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Despite the fights that break out in the comments to my diaries, I'm very moderate on the issue of a final status agreement (or, to use another word, peace) between Israel and the Palestinians. This is to say that I agree that the occupation must end, that Israel should not annex parts of Palestinian territory, that the Palestinians have every right to a viable sovereign state, and that both Israel and the Palestinians will have to make large concessions in their initial demands of one another.

But the journalists writing on the topic do their best to drown out moderate voices, choosing instead to embrace ridiculous positions, whether from the right or the left.

To wit: Today I read two articles, one by neoconservative David Frum, and the other by Abderrahim Sabir, published on the Web site of the London Guardian. I couldn't decide who made the worse points.

First Frum's piece. His lead reads thus:

A Netanyahu-Barak government: Now that sends a message to the world, and to Washington above all. It says: Don’t imagine you can push Israel into dangerous concessions by driving a wedge between Israel’s right and left.

Yeah, the Labor Party stopped being properly defined as part of the "left" at least a decade ago — probably more.

For a brief, dizzy moment, it seemed the deal would happen: the Palestinians would get their state, Arafat his tomb in Jerusalem, Bill Clinton his Nobel Peace Prize and Israel...well, it was never certain what Israel would get. Peace? No, not very likely. But maybe a respite before the next round of demands.

While I blame Arafat for the failure of Oslo by turning down a perfectly good offer at Taba, I don't think it's fair to say, if Arafat had inked the deal, that Israel would have gotten nothing. Everything in the Arab world indicates that Israel would have benefitted enormously. Not only would their military budget have dropped like a stone, but they would have gotten a huge peace dividend through normalization of relations (particularly economic relations) with its neighbors.

A small cottage industry has emerged in the West to argue that the Palestinians did not really walk away in 2000. Or that if they did walk away, they were entitled to walk away. Or even if they were not entitled, they should nonetheless get yet another chance.

I was with Frum until the last sentence here. Given that the Palestinian Authority has been under new leadership since Arafat's death, then, yes, they should get another chance. In fact, they should get as many chances as they want, because the alternative is perpetual war.

For the ambitious peacemakers in the Obama administration, the problem is not Netanyahu, but the fact that Israelis have lost faith in peace processes that have brought them not peace but war, rockets not normality.

Of course, Frum cites no polls. I read one today that said 75% of Israelis still support a two-state solution. Figures are similar among Palestinians.

To imagine that we can reach peace by closing our eyes to the realities of conflict—and to treat Israel’s anxieties about the murderous intentions of its neighbors as impediments to be pushed aside.

And this is nothing but fear-mongering. None of Israel's neighbors has any intention of attacking it, with the exception of Hamas. Iran isn't a neighbor and its intentions vis-à-vis Israel are far from clear.

Netanyahu speaks not only for himself, but for the majority of an Israeli public that has learned caution from bitter experience.

I realize the election was a whole three months ago, but am I alone in remembering that the Likud actually polled second in the election? Granted, it was a close second, but Bibi polled second place.

Along with all this nonsense, we get lots of saber-rattling about attacking Iran. These people want to bomb Iran so badly that they're probably physically aroused.

Now to Sabir.

The other question that came to mind is whether President Peres would ever entertain the idea that Hamas could also learn by trial and error.

Hamas has been in the Palestinian Territories now for twenty years. They have not changed their position. That they are in power will, I think, do little to change their intransigence. Rather, they will see their election as a referendum on their agenda and not what it actually was — a referendum on the corruption of the PLO.

The double punishment of the Palestinian population in Gaza – an international boycott/punishment for their vote and an illegal Israeli collective punishment – brought neither peace to the Palestinians and Israelis nor a change of mind in Hamas. It contributed to fracturing the Palestinian unity and purpose.

Well, yes and no. Yes, the siege of Gaza is in every way illegal. But no, there's nothing wrong with boycotting the Palestinian Authority as long as Hamas is in power. Jews attempted a boycott of Germany when Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933. If this country voted in a Klansman as the President, would we not expect that non-whites everywhere would boycott us? What makes Hamas any different? After all, Hamas is not only an anti-Israel organization: As it proved with its Passover massacre and with its rhetoric, it is an anti-Jewish organization.

What Lieberman fails to recognise is that these were occupied territories that were rightly returned to Egypt and Lebanon and brought peace with Egypt and quiet borders with Lebanon.

