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Hamas Holds the High Cards

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Posted on Jun 19, 2007
gaza
AP Photo / Hatem Moussa

Palestinians flee into Israel on Saturday, June 16, hurrying to leave the Gaza Strip in the wake of Hamas’ takeover.

By Robert Scheer

Forty years ago, I entered the Gaza Strip—soon after Israel had conquered that teeming caldron of humanity after defeating Egypt in the Six-Day War—to report on the Israelis’ bubbling optimism about their young nation’s future. “Come back in 10 years and you won’t recognize the place,” an Israeli general told me, spelling out visions of economic development and a grateful Arab population. Similar predictions were made for the West Bank, which had been administered by Jordan in a somewhat more humane yet still quite oppressive manner.

The optimism of the Israeli occupiers did not seem so far-fetched then, given the hardships the Palestinians had endured under their fellow Arab protectors and throughout the diaspora. The experience of the Palestinians was not unlike that of the Jews: They were needed but scorned for their talents. Both refugee groups were scarred by grinding oppression and each nurtured a thirst for nationhood fortified by a tribally based religiosity that secular leaders often found useful.

That is the story of Hamas, a creation of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political organization that flourished after Israel humbled Gamal Abdel Nasser, the last great Arab nationalist leader, with its devastating victory over Egypt. The Palestinian movement was then led by puppets of Nasser and was secular in focus. It remained so, after being invigorated by the late Yasser Arafat, who gave the Palestinians their first serious and independent political identification. But as Arafat wasted his credibility in futile jockeying with Israel (mostly while in exile), corruption came to dominate his movement.

By contrast, the religious zealots who later formed the Hamas organization were more focused on spiritual probity and tended far more closely to the needs of their impoverished brethren in Gaza and the West Bank. As with Hezbollah in Lebanon—and that other Iranian-backed Islamist movement, the Shiites who now control Iraq—the religious movements, both Shiite- and Sunni-based, cornered the market on purity of purpose as opposed to rank opportunism. That is precisely why these fiercely anti-Western movements have been able to turn the favorite fig leaf of U.S. neocolonialism, the slogans of democracy and elections, against the United States by winning popular elections.

While the American mass media tend to join the Bush administration in ignoring this unpleasant contradiction, the fact is that the people we brand as the enemy can make a strong claim to having won the election that our President Bush champions. What irony that the United States and the European Union, both of which cut off aid to the Palestinian government in 2006 when Hamas won the election, have now resumed aid to the PLO-dominated government that lost power through the vote.

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This contradiction applies even more uncomfortably to Israel, which consistently demeaned the Palestinian movement when it was run by secularists. Israel only very reluctantly, and in the most limited of ways, was willing to risk the false security of occupied land for the possibility of peace. Israeli leaders of all parties drew the line at granting the Palestinians a real state with contiguous land and a significant presence in Jerusalem as it existed before the Six-Day War. Rarely mentioned is that some elements in the Israeli government initially supported the rise of Hamas as a desired alternative to the PLO and came too late to the recognition that Arafat, for all of his very serious failings, was their best alternative.

Now it is also too late for the remnants of the PLO to once again unilaterally assert a claim to lead the Palestinians. Sure, the United States, Israel and the EU can throw aid and tax dollars their way, but if the price is that the PLO assist in crushing Hamas, or even sit idly by while Israeli troops reoccupy Gaza, there will be chaos. The only hope is for the funders, including Israel (which has withheld the tax monies paid by the Palestinians from them), to recognize that the Palestinian people need to make their own history. At this point, that must include Hamas, which it is hoped will be moved, as was the PLO, to accept Israel’s right to exist within borders that permit a viable Palestinian state.

That lesson of empowerment must also be applied throughout the region, from Lebanon to Iraq and Iran, where election results subvert the ambitions of the foreigners. Elections are great if they give the conquerors the results they want, but it is in the nature of things that people will not use the ballot to legitimize their oppression for long. The democracy project, ballyhooed by President Bush, founders on its failure to allow the will of the voters to be heard when they dare vote against U.S. policy.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By weather, June 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

What Israel fears most?

Confronting the truth about themselves.

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By Jeremiad, June 21, 2007 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer, Insight, intelligence, the unvarnished truth of Israeli occupation supported by the American taxpayer—- no wonder they fired you.  Any comments uncomplimentary to Israel including targeted assassinations, the Apartheid Wall, the unrelenting oppression, and yes, ETHNIC CLEANSING will cost one his job in the US.  The most dangerous occupation of all is the Israeli occupation of the US government.  They own every member of congress except Kucinich, Paul, and McDermott.  Keep speaking the unvarnished truth Robert Scheer.  Thank you!!!

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By Jeremiad, June 21, 2007 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer, Insight, intelligence, the unvarnished truth of Israeli occupation supported by the American taxpayer—- no wonder they fired you.  Any comments uncomplimentary to Israel including targeted assasinations, the Aparthied Wall, the unrelenting oppression, and yes, ETHNIC CLEANSING will cost one his job in the US.  The most dangerous occupation of all is the Israeli occupation of the US government.  They own every member of congress except Kucinich, Paul, and McDermott.  Keep speaking the unvarnished truth Robert Scheer.  Thank you!!!

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By cyrena, June 21, 2007 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Micah,

Thanks for the response, I stand corrected on the Charter of Hamas, that alledgedly requires the destruction of Israel.

In my own researching of the conflicts, I understand very well the “holocaust mentality” of the Jews of Israel, and accept it as any social-psychology of a people who had suffered mass extermination under the ideological destruction of Nazism, and related socio-political behaviors that have shaped world history. If there is one horror that most of the world, (and the U.S. population has been educated on, about, or around, is the Jewish Holocaust and Diaspora.) We all know its horrors, though growing up, I was never educated about the horrors of the slave trade, or how so many Africans came to be here, when nobody liked them. I read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was like 12 or so.

That said, I do understand the paranoia and neurosis of the Jews of Israel. I also believe that in the course of birthing their own state, they have perpetuated these very same crimes against the population they replaced. We can’t know of that, unless we are willing to look at the origins, and what has occurred since. This is what I’ve pointed out before, and what I’ve pointed out since. Israel is a NEW nation state, in terms this conflict. The creation of Israel in 1948 was supposed to provide the same status for the population that already lived there. It never happened. Rather, the new State of Israel began the expulsion of millions of Arabs. This did not happen yesterday, nor did it begin to happen 10 years ago. It’s been on going for all of this time. Since the 1967 War, (a pre-emptive attack by Israel) it’s obviously been worse.

