Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Monday: Palestinian Real World

30. January 2005 • Scott Trudeau
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Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) are sponsoring an event dubbed the “Palestinian Real World” tomorrow:


EVER WONDER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO WAIT 8 HOURS TO GET TO YOUR JOB?
TO HAVE SOMEONE ELSE CONTROL YOUR LIFE, AND YOU NEVER HAVE A SAY?
TO BE KICKED OUT OF YOUR HOME AND TOLD IT WASN’T YOURS ANYMORE?

THEN COME ASK THOSE WITH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE!!

6:30 PM Parker Room of the Michigan Union, Monday January 31st



  1. How mature. I suppose those on campus who support Israel would retort with something like “Ever wonder what it’s like to have your brother blown to bits?!? To have your father and mother brutally stabbed and killed by ruthless morons?!? Or, to be simply hated because you’re Jewish?!? COME FIND OUT!!!” –

    Oh wait, that would be a childish thing to do….
       —SRK    Jan. 31 '05 - 11:32AM    #
  2. SRK- How many Israelis actually have had a close relative injured or killed by a Palestinean attack? Versus the percentage of Palestineans who have had to go through check points, searches, having their houses bulldozed, being locked up for no reason, being denied basic human rights…?
    Things are, no doubt, bad for Israelis due to terrorism. But those effects are localized and the method of their deaths overstates the statistical significance. From 2000-2003, there were 603 Israeli deaths in the intifadah. In the same period, there were 1456 Palestinean deaths.
    That’s about one in 10,000 Israelis (based on a population of about 4.8 million), and it’s about 1 in 2000 Palestineans.
    Palestineans have half the population and over twice as many deaths.
    (All statistics from CIA factbook).
    I know, I know, it’s an emotional topic. And I know that there’s a historical context of persecution that the Jews have faced. But can’t you look at it with a bit more perspective and realize that hey, the Palestineans really are getting a shitty end of a stick handed to them? And that there might be value in showing that to people like, well, you, who seem interested in minimalizing the situation?
       —js    Jan. 31 '05 - 03:02PM    #
  3. JS –

    first of all – i still need to respond to your last post on 242/338 – i just can’t figure out how – so if you want to email me you email address (ari has my email) i’d be glad to.

    As for your post above – you’re of course right – the Palestinians have the shitty end of the stick. But its THIER fault. It was a decision of the PALESTINIAN leadership to start the intifadah in 2000 (and yes, even Palestinain politicos, such as their minister of information have admitted as much). It was a decision of hte Palestinian leadership to use its state controlled media to incite violence and it was the decision of the Palestinian leadership to turn down an agreement at CDII. Yes, the agreement (offer) was flawed. VERY deeply flawed, but rather then immideatly comming back with a counter offer – they simply said no. and attempted to get a better deal by relying on violence. Yes the Palestinians are occupied, and yes the occupation sucks, and makes life more difficult – but lets not forget that until 2000 when the Palestinians started thsi mess – 99% of Palestinians lived under PA contorl, and had jobs in Israel and had to deal with many fewere checkpoints, incursions, and whatnot.

    If the palestinians want to get the not shitty end of the stick – they can put down their weapons (as they are loosing the war) and negotiate. adn that is exactly what Mazen is trying to do. and its not an accident – that his actions have led to a lot of compromise from the Isreli side.
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 31 '05 - 05:22PM    #
  4. livshiz,
    when you say “their fault”, do you mean the palestinian government (p.a., p.l.o., security forces, etc) or the palestinian people on the whole???

    please claify…

    thank you,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 31 '05 - 05:49PM    #
  5. ahm…sure…well definetly the Palestinian Government. And by that i mean the PA and its constituent elements – including the security forces, al-Fatah, and PLO GC.

    Now, it creates an interesting dillema – because the people who are suffering are ordinary civilians.

