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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.”


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 27, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Looks like the Marines have idiosyncratic euphemisms for intellectual ideas.  PatrickHenry, you could demonstrate you understand the term instead of merely providing an encyclopedic site.  Many do not link to sites that appear in comments.  You might notice I rephrased it for ease of understanding although I used several resources as it is a ancient concept in ethical and moral philosophy.

Since the Arab world that had once developed a high order of jurisprudence, but now along with and other societies such as the Mafia, the Chinese Tong, and the Japanese Yakuza rely on this archaic form of justice it might do anyone well to learn about it if they wish to understand Islamic principle of moral equity. A dialogue ought to be generated discussing the moral rectitude of the practice. Insight into this mind set could give insight into the reticence to speak up about Gaza. Thug societies like the Italians, Japanese, and Chinese are not of much interest in this forum. 

Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg elaborated six non “jump-forward” stages of moral development.  Each subsequent stage builds on necessary understandings of the previous stage and becomes more comprehensive as each stage is acquired.  These six stages are: obedience and punishment orientation, self-interest orientation, interpersonal accord and conformity (encompassing social norms), authority and social-order maintaining orientation (the law and order morality), social contract orientation, and universal ethical principles (abstract reasoning and conscience).  The last stage has the burden of obligation to disobey unjust laws.  Unfortunately for a just society, the last stage is not reached very often.  I wonder why?  Perhaps that is the one in which humans ought to put more energy.  To gain some understanding of the assumptions Kohlberg made, I suggest the Wikipedia entry. 

I have had a high respect for the late Edward Said.  Thank you for the reference, cyrena.  As far as Armstrong is concerned, she was strongly recommended by a Middle Easterner.  In my reading of her books, and I now have quite a library of them, there are times when she is excellent in her references, but other times not so well.  As I mentioned, I believe she is more self-taught than academically scholared.  Not that one has to have academic credentials.  A lot of people teach themselves.  Colin Wilson for one.  I cannot really judge Armstrong further since I would have to read more sources in Islamic literature.  I don’t quite have a handle on what Armstrong’s real game is.  She seems to have enjoyed the public eye quite a bit and does not appear to have been too much with the Catholic program.  I don’t know why that in itself would qualify her to be a learned student of Islam anyway.  Publicists do weird things to promote their clients.  That and the fact that more and more westerners are fascinated and interested in Islam sell her books.

I am curious about the Two-State Solution, as it is called.  If that is the permanent way to settle the situation, then what guarantees would there be in place that Israel would not be snipered or mortared?  Looks like Hamas has already broken the peace agreement and Israel responded excessively again.  I can’t see what Hamas hopes to gain?  Can any one read tea leaves?

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, that’s it.  It’s 8:47pm now and the clock time shows up 3 hours earlier.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, January 27 at 1:39 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit—You think more clearly and concisely at 4:21a.m than I do at high noon(re your Jan. 26 post, to which I would say “ditto”).
*************************************

Thanks, but I think a clock somewhere got messed up…if this thing is on West Coast time then it was 7:21am—I’m NEVER posting at 4:21am…if I’m up then it’s because someone in my family is up…and I’m probably not happy about it! :<

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By cyrena, January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

I dunno about Karen Armstrong Shenonymous. I’ve read a bit of her work, but I wouldn’t go so far as to put her as an ‘authority’ on Islam. In fact, I don’t know why ANYBODY would choose a former Catholic nun over the hundreds of thousands of MUSLIM SCHOLARS, to learn about Islam.

What’s up with that? I’ve got a list left over from that seminar I mentioned before. Maybe it would be a good idea to read from more than one author, and even some from those who are actually Muslim and/or Arabian. There is literally a plethora of that stuff available, and in highly digestible form. I’m not ‘knocking’ Karen Armstrong, but I still would revert to more original sources for real information…at least when they’re available.

Have you read Edward Said’s classic, “Orientalism”?

No, it’s not ‘about Islam’ but I’m making a semi informed guess that you might appreciate that even more, unless you’re just really only focused on Islam the big “R” Religion, and none of the connected ideologies.

Here’s a short blub and a link to a site still being maintained. (Prof. Said passed away in 2003. He was only 67.)

“In his book Orientalism, Edward Said says that Orientalism, especially the academic study of, and discourse, political and literary, about the Arabs, Islam, and the Middle East that primarily originated in England, France, and then the United States actually creates a divide between the East and the West.”

Said summarized his work in these terms:

“My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West, which elided the Orient’s difference with its weakness. . . . As a cultural apparatus Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge” (Orientalism, p. 204).”

Said also wrote:

““My whole point about this system is not that it is a misrepresentation of some Oriental essence — in which I do not for a moment believe — but that it operates as representations usually do, for a purpose, according to a tendency, in a specific historical, intellectual, and even economic setting” (p. 273).

Principally a study of 19th-century literary discourse and strongly influenced by the work of thinkers like Chomsky, Foucault and Gramsci, Said’s work also engages contemporary realities and has clear political implications as well. Orientalism is often classed with postmodernist and postcolonial works that share various degrees of skepticism about representation itself (although a few months before he died, Said said he considers the book to be in the tradition of “humanistic critique” and the Enlightenment).”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_(book)

http://www.edwardsaid.org/

Here’s a quote from the above website..

“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)

That’s what the struggle in the Occupied Territories is about. It’s about a moral quest for equality and human rights. I add that of course as my standard reminder that it is NOT ‘about’ Islam, even though these principles of equality and human rights DO have prominent inclusion within the tenets of Islam.

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By Sepharad, January 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit—You think more clearly and concisely at 4:21a.m than I do at high noon(re your Jan. 26 post, to which I would say “ditto”). What keeps me up nights, sometimes, is worrying how Israelis can keep their nation alive without killing people who seek its destruction, when the former arae so few and the latter so many dwelling cheek-by-jowl with sympathetic non-combatants. Today I was reading the New Yorker’s review of “Defiance” (which my husband and I went to see last week despite the bad reviews from many newspapers—the New Yorker’s critic David Denby loved it by the way). Toward the end, Denby was opining why Tuvia and his brother Zus were not recognized in their lives as heros by many Jewish people. Denby’s guess is that what they did was a reproach the millions who had not taken up arms against their enemies, people who had not yet learned that Jews who want to marry and have children who in turn will grow up and marry have to learn how to kill when necessary. (It was an excellent movie, by the way, for many of the reasons Denby described in his piece.)

Then, reading Shenonymous’ amazing journey into Lex Talionis and on, she reminded me of Gandhi’s philosophy that an eye for an eye would eventually lead to a world of the blind. Gandhi was right. Tuvia Bielski was right. It’s hard to believe opposite conclusions are both right but they are. How do you reconcile such things? I struggle with them and remain a secular and (I hope) humane Zionist. Or, technically, pro-Zionist, as my husband, who never wants to see the same horizon twice on our horseback explorations, refuses to move to Israel because we’d ride it out in a few weeks, tops. (He says when we are too old to ride horses for days on end we will immediately decamp and settle down in Jerusalem, or maybe Acre, or Arad—a desert town I am fond of though relatives still alive are in the Galilee and Haifa.)

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 27 at 7:55 am #

Lex Talionis, I had to look that one up again, we called it payback in the Marines. 

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Lex_talionis

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By Sepharad, January 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Patrick Henry—You may not be familiar with the Grads from Iran. They can carry all sorts of things in their heads. And as Iran has managed to get Hamas the Grads, how hard do you think it would be for them to sent more interesting contents for the heads? I hope Israel’s tunnel bombardment and monitors will make it harder to get weapons etc into Gaza as long as Hamas is in charge—and I think Hamas plan to stay: they continue shooting any Fatah supporters they can find, killing at least 70 during the Israeli attack, and later dozens more but not fatally, in both knees. One man complained he was shot because Hamas mistook him for his cousin, an overt Fatah supporter while he personally followed Hamas’s rule for Fatah to “stay quiet” after the Israeli attack.

Yes, Israel does have a wider range of weaponry including helicopters, etc. (My son-in-law flew an Apache in Anbar, where his Arabic and his Algerian ancestry made it easier for him to get information pinpointing insurgents’ and foreign fighters’ location. He was very precise in his strikes and tried to not harm civilians in a situation not unlike Gaza, where civilians were frequent human shields. He liked and greatly respected the Iraqis he became close to and one of his greatest regrets was that so many people who helped him and his men too frequently ended up executed by foreign fighters. (This was pre-Awakening.) He hated the way the war was waged, but also thought we owed the Shiia and Kurds bigtime for leaving them in the lurch after they rose up against Hussein after Gulf War I. I respect his opinion, though I don’t think concern for the Kurds and Shiia is why Bush and Cheney launched that war or they wouldn’t have made up false reasons to sell it.

I recently read the complete statement of the EU’s Michel, in which he said some of the things reported—horror at the death, EU is tired of rebuilding Gaza only to have the Israelis destroy parts of it again, blaming the Israelis for responding as they did yet also being appalled at the continual rocketing at civilians in southern Israel—but also, which is not referred to in the BBC or on this thread, harshly placed nearly all the blame squarely on Hamas for deliberately provoking what they must have known would be disastrous for civilians under their care. Hamas reacted to this with great outrage.

That said, I don’t like the WAY the Israelis were forced to fight yet can’t say they should not have done, because I cannot think of any effective options, given Hamas’ behavior and ideology and the holding (or murder) of Gilad Shalit.

Regarding the gap between armaments: if there WAS no gap, do you seriously believe that if for the past 23 years Hamas or its Iranian masters had a nuclear weapon they would have not yet used it? (It would be stupid, given that there are only 5.5 million Jews on a sliver of land surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of millions of Arabs, 2.5 million of them living in Israel—but never undestimate the stupidity of someone willing to martyr as many of their own as necessary to achieve complete submission of all under Islamic rule, which is the ultimate goal of literal fundamentalists. Indeed, prior to the Arab armies attack on Israel in 1948, a Saudi leader said it wouldn’t matter if they lost 10,000,000 Arabs to destroy the Jews in Israel because there would still remain a huge sea of Arabs. Thus does Hamas regard civilian Moslem lives.

Oh—re exploding birth rates among Palestinians, specifically in Gaza, Arafat famously stated that their greatest weapon was the Palestinian womb. Demographics is why Sharon removed Israeli settlers from Gaza, why the Israeli government MUST remove all Israeli settlements from the West Bank, why there MUST be a two-state solution. Otherwise, the Jews in Israel will be overwhelmed (just as Theo van Gogh feared would happen to the Netherlands if the Moslem population continued to climb).

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 27, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Freedom of ideas and expressing them is not part of the self righteous thought process.  Opportunism uses manipulation of politics and religion to guide the ignorant, may it be a quasi mob mentality? As in the “Ox Bow Incident”  only one sane person was present; if I recall; as they went on to hang the wrong person.

History is riddled with death and destruction for reasons unknown, but clear in the minds of the time.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 27, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Wrong, PatrickHenry.  Lex Talionis is primitive.  The law of retribution is savage.  Turning the other cheek is just one view of the law.  Before Muhammad, before Allah, it was Exodus 21:23-27, also found in Leviticus 24:17-22 and Deuteronomy 19:21.  It was Jewish.  Before that it was the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi who taught the captured Jews about revenge.  Non-biblical retributive justice let the punishment fit the crime.  Unless of course you are a woman, who has less rights than a slave.  Originally it sought to protect the weak and the poor against injustice at the hands of the rich and powerful.  While the underlying principle was an ancient effort to provide legal recourse when people suffered at the hands of wrongdoers and was remarkably just and humane with the one qualification that it worked for the level of consciousness achieved by populations at the time, revenge and retribution threatens to break down society as people take reciprocal revenge on one another, and anarchy prevails.  Anarchy destroys society.  Is that what you want to do PatrickHenry?  Destroy society?  Lawful revenge, revenge and retaliation administered by the community through jurisprudence, saves the society from unbridled revenge, from vendetta prevented from being put on the wrong person. Or excessively.

It doesn’t matter if the law is believed to have been granted by a god, a despotic king, or if humankind evolves to see the practical wisdom of law, having laws is what sustains a society and establishes the morals by which that society is maintained.  Because I think laws are a basic condition of civilization, I personally believe the secular manifestation of the value of law tends to be more intuitively understood by people of all backgrounds and religious dogmas.

What is very interesting is that the punishment of physical retaliation, Lex Talionis, is never depicted in the Jewish Torah as actually having been carried out. The Leviticus 19:18 Lord instructs to not seek revenge, but love your neighbor as yourself. 

Therefore, there is a non-literal meaning of the concept.  Where retribution is constructively acted out in courts of law and social conventional morality decides what is fair punishment. 

The word humane comes to mind immediately, and after that morality.  The early Christians corrected the literal interpretation.  Places in the New Testament (Luke 6:29 and 6:32, Matthew 5:38-39, and 42-45) are guidelines.  But even these must also be taken within a historical context.  There are several instances in the Christian Bible that strongly advises reconciliation with an adversary rather than retaliation. However, the punishment commensurate with the crime can be seen as affirmed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-2). 

The Qur’an embraces Lex Talionis significantly.  The Muslims have reworded it and Sura 5:45 means literal retaliation.  There are two other options diya (money or other material of exchange), and forgiveness.  The latter is not a typical resolution.  It is definitely not as illustrious.  Many suras in the Qur’an references the law of retaliation.  Very important is 2:178-179 that discusses murder with the same three options as recompense.  There is even a list of what body parts are equivalent paybacks.  Friday is a big day in retaliation.

Lex Talionis does seem prima facie impractical when in the words of Ghandi, “an eye for an eye…tooth for a tooth and the whole world would soon be blind and toothless.”  Laws pervade our lives and provides a rational structure within which a society may successfully prosper.

There is an inexorable movement from lawless revenge to civilized jurisprudence where humankind learned not to be reactive but to think about what is man’s moral development from the reactive animal kingdom.  Problem is that animals lower than human beings do not engage in retaliation.  They take care of disputes on the spot, win, lose, or draw.

We choose to be civilized or savage.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 27, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 26 at 7:57 pm #

PatrickHenry has to put the kids and himself to bed so he can get up at 6:00 and go project manage the synogogue he is constructing in Washington DC.

“So again, we, of the world, must ask, what in the hell is Hamas coaxing, provoking a war with Israel?  It simply does not make sense.”

Revenge does not make sense in the Christian mindset, forgive & forget, turn the other cheek, do unto others etc, etc.  In the semitic mind however, it is an eye for an eye until satisfaction.

Do not go gentle into that good night - Dylan Thomas said it best.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 27, 2009 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

My questions were put to PatrickHenry, cyrena, not OM.  And PH did not answer the questions. 

I am busy reading Islam by Karen Armstrong, since she is the accepted expert on the Muslim culture and religious history,  According to Ms. Armstrong, she took her vows in 1965 at the age of 17 as a Roman Catholic nun for a teaching order, if this is true, then we need to have some truth about her as well.  I have five of her books relevant to Islam and each one describes her a little differently.  All the books say she left the order in 1969. But if she did, then she really only spent 4 years in the nunnery, 2 of which were spent at Oxford learning the art of the English language and literature.  However, and strangely, most say she spent 7 years in a nunnery.  I admit that I am confused.  I find it most interesting that she must then be an autodidact after leaving 2 years at the convent and 2 years of Oxford college when it comes to authentic history and descriptions of Islam.  I think it is even more interesting that so much of her books are completely accepted by the Muslim community as authoritative. By that account, then, anybody who reads a lot of the literature on the topic, one could also become known as an expert.  Good heavens, after reading for a few years I myself could become an expert, to the horror of some Muslims, I’m sure.  Is it a moot point to anyone else but an credentialed historian?

In the book on Islam, Armstrong says on p. xi of the Preface that “In Islam, Muslims have looked for God in history.  Their sacred scripture, the Qur’an, gave them a historical mission.”  Also, “A Muslim had to redeem history, ...state affairs were not a distraction from spirituality but the stuff of religion itself.  The political well-being of the Muslim community was a matter of supreme importance.”  Does our expert tell the truth?  If so, then there is no separation between political well-being and the religion.

