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Why Do So Few Speak Up for Gaza?

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Posted on Jan 6, 2009
Gaza rubble
AP photo / Khaled Omar

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, destroyed in Israel’s military onslaught.

By Robert Scheer

Why are we so indifferent to the death and destruction in Gaza?

The major news outlets meekly accepted Israel’s banning of journalists from entering Gaza as an excuse for downplaying collateral civilian casualties, our president-elect, Barack Obama, has had little to say about an invasion that will much complicate his future Mideast peace efforts, and most commentators easily rationalize Israel’s many-more-eyes-for-an-eye killings.

Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of President Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state?

It is not.

While the Hamas rocket attacks are reprehensible, they are also an ineffectual challenge to Israel’s enormous security apparatus, and the severity of Israel’s response to them is counterproductive. Clearly, the very existence of Israel is not now, nor has it ever been, seriously challenged by anything the Palestinians did. Not back in 1948, when Israel was established as a state with insignificant Palestinian military resistance, nor at the time of the 1967 Six-Day War when Egypt, Syria and Jordan fought Israel.

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The Palestinians were in no position to confront the Israeli army, because those whose lands were not already occupied by Israel were living under oppressive Egyptian control in Gaza and tough Jordanian rule in the West Bank. After the speedy Israeli victory, which demolished the myth of the new state’s vulnerability, the Palestinians became imprisoned as a people by Israel for crimes they had not committed.

Even if we accept the harshest portrayal of the tactics and motives of the Palestinian movements against Israel after the Six-Day War, at what point did that terrorism represent a serious challenge to the survival of the Jewish people or the state that claims to speak in their name? Yet that survival is invoked to justify the vastly excessive use of force by the Israeli war machine, with frequent allusions to the Holocaust previously visited upon the Jewish people, a holocaust that had nothing to do with Palestinians or Muslims, and everything to do with Central Europeans claiming to be Christians.

The high moral claim of the Israeli occupation rests not on the objective reality of a Palestinian threat to Israel’s survival, but rather on the non sequitur cry that “never again” should harm come to Jews as it did in Central Europe seven decades ago.

The basic argument is that Palestinian terrorists represented by Hamas are given to an irrational hatred of Jews so profound that it invalidates their movement, even when they win elections. That was not the view of the Israeli security service when it earlier supported Hamas as the alternative to the then dreaded PLO. Also, history is replete with examples of terrorists becoming statesmen, even within the early ranks of Jews fighting to establish the state of Israel.

One of those was Menachem Begin, who went on to be an elected leader of the new state. But before Begin attained that respectability, back in 1948 when he visited the United States, a group of prominent Jewish intellectuals including Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook and Hannah Arendt wrote a letter to The New York Times warning that Begin was a former leader of the “Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.” The letter urged Jews to shun Begin, arguing, “It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.”

Begin’s new party was then participating in the Israeli election, and Einstein and his colleagues, many of whom like the physicist had been victims of German fascism, stated, “Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character.”

Those actions were then detailed in the letter. They included the systematic terrorizing of innocent Palestinian men, women and children in an effort to force them to flee the territory that Begin’s party claimed for the new state of Israel.

Clearly Begin and his political heirs, who include Benjamin Netanyahu, the most likely victor in the next Israeli election, evolved in their behavior. But I bring it up now to highlight the one-sided reporting of the current phase of this interminable conflict and to wonder: Where are the voices that reflect the uncompromising morality of Einstein’s generation of Jewish intellectuals willing to acknowledge fault and humanity on both sides of the political equation?

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.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 31, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, it’s Saturday and not way too much to do except speak up for the underdawg.

Tony Wicher.  There is much interesting reading about the foibles of Constantine and the effect on the world of his political conversion.  Religion is often prostituted in the name of politics. But that is the way of the world and the two often cannot be separated because the boundaries are often blurred by eager and zealous men.

The argument about why Israel does not give up felons that committed crimes in the United States then hid their asses in Israel is a valid complaint and does need checked out and relentlessly the US questioned about it.  And the fact that AIPAC doesn’t have to register is also a valid complaint.  Why don’t they?  I think those loopholes are on their way to being closed.

But the Madoff money thing though is another matter, all conjecture. It’s like saying Hey, ya know what?  We think PH is hiding a lot of money in some off shore banks, not one but two.  Now we heard that from excellent sources.  Where he get it?  Was he part of the Madoff scam?  We know, well we heard he does, he has Jewish blood in him and hey, 10% is all you need to be called a Jew.  No way to check it out, but at least there is the reported allegation.  That’s all we need man, good old reports.  Hey man, he is definitely guilty just by allegation.

Let’s see who is sensitive.  It certainly isn’t me, though there have been enough miscreants on this thread who have attacked me in many various ways.  But I do care about speaking the truth at least as much as can be found.  I did mention closing Guantanamo as one piece of evidence that the new United States is admitting its war crimes.  Here is my comment “there is a hot wind in Washington to hold the Bush Administration guilty of war crimes.  Guantanamo is being closed.”  Did you miss that?

It did not go unnoticed by me, however, that my questions are deflected in a defensive posture. Seems to me that Hamas has been the side and historically that would not talk to the Israelis.  The fact that Hamas will not recognize Israel might have something to do with the problem, and in counterpunch Israel does not recognize a terrorist group called Hamas.  All the watchgroups now admit Hamas used the Palestinians as human shields. There is even a YouTube video of them boasting about it.  Whachagonnnado?  Hamas wants Israel destroyed.  Now Kdelpi, tell the truth, if someone said “I want KDelphi destroyed, he has no right to exist nor does he have a right to his home, and we have to destroy all his relatives as well, and there is no negotiation.”  What exactly would you do?  It is too easy to take a grand posture when you yourself are not threatened.  Seems like that is why there are to be negotiators attempting to resolve the situation.  But quite frankly, I do not think there is any solution.  Not a one-state nor a two-state and the Arab empire will simply have to find a small piece of land for the downtrodden Palestinians. When Netanyahu gets elected in February, it will be all over. Just take a look at the map of the Muslim empire and Israel.  It is a joke!  Whatsamatta no one wants to take a look at the map?  Right. Okay, here is one http://btw.imb.org/news_map.asp. Then take a look at the land that is called Israel on the referenced googlemap (the only one that will show Israel in proportion to the other countries around it and a better shot would be to drag the sizer down so you could really see how small it is) http://btw.imb.org/news_map.asp

I wasn’t accusing you KDelphi for trying to banish me, and of course you have a right to post a link, short memory I guess since I said that before when somebody else was after you.  I have always championed your right to post anything you want anywhere.  You have never seen me complain ever about your posts.  Even on that vile CommonDreams that did you in once.  Guess they aren’t so vile anymore, eh?  Don’t be so egocentric.

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By KDelphi, January 31, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—I think you are sensitive , because of how others may be replying to you here, but, its easier to attack me. As I said,(showed) I was mostly posting what Lanny Davis said. I give a link.

If you dont think that Abu Gharib and GITMO were war crimes, I have no idea what has happened.“looking into it” is not what they would do to you , for, say, growing pot! People area dead. The US is to blame.

Of course I blame Hamas for firing rockets.

I didnt say you shouldnt be here—someone else might have. I cant read all of the posts, but, I have a right to post a link to TIP.

I am not taking a neutral position, because, it doesnt look like a two-sided situation here. I have been listening to Zionists (not a religion) for weeks now.

If Israel wil not talk to Hamas, there will be no peace. (They showed at the WEF that they will not)How in hell can anyone really know who is to blame, with our media so bought up?  But, Israel killed alot more innocent people. And I want it to stop. We pay for it. That makes us involved.

Debating historical significance is just not what I do. I do not know the entire history—-Davis sure does, but if we just discuss THAT, we wil get nowhere. That is what I THINK.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 31, 2009 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

The lame tactic of calling those who criticise Israels politics, “jew haters” is pure BS, a false arguement and a smoke screen to label them as a bigot to attempt to stifle valid criticism.

As an American citizen I am concerned about why our “friend” Israel doesn’t abide by IAEA inspections they ask of the Iranians?  Why can’t they follow U.N. Mandates or international laws regarding overflights of international borders, targeted political assassinations etc. 

Why doesn’t Israel extradite criminals to the U.S. which are wanted here.  There was a Maryland murder years ago where Samuel Sheinbaum murdered (macheted) his “friend”, set the corpse on fire and then fled to Israel.  Why is he still over there? I wonder how many more crimminals have evaded US justice in the same fashion.  Alot of Madoffs money is reported to be in Israeli banks, I would like to know if AIG and these other “broke” banks offshored money there as well. I bet they won’t show their “good friend” US investigators.

How come AIPAC doesn’t have to register as a foreign lobby? and why are Israelis the only ones allowed dual national status over other nationalities?

These are a few of the things America needs to correct with Israel and I will remind our elected every chance I get.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 31, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Re Shenonymous,

“A native New Yorker, Wasi sang in the choir at Bushwick Methodist Church as a boy, but he says that “the whole Trinity thing never really penetrated my heart or my head.” This is a common complaint from American converts to Islam, both black and white: that they couldn’t make sense of the idea that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all parts of one God. Wasi, now in his early 50s, saw Islam as a more logical approach to monotheism: one deity, pure and simple.”

        x x x x x x x x x x x xx

Shenon,

This reminds me of the conclusion of Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” after describing the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans:

“And so it came to pass that one God, with no relatives and no competitors, is worshiped in the High Sophia.”

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 31, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Asking questions does not require picking sides or dealing in absolutism’s.  Pointing fingers is usually known as avoiding the truth of denial. Little kids learn, to say;  “he” or “she” started it, lets just assume the war is happening another kid answer “just because”. 

For the bigots posting here, why don’t you just say you dislike or hate the Jewish people get it off your collective chests, then go to your friendly local KKK ralley.

Focusing on a country full of Jewish peoples, seems simple minds live to address hate filled causes.  As one poster mentions Israel is full of little people who only know how to bicker.  Mentality marginalizing either side will never resolve anything.  such comments are disappointing to the hope of reason.

Making stupid grand comments of wiping a people off the face of the earth or pushing them into the seas, does seem a threat to me?  To me being out numbered and surrounded would require some concern and anxiety. 

Hasn’t Israel had to endure many years of human bombers?  The constant ongoing anti Jewish focus must stem from something what? Is it jealously, simple hate of perceived differences, does anyone know?

Living in a blind funk of hate must be so exciting,  in the existence of bigots.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 31, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi – What would have been the reaction of most Americans (or most of the civilized world, for that matter) if someone had made the charge that the U.S. and its military forces were guilty of war crimes after Sept. 11, 2001, because, while bombing Al Qaeda and the Taliban government harboring them in Afghanistan, “excessive” numbers of civilians were tragically but inadvertently killed — because the number killed exceeded the 3,000 people who died on 9/11?”  (unquote Lanny Davis).

Well let’s see KDelphi, really nice post, but let’s try to spin reality:  there is a hot wind in Washington to hold the Bush Administration guilty of war crimes.  Guantanamo is being closed.  Article in the Atlantic magazine http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/war_crimes.php by Marc Ambinder provides food for thought about the war crimes being comtemplated by a Democratic Justice Department.  Even if it comes to nothing, it has been entertained!  That is more than would be allowed in a repressive Middle Eastern Arab country without some heads being lopped off.  Obama has created special envoys to try to redeem the US in its attack on the Middle East. Guess we cannot throw that out with the bath water as that is a ‘blatant’ indictment in itself.  Then we have the umpteen blog sites that continually run the litany of America’s crimes.  Do you need a list.  Try googling it.  Try the ABC.News site at http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/06/retired-gen-tag.html for a blog article and comments at http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/06/retired-gen-tag.html
for Retired Gen. Taguba: Bush Administration Committed “War Crimes” by Jake Tapper Senior White House correspondent way back on June 19, 2008 11:12 AM.  There are innumerable other evidences that there has been criticism in the United States.  Now if the rest of the world perceives America is or is not guillty, then you need to give some references.

By the way, whoever you are, if you don’t like my posting here, take a hike.  I’m here to stay.

If you want to read the filth spewed by the pro-terrorists do visit http://www.nogw.com and you might find it delightfully right up your own anti-Semite alley.  By the way, the cowards do not say who they are or what nogw stands for.

The really neatest ploy of the Islamist terroists is to try to defuse reality by saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with Israel are called anti-Semitic or fanatic.  Cool.  Do call the neutrals what you are exactly yourself.  Just read the webpage.  It is obvious who the fanatics are.

KDelphi, if you truly mean it when you say, “I am not pro-Islam, nor any religion”  why not take a neutral stand, and condemn both sides?  Israel is an easier target, I know, but only because they have bigger weapons and know how to use them better.  As I consistently say, if Hamas had better rockets and mortars, they would have used them and in their run-up attack would have reduced all of Israel to rubble.  Would you like that better?  Hmmmm, we do wonder.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 31, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

You know what CHAMISERY, go f off in a corner by yourself.  You might begin to enjoy life more.  I don’t give a flying fig what you like or don’t like.  And you don’t have to read my posts, just ignore them, it’s a no brainer.  You are unimportant.  You are obviously an anti-Semite.

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By KDelphi, January 31, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=3587015&content;_id={D4EB7FBB-FEF4-42CC-AF0D-E7D75313D018}¬oc=1

c-span.org/Lanny Davis

I saw Davis on c-span Wash. Journal this AM—I cannot imagine negotiating with such a self-righteous, know it all . From the site, The Israel Project:.

“It is a documented fact that Israeli Defense Forces continually tried to prevent civilian casualties while still defending themselves from these terrorist attacks. They sent tens of thousands of text messages and cellular phone calls to Gazans — to warn civilians to evacuate areas used by Hamas for launching rockets; they called off attacks when they saw Hamas pushing women and children up front as shields; and they used targeted weapons and “smart” bombs to avoid civilian casualties as best as they could. Yet when the IDF’s weapons unintentionally caused civilian deaths, leaders of the United Nations and “human rights” groups call for war crimes investigations. And there are few, if any, counter voices challenging the United Nations at least to be even-handed and demand war crimes investigations of Hamas and Hezbollah. (including the Secretary General, who has not been hesitant to criticize Israel but strangely silent about Hamas).
Then there is the accusation that Israel committed war crimes by using “excessive” force and causing “disproportionate” civilian deaths compared to the number of Israelis who died due to Hamas rockets.

What would have been the reaction of most Americans (or most of the civilized world, for that matter) if someone had made the charge that the U.S. and its military forces were guilty of war crimes after Sept. 11, 2001, because, while bombing Al Qaeda and the Taliban government harboring them in Afghanistan, “excessive” numbers of civilians were tragically but inadvertently killed — because the number killed exceeded the 3,000 people who died on 9/11?”  (unquote Lanny Davis)

This is always the excuse, right? Wwll, worldwide opinion would say that BOTH 9/11 and out civlian bombing in Afghansitan were war crimes. So would I. As long as we continue our crimes, our cries of the war crimes of others will go unheard.


HOw can “we did not intend” be a documented fact??? I could go on and on about these zionist statements. I am not pro-Islam, nor any religion.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 31, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Seems like in this “Free Country” a Pro-Hamas/Pro-Palestinian rally ought easily to be able to be organized and marched at least in Washington, or some tolerant other city in the United States, if not Jewish New York City, that calls for wiping out Israel, no?

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Pro-Israel Rally Attended by Big-Time NY Dems Descends into Calls for ‘Wiping Out’ Palestinians

By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet. Posted January 13, 2009.


Click on link for transcript & to watch video:


http://www.alternet.org/story/119372

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 31, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Gee, like Holy Mackerel is better than unholy tuna!  Let’s see. Why are you talking about a standard IQ test?  We can go over my post one more time.  “Humans are equal to the degree that they are humans and have equal rights of freedom only because they are human, equally have the right to free speech, equally have a right to own property (if one can afford it), equally have a right to pursue happiness, nothing more really.  We cannot rightfully say people are all equal in terms of IQ?  Or economic status?  Or enjoy freedom of religion?  Or equal even in relative tooth decay?  Now I know how really silly that last one is but it is just as silly to claim that all humans are equal when in fact the only claim to being equal is that they are equal in terms of being human and as having equal rights.  The free speech right is not one that is honored throughout the world and especially not in the Arab empire.  Nor is freedom of religion, for if a Muslim had some sort of personal epiphany, he/she would not be able to leave their religion but in fact would be demonized themselves even killed. “  That latter comment goes directly to the freedom to practice or not practice a religion.

For some really exciting reading about Islamic apostasy, the following are highly recommended:
http://www.alislam.org/library/books/mna/index.html
Murder in the Name of Allah by Mirza Tahir Ahmad
and article at
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1570336
Apostasy in Islam by Rudolph Peters & Gert J. J. De Vries.
Die Welt des Islams, XVII. 1-4 This will give the first page of the article but there is enough there to get the idea.  You have to have access to JSTOR to get the entire article, it is a not-for-profit organization that serves the scholarly community.

cyrena says, “they [the Palestinians] just happen to be Arabs.”  It can’t be too surprising to learn that all the other countries around the Israel/Gaza region are Arabs.  Apparently Arabs don’t feel any altruistic reason to help other Arabs. They are rich terrirorial emirates with lots of land and lots of money.  But historically never really counted the Palestinians in their Arab community for if they did why they are not giving any material support, even though the chief edict of the Qur’an after bowing to Allah directs that community comes first and in case you want to criticize that, my Abdullah Yusuf Ali copy of the Qur’an does express that several times.  And so does Karen Armstrong.  The poor Palestinians have been on the bottom of the heap so long they don’t know they are on the bottom, while all the other Arabs are enjoying a decent bomb free life.

It really is too bad but it looks as though some terrorist organization may have infiltrated this forum and can only extol the righteousness of Hamas and find Israel only deplorable and needs to be destroyed and plays on the sympathies of otherwise other decent Americans. 

It might do the Palestinians some good, to self-reflect on what their own part is in the unending war with Israel.  They might even be able to have lucid discussions with Israel so that they may enter the 21st century. 

I shall ask the question again, how do you cyrena, justify Obama’s attitude toward Israel with your attitude towards Israel?

This has nothing to do with being an atheist.  For me it has to do with what is right.  And the prejudiced and xenophobic weight against Israel is wrong given all as been brought to light. 

Seems to me more than plenty of people have spoken about Gaza on this forum, and plenty have spoken up for Gaza and against Israel.  Is this still about why so few speak up for Gaza?  Mr. Sheer might take another poll.  The more pertinent question is why don’t the Arab countries speak up for Gaza?  And Robert should also send his appeal for help for the Palestinians to all of the Arab countries.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

January 29, 2009

An Interview with Jimmy Carter
The Future of Gaza

By RIZ KHAN

“RIZ KHAN (Al Jazeera): Hello and welcome. Could Hamas be a key to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians? In spite of the U.S. condemning the democratically elected organization as terrorists and Israel launching a prolonged military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, there are those who feel there cannot be a solution without Hamas in peace talks. The argument for dialogue gains weight with the backing of a former U.S. president who’s been willing to take on the critics and controversy as he continues to staunchly campaign for peace in the region. In his book, “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work,” former President Jimmy Carter argues that, despite the recent violence between Israel and Hamas, the conditions are right for a peace deal.

Well, for more than 30 years, Jimmy Carter has worked on building peace in the Middle East. The 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel paved the way for later agreements with Jordan and the Palestinians. So as a new U.S. president takes on the challenge of finding a resolution, what advice does President Carter offer, will it be received willingly and why is he hopeful now, when the two sides seem further apart than ever? President Carter, it’s an honor to speak with you again.

