another attack on the Jewish state.”
    It’s not even a very good ruse, is it, if they can’t even pretend to be for peace while talking to the New York Times?
    For crying out loud, just listen to them.
    They don’t even hide their intentions, and yet you call it “hasbara” when anybody simply takes them at their word.
    Have you noticed that your attitudes involve treating Hamas like children who don’t know what they are saying?
    easy e, if the Israelis used human shields, that was wrong. But it seems a trifle, ahem, one-sided to lambaste the Israelis while not noticing that Hamas’ entire strategy is a war crime and depends hugely on human shields. There were dozens of reports of the Israeli troops finding whole houses boobytrapped with the families still inside them. Military installations were routinely stored in mosques, hospitals and apartment buildings, and “guarded” with crowds of women and children.
    So who is more guilty, the side that turns an innocent family’s home into a deathtrap and forces them to stay in it, or the side who demands the neighbors kid knock on the door, on the assumption that he knows if it’s been boobytrapped or not?
    Come on here.

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  274. JohnH says:

    Israeli Hasbara will be sure to spin this in a predictable manner: “it’s a ruse designed to mask Hamas’ real intentions and to buy themselves time for an arms build up ending in another attack on the Jewish state.”
    Meanwhile, the Israeli government must surely be saying to themselves, “look, there are no suicide bombers and no rockets. Gazans must be ‘thriving’ in their prison. So what’s the urgency for changing the wonderful status quo? Why upset everything by starting peace negotiations?”

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  275. easy e says:

    Even the mainstream press is now reporting the Israeli atrocities in GAZA (think human shields and incendiary white phosphorus shells).
    Just a matter of time before TWN’s hasbara corner will counter this “anti-semitic” report from the AP.
    * * * * *
    AP: ISRAELI SOLDIERS: ARMY USED EXCESSIVE FORCE IN GAZA WAR
    JERUSALEM – Israeli soldiers who fought in last winter’s Gaza War say the military used Palestinians as human shields, improperly fired incendiary white phosphorous shells over civilian areas and used overwhelming firepower that caused needless deaths and destruction, according to a report released Wednesday.
    The testimonies were by far the strongest allegations to come from war veterans that the army used excessive force during the three-week offensive and echoed claims already leveled by Palestinian and human rights groups……
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090715/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians
    ….and here for Nadine, WigWag and Questions
    http://www.shovrimshtika.org/

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  276. Clint says:

    “he group’s leaders have taken a somewhat more conciliatory tone towards Israel. For instance, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal implied in a May interview with the New York Times that Hamas would not be averse to a two-state solution”
    I believe this has been the stated position of Hamas since their election.
    “he categorically refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist”
    Israel’s three preconditions are absurd. They themselves do not abide by the 67 borders, nor do they renounce violence/collective punishment. And what is a “right to exist”? Is the right of the Palestinians to exist recognized by Israel?

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  277. nadine says:

    “For instance, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal implied in a May interview with the New York Times that Hamas would not be averse to a two-state solution along the 1967 borders or a long-term truce, a hudna, with Israel. Then again, in the same interview he categorically refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, something not entirely inconsistent with a hudna.”
    I must say Khaled Meshaal is too honest for his own good. He should learn to lie like Arafat; the New York Times would gladly swallow anything he said if it sounded peaceful and proclaim it a breakthrough. But his ideology constrains him. He has no wiggle room to admit that Israel has the slightest right to exist, so all he can offer is a hudna.
    The whole point of a hudna is that you offer one when you are not strong enough to conquer, and then you use the time to get strong enough. As soon as you can, you break the truce and go for total victory. That’s what a hudna is, as demonstrated by the example of the Prophet Mohammed and the Treaty of Hudibaiya. Nobody with his head screwed on straight should ever confuse a hudna with peace offer. It’s a temporary truce.
    “In the meantime Gaza remains buried in rubble, a state which will persist into the foreseeable future without a political agreement or an Israeli return to past commitments to investment in Gaza’s infrastructure and ease movement in and out of the still-blockaded strip.”
    Buried in rubble? Hyperbolic piffle. Gee, where are the reports of those 250,000 homeless Gazans whose houses are rubble living in tent cities provided by the UN? I must have missed them. Sure rubble exists, but only of limited targets, and Hamas has plenty of money to rebuild those it chooses to rebuild. Nowhere else in the world is it demanded that one country rebuild another that is in enemy hands and is trying to destroy it. “We will destroy you and drive your people into the sea, now build us a new sewer plant.” It’s surreal.
    It’s like the starvation reports. I am sure there are poor children in Gaza who don’t get enough milk or fruit and eat too much bread, esp. if they come from Fatah-affiliated clans (no more gravy train for them!), but if there was even one child with the stick limbs and big belly of serious malnutrition we all would have seen his picture and the NGOs would be yelling at the top of their lungs. The standards that qualify as “suffering” or “hunger” in Gaza are standards that most places in Africa would gladly trade for in a minute. In Africa to be called starving you actually have to starve. In Gaza, the UN food aid comes in every day, and did so even during the war.

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  278. nadine says:

    Syria is hedging its bets, moving towards negotiation while still vocally supporting Ahmadinejad’s Iran
    Anybody who believes that Syria is actually moving towards real negotiation is smoking something. Syria has a defense alliance with Iran, and Iran actually pays for Syria’s arms. Would the US do that if Syria switched sides and stopped supporting Iran, Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbullah? Of course not. Furthermore some or all of those abandoned terrorists would declare the Alawite Assad regime traitors and heretics, and do their best to kill them. Switching sides would be a disaster for Assad.
    So the obvious conclusion is, it’s not going to happen.
    Now Syria was “moving towards negotiations” – strictly as an exercise in diplomatic hypocrisy – until Obama decided to make a stink over Israel building new houses in the settlement blocs. So that gave Syria a great excuse to say, “okay, if you’re demanding a settlement freeze, we’ll definitely demand it too as a precondition to any negotiations.” So now even the pretend negotiations are dead in the water.
    Wait and see what happens.

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