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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class”...








 
 

Israel’s Barrier to Peace

Editor’s note: In this Dig, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” examines the way Israel’s security wall has ripped a mortal gash in the lives of Palestinians living in its shadow, and argues that there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East as long as America continues to aid Israel in its dehumanizing practices.




The rage and extremism of the Islamic militants in Lebanon and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza appear incomprehensible to the outside world.  The wanton murder, the raw anti-Semitism, the callous disregard for human life, including the lives of children and other innocents, permit those on the outside to thrust these militant fighters in another moral universe, to certify them as incomprehensible.

But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference.  It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.

The failure by the outside world to react to the years of brutal repression, the refusal by the United States to intercede on behalf of the occupied Lebanese and Palestinians, gradually formed and galvanized the radicals who now occupy the stage with Israel, answering death for death, atrocity for atrocity.

Those inside these zones of occupation pleaded over the years for help.  We refused to listen.  And once they burst through these barriers, enraged, bloodied, bent on revenge, we recoiled in horror, unable to see our complicity.  We asked them to be quiet, to be reasonable, to calm down, and when they did not, their blood heated by years of abuse and neglect, we condemned them to their fate.

The barrier built by Israel in the West Bank is one of the most tangible and important symbols of this long humiliation, this strangulation of the Palestinians by Israel.  To understand the role of this barrier is to begin to understand the rage it has now unleashed.  Understanding is not excusing, but until we grasp that these militants do not come from another moral universe, until we face our own complicity in their creation and the awful violence now underway in Lebanon and the occupied territories, we cannot begin to understand the gross injustices that fuel these militant movements.  It was, after all, the $10 billion in loan guarantees by the United States that made this barrier possible.

Ending the loan guarantees, as long as they were used to build settlements and seize even more Palestinian land, would have done more to blunt the rage and violence of militants than all the iron fragmentation bombs Israel has dropped on the hapless civilians in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

But we react too late.  We react to the manifestation of rage rather than the cause of rage.  We are as morally compromised as those we condemn, as incomprehensible to them as they are to us.  And until we become comprehensible to each other there will not be peace in the Middle East.




There is a 25-foot-high concrete wall in Mrs. Nuhayla Auynaf’s front yard.  The gray mass, punctuated by cylindrical guard towers with narrow window slits for Israeli soldiers, appears from her steps like the side of a docked ocean liner.  It is massive, cold and alien.  The dwarfed shrubs, bushes and stunted fruit trees seem to huddle before it in supplication.  I struggle to make sense of it, the way I struggled to make sense of the smoldering rubble that was the World Trade Center a few hours after the planes hit.

We do not speak.  Mrs. Auynaf lives with the wall.  She is as drawn to it as she is repelled by it.  It absorbs her.  She goes out on her second-floor balcony every morning and looks at it.  She implores it for answers, as if it is a Sphinx that will answer the riddle of her new existence.

“My old life ended with the wall,” she tells me.

The wall, built by Israel a year before, blocked her from the neighboring Israeli town of Kfar Saba where she used to shop.  It cut her off from Israel.  It made it hard to reach the rest of the West Bank.  The lone Israeli checkpoint with its guard towers, floodlights, concrete barriers, dust, stench, crowds, special pass cards, intrusive searches, rude remarks by border police were more than she could bare.  She tried to pass through once.

“I could not stand the humiliation,” she says.  “I turned back.  I went home.  Now I never leave.”

The wall reduces her world to its ugly perimeter.  Her five boys beg to go to the seaside.  The wall makes this impossible.  No one goes to the sea anymore.  There are days when the checkpoint is sealed, days after suicide bombings or days when the Israeli soldiers shut it down abruptly without explanation.  On those days she sometimes gathers up her children and walks the empty streets, wandering like prisoners in a circle.  Other families do the same.  It gives her a sense of movement.  Families pass each other two, three, four times in an afternoon.  All are thinking the same thoughts.

“The town would rent buses to go to the sea,” she says.  “We would go for the day.  We would stand in the water.  We would look at the rocks and the waves.  This was before.”

The house is pleasant.  It was finished at the start of the uprising, when business was good and peace seemed possible.  The floors are marble.  The kitchen has a counter and white appliances.  The sofa and chairs have muted blue and beige stripped fabric.  We sit in the living room.  A large window fan, set on the floor in front of the open door, provides a weak breeze.  The door frame is filled with the expressionless gray face of the wall.  It draws our eyes to it, the way a muted television screen distracts me during conversations.  Sometimes we turn to look at it, as if it is a presence in the room, someone who should be offered sweet tea or a glass or water or asked to leave.  We want it to speak to us.

Her son Ibrahim, 6, sits on her lap.  He has a scar on his leg.  He was shot two years ago by Israeli soldiers.  It happened at dusk.  The soldiers were firing at a group of Palestinian workers who were trying to slip into or out of Israel without proper work permits.  He was watching from the front yard when a bullet went astray.  He stays close to his mother, especially when he hears the sounds of gunshots.  He does not like to leave home.  The world frightens him.

The family was one of the wealthiest in Qalqiliya before the wall ruined them.  They spent $200,000 on their home, with its sloping terra cotta tiled roof, its pleasant garden.  It looks like the homes in the middle-class suburbs outside of Tel Aviv.  Once the wall went up, the family’s car parts business was wiped out.  Mrs. Auynaf’s husband makes less than 10% of what he once earned.  He has trouble shipping car parts into the walled enclosure.  He often cannot reach suppliers.  Customers, those in Israel and those in other areas of the West Bank, can no longer get to his store.  He does not have a permit to drive the family car through the checkpoint.  He must stand in line, often for several hours, to go in and out.  He is away now.  He is trying to salvage his business, but it cannot go on like this.  She hopes he will be home tonight.  But she does not know.  The lines are long.  Sometimes the soldiers get tired or bored or surly and turn people away until the next morning.

“We talk about how we are going to survive, what we are going to do,” she said. 

She hangs laundry on the balcony.  Her only view is the wall.  The other morning she was hanging laundry to dry and she heard singing.  The song was by Fadel Shaker, a popular Arab singer.  The singer had a sweet voice.

“You who are far away, why do you forget those who love you?” the words go.  “When I fall asleep I think only of your eyes.  I think only of you.”

Her five boys were in the yard.  They began to sing.  There was a chorus of voices, the sweet voice and the voices of the children.  She peered up into the glaring sunlight to see the singer.  She saw an Israeli soldier in his green uniform standing on top of the earthen mound on the Israeli side of the wall, the mound the army drives jeeps up to peer down on those below.  He looked like an Olympian god.  She thinks he was a Druze, the tiny, nominally Muslim sect that lives near the border with Syria and serves in the Israeli army and border police.

“He waved when the song finished,” she says.  “The children waved back.  Then he disappeared behind the wall.”

She was on the balcony a few days later.  She was pinning up cloths on the line.  The wooden shutters were open into the house.  She looked up and saw a soldier watching her from the top of the mound.  There was no singing. His raspy voice crackled over the megaphone mounted on the jeep.  He ordered her to go inside and close the shutters.  She obeyed.  Her wet laundry lay behind in the basket.

“I live in a zoo,” she says.  “They come and watch me.  I am a caged animal.  They have the freedom to come and go, to look or not look, to be kind or cruel.  I have no freedom.”

She fears madness.  She points to an elderly woman 200 feet away squatting under a fig tree.

“The wall was the end,” she says.  “When it was finished she went mad.”

We watch the woman.  She is keening slightly.  People are being destroyed by the serpent’s teeth of the wall, springing up from the soil of the West Bank like the evil warriors sown by Cadmus.  This for me is the story, not the amount of concrete or coils of razor wire or razed olive groves and villages, but what all this is doing to human souls.



Next Page: The barrier is the most catastrophic blow to the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Dig last updated on Jul. 25, 2006


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By salman, August 23, 2006 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Dov:

Basically what you are saying is if an injustice has been done; it shouldn’t be undone; that’s the NOW perspective.
My dear man your Indian analogy is really laughable; there are no Indians left; they were all obliterated remember!

So if you have a 6 bedroom house and someone came and occupied it; threw you out at gun point and then said here’s the deal; I’ll give you the basement; there’s no windows and your exit and entry will be thru this one gate which I will control, and if you resist I will shoot you, cus remember you only have stones, and I’ll call you a terrorist. Would that be OK from your NOW perspective?

This is what the Zionist Jews have been doing: occupy; occupy; occupy. And then, there’s no going back. Why? its the NOW perspective. Could you please reword that as the UNJUST and RACIST perspective.

The fact of the matter is that the Palestinians and most of the Arabs have finally come round to recognizing Israel provide they implement the UN resolutions requiring return to pre-1967 borders.
But the Zioinists say NO NO NO. That’s anti-semitic.
How much more evil are we going to witness.

Finally DOV; I can assure you nothing in this world is permanent; remember how the dinosaurs vanished from the earth. Mysterious are the ways of the universe. Peace can never be built on the foundation of injustice. Compromise, yes.

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By Kwagmyre, August 23, 2006 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dov stated:

“As for what I said being lies, check newspaper archives, the whole west bank and the Arab part of Jerusalem was offerred, and Arafat said no.”

As I understand it, it was more complex than just that.  The amount in question was about 95% so it wasn’t the “whole” west bank that would be ceded to the Palestinians.  Also the highways or roads between the West Bank and Gaza(or perhaps other roads if not these)would still remain under Israeli control.  So, as I commented earlier in a previous post on this issue, it would be analogous to telling someone that you’d sell them a hotel or apartment building but that you still would retain the lobby. 

Also I read that Barak approached Arafat(who was hardly a paragon of virtue)with a rather supercilious attitude in effect saying, “You better take it or else, cause that’s all you’re gonna get, buster!”

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By Dov, August 23, 2006 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
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Two thoughts from two perspectives, a historical perspective and a “now” perspective.

From a historical perspective, for thousands of years there were Jews here and Arabs here.  No question.  Look at history, look at archeology.  There were no governments, like many other areas it was controled by various empires.  Then the League of Nations and later the UN decided to split it in half into two countries for the two peoples that were living here.  Jews said yes, Arabs said no and started a war.

From a “now” perspective, civilization doesn’t turn back the clock on existing countries.  Does the US government give back NYC to Native American tribes?  No.  The US is a country that’s not going to nullify its existance because of history.  It tries to do something right for the Indians, and probably should do more, but we don’t tell all non-Native Americans to get out.

As for what I said being lies, check newspaper archives, the whole west bank and the Arab part of Jerusalem was offerred, and Arafat said no.

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By Franco - An American Patriot, August 23, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE WALL looks stronger than the levees in New Orleans.

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By Salman, August 23, 2006 at 2:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Dov: Your reply is interspersed with LIES and DOUBLE SPEAK. I noticed that in 3 of your paras you have used the qualifier ” whatever you may think”.
The bottom line is you don’t steal someone’s land because a) someone in Europe had kicked your butts or thrown you into the microwave and b) having stolen it, you don’t say okay you can have 22% of it back( as at Camp David).
c) The palestinians will stop using suicide belts( terror?) tomorrow, if they had F-16s( civilized) instead.
d) Check out the history of the Irgun gang and the statements of all Zionist leaders starting with Ben Gurion, about terror, assassinations, eviction of Palestinians.
e) How many suicide bombers were there in the Muslim world pre-1948?
f) The Mexicans have not occupied Californian lands, bulldozed Californian homes; beaten up; killed, humiliated, raped, murdered, the residents and then called in F-16s to bomb them. So WTH are you talking about? Are you just another Zionist apologist( like the folks on Knesset Hill in DC) or plain evil?
g) Every single day the Israelis go and kill a few Palestinians; without an eyebrow being raised in the U.S. I truly think the IDF soldiers get some sort of cash rewards/bonuses for each Palestinian child they kill.
f) Again on the BS about right to exist! Everyone has right to exist( except if you are a Palestinian); but right to exist where????? So, A rich Palm Beach Jew who looks as middle eastern as Christ looked Scandinavian can fly across tomorrow for a second villa on the West bank? Right to exist!!
In fact the Mexicans have more of a diaspora right to occupy southern California, cus it was part of Mexico at one time; and the Californians should only have stones to fight back, while the Mexicans have F-16s.But on second thoughts they don’t have to do that ; because the demographic projections for 2060 put Hispanic numbers far above the WASPS; so I guess we’ll have Presidente Zapata of the USA at that time. No sweat!

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By The Realist, August 23, 2006 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a link relevant to this forum:

http://jihadwatch.org/archives/006631.php

This time I refrain from saying “enjoy”.

MAR, you were right: “A pox on all religion”.

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By Dov, August 22, 2006 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel doesn’t accept the Palestinian’s right to exist?  Spinoza you’re on drugs.  You obviously won’t be convinced by facts, but I’ll repeat them for other readers sake.

1. Israel accepted the UN partition plan in 1947, for 2 states living side by side, the Arabs did not and they attacked.  Pure fact.  Whatever you may think of history and who deserved what, bottom line, the UN decided on two states side by side, Jews said yes, Arabs said no.

2. In 1948 Jordan ended up in control of the West Bank.  Did they build a Palestinian State?  No, they kept it as their own territory, contrary to the UN plan.  Did they let their Palestinian “bretheren” build infrastructure?  No, they put them in refugee camps.  From 1948 to 1967 Jordan kept the Palestinians in that state, rather than build a functioning state alongside Israel.  They even had Jerusalem, which could have been the capital of a Palestinian state, but they chose not to.  Pure fact.  Whatever you may think of other things, bottom line Jordan had the West Bank and Jerusalem and chose not to build a state there for 19 years.

3. At Camp David and Wye Israel offerred the Palestinians all territory they wanted, to create a Palestinian state.  It’s all on the record.  The Palestinians started the intifada instead.  Pure fact.  Whatever you may think of other facts, and other influences at the time, and other feelings, bottom line, Israel offerred to give back all the land for a Palestinian state to be created, living side by side, and the Palestinians didn’t accept it.

4. The Israelis have since withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza, giving the Lebanese/Palestinians a chance to build peaceful existance there.  In the case of Gaza it was made explicitly clear that we’d withdraw from the West Bank as the next stage.  The Palestinians chose terror instead.  Whatever you may think of the influences and causes and feelings, bottom line, they could have chosen peace and gotten the rest, they chose to fire missiles at Sderot instead.

Now, in all of these cases you can argue about other issues and other influences and other feelings.  Many of these things are certainly true.  But the facts are still clear that Israel has accepted and offerred everything possible for the creation of a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel, and the Palestinians have said no.

I say again, everyone, I live in Israel, and all Israelis have accepted the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza.  All opposition is based on the question of whether it will in fact bring peace, not opposing the notion of two peaceful states if they could be created.  We’re all sick of our children dying. 

But the Palestinians have got to say yes, and they’ve got to agree to stop terror.  Israel cannot afford to build another hostile enemy 10 miles from its cities.  Californians wouldn’t do that, they build a fence on the Mexico border just to keep loiterers out.  We have a right to keep bombs out, and the facts above make it clear that we’re willing to give everything if it will in fact bring peace.

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By Barak, August 22, 2006 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hello Mar,

I don’t know your name and you don’t know mine, but I want you to know how impressed I am by your voice of reason, by your clarity, and mostly by your lack of hate,as opposed to others (Salman, Fadal, Spinoza and Geronimo, to mention just a few who could not stop themselves even if they tried…).

You point at the frightening truth, which is that if both sides do not change, we may encounter some horrific future.

Regardless of what might happen there, people like you are the kind of people that both parties should listen to and try to emulate.

Unfortunately, there is a religious fervor in the world today, and it has nothing to do with Israel, and the fact is that it happens in Sudan and Darfur, and I don’t think that Israel grabbed any territory there…
It is happening right here in the U.S. with Christians in the military who make Jewish and Hindu cadets feel like they are not equal because they do not believe in Christ, etc. 

It does not look like the human race is going to change its nature when it comes to its need for religion, because most people are too frightened to live their life without it. Most people are also invested in having their religion being the “right ” one, and their god being the true one. But I am only repeating your concepts.

Thank you for being adament and not caving in to the voices of hate and extremism , and to Spinoza who immediately had to put you down. And yet, you did not stoop to his level, and you stayed with the facts.

I think that you put all of us to shame, we, who engage with the “my truth is better than yours”.

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By MAR, August 22, 2006 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have taken some time to read back more than I did at first.  I am not going to answer every jibe or comment on my posts as I think my position is clear enough. Unfortunately some comments against what I said were purely argumentative, Some of my comments were actually facetious. So here goes, in no particular order.

Like you, I have no idea who the people are who post, except that they do English pretty well. Rich man, poor man, beggar man thief, probably not an Indian Chief. Perhaps a keen minded student, a professor, who knows. 

1. The distinguished correspondent, and “dig leader”,. Chris Hedges, undoubtedly a good reporter and his “on the spot” as to how Palestinians live with the Wall and Israeli governance, would pull the strings of any heart. But his attention is on the last 15 years of his experience. Where was he 60 years ago when this mess was made in Palestine and Israel became a state.  Where are similar heart tugging stories of Jews punished for 2000 years for “killing Jesus.”  Pogroms, death camps, discrimination to the point where they had to hone the mind and memory and take up occupations that were deemed untouchable by the so-called Christian church for 2000 years. Their skills had to be portable because they were chased from pillar to gate. Under the Arabs they helped build a beautiful civilization in Spain. Under the RC Church they were kicked out or tortured.  They became money lenders, tinkerers, goldsmiths. Recent history is that they can also be very good farmers, inventors, and scientists and so on - and still make good chicken soup.    Mr. Hedges’ focus is on the West Bank without any comment that the West Bank problem came into existence because Egypt and other Arab nations attacked Israel in 1967 and got the pants beat off them. Were they supposed to give the spoil back?  Would the Arabs have “given back” Israeli Palestine if they had won? The Israelis did give back the Negev but then I wouldn’t want it either.  Gaza, the West Bank, Golan and the Negev were the door prize for winning a war when your neighbours are trying to eliminate you. In short, I cry for the Palestinian widows, children and the dead. But it is still not out of place to cry for some 6,000,000 Jews who were casualties of the Nazi bakeries.  And the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions who would have been slaughtered in Israel if at any time the Arabs won. That was their promise after all.  Mr Hedges could have a bias, I think.  One thing, he does not seem to acknowledge history as the stew in the pot.

2. Salman, in 19568 raises the question of whose land it is. Any dimwit knows that you are all Semites, Arab and Israeli who have occupied the land intermittently since the dawn of time. Obviously I reject the Abraham myth and more or less accept the results of recent archeology until something better comes along. I did post on that more extensively but I guess the monitor did not think it relevant.  Perhaps not tightly so as to satisfy an editor but tightly so. Mr. Hedges can go on at length about how people hurt. Mr. Hedges, anyone who has been near war knows that.  You could have written the same piece about the post WWII DP camps in which the remnant of the Jews stewed before they found a boat to Palestine. The Jews went to Palestine because neither your country, nor mine, nor Britain wanted them. “Oh, send them, to Madagascar!  But not in my back yard. Well, they are in their own back yard. A backyard that they have shared for at least 3500 years.

3.  I mentioned the problem of not knowing who you are talking to on tis thread except from context. I use a pen name because one of these Jihadists might take exception to what I say and I would find my bed sheets stained red in the morning. Well, so be it. I’ll be using them for not much longer anyway.  For all I know, Salman might be a 12 year old Palestinian student who knows English banging away on his old PC on the roof. Or he might be the foreign minister designate of Hamas or Hezbollah. He is certainly not the Prime Minister of Israel.

3. My story about setting down the arms and playing golf was a reductio ad absurdum to show that it is just as easy to quit as it is to continue, if all act as intelligent humans. Few are acting that way.  Because the end point of this nonsense could very well be a nuclear event that would conclusively end the argument, if not civilization as we know about it.  Spinoza comments on Hamas and Hezbollah recognizing Israel de facto is the funniest joke I have heard in ages.  So when a killer points his gun down my throat and blows up my daughter, ripping her apart with ball bearings, that’s de facto recognition?  Not in my bailiwick.