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: It’s a pleasure, thank you.

MR. KHAN: Sir, you’ve been saying positive things about President Obama’s approach to peace in the Middle East, but your views with him seem to diverge when it comes to the issue of Hamas. You’ve advocated including Hamas – talking to Hamas – where he’s taken the line of the previous administration, that Hamas shouldn’t be in the peace talks. Sir, do you think he’s wrong?

PRES. CARTER: Well, in the United States, now, it’s not possible to move immediately into discussions with Hamas, but my position is not completely different from Obama, because I realize what I just said is true, but there’s no way to have a permanent peace in the Middle East without the inclusion of Hamas. The first step, as far as the Palestinians go, will obviously have to be a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and I think all of the Arab world – and I think the Palestinians, both sides – want to see that done.

So far, as you know, it’s been objected to and obstructed by the United States, and that may change, at least on the United States side, in the next few months. But the other thing is that I’ve seen that Hamas is willing to have some flexibility in their previous position. They have told me and announced publicly on this TV station last April that they would accept any peace agreement negotiated between Abu Mazen and the Israelis if the agreement was submitted to the Palestinians in a referendum and if the Palestinians approved it, or if there was a unity government that could approve. So that opened up a door to an absolutely necessary fact, and that is that Hamas has got to be involved before the peace can be concluded.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the rest of the interview…click on link below:

http://www.counterpunch.org/khan01292009.html

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Never To Forget

Gaza Genocide Must Not Be Forgotten

01.29.2009 | YouTube.com
By martinpegg

The true tragedy of Israel’s War against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza must not be forgotten.

Please forward and also donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee - http://www.dec.org.uk


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2614

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

•  “..I don’t think you read my post quite right.  I did not say religion was part of an IQ test.  I was saying that of things that are treated equally, not all religions in the world treat their members equally (epecially between men and women) or that they may or may not enjoy their religion freely. ..”

I read it sheynon, and I responded with an example of how ‘religion’ didn’t fit in the rest of your little sample, and would be the ‘answer’ on a standard IQ test…

Like this:

Which one doesn’t belong?

Apples
Grapes
Pears
canned tuna
Oranges

Your ‘religion’ is the canned tuna, which is why it doesn’t belong in the conversation.

But you haven’t ‘accepted’ that yet, which is ‘evidenced’ here:

•  …The first equivocating one:
“This is more bullshit Shenonymous. I’m not saying that it never happens, but not any more in the “Arab Empire” than it does any fucking where else.  It doesn’t matter any fucking where else, it matters in this conversation about the Arab Empire.  Bringing in the entire world (the straw man) is again the fallacy of generalization in an attempt to improve a weak argument.  You seem to want to ignore the law of apostacy in Islam and if you renounce your religion, you are subject to assassination.  I find it hard to believe you are ignorant of that law?  It won’t do to bring in the atrocities of other religions to ameliorate Islam.

Specifically this…
“It matters in this conversation about the Arab Empire.”

You see Shenonymous, YOU are the ONLY one who decided that this conversation was about the “Arab Empire” (which doesn’t exist by the way, aside from in your own mind) and my knowledge of ‘the law’ of Islam doesn’t matter a rat’s ass here sheynon, because you are having a conversation with yourself about your perceived “Evils of Islam”.

My only mistake here was bothering to respond to it at all, because I should have accepted by now, that you are determined to create a connection where none exists. So, you’ll just keep pounding square wooden peg into that round steel hole, and people will get tired of pointing out the futility of your efforts, and just let you continue. I mean it’s like how many times can you walk past someone pounding their heads against brick walls, and warn them of the eventual futility of such action? We can only say, Hey Lady…Do ya know you’re beating your head against that wall” so many times before we figure out that it’s probably too late to prevent any further damage.

Anyway, I’ve already told you a few dozens times that Islam has nothing to do with the atrocities occurring in the Middle East. It’s that simple. We just aren’t talking about the same things.

Let me repeat this: YOU have a very serious hair up your ass about Arab Muslims. OK…that’s fine. I mean, whatever, right? I’m a non-believer, so I don’t care. YOU say I want to ‘ignore the “law of apostasy” in Islam, and the fact that if a Muslim renounces his or her religion, they are subjected to assassination. Besides the fact that this is not true in the wide practice of Islam, (in other words, it’s a behavior that is only undertaken by extremists, and to the rest of Islam, it is FORBIDDEN) I have no reason to ignore or acknowledge it, since it doesn’t have shit to do with why innocent people are being slaughtered and starved in Gaza. None of the thousands of dead people in Gaza got that way during the past 6 months because they were trying to denounce their religion.

So allow me to repeat –AGAIN- that this conversation is about why so few speak up for Gaza, NOT about how Islam is the cause of all that’s wrong in the world, or in the Middle East. So, while your personal outrage and passion about the evils of Islam is respected,(to the extent that any such OBSESSION should be)it doesn’t have shit to do with the Massacres of Innocents in the Middle East, who just happen to be Arabs.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 30, 2009 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Ohhhh…Shenonymous doesn’t give a damn…!

Have your therapist increase the dosage of your tranquility intake…you’ll sleep & feel a lot better.

Practically, your last 8 or 9 posts didn’t add up to anything…Shenon. Good try though.

Stick to your art history ... hopefully you’ll have less chances of making a total fool of yourself.

When it comes to the Palestine-Israeli conflict Prof. Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein & other scholars know that long on-going conflict well. These guys are way…far way…from being on thrones. Their humility & humanity are solid.

They are NOT afraid to speak and to be on the side of the TRUTH.

So long Shenon ...hug your kids if you have any!

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Finale for the evening…Tamarra is another day!
Quite frankly Robert I don’t give a damn if you carry a grudge or not.  You and your cronies humorlessness do not see the utter amusement in calling Herr Professor Chomsky, Emperor.  It means you kiss ring and see gods where no god exists.  You have no art. (He does what?  you said “he comes down to the level of the oppressed…”)  From where?  What throne are you alluding to?  Hmmm.  You do not address the question of what you would do if missiles were to fall where your children sleep.  You deflect it as well as the others here deflect and restate not in my words but theirs what I say.  It is all right.  Feinting is a trick of those who cannot answer questions but only pretend to.  You should point out the semi-accurate sources or totally false ones.

I have never pretended to be anything but a new learner on Middle Eastern affairs.  I’ve often noted in my comments the new reading I have been involved in.  If I have a sense of fairness it is only because 90% of the commenters on this forum are the ranters for Hamas, and seem to be on the wrong side of the Truth.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, did I say the Jewish religion was attacking the Palestinians?  Please say when I said that.  Either I made a mistake or you did.
A short course gratis ala Shenonymous
Part 4…
I do hope cyrena you are saving all of your posts and plan to put them into a book.  I am.

To respond to your comments about our new project!  I am soooo excited about it.  Maybe if we can get some answers from the Arab world, defnitive ones and not mere speculation, even Washington could be helped (I doubt it because no doubt our Hillary is on top of it all!) (Oh, and probably Israel, they are pretty smart bagels).  No as an American you do not count.  It doesn’t matter how smart your are and then only if you converted to Islam and became a Muslim could you possibly count.  Then, of course, you would have to go through training.  Then you might be able to speak for an Arab nation if you renounced your citizenship and took up residence in one of the Arab countries.  No, no. Do not eliminate any one of them regardless of how small or large, how poor or rich. 

I don’t think you read my post quite right.  I did not say religion was part of an IQ test.  I was saying that of things that are treated equally, not all religions in the world treat their members equally (epecially between men and women) or that they may or may not enjoy their religion freely.  My quote : .  We cannot rightfully say people are all equal in terms of IQ?  Or economic status?  or equal in terms of religion?  or even relative tooth decay?  Now I know how really silly that last one is but it is just as silly to claim that all humans are equal when in fact the only claim to being equal is that they are equal in terms of being human and as having equal rights.  Now the free speech right is not one that is honored throughout the world and especially not in the Arab empire.  Nor is freedom of religion for if a Muslim had some sort of personal epiphany, he/she would not be able to leave their religion but in fact would be demonized themselves even killed.”  Please notice I am talking about human rights and especially freedom of speech. 

First of all you bring up a couple of straw man arguments that I have to sort out because you seem to be unaware that you doing that. 
The first equivocating one:
“This is more bullshit Shenonymous. I’m not saying that it never happens, but not any more in the “Arab Empire” than it does any fucking where else.  It doesn’t matter any fucking where else, it matters in this conversation about the Arab Empire.  Bringing in the entire world (the straw man) is again the fallacy of generalization in an attempt to improve a weak argument.  You seem to want to ignore the law of apostacy in Islam and if you renounce your religion, you are subject to assassination.  I find it hard to believe you are ignorant of that law?  It won’t do to bring in the atrocities of other religions to ameliorate Islam.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Part 5…
The rather strange quasi-criticism, “the largest Muslim population in the world isn’t ARAB to begin with.” Yes, that is right.  So let’s do look at the Arab World. 
Here is a breakdown of the countries.
Country               Population       percentage Muslim
Egypt                 80,335,036         90%
Jordan                   6,053,193         95%
Kuwait                   2,505,559         67.5% - 80%
Lebanon                 3,826,018         55%
Oman                   3,204,897         92.66%
Qatar                     907,229         77.5%
Saudi Arabia           27,601,038       90%-100%
Syria                   19,314,747       90%
United Arab Emirates     4,444,011       61.75% - 76%
Western Sahara             382,617       99.8%’
Yemen                 22,230,531       99%

6,671,226,000 (Six billion, six hundred 71 million, 226 thousand)
172,804,876 are Arabs.  Now that seems to say a lot about the imperialism of Islam inasmuch as 172 million 804 thousand 876 are from the area in which Islam developed.  I did not say anything about the imperialism of other religions, that is your problem.  Except that Judiasm did not attempt to conquer any other country.  They had a diaspora due to persecutions.  Did the Muslim world have a diaspora due to persecutions too?  I am only here to learn.
Check me out here in case you need to look for yourself.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country#cite_note-143

The Arab world includes most of North Africa and Western Asia.
This doesn’t make any sense on your part, but looks like an attempt to place me in some odd confrontation with something not even mentioned here.  But really belongs in another argument somewhere else.  Not here.

So what is your point cyrena?  You said, “I don’t accept your quote on the ‘color’ make up of Muslims Shenon, but it’s not important at this point, because I’m not quibbling over what is pretty obvious to the rest of the world.”  What color do you and the rest if the world think they are?

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Part 6…
Well because you don’t want to believe the statistics and cannot bring yourself to find them yourself, I will provide the website that tells you the number of Black Muslims in America,  This very forum see:
Shenonymous, January 29 at 6:18 pm #
How about the true fact that most Muslims are not people of color.  About 40% according to the book Black Pilgrimage to Islam.  This represents less than 2% of the approximate 30 million African Americans.  It might be a book you would want in your own library.

On providing hate crime statistics from the FBI with website provided.  Do notice that the number against the Jewish far out numbers all the others put together!  Just an interesting fact.

Even after 9/11
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/hate_crime/
2004 FBI Report
Religious Bias
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,374 offenses reported by law enforcement.  A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-biased offenses showed:
  * 69.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
  * 9.3 percent were anti-other religion.
  * 11.4 percent were anti-Islamic.
  * 4.1 percent were anti-Catholic.
  * 2.5 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
  * 2.8 percent were anti-Protestant.
  * 0.4 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.

No FBI report made 2005

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2006/incidents.html
2006 FBI Report
Religious bias
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,597 offenses reported by law enforcement. A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:
  * 64.3 percent were anti-Jewish.
  * 12.0 percent were anti-Islamic.
  * 8.8 percent were anti-other religion.
  * 5.5 percent were anti-multiple religions, (i.e., groups of individuals of varying religions).
  * 5.1 percent were anti-Catholic.
  * 3.9 percent were anti-Protestant.
  * 0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism. (Based on Table 1.)
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2007/incidents.htm
2007
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,477 offenses reported by law enforcement.  A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-biased offenses showed:
  * 68.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
  * 9.5 percent were anti-other religion.
  * 9.0 percent were anti-Islamic.
  * 4.4 percent were anti-Catholic.
  * 4.3 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
  * 4.0 percent were anti-Protestant.
  * 0.4 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Part 7…
This is a very long article so if you want to read the entire thing:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_03/b4017074.htm
Apparently Muslims in America are not suffering like Palestinians.  This is from January 15, 2007, BusinessWeek, not so recent but long after 9/11.  Article:  They’re Muslims, And Yankees, Too
Muslims in America represent almost every variety of Islamic thought and experience. The heavily secular and prosperous Iranian community in Southern California has little in common with orthodox Yemeni laborers near Detroit. College-educated white converts whose interest in New Age concepts leads them to the spiritual Sufi branch of Islam do not resemble poor black prison inmates who embrace Muslim beliefs behind bars as a source of discipline and solace. Indeed, as Business Week Assistant Managing Editor Paul M. Barrett explains in his new book, American Islam, the U.S. can be seen as a vast experiment in how Islam can adapt to the West.

Business is good these days at The Arab American News. The bilingual weekly newspaper in Dearborn, Mich., bulges with dispatches on strife in the Middle East. Its columnists bristle over what they see as America’s many misdeeds in the region. And, boosted by readers’ anxiety over bloodshed in Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon, circulation has risen 60% over the past year, to 36,000, says Osama Siblani, the publisher and editor-in-chief. More advertisers have come with the growing readership, and among employers buying substantial help-wanted ads is the U.S. Homeland Security Dept., which desperately needs Arabic linguists. A fierce critic of American foreign policy, Siblani acknowledges the irony of his profiting from the U.S. security establishment. “It seems like the niche we have is working for us,” he deadpans.

Such incongruities permeate Muslim lives in Dearborn, where auto factory jobs have drawn Arab immigrants since the 1920s, making the gritty Detroit suburb the unofficial capital of Arab America. Muslims there and around the country are the objects of suspicion and in some cases prejudice, especially since the attacks of September 11, 2001. But as a group, they offer a model of assimilation and material success. An astounding 59% of Muslim adults in the U.S. have a college degree, compared with only 28% of all American adults. Surveys show that median family income among America’s Muslims exceeds the national figure of $55,800. And four out of five eligible Muslims are registered to vote, slightly higher than the overall rate.

The duality of Muslim-American life often surfaces in the tension between allegiance to an adopted land and to causes back in the old country that most Americans view as dangerous. For example, in addition to running his newspaper, Siblani relishes his role as a leader of the Dearborn-based Arab American Political Action Committee. The group’s endorsement has been avidly sought by candidates of both parties running for everything from Michigan county judgeships to the White House. But during last summer’s clash between Israel and Hezbollah, Siblani and some fellow Lebanese immigrants made no secret—at rallies and in statements to the media—of their sympathy for Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese militia and political movement.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Part 8…
Here is a morsel against the Jews, some of you may dance in the street!
Jewish leaders attacked Siblani and his allies for supporting an organization committed to Israel’s destruction and considered terrorist in nature by the U.S. government. And during the fall election season, a number of state and national politicians who normally woo the Detroit area’s large Arab-American constituency steered clear, at least in public. This infuriates Siblani, who insists that his main concern last summer was pressuring Washington to seek a swift cease-fire in Lebanon.

Siblani, a pro-business, anti-abortion Republican who drives a sleek black Mercedes and lives in a comfortable house complete with white pillars in front, helped organize Arab American support for George W. Bush in 2000. But the President’s “war on terror” after 9/11 left him feeling that his adopted country had turned against Muslims. He abandoned Bush in 2004 and publicly branded the current administration the “Taliban in Washington.”

Siblani reflects the complexity of American Islam, an intricate mixture of creeds and cultures: immigrant and native-born, devout and secular, moderate and radical. By comparison, most immigrant Muslims in such countries as France, England, and Spain have remained poorer, less well educated, and more marginalized. Europeans encouraged Muslim immigration as a source of menial labor, but until recently did little to integrate workers as citizens. And more generous welfare benefits in Europe allow Muslims and other immigrants to live indefinitely on the periphery of society. The American combination of a comparatively modest social safety net with greater economic opportunity appears to have drawn Muslims willing to adjust to new customs and acquire education needed for good jobs. So the ideologically motivated violence that has erupted in Muslim enclaves in Western Europe so far hasn’t surfaced from within the U.S.

What follows are glimpses into the lives of four successful American Muslims. They suggest both the variety and flux within Islam in this country.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Part 9…
THE BAKER
Idris Abdul Wasi runs Abu’s Homestyle Bakery just down the street from Masjid At-Taqwa, a well-known house of worship in the tough Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y. One of the mosque’s respected elders, Wasi does a brisk business in sweet-potato and bean pies, as well as heavy German chocolate cake. Wasi is African American, a convert to Islam but not a follower of Louis Farrakhan. In recent years, Farrakhan’s idiosyncratic Nation of Islam has dwindled in prominence, as the majority of black Muslims have switched their allegiance to increasingly independent African-American and nonblack imams.

A native New Yorker, Wasi sang in the choir at Bushwick Methodist Church as a boy, but he says that “the whole Trinity thing never really penetrated my heart or my head.” This is a common complaint from American converts to Islam, both black and white: that they couldn’t make sense of the idea that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all parts of one God. Wasi, now in his early 50s, saw Islam as a more logical approach to monotheism: one deity, pure and simple. He also appreciated what he saw as Islam’s more clear-cut rules. “Coming up a child of the ‘70s, I was into the intoxicants, the lifestyle,” he explains. His father, a longshoreman, drank himself to an early death. Wasi’s mother was remarried to a Muslim and converted. Wasi’s two younger brothers embraced Islam as well. In 1976, while a junior at John Jay College on Manhattan’s West Side, Wasi followed suit. The only college graduate in his generation of his extended family, he has six children, all raised as Muslims. Not one drinks or smokes, he says.

About three years ago, when Wasi fell ill for a time, his oldest son, also named Idris, left the Web development firm he ran and came to work at the bakery. The younger Idris, though a practicing Muslim, decided that the family business, which serves a mostly black, non-Muslim clientele, would benefit if the religious motif were slightly toned down. “Abu,” which means father in Arabic, remained in the shop’s name, but the younger Idris inserted “Homestyle.” He removed a sign declaring, “There is no god except Allah.” But the bakery still distributes pamphlets proselytizing Islam and doesn’t sell Christmas cookies in December. “It may hurt business, but we have certain values,” the younger Idris, 35, says.

African-American Islam began with Muslim slaves brought from West Africa. But Christian slave owners suppressed Muslim belief and ritual, and African-American Islam faded. In the early twentieth century, black fraternal associations reintroduced Islamic themes to assert an independent identity in a still hostile white society. That tradition continues today, lending black Islam a rebelliousness to which the elder Wasi sometimes gives voice.

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By OzarkMichael, January 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Since Robert or one of the other messangers here brought up the exact same tired old argument, I just figured i would run an old rebuttal to it by Oriana Fallaci. Really Robert has no ideas of his own. He is a Messenger, you know.

I find it shameful that, in giving the number of Israelis killed since the beginning of the Second Intifada (four hundred twelve), a noted daily newspaper found it appropriate to underline in capital letters that more people are killed in their traffic accidents. (Six hundred a year).

