David Brog trots out a familiar load of nonsense:
The term “double standard” does not sufficiently capture this phenomenon. It’s not just that the Israelis are being held to a different — and immeasurably higher — standard than the rest of humanity. Israel is now being judged in the absence of any objective standard whatsoever. As Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week, it seems that Israel is now “guilty until proven guilty.”
The flotilla was sailing under the flags of states that were not at war with Israel. Indeed, several of them sailed under the flag of an official military ally. The ships were in international waters bound for a territory under a blockade of very questionable legality. It is doubtful that Israel had any legal right to board the ships, and in any case the decision to do so resulted in nine civilian deaths. The standard to which Israel is being held right now is a pretty simple one, and it is not terribly high: do not attack civilians in international waters when they are on a relief mission. This shouldn’t be a hard standard to meet.
I’m going to go ahead and score this one for Larison.
poor Israel. poor persecuted Israel. the world has dared to raise an eyebrow at it’s continued collective punishment of a million and a half people.
the muted tut-tutting cuts them to very quick! who will protect Israel from these horrible scowls and sideways glances ?
That’s only because you’re trying to use some sort of rational and consistent standard instead of the “Israel is always right” standard that used by everyone buy anti-Semites and self-hating Jews. Under this true and correct standard, Larison obviously loses.
Larison is pretty much the sole data point I have for the argument that there are some sane, principled conservatives left in this country.
Why dont you go join a neo-nazi group, shave your dome, puke on the Wailing Wall, and order Freedom Fries while you’re at it?
I’ve had to cease discussion about anything to do with Israel at all with some close friends because of exactly this posture. Since I’ve never had to jump under my desk to avoid a rocket attack, I’m obviously an anti-Semite.
Its like trying to discuss anything with a teabagger – facts are irrelevant.
Yor duin it rong.
Israel is going to bring the end times, and we have to make sure that they are destroying the browns in the meantime. When Jeeezus! shows up with his caucasian skin, we can kick the Jews out after they have done our dirty work for us.
Just let the Jews kill ’em all and let Jeeezus! sort them out. We aren’t responsible for any of it.
Israel is being held to an “immeasurably” higher standard than other countries? Rather just the opposite, and I still maintain that it is anti-Semitic to expect less from Israel than we do from other countries. The most effective way to insure that holocausts do not occur (and they are occurring all over the globe as I write this) is for all of us to be tolerant and supportive of our fellow creatures, no matter our differences. By acting humanely toward the Palestinians, returning the territory that was once theirs and sharing the territory they have in common, Israel would do far more to insure its future than would be accomplished by any military action.
I was trying to edit my comment to correct a spelling error and the Deletion popup kept coming up instead of the Edit popup. Has anyone else had this problem?
I really don’t understand who the apologists think they’re kidding. What do they think we would have done if, say, North Korea had attacked a civilian boat flying the flag of a NATO ally that was trying to smuggle food to North Korean civilians and the country that was attacked was fuming about it? If this were anyone but Israel (and maybe China or Russia) we’d have launched a retaliatory strike within days.
Well, after reading a few of Larison’s posts, I think it is time I added his blog to my regular reading. Thanks for drawing my attention to it, John.
That’s because Larison avoids blogging too much about the topics where he shows his crazy. But just get the topic to the American Civil War, and you’ll see just how far out there he is.
@TomG: Larison’s a bit retrograde when it comes to domestic policy, and he has a disturbing fondness for the Confederacy, but he is at least consistent in his views, and pretty sharp when it comes to foreign policy.
“International waters” is a red herring, except from a PR standpoint. There is no dispute about where the flotilla was heading.
Larison is incorrect. Even Reuters now state that the blockade and the actions to intercept the ‘flotilla’ are legal.
To quote CJ:
Yes, Israel’s blockade is legal under international law.
Yes, Israel has the legal right to stop ships in international waters.
Yes, Israel has the legal right to use force when stopping ships.
And no, this was not “piracy” by any legal definition.
And as for the ongoing campaign to delegitimise Israel that Bibi refers to, read this stunning piece by Eve Gerrard as to where it will lead to – a process that YOU all are aiding and abetting with glee and gusto.
Where? To Israel? I don’t think so, hence Larson’s comment regarding a blockade of dubious legality.
Bill Section 147
I actually agree with him that Israel is not being held to any objective standard whatsoever.
ZOMG – COLE AND LARISON WANT TO PUT JEWS IN OVENS!!!!!!
Reuters is not an arbiter of what is and is not international law.
A pretty good arbiter is the UN Fact Finding Commission of the Gaza war, which decided that the Gaza blockade is, in fact, illegal.
Nitwits who go around citing the “San Remo Manual” as though it’s the arbiter of law on the high seas, instead of a useful guide, nor news services, get to determine this.
There are lots of killings of civilians by the Sudanese government, and since none of you are driving freedom flotillas through the desert and the U.S. isn’t bombing Sudan, this can only mean that you libruls love the violence of the Sudan and want to have its babies.
The only standards to which the State of Israel may be held are those to which its policymakers want to be held, and even then only when they tell you they want to be held to them.
OT: Michelle Bachman: sucking the government teat, for Jesus!
@Bill Section 147:
Yes, they’re being held to an objective standard. The US, at least, is holding them to the standard of “they can do WTFTW”, which is perfectly objective.
Well, you’re wrong. Virtually all legal experts in the area of international law agree that Israel was acting within their legal rights.
Additionally, the physical assaults were initiated by the parties aboard the boat, and not by the boarding Israelis. What is it about anti-Semitism that clouds the ability of otherwise sane people to face reality?
@Napoleon: Yes, but that’s a separate issue from the “international waters” thing. If the blockade were legal, it would probably be fine to intercept a blockade-running vessel in international waters, without waiting until it reaches the destination.
@Dave: That’s just the opinion of one lawyer, apparently he has an ass hole. As for the second part, it’s pitiful when your only defense is a red herring.
cleek @20 – yeah, I saw that myself the other day and emailed John (and Radley B. at the Agitator) about it.
Well, we have the antisemitism canard being trotted out, how long until the Holocaust is brought up? “Don’t kill civilians” is a pretty easy rule of thumb, and it’s one Israel seems to fail at again and again. You can have legitimate security concerns and still act immorally, in fact, they often go together.
I think I’m close to losing a close friend of many years because of several heated exchanges we’ve had about the flotilla and the blockade. He’s always been a liberal zionist and has been friends for years with a Palestinian peace activist. But lately he’s come to feel that Israel is unfairly under siege and he just won’t brook criticism.
He thought the blockade was only to exclude arms and doesn’t seem to believe facts to the contrary. He was citing the Israeli Ambassador’s op-ed as proof of his points. I told him he might need to look a little further than that to get the facts. He also seems to find it highly significant that the flotilla was a publicity stunt (as I imagine it at least partly was), but by that logic I suppose the march on Selma was partly a publicity stunt, and virtually all civil disobedience could be described that way.
