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Old 01-04-2009, 04:57 PM   #76
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It is the goyim moralists who are silent, not the Jews. It is the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, not the goyim media, that provides reports of Israel’s abuse of Palestinians. Gideon Levy’s “The Neighborhood Bully Strikes Again” was published in Haaretz (29 December), not in the goyim press. Levy’s words--“Once again, Israel’s violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom”--are not words that can appear in American print or TV media. Such words, printed in Israeli newspapers, never reach the goyim.
I've read harsh criticism before in the American press by columnists. This statement by them isn't true.

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Palestinians in Gaza are not permitted to enter Israel or Egypt. Last week a humanitarian ship bringing food and medicine was rammed by Israeli gunboats and turned away.
Not exclusively Israel's fault. The Egyptians aren't so interested in opening the passage themselves. Hamas previously declined opening the passage to Egypt with supervision – not an unjustified demand considering the amounts of heavy artillery being smuggled to the Gaza strip without it. Like the one being fired on Israeli towns in the south.
Food & medicine are transferred by land on regular bases, even during the last week. The Gaza strip wouldn't have found salvation because of that ship; it was a publicity stunt – one they are using in this article for example.


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The Palestinians are no more of a threat to Israel than Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were a threat to the Nazi state.
I won't even comment on the rhetoric being used here and what's it trying to imply.
Let me just say that in that Nazi state 500,000 of the Germans weren’t taking cover from missiles on a daily bases because of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. Another thing - how about presenting it as Hamas state versus innocent Israeli citizens? It's not only Israel as an ambiguous entity and the Palestinians as human beings that suffer. That kind of phrasing must go both ways.

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It fools Americans, but it doesn’t fool Israelis. The Israelis have always known that “self-defense” is a cloak for a Zionist policy of territorial expansion. The policy is controversial within Israel. Many Israelis object, just as many Americans object to President Bush’s illegal wars and violations of US civil liberties. Many Israelis give voice to their moral conscience, but they are overwhelmed by vested interests.
I'm not referring to a certain policy here: If you hold one opinion then you're fooled but if you hold the other (the 'right' one) then you're not fooled? It seems to me they indulge in viewing themselves as the thinking minority, but are more narrow minded than most of the people I know (who seem to have a variety of opinions).

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Karl Marx declared morality to be merely a mask for vested interests.
I couldn't agree more.

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The success the two regimes have had in instilling fear into their populations is part of the explanation for the impotence of morality.
I'll speak as someone who lives in Jerusalem (such a wonderful and troubled city, for so many reasons), not as an American which I'm not: We live with terror day by day. It's not made up, it's not an imaginary fear, and our fear from busses only comes because, well, they have the tendency to blow up every now and then. When walking in the streets of Jerusalem I deter from tractors because few months ago they were used as a weapon to kill people and smash them to death. Not because someone told me:" Fear the mighty tractors!!" When people in the south run for shelters it's not because they hear imaginary alarm sounds. It exists.

I have my issues with how security problems in my country make it comfortable to forget other problems such as the education and health system. However, this is not what the article is talking about.

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Consider the case of Lee Bollinger. Columbia University is dependent on Jewish money, faculty and students. If Bollinger were to take a stand against Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians, he would be denounced as an anti-semite. Presidents of competitor universities would not come to his defense. They would pile on in hopes of recruiting Columbia’s top faculty and students and redirecting the flow of financial resources from Columbia to themselves.
It seems odd to me. From everything I've heard Ivy League universities aren't exactly pro-Israel.

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We are living in the latter time. Financial interests, the military-security complex, and the Israel Lobby are the powers that rule America.
Someone once told me a joke about two Jewish men during World War 2: one comes to the other and notices he reads the Nazi's party newspaper. He asks him why on earth he would do such a thing. His friend answers – well, you and I are locked up here in the ghetto, barely have food, and have no money at all. But when I read this – we're wealthy, do whatever we want and rule the world!"

Now, I'm not necessarily trying to represent us as being the poorest of the poor. But seriously, if anything it's the United States that uses Israel for its interests, not the other way around.


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The world will need to remember that although Israel is a Jewish state, it is a state whose policies many Jews find objectionable, just as a majority of American Jews oppose President Bush’s wars of aggression in the Middle East and his unconstitutional policies at home. We must not confuse Israel’s Zionist government with world Jewry, just as we must not confuse the American people with the war criminals in the Bush Regime.