So, when you say that another “nation” declares itself to be pledged to the destruction of it’s neighbor, it would be inaccurate, because “Gaza”, or the “Palestinian Authority” or the West Bank, or any of those places are actually “NATIONS”, and that’s the whole point. It’s been 60 years, and they STILL don’t have their own state, they are STILL subjected to miserable living conditions in camps. They STILL have no rights, (to jobs, education, food, health care, I could go on). The Palestinian Authority doesn’t hold any legal status at the U.N. Indeed, these “nations” that you claim are dedicated to the destruction of Israel are in fact a group of long disenfranchised people who have FORMED in response to this on-going age old repression. And ya know, at some point in time, people resist. It’s the basic social-psychological behavior of humans.

So, the Jewish paranoia of the early formation of Israel might be understandable. The post-traumatic syndromes of the Holocaust experience. But, they got carried away when they perpetrated the same horrors against others, based on some sense of entitlement. So now, the source of the paranoia is more basic….it’s the fundamental knowledge that if you are perpetrating these acts of violence and repression against someone else, they might just wanna retaliate. They have a rational concern that their repression will be turned against them.

Consequently, little tiny Israel is now armed to the teeth, with every imaginable weapon known to man, and the ONLY tiny group of people in the entire region, to be armed in such a manner. They have nukes, but have never committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They want Palestinians to agree to “recognize” them, but they won’t put any of the “recognizable” parameters in writing.

Now, I don’t know if Thomas Friedman knows this stuff or not. So, I don’t know if he knows more about the Middle East than I do. I don’t think it matters since I wasn’t arguing any of his “flat world” points, even though I certainly agree with some of what he proposes.

I think my larger point is that even though the Jews had a real bad experience with the Holocaust and all, their “solution” has been to turn the same on another group, and common sense would dictate that conflict would result.

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By Charles Barton, June 21, 2007 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lavi J-10

I posted the whole link.  Lets hope it gets the online post.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2007/070403-china-export.htm

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By Robert, June 21, 2007 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Comment #80166 by Michael Shaw on 6/21


Micheal… Thanks for the link & the article in your comment #80166.

BTW, I tried clicking on Charles’s link and I got a 404 error.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Charles I got a 404 error. No article. At least according to the server. I would like to point out that even though the US did nothing about the Lavi to China deal, they weren’t happy about the transaction either.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Charles!

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By Charles Barton, June 21, 2007 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Shaw

The LAvi and the J-10

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2007/070403-chin

“The Americans,” Aronson noted, didn’t object to Israel selling the Lavi’s airframe to China, “but they did object to seeing advanced radar (and other systems) going to China.” In the end, only the Lavi’s airframe was used in the new Chinese fighter.”

The design and developme histories of the J=10 have been well documented.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0496/9604014.htm 

Pentagon, GAO Report Israeli Espionage And Illegal Technology Retransfer

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an interesting article I discovered from The Association for Asian Research. It says for one thing that Russia and Israel are China’s biggest weapons providers. It also says Israel concealed an upgrade from the US on a system that went to China.
http://www.asianresearch.org/articles/2477.html

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

80095 Charles, could you provide a link specifying the US OKed giving the Lavi to communist China? I would greatly appreciate that. Thanks!

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By weather, June 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Israel suffers from a soul sickness.

They would much rather be right than happy, ultimately they’re neither. When Israel confronts this truth and heals themselves w/out manipulating blame onto others,  a real Peace is possible.

But it seems that Peace is simply not profitable enough for Israel.

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By Charles Barton, June 21, 2007 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once again Robert Scheer chairs the Israel hating, zionist hating, Jew hating orgy on Truthdig.  Lets talk about a few of the issues.  The design of the Lavi was largely a rip off of the F-16.  Thus the Lavi airfraim was largely based on 1970’s technology.  The US Air Force was so unimpressed with the Lavi’s airframe, that it signed off on the technological transfer to China.  The Chinese had such difficulty with the Lavi airframe that they had to make substantial modifications to it.  In 2007 the Chiunese now have the equivalent of the F-16, an aircraft that was pit into production in 1976, and is nowhere near state of the art.  In the mean time, the United States is replacing F-16’s with stealthy f-35’s.  Which aircraft is going to win a dog fight?  And for this we have the hate Israel crowd foaming at the mouth.

Secondly, we have the overtly anti-semitic discussion of the notion that “Jews are God’s chosen people.”  This idea has its origins in the Bible, and it is interpreted in a number of ways by Jewish theology. It is never interpreted to mean that Jews have a right to treat other people unethically or oppressively.  This is the anti-semitic interpretation.  Jews when the mention being “God’s Chosen People,” can almost always be assumed to be doing so in jest. Christains who lack Jewish humor, tend to talk about the “chosen” idea a great deal more than jews do, and anti-semitic talk about it all the time.  You can see for yourself where the readers of Truthdig fall.

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By loveinatub, June 21, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

People seem to forget that Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by a Jew. A Jew who did not want to ever see a Palestinian state created adjacent to Israel. And that’s the ultimate problem. Israel on the surface promotes a “two state solution” but at its heart, given its core religious fundamental base, does not want to see a Palestinian state ever realized. The mentality of Israelis is that the Arab world would just love to see Israel “wiped off the map” if at all possible. Since the founding of Israel in 1948, Israelis have had good reason to be fearful of Arab animosity. And Israel did put it’s best foot forward in giving up land it acquired during the ‘67 war for peace. But Israel will never cede the entire West Bank for the creation of a Palestinian state. It won’t happen. And the religious zealotry in Israel won’t tolerate a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. With such hatred on both sides, how can you ever expect any peace? Worse, the United States has lost any credibility in trying to act as a mediator between the Palestinians and the Israelis. However, given the amount of money the U.S. does give to Israel, it could force Israel’s hand very quickly if it did cut off aid. But it will never happen. Organizations such as AIPAC are still too powerful and ensure that every President elected “keeps the money flowing” to Israel.

A Palestinian state will forever remain a pipe dream.

