Arbor Update

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JWP Activists "Hijack" Interfaith Meeting

19. April 2006 • Ari Paul
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Did the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County have a problem with a group that protests a local synagogue?

From the Ann Arbor News

The Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County gathered for its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon, but canceled it when about half a dozen JWP members and people sympathetic to their cause took seats.

The Rev. Susan King, chairwoman of the Round Table’s steering committee, announced the cancellation to about two dozen people assembled for the meeting at Genesis, the Round Table’s usual venue and the joint property of St. Clare’s Episcopal Church and Temple Beth Emeth, a Reform synagogue.

The Round Table had told JWP members their presence is disruptive and they are no longer welcome at meetings. Notices regarding future meetings will be sent via e-mail, King said. She declined, after the meeting, to discuss reasons for the Round Table steering committee’s decision.

One more question: How disruptive were the activists?



  1. Answer-

    Since “disruptiveness” is the burning question posed:

    The vigils, and vigilers, are silent when they vigil. When they attend meetings, they wait their turn to be called on.

    Questions-

    1. How “disruptive” is it for millions of Palestinians to be facing a U.S. blockade, and malnutrition, right now, because you don’t like the way they voted?

    2. How “disruptive” is it, that the feelings of a strangled and occupied nation are of no consequence to you?

    3. Do the lives and deaths of Palestinians matter, at long last?

    This is why divestment, from Israel, has been demanded for so long.

    Not being disruptive; just hoping for answers.


       —Blaine    Apr. 19 '06 - 05:46PM    #
  2. How stupid is it to attempt to answer a question with three questions that are totally unrelated? I would venture to suggest that the three questions poised by Blain as a response to how disruptive are the vigilers is actually a defense. It is saying, no matter how disruptive they are, they are justified.

    Anyone who is not Blain have any information on how disruptive they are?
       —Just a Voice    Apr. 20 '06 - 02:49PM    #
  3. Wow.

    You just will not, cannot, call for any action against Israel, like divestment——no matter how many thousands of innocent Palestinians that Israel murders in cold blood.

    Instead you sniff for any sign that some peaceful human rights advocates may have been “disruptive”.

    Again, here is your answer:

    The Round Table meeting was cancelled before anyone could even speak.

    Happy?


       —Blaine    Apr. 20 '06 - 03:14PM    #
  4. I’ve seen the JWP disruption at the Round Table play out in 2 ways:

    1: Direct disruption: JWP has directly disrupted the Round Table. This was most evident at last months discussion on violence in the U.S. Four presenters gave their remarks, then the audience was invited to ask questions for the presenters on the topic.

    Rather than ask a question, a JWP member went into a long rant about what the Israeli Defence Forces are doing in the West Bank. Not a question, not on topic, definitely disruptive. (There have been other examples, but this was a very clear one).

    2. Indirect disruption: Since JWP started attending (infiltrating?) the Round Table, other members have stopped coming. Just as some members of Beth Israel Congregation avoid going to services because they don’t want to deal with Henry and his gang, some members of the Round Table have stopped coming to the Round Table.

    (I’ve considered not going myself, I don’t go to the Round Table to watch Jewish Witnesses for Peace open up another front in their campaign).

    By driving members away, JWP prevents the Round Table from fulfilling its mission. It’s not quite as blunt as taking over the Q&A section, but it is disruptive.

    Oh, yes, and then there were the shouts on Tuesday as the meeting disbanded, “don’t think you’re not racist, you are.” I doubt Dale Carnegie would recommend shouting and name calling as a tactic to influence people.

    Finally, a note on numbers. I didn’t count everyone at the last Round Table meeting, but there were almost as many vigilers as Round Table members, and definitely more than the six JWP folks cited in the Ann Arbor News article.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Apr. 20 '06 - 03:14PM    #
  5. Chuck:

    You head up a human rights group which is, unbelievably, proposing to:

    * dismantle its own Middle East Task Force e-mail group, and

    * dismantle the Middle East Task Force itself!

    You are (correct me if I’m wrong) considering the re-creation of that body by a new, invitation-only group which would be acceptable to Zionists.

    I assume you would do the inviting, and that divestment advocates would be barred from membership.

    That would guarantee that no proposal to divest from Israel could ever be so much as considered.

    You’ve launched this purge attempt (again, correct me if I’m wrong) only since your Middle East Task Force showed signs of becoming active for divestment from Israel.
    —————————————-

    Why not just let your Middle East Task Force go on pushing for divestment from Israel?

    Why not?

    You know very well what atrocities Israel is committing against Palestine, and the billions the U.S. contributes to those atrocities.


       —Blaine    Apr. 20 '06 - 03:47PM    #
  6. Chuck,

    thank you for the information. I would recomend not responding to Blain, it will certainly get you know where, but you’r probably already aware of that. Again thanks for the input on the actual subject of this post, JWP disruption at the meeting.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 20 '06 - 03:56PM    #
  7. Dear Chuck and Just-a-Voice,

    Reporter Cathy O’Donnell has attended many Interfaith Round Table meetings, including those where I also attended. Her phone number is 994-6831. Why don’t you call her and ask how disruptive my behavior has been during one and a half years of attending these meetings?

    Henry Herskovitz


       —Henry Herskovitz    Apr. 20 '06 - 04:48PM    #
  8. Flagelate yourself, JAV. Now we’ve got the whole freak show over here.

    And Hank, thanks for the olive oil tips. I’m going to picket Zingerman’s until those Jew bastards start stocking the Palestinian lesbian oil.

    http://queerolives.tripod.com/


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Apr. 20 '06 - 05:03PM    #
  9. My bad.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 20 '06 - 09:12PM    #
  10. What kind of name is “Israelita Goldstein”? Can we can the anti-Semitism or unnecessary derision of Jews? Thank you.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 20 '06 - 09:44PM    #
  11. Um…

    Just stop me if this is “disruptive”, but what about the Palestinians?

    Can I hear a quick word about how you want to deal with them?

    Or is the status quo (Palestine collapsing under mass malnutrition, death, occupation) OK with you?

    Do you see how Gaza now resembles the Warsaw Ghetto of 1939?


       —Blaine    Apr. 20 '06 - 09:48PM    #
  12. I see Henry Herskovitz on Google, Blaine Coleman too, no Israelita Goldstein.

    Besides, if Israel really committed “genocide”, you’d have legally changed your name from “Israel-ita” to something else by now, wouldn’t you?
       —David Boyle    Apr. 20 '06 - 10:33PM    #
  13. “Do you see how Gaza now resembles the Warsaw Ghetto of 1939?”

    I’ll bite. The broken record commentary is easy to ignore. Ignorance isn’t.

    The west bank bears no resemblance to the Warsaw Ghetto. None. I’ll spare you the history lesson and leave it at that.

    Blaine: People don’t ignore you because they find the palestinian issue inconvenient. People ignore you because you’re disrespectful. In the same breath as you extoll the human plight of the Palestinians, you ignore the humanity right in front of your face – the people who you offend and disrespect with your antics. Somehow I suspect that you view this human tragedy – the casual and unapologetic manner in which you insult the intelligence and compassion of your fellow man – as an acceptable cost to bear if it means the end of occupation.

    Let me ask you then: How’s that strategy working for you? Have the means been justified for you?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 20 '06 - 11:04PM    #
  14. “The west bank bears no resemblance to the Warsaw Ghetto. None. I’ll spare you the history lesson and leave it at that.”

    not saying you are right or wrong, but, i have to ask you one thing: have you been to either???

    just checking,
    ari p.


       —Ari P.    Apr. 20 '06 - 11:22PM    #
  15. I’ve been to the Warsaw Ghetto or what’s left of it. I’ve been on the Israeli side of the wall and have talked to enough people who live on the other side to feel confident the latter is nothing like the former.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 20 '06 - 11:29PM    #
  16. The Leonore Marwil Jewish Film Festival later this month is having a film called “West Bank Story”. (Thank you Leonard Bernstein)

    I actually wrote lyrics for a rap song of the same name two years ago, but have been too busy to record it… (And I have read that Michael Moore had the same idea, but I’m not sure what he did with it.)
       —David Boyle    Apr. 20 '06 - 11:30PM    #
  17. Lenore, not Leonore, sorry.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 20 '06 - 11:32PM    #
  18. Well, now I’m sucked in to one of these again…

    “You all will do anything to avoid talking about Israel and its atrocities. This is about Israel and its atrocities not about my name.”

    Fine. I’ll talk. Israel’s done some bad stuff. Lots of bad stuff. I’m fine with hearing about more, but I know about enough to grant you the argument. What would you like me to do?

    1) Continue to be a concerned citzen.
    2) Support divestment from Israel.
    3) Picket outside of someone’s place of worship.

    Option two sucks. I support divestment from tobacco. I would have supported divestment from SA. I not support divestment from companies that make bulldozers/tanks/planes for Israel. First, Israel needs all of those things. It is largely due to US made arms that Israel has survived as a state. Second, the tanks and planes aren’t the problem. Bad policies are the problem. Accordingly, if I felt that divestment would put pressure on Israel to alter the policies, I’d be apt to support divestment. But I don’t. I think its a silly platform – a lazy boilerplate solution to a very complicated problem. And I think anyone who claims to support a free Palestine is selling the Palestinians short by supporting it.

    Option three is disrespectful. Anyone participating in it should be ashamed.

    I’m going to stick to option one. I’m a concerned citizen. I do not support occupation. I support withdrawal. I support the UN, the ICC and the ICJ. That’s good enough for me.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:10AM    #
  19. Israelita:

    I’m not going to make fun of your name as someone else did. That’s not cool. However, if that isn’t your real name I have to tell you: just adding -ita to the end of Israel doesn’t make the name sound Jewish. But, I don’t know you so I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    Henry:

    I’m not quite sure, but I believe that the article stated that JWP was disruptive and asked not to show up to Interfaith Round Table, not you individually. Now, I’ve never been to the Interfaith Round Table. But, I have been to one event where JWP members were present. Two years ago, an Israeli refuser came to Hillel to speak. You were there, along with a group of people who proceeded to heckle the guy who spoke after the refuser (his name was Stav I think). Disruptive? You bet. Even though I wasn’t at the events in questions, if this were a court of law and I were the judge, I’d have to say the credibility lies with the Interfaith Round Table, given a past history of JWP members disrupting an event.

    The problem with JWP, other than their somewhat racist tendency to hold vigils outside a place of worship because members of that particular congregation may hold beliefs antithetical to JWP, is their self-righteousness.

    What would a JWP say to someone, oh let’s just say, like me, who says, “I support ending the occupation, I don’t support checkpoints, targetted assassinations, or any other oppressive measure adopted by Israel in the West Bank. However, I DO NOT support divestment.” I’d be called a racist. No explanation. No reason. Just called a racist simply because I disagreed with them. Don’t believe me? Search up Blaine’s “responses” to me and see what he has written.

    I’ve stated my opinion on the conflict. It’s not all that dissimilar from peace organizations such as Americans for Peace now and even sometimes Gush Shalom. I’m not stating it again. What JWP needs to realize is that it’s THEM that bothers the rest of Ann Arbor, not their stance on the Israel/Palestinian conflict.


       —Jared Goldberg    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:12AM    #
  20. I didn’t make fun of anyone’s name, it just seemed odd. E.g., let’s say an anti-Nazi activist named Germania Goebbels, saying all the time over and over again, “Germany committed genocide against the Jews”, etc., and then keeping her name. I would find that a little odd.

    I still don’t believe the name is necessarily real, by the way. Judging from the sense of everything else that is said. When did I spend $95 billion dollars a year on anything? What has “Israelita” done to prevent suicide bombings, either? When someone has no credibility on anything else, I can believe they would make up a false name. And they owe me an apology for claiming I have $95 billion dollars to spend in the first place.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:38AM    #
  21. And… there we have it.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:38AM    #
  22. Though I’d love to hear Israelita tell me where she’d like to live that wasn’t built on dead bodies. I hear Antarctica is warming up nicely.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:40AM    #
  23. Though, perhaps Israelita is just Blaine in disguise. There’s a familiar lunacy in her posts…


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:41AM    #
  24. A rational hypothesis Dan.

    ...Do you remember how “Goldstein” is the demonized enemy in Orwell’s “1984”? I wonder if someone is doing the “Israelita Goldstein” thing, a sterotypical name like “Jew Hebrew Moses Ben-Jewsky”, to make us associate unpleasant things with Jewish names, in a Pavlov-type way. You never know…
       —David Boyle    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:46AM    #
  25. Blaine:

    I have commented on this before – on this blog, on other blogs, and in the Michigan Daily.

    It only hurts when a discussion on the issue turns into a shitstorm of anger, accusation and overstatement – the status quo for you and a number of other individuals who have turned this fight into a reason to treat other people like shit.

    That said, I’m glad your glad. Now back to studying.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 01:19AM    #
  26. Dear Jared

    JWPF would respond to you in this way: If you are against the occupation, checkpoints, demolition of houses, illegal assassinations, etc ONLY TO PRESERVE Israel as an apartheid state, then we have basic differences, and not as you implied a difference only in tactics.

    I could turn the question backwards: How can one favor an ethno-religious, expansionist settler state and NOT support occupation, checkpoints, etc? That’s how Zionism works: define the necessary Lebensraum and proceed – using all the above methods and much more – to get it.

    You are not a racist because you disagree with JWPF. People who believe in Jewish supremacy over a defensless people in their own land using whatever means necessary to achieve it are racists.

    You choose.

    Best,
    Henry


       —Henry Herskovitz    Apr. 21 '06 - 03:13AM    #
  27. What if I just don’t believe in people blowing up other people, especially innocent civilians whose only crime is to be the wrong race, ethnicity, religion, etc. than their murderers, no matter how righteous the murderers think their cause is? What does that make me?


       —John Q.    Apr. 21 '06 - 04:09AM    #
  28. So, somehow, when topics relating to UM come up on Arbor Update, the usual chorus of A2 townies chimes in with “This is Arbor Update, not UM update” or some equally ludicrous comment.

    But, clearly, Israel and Palestine have something to do with Ann Arbor?

    How many people here have experience or actual knowledge to match their passions?

    It’s really funny, but on campus, the American Movement for Israel is actually far more reactionary than the Israeli Students Organization. AMI members on campus, in letters to the Daily and what not, routinely take positions that even Ariel Sharon ended up rejecting.

    I’d be really surprised if actual Palestinians – people who don’t live in cushy, insulated Ann Arbor – were as anti-Israel as some of the people who comment on this blog.

    I’m not sure about this, but I’m guessing that actual Israelis and Palestinians (those who live with the violence on a day-to-day basis) are just ready for some solution that ends the violence.

    Divestment is not such a solution. The end of Israel is not such a solution.


       —Suhael    Apr. 21 '06 - 05:33AM    #
  29. Suhael,

    Your characterization of AMI and the Israeli Students Organization is misinformed. ISO’s role is different from AMI, and in fact many ISO members do work in conjunction with AMI, they just happen to be less politically-minded. But to imply that Israelis on this campus and AMI members (on average) have vastly different opinions on the situation in Israel is somewhat misleading, and wrong.

    Further, to suggest that AMI members take positions that are more radical than Ariel Sharon’s is just not true (again, on average). While AMI can’t control what all its members say in the Daily (and trust me its members have vastly ranging opinions), and yes I’d agree a few of them are extreme, the very few letters I’d imagine you are referring to are by no means a representative sample.

    Finally, what does it mean that they take positions Ariel Sharon ended up rejecting? Is it possible then that those writers might now also reject those positions?

    I think you are doing a disservice through your generalization.


       —Sol    Apr. 21 '06 - 05:50AM    #
  30. Yeah, in retrospect, the generalization about a student group wasn’t fair. I apologize.

    But, I do think that the Israel-Palestine issue is extremely polarized on campus, to the point where little productive (screaming matches in the Daily do not count as “productive”) gets done.

    I’m biased, I suppose, by all the ridiculous letters the Daily couldn’t print but I could read – those are what I’m referring to when I mention the radical comments.

    I suppose those aren’t a representative sample either; the people worked up enough to write a LTE aren’t middle-of-the-road average students.

    But, I wasn’t suggesting “vastly different” opinions, just that living in the United States (A2, at that) gives you a different perspective on the issue than if you came from the Middle East.

    Lacking that perspective (as, for the most part, Americans) does, I think, give you a different opinion – one that, as even national polls bear out, is often less pragmatic.


       —Suhael    Apr. 21 '06 - 06:30AM    #
  31. That was filled with a inordinate number of typos.


       —Suhael    Apr. 21 '06 - 06:32AM    #
  32. “People who believe in Jewish supremacy over a defensless people in their own land using whatever means necessary to achieve it are racists.”

    Who exactly are these people, Henry? I’ve never met an Jew, Israeli or American, that believes that the Palestinians (or Arabs in general) are a lesser people.

    Clearly, that would make one a racist. But supporting the methodology of occupation can be due to a number of of different things. Fear. Ignorance. A more hawkish mentality.

    “How can one favor an ethno-religious, expansionist settler state and NOT support occupation, checkpoints, etc?”

    By supporting the state and not its policies.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 12:26PM    #
  33. Ahh Blaine.

    I didn’t say being concerned is the solution. I said I choose concern as my course of action in this. I also didn’t say that there isn’t such a thing as a racist Israeli. My point was that I don’t believe that racism is the force that drives occupation.

    Then again, you didn’t answer my question from before: How is what you do (repeating the same shit over and over, disrupting meetings, pushing this divestment issue that is, even if pushed to fruition, largely symbolic) even remotely related to “saving” Palestine?


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 01:34PM    #
  34. Blaine-

    And not a single Palestinian is racist, or anti-Semitic?

    Right.

    Come on, Blaine.

    Your tactics are so transparent. But what bothers me is that you steal every conversation, actively ruining any discussion that’s not set in your terms.


       —Stop ruining every discussion Blaine (SREDB)    Apr. 21 '06 - 01:40PM    #
  35. Is Blaine a member of JWP, if so then he is proving the title of this article, at least in these comments. And what the JWP are blind to is how their tactics alienate them rather then advance their cause. Even if he isn’t the other JWP supporters here fill in fine. They are so blind to how their tactics work against their cause.

    Blaine, when you write stuff like;

    “controlling zillions of Israeli troops”

    you make your self look really stupid.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 21 '06 - 01:51PM    #
  36. To answer the last three of you,

    I have never seen anyone who proposed divestment given a serious hearing and debate on this Web site,

    I have never seen the malnutrition, blockade, and slaughter of Occupied Palestine treated as worthy of any sort of action or relief, on this site.

    So now I will test your theory.

    Your theory that Blaine, and Blaine only, is the reason that no action can be taken to stop what Israel is doing to the crucified innocents of Palestine.

    OK, I’m waiting for you to have that great debate over what to do about the suffering in Palestine.

    Without me.

    I will refrain from polluting your discourse about what is happening to Palestine.

    Go for it.


       —Blaine    Apr. 21 '06 - 02:36PM    #
  37. What do I think needs to be done about the suffering in Palestine? Well, first, I think Palestine needs more parking.

    (sorry, had to be said…)


       —TPM    Apr. 21 '06 - 02:46PM    #
  38. I think TPM just proved IG’s point about the mentality/lack of compassion of many Americans. This topic always makes me sad because I feel powerless to improve the situation. Comments like TPM’s make me sad because they’re evidence that I’m sandwiched between ignorance and immaturity—is there any reason for me to have hope?

    John Q., until you take action on your beliefs (and the crimes you describe), it makes you complicit in the crimes, per the Nuremberg Principles. Welcome to the shameful, painful club. Does that make you a racist? Does it really matter? It’s not about you (or me), in the sense that you pose the question. And yet, it is about us when we get around to looking at taking action.

    Daniel, racism is largely based in fear. Trying to avoid facing racism by speaking in terms of fear is a convenient form of avoidance. Make the explicit connection between the two, own both in yourself to the extent that they exist, and sympathetically ask others to do likewise rather than give them an out.

    In spite of my own good intentions and those of my parents, I’m a racist. I was raised in a racist society and to pretend that I’m not would be a lie. That statement will no doubt be held against me at some point, but reality and what I wish are two different things. My hope and my work is toward a day when I can honestly say that I’m not racist, and also that my children are not. I’m happy to report that I’m making progress.

    Best wishes to the rest of you.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 21 '06 - 04:50PM    #
  39. Suhael-

    I used to agree with you that there was not much productive discussion on the debate.

    But, if I can make a shameless plug, I helped found The Michigan Israel Observer (www.michiganisraelobserver.com) to try to solve that. You might know about it because the Daily covered it.

    Our second issue will hit campus this week. Have a read (heck, write something for the next issue), and be reassured that there are students talking productively about these issues.


       —Sol    Apr. 21 '06 - 04:57PM    #
  40. Steve:

    Thanks for the therapy. I feel better already.

    I’m willing to admit my own racism. Here, however, I’m comfortable asserting that I have no racial hangups. But I wasn’t talking about me in my post. I was referring to the social/cultural forces among Israeli and American jews that drive occupation. By and large, I do not feel that racism is a predominant factor. Even if we assume that it is (as you seem to be apt to do) lying under the surfact, it is buried among so many layers of history and fear that I’m uncomfortable presuming its relevance to the status quo.

    Believe it or not, conflict can occasionally be explained outside of racial theory.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 21 '06 - 07:03PM    #
  41. Steve: I apologize – I meant that to be a tweak at the site readership (including myself), not at the topic.

    I disagree with a lot of Israel’s policies, and hope for complete withdrawal from the occupied territories and for the Palestinians to be given full rights as human beings, but can’t support the extreme of asking for Israel to be driven into the sea, and excusing any and all actions taken against Israel until that time. (I’ve seen the position on local e-mail lists that the very existence of Israel is racist/zionist/imperialist, and that peace cannot exist until the invaders “go back to Europe.”)

    Between the points of not supporting either pole, though, I can’t say I have a solution. I’d describe myself as “powerless”, as you describe yourself, and, having nothing constructive to say, figured I’d live up to expectations.


       —TPM    Apr. 21 '06 - 07:21PM    #
  42. Daniel, I don’t disagree. (Since I was responding to several posters’ comments, I may have conflated some of them. Sorry. And sorry for framing it as a lecture.)

    I see racism being a more predominant factor for Americans in general, relative to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, than for American Jews or Israelis.

    Still, if being called a racist makes someone feel uncomfortable, I would suspect that it’s a factor, predominant or not. (And so I wouldn’t offer them an out. Nor would I chastise them.)


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 21 '06 - 07:34PM    #
  43. Apology accepted, TPM. (By me, anyway. But then I haven’t lost loved ones over there, either.)

    ”(I’ve seen the position on local e-mail lists that the very existence of Israel is racist/zionist/imperialist, and that peace cannot exist until the invaders ‘go back to Europe.’)”

    The premise may be true, but I don’t believe the conclusion to be. (BTW, the very existence of the USA may be racist/imperialist. Proclaiming it to be so is one approach to attempting to change that. Recognizing it, or at least being suspicious about it, and acting less directly is another.)

    One thing we do have power over is who we interact with and how. This blog is part of our collective relationship—our community. We have a choice whether to communicate derisively with others here or to listen and learn a different perspective.

    More “therapy” for everyone. :-)


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 21 '06 - 07:51PM    #
  44. Here’s a question I’ve been pondering: does JWP object to a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland, or both?

    I’ll admit the first one is problematic (since not everyone has a state), while the second one doesn’t necessarily mandate a state. I’m curious, because JWP members always carry around those Zionism = racism cards, but many strands of early Zionism advocated a Jewish homeland, not a state (Ahad Ha’am and the Socialist Zionists).

    Would Zionism be legitimate to JWP if it meant just a homeland? Just wanted to know . . .


       —Jared Goldberg    Apr. 23 '06 - 06:20AM    #
  45. Jared,

    The Jewish Virtual Library defines Zionism as ”...Jews of all persuasions. left and right, reglious and secular, joined to form the Zionism movement and worked together to achieve these goals [homeland and state]. Disagreements lead to rifts, but ultimately the common goal of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland was attained” (my emphasis).

    This quote is found on page 30 of Michael Neumann’s “The Case Against Israel”, and is followed by his words: “For everyone who mattered, the homeland was always to be a state.”

    Jared, please show up next Saturday and stand vigil with us. We will share with you many more quotes from Zionists past and present that substantiate the above

    Best wishes,
    Henry


       —Henry Herskovitz    Apr. 23 '06 - 04:43PM    #
  46. You didn’t answer my question. The reason why the Jewish Virtual Library shows that is because nowadways the Zionist movement tends to believe that a homeland is not possible without a state.

    Whether or not you agree with that, that’s irrelevant; that’s how it looks to them.

    But regardless, my question still stands for JWP: is JWP against a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland, or both?


       —Jared Goldberg    Apr. 23 '06 - 05:34PM    #
  47. Parenthetically, one good reason for a Jewish homeland (and/or state) is the anti-Semitism still rife at some of the highest levels of world society, see, e.g., today’s News of the World photos of and article about a man in a white hood with swastika—but not just any man: rather, a member of Prince Harry’s regiment (Blues and Royals) of the Household Cavalry, one of the two senior regiments in the entire British Army, as I recall.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 23 '06 - 06:24PM    #
  48. Clearly there are reasons necessitating Israel’s existence. Even if you disagree, didn’t that ship sail some 60 years ago? Presently, the Jewish people have a homeland and a state, and advocating against the legal/ethical underpinnings of that state seems to me tantamount to advocating in favor of its destruction. Either that, or its intended as an indictment of Israel’s Jewish character.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 23 '06 - 07:10PM    #
  49. I kept reading this thread in the name of Steve’s “We have a choice whether to communicate derisively with others here or to listen and learn a different perspective.”

    Then I hit Israelita’s “blood sucking mass murderers”, and wondered what different perspective I could expect to learn here. Maybe I could learn to hate myself, as Israelita apparently hates me without knowing me? Or maybe I could suggest that Israelita find a way of getting the idea across in a civil manner that doesn’t cause people to want to stop listening.


       —TPM    Apr. 23 '06 - 10:56PM    #
  50. Israelita:

    Are you sure you’re not Blaine? Seriously? Because the two people that seem to have the biggest problem with this discussion also happen to be the two people trying their hardest to sabotage it: You and Blaine.

    “They” hate me for pretty much the same reason that you seem to hate me: Ignorance. And assuming you pay taxes, you’ve done just as much killing and raping as I have today.

    A side question: As an underworked, overfed white man paying his way through grad school, I’ve got plenty of money to pay for internet access and plenty of time to “pontificate.” In between resisting the IDF in the west bank and curbing your greenhouse gas emissions down to zero, how do you find the time and the money to surf Arbor Update?

    I’m not too worried about global warming. My land rover has wonderful air conditioning.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 23 '06 - 11:50PM    #
  51. How much blood would a woodchuck suck if a woodchuck could suck blood?? ?


       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 01:14AM    #
  52. By way: you know that “bloodsucker” is a classic, classic anti-Semitic term, maybe dating back to the hideous “blood libel” slander against Jews? And if you are really “Israelita Goldstein”, how would you not know about all that, with your purported ethnic background???


       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 01:29AM    #
  53. Daniel,

    Based on “Israelita”’s choice of words, my best guess is that he/she is a fellow grad student. I’ve heard these kinds of tirades before and it usually comes from a trust-fund activist spending a decade in grad school lecturing the rest of us on why we are worthy of their contempt.


       —John Q.    Apr. 24 '06 - 01:55AM    #
  54. Come on fellas,

    Isrealita is Blaine. Same syntax, same bs.

    For the good of Arbor Update, don’t respond. This isn’t a discussion. Discussions require parties who respect and listen to each other.

    This is a waste of time and bandwidth, and it pushes the new comments field into oblivion.

    Let it go.


       —todd    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:13AM    #
  55. Some classic Israeli rock and roll at http://www.thegenders.com/photos.shtml ...


       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:19AM    #
  56. Wow. Blaine really works for the Israeli government. There is no other way to explain him.


       —beej    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:28AM    #
  57. TPM, you don’t have to like, agree with, or be otherwise unaffected by another perspective to learn from it, you just have to be willing to look past those aspects of it and take yourself out of it enough to be objective (even when it’s directed at you.) Then, after you’ve generalized it enough to see it more clearly, you can reinsert yourself and consider what it means for/to you.

    That’s essentially how I’ve come to arrive at the thoughts I directed to John Q. in #45. Likewise my comments about racism there.

    The perspective in question isn’t yours or IG’s, it’s ‘theirs’. The question posed was, “why do they hate us?” Someone hates us and someone else may be dying as a result.

    It all still makes me sad, to the point that I don’t care what Blaine and IG say or do, or how—as if they were responsible for doing it ‘correctly’ on my behalf in the first place.

    Jared, I think you posed a valid question, and I agree that Henry didn’t answer it. I don’t know if I could either, however. How would you describe/define “homeland”?

    “Presently, the Jewish people have a homeland and a state, and advocating against the legal/ethical underpinnings of that state seems to me tantamount to advocating in favor of its destruction. Either that, or its intended as an indictment of Israel’s Jewish character.”

    Daniel, could it rather be intended as an indictment of Israel’s (generically) religious character?


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:35AM    #
  58. “Isrealita is Blaine. Same syntax, same bs.”

    “This isn’t a discussion. Discussions require parties who respect and listen to each other.”

    Todd, discussions also have a topic. Blaine seems to think the topic is Israel and Palestine (more or less.) You seem to think the topic is Blaine (frequently.) I’ll leave it at that.

    Blaine, I won’t vigil with JWPF, not because I find it offensive, but because I don’t see it as being effective. Do you have other concrete suggestions on what I (or others) could do, preferably with some reasoning as to how you see them potentially being effective? TIA.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:47AM    #
  59. Steve:

    I know, I know, it’s hard to define a homeland. A common thing I’ve noticed with Zionist ideology is the stress on providing a homeland, a firm place for the protection of people, is desired, but also mixed in with the desire to have a state, which is something different. A state has apparatus, ie government, police, military, educational systems, hospitals, etc. (I’m being general and broad here for a reason) whereas a homeland doesn’t.

    Palestine is an example of a homeland without many state functions (military etc.). Palestine isn’t a state yet, but it most certainly is a homeland for the Palestinian people.

    The reason why I asked is because debating about any Israeli policy might be futile if JWP is against the concept of even a Jewish homeland, let alone a Jewish state and its policies. That’s why I asked. I just wanted to know exactly what their feelings were on the subject.


       —Jared Goldberg    Apr. 24 '06 - 03:45AM    #
  60. Hey Steve, if you think you can actually get a discussion going with Blaine, knock yourself out. I’ve already tried, on several occasions. Feel free to look it up in the archives. I already told him that I support military divestment from Israel, but he still hasn’t moved on to discuss other aspects of Palestine and Israelthis complex subject. I’ve also tried to tell him that if he thinks that that will magically solve the problems over there, that he’s a fool.

    Actually, I’d suggest you take this conversation over to Sol’s site. It looks to me like there are people there on both sides of the fence, and it looks like they can actually have a civil discussion about this…

    And Steve, since you brought it up, your comment in post #45:

    “John Q., until you take action on your beliefs (and the crimes you describe), it makes you complicit in the crimes, per the Nuremberg Principles.”

    This is a patently absurd world view. That’s like saying that Mother Teresa is in bed with Dupont and Dow Chemical because all she did was work on helping the poor, and all the while she forgot about global warming.

    Nuremburg principles? So I guess you consider yourself to be a post war German officer when it comes to environment since you aren’t spending 80 hours a week like I am, working on making my factory completely pollution free?? You must not sleep very well.

    Using this worldview, Steve, I should hold you, and everyone on Arbor Update, personally responsible for all factory pollution just because you aren’t working on the problem like I am. Not only that, I should point that out each and everytime anyone posts on ArborUpdate. This is a complete reduction to absurdity.

    You can’t be all things to all people or problems. Life doesn’t work like that.


       —todd    Apr. 24 '06 - 03:48AM    #
  61. Todd, Mother Teresa didn’t pay taxes to a government that supplied another government with weapons that were clearly used to kill innocent people (let alone what our government does directly.)

    As for me (and others), I’m (we’re) responsible for the factory pollution of the products that I (we) buy. Saying that I (we) should be responsible for all factory pollution would be reduction to the absurd.

    I don’t buy your (or any) beer anymore, but I appreciate your pollution reduction efforts very much. I bought one of your t-shirts several years back as a way to support your sustainability efforts and I still wear it regularly. (Any chance that your interior will become second-hand-smoke-pollution free?)

    “You can’t be all things to all people or problems. Life doesn’t work like that.”

    If one doesn’t take personal responsibility seriously, it doesn’t. Life works the way we choose to make it work. In every aspect, it requires practice and choices. One alternative (not recommended) is to choose denial (as IG has pointed out.) I don’t expect perfection from anyone, and I respect those who are honest about their struggles. We’re human and have failings, after all. Again, welcome to the shameful, painful club.

    TPM got something out of #50. Try giving that one the attention you gave #45. Or you can try to tell me that I’m a fool. Your choice.

    (Where’s Sol’s site?)


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 12:59PM    #
  62. Blaine, isn’t SOA still operating, though under a different name?

    Regardless, do you have reasoning or evidence to support a particular approach that has been successful—in any way—locally?

    Your suggestions make sense, yet “sense” doesn’t necessitate success. I’ve been successful, both personally and in the community, by devoting a given amount of time to an effort over time. I don’t see it in your or JWPF’s efforts (though they’ve both been persistent efforts.) A different subject: are you open to rethinking them?


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 01:18PM    #
  63. Quoth Blaine:
    “Unlike you, I will talk about 9 million Palestinians, and what they are going through.”

    Sure you will… But only as your alter ego, Israelita Doubtfire—err, Goldstein.

    I’m all for a little bit of Yin and a little bit of Yang. But frankly, a little bit of divestment and a little bit of {spanish word for “Israeli,” which is about as common of a name as Rumpelstilskin} gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    Nevertheless: if it means half as many posts from Blaine and an unconditional surrender of his illegitimate occupation of the female gender, and an end to his butchering of innocent Jewish aliases, he may have finally found a way to convince me to join the front lines to divest from “israelita.” Otherwise, no dice.


       —freeproduce    Apr. 24 '06 - 01:42PM    #
  64. What about Palestine?


       —Blaine    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:08PM    #
  65. Steve:

    I’m with Todd on this: The duty to act on one’s principles is certainly not a legal one per the Nuremberg Principles. Try as I may, I cannot find the principle that you referred to. Nuremberg punishes complicity, which as I understand it requires an overt act.

    You are correct in one respect: This is a matter of personal responsibility. But again, I’m with Todd in that I’m reluctant to assign myself undue amounts of blame for every sin against the peoples (and animals, and fetuses, and all sorts of ill-affected matter) of the world. I don’t think its absurd to carry out your argument to its end, it which we’re all responsible where one can show even an attenuated connection with a crime. I don’t know what you call that, but its certainly not personal responsibility.

    While taking on undue blame may have the positive side effect of compelling action, I hardly think that’s a healthy way to view world affairs. (See: Your pain/shame club) Moreover, it shifts blame away from those most deserving onto those with only an attenuated connection to the cause of the problem. Am I (or you) as responsible for the occupation of the west bank as, say, an Israeli voter? Clearly not.

    Are we blameless? No? But I want to be sure that we don’t get over zealous when it comes to dishing out responsibility for a war that is distinctly foreign. Israel has used U.S. made weapons to kill innocent people. As it happens, its used these same weapons on at least two occasions to prevent its neighbors from wiping it off the map. So I’m hesitant to feel guilty for supporting a party that has, in turn, supported selling them arms. Do I feel bad that we haven’t been more forceful in requiring Israel to use these weapons more responsibly? Sure. But I feel that I’ve made that view clear both publically and at the voting booth. In a democracy, that means I’ve done my duty. My conscience is relatively clear.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:50PM    #
  66. “I will refrain from polluting your discourse about what is happening to Palestine.”

    Blaine:

    Stop teasing me. A promise is a promise.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 02:52PM    #
  67. “Daniel, could it rather be intended as an indictment of Israel’s (generically) religious character?”

    Sure. But international law sets the floor for state conduct. Israel violates this regularly re: the palestinians, but that’s not a function of Israel’s religious character as much as it is a function of the military, political and geographic forces in the region. Religion does tie into that, but the connection is too attenuated for me to make an issue of it.

    In sum, Israel’s character as a religious state doesn’t offend me.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 03:00PM    #
  68. Daniel, I meant (generally) “religious” as opposed to (specifically) “Jewish”. But I’m probably not clear enough on distinctions between religion and culture, and mainly, race as it applies here. My point about your comment in #55 was that indictments against Israel might be against its (mono)religious character, or its (mono)cultural character, or its (mono)racial character. For example, my understanding is that non-Jews don’t get full citizenship rights. Whether one considers that racist or not, indicting it in a so-called democracy seems valid.

    Your comment seemed to insinuate that objecting to Israel’s “Jewish character” is itself a racist position. I’m wondering if that’s a red herring and if you would agree that objecting to Israel’s practices can reasonably be seen as not necessarily anti-”Jewish character” (in other words, anti-Semitic), but rather as anti-racism, anti-fake democracy, or some other applicable characterization. Or am I just misunderstanding your comment?

    On the other subject, good point about undue blame. I gladly revoke “shameful” from the club name. Still “painful”, as in sad. My intention isn’t to lay guilt/blame on anyone, just to not dismiss the truth on account of any sort of denial or rationalization. I try to speak in terms of personal responsibility because it helps me focus on my own role instead of “shifting blame” amongst others (whom I have no control over anyway.) I can only hope that you, John, Todd, and others will (continue to) look at yourselves like I’m trying to look at my own responsibility (and sadness) in and about all of this.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 05:29PM    #
  69. Steve:

    I think we agree on this: In the alternative, I’m fine with debating the philosophical underpinnings of a Jewish (or generically relgious state) in the context of racism, occupation, democracy, etc. I do guard against (particularly with Blaine floating around) such discussions crossing over into other areas, such as Israel’s right to exist in its entirety. Those sort of discussions may not be racist or anti-Semitic, but I do feel that they’re improper.

    So far as I understand it, non-Jews are afforded all the rights of citizenship save two: There is no mandatory service in the IDF and there is no right of return. The former seems to have a sound rational basis and the latter is an immigration policy – not a denial of rights for those already within the social contract. As I mentioned, there is the Palestinian issue: A displaced population that Israel refuses to incorporate into its own population or grant statehood to. This is a democratic problem, though not one connected to religion.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 05:41PM    #
  70. Steve— Since I’m too poor to pay federal taxes, that makes me sinless.

    Here’s a hint for all of you— Morality is a sticky, shifting, polytincorial thing. Trying to reduce it to simple metrics and sloganeering leads to becoming an ideologue and a bore, the two things one should shy away from being in public.


       —js    Apr. 24 '06 - 05:49PM    #
  71. “Polytincorial” does not show up on Google.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 05:54PM    #
  72. tincorial should.


       —js    Apr. 24 '06 - 06:02PM    #
  73. You mean “tinctorial” with a t added to “tincorial”, as in color tint??


       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 06:06PM    #
  74. Palestine shows up on google. What about palestine?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 06:22PM    #
  75. Ha ha

    Fine piece of snark.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 24 '06 - 06:27PM    #
  76. Congrats, js. I never doubted it in your case.

    Thanks for another thoughtful reply, Daniel. I’m still learning details. Any thoughts on the suggestions made by Blaine? I’m not here for entertainment—I’m looking for a way to make a constructive contribution locally.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 24 '06 - 08:21PM    #
  77. Blaine is pretty indicative of the local debate on this issue: extreme and hung up on divestment. Most favoring divestment can draw comparisons between the West Bank and South Africa, occupation and apartheid. But no one has ever made a strong case to me why divestment is a constructive response to occupation. Personally I think he’s shouting at the wind, which may be a comforting exercise for him, but I don’t see it having much effect beyond pissing a lot of people off – on both sides of the debate.

    That aside, given that I’ve been out of town for the last 8 months, I don’t have a good suggestion for you on where to start locally. Ari Paul or Sol Adelsky might be the people to ask.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 24 '06 - 11:12PM    #
  78. I’m looking for a “how”, not a “where”.

    The case for divestment may be more based on its success elsewhere than its applicability in this case (though I haven’t heard an argument why it doesn’t apply.) Otherwise, what is a “constructive response to occupation”?

    So I seem to be left with Blaine’s suggestion to act like a human rights activist. From what I’ve read, prayer and meditation may have a better success rate. Seriously.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 25 '06 - 12:07AM    #
  79. I think you’re right re: the success rate, though I readily admit that for as much as I rag on divestment, I really don’t have a great alternative for those who feel as though voting and participating in their own country is enough. I happen to feel that it is and don’t know what to suggest to those that don’t.

    Here’s an argument why it doesn’t apply: I sense is that divestment doesn’t work here because there are more powerful forces at work than just pure economics. While I haven’t seen polling data, its safe to say that most Israelis regard the West Bank as tied to their personal safety – either in its retention and occupation or by means of a careful withdrawal. I don’t believe that Caterpillar’s (or General Dynamics’) stock dropping a fraction of a point would sway the company not to sell to Israel, and in the remote chance that it did, I doubt the loss of a supplier of bulldozers would prevent the Israeli’s from finding other means of procuring bulldozers, and even if it did, I doubt the loss of an effective means of bulldozing would prompt Israel’s ultimate withdrawal from the West Bank a day earlier than it was ready to do so. That plays out similarly with respect to just about any U.S. product exported to Israel that I can think of – even weapons. This is very different from other places where divestment has been implemented with some success.

    Moreover, there is a strong case that Israel needs tanks and guns for more reasons than just occupation – say, staving off another 1967 or 1973. The argument here should be: Can we attach tougher restrictions on arms sales? Another argument: Since U.S. made arms are generally abused by all who use them, why isn’t the argument “divest from all weapons manufacturers?” Somehow that seems a lot more compelling than “Divest from just those manufacturers who sell to Israel” given that there is little that distinguishes Israel from other users of U.S. made arms.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 01:07AM    #
  80. I know that Blaine wants to chalk up the indifference among Americans to the Palestinian plight to some inherent racism we have against the Palestinians. But I’ve been thinking about a very similar situation that elicted the same response from Americans – fanaticism on the fringes but indifference among most. The analogous situation? The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Many of the same factors were at play – religious differences, claims and counter-claims of homeland, terrorist factions, terrorists acts both inside and outside Northern Ireland, indiscriminate killing of civilians, torture and other extra-legal activities by government forces. Yet despite the news attention provided and the historical ties of Americans of both Irish and English descent to this conflict, how many Americans gave a second thought to the Troubles, much less the different factions, even within the affected communities? Sure, there were the Blaine’s in the Irish-American community that supported Sinn Fein or defended the IRA or their counterparts on the Unionist side. But by and large, most Americans couldn’t tell you the first thing about the Troubles, much less who was affected by that period of terrorism and unrest. Should we chalk up that indifference to racist tendancies among Americans towards their Irish brethren?


