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When Did We Stop Caring About Civilian Deaths During Wartime?

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Posted on Jan 31, 2009
Gaza rubble
AP photo / Fadi Adwan

Heavy machinery removes rubble from a destroyed house belonging to the Al Dayah family. The structure collapsed following Israeli forces’ operations in Gaza City on Jan. 6.

By Robert Fisk

Editor’s note: This article was originally printed in The Independent.

I wonder if we are “normalising” war. It’s not just that Israel has yet again got away with the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza.

And after its own foreign minister said that Israel’s army had been allowed to “go wild” there, it seems to bear out my own contention that the Israeli “Defence Force” is as much a rabble as all the other armies in the region. But we seem to have lost the sense of immorality that should accompany conflict and violence. The BBC’s refusal to handle an advertisement for Palestinian aid was highly instructive. It was the BBC’s “impartiality” that might be called into question. In other words, the protection of an institution was more important than the lives of children. War was a spectator sport whose careful monitoring – rather like a football match, even though the Middle East is a bloody tragedy – assumed precedence over human suffering.

I’m not sure where all this started. No one doubts that the Second World War was a bloodbath of titanic proportions, but after that conflict we put in place all kinds of laws to protect human beings. The International Red Cross protocols, the United Nations – along with the all-powerful Security Council and the much ridiculed General Assembly – and the European Union were created to end large-scale conflict. And yes, I know there was Korea (under a UN flag!) and then there was Vietnam, but after the US withdrawal from Saigon, there was a sense that “we” didn’t do wars any more. Foreigners could commit atrocities en masse – Cambodia comes to mind – but we superior Westerners were exempt. We didn’t behave like that. Low-intensity warfare in Northern Ireland, perhaps. And the Israeli-Arab conflict would grind away. But there was a feeling that My Lai had been put behind us. Civilians were once again sacred in the West.

I’m not sure when the change came. Was it Israel’s disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the Sabra and Chatila massacre by Israel’s allies of 1,700 Palestinian civilians? (Gaza just missed that record.) Israel claimed (as usual) to be fighting “our” “war against terror” but the Israeli army is not what it’s cracked up to be and massacres (Qana comes to mind in 1996 and the children of Marwahine in 2006) seem to come attached to it. And of course, there’s the little matter of the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988 which we enthusiastically supported with weapons to both sides, and the Syrian slaughter of thousands of civilians at Hama and.  ...

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No, I rather think it was the 1991 Gulf War. Our television lads and lasses played it for all it was worth – it was the first war that had “theme” music to go with the pictures – and when US troops simply smothered alive thousands of Iraqi troops in their trenches, we learned about it later and didn’t care much, and even when the Americans ignored Red Cross rules to mark mass graves, they got away with it. There were women in some of these graves – I saw British soldiers burying them. And I remember driving up to Mutla ridge to show a Red Cross delegate where I had seen a mass grave dug by the Americans, and he looked at the plastic poppy an American had presumably left there and said: “Something has happened.”

He meant that something had happened to international law, to the rules of war. They had been flouted. Then came Kosovo – where our dear Lord Blair first exercised his talents for warmaking – and another ream of slaughter. Of course, Milosevic was the bad guy (even though most of the Kosovars were still in their homes when the war began – their return home after their brutal expulsion by the Serbs then became the war aim). But here again, we broke some extra rules and got away with it. Remember the passenger train we bombed on the Surdulica bridge – and the famous speeding up of the film by Jamie Shea to show that the bomber had no time to hold his fire? (Actually, the pilot came back for another bombing run on the train when it was already burning, but that was excluded from the film.) Then the attack on the Belgrade radio station. And the civilian roads. Then the attack on a large country hospital. “Military target,” said Jamie. And he was right. There were soldiers hiding in the hospital along with the patients. The soldiers all survived. The patients all died.

Then there was Afghanistan and all that “collateral damage” and whole villages wiped out and then there was Iraq in 2003 and the tens of thousands – or half a million or a million – Iraqi civilians killed. Once more, at the very start, we were back to our old tricks, bombing bridges and radio stations and at least one civilian estate in Baghdad where “we” believed Saddam was hiding. We knew it was packed with civilians (Christians, by chance) but the Americans called it a “high risk” operation – meaning that they risked not hitting Saddam – and 22 civilians were killed. I saw the last body, that of a baby, dug from the rubble.

And we don’t seem to care. We fight in Iraq and now we’re going back to fight in Afghanistan again and all the human rights and protections appear to have vanished once more. We will destroy villages and we will find that the Afghans hate us and we will form more criminal militias – as we did in Iraq – to fight for us. The Israelis organised a similar militia in their occupation zone in southern Lebanon, run by a crackpot Lebanese army major. But now their own troops “go wild”. And the BBC is worried about its “impartiality”?


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,
Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People at
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090214_everyone_is_equal_in_their_suffering_during_wartime/

But it isn’t pretty and the Contingent has been busy flaying Shenonymous.  But She can take it!

The forum has been going on for quite some time but it wouldn’t hurt to have another voice for Israel chime in.  But be forewarned, they are brutal and there have been casualties.

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By Sepharad, February 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous,

Which forum is your 2/26 post intended for? Sounds interesting!

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By Shenonymous, February 26, 2009 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

oops…wrong forum.  Oh well, it is still pertinent.  Going over to the other one.  I just love double posts anyway.

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By Shenonymous, February 26, 2009 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

laugh laugh, sheknowsnone is not a good enough description, Robert. Did you make that up all by yourself?  Wwwoooooww!  We are not too impressed.  Shenonymous would say sheknowsnothing (it’s kind of Socratic.  She ‘knows’ you ‘know’ nothing either).  Soooo glad I came to the latest crucifixion.  Mine.  And it is so funny to watch you all whose only humor is when you lambaste or slam someone because your a vacant-minded people. Like pro-Hamas zombies.  But I am a working person so tamarra is another day!  And the nails come out in the moring. Yeah, Robert more kiss kiss slobber kiss kiss.  Hahahahaha you crack me up. 

What is happening in Pakistan is just a sample of what would happen to the rest of the world if the Islamists could excise their will on it.  Israel is the stronghold in the Middle East.  It is the vanguard against such cruel despotism. 

You are all such hypocrites who sit in the safety of America, and would give the appearance to being free people but in reality would be subjugated by Islamists who in the masque of terrorist Islamist Taliban have brought Pakistan to its proverbial knees and have succeeded in commandeering the government of Pakistan the result of which the people of Pakistan will be ruled by a dragoon Islamic supremacist ideology of menacing savagery.  Do bow toward Mecca, five times a day and take your freedom with you and flush it down that toilet you love to talk about so much for your freedom is worth shit.  You know I am right!

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By Shenonymous, February 26, 2009 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

What has happened in Israel is ancient.  The Israelis are the Jews and the very Jews who roamed the Arabian peninsula before ancient times and who would deserve more than their borders.  They are a mighty people and whoever is representing them today is a function of what the Islamist terrorists in the form of Hamas and Hezbollah have forced them to do. They withdraw to extremists like Netanyahu and Lieberman because they know these men’s will is what it will take to fend off the terrorists.  Now the slithering terrorist Islamists are squirming their way in Pakistan. 

Foreign Minister Qureshi of Pakistan this evening on the News Hours was candid about how that part of the world views terrorist Islamists.  In discussing the Amerian drone attacks, Pakistan has issues with the collateral damage, that is the incidental killing of civilians, and the people rightfully are alienated.  At the same time the drone attacks are, he said, advantageous and have carried out successful strikes and “taken out some high-value targets.”  So again the terrorists are the cause of innocent deaths for if there were no terrorists, there would be no airstrikes.  That is a logic whether or not it is crass and detached.  What is most interesting is that the Pakistani Minister indicates that Pakistan itself with the help of the US would carry out drone attacks and that would be less alienating (we must suppose there still would be collateral damage only it would be more acceptable since Pakistanis are responsible! Now that is interesting logic). 

The deal made in the Swat Valley to acquiesce to the militant Taliban is fascinating.  The Taliban has terrorized the people so long and so ferociously the people want only for it to stop.  Such is the kindness of the Taliban.  The Minister refers that valley to the time of its “princely state” prior to it annexation to Pakistan.  He uses the word “cumbersome” to describe the new system of government to Swat.  That is an interesting way to frame the problem.  The people of Swat wants to return to the princely form of government.  The interviewer makes an excellent point that 250,000 have been “driven” out and 1,200 people have been killed.  the people of Swat have been terrorized and cannot conduct their lives as in the 21st century.  The subjugating terrorist Islamist Taliban have removed all video stores, the people are oppressed that much.  The Taliban want the women to be completely ignorant and prevent the girls from getting educated.  They want to indoctrinate indoctrinate indoctrinate and subjugate subjugate subjugate!  Such is the freedom the Contingent on this forum is fighting for. 

The Foreign Minister meekly says that the Pakistani government “wants the schools to reopen for the girls,” and calls the incursion of the Taliban euphemistically as “incidents.” He says they have “flushed” out the military aggressors out of pockets of Swat.”  We are not exactly sure what that could mean.  But he goes on to say that the presence of al-Qaida there is negligible. Either he does not understand the creeping curse that al-Qaida is or he is equivocating as interviewer Warner notes.  He blithely states that “the Taliban will not be in charge…[Pakistan} is going to be in charge…[Pakistan] is not compromising with the Taliban.”  Can he be serious?  Is he that naive?  It cannot be the case.  He guilelessly thinks they will “drive” out the terrorists leaving only benign Taliban.  Again is he crazy?  So they let in the Taliban and then drive out the Taliban terrorists?  Does this Qureshi think the world is stupid?  Now let us talk of that marvelous stuff called bull shit.

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By Sepharad, February 25, 2009 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—“The truth is what can be found to be true.” That, of course, is true, but you have set yourself a lifetime task; you should write some books based on your findings along the way: supremacism is endemic now, and pretty much always has been. To me, the notion that someone feels superior to another based on race or religion is silly and reprehensible, but not the problem. The problem is when that someone takes that feeling one step farther, imposing it on or exterminating those deemed inferior.

At the moment, I’m desperately worried about Israel’s survival and I do what I can, but also recognize that it’s possible to be parylzed by apprehension so am also trying for some balance, focusing other things both problematic and pleasant. Part of this escapism is for a while getting as far from Middle Eastern history as possible and resuming an old and abiding interest, Native American history. (Found a copy of “The Last Frontier” written in ‘41 by the prolific historical fiction writer Howard Fast, which concerns an incident I’d not heard of—in 1878, 300 Cheyenne walked off the Indian Territory in Oklahoma to which they’d been driven, heading north to their old Powder River country. The outcome was not surprising, but strength and resourcefulness they displayed in the presence of their enemies is inspiring. Fast is at his best in American West as well as Revolutionary American history, but is just as good on the Middle East’s ancient history, which is accessible to any competent reader and, as his other writings, provides exceptional context.

Looking forward to reading the fruits of your scholarship.

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By Shenonymous, February 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad:
From what I have been able to gather to date, here are a few sites where supremacism is claimed to exist.  Not all Islamist. However, all references to alleged Jewish supremacism are attributable to David Duke et al and I will not list them because they are without a doubt conditioned by a confederation of anti-Semites.  While I am totally interested in balance and would post any evidential claim that Jews practice supremacism, I will not indulge in blatant anti-Semitism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcmHvczBGqg
Hamas TV ‘Mickey Mouse’ teaches Islamic Supremacism to Arab Children.
Offered in Farsi (or some other Arabic language) I suppose this could be disclaimed to be real, but it would be most difficult.

http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/nazism-reincarnated-as-islamic-supremacism
Nazism reincarnated as Islamic supremacism
Submitted by rkm on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 20:34.
The speaker demanded that their supremacist ideology needed to be accommodated by the government, and called for a “new era.” The speaker said that his people must be allowed to have laws in place to support this supremacist ideology.

Perhaps you think I am referencing the grim situation for human rights in Pakistan, where the Taliban’s push for implementing Islamic supremacist Sharia law in northwest Pakistan has succeeded in obtaining surrender by the Pakistan government on this. The result is that the people in that part of Pakistan will soon be ruled by an Islamic supremacist ideology with its own outlook, its own Sharia laws, and its own Islamic supremacist version of “justice.”

Perhaps you think I am remarking on the statements reported on February 18, 2009 in Pakistan by Islamic supremacist Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad who attacked democracy stating, “From the very beginning, I have viewed democracy as a system imposed on us by the infidels. Islam does not allow democracy or elections… I believe the Taliban government formed a complete Islamic state, which was an ideal example for other Muslim countries. Had this government remained intact, it could have led to the establishment of similar Islamic governments in many other countries.” This is the same Sufi Mohammad who told news reporters that “democracy is against the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah” and that he “regarded democracy a system of Kufr (unbelief).”

In fact, I am referring to both of these. But I am also referring to another man, at another time, and in another place – who echoed very similar sentiments.

It was February 18, 1939 – 70 years ago – with another supremacist group. Then, it was in Czechoslovakia with a Dr. Kundt stating that he represented Germans with his National Socialist party beliefs of Aryan supremacism. You may remember them as the “Nazis.”

Just as the article from The New York Sun on March 19, 2008, which discusses Iran’s Indoctrinating Children in Islamic Supremacism at
http://www.nysun.com/foreign/study-iran-indoctrinating-children-in-islamic/73162/
Christians are not exempt from supremacism: see Austin Cline, Atheists columnist at About.com’s article

We expect the usual whine of objection from the Islamists that the documentary aired on British TV is a prevarication, nevertheless:
UK TV uncovers ‘Islamic supremacism’
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/undercover+mosque/158390
Documentary goes undercover in British mosques,
finds ‘ideology of bigotry’
January 15, 2007 broadcast at 8:00PM
A British television documentary, ‘Dispatches: Undercover Mosque,’ broadcast on Sunday evening on the UK’s Channel 4 has uncovered hate-filled speeches and rhetoric delivered in a number of British mosques, and directed against ‘unbelievers,’ Jews, Christians, and gays, among others, as well as religious justifications of marriages between prepubescent girls and adult men.

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By Shenonymous, February 25, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, the information you posted was superior.  I have copied all of it and will read it a bit more leisurely than a quick scan!  That I want to understand is my complete motivation.  I have also taken up my inquest of Supremacism.  I see within the probe online that the Ku Klux Klanner David Duke links supremacism to the Jews.  Of course we can expect the American extremist anti-Semitic factions to denigrate Jews at ever turn.  So his writings are to be completely ignored.  Also, on the other hand, Jihad Watch, without a doubt an instrument of Zionism and others of the Christian Right, would link supremacism to Islam.  So where does the truth lie.  Some would say it hovers between the two.  I say not!  I say the truth is what can be found to be true.  That may not be too easy a task.  But that is the path I take and always take regardless of the piggish accusations by my detractors.

To begin with, I want to say what supremacism is:  Several sources:
Wikipedia, which is almost always listed as the “ultimate” source of information (but even there we do not know the verity of information, as frequently disclaimers are posted in the articles.  Also the very interesting practice of disambiguation is often indicated where conflicts in the information as occurred.  All that being said, this is what that source defines supremacism at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacist
Supremacism is the belief that a particular race, religion, gender, species, belief system or culture is superior to others and entitles those who identify with it to dominate, control or rule those who do not. Examples include supremacism based on ethnic or anthropological origins (white supremacy, black supremacy, ethnocentrism), sexuality (male supremacy, female supremacy), sentience (human supremacy, alien supremacy) and religion (see below).

Generally, if someone believes something is true and someone else believes it is false, each will probably regard the evidence and reasoning for his or her belief to be superior (more informed, more considered) than that of the other. For instance, if someone believes the Earth is flat and another person believes it isn’t, the believer would probably consider the evidence and reasoning for his or her belief to be superior to that of the nonbeliever.

Supremacism, however, goes much further. A supremacist not only holds that any evidence and reasoning for his or her beliefs is superior to any other, but that those holding such beliefs have rights over those who do not. For example: “American leadership is good both for America and for the world.”  That is as good as any example that could be offered.  But let’s go a bit farther and then I will stop for now and post more later with my reasoning following this small paragraph:

Following the development of theories such as evolution and eugenics, supremacists have attempted and sought scientific justification for their views through notions such as Social Darwinism.

To make this examination fairly we will have to look into Social Darwinsim.  so next time before I continue on with Social Darwinism,  I want to take a look at other definitions of supremacism.

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By Sepharad, February 23, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—Is this far enough on chronology? Didn’t know if you meant for me to continue through ‘06 Lebanon war or stop at post-83 war. Lots of material and willing to provide as much chronology as you want, but don’t want to overwhelm you!

Am quite recovered from horseback accident and yesterday rode same horse down Rio Grande until Border Patrol stopped us somewhere in El Paso across from Juarez, where big fence begins (and across the river, the Juarez police chief resigned last week under pressure from drug cartels who have been killing sometimes one, sometimes two policemen per day, and vowing to continue till this chief resigned).  Saw border itself; on U.S. side near the border monument marker was large cross covered with flowers with “Chuy Lozano” written on it. (Perhaps he was the man shot recently by Border Patrol. The agent we saw here was a petite Latina wearing bulletproof vest.) Whole world seems to be filled with barriers and fences. On another day, Border Patrol guy told husband access to river side from here to the Gulf of Mexico is restricted, as the river itself is the border. So I guess next weekend will try to ride as far north on it as possible from Truth or Consequences, wherever mountains leave enough room for a horse to pass through. Was reading about Native Americans and the conquistadors who came up what they called the Rio de las Palmas from the Gulf of Mexico in the 1500s. Suppose the river is indifferent to it all, apart from pollutants being dumped into it, ag runoff etc. Plentiful wildlife doesn’t seem bothered by it, but we don’t let the horses drink more than a couple sips midway in a ride even on warm days.

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By Sepharad, February 23, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous - Part V:

1983 - In November, Hezbollah suicide bomber drives into IDF military compound in Tyre and kills 28 IDF soldiers and security personnel as well as 32 local detainees.

1983 - IDF withdraws to 10-kilometer strip in Southern Lebanon.

1983 - PTs place bomb in Jerusalem public bus, killing 5 Israelis.

1984 - PTs hijack Egged bus #300 traveling from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon, IDF halt bus, free hostages. All terrorists and 1 female IDF soldier, a passenger, are killed.

1985 - Hezbollah suicide bomber detonates his vehicle adjacent to ID convoy traveling in southern Lebanon, killing 12 IDF soldiers.

1985 - IDF planes bomb PLO headquarter in Tunis, killing 50.

1985 - IDF teams of experts go to Mexico City to search for earthquake survivors.

1985 - Terrorists attack Israelis in Cairo, killing four, including wife of an Israeli diplomat. A yeshiva student is stabbed to death in Old City of Jerusalem.

1986 - IAF F-4 Phantom downed over Lebanon during war. IAF helicopter rescues pilot but navigator Ron Arad captured by Hezbollah, handed over to Iran. IDF capture two senior Hezbollah leaders, Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani, as bargaining chips for knowledge and retrn of Arad. They are returned to Lebanon in ‘04; Arad’s fate unkown.

1987 - Muslim terrorists kidnap westerners in Beirut and hold them hostage in Lebanon.

1987 - PT using hang glider crosses from Lebanon to IDF camp near Kiryat Shmona in Upper Galilee, killing 6 IDF soldiers sleeping in their tent.

1987 - Intifada (uprising) begins in Gaza and spreads to West Bank. Violence continues till 1993, signing of Israel-PLO peace accord.  From 1967 until outbreak of 1987 intifada, no roadblocks existed between Israel and West Bank and Gaza; Palestinians moved freely without any permits, Palestinians working in Israel had full labor rights. Freedom of movement in and out of Israel ended with ‘87 intifada due to continual Palestinian knifings and attacks on Israelis, and their work places are permanently lost. Palestinians make no political or economic gains during the intifada.


1988 - The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, is an acronym for “The Islamic RTesistant Movement” (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiya). Their goals are to introduce Islamic rule and liberate Palestine through hihad, holy war. Hamas believes the land of Palestine is an Islamic wakf throught the generations and “until the day of Resurrection, no one can rename it or part of it; or abandon it or part of it.” In August 1988 Hamas Movement in Gaza issues a Charter stating “Israel will rise and remain erect until Islam eliminates it.” Hamas organization is extremely violent and perpetrates the murder of many Israeli civilians and soldiers, without any regard to various agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, as they do not see themselves as part of any peace or cease-fire agreement.

1988 - IDF commandos assinated Halil Al Wazier (Abu Jihad) in TUnis, who was personally responsible for planning many terrorist attacks.

1988 - 14 Israeli civilians are killed in terrorist attacks this year.

1989 - Terrorist traveling on an Egged bus #405 towards Jerusalem forces it into an abyss off the road near Kiryat Ya’arim/Abu Ghosh, killing 16 passengers. Altogethger 40 Israeli civilians are killed in terrorist attacks this year.

1990 - Muslim terrorists kill 11 Israeli tourists on a bus enroute to Cairo.

1990 - Muslim clerics incite Arabs into frenzied mob on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Mob throws stones down at thousands of Jews praying at the Western Wall during Succot pilgrimage. To protect worshippers, Israeli police open fire, killing 21 Palestinian stone-throwers on the Mount.

1990 - Arafat supports Saddam Hussein, so Palestinians are expelled from Arab Gulf States.

1990 - 23 Israeli civilians killed in terrorist attacks this year.

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By Sepharad, February 23, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous—Am posting rest of chronology now; hope they don’t take thread off before you get it.
PART IV
1981- Israeli govt., law, jurisdiction and administration is extended on Golan Heights. Though no officially annexed, Israel offers Golan Druze populationt Israeli citizenship.