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 21, 2007 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

I continue to believe that any invocation of the “chosen people” epithet (humorous or serious) should be avoided by anyone not familiar with Ahad Ha-am’s analysis of the concept.  I first found it in Simon Noveck’s anthology CONTEMPORARY JEWISH THOUGHT under the title “Are Jews a Chosen People?”  Unfortunately, the listing of sources in this volume makes it difficult to trace what is clearly an excerpt back to the original text, either in the original Hebrew or in English translation.  Ahad Ha-am’s thesis is that the Jews were not chosen to develop the land of Canaan but to set an “example of conduct” to those already living in that land.  As I believe I mentioned in an earlier exchange of comments, the geopolitical institution of Israel does not have a particularly good track record in setting such examples, however much of a knowledge-based economy they may now be!

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By micah, June 21, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena: The Hamas charter, as has been widely reported in media (mainstream and otherwise), is pledged to the destruction of Israel. This is not a pan-Arab statement and I’m making no such accusation. I’m simply pointing out that, if a government is voted into power and is pledged to the destruction of its neighbor, that neighbor doesn’t have to simply lie down to the threat posed by the new government just because it won an election.

As to your assertion that we shouldn’t take calls for Israel’s destruction seriously ... aside from being profoundly naive, it also has two strong pieces of evidence going against it. First, history has taught the Jews to always take these calls seriously (I know it’s unfashionable to directly link today’s Israeli state with the Holocaust because it skews their mistakes in a more sympathetic light, but it’s important to remember that the Holocaust has something to do with the Israeli mentality). Secondly, the all-knowing Mustache Of Wisdom (otherwise known at Thomas Friedman) has said that in most of the western world, what politicians say in public is a lie and what they say off the record is the truth. In the Middle East, that dynamic is flipped and whatever you’re told in confidence will prove to be a lie, while what politicians say in public is in fact what they mean.

Perhaps you have more experience in the Middle East than he does, but if you don’t, then it would seem his point should be seriously considered. Namely, Hamas is in fact pledged to the destruction of Israel, as they’ve been saying all along

As for Israel’s encyclopedic breaking of the implicit and explicit contracts of nation-states: While you’re absolutely correct regarding Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, the discussion at hand is of the Palestinians, the nationhood of whom is newer even than the nation of Israel. So, pre-1967, Israel was breaking no contracts with the nation of Palestine because one simply didn’t exist. I’m not denying the existence of Palestinians. I’m denying the existence of a unified movement to grant them a nation, which has come post-1967 is now widely recognized throughout the world.

It hasn’t come to pass, originally due to racist and ignorant leadership on the part of Israel. But since the time of the second Intifada, the Palestinians themselves bear a large portion of the blame. For years, the words of Golda Meir struck me as extremist and unfortunate:

“There will be peace when they love their children more than they hate us.”

Since the rise of Hamas (and Islamic Jihad), I sometimes wonder if she was right.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Thanks Robert! As always you make very valid points, particularly concerning AIPAC. No one on earth can legitimately deny western influence hasn’t had a major negative impact on Arabs, technologically and otherwise. See my next post to lilmamzer.

Also thanks for the article about Israeli collusion with communist China. That is a real eyeopener! Makes one wonder how many US secrets have been given to China too, especially in light of the recently discovered Israeli infiltrations into our own national security archives.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

#79878 Well lilmamzer you present some legitimate arguments, I won’t deny that. Actually I did briefly mention cultural degradations to a degree. I also mentioned the lack in hi-tech numbers and the shunning of hi tech experts by their respective countries. But to deny that Western influence or the lack thereof has had no affect on them whatsoever regarding technology or education is preposterous.

Granted we could argue the reasons forever and find valid commentary supporting either notion. We could argue Arab countries are terror states controlled by kooky Islamic fundamentalists. But then again, to us anyone who doesn’t agree entirely with us or bow to us is a terror state. Israel seems to see it the same way. I won’t deny they have valid reasons. But causality must also play a role in this aspect. Israel and the US has done more to inspire radical Islamic fundamentalism than any other catalyst. When one has nothing left to turn to, all that’s left is religion.

When we look at all of the western inspired violence we(and others like Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Britain Germany) have traditionally imposed on Arab nations, like the arming of Saddam and inspiring him to invade Iran while selling arms to Iran at the same time. The preemptive invasions and bombings of Lebanon, the first to remove PLO bases from Lebanon, the second over a few kidnapped Israeli soldiers, is yet another example. What was once a culturally advanced, almost European like society became in retrospect and on two different occasions, a pile of rubble. The Arab States like Saudi Arabia, the Emirates or Kuwait all have repressive regimes of their own backed by the US military. 

One needs only to see the logistics of our military bases scattered throughout the region to understand the true underlying goal. A technologically superior Israel is in our own best interests.

As for economics in general, Israel makes far less money than it spends and is totally dependent on US tax dollar earmarks to sustain itself. I’m not denying Israeli academia plays a giant role. In fact I admire it! What I’m saying is they have had every possible advantage given them by the west while in the same time line Arab’s have been been consistently denied and even intentionally placed at a disadvantage.

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By Robert, June 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

Comment #79872 by Michael Shaw on 6/20 at 9:13 pm

Hi Michael…your posts/comments are coherent and with much insight. Lets point out that Israel has free access to practically all of the U.S. technology. They can get it in one way or another. AIPAC and other American Jewish organizations are Israel & Israel’s interests guard dogs. Just take a look at all those neocons who were at the pentagon and other high places. Many are still out there.

A lot of the US technology is not given to the Arab countries. Israel & its powerful AIPAC will object.
WHO IS PAYING FOR ALL THIS? THE TAXPAYERS OF THESE UNITED STATES.
===================================================

Has Israel’s U.S.-Funded Lavi Jet Been Reborn as China’s J-10 Warplane?

By John Gee 04/07/2007

     
“A Taiwanese Defense Ministry official briefs reporters in Taipei Jan. 23 in front of a screen displaying China’s deployment of its newly developed J-10 fighters (AFP photo/Sam Yeh). 
     
CHINA HAS unveiled an aircraft that some observers suggest bears a suspicious resemblance to the Lavi, a jet that Israel developed in the 1980s and then decided not to produce. China says that the J-10 was designed and produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation. It entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in 2004 and its existence was officially confirmed when the PLAAF issued photographs of the aircraft on Dec. 29, 2006. The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, later distributed them.

The Lavi is like one of the undead in a vampire story: killed off, it obstinately refuses to be laid to rest.