That was a golden oldie! Furthermore, the way the hatred and bestiality of Hamas is glossed over here is another echo from the past, which needs rebuttal so I let Oriana speak again:

I find it shameful that in obedience to the stupid, vile, dishonest, and for them extremely advantageous fashion of Political Correctness the usual opportunists—or better the usual parasites—exploit the word Peace. That in the name of the word Peace, by now more debauched than the words Love and Humanity, they absolve one side alone of its hate and bestiality. That in the name of a pacifism (read conformism) delegated to the singing crickets and buffoons who used to lick Pol Pot’s feet they incite people who are confused or ingenuous or intimidated. Trick them, corrupt them, carry them back a half century to the time of the yellow star on the coat. These charlatans who care about the Palestinians as much as I care about the charlatans. That is not at all.

And then we read very ugly attacks against one of the lady posters here. She needs no help, she can respond as roughly as need be.  And that reminds me of the way Oriana dealt with creeps so i quote Oriana once more:

I find it shameful that they are on the side of the very ones who inaugurated terrorism, killing us on airplanes, in airports, at the Olympics, and who today entertain themselves by killing western journalists. By shooting them, abducting them, cutting their throats, decapitating them. (There’s someone in Italy who, since the appearance of Anger and Pride, would like to do the same to me. Citing verses of the Koran he exorts his “brothers” in the mosques and the Islamic Community to chastise me in the name of Allah. To kill me. Or rather to die with me. Since he’s someone who speaks English well, I’ll respond to him in English: “F*** you.”)

Dont you admire women who have guts?

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By Robert, January 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 30 at 12:56 pm #

“Interesting post Robert, Jan. 29, 9:35pm.  Noam Chomsky, one of my heroes, is not always right.  Unfortunately for us, he is not a god and hence does not always present truth.  Like all always fallible humans, he arranges his pronouncements in such a way that chronologically they are just a slip away from the truth.  In Emperor Chomsky’s account of President Obama’s comment about missiles falling where his two daughters sleep, he would “do everything in order to stop that.”  I dare to say Robert if you have children, or had any, you would say exactly the same thing.  And if not, what kind of a f’n father would you be?  But then Emperor Chomsky goes further to say that President Obama was not referring to the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, (and it is really moot whether Obama was president or not at that time), it is the comment that is important.  But here is the rub.  Emperor Chomsky fails to mention that those dead Palestinian children are the result of Hamas’s initial rocket and mortar attack on Israel, which started the bloody and horrid war.” 

*****

Shenonymous…Its a good thing that I don’t hold any grudges. I hate to disappoint you, but prof. Chomsky is quite right about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. You may not agree with him from your perspective, but he has been speaking and writing about this conflict for decades. He is NO Emperor; he just comes down to the level of the oppressed, and the victims of this long conflict.

One can tell that the Mid-East/Palestinian-Israeli topic is NOT your area of expertise, but you are trying & researching. From what I am getting from your posts on this subject, you are commenting & ranting from a comfortable “jacuzzi” chamber. I have a feeling that you want to be on the right side of the TRUTH. So far, you are about 90% on the other side. You are relying way too much on semi-accurate sources or maybe totally false ones. 

Shenonymous…do you have any kids? I am just wondering. You seem so cold & so irritable mostly on this thread. I know that you have a keen sense of humor. You made me laugh yesterday…you called me an “old man”! BTW, I am not. I have all my teeth & I am far away from “tooth-decay”.

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By Leefeller, January 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Objectivity is very hard, some of you might want to try it.  This is like arguing about the 3000 year old goat herders manual, some people have their minds made up, what little minds they have.  Some of these posts look like a KKK convention with the Nazi’s making the introductions. 

What is this a ball game, rooting for your favorite team? People are dieing, as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

These wars over differences have been going on for eons, and differences are the problem.  Nothing has ever changed nor will change get over it folks. 

Some people live for hate, their only love.

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By CHAMISA, January 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous:
I wonder how many other posters have grown as weary, and wary, of your endless effete, pedantic ramblings as I.  For weeks now,
we have read your pseudo-academic posts which are thin cover for your endorsement of Israeli atrocities, cleverly, but patently steering away from the burden of war crimes accrued by Israel.  Give some thought to the prison Israel has created, its cruelest of treatment to an indigenous people hoarded onto a patch of land so the “chosen people” can be accomodated.  By my reckoning, Israel
is the most virulent opportunistic infection known to man.  It’s exploitation of the people and its land, if it continues its actions, will probably guarantee its early demise.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

F off Folktruther.  You just love to denigrate me, don’t you.  You are only a perennial namecaller,  So childish without anything constructive to contribute. 

Part 3…
Let’s try 90 years that the Bloody Horrid War has been going on. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict originated from competing Jewish and Arab national ambition for the region, conflicting promises by the British in the forms of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence and the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and several outbreaks of violence between Jewish and Arab residents of the region knowns as Palestine.
http://www.mideastweb.org/timeline.htm
How absurd to claim I think it began last month.  Obviously you have only been visiting this forum for a short time or just failed to read my many comments.  I do keep a record of the entire forum.  No matter,  but I do not intend to defend myself over ridiculous charges against me.  Only when I am called names of obscene proportions I will do so.

Okay, you say malnourish men, women, and children found dead in the rubble.  Hmmm.  And it cannot be told if they died from bombs or being malnourished!  Seems someone could tell!  Doctors maybe?  If they were malnourished why didn’t Hamas spend their money in blackmarket food if the people were starving and why not bring food through the tunnels that they so easily brought armaments through?  That is quite a curiosity.  They can bring guns, rockets, mortars, vehicles even, but not food?  That is a bunch of crap.  What chemicals was Israel using?  If they have been dying that way, what the hell was Hamas doing since they came into existence?  You are not telling the whole truth nor are you saying where you get your information, you are creating what ‘appear’s’ to be the truth.  Those children are dead because Hamas attacks Israel every chance they get.  If not with rockets and mortars, then with suicide bombers (who are children too by the way).  Personally I don’t understand your denial of reality.  Funny how we each have a different view of what is the truth.  I have said over and over and over again, one sees what one wants to see.  I want to see that Israel is not blamed completely.  It is not.  I am not insane, and I have not created this situation.  Your accusing me however is wrong.  My personal integrity and my intellectual integrity is intact.  Truth obviously is in the eye of the beholder.  Do not think you have the market on the truth.

Ever since the state of Israel came into being, the Palestinians have been dispossessed of their land and homes and left stateless, many of their people shunted to refugee camps and denied any meaningful form of self-governance.  My view is the fact that the Arab world has allowed the wretched plight of the Palestinian people to continue for so long (90 years) is unconscionable.

Israel’s ruthless efficiency at killing the leaders of Palestinian and Lebanese resistance groups is second to none and that is what sticks in a lot of non-Jewish people’s craw. The fact is that they are an efficient killing machine.  It pains the rest of the world because they cannot duplicate that skill.  What is so ironic is something I have said before:  that given the same quality of weapons, Hamas would have been using them and killing more Israelis.  The question that remains is, would the world then be as sympathetic to the Israelis?  I think the world is quite jealous of Israel’s ability to survive for over 90 years under the duress it has.  If Israel has been ruthless, it is because it has been conditioned to be.  Denying that is the kind of ostrichism that will not bring any peace to the Middle East.

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By PatrickHenry, January 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 30 at 2:40 pm #

The state of Israel is attacking Palestine, not the jewish religion.

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By Folktruther, January 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Robert, I hate to keep defending Shironymous but someone has to do it.  You can’t take her seriously.  She has been Educated beyond her capacity to learn, and has a washing machine mind; what comes up at any particular time is what names happen to be on top.  It could be Duns Soctus, Abner Duoubleday or Europedes, and the corresponding ideas, applied at random to the passing scene.

As is the tendency with academics, she splits the difference between two sides, the Learned Wisdom approach. When confronted with a choice between illegitmate truth and authorized falsehood, she steers a Golden Mean between these two Rxtremes. 

So when analyzing the war between Israel and the Palestinians, the opporessor and the oppressed, the victimizer and the victim, she Wisely curses both parties.  In the choice between concentration camp quards and their prisoners, any massacre would be the fault of both sides.

The lack of logic or reasoning flows from this Educated Wisdom.  When the Isaeli’s killed forteen hundred people, half children, with only ten casualites, she takes this as proof that Israel is better at war.  An even better example would be the Beirut massacires where the Israeli army prevented anyone from leaving the refugee camps while sending the Falange in to kill every man, woman and child, without any reproted Israeli casualties. 

Actually in the Gazan military-political war, Hamas by surviving, won, the world and Palestinians turning it their favor.

But Shenoymous blames Hamas for the Isreali slaughter, with her usual Educated logic.  Nothing really to be done.  She is a lone woman teaching snotty children in the deserts of Texas and this would addle anyone’s brains.  It’s the heat, combined with a lot of Education.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Part 2…
I will stop when the lying and prevaricating stops about the Jews.  I am not a Jew, never have been, do not want to be a Jew, don’t believe in Yahweh, so I have no emotional attachment to the Jews.  Except for the fact that they are human beings who deserve to live in peace in their own country however the world came to grant it to them.  The world, except that part that is huge and is Arab or Persian (Iran).  Now all one has to do is to look at the map, which apparently no one on the Arab side really wants to do since it will shame them to see that Israel has a teeny tiny part of the land on the Arabian penninsula.  Now all it is going to take to make it more peaceful is for the Arabs to let Israel alone.  Now the argument is that Israel keeps sniping at the Palestinians.  Well my argument is that the rest of the Arab world needs to do something intelligent about that, not just terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, whatever.

Now blatant falsehood is not a true description of my statement.  Israel launched its violent attack as reprisal for a week-long barrage of rock and mortar attack from Gaza.  For a brief summary I suggest checkout the Huffington Post article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/29/why-did-israel-attack-gaz_n_153987.html

Also Israel had sealed the Gaza border crossing in an attempt to topple Hamas which is classified as a terrorist organization.  Maybe it was the straw that broke Hamas’ back that instigated their attack, but there is more history to it than just that.  Hamas increased missile attacks were out of pure hatred of Jews, the desire to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, they have said as much time and again.  What is so hard to understand that?

With the prospect of Netanyahu returning to lead Israel in February, it may be that the Palestinians have lost any chance at peace with the attacks by Hamas.  If you think I am making this up, then you are a fool.

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By OzarkMichael, January 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

cyrena: OK, I swear I didn’t mean to write all of this, and of course no one is forced to read it.

But i did. Its a privilege to do so. thank you for the fine effort.

The next step is to work through your post. Meantime, would you really want to work on the Orientalism of Edward Said? I am understanding it is an accusation of racism against the West.

If you recommend Edward Said’s Orientalism to me, i would ask you to also have the same book on hand, and be available for questions about it on this forum. I just might take you up on it.

Be aware cyrena, that when i read influential authors i expect a degree of scholarship. You are not a ‘messenger’ but a thinker. You are putting your good name beside Said if you go through with this.

On the topic of hype, i return to Edward Said:
Then, in the 1997 revised edition of his book “Covering Islam”, Said ridiculed “speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airlines,” as inventions of racist Westerners.


and then cyrena’s response: HOWEVER, (and this is the point of Prof. Said that you address) “Religion” can ALWAYS be used or co-opted as the ‘excuse’ to make a bogus claim, or for the purposes of demonizing an entire group of people. It’s been happening since the beginning of time. That doesn’t make the hype real though.

The hype had some reality to it. Think of two real commercial airliners smashing into two real World Trade Tower buildings. On this score, I do not think Edward Said’s statements had much predictive value. i would say they were useless, and tended to make us ignore warnings when we should have been thinking. Edward Said ridiculed a threat which turned out to be quite real.

If you respond by saying that the 9/11 attacks were manufactured by Israel or by Bush, then I am warned to not take your recommendation of Edward Said very seriously. Any book that makes us think LESS instead of more is probably not worth reading.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of however many are needed. 
Well when inaccuracy gets bashed in the face by some wordperfecters it’s all right, but when sloppy exaggerations happen by some others, they want to dispense with it as a sort of “writing” style.  Bull crap.  Hold our feet to the fire, yours can get cozy warmed too. 

So to begin, please specify which “other Holocausts” you are using to ameliorate the Jewish one?  It is called the fallacy of generalization.  And although you are tender about Native Americans, and let’s not forget I have expressed my own indignation about it, there has never been a designation of holocaust for their decline.  Massacres yes, Indian wars yes, exploitation yes, enslavement yes.  But holocaust, no, regardless of some who want to call it that, David Stannard, Kirkpatrick Sale, Ben Kiernan, Lenore A. Stiffarm, and Phil Lane, Jr. and Ward Churchill who claim it was malice not natural diseases that ravaged the American Indian (we have to include Hawaiians in that nomenclature but we won’t include the South American Indians slaughterings sanctioned by the Catholic Church).  Even Stannard agrees that epidemic disease was by and large the principal cause of the deterioration of indigenous Americans.  It is quite the fad to claim there was such a thing called the Native American Holocaust, but the word only came into fashion after the Jews were truly decimated. 

Thing is that the claim of the 100 million deaths have not been supported by any demographic data.  And Stannard made no distinction between death from violence or that from disease.  Noble David Cook and R. J. Rummel are two of the scores of historians who do not deny there was suffering and unjust death inflicted on the American indigenous, but they also argue that it was not genocide, or a crime of intent.  Stafford Poole, another historian, writes that genocide is not one of the terms to describe what happened in the Western Hemisphere.  It is a good ‘propaganda’ term in an age when slogans and shouting have replaced reflection and learning…and cheapens both the word itself and the appalling experiences of the Jews and Armenians to mention two of the major 20th-and now Darfurans in 21st century.  If anybody is counting the facts were recorded by amateur historian William M. Osborn, that 9,156 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans, and 7,193 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Europeans.  Most of the millions of indigenous that died, died from diseases albeit brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Europeans, but by no stretch of the imagination can that be called a holocaust. 

As far as exploitation goes check out the Bandeiranes and what their mission was. 

There is no doubt the Spanish conquistadores were extremely cruel to the American natives.  Intentional moral outrage does not belong totally nor even predominantly toward the American white settlers.  Fact is there were many massacres of white folks by Indians but those facts are often forgotten in the romance of the downtrodden Native American.  For your convenience sake you could check out the charts at the Wikipedia site of Indian Massacres.  It’sa kinda sorta intarestin.  It shows the massacred indians too.  It is an sobering eye-opener though.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

•  “Emperor Chomsky fails to mention that those dead Palestinian children are the result of Hamas’s initial rocket and mortar attack on Israel, which started the bloody and horrid war. “

Since this is a blatant falsehood, that’s probably why Prof. Chomsky, (never knew him to be an Emperor) didn’t ‘mention’ it. The dead Palestinian children are NOT a result of Hamas’ initial rocket and mortar attack on Israel, NOR did ANY such ‘attack’ start the bloody horrid war.

The BLOODY HORRID WAR has been going on for 40 years shenonymous, and you think it began last month. Even if we give you such a ridiculously disingenuous premise, how do you account for all of the MALNOURISHED men, women and children who would found dead in the rubble, with no way to know whether or not they died from that or the Israeli bombs. The blockade by Israel to starve the Palestinians was in effect for MONTHS before any shots were fired. When they were, those shots were fired by ISRAEL on November 4th, 2008. They killed 7 Palestinians in Gaza.

YOU KNOW this shenonymous, because it has been documented on this very site, on MULTIPLE threads. We KNOW who broke that particular so-called “ truce”;  (It’s ALWAYS Israel) and those are the kinds of FACTS that cannot be covered up by your hysterical rhetoric.

So, here in REALITY shenon…those DEAD PALESTINIAN CHILDREN are dead because ISRAEL has been bombing, starving, imprisoning and torturing them for years. That’s why they’re dead shenon. They’re dead because the chemical and other weapons that Israel uses on them are INTENDED to kill them. They’ve been DYING this way since long before Hamas came into existence.

I implore you from the bottom of my heart, PLEASE STOP this INSANE denial of reality. You simply cannot continue to create your own, (Reality) and maintain any measure of personal or intellectual integrity. Karl Rove and Dick Bush tried it, and were certainly ‘successful’ at it for a while. But now all of the props that kept it together are falling apart, and the house of cards has collapsed under the weight of truth.

But truth doesn’t have to kill you. It just requires some courage to accept it.

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By Shenonymous, January 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Interesting post Robert, Jan. 29, 9:35pm.  Noam Chomsky, one of my heroes, is not always right.  Unfortunately for us, he is not a god and hence does not always present truth.  Like all always fallible humans, he arranges his pronouncements in such a way that chronologically they are just a slip away from the truth.  In Emperor Chomsky’s account of President Obama’s comment about missiles falling where his two daughters sleep, he would “do everything in order to stop that.”  I dare to say Robert if you have children, or had any, you would say exactly the same thing.  And if not, what kind of a f’n father would you be?  But then Emperor Chomsky goes further to say that President Obama was not referring to the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, (and it is really moot whether Obama was president or not at that time), it is the comment that is important.  But here is the rub.  Emperor Chomsky fails to mention that those dead Palestinian children are the result of Hamas’s initial rocket and mortar attack on Israel, which started the bloody and horrid war. 

That was the first most important item in your post Robert.  The next one is about the peace proposal by the Arab League. This Emperor Chomsky called a “carefully framed deceit” that Obama did not directly falsify.  That is also a deceitful statement by Emperor Chomsky.  Carefully framed as is his entire commentary.  What Obama pointed out says there are “constructive elements” and that it is imperative that the Arabs states stands “up to extremism that threatens us all.”  The normalization proposal by the Arab League of a two-state solution, regardless that the US and Israel has blocked for more than 30 years, is not made insignificant by a new and different kind of thinking leader of America.  You just are not used to an truly Intelligent President in the White House. Whatever had happened as the past, is now changed as President Obama demonstrates every day that he has been in office.  I would go so far to say that he will knock your socks off.

The blog sites, not any real news sites, are talking about 15 professors out of 617,000.  Yes that is 617,000 (617 thousand).  Try http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/02/22/node_35635
if you don’t believe me.

Give us a living break.  15 is ridiculous to try to build a case against Israel.  There will always be whiners and disgruntled professors about something. That is why there is such a thing called academic freedom.