So does it seem like the Muslims are doing to Holland what the Jews did to the land of Israel?  Are these displaced Muslims from Iraq?  Or where?  Except Israel had the sanction of the United Nations and some ancient history in that part of the world, isn’t that right?  But now with the monkey trial of Geert Wilders, it is all too bizarre, and here is this man on a personal quest, asking questions and being excoriated for it.  It is not right.  But of course I expect to be excoriated as well for saying so.  The skin of an alligator I have.  I’ve been called ugly enough to be one. Ha!

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By Sepharad, January 26, 2009 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—Thanks for bringing The Cutting Edge link; had never seen it before. My husband is also interested in its content relevant to global warming. (Today, my out-of-date forwarded copy of Dissent made it to the door in the middle of a minor sandstorm, and am also using the internet to read the usual papers. Missing my books less and less, at least for an hour at a time.)

Re “Fitna” and Geert Wilders—I thought I did post a reponse to that, but maybe did it on the wrong thread or maybe it wasn’t picked up. I don’t think it qualifies as “hate speech” because it’s essentiallly certain portions of the Koran illustrated by photos and portions of speeches by Moslems, as well as headlines from local newspapers. Van Gogh was concerned with the violent expressions and expansionist nature of Islam, apparently fearing that giving the exploding immigration of Moslems their influence would overtake his very small country. What he presented in “Fitna” was very selective, in that he chose the verses of the Koran and the flim clips and photos of Moslems speaking and acting to illustrate them. The selection represented his fears and his point of view, and as such was one man’s opinion. But it clearly was not “hate speech” because nothing in it misrepresented large strains of Islamic thought and action. Trying Geert Wilders for “hate speech” is the action of a very small country’s government seemingly cowed by potential violent reaction among its very large Moslem population—a conceivable eventualaity that motivated van Gogh to make the film in the first place. Van Gogh’s murder (and fatwas against Danish Mohammed cartoons, Salman Rushdie’s fiction, and Hirsi Ali’s revelation of her experiences as a Moslem woman) as well as terrorist acts in England and Spain were sufficiently intimidating to make this government accuse Geert Wilders, hoping to placate the Moslems.

After the release of “Fitna”, it surely wasn’t necessary to kill van Gogh, or to issue a Fatwa: the local media would have been more than willing to present resident Moslem opinions on the subjects van Gogh raised. The free exchange of ideas—marketplace of ideas, as Justice Felix Frankfurter described the ideal of the Greek agora—is the only rational way to support or oppose an opinion, an idea. Van Gogh was not inciting a pogrom against innocent Moslems, but calling his countrymen’s attention to a situation he considered to be a grave danger, given the demographic trajectory that could bury his culture and society.

The ACLU protects various rights for one reason: “What can be done to one can be done to everyone.” While I was working full time for them, a lawyer and I defended the right of a Nazi group to have their disgusting phone message maintained, reversing the sensible phone company’s denial of their lines. I hated every minute of this particular assignment, and when it was over the head of the Nazi group dropped into our offices, thanked us, told me I could be their head of communications and the lawyer that he could be their attorney general when they took over even though we were both Jews. I walked out of the office and never went back. (Of course we’d done the right thing, but I couldn’t stomach it and decided to pick my own battles. I still occasionally do freelance work for our regional ACLU, but only for non-repellent causes and subjects.)

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By Robert, January 26, 2009 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

Sara Roy: “I would urge you to write 60 Minutes thanking them and B Simon”

Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution

01.25.2009 | cbsnews.com

60 Minutes: Growing Number Of Israelis, Palestinians Say Two-State Solution Is No Longer Possible

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 22:42:41 -0500
From: sroy{at}fas.harvard.edu
Subject: 60 Minutes story on the end of the two-state solution

Dear List,

I hope you saw the piece by Bob Simon tonight on 60 Minutes. It was really excellent and one of the most powerful statements against Israeli policy in the West Bank that I’ve seen on US television. For those of you who missed it, the link is below.

I would urge you to write 60 Minutes thanking them and B Simon, of course.

EMAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

PHONE: (212) 975-3247

ADDRESS:
60 Minutes
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

I am certain he will be getting a great deal of flack from the organized Jewish community. It is important that we voice our support and appreciation.

Thanks.
Sara

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

An excellent piece/report by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes. It really is worthwhile to see it. I am really surprised that Bob was able to put it on 60 minutes. I commend & salute Bob Simon for his courage & all his efforts.

Watch the fanatic Israeli settlers, the IDF & Apartheid in the works…you be the judge.

Click on link below:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2598

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By cyrena, January 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, January 26 at 6:04 pm

Shenonymous: My propositional question to you is, what is the rule that in war one side must use equally poor armaments in order to “fairly” win the battles?

OM responds with this:

My question is, what is the rule that in war one side must continually stop short of victory? Must stop attacking even though the other side has not surrendered?

Even the Qur’an instructs that in war you fight until the other side surrenders. And submits. Islam means ‘peace’, and this is how peace comes during a war: One side submits(submission is another meaning of Islam). That is how Islam moves seamlessly from war to peace.

~~~~

I’m not sure if this actually answers the question posed by Shenonymous, and I KNOW it doesn’t even begin to address the fundamentalist insanity of Ozark Michael quoting from the Qur’an on how wars are to be fought, (sorry OM, but for the last time, this War on the Arabs of the Middle East is simply NOT about Big R Religion, INCLUDING ISLAM even though you’ll probably go to your grave entrenched in that mindset.)

But, I’m including it anyway, because in my own comprehension, the Principles of the Just War Theory DO in fact answer your question about armaments and many other things. The Principle of the Just War Theory are by and large the components for the Geneva Conventions and the Human Rights Laws that have evolved in conjunction with the Geneva Conventions. Particularly note numbers 6 and 7. These have been more refined and elaborated upon in the Geneva Conventions and the Laws of War.

          Principles of the Just War

•  A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.

•  A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.

•  A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient—see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.

•  A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.

•  The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.

•  The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.

•  The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/justwar.htm

Here’s more on the component of proportionality

http://www.iep.utm.edu/j/justwar.htm

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Not so fast with the waive of a hand, PH.  A war of attrition?  The Israelis have been grinding down the Arabs for decades, is that what you are saying?  Do let us be perfectly clear and not dismiss this as a war of attrition. The war of attrition is a model of aggression in which two contestants (Arabs and Israelis) compete for a resource of value.  What resources do you think Israel wants, what do the Palestinians really want as they hide behind the shroud of Hamas?  You are not saying enough about the sum zero population in Israel, nor the unchecked birthrate of the Arabs and Palestinians in Gaza.  Finish your logic PatrickHenry.  To use your words, why should Israel make amends with these people soon?.  Israel will never yield.  Nor will Hamas.  You are right, might does not always make right.  But there are times when it does, so the adage does not always claim the day.  Which is it in this case?

There is another saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”  Where are the Arab allies?  They certainly could tip the balance of the right in the view of Hamas, between Israel and Palestinians.  I find it ludicrous that the Arabs are so silent.  Oh yeah, there is Saudi Arabia’s billion dollar reconstruction donation.  It is a donation right?  Or are the Saudi’s expecting to be paid back or did they say “no strings.”  Oh yeah.  They will excise their pound of flesh from the Palestinians, somehow.  They are just as mysterious as the American Wall Street bailout.  There are reasons, PatrickHenry.  It would seem advisable to dig them out?  If all the rockets and mortars are as puny as you are showing on “Robert’s” link, then the world has to ask, what is Hamas doing?  Surely they knew, KNEW, Israel would respond and respond in the worst way they can!  Surely they did not underestimate Israel!  How do you explain that? 

A population explosion you say, among the Arabic people in the Gaza region.  Can you explain that?  Please don’t say that more sex is going on for that in itself would be very interesting, but why the increase in live births? The death ratio in the battle with Israel is something like 3.4 to 1.  1300 Palestinians to 375 Israelis,  Is this the ratio every time?  Or is it worse?  Is that the same rate of negative birth rate for Israel to the explosion for Palestinians?  Who wins?  No body wins.  So we have to ask, what is it really for?

The same response to Robert about the weapons.  I would not be a bit surprised that Israel has an arsenal of American made, and other European countries made artillery.  Most likely China has provided many of the parts for those munitions, or Mexico.  Ever think about that? The Chinese can play both ends.  Smart. Good business while people die.  Well that is not important.  What is important is that Israel has powerful stuff.  So again, we, of the world, must ask, what in the hell is Hamas coaxing, provoking a war with Israel?  It simply does not make sense. And Robert puts the creme on the cake, the 23-year old nuclear capability by Israel.  Seems insane to send even a popcicle bomb over to that side.

By the way, how is the cease-fire really holding up?  How are the talks really progressing?

Nothing ever is as it seems.

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By Robert, January 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, January 26 at 7:06 pm #

“Shenonymous, please look throughout the website you provided and acertain it objectivity.  It is as pro-Israel as they come.

The constant babble about Palestinian rockets is nothing compared to the heavy weapons being used against them. If you have been around these weapons and have experienced the overpressures you would know what I mean.”

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

PatrickHenry…Is it possible for anyone from the current posters to this thread..to list for us what American made weapons does Israel possess in its huge military arsenals?

Lets compare what Israel has compared to what hamas has!

While we are on the subject of weapons…which country in the Middle East has undeclared nuclear weapons?

Which country in the ME has undeclared chemical & biological weapons capabilities?

Which country in the ME has NO outside inspections of its WMD stockpiles / warehouses?

Its Not Iraq…Its Not Iran…Yep, you guessed it.

Its…Israel !

The following BBC documentary reveals the extent of Israel’s WMD arsenals. I do remember the first time that I had a chance to watch this documentary; it was on LINK TV. No other News agency would even dare to air it to the American public. I was really alarmed at the numbers, the details & the big secrets.

Take a look at Shimon Perez & how he behaved regarding an interview attempt. The Israeli military cargo plane that crashed in the Netherlands and what it had on board and why we NEVER heard the details.

Click on the link to watch the complete documentary & think about who has the a huge overwhelming advantage when it comes to weapons:

***

Israel’s Secret Weapon (Secret Nuclear Weapons)

“Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower, was jailed in 1986 for publishing photographs of Israel’s nuclear bomb factory at Dimona. Olenka Frenkiel reveals the extent of Israel’s nuclear gagging. The Sunday Times Revelations hit the press in October 1986.”


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-234685330662058240&q=israel+secret+weapon&total=107&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1

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By OzarkMichael, January 26, 2009 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: My propositional question to you is, what is the rule that in war one side must use equally poor armaments in order to “fairly” win the battles? 

My question is, what is the rule that in war one side must continually stop short of victory? Must stop attacking even though the other side has not surrendered?

Even the Qur’an instructs that in war you fight until the other side surrenders. And submits. Islam means ‘peace’, and this is how peace comes during a war: One side submits(submission is another meaning of Islam). That is how Islam moves seamlessly from war to peace.

Israel has to be satisfied with ‘cease fires’ and never peace.

Hamas never wanted peace, they admit that their goal is to end the existance of Israel. So the most that the Palestinian children will ever get is a ‘cease fire’, during which the war goes on. If you really care about the children of Palestine, now is a good time to decry Hamas.


More from Shenonymous Denial, from both sides, is the main reason no peace is possible in the Middle East.

Here is Israel’s denial: they keep hoping there is some sort of “roadmap” to peace. Step by step getting closer. They hoped if they gave their enemies a little, later they would become more friendly and then more could be done without endangering Israel. But the little that Israel gave has cost them so much more than they expected. And it has cost the lives of Palestinian children.

Israel never should have allowed the PA to be set up in Gaza. If Israel hadnt made that blunder, they would not have needed to attack Hamas in Gaza. Not to mention the future, because within 5 years they will have to go in again.

Do something for the children. Prevent the next attack. Get rid of Hamas.

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By PatrickHenry, January 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 26 at 4:44 pm #

My answer to you, first this is a war of attrition which has spanned decades and sex (or lack thereof)is the weapon.  The european and russian jewish exodus to Israel has subsided and Israel currently has a negative population growth.  On the other hand the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli populations are exploding.  Logic should dictate that Israel make amends with these people soon.

Might does not always make right.  I am continually suprised at upsets, sure things, shoe-ins and long shots which defy conventional wisdom, stategies and “experts”....remember Vietnam.

The website provided by Robert shows these “rockets” and they are not the V-1 and V-2’s as the Israelis would suggest.

http://palestinian.ning.com/forum/topics/the-other-side-of-the-story

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By PatrickHenry, January 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Damn cat.

By Inherit The Wind, January 26 at 4:21 am #

I agree with the 2 state solution as long as no US tax dollars pay for it.  I think too much U.S. tax money is sent to Israel period. 

Israel does have a right to exist, however in its present form with its present government’s blood lust, that right is in question.  I don’t condone those few radical Hamas who continually pick a fight with Israel by launching unguided rockets at it, but they do have a legitimate beef and Israels lack of proportunal response only swells their numbers and invites world condemnation as well as mine.

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Let us pretend we are in a civilized debate, PatrickHenry.  My propositional question to you is, what is the rule that in war one side must use equally poor armaments in order to “fairly” win the battles?  Second point, historically, the side that wins usually has the better armaments and better strategies.  To wit, Henry V’s 11,000 – 13,000 (according to some sources) meager underfed troops who had dysentery wins over the multitude of Charles VI via Constable Charles d’Albret’s Frenchmen (50,000), at Agincourt, about 5-2, others said the French outnumbered the English, by 10-1, still others 3-1, because the English used the amazing long bow with the French did not have.  Henry lost not one man, so it is dramatized, the French catastrophically all.  Nothing is fair in war.  War is the henious crime man wages on man.  When do you think mankind will learn this terribly hard lesson?  I know it is a rhetorical question.  Shakespeare memorializes this battle as a caution of military arrogance.  There will be arguments what the actual statistics were, and it really doesn’t matter because the end result is that the long bow helped the English win that crucial battle.

I agree that the cutting edge news is a pro Israeli news instrument.  I was not hiding that fact.  Problem is that the Hamas-biased news instruments would not put pictures of these rockets on the internet.  I suggest you ignore most of the text if it seems rife with errors except do take a look at the rocket those apparently Hamas soldiers are carrying.  After all it was a link from the site you provided!  Denial, from both sides, is the main reason no peace is possible in the Middle East.

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By PatrickHenry, January 26, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, January 26 at 6:07 am #

Did I call you a nazi?  Typically I tend to differentiate between normal Jews (religious types) and the rabid zionist types, who by their actions have very little belief in god.  Aside from quoting me, all you offer is banter and false opinion.

By Shenonymous, January 26 at 4:58 am #

“Dare you take a look, if you can see through your own fanatical hubris, at these beauties?”

http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=10 26&pageid=20&pagename=Security

Shenonymous, please look throughout the website you provided and acertain it objectivity.  It is as pro-Israel as they come. 

The constant babble about Palestinian rockets is nothing compared to the heavy weapons being used against them. If you have been around these weapons and have experienced the overpressures you would know what I mean.

By Inherit The Wind, January 26 at 4:21 am #

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By OzarkMichael, January 26, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry says:  ITW and Ozark apparently have led sheltered lives and are the best advocates I could wish for espousing Israels right to destroy the world, right or wrong.

Overscreeching again. A case of paranoia, or at the very least jew-phobia.

Nothing like arrogant jews defending their homeland, even though they refuse to live there lest one of those rocket hit them.

PatrickHenry, you need to keep your name calling straight. Not that i mind being called Jewish, since to me it is a compliment of sorts, but i am not a ‘Zionist Nazi. I am the ‘other’ Nazi, the Christian fundamentalist type.

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2009 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, those are not little whistle rockets!  If you link to the site noted below that was listed on the site you posted, you will see that there is a lot more information about those “innocent” rockets. It is more than just various sized Qassam-1s and -2s.  Scroll to the bottom of the page. Note the size compared to the human.  There is a lot of prevaricating going on ‘round here. 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/hamas-qassam.htm
As I often say, nothing ever is as it seems.  Some information about the artillery being fired at Israel is shown here.  But there is much more interesting information and with ooooh ooooh oooh color charts, etc.

By 15 January 2009, since the beginning of the IDF operation in Gaza (Dec 27, 2008), four Israelis had been killed and 285 wounded by rocket fire. 771 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel.  Hamas does not seem to have a lack of rockets and mortars.

Hamas now has longer range Iranian-made rockets, and several hit near the Israeli port city of Ashdod for the first time, 23 miles [37 km] from Gaza.Israel’s Home Front Command recommended that all communities within a 40-kilometer range of Gaza be hooked up to the Color Red incoming missile alert system.

By the way, what kind of mortars did you say Hamas was sending over? Mortars are deadly. but don’t have as glamorous a name as Qassam.  Here is a video of Hamas in 2007 firing mortars from a boys school, so you can see what they are now using.  As I said,  nothing is as it seems.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmXXUOs27lI

Dare you take a look, if you can see through your own fanatical hubris, at these beauties?
http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=1026&pageid=20&pagename=Security

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RrkyVrEQjw&feature=related
Neil Young – After the Garden

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By Inherit The Wind, January 26, 2009 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, January 26 at 3:44 am #

ITW and Ozark apparently have led sheltered lives and are the best advocates I could wish for espousing Israels right to destroy the world, right or wrong.  Nothing like arrogant jews defending their homeland, even though they refuse to live there lest one of those rocket hit them.

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

Yeah, this sounds just like Ann Coulter-geist telling the world what and how Liberals think.

I must have hundreds of posts here advocating a 2-state solution.  I’ve said Israel needs to either withdraw the settlements or warn the settlers that they will be under the Palestinian authority.

Nowhere have I EVER argued that Israel has the right to destroy or conquer the world.  Only in PatrickHenry’s and Robert’s fevered brains is my position so twisted that wanting Israel to be safe is the same as Hitler’s plans to conquer Europe and then the entire world.

But as Israel withdrew from Gaza and a cease-fire went into place, it is clear that the Gazans MUST cease all attacks on Israel if they ever want to see the blockade lifted.  It’s really a no-brainer.

But it’s really hard to accept a final negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians when your total desire is to wipe Israel off the map, which, of course is what both PatrickHenry and Robert want.

Anything short of that destruction of Israel (see how they drool at the thought of an Israeli-Iranian war “The Iranians would wipe the floor with their sorry asses vis a vis.”) isn’t good enough for these two.  Therefore, in this warped, twisted logic, anyone who does NOT want the destruction of Israel must therefore want Jewish domination of the region and the world.

That leap doesn’t follow, of course, but that doesn’t matter to them.  Peace is actually of no interest to them—only the destruction of Israel is.

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By PatrickHenry, January 26, 2009 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

By Robert, January 25 at 8:46 pm #

Actually I see it as a ruse to “steer” the arguement from use of 1st world offensive weapons by the Israelis such as WP, airburst and cluster munitions from the home made Palestinian munitions, Quassams #1, #2 & #3 and hybrid rockets made in shop.  I bet the dud rate is at least 50%.

ITW and Ozark apparently have led sheltered lives and are the best advocates I could wish for espousing Israels right to destroy the world, right or wrong.  Nothing like arrogant jews defending their homeland, even though they refuse to live there lest one of those rocket hit them.

Given Israels shining example of taming the Palestinian horde combined with how they fared against Hezbollah in 2006, it is a no brainer why they want the U.S. to attack Iran.  The Iranians would wipe the floor with their sorry asses vis a vis.

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By cyrena, January 26, 2009 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, you are usually too smart to buy into that argument.  They are real weapons that pose a real danger. If Hamas could figure out how to get them to land where they wanted them to land, a lot more Israelis would be dead and wounded.  Hamas’s inability to fire their rockets accurately does not mean they are toys and not “real” weapons.

