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Old 01-11-2009, 12:19 AM   #451
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Please, I must respectfully note that all this rhetoric about "self-hating Jews" and Nazis and whatever in this is really getting petty and silly, and I think does a disservice in trying to elevate the discourse here. Anyone can agree or disagree with me, but, if anything, that's what I've been trying to do with my posts here. The tone of the discourse in this thread is starting to become embarrassing.
I'm not embarassed to call a spade a spade, and I'm not interested in 'elevating a discourse' if it involves ignoring what has happened in the past two weeks. Perhaps you're embarrassed that your dollars support war crimes, or perhaps your implicit assumption that the Palestinians are instinctive terrorists is false. Land belongs to the people who own it. I take it you have no problem with Irvine's insinuations that critics of Israel are anti-Semites.

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I am willing to accept the possibility of Hamas becoming "mainstream," much like the PLO/Fatah turned from a violent terrorist organization in the 1960s and 70s into a comparatively moderate governing entity. Additionally, it is likely unrealistic to expect Hamas to cease to exist; and thus, much as many are ready to vigorously protest Israel's behaviour in this conflict and others, it is both appropriate and imperative for people to demand Hamas to act as a mature governing force. Fatah, for all its corruption and other shortcomings, has proved itself trustworthy enough for good faith negotiations. Hezbollah and Hamas, on the other hand, have anything but. This does not preclude the possibility of both of these entities moderating, but we have to put as much pressure on these two entities and their Middle Eastern backers just as much as people are re

Terms such as 'terrorist' are easily thrown around. This is predicated on the highly dodgy assumption that it's the dastardly Palestinians that are the source of the problem. Actually, it's the Israeli aggression and land theft that is the source of most of the problems. And I imagine that as long as Israeli aggression and land theft carries on, Palestinian resistance will continue, and Americans will continue to delude themselves that their dollars support the peaceful and just solution, whereas in reality precisely the opposite is the case.

To be blunt, Palestine unfree will never be at peace.

I do not accept a framework which puts Israeli and Palestinian grievances on the same plane, never mind one which assumes that Israeli grievances are superior.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:27 AM   #452
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Why do Americans vote Democratic or Republican, when both are often unappealing entirely? Because that's what you get with a two-party system. Fatah's corruption, much like one gets with decades of one-party dominance, is legendary, and a vote for Hamas was likely a vote against Fatah. I do not believe that their vote for Hamas was an overall endorsement of their Islamist fundamentalist extremism or their terror campaigns. I just think that there was a distant hope for change in governance away from Fatah's severe institutional corruption. Foreign policy, which is all we care about as outside observers, likely did not factor into their vote in that election.
Again, this is naive. This reads like cliff's notes from some Fox talking head. Read up a bit more about Israel's money laundering, before you talk rubbish about 'Fatah's severe institutional corruption'.


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The U.S. government is one country and one voice. The European Union and the individual nations are certainly a counter voice in the global arena, and it is unfortunate that they have, for the most part, chosen to be polarizing in the opposite manner in favour of the Palestinians. I think that neither entities have used their position to try and seriously end this conflict in an effective manner, and, frankly, it shows.

This is really hilarious stuff. The EU have totally and utterly failed to take a stance of any sort, let alone a pro-Palestinian stance. For the most part, they have meekly gone along with the US.


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The finger pointing and incendiary comments, I believe, are tremendously counterproductive.
Yeah, it's boringly incendiary to point fingers at war criminals. Let's just pretend that whenever Israel does anything embarrasing, that it didn't happen ('cos they're the good guys. Hamas BAD. IDF GOOD. I get it now)
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:46 AM   #453
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"That alone demonstrates a capacity for pragmatism, but beyond that the fact is that Hamas' leadership offered Israel a long-term truce in 2004 in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories. Hamas subsequently confirmed that they would accept any peace agreement for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, provided that it was ratified by a popular referendum."
This isn't really true; exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashal (who's lived in Syria since Jordan, his country at the time, expelled Hamas in 1999) made the latter pledge to Jimmy Carter in April 2008. However, the very next day at a press conference in Damascus, he reiterated the standard '10 year hudna in exchange for withdrawal to the 1967 borders and right of return for all refugees' doctrine. And speaking in Iran the next month, he denied that Hamas would ever give up jihad. Now granted, Mashal obviously doesn't speak for all Palestinian political actors--and I reiterate that the problem of Hamas' 'no recognition of a Jewish state, ever' should not be made relevant to the present call for a ceasefire--but, trying to construe the pointedly impermanent hudna approach as an encouraging harbinger of Hamas pragmatism is only likely to make Israelis paranoid that Hamas has Israel's critics snowed. And paranoia plus cynical stealth annexation 'while we've still got time' makes for a rather toxic combination in a territorial conflict.