Sigh. He’s beginning to argue and reason like my wingnut family members.
t jasper parnell
@Punchy: I think you meant liberty cabbage
Only 14 posts for the ever-classy “Pancake Rachel Carrie” Dave to show up and accuse us of aiding and abetting another Jewish Holocaust by discussing a violent action of the Israeli government.
It’s pretty straightforward —
1. I support Israel’s right to not be destroyed.
2. I support the right of civilians on cargo ships in international waters to not be killed.
Israel and its lickspittle apologists might want to think about supporting #2 if they want support for #1.
Roger Moore and Crashman –
Thanks for the tip about certain topic areas Larison likes that I may disagree with. I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
I’ve read books by Pat Buchanan, the founder of the American Conservative, and while I think he’s totally wrong on trade issues (too protectionist) and several other issues, I like his concerns about foreign policy and the dangers of empire.
My point is, that I seldom agree totally with people whose blogs I read, and don’t expect to.
Uh, except for the gunfire and grenades from the Israeli helicopters that killed at least two people before the commandos touched the deck. Funny how that pissed off the passengers, they must be “anti-semites” to react so negatively.
Israel confiscated all cameras and cellphones on board, but I’m sure in the interests of fairness they’ll be releasing the recordings of this minor detail soon.
@TomG: As much as I really dislike (perhaps even detest) some of Larison’s views, especially regarding the Civil War, he does always seem to argue from good faith, and appears to be consistent with his logic, which is way more than you can ask from a lot of conservative blogs.
Netanyahu said last week, it seems that Israel is now “guilty until proven guilty.”
That’s about right. Israel’s leaders is learning.
Man, have you seen yesterday’s Juan Cole? It’s ugly. Apparently one of the people on on of the other flotilla ships (not the one 9 people were killed on) used their cell phone to video the Israeli commando’s taking over the Mavi Marmara & it shows one of ’em standing over someone laying on the deck and shooting them several times. It has since been shown to have been edited down from an original but here it is:
I hope it is wrong. It looked to me like an execution, out and out. Today Juan is saying he isn’t so sure but still wants to know more. Gruesome stuff. I support Israel, just not the current government. to me, the current government over there is the same as if Sheriff Joe Arpaio was President here (or Dick Cheney, take your pick).
Why is what the Somali pirates do (invading ships and killing people on board, in international waters) called piracy,
and what the Israeli’s did, called ‘legal’?
It sure looks like piracy to me.
Israel’s long-term problem – besides demographics and losing the technical advantage weapons-wise – is legitimacy. The U.S. can scream all it wants that it will support Israel to the death, but that’s not the issue.
The issue is that the countries in the region see Israel as a colonial/Crusader state. For all that Americans like to lecture about how Israel exists and can never not exist, people in the region remember how those other now and forever states lasted a few centuries, at most.
Israel needs to convince its neighbors that it’s a real country. If not, it will be eaten away by violence, emigration to more stable nations and internal strife. It’s actions accomplish the opposite and increase the feeling that the state is both illegitimate and ultimately transitory.
I think this article provides some insight into the madness that seems to be gripping many Israelis and Israel’s most vociferous supporters.
The thing is, that’s how civilization is supposed to work. If Larison is able to confine himself to subjects that make him appear more respectable, it’s because he actually concerns himself with what other people are thinking and has a generally good idea of what subjects are liable to make other people stop listening to him.
Many “conservatives” have completely lost that ability. I think it’s called empathy.
You are a spoof, aren’t you? Because styling yourself as “Pancake” is hideously offensive, at least to those of us in the reality based world.
The last international incident of this type that I can recall was probably the Rainbow Warrior bombing by French special forces in New Zealand in 1985. Only one person was killed, IIRC, but France was really in the shitter, diplomacy-wise, for some time after this and it left an indelible stain on the legacy of Francois Mitterand. The French defense minister resigned and a number of the perpetrators were tracked down by New Zealand and other countries and tried for murder.
So here’s an objective international standard for reacting to countries that attack a civilian vessel on a humanitarian mission: worldwide condemnation, trying the perpetrators in international court, government officials involved resign in disgrace.
Simple rule of thumb. Unless you write down a litany of human rights abuses of every other nation on the planet when discussing Israel, you are an anti-Semite intent on a new Holocaust.
What exactly is the “pancake” (or “pancake Rachel Maddow”?) meme? I seem to have missed that.
@Steeplejack: He’s referring to Rachel Corrie, who was run over (pancaked) by an Isreali tank while protesting demolision of Palestinian houses.
Because someone dying that way is hysterically funny.
I guess the standard should be “innocent until explained away with some lame rationalization”?
I assume ‘Pancake’ = ‘Dave’ = ‘Phil’ = whatzisname ‘Kohan’. The same snotty neocon tone is identical in all of them.
Dave/Pancake/Phil/Kohan should just accept that we’re all Adolf Eichmann and find another hobby.
Every time Israel commits an act of aggression, Israel-boosters say that we’ve turned over a new antisemitic leaf, that now, Israel is being held to an impossible standard, and nefarious new developments are responsible. They have been repeating this line, as though it were a finger on the Zeitgeist, for FOUR DECADES at this point.
Every time Israel invades, they bomb hell out of MARKED AMBULANCES and other humanitarian representatives, in clear violation of international law, and EVERY TIME they state that an internal investigation revealed no wrongdoing.
And EVERY TIME, our press reports it as though a quick Lexis search won’t give you these same propaganda lines, decade after decade, year after year, as sure as the phases of the moon or the return of the cicadas.
This is an outright failure on the part of the media.
If you keep scoring touchdowns, why bother to change the play you use?
Psst. When you board a ship carrying grenades and live ammunition, the parties aboard the boat are going to assume you mean them harm and defend themselves.
I realize we’re at the point in our history where cops are allowed to electrocute people to death on the street because they feel “threatened” by a guy they have face down in handcuffs so it feels perfectly natural to claim that the guys with the guns and grenades who killed 9 people are the real victims here, but it’s really not a normal place to be.
Bill Section 147
@Roger Moore: I think we disagree on the definition of objective.
Israel is not being held to an objective standard.
3 a : expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations b of a test : limited to choices of fixed alternatives and reducing subjective factors to a minimum
I think Israel is held to a subjective standard. The standard is distorted by personal feelings, etc.
Where we agree, I think, is that standard is IOKIYI.
Really, this should not be that hard. 9 people without guns were shot down by people with guns. Even if was technically legal (and all the so called legal experts saying it was are neo-cons), it was as they say in real politics worse than a crime, it was a mistake. Where is Israel going with the Likudite policy? The occupation of West Bank and Gaza (and Gaza is now being operated by the Israelis as the world’s biggest internment camp) is going on 43 years. Do you think it can last another 40? How are more settlements in the West Bank going to make a deal with the Palestinians possible? Israel is making the two state solution impossible, and without expulsion what do they think will result from a one-state solution and the demographics of the Arab population, Christian and Muslim.