Consider, who do you trust with your civil liberties, the US Department of Justice or the ACLU’s phalanx of Jewish attorneys?

We must avoid the mistake that was made by blaming the German people for Hitler. It was the aristocratic German military that tried to remove Hitler. In contrast, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blocked the attempt to impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Pelosi is a discredit to California, but shall we blame all of America for Pelosi’s defense of war criminals? How can we do so when US Rep. Dennis Kucinich courageously read out the articles of impeachment on the House floor?


Are all Americans guilty because Kucinich did not prevail?

Sorry for being blunt, but only an idiot will judge you by the place you come from. I know, I know, many idiots out there. On top of that, it's obvious the authors really don't want the cool kids in class to identify them with their government's policies. Fair enough. But why twist things to that extant? Good arguments against the violence in this conflict could be made without turning to populist ones.

Will it be against the violence from both sides?
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:10 PM   #77
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sarit (and anyone else who lives in Israel), do you believe that Israel should or must remove ALL settlements from the West Bank, and do you believe that it will one day do so?

The reason I ask is that I used to work with many Israeli Jews, all of whom expressed that the people who live in settlements are "insane" and called them much worse names, and said that they'd have no problem relinquishing every bit of that land if peace were possible.

This is not an issue in Gaza directly, but it's going to be one of the major if not the major sticking point in any peace process.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:36 PM   #78
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if peace were possible.
And that is my answer.

BTW, the settlements were built with the encouragement of the Israeli government in the 70's (an historical mistake to my opinion). It's not exactly fair to let it all out on the settlers themselves. Some of the settlements do include fanatics, but many have normal people just like your coworkers who express hate towards them.
They might say they wouldn't have chosen to live there, but two generations were already born there and to them that's home. Your friends could have been those people just as well. Would friend X hate friend Y because he was born in a settlement? I know some settlers who are willing to evacuate for peace, but we must remember that it's not easy to give up your home for good.
Just as people understand the Palestinians in this matter (and so do I); I expect them to understand the other side of the story. Things are complex.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:42 PM   #79
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Having grown up in a war and having been a homeless refugee, I have to say that I don't understand AT ALL why anybody would want to live in the situation the settlers do. So you have 400 people living in a hamlet surrounded by 1000 soldiers, surrounded by 2 million people who want to slit your throats because they feel you are stealing their land (and you are).

I am not some naive Westerner who doesn't understand the cost of war.

Land is NOT worth it. I can't imagine subjecting my children to this type of life, and if I were given an opportunity to move to Israel proper, I think I'd take it. I understand that many of them don't want to, but in a way, you know, too bad. I don't believe those settlements have any justification, and they are illegal under international law. The pain that will be caused to the Israelis living in them is courtesy of their own government or their own choices, or some combination of both.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:02 PM   #80
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If you notice, I didn't say that settlements were a good idea. And I'm not them, so I can't answer on why they want to live there. I'm just guessing it's much harder to let go of a place you live in and were born into. You get that intense living sometimes even in west-center Jerusalem where I live. Things are tense here at the moment, but I don't want to leave because of that.

The only reason I've written the things I did in the previous message is because a coworker of yours could have been a settler himself. He might have reached to the same conclusion, but he wouldn't have expressed so much hatred. And that hatred was what I wanted to point out. If we want to build a healthy society the day after the settlements are evacuated, we can't afford to hate each other that much because of our different views. I don't know if your friends ever want to go back, but hating is easy. Someone can hate them just the same because of what they represent to him, without even knowing them.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #81
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"It is the goyim moralists who are silent, not the Jews. It is the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, not the goyim media, that provides reports of Israel’s abuse of Palestinians. Gideon Levy’s 'The Neighborhood Bully Strikes Again' was published in Haaretz (29 December), not in the goyim press...Such words, printed in Israeli newspapers, never reach the goyim."
To me this pretty much sums up the contrived, hollow even-handedness that this author is striving to effect. Jews don't walk around talking about "the goyim media" any more than African-Americans walk around talking about "the honky media," and the effect is just as ridiculous (and just as discomfiting).

As for why there hasn't been significant political activity on American college campuses surrounding the present conflict, the answer is obvious--we've been on holiday break for its duration thus far. I vehemently object to the notion that college presidents in their official capacities should be banner-carriers for political issues not directly pertinent to their profession, save perhaps their schools' investment portfolios, though their control there is hardly total.