Hamas' combination of positioning itself as a 'noncorrupt' alternative to the present leadership, while creating a kind of 'parallel state' social-services infrastructure in a woefully underserved environment, has been a key strategy for Islamist parties in several countries (and of the Hindu-nationalist party in India as well). As a path to electoral success, it works. They benefited electorally from factioning within Fatah as well; in many districts multiple Fatah candidates ran against a single Hamas candidate.
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I think thats slightly false, I posted an article in this thread written by a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, I don't think that most Hamas members (for instance police recruits, civil servants, civilians etc.) are irredeemable (or for that matter in need of any sort of redemption).

It is a consequence of occupation and poor economic development, that is beyond dispute and there are definitely legitimate grievances about occupation and land rights, but it is a symptom of problems, not a cure.

But I think that the political ideology of Islamism has been promoted often, and implemented a few times, and the results haven't been conducive for peaceful open societies. God based government is irredeemable, and there will never be a workable Palestinian state under a green flag.

I think that Israel is overplaying its hand, it has been guilty of war crimes which it should be held to account over (along with Hamas), and even though it might be justified taking out rocket launch sites, the action of blowing up Gaza kills civilians and looses even more public opinion around the world. It reinforces Hamas control and elevates a terrorist gang as a respectable and representative entity of national liberation.
I realized I might have been overstating your position somewhat, and apologize if it felt like a smear in any way, which was definitely not my intent. It was more an intuitive reaction to the type of arguments we seemed to be getting into in this thread concerning Hamas--I kept getting déjà vu that I've seen this same general dynamic surrounding this general theme in FYM before.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:57 AM   #454
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I'm not embarassed to call a spade a spade, and I'm not interested in 'elevating a discourse' if it involves ignoring what has happened in the past two weeks. Perhaps you're embarrassed that your dollars support war crimes, or perhaps your implicit assumption that the Palestinians are instinctive terrorists is false. Land belongs to the people who own it. I take it you have no problem with Irvine's insinuations that critics of Israel are anti-Semites.
Yikes. You really should read Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" sometime. You'd make Bernard Gui quite proud in how you are able to put so many incendiary words in my mouth that I did not say at all.

Perhaps it can be said that I do value erudition over emotion, which is why I have distaste over emotionally-charged pleas of any kind, and that's why passages like this and most essays from the Left, to me, read like nothing more than loaded statements. I really cannot comment further on this, because the rest is just categorically false.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:17 AM   #455
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Again, this is naive. This reads like cliff's notes from some Fox talking head. Read up a bit more about Israel's money laundering, before you talk rubbish about 'Fatah's severe institutional corruption'.
"Israel's money laundering," presuming you can credibly substantiate this claim, is neither here nor there.

And since it appears that you're unfamiliar with internal Fatah politics...

Al-Mustaqbal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Al-Mustaqbal (Arabic: المستقبل‎), The Future, was Palestinian electoral list headed by Marwan Barghouti and registered in December 2005 for January 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Barghouti announced that he had formed the new political party on December 14, 2005. Al-Mustaqbal was mainly composed of members of Fatah's "Young Guard", who had repeatedly expressed frustration with the entrenched corruption in the party.

The split followed Barghouti's earlier refusal of Mahmoud Abbas' offer to be second on the Fatah party's parliamentary list, behind Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. In the Fatah primaries, held a few weeks earlier, Barghouti won first place convincingly, but Abbas initially refused to honor this result. In response, Barghouti's supporters threatened to break away from Fatah. Abbas attempted a last-minute compromise allowing Barghouti to top the Fatah list, but this was not sufficient and Barghouti broke away anyway. Palestinian security minister Mohammed Dahlan as well as a number of other senior members of Fatah joined Al-Mustaqbal.

Reactions to the news were split. Some suggested that the move could be a positive step towards peace, as Barghouti's new party could help reform major problems in Palestinian government. Others raised concern that it could wind up splitting the Fatah vote, inadvertently helping Hamas. Barghouti's supporters argued that al-Mustaqbal would split the votes of both parties, both from disenchanted Fatah members as well as moderate Hamas voters who did not agree with Hamas' political goals, but rather its social work and hard position on corruption.