1982 - Syrian President Hafez Assad orders slaughter of 10-20,000 civilians in Hamah to eradicate opposition to his dictatorship.

1982 - All Israeli military installations, civilian settlements are withdrawn from Sinai according to Peace Agreement. Withdrawl includes the oil fields of Abu Rodis, developed by Israel after 1967. Resettles population inside Israel. Also after 6-day war in ‘67, Israel lets overcrowded Rafiah Refugee Camp expand across the border into Sinai and offers Egypt full control of Rafiah camp but Egypt doesn’t want it and puts a neww fence/wall cutting through homes, splitting families and dividing communities—some in Sinai, some in Gaza.

1982 - PTs seriously wound Israeli Ambassador to UK in London. Shlomo Agov never recovers from wounds. IDF invades Lebanon in Operation Peace for the Galilee with aims: to remove persistent terror threat and PLO’s continuous shelling of Jewish towns and settlements in Northern Israel (PLO controls southern Lebanon at this time). Results: Israel expels PLArmy from Lebanon and PLO leadership including Arafat to Tunisia. Israel unable to make peace, and remains in soughern Lebanon. Israel is unsuccessful in preventing Hezbollah from shelling Israeli settlements.

June 9 1982 - IAF destroys 19 Syrian SAM anti-aircraft batteries without loss. In largest aerial battle in Middle East, comprising 100 aircraft, 29 Syrian planes shot down with no Israeli losses. Another aerial dogfight on September 23, in which 23 Syrian MiGs are downed, no Israeli losses. During Lebanon War, Syrians lose 99 aircraft, 82 in dogfights (44% of Syrian planes engaged in aerial combat downed). 1 IAF plane downed in dogfight, 4 IAF downed by ground fire.

1982 - Palestinians assassinate Lebanese Phalange Christian leader Pierre Gemayel in Beirut. In retaliation, Phalangist Christians massacrte civilians in Palestinian refugeee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut. Christian President of Lebanon Amin Gemayel is assassinated by Syrian Army now stationed in Lebanon. Syrian troops massacre many Christians in towns of Damur and Zahlah in Lebanon. Hezbollah send suicide bomber into the US Marines base in Beirut, killing 237 American soldiers. November ‘82, 78 IDF soldiers and 27 security personnel are killed when gas leakage causes explosion in IDF headquarters in Tyre, Lebanon.

1983 - More than 15,000 PLO members, including Arafat,are expelled from Beirut by boat from Tunis. Israel unable to sign a peace agreement by the Lebanesse government controlled by Syria, who regards Lebanon as a Syrian province.

(continued)

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By Sepharad, February 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous,

Will get started with Part IV chronology—may have to finish it tomorrow. Oh—I heard from my humanistic friend. She stays in Israel frequently, more since her husband died, also also is in Portland at least a few months every year. She didn’t know much more than I do, but did say that when someone in the IDF gets out of line it makes the paper Ha’aretz. That’s not very often, though, maybe one a year, a few more during wars. We are old friends, and I asked her to please be objective because she knows my nephew was killed in Jenin in ‘02—walked into a booby-trapped house because some passerby said there was an old man in a wheel chair on the upper floor who couldn’t leave, and nephew told his men to wait while he got the guy down. Had just cleared house of fighters and were going to demolish it. But the door was booby-trapped and he was killed.) Emailing back and forth, I told her it seemed to me that the soldiers might be a little more edgy and hair-triggered in combat situations as this business of attempting to kidnap them has become more prevalent, and she agreed that this was probably true. We both think it is bad policy for Israel to exchange hundreds and hundreds of prisoners, especially those, as they say, with “blood on their hands”, for returning Israeli soldiers dead or alive, but we also agree that Israel is more like an extended family, every soldier somebody’s son, and if it were one of our sons, well, we might feel the same.

Anyway, to the chronology:

  1981—PLO continues to fire hundreds of katyusha rockets into northern Israel.
  Israel extends law, judicial and administrative offices to Golan, offering Golan’s Druze Arabs full Israeli citizenship.

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By Shenonymous, February 21, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

Sephard you said:  “I’m not yet posting the Part IV chronology items, though I will when and if you want them, but they and the ones in Part III only describe IDF incursions related to direct attacks, and do not cover anything unprovoked or more routine activity.” 

Please when you can, do post Part IV as I am most interested. I feel we are prisoners ourselves in this dialogue, rather polylogue (a word I just made up as I am prone to do) and because bits of the truth, in the way Aristotle said “everyman has a small part of [it],” has to be collected and then sewn together and assessed by our independent minds hoping to begin to see that elusive thing called the truth.  I hope I stand open to all those who would contribute.  But I will only read those who are careful, referenced, and respectful in their donation. Thank you for what you have considerately given so far.  I am reading voraciously and doing further research to fatten it out even more.  Thank you.

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By Shenonymous, February 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

The topic title of this forum has to do with caring for human beings.  Human caring is something I am extravagantly concerned with, and it brings to mind even though he may have been not so idle a spectator of the insanity of Nazi Germany, Martin Heidegger’s idea of Sorge, which by his definition is ‘caring.’ In his philosophy, a fundamental basis of our being-in-the-world was for Heidegger, not matter or spirit, but care.  By care, he meant taking care of one’s own authenticity and responsibility for being in the world.  That is the ultimate care for once one can figure that out then real caring for others may take place.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported that 1314 Palestinians were killed in the conflict and that 412 of them were children.  That is 32%.  Not the 60% being accused by one of the commenters, who obviously does not check out the facts of their claims. 

32% is still an ugly number.  0-1% would be an ugly number.  But that also apples to Israeli children deaths.  Over the decades of dreadful conflict between Hamas and Israel, children on both sides between Israel and the Gazan Palestinians have been slaughtered.  So far I have only made a generalized statement.  The facts and essence of these statements need to be undemonstratively examined.  This kind of restrained scrutiny rarely takes place on these forums, unfortunately because no real study of the situation can occur, no getting to the bottom of, in this case, the murderous mess perpetrated by both sides of the conflict.

I get distracted by the many and diverse topics that fly in our faces about how humans act toward one another.  Having to read the comments you sent Sepharad, I need to absorb the many things you said and will reply to them as soon as I can.  Thank you so much for taking the time to send these important bits of information.  I assure you I take them very seriously and want only to cogitate on the things said.

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By Sepharad, February 19, 2009 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, I’m not yet posting the Part IV chronology items, though I will when and if you want them, but they and the ones in Part III only describe IDF incursions related to direct attacks, and do not cover anything unprovoked or more routine activity. I think the best source for such things would be B’tsalem, Human Rights Watch compared with Honest Reporting items. Honest Reporting does follow up on as much media reporting of alleged human rights abuses as possible. If Honest Reporting does NOT contest a reported human rights allegation, it would strongly suggest to me that such an abuse DID occur.

Some activity is probably below media radar—everyday occurrences at checkpoints, for example. You’d have to look at a lot of checkpoint footage because, as in any army, some IDF soldiers are unusually patient, others are not, some are polite and some are rude, some make things easier for the people passing through and some make it harder. I’m going to do a search and see if I can come up with some accessible link or source for you.

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By Sepharad, February 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
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cyrena, re your 2/15 post & Native Americans. This is an issue I’ve been concerned with and studying particularly as information presented in elementary and high school curricula and in popular media likely to be taken in by youngsters. One instance that stands out is the continued iconization of Kit Carson, who certainly was a competent mountain man and scout for Fremont, but who also was well known to have led and participated in massacres of Native American populations, men, women and children.

Re Andrew Jackson’s reputation, generally not covered in elementary and secondary texts, even his most ardent admirers (for being a populist President)knew he exterminated as many Native Americans as possible. On the other hand, no one outside of scholarly circles ever discusses Abraham Lincoln’s enthusiastic prowess during the Black Hawk War. One way historians have found to in effect excuse their high regard for their heroes is to identify them as “a man of his time.” Do you think that is a useful, or legitimate, characterization? Or merely obfuscatory shorthand?

As everyone is obviously a person of their time and shaped in part by its mores, such shorthand could be used to overlook nearly every sort of abuse. This might not be something relevant to immediate issues we are all so concerned and writing about, but then again, it strikes me as being very relevant. Particularly when we’re discussing something with such an ancient history and unfortunately threateningly healthy future as genocide.

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By Sepharad, February 19, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, I’m very interested in your project on “Supremacism” both as an advocate of free speech and freedom of information not just in this country but elsewhere(to which I devoted a number of years as a senior researcher at the Freedom of Information Center based at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an office in DC), and as someone who is concerned about the survival of Israel as a place where I would like my own grandchildren to grow up.

Free speech is not a problem in Israel yet—though some voices have been raised against it even lately, when a political candidate called for excluding Arabs from the Knesset when some of them called for internal resistance to the government’s policy in Gaza.

Equality and liberty for Israeli Arabs have not been a problem in the past, but I fear that the way things are developing, the potential for abuses of their rights definitely exists, especially when Israeli Jews 1)have grown so fearful of being overrun by other Arab states where Islamists are prevailing against the governments, and 2)when they see themselves at best misunderstood and at worst demonized by the world outside. Some feel they are in an impossible situation, and the only thing they can control are threats within their own borders. This makes me very uneasy.

The situation for Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza is economically untenable. While they have free speech, equality means very little if you can’t make a living for your family or move around freely. Some obstacles to this—checkpoints and parts of the Wall—exist because of Israel’s security fears, and have greatly reduced suicide bombings. But the only longterm solution to preventing most suicide bombings involve economic stability and freedom. (As for the bombings and other terror committed by Islamist extremists, which are used not just against Jews and Christians but also against Moslems of different sects or secular Arabs, Iraqis and others around the world, it’s a problem that can only be solved within the Islamic community itself. Anything outsiders do, other than insist that their citizens adhere to their laws, only make it worse.)   

An anecdote reflecting my own concern for deteriorating Israeli sensibilities: when last in Israel, we joined about five tourists going through the tunnels under the entire Western Wall—not just the visible portion—and the Temple Mount, where archaeologists are working on numerous excavations. It was quite impressive to me, even though I’m not religious, to see such very old objects recovered and at one point to be separated from Abraham’s rock by only 89’ of stone. Our guide, Shlomo, was a religious though not orthodox Israeli, by turns jovial and reverent, obviously very well educated. I had a high opinion of him, in fact, until we exited near the Via Dolarosa, in the Arab quarter. He was leading us back to where the tour had begun, near the Wall, but when some of us said we wanted to amble through the streets rather than return, Shlomo told us no, it’s not safe, follow me. When my husband and I firmly detached ourselves, saying we’d be just fine, he said, ominously, “Well, watch your backs.” To me, his attitude is one I’ve previousy not encountered among Israelis, and I tucked into my mind for future reflection.

When people begin to lose their connection to what constitutes real dangers and and what things are not real, they are moving toward the most dangerous territory of all, which is precisely the territory your project is addressing—“Supremacism.” I would be very interested in what instances of this you find in Israel and Zionism and elsewhere.

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By Shenonymous, February 19, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Sepharad I will reply to your most cogent comments when I have been able to put together some “cogent” thoughts of my own.  It will be soon.

But first I have a slight project of my own I want to get started that I am posting on a few forums.  It is:
{b]Supremacism and its death knoll for free people everywhere.

Free people everywhere share the responsibility to challenge supremacism and the denial of free speech around the world. This view, my view, is based on defending the inalienable human rights of free speech, equality, and liberty - which demands a rejection of all supremacism, including Islamic supremacism which has ascended most large in today’s world.  It’s imperialism is a like a creeping illness.  A pernicious infection.  Failure to defy supremacism will not only cost freedoms - it will also cost a people’s identity.  Those who appease and support such supremacism, consciously or not (and it is this latter that is most troubling since there is a blindness at work), will seek to use national influence and power as a weapon against freedom.  This we have encountered repeatedly and recently as happened in other nations though not to the expansionist extent as being conducted by Islamists.  Islamist supremacism, Russian, Israeli, Zimbabwe are most noticeable today, though it has been a historic affliction that included Germany’s Socialist Nazism and even earlier the Napoleonic and Mongolian hordes, and Japan’s attack on China are a few others, and not to leave out the attack on Iraq by the preemptive United States.  Distressingly, this kind of belief has crept into Zionist Israel over decades as well and also must be seen for what it is, but all of it, wherever it emerged must be seen with a detached and unemotional eye in order to be seen for exactly what it is. Outrage against supremacism is not enough.  Voices against it must speak up and loudly enough so that the din of the perpetrators is drowned out and a creeping into the collective consciousness against such fascism begins to grow.

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By Sepharad, February 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, I submitted a Part IV but the computer may have eaten it. If so I’ll wait till PARt III is up so I can tell where I began. (Know I ended at ‘87 on Part IV, which was beginning of first intifada and also the first time Israel put up checkpoints and barriers keeping Palestininans from getting to their workplaces in Israel.)

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By Sepharad, February 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, Part III - from “A Chronology of Israel” from biblical to modern times, with photos and maps, bought from Israel Museum (Jerusalem) compiled by Adrian Wolff
1974—PTs (Palestinian Terrorists from Lebanon bases): enter Kiryat Shmona school building, take children hostages, kill 16 children & 2 IDF soldiers attempting rescue; PTs enter school in Ma’alot taking students and teachers hostage, IDF attempts rescue, PTs kill 22 children and 4 adult hostages; PTs enter fields of Kibbutz Shamir in Upper Galilee, kill three women volunteers from abroad; enter Naharia from sea, attack apartment complex, kill Israeli woman, her two children and an IDF soldier.
  TWA airliner flying from Tel Aviv to NYC explodes over Ionian Sea, killing all 88 passengers and crew. PTs from Jordan enter Beit She’an, murder 4 Iraelies. PT throws hand grenade at cinema audience in Tel Aviv, killing 2 Israelis. Yasser Arafat, gun holstered at his side, addresses UN GenAss. (Next year UNGA adopts resolution determining “Zionismn is a form of racism and racial discrimingation,” revokes it in ‘91.

1975—PTs raid Tel Aviv beach in sppedboat released from mother ship in open sea, take hostages at Savoy Hotel; IDF storms hotel killing 7 terrorists, 3 IDFs die. PLO and Lebanese Muslims overthrow Christian-dominated Lebanese govt. In civil war, Syrian troops invades and controls political outlook of Lebanon. PTs from Lebanon infiltrate fields of Kibbutz Kfar Yuval, killing 2 Israelis. PTS place bomb in Zion Square, Jerusalem, killing 14 in July and again in November, killing 7.

1976—PTs hijack Air France aircraft originating in Tel Aviv and fly to Entebbe, Uganda. French president Chirac sends small plane to take non-Israelis back. IDF commandos kill hijackers and rescue hostages, then flown back to Israel except a passenger, Dora Bloc, taken to hospital before rescue and apparently murdered.  Arab League grants PLO full membership status. PTs place bomb in Jerusalem bus killing 6.

1978—PTs release power boat from mother ship off Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael, hijack an Egged bus on Haifa Road, forces driver toward Tel Aviv, firing sporadically at passing cars & killing passengers. Before it’s stopped, 35 Israelis killed. Continual firing of katyusha rockets and terror attacks from Lebanon on Israeli settlements in Upper Galilee. IDF invades Lebanon in Operation Litani to destroy PLO sites and camps between Israeli border and Litani River. Lebanese government offers Syria control of the ongoing civil war begun by PLO and Lebanese Muslims in ‘76.

1979—IDF commandos land in Beirut, killing Ali Hassan Salameh, mastermind of Munich Olympic attack in ‘72. PTs from Lebanon raid Naharia fromthe sea, killing 4 Israeli civilians including a father and two infants. Israeli Skyhawk downs a Syrian MiG21.

1980—PTs from Lebanon enter Kibbutz Misgav Am in Upper Galilee taking children and adults hostage. In rescue 2 kibbutz members and 1 IDF soldier are killed. PTs place bomb on El Al plane in Zurich but El Al security officers find and neutralize it. PTs kill 6 Israeli civilians in attack on Beit Hadassah in Hebron. Euro Econ Community adopts Venice declaration of Israel’s right to exist and the Palestinian people to self determination.

1981—During 10 days in June, PTs fire more than 1,100 katyusha rockets on 33 towns in Upper Galilee. Retaliation, IAF bombs PLO headquarters in Beirut.
PLO continues firing hundreds of katyusha rockets into northern Israel.

    (continued in PART IV)

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By Sepharad, February 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, (PART II)

Several people qualified to know (or to know who would know) some of the answers: Amos Oz, a founder of Peace Now, lives in Arad, Israel (one of his American publishers might be a way to send him a note—Random House and Harcourt); David Grossman, another Peace Now founder, whose only son was killed in the ‘06 war with Hezbollah even as he himself was criticizing the war and continues to criticize it;  professor of history, Bernard Lewis—still at Columbia I believe—has spent most of his life writing the history of the Middle East, emphasis on Islam, not Israel, and who would probably steer you to people or books close to your points; a couple friends I will email re your questions, who have huge libraries (one founded Humanistic Jews and the other fought in the Lebanon War in the ‘80s). In Sharon’s autobiography “Warrior” (at home of course) he addresses the Shatila and Sabra massacres, the old friendships the Gemayels had with him and his family that drew him in more deeply than he thought wise. But he’s not exactly a disinterested source—though I was impressed by his discussion re how childhood memories affected his thinking, openness about things he’s been criticized for with not so much emphasis on his triumphs.

I don’t really trust UN assessments of Israeli behavior (long ago dropped my association with Unicef), but speaking as a researcher, it’s good to read conflicting assessments as it helps form some notions of what might have happened.

There’s an Israeli journalist—Michael Oded, or Oder—who coauthored with a female Palestinian journalist a definitive history of some of the controversies in Israeli/Arab history such as the incident at De’ir Yassin in ‘48. Also wrote best history of the ‘67 war. Check Benny Morrison on the Lebanon ‘84—he’s a revisionist who revises his revisionism if he learns something new. Ideal!

I missed following the events of the ‘83 and ‘84 Lebanon war. My father died in ‘83, we lost a child that August, and between September ‘83 and April ‘84 I was a patient in Stanford U. Hospital. Did hear from friends and family in Israel frequently but more in the nature of supportive phone calls.

Re Shatila and Sabra, my recollections of what I’ve read and what people have told: Israel’s culpability was in not preventing it as part of the IDF was still in sight of the camps’ entrances. They were getting ready to go back to Israel, chains of command not in place, so probably could not have stopped Phalangists from entering camps hunting the PLO group they considered responsible for Gemayel’s assassination but also turning guns on any refugee around or with the PLO fighters. (The PLO were in Lebanon running militant-training camps and attacking Israel because they’d been driven out of Jordan by King Hussein’s Bedouin forces because the PLO kept attacking Israel from Jordan.)

IDF members I’ve known have not enjoyed shooting at or killing combatants, let alone innocent people. Killing is a sin to the religious, and certainly anathema to the young liberal left Israelis in the army. Ariel Sharon spoke of leading the local Palmach unit in ‘47, comforted by imagining the tribe of Benjamin’s warriors running along, spears in hand, but all Israelis are not natural-born warriors.

Then there’s pragmatism: Israelis know half the outside world wants to think they’re nazis, so they bend over backwards to be as restrained as they can be in any given situation. Gratuitously attacking Palestinians for any non-compelling reason would be bone dumb. They know they are ridiculously outnumbered in the region, barely visible on maps of the Arab regions around the Mediterranean Sea and on eastward. Why would they do anything to upset any Moslems (apart from merely existing) knowing they are outnumbered more than a million to one?

I do have a chronology of Israel (Israel Museum, Jerusalem)that might be useful. Will have to put it in Part III.

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By Sepharad, February 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, (Part I)

Thanks for your informative and thoughtful post, and your questions. I apologize for not getting back to you until today—Wednesday. Am not well. Riding over the dreaded Jornado de Muerto last Saturday, my mare Margareta stumbled into a hole concealed by grass—and somersaulted, catapaulting me about 20’ feet away. Hurt leg, shoulders and neck pretty badly but rested Sunday, ate chicken soup, then foolishly went on desert for an all-day horseback exploration with husband who cherishes his rare three-day weekends and loves our long rides together. Did OK on ride, but got quick sick that night. Did nothing Tuesday but go to doctor who prescribed serious bed rest. Nothing broken, but significant muscle damage, aggravation of old neck injury (drunk driver; not horse), and the impact triggered a major rheumatoid arthritis/systemic lupus flare which affects body and mind. However, am eager to respond to your questions though again, without library, am inadequate to the task.

Though I’m a Jew and Zionist (i.e., believe Israel should remain a Jewish nation, being our original motherland and the rest of the world can go crazy again), I’m also a humanist. Besides Peace Now, the only organization I belong to is Humanistic Jews. We celebrate ritual and tradition and holiday with all the religion subtracted, i.e. no mention of God, etc. Though a partisan of Israel, also connected by family and friends, both Jew and Arab, there, there are things Israeli governments have done that I disagree with strongly, and oppose such things when and where I can. My greatest source of frustration: Iunderstand how vulnerable Israel is to extinction, and though I was “Another Mother for Peace” during Vietnam, campaigning door-to-door for McCarthy with my four-year-old hanging on my skirt, I can’t oppose all war and all fighting in Israel’s case because if it hadn’t, it would have long ceased to exist.

My own Jewish tradition holds that when you take a single life you have destroyed an entire universe. I believe that, while contradictorily knowing that through the ages Jews who didn’t fight back died.