~~~

ITW,

I honestly do know what you’re saying, and I’ve actually seen the soda-pop bottles. So yeah, maybe they’re more potent than a sling shot. But seriously Inherit, there is no ‘contest’ here, and there never has been. Palestinian youth throw rocks at the IDF tanks as well.

I’m not saying the rocket firing is insignificant, because it’s ALL they’ve got, and it obviously isn’t helping them. But I’ve been on the ground there ITW, and I KNOW the ‘realities’, so it’s not about me buying into propaganda. It is what it is, and it ain’t pretty. At best, we have four decades of collective punishment that has destroyed entire generations of Palestinians, and at worst it is what it is as described in the legal language of the Convention For the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

That’s what it is, and these rockets are a distraction. Rockets from Gaza and/or Lebanon just are NOT killing Israelis, whether they live in Israel or in the illegally occupied territories/settlements where the rockets are directed. And if the rockets were anymore sophisticated than the oversized soda bottles that they are, the freedom fighters of Hamas WOULD be able to shoot them correctly. Then again, maybe that isn’t even the point.

Desperate people do desperate things, and that includes Hamas AND the leadership of Israel in my opinion. But surely, that is the reality of Hamas or any other group that has come before them in these long suffering attempts for self-determination on the part of the Arab population.

YOU know the solution. If they weren’t illegally settled there to begin with, the rockets wouldn’t be directed there either. And if Israel hadn’t blocked out all survival stuff, the same assumption could be made.

Meantime, just so you know, (and don’t worry) it’s highly unlikely that anybody would sell me 22 kilos of an explosive substance, and I’m not into such activities anyway. (I hate loud noises). wink

Wait…there’s an exception. I’d love to shove a firecracker up Dick Bush’s ass and light it up. That wouldn’t require 22 kilos, but it’s still just a pipe dream.

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By Robert, January 25, 2009 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

26/01/2009          

IDF rabbinate disseminated extremist propaganda during Gaza war

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent


“During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, the religious media - and on two occasions, the Israel Defense Forces weekly journal Bamahane - were full of praise for the army rabbinate. The substantial role of religious officers and soldiers in the front-line units of the IDF was, for the first time, supported also by the significant presence of rabbis there.

The chief army rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Rontzki, joined the troops in the field on a number of occasions, as did rabbis under his command.

Officers and soldiers reported that they felt “spiritually elevated” and “morally empowered” by conversations with rabbis who gave them encouragement before the confrontation with the Palestinians.”
 
“An overview of some of the army rabbinate’s publications made available during the fighting reflects the tone of nationalist propaganda that steps blatantly into politics, sounds racist and can be interpreted as a call to challenge international law when it comes to dealing with enemy civilians.

Haaretz has received some of the publications through Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers who collect evidence of unacceptable behavior in the army vis-a-vis Palestinians. Other material was provided by officers and men who received it during Operation Cast Lead. Following are quotations from this material:

“[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.” This is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from “Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner,” who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

The following questions are posed in one publication: “Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?” Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: “A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land ... They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country ... Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.”

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: “When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. ‘A la guerre comme a la guerre.’”

This view is also echoed in publications signed by Rabbis Chen Halamish and Yuval Freund on Jewish consciousness. Freund argues that “our enemies took advantage of the broad and merciful Israeli heart” and warns that “we will show no mercy on the cruel.”


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058758.html

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By Robert, January 25, 2009 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Purity of arms in action

GAZA CRISIS - PHOTO GALLERY JANUARY 2009

01.25.2009 [?] | UNRWA

An UNRWA school in Beit Lahiya suffered a direct hit from IDF fire on 17 January
Photographs by Mohammed Abed/AFP and agencies

The aftermath of the shelling of Beit Lahiya school
Photographs by Mohammed Abed/AFP and agencies

UNRWA food distribution in Gaza 16th & 17th January

UNRWA warehouses burning in Gaza 15th January

UNRWA turns schools in to emergency shelters 11th January

West Bank staff pack Gaza aid 10th January

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2592

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

I said:
Robert doesn’t answer pointed questions, he calls you a racist, a neo-con, a zionist thug, then quotes somebody else’s arguments yet again.

And Robert responds exactly as I said he would, with insults and name-calling.

here:
it looks like you & I have have rattled ITW & Ozark, the two arrogant zionists detractors on TD.


and here:

Oh…weeee, ITW’s analytical ability is overflowing! Lets not forget his biography too…impressive…eh! His mouth is almost always frothing about posters being…anti-semitic, hating Jews, hating Israel, Nazis…etc. He almost never fails to post such zionist tactical garbage.

and here:

ITW brain has been infected with the disease of zionism for way too long..  His head is locked in that zionist box; he has no choice in the matter. He will defend the brutality of Israel’s IDF and if he were a witness to IDF crimes against Palestinian children, he would deny and lie about what has happened.

Like I said: Robert can’t formulate a single original analytical thought. He just borrows smarter people’s ideas and then lathers them with insults of anyone who dares challenge him.

I told you he would.  Predictable as Pavlov’s Dogs.

ITW & Ozark are just detractors; their main aims are to sidetrack the main issues & plant doubts regarding information/posters related to criticism of Israel & this tragic conflict.

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By Robert, January 25, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, January 25 at 2:17 pm #

“We built better missles for our Boy Scout merit badges.

The Pals are building these homemade armaments in basements and tunnels under bombardment and firing them onto occupied Palestinian land inhabited by unlawful Israeli settlers.  There is case after case of how these “settlers” treat the local Palestinian population and it isn’t very kind.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PH,

The Israelis & zionists keep trying to tell the world about how lethal those homemade kasam rockets are.

If they are sooooo lethal, why doesn’t Israel swap a few of them for F-18, F-16, Apache helicopters, tanks, missiles, phosphorous & high shrapnel bombs.

Click on link below to see what Nazi-Apartheid Israel has committed with our high-tech American made weapons, and while you are at it, just scroll down to see images of the real “high-tech” kasam rockets:

Warning…Images are horrific). 

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

“We have heard the Palestinian side of the story, as you can see from the images below”:

http://palestinian.ning.com/forum/topics/the-other-side-of-the-story

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By Robert, January 25, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, January 25 at 2:17 pm #

“We built better missles for our Boy Scout merit badges.

The Pals are building these homemade armaments in basements and tunnels under bombardment and firing them onto occupied Palestinian land inhabited by unlawful Israeli settlers.  There is case after case of how these “settlers” treat the local Palestinian population and it isn’t very kind.

It’s only a matter of time before the Pals get some advanced anti-air weapondry and hopefully some effective anti-armor weapons as well.

I wish them happy hunting and good payback.”

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

PatrickHenry…What is going on man? I have been away all day…it looks like you & I have have rattled ITW & Ozark, the two arrogant zionists detractors on TD.

Oh…weeee, ITW’s analytical ability is overflowing! Lets not forget his biography too…impressive…eh! His mouth is almost always frothing about posters being…anti-semitic, hating Jews, hating Israel, Nazis…etc. He almost never fails to post such zionist tactical garbage.

If you noticed that the majority of my posts are authored by Jewish scholars who are on the side of humanity and TRUTH and NOT on the side of “Nazi-Apartheid Zionism” in regards to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

ITW brain has been infected with the disease of zionism for way too long. His head is locked in that zionist box; he has no choice in the matter. He will defend the brutality of Israel’s IDF and if he were a witness to IDF crimes against Palestinian children, he would deny and lie about what has happened.

ITW & Ozark are just detractors; their main aims are to sidetrack the main issues & plant doubts regarding information/posters related to criticism of Israel & this tragic conflict.

I will continue with posting the TRUTH to the best of my abilities. Israel’s crimes must be exposed. People can read and conduct their own personal research regarding comments & posted links. People can make up their own minds about who is posting facts or not!

ZIONISM IS A PERVERTED & ARROGANT “APARTHEID DISEASE”.

ZIONISM IS WRONG!

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

We built better missles for our Boy Scout merit badges.

You are telling me you built missiles with 10 kilos of explosive in the nose for the BOY SCOUTS????  Just who the fuck are you trying to fool?

That is such a colossal crock of shit and everyone here knows it.

Even 10 kilos of old-fashioned salt-petre-based black powder can bring down a house, easily.  There’s no way ANY scout master would let you build anything close to that!

Unless, of course, it was the “Scout Master” for the Aryan Nation—but the BSA probably doesn’t recognize such a character as a legit part of Scouting.

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By OzarkMichael, January 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry: The Pals are building these homemade armaments in basements and tunnels under bombardment ...

Whenever someone cranks up the drama too much it becomes ridiculous. Its like your voice keeps going higher and higher until your voice cracks and all you do is screech. Its too much! The Pals build their rockets in tunnels under bombardment? Oh the drama. Except I wonder….since there isnt bombardment going on now I suppose they cant make rockets anymore?

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By Shenonymous, January 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

It seems from the huge imbalance of the number of killings in the equation between the Israelis and Hamas, that Hamas is either the poorest shots on the planet, or they just don’t know what the heck they are doing.  So whichever, they just had over 1300 Palestinians die from Israeli bombings and other shellings.  What do you think happened?  Yeah, Israel over reacted, they killed more than 1300 Palestinians.  It does matter how it is said, but know this:  the Earth, and humanity in the long run, doesn’t care.  Only we can care.

http://www.neilyoung.com/
Living With War – Neil Young
It takes almost a full minute to load but be patient, it is worth it.

I’m living with war everyday
I’m living with war in my heart everyday
I’m living with war right now

And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man
And on the flat-screen we kill and we’re killed again
And when the night falls, I pray for peace
Try to remember peace (visualize)

I join the multitudes
I raise my hand in peace
I never bow to the laws of the thought police
I take a holy vow
To never kill again
To never kill again

I’m living with war in my heart
I’m living with war in my heart and my mind
I’m living with war right now

Don’t take no tidal wave
Don’t take no mass grave
Don’t take no smokin’ gun
To show how the west was won
But when the curtain falls, I pray for peace
Try to remember peace (visualize)

In the crowded streets
In the big hotels
In the mosques and the doors of the old museum
I take a holy vow
To never kill again
Try to remember peace

The rocket’s red glare
Bombs bursting in air
Give proof through the night,
That Our flag is still there

I’m living with war everyday
I’m living with war in my heart everyday
I’m living with war right now.

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By PatrickHenry, January 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

ITW - better research your “high explosive” misnomer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket

We built better missles for our Boy Scout merit badges.

The Pals are building these homemade armaments in basements and tunnels under bombardment and firing them onto occupied Palestinian land inhabited by unlawful Israeli settlers.  There is case after case of how these “settlers” treat the local Palestinian population and it isn’t very kind.

It’s only a matter of time before the Pals get some advanced anti-air weapondry and hopefully some effective anti-armor weapons as well. 

I wish them happy hunting and good payback.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Pop bottles? Each rocket contains 10 kilos of high-explosive—that’s 22 lbs.

If you think it’s no more than a pop-bottle, try setting 22 lbs of dynamite off on YOUR roof and see what happens to your house.

Cyrena, you are usually too smart to buy into that argument.  They are real weapons that pose a real danger. If Hamas could figure out how to get them to land where they wanted them to land, a lot more Israelis would be dead and wounded.  Hamas’s inability to fire their rockets accurately does not mean they are toys and not “real” weapons.

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By Leefeller, January 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

We know were all the money spent on Iraq went, don’t we?  Why not do the Republican thing and give the money to Hamas since we all know the trickle down theory works so well. Isn’t the bail out the same?

Do not know if the rockets the Hamas are using are similar to what the Viet Cong used in Nam, but I was on the receiving end of them, one landed about 15 yards from our bunker another, killed some guys down the road, so do not tell me they are like fire crackers, unless the Hamas are using bottle rockets, my brother in law started a brush fire with bottle rockets.

Hate festers more hate, history shows us nothing new.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, January 25 at 10:23 am #

ITW,

Thanks for the Autobiography. Place some money in the box and throw 5 hail mary’s.

