March 7, 2010

What Took Him So Long?

In the same speech where he again predicts the "end" of Zionism and capitalism, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joins the ranks of the 9/11 "truthers."

Posted by Michael J. Totten at March 7, 2010 11:18 AM
Comments
Ahmadinejad also evidently ascribes to the old European antisemitism that linked Jews with capitalist plutocracy: "Today, with blessings from the Almighty, the capitalist system, founded by the Zionists, has also reached an end." Underline "founded by the Zionists," which cannot be misunderstood.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 7, 2010 12:22 pm
Ahmadinejad also evidently ascribes to the old European antisemitism that linked Jews with capitalist plutocracy: "Today, with blessings from the Almighty, the capitalist system, founded by the Zionists, has also reached an end." Underline "founded by the Zionists," which cannot be misunderstood.

European antisemitism links Jews to whatever is espoused as an evil: capitalism, Bolshevism, imperialism, you name it. Jews have traditionally been, and continue to be, the scapegoats of the world. Your rambling posts are ample evidence of the latest iteration of classic antisemitism - anti-Israelism/anti-Zionism - call it what you will, it has the same ugly underpinnings. I read your fixation with the struggle for Jewish independence and security in the homeland as an obsessive/compulsive disorder of some kind. It would be great if you just moved on to something else already.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 7, 2010 1:43 pm
I have never understood the "truthers". In order for their scenario to be true, Bush would have had to have known at least two years in advance that he was going to win the election. He would also have had to set up quite a sophisticated operation within the intelligence community prior to even running for office. He would then have had only nine months from the time he took office to execute the plan. At the same time, he is apparently such a blunderer that his intelligence organization can not actually locate WMD in Iraq. In other words, he has to be absolutely brilliant with thousands of people working in concert and not a word leaking and at the same time be an absolute dolt whose intelligence community leaked like a sieve.

The entire notion is completely laughable if for no other reason that it would require Republicans and Democrats to cooperate on an issue that they had exactly opposite positions on.

It is obvious to practically everyone on the planet that Ahmadinejad is a nut. A very dangerous nut but a nut nevertheless. The sooner he finds something else to occupy his time, the better.
Posted by: crosspatch at March 7, 2010 1:48 pm
"Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report
Popular Mechanics examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.
By The Editors
Published in the March 2005 issue."

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html
Posted by: Paul S. at March 7, 2010 2:07 pm
Ahmadinejad ascribes to the antisemitism (Judenhass) evident throughout the texts of Islam. However, he and his mullahs realize that it is useful for them to allude to the European strain of antisemitism (Judenhass) to gain credibility and allies with and among those who ascribe to that European strain of that particular mental illness.
Posted by: del at March 7, 2010 7:28 pm
"Ahmadinejad also evidently ascribes to the old European antisemitism that linked Jews with capitalist plutocracy"

As opposed to the new European antisemitism that uses "antizionism" as a cover for lying blood-libeling scumbags like ombrageux.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 7, 2010 8:11 pm
As opposed to the new European antisemitism that uses "antizionism" as a cover for lying blood-libeling scumbags like ombrageux.

Expect the next post to say something along the lines of, "Why can't I criticize Israel without being labeled an antisemite?" followed by the reciting of names of ex-Jews such as Chomsky, Finkelstein, and other notable scumbags.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 7, 2010 8:57 pm
I posted the same article on my Facebook page and was shocked by the response from at least two people (names deleted) about the CNN Ahmadenijad 9/11 article:

WH:
This I actually believe. That 911 was a big lie. They certainly looked like demolition jobs.

Me:
Are you joking?

WH:
Well I don't want to make a declarative statement but no I'm not joking. They say material from explosives was found in the rubble. It just sounds fishy. Perhaps far fetched perhaps about

CS:
I agree Zak. don't jump the shark here. questioning my governments official story on 9/11 does not an anti-Semite make. careful which way you go with your reply.

Me:
From the article:

“It's not the first time Ahmadinejad has denied a historical tragedy. In the past, he has denied the existence of the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of some 6 million Jews during World War II, and suggested Israel should be ‘wiped off the map.’ "Today," he said Saturday, "with blessings from the Almighty, the capitalist system, founded by the Zionists, has also reached an end," Press TV quoted Ahmadinejad.’

Okay, you both agree with Ahmadinejad, then, that 9/11 was some sort of an inside job. Ahmadinejad makes it clear who he thinks the perpetrators were. Do you agree with his analysis?