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By Leefeller, January 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Archie Bunker once said, to stop airplane hijackings, just issue each of the passengers going on the plane a gun. We should issue nukes to all the nations in the world maybe this could end all the wars.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

1 of 5
By Shenonymous, January 29 at 3:18 pm #

“One can make similarities (comparisons) anywhere one chooses.  The question is whether or not they are significant to any degree.  About the comment: there are several billion ‘similarities’ to the Jewish Holocaust was this exaggeration on purpose?”

~~~~
An exaggeration perhaps Shenon, but not an intentional one. Just sort of goes with my writing I guess. However, when I spoke of ‘similarities’ to the Jewish Holocaust, I should have been less ‘lazy’ and spelled them out. These are the same ‘similarities’ (in the properties/mechanics) that have been present in other Holocausts, though if we wanted to be really empirically scientific about this, the MOST similarities occur between the Native American Holocaust and the current and ongoing Palestinian Holocaust. And while it’s true that anyone can make comparisons anywhere that one chooses, (matter of fact, SOME folks are even REQUIRED to come up with these ‘compare and contrast’ type things in respect to the fulfillment of the various and sundry credentials) I didn’t make up the Native American Holocaust, or the Jewish Holocaust, or the current one that has been going on for 60 years in the Occupied Territories of the Middle East.  I DO plan to highlight them in a later paper however, and I DO expect these to be ‘significant’ or I obviously wouldn’t waste my time, or the time of my academic advisers. Nor do I have problems or qualms about putting the empirical dots together. The various body counts of the various Holocausts just wasn’t a required part of this particular compare and contrast, but if you think it would be helpful, I’ll be sure to include those numbers in the extended version.

On this…
•  “We cannot rightfully say people are all equal in terms of IQ?  Or economic status?  or equal in terms of religion?  or even relative tooth decay?”
On a standard IQ test, “religion” is the one that doesn’t go with the rest of the group.  “Equal in terms of RELIGION?????” That’s the silly part, since all of the rest can indeed be measured, including the relative tooth decay.

Moving along…
•  “Now the free speech right is not one that is honored throughout the world and especially not in the Arab empire.  Nor is freedom of religion for if a Muslim had some sort of personal epiphany, he/she would not be able to leave their religion but in fact would be demonized themselves even killed.”

This is more bullshit Shenonymous. I’m not saying that it never happens, but not any more in the “Arab Empire” than it does any fucking where else, and the largest Muslim population in the world isn’t ARAB to begin with. You’ve just gotta start getting this stuff straight girl! If you wanna dedicate yourself to the cause of women being persecuted by Fundamentalist mentalities, start here at home with all of these Christian sects for whom incest, polygamy, and sex with under aged children is the status quo, and any violations of the dictatorial demands for absolute obedience to the Patriarchy are frequently punished with various forms of cruel and unusual punishment, including death.

LOOK for that, and feel free to look in just about every state of this Western Union. It’s called DOMESTIC ABUSE, performed by Christian Fundamentalists (and psychos) everywhere there happens to be a group of them, but you do have to look. Abusers rarely advertise their crimes, regardless of whether they claim ‘religious’ justification or not.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

2 of 5
I don’t accept your quote on the ‘color’ make up of Muslims Shenon, but it’s not important at this point, because I’m not quibbling over what is pretty obvious to the rest of the world. I read something somewhere too, that claimed Arabs to be of the Caucasian race, so I guess that means they weren’t included in the ‘count’ for Muslims of color. And I guess that means that pretty much anybody can make up whatever statistics they choose, eh? But, do they have any ‘SIGNIFICANCE”? In YOUR reference it’s completely insignificant , since the people we’re talking about here (the citizens of Gaza) happen to be mostly people of color and mostly Muslims as well.

My only point in making the comment was in context with the long held theory of Dr. Said, (since that’s what I was responding to) in terms of the racism inherent in all of these atrocities against human beings, perpetrated by other human beings, for a variety of reasons, LEAST of which is a matter of religious identity. You’re convinced that it’s all about religion, and so I’ll always argue against that dangerous perception. I’ve said that before, but maybe only a couple of dozen times.

The comparison between the African Slave experience and the Slaughter of the Gazans isn’t the best of comparisons for my purposes, despite the fact that racism was the foundation of that ‘experience’ as well. There are of course other comparisons to be made. I vaguely remember you mentioning something in this context before; in comparing the Jewish Diaspora (and the desire/need to have a Jewish state as a ‘cure’/compensation for it), to the African Diaspora that was briefly addressed back in the movement led by Marcus Garvey to form something of the same for displaced people of Africa.

That was a brief and relatively speaking small operation, (the Back to Africa Movement) and no comparison at all to the Zionist set-up. Besides, the major contrast here, (again for my purposes) is that the Africans were kidnapped and IMPORTED as a trading commodity. So theirs is a migratory experience, albeit under chains and other rather inhumane conditions. (not so good for animals either). That is distinctly different from groups like the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Greater Middle East, when their space/populations are invaded by another group of people, and the result is that the invaders ethnically cleanse the geographical area of the population that existed before it.

Another difference is that as horrifically as we know blacks have been treated because the institution of slavery required it, the African Slave experience did NOT include mass slaughter, removals, and other extreme methods for reducing and/or elimination an entire population. The reverse was the case with the African Slave, because they were valuable property, worth as much or more as any other piece of cattle. So there was no evidence of massive extermination of the African Slave population, at least not as long as Slavery held up as a legitimate practice in the US. (which it did for a very long time).

Those are just a few of the basic components that differentiate these Genocides/Ethnic Cleansings.
But, that’s an aside. I suspect the larger clarification for setting up such a project would be the same one that’s been at the heart of the discussion so far; The confusion that big R Religion has anything to do with the Palestinian Holocaust. It doesn’t.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

3 of 5
So on this:

•  “But you cannot vet my question by modifying it to suit your own perception through some Middle Eastern tinted lenses.  I asked a major question that no one in the Muslim world dares to answer, non-Muslims cannot answer, mainly because westerners really just don’t count.  The Palestinians are dying now and will die in the future.  Yes do let’s include all of Islam (uh, the Muslim world).  I love the project.  I am with the program!  I would like to be part of the in-depth examination of each and every Muslim country that has not directly (or indirectly if it can be verified) helped the Palestinians, but I’m tainted, I’m a westerner.  I’d like the Middle Easterners to definitively answer the question.  They can answer, we will closely examine their answers for trooth. Shall I make a chart?”

It will do no good to make a chart until you know what we’re talking about. Do you want to have these questions answered by the Islamic /Muslim World, the Arab World, or the Middle Eastern World of Arab Muslims? You seem confused, but the emphasis is certainly on Muslims, who happen to practice the big R Religion of Islam. But then you make frequent mention of Arabs as well, so I guess that means you wouldn’t be interested in acquiring the information from non-Arab states in the region. On the other hand, since your focus is on Islam and the Muslims who practice it, I guess you’d wanna know why the most populous of all Muslim states (Indonesia) isn’t helping the Gazans. I mean, since you’re making this about Muslimism.

But there’s hope, because you did at least finally address the whole LOCATION issue, “Middle Eastern” which is exactly what the conflict is about. And that’s what it’s been about for 60 years. It hasn’t been about Islam, it’s been about the geographical location where the conflict is centered. And that’s all it’s EVER been about Sheynon, no matter how you choose to make it about any single thing else.
So, who do you want to hear from, in terms of neighbors to Gaza and the West Bank, that SHOULD (if they have the resources themselves) be helping them out?

Here’s who I have in mind, as representative of the Greater Middle East, which is NOT by the way, the same as the created version of Dick Bushes greater middle east. (so don’t look it up in Wikipedia, since it will only add to the chronic confusion.)

Egypt – Muslim and Arab

Saudi Arabia – Muslim and Arab

Iraq – Muslim, plus Arab, Persian, Turk

Iran – Muslim and mostly Persian, a few others including Arabs, though they are not the dominant population in Iran.

Lebanon – Muslim, Christian, Jewish
              Mostly Arab, not entirely though, since there’s a mix there.

Syria – Muslim, mostly Arab, but they practice a form of internal racism there, just as do most of the other countries in the region.

UAE – Muslim and presumably mostly Arab, since that’s what they call themselves, the United Arab Emirates. Guess that means they’re Arabs, but a bunch of Central Asians hang out there as well. (along with Donald Trump, and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton to name a few non-Muslims and non-Arabs)

Jordan – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, - Arab, Jewish (again, this time for the race/ethnicity rather than the religion) and a few assorted others.

Turkey – Muslim, Christian, Jewish – Arab, Turkish, Persian, - an even greater minority mix than others because of the European and former Balkan influence. Still a strictly SECULAR state where most of the population are Muslims.

Egypt – Muslim, (at least predominantly) Arab, Jewish, some black Africans. (obviously there are a limited number of black Africans in all of these places.)

And then there’s Qatar, Oman and Yemen.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

4 of 5
These are for the most part Muslim states, and obviously have a predominance of Arabs, but they too have anywhere from 22 to 31 percent of their populations made up of other minorities As an aside, Qatar is among the wealthiest of all of these states, and Yemen is among the poorest. 

So, decide which of these Middle Eastern states (that are in face primarily Muslim nations, despite the fact that it doesn’t have anything to do with the conflict) and then we’ll go down the lists of why they haven’t helped the Gazans. And in this case, my Western IQ is just as helpful as an Arab Muslim’s, despite your designation of me as an ‘outsider’. I know how to read, and I know how to think.

So, when I look at the economies of most of the states above, I can eliminate them right off the bat, as being any ‘help’ to the Gazans.

When I examine the political structures of some of these states, (particularly their own very fragile holds on any sort of Independence themselves) I can eliminate more. For instance, it’s pretty obvious that Iraq is not currently in a position to help the Gazans. Neither is Yemen. (I already told you, it’s a dirt poor country). Lebanon – same thing. They don’t know when they might be up for another attack by Israel. They’ve been attacked by Israel routinely for decades, most recently in the summer of 2006, when they scattered the cluster bombs that just keep on killing, long after they’ve been dumped from the air.

Anyway, the idea behind my project suggestion was to actually look at each one and find out why they haven’t ‘helped’ the Gazans, because I thought it would be helpful to many on the forum, INCLUDING you. I ALREADY KNOW the bottom line reason, based on the geopolitical REALITIES, and those don’t change dependent on whether or not a Muslim or a non-Muslim voices or writes them.

Patrick Henry has already answered the question of why the other Middle Eastern Countries don’t ‘help’ the Gazans more. Two words. NUCLEAR WEAPONS!! Israel has them, and nobody else in the region does.  In other words, the remaining MIDDLE EASTERN countries that might be in a position to help the Gazans, -economically or militarily- have their own security in mind. They don’t wanna be nuked by Israel. This is the result of Israel’s “Deterrence Policy”, which is the one in current use. The policy requires that Israel have nukes for their ‘security’ and that no other nation or state within a 50,000 mile radius have them.
 
So that’s the primary reason there hasn’t been enough help from these other nation states..at least the ones in proximity to Israel’s nukes, and that’s just about anywhere in the region that Israel chooses to drop them. The only reason they haven’t used the heavy duty stuff on Gaza is because it’s too close to their own gated community. There are no guarantees for any of them though. And if there’s one thing we know about Muslims, they don’t entertain these ( 40 million strong) Christian fundamentalist notions of Armageddon, or the Rapture, so they aren’t likely to offer themselves up as victims for nuking by Israel.

And speaking of/to Patrick Henry…I laughed out loud at your question about my coffee blend. It was a very legitimate question. My coffee blend DOES change from time to time, dictated by what’s on sale when I have money to buy it. But no, I haven’t changed it recently.  Must be the new batch of pot. wink

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By cyrena, January 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

5 of 5
Meantime sheynon, it’s sounding like we’ll have to table the project until you can get somebody like Fadel to take your bait, because it is clearly a different argument that you wish to pursue. (Your personal tirade against your personal perception of Islam/Muslims/Arabs in that specific combination. )
So, while you admit to having a ‘tainted’ view because you’re a Westerner, I have no such ‘problems’. Mine is a global citizen mentality, and my intellect is not ‘tainted’ by my ethnic or geographical roots. I would make for a really LOUSY scholar and/or teacher, if I allowed such a mindset.
Let’s correct this as well, since we’re at it…

•  “But we will not talk about Islam since it is not part of the Muslim world, it is only a political posture, is that really right?  Seems to me that the blurring occurs on the Arab side, but we on the non-Arab side can ignore it.”

Rein in the beast or bitch, whichever applies, because it represents condescending sarcasm at best and just plain mean-spirited bitchiness at the worst, and accomplishes nothing. You know how stupidly ignorant it is to say that Islam isn’t part of the Muslim world. Right, I guess Christianity isn’t part of the Protestant World either? Islam is NOT a ‘political posture’ – and we’ve been over this dozens of times. It’s a religion Shenonymous, now practiced by approximately 1.5 billion people world-wide. I think it’s pretty fucking amazing that a self-described atheist would be so overwhelmingly OBSESSED with ANY religion, and STILL not know a damn thing about it, or even try to find out. That’s not a “WESTERN” taint, that’s a PERSONAL mindset taint.

So for the record, the people of Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon, (since they are frequent victims of Israel as well) aren’t having any epiphanies and/or trying to ditch the religion, or escape their evil Muslim patriarchs. They’re trying to dodge aerial bombardments that include white phosphorus,  and gain access to food/water/medical supplies, etc. That is very standard behavior for ANY group of humans, regardless of whether they subscribe to a religion or not.

OK, I’ve gotta go consult with my favorite group of Westerners right now. They are mostly Jews by the way, with a few blurred Arab/Indian/Black/Asian non-believers in the mix, just to keep it real.

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By Leefeller, January 30, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Old Iran has Nukes, Israel has Nukes, Pakistan has nukes, India has nukes, North Kora has Nukes, China has Nukes, we have it from a unreliable source that Elmer Fudd has nukes and some others too. 

Every were a nuke nuke

e yi, e yi,  O.

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By Robert, January 30, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

U.S. Academic Boycott of Israel

For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel

01.29.2009 | Haaretz
By Raphael Ahren

“In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, a group of American university professors has for the first time launched a national campaign calling for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

While Israeli academics have grown used to such news from Great Britain, where anti-Israel groups several times attempted to establish academic boycotts, the formation of the United States movement marks the first time that a national academic boycott movement has come out of America. Israeli professors are not sure yet how big of an impact the one-week-old movement will have, but started discussing the significance of and possible counteractions against the campaign.

“As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions,” the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel stated in its inaugural press release last Thursday. Speaking in its mission statement of the “censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in U.S. universities, as well as U.S. society at large,” the group follows the usual pattern of such boycotts, calling for “non-violent punitive measures” against Israel, such as the implementation of divestment initiatives, “similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”

The campaign was founded by a group of 15 academics, mostly from California, but is, “currently expanding to create a network that embraces the United States as a whole,” according to David Lloyd, a professor of English at the University of Southern California who responded on behalf of the group to a Haaretz query. “The initiative was in the first place impelled by Israel’s latest brutal assault on Gaza and by our determination to say enough is enough.”

“The response has been remarkable given the extraordinary hold that lobbying organizations like AIPAC exert over U.S. politics and over the U.S. media, and in particular given the campaign of intimidation that has been leveled at academics who dare to criticize Israel’s policies,” Lloyd wrote in an e-mail to Haaretz Monday. “Within a short weekend since the posting of the press release, more than 80 academics from all over the country have endorsed the action and the numbers continue to grow.”

Asked if the group would accept the endorsement of Hamas supporters, Lloyd said, “We have no a priori policy with regard to the membership or affiliation of supporters of the boycott so long as they are in accord with the main aims stated in the press release.”

He argued that, “on several occasions Hamas has sought direct negotiations with Israel, a pursuit that constitutes de facto recognition of Israel, and has openly discussed abandoning its call for the destruction of the state of Israel conditional on reciprocal guarantees from Israel.”

Lloyd wrote that to the best of his knowledge, all supporters of the anti-Israel boycott were also opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Asked if logic wouldn’t dictate that he and his colleagues boycott themselves, he responded, “Self-boycott is a difficult concept to realize. But speaking for myself, I would have supported and honored such a boycott had it been proposed by my colleagues overseas.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2632

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By Robert, January 30, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Avi Shlaim on Israeli lies in the West

The newspeak of Israeli propagandists

01.26.2009 | The Guardian, Letters
By Professor Avi Shlaim
Oxford

“What Uri Dromi says about Hamas is pure and poisonous Israeli propaganda (This Hamas hallucination, 23 January). In every respect his article is almost the exact opposite of the truth. Dromi claims that: “The Orwellian mindset of the organisation is as much a barrier to peace as the rockets it fires.” But it is the newspeak of Israeli propagandists like Dromi that is truly Orwellian.

Over the last four weeks the powerful Israeli propaganda machine has been churning out lie after lie about Hamas in order to excuse its own inexcusable onslaught. Israel stopped journalists going into Gaza, preventing any independent reporting on the war crimes its forces were committing. Truth is usually the first casualty in war. Gaza was not even a war in the conventional sense of the word; it was one-sided carnage.

Here are some of the facts Dromi ignores or wilfully misrepresents. First, Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, not the corrupt regime led by Mahmoud Abbas. Second, Hamas spokesmen have repeatedly declared their readiness for a long-term ceasefire. Khalid Mish’al recently did so on these pages (Comment, 6 January). Third, Hamas has a solid record of observing ceasefires, while Israel has a consistent record of sabotaging them. Fourth, even during the ceasefire Israel did not lift its economic blockade of the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza, a form of collective punishment forbidden by international law. Fifth, the offensive unleashed in Gaza was illegal, immoral and unnecessary. If all Israel wanted was to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, all it had to do was to observe the ceasefire brokered by Egypt in June 2008.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2627

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By Robert, January 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Neither The US Nor Israel Is A “Genuine Party To Peace.”

By Noam Chomsky

“January 28, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse”—Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously - both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department, when introducing George Mitchell to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace.

Mitchell is to focus his attention on the Israel-Palestine problem, in the wake of the recent US-Israeli invasion of Gaza. During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president - a fact that did not silence him on many other issues. His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that “if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.” He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.

On January 22, however, the one president was Barack Obama, so he could speak freely about these matters - avoiding, however, the attack on Gaza, which had, conveniently, been called off just before the inauguration.

Obama’s talk emphasized his commitment to a peaceful settlement. He left its contours vague, apart from one specific proposal: “the Arab peace initiative,” Obama said, “contains constructive elements that could help advance these efforts. Now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative’s promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel, and by standing up to extremism that threatens us all.”

Obama is not directly falsifying the Arab League proposal, but the carefully framed deceit is instructive.

The Arab League peace proposal does indeed call for normalization of relations with Israel - in the context - repeat, in the context of a two-state settlement in terms of the longstanding international consensus, which the US and Israel have blocked for over 30 years, in international isolation, and still do. The core of the Arab League proposal, as Obama and his Mideast advisers know very well, is its call for a peaceful political settlement in these terms, which are well-known, and recognized to be the only basis for the peaceful settlement to which Obama professes to be committed. The omission of that crucial fact can hardly be accidental, and signals clearly that Obama envisions no departure from US rejectionism. His call for the Arab states to act on a corollary to their proposal, while the US ignores even the existence of its central content, which is the precondition for the corollary, surpasses cynicism.

The most significant acts to undermine a peaceful settlement are the daily US-backed actions in the occupied territories, all recognized to be criminal: taking over valuable land and resources and constructing what the leading architect of the plan, Ariel Sharon, called “Bantustans” for Palestinians - an unfair comparison because the Bantustans were far more viable than the fragments left to Palestinians under Sharon’s conception, now being realized. But the US and Israel even continue to oppose a political settlement in words, most recently in December 2008, when the US and Israel (and a few Pacific islands) voted against a UN resolution supporting “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (passed 173 to 5, US-Israel opposed, with evasive pretexts).”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21858.htm

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

The world knows Israel has nuclear explosives.  Israel will not use those weapons unless goaded into it.  If they are goaded into it the entire Arab region will be devastated for 3 to 6 months with radiation (Bombshock Forums). That does not count the dead.  All not sheltered properly would be dead.  It does not count that the land will not be livable because of the destruction of buildings, vegetation, water supplies.  It would be sheer insanity to goad them into it.  That is the worst scenario.  The best one is for rational people to start talking.  The best one is for no more Palestinians to be killed, or Israelis.  You don’t think for a second all the Arab world does not know this as well as the rest of the world.

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

“You can be cute mentally and a bitch too…”  You bitcha PH!  Likewise.

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By PatrickHenry, January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 29 at 5:52 am #

The reason Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc fail to provide overt support to the Palistinians is that if dicovered they fear getting nuked.

If Israel is prepared to use such extreme violence with banned weapons against an largely unarmed populace, how far would it be willing to go against an armed one?

By Shenonymous, January 29 at 7:57 am #

You can be cute mentally and a bitch too.  I respect and value your posts whether I agree with them or not.  There is an academic lesson in all of them.

By cyrena, January 29 at 11:55 am #

Did you change your coffee blend?

By Robert, January 29 at 7:15 am #

I viewed your site and would have liked Spielberg directing it, but then the truth of it would have suffered.

No Academy awards, only truth.

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, you are absolutely right!  Egypt was missed!  Oh my gawd.  My bad.  I think however I allowed for “all” the others I had missed naming with my et cetera, but no matter.  Let’s do include Egypt in the specifically named list.  But you cannot vet my question by modifying it to suit your own perception through some Middle Eastern tinted lenses.  I asked a major question that no one in the Muslim world dares to answer, non-Muslims cannot answer, mainly because westerners really just don’t count.  The Palestinians are dying now and will die in the future.  Yes do let’s include all of Islam (uh, the Muslim world).  I love the project.  I am with the program!  I would like to be part of the in-depth examination of each and every Muslim country that has not directly (or indirectly if it can be verified) helped the Palestinians, but I’m tainted, I’m a westerner.  I’d like the Middle Easterners to definitively answer the question.  They can answer, we will closely examine their answers for trooth. Shall I make a chart?

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

•  “Have you ever asked yourself why Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc., or even Iran who mouths off so much against Israel, have not helped the Palestinians?  Have you ever looked at a map of the Arab nations?  The Arab empire?  Man, I do all the time.  It is unconscionable that the Palestinians have to rely on the ineffective Hamas.  As long as there is a war going on, the big Muslim brothers are letting the little people be crushed.  Quite an interesting theater of entertainment, don’t you think?”

AH Shenonymous…
Herein lies a very good question!! One that many are only just now beginning to consider, and I for one, would very much like to address the question of why some if not all of the Arab nations, (which leaves Iran out of it) haven’t done more to help the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. I think you SHOULD have included Egypt though, since they are right smack dab in the middle of if, and have done nothing but assist the Israelis in keeping the Palestinians imprisoned.

So I’m thinking that for an extended sort of ‘project’ we could examine each and every one of the Arab countries that you’ve mentioned, and include Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Turkey and Kuwait as well. (Did I leave anybody out?)

There’s a bit of a paradox in wondering why Iran hasn’t ‘helped’ the Palestinians more, seeing as how the entire Western world has been accusing Iran of doing EXACTLY THAT for years now. I mean, that’s been the ongoing accusation every time Israel blows up a neighboring country. When they attacked Lebanon in 2006, the claim was that it was Iran who provided Hezbollah with weapons. The same thing now with the latest assault on Gaza. Supposedly, these ‘weapons’ being used by Hamas have been provided by Iran. But, since you say that if Hamas had better weapons, they would USE them, apparently this ‘help’ from the Iranians doesn’t exist after all. It’s all very confusing, eh?

Still, I think it would be a great idea to look at each of these countries separately, to answer the question of why they don’t provide more ‘help’ to the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, since technically, Jordan and Lebanon have many of those very same “Palestinians” in their midst. The populations of Jordan, (formerly Transjordan) and Lebanon, and Egypt, and Syria, were part of the “Palestinian population” to begin with. ALL have already fought multiple battles with Israel, and there is still an issue between Syria and Israel over the Golan Heights, which has a population of “Palestinians”.

So maybe a slightly corrected version of the question should be used, like why these other Arab (and mostly Muslim) countries don’t help the PEOPLE of Gaza and the West Bank, rather than “The Palestinians” since that’s a pretty generic term for the region at this point.

There ARE lots of ‘reasons’, though I don’t know how legitimate any of them are. That would require a much closer examination of each state individually.

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

One can make similarities (comparisons) anywhere one chooses.  The question is whether or not they are significant to any degree.  About the comment: there are several billion ‘similarities’ to the Jewish Holocaust was this exaggeration on purpose?  Even if we took each and every murdered Jew of the Holocaust, it wouldn’t add up to much more than 6 million.  Oh well…small matter.  Humans are equal to the degree that they are humans and have equal rights of freedom only because they are human, equally have the right to free speech, equally have a right to own property (if one can afford it), equally have a right to pursue happiness, nothing more really.  We cannot rightfully say people are all equal in terms of IQ?  Or economic status?  or equal in terms of religion?  or even relative tooth decay?  Now I know how really silly that last one is but it is just as silly to claim that all humans are equal when in fact the only claim to being equal is that they are equal in terms of being human and as having equal rights.  Now the free speech right is not one that is honored throughout the world and especially not in the Arab empire.  Nor is freedom of religion for if a Muslim had some sort of personal epiphany, he/she would not be able to leave their religion but in fact would be demonized themselves even killed.  It is also true that all humans do not enjoy equal rights of freedom that others do.  So let us be very careful when we talk about freedoms.  Mahatma Ghandi would have deplored the acts of Islam and Israel.  But we will not talk about Islam since it is not part of the Muslim world, it is only a political posture, is that really right?  Seems to me that the blurring occurs on the Arab side, but we on the non-Arab side can ignore it.

It must do some good to exorcise the Black Slave experience in America and compare Palestinian experience to it.  And the mentality of racism (race hate) does still exist in America, though to a less enough degree that a Black man was elected president, and it took many white votes to do it, let us not forget that factor.  How about the true fact that most Muslims are not people of color.  About 40% according to the book Black Pilgrimage to Islam.  This represents less than 2% of the approximate 30 million African Americans.

The success of logical reasoning lies in the validity of the premises.  No logical reasoning verifies the truth of any claim.  It just tells if subsequent premises and the conclusion follow from an original premise.

What will it take?  Seems like first some ‘self-reflection’ on the Hamas/Palestinian side could make a difference.  It is a simple matter but seems not to be a phrase in the terminology of the Arab dictionary.  Then how about rational discussion between the leaders.  Only they can make agreements.  Nothing we bloggers say affects in the least what is happening there in the Middle East.  You know we are only entertaining ourselves, don’t you. 

By the way, the number of hate crimes in 2006 against Jews in America according to the FBI were 1027, the number against Islamists, 191.  Hmmmm, that’s interesting.  That ratio most likely has changed since 9/11 when the Middle Eastern terrorists attacked America.

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By Robert, January 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

The most moral army in the world

Israeli soldiers recall Gaza attack orders

01.28.2009 | The Times
By Sheera Frenkel in Gaza Strip

“Fire on anything that moves in Zeitoun” – that was the order handed down to Israeli troops in the Givati Shaked battalion, who reduced the eastern Gaza City suburb to little more than rubble in a matter of days.

According to Israeli soldiers who took part in the three-week offensive, the destruction of the area, a known Hamas stronghold, was designed to send a wider message to Gazans. “We pounded Zeitoun into the ground,” an Israeli soldier who was deployed in the area, told The Times.

“We knew everything was booby-trapped, we knew that they would try to kidnap us and if they did that was the end, we were finished . . . so we took no chances. We pounded them with fire; they never had a chance.”

Stretched along the southeastern corner of Gaza City, Zeitoun is where the coastal enclave narrows to just under five miles, serving as the perfect launching point for the Israeli military’s forays deeper into the Gaza Strip.

Soldiers on foot first entered the neighbourhood on January 4, overtaking several key positions there and finally withdrawing on January 14 – destroying much of the area in their wake.

The stories that have emerged from Zeitoun have been some of the most shocking of the war. The Samuni family said they lost 29 members after soldiers forced them all into one building that subsequently came under fire. Survivors said that the initial shelling killed 22 people, while others slowly bled to death after being denied medical care for nearly three days.

Others, including the Helw and Abu Zohar families, have similar accounts of watching loved ones dying of their wounds and coming under fire after emerging from their homes carrying white flags.

Human Rights organisations have called for an independent investigation into the Israeli army’s conduct in Zeitoun, accusing them of denying medical access to the wounded and firing on civilians. An Israeli military spokesman said that the incident was being investigated, and that the accusations were being taken “very seriously”.

The soldier, who broke Israeli military censorship restrictions to talk to The Times and did not wish to be named, was part of the second wave of troops who set up positions in the neighbourhood. “Most of the positions had been secured and we heard that the [Hamas] fighters had gone into the other areas. We had been warned of traps and it was very tense. We were to shoot first and ask questions later.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2630

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By Robert, January 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, January 29 at 11:55 am #

cyrena…I just read your 6 part post/comment. I want to commend you on its points and clarity.

Your position for fairness, compassion, humanity and TRUTH is reflected in the details of your post.

Well done cyrena and keep the TRUTH flowing.

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By OzarkMichael, January 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

cyrena: Ah, but I’ve gotten carried away I see, in my too lengthy response as an externally defined ‘supporter’ of Hamas.

I dont mind reading your long posts. As long as you dont mind my short responses, i wont complain about the length of your posts.

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

This is an admittedly over lengthy (6 part)response to Ozark Michael, though hopefully it will be informative to anyone else who wasn’t already aware of this information, or for those who ARE aware, and just still living in denial, hoping the rest of us don’t figure it out. wink

1 of 6

Ozark Michael writes:

•  “Now I must admit i have not read Mr Said’s books myself. I might do so if the recommendation to do so turns out to be realistic. To test this I would like to hear from his supporters, and those who promote Hamas leaders as if it they were from the same mold as MLK: Do they think Said was wrong in his view as represented above? or was he right?”

