Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s irony meter is completely non-functional:
We need to always remember that we aren’t North America or Western Europe, we live in the Middle East, in a place where there is no mercy for the weak and there aren’t second chances for those who don’t defend themselves.
And he’s not the only one:
He said that the army had decided against sabotaging a ship in the Gaza flotilla at the center of Monday’s deadly clashes, out of fear that the vessel would be stranded in the middle of the ocean and at risk of a humanitarian crisis. […]
During his briefing on the operation to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Colonel Itzik Turgeman hinted that the IDF had sabotaged the engines of the other five ships, saying that “they took care of them.”
I’m waiting to see what happens to the Irish ship that is now headed towards Gaza. Will the Israelis honor the Irish flag more than the Turkish one, or is that too much to hope for.
The propaganda blanketing the US about this incident is beyond depressing. Basically every station and media outlet is covering a situation where Israeli policemen were ambushed by terrorists disguised as “humanitarians.” Boatloads of food = terrorism. Shooting unarmed civilians in international waters = minimal force used in self defense.
The special relationship with Israel is costing the US an enormous amount of integrity and public standing.
@Bullsmith: Indeed. The propaganda being churned out by the US media is bizarre. Funny how an Israeli paper provides a more objective account of this incident than any mainstream American media outlet. Our country is in the thrall of the Christian fundamentalists who require that the Holy Land be made pure for the coming rapture.
They had to destroy the ships in order to save them.
Bill E Pilgrim
Anyone wanting to see the contrast between the blanket apologist approach of the corporate media and someone calling them on it directly should see Greenwald here.
Some good links in his piece also.
the fear of being labeled “anti-Semitic” by loudmouth douchebags for saying negative things about Israel is a strong motivator.
Apparently, the Turkish navy is planning on escorting the next flotilla to Gaza. Good on ’em, and I hope the humanitarian aid contains a few dozen SS-20s. The only way some people learn not to play with fire, is to stick their hands in it.
@Bill E Pilgrim: Well, clearly Greenwald is a anti-Semite, then.
Which is a great, great irony considering most of those douchebags just want an Israel so the Rapture can come and wipe out the unbelievers, including the Jews. They essentially want a country and a people to sacrifice because they think Jesus loves them and wants a goat on the altar.
I’ll be very happy when Christianity is no longer characterized in the large public discourse as ‘Brutal Old Testament God + Revelation + Jesus Mask’. These assholes can’t be Christians when they seem to ignore every single part of the goddamned Gospels themselves.
I watched the CNN last night, and it was the most absurdly pro-Israel thing I’ve seen. Actually, it was like they–the TV people–were deeply hurt that anyone would question anything Israel might do.
it’s ehud barak, not yihud.
Culture of Truth
He’s with Cobra Kai ?!
@Culture of Truth:
Sweep the leg,
@invisible_hand: Is it possible that “Yihud” is an alternate spelling of “Ehud”? That often happens with words originally rendered in a non-Western alphabet.
@Kryptik: yeah, as a Jew, I have to say that the Rapturists’ concern for Israel is kind of annoying. They just want Israel to fight a bloody war because they think that’ll be a sign. They love Israel so so so much that they want it to never be at peace.
Or Chris Matthews who, for some reason, is seldom called “Tweety” any more, saying the Israel is “not getting a fair shake” in the foreign media, and that he is “on the side of Israel in this.” If Greenwald is an anti-Semite, what does that make Tweety? Because, we cannot, obviously, take any words at face value.
Culture of Truth
Didn’t Europe host 2 World Wars?
Well, there is that video where they are chanting. Muslims chanting are terrorists on TV. End of Story.
@zzyzx: I’m not real clear on the Rapture, a cult my wife escaped from and doesn’t talk about at length, but they do not “love Israel.” Something is going to happen there. My take is that when all of the Jews have returned there; that will be the key. Anyway when it happens the “Rapture” will occure and they, the Rapture believers will be “taken up.” Everyone else, including the Jews who made it happen, will be destroyed. Except, I think, some Christians who weren’t good enough, will be left behind but not destroyed. That part is a little confusing.