JK:
I don't argue with people that believe in 9-11 conspiracies. I just think they're either stupid or insane or some combination of both.
Posted by: semite5000 at March 7, 2010 9:54 pm
Belief is just a whole lot easier to arrive at, compared to beyond a reasonable doubt. The frustrating challenge it poses for the rational skeptic is that it will always be merely opinion, fueled by strong emotions, floating beyond the bounds of proof---but a powerful force nonetheless. However, once any believer declares "This is..", not "I believe...", he steps into the world of facts. Put yours on the table at that point for the group to examine, or be content to confine your views to that outside realm where evidence is never required.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Flat Earth Society still has members---and successful membership drives.
Posted by: Paul S. at March 7, 2010 11:26 pm
Stay on topic, kids.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 8, 2010 1:33 am
I don't argue with people that believe in 9-11 conspiracies. I just think they're either stupid...

Bingo. The average person has an IQ of about 100. That's not "stupid" but it's not smart enough to understand things that seem pretty routine to somebody with an IQ > about 120. It's become very PC to downplay the importance of innate intelligence and play up the importance of education, but no amount of education can teach people to understand things that are simply beyond their comprehension. That's when you get comments like "it LOOKED like a demolition!" and "there's no way a dozen idiots with box cutters could hijack 4 planes!" and so on. They base their opinions on observation rather than analysis, and emotion rather than logic and reason. Add that to the tendency of a lot of people to believe whatever makes them feel comfortable if the truth is sufficiently unpleasant, and it's a major problem. probably the main reason direct democracy could never work :)
Posted by: Craig at March 8, 2010 4:10 am
Paul S.: The PopMech 9/11 site is terrific for the general conspiracy myths - better word: fantasies - but is a little frozen in time, unfortunately. What it does do well is demonstrate how truthers distort fact; what it no longer does is catalogue myths generated since then. For that, there are better sites:

The 9/11 Guide (http://www.freewebs.com/911guide/) is a better, albeit more pedantic site for beginners, as it is a fair attempt to cover most of the basic truther "canon". And also, the 9/11 Debunkers Guide (http://911debunker.livejournal.com/) covers much of that same ground. 911myths.com is an excellent site too, with the owner making good attempts to keep it updated. And for those who're already familiar with the common conspiracy myths, wtc7lies.googlepages.com is an excellently detailed site; it may be a little difficult to navigate at first, but there is loads of information there.


---------

Getting back on topic with Ahmadinejad: I don't know if Santayana's saying is actually true ("Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it"), but I can tell you that those who refuse to understand history and weed out fiction from fact are doomed to incomprehension and idiocy. It's one thing to not understand, it's a whole other creature to refuse to do so. It's deliberate self injury inflicted simply to satisfy one's ego, and nothing good can come of it. It's frightening that an actual leader of a nation has shown a propensity towards such deeply incoherent thought. The 9/11 truther mentality may be nothing compared to the deep delusion necessary to deny the Holocaust, but in this case it functions as an unfortunate symptom of a deeper pathology, one that is not only hate-based but has also demonstrated a willingness to overlook reason. Not that we needed any more confirmation in Ahmadinejad's case; Holocaust denial is already proof-plenty of such a mental deficit. But it is yet another indicator that we don't have a person here who's functional save for one deep delusion, we have a case here where Ahmadinejad is willing to ignore fact and truth, period, as long as it's something to do with the West or Israel.

9/11 conspiracy fantasizing may be nothing more than simple delusion and unwillingness to look at fact, but it's not a comfortable or reassuring trait to see in a nation's leader. And it's definitely worrisome to see it as a trend of conspiratorial delusion in the man.
Posted by: ElMondoHummus at March 8, 2010 5:56 am
semite5000: That truther was referring to a piece of pseudoscience taking the characteristics of a paint chip and using it to claim it's an incendiary. That lunacy's been circulating truther sites for just over a year now.

If Ahmadinejad realized the quality of people who come up with these lunacies... well, wait a minute. He's willing to associate himself with those who deny the Holocaust. 9/11 denial is idiocy-lite compared to that.
Posted by: ElMondoHummus at March 8, 2010 6:07 am
Please replace "ascribes" with "subscribes", in my comment above. Thank you.
Posted by: del at March 8, 2010 7:49 am
[...] The rest is here: Michael J. Totten [...]
Posted by: Michael J. Totten : PlanetTalk.net - Learn the truth , no more lies at March 8, 2010 12:51 pm
ElMondoHummus,

Thanks for the two bookmarks. Living in San Francisco for too long now, I stopped debating with belief years ago. Facts can drive true believers nuts (which can be amusing to watch.)

Craig,

Education: bull's eye. This is why information isn't knowledge, and knowledge isn't wisdom.

A buddy of mine uses the term "idiocracy."

And I often think back to General Eisenhower, insisting all nearby personnel witness the horrors of the camps in person:

"As he explained to General Marshall, “'I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/death-camps.htm
Posted by: Paul S. at March 8, 2010 4:48 pm
Last point worth a mention: the frequency with which believers confuse effects and cause.
Posted by: Paul S. at March 8, 2010 5:15 pm
AJ is appealing to yet another group of loonies in the West.

