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My apologies for not writing recently, I have been very busy, going to demonstrations, doing media work, and taking a few days to visit relatives in Israel. It is sometimes very difficult to find the time to stop doing all these things and write about them, but I do hope that I will be able to write about the last week or two sometime tonight.

But before I do that, I would like to share an experience myself and some friends had at a checkpoint recently. I think that it is important for people to see this not from my experience, but from the experience of a Palestinian, my friend Raad. This is not a unique story, nor is it as bad as it could have been; it is just one moment in the life of a Palestinian traveling in his own country.

thanks & more soon!

jon

IOF Soldier: "You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail."

January 12th, 2006

http://www.palsolidarity.org/...

By Raad

IOF Soldier: "You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail."

January 12th, 2006

http://www.palsolidarity.org/...

By Raad

After a successful non violent demonstration against the illegal Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, we came back to the ISM apartment to hold our regular evaluation meeting to discuss what had succeeded in the demonstration and what we could improve. During the meeting we received updates regarding a small village called Bardala in the Jenin region which is closed by a checkpoint controlled by the IOF.

The people of Bardala and some local organizations were holding a nonviolent demonstration against the checkpoint which not only prevents freedom of  movement for the people, but also their ability to trade in farm  products. We decided that some ISM activists would go there and stand in solidarity with the Bardalla farmers in their struggle against the illegal checkpoint. A Palestinian was needed to go with the international  activists so I offered to accompany them and we traveled back to Ramallah to take a taxi to go to Jenin. After changing and packing our  bags, we left Ramallah at noon in a taxi and started our journey in my  beautiful Palestine. We traveled for more than two hours and arrived  in a small village called Al Zababda close to the place of the demonstration. We stayed at the Na'eem Khader Center where we were given a gracious welcome. We hung out for a bit and I told my friends that we should go to sleep  early because we have to be ready at 9 AM to start travel towards the  demonstration at Bardala.

In the morning we took a car prepared by PARC, Palestinian Agricultural relief committees, the organization who  asked us to come to the demonstration.

On the way we realized that we had to pass the Tayaseer checkpoint. Unfortunately, when the driver saw one of the soldiers at the checkpoint he said this soldier is the worst of all of them. When I saw how the soldier was treating the people in front of us I realized he was right.

When it was our turn in line the solider collected our IDs and the passports from us and suddenly he asked us to get out of the car and stand in one row. He was speaking in Hebrew, I told him "we don't understand you, what are you  saying ?" and then he started screaming at me saying "Shut up, at this checkpoint we only speak Hebrew!"

Suddenly we realized there was a soldier speaking in English at the checkpoint, it was an American guy who was serving in the Israeli military and after approximately 40 minutes, the really aggressive solider called the American soldier over to give the international volunteers their passports. They decided to hold me and my friend until  they got an answer from the secret service and they told us to stand  with our backs to the checkpoint and that we could not use our phones. They also asked the driver to drive the international volunteers away  from the checkpoint. The aggressive soldier kept screaming at us  saying "You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail, you shouldn't be going around with pretty American and European girls."

Our friends tried to call us but he wouldn't let me answer the phone and told me to turn it off. Instead I made the phone silent and kept in touch with the rest of the group, who were approximately 100 meters away, via text messages.

The aggressive soldier told me I was a Hizballah terrorist and that he would break my bones. I told him "ok" and he responded by saying "Shut up!"

After another 40 minutes the officer received and order from his command to take our phone numbers so we gave them to him and I found an  opportunity to talk because he told us to keep our phones on because the Shabak might call us to check. After just three minutes I got a phone call from a friend who was working with ISM asking if we passed the checkpoint or were we still detained. When I started talking to him the aggressive soldier started screaming at me to shut off my phone but I told him the Shabak called me back and I'm talking to them. I don't know why, but the soldier believed me. After just 15 minutes they received and order to release us but the officer refused and sent back a message saying he needs the commander of the area to tell me to release them.

The officer received the order to release us three times and he was just looking for a reason to keep us and beat us. When they received the order for the first time, an officer of the checkpoint told the aggressive soldier "go eat so you can be strong and ready to beat them."

But after another 15 minutes two international girls who came with us decided to walk toward the checkpoint to see why the soldiers were still detaining us. Suddenly the crazy soldier who has no regard for the language problem just ran toward the roadblock and hid himself behind it so both of the girls could not see him. He started screaming in Hebrew, the girls could neither hear him nor understand him, so he cocked his gun and pointed it at them and when I saw that I got kind of crazy because I was afraid he was going to shoot them. His commander was screaming at him asking him not to shoot and suddenly the American soldier appeared again and screamed "stop! stop!" and told the girls to walk away from the checkpoint. The crazy soldier put his gun down and walked away and the American soldier just followed the two girls to see what was going on and why they wanted to talk to him. They spoke to him and asked when we would be released and if there was some kind of problem.

Then the crazy soldier came back to the checkpoint and his commander asked him to clean his gun and said "it is a very terrible thing for this to happen at my checkpoint, and before you talk to me clean your gun." After that he asked him why he got crazy and tired to shoot the internationals because they are not dangerous like the Palestinians. The soldier answered saying "you know the orders that we have" (if someone comes toward the checkpoint and you ask them in Hebrew to stop and they continue, you should shoot them with no regards as to whether the person in front of you doesn't know Hebrew or even is deaf or crazy, just shoot!). After that the commander called the American soldier and gave him our IDs and told him to tell the internationals that it is because the Israelis respect them that they will release us.

Israel's policies of apartheid and racism will never succeed or help in solving the conflict, and they have nothing to do with 'security.' They will just increase the hate and the bloody situation we are in will continue. This is against the interests of us all, and international law and the Geneva conventions are clear; UN Resolution 242, 338 call for Israel to end the occupation of Palestine and 194 asks Israel to solve the refugee problem. The Geneva convention and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man say that people under occupation have the right to resist, and that occupying forces should respect the rights of civilians.

The international community should guarantee human rights for all, yet they have failed the Palestinian people miserably. The individual activists who are coming from all over the world to support us in our non-violent struggle against the illegal Israeli occupation show real support for human rights. We see these activists risking their lives along with us, and they come because they believe that we all have the same dreams, even if we live in what's called the Third World.

I call on people from all over the world to just visit Palestine, Jerusalem , Bethlehem, Nablus , Ramallah, Hebron all of these places and just to observe the situation here. I wish you all everywhere a happy new year full of love and peace and hope to see you in Palestine.

Originally posted to jon the antizionist jew on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:11 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommended (4.00)
    Thank you for your work and for this diary. I have Palestinian friends and of course this kind of treatment is completely routine for them. Because Israel functions as something of a liberal democracy for Jews it is possible for people to lose sight of what it is for Palestinians: a racist military dictatorship of daily humiliations. Not all IOF soldiers spwe the same violent vitriol, just like not all Southern Sheriffs fit the stereotype. But they all uphold this sort of rule (except of course the refuseniks). Thank you for shining a light on this.

    "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

    by Christopher Day on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:30:18 AM PST

    •  This diarist is the only one on DKos to ... (4.00)
      openly write in support of the Palestinians. Bravo.

      Israel and racism - some artcicles

      The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

      by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:03:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just rented The Wall at (4.00)
        Blockbuster, very good documentary. This wall is separating people from their farm land. Are they being financially compensated...NO. Not one dime.

        Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

        by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:49:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, it isn't (none)
        Most diaries on here concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are at least sympathetic to Palestinians, if not by and large 'on their side.'

        If by 'openly in support of Palestinians' you mean 'don't believe the state of Israel has the right to exist,' perhaps - but I don't think that that is the  main thrust of the diary.

        I don't think there's anything illiberal with thinking that the state of Israel has the right to exist - while, of course, condemning its foreign policy actions. Maybe things would be different if this were 1948 - perhaps I'd feel differently about its right to exist - but I really think that as more and more time goes by it is more or less a 'settled' issue, and becomes more and more wrong to try and change it.

        Perhaps I'm biased on this as a Jew, but I remember something my (very conservative) parents told me when I was younger: 'No one would ever have givne us Israel, it had to be taken.' No matter how independent of their thought I've become, despite the fact that I am now a socialist, I still can't disagree with the essential truth of that statement.

        A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

        by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:38:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one would give us Iraq ... (none)
          ... so we had to take it.

          The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

          by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:09:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Manifest destiny (none)
             ;-)

            The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

            by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:11:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You know (none)
            That situation is not in the slighest bit similar, not least because we're talking about fifty-odd years into the past.

            Not that I'm willing to engage you in debate on this issue, considering your other idiotic and conspiracy theorist posts.

            What happened to the US launching a nuclear strike on Iran, huh? Pfft.

            A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

            by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:19:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  best to ignore this one (none)

              Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

              by soyinkafan on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:35:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  China ... (none)
              ... is what happened. They stepped in the day before the strike and threatened to swiftly dump the U.S. dollar.

              Had these two events gone down, you would likely be dining out of a dumpster this evening.

              From a great conspirary theory paper, THE JERUSALEM POST:

              Israel Threathens Iran With Military Strike

              THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 13, 20
              Israeli officials said they remain hopeful that concerted international diplomacy can end the crisis, but that a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities - led by others - is possible.

                 

              The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

              by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:40:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (none)
            I will engage you on this, just to prove a point. Having trawled through a few of your diaries (not least the one quoting radical Islamic papers which refer to Israel as the 'Zionist regime'), I can see what kind of direction you're coming from. I'm not accusing you of anti-semitism, but the tenor of your posts and diaries could easily lead to that conclusion.

            Iraq was a case of flagrantly defying international law and consensus in order to launch a selfish and dishonest war in order to achieve the pipe-dreams of the PNAC crowd. It was a case of invading a sovereign country.

            Israel was formed by a people who more or less constituted a nation-state in all but possession of exclusive coercive power over a single territorial area. It was a case of establishing a sovereign country.

            While I probably wouldn't have supported its creation were I alive at the time, I can see the reasons why it was forcibly established by Jews. There's no reason to believe that Israel could have been created otherwise: Britain by that time had given up on the idea of creating an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine and there was no way the UN or any other international power were going to step in to do it. The statement 'there was no way it would be given, it had to be taken' is essentially true. Don't forget that many, many Jews already lived in the area which is now Israel - probably constituting a majority - and were a nation-state in all but name. This was not a case of foreign invasion and occupation, as you dishonestly allude to in your comparison with Iraq.

            All the same, I probably wouldn't have supported its establishment at the time. Now it has been established - and not only that, has become the only democracy with whom we can 'reasonably deal' in the region - its existence mustn't be questioned. And I think it's really beyond doubt that that is what you meant when you claimed that no posts on DailyKos were openly in favour of Palestinians - you meant that few posts on here are openly opposed to its continued existence.

            There's nothing worse for the 'liberal' movement than being tarred by the same brush as you people. We should be taking a position in condemnation of the extremes of Israeli foreign policy, while acknowleding that it is a close ally (of the US and of Britain, in which I live) and that it has a right to exist amongst the company of equal nations - much more so than many of the Arab nations, such as Iran, which you have vehemently defended.

            Remember, despite Israel's rather extremist foreign policy actions over the decades - in large part caused, though not excused, by outside circumstances - it is a liberal democracy of the European tradition (though obviously not European geographically). It has free and fair elections, is not generally expansionist (laying aside the issue of settlements) and has a history of stable, liberal - even socialist - governance.

            cconwin, you keep going the way you're going in regards to false predictions of the future and rather questionable - and possibly anti-semitic - sourcing and comments, you're going to build a very unsavoury reputation around here.

            A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

            by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:39:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Israel a 'liberal' 'democracy'? (none)
              High comedy on a Saturday afternoon. Thanks for the laugh.

              The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

              by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:44:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (none)
                It is a liberal democracy. Look the term up in the dictionary, you nitwit.

                It has free and fair elections, a free and independent media, a traditional safeguarding individual liberties - i.e., the very definition of a liberal democracy.

                A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

                by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:49:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A "democracy" (4.00)
                  Where roughly half the residents are not allowed to vote.
                  •  Or can't marry who they want! (4.00)

                    Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                    by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:10:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Care to provide a citation? (none)
                      What Israeli law states that Palestinians cannot marry someone?
                        •  LOL...gee thanks, (none)
                          I really am tired, did not want to go digging for that! I just wish we could open some hearts today.

                          Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                          by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:35:03 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  This citation does not support your statement. (none)
                          You said and I quote:

                          "(Palestinians) can't marry who they want!"

                          This law says that Palestinians cannot become Israeli citizens by marriage.  It does not say that Palestinians cannot marry whom they want.

                          Your statement is (unsurprisingly) false.

                          Cheers,
                          XYNZ

                          •  More...not legally recgnized by state. (none)
                            For all the differences that exist between these two couples, they share one major parallel: both couples are unhappy with the current marriage laws in Israel. Paradoxically, Israel is touted as the only "democracy" in the world that does not offer its citizens the option of civil marriage. Since 1953, only Orthodox Jewish marriages, and civil marriages performed outside Israel, have been legally recognised by the Israeli state. While interfaith and other religious marriages are not prohibited, they are also not legally recognised by the state.

                            Aneesa's discontent

                            Aneesa's problem stems from the decision by Israel's parliament to pass a new law in July, which prevents Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who marrying fellow Palestinians, whom the Israeli state had ethnically defined as 'Arab Israeli's', from obtaining residency permits and/or citizenship in Israel. Under the new law, Palestinians alone will be excluded from obtaining citizenship or residency. Anyone else who marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship.

                            This means that 'Arab Israelis', who make up about 20% of the population of Israel, who marry Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza Strip will either have to move to the Occupied Territories, or live apart from their husband or wife, as is the case with Aneesa. Children will be affected too: from the age of 12 they will be denied citizenship or residency and forced to move out of Israel.

                            According to Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian political activist, the new marriage laws are aimed at limiting the number of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, and consequently, political and economic rights within Israel. Abunimah's claims were given substance, when, in June last year, the chairman of Israel's National Security Council, Major-General Uzi Dayan, claimed that by 2020 Arabs, in Israel and the Palestinian areas, would outnumber Jews by 55 to 45 per cent.

                            Israeli Knesset member Zehava Gal-On called the new law "racist and discriminatory", and it has even been compared to apartheid-era South African laws that banned interracial marriages. International human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also condemned the law as racist.

                            http://www.countercurrents.org/...

                            The State of Israel practices racism and discrimination in its laws towards the Arab population since before imposing the racist marriage law which was passed by the Parliament on the 13 July 2003. The Israeli Parliament voted to block Palestinians who marry Israelis from becoming Israeli citizens or residents, erecting a new legal barrier as Israel finished the first section of a new physical barrier against Palestinians West Bank.

                            After occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel began permitting Israelis who married residents of the territories to apply for their spouses in Israel under a program of family unification. Since signing the Oslo agreement, Israel began restricted the program of family unification, they even restricted the family permits for staying in Israel. Furthermore, the Interior Ministry of Israel confiscated hundreds of Israeli citizenship IDs from Israeli Arabs from the East of Jerusalem.


                            http://www.rense.com/...

                            Marriage in Israel

                                Main articles: Who is a Jew?, and [[{{{2}}}]], and [[{{{3}}}]], and [[{{{4}}}]], and [[{{{5}}}]]

                            As civil marriage does not exist in Israel, the only institutionalized form of marriage in Israel is the religious one, i.e. a marriage conducted by a cleric. In specific, marriage of Israeli Jews must be conducted according to Orthodox Jewish halakha. This implies that people who cannot get married according to Jewish law (e.g. a kohen and a divorcée) cannot have their union sanctioned. This has led for calls, mostly from the secular segment of the Israeli public, for the institution of civil marriage.

                            Many secular Israelis travel abroad to have civil marriages, either because they do not believe in the Orthodox view of Judaism or because their union cannot be sanctioned by halakha. These marriages are legally binding in Israel, though not recognized by the rabbinate as Jewish.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            ...now how can a arab marry a jew? What about someone that is non-religious?

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:38:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you even READ what you write? (none)
                            You ask:

                            "...now how can a arab marry a jew? What about someone that is non-religious?"

                            You ask this question after you have ALREADY WRITTEN THE ANSWER:" "(these couples can) travel abroad to have civil marriages...."

                            Yes, this law is stupid and idiotic religious interference.  It puts an undue and unnecessary burden on those who want to marry outside the confines of their religious heritage. As YOUR OWN SOURCE points out, it doesn't single out non-Jews: it also makes it difficult for secular Israeli Jews to marry other secular Israeli Jews. As YOUR OWN SOURCE points out, 25% of Israeli JEWS get married abroad because of this law.  BUT, they CAN still marry whomever they want to and so CAN the Palestinians!

                            So...the original statement: "(they) can't marry who they want!" Is still FALSE.

                            Religion should not interfere in matters of State or Law, it's true in the US and it's true in Israel This law ranks right up there with the US laws against gay marriage.  

                            Speaking of which:

                            In Israel, the Attorney General stated that he would not appeal a district court's November 2004 ruling that extended the common law spousal rights and responsibilities of inheritance, taxation and property to same-sex couples.

                            Source: Israel Recognises Property Rights for Gay Couples, Agence France Presse, Dec. 8, 2004

                            Is your nation this progressive?  Which one of the Arab states is this progressive? Which Middle East democracy would you like Israel to emulate?

                          •  Your right!! They just can't (none)
                            marry in the country they live in.

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:11:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  You, sir, are a liar. (4.00)
                    You anti-zionists hold that the West Bank is not Israeli territory; that it is under military occupation.  The Israeli government has not annexed the West Bank, it also holds that the West Bank is not Israeli territory.  

                    Therefore, by the definitions of BOTH you anti-zionists AND the Israeli government, the West Bank is NOT Israeli territory and the Palestinians of the West Bank are NOT residents of Israel.

                    You cannot have it both ways: either the West Bank is under military occupation by a foreign power (the Palestinians are not residents of Israel) or the West Bank IS the sovereign territory of Israel (the Palestinians are residents). Of course you anti-zionists ARE dishonest enough to TRY to have it both ways.

                    Furthermore, they Palestinians are allowed to vote and have done is in several Palestinian elections.  On January 9, 2005 Mahmoud Abbas was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority.

                    Your 'argument' is just another example of the BULLSHIT that anti-zionists spew about so-called Israeli 'Apartheid'.

                    Until the Palestinian sympathizers on the left denounce such dishonest 'arguments', they will have no credibility.  

                    Cheers,
                    XYNZ

                    •  Actually, (none)
                      the argument of Palestinians and their sympathizers is that Israel should not be able to eat its cake and have it too in the West Bank.  They argue that Israel has failed to resolve a central dilemna since its occupation of hte land: namely, you either take the land and its people, or you leave both.  Israel has skilfully occupied the land, and neglected granting even basic amenities to its residents that would ordinarily accompany such an annexation.  The fact that Israel has not OFFICIALLY annexed the land is meaningless: as I just argued, there is a point behind Israel's decision not to do so.  That is, such a declaration would compel it to accept people AND land, when it is interested only in the land.
                    •  Its the ISareli Government that wants it both ways (none)
                      They would never "annex" the occupy territories, because they would have to give Palestinian political rights- can't have the Knesset half Palestinian.  But if they recognized it for the status it is - occupied territory -- they would have to recognize that the Third Geneva Convention applies- meaning no settlements, no control of resources, no separation wall (unless on teh green line) no seizure of land, etc..
                      So they've invented a new status recognited by Israel andn Israel alone - "the disputed territory", meaning that ISrael can do whatever it likes with it.

                      "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

                      by normal family on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:27:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have exposed a MASSIVE conspiracy!! (none)
                        I didn't realize that you had such intimate knowledge of Israeli government intentions.  Your source inside the Israeli government is very courageous.

                        So, Israel has no intention to withdraw from the occupied territories. I was completely fooled into thinking otherwise. The conspiracy you have revealed is simply breathtaking in its scope.  We all thought that Israel had returned the Sinai to Egypt in the early 1980s and that it had recently withdrawn from the Gaza Strip.  But, you have revealed that Israel has no intention of returning occupied territories! That means that the return of the Sinai and the withdrawal from Gaza were both illusions staged by the Jewish controlled media!  

                        What an incredible deception this is; it is a HUGE conspiracy!  The Elders of Zion must have been VERY busy implementing their protocols.

                        Cheers,
                        XYNZ

                        •  Conspiracy? (none)
                          I am only rehashing ISrael's own stated legal and policy positions regarding the status of the OPTs - not positing any knew information.
                          As for intentions to withdraw, the Sharon governments position, to the extent it can be gleaned, is to withdraw from limited areas, leaving Palestine effectively carved into Bantustans.  They are clearly do not intend to withdraw to roughly the pre-67 lines so as to allow for a viable Palestine.

                          "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

                          by normal family on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 03:56:03 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  IS ANTI-ZIONISM ANTI-SEMITISM? (none)

                      The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                      by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:23:01 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Eating cake (none)
                      Jews living in the West Bank are allowed to vote in Israeli elections. Palestinians are not.
                •  Such a liberal democracy! (none)

                  The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                  by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:09:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Nitwit?! (none)

                  The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                  by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:20:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Such a liberal democracy! (none)

                The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:15:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  P.S. (none)
              Btw, smearing critics of the Israeli state as racists is really getting old as a tactic.

              The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

              by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:46:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You know what else gets old? (none)
                Anti-semites accusing people of using 'underhand tactics' by claiming that to use the term at all is to use a 'tactic.'

                Your diary on the death of Ariel Sharon quoted a radical Islamic paper as saying, in the opening sentence, 'the leader of the Zionist regime has died.'

                Who on earth - but anti-semites - refer to Israel as the 'Zionist regime'?