And yes, the comparison of the 'security threat' posed to Nazi Germany by the Warsaw Ghetto inhabitants (who were all about to be deported to the Treblinka death camp, and knew it) with that posed to Israelis by Hamas is ludicrous, as is the fanciful recasting of a contest between wise longterm leadership and the understandable if destructive retreat into fear as some epic battle between 'Hegelianism' and 'Marxism'.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:03 PM   #82
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But seriously, if anything it's the United States that uses Israel for its interests, not the other way around.
That seems to be the case but no one really acknowledges that, talks about it or challenges it. At the very least it's a dangerously interdependent relationship that leaves quite a bit of carnage in its wake.

Foreign Policy In Focus Policy Report: Why the U.S. Supports Israel

By Stephen Zunes
May 2002

In the United States and around the world, many are questioning why, despite some mild rebukes, Washington has maintained its large-scale military, financial, and diplomatic support for the Israeli occupation in the face of unprecedented violations of international law and human rights standards by Israeli occupation forces. Why is there such strong bipartisan support for Israel's right-wing prime minister Ariel Sharon's policies in the occupied Palestinian territories?

The close relationship between the U.S. and Israel has been one of the most salient features in U.S. foreign policy for nearly three and a half decades. The well over $3 billion in military and economic aid sent annually to Israel by Washington is rarely questioned in Congress, even by liberals who normally challenge U.S. aid to governments that engage in widespread violations of human rights--or by conservatives who usually oppose foreign aid in general. Virtually all Western countries share the United States' strong support for Israel's legitimate right to exist in peace and security, yet these same nations have refused to provide arms and aid while the occupation of lands seized in the 1967 war continues. None come close to offering the level of diplomatic support provided by Washington--with the United States often standing alone with Israel at the United Nations and other international forums when objections are raised over ongoing Israeli violations of international law and related concerns.

Although U.S. backing of successive Israeli governments, like most foreign policy decisions, is often rationalized on moral grounds, there is little evidence that moral imperatives play more of a determining role in guiding U.S. policy in the Middle East than in any other part of the world. Most Americans do share a moral commitment to Israel's survival as a Jewish state, but this would not account for the level of financial, military, and diplomatic support provided. American aid to Israel goes well beyond protecting Israel's security needs within its internationally recognized borders. U.S. assistance includes support for policies in militarily occupied territories that often violate well-established legal and ethical standards of international behavior.

Were Israel's security interests paramount in the eyes of American policymakers, U.S. aid to Israel would have been highest in the early years of the existence of the Jewish state, when its democratic institutions were strongest and its strategic situation most vulnerable, and would have declined as its military power grew dramatically and its repression against Palestinians in the occupied territories increased. Instead, the trend has been in just the opposite direction: major U.S. military and economic aid did not begin until after the 1967 war. Indeed, 99% of U.S. military assistance to Israel since its establishment came only after Israel proved itself to be far stronger than any combination of Arab armies and after Israeli occupation forces became the rulers of a large Palestinian population.

Similarly, U.S. aid to Israel is higher now than twenty-five years ago. This was at a time when Egypt's massive and well-equipped armed forces threatened war; today, Israel has a longstanding peace treaty with Egypt and a large demilitarized and internationally monitored buffer zone keeping its army at a distance. At that time, Syria's military was expanding rapidly with advanced Soviet weaponry; today, Syria has made clear its willingness to live in peace with Israel in return for the occupied Golan Heights--and Syria's military capabilities have been declining, weakened by the collapse of its Soviet patron.

Also in the mid-1970s, Jordan still claimed the West Bank and stationed large numbers of troops along its lengthy border and the demarcation line with Israel; today, Jordan has signed a peace treaty and has established fully normalized relations. At that time, Iraq was embarking upon its vast program of militarization. Iraq's armed forces have since been devastated as a result of the Gulf War and subsequent international sanctions and monitoring. This raises serious questions as to why U.S. aid has either remained steady or actually increased each year since.

In the hypothetical event that all U.S. aid to Israel were immediately cut off, it would be many years before Israel would be under significantly greater military threat than it is today. Israel has both a major domestic arms industry and an existing military force far more capable and powerful than any conceivable combination of opposing forces. There would be no question of Israel's survival being at risk militarily in the foreseeable future. When Israel was less dominant militarily, there was no such consensus for U.S. backing of Israel. Though the recent escalation of terrorist attacks inside Israel has raised widespread concerns about the safety of the Israeli public, the vast majority of U.S. military aid has no correlation to counterterrorism efforts.