4. 19505 Salman again.  Jesus an American or Englishman? Man, if you have read my posts you will know that I said a pox on all religions. There is no I repeat no historical evidence that Jesus (Issis as you call him) even existed except for one or two forgeries (Josephus) or out of time sequence reports (Tacitus). There is plenty of historical evidence of the Christian church and one of the early church’s first job was to clean up the story and make it historical. There were a lot of books burned and Gnostics slaughtered as heretics when they had a different understanding.  Jesus may have well been an incredible teacher who was the source of stories, but the real gospel story is parallel to Horus and a few other myths and religions which have some allegorical meaning to humanity, but let’s not get carried away.  The relevance to the Palestinian Wall is that all religions are nonsense except as they motivate people to be tender nurses, valiant warriors, or crazy prophets - or suicide bombers.
 

5. I have to confess Hudna is not in my vocabulary, but a peace treaty isn’t worth the paper it is written on unless it is limitless in time. There is no doubt that there have been worthless treaties. The peace treaty of 1784 in respect to Canada and the United States has been running for over two hundred years now.  Another to deal with peace and the border about 1834 has been running awhile too. How long would Arabs intend to keep peace? Ten Years? Not enough time to make investment in a carport worthwhile. One Hundred years? A little more than a lifespan. Also, the world’s diplomatic floors are covered with broken treaties. The Russo-German Pact of 1940(?) Lasted only as long as Hitler chose, just as the Arab nations chose to ignore that Israel has a right to exist.

6. There was an allusion to me being a friend of Bush. Uh Uh. The fundamentalist route is almost as dangerous as some of the others I have mentioned.  And to Israel? A lot of sympathy for the past but not if they don’t clean up their act. This time I think the Israelis were conned into a reaction over the captured soldiers. And the reaction was overdone. And that over-reaction seems to have cost Israel a lot of sympathy in the West. Just what the Muslims wanted, probably. We now know that the Israeli leader seemed to have been a nervous replacement because of Sharon’s illness. He is not the same calibre it seems.

I know my posts are not brief but this will have to do for quite a while because there are some problems that are insoluble, and this may be one of them. Because that may be so, I will cry for both sides because nothing, I repeat nothing, will come out of a continuation of this but death and blood - maybe for us all.  Palestine, Israel, The Wall, Hamas, Hezbollah seems to be one of those problems. And I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut (sorry guys, a local phrase) that the presence of the UN along the border will have no effect in the long run.

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By The Realist, August 22, 2006 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

spinoza, you’ve quoted me out of context, so let me remind you, the whole piece you’ve deliberately “forgotten”, and then try to answer my question:

The following is an excerpt from Sam Harris’ assay found elsewhere at this site:

…”Let us take stock of the moral intuitions now on display in the House of Islam: on Aug. 17, 2005, an Iraqi insurgent helped collect the injured survivors of a car bombing, rushed them to a hospital, and then detonated his own bomb, murdering those who were already mortally wounded as well as the doctors and nurses struggling to save their lives”.

Now could you please tell me if negotiation with such monsters is at all possible?

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By salman, August 22, 2006 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Further to my posts 19488 and 19505, I must respond to this BS about Israel’s right to exist. a) I believe the land which the settler nation is currently occupying has existed for millions of years; b) everybody has a right to exist; the point is exist where?
Even squatters don’t have a right to exist everywhere.
If an American has a right to defend his home; why mustn’t the Palestinian have the same right? The terrorist is the home invader not the home defender.

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By Spinoza, August 22, 2006 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>>> Now could you please tell me if negotiation with such monsters is at all possible? >>>

You call yourself a realist and yet you call Arabs monsters.

Is that realistic?  Arabs are people and they can be talked to like any other people.

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By Spinoza, August 22, 2006 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Quagmire, I admit on second reading that I was too hard on Mar.

However, I don’t think he was as balanced as you claim. Wittness:

<<<With a little imagination, what would happen if all the Islamists and jihadists put down their arms and back off permanenty and recognize that Israel has a right to exist and recognize, say the pre 1967 borders; and that Isreal laid down her arms, scrapped her bomb, and accepted the pre 1967 border>>>>

Whether it is Fatah or Hamas they have de facto recognized Israel.  That is not a question, it is only an excuse.  The FACTS are that Israel has not recognized the right of the Palestinians to exist.  That is what is at issue.

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By Spinoza, August 22, 2006 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> (I wouldn’t be surprised if he called himself Albert Einstein

Yes, Einstein is another Jew who I admire and who wouldn’t be cow-towing to the Right Winger neo fascist Jewish establishment.  People with high ethical standards do not support any injustice.

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By Spinoza, August 22, 2006 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> The problem as he rightfully points out is the utter “insanity” of religion in all this and the idiotic attachments that all the players in that region have for their respective faith-based positions.  If that could be thoroughly cut through then there just *might* be grounds for hope.  But until then…........
<<<


I have no intellectual disagreement that religion sucks and it would be best to do away with it.  But that is not the issue here, the issue is of peace and justice and Mar very inadequately addresses this issue.  I will state again , people have to feel that they are treated justly.  I will ask my fellow Jews again to put themselves in Arab shoes and tell me how they would feel. Golda Meier in a moment of candor stated that if she were an Arab she would be throwing bombs also. Think about it.

Another person was lying about the Hudna offered.  There was an offer of a Hudna and a negotiation about the existence of Israel.  Read that very carefully.  The Negotiations at Tibia got very close to a real deal.  Norman Finkelstein has shown that if a negotiated peace was wanted it was not the Arabs who were the obstacle. Chomsky has made the same arguments and I hear he has produced the maps from the Tibia Conference in one of his books which both sides had agreed to.  It is the right wingers in Israel who have decided that they don’t want to give up any meaningful land for peace.  This right wing position is being egged on by the so called neoCons in the USA.

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By salman, August 22, 2006 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Mar:

You’ve got it all wrong buddy. Jesus was not English or American. Even his Aramaic name was not Jesus; that is the Anglicised version. He was a middle eastern man who in all probability would have been awaiting deportation at a Jew York detention facility. Remember he was a ‘suspicious looking’ middle easterner; looked nothing like your saviour Bush.
Now as for the ‘revered’ chosen people; you may want to offer them your homes, so that at the time of the second coming; Issa ( Jesus) can return to a peaceful land. The Muslims will welcome him as one of their great prophets; the Jews won’t. So, its better if they are kept out of sight of the holy land. They’ll be safer on Wall Street when the Breaking News will be announced.

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By Barak, August 22, 2006 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
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A response to Spinoza’s post #19446.

Spinoza, Mar is not “full of it”, but you are. You keep on with your superiority like you are the only person in the world who reads. Well, you are not.

You continue to state half truths, and obviously you only read the Arab literature, instead of all publications.

The Hudna that you refer to was conditional and to add insult to injury stated that it does not include recognizing Israel. Actually, you are absolutely right! This is the face of Hamas’ Hudna!

Keep on reading, since you are the voice of hate and one sidedeness. Maybe you will become more objective. And, yes I believe in miracles…

“In January 2004, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year hudna in return for complete withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Rantissi said the hudna was limited to ten years and represented a decision by the movement because it was “difficult to liberate all our land at this stage; the hudna would however not signal a recognition of the state of Israel.” Hamas’ former spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin made similar statements at this time, including a one hundred year Hudna. Israel characterised the offer as ridiculous and a “smoke screen for military preparations”. Both Israel and the United States insist that Hamas is “an enemy of peace” that must be disarmed and dismantled[3]. Following further terror attacks by Hamas, Yassin was killed by Israel in March 2004, Rantissi in April[4].”

[edit]
See also

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By salman, August 22, 2006 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
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You see the problem is quite simple:

The road to the White House ( in our great democracy )runs thru Tel Aviv; every U.S. Presidential candidate knows that and at the Knesset on the Hill, every single shameless Congressman and Senator knows that if he were to utter just one single sentence to say that the Palestinian people should be treated with dignity, he would have committed political suicide and will be consigned to oblivion.
One day Nancy Pelosi will be saluting AIPAC, the next day it will be Newt Gingrich; the day after its Hillary Clinton and the next day its Bush. There is actually a fierce competition going on in the occupied territory of the District of Columbia on who can show more fealty to Israel.
Now the facts on the ground: Hitler and the Europeans get together to kick every single Yiddish butt and in a flash all these Jews remember that their grannies were born in the middle east. So the Polish, the Russian, the Irish, the French, and of course let us not forget our very own Palm Beach villa Jew all decide to take up residence in the middle east. They attack, rob, pillage, murder, occupy, assassinate, terrorize for sixty long years and every single evening they don their hats and suits and go off to a fund raiser for the next holocaust museum; dropping off a fat check on the way to Congressman John Kickback.
Jews have lived in the middle east for thousands of years in peace with their Muslim and Christian neighbors; post-WWII came the imported Jews from the west.
Now instead of telling the undocumented imported Jew to live in peace with the indigenous peoples, the U.S. has been telling them: Go, occupy and kill and, every time a Palestinian child is killed we will bless you; we will defend your right to kill and we will both open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

Question:How long will this tragi-comedy be played out on the world stage is anyone’s guess?
Answer: As long as the road to the White House runs through Tel Aviv.

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By The Realist, August 22, 2006 at 3:15 am Link to this comment
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MAR,

Of course you hit the nail on the head: the cause of man’s present misery and misfortunes lies in religious fanatism (Re: 9/11 and other attrocities).

But unfortunately, you were easily led astray by one Spinoza (I wouldn’t be surprised if he called himself Albert Einstein – yet another Jew, who comes to my mind), in believing that negotiation will solve the Israeli Palestinian problem.

The following is an excerpt from Sam Harris’ assay found elsewhere at this site:

…”Let us take stock of the moral intuitions now on display in the House of Islam: on Aug. 17, 2005, an Iraqi insurgent helped collect the injured survivors of a car bombing, rushed them to a hospital, and then detonated his own bomb, murdering those who were already mortally wounded as well as the doctors and nurses struggling to save their lives”.

Now could you please tell me if negotiation with such monsters is at all possible?

O.k. one would say, what about Jordan and Egypt? Yeah, but this was one or more decades ago, when leaders still resorted to reason.

Secondly, the problem isn’t land, it isn’t territory. This is only a pretext, an excuse. Before hizbulla attacked Israel a month ago, did Israel owe Lebanon even one inch of their soil?

Regards

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By Dov, August 21, 2006 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
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Wow, 2 weeks away from this discussion, I decide to take a look, and nothing’s changed, and very few facts are being discussed.

I ask the following questions:

1. What would anyone like Israel to offer that we haven’t already offerred?

2. What country or international body recognized the 1948-1967 borders as legitimate recognized borders?

3. What reason is there to believe that any decision makers in Israel are motivated by religion?

4. Why should Israeli settlers in the West Bank stop a Palestinian state from being formed, when Arabs living within Israel’s borders as citizens don’t stop Israel from functioning as an independent state?

5. What area of land with Arabs living on it has Israel refused to give back to a to-be-formed Palestinian state?

6. Which side had more refugees in 1948, Arab or Jew?  Who forced the Arab refugees into refugee camps and kept them there for a generation?

7. To those who have made the analogy between the Palestinians and the American Indians, what would be a fair claim for the Indians to demand from the USA?

—Dov

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By Geronimo, August 21, 2006 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
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In West Beirut during the ‘82 US-Israeli siege of that city, the street talk had to do with why don’t our Arab brothers rise up, overthrow their corrupt governments and come to our rescue? Which didn’t happen.  Likewise, with this latest US-Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the same sentiments are being expressed, and, once again to no avail. Not yet, that is.

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By Kwagmyre, August 21, 2006 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
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Spinoza declares:

“Mar, I am sorry to say you are full of it.  Now I am not saying you don’t have your heart in the right place but you are constantly blaming the Arabs and Islam and that is not fair.”

Dead wrong, Spinoza.  If you take the trouble to carefully read what Mar says, he’s not being partial to one side or another.  In one of those posts you’ll see that he takes the Old Testament to task as much as the Koran.  And yet in another sentence says the Jews can be just as intransigent as the Arabs or Muslims.  That’s why I previously commended him for presenting a well-balanced perspective on this, certainly moreso than I who in recent times has shown an increasingly anti-Zionist sentiment. 

The problem as he rightfully points out is the utter “insanity” of religion in all this and the idiotic attachments that all the players in that region have for their respective faith-based positions.  If that could be thoroughly cut through then there just *might* be grounds for hope.  But until then…........

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By Spinoza, August 21, 2006 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment
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> With a little imagination, what would happen if all the Islamists and jihadists put down their arms and back off permanenty and recognize that Israel has a right to exist and recognize, say the pre 1967 borders; and that Isreal laid down her arms, scrapped her bomb, and accepted the pre 1967 borders, perhaps having a permanet UN presence in the Golan because of it’s dominant artillery heights. And then what would happen if all those giving arms and money to either side first set up a foundation to care for the families of the dead, for the injured from all the stupid fighting in the Middle East.  And set up schools, hospitals, universities and maybe a golf course that accepted both Arabs and Israelis. in the same foursome. Maybe even an Americanm too. And a Brit And. . . .anyone without a bomb or a weapon. <<<


Mar, I am sorry to say you are full of it.  Now I am not saying you don’t have your heart in the right place but you are constantly blaming the Arabs and Islam and that is not fair.  There are many many books on the history of the conflict and you need to read more.  Learn more of the specifics of the fight.  Learn of the massacres And to read books from the point of view of the Arabs. As I have said before peace is not possible unless people feel that they are more or less fairly treated. Arabs are universally known for their hospitality but like all people they don’t want to be taken advantage of. Hamas offered a Hudna and this was rejected by Israel. Sorry but all of the current problems are Israels fault. They refused to deal with Hamas and that is wrong.  As I have said numerous times on this thread. You negotiate with your enemies, not your friends. The Right wing governments keep claiming they have no negotiating partner. They are liars. What they are really saying is that they don’t want to negotiate. They just want to steal more land.

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By MAR, August 21, 2006 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment
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A short reply to 19290 Kwagmyre.

I agree. Now another pitch:

With a little imagination, what would happen if all the Islamists and jihadists put down their arms and back off permanenty and recognize that Israel has a right to exist and recognize, say the pre 1967 borders; and that Isreal laid down her arms, scrapped her bomb, and accepted the pre 1967 borders, perhaps having a permanet UN presence in the Golan because of it’s dominant artillery heights. And then what would happen if all those giving arms and money to either side first set up a foundation to care for the families of the dead, for the injured from all the stupid fighting in the Middle East.  And set up schools, hospitals, universities and maybe a golf course that accepted both Arabs and Israelis. in the same foursome. Maybe even an Americanm too. And a Brit And. . . .anyone without a bomb or a weapon.

And neither side interfered with the other.

What would who lose?
What would who gain?


And how long would it last without secular education unbiased by religious material. No mullahs. No rabbis.

I don’t know; I just ask the question.

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By MAR, August 21, 2006 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
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My previous submission a few minutes ago as an answer to 19383 has got lost in the shuffle and I can’t find it to correct it. The above is my correct email .

Hope you can post it.

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By MAR, August 21, 2006 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
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to 19284,  are you a hate spouter? Islam, seems to be one of the few faiths that hides behind women and children when they go to war. Yes there are all sorts of soft phrases in the Quran. There is also a lot of garbage, just as there is a lot of garbage in the Old and New Testaments and in the Book of Mormon . . . and in all faith-based “documents.”  And then there compiliations of statements from hadith to back my view of the nature of Islam in action.

The Jews are no less intransigent in their feeling that a god has annointed them. The most intolerant and self-righteous of all are fundamenmtalist Christians, whether Protestant or deep-dyed Roman Catholic.

A pox on all religion.

The insolubale problem is why mankind, hjaving developed a beautiful brain and intelligence, chooses to believe these nonsense stories that have been around since the stone age. The beauty of evolution itself should be sufficient to turn from bloody ways to creative peace. Islam is a faith of fancy in the Hegira, hate and destruction and fairy tales of afterlife goodies for martyrs.  Judaism is an ancient adaption of old myths from Egypt and knows hate as well. It is exclusionary. And Christianity is a melange from Judaism, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism and go knows what else, speaks of love but more often in action is eclusionary unless you convert.
  Mormonism is another flight of fancy in imitation of the old testament of blood. In other words, these faith-cults in my opinion are what cause wars. The beauty of our Earth begs us to sit down together among paths of peace and not to hide our weapons among innocent people, or brandish them in anger as a way of defence.

Is it not possible to view the wonders around us without these ridulaous faith/hate based nonsense? Science is showing the was but it should never be a faith vehicle either.

As I said, the vicious exclusionary nonsense of faith-cults is what has caused us these problems. Why not sit down together and plough a new field, plant new grape vines and make a new wine? 

The lion has awakened but should lie with the lamb.

One forgotten thing. When UN partition of Palestine came in 1947 Jordan grabbed the West Bank on no historical authority whatever, it had always been part of mandated Palestine, of Ottoman Palestine before that and not the new Jordan, I believe. It is good to see Jordan try to find a way to live with the Israelis now compared to 1947.

Faith is not the way to reality. Not my way, anyway. View the evidence intelligently and use the intelligence that so many of you say was created in you by a god.  Use common sense.

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By The Realist, August 21, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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Listen to the following by Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi, an Arab himself.  Hope very much he’s not silenced and prosecuted same as Salman Rushdie.

September 20, 2004
Arab Progressive: The Arabs are Still Slaves to a Medieval Mentality

In a recent opinion piece, the progressive author and journalist Dr. Shaker
Al-Nabulsi condemned the growing support for terrorism and extremism in the
Arab world, and the rejection of moderation and reason. The following are
excerpts from the article.

‘We have become the Most Terrorist Nation and the Greatest Spillers of Blood
in the World’

“... If the Arabs had today a well-burnished mirror in which they can see
themselves, and if they had the requisite courage to look in it, they would
be stricken by fear and panic at the sight of themselves. The image [would
be] that we have become the most terrorist nation and the greatest spillers
of blood in the world. In this [current] stage of history in which nations
resolve their problems through dialogue, diplomacy, conventions, and through
appeal to the world’s better judgment, to public opinion, and to
intellectuals, instead of threatening [others] with bloodshed if this or
that demand goes unmet… The image is that we have become a nation devoid
of reason!”

‘Why have the Arabs Gone Crazy in Such a Manner?’

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By Karen Aizenshtat, August 21, 2006 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
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Why is it that Israel is always to blame for Islam’s problems?  Why didn’t Yasser Arafat accept a peace plan?  Why don’t Arab leader ever accept responsibility for the conditions that they keep their people in?  The UN refugee camps serve a purpose for Palestinian leaders to show how poor these people are.  Where is all the money that was sent to Palestine & is still coming in monthly?  Have hospitals been built?  Universitites?  New schools or homes?  Where is all that money & what is there to show for it?  NOTHING!  Arafat’s wife has been living nice in Paris - who pays for that?  A lot of the money has been spent on weapons to kill Israelis.  We have extended a hand in peace, but the Palestinian leadership wants to destroy Israel, so in order to protect ourselves, we are trying to separate ourselves & our citizens from people who want to kill us & destroy Israel’s tiny piece of land when there is thousands of miles of Arab lands!

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By Kwagmyre, August 20, 2006 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment
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Mar concludes with:
“I am not a Jew but I can’t help having admiration and sympathy for their position. The Jihadists to me are bad, bad news.”

Actually you present one of the most “balanced” and seemingly well substantiated posts in this entire thread.  But in the interests of “justice”, the Israelis could go far to redress the Palestinian grievances by withdrawing to the pre ‘67 borders and if the Palestinians should decide they continue to want Hamas as their democratically party, then so be it.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 20, 2006 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
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To Comment # 19071 by 9/11was onlythebeginning

I think you’re possibly the new racist on this blog that my friend Spenoza hinted at without being specific. It is amazing how shallow and devoid of logic racists are! You introduce this piece as “Very profound and gutsy.” If this is so profound, you don’t know what “profound” means; and this obviously speaks volumes for your blind racism, ignorance and lack of understanding. In response to you, let me make the following points:

1. The racist you’re quoting is indeed a mental case; for he has not been cured from the scourge of racism. He is shifting the target of his racism from one Semitic group (Jews) to another Semitic group (Arabs).

2. I assume you rushed yourself into the trouble of quoting a racist not so much because your so-called profound writer is acknowledging the crimes of the Europeans against Jews, but more so because he is directing the venom of his bigotry, hate and racism against Muslim Arabs. That makes you double guilty. It you were smart enough, you wouldn’t have rushed to celebrate by posting this filth.