                No one, that's who.

                A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

                by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:52:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe I'm your huckleberry. (none)
                  The current Israeli government is very much a Zionist regime.

                  At least, according to 30+ UN Resolutions that have asked Israel to stop occupying other people's lands, stop building a wall, stop torturing, stop jailing without charge, stop recriminatory acts against civilians, stop bulldozing the homes of civilians, stop expanding settlements...

                  Is the UN anti-Semite, or are they, like me and many of us here, simply sick of a government that betrays liberal democratic ideology to utilize fascist techniques to clear land for their own use?

              •  Besides which (none)
                I never accused you of anti-semitism. I said that using sources referring to Israel as the 'Zionist regime' could easily lead to that conclusion - and even then, not in such strong words.

                A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

                by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:55:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are quite good at self-delusion n/t (none)

                  The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                  by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:02:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Riiiiiight. (4.00)
                    I say that quoting radical Islamic papers which refer to Israel as a 'Zionist regime' could lead people to conclude that you are anti-semitic --- in what conceivable way is that self-delusional? At most - and clearly, I don't think it is - it's just wrong, or untruthful. There's nothing in that statement that can be rationally construed as 'self delusional,' unless you believe there's something mentally unbalanced in the idea that to refer to a people in racist terms may, in fact, be racist.

                    You haven't even tried to defend yourself on the issue of Israel's right to exist. You haven't defended your quoting of radical Islamic papers using anti-semitic terms. You haven't even defended your idiotic claim that the US would use nuclear weapons against Iran on the 6th of 7th of January.

                    You think, and argue, like a conservaitve. It just seems that you've picked up rather distasteful politics which  are generally defined as being on the left.

                    A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

                    by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:14:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Just to point out that Iran is not an Arab state (none)

              Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

              by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:21:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Actually... (4.00)
          Jews were offered a vast array of different lands upon which to create Israel, from Africa to Texas. The real statement should be "Nobody was going to push the Palestinians of the land we wanted, so we had to chase them off."

          Hey, I'm all for a Jewish homeland. Israel exists where it is and should remain there for eternity, but please, let's not take the edge off what is happening there now by claiming that the taking of the occupied territories was in any way just, or is in any way defensible now.

          I've been to the West Bank, and the moment I saw what a settler had spray-painted on the side of an illegal outpost - "Gas the Arabs" - I realized that there's nothing the slightest bit just about the present situation.

          •  but, but, but, ... (none)
            ... it is a liberal democracy,... with a few tanks and bulldozers thrown in mind you.

            The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

            by ccnwon on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:30:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  agreed (4.00)
          I don't think there's anything illiberal with thinking that the state of Israel has the right to exist - while, of course, condemning its foreign policy actions. Maybe things would be different if this were 1948 - perhaps I'd feel differently about its right to exist - but I really think that as more and more time goes by it is more or less a 'settled' issue, and becomes more and more wrong to try and change it.

          I wholeheartedly agree with this --the question of whether Israel has the "right to exist" is a total red herring.

          Even admitting that Israel is a colonial state (a settler colony, to be specific) the idea that it doesn't have a right to exist is preposterous. By that logic, neither would the Australia, the United States, or South Africa.

          The key issue is what sort of policies the Israeli state follows with respect to native peoples (displaced or otherwise). No one who is genuinely concerned with these issues has any interest in changing the subject to the barbaric question of Israel's right to exist.

        •  a settled issue? (none)
          I am Jewish too - and a practicing Jew at that.  I do not object to Jews living in the area south of Lebanon, north of Egypt and west of Jordan.  Whether it was a good idea to move there in the first place (for those who did move there from Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, etc., particularly those who had the option to live elsewhere - not true for everyone) is not as relevant - Jewish people live there now.  The thing is, lots of Muslims and
          Christians live in and around the area now too - and some were kicked out in recent memory and want to go back.

          So . . . in deference to democratic principles and the idea that a geographic area with
          relatively intertwined economic activity should form a nation state to benefit all the human beings who live in now or want to live in or return to that geographic area, a single state (called Israel, called Palastine, called the Leventine, call the Great Region of People Sick of Fighting, whatever)is a fine and perfectly moral idea.

          A country, any country, in which one's right to live as an equal member of society, travel in and out, bring one's family in and out, based on religion rather than current, recent historic, family and economic ties is more than just a little bit problematic.

    •  This story has no legs to walk on... (none)
      ... because whatever legs it had have been bombed away. And whenever it tries to grow new ones, they get bombed away, too.

      It's just not possible to build empathy for people who put bombs in school busses.

      And as sad as it is, that is the truth.

      •  Do you have a link (none)
        indicating where all Palestinian people participate in suicide bombings? (Including the 657 Palestinians killed who are under the age of 18, Link)

        Who designed the intelligent designer?

        by deano on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:48:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whoa Nelly! (none)
          Turns out both sides have done some pretty unforgivable things. Quite a shocker.

          Ok then, let's demonize just one side. Take your pick, everyone else seems to have already.

          •  Of course one (none)
            shouldn't demonize one group of human beings. If you are implying that I did, I merely mentioned one fact to show that the previous comment is off-base.

            Who designed the intelligent designer?

            by deano on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:01:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It wasn't (4.00)
              really directed at your comment, more at the tone of the discussion as a whole.

              I think all too often Israelis and Palestinians try to out-atrocity each other - you blew up my family, you demolished my home. Can we be clear on the fact that these are all terrible injustices, and that most often the victims are the most innocent and most helpless people in the whole mix.

              Let's stop treating this as some sort of moral competition where it looks as if people believe that if they can just list enough of the injustices committed by the other side, their side wins.

              There's a place for truth and reconciliation. But those two go together, when they're at odds then you rarely get truth, and never reconciliation.

              •  Well (4.00)
                I agree that debates should not just be about trying to continually demonstrate that they have some kind of moral high ground or something.. but, I do not believe my comment fits under your category.

                I was specifically responding to a specific sentence, which remains there:

                It's just not possible to build empathy for people who put bombs in school busses.

                Which implies all Palestinian people.

                Now, let's try a little thought experiment. What if a generalization was made about another group of people based upon the actions of some of its members. What if I wrote "It's impossible to to build empathy for Y people who X". Y being a group of people and X being an action undertaken by a fraction of those people. One could easily think of some stupid and terrible examples, which I won't give, and imagine the response.

                Who designed the intelligent designer?

                by deano on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:51:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have a link showing (none)
          where 'all Israelis' participate in hate and this supposed apartheid?

          The response of the GOI to terrorism may not be perfect, but they have the right to protect their people.

          Got a better idea?

          I'm all ears.

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:49:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So because we have (4.00)
        people in the United States that bomb abortion clinics and FBI buildings and send anthrax through the mail the world should hate americans? You can't hold a whole group of people responsible for the acts of a few. Suicide is an act of a DESPARATE person. Take away hope and a future and the war will continue.
        There are obviously people on this list that have great empathy for the people of Palenstine.

        Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

        by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:55:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, (4.00)
          but that is just propaganda. Everbody and his dog has by now understood that both Hamas and Fatah/Al Aksa are well anchored in palestinian society and Fatah is even quasi official.

          Blaming the activities of a few misguided extremists just doesn't fly.

          Furthermore, I didn't even discuss "blame" at all. I  just noted that the base for empathy isn't there any more. Conclusion from that is that this base needs to be created again, if anything should be done to solve this situation.

          And, yes, that means, the terrorist attacks must stop. No "yes, but", no "but first they must", no conditioons, no exceptions, no qualifications. Stop them. Do whatever it needs.  I think this is a vital interest of the Palestinian people.

          •  Israeli terrorists did not stop (none)
            till England got out of Palestine. One can't come before the other.

            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:47:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  aside from the fact (none)
              ... that your comment justifying indiscriminate murder of civilians is utterly contemptible and should exclude you from civilized disourse, it is also stupid.

              England didn't have that much to loose, while for Israel it is a live or die situation. They can't "go away".

              •  Instead of "can't" I should (none)
                have said...historically one does not come without the other. Look at how england has had to negociate with the Irish Republican Army.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                I am sure the Palestinians would rather have tanks, helicopters and fighter planes to fight with instead of having their children being used as pawns by the local milita.
                It's really pathetic what is happening to these people, and I will continue to voice my opinions. Because I sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians and understand why there are suicides does not mean I justifiy anything. There is no justification of what is being done to Palestine.

                Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:36:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  So, you are denying the very existence (none)
              of the State Of Israel, right?

              Just want to get your real viewpoint out here.
              Please answer the question.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:00:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Now that it's there, (none)
                it would be inhumane to not acknowledge it's existance. But I don't think Israel should continue to settle Palestine land and I think Palestinians that left land behind should be compensated immediately, as the settlers that were removed from Palestine recently were.

                Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:15:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  then what does (none)
                  "Israeli terrorists did not stop till England got out of Palestine" mean ?

                  Should the Israeli people fighting for their very existence have given up ?

                  Explain please.

                  "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

                  by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:33:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Their land is not being (none)
                    taken away....and they are being supported by us.

                    Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
                    By David R. Francis | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

                    Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person.

                    This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby.

                    For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War.

                    And now Israel wants more. In a meeting at the White House late last month, Israeli officials made a pitch for $4 billion in additional military aid to defray the rising costs of dealing with the intifada and suicide bombings. They also asked for more than $8 billion in loan guarantees to help the country's recession-bound economy.

                    Considering Israel's deep economic troubles, Stauffer doubts the Israel bonds covered by the loan guarantees will ever be repaid. The bonds are likely to be structured so they don't pay interest until they reach maturity. If Stauffer is right, the US would end up paying both principal and interest, perhaps 10 years out.

                    Israel's request could be part of a supplemental spending bill that's likely to be passed early next year, perhaps wrapped in with the cost of a war with Iraq.

                    Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. It is already due to get $2.04 billion in military assistance and $720 million in economic aid in fiscal 2003. It has been getting $3 billion a year for years.

                    http://www.csmonitor.com/...

                    Constitutes 30% of the total US foreign aid budget, which renders Israel to be the largest recipient of US aid in the world

                    Since 1987, the US congress has annually been approving a foreign aid bill totaling an average of $3 billion to Israel, $1.2 billion in economical aid, and $1.8 billion in military aid.

                    After the gulf war in 1991, the US has additionally been offering Israel $2 billion annually in federal loan guarantees, which brings the total US foreign aid to Israel to about $5 billion, or $13.7 million per day. This amount excludes the approximate $1.5 billion in total tax-deductible private donations from numerous Jewish charities and individual donors.

                    All in all, this is the largest amount of foreign aid given to a country, and constitutes 30% of the total amount of US foreign aid budget.

                    A2. Started in 1948 and gradually increased over the years

                    http://www.peacenowar.net/...

                    20 September 1999--Israel continues to receive substantially more aid from the U.S. government than any other country in the world, despite the fact that Israel's gross domestic product per capita in 1997 was $17,500, making it one of the wealthier countries in the world. Even before additional funds from the Pentagon and other federal budgets are included, the projected fiscal year (FY) 2000 congressional appropriation for Israel will bring the total of U.S. government grants and loans to Israel, from 1949 through 31 October 1999, to nearly $92 billion, as indicated in the chart below. This is more than the total of U.S. aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined. Yet, in 1999, these countries had a combined total population of 1.142 billion people, while Israel claimed a population of 6.1 million. All told, Israel, with a population smaller than that of Hong Kong, receives about one-third of U.S. bilateral foreign aid worldwide.

                    http://www.palestinecenter.org/...

                      Aid to Israel is Out of Hand
                    Posted: 01/11
                    From: Topeka Capital-Journal

                    by George Bisharat

                    American and Israeli diplomats have recently revived discussions over our potential financial support of Israel's August withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Last summer, Israel sought $2 billion, but suspended its request following the Katrina disaster. With popular and congressional attention to New Orleans now dissipating, Israel is again asking American taxpayers for help, although it has scaled back to $1.2 billion in light of popular sentiment and signals from Congress. This amount is supplemental to Israel's share of our regular foreign aid that has run $3 billion to $4 billion annually for decades.

                    Our officials have not publicly responded to the Israel request. When they do, their answer should be a polite but firm "No". It is reason enough to deny Israel's request that its settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are illegal. The U.N. Security Council has held so, as has the International Court of Justice. As part of its non-binding but authoritative judgment on Israel's wall, the International Court of Justice concluded last year that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories violate international law. While the dollars Israel now seeks would fund housing and infrastructure for new communities in Israel for the settlers, paying for these, in effect, compensates Israel for giving back its illegal settlements. Some 94 percent of Americans polled by CNN in July opposed the Israeli request, even before Katrina and heightened public awareness of our own acute domestic needs.

                    Still, there are times when principle must surrender to pragmatism. $1.2 billion would be a bargain were it to yield momentum toward a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace.

                    Every indication, unfortunately, is to the contrary. Since the decolonization of the Gaza Strip, Israel has only intensified its colonization of the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

                    There, 430,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements built on land seized from Palestinians -- and they are expanding every day. A city holy to three great religions is being transformed into the exclusive capital of one group -- Jews. Meanwhile Palestinian Christian and Muslim families are slowly squeezed out of neighborhoods they have inhabited peacefully for decades if not centuries. A European Union study released last week determined that Israeli policies toward Jerusalem are not motivated by security, but by demographics, violating international law and Israel's obligations under the Roadmap to Peace.

                    Israel touted the Gaza disengagement as a step forward. Yet in October 2004, Dov Weisglass, advisor and close confidant of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, admitted in an interview in Israel that withdrawal was a way to avoid peace negotiations with Palestinians, consolidate control over the West Bank, and foil the creation of a Palestinian state. No such pronouncements are necessary, however, to the Palestinians

                    http://mathaba.net/...

                    Take your pick of the exact $$$ that Israel gets. I believe the aid Palestine gets is under one million/year.

                    Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                    by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:22:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Okay. (4.00)
            Let's say I accept your contention: "...the terrorist attacks must stop. No "yes, but", no "but first they must", no conditioons, no exceptions, no qualifications. Stop them. Do whatever it needs."

            Do you see any parallel actions that the Israelis must undertake with no "but first they must" concessions from the Palestinians?  Must they stop funding illegal settlements now?  Must they evacuate illegal settlements "no conditioons, no exceptions, no qualifications. Stop them. Do whatever it needs."?

            It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

            by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:32:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (none)
              There are certain things the Israeli government can't do before suicide attacks stop - like open border crossings, etc.

              But there are many others that they can, and it is imperative that they do. The building of new settlements stands out as one thing that is beyond contemptible. Much like the right wing in this country, the Israeli right wing has long been held hostage by religious extremists, and they must free themselves from that bond.

              Israel doesn't have to give away the proverbial farm before getting to the negotiating table, but acts of good faith like freezing or, better still, reversing, the settlement process are not only morally obligatory, but would serve Israel well in the long run. How can they expect to stop terrorist groups from recruiting new suicide bombers if they consistently make clear that they apparently have no intention of leaving the west bank.

            •  Interesting question (none)
              In terms of timing, no. Right now, violence is the key issue whose sound drowns most others out.

              Once violence has diminished reliably, that issue turns aoround. While the Plaestinian side controls the hostilities, it is the Israeli side that controls about anything else.  Israel will have to give up many, if not most of these settlements, at least enough to create a somewhat homogeneous Palestinian state. That state will have certain needs that must be met. And of course, Israel will have to get its extremists in check as well, including those "illegal settlement" bozos.

              Your question implies, though, that you see some more immediate necessities. What's your reasoning ?

              •  Essentially, I'm in agreement with... (none)
                ...what nussbaumski just posted above.  You agree that Israel will have to give up many or most settlements as it is.  The building of new settlements and the funding of illegal settlements is wrong and only worsens the situation with the Palestinians, so why should that continue and why should stopping it require some action from the Palestinians?  As an unconditional ending to the violence from the Palestinian side would change the dynamic of the conflict, so too would unilateral action from Israel with regards to the settlements.  How does continuing the way things are benefit the Israeli state in the long run?  Why not do it?

                It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:16:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Until there is a valid government (none)
          in Palestine that can make an attempt to stop this violence from their side, the 'wall' is staying up.

          Period.

          The GOI needs to do a better job to minimize the impact on Palestinians, I agree. But to indict the whole of Israel and compare it to South African apartheid is propogandist trash, sorry.

          Even with a sympathetic Palestinian gov't in place, is Osama Bin-Laden, Iran and other agents that have vowed destruction of Israel going to stop?

          Have an answer to that one?

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:54:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The wall isn't about security. (4.00)
            It walls in as many arabs as it keeps out. If it was about security, it would be built on the 1967 borders, not through the middle of Arab towns.

            the wall is yet another attempt at seizing land, and the US government is funding it to the tune of $6b per year.

            That's $20 out of the pocket of every single American man, woman and child. Sick.

      •  Idiotic comment (none)
        You use the word "people" as though Palestinian terrorists are themselves a microcosm of Palestinian society. That is simply untrue.

        Palestine posseses no standing army. It has no infrasctucture. History shows that the lack of ability to conduct warfare 'fairly' often leads to 'foul' means. Witness Kamikaze Japanese pilots in WWII - an attack force specifically created because of the inability of the Japanese to properly target American ships (of course, these attacks weren't against civilians, but many of our 'heroes' did commit those kinds of attacks: the French Resistance, America in the Revolutionary War).

        It's entirely possible to think of the Palestinians sympathetically if you aren't a right-wing idiot who has been fooled into the idea that all Palestinians are necessarily terrorists, or that there is something racially or culturally ingrained in Palestinians that makes them predisposed to that kind of violence.

        A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

        by Mephistopheles on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:05:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Incredible stupidity. (none)
        Convict the collective for the crimes of a few, huh?

        My guess is if someone bulldozed your home, arrested your brother and mother, cut off your water, turned off your electricity, made you spend four hours to travel two miles each day, built a wall through your backyard, ripped out your crops, shot at you from illegal outposts on the mountains above your home, and put you under curfew for 120 days of every year...

        ...You might consider plastique as your only option too.

        •  The plastique came FIRST (none)
          Before the intifada, the wall didn't exist, there were no curfews, nobody's home was being bulldozed...

          But a Jewish man visited a shrine. Let's blow people up!

          •  Were you born yesterday? (none)
            Do you really believe what you just wrote? Because of course the Palestinians had experied a solid quarter century under occupation before the first suicide bombings and almost a half century of displacement from their homes inside Israel proper. The particulars of the humiliations endured aren't really the point. And to describe Ariel Sharon's heavily armed march on the Al Aksa mosque grounds as "visiting a shrine" is the height of intellectual dishonesty. It was, as everybody in the world knew when it happened, a deliberate provocation. The first victims after the provocation, however, were not Israelis, but rather unarmed Palestinians shot down for protesting Sharon's actions.

            "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

            by Christopher Day on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:52:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Indeed. (none)
              Here's the thing - Osama Bin Laden has said he wants two things - a Palestinian homeland and the US out of Saudi Arabia.

              So, really, Israel's insistence on sticking around in the occupied territories, and Bush's insistence on keeping troops in Saudi Arabia, are the cause of modern day anti-US terrorism.

              But even besides that, Jews were utilizing terrorism tactics way back in the early part of the 20th century to get Palestinians out of Israel, so to suddenly claim it's an evil thing invented by Palestinians is the height of ignorance, arrogance, and intellectual stupidity.

    •  That's one viewpoint (none)
      The other viewpoint is getting blown up by a bomber.  But you wouldn't be harangued or humiliated.  Just blasted to smithereens while waiting for the bus or having a slice of pizza.  And the bomber wouldn't have anything personal against you.  Just wants to make Palestine Judenrein.

      For the record, Israelis can outdo Southern sheriffs in being yahoos.  I dated one.  She was a piece of work.

      "Constitution? We don' need no steenkin' Constitution." Apologies to Hedy THAT'S HEDLEY Lamarr. (-5.50,-3.23)

      by vegancannibal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:07:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One wall comes down another goes up (4.00)
    We just don't learn do we.
    Berlin wall down, another takes it's place.
  •  Banksy (4.00)
    The UK Graffiti artist has done some work relevant to this diary. (Link)

    Who designed the intelligent designer?

    by deano on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:37:59 AM PST

  •  taking bets... (3.50)
    within hours, i predict, you will be called an anti-Semite (by people too closed minded and ignorant to realize that Arabs are semites as well.)

    Labor creates all wealth - Organize!

    by fartofliving on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:45:10 AM PST

    •  You should not be the one talking about ignorance (3.25)
      anti-Semitism: hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group
      http://www.webster.com/...

      ANTI-SEMITE: One who discriminates against or who is hostile toward or prejudiced against Jews.
      http://dictionary.reference.com/...

      •  and (4.00)
        hence the irony in the term "anti-semitic" - jews aren't the only semites.  it's meta.  or something.

        weather forecast

        The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

        by Cedwyn on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:09:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see no irony in the term anti-semitism (none)
          Compound words in any language often have nothing in common or misrepresnt the words they consist of. The meaning of the word "anti-semitism" has been established a very long time ago as hostility or prejudice towards jews and  attempts to redefine, distort and dilute its meaning are made by smart-asses and/or anti-semites.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...
          •  Or people interested in precision of meaning. (4.00)
            The word "anti-semite" suggest a racial animus, the word "semite" being a racial identifier rather than a religious or political one.  The Palestinians and many Israelis are, as you obviously know, semitic people.  It confuses the issue to use a word suggesting a racially based bias to describe Anti-zionist or anti-Israeli bias.