Bill – I’m fascinated by the Rapture so I know a lot about it. It’s amazing to read their message board to see a Christian message board that loves war and hates the poor…
Sounds exactly like the political Christian animal we have right now, much to the detriment of actual Christians and the religion as a whole.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Ed Marshall: But Marge, they’re evil, listen to the music!
Is anyone else seeing a marvelously inapt ad at the top of the page–I ended up in Moderation hell last time so let me just say that it is for a Pirate themed Casino somewhere and it says
“Go Pillage for 69 dollars a night”
@Kryptik: no it’s far far worse. When there’s an earthquake or a hurricane or something, the initial response is to get excited because that’s a SIGN THAT WE’RE GOING HOME!!!!! and then only a few hours later does someone remind them that heathens read the board and it’s not the best way to get them to say the magic words that send them to Heaven.
Yes, their belief is that you will be tortured for all eternity unless you happen to say one sentence (or an equivalent) and mean it once in your life…
@Culture of Truth:
. . . and the Holocaust.
Oh a good source to read to see an offended Christian is the Slacktivist blog. He’s been busy deconstructing the Left Behind novels for years now. He’s even more scared than I am of these people…
…still doesn’t sound too far off from what we get subjected to by the likes of Tony Perkins et. al. on TV regularly. The only difference is the people we see on the teevee have a better grasp of communication. Doesn’t make them any less batshit crazy.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Culture of Truth:
Yeah but we’re wimps now. If there were no second chances in Europe it would have vanished last month sometime, not to mention many times before.
@cleek: So I take it that this young Jewish woman from New York is also an anti-Semite: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/and-now-a-blinded-american-ctd.html
I no longer consider Israel to be a Jewish state; I consider it to be a wingnut state.
@Kryptik: Tony Perkins talks about nuking countries just for the hell of it?
@Bill H: It’s not Christians who aren’t good enough, it’s everybody but the saved. The confusion is that there are pretribulationists (the vast majority of dispensationalist Christians) who believe the rapture happens and then seven years of tribulation (within this is a difference of opinion if you can still get Jesus and get to heaven at the end of it or if you are shit out of luck) others who believe the tribulation starts and the rapture happens some time in the middle, and those who think the Christians have to wait it out to the end of tribulations.
There is not a coherent exegesis regarding Jews. My Assemblies of God church had them inheriting the Earth after everyone else was gone. No heaven, just the Earth. I’ve heard from other people about a “New Jerusalem” that Jews go to, that sounds sort of like ghetto heaven. Then there is the old standby that you get Jesus or you are headed for hell.
I also highly recommend Slacktivist. All of this stuff that people like La Hay claim is a “literal interpretation of Revelation” turns out to be a huge amount of cherry-picking cobbled together from different parts of both the Old and New Testaments.
Not to mention all of the Bircher stuff that shows up and claims to be part of Christianity.
If only Christians had listened to Bp. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390CE) and left Revelation out of the Bible altogether. He said it was too difficult to interpret and too subject to abuse.
Martin Luther said that “Christ is neither taught nor known in it”. The Eastern Orthodox keep it in the Bible but don’t study or preach it.
Probably not so bluntly. And it usually doesn’t involve a country more so than it does a region and/or other religion.
Seriously, the only real difference I see between the folks you’re talking about and the most vocal ‘Christian’ voices we get on the teevee is that the ones on screen are better coached so not to scare random TV viewer #1039. Dip in deeper and the actual beliefs are worryingly similar.
@Kryptik: well that’s why I like reading their private forums where they can get lulled into a false confidence and forget we’re out there…
@invisible_hand: Thanks, I fixed it.
I clicked onto the Guardian to get the latest on the flotilla crisis and got:
What the hell is going on in the UK?