In short, the growing U.S. support for the Israeli government, like U.S. support for allies elsewhere in the world, is not motivated primarily by objective security needs or a strong moral commitment to the country. Rather, as elsewhere, U.S. foreign policy is motivated primarily to advance its own perceived strategic interests.


Strategic Reasons for Continuing U.S. Support

There is a broad bipartisan consensus among policymakers that Israel has advanced U.S. interest in the Middle East and beyond.

* Israel has successfully prevented victories by radical nationalist movements in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as in Palestine.
* Israel has kept Syria, for many years an ally of the Soviet Union, in check.
* Israel's air force is predominant throughout the region.
* Israel's frequent wars have provided battlefield testing for American arms, often against Soviet weapons.
* It has served as a conduit for U.S. arms to regimes and movements too unpopular in the United States for openly granting direct military assistance, such as apartheid South Africa, the Islamic Republic in Iran, the military junta in Guatemala, and the Nicaraguan Contras. Israeli military advisers have assisted the Contras, the Salvadoran junta, and foreign occupation forces in Namibia and Western Sahara.
* Israel's intelligence service has assisted the U.S. in intelligence gathering and covert operations.
* Israel has missiles capable of reaching as far as the former Soviet Union, it possesses a nuclear arsenal of hundreds of weapons, and it has cooperated with the U.S. military-industrial complex with research and development for new jet fighters and anti-missile defense systems.


U.S. Aid Increases as Israel Grows Stronger

The pattern of U.S. aid to Israel is revealing. Immediately following Israel's spectacular victory in the 1967 war, when it demonstrated its military superiority in the region, U.S. aid shot up by 450%. Part of this increase, according to the New York Times, was apparently related to Israel's willingness to provide the U.S. with examples of new Soviet weapons captured during the war. Following the 1970-71 civil war in Jordan, when Israel's potential to curb revolutionary movements outside its borders became apparent, U.S. aid increased another sevenfold. After attacking Arab armies in the 1973 war were successfully countered by the largest U.S. airlift in history, with Israel demonstrating its power to defeat surprisingly strong Soviet-supplied forces, military aid increased by another 800%. These increases paralleled the British decision to withdraw its forces from "east of the Suez," which also led to the massive arms sales and logistical cooperation with the Shah's Iran, a key component of the Nixon Doctrine.

Aid quadrupled again in 1979 soon after the fall of the Shah, the election of the right-wing Likud government, and the ratification of the Camp David Treaty, which included provisions for increased military assistance that made it more of a tripartite military pact than a traditional peace agreement. (It is noteworthy that the additional aid provided to Israel in the treaty continued despite the Begin government's refusal to abide by provisions relating to Palestinian autonomy.) Aid increased yet again soon after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In 1983 and 1984, when the United States and Israel signed memoranda of understanding on strategic cooperation and military planning and conducted their first joint naval and air military exercises, Israel was rewarded by an additional $1.5 billion in economic aid. It also received another half million dollars for the development of a new jet fighter.

During and immediately after the Gulf War, U.S. aid increased an additional $650 million. When Israel dramatically increased its repression in the occupied territories--including incursions into autonomous Palestinian territories provided in treaties guaranteed by the U.S. government--U.S. aid increased still further and shot up again following the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

The correlation is clear: the stronger and more willing to cooperate with U.S. interests that Israel becomes, the stronger the support.


Ensuring Israel's Military Superiority

Therefore, the continued high levels of U.S. aid to Israel comes not out of concern for Israel's survival, but as a result of the U.S. desire for Israel to continue its political dominance of the Palestinians and its military dominance of the region. Indeed, leaders of both American political parties have called not for the U.S. to help maintain a military balance between Israel and its neighbors, but for insuring Israeli military superiority.

Since the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, there has again been some internal debate regarding how far the United States should back Israeli policies, now under the control of right-wing political leader Ariel Sharon. Some of the more pragmatic conservatives from the senior Bush administration, such as Secretary of State Colin Powell, have cautioned that unconditional backing of Sharon's government during a period of unprecedented repression in the occupied territories would make it more difficult to get the full cooperation of Arab governments in prosecuting the campaign against terrorist cells affiliated with the al Qaeda network. Some of the more right-wing elements, such as Paul Wolfowitz of the Defense Department, have been arguing that Sharon was an indispensable ally in the war against terrorism and that the Palestinian resistance was essentially part of an international terrorist conspiracy against democratic societies.