    This, at least to me,creates a VERY difficult question – because the governmetn of Israel has to act – and it acts so as to preserve teh lives of its citizens. Whihc, in my view, is exactly what a democratic government should do. And i still blame the palestinian leadership (though pelnty of otehrs get a lot of blame as well) for the sitution on the ground. But at the end of the day – the problem is one for hte palestinains to solve. They either have to vote their goernment out (they can’t) or they have to take up arms agaisnt their leadership – and that they have done (at times, and less then consistently) – until the leadership agrees to elections. The problem is – its much easier to kill Jews and blame the entire situation on them then to admit that its either a) your governmetn or b) your own actiosn (if you are in the PA governmetn) that have caused this.

    Clear enough?
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 31 '05 - 06:51PM    #
  6. yeah, it is, but livshiz, this still is only one side of the story…yeah the palestinians don’t do this and don’t do that, but you have to remember that they don’t have other options when you are locked down 24 hours a day (for a good example of this, i’d advice you to ask david enders about how he was nearly sniped by an idf occupier because he took the liberty of standing on a hebron rooftop to smoke a cigerette)...

    stop all terrorism,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 31 '05 - 07:32PM    #
  7. I have no idea why Likud has not recruited Livshiz to replace Ariel Sharon yet. “All the toughness, but half the fat”, or something like that. Ariel is also a “”girly”” name and so Hamas might see AS as a softie. (.....)

    Also, Livshiz is younger and will last longer, not to mention the fab name, i.e., David as in “Mogen David”.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 31 '05 - 09:14PM    #
  8. Let’s also not forget that the first move of the Second Intifada was Israel’s, or more specifically, Sharon’s. Sharon and a couple hundred policemen decide that visiting the Temple Mount was a good idea, and that started protests, which started shootings, which started bombings, etc. etc.

    Sharon deliberately provoked the Palestinians. Maybe another Intifada wasn’t his goal, but here we are. Sharon is now compromising to the Palestinians, pulling troops out, and dismantling settlements. Something that would’ve been impossible a couple of years ago.

    I think, truly, both sides are at serious fault here, and both sides desperately want to end it.
       —Sam M.    Jan. 31 '05 - 09:57PM    #
  9. Ok, JS-

    To answer your question – nearly EVERYONE in Israel has a family member or friend that has been murdered in violence. This is not an exaggeration. You either have had a relative, close friend, or one of your close friends friends die in a terror accident. It’s that simple. I think I’d rather go through a checkpoint on my way to work, thank you very much. And please, do not patronize me by insinuating that I have minimilized this situation in any way – this was of the Palestinian’s own doing, as Livshiz states.

    It will take DECADES to erase the harm Arafat has caused in the region – inculcation of Jewish hatred, turning Hamas into a paragon of terrorist infrastructure, etc. And don’t tell me that Arafat was only a small piece of the problem – you tell me exactly how it’s possible that israel has gone through more than 12 prime ministers (ranging from as soft as rabinbarak to as hard as netanyahu)and Palestinians have had only one leader – one that continually stole and cheated them – and it’s ISRAEL’s problem?!?
       —SRK    Feb. 1 '05 - 01:46AM    #
  10. Also, in response to Sam M – did you read that straight out of a palestinian propaganda booklet? Even the leftist professors at UM that teach the Arab-Israeli conflict class (such as Tessler) readily acknowledge that Sharon had very little to do with starting the 2nd intifada – it had been planned MONTHS before sharon even thought about visiting the temple mount.

    I was there that day. Before Sharon had even arrived on the premises, there were mobs of Palestinians, throwing rocks onto those below them praying at the western wall.

    Sharon’s provocation? I think not…
       —SRK    Feb. 1 '05 - 01:49AM    #
  11. Boyle – you want to know why i am not a likudnik? First of all, i STRONGLY disagree with a lot of thier “domestic” policy – in particular the recless deregulation that they are creating, and their attempt to roll back the welfare state. Stuff like that might be okay here, it is not in Israel. Second, I disagree with them about the role that a constitution would play in Israel. Third, i disagree with a lot of thier foreign policy moves as well – i just don’t agree withthe policy of the left in Isreal either – and of the options that i see – i think SHaron is better then Netanyahu on the right, adn the leftist demogagues on the left.