Am I alone in remembering a war between Israel and Hezbollah in '96? Am I?

The rest of Samir's article is more rational with Frum's, but it supposes that some sea-change would have come over Hamas if it had been allowed to rule the way it wanted without impediment from Israel and the world community. There's a small chance he's correct, but Hamas's actions and rhetoric would seem to say something quite different.

There's an old saying about marital disputes. There are three versions: His version, her version, and the truth. I'd say Frum and Samir and offering "his" and "her" versions. The truth lies somewhere between.

This is not to say I'm offering it here.

Originally posted to aemathisphd on Fri May 08, 2009 at 09:53 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good commentary, especially the bit about Hamas. (5+ / 0-)

    It is often forgotten that Hamas is a militant extremist party that has purged Gaza of opposition.  They have done nothing to deserve being given the benefit of the doubt.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:00:56 AM PDT

  •  PLO DID NOT WALK AWAY IN 2000 (12+ / 0-)

    that is a lie, stop perpetuating the lie

    The Taba summit (also known as Taba Summit, Taba Talks, Taba Conference, Taba, or permanent status talks at Taba) were talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held from January 21 to January 27, 2001 at Taba in the Sinai peninsula. They were peace talks aimed at reaching the "final status" negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and came closer to reaching a final settlement than any previous or subsequent peace talks. The talks were discontinued on January 27, 2001 as a result of the upcoming Israeli elections. The winner of those elections, Ariel Sharon, refused to resume the negotiations after his victory.

  •  the one thing i'm sure of (7+ / 0-)

    is that it's their fault! i just haven't decided who they is. but when i figure it out, i'll try to hate them!

  •  Arafat did NOT turn down Taba (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sortalikenathan, jm214

    He turned down Camp David the previous summer -- and in fact that was not a good deal.  At Taba, the negotiations simply stalled until the clock ran out -- i.e., Sharon replaced Barak, Bush replaced Clinton and the process ground to a halt.  It was a tragedy -- negotiators on both sides later said that a few more weeks would have produced an agreement.  Arafat in fact indicated he would accept Taba a year later, but by the the proposal was off the table.

    The horror of all the death that has followed since is amplified by the fact that the peace treaty the Israelis and Palestinians ultimately sign will no doubt look an awful lot like Taba.

  •  Follow the money? (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, as long as the nukes don't get used, this is just another example of humans doing what they are good at: Warring, and dumping huge amounts of money into cynical hands, hands that continue to heat up and stir the boiling pot to make sure the carnage and waste and hatred and vengeance cycles continue apace. Check it out, people, especially young males and more and more females, get some real jollies out of an excuse to kill without guilt. Because The Enemy can be "done to" by any means, fair or foul.

    Why does that phrase, "the peace process," seem so much like the performance promises on a box of laundry detergent? New, improved...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:06:25 AM PDT

  •  Well (9+ / 0-)

    Despite the fights that break out in the comments to my diaries, I'm very moderate on the issue of a final status agreement (or, to use another word, peace) between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Most folks here are "very moderate," and recognize that if there is to be a two-state solution at all, we know 95% of the outline for it: Two states based on the 1967 with modifications acceptable to both sides, a fair compensation for the Palestinian refugees that does not involve simply throwing open the borders of Israel, and some mechanism for linking the West Bank and Gaza.

    However, it is not just "journalists" who "embrace ridiculous positions".  for instance, Foreign Minister Lieberman recently said that the "peace industry" is nothing but a waste of money.  This is a very extremist position for a nation's top diplomat.  

  •  Hmmm. (4+ / 0-)

    [t]o treat Israel’s anxieties about the murderous intentions of its neighbors as impediments to be pushed aside.

    Worth pointing out that Arab armies exist to suppress and cow Arab civilian pupulations.

    Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

    by MBNYC on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:09:41 AM PDT

  •  Like most, you're wrong about Hamas. (5+ / 0-)

    Most observers in the West simply don't 'get' Hamas. They buy the Bush/Cheney/Netanyahu line that Hamas are irredeemable terrorists, that the proper response to their electoral victories is to ignore them (or assassinate their leaders), and that if leaders in Israel and the West close their eyes and wish really hard, maybe Hamas will magically disappear and be replaced by ponies and rainbows.

