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Old 01-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #226
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this, in a nutshell, is what i've been trying to get across.
Yes, because Palestinians had a right to self-determination before Hamas got on the scene. And because Palestinians in the West Bank have a right to self-determination and their land isn't being stolen (as we speak) by expanding illegal settlements.

I think your nutshell is just as simplistic as what you accuse the rest of us of doing.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:31 PM   #227
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I wonder if Americans (or Germans or Canadians) were occupied in the same fashion, if they'd throw rocks or lob over a rocket or two as well.

Is that not a fair question?



if Canadians were lobbing rockets at Seattle, we'd pressure the Canadian government to arrest the thugs.

but, you see, that's not what's going on over there. as with all hypotheticals, it's hard to specify the issue correctly.

so let's drop the pretext of "you don't view Palestians as real human beings" because that's not what's being put forth at all. the threat of Hamas rocket fire isn't a made-up threat.

while i think the Israeli campaign is, for lack of a better word, wrong, in all senses and applications of that word, i think their campaign has far more justification than, say, manipulating intelligence about the possibility of another Arab nation run by a murderous thug who might possibly have WMDs who might possibly not have told us about them who might possibly give them to terrorists who might possibly float one of them up the East River who might possibly sail into Saudia Arabia and seize the world's oil supplies without us even knowing and so let's go take out his regime before he kills even more New Yorkers or suddenly takes over the world.

i will also say, that unlike a conservative poster who said that the people of Lebanon were somewhat responsible for the bombs dropped on their heads because Hezbollah was democratically elected, i do not think that your average Palestinian has much of a choice. it is, indeed, a douchebag vs. a shit sandwich.

but if you're in Israel and a bomb could fall on you, does this matter much? no. you worry about the safety of your own people. if killing 4 Palestinians means that you've saved 1 Israeli, then isn't that your job? isn't that what GWB has been telling us is his job? when you feel under threat, don't you react in panicked, overreactive ways? isn't this what happened in the US in 2002/3?

so i'm not that surprised at what's going on right now. apparently, this means i'm cheerleading the IDF tanks?

now, the way in which Israel goes about trying to achieve that safety is debatable -- debated by Israelis and on the pages of Ha'aretz -- and it seems the present campaign isn't doing a thing to make them any safer. but it seems no one wants to read that whenever i post it, over and over again.

the Iraq Debacle has proved, to me, that bombs and bloodshed don't do much to bring about peace especially in this region in the world, and that military might is actually rarely ever morally justifiable.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #228
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Yes, because Palestinians had a right to self-determination before Hamas got on the scene. And because Palestinians in the West Bank have a right to self-determination and their land isn't being stolen (as we speak) by expanding illegal settlements.


how has Hamas (or Fatah, for that matter) improved the lives of ordinary Palestinians?

or do we want to excuse Hamas in order to continue to blame Israel for everything?

it's not as simple, as some say, as "occupation, occupation, occupation."

in my opinion.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:41 PM   #229
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Those countries were ignorant with respect to how they viewed the natives of those lands. The U.S. has spent the last 200 years trying to right some of those wrongs with the Native Americans. It can't never be fully restituted to those people.

But that's just the thing, we're talking 17th, 18th, 19th century imperialism here. The World, unequivocally is a different place by the middle of the 20th century. Television emerging, paper presses and radio stations in every major city, cosmopolitan educators and improved and spreading universities.

There is no excuse of ignorance here, there is no excuse at all aside from the ridiculous divine argument.

I've got massive sympathy for the Native Americans, having some of their blood running through my veins and having seen first hand what those reservations are like. Knowing now what we know today, things would be handled differently. You can't say that in the mid 40's that perceptions of those people residing where Israel currently exists were all that different from what they are today.
To be fair, I'm not sure I fully understand your point, but this sounds to me like an awfully rosy vision of international human rights ca. the mid-20th century. In the US we have a situation where, frankly, the bulk of the indigenous population conveniently died/were killed off, so that by whenever exactly you wish to say 'more enlightened times' arrived, we no longer had an immense diplaced persons crisis (relative to our total population size) to deal with--which of course won't make surviving indigenous populations feel better about anything. Is this the 'progress' you seem to be alluding to here? Because as I mentioned upthread, there were millions of people permanently displaced not just by WWII but also its aftermath (the often-bloody final breakup of the 'colonial world'), and that was the mid-20th century too, was it not? The most devastating incidence of which, by far, took place not in the Middle East but in South Asia, where the 1947 partition of India (in which foreign powers were of course directly involved) permanently displaced at least 14½ million people and killed at least half a million. Granted, the states they resettled in were autonomous, I guess that's something; though most of them became new citizens of those states because they'd fled from massacres, not because they actually wanted to leave their homes. The Jews displaced to Israel and elsewhere by the Holocaust, pogroms, and persecution in Arab countries resulting from the 1948 war (about 800,000 Jews were displaced by the latter) would doubtless just as soon have not had those prompts to leave, either. None of which the Palestinians, who were also massively displaced (around 700-900,000 people), can be reasonably expected to give a rat's ass about, of course; I am merely making the point that sadly, there was nothing extraordinary for that time period in huge numbers of people being permanently displaced by territorial conflict.