And he is a master of his craft: "...with blessings from the Almighty, the capitalist system, founded by the Zionists, has also reached an end";
This one sentence appeals to Muslims, Communists, Anarchists, right-wing anti-Semites (who know what he means by Zionists) and left-wing anti-Semites (who pretend that they don't).

The next logical step for him would be to appeal to Tea Party people. I say that in his next for-external-consumption speech, AJ will lament the loss of American liberties or somesuch. And blame the Jews for it, of course.
Posted by: Abu Sa'ar at March 8, 2010 5:51 pm
Abu Sa'ar,

The day I hear the Tea Party has fallen under the spell of Mymood Iminajihad I leave for Singapore!
:-)
Posted by: Paul S. at March 9, 2010 12:03 am
I haven't been here in a while, and I have no idea what "Ombrageux"'s agenda might be, but I appreciate his drawing attention to what I consider a more noteworthy comment, "The capitalist system, founded by the Zionists." Right, the "Zionists" founded the capitalist system, uh-huh. Those Zionists with their big hooked noses.

But remember:
1. We're dealing with rational people.
2. How dare you accuse people of anti-semitism just because they criticize "Zionists"?!
Posted by: Bob at March 9, 2010 7:55 pm
All anti-Semites (or almost) are anti-Zionists. But not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites. Ahmadinejad is both.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 10, 2010 2:58 am
All anti-Semites (or almost) are anti-Zionists. But not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.

Will you please just STFU already.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 10, 2010 12:32 pm
"All anti-Semites (or almost) are anti-Zionists. But not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites."

I'm not convinced. What's more likely:
1. I have nothing against Jews; I just think that they (out of all nations) have no right to self-determination.
2. I hate Jews, and I want them to get out of "my" country and go to that whatchamacallit place in the Middle East.

(Apologies if I'm feeding trolls.)
Posted by: Bob at March 10, 2010 1:23 pm
But not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.

Ah, that's bullshit. Kind of like saying "I have no problem with French people. I just think France has no right to exist."

No one ever argues about whether or not some other country in the world has a right to exist.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 10, 2010 1:35 pm
Michael, if you haven't seen it yet, I'll excerpt part of a recent post by Walter Russel Mead, at http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/03/09/the-night-yasser-arafat-kissed-me/ (As can be seen from the URL, he's relatively new at blogging, but he already knows how to attract traffic).

[Henceforth Mead:]

Furthermore, while I am reluctant to call out individuals, I believe that unconscious but real anti-Semitism informs many contemporary attitudes toward the Jewish state. I’ve run across a surprisingly large number of people who believe that Israel’s right to exist is conditional: that Israel has to earn and keep re-earning its legitimacy by behaving better than other countries. I have also been told many times that the Jews are not a “real” people.

These views are anti-Semitic, pure and simple. The Jews are a real people, a nation, and they have the same right to self determination that other nations have. The Jewish state is the expression of their natural right to self-determination and whether that state behaves well or badly, wisely or foolishly, it has the same right to exist as Finland, the United States or Egypt. To deny the right of the Jews to a state is to deny them a basic human right on account of their nationality; I’m sorry, but this is anti-Semitic behavior. If you work very hard, and are very clever and exceptionally careful in your moral and political judgments, it is technically possible for a gentile to be an anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite, but this state of mind is not as easy to achieve as many people think. Many and perhaps most of those who insist so self-righteously on this precious distinction haven’t worked nearly hard enough to earn it.
Posted by: Bob at March 10, 2010 2:34 pm
I'm not convinced. What's more likely:
1. I have nothing against Jews; I just think that they (out of all nations) have no right to self-determination.
2. I hate Jews, and I want them to get out of "my" country and go to that whatchamacallit place in the Middle East.


It's very common to find anti-Semites like Ombrageux spewing both #1 and #2, but in reverse order:

1) If Jews love Israel so much why don't they just move there.

followed by

2) Israel is an illegitimate colonialist settler apartheid state and should be abolished, etc.

It's the perfect solution. Get rid of the 'disloyal' Jews here by shipping them over there, and then get rid of the whole Zionist entity. No more mess and the world will be better off as a result.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 10, 2010 3:12 pm
Or more benignly, from "Jews go to Palestine" to "Jews out of Palestine." They are Wandering Jews after all, no?

Some Arabs and Muslims also seem to have some sort of amnesia, advocating that Israeli Jews "return" to Europe, when roughly half of them would have some trouble finding European roots.

And to add a second installment to my impromptu anthology, here's Mark Steyn on antisemitism:
"The 'oldest hatred' didn’t get that way without an ability to adapt: Once upon a time on the Continent, Jews were hated as rootless cosmopolitan figures who owed no national allegiance. So they became a conventional nation state, and now they’re hated for that. And, if Hamas get their way and destroy the Jewish state, the few who survive will be hated for something else. So it goes."
Posted by: Bob at March 10, 2010 5:00 pm
Do the Roma have a state? The Kurds? The Basques? The Sorbs? Is one anti-Semitic to think that putting 6 million Jews in already occupied area in a sea of 300 million Arabs is a stupid idea? Were all the Jews throughout history that opposed Zionism anti-Semites? And all the people - notably anticolonialists and antiracists in India and South Africa - who oppose Zionism because they regard it as a "color issue," are they anti-Semites too?