    Smarter people than me, including John Cole, have noted that when Islamists have actually attained political power, their actions and their strident rhetoric have been rapidly tamed by reality. Having to actually govern quickly brings the most intransigent ideologues down to earth. (Bush/Cheney were able to employ the enormous power of the United States in a catastrophic ideological attempt to dey reality, and look where that got the Republicans.)

    Once more, we in the West don't get to tell the Palestinians who their leaders must be!

    •  Tell that to the victims of the Taliban. N/t. (5+ / 0-)

      Or Sudan for that matter....

      •  You're totally misrepresenting Sudan situation. (0+ / 0-)

        The Sudanese "government" is not even remotely Islamist. It's a classic grotesque "strong man" military kleptocracy in the African idiom. In case you hadn't noticed, both the Janjaweed perpetrators and Darfur victims are Islamic. It has nothing to do with Islamism per se.

        And the victims of the Taliban? Many if not most Afghans initially welcomed the Taliban because they promised an end to years of brutal warlordism and corruption. Nowadays Afghanistan is slipping back into their grasp precisely because they increasingly are regarded (just like the Soviets) as the "good old days" by many Afghans.

        •  Not really. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, csquared

          The Sudanese Government is indeed islamic and is also indeed a government. That' it's also a classic grotesque "strong man" military kleptocracy is neither here nor there.

          The Afghans didn't welcome the Taliban, who were fanatics in the pay of the pakistanis. The Civil War was still going on on 9/11.

          Afghanistan is "slipping back" into the grasp of the Taliban because Pakistan surrendered to them and gave them a safe haven from which to continue their war. Pakistan is now reaping the whirlwind it created.

        •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          csquared

          The Sudanese "government" is not even remotely Islamist.

          I think you're wrong. It's all the other things you said it is, but it's also Islamist.

          Remember that Muslims killed Muslims in many wars in the past. The Darfur conflict is primarily ethnic and primarily about separatism of the best land from the Khartoum-centered gov't. They don't want a replay of the Civil War that ended in '05 and led to southern autonomy for Christians and animists.

    •  Juan Cole... (6+ / 0-)

      ... he has linked to my writing in the past, and I respect him, but he's f*cking nuts to say that radical Islamic groups become more moderate over time. Look at the Taliban, if you want a good example, or Iran for that matter.

      Also, Hamas is a terrorist organization. This is not disputable among innocent people. As long as it targets innocent people inside the Green Line, it will remain a terrorist organization. If it limited its resistance to the Palestinian Territories, I'd be more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      Finally, we don't get to tell the Palestinians who their leaders must be, but we have the right to not like whom they elect. Nobody likes Lieberman very much: That much has been made clear by everyone.

    •  Oops. I meant Juan Cole. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Yep Ralph - John Cole (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karmafish, Red Sox

      says it so it MUST be true.....

      Hamas is a second rate terror group posing as a government. A useless P.O.S. government. The P.A. may be incredibly corrupt but they are far more adept at helping the peace process along.

      Of course Hamas' latest strides to stupidville got the Strip bombed into oblivion.

      There is no sense that Hamas recognizes reality ever. Not sure where you would see that in their actions

    •  I find this kind of comment (4+ / 0-)

      disconcerting in the extreme and not because it represents a rare point of view on dKos, but precisely because it does not.

      The fact is, as we know, Hamas is an organization that has the explicit, written intention of killing Jews.  Not even just Israelis, but Jews, in general.

      That being the case, everyone, but everyone, here, should be condemning Hamas in no uncertain terms.  The fact that many people here do not speaks volumes about where some on the left are on this issue.

      You cannot be a friend of the Palestinians while supporting an organization devoted to the genocide of the Jewish people.

      It just astounds me that some people seem to think that Hamas is A-OK, despite their murderous intent against Jews.

      How can someone be a "liberal" and not be vehemently opposed to this organization?

      "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

      by Karmafish on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:31:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Phony standard (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Euroliberal, csquared, FrankCornish

        How can someone be a "liberal" and not be vehemently opposed to this organization?

        As always, you posit a phony standard, whereby if someone actually suppports peace between violent enemies (enemies who have done terrible things on all sides), then they must "support" Hamas.  This is false.  People who support peace do not support Hamas.  However, people who support continued war between Israel and Palestine do not support either Israel or Palestine.  

        •  That's an interesting comment, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeeDee001, zemblan

          yet for the life of me I have no idea what it means.

          In any case, my point is very simple.

          Hamas is an organization devoted to killing Jews.