Slackitivist is just the greatest site ever. I’ve learned so much from Fred, and from his commenters. I hope someday he puts the whole series out as a book.
@wobbly: Anarchy, of course.
@Bill H: On that theme, I saw an amusing bumper sticker at an SF con this weekend: “150 Million True Believers. 144,000 taken up in the Rapture. Do YOU feel LUCKY, Punk?”
For the Rapture and Israel taking the hit for the TRUE Christians along with the Slacktavist look of Dispensationism as to were they get this nonsense out of the Bible.
I thought the Catholics I grew up amongst were batshit crazy. And they are. But they don’t believe in or subscribe to any of this Rapture bullshit. They don’t even really discuss Revelations (and if you want some batshit crazy fever dream stuff, that book would be it).
Religion. The only license we get to spew the most ridiculous garbage and be regarded as a serious and righteous person. And people wonder why I disdain it so.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the Israelis think this is all funny.
Bill E Pilgrim
Something else I saw at the Guardian just now:
Great. BP brings down the Gulf of Mexico, which brings down BP, which brings down……
But hey, drill baby drill, wingers. The only risk is to birds, turtles, and the crazy environmentalists who care about those silly things, right?
all israel had to do was wait until the boats were in their territorial waters and most of this would have blown over. but no, they had to go and board ships in international waters.
Catholics aren’t dispensationalists.
Israel doesn’t have declared borders. None. They never have. I don’t know under what theory they would justify claiming the Gaza Strips territorial waters as theirs but it wouldn’t have been cut and dry anyway.
@wobbly: yeah. And that quotes involving “To be honest, he was a quiet fellow. I am in absolute shock. I can’t believe he would do that – he was a quiet little fellow.” are followed with “It is like watching something from America.” is a bit of a shock — not entirely so but still. I knew we had the rep, it was the trite banality of being a cliché that stopped me.
I realize that having grown up Catholic. Not that any of the labels matter much. It’s all insane, regardless of the sect.
Well, my wife tells of when she was 12 or 13 she fell asleep one midday. Her family all went somewhere and when she woke up the house was empty. She went all over the house and thought that the Rapture had happened and she had been left behind. Freaked her out completely, and going outside didn’t help because even though the neighbors were there they were not believers, so of course they had been left behind. She was suicidal for more than an hour before her family came back from wherever they had been and she reailzed the Rapture had not yet happened. It was not until after college that she got away from that insanity.
I’d have the same thing happen to me when I was a kid, and I wasn’t even a good believer then. That’s what made it seem all the more probable that I wouldn’t get zapped up with everyone.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I’ve thought of writing a “Christian” novel as a joke and then try to sell it, all while making a documentary of the whole thing. The Slacktivist blog is an inspiration. Kind of like a Christian version of The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs.
Maybe that’s why the language in the US press is so bizarre.
“Israel expels activists” “Israel deports activists”
They’re releasing the 600 people they picked up and couldn’t charge with anything.
To read this nonsense, you’d think these people invaded the country, rather than being seized against their will by Israel.
It’s a freaking fantasy. Complete fiction.
@geg6: The only license? Come on. There are plenty of belief systems and affiliations that either have nothing to do with religion (go team whitey!), or happen to coincide with religious divisions for historical/cultural reasons (Ireland, Yugoslavia), in which the right kind of insane bullshit is the hallmark of a serious and righteous person. The fact that the church pisses you off more is of no cosmic significance.
Can you “expel” someone you picked up and took into custody, without cause?
The usual way to express that is “released without charges”.
“Help! These people we’re picking up and dragging into our country keep threatening us!”
FOX was even more disgusting than usual last night. They actually called the activists “Demonstrators”. The fact that they were unarmed civilians attacked in their sleep by commandos while traveling on a civilian ship in international waters was not mentioned.
And now we’re fighting for Israel to be able to conduct it’s own impartial investigation of what happened. Uh huh. . . .