I would note that Borg is probably immune to this argument because as a Christianist, he believes the 2d coming will occur before another 40 years go by. He is actively encouraging policies that he hopes will provoke a general war with the United States and Israel on side and the Muslim states of the Middle East on the other as a necessary condition for Christ’s return. And right now a good 25% of the American people, and possibly 50% of the Republican Party as currently constituted hold these beliefs.
It’s true – but they can’t win the game. Israel has been granted special dispensation to wage total war without repercussion, in violation of all civilized standards. It’s tough to understand how anyone in the First World can buy “well, Hamas will blow up buses when they can” as justification for abandoning all rules of war in response. At least I don’t think anyone mainstream buys “we’re specially super-careful to be just and humane in our treatment of the enemy” anymore from Israel outside of water-carrying Op-Ed columns.
The sad part is that you’d think, given the free hand to terrorize civilians, cut off food supply, suppress media coverage, and kill members of relief organizations, they’d be able to win their war. Of course, their war is unwinnable, because their goals are unattainable.
And the U.S.? Struck with fear by an attack by extremists some ten years ago, we’ve adopted many of our ally’s tactics, many of their P.R. justifications, and along with them, a couple wars that we’ll never win either. Maybe not the best example for us to follow.
At least one, tiny, unimportant view.
UN Human Rights Council, Twelfth special session, 15 – 16 October 2009.
Gaza is not a belligerent state. No state of war has been recognized by any legal international body. Israel still maintains occupation control over the area, whether or not regular Israeli forces control all functions.
Presumably, if Gaza magically acquired the military capacity (i.e., a genie or extraterrestrials), it would be as legal as Israel’s current blockade of the Gazans for the magically armed Gaza forces to completely blockade Israel, preventing all weapons shipment and laying waste to the territory and limiting food and trade until lower income Israelis suffered severe protein deficiency related malnutrition and anemia.
Besides, why are the Israeli and pro-militarist forces even trying to pretend to care about the legality of the blockade? If it were flatly illegal, they’d still do it and support it, and no one — particularly not the United States — would lift a finger to deter them.
Why even bother with an investigation? The Israelis have already decided, and told the world, that: a) it was self- defense; b) the dead were al qaida terrorists, oops!, ‘goons’, and c) all known laws are on their side.
What can an investigations show? It’s time to move on to the real threat – Iran.
check out this commenter on joke line’s latest:
his name? anthony wingfield
I do think the Israeli government may have finally crossed a line. There is no question that they illegally boarded civilian vessela in international waters and subsequently killed/wounded some noncombatants on board the ships. I am so sick and tired of Benny Netanyahu using “THE HOLOCAUST” as an apology for all manner of uncivlized behavior. The blockade of Gaza needs to stop yesterday. The worst of it all is the hypocrisy; if the situations were reversed, I can assure you that the cries for justice would be never-ending and very loud. Keep going the way you’re going, sir, and you are going to deal yourself and your country a very bad hand. Heckuva job! This is what happens when you elect REAL radicals and nutjobs. Good for Larison and this blog for being brave enough to post a contrary opinion on this matter.
But it’s not straightforward to people who are convinced that #1 is predicated on #2, or at least that they’re inextricably entwined. Everything that Israel does is for its self-defense, goes the argument, and really smart people are among those who nod along with this crap.
Even when you can get an Israel-is-always-right type to admit that the main purpose of the blockade is collective punishment — which is almost never — the argument is that even that punishment is necessary to protect Israel from Hamas-authored attacks. Because keeping Gaza hungry, sick and destitute is absolutely necessary to Israel’s continued existence, until the day that constantly brutalizing people magically becomes a way to convince them to elect leaders you approve of.
Hell, some of these guys even argue that settlement expansion is for Israel’s “self-defense.” Palestinians are such animals, I guess, that only by continually stealing more of their land can Israel keep herself safe.
IMHO a good summary, one that John Cole would probably agree with, can be found here.
@catclub: The reason that it’s not called piracy is that according to conventions on laws of the sea, piracy is perpetrated from privately owned vessels.
Presumably, Israel’s craft would count as “warships”, though perhaps not.
Israeli forces didn’t just shoot the aid activists trying to repel the illegal boarding and seizure — they shot them repeatedly in the head and back.
Actually, in a backhanded way, Israel putting the boot on others really shows anti-Semitism is a bunch of lies.
At the most general, anti-Semitism is predicated on the claim that Jews are somehow “different.”
Now that Jews run a powerful state, it turns out…they behave just like other people!
Israel investigate itself? Where have I heard this before?:
False. The relevant portions of international law are referring to blockades of state actors. Gaza isn’t a state.
To the Israel defenders on the thread:
I support the continued existence of the State of Israel ad infinitum.
I don’t know if the blockade is legal or not but certainly believe Israel has a right to stop weapons from flowing into Gaza.
From what I understand of the incident so far, Israel boarded a ship in international waters and killed nine civilians to keep the ship from reaching Gaza more than 70 miles from its shores.
What I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding is why less violent methods to divert the ship such as shots across the bow and/or disabling it weren’t employed first. There was plenty of time.
Plus, if you claim this was a publicity stunt from the get go, then why play right into their hands by choosing the action most likely to cost lives as your first response? It makes no sense unless you have an ulterior motive (i.e., fucking with Obama), or you’re incompetent.
Either way it makes many of us skeptical of Bibi Netanyahu and questioning the motives and/or competence of the leader of a major power in a region where we have many lives at risk when they are acting incredibly stupidly does not make me an anti-semite.
“international waters” is very important here, actually. israel doesn’t have an open-ended right to board civilian craft in international waters. it’s quite specific, the situations under which she can do so.
one of them is if the ship is intent on breaking a legal blockade. that’s the only justification israel can point to. unfortunately, to do so, the blockade has to be legal, and it clearly is not.
if this happened in gaza’s territorial waters it would have been a totally different situation, legally speaking.
That’s someone who has read his Left Behind books over and over again.
LOL! You’re linking to Norm Geras’ blog!?!
As Tony Judt pointed out in his recent New York Times op-ed, we’re not trying to delegitimize Israel. We’re merely trying to have it treated like other states.
Ah. I guess I should thank you for clueing me in. But ugh.
it isn’t just that.
first, israel is occupying gaza. the international community agrees on this. even the us government says the same. which means this isn’t a blockade.
second, even assuming israel’s argument that it isn’t occupying gaza, a blockade needs to be specifically declared to be legal. including specifics of extent (what is and isn’t considered contraband by the blockading state) and duration. israel has done neither.
good lord, you mean there are more of these people?
the christian zionists are scarier than the jewish ones. sometimes i get mixed up on how the story goes, though. i know there is a great battle, and angels appear to fight the sparkly vampires who are aligned with the werewolves. then they get on the spaceship…or actually teleport up, but their fillings are still on earth along with the droids and sith.
Israel as an ethnically pure Jewish state is doomed. The only answer in the long run is an integrated multi-ethnic state, with Jews and Palestinians under a single representative government.