3. So if your racist hero, Señor Sebastián Rodríguez, thinks that the evils of Europe just started at Auschwitz, then that also speaks volumes for his deep ignorance and the superficiality of his sense of history. I would correct this ignoramus by telling him: Have you not heard about the evil Crusades? Have you not heard about the Inquisition, whose victims were equally the Muslims and the Jews?
 
4. If your racist hero knew enough about his culture and heritage, he would not have allowed himself to go hatefully about his rants against Arabs and Muslims. He needed only to look into his own language to find out that there are some 6,000 key words in Spanish from Arabic origin. Just two examples are the words “dinero” from the Arabic “dinar” and “Algebra” from the Arabic “Al-Jabr.”

5. Because I know you’re a Zionist, may I ask you who was Maimonides (Musa ibn Maymun)? May I ask you who was Averroes (Ibn Rushd)? May I ask you who was Avicenna (Ibn Sina)? Those are just a few names of the intellectual giants of the Medieval Times, who taught the ignorant and savage Europeans the basics of knowledge and civilization, even basic hygiene. Of course Maimonides was a Jew by faith, but he was Arabic by language and culture, and most of his works were written in Arabic. It was under the Muslims in Spain that the Jews flourished and were able to revive their dead language and culture and experience what enlightened people know as the “Golden Age of the Jewish Culture.” And the tolerance of the Arab-Muslims of that time has no parallel in human history, ancient or modern. Compare this to how modern European Zionists rewarded the Arab-Muslims by occupying their lands by force of terrorism, dispossessing them and killing their women, children and old and destroying their means of livelihood, like the olive orchards that have a very deep value for Arab Muslims that a marauding European Zionist will never appreciate.

6. I can give you a 10-page bibliography on solid scholarly works, both old and modern, that speak to the great contributions of Arab Muslims to human civilization, but I know racist people are no readers. However, do yourself a favor for once, and read just one light reading, “Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, by María Rosa Menocal.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 20, 2006 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
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• To # 19205 by Mar:

You are the latest Zionist propagandists, with a new twist of atheism; either to hide your identity, or to pretend you’re objective.

Shit… the same old shit recycled and given the pretence of knowledge an authority.

You immoral liar; you claim to have read the Qur’an, but your blind hatred made you blind to the Verse which reads, “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Qur’an: 2: 256)

May the Almighty God you deny make your last days on earth very miserable!

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By MAR, August 19, 2006 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
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I have only read enough stuff on this page to feel that few of you were around in 1947 when the UN declared for a Jewish homeland in the British mandate of Palestine. Too much book and analysis.  How about a little plain history.

The Palestinian Arabs and neighbouring Arab states vowed that they would push the Jews into the Mediterranean, cut their throats and see Jewish blood running down to the sea and similar jihadist hyperbole. 

Well, we all know the Jews won then and later, won big time in 1967. They became Israelis. Over the past almost 60 years there have been repeated attempts by jihadist Muslims to do what was threatened before - eliminate Israel. If one is neutral, one cannot help having admiration and sympathy for their situation and little or none for the Palestinians.  The Arab Palestinians were not pushed out of the new Israel, they fled because they thought the Jews would do to them what they had threatened to do to the Jews. The other Arab nations would not accept them as “brothers” so they were held in UN camps in Jordan, Gaza, etc., where conditions were intolerable, where hate would fester,where the populations would increase generation after generation and where they, the Arab nations, would have a flag of inhuman treatment, blamed on Israel and the West, to wave.

  Sure, a part of the Jewish faith from the Old Testament has been used - an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I don’t personally buy that line of reasoning but both sides seem to read the same lines. Sixty years later it might be difficult to remember who did what first but my memory is good and it has always been the Muslims until the Israelis discovered premptive action.  Otherwise the Israelis have been generally caring in social programs and education for Muslims who are citizens of Israeli within their borders, assuming they give allegiance to Israel as a nation. But they, the Israelis have reacted strongly to Islamic terrorist actions.

I was told by both Arab and Jew that in the mandate days many Jews were friends with Arabs and vice verse and a great deal of mutual consideration and respect was given. Nineteen forty seven put an end to that.

The continuing and pervasive attempts of Arab nations and terrorists to eliminate Israel is old hat. Jordan seems to have used good sense in the interest of stopping the flow of blood.  If the Israelis lose a battle, they are done. If the Islamists lose a battle then they can just try again.

In the days prior to the 1967 war, after the Suez debacle, our Canadian Forces were part of the UN peace keeper force out of El Arish and I was in and out of the area. In fact our people were nothing more than reporting observers. When Nasser wanted to progress a new war he told us to leave. We did.  Fortunately, the Israelis won again, took Gaza, the Golan Heights and part of the West Bank not to mention a great chunk of desert which they later evacuated. It was hard to feel sorry for the Arabs. 

Of course the whole thing arose in the immediate past out of the First World War - the Balfour Declaration promising a homeland to the Jews, and real politik dividing that part of the Ottoman Empire into Arab mandated territories such as Palestine(Brit) and Syria(fr.)  and Lebanon,  and new nations such as Jordan etc.
A veritable dog’s breakfast.

Whose homeland? The last theory based on archeological evidence that I know of is that all were probably ancient occupiers of the land later known as the land of Caanan. I don’t give any credit to the Abraham story, the Jesus story or the Mohammed story except that they are all succesful faith-cults.  While each has an historical following, their origins are not much more than myth or a good story along with others borrowed from ancient Egypt.  There is a theory and some evidence that the “Hebrews” came from the hills, “Bedouins” from the desert and “Caananites” in the valley of the Jordan since time immemorial, if I have it correct. In other words, the people of the area all have the same roots but now don’t recognize it. By the time of the Roman Empire they were differentiated by the Christian Jews, other sects, desert Arabs, and later along came Mohammed and his unlikely story which, nevertheless, caught the imagination of the desert Arabs.

So whose land is it? It belongs in some degree to all of the parties because they are all Semite brothers and sisters whether Israeli or Muslim or Christian or whatever.

In other words, the problem is religion, not race, and not blood.

So the solution?  There is one but it will never happen. The lion will not lay down with the lamb.

There is none as long as the Israelis are determined to have their homeland and the Muslims are determined they won’t. A reading of the Quran and the hadith makes no doubt that the goal of Islam is to have the whole world, kill the Infidels if they don’t convert. Any non-Muslim is an Infidel and the idea of ‘people of the book’ died long ago.  A reading of the Old Testament makes no doubt that Palestine is ‘the promised land and the Hebrews, now Jews are a ‘chosen people.’  As for the survivors, mostly secular, of European pogroms and the Holocaust, a safe homeland is desired, “Eretz Israel.’

Religous Jews have a self-defined religious destiny to continue to be the ‘Chosen People.’

Muslims have had their marching orders since the beginning of Islam.

Israel has The Bomb which it has not yet used. There is at least one Islamic country with the Bomb - Pakistan - but that is probably for India. We are told Iran is near to having one.    That is the dangerous one.  Since Islamists seem to feel that a good Infidel is either converted or dead, and that martyrs get 10 virgins, sweet grapes etc, their relatives having a chance to go too, then they would not worry about tossing The Ultimate Suicide Bomb as there is not the same mutal fear as when the Soviet versus the West Cold War kept the lid on insanity.

Perhaps Bush will get his Armageddon, the Apocalypse and the Second Coming that American fundamentalists seem to want. The Islamists will get . . .what? Actually, all will, probably get an eternity of extinction.

So the issues are NOT semantics.  They are a measured advance on what I saw from 1947 to 1967. The Irish seem to have been able to sit down and sort things out peacefully. The Balkans seem to be trying, but they too have a long history of religous conflict. Why can’t those in the Middle East have the common sense to see where their fanaticism is taking them?   

I am not a Jew but I can’t help having admiration and sympathy for their position. The Jihadists to me are bad, bad news.

Cheers

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By Spinoza, August 19, 2006 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
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> Actually, Geronimo, it’s quite the reverse. It is WE who obey Israel.

Actually it is the problem of the rise of Fascism after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Israel and the USA share a common ideology of “might makes right”.  This is called the neoCon/Likudnik ideology but it was the American ideology throughout the so called Cold war.  Please analyze American policy from 1945 on.  It was only with the rise of the Reagan Fascists that the Jewish Fascists (who before were very small in number) came to power.

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By Spinoza, August 19, 2006 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
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Looks like we have another racist totalitarian posting here.

When I was a high school kid in the 50’s I would not have believed that Fascism/Nazi-ism would have raised its ugly head again so soon after the horror of World War II.

Look, humans are a reasoning animal. We can talk.  We can think. We can negotiate. Why don’t we use those facilities.

We have to defeat the triple scourge of nationalism, militarism and capitalism.  We humans are capable of doing it.

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By 9/11WasTheBeginning, August 19, 2006 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
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This is an interesting series about Israeli involvement in the U.S. as reported
by Fox news:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAoe26MaTew

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By Geronimo, August 19, 2006 at 3:17 am Link to this comment
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Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez rightly chastizes Europe for having annihilated its Jewish population.  But then he proceeds to spew such hatred and venom on the twenty million Muslims (who he claims have filled in for the six million European Jews killed by Nazi Germany) that it’s hard not to believe that had Rodriquez been around some sixty years ago, he’d have been just as vehement in his hatred for the leading scapegoat of that era, Jews, as he is today in his hatred of Muslims, who just happen to be contemporary Europes number one scapegoat.      .  .

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By 9/11wasonlythebeginning, August 18, 2006 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment
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Very profound and gutsy .  This newspaper and the author will probably get the same death decree as Salman Rushdie of “The Satanic Verses” fame.


Subject: From a newspaper in Barcelona

 

All European life died in Auschwitz By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez(*)

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, and talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

***********************************

This is a translation of an article from a Spanish newspaper.


————————————————————————————————————————

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By Spinoza, August 18, 2006 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cindy Sheehan for President

We need some ethical leadership

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By SickOfObeyingIsrael, August 18, 2006 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
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Geronimo says: “...the Jewish settler-state Israel is nothing to Uncle Sam but a convenient attack dog”

Actually, Geronimo, it’s quite the reverse. It is WE who obey Israel.

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By Geronimo, August 17, 2006 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
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Since the Jewish settler-state Israel is nothing to Uncle Sam but a convenient attack dog, and since attack-dogs are not indispensable,  best wake-up, Israel, before your master cuts you loose.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 17, 2006 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
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An interesting article from a Hindu free thinker proving that friendship in search of truth and justice knows no chauvinist national bounderies. It is the stronest and most healthy bond that there is; it’s stronger than religion or nationalism. I thought to share it with my friends on this blog:
*************************************************
http://svaradarajan.blogspot.com/2006/08/defeat-for-israel-but-also_115553834972340076.html 

14 August 2006
The Hindu

A defeat for Israel, but also for justice

The U.N. resolution is a consolation prize for the Olmert regime, whose failure in Lebanon throws the wider U.S.-Israeli game plan for the region into disarray.

Siddharth Varadarajan

WHEN ISRAEL attacked Lebanon a month ago, it had two stated and two unstated military objectives. The stated objectives were the unconditional release of two of its soldiers captured by Hizbollah, and the physical destruction of the Lebanese resistance force, its leadership and command structure. As for the unstated objectives, the first was to so totally degrade the civilian infrastructure of the country that the non-Shia population of Lebanon would turn against Hizbollah and the Shias for inviting the wrath of Israel upon them in this manner. And the second, to deny Iran and its supporters the chance of opening a second front against Israel from close quarters — in the event of American airstrikes on Iranian nuclear installations.

In turn, these military objectives were part of a wider political objective: to use Israel’s overwhelming military superiority as the basis for implementing the Sharon-Olmert plan of a unilaterally imposed “peace settlement” on the region which would leave Tel Aviv in control of as much Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian land and water as it deems necessary.

Predictable blame-game

When the promised ceasefire takes effect on Monday morning, however, Israel will find that not a single one of its objectives has been achieved.

This failure has ignited a predictable blame-game within the Israeli military and political establishment but the repercussions of military defeat will travel much further afield. The Olmert regime took a big gamble in going to war and the Bush administration backed it to the hilt in the hope that a “New Middle East” could be built on the backs of a military machine that was believed to be invincible. By smashing that myth of invincibility and registering a decisive military and even moral victory over the Israeli Defence Forces, Hizbollah has thrown the neo-conservative agenda for a “New Middle East” into utter disarray.

The Lebanese militia has not only managed to preserve its capability to fight despite the withering bombardment of its strongholds in southern Lebanon but has also inflicted severe losses on the Israeli military. Nor has its ability to fire Katyusha rockets into northern Israel in retaliation for the Israeli bombing of civilian areas been effectively degraded. The IDF’s desperate push towards the Litani river following the adoption of a ceasefire resolution by the United Nations Security Council has itself cost the lives of more than two dozen soldiers, taking the number of Israeli troops killed in the war to well over 100.

More than 30 years of enforcing a military occupation and fighting children and poorly-equipped guerrillas have clearly taken their toll on the ability of the legendary Israeli army to fight a full-fledged war. That is why, right at the outset, the IDF had hoped to rely more or less exclusively on air power and deploy ground forces only after Hizbollah had been sufficiently softened up. However, the international outrage that Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon provoked, particularly after the Qana massacre, forced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his backers in Washington to change tack. Israel realised it had to commit a more significant detachment of ground troops if Hizbollah was to be defeated. At the same time, it preferred the easier option of an international stabilisation force coming in to finish the job for it.

Since the political balance of power in the Security Council is more decisively in favour of Israel than the military balance is on the ground in southern Lebanon, Washington’s priority has been to use its clout at the U.N. to bring in to the region a well-armed military force that could prosecute Tel Aviv’s war aims more effectively. UNSC Resolution 1701, passed unanimously on Friday, was originally intended to do just that. Its original version ignited outrage in Lebanon and the Arab world but even as now amended, the resolution is problematic on a number of grounds. At the same time, its military provisions fall somewhat short of the original American-Israeli objective.

Rather than creating a new stabilisation force — which would respond, by default, to the command and control structures of the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) — the Security Council has expanded the mandate and size of the existing U.N. peacekeeping force on the ground, UNIFIL. The new mandate will include monitoring the cessation of hostilities, accompanying and supporting the Lebanese Army as it deploys up to the Israeli border in tandem with the Israeli withdrawal, assisting the Lebanese army “in taking steps towards the establishment” of an area between the border and the Litani river that is free of armed forces not authorised by the Lebanese Government, and assisting the Lebanese Government “at its request” to establish better control over its borders.

In order to discharge this enlarged mandate, UNIFIL has been authorised to “take all necessary action” — a code word for the use of even offensive military action — to ensure that the territory where it is deployed is “not utilised for hostile activities of any kind.” In other words, UNIFIL would be authorised to attack Hizbollah if the militia sends fighters south of the Litani to launch rockets into Israel. UNIFIL has also been authorised to use deadly force “to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence,” which, at least in theory, could also apply to situations such as Israeli airstrikes and attacks on civilian areas of the kind Lebanon has witnessed this past month.

Whether this expanded mandate will help preserve the peace will depend entirely on UNIFIL’s ability to avoid getting caught in the wider American political agenda. If it acts professionally and solely as a facilitator for the Lebanese army, there is no reason why Hizbollah will not cooperate with it. At any rate, Hizbollah, with the consent of the Lebanese Government, is free to preserve its military capability north of the Litani as a hedge against future Israeli aggression.

The problem with Resolution 1701, however, is that it is structured in such a way as to prolong or re-ignite the conflict between Israel and Lebanon rather than to settle it expeditiously on the basis of reason and justice.

The most important shortcoming is the resolution’s vague formulation on the need for Israel to vacate the territories in Lebanon it has forcibly occupied over the past month. If Israel takes the view that it will not begin withdrawing until the expanded UNIFIL force is in place, Hizbollah will be perfectly justified in attacking what is after all an army of occupation. But apart from the immediate issue of an Israeli withdrawal, the resolution contains no timeframe for tackling the root causes of the conflict. Israel will remain in occupation of the Shebaa farms, which is Lebanese territory, it will not be obliged to hand over within any specified time period the map of land mines it has laid on Lebanese territory, nor is it obliged to return the Lebanese prisoners it is holding. As for the hundreds of Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace and territorial waters which occur every year, no specific mechanisms for redressal have been created to ensure these do not occur again.

Glaring omissions

There are other glaring omissions too. For example, the resolution does not oblige Israel to pay Lebanon any compensation for the destruction of civilian life and property it has wilfully caused since its attack began on July 12.

Unless the international community moves sincerely to address these fundamental questions and finds a way to impose punitive costs on Israel for its wholly disproportionate use of military force, the underlying problem will never go away.

ENDS


Siddharth Varadarajan
Associate Editor
The Hindu
I.N.S. Building, Rafi Marg
New Delhi - 1

Telephone: +91-11-2371-5426
Fax: +91-11-2371-8158
Mobile: +91-98111-60260

The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com
My personal website: http://svaradarajan.blogspot.com

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By Justice4all, August 17, 2006 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #18768 by YASMIN

I am not interested in your psychoanalysis or your personality evaluation; I would go to e-Harmony for that. Unlike you, I stick to the real issues and do not sidetrack by attacking others and making unwarranted comments that only reflect ignorance and lack of knowledge of the real situation on the ground (in Palestine and Lebanon).

There are no lofty concepts here; there are undeniable facts and these are: Your so-called “democracy” in the Middle East is nothing but an expansionist and a racist sectarian state that is far from being democratic. There are 1 million Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike and I stress on Christians) who are being treated as second and third-class citizens in Israel. They can vote yes, but that is about it.

Apart from the major towns like Haifa and Nazareth, these people are living in miserable conditions and do not have the same privileges or get the same treatment as their fellow non-Arab citizens do. Do your own research or go there and find out yourself. During this last conflict, Arab towns in the Galilee were not supplied with sound alarms to warn them of incoming missiles until after they complained and raised hell. They were not provided with shelters to avert from danger. Look at the situation of the Ethiopian Falasha Jews in Israel. Are they treated equally? Whatever happened to the South Lebanese Army? Do your own analysis and reach your verdict.


Being a Christian, I do not condone Jihadists and I am against it, but how is this any different from a ‘Democratic” state dropping few hundred pound bombs and guided missiles on innocent civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon?. You will try to make excuses and justifications of course but the fact remains the same: IT IS ALL THE SAME. The only difference is that Israel has a powerful lobby and PR machine to twist facts and justify the killings and blinded people like you to excuse it. This is the Humanity and Justice I am talking about. Goodbye!!

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By DemandingaCleanBreakFromIsraeliPropaganda, August 17, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kwag: “Presumably you’re referring to the Hezbollah here but it wasn’t exactly they who fled with “their tails between their trembing legs” based on any coverage I saw.”

(heh-heh)

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By Kwagmyre, August 17, 2006 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yasmin states:

“Secondly: I feel sorry for you; especially that you must be feeling morally defeated and depressed, as you watched the evil party you support, the mongers of death and destruction, get a beating on their butts and forced to flee with their tails between their trembling legs.”

Presumably you’re referring to the Hezbollah here but it wasn’t exactly they who fled with “their tails between their trembing legs” based on any coverage I saw.

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By YASMIN, August 17, 2006 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
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Salam Fadal,


HERE IS MY POINT, EXACTLY. YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF NOT LOWERING YOURSELF, BECAUSE A JIHADIST IS A PERSON WHO WANTS TO INFLICT DEATH AND DESTRUCTIONS ON THE INFIDELS.  Though I almost promised myself not to lower myself to your level again, I find myself obliged, for the last time I hope, since you had the audacity to bring up my name again and continue to spit out your venomous hate. So here we go again! And remember that you brought it upon yourself.

AGAIN, YOU BLAME ME FOR NOT CONTROLLING YOUR TEMPER. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR TEMPER, AS MOST CIVILLIZED PEOPLE ARE. YOUR WEAKNESS IS DEMONSTRATED BY ACCUSING ME FOR FOR YOUR LACK OF CONTROL. LET’S NOT FORGET YOUR THREAT TO CURSE ME IN FIVE LANGUAGES, ANOTHER DEMONSTRATION OF YOUR INABILITY TO CONTAIN YOURSELF.

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED, BUT I DO NOT HATE YOU AT ALL. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU, FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS, WHEM I POINTED OUT YOUR “DEATH WISHES” TO THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS.