Shorter: We’re psychopaths. Deal with it.
My BIL, who is “liberal” but also really apolitical and could not care less about Israel, is an interesting bellwether. His take? “Well, these people were terrorists and were armed, so what do you expect the Israelis to do?” The propaganda still works.
Speaking of fundies, did Haggard come out of the closet yet?
The U.S. foreign policy establishment, ever on the right side of history.
It’s too bad when some unnamed set of actors passively cause a “loss of life”.
As always, a “balance”, or a “consensus”, or a “moderate approach”, etc., means whenever entirely adopting the views and policies favored by the U.S..
Anything else is hardline, fringe, extremist, unbalanced, biased, etc.
@Svensker: Nearly all the flotilla members were carrying arms. Legs too. Hence, an existential threat to the tiny, completely undefended, itty witty bitty state of Israel, about to be pushed into the sea by largely unoccupied map areas next to it.
Shorter Colonel Itzik Turgeman:
Yes, it’s enough to make one weep really big salty tears, isn’t it? Too bad about all the dead people.
Yeah. Funny thing is we know nothing about any of them: age, sex, nationality, etc. The VOA says that 4 of them are Turks, the attacking force says ‘most’ of the dead were Turks.
What’s the hold-up? Where are the others from?
Irland has warned Israel that there will be serious consequences if anything happens to the Rachel Currie. But then Ireland, unlike Turkey, isn’t a member of NATO. So, considering the name of the vessel, history tells us that something terrible will happen and nothing will come out of it.
It’s not just the US Media carrying water for the Israelis, over here the BBC has been little better. Every suggestion that maybe the Israeli version of events might be full of shit is countered by a slew of talking-heads from the Israeli Embassy.
On the other hand, I caught the ITN News last night (ITV being the major independent non-satellite channel) for the first time in years, and the difference in tone was shocking. Their report was scathing and bluntly honest in summing up how big a hole Israel is in vis a vis Turkey and the UN.
It’s refreshing to see that there are still actual reporters out there, just not in the world of 24 Hour rolling-news.
Ireland is already fairly pissed off with Israel about the fact that the Israelis used falsified Irish passports to carry out that assassination earlier this year. And so are the UK, Australia, France and Germany. And I might have forgotten a country or two there.
My guess is that the “serious consequences” will be a downgrading of the diplomatic relationships, i.e. recalling and expelling of ambassadors.
How the hell do you vote no or even abstain on a measure like this? The Israeli Navy boarded a ship and killed 10 people on board. Even if there are extenuating circumstances, the least you’d want to do is do a full independent investigation to find out exactly what happened.
As Uri Savir, Israel’s lead negotiator at Oslo and former director-general of the Foreign Ministry once so eloquently wrote:
“[Israelis] may have been the first conquerors in history who felt themselves conquered.”
Barak’s irony meter isn’t so much nonfunctional as nonexistent. This is how far too many Israelis — in leadership and out, on the street and in the halls of power — genuinely feel.
And it’s why my husband and I decided that we didn’t want to raise our Israeli, Jewish children in the Jewish State. Because of precisely that attitude, and its implications all through society.
@JoJo: You know what, though? The activists actually were lightly armed, and they actually did attack the soldiers who boarded their boats — and it still doesn’t matter.
When armed commandos sail out to international waters and raid a ship in the dark of night — they had best expect some blow-back. One needn’t be a perfect angel, or perfectly nonviolent, to be in the right.
And the activists actually were demonstrators — they were engaged in civil disobedience in order to protest/demonstrate against the rank injustice of the blockade. Israel knew that was what they were doing, and acting like they didn’t is just beyond nonsensical.
The people who broke the law — have been breaking the law for some time now — and who should be called to account are the Israelis.
During the fighting in Lebanon in 2006 the Israelis dropped bombs on a UN observer post, killing 4 members of the UN on duty at the time. One of those killed was Irish.
hmm, no excuse for the botched actions of the IDF in that incidentm but check the Hamas actions:
Getting back to the blockade, via Dailykos, an Israeli embassy spokesman explains that even hands can be a weapon.