If that’s the “destruction” of Israel, then so be it. There’s no room in the modern world for ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
uss Liberty anyone?
That’s LOL. Newpapers like WP and NYT usually publish responses from foreign ambassadors in response to negative editorials against their country. Even when I totally disagree with the editor, and thus possibly agree with the ambassador, I usually don’t bother reading them, since the source is almost by definition not trustworthy.
The Bible says, “Put not the LORD your God to the test!” Trying to arrange the pieces on the chessboard so God will come down and start smiting sounds pretty “to the test” to me.
“Are you God, God? We’re setting up the balls for you to run the table, if you’re really God. C’mon! Let’s get this on! That is, IF you’re really God!”
I don’t want to stand close to these people when the smiting starts. God doesn’t like to be bothered, and I suspect His plans may not include exactly the End Times these nutcases expect. Doesn’t the whole End-Times scenario go back to the 1830s or so, and NOT to the Book of Revelations? Seems to me God knows.
I’m just saying, I don’t want to be close to these twerps, and I’m afraid anywhere on the planet may be too close.
You’re absolutely right on both counts.
Christ, states almost always claim their military actions are defensive.
Yes, but the former don’t have their hands on a couple hundred nukes. … OTOH, given that the Air Force seems to be a hotbed of evangelical nutjobs, maybe that’s unfortunately not true.
That sort of Protestantism, very popular in America, to me borders on blasphemy. The abdication of moral responsibility with the excuse of “God’s hand” is plainly addressed in Augustine – and in Thomas Aquinas, for that matter – in the same works that cemented just war theory as a doctrine in the Christian world.
Both these thinkers dismiss this faulty doctrine as one that leads to hell; God’s plan does not circumvent free will, nor earthly justice, and it doesn’t mean that any war is just merely because it happens in God’s creation or in accordance with God’s plan. This isn’t to mention the Jewish and Muslim medieval philosophers alike who bolstered this argument repeatedly themselves.
It’s this sort of extremism that will kill thousands, not the mutterings of elderly reporters. People who question American support for Israel, or a return to 1967 borders, are not so deluded to believe the Israelis should “go home” to Germany or Poland. However, it’s still accepted discourse that Palestinians should “go home” to Jordan – accepted enough that Ariel Sharon somehow ended up in office rather than in jail. And it’s a-okay to believe that it’s our duty to bring about the end of days, which, once again, is a theological fallacy whose evil can’t be measured.
Once I found a very interesting essay which proposed that that stuff isn’t Protestant or Christian, but really in fact an Old Testament cult.
maybe gwb should have been listening to his earthly father as opposed to his heavenly one, because apparently god was telling him some crazy shit.
i believe in god, but i’m more off a new testament “peace and love” type as opposed to an old testament “Smite Them” type, as many evangelicals and zionist jews seem to be.
No, there are still anti-Semites, just as there are anti-Arab racists. But the real existence of anti-Semitism — which is often found among the U.S. right’s embrace of Christian fundamentalists, militia and white nationalist groups, as well as flat-out fascists from a variety of nations — has nothing to bear on rational arguments about the actions of the government of Israel.
The pre-millennial Rapture is certainly a new development, drawn from a single verse in the Book of Revelation (and it is Revelation, singular, a synonym of “Apocalypse”, which was part of the book’s original name in canon).
To me, it’s a sick belief that invites pseudo-fascist behavior. There’s a real moral value to the belief that in the end times, believers will suffer through the torments of injustice, trusting in God and a kingdom to come.
Now transform the content of that message into the belief that if you get Christ to validate your parking before the end, you will fly up to heaven before anything nasty happens, while all those people who didn’t share your particular religious experience will suffer pain and terror until death.
It converts Revelation from a chronicle of patient faith and righteousness under the most adverse conditions, based in the persecution of the early Church, to a sadistic catalogue of all the bad things that will happen to the people who didn’t see that you were right all along, while you’re chilling in eternal bliss without even having to experience death.
The likely results are evident.
it’s like the bible is some sort of rorschach test. the bloodthirsty can find what they want, and so can the meek and loving.
and you make a great point about free will. i’ve thought about that quite a bit. and i also agree on your point about blasphemy.
i’m really enjoying glenn beck’s interpretation of scripture where charity and looking after the poor and sick are mortal sins. the fact that it seems absolutely opposed to how i interpret the entire thrust of jesus’ message probably just means that i’m doing it wrong.
North Korea may have launched a torpedo that blew a South Korean ship out of the water, and nobody started a war over it.
So when do we dismantle Pakistan and re-integrate it into India?
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly justifiable criticism of Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians morphs into dumbass criticisms about Israel’s existence.
frankly, i think everything is like that; nothing exists that can’t be subjectively interpreted. and so, the best a person can do is to try to be honest about his/her biases.
or, as David Byrne sang “facts all come with points of view”.
also, the whole rapture bit and interpretation of the earth being bequeathed to man is horrible for environmentalists, the environment itself, and ultimately our water, air and everything else.
it seems quite obvious to me that an honest christian should want to protect the divine gift of our beautiful home, planet earth. not to mention helping the poor and sick, and not going to war, or supporting the death penalty.
but somehow it becomes exactly the opposite because i am too naive and stupid to interpret the bible properly.
David in NY
By the way, anybody who was interested in Peter Beinart’s recent article in the NYRB should take a look at Foxman’s reply and Beinart’s response in the latest issue. I say Beinart wins in a knockout against a sluggish and talentless opponent, but opinions may differ.
Talk about a shift – much like American politics did a complete 180 due to the Southern Strategy (the south went from all Dem to all Repug in short order), your typical racist wingnut of yore hated the Jews, just like most fascists – catholics, jews, blacks and immigrants: That was your standard go-to hate list for these wingnuts of pre-1960;
But now! Newt himself converts to Catholicism, and our dear Southern Repuglicans are stronger supporters of Israel than most Jews themselves.
good point. and thus was born jonah goldberg, you liberal fascist.
i’m going to become a conservative pundit ala bobo and just 180 everything i can get my hands on, and just make shit up.
As if there was anything remotely similar.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s Free Market Jesus.
Your India-Pakistan analogy you’ve been using for a couple of days might make any sense if the Palestinians actually had a country.
I don’t see how Brog’s and Larisson’s arguments are mutually exclusive. They both seem fairly intelligent, in fact.
The government of Israel really does behave contemptibly lately. The commando raid was both ham-handed and probably illegal.
Simultaneously, lots of people everywhere are Anti-Semitic. I could go into in-depth explanations of this, but all you really need to do to experience Anti-Semitism is to 1. be obviously not Jewish and 2. occasionally drink at bars.
Apparently we live in a world that’s too complicated for most people to cope with.
On a related note, O.J. did the murders, and then Mark Furman framed him anyway.