~~~

Yes, OM, you SHOULD read some of Prof. Edward Said’s work.

I don’t know who (if anyone) has compared the Hamas Leadership to MLK, but that isn’t the point. There clearly ARE some similarities between the struggles for Palestinian self-determination and the same struggle in the US after centuries of apartheid in this country. Yes, there are acute similarities between the apartheid in the Israel-Palestine ‘conflict’ and the apartheid of South Africa when it existed. And finally, there are several billion ‘similarities’ to the Jewish Holocaust that occurred under the Nazis in Germany and Eastern Europe, as well as the Holocaust of the Native Americans who were also Genocided for the same reason the Arabs have been in the region in question.

Yes, I KNOW that this doesn’t answer any of your questions about what appears to be your life nemesis…the “Evils of Islam” but that’s the reality OM. I don’t know how many other ways I can put this, because God KNOWS I have tried. But, I’m gonna try this again, in the most simplistic way I can possibly find.

The massacres associated with the 41 year long ‘conflict’ between the Jews and the Arabs of the former Palestine are NOT about Islam, and they are NOT about Judaism.

Until you, and all of the others who are so steeped in this myth of Islam being the ‘cause’ of everything, can separate those realities from the rhetoric, then I sadly see very little ‘hope’ of that recognition ever coming about.

So yes, I obviously DO agree with Dr. Said in the above reference, because it’s true that Islam has been demonized for the purposes of creating hype in the Western World.

Now here’s a point to consider for a while, (if you’re willing) that SHOULD be helpful in separating these issues so that you can actually understand what the conflict is about, since we know that it is NOT about Islam.

Consider this…you focus largely on so-called ‘militant’ behavior of Hamas. Well, study the history of Hama OM, and you’ll discover that Hamas was created (with help from the Israelis and the US) only as recently as 1987. (Same year my daughter made her very brief pass-thru). That was only 22 years ago OM, yet the massacres and the collective punishment of the Palestinians has been going on since 1967. (The ethnic cleansing began long before that).

BEFORE Hamas, there was the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It too, was set-up for the same purposes, and again…that meant SELF-DETERMINATION and human EQUALITY for the people of Palestine. It was a SECULAR organization, and while the PLO never had any legitimate status as an actually State Authority (because Palestine has never been recognized as a state) it was a legitimate authority capable of entering into agreements on behalf of this huge dispossessed population of HUMANS OM, NOT “MUSLIMS” per say, but HUMANS.

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

2 of 6
That’s what you’re gonna get from your reading of Edward Said, because HUMANS – regardless of their religious beliefs, or their ancestry, or their race, or their ethnicity are all EQUAL, and because humans WILL fight for their freedom and independence, NO MATTER WHAT!!

So if you want to compare Hamas with the leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, (of which Dr. King was the most notable, but not the ONLY icon of the movement) or with the leadership of Gandhi, then yes, you CAN. Their METHODS of opposing their collective enslavement were different, because they had more resources, and because the apartheid environment here was not the same as it is there, for all sorts of demographic reasons. When Dr. King finally got a chance to visit India, and talk to Gandhi’s son, (Gandhi himself had died by then) he was very cautious and yes, skeptical, about whether or not the theory of Non-violent RESISTANCE could actually WORK in an environment of RACIAL hatred.

THIS is the very important distinction OM. “Conflict” is natural to human beings – between individuals and groups, but the REASONS for the conflicts are infinite. When the reasons are more concrete, (a fight over resources lets say) then there’s a way to resolve it. When the conflict is about something as intangible as a learned hatred of ‘the other’, based on their skin color, (which we can’t do anything about) then it becomes more and more difficult to resolve.

Now EVENTUALLY, this Theory and Practice of Non-violent Resistance did kinda sorta succeed here in the US. HOWEVER, it was by NO MEANS –NON-VIOLENT, and if you haven’t read that history, then maybe you could add that to your reading list as well. READ Dr. Kings Letter From a Birmingham Jail, and RECALL that the leaders of the Student NONVIOLENT Coordinating Committee were the targets of brutal violence; frequently jailed and beaten to within inches of their lives. RECALL the dogs and the water hoses used by the racists of the South, and remember that it took the National Guard to escort 7 little black girls to school. No, it was NOT “NonViolent” and a lot of people died.

But as I said, eventually, those sacrifices did ‘pay off’ to a limited degree, because we were able to incorporate these adjustments into the rule of law that governs us all. But changing the laws does not change ingrained mentalities, so the ‘fix’ has been a dialectical paradox of sorts. In short, these mentalities of race hate still exist at the personal level, among much of the population. However, most are not inclined to ACT on them, because of the legal consequences.  For instance, I can think of a handful of people throughout the course of my life, that I would have quite cheerfully choked the shit out of, were it not for the obvious consequences. I’d go to jail. I don’t wanna go to jail. I wouldn’t survive 24 hours in jail. (with each minute, another chuck of my mind would disintegrate – I already KNOW this!)

Obviously, the same thing applies to religion, because these are IDEOLOGIES. So when a group or an individual can be systematically DEMONIZED in the Court of public opinion, even sane, rational, logical and intelligent people can be led away from the REAL reasons for the conflict, because it’s just too easy to blame it on “Islam” or blame it on something intangible. After a certain number of years, this demonization becomes the accepted ‘properties’ of whatever the hype campaign was designed to instill.

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

3 of 6

It is that to which Dr. Said refers when he says this is all a bunch of hyper-demonization of Islam in general, and the racist component is pretty obvious. MOST (though certainly not all) Muslims are people of color. The most populous Muslim nation in the world, (Indonesia) are certainly people of color. The Arabs are generally people of color as well, though of course we know that genetic color stretch is an infinite one. (which is why my niece for some reason though her mother was white until she was about 7 years old. She ‘looks’ white – at least to a kid focused on basic details, like the difference between green and orange or black and white). Anyway, yes…this is a manifestation of racism, and the connection here should be a no-brainer.

Ah, but I’ve gotten carried away I see, in my too lengthy response as an externally defined ‘supporter’ of Hamas. It’s not about supporting or not supporting Hamas, at least as an American citizen with no personal ‘roots’ to the region. So my so-called ‘support’ for Hamas is based on my overwhelming support of Humanity et al, and my very firm commitment to the rule of law. I’ve already mentioned that conflict is inherent in human societies, at least as far back as we can go. But it took the atrocities of WWII and the concerted efforts of a world community that came together to find a way to prevent such things from ever happening again.

RECALL that the atrocities of Hitler and Stalin had ZERO to do with religious ideologies, but that in Hitler’s case, they were most certainly based on RACISM. The Jews had been demonized for years themselves, and the fundamental core of the Nazi ideology was the genetic SUPERIORITY of the Aryan race. So Hitler went as far as to make sure that NOSES were measured, (no, I’m not kidding, I have a powerpoint presentation with all of these protocols that were used in the construction and enforcement of that particular Totalitarian ideology) to ‘weed out’  any possible ‘genetic’ that would or could interfere with this ‘purity’ of the Aryan line. In the process, millions of Jews (and blacks and others by the way) were exterminated. In the process of that extermination, there were in fact many courageous Jews that fought back against their persecutors as best they could. But for the most part, that population, at that time, pretty much marched dumbly to their graves. (lots of photos of that as well).

It was from those atrocities that the Geneva Conventions were born, and the Human Rights Laws began to take more shape. It was the world’s unanimous response of NEVER AGAIN. And they meant, ‘never again”…to ANYBODY!!

But, it hasn’t worked out, and so there have continued to be atrocities where the fundamental component is that of racism and/or some other form of bigotry.  To the extent that I supposedly ‘support’ Hamas,  mine is an intellectual and ideological support of a political organization that was democratically elected by the dispossessed Palestinians, in what has been a 41-year long struggle for self-determination and the human dignity that comes with it. I will not ‘blame’ the actions of militants within ANY group, on the organization of Hamas, or their leaders, or more importantly—- what they represent in their struggle, any more than I would blame all the citizens or the leadership of the USA for what Timothy McVeigh, or David Koresh, or any other psychos have perpetrated against us. And, THEY didn’t even have any legitimate reasons for their atrocities. Forty years of enslavement and persecution gives the Palestinian militants a whole BUNCH of reasons. In fact, after this many years of oppression, it gives ALL of them a bunch of reasons.

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

4 of 6
That said, I DON’T approve of the launching of their homemade weapons, if ONLY because it doesn’t do them any good..at least in terms of practicality, and the ultimate goal of freeing themselves from the brutal oppression of the Israelis. AT THE SAME TIME..60 years of their own history has already proven to them that continued submission hasn’t done them a damn bit of good either. BECAUSE..the Zionists of Israel have been as committed as any other group on the face of the earth, to the EXTERMINATION of the Arab Muslim population in their midst. In other words, the sane person turned militant after 40 plus years of brutal oppression has little choice about whether they survive or not, so they have ZERO to lose. They’re gonna die anyway, (this last operation cost them 1300 – white flag waving civilians among them) so what the hell, eh? Emiliano Zapata said it best: “It is better to die on ones feet than to live on ones knees.”

Meantime, the actual LEADERSHIP of Hamas has been far more restrained and cooperative in forcing peace arrangements, because again, it is the PALESTINIANS who have everything to gain from a lasting peace agreement, and it is the Israelis that have everything to LOSE from the very same lasting peace agreement. Why? Well, here we go again. Because the bottom line goal of the Zionist agenda (and that’s the Israeli STATE agenda) is to possess and control the entire region. Any ‘peace’ agreement would REQUIRE a geographical space and the appropriate social infrastructure to support a Palestinian state, and the Israelis have ALWAYS said that they will simply NEVER give up an inch of that space for non-Jews to exist. I can’t over or underestimate the bottom line reality of that. It is what it is.
Edward Said is good reading Ozark Michael, but you won’t find any ‘excuses’ for Islam or any other religion, because they don’t need any. What you’ll get from him is the same commitment to the equality of all men and women, and their equal rights to survive, free of oppression or enslavement. My cursory read of the Old Testament doesn’t cover anything like this. In fact, it’s full of hellfire and damnation. Said doesn’t go there.

Last but not least, the choice between a ‘right or wrong view’ from Dr. Said or anybody else is a false choice. Because, while there are no singularly ‘right’ views from a purely ideological perspective, (there can be MANY ‘right views’) there ARE WRONG ones. But, it’s still not an either/or choice. My theory is that the ‘either/or’ mentality is a flaw of the human condition because it is unable to consider or even conceive of other solutions. Oftentimes however, the reason we can’t conceive of other solutions, is because we are unaware of the real root of the problem to begin with.