IF YOU READ CAREFULLY, AS YOU SHOULD DO, IF INDEED YOU ARE THE SCHOLAR YOU CLAIM TO BE, YOU WILL NOTICE THAT I NEVER LOWERED MYSELF TO YOUR LEVEL, OF WISHING YOU DEATH. AND HERE LIES THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND THE LIKES OF YOU:
I DON’T WISH DEATH ON ANYONE! I ONLY WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO STOP KILLING IN THE NAME OF HATRED AND THEIR PRIMITIVE RELIGIOUS IDEAS.

Firstly: Your hate for Muslims is deep-seated;

IT IS ALWAYS A MISTAKE TO READ SUPERFICIALLY. I DON’T HATE MUSLIMS AND WILL NEVER HATE MUSLIMS. I HATE JIHAD! HOW ABOUT YOU? CAN YOU SAY IN THIS FORUM WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN JIHAD?

iand since I don’t have a remedy to cure you from your sickness, here I go again with my little prayer: “May you be consumed by your hatred till you drop dead!” This is good for you and for humanity!

MY POINT AGAIN. YOU WISH ME DEATH, AND WHILE YOU ACCUSE ME FOR BRINGING YOU TO THIS (WHICH IS ALWAYS THE EXCUSE OF PEOPLE WHO DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS “HE/SHE MADE ME DO IT…”), YOU WILL NOTICE IF YOU BOTHER TO BE AN EDUCATED READER, THAT MY PROTESTATIONS WAS ABOUT WHAT YOU SAID, AND NOT WISHING YOU DEATH FOR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT CRITICIZING YOU!

ARE YOU SO INSECURE THAT WHEN BEING CRITICIZED YOU WISH PEOPLE DEATH AND CURSES? ARE YOU NOT USED TO THE CRITIQUE ONE HAS TO GO THROUGH IN THE ACADEMIC WORLD? (ASSUMING THAT YOU ARE A PH.D…) DID YOU CURSE YOUR PROFESSORS IN FIVE LANGUAGES?

Secondly: I feel sorry for you; especially that you must be feeling morally defeated and depressed, as you watched the evil party you support, the mongers of death and destruction, get a beating on their butts and forced to flee with their tails between their trembling legs

I NEVER FEEL MORALLY DEFEATED WHEN FIGHTING STOPS. I FEEL BETTER WHEN THERE IS NO WAR, AND MY ONLY CONCERN IS ABOUT THE FUTURE, AND ADDITIONAL ACTS OF VIOLENCE. YOU MAY NOT BE EVOLVED ENOUGH FOR THE FOLLOWING CONCEPT, BUT THERE ARE NO WINNERS IN WARS ONLY LOSERS.

for the second time in six years. As Joanna Francis said in an article I shared on this blog:

I REALIZE THAT I AM JOINING A GROUP OF DISTURBED MEN, WHEN I PARTICIPATE IN THIS FORUM.
MEN WHO SIT HERE AND TELL ME TO JOIN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP ON THE ISRAELI BORDER! GEE, WHY DON’T YOU DO IT? WHY DO YOU SIT HERE AND PONTIFICATE? WHY DON’T YOU GO AND CHECK THE SITUATION FROM UP CLOSE?  ALL OF YOU WITH YOUR LOFTY CONCEPTS FOR OTHER PEOPLE AND “JUSTICEFORALL” ! AND SPINOZA WHO IS TRYING TO DRAW PARALELS BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE GREAT JEWISH PHILOSOPHER. LET ME CLARIFY THIS : YOU ARE NO BARUCH SPINOZA . NOT EVEN CLOSE.

IT SEEMS LIKE WOMEN ARE DISAPPEARING FROM THIS DISCUSSION BOARD. I WONDER WHY…

SALAM, SHALOM AND GOODBYE!

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By Spinoza, August 16, 2006 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment
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“May you be consumed by your hatred till you drop dead!” This is good for you and for humanity!


My friend Fadela is good a cursing and that is needed if one is maintain ones sanity against the hypocrites and fascists and land robbers.

If Dov and True Lib and Yasmin were not liars they would be working with the human rights advocates who every week protest the Wall.  The vile Israeli military badly hurt a Jewish and an Arab protester last week. Shame on them.

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By SoNotImpressed, August 16, 2006 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ed_Tru_Lib writes:

“Tell the truth now-aren’t you REALLY the same person as HackingWhileTeabaggingHairlessBalls??—#18447

“or maybe you’ve gone by another name here too-like ElmerFudd, or Spitoza, or maybe even….Hilding??.........’nuff said”

Ed, what are you — like, eleven, twelve?

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 16, 2006 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the Misnomer Yasmin # 18476:

Though I almost promised myself not to lower myself to your level again, I find myself obliged, for the last time I hope, since you had the audacity to bring up my name again and continue to spit out your venomous hate. So here we go again! And remember that you brought it upon yourself.

Firstly: Your hate for Muslims is deep-seated; and since I don’t have a remedy to cure you from your sickness, here I go again with my little prayer: “May you be consumed by your hatred till you drop dead!” This is good for you and for humanity!

Secondly: I feel sorry for you; especially that you must be feeling morally defeated and depressed, as you watched the evil party you support, the mongers of death and destruction, get a beating on their butts and forced to flee with their tails between their trembling legs for the second time in six years. As Joanna Francis said in an article I shared on this blog:

“Because you can’t buy courage, even with the entire United States treasury at your disposal, the things that matter most to real men simply cannot be purchased. Therefore, the poor man has the advantage over the rich man because valor, manliness, and honor are free to those with nothing to lose. The Israelis had everything to lose in this misguided operation and have proceeded to do so exceedingly well. Even among their most brainwashed sycophants, their credibility is in the single digits. The excuse of the “kidnapped” soldiers is totally bogus to anyone with an I.Q. over 70, because Hezbollah has offered to release them in exchange for a ceasefire but Israel has refused. Meanwhile, Israel has kidnapped thousands of Lebanese citizens over the years who languish in Israeli prisons to this day.”

Thirdly: For all your rants against men who didn’t recognize that yours is a female name, you should give me credit that I was one of those men who recognized that Yasmin is the Arabic for Jasmine. Here where my language skills come very handy However, I still believe that you still smell terribly bad, whether this is your real name or a nom-de-plume. This is a misnomer and abuse of the language for someone of your type.

Fourthly: Aren’t you, by chance, a surviving member of the vanquished South Lebanese Army, led by the evil Antoine Lahd, once a close evil ally of evil Israel, and those responsible for the massacres in Sabra and Shatila in 1980’s by orders of evil Sharon?! I hope you read Justice4all comment # 18388 on the fate of those who betray their countries and ending dubbed as Hummos maker after being an esteemed general! I am sure you’re also in bed with your other hero you keep quoting, the phalangist Joseph Farah.

Fifthly: When almost everyone thought you were a fanatic Zionist you turn out to be a Lebanese Christian; what a turn of fortunes just in a matter of weeks! However, Lebanon and the Lebanese people are too good to accept one like you as part of them. If you’re really a Lebanese I pray that you’ll never get a chance to go back to that beautiful place and to those courageous people! May you die very lonely and unloved in your Diaspora!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 16, 2006 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: comment by RefusalToMake-LooksLikeExlax for I—#18669

Tell the truth now-aren’t you REALLY the same person as HackingWhileTeabaggingHairlessBalls??—#18447

or maybe you’ve gone by another name here too-like ElmerFudd, or Spitoza, or maybe even….Hilding??.........‘nuff said

Israel will tear down the wall tonight if it can count on no Islamist religious extreme lunatics just then stolling across the border to blow up school buses filled with children tomorrow.

But lets be honest, that would be like freedom of speech, freedom of choice, or freedom of right to marry advocates in this country tearing down a wall between them and Rev James Dobson, IF he was armed with Iranian rocket launchers.

Not-perfect, but democratic, peace-loving, IF ONLY WE COULD BE LEFT ALONE Israel is surrounded by lunatic Islamic James Dobsons-only not so nice and without the “edgy” humor.

I beleive this is the last time Israel will allow irself to be pressured into letting a single murdering coward religious psycho survive within striking distance. Next time, hezbullshit, OR iran-NUKES-and to hell with the enemies of freedom, justice, and true liberalism that don’t, or won’t, get it.

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By Spinoza, August 16, 2006 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
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Judaism is about ethical culture, not a narrow nationalism. Judaism is about enlightenment not militarism. Judaism is about defending the underdog not lording it over others.


A VIEW OF THE TRUTH: Spinoza’s faith in reason Rebecca Newberger Goldstein The New York Times MONDAY, JULY 31, 2006 BOSTON A view of the truth

Thursday marked the 350th anniversary of the excommunication of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza from the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam in which he had been raised.

The Spinoza anniversary didn’t get a lot of attention. But it’s one worth remembering - in large measure because Spinoza’s life and thought have the power to illuminate the kind of events that at the moment seem so intractable.

The exact reasons for the excommunication of the 23-year-old Spinoza remain murky, but the reasons he came to be vilified throughout all of Europe are not. Spinoza argued that no group or religion could rightly claim infallible knowledge of the creator’s partiality to its beliefs and ways. After the excommunication, he spent the rest of his life - he died in 1677 at the age of 44 - studying the varieties of religious intolerance. The conclusions he drew are still of dismaying relevance.

The Jews who banished Spinoza had themselves been victims of intolerance, refugees from the Spanish-Portuguese Inquisition. The Jews on the Iberian Peninsula had been forced to convert to Christianity at the end of the 15th century. In the intervening century, they had been kept under the vigilant gaze of the Inquisitors, who suspected the “New Christians” of carrying the rejection of Christ in their very blood. It can be argued that the Iberian Inquisition was Europe’s first experiment in racialist ideology.

Spinoza’s reaction to the religious intolerance he saw around him was to try to think his way out of all sectarian thinking. He understood the powerful tendency in each of us toward developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology.

Against this tendency we have no defense but the relentless application of reason. Reason must stand guard against the self-serving false entailments that creep into our thinking, inducing us to believe that we are more cosmically important than we truly are, that we have had bestowed upon us - whether Jew or Christian or Muslim - a privileged position in the narrative of the world’s unfolding. Spinoza’s system is a long argument for a conclusion as radical in our day as it was in his: that to the extent that we are rational, we each partake in exactly the same identity.

Spinoza’s faith in reason as our only hope and redemption is the core of his system, and its consequences reach out in many directions, including the political. Each of us has been endowed with reason, and it is our right, as well as our responsibility, to exercise it. Ceding this faculty to others, to the authorities of either the church or the state, is neither a rational nor an ethical option.

Which is why, for Spinoza, democracy was the most superior form of government. The state, in helping each person to preserve his life and well-being, can legitimately demand sacrifices from us, but it can never relieve us of our responsibility to strive to justify our beliefs in the light of evidence.

It is for this reason that he argued that a government that impedes the development of the sciences subverts the grounds for state legitimacy, which is to provide us physical safety so that we can realize our full potential. And this, too, is why he argued against the influence of clerics in government. Statecraft infused with religion is intrinsically unstable, since it must insist on its version of the truth against all others.

Spinoza’s attempt to deduce everything from first principles - that is, without reliance on empirical observation - can strike us today as impractical, and yet his project of radical rationality had concrete consequences. His writings, banned by greater Christian Europe, but continuously read and discussed, played a role in the audacious experiment in rational government that gave birth to the United States.

The Declaration of Independence, that document first drafted by Thomas Jefferson, softly echoes Spinoza. John Locke, Spinoza’s contemporary, is a more obvious influence on Jefferson than Spinoza was. But Locke had himself been influenced by Spinoza’s ideas on tolerance, freedom and democracy.

If we can hear Locke’s influence in the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” we can also catch the sound of Spinoza addressing us in Jefferson’s appeal to the “laws of nature and of nature’s God.” This is the language of Spinoza’s universalist religion, which makes no reference to revelation, but rather to ethical truths that can be discovered through human reason.

Spinoza had argued that our capacity for reason is what makes each of us a thing of inestimable worth. That each individual is worthy of ethical consideration is itself a discoverable law of nature, obviating the appeal to divine revelation. An idea that had caused outrage when Spinoza first proposed it, adding fire to the denunciation of him as a godless immoralist, had found its way into the minds of men who set out to create a government the likes of which had never before been seen.

Spinoza’s dream of making us susceptible to the voice of reason might seem hopelessly quixotic now, with religion-infested politics on the march. But imagine how much more impossible a dream it would have seemed on that day 350 years ago. And imagine, too, how much even sorrier our sorry world would have been without it.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is the author, most recently, of “Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity.”

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By RefusingToMakeExceptionsForIsrael, August 16, 2006 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“And the only way out is for the Zionist state (not its people) to disappear, and yes, that’s right, taking Israel’s place there’ll be one nation, indivisible, with liberty, justice and equality for all.”

That’s right.

And actually, if you think about it, it’s clear that Lebanon is closer to this goal of TRUE democracy than Israel is. Not only is Lebanon a democracy, but also it has no officially sanctioned national race, ethnicity, bloodline, or creed.

Perhaps one reason that Israel destroyed Lebanon was because Lebanon was blossoming into something that might soon put racist, quasi-theocratic Israel to shame.

In other words: Israel is a murderously SPITEFUL little creature that may not in fact like ITSELF very much.

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By Spinoza, August 16, 2006 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is another brilliant article by Ed Herman describing the hypocrisy of the so called “West”.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=72&ItemID=10731

And yes my blog can also use some traffic.

http://www.truthreason.blogspot.com

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 16, 2006 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Comment #18424 by ed_tru_lib on 8/15 at 3:44 pm
And: Comment #18466 by ed_tru_lib on 8/15 at 8:42 pm

It seems obivious that ed_tru_lib is all about creating noise to distract the reader from the real issue of “The Wall” as the icon of domination as a solution ... “The Wall” as the ultimate barrier to peace ...

The purpose of the NRZ solutions is perpetual power and world domination, a fortress mentality benefiting monopolists, when capitalism always spreads best in the open bazaar ... and with the spread of capitalism comes freedom BECAUSE of the dialectic struggle between asset capital and knowledge capital on one side—with their own infighting—and labor on the other.

It seems to me that the mentality of separation by force is so damn self-destructive ... whether it be Muslim, Jew, Christian, ... company, union ... whatever ... it seems that engagement via reason is so much more ... progressive ... whether it be from a conservative stance or from a liberal stance.

And if I believe in these principles then when I have the power to do so, I will implement them.

You know, to my way of thinking, bartering (buying and selling) in the marketplace is a form of peaceful, reasonable engagement ... and when both parties to the deal come away believing they have gained value ... it energizes them to re-engage as soon as possible.

Peaceful engagement has real benefits. It produces families, businesses, communities ...

Separation and domination produces conflict.

It is what I do when I am strong enough to implement my choices that defines what I really believe.

What, then, does “The Wall” tell us about Israel?

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By yasmin, August 16, 2006 at 5:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I know that you will make up a reason to prove that the Nobel prize is a Zionist plot as well(lol), and that all the Arabs from each and every country, for generation have been opressed by the Jews for generations, and that is why they could not appreciate learning(lol again),  but just for fun , let’s look at the Jihadists and the Jews in the 20th century…


Nobel Prizes ~

Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000, or 20% of
the world population…

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 - Najib Mahfooz.

Peace:
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yaser Arafat

Physics:
1990 - Elias James Corey
1999 - Ahmed Zewail

Medicine:
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad

Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000, or about 00.02%

of the world population…

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charle s Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel

Medicine:
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Art hur Ko rnberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen (& Rita Levi-Montalcini)
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis


The Jews are not demonstrating with their dead on the streets,
yelling and chanting and asking for revenge.

The Jews are not promoting brain washing their children in military
training camps.

The Jews are not teaching their children how to blow themselves up
and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims.

The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics.

The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and

death to all the Infidels.

The Jews don’t have the economic strength of petroleum, nor the
possibilities to force the world’s media to see “their side” of the
question.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing more in
standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their
problems.

Maybe if your parents and teachers focus more on education than the hate in the Kuran, you may actually get somewhere…

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By Geronimo, August 16, 2006 at 12:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So unless there’s peace in the Middle East we’ll be in for a nuclear holocaust (see Alan Hart’s “The End of The Zionist State” in Comment #18351 by Spinoza), this time with Israel doing the nuking.  And the only way out is for the Zionist state (not its people) to disappear, and yes, that’s right, taking Israel’s place there’ll be one nation, indivisible, with liberty, justice and equality for all.

Which means that now is the time for all true Jews (see Comment #18166 by Geronimo) to come out in support of justice for the Palestinian people.  Once this happens there’ll be peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings.  More good news - Doomsday will have been averted.  Who could ask for anything more?

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By Yasmin, August 15, 2006 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all, to the intelligent crowd here, Yasmin is a female and not a male.

As far as I know Fela is a Slavic name for a female as well. She might be busy though driving the buldozer.

The hatred, anger and narrow mindedness of all you guys is beyond disgusting. You are the reason that we have wars in the world, because you are so positive that you are all so highly educated, brilliant and have your finger on the pulse of the real TRUTH.

How did you all become so grandiose? Do you have no shred of humility? Is it at all possible that you might be making a mistake? Just one?

You did not even react when Fadal was gloating about the death of American soldiers. Even if you despise the war in Iraq, do you not have compassion for young American soldiers? And since you dislike destruction and killing, how come you were not offended when Fadal wished me death?

Or do you have a double standard when it comes to Jews dying? Since you could not envision anyone disagreening with you who is not a Jew or a Right winger? would you have reacted differently knowing that I am a Christian Lebanese?

Do keep these posts (the non Moslems
of you), so that you can prove to the jihadists, that you were on their side. 

I have been there and I know that your day will come too. I have seen the hate of the Moslems towards Christians, and it had nothing to do with Israel. It had to do with not being a Moslem! Do yourself a favor and go and listen to any Imam, instead of quoting naive articles from your comfortable homes in the States. Maybe you will finally learn something.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 15, 2006 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obviously Hildy=Hacking, minus the obvious class & sensitivity. ‘nuff said, except thanks for including me w/those other bigoted republican christian zionists Howard Dean, Ned Lamont, John Conyers, Ted Kennedy, Charlie Rangel & Barney Frank.

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By HackingUpHairballsAIPACsLies, August 15, 2006 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ed_tru_lib: Listen, you’re just a bigot now — you were never truly liberal, you just instinctively impersonated one because the Democratic party happened to be the more liberal party and happened (in the past) to be the friendlier party toward Israel, which you are brainwashed to revere.

Well, now the Republican party is more rabidly and militantly pro-Israel than the Democrats ever were, so you can stop pretending to be a liberal and join the Republicans, with their stupid Christian Zionist base. It’s your natural home.

Just relax: this is where you and the other bigots have always belonged. Repeat after me: “I love Big Brother! I love Big Brother!”

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By ed_tru_lib, August 15, 2006 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: comments here and lord know’s how many other places by “Hilding Lindquist”

Hilding-you have…FRIENDS??!! I am SO glad lil buddy. Did you meet them at, ya know, those “special classes” you old cornholers (cobb “special needs” school graduates..cobb-corn- get it) attend at the “Y” or Greater Duluth community centers. Anyway whatever-all I can say is-I’m thrilled; astonished but thrilled.
Now Hildy, these are…ya know…“real” friends right?? I mean they’re not like Jimmy Stewart’s “friend” in “Harvey” or George Bush’s “friend” in “heaven” right?? Or elmer fuddoola/yosemite samyellow’s “friends” in the camel pack. Well ok those last ones aren’t imaginary, I’ll admit. Not like the hesbullshit “victory” or you’re thinking “hilding lindquist” sounds like a real name? Geez why not “Frances Xavier Skylark iv” or something similarly realistic. But I’m being a little silly. I’m aware some people might actually do it, but nobody sane EXPECTS anyone to use their real names in here. ‘nuff said. But then nobody sane would support murdering, terrorist cowards against a flawed, but democratic country, AND think anything he said was going to be taken seriously, by anyone who really was sane.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 15, 2006 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #18387 by ed_tru_lib on 8/15 at 11:16 am

This is an ad hominem comment ...

Anyone who reads my comments compared to ed_tru_lib knows who has what level of whatever it is he disputes. ‘nuff said about THAT.

It is a wee bit disingenious to NOT give a real name in support of some of these comments. ‘nuff said about that.

The problem that I have is that my friends are now asking how much I am paying ed_tru_lib to feature me in his comments. I try to assure them that I really don’t need his level of a foil ... they still roll their eyes.

You see none of my friends believes he can be serious about what he writing.