          Thus it should be condemned by anyone who is not in favor of killing Jews.

          See how simple that is?

          "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

          by Karmafish on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:41:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karmafish

            Poster said:

            Hamas is an organization devoted to killing Jews.Thus it should be condemned by anyone who is not in favor of killing Jews.

            See how simple that is?

            I completely agree.

            The Palestinian people chose Hamas as their representative.  There will not be peace until the Palestinian people, and their elected representatives, renounce the killing of Jews.

            Embracing peaceful means .... It worked in India (Ghandi) ... It worked in Northern Ireland ... and It can work in Israel too.

  •  Wrong again! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeDee001, volleyboy1

    None of Israel's neighbors has any intention of attacking it, with the exception of Hamas.

    Hizbullah has an intention. They keep on talking about it.

  •  Two questions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Euroliberal

    Do you really consider yourself moderate?

    I don't. You support Israel pretty much no matter what, you're apologetic about some of there more distasteful positions, but not enough to really matter. That said, I don't consider myself moderate either. I think since '67 the far greater weight of blame goes to Israel.

    Do you ever write about anything else?

    Seriously, I think you should have at least one other interest.

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

    by FrankCornish on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:16:27 AM PDT

    •  Do you have the same criticism of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL, zemblan, sandbox, ProfJonathan

      Jon the anti-Zionist Jew?  Just curious.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Two Days per Bottle.

      by dhonig on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:38:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't see his posts so often (0+ / 0-)

        maybe he's around at different times.

        But yes, I would. When I look at someone's diary page and I see one topic area nearly exclusively, I think that shows a bit of imbalance.

        I'm assuming that's the issue you were wondering about.

        If its the first question, then there's a different answer. That would be "lip service" apparently moderate positions.

        You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

        by FrankCornish on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  don't forget Hezbollah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChurchofBruce, Mother Shipper

    None of Israel's neighbors has any intention of attacking it, with the exception of Hamas.

    They're funded trained and armed by Iran . One reason nobody wants a nuclear Iran is that it would embolden Hamas/ Hezbollah. It would embolden Iran to send them more advanced weaponry too.

    //

    Hezbollah just had a terror cell broken up in Egypt btw....

    Egyptian authorities had announced last month that it dismantled a secret Hezbollah-linked cell in Egypt which planned terrorist attacks against tourist destinations, that often host Israeli tourists, and other strategic targets in Egypt including the Suez Canal.

    http://www.indopia.in/...

    Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

    by Keith Moon on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:16:52 AM PDT

    •  Another poor reader (0+ / 0-)

      See remark above

      •  well (0+ / 0-)

        I was addressing this specific point

        None of Israel's neighbors has any intention of attacking it, with the exception of Hamas.

        Hezbollah was in the midst of planning an attack on Israeli tourists in Egypt till their terror cell was discovered.

        Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

        by Keith Moon on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:44:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  cont. (0+ / 0-)

          The incident cast light on what is becoming the central rift in the Middle East, pitting Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Morocco against Iran, its allies Syria and Qatar, its proxy Hezbollah, and the Palestinian movement Hamas. As President Obama develops policies for Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he cannot ignore this reality.

          In a speech, Mubarak plainly accused Iran and its agents of trying to harm Egypt's security. "We will not allow any interference by foreign forces . . . who push the region towards hell out of a desire to spread their influence and their agenda on the Arab world," he said.

          No less revealing was Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's public admission that he had sponsored an operation in Egypt. He justified this extension of Hezbollah's reach into another Arab country by saying the operation's targets were meant to be Israeli.

          http://www.boston.com/...

          Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

          by Keith Moon on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:47:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  More and more, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    I am appreciating your approach to this issue.

    Nicely done, aemathisphd... despite your very peculiar moniker!

    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

    by Karmafish on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:19:13 AM PDT

    •  It's my name and degree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karmafish, ProfJonathan

      Andrew E. Mathis, Ph.D.

      •  may we inquire onto the topic of your Ph.D.? (0+ / 0-)

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:33:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My doctorate is in English (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          borkitekt

          And Chomsky's is in applied linguistics, but I assume you know that.

          •  At least those are real doctorates! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt

            My J.D. stands for "Juris Doctorate," but we all know that it's really a bachelor's degree (as it would be in any other country), with LL.M and LL.D degrees possible beyond for those who truly follow the legal scholarship track.