            It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

            by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:47:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK I see the problem now (3.00)
              It confuses the issue to use a word suggesting a racially based bias

              I am sorry to hear that the word "anti-semititsm" confuses you, that you did not realize that it's been used for almost two centuries to represent bias against jews, judaism and no-one/nothing else. I am sorry to see that compound words like anti-semitism, ladybug, butterfly confuse you when their meaning does not correspond precisely to the meaning of words they consist of. I can only recommend Webster dictionary http://www.webster.com as an excellent free internet resource for all your vocabulary needs.

              •  Ooh, I've been burned! (4.00)
                Attitudes like yours are why it's so difficult to have a civil discussion here or anywhere else on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

                No point in actually having a socio-cultural discussion of the history of the word "anti-semite" with you, as you're not here to discuss anything - just to hop on the first excuse for taking offense that you can find.
                 

                It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:34:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Really? (none)
                  I provided links to very reputable resources explaining the meaning of the term "anti-semitism", I found and posted a link describing the history of the word. I explained the meaning of compound words and came up with examples when they mean things that have nothing in common with the words they consist of.

                  That was not me who came up with a bogus pseudo-linquistic reasoning why a word that has existed for 2 centuries and provided very precise, specific and unambiguous meaning should suddenly be redefined and mean something totally different.

                  I hate to say it but when you wrote the the term "anti-semitism" confuses you, what exactly did you expect?

                  •  Did you read the Wiki article you linked... (none)
                    ...in the 30 secondes it took you to find those "reputable sources"?  Because this comment makes me think you didn't: "That was not me who came up with a bogus pseudo-linquistic reasoning why a word that has existed for 2 centuries and provided very precise, specific and unambiguous meaning should suddenly be redefined and mean something totally different."

                    Now from the Wiki (bolding mine):

                    Racial anti-Semitism. With its origins in the anthropological ideas of race that started during the Enlightenment, racial anti-Semitism became the dominant form of anti-Semitism from the late 19th century through today. Racial anti-Semitism replaced the hatred of Judaism as a religion with the idea that the Jews themselves were a racially distinct group, regardless of their religious practice, and that they were inferior or worthy of animosity.

                    So, first, English being a living language, meaning shifts over time and will doubtless continue to do so as witnessed by the Wiki article's discussion of the "new anti-Semitism" controversy that's been around since just the 70's.  Second, according to the Wiki, racial anti-Semitism is the dominant form today which, in my opinion, makes a discussion of the usefulness of the word in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian debate appropriate.  You can argue about that -- I'm not asserting it as a fact -- but you can't close down debate by claiming that the meaning of the word as remained static for two centuries.

                    It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                    by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:37:29 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  The socio-cultural discussion... (4.00)

                  ...of the history of the word "anti-semite" is this:

                  The word "anti-semite" was invented to mean hatred of Jews by a German guy in the late 1800s as a polite alternative to "jew-hater" which he felt carried a negative connotation. "Anti-semite" only means hatred of Jews, it has only ever meant hatred of Jews, and you are a moron for insisting otherwise. Thank you, good day.

                  •  So lovely to have a civil discussion. (none)
                    First, I don't dispute that the word "anti-semite" has historically been used to refer solely to anti-Jewish prejudice, though you are slightly off your mark on the origin.  From the Wiki article dvo has linked above:
                    The word antisemitic (antisemitisch in German) was probably first used in 1860 by the Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider in the phrase "antisemitic prejudices" (German: "antisemitische Vorurteile"). Steinschneider used this phrase to characterize Ernest Renan's ideas about how "Semitic races" were inferior to "Aryan races."

                    So, "Semitic races" not just Jews.  Again, I'm not arguing that historically the word hasn't been used solely in the context of anti-Jewish prejudice.  I'm arguing that language changes, that the meaning of the word "anti-semite" is not as static as dvo claims, and that considering that a racial meaning is part of the current usage it is reasonable to argue the usefulness of the word in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian debate when words like anti-zionist or anti-Israeli might more precisely communicate.

                    It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                    by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:33:59 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Is there any utility to your point? (none)
                      Your point is esoteric and truly a distraction.  Anti-semitism means prejudice against jews.  Maybe you should conduct a poll instead of consulting wiki?

                      In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

                      by yet another liberal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:55:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That sloppy accusations of racism... (none)
                        ...inflame and hinder a debate that is already almost too combustible to have civilly.  Calling someone an anti-semite is the equivalent of calling them a racist and to what end?  Palestinians and many Israelis are Semitic people.  Is it likely to be a racial animus that drives someone to support the Palestinian cause over the Israelis?  It is already too easy to conflate opposition to Israeli policies with opposition to the existence of Israel itself and, from that, if not an outright hatred of all Jews, at least prejudice.  Calling someone an anti-semite is usually the end of any useful discussion as people move to defending themselves from an accusation that they hate an entire group of people rather than discussing their objections to the actions of one government.

                         

                        It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                        by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:06:06 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I guess I never noticed anyone actually call (none)
                          someone else an anti-semite on this thread.  And I just checked again and I still don't see anyone call someone else an anti-semite.

                          I thought the discussion was simply about the meaning of the word, but it looks like the very topic gets people upset.

                          In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

                          by yet another liberal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:14:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  dvo sort of implys the accusation... (none)
                            by saying that only smartasses and/or anti-semites are interested in the discussion but, overall, this thread has been remarkably free of it.  Wonder if that's a first for dKos?  Some good discussions here actually.

                            I started out just defending the validity of the debate, but I'm hoping that talking about the word itself helps shift people to using words that are less loaded and inflammatory and are keyed more to the politics of the dispute.  

                            It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                            by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:10:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've found that most I/P threads (none)
                            here at dKos are actually usually free of anti-Semitism.  I think that there is greater fear of it than reality of it.  Mostly, the folks who have something to say have the decency to talk about it in a reasonable fashion, and those who make irrational remarks about either side are quickly challenged.  

                            On the other hand, if you want to have a discussion about the nature of anti-Semitism itself, you probably are in for a bumpy road.  But have at it, and I'll do my best to be at least one voice staying reasonable in that diary's comments.

      •  you're missing... (4.00)
        the commenter's main point, though: that many people will see a story that is empathetic to the plight of Palestinians as being anti-Israel (or anti-semitic or whatever word you prefer).

        if we want to play dictionary or semantics or whatever, you're both right about the word "semitic" and its usage. But let's pay more attention to what really matters.

        -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

        by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:03:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did not miss his point (2.50)
          First of all we're both right about the word "semitic" but he was wrong about the word "anti-semitic".

          Second most people would agree with the "plight of palestinians", people would disagree whether it's Israel's or their own fault though.

          And finally as far as his main point was concerned - he lost the bet.

        •  he SAYS he is an antizionist (3.50)
          in his handle, right?

          So I would gather that he is in fact unquestionably anti-Israel.  Surely we are not going to make any differentiation between those twho viewpoints, are we?

          I certainly sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people.  I also deeply disagree with the viewpoint of anyone who calls himself antizionist.  And I find it astonishing that someone who is himself Jewish does not understand the historic need for a Jewish homeland after the entire world turned its back on us during the slaughter of millions of Jews in World War II, this nation among them.    

          Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

          by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:17:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  of course there is a difference (4.00)
            I am dismayed by the style of your argument which presupposes anyone who disagrees with you is being ridiculous.  

            Why don't you ask the poster what he thinks Anti-zionist means before putting words in his mouth.

            And shame on you for bringing up the holocaust.  As if that has shit-all to do with Israeli soldiers treating palestinian civilians like shit.  That kind of unnecessary appeal to emotion (a logical fallacy) and hysterical overreaction is what makes debate on this subject difficult or impossible.

            The settlements are illegal and immoral.  Israel may have a case for a demilitarized west-bank, and maybe even some permanent Israeli military observer force to enforce that in the context of Israel's security from invasion, but settling Jews who think they own that land because of some divine right granted them by the bible sicken me.  And Israeli government policies which tacitly or explicitly support this activity (such as the path of the security wall going INSIDE occupied lands) are reprehensible.

            The geneva conventions (which Israel signed) explictly forbid occupying powers settling their populations in occupied lands, and also forbid annexing occupied land.  In effect the 1949 borders of the nation-states are frozen unless nations freely agree to alter them.

            That's what's wrong with Zionism and why there is plenty of very valid reasons to be against it.

            I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

            by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:42:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, shame on you (4.00)
              "And shame on you for bringing up the holocaust."

              Please don't speak on topics like this without understanding what you are talking about, out of respect. The Holocaust is critical to understanding the current situation on the ground today in Israel/Palestine. It does not necessarily justify various actions - you can't say, well I know it's wrong... but the Holocaust. But ignoring it's overwhelming significance is deplorably ignorant.

              I would explain, and I will if you would like me to, but just briefly - the fact that Israel was founded in 1948, the fact that it was involved in the war of 1967, in which they occupied the West Bank and Gaza, and the fact that they now have checkpoints in which they sometimes mistreat Palestinians, are all linked in a causal chain, unmistakeable to anyone with even a cursory understanding of the region's recent history. The Holocaust is a critical part of this chain.

              Again, this isn't meant to say the Holocaust is an excuse for some soldier's behavior - but then, mind you, no one ever said it was, including the poster you were admonishing, wrongly. It's just to say, that the Holocaust has plenty to do with it. I'd be willing to explain this in more detail if it doesn't make sense to you, but I assume for now that it does.

              •  aoei (4.00)
                I don't know how to respond to this, because apparently unless I had relatives die in the holocaust, I'm not allowed to discuss it.

                That's in essence why I object to playing the holocaust card.  It seems to happen any time anyone critisizes Israel, and is exactly why the debate becomes acrimonious and stifled.

                I don't think the poster was doing as you suggest, merely referrring to the holocaust as a trigger event touching off a chain reaction that leads to today.  That assumes some type of historical inevitiablity I'm not comfortable with.

                S/he was outraged that a Jew could be self-described as anti-zionist, and made an appeal to emotion by referring to the holocaust to shame that person.  The reference to the US not stopping it was also clearly out of bounds and uncalled for.  That is a "sins of you fathers" recrimination and has no place in this debate.

                I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

                by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:32:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fine (none)
                  Here's my point, briefly. The Holocaust has plenty to do with this situation. You can comment on it if you like - but it is uninformed and disrespectful to say it has "shit all" to do with the situation. If the poster was using it in an inappropriate manner, then you can point that out without comments like that. The shame on you was appropriate in that context, but not in the context you used it.

                  Let's put it a different way. The fact that Palestinians were evicted from their homes in 1948 has plenty to do with why suicide bombing happens today. It is not a justification for it. To say that it has "shit all" to with it, though, is disrespectful and incorrect. But if you don't understand the effects of 1948 on the Palestinian people then you can't understand why suicide bombing happens. Similarly, without justifying the behavior of a deranged border soldier, you can't understand his behavior without reference to the Holocaust. They are both disgusting bastardizations of far more noble causes - for each of these two peoples to have a homeland in which they are not persecuted. Unfortunately, these noble causes are bastardized more often than not.

            •  I'm going to make the appeal here ... (4.00)
              ...that I have begun making on all Palestine/Israel threads: No down ratings, please. Perhaps no ratings at all.

              I happen to agree with your post, which I think you've made extremely well, Scientician. I also think you make a very good point about not assuming someone who says s/he is anti-Zionist means s/he opposes the existence of Israel. "Zionist" is a complex word that has different meanings for different people, and has changed over time as well.

              But downrating someone in this debate just reinforces the nastiness that dominates these threads - and, indeed, the entire discussion of Israel/Palestine. I'm not suggesting we just "all get along" - people should argue this vigorously - but the ratings obscure the debate; they do not enhance it.

              •  for the record (none)
                I never downrate posts because I simply disagree with them.  

                In fact, I rarely downrate at all.

                But I see your point and will refrain from downratings here in the interest of harmony and a civil debate.

                I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

                by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:35:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Zionism (none)
              is not belief in settlements, it is not belief in racism or in a 'wall'.  

              It is belief in a Jewish State.
              Period.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:39:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  That is NOT a fair assessment (4.00)
            The term Zionist is no longer synonymous with someone who acknowledges Israel's right to exist, but rather with the aggressive and expansionist right-wing factions in Israel. One most certainly can be anti-zionist without being "anti-Israel".

            You immediately brand him by your prejudices, without understanding what he says. That is illectually dishonest, and is the same sort of bullshit that the right-wing uses to label "anti-war" with being "pro-Al Qaeda." You say "I also deeply disagree with the viewpoint of anyone who calls himself antizionist," without ever bothering to ask what he means by it -- you have already decided what he means, and you have turned off your mind.

            The right wing uses pushes hot buttons of the sheeple by branding, so that they will immediately turn off their minds. Are you a sheeple too, and all someone has to do is say anything to push your button to get you to turn off your mind?

            We will never be able to solve the problems of this world while we divide everything into "Us = all good, them = all bad" no matter what, without regard to the facts and situation.

            "And I find it astonishing that someone who is himself Jewish does not understand the historic need for a Jewish homeland after the entire world turned its back on us during the slaughter of millions of Jews in World War II, this nation among them."

            DID he say that? He did not. What I wish I did find astonishing, but unfortunately don't, is that the right-wing Zionists (which does NOT include all Israelis, and even less, all Jews) can use their sense of victimhood as an excuse to  oppress others, and still see themselves as righteous.

            Can you not understand also the need for a Palestinian homeland? These were the people whose land it was, before the British decided to declare it the Jewish homeland as well. Israel is a reality today, but the Palestinians are as well, and there will never be peace until they reach a settlement that is livable for both sides.

          •  Um, how old are you? (3.00)
            If you were born before 1939 in a European country I could understand why you may feel that the world turned its collective back on Jews.

            If not, then I fail to see how any 20 year old Palestinian should be held accountable for your feelings of oppression for Nazi crimes against HUMANITY (not just Jews) that occurred over 60 years ago.  

            Your insistence on definitions of words remaining static is instructive, I shall inform the gay community that they should be happy. I also suggest that we create a new state for them on the old sites of Sodom and Gemorrah where they can all live and persecute straight people whose families have lived there for centuries. After all the world turned its back on them in the Holocaust.

            The Gypsies deserve a homeland too, quick find an old bit of parchment that says God reserved them a bit of Romania.

            Then there is the separate country for the disabled,
            a country for the deaf
            a country for the blind
            a country for the sufferers of Kleinfelters, Prada-Willys, Down's syndromes.....

            My initial point is definitions shift over time.
            My other points probably wont even prompt any analysis on your part over your assertion that the world owes a debt to Jews, to be paid by the forced removal of Palestinians off their homes and farms, killing of children, bombings, restriction of travel, unwarranted searches, beatings of detainees, walling in communities creating ghettoes... Wait a minute that sounds an awfully similar thing that began around 1939 in Germany to a particular group of people.  Jews, from memory.  

            How exactly does repeating the atrocities of the holocaust today on the Palestinians exorcise the ghosts of the holocaust? I thought Palestinians were non combatants at the time.  

            Still the old testament doesn't say the eye has to be taken from the perpetrator of the offense to you. Take it from anybody! Keep the cycle of violence alive.

            Gee maybe Israel should give back a homeland to the Palestinians in compensation for all the bad things being done to them.

            •  Very disappointing (none)
              In an otherwise intelligent post, marginalizing the idea of a Jewish state by comparing with a state for the deaf is, for failure to find a better term, stupid. I hope that I don't need to explain this, but I will if I need to.

              Let me just say that creating a state for one people at the expense of others is not ok, it's very problematic. But if things are simply black and white then all "Americans" should go back to wherever they came from and leave this land to the indigeneous people who were here before they were killed and dispossed of their land.

              •  Sorry, I need to learn to use <snark> tags (none)
                I was trying to show by analogy or perhaps reductio ad absurdem the creation of Israel as a state was not mandated by the killing of millions of Jews.  It certainly does not justify the confiscaion of palestinian lands.

                Membership of the Jewish religion does not give you an automatic hall pass to claim victimhood from the holocaust. If you lived through it you have my respect.
                Has Jack Abramoff suffered, or is his criminlity due to post holocaust stress disorder?

                I would suggest that the individuals who do wrong, get punished and compensate the victims.  Why destroy Palestinians lives and then claim they should meekly accept it? If this happened in the US there would be militia all over the place, blowing shit up.

                I was also trying to make the point that the Nazis killed many different kinds of people not just Jews. They do not have exclusivity to the holocaust. And of course it is silly to suggest the deaf have a country of their own. Hence the comparison.

                As for y'all leaving the US, returning the lands to the indians, You could start by honouring treaties, paying the trust monies owed and freeing Leonard Peltier.

                •  Fair enough (none)
                  but I think I still disagree with you. The Jewish people do deserve the right to self-determination, and the Holocaust is not the only reason, but a good example of why. There is no place on earth where Jews have not been persecuted as a people, and as humans they have the right to be free from persecution and its impending consequences. This was brought home by the Holocaust in which Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews.

                  The Native American people also deserve self-determination in my opinion. That doesn't mean that they deserve the whole continent, but some part of it would be a good start. Given the behavior of the American government towards them, I think that they have a very strong moral claim to self-determination to preserve their identity as a culture.

                  The fact that "we" left wing liberals don't take a stand on issues like this is a problem. What we're implicitly doing is encouraging people, like members of Hamas or Hezbollah, who kill innocents to attract attention to their cause. The cause of the Palestinians has become a cause celebre, but is no more important or just than many others around the world that are in similar and ofter much worse circumstances. But we don't care until suicide bombers bring it into focus. That's part of what bothers me about the militant pro-Palestinian American liberals, the hypocrisy - but then it's hard to be perfect.

            •  "gypsys?" (none)
              actually, I think reserving a state or homeland for the Roma people may be somewhat pointless; from what little I've read about them, I think they've studiously avoided being part of an actual state as much as possible.

              Anyone with more knowledge of the Romani feel free to correct me.

              -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

              by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:24:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A recent BBC radio doco (none)
                investigated the resurgence in Roma culture and music in the old eastern bloc. They too have been reviled in all countries.

                As for self determination for them< I cannot speak for them.  the arguments justifying the establishment of Israel could be advanced for all groups persecuted by the Nazis. Not that I am saying it would be sensible or prudent to do so

                •  Oh, I'd be all for... (none)
                  giving the Roma a homeland, just like I think there needs to be a Kurdistan established.

                  I just don't know where it would be, or even if the Roma would want something like that. Again, I'm no expert, but what little I've read about the Roma led me to believe that they are rootless by choice.

                  -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

                  by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:25:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you artifex (none)
        I could not care less about the rating system. I have too many controversial points of view and am not afraid to express them to ever become a trusted user, this site has too many assholes abusing the rating system and downrating comments they don't like. You're one of them.
        •  stop with the knee-jerk hatred, troll. (3.00)
          You have admitted that you both are right about who is semitic, but claim that only you can say what is anti-semitic.

          So tell me again, while the IDF is engaging in ethnic cleansing against your racial brothers and sisters, the Palestinians... tell me again who is anti-semitic?

          ---
          I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly. - Michel de Montaigne

          by artifex on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:20:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why are you hysterical? (none)
            You have admitted that you both are right about who is semitic, but claim that only you can say what is anti-semitic.

            I did not claim I can say who's anti-semitic, I said the webster dictionary can say who is semitic and who is anti-semitic. You downrated all my posts, not just that one. I called you a moron for downrating my posts (read meteor-blades appeal above), your angry post and ridiculous explanation only confirms it.

            PS Palestinian population more than tripled in the last 50 years. If Israel is involved in ethnic cleansing - they are very bad at it.

            •  Not a lot (none)
              Of palestinians to be found inside the walls of the settlements are there?

              That's ethnic cleansing.  Cleaning an area of an ethnicity.  It isn't synonymous with genocide, though genoicide is certainly a form of ethnic cleansing.

              No one (taken seriously) is accusing Israel of genocide.  

              I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

              by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:40:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't disagree with that (none)
                There are no arabs in the settlements, obviously. That does not make settelements any more or any less legal of course and if you want to call it ethnic cleansing that's fine with me as long as we're specific what we're talking about - no arabs in the settlments.

                I was just wondering, would you by the same token call tens of thousands of terror attacks on Israeli civilians ten thousand acts of massacre? It's also technically correct.

            •  people's lives at stake and you count (none)
              on a fucking dictionary as a an arbiter of discussion?

              What a maroon.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:04:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  will it ever stop? (none)
                That comment wins the prize for the most over the top conflation of the thread.

                Come on, you guys are going to get the rest of the world to re-define the meaning of 'anti-semitism', why?

                Jesus.  Just get the world to speak Esperansa and convert to metric or something. wtf

                In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

                by yet another liberal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:28:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It's about people, not about labels (none)
      really disappointed that you had to inject this into the thread .. but, then again - typical for this type of discussion.

      Now, we go off with 57 comments about a damn label.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:06:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was merely taking bets... (none)
        People write and say what people will write and say.
        My statement consists of falsifiable and factual content - and it looks my prediction proved true (although perhaps the act of observation itself skewed the result.)
        I posted very soon after the original diary appeared and my original (and futile) intention was preemptive - through "chill", an attempt to dissuade people from calling anti-Semetic other people who oppose the policies of the state of Israel.

        It's hilarious to me that it generated 57 replies.

        Labor creates all wealth - Organize!

        by fartofliving on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:35:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As a Jew, I have a strong opinion: (4.00)
    We are all the Chosen people. Until we see EVERY human being as our brother, we will never see peace. Thanks for this.