Israel wanted to develop an advanced fighter aircraft of its own that would come into use in the 1990s. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) took on the job. It was an ambitious project. Israel had previously produced the Kfir, but that was essentially an adaptation of the French Mirage III: the Lavi was intended to be Israel’s very own creation. As such, its production became a matter of national pride, and it also promised to enhance considerably IAI’s international standing.

Israel soon discovered that it needed U.S. cooperation, however, and therein lay the cause of the Lavi’s (possibly temporary) demise. It was not feasible for Israel to develop one of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft on a self-sufficient basis, as originally hoped. The Lavi project consequently involved joint research, the use of some U.S. components (such as Pratt and Whitney engines) and U.S. taxpayers’ money.

Some $1.3 billion of U.S. aid went into the Lavi before alarm bells went off in Washington: why was the U.S. paying Israel to develop and produce an aircraft that would compete on the international arms market with planes produced by its own companies and put American workers out of their jobs? The Reagan administration,  averse to putting pressure on Israel over issues such as stopping settlement construction in the West Bank, leaned on the Israeli government, which duly caved in: the Lavi project was cancelled in 1987.

There were reports soon after that both South Africa and China were interested in taking over the Lavi project, but those about China remained vague and unsubstantiated at the time. The South African connection seemed more probable, given the record of military cooperation between Israel and South Africa, which included work on developing nuclear weapons and Israeli help in the development of the Cheetah, a South African version of Israel’s Kfir fighter aircraft. Many Israeli technicians who had worked on the Lavi were reported to have migrated to South Africa.

The collapse of the apartheid regime rolled down the curtain on Israeli-South African military cooperation, and if there were any plans to create a South African version of the Lavi, that is when they would probably have been shredded.”


Here is the link to the rest of the article:


http://www.wrmea.com/archives/April_2007/0704042.html

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

#79872 by Michael Shaw:

I don’t believe however that all of the socio economic or geopolitical reasons behind this are being explored. For one thing most Arab cultures along with other developing countries have other priorities, some of those having been denied them by the west, like say nuclear energy for example, which is a necessary stepping stone to advanced technology.

The reasons for the relative stagnation in Arab countries has been studied for a long time, and it’s no secret. It has nothing to do with a denial by the west of any technology. It has to do with authoritarian, regressive, and closed economies, and am Arab work force that hasn’t been trained to compete in the global marketplace. That’s not the fault of the west. What kind of useful degree do you think an Egyptian can get at Al Azhar University? How can he market himself with a degree in Islamic Studies? And access to nuclear technology has nothing to do with Israel’s success in pharmaceuticals, digital communications, electro-optical technologies, breakthrough medical imaging technologies, agricultural science, and so on.
———————————-

I find myself wondering if this would change if only US corporations and universities devoted as much time with Arabs as they do with Israel.

Don’t blame American corporations. They will go where the economic climate is favorable to them. Why do you think Intel has a major R&D center in Israel, where they develop the latest processing chips? Politics? Of course not. It’s because Israel is a knowlege-based society and places value in research and academic excellence. Intel has no use for Islamic studies - it’s not what makes the digital age run.
—————————————-

I’d like to add many Arab countries are poor, thus they lack the financial ability to academically orient.

That’s a matter of cultural priorities, not financial resources. India pulled itself up by its bootstraps to become a technology giant, largely through it’s academic system. Same with Israel, especially during its early years when it was a struggling third-world economy. Finally, look at Saudi Arabia, awash in billions and billions of petro-dollars. Yet take away the revenue from oil, and they produce nothing of value for the rest of the world (or themselves, for that matter). Not an issue of financial resources, but of cultural priorities.
————————————

Arabs themselves realize that hi- technology must be a mandate in their respective societies.

High-tech is a by-product of a knowledge-based value system, not a goal. The endemic problems in Arab countries are so deep, aiming for high-tech industries without reforming internal cultural and societal factors which retard progress would be a waste of time.

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By Michael Shaw, June 20, 2007 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

#79647 Israel’s success vs the Arabs… I would like to say that lilmamzer has a point when he mentions Israeli technology being a factor in her success compared to Arab states. There are over 3000 hi tech companies and startups(only second to the US) in Israel and next to nil in the Arab world.

I don’t believe however that all of the socio economic or geopolitical reasons behind this are being explored. For one thing most Arab cultures along with other developing countries have other priorities, some of those having been denied them by the west, like say nuclear energy for example, which is a necessary stepping stone to advanced technology. There are several other reasons beyond this. One might argue Arabs use a lot of cell phones but they don’t design or manufacture them. Many hi tech Arab students(and there aren’t all that many) generally end up in foreign countries for guaranteed job security. They are also often frowned upon when they repatriate. For this reason many do not. Many Arab students don’t get involved in hi-tech because they know once they are laid off they won’t be able to find a job in their homeland, having no training in other areas and very sparse numbers of hi-tech employers.

I find myself wondering if this would change if only US corporations and universities devoted as much time with Arabs as they do with Israel. Alas we may never know. The same goes for all the money we give Israel, more than the combined amounts we give to every other benefactor.

I’d like to add many Arab countries are poor, thus they lack the financial ability to academically orient. Cultural restraints are also a factor and this of course cannot be blamed on Israel.

Still one has to wonder if the West devoted as much of its attentions to the Arab world as it did with Israel, things might be a bit more equalized today.

Sadly Western attention is more devoted to stealing Arab resources rather than propelling them into the age of hi-tech. I believe the bottom line is, “Why create more competition?” I’d also like to add it doesn’t take a doctorate in science to know you’re getting screwed. Arabs themselves realize that hi- technology must be a mandate in their respective societies.

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

#79818 by charles Barton:

“We weren’t the chosen people.”

Some people don’t get the joke.

And they never will.

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

#79815 by Matt:

Um, hello, lilmamzer? Any questions? Still wondering why we don’t like you and don’t respect you??

The only thing I wonder about is why you think I give a rat’s ass?

And in other news, Matt:

U.S. to increase military aid to Israel in decade-long deal  04:20 21/06/2007    

By Aluf Benn and Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondents

The United States will increase its military assistance to Israel and sign a new agreement securing American aid to the country for the next decade, President George W. Bush announced Tuesday following his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. According to the existing arrangement, most of the grant is meant for procurement from the U.S. industry, and Israel is allowed to spend 26.7 percent of the military assistance in shekel purchases for acquisitions from local defense industries.