For what it is worth, you did not need to feel the need to explain yourself?  I read the content or lack of, your comments have been enlightening, if I agreed with all of your comments, then we would have a problem and probably not bother posting.

Giving a shit, of what others think of one as a poster does not seem to bother most here.
*******************************************

Is reading carefully so difficult for you?  It should be blindingly obvious I was simply publicly communicating to Ozark—especially since I mentioned him by name.  I really don’t give 2 shits what you think of me or of anything else.

Why should I?

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By Shenonymous, January 25, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Tony Benn’s complaint to BBC is completely valid.  And he has a lot of chutzpah, but to what effect?  However, the commentator asks an important question how can it be prevented that any money sent for aid to the Palestinian people who desperately need it won’t be appropriated by Hamas and used to rearm itself?  Given a guarantee that Hamas cannot get its hands on the money, it ought to be sent by the millions.  What is so difficult about responding to that question?

So Kassam rockets are pop bottles?  Why the f*ck is Hamas paying so much money for f*cking popbottles?  Jeezus.  I don’t really need a one-sided historical report of the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians. 

Hamas, whose name means “zeal” and one meaning of zeal means fanaticism (and yes I chose that one since that is what excessive fervor means) grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a militant religious, political terrorist organization founded in Egypt with branches throughout the Arab world. Information collected from CFR website, Council on Foreign Relations composed a variety of ethnic background intelligensia including Arabic and Jewish. 
Some of you might be interested in the following site: http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/
Qassam Count Jan 5, 2009: Hamas fires at least 39 rockets into Israel, hitting 4 cities and 3 communities.

Monday, Jan. 5th, 2009 - Reuven Kaplan
Today a little after three o’clock this afternoon missile attacks on a direct hit ‘’’ kindergarten in Ashdod. Orsisi heard a big explosion of the missile Niftzo ‘’‘’ Synagogue nearby, a truck dragged Shachnth buildings near the kindergarten. Two residents were injured in an easy, one feels pressure in the chest while the other was hit by fragments. Also located a number of victims rather than dead.

Six Qassam rockets hit the town just before we arrived.“Maybe people don’t realize what has been going on in Israel for the past seven years,” says Rev. James Noland, Senior Pastor of Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia. “I was in Sderot in October 2007.

Nov 2008 50 days before end of cease fire, Sderot, the bombshelter playground.  While the media is showing images of Gaza, are innocent victims being forgotten?

This youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4KE3nkGA0
shows a playground in Sderot, which has the added security of a bomb shelter. Palestine rockets land in Sderot 15 seconds after being fired.  Also shows a picture of those popbottle Kassam rockets!

You know, you can believe what you want, but the argument is going nowhere because nothing new is being added.  Same old same old.  I know what has happened in Gaza and what I said goes selectively unheeded, but why isn’t what happens in Israel being told and being believed.  It’s rubbish.  Just mark my words, there will be no lasting peace.  It is not possible.

The reason we need reports from other countries (alla Italia) is because we are not getting unbiased reports in the media.  Also it shows there are other places a bit more unbiased in the world.  Stifle the news, is that what you want cyrena?  Okay.  I understand.  You seem to only pick out the part of my Center Hub Tao post that irks you. 

Ya wanna play fair?  Oh, yeah.
_____________________
Tacking a bit to the left:  Cacophony is a word I have used occasionally and find it well used in an article just sent to me by a friend and I will here share it with you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/opinion/25gartonash-1.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
It is about that bugaboo word “liberalism” but which demonstrates why so few speak up about anything.  It is acknowledged that historian Mr. Stern is Jewish, but then all things Jewish are not loathsome to most of us.  I would only ask, for balance sake, for a Middle Eastern historian’s view on liberalism, if one exists.  I would be most interested in it.

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By OzarkMichael, January 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

I care what people think. Especially when I get to know a person. ItW, that was a nice post. I was hoping to engage “Robert the Messenger” in some debate and i understand now from your post not to keep trying.

Some backround personal info is a good thing to have.

ItW said: I tentatively supported Hillary until she showed she couldn’t even manage her campaign whereas Obama could, and have been an avid supporter of our new President ever since.

Me, i supported McCain.  I was worried at first that Obama was a socialist, as time goes by I see he isnt. Once the election was over i have become an avid supporter of our new President, just like you are. 

The continual attacks on our last President is probably going to be mindlessly re-enacted by conservatives against Obama. I am against that.

ItW said: My comment about Ike and Rocky was that they represented a side of the GOP that is now gone or on life support that made a good, rational “Loyal Opposition”—something NO democratic society can function without—the questioners, skeptics and iconoclasts.

Perhaps from the ashes of defeat some wisdom will emerge. Hopefully we become iconoclasts for the right reason at the right time. Now is not the time. Let everyone enjoy a win, be proud, and dream a little.

But you wont have a tame opposition that you will always approve of. Rarely do people approve of their political opponents once the issues are on the line. It will get hot and heavy soon unless Obama is very clever. I expect to cross swords with you, ItW.

Ain’t that America though?

You are the Democrat on this forum who thought that Ike was great. Sometime you need to talk about why exactly.