    No act of peace is ever wasted. peacepositive always.

    by peacepositivemike on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:47:24 AM PST

    •  exactly (4.00)
      i was on a plane yesterday with a layover in san fran.  as we were heading out again, the man in front of us said "good bye, city of queers."

      he was otherwise belligerent and of a redneck persuasion - nascar and all that.  and a marine.  

      so it occured to me at that point that he is ensuring his military career by being a close-minded bigot, since intolerance causes a lot of the world's hostilities.

      weather forecast

      The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

      by Cedwyn on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:16:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's See This Guy At Candlestick (none)
        Sending amidst Niners fans in the end zone, while he roots for the opposing team, yelling out something like "go Cowboys! Beat the damned queers!"

        Bush is the first President to admit to an impeachable offense. - John Dean

        by easong on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:50:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hoping this doesn't just slide down the list (4.00)
    Anyone seen the documentary checkpoint? It's all about how the interactions at the "front lines" of this conflict are generally fueling the hatred and resentment of the palestinians through the too-often capricious and abusive behaviour of the Israeli little boys soldiers.

    I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

    by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:55:30 AM PST

    •  and your solution to this ? (none)
      abolish border checkpoints ? relax security ?

      how many blood do you want to have on your hands ?

      •  Checkpoints (4.00)
        That answer is to end the the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands occupied in 1967. Then it would not be necessary to have any checkpoints if that was the wish of the Israeli authorities.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

        by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:31:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They already tried that.... (none)
           - but failed. That offer, more or less (minus Jerusalem, IIRC), was on the table in Camp David. Arafat refused.

          I'm afraid you are mostly out of touch with reality. Those checkpoints would just have to be moved, and since the terrorist murders would continue anyway, there is no incentive for anyone to do so.

          •  Reply (none)
            I'm afraid that you're the one out of touch with reality. It was politically impossible for Arafat to agree a deal which didn't address Jerusalem and to a lesser degree refugees. Sadly Barak ultimately walked away from the peace process because he was afraid of the consequences.

            My point was that these checkpoints don't have to exist but they will do until these issues are dealt with.

            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

            by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:56:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You've twisted it around backwards (none)
            Arafat at Camp David offered peace if only Israel would with draw to the pre-1967 borders. It was on the table and it was Israel who refused.

             

            •  Well,... (none)
              apparently I read all the wrong newspapers and history books. You are mistaken, to put it politely.

              But even if you were right, do you actually think it possible for a Jewish state to give away Jerusalem, including the temple mount ? So, even if you were right, how much would this offer really have been worth ?

              •  It means a lot to a lot of people (none)
                Can Palestinian Muslims give away the Dome of the Rock? The whole city is tied up intimately with Islamic history and religion. Muslims controlled Jerusalem far longer than Jews ever did.
                •  Might want to study a tad of history (none)
                  Judaism was born in Israel/Palestine 5,000 years before Islam. The Temple Mount was there first.
                  •  But I have read history (none)
                    Judaism was only "born in Israel" 1,200 years before Islam (maybe a bit longer if you choose to believe the legend of Moses). Don't know where you get the 5,000 figure.

                    And the temple wasn't there first. Read the Book of Judges. People were already there and the Israelites seized it from them.

                    •  The Temple pre-dates Islam (none)
                      Yes, there were indigenous peoples there. They were not Muslims, as Mohammed did not come about until about 600 AD. So, your statement is still false. As far as religious claims go, Jews planted their stake first.

                      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

                      by TrueBlueDem on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 12:49:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  And to give you a little more substance... (none)
              ... let's quote Alan Dershowitz:
              I can tell you that President Clinton told me directly and personally that what caused the failure of the Camp David-Taba accords was the refusal of the Palestinians and Arafat to give up the right of return. That was the sticking point. It wasn't Jerusalem. It wasn't borders. It was the right of return.
              I consider Dershowitz reliable on this.
              •  It's spin (none)
                If the Israelis had wanted peace they could have accepted the pre-1967 borders. They refused. So what if Dershowitz quotes Clinton as saying Arafat caused the failure. It's spin.

                The fact was, Arafat went to Camp David with demands, and the Israelis rejected them. The Israelis went to Camp David with demands, and the Palestinians rejected them. That's what happens at negotiations. Then the two parties each put their spin on who was to blame.

                •  spin spin spin (none)
                  spin spin spin.

                  It's all spin, nowhere the thruth, we can't believe anything, we can't trust anything, we can't judge anything for not having any trustworthy information on it ... and the world is made of green cheese.

                  Aside from that I quoted Clinton and Dershowitz. Both of them are not part of "the parties". So not even your very limited reasoning holds.

                  (No, don't even try that one...)

                  •  Spin spun spoon (none)
                    You've quoted them saying it was the Palestinian's fault. You don't think there are thousands of people out there to quote saying it was the Israelis' fault?

                    The fact is, the Israelis rejected the Palestinians' offer. You may argue the Palestinians should have offered more. But you can't argue that the Israelis didn't reject their offer. They did. Period.

              •  I don't consider Dershowitz reliable (none)
                on the subject of Israel.  When I first read "A Case for Israel", I assumed that his inaccuracies were due to bias, the kind of blindness that leads a parent to overlook the flaws of a beloved child.  I have since ceased to grant him the benefit of the doubt.  In part, this is because the scholarship of this Harvard Law School Professor on that book has been revealed to fall short of the level expected of a Harvard undergraduate, specifically on the level of documenting sources which some might call plagiarism (see Finkelstein's "Beyond Chutzpah").  But it is also because he has published falsehoods about my church.  Since that time, this Presbyterian has become much more careful about which sources I will accept.

                On Bush's Brain: "What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is."

                by Rusty Pipes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:14:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  They tried that when? (4.00)
            The "great offer" on the table took away the Palestinians' water, East Jerusalem, and control over their own airspace and borders. And that was the best Israel could do. Meanwhile, settlement construction has continued at an ever greater pace before, during, and after this "great offer." If you look at the route of the wall, you can see it puts most major water resources on the Israeli side. This is most obvious in the area around Qalqilia. Here is a recent photo and a map of the area, which controls 55% of West Bank water:

            The life of the 43,000 people of Qalqilia is becoming untenable, as 2/3rds of the economy was based on farming the lands that they are cut off from by the security wall. To quote Ariel Sharon,

            You don`t simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away... I prefer to advocate a more positive policy...to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave."
            -- Ariel Sharon, quoted by David Bernstein in "Forcible Removal of Arabs gaining support in Israel", The (London) Times, August 24, 1988, page 7.
            Clearly, the people of Qalqilia are being "positively" influenced to leave. As they leave the wall will be connected to itself and half of the West Bank's water supply will be firmly in Israeli hands.

            Israel talks about peace, but has never shown any real inclination to actually make it. It just continues to steal land and water from the Palestinians, making them ever more desparate. And the US's support of Israel's actions is the prime calling card for bin Laden, as he has stated so eloquently himself.

            Suicide bombers didn't become an issue in Israel until the mid 90's, long after the occupation was started in 1967. It the last tool of the desparate.

            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

            by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:18:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This issue would be a good (none)
              diary! Thanks for posting....the DEVIL is in the DETAILS!!

              Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

              by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:18:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  would it really be the end? (none)
          I don't think so - it's a little bit more complicated than that, isn't it?
          ----
          No troll here - I immediately thought of this when I saw your comment.

          With the Munich Agreement, Neville Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938. Did that stop him?
          ----
          I agree, the Israelis should give back some territory. Quite frankly, to give all the land back would be rather unusual - since Israel was attacked and obtained the land in response to the attack.

          Israel gave back the land won in 1973 to Egypt, because the Egyptians were willing to sign in good faith an agreement to enable peace.

          The problem now is two fold:

          1. The Palestinians were not the ones who attacked Israel as a nation, they were {at worst} enablers and proxies for the attacking Arab nations but in the majority of cases, just innocent bystanders, like in any war.

          So, there is no Palestinian State extant - and the nascent State of Paelstine is so weak that it cannot negotiate even it's own survival at this point.

          2. Even IF the Palestinian government votes to a settlement, what of the outside forces - do you honestly think that would be enough for the Hezbollah, Islamic Johad, and Osama Bin-Laden and the Iranians?

          If you were an Israeli, would you want to bet the farm on just handing over the land, to gain nothing?

          It's hackneyed, but the words 'security guarantees' really, in the true meta sense of the word at what is most important from the Israeli side. Without it, nothing is going to happen.

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:21:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Israel must withdraw from all the territories (none)
            Under UN Security Council resolution 242, signed by the US government, Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories it captured in 1967. It's quite explicit.
            •  wrong-not all (none)
              they must withdraw from "territories" the word "all" is not there. It was explicitly excluded as a result of negotiations. That is important.

              So, this is how you make a signature.

              by nycdemocrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:02:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Read the first part. (none)
                It clears up all ambiguity. "The Security Council...emphasising the inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by war..."
              •  Then go on (none)
                "... affirms... the withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories of recent conflict."

                Unambiguous.

                •  Incorrect (none)
                  As is pointed out by several others, not only is the word "all" not in the resolution, it was REMOVED from the resolution.

                  Precatory language about the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force doesn't change that.  In any event, even if territory cannot be obtained by force (interesting theory, too bad it's not actually how the world works), it can be obtained by mutual agreement.

                  The Arabs simply cannot expect to call "do over" after their repeated failed attempts at genocide.  

                  Far from being "expansionist," Israel gave close to 90% of the territory it occupied back when it gave the Sinai back to Egypt.  It has withdrawn settlements from Gaza, and will withdraw from more in the West Bank.

                  It will not, and should not, restore the status quo before 1967, when Jews were barred from the Western Wall, and the Jordanians used Jewish gravestones in the old city to make latrines.  And UNSC 242 never anticipated that they would.

                  •  All (none)
                    First off, it wasn't the word "all" that was removed. It was the word "the".

                    The fact the "the" was removed is immaterial. The context remains absolutely clear.

                    •  Incorrect again (none)
                      All WAS removed.  Some of the confusion is that in the English version of the resolution, it simply refers to withdrawal from "territories" and the French version refers to "les" (the) territories.

                      Palestinian propagandists use the French version to say that the use of the word "the" means all.  But I agree, that is immaterial.

                      What is material is that a call for Israel to withdrawal from ALL of the territories was removed.  And yes, in context it is absolutely clear:  the Arabs don't get to call "do over."

                      •  You're incorrect (none)
                        Removed. Not removed. The fact is that the resolution says elsewhere that the acquisition of territory by war is inadmissable. The territory was acquired by war. It is straight forward. You may get your fancy Egyptian lawyers to argue otherwise, but it won't wash.
                        •  Precatory language... (none)
                          ...does not constitute binding obligation.

                          The U.S., U.K. and several other ambassadors who negotiated the language explicitly said that it was not intended to force a pullback to the June 5, 1967 borders.  The Russian ambassador, who was doing the bidding of the Arabs, admitted that he was unable to get that language in.

                          You've been caught in a lie.  Either that or you have displayed remarkable ignorance.

                          •  I choose remarkable ignorance (none)
                            So you're saying that statements by some of the negotiators has more weight than what the resolution itself says, because "inadmissable" is "precatory". Yeah. Sure.
                          •  No (none)
                            I'm saying what the resolution ACTUALLY calls for, combined with a review of the history of what was DELETED from that resolution, is what guides an appropriate interpretation of the resolution.

                            No one is saying that Israel should get the entire West Bank, or even parts of it, by force.  The resolution clearly anticipates, however, that the final borders will be reached by agreement and recognition, and does not mandate that Israel withdrawal to the prior armistice line.

                          •  More remarkable ignorance (none)
                            And I'm saying that, if you want an appropriate interpretation of the resolution, READ THE RESOLUTION.
                          •  I did (none)
                            and it doesn't require Israel to withdraw from all territories.  Case closed.
          •  Reply (none)
            There would always be a threat from the outside organisations to which you refer. However the Palestinians have always had a relatively secular society by the standards of the Middle East and a deal based essentially on the 1967 borders would satisfy the overwhelming majority of ordinary people if it meant peace and prosperity. It would be much more difficult for these organisations among Palestinians, particularly with a Palestinian government with a vested interest in working with the Israelis to ensure peace.

            As for the borders:

            1/ Retention of land acquired by military force
               is illegal under international law.

            2/ A Palestinian state has to be viable and that
               becomes less so if something equating to the
               1967 borders is not achieved.

            3/ And most importantly a peace deal will be
               unachievable if Israel tries to retain any
               significant amount of the land it now  
               occupies.

            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

            by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:11:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that Israel does need ... (none)
            ...some security guarantees. And the intransigent, maximalist, potentially never-satisfied stances of Hamas and Hizbollah are, indeed, a big problem. But one of the reasons many of us on the left who support Israel as a legitimate state are so critical of its policies is that we expect more because of its democratic bona fides in contrast to other states in the region. This isn't a double standard. It's merely a demand that Israel take the lead over and over again to find a way to solve the "Palestinian question" in a just way. A minority of Israelis agree with this.

            One important nitpick: since Israel was attacked and obtained the land in response to the attack.
            While provoked, it is true, Israel launched the first attack in the '67 war.

  •  recommended (none)
    Recommended several diaries already today - this one I'll tell you I did so.

    If you vote Republican, you vote for corruption.

    by MN camera on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:01:39 AM PST

  •  Jon (none)
    Happy New Year.  I'm glad you're staying safe.
  •  Recommended (4.00)
    All the blithering talk about the War on Terra our idiot government does, yet barely any attention at all to the Palestinian situation these days even though it's one of the primary grievances fueling recruitment of terrorists.  

    Or it was.  Maybe our mess in Iraq has passed it up.  Yeesh, that's the Daddy Party for ya - don't solve the problem, just "Quit crying, or I'll give ya something to cry about!"

    Hope the discussion here doesn't turn into the usual unproductive mess.  What hope is there of even working towards a solution in the Israeli/Palestinian situation if a group of generally like-minded people thousands of miles away can't talk about the problem without transmogrifying into a pack of poo-flinging monkeys?

    It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

    by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:26:44 AM PST

  •  Sponsor A Palestinian Child (4.00)
    Sponsor A Palestinian Child:

    http://pcwf.org

    See life in Palestine through the eyes of a young blogger:

    http://rafahtoday.org

  •  Recommended (none)
    And I would like to recommend a comic book on this serious subject: Joe Sacco's Palestine.
  •  Thank You Jon, (4.00)
    For exposing the truth from first hand experience. Of course this is psychological warfare, much of the so-called IDF "operations" have a huge psy-ops component. Can you imagine what you would've gone through if you -gd forbid- were Arab? What you went through is a daily occurance for some people in this world. Ordinary, non-violent Arabs who are trying to get to work or make ends meet get humiliated on daily basis in front of their young children or spouses. Everything about the check points, and much of the Israeli West Bank policy, works to drive one point home over and over again to the Palestinians: you are lesser people.

    (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:52:09 AM PST

    •  I can take your post (none)
      and invert it 100% and come up with nearly the same results, except for the last section.

      Do you deny the 'psy-ops' of suicide bombers targeting ice cream stands and nightclubs?

      Ordinary, non-violent Israelis who are trying to get to work or make ends meet get killed or maimed in front of their young children or spouses. Or better yet, the schoolbuses get blown up.

      Yes, the 'wall' and the soldier's attitude towards people at the checkpoint is wrong. Both are indicate  responses of a society and indvidual making poor choices when faced with life threatening situations.

      Like I said above upthread, it takes two to tango.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:45:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't get it (4.00)
        And like I quoted upthread, the balance of terror is far from equal. Thus the greater criticism should go to the greater belligerant. That is if you're willing to apply any kind of fairness to the situation.

        But there's a fundamental flaw with your comparison:

        One side is supposedly a democracy. Therefore the actions of soldiers, as well as the anything-but-peaceful policy of the government is an expression of its national will. These policies include: illegal settlements, collective punishment, on-purpose humiliation, jewish-only roads, apartheid wall, maiming-on purpose, etc., etc...

        At some point, an Israeli citizen, and certainly an Israeli official, is physically responsible for such policies. That is why many Israeli citizens are such fanatical peace activists.

        The suicide bombers you refer to on the other side are certainly capable of great fear and bloodshed, no argument there. But they are not executing the national policy of "Palestine."

        You are comparing apples to Oranges. Palestinians as a whole are no more responsible for suicide bombers than Israelis are for the routine settler vilence, Baruch Goldstein-style slaughter and the fanatic who killed Rabin. YET, all Palestinians suffer the consequences of Israel's state violence.

        Terrorism has root causes. Israel has been trying to treat only the symptoms for over 35 years with the best weapons and military money can buy. Not only has it failed miserably, it has made the problem worst than ever. It's time for another approach.

        (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

        by Florida Democrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:03:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Harrowing story (none)
    It is our job to make sure stories like this get heard. Let's get this one to the top of the rec. list.
  •  forest for the trees (none)
    That this happened is deplorable. However, it must be understood in light of the reality that from the day Israel came into existence, its neighbors sought to annihilate it. A party that calls for Israel's annihilation (Hamas) is about to claim a strong position in the Palestinian Authority.

    If the Palestinian people want peace, all they have to do is say yes. Declare a complete cease-fire for twenty-four hours, and call on the Israeli government to do the same. If the Israelis respond in kind, then declare a six-month cease-fire and a desire to complete all negotiations during that six month period, again dependent on the same response from Israel. The period will end either with a full peace and two states, or the cease-fire is void. Simple as that.

    All wars have to come to an end, and usually one side wins. The winning side has to be willing to come to terms, and so does the losing side. Otherwise it becomes a war of destruction.

    So, this is how you make a signature.

    by nycdemocrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:07:10 AM PST

    •  Wow! (none)
      If the Palestinian people want peace, all they have to do is say yes. Declare a complete cease-fire for twenty-four hours, and call on the Israeli government to do the same. If the Israelis respond in kind, then declare a six-month cease-fire and a desire to complete all negotiations during that six month period, again dependent on the same response from Israel. The period will end either with a full peace and two states, or the cease-fire is void. Simple as that.

      It's that simple! Wonder why no-one ever told the Palestinians or the Israelis? Man, I'm sure they'd really like to know this is how it's done.

      </snark>

      •  It is this simple -- (none)
        The poster hit the nail on the head when he wrote this:

        If the Palestinian people want peace, all they have to do is say yes.

        That has been true for fifty years.  It is true today.  And it will still be true in twenty years, but unfortunately it will likely not have happened by then.

        The Palestinians, it seems to me, would rather live in poverty and squalor and hold on to their hopeless dream of taking back every inch of Israel than reach a reasonable compromise in which Israel would have security and they would have a far better life than they do, and a state of their own.  They have never been a partner for peace.  I wonder if they ever will.  
         

        Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

        by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:22:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't believe (4.00)
          I'm reading this on dKos. Oh well.
          •  Why? Does one have to be anti-Israel... (none)
            To be a progressive?  Please feel free to review my diaries and comments if you doubt that I am one, by the way.  There are many, many other kossacks who are strongly pro-Israel as well, if you've been around here for a while you should know that.    

            I believe my comment made sense and is reflective of the realities in the mideast.  I also believe that those who would closely tie the progressive movement and the Democratic party, which is the only viable alternative to the Republicans in national politics,to a strongly anti-Israel position - would doom it to failure.  

            Let me spell it out for you - the last remaining group of white males who vote Democratic in any large numbers are Jewish Americans.  Many of them disagree with some of the things Israel has done and most are, I believe, sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, as I am.  But I am confident in saying that at least 90% of them would NEVER vote for any Presidential candidate who is avowedly anti-Zionist.  And the chances of a Democrat winning the White House without strong Jewish support are zero.  Period.

            I believe that the anti-zionsists are wrong on the merits and beyond naive on the politics as well.

            Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

            by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:42:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because (none)
              your comment was borderline racist.
              •  How is it racist? (none)
                Because I stated that the Palestinians have made horrible political choices, that is "borderline racist"?  Would it be "racist" to say that many Americans have chosen to live with less freedom and liberty in order to have a false sense of security?  I think its an accurate statement, and I think they made a horrible political choice in electing Bush, assuming that one accepts his election.  Does that make me a self-hating American?

                I have no racist feelings towards the Palestinians or anybody else.  I think they have been brought up all their lives on a diet of hatred of Israel (and yes, of Jews - the facts are the facts) and many of them are so consumed by hatred that they can't see their own self-interest through all of it.    

                Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

                by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:02:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Your false dichotomy is showing (4.00)
              I didn't realize progressives had to choose between being Zionist and being Anti-Israel.  I'm glad you eliminated all that confusing middle ground stuff, who needs nuance anyway?

              Thinking Israel has no right to put up a wall in the occupied territory, or allow (encourage) Jewish settlers to build walled compounds there is hardly anti-Israel.

              I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

              by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  most of these comments (none)
                are nowhere near the middle ground you speak of.  They are flat-out anti-Israel - the main poster calls himself antizionist, does he not? Please let's not be disingenuous, we both know there is plenty of unvarnished anti-Israel sentiment on the left.  That is what I am talking about.

                Personally, I am for a two-state solution and for Israel giving back most of the West Bank and dismantling the settlements, as a matter of fact.  I think most American Jews feel that way, and many Israelis do too.  

                I would disagree with you about the wall, and I think if you lived in Israel yourself, and had lived through your  neighbors, or even your own friends and family members, being killed or crippled just because they got on the wrong bus, you might see it as a necessary evil until a better solution is found.  There is such a thing as a necessary evil, and that is how I view the wall for right now.  

                Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

                by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:08:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My experience with American Jews ... (4.00)
                  ...including colleagues and friends and compatriots on the picket line and other activism over 40 years is that you're right about their views regarding Israel. A longtime colleague worked for years for a two-state solution before Oslo, when Israeli law forbade any contact with the PLO on pain of prison.

                  From many critics, however, I am sad to say that blasts against alleged "leftist anti-Israel" types take up more pixels than a realistic discussion of how to bring justice into an exceedingly unjust situation.