The only solution to the dilemma is to somehow make peace—an unnatural condition unheard of in the Mideast’s tribal history—with the Palestinians and help them acquire their own state, educate their children and develop it economically. And yet some Israeli actions are counterproductive, e.g.  checkpoints, not recognizing degrees from the Palestinian University Al Quds, etc. The checkpoints, even parts of the Wall, are needed because they have reduced the suicide bombing in Israel by 80%+. But not recognizing the degrees from Al Quds makes it difficult for Palestinian graduates to find meaningful employment in or out of Israel. Brandeis University and some others have set up joint programs with Al Quds which have weakened that situation but still did nothing to make Israel recognize their degrees. (Many Palestinian young people do attend universities in Israel, but many can’t and the NEED a good universisty in the West Bank.) The Israeli government says they don’t recognize the degree because Al Quds is also a center of militant resistance. I argue that it will continue to be a center of militant resistance because of the Israeli policy itself if nothing else. Now, another zionist of my ilk, Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, has established a joint-DEGREE program with Al Quds, and because Bard is an American University Israel WILL recognize the degrees. Initial programs are medical, technological, etc. but also western literature and other humanities. To me that is the best kind of zionism in action. Same for the joint economic programs Israeli Arabs and Jews are working out with the West Bank.

This does not speak directly to your questions, but just trying to set the framework so you’ll see where I’m coming from. Probably running out of words so will get to your specific questions in Part II.

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By Shenonymous, February 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad – I have been reading all the United Nations documents on the question of Palestine.  You are one I trust who would give an objective answer and I have a question or two.  The document Part IV 1984-1988 of The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1988 reveals the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory had seriously deteriorated.  Israel, the occupying Power, was in the process of violating the relevant conventions and rules of international law and the generally accepted norms and principles of international behaviour. In particular, its policies and practices in the occupied territory remain in clear violation of a number of carefully elaborated and universally accepted instruments of international law.  My question is why would Israel do that?  It is also said in the documents that Israel violated and made violent attacks several times on the Palestinian people.  I am a champion of human rights and that was the major reason I have been a defender of Israel over the Gaza War is because I could not abide the parade of terrorist Hamas/Palestinian sympathizers whose poisonous posts were unending and was seeing that Israelis had a long and ancient history of being a horribly persecuted people.  While my question does not nullify that fact, the modern history of Israel is something that I think needs dissected in an imperative attempt to find the truth of the problem left when the Palestine Mandate was made into Israel in 1948.  Nothing is ever as it seems and all we can do is to try with a clear-head sort out what is more possibly the truth than was known before.

It does not say who wrote the UN documents but I became concerned when in the History of the Question of Palestine, there was the implication that the “large-scale massacre of Palestinian refugees that took place in the camps of Sabra and Shatila” had been committed by Israelis when in fact it was the Lebanese Phalangist militiamen, supported by the Maronite Christian sect, who took revenge for the murder of their leader Bachtir Gemayel, in 1982.  The Jews were blamed for not anticipating the massacre because the Phalangists did not even receive a condemnation for the killings.  All that notwithstanding, it makes me wonder if there are other omissions in those documents.  They are lengthy and will take some time to read and even longer to absorb their content and their meaning.  Nevertheless the information I have read is curious and I think needs explanation not from any passionate Israeli nor Arab nor Christian!  I do not know where to go for such detached objectivity in order to unearth the truth as it will have to be someone from any of those groups. 

Even though you are a Jew and have Zionist proclivities, I still feel you are a humanist at heart.  But if you are too close to the emotions of that event, perhaps you know of those who are not who could shed some light on it.  I would appreciate knowing who these persons might be.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 15, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Got lost in my own post so I forgot to point out that the genocide against Native Americans took 400 years, from roughly 1500 to 1890 at Wounded Knee.

Of course, in South America the genocide against native Americans in the Amazon and other remote regions continues as loggers and other exploiters of the region “cut corners”, ie, murder the locals.

This contrasts with the Hitlerian model that actually took only 6 or 7 years to inflict so many deaths—nearly 12 million souls, meaning almost 6 million NON-Jews slaughtered as well!

I think this near-instant versus gradualist extinction horror needs to be analyzed for similarities and differences—clearly there are some of both.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 15, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

I got you thinking about your basic premises!  That’s great! I didn’t expect to have you say “Oh, ITW, you are right!”  Your power of argument and discussion is too great.

Two quick points:
1) I don’t deny that Stalin’s vast killings constitute genocide or that its evil is equal to Hitler’s.  I argue that there are key differences such as the people after the war could live in those areas, and Stalin’s goal was never to wipe out the entire Russian, BeloRussian and Ukrainian peoples—nor did he. In that, he failed where Hitler succeeded.  His goal was to wipe out the “Muzhik” (don’t try to spell this correctly! smile ) class of wealthy peasants.
2) The Native American model is, I think closest to the Jews in Europe—and yeah, Andy Jackson was a racist, murderous son of a bitch.  He was also the establisher of the “Spoils System”—the Dumbya putting incompetent political cronies in power where they could rape the treasury is the Jacksonian model.  Curiously I found one daguerreotype of Jackson as an old man and he looks NOTHING like the heroic portraits. (There’s at least one photo of every President from John Quincy Adams onward, at least at some time in his life).

“But the reality is that over a million Arabs have been killed in what has been a 60 plus year INTENT TO DESTROY them, by murder, starvation, etc,  and the imposition of conditions that ultimately lead to their deaths; whether it be in the camps, the heavily fortified prisons, or the checkpoints. The INTENT has always been to destroy the Palestinian population, and the ‘methods’ don’t change the end result. “

Where on earth has this number come from? How many of these were soldiers killed in the ‘67 war and the ‘73 war? How many were killed in the Lebanese wars BY ISRAELIS OR THEIR SURROGATES?  How many have died by starvation, etc?  You’ve been given a detailed breakdown of the counts of Jews in the Holocaust.  We’ve seen some pretty accurate and terrifying numbers of the Rwandan (1/2 million) and Rwanda/Congo conflict (5 MILLION dead!)  But where does “1 Million Palestinians” in 60 years come from and how does it break down?

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By cyrena, February 15, 2009 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

Inherit,

Thanks for the discourse. I think I get your points about the ‘uniqueness’ of the Jewish extermination performed by Hitler’s Nazis, though you don’t mention same under Stalin, minus the ovens. His camps did the same thing, to the same collection of people, (Jews and others) but they were left to die of neglect and other harsh treatment as opposed to what was actually far LESS economically efficient; gassing a huge population in ovens.

Still the mechanics of the Jewish Holocaust were unprecedented at the time, (at least those employed by the Nazis) and they might otherwise be considered efficient, and yes…, we would have to say ‘successful’, if the intent was to eliminate an population, in whole or part. Indeed, that’s exactly what Hitler and his Nazis did, so there is no argument there.

However, I don’t believe it to be ‘unique’ for the same reasons that you’ve already pointed out. It’s happened before the Jewish Holocaust, and the Native American Genocide is the textbook example, as is the Palestinian Holocaust.

Here’s how the Genocide Convention defines Genocide in very clear and unambiguous language:

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm

The key words of course are ‘acts committed with INTENT TO DESTROY – in WHOLE or PART..’ and we’re talking about GROUPS of people, be they a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

Now ALL of these measures and others were used to wipe out the very substantial population of the Native Americans, and it took a long time. But that’s exactly what happened, because it was the INTENT of the perpetrators to DO EXACTLY THAT!

In fact, it was the primary component of Andrew Jackson’s election campaign; he ran a platform as “The Indian Killer”, promising the New Americans that he would finish killing them off. (I’m serious. No drama here. I found this out in my very excellent course on Law and Racism, instructed by the Korean Genius, Prof. John Park – that’s just my name for him by the way. But he is Korean-American, and he is really smart).

But, that was a deviation about old Andy there. My only point is that in all of these Genocides, it is the INTENT to destroy another group of people, in whole or part, based on their race/creed/color-ethnicity/national origin..blah, blah, blah. (later versions and additions include gender in the ‘groups’ as well.) So for anyone willing to examine the language, and examine the circumstances of these various genocides, that of the Native Americans and the Jews, and the Palestinians are ALL genocides.
I think that you are possibly focusing on the techniques used, and the time taken to accomplish the elimination/extermination as the ‘definition’ of Genocide, and you’re throwing in the geographical area covered, as well as the body count, when those components aren’t addressed in the language – at least not in terms of what defines it as a crime.
Additionally, your understanding of what constitutes Genocide is based on your own ideological grounding, which is a perfectly naturally occurring thing for humans to do. That’s why this language is helpful and required. In fact, the language of the concept doesn’t even consider the ‘reasons’, ie the underlying PURPOSE of the elimination. It simply makes it a crime to target any group, in whole or part, with the intent to destroy it, in whole or part.

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By cyrena, February 15, 2009 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

2 of 2

So, you say this:

•  “Yes, genocide does exist and the perpetrators of it are monsters.  But there has not been a genocide against Palestinians, and I hope there never is.  Deaths? Of course.  Murders? Definitely. War crimes? Probably.  But genocide? No, no way.”

But the reality is that over a million Arabs have been killed in what has been a 60 plus year INTENT TO DESTROY them, by murder, starvation, etc,  and the imposition of conditions that ultimately lead to their deaths; whether it be in the camps, the heavily fortified prisons, or the checkpoints. The INTENT has always been to destroy the Palestinian population, and the ‘methods’ don’t change the end result.

The end result isn’t even changed by the fact that not ALL Israelis share the ideology that requires the elimination of all Arabs from the Occupied Territories, because those that DO maintain that ideology are the ones with the control on the methods of elimination. The only thing that might finally halt the ON-going Genocide of the Palestinians would be for the Israelis to elect a regime NOT committed to the destruction of the Arab population of the Occupied Territories. Needless to say, that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
So, no difference at all here, between these various Genocides that have taken place, at least in terms of the definition supplied by the Genocide Convention and other related treaties that have been adopted since.

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By Shenonymous, February 15, 2009 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, you might be interested to check out a new TD article,
Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090214_everyone_is_equal_in_their_suffering_during_wartime/

I quite acknowledge that the article is about the pain and anguish of war.  War is about killing people.  People killing people.  However the question was asked by a regular TD commenter about how so many Jews wound up in Germany as if it was a too fantastical a concept with the implication that it was a fabrication that they were even there.  I was motivated to provide an answer.

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By Robert, February 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

How American News Media Works In Favor Of Israel

By Alison Weir

Video
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alison Weir, an American journalist/editor, had to go find out about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict for herself. One can see what Alison Weir found out about the conflict/people, the facts on the ground, NPR and other news organizations:


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21744.htm

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By Inherit The Wind, February 14, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:
While your argument is impressive you make 2 assumptions that are both challengable.

1) The movement of Jews from Europe, and the Arab states into what is now Israel is an unprecedented seizure of land and displacement of a people.  It is unique.

2) The destruction of European Jewry by Hitler is NOT unique in the sorry annals of genocide and that these victims were not special and did not have special needs.

Without addressing the morality of the issue just yet, what happens if both your assumptions are false?  Your argument falls to pieces.

Let’s start with the easy one: is the Holocaust unique?  I would argue that it is as it was the biggest and most mechanized and efficient slaughter directed at a single people with a single objective in history.  Understand: I do NOT discount or in any way diminish the loss of life of the others millions who died in Hitler’s death camps.

But as a discernible people (by whatever criteria)the actions against Jews were unprecedented and unique. Now why is that? Because it was, in large part successful.  The vast Jewish culture that spread from Minsk to Chicago had its main section cut out an destroyed…the culture is lost forever.  Literally 1 out of every 2 Jews in the world died because of Hitler, and virtually all East of New York and West of Russia. (yes there are exceptions like Denmark).  Hitler successfully eradicated Judaism from mainland Europe.  In this, at least in modern times, this is unique in its scale, scope and, dare I say it? success.

Yes, genocide does exist and the perpetrators of it are monsters.  But there has not been a genocide against Palestinians, and I hope there never is.  Deaths? Of course.  Murders? Definitely. War crimes? Probably.  But genocide? No, no way.

Saddam’s war on the Kurds, the Hutu/Tutsi wars and the current Darfur wars come close to matching the Holocaust.  The attempt to destroy Native Americans does as well—perhaps that is closest to the Holocaust.

Second: Displacement.  It’s hard to say with a straight face that it’s unique when in the world today, in modern Europe, people live with far vaster displacements following WWII.  Look at Russia, Poland and Germany.  Stalin LITERALLY moved Poland westward, absorbing the Eastern 1/3 into the USSR and driving out the Poles.  He then replaced that territory on the Western side, moving Poles into what had been East Prussia including the City of Danzig.  The was primarily the Germany east of “The Polish Corridor” as it was known.  Those Germans, LOSERS OF A WAR, JUST LIKE THE ARAB STATES, were forced out of East Prussia. 

Poland was moved West at Germany’s expense.  Highly similar situation to what you claim happened in Palestine, but on a much vaster level.  Gdansk, where Solidarity was born and Lech Walesa started the crash of the Soviet block, was that very German city of Danzig.

In fact, Egypt was not originally Arab, nor was Anatolia originally Turkish.  They are all land seized from someone else in war.  How about Canada and the USA?  How much of OUR territory is based on displacing other peoples?  Our seizure of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were because Spain LOST a war to the USA.  Texas was stolen from Mexico.

Do we give these lands back or make an accommodation?  What happens is accommodations are made.

Therefore, if Israel’s foundation on others’ land is NOT unique, and the Jews’ level of extermination in the Holocaust IS unique, then you have no argument.

Of course, my belief is that accommodation IS the answer—a two-state solution.  That hasn’t changed.

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By Leefeller, February 14, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Ceryena,

Presumptuous of you, since I did not use your name?

Zionist used in name calling dovetails with any other slur, especially set by the tone. It is harder to gather the tones of posts, I suggest discussing the topic without the name calling.  Labels used to designate an argument, does set a tone.  Usually bigots have little more then slurs to offer. 

Hearing slurs, racial, sexual and others, have always caused me cringe in disgust. From the single N. word to nastily voicing “He’s a Jew” they all disgust me equally, I include Zionist in the same vane.

Still, I maintain my basic premise.  You actually prove my point.  Objectivity is hard work, we obviously disagree in it’s meaning.

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By Shenonymous, February 14, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Leefeller, I’ve read you on these forums for some time and have always appreciated your acerbic comments that cut to the quick (and separates the shit from the shit).  But what have you done?  You have committed e-harakiri.  You have called for the Wrath of Khan to descend upon your e-head.  You have now compromised yourself for the sake of truth, only on these forums we are forced to call it trooth for we know no such thing as truth exists unless you can unearth it yourself.  You shall have to be more careful and get a larger shit shovel.

Whatever are your reasons, you have definitely not lost objectivity, you are one of the few who actually have it.  The term Zionism covers an ocean of meaning, The detractors of the Jews in Israel only wants one meaning to be visible.  I need not repeat it as they have incessantly done so in cacophony with each other.  However, the counter-refrain is that Israel has a right to exist and was given that right by the world, except for the Islamic world, since 1948.  Furthermore, it has had equal right to the territory since the nomadic days of the Semitic people that included Jews and Arabs.  One needs only to do an objective review of history.  It is not a hidden or secret history.

If Israel needs to maintain their state through strong economic/political action and is compelled to protect itself through military action, then that is what has been imposed on them since their creation.  The Palestinians have been herded into the districts of Israel by the antagonistic Arab empire that did not want them in their own territories.  Check for yourself on the history of the denial of Palestinians to have citizenship in any other Arab country.  And that is not a hidden or secret policy.

A few things about the unifying character of hatred.  Hatred is probably the most available and coherent of all routes of unification.  Hatred is an agent of seduction that attracts individuals away from independent thought in trade for an emotional, often called “flaming” mass of human cells in cooperation with a group of other masses of human cells.  It is needed to get the bile and red corpuscles moving in an otherwise inert mind/body. The strength of a tribe of haters is proportionate to the handiness of a scapegoat.  The Jews, and their Zionism, have become the essential tangible enemy.  Hating the Zionist Jew is a ruse to open the rest of the world to Islamism, actually the resources that would bring.  Were the plight of the Palestinian the real issue, they would have been helped 60 years ago.  As a group of human beings they are no less capable of fighting for their independence and territory than any other.  Notice the community of Muslims that surrounds them geographically.  Instead they are left to the miseries of sacrificial lambs and kept medieval on purpose.  While there may have been a few, ask how many Palestinians have achieved anything intellectual, technological, aesthetic in the 60 years of their alleged subjugation?  They are vassal fodder for their masters and that is the atrocity.

The ironic hysteria is that the real oppressors try to paint their Palestinian delegation as the oppressed.  It is true that the Palestinians have been without any secure homeland in their entire existence!  Make no mistake, I do not condone the excessive Israeli force used in retaliation for an attack from Hamas. The reality is there are no niceties in war.  It is not a game of politeness or fair exchange.  I was recently told how children were used in Vietnam to deliver hand grenades only to be blown to bits as they did their masters’ bidding to attack the perceived enemy.  See nothing is sacred in war.  Women wearing bomb belts or children purposefully sent in innocent disguise but who were missionaries of death.  Retaliation a hundred fold to the force used against one side is the description of a lopsided war to be sure, despicably that is the nature of real war.

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By cyrena, February 14, 2009 at 1:50 am Link to this comment

Leefeller writes:

•  “For I see only an attacks on the Jews, not the country’s politics.  Understanding something takes knowledge, but as in most things also requires objectivity, so call me a Zionist.”

~~

And, therein lies the tragedy Leefeller, because you are not alone in your particular ‘vision’ which means that you’ve somehow lost the objectivity part. The formula is Objectivity + Knowledge = Understanding, and they pretty much have to come in that order.

So, if for some reason you ‘only’ –see- attacks on Jews in your vision, and specifically NOT on the country’s politics, then you’re missing a component, and it can only be the objectivity part.
BECAUSE…more than a few of us contributing to this forum have ALWAYS made it clear that it is the POLICIES of the State of Israel that are so despicable and have caused so much needless pain, suffering, and outright destruction; NOT “Jews or Semites” in general. So it’s really an insult to hear you suggest that is all you ‘see’ (attacks on Jews) and specifically when you state that vis-à-vis the country’s politics, which are exactly what the problem is.

It is the politics of Zionism, and that is the political/government of the State of Israel. It is what it is, and in and of itself, that is NO BIG DEAL! Any group of people who want to, can get together and pick a spot to establish a state based on Zionism or anything else they wanna set-up, if they’re all in agreement with it. And, as long it is doesn’t CREATE A HARDSHIP for any other group or individual, it’s NO BIG DEAL! This could be a group of Jews, Mormons (they own Utah), Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, basketweavers of all ethnicities, basketball players, people of African descent, (There’s tons of literature available on the African Diaspora that has for the most part not received the wide spread study that the Jewish Diaspora has garnered, but they too have considered the establishment of such – fill in the blank “ONLY” type states, ) and the list is pretty much endless.
Needless to say however, those kinds of ‘exclusive’ set-ups run into troubles when it requires the displacement and/or removal of another group of people. In the case of Israel, (as with others) it is the States’ POLITICAL POLICY that REQUIRES this displacement and/or removal of over a million other people, (in the course of its 60 year history as a state) and they continue to incarcerate another couple of million in open-air prison facilities as well as the standard prison structures that we are all familiar with…often accompanied by torture.

WHY does Israel do this? Well, because it IS REQUIRED to maintain the POLITICAL POLICIES of THEIR STATE! So it is NOT an attack on Jews, but an attack on the political policies of a STATE set-up that is a destructive force for millions of other people, based on a system (combo slow genocide and apartheid) that is simply incompatible to the more Universally accepted consensus on the rights of humans, which continue to develop. (I admit that the concept of Human Rights –particularly of civilians) is a new concept and not such an easy one for those of us who have never lived under a military occupation, and we never have. We’ve never even had a war on our own soil in terms of invasion or occupation by ANY ‘foreign’ entity, unless you go all the way back to the founding and the subsequent so-called ‘civil’ war. It was a ‘civil war’ between the original occupiers. So no. Most of us can’t imagine that, making it a difficult concept to understand. Additionally, most of those posting to this forum on behalf of Israel’s policies have never even set foot in the Occupied Territories, and don’t have a single clue about the conditions of such an oppressive infrastructure that thoroughly dictates the lives of millions of Palestinians as they attempt to live just like all the rest of us have an inalienable right to do.

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By cyrena, February 14, 2009 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

2 of 3

However, it IS a reality here in a 21st Century where the interconnectedness between Nation states is simply unavoidable. In reality, there is probably no place on the globe that we can find that is UNINHABITED, and yet still conducive to habitation by humans who have been socialized in a 20th Century climate. Whether such a place actually exists is immaterial, because Israel didn’t select such a place. Instead, they selected a place that was already inhabited, and the FOUNDERS of the State made their intentions very clear from the beginning, based on the Zionist Ideology/Policy. That is to say that the Arabs would simply have to go. Period. They were on land that the Founders of Israel wanted, and they wanted it free of all Arabs, and that’s the POLITICAL FOUNDATION of the policies of the State of Israel. This is all documented from Ben Gurion on down.

So that IS the “States’ “Policy and Politics” based on ZIONISM. Needless to say again, (but I guess I just keep having to) ZIONISM is a political posture based on a “Separatist” Ideology, and most separatists’ are constructed along religious, ethnic, and/or racial identities. So yes, it stands to reason that the Zionist political posture would be supported by Jews. It is NOT however, supported by ALL Jews, and there are an increasing number of Jews world-wide, specifically here in the US, who overwhelmingly DISAPPROVE of Israel’s actions in supporting their political posture.

All of that said, the criticisms directed at Israel from knowledgeable, objective, and yes sane, intelligent, and rational people, is NOT an ‘attack on Jews’ but rather on the methods that the State of Israel employs in order to maintain its political ideology as a place for Jews Only, and a far more EXPANDED place/space than they were initially awarded.