Other Contributing Factors

Support for Israel's ongoing occupation and repression is not unlike U.S. support for Indonesia's 24-year occupation of and repression in East Timor or Morocco's ongoing occupation of and repression in Western Sahara. If seen to be in the strategic interests of the United States, Washington is quite willing to support the most flagrant violation of international law and human rights by its allies and block the United Nations or any other party from challenging it. No ethnic lobby or ideological affinity is necessary to motivate policymakers to do otherwise. As long as the amoral imperatives of realpolitik remain unchallenged, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere will not reflect the American public's longstanding belief that U.S. international relations should be guided by humanitarian principles and ethics.

Some of the worst cases of U.S. support for repression have not remained unchallenged, leading to reversals in U.S. policy on Vietnam, Central America, South Africa, and East Timor. In these cases, grass roots movements supportive of peace and justice grew to a point where liberal members of Congress, in the media and elsewhere, joined in the call to stop U.S. complicity in the repression. In other cases, such as U.S. support for Morocco's invasion and occupation of Western Sahara, too few Americans are even aware of the situation to mount a serious challenge, so it remains off the radar screen of lawmakers and pundits.

The case of Israel and Palestine is different, however. There are significant sectors of the population that question U.S. policy, yet there is a widespread consensus among elite sectors of government and the media in support of U.S. backing of the Israeli occupation. Indeed, many of the same liberal Democrats in Congress who supported progressive movements on other foreign policy issues agree with President George W. Bush--or, in some cases, are even further to the right--on the issue of Israel and Palestine. Therefore, while the perceived strategic imperative is at the root of U.S. support for Israel, there are additional factors that have made this issue more difficult for peace and human rights activists than most others. These include the following:

* The sentimental attachment many liberals--particularly among the post-war generation in leadership positions in government and the media--have for Israel. Many Americans identify with Israel's internal democracy, progressive social institutions (such as the kibbutzim), relatively high level of social equality, and its important role as a sanctuary for an oppressed minority group that spent centuries in diaspora. Through a mixture of guilt regarding Western anti-Semitism, personal friendships with Jewish Americans who identify strongly with Israel, and fear of inadvertently encouraging anti-Semitism by criticizing Israel, there is enormous reluctance to acknowledge the seriousness of Israeli violations of human rights and international law.
* The Christian Right, with tens of millions of followers and a major base of support for the Republican Party, has thrown its immense media and political clout in support for Ariel Sharon and other right-wing Israeli leaders. Based in part on a messianic theology that sees the ingathering of Jews to the Holy Land as a precursor for the second coming of Christ, the battle between Israelis and Palestinians is, in their eyes, simply a continuation of the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines, with God in the role of a cosmic real estate agent who has deemed that the land belongs to Israel alone--secular notions regarding international law and the right of self-determination notwithstanding.
* Mainstream and conservative Jewish organizations have mobilized considerable lobbying resources, financial contributions from the Jewish community, and citizen pressure on the news media and other forums of public discourse in support of the Israeli government. Although the role of the pro-Israel lobby is often greatly exaggerated--with some even claiming it is the primary factor influencing U.S. policy--its role has been important in certain tight congressional races and in helping to create a climate of intimidation among those who seek to moderate U.S. policy, including growing numbers of progressive Jews.
* The arms industry, which contributes five times more money to congressional campaigns and lobbying efforts than AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups, has considerable stake in supporting massive arms shipments to Israel and other Middle Eastern allies of the United States. It is far easier, for example, for a member of Congress to challenge a $60 million arms deal to Indonesia, for example, than the more than $2 billion of arms to Israel, particularly when so many congressional districts include factories that produce such military hardware.
* The widespread racism toward Arabs and Muslims so prevalent in American society, often perpetuated in the media. This is compounded by the identification many Americans have with Zionism in the Middle East as a reflection of our own historic experience as pioneers in North America, building a nation based upon noble, idealistic values while simultaneously suppressing and expelling the indigenous population.
* The failure of progressive movements in the United States to challenge U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine in an effective manner. For many years, most mainstream peace and human rights groups avoided the issue, not wanting to alienate many of their Jewish and other liberal constituents supportive of the Israeli government and fearing criticism of Israeli policies might inadvertently encourage anti-Semitism. As a result, without any countervailing pressure, liberal members of Congress had little incentive not to cave in to pressure from supporters of the Israeli government. Meanwhile, many groups on the far left and others took a stridently anti-Israel position that did not just challenge Israeli policies but also questioned Israel's very right to exist, severely damaging their credibility. In some cases, particularly among the more conservative individuals and groups critical of Israel, a latent anti-Semitism would come to the fore in wildly exaggerated claims of Jewish economic and political power and other statements, further alienating potential critics of U.S. policy.