In its announcement, the U.S. reiterated that the increased funds will allow Israel to deal with the new challenges it faces and to ensure a “qualitative military edge.”
==================

Matt, the joke’s on you.

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By charles Barton, June 20, 2007 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We weren’t the chosen people.”

Sime people don’t get the joke.

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By Matt, June 20, 2007 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many years ago, I was working as a electronic circuit designer specializing in hybrids for military applications.

In that capacity, I had significant dealings with Israeli engineers dealing with missiles and rockets.

Because they were directly working on projects affecting the security of their homeland, I understood their dedication.

What I could not understand was the dismissive way they treated myself and other engineers who were helping them with their requested designs and manufactured circuits.

After several months, I became sufficiently close to one of them to ask him why many of them treated us as they did. His answer was short, and chilling.

We weren’t the chosen people.
—————-

Um, hello, lilmamzer? Any questions? Still wondering why we don’t like you and don’t respect you??

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By Michael Shaw, June 20, 2007 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

cyrena Some great points in there, especially about national borders. I imagine that because of these borders, or rather the lack thereof, most people don’t even realize that Israel and the United States have no internationally legal or signed alliance. Only verbal commitment.

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By Harlon57, June 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Many years ago, I was working as a electronic circuit designer specializing in hybrids for military applications.

In that capacity, I had significant dealings with Israeli engineers dealing with missiles and rockets.

Because they were directly working on projects affecting the security of their homeland, I understood their dedication.

What I could not understand was the dismissive way they treated myself and other engineers who were helping them with their requested designs and manufactured circuits.

After several months, I became sufficiently close to one of them to ask him why many of them treated us as they did. His answer was short, and chilling.

We weren’t the chosen people.

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By cyrena, June 20, 2007 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Quoting micah #79587 directly(I didn’t change any typos) this is the statement


“Democratic elections and governments are the provence nation-states operating under contracts, implicit and explicit, of the international community”

This is a dangerously incomplete observation, in respect to contracts and the international community. It happens because people like to avoid certain aspects of these alleged “contracts”, and don’t want to follow the issue back to it’s origin, which was the creation of the state of Israel, by the U.N., back some 60 years ago. SINCE that time, Israel has violated more of International law, conventions, treaties, etc, than could be recounted in a single volume of anything less than encyclopedia style. So, I won’t go there. But, any person wanting to have an intellectual discussion that involves “contracts” and such, needs to start at the beginning, not just wherever you want to “pick” a place/event/statement from which to develop an argument, and leave all the rest unaddressed.

That brings me to the rest of the “observation”: (here again, I didn’t fix the grammer, and there’s no point to the logic)

“If a nation of people elect a government that is pledged to the destruction of its militarily superior neighbor, those contracts are broken up that nation’s new government taking power.”

This thing about Palestine’s allegiance or “pledge” to the concept of the “destruction of Israel” is seemingly very difficult for me to pin down, and not for lack of trying. But the fact of the matter is, that while this mindset is consistently attributed (by main steam media) to all of Israel’s alleged “enemies”, meaning all of the surrounding Arab nations, and a few non-Arab ones to boot, (Iran comes to mind) I just can’t find anything other than age old rhetoric that has been around since the initial takeover and expulsion of all those millions of Arabs, from what had been Palestine.

And, that’s exactly what I hear, when Middle Eastern leaders or whomever, make statements like “Israel should be wiped off the map”. I hear rhetoric that obviously isn’t meant to be taken literally now, any more than the Arabs have EVER been capable of wiping Israel off the map, or somehow managing to literally destroy it as a state. That’s stupid, and I’m sick of hearing people repeat it out of context to what it literally means in the Arab world. The way this is reiterated by the media and by Israel apologists, is like Hamas, or Hezbollah, or any of the other groups of Arab resistance in the past century, have drawn up some sort of documentor charter, or whatever, that explicitly states it’s mission statement to be the destruction of Israel, and everybody signs it in blood. NO!! There is no such thing, and there is NO organized mentality among the Arabs or anybody else in the region, to DESTROY ISRAEL. If that were the case, Israel would be destroyed. It’s not.
The continuation of this complaint by Israel (more current) is that Hamas and the others “refuse to recognize Israel, or refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist”. It always misses the most important part of it’s demand to be “recognized”. That is, WHAT do they want the rest of the region and international community to “recognize”, when they don’t even have a flippin’ CONSTITUTION, that would lay out the borders they are demanding recognition of? Where’s the contract? (Constitution) Where are the maps? Exactly WHAT parts of that region, are the rest of us supposed to sign on to (the international community) as WHAT is “Israel”? How about some geographical coordinates, just for starters, so that we all know what is deemed as “recognizable” to Israel. It’s been 60 years now.

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Abbas accuses Damascus-based Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal of complicity in a plot to assassinate him. Hamas hurls counter-charge

June 20, 2007, 9:08 PM (GMT+02:00)

In a televised speech Wednesday, Abbas referred to the planting last month of 250 kg of explosives in a tunnel under a road traveled by his convoy. He said he had sent to every Arab government video tapes of Hamas operatives filmed in the act. The Palestinian leader ruled out dialogue with the “murderous” Hamas movement and cancelled their passports and citizenship.

Hamas spread word in Gaza claiming to possess secret documents allegedly showing Fatah officers whom Israeli intelligence was said to have sent for training in Pakistan as cover for missions to bring back photographs of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.
====================

Three Qassam missiles explode in Sderot and Kibbutz Nir Am Wednesday night. Two Israelis slightly injured, 7 in shock

June 20, 2007, 10:20 PM (GMT+02:00)

Jihad Islami in Gaza took responsibility for the attack, the third in a day. Earlier, a missile landed in the Ashkelon national park north of Gaza and in the morning Sderot was hit. The Israeli air force targeted the Palestinian launchers in Gaza.

Missile attacks from Gaza on Sderot and its environs slowed down last week during the fraternal fighting between Hamas and Fatah. A new law passed by the Knesset Wednesday grants the towns and villages bordering the Gaza Strip the status and benefits of front-line locations.
=========================

Abbas gets nowhere in bid for Syria’s Assad to condemn Hamas coup d’etat in Gaza

June 19, 2007, 4:26 PM (GMT+02:00)

Voices were raised in their two-hour telephone conversation Sunday, June 17. Mahmoud Abbas asked the Syrian president to follow in his father’s footsteps and recognize a single Palestinian authority, the PLO and himself as its head, while treating Hamas as an occupying force in Gaza. His first step should be to denounce Hamas’ coup d’etat.

