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Old 01-06-2009, 06:29 PM   #151
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I thought it was because of the gay sex and baby killing.



funny. i just call that "friday night."
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #152
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i hope Bono will give voice to my outrage on the new album.
That's never going to happen. I don't even think he's heard of Battlestar Galactica.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #153
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funny. i just call that "friday night."
I don't often, but I laughed out loud.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #154
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Venezuela Expels Israeli Ambassador , Chavez Fiercly Critical Of Gaza Conflict, Israel's "Barbarism" - CBS News
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #155
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Those crafty zionists control the media you know, thats the only explanation.
What is the basis for such a comment?

Has anyone in this thread even remotely implied that 'crafty zionists' control the media?

Do you believe that people who criticize Israel are Jew haters, is that seriously your contention?
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:11 PM   #156
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it's the lack of perspective and the bias in the American media that allows a story like this to be published. what about the dead kids? we need to see the dead kids so i can get upset and angry and rage against the (IDF) machine. understanding exactly *why* the IDF blew something up -- without actually excusing, justifying, or applauding the actual destruction -- is something that complicates my simplistic moral outrage, so i choose to ignore it.

i hope Bono will give voice to my outrage on the new album.
So wonderfully...nuanced.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #157
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What is the basis for such a comment?

Has anyone in this thread even remotely implied that 'crafty zionists' control the media?

Do you believe that people who criticize Israel are Jew haters, is that seriously your contention?
Do you think that the Israeli lobby influences public attitudes which are displayed in the media?

Do you think that stories which report on Hamas using human shields or abusing humanitarian resources (for instance using UNHRA ambulences to stage rocket attacks a few years ago) are given disproportionate attention for similar reasons?

Those are both perfectly defensible positions, ones which can be accepted or rejected on the basis of evidence.

Anti-zionists are having their cake and eating it too, on one hand Mearsheimer and Walt are trotted out as proof that Israel lobby has influence over the political landscape, that the Palestinians are caricatured as terrorists in a slanted media narrative because of these vested interests; on the other hand any criticism is dismissed as an ad hominem accusation of anti-semitism.

Anti-Zionism is distinct from anti-Semitism, pointing out that most anti-semites are anti-zionists and the causal arrow is one way is a legitimate point (this means that being an anti-semite may directly lead to anti-zionism much, much more than anti-zionism leads to anti-semitism).

Reflexive charges of anti-semitism or accusations of charges of anti-semitism are the most circular and stupid arguments and we ought to be able to divorce them from any discussion, my mistake was ironically alluding to attitudes which some people have (that the media denigrates Palestinians as terrorists because of Zionist interests, I think this is at best half true because the militant nature of Hamas and Islamic Jihad make it so simple).
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:56 PM   #158
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Do you think that the Israeli lobby influences public attitudes which are displayed in the media?)
Yes, of course it does. Or at least tries to. As does the Palestinian lobby. As does any lobby.

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Do you think that stories which report on Hamas using human shields or abusing humanitarian resources (for instance using UNHRA ambulences to stage rocket attacks a few years ago) are given disproportionate attention for similar reasons?).
I suspect that they are given disproportionate attention in some media outlets, e.g., Fox. I suspect they are given little or no attention in others. I guess it depends to some extent on the outlook of the news media organisation in question.

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Anti-zionists are having their cake and eating it too, on one hand Mearsheimer and Walt are trotted out as proof that Israel lobby has influence over the political landscape, that the Palestinians are caricatured as terrorists in a slanted media narrative because of these vested interests; on the other hand any criticism is dismissed as an ad hominem accusation of anti-semitism.
No, I don't really agree with that assessment. The Mearsheimer and Walt treatise was saying nothing that Noam Chomsky (who is ethnically Jewish) hasn't been saying for decades. Christ, most of the best and most nuanced critiques of Israel come from Jewish commentators. Of course, there are probably a few anti-semites who see a bandwagon approaching and jump on the bandwagon and agree with Chomsky on the specific issue of Israel. But that doesn't de-legitimise his commentary. It does, however, make it easier to dismiss the concerns raised. (Hey racists agree with that guy! He must be a racist too!)