    Ari – yup. you’re right – they are heavily constrained. But that is a recent development. It wasn’t true before the intifadah started – and it is then where the roots of this problem came to exist. Look – if you blame israel – its generally done on the grounds that Israel violates UN resolutions. Now, we can argue for a while about the value of these resolutions, thier status as law, and their wisdom – but thats all imaterial. The KEY foundation of the UN is the belief that disputes should NEVER be handled by force. That is EXACTLY what happened here. THe PA thought to gain political advantage by turning to force – and as such – i don’t have that much sympathy them. It sucks for the Palestinians – but it was their government, and they had plenty of chances to say they don’t support hte violence. THe problem is – they are brainwashed by a combination of Hamas/PA propoganda – and as long as that lasts – you’ll have support for violence. Unless. and this is why i don’t have a big problem with some of what sharon did – and that is unless you make them believe that there is no way they can hope to benefit (not win, but benefit) from using force – and that for ever Israeli life they take, they will loose 5 – and then you can create battle fatigue – and maybe change on the ground – something that we are now seeing.

    Sharon isn’t comporomising with the Palestinains – he is doing exactly what he said he would do if elected – and that was – if the Palestinians take action to stop the violence – he will take action to make their lives easier. and now that Abu Mazen is taking actino, so is Sharon. adn in the end of the day – life becomes better for all. (or so i hope).
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 1 '05 - 02:24PM    #
  12. “First of all, i STRONGLY disagree with a lot of thier “domesticâ€? policy – in particular the recless deregulation that they are creating, and their attempt to roll back the welfare state.” -dliv

    livshiz is a communist!!!!!!!!

    couldn’t resist,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Feb. 1 '05 - 02:52PM    #
  13. hehe…well…it all depends on where, when, and how – doesn’t it? d
       —David Livshiz    Feb. 1 '05 - 03:00PM    #
  14. Wait, so a majority of Palestinean citizens are against the intifadah (and even more of them are against killing civilians in the intifadah, even if they support continued resistance against the IDF), and it’s their fault that they have the shit end of the stick?
    That’s like saying that it was the Patriot’s fault the Boston Massacre occurred, and that they should have simply accepted Royal governance, because maybe they wouldn’t have been taxed so much. People have an inherent right to use force against an illegitimate government, as the government constitutes a coercive measure against their rights.
    Yes, Arafat and the PLO/PA leadership became a stumbling block to peace, but there was also no way that he could accept the Oslo accords.
    And to pretend that the Palestineans weren’t heavily constrained before the second intifadah is laughable in its historical ignorance.
    Neither side has been willing to stand up for what is right, but the Palestineans are being screwed more. And still, you’re nothing more than an apologist here.
       —js    Feb. 1 '05 - 04:45PM    #
  15. SRK- Blah, blah, blah. You’ve got your ideology. Mind backing it up with facts? I can patronize you all I like until you come back with an argument that’s worthy of respect, instead of emotional appeals and anecdotes. Do you think you can do that?
    Oh, and you might want to note that Livshiz did no such thing as showing this to be all the Palestinean’s fault. You might not want to base your comments on your interpretation of his (not least because his spelling can be misleading ;)).
    Your argument is basically that given a large enough circle of acquaintances, every Israeli has known someone hurt by violence. That’s like saying that every American was affected personally by the people who died in 9/11. Aside from a few famous ones, I bet that most Americans would have a hard time naming any of the victims.
    And again, the Israelis have had half the casualties in a population twice the size of the Palestineans. C’mon. Do a little math, will you?
       —js    Feb. 1 '05 - 04:50PM    #
  16. wait – JS – WHERE did i say that this is only the falt of palestiniains? Look, you might not agree wiht me (okay, no might there) but – like it or not it was the Palestinians that fired first. I may be regressive, simplistic, cold hearted – or whatever – but as far as I am concerned, and for the record as far as international law is concerned, it is not the responcibility of the Israelis to protect teh palestinians. that is the responcibility of the PA .