Israel exists today. It can't and shouldn't be undone if Israel is willing to grant either self-determination or democratic rights to those it dominates. That doesn't mean the ideology and movement on which it was founded wasn't misguided or immoral. There would be no problem if Zionism meant moving to an empty country. They did not exist by 1900. So Zionism could only mean the subjugation of Native by the Settler.

(If I had had my way, I would have given Jews a bit of Germany the Soviets had ethnically cleansed during WW2, perhaps what is now Kaliningrad Oblast.)
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 10, 2010 5:41 pm
"They," meaning "empty countries" before anyone pounces.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 10, 2010 5:45 pm
Israel exists today. It can't and shouldn't be undone if...

Your "if" is the problem.

Israel exists and has the right to continue existing even if its government becomes totally evil. (Evil governments always fall in the end and are replaced by something more decent.)

Not even Hitler voided Germany's right to exist.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 10, 2010 5:53 pm
By the way, my arguing with the first part of your sentence does not mean I disagree that the Palestinians need either a) a state, or b) Israeli citizenship. They do need one or the other.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 10, 2010 5:55 pm
OMBRA
You really are a piece of work!
Your abysmal ignorance is of the lowest order (or should I say ordure!
You really illustrate the double standard of antisemitism and are too vain, arrogant and self-possessed to realize it.
To go further would be a colossal waste of time and keystokes!
You should just be ignored!
Are you in the Obama administration? You should be. You'd find yourself right at home.
Posted by: yesjb at March 10, 2010 5:58 pm
MJT,

If what the Palestinian Arabs really wanted was a(n independent) state, they would have had it long ago. In a way they had and have it in (trans)Jordan, but there is the complication of the grafted-on Hashemite dynasty there of course. Alternatively, if they sincerely followed the intent of the Oslo Accords, they would have had an independent state by now, on territory handed over by Israel. Not all of the territory they want, but certainly some of it. In fact, they could easily declare "independence" tomorrow. But then the UNRWA welfare gravy train might stop, and responsibility and accountability might cramp their style. Or they could have in 1948. No, actually they couldn't have then because they did not realistically exist as a "people" then.

But of course, the creation of an independent Palestinian State isn't really the Arab and Muslim goal. The goal is simply the obliteration of Israel. The creation of a "Palestinian people" was a masterful strategy toward that goal. The strategists recognized the European and UN soft-spot for self-determination of "peoples", and over several decades (1960s-1970s-1980s, approx), successfully created a national identity which had not existed prior to 1967. Zuhair Muhsein of the PLO Executive Committee may have been a tool of the Syrian Baathists, but he spoke his mind honestly when he asserted that there was no "Palestinian people" in that interview with Trouw Magazine in 1977. That "peoplehood" was then under construction, and Muhsein, then in his 40s, had grown up when even less had existed. Not all Arab regimes and organizations(e.g. Syria, Jordan) were on-board at the time as they maintained their own Syrian and Jordanian claims to "Palestine", or emphasized a general "Arab", or an Islam based claim. But, over a period of time, it was recognized that pushing the "Palestinian peoplehood" claim was a more effective strategy versus Israel, and eventually Jordan's Hussein renounced the "Jordanian" claim to cisJordan, and the Syrians have lowered the profile of their Greater-Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Hatay) aspirations without explicitly renouncing them.

So. Is it necessary that all "peoples" be given a state? If the Palestinian Arabs, then why not the Kurds? What if a "people" develops somewhere else on the globe already occupied, as everywhere is, except Antarctica? Are there any conditions on this statehood-deserving-ness? Behavior? Location? History? Presumably Russia, China, USA would be exempt from the "need" to grant an independent state to such a group. Right? But then why the exemption? How is that "fair"?

In your view, why do the Palestinian Arabs "need" a state or Israeli citizenship? I expect that you realize that giving them Israeli citizenship is tantamount to obliterating Israel, so that option is a non-starter for Israel, and would be for anyone opposed to obliterating Israel. I assume you included it as a rhetorical device which leads to your alternative, the preferred independent state. Is their "need" for a state a need on your part to satisfy your own idea of planetary just-ness and fairness? Is it to satisfy Palestinian Arab own "needs"? Exactly what "needs" would you say? I doubt either economic conditions or individual civil rights, in a western sense, would improve for the Palestinian Arabs in their independent state. Is it a need to satisfy their honor? Perhaps, yes. But then why should their honor be given such importance? I would say the "need" is the Arab and Muslim goal of the destruction of Israel-- a goal most easily accomplished by enlisting the UN and Western countries in forcing Israel to dismember itself without actual open warfare by the Arab nation-states.