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By cyrena, January 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,
“Are you kidding, PatrickHenry?  It is so easy when evidence is provided to dismiss it with the wave of the hand. For balance, are you also waiving the more than 20 Kassam rockets discriminately aimed at Israeli settlements of Sderot, Ashkelon, and western Negev on November 16 as well?”

~~~
Are YOU kidding Shenonymous? This is another one of those ironies that knocks me right off my chair. Did you say BALANCE??

Are you seriously ‘balancing’ more than 20 oversized soda pop bottles supposedly discriminately aimed at the Israeli SETTLEMENTS of Sderot, Ashkelon and western Negev on November 16th, (which would have been well after Israel attacked and broke the truce on November 4th, killing 7 Palestinians in Gaza) with the destruction of a huge portion of the Arab population of the ENTIRE AREA of the past 40 years?

Does the same thing apply to 2 years ago, when Israel was doing the exact same thing to Lebanon, or the MULTIPLE other times in the past 4 decades that Israel has used their cluster bombs (Chemical weapons) to literally pepper the entire land so that these weapons could continue killing and maiming innocent men, women and children long after the IDF has temporarily retreated behind their apartheid wall to plan for which group of innocents they’ll wipe out next?

Balance you say? You can’t possibly be thinking that human shields protect anybody from Israel’s massive arsenal, and even the longest of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h misses the leap to ‘balance’ that you’re trying to create here. It doesn’t exist. Balance is proportionality Shenon. 13 Israelis killed this last time, during the 22 days of the latest destruction. 1,300 innocents dead in Gaza, the fish bowl. Then there was Lebanon 2 ½ years ago.

http://www.google.com/search?num=20&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=W&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=2006+Israel+assault+on+Lebanon&spell=1

http://www.democracynow.org/2006/7/19/robert_fisk_in_beirut_israeli_assault

Shenonymous, Israel has been engaging in the collective punishment of an entire population of people for well over 40 years. You can spend the rest of your days defending this, but it’s a losing battle, since no amount of logic or reason will ever accept such a premise. It is what it is,(Genocide, War Crimes, and a violation of EVERYTHING the International Community holds as the standards for behavior among and between nation states.)

And..it’s indefensible.

We don’t need articles from the Italians or anybody else to tell us what we’re watching with our own eyes. Modern technology has finally caught up with Israel. It’s more and more difficult for them to carry out this 60 year old genocide in the dark, and behind the closed doors of a society that they’ve long held prisoners in their own land.

This time, they thought they could prevent outside journalists from witnessing their destruction, but by now, the whole world has been watching it for far too long, so we aren’t fooled by the bullshit and the age old propaganda. And in the BALANCE, nobody much cares about those oversized soda bottles that have yet to do anything to any Israeli citizens.

Did you ever consider that if the Israelis were NOT IN those ‘settlements’, they wouldn’t have been in the line of fire for soda pop bottle firecrackers or anything else?

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By PatrickHenry, January 25, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 25 at 9:05 am #

The rockets being fired from Palestian land onto occupied Palestinian land are actually more of a demonstation, with the chances of being killed akin to dying of a bee sting.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once and awhile and a “settler” is killed.

F-18’s, F-16’s, F-15’s, helicopter gun ships laying waste to urban city blocks with Hamas rocketeers on one side, scared shitless civilians on the other hardly qualifies as Hamas fighters using the civilians as a human shield, however being collateral damage is a more accurate term.

And yes more music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqwtz8D6pOo

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By Leefeller, January 25, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

ITW,

Thanks for the Autobiography. Place some money in the box and throw 5 hail mary’s. 

For what it is worth, you did not need to feel the need to explain yourself?  I read the content or lack of, your comments have been enlightening, if I agreed with all of your comments, then we would have a problem and probably not bother posting.

Giving a shit, of what others think of one as a poster does not seem to bother most here.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Oh, and I’m a Democrat, voting nearly always the Democratic line.  I said many, many times during the last two years that the WORST of the Democratic candidates (when there were 9 or 10) was better than the BEST of the GOP candidates that got into the race.
I tentatively supported Hillary until she showed she couldn’t even manage her campaign whereas Obama could, and have been an avid supporter of our new President ever since.

My comment about Ike and Rocky was that they represented a side of the GOP that is now gone or on life support that made a good, rational “Loyal Opposition”—something NO democratic society can function without—the questioners, skeptics and iconoclasts.

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By Shenonymous, January 25, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Are you kidding, PatrickHenry?  It is so easy when evidence is provided to dismiss it with the wave of the hand. For balance, are you also waiving the more than 20 Kassam rockets discriminately aimed at Israeli settlements of Sderot, Ashkelon, and western Negev on November 16 as well? (And yes I do know the difference between wave and waive).  I, myself, don’t mind if waivers are handed out, (except the people killed does bother me as they each had a life to live, which doesn’t seem to matter except to use them as statistics) but it should be “even-handed,” so to speak. The scales of justice has two trays on which to weigh life.

The site you provided gives an interesting article but the comments below it are even more interesting and more insightful actually.  There is no consensus over who is the worse, Israel or Hamas.  If it truly is over oil and water, then each side is waging the war for the same reasons, both sides are guilty of greed.

The salt of the earth, common people, do not think using them as human shields ought to be taken with a grain of salt!  Seems accurate that this war is not about religion (although it is prostituted as such), it is about money and resources.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Robert, January 24 at 2:13 pm #

By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 1:47 pm #

Robert’s comment: NAZI-ISRAEL’S AMERICAN MADE F-16

“Robert, according to your own allies that is hate speech to say “Nazi-Israel”. So you must take that back. Or you can support Geert Wilders. The link to do so is below. Let us know when you have signed up. Then we will read what you write.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ozark…No need for you to read my comments at all.

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

Ozark, for once I agree with Robert. Had this not been a short comment I would have skipped it like I skip all his others.  After all, Robert simply posts long opinion articles that he didn’t write, and is incapable of writing, and pretends they are fact.  He cites totally discredited and/or biased sources (including some that are blatantly anti-Semitic).

I used to check his sources but I found SO much bullshit and his own total lack of analytical ability that I don’t waste time reading them…As soon as I see “Robert”...and then a title and an author, meaning somebody else’s thoughts and analyses, I move on to the next post.

Robert doesn’t answer pointed questions, he calls you a racist, a neo-con, a zionist thug, then quotes somebody else’s arguments yet again.

So I skip them.  He’s right. You should too.  I skip most of FolkTruther’s stuff too. Why? I could practically write it for him, it’s so predictable and always the same.

I don’t care if people agree with me or not as long as they are capable of mounting an effective argument.

See, there are a lot of people here who think I’m a religious, orthodox Jew who is a Republican neo-con.

I’m nothing of the sort—I am a Jew but only a cultural one, being agnostic. I think the GOP has been a bane on the US’s existence ever since it abandoned Eisenhower and even Nelson Rockefeller.  I think the neo-cons are probably guilty of treason, at least the ones who worked for Bush, Bush included.

While I am a vehement defender of Israel’s right to exist, I, by no means, support their every action, many of which are as stupidly thought out and executed as Hamas’ missile attacks on Israel.  Nor do I support AT ALL the jingoists’ desire for a “greater Israel”.  I see NO reason for there not to be two states there, both fully sovereign.

You’ll here a lot of people say differently about me.  I’ve just told you what is the truth about me, not matter what others say.

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By PatrickHenry, January 25, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

And ultimately all things will be revealed.

http://current.com/items/89734051/gaza_the_real_reason_israel_attacked_gaza_oil.htm

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By PatrickHenry, January 25, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately, the Israelis indiscrimminate killing in an urban area by aerial bombardment waives any “human shield” disclaimers.

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By Shenonymous, January 25, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry loved the Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash duet. Thank you.  I’ve been keeping to Dylan’s political anti-war songs but looks like we are pretty much past that.  So here is one of my four favorites. This one is about Black American racism.  So it is still relevant. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8itFRCpkLg
Hurricane – that little Jewish boy – Bob Dylan, lyrics provided on the video.  This one is a little longer, like almost 9 minutes + or -, but well worth the listen.

By the way:
Since I always check out the links provided on this forum, I checked out the OzarkM link about the report of Hamas using human shields.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057874.html
then since it was a Jewish bent Haaretz paper and logically biased, I followed it to the referenced Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and the reporter, Cremonesi Lorenzo, January 22, 2009 (22 gennaio 2009), so it is a bonafide report. 

The headline is: «Noi usati come scudi» and the subheadline is: «Così i guerriglieri di Hamas ci hanno usati come bersagli» and translates exactly as “Used We like shield” “Thus the guerrillas of Hamas have used to us like targets”

http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/gennaio/22/Noi_usati_come_scudi__co_8_090122002.shtml

Do with it what you want.  But before accusing somebody of lying, please check it out first.

If you want to say the Italian newspaper is biased, okie dokie, of course you have that right, but it would be flippant on your part and you would have to prove it.

It would have been better had these web addresses been provided to save those who check things out the trouble.

Havana nice day.

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

Tony Benn TELLS OFF THE BBC!!!


“Source BBC News website, 24.01.09: Tony Benn voices an honest and compassionate opinion on the BBC’s poor decision not to broadcast a Gaza Charity Appeal, so he did it himself!!! Well done Sir, thank you!!! CREDIT to my fellow comrade, you know who you are :o)”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A SALUTE to Tony Benn’s humanity & courage!

A great video/moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD1-jjQguyI&feature=email

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By PatrickHenry, January 24, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 24 at 7:49 pm #

Not true.  One of my favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1JZly_jHeQ


By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 7:54 pm #

Fact:  I think your facts are dubious.

Distrust the islamist propagandists but the Jewish ones are OK….right.

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

Purity of arms, Courage under fire

“The day Israel used a boy aged 13 as a human shield”

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. EVEN WITH A THOUSAND WORDS, HOW CAN ONE DESCRIBE THE LOOK IN THE EYES OF A 13 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN BOY BEING USED BY ISRAEL’S BRUTAL IDF AS A “HUMAN SHIELD” ?

THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS THAT THERE ARE SOME STORIES & TRUTHS THAT CAN ONLY BE TOLD WITH PICTURES.

Click on link to see the TRUTH:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1018

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By OzarkMichael, January 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

My statement: “NEWSFLASH: they were trying to kill Hamas terrorists”.

PatrickHenry responds: Opinion.  Hamas is an elected government and those who fight for it are its soldiers.

Fact: Many who ‘fight’ for Hamas do so against their will.  They are called human shields. Hamas even admits to it. women, children, babies.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that Palestinian civilians have accused Hamas of forcing them to stay in homes from which gunmen shot at Israeli soldiers during the recent hostilities in Gaza.

Good old ‘Robert the Messenger’ doesnt seem to have any reports about that.

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Kenneth Roth Discovers that Israel Lies!
“The Incendiary IDF”

1.22.09 Human Rights Watch
By Kenneth Roth

“The Israel Defense Forces use phosphorous shells and forfeit credibility.

Throughout the recent war in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces insisted that it took extraordinary care to spare civilians. But it then prevented journalists and human rights monitors from entering Gaza during the conflict to independently verify this claim.

Now that Human Rights Watch and other observers have been let in, it has become clear that hundreds of Palestinian civilians were not the only casualties of the fighting. So was the credibility of the IDF.

Part of the problem was the IDF expansive definition of a military target. It attacked a range of civilian facilities, from government offices to police stations, on the theory that they all provided at least indirect support to Hamas militants. But by that theory, Hamas would have been entitled to target virtually any government building in Israel on the ground that its office workers indirectly supported the IDF. That would make a mockery of the distinction between civilians and combatants that lies at the heart of the laws of war, which require direct support to military activity before civilians become legitimate military targets. Behind the unsupportable legal claim seemed to lie a determination to make Gazans suffer for the presence of Hamas a prohibited purpose for using military force.

The IDF credibility probably took the biggest hit on the issue of its use of white phosphorous. A typical artillery shell of white phosphorous releases 116 phosphorus-soaked wedges which, upon contact with oxygen, burn intensely, releasing a distinctive plume of smoke. That smoke can be used legitimately to obscure troop movements, but white phosphorous can be devastating when used in urban areas, igniting civilian structures and causing people horrific burns. Its use by the IDF in densely populated sections of Gaza violated the legal requirement to take all feasible precautions during military operations to avoid harming civilians. It never should have been deployed.

The IDF has tried to defend itself with denial and obfuscation. It first denied using white phosphorous at all. Then, when that proved untenable, it claimed that use was limited to unpopulated areas of Gaza. Neither claim is true. On Jan. 9, 10 and 15, a Human Rights Watch military expert personally observed white phosphorous being fired from an artillery battery and air burst over Gaza City and the Jabalya refugee camp. Its telltale jellyfish-like plume was a dead giveaway, as can be seen from many photographs that are now emerging from Gaza of white phosphorous raining down on civilian areas.

The Times of London also photographed an IDF artillery battery firing white phosphorous shells. The shells are color coded and labeled with the IDF term for white phosphorous “exploding smoke.” They are also marked with the code used by the U.S. manufacturer of white phosphorous-M825A1. Similarly marked and color-coded shells and other evidence of white phosphorous use have now been recovered from urban areas of Gaza where they fell to earth.

As for obfuscation, the IDF claimed that all weapons it used were “legal,” but that begs the critical question of how they were used. The use of white phosphorous is legal in certain circumstances but illegal when deployed in a way that causes unnecessary or indiscriminate harm to civilians. The IDF cited press reports suggesting that the International Committee of the Red Cross supported its position, but in a rare public comment, the ICRC denied that claim.

The IDF latest line is that the shells fired in Gaza “contained phosphorus material but were not actual phosphorus shells.” That is semantic game-playing. Nothing that indiscriminately burns the way the IDF shells did, regardless of name, should be used in densely populated areas.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2586

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

I would be satisfied to say we had some misunderstanding and that we are closer to agreement than disagreement, Tony Wicher.  So glad you said you like the Dylan song.  It is one of his best.  You and I seem to be the only ones who enjoys a good tune.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Single-minded perspectives often confuse an anti-committed as sympathetic to one side. The one they would like to do away with.  No matter.  The political orientation of Chomsky is what is reported and I actually gave my resource.  He is one of my heroes. I’ve said that before.  But apparently one saying something doesn’t count unless it is within that last five seconds.  A lot of denizens here only have short term memory.  And I have already said how repugnant killing the Gazans are to me. So why can’t you get that?  I have emphatically said that Israel was wrong to retaliate with such potent force.  That being said, it is understandable that Israel would want to inflict as much damage on their perceived enemies and minimize their own.  To say that does not put me in the Zionist camp! It aligns me up right with Chomsky by your description.  To say that Hamas should not have launched those first, what?, 18 Kassam rockets does not put me in the anti-Hamas camp.  I do not know the precise reason they did it, but it was certainly a reported attack.  It looked unprovoked to the rest of the world.  So we are here trying to sort out what actually happened.  The fact that Israel outgunned Hamas and 1300 Gazans got killed for it, give or take 500 according to some other reports.  How are we to get even a resemblance of the truth with ambiguous facts like that?

Sorry no more tunes for today.  Maybe more tomorrow for those who have some aesthetic cells in their brains.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

To go a little farther, are you asking why Jews like Chomsky and Finkelstein aren’t on the side of Israel? That is how I took it. Should I have taken it differently? What I would say is that though they are Jewish, they are doing what you and I both recommend by and not taking the side of Israel but remaining objective, compassionate and humanitarian.

So if we are all on the same side, which is the side of humanity, then what is there left to argue about?

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

I said to Tony and Robert: “Stop believing Islamic propaganda. It is a vicious lie. Treat its messengers with respect if you must, but do not be taken in by them.”

PatrickHenry responds: Islamic propaganda?  OM, you must be high on glue. I for one would like to see more diversely owned media in America than the one we now have.

I was referring to the ‘messeges’ from whoever messenger Robert represents. He is a messenger, ya know.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Re Shenonymous

Tony Wicher, you made the same mistake the resident Muslim makes.  I am not a Zionist, or an anit-Zionist.
            xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Shenonymous

I also do my best to avoid taking any side, as I know Bob Dylan does too. There is however an objective viewpoint that perceives the truth, namely the human viewpoint and though nobody is perfect, I strive for such objectivity. You, who claim not to be on any side, have ventured to suggest that Finkelstein and Chomsky are self-loathing Jews. I generally hear this sort of thing only from people who are about as far from objective as possible, specifically from ardent, dedicated Zionists who are totally on the side of the Israeli government and support the current slaughter of innocents in Gaza.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Art in the service of…  Art used to move the masses.  The prostitution of Art. This animation is not any different.  We all llloooovvve a movie, so we are hooked right from the start of the propaganda. Because the nature of art can utilize all the right elements:  Forgotten past, subconscious denial, epiphanies, sex with a nubile amazon beautiful saviorette (of course she couldn’t be just a plain Jane, as most good women really are), intrigue, and the glamour of the military, the hype.  First-person perspective, becomes the metaphor for the entire heroic military forces shown in attack mode. How do non-combatants on each side really perceive the actions?  Given time to think, without duress and politics of fear from their respective leaders!?  Of course all we get is a teaser. But don’t we already know what is going to happen?  Haven’t we already written the affected script?  Why not use photographs of real situations?  The sentimentality of killing the vicious dogs was a nice touch.

Problems is, it is all pageantry.  The animation and Bob Dylan.  Though I tend to think Dylan is a bit more sincere because he didn’t need hype.  His poetry gives us metaphors that will be more indelible over time than the animation.  The animation uses imagery already trivialized in the common consciousness.  Devouring dogs of war is a rather trite device.  I suggest anyone who wants a more authentic experience, first to join in the conflict, the wages of war, go there, live it on both sides.  Partake of both sides’ action.  Engage in killing people.  Don’t emotionally take a side, just show up on each side, if you survive, that is. And hopefully you will survive the other side as well.  If that is not an option you relish, and who would? But anyway, then read and hear Bob Dylan.  Billy Joel isn’t shabby either.

This will only take 3 minutes 33 seconds of your time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U94lGTSzaoU
River of Dreams – Billy Joel
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin’ for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I’ve been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose
Something somebody stole
I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To the river so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That is runnin’ to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night

By the way, speaking in the collective ‘we,’ Joel is Jewish too, go figure.

Tony Wicher, you made the same mistake the resident Muslim makes.  I am not a Zionist, or an anit-Zionist. I have been crystal clear in my comments.  Some get it, most don’t.  And so it goes.  I have one perspective, that all sides are wrong.  All who kill people are wrong.  To what degree is the matter of the debate.  It can be called a Hub Perspective.  I want war to stop.  Calling one a Zionist, Zionophobic, Islamist, Islamophobic, Christian, or Christianophobic is the Name-Calling Tao.  It always ends up a fruitless way.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

We have a lot in common, since Bob Dylan is my favorite poet of all time and “Aint Talkin” is one of my favorite songs.

I am sorry if I ignorantly accused you of being a Zionist. I got that impression because of what you said about Finklestein and Chomsky. In my opinion the criticism of Zionism and Israel that both of these fine scholars make, as well as Ilan Pappe and others, is based on their adherence to universal principles of human rights and international law which transcends any identification with Jews as a people. I see no hint of “self-loathing” in either of them, just a laudable objectivity. That is also my own perspective. If it is also yours, then we have no disagreement here, just a misunderstanding.

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By PatrickHenry, January 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 2:21 pm #

“As commentary, it is biased and blinkered.”

Especially the proIsrael, prosemite, antimuslim whiners at this website that feel Israel is justified to end all life on this planet if it wishes.

“NEWSFLASH: they were trying to kill Hamas terrorists”.

Opinion.  Hamas is an elected government and those who fight for it are its soldiers.

“Stop believing Islamic propaganda. It is a vicious lie. Treat its messengers with respect if you must, but do not be taken in by them.”

Islamic propaganda?  OM, you must be high on glue. I for one would like to see more diversely owned media in America than the one we now have.

Now that the presidential race is behind us, the attack-Iran PR campaign is ratching up in the minion of jewish-zionist owned radio stations and news entertainment media.  In Washinton DC on WTOP “news” radio anytime that Iran is mentioned it is in a negative tone or connotation and the American Israeli committees are the savior to us all.  Imagine our elected officials listening to this brainwash shit 24/7 and it has been going on for years.

Israel refuses to allow the same inspections and declarations as they demand of Iran. 

What an insult to me as an American to know my taxes go to this rogue little state against my wishes.  I can only continue to pester my congressmen at http://www.congress.org

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By cyrena, January 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Hi ya’ll.

Thought some of you might find this interesting.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175025/waltz_with_bashir_part_1

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By Folktruther, January 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

The basic issue is quite simple.  Israel, as Brewerstoupe, Robert and others have documented is based on ethnic cleansing.  Isreal wants the land, homes, water, resources, etc of the Palestinians and to move them someplace else or kill them.  This is now done under the guise of supporting a two-state solution while massacring the Palestians and others again and again.

The Palestinians want to defend their homes and have a state of their own, preferably by destroying Israel, but would settle for half a loaf.  So their movement is a national liberation stuggle against Israel and the US, which supports its ethnic cleansing.  Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians are the oppresed; Israel is the attacker and the Palestinians the attacked, no matter how much the Western media obfucates the simple truth.

so justice is on the side of the Palestinians, whatever religious form the liberation struggle takes.  the moral question is quite siple, even if the tactics and stragegy are much less so. 

But the historical struggle is on the side of the Palestinians despite the enormous current disparity in military means.  You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them, which is the one alternative the Israelis have.  They recently banned the Israeli Arabs from participating in the Israeli elections.

The alternative of continuous oppression of Palestinians in murdering them and deporting the remaining survivors.  ominously, the Israeli Jewish population is edging closer to this alternative.  So the historical alternative of the Palestinians is that either thay get their own state or that they will probably be massacred.  No one but Zionists will support the latter alternative.

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Amnesty International Calls on Israel to Urgently Disclose Weapons and Munitions Used in Gaza

Doctors Are Having Difficulty Treating Wounded with Unexplained Charred and Severed Limbs

01.22.2009 | AmnestyUSA.org
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Amnesty International Press Release

“15 year-old Ayman al-Najar at the Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. He has severe injuries, including chemical burns, after Israeli bombing in the village of Khoza’a, Gaza

(New York)—Saying doctors are finding new and unexplained patterns of injury among the wounded in Gaza, Amnesty International today called on the Israeli authorities to urgently disclose all weapons and munitions their forces used during military operations to prevent the loss of more lives.

“It is vital and urgent that the Israeli authorities disclose all relevant information including what weapons and munitions they used,” said Donatella Rovera, who is leading Amnesty International’s investigations team in Gaza. “More lives must not be lost because doctors do not know what caused their patients’ injuries and what medical complications may occur. They have to be fully informed so that they can provide life-saving care.”

Rovera said doctors are telling Amnesty International they are encountering new and unexplained patterns of injury among some of the Palestinians injured. “Some victims of Israeli air strikes were brought in with charred and sharply severed limbs and doctors treating them need to know what weapons were used,” she said.

Dr. Subhi Skeik, head of the Surgical Department at al-Shifa Hospital, told Amnesty International delegates: “We have many cases of amputations and vascular reconstructions where patients would be expected to recover in the normal way. But to our surprise many of them died an hour or two after operation. It is dramatic.”

Rovera said the human rights organization has irrefutable evidence of the use of white phosphorous munitions in civilian areas, although the Israeli authorities previously denied using this munition.

Israel’s earlier refusal to confirm that its troops had used white phosphorus meant that doctors were unable to provide correct treatment. White phosphorous particles embedded in the flesh can continue to burn, causing intense pain as the burns grow wider and deeper, and can result in irreparable damage to internal organs. It can contaminate other parts of the patient’s body or even those treating the injuries.

“We noticed burns different from anything we had ever dealt with before,” one burns specialist at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital told Amnesty International. “After some hours the burns became wider and deeper, gave off an offensive odor and then they began to smoke.”

The condition of people with burns caused by white phosphorus can deteriorate rapidly. Even those with burns that cover a relatively small area of the body – ten to fifteen percent – who would normally survive, can deteriorate and die. Only after a number of foreign doctors arrived in the Gaza Strip, days after they had seen the first casualties of white phosphorus, did local doctors learn what had caused the wounds and how to treat them.

A 16-year-old girl, Samia Salman Al-Manay’a, was asleep in her home in the Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza City, when a phosphorous shell landed on the first floor of the house on Jan. 10. Ten days later, from her hospital bed, she told Amnesty International that she was still experiencing intense pain due to the burns to her face and legs. “The pain is piercing. It’s as though a fire is burning in my body. It’s too much for me to bear. In spite of all the medicine they are giving me the pain is still so strong.”
~~~~~~~~~
Click on link to see the horrific image of this 15 year old boy & the rest of the details:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2584

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By OzarkMichael, January 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Robert: Your zionist tactic of trying to attack the messenger…

Dear Robert, I noticed that you never answer any questions, but now I know why. Its because you are too busy being a messenger. I should apologize, i didnt know you worked in the ‘messenger’ capacity. Messengers should not be attacked, but treated with respect.

Dearest Messenger Robert, I would like to know, if you could take a moment from your messengerial duties to answer…  who exactly who are you a messenger for? 

Tony:  It’s not that Muslim fundamentalism is not a problem, but that this has very little to do with the Israel/Palestine conflict compared with the fact that Zionists have been carrying out a plan to take over and ethnically cleanse Palestine that has been projected and planned for over 100 years

This is not logical, although it is repeated ad nauseum here on “Truthdig”.

It is so absurd I have not bothered to address it before. But for Tony and Robert I will state what is obvious:

If Israel really wanted to kill civilians they would all be dead by now, in fact they would have been dead 20 years ago. Are you really ignorant enough to believe that in the latest weeks of fighting, 10,000 IDF aim so poorly that only one soldier in 10 managed to kill a target?

NEWSFLASH: they were trying to kill Hamas terrorists.

Stop believing Islamic propaganda. It is a vicious lie. Treat its messengers with respect if you must, but do not be taken in by them.

The question here is: “Why does no one speak for Gaza?” Its funny, but I am almost the only one who answers that question. If you really must support Hamas, then you need to know the Islamist agenda you are enabling. Yet, when I speak of it that it is a ‘distraction’?

When, if ever, may I bring up the topic? Without being told that i am ‘attacking messengers’ , ‘sidetracking’, planting distractions’ etc? 

Tony, on Truthdig there is NEVER a forum that is about the Islamic danger to free speech. This threat has has been building for 4 years and not one report yet.

As a news outlet, Truthdig is a disgrace.