Conclusion

While U.S. support for Israeli occupation policies, like U.S. support for its allies elsewhere, is primarily based upon the country's support for perceived U.S. security interests, there are other factors complicating efforts by peace and human rights groups to change U.S. policy. Despite these obstacles, the need to challenge U.S. support of the Israeli occupation is more important than ever. Not only has it led to enormous suffering among the Palestinians and other Arabs, ultimately it hurts the long-term interests of both Israel and the United States, as increasingly militant and extremist elements arise out of the Arab and Islamic world in reaction.

Ultimately, there is no contradiction between support for Israel and support for Palestine, for Israeli security and Palestinian rights are not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent on each other. U.S. support of the Israeli government has repeatedly sabotaged the efforts of peace activists in Israel to change Israeli policy, which the late Israeli General and Knesset member Matti Peled referred to as pushing Israel "toward a posture of calloused intransigence." Perhaps the best kind of support the United States can give Israel is that of "tough love"--unconditional support for Israel's right to live in peace and security within its internationally recognized border, but an equally clear determination to end the occupation. This is the challenge for those who take seriously such basic values as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:35 PM   #83
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I don't know if your friends ever want to go back, but hating is easy. Someone can hate them just the same because of what they represent to him, without even knowing them.
They were all here for 3 year contracts, so they all did go back to Israel in the end. And by the way, he wasn't the only one, the rest of them expressed the same view. Additionally, they also said that after spending time in North America, that they really had a bad taste left in their mouths by the Jewish diaspora, which they saw as really right wing and really militant and not in touch with what they said was mainstream sentiment in Israel.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #84
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That's a good article from Zunes; I always enjoy reading his pieces. I think he more or less addresses (in the "Other Contributing Factors" section) why this isn't much 'acknowledged, talked about or addressed.' I might add to the list that a decades-long steady diet of the kinds of Cold War-era moral compromises he discusses earlier (which themselves were greatly facilitated by fear) has tended to give an apathetic cast to "the American public's longstanding belief that U.S. international relations should be guided by humanitarian principles and ethics"--we still want that rationalization to be there, but we'd rather not get into probing the internal ethical consistency of the results too closely.

As for the "guilt regarding Western anti-Semitism" part...while I must admit I get really tired of hearing about this one, because it's so often spat out in a blanket resentful way that suggests Jews, period, have some guilty-until-proven-innocent duty to turn handsprings to 'alleviate' it...I can only say I'd much rather that non-Jewish Americans and Europeans simply understood and acknowledged the role which repeated failures (and unwillingness) on the part of Western countries to directly address the immense Jewish refugee crises created by, first, the pogroms and, later, Nazism, played in the manner in which a Jewish state came about and grew to maturity--then moved on from there to demand more humanitarian Middle East policies from their own governments--than that they tried to somehow 'make up for' anything at yet another people's expense, or alternatively that they fall back on 'those damn Jews control everything and manipulate everybody' -type thinking because it's easier than acknowledging how complicated, contentious and messy the situation has become.




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Stay safe. I will keep you and your family in my prayers for peace.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:15 AM   #85
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They were all here for 3 year contracts, so they all did go back to Israel in the end. And by the way, he wasn't the only one, the rest of them expressed the same view. Additionally, they also said that after spending time in North America, that they really had a bad taste left in their mouths by the Jewish diaspora, which they saw as really right wing and really militant and not in touch with what they said was mainstream sentiment in Israel.
I don't intend to be rude, but what's your point?

I know Israelis who lived in the United States that reached a different conclusions, I know some who see things the way your friends does minus the hate. I also know some like them. They usually grew up in very homogenous surroundings and weren’t exposed to that many of Israel's different populations. I can say the some of some right winged people I had the chance to talk to. Those usually tend more towards feelings of animosity.