I don't think you need a perception that indigenous peoples are literally subhuman to the point of being classified as 'fauna' to explain this sort of behavior; merely considering yourself culturally superior is enough, particularly if you perceive your own situation as desperate and are preoccupied with that. I think that in fact it would be surprising if most of the pre-1948 Jewish emigrants to Israel (not necessarily counting the small numbers who'd been there for centuries) didn't hold such attitudes towards Arabs, since they were mostly emigrating from parts of the world (and under the auspices of a colonial power) whose majority inhabitants most definitely considered themselves superior to the Arabs--and pretty much all 'non-European' peoples for that matter, including Jews. Again, I don't understand why this should seem shocking; 'postcolonial thought' may have by now significantly transformed most of our perceptions of the colonial era, but that development quite literally took the remainder of the 20th century to transpire (the Cold War didn't help, as it provided a great motive to continue thinking of colonized 'underdeveloped' peoples as a means to an end). Certainly that shift in thinking didn't magically kick in whole-cloth as former colonies attained independence, which had more to do with the major colonial powers being militarily overstretched than some great moral awakening, anyway. And sadly, there remain many places today where internal upheavals following independence continue to cause conflict.

Or am I not getting your meaning? Understand, I'm not trying to morally-equate anything into insignificance here; I am rather expressing surprise that anyone would think a land conflict whose foundations were very much laid within the colonial era, where one persecuted people's aspirations to statehood were put into contest with another's over their heads and against their will--leading, unsurprisingly, to repeated war--is somehow a shocking anomaly amidst all the bloodshed, displacement and border conflicts of the mid-20th century.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:42 PM   #230
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if Canadians were lobbing rockets at Seattle, we'd pressure the Canadian government to arrest the thugs.
I think your posts have a tendency to ignore the realities on the ground for the past 3 years (let's limit ourselves to that). I am talking about the time period after Israel pulled its settlers out of Gaza in 2005.

The reality is that they then continued to control the border crossings (except Rafah which they control de facto through Egypt), the air space above Gaza, and all the marine ports. This is occupation, even if you don't have boots in Gaza City. The situation in Gaza deteriorated rapidly in those three years, to such a degree that life was almost unsustainable. This latest round started when ISRAEL blew up a tunnel during the ceasefire - look up the numbers, in the summer months prior to that, you had maybe 5 or less rockets being fired by random militants (for example, Islamic Jihad and al Aqsa claimed responsibility) but NONE by Hamas. So, Israel blows up a tunnel on the pretext that it is used to smuggle weapons, except of course anybody with a brain would have to realize that the tunnels are made necessary by Israel itself since it has sealed the borders. So you smuggle the Kalashnikov next to the penicillin and bread, that should be no surprise.

Israel's continued oppressive occupation of Gaza from 2005 to now fostered the situation on the ground and is really to a great extent responsible for the continued rocketing. You tell me whether you think it's so strange that after 3 years of living in such conditions after being given the impression that you would have the right to self-determination, that people supported Hamas and support rocketing.

It's as plain as night and day, but nobody here is talking about what was happening in that time. It's as if Hamas is just murderous and one day they decided to go nuts and shell because nothing good was on TV. What were the conditions on the ground for the last 3 years? Desperate, and unforgivable. And no, you can't blame all of that on Hamas.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:43 PM   #231
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but, i think that's also due to the fact that it's *this* particular issue, and the fact that *this* particular issue gets, in my opinion, way, way more press coverage than it deserves.

...

did we all notice that 40 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq over the weekend?
Here's some insight as to why that is -

YouTube - Media bias about the Israeli - Palestine conflict EXPOSED!
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:46 PM   #232
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Understand, I'm not trying to morally-equate anything into insignificance here; I am rather expressing surprise that anyone would think a land conflict whose foundations were very much laid within the colonial era, where one persecuted people's aspirations to statehood were put into contest with another's over their heads and against their will--leading, unsurprisingly, to repeated war--is somehow a shocking anomaly amidst all the bloodshed, displacement and border conflicts of the mid-20th century.


well, i have my theories as to why this one little conflict eats up so much attention.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:03 PM   #233
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Israel's continued oppressive occupation of Gaza from 2005 to now fostered the situation on the ground and is really to a great extent responsible for the continued rocketing. You tell me whether you think it's so strange that after 3 years of living in such conditions after being given the impression that you would have the right to self-determination, that people supported Hamas and support rocketing.


frankly, as i've said, i'm surprised by none of this. i don't think any of it's strange, and your analysis supports precisely what i've been saying this entire time -- Israel's actions often make it less safe, and Hamas continues to help that along by maximizing suffering amongst the Palestinians.