When Assad did not immediately agree, Abbas threatened to publicly expose Syria’s active role in abetting Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Assad finally agreed to talk further with an Abbas emissary to Damascus. This did not work out either. The PLO executive member Abbas Zaki, who is in charge of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, was sent post-haste to the Syrian capital where the President declined to receive him. Foreign minister Walid Moallem, who did, said he would pass his message on.

Taking this as a brush-off, Abbas turned for support to Syrian opposition Muslim Brotherhood leader in exile Sadr e-Din Bayouni. In Cairo, however, the Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammed Mahdi Aqef came out openly behind Hamas, its Palestinian offshoot, breaking away from the official Egyptian line which has led to the severance of ties with Hamas and a decision to relocate the Egyptian diplomatic mission to Ramallah, the Fatah government’s capital.
============================

Let’s give them their own state!

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By cyrena, June 20, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

#79726 by Stephen,

Thanks so much for the excellent post. I appreciate hearing different experiences at different times, and from different perspectives.

I have pretty much reached the same conclusions, but you’ve articulated them much better than I could.

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 20, 2007 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

As I may have written previously, I taught at the Technion (otherwise known as the Israel Institute of Technology) from the fall of 1971 through the summer of 1973.  I suppose that means that I was planting the seeds of the current knowledge-based economy when most Americans were financing the planting of trees!  It also means that I was living in Israel between the 1967 and 1973 wars.

Since I had (have?) a real EPATER LE BOURGEOIS attitude, upon my return to the United States, I would sometimes respond to those inevitable “What was it like?” questions with some wise-ass aphorism about going to Israel being the best way to understand anti-Semitism.  Today I would dismiss that kind of crack as mean-spirited rhetoric;  but I would probably also reflect on the origins of such a vitriolic attitude.  I would have to admit that, of all the places I have resided, Israel probably had the strongest CULTURE OF HATRED I had ever experienced.

This revealed itself in all sorts of ways.  One of the more innocuous examples was the standard greeting for a new arrival, always uttered rapidly in a single breath:  “How do you like it here?  We won’t be angry if you say you don’t!”  (Translation:  Be VERY careful what you say about this place!)  Less innocuous was the dehumanizing bureaucracy that penetrated every aspect of both working and leisure life.  Yes, there is no doubt that this was the country of a culture that had suffered offenses in just about every century of its recorded history;  but it was also a country whose sacred texts did not include that passage about turning the other cheek.

Perhaps the very earliest Zionists envisioned a utopia in which different cultures could coexist without fear of persecution, but that vision did not last very long.  My personal opinion is that it was wiped out by the Balfour Declaration, which essentially legitimatized the sense of entitlement to the “Promised Land” that is now the foundation of Zionism.  (Note that this means that it happened before the atrocities of the Holocaust.)  What I now call a culture of hatred was basically spawned by the arrogance of entitlement.

These are the “axioms” from which we can “deduce” the values and motives of today’s Palestinian culture.  With their knowledge-based economy the Israeli’s pride themselves on their keen logical minds.  Keen as those minds may be, however, they still cannot cope with the basic syllogisms that account for the mess in their midst!

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By Tony B., June 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

RE:Ernest Canning.
I agree with everything you said.  But I think the play book is thicker than that.  As long as the region is destabilised its people will be wholly dependendent on outside economic and political interests (i.e. U.S., China, Europe, Russia, et al).  This is no different from Central Europe around the Thirty Years War, Africa in the 19th Century or Latin America in the 20th.  Economic/Power Cartels (the true antagonist) never profit from a strong, independent, self-realized people or nation state - no matter where its intentions lie - and that includes this one.

I’m more inclined to look here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-HvtfKJfYE

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By Matt, June 20, 2007 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lilmamzer writes:

“Israel is a success because it has a knowlege-based economy”

Israel is a bright shining lie, a Potemkin village, a Zionist theme park, totally dependent on a brutally enforced, unsustainable occupation and constant wars of aggression, all paid for in blood and treasure by the United States of America(which, by the way, like Palestine, is also “not a real country”, by Israel’s peculiar religious/racial notions of “nationhood”).

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By Michael Shaw, June 20, 2007 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

This is but one more wall of many walls in placed to deny Palestine of it’s own state and its own autonomy. The results are as clear as the intent. More bloodshed and more theft.

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

#79655 by nahida:

lilmamzer

peace


The Hamas version of peace? 

No thanks.

Peace to me doesn’t include genocidal Islamic jihad.

Your call for ‘peace’ rings very hollow after posting crap like this:

“Oh mighty Israhell
With the mountains of lies you fabricate…”

Let me guess - you can’t even see the irony in that.

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By Dale Headley, June 20, 2007 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush, Rice, et al, are sweatily spinning this disaster as if hey had any clout in the matter.  In truth, this was a huge defeat for both Israel and the United States; and it pretty much guarantees no peace for at least another decade.  Does anybody remember how, when Bush was running for President in 2000, many of us warned that it wasn’t a good idea to elect a president who didn’t know the difference between Paris, France and Paris, Texas?

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By William deB. Mills, June 20, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fundamental changes will be required to follow up on Sheer’s expertly stated “lesson of empowerment.” Palestine is the contemporary version of the Warsaw Ghetto.  Totally surrounded by enemy soldiers, the Palestine people are now literally walled in (see Jimmy Carter’s chapter on “The Wall as a Prison” in his Palestine Peace Not Apartheid). Israelis enter periodically to arrest or kill Palestinian officials, guard roads crisscrossing Palestine from which Palestinians are banned, and practice economic warfare against both the Palestinian regime and the people. This context is critical to understanding Palestinian behavior and will have to be changed before Palestinians can be “empowered.”

It remains to be seen, of course, if Sheer’s “lesson of empowerment” will in fact be learned. Chaos and low-level insurgency may be a price a colonial regime will be quite willing to pay in return for being able to use that violence as the excuse for keeping the colonized people in subjugation. After all, the very point of colonization is to preventing the colony from going its own way.