    Yes, I agree – the palestininas have lost more people, but as i’ve mentioned elsewhere that isn’t suprising. the israelis are better trained, better equiped, etc- and therefore, are less likely to be killed by rifle fire. the better question is what proportion of the people killed are civilians. and here the ration is “favorable” to Israelies.
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 1 '05 - 05:07PM    #
  17. but JS – none of that means that Israelies don’t also get the blaim. Just that i think its not thier obligation to put down their weapons first – that is the obigation of the side that “fired the first shot” so to say.
       —David Livshiz    Feb. 1 '05 - 05:10PM    #
  18. hehe – JS – just saw the first post. ahm – you kidding right? the “inhrerent” right you speak off – when people talk of this they assume their is no other option. its generally considered the right of law result. Its sort of like self defesne – in US crimianl law – yes you have that right, and its an inherent one, but ONLY if you can’t retreat, and have NO other option available. they had plenty of options – they always head. thats why – recently a figure none ohter then a UN envoy quoted a rather famous passage: “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity, to miss an opportunity”. Somehow, he doesn’t seem them as being without a choice.

    as for thier conditions PRE 2000 – yes it wasn’t complete freedom, but no one has that. THe bottom liine is – the Palestinains’ elected governmetn was pushign for seperateion not integration – and if tha tmeant added restrictions – they were okay with that. not sure why Israel is at fault.

    oh – and one other thing- i am not an appologist. I genuinely think Israel has the right side of the argument here – both Legaly and Morally. if you want – you can get my email from Ari and we cand discuss this at length – and not bore everyone else to tears.
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 1 '05 - 05:40PM    #
  19. js-

    I have an old skirt in my closet, and the last time I wore it was in 2001. I have kept it in a box, and I haven’t worn it since because it is splattered with blood of innocent people. That night, I went shopping in dowtown jerusalem and came home with 1 less friend than when I left. So, excuse me if I seem a bit rash.

    You cannot in any way whatsoever view this conflict in a vacuum. Sure, it may seem as if Palestinians have “the shitty end of the stick,” as you call it, right now. But that’s like only being told that your neighbor put his dog to sleep for no good reason. But, in reality, it’s a pit bull that has been attacking people left and right. You cannot just view what is going on right now and say “Oh, the Israelis need to stop what they are doing.”

    Whether you and other left-leaning palestinian supporters realize it or not, this is a tale of history that has many chapters, and yet you have skipped to the very end.

    Would you mind explaining exactly Arafat “had no choice” but to reject Oslo? All he had to do was stop killing people. Is that so hard to ask? Or perhaps you are referring to Camp David II, and you just don’t know your history at all….
       —SRK    Feb. 1 '05 - 09:31PM    #
  20. SRK- Hey, wanna compare Arabs to dogs? What do I get to compare Jews to?
    Excuse me if I seem a bit rash, it often happens when people confuse emotion for logic.
    Livshiz- The Palestineans fired first? When? In ‘46, when they were kicked off their land by a “mandate”? In ‘52 when Israel marched to the Suez? Hell, even in ‘67, that wasn’t primarily a Palestinean uprising- it was other Arabs (Egypt, Syria etc.) that wanted that fight. Or are we going on some sort of Gulf of Tonkin/Remember the Maine sort of logic, where the victor gets to decide what is justified?
    And no, the fundemental right of resistance does not require that all other options be exausted first, nor does it require a legal standing. In the absense of government, all men are in a state of nature. In that state of nature, if someone attempts to abridge your rights, you have the fundemental right to restrain, rebuke or revenge upon them to the utmost of your abilities. It is only with the consented government that people agree to give up this right.
    And spare me the “never miss an opportunity” jive. The Israeli government never misses an opportunity to exploit the fringes of Palestinean culture to their own benefit. For every suicide bomber, there are 100 people who just want peace, a just peace. The draconian means that the Israelis have taken to preserve their security are the bars and walls of an unjust peace.
    My email is rock REMOVE@REMOVE sgipub.com. With, obviously, the REMOVES, well, removed. (Please spell check to make things easier on me).
       —js    Feb. 1 '05 - 09:45PM    #
  21. Sigh….you are a card carrying member of the arab propaganda club…
       —SRK    Feb. 1 '05 - 09:53PM    #
  22. Is “the arab propaganda club” sort of like Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or something ? Just curious.