       —John Q.    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:39AM    #
  81. Steve Bean:

    You wrote in #79,

    “My point about your comment in #55 was that indictments against Israel might be against its (mono)religious character, or its (mono)cultural character, or its (mono)racial character.”

    Mono-religious? Mono-cultural? Mono-racial? Hah! Are you kidding? Not only is this so far from the truth, it’s a laughable assertion. When was the last time you set foot in Israel? I was there last month. There’s an old saying: “Two Jews: three opinions!” And it gets truer all the time. Most Israelis are secular and, as among the very religious, incredibly varied in their beliefs and practices—as if that should matter; how come no one is troubled by the “mono-religious” nature of the many Islamic and Arab states and other such homogeneous nations the world over, but the second Israel enters the picture, it’s “Oh what a monolithic, racist place!”

    When I say that the diversity in Israel grows by leaps and bounds, I mean the character and nature of the country is intensely rich in its diversity in every way imaginable: variety of religious and cultural practices brought from virtually every corner of the globe as in the US, Canada, and many other “salad bowl” countries; there are all varieties of languages, music, costume, observances, etc.

    And far from being mono-racial, every color of skin from Eastern Europeans to East Indians from Bombay or Cochin to Russians from the Steppes to African-Americans from Chicago to Georgians from the Caucasus to Yemenites to Sephardim from Spain or Turkey or Morocco to Ethiopians to Peruvians (yes, there are Incan Jews living in Israel, too) to Himalayans to you name it!

    “For example, my understanding is that non-Jews don’t get full citizenship rights. Whether one considers that racist or not, indicting it in a so-called democracy seems valid.”

    Daniel answered this one pretty well, although he missed some other points like non-Jews may indeed serve voluntarily in the IDF and Bedouins, the Druze, and Christians, among others, do indeed serve in that capacity. If non-Jews don’t have full rights, who is it that elects Arabs to the Knesset? That is not to say there is no discrimination; such discrimination exists everywhere unfortunately and certainly in Israel and even against Jews by other Jews. And what is this “so-called democracy” business? Can Jews vote in Iran? Can they run for and sit in its parliament? In what Arab country are there any Jews sitting in the legislative bodies? In what Arab country is there a “so-called” or any “democracy?”

    And, are the Palestinian Arabs less mono-religious (yes, there are Christians as well as Muslims), mono-cultural, and mono-racial than the Israelis? I’m sorry, but your reduction of Israel to a mono-culture/religion/race is, whether you realize this consciously or not, at least just the slightest bit racist.


       —Mike    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:41AM    #
  82. Mike, I’ve never been to Israel and am obviously ignorant.

    “So-called democracy” followed the (apparently false) premise that “non-Jews don’t get full citizenship rights.”

    I wasn’t trying to “reduce” Israel to anything, just understand Daniel’s comments about it and about others who seem to me to see it differently.

    Well, folks, I’ve learned a little and still don’t understand much, but that’s enough for me for this time around.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 25 '06 - 01:16PM    #
  83. Mike:

    I think Steve’s point stands within the context of this discussion. Israel is a Jewish state. I think it fair to characterize it as relatively homogenous for the purpose of discussing the philosophical underpinnings of a state carved out for those of a single religion.

    As an aside, its been my experience that supporters of Israel love to, in the context of discussing Israeli policy, compare Israel to its Arab neighbors – as if it had any bearing on occupation, discrimination and other ills within the state of Israel. The strongest case for Israel is Israel, not Iran, Jordan, Syria or the like.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 02:33PM    #
  84. (The best thing that Palestineans can do is not support a seperate state and wait. The best thing Americans can do is buy from Palestinean business.)


       —js    Apr. 25 '06 - 02:39PM    #
  85. “The best thing that Palestineans can do is not support a seperate state and wait.”

    Why is that? How is that done?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 02:51PM    #
  86. Dan –

    I think your last point is indicative of why some people believe anti-Zionism often shadows anti-Semitism.

    When “comparing” (for lack of a better word) Israel to other Arab regimes in the Middle-East, they aren’t trying to get you to look away at whatever is deemed unjustified or unequal in Israel. Rather, they are making what I believe to be a fair assertion that the Jewish state should not be held to a higher standard than any other state.

    If in Israel, a country barely 58 years old, has the same problems, or same number of problems (or significantly less) than countries in the Middle-East that have been around for centuries – how can one possibly expect more out if it?

    My point is that no one is causing an uproar over honor killings and beheadings in some random Middle East country, but when Arabs in Israel don’t get the Knesset representation people feel is necessary (in a democratic forum) then people shout racism and apartheid. It makes no sense, and some claim in this instance that the line between being anti-Zionist (which is certainly anyone’s right) and anti-Semitic are slowly blurred.

    Holding Israel to a different standard than everyone else is simply unfair.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:00PM    #
  87. Brad:

    Imagine if I defended America like many Israelis defend Israel. “Social security might be bad, but hey – at least its better here than in Mexico! They don’t even have social security” Or “Yeah, racial minorities tend to be the poorest, least educated portions of society, but hey – it can’t be as bad as it is in Guatemala.” Aside from the obvious point that what’s going on Guatemala has nothing to do with what’s going on in America, I don’t think it says anything about America to compare it to a developing country. Similarly, I don’t think it says anything about Israel that it has elevated itself above its neighbors. Yeah – I expect more out of an industrialized postmodern nation than I do out of countries that the western world colonized and carved up for decades. And if you think that’s unfair to Israel, I’d ask you what Israel has done to deserve being compared to Syria.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:26PM    #
  88. Dan –

    A simple preface to this discussion is, to which country SHOULD Israel be compared? The obvious answer, to me, is none (for the reasons you have stated, and also simply because no country has achieved what Israel has achieved in less than 60 years).

    Having said that, I think you’re missing the point – they are not, by any means, DEFENDING any of Israel’s actions by referring to other countries. In that scenario, your analogy would be correct.

    Where your analogy falls short in another sense is that America, and the other countries you’ve mentioned, are not characterized by official religion.

    So you have all the other Middle-East countries, (predominantly religiously Muslim but not all so), which completely deny rights to Jews and other religious groups on one hand, and you have Israel – bending over backward to accommodate all religions on the other, yet it’s the “Jewish” state. In that sense, yes what happens in Saudi Arabia has much to do with what happens in Israel.

    Israel is a unique modern model of trying to mesh politics with religion and democracy, and all I’m saying is that people unfairly beat up on the country because it doesn’t fit within a traditional Western democractic model of how things should work.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 04:47PM    #
  89. Thanks, js.


       —Steve Bean    Apr. 25 '06 - 04:55PM    #
  90. 1.The argument that “non-Jews don’t get full citizenship rights.” comes from immigration policy. If you are a citizen of Israel, weather its European Jew, Arab Jew, other Jew, Arab Muslim, Arab Christian, other Christian sect, Druze, Bahia or any other group, you get full citizenship rights. The truth is that Arabs with Israeli citizenship have more right then almost any other Arab living in the Arab world.
    The difference is immigration. All Jews in the world are entitled to go to Israel and claim citizenship. I do not think that non-Jews can immigrate to Israel at all. That is the basis for the ‘racist state’ argument, from what I understand.
    As to those who were talking about a homeland vs. state; what is the difference??? Is a homeland some kind of stateless land? That would be ‘the occupied territories’/Palestine, a homeland without statehood. But then again, Palestinians see Israel (the territory it occupies) as their homeland, and will continue to do so even if they are given a state.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 25 '06 - 05:05PM    #
  91. “As to those who were talking about a homeland vs. state; what is the difference??? Is a homeland some kind of stateless land? ”

    Not necessarily stateless but more of an amorphous concept versus defined borders. What’s the homeland for Kurds in Iraq and Turkey? The semi-autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq? I would bet most Kurds consider their “homeland” to include parts of Turkey and Syria, not just the area of Iraq that they govern.


       —John Q.    Apr. 25 '06 - 05:13PM    #
  92. Brad:

    If such comparisions aren’t offered up for the purpose of defending Israel, what else could be their purpose? Education? Come on.

    That Israel is a Jewish state and a democracy hardly undermines my analogy. Israel’s jewish character may make it unique, but that doesn’t mean that we should hold it to a unique ethical/legal standard. I don’t think subjectifying international standards is sound practice.

    Unfair? Tell me what’s fair about granting Israel any sort of leeway because its a “unique model.” Why should Israel’s jewish character make it an exception to a uniform standard of conduct?

    “So you have all the other Middle-East countries, (predominantly religiously Muslim but not all so), which completely deny rights to Jews and other religious groups on one hand, and you have Israel – bending over backward to accommodate all religions on the other, yet it’s the “Jewish” state. In that sense, yes what happens in Saudi Arabia has much to do with what happens in Israel.”

    Why? Why does what happens in Saudi Arabia have anything to do with a discussion about Israeli policy?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 05:26PM    #
  93. Dan –

    You’re defining “defend” differently. I meant it as absolve – as in, using other countries as examples does not absolve Israel of wrongdoing. Pointing out other examples of what is done elsewhere is a reference, not an excuse.

    Again, you talk about subjecting international standards and international law. A common argument made by those who are against Israel is “why should it matter what happens in Syria, we’re talking about Israel.” Well, what matters is that Israel is not alone in some of their violations of international law by any means. And by all means, pressure should be put on Israel to maintain a good record on human rights – but not above any other nation. That is to say, one has no basis for calling Israel apartheid because it built a separation barrier when nearly 6 other countries have done the same thing, for nearly the exact same reasons, and oddly no one seems to notice.

    And what exactly is this “uniform standard of conduct” that you talk about? If you ask every country to be perfect, you have very high expectations. Every country on this earth is currently in violation of at least a dozen tenets of international law. If Israel’s violating only 6, I’d consider it a good day.

    If you do not see the obvious distinction I am trying to make between a “religious” country (Israel) that offers rights for all, and a “religious” (Saudi Arabia) country that offers rights for few, I cannot help you.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 05:53PM    #
  94. One more thing – I’m sorry if it irks you that in order to prove a point, people give other countries as a reference point. That’s just the way things work. If you want to measure GDP, you have to use other countries as a reference point. If you want to know about education standards, you use other countries as a reference point.

    Similarly, if you’re talking about rights in the Middle-East, you have to use the Middle-East as a reference point. It’s just that simple.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 05:59PM    #
  95. “If you do not see the obvious distinction I am trying to make between a “religious” country (Israel) that offers rights for all, and a “religious” (Saudi Arabia) country that offers rights for few, I cannot help you.”

    I can, but I’m not asking you to make the distinction. I’m asking you to show me the connection. I don’t see one.

    Alluding to the practices of other countries as a reference? To what end? 9/10 its a weak effort at justification.

    “That is to say, one has no basis for calling Israel apartheid because it built a separation barrier when nearly 6 other countries have done the same thing, for nearly the exact same reasons, and oddly no one seems to notice.”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. If building a barrier like the one Israel has erected qualifies you as an apartheid state, then yes – it is perfectly correct to label Israel as such without reference to how other states behave. All of them are guilty, and you might make something of the fact that Israel is mentioned and not the other six, but that doesn’t get Israel off the hook.

    Holding a modernized nation to a higher standard is the norm. Israel is not unique in this regard, though many of its supporters are correct in noting that Israel catches an undue amount of shit on college campuses.

    Here’s another example: Israel has a national election in which several key parties commit election fraud and assume office. There are two ways to approach this:

    1) Highlight the fraud and demand reform OR
    2) Highlight the fact that Israel is the only country in the area that even has elections in the first place.

    I’m saying that the latter approach seems tragically misguided.

    Personally, the “uniform standard of conduct” is how I feel a responsible, moral nation should act. Broadly, the uniform standard I’m referring to is the body of principles known as international law.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 06:14PM    #
  96. Interestin’ notes:

    1. Lebanon has some democratic tendencies too…hey, from what Bush says, Iraq is democratic too now! (heh)

    2. As for representation in Mideast, there is a Jewish member of Iranian parliament, Maurice Motamed : in fact, Jews have had a reserved seat there since 1906!!!

    Salaam/shalom everybody. Even Ari. (hehh)


       —David Boyle    Apr. 25 '06 - 06:33PM    #
  97. Dan –

    Ah, but you see, you’re neglecting the third approach, which is the most important here:

    3) a)Recognize that every country in the world has some type of election fraud

    b) try and rectify Israel’s election fraud and demand reform c)Understand that because Israel has election fraud, it does not make it any better or worse than any other country.

    Activists, in particular campus activists, would forget “a” and “c” and leave it at that.

    Israel is not asking to be held to any different standard. They are asking to be held up to the same standard as everyone else. When other countries are conveniently being held below that standard, it is frustrating.

    The connection, in reference to my last post, is that if you’re going to have a discussion about, let’s say, religious freedom in the ME – you cannot simply isolate Saudia Arabia from that discussion and say “Well, that’s just how they do things there.” It’s connected. If you hold Israel to a certain standard, you must also hold Saudi Arabia to that standard.

    In reference to the barrier discussion – nevermind the fact that even talking about the word “apartheid” in referemce to Israel is ludicrous – it’s discrimination plain and simple to just sit back and say, well, it doesn’t matter if the other people doing the exact same thing are labeled as such. There is a justified voice in America that says minorities are opressed because of their treatment in this country has been less than stellar. And I agree with that statement, and similarly so in Israel. But does that qualify the USA as apartheid? Of course not – but the same circumstances in the USA, when placed in Israel, make it “apartheid,” because it’s a buzz word that scares people off. To apply a term to one country and not the next is discrimination.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 06:39PM    #
  98. David –

    I’m not really sure what to say, other than I think it’s very clear how Iran feels about Jews at this point.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 06:43PM    #
  99. Iran, except for Iranian Maurice Motamed…


       —David Boyle    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:03PM    #
  100. ....as long as, at least according to Wikipedia, members of the Iranian government insist that they be present at his speaking functions and interviews….


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:10PM    #
  101. Ah I see.

    Even worse, perhaps, than Tom DeLay putting down the hammer on free expression in Congress…
       —David Boyle    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:16PM    #
  102. See, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Calling every country on their dirty laundry, not just one. =)


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:18PM    #
  103. “The connection, in reference to my last post, is that if you’re going to have a discussion about, let’s say, religious freedom in the ME.”

    Precisely. This is entirely about how you define the parameters of the discussion. I have no problem with discussing other countries in the ME alongside Israel IF the topic happened to be religious freedom in the Middle East. What I’m talking about is the tendency for supporters of Israel to widen a discussion about ISRAEL (not the ME as a whole) to include the surrounding states. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I think Israel can stand alone without the need for comparison.

    This sentence – “Understand that because Israel has election fraud, it does not make it any better or worse than any other country.” – is instructive. Why is this important? I’ve never been involved in a discussion about the West Bank in which nations have been ranked, from best to worst, in terms of human rights record. If I were in such a discussion, I could see a need to recognize that Israel isn’t even near the bottom.

    All but maybe Blaine would agree. But why let Blaine dictate the terms of the debate in the first place? Why not have a conversation about Israel that doesn’t include how other Middle Eastern countries happen to do business?

    “Israel is not asking to be held to any different standard. They are asking to be held up to the same standard as everyone else. When other countries are conveniently being held below that standard, it is frustrating.”

    First, I do believe that many Israelis expect it to be held to a different standard – that its location, age, ethnic makeup etc entitle it to some deference in the way of world opinion. Your comments re: Israel’s age and “unique model” have certainly implied as much.

    Second, I disagree with your characterization of the international system. No one is getting a free pass. Criticizing Israel isn’t holding it to a higher standard any more than its holding other countries below that standard.

    Last, I think you’re getting hung up on my use of the word apartheid. No – I don’t think the ATB has created an apartheid state. Yes – it is discrimination to single out a single nation for abuse. But I’m not singling out Israel by saying that the occupation of the west bank violates international law. It does.

    Another example: In the context of discussing a crime and a criminal, is it important that I mention other crimes and other criminals, lest I be accused of unfairly singling out one person for abuse?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:27PM    #
  104. Sol:

    “On this blog, for example, I don’t ever remember there being a discussion of reform across the Middle East. As a result, legitimate criticism is undermined because it appears that it is disproportionately targeting one country.”

    Legitimate criticism only undermined in the eyes of those who suspect other motivations. (Read: anti-semitism or other biases) While some of the scorn that gets heaped on Israel might very well be so motivated, I believe much of it is legitimate. Disproportionate criticism doesn’t lose its impact simply because its disproportionate. Defend Israel on the merits.

    “Certainly, I expect more out of Israel than other Middle East countries, but I think Israel does in fact meet those expectations in most cases.”

    I agree. And I do expect the same from other Arab countries.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 07:36PM    #
  105. Dan –

    It is not a “tactic” of mine to shift discourse from Israel to other Arab countries, and I certainly agree with you that Israel certainly merits a standalone conversation. I am simply pointing out that those that do so have a point, and a point that I believe to be substantial.

    Re: the point about being held to a different standard – my mention of Israel’s “freshman” status as a country was not intended to lower expectations for it – on the contrary – it has accomplished so much, and become modernized in such a short period of time, that people tend to forget how long it has taken America to iron out differences…some of which are still debated to this day…So I’m not asking for leeway, just understanding that they’ve already accomplished a lot, yet still have some way to go.

    People that are supportive of Palestinians will make the argument that Israel should indeed be held to a higher standard because of the amount of international aid the US gives – is that fair? I don’t think so. Arab countries are drunk on oil and their monetary situation is, by most accounts, quite comfortable – should we hold them to a higher standard because of that?

    Regarding your thoughts on the international system vis a vis criticism of Israel, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I am dumbfounded as to how one can justify putting blinders on and enforcing a rule or principle in one country and not in another, when it equally applies to both.

    Re: the West Bank – aside from a potential diatribe on internaional law – what flaw will be dissected next when Israel voluntarily leaves the West bank within the next 3 years? How much sacrifice does one country have to make in order to stop being considered a pariah?

    And lastly, yes – in terms of punishing that criminal, you absolutely must reference other crimes and criminals to see exactly how heinous the crime was. If everyone is doing it and no one is getting punished, why pick the lone Jewish state as the only one? That’s all I’m saying, bringing this back to the origins of this conversation: anti-Semitism vs. anti-Zionism.


       —Brad    Apr. 25 '06 - 08:08PM    #
  106. “I am dumbfounded as to how one can justify putting blinders on and enforcing a rule or principle in one country and not in another, when it equally applies to both.”

    I’m not putting blinders on and I’m certainly not talking about selective enforcement. I’ve been willing to admit that arab regimes are not above reproach. Far from it. I’m also eager to see a day when international laws are routinely and evenly applied.

    I’m just saying compartmentalize this a bit. One can criticize Israel without criticizing the rest of the ME in the same breath. Whether a policy is wrong, whether a policy is a crime are two questions that do not require a comparative analysis – pulling in other nations into the fold.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 25 '06 - 08:46PM    #
  107. When will the new issue of Michigan Israel Observer go online, Sol? (If you are “the” Sol)

    I might link to some of it.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 02:03AM    #
  108. a post of mine got lost to the either. Basic info;

    Daniel, post 94-

    you write “I think it fair to characterize it as relatively homogenous for the purpose of discussing the philosophical underpinnings of a state carved out for those of a single religion.”

    But how on earth can you say ‘relatively homogenous’ about a state that is only 80% jewish, and many of those secular jews, so we are not talking about a state for members of the jewish religion, but members of the jewish culture. There is about 20% arab muslim and a bunch of christians and some others around too. There is a difference between the fact that Israel is a super majority jewish and being able to say that its ‘relatively homogenous’.

    Now, I’m guessing that you haven’t actually studied up on the history of the ‘conflict’ there, since you would probably know that basic fact (excuse me if I’m being condescending, I don’t mean to be). Here is the crux of how most Israelis feel, at least my understanding of it;

    This history is very incomplete, but is simply the important facts behind what I think most Israelis believe;

    1- There was a very small population in what is now Israel/Palestine before 1900, but with British investment into the area, along with Jewish interest due to zionism many jobs were created, many ‘peasant arab muslims’ moved there for the jobs

    2- In 48 the jewish state was formed. It was attacked by all arab neighbors whose intention was to destroy the jews (literally)

    3- between 48 and 70 600,000 Arab muslims left what was the youthful state of israel. another 500,000 arabs jews moved from surrounding arab states to the new state of Israel. In general both groups left what they had behind. The Jewish refugees where accepted and integrated with society. And yes, the Arab jews look very arab. Now, the group that left Palestine, they were forced to stay in refugee camps. They were generally told by the arab nations that the jews would be pushed into the sea and then they would get what was the british mandate of palestine. But while that is what they were told, anytime an arab nation ended up with land after a war, that land become theirs. So, one questions that no one is willing to research and look into, is of the now 6 million who call them selves palestinians, how many had family there before 1900?? What is a palestinian (how far back did thier family have to live there). How come the Palestinain refugees are the only ones that the UN changed its definition of refugee for so that the status of refugee passes on to the children, creating a displaced people. Oh, if you want to go crazy, research the differences of the refugees in Israeli camps and and arab camps, the pro Palestinians hate to revisit that.

    4- ok, so here is how an israeli views the wars. They got attacked, and again, and gain, then they saw an attack coming and did a preemptive strike, and got attacked again after that. They basically won every war they were in, took lots of land and traded it for peace. Most arab nations didn’t recognize Israel, so it defended itself. Well at a certain point the Arab world realized that they weren’t going to win a war, but they didn’t want to give up the whole fight. That’s when you see the rise of terrorism in the 70’s. After that was dying out, the first and second intifada started. They are just reacting to what they see as a constant and continuous threat to their very existence, and rightly so. If you don’t like the heavy handed tactics they use, read the whole history of the conflict and how they reacted at each step. It certainly doesn’t justify everything they’ve done, but it will make you understand why the simple truth is that;
    While Israel deserves some blame for the condition of the Palestinian people, it is actually the Palestinians themselves and others who deserve a much greater share of the blame.

    Finally, for anyone that actually makes it this far, someone also wrote that Israel stopped the Palestinians from having a state, well thats BS. The PA charter had a date of Sept 2000 (if memory serves correct), that if there wasn’t already a state by then, that they would declare a state, and Arafat didn’t. I though they should have right then. That goes to the Israeli belief that the Palestinians won’t sign a peace deal because they don’t want peace. They could have declared a state, but didn’t, and the logic follows they could have made peace by now but didn’t.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 26 '06 - 02:11AM    #
  109. JAV:

    I have studied the confict and am somewhat familiar with Israel’s rough demographics.

    “While Israel deserves some blame for the condition of the Palestinian people, it is actually the Palestinians themselves and others who deserve a much greater share of the blame.”

    I don’t agree with this. A few years ago, I spoke with a reporter working in Jerusalem who I think got closer to the truth. He said, “Israel deserves the blame for the first intifada; Palestinians for the second.” Though I hesitate to put it so simply, I think that’s about right.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 26 '06 - 03:21AM    #
  110. “Why is that? How is that done?”

    Here’s why the Palestineans should agitate for the disputed territories to stay Israel (and in fact, for Israel to expand geographically)— The Jewish population within Israel is declining fairly rapidly with respect to the Arab population. This is one of the big reasons that Sharon came around to the two-state solution, and endeavored to define the borders unilaterally; if the current demographic trends hold, the Arabs will take over Israel democratically. As they get closer to that brink, either Israel can work on reforming their society to guarantee full equal rights (in practice as well as in law) for the Palestineans, or the charge that they are an apartheid state will have more credibility (one of the problems with Blaine and his ilk is his inability to understand that there are different terms for oppressing a minority and oppressing a majority). Further, the support of Palestinean businesses can have much more short-term impact than the efforts to divest simply because a) most of Palestine’s current problems are more economic than they are ideological (people with good jobs rarely blow themselves up), and b) because divestment will always be much much more contentious.
    The how is relatively easy if you go to many of the Halal markets around town. You can also, if you have business purchasing ability, look to Palestine as a source of both labor and manufacturing. Even buying olive oil from Palestine is helpful. Much of the aggression against Israel is also predicated on internal politics and the incredible corruption that exists there. Fatwa kept a militant foreign policy in order to distract from the massive amount of graft and skimming that was happening. Hamas isn’t much different. But working to provide them with legitimate economic opportunities that aren’t mediated by their failed state aparatus gives real Palestineans a chance to have something to live for as well as an ability to get themselves out of their current abysmal situation. It’s worth noting that this approach is favored by some Israelis, but very few Arabs outside of Palestine, mostly because places like Saudi Arabia have a vested interest in opposing peace in Israel/Palestine.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 04:26PM    #
  111. So, by your logic, Israel should expand to the Euphrates, as per God’s gift to Abraham or something, so that it will have a vastly-Arab-majority population. There’s a new twist. ...

    You also express a desire (?) for the Arabs to “take over Israel”, which may not resonate well with everyone; including Arabs who are not interested in taking over Israel. I think Palestinians will not be into that “Israel expansion” thing, by the way. Just taking a wild guess. And it’s “Fatah”, I believe, not “Fatwa”. (Freudian slip, I know, but…)
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 04:36PM    #
  112. “So, by your logic, Israel should expand to the Euphrates, as per God’s gift to Abraham or something, so that it will have a vastly-Arab-majority population. There’s a new twist. ...”

    Wrong. Try not to be willfully stupid, David.

    ” You also express a desire (?) for the Arabs to “take over Israel”, which may not resonate well with everyone; including Arabs who are not interested in taking over Israel. ”

    Wrong. I’m saying that if the current population trends continue (like I said about 50 goddamn times in the post), Arabs will become the majority. Which means in a democracy that they’re likely to affect some significant policy changes.

    I was clarifying my comment that the best thing for the Palestineans is to oppose a seperate state and wait, and for people to buy Palestinean goods.
    The best thing for Palestineans is to be equal citizens in a state that encompasses both Israel and Palestine. The best way to accomplish that is to stay put and continue to work for rights peacefully. If current demographic trends continue, they will become the majority in Israel, at which point there will either be parity or obvious internal strife that will require outside intervention.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 04:48PM    #
  113. Your hostile language is unnecessary, and my logic makes sense; at least it is the same as your logic, re the “”“good”“” of Israeli expansion. (And there are those few Israelis who would in fact like to expand to the Euphrates, I have read.)

    Also, I implied that Israel may not be enthusiastic for changes which produce an Arab majority in Israel. This probability is hard to deny. Your “one-state, bi-national” solution has been proposed by others (albeit maybe without the fascinating “Palestinians should beg Israel to expand” suggestion you drop in; run it by al-Fatah and see what they say), but many people are skeptical about it. Interestingly, this could include almost all Israelis, and a huge number of Palestinians who want a separate state, and now. Therefore, your angry language aside, reality does not seem to favor your suggestions very heavily. Especially since “obvious internal strife that will require outside intervention” (and many, many deaths, one can guess) is such a likely outcome of your suggestions. . .
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:01PM    #
  114. “Your hostile language is unnecessary, and my logic makes sense; at least it is the same as your logic, re the “”“good”“” of Israeli expansion. (And there are those few Israelis who would in fact like to expand to the Euphrates, I have read.)”

    My hostile language is unnecessary only in that now I understand your idiocy to be unintentional.

    That many people would disagree with this is not a mark against it. Many people would agree that the solution to the problem is to drive the Jews into the sea or to exterminate the Palestineans. Your “logic” regarding the scope of Israeli expansion ignores the very real fact that Israel has already assumed de facto military control over the occupied territories (unless you’ve forgotten who occupies them). Expanding Israel proper to include those areas makes sense. Expanding it to include Iran does not. Only a moron would hold otherwise (don’t take that as hostility, take that as another statement of fact).
    The argument that because my solution would either entail strife (or not, depending on how the problem was handled) and death it is not to be implimented is stupid, as the seperate state solution obviously entails both strife and death. My “angry” language comes from having to swat away the gnats of your objections, which have fallacy and words in almost equal proportion.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:12PM    #
  115. So now I am a gnatty stupid idiot moron. I never knew. At least you think it’s not intentional, so perhaps you want me to thank you for that.

    Most Israelis seem compatible with a Kadima Party-type solution, involving withdrawal and separation from the Palestinians. Most Israelis do not seem compatible with exterminating all Palestinians. Similarly, Hamas aside, the more responsible Palestinian leadership does not want to destroy Israel, they just want a separate state. And they do not want Israel to expand further, I can assure you rather strongly. Again, my alleged gnattiness, moronism, stupidity, or idiocy aside, you have those realities to deal with.—And, I am well aware of Israeli military occupation. However, Olmert and his Kadima party are trying to scale this back (some), which may reduce both strife and death, despite your assertions otherwise. When both Olmert and Abbas tell you in a conference phone call that they have converted to your point of view and that Israel should not contract but EXPAND to include an Arab majority, let me know, I’ll be happy to check and confirm that the call took place: and you can then get your Nobel Peace Prize for creating Mideast peace when no one else has been able to do so.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:33PM    #
  116. “When both Olmert and Abbas tell you in a conference phone call that they have converted to your point of view and that Israel should not contract but EXPAND to include an Arab majority, let me know, I’ll be happy to check and confirm that the call took place: and you can then get your Nobel Peace Prize for creating Mideast peace when no one else has been able to do so.”

    What a fine metric you have for success! While my solution is unpopular, it is far better for both sides in terms of peace and human rights. The two state solution will not end the violence, and the current homeostasis will tend toward the outcome that I’ve predicted whether people want it or not.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:42PM    #
  117. Well, “good luck”; I see you do not argue that the Palestinian Authority should expand to assimilate Israel, just the other way around. That alone should set off some alarm bells. Again, I do not see any television images of crowds of Palestinians in the streets yelling, “Please Israel, expand and assimilate us!” In fact, I doubt I ever shall.

    And, while I try to avoid predicting things myself, you yourself predict that there could be “obvious internal strife that will require outside intervention” under your solution. I think that could be the most accurate prediction you have made here. (By the way, re two-state solution not ending violence, it seems that the limited Israeli territorial withdrawals have produced at least some measure of “truce” and reduction of suicide bombings in the last year or so, the one recent and ghastly Passover bombing aside.)
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:56PM    #
  118. I said I’d post something from the new Michigan Israel Observer issue, so, have a look at The Israeli Bob Marley by Dara Yaskil—MUSIC REVIEW: Idan Raichel’s sophomore CD, Out of the Depths .


       —David Boyle    Apr. 30 '06 - 01:17AM    #
  119. Blaine:

    “I will refrain from polluting your discourse about what is happening to Palestine.”


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 30 '06 - 01:54PM    #
  120. “I’m ready to stay silent if you are still in the middle of that discussion.”

    I don’t believe that your promise to not pollute the discourse was contingent on who was participating in it.

    I was reading JS and David’s back and forth until I ran across your mindless bullshit… again.

    Stop.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 30 '06 - 06:24PM    #
  121. Blaine-

    No. No one cares at all about Palestinian society, at least not as long as you continue to represent their cause. Can you go away now? Won’t that make you feel better knowing people will actually say and discuss the word “Palestine” when you leave and stop polluting the Ann Arbor campus with your vitriol?


       —meva    May. 1 '06 - 06:30PM    #
  122. Blaine,

    Here is a personal attack on you. Then I will justify it.

    1- you are dumb, stupid, an asshole and generally an idiot. That is why people react to you the way they do. You say things like;

    a – “controlling zillions of Israeli troops”

    b – topic of the original post was about JWP being disruptive, yet you had to make it into another Palestine/Israel debate. That wasn’t on the agenda, but the first post was you attempting to change the topic into what you wanted to talk about, yet when people change the topic on you all we hear is bloody murder.

    c – You talk in dogma and are not willing to engage in debate. You repeat yourself, often and ad nausea.

    d – You confuse things with the language you use, like calling land that is clearly in the state of Israel and calling it Palestine (making debate near impossible)

    e – Oh, and you are a coward for not simply saying that you would like to see the destruction of the state of Israel

    Now, the reason I’m justified in telling you about your stupidity, idiotic, etc is because you constantly ruin things for everyone else. You turn more people away from the ideas that you promote rather then towards them. You ruin the opportunity for debate for others so you can feel better about yourself.

    If you want to challenge me on anything I’ve said now or in the past, I will promise a serious response, but only if you answer this question;

    Who gets the title Palestinian? Then we can start a debate


       —Just a Voice    May. 1 '06 - 06:37PM    #
  123. Despite JAV’s begging me to participate, I won’t.

    Again, please feel free to discuss what is happening to Palestine, and what you want to do about it.

    I am still refraining from comment.


       —Blaine    May. 1 '06 - 07:10PM    #
  124. I would love to help the people in Palestine. But there’s this idiot named Blaine fogging my vision from reality. Can you please make him go away?


       —meva    May. 2 '06 - 02:54AM    #
  125. What could be more ironic then a comment saying “I am still refaining from comment”??

    Ok, people insert jokes here;


       —Just a Voice    May. 2 '06 - 01:32PM    #
  126. Big Palestine vigil is set for this Sunday, outside the JCC’s “Celebrate Israel” event, and…

    ...It looks like the local “Celebrate Israel” honchos are trying to build a 114-foot wall, against this Sunday’s anticipated vigil.

    According to the May 4th “ANN ARBOR NEWS”:

    * “Local celebration set for Israel holiday”

    “Local Jews will celebrate Israel Independence Day on Sunday with a new mural at the Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow Drive, Ann Arbor.

    “Painted in 19 6-foot sections by members of 18 Jewish organizations in the area, the two-sided mural celebrates peace and Israel through the decades.

    “The paintings have been under way the last two months, and the panels are to be hung Thursday on a 114-foot fence outside the JCC. After the Sunday festival, the mural and individual sections will be available for other events.

    “The festival is 1-4:30 p.m., rain or shine…”

    ************************************

    The full article is in today’s (May 4) “Ann Arbor News”, on the Web at:

    http://www.mlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-17/1146753859107280.xml?aanews?NEA&coll=2&thispage=2


       —Blaine    May. 4 '06 - 05:57PM    #
  127. Don’t kid yourself, you idiot. No one alters their plans for anything you, or any of your mindless cretin friends do.


       —meva    May. 4 '06 - 09:13PM    #
  128. I take it that you are ready to discuss what is happening to Palestine now.

    Or would you rather just call Palestine human rights advocates unpleasant names?


       —Blaine    May. 4 '06 - 09:24PM    #
  129. Thought experiment: Blaine, let’s say that tomorrow the UN appoints you Grand Plenipotentiary for Israel and Palestine, with full power to dispose of things how you want there. And with full Israeli and Palestinian support for the UN move, too, so that you are “legit”.

    So what would you do, if you had full power over the region? I hope you have some detailed ideas, otherwise you would not have any business preaching to anybody about these issues…
       —David Boyle    May. 4 '06 - 09:39PM    #
  130. Isn’t it obvious? He’d call Ahmadinejad.


       —meva    May. 5 '06 - 01:00AM    #
  131. That’s a little simplistic. What if there were another invasion of Israel re the 1948, 1967, or 1973 experiences? If Israel were to be conquered by its neighbors unless aided by the U.S., would you cut off aid to Israel under those circumstances?

    Also, what does “support” mean? Would you withdraw U.S. diplomatic recognition of the “Zionist entity”, as some have called Israel?
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 01:56AM    #
  132. that’s it blaine, that’s all you would do? You wouldn’t set borders? You wouldn’t make Palestine a state? You wouldn’t make the new ‘state’ recognize Israel? Would you dissolve the state of Israel? What?????

    You offered nothing in response besides;

    “I would simply cut off U.S. support for the State of Israel”
    and
    “I would cut off ALL support to that apartheid state of Israel.”

    that’s not much really. You think that would change everything huh? You are so narrow minded that even when offered an opportunity to suggest improvements over there, you can’t come up with more then your then your current mantra/slogan that has be repeated to the point of redundant nausea – “Divest from Israel”.


       —Just a Voice    May. 5 '06 - 01:41PM    #
  133. “I would simply cut off U.S. support for the State of Israel.”

    Problem solved!

    Well, you know, that’s great, but, uh…

    But what about the actual Palestinians exiled from Jerusalem, Palestine?

    ...what about the actual Palestinians who are forbidden to set foot in their own Jerusalem homes, by the Israeli army?

    What about the Palestinans, Blaine? What about them? Under your plan, they would still be suffering under the yoke of Israeli occupation!

    You let me know when you’re ready to discuss Palestine.


       —Daniel Adams    May. 5 '06 - 01:49PM    #
  134. Yes, you heard right:

    I have no right to set the borders of Palestine.

    Only the exiled and occupied people of Palestine have the right to do that.

    And they will, over every inch of robbed, bruised, and battered Palestine.

    From al-Quds to Haifa to Ramallah.

    All of occupied Palestine.

    Check a map from 1946—it’s all there.
    ————————————-

    The little we can do—cut off all support to the apartheid state of Israel—is enough.

    It worked in South Africa.

    It will work in Palestine.

    Do you lack faith in the desire of Palestinians for freedom, in their own land?

    Do you feel they are not to be trusted with control over their own land?


       —Blaine    May. 5 '06 - 02:10PM    #
  135. Never forget:

    Apartheid South Africa, and Apartheid Israel, were the most intimate of military allies.

    Want proof?

    Look:
    ————————————-

    “Brothers in arms – Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria”

    “During the second world war the future South African prime minister John Vorster was interned as a Nazi sympathiser. Three decades later he was being feted in Jerusalem.

    “In the second part of his remarkable special report, Chris McGreal investigates the clandestine alliance between Israel and the apartheid regime, cemented with the ultimate gift of friendship – A-bomb technology”

    “The Guardian” (UK)
    Published Tuesday February 7, 2006

    Full article on the Web at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1704037,00.html

    * See especially the photo of Apartheid South Africa’s Prime Minister, John Vorster.

    * The photo shows Vorster being feted in al-Quds by the very top political leaders of Apartheid Israel.
    —————————————-


       —Blaine    May. 5 '06 - 02:20PM    #
  136. “Well, “good luck”; I see you do not argue that the Palestinian Authority should expand to assimilate Israel, just the other way around. That alone should set off some alarm bells. Again, I do not see any television images of crowds of Palestinians in the streets yelling, “Please Israel, expand and assimilate us!” In fact, I doubt I ever shall.”

    That alone should set off alarm bells? Only if you’re a retard. Quick quiz— which one has a functional government and infrastructure, the Israelis or the Palestineans? Might as well say that the very fact that I’d call for Puerto Rico to become a state of the US instead of the rest of the US becoming a state of Puerto Rico should set off alarm bells. Grow a brain, moran.


       —js    May. 5 '06 - 03:34PM    #
  137. You have now achieved the honor of being even more unpalatable than Blaine, something hard to do. Not to mention the fact that you are nine days late in answering, and in the midst of another conversation. If you are proud of this, it says a lot about you.

    “moran” is an unsuccessful attempt on your part to spell “moron”, I take it? When you can’t even spell “moron”, you are in deep trouble… At least you can spell “retard”, I suppose, although that may not be a PC insult these days, any more than “spaz”, etc. (Recently, Tiger Woods got in trouble for calling someone “spaz”.) —Finally: I think many Palestinians would find the comparison to Puerto Rico a little bit exaggerated, maybe even insulting. (In terms of population, size, etc.; Puerto Rico is way smaller than the U.S., but Gaza and the West Bank together are roughly in the same size category as Israel.) Of course Israel is more “functional” at the moment than the Palestinian Authority; however, Palestinians could argue, “Give us millions of Palestinians time to be more functional and organized, and then WE can expand and assimilate Israel.” Not that I would agree with them; but they could make that argument, even if you would call them “”“morans”“” for doing so.
       —David Boyle (Re "moran")    May. 5 '06 - 03:51PM    #
  138. js, could this be you?

    http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/n/U/moran.jpg


       —meva    May. 5 '06 - 06:18PM    #
  139. David:

    I don’t think that the single-state solution JS is suggesting is any more far fetched than the two-state solution that Israel seems to be moving toward. There are advantages and disadvantages to either plan.


       —Daniel Adams    May. 5 '06 - 06:24PM    #
  140. “moran” issues aside, I’m not completely ruling out the single-state solution, I’m saying that both Israel and Palestine seem moving toward the two-state solution right now, and that a single-state solution may be implemented in other ways than Israel swallowing up the Palestinians and their current lands.


       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 06:38PM    #
  141. It is untenable to even discuss a single state solution. No Israeli Prime Minister in past, present, or future, would be willing to mortgate the Jewish state.


       —meva    May. 5 '06 - 06:50PM    #
  142. Likely enough. As I’d said, Israel doesn’t seem into it…..a hundred years from now, though, who knows. But at present, you are quite correct, I think.

    By way: thanks for that photo! Appreciated the laugh!!!
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 06:57PM    #
  143. Blaine:

    You may have no right to set the borders of Palestine. But you have the ability (we hope) to use your brain and come up with more than “Divest!”

    “It worked in South Africa. It will work in Palestine.”

    I cannot find a single scholarly article that attributes the demise of South African apartheid, in whole or in part, to domestic divestment movements. Moreover, I can find no scholarly article that points to divestment as an effective political tool.

    A 1999 study in the Journal of Business concluded that divestment had almost no effect on financial markets that had South African ties. “We find no support for the common perception – and often vehement rhetoric in the finanacial media – that the anti-aparthied shareholder and legislative boycotts affected the finanacial sector adversely: The announcement of legislative or shareholder pression had no discernible effect on the evaluation of banks and corporations with South african operations or on the South African financial markets.” (The Effect of Socially Activist Investment Policies on the Financial Markets: Evidence from the South African Boycott, by Siew Hong Teoh; Ivo Welch; C. Paul Wazzan)

    Another study in the Journal of Business Ethics concluded that: “Forging constructive dialog with government agencies as well as with non-government organizations was strongly recommended by Bruyn (1987, p. 236). Over the 1990s and this decade, shareholder activists and SRI (Socially responsible investment) fund managers have sidelined the government in preference to attempting direct engagement with corporations. Fundamentally, however, addressing social problems by targeting individual firms, either by way of shareholder activism or SRI fund investment, is not likely to result in systemic changes.” (Haigh, Hazelton 2004)

    You have not ONCE made your case for why divestment is appropriate for Israel.