@David in NY:
@MBSS: I skimmed through some Left Behind books once. A big deal in the book is about how those who martyr themselves after the Rapture get to come back to Earth with a “glorified body,” and there’s a point in the ending of the final book (before the prequels came out, of course), where one of the characters notices one of the martyr characters in her “glorified body” has aged much better than he has in his plain old human body. So it’s not even about everlasting life in the love of Christ; it’s about having an eternally hot bod.
Wouldn’t plastic surgery be easier than martyrdom, though?
David in NY
Did you miss this line of Charles’s in your response? “There’s no room in the modern world for ethnic cleansing and apartheid.” Do you or do you not agree? Since it seems pretty clear that Israel is verging on a spree of ethnic cleansing, that is a pertinent question. And furthermore, do you believe, as you seem to suggest (characterizing the point as a “dumbass criticism about Israel’s existence”), that Israel’s continued existence depends on pursuit of a policy of ethnic cleansing?
What is wrong with Charles’s point that there should be a “multi-ethnic integrated state”? Does that proposal threaten Israel’s existence???
What’s crazy, exactly? That he takes a different view about the necessity of waging a protracted, genocidal war to end slavery? Considering we’re the only country in history to choose the Self-Destruct Option when confronted with the slavery debate, dismissing skepticism out-of-had is seems a little rash.
Then again, I’m from the South, so there’s probably a different standard about what qualifies as a “crazy” opinion about the Civil War.
or you could just do the heidi montag and hedge your bets.
Since the “Left Behind” books have come up, here is the mandatory link to Slacktivist’s close reading. Slacktivist is a liberal evangelical Christian (think Jimmy Carter, Bill Moyers) who calls “Left Behind” The Worst Book in the World.
David in NY
Here’s the Foxman-Beinart exchange in the NYRB. Sorry, I thought the link wasn’t available, but it is.
Nine humanitarian activists dead, some shot multiple times at close range. Zero Israeli soldiers dead. Can everybody at least settle on the fact that ONE party may have used excessive force? Because if you cannot agree on that, then it really doesn’t matter in what “waters” these activists needlessly died in. As usual the wrong arguments are being debated. Nine peace activists dead, zero Israeli soldiers dead. Don’t get me wrong, Israeli soldiers dying in this raid would not change the wrongness one iota. I’m just repeating that the excessive force and the brutality of the murders (multiple gunshot wounds) should be the issue, not where it occurred.
Palestine is an independent country like Pakistan is? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?
@David in NY:
it’s straight up genocide and ethnic cleansing as we speak. israel better get used to living with the palestinians because they are tied together like blood brothers (quite literally), and we are inevitably moving toward a one-state solution. sooner or later this is going to happen, unless israel succeeds in wiping them all out first.
@ed drone: Absolutely. It’s called hubris, and is a pretty big no-no, Bible-wise.
Of course, these loonies don’t read the Bible.
If you read Brog’s article, you’ll see that his point, in large part, is that the US has done plenty of harm to civilians in recent years and that Americans ought to consider that fact before rushing to condemn Israel. Larison’s legalistic response is really a non sequitur, as Brog was not attempting to debate the fine points of international maritime law.
It is beyond rational debate that the US-led sanctions on, and illegal invasion of, Iraq caused immensely more harm to civilians than anything Israel has ever done. With, by the way, the enthusiastic cheerleading of one John Cole. But now that he has put down the pom-poms, he has realized that Israel is the Worstest Country Evah. What a bozo.
“In Gaza, Hamas are the moderates.”
Good news, the aid got there. The bad news? Hamas.
Consider that we are also the only country where slavery supporters turned to violent rebellion when they were prevented from spreading slavery into new states entering the union. It wasn’t Union troops who fired on Fort Sumter.
Read the secession statements by the Southern states sometime. Every one of the surviving statements says that their main reason for leaving the Union is to maintain the system of race slavery. Every. single. one.
Sorry, but I have zero sympathy for Confederate apologists, especially when they try to claim it wasn’t about slavery, it was all about states’ rights! (to own slaves) or different economic systems! (slavery-based economy vs. free labor economy). They all sound like David Irving to me.
The good news? The food supplies and medicine got there. The bad news? Hamas.
i recognize that handle. you’re the one who says equally inane shit at GG’s UT.
I’d be loath to defend the policy that divided Pakistan and India in the first place. I don’t think it’s an appeal to authority to point out that Gandhi nearly fasted to death to oppose the division, and in general, the idea that peace (instead of endless war) could be achieved by dividing populations by their beliefs. It’s one fight he lost, and one he waged without the support of many of his Indian allies. Guess he was right, though, huh?
So no, no one’s going to dismantle Pakistan now; that would be impossible and disastrous. But if we can avoid repeating the disastrous mistakes of post-colonial policy, we probably should. No telling, in my opinion, whether that’s possible in Israel and Palestine. But it’s not a bad dream to have.
I was hoping Dave would flesh out his theory from yesterday about how not wanting to bomb Iran means ‘we hate brown people’. That had a lot of potential.
indeed, gandhi desperately wanted to avoid that result, and it broke his heart.
he famously said:
and it would behoove us to listen to and act on the words of gandhi more often than we already do.
David in NY
Look. The real problem for Israel is that many in the American public, including many younger Jews, are beginning to fear that Israel is the “Worstest Country Evah,” as you sarcastically put it. And, since Americans are notoriously American-centric, many are coming to the conclusion that our long friendship with Israel is a net negative in the world, especially given what the rest of the world thinks, with considerable factual basis, is bad behavior by the Israelis. This should be a problem for those who seek to justify Israel’s conduct with respect to its Palestinian citizens, the settlements, and peaceful attempts to bring aid to the people of Gaza. There are simply things going on in Israel that people in this country, of every religious background, will not support. And that is a problem that all who wish Israel well should consider.
The Grand Panjandrum
Seems to me the Somalis can take a page out of the Israeli playbook here. If they can all agree on a national flag to fly under they should be covered, no?
Yet another restatement of the ‘if there are countries with worse civil rights records than Israel, it’s illegal to mention Israel’ theory. Real fucking helpful.
I’m not sure if I agree with your reading of the point-counterpoint, but it certainly is worth pointing out that U.S. sanctions against Iraq were also barbaric, pointless, and killed many innocents by depriving the country of medical equipment and other necessities. We like to focus on the corruption of the aid programs and the illegal war that followed because those make Republicans look bad. But honestly, sanctions DIDN’T work. They just collectively punished Iraqi civilians – and came down very heavily on the well-developed medical and academic sectors, which suffered Saddam’s persecution as much as anybody but were also some of the most advanced in the Arab world before we cut off their resources.
Legal or not, our own actions against Iraq under Clinton were reprehensible for many of the same reasons as regards the Gaza blockade. To Iraqis, we fought one big war against them that lasted over a decade, and it’s still going on. We starved them, bombed them, invaded them, and here we are today.
Gandhi never heard of Scientology.
Bill Section 147
@Redshirt: The Israel Strategy is, at its heart, to make Israel a single issue wedge to peal Jews away from Democrats. So far there are enough ‘friends’ of Israel that see the neo-cons kissing Saudi Princes but that is getting harder to remember as the story that there is a constant and unrelenting war against Israel gains ground.