...

In the wake of Fatah's defeat in the elections, Mustaqbal's early momentum seems to have been largely stalled, and it is unclear what role, if any, it will play as an independent, or partially autonomous faction within Fatah or Palestinian government in the future. As of several months after its formation, the party had yet to publicly disclose its platform or positions, leaving many questions about its policies, particularly regarding territorial demands and violence against Israel, unanswered. Some analysts have suggested that Mustaqbal's ultimate significance lies in the fact that it firmly demonstrated just how wide the existing gap between the old and young generations of Fatah activists is, and that it wound up splitting the Fatah vote in many districts when discontented Mustaqbal members ran independent of the "re-integrated" Fatah list. In a very real sense, Mustaqbal's existence contributed to Hamas' victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.
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Yeah, it's boringly incendiary to point fingers at war criminals. Let's just pretend that whenever Israel does anything embarrasing, that it didn't happen ('cos they're the good guys. Hamas BAD. IDF GOOD. I get it now)
This is really just an entirely ridiculous statement that takes nothing that I've written at all into consideration. Human Rights Watch did a report in 2002 highlighting the "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" that militant Palestinian groups have committed themselves.

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/20...LPA1002-05.htm

It's quite long and detailed, but I suggest that everyone here read it. FYI, the HRW has been simultaneously accused of being pro and anti-Israeli, pro and anti-American, and is on record, as an example, for criticizing Jordan for arresting elected officials who praised Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, at ceremonies held in response to his death. They are not just some "pro-Israeli hacks."

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"One of the arguments of those who are critical of Human Rights Watch's reporting on the Middle East is that the organization devotes too much attention to alleged abuses by Israelis. A corollary is that it pays insufficient attention to violations of human rights by Israel's antagonists in the region. Yet a glance at the back pages of the "World Report" published annually by Human Rights Watch where it lists all its publications suggests that these criticisms are not well founded. Typically, Human Rights Watch publishes more than a hundred reports each year. In all, it issued more than 350 reports in 2003, 2004, and 2005 on the seventy or so countries that it monitors. Of these, just five dealt with Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories while another sixty reports dealt with various Arab countries and Iran. The largest number of reports concerned abuses in Iraq, Sudan, and Egypt, but reports were also published on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan."

-Aryeh Neier, founder of Human Rights Watch
Thank goodness at least one organization is seemingly interested in reporting on all the atrocities.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:47 AM   #456
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This is what passes for nuance in Washington DC.

Having said that, being European, it's actually my fault, as I'm a Nazi.


i'm sorry you've been so soundly defeated in this thread. it must get frustrating having to deal with the smartest, most intellectual and prepared posters in FYM (melon, Yolland, A_W). it should probably tell you something that these people so quickly and thoroughly fillet your arguments, it should tell you much more than that by some stretch perhaps Strongbow or P.O. might agree with what's being said.

but you if you'd pause and read, perhaps you'd prepare better arguments.

in each and every one of my quotes, you'll note the use of the word HAMAS.

not PALESTINIANS.

so until you're prepared to offer something beyond accusations and emotion, please let the adults (like anitram, who's been exemplary) do the arguing.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:49 AM   #457
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Please, he's defending a position and doing it with conviction, I think the thread benefits from it (nobody has to invent straw men if there is a diversity of opinion).
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:49 AM   #458
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I don't think that most parents embrace the idea of having their children murdered.

so a political entity offers the solace of "martyrdom" to a people bleeding PTSD and burying their young.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:52 AM   #459
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Israel, by virtue of being this beacon of democratic light in a wilderness, begs to be judged by a different standard than 3.9 million people, half or more of whom still live in refugee camps, who have no infrastructure, little to no secular education, no effective leadership, no economy, no comparable foreign or military aid, no resources, and are basically imprisoned in bantustans while Israel takes more land on a daily basis.

This idea that we have to impose the same rules and expect the same sort of behaviour from these two groups and that we have to evaluate their actions the same way regardless of the fact their circumstances are completely and utterly different is basically thinking that's out there in la-la land. It's completely absurd, and I'm surprised that you keep pushing this equivalency angle so strongly since it has absolutely no pragmatic value as it is 150% unrealistic.
I respectfully disagree. By nature of absolute truth, "right" is right and "wrong" is wrong, independent of the actors committing the crime. Israel, the U.S., Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, Iran, Syria, and all other nations directly and indirectly involved must be judged by their actions and omissions, not by some subjectively determined status of what constitutes, effectively, a "mature" and "immature" state. Frankly, statuses like these will ultimately be condescending, as well, with Western-based states being judged "mature" and Islamic-based states as being "immature."