If you really do see nothing more than ‘attacks on Jews’, then we are still very, very, very far behind in providing the ‘Knowledge’ part of the formula for Understanding. The challenge is the same as always, because the Objectivity has to be there before the Knowledge can be absorbed. And for the most part, that means revisiting the original scene of the crime, because the now generally accepted propaganda is hard to shake, especially with all of the distractions from peanut gallery pundits and those who SPECIFICALLY AND DUPLICITOUSLY continue to spread the 60-year old propaganda of the Jews as a put upon and injured people that somehow DESERVE to have this property and control of the natural resources that make it inhabitable; even when it can only happen at the expense of millions of others.
And, that IS what the propaganda continues to do, and succeeds very well, because NO semi-literate or politically conscious person can deny that the Jews HAVE been mistreated in the past, and the target/subject of considerable racism over an extended period of time. It’s just that it was NOT the Arabs of the Middle East that perpetrated those atrocities against the Jews, and so there is no rational or other logical way to reconcile the fact that they have been punished for it, for now 60 years. No objective mentality can make that mental connection/rationalization/justification. It just simply ‘does not compute’ with an objective or logical mindset.

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By cyrena, February 14, 2009 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

3 of 3

However, the truth (as in KNOWLEDGE) IS AVAILABLE now, thanks to many brave people from all parts of the globe, Jews, Arabs, and Gentiles alike. One needs far less courage to HEAR these documented truths than it took to write and make the information available. An honestly Objective mentality could and would do that, thereby leading to the ultimate goal of Understanding.

I have previously recommended an excellent work by an exceedingly accomplished Israeli scholar/professor at Haifa University, Ilan Pappe. The manuscript is “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” and it presents the historical record. Clearly this is the type of information/Knowledge that lends itself to the formula for Understanding, but still requires enough Objectivity to absorb it.
The “Artsty-Cultural” studies that those of ‘intellectual leisure’ like to engage in are at best tangential to the discourse and/or knowledge required for Understanding, and dangerously harmful at worst, not just because of the distraction, (Islamic Theory and Practice) but because it feeds the false propaganda as well, blocking a path to any genuine Understanding of the fundamental core of the still destructive conflict.

So while I know it would be a major CHANGE to look from a different view or perspective, our tragedy is a failure to at least CONSIDER updated information and the constant and yes inevitable changes to our understanding that SHOULD occur over time, as information becomes available. The tragedy isn’t ONLY for those of us who willfully choose to remain in the dark and/or avoid the light of the truth at all costs. No, it ultimately affects the entire social body, and that is the scariest thing of all.
THESE are the people who the poster “reason” once mentioned in terms of the Israelis, but it suits others as well, “They would rather be “RIGHT” than happy” , or have anyone else happy either. These people must ALWAYS have ‘the last word’ even when that word is deadly WRONG.

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By Sepharad, February 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller, “Complex” is an understatement re the Arabs & Jews. It used to seem a lot clearer to me, when I was a kid; I assumed that soon everyone would wake up and just get along. I love all the different traditions—Jewish and Arab—and each has hundreds of variations. To me, the mixing of the cultures and the interactions are normal because that’s what I saw in my own family and their neighbors and my friends, mainly in Haifa and the Jezreel Valley. By the time I might have been old enough to notice that everything was not sunshine everywhere I was in high school in the U.S. thinking about becoming a journalist, then college and civil rights & the FoI Act, then husband, kids, work; only focusing on Israel through contact with cousins and friends, and of course whenever there was a war that seemed likely to be the end of the country many of us see as the hope of the world. A lot changed while I wasn’t looking, and I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to catch up, studying Islamic cultures in different times and places, then trying to make sense of the interactions between them and Israel. There are huge gulfs between Israeli camps and their visions of what’s right for the country, similar to the huge divides here. Sometimes one faction’s on top, sometimes the other, and there as here all you can do is try to further the policies you think are right for the country (and in Israel’s case, that includes the Palestinian Arabs). What is different is that Americans have space between themselves and their enemies. In Israel it’s more intense cause it’s all there in your face all the time. Yet, on our recent return to Israel, I was astonished at how casual the population has become with security guards with large guns outside cafes, malls, produce markets, etc. In Jerusalem there are soldiers all over but I noticed that they were laughing and smoking, talking to each other and with passersby who sometimes stop, both in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. Tensions being what they are, I’d expected something different. There were rockets, but we never saw them, though my old friend who lives halfway between Be’ersheva and Gaza said they annoyed him but he’d stopped being nervous when his camels and horse got used to them. (When we drove past Gaza, I did wonder what the Israeli soldier who’s being held captive there for over a year now was thinking.) In East Jerusalem, it was Arabs, new acqaintances and old, who told us where it was and was not safe to walk around there as well as where not to go in the West Bank. We were only there for a short time—8 days. It’s hard to imagine Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and when I’m so angry at Hamas it’s easy to forget that Israeli policy also has had its faults. Though I truly lay the bloodshed mostly on Hamas’ head, both sides have missed opportunities. Was thinking the other day about Obama’s “we’ll extend our hand if you’ll unclench your fist” and hope that at some point Israel will have a leader and the Palestinians will have a leader who can do both at the same time. The Israeli people feel they’re alone and wildly outnumbered by Arabs who hate them and Westerners who do not have a clue. The Palestinians feel victimized and in Gaza, they are furious with Israel but also with Hamas.  It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which they take giant steps toward reconciliation, because in the past both sides have taken large steps in the wrong direction. They both need to stand still, but if they don’t know where to go next, they should try muddling through cautiously ... preferably well-disposed muddling on both sides. (I personally am in favor of muddling: if you’re moving into dangerous ground, it’s easier to retreat and rethink before dashing with great commotion into what might be quicksand. You can’t pull your feet out once you’ve blundered in. (Thanks for caring about both sides.)

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By Leefeller, February 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

She,

My simplistic accusation of the bigots or us on TD, does seem quite inane now as compared to your most comprehensive post. Clearly, you call attention to the possible political, religious and racist conditions behind the reality of this sick senseless war and wars in general. Intolerance needs little prompting,  to rear its ugly head.

So gratifying to read words of reason, thank you.

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By Robert, February 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

Ariel Sharon

Israel’s Prime Minister was a ruthless military commander responsible for one of the most shocking war crimes of the 20th century, argues Robert Fisk. President George Bush acclaims Ariel Sharon as ‘a man of peace’, yet the blood that was shed at Sabra and Chatila remains a stain on the conscience of the Zionist nation. As Sharon lies stricken in his hospital bed, his political career over, how will history judge him?

By Robert Fisk

“Sharon’s involvement in the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres continues to fester around the man who, according to Israel’s 1993 Kahan commission report, bore “personal responsibility” for the Phalangist slaughter. So fearful were the Israeli authorities that their leaders would be charged with war crimes that they drew up a list of countries where they might have to stand trial - and which they should henceforth avoid - now that European nations were expanding their laws to include foreign nationals who had committed crimes abroad. Belgian judges were already considering a complaint by survivors of Sabra and Chatila - one of them a female rape victim - while a campaign had been mounted abroad against other Israeli figures associated with the atrocities. Eva Stern was one of those who tried to prevent Brigadier General Amos Yaron being appointed Israeli defence attaché in Washington because he had allowed the Lebanese Phalange militia to enter the camps on 16 September 1982, and knew - according to the Kahan commission report - that women and children were being murdered. He only ended the killings two days later. Canada declined to accept Yaron as defence attaché. Stern, who compiled a legal file on Yaron, later vainly campaigned with human rights groups to annul his appointment - by Prime Minister Ehud Barak - as director general of the Israeli defence ministry. The Belgian government changed their law - and dropped potential charges against Sharon - after a visit to Brussels by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who famously referred on 6 August 2002 to Israelis’ control over “the so-called occupied territory” which was “the result of a war, which they won”.

Rumsfeld had threatened that NATO headquarters might be withdrawn from Belgian soil if the Belgians didn’t drop the charges against Sharon.

Yet all the while, we were supposed to believe that it was the corrupt, Parkinson’s-haunted Yasser Arafat who was to blame for the new war. He was chastised by George Bush while the Palestinian people continued to be bestialised by the Israeli leadership. Rafael Eytan, the former Israeli chief of staff, had referred to Palestinians as “cockroaches in a glass jar”. Menachem Begin called them “two-legged beasts”. The Shas party leader who suggested that God should send the Palestinian “ants” to hell, also called them “serpents”.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11479.htm

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By Shenonymous, February 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Ctos, possibly you are not an American but if you are, I suggest you stop paying your taxes.  The argument might boil down to “it’s a matter of perspective.”  Or does it?  While not all Americans feel like you do…or like me, it seems civilized people at the least can talk about their differences with justifiable reasons, without the infantile practice of name-calling and without blistering or threatening those that don’t agree with them. 

Although it isn’t found only there, the single-minded fanatic element I see found in the theocratic Islamist perspective is what I think nourishes the resoluteness to expel Israel from their country.  It may be at its base political, economic, territorial, and racist, but all of it is driven by its religion.  I do not want to see one cent of my tax dollars paid to sustain a terrorist organization such as Hamas.  I harbor no prejudice toward Arabs or Jews, but I do have opinions about their relative views toward people who do not believe as they do and I believe it is tangled with their theocratic foundation.  Others would say that is irrelevant, that it is not true, but it is relevant to and is true for me. 

In case you haven’t noticed there are very very few on the forums that speak up for the Jews.  There is an entire brigade ready to scorch anyone who so much as breathes a forbearance for Israel. Completely contrary to what you say, if the historic attempt to exterminate the Jews is even hinted at, there is an avalanche of accusations that the Palestinians are being persecuted.  Thugs and combatants exist on both sides.  If Palestinians have been as is allegedly claimed persecuted for so many decades, it seems most curious the Arab empire has allowed that to happen as if the Arab empire has been completely impotent all that half century.  Can you explain that?

It might be that in Darfur racism is the obvious reason for persecution, but at bottom it is not that even.  Racism is a device, exactly like the Islamists have done to the Jews, to make devils out of a tangible enemy.  To make a devil out of anything, puts it on a religious basis whether or not there is another political reason.  Religion becomes prostituted in the name of racism and racism justifies ravaging resources away from those invented as devils.  It is a process of dehumanization.  There is no argument that some Israelis have dirty hands.  Nevertheless I have never heard Israelis refer to Palestinians as less than human, or that they must be exterminated.  Remove Palestinians from Israel they have said, but they have never said annihilation was the way.  That is not the case with Hamas, nor Iran, nor Hezbollah.  Hamas, et al, wants Israel to no longer exist. It is not simple bluster.  That desire consumes their entire behavior and that ironically has enslaved the Palestinians.

The notion that the truth hovers between perspectives is to have no truth at all.  It is all too easy taking a relativist view to neutralize any declaration of truth.  One must rummage out the truth, dig it out, not be so ready to purchase the litany that is so readily available wholesale with warehouses full of it.  On both sides.  It takes work, formidable work sometimes to find that the truth is not as relative as suspected, even if it leads them to places that might mitigate their long held beliefs.  I do not see many on these forums up to that.  There are plenty who love to spout and pontificate, thinking it makes them look good to the rest of the herd.  Time and the truth, however, will extract their fees.

The misery that has been Darfur is a blight on humanity and it is perdition that that misery has been compressed in such a short period of time. 

Yes, you ought to not think about Darfur another minute.  Injustice is also a hovering matter of perspective.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Ctos:

I call “Bullshit!”

I definitely want justice for the Palestinians.  I just don’t define it as the destruction of Israel.

I define it as a 2 state solution where both nations recognize each other and each other’s right to exist.

I don’t claim either side is pristine and pure—both have much to answer for—BOTH!

And the ‘67 situation was started by the planned joint attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt.

Plus Sudan has been in one civil war or another since that same time, the same 40 years.  Yet more civilians have died in Darfur in the last few years than in all the 42 since the ‘67 war…look it up if you don’t believe me.

Your own argument supports me: Darfur doesn’t have the PR the Palestinians have.

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By Ctos, February 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

ITH et al;

You ask why many TDers are not as concerned with Darfur as we are with Palestine.

I cannot speak for all TDers but I will tell you my perspective;

The crisis in Darfur has not been going on for 40+ years. It has been going on since at least ‘67 in the ME.

The West does not underwrite the militias in Darfur. We do underwrite the thugs in the IDF.

In the Western media, we are bombarded by Israeli propaganda extolling the virtues of Israel without ever mentioning the vile nature of Israel’s policies with respect to the indigineous Arab locals. None of this is applicable with respect to Darfur and the media.

The 9/11 hijackers did not cite Darfur as their motivation to fly planes into the WTC. They did cite the ongoing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians as a critical reason for their acts.

There are no charities (that I know of) collecting money to promote murder in Darfur. There are many Israeli charities in the west that funnel money into settler programs in the OT. This is disgusting and it is unacceptable on Canadian soil.

In the Lebanon war of ‘06, the Canadian PM lauded praise on Israel for its response even as Israeli bombs were killing Canadian citizens and Canadian peacekeepers. I felt disgust that a CDN politician would kowtow to Israeli interests over the interests of his own citizens so openly. This kind of pathetic behaviour needs to be discouraged; politicians have a duty to represent their constituents. No such acts have ever happened by CDN politicians with respect to Darfur.

If you argue in public forums for justice for the victims in Darfur, citing the historical record, you get applause. If you do so for Arabs in Palestine you get attacked as a Jew hater, anti-semite etc. This is personally offensive and needs to be rectified.

Your argument boils down to saying that those who fight for justice for the oppressed invalidate themselves if they don’t fight for justice for all. Fair enough but I’m concerned with the injustices that my tax dollars underwrite and hence are effectively in my name. The most glaring of which is Israel’s occupation and oppression of Palestine.

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By Leefeller, February 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad

Your last post and Shes show the inter-complexity of these issues, filled with political maneuvering and manipulation in order to move in any direction.  From a distance the complexity’s are ramified.

Attempting to make heads or tails of what is happening in here in the USA, from the inside is not a cake walk. For instance I will never understand why people continue to vote against their own self interest, except through a kind of indoctrinated osmosis, being taught what is good and bad, like puppies receiving a slap to the nose with a news paper. 

Most of the anti Israel posts here on TD have done nothing to improve dialogue or understand issues, issues as complex as they are, such is the nature of bigots.

Simple minds, we know, “from the Bush comment several years back, “Your with me or your against me”. Bigoted Absolutists believe they are right with back slapping glee, standing on self proclaimed moral high ground.

Such stupidity abounds and perpetuates itself, it feeds and grows like all bigoted loves.  Racisim, sexisim, etc. So we have this simplistic approach to making decisions on issues. 

For I see only an attacks on the Jews, not the country’s politics.  Understanding something takes knowledge, but as in most things also requires objectivity, so call me a Zionist. 

Thanks for the enlightenment of a complex history.

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By Sepharad, February 12, 2009 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit—I agree with everything you said in your post to cyrena. Especially about the PR stuff.

One quibble: “The truth is somewhere in between” is usually the case in nearly any polarized controversy. But there are things that are easily documented and it is driving me increasingly crazy to not have books at hand, and won’t till end of March. For example, the Irgun was not that large of an organization and they were too busy in Israel during the ‘48 war to travel to Arab countries (that wouldn’t have let them in anyway) to chase out Jews. There is an organization based in New York of Jews kicked out of Arab countries, and also records that it was the Arab League’s idea. Specifically, the Iraqi representative called the operation “Population Exchange” (only the 700-800,000 displaced Palestinian Arabs must not have gotten the benefit of the swap of 900,000 confiscated Jewish homes and businesses, or they would not be sitting around in the third generation on Gaza or West Bank). To this day, the Jews and their descendants who were driven from Arab countries are, ironically, the least trusting, the last willing to let Arab lies Another problem: most of the refugees who were supposed to have fought the Arabs were certainly willing—but there were never enough weapons to go around and, more of a problem, it was a real tower of babel among the Jewish refugees from Europe—practically none of them knew Hebrew but only understood Polish. Or Russian. Or German. Or French. Or Italian. The Haganah pretty much put the tough, experienced Palmach (nearly all second and third generation Israelis—Sabras) fighters—who were decimated in the brutal fighting in charge of trying to understand and communicate with the willing, weak and malnourished men and women from Gernany’s camps. Some of the Palmach/newbie refugee battles, particularly against the Syrian Legion to the north were largely slaughters. because the refugees couldn’t understand Palmach commanders’ Hebrew regarding whether to go, stay, hold; any reliable organization of battle was out of the question. But what the refugees lacked in strength and a useful language for communicating tactics they made up for by their enthusiasm and desperation.

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By Sepharad, February 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous,

When you’re hot you’re hot. A one-person research team.

Where and how did you find the link in your February 9 post? I’ve done as much research as possible on the Mufti and found a few old photos—but you turned up live footage of the bastard walking around with Hitler, with the Bosnian Muslims he organized for the SS, British scholars doing the commentary and even a former Hitler Youth member talking about what he remembered. The film also included mullahs exhorting crowds, assuring them their flag would one day be placed over America, Britain, Europe ...

I started a similar post to this but the computer seems to have a black hole somewhere and it disappeared. So if this is redundant, the black hole returned to sender.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena:

I ALWAYS now give you the benefit of the doubt! You piss me off, make me laugh, make me think, and you try not to be a dogmatic answering machine tape loop (like some other people).

Yet I find it un-nerving that EVERY source on the 1948 founding of Israel is completely discounted and that the tale told is of a million Palestinians driven from their homes at the points of bayonets by people who only recently had be marched into gas chambers, but that the 900,000 Jews expelled from their Arabian homes was either voluntary, or forced by…Irgun (like Irgun could have displaced that many in that many countries).

I suspect, like most things, the truth is somewhere in between…but, Cyrena, you HAVE hit on one issue that does not get addressed much—the BIGGEST issue between Israel and Palestine: Water and wells.  It’s not new, not new at all. But how “interesting” and photo-genic is water and water rights?  For Fox Noise and the other 30-second sound bite crowd?  Not even on the radar!

I agree that the Darfur situation isn’t religious—it’s racist.  What’s surprising about that?  Just because the Prophet’s words are the ONLY scriptures that explicitly FORBID racism doesn’t mean Bashir and his bastards don’t ignore that.  After all, devoutly religious Christians owned, bought, stole, imported and murdered Black Africans as slaves.  They then followed the American Civil War with 100 years of justification for racism and segregation.

Do I think SOME Jews in Israel are capable of hideous acts, and others are so morally bankrupt as to justify them? Of COURSE!  If I ever saw Bernard Baruch’s grave I’d spit on it before I’d EVER put a pebble on it. (that’s the prick who shot up the Cave of the Patriarchs-if there’s a Hell I hope he’s in it).  Yet many excuse him, even call him a martyr.  I feel he deserves that title as much as the suicide bomber who set off his charge in a pizza parlor full of children.

But the PR for the Palestinians is frankly far better than for the African Darfur Sudanese.  Their cause and “plight” has Jews in Venezuela being threatened and attacked in the streets for Caracas, egged on by radical radio shock jocks who URGE Venezuelans to “confront every Jew about Gaza”.  Like Venezuelan Jews have much say in the matter!  Are they urged to confront Arabs about Darfur? No!

Why not? PR—plain and simple.  But which situation is truly more dire and has been for a longer time?  The answer? Darfur!

(BTW, I was amazed to learn back when I was new in High School that Sudan was in a civil war—and I entered HS in 1969..and they are STILL in a civil war 40 years later! )

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By Shenonymous, February 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Some good news, based on a February 12, 2009, Associated Press Report Hamas stated that an agreement for a long-term truce is close to getting signed.

In Cairo, the deputy leader of Hamas said tonight that the Islamic militant group agreed to an 18-month truce with Israel for the Gaza Strip, the official Egyptian news agency reported.

Moussa Abu Marzouk told MENA that Egypt’s government, the mediator, between Hamas and Israel, will be announcing a truce in a couple of days after other Palestinian factions have had a chance to discuss issues.

Because Hamas and Israel refuse to negotiate directly, Egyptian diplomats have been working as go-betweens to try to arrange a truce deal to firm up a cease-fire that ended Israel’s devastating 22-day offensive in Gaza last month.  The agreement calls for Israel to reopen six border crossings into the Gaza Strip, which have been sealed by both Egypt and Israel since Hamas gunmen seized control in Gaza in 2007.

Israel, in turn, insisted that any cease-fire must include an end to militants firing rockets from Gaza into southern Israel and a halt to Hamas arms smuggling.

Marzouk said a deal for the release of a captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit held in Gaza would be negotiated later, according to MENA.

Egypt has been trying to broker a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is holding Shalit, who was abducted more than two years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza into southern Israel.

Besides mediating a truce for Gaza, Egypt also is trying to bring Hamas and its Palestinian rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, into talks on reconciling and forming a unity government that can move ahead with peace negotiations with Israel. Egypt hopes to host a reconciliation conference Feb. 22.

Then as always, there is some bad news: Egypt has arrested a Palestinian who sneaked into Egypt through a Gaza tunnel and was trying to purchase weapons in Egypt. The official, who spoke only under the cover of staying anonymous because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the man and two Egyptians who were sheltering him were arrested in El-Arish on Wednesday.

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By cyrena, February 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2

re: By Shenonymous, February 12 at 2:49 pm

Shenonymous,

There is no such thing as ‘theocratic based’ genocide.

The Rwandan GENOCIDE was between TWO BLACK AFRICAN groups. The Hutus and the Tutsi, and while most, (NOT ALL) of them were/are Muslim , it had zero to do with Islam. (they saved believers and non-believers alike when they could save anybody, but EVERYBODY was Muslim and Black.) OK?