The Mearsheimer and Walt treatise, regardless of whether it's completely right or completely wrong, said nothing that other researchers, including left-wing Jewish Israeli activists, haven't said previously. Indeed, read back to the research of the 1940's and 1950's, and criticism of Israel by anti-Zionist Jewish intellectuals was relatively commonplace. It's only more recently that anti-Zionist Jews, or even Jewish people who support the state of Israel but criticize some of its policies, are being told that they must shut up, or run the risk of being told that they are self-hating Jews. They are told by the right wing 'Likudniks' that they are race traitors, to put it bluntly.

And a lot of this reactionary type of agenda, in my view, is coming from an extreme pro-Zionist lobby mainly based in the US. We have seen anecdotal evidence of this right here in this very thread. We have also seen several links to commentary from journalists who are, in my view, part of this reactionary lobby. (e.g, Michael Ledeen, some of whose commentary regarding Iran is blatantly racist.) And this lobby is supported by some US Christianists for rather disgusting theocratic reasons. (Because they want to see the End Times happen, and they believe the Bible prophesize that a strong Israel is part of that. So, Israel must always be supported against any foe, in all circumstances, without exception, otherwise the Good Lord ain't coming back.)

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Anti-Zionism is distinct from anti-Semitism, pointing out that most anti-semites are anti-zionists and the causal arrow is one way is a legitimate point (this means that being an anti-semite may directly lead to anti-zionism much, much more than anti-zionism leads to anti-semitism).
Agreed. And, of course anti-semitism exists. Of course it has not gone away.

Of course it should be condemned whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head (as for example with certain Labour and ex-Labour UK politicians that you have justifiably criticised on here.)
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #159
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Extracts from an interview with Chomsky (just for the nuanced amongst us) :


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QUESTION: You've been very critical of the American liberal community and in fact you've said that they're contributing to Israel's destruction. Please talk a little bit about that.

CHOMSKY: The American liberal community since 1967 has been mobilized at an almost fanatic level in support of an expansionist Israel, and they have been consistently opposed to any political settlement. They have been in favor of the aggrandizement of Israeli power. They have used their position of quite considerable influence in the media in the political system to defeat and overcome any challenge to the system of military confrontation using all the standard techniques of vilification, defamation, closing off control over expression, etc. and it's certainly had an effect. I don't know if it was a decisive effect, but it had some noticeable effect on bringing about U.S. government support for the persistent military confrontation and U.S. government opposition to political settlement. For Israel that's destructive. In fact, Israeli doves constantly deplore it. They constantly refer to it as Stalinism. They refer to the Stalinist character of the support for Israel on the part of what they call the "Jewish community," but that's because they don't understand enough about the United States. It's not just the Jewish community, which is what they see; it's basically the intellectual community at large.

QUESTION: Edward Said, for example, has pointed out that there is much more pluralism in terms of the discussion, the debate, in Israel itself than inside the United States.

CHOMSKY: There's no question about that. For example, the editor of the Labor Party journal, the main newspaper of the Labor Party, has asked me to write regular columns. I won't do it because I'm concerned with things here, but that's totally inconceivable in the United States, you can't even imagine it, you can't even imagine an occasional op-ed. That's quite typical. Positions that I maintain, which are essentially in terms of the international consensus, they're not a majority position in Israel, but they're part of the political spectrum, they're respectable positions. Here it's considered outlandish.
Israel, the Holocaust, and Anti-Semitism, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Chronicles of Dissent)
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:32 PM   #160
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Those crafty zionists control the media you know, thats the only explanation.
Nobody sane disputes that Hamas uses these tactics and most reasonable people would probably not be surprised by that story.

Nevertheless, if you have a headmaster who is in Islamic Jihad or you have a Hamas thug in the courtyard of a school full of refugees who is shooting his Kalashnikov, that does not justify shelling the civilians, nor is it consistent with the principles of public international law.

That's to say nothing of the bad PR that Israel brings on itself by choosing, for 60 years, to respond basically inappropriately almost every time.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:57 PM   #161
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The case of the school seems excessive, as do missile strikes which kill bomb makers and their entire families.

But what is the allowable response against an opponent who uses human shields?

Your argument seems to be that any attack which (knowingly?) kills civilians is unjustified and goes against the principles of international law. You cite an obvious example of disproportionate force.