My comment is, I wish he would reference my comments where I list my blog. I can use the hits. (So can google, my primary advertiser ... I have such a little site ... )

Anyway, here goes:

http://ncswede.blogspot.com

I can use the traffic. ( wink )

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By Justice4all, August 15, 2006 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Yasmin comment #18282

“Joseph Farah (a Christian Lebanese) is founder, editor and CEO of World News Daily and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is “Taking America Back.” He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.”

This is humorous, amusing and a desperate attempt. Joseph Farah was nothing but a supporter of the vanquished South Lebanese Army that was once a close ally of Israel but later abandoned and trashed like drifters.

In 2000, when Israel was forced to leave South Lebanon, its army of surrogates, South Lebanon Army, had to flee for their lives (without the support of their masters). Antoine Lahd, the head of SLA, later opened a Lebanese restaurant, Byblos, in Israel. He is now dubbed General Hummus in the Israeli press. What a destiny.. From a General to a Hummus maker!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 15, 2006 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yasmine-you can take the time to post the truth all you want here, and perhaps even have some effect on the scant sincere-but-misguided people who post, or even bother to read this blog anymore. But the raving Gibson’s-father-crazy anti-Israel, anti-semitic lying mental cases like elmer fuddallah, or spinoza will never respond with anything but more insane venom. They are PRECISELY like the lunatic religious right in this country, as discussed in the blog interview w/Pres Carter posted today-no reason, no flexibility, no common sense-just mindless hatred and evil. Fudd even called for another holocaust.
But there is a ray of hope- I see we have Hidingdong Lindquist back, to put this “point of view” in its proper perspective.
Hilding has already acknowledged in another blog-Robert Sheer’s from a couple weeks ago, that he was and still is, a “special needs” fellow who indeed attended a school for those unfortunates years ago in Duluth. He is, I guess, a true “ncz”-Nutcase.Can’t-tell-truth.Zowie-ain’t-it recess yet??
For the time being Israel has to put up with the few hezbullshit cowards setting off fireworks to celebrate the slaughter of their own people they caused, particularly by hiding among them to fire their rockets at Israeli school children. They’re still shooting a few, but hey it can’t go on-they’re going to run out of neighbors to cower behind. Unlike hezbollah islamofascists, or britneybush republifascists, Israel knows, AND ADMITS, it made some mistakes the last few weeks. Let the iranian/9-11 killers/hezbollah find out the hard way, and we already know they’re both insane AND stupid enough to try, and we’ll see if Israel makes them again next time. I doubt it.

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By Spinoza, August 15, 2006 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yasmin is not understanding that his right wing propaganda is not having an effect.

People have the Internet and know what is going down. World wide Israel is more and more isolated. Until the injustice that the Arabs feel is theirs is remedied, there will be no peace for Israel or the world. There will only be murder and mayhem.

Please consider this very realistic point of view:

10/8/06 THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE ZIONIST STATE OF ISRAEL…?

   
Alan Hart at International Institute of Strategic Studies, New Civilisation debate, on Thursday 10 August.

I’m going to suggest to you that what we might now be witnessing is the long beginning of the end of the Zionist state of Israel. In the next 10 minutes or so I will talk my way to an explanation of why I think so; and then I’ll address the question of what the most likely consequences would be. I can see two ­ One State of Palestine for All and real, lasting peace, or Catastrophe for All… and by “All” I don’t just mean Israeli Jews and the Arabs of the region, I mean all of us, everywhere.

I thought I would be the first to give voice in public to the idea that Israel might be planting in Lebanon the final seeds of its own destruction, but while I was working on my text for this evening, I came across an interview given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter’s National Security Adviser. He said: “Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.”

As Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon unfolded, a great deal of nonsense was written and spoken by pundits and policymakers throughout the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian world about why it was happening. The main thrust of the nonsense was that Hizbullah started the war and that Israel was merely defending itself. I think the truth about Hizbullah’s role in triggering the war can be summarised as follows ­ bearing in mind that the border incident of 12 July was one of many since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, and which more often than not, according to UN monitors, were provoked by Israeli actions and/or Israeli violations of agreements. By engaging an IDF border patrol, killing three Israeli soldiers and taking two hostages, and firing a few rockets to create a diversion for that operation, Hizbullah gave Israel’s generals and those politicians who rubber-stamp their demands the PRETEXT they wanted and needed to go to war ­ a war they had planned for months.

I was reminded of what was said to me on the second of the six days of the 1967 war when I was a very young ITN correspondent reporting from Israel. One of my sources was Major General Chaim Herzog. He was one of the founding fathers of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. On the second day of that war he said to me in private conversation: “If Nasser had not been stupid enough to give us a PRETEXT for war now, we would have created one in the coming year to 18 months.”

Hizbullah’s purpose in taking Israeli prisoners/hostages was to have them as bargaining chips - to secure the return of Lebanese prisoners Israel had refused to release in a previous prisoner exchange. As former President Carter implied in an article for The Washington Post on I August, it was not unreasonable for Hizbullah to assume that an exchange would be possible because “the assumption was based on a number of such trades in the past.”But on 12 July 2006 the government of Israel was not interested in trades. It did not give a single moment to diplomacy or negotiations of any kind. It did not even consider a local retaliation to make a point. Israel rushed to war. As Defence Minister Amir Peretz put it: “We’re skipping the stage of threats and going straight to the action.”On the subject of Hizbullah’s rockets, (which are hit-and-miss low tech weapons when compared with Israel’s state of the art firepower), it is right to ask ­ Why, really, were they there? What, really, explains Hizbullah’s stock-piling and its bunkering down? The honest answer, which has its context in the whole history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Zionism’s demonstrated designs on Southern Lebanon in particular, is this: Hizbullah was strengthening itself militarily for the same reason as Eygpt did when President Nasser, with great reluctance after America had refused to supply him, accepted weapons from the Soviet Union. Nasser did NOT upgrade Eygpt’s military capabilities to make war on Israel. He wanted to be able to demonstrate to Israel that attacking Eygpt to impose Zionism’s will on it was not a cost-free option.  In other words, Hizbullah had been improving its military capability to deter Israeli incursions and attacks, which was something the Lebanese army was incapable of doing. Am I suggesting that Hizbullah would NOT have let loose its rockets if Israel had not gone for the war option? YES!  The notion that, on 12 July 2006, Hizbullah was joined in conspiracy with Iran and Syria to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is nothing but Zionist and neo-con propaganda nonsense ­ to justify Israel’s latest war of aggression and also, perhaps, to justify, in advance of it happening, war on Iran.

It’s true that the rhetoric of Iran’s President gave and gives a degree of apparent credibility to Zionist and neo-con spin ­ but only to those who are unaware of, or don’t want to know, the difference between the facts and documented truth of the real history of the Arab-Israeli conflict (as in my book) and Zionism’s version of it.
To those who really want to understand why the Zionist state of Israel behaves in the way it does, and is (as described in a recent article courageously carried by The Independent) “a terrorist state like no other”, I say not only read my book, but give special attention to page 485 of Volume One. On it I quote what was said behind closed doors in May 1955 by Moshe Dayan, Israel’s one-eyed warlord and master of deception. He was in conversation with Israel’s ambassadors to Washington, London and Paris. At the time the Eisenhower administration was pressing Israel to abandon its policy of reprisal attacks.

Eisenhower was aware that Nasser did not want war with Israel, and that he would, when he could, make an accommodation with it. Eisenhower also knew that Israel’s reprisal attacks were making it impossible for Nasser to prepare the ground on his side for peace with Israel.
In conversation with Israel’s three most important ambassadors to the West, Dayan explained why he was totally opposed - whatever the pressure from the West - to the idea that Israel should abandon its policy of reprisal attacks. They were, he said, “a life drug.” What he meant, he also explained, was that reprisal attacks enabled the Israeli government “to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army.” What, really, did that mean?Israel’s standing or full-time army was (as it still is and must be) relatively small, not more than about 23,000 souls in all. The other quarter of a million fighting men and women who could be mobilised in 48 hours were reservists from every walk of Israel’s civil society. The real point? Without Israeli reprisal attacks and all that they implied ­ that the Zionist state was in constant danger of being annihilated - there was a possibility that some and perhaps many reservists would not be motivated enough to respond to Zionism’s calls to arms.Put another way, what Dayan really feared was the TRUTH. He knew, as all of Israel’s leaders knew, that Israel’s existence was NOT in danger from any combination of Arab forces. And that was the truth which had to be kept from the Jews of Israel. Dayan’s fear was that if they became aware of it, they might insist on peace on terms the Arab regimes could accept but which were not acceptable to Zionism. Among those present when Dayan explained the need for Israeli reprisal attacks as a “life drug” was the Foreign Ministry’s Gideon Rafael. He reported what Dayan told the ambassadors to Prime Minister Moshe Sharret ­ in my view, and with the arguable exception of Yitzhak Rabin, the only completely rational prime minister Israel has ever had. And we know from Sharret’s diaries what Rafael then said to him: “This is how fascism began in Italy and Germany!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I think future historians may say that was how fascism began in the Zionist state of Israel.

The idea of Israel as a fully functioning democracy is a seriously flawed one. It’s true that Israeli Jews are free to speak their minds (in a way that most Jews of the world are frightened to do), and to that extent it can be said that Israel has the appearance of a vibrant democracy… But in reality, and especially since the countdown to the 1967 war, it’s Israel’s generals who call most of the policy shots, even when one of them is not prime minister.

In June 1967 Israel’s prime minister of the time, the much maligned Levi Eshkol, did NOT want to take his country to war. It, war, was imposed upon him by the generals, led by Dayan. As I explain in Volume Two of my book, what really happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup in all but name.
And that’s where we are today ­ the generals effectively calling the shots in Israel, to the applause of the neo-cons.Why, really, did Israel’s generals want to make war on Lebanon?  There was obviously much more to it than the collective punishment of a whole people as part and parcel of a stated objective ­ the destruction of Hizbullah as a Moslem David which could hit and hurt the Zionist Goliath.I think there were two main reasons.The first was that Israel’s generals believed they should and could restore the “deterrent power” of the IDF (Israel’s war machine). They believed, correctly, that it had been seriously damaged by Hizbullah’s success in not only confronting the IDF following Sharon’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but eventually forcing it to withdraw, effectively defeated and humiliated… I think it is more than reasonable to presume that for most if not all of the past six years, Israel’s generals were itching to make war on Lebanon to repair that damage ­ to restore the IDF’s deterrent power. Put another way, it was time, Israel’s generals believed, to give the Arabs (all Arabs, not just Hizbullah) another lesson in who the master was.

The second main reason for the insistence of Israel’s generals on 12 July this year that war was the only option…?I think it’s also more than reasonable to presume that they saw the opportunity to ethnically cleanse Lebanon up to the Litani River, with a view, eventually, to occupying and then annexing the ethnically cleansed territory. For Zionism this would be the fulfilment of the vision of modern Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion - a Zionist state within “natural” borders, those borders being the Jordan River in the East and the Litani River of Lebanon in the north. Israel gained control of the Jordan River border in its 1967 war of expansion, but prior to its rush to war on 12 July, all of its attempts to establish the Litani border had failed. Since 1982 because of Hizbullah’s ability to cause the occupying IDF forces more casualties than Israeli public opinion was prepared to tolerate.According to those currently calling the policy shots - Israel’s generals and politicians, the neo-cons in and around the Bush administration and their associate in Downing Street - the name of the game is creating a “new Middle East”. It IS happening. A new Middle East is being created.

But what kind of new Middle East will it actually be? In my analysis it will be one in which the Zionist state of Israel, having rejected a number of opportunities to make peace with the Palestinians and all the Arab states, will become increasingly vulnerable and, at a point, actually for the first time ever in its shortish history, could face the possibility of defeat.In my view the seeds of that possible defeat have just been sewn in Lebanon. The fact is that Israel’s latest military adventure has been totally counter-productive in that has caused Hizbullah to be admired by the angry and humiliated masses of the Arab and wider Moslem world. That being so, would it really be surprising if, in growing numbers, Arabs and Moslems everywhere begin to entertain ­ if they are not already entertaining ­ something like the following thought: “If 3,000 Hizbullah guerrillas can stand up to mighty Israel for weeks and give it a seriously bloody nose, what would happen if we all joined the fight?” (Do I hear the sound of pro-Western Arab regimes being toppled? Yes, I think so). I imagine that even the thought of Israel being defeated one day will bring joy to very many Arabs and other Moslems. But there ought to be no place for joy because there’s no mystery about what would happen in the event of Israel actually being on the brink of defeat. I want to quote to you now from one of my Panorama interviews with Golda Meir. (It can be found, this quote, on the second page Volume One of my book, in the Prologue which is titled Waiting for the Apocalypse).

At a point I interrupted her to say: “Prime Minister I want to be sure I understand what you’re saying… You are saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and the whole world down with it?” Without the shortest of pauses for reflection, Golda replied: “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.” In those days Panorama went on-air at 8 o’clock on Monday evenings. Shortly after the transmission of that interview The Times had a new lead editorial. It quoted what Golda had said to me and added its view that “We had better believe her.” How, actually, would the Zionist state of Israel take at least the region down with it? It would arm its nuclear missiles, target Arab capitals, then fire the missiles. Such an End-Game to the Arab-Israeli conflict, if it happened, and which I would describe as a self-fulfilled Zionist prophesy of doom, would probably take many years to play out. But the countdown to such a catastrophe would be speeded up if, as Brzezinski put it, “neo-con policies continue to be pursued.” If they are, and if Iran is attacked, I think that a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, would become unstoppable.Is there no way to stop the madness and create a “new Middle East” worth having? Yes, of course, there is, but it requires the agenda of the neo-cons and their associates to be thrown into the dustbin of history, in order for there to be a resolution of the Palestine problem, which I describe as the cancer at the heart of international affairs.Unfortunately, and because of the facts Zionism has been allowed to create on the ground in Israel/Palestine, it’s already much too late for a genuine two-state solution, one which would see Israel back behind more or less its pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem an open city and the capital of two states.The conclusion which I think is invited is this: If the countdown to catastrophe for all is to be stopped, the only possible solution to the Palestine problem is One State for All. That would, of course, be the end of Zionism’s colonial enterprise and of Zionism itself. But in my view that’s what has to happen if there’s to be a “new Middle East” in which there can be security and peace for all, Arabs and Jews..Ladies and gentlemen: I’m not a politician or, any more, a working journalist and broadcaster who must write and speak in way that doesn’t offend very powerful vested interests. I am a reasonably well informed human being who cares and who is free to say what he really thinks. (Which probably makes me a member of a very small club!) And in summary of all that I’ve said this evening, what I really think comes down to this: The equation is a very simple one: No justice for the Palestinians = no peace for any of us.

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By Elfstone, August 15, 2006 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My opinion is that peace will never come in the Middle East for a simple reason. Israel’s purpose in the region is to cause tension and be a terrorist. The list of UN resolutions about Israel can’t be explained otherwise. This way the muslim populations will keep supporting their dictators who will never use their countries’ resources (oil) for development. The Israeli people weren’t given a state, they were tricked into living in a boxing sack. It is naive to talk about the Middle East and not taking the oil under consideration. Religion, politics and kidnappings are only the excuses. The real reasons are always behind money.
What rational country would escalate the kidnapping of two soldiers into full war? The kidnapping was only the excuse so that Beirut would be levelled. Why does everyone want Beirut levelled at any cost? Everyone, that is both Europe and USA, wanted this to happen, their inaction was telling. The question is why? Beirut must stand in the way of an important money-making project which we will see in the following years. The murder of civilians is never a thought for some people when money is at stake. It is very convenient that the oil that makes them money is under the land of uneducated, fanatic muslims who react exactly in the way that serves their plans.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 15, 2006 at 4:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What should be clear to the world by now—and for which the “wall” is the perfect icon—is that the Neocons - Rapturists- Zionists (NRZ’s) have a mindset of domination, not peaceful co-existenance.

While watching the credits roll at the end of Oliver Stone’s movie, The World Trade Center last week, I was taken in by a feeling of sorrow over the opportunity we had lost in the pursuit of world peace. I remembered the outpouring of worldwide compassion and support for my country ... that I personally refelt as the movie unfolded ... and that we have now pissed away in brutal pursuit—not just of revenge—but of power.

The choice by our Neocon inspired leadership to use this moment in history to pursue world domination rather than world peace says it all.

This is the madness that motivates these folks ... the NRZ’s as I call them.

The question becomes (which should be easily answered by a “Christian” nation): If we don’t act on behalf of peace when we are strong and can do something, when will we?

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” -Matthew 5:9

Turning to the latest war between Hezbollah and Israel: It’s clear that we (the USA) were egging Israel on as a planning exercise (an experiment?) in reviewing our options vis-a-vis Iran.

Anyone who says Israel won is delusional or lying.

Yet who believes our President is not still on a path to Armageddon in the Middle East?

Forget who is right or who is wrong. When those who actually are the strongest abandon the pursuit of peace, the world is doomed as a safe place for human beings.

I hear the jellyfish are making a comeback.

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By Yasmin, August 14, 2006 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This says it all..


Joseph Farah WORLD NEWS DAILY Exclusive Commentary
All eyes on Lebanon
Posted: August 1, 2006
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joseph Farah (a Christian Lebanese) is founder, editor and CEO of World News Daily and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is “Taking America Back.” He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You know, it’s funny.
For years I’ve been trying to get people to pay attention to the deaths and destruction and injustices being perpetrated on my beloved Lebanon.
And nobody cared.

When Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization tried to take over the country and make it his terrorist playground, nobody cared.
When people were dying by the thousands in the civil war, nobody cared.
When Syria had its boot on the neck of its tiny neighbor for 25 years, nobody cared.
When Iran dispatched Hezbollah terrorists into the country to undermine home rule by the Lebanese, nobody cared.
When Muslims chased millions of Christians from the country, tipping the balance of power, nobody cared.

But now, all eyes are on Lebanon.
Do you know why?

Because Israel has tried to clean up this hornets nest. Yet, all we hear about is how many Lebanese are dying.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

Guess what the total death toll is among Lebanese during the extent of this war - including Hezbollah terrorists, many of whom are not really Lebanese?

You better sit down.
The total death toll is just over 500.

Now, far be it for me to minimize death tolls. Even One innocent death is a tragedy. But this is the total - all terrorists, civilians, Lebanese army, everything.

The whole world is going nuts over this “slaughter.”
What is needed is some perspective here. May I offer it?

Last month alone, U.S. troops in Afghanistan announced killing 600 “suspected” Taliban. That’s one month alone. We’ve been occupying this foreign country since 2002. It began in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. U.S. forces went halfway around the world to attack a sovereign nation, to overthrow the government and kill as many people as it deemed necessary over the last five years to prevent more terrorist attacks in the future.

Few would suggest that Afghanistan represents any imminent threat to the U.S. today. By the way, according to U.S. military spokesmen, a total of 1,700 Afghanis have been killed since the start of the year. That includes some civilians, some aid workers and more than 70 foreign troops.

But, last time I checked, there weren’t demonstrations in the streets of the U.S. or elsewhere around the world over this war.

Instead, everybody is going ape over Lebanon.

By the way, the government of Afghanistan, installed by the U.S., is happy about the war. President Hamid Karzai wants to see the terrorists rooted out of his country. He recognizes that it represents the best chance for his nation to be free.

Meanwhile, back in Lebanon, a government that has tolerated terrorist bases on its soil for years and years is suddenly indignant about Israel’s retaliation against incessant attacks from those strongholds.
Does any of this make sense?

Do you think those screaming about the bloodshed in Lebanon really give a hoot about Lebanon? If so, where have they been for the last 30 years?

Why is Lebanon the top story in every newscast? Why is Lebanon on the front page of every newspaper? Don’t you get the impression that the violence there is probably worse than anywhere else on the planet from this focus?
Clearly it is not.

And the only difference is who’s doing the butt kicking in Lebanon.

As for me, an American of Lebanese and Syrian heritage, I don’t want to see a “cease-fire.” I want to see Lebanon freed of the terrorist blight, once and for all. I want to see Lebanon freed from domination by Iran and Syria. I want to see Lebanon be Lebanon. I don’t want to see Lebanon suffer for another 30 years. It’s time to clean up the mess and allow this poor, little country to heal.

And that means getting rid of the disease of Hezbollah - now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of World News Daily and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is “Taking America Back.” He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.