If the Palestinian Arabs are given, and take, a future opportunity to have a West Bank and Gaza state (and for fantasy purposes include all of "East Jerusalem"), side-by-side with a rump Israel do you think the conflict would end? Really? If not, then why would it be advisable to advocate for such a "solution"? Perhaps conditions could be attached, one might say. Conditions are however meaningless without goodwill or without external enforcement. Is there goodwill? Is it reasonable to expect that there will be? Is effective external enforcement realistic? You likely know how I would answer those last 3 questions.
Posted by: del at March 10, 2010 11:46 pm
del: If what the Palestinian Arabs really wanted was a(n independent) state, they would have had it long ago.

Oh, don't I know it. This is obvious to everyone who has been paying attention and isn't wallowing in denial.

In your view, why do the Palestinian Arabs "need" a state or Israeli citizenship?

Because right now they are citizens of nowhere. It is a ridiculous situation. The conflict can't possibly end until that is resolved.

That does not, however, mean the conflict would necessarily end right away once they get to that point. Hezbollah fighters are citizens of Lebanon, after all.

In your view, why do the Palestinian Arabs "need" a state or Israeli citizenship?

The West Bank could also be re-absorbed into Jordan, and Gaza into Egypt. I don't really care.

All I'm saying is that something different needs to happen because the status quo can't and won't last forever. They aren't going to be living in a stateless void for the next 500 years.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2010 12:01 am
"Israel exists today. It can't and shouldn't be undone if"

But if you had your way you'd let Hamas annihilate every Jew there. Go fuck yourself, you Jew-hating bastard.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 11, 2010 12:10 am
MJT - Germany *was* undone. Austria was separated from it. Silesia and Prussia, which had been German for 500 years, were purged of Germans. The rest of Germany was sliced into little pieces for France, Britain, America and Russia to occupy.

Germany's very existence meant that Russia, the Jews and slew of other minorities could not exist. So Germany could not exist, at least not in the circumstances, and it took half a century for the nation to be restored (and they still don't have Austria).

If Israel chooses to make its existence - as for French Algeria, the British Empire, the Soviet Union or South Africa - necessitate the deprivation of self-determination for millions of Natives, then Israel loses the right to exist in the state it is today. That is not the same as saying the Jews should be exterminated with that state anymore than White South Africans or the English people. But the Israeli colonial State must end, whether by withdrawing to Israel proper and becoming a solely national, democratic Jewish state or by keeping the territories and becoming a binational democratic state. It is illegitimate in its current state.

yesjb - I think every objective and reasonable observer would agree that the Obama administration is totally unremarkable on Israel-Palestine. It has not cut the massive amounts of aid, it has (like Bush did) condemned new settlements (heartbroken I am sure) but used none of their leverage whatsoever to prevent new settlements.

del - All peoples denied citizenship in their existing state have a right fight for either that citizenship or for their own state.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 11, 2010 1:11 am
MJT - Germany *was* undone. Austria was separated from it. Silesia and Prussia, which had been German for 500 years, were purged of Germans. The rest of Germany was sliced into little pieces for France, Britain, America and Russia to occupy.

Germany's very existence meant that Russia, the Jews and slew of other minorities could not exist. So Germany could not exist, at least not in the circumstances, and it took half a century for the nation to be restored (and they still don't have Austria).

If Israel chooses to make its existence - as for French Algeria, the British Empire, the Soviet Union or South Africa - necessitate the deprivation of self-determination for millions of Natives, then Israel loses the right to exist in the state it is today. That is not the same as saying the Jews should be exterminated with that state anymore than White South Africans or the English people. But the Israeli colonial State must end, whether by withdrawing to Israel proper and becoming a solely national, democratic Jewish state or by keeping the territories and becoming a binational democratic state. It is illegitimate in its current state.

yesjb - I think every objective and reasonable observer would agree that the Obama administration is totally unremarkable on Israel-Palestine. It has not cut the massive amounts of aid, it has (like Bush did) condemned new settlements (heartbroken I am sure) but used none of their leverage whatsoever to prevent new settlements.

del - All peoples denied citizenship in their existing state have a right fight for either that citizenship or for their own state.

GR - Try to be a little bit serious.

Incidentally, I am struck how everyone has moved swiftly along from my contention that Zionism was poorly conceived and immoral, and that to be anti-Zionist is not the same as anti-Semitic.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 11, 2010 1:16 am
Sorry about the DP.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 11, 2010 1:16 am
I think O. does have a point; though I would phrase things a bit differently:

Israel is a state "poorly conceived and immoral" because it refused not to be destroyed by those who would destroy it...and has so far continued to succeed in not being destroyed.

It is an immoral state because although it has offered conditions and borders to its "partners in peace" for the creation of a state for those who want to erase Israel, those concessions have (surprise!) not been accepted.