A common historical pattern is that when the battle against extremist reform movements is fought with military means, governance suffers. External forces sometimes interfere to support a corrupt establishment party and cut reformers out of the political scene. This “fix” may work for a time, as external aid strengthens the establishment and enables formation of a government without the extremist group’s participation. However, this development may generate two additional outcomes – frustration within the reformist group driving it to extremism and, if the regime ignores the interests of those represented by the reformers, popular frustration from poor governance that strengthens extremism.  When the underlying problem involves injustice, military fixes to prevent “extremism” are likely to fail.

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By nahida, June 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

“And the servants of The Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” Quran; (25:63)


“Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” Quran; (7:199)

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By nahida, June 20, 2007 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

lilmamzer

peace

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

#79644 by nahida

Then… I promise
I’d do what the prophet did
In your ear I’d whisper
“Go, now I forgive you
You are free
The treasure I hold
I am willing to share”

I got news for you -

1) Nobody cares what your ‘prophet’ Mohammed did - sorry, just a fact. We just care that you leave all those who don’t give a rat’s ass about Mohammed alone already. Your Jihad is totally fucked up.

2) We don’t need you to set us free - it’s done and you had nothing to do with it.

3) You have no treasure that anyone else wants, believe me.

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By lilmamzer, June 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

#79644 by nahida:

With the glittery lavish wealth you generate
Do you think you could
Buy a few joyful days similar to mine

Israel is a success because it has a knowlege-based economy - its universities produce leading-edge research in useful fields, unlike any universities in any Arab country, including any in “Palestine”, which isn’t even a country. The graduates have useful and productive skills, unlike any graduate from Bir Zeit or any other Arab “university”. You just can’t blame that sad fact on the Jews. Its press is wide open and free, resulting in the widest spectrum of debate and opinion available anywhere in the Middle East. Again, unlike in any Arab country. You can’t blame any Jew for that.

As for you having “joyful days” - that’s a crock of shit. You seem to be the most miserable person I’ve yet seen post on Truthdig. Cheers.

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By nahida, June 20, 2007 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Oh mighty Israhell

With the mountains of lies you fabricate
Do you think you could
Secure a fear-free moment akin to my years?
No… you can’t

With the glittery lavish wealth you generate
Do you think you could
Buy a few joyful days similar to mine
No… you can’t

With all the armed robberies you facilitate
Do you think you could
Steal one magnificent dream that I embrace?
No… you can’t

With the entire mighty power you accumulate
Do you think you could
Obtain a piece of peace that fills my soul?
No… you can’t

Oh poor mighty Israhell
What have you done?
Wake up… WAKE UP… WAKE UP

Wait no longer… just … come running
Rinse your sins
Wash the blood off your hands
Repentant… and on your knees fall to the ground and… pray

Then… I promise
I’d do what the prophet did
In your ear I’d whisper
“Go, now I forgive you
You are free
The treasure I hold
I am willing to share”

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By fpal, June 20, 2007 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“...the favorite fig leaf of U.S. neo-colonialism, the slogans of democracy and elections…”

Great statement!

But why don’t Americans hold their own President accountable for his policies?

Why doesn’t the media question this “flip-flop” of utterances from the American government?

Is it only about American hegemony? If so, America is in trouble.

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By Matt, June 20, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To anyone wondering why I don’t register:

Registered commenters promise not to post anything “hateful”.

Well, I happen to believe that sometimes hateful is the sometimes the only appropriate way to feel about something.

Like the good liberal that I still am, I used to love Israel, having swallowed the standard liberal myths about what Israel is and does.

But now, I know too much. I’ve done the reading. To know Israel is to hate Israel, as far as I’m concerned.

No, I don’t deny the grotesquely evil murder of 6 million Jews in WWII, and I don’t wish for a new holocaust, of Jews or of anyone.

But reasonably, especially if you are an American, and you know what Israel has been up to for these many decades, and how it manages to keep the USA paying for the whole ugly enterprise, how can you not hate Israel?

So - and please - please: DO call me a “hater”. And please - I insist - please do say that I am a “conspiracy theorist.” I insist. Count me in. Here, see? My hand is raised, if you’re calling roll for the Israel-haters and conspiracy theorists. I do hate Israel, and I do believe that Israel and its powerful supporters do a hell of a lot of conspiring that creates a hell of a lot of major problems for the whole world.

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By cann4ing, June 20, 2007 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Tony B.  The US and Israel, led by Elliot Abrams, had already exercised the “Salvador Option” in Gaza by funding and arming Fatah death squads.  See http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=07/06/15/1428213

That option failed when Hamas defeated Fatah in Gaza.  Now there is talk of an IDF invasion.

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 20, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

I watched Bush’s remarks on BBC World Service Television (by way of PBS) yesterday afternoon;  and, as usual, my capacity for “linguistic microstrategy” was in full gear.  I found myself particularly rankled when he insisted on characterizing the newly installed (not elected) Palestinian Prime Minister with that little clause, “who is a good fellow,” as if that was all that really mattered.  I suppose I needed to be reminded, once again, that our President still reduces everything to a Manichaean battle between good and evil (in which he, alone except for his direct line to God, seems to be privy to what gets classified as which).  You really have to wonder just how much information about Fayyad has been provided in any of the recent Presidential Daily Briefings (or, for that matter, how much time the President spends reading and digesting those Briefings).

Mr. Scheer invoked Marx (who attributed it to Hegel but scholars are still scrambling to find the source) in arguing that the Palestinians need to make their own history.  That passage comes from the same Marx source as the one where he talks about history repeating in such a way that what is tragedy the first time around becomes farce the second.  Bush’s reduction of Fayyad to “a good fellow” reminds us of his similar good-and-evil assessment after his first meeting with Putin.  As Politkovskaya kept trying to tell the world, Putin was up to his eyeballs in making his own tragedies;  and it took someone like Bush to turn it around into farce (albeit a gruesome one).  It would be fair to say that the Palestinians have known only tragedy for the entirety of my lifetime, and I can only shudder to think what kind of farce American policy may be cooking up for them.

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By micah, June 20, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democratic elections and governments are the provence nation-states operating under contracts, implicit and explicit, of the international community. If a nation of people elect a government that is pledged to the destruction of its militarily superior neighbor, those contracts are broken up that nation’s new government taking power.

Hamas won the election, fine. And Israel recognized them accordingly: as a threat to its existence. Mr. Scheer’s logic—that a democratic election provides cover for any agenda—is akin to saying the second amendment protected Cho Seung-Hui.

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By Tom Doff, June 20, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hamas holds the high cards, and will definitely scoop up the pot, eventually, since the people of Palestine support them.