    You have not once substantiated your claim that Israel is an apartheid state.


       —Daniel Adams    May. 5 '06 - 07:02PM    #
  144. Nelson Mandela thanked the divesters, so I think it helped in South Africa.

    That does not mean it should be done to Israel, of course. Different situation.
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 07:08PM    #
  145. Dan,

    OK, I’ll help you find the parallels, between the two “Parliamentary Deomocracies”, as Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa pretended to be.

    Both governed millions, in blunt racial terms, without allowing their subjects any meaningful vote.

    (Palestine gets NO VOTE over the terms of its occupation by Israel.)
    ————————————-

    For more parallels…

    If you’re interested, glance through this book by Joseph Hanlon: “BEGGAR YOUR NEIGHBOR: APARTHEID POWER IN SOUTHERN AFRICA”

    The book details Apartheid South Africa’s military pounding, and economic strangulation, of its neighbors in Southern Africa.

    You can easily do the research, if you haven’t already, to show Israel’s similar aerial bombardment, and bloody sadism, against the Arab world, from Beirut to Qana, Jenin to Ramallah, even to Umm el-Fahm (an “Israeli Arab” town).
    ———————————
    Want more parallels between Apartheid Israel, and Apartheid South Africa?

    Try “The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why”, by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Published by Pantheon Books, 1987. ISBN 0394559223.

    The book describes Israel’s “intimate” alliance with Apartheid South Africa.

    The book also shows how Israel heavily armed military dictatorships from Guatemala to El Salvador to Nicaragua to Zaire to many, many more.

    If you can’t find the book, take a peek at the “New York Times Book Review”, for comment by the author and someone who diagrees with him, at:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/4591
    ——————————————————
    I don’t have to tell you that Israel has strangled the Palestinian economy for many decades, now more harshly than ever.

    Apartheid South Africa’s military superiority, and its violent state racism, and its victim-of-terror rhetorical pose, are almost a mirror image of “Israel”’s, from the at least 1960’s until today.

    You can find the quotes easily enough, from “Pik” Botha, from Vorster, maybe from Malan too.

    Compare those South African quotes to how Israeli General Rafael Eitan spoke of bottling up “the Arabs” like “cockroaches”.

    But I think you’re smart enought to find, and assess, the parallels between Israel and South Africa.

    So I’ll leave you to do that.


       —Blaine    May. 5 '06 - 07:53PM    #
  146. “Nelson Mandela thanked the divesters, so I think it helped in South Africa.”

    I’m not sure if it did or if it didn’t. Mandela’s gratitude doesn’t settle it for me.

    Blaine is clearly sold on divestment. I want Blaine to sell me.


       —Daniel Adams    May. 5 '06 - 07:57PM    #
  147. Some Jewish groups tried to boycott the Nazis, because they know boycotts and divestment tend to work. They were not able to get enough allies, but I wish they had, because it might have prevented WWII, the Holocaust, etc.

    I think Mandela is a pretty good expert on South Africa. (He not only thanked divesters, by way, but stated that their actions helped.) —Anyway, Blaine can sell you (or not) on divestment from ISRAEL, but divestment in general (including UM’s divestment from tobacco companies, etc.) is often effective, and is at least a good moral symbol, if nothing else.
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 08:40PM    #
  148. Divestment politically confronted White South African racial supremacy.

    That is how it worked: politically shining a spotlight on what racist state violence did, and on the fact that it can be challenged, even when your government is ALLIED with that racist violence.

    Divestment worked in the 1980s to end South African apartheid when over 100 Universities (including the University of Michigan) cut their financial ties to companies doing business in South Africa.

    This campaign did not cripple the South African economy.

    **********************

    No, divestment helped destroy the legitimacy that white racism held in the mind of America.

    Divestment showed the savage white racism at the heart of South Africa’s claims of “democracy”.

    Divestment made it impossible for Nelson Mandela, and for occupied Africa, to be jailed as “terrorists” by their white occupiers.

    Before the divestment movement, Nelson Mandela’s name was unknown on U.S. campuses.

    Divestment proved, to all sides, that Apartheid South Africa could not transact political or economic business in this world, not for long.
    —————————-

    The result:

    The white supremacist South African government, still possessing supreme military power over Southern Africa, was compelled, POLITICALLY, to stop crushing the Black men, women, and children of South Africa.

    Divestment worked, when added to the weight of many decades, many martyrs, many prisoners, of the African freedom movement.

    **************************

    Divestment will work the same way, to help occupied Palestine free itself.

    Divestment has already started to show the savage racism which governs “Israel”, which enslaves Palestine on Palestinian land.


       —Blaine    May. 5 '06 - 08:44PM    #
  149. Blaine,

    In the words of a green day song from a decade ago,

    “I don’t know you, but I think I hate you.”


       —meva    May. 5 '06 - 08:59PM    #
  150. Now meva, you’re better than that. :D

    I think that since Israel has “divested” (...) itself of the Gaza Strip, that to “divest” from Israel at this time sends a bad sign. It’s like punishing someone who’s trying to reform himself or something. There are probably plenty of alternatives to divestment from Israel, if one looks around.
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 09:04PM    #
  151. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”—Gandhi.

    Hmm. “Then they hate you” doesn’t seem to be on the list.

    David, what are you concerned about potentially disrupting? If South Africa had let Mandela out of jail (earlier) would you have argued to not divest in that case?


       —Steve Bean    May. 5 '06 - 09:33PM    #
  152. In God’s Politics , Jim Wallis talks about how the polarization around abortion/reproductive freedom keeps people from finding common ground on solutions that have broader support (increased access to adoption, effective family planning, etc).

    Here, I wonder if the polarization around Palestine keeps the peace community from finding common ground.

    Just to take divestment, can we divest from war? Can we divest from the companies that are supplying arms in Colombia, Israel, Egypt, and Indonesia?

    Now, as Daniel points out, that might not actually do much to affect Sikorsky or Lockhead Martin’s profits or shareholder value. But I think there are ways to expand the discussion, find common ground, and recruit allies.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    May. 5 '06 - 09:38PM    #
  153. There was huge polarization over slavery.

    Frederick Douglass was thrown down stairs, got his wrist broken, was almost thrown into the ocean, etc.

    – all this was done to him by Northerners, in the North, or on the high seas.

    So yeah, great human rights issues can be polarizing.

    Racism is polarizing.

    Opposing racism is polarizing.

    But, of course you have to oppose racist oppression, and divest from it, always.


       —Blaine    May. 5 '06 - 09:56PM    #
  154. So Steve and Blaine, you want to divest from the Palestinian Authority until they allow Jews to own land?

    South Africa really was worse than Israel, I feel. And they weren’t invaded in 1948, 1967, and 1973 either.—And don’t get me started on Hamas and their unacceptable pledge that Israel must be destroyed. Ugh. ...Even Arafat, in 1988, renounced destroying Israel. Hamas is 18 years behind the times.
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 11:20PM    #
  155. David, did you answer my question? If so, I don’t follow.

    As to your question, I don’t see the basis for it. How are we (the US, city of Ann Arbor, etc.) *in*vested in the PA?


       —Steve Bean    May. 5 '06 - 11:32PM    #
  156. If they just let Mandela out but kept apartheid, that wouldn’t have been good. But Israel giving up the Gaza Strip is a serious sacrifice, and Hamas are very dangerous people.

    I don’t know if AA is invested in the PA, but the US or US companies may have some such investments.
       —David Boyle    May. 5 '06 - 11:45PM    #
  157. Palestinians are living in “slavery”? You sure about this? What plantation do they live on again?

    If they’re slaves, how did they elect Hamas who pledged to destroy Israel? That could never have happened if they really lived in slavery. You keep going on like this, I may not bother to dialogue with you further.
       —David Boyle    May. 6 '06 - 12:16AM    #
  158. So Hamas is not really in power? What do you mean, fake elections? They seem real to me, and to the Israelis who dread Hamas, and to Abbas who doesn’t like Hamas much either.


       —David Boyle    May. 6 '06 - 12:29AM    #
  159. “But Israel giving up the Gaza Strip is a serious sacrifice”

    That’s a telling perspective.

    “That could never have happened if they really lived in slavery.”

    You believe that slaves or the otherwise oppressed can’t choose their leaders by reason of their oppression, David? Try to look past Blaine and his shortcomings as a spokesperson for the Palestinians in order to see the perspective he’s asking you to consider.


       —Steve Bean    May. 6 '06 - 01:18AM    #
  160. That perspective includes not even diplomatically recognizing Israel, a la Ahmadinejad of Iran, see his commentary above.

    And if Gaza wasn’t a serious sacrifice, then all the settlers there who were dragged away by Israeli police, would just have left, they wouldn’t have resisted.
       —David Boyle    May. 6 '06 - 01:22AM    #
  161. I’ll make a more substantive post tomorrow, but I had to respond to this:

    “No, divestment helped destroy the legitimacy that white racism held in the mind of America.”

    You’re kidding me, right?


       —Daniel adams    May. 6 '06 - 03:25AM    #
  162. Can’t believe I’m doing this – but I’ll step up to Blaine’s defense. Partially. Divestement from South Africa, combined wtih other large economic boycotts authorized by the United Nations and through domestic legislation in the United States did in deed help bring the government of S. Africa to the negotiating table. Thereby ending Apartheid. In effect it denied the government of South Africa currency to carry on its regieme, and since it could not trade becuase of sanctions – that was largely the end of the regieme. This is where my agreement with Blaine ends.

    In the case of Israel – divestment is neither appropriate nor legal. It is not appropriate becuase Israel already has made a commitment to come to the negotiating table. It may have been appropriate when Golda Meir refused to recognize Palestinians as a people, but in 2006 every major party in Israel supports negotiations with the Palestinians, and the creation of a Palestinian state. The qeustion is when and how, not whether. The lack of a will to negotiate comes not from Israel but from the Palestinian side of the isle. First, Hamas refuses to recognize the righ tof Israel to exist. Making negotiations very difficult. Second, the Palestinians seem to want to negotiate while shooting at Israelis – a reuslt no one (US, Russia, or France) would tolerate. So, if divestment is appropriate from anywhere it is from countries that support violence by the palestinians, thereby making negotiations impossible. I propose we start with South Africa.

    Moreover, in this case, divesment is illegal. It was legal in the case of South Africa becuase Congress and the pReisdent had authorized such behavior. In this case, both branches seem to back Israel. As in the Untied States the federal governmetn gets to make foreign policy it would be illegal for state actors – like UofM to undermine their efforts.

    So Blaine – I suggest you conovince 51 senators, and 218 members of Congress. and leave the rest of us in peace. David


       —DL    May. 6 '06 - 10:03PM    #
  163. “Not to mention the fact that you are nine days late in answering, and in the midst of another conversation. If you are proud of this, it says a lot about you.”

    Sometimes I turn away from political masturbation toward pornographic masturbation. This means that I can’t keep up with every one of your ejaculations. I am proud of having a life that keeps me away from your blather, and I don’t mind that this says anything about me.

    ” “moran” is an unsuccessful attempt on your part to spell “moron”, I take it? When you can’t even spell “moron”, you are in deep trouble… At least you can spell “retard”, I suppose, although that may not be a PC insult these days, any more than “spaz”, etc. (Recently, Tiger Woods got in trouble for calling someone “spaz”.) ”

    Whatever, spaz. Meva already provided the referent.

    ”(In terms of population, size, etc.; Puerto Rico is way smaller than the U.S., but Gaza and the West Bank together are roughly in the same size category as Israel.)”

    3.5 million is not the same as 6.5 million. In fact, its about half. Likewise, about 6k km^2 is not the same as 20k km^2 It’s, you know, like less than half. Granted, those are top of the head addition from the CIA factbook, but to assert that they’re about the same size is retarded. I’m sorry, David, I mean that I’m implying your consistent lack of rhetorical skill and basic knowledge of fact would lead me to believe you’re developmentally disabled.

    “Of course Israel is more “functional” at the moment than the Palestinian Authority; however, Palestinians could argue, “Give us millions of Palestinians time to be more functional and organized, and then WE can expand and assimilate Israel.” Not that I would agree with them; but they could make that argument, even if you would call them “”“morans”“” for doing so.”

    Right, and they could argue that they could make a ham and cheese sandwich if someone gave them time to be more functional and organized, and also some ham and cheese.

    ““moran” issues aside, I’m not completely ruling out the single-state solution, I’m saying that both Israel and Palestine seem moving toward the two-state solution right now, and that a single-state solution may be implemented in other ways than Israel swallowing up the Palestinians and their current lands.”

    The argument that there ARE other ways to proceed is not an argument. That Israel enveloping the disputed territories and Palestineans shifting the course of the combined country through democratic means is the best way for the issue to be resolved is my argument. That you’re too busy playing Nincivere the Wounded Gallant to make an argument is your problem.


       —js    May. 7 '06 - 08:50PM    #
  164. As is common with you, there is no “Nincivere” I can find on Google. Then again, you once called Fatah “Fatwa”, I believe. I think you are disqualified from ever criticizing me again on factual errors, not to mention issues of gallantry, spaz-dom, retardation, developmental disability, etc.

    Your self-stated obsession with pornography and playing with yourself aside, I do see Gaza + West Bank = c. 6205 square kilometers, and Israel, c. 20. 770. I did say “roughly”, though, and a factor of 3 or so is not that far off. (Especially if Israel gives back other pieces of land to Syria or whomever…) But Puerto Rico is c. 9104 square miles, versus c. 5,984,865 for the whole U.S. That’s a ratio of c. 650 to 1, much, much larger than 3 to 1. And in the same vein, for comparative population. ...Like I said, the Palestinians are not really into being “enveloped”, and unless you want to drive a tank over them and forcibly “envelop” them, I still doubt that your solution is terribly viable at this time. (Not to mention meva’s helpfully mentioning—as I had mentioned myself—that the Israelis are not too much into it either.) I think that Palestinians consider themselves capable of making their own sandwiches or pitas, and of running their own country, without being swallowed by anyone else. Maybe people like Amir Peretz, head of the Israeli Labor party, who apparently wanted to give back more of the West Bank to the Palestinians than some other parties did, may have a more viable solution than the “single-state, bi-national” route that meva and so many others find repulsive or dangerous, even if you consider them “morans” or “spazzes” for not believing what you say.
       —David Boyle    May. 7 '06 - 09:23PM    #
  165. Nincivere is a fanciful name combining ninny and Gwenivere, spaz. “Moran” is a frequent internet riff (much like “OH NOES!!111one!!”). If I said your thick skull must allow you to crush rocks like Bonk on the Turbographics, no doubt you’d google the correct spelling of the console and remind me that Bonk was a cartoon.

    But that’s an aside from the fact that you, David, will never admit that you’re just plain wrong and operating from a base of well-meaning ignorance combined with a fair amount of self-righteous blather. Can you just say that 1/3 != 1? No, you have to say that one-third is pretty close to equal in an attempt to realign an analogy that while exagerated was on-point.

    That the current Israeli government doesn’t want a single-state solution is fine, that was one of the things that Ariel Sharon changed his mind about during his tenure when confronted with demographic trends. And while I don’t necessarily support anything that Sharon opposed, I think that he made his decision on a very similar line of thought (he’s said as much) and with very different goals (keeping Israel more purely Jewish). As long as Palestine and Israel are divided, the conflict will not be resolved. Once they are a single state, many other contentious issues will fall away or be able to be dealt with through negotiation.
    But where’s your argument? “Other people want to do something different.” Yes, David. Yes they do. Do they often have much more political interest in the plans they offer? That’s all you offer, that more whining about the terrible names you’ve been called and high-minded pronouncements of your inability to take me seriously.
    Single-state solutions give the best possible outcome for everyone interested in peace, democracy and justice. For people interested in Zionism, revenge or anti-semitism, two-state solutions are the best.


       —js    May. 7 '06 - 10:00PM    #
  166. 1/3 does not equal 1, but, my “thick skull” and “ignorance” aside, I said not even “roughly the same size”, but “roughly the same size CATEGORY” (emphasis added). Anyone can be plain wrong, including me; but to quibble about things like the Palestine/Israel size ratio (a difference of less than one order of magnitude, that is, less than one power of ten) while making outrageous comparisons to Puerto Rico’s size re U.S., a difference of several powers’ magnitude (c. 6.5×10-to-the-second-power, i.e., c. 650), is a little quarrelsome or even malevolent.

    You may be right about single-state, but if you have not convinced Olmert, Abbas, or meva, you may have a hard road to hoe, that’s all. “Good luck”.
       —David Boyle    May. 7 '06 - 10:18PM    #
  167. Never did I think that my name would be used in the same sentence as Mahmoud Abbas or Ehud Olmert.

    Not sure why you’re still even discussing single state solution. Again, as stated, it is political, cultural and religious suicide for the Jewish state. It will never happen. It’s like talking about the U.S. resorting to communism. Completeky antithetical to everything the state stands for.


       —meva    May. 8 '06 - 12:35AM    #
  168. Well, someone else brought it up again, so I had to respond. (If you were addressing me, that is)

    Hey, you’re famous now! So might as well mention you with Abbas and Olmert… :D
       —David Boyle    May. 8 '06 - 01:16AM    #
  169. I can’t believe this thread is still going. Or can I…?


       —Dale    May. 8 '06 - 01:16AM    #
  170. See today’s AA News, Jewish celebration picketed: Pro-Palestinian protesters target Israeli Independence Day event by Lisa Allmendinger,

    “While about 300 people gathered Sunday at the Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor to celebrate Israel’s independence, about 30 pro-Palestinian rights advocates chanted through bullhorns on the sidewalks outside the center’s private property.

    Ann Arbor police were called to the Birch Hollow Drive site to ensure a peaceful afternoon for both sides.

    “Sadly, we’ve grown accustomed to their shameful behavior. We don’t think that screaming at children is the way Israelis and Palestinians should behave,’’ said Jeff Levin, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County.

    Carrying red, black, white and green Palestinian flags and protest signs, members of three groups – the Huron Valley Greens and Defend Palestine Ann Arbor, which sponsored the protest, and Jewish Witnesses for Peace – loudly vocalized anti-Israeli chants, urging the Jewish community to take a stand on what they said is Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians.

    Blocking the protesters from a direct view of the Independence Day festivities taking place in and around the community center grounds were a series of 6-foot-high, hand-painted murals depicting “Israel throughout the Decades (1948-2006).’’ The artistic visual blockade spanned more than 100 feet of chain link fence that separated the community center from the public sidewalk where many of the protesters marched.

    ...The chants continued throughout the afternoon. As people arrived and left, the two sides at times became verbally confrontational.

    “We’ve heard them protest at synagogue,’’ said Cindy Kellman of Ann Arbor. “It’s something we can tolerate, but some of the things they are saying here, this is disgraceful. It’s appalling. There are children here.’’

    Kellman’s son Bernie, 8, interrupted, saying, “I just think they’re stupid freaks,’’ referring to the protesters.

    Some pro-Palestinian protesters chose to make their point quietly with a sign, while others chanted loudly. One vocal protester covered her face so she would not be recognized. She said she was a teacher and was fearful for her job if employers knew she was protesting there.

    ...Gloria Harb of Ann Arbor, who said she is of Palestinian dissent [sic], said she protests outside Beth Israel on Saturdays, but she turns her sign toward Washtenaw Avenue, where it might do some good. “I want to expose Israel for what it is doing to the Palestinians,’’ and to urge America “to adopt a more even-handed policy in the Middle East,’’ she said.

    Adam Eichner, one of the organizers of the Independence Day celebration, said passions run high on both sides. ” ... If you are Jewish, Israel is part of your prayers every day,’’ he said.

    Rabbi Robert Dobrusin of Beth Israel called Sunday’s Jewish center event “a celebration of love and pride and peace and hopes for a region of mutual respect.’’”

    Huron Valley Greens? I didn’t know they were involved in this kind of thing.
       —David Boyle    May. 8 '06 - 06:00PM    #
  171. David, I thought the same exact thing when I read that about the HVG


       —Just a Voice    May. 8 '06 - 06:09PM    #
  172. no surprise here. after all, ralph nader’s middle east platform was a papered-over “drive them into the sea.”


       —peter honeyman    May. 8 '06 - 09:07PM    #
  173. not to be flip – but how sad is it whenteh most correct description is that by an 8 year old*

    * I am assuming they are all like Blaine


       —David Livshiz    May. 8 '06 - 09:19PM    #
  174. That would be this platform, Peter?:

    “Assist Russia & Israel in moving towards better governments

    Nader supports the Green Party Platform, which states:
    We encourage policies that work to assist the FORMER SOVIET UNION in its move toward a government based on rights and a more open political and economic system.
    We support peace in the MIDDLE EAST based on respect for civil liberties and human rights.
    We support the end of the economic blockade of Cuba. Unjust economic coercion by one state against another constitutes a violation of human rights.
    We believe in the core RIGHT of SELF-DETERMINATION; of the special character and needs of INDIGENOUS PEOPLES; of the essential importance of balancing economic development in the THIRD WORLD with a respect for the “old ways.”
    We endorse an EXPANDED PEACE CORPS.
    We encourage the important work of NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs), much in evidence at the United Nations “Earth Summit” in 1992 and in efforts to democratize the World Trade Organization in 2000.”

    Do you have some basis for insinuating that Nader, the Greens, or anyone else who objects to the Israeli occupation on human rights grounds would not likewise stand up in support of Israeli human rights if and when they were threatened in the wake of an end to that occupation?


       —Steve Bean    May. 8 '06 - 09:44PM    #
  175. Steve –

    I don’t know where to find this. But it was clear that Nader intended to substantially minimize support for Israel, and said on several occasions that he favored a one state solution.

    D


       —David Livshiz    May. 8 '06 - 09:47PM    #
  176. David, would that involve some sort of violation of Israeli human rights?


       —Steve Bean    May. 8 '06 - 10:34PM    #
  177. The Jewish Witnesses for Peace & supporters are known in activist circles for trying to take over well-meaning activist groups (ones that are sympathetic towards Palestinians) to get them to support their cause and methods. It appears they have succeeded in this case. Don’t read to much into what the HV Greens actually think – the vast majority of Greens do not support the approach of the protestors even remotely.


       —HV Greens?    May. 8 '06 - 11:08PM    #
  178. Some of you might be interested to know that the US Green Party adopted a position in favor of divestment from and boycotts of Israel. We also favor a one state solution with equal rights for all.

    The Huron Valley Greens are in line with the rest of the Green Party in including Palestinians as human in the quest for human rights for all. I never cease to be amazed at the lies and rationalizations put forward by Zionists to justify denying Palestinians their full human rights – the right of refugees to return to their lands as well as the rights of non-Jews who live in the lands occupied by means of Zionist terror in 1948 (pre-1967 Israel) to have full rights in their own land. Neither are realized currently or possible under a state fixated on keeping a majority of one type of people and dedicated to imposing a European society on stolen Asian land.

    Aimee Smith
    Co-chair Huron Valley Greens


       —Aimee Smith    May. 9 '06 - 04:58AM    #
  179. Intriguing article Green Jews Campaign Against Party’s Israel Divestment Resolution ,

    “Audrey Clement biked across night-darkened bridges and through driving winter rain to make her point: Her party — the Green Party — made a fundamental mistake in a resolution calling for divestment from Israel. [etc.]”
       —David Boyle    May. 9 '06 - 05:20AM    #
  180. “Moreover, in this case, divesment is illegal. It was legal in the case of South Africa becuase Congress and the pReisdent had authorized such behavior. In this case, both branches seem to back Israel. As in the Untied States the federal governmetn gets to make foreign policy it would be illegal for state actors – like UofM to undermine their efforts.” DL

    David,

    B/c Umich was the first school to divest from SA, which was before congress authorized the step, wouldn’t that mean U of M acted illegally when they boycotted SA?

    stu


       —Stuart Wagner    May. 9 '06 - 10:12AM    #
  181. Ms. Smith—
    What are the Greens doing about the right of return for Native Americans in the US? It seems that perhaps we should get our own house in order before lecturing others in a land across the sea—and I say that as we all live in a European society on stolen land—ditto for the country to our north. . . and there’s Australia, too. Oh, and some countries in Central and South America. Our very own actions here could speak volumes. What is the local Green Party doing about that?

    Thanks.


       —Young OWSider    May. 9 '06 - 10:37AM    #
  182. “lands occupied by means of Zionist terror in 1948” –
    wow, thats so cool, the greens are becoming the American history rivisionist party!

    Jesus, thats like talking about when Nazi germany was defending itself from Russian and English terror when they started WWII.


       —Just a Voice    May. 9 '06 - 11:51AM    #
  183. JAV, that was Aimee’s comment, not a HVG or Green Party statement. Please take care in your reading.

    Aimee, as you can see by the pleasant welcome you’ve been given by our fellow (anonymous) community members, you might want to take care in how you combine your personal opinions with HVG or Green Party positions (no matter how similar they may be.)

    YOWS, you might try coming up with an answer to your own question in a less than facetious way and then repose it more seriously, as if Aimee really were an organizer of a serious human rights group (which she is, or didn’t you notice? Here’s a hint: when someone is serious about something they use their real name and title.) You might even try reading #198 (re: the Green Party platform on indigineous peoples—ntm human rights) and answering the question I posed to Peter (who still hasn’t responded), if you happen to have a similar concern.


       —Steve Bean    May. 9 '06 - 02:08PM    #
  184. Steve, go and google yourself, start with

    steve bean
    not you there at the top eh?, then
    “steve bean”
    then
    “steve bean” ann arbor
    now you’ve only got 6 pages of results and I’m guessing your the guy associated with Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition, with that information I could find you if I choose (not a threat, a fact).

    Ok, now google me (oh, yah, you can’t)and you get 11 pages, almost all me, then add quotes and you’ll get 10 pages of all me. I don’t want my polotics to get in the way of my business. A choice I’ve made.

    Now, I hold my stance, Aimee is co-chair of the greens and is representing them while posting here by linking her name to thier site. Just face facts, the are making themselves a joke by endorsing such issues that they cannot even effect.


       —Just a Voice    May. 9 '06 - 02:55PM    #
  185. My comment about anonymous posting was directed to YOWS, not you, JAV.

    As for your “stance”, it’s more of a poke. If you have an argument, make it.


       —Steve Bean    May. 9 '06 - 03:44PM    #
  186. Interesting question about UM and S. Africa, Stu. Do not recall of any complaint of “illegality” at the time…


       —David Boyle    May. 9 '06 - 05:18PM    #
  187. Steve, you said
    “Aimee, as you can see by the pleasant welcome you’ve been given by our fellow (anonymous) community members”

    thats members as in plural?


       —Just a Voice    May. 9 '06 - 08:24PM    #
  188. Yes, that was plural. (?)

    The (sad) irony, JAV, is that, by holding Aimee to a standard for her comments relative to her affiliation, you contribute to the climate of fear that you say leads you to post anonymously.


       —Steve Bean    May. 9 '06 - 08:29PM    #
  189. “thats members as in plural?”

    Oh, I see. I was referring to what I wrote (in #207) after “YOWS,” while you’re referring to what I wrote after “Aimee,”.


       —Steve Bean    May. 9 '06 - 08:35PM    #
  190. Steve,

    I also read Aimee’s comment as (perhaps unintentionally) stating a semi-official position. When people sign organizational titles to their names without clarification, it is assumed that they are speaking for the organization. It could also be that what Aimee meant was, “I consider myself well-informed in stating that the local greens are pro-divestment, because, as an officer in that organization, I helped debate and form that policy.” But I hardly think JaV ought be chastised for making the obvious/traditional reading of her signing her note the way she did.

    Not that I necessarily think JaV’s comment was as civil as it could have been, but I agree that an official-looking proclamation about “Zionist violence of 1948” makes the local Greens sound like a group I want to distance myself from.


       —TPM    May. 9 '06 - 09:27PM    #
  191. Local Greens? All 4-5 of them who were present to vote on this statement, three of whom are new members from Jewish Witnessses for Peace? I’d probably agree that the current group of Greens are a group of people I’d want to distance myself from as well, and I’m a Green! However, saying that they represent ALL Greens just isn’t correct. Just as you could get a small group of Democrats coming out in strongly in favor of, say, a 4-story height limit downtown, doesn’t make that the view of all Democrats.


       —HV Greens?    May. 9 '06 - 09:47PM    #
  192. “Please take care in your reading.”

    TPM, that’s a polite request, not chastisement. I’ll ask the same of you. When Aimee wrote “I never cease to be amazed at…”, did you think that she was speaking on behalf of HVG in that sentence? I asked Aimee to take care as well since she put that sentence in the same paragraph as the HVG/GP position.

    Over 200 exchanges in this thread alone (on the topic of peace, ultimately) and we’re still operating on assumptions, fear, lack of trust, and higher expectations of others than of ourselves—and all this within our own small community, far from the Middle East.

    We are the peace generator…

    Forgive yourself, to generate peace within.

    Forgive someone close to you, to generate peace between.

    Forgive someone you don’t know, to generate peace among.

    We are the peace generator, for if not we, then who?

    (Sorry if I’ve become a bore, js.)


       —Steve Bean    May. 10 '06 - 01:56AM    #
  193. Stuart –

    First of all, there was non-binding Congressional resolutions before UofM divested. Second of all, the law in this area was largely undeveloped until about the last ten years. However, in light of Crosby and especially last term’s decision in Garremendi there is little doubt that a state instituion attempting to play a role in foreign affairs would be struck down. I’m willing to bet that if you FOIA you’ll get a memo from the U’s GC office saying as much. There really isn’t much dispute on this question – no one serious that I know (no matter how liberal) will tell you otherwise.

    Boyle – in the case of South Africa there was not a legal challenge. at least not one that happened prior to Congressional authorization. In the case of Burma – there was however, that was the Crosby decision. And in the case of Sudan there was a challenge ready to be filed, but then Congress passed a resolution supporting such initiatives killing the opportunity. Yes, divestment from Israel would be consitutional if doing so was consistent with stated policy of the Federal government. Given that we give 2 billion in aid, its a tought case.

    Steve – yes a one state solution does infringe on Israeli human rights. Say the right to self-determination. A one state solution is code langauge which means that Jews are not entitled to self-determination, which is a human right, and moreover a jus cogens right – which means (speaking loosely) that it will trump all other considerations except a right of another people to self determination. in this context, the best wayt accomodate both sides is to create two states, and to offer Palestinian refugees a right of return to the newly created Palestinian state. Not to take away a right of self determination of other people.


       —David Livshiz    May. 10 '06 - 05:51AM    #
  194. I recently found this blog;

    http://michaeltotten.com/

    its a very interesting experiment in reader supported journalism. i found it to be one of the most interesting news sources on the middle east that I have found in a very long time. I wanted to share it with all the tree town folks who pay attention to that part of the world. In one of his more recent articles, he visits the west bank and interviews both palestinian people and poloticians.

    A MUST READ for anyone interested in that part of the world


       —Just a Voice    May. 22 '06 - 03:25PM    #
  195. The Storm over the Israel Lobby

    “In their paper (the Web version runs eighty-two pages, forty of them footnotes), Mearsheimer and Walt argue that the centerpiece of US policy in the Middle East has been its unwavering support for Israel, and that this has not been in America’s best interest. In their view, the “extraordinary generosity” the US showers on Israel— the nearly $3 billion in direct foreign assistance it provides every year, the access it gives Israel to “top-drawer” weapons like F-16 jets, the thirty-two UN Security Council resolutions critical of Israel that it has vetoed since 1982, the “wide latitude” it has given Israel in dealing with the occupied territories—all this “might be understandable if Israel were a vital strategic asset or if there were a compelling moral case for sustained US backing.” In fact, they write, “neither rationale is convincing.”

    JWPF criticizes everybody for keeping silent about the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis.

    Yet nobody criticizes them for keeping silent about Israel bribing Congress and spying on us.

    Seems like those would be issues the American people would be more likely to get behind. Even someone with no opinion about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict might be concerned why our Homeland Security director is a dual citizen.

    Tell me, Blaine, why haven’t you re-thought your strategy in two years, as Israel lobbies us to go to war with Iran for them?

    Damn near demanding it, actually :

    But, he said, Israel will not take the lead in striking Iranian targets, as it did by bombing an Iraqi nuclear installation 25 years ago. “Israel doesn’t have to lead in this struggle, either militarily or politically. We have enough problems to deal with in our own area. This is a well-defined threat against Europe, the United States and many other countries.”

    Why do you keep silent about this subject, Blaine? Because it might actually attract new interest in the subject? Do you enjoy arguing with people who will never listen?

    I think you know full well that every time you say “Every Zionist is a KKK racist killer” with the press nearby to print it (the new Observer is the latest embarassment—thanks), you just generate more sympathy for Israel.

    Two years ago I could see how you might just be a deeply concerned person who lets his emotions interefere with his tact—that’s how I am, after all. And far be it from me to criticize anyone’s choice of protest tactics; we all have our own. But it’s getting ridiculous.

    People who really feel sympathy for Palestinians don’t ostracize principled anti-war activists like Lynn Meadows.

    People who really feel sympathy for Palestinians work to inform the public , not browbeat people.

    a·gent pro·vo·ca·teur A person employed to associate with suspected individuals or groups with the purpose of inciting them to commit acts that will make them liable to punishment.

    Whether or not that’s you, it might as well be.

    And if that isn’t you, I hope this serves as some sort of wake-up call, because nothing you’re doing is helping.


       —Adam de Angeli    May. 22 '06 - 05:32PM    #
  196. Off-topic: is this your letter in the Metro Times, Adam, from 3/1/06, We all fall down ?

    “Re: “Juan’s World” (Metro Times, Feb. 22), it stunned me to learn that Cole’s “worst-case” scenario of the Middle East crisis doesn’t mention anything about the role of other nations…. The United States and Israel make no secret of intentions to take action against Iran, which could easily start a war. Iran poses at least as much threat to our Middle East oil supply as Iraq, and is obviously ready for war — nations do not make Holocaust-denial taunts if they aren’t prepared for the consequences. Our irresolute army in Iraq is right between Israel and Iran. China and Russia both have major investments in Iran. China recently signed a $100 billion deal with Iran and Russia is funding their nuclear plant. Both will take umbrage to a U.S.-Israel attack based on familiar speculation about WMD capability. Iran could sabotage a U.S. oil pipeline more easily than Iraq, and if such an event would plunge America into depression, as Cole suggests, that will leave China — creditor to a great deal of trade debt based on the U.S. dollar — very angry. China will listen when Russia explains to them how the global banking system has taken advantage of the East, and the connection between the World Bank, the neocon policymakers and Israel itself. With economic devastation from the oil supply cut and the crippling of our forces in Iraq, we cannot be sure we can win a war with Iran. We’ve thrown in all of our chips — our forces, dollars, allies and resources. We cannot afford to make rash moves. A new depression is not the worst possible outcome. A fallen empire can be quite worse. —Adam de Angeli, Ann Arbor”
       —David Boyle    May. 22 '06 - 08:36PM    #
  197. Adam,

    I’m not going to dwell on this discussion, but your Chertoff assertion isn’t entirely accurate. Just because Israel claims him as a citizen doesn’t necessarily make him a dual citizen.

    stu


       —Stuart Wagner    May. 23 '06 - 11:32PM    #
  198. Moreover….if you do any sort of proper search of legal documents you will see that as part of confirmation he gave up his citizenship in Israel.

    As for bribing Congress – you for real? You think AIPAC outspends the oil/defnese lobies? common….what AIPAC does do well is tap into the psychology of average americans. No amount of money will get John Dingell to be pro-israel. his constituency wont allow him. however, most americans like israel adn can be motivated to vote people out who are anti….see Hilliard in 2002 elections for example.


       —David Livshiz    May. 24 '06 - 01:42PM    #
  199. Adam and Blaine are peas in the same pod. Don’t waste your time trying to get them to check their facts or actually learn about the cause the claim to champion.

    But, do go and read the posts on http://michaeltotten.com/

    his last two posts are just pictures of Lebanon, man I really want to go visit there now. For those who don’t know, Beruit used to be called the Paris of the middle east, and the destruction of the city is an interesting story. He (Michael Totten) is working on getting his blog readers to pay for his writing, rather then get assignments from mainstream medai outlets.

    check it out!


       —Just a Voice    May. 24 '06 - 02:03PM    #
  200. Just arrived in AA,

    Welcome to the fray. First you say “it seems like the rest of the world is doing something..”. I will disagree with you here in that we are not seeing a vast majority of the ‘rest of the world’ do anything. Yes, a few group in the UK, Canada and other places are calling for divestment, but that is certainly not the majority. Next you ask why ‘open-minded’ Ann Arbor leaves much to be desired in “stop{ing} Israel and its illegal and genocidal behavior”. I can not answer that question untill you answer these;

    1- do you think Israel should exist?
    2- did you even read this thread?

    The second questions is very important, because the topic has be discussed ad nasium here, and the topic of this thread (and hence the topic of the comments) is weather or not JWP (Jewish witnesses for peace) are being disruptive to the interfaith meeting. The pro-divestment movement in ann arbor has done more to hurt their cause then help it.

    There is a overwhelming majority that says that the JWP protest outside the Beth Israel synagog is in bad taste. It doesn’t actually advance their cause, and probably works against it. The whole topic is very complex. I don’t know how much you actually know about it or have studied it, but the way to progress toward improvements for both sides is to create dialog, and there is no doubt that the main pro-palestine people in the area do more to stifle diaolog then create it. You say “It is true that American ignorance and complacency is unmatched when it comes to Palestine”, but what about Darfur? Or many other places across the globe? Why not focus on the treatment of Palestinians in the worst conditions, those who are basically prisoners in souther Lebanon? They have it much worse then those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it isn’t Israel who is treating them so porly. Again, Welcome to the diaolog. I would ask one minor favor, and that is choose a handle (name/nickname/alias) and stick to it so we know who we are talking to so ther is some consistancy. Unless you plan to leave ann arbor soon, Just arrived in AA will become outdated soon.
       —Just a Voice    May. 31 '06 - 04:31PM    #
  201. I can foresee 25 years down the road a mental picture of Blaine using a walker and a sandwich board, blathering on about how Israel’s latest peace gesture is a conspiracy for zionist global domination. Then, all the students will say “Hey look, it’s that crazy old bastard Blaine again.”

    It’s funny, because people pretty much say the same thing now. Except he’s not old and doesn’t need a walker.


       —Meva    May. 31 '06 - 05:32PM    #
  202. I will leave you to discuss what is actually happening to Palestine…

    ...if you think of Palestinians as human beings.

    And I sure hope you do.


       —Blaine    May. 31 '06 - 06:06PM    #
  203. Blaine,

    Stop beliveing your own rhetoric. No one has said that Palestinians aren’t human beings, except you. You throw that acusation around when other people actually want to discuss the issuel. I have many friends who are Palestinians, and those relationships got very strained at the start of the second itifada due to the fact that I didn’t think that thier cause was helped by what was happening. I have also sat down and had tea in Jerusalems arab quarter with an arab store owner and a sabra (Israeli who was born there). They were very close friends. I’ve also shared a hash/taboco joint with a Palestinian in the old city. I, along with probably everyone else here think of Palestinians as human. So please stop beating that dead horse.

    Meva – it will be Blaine, Adam DeAngelo and the leader from JWP as a group, Blain won’t be alone as the old crazy bastard.


       —Just a Voice    May. 31 '06 - 07:26PM    #
  204. Still waiting for you to discuss what is actually happening to the Palestinians…

    ..not whether your relationships with Palestinians are “very strained”, as you put it.

    ...not whether Palestinians are your “friends”, as you also put it.

    Can you discuss what is actually happening to Palestinians in Palestine?


       —Blaine    May. 31 '06 - 07:43PM    #
  205. Is this thread still going on?


       —Jared Goldberg    May. 31 '06 - 07:59PM    #
  206. “Just arrived in AA” and “Fixing to leave AA.”

    Maybe Fadi came back for a short visit?


       —Sherlock    Jun. 1 '06 - 02:36AM    #
  207. Fixing to Leave –

    Your write: ” Israeli [is a ]racist theocracy which is in breach of any and all international laws” I’m just wondering are you actually a lawyer? One that works wtih Publc International Law, or Perhaps International Humanitarian Law?

    Becuase, I have a challenge for you. Please find me a single biding commitment of International Law that Israel has violated? As someone who has represetned a country as a legal advisor in the United Nations, and has sat in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly (hint: legal committe) i do not know of any. In fact, most international lawyers will tell you that what makes the conflict so difficult to resolve is the inherently confusing legal situation surrounding the conflict. But clearly, you know more so please educate me!


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 1 '06 - 09:13AM    #
  208. I really hate to say this, but I have been wondering if just arrive/leave is a straw man.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 1 '06 - 12:21PM    #
  209. David:

    I’ll take a stab at it:

    1) Just about any way you slice it (1947 borders, 1950 borders, etc), Israel has through force of arms assumed control of lands which are not part of its sovereign territory. The UN Charter prohibits actions taken against the “territorial integrity” of states.

    2) Israel has been (and in some cases continues to be) in violation of no fewer than four UNSC resolutions: 242, 446, 452 and 465. Per Article 25 of the UN Charter, all member states are obligated to “accept and carry out” the provisions of SC resolutions.

    I’m pretty sure that there is some other stuff too…


       —Daniel Adams    Jun. 1 '06 - 01:08PM    #
  210. “I really hate to say this, but I have been wondering if just arrive/leave is a straw man.”

    Read: Blaine. Same rhetoric. Same fallacious arguments.

    Also – Its getting to where I’m curious as to how long we can keep this thread going. Over/under is 300 posts.


       —Daniel Adams    Jun. 1 '06 - 01:13PM    #
  211. Daniel, and all others;

    this thread will keep going until the next article on the subject is posted, then it will move to the new thread.

    Now, I know nothing about international law, but to what Daniel said, Israel has fought all its wars in defense, not offense. To give you a good idea of how things work from the Arab point-of-view, from the comments in Michael Totten’s post from May 30, a commenter posts;

    “Israel used the rockets that were fired into northern Israel [from Lebanon] as a pretext to assault Lebanese sovereignty. This reveals the dangers that the Lebanese and Palestinians face from Israel,” he told Reuters.