Are you saying it's ok for them hate someone for just being born in a settlement? Is it ok for the settler to hate him back? Should I hate everyone who lives in the Gaza strip because some people there were suicide bombers, and because of them not all of my friends are alive today?
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:01 AM   #86
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Some sanity, especially given the passive excuses given for Hamas
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The violence in Gaza suits the agendas of both the eliminationist, antisemitic, Hamas and the Israeli rejectionist, racist right. On the Hamas side, Jews are behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and there is no war that broke out anywhere without [Jews’] fingerprints on it, and on the other, Hamas’ response to Israeli bombardment is ‘proof’ that Palestians are ‘terrorists’ and ‘justifies’ the ongoing occupation of Palestinian land and denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Hamas spews violent antisemitic hatred, and despite a cloak of anti-imperialist rhetoric, is an implacable enemy of socialism and independent workers’ organisations. Hamas intimidates and threatens workers and attacks trade union leaders, tortures and murders political opponents and those it designates as ‘collaborators’ and enforces the ‘veiling’ of women in areas under it’s control. While Hamas was considered less corrupt than the opportunistic and institutionally corrupt Fatah (themselves never turning down a ride on the antisemitic bandwagon when it suits them), Hamas ministers have been found travelling with suitcases full of millions of dollars for which they are unable to offer any explanation. Hamas is another bourgeois elite parasitic on the Palestinian workers whom they use as cannon fodder in their reactionary nationalistic war with both secular Palestinian society and the Israeli State.

The Israeli blockade and isolation of Gaza for the two years since Hamas were elected, has had the unintended — or intended — consequence of ensuring that Hamas has not been given enough room to ‘fail’, as the people of Gaza are concerned with the day to day struggle for survival. Fatah has provided no way forward and Hamas promises a social and political disaster for Palestinians, while Israel’s divide and rule strategy and continuing brutal occupation and isolation of Palestinian lands will bring nothing but further chaos to Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs alike. The Palestinian and Israeli ruling classes have failed to provide peace and security for their respective peoples, despite majority support for peace on both ’sides’ of the conflict. It is time for ordinary Israelis and Palestinians to join together to realise the aspirations of peace and self-determination for both peoples.
Stop Gaza Attacks : Le Petit Canard Noir

Of course "ordinary Israelis and Palestinians" are the equivalent of the "average taxpayer" and the idea of peaceful coexistence is impossible without enforcement.

The best anyone could hope for is an iron fisted partition of two states which lasts long enough for rejectionists to just die.

Until that happens more innocent civilians (see below) will die



/I don't think an innocent child is worthy of death, I do think the social attitudes of Hamas deserve critical examination and shouldn't be ignored; fuck, criticise both sides.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:59 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by sarit View Post
I don't intend to be rude, but what's your point?
Oh it's mostly that I never met people who held views like they did before, so that the things they said were largely surprising to me. For example, my Jewish friends who were born and raised in North America were much more sympathetic to the settlers' cause, and they were also a lot more staunch in their support of all Israeli policies. So it was a bit eye opening to meet actual Israelis who were politically different, for lack of a better word.

I think you latched onto this "hate" thing a bit too hard, frankly.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:25 AM   #88
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They were all here for 3 year contracts, so they all did go back to Israel in the end. And by the way, he wasn't the only one, the rest of them expressed the same view. Additionally, they also said that after spending time in North America, that they really had a bad taste left in their mouths by the Jewish diaspora, which they saw as really right wing and really militant and not in touch with what they said was mainstream sentiment in Israel.
I don't intend to be rude, but what's your point?

I know Israelis who lived in the United States that reached a different conclusions, I know some who see things the way your friends does minus the hate. I also know some like them. They usually grew up in very homogenous surroundings and weren’t exposed to that many of Israel's different populations. I can say the some of some right winged people I had the chance to talk to. Those usually tend more towards feelings of animosity.

Are you saying it's ok for them hate someone for just being born in a settlement? Is it ok for the settler to hate him back? Should I hate everyone who lives in the Gaza strip because some people there were suicide bombers, and because of them not all of my friends are alive today?
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #89
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thank you for your point of view, sarit. it's been an interesting read in here.

i hope all FYMers in any threatened areas stay safe.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:59 AM   #90
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I don't intend to be rude, but what's your point?
I've answered you so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
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