                  Which is not to say there aren't such types who deserve the blasts. But how about we get to the meat of the situation:

                  How do the refugees get dealt with fairly? If they aren't going to be allowed back into the places their families lived in 1948 and 1967, then what compensation will they be given?

                  If only some of the West Bank settlements are to be given up, what allowances will be made for the land that has been taken?

                  How will the Jerusalem conundrum be resolved?

                  How will Arab Israelis finally be allowed to become full citizens instead of being trapped in the second tier situation they now find themselves?

                  Et cetera.

                  •  The problem is that (none)
                    while "progressive" supporters of Israel may wish for a fair two-state solution, what most of them actually do is oppose any US effort to put effective pressure on Israel.  

                    Look at the issue of settlements in the occupied territories.  There is no upside to the US for our tacit support for this practice. You can even make a case that it's bad for Israel. But has there ever been perceptible political pressure from "progressive" Jews to stop this practice, or to support US politicians who oppose it?  

                    This is a fact. The Israeli lobby supports whatever Israel wants to do.

                    •  As a progressive supporter of Israel (none)
                      I'd like to know what exactly you mean by the quotes around the word "progressive"?  No doubt you can make sweeping statements like this because you'd rather tell us what we believe than listen to us.  You are offensive.
                  •  A Start (none)

                    Who designed the intelligent designer?

                    by deano on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:29:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Equating the terms (4.00)
                  Anti-Zionist and Anti-Israel has been dealt with above.  In short, it does not wash.

                  Israel would not be unlawful in building walls along the 1949 borders.  States are not required to have undefended borders.  But you are arguing that the ends justify the means.  I can certainly see that the walls reduce the number of fatalities, but they also punish innocent Palestinians for the sins of others.  

                  I am against the teaching of evolution in schools. I am also against widespread literacy and the refrigeration of food.

                  by Scientician on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:45:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Your first comment made no sense (none)
              but this comment:

              At least 90% of (Jewish Americans) would NEVER vote for any Presidential candidate who is avowedly anti-Zionist. . . The chances of a Democrat winning the White House without strong Jewish support are zero.  Period.

              while exaggerated, does reflect a dilemma faced by  the Democratic party.

              The country can't end the "War on Terror" without changing its policies in the Middle East, including its automatic support for Israel. Yet the national Democratic party, which should be a voice for peace and moderation in foreign policy, can't really be such because Israel supports a hard US line in the Middle East.

              I'm convinced that Democrats would have put up much more resistance to Bush's invasion of Iraq were it not for the fact that Israel wanted it to happen.  

            •  meh .. (none)
              I am a Zionist, in the traditional sense .. qualification: this does NOT mean Isreali settlers occupying land that is not rightfully theirs.

              Zionism is not racism. It is a belief in a democratic religious State, just as Norway {for example} is a 'Christian nation'.

              I believe that Israel has the right to exist, and should have the ability to defend itself.

              While I agree with the same basic premises concerning the situation, your rhetoric is poisonous and self-defeating, you invite ridicule upon yourself by making outrageous statements.

              It's sort of stupid.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:13:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. (none)
            The total ignorance of the facts demonstrated by
            Markusd is utterly depressing to anyone who hopes to see a just and lasting settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

            by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:39:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  okay, that's just ridiculous (4.00)
          You actually believe that the Palestinian people "would rather live in poverty and squalor "? That has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read.

          The Palestinian people have been poorly served by both their leadership and by organizations like Hamas, but to accuse the millions of Palestinians of all wanting to "take back every inch" of Israel is not only racist, not only idiotic, but isn't borne out by recent history.

          When Arafat and Rabin signed the Oslo Accords, and the first steps were being taken to achieve peace, the Palestinian people were ecstatic. For a time, terrorist attacks all but stopped. Their economy was improving. There was real hope there.

          You think the Palestinian people would rather "live in squalor" than live with the hope they once had, and hopefully can still achieve? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and hope that maybe you just haven't thought this through.

          -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

          by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:37:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will ignore the insult (none)
            How about if we try to discuss an issue without insulting each other -- that style of debate seems more appropriate to freerepublic than here, doesn't it?

            I don't think what I wrote is stupid at all, I think it states accurately the choice that the Palestinians have made - and let's remember, they CHOSE their leaders in a democratic election, including the totally corrupt Arafat, who has stolen billions from them.  Do you question the accuracy of that statement as well?

            You wrote: "When Arafat and Rabin signed the Oslo Accords, and the first steps were being taken to achieve peace, the Palestinian people were ecstatic."

            Really?  That doesn't match my recollection of the history at all, although I won't say that it is "stupid".  I just think it's dead wrong!

            If the Palestinians were so eager for peace, why did Arafat reject the Barak offer without even making a counter-offer?  Is Bill Clinton entitled to an opinion on that, by the way? He believed the failure of that deal was mostly Arafat's fault, as documented below and in many other places:.

            http://www.library.cornell.edu/...

            "At the same time, Malley reports that Clinton was troubled by Palestinian unwillingness to respond to some of the far-reaching ideas he and Barak put on the table. Clinton and his peace team were looking for Arafat to offer counterproposals so the Israeli desire for a deal could be tested. But Arafat and his advisers were paralyzed by their fear of being tricked, as well as by divisions and intrigue within their team, according to the article.

            The article describes Clinton lashing out at Abu Alaa, a chief Palestinian negotiator, for refusing to bargain over a map proposed as a part of a solution: "Don't simply say to the Israelis that their map is no good. Give me something better!" When Abu Alaa demurred, Clinton stormed out. "I won't have the United States covering for negotiations in bad faith. Let's quit!"

            Near the end of the summit, Clinton rebuked Arafat: "If the Israelis can make compromises and you can't, I should go home. You have been here 14 days and said no to everything. These things will have consequences. Failure will end the peace process. . . . Let's let hell break loose and live with the consequences."

            At the close of Camp David, a frustrated Clinton blamed Arafat for missing a chance for a historic deal, breaking a pledge to the Palestinian leader that he would not be faulted if the summit failed."

            Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

            by markusd on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:53:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bill Clinton was in the tank to the Israeli lobby. (4.00)
              The Marc Rich pardon at the end of his presidency exposed a corner of that. Clinton was the most pro-Israeli President in history until Bush came along.
              •  Marc Rich was about campaign $ (none)
                your comment lacks substance.  Why the assumption that American Jew = likudnik?  It's prevalent and troubling.

                Why not address the history just described?

                Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

                by soyinkafan on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:47:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is a late response (none)
                  but better late than never.

                  Yes, "Marc Rich was about campaign$".  That's exactly the point. Supporters of Israel are predominant among the largest donors to national Democratic campaigns. That's one of the reasons why Democrats almost never criticize Israel.  Denise Rich, Marc Rich's ex-wife, was a huge donor who pressed Clinton for the pardon.

                  Other parties who pressed Clinton for the pardon included Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel and many other Israeli officials. Clinton mentioned this in his statement justifying the pardon.

                  Why the assumption that American Jew = likudnik?  It's prevalent and troubling.

                  What's odd is your assumption that I considered Rich to be a "likudnik". What seems to underlie this is a presumption that no American could possibly object to supporters of the Israeli Labor party having influence in Washington.  

                  Why not address the history just described?

                  One can't do better than link to the article by Robert Malley and Hussein Agha upon which markusd's very selective quote was based. This is how the article begins:

                  Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors

                  In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak's unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat's uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.

                  As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.

                  For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit--Arafat--rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.

                  It's ironic that markusd tried to use a description of that article precisely to "offer up a single, convenient culprit--Arafat".    

                   

            •  I wasn't insulting you... (none)
              I studiously avoided doing so. I insulted your statements. I avoided calling you names, though my inner hothead really wanted to.

              If you're going to blame the entire Palestinian poplulation en masse because they "chose" their leadership, then I guess by your broad, sweeping logic all 300 million Americans are responsible for the invasion of Iraq, torture, Gitmo, Abu Grahib, extraordinary rendition... etc.

              Look, the Intifada started in `87; immediately after the Oslo Accords signing, it stopped. It didn't pick up again until after Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock. During the period immediately after the Oslo signing, there was economic develop in the occupied territories, and life started improving slowly for Palestinians in general.

              If you read some of my other comments on this thread, you'll see that I give the lion's share of the blame for the breakdown of the peace process to Arafat. He most definitely fucked up at Camp David, as you say. But that was almost seven years after Oslo. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the point I was making.

              And the point I was making was that saying that the Palestinian people, as a group, would choose to live in poverty rather than live side by side in peace with Israel is breathtakingly stupid, not to mention racist. And I stand by that.

              Note: I'm saying the statement is breathtakingly stupid, not you. I don't even know you. I'm sure you're a good egg.

              -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

              by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:14:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Clinton (none)
              His wife was also running for senator in New York at the time.
          •  Actually, if you look at the statistics (none)
            terrorist attacks went up after Oslo (the three months from Oslo to the end of the year saw almost twice the terrorist incidents against Israel as the preceding nine months) - it really went down only in 1999-2000 (unitl October 2000)
        •  No, it's NOT "that simple" (4.00)
          ... because all it takes is ONE person, on either side, who doesn't agree and who performs a terrorist act that sets the other side off.

          There are some, a relative few, Palestinians who hold the hopeless dream of taking back every inch of Israel. There are some, I hope a relative few, Israelis who hold the dream of eliminating all Palestinians from Israel and the occupied West Bank.

          I say I hope a relative few of the latter, but I have met a hell of a lot of them who don't have any problem with genocide (yes, really) as long as it's the Israelis carrying it out against the Palestinians.

          Unfortunately, all there needs to be is one -- a Palestinian teenager with a suicide bomb on a bus, or a Jewish zealot who shoots up a mosque -- and the other side says "see, 'they' broke the cease-fire!" and they're at each other again.

          You make it too simple, and you also make it ONLY the Palestinians who have to be reasonable. But then, you've already indicated that you have a black-and-white world view.

          •  you mean like ONE person (none)
            from Hamas?

            Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.

            Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

            source:  
            http://www.upi.com/...

            (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

            by Florida Democrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:50:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OR one Israeli... (none)
              like the guy who killed Rabin. Or whoever makes the decision to bulldoze entire dwellings of Palestinians because someone in their family may have been a suicide bomber. Which in turn inspires another dozen hopeless Palestinian kids to turn toward violence. Perpetuating one fucked up Circle of Life.

              As I've said often before, plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

              -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

              by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:36:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  At the time (none)
              Israel was aiding Hamas (or rather its predecessor) it was considered the more moderate organization and was largely nonviolent.
        •  that post is a gross insult to the large (none)
          majority of Palestinians {and Israelis, too}, sorry.

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:05:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  it's a sorta, somewhat valid point (none)
        you're right that nycdemocrat oversimplifies, but there is more than enough blame on both sides that peace hasn't been achieved in Israel/Palestine. Yassir Arafat saw the potential for peace, blinked, and walked away. And Hamas's intractability does no service to the Palestinian cause.

        Somehow, the endless cycle of eye-for-an-eye violence and oppression has got to stop. The Palestinian people need a Nelson Mandela/Martin Luther King.

        Like nycdemocrat implies, if all factions of the Palestinians decided to unilaterally disarm and cease all acts of violence, that would put the ball square in Israel's court.

        -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

        by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:28:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And who can control the extremists on either side? (none)
          A complete ceasefire is an impossible condition to meet.  One militant settler or one Palestinian bomber then controls the fate of all.

          It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

          by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:47:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  palestionuian extremists ? (none)
            the fiction you creta here is that it is palestinian extremists commiting those atrocities.

            Unfortunately they are well within the mainstream of palestinian society, not only tolerated but supported by it. I think Israel would be pretty understanding of isolated acts of extremist terrorists, as long as palestinensian society would credibly denounce and prosecute them.

            How ? Well, for a start, outlaw terrorist organizations like Fatah and Hamas, and jail all their members. Then seize arms from all non governement forces. And the poulation does not support terrorists and instead reports their activities to the authorities, so they can and will be arrested and prosecuted.

            If all this happened, credibly, sustained, and over some time, Israeli reaction would look quite different - as would international support.

            •  So, millions of Palestinians are extremists? (none)
              And does Israel bear no responsibility for the rage that leads the population to support terrorist acts?

              What you suggest would probably seem to the Palestinians like unilateral disarmament during a time of open hostilities.  Psychologically, many will see it as a surrender, with only a hope that the victor, Israel, will be generous.  Are there no parallel gestures that the Israelis can make to make the process less one-sided?  Perhaps by withdrawing military protection from illegal settlements, or prosecuting military or settler abuses more openly and vigorously?

              It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

              by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:01:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  As long as (none)
                Palestinians see terrorist muder of civilans as legitimate means of warfare, there is no solution for this conflict available anyway.  

                What puzzles me most is that many people get (correctly) enraged by horrible war crimes by any other nation, but when it comes to Palestinians, that suddenly becomes acceptable.

                Isn't the basic idea of war crimes that you may not even commit them out of military necessity ? That you must, in the end, rather accept losing your particular war than resorting to those crimes ?

                And, if that is true, what actually does justify those crimes by Palestinians, even if you consider their situation as a legitimate war ?

                •  Who says that I, or most people for that matter... (4.00)
                  ...find the atrocities committed by the Palestinian terrorists "acceptable"?  I can talk about the cause and effect here without finding the violence acceptable.

                  Really, I'm not sure I see the point of discussing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from the standpoint of "legitimate" conflict.  It's an illegal occupation to which the responses are also illegal.  Getting into the moral outrage whatever my personal feelings regarding specific episodes of it just leads to endless litanies of grievances from both sides.  It doesn't seem to move the discussion forward towards solutions.

                  It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

                  by martianchronic on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:48:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I've never heard... (4.00)
                  anyone say that suicide bombing is "acceptable." Most anyone I know who is sympathetic to the Palestinians' cause still finds such violence deplorable.

                  But... when you are occupied by a force much greater than you, diplomacy has failed you, you have no military, and are utterly, utterly desperate, what do you do? Both sides find themselves in an ugly circle of violence - the Israelis carry out their part of the violence with guns, tanks, and uniformed soldiers; The Palestinians with rocks, homemade bombs, and kids who see no future for themselves.

                  Both sides commit acts that are heinous, but only one side has any real power. You'd be well served by trying to look at this from the viewpoint of both sides, not just that of the Israelis.

                  -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

                  by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:55:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly right. (4.00)
            People who say the violence has to stop before there can be peace are really saying they don't want peace, because they are willing to allow the chance of peace to be destroyed by any extremist act. The one thing we know about extremists is that they personally profit from violence. They don't want it to end, of course they don't. Don't listen to what they say, that's only for domestic consumption. Look at the incentives. They gain status as leaders, political power amongst their people, and often a lot of money, too.

            The only way extremists have ever been deprived of their power to keep the violence coming, is when moderate people on both sides finally agree that they are determined to make peace with each other no matter what the extremists on the other side choose to do.

            Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

            by Canadian Reader on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:10:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Moderate people ? (none)
              When you murder their children with bombs, there are no moderate people.

              I'd argue violence has to stop because as long as terrorist muders on Israeli civilians are rampant, there is no democratic majority to be found for relaxation of the security regime , and this in turn is what enrages Palestinians, as evidenced by this diary.

              Yes, there are other sources of conflict, among them a complete delusional approach by Palestinians (right to return, Jerusalem) and Israelis (Erez Israel, the current ideas for fractionalized Palestinian state) as to possible peaceful outcomes of this conflict.

              But currently this is not about these, even if most people still think so. If this conflict continues the way it has been run for the last few years, it will end in the long run in the complete destruction of the Palestinian people, either by mass expulsion or genocide. And it is the Palestinian side that holds the key to break out of this course. I'd hope they use it.

              •  Why is your concern only with Israeli children? (none)
                What of the even greater numbers of Palestinian children murdered by both Israeli Security forces and the settlers.

                Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

                by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:53:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  is there ? (none)
                  is there such a number ? My perception is that if you discount those killed as combatants (that includes rock throwers and the like) and those killed without intent (stray bullets etc.) there aren't actually that many cases).

                  Can you point me to a source credibly arguing otherwise ?

                  •  every time... (none)
                    there is a suicide bombing or other violent act, some kind of retribution is carried out, and Palestinians not involved with the violence die.

                    And you actually equate children throwing rocks with soldiers with guns and grenade launchers and bulldozers? Wow. Fair fight.

                    -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

                    by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:39:51 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  There it is (none)
                According to you, it's the Palestinians who "hold the key" to whether the Israelis end up practicing "mass expulsion or genocide".  Mass expulsion and genocide are pretty big crimes. One would normally expect the perpetrator to have some responsibility, but apparently not in the case of Israel.

                Actually, the US has held the key for a long time. Israel has gotten so powerful and so entrenched in the occupied territories that it may be hard for us to use it. But we could start by moving closer to the international consensus on the issue.

                •  I don't have much patience for (none)
                  "Look what you made me do!" That's a wife-beater's excuse.

                  I won't accept it from individuals who can't control their tempers, and I certainly won't accept it from entire nations.

                  Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

                  by Canadian Reader on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:11:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  That's not true at all (none)
            Gandhi and MLK did very well even in the context of people from the same background perpetrating acts of violence. It's simply false that one person can undermine a legitimate non-violent movement. It's pessimistic, but worse, it's an excuse to not take that noble, but difficult route to peace.

            And I agree with the previous poster that the Palestinians would be best served by such a figure, even if not a leader, then as a viable political entity - more viable than Nusseibeh, who I admire.

            Suicide bombing does nothing to advance the Palestinian cause - it's morally degrading, and I wish for everyone's sake that it would end. Non-violent protest, however, I think would be tremendously effective in forcing Israel to meet the Palestinians at least halfway, and take away their excuses, both in terms of military security and in the eyes of the world of dragging their heels. It would also be great for people everywhere - after all, the Palestinians just happen to be the ones on TV - there are a lot of people out there suffering just as badly as they are who the world doesn't really care about.

            •  Ghandi and MLK were different... (4.00)
              ... because they were NOT dealing with a power that had their own sense of victimhood to justify their opression.
              •  That's a convenient excuse (none)
                If a Palestinian were to emerge that renounced violence and had a following, he would have the moral high ground. Whatever Israel's claims, whether they are justified or not, it would become very difficult for them to deny Palestinians their rights. As it is, in an armed conflict, it is very easy, and very easy to rationalize, both in front of themselves and the international community.

                Let's put it another way: terror won't win this for the Palestinians. They thought it would, but it has been a huge mistake. Whatever costs they've inflicted on the Israelis, they've inflicted on themselves much more, and have made little, if not negative political progress.

                Non-violence is a difficult undertaking and it would take a miracle to pull it off among the Palestinians given the current conditions. But then if a miracle is going to happen somewhere, there's no better place on earth for it.

            •  Nonviolent protests (none)
              are definitely the way to go. Palestinians have amassed a tremendous amount of international sympathy for their plight in spite of the hundreds of innocent people they have murdered in kamikaze attacks, etc. Even if everything else remained the same, exclusize use of nonviolent methods would improve their position vis à vis Israel to a very large degree. (Willingness to agree as a people with solutions based on compromise with Israel would help, too.)

              As Ghandi & King demonstrated more than convincingly, when violent protestors are met with violence, they lose; when nonviolent protestors are met with violence, they win.

              Greg Shenaut

            •  Bingo (none)
              Cease-fire=non-violent resistance. Resistance without bloodshed would bring Israel to the table immediately.

              So, this is how you make a signature.

              by nycdemocrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:44:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  division of responsibility (none)
      Why do the Palestinians have to declare the cease-fire first?  Honestly.  Why not Israel?

      Here's my thinking.  Israel is an established state.   They need only call an end to state-sponsored violence, whereas the Palestinians have a looser, presumably less controllable grouping of people to get to cease fire.  But more, I believe we can and should expect better of supposedly democratic, established governments than we do of more loosely-organized, unstable governments or of collections of people.  Human beings are fallible and often violent.  I believe we should work to overcome that as individuals, as members of societies and cultures, but I also believe that the best route to overcoming that is democratic government that, when some of us are weak and want to commit violence or get revenge, rises above those individual impulses by calling on the best of the collective.  Israel as a state has failed horribly at that.  So while there is violence on both sides, I see Israel as more culpable because they have greater resources with which to do better.

      •  ironically... (none)
        and somewhat perversely, it's probably better for the oppressor to renounce violence. If Hamas were to renounce violence and declare a cease-fire tomorrow, they'd immediately hold the moral high ground. It would then be up to Israel to make concessions toward a fair establishment of a Palestinian state.

        Israel can always use the excuse of self-defense as long as they think there's a credible possibility of a Palestinian terrorist attack. Take away the credible possibility, and you take away their excuse.

        -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

        by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:45:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not in this case (none)
        Because there are elements among the Palestinians (Hamas, Islamic Jihad), who advocate Israel's destruction, Israel cannot cease-fire first. That would be asking it to commit suicide.

        Second, to be blunt, Israel won. The winning side has the luxury of waiting to see a white flag before it stops shooting. Whether we like it or not, that's the reward for winning.

        So, this is how you make a signature.

        by nycdemocrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:48:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  warped definitions (none)
        That isnt a question who first declares it. The question is, does it hold. Israel has participated in ceasefires, but they never held.

        And as long as you accept Palestinian war crimes like purposeful murder of civilans as legitimate, they never will hold. You assume equality where there is none. Of course Israel will need to be able to prosecute those crimes regardless of ceasefires - this will only stop if the Palestinian society starts effectively prosecuting them themselves.  

      •  Another reason to give (none)
        Palestine statehood...then negotiate. How can there be a cease fire with so many factions? If they had a state they could start rebuilding instead of fighting an occupier.

        Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

        by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:41:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It takes two to tango (4.00)
      .. this dance of death is beneficial to parties on both sides of the equation. That is why it continues.

      Simplifying it by saying 'if any only the Palestinians' is a dodge, an argument that is useful for extremists. In fact, on the Arab side, they say exactly the same thing.  

      Let us not forget there are criminal right wing extemist elements within the 'Zionist' Israeli community - like Baruch Goldstein {remember him?} and Yigal Amir {remember him?} who await any opportunity to sabotage the peace effort. Hundreds, perhaps thousands like them exist with extremist settler and religious viewpoints.

      It's an insult to the overwhelming majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, who truly want peace to simplify and say it's "If the Palestinian people want peace, all they have to do is say yes".

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:01:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  they stole people land (none)
      and continue to steal it. Good reason to hate them, you think?

      What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

      by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:40:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wrong (none)
        There is never a good reason to hate a people collectively.

        So, this is how you make a signature.

        by nycdemocrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:52:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  and to make a similar (none)
        idiotic statement ..

        they blow up schoolbusses .. that's a good enough reason to "hate them", isn't it?

        What total crap.
        Get a clue.

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:16:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No (none)
        It's a terrible reason, because if you go down that path then you're in a world of trouble. Is someone else killing your family a good reason to hate? By your metric it is. Then everyone hates everyone and the killing and stealing continues.

        Your view is simply very shortsighted. Sadly, most people are shortsighted. Occasionally we have farsighted leaders, very rarely, but it sometimes happens. Until then we're stuck with people like you who find reason to hate everything but hatred. It's alright Ma, it's only thousands of people dying.

    •  They just tried that last year (4.00)
      Virtually all Palestinian militant groups held to it from February, 2005 until the start of 2006. Hamas and Fatah still hold to it. Article on the start here http://www.guardian.co.uk/... and on the (partial) end here http://www.haaretzdaily.com/...

      While this peacefire was ongoing, the wall continued to wind it way through Palestinian land and the IDF continued its "targeted killings" policy and a huge new checkpoint was built in the wall well into the West Bank between Ramalla and Jerusalem. The total surrounding of Qalqilia, and with it over half the water supply in the West Bank, by the wall  was successfully completed. Several thousand more legal and illegal settlement dwellings were built in the West Bank, while 7000 settlers were removed from Gaza.

      So what should the Palestinians do next to prove they want peace? One thing I think they should do is stop the stupid homemade missle crews in Gaza, as that is just giving the IDF an excuse to respond.

      As for non-violent protests, they are having regular protests over the wall in Bilin, here is a good article on it: http://direland.typepad.com/... (caution:author is gay) and another here http://www.palsolidarity.org/...

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:13:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Virtually all? (none)
        Hamas and  Fatah held on to it, largely (with some notable exceptions). OTOH, Islamic Jihad and the smaller factions continously  mounted attacks against Israel throughout that period.
        •  Five suicide attacks in 11 months (none)
          SUICIDE ATTACKS IN ISRAEL  
          5 Dec: Five die, Netanya
          26 Oct: Six die, Hadera market
          28 Aug: 20 hurt, Beersheba
          12 July: Two die, Netanya
          25 Feb: Five die, 50 hurt, outside Tel Aviv nightclub

          From http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

          That's pretty quiet. I agree that Islamic Jihad is a continuing problem, and the tit-for-tat between the IDF targeting their leaders and Islamic Jihads' "responses" is repsonsible for most of the bombings I listed. But they are extremists that will be shunned by mainstream Palestinians if and when the Palestinians feel like they are getting a fair shake.

          Right now, they see the ongoing settlement construction, the ever growing number of outposts, the wall being built between their homes and their livelihoods, and Israel's continuing making of promises that are soon broken, whether the handing over of towns to the Palestinians that was supposed to happen last spring, or the convoys between Gaza and the West Bank that have been promised since 1993, that were promised directly to Condi Rice in December, and continue to be put off for "security reasons".

          The common peoples lives have gotten much worse rather than better under Abbas, and so rejectionist groups like Jihad have some cover. Things like what is happening to Qalqilia are simply not acceptable to any population, and simply can't be done if you truly want peace.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 10:52:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You ignored (none)
            the almost daily barrage of Qassams out of Gaza, as well as the unsuccessful attempts at suicide bombings, of which there were quite a few.
            •  Qassam timeline (none)
              From Jewish Agency for Israel, here http://www.jafi.org.il/...

              2005
              Jan 17--2 Qassams at Sderot, 1 at a kibbutz
              June 7--Qassam "rockets" at Sderot
              Sept. 23--"dozens" of rockets at Sderot

              Not exactly an "almost daily barrage."

              I had a hard time finding an unsuccessful suicide bomber report. Can you inform me of one?

              You must remember that an occupied population is entitled to fight its occupier under international law.

              "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

              by bewert on Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 06:52:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here (none)
                A 21-year-old would-be suicide bomber was detained by security forces at Gaza's Erez crossing Monday morning.

                The story was only cleared for publication later Monday.

                Gaza resident Wafa Samir Ibraim Bas, 21 was carrying more than 10 kilograms (more than 22 pounds) of explosives and was picked up thanks to electronic anti-terror means utilized at the crossing.

                Army officials said the woman surrendered only after attempting to detonate the charge at the crossing itself.

                Ynet

                The IDF announced Saturday that army and police forces thwarted a major suicide terror attack in central Israel.

                Security forces arrested an 18 year-old would-be suicide bomber on Friday. Jihad Shahada, a Fatah member, infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, and was caught in the Negev desert.

                Later, the bomber's handler was arrested in Jaffa, where his estranged wife resides. The handler, a 25 year-old Palestinian from Gaza, was named as Salam Taavat.

                Ynet

                Here's another succesful attack after the article in your BBC link came out.

                The suicide bomber who killed an Israel Defense Forces officer and two Palestinians at an army checkpoint near Tul Karm yesterday was apparently planning to blow himself up at one of the many children's events taking place in Tel Aviv during this week's Hanukkah holiday, army sources said.

                Had the bomber not been stopped at the checkpoint, the attack would have been far more deadly, said the sources.

                Three soldiers and seven Palestinians were wounded in the bombing. Of the soldiers, one was seriously wounded, while the others suffered only light injuries

                Also

                During what has been named "the year of the lull" - which officially started on January 22 - 2,990 terror attacks were reported, and an increase in the number of Qassam and mortar shell attacks was registered as well.

                According to the report, the Shin Bet arrested 160 would-be suicide bombers in the West Bank in 2005.

                Ynet

                There were others, but unfortunately the links I have are dead.

                As for Qassams - your list, for some reason, is only listing a few incidents.

                Furthermore, 2005 saw a growth in rocket attacks in comparison to 2004: 377 rockets landed in Israel in 2005, compared to only 309 the previous year. The number of attacks in the West Bank also increased over the past year, with 379 attacks carried out compared to 288 in 2004.

                (Same source)

                I have to go now, but I can give you some reports of specific incidents later if you want

                •  Two is not very many in 11 months (none)
                  I wouldn't exactly call that widespread attempts at suicide bombings that were unsuccessful. Although the article states that 160 "would be" suicide bombers in the West Bank, I find that hard to believe considering how well publicised are any actual captures of suicide bombers, and how few publicized incidents actually exist.

                  The successful suicide bombing was in Palestine, not Israel, and directed at soldiers manning a checkpoint. Are you claiming that, in contravention to international law, Palestinians have no right to fight their attackers?

                  Your own source states calls 2005 "the year of the lull", stating:

                  A drop of 60 percent in the number of Israelis killed in terror attacks was registered in 2005, as well as a decrease of 30 percent in the number of Israelis injured during such strikes, a report published Monday by the Shin Bet revealed.
                  <snip>
                  The decline in the number of attacks stemmed mainly from the IDF's success in thwarting or impeding them beforehand, the report stated.

                  Now this seems very disingenuous to me: the major Palestinian groups declare a ceasefire, the number of attacks goes down so much that it is called the "year of the lull", yet no credit is given to said groups for this. Rather, the credit is given to the IDF's efforts, while it meanwhile states that there remain three major areas of weakness:

                  The inspection at roadblocks and checkpoints; the lack of a security fence in the area surrounding Jerusalem and south of Hebron; and the assistance given to terrorists by illegal aliens.

                  Meanwhile, settlement activities continued apace, the wall was extended around sensitive areas near East Jerusalem, Qalqilya, and elsewhere, and, in an action that actually may benefit the Palestinians if they ever get control over their borders and airspace and the long-promised corridor between Gaza and the West Bank is finally put in place, the settlers were evacuated from Gaza. Of course, many of these settlers then moved to the West Bank.

                  Why can't Israel simply pull back to the Green Line? That leaves only 22% of the land for the Palestinians. Is having 78% of the land not enough for Israel? Must it keep taking more? Why does it not understand that by taking and taking, it is creating enemies that will and do attack it? And that such attacks, especially within the Green Line, are legal under international law?

                  If someone continued to steal your property by lieing, cheating, and force, would you just walk away? Or would you fight back?

                  Here is a link for you to read, a story by a religious Jew named Joe Berman. He is a man who I believe follows the message of Judaism much more faithfully than do the settlers, and had reason to think about it, as he puts it:

                  This past Chanukah was extremely painful. This year I was thinking a lot about a little-known fact; historically, the story of Chanukah is mainly about a civil war between two groups of Jews. It's a story of Jew-on-Jew violence and a struggle over what it meant to be Jewish. My recent experience helping with the Palestinian olive harvest pitted me against my fellow Jews in a way I've never experienced before, which made me think again about the holiday as a story of a civil war and about the struggle over what it means to be Jewish.

                  The story is here http://icahd.org/...

                  Do you think the actions of the settlers in this story, on top of there simple physical existence in the West Bank, are in any way encouraging peace?

                  Or do you think, as I do, that Mr. Berman's actions are more in line with an actual peace process?

                  "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                  by bewert on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 11:37:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It was two (none)
                    examples - as noted, there were other cases. And in my experience the arrest of "would-be" suicide bomber tends to be ill-publicised in outside of the Israeli press, so I consider the "160 captured" quote to be credible.

                    The successful suicide bombing was in Palestine, not Israel, and directed at soldiers manning a checkpoint. Are you claiming that, in contravention to international law, Palestinians have no right to fight their attackers?

                    If you read the article I provided, the attack was intended to taqke place in Tel Aviv - he detonated because he was stopped at the checkpoint. And even assuming that Palestinians have a right to attack the Israeli military - they still have to do so in a manner consistent with international law - a condition these attacks don't fulfill (I should also note that a lot of those I've seen supporting the Palestinians' right to fight also seem to object to those same fighters being subject to the drawbacks international law places o combatants - especially their loss of the rigt of noncombatant immunity).

                    My source calls it the "year of the lull" because there was a drop in casualties. That's not the same as a drop in attacks. And as the same article states, Qassam attacks went up - it lists 377 attacks (and I'm not sure it's a full list). On average, that's over one attack per day. Even taking into account that most attacks consist of 1-3 rockets, that's more than two attacks per week.

  •  it sounds like... (none)
    an already bad situation was being turned into a potential disaster by a man who doesn't have either the disposition or mental faculties (or both) to do the job he's been assigned to.

    The occupation, and the checkpoints involved, sounds like a horribly oppresive and degrading situation. At least, if the checkpoints are staffed by patient, stable soldiers, then potential tragedies like this one can be minimized. But put a sadist with a hair-trigger temper in a position like that, and... it's a miracle no one was killed.

    -8.25, -6.26 ...it ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

    by snookybeh on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:13:38 AM PST

  •  This is the key .... (none)
    ...issue in the world today.  Thanks for your intimate view of what we all suspect in our hearts to be an unfair and cruel existence especially for the Palistinians.
  •  I am new and not allowed (none)
    to recommend yet. Thanks for writing this.
  •  thanks for the diary (none)
    bastards bastards everywhere. I recommend the recent movie The Constant Gardener a story of activism and the same blatant disregard for the humanity of others but in Africa involving drug companies and the British.

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:24:57 AM PST

    •  I saw that last night.. (none)
      It was good, but I thought they tried to do "too much".  If they focused on the plot line you mentioned, it would have been excellent, but they also had to throw Justin into all sorts of extra situations to point out the other plights of Africa (famine, slavery, banditry, etc.).  

      Still a very good movie, top 10 of the year.

      •  I agree - flawed but good (none)
        My first reaction after viewing it was criticism then I upgraded it the next morning over coffee. Things often have to sink in with me. 24 hours is usually enough.

        Here's an incredible film I just saw about urban class warfare in Venezuela due to the destruction of the middle class:

        Secuestro Express.

        No reservations there.

        And another I saw this week which I consider the best of a bunch:

        Hustle and Flow.

        Both Secuestro and Hustle and Flow are by 'new' filmakers. They've done stuff but these films are their first breakout movies.

        What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

        by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:36:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Count me as one... (none)
    Who thinks the wall may not be the worst idea in the world.  

    I spent quite a bit of time in college studying post-War Germany.  It was really quite interesting how the Berlin Wall, though it caused significant heartache among those personally affected (i.e. families split up, etc), significantly decreased the tension between the Eastern Bloc and the west.  Its construction led to a marked decrease in the small-scale conflicts that seemed to be leading to war.

    Perhaps something similar will happen with this wall, particularly since crossings will still be allowed.  Anything that decreases the level of terroism and deadly counter-strikes in that area has to help.  

    •  The wall is being built with (none)
      no consideration of Palestinians...see the video links posted above.

      Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

      by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:56:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All I'm going to say (none)
      is that if Israel resorts to citing the Berlin Wall as a precedent that justifies their wall, they are doomed in the public relations battle.  
  •  Thank you (none)
    It's been far too long since someone has posted a fair, even-handed analysis on this situation. If only the world would realize that Israelis are a bunch of racists who want nothing more than to humiliate innocent people, then this situation would get resolved a lot quicker. But we haven't been getting the message across.

    Diaries like this help, but if they don't even listen when we blow up little children with bombs, then I worry. I think the problem is that we're still focusing too much on the problem of finding a peaceful and just solution to a problem of two peoples. That's far too idealistic. What we should really be doing is taking anecdotes out of all context and playing up how racist and evil they are. After all, people around the world see George W Bush as representative of the US, and I didn't vote for him; so why shouldn't one deranged Israeli soldier be representative of Israel. Peace.

    •  I'm following Meteor Blades' suggestion (none)
      that we not down-rate on Israel-Palestine, because I want to do anything to enable us to have civil dialogue on this most vexing and contentious of issues among liberals.  But this comment really seeks to start a vicious, personal fight, so I want to register my disapproval.
      •  No it doesn't (none)
        it was meant ironically and intended to get people to stop and look at what they're saying and how they're saying it. Quite the opposite of what you're implying, but I assume you misread the ironic intent. Cheers.
      •  Yeah, the cynicism and hate on display... (none)
        ...in that comment was appalling.

        I mean this the epitomy of a complex issue.

        People who treat it like a football match deserve to be shunned.

        <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
        Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

        by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:04:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry? All Israelis are racist? (none)
      Please confine your generalisations to specifics.

      This one soldier is severely mentally impaired and racist to boot. But not all Israelis are racist. The majority just want to live in peace and be free of the conflict.  

    •  Racism (none)
      I agree with what you are trying to say Nussbaumski but this isn't one isolated incident. This type of behaviour goes on day in and day out. Racism exists on both sides but what is happening here is not disimilar to what went on in apartheid South Africa. The Palestinians are treated as a second class people - I think someone said 'lesser people' upthread. The racism is quite blatant, very often vocal and sometimes physical.

      My brother worked as a journalist in both Israel and the Occupied Territories and saw it for himself. He went there with a pro-Israeli mindset but came away shocked at the behaviour of both the Israeli Defence Forces and even worse the hardline settlers. He was equally appalled by acts of Palestinian terrorism but could at least begin to understand why they did what they did as an occupied people fighting for their freedom. He could not begin to understand how a people who have been subjected to as much suffering throughout history as the Jews could in turn inflict such suffering on another people.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

      by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:14:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isolated or not (none)
        Both sides have plenty not to be proud of. I'm sure your brother saw many of these things. Put in a different place, he would have seen other, equally atrocious things and would have come out with the opposite opinion.

        No one is trying to justify terrible behavior or terrible people, like this soldier is an example of, and not an isolated one. But to take things out of perspective, to not understand them in the historical, social, and political context, contributes little to the debate. Demonizing one side and beatifying the other is simply not an accurate or fair representation and just leads to the escalation of tensions.

        This should be about how do we improve the situation, not who can we blame. And then the blamed party justifies their actions by blaming in turn. And so on until Armageddon, which, if you listen to Pat Robertson, is on its way.

  •  This asshole soldier (none)
    sounds like he was on coke or something...

    why would ANYONE give someone like THAT a weapon?! That's what I'd like to know...

    •  and, obviously (none)
      thanks for the diary...I too have Palestinian friends...we've been out of touch for a while, but I still worry about them because they still have to cross a checkpoint to go to and from work each day.

      No one deserves to be treated like this...

  •  Riiight (3.36)
    It's Israeli apartheid.  Because Israelis ban the Palestinians from being doctors, lawyers, businessmen, or attending local school.  Oh, no, wait, that would be the Lebanese and the Egyptians.  Well, then, it must be the Israelis who had 20 years worth of opportunity to create a Palestinian state.  Oh, no, wait, that was the Jordanians and the Egyptians when they occupied Gaza and West Bank, and yet did nothing for the creation of Palestine.  Well, I know, it's Israelis who pick the most civilian (and preferably child-) rich targets to blow up.  Dang!  Again, wrong.  That would be the Palestinian terrorists blowing up pizzerias inside Israel proper.  Well, I know.  It must be the Israelis who forbid anyone but their ethnic majority from serving in the Knesset.  Nope, wrong again.  Arabs serve in the Israeli Knesset, but I don't recall any Jews serving in any of the legislative bodies of any Arab countries.  Ooooh, I know, Israelis ban entry for those who visited countries like Syria or Lebanon and/or imprison people who have done so.  Well, maybe not.  But Lebanon and Syria do deny entry and/or jail those who visited Israel.  But what the hell, we all know that Israelis are the racists and apartheid supporting goons.  We don't really need any facts, because we know.  :rolls eyes:
    •  Yeah. (3.00)
      I kind of thought the same thing. The diarist sounded like he had a chip on his shoulder.

      But he did say he was an activist. So that's kind of a given. I think he makes legitimate points about the problems inherent with security checkpoints in a combat zone. I have no reason to believe he is lying, though.

      But when he started with the Israeli apartheid stuff, my bullshit-o-meter started really going off. But I'll bet you that shit goes over great with those pretty young protestor chicks. Shit, I'll bet he gets laid all the time with that "Israeli Apartheid" line.

      To be fair, Israel does have an apalling human rights record, although I do give them credit for cleaning up their act in recent years. As we all should know, "we're not as bad as them" is not an acceptable excuse for that sort of thing.

      But Israel is not some barbaric nation, and the Jews do not habitually brutalize the Palestinians. The situation is a bit more complex than the diarist wishes to concede.

      The truth is, the Jews aren't really all that violent...

      they just rule the world by secretly controlling the media and all the worlds major governments through a massive global conspiracy backed by all their dirty Jew money.

      Yeah, I know. I'm terrible. Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

      "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

      by tricky dick on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:29:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So because Jordanians and the Egyptians (none)
      stole Palestine land...it's now ok for Israel? I think it's long over do to give Palestine statehood...NOW.

      Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

      by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:54:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And where doe it say that (4.00)
        ALL of West Bank and ALL of Gaza is Palestinian?  I don't remember such claims being made before 1967, which makes me think that these claims of recent vintage are opportunistic and merely designed to impugn Israel. Palestinians should have their own statehood (if for no other reason then to not burden Israel anymore) but I don't see any legal grounds to assert that all of West Bank, all of Gaza and easter Jersualem belong by right to Palestinians.  The amount of land ceded will be decided in negotiations and not through some strident absolutist statements that have no basis in law or in fact.
        •  You've made (part) of your ... (none)
          ...position clear. It's all the Palestinians fault (when it isn't the fault of other Arabs).

          But what is YOUR solution to discrimination against Arab Israelis? For Jerusalem? For the Palestinian refugees of '48 and '67? For the settlements?

          •  Pretty simple (none)
            Refugees get to resettle in the new state of Palestine once created.  There may be some program of compensation, but that's it. I don't even understand why that is an issue.  If Israel is sooooo racist, why would any of these refugees even want to go to live there?  Perhaps because they recognize that Israel is the best place to live in the region?  In any event, Palestinians go to Palestine if they want or stay where they are now if they want.  Israel may contribute money but otherwise, not their problem.

            Jerusalem stays the capital of Israel.  Palestinians may get (or technically keep because tehy already have it) control of their holy sites which could be given extra-territorial status.  The rest of Jerusalem stays Israeli if for no other reason then as compensation for having to endure 5 wars just for the right to survive.  (See Koninsberg as a precedent).

            What discrimination against Arab Israelis?  They have access to Israeli schools, passports, politics, pensions, etc.  Show me an Arab-majority country where the Jews are treated even remotely similar.

            •  NOT pretty simple (4.00)
              They might just want to live there because its their land to which in many cases they still hold the title deeds.

              Israel has no responsibility for Palestinian refugees..... I suggest you read Israeli documents that show it was their policy to drive the Palestinians out of their homes in 1948. Under international law Israel is very much responsible.

              Israeli discrimination. I suggest you look at Israeli planning policy which is repeatedly used to prevent Israeli Arabs from building new homes.
              If there is no discrimination why do equally qualified Arabs frequently receive lower wages than their Jewish counterparts.