The Israel-Palestine situation is exactly that. The Israelis say they just want peace and security, and those pesky Arabs have been bothering them relentlessly with their homemade rockets. (They use the same claims against the population of Lebanon of course, and have done so for decades).  Now EVEN if that were true, (and it’s a joke in terms of relativity – 10 or 12 Israelis killed during the past 10 years from violence related to the Palestinian resistance compared to the 400 plus automobile casualties that Israel suffers annually) wouldn’t it make sense to at least TRY to find out WHY these people keep ‘harassing’ them? Or, do they basically already know, and have managed to setup such an impenetrable state of collective psychological denial that they will never acknowledge it in any form of fashion?

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

5 of 6

It would seem obvious that if Israel really did have their concern for peace and security at the forefront of their ideology, they have the solution in their hands, and ONLY they do, because they CAN give back what they STOLE, and that would resolve the conflict. The so-called rockets that the militants (NOT Hamas leadership, but militants) fire in the direction of Israel are landing on OCCUPIED TERRITORY. If the territory/space/land/etc belonging to the Palestinians wasn’t OCCUPIED by the Israelis, then they clearly wouldn’t have these ‘security’ concerns. Another no-brainer. If ya don’t want to be run over by vehicles traveling on space designated for such travel, then it makes sense NOT to set up your sleeping area in the middle of same spaces. Again, a no-brain solution to a security issue.
Moving along, we KNOW (by now at least) that while Israel COULD utilize this solution, (just draw their ‘existence’ back to within the confines of the original agreement) and gain all the peace and security they want, they choose NOT to. In fact, they choose to continue the expansion of their ‘existence area’ and that requires the bulldozing of the lives of those who are currently squashed into the space, as they have continued to be for 60 years. From there, it LOGICALLY FOLLOWS, that Israel doesn’t REALLY want ‘peace’ or ‘security’ that badly. OR, they don’t want it as badly as they want access to and physical control over the rest of the region, and SPECIFICALLY ITS NATURAL RESOURCES.

This isn’t a ‘biased’ personal opinion on this, but rather the reality of a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning. It’s what any successful moderator of conflicts must always know going in. We must always know what the parties REALLY WANT, which is almost never what they claim to want, at least at the beginnings of any such negotiations. In the case of Israel, they’ve NEVER admitted to what they really want, but their actions speak louder of course. So, we look at the 41 year occupation of lands that were never ‘awarded’ to Israel by the Bible or any legitimate world authority, INCLUDING the UN when it was set-up for Israel in 1948. What we see (from that activity of brutal occupation) is what Israel REALLY wants. They want that territory, and they want it devoid of non-Jews. That’s what’s on the ‘table’ as the anticipated/desired/hopeful outcome for the Israelis.

So consider that. What will it take, to give the Israelis what they REALLY want? Realistically, it will take the extermination of all non-Jews in the region. Hopefully you can understand the dilemma that poses to any viable resolution with any other party made up of humans whose instinct for survival is inherent. (that’s the case with MOST living species by the way).

So, what to do? Is there any solution, or is it simply doomed to work out the same way things did for the Native Americans? There aren’t many of us left, and 98.8% of us live in abject poverty in our Indigenous land, corralled on reservations and isolated from the collective benefits available to the rest of society. Would the Israelis ever be satisfied with allowing even 1.2% of the Palestinians to exist in the region?

The answer to that might be the ONLY solution. That is to suggest that there are probably many Israelis, and we KNOW there are hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the rest of the world, who WOULD be satisfied with sharing that space. We do know that, because these people have made their voices clear. But, they don’t hold the reins of power in the Israeli decision making procedure..specifically the decisions to carry out massacres on Gaza, the West Bank, or Lebanon, or whomever the Arab target of the moment happens to be. (Israel is ALWAYS fighting SOMEBODY. Just look at their history)

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

6 of 6

Now after you consider all of this, (and there’s far more, but this is enough for now) try to make a connection between this and Islam. You won’t be able to. It won’t fit, because such a connection does not exist. What we’ve watched happening in the Israeli-Palestine ‘conflict’ is absolutely NO different than the circumstances surrounding the colonization of the Americas by Britain, France, and Spain. THAT operation entailed the removal/extermination/cleansing of the Native Population, and THAT didn’t have anything to do with ‘religion’ either, because the Natives didn’t HAVE ONE. (at least not one of the Big Three, and theirs doesn’t come with a text)

OK, I swear I didn’t mean to write all of this, and of course no one is forced to read it. It’s just been another attempt to explain how Islam has nothing to do with the issues at stake in Palestine, which is of course my standard theory. This same set of “conditions” has existed in other societies with different or NO religious identities. HOWEVER, (and this is the point of Prof. Said that you address) “Religion” can ALWAYS be used or co-opted as the ‘excuse’ to make a bogus claim, or for the purposes of demonizing an entire group of people. It’s been happening since the beginning of time. That doesn’t make the hype real though.

Here are some interesting links (and short) videos from the MSM on stuff that we almost NEVER see from them.  One is even 60 minutes; a FIRST (as far as I know) for them or any other mainstream media to report from on the ground in Gaza or the West Bank.

Links
Israeli apartheid/60 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYAgyv2MKyI&feature;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALpiW6R_Z9A&NR=1

And here’s the quote again from Prof. Said:

“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves; difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”

—Prof. Edward W. Said (1935-2003)

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Well I am of the working class Robert.  You seem to be the deficient one. I have no feelings and I am smarter than you..  If the shoe fits Robert, wear it.  I am off to see the wizard and to kill the wicked witch.  Bye for now.

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By Robert, January 29, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous…got her feelings hurt! Your fancy words & elitist posturing are not impressive at all. You must be one lonely arrogant loon who seems to think that she is smarter than anyone else…and that is about all what you are emitting here. I have seen too many posters from several previous threads who dished it right back at you and their dishing was NOT passive at all; they through the kitchen sink at you. So there is really nothing new from your side. BTW, you seem to have lots of time to post, give your decubitus ulcers a chance to heal!   

The Palestine/Israeli conflict needs people who possess compassion, humanity and TRUTH.

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Well here is the “cute” brainwashed Shenonymous, naw, She ain’t cute, Robert must have meant Leefeller who has such a refined sense of humor that Robert and others who genuflect with him cannot qualify in the least to appreciate.  How utterly inane of Robert.  His only talent is to be exactly what he calls those who don’t agree with him as tunnel visioned.  He cannot transcend his small hallucinations.  I think he must be an old man who has nothing to do but sit around posting on TD.  He deflects real answers to real questions because he has no answers and no sense of humor.  We win!  Without a bullet!  Well, guess we did shoot him down in a manner of speaking.  And he is prone to patronizing poor deluded PatrickHenry, the wonderful Chesapeake fisherman.  Too bad the poor Palestinians cannot go fishing.

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By Robert, January 29, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry…don’t worry about those who are trying to be “cute”, most of their posts/comments reflect how much they are harnessed with pure tunnel vision. We also have the detractors, brainwashed, the flatterers…etc…

Anyway, when you have a little time, take a look at this video, I’d like to hear your input & thoughts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land

U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

How Israel manipulates and distorts American public perceptions

“Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how—through the use of language, framing and context—the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied territories appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one.”

07/17/06 Run time 79 Minutes


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14055.htm

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By Leefeller, January 29, 2009 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

“however a majority of them are an arrogant, bickering, selfish little people who are more more concerned about themselves than those in the world around them”.

Well now, that I know because just I have read it, that most are arrogant, bickering little people, I surly must pick a side?  Actually sounds like an apt description of good old U.S. 

This is to suggest that the other side is chock full of humble, respectful giving big people? So it is the people that are the problem not their governments, manipulative politics, not the arses in charge? 

She, I am under an unfounded assumption, that the rest of the Palestine neighbors do not care a tinkers damn about the Palestine people, even looked down on by them? Sepharad mentioned something reflecting such, earlier?

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Good morning.  At least we on this forum will have a morning, no?

Your feet, PatrickHenry, must have thick calluses on them for checking out all those arrogant Israelis.  And say one word of sympathy for Israelis or one word about Palestinians possibly considering being reflective at all and you call the name Zionist.  I am not a Zionist nor a Jew nor a Muslim nor anything else.  I do not believe in nationalism, but I do believe in patriotism that protects the people.  I do not believe in gods of any flavor, I believe in human beings.  I definitely do not believe in keeping people ignorant but believe in giving people a half rat’s ass chance at a hostile world.  I have said I did not condone the excessive artillery attack, but I am not a general who wants to win the battle.  Given better armaments, Hamas would have used them.  So, do not be indignant with me, PatrickHenry.  Looking at the fishbowl from without gives a neutral a completely different perspective than the goldfish.  Which you obviously are incapable of understanding. 

Have you ever asked yourself why Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc., or even Iran who mouths off so much against Israel, have not helped the Palestinians?  Have you ever looked at a map of the Arab nations?  The Arab empire?  Man, I do all the time.  It is unconscionable that the Palestinians have to rely on the ineffective Hamas.  As long as there is a war going on, the big Muslim brothers are letting the little people be crushed.  Quite an interesting theater of entertainment, don’t you think?

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By PatrickHenry, January 29, 2009 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 29 at 1:54 am #

Gee Shenonymous after awhile your true zionist colors shine through your post.  Blame the Palestinian victims for transgressions the Israelis have been pulling on them for years…often unprovoked.

Yes Israel has many fine gifted people, and many of them do have compassion for their neighbors, however a majority of them are an arrogant, bickering, selfish little people who are more more concerned about themselves than those in the world around them.  By example, they are discrimminatory, racist and believe they are exempt from any international standard of conduct except their own.  I guess that where “the chosen” perpetuates.

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By Shenonymous, January 29, 2009 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

Apparently the Israelis are better at war aren’t they?  The Israelis lost 13.  The Palestinians 1285. 40% children.  It was reported that in the past eight years, 20 Israelis died form rocket and mortar attacks launched by militants in Gaza.  I suppose it is all right for Israelis to get picked off by such hostilities.  An Israeli here and there killed doesn’t matter.  Numbers are just numbers.  Each of those numbers on both sides had names, had a life.  The devastation of this small war should be a reminder of what the Israelis can do, not what ‘will’ do as one biased reporter wrote.  It is imperative that Hamas begin to think about the children of the Palestinians.  Instead the reporters and others on this forum keep fomenting the misery that is both Palestinian and Israeli. 

What is most interesting is that there has not been one, not even one, on the Palestinian side who reflects what their part has been in this conflict.  Well they always have Finklestein, an ex-Jew.

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By Leefeller, January 29, 2009 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Now we have learned some U.S. Investigators, not all but some believe that there may be some Israelis again very much engaged (how much)  in spying in and on the U.S.  Now are these some investigators the same Investigators who told us about the weapons of Mass Deception?

These some investigators also believe these very much engaged in spying in or on the U.S. Israelis may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11.  Things like, were the Israel happy dance was to be held on the streets of New Jersey, except the band did not show. Another thing some investigators believe, the Israel spies may have also known that Bush was going to read his favorite book “My Pet Goat” in a grammar school but were not sure about Florida.  May have known these things; makes the believed Israels very much engaged spies so much smarter then our some investigators?

It is nice to know that Fox has some contacts in the U.S. Investigator department, especially connections to some U.S. Investigators who believe there may be something going on with people who may have known some things they didn’t tell them before September 11. If one is to select a promoter of speculation one may believe Fox may be the leader. 

What are the percentages of believed knowing of things to believed not knowing of things?

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By Sepharad, January 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
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Patrick Henry, the graffiti is not admirable and I’m sure IDF will punish whoever wrote such things. This is not a window into the typical IDF soul, but perhaps written by someone in the midst of a confusing, horrifying battle, no way to tell what he saw and did and ducked. Look through your window into another IDF soul and tell me what you see. This particular soul belonged to Gabriel, an IDFnik I loved who died in the second intifada in Jenin. They were clearing houses from which they’d taken fire for demolition, a Palestinian on the street says there’s an old guy in a wheelchair on the upper floor who can’t leave. So this young IDF guy, my cousin’s son, tells his squad to wait across the street and walks into the door on his way to see if there’s really someone up there. A booby trap explosion brings most of the house down. He was a captain, not one of those who refused to serve in Judea, but still a member in Peace Now, like the rest of his family. Anecdotes are never the whole picture. Life for Israelis is arguably as complicated as it is for Palestinians over there in that twice-promised land where they both feel they belong.

All this stuff about Israeli spies makes me think people are really unfamiliar with spy v. spy post-Cold War. There are numerous books written by “old spies” and they’re very interesting because you get an excellent view into international espionage. Spy agencies deal with each other, betray each other and lie to each other on a routine basis. Mossad and Shin Bet are just a couple of them. The Arabs, particularly Jordan, have highly effective Mukbarats (“secret police” but my spelling iffy), and the American, French and British spy agencies are like all the others, making and breaking deals, double-crossing each other. Also good: Chinese and Russians and Germans (the latter one of the relatively benevolent groups). Lots of big egos, lots of disagreement, and lots of reasons to write books when they retire. But if you read enough of them closely and compare, it’s enough material to more or less deduce what was going on in the world at a given time. Educational, if you can do some independent documentation.

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Norman Finkelstein speaking at the University of Alberta on January 22, 2009. His talk dealt with Israel’s responsibility in the situation in Gaza and the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

01.23.09 | Express News

By Geoff McMaster

“January 23, 09 - Edmonton-Israel’s attack on Gaza had little to do with self-defense and everything to do with instilling fear among Palestinian people, says political scientist Norman Finkelstein.

Invited to speak on campus by the Edmonton chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Network, Finkelstein accused Israel of deliberately killing Gaza civilians in order to cement their control over the occupied territory.

He said the incursion was only the latest in a more than 60-year history of “terrorizing the Arab world periodically into submission, and reminding them who is in charge in the Middle East.”

Following its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, Israel was waiting for an opportunity to seek revenge, Finkelstein claimed. It turned to Gaza when “the feebly armed resistance, Hamas, had defiantly resisted Israeli dictate.

“As Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, UN sanctuaries… and slaughtered and incinerated Gaza’s defenseless civilian population, Israeli commentators gloated that Gaza was to Lebanon as a second sitting for an exam is to the first: a second chance to get it right.

“There’s no pretense here that this war had anything to do with rocket attacks-it’s about getting it right,” and restoring Israel’s “deterrence capacity” he said, adding that Hamas fired rockets into Israel only after Israel broke a ceasefire agreement and killed seven militants.

The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein received his doctorate at Princeton University in 1988 and has since been a fervent and controversial critic of Israeli aggression in Palestine. In five books, including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering and Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, he has attacked what he sees as the Israeli/U.S. propaganda machine.

Along the way, his polemical style has alienated many commentators on the Middle East, among them the pro-Israeli author and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has charged that he is “guilty of various forms of intellectual dishonesty” and that his “entire literary catalogue is one preposterous and discredited ad hominem attack after another.” Finkelstein’s supporters include the prominent political dissident Noam Chomsky.

Finkelstein has held a number of academic appointments but was last year denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago, some contend because of the controversial nature of his work. He is now an independent scholar and active public intellectual.

Some 400 people crowded into Dinwoodie Lounge in the Students Union Building Thursday to hear him speak. He had intended to discuss the non-violent example of Mahatma Gandhi in resolving the Middle East conflict but decided to change his topic at the last minute because of the crisis in Gaza.

Even before the Gaza invasion, he said, Israel had “starved the population” and “reduced it to abject despair” through a long-standing blockade. When United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, visited Gaza, she reported having witnessed “a civilization being destroyed,” he said.

In December Israel sent in the full weight of its military arsenal, achieving a kill ratio of 100 to one, said Finkelstein. More than 1,300 Gaza civilians were killed in the conflict, one third of them children, according to the latest figures from the United Nations. Last Sunday Israel and Gaza’s Hamas leaders reached a ceasefire agreement.

In addition to terrorizing the population, Israel was also intent on discrediting Hamas, who had signaled it was ready to agree on a resolution to end the conflict, said Finkelstein.”


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21860.htm

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By Sepharad, January 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, Your mention of Carter’s book in favor of two states reminded me that being basically booklorn I have the perfect excuse to go out and buy a NEW book. (I’m a great patron of used books stores as well as new, but use Amazon if I can’t find one I want anywhere else. I’d used Amazon more than I do if I weren’t afraid it is driving bookstores out of business.) I recall that when Anwar Sadat was negotiating with Begin at Camp David, he said to a friend, of Carter, “I like this man. He was once a farmer like I was, so I’ll trust him.”

Clicked on a Dylan video of “Hurricane” and it took me way back to old voter registering days. Then I still thought that once everyone could have the vote it would solve all problems. Later I thought—boy, was I naive—that if we could just get the FoI Act passed then we would know what our government was up to and could control it better. Now I’m not so confident about anything, but still love Bob Dylan. His “Warmaker” used to be my favorite, but lately I’m more into his songs along the lines of “The Cat’s in the Well and the Wolf’s Lookin’ Down.” He did a live performance at Berkeley last year and a friend got us tickets but we were so far up and so far back that I couldn’t see his face, really, and also had a hard time clamber up the steep bleachers.   

Have been riding down the Rio Grande in 20-mile segments per weekend day; beautiful. This Saturday I’ll think of Hurricane in a cell instead of on a beautiful stream or possibly a horse, as per Dylan.

Re “dancing Israelis”, are there any other kind? They/we dance before battles, at weddings, celebrating Purim ... anywhere at the least provocation. Sitting in a cafe on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem one Saturday night, crowded as usual, saw a group of young Hasid men talking excitedly on a corner for awhile then one of them started jumping Russian-style and in the blink of an eye they were ALL dancing in a circle, leaping, singing, blocking traffic but no one cared. At home, I have a Hasidic friend named Schmuley who lost both legs in one of the wars over there, gets around in a specially-adapted round wheelchair and HE dances. He even teaches a class in old Hasidic as well as the Sufi’s dervish dances. Even I dance the Hora every chance I get, which is about as logical as constantly riding horses despite 20 years of aggressive rheumatoid arthritis. (Met Schmuley where I swim for exercise.)

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By Sepharad, January 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment
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Inherit—I know what you are saying is true but sometimes I just can’t resist trying one more time to drop in a little dollop of sanity. Truthfully, I don’t really mind being called stuff but what does bother me is that some of these people are walking around, voting, talking, either certifiable or stoned out of their minds. My brilliant husband looks over my shoulder once in awhile. During the financial crisis he said he couldn’t decide if the diggers were CIA, taking checks from Rockefeller and the Club of Rome, or are just anti-Semitic counter-revolutionaries. He is not Jewish, but is convinced there are white supremacists on the site who wouldn’t mind bringing back ‘30s Germany. What he couldn’t understand was why I keep reading and posting, until I thought about it and told him. I’ve been a progressive liberal all my life and resent having that useful political niche degraded by people who only pretend to be progressives to spread their anti-Semitic slime. Bernard Lewis said that despite all their disclaimers, people who literally hate Israel are at bottom anti-Semites. (I also tell myt husband that there are enough smart, well-informed, interesting, fact-finding and fact-seeking people like yourself and Shenonymous whose input I value, even—especially—when we are not in agreement on some point. Also, I truly do love Israel, find much to admire in many Arabs, Turks, and others whose Islam is tempered the way Edward Said’s was, with intellect, and really object to the hijacking of all that potential by terrorists, bigots, the intellectually blinkered and all flavors of religious fascists. There are too many real problems in the world for us to get lost in the murky stew cooked up by illogic and mean-spiritedness and arrogant ignorance.