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By Spinoza, August 14, 2006 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
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God’s Chosen People

By Jostein Gaarder,

08/05/06 “Aftenposten ”—There’s no turning back. It’s time to learn a new lesson: We no longer recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in its current form, is history.

We don’t believe in the notion of God’s Chosen People. We laugh at this people’s capriciousness and weep at its misdeeds. To act as God’s Chosen People is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.

Limits to tolerance

There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly, stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.

We call baby killers “baby killers” and will never accept that people such as these have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We just say: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing and shame on every terrorist strike against civilians whether carried out by Hamas, the Hezbollah or the State of Israel!

Unscrupulous art of war

We acknowledge, and pay heed to, Europe’s deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms and the Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for the Jews to get their own home. However, the State of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions and can no longer expect protection from the same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The Tribulation will soon be over. The State of Israel has seen its Soweto.

We are now at the watershed. There’s no turning back. The State of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.

Without defense, without skin

May the spirit and the word blow the apartheid walls of Israel down. The State of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy upon the civilian population; for our prophecies of doom are not aimed at the civilian individuals.

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but wellness, but we reserve the right to not eat Jaffa oranges as long as they are foul tasting and poisonous. It was endurable for some years to live without eating the blue grapes of apartheid.

They celebrate their triumphs

We don’t believe that Israel grieves any more for the forty killed Lebanese children than it has wailed over the forty years spent in the desert three thousand years ago. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs in the same manner they once cheered the plagues of the Lord as “fitting punishment” for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord God of Israel appears as an insatiable sadist.) We ask ourselves if most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than the forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.

For we’ve seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs about to be dropped on the civilian populations of Lebanon and Palestine. The little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at the death and torment on the other side of the fronts.

The retribution of blood vengeance

We do not recognize the rhetoric of the State of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution and blood vengeance that comes with “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” We do not recognize the principle of ten or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population thinning out as a political weapon. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

He said: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We do not recognize a state founded on anti-humanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and warlike religion. Or, as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: “Humanitarianism consists of never sacrificing a human being for a cause.”

Compassion and forgiveness

We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David; the Kingdom of God is within us and amongst us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.

Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and thoroughly humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.

Israel doesn’t listen

For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel doesn’t listen. It wasn’t the Pharisee who helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. We are humans firstly - then Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: “And if you greet your brethren only, what more do you do than others?” We do not accept the kidnapping of soldiers. But neither do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.

We recognize the State of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more - more water and more villages. To obtain this there are those who want, with God’s assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. ‘The Palestinians have so many other countries’, certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.

The U.S. or the world?

Or as the foremost protector of the State of Israel puts it: “May God continue to bless America.” A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: “Why does the President always end his speeches with ‘God bless America’? Why not, ‘God bless the world’?”

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: “Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?” It was he who wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God’s Chosen People. He personally liked to call himself a Muslim.

Calmness and mercy

We do not recognize the State of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population has to flee their occupied areas into another Diaspora, then we say: May their surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is an eternal crime, without mitigating circumstances, to lay hand on refugees and a stateless people.

Peace and free passage for the evacuating, civilian population no longer protected by a State. Shoot not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now—like snails without shells, vulnerable as slow caravans of the Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless as the women, children and elderly of Qana, Gaza, Sabra and Shatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter; give them milk and honey!

Let not one Israeli child pay with his life. Far too many children and civilians have already been murdered.

The Likudniks and the NeoCons have done immeasurable harm to the Jewish people. They need to be punished.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 14, 2006 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
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Interesting readings and images on Sabbah Blog

Mon, 14 Aug 2006 04:45:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: “Sabbah’s Blog” <haitham.sabbah@gmail.com>  Add to Address Book

Subject: The Latest from Sabbah’s Blog
 
The Latest from
Sabbah’s Blog
Forced Perspective
Posted: 13 Aug 2006 09:12 AM CDT
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

 

Hat tip: Shazia


Hezbollah 2, Israel 0
Posted: 13 Aug 2006 08:25 AM CDT
Warning: This is a long post that consist of two news opinion essayes!

Hezbollah 2, Israel 0
by Joanna Francis

Make no mistake about it - the Israelis are getting their tails kicked in Lebanon! Just like they did in May 2000, when Hezbollah sent them scurrying back across the border with their tails between their legs. The Israelis never forgot that stinging defeat and have now demanded a rematch with Hezbollah. And much to their surprise, Israel has already managed to lose the rematch too. Considering the disparity in numbers and weaponry between Israel and Hezbollah, Israel should have achieved a decisive victory by now. But they haven’t. And it doesn’t help their case any that they have had to resort to bombing the entire country, killing women and children, to try to save face. It only makes them look more pathetic. They will never be able to swagger quite so arrogantly again, or instill fear in the groveling leaders of their neighboring countries in quite the same way. The Israelis have been outfoxed at every turn by an irregular army using prehistoric weaponry, with little to no support from neighboring countries (the leaders, that is), but who have proven themselves to be unwavering in their determination. Hezbollah are fighting against the best weaponry American money can buy. And they are winning.

Because you can’t buy courage. Even with the entire United States treasury at your disposal, the things that matter most to real men simply cannot be purchased. Therefore, the poor man has the advantage over the rich man because valor, manliness, and honor are free to those with nothing to lose. The Israelis had everything to lose in this misguided operation and have proceeded to do so exceedingly well. Even among their most brainwashed sycophants, their credibility is in the single digits. The excuse of the “kidnapped” soldiers is totally bogus to anyone with an I.Q. over 70, because Hezbollah has offered to release them in exchange for a ceasefire but Israel has refused. Meanwhile, Israel has kidnapped thousands of Lebanese citizens over the years who languish in Israeli prisons to this day. And the Katyusha rocket pity party won’t work either, because the Katyusha rockets are simply in retaliation for Israeli aggression, not vice versa, and can hardly compare to the bombs being dropped on Lebanon. If they thought for one moment that they would rout out Hezbollah, they were seriously mistaken. You cannot eliminate a fighting force whose reason for existence is justified by the fact that Israel continues to occupy their land, invade their air space, and hold their people as political prisoners. Kill them all, and another generation will simply step up to the plate and take their place.
The Israelis fight like sissies from fighter jets, dropping bunker-buster bombs on defenseless women and children. That’s real manly! They roll across the border in heavily-armored tanks, confident that they’ll be impervious to Hezbollah’s weaker arsenal. Only lately, those tanks have had the surprising habit of turning into human crematoria for the Israeli soldiers inside them. So why don’t they get out of their tanks and fighter jets and go toe-to-toe with Hezbollah like real men? (See first sentence of essay). The fourth most powerful military in the world has been given a shiny black eye that no amount of make-up will ever be able to hide. The aura of invincibility they so haughtily projected is now tarnished beyond repair. Bragging rights go to Hezbollah, as Israel eats its long-overdue humble pie. Why do I feel so strongly about this, you might ask? Because Israel has made me, an American taxpayer, complicit in their war crimes, and I, for one, am glad to see them finally getting their comeuppance.

In fact, the Israelis are losing so badly that their co-religionists in the West have had to order new false flag operations to take their humiliating defeat off the front pages. It’s like that scene in the Wizard of Oz where Toto pulls back the curtain on the “Great Oz,” only to discover that he’s really a weaselly old man, pretending to be something that he’s not. Well, the curtain has been pulled back on the Zionists, and they are standing there in all their naked cowardice and cruelty, for all world to see. And the world is repulsed. Hence, the PR campaign now underway to try to remind us goyim that all Muslims are “terrorists” and that the Israelis are always the victims. So now we’re supposed to feel relieved that the Israelis are only killing “terrorists” (not human beings), and that they are only trying to make the world a safer place for all of us. Only it’s not going to work this time. I mean, how stupid do they think we are? Just when world sympathy was leaning heavily towards Lebanon and away from Israel, does any sane person really believe that Muslims would try to pull off an ill-fated stunt? Only the most credulous of FOX News watchers could fail to notice that the timing of these supposed terror plots is extraordinarily convenient.

The mainstream media is just another weapon in the Israeli armory, but this time, chinks are beginning to show. The Zionist-controlled media try their best to obfuscate the cowardice of their own kin by wrongly portraying Hezbollah as hiding behind women and children. In psychiatry (a dangerous medical specialty they invented), this is called “projection,” or the attempt to transfer your own negative traits onto another person. They know all about projection because they do it so well. But Israel cannot hide the fact that they have slaughtered more than 1,000 civilians, mostly women and children, and have destroyed almost the entire infrastructure of a modern, democratic state. Yet they cynically try to portray themselves as reluctant and contrite killers, in a grotesque attempt to blame innocent victims for their own deaths.

What did they think was going to happen when they plunked themselves down in the middle of a million Arabs, after slaughtering them to steal their land in 1948? Did they really think they would get away with it indefinitely? Obviously so, since they’ve now set out to conquer more sovereign Arab territory, fully revealing their expansionist agenda to anyone with eyes to see. Only something unexpected has happened on the way to Eretz Israel; they’ve run into a brick wall called Hezbollah, who will not relinquish their sovereignty to the Zionist land-grabbers.
It’s slowly starting to dawn on the Zionists that Lebanon will never be part of Eretz Israel, and that the Litani River will never provide drinking water to Israeli settler households. Plan “Eretz Israel” has been put on hold by a small Lebanese militia with more guts than most men can even dream about. In any area that counts, Hezbollah is already victorious. Courage? How brave do you have to be to stay and fight when you are out-numbered, out-gunned, out-tanked, and out-bombed? Very brave, indeed. This war was nothing more than an Israeli land-grab attempt, and an opportunity to exercise collective punishment on an entire people for Israel’s defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in May 2000. But the Israeli soldiers aren’t half the fighters Hezbollah are; hence, their second defeat in six years at the hands of their bitter enemies. Hezbollah now owns them - lock, stock and barrel.


What the Hell Has Happened To The Israeli Army?
by UriAvnery

SO WHAT has happened to the Israeli army?

This question is now being raised not only around the world, but also in Israel itself. Clearly, there is a huge gap between the army’s boastful arrogance, on which generations of Israelis have grown up, and the picture presented by this war.

Before the choir of generals utters their expected cries of being stabbed in the back - “The government has shackled our hands! The politicians did not allow the army to win!

The political leadership is to blame for everything!” - it is worthwhile to examine this war from a professional military point of view.

(It is, perhaps, appropriate to interject at this point a personal remark. Who am I to speak about strategic matters?

What am I, a general? Well - I was 16 years old when World War II broke out. I decided then to study military theory in order to be able to follow events. I read a few hundred books - from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz to Liddel-Hart and on.

Later, in the 1948 war, I saw the other side of the medal, as a soldier and squad-leader. I have written two books on the war. That does not make me a great strategist, but it does allow me to voice an informed opinion.)

The facts speak for themselves:

- On the 32nd day of the war, Hizbullah is still standing and fighting. That by itself is a stunning feat: a small guerilla organization, with a few thousand fighters, is standing up to one of the strongest armies in the world and has not been broken after a month of “pulverizing”. Since 1948, the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan have repeatedly been beaten in wars that were much shorter.

As I have already said: if a light-weight boxer is fighting a heavy-weight champion and is still standing in the 12th round, the victory is his - whatever the count of points says.

- In the test of results - the only one that counts in war

- the strategic and tactical command of Hizbullah is decidedly better than that of our own army. All along, our army’s strategy has been primitive, brutal and unsophisticated.

- Clearly, Hizbullah has prepared well for this war - while the Israeli command has prepared for a quite different war.

- On the level of individual fighters, the Hizbullah are not inferior to our soldiers, neither in bravery nor in initiative.

THE MAIN guilt for the failure belongs with General Dan Halutz. I say “guilt” and not merely “responsibility”, which comes with the job.

He is living proof of the fact that an inflated ego and a brutal attitude are not enough to create a competent Chief- of-Staff. The opposite may be true.

Halutz gained fame (or notoriety) when he was asked what he feels when he drops a one-ton bomb on a residential quarter and answered: “a slight bang on the wing.” He added that afterwards he sleeps well at night. (In the same interview he also called me and my friends “traitors” who should be prosecuted.)

Now it is already clear - again, in the test of results - that Dan Halutz is the worst Chief-of-Staff in the annals of the Israeli army, a completely incompetent officer for his job.

Recently he has changed his blue Air-Force uniform for the green one of the land army. Too late.

Halutz started this war with the bluster of an Air-Force officer. He believed that it was possible to crush Hizbullah by aerial bombardment, supplemented by artillery shelling from land and sea. He believed that if he destroyed the towns, neighborhoods, roads and ports of Lebanon, the Lebanese people would rise and compel their government to remove Hizbullah. For a week he killed and devastated, until it became clear to everybody that this method achieves the opposite - strengthens Hizbullah, weakens its opponents within Lebanon and throughout the Arab world and destroys the world-wide sympathy Israel enjoyed at the beginning of the war.

When he reached this point, Halutz did not know what to do next. For three weeks he sent his soldiers into Lebanon on senseless and hopeless missions, gaining nothing. Even in the battles that were fought in villages right on the border, no significant victories were achieved. After the fourth week, when he was requested to submit a plan to the government, it was unbelievably primitive.

If the “enemy” had been a regular army, it would have been a bad plan. Just pushing the enemy back is hardly a strategy at all. But when the other side is a guerilla force, this is simply foolish. It may cause the death of many soldiers, for no practical result.

Now he is trying to achieve a token victory, occupying empty space as far from the border as possible, after the UN has already called for an end to the hostilities. (As in almost all previous Israeli wars, this call is being ignored, in the hope of snatching some gains at the last
moment.) Behind this line, Hizbullah remains intact in their bunkers.

HOWEVER, THE Chief-of-Staff does not act in a vacuum. As Commander-in-Chief he has indeed a huge influence, but he is also merely the top of the military pyramid.

This war casts a dark shadow on the whole upper echelon of our army. I assume that there are some talented officers, but the general picture is of a senior officers corps that is mediocre or worse, grey and unoriginal. Almost all the many officers that have appeared on TV are unimpressive, uninspiring professionals, experts on covering their behinds, repeating empty clich?s like parrots.

The ex-generals, who have been crowding out everybody else in the TV and radio studios, have also mostly surprised us with their mediocrity, limited intelligence and general ignorance. One gets the impression that they have not read books on military history, and fill the void with empty phrases.

More than once it has been said in this column that an army that has been acting for many years as a colonial police force against the Palestinian population - “terrorists”, women and children - and spending its time running after stone-throwing boys, cannot remain an efficient army. The test of results confirms this.

AS AFTER every failure of our military, the intelligence community is quick to cover its ass. Their chiefs declare that they knew everything, that they provided the troops with full and accurate information, that they are not to blame if the army did not act on it.

That does not sound reasonable. Judging from the reactions of the commanders in the field, they clearly were completely unaware of the defense system built by Hizbullah in South Lebanon. The complex infrastructure of hidden bunkers, stocked with modern equipment and stockpiles of food and weapons was a complete surprise for the army. It was not ready for these bunkers, including those built two or three kilometers from the border. They are reminiscent of the tunnels in Vietnam.

The intelligence community has also been corrupted by the long occupation of the Palestinian territories. They have got used to relying on the thousands of collaborators that have been recruited in the course of 39 years by torture, bribery and extortion (junkies needing drugs, someone begging to be allowed to visit his dying mother, someone desiring a chunk from the cake of corruption, etc.) Clearly, no collaborators were found among the Hizbullah, and without them intelligence is blind.

It is also clear that Intelligence, and the army in general, was not ready for the deadly efficiency of Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons. Hard to believe, but according to official figures, more than 20 tanks were hit.

The Merkava (”carriage”) tank is the pride of the army. Its father, General Israel Tal, a victorious tank general, did not want only to build the world’s most advanced tank, but also a tank that provided its crew with the best possible protection. Now it appears that an anti-tank weapon from the late 1980s that is available in large quantities, can disable the tank, killing or grievously wounding the soldiers inside.

THE COMMON denominator of all the failures is the disdain for Arabs, a contempt that has dire consequences. It has caused total misunderstanding, a kind of blindness of Hizbullah’s motives, attitudes, standing in Lebanese society etc.

I am convinced that today’s soldiers are in no way inferior to their predecessors. Their motivation is high, they have shown great bravery in the evacuation of the wounded under fire. (I very much appreciate that in particular, since my own life was saved by soldiers who risked theirs to get me out under fire when I was wounded.) But the best soldiers cannot succeed when the command is incompetent.

History teaches that defeat can be a great blessing for an army. A victorious army rests on its laurels, it has no motive for self-criticism, it degenerates, its commanders become careless and lose the next war. (see: the Six-day war leading to the Yom Kippur war). A defeated army, on the other side, knows that it must rehabilitate itself. On one condition: that it admits defeat.

After this war, the Chief-of-Staff must be dismissed and the senior officer corps overhauled. For that, a Minister of Defense is needed who is not a marionette of the Chief- of-Staff. (But that concerns the political leadership, about whose failures and sins we shall speak another time.)

We, as people of peace, have a great interest in changing the military leadership. First, because it has a huge impact on the forming of policy and, as we just saw, irresponsible commanders can easily drag the government into dangerous adventures. And second, because even after achieving peace we shall need an efficient army - at least until the wolf lies down with the lamb, as the prophet Isaiah promised. (And not in the Israeli version: “No problem. One only has to bring a new lamb every day.”)

THE MAIN lesson of the war, beyond all military analysis, lies in the five words we inscribed on our banner from the very first day: “There is no military solution!”

Even a strong army cannot defeat a guerilla organization, because the guerilla is a political phenomenon. Perhaps the opposite is true: the stronger the army, the better equipped with advanced technology, the smaller are its chances of winning such a confrontation. Our conflict - in the North, the Center and the South - is a political conflict, and can only be resolved by political means. The army is the instrument worst suited for that.

The war has proved that Hizbullah is a strong opponent, and any political solution in the North must include it. Since Syria is its strong ally, it must also be included. The settlement must be worthwhile for them too, otherwise it will not last.

The price is the return of the Golan Heights.

What is true in the North is also true in the South. The army will not defeat the Palestinians, because such a victory is altogether impossible. For the good of the army, it must be extricated from the quagmire.

If that now enters the consciousness of the Israeli public, something good may yet have come out of this war.


Video Israel Doesn’t Want You to See
Posted: 13 Aug 2006 06:08 AM CDT
Israeli army embarrassed by video broadcast (Mar 2002)

The Israeli army has expressed a note of contrition after a television station aired a videotape showing an army assault on a Palestinian home in which a mother of five children died.

 

 

When CBC News spoke with Ismail Hawarjeh at Bethlehem’s hospital earlier this month, there was no way to verify the story he told about how his wife had died, until Israel’s Channel 2 broacast the tape last weekend.

The Palestinian school administrator said his wife Huda had been killed in their home by an Israeli tank shell during the army’s March 8 assault on the Aida refugee camp. The army wouldn’t comment and foreign journalists weren’t allowed inside the camp.

But Israeli media were allowed to ride along with the soldiers, and they went right into the Hawarjeh home. An Israeli camera recorded the army blowing off the door, and found Huda Hawarjeh bleeding on the floor.

The pictures conformed to Ismail Hawarjeh’s story about his wife being hit by shrapnel in the front hallway of the house, and about the Israeli soldiers doing little to help her for an hour while she bled to death in front of her five children.

Finally, the soldiers allowed an ambulance to come to a nearby street, and soldiers helped Hawarjeh carry his wife to it. Doctors tried to revive her at the hospital but couldn’t.

Huda Hawarjeh was one of seven people to die in the Bethlehem area that day.

The Israeli army allows the media such close access on the understanding it can embargo anything it doesn’t want broadcast.

The tapes of the assault on the Hawarjeh home fell into that category. But Channel 2 broke the embargo anyway.

The army, government and many Israeli citizens didn’t like what they saw.

Channel 2 showed Hawarjeh begging soldiers to allow an ambulance through. The camera captured the terror of the woman’s daughter, and her brother’s attempt to stop her from showing the soldiers her fear.

After the woman was finally taken out, one of the soldiers looked into the camera and said: “I don’t know what we’re doing here. Purification, maybe. It’s dirty here. I don’t know why a good Hebrew boy should be here, so far from his home.”

The soldiers tore the home apart, evidently looking for weapons.

Another daughter begged them not to demolish the home’s wall. Soldiers commonly smash walls to move into adjacent houses.

Israeli spokesman Ranaan Gissin said the government was disappointed by the decision to air the tapes. “I would have expected a little bit more self-censorship on the part of the Israeli media,” he said.