    Yes teh threat that Lebanese and Palestinians face from Israel is that if they try to blow up Israel, Israel will fight back, my god, the chutzpa of those Israelis!

    As for UNSC 242, it called for Israel out of occupied lands AND Arab states to recognize Israel. Now that’s how we get the whole land for peace thing, Israel gave land back to Egypt, Egypt recognized Israel as a state (and started getting us aid). Now, I’m not sure on the exact time line for all these things, but Israel also made a deal with Jordan too if memory serves me correctly. Now the land that was supposed to become a Jewish state during the partition was never made into a state, so Israel had no one to give the land back to.

    You also say that “Per Article 25 of the UN Charter, all member states are obligated to “accept and carry out” the provisions of SC resolutions.”

    but i’m pretty sure that we can go and find UNSC resolution, after resolution that have not been carried out.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 1 '06 - 02:12PM    #
  212. Daniel –

    Actually, Article 25 of the UN Charter reads: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.” The resolutions you mentioned are all adopted under the Chapter VI power of the UNSC. As such, those resolutions are non binding (which is what I had limited my querry to). Resolutions under Chapter VII of the Charter are binding, but as far as I know Chapter VII has never been invoked against Israel.

    In terms of aquisition of land through force of arms. Actually, I think you have a point here – but a small one. You are right in as much as we limit the territory in questino to E. Jerusalem which Israel has annexed. The rest, however, Israel has not annexed and is therefore “not aquired” within the meaning of international law. UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 requier Israel to “withdraw from the territories occupied” during the 1967 war. However, those resolutions were drafted in a very specific way (the legislative history here is facinating)and specifically only requrie Israel to withdraw as part of negotiated settlement. Which means, that if there is no agreement there is no correspondign obligations to withdraw. The question gets more complicated in the case of the West Bank as the country to which Israel had the international legal obligation to withdraw has since aquiessed by renouncing its right to the territory.

    Look – the point isn’t that Israel is perfect. Israel is a state like any other, and like any other states occasionally it strays into gray areas, or even breask the law. I was merely pointing out that the rhetoric used by Fixing to Leave is wrong to the point of embarrsment. And its rhetoric like this that largely prevents a solution.

    To resolve this thing – both sides need to compromise. And as long as there is not a realizatino that, whatever the past, to end bloodshed the Palestinians too need to compromise and that Israel is not all black and “Palestine” is not all white both sides will keep making the annual treck to the UNSC to arbitrate their grievances.

    Look,


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 1 '06 - 02:16PM    #
  213. David:

    Thanks for clarifying re: UNSC resolutions. While I agree with respect to this being a diffult issue with no clear answers, responding to Blaine (or his aliases) with similarly absolutist statements (Israel has not violated binding international law) doesn’t seem like a useful (or accurate) exercise.


       —Daniel Adams    Jun. 1 '06 - 03:29PM    #
  214. To the person who wants to get involved in divestment efforts—
    Please come to this event, tonight:

    >THE PALESTINE CHILDREN’S RELIEF FUND- This Thursday June 1
    >
    >Please join us for a lecture andQ&A sessionwith Steve Sosebee,
    >Founder and CEO of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
    >
    >Thursday, June 1
    >
    >7:00-8:30pm
    >
    >Michigan Union- Anderson Room D
    >
    >Ann Arbor, Michigan
    >


       —Blaine    Jun. 1 '06 - 03:40PM    #
  215. Blaine,

    is THE PALESTINE CHILDREN’S RELIEF FUND a divestment effort, or an effort to actaully help Palestinian children?? I would support effort to help anyone who is hurt by the current conflict, and in case you didn’t know, that includes people on both sides.

    in #230, you say you will leave when I think of palestinians as human beings, and in the next post I say that I do.

    then in 232 you ask
    “Can you discuss what is actually happening to Palestinians in Palestine?”

    OK, first where is Palestine???? is that the west bank and gaza, or does that include the state of Israel too?

    then I will happily answer your question.

    To Fixing to Leave ann arbor,

    posts 235 and 237, oh, sorry, I actually have a life outside of this thread, didn’t mean to put my daughter to bed and fall asleep with her, I know, my first priority should have been to respond to you. Then you write “Most young people in Israel are eagerly looking for ways to leave Israel” you have anything to back that up?? Cause I know many young people there, and they don’t plan to go anywhere.

    Can any of the Arbor Update people who run things check into the IP address for Blaine and the Just arrive/leave ann arbor posts??? Would love to know if its actually two different people, or if Blaine has a split personality.

    peace out!


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 1 '06 - 07:12PM    #
  216. Just Arrived in Ann Arbor,

    Welcome to Ann Arbor. I hope you leave soon.

    If you stay, you’ll meet the fate of the others, like Blaine and Henry Herskovitz, who have attempted to spread their racist vitriol in the city. You will be ostrascized, and you’ll deserve it.

    Have you ever even been to Israel, or the territories for that matter? Are you as dense as you seem from your posts?


       —Meva    Jun. 1 '06 - 07:44PM    #
  217. Just arrived,

    yes of course the Palestinians should be able to have peace. Just as those who live in Israel deserve the same, no?

    So, lets enter into a useful dialog; you say the state of israel (as it exists) should be dismanteled. Are you saying and end to the state of Israel? What do you consider palestine, the west bank and gaza, or do you include the state of israel. I ask that just so we can be on the same page, meaning if you say palestine and include the state of israel, then we can barely have a dialog, as to me, Palestine is either ‘the occupied territiries’ or gaza/west bank. We must use the same language when we talk (defining words is the first step so we speak with a ‘common tounge’)

    Next, do you think that rocket attacks from gaza to over the border into the state of israel is acceptable? Israel pulled out of gaza, they would happily stay out, and only go in after they have been attacked.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 1 '06 - 09:21PM    #
  218. ““Israel used the rockets that were fired into northern Israel [from Lebanon] as a pretext to assault Lebanese sovereignty. This reveals the dangers that the Lebanese and Palestinians face from Israel,” he told Reuters.

    Yes teh threat that Lebanese and Palestinians face from Israel is that if they try to blow up Israel, Israel will fight back, my god, the chutzpa of those Israelis!”

    JAV, it’s important to identify and assess the actors involved. Were the rockets launched by Lebanese (government) military forces, or by some other group?

    I’ve noticed that defenders of the state of Israel’s actions frequently ask those who object to its government-perpetrated violence to condemn the violence of suicide/homicide bombers, paramilitary groups, etc. in equal terms. I think that many people assume that violence in general being reprehensible is a given. I think they focus on the acts of governments (including funding of such acts by our government) as being particularly objectionable and particularly worthy of attention and action, since individuals are more difficult to appeal to or influence and governments (again, including ours) represent and act on behalf of their citizens. I put myself in that group with that perspective.

    My limited understanding is that, prior to the election of Hamas, at least, acts by Palestinians (non-Israelis living in the West Bank or Gaza—is that a useful distinction?) were not sponsored by a Palestinian government. Other governments, perhaps? Any funded by our tax dollars? Any “democracies”? I don’t know and am open to being informed.

    In any case, I think it’s important to identify who specifically is “try[ing] to blow up Israel” (as you so hyperbolically put it) as part of “useful dialog” (as you more reasonably put it.)


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 1 '06 - 10:09PM    #
  219. It used to be that if you wanted to start a fight a peace rally, the best way was to get the Socialists and the Communists together, they’d go after each others throats (just like in the “Judean People’s Liberation Front” vs “the People’s Liberation Front of Judea” in the Life of Brian).

    Now, there’s a similar split in the community concerned about Palestine/Isreal.

    There are several tendencies.

    Blaine, “Israelita,” “Just arrived,” Aimee Smith, and Henry represent the anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionists hold that the founding of Israel as the Jewish State was an act of racism and injustice against the indigenous Palestinian population and call for the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state. For anti-Zionists, the occupation began in 1948 with the founding of the state of Israel (aka al nakba, the catastrophe). For this group, there can be neither peace nor justice until Israel is no longer a Jewish state (this is often put in terms of a bi-national state). This camp looks for a “1-state solution” to the conflict.

    And no, not all anti-Zionists are as incendiary as Blaine. Nationally, you can look to Al Adwa and International ANSWER are prominent propenents of this line of thinking. In my experience, this faction is small but loud.

    Then there’s the anti-occupation camp, which calls for Israel’s withdrawl from Gaza, West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Most members of this camp favor a 2-state solution based on Israel’s 1967 borders. This camp does not challenge Israel’s right to exist, though many members of this camp insist on equal rights for all citizens regardless of enthnicity or religion (that goes for both states). This faction has many tendencies, including progressive Zionists , International Law advocates (pdf), and many others.

    I consider this to be a big part of the mainstream peace movement. It is the tendency of the major U.S. peace coallition, United for Peace and Justice, , as well as Churches for Middle East Peace and many others.

    Both the anti-Zionist and anti-occupation camps favor a specific solution. There are also process-oriented groups like the local group Zeitouna Zeitouna focuses on promoting dialogue among local Jewish and Arab Women. Other process-oriented groups promote Israeli/Palestinian youth exchanges or that promote internatinal negotiations on the issue. Generally, these groups don’t advocate a specific end, but rather a means to an end. (Michigan Peace Team ) would also probably go in this category, they participate in nonviolent accompanyment to promote peace with justice, but don’t promote any specific solution.)

    These are the major factions that you see in the peace community. There are also folks in the peace community that take the position that Israel peace would have arrived if the Palestinians would just accept Israel’s offers. However, these folks are not organized within the peace movement in the same way that other factions are.

    So, what does this have to do with local issues? And why did I cite Monty Python?

    Just like the People’s Fronts in Monty Python, these factions are often deeply in conflict with each other.

    For an anti-Zionist, any accomodation to the Jewish State is an accomdation to racism, apartheid, and genocide. Often, they see the anti-occupation and dialogue groups and counter-productive because they give people the illusion that true justice can be acheived without confronting Zionism. (Just like many “radicals” think that “liberal” policies are dangerous because they relieve the pressure that would lead to a full revolution.)

    That’s why many local anti-Zionists denounce groups like Brit Tzedek, , Zeitouna, Michigan Peaceworks , and others.

    To the anti-occupation crew, the absolutist demands of the anti-Zionist faction undermine efforts to build a broad base for peace in the Middle East (Just look at Blaine’s rhetoric to see why). Also, many anti-occupation activists doubt that a 1-state solution can bring peace (some cite the former Yugoslavia as an example of the shortcomings of a bi- or multi-national state as a model for enduring peace). And yes, some (but not all) anti-occupation activists are Zionists who support a Jewish State, but unlike far-right Zionists, they see the ideal of Jewish State is one that does not occupy other lands, provides full citizenship for all residents, and lives in peace with its neighbors.

    Locally, the anti-Zionist faction is quite militant and has been quite effective in either taking over local groups (see posts 201 & 215 for one example) or getting groups to back away from the issue (for example, Michigan Peaceworks does little on this issue. Also the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice choose to suspend its Middle East work while pursuing of 2-track process of mediaiton and proposing alternatives ways of addressing the issue.).

    Okay, I’ve written a lot (maybe more than I should have), but since Steve and Just a Voice were looking for “useful dialogue,” I think it helps to have a sense as to some of the factions.

    So, now let’s unite in fighting our common enemy, the Liberation Front for the People of Judea.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 1 '06 - 11:48PM    #
  220. Steve,

    first read the Michael Totten blog for some in-depth information on what’s going on at the Lebanon Israel border.

    the short version of the story is that the rockets were launched by Hezbollah who countrols the southern part of the country, and Israel fired back at them, targeting Hezbollah. Its complex to say the least.

    as for the Palestinians, yes, there was evidence that the PA (Palestinian authority) gave direct financial support to suicide bombers. I’ll dig it up when I have time

    That is also the general problem, the PA did nothing to stop terror attacks on Israel, that is why they went to such extreme measures to defend themselves. I personally didn’t support much of the actions that Israel took and would have liked them to follow a different course, but I have no say or vote in that at all.

    As far as defenders of Israel asking for equal condemnation of suicide/paramilitary etc. I strongly disagree with you there. Those who are the most vocal in condemning Israeli action generally do not condemn the suicide/paramilitary action, not only that but I would venture to say that the majority of them think that Israel shouldn’t exist at all and all the land should be given to the Palestinians

    Take a good long look at the history of this conflict, and you’ll find that most of the time Israel has been on the defense, and they are very good at defending themselves, don’t hold that against them. Also, I wonder, how do you think they should respond to the assaults on their country, since the PA has never lifted a finger to stop any attacks on Israel, they took the extreme measures needed to defend themselves.

    I’m in a rush, more response later, ask me what else you wish to know


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 12:58AM    #
  221. Thanks for the explanation, Chuck. However, I think that redrawing the lines between groups of people isn’t helpful. Maybe you can think/speak/write in terms of differing perspectives, instead of differing factions. Uniting might be easier if we made that effort.

    On the one-state/two-state question, we can look at many countries, including our own, that have struggled with multi-name-your-grouping populations. For now we might realistically promote and accept intermediate accomodations (in all cases), in order to move in the right direction, and avoid using the term “solution” until it’s more applicable.


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 01:13AM    #
  222. Worth noting: German-Born Pope Laments Holocaust Crimes: German-Born Pope Benedict XVI Visits Auschwitz, Asks God How He Could ‘Tolerate’ Holocaust ,

    “OSWIECIM, Poland May 28, 2006 (AP)— Pope Benedict XVI visited the Auschwitz concentration camp as “a son of the German people” Sunday and asked God why he remained silent during the “unprecedented mass crimes” of the Holocaust.

    Benedict walked along the row of plaques at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex’s memorial, one in the language of each nationality whose members died there. As he stopped to pray, a light rain stopped and a brilliant rainbow appeared over the camp.

    ...”The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the Earth,” he said, standing near the demolished crematoriums where the Nazis burned the bodies of their victims.

    “By destroying Israel with the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention.”

    Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust, during which the Nazis killed 6 million Jews.

    As many as 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz and Birkenau, neighboring camps built by the German occupiers near the Polish town of Oswiecim Auschwitz in German. Others who died there included Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma or Gypsies, and political opponents of the Nazis.

    Benedict did not refer to collective guilt of the German people but instead focused on the Nazi regime. He said he was “a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness.” [etc.]”


       —David Boyle    Jun. 2 '06 - 02:31AM    #
  223. The Vatican has been fairly supportive of Palestinians, as I recall reading. (They also opposed the current war in Iraq.)

    That does not preclude the Pope’s honoring the victims of Hitler’s holocaust, either. No one should have a problem with his doing that.
       —David Boyle    Jun. 2 '06 - 04:18AM    #
  224. Steve – I don’t get it. Your reasoning largely amounts to this: a government can do something via a proxy (a non-state agent) that it can’t do directly – namely use force against another state. That boggles the mind. This is perhaps the worst way to draft a rule. It creates at least two problems: 1) a government has the incentive to use irregulars to engage in combat, and then claim that it does not bear responsibility, 2) it encourages governmetns not to have active control over thier own territory because they are able to use proxies.

    Moreover, you make the mistake in looking at resopnsibility in terms of sponsorships. The Palestinians, in the guise of the PA, want and have all the trappings of statehood (flag, symbol, int’l recognition, UN seat). That also means that they have a positive obligation to ensure that their territory is not being used by armed groups to encroach on the soverignty of another. by failing to do so they violate international law, and give Israel every legitimate ground needed to engage in self defense.

    Yes, Israel retaliates against armed attacks by non-State actors. Thats is perfectly legitimate, and lega. Nothing anywhere, except the ICJ Nicaragua decision, says that the right of self-defense is limited to armed attacks by state actors. As for that decision – that part of the decision has been roundly condemned by most of the international law community.


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 09:29AM    #
  225. Just Arived –

    Really not sure why I am bothering, but hey…you can feel free to make fun of my spelling all you want. the substance of what I say isn’t impacted by me making a typo.

    First of all, to the extent that the State of Israel was created by anyone, it was created though a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly under its power to regulate the Mandate.

    Second, I was not aware that a people’s right to self-determination dependent on wehther or not they are “liked” in their geographic milieu. You want Israel to do what others want of it. Good for you. That is not Israel’s obligation. Israel’s obligation is to be state for its citizens (Jewish or otherwise) and to follow international law. Now, Israel is not perfect, but comapred to its neighberhood I’d dare say its angelic.

    As for charges that Israel works to destablize each and every government in the middle east – lets see some evidence. We can start with Omann, and Kuwait, and oh, how about Saudi Arabia?

    If you really want to help the Palestinians, and they need help – and badly at that. Then stop using hyperbalie, and try to think of practical things that can help. Divestment is not one of them.


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 01:06PM    #
  226. OK, Just arrived in AA (referring to post 263), you have certainly gone too far this time, and shown yourself to be totally ignorant of the middle east. You have now made your self not worth believing no matter what you write. Your opinion can be considered nothing short of wrong. When Meva originally wrote I hope you leave soon, I though that was the wrong tone to take, but now I see she was right, and I hope too that you leave ASAP.

    You write
    “Israel is a creation of the U$”

    “On the contrary, it has made it fully clear that it is an aggressor working to undermined, and destabilizes each and every government in the Middle East.”

    These are both clearly false statements. You show total ignorance of the subject matter here. Learn something about what has happened and post, idiot. And how is Israel trying to destabilize Egypt or Jordan?

    You also write
    “Mind you, while many of these governments may not be popular (with the exception of the Iranian government which was elected in a much more democratic fashion than the U$ government was elected for example) it is not up to the U$ or Israel to covertly, or overtly, interfere with their internal affairs.”

    uh, you have any idea of what goes on in Iran, I just heard a story on NPR the other day about how rape is common in their prisons and they totally stifle any decent. If its more legit the US government then your just stupid and ignorant again. Go research the country and then we can talk, you know nothing.

    Your international law paragraph doesn’t make an argument, or try to refute others, its just drivel.

    then you have a real winner;
    “Israel is a colony of the US”, sheer ignorance and stupidity, more ultra-left bullshit

    what dirty job’s of the US does Israel do?

    oh, I know one, they send rescue workers all over the world whenever disasters happen.

    You make no argument for divestment, just show why your movement hasn’t gotten anywhere. There are plenty of good arguments to make against the state of Israel, but you don’t even bring them to the table and actually make everyone leave.

    To everyone here, I understand that Just arrived isn’t worth arguing with, and what I’m trying to do is just correct some facts, so if people who don’t know about what’s going on over there come and read, someone has corrected the lies of these extremist. Thanks for helping in the effort David L, and you are certainly right, the Palestinians need help, someone need to save them from folks like Just Arrived who hurt their cause.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 02:22PM    #
  227. Here’s a tip: Just Arrived in AA/Fixing to Leave AA/Palestine will not be forgotten = Blaine.

    Does anyone not see through the monologue he put up: “Does anyone care about divestment?”
    “Why yes, I do. Come to this meeting.”
    “Thank you, I hope to make it, as should all of you.”

    This thread is getting more meaningless as it gets longer.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 2 '06 - 02:27PM    #
  228. Jared, I don’t think Just Arrived is Blain.

    Blaine is constantant in his language and tone and way of speaking. While Just Arrived in AA/Fixing to Leave AA/Palestine will not be forgotten share Blaine’s anti-Zionist analysis and overblown rhetoric, they talk differenty. They use different types of theatrics.

    And Blaine seems to like the attention to be directly on him, he doesn’t seem to be one to hide behind a pseudonym.

    Blaine isn’t the only local person with an internet connection and a penchant for hyperbole.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 2 '06 - 02:38PM    #
  229. You guys really, REALLY, don’t want to talk about what is happening to Palestine, do you?


       —Blaine    Jun. 2 '06 - 03:17PM    #
  230. You’re so concise. Blaine – here is what i don’t get (i realize i’m asking for trouble). We all have a fairly good understanding of what is happening in the Palestinian Territories. Yes, people are dying, and yes, people are unemployed, and yes, people are suffering. But…ok…what next? Your sollution offers to replace the suffering of one people, with thesuffering of another, and to fulfil the rights of self determination of one group of people, at the expense of antoher. By definition that solution is illegitiamte.

    So i dont’ get it – you want guilt us into divestmetn. There are people starving in Chechnya as well, doenst’ mean I’ll stop drinking vodka.

    Oh, and just to be clear – the fact that I acknowledge that bad things are happening in those territories that i ascribe blame for those things exclusively, or even primarily, to the Israeils.


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 03:29PM    #
  231. You guys really, REALLY, don’t want to talk about what is happening to Palestine, do you?


       —Blaine    Jun. 2 '06 - 03:33PM    #
  232. David, I think you need to clarify your last sentence, do you mean to say

    .. that fact that I acknowledge that bad things are happening in those territories DOEN’T MEAN that i ascribe blame ….

    or

    .. the fact that I acknowledge that bad things are happening in those territiries DOES MEAN that i ascribe ..

    Blaine, you killed the dialog (along with just arrived) about Palestine.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 03:41PM    #
  233. does not. I think that Israel could react better (legally, politically, and morally). However, I also think that the State of Israel has an obligation to protect its civilians from terrorism – and it is an expert question of evidence what is necessary and proper under these conditions (the legal test in question). I also think that the Palestinians would have a great deal more if they would adopt the political process as oposed to bombs. And I think it is the fault of the Palestinian leadership in that they have not done all they can to stop terrorism, and in fact have encouraged it through incitement and the like. D


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 03:46PM    #
  234. You guys NEVER want to talk about what is happening to Occupied Palestine, do you?

    – Like massive malnutrition, enforced by Israel’s blockade?
       —Blaine    Jun. 2 '06 - 04:10PM    #
  235. Just not with you, Blaine.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 2 '06 - 04:21PM    #
  236. As I told Dan:

    Feel free to carry on the discussion, about what is happening to the occupied people of Palestine, without me.

    I will refrain from comment.


       —Blaine    Jun. 2 '06 - 04:23PM    #
  237. Yessir, Mr. Blaine sir, since you are OBVIOUSLY the ruler of this forum . . .


       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 2 '06 - 05:14PM    #
  238. “Steve – I don’t get it. Your reasoning largely amounts to this: a government can do something via a proxy (a non-state agent) that it can’t do directly – namely use force against another state.”

    David L, please re-read what I wrote and I think you’ll see that the “reasoning” you extracted from it doesn’t exist.

    I don’t disagree with your comments about responsibility and obligations of the PA. I just didn’t know to what extent they applied in the past. JAV says there’s evidence. I hadn’t heard of it.

    “That also means that they have a positive obligation to ensure that their territory is not being used by armed groups to encroach on the soverignty of another.”

    Is that what’s happening, really? I’m not the legal expert. In a legal sense, is Israel’s sovereignty being encroached upon by these sorts of attacks?

    “by failing to do so they violate international law, and give Israel every legitimate ground needed to engage in self defense.”

    I’ve also noticed that the term “self defense” is sometimes interpreted quite broadly to include acts of (sometimes indiscriminant) retaliation, pre-emption, and intimidation. (Someone with more direct experience and knowledge could probably expand on that.) What’s done and how it’s justified are often hard to reconcile.

    “As far as defenders of Israel asking for equal condemnation of suicide/paramilitary etc. I strongly disagree with you there. Those who are the most vocal in condemning Israeli action”

    JAV, you changed the subject (from “defenders of Israel” to “Those who are…”), so your disagreement with my comment is asserted but unexplained.

    “Also, I wonder, how do you think they should respond to the assaults on their country, since the PA has never lifted a finger to stop any attacks on Israel, they took the extreme measures needed to defend themselves.”

    You might ask yourself if “extreme measures” was a wording choice due to being in a rush, or if it accurately reflects reality.

    I think they could (“should” is beyond me) respond non-violently by working with the Palestinian government and international assistance to catch and try the perpetrators and then move their citizens back within their borders and then take down the barrier. But then, they have the right to “self determination”. We’ll see what they choose.


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 05:33PM    #
  239. “Your sollution offers to replace the suffering of one people, with thesuffering of another, and to fulfil the rights of self determination of one group of people, at the expense of antoher.”

    David, are you referring to the one-state “solution” or divestment? If the latter, how does that interfere with self determination? You’ve dismissed divestment a couple of times in this thread. If a non-violent option exists (whether it’s the one I described earlier or something different), don’t you think divestment would be a legitimate, legal attempt to encourage Israel to choose such an option? If not, is there nothing that could persuade them to do so?


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 05:47PM    #
  240. Steve, in 253 you write –
    “I’ve noticed that defenders of the state of Israel’s actions frequently ask those who object to its government-perpetrated violence to condemn the violence of suicide/homicide bombers, paramilitary groups, etc. in equal terms. I think that many people assume that violence in general being reprehensible is a given.”

    What I had originally meant (to say) was that I disagreed with the “many people assume violence [is] reprehensible”. And by that I really mean to say that, I as a defender of Israel see many of their actions to be legitimate. Though that doesn’t mean that I think everything they’ve done is legit. I also think that as a nation/state they have a pretty decent record of cases being brought before courts for justice (through thier own court system). I think that most defenders of Israel see violence as being reprehensible, though we accept that the reality of the situation leaves little choice for the state of Israel. I feel that if you look at things from a strategic view, you will see they have tired a variety of different responses to Arab and Palestinian aggression with different success. The reason I say Arab and Palestinian is because much of the reason there is a continuing conflict is due to support for arab aggression by other arab nations. Hussain’s Iraq gave large sums of money to Martyr/Suicide Bomber family’s (those of the martyr, not the victim), this created a economic incentive in one of the poorest parts of the world. Hezbollah is a proxy army supported by Syria and Iran that keep a live war zone going on up at Israel’s northern border. Read some of the Michael Totten site and do some research learn about whats gone on and what is going on.

    As for the anti-Israel crowd, blaine et all. They have a false understanding of the history of the place. They only see the Palestinians who get the worst of it, and then only blame Israel for the problem. The problem stems from the fact the Arafat turned terrorism into a for profit enterprise. He was worth over 1.5 billion when he died, hmm. He used to condemn terrorist attacks in English and the same day praise the ‘martyr’ of the attack in Arabic. They mostly think that any tactic is acceptable and don’t condemn the suicide attacks, proxy militants, constant rocket attack, but expect to have Israel condemned and punished. They don’t understand that the Palestinians need to stop the terrorist themselves to get peace. While conditions for the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank under Israeli rule have varied greatly its much better then the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (for decades, the only universities in ‘the occupied territories’ were established by the state of Israel).

    Now, you say you haven’t heard of evidence about Arafat and his corrupt PA’s support of terrorist act, Here is quick bit of searching. I used to use the comments sections over at Michigan IMC as a archive for all my links to information, but they got wiped out when that site got hacked. So, quick google results, haven’t ‘fact checked them’ at all yet, so quality may vary, but you get the idea, I used to have some good links on this one. There is plenty of evidence.

    http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief3-6.htm
    article title ; What Exactly Does Israel Have on Yasser Arafat?
    with citations


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 06:32PM    #
  241. Steve –
    First of all, I appologize if I miscontrued your point. That was not the intent.

    Second, in terms of divestment/one state sollution – it has been mine experience, that those who are advocating divestment also advocate a one state sollution. In fact, the recent divestment that passed in Canda specifically advocates for a right of return which is the equivalent of a one state solution.

    Third, in terms of self-defence. The question is a tricky one. I’m writting an article for a law review on the question right now – which is why I may have over reacted. Article 51 of the UN Charter protects the right of self defense as it existed prior to the Charter. The right of self-defence, as initially spelled out by US Secretary of State Daniel Webster – applied to non-state actors, but was otherwise limited. At the same time – acts of reprisal (which is what you refer to as retaliation) were legal as a means of self help, but not self defence. As the question of legitimacy of reprisals grew in the 1960s and 1970s thought to recarectarize their actions as self-defence arguing that through reprisals they were dettering future action.

    Presently – whether an act is legitimate self defence is more or less dependent on the UNSC council reactions. So for example – there is no doubt, that under International Law, US attacks against Sudan/Afghanistan in 1998 were self-defence. The US justified them as such – arguing that they removed training facilities and were protecting themselves inteh futre.

    Since 1990 Israel, Tajikistan, Thailand, Burkino Faso, China, and Russia have all used a similar logic to justify their incursions into other countries (there are more, but at the moment I don’t have my reserach in front of me). Most, though, not all of htese have been approved by the UN, though in some cases there was a quesiton about “extent” of the incursions (thats your point about discrimination). Under international law once the use of forceis legal, a differnt body of law – international humanitarian law – takes over – and armed forces are supposed to engage in a double analysis: 1) is the attack neccessary to protect a millitary objective (to destroy terrorists) and 2) is it proportionate (how discriminating was the strike).

    In terms of the PA – yes, there was lot of evidence. When Israel, invoked its right of self defence and went into teh territories in April of 2002 they discoverd documents where PA was not only funding terrorist groups, but were specifically directing attacks. In terms of soverignty – yes, when a state allows others to use its terrotiry to attack the territory of another it is commiting an international wrong by violating the soverignty of the state that is attacked. For a more detailed and better articulated version – i suggest you check out the seperate opinion by Judge Kooijmans in the recent Congo case at the ICJ.

    Cheers,


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 06:39PM    #
  242. Just arrived,

    you did not, if so how do you have such a strong opinion on the actions of the ICPJ, you weren’t there if you just arrived, so you must be a friend/associat/actualy-be one of the JWP/people-who-disrupted the ICPJ. You are called out, and getting more ridiculous all the time.

    in your post 280, directed at me, you do nothing to argue against what I say, what did I ‘rant as i wished’ that wasn’t true? You say I’m happy to see people mutilated, but I never said anything like that. ANSWER THIS – do you support suicide bombing and proxy militia? Do you support rockets being fired from Gaza and South Lebanon into the State of Israel?

    Then you give us dogma, – “racism is doomed both in Israel and elsewhere…”, ok, look, I haven’t called you a racist yet, but lets just get that out of the way, I have said nothing racist, show me what I said that was racist. Stop throwing around red-hearings and deal with the subject at hand.

    For once your probably right, there are Millions of people around the world who think like you, then there are billions who think like me. Wow, I guess everydog has its day.

    Finally, post 283, why do you assume that Jared was making fun of blacks, his language could also be making fun of militiary, hence treating Blaine/Just annoyed in ann arbor like the authority figures they pretend to be that you are not

    Please go now, can’t you just go have a cicle jerk with Blaine and leave us all alone


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 07:51PM    #
  243. Thanks, David. I appreciate the thorough reply.

    You’ve still not addressed (wittingly or not) my question about the potential effectiveness and legitimacy of divestment. Dismissing it because some people tie it to right of return in their own minds (even if they promote it that way) seems hollow. Divestment could have any number of impacts short of right of return (and subsequent infringement on Israel’s right to self determination, as you see it)—anything from the removal of settlers to the removal of the barrier to the removal of bulldozers and soldiers. The response would be up to Israel/Israelis, not anti-Zionists or others here. Or am I missing something?


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 08:28PM    #
  244. Just arrived in AA, shame only “works” on those who are predisposed to suffer it. And even then, its effects usually aren’t positive or what is hoped for by the shamer. I encourage you to explore forgiveness, understanding, and compassion—the things I suspect you want for the Palestinian people who are suffering and sometimes striking back in desperation and anger.


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 08:43PM    #
  245. Steve –

    Sorry, I simply forgot. Assume, for the rest of my reply that I am discussing divestmetn by the University of Michigan. I object to divestment for a few reasons.

    First, there is a simple quesiton of constitutional law. In the US foreign affairs is a desively federal power, and state actors (the U being one) can not take actiosn that undermine foriegn policy. Unlike South Africa we have an executive and legislative branches that solidly support Israel, to undermine them is to hurt us. The US bargains in international fora on teh understanding that it speaks for the country – if you allowed individual state actors to undermine executive policy in one area, it will hurt us across the board – and particularly in areas that tie into economci policy. If you are interested in this, I point you to the first circuit decision in Crosby v. NFTC which addressed the question of the state of Masachusets boycotting Burma/Maymar.

    Second, I think divesting woudl unfairly stigmatize Israel with the blame for the conflict. Israel, particularly over the last year, has done a lot to end the conflict. To punish it – is in fact to hold it to a higher standard – which is unfair.

    Lastly, I find boycotts inherently in apropriate. I think the way to change policy is to either boycott the state (see what is happening with Iran) or to engage countries and change them thorugh popular opinion.

    this is a short answer, to a complicated question…but I’m trying not to bore you. D


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 2 '06 - 08:47PM    #
  246. “Are you serious Mr. Bean? Giving me advice on “shame” ing murderers?”

    Yes. Please give it consideration.

    “What actions do you propose?”

    Act reasonably and compassionately to help Israelis and their supporters to feel safe. Act reasonably and compassionately to help Palestinians recover from past acts by the Israeli military. Only those people can stop the violence.

    “What do you think should be the top priority here? Forgiveness and compassion or stopping the murderers?”

    Forgiveness and compassion, of course. They’re possible now and always, they always have a positive impact, and even you can practice them. Stopping the murderers (on either ‘side’) is much more difficult to do without inflicting even more injustices, injuries, or death. In any case, that approach seems to be at least as effective as yours is in bringing the suffering to an end.

    “Forgiveness and compassion need time.”

    Only a matter of minutes. Can’t you spare that much?

    “In all honesty, you can not expect children who experience such atrocities to be able to forgive so quickly. If we help bring about a decent life condition for them, may be in time, Palestinian children who have been raise in safety and with food on their table will be able to see things differently.”

    I wasn’t suggesting it for children, but for you. As for expectations, I have none of either the children nor of you.


       —Steve Bean    Jun. 2 '06 - 10:14PM    #
  247. Just arrived, Sadam lived in lavish luxury while his people starved. Starved because he didn’t get them the food he easily could have, and then dragged reporters there for media ops. The sanctions were not the reason why that happened. And if not sanctions but then what action should be taken? Under international law that you keep holding up without understaning.

    You are amazing, so blinded from reality for your beliefs. Calling the actions of Israel genocide is idiotic, you need to go and read the dictionary, but since you don’t own one due to the Oxford Conspiracy, try dictionary.com


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 10:20PM    #
  248. Wow. Talk about stifling debate. Just to clarify, when I said “Yessir, Mr. Blaine sir, since you are OBVIOUSLY the ruler of this forum . . .” that was a MILITARY reference/joke. I was just criticizing Blaine for his attitude that this forum is his and he has a right to control the debate over it.

    To implicate racism in such a statement is such a piss poor way to debate. “Hmm, let’s just slander anyone who disagrees with us.” Just Arrived, you’re lucky I don’t sue.

    This is the thing with Blaine and his “new” buddy: they don’t argue about anything, say the same things over and over again, and now, calling someone racist so the merits of their arguments are automatically dismissed. There was NOTHING racist about what I said, although one could make the arugment that Just Arrived/Blaine is/are the racist(s) here.

    What’s funny is that most people call out Blaine and now Just Arrived out on their racism. It’s well known that Blaine is a racist. But, nice try in deflecting the racism charge onto someone else. Sorry, it’s not going to work.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 2 '06 - 10:55PM    #
  249. wow, now he’s para-phrasing bush,

    “if you not with us then your against us”
       —Just a Voice    Jun. 2 '06 - 11:14PM    #
  250. Just Arived –

    No, I do not agree with placing sanctino on sudan. I think the peopel that wind up suffering the most, are those that are already suffering, not those at the top. I can’t tell you what I would like to see happen there, sufficient to say – sanctions are not it.

    As for, Sanctions on Iraq. I’ll admitt I was a bigger fan of those – except that I was a bit too young to understand the way the United Nations worked. Knowing what I know now, I woudl have opposed those as well.

    As for children forgiving….it has been my experience that children dont’ care about abstract notions of justice, et all – they want peace. And if hte Palestinian leaderhsip, instaed of grandstanding, would sit down and actually negotiate a sollution – peace they would have.


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 3 '06 - 09:57AM    #
  251. To Just arrived in AA

    I live in Zamalek, Cairo. I have traveled the Middle East, and currently I am studying abroad in the Middle East and Cairo. To your comment that Israel is attempting to destabilize the Middle East, I would look particularly at the case of Egypt and Jordan and then call you insane.

    One of the largest arguments used by Egypt and Jordan not to accept mass Palestinian immigrants or take over the West Bank and/or Gaza is that the Palestinians could actually destabilize the surrounding nations (I.E. South Lebanon in the 1970s, Jordan in the late 1960s up to Black September 1970). When Israel withdrew from Gaza, Egypt was extremely worried that the most radical of the Palestinians would take over and bring terrorism to Egypt. If you want evidence, see Egypt’s latest claims that the Dahab bombings about a month ago were coordinated from Gaza.

    As such, your argument for divestment, if successful, could actually, and likely, destabilize the two most liberal nations in the middle east. But then again, you claimed Iran, whose Shura council recently disqualified EVERY women that attempted to run for its parliment, was more democratic than the United States. And I thought the conspiracies were bad in the Middle East…


       —Stuart Wagner    Jun. 5 '06 - 12:17AM    #
  252. Has anyone else noticed that this thread is entitled “JWP Activists ‘Hijack’ Interfaith Meeting” and not “Let’s Discuss—and Quite Often Rant and Rave About—the Problems in the Middle East?” I think it’s long past due that this thread ends, unless the discussion is to be about what the original title explicitly states. If the argument is about the Middle East, a new thread should be started; otherwise this one is really “JWP Activists and Friends ‘Hijack’ Arbor Update (Once Again, Folks).” But then again, it’s not for me to dictate the direction of this discussion unlike the hijackers who have made it necessary for me to call that little piece of irony to everyone’s attention. I mean nearly 300 posts, and most of them are way off-topic (including my own way back in the good ol’ days, good ol’ #92 on April 25, that is)...sheesh! We’re no closer to an agreement than the Israelis and their neighbors in the disputed territories, maybe even further, nor are we ever likely to be. Where’s Parking Garage Dude when we really need him?


       —Mike    Jun. 7 '06 - 02:51PM    #
  253. Mike:

    Look at post #233. That was almost ten days ago. I think Blaine et. al like to divert our attention away from the topic of this thread because it criticizes their own actions.

    It’s all very typical. Let’s not focus on the bad tactics of JWP and Blaine. Let’s force the discussion where WE want it to go. And let’s call everyone racist who disagrees with us.

    I, for one, am so disgusted with Blaine and his minions crap. I don’t even respond anymore, except to joke and satirize.

    Anyway, yeah, this thread has continued on and on, and nothing has been added to the debate. Almost 300 posts and hardly anything has been accomplished. I just hope I’m the last one to comment.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 8 '06 - 06:13AM    #
  254. just arived –
    yeah. not quite. the canadian resolution is non-binding. so while they are talking about divestmetn, they have not actually done so. nor are there plans. and, as for the S. African thing – based on what i read, they suport Canada divesting, they are not doign so themselves.

    you know…working at the UN this year…i have learned one very important lesson. talk is pretty cheap.


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 11 '06 - 04:38PM    #
  255. David,

    thanks for doing the leg work on this one. Just another case of the pro-divestment people hurting their own movement by trying to distort reality to fit their needs.

    mike, the thread did almost end, until you posted. same thing to Jared. Look, you both say the comments should end (more or less, not those words) in your comments, but both times you brought this thread back to the top of the list for most recent comments. If you want it to end don’t comment.

    You also both seem to say that nothing has been accomplished. I think you are wrong. First, lots of new information has been added to the dialog. That is helping some people understand things better. Also, we are making sure that anyone who hears the bullshit from the JWP/pro-divestment people hears that there is another side, one who actually pays attention to fact and information.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 11 '06 - 07:54PM    #
  256. You know, I hear that if this thread gets 500 comments, Israel will suddenly pull out of the Palestinean territories! Keep going! You’re fighting the good fight! If you don’t keep commenting here, Palestine might never be free!


       —js    Jun. 11 '06 - 09:08PM    #
  257. A motion to boycott Israeli academics, approved two weeks ago by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, Britain’s largest academic trade union, was cancelled on Sunday afternoon.

    Several factors in the boycott’s cancellation were cited, foremost among them international pressure from academic organizations. Another influence was the threat of legal proceedings by union members who claimed the boycott would hurt their ability to do research.

    June 11, 2006 Jerusalem Post


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 11 '06 - 10:27PM    #
  258. ad hominem |ˈad ˈhämənəm| adverb & adjective: (of an argument or reaction) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
    • attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.

    Godwin’s Law (also Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is, in Internet culture, an adage originated in 1990 by Mike Godwin that states: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 15 '06 - 02:52AM    #
  259. Just Arrived –

    Reading your message I had two thoughts. First, I have spent the better part of the last few days reading judgements from the Nuremburg Tribunal (specifically the Eitzengrouppen case) and the ICTY/ICTR. And you know what – reading what is in those – makes you loose sleep at night. What happened there is GENOCIDE. Not a few civilians dying in collateral damage. Its a straight up attempt to eliminate a group of people. And when you compare Israel to what happened there you are doing a disservice to the victims. If I was a Bosnian Muslim I would be VERY upset by these comparisons cause you are trivializing the pain that these people experienced. I invite you, simply for your own eddification, to sit down for a day and read these cases. And then think about what you say. please. you’re embarassing yoruself (and for that matter, the city).

    and 2: Europeans seem to be getting a better opinion of Israel. So boycott’s not so likely.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/726974.html


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 15 '06 - 08:08AM    #
  260. Hey, Just Arrived, how’s that new job with MIM working out? I’m totally with you about these overfed pigs, but what do you expect in this day and age in the United Snakes of Amerikkka?


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jun. 15 '06 - 02:36PM    #
  261. hey parking stucture dude, this is Amerikkka, I bet we could be smart capatalist and make some more money over there, because us settlers aren’t done with our money lust;

    You have arrived much too late to benefit from the genocide of the Palestinians, and I mean financial gain, I know money is what makes all you murderous settlers tick.

    I can’t wait to make all that money off the genocide of palestinians


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 15 '06 - 02:56PM    #
  262. the original topic—interfaith round table meetings “hijacked” by JWP protesters—asks “how disruptive were the activists”?

    i am, like, wow.


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 15 '06 - 11:45PM    #
  263. Just Arrived –

    You know, you keep talking racist, anti-Semitic drivel like this – and you never know, the Mossad might just track down your IP address. Juuust might do it.


       —Meva    Jun. 16 '06 - 04:26PM    #
  264. Meva, Meva, Meva –

    Don’t encourage them. Telling him/her that Mossad may track down his/her IP adress only agrandizes their opinion of themselves. Mossad is concerned with people who can actually do some damage – wasting space (and killobytes) they can live with.