            J.D.s have a saying: "Only our mothers call us 'doctor."  :)  {ProfJonathan, the son of a Poor Hungry Doctor, aka PhD}

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

            by ProfJonathan on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:56:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, of course:) just wondering. (0+ / 0-)

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Fri May 08, 2009 at 10:59:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not that I oppose all that much of what you (0+ / 0-)

            say here... But I don't know why English OR linguistics PhDs give someone any special qualification to talk about Israel.  Chomsky's tripe is just that re: Israel--he may be brilliant on issues of linguistic theory, but he's not academically more qualified on Israel than I am (as a JD).  

            I suspect (but do not know for certain) that Palestinian Professor is actually a professor on some relevant topic (history, politics, ME affairs, something)--which, even though I disagree with him just as much as Chomsky, at least gives him a relevant qualification that we should respect as such.

            "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

            by oldskooldem on Fri May 08, 2009 at 11:07:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't disagree with this... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldskooldem

              But I don't know why English OR linguistics PhDs give someone any special qualification to talk about Israel.  Chomsky's tripe is just that re: Israel--he may be brilliant on issues of linguistic theory, but he's not academically more qualified on Israel than I am (as a JD).

              It doesn't give me qualification to speak about anything with any degree of authority except for English literature.

  •  I'm waiting for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish

    I'm waiting for a Palestinian leader to accept Israel's right to exist.  

    •  Well (4+ / 0-)

      Since that happened about 15 years ago, I formally give you permission to stop waiting.  Enjoy all the time it frees up.  

      •  Actions speak louder than words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Karmafish

        Why then all the rocket attacks (targeting civilian homes and synagogues) into Israel?  Why then the maps that show Palestine as one entire country .... without Israel?

        And, pray tell, who is the Palestinian leader who today (2009) says "Israel has the right to exist"?  (Name and rank, please.)

      •  You seem to be knowledgeable (0+ / 0-)

        on ME issues.

        Weasel, I understand (or think I do) that this statement:

        I'm waiting for a Palestinian leader to accept Israel's right to exist.  

        actually has another meaning for Palestinians. Something to the effect that in their thinking it would be tatamount to accepting that Palestinians have no right of return.(?) Someone mentioned that in one of the diaries. What are your thoughts?

        Also, are you aware if any Israeli leader ever recognized Palestine's right to exist. I know there are peace groups  - but how about elected leaders?

        I ask not to piss anyone off - I really want to know. If you have any links would be much appreciated.

        A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. - Baltasar Gracian

        by desiderata on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:50:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ptah the Great

          Also, are you aware if any Israeli leader ever recognized Palestine's right to exist.

          It depends on what you mean.  The official Israeli position (at least pre-Netanyahu) was that there should be a Palestinian state at some unspecified point in the future, on some unspecified land, under some unspecified limitations, and run by an unspecified government acceptable to Israel.  Of course, if Israel so decided, there would be a Palestinian state tomorrow.  Instead, Israel's actions are all geared toward preventing a Palestinian state from coming into being.  But in the world of Middle East watchers, tradition holds that you value words more than actions: so you are supported to say that Israel does "recognize" a Palestinian right to state (even though it prevents it), whereas many Palestinians don't "recognize" the Israeli right (though they can hardly prevent it).

          This is, by the way, one of the things that makes Bibi Netanyahu so fascinating.  He must be aware that words are treated more seriously that actions, but he refuses, for political and principle reasons, to simply speak the polite words, even while he continues the previous governments actions to block a Palestinian state by massively expanding the Israeli settlements.

  •  Speaking of Iran... (0+ / 0-)

    "It works on any Ayatollah! Ayatollah Nakhbadeh, Ayatollah Zahedi! Even as we speak, Ayatollah Razmara and his cadre of fanatics are consolidating their power!"

    --Homer Simpson

  •  The solution is to educate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    desiderata

    both sides about the stupidity of all religion.

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ptah the Great

      How would that solve a land dispute between two population with a long history of bloodshed?

    •  Absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

      The solution is to educate
      both sides about the stupidity of of all religion

      All the wars that have been fought in the name of "God" (whatever you perceive him/her) to be.

      In this case - we have the two or three evils. Religion, nationalism and man's need to expand control over others - usually in the form of conquest (ie Roman Empire, British, French, Ottoman etc, etc)

      Doesn't bode well for a "rational" solution.