Ma’ariv, Israel’s second-biggest newspaper, ran the story on its front page on Monday, under a banner headline that read “Gaffe!”

The army, after trying to suppress distribution of the pictures, admitted the soldiers’ actions pushed the boundaries of public acceptance.

“Our action is so difficult to be done that it is to the extremities of acceptance,” said Olivier Rafowicz, an Israeli Defence Force spokesman.

He called what happened in the Hawarjeh home “a mistake.”

Source: CBC

Hat tip: Editerette


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By Geronimo, August 14, 2006 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re:  commenti #18188 by Kwagmyre

And if Israel agrees to pull the IDF out of the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon, what’ll happen then?  The Palestinian and Lebanese peoples, through their governments will put forth their vision of what sort of Middle East and how to attain it, and then it’ll be up to the Jewish settler to decide,  “Do I stay or do I leave.”

Based upon precedent one might imagine that the majority of the settlers will choose to leave.  At least that’s what happened in Mozambique in the early seventies after that nation won its war of independence from Portugal.  The leaders of this newly emerged
nation offered full Mocambican citizenship to the three hundred and fifty thousand Portuguese settlers in that beautiful land in the Southern part of Africa, with its thousand mile,  warm water,  white sandy beaches coastline Indeed, for five cenuries the settlers had lived mighty high off of someone else’s land. The Africans, of course, didn’t do as well. 

Still, despite so many glaring inequalities Mozambique’s new leaders realized that they needed the settlers to stay .  Without them, they’d have a tought time running the country, as there’d he hardly any engineers, civil servants, doctors, nurses, technicians and so forth.  So the settlers were offered full Mozambican citizenship but with one proviso, which was that anyone holding Portugues citizenship would have to give that up; there’d be no dual citizenship. 

The outcome was that ninety-five percent of the settlers packed-up and returned to Portugal, and there went most of Mozambique’s skilled and educated.  Some handicap,  that, for a nation that’s just starting out.

Fortunately for the Jewish settlers on the West Bank,  the newly liberated nation of Palestine is going to be offering them a deal that’ll be too good to turn down.  Why wouldn’t they?

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By Kwagmyre, August 14, 2006 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has just come out on Democracy Now but it should hardly be a surprise:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/14/1358255

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By Spinoza, August 14, 2006 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> a true Jew never ever sides with the slavemaster.  That would be sacriligious. .  .

Amen.

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By Spinoza, August 14, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> Jeez Spinoza did you even read what Dov wrote? 

> Israel offerred the whole west bank,

This is why people on the left don’t take right wingers seriously. The above statement is completely a lie.

I don’t know if the right wingers truly believe what they say. Both they and I can read fairly well but somehow the same facts don’t appear in our minds eye. Dov’s essay I am certain was earnestly written. The problem is that it was loaded with factual inaccuracy usually called by people like me lies.

These “debates” have gone on for decades now so much of these so called “facts” have been well hashed over and don’t need repeating. What is more important is what people feel. The Hudna that Hamas offered I think was genuine.  The Israeli reaction was predictable and vicious Until all Jews start recognizing Arabs as human beings, even if they have a very different culture, no solution can be found.  How long does Israel think it can be Sparta in the Arab lands? Fifty years? I doubt it.

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By RefusingToForgetRachelCorrie, August 14, 2006 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

FELA screams:

“THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST.”

Oh, poo. Go kill somebody with a bulldozer; you’ll feel better.

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By Justice4all, August 14, 2006 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #18178 by Barry on 8/14 at 6:27 am

“Israel offerred the whole west bank, Arafat said no and went back to terror.  Israel pulled out of Gaza, and said it would pull out of the West Bank next if things went well, same thing.”

It is obvious that you know nothing about the conflict and your comment is naiive to say the least. You need to educate yourself and read more. Why would the Palestinians turn down an offer to get all of the West Bank and Gaza had the offer been real and complete. This is what they want afterall. Read my post 18084 and do your own research.

As for UN resolutions, I suggest that all of you check the UN website and see all the Security Council resolutions Israel did not abide by including, but not limited to, 242 and 338.

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By AmericanFedUpWithIsraelsOccupationOfThePentagon, August 14, 2006 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
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FELA writes: “The audacity of Spinoza to think that his perspective is the right one, is mind boggling.”

Well, that’s only because the fascist mind is easily boggled, Mr. Chosen Person.

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By Kwagmyre, August 14, 2006 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
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A suggestion to Dov but more specifically the government of Israel(if they’re sincere about the creation of a Palestinian state):

Withdraw all IDF soldiers from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and let the remaining Settlers fend for themselves since they wouldn’t be so anxious to leave as with Gaza.  Then the newly established government there(presumably Hamas and probably Islamic Jihad assisting)will then decide how they wish to deal with those who wish to remain.

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By FELA, August 14, 2006 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
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A while back Rachel said that she is not going to participate anymore, because none of the participants want to change their opinions!

She was right. The audacity of Spinoza to think that his perspective is the right one, is mind boggling.

Comment #18162 by Spinoza on 8/14 at 12:46 am

>>>>You are simply not seeing all the facts from where you’re sitting. <<<

That is my argument to you Dov.  You have not read widely enough.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER DOV IS WELL READ OR NOT? JUST BECAUSE YOU QUOTE HANNAH ARENDT DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHT, NOR DOES IT MAKE HER RIGHT.

You really don’t understand what is occuring, how people think and so on.

Please think about this:

Hannah Arendt to Zionists: “ All hopes to the contrary notwithstanding, it seems as though the ONE argument the Arabs are incapable of understanding is force.” (“Peace or Armistice in the Near East?” in Review of Politics (January 1950), p. 56).

Whether you think so or not the Arabs think they were wronged.

THE FACT THAT SOMEONE THINK THAT THEY HAVE BEEN WRONGED DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE THEM JUST OR PEACE LOVING…

  And as long as they think that there will be no peace.  NONE NADA GHUNISH

ISN’T IT AN IRONY THAT YOU KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYTHING, BUT CANNOT EVEN SPELL CORRECTLY AND PHONETICALLY ONE JEWISH WORD?

All of your special pleading will have no effect.
MY POINT EXACTLY! DOV IS TRYING TO SAY THAT WE WANT PEACE, THAT WE DID NEGOTIATE WITH OUR ENEMY, AS YOU MAY RECALL THE MEETING BETWEEN RABIN AND ARAFAT, EHUD BARAK WITH ARAFAT, ISRAELI OFFICIALS MEETINGS WITH ABBAS. SO WHO IS NOT TALKING TO THEIR ENEMIES?

As I said before you negotiate with your enemies, not your friends!

IT IS OBVIOUS THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, AND THIS WEB SITE IS GIVING YOU THE FORUM TO VENT AGINST ISRAEL, REGARDLESS OF THE TRUTH. ALL YOUR REPEATED ARGUMENTS SMACK OF SOMEONE WHO INSISTS ON BEING WRONGED, JUST LIKE YOU CLAIM THE ARABS FEEL.
I WONDER IF AN ISRAELI WOMAN HAD REJECTED YOU IN THE PAST, AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE BLIND AND EXTREME? YOU REALLY SOUND LIKE RIGHT WING ISRAELIS, BUT WITH THE OPPOSITE CONVICTION. EXTREMIST ARE ALWAYS SCARY.

INSTEAD OF ACKNOWLEDGING DOV’S GOOD WILL, HIS WILLING TO NEGOTIATE AND COMPROMISE, YOU KEEP ON TELLING HIM THAT HE IS WRONG. SO WHO IS THE ONE WHO IS NOT NEGOTIATING WITH THE “ENEMY”? YOU!

THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST. SOMEONE WROTE A WHILE BACK THAT EXCHANGING OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG IS USELESS. SHE WAS RIGHT.

MAY YOU ALL ENJOY TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO THINK JUST LIKE YOU. THIS IS CERTAIN TO MAKE YOU NOT GROW AS A HUMAN BEING, AND REMAIN CLOSED MINDED. AND IN MY HUMBLE OPINIONL, BEING CLOSED MINDED IS A FAR WORSE DESTINY THAN TO BE KILLED BY SOMEONE LIKE FADAL, WHO REJOICES IN PEOPLE’S DEATH.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 14, 2006 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
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Those who use violent force to accomplish their goals will often incite a backlash and earn the hostility of the larger community. Those who use force to restrain violence, preserve the peace and earn the goodwill of the larger community.

Or, saying it another way, the chickens come home to roost.

My country (the USA) had an opportunity to use force to restrain violence in the immediate post-911 period—benefiting from the enormous good will and support it had from the world community—to accomplish two things: the defeat of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the settlement of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Instead, we—under the guidance of the Neocons—decided to show the world how tough we were and attacked Iraq, whereby—according to the Neocons—we would transform the world into paradise (western civilization style).

Moments like the immediate post-911 period don’t come around very often in world affairs. To let warmongers blow that opportunity and then continue to call for escalating the violence and conflict is surreal.

How does this affect Israel? (Those who ask that are kidding, right?) It’s the Neocon - Rapturists - Zionists (NRZ’s) who are yelling, “Bring it on!”

The world sees Israel taking by force what it cannot attain in negotiations (for whatever reason), and willing to inflict disproportionate injury and damage on its enemies.

You see, we all have sympathy for innocent victims of violence ... especially when the images are spread across TV screens and news pages day after day, night after night. We benefited from that synpathy immediately after 911 ... we should know.

It is not so much a matter of who is right and who is wrong, but the pragmatic understanding of outcomes ... and the simple realization that if we do not use our power to impose a just peace when we are strong enough to do so, when will we do it?

The wall is a symbol of our failure to act for peace when we had the opportunity to do so.

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By Barry, August 14, 2006 at 6:27 am Link to this comment
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Jeez Spinoza did you even read what Dov wrote? 

Israel offerred the whole west bank, Arafat said no and went back to terror.  Israel pulled out of Gaza, and said it would pull out of the West Bank next if things went well, same thing. 

Israel is the only one negotiating!  And Dov is in Israel telling you that Israelis are happy to keep negotiating if the Palestinians will stop shooting rockets and choose to negotiate.  Open your eyes!

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By DisgustedWithIsrael, August 14, 2006 at 4:38 am Link to this comment
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Blazintommyd complains, with breathtaking imagination, of a “Democratic-republican Single Party Monolith” aligned against dear little Israel and united in love for the “terrorists.”

Um, hello? The US House of Representatives voted 410 to 8 to BLESS Israel’s current MURDER of the entire country of Lebanon.

What alternative universe do you live in where either US party is less than fervently supportive of Israel’s every crime and tantrum?

You manipulative creeps OWN our foreign policy! Haven’t you noticed, you self-righteous twit?

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By NotHavingYouHasbarah, August 14, 2006 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
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Dov says: “we keep withdrawing from territory, and we keep offering concessions”

You steal something, then give part of it back, calling it a “painful sacrifice” that proves your moral superiority. Meanwhile, you continue with new aggressions, harrassments, murders, arbitrary imprisonments, and so on.

We’re so not impressed. You’re so not great. And you’re not, nor do you represent, “the Jews”. You’re just Israel. Nasty, sick Israel.

Yecch.

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By RevoltedByIsraelsLoathsomeness, August 14, 2006 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
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Dov says: “Hi all, I’m removing my email reminders to this page, it’s not worth the time”

We support your decision.

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By Geronimo, August 14, 2006 at 2:37 am Link to this comment
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re:  comment #18156 by Alon

To the contrary,  Spinoza is a true Jew,  meaning that no matter what Spinoza’s always against the slavemaster and on the side of the slave;  even (better, especially) when the slavemaster happens to be a relative, a friend or a co-religionist. 

This explains why Spinoza, when it’s a matter of justice for the Palestinian people, isn’t going along with Alon’s admonition to “stick-up for your own people ”  A true Jew never ever sides with the slavemaster.  That would be sacriligious. .  .

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 14, 2006 at 1:48 am Link to this comment
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Some talking points amongst the din and clatter and shouting:

Hezbollah is a engaged in a violent struggle with Israel.

Israel is engaged in a viloent struggle with Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has not abided by UN Resolutions.

Israel has not abided by UN Resolutions.

The major issues (as I see them) are:

- The right of Israel to exist (adoption of the Partition Plan by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947.)

- The right of return (International Law and decreed by UN Resolution 237)

- The withdrawal to th 1967 borders with an end to the state of belligerency (decreed by UN Resolution 242)

- The sharing of Jerusalem (Decreed by UN Resolution 252 and others, such as 476)

- The exchange of prisoners.

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

The nature of the conflict is clearly documented in the UN Resolutions in response to that conflict from the establishment of the State of Israel up until today.

The question is: Will the Arab states agree to stop their belligerency against the State of Israel if Israel agrees to and abides by a specific set of conditions in a two-state (Israel and Palestine) solution?

Amongst other acts, by building the wall and usurping land that would belong to Palestine under Resolution 242, Israel lays down a marker that it is unilaterally setting the conditions of the two-state solution ... and justifying it by pointing to the perpetual belligerency of those aligned against her.

Amongst other acts, by Iran and other Muslim states/groups saying Israel should not exist and or challenging the wall (amongst other issues such as the Sheba Farms land), they challenge Israel and her unilateral solution ... and perpetuate a state of belligerency against Israel.

This has all the earmarks of a tribal pissing contest based on who is the most violent so who must be the most feared.

Unless these issues are resolved peaceably, the conflict will continue ... a conflict Israel may have hoped to win via the transformation of the Middle East by military means a la the Neocon plan to remake Iraq as a western-style democracy ... which, by the way—in case anyone is paying attention—is failing miserably ... and could be why Israel may feel the need to prove that she is tougher than the USA when it comes to things like war.

So now that Israel and her ally (my country, the USA) have stirred up the hornets nest in the Middle East with their ill-conceived ventures (Iraq and Southern Lebanon), Israel wants the international community to bail them out ... when, as history shows, Israel does not have a good track record herself in abiding by the wishes of the international community.

It’s like Israel is pouring fuel on a fire close to a gasoline storage tank and calling up the fire department saying, “You better get over here and stop this fire before the storage tank blows up.” ... “No, we didn’t start it. The neighbors did, but it was so small we knew you wouldn’t come and put it out until it got bigger.”

Well, it ought to be clear to everyone involved that sooner or later this is could go nuclear (the gasoline storage tank blows up) if it is not resolved peaceably. It already is nuclear on our side (Israel and the USA) a la Kipling: “Whatever happens we have got/The Gatling gun and they have not.” [sic].

So why aren’t we (the USA) hard at work trying to resolve this peaceably while we still have the clout to do so? This is where the debacle in Iraq rears its ugly head. The billiant idiots devising the Project for the New American Century actually believed they could transform Iraq and thereby set in motion a transformation of the Middle East.

Now because the results of the Neocons’ blind ignorance and wishful thinking are that the region is tipping into a chaotic state and truly threatening to Israel, the Neocons are saying we have to escalate the conflict lest Israel lose. “Pour more fuel on the fire! Then the fire department will HAVE to respond.”

Dah!

This conflict CANNOT be settled militarily.

We have to be more creative than that ... but the Neocons - Rapturists - Zionists (the NRZ’s) are yelling, “Bring it on!”

Is it any wonder that the world worries about us when we elect a president like GW?

In one respect the Armageddonists are right. That battle will cleanse the world ... trouble is, it’s the jellyfish who will have another go at, not the human race.

http://ncswede.blogspot.com/2006/08/on-middle-east-conflict-between.html

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By Spinoza, August 14, 2006 at 12:46 am Link to this comment
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>>>>You are simply not seeing all the facts from where you’re sitting. <<<

That is my argument to you Dov.  You have not read widely enough.  You really don’t understand what is occuring, how people think and so on.

Please think about this:

Hannah Arendt to Zionists: ” All hopes to the contrary notwithstanding, it seems as though the ONE argument the Arabs are incapable of understanding is force.” (“Peace or Armistice in the Near East?” in Review of Politics (January 1950), p. 56).

Whether you think so or not the Arabs think they were wronged.  And as long as they think that there will be no peace.  NONE NADA GHUNISH All of your special pleading will have no effect. As I said before you negotiate with your enemies, not your friends!

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By blazintommyd, August 13, 2006 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
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In re #18100 (edit mine)

“it annoyed me that [anti]Israeli and other [anti]Zionist groups were trying to dominate the discourse on the Internet” ...

is really the ONLY reason I’d ever be caught dead in one of these threads (eye roll)

Yeah the whole thing harkens back to Jean Genet, the fabulous Homo writer that happened to be pro-Palestinean, anti-Judaic, whatever and then one of the Redgrave girls; pretty soon we have David Bowie singing about Himmler, Aleister Crowley, Anton Svendor LaVay dedicating Satnic Bibles to Colonel Haushofer, Charlie Daniels with his “The South’s Gonna Do It Again” and low and behold Magick!!

Jimmy the kindler and Gentler KKKracker as President, yields to the biggest right wing whacko is the history of US Presidents at least since Warren Harding. Good old “Georgia” you know, the State with the Confederate flag. How provincial.

But the thing that really astounds me is that the Democratic-republican Single Party Monolith—including all that oppose it except me—manage to get away with equating these Religious Fundamentalists to Che Guevara.

Do these people realize the service they are doing for the Conservative Party Movenment? Like Noam Chomsky? Maybe they do and it’s the quid pro quo for selling books and giving lectures at college universities. No one’s paying me to do that, so where’s the money coming from??

On March 23, 2006 I had my broadcasting priviles arbitrarily removed by kids running WHRW fm @ SUNY Binghamton for airing within the safe harbor zone poems by Edgar Allen Poe and a documentary narrated by Nat Hentoff. Materials proclaimed protected speech in the 1950s and 1960s. The two perps were puportedly Jews I know the program director is but the GM looks and acts more like a Mc. So who did this? Jews? Or more specifically, the kind of Jews Conservatives can learn to like? The kind they’re creating right in this thread.

I’m a Jew and I was deprived of my property and 1st Amendment rights under the 14th A to the US Const. but no body cares because I’m one of those uppity trouble making Jews the kind that don’t care if we can learn to like them or not.

So why did this happen? There was no pressure from the University nor the FCC. It happened because these kids are right wing assholes.

But the real problem is platitudes. The lowest common denominator form of political rhetoric and the ease by which Adolf Hitler made it for one, so reduced, to merely say “Jew”.

But the matter isn’t as complicated as many in the Jimmy Kracker era led you to believe. Israel is a Legitimate Independent Sovereign nation as recognized under the UN Charter and the official acts of UNO. Various groups in that region refuse to accept that point of law the same way Conservatives refuse to accept the 14th A. to the US Const. and some still yell “states rights” even though Strom and Yassir are dead.

Watch the film “Imagine” the documentary on John Lennon and therein you will find a KKK leader admitting that the KKK is a “terrorist organization”. So these various groups opposed to the existence of Israel are actually much more like the KKK than Che Guevara.

But working within the framework of government by platitudes it’s easier because it’s more convenient for the ruling Conservative Party Movement (who could never exist without the likes of Jimmy Kracker) for “the Left” (as if one were actually allowed to exist here:) to equate said “freedom fighters” with that rotten commie Che - who “helicopter concept” killed,

Hence the old Kristian Konservative Grand Dichotomy of Good and Evil.

So even though everyone would agree that these “freedom fighters” are evil the Conservatives make certain you also equate that evil with the left; while the left equates it with the right - Hence accusing disobedient Jews of being evil right wingers.

You see what’s happening here? That is, aside from it always being “disobedient Jews” that are now the post war victims?

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By alon, August 13, 2006 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment
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Spinoza, you a disgrace to jews. As a so called jew you should be sticking up for your own people, most jews want peace but unlike you they are being realistic and know that the only way to have peace is to get rid of extremists like hezbollah and hamas. These groups want to finish what Hitler started, any person with a brain would know that they not going to listen to talks or UN resolutions. get real and get a life, and why dont you go join your brother fadel in his jihad against reasonable people.

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By Dov, August 13, 2006 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment
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Hi all, I’m removing my email reminders to this page, it’s not worth the time to argue, but in light of the truce that’s supposed to start here in 22 minutes, I want to re-post the thought that I started with a few weeks ago:

You are all misunderstanding the situation here.  The reality in Israel is that Israelis want peace above all else.  And we keep withdrawing from territory, and we keep offering concessions, all hoping for peace, and keep having to deal with terror in response, from Palestinians who could choose to build up a state alongside ours but who consistently choose terror instead.