This afternoon, I was telling husband that you’d been in Alexandria so he googled up the map of the area and pondered it. An Egyptian has been urging us to to come ride horses down the Nile—which seemed kind of a fantasy till we looked at the map and traced a possible route from the Nile to Alexandria. If we were really brave(and rich) we’d try to ferry the horses across to Eilat and carry on from there. Alexandria’s long-since burnt libraries remain alive in my imagination, and on the map it looked as if there were beautiful strange pools and some sort of coliseum but couldn’t tell if the city looked old or was more modern. What were your impressions? (They may be as close as I ever get to Alexandria!)

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Israel Is Spying In And On The U.S.? Part 1

BRIT HUME, HOST: It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work.

Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a four-part series.

Published: 12/12/01 FOX News. Part 1 of a 4 part series:  Part 2-  Part 3 - Part 4

These items have since been removed from the FOX News web site:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7545.htm

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Guess they are better at graffiti too.

Doesn’t anybody have anything constructive to say?  I can find ugliness on both sides anytime I want.  But I don’t go looking for it because it is a waste of time. Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer can be pulled up at any second.  I don’t think their bias is useful.  Neither is Christopher Ketcham’s.

Now Jimmy Carter’s new book about a two-state solution is at least a dance step in the right direction regardless of what you think of Carter.  Why not read that then talk about its virtues or vices. The little minds found on this forum, cannot get into a real solution.  It is simply Lex Talionis mentality.  The Palestinians are the ones who lose.  Hamas cannot protect them.  Hamas provides the means for them to be killed and maimed and homes and businesses destroyed.  Hamas is wonderfully healthy for the Palestinians.

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By PatrickHenry, January 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

A closer look in the mind of the IDF soldier.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3663008,00.html

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By Leefeller, January 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

So now, I have heard the gospel, Israel has spied against the United States, or did they spy at or in the United States, in either case, I have also heard the United States is spying against its people.  Our alleged rights as they are called really should be called privileges, have been mutilated and circumcised by Bush, which seems to me a bigger problem than dancing Jews.  Priorities of speculations seems the order of the day.

My recollections are the people dancing looked like   Palestinians and they seemed to be women and children in the streets of Palestine, sure did not look like New Jersey, but I have never been to either? The way the media works they could have shown pictures from a Palestine wedding and I did not see anyone playing a clarinet so in speculation it was not Jewish.

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Gee looks like the Israelis are better at everything.  Music, art, stocks (oh sorry, Madoff is Jewish, but he certainly knew very well how to dupe even his own tribe), war.  Interesting.  What do you make of that?  By the way,  whose God is winning?

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?

CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM

Counterpunch

Thursday, March 8, 2007

“On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin known as a BOLO ­- “be on lookout”—was issued with regard to three suspicious men who that morning were seen leaving the New Jersey waterfront minutes after the first plane hit World Trade Center 1. Law enforcement officers across the New York-New Jersey area were warned in the radio dispatch to watch for a “vehicle possibly related to New York terrorist attack”:

White, 2000 Chevrolet van with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion. FBI Newark Field Office requests that, if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals.

At 3:56 p.m., twenty-five minutes after the issuance of the FBI BOLO, officers with the East Rutherford Police Department stopped the commercial moving van through a trace on the plates. According to the police report, Officer Scott DeCarlo and Sgt. Dennis Rivelli approached the stopped van, demanding that the driver exit the vehicle. The driver, 23-year-old Sivan Kurzberg, refused and “was asked several more times [but] appeared to be fumbling with a black leather fanny pouch type of bag”. With guns drawn, the police then “physically removed” Kurzberg, while four other men ­- two more men had apparently joined the group since the morning ­- were also removed from the van, handcuffed, placed on the grass median and read their Miranda rights.

They had not been told the reasons for their arrest. Yet, according to DeCarlo’s report, “this officer was told without question by the driver [Sivan Kurzberg],‘We are Israeli. We are not your problem.Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.’” Another of the five Israelis, again without prompting, told Officer DeCarlo ­- falsely ­- that “we were on the West Side Highway in New York City during the incident”. From inside the vehicle the officers, who were quickly joined by agents from the FBI, retrieved multiple passports and $4,700 in cash stuffed in a sock. According to New Jersey’s Bergen Record, which on September 12 reported the arrest of the five Israelis, an investigator high up in the Bergen County law enforcement hierarchy stated that officers had also discovered in the vehicle “maps of the city with certain places highlighted. It looked like they’re hooked in with this”, the source told the Record, referring to the 9/11 attacks. “It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.”

The five men were indeed Israeli citizens. They claimed to be in the country working as movers for Urban Moving Systems Inc., which maintained a warehouse and office in Weehawken, New Jersey. They were held for 71 days in a federal detention center in Brooklyn, New York, during which time they were repeatedly interrogated by FBI and CIA counterterrorism teams, who referred to the men as the “high-fivers” for their celebratory behavior on the New Jersey waterfront. Some were placed in solitary confinement for at least forty days; some were given as many as seven liedetector tests. One of the Israelis, Paul Kurzberg, brother of Sivan, refused to take a lie-detector test for ten weeks. Then he failed it.

Meanwhile, two days after the men were picked up, the owner of Urban Moving Systems, Dominik Suter, a 31- year-old Israeli national, abandoned his business and fled the United States for Israel. Suter’s departure was abrupt, leaving behind coffee cups, sandwiches, cell phones and computers strewn on office tables and thousands of dollars of goods in storage.”

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march2007/080307Israel.htm

http://www.counterpunch.org/ketcham03072007.html

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?

CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM

Thursday, 3/8/07

“The CIA, along with the 9/11 Commission in its adoption of the CIA story, claims that Mihdhar and Hazmi were placed on the watch list solely due to the agency’s own efforts, with no help from Mossad. Their explanation of how the pair came to be placed on the watch list, however, is far from credible and may have served as a cover story to obscure the Mossad briefing [See Ketcham’s sidebar story—“The Kuala Lumpur Deceit”]. This brings up the possibility that the CIA may have known about the existence of the alleged Israeli agents and their mission, but sought, naturally, to keep it quiet. A second, more troubling scenario, is that the CIA may have subcontracted to Mossad, given that the agency was both prohibited by law from conducting intelligence operations on U.S. soil, and lacked a pool of competent Arabic-fluent field officers. In such a scenario, the CIA would either have worked actively with the Israelis or quietly abetted an independent operation on U.S. soil. In his 9/11 investigative book, The Looming Tower, author Lawrence Wright notes that FBI counterterrorism agents, infuriated at the CIA’s failure to fully share information about Mihdhar and Hazmi, speculated that “the agency was shielding Mihdhar and Hazmi because it hoped to recruit them”. The two al-Qaeda men, Wright notes, “must have seemed like attractive opportunities; however, once they entered the United States they were the province of the FBI…” Wright further observes that the CIA’s reticence to share its information was due to a fear “that prosecutions resulting from specific intelligence might compromise its relationship with foreign services”. When in the spring of 2002 the scenario of CIA’s domestic subcontracting to foreign intelligence was posed to the veteran CIA/NSA intelligence operative, with whom I spoke extensively, the operative didn’t reject it out of hand. The operative noted that in recent years the CIA’s human intelligence assets, known as “humint” ­- spooks on the ground who conduct surveillances, make contacts, and infiltrate the enemy ­- had been “eviscerated” in favor of the NSA’s far less perilous “sigint”, or signals intelligence program, the remote interception of electronic communications. As a result, “U.S. intelligence finds itself going back to sources that you may not necessarily like to go back to, but are required to”, the veteran intelligence operative said. “We don’t like the fact, but our humint structures are gone. Israeli intel’s humint is as strong as ever. If you have an intel gap, those gaps are not closed overnight. It takes years and years of diligent work, a high degree of security, talented and dedicated people, willing management and a steady hand. It is not a fun business, and it’s certainly not one without its dangers. If you lose that capability, well organizations find themselves having to make a pact with the devil. The problem [in U.S. intel] is very great”.

If such an understanding did exist between CIA and Mossad with regard to al-Qaeda’s U.S. operatives, the complicity would explain a number of oddities: it would explain the CIA’s nearly incoherent, and perhaps purposely deceptive, reconstruction of events as to how Mihdhar and Hazmi joined the watch list; it might even explain the apparent brazenness of the Israeli New Jersey cell celebrating on the morning of 9/11 (protected under the CIA wing, they were free to behave as they pleased). It would also explain the assertion in one of the leading Israeli dailies, Yedioth Ahronoth, that in the months prior to 9/11, when the Israeli “art students” were being identified and rounded up, the CIA “actively promoted their expulsion”. The implication in the Yedioth Ahronoth article was that the CIA was simply being careless, not trying to spirit the Israelis safely out of the country. At this point we cannot be certain.”

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

PART II

“Israeli spying against the U.S. is of course hotly denied by both governments. In 2002, responding to my own questions about the “art students”, Israeli embassy spokesman Mark Regev issued a blanket denial. “Israel does not spy on the United States”, Regev told me. The pronouncements from officialdom are strictly pro forma, as it is no secret that spying by Israel on the United States has been wide-ranging and unabashed. A 1996 General Accounting Office report, for example, found that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally”. More recently, a former intelligence official told the Los Angeles Times in 2004 that “[t]here is a huge, aggressive, ongoing set of Israeli activities directed against the United States”. It is also routine that Israeli spying is ignored or downplayed by the U.S. government (the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life in prison in 1986, is a dramatic exception). According to the American Prospect, over the last 20 years at least six sealed indictments have been issued against individuals allegedly spying “on Israel’s behalf”, but the cases were resolved “through diplomatic and intelligence channels” rather than a public airing in the courts. Career Justice Department and intelligence officials who track Israeli espionage told the Prospect of “long-standing frustration among investigators and prosecutors who feel that cases that could have been made successfully against Israeli spies were never brought to trial, or that the investigations were shut down prematurely”.

The Questions That Await Answers

Remarkably, the Urban Moving Systems Israelis, when interrogated by the FBI, explained their motives for “celebration” on the New Jersey waterfront a celebration that consisted of cheering, smiling, shooting film with still and video cameras and, according to the FBI, “high-fiving” ­- in the Machiavellian light of geopolitics. “Their explanation of why they were happy”, FBI spokesman Margolin told me, “was that the United States would now have to commit itself to fighting [Middle East] terrorism, that Americans would have an understanding and empathy for Israel’s circumstances, and that the attacks were ultimately a good thing for Israel”. When reporters on the morning of 9/11 asked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the effect the attacks would have on Israeli- American relations, he responded with a similar gut analysis: “It’s very good”, he remarked. Then he amended the statement: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel from Americans]”.

What is perhaps most damning is that the Israelis’ celebration on the New Jersey waterfront occurred in the first sixteen minutes after the initial crash, when no one was aware this was a terrorist attack. In other words, from the time the first plane hit the north tower, at 8:46 a.m., to the time the second plane hit the south tower, at 9:02 a.m., the overwhelming assumption of news outlets and government officials was that the plane’s impact was simply a terrible accident. It was only after the second plane hit that suspicions were aroused. Yet if the men were cheering for political reasons, as they reportedly told the FBI, they obviously believed they were witnessing a terrorist act, and not an accident.

After returning safely to Israel in the late autumn of 2001, three of the five New Jersey Israelis spoke on a national talk show that winter. Oded Ellner, who on the afternoon of September 11 had, like his compatriots, protested to arresting officer Sgt. Dennis Rivelli that “we’re Israeli”, admitted to the interviewer: “We are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.”

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march2007/080307Israel.htm

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

PART III

What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?

CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Counterpunch

Thursday, March 8, 2007


“One obvious question among many comes to mind: If these men were trained as professional spies, why did they exhibit such outright oafishness at the moment of truth on the waterfront? The ABC network source close to the 20/20 report noted one of the more disturbing explanations proffered by counterintelligence investigators at the FBI: “The Israelis felt that in some way their intelligence had worked out ­- i.e., they were celebrating their own acumen and ability as intelligence agents”.

The questions abound: Did the Urban Moving Systems Israelis, ready to “document the event”, arrive at the waterfront before the first plane came in from the north? And if they arrived right after, why did they believe it was a terrorist attack? What about the strange tale of the “art students”? Could they have been mere hustlers, as they claimed, who ended up repeatedly crossing paths with federal agents and living next door to most of the 9/11 hijackers by coincidence? Did the Israeli authorities find out more about the impending attacks than they shared with their U.S. counterparts? Or did the Israeli spies on the ground only intercept vague chatter that, in their view, did not warrant breaking cover to share the information? On the other hand, did the U.S. government receive more advance information about the attacks from Israeli authorities than it is willing to admit? What about the 9/11 Commission’s eliding of reported Israeli warnings that may have led to the watch- listing of Mihdhar and Hazmi? Were the Israeli warnings purposely washed from the historical record? Did the CIA know more about pre-9/11 Israeli spying than it has admitted?

The unfortunate fact is that the truth may never be uncovered, not by officialdom, and certainly not by a passive press. James Bamford, who in a coup of reporting during the 1980s revealed the inner workings of the NSA in The Puzzle Palace, points to the “key problem”: “The Israelis were all sent out of the country”, he says. “There’s no nexus left. The FBI just can’t go knocking on doors in Israel. They need to work with the State Department. They need letters rogatory, where you ask a government of a foreign country to get answers from citizens in that country”. The Israeli government will not likely comply. So any investigation “is now that much more complicated”, says Bamford. He recalls a story he produced for ABC News concerning two murder suspects—U.S. citizens ­- who fled to Israel and fought extradition for ten years. “The Israelis did nothing about it until I went to Israel, knocking on doors, and finally found the two suspects. I think it’d be a great idea to go over and knock on their doors”, says Bamford.

The suspects are gone. The trail is cold. Yet many of the key facts and promising leads sit freely on the web, in the archives, safe in the news-morgues at 20/20 and The Forward and Die Zeit. An investigator close to the matter says it reminds him of the Antonioni film “Blow-Up”, a movie about a photographer who discovers the evidence of a covered-up murder hidden before his very eyes in the frame of an enlarged photograph. It’s a mystery that no one appears eager to solve.”


http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march2007/080307Israel.htm


http://www.counterpunch.org/ketcham03072007.html

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

Me again. The bad penny. 
Checking out Leefeller’s recollection at Snopes.com that checks out rumors, http://www.snopes.com/rumors/cnn.asp
read the article yourself:  ‘Palestinians dancing in the street’ after the terrorist attack on the USA.  Leefeller’s memory apparently is accurate!  Read the whole report since what is claimed in the pale-green tinted box was recanted below and more evidence, real evidence, given.

Yeah, I have a habit of checking things out and follow the lead where it takes me.

It is so easy to be deceived especially when one wants to be.

PatrickHenry, I watched your Fox YourTube, you are right, FoxNews is hardly a reliable source.  However, it clearly said there was no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9/11 attacks, listen carefully and you will hear and see that a lot of ambiguous words are used, like the words ‘some,’ ‘may,’ ‘possible,’ and words of that genre that do not expressly accuse but cleverly avoid lawsuits.  The Fox anchorman said Israeli spies are “very much“ engaged in spying “against” and on the US.  He does not make any distinction between against and on.  He is deliberately whipping up emotion about this story.  He “says they “may” have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11th.”  What the hell kind of reporting is this?  So slick.  I care if this country is being assaulted by anybody, including the Israelis but we should be getting true stories not stories that play right into fear and hysteria.  Listen to the vocal cadences of the anchorman.  Truly an actor.  The reporter, Carl Cameron, says more than 60 Israelis were arrested or detained for anti-terrorism or immigration violations. He does not say how many for which or if any of the charges were prosecuted.  Then he says a “handful” of active Israeli military, now what exactly is a handful?  Surveillance activities by other countries ought to be well understood by the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security (except it wasn’t called that yet!) and other agencies.  What does he mean by the word “against.”  Not ever defined.

They suspect the Israelis “may” have gathered information about the Islamist terrorist attacks before 9/11 (and our own agencies didn’t???!!! too too crazy) and not shared it!  A “highly placed” investigator, what the hell does that mean? who then boogies and says the information is “classified.”  Sounds very much like the dispensation of 5 Dancing Israelis story.  What is going on?  Fox is known for beefing up stories to capture a bigger crane neck audience.  Wait a minute Fox also says they acquired classified documents!  If they are truly classified, Fox admitted to having committed a crime.  You had better be careful what you hear.  There is an old saying do not believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.  Try to learn to be more critical of the news.  They are not honest nor troothful!  How many of these so-called arrested spies, were brought to trial and convicted.  This is more important than the charges.  It is unbelievable that stories like this are swallowed hook line and sinker.  Interesting that the government agencies listed had no pre-information about the real terrorists that did the real damage and killed real people.  We are not being told the whole story.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad:

Expect to be discounted, “discredited”, insulted and accused of lying.  You will be called a raving neo-nazi Zionist “pretending to care” about Palestinians.  None of it will be logical, unlike your lucid and even-handed history.

See, the Israel-haters deny two things: 1) That Palestinians fled when they could have stayed and then did not return in the 6 week window, 2) that 900,000 Jews were evicted from Arab nations as a result of the founding of Israel….they even claim that Irgun FORCED the 900,000 to emmigrate.

Neither assertion makes sense, but neither does the idea that Marxist Jews and Capitalist Jews are working together to take over/Destroy the world…anti-semitism isn’t rational, as no form of racism is, including anti-Arabism.

But put on your waders and rubber coat—a shit storm is going to hammer you (and probably me as well!)

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By PatrickHenry, January 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 28 at 5:18 pm #

FOX, hardly as a credible source as Mr. Ketcham.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEOecRtBU7U&feature=related

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

I watched Robert’s Ketchem YouTube video.  Christopher Ketcham, Journalist (for whom? or is he freelance?) accuses Israel of conducting some kind of spy operation on US soil prior to September 11.  But if you read his presentation, you can clearly see he said “likely” and he was not definite.  If anything he was speculating and that is the kind of irresponsible reporting that has fed into the confusion in which the world finds itself in.  He says “the best evidence” is really an older woman looking with binoculars about three of the so-called five “dancing” Israelis on a New Jersey waterfront, celebrating.  She made the assessment that they didn’t look “shocked” to her.  The Ketchum brings in a description of an anonymous FBI official, what, who took the woman’s account that these men (how would she know they were Israelis anyway?) were hi-fiving and lighting a cigarette lighter.  And she thinks the three men are behaving oddly.  She is obviously an FBI expert!  Right? No!  Nothing is as it seems, remember.  This is the most spurious “evidence” I’ve ever heard.  This story is bull shit.  Sorry.  It just is.  Already calling the men “bombers” is obviously a ploy to implicate these guys.  Local FBI agents may be local but they still work for the US government. So what is the implication going on here?  This story gives no real evidence.  Watch it yourself with a real critical eye and no pre-conceived prejudices.  This reporter is a danger to everybody since his story looks to be contrived.

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By Sepharad, January 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous, Jews who are 1)not opposed to the concept of a Jewish state and who are 2)not too biased against Arabs to see them as fellow human beings feel great responsibility to the Palestinians. My great-great-grandfather, who arrived there in 1828, wasn’t in a position to be responsible for anything but his own young family’s survival, but they were aided by Arabs and Turks as well the Jewish community, and whenever possible returned the favor. There is a tradition of helping one another in the Jewish culture that extends to non-Jews—a duty, or mitzvah—whether one is religious or not.