Abortion is only important in pulling Catholics away from the Democrats and keeping Evangelicals in line. After 9/11 Bush had enough power to deliver on that and he didn’t bother. It is better politics to keep it in play. Let states fuck with it or the courts but Republicans will never resolve it.
Currently Blacks and Mexicans are more powerful as the other than they are as allies.
Eventually the Latino vote will mean enough that twenty-five years from now liberals will scratch their heads and wonder about why Mexicans are no longer the bad guy for the Republicans. But remember, we have always been at war with Eastasia.
my bad, i always thought scientology was a pyramid scheme, and an excuse for hubbard to write a few more crappy screenplays.
Don’t come whining here when you finally divest the word “anti-Semitism” of any meaning or force by using it as a crude rhetorical club. Ever read the story of the boy who cried wolf?
Larison had a back-and-forth with another blogger at HighClearing, and the latter made a convincing (if depressing) argument that the blockade and flotilla attack are consistent with Israel’s long-term, Machiavellian plan to control the entire territory west of the Jordan River.
Read the whole thing, then take a couple of antidepressants.
David in NY
Nicely put. Can we make that the “Israel-lowest-common-denominator” (ILCD) theory? Israel can’t be criticized if there’s any country worse that it is. Must be a better label.
David in NY
“i always thought scientology was a pyramid scheme [not a religion]”
Are there organized religions that are not pyramid schemes?
If we are discussing sanctions now, I’ll simply note that there are pretty good arguments against using sanctions on ANY country – both from a practical do-they-work point of view and from a moral one. I agree with those arguments.
Of course, I’m a left-libertarian anarchist sympathizer type who is in favor of completely free trade, opposed to the corporate state, and wishing for a freed market (which no, we don’t have at ALL in the U.S.)
@David in NY: On that note:
Q: What’s the difference between Mormonism and Scientology?
A: One hundred years.
@David in NY:
When the Hindu population of Pakistan is increasing at a rate of five or six times the Muslim population might be a good time to start. Don’t hold your breath.
It never ceases to amaze me how people can ignore a developing situation that only takes one graph to make clear. In a time not so far into the future, Jewish Israelis will be a minority in their own country. At that point, a Jewish state loses its legitimacy. It’s called democracy.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@xe-nwb: I’m from the South– and I hold the Confederate States of America in exactly the same esteem that Israelis hold the Third Reich.
Fuck ’em, sideways, every fucking day of the week.
Oh, it never really went away, it just got a new lexicon and kept its head down after The Holocaust made all that kind of talk politically toxic. Pat Buchanan and his ilk have kept the flame burning, though, and I imagine a lot of them are comforted by the thought that they’re really just giving Israel enough rope to hang itself, which only goes to show how much smarter they are than a bunch of Jews.
Quibble. There’s another country where this is true: Mexico (or at least the part of Mexico that became the Nation of Texas and then the State of Texas).
Mexico allowed Southern Americans – with slaves – to settle in Texas in exchange for an oath of loyalty. When Mexico outlawed slavery, these newly minted Mexicans revolted and became national heroes. There’s more than a few scholars who believe that this precedent led America’s Southerners to believe they could do the same thing with the U.S.
“In a time not so far into the future, Jewish Israelis will be a minority in their own country.”
This would mean that the Arab-Israeli majority government would then control the existing Israeli nuclear weapons stockpile, right?
And Another Thing...
@Gator90: You are absolutely right that the US has caused the deaths of many civilians. The bulk of those deaths in the last 15-20 years are in Iraq. And who were the war lobby campaigning for over a decade to get the US to invade Iraq? You know, the same war lobby that’s promoting an attack on Iraq. Google PNAC, the Project for the New American Century for a list of the usual suspects.
John was wrong about Iraq, but he’s demonstrated that he’s capable of learning.
Some other people, not so much.
RE: So when do we dismantle Pakistan and re-integrate it into India?
A number of posters here keep dancing around the implications of my post. If multi-ethnic countries are a must, then Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh certainly violate this faux principle.
Some of the Muslims of India demanded their own separate country and got it. The other peoples of India ultimately accommodated themselves to this demand, even though multitudes were displaced and thousands lost their lives in the process.
There were no real issues of ancient Muslim homelands or any other similar nonsense on table. There were only two main issues here. Some of the Muslims of India developed a sense of national identity. And some of the Muslims of India refused to live as equals with people that they previously had conquered.
But for some reason, the independence of Pakistan is okey-dokey with various commenters here, while the independence of Israel is still subject to debate. Interestingly inconsistent.
@David in NY:
This is an interesting moral high horse that some people are riding on. This sentiment didn’t do squat to prevent ethnic cleansing in Rwanda. And most recently it certainly didn’t help the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
So the question isn’t whether I agree with this sentiment. It’s more that it is little more than sanctimonious hooey.
You’re joking, right?
@Brachiator: That’s a bunch of bullshit. Notwithstanding the horrors and grief of partition, Pakistani Hindus, Parsis, and Baha’i have full rights as citizens. There is no de facto apartheid, no trapped and segregated population. Pakistan may have a “Muslim” identity, but it doesn’t enforce differential treatment.
The parallel to the Palestinian / Israel example would be to therefore set up an independent and viable Palestinian state.
However, since Pakistan, Kashmir, and Bangladesh are independent states, within the territories not under dispute, it would still be correct to call for multi-ethnic democracy within those states.
I don’t care in the slightest who thinks what ancient claims they have to areas. Nonsense. Nor the fact that people don’t like Muslims or Muslim cultures. Irrelevant.
I think your attempts to parallel the creation of Pakistan and Bangladesh to the Israeli occupation of (what are now) Palestinian territories are quite weak.
There are certainly ongoing conflicts between Pakistan and India over territories in Kashmir. How does this parallel the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
Here’s my POV for what it’s worth:
I support Israel’s right to exist and its right to defend itself from threats, intimidation, actual violence, evidence of rising violence, etc.
I believe Israel needs to return all the occupied territories outright. I believe it must do so in a way that maintains safety for Israel proper.
Settlements, check points and returning of land in name only does NOT make Israel safer. It frustrates and angers Palestinians and therefore does not promote long-term peace and safety. Measures should be taken to prevent rockets being launched from returned land and weaponry from freely entering those areas, but many of the tactics Israel is using are counteractive.
This includes this blockade. It is absolutely clear that the blockade intends to make Palestinians miserable. It’s working. And that is strengthening Hamas, not weakening it.
This blockade must be challenged and aid must be delivered to the Palestinians.
This flotilla, however, did more than just challenge an unjust blockade. It was purposefully provocative. They wanted a violent response from Israel. They got it. Israel fell for the bait.
A better challenge to the blockade would expose the hypocrisy and horribleness of the nature of the blockade without provoking a military response. A military response only hardens Israel, and as we’ve seen, Israel’s supporters (e.g. us, the U.S.).