      A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. - Baltasar Gracian

      by desiderata on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:31:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hamas is... Israel is... (0+ / 0-)

    One wonders if the thinking and acting about tribal disputes might be a little different if our brains did not insist on collecting all people associated with the other tribe into a single noun. I doubt all nominal "members of Hamas" are fang-toothed "militant extremists," red of claw and dedicated to destruction (though some no doubt are virulent pot-stirring national-sociopaths, who know how easy it is to keep the cycle of violence going by a few well-placed Jihadicide bombers and unguided rockets) any more than all the citizens and residents of Israel are the same set of dedicated Holy Warriors with the same zero-sum views of their neighbors and Enemies.

    We ain't smart enough to think our way out of this kind of corner, and besides, killing and maiming The Enemy is so much darn staisfying FUN, especially if it's "retaliation" for stuff "it" did in retaliation for stuff We did in retaliation for stuff...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 11:39:36 AM PDT

    •  There's a distinction (0+ / 0-)

      I doubt all nominal "members of Hamas" are fang-toothed "militant extremists," red of claw and dedicated to destruction (though some no doubt are virulent pot-stirring national-sociopaths, who know how easy it is to keep the cycle of violence going by a few well-placed Jihadicide bombers and unguided rockets) any more than all the citizens and residents of Israel are the same set of dedicated Holy Warriors with the same zero-sum views of their neighbors and Enemies.

      The problem with the above is that it does not recognize that Hamas is a political/paramilitary organization and Israeli is a nation-state that contains political organizations (no paramilitary b/c there's a regular military). Thus the comparison can't really be made.

      Any member of Hamas who embraces their charter is a Jew-hater and not someone to be dealt with rationally.

      •  Heh (3+ / 0-)

        not someone to be dealt with rationally.

        I've never seen a more concise explanation of Israel's incredibly irrational response to Hamas.

      •  Say again? (0+ / 0-)

        Looks to me like "Hamas" and "The Taliban" and "Israel" and "Afghanistan" and even "the US" are nothing but collective nouns (like "a murder of crows" or "an exultation of larks" or "a herd of cattle") that do nothing to illuminate or provide anything but convenient handles for the pot that calls the kettle black.

        What's the matter, folks? afraid to acknowledge your own humanity and human failings, right alongside "those other creatures on the other side of the river who are NOT HUMAN"? This is like onoe of those police standoffs, where the "bad guy" with the hostage, who may really not want to kill the hostage or get killed himself, tells the cop to put his gun down first, before the "bad guy" will surrender. Your vaunted "military" will just line up the sniper rifles and kill the "bad guy" and maybe hit the hostage too, because of the way you view the game.

        It's rewarding to view these morality plays on TV, makes us feel so righteous and "on the side of God." But the "bad guy" is still just a puff of pink mist, and his kids are fatherless nonetheless.

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:10:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And don't let anyone ever think you're a "freier" (0+ / 0-)

        Old Testament stuff, right? The "olden rule" that came along before the "Golden Rule," and read "Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you!"

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:14:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Usually your diaries are smart (3+ / 0-)

    but what's up with the Nazi comparisons? Even about Hamas. If we are going to head that way then we'll be going down a very slippery slope.

    Every year the only group in israel that celebrates the defeat of the Nazis are Palestinians in Haifa and Nazareth. And should you approach these guys with the argument that Hamas are Nazis they would be sufficiently perturbed to bring out the dirt files of the Palestine Communist Party from the 1930's about the dirty little Nazi collaborators who's political siblings eventually became the Likud party.  

    We my friend have had a long history with the right-wing zionists. A very long history and we know all the filthy little  secrets that they have. The oppressor cannot hide anything from the oppressed.  

    Every fucking year is 1938?

    PS what's up the '96 war against Lebanon. Israel was still occupying Lebanon.

    If you are in Israel 16th of May, 7:30pm  come to come to Nazareth to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis (Ask for the Abu Maher building, go by Taxi the driver will know)

    http://aljabha.org/...

    You will see who the bastards of Nazism in Israel are. And they are not Arabs.

    "As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide." Barack Obama

    by palestinian professor on Fri May 08, 2009 at 02:28:05 PM PDT

    •  Did I talk about the Nazis? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't recall that I did... Oh, the boycott of Nazi Germany?   I used it because it's an apt comparison — not because I'm comparing Hamas to Nazi Germany. Hamas wishes they could be Nazi Germany, but they'll never have that kind of power.

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