    “Arab” usually capitalizes the initial “a”, by the way.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 2 '05 - 01:34PM    #
  23. SRK- “I had friends blown up” is not a compelling reason to turn a nation into a prison. Rebuking you for comparing Arabs to dogs is not the same as buying their propoganda. Unless, of course, it’s fair for me to call you a Jewish swine? Or to argue that continuing violence by Israel justifies rounding up Jews and depriving them of their rights and their lives?
    Usually, as someone of German descent, I try to avoid things that could be construed as anti-Semetic; people tend to get touchy when a Kraut has solutions for Jews. But as you feel no shame over your reactionary and racist attitudes, well, y’know, I’m not going to stoop to your level. I can recognize that most Israelis don’t support the hardliners (Likud or settler), and that no civilian deserves to be killed. But I, unlike you, am able to extend that understanding to realize that no Palestinean desrves to have their land stolen, their home demolished, their freedom taken or their life snuffed out, no matter how good revenge may feel or how much it may briefly allay your security concerns.
    You can have your snit now, or you can reread what I wrote and get the fuck over yourself.
       —js    Feb. 2 '05 - 05:24PM    #
  24. ah JS – are you as sure about your legal arguments as you are of the fact that Israel marched on Suez in 1952 or of the fact that Palestinians were kicked of their land in 1946? Because i have news for you – the Suez conflict started on October 29, 1956, and Israel was partioned in 1947. These are details – and i don’t expect everyone to know them – i am just saying you talk of facts – and its best to double check them.

    Under international law – which really does contorl this – right of raising arms is in fact an option of last result. I don’t know where you are getting your argument – but even Francis Boyle, the representative of the PA (as in thier LAWYER) conceedes the point. Bottom line is – with the creation of the UN, and the end of the Cold War – wars of liberation are justified ONLY as an option of last result- which means if its possible to negotiate, the indigenous group is OBLIGATED to do so – and in good faith.

    Moreover, JS, its not fair to compare Isreal to the Palestinians. Your point above – about not holding every jew responcible for the actions of Likud is valid, and would normally apply to the Palestinians. The difference is that Palestinian terrorists use the civilian poupluation to fight from. And, besides violating international law, this merely leaves Israel with no other options. If Hamas chose to wear uniforms, and meet on teh Field of battle – I am sure Israel woudl prefer that. But since they don’t – and since they wilffully CHOOSE to hide in civilan clothes, behind civilan people, this does not place ADDITIONAL obligations on Israel. it merely forces them to take measures to limit “unnecessary” cilivian damage. Moreover, as inerpretd by the ICJ (Nuclear Weapons), the Intra-American Court for Human Rights (Abella) and the ICTY (can’t remmber the case – but will find it if you press me) – the decission of military necessity is a quesiton of “expertise” to be determiend by the parites. Meanign – that its Israel’s call on necessity and not an internatioanl NGO, whcih while helpful, do not operate as tribuanls.