Why don’t you all at least TRY to find out what all genocides have in common, just to give yourself a break from the religious hype. I suggest that only because it’s so very old and lame, and so typically “Western Anglo” to dismiss reality about the suffering of others, (or the REASONS for it) based on their own ‘judgment’ of people they don’t know anything about; specifically the circumstances at the core of each and every one of these conflicts. It is ALWAYS about POLITICAL POWER and CONTROL,– REGARDLESS of the particular ‘religion’ that the victims or the perpetrators happen to practice, IF they do at all.

I’ve edited for clarity and to eliminate confusion. This is the link to full article, and I actually have SEVERAL DOZEN others if you ever really want to know why these genocides have occurred, and why they continue to do so.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/genocide_in_sudan/

•  “This crisis was precipitated by the outbreak of civil war in Darfur, hostilities entirely separate from Khartoum’s 21-year assault against the African peoples of southern Sudan. The long-marginalized and abused African peoples in Darfur rose up in a rebellion early in 2003 and militarily caught Khartoum off guard. But this only made the eventual military response more brutal and violent. The government of Sudan, dominated by the National Islamic Front, is relentlessly, deliberately destroying the African tribal peoples of the region. Indeed, all evidence suggests that what U.N. and Western diplomats are diffidently calling “ethnic cleansing” in Darfur, an area the size of France, is actually genocide.”

Just as an FYI (another hint) CIVIL WAR is almost ALWAYS involved in Genocides, even when the participants are NOT ‘religious’.  Genocide is almost ALWAYS perpetrated by the GOVERNMENT of whatever state or region the genocide is taking place. That was the deal with Hitler and his Nazis, and it’s been the same in Bosnia, Rwanda, Palestine, (the ISRAELI government) Darfur and the North American Continent. That’s ALSO why the failure to properly IDENTIFY this crime when it is occurring, prevents utilizing the Genocide Conventions to prevent and to punish it. So yeah, just keep blaming all of this destruction of human life on Islam (or the practitioners thereof) and the ignorance to the real causes will continue.

•  “Sudan is aided by a large militia force comprising various Arab tribal peoples called the Janjaweed (“warriors on horseback”). The predations of the Khartoum government and its militia allies defy easy description. “The scale of the violence is indescribable. In every village they’re talking about hundreds of people killed,” said Coralie Lechelle, an emergency coordinator with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who in April returned after four months in Darfur.”

Did ya get that part? THE PREDATIONS OF THE KHARTOUM GOVERNMENT AND ITS MILITIA ALLIES DEFY EASY DESCRIPTION. Without a doubt, your obsession with Islam is an EASY (and very WRONG) description, possibly based on your own religious fanaticism.

TBC

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By cyrena, February 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

It’s not about Islam, and ‘warriors on horseback’ aren’t uncommon in Genocides or any other wars between humans.  They call themselves Jangeweed instead of the Anti-Defamation League, or the Confederates, because they’re in Africa, not the US.

They do the same thing the American Revolutionary Terrorists did when they killed off hundreds of thousands of Indians, and called themselves “American Revolutionaries”, and that wasn’t about Islam either, although admittedly, they DID use ‘Christianity’ (the forcible conversion of the Indians and the Black Slaves from Africa)as the measuring stick for whether or not these people could be considered full humans.

Last but most importantly, terror tactics are terror tactics; rape, pillage, murder, (via suicide operations or otherwise) and all of the other stuff that makes it easy to massacre large populations. But the POINT of it all Shenonymous, is to TERRORIZE. To instill FEAR! That’s what massacres and mass rapes and all of those other things DO! (maybe you thought the janjaweeds just wanna have a little sex while their burning the villages and killing people?)

They TERRORIZE the target population into LEAVING the area, if they can get away, or by simply killing them off and/or imprisoning them when there is no place else for them to go.  (Like Israel has done to the Palestinians for 60 years.) Either way, the goal is to get rid of the ‘other’ population, regardless of what ‘religion’ they happen to be.

So can you foget what the Christians did to whomever they did it to, back in the days before anybody cares about. (Unless one is a religious scholar, we don’t much give a hoot about what Christians or Muslims did to anybody in the 9th, 12th, or 14th Centuries.) GOD knows it has nothing to do with the destruction of human life in the 20th or 21st Centuries, and neither does Islam. It’s just a great way to convince people who are either unwilling or unable to actually find out for themselves, and likely to believe anything the propaganda spews, especially if it can make you so scared that you blame the weather and the economy on…ISLAM.

This Islamophobia has become a mental illness for Western Anglos, and that’s not good. We already have enough mental illness without the created hysteria of the Neocons’ “Islamophobia”, considering our aging population, not to mention all of the prison population, many of whom will soon be ‘let out’ because of overcrowding.

Maybe you should be scared of THEM! Most probably weren’t violent before they were imprisoned, (since I’m talking about California prisons here)but you can be damned tootin’ they are NOW!

So, FEAR UP as the tortures say when they’re deciding on an ‘enhanced interrogation’ plan for any given ‘detainee’.

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By Leefeller, February 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

It seems in dispute at what degree our founding fathers believed in the separation of state and religion. That is to say actual intent of the idea as presented and received over the years by our Founders has been interpreted to the slanting of the interpreter. 

It seems religion all or most religions have a long track record of manipulation with or without government connections.

Orthodoxy in the mind of zealots deals in absolutists, allowing for no other interpolation, except theirs or else, one wonders how many are real in their beliefs.

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By Kwagmyre, February 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Former speaker of the Knesset featured on Democracy Now today:

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/12/former_speaker_of_the_israeli_parliament

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By Shenonymous, February 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Other genocide committed by Muslims this time Sudanese.
This conflict, it should be understood, is somewhat separate from the 22-year-long assault that pitted the Muslim Sudanese regime against Christians and Animist in the country’s southern region. The Janjaweed, who now inhabit the Western Sudan, had nothing to do with that genocide. While the Islamic government of the Sudan brokered both killing sprees, and while both sets of killers were Arab Muslims, in the first assault, the weapons and transports were American and Soviet and the victims were non-Muslims. In the more recent iteration of genocide, the militant Muslims were often astride horses and they were murdering their fellow Muslims.

However, more recently, Sudanese victims and international observers recognize that the Janjaweed are no longer the scrappy militias of yore, but rather well-equipped fighting forces that enjoy the overt assistance of the Muslim regime in Khartoum. For example, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June 2004, a field researcher with Human Rights Watch stated that the Sudanese army was openly recruiting horse-owning Arab men, promising them a gun and a monthly salary of $116 in exchange for joining a Janjaweed cohort.

There are also numerous reports from international aid workers who maintain that Janjaweed raids are often preceded by aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Air Force. They confirm that Janjaweed commanders all reside in government garrison towns, and that Janjaweed militiamen wear combat fatigues identical to those of the regular army.

The genocide now, as it was during the waning years of the 20th century, is state-sponsored and it is Islamic. There will be no peace nor political solution so long as Islam exists or so long as Islamic regimes fund terrorism with black crude.

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By Leefeller, February 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Today at the dentists office fliping through Newsweek, not my regular reading.  A political cartoon caught me eye. 

It showed two individuals using shovels among a bunch of tomb stones.  On each characters shirt retrospectively was written.  “The Last Palestinian” on one shirt and on the second characters shirt was written “The Last Israelite”  They were busy covering up the second to last graves.  Then they saw each other! with shovels in hand up in the air, shows them charging and attacking each other. 

This may be more true than not for the festering is very real, arm chair finger pointing is just a small part of the story.

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By Robert, February 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Ilan Pappe and the Nakba Deniers

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

By JOHN WHITBECK

“For anyone who possesses a strong stomach and an equally strong desire to know the truth, I strongly recommend Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s new book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, which makes painstakingly and painfully clear the extent to which the expulsion of the great majority of Palestinians from their homes and homeland between 1947 and 1949 (an expulsion absolutely essential to create a “Jewish state” in a country where, in 1947, the population was still 70% Muslim and Christian and these non-Jews still owned 94% of the land) was meticulously planned, programmed and documented, ruthlessly carried out and, thereafter, efficiently covered up, sanitized, erased from minds and memories and, to the extent necessary, denied. Pappe also makes clear that the cleansing spirit and cleansing practices have continued ever since, with public discussion in Israel of the “demographic threat” posed by those Palestinians still remaining in Palestinian never more openly conducted and with a recent poll showing 68% of Israeli Jews in favor of expelling all Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Unfortunately, this book, published in England (and available from amazon.com), is highly likely to go unreviewed and largely unnoticed in the United States, a country where objective historical truth is much less popular than “revealed truth” and pure fantasy and where the Israel-First Lobby starts with a distinct home-field advantage in pursuing its successful efforts to convince American public opinion that American interests and values are identical to Israeli interests and values and to make American foreign policy and America’s wars indistinguishable from Israeli foreign policy and Israel’s wars.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitbeck01272007.html

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By Robert, February 12, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

January 15, 2009

The Calculus of Proportionality
Just Violence in Gaza?

By TIMOTHY SEIDEL


“In a land of walls, checkpoints, land confiscation, and colonization—where Israeli military incursion occur on a daily basis, terrorizing an entire society, where Palestinians are randomly dragged away to add to the over 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children sitting in Israeli jails, and where every response to Israeli aggression is labeled “terrorist” by those who control and employ such a historical and decontextualized language and calculate “proportionality” according to their own interests, the language of “proportionality” immediately dehumanizes, denying the value of human life. It too often becomes the language of violence and oppression.

At a time when so many are seeking to live in a world that is defined with a deeper, richer definition of peace, we should at least seek to be consistent with the moral and ethical formation of our language and our own actions.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/seidel01152009.html

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By cyrena, February 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Ah Inherit,

‘Tis NOT true that we don’t care about the on-going genocide in Darfur. We do. Did you not see the postings that the UN has finally issued a warrant for Bashir’s arrest? I don’t know if it’s really gonna happen, since the rest of the world is still perfectly willing to do business with him/them.
Still…that’s something. I’ll see if I can find the link, in the event that you haven’t read it yet.
As it happens, I’ve become a Genocide Expert. (Or, I’m getting there). So, I’ve spent the last 5 years studying these Genocides as part of my ‘adult program’. (That’s what happens when one returns to graduate study at the age of 50..it takes longer to figure all of this stuff out.) That is unless one is willing to accept various and sundry versions of revisionist history like the story that Sepharad has presented here about Egypt’s supposed rejection of a 1948 Partition Plan. Palestine was still under British Mandate until then, and Egypt had nothing to do with it. NONE of the Arab states were offered anything of the sort,(Partition my ass) and Sepharad just sort of ignores the history prior to that, including the British White Paper that restricted the immigration of so many Jews from all over the place, as they had begun to arrive long before 1948.

Obviously, that didn’t do any good. The issue with water rights is even older than Israel, but note that they have controlled it since their inception. (Yep, I’ve got about 3 feet of shelf space on water rights alone, which means that I really do need that Kindle reader.)

Anyway, here’s a reading list that isn’t a revisionist history. Sepharad, just a friendly note: If you’re gonna keep spewing revisionist propaganda on this forum, could you at least PRETEND that YOU aren’t just making it up as you go along? Like, can you throw in a citation here or there, so that we know where you got this stuff from? I noticed that you NEVER CITE ANYTHING. Did you do that when you edited the History Newsletter?

“Why Nations Go to War” John G. Stoessinger. The 10th edition is out now. My copy is the 8th or 9th. I doubt he’s changed it from the original truth.

The next is “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Ilan Pappe.Something makes me think that you might just be aware of this work, and Dr. Pappe as well. But then, I don’t want to make any assumptions.
I have access to this one, so I’ll give you a little jacket preview:

“The 1948 Palestine-Israel War is known to Israelis as ‘The War of Independence’, but for Palestinians, it will always be the Nakba, the ‘catastrophe’.  ALONGSIDE THE CREATION of the State of Israel, (my emphasis there, since I’m trying to keep your timeline focused for you…we are talking 1948) the END of the war led to one of the largest forced migrations in modern history. Around a MILLION people were EXPELLED from their homes at GUNPOINT, civilians were MASSACRED, and HUNDREDS of Palestinian villages were DELIBERATELY destroyed. Though the truth about the mass expulsion has been systematically suppressed, had it taken place in the twenty-first century it could ONLY have been called ‘ethnic cleansing’. “

Those are all my caps. 

continues..

“Prominent Israeli academic Ilan Pappe argues passionately for the international recognition of this tragedy. His groundbreaking and controversial work sheds new light on the origins and development of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, asking questions that the world has so far failed to ask to reveal the real story behind the events of 1948.

Based on meticulous research, including recently declassified Israeli archive material, Dr. Pappe’s vivid and timely account demonstrates conclusively that ‘transfer’ – a euphemism for ethnic cleansing – was from the start an intgegral part of a carefully planned strategy, and LIES AT THE ROOT of today’s ongoing conflict in the Middle East.”

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By Inherit The Wind, February 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Shenon:

Don’t you know?  The Darfur Sudanese aren’t Palestinians therefore their suffering isn’t important to the “progressives” here.  Plus, their victimizers are Moslem and Arabs, just like the Palestinians, so their atrocities and war crimes can’t POSSIBLY be as serious as Israel’s.

A Darfur Sudanese life isn’t as important as a Palestinian life….and what is a a crime if done by a Jew or Israeli isn’t a crime if it’s committed by a Sudanese Moslem Arab.

At NO point has Israel EVER used or condoned rape as a weapon against the Palestinians.  Yet President Bashir of Sudan has done exactly that in Darfur—so that non-Arab African women will bear half-Arab children—by rape!

In a very short time, the Darfur Sudanese have been subjected to far, FAR worse than the Palestinians ever have at the hands of Israel.

But the “progressives” here at TD don’t give a rat’s ass about Darfur, only about Palestinians.

And they have the hypocritical gall to call ME a bigot!

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By Shenonymous, February 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 – Theocratic-based genocide

Quite true, quite true, Darfur is not about Islam, but Islam is about Darfur and is a major motivator of the Janjaweed in what they themselves call a jihad. 

http://www.africanholocaust.net/news_ah/darfur report.html

The Janjaweed (variously spelled Janjawid, Jingaweit, Jinjaweed, Janjawiid, Janjiwid, etc.) the successor to an earlier Arab tribal militia, the nomads, Murahilin that has a many year history and is an armed militia group in Darfur, western Sudan, formed of fighters with Muslim Arab Baggara background. The story of the Janjaweed is the story of the Sudan, and of the state-sponsored Islamic terrorists operating there. It is the story of the Darfur region. It has been one of the principal forces in the increasingly bloody Darfur conflict, which since 2003 has pitted Arabs against the black African population, who are also Muslims of the region. Its name janjaweed is translated as “a man with a horse and a gun,” however it has been more appropriately translated as “armed men on horseback.”

The Janjaweed was formed in response to attacks on government installations by the two rebel movements. Although both sides have been accused of serious human rights violations, the Janjaweed soon gained the upper hand through being better armed, more mobile and being supported by government forces. The Janjaweed has pursued a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing throughout Darfur, incinerating entire non-Arab villages and driving out or killing their inhabitants. By February of 2007 an estimated 200,000 people had been butchered and another 2.5 million, mostly black Africans, had been forced out of their homes.  Makes one wonder if Allah was out to lunch for one group that worshipped the god and in to a free lunch with the other. 

The Janjaweed became much more aggressive in 2003, after two non-Arab and non-Muslim groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, took up arms against the Islamic Sudanese regime as a result of decades of mistreatment. In response to the armed uprising, the Sudanese government deployed Janjaweed militias to pillaging towns and villages inhabited by members of the African tribes from which the rebel armies draw their strength.

Most of the slaughter and destruction in Sudan has been attributed to the Janjaweed.  These Janjaweed militiamen are all Arab Muslims. In the killing zone, the term “Janjaweed” was synonymous with bandit, as these horse- or camel-borne fighters were known to swoop in on non-Arab farms and steal livestock. It was a return to the mindset of 7th century in central Arabia. There and then, Muslims under Muhammad’s command were Janjaweed, stealing camels and sheep from neighboring villages, killing the men, raping the women, and enslaving the children.

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By Shenonymous, February 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 Theocratic-based genocide
Aggression against Chad and so forth…
The militia has pursued fleeing refugees into neighboring Chad, whose army has fought a number of actions against Janjaweed invasions.  President Idriss Déby of Chad said that “since the start of this war, some 300 Chadian civilians have been killed, 200,000 Chadians made refugees, and thousands of head of cattle stolen by armed men who crossed over from Darfur.”  In 2007 the UNHCR issued the most severe warning that violence in Chad could become the kind of genocide that was committed in Rwanda in 1994.

Idris Abu Moussa, a 26-year-old Sudanese farmer, states: “They came at 4 a.m. on horseback, on camels, in vehicles, with two helicopters overhead ...“they killed 50 people in my village. My father, grandmother, uncle and two brothers were all killed.”...“They don’t want any blacks left.” - from the Darfur Genocide website. The International Crisis Group said that money paid to the Janjaweed “came directly from booty captured in raids on villages,” giving them an additional incentive to act with extreme brutality.

It has been suggested that the Sudanese government has been reluctant to rein in the militia, as it has been an effective opponent of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA). The government has strongly disputed these claims. On June 19 2004 President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree ordering the disarmament of all militias in Darfur, and instructing government forces “to control and pursue all outlaw groups, including rebels and Janjaweed.”  Of course, this decree was ignored, one wonders why?
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/english/docs/2005/03/02/darfur10225_txt.htm

Having made a bad situation worse, in September 2004 the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for broader backing for peacekeeping efforts in Darfur in his address to the world body’s General Assembly.  “Let no one imagine that this affair concerns Africans alone,” he said. “The victims are human beings, whose human rights must be sacred to all of us. We all have a duty to do whatever we can to rescue them, and do it now.” While what he said was right, it’s what he didn’t say that made it wrong. Until the world comes to acknowledge Islam’s culpability, the terror will continue unabated. And until the West understands that Islam is the problem, the reason for the suffering, Western intervention will cause more harm than good - just as it has done in Iraq.

As always, war while it can be motivated in part by religious interpretation, is about wealth, resources, territory, and most of all the power those things guarantee.  The reason for the militia’s assault, and their state sponsorship, was veiled in the article’s third sentence: “The UN is threatening to impose sanctions on Sudan’s oil industry, unless it stops the violence in Darfur.”

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By Sepharad, February 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous, Gaza is a peculiar place; the strip itself was named after the ancient city of Gaza which was part of the Philistine territory, and is where Samson is supposed to have pulled down Dagon’s temple. Jews have lived there since antiquity, but it’s changed hands many times—King David, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Eyptians again, the Ottomans, and the British (perhaps I’ve forgotten a few of the many conquerors) who in ‘47 offered the small strip of territory to the Arab League as part of the partition of the British-created Palestine but the Arabs refused it and the whole concept of partition. (In 1929, armed by the British, Gaza Arabs attacked Gaza Jews.) But throughout all the empires most of the cultural influence of Gaza has been Egyptian. Though they had rejected it in ‘47 the Arabs changed their minds and claimed Gaza after losing the ‘48 war against the Jews, but by then Egypt had established authority over the area and was treating it as a territory, retaining it until after the ‘73 Yom Kippur War, when they ceded control of the whole Sinai peninsula as well as Gaza—known then as the the green line—to Israel. Israel built a couple of agricultural settlements which took hold, and it had a long run of prosperity during which Gaza Arabs and Jews lived and worked on reasonably good terms with their neighbors. Calculating the threat of demographic extinction by the exploding Arab population, Ariel Sharon unilaterally pulled the Jewish settlers out of Gaza and gave control to the Palestinian Authority (unfortunately run by the corrupt Fatah-under-Arafat leadership, whom Gazans replaced in disgust with the militant Hamas terrorists; by now Gazans are surely asking themselves “What were we thinking?”, but who can uproot Hamas and how? The West Bank Palestinian leaders are saying one thing publically—solidarity with Gaza and Hamas—while privately upbraiding the Israelis with “Why did you stop and wimp upit? When didn’t finish it and crush Hamas?”  (The answer of course is too much collateral damage, a crowded stockyard of human shields.) Sharon planned to be rid of Gaza by now and the West Bank just soon as he could get the settlers out of Judea and Samaria by which time he hoped West Bank would be ready to govern and dedfend itself. (The Oriental Semitic mind is a strange thing. You might enjoy Raphael Patai’s books “The Arab Mind” and “The Jewish mind.” (He did much of his growing up with an Arab family and is not at all anti-Arab. Same is true of Bernard Lewis who’s written so many books on the Middle East because his heart and a good part of his life has been spent in that part of the world. Just now, I’m sorry to report that Professor Lewis, who was a friend of Edward Said, is very depressed and unhappy with the state of things in his beloved region.)

Are the Anglicans seriously considering evangelizing Moslems? That has to be almost as bad as George Bush’s faux pas calculated to keep us in endless war. But conversions? Conjures up images of the Reconquista, Inquisition ... Oh well. I suppose they are just doing what they think is right. (But so was Dubya. When I think of all the dead Americans and Iraqis and all the misery they’ve gone through just so the Iraqis could have a half-baked election without killing one another I truly despair. I know I know, we did it for the oil. But all those young people, all the money. Well. must not carry on like this.

To have good dreams I’m abandoning the Dig for the night to continue reading Paul Horgan’s big fat book, small print, about the Rio Grande. We’re planning to ride the Jornado de Muerto in stages starting next weekend, having stumbled on it riding north up the river as far as we get past Radium Springs. Dead Man’s Walk, or Dead Man’s March. Horgan combines history with geography and geology and he’s a good writer—an amazing story. How nice the world was with fewer of us in it.