As an aside, before 1967, the West Bank had no universities, whereas now they have eight; and, according to UNESCO figures, the Palestinians are, in spite of everything, one of the most educated groups in the Middle East. The Palestinian literacy rate, including both Gaza and the West Bank, is officially listed at 89%, third highest in the Middle East only behind Israel (95%) and Jordan (90%).

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I will honestly ask you - have you ever asked yourself that if you were born in Gaza, and lived in that cesspool your entire life, do you think that you may have voted for Hamas, and do you think you may have thrown a rock or two? And do you think that you should be held to the same standard when you walk into the voting booth as a first world citizen living in Tel Aviv? Are your situations comparable?

Recognizing that Hamas are by and large thugs is to be expected of most rational people. Recognizing that they are not the ideal negotiating group here, same thing. But imposing some kind of equivalency of pressure, equivalency of expectations, well, you can do it, but it's going to take you nowhere. And it seems to me that if you're adamant about searching for a pragmatic answer, then recognizing these things might be a valuable first step.
The reactions of the Palestinians are predictable, considering their situation. This brings an added challenge of getting Hamas, Hezbollah, and their anti-Israeli Middle East backers to understand that what they are doing is destructive and counterproductive, even if, on an irrational, emotional level, we can imagine this tit-for-tat violence going on forever. Lobbing essentially ineffectual missiles at Israel and periodically kidnapping a handful of soldiers does nothing but inflame Israel even further and give them reason not to negotiate with them.

Looking at the decades of violence that happened in Northern Ireland, one could easily have imagined that going on forever too, as both Catholics and Protestants had grave distrust of each other and each could probably recite tales of violence that the other side had inflicted on each other. However, eventually, with united global condemnation of both sides of the conflict--not just the one we deemed less sympathetic--there finally came the pressure needed to get both sides to finally work toward a workable peace.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:54 AM   #460
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And for all the reasons which have been alluded to (poverty, lack of economy, lack of political freedoms, religious charity, corruption etc.) some are willing to accept it, giving the group political power.

Cui bono?

By all means the international community should pressure Israel to stop the bombing, but it would need to have a way of stopping rocket attacks; something which Hamas has deliberately chosen to continue, in spite of the suffering it causes (especially the Palestinians).
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:00 AM   #461
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hey i'm putting in an exemplary effort too!
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:06 AM   #462
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The reactions of the Palestinians are predictable, considering their situation. This brings an added challenge of getting Hamas, Hezbollah, and their anti-Israeli Middle East backers to understand that what they are doing is destructive and counterproductive, even if, on an irrational, emotional level, we can imagine this tit-for-tat violence going on forever. Lobbing essentially ineffectual missiles at Israel and periodically kidnapping a handful of soldiers does nothing but inflame Israel even further and give them reason not to negotiate with them.
I agree with this but on the other hand, having a few ineffectual missiles launched at you does not mean that you turn around and impose a total military attack back. ITs like little stings from one wasp deserves the whole nest to be exterminated and stamped on.

Although i understand the frustrations from Israels side, their heavy handed approach is what continual incites the fury, not just from Palestinians but from the outside communities as well.

To me it is similar to the US going to Iraq. They flushed out a few bad men but in the process brought the whole country to its knees and took a whole lot of innocent people with them. ITs the WAY they hand any type of attack that puts them into the firing line
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:10 AM   #463
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while i don't regret a word i wrote, and i will stand by the previous post (which has it's roots in a streak of antagonism towards me i've been feeling for a while now, and not just since "cowboys fucking"), it was an overreaction, and counterproductive.

so i will go to bed and resolve to only post in this thread when i feel like i have something productive to add.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:41 AM   #464
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We never hear from liberal Israelis in the mainstream US media

YouTube - Burning Conscience: Israeli Soldiers Speak Out
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:27 AM   #465
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[QUOTE=popshopper;5731609]
SOURCE: London Times, 5 May 2006, titled, Truth in Mapping

Percents vary by the whole they are taken from. Prior to 1967 the Gaza strip was part of Egypt and the west bank was part of Jordan. The borders of what was portrayed as Palestine didn't exist in 1917.

Maybe the numbers seem more impressive that way. However, I don't believe in manipulation of the facts to support a certain point.
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