Question: The weapons cited by the IDF–metal poles, knives, etc.–don’t look to be threats to Israel’s national security. Rather, they look like fairly standard maritime tools, no?
Jonathan Peled: Weapons are weapons. Knives can kill, iron bars can kill, even hands can kill. We’ve seen in America the damage that simple boxcutters can cause. The issue was not the people onboard, but the need to ensure that no weapons or terrorists enter the Gaza Strip, reaching the hands of Hamas. This scenario would, in fact, pose a national security risk to Israel, and this is the reason for the blockade.
@Robert Sneddon: Qana.
At the time I remember listening to the BBC quiz the Israeli government spokesperson about this, and the Israeli hack’s bullshit excuse was that their maps weren’t updated enough.
The BBC anchor, not being an American suck-up cowardly hack, responded that this was a ridiculous claim, being that the refugee camp had been their for years and both eyewitnesses and UN observers had testified to the presence of Israeli helicopters and spyplanes.
From the Israeli response after ‘categorically’ rejecting the investigation:
Whoops! We’ll try not to let it happen again, unless we feel like it!
Then again, if you’re the Israeli government, you can shell the hell out of a UN refugee camp, and at most you send functionaries out to denounce the results of a UN investigation as evil, anti-Israel, and lies.
I’m sure somebody somewhere said “I take full responsibility,” which, these days, means zero consequences whatsoever.
@Rick Taylor: How do we know that these so-called peace activists weren’t trained Shaolin monks, capable of cutting a soldier in half in one chop?
@jeff: You should’ve seen McCain on Faux News.
It’s a really hard attitude to understand and it seems completely impenetrable. I have had arguments with Israelis over this and they will bring up the Sbarro bombing from 2001 or Ron Arad and my first thought is “These people are just saying anything to change the subject, why not go back to Black September or the Palestine riots or something”. They are dead serious though! It doesn’t matter what is happening, they feel threatened.
It creates a paradox, sentiment for ending the occupation was highest during the bloodiest periods of the second intifada but it was unthinkable to give in to these demands because of the violence. When the violence (from a Palestinian on Israeli perspective) ceased people quit caring about a settlement with the Palestinians so on *some* level it registers that their actions aren’t going to be met with resistance but on another level it’s just always Second Intifada/1973/1967/1948/Kristallnacht and there is no speaking sensibly with them.
@El Cid: The IDF seems to make these kind of mistakes a lot. I wonder how they ever gained a reputation for competence.
And just who do you think would best exemplify that U.S.-favored “moderate” approach, hmm? Take a wild guess.
Here is Alex Pareene’s comment on the latest from The Mustache.
on the other hand, in the long run, when you get right down to it: Israel is winning.
No, they weren’t armed. They grabbed whatever is on hand on a large ship to defend themselves, and that includes, as IDF photos show, kitchen knives, heavy chain, screwdrivers, wooden mallets, monkey wrenches and table legs. But those objects aren’t considered arms, and they are normal for a ship that size. They only reason they were used as arms is because the IDF raided the ship like pirates instead of trying to make contact in a non-confrontational manner.
Maybe the IDF could take lessons from the Cumbrian guy who just killed 12 in…rural England or something????
Guy just racked up more dead people than the IDF did on the Turk ferryboat.
Where is Cumbria? What is that, Wales?
@Citizen_X: Thomas Friedman is simply a cheap, lazy whore whose purpose is to funnel quote-worthy versions of establishmentarian thought into innumerable media sources.
There is a center on these Israeli-Palestinian issues, it’s called what nearly the entirety of the rest of the world thinks and has endorsed in nearly every international group possible, but the center is only “the center” when it’s exactly what the U.S. foreign policy establishment wants.
The U.S. wanted to hire terrorists to kill civilians and blow up hospitals because it didn’t like the government which replaced our dictatorship in Nicaragua.