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By cyrena, February 11, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Cross posted piece from Truthout.org
WEDNESDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2009

Speaking of International Law, (specifically genocide) and the real politick of geopolitics.

~~~

Sudan Retains Clout While Charges Loom
Monday 09 February 2009

by: Colum Lynch, The Washington Post

  “As global court weighs Darfur case, leaders continue to engage Bashir.

  United Nations - In the coming weeks, judges from the International Criminal Court will decide whether to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of genocide and other war crimes in a military campaign that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur since 2003. But Bashir’s government is hardly being treated like an international pariah.”

  (wonder why he’s hardly being treated like an international pariah? Never mind, that’s a rhetorical question)

  “African Union leaders last week backed Sudan’s appeal to have the warrant suspended, with some portraying the court as unfairly targeting African states. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Bashir in Ethiopia last week and sought his assurances that international peacekeepers and aid workers would not be attacked if charges were filed.

  Even the Obama administration, which has vowed to increase pressure on Khartoum to stem the bloodshed in Darfur, has reached out to Sudan. Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, invited Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, on Wednesday to a reception for senior African diplomats at her official residence at the Waldorf-Astoria. She also has scheduled a meeting with the Sudanese envoy this week.

  Indeed, Sudan’s diplomatic standing has hardly been diminished by the allegations. Last month, an influential bloc of developing nations known as the Group of 77 and China selected Sudan as its chairman for 2009. That post will make Khartoum the developing world’s champion in negotiations with the West on a broad variety of issues, including climate change, the U.N. budget and the global financial crisis.

  Sudan’s U.N. envoy said that both the United States and the United Nations realize they cannot afford to shun Khartoum, which hosts two major U.N. peacekeeping operations, possesses massive oil reserves and now has a new role as a U.N. power broker.”

  (note..‘possesses massive OIL RESERVES’)

  ““They can never do without us,” Mohamad said. “Our diplomatic standing is always on the rise. Whenever others unjustly try to corner us, we emerge victorious.”

  “It’s a strange reality,” Rice said in an interview, citing Sudan’s diplomatic clout here. “As the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, I’m going to meet with the ambassador of Sudan in his capacity as head of the G-77. I’m going to do it because it’s in our interest. But more broadly, this administration is not reflexively averse to talking to countries or people with whom we disagree. We don’t view talking as a reward . . . but as a means to serve a larger policy goal.”

  But Rice added that the diplomatic outreach to Sudan should not be seen as wavering on Darfur. “We are going to be very strong and energetic in an effort to deal effectively with this ongoing genocide and to make it very clear that the behavior of the government of Sudan is simply unacceptable and something we condemn,” she said. “There is no ambiguity or gray in that. ”

read the rest here:

http://www.truthout.org/021109T

Now, there should also be no ambiguity or gray in the fact that Islamic Extremism is NOT the cause of the Genocide in Darfur any more than it is the cause of the Palestinian Holocaust. Anybody who still wants to blame Islamic Extremism as a “cause for defense”  is hopelessly and willfully deluded.

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By Shenonymous, February 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, I appreciate what you said at 5:00pm.  Other times too, but I wanted to reply specifically to that one.  Of course I have not descended into madness.  The problem with those who sustain an uncritical support for Hamas and other terrorist organizations, is that I use their own news agencies to show the world the kind of primitive minds that populate the Arab world.  And it frustrates the hell out of them.  I have an unending supply of articles from the same sources posted incessantly by the Bigoted Bunch. 

While I do not believe for one second that all Muslims harbor the same degree of hatred for the Western world and Israel, I listen intently to all those Palestinians that are interviewed on the news media and hear their doctrine-infested fears. I do not wonder at their rather xerox copy answers.  Given the “politics of fear,” which served the Bush Company so well but he did not invent it, his version and the one we see used today in the Middle East and elsewhere was invented in Medina 1300 years ago. That is not to say the Christians and Jews don’t have their own brand.  I see all the hate media that issues forth from fanatical Jewish cacophony.  and I remember reading about the Nazi Christian coalition.  Not unlike their neighboring enemies.  They have just as much reason so they rationalize, however, as much as their Arab brethren.  It would be interesting if the news media exercised even a bit of balance and interviewed some Israelis as well. 

Mufti al-Husayni was a self-serving anti-Semite who was able to hitch a ride on the ancient Islamist train of hatred for the Jews.  I have absolutely no doubt there will be a confrontation between the Christians and the Islamists in the future.  Maybe sooner than later, with the Anglican conservative announcement today of their intention to engage in strong missionary activity looking for converts.  Now that will be an interesting war.  The Christians however are no longer so blood thirsty and do not execute anyone deciding to leave the religion.  And America is almost 90% Christian.

As I look at the map of the Gaza/Israel/West Bank area.  That small area called Gaza is a funny tiny strip of land that is separated from the West Bank.  Not knowing the history of how that came about, it seems like that division causes a lot of trouble.  Surely there can be a swap for a strip of equal size that would be contiguous on the north side of the West Bank, or so it seems?

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By Robert, February 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

IDF Soldiers Never Go to Jail for Killing Palestinian. Never.
The Murder of Abir Aramin, Nine Years Old

By NURIT PELED-ELHANAN

“A few days later we were told in an isolated solitary news broadcast that the file on the murder of Abir Aramin, the daughter of Salwa and Bassam Aramin, has been closed. Bassam is one of the founders of the Palestinian-Israeli movement Combatants for Peace, where my sons Elik and Guy are members. Bassam Aramin spent 9 years in an Israeli jail for being a member of the Fatah in the Hebron area and for trying to throw a grenade on an Israeli army Jeep which was patrolling in Occupied Hebron.

On a Tuesday afternoon, the 16th of January, an Israeli soldier shot nine year old daughter, Abir, in the head as she was leaving school to go home. The soldier will not spend an hour in jail. In Israel, soldiers are not imprisoned for killing Arabs. Never. It does not matter whether the Arabs are young or old, real or potential terrorists, peaceful demonstrators or stone throwers. The army has not conducted an inquiry in Abir Aramin’s death. The police and the courts have questioned no one except for Abir’s sister, who was holding her hand while she was falling. The young sister was asked time and again how many meters were they from the school gate, from the kiosk, from the jeep.

There was hardly any investigation except for a private one by Bassam and his friends who know exactly who the killer is. But as far as the Israeli Defense Forces are concerned, the shooting did not happen. The army’s official account of her death is that she might have been hit by a stone that one of her classmates was throwing “at our forces.” That in the face of the finding of a senior pathologist, who worked for many years in an institute of forensic medicine.

One of the allegations against the evaders is that they have stopped believing in “values” such as sacrifice. Whose sacrifice, exactly? On what altar? To what god?

The soldiers of Israel are called upon to sacrifice children, parents, volunteers, and sometimes themselves on the altar of the megalomania of the insolent and corrupt leaders of the state of Israel, who have succeeded in converting this whole country into an altar on which they sacrifice other people’s children to the god of death. And no one is guilty of their deaths; no one is ever punished for the murder of a Palestinian child. The state takes care of those who serve it, sometimes. Other times it sacrifices even them, with the same cold-bloodedness and for the same reasons.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/peled08082007.html

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By Sepharad, February 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert, Thank you for posting the story of the woman beaten on a Jerusalem bus for not moving to the back when told to by a Haredi (orthodox-on-steroids) man—a Jewish Rosa Parks. It may shock some Tdiggers but doesn’t surprise me. I hope the man will be punished in an Israeli criminal court as he should be. The Israeli police don’t look kindly on the Haredi in general, as they are pains in the neck over little or nothing all the time. They can be very arrogant—having such a direct mystical pipeline to G-d and all—and badly in need of some major cause-celebre embarrassment. You should send a copy of that story to the Jewish Forward in New York City (to get all the people who arrange and those who go on frequent tours to Israel exercised) as well as to the Jerusalem Post (to get plenty of bad feedback from people who do not necessarily live in but visit Israel), the Jerusalem Reports Magazine (who have a couple of columnists who like nothing better to bash Haredi) and to Tikkun (Jewish feminist magazine published in Berkeley, California).

There are some neighorhoods in Jerusalem where you are taking a risk if you drive through in a car on Shabbat—I’ve heard of stones being thrown at such cars, but on our last visit we did it six or seven times just to check it out, but there were no stones forthcoming.

Ms. Shear had taken the trouble to wear a head-covering, which is a good idea because of Arab and Haredi sensibilities. (I wore a scarf in the Arab quarter of Old City, at the Wailing Wall, in East Jerusalem and on Temple Mount, as well as in Be’ersheva and in predominantly Arab towns. The only places I actually used it to also cover my face below the eyes were wherever there were more than a few women around in those full-length burkhas that cover the eys and entire face (Kandahar style)—which I did on the recommendation of friendly Arabs who told me that when such women were around there were also ultra-religious Arab men not far away.)

Of course one wishes to not be the ugly American/Canadian, when in Rome and all that, but being told to sit at the back of a bus really crosses a line, especially if the bus is not specifically dedicated to the uber-religious. (The only useful function the Haredi perform for the state of Israel—till Ariel Sharon said no army, no allowance—is that they rush around at the scenes of suicide bombings and the like trying to pick up every last tiny piece or ashes of human remains which then can receive proper burial, which they believe is very important as the soul resides in various parts of the body.)

Still, I like to watch the Haredi dance at weddings, on the street, on holidays etc. They are not all bad, just way off regarding women’s places in the world, in their narrow definition of who can and cannot be a Jew, and promising just one more pie in the sky, as I believe I criticized some mullahs for doing in a post elsewhere.

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By Robert, February 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

leefeller…a good one…eh! An original one! You need to wipe that brown stuff off your nose. Its obvious where you got it!

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By Leefeller, February 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

So much for chivalry!  Great story Robert so some men are pigs?  Did you hear about the one were the lady went to her doctor?  NO! I should not tell it here.  I got one for you.  Did you hear about the jumper cable that walked into a bar and asked for a drink?  The bartender said, I will only serve you if you do not start something.

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By Shenonymous, February 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Robert, for the link. 
Last update - 18:34 10/02/2009
Amnesty International: Hamas carrying out ‘deadly campaign’ against opponents in Gaza
By Haaretz Service
Fatah, Israel News, Hamas
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063097.html

Amnesty International group on Tuesday accused Hamas of carrying out a “deadly campaign” against its Palestinian opponents and critics in the Gaza Strip, particularly those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel.

“Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip have carried out a deadly campaign of abductions, killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of ‘collaborating’ with Israel, as well as opponents and critics,” the human rights group wrote in its latest report, released on Tuesday.

“At least two dozen [Palestinian] men have been shot dead by Hamas gunmen and scores of others have been kneecapped, beaten or otherwise tortured or ill-treated,” according to the report.
The rights group said that most of the victims were kidnapped from their homes and then released, either dead or wounded, in isolated areas or in local morgues. Others were shot dead at the hospital while being treated for their wounds, according to the report.

Amnesty International succeeded in gathering testimonies from a number of victims, but said many others refused to come forward for fear of retribution from Hamas.
In its report, the rights group urged Hamas to “immediately end the campaign of abuses” and to allow an impartial force into the Gaza Strip to investigate the allegations.”

Tensions between Hamas, who seized control of Gaza in a bloody 2007 coup, and opponent groups such as Fatah have flared again in the wake of Israel’s 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip. The sides have held negotiations on reconciliation, but to little avail.

Amnesty’s findings come in the wake of numerous media reports and quiet complaints by Fatah activists of similar instances.

Late last month, Hamas announced that it had begun reasserting control in the Gaza Strip and rounding up suspected collaborators with Israel, drawing accusations from the rival Fatah group that its members were being targeted.

“The internal security service was instructed to track collaborators and hit them hard,” said Ehab al-Ghsain, spokesman of the Hamas Interior Ministry, without singling out Fatah members by name.

“They arrested dozens of collaborators who attempted to strike the resistance by giving information to the occupation about the fighters,” he said, using a Hamas term for Israel.

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By Robert, February 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Woman beaten on J’lem bus for refusing to move to rear seat

By Daphna Berman

“A woman who reported a vicious attack by an ad-hoc “modesty patrol” on a Jerusalem bus last month is now lining up support for her case and may be included in a petition to the High Court of Justice over the legality of sex-segregated buses.

Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus. She is now in touch with several legal advocacy and women’s organizations, and at the same time, waiting for the police to apprehend her attackers.

In her first interview since the incident, Shear says that on the bus three weeks ago, she was slapped, kicked, punched and pushed by a group of men who demanded that she sit in the back of the bus with the other women. The bus driver, in response to a media inquiry, denied that violence was used against her, but Shear’s account has been substantiated by an unrelated eyewitness on the bus who confirmed that she sustained an unprovoked “severe beating.”
 
Shear, an American-Israeli woman who currently lives in Canada, says that on a recent five-week vacation to Israel, she rode the bus daily to the Old City to pray at sunrise. Though not defined by Egged as a sex-segregated “mehadrin” bus, women usually sit in the back, while men sit in the front, as a matter of custom.

“Every two or three days, someone would tell me to sit in the back, sometimes politely and sometimes not,” she recalled this week in a telephone interview. “I was always polite and said ‘No. This is not a synagogue. I am not going to sit in the back.’”

But Shear, a 50-year-old religious woman, says that on the morning of the 24th, a man got onto the bus and demanded her seat - even though there were a number of other seats available in the front of the bus.

“I said, I’m not moving and he said, ‘I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.’ Then he spat in my face and at that point, I was in high adrenaline mode and called him a son-of-a-bitch, which I am not proud of. Then I spat back. At that point, he pushed me down and people on the bus were screaming that I was crazy. Four men surrounded me and slapped my face, punched me in the chest, pulled at my clothes, beat me, kicked me. My snood [hair covering] came off. I was fighting back and kicked one of the men in his privates. I will never forget the look on his face.”

Shear says that when she bent down in the aisle to retrieve her hair covering, “one of the men kicked me in the face. Thank God he missed my eye. I got up and punched him. I said, ‘I want my hair covering back’ but he wouldn’t give it to me, so I took his black hat and threw it in the aisle.”

‘Stupid American’

Throughout the encounter, Shear says the bus driver “did nothing.” The other passengers, she says, blamed her for not moving to the back of the bus and called her a “stupid American with no sechel [common sense.] People blamed me for not knowing my place and not going to the back of the bus where I belong.”


http://haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=801449&contrassID=19

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By Shenonymous, February 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Just another story since you all tolerate Robert’s.
Maybe not about civilian deaths, exactly, during wartime, this is about the primitive social practices of the savagery towards women in general and young girls in particular in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Islamist world (The Taliban wants to end education for girls completely).  We who are civilized should all applaud the following story, shouldn’t we?  It’s none of our business, or at least look away because out of sight out of mind (you know, Bishop Berkeley’s philosophy)?  Then we can sleep at night. 

What does an eight-year old girl matter anyway?  When she reaches puberty, say at 13 even, that is 5 years from now, and the 47-year old man will be 52.  Wonderful!  That fathers can use their daughters as chattel is barbaric.

Salih Dogan, Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
A Saudi Judge Refused to Divorce An Eight-year-old Girl’s Marriage to A 47-year-old Man

A Saudi court recently refused to cancel the marriage of an eight-year-old girl who was given in marriage by her father to a 47 year-old-man.  The father claims that he secured his daughter by getting a handshake protocol with the husband not to break up the marriage until the girl reaches puberty. According to a lawyer, her father needed the money that the man was willing to give for his daughter and that is why he arranged the marriage.

On Saturday, Judge Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib, blocked a divorce petition brought by the girl’s mother because she “is not the legal guardian of the girl,” the woman’s lawyer Abdullah al-Jutaili said. The woman is separated from her husband, he said. “Therefore, she cannot represent her daughter in these proceedings,” al-Jutaili said.

Only the father could be the custodian of his children in Saudi Arabia after a divorcement. However, it is known that when she is 18, she can ask for an annulment by filing a petition again.

Zuhair al-Harithi, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Commission, a Saudi government-run human rights group, said they are striving against child marriages in Saudi Arabia. The spokesman said he did not have particular details about this case but his organization has already stopped one child marriage recently.

“The Human Rights Commission opposes child marriages in Saudi Arabia,” al-Harithi said. “Child marriages violate international agreements that have been signed by Saudi Arabia and should not be allowed.”

Human Rights Watch, the well-known human rights group, is also observing the case. Christoph Wilcke, a Saudi Arabia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said his organization has heard similar cases of child marriages.

“We’ve been hearing about these types of cases once every four or five months because the Saudi public is now able to express this kind of anger, especially so when girls are traded off to older men,” Wilcke said.

On Wednesday, in an interview, Wilcke told CNN that even though Saudi government has to give decisions to protect children, “It is still the religious establishment that holds sway in the courts, and in many realms beyond the court.” He added that, “unfortunately, the religious establishment holds to conservative views which many scholars believe sometimes violate sharia [Islamic law].”

A women’s rights group in Saudi Arabia condemned the judge on Wednesday. Wajeha al-Huwaider, the group’s co-founder, said the Saudi government has signed “international agreements” regarding human and children’s rights, “and they know that this is very harmful to the kingdom’s image. There is a strong wave to teach and spread human rights here in Saudi Arabia, but we all know that there are two players behind the scenes: a movement that wants reform and change to better the kingdom and another movement that wants to keep us backward and in the dark ages.”

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By Robert, February 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Gaza Genocide 2008- 2009

FOR SOME…ONLY THROUGH PICTURES CAN THE REAL STORY & TRUTH BE SEEN!

http://cid-92aa638f9b6ea940.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.res/92AA638F9B6EA940!4119?ct=photos


http://poetryforpalestine.spaces.live.com/

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By Shenonymous, February 10, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Seeing how you like news stories…Robert, 
Just in case you missed this story about civilian death n the Turkish Weekly
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)

Parliamentarian Taskforce Investigates PA, Hamas Abuse Allegations
Ramallah - Ma’an - A taskforce made up of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on Tuesday declared the Hamas-run de facto government responsible for the wellbeing of a young woman arrested in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

The Palestinian Parliamentarian Taskforce on Public Information and Civil Society said Hamas is responsible for recently detained 19-year-old Rahma Dughmush, the sister of Mahmoud Dughmush, who was killed by Hamas-affiliated men.

Rahma was summoned to the de facto government’s interior security in Gaza City on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the taskforce formed a special committee to examine the circumstances of the death of Muhammad Al-Haj, who died in the custody of the PA’s Preventative Security in Jenin on 8 February. The PA declared his death a suicide, but family members allege the Hamas member was murdered during interrogations.

The taskforce is comprised of Hanan Ashrawi, Rabiha Thiab, Khalidah Jarrar, Shami Ash-Shami. Jamal Abu Ar-Rubb, Qays Abdul-Karim, Bassam As-Salihi and Mustafa Barghouthi.

The group called on human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip to document “Hamas crimes” against members of various Palestine Liberation Organization factions and other ordinary Palestinian citizens. The taskforces urged these groups to “separately document each case” with details and photographs, rather than citing statistics.

Guess Israel isn’t the only Middle East country that has thugs.

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By Robert, February 10, 2009 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Israeli University Welcomes “War Crimes” Colonel

By Jonathan Cook

“Feb.10, 09 “Information Clearinghouse” - Nazareth - The Israeli government has moved quickly to quash protests over the appointment of the army’s senior adviser on international law to a teaching post at Tel Aviv University. Col Pnina Sharvit-Baruch is thought to have provided legal cover for war crimes during the recent Gaza offensive.

Government officials fear that recent media revelations relating to Col Sharvit-Baruch’s role in the Gaza operation may assist human rights groups seeking to bring Israeli soldiers to trial abroad.

A Spanish judge began investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza under the country’s “universal jurisdiction” laws this month, and a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague is considering a Palestinian group’s petition to indict Israeli commanders.

Meanwhile, the furore - by highlighting the close ties between the army and Israeli universities—is adding weight to a growing campaign in Europe and the US to impose an academic boycott on Israel, say activists.

Tel Aviv University’s decision to hire Col Sharvit-Baruch to teach international law prompted protests from staff after the local media published details of the military planning for the Gaza offensive.

More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed during the operation, the majority of them civilians, and thousands were injured.

According to critics quoted by the Haaretz newspaper, Col Sharvit-Baruch and her staff manipulated standard interpretations of international law to expand the scope of army operations to include civilian targets.

Leading the protest is Haim Ganz, a law professor who has called the colonel’s approach to international law “devious jurisprudence that permits mass killing”. In a letter to the university, Prof Ganz said he was lodging “a moral protest against a state of affairs where somebody who authorized these actions is teaching the law of war”.

Last week Olmert, the prime minister, threatened to cut government funding for the law faculty should Col Sharvit-Baruch’s appointment not proceed. The university’s president, Zvi Galil, phoned the cabinet secretary to reassure the government, saying Prof Ganz’s opinions were not shared by most staff.

Other academics have rallied in support of Col Sharvit-Baruch, accusing her critics of waging a McCarthyite campaign against her.

According to the Israeli media, she personally approved the first wave of air strikes in Gaza that targeted a police graduation ceremony, killing at least 40 cadets.

Although police forces have civilian status in international law, and are therefore protected from military reprisal, Col Sharvit-Baruch is reported to have revised her opinion of the attack’s legality during the many months of planning.

In addition, she is said to have “relaxed” the rules of engagement, approved widespread house demolitions and the uprooting of farmland, and sanctioned the use of incendiary weapons such as white phosphorus over the densely populated enclave.

She also offered legal justification for the targeting of buildings in which civilians were known to be located as long as they had been warned first to leave. Schools, mosques and a university were among the many civilian buildings shelled by the Israeli army during the 22-day operation.

Her decisions have been widely criticized by international human rights organisations as well as by international law experts in Israel.

The professor Yuval Shany, who teaches public international law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, called her interpretation of the rules of war “flexible”. Regarding the strike against the police cadets, he said: “If you follow that line, there is not much that differentiates [the cadets] from [Israeli] reservists or even from 16-year-olds who will be drafted [into the Israeli army] in two years.””


http://informationclearinghouse.info/article21958.htm

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By Sepharad, February 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous, You’re not descending into madness, you’re just stating what’s true and that drives people who don’t want to see it nuts.

Judea Pearl’s statement deserves posting because it shows what a couple years of exposure to anti-Semitic craziness can do to an intellectually honest, brave man attempting to use his son’s death to increase cross-cultural understanding. (Of course that’s what Daniel would have wanted and what his wife wanted—that impulse to increase communication and clarity between cultures is why he was in Pakistan and why they killed him. And it’s true that the whole world now knows who killed him and why).

As for your question why the Mufti of Jerusalem was so opposed to Zionists, it was partly because he hated Jews of all sorts, as his activity in Germany with the Gestapo shows, but mostly because he was a greedy, opportunistic man who hoped the land so improved by the Zionist ag technology and developed to a greater extent than land anywhere else in the region by the hard work of resident Jews and Arabs would fall into his hands like a ripe plum when the Jews had been pushed to into the sea and the resident Arabs had fled across the Jordan as he ordered them to do, telling them that it was for their own safety, so they’d be out of the way while the Arab armies attacked and destroyed the new nation of Israel. After which, of course, he would take as much of the land for himself as he could grab (as Mufti, that would be most of it.) True, he hated Jews, but he doesn’t seem to have cared much for Arabs either. In fact, my guess is that the only living creature he cared for was himself. Either that, or the man was a sociopath that makes Patricia Highsmith’s the talented Mr. Ripley look positively benevolent.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 10, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

“Leefeller, February 10 at 2:14 am #

An association of bigots, had a meeting on bigotry and decided they did not like being called bigots and threatened to lynch anyone who called them bigots!
**************************************************

Fixed it for ya.

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By Leefeller, February 10, 2009 at 3:14 am Link to this comment

An association of bigots, had a meeting on bigotry and decided they did not like being called bigots.

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By cyrena, February 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Now the argument that was presented that we have no clue about the Pearl slaughter is really the most putrid of arguments I yet have heard and smacks of ideological anti-Semitic constipation.

You are now OUT OF LINE Shenonymous - crossed it or whatever. I don’t care WHO it is that calls me an Anti-semite, because I can and will very ‘equally’ kick the asses of any of them.

So, keep this moment enshrined in your memory, as that point in your ‘descent into madness’ that you fell entirely off the radar.

Meantime, you’re right. President Obama will most likely be excoriated for his failure to revamp the propaganda that refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘Terrorist Organizations’. If this is what HE himself REALLY BELIEVES, then it is a matter of grave concern for me, because there can be no possible hope of the US playing any positive role in the peace process, and it breaks my heart to consider that reality, but it is what it is. The US cannot dismiss or ignore the elected representatives of the Palestinians by referring to them as ‘Terrorist Organizations”. It’s that simple.

Your reference to the death of Daniel Pearl at the hands of KSM and others has NOTHING to do with Hamas or Hezbollah. Your insistence on connecting these created so-called “Global Islamic Terrorists” with the legitimately elected political representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah is willfully and perniciously deceitful.

Still, I’m glad you brought this up -AGAIN- but in reference to President Obama, since this is one of my disappointments with his approach to that conflict.

HOWEVER, President Obama has also consistently said that he will LISTEN to what is going on, and we’ve not yet given Mitchell, the SPECIAL ENVOY Obama has selected to the conflict, a chance to do anything and report back. Admittedly my hopes aren’t the greatest right now, because as far as the mainstream media is reporting, Mitchell’s envoy doesn’t plan a visit to Syria, nor does it plan to include Hamas in any discussions. Hamas DOES remain engaged in discussions with Egypt, but I don’t know how helpful that is, or where they’re even at with it now. Maybe the best that can be hoped for is for Egypt to play the shuttle go-between, for Hamas and the US. I don’t know, and I don’t much trust the Egyptian Dictator to cooperate. Still, that’s just me. I’m sure Obama’s folks can work something out if they want. Then again, maybe not. Israel terrorizes the world. We’re no exception, and neither is Egypt.

Meantime, you’ve succeeded where many others have failed Shenonymous, and that’s in thoroughly pissing me off. It’s really not an easy thing to accomplish, but you have. Everybody has a limit, and while mine may be higher than others, it’s still there, and you’ve crossed it with your accusations of anti-Semitic ideology.

Just so you’re aware.

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By Shenonymous, February 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

The triumvirate, me, myself, and I, made a decision to post the Daniel Pearl remembrance on this forum.  Whoever does not like it, well….here are some ellipses for you…  I happen to consider Hamas a terrorist organization.  I am not alone in that assessment, for as lofty a character as President Obama this evening made that same description of Hamas and Hezbollah.  I’m sure he will be soundly excoriated for saying that.  I have kept civil in my comments, but that has not been reciprocated from the sophomoric arguing style that has been shown by the paltry and limited incantation that relentlessly takes place on this and other forums from the same anti-Jewish bund. I am not Jewish but that confederation is disgusting.  It appeals to the lesser minded and it cannot help but be noticed how that heap is growing.  Now the argument that was presented that we have no clue about the Pearl slaughter is really the most putrid of arguments I yet have heard and smacks of ideological anti-Semitic constipation.  If you have no clue, then you cannot argue one way or another.  And everything else said is pure defensive pro-Hamas apologetic babble.  I personally do not make a distinction among the terrorists that originate in the Middle East.  They are murderers and I will not debate that estimation. The rest of the Arab world finds Hamas despicable and that is why the Palestinians get little or no help from those countries.  The ironic fallout from this war is that the Arab countries may have to cough up a lot of money, billions as a matter of fact, to help the Palestinians.  Horray for the Palestinians, finally they might be able to climb out of the quagmire!  The relentless litany against anyone that says anything decent about a Jew is touted as propaganda.  I did my research and I am satisfied with it. Provide counter evidence if you dare to criticize instead of offering merely your pale opinions.  I couldn’t care less what you think about the Wall Street Journal. 

For hundreds of years there have been those lunatic conspiracy theorists that the world is run by a cabal of Jews.  Time to throw up.  The wealth of disinformation is prolific from the whackos.

As that Jew Carl Sagan once said: “If your mind is too open, your brains fall out.”

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (1895/1897 - July 4, 1974), a member of the al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem, was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From 1921 to 1948, he was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and played a key role in opposition to Zionism including his alliance between Nazi Germany to achieve his goals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSUEx1cKUlg

As early as 1920, he was active in both opposing the British in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab State and unsuccessfully opposed Jewish immigration and the establishment of their National home in Palestine. His oppositional role peaked during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, wanted by the British, he fled Palestine and took refuge successively in Lebanon, Iraq, Italy and finally Nazi Germany where he met Adolf Hitler in 1941. He asked Germany to oppose, as part of the Arab struggle for independence, the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. During the 1948 Palestine War he represented the Arab Higher Committee and opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah’s ambitions for expanding Jordan by capturing Palestinian territory (Israel).