It is an immoral state because although it grants its minority citizens more rights, civil, economic, and political, than any minority is granted by any other state in the region, there continues to be discrimination and even racism in the country (a situation unlike any other country in the region---or the world).

It is an immoral state because it continues to fight for its existence and refuses to commit suicide.

It is an immoral state because it dares to declare that Jews have a right to statehood.

It is an immoral state because it is hated by some of the most unscrupulous regimes on the planet.

It is an immoral state because it serves as a lightning rod for hatred and war that would otherwise, if Israel did not exist, be directed by its neighbors towards one another.

It is an immoral state because it continues to confound the morally confused and corrupted.

It is an immoral state because it seeks to find a modus vivendi with those who would prefer to destroy it.

It is an immoral state because it provides access by all religions to their holy sites.

It is an immoral state because in spite of all, it continues to attempt to find a solution to that for which there is no solution.

And chiefly, it is an immoral state because it is not perfect.

Clearly, it has no right to exist.
Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 11, 2010 4:24 am
If there was ever a country that deserved its existence its Israel.
It wasn't just dropped in the middle of a sea of 300 million Arabs last week. What an ignorant comment.
It was mandated after WWI, just like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Maybe we should get rid of those countries too??
The Jews built up the country from the dust sand swamps and rocks and it was only when they started to become economically viable and increase their level of production did the Arabs from the surrounding areas realize that they could do better than just shovel camel shit in Amman or Aleppo.
And our friends the Brits helped right along. By denying the Jews entry and facilitating that of the Arabs they hoped to reverse the Balfour declaration and get rid of the Jews.
One only has to look at each White Paper they produced, each offering the Jews less and less.
Their aim was really no secret and they might have succeeded had not their attention been directed elsewhere in 1939.
And isn't it so nice that someone would offer them a piece of what was it... "Fuckoffistan" for a homeland. Now that's mighty "white" of him. How about Uganda, Madagascar or even Alaska?
As for the so-called Palestinians..80% of the Mandate was lopped off by Churchill to accomodate the Arabs. poor Abdullah, his cousin got Saudi Arabia and he got nothing, so why not give him part of the Mandate and make it Judenrein.
British ass-licking at its best!
The "Palestinians" could have a State many times over by why settle for part of what they want (as Ben Gurion did) when you can whine, scream and stomp your feet like a 2 year old until Daddy Obama can help you get it all and kick out those pesky Jews. And some people here can whine like the best of the Palestinians. And what a coincidence that they never started this whining til 1967.
Then you can turn it into another Garden of Eden like Gaza.
The truth is short of packing up and leaving Israel, it doesn't matter what the Jews do. It will never please the Muslims. This essentially is a religious conflict which to the Muslims has become genocidal in nature.
The "Palestinians have shown themselves incapable of statecraft and when and if they do they might even be more reasonable.
And yes, the Kurds do deserve a state. They lost the opportunity in 1919 thanks to Great Powers machinations. And they would be a damn sight better at it than the "Palestinians".
Posted by: jb at March 11, 2010 6:44 am
Ombrageux -

A question for you, please. Do you really believe that you can convince people who read this in your POV? It just seems like the wrong audience, you'd fare much better at Stormfront or any Jihadist site.

Or is it just the joy of arguing with people for the sake of argument and annoyance?

OK, so you hate Jews and would rather see us rising from smokestacks again. You are even willing to devote time and effort in realizing this dream. But what do you gain from from the... discussion here?

I am eagerly awaiting your answer.
Posted by: Abu Sa'ar at March 11, 2010 7:35 am
Ahmadinejad is nuts. However, his accusation that America secretly backs Al Qaeda linked Takfiri militants is widely believed in many parts of the world (where AQ is deeply unpopular); which is testimony to the power and effectiveness of the Iranian Regime's propaganda.

In Afghanistan, for example, many believe that ISAF is secretly backing the Taliban against Afghans.

This is a different issue than the Palestinian question that is being raised in the discussion section.

If Israel really wants to solve the Palestinian issue; then Israel needs to improve how they treat Palestinian Israeli citizens. I think good relations with Palestinians that are not Israeli citizens will flow from that:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155627.html

Nearly half of Israel's high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel, according to the results of a new survey released yesterday. The same poll revealed that more than half the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset.

48 percent - said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories. Of those who would refuse evacuation orders, 81 percent categorize themselves as religious as opposed to 36 percent who are secular.

In response to the question of whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews, 49.5 percent answered in the negative . . . with 82 percent of religious students saying they opposed equal rights for Arabs while just 39 percent of secular students echoed that sentiment.

the question of whether Arabs should be eligible to run for office in the Knesset: While 82 percent of those with religious tendencies answered in the negative, 47 percent of secular teens agreed. In total, 56 percent said Arabs should be denied this right altogether.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 7:40 am
Posted by: jb at March 11, 2010 6:44 am

I am trying to understand your comments. I think it is inappropriate for you to accuse Palestinians of "whining." Aren't the Palestinians firmly standing up for their own rights? How is that wrong?