As commentary, it is biased and blinkered.

As bloggers, you are too frightened to engage in a good argument. Even when lives are at stake in Gaza, people like Fadel just up and run away.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

We can see Tony Wicher that you are also a prisoner of your own set of beliefs.  Having been a Catholic only for a couple of years, there is no Catholic dogma to which I have ever adhered, having argued with the priest on several occasions which ultimately allowed me to see into the fallacy of religions of all stripes and contrary to what you ignorantly accuse me. The creation of Israel was a political solution that sticks in the craw of protectionist Islamists,  The fact that I do not hold that there is any religious virtue in Zionism, because I criticize Zionists and anti-Zionist alike, does not make me an anti-Semite. That is your error, and you are just as likely as the next person to make categorical mistakes.  As you can see I do not mince words either.  Obviously there are particular parts of your consciousness you would like to ignore and tell yourself a story that does not quite fit reality.  It is all right because I run into folks like you all the time.  Disinterested atheist/agnostics are disarming and unable to be dealt with.  So a reduction to name called rears its ugly head. For which way do the athesits turn, we may ask not so rhetorically? Why they turn 360 degrees.  No one is exempt.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

That mystical Jewish boy again….Bob Dylan
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1298052/aint_talkin_bob_dylan_tribute_clip_with_spanish_subtitles/
First part is sketchy, but once it gets going is amazing. Has Spanish subtitles. 
This is more concertish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQgNNZa6OvM

Ain’t Talkin’
As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine
I was passing by yon cool crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to heal
So pray for me mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I am a-tryin’ to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain’t going well

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
I’ll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
There’ll be no mercy for you once you’ve lost

Now I’m all worn down by weeping
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleeping
I’ll just slaughter ‘em where they lie

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ through the cities of the plague.

Well, the whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you’re down

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Eatin’ hog eyed grease in a hog eyed town.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Some day you’ll be glad to have me around.

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I’ll make the most of one last extra hour
I’ll revenge my father’s death then I’ll step back

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Hand me down my walkin’ cane.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Got to get you out of my miserable brain.

All my loyal and my much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that’s been long abandoned
Ain’t no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
My mule is sick, my horse is blind.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Thinkin’ ‘bout that gal I left behind.

Well, it’s bright in the heavens and the wheels are flyin’
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire gone out but the light is never dyin’
Who says I can’t get heavenly aid?

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Carryin’ a dead man’s shield
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ with a toothache in my heel

The sufferin’ is unending
Every nook and cranny has its tears
I’m not playing, I’m not pretending
I’m not nursin’ any superfluous fears

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Walkin’ ever since the other night.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ ‘til I’m clean out of sight.

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma’am, I beg your pardon
There’s no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Up the road, around the bend.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
In the last outback at the world’s end.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

By Robert, January 24 at 11:13 am #
By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 1:47 pm #
————————————————————————-
By Robert, January 24 at 11:13 am #
By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 1:47 pm #

“Your zionist tactic of trying to attack the messenger & sidetracking the main topic is well known to a lot of Americans.”
 
          x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Robert,

Quite. It’s not that Muslim fundamentalism is not a problem, but that this has very little to do with the Israel/Palestine conflict compared with the fact that Zionists have been carrying out a plan to take over and ethnically cleanse Palestine that has been projected and planned for over 100 years. So OM is indeed just planting a distraction, and you are right, these efforts are fooling fewer and fewer Americans these days.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous

Whoever denies the Holocaust does have that right. And you and I have the right to call such people the scum of the earth. Which I do all the time, because we get lots of anti-Semites on this blog, and when I detect one (and my anti-Semite detector is very sensitive) I don’t mince words. That’s the way free speech works.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

Re Shenonymous, January 24 at 8:39 am

Chomsky certainly is critical of Zionism. So is everybody else who is not imbued with Zionist ideology and who cares about universal human rights or international law. Sorry, Shenonymous - you have to free your mind by drilling these Zionist ideas out of your head so you can see the world objectively as it is. It’s the same as being raised a Catholic, for example. You can’t be scientifically objective or fully rational as long as you believe in Catholic dogma. Even if you study the issues your whole life and become a great scholar, all you will ever do is justify a dogma that you never question.

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, January 24 at 1:47 pm #

Robert’s comment: NAZI-ISRAEL’S AMERICAN MADE F-16

“Robert, according to your own allies that is hate speech to say “Nazi-Israel”. So you must take that back. Or you can support Geert Wilders. The link to do so is below. Let us know when you have signed up. Then we will read what you write.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ozark…No need for you to read my comments at all. You can continue with your “zionist” agenda & continue to support your “Nazi-Apartheid” Israeli massacres against innocent men, women & children.

Your zionist tactic of trying to attack the messenger & sidetracking the main topic is well known to a lot of Americans.

So continue to scream… anti-semitism, hate speeches…ect…while your Nazi-Israel continues to commit war-crimes & genocide against against defenseless innocent civilians.

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By OzarkMichael, January 24, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Many of you remember when the subject of the UN Durban conference was brought up here. It was claimed by Truthdiggers that the US does not attend out of rascism etc etc. That Durban solves the problems of racism, defamation of religion, etc etc.

Well, the Muslim states are gearing up for another round of Durban. Here is a report that reveals the Durban process.

http://www.expatica.com/es/news/local_news/TV-crew-expelled-from-UN-meeting-on-freedom-of-expression-b-U_48911.html

While discussing freedom of speech they have to ban freedom of the press. Anyone wonder why?

cyrena, if you want to defend the Durban process, go ahead.

And after we argue about it, if you still think that this is the way to go, then I will buy you airfare to the Durban “public” conference. If you can actually get in and record what in the heck they are doing in there, then I will also pay for your airfare back home.

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By OzarkMichael, January 24, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Robert’s comment: NAZI-ISRAEL’S AMERICAN MADE F-16

Robert, according to your own allies that is hate speech to say “Nazi-Israel”. So you must take that back. Or you can support Geert Wilders. The link to do so is below. Let us know when you have signed up. Then we will read what you write.

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By Anarcissie, January 24, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:
“Everyone else does it, so why not Hamas?”

Frank Goodman, Sr.
‘So, everyone else does it, so why not Israel, USA, and Fidel Castro?

Do you justify propaganda lies?’

I think it’s ludicrous for any nationalist, statist, or adherent of ethnic or religious politics, especially a fan of Israel, to pick on anyone for putting out propaganda.  Give me a break.  Or, better yet, tell me why Hamas should be better than everyone else, so we can all enjoy the humor.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher
Chomsky does not deny the Holocaust and I did not say he did.  He says that whoever does deny it, has the right to deny it.  Please read more carefullly and read the article at the link.  But the point was that he is critical of Zionism and Israeli Zionists in particular.

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By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Shen,

How on earth do these remarks of Chomsky “deny the Holocaust”? Chomsky’s position here is identical with that of the ACLU, which unconditionally supports the civil rights and free speech even of Nazis. If you can’t tell the difference between supporting the right of free speech and supporting the truth of what is said, go take a refresher course in constitutional law.

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By Shenonymous, January 24, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Obviously no one wants to deal with Geert Wilders and Fitna. The video Fitna undeniably exposes the suppression of free speech.  Even if some or all of it is untrue, it’s censorship is wrong.  Freedom of speech is an inalienable right, not given by any god but given by humanity to human beings as a reaction to its conscious stature. If you to not agree that freedom of speech is a human sacred right, it incumbent on you to provide a logical rationale. I further argue that the essence of this topic goes directly to the topic of Sheer’s article about why so few speak up for Gaza and that freedom of speech and that such protection of this freedom affords the only consideration for moral conduct. For without freedom of speech, humankind has no argument for its opinions of what moral conduct is.

There exists a plethora of arguments and treatises on the unmitigated benefit to human life, the value of free speech.  The suppression of speech is unjustified in all cases except where it would do demonstrable harm either to others or to oneself.  Falling onto the rationale of John Stuart Mill and his formulation in “On Liberty” strictly on utilitarian grounds, it is recognized that forms of speech are reasonable to be silenced if they are defamatory, seditious, invasive of privacy, and incitive to violence. All that notwithstanding, Mill argues that one should not suppress speech on the grounds that it is immoral, shocking, unorthodox, or heretical, and especially not simply because it is false.

On the one hand, Mills argues for us to suppose that the silenced expression is true or at least partially true. He then reminds us that there is always a chance that an opinion, however absurd or false it may seem, is true or at least partially true. To suppose otherwise is to suppose that one cannot be wrong. Yet we can be and often have been mistaken. The history of thought is filled with opinions believed to be unquestionably true at the time that in retrospect have proved to be false. Silencing opinions that challenge the accepted view can prevent the elimination of error and the growth of knowledge. Thus, Mill correctly concluded that silencing of opinions that dispute received ideas can result in a loss of truth and in consequence can be harmful.

The second branch of Mill’s argument is based on the supposition that the opinion at issue is false. He correctly holds that even here suppression would constitute a loss because false views force us to reexamine the grounds of our beliefs and rethink our arguments; they challenge our dogmas and stimulate us to develop them into living truths.

The suppression of expressions not only has harmful results but is inconsistent with the minimum principle of liberty.

Therefore, since no human has an absolute possession of truth, that argument alone is sufficient to accept Mills’ conclusion that truth can be promoted only by uninhibited public discussion and the consideration of all views no matter how mistaken or misleading they appear. Also, his second and most important to a community is his rational determination that political authorities have a permanent motive to suppress criticism and that this is a source of misgovernment and misery for the many and I submit this latter is most crucial for religious authorities as well, where religious-dogma enforcers are prone to the same motives to maintain power over adherents.

With this subspecies of the minimum principle of liberty, then, it is imperative that the inherent value of films or videos such as “Fitna” and Wilders’ opinion has the protected right to put into public discussion his argument regardless of the form of his criticism of the religious-driven violence of Islam.  And I will engage such a conversation on this forum where I see no one has taken OzarkMichael’s reasonable gauntlet.  It is curious that no one has taken up this challenge.  We must surmise there is no argument then.  Shall we see?

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 24, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

RE: Anarcissie, January 24 at 7:18 am

“Everyone else does it, so why not Hamas?”

So, everyone else does it, so why not Israel, USA, and Fidel Castro?

Do you justify propaganda lies? Or do you say that since lies are abundant truth cannot be known to any degree of certainty. I suggest that you look at the recorded atrocities in Gaza as recorded by photographed scenes from Gaza. Those apologists for Israel show spent rockets on the land Israel stole from the Palestinians in 1948 near the town now called Sderot. I have seen no pictures of mass deaths and grievous injuries of Israelis. Only the home made casings of the explosive devices that Gazans can manage to construct to harass the Israelis in order to draw world attention to the real crime in Israel.

I am not a fan of Hamas, but ask yourself what you would do if Hamas rockets rained upon Jerusalem and caused a thousand deaths and four thousand injuries to the civilian population in retaliation for one sonic boom over Gaza? For that matter for the deaths of 13 Gazans by some Jewish kids who lobed super firecrackers across the fence?

I certainly do not want an Islamic regime in Gaza or Palestine any more than I could approve of a Zionist regime in Israel, or a Nazi regime in Germany, or bringing George Bush back in a Christian Monarchy in USA. No King George I, United Kingdom of America for Jesus Christ. No Islamic Republic of Gaza. No Zionist home of the Jews promised by God of Abraham on stolen land of Palestine. Get it?

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By Robert, January 24, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Unseen Gaza

Channel 4 Video Report - Broadcast - January 22, 2009

“Is what has been presented on our screens and in our papers a true reflection of events on the ground in Gaza? And how do these reports differ to those aired in other countries?

With reporters unable to enter Gaza, attempted media manipulation from both sides and strict regulations governing what images that can be shown on British TV, Jon Snow asks a range of journalists from at home and abroad about the challenges of getting the full story.

Featuring images that haven’t before been aired on mainstream television, Jon also examines the difference between the coverage at home and that in the US, Europe and the Middle East. He compares the coverage available on terrestrial channels with satellite TV and the internet and investigates the extent to which some British Muslims are by-passing the mainstream British media and looking elsewhere for their information.

To what extent does the choice of news outlet affect opinion of the conflict?”

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

ISRAELI “NAZI-ZIONIST” ATROCITIES! HORRIFIC HUMAN IMAGES OF INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN MASSACRED BY NAZI-ISRAEL’S AMERICAN MADE F-16, TANKS, APACHE HELICOPTERS, MISSILES, PHOSPHOROUS & SHRAPNEL BOMBS.

  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21833.htm

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By Anarcissie, January 24, 2009 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Sepharad:
’...None of this is intended to make light of the tragedies suffered by the Gaza people and families. There is nothing good or dignified, however, regarding lying about or exaggerating deaths to make political points.’

Everyone else does it, so why not Hamas?

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By Sepharad, January 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More journalists are gaining access to Gaza and different viewpoints are emerging. A “Newsweek Magazine” correspondent talked to gunmen who admitted using a hospital for firing at Israelis:

“One of the most notorious incidents was the 1/15 shelling of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society buiilding in the downtown Tal-al Hawa part of Gaza City, followed by a shell hitting the Al Quds Hospital next door [forcing the evacuation of all 500 patients].


“In the Tal-al Hawa neighborhood nearby, however, Talal Safadi, an official in the leftist Palestinian People’s Part, said Hamas fighters were fighting all around the hospital. ‘Hamas failed to win the
battle.’”
——
“The Daily Telegraph” correspondent Tom Butcher returned for the first time since the war: “I knew Gaza well before the attacks, so when Israel ended the ban on foreign journalists I could see for myself.

“One thing was clear. Gaza City ‘09 is not Stalingrad ‘44. There’d been no carpetg bombing of large areas, no firebombing of complete suburbs. Targets had been selected and then hit, often several times, but almost always with precise munitions. ... Buildings nearby had been dammaged and there had been clear mistakes. But in most cases I saww the primary target had borne the brunt.

“I was mostly struck by how cosmetically unchanged Gaza appeared to be. It had been a tatty, poorly maintained mess and the presence of fresh bombsites on streets alreaday lined with broken kerbstones and jerry-bult buildings did not make any great difference.”
——- Jordan’s Petra News Agency: “A number of armed men seized a Jordanian aid convoy entering Saza Strip via Karem Abu Salem Crossing Point (sent by the Jordanian Hashemite Charitable Organization), unloaded the aid to non-Jordanian trucks after crossing the King Hussein Bridge and forced them to head to their own warehouses.”

UNRWA was expected to receive and unload the aid in its warehouses to later distribute to civilians in the Strip.

UNRWA asked to halt aid convoys on Tuesday and Wednesday until the issue of the seized convoy was resolved.

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By Sepharad, January 23, 2009 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More info is coming out of Gaza. Italian newspaper Corriere Della reported 1/21 that a doctor working in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital claimed Hamas was intentionallyh inflating the number of casualties resulting from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead: “The number of deceased stands at no more than 500-600 [mostly] youths between 17 and 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter.”

A Tal-al Awa resident told the paper’s reporter that “Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, 16 and 17 and armed. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes.”

The Italian reporter also quoted Palestinian reporters in the Strip who complained that “We have already said to Hamas commanders, ‘why do you insist on inflating the number of victims?’ The same Palestinian reporters told Corriere that the truth that will come out will likely be similar too Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin.* (*During the 2nd Intifada.) “Then, there was first talk of 1,500 deaths. But it turned out that there were onlhy 54, 45 of whom were armed men.”

(None of this is intended to make light of the tragedies suffered by the Gaza people and families. There is nothing good or dignified, however, regarding lying about or exaggerating deaths to make political points.)