The blockade sucks, but it exists and if aggressively challenged, it will be aggressively defended. The blockade must end, but Israel will not end it when put in a position to harden its support of it. It must be convinced to end it.
An effective challenge to the blockade would be a ship from an ally or totally neutral party with aid (food, basic building supplies, much of the inexplicable banned items such as chocolate, etc.). The ship should be very public about its aid mission and its contents. It should have an minimal crew (just enough people to crew the boat and distribute the goods). Israel will have to decide whether to let the ship in or not. If not, Israel needs divert the ship peacefully. The U.S. and the world will see how unreasonable it is for Israel to divert simple food aid from Palestine and hopefully use that opening to pressure Israel into ending the blockade.
You’re confusing democracy with demographics.
David in NY
Your evident obfuscation and justification of ethnic cleansing (“it’s just like those other states”) is morally revolting. And it’s harmful to Israel.
No, not illegal, just hypocritical when Israel is the only country mentioned, as is so often the case.
I understand the point you’re making. But still there is something unseemly about Americans whipping themselves into a frenzy of outrage at Israel’s actions when our own recent conduct has been far more murderous and destructive with no greater justification. (It’s a little bit akin to the dark hilarity of Americans waxing indignant about “stolen land.”)
It is even more unseemly from someone like Cole, who lustily cheered on the most colossal war crime to occur in recent history. And how many multiples of nine civilians have we killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan since Cole’s hero Obama took power?
Physician heal thyself, etc.
Palestine was a country until 1947 when the UN decided it was mostly Israel & little parts of it could be left as Palestine. Naturally some of those horrible horrible people that had been living there for 500 years objected to someone giving away their homes. The Jews had be running a terrorist campaign in Palestine for some time so in yet another step in this never ending tit-for-tat of murder & genocide the Palestinians adopted the same tactics (similar to what both sides had been doing on and off for 4000 years). Then the US & Soviet Union chose sides & the real fun began.
There are no pure, clean and innocent actors on either side & as long as people insist that there be a good vs bad there will never be a solution short of the extermination of one side or the other.
@frankdawg: Well, there was the British Mandate, but it wasn’t quite what would be thought of as a country.
Palestinian nationalism, as opposed to pressing for a united Pan-Arab state, didn’t really become the major force among Palestinian leadership until the mid-1960s, and even later that a formal demand by the PLO (the then-internationally-recognized leadership of the Palestinian territories) declared a demand for a separate Palestinian state within the occupied territories.
@frankdawg: Also, there should be made a clear distinctions between what rights nation-states, occupied peoples, and other groups are accorded by international law and institutions, and what the rights of actual people are. Many times (including the U.S.) people talk of nation-states as though they have rights.
No state has the ‘right to exist’, that’s something that is the result of processes by the people, or at least some recognized group of people, within that nation, as recognized internationally. Nation-states have ‘rights’ vis a vis other states, but not objective moral ‘rights’ like humans do.
Can a Hindu, Parsis or Baha’i be become president or prime minister of Pakistan? Or is this prohibited by their Constitution?
Kashmir is not really an independent state. But if partition is valid for India and Pakistan, it should be valid for Israel and any Palestinian territory as well. By the way, exactly how did Jordan get to be an independent country?
I pretty much agree with you.
Yeah, it happened around the same time, involved British mandates and colonialism. Nope. No similarities.
Kashmir had a Hindu ruler, but a majority Muslim population. And yet, there are clamors for either a separate nation of Kashmir or for folding Kashmir into Pakistan. But if we went with the multi-ethnic a-go-go that some in this thread claim to want as a standard, then we should tell the Kashmiris to just STFU and remain part of India (and I am ignoring for now Chinese claims to the area).
But ultimately, I’m just suggesting that politics and history are more complicated than people want to allow, and some of the decisions that nations make are quite ruthless. For example, India is committed to being a multi-ethnic nation. And sadly, India was not displeased to see the Tamils stomped into the ground in Sri Lanka because the Indian government would never support any nationalist fervor of Tamils within India proper.
Now again, for the sake of others who don’t quite get it, I think that criticisms of Israel’s treatment of the flotilla are valid. They are pursuing a losing strategy with respect to the Palestinians. They have only strengthened Hamas while attempting to destabilize them.
But after this, things get more complicated than most posters in this thread are willing to admit.
@Will: Uhhh, try Republic of Texas. Wikipedia is your friend because even if you are wrong you can change it and act like you are right.
I think you’ve misunderstood what people are saying. They’re saying that single-ethnic countries (like, say, Pakistan, but also the Balkan countries that used to be Yugoslavia) are a proven disaster. We’re stuck with the ones we have, but there’s no reason to try and create more of them now that we know how they turn out.
Unfortunately, Turkey, the main sponsor of the ships that were attacked in international waters, is (at this point it may be “was”) Israel’s oldest ally in the region. It didn’t make a damn bit of difference in the Israeli response. In fact, they probably freaked out even more than usual because of the “betrayal.”
@liberal: That column is excellent. Perfectly capsulizes my position on the whole affair.
No — they were similar then, but they’re not similar now.
And Another Thing...
@Gator90: “…(It’s a little bit akin to the dark hilarity of Americans waxing indignant about “stolen land.”…”
Keep beating that phony drum. Someone committed a moral crime 100 years ago so somebody else has a free pass to commit a moral crime today?
That’s the way 7 year olds reason. Johnny hit Jane last week and got away with it, so I get to hit Mary today and you can’t object.
It’s the argument a moral midget makes.
I think this is an element that gets vastly underrated as a factor in the whole conflict. The whole world was divided into two teams (US or USSR?) and then one of those two teams up and quit. Now we’re trying to clean up the mess left by the Cold War and it seems like half the people in charge of the cleaning don’t realize that the Cold War has been over for 20 years and are stuck thinking in those terms. All they’ve done is change the name of the players: Israel is our last bulwark against
@And Another Thing…:
If I had said that Israel or anyone else has or should have a free pass to commit a moral crime, you might have a point. Since I didn’t, you don’t.
And Another Thing...
@Gator90:“…(It’s a little bit akin to the dark hilarity of Americans waxing indignant about “stolen land.”…”
My analysis is valid. Your construct is an attempt to discredit, disqualify and exclude critics of current issues.
You remarked upthread about Americans being responsible for thousands of innocent civilian deaths, which I agree is true, and to which I responded. So what about that war lobby who championed our attack on Iraq and are full throated in their demand we attack Iran? I’d like to see you discuss THAT dynamic of the Middle East situation(s).
A Ghost To Most
Sorry, I don’t think Scientology is bettter/worse than any other religion I’ve seen. They all seem like pyramid schemes to me.
At least they don’t bugger children (that we know of).
@A Ghost To Most:
You should read up on Scientology. At least the Mormons only demand 10 percent of your income.
@David in NY:
Let’s be clear. I think that the claims about ethnic cleansing and Israel are BS. And I certainly am not justifying anything because “it’s just like those other states.”