After the 1948 Palestine War and Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership were devastated and, quickly sidelined successively by the Arab Nationalist Movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization, he lost most of his remaining political influence.  Al-Husayni died in Beirut, Lebanon in 1974.

It is hard to tell if his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.

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By Robert, February 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Israel Just Committed A Massive Atrocity

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://informationclearinghouse.info/article21939.htm

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By Robert, February 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

The Israeli Torture Template

Rape, Feces and Urine-Dipped Cloth Sacks

By WAYNE MADSEN

“With mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified “carve out” sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisoners at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, one only needs to examine the record of abuse of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israel to understand what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meant, when referring to new, yet to be released photos and videos, he said, “if these images are released to the public, obviously its going to make matters worse.”

According to a political appointee within the Bush administration and U.S. intelligence sources, the interrogators at Abu Ghraib included a number of Arabic-speaking Israelis who also helped U.S. interrogators develop the “R2I” (Resistance to Interrogation) techniques. Many of the torture methods were developed by the Israelis over many years of interrogating Arab prisoners on the occupied West Bank and in Israel itself.

Clues about worse photos and videos of abuse may be found in Israeli files about similar abuse of Palestinian and other Arab prisoners. In March 2000, a lawyer for a Lebanese prisoner kidnapped in 1994 by the Israelis in Lebanon claimed that his client had been subjected to torture, including rape. The type of compensation offered by Rumsfeld in his testimony has its roots in cases of Israeli torture of Arabs. In the case of the Lebanese man, said to have been raped by his Israeli captors, his lawyer demanded compensation of $1.47 million. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel documented the types of torture meted out on Arab prisoners. Many of the tactics coincide with those contained in the Taguba report: beatings and prolonged periods handcuffed to furniture. In an article in the December 1998 issue of The Progressive, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb reported on the treatment given to a 23-year old Palestinian held on “administrative detention.” The prisoner was “cuffed behind a chair 17 hours a day for 120 days . . . [he] had his head covered with a sack, which was often dipped in urine or feces. Guards played loud music right next to his ears and frequently taunted him with threats of physical and sexual violence.” If additional photos and videos document such practices, the Bush administration and the American people have, indeed, “seen nothing yet.”

Although it is still largely undocumented if any of the contractor named in the report of General Antonio Taguba were associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services, it is noteworthy that one, John Israel, who was identified in the report as being employed by both CACI International of Arlington, Virginia, and Titan, Inc., of San Diego, may not have even been a U.S. citizen. The Taguba report states that Israel did not have a security clearance, a requirement for employment as an interrogator for CACI. According to CACI’s web site, “a Top Secret Clearance (TS) that is current and US citizenship” are required for CACI interrogators working in Iraq. In addition, CACI requires that its interrogators “have at least two years experience as a military policeman or similar type of law enforcement/intelligence agency whereby the individual utilized interviewing techniques.”

Speculation that “John Israel” may be an intelligence cover name has fueled speculation whether this individual could have been one of a number of Israeli interrogators hired under a classified contract. Because U.S. citizenship and documentation thereof are requirements for a U.S. security clearance, Israeli citizens would not be permitted to hold a Top Secret clearance. However, dual U.S.-Israeli citizens could have satisfied Pentagon requirements that interrogators hold U.S. citizenship and a Top Secret clearance.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/madsen05102004.html

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By radson, February 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

To CYRENA

Your persistence is commendable ,not to forget your knowledge of the struggle occurring in Gaza which is profound. I agree with
most that you have written .I would like to add ,that although most of the truthdiggers do follow and understand the crux of the
situation that is happening in the Levant ,it is unfortunate that we spend our time arguing about occurrences that most of us
are well aware of.Yes it is true (for Shenonymous’s sake not to forget Sepharad and co.) that there are other atrocities being
committed as we speak ,namely Sri Lanka ,and the media response is being very limited in a tragedy that is just as brutal. Nevertheless
that is not an excuse to defend violence.Presently the uncertainty in Iran is going to dictate the course of the future in the Middle-East
whether we like it it or not .The nonsense that if Iran does acquire an atomic capability,does not mean that they will foolishly conduct in a
nuclear conflict which would surely lead to the destruction of Israel ,Gaza ,The West Bank ,Lebanon, and Jordan.and Iran .That is merely scare-tactiques
that the Neocon supporters are using to justified their importance ,which is based on the king called Mammon (money).The Arab League is going to be split
when push comes-to-shove because of the money involved, and yes most wealthy individuals will do what it takes to maintain their status quo,whether
it is US backed or promoted by the Zionist’s in a League of Arabs or not.The bottom line of this mess ,is that the cold war participants are still dictating
the rules of this unfortunate game.Hold on to your seats this mess is far from over.

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By Sepharad, February 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena, I’m sure that if you read Judea Pearl’s op ed piece you’d see that it’s very much relevant to any discussion of the Middle East. Remember, this is the same man who called for cross-cultural understanding rather than demonizing Muslims after his son’s death at the hands of extremists.

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By cyrena, February 9, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, February 8 at 3:46 am #

•  “Appropriate to the title of this forum’s article, is the 7th anniversary of the death of Daniel Pearl and the clever way of normalizing evil to satisfy the fanatical need to dissipate the truth.”

Sorry Shenonymous, I hate being the one to always point this out, but this is NOT ‘appropriate’ for the conversation in terms of when we stopped caring about civilian deaths in wartime, if only because we’re talking about a war (and the related dead civilians) that has nothing to do with how or why Daniel Pearl was allegedly beheaded by insane extremists. (We have no clue to what really happened to Daniel Pearl, but he wasn’t in the Occupied Territories of PALESTINE when he was apparently murdered. Nor does the propaganda (from the alleged terrorists or the msm spin) make a connection between the barbaric beheading of Daniel Pearl and the long time military occupation of Palestine by Israel.

“In an article by Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl who was shockingly and viciously murdered in front of millions by the Islamist terrorists Omar Saeed Sheikh along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, currently a prisoner in Guantanamo, seven years ago, Mr. Pearl wonders what has become of humankind?” 
Most of us have wondered the same as Judea Pearl…and long before his son was killed.

You keep trying to make these connections shenon, in what has now become an unmistakably duplicitous effort to conflate anything you possibly can, (INCLUDING a 40 plus year struggle for self -determination) to your boogeyman world of Arab ghosts and goblins.

That is NOT to ignore that world of nefarious, sinister, and seemingly omnipresent global terrorists. They DO indeed exist, in large part because they have been CREATED. But that exists on a different ‘plane’ so to speak Shenon, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the conflict that has taken so many lives and instilled so terribly much misery in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, for so many decades. There has been a concerted effort to ‘create’ that connection, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) has confessed to everything in the book Shenonymous. Seriously. If we are to believe what we hear, (and the WSJ doesn’t report this, so I’m talking about verifiable reports from people who’ve actually had some direct dealings with the guy since he’s been captured) he managed to be the source of crimes happening simultaneously all over the world. In other words, KSM has ‘confessed’ to shit that was literally and virtually IMPOSSIBLE for him to have done. This is the kind of stuff that scholars find out in any attempts to VERIFY what we actually get via the media. Clearly this doesn’t eliminate him (or any of the ‘named’ bad-guys) as somehow ‘involved’ in the whole “War on Terror” plot, but we don’t have any verifiable clues to his involvement, especially since he was so thoroughly tortured. If he wasn’t out of his mind to begin with, he certainly is NOW.

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By cyrena, February 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2
Be that as it may, (and while many people have quoted bin Laden and others as claiming the Occupation of Palestine to be the ‘reason’ for their animosity and yes –hate- for “The West” ) the alleged actions of people like KSM or any of these other so-called terrorists that have been ‘captured’ have NO evidentiary connection to the conflict around the Occupied Territories. In other words, you cannot say that KSM or anybody else cut off Daniel Pearls head because of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Or, you can SAY that, but you can’t prove that anymore than anybody else can.

And …it’s NOT for lack of trying that we CANNOT prove that. Believe me, there are many people working very hard at trying to prove and/or disprove this stuff. It’s a long, tedious and never ending effort, BECAUSE the propaganda theme behind the “Politics of Fear” is a HUGE project that has been in the works for at least 3 decades if not longer.
In fact, something just came to mind as I was reading through this stuff again. (and I did read the wsj piece, even though the wsj long ago joined all of the other long established publications as mouthpieces for the Ministry of Propaganda, and needs to be understood as such). I recalled the excellent documentary “The Power of Nightmares” and I realized that I had FAILED my part of this discussion, by not recalling this earlier, because there’s no way for anybody to know what I’m trying to get across, without some intellectual ‘background’ to the whole thing.

I ONLY became aware of this via my return to academia. This film was shown on my campus about three years ago, maybe a little longer. I remember it was included (like so many of the other lectures and films offered through the Arts and Lectures Program each year) as an ‘extra credit’ assignment for a graduate seminar in International Law, as well as the History seminar on the Middle East and North Africa. (So, two for the price of one in academic points.);)


At the time, the documentary film was quite a ‘find/catch’ for the Arts and Lectures Program, because it simply wasn’t available in the US. BUT…we’re in luck, because I’ve just searched the internet, and it is now available to be viewed (in its entirety) free of charge, via the www.
Here’s a link.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/powerofnightmares

Now that I’ve discovered it is available, I’m going to try to download it to some DVD’s. I don’t know yet whether or not that is possible, but if I can manage to make a decent collection, I’ll be happy to get it to you in that more convenient form of media.

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By radson, February 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

The masters try their trade
whilst the many are waylaid
the words are spoken
yet the promises are Brocken

truth is avoided or worse
it is manipulated within a magnificent verse
that leads the resistance to quarrel over petty items
that hide the facts of substance

for an argument is welcome
if it deviates from the path
the path that is known to very few
yet questioned by even less

some attempt to spark a flame
a flame that will demonstrate the shame
hidden within a hideous game

played by the magnates who choose prowess and greed as their tangent
to benefit their caste
but how long will it last
before it is said ,that it has come to pass

that the road of the few is not the road of the many
who choose to live and give
for the benefit of community
and not necessarily conformity

for justice has many eyes
of which all are not blind
in order to see
one must be free
to speak one’s mind
what is dearest to most
the father and son and Holy Ghost

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By Sepharad, February 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit—I’ve been quite depressed of late too, given the boost Hamas’s cocky aggression has given to Netanyahu’s electibility (I think they WANTED that to happen: a true war monger leading Israel instead of Tzipi/Ehud, who could have met the Palestinians half-way, might have led to a second state and peace, which Hamas needs to avoid at all costs if they are going to turn every Palestininan into their own monstrous image). However, you supplied one hope to hang on to: the notion that the Palestinians will realize Netanyahu is mad as a hatter and will make undeniable moves toward peace, tying his hands. We should be so lucky.

I don’t think people are necessarily stupid when they vote in the Bushes, the Putins, the Netanyahus, maybe even the Obamas, though I still have some hope that he’ll live up to his campaign image. (Ironically, Netanyahu’s people studied Obama’s campaign, graphics, webwork and seem to be making it work very well for him.) I do think they are driven by fear of national collapse, whether economic or by terrorist enemies. But when you’re being drivewn you don’t have a chance to stop and think and follow the likely consequences, as a chess player might antipate a dozen moves ahead.

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By Robert, February 8, 2009 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Weekend Edition
February 6-8, 2009

No More Charades, Please!
Obama, Mitchell and the Palestinians

By JAMES ABOUREZK

“Abe Foxman, head of the “Anti-Defamation League”, claims that George Mitchell is too fair to be a broker between Israel and the Palestinians.  I guess that Foxman, in denouncing the choice of Mitchell for Middle East negotiator, shows that he is accustomed to such impartial mediators as Dennis Ross, who, when he left the Clinton Administration returned to the Israeli Lobby, whence he came.  Or he possibly could be making a comparison between George Mitchell and Alan Dershowitz, the notorious Israeli propagandist.  (I once called Dershowitz a “snake” on Al Manar TV, which prompted him to write a column in the Jerusalem Post calling me an anti-Semite.  My mistake was to forget to apologize to the snakes.)

I’m sorry to say that, as much as I admire George Mitchell for the public service he has provided over the years, being fair will not be enough to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the brutality that accompanies it.

The gyrations of various administrations over the years, all of whom have put on great shows of “settling” the conflict, has done nothing but waste a great deal of newspaper ink and television time reporting peace efforts, as though the media believed what snake oil salespeople, such as Condi Rice, were selling to the public.  What someone in our government should have realized by now is that Israel absolutely does not want to give up the West Bank for a Palestinian state, even though there are warnings that if a “two state solution” is not reached, the Palestinians will be forced into a state of apartheid for the rest of the century.  Certainly, the Israelis have no intention of allowing the Palestinians to outvote them in Israel, which leaves South African style apartheid as the only solution.

One can count all the reasons given by the Israelis for not achieving the “peace” that Israel claims it wants, reasons such as:

      1. We have no negotiating partner.
      2. The Palestinians have to recognize Israel’s right to exist first before we talk to them.
      3. They have to end terrorism first.
      4. We made the Palestinians the best offer they could ever have gotten, but they turned it down.

These are just some of the shopworn excuses trotted out to avoid cutting a deal.

It seems that very few people have caught on to this scam, even though it has been exposed for many years.  So, as the establishment continues to blather about achieving “peace,” Israel continues to swallow up Palestinian lands, beating up, imprisoning and massacring Palestinians on a daily basis.

It is very clear to me, as well as to anyone else who declines to see the conflict through an Israeli prism, that only when an American President flatly tells the Israelis that they must move the settlers out of the West Bank, there will be no peace, only more occupation, more brutality, more violations of international law, and more bloody slaughters of civilians such as the one we only recently witnessed in Gaza.  Anything short of that leaves the Israelis in complete control, and it will leave America with more and more enemies not only in the Middle East, but around the world.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/abourezk02062009.html

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By Inherit The Wind, February 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, you ridiculous ignoramous—I did NOT vote for Bush, either GHW or GW, EVER! That should be clear.

And, it should be BLATANTLY obvious that, were I Israeli, I would NEVER vote for Netinyahu, you twit!  Also, that since I am American, not Israeli I cannot vote for OR against Netinyahu.

Try to pay attention and keep up!

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By Folktruther, February 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Inherit-people vote for leaders like Netanyahu and
Bush not because they are stupid (except for yourelf of course) but because we are all systematically deluded by power.  Power strucutes control the learned and mass media and other truth organs and the background preconceptions and presuppositions of our religious, political and scientific worldviews orient us toward irrationality.  The obvious example is the American End Timers who mythocize the decline of American power as the End of the World.

People identify with violent solutions because they are simple and appear to be quick solutions to the problems.  They can understand them and by appearing Tough, can enhance their own sense of power.  so many Zionists genuinely were in favor of bombing Iran, with no idea of what this would mean.  Even the Zionist militarist Biden strongly opposed it.

It doesn’t appear possible to re-orient the American people in time to avert the disasters that may occur with Natanyahu and the other yahus gaining power.  But it would help if liberal Zionists like yourself would criticize Israel when they are indulging in a orgy of violence, spliting the Jewish community.

This is a conservative position, decreasing the power of the ethnic cleasing Zionists.  Opposing the starvation blockade, the turning of Gaza into an open air concentration camp woould be a start, and opposing US support for Israeli militarism would be better.  Last year the settlements increased in the West Bank by 67%.  And they are increasing under Obama.  As this continues, what do you think the outcome will be?

What kind of world will your children live in if Israeli continues to massacre the Palestinians.  They will attribute to the Jewish people the horrors perpetrated by these religious gangsters.  If enough Jews oppose Aipac, maybe Zionism will be slowed enough to come up with a non-bloodthirsty solution.

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By Leefeller, February 8, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Constant struggles between the varying ethnic peoples in the Middle East has been ongoing since the beginning of time.  Differences always promoted bickering and wars. Not being a scholar of the area, recent exposure to what propagates the area is apparent.  All the ethnic and tribal differences foster a hate and distrust among themselves. Though they may not trust nor agree on any one topic, they all agree on one thing, they all hate the Jew.

Bigots enjoy yourselves.

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By Robert, February 8, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, February 8 at 7:36 am #

“This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.  Like you, I’m afraid it will be impossible.

I guess ALL people around the world are stupid.  We elected Ronald Reagan—twice, and George W. Bush—twice. Palestinians elected Hamas, Russians elected Putin, and Israelis are about to elect Netinyahu.”
===========

ITW,

I think that there was a good possible chance for an agreement when Rabin was alive, but you know what happened…Netanyahu created a lot of hate atmosphere and Rabin was murdered by a zionist Israeli zealot. I believe Rabin’s wife said that.

The Israelis are looking to elect Netinyahu…AGAIN! 

I do understand your feelings & frustrations.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 8, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

ITW…there are thieves in every country, government, society and even amongst our own families.

I do agree with you on Netinyahu; it looks like the Israelis might or will most likely elect him. The Palestinians elected Hamas.

I do remember telling you way back, if Israel would abide by UN Resolution 242, which the US voted for, and pull back to Pre-June 1967, I still believe there would a peace agreement between the Palestinians & the Israelis. One that would be like the one between Egypt & Israel…over 30 years ago and without any inccidents.

Netinyahu will NOT even come close; he is fanatic zionist/terrorist!
***********************************************

Robert:
For only the second time we are in near agreement (the A/V on Jimmy Carter is the other).

The only thing I wonder about is whether the theft of aid was “free-lance” or Hamas-leadership authorized.

I’ve already said I thought Netinyahu is a disaster and possibly catastrophic for BOTH sides. 

I’m deeply depressed because NOW, with President Obama trying to restore grown-ups to the Executive positions, and a personal good-will that BOTH sides can recognize, Israel seems to be following the old Abba Eban Palestinian road to doom: “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.  Like you, I’m afraid it will be impossible.

I guess ALL people around the world are stupid.  We elected Ronald Reagan—twice, and George W. Bush—twice. Palestinians elected Hamas, Russians elected Putin, and Israelis are about to elect Netinyahu.

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By Leefeller, February 8, 2009 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

In the final analysis one can only shake their head in wonder watching the enduring persistence of hate, bigotry and ignorance as it festers full of maggots like a head on a pole in the full sun.

Unlike the Superbowl, were one can pick a side and the winner takes all and the victors march in glory upon returning to their homes, were both winners and losers go home to their respective cities and return to enjoy their lives with their loved ones, on the other hand the war in Gaza is a sick never ending story of death and lies.  Lies first,  then death?  How does one pick a side, seeing so much finger pointing, with constant barrages of he said she said, accusations rebuttals, and more of the same?

He started it! Does not cover reality except in the minds of children, antagonism and goading of a more powerful neighbor provides cover for several speculations.  One is to evoke sympathy as the little under dog being whipped by a powerful and unfair advantaged bully neighbor.  Sad to say, over playing the sympathy card does not always work, so we are back to more he said she said, they started it. 

Whole sale goading, by puppet strings is manipulation and nothing else.  It is said Iran is pulling the strings on the Palestine side, the other side must have it’s string pullers also.  Falling into the hate trap from both sides is what makes wars profound.  It does take two sides or more.  Those who want war, prompt, cause problems and manipulate with sick gusto.  Ignorance makes manipulation so much easier, ignorance is a pipe dream for manipulators.  Demonizing is an important part of the whole process. So the name calling must be in full swing.


Name calling is one of the major tools to support a festering development of hate.  Bigots of the world love to use this tactic.  We have all heard the N. Word used with venom, I have been called a N. Lover, now since I do not support Palestine and have not picked a side, I have been called a Zionist.  What a sales pitch, I will be sure to shop at your store.

Peace requires more work than war, for hate has to be gone.

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By Robert, February 8, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, February 7 at 10:08 pm #


I know that Robert will pretend this is all a hoax and propaganda, as will the other Hamas-lovers.

The Associated Press reported today that the UN agency for Palestinian relief has suspended shipments of aid to Gaza.  Why? Because two shipments were stolen by Hamas officials, one of blankets, one of foodstuffs.

Hamas is hastily saying it’s all a misunderstanding and they welcome aid from ANYONE.

Either Hamas has rogue officials who are stealing the stuff to sell it, or it’s official Hamas policy.  I don’t know which.

Meanwhile, depressingly, Israel looks to be on the brink of returning that fascist What-a-Yahoo to power.  The only thing that could prevent this, is the 15% of undecided voters. 

Despite the opinion of me by “progressives” here, I do not like, trust, respect or in any way support Benyamin Netanyahu.  I think he is a dangerous martinet, who thinks and acts like George W. Bush.  I believe his election to PM will be disastrous, possibly catastrophic for Israel and the Palestinians equally.

The ONLY hope I have is that the Palestinians will realize the Netanyahu is mad as a hatter, and racist as all get out, but, if the Palestinians are willing to make an honest peace, this @$$hole’s hands will be tied.

Actually, I’m REALLY hoping the polls are wrong, the vast majority of Israelis come to their senses, and deal Likud and its ally a crushing blow.
==================

ITW…there are thieves in every country, government, society and even amongst our own families.

I do agree with you on Netinyahu; it looks like the Israelis might or will most likely elect him. The Palestinians elected Hamas.

I do remember telling you way back, if Israel would abide by UN Resolution 242, which the US voted for, and pull back to Pre-June 1967, I still believe there would a peace agreement between the Palestinians & the Israelis. One that would be like the one between Egypt & Israel…over 30 years ago and without any inccidents.

Netinyahu will NOT even come close; he is fanatic zionist/terrorist!

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By Robert, February 8, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, February 7 at 10:41 pm #


“WOW!! This is pretty desperate Shenonymous. Scary.

You write:

The Fraudulent Scholarship of Professors Walt and Mearsheimer (YIKES!)

Considering that I KNOW you MUST be aware of this, your very TRANSPARENTLY deceitful attempts to discredit these gentlemen’s scholarship is really a terribly frightening thing. It’s just seems like such an –unraveling- of sorts. I’m actually flabbergasted to read this!”
++++++++

DECEPTIVE, desparate & lonely ... all out there in black & white!

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By Shenonymous, February 8, 2009 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

Appropriate to the title of this forum’s article, is the 7th anniversary of the death of Daniel Pearl and the clever way of normalizing evil to satisfy the fanatical need to dissipate the truth.

Dare you see the entire article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123362422088941893.html

In an article by Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl who was shockingly and viciously murdered in front of millions by the Islamist terrorists Omar Saeed Sheikh along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, currently a prisoner in Guantanamo, seven years ago, Mr. Pearl wonders what has become of humankind? 

No one could have even wildly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, could proudly boast if committing Daniel’s murder at a military tribunal in March 2007 to the ghoulish cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism could be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other so-called heroes of “the resistance.” Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would be spending a 950th day of captivity without any Red Cross visitation all the while world leaders soberly debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.

The very act that put these miserable people in the position they are in, in criminal custody, Daniel’s grotesque murder, nearly goes without notice.

There was no turning point, much as Mr. Pearl had hoped from the publicized execution of his son, Daniel, said to have been a true believer in the basic goodness of man and who’s only fatal error was to want to present the side of the terrorists to the world .  The history of humankind’s abject inhumanity to each other as human sacrifice becomes just another horrible chapter of barbarism in that history.

Savagery more often than humans care to admit often goes
hidden in a special language.  Mr. Pearl called it the “language of resistance,’ and to humankind’s detriment, has become an accepted vogue within the self-aggrandized anti-Semitic and self-hating Jewry in the society of today.  The infectiousness of such a pose becomes a “fashionable” statement found among the usual suspects, among such academic anti-Zionistas, Uni. of Chicago Professors as Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, who’s writings are filled with misquotes and hence, misinformation.  Of course you are free to believe whatever you want.

The Bush administration gave the term “war on terror” such mind-numbing repetition that even most ordinary Americans have become anesthetized from hearing it and now has become only an odious euphemism.  This is in light of the fact that in the eight years of that administration not many of the perpetrators of Daniel’s slaughter and scores of others have been brought to justice.

Judea Pearl believes “it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic.” and “thus the basic engine that drives acts of terrorism—the ideological license to elevate one’s grievances above the norms of civilized society—was wished away in favor of seemingly more [psychologically] manageable “tactical” considerations.”

For anyone seriously concerned with the nature of the oppression of the Middle Eastern terrorists it would do you well to read Mr. Pearl’s entire essay.

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By Folktruther, February 8, 2009 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

Walt and Mearsheimer, Baer, Petras and others are right.  An amazing historical event has occurred.  Zionists have largely taken over the US power system, largely controlling its finance, media, electoral system, and neutralizing its legal system. 

How on humanity’s formerly green earth is this possible?  For most of my life I just assumed that “jews controlling everything” was just anti-Semitic garbage.  I was a Jew I sure as hell didn’t control anything.  But, by God, the anti-Semites were right, at least in this case.  the evidence, which is fragmeented, when collected is overwhelming.

The War on Terrorism, which is actually a war on Muslims, is not in America’s interests, it is in Israel’s interests.  Finance capitalism is also in Israel’s interests because Zionist power there is so strong that the rest of the capitalist class won’t fight it.  Even Soros, a Jewish billionaire, complains that they put pressure on him for not going along, and he was sharply attacked by the NEW REPUBLIC, the Dem Zionist magizine.

But how on earth is it possible for a small group of powerful people to take over a large country like the US?  I don’t know, but apparently it has happened.  Obama is promoting the same policies as Bush, wth a public relations gloss, because Zionism is the force behind both.  I know this appears to be incredible, but it also appears to be true.  I don’t think anything like this has happened before in history.

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By Shenonymous, February 8, 2009 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/7875171.stm
Published: 2009/02/06 20:26:48 GMT
UN halts Gaza aid over ‘thefts’
The UN aid agency in Gaza says it has suspended all aid shipments, accusing the Hamas government of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food supplies.
Ten lorries carrying flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said.
Hamas admitted a “mistake” had been made and says it will return the goods.
But Unrwa says deliveries will not restart until it has assurances that such seizures will not happen again.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Hamas must immediately release the seized aid shipments.
He also called on Hamas “to refrain from interference with the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Gaza”.
Gaza is facing a humanitarian crisis after Israel’s recent three-week offensive.
About half the population is dependent on UN food aid.
Israel intensified a blockade on the territory 19 months ago when Hamas took over the territory.
The lifting of the blockade is among Hamas’ demands for agreeing a long-term truce with Israel.
On Friday, the group’s exiled leader, Khaled Meshaal, told a rally in Syria that Israel still had not given the necessary undertakings for such a truce.
Second incident
Unrwa said the food had been imported from Egypt, and had been due to be collected by its staff at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza on Friday.
“The food was taken away by trucks contracted by the ministry of social affairs,” the agency said in a statement.
It said aid deliveries would only be resumed if Hamas returned all the aid and provided “credible assurances” that it would not happen again.
It was the second incident in three days. On Tuesday, 3,500 blankets and more than 400 food parcels were seized at gunpoint from a distribution centre in Gaza, the UN said.
The Hamas government’s social affairs minister, Ahmed al Kurd, ordered “the aid to be returned to the agency if it turns out it is indeed its property”, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said, according to AFP news agency.
He said no Hamas or Unrwa representatives had been present at the crossing when drivers loaded up the aid supplies, and the drivers had assumed they belonged to the Hamas government.
Although the UN, as an organisation, does not negotiate with Hamas, its relief agency in Gaza has to have some contact with the faction for practical reasons, says the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Gaza City.
UN-Hamas tensions
Earlier in the week, Mr Kurd warned Unrwa not to “become a political player in Gaza”. He said all aid should be distributed through Hamas.
But Hamas’s rapid attempt to rectify the situation - at least once Unrwa announced its suspension of imports publicly - suggests it does understand how crucial the UN’s aid work is, our correspondent says.
Hamas itself has given very limited financial assistance to some of the thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed in the Israeli offensive.
The perception of many in the territory is that the group is only helping its own supporters, he adds.
The UN has increased its food distribution in recent weeks to cover 900,000 of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million following Israel’s offensive against Hamas that began in December.

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By cyrena, February 7, 2009 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

WOW!! This is pretty desperate Shenonymous. Scary.

You write:

The Fraudulent Scholarship of Professors Walt and Mearsheimer (YIKES!)

“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is an extended elaboration of a “working paper” with the same title the authors published on the website of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2006. In their paper the authors summarize their case as follows (they make essentially the same argument on pages 7 and 8 of the book):”