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By Robert, January 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Noam Chomsky: Obama’s Stance on Gaza Crisis “Approximately the Bush Position”

NOAM CHOMSKY: “It’s approximately the Bush position. He began by saying that Israel, like any democracy, has a right to defend itself. That’s true, but there’s a gap in the reasoning. It has a right to defend itself. It doesn’t follow that it has a right to defend itself by force. So we might agree, say, that, you know, the British army in the United States in the colonies in 1776 had a right to defend itself from the terror of George Washington’s armies, which was quite real, but it didn’t follow they had a right to defend themselves by force, because they had no right to be here. So, yes, they had a right to defend themselves, and they had a way to do it—namely, leave. Same with the Nazis defending themselves against the terror of the partisans. They have no right to do it by force. In the case of Israel, it’s exactly the same. They have a right to defend themselves, and they can easily do it. One, in a narrow sense, they could have done it by accepting the ceasefire that Hamas proposed right before the invasion—I won’t go through the details—a ceasefire that had been in place and that Israel violated and broke.

But in a broader sense—and this is a crucial omission in everything Obama said, and if you know who his advisers are, you understand why—Israel can defend itself by stopping its crimes. Gaza and the West Bank are a unit. Israel, with US backing, is carrying out constant crimes, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank, where it is moving systematically with US support to take over the parts of the West Bank that it wants and to leave Palestinians isolated in unviable cantons, Bantustans, as Sharon called them. Well, stop those crimes, and resistance to them will stop.

Now, Israel has been able pretty much to stop resistance in the Occupied Territories, thanks in large part to the training that Obama praised by Jordan, of course with US funding and monitoring control. So, yes, they’ve managed to. They, in fact, have been suppressing demonstrations, even demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations, that called for support for the people of Gaza. They have carried out lots of arrests. In fact, they’re a collaborationist force, which supports the US and Israel in their effort to take over the West Bank.

Now, that’s what Obama—if Israel—there’s no question that all of these acts are in total violation of the foundations of international humanitarian law. Israel knows it. Their own advisers have told each other—legal advisers have explained that to them back in ’67. The World Court ruled on it. So it’s all total criminality. But they want to be able to persist without any objection. And that’s the thrust of Obama’s remarks. Not a single word about US-backed Israeli crimes, settlement development, cantonization, a takeover in the West Bank. Rather, everyone should be quiet and let the United States and Israel continue with it.

He spoke about the constructive steps of the peace—of the Arab peace agreement very selectively. He said they should move forward towards normalization of relations with Israel. But that wasn’t the main theme of the Arab League peace proposal. It was that there should be a two-state settlement, which the US blocks. I mean, he said some words about a two-state settlement, but not where or when or how or anything else. He said nothing about the core of the problem: the US-backed criminal activities both in Gaza, which they attacked at will, and crucially in the West Bank. That’s the core of the problem.”


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/23/noam_chomsky_obamas_stance_on_gaza

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By Bboy57, January 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

And here is just another reason to loathe the Israeli invasion.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/SantaFeNorthernNM/Gaza-fighting-claims-peace-camp-attendee

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By Shenonymous, January 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Here you go Tony Wicher.  The article about Noam Chomsky.  This does not lessen his stature with me in the least.  When one sees a spade you don’t call it diamond.  Given that the article was published in 2003, that is about 5 and a half years ago and Pre-Gaza nevertheless, I doubt Chomsky, et al have changed their minds. 
Jews against Zionism: The Hidden Protest
http://www.realnews247.com/spec_rpt_jews_against_zionism.htm
Noam Chomsky, Israel and the “Holocaust”
Noam Chomsky, MIT professor of modern languages and linguistics and political radical who, in books like Media control: the spectacular achievements of propaganda and Manufacturing consent: the political economy of the mass media has been a significant media critic (“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media”), has also written and lectured much against the horrendous political realities in the Middle East—and Zionism’s role in creating them. In his book Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Chomsky decries the double standard of the controlled news media in reporting the conflict, with the Israelis always portrayed as morally upright victims, but the Palestinians as fanatical killers:

The contrast is clear enough in journalism and scholarship, and it is also familiar in standard media fare, where the Arab terrorist is routinely contrasted with the heroic Israeli. It would,  for example, be inconceivable for a TV drama to portray an Israeli or Jewish character in the manner of the standard Arab villain, despite the ample record of Israeli terrorism over many years, effectively concealed in the United States.

However, the calumny he has received over such opinions pales in comparison to the enduring enmity he’s reaped as a result of his defense of French academic Robert Faurisson’s right to challenge certain alleged facts concerning the “Holocaust” without fear of losing tenure. In an essay “Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression,” Chomsky went so far as to write:

Let me add a final remark about Faurisson’s alleged “anti-Semitism.” Note first that even if Faurisson were to be a rabid anti-Semite and fanatic pro-Nazi—such charges have been presented to me in private correspondence that it would be improper to cite in detail here—this would have no bearing whatsoever on the legitimacy of the defense of his civil rights. On the contrary, it would make it all the more imperative to defend them since, once again, it has been a truism for years, indeed centuries, that it is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense. (Also see his “All denials of free speech undercut a free society,” which also denounces the deceit and intolerance of the Zionists.)”

The 2005 Seth Farber book Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers
Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel
may put other Jews’ sentiments in perspective as well.  See the site
http://www.commoncouragepress.com/index.cfm?action=book&bookid=326

Now that there is a negotiated peace, and the rabid news has quieted down, and emotions of all concerned appear to have subsided, let’s hope, it would seem to be a time for a sober assessment of what really happened, and how can humanity in that part of the world can re-humanize themselves.  Does anyone think it is really possible?

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By Robert, January 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Finkelstein on Gaza

Norman Finkelstein on the atrocities Israel commited in Gaza

01.21.2009 | YouTube.com
By RussiaToday

Controversial American Jewish scholar and specialist on the Middle East, Norman Finkelstein, says Israel committed massive atrocities in Gaza during the three-week war against Hamas militants.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2570

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By OzarkMichael, January 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, (chemically abbreviated= Na+) writes: (2) I hold profound respect for the constructive teachings and wisdoms in the Torah,New Testament and Qur’an.And I apprecite them as a group as “Religious
literature”.The efforts and times invested in writing such monumental literatures also deserved my respect.
...
(5)My fondness of the language of the Qur’an was,is and and will remain strong as always,since I started reading/studying it in its own original language:Arabic.

There is nothing in this or in your entire post that I would argue with. It was an interesting post, an interesting part of your life.

But now there is a threat to independant free thinkers such as yourself. It does not seem to concern you. Here is the announcement again:

Amsterdam, 21 january 2009 - On 21 January 2009 the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam ordered the criminal prosecution of the member of parliament Geert Wilders for the incitement to hatred and discrimination based on his statements in various media about moslims and their belief.

In addition, the Court of Appeal considers criminal prosecution obvious for the insult of Islamic worshippers because of the comparisons made by Wilders of the Islam with the Nazism.

This event makes no impact on our star-gazing Truthdig editors. You would think that they would be interested in keeping the right to be critical of all religions, but apparently there is only one or two they want to criticize(ie ‘fascist Christians’ and ‘fascist Jews’)

But not a peep out of Truthdig. Not an article, not even a post. So i have to be the one to bring it up and to press the issue. And since I get no response, I am going to pin the question to you, Na+, since you seem to understand the issues.

The question is not “Do you agree with ‘Fitna’. Nor is it, ‘does islam resemble Nazism’.

The questions i ask: should the producer of Fitna be arrested for hate crime? Is it a criminal act deserving punishment to compare nazism with Islam? Or the Mein kampf with the Qur’an?

Do not dodge me with, “its a concern only for the Netherlands.” Last year in Jordan a juridical procedure against Geert Wilders was initiated that had to lead to an international arrest warrant and possible extradition to Jordan. Upon hearing yesterday about the Dutch prosecution, some Jordanians expect the arrest warrant within 10 days.

This case has international implications for free speech.

It is time to choose.
Is the Qur’an and Islam to be protected from criticism?
Or is Free Speech to be protected?

The choice is not easy because you have appreciation and admiration for the Qur’an. i do not argue with that. i do not want to diminish the beauty of the Qur’an. But a choice must be made. Can the wonderful Qur’an be criticized?, can Mohammad be insulted?... without the speaker being hauled into court?

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By Sodium, January 23, 2009 at 1:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Frank Goodman,Sr.,January 21 at 6:02pm.

“You do not state your religious orientation(Facing East).”

Regret the delay in responding to your comment quoted above.Had to attend to some family obligation.

Perhaps,you may be interested to know that I have said in occasions that fit for saying what I am about to inform that,

GOD DID NOT CREATE MAN.ON THE CONTRARY,MAN CREATED GOD,OR RATHER THE PERCEPTION OF GOD.

I had said that based only on MY OWN CONCLUSION about all three monotheistic religions,namely Judaism,Christianity and Islam.That was my own conclusion,way before I came across and read the writings of atheists such as Karen Armstrong and others.

Does the above two short sentences of mine make me an athiast?

Perhaps to most people,the answer is a big yes.But not to me.I am something else.The totality of the following personal beliefs make what I am:

(1) I DO NOT believe in any religion.Period.

(2) I hold profound respect for the constructive teachings and wisdoms in the Torah,New Testament and Qur’an.And I apprecite them as a group as “Religious
literature”.The efforts and times invested in writing such monumental literatures also deserved my respect.

(3)I consider the Big Bang and the Darwinian theories plausible as theories;and my plausibility of the theories stops right there.

(4)The perfect engineering of the body of the human being as to eyes,ears,nose,hands,legs,etc…with a soul that escapes the human body as it dies,raises endless questions,I simply could not,cannot,and will never be able to answer.

(5)My fondness of the language of the Qur’an was,is and and will remain strong as always,since I started reading/studying it in its own original language:Arabic.

(6)The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The International Laws,as adopted by the United Nations are supreme as far as I am concerned.

If you add all of the points cited above you may get an idea about my religious orientation which is really far from being religious by any stretch of imagination.Whatever it is,the closest word that may describe it is Agnostic.Because of all the foregoing,some of my extended relatives,who are devotees to their respective church’s religions had already disowned me,which is fine with me as long as they leave me alone with my idependence and my own way of life I have freely chosen….

As you mentioned that you worked in Saudi Arabia,I remembered the endless business trips I had made on behalf of American multi-national corporation to Saudi Arabia’s major cities such as Riyadh,Jeddah,Al-Khobar and Dammam.That took place in 1970s and 1980s.Al-Khobar is the where ARAMCO located.It is in reality an American colony,since the vast majority who live there are American oil workers and their families.Whenever I had to make a call to ARAMCO,I used to stay at Al-Gosaibi Hotel in Dammam,a near-by town,having the only five stars hotel in the whole eastern province of Saudi Arabia.I loved staying at Al-Gosaibi whose clerks got to know me and always put me in a room having a rather large window facin the sea
of The Gulf.It was relaxing after a sereies of meetings of tough business and technical negotiations.Very relaxing,indeed. 

I assume you had worked in the the Al-Khobar area.

Frank,you have stirred a memory-a pleasant one at that.THANKS.

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By Shenonymous, January 23, 2009 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

Part 5 - Nationalism
George Orwell wrote that nationalism was one of the worst enemies of peace. He defined nationalism as “the feeling that your way of life, country, religion, or ethnic group were superior to others.”  These types of feelings lead a group to attempt to force their morality on any given situation. It has been said that when those standards were not met, more often than not, war would result, or painful coercion, meaning torture as the Inquisition, and we have our examples today. 

Opposite that, he stated, “patriotism was holding in high esteem a way of life, etc., and the willingness to defend it against attack.” The obvious difference between the two is that while patriotism is a passive attitude, nationalism is without a doubt aggressive by nature.

Orwell was writing this during the years just prior to World War II when nationalism in Europe was running amuck. Not only was Hitler stirring the emotional hatred and fear fevers in Germany, but Mussolini was attempting to force submission of the as he called them, “the savages” in Ethiopia, and we must not forget Stalin who had just finished Russifying the Ukraine and was about to “reclaim” Finland.

Since the end of WWII, nationalism has intensified exceeding what Orwell’s worst nightmares could have visualized. The first wave began with the dissolution of the colonial empires through out the developing world.  Retreating, they left behind cisterns of stinking ethnic tensions.

In some countries it had been an official policy to play the race card as an effective means of keeping unrest under control.  By creating conditions where it “seemed” one group was favored over another, especially a minority over a majority, resentments were built up to an explosive objective! As far as the colonial massas were concerned the logic was that as long as they were fighting each other they won’t come after us.  This seems to have been one rationale of the last eight years of presidency in this country.

From one country to the next as independence was achieved nationalistic violence became the rule rather then exception. In India, Hindu leaders like Gandhi who pleaded for restraint as was murdered for it by extremists of his own faith. In Israel terrorist groups from either side of the so-called border set bombs and attacked civilians in order to solidify their claims to territory.

But it was with the U.S.S.R. under Stalin who did a fast land grab after the end of the war simply by refusing to leave the countries that they had “liberated” from the Germans. And on their side, the United States began its policy of setting up a variety of dictatorships under the “guise” of preventing the spread of communism.

It’s debatable whether these initial actions were driven more by “real politics” rather than nationalism, one side trying to limit the other side’s power and influence more then an expansion and imposition of a way of life. But in the end the justifications for actions began to take on the sound of nationalistic fervor whatever the original intent.  This is where Eric Hoffer’s amazing small book “True Believer” tells how mass fanatical movements develop and maintain.

In our contemporary world, the imperialist impulse takes another cruel and intimidating form and I will enter that world next

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By Shenonymous, January 23, 2009 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Something bothers me if it doesn’t anybody else, cyrena, I quote you, I wish I could find that article, since it was really ‘enlightening’, especially for someone with such a limited knowledge of the Bible, and specifically the Old Testament. What little I do know of the Old Testament really does scare the shit out of me. This is another example of how/why. The whole thing is full of threats and violent punishments. Here’s just one of many curses, passed on by an obviously dysfunctional founding family.
It’s gotta be the inbreeding…

It is that last sentence that is most bothersome.  It sounds quite racist.  Like, what does it mean?  And I often heard the adage that a “little knowledge” is dangerous.  Nothing more said about it, for me, though.

Tony Wicher, I have no emotional attachment to either Judiasm, Islam, or Christianity.  I have said as much over and over again.  If that fact is anathema to anyone, so be it.  I am a freethinker and hold that freedom as dear as life itself.  Saying that, the following information is about the Finkelstein book and another Jewish author who takes issue with Israel.
David Cesarani, research professor in history at the Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, critiques the Finklestein book and Idith Zertal at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=205544&sectioncode=5
Where in the last paragraph he says of the Finkelstein book, Finkelstein holds that any publication or research defying the supposed “consensus” must rest on fraudulent evidence, and that such fabrications escape exposure only thanks to pro-Israel reviewers and scholars. This would be a grave charge, except that there is no “consensus” of the kind he identifies -scholars and experts who are not the victims of delusion or misinformation vigorously contest the history of Israel and its current policies. But Finkelstein’s target is the work of ideologues, hacks, lobbyists and propagandists who vulgarise public discourse in America with their simplifications and distortions. His main bugbear is the lawyer Alan Dershowitz whose book, The Case for Israel, was a bestseller. Finkelstein demolishes it line by line, but there is nothing edifying in this. It is rather like watching two scorpions fighting in a bucket.
The two books are published in Britain:
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
Author - Norman G. Finkelstein
Publisher - Verso
Pages - 332
Price - £16.99
ISBN - 1 84467 049 X

Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood
Author - Idith Zertal
Publisher - Cambridge University Press
Pages - 236
Price - £19.99
ISBN - 0 521 85096 7

Whether either of these two authors or even Cesarani’s critique have any content of merit is not my point.  My point is that there are Jews who criticize Jews in Israel.  I will give the Chomsky book next time.

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By Robert, January 23, 2009 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza

01.21.2009 | The Telegraph
By Murray Wardrop

Israel has refuted allegations of war atrocities in Gaza after Palestinian children described how their parents had been “executed” by Israeli troops.

One nine-year-old boy said his father had been shot dead in front of him despite surrendering to Israeli soldiers with his hands in the air.