Most people whose panties are in a twist about supposed ethnic cleansing certainly didn’t care about Rwanda. They did nothing, didn’t even speak up, when the genocide might easily have been stopped. Most of these people don’t know where Sri Lanka is and never raised any noise as Tamils were being ground into the dust.
What’s appalling is the deliberate ignorance about the world that goes hand in hand with selective outrage. And the real issue for some people is US involvement; they don’t care if people in other nations butcher each other as long as the US is not materially or financially supporting one side or another.
Strangely, these people simply want that compassion cookie. They want to be noted for how exquisitely sympathetic they are to the plight of the oppressed. But the trick is that they need for oppression to exist so that they can stew in the juices of their supposed moral superiority. And so they re-interpret events so that it will fit into their pre-defined template.
A Ghost To Most
No thanks. They’re all f-ing crazy; they’re just crazy in different ways.
And Another Thing...
@Brachiator: Wow. I’m impressed. You’ve obviously got some super secret sources of demographic/polling information and telepaths who can diagnose the “need” some people have.
You’re a damned precious resource, please tell me you’re working for Leon Panetta.
@And Another Thing…:
Not all critics. Just the ones who annoy me.
I’m flattered by your interest in my views, but I have to make it quick. I’m not sure what “war lobby” you’re referring to. Everyone who championed our attack on Iraq was and is morally culpable for the suffering caused thereby. If you’re offering a suggestion that Israel brought about the US invasion, you’re a kook, so I hope that’s not your point. A US attack on Iran is, IMO, a terrible idea on every conceivable level. I’m not sure who is making full-throated demands for such an attack, but any such people are wrong. Take care.
And this means…. what? At most, that the outraged ought to have been more outraged, not less. The hypocrisy argument can never be used to prove something false, only incomplete. Israel does not get one free ethnic cleansing card just because it’s been done before. One would think that they of all people should remember that. But, as a Roman playwright — Terence, I think — wrote, “Slave, never be slave to one who’s been a slave / The freed ox never remembers what the yoke was like.”
So Arabs should not be allowed to vote?
It’s more than that. A couple of posters here imply that the existence of Israel as an independent nation is somehow provisional, and that they should be pressured into becoming a multi-ethnic state.
And this “stuck with the ones we have” thing is a bit off, and ignores history. Czechoslovakia split into 2 single-ethnic countries even though there was a lot of sentiment that they would be better off united (and things have worked out). As I noted, the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been ground into the dust. I suppose that one can say that country is still multi-ethnic, but that is cold comfort, I think.
Nationalism, whether ethnic, religious or other, is resurgent all over the place, from Scotland to Indonesia. Zimbabwe is a nightmare.
For most of my life, the most intractable problems related to Quebec, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and the Basque country, and Kashmir, intractable because the parties to the conflict all had valid claims to the land. Northern Ireland is the only area even relatively at peace (which I think is an illusion). But somehow we’re supposed to think that the Middle East conflict is the onliest issue.
RE: Yeah, it happened around the same time, involved British mandates and colonialism. Nope. No similarities.
As I noted, a couple of posters here write as though Israel’s claim to independence is provisional. If they think this, then I think that this would allow Pakistan to be revisited. And by any measure, the issue of Kashmir would still be open to discussion, although as I note, if multi-ethnic nations are the ideal, then Kashmir belongs to India, no further discussion necessary.
No, they’re implying that the existence of Israel as an officially Jewish state is provisional given the way demographics are going in that country. Judaism is the state religion of Israel. If the majority of the population is not Jewish, Israel will not be able to maintain themselves specifically as a Jewish state. That’s just a fact.
Their choices are either a two-state solution that allows Israel to remain a Jewish state or a one-state solution that means they become a secular state without an official state religion.
Of course, they can always continue their current course of apartheid and making non-Jews second-class citizens within Israel as Jews slowly become a minority in Israel, but that doesn’t seem like a terribly viable solution long-term.
Given that the various factions of former Yugoslavia started slaughtering each other prior to Czechoslovakia’s split, I don’t know that it was so much an example of a peaceful split as, “Holy shit, we don’t want that happening to us! Go, go, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”
The Middle East is the onliest issue right now because Israel just killed 9 people in international waters. I do wish people would pay more attention to the peace process in Northern Ireland because, as I keep pointing out, the fact that Sinn Fein has lay down their arms and joined the government doesn’t mean the bombing has magically stopped. They’ve been having quite a spate of them recently, because there are always assholes who will want to disrupt the peace process.
Israel’s demand that there be absolutely no more violence by any Palestinians is about as useful as the British government declaring that they wouldn’t start a peace process in Northern Ireland until there was absolutely no more violence between Protestants and Catholics. And yet that’s the standard the Palestinians are being held to.
You are right, but for the ship to be neutral it must not have as its crew and/or passengers activists. There is believable evidence that there were people on that boat not just interested in delivering goods and food to the Palestinian people. There is a reason 5 out of the 6 ships docked and one went on.
Israel created this messed up blockade which is messed up for 4 main reasons: 1) it directly and often devestatingly harms civilians 2) it has the opposite of the desired effect – it emboldens Hamas; 3) it gave Israel’s enemies (not detractors, but enemies) an opening to provoking it into demonstrating violence to the world; 4) It gives cover to Israel’s enemies to say they were just being “humanitarians.”
We all know that the Palestinians need real humanitarians, but the people on this boat were not them. This is a situation where there are no good guys, only victims of bad decisions and worse responses.
@JITC: This is a situation where there are no good guys, only victims of bad decisions and worse responses.
wrt the ‘no good guys’ judgment: I would think reasonable rankings in the ‘not a good guy’ category would place the Turkish ‘activists’ somewhat higher than the IDF trigger pullers who murdered them. I mean, the activists might have had nefarious motives, but murdering them hardly seems like moral tit-for-tat. Also, when you say there are ‘only victims of bad decisions and worse responses’, normal English usage requires this sentence to be understood in a specific, univocal way. Since the IDF was entirely in control of its actions through the time bullets were flying, but the Turkish activists were not, Israel can’t be a victim. To suggest otherwise would mean that Israel is a victim of its own intentions.
@Brachiator: we didn’t give 3 billion a year to Rwanda. I don’t recall members of congress getting up and saying the killing there was necessary for Rwanda’s defense.
Fuck yes, there’s nothing wrong with being more concerned with the crimes against humanity in which you’re personally complicit, some might even say it’s ones duty.
“2) it has the opposite of the desired effect – it emboldens Hamas”
Yeah, I’m not at all sure that that’s not the desired effect. I’m not putting this on “Israel” but there are definitely parties who benefit from the status quo and have no interest in a less violent Palestinian leadership. Same on both sides too, someone is always going to try to upend any progress towards peace for their own political benefit. Unfortunately a lot of these people are American politicians, and that much at least is my business.
I assume the debate over these issues is at least more honest in Israel itself, if not any less charged.