Of course, those great bastions of democracy, the US and Israel, are playing the low cards, actively trying to overthrow the results of the last Palestinian election by supporting the losers of the election, Fatah, and their puppet, Abbas. Treachery, bribery, theft and lies are the low cards the US and Israel are playing, and the facade they’re building with the aid of the MSM, is going to crumble, sooner or later. When it crashes to the ground, the people of the US will carry a large portion of the blame, because of the perfidy of their ‘leaders’.

And the residents of Israel will reap their just reward, oblivion.

Unfortunately, the Muslim fanatics, so inspired by the ineptitudes of the US administration, and it’s repeated debacles such as Iraq, will then have much more power than they deserve, and pose a threat the whole world will have to deal with.

Talk about ‘unintended consequences’. How many millions now wish that Herbert Walker had worn a condom the day he sired The Dummy?

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By Matt, June 20, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From #79488 by P. T. on 6/20 at 1:48 am

‘The Israelis timing was off.  They wanted to run a colonial system at a time (after World War II) when the global zeitgeist had changed.’
————

Exactly. Israel says to the world, in effect:

“Everyone else in the world has to abide by post-WWII international law (which also created Israel), but we get to keep pillaging and massacring and occupying and grabbing territory by conquest, and generally partying like it’s 1899, because we missed our chance before, when other countries were doing it.

“Furthermore, the United States of America has to fund us and fight wars of aggression for us as we go about our land-grabbing and mass murder and so on.

“And anyone who objects to this arrangement is an anti-Semite.”

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By Matt, June 20, 2007 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From #79503 by weather:

“Israel is its own worst enemy.”

———

What a coincidence.

They’re America’s worst enemy, too.

In fact, they might even be everyone’s worst enemy, since their fervent desire to start a nuclear war threatens the whole planet.

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By Charles Barton, June 20, 2007 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The Israelis timing was off.  They wanted to run a colonial system at a time (after World War II) when the global zeitgeist had changed.” PT

The evidence is just the opposite.  Israel never wanted Gaza,  The only reason for invading Gaza was to prevent artillery and infantry attacks on Ashkalon.  Israel repeatedly offered to turn Gaza over to the Arabs from 1967 onward. 

Israel never treated Gaza as a colony.  During the pediod of Israeli control, the Israelis saw to it that a modern infrastruxture was installed in the territory.  Water, power and phone lines were constructed throughout the Gaza strip.  Primary, secondary and higher education institutions were established, and Gazans spent far more years in school, than they had under the Egyptian administration.  The health needs of the Gazans were attended to.  Doctors were trained.  Clinics and hospitals wee opened.  The life expectancy of Gazans increased dramatically. 

Finally the economy of Gaza florished during the period of Israeli control.  Hundreds of factories were opened, and tens of thousands of Gazans found work in Israel.  The standard of living in Gaza increased dramatically, and from being one of the poorest places on earth, Gaza became an area where the per-capita income was higher than that of most Arab states, including Egypt and Syria.

Palestinian rule of Gaza since the mid-1990s has been exceedingly corrupt, incompetent and violent, and has done much to destroy the achievements of the Israeli era.  It is reported by several sources, that many people in Gaza would like for the Israelis to come back.  That is not going to happen.

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By weather, June 20, 2007 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

Israel is its own worst enemy.
No friends, just resentments, acrimony distrust and hate. Good job Israel and just think, you’ve no one to thank but yourselves.
What’s really tragic, we’ve been infected now too.

Instead of going into a new and very challenged century w/esteemable hope we’re being dragged down into a dark, draconian hole w/out a flashlight.

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By cyrena, June 20, 2007 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

Yes indeed, this does sum it up very, very, well. I’m saving it to my reference files.

Paradoxically enough, (and standard operating procedure for the Cabal) George and Olmert did their best to try to spin the Hamas victory as a victory for themselves.  This from the Times Magazine and MASSIMO CALABRESI in Washington:

Somehow, the Bush team has managed to cast the takeover of Gaza by Hamas as a diplomatic opportunity for the U.S., Israelis and Palestinians. On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a resumption of aid to the emergency government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — whose supporters Hamas ousted in Gaza — and said, “We must take hold of this moment to make new progress.”

Now, that was Monday. The next day, in his meeting with Olmert, (who sure got over here in a hurry) George said this:

“And our hope is that President Abbas and that Prime Minister Fayyad, who is a good fellow, will be strengthened to the point where they can lead the Palestinians in a different direction, with a different hope.”

Now, based on that, my legitimate fear is that they will do everything in their power, (this dangerous duo of U.S. and Israeli policy) to squeeze the remaining life out of Hamas and by extension, the Palestinians of Gaza. This whole fanfare about releasing all of the “aid”, (but only to the Abbas government, allegedly for the West Bank) is really nothing more than a different shade of fig leaf,  to finally distribute what they’ve been illegally denying all of the Palestinians, as punishment for electing Hamas.

So, the nightmare hasn’t ended yet, but I’m still holding out hope.

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By karl tank, June 20, 2007 at 3:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Welcome to Israel.
A political state by day, a religious state for tax purposes, an extradition-free refuge for its citizens who commit crimes elsewhere, but always, the exhausting, manipulating and misunderstood victim that demands to be treated as the exception and always at the expense of others. Nice legacy.

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By P. T., June 20, 2007 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

The article says, “The experience of the Palestinians was not unlike that of the Jews:  they were needed but scorned for their talents.”


It seems like the thinking of the adversaries of both groups runs the opposite:  How can we get them out of here?

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By Tony B., June 20, 2007 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, Mr. Sheer.  I wouldn’t expect any change in the near future.  Elliot Abrahms is in town.  And let’s not forget John Negroponte’s “Salvadoran Option”.  Latin America hasn’t.  Maybe someday Israelis and Palestinians will realize their respective leadership doesn’t really have their best interest in mind.  Hell, maybe Americans will figure that out as well.  But don’t mind me.  I’m an anarcho-syndicalist.
BTW, caught you on “Left, Right and Center”.  I admire your intestinal fortitude.  A little too much “Scooter”-philia for my taste.  Anyone else think the show would be better suited with the title:“Reactionary, Center-Right and Reasonable”?

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By P. T., June 20, 2007 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

The Israelis timing was off.  They wanted to run a colonial system at a time (after World War II) when the global zeitgeist had changed.

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