    D


       —David Livshiz    Jun. 16 '06 - 04:51PM    #
  265. I’m just sitting here giggling. This is better than the funny pages!


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jun. 16 '06 - 05:22PM    #
  266. i’m giggling because in the middle of that inane screed, JaiAA said mother f-ing.

    not motherfucking—he said mother f-ing.

    heh. heh heh heh.


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 16 '06 - 07:51PM    #
  267. JaiAA is joking, folks. That person’s a parody. That’s the only sane answer.

    That, or s/he’s a member of the local Green Party.


       —Young OWSider    Jun. 16 '06 - 08:21PM    #
  268. Wow, ann arbor is so slow, we have nothing better to do here then poke fun at the mentally challenged, as clearly JaiAA is.

    Wow, next its time to go and argue with sidewalk preachers and ultra left socialists on the street corners of ann arbor.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 16 '06 - 08:30PM    #
  269. i love getting down with the fundies! god hates shrimp! god hates shrimp!


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 16 '06 - 08:40PM    #
  270. tell me something i don’t know …

    if there is a hell …

    see you there!


       —peter honeyman    Jun. 16 '06 - 09:21PM    #
  271. JAiAA,

    I’ve often found that the people who talk the most, have the least to back it up with.

    You want to help the middle east become more stable, more safe, and more representative of the people living here. That’s great. Come here and tell them your ideas. Tell Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all other religious (and non-religious) your ideas, act on your beliefs, and try making a difference. A good friend of mine, who is over 30 years old, decided to fly to Egypt, enroll at AUC, and started ARabic. He wanted to help the Palestinians and currently resides in Bethleham, living with a family, and working for an organization there, for free, to help the Palestinians.

    You talk a lot of smack, but it means jack here. What you are saying just fulfills the Middle Eastern stereotype about Americans, who are seen as talking of democracy and humans rights and other gradiosity from their comfortable couches. The stereotypical American in Cairo is the one who doesn’t know anything about the gound, the people, the geography, or the Middle East, and talks a big game but can’t back it up.

    Take your enthusiasm and make a difference for the people you want to help. Just because its easier to talk about Human rights and helping the Arab world doesn’t mean it provides results.


       —Stuart Wagner    Jun. 17 '06 - 12:26AM    #
  272. IsraelNN,

    what is your point??

    The article also says;

    “Recommending against divestiture are members of the church who recently came to Israel on a fact-finding mission.”

    sounds like there are two outsiders (outside the church) who are speaking pro-divestment, but the church’s own people who where sent to investigate the issue are anti-divestment.


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 17 '06 - 07:59PM    #
  273. JAiAA –

    YOU ARE INSANE!

    Love,
    Meva


       —Meva    Jun. 18 '06 - 02:34AM    #
  274. JAiAA-

    Must of made you feel great to see an African, non-Jewish citizen of Israel PROUDLY wave the Israeli flag during the Ghana soccer match the other day.

    I know it made me feel proud. How about you? Did it irk you? Great!


       —Meva    Jun. 19 '06 - 03:38PM    #
  275. JAiAA –

    A sick person? Naw, I’m just happy that hypocritical pieces of crap like you don’t realize the delicious irony of an African Israeli citizen proudly waving an Israeli flag, especially in light of all the ridiculous tries to equate Israel with S. Africa.


       —Meva    Jun. 19 '06 - 05:42PM    #
  276. “REACTION IN METRO DETROIT: ‘It’s heartbreaking to watch’

    “Prospect of escalation is unsettling”

    June 28, 2006

    BY NIRAJ WARIKOO

    DETROIT FREE PRESS

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060628/NEWS07/606280447/1009

    As Israelis and Palestinians headed for possible armed conflict in Gaza, metro Detroiters with ties to the region watched the latest moves with concern Tuesday but had differing views.

    “I’m concerned that it’s going to be more of the same,” said Hasan Newash, 65, a Grosse Pointe Park resident of Palestinian descent who heads the Palestine Office of Michigan. “People in Gaza are at the mercy of an immense power.”

    Newash described the Gaza Strip as an “open-air prison,” whose inhabitants are vulnerable to attacks by Israeli troops.

    But some local Jewish people said that Israel is justified in defending itself, especially when one of its soldiers has been kidnapped.

    “With that kind of behavior, there is only type of response,” said Peter Alter, president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. “How do we respond when American soldiers are kidnapped, brutalized? We are going to do everything we can to protect the troops. That is the correct response from the Americans. That is the correct response of the Israelis.”

    Alter said that “when you’re dealing with terrorists, with insurgents, you go and get rid of the leaders one at a time.”

    Imad Hamad, a Palestinian American who heads the local chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he’s hoping for peace.

    “It’s heartbreaking to watch what’s going on,” Hamad said. “The last thing people want is an escalation of the conflict.”

    Hamad added that “the root of the problem is the occupation” of Palestinians by Israelis.

    The Rev. Rani Abdulmasih, a Palestinian-American pastor of the Abundant Life Lutheran Church in Dearborn, said he worries that radicals on both sides are overshadowing the vast majority of moderate Palestinians and Israelis. Extremists, he said, use isolated incidents as an excuse for war and increased conflict.

    “You can’t equate a whole nation with the actions of one individual or one group,” he said.

    Contact NIRAJ WARIKOO at 248-351-2998 or nwarikoo@freepress.com. Free Press news services contributed to this report.


       —Gaza Strip as an "open-air prison,"    Jun. 28 '06 - 11:12PM    #
  277. Early Thursday, a body found near Ramallah was reported to be that of Eliyahu Yitzhak Asheri, 18, a West Bank settler seized by Palestinian militants hours after Shalit was kidnapped early Sunday, Israeli security sources.

    Rest in peace, Eliyahu.
       —David Boyle    Jun. 29 '06 - 02:22PM    #
  278. not this again!!!

    well, since its back, I wonder if can inform me about the Gaza/Egypt border. In the article David links to, it states;

    “Security forces reportedly were trying to reseal the border. All border crossings were sealed Monday by Israel.”

    what security forces?? Palestinian, Egyptian or Israeli???

    I though the Gaza/Egypt border was not handled by Israel, was I wrong?


       —Just a Voice    Jun. 29 '06 - 02:55PM    #
  279. ADC Press Release:

    Over 1 Million Palestinians Spend Another Night in Terror

    Washington, DC | June 29, 2006 | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) reiterates its deep concern and condemns the ongoing crisis in Gaza, which is further exacerbating the inhumane living conditions of the Strip’s 1.4 million Palestinian residents. Yesterday, an undisclosed number of Israeli troops amassed at the boarder of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, Israeli Air Force missiles struck several bridges and Gaza’s only power plant, leaving nearly 65% of its residence without electricity and running water, and further restricting movement.

    Additionally, last night the Israeli Air Force began to deliberately produce sonic booms over heavily populated areas in Gaza, which have been proven to cause psychological and mental damage as well.

    Israeli Officials have stated that this offensive is in response to the June 25 attack and subsequent capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit as prisoner. In response to the military operations, the Israeli human rights agency Btselem warned that the power shortages and lack of water would severely impact health conditions in the area. The group added that the Israeli government should only use methods consistent with international humanitarian law to secure the release of Cpl Shalit.

    ADC condemns the Israeli government’s overwhelming use of force, which will undoubtedly result in devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians, especially during the scorching summer temperatures. The actions taken by the Israeli government unjustly impose collective punishment on all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and violate international law. ADC is also deeply concerned with the arrests of elected Palestinian Legislative Council Members, and calls for their release.

    ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “It is unacceptable for 1.4 million Palestinians to be subjected to collective punishment, and for the world to remain silent. ADC calls on the international community to pressure Israel to exercise restraint and seek diplomatic means to avoid disastrous and additional inhumane consequences for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.”

    “There is no other choice but peace,” adds ADC Regional Director Imad Hamad. “The language of war, violence and terror will not bring peace to either Palestine, or Israel.”


       —Million Palestinians Spend Another Night in Terror    Jun. 29 '06 - 06:26PM    #
  280. “22 Palestinians and 1 Israeli soldier killed in Gaza Strip in 22 hours”

    IMEMC & Agenceis – Thursday, 06 July 2006, 19:00

    http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19821&Itemid=1


    “At least five Palestinians have been killed and several injured in an air strike that targetted a residential block in Al Salateen area in Beit lahia town in the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, raising the death toll to 22 in the past 22 hours of the latest Israeli military invasion into the Gaza Strip with an average of one death per hour.

    .


    “17 Palestinians and One Israeli soldier killed in Israeli invasion to Gaza

    “Ten Palestinians were killed in two separate attacks which targeted the northern and southern areas in the Gaza Strip Thursday afternoon, raising the death toll to 17 in the Gaza Strip alone.

    “Eight Palestinians were killed in an air strike against Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip and two others were killed in another air strike which targeted Abasan area near the city of Khan Younis in the mid-south of the strip.

    “Medical sources reported a total of at least 60 injuries on Thursday, in addition to hundreds who were treated for shock, especially children.”


       —22 Palestinians Dead    Jul. 6 '06 - 09:26PM    #
  281. Henry and all the other JWPF:

    I’m very confused. There are so many horrible things currently going on in the world.
    Sudan: All non-Arab citizens being targeted. This is just one example of the daily horror this world endures.

    You have chosen to throw all of your activist energies into bashing Israel. This seems more personal to me than political. You claim to stand for human rights? You claim to be the voice of the oppressed?

    Deep down in your heart, you really believe that the Palestinians are the world’s most oppressed people? You think the Palestinians are defenseless creatures being victimized by the evil Jews/Israelis? Come on, dudes. The defenseless Palestinians seem to be able to get their hands on more weapons and bomb-making material than most of the other defenseless victims around the world. The Palestinian authority (as I am sure you are well aware) is the recipient of millions of dollars from world governments, including our own. The Palestinians are the strongest, most well-funded defenseless people I know.

    You really think that the Palestinians’ problems would be over if the Israelis just disappeared? You think a peace-loving, democratic society with equal rights for all would suddenly spring up in “Palestine” in the place of Israel? JWPF, I credit you with more intellect. You feel as
    though the Arabs have been cheated out of their land and that yet additional land must go to them? They don’t have enough land in the Middle East? A tiny country barely the size of NJ needs to go to them as well?

    The Jews have a right to a state just like any other people in the world. They also have a right to a state with peace and security just like any other people in the world.

    Let’s talk about the convenient comparison to Israel and the former Apartheid government in South Africa. It always amuses me that Left-wing activists cannot come up with anything a little more sound than this. But, if you insist, I have an answer for you: The Palestinian Authority is not located within Israel proper as the left is always reminding everybody. The Palestinians are NOT Israeli citizens. They are Palestinians. Within Israel proper there are Jewish, Arab and Christian citizens. All of whom have the right to vote, move about freely and are represented in the Israeli Parliament. Apartheid, segregated the Black community in South Africa. Black people were not permitted to be mainstream members of the South African society. They were not represented in their government. Black people were not allowed to sit on the same beaches, swim in the same pools, attend the same entertainment events, drink out of the same water fountains, etc.

    Arabs, Jews, Muslims and Christians inside Israel can swim, drink, play and dance together if they so choose. How many Jews are represented in the Egyption or Iranian governments?

    The “Apartheid Wall” as you keep referring to it as, is a border like any other border. This border separates one entity from another. There is no wall within the borders of the State of Israel. This wall/fence exists to separate the Palestinian Territory from Israel. It was constructed as a way to control who comes and goes. It is a known fact that the terrorist attacks within the State of Israel are conceived of and carried out from these territories. The fence was built to keep these terrorists out of Israel. The fact that it inconveniences the lives of Palestinians might be problematic for the Palestinians and might even be unfair but the safety of citizens in Israel cannot be compromised because someone else might be inconvenienced. Any country would do the same.

    In terms of the check points your group always speaks about: come on, man. What country does not have check points? We have check points all over our southern border with Mexico preventing people from coming over it every day. Are you saying we should just open up that border and let anyone who needs a job in? Will you support them? Should we get rid of security check points at our air gateways where planes are landing from all over the world? Should we just let anyone who wants to come right in? I can’t imagine that being a very viable situation, can you?

    Finally, you claim to be fighting for human rights? The Palestinians claim to be fighting for their own human rights? Have you ever stopped to take a look at the Palestinian record on human rights? It’s deplorable. Just pay a visit to the Human Rights Watch web site. For example, Gay Palestinians, living within the Palestinian Authority have no rights. They cannot be who they are, they are ostracized and hunted down. Homosexual persons are regularly abused, scapegoated and targeted by the Palestinian Authority. Why are you not talking about this outrage? Why are you not talking about the Palestinian Gays who dream to live in Tel Aviv so they can be free from the persecution they receive at the hands of their own people? Israel has one of the best records when it comes to Gay Rights. I don’t think if you looked at the Palestinian record, you would find the same thing.

    If you claim to be an activist that stands up for Human Rights, then why don’t you stand up for the rights of all people to live free from persecution.

    I think your vigils are disrespectful, counterproductive, mean-spirited, not to mention racist. I think you have a poor, flawed platform that is based in fanaticism. I go back to what I said at the beginning of this email that your problem with Israel is more personal than political. Your arguments are completely baseless and hypocritical. Your group is nothing but a collection of people who hate Israel and the Jewish people. What a shameful guise for a “peace activist” group. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.


       —questioning    Jul. 12 '06 - 01:51AM    #
  282. “Aid groups have expressed concern about the difficulties of providing assistance to 1.4 million people living in Gaza…”

    GAZA CITY (AFP) –

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060712/wl_mideast_afp/mideastunrestgaza_060712164726

    Eighteen Palestinians were killed, among them seven children from the same family, in multiple Israeli attacks in Gaza in which a top Hamas militant leader was reportedly wounded.

    The latest deaths came as Israel pushed a new offensive in the impoverished territory aimed at securing the release of a teenage soldier captured more than two weeks ago and ending rocket attacks on the Jewish state.

    A total of 70 Palestinians have now been killed since Israel stepped up its massive ground assault into Gaza last Wednesday in a bid to secure the release of the missing teenage soldier and to halt rocket fire.

    Nine Palestinians, including seven children from the same family, were killed and a Hamas militant leader reportedly wounded in an air strike that destroyed the Gaza home of a political leader in the Islamist movement.

    The armed wing of the governing Palestinian movement, which claimed joint responsibility for the capture of a soldier on June 25, sparking a three-week Israeli aerial offensive, swiftly vowed a “strong and painful” response.

    Just hours later, the Israeli army opened a new front in the Middle East crisis, launching a ground and air assault on Lebanon after the Shiite movement Hezbollah captured two soldiers on Israel’s northern border.

    “There are people to the north and south of our country who continue to want to compromise our stability,” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters during a visit by his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi.

    Palestinian government spokesman Ghazi Hamad described Wednesday’s capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah as “a natural reaction to the crime of occupation in Palestinian territory”, according to a statement issued in Gaza City….

    ...Medical sources said the nine dead were all from the same family and included a Hamas political leader, Nabil Abu Salmeeyah, who owned the house and taught at the Islamic University, his wife and five of their children.

    Two of the children’s cousins were also killed.

    Security sources said an F-16 jet demolished the house in the latest wave of air strikes in Israel’s deadly offensive launched two weeks ago that has killed 70 Palestinians.

    “Our reaction to this massacre will be painful and strong for the Zionists and we will make the enemy leadership sorry for their crime,” the Qassam Brigades vowed in a swift response to the attack.

    More than 30 people were wounded in the attack, a medical source told AFP.

    The air strike was preceded by a large-scale incursion into the central Gaza Strip, east of Deir al-Balah refugee camp, penetrating up to one kilometre (more than half a mile) inside the territory.

    Nine other Palestinians died in Israeli attacks elsewhere in Gaza, including two policeman and seven gunmen, medical sources said.

    One of those militants to die belonged to the the Popular Resistance Committees, which together with the military wing of Hamas and a third group claimed the June 25 capture of an Israeli soldier.

    Israel has flatly refused to negotiate with Hamas or free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 19-year-old Corporal Gilad Shalit, vowing the assault will continue “in places, in time, in measures” at its convenience.

    Aid groups have expressed concern about the difficulties of providing assistance to 1.4 million people living in Gaza following months of financial crisis and the suspension of direct Western aid to the Hamas-led government.


       —1.4 million Palestinians choking    Jul. 13 '06 - 05:02PM    #
  283. “Tourists Flee Lebanon, Hizbollah Continues Military Strikes, Italy slams Israeli action…”

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=73938

    Scores of innocent Lebanese civilians are now dead.


       —Racist Israeli Bombardiers    Jul. 13 '06 - 09:28PM    #
  284. Israel’s Racist Bombers?? You’ve got to be kidding me! And just trolling over a border to kidnap a soldier is completely fine? Israel should just sit back and wait for more of these terrorists to come across the border and kidnap more people?? What planet are you living on???

    Thankfully, your ridiculous, baseless arguments are not the views of the majority. Why don’t you at least open your eyes and see that the Arabs are not all innocent victims. You are the most racist of all!

    Furthermore, as always Israel will prevail so in my opinion, the Lebanese and Hamas should return the soldiers and start talking.


       —questioning    Jul. 14 '06 - 03:22AM    #
  285. “UN Gaza resolution vetoed by US”

    Friday July 14, 2006 9:23 AM

    Guardian (London)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-5950575,00.html

    The US has blocked an Arab-backed resolution that would have demanded that Israel halt its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in the first United Nations Security Council veto in nearly two years.

    The draft, sponsored by Qatar on behalf of other Arab nations, accused Israel of a “disproportionate use of force” that endangered Palestinian civilians, and demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza.

    Earlier Prime Minister Tony Blair had talks with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan about the escalating crisis. Mr Blair’s spokesman later called on Lebanon to “exercise its sovereignty” to try to damp down the conflict and enter negotiations with Israel.

    The US was alone in voting against the resolution. Ten of the 15 security council nations voted in favour, while Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia abstained. The US has periodically used its veto to block resolutions critical of Israel. The last council veto, in October 2004, was cast when the US blocked a resolution condemning another Israeli operation in Gaza.

    The draft was reworked repeatedly to address concerns that it was too biased against Israel. Language was added calling for the release of an abducted soldier and urging the Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel.

    Nonetheless, US ambassador John Bolton said it was still unacceptable…


       —Gaza Chokes; Lebanon Burns:    Jul. 14 '06 - 03:58PM    #
  286. More and more destruction in Gaza:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060714/wl_mideast_afp/mideastunrestgaza_060714170234

    ...Ahmed al-Kurd, the Hamas mayor of Deir al-Balah, said at least 30 hectares of farmland and orchard, largely olive trees, were devastated by the Israeli troops in the town and around 20 homes partially or entirely destroyed.

    Farmer Mansur Salem said his home and orchard had been utterly destroyed, with Israeli tanks reducing his family car to a mass of tangled metal.

    But residents watching the troops leave, hoped that the opening of a second front on Israel’s border with Lebanon would provide some respite.

    “It’s terrible what’s happening to Lebanon, to this people who are brothers of the Palestinians, but it means that Gaza is not the Israeli army’s priority any more,” said Hassem al-Khatib.

    “They haven’t forgotten about us: an Israeli soldier is still a prisoner somewhere in Gaza. But so long as Hezbollah resists, it will be quiet in Gaza,” he hoped.

    An army spokeswoman said the only place where Israeli ground forces remain in Gaza is in Dahaniya, in the south, near the former international airport that was destroyed by the army after the second Palestinian uprising erupted.

    The pullback came after Israel’s chief ally the United States vetoed a UN resolution urging Israel to halt military operations in Gaza, condemning the assault and calling for the immediate withdrawal of its troops.

    Hamas, like Hezbollah, has demanded the release of prisoners in exchange for the captured soldiers….


       —Gaza Destroyed    Jul. 14 '06 - 07:03PM    #
  287. “What Does Israel Want?”

    by Ilan Pappe

    The Electronic Intifada, 14 July 2006

    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5003.shtml


    An Israeli army artillery cannon fires towards Gaza Strip at a position near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, northern Gaza Strip, 9 July 2006. (MaanImages/Inbal Rose)

    Imagine a group of high ranking generals who simulated for years Third World War scenarios in which they can move huge armies around, employ the most sophisticated weapons in their disposal and enjoy the immunity of a computerized headquarters from which they can direct their war games. Now imagine that they are informed that in fact there is no Third World War and their expertise is needed to calm down some of the nearby slums or deal with soaring crime in deprived townships and impoverished neighborhoods. And then imagine – in the final episode in my chimerical crisis – what happens when they find out how irrelevant have their plans been and how useless are their weapons in the struggle against the street violence produced by social inequality, poverty and years of discrimination in their society. They can either admit failure or decide none the less to use the massive and destructive arsenal at their disposal. We are witnessing today the havoc wreaked by Israeli generals who opted for latter course of action.

    I have been teaching in the Israeli universities for 25 years. Several of my students were high ranking officers in the army. I could see their growing frustration since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987. They detested this kind of confrontation, called euphemistically by the gurus of the American discipline of International Relations: ‘low intensity conflict’. It was too low to their taste. They were faced with stones, molotov bottles and primitive arms which required a very limited use of the huge arsenal the army has amassed throughout the years and did not test at all their ability to perform in a battlefield or a war zone. Even when the army used tanks and F-16s, it was a far cry from the war games the officers played in the Israeli Matkal – headquarters – and for which they bought, with American tax payer money – the most sophisticated and updated weaponry existing in the market.

    The first Intifada was crushed, but the Palestinians continued to seek ways of ending the occupation. They rose again in 2000, inspired this time by a more religious group of national leaders and activists. But it was still a ‘low intensity conflict’; no more than that. But this is not what the army expected, it was yearning for a ‘real’ war. As Raviv Druker and Offer Shelah, two Israeli journalists with close ties to the IDF, show in a recent book, Boomerang (p. 50), major military exercises before the second Intifada were based on a scenario that envisaged a full-scale war. It was predicted that in the case of another Palestinian uprising, there would be three days of ‘riots’ in the occupied territories that would turn into a head-on confrontation with neighboring Arab states, especially Syria. Such a confrontation, it was argued, was needed to maintain Israel’s power of deterrence and reinforce the generals confidence in their army’s ability to conduct a conventional war.

    The frustration was unbearable as the three days in the exercise turned into six years. And yet, the Israeli army’s main vision for the battlefield is today still that of ‘shock and awe’ rather than chasing snipers, suicide bombers and political activists. The ‘low intensity’ war questions the invincibility of the army and erodes its capability to engage in a ‘real’ war. More important than anything else, it does not allow Israel to impose unilaterally its vision over the land of Palestine – a de-Arabized land mostly in Jewish hands. Most of the Arab regimes have been complacent and weak enough to allow the Israelis to pursue their policies, apart from Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon. They have to be neutralized if Israeli unileteralism is to succeed.

    After the outbreak of the second Intifada in October 2000, some of the frustration was allowed to evaporate with the use of 1,000 kilo bombs on a Gaza house or during operation Defense Shield in 2002 when the army bulldozered the refugee camp in Jenin. But this too was a far cry from what the strongest army in the Middle East could do. And despite the demonization of the mode of resistance chosen by the Palestinians in the second Intifada – the suicide bomb – you needed only two or three F-16 and a small number of tanks to punish collectively the Palestinians by totally destroying their human, economic and social infrastructure.

    I know these generals as well as one could know them. In the last week, they have had a field day. No more random use of one-kilo bombs, battleships, choppers and heavy artillery. The weak and insignificant new minister of defense, Amir Perez, accepted without hesitation the army demand for crushing the Gaza strip and grinding Lebanon to dust. But it may not be enough. It can still deteriorate into a full scale war with the hapless army of Syria and my ex-students may even push by provocative actions towards such an eventuality. And, if you believe what you read in the local press here, it may even escalate into a long distance war with Iran, backed by a supreme American umbrella.

    Even the most partial reports in the Israeli press of what was proposed by the army to Ehud Olmert’s government as possible operations in the coming days, indicate clearly what enthuses the Israeli generals these days. Nothing less that a total destruction of Lebanon, Syria and Tehran.

    The politicians at the top are more tamed, to a point. They have only partially satisfied the army’s hunger for a ‘high intensity conflict’. But their politics of the day are already donned by military propaganda and rational. This why Zipi Livni, Israeli foreign minister, an otherwise intelligent person, could say genuinely on Israeli TV tonight (13 July 2006) that the best way to retrieve the two captured soldiers ‘is to destroy totally the international airport of Beirut’. Abductors or armies that have two POWs of course immediately go and buy commercial tickets on the next flight from an international airport for the captors and the two soldiers. ‘But they can sneak them with a car’, insisted the interviewers. ‘Oh indeed’ said the Israeli Foreign Minister, ‘This is why we will also destroy all the roads in Lebanon leading outside the country’. This is good news for the army, to destroy airports, set fire to petrol tanks, blow up bridges, damage roads and inflict collateral damage on a civilian population. At least the airforce can show its ‘real’ might and compensate for the frustrating years of the ‘low intensity conflict’ that had sent Israel’s best and fiercest to run after boys and girls in the alleys of Nablus or Hebron. In Gaza the airforce has already dropped five such bombs, where in the last six years it dropped only one.

    This may be not enough, though, for the army generals. They already say clearly on TV that ‘we here in Israel should not forget Damascus and Teheran’. Past experiences tell us what they mean by this appeal against our collective amnesia.

    The captive soldiers in Gaza and Lebanon have already been deleted from the public agenda here. This is about destroying the Hizballah and Hamas once and for all, not about bringing home the soldiers. In a similar way in the summer of 1982, the Israeli public have totally forgotten the victim that provided the government of Menachem Begin with the excuse of invading Lebanon. He was Shlomo Aragov, Israel’s ambassador to London on whose life an attempt was made by a splinter Palestinian group. The attack on him served Ariel Sharon with the pretext of invading Lebanon and staying there for 18 years.

    Alternative routes for the conflict are not even raised in Israel, not even by the Zionist left. No one mentions commonsensical ideas such as an exchange of prisoners or a commencement of a dialogue with the Hamas and other Palestinian groups at least over a long ceasefire to prepare the ground for more meaningful political negotiations in the future. This alternative way forward is already backed by all the Arab countries, but alas only by them. In Washington, Donald Ramsfeld may have lost some of his deputies in the Defense Department, but he is still the Secretary. For him, the total destruction of the Hamas and Hizballah – whatever the price and if it is without loss of American life – will ‘vindicate’ the raison d’être for the Third World Theory he propagated early on in 2001. The current crisis for him is a righteous battle against a small axis of evil – away from the quagmire of Iraq and a precursor for the so far unattained goals in the ‘war against terror’ – Syria and Iran. If indeed to a certain extent the Empire was serving the proxy in Iraq, the full fledged support President Bush gave to the recent Israeli aggression in Gaza and Lebanon, shows that may be pay off time has come: now the proxy should salvage the entangled Empire.

    Hizballah wants back the piece of southern Lebanon Israel still retains. It also wishes to play a major role in Lebanese politics and shows ideological solidarity with both Iran and the Palestinian struggle in general, and the Islamist one, in particular. The three goals do not always complement each other and resulted in a very limited war effort against Israel in the last six years. The total resurrection of tourism on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon testifies that, unlike the Israeli generals, for its own reasons the Hizballah is very happy with a very low intensity conflict. If and when a comprehensive solution for the Palestine question will be achieved even that impulse would die out. Crossing 100 yards into Israel proper is such an action. Retaliating to such a low key operation with a total war and destruction indicates clearly that what matters is the grand design not the pretext.

    There is nothing new in this. In 1948, the Palestinians opted for a very low intensity conflict when the UN imposed on them a deal which wrested from their hand half of their homeland and gave it to a community of newcomers and settlers, most of whom arrived after 1945. The Zionist leaders waited for long time for that opportunity and launched an ethnic cleansing operation that expelled half of the land’s native population, destroyed half of its villages and dragged the Arab world into unnecessary conflict with the West, whose powers were already on the way out with the demise of colonialism. The two designs are interconnected: the wider Israel’s military might expands, the easier it is to complete the unfinished business of the 1948: the total de-Arabization of Palestine.

    It is not too late to stop the Israeli designs from creating a new and terrible reality on the ground. But the window of opportunity is very narrow and the world needs to take action before it is too late.


       —Nazi Israel:    Jul. 14 '06 - 09:40PM    #
  288. Epithets like “Nazi Israel” are not productive.


       —David Boyle    Jul. 14 '06 - 10:25PM    #
  289. Agreed. Very counterproductive. Comparing the Israelis to Nazis simply means that you have no conception of the reality of history. The Jews during the Holocaust did not possess missiles and other weaponry to defend themselves. The real issue here is anger over the fact that Israel will prevail and you cannot handle that. The best thing to do is accept the fact that Israel has the right to exist like any other nation and this whole thing will shut off like a faucet. It’s not so difficult.

    You rather have fundamentalist states in the place of Israel? You think countries like Iran are concerned with Human Rights? Why is OK for Israel to be attacked but when Israel fights back, it’s wrong?


       —questioning    Jul. 14 '06 - 10:55PM    #
  290. Read the Jerusalem Post for what the real situation is. You can view the real news from the Middle East at: http://www.jpost.com


       —questioning    Jul. 14 '06 - 11:04PM    #
  291. “low intensity conflict” what is that? spitballs and paper airplanes? war is war and both sides of this conflict are guilty. we’ve heard a lot about israeli atrocities here, if you want examples of the shoe being in the other foot, look here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riots_in_Palestine_of_1929

    to get another view. i’m not saying one side is right or wrong, but i am saying there are two sides to every story.


       —tim    Jul. 15 '06 - 12:14AM    #
  292. The only issue here is what took so long? Finally Israel is protecting its interests. All the Arabs and Palestinians can do is play the victim. These people are armed to the teeth. Helpless victims don’t carry machine guns and parade around the streets. The Left needs a battle. The Left has a history of anti-Semitism. Israel is a perfect scapegoat.

    The amusing factor is that the Left, Right, Center and all in between know Israel will prevail. Good always wins out ultimately over evil.


       —questioning    Jul. 15 '06 - 04:40AM    #
  293. Caution though, questioning: there may be good on various sides here, as there so often is in the real world…..


       —David Boyle    Jul. 15 '06 - 04:53AM    #
  294. The problem here, of course, is not whether or not Israel has a right to defend itself. Any country has the right to defend itself. The question is: are civilian targets justified and necessary? I believe the answer is no. Israel should negotiate, even if it would be a futile effort. Negotiations, if Israel participated in them, would prove that it is Hamas and Hizbollah that is intransigient, not Israel.

    Not participating in negotiations is damaging to Israel and civilian populations in Gaza and Lebanon. The problem with Blaine et. al is that their criticism of Israeli actions are not criticisms of strikes on civilians per se but simply Israel defending itself.

    To put it another way, Israel defending itself against acts which are clearly a violation of international law is not a bad thing in theory. The problem lies with simply Israel targetting whatever she wants. Hospitals and civilians homes etc. are not justifiable in my opinion.

    Let the personal attacks begin.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 15 '06 - 05:21AM    #
  295. David,

    I appreciate your comment and completely agree that all parties have good on either side and that both sides want an end to the conflict (meaning the Lebanese Government not Hezbolla Terrorists). Thank you for reminding me about that, David.

    However, regarding Jared’s comments, I agree that any time civilians become victims of a war that has nothing directly to do with them, it’s a tragedy. However, unfortunately, and tragically, when there is a need for military action, civilians get caught in the cross fire.

    In terms of negotiation, I think Israel has been down that road before. They’ve negotiated. They’ve given up Gaza. They agreed (under the Clinton Administration) to give up much of the territory in the West Bank. That particular “deal” was rejected by Arafat at the time if you remember. These negotiations are fruitless if the other side insists Israel does not have a right to exist.

    Let’s say the US brokered a cease fire and arranged a prisoner exchange and stopped this particular conflict. How long before the next one? You cannot continue to place Band-Aids on a problem that needs a body cast. It simply won’t work. Buying time until the next attack into Israel does not solve the problem.

    Israel has shown tremendous restraint over the past several years. This was not the only time Hezbolla terrorists attacked Israel with missiles. You cannot have a situation where these terror groups cross an international border and pluck a couple of soldiers up and take them out of the country. That just cannot be allowed to continue.

    The Israelis must fight this until Hezbolla is completely defeated or this will happen again and again and again.


       —questioning    Jul. 15 '06 - 03:23PM    #
  296. Israel = Nazi: I think it’s time for your therapy appointment. I know that you must be angry at the world because when you were a little tike, your teacher yelled at you in front of the whole class and made you cry. Now as an adult, you have to get your anger out on someone so you try and anger people by calling Israel Nazis. I think you are just pissed off because Israel will win this like they win everything else. In your next therapy appointment, discuss your anger issues or maybe take an anger management class entitled “why am I so bitter”?


       —questioning    Jul. 15 '06 - 03:28PM    #
  297. The definition of insanity is to continue to take the same action expecting different results.
    Military actions do nothing to end “terrorism”. They only inflame it.
    Duh.


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 15 '06 - 03:51PM    #
  298. Nancy,

    What you are not understanding is that if there are two sides and one side wants your total destruction, then even if there was no military response, the terrorism would continue. The key is to destroy the terrorists and suppress their abilities to continue to do harm.

    Clearly, this will not solve the problem in full, but to sit and do nothing is not going to stop the terror. Terrorism will continue with or without military action.

    What’s this about putting terrorism in quotes? It’s okay to perpetrate terror on the Israelis? I thought you were against ALL forms of military action?

    Lastly, you should not be commenting on something you know nothing about sitting in your Ann Arbor cocoon.


       —Jason    Jul. 15 '06 - 05:34PM    #
  299. There have to be other alternatives beyond military action and doing nothing. I don’t know what they are—I’m just presuming they exist if the true goal is to move closer to ending terrorism and not getting even. There have to be other solutions because those two don’t work. Duh.

    I never use the term “terrorism” without putting it in quotes because one man’s “terrorist” is the other man’s resistance fighter. When you don’t have ICBMs you use suicide bombers. In every violent conflict it seems if you wear a cool looking western uniform you are a “soldier” and if you wear street cloths and use what you’ve got you’re a terrorist, rabble, rioter, rebel, insurgent, radical, fanatic, criminal, extremist.
    If you kill innocent civilians in a military action that’s unfortunate collateral damage. If you kill civilians fighting back you’re a monster.

    If you ask me? They’re all monsters—the leaders on both sides that kill for the sake of peace.

    And we’re all sitting in our AA cocoon. Why can’t I comment?? My ill informed pointless rants are just as valuable as anyone elses!


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 15 '06 - 06:10PM    #
  300. That’s just it. Your rants are ill-informed. I have no issue with someone expressing a differing opinion.

    It just seems like you have no idea about this particular conflict. Every conflict is different and you are lumping them all together.

    Israel started as a tiny little country after the United Nations partitioned Palestine into an Arab and Jewish State. The Arabs did not like this solution which was a compromise and elected to attack. Hence, the Arab/Israeli conflict is born. Every country is born and occasionally needs to protect itself. Violence is (unfortunately) the midwives that bring nations into the world. There is not one nation existing that in one form or another was not born out of violence of some sort.

    And, yes, it is different when a sovereign nation (Israel) send troops into an area to stop attacks on its civilians then when terrorists dressed in street clothes come in and attack civilians for the sake of attacking civilians. The Israelis are not TARGETING civilians (although tragically civilians are being killed), the Palestinian and Hezbolla terrorists do usually deliberately TARGET civilians, that’s the difference.

    I ask you then, what is the solution? If the Israelis knew that the Palestinians would never perpetrate another attack on Israel, they would have had their state a long time ago. If Hezbolla would never attack again, Israel would have no need to go into Lebanon ever again. When radical Islam accepts a Jewish presence in the Middle East (which is the right of the Jews, just like any other people) this will all stop.

    Have you ever been to Israel? Have you ever actually spoken to people on their turf (Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians)? If you have not, I feel as though you are not as qualified to speak about this particular subject. And yes, we might all be sitting in a cocoon, but some of us choose to also stick our heads in the sand. If you are going to comment, do a little research and actually take some time to learn about the conflict, about why Israel exists and needs to continue to exist in peace and security.

    Lastly, I don’t mind differing opinions, in fact, I welcome debate, however, my preferred method is with someone who has some level of knowledge on the conflict.


       —Jason    Jul. 15 '06 - 08:11PM    #
  301. Hey, Jason, I’m admitting I’m no expert here. I’m just confused and putting some thoughts out there looking for answers that make sense to me.

    So, seeing as I’m confused and you’re not, clear something up for me.

    Who exactly are the Israeli troops shooting at? Obviously not civilians, according to you, so what non-civilians are they targetting? And if the people they are shooting at aren’t “civilians” wouldn’t that make them soldiers of some sorts?

    And can you explain all this without talking about nations? I don’t believe in nations.

    And try to remember I’m not taking sides here—I think both sides are wrong.


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 15 '06 - 09:49PM    #
  302. so jason:

    if the only ones allowed to comment on the israeli/palestinian situation are those who have been to the middle east, then why are you posting on a board where i’d wager 90% of the readers/posters haven’t been to the middle east? would a layover count? 2 weeks? 3 weeks? what is the cutoff for have been there long enough to speak knowledgably? and b/c i’ve never killed or been killed or had a family member killed i can’t have an opinion on the death penatly? and only women who have been preganant can have opinions on abortion? your logic there is pretty flawed. we live in a world that (rightly or not) expects us have opinions on a variety of topics and vote/speak knowledgably on them (the curse of democracy). unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day for me or you to experience all these things first hand and digest every single point of view that plays a role in their making. so, people like nancy and me (and even you, jason) have to do the best we can with what we have, and for most of us the best is some cnn, maybe fox if we like it from the right, NY Times, whatever news outlet we choose.


       —tim    Jul. 16 '06 - 03:48AM    #
  303. Hi Nancy,

    OK. First of all, I apologize if I came across as rude or insensitive to your sharing of opinions. This is just something about which I am very passionate.

    I will try to explain this without talking specifically about nations but forgive me if I slip because that’s not 100% natural for me.

    The Israeli troop’s objective is to strike at the Hezbolla. Hezbolla for several years has been engaging in a cross-border battle from Lebanon and threatening border towns with missiles and the such. Hezbolla also openly supported the terror against Jews living in Israeli territory and funded much of it with help from the Syrian regime.

    Hezbolla has set up camp (primarily) in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Unfortunately, the southern suburbs not only house members of this violent organization but also Lebanese civilians. In the attempt to rid Lebanon of the Hezbolla, civilians are being caught in the crossfire. I do not believe the Israelis are deliberately targeting civilians, it’s simply not in their best interest.

    The airport in Beirut is being targeted by Israel for fear that Hezbolla will use it as a means of escape and from a strategic standpoint, it made sense to target the airport and certain infrastructure.

    Another larger issue (trying to respect your feelings and not talk about nations) is the Jewish presence in the region. Radical Islamists do not want Jewish influence in this area because their interest is to spread the Muslim faith and ideals. The Jewish ideals (separate from any military objectives) are completely different from extremist Muslim ideals. Jews are a lot more liberal about the way people live, women’s rights, general “morality” and gay rights. It is not in the best interest of the Muslims to have a major Jewish presence in the Middle East because it blocks their agenda. That is the larger, overall issue surrounding this conflict.

    In terms of the Palestinian issue (separate from Hezbolla) this was created after the Jewish presence in the area became more or less permanent post 1948. Modern day Palestinians are essentially Arabs descended from the people who fled what was known as Palestine before it was partitioned into a half Arab half Jewish State. The other Arab countries did not allow these people to enter their countries either so they became refugees, which in of itself is tragic for anyone. I am not minimizing that. I am however, concerned with the tactics that in my opinion they began to use to rid the area of Jewish presence which in my opinion is the goal of the Palestinians, Hezbolla and Iran.

    I agree that in reality, nations are a bad thing. They cause wars, and cause people to act in a horrible way. I think that nations are just so entrenched in our culture, I don’t see that changing any time soon and what we need to work on now is people just accepting what is and working with it as much as possible.

    The Jewish people were victims of the second but worst genocidal attempt in history (the first was the Turkish attempted genocide of the Armenians). Six million Jews were murdered at the hands of the Germans during the second world war. One of the reasons (besides obvious German barbarity) there was so much death within one race of people was because these people had no place to go. No country would take them. They were stuck and died for it. You have to try and understand what that kind of horrific tragedy does to the psyche of a people. I would love if nations did not exist or if religion did not exist because then many of my relatives would not have been butchered like animals during the second world war. But, Hitler and the Germans viewed the Jews as a nation and for whatever reason chose that this nation should be eliminated. It was not until the end of the war that the death camps were liberated. This attempted genocide went on for years and people (including the United States) knew full well what was happening and chose to do nothing.

    After something like that happens to a people, those people make a decision to make sure that never happens again (first to them before they worry about others). Part of ensuring that was to develop a sovereign nation in the Middle East. For years before the attempted genocide, Jews had been living in the Middle East, settling and farming the land. Much of what became the modern state of Israel was being farmed and managed by Jews anyway. Granted, people were displaced but (not to minimize it) that happens everywhere in these situations.

    The only way (Jewish people felt) to make sure this never happened again to them was to have a Jewish homeland of sorts, a sovereign place where they would manage their own affairs and where Jewish people could always find a home and a refuge if things got too rough in their host countries which some of the time it still does. Israel does not want to see death and destruction, believe me. The Israelis are a life-affirming, liberal society. They want a tiny little piece of land (trust me, this place is SMALL) where they can feel safe and manage their own affairs. Had this attempted genocide not taken place, the zeal for such a place might not exist (it’s really difficult to say) but the fact is it did happen and the Jewish people need a place to go where they are the majority because of their special history. It’s not asking a whole lot really. The Israelis are not inherently racist people, they just feel they need a place where the Jews happen to be the majority to ensure another genocide never happens again.

    In terms of the people who compare the Israelis themselves to Nazis, this is very sad and shows they are completely ignorant of history. The millions of Jews murdered by the Nazi war machine did not have anything with which to defend themselves. They did not have weapons. They were completely helpless. They did not have educational institutions. There was really no means of resisting the Nazis. The Palestinians and Israelis are fighting over land. The Nazis was a completely different situation and comparing the two is pure ignorance and is done primarily to hit Jewish people where it hurts. It’s a pretty low, nasty thing to do not to mention completely counter productive.