              As for the boundaries established prior to 1948 and 1967 I suggest you refer to both international law and UN resolutions.

              Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

              by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:42:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Britain and the US... (none)
                ...never had any real legal right to create Israel in the first place.

                It was a move born out of pure and justified guilt.

                Doesn't make it any less wrong though...

                <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
                Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

                by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:57:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The State of Israel (none)
                  was created by the United Nations with the support of all the members of the Security Council and over 2/3 of the General Assembly.  And just so you know, the argument has a flip side.  If there was no right to create Israel, there was no right to create Palestine either.  kind of a package deal.

                  And in any event, water under the bridge.  that was 60+ years ago.

                  •  Water under the bridge is meaningless... (none)
                    ...in any debate about a dispute, where the person uttering it also validates either one of the percieved sides in said dispute.

                    Why is 60+ years ago "water under the bridge", but exactly 39 years ago is still relevant.

                    And don't tell me the UN decision wasn't almost entirely driven by the UK and the US.

                    <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
                    Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

                    by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:31:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because you have to (none)
                      deal with the realities of today.  But in aby event that was not my argument.  My argument was that

                      1.  If you want to rely on and apply the international law and UN resolutions to Israel, you must recognize that that same international law and the same UN created Israel.  So if that action was illegitimate, neither is any other action by the UN, which means Israel is not bound by any of it.

                      2.  If Israel is illegitimate, neither is Palestine created by the very same resolution.
              •  Many jews still hold title deeds (none)
                to the land they were expelled from in many Arab countries.  Majority of Palestinian refugees left because Egypt and Syria and Iraq promised "to throw the Jews into the sea" and asked Palestinians to leave lest they accidentally get hurt while the Jews arebeing killed.  And just because they have title deeds that is utterly meaningless.  Consider the land condemned under eminent domain.  Like I said, Israel will pay something, but that's it.  These people left and refused Israeli citizenship unlike other Arabs who stayed behind.  They have to live with the decisions they made.

                As for lower wages, societal discrimination (to the extent its there) is not the same as government discrimination.

                As to borders, the most relevant resolution is 242.  It specifically omits the word "all" in reference to the withdrawal from the territories.  Indeed that was the sticking point and a condition of passage.  So, the UN resolutions do not obligate Israel to withdraw from all territories.  Whatever resolutions the GA passed are not binding.

                •  Israeli Discrimination (none)
                  Jews expelled from Arab countries should be entitled to the restoration of their property or compensation.

                  As for the Palestinians you are correct many left voluntarily to avoid the fighting. However a sustantial proportion were deliberately ethnically cleansed to use the modern term. It was official policy approved by Ben Gurion.

                  As for discrimination you are not listening. Planning policy - that is government policy - is being used to prevent Israeli Arabs from building new homes. They are also prevented from living outside of designated areas. The unspoken intention is to force them to leave Israel. As for the issue of wages in most western countries there are laws enacted by their governments to prevent such blatant discrimination based on race or any other difference such as gender,etc.

                  Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

                  by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:26:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry that's nonsense (none)
                    Israeli Arabs, those who are citizens have full rights as much as Israeli Jews or Israeli Ethiopians or Armenians, or Druze.  There are no limits on where they live and what they do.  The work as doctors, lawyers, legislators, mayors, ministers, etc.  The "restrictions" is a deliberate lie.
                    •  I'm sorry ... (none)
                      ...but this comment There are no limits on where they live and what they do utterly ignores what lawyers and human rights groups (which include many Israeli Jews) have found on numerous occasions.
                      •  Show me a single Israeli Arab (none)
                        who was denied permission to pursue his profession or to practice his religion any way he wanted.  Compare to the way Jews are treated in Arab countries.  Rinse, repeat.
                        •  No (none)
                          Look, I am as passionate a Zionist as is to be found here at dKos, but this is simply untrue, and I don't know why you are arguing it.

                          When I lived in Ma'alot, I remember an Israeli Arab from Tarshicha whom I used to see at the pub regularly.  He loved reggae music, and owned a market in town.  When he was younger, he had been an antiques importer, but he had to end his business when delays and other problems bringing in goods from outside the country, particularly from Arab countries, had made his business unprofitable.

                          Are the Israeli Arabs generally pretty free?  Yes.  Are they treated better than Jews in Arab nations?  Yes.  Does that make your claim true?  No.

                          •  Ok thats a rather silly example (none)
                            1. Antique trading is always complicated by various rules and regulations

                            2. Israel is in a technical state of war with many Arab countries so of course goods from tehre would be doubly difficult to obtain.  That would be true whetehr your friend was a Jew or an Arab
                          •  OK (none)
                            It is a personal anecdote, not the best example I have.  Nonetheless, there are many examples of Israeli Arabs who have been held due to the involvement of relatives or aquaintances with extremist groups, many Israeli Arabs who have been discriminated against in hiring (we know that because they have sued and won), and many Israeli Arabs who have been implicated in illegal acts because of where they choose to worship.

                            This is a simple truth, and one that can't really be denied by any honest Zionist.  We do the best we can by the Israeli Arabs.  But it is a tough circumstance, for everyone involved, and that results in a certain degree of injustice.  Most Israeli Arabs that I know understand this, and even feel a certain degree of acceptance for it.  Why on earth can't you?

                          •  Ok, I agree Israel is not perfect (none)
                            But as you yourself point out, Arabs who have been discriminated against sued and WON.  That is the halmark of a country of laws.  I would also point out that it may not be just because they are Arabs.  As you are well aware, many Jews of Middle Eastern/African descent have also been discriminated against.  So it may be a symptom of an overall elitist atiitude of European "learned" Jewry toward the Sephardic "working class, dirty" people.  (note the quotations marks, before you accuse me of subscribing to these views).
                          •  That may be true (none)
                            But let's remember, the greatest ally that the Zionist cause can have is the unvarnished truth.  We are not what our enemies claim us to be, but we are not perfect either, and until we can face our imperfection with our eyes open, our enemies will always have the counter that we are dishonest.

                            We do pretty well, on the whole.  We can do better.  And we need to be.  And we need to be properly ashamed of many of the bad things we do.  There are innocents dying.  We cannot lose sight of that.

                          •  I want Israel to do what I want ... (none)
                            ...America to do - set an example for how civilized, humanist nations should behave. Throughout their history, both have done that in some ways - important ways - and both have behaved egregiously on numerous occasions, committing atrocities, dispossessing others, demanding that other people obey rules they choose not to.

                            One thing that makes me want to stopper my ears to further discussion when somebody says how much better things are for people in Israel than they are in, say, Saudi Arabia. This means the same as saying blacks are better off in America than in the Congo: exactly zero.

                          •  I share your sentiment (4.00)
                            And I share your distaste for the pointless comparisons.  I see why they occasionally have to be made, since when discussing international aid questions or anti-Semitism it is significant that much more attention is paid to the actions of Israel than the actions of nations with far more appalling human rights records.  But they are meaningless in another, more important sense, which you have done an excellent job of highlighting in your post.

                            Both Israelis and Americans need to take a long look in the mirror.  The things we allow to be done in our names are things that would offend the heart of any of us, and they will not stop until we decide that being able to face ourselves is the thing that matters most.

                          •  I was wondering where you (none)
                            and Paul were today...snoozing??

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:49:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, it is the weekend (4.00)
                            But also, I find it a bit distasteful to have many of the same arguments again and again, and I also have a great deal of respect for Jon, and I don't like to distract too much from his diaries.

                            There is no doubt that many horrible things are happening in the West Bank, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what Jon is doing.  And even though I know of the things Jon is seeing and come to a different conclusion, I think his message is tremendously important, for everyone but particularly for Israelis.

                            Look at what we have created, what we have done to our sons and daughters, and you see the greatest possible argument against the occupation.  We are ruining ourselves, poisoning our youth, and for what?  To learn the lesson we manifestly knew from our own experience, that nothing demeans a culture more than to hold another in bondage?  To fulfill the promise of Greater Israel?

                            I don't share Jon's anti-Zionist sentiments.  But Jon is manifestly not an anti-Semite, and I feel I know enough about what goes on in the territories, and enough about Jon, that I believe that what he reports is true.  And while I hope others can see what he sees and find a different conclusion, the best thing I could imagine for Israel would be for every Jew to go there as he has, and to see for themselves what Jon and I have seen, and to act accordingly.

                          •  I was going to go (none)
                            shopping....but got involved here instead. There is soooo much energy going to this issue, I can only hope it will finally be resolved. I really think the next step has to be the creation of a Palestine State. Give them a platform from which to negotiate from. Give them a vision of a future without war, but they have to have water.

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:08:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can't speak to that (none)
                            There are so many problems within the Palestinian Authority, I can't say whether what they need is their own state.  But we need to leave.  We need to confront our own people and end the settlements.  We need to allow the Palestinians water rights.  What they choose to do for themselves is not our responsibility.

                            Whether it will be resolved is not something I can even hope for.  I can only hope, and vote, and beg, for Israeli leaders who will understand that we cannot make the Palestinians way for them, but that we have a responsibility to make a better way for ourselves.

                          •  Even though I disagree .... (4.00)
                            ...with some of what you say on this subject, your comment is of the sort that needs to animate this subject, not the screaming screaming screaming that so many people on all sides of the issue seem to prefer.

                            As long as some people deny obvious truths, and refuse to confront them, we'll get nowhere. Those truths include Israel's discrimination against and dispossession of Arabs, which continues right up to this minute as well as the maximalist idiocies of Hamas and Hizbollah.

                          •  Well, thank you (none)
                            and let's hope that in this new year, with some sort of new leadership about to come forward in Israel, that those truths can be more openly confronted, without the screaming, and that the good people of both cultures and the world can come together and start to do better.
                          •  An idea...instead of spending (none)
                            all that foreign aid on the military...why not invest the money on converting sea water to fresh water with an extensive aquaduct system for both Israel and Palestine!

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:33:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's an admirable idea (none)
                            But one I think is unlikely to be realized.  The military aid sent to Israel is really American weapons systems purchased for Israeli use.  Ergo, it is a handout to American defense contractors.  American congresspeople would be a lot less inclined to keep giving as much aid to Israel if it was the money, and not weapons, that were leaving the US.

                            Also, it isn't a shortage of fresh water that causes the problem.  The nominal reason the Israelis give for denying water rights to much of the West Bank is that it would be difficult to prevent tampering with the water supply by terrorists, and that by sharing the water, they put Israelis at risk.  But there is plenty of fresh water generated by the Jordan river.

                            So instead of a desalinization system, they need a system that monitors water purity.  And that would be something that, if Congress and the Knesset actually funded creating it, would go a long way both in Israel, and in the United States, where the water supply of most of the nation is virtually unprotected.

                          •  Hard to believe Israel (none)
                            needs that many weapons on a yearly basis. Major infrastructure projects that give people jobs and let them keep their farms would go along way as well.

                            Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

                            by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:25:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Time to leave your fantasy world, Drgrishka1 (none)
                      No it is not nonsense. 93% of all Israeli land is state owned. Those who try to lease it are vetted by committees that weed out 'undesirables', including Arabs. In the past 57 years the Israeli Arab birthrate has seen their population increase by eightfold. During that time the Israeli state has not permitted one single new Arab settlement to be built. At the same time they consistantly refuse to grant permits to build new homes in existing settlements.

                      The discrimination is endless in employment, local council budgets where Jewish areas get ten times as much money as Arab areas and most obviously of all in the law of return. Any Jew may come and live in Israel irrespective of where they were born, while a Palestinian Arab exiled abroad may not do so even if they were born within the boundaries of the Israeli state. Are you aware that if an Arab living in Israel or Jerusalem marries a woman from outside those areas he is not allowed to bring her into the country.

                      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

                      by uklibdems on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:18:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Sheesh ... (4.00)
              Show me an Arab-majority country where the Jews are treated even remotely similar.

              This reminds me of folks who argue that black Americans should shut up about de facto discrimination because they are better off than "in Africa."

              What discrimination?

              The Israeli government spends less on education of Arab Israelis than Jewish Israelis. Arabs receive heavier penalties than Jews convicted of the same crimes (see the Orr Commission Inquiry).  The Jewish National Fund, now a quasi-official body controls more than 10% of the land of Israel and its rules forbid sales or leases of land to Arabs. Until six months ago, the government routinely left Arab towns and villages out of economic development plans. Because most Arab Israelis don't serve in the army, they receive reduced access to social and economic benefits. These includ housing, new-household subsidies, and jobs.

               

              •  Arab Israelis don't serve in (none)
                the Israeli Army by choice.  They can choose to or not.  If they choose not to they can't complain that they are not receiving the perks that go along with the service.
                •  Ah. Good old Catch-22. You ... (4.00)
                  ...don't have to serve in the army because we realize it might mean you'll be shooting at your son-in-law or cousin at some checkpoint. But if you don't serve in the army, then we're going to penalize you. Frankly, this is bullshit. And even if it weren't, there are those other areas of discrimination that nothing to do with army service.

                  Research conducted by Professor Oren Yiftachel of the Ben-Gurion University reveals that, since 1948, the Arab population in Israel has multiplied by a factor of six but the land at its disposal has been reduced by half. During all these years, the nation did not permit the establishment of new Arab settlements. Arabs comprise 19 percent of the Israeli population, but Arab local councils control only 2.5 percent of the nation's land, Yiftachel writes. The housing shortage in the Arab sector and the lack of military service, as a central obstacle for those who would purchase a home, were both mentioned in the Or Commission Report, which examined the October 2000 riots as one of many failures in the nation's treatment of the Arab population.

                  Then there's the little gem about how the families of Arab-Israelis killed on a bus by a Jewish army deserter were not compensated with lifelong payments the way all Israeli-Jews are automatically compensated for acts of terrorism against family members.

                  No discrimination?

                  •  New Arab settlements? (none)
                    Areyou for real?  The question is whether the Arabs who possess Israeli nationality could buy land on equal terms as the Jews not whether they could establish segregated communities.
                    •  Puhleez. Israel ... (4.00)
                      ... regularly establishes settlements for Jews only, and as I am sure you know, there are no housing anti-discrimination laws. Even though the Israeli supreme court ruled a couple of years ago that a non-Jewish couple couldn't be excluded from a housing development, there is no enforcement mechanism. In east Jerusalem, Arabs are routinely denied building permits, and if they build illegally, their structures are torn down, something that doesn't happen to Israeli Jews, who, moreover, have an easier time acquiring building permits.

                      Orthodox Jewish yeshiva students exempted from military service receive benefits that exempted Arabs do not receive.

                      No discrimination?

                      •  i guess you missed (none)
                        the tearing down of illegal jewish settlements and buidlings that Shatron regularly carried out?
                        •  Huh? Regularly? That's total BS and you know it (none)
                          Find me 5 cases where illegal settlements were torn down and not rebuilt. Five.

                          Here--I'll give you one: http://www.haaretz.com/...

                          Oh, sorry--that's the story of a single illegal Palestinian caravan "settlement", on private Palestinian land, being dismantled. The 750 illegal Israeli caravans on adjacent land are not being touched. As the article states"

                          MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz), who has recently visited Bil'in, said that the evacuation of the caravan proved the Israeli government's double standards when it comes to the separation fence, which aims at robbing Palestinian lands for the benefit of the nearby settlement.

                          Peace Now activist Dror Ateks said that "it's interesting how thousand of houses were illegally built in settlements, and the army still can't find them, but in Bil'in it was found within 48 hours."
                          <snip>
                          Dealing with the caravan is liable to be an embarrassment for the IDF and the Civil Administration.

                          Akiva Eldar of Haaretz recently exposed the Civil Administration's admission that 750 housing units had been built illegally with no permits whatsoever. The caravan, which arrived Wednesday from inside Israel, is standing approximately 100 meters away from the Matityahu East construction site.

                          Try some factual arguments, with links.

                          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                          by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:42:48 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  In any event (none)
                    how Israeli Arabs get treated has nothing whatsoever to do with the Palestinian issue.  These are citizens of Israel, and their issues to the extent that there are any are irrelevant to the issues of the citizens of the future Palestine.
                  •  Conversely (none)
                    if you choose not to serve you can't turn around and demand veteran's benefits.

                    As for your last paragraph, those families received compensation payment (in a lump sum rather than yearly payments, IIRC) and the law was subsequently changed - it was more an oversight on behalf of the original framers than deliberate discrimination (under the old law, for instance, Arab victims of Palestinian suicide bombers did recieve compensation).

        •  There are many pre-1940s (none)
          books that call the land...Palestine. Find old maps at used bookstore.

          Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

          by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:15:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You point being what? (none)
            you can call anything anything you want.  I seem to recall that Jordan in the pre-1940s was also part of "Palestine" as identified on the maps.  Why isn't anyone demanding that Jordan give all its land to the Palestinians?
            •  I was responding to: (none)
              <blockquotes>And where doe it say that (4.00 / 2)

              ALL of West Bank and ALL of Gaza is Palestinian?  I don't remember such claims being made before 1967, which makes me think that these claims of recent vintage are opportunistic and merely designed to impugn Israel.</blockquotes>

              ...on pre-1940s maps and books.

              Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

              by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:45:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And on the pre-1945 (none)
                maps and books Koninsberg was German and Kurils were Japanese and most of the Middle East did not exist as we know it today.  So, nice try, but no... Unless you are willing to redraw the entire world map to confine to the pre-1940s notions, then stop allying the selective standard to Israel
                •  The UN applied the "selective standard" (none)
                  Commonly referred to as the Green Line. As you said upthread--you can't have it both ways. That is where the border should be, which is accepted by virtually the entire world, including the PLO, with the only notable exceptions being Israel and the US. And the US just recently recanted it's long held position supporting the Green Line as the border, when Bush met with Sharon last year.

                  "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                  by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:45:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong again (none)
                    The UN did not adopt the Green Line standard.

                    If you are talking about 1948, then there was no Green Line, and the borders were drawn to essentially ensure that Jews stay in new country of Israel, and Arabs in the new country of Palestine.

                    If you are talking about post-1967, then go ahead and read UNSC Resolution 242 and its history.  Not how it omits the word "all" and "the" from preceding "territories."  That was the precondition on passage to ensure that Israel is not required to relinquish all of the territories, but only those that are negotiated.

                    •  That is Israel's position (none)
                      Not everyone else's, though. You can argue all you want, but it won't change anyone's mind to argue official Israel positions. You seem to believe that Russian and Ethiopian emigres have more right to the West Bank than Palestinans. I disagree.

                      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                      by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:19:52 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's not just the official Israeli (none)
                        position.  It is in the history of the document.  UNSC 242 was originally proposed with the word "the" preceding word "territories."  That resolution was a no-go as was made clear by the US.  US clearly stated that it would exercise its veto if "the" were included.  After negotiations "the" was dropped and US supported the resolution.  Under the traditional rules of construction applicable to legal documents, you must look at the intent of those who drafted the resolution and perhaps votes supporting/rejecting a specifc provision as evidence that that position was supported/rejected.  Given the history of 242 it is clear as day under the principles of statutiry construction that the position of "all the territories" was rejected bu the Security Council.
                        •  And that is why the US and Israel are the only (none)
                          one's who agree with your view. Every other country of any influence disagrees with your viewpoint. They view it as I do, simply another time the US backed Israel and forced the world to do something they didn't want to do. You're siding with a very small minority, which you are free to do. But you will never convince myself or the majority of the world of your beliefs.

                          Israel coined and uses the term "disputed territories" in a way very similar to the way Bushco coined and uses the term "enemy combatant". The rest of the world sees through both. Israel is a party to international conventions that prohibit the retention of land conquered through war.

                          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                          by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:36:36 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That argument is totally meritless (none)
                            It's like saying "well the law is the way it is because the President forced Congress to do something it didn't want to do, otherwise it would have been different."  It is what it is.  The word "the" is absent.  Case closed.

                            Additionally, US and Israel are NOT the only countries that agree with my view.  Russia, EU, and UN (all co-sponsors of the peace process) agree with the proposition that only those territories which Israel and Palestinians negotiate will be returned.  None of the co-sponsors subscribe to the notion that all territories are to be returned.  if they did, there would be no point in negotiating.

                        •  Here is the Resolution, not the bolded part (none)
                          U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242
                          NOVEMBER 22, 1967
                          The Security Council,

                          Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

                          Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

                          Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

                          Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

                          Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

                          Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

                          Affirms further the necessity

                          For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

                          For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

                          For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

                          Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

                          Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.

                          Read in it's entirety, it is clear that it refers to the entire territory occupied.

                          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                          by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:50:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I meant "note" the bold part (none)
                            Here, let me make it clearer for you: "...Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war...Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

                            Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;"

                            It doesn't really need the word "all" that you and nycdemocrat are so desparately hanging your hopes on.

                            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                            by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:55:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In case you are unaware (none)
                            the only operative part of the resolution is whatever follows the word "RESOLVES."  Everything before it is just precatory.  yet another one of those pesky legal rules that you seem to be unaware of.
                          •  Or in this case "affirms" (none)
                            instead of "resolves"
                          •  Ah, yeah, flexible terminology (none)
                            Quite familar with that. Doesn't make any more of the world agree with you.

                            Quite the opposite, actually.

                            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                            by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:52:38 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The "whole world" (none)
                            actually does agree on the way to read these resolutions.  "The whole world" also agrees that there is no unconditional demand for Israel to withdraw from all the territories.  And, btw, "the whole world" has little standing to have any opinion on the matter after adopting the resolution equating Zionism with racism.  That kind of destroys the credibility of "the whole world"
                          •  So let me get this straight (none)
                            You agree with the the "whole world" says when it comes to your interpretation of 242, and then say that the same organization representing the world has little standing because of the Zionism=racism resolution. Of course, it must be noted that 242 was a Security Council resolution, while Resolution 3379, the Zionism=racism resolution, was a General Assembly resolution.