~~~

And, so…what’s your point? What you’ve just described above is ***WHAT SCHOLARS DO***!!
And, you’ve already acknowledged that both of these guys are well recognized and highly acclaimed for their SCHOLARSHIP, which is what we measure the information against, NOT whether you agree with date, or even their analysis.
 
Again, it is standard procedure in academia to write these “working papers” and to flippin’ PUBLISH THEM. AGAIN, THAT’S WHAT SCHOLARS DO. In fact, nearly ALL full publications begin as “working papers” in some form or fashion, and are routinely published in the appropriate scholarly journals, (not always, but often) and the Internet has largely taken over on that format. Scholars still publish to professional journals, and they’ve done more than their share of that as well.

Besides that, we’re talking about a so-called “working paper”, (like ALL authors don’t call their work SOMETHING while it’s ‘in the works’?)is from 2006, (so you say, but it’s actually 2005). And, the authors provide a very clear history of how the manuscript merged into a book in their excellent preface.

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=KrR_00AxrUcC&dq=walt+and+mearsheimer&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=gB2Xx39Oj5&sig=8D94ru2Vlqk4c8USphdT819FO3E&ei=RHiOSZTWGYmQtQPkmciCCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPR8,M1

Considering that I KNOW you MUST be aware of this, your very TRANSPARENTLY deceitful attempts to discredit these gentlemen’s scholarship is really a terribly frightening thing. It’s just seems like such an –unraveling- of sorts. I’m actually flabbergasted to read this!

Needless-to-say, in the past I would have just automatically assumed that you’d actually READ this book yourself, before calling it fraudulent scholarship. (and please don’t tell me that you just copied and pasted that heading, since that’s exactly the point!) Now that’s what I would have taken as a ‘given’ in the past. I can’t assume anything like that anymore. This is REALLY bad. It just keeps getting worse.

Did it ever occur to you that the book has been on the NYT Best Seller List because it’s just damn good scholarship? Well, if you’d actually READ IT, you might have figured that out. Just the references/footnotes is worth it’s weight in scholastic gold.

Read this from Michael Neumann…maybe it’ll shock you back to normalacy.

The Case Against Israel
The Core of Zionism
By MICHAEL NEUMANN
Editors’ Note: This month CounterPunch Books publishes Michael Neumann’s The Case Against Israel, a bracing and tightly argued counterblast to the nonsense peddled by Alan Dershowitz in The Case For Israel. What follows is Neumann’s core thesis.

“What matters for an understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict is what the expression ‘a Jewish state’ would mean to any reasonable person. What, in particular, could the Palestinians reasonably expect when they heard that such a state was to be established in Palestine?

This is just an excerpt from the book, though I did read the book myself about a year or so ago. (this is from 3 years ago). I wish I still had the book, because it is in fact an excellently done argument, at least for those of us who can appreciate a purely REASONED argrument, and I’d be happy to lend it to you.  But alas, it’s become lost to the homeless shuffle.

http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann01262006.html

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By Inherit The Wind, February 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

I know that Robert will pretend this is all a hoax and propaganda, as will the other Hamas-lovers.

The Associated Press reported today that the UN agency for Palestinian relief has suspended shipments of aid to Gaza.  Why? Because two shipments were stolen by Hamas officials, one of blankets, one of foodstuffs.

Hamas is hastily saying it’s all a misunderstanding and they welcome aid from ANYONE.

Either Hamas has rogue officials who are stealing the stuff to sell it, or it’s official Hamas policy.  I don’t know which.

Meanwhile, depressingly, Israel looks to be on the brink of returning that fascist What-a-Yahoo to power.  The only thing that could prevent this, is the 15% of undecided voters. 

Despite the opinion of me by “progressives” here, I do not like, trust, respect or in any way support Benyamin Netanyahu.  I think he is a dangerous martinet, who thinks and acts like George W. Bush.  I believe his election to PM will be disastrous, possibly catastrophic for Israel and the Palestinians equally.

The ONLY hope I have is that the Palestinians will realize the Netanyahu is mad as a hatter, and racist as all get out, but, if the Palestinians are willing to make an honest peace, this @$$hole’s hands will be tied.

Actually, I’m REALLY hoping the polls are wrong, the vast majority of Israelis come to their senses, and deal Likud and its ally a crushing blow.

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By Sepharad, February 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena, re your last question, nothing at all was unconvincing to me that I read and saw in many photos on the IDF post, as I mentioned. They were not using white phospherous weapons but, as I stated, white phospherous gas (as Herby corroborated) for illumination as well as concealing troop movements, and as there are photos of Israeli soldiers running hunched down through clouds of the gas without protective gear, it seems logical that this use was not harmful—Israeli bodies burn just as readily as Palestinian bodies. And given that Hamas fired a rocket with white phospherous in it into Israe, it would seem to back up the IDF colonel’s statement that intelligence suggested Hamas was using white phosphorous ordinance, which for all we know could have been used in the many booby trap explosive canisters, ieds, etc.

Robert, I hope you read Shenonymous’s detailed info on the misquote of Rashid Khalidi, which you’ve posted more than once (or maybe you have a copycat).

Also think everyone should have a look at Judea Pearl’s op ed piece referenced earlier—more people are beginning to catch to the uses terrorists make of well-meaning multicultural impulses. Shameful.

Shenonymous, thanks for retrieving campus watch on Khalidi. This computer is driving me nuts, though this mother of all head colds could be causing me to make tiny little errors that would screw it all up.

Walt/Searsheimer reflect one opininon’s advocacy view. There are many ways to look at that.

The truth will eventually out.

Meantime my biggest worry is who gets elected 2/10, as the choice could herald a new military strategy.
Not optimistic but ready to gear up if the worst guy wins.

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By cyrena, February 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2

OK Sepharad,

I found the mention of the AP report, (though I didn’t read it). This report from the actual ICRC.org site is the one I would trust, and this confirms (in better language) what I was saying in the first post. The ICRC is denying having made any determination about the legality of the use of this weapon in Gaza, though the rest of the laws make it pretty clear that it is prohibited in this case, because it’s ALWAYS prohibited if dropped from the air where there is a civilian presence.

Phosphorous weapons – the ICRC’s view

Peter Herby, head of the ICRC’s Arms Unit, outlines the rules applicable to phosphorous weapons to explain the organization’s approach to the issue.

“Has the use of white phosphorous weapons by Israel in the current conflict in Gaza been confirmed?”

***Yes. According to widespread media reports, images and analysis from credible experts, phosphorous weapons have been used in the conflict.***

What are the rules of international humanitarian law applicable to the use of phosphorous weapons and intended to spare civilians?

***Let me begin by saying that there are fundamental rules stipulating that civilians must be protected from the effects of all military operations and that attacking civilians with any weapon is categorically prohibited.***


***The use of weapons containing white phosphorous is, like the use of any other weapon, regulated by the basic rules of international humanitarian law. These require parties to a conflict to discriminate between military objectives on the one hand and civilians and civilian objects on the other. The law also requires that they take all feasible precautions to prevent harm to civilians and civilian objects that can result from military operations. Attacks which cause “disproportionate” damage to civilians and to civilian objects are prohibited.***

***Using white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon, i.e. to set fire to military targets, is subject to further restrictions. The use of such white phosphorous weapons against any military objective within concentrations of civilians is prohibited unless the military objective is clearly separated from the civilians. The use of air-dropped incendiary weapons against military objectives within a concentration of civilians is simply prohibited. These prohibitions are contained in”
Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.***

In addition, customary international humanitarian law, which is applicable to all parties to any conflict, requires that particular care must be taken when attacking a military target with incendiary weapons containing white phosphorous, in order to avoid harm to civilians and damage to civilian objects. If this substance is used against fighters, the party using it is obliged to assess whether a less harmful weapon can be used to put the fighters out of action.

If munitions containing white phosphorous are used to mark military targets or to spread smoke then their use is regulated by the basic rules of international humanitarian law.

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