The vast majority of the rest of the world (not Israel, though, who enjoyed a close role in training U.S.-backed death squads along with Argentinian Nazis) wanted the U.S. to stop trying to determine who would govern Nicaragua.
The ‘centrist’ view in the U.S. was for the U.S. to keep doing exactly what it wanted, but do so more nicely. I dunno, like, instead of the ‘extremes’ of hiring terrorists and death squads and shooting so many civilians or not shooting civilians, maybe they could hire thugs and injury squads and shoot fewer civilians or maybe just wing them.
There’s your center for you.
Psst. You should probably go back and read her comment all the way through, because she was actually agreeing with you.
@cleek: Exactly. This is why successive Israeli governments have actively undermined any chance at a negotiated settlement, and will continue to do so until there’s nothing much else they want, and maybe have an opportunity to foist some Palestinian bantustans off on some international authority to watch over.
@Calouste: I, personally, doubt (highly) that no one brought anything on board with them (and I’ve seen at least one knife that isn’t exactly a kitchen knife) — and I’m saying that it doesn’t even matter. I’m an American-Israeli Jew, and I don’t care if they were armed or not.
Here’s me saying so at greater length, in two different ways: http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/a-few-thoughts-on-the-flotilla/
Moreover, I would argue that going back and forth on the issue is a distraction and a waste of time and a luxury that the people of Gaza can’t afford. What matters is the blockade, and what matters further is the motherfucking occupation. As bad as the flotilla raid was (and it was pretty damn bad), it pales in comparison to 43 years of occupation.
@Calouste: You could probably smother somebody with enough toilet tissue and time to apply it.
I don’t find it strange at all that they would refuse the aid until they know who’s being held prisoner and who died. Otherwise, it’s like accepting blood money — the people who are offering you the supplies killed a dozen people to get them, and you’re supposed to be grateful that they’re deigning to let you have them?
I just wrote a long diary in dailykos on this. Here are some excerpts:
Link to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre here.
@Ed Marshall: It is so.damn.hard to argue with.
What I generally do, when faced with that sort of response (when it’s genuine and not spittle-inflected) is to give respect to it — because, you know what? I lived through suicide bombing waves, several attacks occurring on buses on which I regularly traveled or within yards of my home and/or office, and the fear is real and deserved and shouldn’t be dismissed — and then try to gently suggest the possibility that these are the sorts of things that Palestinians say, too.
Two great, great resources are the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum, and Combatants for Peace. In both organizations, people from both sides of the divide who have paid the ultimate price and/or seen the horror up close (and in several cases, it’s “and”) have decided to work together to combat the real enemy, and that’s the conflict. They are, in a word, amazing.
Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum
Combatants for Peace
This from Haneen Goabi, the Arab-Israeli Knesset member who was one of the ‘activists”.
At least one Israeli has a sense of irony.
That was brutal:
I read Friedman’s book From Beirut to Jerusalem and at least then he was in those places doing actual reporting. Now, whenever he leaves his palatial estate in Maryland, it’s to hobnob and play golf with CEO’s and foreign dignitaries. His columns are only worthwhile if you’re curious what the establishment thinks about foreign affairs: to use a Friedmanesque metaphor, he is their (empty) vase that they pour their ideas into, to be regurgitated back in clunky prose and horrible similes.
ETA: Or what El Cid said:
“Thomas Friedman is simply a cheap, lazy whore whose purpose is to funnel quote-worthy versions of establishmentarian thought into innumerable media sources.”
James K. Polk, Esq.
The IDF started shooting and killing long before they boarded.
Relevant youtube video.
A critical insight. In the Arab world, zionism/Israel is understood as the last European colonial project; it’s nominal political system is irrelevant.
@sashal: Yeah, because a nuclear armed western-style “democracy” should never be asked to be a more rational and responsible geopolitical actor than a terrorist group.
territorial waters are generally defined by the coastline.