    Lastly, and this is more personal than anything. As a gay man, it’s very difficult for me ideologically to fight for the Palestinian cause. Besides the fact that I don’t agree with their tactics or their claims, they wage a war in their own territory against homosexuals (primarily men). Gay people are criminalized and hunted down. I had the opportunity to speak with gay Palestinian men during trips to the region and they would tell me about what happens to gay people within the Palestinian authority. Israel has one of the best records in the world when it comes to gay rights. I mean whether you agree with them or not, you have to hand it to a people who make gay rights an important issue in the midst of always being on the brink of war. Israel did just that. It’s hard for me to defend a people who are just going to build a territory to discriminate against others.

    Nancy, I hope I have done a good job in explaining the situation without offending you or without dwelling on nations’ status. I don’t expect that you completely side with Israel or even understand fully why Israel does what it does, but I do hope you have a little more of an understanding about the situation and also understand that the Israelis are not the horrible people that some very uneducated people proclaim in these posts. As a gay man, constantly struggling for acceptance and fully aware of what it means to be discriminated against, I would never associate myself with a place I felt truly wanted to hurt others or really discriminate. Ya know, in this country I am not allowed to be married and do not have the same protections afforded to heterosexual persons. Sometimes, when I feel closed in and frustrated, I think wouldn’t it be nice to have a country/nation just for gay people where I can live free from fear and discrimination. In reality, I probably would not want that because I like living among the general community, however, I assume you can understand my feeling given the daily discrimination that I face. Maybe this is a good way of thinking why the Jews feel the need for a place where they are the majority and where they can manage for themselves. Just a thought.

    I am happy to answer any other questions and appreciate your thoughtfulness and curiosity.

    Hope you have/had a great evening.


       —Jason    Jul. 16 '06 - 03:56AM    #
  304. Tim,

    I completely understand your logic and appreciate your comment. My issue is that I believe one can speak a lot more intelligently if they actually have visited a place and spoken directly with the people. It’s challenging to sit in the US and criticize Israel/the Palestinians based on feeds from CNN/Fox or the NY Times. I think spending time in a place, getting into the people’s psyche and really asking questions is the only true way to get to the bottom of conflict. It’s the same way when people discriminate based on race or sexual orientation. Many times if you are exposed to people who are different from you, you develop more of an understanding of the reality of a given situation.


       —Jason    Jul. 16 '06 - 04:03AM    #
  305. that’s all well and good and i envy you the free time and money you have to travel, but that attitude is completely unrealistic for most of who have to work 40 hrs a week and don’t have a flexible schedule. you may be able to experience certain things 10, 20, 50 miles from your home (and you should), but regional conflcits, be they middle eastern, n. ireland, india/pakistan, wherever, are, for 99% of us, experienced/viewed only through the lens of a camera or the pen of a journalist. that is the basic premise of journalism and news organizations. they bring to us, on paper, tv, or radio, what we can’t experience first hand. jason, could you live with the guilt if all those upstanding reporters were suddenly out of a job thanks to you???? could you sleep at night knowing rush limbaugh or ann coulter or…wait…it’s all clear to me now. crafty.


       —tim    Jul. 16 '06 - 04:47AM    #
  306. Tim,

    Understand your point and even appreciate your sarcasm. However, still maintain while anyone has the right to talk about anything they desire, to be the most informed, you kind of need to be there which is why we rely on the journalists you mention.

    I work more than 40 hrs per week and my schedule is far from flexible. I just enjoy travel and learning first-hand about specific kinds of situations. You make your own opportunities and travel is one of them.

    By the way, I would be more than happy to be responsible for Rush or Ann losing their jobs.


       —Jason    Jul. 16 '06 - 05:37AM    #
  307. so, back to my original post, okay? Isn’t it possible military actions inflame this situation?


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 16 '06 - 10:37AM    #
  308. Jarred –

    Be careful. Necessary and Proportionate – are legal constructs, and are meant to be measured by military professionals not civilian observers. The ICRC (the organization that basically has the last say on international law of war issues) any time civilian commentators put their two cents in. The law works only if it accepted by the militaries around the world, and they clearly have a differnet view then civilians or human rights scholars. Now, the ICRC has long ago come to terms with the fact that war is inhuman, and that they will never be able to get it to the level we, as a society want. They just want to minimize the caringe.

    To that effect – I think in this case Israeli actions (at least as of Saturday morning) were totally fine. They have gone out of thier way to warn civilians, droppign leaflets identifying the buildings to be bombed. That is MORE then they are required to do by international law and by the proportionality/necessity doctrines. In fact, at the place where I work (we work with law of armed conflict) everyone is quite impressed by Israeli actions. Moreover, the alternative to allowing Israel is the creation of an incentive for Hizbullah like groups to use civilians as human shields – something they should not be allowed to do.

    Nancy –

    I disagree with the premis of your argument. I think violence can end terrorism, or at least particular terrorist organizations. You’re right that Israel blowing Hizbullah to shreds, may motivate others to fight. But if Hizbullah is destroyed, somethign will leave with them. Hizbullah is sophisticated, experienced, with significant weaponry. Who ever replaced them would require 20 yeras to gain that knowledge. Thats 20 years where fewere civilians will die.

    David


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 16 '06 - 12:03PM    #
  309. Okay David, that makes sense. I’m not behind it yet, but that’s an argument that holds water.


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 16 '06 - 01:14PM    #
  310. Nancy,

    What David said is what I was trying to say only I went the long way around and David got right to the point because I thought it was also important to know the history behind the conflict. David made an excellent point though, thanks David.


       —Jason    Jul. 16 '06 - 01:49PM    #
  311. There are two sides to every conflict. Spewing out hate will not solve the problem. It seems that everyone posting on this site likes to traffic problems but nobody wants to speak about creating solutions.


       —Racist Hezbolla Storm Troopers    Jul. 17 '06 - 12:47AM    #
  312. Funny. People under the guise of “Human Rights” attack one side for defending themselves and justifies terror on the other. At least, if you are going to engage in dialog, make it productive and talk about the Palestinian violence that has been perpetrated against Israel for the past 30 years. Or is being an advocate of “human rights” only applicable to defending the poor, defenseless Palestinians?


       —Racist, Hateful Palestinians    Jul. 17 '06 - 12:52AM    #
  313. Mr./Ms. Racist Israeli Storm Troopers:

    All you can do is keep posting articles from pro-Palestinian news sources? You don’t have enough of a brain to engage in normal dialog? The constant posting of these articles does nothing. It does not help a community engage in adult conversation about a topic. You are just wasting space.


       —Questioning    Jul. 17 '06 - 12:58AM    #
  314. Poor Defenseless Palestine? These are the most well-funded, well-armed defenseless people I know. They run around the streets with machine guns and conduct suicide terror campaigns inside Israeli cities. This is defenseless? Please. That’s a load of bull. Are you aware that the Israelis were the first to arm the Palestinian Authority at the start of the Oslo Accords? Where do you get this information from? You are very misinformed. I know you’ll never change your views but at least admit the Palestinians are not defenseless. Where does all the money thrown to them from Arab governments go?


       —Jason    Jul. 17 '06 - 02:46AM    #
  315. “They”? There are no poor defenseless people in Palestine?

    See? This is why I hate nations. Ya’ll aren’t thinking about human beings on both sides. You’re too busy hating each “them.”


       —Nancy Jowske    Jul. 17 '06 - 09:27AM    #
  316. Nancy –

    I agree with you that when people start thinking about nation states, they tend to forget about the individuals that are caught up in the fighting. As such statements about defenseless “X” “Y” or “Z” are not particularly helpful – as some will be defenceless, while others not.

    However, I urge you to look at the context in which the statement was made. It was not discussing the indviduals, but was rather refering to the nation as a whole; and predictably, so was the responce.

    The sad reality of this conflict is that people will die. Its not becuase they hate each other (some do, others don’t). Its because unfortunately this is a war – and in war people die. And much as we all want to avoid war, sometimes we can’t. In those cases, and they are genuinely rare, we have to look at how to end hostilities in the quickest way. Here, as one of the parties rejects the existnece of the other – the only way to end it is to convince the first party of the futility. This is why I am glad to hear the G-8 statement, as well as statements being made in the meeting of the Arab League. If enough parties pressure Hizbullah – we, god willing, will see an end to hostilities soon.


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 17 '06 - 10:10AM    #
  317. Thousands of bombs on Lebanon, to “enforce” new Israeli conquests from the air.

    Paid for by you.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    “Israel to impose “security zone” in southern Lebanon”

    Tel Aviv (dpa)

    Israel will create a “security zone” in southern Lebanon, Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Monday.

    The Israeli army will prevent Hezbollah militants from entering the buffer zone, he told reporters while touring the northern Israeli coastal town of Nehariya, which has born the brunt of Katyusha rockets fired by the Lebanese Shiite militant organization at Israel.

    Peretz did not specify whether this would involve the entry of ground troops into southern Lebanon, but Transport Minister and former defence minister Shaul Mofaz said “there is no need for ground intervention at this time.” This would indicate the zone would be enforced from the air.

    Israel withdrew from a self-proclaimed “security zone” in southern Lebanon in May 2000, ending a 22-year-old presence in the area.

    dpa


       —Israeli Wehrmacht    Jul. 17 '06 - 06:35PM    #
  318. “And much as we all want to avoid war, sometimes we can’t. In those cases, and they are genuinely rare, we have to look at how to end hostilities…”

    actually, there are many regimes these days that actually want to avoid avoiding war…sad sad sad….

    -ari p.


       —Ari P.    Jul. 17 '06 - 09:58PM    #
  319. Nancy,

    Of course!! There are thousands of poor, defenseless Palestinians just like poor, defenseless, Americans, Israelis and so on. It’s just that the Palestinian govt. does have military power and economic strength so that is why I question people talking about that “nation” being poor and defenseless because in reality they are not. I would never condemn an individual person because of where they were born or where they live. I judge people on actions not accidents of birth.

    My criticism was of the nation and not the individual people. There are individual people everywhere in the world suffering because of one thing or another and whether those people get help is usually up to two things: 1) world perception and 2) government willingness to allow funds and foodstuffs to be gotten through to the people who need it.

    If there was a meeting in Australia about to what countries they should be granting their foreign aid, most likely the United States would not be on that list. Why? Because the United States is perceived by the world as rich and powerful. Now, as residents of the US, we all know that there are plenty of people within our borders suffering because of poverty. Yet, they will never be the recipient of foreign aid because the perception is we have the resources to take care of those people ourselves.

    Same thing with The Palestinian Authority, many (not all) but many people perceive the Palestinian Authority as being quite strong and that they have the ability to defend themselves because of what they’ve been doing. The Palestinians are also some of the most highly educated people in the Middle East. So, they have universities and access to educational resources.

    Sure, individual people in the Palestinian zones are certainly suffering. Individual people in Israel are suffering as well. That does not make it moral for the Palestinian Authority to sanction suicide missions in Israel with the ONLY objective being to kill innocent civilians.

    Israel’s objective is to rid the area of the people causing the civilian casualties and tragically in the interim innocent civilians are being killed. This is horrible and I hate that this is happening. But, it’s an unfortunate reality.


       —Jason    Jul. 17 '06 - 11:16PM    #
  320. “Several people have been reported to have died from heat exhaustion…”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Border opens for stranded Gazans”

    BBC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5190198.stm

    July 18, 2006

    The only crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has been opened for the first time in three weeks.

    Thousands of Palestinians stranded in Egypt rushed to the border on Tuesday which EU monitors said would be open for up to 11 hours.

    Only “humanitarian cases” travelling in one direction, from Egypt to Gaza, are allowed to cross, the monitors said.

    The Rafah crossing has been closed since Palestinian militants seized an Israeli soldier on 25 June.

    Palestinian student Heba al-Qaysi, 21, was among an estimated 2,000 people waiting to cross.

    She told the Associated Press she had gone to Egypt to renew a visa for Saudi Arabia, and had run out of money and been reduced to sleeping in the open after she was stranded.

    Several people have been reported to have died from heat exhaustion during the wait for the border to re-open.

    ‘Security concerns’

    The Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world.


    It was controlled – and often closed – by Israel until a 2005 agreement under which Palestinians control the crossing under surveillance by EU monitors.

    But since the June raid by Palestinian militants, which sparked a major Israeli military operation, the terminal has been closed.

    Israel has stopped it opening by preventing the EU monitors from getting to the terminal, citing security concerns, western diplomats told Reuters.

    Palestinian official Hany Jabour told the Associated Press that Israel had imposed the one day time limit.

    But the Israeli Defence Ministry told the news agency a decision would be taken on Tuesday evening on whether to keep the border open indefinitely.

    On Friday Palestinian militants blew through the wall between Gaza and Egypt, allowing hundreds of Palestinians to return to their homes in Gaza.


       —Racist Israel    Jul. 18 '06 - 02:21PM    #
  321. Dear Blaine,
    I hope you don’t vote in official elections using all of these very imaginative names.
    Are you suffering from multiple personalities?
    There are medications that will help.
    :)


       —sticks and stones    Jul. 18 '06 - 06:47PM    #
  322. Agreed. Blaine, I credited you with more intellect. I was obviously wrong. What cause is it you’re exactly fighting? It’s unclear to me. All you do is rant but if I am trying to learn about your cause, how am I supposed to if you just rant and post articles and protest in front of Synagogues? Also, do you stand up for everyone’s human rights or just the human rights of Palestinians? Seems to me you need a hobby of sorts. I would love to join you and stand up for human rights but you are so horribly racist and fascist like, I cannot associate myself with you.

    Perhaps you should relocate to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They would welcome you (and your freedom of speech and mindless rants) with open arms I am sure. There, you can join your fellow Islamic brothers fighting against Israel for human rights. Just remember not to ever speak out there for how they treat women and other non-Muslim minorities, because I don’t think you would be too pleased with their reaction to you then. But, if your only cause is to stand up for Palestinian human rights, relocate to Iran, convert to Islam and enjoy.

    If Iran does not suit you, maybe too urban, try Saudi Arabia. Now there is country where human rights is top on their list next to the debate on woman being permitted to drive cars. Let’s see, if Saudi Arabia is not exactly right for you, where can you go? Hmmmm….let’s see, oh, I know, Syria, another bastion of human rights. Your liberal, way left-of-center views will be welcome there. You can live in the capital, Damascus where diversity reigns.

    Oh, wait, what about Israel? Hmmmm….all of these live shots and photos we see coming out of the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, where do they come from? Who has to give the press permission to enter these places? Oh, right, Israel. Because they believe in freedom of press. Maybe you can try Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran and ask them for access to places because you want to investigate human rights abuses. I am sure they will grant you full, unfettered access to all of their prisons and areas where these abuses might be taking place. Gee, I wonder why all of these left-wing activists can even voice their opinion in the West Bank and protest near the security fence? Could it be because Israel allows freedom of speech? Is that possible? Maybe we can ask the Iranian government for access to prisons because we want to make sure there are no human rights abuses and then we’ll stage an antigovernment rally in the heart of Tehran. I am sure we can do that without getting arrested.

    The only reason you have access to the information you have access to is because Israel is a democracy with freedom of the press. I wonder what goes on in the prisons in the Palestinian zones? Ya think you could investigate? Maybe stage a protest against human rights abuses in Gaza city?

    Ya know, lies only take one so far. Intelligent people who post on this site, in Ann Arbor and around the world, know the truth or will eventually see the truth.

    I ask posters on this site to find the truth. Don’t just listen to what Blain or Henry or any of the other members of JWPF say. Do research on Israel, on their democracy, on their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, gay rights record and the death penalty. Then, take a look at the same issues in the countries surrounding Israel, freedom-loving democracies like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, places like that and see what you find.

    Take a look at the history behind the Palestinian uprisings and who they rose up against in the past. This is not all about Israel. Check out Black September. Information from Wikpedia on them can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September
    Black September in Jordan, the conflict between Palestinian guerrilla organizations and King Hussein of Jordan that began in September 1970 and ended in July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon. This had nothing to do with the state of Israel my friends.

    Knowledge is the real freedom. Live and Learn.

    Thank you.


       —questioning    Jul. 18 '06 - 11:00PM    #
  323. Well said, Questioning! Of course, wasted energy, too, as BC, HH, and their extremist, hate-filled, antisemitic, synagogue picketing so-called “Jewish” Witnesses for “Peace” do not think, they just draw up and rant idiotic, meaningless, highly inflammatory slogans and have no sense of the complexity of this terribly painful conflict and blood-soaked region. To them it all always boils down to all blame Israel/all the time 24/7.

    The last group of volk who held mega-confrontational, irrational signs urging boycotts of Jewish businesses while doing all in their power to dehumanize and caricaturize Jews did so in front of Jewish shops and synagogues, which they later smashed and/or burned, and then carried out a lot worse measures—mass murder on a scale never seen before or since—against the people who worshipped in those synagogues and worked in those shops from 1933-1945 on that continent known as Europe.

    Funny how when we’re making comparisons, the deliberate targeting of Israeli and other civilians by bloodthirsty fanatics who don’t mind seeing both their own children and their victims ripped to shreds and call this “beautiful, holy martyrdom,” never figure in the JWP equation of human rights abuses. Look carefully at what’s going on, and you will see the true inheritors of the Nazi mentality. It sure ain’t the Israelis, my friends.

    Also interesting how only the Jewish Israelis are “oppressors.” No concern whatever for the way Palestinians and huge numbers of Arabs and Muslims subjugate and grossly abuse women, homosexuals, religious minorities, any one who dares suggest Israelis might be human, too, and a host of other “infidels.” No outrage at the way the Chinese government attacked and overran an actual sovereign nation known as Tibet in 1959 and claimed it as their own and how they continue to torture and brutally oppress any expression of free speech in Tibet and China proper. Nary a word on how Muslim marauders in Darfur are raping and butchering innocents virtually unchecked while the Sudanese government smiles its approval. No word on the tyranny in Burma. Not even a peep about the grave dangers our once vibrant democracy and economy face right here at home from the Bush-Cheney-Rove regime. In short, only the actions of one tiny, democratic nation known as Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, ever troubles the sleep of the JWP vigilantes.

    “Seems to me you need a hobby of sorts,” you say, Questioning? Well, look no further: they found it. Fighting for the rights (rights to freely murder and maim Israelis, it seems) of one and only one group in this world full of oppression and problems and fallaciously comparing the people who defend themselves from these so-called “innocent victims” who hurl rockets, missiles, and bombs at them with the most barbaric, oppressive, genocidal regime in history is their one and only pastime. Saying that they are witnesses for “peace” while they condone the deliberate murder of Israeli infants, children, teens, men, women, and the aged and infirm is not only pathological twaddle but also as cynical and hypocritical as one can get.

    PS: I know I am off-topic just as this whole thread has been—so I admit I’m wasting my time and energy here, too—since almost the day it began on April 19; the original discussion centered on “JWP Activists ‘Hijack’ Interfaith Meeting, which we know is true about everything the JWP does: they hijack City Council meetings, lectures by economist Paul Krugman, Israeli cultural events, talks by Holocaust survivors, and the right of people to worship free from harassment and intimidation. By the way, since hijacking and ranting is their stock-in-trade, the quotes around the word “hijack” really don’t belong there.

    “Good night and good luck.”


       —Mike    Jul. 19 '06 - 03:57AM    #
  324. Mike,

    I would write more but it’s late….I just wanted to thank you for writing what you did. Finally a person who sees reality on this site. THANK YOU. I was losing my faith in humanity. I think people should know what kind of Gestapo tactics are being perpetrated against the Jews of Ann Arbor.

    Goodnight.


       —questioning    Jul. 19 '06 - 04:04AM    #
  325. wermacht, storm troopers, luftwaffe…be careful, you might run out of insulting nazi throwback terms. maybe try gestalt or farfegnugen or bratwurst next. we’re not taking your posts seriously anymore anyway.


       —tim    Jul. 19 '06 - 10:11AM    #
  326. Ok,

    Why has there been no mention of the local Ann Arbor Israel/Palestine deal last weekend? It seems that would make a good post and allow this conversation move there rather then keep bloating this old comments section.

    Also, for those who never got around to checking out Michael J Totten’s website like I recomended about 100 to 200 comments ago, should check out this article from April 28th that says that war was going to break out any moment on the Israel-Palestine border. Then go read the rest of his blog and get informed. He has articles about going into the PA Senate (what ever they call it there) and lots of informative posts about Lebanon and Israel.

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001132.html

    Also, here is a link to an article that I was reading that had some very interesting information. Basically military info on the current conflict. I have finished it yet, but a good link;

    http://www.judeoscope.ca/breve.php3?id_breve=1935

    PS – Blaine the pain, Israel=nazi, etc, et all, stop posting whole articles, its rude. Give us a short and dirty and a Link


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 19 '06 - 01:48PM    #
  327. “Half a million Lebanese become refugees”

    YNet

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3277987,00.html

    “Grave reports on situation of Lebanese population, which is ‘on verge of humanitarian crisis.’ Government in Beirut, UN agencies point finger at Israel”

    Fighting in Lebanon claims heavy price among civilians. About half a million Lebanese have turned into refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported. In addition, dozens of civilians have been killed in Israel Air Force strikes.


    On the seventh day of the fighting in Lebanon, and after hundreds of strikes, the UN’s agency in Beirut defined the situation as “catastrophic” and reported that about half a million of Lebanon’s citizens have abandoned their homes and are considered refugees…
       —"Catastrophic"    Jul. 19 '06 - 04:35PM    #
  328. As I read Catastrophic’s post, and first think, yes it is very sad. I had such high hopes for Lebanon, and it has come to tis. It is a shame they never followed the UN resolution that said they would control the southern border after Israel pulled out thier occupation/security zone. How sad that Iran has been sending them weapons for over three months that they are now launching into Israel.

    Then I think, where are the articles on the Jewish people who are suffering from rocket attacks? Why doesn’t “catastrophic” leave a comment on that. What about the Jewish people in bomb shelters or ‘security rooms’, special rooms meant for such situations that are part of the building code in Israel.

    add more later, stuff to do. Though I’m working on a idea that the JWP crowd things Israel is always in the wrong basically because it has a much stronger army, and I will explain how asymetrical warfare changes the rules of the game.


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 19 '06 - 09:36PM    #
  329. Why pity the slaveholders?
    Why not stand with their victims?

    P.S.:
    Slaveholders do lose, even though they have all the armies and atom bombs—like Israel.

    P.P.S.:
    What do you think about Nat Turner?


       —Slaveholders    Jul. 19 '06 - 10:40PM    #
  330. The reason why JWP never mentions Israelis who are suffering? Because they hate Jews. It’s interesting. I never thought I would hear (read) myself say this. It’s really not about the land for these people, it’s about pure hatred, jealousy and resentment.

    Israel built itself up to be a strong nation, created a superior infrastructure in an area where this had never existed prior. It’s all becoming clear to me. It’s all about hatred of Jews.

    Oh, and JWP, don’t give me your BS about you being Jewish. You’re about at Jewish at Hitler. That’s a load of crap. The Nazis used to march in front of Synagogues and declare Jewish domination and you’re doing the same exact thing. What happened to you in your life to make you hate so deeply? I actually feel a little pity for you and for the Ann Arbor Jewish community who has to be brought back to the days of Nazi Germany. What a tragedy for everyone involved. And the sad part is, other than anger, nothing will ever be accomplished. You’ll just create bad feelings and accomplish nothing for the people who really need our help.

    Shame on all of you. At least have the decency to change your name and take the “Jewish” out. You are not Jews. Jews would never desecrate the Shabbat like this within their own community. You are a bunch of common thugs, that’s all.


       —questioning    Jul. 19 '06 - 10:42PM    #
  331. Nat Turner was a hero.

    The Israelis are not using Palestinians as slaves and not paying them like what was done here to the African American community. As usual your hatred of the Jews transcends any logical response.

    I mean if you are going to argue, give us something we can argue about. You are just spewing this nonsense to get people to side with you. Lies are lies. Just because you say them does not make them truths. Gosh, you are really pathetic. I mean, I have Palestinian friends who would think you’re so crazy they would go and join the IDF.

    Oh, by the way, if you are interested, talk to a few gay Palestinians and ask them how they are treated by their people? Oh, I forgot, you only care about straight Palestinians not gay ones because you just hate Jews and that’s what this is all about. Excuse me for the desire to stand up against all human rights abuses, my mistake.


       —questioning    Jul. 19 '06 - 10:51PM    #
  332. And then when you’re finished with that, let’s take a poll on what others think of Blaine and Henry. Then we can have a contest on who can fill this board up first with nonsense. My vote for the winner of that contest is Blaine and other JWPF intellect.

    Then we can start posting articles from all over the world about suffering Palestinians and peace-loving Islamists. Why do we post articles you ask JWPF? Because we don’t have enough intellectual capability to engage in conversation.

    Let’s see, who else can we come up with for our hero? Besides, of course the hero Yassir Arafat. There was a real statesman.

    Let’s not cloud the issue and being Nat Turner’s good name into this. Nat Turner was fighting against slavery within our nation and thank God he did. Israel is a country. Within the borders of Israel Arabs and Jews vote in elections and are represented in parliament. During the time of slavery, African Americans were not permitted to vote and were not represented in the Senate or House. The Palestinians you are so concerned with live outside the border of Israel. They are not living within the internationally recognized Israeli borders. The Palestinian issue is a world issue not an Israeli issue. Americans or any other country do not give benefit to non citizens. Why should Israel be different? The citizens within Israel’s internationally recognized borders are living in the only democracy in the Middle East.

    You did not answer my question about gay Palestinians. How come you don’t stand up for their human rights? Is JWPF homophobic? Do you hate gays like you hate the Jews? Just wondering. What do you have against the gay Palestinians? They are suffering at the hands of their own and you say nothing. You talk of the American Jewish community being silent in the face of Israeli aggression in the Palestinian territories but you also remain silent on the plight of the Palestinian gays. Why is that? What is your definition of human rights? Human Rights only applies to Arabs in the Middle East? I guess I am asking for your assistance? You claim to be freedom seekers, human rights advocates, yet a whole group of specific kids of Palestinians are suffering at the hands of their own people and you remain silent, reticent, you do nothing. That’s hypocrisy, that’s fraud. This shows that your whole platform is not about land, it’s about hating Jews because you care about nobody else’s suffering except the Palesintians.

    Will JWPF protest what’s happening to women in the Arab countries? Or are women not human beings according to JWPF? You don’t care about women, only Palestinians?


       —questioning    Jul. 20 '06 - 02:22AM    #
  333. I felt for new posters and viewers, I needed to re-post what I wrote yesterday. The truth is powerful than the lies.

    Here it is. Comments are always welcome. Thank you.

    Agreed. Blaine, I credited you with more intellect. I was obviously wrong. What cause is it you’re exactly fighting? It’s unclear to me. All you do is rant but if I am trying to learn about your cause, how am I supposed to if you just rant and post articles and protest in front of Synagogues? Also, do you stand up for everyone’s human rights or just the human rights of Palestinians? Seems to me you need a hobby of sorts. I would love to join you and stand up for human rights but you are so horribly racist and fascist like, I cannot associate myself with you.

    Perhaps you should relocate to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They would welcome you (and your freedom of speech and mindless rants) with open arms I am sure. There, you can join your fellow Islamic brothers fighting against Israel for human rights. Just remember not to ever speak out there for how they treat women and other non-Muslim minorities, because I don’t think you would be too pleased with their reaction to you then. But, if your only cause is to stand up for Palestinian human rights, relocate to Iran, convert to Islam and enjoy.

    If Iran does not suit you, maybe too urban, try Saudi Arabia. Now there is country where human rights is top on their list next to the debate on woman being permitted to drive cars. Let’s see, if Saudi Arabia is not exactly right for you, where can you go? Hmmmm….let’s see, oh, I know, Syria, another bastion of human rights. Your liberal, way left-of-center views will be welcome there. You can live in the capital, Damascus where diversity reigns.

    Oh, wait, what about Israel? Hmmmm….all of these live shots and photos we see coming out of the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, where do they come from? Who has to give the press permission to enter these places? Oh, right, Israel. Because they believe in freedom of press. Maybe you can try Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran and ask them for access to places because you want to investigate human rights abuses. I am sure they will grant you full, unfettered access to all of their prisons and areas where these abuses might be taking place. Gee, I wonder why all of these left-wing activists can even voice their opinion in the West Bank and protest near the security fence? Could it be because Israel allows freedom of speech? Is that possible? Maybe we can ask the Iranian government for access to prisons because we want to make sure there are no human rights abuses and then we’ll stage an antigovernment rally in the heart of Tehran. I am sure we can do that without getting arrested.

    The only reason you have access to the information you have access to is because Israel is a democracy with freedom of the press. I wonder what goes on in the prisons in the Palestinian zones? Ya think you could investigate? Maybe stage a protest against human rights abuses in Gaza city?

    Ya know, lies only take one so far. Intelligent people who post on this site, in Ann Arbor and around the world, know the truth or will eventually see the truth.

    I ask posters on this site to find the truth. Don’t just listen to what Blain or Henry or any of the other members of JWPF say. Do research on Israel, on their democracy, on their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, gay rights record and the death penalty. Then, take a look at the same issues in the countries surrounding Israel, freedom-loving democracies like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, places like that and see what you find.

    Take a look at the history behind the Palestinian uprisings and who they rose up against in the past. This is not all about Israel. Check out Black September. Information from Wikpedia on them can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September
    Black September in Jordan, the conflict between Palestinian guerrilla organizations and King Hussein of Jordan that began in September 1970 and ended in July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon. This had nothing to do with the state of Israel my friends.

    Knowledge is the real freedom. Live and Learn.

    Thank you.


       —questioning    Jul. 20 '06 - 02:38AM    #
  334. What are the Palestinians doing on top of so many Israelis? The same question can be turned around. There are lots of Arab nations, lots of Muslim nations. There is one Jewish nation.

    How many gays will Palestinians hurt and torture before you protest?


       —questioning    Jul. 20 '06 - 03:22AM    #
  335. Do you think Palestinians want a state where they can live with others not like them? They want a state of PALESTINE for PALESTINIANS. There only, straight, Muslim people will have rights. That is the definition of RACISM. Ever speak with a Palestinian Christian? Ever hear how the Christian minority in the Palestinian territories are treated by the Muslim majority? Wouldn’t that be racism? Oh, right, it’s only Muslims for whom you seek justice. Again, I invite you to move to Iran. There is a country void of all racism where human rights is the most important thing on their agenda.


       —homophobic, racist Palestine.    Jul. 20 '06 - 03:30AM    #
  336. “Also interesting how only the Jewish Israelis are “oppressors.” No concern whatever for the way Palestinians and huge numbers of Arabs and Muslims subjugate and grossly abuse women, homosexuals, religious minorities, any one who dares suggest Israelis might be human, too, and a host of other “infidels.” No outrage at the way the Chinese government attacked and overran an actual sovereign nation known as Tibet in 1959 and claimed it as their own and how they continue to torture and brutally oppress any expression of free speech in Tibet and China proper. Nary a word on how Muslim marauders in Darfur are raping and butchering innocents virtually unchecked while the Sudanese government smiles its approval. No word on the tyranny in Burma. Not even a peep about the grave dangers our once vibrant democracy and economy face right here at home from the Bush-Cheney-Rove regime. In short, only the actions of one tiny, democratic nation known as Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, ever troubles the sleep of the JWP vigilantes.”

    Our government doesn’t give financial and military support to any of those oppressors. Ann Arbor residents don’t fly the flags of those countries in their places of worship. With one notable exception.


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 04:05AM    #
  337. “yet a whole group of specific kids of Palestinians are suffering at the hands of their own people”

    Protesting here about abuses by others that aren’t supported by our government and a large number of local residents wouldn’t reach the intended target. Protesting the financial, political, and military support of another government that oppresses an entire nation of people, when supporters of those policies and practices live here… What part of that don’t you understand?


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 04:16AM    #
  338. Racist Isarel –

    You ask what gives Israel the right? I answer: Articel 51 of the United Nations Charter – “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

    D


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 20 '06 - 06:46AM    #
  339. From a FAIR Action Alert (www.fair.org):

    The media assumption is that in withdrawing from Gaza in September 2005, Israel ended its conflict with at least that portion of Palestine and gave up, as [CBS’s Face The Nation host, Bob] Schieffer put it, “what the Palestinians supposedly wanted.” In reality, however, since the pullout and before the recent escalation of violence, at least 144 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed by Israeli forces, often by helicopter gunships, according to a list compiled by the Israeli human rights group B’tselem. Only 31 percent of the people killed were engaged in hostile actions at the time of their deaths, and 25 percent of all those killed were minors.

    From the time of the pullout until the recent upsurge in violence, according to B’tselem’s lists, no Israelis were killed by violence emanating from Gaza. Although during this period Palestinian militants launched some 1,000 crude Kasam missiles from Gaza into Israel, no fatalities resulted; at the same time, Israel fired 7,000 to 9,000 heavy artillery shells into Gaza. On June 9, just two weeks before the Hamas raid that killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third, an apparent Israeli missile strike killed seven members of a Palestinian family picnicking on a Gaza beach, which prompted Hamas to end its 16-month-old informal ceasefire with Israel. (Though Israel has denied responsibility for the killings, a Human Rights Watch investigation strongly challenged the denial, calling the likelihood of Israel not being responsible “remote”; Human Rights Watch, 6/15/06.) Hamas has repeatedly pointed to the Gaza beach incident as one of the central events that prompted its cross-border raid—indeed, Schieffer’s own CBS Evening News has reported that claim (CBS Evening News, 6/25/06). Even so, Schieffer seems unable to recall this recent event (see Action Alert, 6/30/06 ).

    Hamas also points to the capture of some of its leaders by Israel as the provocation for its raid. If Israelis had every right, as Schieffer said, to respond with force to the capture of one soldier by Hamas, then how are Palestinians expected to feel about the more than 9,000 prisoners captured and held by Israel—including 342 juveniles and over 700 held without trial (Mandela Center for Human Rights, 4/30/06)?

    Moreover, Israel’s withdrawal did not remotely give Palestinians “what they wanted.” In addition to its continued deadly attacks on Gaza, Israel has continued to control Gaza’s borders and has withheld tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue in response to Hamas’ victory in democratic elections in January 2006. Israel’s actions crippled the Gaza economy and prompting warnings from the U.N. of a looming humanitarian disaster (UNRWA, 7/8/06).

    None of this is to say that Hamas, which has regularly ignored the distinction between military and civilian targets, does not share part of the blame for the current crisis. But to act as though Israel had been behaving as a peace-loving neighbor to Gaza until the soldier’s capture is a willful rewriting of very recent history. The most Schieffer can bring himself to say about Israel is this:

    Israel had every right to respond, and it did. But again, this is the Middle East, so perhaps a response may have made it all worse by giving moderate Arabs in the region an excuse to distance themselves from Israel.

    Israel’s “response” has resulted in the deaths to date of at least 103 Palestinians, while no Israelis have died other than one soldier killed by friendly fire (New York Times, 7/19/06). Meanwhile, Israel has also destroyed Gaza’s main power plant and its water system, leaving tens of thousands of Gaza families without access to food, water and medical care (Oxfam, 7/19/06). In Lebanon, Israel has killed over 300 people, the vast majority of them civilians, wounded over 1000 and displaced half a million (MSNBC, 7/19/06). To call such devastation an “excuse” for Arabs to “distance themselves from Israel” is a trivialization of real human suffering.

    David, where’s the line between “self-defence” and indescriminant violence? Did Israel overstep its rights in the case of the 144+ Palestinian deaths?


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 12:49PM    #
  340. Under IHL the burden is on Israel to demonstrate that it is hitting targets of military value. The value of the target will then determine the acceptable number of casualites. However, take note, it is completely against the law of war for combatants to hide among civilians. When Hizbullah places rocket lunchers in the middle of a village it is Hizbullah, not Israel, that is responsible for civilian loss of life. Think about this – it makes comon sense. Any other rule and you’ll have combatants hiding behind civilians all the time.

    In re: 144 palestinian deaths. Each one comes in a particular circumstnace – and would have to be evaluated as such. However, from what I have read of those 120 seem to have been militants – meaning they are combatants. IHL is a funny legal system. It decriminalizes murder in a particular context. Under the law, as it is currently interpreted, once a situation of armed conflict develops (it definitely exists in this case) combatants can kill other combatants. They don’t need permition, or anything else. However, they have to take due care to avoid civilian damage. Note, this doesn’t mean – there can be no civilian damage – rather it means the fighting forces have to try to avoid this. Israel is doing this by leafleting and saying – we’re going to target building X at time Y because its a military target, civilians should leave. Frankly, this is better then NATO did in Yugoslavia, Russia in Chechnya, etc.

    Look – i may disagree with the policy that Israel has chosen. But their behavior, at least to me, seem to comply with both the letter and spirit of the international law of armed conflict.


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 20 '06 - 01:31PM    #
  341. Re: #395

    Mike,

    I would write more but it’s late….I just wanted to thank you for writing what you did. Finally a person who sees reality on this site. THANK YOU. I was losing my faith in humanity. I think people should know what kind of Gestapo tactics are being perpetrated against the Jews of Ann Arbor.
    Goodnight.

    —questioning Jul 19, 12:04 AM

    Questioning,

    Thank you for being able to put up with all the claptrap on this site. I am so glad that there are some other sane people around! I don’t have the time to constantly read this thread as unlike BC, HH, and the JWP extremists, I have a life. I think if these people had one, maybe they’d see that no conflict is monochromatic and that there’s more than enough blame to be shouldered by their beloved “downtrodden oppressees” who rally under the green, white, red, and black banner.

    #396: So 10,000 people rally to support keeping Hezbollah terrorists occupying Lebanon, the real reason this latest warfare has flared up. Until the Lebanese find the means to bolster their own army and rid themselves of the real menace, Hezbollah and their allied hate-mongering, rocket-tossing fanatics, they will never have any peace or security, just like when the PLO ran roughshod all over their country.

    Ditto to #398: I’d rather see 10,000,000 Americans rally for the impeachment of G.W. Bush and 100,000,000 worldwide rally for the end to hate-mongering, racism, antisemitism, and the kind of simple-minded platitudes that Blaine Coleman and his various pseudonyms spout. And, if I read the article right, it was 10,000 for Lebanon, not Palestine. It seems to me the last time the Palestinians tried to tell the Lebanese how to run their affairs, they suffered from a major contributor to the civil war that tore their country apart for so many years.

    #399, Just A Voice: right on! I appreciate the links, just the links, ma’am!

    #400: See above. When Hezbollah is neutralized, G-d willing, maybe Lebanon will find the peace and security it so sorely lacks.

    #401: Just A Voice, and a sane one, too! JWP only sees the world through red, black, green, and white-colored glasses, i.e., everything the “oppressed” Palestinians and their allies and surrogates do is A-OK; everything Israel does, including having the audacity to even exist is Nazism. To them, Israelis are baby-eating fascist monsters and Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc. heroic freedom fighters. You can’t argue, let alone discuss anything with people with that kind of mindset. Case in point: #402, comparing Israelis to slaveholders, too ridiculous a statement to even dignify with a response (although Questioning did so with passionate and rational clarity in post #406, “honor” killings and other Palestinian atrocities within their own territories are conveniently ignored by the “human rights advocates” of the JWP, etc., etc.). And, of course, Questioning, in posts #403 and 404 hits the nail right on the head. Thank you, Q! It’s so sad, but so true. #408, see David’s post, #413, as if that will make a difference to you, Blaine Racist (fill-in-the blank). #409, is there any limit to the inanities you and JWP will spew forth? How many innocent civilians being killed by “martyrs” in Israel and Arab-controlled territories will lit take before you really take an non-jaundiced look at the world and the terrible situation in the Middle East, which was not created by the people you love to hate (and only them, BTW)?

    #411, “Our government doesn’t give financial and military support to any of those oppressors. Ann Arbor residents don’t fly the flags of those countries in their places of worship. With one notable exception.”

    Wow, if this doesn’t prove how naïve and blind or, worse, deliberately deceptive and ingenuous you are, I don’t know what will! If China’s great economy and a host of other dictatorships aren’t bolstered by US support, you have been living in a tunnel deep underground for years! How do you think China equips its powerful army and builds its weaponry? They OWN our economy, friend. The US has propped up numerous dictatorships with arms and money for decades. Were you around when the US gov’t actively helped topple Chile’s democratically-elected government in the 1970s? Along with a host of other banana republics? Remember El Salvador? You’re so blindly one-issue oriented that you can’t see the world for the flags. And mosques don’t have to fly the flag of one country because they have about two dozen Islamic countries. Why shouldn’t synagogues and Jewish institutions proudly hoist the flag of Israel? There is only ONE Jewish state, and that seems to be way too many for JWP and its supporters and most of the Islamic and Arab world. And in #412, your “logic” is so convoluted, it’s not worthy of any response, except have you had your head examined lately?

    Well, I’ve got to get back to work.

    “Half the world is crazy, the other half is scared.” –Phil Ochs sang that.


       —Mike    Jul. 20 '06 - 01:55PM    #
  342. You drive 500,000 Lebanese, screaming in fear, to flee from their homes;
    You bomb their roads so they cannot go anywhere;
    Then you say Israel is not punishable for that-
    -because Israel dropped some leaflets?
    —Leaflet & Kill?! Jul 20, 09:42 AM

    Re: 416, Hey, Blaine (or Blaine pseudonym or surrogate), what kind of warning does your wonderful, freedom-fighting, heroic Hezbollah give anyone before they indiscriminately launch their missiles and rockets, including the two Israeli Arab children they murdered in Nazareth yesterday?


       —Mike    Jul. 20 '06 - 02:01PM    #
  343. answering,

    no, that is not actual an answer (though you may also not have been posed the most solid questions). What that you did was rather to post an article. First off, that is possibly copyright infringement, but you probably don’t care.

    But, lets take a look at this article.

    First Paragraph
    “144 Palestinians killed, only 31% engaged in hostile actions at time of death” – that is because the Palestinians don’t police themselves. They won’t arrest anyone, even if Israel has proof they are behind a suicide attack. When Israel can prove it, they deal with it. Now certainly some, maybe most of the 100 who were not ‘engaged in hostile action’ were bystanders some of them were terrorist leaders who made suicide bomb equipment or planned attacks. Until Palestine polices itself this will be happening.