Who in the world were the Brits and French to carve up the Ottoman empire into mandates? In any case, the Palestinian state the Brits envisioned in 1919 was suppose to be a plural diverse state with Sunni, Atheist, Christian and Jewish citizens . . . am I not right? [see my comment above about how Israel might not be doing right by their own Arab citizens.]

You are wrong that Palestinians ever ceded their property rights in Palestine. If you believe in freedom, property rights, and free market capitalism; shouldn't you support at least at this late stage; paying all owners of property who had their property confiscated the fair market value of their property?

Since 1948, the Israeli government has used the Ottoman era statute called (depending on the translation) the "Custodian of Absentee Property Law" to confiscate large amounts of Palestinian private property inside Israel proper paying below market prices or no price at all.

Since 1961, a formal institution, the Israel Land Administration (or, "ILA") has existed to administer many of these "absentee" properties. In 1967, the "Eretz Israel" statutes pushed the policies into the annexed East Jeruslaem sections. These laws and the budgets for their sustenance were created by statute in the Knesset.

The ILA has used the "Eretz Israel" statutes to confiscate large amounts of Palestinian private property paying below market prices or no price at all

Is this fair? Is this just? Is this consistent with the values of the holy Torah? Few peoples have experienced inappropriate confiscation of private property is as much as the Jewish people. Therefore, Jewish people (Israeli and non Israeli alike) and empathize and identify with the suffering and abuse of Palestinians.

"British ass-licking at its best!" The Brits have a lot to answer for in many parts of the world, not just Palestine; although they have a lot to answer for there too. Please don't take out Britain's inappropriate conduct on Palestinians. Palestinians are not responsible for Britain's mistakes.

"It will never please the Muslims. This essentially is a religious conflict which to the Muslims has become genocidal in nature." I don't agree with this. Why attack muslims in general? Muslims are not the enemy of the Jews or Israel. Some muslims want to help Palestinians; but that is very different from wanting to destroy Israelis.

You are right that the Kurds have gotten a raw deal. All the more reason to ensure that the Palestinians don't get a raw deal either.

To my mind; this begins with Israel doing a better job treating the 1.5 million Palestinian Israeli citizens and the perhaps 2 million Arab Jewish Israeli citizens. Then let Palestinian Israeli citizens take the lead in finding a just solution to the broader Palestinian question.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 8:35 am
Brother Abu Sa'ar, is it possible that Ombrageux cares about Palestinians and wants to help them by helping the friends of Israel understand the Palestinian perspective?

In any case, I am not as smart as you. Teaching yourself a 4 years of a programming degree on your own is no joke. :-)
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 8:42 am
Barry Meislin: [Israel] "is an immoral state because although it grants its minority citizens more rights, civil, economic, and political, than any minority is granted by any other state in the region, there continues to be discrimination and even racism in the country (a situation unlike any other country in the region---or the world)."

Not true. Iraq increasingly grants its minorities freedoms and rights. Might it not be argued that Turks treat Turkish Jews better than Israelis treat Palestinian Israeli citizens?

"It is an immoral state because it provides access by all religions to their holy sites." Is this really true? Are Arab muslims and muslims in general allowed sufficient tourist visas to visit holy Islamic sites in Israel? Aren't many Palestinians denied to right to visit their motherland (Israel) and pray at Israeli muslim houses of worship?
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 8:52 am
No Anan!
People like Omra are anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
Their aim is to excoriate and criminalize Israel and the Jews and make them ripe in world opinion for extinction.
If they were really pro-Palestinian, they would be teaching them statecraft, encouraging investments, teaching them not to be racists, Jew-killers, homophobes and misogynists.
They would show them that the route to statehood is compromise, not threatening genocide.
They would teach them to be mature industrious adults instead of whining, spoiled children.
But naaawww! Hating and killing Jews is so much more trendy and look at all butts you can kiss.
As for yourself...
Here's a suggestion: Why don't you take all your posts and publish them in a book called Sophistry 101 or "How you too can turn black into white" or is it the other way round.
Posted by: jb at March 11, 2010 8:53 am
Some on this comment section seem to be arguing that the "Arabs" are one people. Is this true? If so why?

Do some people regard "Jordan" as the Palestinians State?

It seems to me that Arabs don't consider Palestinians to be their own people. Partially excluding Jordan, every Arab country treats its Palestinian minority very poorly.

Jordan treats its Palestinian citizens better than other Arab countries; and is fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Romanians, ANA, ANP, and GIRoA in Zabul province, Afghanistan.

I think it would be more appropriate to discuss Jordan's collaboration with Romania in the Romanian thread.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 9:17 am
Brother Abu Sa'ar, is it possible that Ombrageux cares about Palestinians and wants to help them by helping the friends of Israel understand the Palestinian perspective?