I loved this book-in fact I still pick it up from time to time for reference. Provides some valuable insight.
i’m not saying the blockade is legal (i don’t think it is, there’s no armed conflict currently between israel and gaza, and the blockade’s negative effect on the population is surely bigger than the military objective of the blockade), i’m just saying if the IDF would have just waited until the ships were in territorial waters a lot of the world’s hatin would be toned down.
much of the anger about this is that it occurred in international waters.
I’m just fed up with people repeating the IDF propaganda that the passengers and crew of the ship were “armed”. Whatever they used were normal tools on board a ship like that and not arms. Only one side was armed in the incident and that was the IDF.
Something for the “No Shit, Sherlock” file:
Gaza convoy raid may boost militancy, experts say
they are a terrorist group to us, but to Gazans they are the ruling party , the authority, supposedly caring about their own population
Here’s how you have an open, good faith discussion on the topic. First, give your bonafides, “I am not a 100% unconditional Israeli loyalist and defender” works pretty well. Then bring up the Holocaust:
Then tell your readers to “check out Tom Friedman who, as usual, provides analysis, common sense and an even hand regarding this very complicated part of the world.”
Don’t tell the TSA. Long haul flights are bad enough as it is at the moment.
As she said, they were “lightly armed” because they had wrenches and pipes that they used to try and defend themselves. That’s not the same thing as “they had weapons,” which she was not saying at all.
ellaesther has had some really interesting things to say throughout this whole situation and I’d hate to see you start to ignore what she has to say just because she used the words “lightly armed” to point out that it’s a strawman for the IDF to complain that the passengers defended themselves against the raid.
Yeah, it is a good book. It’s a real contrast with most of the dreck he writes now.
@sashal: Neither the Palestinian perception of Hamas nor the supposed aims of Hamas trump the reality that Hamas is a terrorist group. Nor does it change the fact that Israel is a nuclear armed “western style democracy.” In no way are the two equivalent, and it’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence to pretend that it is.
and nobody was pretending anything .
Sorry you have problems with reading and understanding English
Look at the way the United States responded after just one terrorist attack on its soil (albeit a particularly awful one). There’s no doubt in my mind that if the United States experienced the sort of terrorism Israeli’s have, our response would be at least equally and most likely far more insane. “It doesn’t matter what is happening, they feel threatened.” Look at us in this country, we feel so threatened by rag tag terrorists that are oceans away, we’re fighting two wars because of it.
That doesn’t justify them of course; and excusing this sort of thing because they’ve had a hard time is not doing them any favors. But I try to keep this in mind to avoid getting too self righteous.
@sashal: You do not get a free atrocity for every one committed by the other side. This isn’t a sport.
I have a hard time blaming the Israeli public for being pissed off and scared, because, well, they’re the public. They’re supposed to be able to just live their lives without worrying about this stuff.
I do blame the Israeli government, especially Likud and the Likudniks. I think they’ve made a series of increasingly bad decisions in the name of “security” that have actually made the country less secure.
When did the Second Intifada start? When Ariel Sharon decided to thumb his nose at the Palestinians by visiting the Temple Mount. And 10 years later, here we are.
@Mnemosyne: Thank you – it’s a tense time for the folks who think about this all the time, and I think we all have something different that just plain gets our back up.
@sashal: Actually, you are pretending. You’re pretending that Hamas, a terrorist group, should be held to the same standard as Israel, The Only Democracy In The Middle East(TM). You’re pretending that calling Israel out on it’s misdeeds is a defense of the misdeeds of Hamas. You’re pretending that your “Oh! Look over there!” argument is original and not a well worn tactic of thread derailers on pretty much every contentious topic.
They are a democracy. You can’t blame the government without blaming the people as well, just like us. They voted for the people who appealed to their fear and desire for security, just as we did when Bush won a second term.