The creation of the Jewish state displaced 700,000 Palestinians. Some of us feel the major responsibility rests on Arab governments who attacked Israel immediately, but heavier still on Haj Amin Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, who urged Palestinians to leave the area because Arab armies were going to drive the Jews into the sea. Research the mufti’s biography. A short version [annotated sources in the back of the book] is in Larry Collins’ and Dominique LaPierre’s book “O Jerusalem”. One of history’s truly evil men, he expected to defeat the Jews, and didn’t want to be hampered by any local Palestinians in the land-grabbing that would follow. Many Palestinians did NOT leave. Many, like the villagers in Abu Ghosh, fought on the side of the Jews. Others remained unmolested by Jews and still others were driven out by Jewish fighters. The most disgraceful blemish on Jewish history is Deir Yassin—despite mitigating facts such as miscommunications and Arab fighters dressed as women, it was an inexcusable massacre. (Prewar, the British had enabled massacres of Jews by Arabs in the late ‘20s and ‘30s: survivors sought revenge wherever they could take it, and among all Jews perceptions of Arabs were affected negatively.) Postwar, Ben Gurion said Arabs who’d fled the fighting could come back within six weeks but not later, because “We won’t know who you are.” Many returned; 700,000 didn’t and became the ancestors of today’s 3 million refugees.

Israelis expected the refugees to be taken in by bordering Arab countries, just as Israel took in 900,000 Jewish refugees driven from Arab countries during and after the war. But no one did, so Israelis and other Jews feel a responsibility to them. In the ‘48 war the West Bank was captured by Jordan; nothing was done to rebuild Palestinian society there. After Jordan attacked Israel from the West Bank in ‘67, Israel captured it and tried to build an infrastructure—schools, hospitals, etc. But rejectionists among the Palestinians sabotaged such efforts because if the Palestinians were living well on the West Bank, what excuse could be made for trying to destroy Israel?

Israel’s only real hope of survival is a second state, a Palestinian state in which people live decent lives and raise their children with hopes of something other than poverty and unemployment. Israelis and other Jews HAVE tried to improve the lot of the Palestinians though we are not suicidal either.  We are not monsters, not Nazis, and not saints, but the peace movement has persisted and people continue trying to effect economic partnerships good for both sides. It’s hard for some to grasp the concept of Jews being occupiers in Judea, but we have to let go, the settlers have to go. No Jew wants anything bad for the Palestinians, except a handful of fundamentalists, mirror images of Hamas and Hezbollah. Both societies have to reject such people before anyone finds peace.
From a purely pragmatic perspective: Israelis and Jews who truly no longer trust the Arabs have no option but to continue trying to help them get their own state in which they at the very least have better lives than Arabs in other countries. People can’t be prodded into the fundamentalist violent jihad if they have something to live for.

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Finkelstein in Toronto: “Bernie M. Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress was very upset by what’s going on… what upset Mr. Farber? He said he saw burning Israeli flags at a demonstration. But the burning flesh of Palestinian children, incinerated by the white phosphorus, that doesn’t upset the [Chief Executive Officer] of the Canadian Jewish Congress?”

University of Toronto at Mississauga

01.12.2009 | YouTube.com
By atrofimo


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2613

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Sorry for the double post, the site wasn’t working right and told me the first submit was not accepted.  But it was.  So if you do, read the second version as I see a part of it somehow went missing in the first one.  Sorry again.

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, yes, Lex Talionis is one school of thought and one that fits the times in the Middle East.  No one implied it itself was an intellectual idea.  I think if you reread my post you may see I that I think it is non-intellectual and springs from unbridled emotion.  I do not recommend it, and I really criticize it as barbaric.  You are posing a problem that does not exist.  I do not see anybody sitting under a sword, but tyrants of today are fanatical terrorists who do hold the world at bay by perhaps not single but rather the short hairs holding metaphoric swords as sniping suicide bombers or rockets and mortars launched when provocation was non-existent.  So you take your limited understanding of Lex Talionis and do with it what you wish.  The world is condemned until the fanatics are eliminated.  Whether or not Palestinians invoke Lex Talionis is their call.  The alternative is that they may ask for justice from the world if they can convince the world they are due for it. It is my opinion they are not capable of doing that based on the fact that they have not done so in 60 years.  As civilized humans, the world will judge.  Since the ancient and now nonexistent Babylonians invented it, we must say the lawyers and actuaries owe them their fealty.

Sepharad, I am grateful for the list of book you thoughtfully posted for my benefit, and others I hope.  I will most definitely check them out and undoubtedly acquire the ones I can find.  It looks like a most fascinating and worthwhile new library. Your taxi driver friend seems to be one of the quiet heroes.  And I know about the sacredness of salt.  It does more than flavor food.  I even heard once that it has the power to cools things down.

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, yes, Lex Talionis is one school of thought and one that fits the times in the Middle East.  No one implied it itself was an intellectual idea.  I think if you reread my post you may see I that I think it is non-intellectual and springs from unbridled emotion.  I do not recommend it, and I really criticize it as barbaric.  You are posing a problem that does not exist.  I do not see anybody sitting under a sword, but tyrants of today are fanatical terrorists who do hold the world at bay by perhaps not single but rather the short hairs holding metaphoric swords as sniping suicide bombers or rockets and mortars launched when provocation was non-existent.  So you take your limited understanding of Lex Talionis and do with it what you wish.  The world is condemned until the fanatics are eliminated.  Whether or not Palestinians invoke The alternative is that they may ask for justice from the world if they can convince the world they are due for it. It is my opinion they are not capable of doing that based on the fact that they have not done so in 60 years.  As civilized humans, the world will judge.  Since the ancient and now nonexistent Babylonians invented it, we must say the lawyers and actuaries owe them their fealty.

Sepharad, I am grateful for the list of book you thoughtfully posted for my benefit, and others I hope.  I will most definitely check them out and undoubtedly acquire the ones I can find.  It looks like a most fascinating and worthwhile new library. Your taxi driver friend seems to be one of the quiet heroes.  And I know about the sacredness of salt.  It does more than flavor food.  I even heard once that it has the power to cools things down.

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By OzarkMichael, January 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

I would like to take a moment to say that there are many posts here which have been both informative and existential. The writer shows intelligence, an expandable horizon of thought, but also a depth of soul that wrestles with the problem.
That is what i like to read. That is what I like to try to attain, but i too often hide my wrestling behind bristling polemic. But i salute the informative, existential posts.

One should not ignore those posts. We should treasure them. I also like the details about people. Whether its their religious outlook or their non-religious outlook. where they are in life, where they have been.

But to all those people, please understand that i do not devote posts to what i call ‘reciprocal applause’. Where one person praises another for being so clever soley because we see it the same way. Or classifies those who agree as the ‘good hearted ones’. i find that cheesey and i rarely indulge in it.

I think it is best for individuals to feel as if they are alone in their intellectual endeavors. It is not possible to become an individual while running in a herd. Some of us are becoming. Some of us are just messengers. My faulty way to interact with becomers is to argue with them. i do the same with messangers… maybe they are becomers in disguise.

So I rarely applaud the good things here, whether you are near or far, in the desert or in the city. I only speak when we disagree, and my posts tend to sound unfriendly. Think of it as a challenge. To myself and to yourself. the only way we fail is if we dont try. or if one of us does a hit and run.

A few of you dont even try. To those people i say, “I feel sorry for you. In my own faulty way i encouraged you, and it didnt work. Even if you are right about any one thing, the way in which you are right falls so short of what it is to be a human being, that all I can do now is feel sorry for you.”

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By OzarkMichael, January 28, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

I would like to present an alternative point about Edward Said, the author cyrena presents to us as an expert. This was written by James Panero:

In November 1993, the New York Times Magazine featured a remarkably unprescient essay by Edward Said titled “The Phony Islamic Threat.” He charged the media, government bureaucrats, and Middle East experts with conjuring an Islamic bogeyman to demonize at home and abroad. Coming only a few months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, the piece dismissed all talk of an Islamist threat as a reflection of American prejudice and insecurity. Then, in the 1997 revised edition of his book “Covering Islam”, Said ridiculed “speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airlines,” as inventions of racist Westerners.

Now I must admit i have not read Mr Said’s books myself. I might do so if the recommendation to do so turns out to be realistic. To test this I would like to hear from his supporters, and those who promote Hamas leaders as if it they were from the same mold as MLK: Do they think Said was wrong in his view as represented above? or was he right?

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, January 28 at 9:00 am #

“How accurate was my perception of the Palestinians dancing in the street with joy just after they heard about 911?  My trust of the media is cause for concern of the actuality of the event as real, even though I saw it on TV with my two eyes.

Did they dance in the street with joy after 911 or not?  Were they dancing in the street for another reason?  Were they really Palestinians?  This one incident is questionable to its valued truths, so which of all your accurate and precise facts spewed on TD are we to believe to be the truth? Reflecting the gospel from sources read or seen may not be the truth?  There are always many unanswered questions.

He said she said becomes real in the mind, after one picks a side.”

*******
Leefeller,

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT “THE FIVE DANCING ISRAELI MOSSAD AGENTS ARRESTED ON 9/11”?

THE ISRAELIS CLAIMED THAT THEY WERE THERE TO FILM & DOCUMENT THE EVENT!

Click on link below to watch who was celebrating on 9-11:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-OHcUW9DT8&NR=1

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By PatrickHenry, January 28, 2009 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, January 28 at 9:00 am #

The dancing Israelis dressed as Arabs in New York during 9/11 is as clear cut as they come.  I believe they (Urban movers) were filming the event with the towers as backdrop.  I wonder what would have become of the film if they hadn’t been caught.

By Shenonymous, January 27 at 6:25 pm #

Lex Talionis is one school of thought and hardly an intellectual idea.  A damocles sword of consequences to families of victims considering direct revenge. 
Sort of the founding charter of lawyers and actuaries who in the name of society and those with much to lose, will involve themselves in personal blood feuds.  Daoism and Buddism (as you know) take different positions than the Judeao one which favors both an eye for an eye or comphensation depending on the political furvor of the day.

Does invoking Lex talionis mean the authors have to comphensate all those innocent Gazans killed in this latest go around? I don’t think so, therefore it is merely a false hope of justice for these people.

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By Leefeller, January 28, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

How accurate was my perception of the Palestinians dancing in the street with joy just after they heard about 911?  My trust of the media is cause for concern of the actuality of the event as real, even though I saw it on TV with my two eyes. 

Did they dance in the street with joy after 911 or not?  Were they dancing in the street for another reason?  Were they really Palestinians?  This one incident is questionable to its valued truths, so which of all your accurate and precise facts spewed on TD are we to believe to be the truth? Reflecting the gospel from sources read or seen may not be the truth?  There are always many unanswered questions.

He said she said becomes real in the mind, after one picks a side.

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

January 28, 2009

Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza
Foiling Another Palestinian “Peace Offensive”

By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

“Early speculation on the motive behind Israel’s slaughter in Gaza that began on 27 December 2008 and continued till 18 January 2009 centered on the upcoming elections in Israel.  The jockeying for votes was no doubt a factor in this Sparta-like society consumed by “revenge and the thirst for blood,” where killing Arabs is a sure crowd-pleaser.  (Polls during the war showed that 80-90 percent of Israeli Jews supported it.)  But as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointed out on Democracy Now!, “Israel went through a very similar war…two-and-a-half years ago [in Lebanon], when there were no elections.”  When crucial state interests are at stake, Israeli ruling elites seldom launch major operations for narrowly electoral gains.  It is true that Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb the Iraqi OSIRAK reactor in 1981 was an electoral ploy, but the strategic stakes in the strike on Iraq were puny; contrary to widespread belief, Saddam Hussein had not embarked on a nuclear weapons program prior to the bombing.  The fundamental motives behind the latest Israeli attack on Gaza lie elsewhere: (1) in the need to restore Israel’s “deterrence capacity,” and (2) in the threat posed by a new Palestinian “peace offensive.”

Israel’s “larger concern” in the current offensive, New York Times Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported, quoting Israeli sources, was to “re-establish Israeli deterrence,” because “its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or should be.”  Preserving its deterrence capacity has always loomed large in Israeli strategic doctrine.  Indeed, it was the main impetus behind Israel’s first-strike against Egypt in June 1967 that resulted in Israel’s occupation of Gaza (and the West Bank).  To justify the onslaught on Gaza, Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that “[m]any Israelis feel that the walls…are closing in…much as they felt in early June 1967.”  Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but—as Morris surely knows—the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation.  After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping, but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the Straits within days of his announcement.  In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that, in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab countries, Israel would—in President Lyndon Johnson’s words—“whip the hell out of them.”  The head of the Mossad told senior American officials on 1 June 1967 that “there were no differences between the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.”  The predicament for Israel was rather the growing perception in the Arab world, spurred by Nasser’s radical nationalism and climaxing in his defiant gestures in May 1967, that it would no longer have to follow Israeli orders.  Thus, Divisional Commander Ariel Sharon admonished those in the Israeli cabinet hesitant to launch a first-strike that Israel was losing its “deterrence capability…our main weapon—the fear of us.”  Israel unleashed the June 1967 war “to restore the credibility of Israeli deterrence” (Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz).


The expulsion of the Israeli occupying army by Hezbollah in May 2000 posed a major new challenge to Israel’s deterrence capacity.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein01282009.html

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By Robert, January 28, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

January 28, 2009

Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza
Foiling Another Palestinian “Peace Offensive”

By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

“Early speculation on the motive behind Israel’s slaughter in Gaza that began on 27 December 2008 and continued till 18 January 2009 centered on the upcoming elections in Israel.  The jockeying for votes was no doubt a factor in this Sparta-like society consumed by “revenge and the thirst for blood,” where killing Arabs is a sure crowd-pleaser.  (Polls during the war showed that 80-90 percent of Israeli Jews supported it.)  But as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointed out on Democracy Now!, “Israel went through a very similar war…two-and-a-half years ago [in Lebanon], when there were no elections.”  When crucial state interests are at stake, Israeli ruling elites seldom launch major operations for narrowly electoral gains.  It is true that Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb the Iraqi OSIRAK reactor in 1981 was an electoral ploy, but the strategic stakes in the strike on Iraq were puny; contrary to widespread belief, Saddam Hussein had not embarked on a nuclear weapons program prior to the bombing.  The fundamental motives behind the latest Israeli attack on Gaza lie elsewhere: (1) in the need to restore Israel’s “deterrence capacity,” and (2) in the threat posed by a new Palestinian “peace offensive.”

Israel’s “larger concern” in the current offensive, New York Times Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported, quoting Israeli sources, was to “re-establish Israeli deterrence,” because “its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or should be.”  Preserving its deterrence capacity has always loomed large in Israeli strategic doctrine.  Indeed, it was the main impetus behind Israel’s first-strike against Egypt in June 1967 that resulted in Israel’s occupation of Gaza (and the West Bank).  To justify the onslaught on Gaza, Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that “[m]any Israelis feel that the walls…are closing in…much as they felt in early June 1967.”  Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but—as Morris surely knows—the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation.  After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping, but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the Straits within days of his announcement.  In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that, in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab countries, Israel would—in President Lyndon Johnson’s words—“whip the hell out of them.”  The head of the Mossad told senior American officials on 1 June 1967 that “there were no differences between the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.”  The predicament for Israel was rather the growing perception in the Arab world, spurred by Nasser’s radical nationalism and climaxing in his defiant gestures in May 1967, that it would no longer have to follow Israeli orders.  Thus, Divisional Commander Ariel Sharon admonished those in the Israeli cabinet hesitant to launch a first-strike that Israel was losing its “deterrence capability…our main weapon—the fear of us.”  Israel unleashed the June 1967 war “to restore the credibility of Israeli deterrence” (Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz)”


http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein01282009.html

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By Sepharad, January 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—I’ve never read Armstrong’s work but will try to find back home. You seem patient with long, dense historie:s there is a trilogy of books on the history of Islam by a guy who spent his life researching them and they were published by the University of Chicago Press. I have them—but can only carry one at a time—and the depth is amazing, ditto bibliography and notes. I’ve not sat down and read them straight through but use them as a reference and fact-check. His name escapes me at the moment—want to say Marshall Hodge but that’s probably wrong. The value of this work is that he is completely indifferent to the political and the personal, and is not trying to affect the way the reader interprets his facts. He just accumulated them, organized them coherently and that’s it. For awhile I was waiting for “conclusions” or “criticism” or “direction” as I read, but that’s not how he does it. If you really want to make a study of Islam, he’s your guy and I’ll provide a name in early March. There’s also the Hadith, interpretations of the Koran and what Mohammed meant (according to these disciples of his writing 100 years or so after the Prophet’s death).You’d also find La Reina, across a book on the meaning of Islam and the Hadith’s true meaning, but it was written by a Hindu natinoalist pretty rabidly opposed to Islam in general, and not trusting his interpretations so tried to find a copy of the complete Hadith myself. (My husband and I have a dear friend, a writer of still-not published novels who for years drove a taxi in Portland to support himself and his wife, also an intellectual but limited in her editing work by MS. When he developed cancer and had to stop driving the cab, he began working as a finder of hard-to-find books using the Net. He found the Haditha for me. He’s weakening, now, but full of cheerful wit and sort of glows with an energy his body no longer possesses. He is one of my heroes, as he lives largely in his head, is never without a joke to tell, manages to have a full life under very difficult conditions and always has a completely original take on everything that crosses his purview life. He searched for a couple of months and found this 8-volume Hadith in a used estate-sale book store in rich Westchester County, NY. and got it before he sent it to me so he could read it himself. Was just curious, because it was so hard to find. His verdict was that I was into some very weird stuff and should resort to tossing salt over my shoulder to ward off any lurking evil. He’s an agnostic and catholic in his tastes and politics so I was surprised at his extreme reaction. But then it IS a book about a world resting on wildy different foundations than our own.

You might also be interested in books by Raphael Pati, one “The Arab Mind” and “The Jewish Mind”. Also one by Joan Peters, “From Time Immemorial”, begun after she traveled to Lebanon to help the people after the ‘72 war, experienced some dissonance and embarked on an archival search of the records on Palestinian/Israeli history. She delved into both British and Turkish archives—the Ottoman Empire was a curious empire, wanted to know everything their experiences touched; and the Brits, fort all their horrible colonial history and failings, always kept very very good notes.

Said’s “Orientalism” was a fine book that led me into everything else he wrote. Bernard Lewis is a notable Middle East scholar spent his whole life trying to understand Islamic culture, lived in the Middle East much of the time. He’s written dozens of books, scholarly but also quite accessible to read. (He is a Jew who was in love with Islam, which may be a drawback to you.) An Arab NOT in love with Arab culture, Fouad Ajami, is now at the Johns Hopkins Middle East Research dept. His books are exceptionaly interesting. There’s also Paul Kagan’s book “The Arabists”— enlightening! 

Time for bed. Am going to sleep.

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By Robert, January 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Jan 27 08:17

CBS 60 Minutes Exposing Israeli Apartheid

“Frankly, I am stunned that CBS would be this honest about what is going on in Israel and Palestine. I sort of quit watching the show back when EP Don Hewitt admitted biasing the show’s segment on Gennifer Flowers to help Bill Clinton get into the White House.”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYAgyv2MKyI&feature=email

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By Robert, January 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Gaza 2009

We Will Never Forget

Montage documenting the genocide committed by Israel in “Operation Cast Lead”.


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21852.htm

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