Another youngster described witnessing the deaths of his mother, three brothers and uncle after the house they were in was shelled.

He said his mother and one of his siblings had been killed instantly, while the others bled to death over a period of days.

A psychiatrist treating children in the village of Zeitoun on the outskirts of Gaza City, where the alleged incidents took place, described the deaths as a “massacre”.

Rawya Borno, a Jordanian doctor, said civilians, including children, were rounded up and killed by Israeli troops.

Israel has denied the claims, dismissing them as Hamas propaganda, but said that an investigation is being conducted into soldiers’ conduct in the area.

In interviews with ITV News, Palestinians claimed that Israeli forces knowingly killed civilians in Zeitoun on the morning of Jan 14.

Abdullah Samouni, nine, described the moment his father was allegedly “executed” by Israeli soldiers.

Holding his arms in the air, he said: “He was surrendering like this. My father came out and they shot him right away.”

A boy named Ahmed said he was trapped for days in the wreckage of the shelled Samouni family’s house.

He said: “My mother was dead beside me, she was clutching my brother Nasser and they were dead. My brother Itzaq was bleeding for two days and then he died. My brother Izmael bled to death in one day. My uncle Talal was bleeding for two hours and he died. God bless them.”

Dr Borno said: “It’s a massacre. They collected them from their houses. They knew that they were civilians. They were children.”

When asked if Hamas had been in Zeitoun, Dr Borno replied: “Suppose that there is one of the fighters around, what is it to do with all these? Is the price to kill the family as a whole? Is this baby carrying a machine gun?”

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev suggested the claims could be Hamas propaganda and said an investigation was under way. However, he said that Israeli troops had reported that Zeitoun was “full of Hamas” militants and that soldiers encountered booby traps in “every house” in the village.

He said: “When people live in an authoritarian regime, when it’s clear there is an official message and the message is to give out atrocity propaganda, [then] at least I think we should ask questions.

“Hamas has an interest in sending out this sort of atrocity propaganda.

“What happened in that village is under investigation. I know from speaking to IDF officers that there was very serious combat in that village, that every house was booby-trapped, there were guns. Very difficult military operation.

“If there is any Israeli solder that has done something inappropriate of course that will be discovered and there will be law, but I am very concerned about a situation where children are manipulated, where everyone is on the same message.

“We know that village was full of Hamas fighters. It’s against the rules of engagement of the Israeli army to shoot innocent civilians.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2569

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By Tony Wicher, January 22, 2009 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Re Shenonymous

“What I find perplexing is that Israeli professors in the West are often the leaders in anti-Israel demonstrations and movements.  Jews such as professors Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky, I admire the latter gentleman,  devote much of their lives to trying to harm the one Jewish country in the world (and America) and express deep hatred of Jewish institutions.  Here is Finkelstein:  Jewish organizations “steal, and I do use the word with intent, 95 percent of the monies earmarked for victims of Nazi persecution” (Counterpunch, Dec. 13, 2001).  Jews “are not Zionist by conviction, they are Zionist because it is useful for their political and more recently financial self-interest” (same).  In a lecture delivered in Beirut, Finkelstein likened Israeli actions to “Nazi practices” during World War II, albeit with some added “novelties to the Nazi experiments” (Commentary, June 2002).  And Noam Chomsky wrote the foreword to a book denying the Holocaust. This might be likened to a black professor writing the foreword to a book by a Ku Klux Klansman.  Self-loathing on the part of Americans and Jews is all the more remarkable when considering that leftists of every other group strongly affirm their national, cultural and ethnic identities.

            x=x=x=x=x=x=x

Shenonymous,

Wow, do we ever disagree here! Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky are two of the finest scholars in the country. They are very careful researchers. Likewise Ilan Pappe. I have never found a single inaccuracy in anything Finkelstein has written. Maybe you find it perplexing because you don’t even consider the possibility that everything he says is objectively true, instead of smearing him with that old “self-hating Jew” canard. Far from being self-hating, my perception is that Finkelstein is a man of great self-esteem as well as integrity. If there is anything at all that you can find that he has written that you is demonstrably false, please enlighten me. The idea that Chomsky, of all people, denies the Holocaust is totally preposterous. Where do you get these ideas?

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 22, 2009 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

RE: Shenonymous, January 22 at 1:15 pm

Actually many links on the Internet give some differences. I try to break through the vast field of trivia. If you accept the Bible account of Abraham, you have to note that all the sons of Noah had spouses from other tribes or from their own tribe. Abraham is far down that line from Aram, a son of Shem. But Abraham is considered to be descended from Shem, not Ham. However, Hagar, the Egyptian servant of his wife is Hamitic. Thus Arabs descended from both Ham and Shem. Don’t try to sort it out. The tribes are so intertwined that there are no pure Semites, and no pure Hamitics. However, I have just used Biblical sources and stories to point out that the Philistines are probably Hamitic people descended from one or more of the tribes that filled the land of Canaan. I believe that the Boat People were originally Hamitic people related to Canaanites and that they returned to their ancestral landed and rejoined their Canaanite cousins plus some remnants of other tribes to form the people we call Palestinians today. I noted the surprise that they are known as Palestinian rather than Canaanite. It doesn’t matter also that many Jews are desecended from both Shem and Ham and Europeans from whom we know little of their descent.

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By OzarkMichael, January 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

In the post beloiw the forst two links got chopped up. here they are, whole and functioning:


http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/03/28/fitna.reaction/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/21/wilders.netherlands.prosecution

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By cyrena, January 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Shenon…what a keeper this is!!! Great essay. I’m so happy that you decided to pave this portion of the understanding. It’s PERFECT!
This ties it right up…

“These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but actually are antithetical.  They reflect the sharp contrast between (a) A Majority Unlimited, as in a Democracy, and lacks any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) A Majority Limited, as in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority.

The most important characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. And it is true whether it is a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy.”

~~~

And yes, it was and continues to be extremely critical to make these distinctions. Too many of ‘we the people’ don’t really understand what is meant by “Democracy” and “Republic”, and that is further complicated by their misunderstandings of pre-21st Century ‘lables’ like conservative/liberal/moderate, and those damn ‘directions’ that always drive me nuts..left, right, and center. In fact, this Republicanism that you describe from your history of the American Revolution is in reality a the TRUE form of conservatism. Those committed to the principles of a CONSTITUTIONAL Republic, are considered practitioners of true conservatism. The reality is that with all the talk of a Democracy or a Democratic form of government, our system was never established or intended as such. It was INTENDED to be a Constitutional Republic, and that’s how we’re advertised on the world menu. (along with several other nations of course.)

I would only add that when the Omnipotent Majority can be as little as 51% of the whole, that only INCREASES the numbers of The Minority, regardless of what group of Individuals compose it. In other words, a lot MORE people with no protection.
Lani Grenier has (now quite notoriously) covered this subject in depth in her work “Tyranny and the Majority.” Ironically, she was tossed under the bus as Clinton’s original nominee for US Attorney General, just BECAUSE of her views on the subject, despite the fact that what she’s saying is exactly what you’ve put together here.

http://bostonreview.net/BR19.3/tushnet.html

http://www.banned-books.com/truth-seeker/1994archive/121_3/ts213e.html

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By OzarkMichael, January 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Do you want to retain the right to make fun of the Bible? If so, please read this.

There was a movie made one year ago. When it was released no television station would run it. The name of the movie was Fitna, which is about the connection between the Qur’an and terrorism. No public theatre would show it. For a few days it was on the internet on Liveleak but they were forced to take it down. The reason the movie was never shown is best explained in this brief article:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/03/28/fitn a.reaction/index.html

On the one hand there were threats of violence. That is the radical Islamic terrorist threat. The man who made that movie is still under death threats, his name is Geert Wilders, a member of the Parliament of Netherlands. Although death threats is a reflection of how some Muslims reacted, it is not the reaction of most Muslims. Let us be clear about that.

But there is another type of Jihad, which is more of a struggle for a “good society”, and it is not violent. Many Muslims support this type of Jihad. When we think of the world as a society certainly people should express their opinion of what is good. Let us be clear about that too.

The opinion of the 56 member Organization Islamic Conference has been that criticism of Islam is a crime. They have pushed this at the UN for many years. But on another front they have wanted to make an example of Geert Wilders.

My post today is about that sort of Jihad, the nicer Jihad which does not promote violence at all, but which does promote Islamic principles in order to make a better world society. One of which is that the Qur’an and Mohammed must not be insulted or criticized.

The nicer Jihad has had a great success this week. After a year of resisting the nicer Jihad pressure, the government of the Netherlands has agreed to prosecute Geert Wilders for hate crimes. See below:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/21/wild ers.netherlands.prosecution/

This brings up a specific question. Is the movie Fitna a hate crime? I am not asking if you agree with the movie, and I will show it to you in a moment so you can decide. If the movie is not a hate crime, then we have to conclude that the nicer Jihad is attacking free speech. I want each of you to take a moment and remember some of the more wild verbal attacks on “fascist American Christians” that occured in these forums.  Many of you enjoy that, and i am glad you are free to do so even though I do dont agree with the premise. But your freedom to attack is fundamentally important. Some of you excerzise that freedom in regsard to the Jews, to Israelis, to Zionists.

Now I wonder if you will defend the right to free speech, including the right to criticize religions and religious people?

The original movie opened with the famous Mohammad turban bomb cartoon, but after death threats the cartoonist demanded the turban cartoon be removed. A crude cartoon replaces it in the version you will see. Here is Fitna:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020472.php

If you Truthdiggers want the right to criticize any religion, especially in the most outrageous terms that many of you enjoy, it is time to do something to protect that right.

Tell the Netherlands that they are wrong to give in to the nicer jihad. ... in short, they are wrong to enforce an aspect of Sharia law. Free speech comes first!

http://www.petitiononline.com/wilders/petition.html

Sign the petition, and please post a reason why you did or did not do so.

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By Shenonymous, January 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Seems appropriate to take a bit of a detour here to be sure the way is clear for the journey.  Republicanism, as I recall it from my American Revolution history is when voters hold the sovereign power in the governmental system.  The people elect representatives and bestow upon them the responsibility to make laws and conduct government.  For most Americans today, the terms republic and representative democracy mean the same thing:  it is a system of limited government where the people are the final source of authority.  Now that doesn’t sound like what is happening.  There is a definite competition between democracy as a form of government and republicanism as another form.  Borrowing from the author of The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles, Hamilton A. Long, I offer a clear distinction between a Democracy and a Republic.

If we are to undersand the difference between these two forms of government, it is essential to comprehend the fundamentals involved. It should be kept in mind, en passant, that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government—that is, it features genuinely free elections by the people periodically—is not helpful in discussing the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: a Democracy versus a Republic. The double meaning of Democracy—as a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government—needs to be made clear in when discussing or writing about this subject.

These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but actually are antithetical.  They reflect the sharp contrast between (a) A Majority Unlimited, as in a Democracy, and lacks any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) A Majority Limited, as in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority;

The most important characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. And it is true whether it is a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy.

A Republic, however, has different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s so-called “God-given”, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all Minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution—adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by the people only by its amendment—with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term “the people” means, of course, the electorate.  The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention—especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose—to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen.”

This is a unqiue and highly coveted freedom Americans have and enjoy:  That as long as we are clear about these respective political perspectives, we may make a more informed choice and exercise that choice as to what we think is best for our country

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By Shenonymous, January 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

One thing I’ve noticed is that al Jazeera has become part of the common language now and has attained some respectability enough to be advertised to be read on the New York Times website.  I think that is a major step of progress. 

Responding to Sepharad’s notable comments.  With your even and calm thinking it would be a gratifying bonus for this forum, in my estimation, if you had your reference books and were able to marshall your professional thought about the things we are talking about.  That not being the case, and as they are, your comments are still extremely welcome. I will try to find the Mamet and a David Harris book.  I will revisit your comments about your view of Jewish-loathing once I finish the foray into that phenomenon. I suspect more truth in what you say than the hype but it has appeared among some notable Jews that I think they cannot be ignored.

Part 4 – The Jews and Self-Loathing
Even if one knows things, it sometimes doesn’t hurt to re-reflect on the dynamics of the way things are, as I think we tend to forget, I call it the Great Forgetting, whether intentional or not.

What I find perplexing is that Israeli professors in the West are often the leaders in anti-Israel demonstrations and movements.  Jews such as professors Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky, I admire the latter gentleman,  devote much of their lives to trying to harm the one Jewish country in the world (and America) and express deep hatred of Jewish institutions.  Here is Finkelstein:  Jewish organizations “steal, and I do use the word with intent, 95 percent of the monies earmarked for victims of Nazi persecution” (Counterpunch, Dec. 13, 2001).  Jews “are not Zionist by conviction, they are Zionist because it is useful for their political and more recently financial self-interest” (same).  In a lecture delivered in Beirut, Finkelstein likened Israeli actions to “Nazi practices” during World War II, albeit with some added “novelties to the Nazi experiments” (Commentary, June 2002).  And Noam Chomsky wrote the foreword to a book denying the Holocaust. This might be likened to a black professor writing the foreword to a book by a Ku Klux Klansman.  Self-loathing on the part of Americans and Jews is all the more remarkable when considering that leftists of every other group strongly affirm their national, cultural and ethnic identities. 

For Americans that might be because nationalism refers to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation, where “nation” is considered “the people.”  This is different than patriotism, which is ordinarily defined as love of and/or devotion to one’s country.  Nationalism is almost nonexistent, I hypothesize, because of the multicultral nature of the country and it certainly looks as though the identity of ‘American’ does not transcend the ethnic identity of individuals.  But for Jews and Israel, that is not the same problem.  Jews identify with being Jewish and Israeli identify with being Jewish as well.  So the tie is much closer than people in America have in relationship to America.  Unless American Leftist Jews identify more with America than they do with Israel.  How could we know this?  For example, while American and Jewish leftists ceaselessly attack America and Israel, black and Hispanic leftists ceaselessly defend blacks and Hispanics.  How can we explain the anomaly of American and Jewish self-hatred?  I have an oblique view, that American leftists do not hate themselves in the way Jews do.  I think American leftists hate what conservatives have done to the country and are ashamed of this supposedly republican (with a lower case ‘r’) country for letting it happen.  Also it seems the conservative American Jew does identify positively with Zionist Israel.

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By Sepharad, January 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—When I get home I’ll look it all up again but as I recall the Beni-Israeli were desert dwellers from greater Arabia and a large number of that stock ended up in Egypt, the rest migrated into the hill country to the east. By the time the Israelites returned their early relatives were calling themselves Judeans. David was able to unite them. More or less. And as he was descended from he Beni-Israeli the country was called Israel instead of Judea.

I doubt that the Red Seas parted when Moses raised his rod. If so it would be the coincidence to end all coincidences. There is a rare ferocious wind that once in a long while blows so hard that it displaces water in the Red Sea—which is not all that deep, especially in some places. But long enough for a bunch of refugees and a pursuing army to go through? Not very likely.

I wouldn’t give DeMille’s version much credence, or the Bible or any religious book. One thing that has always puzzled me is that the Beni-Israelis and Judeans were supposedly small and dark. And yet, long before the Diaspora, there were Hebrews described as reddish haired and blue eyed ... e.g. Moses, several of the 5 Maccabee brothers (Simon, the exception, was dark and swarthy)and more. My own cousin in Israel, Tamara, has long red hair and blue eyes. Same for Arabs—mostly dark yet a significant number pale redheads. (A Turkish commander assumed Lawrence of Arabia was one of those.) In Mexico, there are and have been many blue-eyed red-haired Sonorenos. Mexican scholars attribute that to the Sephardic Jews who fled Christian Spain with Columbus and later conquistadors.   

Some day the archaeologists will figure it all out, the scientists will have explanations, and someone will decode the protosemitic language on a desert cliffside that a friend photographed while camping in the Sinai.

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