The question must be framed in light of what the Israelis knew, or could have potentially known (even perhaps deliberately ignored), about the target and what went into the decision for the attack.

As obvious and unsurprising as Hamas using humanitarian resources as staging posts and stockpiles for rockets that should not exclude them from responsibility for the Israeli response (nor should it justify any and all violence against Palestinians; both sides being wrong is a truism).

What is a reasonable approach to an opponent which uses human shields, and is that approach a realistic one?
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:28 PM   #162
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Your argument seems to be that any attack which (knowingly?) kills civilians is unjustified and goes against the principles of international law. You cite an obvious example of disproportionate force.
No that is not what my argument seems to be, and I have no idea how you concluded such a thing.

There are principles of international law respecting situations like this one, you can look them up if you wish. Even in the event that the IDF claims there were gunmen in the school, it is a clear violation of those principles to then shell the school.

You cannot apply generalizations; law is applied taking all the circumstances of a case into account. In the version of this account being peddled by the IDF itself, it is a clear and obvious violation. Period.

That is to say nothing of other incidents, which should be evaluated on their own, given their unique set of facts.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:36 PM   #163
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Agreed.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:17 PM   #164
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:18 PM   #165
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Extracts from an interview with Chomsky
I don't agree with the generalization that 'the American liberal community' is 'fanatically mobilized in favor of expansionism,' and I think plain old cynical apathy is a much bigger factor than Chomsky apparently perceives. The effective discipline and PR savvy of US neoconservative foreign policy lobbyists is painfully obvious, but I think a problem that's perhaps not so apparent from the outside is the exasperatingly whiny, self-pitying resignation of much of the American left on this issue. I'm not a Middle East expert, but as an academic and a political scientist, I do come into contact with more people who are reasonably well-informed and highly opinionated on Israel policy than the average American does (in the classroom, at panel discussions and conferences, in casual discussions with other scholars etc.), and it's been apparent to me for years now that there are many, many progressives out there who whine endlessly about the evils of AIPAC and the indignation of imputations of anti-Semitism, but when asked about their own experiences with these obstacles, it immediately becomes clear that in fact they don't do shit about it, ever--they don't contact their elected officials in Washington, they don't write letters, donate to or sign petitions for any of the many pro-peace organizations some of us have been supporting for decades, they don't contribute to the progressive Israel policy PAC, they don't do even the most basic local-level stuff, like engaging otherwise-inclined friends, families, fellow churchgoers etc. in constructive debate on the issue or attending peaceful coalition protests. In short, apparently all they really want to do is retreat to the sidelines and whine about being unfairly stigmatized (indirectly, of course--meaning, some pundit they admire who actually has the balls and ambition to say things they won't got slammed), rather than taking a chance on personally butting heads on understandably and predictably touchy issues which inevitably, because of the history behind them, stir up strong emotions, anxieties and resentments. I really do understand the intimidations here (from firsthand experience), but, sorry--grow the hell up. We're a multiethnic, multireligious, democratic society, and a socially and politically mature citizen should be able to calmly but critically analyze and rebut arguments that recognizably stem from a historically emotionally charged perspective (and as such, yes, can sometimes slip into paranoia or manipulativeness, whether strategically or not), without developing overblown neurotic complexes about the kinds of resistance you're likely to encounter and requiring chronic reassurance that, Yes indeed, you're the most fair and enlightened advocate any reasonable party to a dispute could ever ask for! If nothing else, it ain't that hard to write letters to politicians, sign petitions, and donate to advocacy groups whose stances you support. The more grassroots support they get, the harder they'll be to marginalize.



That's not to say that American foreign policy progressives should aim to carve out a stance just like those of Israeli or British or Canadian progressives, and certainly not a thumbs-up to countering neoconservative arguments by screeching about 'bloodthirst' or 'Likudnazis' etc., which is of course a dead-end route to achieving meaningful influence on any issue. It's just that all the self-defeating whiny cynicism from the American left about this is singularly exasperating, at least to me. As the Stephen Zunes article AliEnvy posted earlier points out, unfortunately the opposition is much, much bigger than 'the Israel lobby'--it's also the arms industry, the evangelical right, and more broadly the general American distrust of Arabs--but, we have to start somewhere.
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