    Bottom line is – there are plenty of flaws in israel’s policy – legally, practically and morally – but at teh end fo the day – you can hold the Governmetn of Israel accoutnable – you can take them to court, or you can vote them out. Thats hardly something that is true about plaestinains. They are human – but they need to do some seriosu work INSDIE their society – to be able to promote their agenda in a way that will succeed.
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 2 '05 - 06:02PM    #
  25. Hey, js, let’s not forget the Hebron massacre of Jews in 1929, after which the the Jewish population of Hebron, a community hundreds of years old, was ethnically cleansed by the British.

    But, the moral of the story is that you can’t keep going back in time and saying, “They started it,” or “No, they started it.” The real question is, who has the balls to FINISH IT.
       —Jared Goldberg    Feb. 2 '05 - 06:03PM    #
  26. I try to stay out of these…

    Livishiznits says: ”... since they wilffully CHOOSE to hide in civilan clothes, behind civilan people, this does not place ADDITIONAL obligations on Israel. it merely forces them to take measures to limit “unnecessaryâ€? cilivian damage.”

    Sounds like another revolutionary army from history. One closer to home. Lexington & Concord, goddam farmers hiding behind trees picking off the British Army. They shoulda stayed lined up and got shot-up like a respectable army… Although, in fairness, the colonists weren’t blowing up cafes in London. But some of them may’ve if London wasn’t across the ocean… And none of this would excuse any “unecessary” civilian deaths on the part of the British if they decided to engage in a war against the “civilian” population to keep down the uprising. Thankfully, they were stretched too thin at the time to put the boot down too hard… at least in my book.

    You’re probably right on the legal argument (IANAL) re: the use of force against Israelis by some Palestinian individuals and organizations, but Josh was making primarily a moral argument. To quote js:

    “And no, the fundemental right of resistance does not require that all other options be exausted first, nor does it require a legal standing. In the absense of government, all men are in a state of nature. In that state of nature, if someone attempts to abridge your rights, you have the fundemental right to restrain, rebuke or revenge upon them to the utmost of your abilities. It is only with the consented government that people agree to give up this right.”

    My question for js is who’s giving “consent.” The majority (of which constituency?)? The “people”? Because if it’s each individual actor, then if any actor rejects the state, they are, by your words, acting in a morally correct way to defend their rights by (ahem) any means necessary. I’m not sure I like that conclusion… Although, I think you have a point that the Palestinian people do not have a generally “consented” goverment, and that changes the legal and moral equations…
       —Scott T.    Feb. 3 '05 - 11:05PM    #
  27. just a quick note to my blog buddies, i’m heading out the country the tommorow and will be back at the end of the month, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me with my usual frequency…i will, however, try to get in some au foreign correspondence in order to give our wonderful readers (yes, that includes senor t.j.) a whole perspective on shit…

    cut down on your bloglife, mate, get some exercise!

    bloglife,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Feb. 4 '05 - 12:49PM    #
  28. Scott –

    There are a few CRITICAL differnces between Lexington/Concord and the situation in the territories. In the first place – the colonists did not target civilians. In fact, they went out of their way to follow the law – for example at the Boston Tea Party – while they dumped the tea they compensated the british captain for the damage inflicted on the ship. (Kramer, The People Themselves). In any case – they followed the laws, of armed conflict as dveloped there – as best they could. So did the FLN in Algeria when fighting for indipendence from France. The Palestinians are not – they are targeting civilians intentionally. Lastly, the rules of engagemetn in warfare, particulalry inter-communal wars have changed a lot in 200 plus years. Things like the Hauge Conventions were not around in 1776 – but are around now.

    Morally – i am not sure that it is moral to ignore the law. THey may have had a right to an armed uprising under natural law – but they are not in a state of nature. PLO recognized the authority of the UN to impose regulations on them, and the Palestinian poeple voted to approve that in 1996. There is no state of nature, at least not in the Hobsean sense. Moreover, i have SERIOUS moral problems with any moral system where targeting children intentionally is okay – for ANY reason. THis isn’t a’ mistake where an errant bomb kills a few – this is targeting a dico parler and a Univeristy restaurant. Its the epitomy of amorality.
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 4 '05 - 02:59PM    #