                            So which way do you want it? Or do you want it both ways, depending on convenience?

                            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                            by bewert on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 11:36:03 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope (none)
                            My point was that "the whole world" is a useless phrase.  No one cares what say Chad or for that matter Saudi Arabia think is a proper interpretation of the relevant Security Council resolution.  The people that actually matter (i.e., US, EU, Russia -- the sponsors of the peace process) agree that the resolution does not mandate that Israel give back all of the land to the Palestinians.  They all take the view that the final border will not necessarily be that of 1967 (unless that is the agreement) but rather will be determined by the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
                          •  "with minor adjustments" (none)
                            EU position
                            The Seville declaration of 22 June 2002 is explicit on the expected solution to the conflict: A settlement can be achieved through negotiation, and only through negotiation. The objective is an end to the occupation and the early establishment of a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders, if necessary with minor adjustments agreed by the parties.

                            Source http://europa.eu.int/...

                            The Road Map is noticeably reticent on the position of the eventual borders. Bush stated in his last meeting with Sharon that some "adjustments" would have to be made. However, I don't think anyone except the Israeli's expect them to keep all of their settlements, major or not, or the Qalqilia area, with it's control over half of the West Bank's water supply, or East Jerusalem. All their blatant efforts to wind the wall around these areas they want to keep are causing great harm to the Palestinian population and are doing nothing to promote peace.

                            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

                            by bewert on Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 07:07:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the Indians got a raw deal (none)
              and we should give them back the USA.

              - lol -

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:53:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Maps (none)
              I have a giant official map of Egypt from 1938 surveyed and printed by the British. All of what is now Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is called "Palestine". What is now Jordan is clearly marked "Trans Jordan".  
        •  The land WAS ceeded to Palestine (none)
          Let's get the history right. The Gaza strip was not "occupied by Egypt", it was part of Egypt. Similarly the West Bank, including the east of Jerusalem was part of Jordan, indeed one of the King's titles was "Protector of the Holy Places of Al Quds". Both countries ceeded soveriegnty of these two areas to form a nascent Palestinian state. Incidentally neither Lebanon or Syria have formally ceeded the parts of their countries the Israelis still occupy.

          By the way there is a difference between the established Zionist cause - that of creating A Jewish state and the "Greater Zionism" practised by those Jews who move to the occupied territories with the intention of eventually annexing them into a Greater Israel.

          There is also a difference between the actions of the IDF and those of the Palestinian groups organising attacks against Israel. The latter have no formal links with the Palestinian Authority and as such are illegal militia. The PA cannot be held directly responsible for their activities, even if the Israeli Government tries to do do. That is exactly the same as not asserting that they gave direct orders for settlers to fire on Palestinians. The IDF on the other hand are under the direct orders of the Israeli Government which importantly is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. With an established military code comes the obligation not to contravene the rules of war. This did not stop the Israelis killing completely innocent civilians from its early days. From Wiki


          Immediately after the foundation of Unit 101 in 1953, it began a series of retaliatory operations targeting bases and villages which served as bases for the infiltrators. On one of its first missions, the unit attacked the refugee camp in El-Bureij in Gaza Strip. The mission was aimed at Col. Mustafa Hafez, the chief of Egyptian intelligence in the Gaza Strip (and according to some, the Strip's de-facto ruler) who stood behind many of the early violent infiltrations into Israel.

          According to the local UN officer Vagn Bennike, hand grenades were thrown into houses while the inhabitants were sleeping, and those trying to escape were mowed down with machine guns.

          Only two months later, in October, a heavy shadow was cast on the unit, following its raid into the village of Qibya, in the northern West Bank then a part of Jordan. Up to 70 innocent civilians were killed in this operation. The mode of operation was similar to that of El-Bureig, but on a larger scale.

          The leader of Unit 101 was one Ariel Sharon who had also participated in attacks against the British during the Mandate. Since he also brought a house in east Jerusalem and promoted the settler movement, he is properly both a Zionist and Greater Zionist.

    •  exactly correct .. in all respects (none)
      however, it's not all beauty and light on the Israeli side.

      The attitude of the IDF soldier at the checkpiont is certainly not unique. Perhaps he has a relative that was killed or maimed by a suicide bomber. Perhaps he just listens to the Israeli equivalent of Rush Limbaugh or Sheik Yassin. Perhaps he is just afraid of being blown up 78 times a day, and hate and anger are the macho response to situation that he cannot control.

      But let's not forget Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir are part of this equation: they may not be 'part of the Israeli government', but they are not like Timothy McVeigh, either. They clearly acted out the desires of a small vocal minority, a minority that has Knesset representation.

      Sure the Israelis have the right to have security - and while the 'wall' is a bad answer to a bad situation, it may be right now that the 'wall' is the ONLY answer that is workable for them.

      I fully support their right to have security. It is wrong to use this as an excuse to institutionalize any type of unfair treatment. That is a serious problem with the 'wall' and there should be a much more responsive and open discussion on the Israeli side as to how to minimize the impact on the Palestinian community.

      Until there is a government in Palestine that can honestly sign a peace agreement in good faith, and make even a half-assed attempt to enforce the peace from their side, the wall should probably stay up. The GOI needs to work a more humane attitude into the way the 'wall' is implemented.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:36:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The diarist brings up the (none)
    point of the problem of running a checkpoint. When a person or vehicle fails to do what is expected, you can never be sure why.

    Even the best soldier can only do so much to avoid the use of violence. You simply can't afford to hesitate, you have less than one second must make a life and death decision.

    Of course, many soldiers are young, inexperienced and extremely stressed. This is not helpful.

    In the worst case, you have some asshole who is just looking for an excuse to light someone up. Checkpoints are a dream come true for a sociopath.

    You always have one or two knuckleheads who can't be trusted with something like checkpoint duty. That's what the chain of command is for. A good officer, backed up by good NCOs, can ensure that guys like that are kept in check. When that system breaks down, however, discipline suffers. I fear that has happened to a degree in Iraq, although I'm not in a position to make such a broad judgement.

    But it's like I said, even the best soldier can only do so much in a guerrilla war.

    For myself, I don't like to think how close I came to killing civilians in situations similar to the one described here.

    Checkpoints kill people. Period. They kill soldiers, insurgents, civilians, women, children. They cannot be made safe and they are a constant fact of life in any guerrilla war.

    "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

    by tricky dick on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:13:59 AM PST

    •  Checkpoints are a totalitarian device. n/t (none)

      <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
      Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

      by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:48:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  THAT checkpoint was run abominably- (4.00)
      -no matter what you think of checkpoints in general.  

      You say "A good officer, backed up by good NCOs, can ensure that guys like that are kept in check."

      That is exactly what was not happening.    

      The aggressive soldier kept screaming at us  saying "You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail, you shouldn't be going around with pretty American and European girls."

      Note, no intervention by the officer in charge here.    Even if you excuse the soldier's ignorance, surely this is no way to win over the population.

      The officer received the order to release us three times and he was just looking for a reason to keep us and beat us. When they received the order for the first time, an officer of the checkpoint told the aggressive soldier "go eat so you can be strong and ready to beat them."

      No comment needed, I  hope.

      After that the commander called the American soldier and gave him our IDs and told him to tell the internationals that it is because the Israelis respect them that they will release us.

      The officer finally intervenes when the soldier threatens to shoot European women.   Anything goes, with the Palestinians.

      This behavior is racist.     That is entirely separate from any evaluation of the justice of checkpoints, the wall, or a Palestinian state.    If we heard of behavior like this by our soldiers in Iraq we would be outraged.    

  •  it's (none)
    really hard to look past tribal feelings as Jon has done. Not least because the members of your own tribe will denounce you as a traitor and ostracize you. Seeing examples such as Jon and the way people are attacking him here gives me inspiration to avoid thinking tribally and not to punish members of my "tribes" if their thinking veers away from my own.

    Jon, take care of yourself. I wish you a very happy new year.

  •  Many of these comments would be funny (3.00)
    if they weren't so tragic. I think here in America, vis a vis the, uh, colored folk, we have a pretty good idea of what racism is. You know, I don't think I've ever seen a diary on dKos arguing about what racism in America is. Apparently the argument that racism is also discrimination against whites is only found on rightist blogs. Anti-Jewish sentiment certainly can't be racism, can it? After all they're white. Or at least some of them are white. Or whitish.

    No one dares say that diaries depicting Jewish animals are racist. After all, what can you expect from a Jewish racist imperialist lackey of the Zionist running dogs than virulent hatred?

    Bring Jews into it, and whoowee, the fur flies. Is it racist to discriminate against Jews? Not mentioned. Is it racist for Jews to discriminate against others? Hell yes! Does homophobic mean hatred toward all men? It must!

    Step back and listen to yourselves. Substitute other races into your stereotypes and word games and see if a diary like that would make the recommended list. Somehow, it's always about the Jews, it's OK for it to always be about the Jews, and it never stops.

    Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

    by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:40:05 AM PST

    •  What crap you splutter. (none)
      Substitute other races into your stereotypes?

      Ok, how about W.A.S.Ps and Native Americans? I reckon that might get on the rec list if it was well written.

      How about Amrican Soldiers and Iraqis? Thsoe diaries get recced up all the time.

      And how about recognising that this diary was written about Israelis and Palestinians?

      It is not condemning the millions of Jews living in the US, Great Britain, France, Spain, fucking Mozambique for all I know!

      Get a grip on the handles of your hobby-horse, and slowly step down from it.

      <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
      Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

      by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:46:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey there, deaf - (none)
        I am recognising that this is written about Israelis - Jewish Israelis - and - Palestinians? Weren't there some Americans there, too? You make my point very nicely, in any case, and I appreciate it. It sure isn't about Burma, is it? Or China? Or Darfur? Or Nepal? Or Columbia? Or Chechnya? Or Uzbekistan? No human rights violations there. But if Jews are involved, we're all over it.

        Sure we get "Amrican (sic) soldiers murder Iraqis" diaries all the time. After all, American soldiers are involved. I personally have not seen a Native American discrimination diary or a WASP discrimination diary here. Maybe you can point to one. Perhaps you can point to a recco diary where American peace activists visit these countries and are yelled at.

        Thanks for not condemning all Jews, just the ones who live in Israel. We're thankful for anything we can get.

        Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:04:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I don't see such a spike... (none)
          ...in Jewish crime related disries on dKos as you do.

          I come here every day, and although you are right that diaries like this do tend to generate an instant and volatile discussion, this one is the first in a little while.

          There have been diaries about the Sudan, Indonesia, and even Native Americans (Ok, that one was at Thanksgiving) in the mean time.

          You sound like a reasonable person (now) I just think the kneejerk "Oh, that's right blame the Jews!" reaction is as bad as the "Oh, man this is all the Jews fault!" one.

          Thanks for drawing attention to my spelling mistake by the way.

          <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
          Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

          by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:25:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  google "anti-semitism site:dailykos.com" (none)
            16,300 hits. It seems to be quite a topic of discussion. What I'm saying.

            I'm not saying, "Don't blame the Jews." Not at all. Though I think the Christians have a saying about stones. I'm saying, "Listen to yourselves."

            Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:09:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And I'm also saying . . . (none)
            Some American peace activists have visited the sites where entire villages in Chechnya have been massacred, and some have lived to tell about it. I don't see their diaries here. But let one Israeli soldier yell at one American and it's on the recco list. I'm not saying that was all fine. I'm saying we get a little sick of all the attention.

            BTW, I love the "Jewish crime" comment. One does see spikes of interest in "Jewish crime." Damn Jewish criminals anyway. Break their windows.

            Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:43:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  By Jewish Crime... (none)
              ...I meant crimes committed in a Jewish cntext, not crimes commited by Jews, very badly worded I must admit.

              "We get a little sick of all the attention" even if justified, is a pointless opinion. Would you prefer no attention at all? No support from the US, Just ignore those Israelis and Palestinians and perhaps they'll go away? All of them. Forever?

              You might be sick of all the attention, but the reason for it's glare is inherent in any issue of such complexity.

              If it was simple, it would be over.

              <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
              Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

              by deafmetal on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 08:25:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  My viewpoint is also colored by the $$$ we give (none)
          The billions of our tax dollars that goes to Israel lets me feel that I have more of a self-interest in the situation than I do in Darfur, for instance. Looked at from the right angle, it seems like Israel plays the US taxpayer a lot like Abramhoff played the Indian tribes.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:49:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good job Jon-Recommended. (none)
    Kudos to the user who refuted the idea that Israel is practicing some form of Apartheid.

    It is painfully obvious that the Palestinians are far worse off than the black South Africans ever were and that Israel's form of legal (by Israeli, not international standards, mind you) racism is far worse than Apartheid ever was.

    The white minority in South Africa thought it merely sufficient to subject the black majority to poverty and oppression. Israel's soon to be minority Jews (if we give the Palestinian birthrate any respect, much as Sharon has done) have upped the ante. Their goal is nothing less than the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what they hope will one day be an almost Greater Israel.

    Deaths have increased since the wall has been erected. They have increased 400-fold. For Palestinians. Deaths have also decreased by close to 100 percent. For Israelis.

    Now, in this, as any other situation, conflict, what have you, the lives on both sides are equal.

    But the Israelis sure don't think so.  

    "There's nothing new except for the history that you don't know."

    by krikkit4 on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:40:27 AM PST

    •  The hypocrisy in Israel... (none)
      ..."ethnically cleansing" the Palestinians from their land is simply stunning. The sheer grandiosity of it is sickening.

      I mean how can they continue this bloody campaign, whilst simultaneously waging their neverending campaign to Remember the Holocaust?

      Personally, I. Do. Not. Get. It.

      <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
      Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

      by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:38:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chomsky said it best (4.00)
    in a recent debate with Alan Dershowitz:


    The balance of terror and violence is overwhelmingly against the Palestinians, not surprisingly, given the balance of forces, and that's even true -- that's true right to the present. I mean, for -- you know, for decades, Israel was able to run the West Bank virtually with no forces, as Morris and others point out, because the population was so passive, while they were being humiliated, beaten, tortured, land stolen and so on, just as I quoted.

    Finally, there was a reaction, and it's interesting to see the U.S. reaction to it. In the first month of the Intifada -- this one, October 2000 -- in the first month of the Intifada, seventy-four Palestinians were killed, four Israelis were killed. This was all in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli army, according to its own records, fired a million bullets in the first day, which disgusted the generals when they learned about it.

    Israel, in the first few days of the Intifada, was using U.S. helicopters - they don't make them - U.S. helicopters to attack civilian complexes, apartment houses and so on, killing and wounding dozens of people. And the U.S. did respond to that. Clinton responded by sending the biggest shipment of military helicopters in a decade to Israel. The press responded, too, by not publishing it, I should add, refusing to publish it, because it was repeatedly brought to their attention. Well, while the ratio was 20 to 1, which is pretty much what it has been for a long time, there was no concern here. Then, over the next two, three years, the ratio reduced to closer to 3 to 1, and then came enormous concern. About the one, not the three. And this goes back for a long time.

    (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:40:29 AM PST

  •  People have such a problem with suicide bombers... (none)
    ...but what happened in Pakistan yesterday, another botched so-called military surgical strike against Al-Zahawari or more likely the ghost of Al-Zahawari which killed aproximately 18 innocents (including 5 children), doesn't seem to evoke nearly as much outrage or disgust from people like us.

    Israel's military policy closely mirrors the US's military policy and neither country uses state sanctioned suicide bombers, but they both end up killing just as many innocent men, women, and children, as the suicide bombers through *botched and plain reckless so-called military surgical strikes.

    I don't see the difference.

    I am as outraged by the 5 dead pakistani children, as I am by the hundreds of dead Israeli children suicide bombers have caused over the years.

    We all should be.

    Child murders are not any less abhorrent just because they have been sanctioned by the state.

    <div style="border:2px;padding:4px;border-style:dotted;"> You want to downsize the government?
    Fuck you. My government defends the American people.<

    by deafmetal on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:18:11 PM PST

    •  the difference is (none)
      Israel and the US have governments that can be addressed through democratic means. The people can effect change through the ballot box.

      Osama bin-Laden, Hezbollah, Fatah and Islamic Jihad do not.

      When you find a way to effect change in the latter, drop me a line.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:28:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The terrorists can only operate with impunity (none)
        If they have widespread social support. And that support comes from people who are sick and tired of the IDF in their land. Just as the Iraqi's are sick and tired of US forces in their land. The route of the wall is yet another thing causing great hardship, and will lead to more, not less, terrorism.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 01:54:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hezbollah, Fatah and Islamic Jihad All (none)
        have political parties, and as our government keeps saying, the insurgents have to be brought into thte political process as a way of lessening the resistance. Didn't Israel just call off elections because Hamas was winning?

        To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

        by Tanya on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:28:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended website! (none)

    Spending out-of-control & massive debt, selling our public lands! How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy? Time for a Peace President!

    by mattes on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:05:31 PM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    We could at least acknowledge that the US has ceased to be an impartial mediator in the conflict, if it ever was.All other discussions of "who started it" or whose excesses are worse solve nothing.

    WE can't let the actions of Hamas and Al Qaida determine our peace initiatives because thats self-defeating.There will always be extremists on both sides,why let them set the agenda?

    On MLK weekend ,i pray an advocate of non-violent protest emerges in Palestine because 50 years of violence has only hardened positions on both sides and Israeli and Palestinian children have suffered and died as a result.

    My civil liberties are non-negotiable.

    by blacklib on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:53:11 PM PST

    •  There is one, his name is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti (none)
      He is the founder and head of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. With no party support of any kind, he took almost 20% of the vote for President in Palestine after Arafat died. He also has an MBA from Stanford. A very remarkable man. But I bet less than 5% of the DKos family has ever heard of him. Just like they have never heard of th 50+ non-violent demonstrations in Bil'in protesting the wall. Our media does not like to publicize anything non-violent or peaceful about Palestine.

      Here are a few links where you can learn more about Dr. Barghouti:
      Al Jazeera overview http://www.aljazeera.com/...
      BBC overview http://news.bbc.co.uk/...
      Presenting his campaign platform http://www.birzeit.edu/...
      On Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/...

      Unfortunately, he finds it hard to campaign at times, including being beaten and detained at Israeli checkpoints http://pamolson.org/... (this is a great piece by Dr. B's American press secretary)
      the Haaretz article on the incident http://www.globalexchange.org/...

      Imagine if this treatment were applied to an Israeli or American presidential candidate!

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:26:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks i'll look at it. (none)

        My civil liberties are non-negotiable.

        by blacklib on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:11:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i didn't (none)
        understand one thing(actually more but one will suffice),what is Israels interest in supporting Abu Mazen, a Fatah sponsered candidate?

        My civil liberties are non-negotiable.

        by blacklib on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:26:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He is seen as a pawn of Israel (none)
          For good or bad, from one of the links above:
          A recent Haaretz article notes:

          Palestinian caricaturist Umiya Juha last week drew three cartoons presenting Abbas in the eye of the onlooker. In the first, in Israeli eyes, Abbas looks like a miserable dwarf next to the huge figure of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In the second, he is seen through the eyes of Arab rulers, and he is carrying a sign announcing he was chosen by a 99.999 percent majority and a spiked club. In the eyes of some of the Palestinian public, he is seen as a dead-ringer for Arafat, wearing a black and white kaffiyeh. In the fourth drawing, the most important, Juha explains who the real Abbas is - and she draws him as an old grandmother knitting from colored balls of yarn.

          Personally, I find it quite amazing, in a good way, that he was able to negotiate a ceasefire and it held for so long, even though the IDF continued targeted killings and arrests in the territories.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 07:28:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also, remember that Fatah has recognized Israel (none)
            While Hamas is still clinging to the wipe Israel off the face of the Earth line, at least in public. In private they seem to be more realistic, hence their run in the elections.

            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

            by bewert on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 07:31:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not really related to the story, but (none)
    here's a nice link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

  •  Frankly (none)
    Putting aside certain people's attempts to turn any Israel/Palestine thread into an entire referendum on history, it's helpful to go back to the subject of the diary.

    From JTAJ's own description, you had one really crazy soldier who was berating and insulting him.  When the commanding officer so what happened he immediately relieved the crazy soldier and let JTAJ and his colleagues through.

    Most of JTAJ's post have in fact demonstrated that the IDF acted appropriately in a tough situation.  If the IDF was half as brutal as its made out to be, JTAJ probably would be dead by now.

  •  Two questions (none)
    1. The account claims the officer told the soldier in question "go eat so you can be strong and ready to beat them." But earlier the speaker said they didn't understand Hebrew? Was the officer addressing the soldier in English? If not, who translated for the author?

    2. More importantly, on what basis does he say the standing orders are "if someone comes toward the checkpoint and you ask them in Hebrew to stop and they continue, you should shoot them with no regards as to whether the person in front of you doesn't know Hebrew or even is deaf or crazy, just shoot!"? If true, that would indicate a radical change in those orders over the last year or so (since I was last on Reserve duty); to my knowledge, the orders are along these lines - you shout "stop", then "stop or I shoot"; if Hebrew doesn't elicit a response, you try Arabic (wakef wala batuhaq); if he's not very close, there are still several intermediate steps before shooting him. As for "no regards if he's deaf or crazy" - I'm sorry, but in a war such as this, where you often can't know if someone is a suicide bomber until he detonates next to you, if he walks up to a checkpoint, ignoring verbal warnings and warning shots, what are you to do? Administer a hearing or psygological test? How do you propose to do that?

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