I agree. They’ve had right wing governments that have had no intention of negotiating for the last ten years. I realize Israeli democracy is messy and all, but the doves are not the majority.
Apparently, the notion of a “Pretribulation Rapture” goes back no further than 1788: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture
So basically, a notion out of 18th Century science fiction has become sacred Church doctrine in many Christian denominations. As though the movie Ghost were declared to be a documentary….
Bumper sticker got it wrong. 144,000 is the number of judges over the new kingdom who will be chosen from the twelve tribes of Israel (12,000 per). They get to live in New Jerusalem while the rest of the saved inherit and inhabit a flat Earth (“Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain made low”). This is the irony of the fundamentalist Christian strain of anti-Semitism. They expect to be amongst the Chosen when their lives on the new Earth will be monitored by 144,000 Jews.
licensed to kill time
Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that exactly 144,000 people will get to go to Heaven. I always wondered why they keep trying for new recruits, since the 144,000 mark must have been reached long ago. It sure doesn’t seem like much of a selling point.
@licensed to kill time:
For years, the JWs refused to have more than 144,000 adherents, I was told. Then they decided that the New Jerusalem/rest of the planet split was acceptable to talk about and only figure the 144K most devout JWs get to live in the shining city.
Ah. Here it is. After 48 hours of constant claims of activist criminality:
In other words, they had nothing.
However, they are going to “expel” the innocent people they picked up and dragged there, without cause, but only after smearing them in the media for 48 hours.
Lysana: Tell me that’s a perverse joke. Please.
Weirdly, however, they’re not charging them. All of a sudden, there are “diplomatic” concerns.
These people forever remain “suspected of carrying out criminal acts”.
Nice smear job. Nice accountability dodge, too.
Released without charges, is what it means, no matter the desperate, pathetic spin they put on it.
I don’t get this “Rapture” stuff at all. It sounds so nonsensical, how does one believe this stuff. The earth is a tiny speck in our galaxy, if God did exist why would he/she bother with us anyway? I don’t think we are all that special.
If only Golda Meir could see from 1948 what a colossal fuckup they’ve made of her country, she’d prolly cut and run.
Northwest England, on the Scottish border. Good guess, though, the name comes from Cymru, the Welsh word for themselves. They spoke a Gaelic language there into the Middle Ages.
Also. This, also.
looks pretty badass and non suck.
no, Hamas should not be held to the same standard as Israel, I do not give a much f* about the terrorists even if they all died tomorrow.
I try again for criminally stupid.
As long as Hamas was elected by Gazans and pretend to be the ruling party which cares about local population consisted of their own people they so adamantly defend their idiotic PR behaviour of stopping humanitarian aid released by Israel is fine with you?
How would you call that?
See me defending Israeli idiotic actions on the boats?
In other words, a propagandist.
It makes perfect sense. God created this vast universe so that 13 billion years later he could throw homo sapiens who have dirty thoughts or don’t believe in the Trinity into hell for eternal torture. What else would you do if you were the supreme being?
“If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are
Ours is not an easy age
We’re like tigers in a cage
What a town without pity can do”.
Not a joke. I’m citing from multiple passages in the Book of Revelations/Apocalypse (latter is the Roman Catholic name for the text). This flattened New Earth also gets to host a flaming pit into which the unbelievers will be cast. I guess that’ll be the one geographic feature left.
See, the thing about the Book of Revelations is it’s a combination of political satire, hallucinogenic fantasy, and rewrites by later generations. Some of it is encoded snark you have to study Roman and Jewish history to get (Number of the Beast = Nero, seven hills of Rome turn up more than once, etc).
I have a friend whose spiritual views are…interesting, to say the least, who believes that those 144,000 will be gay men, because the Bible says that they are “not defiled with women”.
Ehud Barak has a point. I think the Middle East just DOES that to you. The land itself makes violent brutality the first resort and it has done that to Israel too. Now they’re just another Middle-Eastern country.
It has been that way without fail for the last 11,000 years or so.