You are simply not seeing all the facts from where you’re sitting.  You’re not recognizing that more refugees were kicked out of Arab countries and sent to Israel than left Israel for Arab countries.  Israel absorbed Jewish refugees and built a state, refugees from Arab countries formed the Sefardi backbone that built the state.  Jordan (who controled the West Bank from 48 ot 67) chose to put refugees into refugee camps, rather than build a country on the West Bank from 48 to 67. 

You’re also not recognizing that Israel functions (imperfectly) with an Arab minority, and yet the Palestinians are not willing to start a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority, insist on kicking Israelis out of settlements as a precursor to a Palestinian state.  And we’re still willing to do it, to move all the Israelis out of the region that we’ve offerred to the Palestinians, but they refuse to stop terror.

There is nothing that the Arabs want that Israel hasn’t offerred.  West Bank?  Offerred and documented.  Gaza?  Yep.  Even half of Jerusalem.  And it’s still never been enough for them to stop terror and say yes.

So Israel withdraws unilaterally.  Not because we want to, because they won’t stop terror and talk.  Withdrew from Lebanon, we have missiles.  Withdraw from Gaza, we have missiles.  Build a wall along a new border, and get yelled at for trying to reduce terror and move towards two independent states.  Like California can have a wall with Mexico to protect San Diego’s cleanliness, but Israel can’t have a wall with a future Palestinian state because we have to allow terrorists to cross.

And then we’re faced with a choice—be shot at or kill terrorists who are deliberately hiding in hospitals.  So do I care about the civilians in the hospitals?  Of course.  But am I willing to be shot at forever to avoid huring them?  No.  Their deaths are the fault of the terrorists who used them as shields. 

I hope you all understand at some point, but I doubt you will.  You’re not even reading what I’m writing here, you’re just looking for things to argue with.  Well, I’m done, I’ve got a life to lead here in Israel, and I’ve got to return to my dream that one day we can have peace here.  But refusing to see reality will not bring peace, peace will come from seeing reality and trying to fix it.  And I’m here doing it, not sitting halfway around the world.

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By Kwagmyre, August 13, 2006 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
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It’s a positive development when Jews(Israeli and otherwise)begin to question Zionist agendas.  I’d include myself in that category though my own non-religious orientation undoubtedly has something to do with that.  This separates me from an observant cousin who would say about Israel, “My country right or wrong!”  She’s American to be sure but Israel could very well be her second “country.” 

The latest issue of the Jewish Journal which may represent mainstream Jewish opinion has been highly supportive of Israel’s latest incursion in Lebanon based on the opinions put forth by the columnists, even so-called “liberal” ones. There was one dissenting opinion expressed in an issue from a week or two weeks ago and readers’ reactions were just about all negative.

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By Spinoza, August 13, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
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Sign and support Jewish Voice for Peace petition


http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/jvfp/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=323

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By SickOfZionistInsanity, August 13, 2006 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment
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Spinoza says: “It is becoming more and more embarrassing to be a Jew though probably most Jews are not as hard hearted as the so called leadership. A good deal of the leadership of the anti-war movement is Jewish.  Jews for Peace is growing very rapidly”

Isn’t it amazing how many Americans accept Israel’s own notion of itself as speaking and acting for “the Jews”? Why do we accept this? It’s bullshit! Next, Bush will declare that the policies of the US government are the official will of “all people of European Christian ethnicity”.

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By Spinoza, August 13, 2006 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
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The fighting according to the news is furious as each group tries to expand and defend its position in anticipation of a cease fire.

Let me give the URL of the World Can’t Wait website again . All people of good will should try to create massive demonstrations against the USAIsrael apparatus

http://www.worldcantwait.net/

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By fela, August 13, 2006 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
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Since Spinoza finds it “more and more difficult to be a Jew”, I would like to make his burden easier and offer him a great alternative.

Please Spinoza, read the following verses of the Koran/Kuran, and maybe you will find the light…

After all, a bleeding heart like you should hang together with the people whose holy book repeatedly commands them to bleed the hearts of the infidels. So if you convert to Islam, there is a chance that your new friend Fadal, will not chop off your head, like they do to people such as Daniel Pearl whose only crime was believing in human kindness… 

I notice that the people on this web site use this forum to pour their heart out and completely ignore emails with real proof about Lebanese photographers who stage pictures.

It is a case of “there is only one truth and and this is my truth. “

Your new friend Fadal, did not offer Yasmin a dialogue, because she disagreed with him. But Spinoza is lucky, he agrees with the man who can curse in 5 languages, and wish people death, and therefore is invited to talk to Fadal!
Wow! what are you going to talk about? You agree about everything!

As I said before, there is no dialogue about different opinions, there is only one truth and nothing else.

Someone here said that there is no argument about the fact that Israel is an occupier since 1967 war. That is true. But how come the Arabs kept on attacking Israel before that? There is always a reason, there is always another excuse.

And now for the grand finale, to make Spinoza’s life easier, some instructions for your average Moslem:

 
  Verses from the Koran
By Sam Harris
Open the Koran, which is perfect in its every syllable, and simply read it with the eyes of faith. You will see how little compassion need be wasted on those whom God himself is in the process of “mocking,” “cursing,” ” shaming,” “punishing,” “scourging,” “judging,” “burning,” “annihilating,” “not forgiving,” and “not reprieving.” God, who is infinitely wise, has cursed the infidels with their doubts. He prolongs their life and prosperity so that they may continue heaping sin upon sin and all the more richly deserve the torments that await them beyond the grave. In this light, the people who died on Sept. 11 were nothing more than fuel for the eternal fires of God’s justice. To convey the relentlessness with which unbelievers are vilified in the text of the Koran, I provide a long compilation of quotations below, in order of their appearance in the text. This is what the Creator of the universe apparently has on his mind (when he is not fussing with gravitational constants and atomic weights):
“It is the same whether or not you forwarn them [the unbelievers], they will have no faith” (2:6).
“God will mock them and keep them long in sin, blundering blindly along” (2:15).
A fire “whose fuel is men and stones” awaits them (2:24).
They will be “rewarded with disgrace in this world and with grievous punishment on the Day of Resurrection” (2:85).
“God’s curse be upon the infidels!” (2:89).
“They have incurred God’s most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits [them]” (2:90).
“God is the enemy of the unbelievers” (2:98).
“The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], and the pagans, resent that any blessing should have been sent down to you from your Lord” (2:105).
“They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter” (2:114).
“Those to whom We [God] have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read, truly believe in it; those that deny it shall assuredly be lost” (2:122).
“[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them to the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate” (2:126).
“The East and the West are God’s. He guides whom He will to a straight path” (2:142).
“Do not say that those slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, but you are not aware of them” (2:154).
“But the infidels who die unbelievers shall incur the curse of God, the angels, and all men. Under it they shall remain for ever; their punishment shall not be lightened, nor shall they be reprieved” (2:162).
“They shall sigh with remorse, but shall never come out of the Fire” (2:168).
“The unbelievers are like beasts which, call out to them as one may, can hear nothing but a shout and a cry. Deaf, dumb, and blind, they understand nothing” (2:172).
“Theirs shall be a woeful punishment” (2:175).
“How steadfastly they seek the Fire! That is because God has revealed the Book with truth; those that disagree about it are in extreme schism” (2:176).
“Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. . . . [I]f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers”(2:190–93).
“Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. God knows, but you know not” (2:216).
“They will not cease to fight against you until they force you to renounce your faith—if they are able. But whoever of you recants and dies an unbeliever, his works shall come to nothing in this world and in the world to come. Such men shall be the tenants of Hell, wherein they shall abide forever. Those that have embraced the Faith, and those that have fled their land and fought for the cause of God, may hope for God’s mercy” (2:217–18).
“God does not guide the evil-doers” (2:258).
“God does not guide the unbelievers” (2:264).
“The evil-doers shall have none to help them” (2:270).
“God gives guidance to whom He will” (2:272).
“Those that deny God’s revelations shall be sternly punished; God is mighty and capable of revenge” (3:5).
“As for the unbelievers, neither their riches nor their children will in the least save them from God’s judgment. They shall become fuel for the Fire” (3:10).
“Say to the unbelievers: ‘You shall be overthrown and driven into Hell—an evil resting place!’” (3:12).
“The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam. . . . He that denies God’s revelations should know that swift is God’s reckoning” (3:19).
“Let the believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful—he that does this has nothing to hope for from God—except in self-defense” (3:28).
“Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breasts conceal” (3:118).
“If you have suffered a defeat, so did the enemy.We alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that God may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you (God does not love the evil-doers); and that God may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels” (3:140).
“Believers, if you yield to the infidels they will drag you back to unbelief and you will return headlong to perdition. . . .We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. . . . The Fire shall be their home” (3:149-51).
“Believers, do not follow the example of the infidels, who say of their brothers when they meet death abroad or in battle: ‘Had they stayed with us they would not have died, nor would they have been killed.’ God will cause them to regret their words. . . . If you should die or be slain in the cause of God, God’s forgiveness and His mercy would surely be better than all the riches they amass” (3:156).
“Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with His gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, have nothing to fear or to regret; rejoicing in God’s grace and bounty. God will not deny the faithful their reward” (3:169).
“Let not the unbelievers think that We prolong their days for their own good. We give them respite only so that they may commit more grievous sins. Shameful punishment awaits them” (3:178).
“Those that suffered persecution for My sake and fought and were slain: I shall forgive them their sins and admit them to gardens watered by running streams, as a reward from God; God holds the richest recompense. Do not be deceived by the fortunes of the unbelievers in the land. Their prosperity is brief. Hell shall be their home, a dismal resting place” (3:195–96).
“God has cursed them in their unbelief” (4:46).
“God will not forgive those who serve other gods besides Him; but He will forgive whom He will for other sins. He that serves other gods besides God is guilty of a heinous sin. . . . Consider those to whom a portion of the Scriptures was given. They believe in idols and false gods and say of the infidels: ‘These are better guided than the believers’” (4:50–51).
“Those that deny Our revelation We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise” (4:55–56).
“Believers, do not seek the friendship of the infidels and those who were given the Book before you, who have made of your religion a jest and a pastime” (5:57).
“That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many among them. We have stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will endure till the Day of Resurrection” (5:65).
“God does not guide the unbelievers” (5:67).
“That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many among them. But do not grieve for the unbelievers” (5:69).
“You see many among them making friends with unbelievers. Evil is that to which their souls prompt them. They have incurred the wrath of God and shall endure eternal torment. . . .You will find that the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say: ‘We are Christians’” (5:80–82).
“[T]hose that disbelieve and deny Our revelations shall become the inmates of Hell” (5:86).
“[T]hey deny the truth when it is declared to them: but they shall learn the consequences of their scorn” (6:5).
“We had made them more powerful in the land than yourselves [the Meccans], sent down for them abundant water from the sky and gave them rivers that rolled at their feet. Yet because they sinned We destroyed them all and raised up other generations after them. If We sent down to you a Book inscribed on real parchment and they touched it with their own hands, the unbelievers would still assert: ‘This is but plain sorcery.’ They ask: ‘Why has no angel been sent down to him [Muhammad]?’ If We had sent down an angel, their fate would have been sealed and they would have never been reprieved” (6:5–8).
“Who is more wicked than the man who invents falsehoods about God or denies His revelations?” (6:21).
“Some of them listen to you. But We have cast veils over their hearts and made them hard of hearing lest they understand your words. They will believe in none of Our signs, even if they see them one and all. When they come to argue with you the unbelievers say: ‘This is nothing but old fictitious tales.’ They forbid it and depart from it. They ruin none but themselves, though they do not perceive it. If you could see them when they are set before the Fire! They will say: ‘Would that we could return! Then we would not deny the revelations of our Lord and would be true believers’ 6:23–27).
“But if they were sent back, they would return to that which they have been forbidden. They are liars all” (6:29).
“Had God pleased He would have given them guidance, one and all” (6:35).
“Deaf and dumb are those that deny Our revelations: they blunder about in darkness. God confounds whom He will, and guides to a straight path whom He pleases.” (6:39)
“[T]heir hearts were hardened, and Satan made their deeds seem fair to them. And when they had clean forgotten Our admonition We granted them all that they desired; but just as they were rejoicing in what they were given, We suddenly smote them and they were plunged into utter despair. Thus were the evil-doers annihilated. Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe!” (6:43–45).
“[T]hose that deny Our revelations shall be punished for their misdeeds” (6:49).
“Such are those that are damned by their own sins. They shall drink scalding water and be sternly punished for their unbelief” (6:70).
“Could you but see the wrongdoers when death overwhelms them! With hands outstretched, the angels will say: ‘Yield up your souls. You shall be rewarded with the scourge of shame this day, for you have said of God what is untrue and scorned His revelations” (6:93).
“Avoid the pagans. Had God pleased, they would not have worshipped idols. . . . We will turn away their hearts and eyes from the Truth since they refused to believe in it at first. We will let them blunder about in their wrongdoing. If We sent the angels down to them, and caused the dead to speak to them, . . . and ranged all things in front of them, they would still not believe, unless God willed otherwise. . . . Thus have We assigned for every prophet an enemy: the devils among men and jinn, who inspire each other with vain and varnished falsehoods. But had your Lord pleased, they would not have done so. Therefore leave them to their own inventions, so that the hearts of those who have no faith in the life to come may be inclined to what they say and, being pleased, persist in their sinful ways” (6:107–12).
“The devils will teach their votaries to argue with you. If you obey them you shall yourselves become idolaters. . . . God will humiliate the transgressors and mete out to them a grievous punishment for their scheming” (6:121–25).
“If God wills to guide a man, He opens his bosom to Islam. But if he pleases to confound him, He makes his bosom small and narrow as though he were climbing up to heaven. Thus shall God lay the scourge on the unbelievers” (6:125).
This is all desperately tedious, of course. But there is no substitute for confronting the text itself. I cannot judge the quality of the Arabic; perhaps it is sublime. But the book’s contents are not. On almost every page, the Koran instructs observant Muslims to despise nonbelievers. On almost every page, it prepares the ground for religious conflict. Anyone who can read passages like those quoted above and still not see a link between Muslim faith and Muslim violence should probably consult a neurologist.

————————————————————————————————————————

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 13, 2006 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #18100 by Spinoza on 8/13 at 12:45 pm

>”There will be demonstrations on October 5 and we should get to them as if our life depended on it. It does. The World Can’t Wait is sponsoring it.

Spinoza, thank you for the info!

Here’s the link:

http://www.worldcantwait.net/

Lest we forget:

Resolution 162: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”.

Resolution 171: ” . . . determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”.

Resolution 228: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”.

Resolution 237: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”.

Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967): Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area. Calls on Israel’s neighbors to end the state of belligerency and calls upon Israel to reciprocate by withdraw its forces from land claimed by other parties in 1967 war. Interpreted commonly today as calling for the Land for peace principle as a way to resolve Arab-Israeli conflict

Resolution 248: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”.

Resolution 250: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”.

Resolution 251: ” . . . ‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”.

Resolution 252: ” . . . ‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”.

Resolution 256: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”.

Resolution 259: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”.

Resolution 262: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”.

and so forth ...

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel

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By Spinoza, August 13, 2006 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is becoming more and more embarrassing to be a Jew though probably most Jews are not as hard hearted as the so called leadership. A good deal of the leadership of the anti-war movement is Jewish.  Jews for Peace is growing very rapidly.  So there are some good signs that the right is being counter balanced.

I visited Israel for many months in the early 70’s.  Then there was still an ethical core.  I was in Israel during the Yom Kipper war and the Armed Forces Radio was playing Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.  I thought then that the Palestinians were being unfairly treated but that things would change for the better. The soul of the Jewish people would not allow injustice to prevail.

I was wrong. Now Israel is a world pariah. It has just murdered many hundreds, probably thousands of innocent people. Israel is an embarrassment to many Jews.  It has now accepted the ideology of Nationalism, Militarism and Capitalism, the cornerstones of Fascism! I would never in my life have believed that any Jew would sit down with the likes of George Bush or Pat Robertson.  I was in Israel when Netanyahu was trading with the neo Nazi Party of Croatia, the followers of the notorious Utashe;—-The party that killed thousand of Jews, Serbs and
Roma with excessive torture (they were good Christians)!  This shocked me but I thought well this was only Netanyahu.

I was very wrong

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By P_Revere, August 13, 2006 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Building a wall to isolate one people from another-now that’s progress. Olmert’s policies are as divisive as Bush’s. Both have zero foreign policy experience or expertise. Both have incompetent military advisors. Both are overtly racist, and both imagine that a supreme being directs their murder.

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By SPinoza, August 13, 2006 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> >Thank you again for making the current difficult times more bearable! <<<

I understand your frustation and sorrow and anger. The right wingers are hostile and dishonest people so it is hard to engage them.

I mostly ignor all Israel/Palestine threads;—-the only reason I engaged now is because the injustice and mayhem are getting worse and the chances of insanity and world war occurring is growing everyday or so it seems.

Besides it annoyed me that Israeli and other Zionist groups were trying to dominate the discourse on the Internet.  It is bad enough that the so called main stream media mostly promotes the Israeli line but it is unforgiveable to allow the Internet to be captured also.

I would never before have approved a boycott of Israel but now I think it imperative.  People should stop doing business with any company doing business with Israel.  And actually the USA but that would be impossible for Americans sort of.  We might boycott right wing firms like Exxon Mobile who are major supporters of Bush.  In fact we should look at the list of firms backing Bush and plain to boycott them.

There will be demonstrations on October 5 and we should get to them as if our life depended on it. It does. The World Can’t Wait is sponsoring it.

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By skip, August 13, 2006 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As was the case with selling/giving nuke secrets to apartheid South Africa,  no other country could get away with this. NO other country.
And even more so, one has to be impressed by the utter silence of the US media on such subjects.
Walt and Miersheimer didn’t know the half of it.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 13, 2006 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OK OK Abdal Fadallah or fadal abdullard or whatever-I understand where your little attitude problem comes from. I went back and checked the hezbollah/english dictionary 1 more time and I see that I was wrong BOTH times before. “fadal abdallah” translates properly as “bull camel’s bitch.” Sorry about that, but hey blame your parents for naming you that, not me.
And listen, if you play your cards right, I think this spinoza, or spittoecheese, or whatever, might be up for a threesome with you and your humped stud muffin. Allah knows he doesn’t seem to have much else to do—I mean Geez spinney, SEVEN POSTS!?,  every hour or two,  for TWELVE HOURS!!??,  on a SATURDAY NIGHT!!!??? You don’t even TRY to pretend you have a life, do you guy? O well-you keep the happy meal..er mail coming spinney, and I’ll be back in a couple days. Shalom.

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By Justice4all, August 13, 2006 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
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For all of the warmongers out there who blatantly defend war crimes and claim victim hood.

Because you are not able to defend and support your position with facts, you tend to accuse everybody who disagrees with you of being subjective, hateful, anti-Semite, dangerous and immoral as if you are the caretakers and custodians of such virtues. You are pretenders and hypocrites because you know the truth but flout it. Your posts are pathetic, fake and lack credibility and substance. Anybody who reads your posts will conclude that you are as hateful to others as you claim others are hateful to you. You do not practice what you claim to preach and your claims are unsubstantiated.

You need to address the main issues instead of diverting attention by launching personal attacks. The fact the matter is Israel has been occupying Palestine since 1967; this is a fact that nobody, including you, can deny; it is not subjective feelings and has nothing to do with hate or anything else. You can make all sorts of excuses and justifications and deceive yourself and others but the fact remains the same: There is an occupation in Palestine and it is called Occupation 101: it is the longest occupation in modern history.

Since 1967, Israel has been oppressing the Palestinians, stealing their lands to build settlements, uprooting their olive tress, taking control of their water resources and crying wolf at the same time. If you care so much about morality and justice and would like everybody to live in peace, the solution is obvious to even the least intelligent of you all: Get out of the West Bank and Gaza and give Palestinians their free independent state and everybody would live in peace. It is that simple.

Contrary to what some may argue that Palestinians blew up their chances in Camp David II, a real independent Palestinian state means having control of all land before 1967 including East Jerusalem; control of land and sea borders as well as airspace and control of foreign affairs. What was offered in Camp David II was a total hoax and lacked all of the above and Gaza is becoming a big prison now with Israel acting as a warden. There is no need for useless negotiations because this is an occupied and not disputed territory.

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