    Second Paragraph, this is the money quote combo right here-
    “From the time of the pullout … Palestinian militants launched some 1,000 Kasam missiles from Gaza into Israel … On June 9 … an apparent Israeli missile strike …prompted Hamas to end its 16-month-old informal ceasefire with Israel.”

    wow, it was so informal that some 1,000 missiles were fired into Israel. Now, being that those missiles where fired by Hamas, hmm??? Also, notice the ‘apparent Israeli missile strike’ part. That’s still under review. Now, being of the religion of skepticism myself, I can’t assume either way what happened with the poor Palestinian family who died was the fault of the IDF or something else. But it sure will be ironic if it does end up not the IDF who were at fault. Since that is their reason for ‘breaking the truce’. the third paragraph is an attempt to offer a second justification for the violence of Hamas. Maybe because if the IDF is cleared in the beach family bombing, they still have an excuse for breaking the cease fire. fourth paragraph. Yes, they with held money from Hamas when they got elected because they had kept firing missiles at them, remember those 1000?? You catching on yet? Also, this thing keeps going on with the withdrawal from Gaza “give[ing] Palestinians “what they wanted.””. It had nothing to do with what the Palestinians wanted. It was all about what Israel wanted, unilateral withdrawal anyone?? It was basically a military move that said it took too much military resources to protect the settlers in the Gaza Strip, and it not worth it. Yup, there was an occupation, but it ended. There was also a time when Israeli settlers lived in peace and co-operation with Arabs in the Gaza Strip. But no Jew is allowed to live in land that will one day be the state of Palestine, though there are Arabs Israelis in Israel, double standard anyone?. fifth paragraph, that’s right Hamas does share part of the blame, the lions share. Israel would love to have a peaceful border with Gaza, its the Palestinians who won’t let that happen. six paragraph, oh, I’m sorry, who are these fictional ‘moderate Arabs’ who distance themselves with Israel? Show me the Arabs who have ever allowed themselves to be closely linked to Israel (not including Arab Israeli’s) Yes, a softer response by Israel, would have allowed Hamas to declare some sort of victory for killing and capturing the IDF soldiers. That would certainly have brought us on the road to peace. final paragraph why the hell do they even mention Lebanon??? that has nothing to do with Gaza. Red Herring.

    ok, your article sucked. are you going to grow up and join the conversation, or keep posting articles in their whole being rude and possibly breaking the law? Or even better shut up and let this thread die.


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 20 '06 - 02:35PM    #
  344. Like it or not – thats ALL that the law requires. not to mention 500K lebanese would not be suffering if Hizbullah would uphold its legal obligatino and not hide weaponry among civilians. D


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 20 '06 - 03:11PM    #
  345. Just a Voice,

    6th paragraph: Lebanon is “in the region”. Get it?

    “But no Jew is allowed to live in land that will one day be the state of Palestine, though there are Arabs Israelis in Israel, double standard anyone?”

    Did the Jewish settlers in Gaza buy the land there to build their homes? How about in the West Bank, since you’re talking about the land that will one day be the state of Palestine?

    “Or even better shut up and let this thread die.”

    Physician, heal thyself.


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 04:05PM    #
  346. answering,

    Yes, the Jewish settlers in Gaza and the West Bank bought thier land, at least the vast majority.

    Oh, and if I remember correct, non-muslims are not allowed to own land and Islamic Law, desired by such groups as, Hamas and Hezballa! Yes, they want laws that allow women to be beatin and killed, and anyone who isn’t Muslim is considered a second class citizen.


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 20 '06 - 04:23PM    #
  347. “Yes, the Jewish settlers in Gaza and the West Bank bought thier land, at least the vast majority.”

    I’m waiting.

    “Oh, and if I remember correct, non-muslims are not allowed to own land and Islamic Law, desired by such groups as, Hamas and Hezballa! Yes, they want laws that allow women to be beatin and killed, and anyone who isn’t Muslim is considered a second class citizen.”

    That has nothing to do with this conflict. Red herring.


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 04:39PM    #
  348. what it has to do conflist, really this discussion is that it works to illustrate how you and the others who are anti-Israel have double standards that you apply to Israel but not that surrounding Arabs. Address that issue.


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 20 '06 - 07:04PM    #
  349. I am not anti-Israel. Saying so is simplistic, divisive, ideological rhetoric. Stop it, or to use your phrase, “grow up”.

    “That issue” is significant, troubling, and widespread. The behavior of the Israeli government is a separate issue because they are supported by our government and, to a lesser and less direct extent, certain of our citizens. My objections are directed to people who have some say over this situation: my representatives and my fellow citizens, in particular those who give aid to Israel that might enable them to kill innocents or otherwise violate human rights. If the US was giving military aid to Lebanon, I’d be objecting to that and so would you. You’re the one with the double standard.


       —answering    Jul. 20 '06 - 07:42PM    #
  350. Answering:

    This is a very weak argument because our government gives aid to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority also acts as a racist entity. They treat gays as third class citizens and are brutal towards any opposition. You know all this.

    The American government also gives aid to Egypt (just about as much as they give to Israel). Egypt is also a country who has a horrible human rights record, hates gays, etc.

    We also give a lot of money to Saudi Arabia. This is another country that brutalizes people who disagree with them.

    You say you are not anti-Israel? What else would you call it? You are anti-Israel and just anti-Israel. Why don’t you protest the brutality of these other regimes who are as well beneficiaries of US aid?

    By the way, Egypt gets military aid as well as other forms of aid. You think Israel is the only recipient of US Military aid?

    And yes, when you stand up for people who hate others just as much as you accuse them of being hated, that’s hypocrisy and something that cannot be respected.

    I will proudly display an Israeli flag. I still have not figured out what your problem is. Something must have occurred in childhood for you to hate Jews and Israel so vehemently. What you are doing is not going to help increase awareness to your cause or bring people who might be on the fence to your side. It’s going to turn them in the opposite direction. That’s not a very smart way to run an organization. Then again, clearly you and Henry old boy are not very smart people, are you?

    I hate being so critical of other’s opinions but your rhetoric is so full of hate, lies and deceit, that I have no choice.

    Again, shame on you for spreading lies and misusing your freedom of speech and assembly. You should be so ashamed of yourself.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 12:41AM    #
  351. Almost forgot…..the answer to your question:

    “Yes, the Jewish settlers in Gaza and the West Bank bought their land, at least the vast majority.”

    It is true, the settlers did buy the land. They were just subsidized by the Israeli government to build settlements. The government was trying to create incentives for people to move to these places.

    So, what? This land was conquered in a war the Arabs started. Much of this land was also offered up in a peace deal brokered by Clinton with Arafat and Rabin. Arafat rejected this offer. That was not Israel’s fault. Arafat could have accepted it and has his state. He chose to hold out for more. This is not about getting the best deal of the Honda Accord. You are talking about the disruption of millions of people both Israelis and Palestinians. Arafat said no.

    In terms of this “Right of Return” nonsense. This also is a load of BS. It’s never going to happen. Talk like that will never lead to peace. It’s a nonstarter. You need to place things on the peace table that can be talked about. The “Right of Return” would demographically destroy Israel. Maybe the Native Americans should take over your house and you should go back to Eastern Europe. The whole idea is just absurd and will never happen so dwelling on it is pointless and again shows you have no savvy, no knowledge about this issue or the Middle East and are just trafficking problems instead of creating solutions.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 12:53AM    #
  352. You’re very practiced at putting words in the mouths of others, misrepresenting, and disparaging. Please refrain from talk of peace until you understand what is required to achieve it.


       —answering    Jul. 21 '06 - 01:47AM    #
  353. I apologize if I think protesting in front of a Synagogue on Shabbat is not going to bring people into your camp. And if you are such an expert in peacemaking, tell me how sitting here in your Ann Arbor cocoon and sticking offensive signs in little old ladies’ faces going to Synagogue on Saturdays is going to achieve that objective?

    Calling Israel racist and Nazi is not going to achieve the goal of making a real and lasting peace in that area. Taking Israel away from the Jews is not going to make a real and lasting peace in that area. That said, I ask you, what is the solution for a real and lasting peace in that area?

    Not sure what you mean about putting words in your mouth. I am just reminding you of the rhetoric you use yourself. You just can’t accept the fact that your Gestapo tactics (literally, tragically) are really not working towards a peace. All you do is anger. You say you want peace and at the same time you desecrate a Synagogue on Shabbat. You say you want peace and at the same time you call Israel Nazis which you know will just anger and not move towards a lasting peace.

    I spoke to a very close friend of mine who happens to be an Arab. We have been friends for years (throughout every bit of conflict in this region). He’s a great guy and truly one of my closest friends (separate from any politics). I showed him some of your posts and he was horrified that someone like you was representing his peoples’ struggle. He said to me “I cannot believe what I am reading, this is horrible.”

    All you do is drive people in the other direction. You’ll create more Zionists. You’ve turned me into more of a Zionist than I have ever been and you know what, I would have listened to what you had to say but instead your words are used to injure and hurt. The entire community should be ashamed to have you and your “group” as a part of it and the fact that you call yourself a Jew (which you are really not at all) is a laugh.

    Again, shame on you, shame on all of you for desecrating an entire community for the sake of peace. You should be ashamed of yourself.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 02:48AM    #
  354. In regards to the human rights discussion. Answering you seem to put a lot of weight on the fact that Israel’s HR record is not up to your standards. Before 09/2000 I would have agreed with you. Since the intifadah started, however, Israel has been engaged in an armed conflict. Whether the conflict is such as to reach the level of war, or whether it is termed “armed conflict short of war” – it is an armed conflict.

    Human Rights – as provided for by the various documents be they the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or the European Convention on Human Rights (there are others – but i don’t want to bore you)do not presumme such a situation and are therefore not operative during such situations. Instead, the civilians are protected by a different legal regime – that of International Humanitarian Law which requires countries to try to avoid civilian casualties.

    Why do I bring up the legal mumbo jumbo? Becuase your argument is inherently unfair, and betrays your bias. You are comparing Israel’s human rights record to that of France, Holland or Spain – all countries who are not in a state of armed conflict. Thats comparing apples and oranges. The proper comparitor is a situation facing a challenge comparable to that of Israel. For example Russia, or Nigeria, or Congo, or Thailand or for that matter the United States in Iraq. And if you compare Isarel’s treatment of civilians agianst these countries you see that Israel’s record is a head above everyone (INCLUDING the United States).

    You don’t want to be labeled anti-israel – hold them to the same standard you hold the United States – i certainly haven’t seen you condemn this government.

    The reality is – the number of civilian casualties would drop by 80% – 90% if the Palestinian militans and Hizbullah would abide by the same rules that Israel obides by. Now there is a thought…


       —David Livshiz    Jul. 21 '06 - 09:22AM    #
  355. 430 comments?!?!?!?!?


       —Ari P.    Jul. 21 '06 - 11:15AM    #
  356. Questioning, you don’t know who I am and your comments don’t apply for the most part. Put away your broad brush.

    “Answering you seem to put a lot of weight on the fact that Israel’s HR record is not up to your standards.”

    Where have I done that?

    “You are comparing Israel’s human rights record to that of France, Holland or Spain – all countries who are not in a state of armed conflict.”

    Now you’re putting words in my mouth, David? Like Q, you don’t know who I am. Stop assuming. Apart from that you’ve been quite informative. Thanks.

    You both have created an enemy in your minds (in the members of JWPF, apparently) and your communications are tainted by it. This inability to maintain an open mind will prevent you from contributing to peace. Hurling “shame” indiscriminantly, questioning, is what starts arguments, not ends them.

    You all have a peaceful weekend.


       —answering    Jul. 21 '06 - 01:00PM    #
  357. I wanted to specifically address “Answering’s” point about the fact he is protesting the fact that the American govt. gives military and other aid to Israel which is used in the armed conflict with the Palestinians and for occupation. Answering also goes on to say that if there were other countries receiving our military aid engaged in human rights abuses as well, he would protest them too.

    The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979, and an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance. All told, Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse since 1975.

    According to Human Rights Watch, Egypt is guilty of many horrible human rights abuses. It’s military and local authorities within the country are involved in these abuses. The United States directly supports the Egyptian military who is involved in these abuses.

    This is a link directly to the Human Rights Watch web page as it applies to issues in Egypt. http://www.hrw.org/doc?t=mideast&c=egypt This link will take you to a list of major concerns Human Rights Watch has with Egypt including journalists at terrible risk trying to uphold freedom of the press.

    This link will take you to an article in the Washington Post which talks about The House rejecting a cut in Military aid to Egypt. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53129-2004Jul15.html

    You say that you would protest any military aid to a country that uses it to abuse its citizens and participates in human rights abuses. Well, here’s one example. Will you start treating this situation equally to Israel? Even though Israel has a better human rights record than Egypt and nobody can argue that Israel has complete freedom of the press or you would not be able to get the information you do from the West Bank or Gaza. It’s journalists who are getting this information for the most part who are permitted pretty much unlimited access to these areas by Israel. Not so the case in places like Egypt.

    Some of the biggest beneficiaries of US military aid have been Central Asian Republics, including Uzbekistan.

    The human rights situation in Uzbekistan is dire. Several thousand political prisoners are placed in jails and a major squelching of political and religious freedom is currently taking place.

    “Sham trials, torture and ill-treatment are routinely associated with these cases. Indeed, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture recently stated that it is his impression that torture in Uzbekistan is not just incidental, but “systematic.” (From Amnesty International)

    You did say you would protest against any entity (country) who benefit from US Military aid who also committed severe human rights abuses. Well, I have given you several examples.

    I am sure this will fall on deaf ears as you continue your war against local Synagogues and the Jewish community. Just thought as a responsible citizen, it was my duty to bring more attention to your hypocrisy and the sham of your organization who only focusses on Israel and local Jews without looking at others.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 01:29PM    #
  358. My only assumption is that anyone who would protest in front of a Synagogue and hold up offensive signs and hold Israel to a high standard than any other country in the world does not promote peace either. Protesting in front of Synagogues starts arguments and creates bad feelings and does nothing to end them. Yes, I maintain you and the JWPF should all be ashamed of yourselves. You are right, I do not know you personally and do not care to know someone who would do something so horrible. You would never be a friend to me. My goal is to get people thinking about the hypocrisy of JWPF in just focusing on Jewish people and Israel without looking at the rest of the world.

    You have a peaceful and nice weekend as well.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 01:39PM    #
  359. Thanks for the info.

    “My goal is to get people thinking about the hypocrisy of JWPF in just focusing on Jewish people and Israel without looking at the rest of the world.”

    Sorry to break this to you, but that horse left the barn months ago. :-) Try having an additional goal of learning something from someone else, like I learned from you. Sincere “questioning” will help. Take the chip off your shoulder and keep that fist unclenched. You might find friends where you least expect them.


       —answering    Jul. 21 '06 - 02:24PM    #
  360. Answering,

    Okay, that’s fair. While I still very much disagree with the tactics you are taking and think you should stop immediately, I can appreciate what you said.

    I still feel as though you are misinformed about what Israel is really all about. And I still ask that you look into what freedom of the press means in Israel and what it looks like in their neighbors’ home. A Red Herring, this isn’t. Freedom of the press is core to the issue of freedom in general and human rights for all. Without it, there is no civil society.

    I also ask that you look into what Israel has achieved in terms of gay rights. If you look into their neighbors’ homes, you will find that horrible persecution of gay people still exists. I ask that you give credit to the Israeli society where credit is due and while critical of what you say are occupation issues and human rights abuses, look at the accomplishments the society has made in the opposite direction not just for Jews but for Arabs living in Israel as well. Please visit the http://www.worldpride.net/ This world gay event is being held in Jerusalem. I don’t think many other countries in that area would even think of hosting such an inclusive event. Many Israeli Arabs who are gay will be particpating and enjoying the benefit of living in a gay-tolerant society.

    Whether you agree with the government or not, women are very much represented in the Israeli parliament. Again, not so in their neighbors’ homes.

    I know you think this has nothing to do with the conflict, but in my opinion it does. To chastise Israel for every move it makes when the people who you are supporting are just as guilty seems suspect to me. That is why I have come out so strongly against JWPF. The perception you are giving people in that you’re an anti-Semitic entity as opposed to a group concerned with human rights. People (like me) are going to be so wrapped up in the anti-Semitic overtones JWPF has that it will lose site of the real goal which is peace. People will be too busy fighting tactics when they should be busy fighting for peace and justice.

    In terms of the occupation, protests should be held against the Jordanian, Lebanese and Egyptian governments as well. All have Palestinian refugees and all the aforementioned treat them horribly. The Palestinian refugee problem is not just an issue of Israel holding on to a small piece of land in that area. The entire region (including Israel) contributed to this humanitarian crisis. Everyone should contribute to the solution, not just Israel.

    My main issue is that with JWPF it’s “all Israel all the time” when the issue is so much larger. I would definitely listen and fight hard to give you a forum if you would publicly recognize that demonizing Israel for everything while ignoring the other issues contributing to this conflict as well as other countries who benefit from our tax dollars who probably do a heck of a lot worse, is not the platform of an organization who wants to achieve peace in the region. The protests in front of the Synagogue should also be halted because now that you have the information that Israel is not the only beneficiary of US military aid with whom you might have a problem, targeting a Synagogue and members of a small Jewish community can be construed (and in my opinion is) anti-Semitic, something I think we ALL agree something of which we do not want to be a part.

    The focus of JWPF needs to be on the US government not on the small Jewish community in Ann Arbor.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 05:01PM    #
  361. I’m not a member of JWPF. Stop assuming!!! Again, most of what you’ve written doesn’t apply to me. Look up Blaine or Henry, or whoever you think you’re talking to, in the phone book and call them. I’m not them! Those guys must be rolling on the floor right now.

    “I know you think this has nothing to do with the conflict”

    I’m really trying to overlook all your presumptive remarks and just take in your main message, but it’s really difficult. In fact, I don’t think it’s worth the effort anymore. Let’s just drop it.


       —answering    Jul. 21 '06 - 06:36PM    #
  362. Fine.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 06:55PM    #
  363. You should have indicated this a few posts ago. Regardless, my message is still the same. Had no reason to believe you were not a member of JWPF given what you were saying the the succession of the posts. I apologize for that but still feel there are some very valid points.

    The discussion does not need to be continued if you choose not to.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 07:01PM    #
  364. Yes,

    Gay tank commanders, gay jet bomber pilots are free, in the Israeli military.

    All kinds of left-and-right-wingers are free too, inside the Israeli military.

    They are free to read “Ha’aretz” or “Yedioth” in their tank.

    Hooray, hooray.

    Soon, these “free” Israeli soldiers will be free to invade Lebanon further, and to crush its population.

    This “free” Israeli military will cut off all water, roads, power, food, to every baby in Lebanon.

    That “free” Israeli military has just driven hundreds of thousands of Lebanese out of their lifelong homes.

    Do you think Palestinians or Lebanese appreciate being strangled by such a “modern” Israeli invasion force?

    Do you think Palestinians or Lebanese, crushed by Israeli jet bombers, are thrilled that those jet bomber pilots are so free?

    ..They are free to kill the whole Arab world.


       —Gay Bombardiers    Jul. 21 '06 - 07:21PM    #
  365. Well, gay or not, Israel and freedom will prevail.

    So now we’ll add gays to your list of people you hate as well as Jews. Your mother must be proud.

    Have a nice day. And congratulations on all you’ve accomplished to bring about peace. Good job!

    Have a nice day.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 08:11PM    #
  366. Whose freedom?

    500,000 Lebanese are running for their lives, away from your Israeli bombardiers.

    So WHOSE freedom, are you saying, will “prevail”?


       —Whose freedom?    Jul. 21 '06 - 08:37PM    #
  367. What is your platform? What are your goals? You just spew out irrational hatred but nobody seems to know for what you stand. Do you only hate Israel and the Jewish community or are there others who you feel also are wrongdoers?

    In terms of whose freedom? The world’s when Israel prevails. With Israel there, that’s one less Islamist fundamentalist state with which we need to deal.

    Ha-Tikvah!

    Shabbat Shalom.


       —Questioning    Jul. 21 '06 - 09:53PM    #
  368. Arab life is worth something.

    That is independent of whether your Zionist Disneyland likes it or not.

    Arab life is worth something, whether you call that concept “hate” or not.

    You won’t get away with burying Lebanon in blood, not without having to hear some complaints about it.


       —Arab life is worth something.    Jul. 21 '06 - 10:02PM    #
  369. I really feel sorry for Palestinians and Arabs. Isn’t there one person who can present a pro-Palestine pro-Arab viewpoint with some intelligence? Many with supporters like those here, they are in big trouble.


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 22 '06 - 02:50AM    #
  370. I’m done here. There is no intelligence with these postings. It’s hate Israel and no room for any other viewpoint. I feel badly for the Arabs because with friends like JWPF and synpathizers, who needs the Israelis as enemies. You are doing the Arab community and the peace movement more harm than you claim is being perpetrated by the Israelis. What a selfish thing to do.


       —Questioning    Jul. 22 '06 - 05:03AM    #
  371. “Many with supporters like those here, they are in big trouble.”

    Why’s that? Are you saying that they’re being treated unjustly? If not, and they’re getting what they deserve, why would you say that?


       —answering    Jul. 22 '06 - 03:12PM    #
  372. Because the people who write on this site are too immature to express rational and useful points of view, I hereby change the topic of this site to

    “Traffic on Washtenaw Avenue”.

    Where did it come from? What do we do about it? Activities to pass time while stuck in traffic on Washtenaw. The history of creating more than one lane. Send us links to your pictures of Washtenaw Avenue before all of the traffic problems.

    Coming soon: Our special traffic on Washtenaw in Ypsilanti section!!

    This one will be lots of fun. From EMU to 23 and back again, send us your experiences and links to your photos of traffic on Wastensaw in Ypsi!!

    Coming soon: The Ann Arbor rental market and how to get the best price!

    Send us your experiences and stories about renting in this dynamic and competitive community.

    Coming soon: How the heck did I end up in Ann Arbor?

    Let’s face it. We’re in the middle of nowhere. I mean, okay, if you are from Chicago, that’s understandable but how did I REALLY end up here in Ann Arbor. We’ll look forward to hearing interesting stories from Ann Arborites about how they managed to get here and what they personally are doing to stay and contribute to the cultural fabric of this fair city.

    Coming soon: Suggestions for mainstream department stores in Ann Arbor.

    Remember Lord and Taylor at Briarwood? Well, come on, we deserve at least a Neiman Marcus, wouldn’t you say? Maybe a Bloomies?

    Send in your suggestions for an upscale department store right here in Ann Arbor! We look forward to hearing the how, what when and why of these suggestions. Creativity is a plus!! Make up your own store, think outside the crates and barrels!

    Coming soon: Pedestrian Malls in Ann Arbor. I am a big fan of the pedestrian mall concept. They provide people with freedom to take to the streets and enjoy their community. Besides Art Fair, should we devote one street in the city where pedestrians can roam free? Can the people of Ann Arbor handle it? These and other challenges can be answered when we tackle: “Pedestrian Malls in Ann Arbor, the good, bad and the ugly of not allowing cars on the road.”

    Coming soon: Is the rain that falls in Ann Arbor different from the rain that falls in other parts of Michigan or even the country?

    We look forward to getting your thoughts and opinions.


       —Ch-ch-ch ch-anges    Jul. 23 '06 - 02:48PM    #
  373. 200 people marched for the occupied people of Palestine and Lebanon on July 22 (yesterday), in Ann Arbor, on the U-M campus.

    The whole crowd stopped at the U-M Preident’s official Presidential residence, and chanted “Divest Now”, loudly, and repeatedly.

    So you may not be able to get the silence you crave, when it comes to Palestine, or to divestment from Apartheid Israel.


       —200 marched for Palestine.    Jul. 23 '06 - 06:28PM    #
  374. That’s all well and good and your silly little group can keep chanting all the BS it wants but the reality is, divestment is not only a stupid idea but it will never happen. I am very content listening to you and your group’s pathetic rants because I know divestment will never happen and Israel will continue to be a Jewish State whether you like it or not.

    I have no need for silence on this issue

    When your little pathetic excuse for an “activist” group is waving the flag of a country that does not even exist (“Palestine”) it gives me great pleasure, actually.

    So, keep waving your flags from nonexistent countries, keep screaming and yelling about racist Israel, keep yelling “Divestment now.” I’m fine with that. It’s a free country.

    Please hold while I call Arab Air for my nonstop ticket to Palestine.

    Okay, I tried, but apparently, there is no such thing as Palestine so I could not purchase my ticket. Shame, I really wanted to spend my holiday with Islamic fundamentalists in peace and freedom. What a disappointment. I guess I will have to call back the airline and see if I can go to Iran instead.

    Well, here’s to nonexistent countries and the people that wave their flags…..here, here!

    Good day.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 23 '06 - 08:05PM    #
  375. 10,000 also marched in Dearborn, a few days ago, to get Israel out of Lebanon, and to get Israel out of Palestine.

    10,000 Americans marched aginst Apartheid Israel & its storm troopers.

    All 10,000 marched in America itself.

    That’s just the beginning.


       —10,000 marched in Dearborn.    Jul. 23 '06 - 08:14PM    #
  376. Wow, you racist donkeys are as brutal, as or even more brutal, than the invading army of a butcher country such as Israel.

    You Sir, for your racism and hatred towards the people of the Middle East are NEVER welcomed to any place in the Middle East. Iranians kicked out many Israeli agents and racist bastards such as yourself 27 years ago and they shall kick your racist ass out again. So did Lebanese, in case you forgot.

    Sir, it is you who has enormous amount of hatred for your neighbors (I assume you are an Israeli). Israeli aggression and the blood bath they have brought about in Lebanon are plain for all to see.

    Israel has been digging its own grave for years and this final act only tells the world how desperate they are. The Israeli military is made up of desperate murderers with bloody hands. Blood of Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, and even Iranians is dripping from their filthy fingers.

    Through out the years of Shah’s rule in Iran, hundreds of US and Mossad agents worked as torturers and terrorists to ensure that the Shah, US and Israel’s friend, will remain in power. Guess what, Iranians kicked all those bastards out for fucking good.

    The people of Lebanon have also kicked Israel out and they will do it again.

    A racist state which can not live in peace with its neighbors will be dismantled and those Israelis who wish to stay will have to obey the laws of a democratic secular nation (yes, with Palestinians).

    And you would still not be welcomed to their home because you are a racist Zionist.


       —Racist butcher state    Jul. 23 '06 - 09:37PM    #
  377. The “Right of Return” as you people like to call this latest cause celeb, would be analogous to you giving your house back to the Native Americans and then claiming land in Europe as your own because maybe an ancestor (or two) was thrown out of there years ago.

    Better yet, Jewish people were tossed out of Spain during the Inquisition. I think Jewish people should all petition the Spanish govt. to give back that land. I am sure that would be extremely successful and the Spaniards living there now would be more than happy to give up their homes so that millions of Jews tossed out could now live there.

    Also, understand some posts make you angry but using that filthy language will get you no place. Just shows you don’t have much class.

    You also know nothing about the conflict and probably have never even been to the Middle East. I think even certain Palestinians would disagree with your rhetoric.


       —Questioning    Jul. 24 '06 - 02:46AM    #
  378. “Wow, you racist donkeys are as brutal, as or even more brutal, than the invading army of a butcher country such as Israel.”

    man, you really know how to make a strong case for your cause


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 24 '06 - 02:43PM    #
  379. you want real information on the war??

    blogging from Lebanon (members of the Lebanese forces);
    http://www.ouwet.com/n10452/personal-opinions/hizbullah-s-filthy-methods/

    from the other side of the border; http://www.israellycool.com/blog

    including some key quotes
    “The IDF expanded its deployment of ground forces in southern Lebanon last night, and captured 2 Hizbullah fighters in the village of Maroun al-Ras, the village which the IDF has seized control of. Our ground forces are now engaged in a heavy exchange of fire with Hizbullah terrorists north of Maroun al-Ras, as the next phase of the ground operation begins. Also, the IAF destroyed a 14-barrel Katusha rocket launcher pointed at Haifa, as well as 8 other Katusha rocket launchers. According to a high-ranking IAF officer, we are picking up on Hizbullah’s method of hiding Katusha launchers. ”

    and

    “Meanwhile, IDF Military Intelligence (MI) believes the army has 10 days left before diplomatic pressure puts an end to the operation, which MI believes has already dealt a severe blow to Hizbullah. Based on MI’s estimates, Hizbullah will run out of Katushas within a month, thanks in part to the IAF’s much maligned targeting of roads and supply routes, which has thwarted Syrian and Iranian attempts to send supplies to Hizbullah.”


       —Just a Voice    Jul. 24 '06 - 05:01PM    #
  380. First it’s 200, then 250. Can’t pro-Palestinian people count?

    Posting hateful messages and calling people “donkeys” really is not the answer to a lasting peace in the region.

    Again, keep posting your hateful messages and keep waving your flags and keep shouting “divestment now.” You will fail no matter how loud you scream. My suggestion is that if you really are interested in peace, you abandon the provocative tactics, and actually speak and get to know people and find out why people believe what they believe and that your opinion is not the only one. I know this will be answered by some worthless article talking about how Israel is bad and Arabs are good and the person will sign it “Ethic cleansing” or come up with some other “witty” name.

    Facts:

    1) Palestine is not a country at this point. Palestine is a group of people who live in a territory bordered by the sovereign state of Israel.

    2) There is nothing illegal about the existence of the state of Israel. The UN voted for partition in 1947 and in 1948, Israel became a state recognized by the UN – so, there is nothing illegal about its existence.

    3) Every country in the world defends itself against enemies. No matter whether you agree with what an “enemy” is, countries still usually respond with force when threatened.

    4) The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979. According to Human Rights Watch, Egypt is guilty of what amounts to crimes against humanity towards any detractor in Egypt.

    5) Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq all have Muslim majorities. The non-Muslim minorities in these countries are by no means treated equally under the law. Israel is one country with a Jewish majority and non-Jewish citizens within Israel’s borders are treated equally under the law. They can vote, attend university and are represented in the Israeli parliament.

    6) All of the anti-Israel rhetoric comes from basic hatred. Where does this hatred come from? Not just land grabs, but jealousy. Israel has accomplished in 50 years what the Arabs were never able to do and that is make a desert bloom and turns hovels into beautiful homes and sand pits into gardens. The Israelis are leaders in the high tech industries and in medicine. What have the Arabs in Iran, Iraq (prior to the US Occupation) Saudi Arabia and Syria accomplished?

    Basically you’re hating Israel because Israel accomplished and you have not.

    Look, bottom line, maybe you’ll get an autonomous state of Palestine if you behave and stop the terror against innocent civilians but forget millions of Palestinians moving in. It just won’t happen. You can keep diluting yourself into believing it will because it won’t. These are nonstarters in negotiations.

    Calling people names, killing innocent civilians, shouting racist slurs will only be your downfall.

    I am glad I have this forum to show the public what kind of people you really are.

    Have you ever had an intellectual discussion in your lifetime.

    Israel will live forever

    Palestine might happen if you people behave

    The Jewish majority will live forever

    Israel will bring peace and prosperity people in the Middle East

    Israel’s enemies will be defeated

    The world will be a safer place without Islamic Fundamentalist groups like Hamas, Jihad and Hezbola actually pretending they are running little nations. Nice try but you lose.

    Hey, is anyone interested in waving an Israeli flag while singing “Hail to the Victors” in Hebrew? That would be cool.

    Just accept the fact that Israel exists and all will be good. It’s not that difficult, really.

    Sing along with me:

    HaTikvah (The Hope)

    As long as deep within the heart
    A Jewish soul yearns
    And toward the edges of the east
    An eye to Zion looks

    Our hope is not yet lost,
    The hope of two thousand years
    To be a free people in our Land
    The Land of Zion and Jerusalem.

    Oh, and I know you love articles, here is a few from the other side:

    Thousands attend Rally in LA to support Israel
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rally24jul24,0,2769769.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    Oh, and remember to have a nice day!


       —Only 200?    Jul. 24 '06 - 11:21PM    #
  381. Okay then, you can wave the Palestinian flag while singing “Hail to the Victors” in Arabic and I’ll stand next to you and wave the Israeli flag and sing it in Hebrew. This way we are being fair.

    You forgot to wish me a good night.

    Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 25 '06 - 01:16AM    #
  382. PLEASE. STOP. COMMENTING.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 25 '06 - 01:21AM    #
  383. What does South Africa have to do with Israel? Again, SA persecuted Black citizens of Israel. Palestinians who you claim are being persecuted are not Israeli citizens. So, it’s a totally different situation than existed in SA.

    It’s not about tanks or about Atomic weapons. It’s about fairness. Israel has a right to exist, will continue to exist despite whatever force you and the Arab world try to perpetrate against it.

    Quick question on which I would appreciate an answer:

    Is Iran with a Muslim majority an inherently racist regime?

    Ya know I would listen to you if your platform had merit but it’s based on nothing. You sit there and call Israel an Apartheid state, a racist state but the mainstream will never listen because you ignore everyone else’s racism and just focus on Israel.

    You yourself are a horrible racist. You hate Jews and Israelis. That is a form of racism too.

    Again, you did not wish me a good night. I am really insulted. I wish you a good night.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 25 '06 - 03:05AM    #
  384. Correction:

    SA persecuted Black people who were citizens of SA where as the Palestinians who claim Israeli persecution are not Israeli citizens so this is not an Apartheid situation as existed in Israel.

    Sorry for the miscommunication.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 25 '06 - 03:07AM    #
  385. Jared,

    Who are you asking to stop commenting? I assume you mean both of us?


       —Only 200?    Jul. 25 '06 - 03:09AM    #
  386. I felt for new posters and viewers, I needed to re-post what I wrote yesterday. The truth is powerful than the lies.

    Here it is. Comments are always welcome. Thank you.

    Agreed. Blaine, I credited you with more intellect. I was obviously wrong. What cause is it you’re exactly fighting? It’s unclear to me. All you do is rant but if I am trying to learn about your cause, how am I supposed to if you just rant and post articles and protest in front of Synagogues? Also, do you stand up for everyone’s human rights or just the human rights of Palestinians? Seems to me you need a hobby of sorts. I would love to join you and stand up for human rights but you are so horribly racist and fascist like, I cannot associate myself with you.

    Perhaps you should relocate to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They would welcome you (and your freedom of speech and mindless rants) with open arms I am sure. There, you can join your fellow Islamic brothers fighting against Israel for human rights. Just remember not to ever speak out there for how they treat women and other non-Muslim minorities, because I don’t think you would be too pleased with their reaction to you then. But, if your only cause is to stand up for Palestinian human rights, relocate to Iran, convert to Islam and enjoy.

    If Iran does not suit you, maybe too urban, try Saudi Arabia. Now there is country where human rights is top on their list next to the debate on woman being permitted to drive cars. Let’s see, if Saudi Arabia is not exactly right for you, where can you go? Hmmmm….let’s see, oh, I know, Syria, another bastion of human rights. Your liberal, way left-of-center views will be welcome there. You can live in the capital, Damascus where diversity reigns.

    Oh, wait, what about Israel? Hmmmm….all of these live shots and photos we see coming out of the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, where do they come from? Who has to give the press permission to enter these places? Oh, right, Israel. Because they believe in freedom of press. Maybe you can try Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran and ask them for access to places because you want to investigate human rights abuses. I am sure they will grant you full, unfettered access to all of their prisons and areas where these abuses might be taking place. Gee, I wonder why all of these left-wing activists can even voice their opinion in the West Bank and protest near the security fence? Could it be because Israel allows freedom of speech? Is that possible? Maybe we can ask the Iranian government for access to prisons because we want to make sure there are no human rights abuses and then we’ll stage an antigovernment rally in the heart of Tehran. I am sure we can do that without getting arrested.

    The only reason you have access to the information you have access to is because Israel is a democracy with freedom of the press. I wonder what goes on in the prisons in the Palestinian zones? Ya think you could investigate? Maybe stage a protest against human rights abuses in Gaza city?

    Ya know, lies only take one so far. Intelligent people who post on this site, in Ann Arbor and around the world, know the truth or will eventually see the truth.

    I ask posters on this site to find the truth. Don’t just listen to what Blain or Henry or any of the other members of JWPF say. Do research on Israel, on their democracy, on their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, gay rights record and the death penalty. Then, take a look at the same issues in the countries surrounding Israel, freedom-loving democracies like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, places like that and see what you find.

    Take a look at the history behind the Palestinian uprisings and who they rose up against in the past. This is not all about Israel. Check out Black September. Information from Wikpedia on them can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September
    Black September in Jordan, the conflict between Palestinian guerrilla organizations and King Hussein of Jordan that began in September 1970 and ended in July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon. This had nothing to do with the state of Israel my friends.

    Knowledge is the real freedom. Live and Learn.

    Thank you.


       —Questioning    Jul. 25 '06 - 03:47AM    #
  387. Please sing with me. It’s either this or Hail to the Victors in Hebrew and you did not seem to like that idea at all. I always try and offer solutions, so here it is. You can sing it in English if you would like. Also, if you need the Hebrew translation, I can get that for you too. Just let me know. Thanks Buddy!

    HaTikvah (The Hope)

    As long as deep within the heart
    A Jewish soul yearns
    And toward the edges of the east
    An eye to Zion looks

    Our hope is not yet lost,
    The hope of two thousand years
    To be a free people in our Land
    The Land of Zion and Jerusalem.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 25 '06 - 03:50AM    #
  388. Everyone needs to stop commenting in this thread. The discussion has been dead for a long time. It’s annoying trying to read other discussions when this one continues to occupy space at the top (I know I’m guilty of keeping it there also, but I need to express my frustration).

    It’s not that I’m trying to stifle debate; the debate was over the minute people started injecting anonymous and superfluous rhetoric in this forum. If you want to discuss this further, either A) Start a new thread, B) Start a blog dedicated to it or C) Go talk it over face-to-face with a cup of coffee.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 25 '06 - 04:26PM    #
  389. For a “Michigan Daily” bigwig, you seem awfully keen on silence—when it comes to Arabs getting killed by Israel.

    Now I start to see why the “Daily” editorial (and even news) coverage of Palestine activism has been so… silent, for the last year.

    Oh, and where is this “new thread” on Palestine and Lebanon you are sending us to?


       —Michigan Daily    Jul. 25 '06 - 05:02PM    #
  390. The real Palestinian tragedy is their treatment by the neighboring Arab states: confined to virtual concentration camps (for 50 years!), living in abject squalor, with no rights and no hope, pawns in a political power game.


       —PoV    Jul. 26 '06 - 01:19AM    #
  391. Finally. Someone with intelligence. Pov, you said it well. The Palestinians have always tragically been a political pawn in the games the Middle East plays.

    Conveniently, the left always blames Israel (the most liberal in the lot) for this issue when there is plenty of collective blame to go around. The Arab states use the Palestinian issue and exploit it to keep the focus away from their own internal strife and human rights abuses.

    Do the pro-Palestinian posters on this site really believe peace and prosperity will all of a sudden appear in the Middle East if Israel does not exist in its present form?

    Also, I agree with what “Only 200” said regarding the comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa. The South African govt. was discriminating against all nonwhite citizens of South Africa. The fence/wall was put up to separate Palestinians from Israelis. But the Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, they are Palestinians. Most Palestinians want their own country. Whether you agree with the wall/fence or not, it is an historical misnomer to compare this to Apartheid. It’s simply not the case.

    I have also traveled to Israel. I spoke with Arabs, Jews, members of the Druze community and Christians. All of course had different views of the state and most Arabs predictably supported the Palestinians (although I did meet a handful that did not) but most did. Some of the Arabs claimed that they had less opportunity, some didn’t, that was very mixed.

    What I learned for the most part was that I was in a melting pot of a society with some normal social issues just like our own but never saw any signs of Apartheid. I also saw a society practically begging for peace with its neighbors.

    The Arabs, Christians, Muslims and Druze community all vote in Israeli elections. They are all represented in the Israeli Parliament. With Apartheid, from what I understand, nonwhite citizens of South Africa were not entitled to the same lifestyle as white citizens, were not allowed to vote, had to drink from separate water fountains, had separate beaches, entertainment venues, etc. This is not Israel at all.

    When I was in Haifa, I attended a classical music event where there were many Arab members of the community present. There was no issue at this concert, no separate seating. Everyone there, Arab and Jew, enjoyed the performance. What’s wrong with that? During Apartheid, there was no mixing of races permitted. Nonwhites and whites could not go to clubs together and dance together. I was in clubs in Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel and there were Arab people in the clubs as well as Jewish people, all dancing to the same music and having a great time. That is not how it was in South Africa.

    I have no problem being critical of a government’s policies. In fact, we must always be critical of all government policies because they hold the power and if people do not speak up against injustice, nothing will ever change. I am a complete believer in justice for all. I mean for “all” not just Palestinians and not just Jews. Not just Arabs or not just Muslims. For all.

    A Jewish majority within a country and that country’s desire to stay that way does not make it inherently racist. It’s a fabric and a character in that country that it wants to uphold. If suddenly all the Italians left Italy and were replaced by all Russians or mostly Russians, Italy would have a different character. I think if you took a survey of the Italian population and asked what they thought of such a deal, they would not look to favorably upon it.

    Europe has the been the scene of many displacements and uprootings. Can you imagine if we all started claiming land because maybe our ancestors were thrown out some odd years ago. There would be chaos.

    That would be like the Jews who were thrown out of their homes in Europe during the second world war, claiming they wanted their homes back and everyone living in towns once populated by Jews forced to vacate because the Jews are moving in. That just will not happen. True, certain Jewish victims are receiving compensation from the German, Polish and other various governments who handed them injustices during those years. But that’s money, not land/property.

    No matter what you want to say, the Arabs who left their homes in 1947-48, for whatever reason they might have left, were not systematically murdered en masse and sent to concentration camps to be worked/gassed to death. That did not happen to the Palestinians.

    Are the Palestinians in a bad predicament? Yes. Did Israel play a role? Yes. Did other Arab countries play a role? Yes. You need to look at the overall picture of this area in order to really understand the background of this conflict. It’s not as simple as, if Israel would not exist as a Jewish state, all would be good in the world. Not so easy. The Jewish majority in Israel is the least of the Palestinians’ problems and challenges.

    A true and lasting peace will never be realized unless we as people stop the hurtful, damaging rhetoric, demagoguery and scapegoating and start looking at the root causes of this conflict. We must look for a solution with rational heads at the peace table along with realistic possibilities.