this situation perfectly exemplifies what i'm talking about. yes, the number of trucks did increase a small amount, but not to what was needed, and yes the number of rocket attacks fell (and Hamas even threw some people in jail), but not enough to where Israel felt secure, and they felt that increased shipments = increased weaponry, no matter the bread and medicine.

you can cite, and i agree, with the tunnel incident, but on 12/26 Israel reopened five crossings between Israel and Gaza for humanitarian supplies. and what happened? a dozen rockets from Gaza.

so it's really meaningless to try to identify a point of origin, whether it's 1948 or 1967 or 2005 or 11/4/08.

these are two shell-shocked societies bleeding PTSD who are beyond the point of rationality, imho. it's that one side is much better at killing than the other.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:14 PM   #234
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Could you say more on this?
This article is long but offers interesting commentary on Israel and Hamas' stated interests as well as this -

The Bloodbath in Gaza: Separating the truth from the hype

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If Israel wants to prevent Hamas from "obtaining legitimacy," than the real objective of the invasion is to either severely undermine or topple the regime. All the talk about the qassam rockets and the so-called "Hamas infrastructure", (the new phrase that is supposed to indicate a threat to Israeli security) is merely a diversion. What really worries Israel is the prospect that Obama will "sit down with his enemies"--as he promised during the presidential campaign--and conduct talks with Hamas. That would put the ball in Israel's court and force them to make concessions. But Israel does not want to make concessions. They would rather start a war and change the facts on the ground so they can head-off any attempt by Obama to restart peace process.

Just days ago, Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said in a televised interview, that the last eight years proves that resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is critical to US interests in the region. He added that the recent fighting shows that the two parties cannot achieve peace without US involvement. Brzezinski's comments suggest that, at the very least, the Obama camp is considering low-level (secret?) talks with Hamas representatives. Every day that Hamas abstains from violence; its legitimacy as a political party grows and the prospect of direct negotiations becomes more likely. This is Israel's worst nightmare, not because Hamas constitutes a real threat to Israeli security, but because Israel wants to install its own puppet regime and unilaterally impose its own terms for a final settlement. Neither Ehud Olmert or any of the candidates for prime minister have any intention of getting bogged down in another 8 years of fruitless banter like Oslo where plans for settlement expansion had to be concealed behind an elaborate public relations smokescreen. No way. The Israeli leadership would rather skip the pretense altogether and pursue their territorial aims openly as they have under Bush. And the goal is the same as always; to integrate the occupied territories into Greater Israel and leave the Palestinians trapped in bantustans. Negotiations just make that harder.
Let's hope Obama chooses to make this his early win.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #235
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Those crafty zionists control the media!
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:03 PM   #236
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Brian Eno criticizes Israel over Gaza attacks

I love you, Brian Eno!

The Daily Swarm - WATCH AND READ: Brian Eno Speaks Out On Gaza...

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Old 01-07-2009, 10:07 PM   #237
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Those crafty zionists control the media!
But haven't you heard the latest? It's actually the crafty anti-semite Arabists that control the media:-

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well, i have my theories as to why this one little conflict eats up so much attention.
They run the BBC, CNN and the New York Times and I hear they are even on the verge of infiltrating Fox. These conniving bastards put pictures of dead Palestinian kids in the media just to make Israel look bad.

There's a lot of evidence for this sinister Arabist conspiracy - Irvine has already provided it. He saw an Arab youth in Glasgow burning a US flag one day ten years ago. That's pretty conclusive, it has to be said.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #238
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You're also right about Israel being founded on violence and bloodshed - as was every other country in the world (including the United States). Independence isn't achieved by folk dancing and cotton candy - it is won by the blood of the people and the courage of knowing that our cause is just.



I suppose the United States won it's independence by having tea and crumpets with the British, right?

EVERY country is founded in violence and struggle - the only difference being that Israel is STILL locked in a daily struggle for survival and we are still defending ourselves against our enemies.
Not quite correct to state that every country is founded in violence. But, yes, you're right that a lot of countries did win independence with violent struggles.

I need hardly comment on the irony of you pointing this out.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:23 PM   #239
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With Israel it is quite different - this has always been our ancient homeland from biblical times when the land was promised by G-d to Abraham and his sons. The land was conquered time and again by various civilizations (some less civil than others...lol) but there was ALWAYS a Jewish presence in the land of Israel and a yearning in our hearts to return to the land of our forefathers untill, finally, in 1948 the Jews reclaimed this land as our own.
Hang on. I thought Hamas were the theocrats in this whole thing?

A_Wanderer draws our attention to the agenda and ambitions of what he terms 'Islamists'. Irvine asks for nuance and a balanced view. Your post, perhaps unwittingly, provides some balance.

Theocracy is an issue here sure enough. It just turns out the theocratic agenda isn't necessarily to be found where some think it is. At the very least, theocracy isn't all on the one side.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:28 PM   #240
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This doesn't need a separate thread.
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