    Dear Members of JWPF: Your formidable nature I am sure has not gone unnoticed. Although I know you’ve been told this time and time again, I ask that you abandon your policy of holding vigil in front of a Synagogue.

    Ann Arbor has a very small Jewish community. The Jewish community here has very diverse views (as I am sure you are well aware) concerning this issue. I am sure members of Beth Israel have many different views as well.

    Vigiling outside a pro-Israel event I understand given your views, but vigiling outside a Synagogue on Shabbat, watching the same people day in and day out walk in and out of the Synagogue is just ineffective and I am sorry to say, kind of mean spirited.

    I know how you feel about the Israelis and that you feel what they are doing is horrible, but to quote my third grade teacher, two wrongs do not make a right. And you are justifying this vigil almost as a way to take out what’s occurring in the Palestinian areas and Lebanon on a small Jewish community. That’s just not right in my opinion and a little bit of a misuse of the whole freedom of assembly and speech thing.

    You are victimizing a community that holds such little power in the scheme of things whether some support Israel or not. The vigil, I would assume will not bring you closer to the people who you are looking to embrace and the people looking to embrace you.

    Putting an end to the picketing in front of Beth Israel will allow you to reach so many other people who share your yearning for peace and justice in the region. I really hope you give this at least some consideration.

    I hope everyone has a peaceful evening.


       —Jason    Jul. 26 '06 - 03:03AM    #
  392. Jared,

    I have to say I agree with the fact that we are free to post on this site about this (or any) subject.

    It’s not a dead subject until people stop writing and expressing their opinions on this topic. This is a free forum to express our views and this happens to be the topic in discussion at this point.

    Considering you are asking that we start new threads someplace else, why don’t you take your own advice and start your own someplace else so you won’t be so annoyed by our posts.

    Kind of surprising that you are (to quote an earlier source) a “bigwig” at the M Daily and clearly don’t understand the fundamentals of freedom of speech. Were you absent from Journalism 101 the day they taught this?


       —Jason    Jul. 26 '06 - 03:21AM    #
  393. “Israel troops ‘ignored’ UN plea”

    BBC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5217176.stm

    UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says.

    The post was hit by a precision-guided missile after six hours of shelling, diplomats familiar with the probe say.

    The four unarmed UN observers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, died after their UN post in the town of Khiam was hit by an Israeli air strike on Tuesday.

    The UN report says each time the UN contacted Israeli forces, they were assured the firing would stop.

    A senior Irish soldier working for the UN forces had warned the Israelis six times that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff, Ireland’s foreign ministry said.

    Had Israel responded to the requests, “rather than deliberately ignoring them”, the observers would still be alive, a diplomat familiar with the report said.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++


       —Murder of U.N.    Jul. 26 '06 - 04:31PM    #
  394. Can’t you express and opinion? Copying and pasting articles does not add any value to the discussion.

    Besides which, you are not supposed to do that. You are supposed to only paste links to articles.

    Anyone can post articles from either side.

    If I posted articles from the Jerusalem Post, they would have a completely different spin then if I posted from Electronic Intafada or Al Jezeera.

    Clearly you are not schooled enough in the situation to comment intelligently so you hide behind your posting of mindless dribble from random news sources.

    As I’ve said before, with friends like you, The Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians need no enemies. You are worse for their cause then the IDF.

    Have you ever thought of hiring a PR person? They would be able to help you spin things without being so horribly offensive to the world and maybe bring people into your camp as opposed to completely alienating ones who might be your friends.

    I end with a witty ditty. Feel free to sing along. You can use any tune you would like. Also, please let me know if you need this translated into Arabic:

    2 4 6 8 Israel is a JEWISH State

    3 5 7 9 There aint no such thing as PALESTINE

    See, now if your group could come up with something equally as clever, maybe you would have the chance to bring people over to your side. If you remain empty and brainless, you’ll fail at your PR game.

    Have a lovely evening and don’t forget to love thy neighbor.


       —Only 200?    Jul. 26 '06 - 10:29PM    #
  395. Again, you are not expressing any opinion of use. You either spew out hatred or post an article. Is there any room for productive debate with you? Are you that full of hatred for people with whom you disagree?

    I don’t hate Palestinians or Arabs. Why are you spewing out so much hateful language? I am expressing my opinions.

    Your reaction to my freedom of speech just proves that you are not doing any service to the Palestinians or Lebanese people. All you have the capacity to do is write hate speech. If you would have debated with me rationally, I would have answered you in kind.

    Have a nice evening.


       —1,000 killed by Palestinians    Jul. 27 '06 - 01:45AM    #
  396. I ALSO DO NOT CHEER ON THE DEATHS OF ANYONE SO PLEASE DO NOT PRINT COMPLETE LIES.

    I am just playing the same game you are. You are writing hateful, shameful things and I am respoding in kind.

    This blog should not be taken over by radical left-wing pro-Palestinians who just hate Israel. There are two sides to every story.

    I wish you sir, a peaceful evening.

    Thank you.


       —2 sides    Jul. 27 '06 - 01:55AM    #
  397. You’re the one who should be ashamed of yourself!!! People can’t expressing differing views from you without you developing hate speech to counter it??? Your just getting caught up in all this drama without looking the human side to all of this ON BOTH sides.

    When you wake up and realize that Israelis are victims of the same madness as Palestinians are, maybe there would be chance people can talk peace. Until then, you are just part of the same problem you’re fighting against.

    If all you have it hate, what are you? How can you sit there and claim to be a friend to the Palestinians when you’re ranting and raving and writing hateful language in a blog wishing hurt towards others. That is what the Palestinian movement is about? Racism and hatred?

    Again….YOU ARE THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE ASHAMED MY FRIEND….YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a horrible response when you could have just either taken the high road and rationally explained your position or just simply ignored what was written like a rational adult.

    With people like you….I would NEVER associate myself with anything pro-Palestinian.

    I would hate to have you as my friend in the fight.


       —Questioning    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:27AM    #
  398. I never said we were the only victims but we are victims. This was not just a land grab, my friend….this was a partition of two pieces of land. Arabs have tons of land and you know that. Israel started (and still is) as a tiny little state.

    Has Israel done wrong? Yes. Have Palestinians done wrong? Yes.

    Israel has a right to exist in peace and security and so do the Lebanese and the Palestinians.

    Your rhetoric does not help the situation.


       — 1,119 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000.    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:42AM    #
  399. 06 April 6 1994 – Eight Israelis were killed in a Palestinian car-bomb attack on a bus in the center of Afula.

    13 April 1994 – Five Israelis were killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing attack on a bus in the central bus station of Hadera.

    19 October 1994 – In a Palestinian suicide bombing attack on the No. 5 bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel-Aviv, 21 Israelis and one Dutch national were killed.

    11 November 1994 – Three Israeli soldiers were killed at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip, when a Palestinian riding a bicycle detonated explosives strapped to his body.

    22 January 1995 – Two consecutive Palestinian bombs exploded at the Beit Lid junction near Netanya, killing 18 Israeli soldiers and one civilian.

    09 April 1995 – Seven Israelis and one American were killed when a bus was hit by an explosives-laden Palestinian van near Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip.

    24 July 1995 – Six Israelis were killed in a Palestinian suicide bomb attack on a bus in Ramat Gan.

    21 August 1995 – Three Israelis and one American were killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing of a Jerusalem bus.

    25 February 1996 – In a Palestinian suicide bombing of bus No. 18 near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, 26 were killed (17 civilians and 9 soldiers).

    25 February 1996 – One Israeli was killed in an explosion set off by a Palestinian suicide bomber at a hitchhiking post oustide Ashkelon.

    03 March 1996 – In a Palestinian suicide bombing of bus No. 18 on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, 19 Israelis were killed (16 civilians and 3 soldiers).

    04 March 1996 – Outside Dizengoff Center in Tel-Aviv, a suicide bomber detonated a 20-kilogram nail bomb, killing 13 Israelis (12 civilians and one soldier).

    21 March 1997 – Three Israelis were killed and 48 wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a bomb on the terrace of a Tel Aviv cafe.

    30 July 1997 – 16 Israelis were killed and 178 wounded in two consecutive Palestinian suicide bombings in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.

    04 September 1997 – Five Israelis were killed and 181 wounded in three Palestinian suicide bombings on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem.

    29 October 1998 – One Israeli soldier was killed when a Palestinian terrorist drove an explosives-laden car into an Israeli army jeep escorting a bus with 40 elementary school students in the Gaza Strip.


       —Thousands killed and crippled by Palestinian Terrorists    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:44AM    #
  400. – November 1974: PLO takes responsibility for the PDFLP’s Beit She’an murders in which 4 Israelis are killed.

    – Nov. 13, 1974: Arafat, wearing a holster (he had to leave his gun at the entrance), addresses the U.N. General Assembly.

    – March 1975: Members of Fatah attack the Tel Aviv seafront and take hostages in the Savoy hotel. Three soldiers, three civilians and seven terrorists are killed.

    – March 1978: Coastal Road Massacre —Fatah terrorists take over a bus on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway and kill 21 Israelis.

    – Oct. 7, 1985: Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Wheelchair-bound elderly man, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown overboard. Intelligence reports note that instructions originated from Arafat’s headquarters in Tunis.


       —Murdering Palestinians    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:50AM    #
  401. Terror Attacks in Kenya Target Israelis, 14 Are Killed

    A suicide bombing at an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa killed as many as 15 people Thursday, while a simultaneous double rocket attack narrowly missed an Israeli airliner taking off from the city’s airport.


       —Murdering Palestinians    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:51AM    #
  402. I’ll give back my land to the Palestinians when you give back your land to the Native Americans you hateful, bigoted, no-nothing hypocrite.


       —American Stolen Land    Jul. 27 '06 - 03:59AM    #
  403. Let’s start a new thread on how non-Muslim minorities are treated in Iran? Red Herring? I think not. Let’s talk about racism is every country including your beloved Islamic republics.


       —Racist Iran    Jul. 27 '06 - 04:03AM    #
  404. Palestinian refugees who fled the nascent Israel have been caged in virtual concentration camps for over 50 years by neighboring Arab nations. Why is their plight ignored by the world?


       —PoV    Jul. 27 '06 - 09:05AM    #
  405. I respond to facts not to propeganda from EITHER side. So, my friends, let’s take a look at the facts:

    1,119 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000.

    Palestinians living like caged animals in other Arab countries. These countries will not even allow them in for work reasons. And you say this is all Israel’s doing? That’s nonsense. They are just as guilty and these are their own people.

    Women in the Arab world are third class citizens.

    Women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive

    Gay Rights in Israel from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    Gay rights in Israel remain the most progressive and tolerant in the Middle East. In November 2005, a groundbreaking court decision in Israel ruled that a lesbian spouse could officially adopt a child born to her current partner, by artificial insemination from an anonymous sperm donor; this ruling was despite protests by the Orthodox Jewish parliamentary parties (which are a minority). Common law marriage has already been similarly achieved (which grants most of the official marriage rights to the spouse), but full official gay marriage has not been sanctioned.

    Israel and Turkey are the only countries in the Middle East where homosexuality between consenting adults in private is neither illegal nor persecuted by the authorities. Cyprus is being forced to follow suit as a condition of joining the European Union. In most other Middle Eastern countries homosexuality is illegal, often punishable by flogging and even hanging.

    Gay Rights in Iran (From Wikpedia)

    Since the revolution of 1979, LGBT rights in Iran are nonexistent due to fact that it is a fundamentalist Islamic Republic that sees heterosexuality expressed within a traditional marriage as the only permitted sexual orientation. However, Iranian clerics have recently stated that transgendered people suffer from a medical condition and have given approval to gender reassignment surgery and to treating such people as disabled.

    Women’s rights and Sexual Harassment in the workplace:

    LAW FOR THE PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
    This law, passed in 1998 with the help of Knesset Member Yael Dayan (Labor Party at the time, but now Meretz) and several women’s organizations, is one of the most progressive of its type internationally. Since it is considered to be one of the building blocks for Israel’s future constitution as well as falling under the category of protection of human rights, it bears the following purpose: “to forbid sexual harassment and thus protect one’s rights to honor, freedom and privacy therefore advancing equality between the sexes.” It is unique in this regard since most laws do not articulate a purpose as such.

    Saudi Arabia and Women’s Rights from Amnesty:
    (From 2004)
    Saudi Arabia is gearing up for the country’s first nationwide municipal elections early next year, but half of the population will not be taking part. Women have been excluded. This is contrary to the country’s election law, which does not explicitly ban women from taking part.

    Israel is one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East.

    If the Arab countries and Muslims would allow Israel to exist in peace without kidnapping soldiers and sending terrorists into Israeli cities, maybe the progress that Israel has made domestically might spread to the rest of the Arab world.

    Gay Rights in Saudi Arabia from Wikpedia

    Gay rights are not recognized in Saudi Arabia and homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. However, there exists an underground gay community. The treatment of homosexuals has prompted criticism from international human rights organizations, but the government defends its actions as being mandated by Islam.

    Okay, people, come on. There are horrible human rights abuses going on all over the Middle East. People in EVERY Islamic country must be male, straight and Muslim to live a normal life. And this you don’t protest. Today, the Islamic terrorists said they won’t stop until Islam is spread from Spain to Iraq. You think based on the laws in Islamic countries, the spread of radical Islam will make the world a better place for human rights?

    Israel has the most progressive laws when it comes to women’s rights and gay rights. Christians and Muslims are represented in the Israeli parliament. With all this, you sit there and call Israel an Apartheid state? It’s all there in black and white…..Israel (whether you agree with everything they do or not) is THE most progressive in the entire Middle East.

    You say Israelis are oppressors? And fighting oppressors so other oppressors can oppress more makes sense?

    Your platform is majorly flawed. You are using the Palestinians as political pawns in your “Let’s hate Israel” game.

    You cannot maintain a group and a movement with a platform based on total lies.


       —Just the Facts Mam    Jul. 27 '06 - 11:38PM    #
  406. Ignorant of the most pressing issues concerning peace and justice for the Palestinians, Blaine stands for “NO PEACE FOR THE JEWS” and nothing more.


       —PoV    Jul. 28 '06 - 12:50AM    #
  407. Agreed. I also think there is some psychological issue as well. Because it’s all about the Jews with him. He hates just the Jews and only the Jews perpetrate human rights abuses. Not sure what his MO is….does not seem to make sense.

    Were Jews mean to him growing up so he’s taking it out on a larger community. I actually have 2 Arab friends (one I am very close with) the other just a regular friend who I showed these posts to. They want nothing to do with someone who is so full of hate. They said to me when the middle east is at such a crossroads and when peace is so threatened, to have someone like him just voice hate does not help the situation. They were shocked. I let them know though that the majority of Jews and Arabs (well they know Arabs so I speak of Jews) are not like him and hold some middle ground. I explained that he is just a radical, mean person who does not care for Arab human rights or Jewish human rights. I then showed them the posts and they agree. So….he’s managed now to piss off Arabs. Pretty stupid. Oh well. If life were full of smart people only, the world would be boring. :-)


       —Just the Facts Mam    Jul. 28 '06 - 03:03AM    #
  408. FINALLY THE SITE HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE ZIONISTS! YES!


       —Questioning    Jul. 28 '06 - 03:31AM    #
  409. “Israel is one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East.”

    Oh sure. Israel is a fundamentalist theocracy. Have you taken a look at Jewish law? You would be appalled by what’s written in the Talmud. And with a total draft, no less, so no citizen goes un-brainwashed by military training.

    I will not defend Islam (it is a sexist religion, like all Abrahamic religions) nor any other religion, especially not those based on that book of hate, death, and pornography known as the Bible.

    But this is not about racism or sexism, it is about COLD BLOODED MURDER, OPPRESSION, and GEO-POLITICAL STRATEGY.

    That 1,119 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000 is not even close to the 4,091 Palestians. The ratio of Palestinian to Israeli children killed is 6 to 1.

    But what really matters is the the Palestinians who are still alive are subject to unspeakable oppression in their daily lives.

    “Give me liberty or give me death!” said Patrick Henry. He would have sympathized with the Palestinians. How can one ever be peaceful if he or she is not free?

    Bulldozing people’s homes, destroying everything they have, stealing their land, and pointing guns at their children will make any courageous person into a “terrorist.”

    And now with the invasion of Lebanon, which Israel provoked by sending troops into Lebanon to be captured, which Israel has openly stated it had been planning for years (“as a contingency, of course,”) the cat is out of the bag.

    All of you local Zionists reading this, take a good look at your surroundings. You do not live in Israel, you live in the United States of America.

    Be aware what Israel’s plans are: they invaded Lebanon so that when they (or their intelligence carrying out another false-flag op) provoke war with Iran, Iran will have no choice but to go through Iraq, thus dragging our military into it.

    This military is the only one we have, by the way.

    Knowing what the war in Iraq has done to our country (the troop death rate is far higher than it was in Vietnam), what do you think all-out war in the Middle East will do?

    Do you actually think all of this unnecessary bloodshed will bring any of our nations peace?

    We have tried the moralistic argument that “Arabs are people too” but you do not care about that. We have tried explaining that if bombs rained down on Tel Aviv had Israel “kidnapped” two Arab people, you would feel differently. But the double-think is too much for you.

    So try to think about this from a self-centered perspective. Do you think Israel’s so-called “self defense” is going to somehow make you safer? Can you possibly understand that terrorism creates terrorism, that “counter-terrorism” is really “perpetuating terrorism”?

    Well, if you’re dumb enough to believe that America’s defenses were all asleep at the wheel on September 11th, and that terrorists with box-cutters could crash a 757 into the Pentagon, perhaps you can’t.

    But, on the off-chance that you can be persuaded to think about anything, consider the possibility that Israel’s interests are inimical to your own.

    Years after it was all over, a lot of Germans had to feel really guilty, stupid, and used. And they paid a price for it, too.

    Don’t be surprised if the global community, united by their outrage at America and Israel for the egregious and so-enthusiastically-committed war crimes, puts us in the same position.


       —Funny How No One Goes By Their Real Names Around Here Anymore    Jul. 28 '06 - 04:18AM    #
  410. “Have you taken a look at Jewish law? You would be appalled by what’s written in the Talmud.”

    Oh, please. Look, criticize Israel, ok. But don’t rag on Judaism, especially when you have no idea what the Talmud is or what it says.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 28 '06 - 06:09AM    #
  411. No idea what the Talmud is or what it says?

    The Talmud is Jewish Law as described by rabbis thousands of years ago. Why any sane person would take seriously anything written so long ago is beyond me, but apparently many people (certainly not just Jewish people) do. Certainly nothing anyone’s ancestors have done gives any of their generations any credibility. They solved none of the world’s problems and created many new ones.

    But many people, including many Jewish people, take these ancient texts seriously.

    The Talmud would have nothing to do with it, except that Israel is deeply interwoven with Judaism.

    Now maybe you don’t associate Zionism with Judaism or being Jewish. Maybe you, like my Jewish friends, see Israel as a bunch of “crazy fuckers” to use the words of one of them.

    But, if you want to distinguish Zionism from Judaism, and argue that Israel and the Jewish community are different, you have to express that. You have to explain how Zionism and Judaism are different.

    At least one group has, the Neturei Karta. They take a principled stance against Israeli war crimes, from the perspective that Zionism and Judaism are not the same thing.

    If you don’t like the Neturei Karta’s medieval outlook on religious law (which is based on the Talmud), but you do like the basic idea of the existance of a Jewish homeland, if only in a more peaceful form, you could say,

    “I am a Jewish person, and I do support a Jewish homeland, but as a free-thinking person, I am not obliged to turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by my people’s government in my name. If Israel is committing crimes in the name of my people [which, Jared, it most definitely is], I am free to denounce those crimes.”

    Take a look at America, Jared. Do you really want President George Bush, the unelected, racist, alcoholic, coke-snorting, war-starting, soldier-killing, environment-raping President speaking for you? Well you have no choice, being an American, except to contribute to the groups trying to stop these crimes being committed in our names.

    Your position on Israel should be no different. Israel is committing war crimes. Israel is sullying its own reputation, and in doing so, the Jewish religion with it. Not to mention, killing innocent people.

    But maybe you are neither of the two types I mentioned. Maybe you are a Zionist, not a fundamentalist, but just unhappy that I ragged on Judaism over Israeli war crimes.

    It’s hard not to equate Israel with Judaism. Imagine someone killed a celebrity and said “Satan told me to do it!” You could count on a modern inquisition on Satanists.

    Look at all the innocent Muslims thrown into federal prison after 911. The last one just got out weeks ago. He spent his first six months in solitary confinement.

    But, you know, when there’s a terror scare, it’s OK for the government to round up people of similar race and religion, especially immigrants.

    Except it’s not OK at all.

    And the double standard is sickening. We invade Iraq over nothing, Israel invades Lebanon over nothing, and then the slightest resistance is used to justify ongoing brutal occupations.

    So, forgive me for not weeping over the flak Jewish people get for the crimes of Israel. Muslims had it much much worse these last few years.

    As for the Talmud, yes, it does regard “Gentiles” as inferior. It is a racist document. Sorry, but it is.

    I will rag on any and all religions, becuase they all deserve to be ragged on.

    Take a look at history, Jared. Practically every major atrocity was committed in the name of one God or another. Every religion in the world is based on lies, provably so. Religion was invented by the elite to control the public.

    So when the political activity of most Jewish people coincides with enabling Israeli terrorism, yes, I will rip on the religion as well.

    If you don’t like it, take it upon yourself to reform Zionist Judaism, as we conscientious Americans have had to take it upon ourselves to reform our evil government.

    Until we succeed, yes, people in every other country in the world have the right to instinctively loathe us for being American. It’s what we get for having not overthrown the evil government by now.

    It is, after all, no different than the attitude Israel took to those innocent Lebanese people it murdered for being in the same country as Hezbollah.

    Don’t like anti-Americanism? Don’t support American terrorism. Don’t like anti-Judaiism? Don’t support Jewish terrorism.


       —Funny How No One Goes By Their Real Names Around Here Anymore    Jul. 28 '06 - 08:32AM    #
  412. Funny How No One Goes By Their Real Names Around Here Anymore (how hypocritical and ironic at the same time):

    “It’s hard not to equate Israel with Judaism. Imagine someone killed a celebrity and said ‘Satan told me to do it!’ You could count on a modern inquisition on Satanists.” No, they’d be called nuts. And they probably would be. Your analogy is so far fetched, it’s pathetic.

    “So, forgive me for not weeping over the flak Jewish people get for the crimes of Israel. Muslims had it much much worse these last few years.” So you don’t care that Jews are attacked across the world because of “Israel’s policies.” I’m not justifying any of Israel’s policies, but to say attacking Jews is ok as long as someone has a gripe against Israel, well . . . there’s just a hint of racism there. Jews are still the number one targeted group for hate crimes, both in America and elsewhere.

    “As for the Talmud, yes, it does regard “Gentiles” as inferior. It is a racist document. Sorry, but it is.” Sorry, but it is not. From Wikipedia’s article on the Talmud: “Some groups and individuals consider that passages in the Talmud show that Judaism is inherently racist. Critics of these charges argue that the passages in question do not indicate inherent racism on the part of the Talmud (and Judaism), but rather mistranslation, falsification, and selective choice of quotes out of context, on the part of those making the charges. The Anti-Defamation League’s report on this topic states:

    ‘By selectively citing various passages from the Talmud and Midrash, polemicists have sought to demonstrate that Judaism espouses hatred for non-Jews (and specifically for Christians), and promotes obscenity, sexual perversion, and other immoral behavior. To make these passages serve their purposes, these polemicists frequently mistranslate them or cite them out of context (wholesale fabrication of passages is not unknown)...
    In distorting the normative meanings of rabbinic texts, anti-Talmud writers frequently remove passages from their textual and historical contexts. Even when they present their citations accurately, they judge the passages based on contemporary moral standards, ignoring the fact that the majority of these passages were composed close to two thousand years ago by people living in cultures radically different from our own. They are thus able to ignore Judaism’s long history of social progress and paint it instead as a primitive and parochial religion.
    Those who attack the Talmud frequently cite ancient rabbinic sources without noting subsequent developments in Jewish thought, and without making a good-faith effort to consult with contemporary Jewish authorities who can explain the role of these sources in normative Jewish thought and practice.’

    Rabbi Gil Student, a prolific author on the internet, exposes anti-Talmud accusations and writes:

    ‘Anti-Talmud accusations have a long history dating back to the 13th century when the associates of the Inquisition attempted to defame Jews and their religion [see Yitzchak Baer, A History of Jews in Christian Spain, vol. I pp. 150-185]. The early material compiled by hateful preachers like Raymond Martini and Nicholas Donin remain the basis of all subsequent accusations against the Talmud. Some are true, most are false and based on quotations taken out of context, and some are total fabrications [see Baer, ch. 4 f. 54, 82 that it has been proven that Raymond Martini forged quotations]. On the Internet today we can find many of these old accusations being rehashed…’”

    When you try to make the charge that the Talmud is racist, you are trying to insinuate all Jews are racist. And when you try to insinuate that all Jews are racist, one of history’s longest running victims of racism, you are, at the core, trying to whitewash 2000 years of racism of Jews on behalf of people from Europe and the Middle East. And it ain’t gonna work.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 28 '06 - 05:44PM    #
  413. I think the basic question here is why do you focus on Israel? Is is because you’re Jewish? Or because you feel Israel out of the entire world community has committed the most offenses and has the highest in human rights abuses?

    I don’t have a problem with anyone criticizing Israel (or using my name for that matter) but I do have a problem with people living outside Israel passing judgment on what the needs are of that specific country based on extremism. Extremism in any form is dangerous whether it comes from the left or the right, whether it comes from Israel or Iran.

    I think people question what you say because the reality is that if Israel did not exist in its current form, the challenges that exist in the Middle East would still exist only the focus would be slightly different. Ridding the world of Israel is not the answer which seems to be the overwhelming push with your posts.

    If Israel did not exist in its current form, would you then turn your focus to racist countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia or Syria?

    I guess my issue with this whole thing are all these convenient comparisons like Israel is like the Nazis or Israel is like the Apartheid State in South Africa. These are all untruths if you look at the history of Nazism and the history of Apartheid. You might say Israel has done some wrong or Israel does not treat every citizen within its borders equally (which can be said about 90% of the countries in this world, by the way) but comparing it to Apartheid and Nazi Germany is just used to hurt and strike sensitive chords in people of a certain ilk (Jews in this case).

    The Nazis murdered 6 million Jews in death camps with gas chambers, torture chambers and machine guns. They took people out of their homes and worked them to death or simply murdered them/conducted medical experiments. I am not telling you anything you are not aware of.

    To compare Israel to Nazism would mean that Israel systematically takes millions of Palestinians from their homes in the territories and places them in camps and gasses them and perpetrates forced labor on them and conducts medical experiments on them. This is simply not the case and you and the world know it.

    One can argue how the Palestinian refugee problem came into existence but it is clear that Nazism and Zionism/the state of Israel are completely separate issues. The Arab states are just as responsible (if not more) for the Palestinian refugee problem.

    Look at basic history:

    There never was an independent Palestinian State prior to the land being partitioned. It was controlled by the British and before that, the Turks (Ottoman Empire). Prior to 1948, both Arab peoples and Jews lived together in the country called Palestine. All these people (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze) were Palestinians prior to the vote for partition in 1947 leading to an independent Jewish State in 1948 to be called Israel.

    In 1947, when the UN voted for partition, the country known then as Palestine was divided into a half Jewish State (Israel) half Arab State (Palestine). It’s not as if there was not land given to the Arabs when Israel came into the picture. The land was given to them in 1947.

    The Arabs never wanted Jewish presence in that area. When partition occurred, the Arab states attacked and Israel ended up winning, taking additional land and thus began the “Palestinian” refugee problem. I place Palestinian in quotes because people need to understand that Palestinians are Arab descendants of people who lived in Palestine prior to the 1947 partition of the land. There is really no distinction between a “Palestinian” or an “Arab” other than basic regional politics.

    The Arab countries responded miserably to this sudden onslaught of Palestinian refugees by placing them in refugee camps and treating them miserably…never allowing them access to their own countries. Why? It was always convenient to use and exploit the Palestinian refugee problem as a way to question the legitimacy of the State of Israel and instead of treating these people like humans (as anyone deserves to be treated) they were treated by their fellow Arabs like animals. The Arab governments kept the Palestinians in refugee camps, keeping them oppressed and thus became a political pawn for the Arabs and the celebrity of the ultra-left. The Palestinians became the ultimate “victims”.

    The clever platform created by the Arab world then became: The Palestinian problem was completely created by the Israelis and now the Israelis should open their borders and let millions of relatives of these people into their country to live side by side with the Jews currently residing in Israel. If Israel does not agree to this plan, they are racist, they are evil and they deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth. The Arabs wanted Israel wiped off the face of the earth well before they named Arabs Palestinians. The Palestinian refugee problem was a great way to gain world support for the Arab world and for the ultra-left to hate Israel.

    After the 1967 Arab/Israeli war, territory was taken from Jordan (one of the countries who fought Israel during that war). Palestinians were already living in refugee camps in this territory prior to 1967. When Israel took this territory after winning the war in ‘67, the Palestinians living in this area (known as the West Bank) fell under Israeli control, thus the “occupation” began. The Jordanians would not deal with the Palestinians living in this West Bank territory post 1967 so it became as Israeli problem. Another way for Arab governments to use the Palestinians to further their cause to delegitamize the State of Israel.

    In order to further the Arab nation’s goal of wiping Israel off the face of the map (and continuing to use the Palestinians as the their weapon of choice (besides provoking wars in ‘56, ‘67 and ‘73) was to provide the Palestinian authority with the following:

    1) Weaponry
    2) Millions of dollars
    3) Propaganda to insight further hatred

    This above recipe is what created the intafada (Palestinian uprising). The Palestinians proceeded to kill Israelis indiscriminately wherever they were, whenever they could in the name of “Palestine.”

    You claim the Israelis use excessive force to accomplish their goals and I say what choice do they have?

    Israel is surrounded by people who hate them, (we are not arguing why they hate them right now, we are stating facts, we know why). The Palestinians have become the latest victims for the ultra-left who use them just as much as the Arab governments do…what do you expect? Of course Israel is going to defend itself.

    The Israelis evacuated its citizens from Gaza. I think this was a good move for many reasons not the least of which was the Israeli military being forced to protect religious zealot settlers when that time could have been spent protecting the country from terror. Also, the withdrawl was a good gesture to show that the Israelis are not interested in occupying the Palestinians.

    Immediately after the Israeli left, Gaza was turned into a virtual launching pad for rockets being fired into southern Israel on a daily basis. Israel would never have gone back into Gaza had Hamas not started firing rockets. Kidnapping the Israeli soldier was also not the smartest strategic move Hamas ever made. Those actions provoked the Israelis to go back into Gaza and attack the infrastructure used to carry out such attacks. If the soldier is released unharmed and the rocket attacks cease, the Israelis would be more than happy to withdraw from Gaza and leave it to Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian Authority to administer. The Israelis want nothing to do with Gaza.

    Let’s talk about Lebanon:

    Sure, innocent civilian casualties on either side is a tragedy. I am heartbroken to see children and helpless people suffer in a war the average person there (in Lebanon) did not create. However, I am also in favor of Israel doing what it must to protect its borders. Hezbola has had one focus in the past 20 years and that’s the destruction of the State of Israel. For years they have been carrying out terrorist attacks funded by Syria and Iran and firing rockets into extreme northern Israel. For years, the Israelis did nothing. This Hezbola war might have been in the planning stages for a few years but there were years where Hezbola could have chosen a different path and did not. They continued to provoke Israel and provoke and provoke some more. Well, now the Hezbola infrastructure needs to be destroyed.

    Hezbola being basically completely cowardess, buries and ensconces itself into the civilian population neighborhoods especially in the southern suburbs of Beirut. They launch rocket attacks and train for their terror missions inside these neighborhoods.

    Israel, in attacking the Hezbola infrastructure in these areas, ends up killing civilians in the process, a tragic but inevitable result. If Hezbola would be a real army, they would have conducted their training and attacks from areas not near large population centers thus avoiding unnecessary death and destruction. Hezbola looks at the Lebanese population as expendable so they place them at risk by conducting their activities in their neighborhoods. This has been a tactic of Islamic terror for decades. Use your own people as human shields thinking that will allow a build up of strength because nobody will attack where civilians live. Well, the tactic has failed and now Hezbola and Hezbola alone is responsible for hundreds of Lebanese civilian deaths and thousands of Lebanese civilian injuries. What a tragedy that Hezbola is so desperate, they need to hide behind little children to attain their goals.

    In terms of the Palestinians:

    Israel has withdrawn from some of the West Bank leaving Palestinians there to manage themselves. The Israelis still occupy a significant portion. I am not going to argue the legality of this because then we would need to get into the United States and the legality of taking land from Native Americans and bloody wars the French fought in Algeria and then Belgian colonialism and British colonialism and we would be here way too long.

    What I am going to argue is time. The Palestinian Authority has been given millions of dollars by not only Arab governments but by the Israeli and American governments. In this Washington Post article entitled: Saudis Will Keep Up Aid Flow to Palestinians, (go to Washingtonpost.com and search for the article on Saudi aid to the Palestinians), it discusses how Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is also the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority. If you visit the Palestinian controlled areas, it does not look as if this money is going to anything productive. There is still lack of good medical facilities, terrible schools and substandard living conditions. All this yet millions upon millions of dollars flows like a river from Riyadh to the West Bank and Gaza. Much of this money is used to fund terror in Israeli cities.

    This kind of thing will not achieve the Palestinian goal of freedom. I take from your own words “Terror creates terror.” The more the Palestinians attack Israelis, the worse it will be for them. Their terror campaigns (whether you want to lable these missions as freedom fighting missions or whatever euphemism you would like to use) will never help the Palestinians’ ultimate goal which is to end their suffering. The only thing that can do that is to end the corruption within their own ranks, stop the terror attacks and for the Arab World to recognize Israel and let it live in peace and security.

    On the one hand, you say terror creates terror and on the other hand you completely justify Palestinian terror campaigns inside Israel as their only means of defending themselves. Your message does not make any sense. Either you are in favor of using violence to achieve your goals or you aren’t. You cannot say you are against violence to achieve political goals unless it’s against Israel by the Palestinians. That creates an unclear message and proves that it’s all about hating Israel not about creating peace in the region.

    Furthermore, the Palestinians are the most well-funded, well-armed defenseless people on earth. They are also among the highest educated Arabs in the Middle East. Israel was one of the first countries to provide the original Palestinian Authority at the time of the Oslo Accords arms in the first place. This thing about being defenseless is complete nonsense and just propeganda created by the Arab world and spread by the ultra-left who blindly hate Israel.

    The only way to a lasting peace is if the Arab world in general (not just the Palestinians who are being used as political pawns) accept the presence of Israel. Once this happens, we can start negotiating with the Palestinians living in the West Bank on how to give them the some semblance of autonomy. The only way this could happen is if Israel is granted the right to live in peace and security.

    Israelis can administer within their borders the way they want and the Arab countries can do the same. If the Arabs living within the borders of the State of Israel do not like the way they are treated by the Israelis, they are free to leave and move to one of countless Arab states in the region. The Israelis are not keeping the Arabs in Israel against their will. If you took a blind survey of Israeli Arabs and asked them to honestly answer where they would like to live in the Middle East, I think you would be surprised that the majority would tell you that it was Israel. The Israeli Arabs are among the wealthiest and also most educated Arabs in the Middle East. You think the Israeli Arabs want to go and live in Saudi Arabia and Iran? Come on.

    To further the cause of a Middle Eastern regional peace, the Arab countries need to help assimilate their own people (the Palestinians) into their countries until they are ready (if they choose) to move an autonomous Palestinian region that lives side-by-side with Israel in peace.

    If the Arab world does not accept this then needless death, destruction and the continued breakdown of infrastructure and civilization in the Middle East will continue and worsen.

    At this point, the proverbial ball is in the Arab’s court and the world essentially knows this. If the Arabs want peace and to stop the chaos, they know what they need to do. If they want to continue to let chaos reign in the region, then continue this needless war with Israel and Israel will oblige. That, my friends, would be a huge mistake not to mention a tragedy for everyone concerned.

    Think how the Middle East could have been if the Arab countries would have accepted the partition plan created by the UN in 1947. The Arabs who left Israel in 1947/48 would have had a place to go and two countries sharing regional resources could have been an example of peaceful coexistence. All of the medical, cultural, scientific and social progress the Jews brought to the Middle East could have been shared with their Arab neighbors allowing the entire region to flourish.

    Instead, tragically, the Arabs chose a different path, one of destruction and terror just because they would not accept a tiny piece of land called Israel in 1947. They fought a war with Israel that they lost and created the refugee problem. Instead of welcoming their Arab brothers with open arms, they relegated them to refugee camps with the erroneous promise that when Israel was pushed into the sea, they would return to their homes and take over Jewish owned property. Well, despite much effort by the Arab world, the Jews were not pushed into the sea and to this day, the Palestinians are refugees. The Arab nations continued to exploit the Palestinian struggle to scapegoat Israel with any and every problem the Middle East had. What a horrible way to treat your own people.

    I end with the Arab choice: The question of peace is up to the Arab world. Will they accept a Jewish presence in the region and stop using the Palestinians in their political blame game or will they continue using their own people for political gain and not accept Israel and let chaos rule the lands? The choice is theirs.


       —Jason    Jul. 28 '06 - 06:15PM    #
  414. So much passion, over 600 words, over ancient Talmudic deabtes.

    Who says the “Michigan Daily” people can’t talk about Palestine?!

    The “Daily” columnists just prefer to confine that talk to 2000 or more years ago, when they imagine the ethnic identity of the place was more to their liking.

    But.

    The last time I checked, it was Arabs, only Arabs, who had to watch their whole society being bombed into rubble by very fancy Israeli jet bombers.

    The last time I checked, it was Palestinians and Lebanese being smashed to bits by Israeli war planes.

    The last time I checked, Israel has the first-or-second best air force on Earth, plus hundreds of atomic weapons.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The last time I checked, not one Israeli kid has had to skip one meal, for the last 50 years.

    Yet Israel has plunged Palestine into a medieval blockade that starves hundreds of thousands.

    Massive child malnutrition rules Gaza now.

    Gaza is the Warsaw Ghetto now.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Palestine has not even one military plane.

    Israel has about 3,000 tanks.

    Palestine has none.

    *******************

    And you want to talk about who is the aggressor?

    Go ahead.


       —Blaine    Jul. 28 '06 - 06:41PM    #
  415. Blaine,

    I never said that Israel was not STRONGER than the Palestinians, I just maintain the Palestinians are not defenseless victims and that to just blame Israel for their suffering is to ignore history.

    Bottom line is we are never going to agree on this issue.

    My opinion is that the Palestinians made their bed vis-a-vis Arab world and have been used for political gain and one of the net results is the Gaza tragedy.

    Blaine, you see a very different picture.

    Again, I will oppose you based in historical facts considering you always like to compare this situation with a little blip on the historical radar popularly known as the Holocaust.

    The Warsaw Ghetto, my good friend, was a place where Jews waited in transit to be shipped in sealed, unheated Cattle Cars with no food and water to their deaths or eventual deaths.

    The Warsaw Ghetto did not have an airport. Please see link to Yaser Arafat International Airport http://www.arafat-airport.ps/index.html

    The Warsaw Ghetto did not have houses and cars.

    The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto did not carry passports.

    Palestinians who have the means are free to travel abroad and do (I’ve spoken to them so please don’t say they cannot leave Gaza because they can and do).

    Now, this said, I will not talk BS and say the living conditions in Gaza are good because they are not. They are horrible. Do I think the Israelis contributed to this? Yes. Do I think the Palestinians contributed to this? Yes. Do I think the Arab world contributed to this? Yes.

    The Palestinians are getting a lot of hard currency from their Arab “friends.” This money should be going to improve and build infrastructure, build schools, build hospitals, decrease illiteracy and turn hovels into homes.

    Instead, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have elected something different. Much of the funding originating from Arab governments never gets to the people but goes directly into the hands of Hamas to fund terror campaigns in Israel.

    You say, what choice do they have, this is their only weapon? That might be true. But, I maintain that the choice is theirs. They can continue to fight Israel with every last penny while their own people starve to death before their eyes or they can use the money to improve the quality of life and work with the Israelis on a lasting peace. The choice is theirs.

    Fighting Israel via suicide bombings and rockets is not going to work. It’s just going to make Israel’s resolve that much stronger.

    The Palestinians have had many opportunities to make their lives better and each time have missed the boat.

    Maybe it’s about time that you turn your attention from hating Israel to really helping the Palestinians get on their feet, reduce in-rank corruption and work with the Israelis as opposed to against them for a lasting peace.

    Your rhetoric does nothing to help the millions of Palestinians who are suffering. It just makes people mistrust you and anything associated with your group. Unfortunately, you will end up hurting the very people you claim to want to help.


       —Jason    Jul. 28 '06 - 10:59PM    #
  416. Blaine:

    If you have a problem with me, address it to me. Don’t be a douche and take potshots at the Daily.

    The “ethnic identity of the place” 2000 years ago isn’t imagined Blaine. It is widely accepted by archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians as being a Jewish country. To neglect that . . . well . . . I can’t help it if you’re deluded.


       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 29 '06 - 03:13AM    #
  417. If we want 500-comment threads with thousand-word comments, then we’ll need to move to software that doesn’t stick them all on one page.

    So it’s time to close comments; feel free to continue on the “candlelight vigil” thread if you’ve got something new to say.

    If I might make a few personal requests:

    1. The comment area is for discussion; it isn’t anyone’s personal bulletin board. If you’re looking for a place to post miscellaneous rants, newspaper clippings, etc., get your own blog—it’s good cheap fun.

    2. Please read the thread you’re posting on.

    3. Help us all out with #2. If you’ve turned out three screenfulls and still haven’t made your point, give up.

    4. Your comment may meet with disagreement. It is then be tempting to repeat your comment, but louder. Or to highlight every logical fallacy in every response. Such tedious work is unnecessary; be reassured that those responses are the source of quiet amusement among the vast lurking public, all of whom recognize the brilliance of your original comment.

    5. Try to be civilized?

    6. If you must break the above rules, at least try to be interesting in the process.

    Thanks!


       —Bruce Fields    Jul. 29 '06 - 04:20AM    #