Look who's tag-teaming with Ombra.
Shocker.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 9:54 am
Jordan treats its Palestinian citizens better than other Arab countries; and is fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Romanians, ANA, ANP, and GIRoA in Zabul province, Afghanistan.


Jordan strips Palestinian Arabs of their Jordanian citizenship by the thousands.

'Fess up - you and Ombra are really one and the same, aren't you. Your Jew-problems, remarkable ignorance, and similarity of asinine ideas have got to be more than coincidence.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 10:01 am
If what the Palestinian Arabs really wanted was a(n independent) state, they would have had it long ago. In a way they had and have it in (trans)Jordan, but there is the complication of the grafted-on Hashemite dynasty there of course.

Del, I think you are missing the narrative that was created for Palestinians in 1948 and also the fact that Islam's third Holiest site 9and the only one not located in KSA) is in Jerusalem. Whatever Palestinians want, I don't think their Arab sponsors would be willing to settle. And why should they? Palestinian blood is cheap, and Arab regimes benefit tremendously from prolonging the struggle.
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 10:42 am
MJT - Germany *was* undone. Austria was separated from it. Silesia and Prussia, which had been German for 500 years, were purged of Germans.

Why am I unsurprised that you are not a student of history, Obrameux? Silesia was part of Prussia (and Prussia was an independe3nt and quite powerful state) until Prussia joined first the "German Empire" in 1871 and then the Weimar Republic in 1919. During the time of napoleon (which was only 200 years ago) there wasn't even a country called Germany. There was Prussia in the North, and Austria in the South. And about half a dozen independent bantustans along the rhine, like Saxony.


The rest of Germany was sliced into little pieces for France, Britain, America and Russia to occupy.

Yeah. That's called occupation.
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 10:56 am
Whatever Palestinians want, I don't think their Arab sponsors would be willing to settle.

Assume the Palestinians come to their senses and finally do settle. Other then Syria (the Golan) and Lebanon (Hezbollah), it would be interesting to see the how the rest of the Arab countries reinvent excuses for not making peace with Israel. Pretense is cheap and plentiful, but one could hope that by then the charade would be wearing too thin.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 11:00 am
Austria was separated from it.

Oh, I forgot that part! That's really rich, Austria being "separated" from Germany, seeing as how Austria conquered and occupied half of what is now called Germany during the 18th and 19th centuries. Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure they still cover the causes of World War I in American elementary schools:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria%E2%80%93Hungary

You never heard of that, eh?
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 11:02 am
Partially excluding Jordan, every Arab country treats its Palestinian minority very poorly.

Jordan is at least 70% Palestinians, so you have to do more than "partially" exclude Jordan in your thesis :)
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 11:16 am
Ombrageux, Craig is right about Austria. The only place that Germany lost is now part of Poland.

Poland and Germany are now friends, with free trade, free investment, and free immigration.

Things worked out pretty well for historic Germany and the Poles (if you exclude a temporary half century hiatus :LOL: )

Li'l Mamzer, I don't know your background. I praise countries that actually fight the Takfiri extremists (like Romania and Jordan in Zabul Province, Afghanistan; Turkey in Wardek/Kabul/ANATC (ANA training command); and Hamas when it fought with Al Qaeda linked militants in the Gaza strip.)

If your country has helped fight the Takfiri extremists, I would praise it too.

I don't think Israel is helping defeat the Takfiri extremists. If Israel wants to help, Israel should treat its Palestinian Israeli citizens with compassion, respect and justice; and then do the same to Palestinians from the occupied territories and the diaspora. Israel should also actually help muslims around the world that are resisting the Takfiri extremists.

I would also hope that Israel doesn't bomb Iran. Iran and the Takfiri are enemies.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 11:19 am
Craig, a pro Palestinian Arab American lawyer and activist we both know has written about how badly Jordanians mistreat Palestinian refugees. She is as pro Palestinian as you get, and pro Jordanian; and she has spent quite a bit of time in Jordan and the occupied West Bank in recent months.

This said, Jordan seems to treat Palestinians better than any other Arab country and better than Israel treats its Palestinian Israeli citizens.

Notice the silence about the poll result of Israeli high school students I posted.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 11:25 am
I don't think Israel is helping defeat the Takfiri extremists.

I don't think you have any interest in helping Israel defeat the Hamas extremists. In fact, your stated positions, recycling of myths and distortions about Israel, and your perpetual white-washing of Palestinian Arab responsibility for their own misery pretty much disqualify you from assuming any posture of moral indignation at how Israel conducts herself as a nation under siege.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 11:31 am
Craig: That's really rich, Austria being "separated" from Germany

Yeah, that's pretty much a conversation stopper.

Some day he might grow up and read something written by somebody other than Chomsky and his disciples.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2010 11:34 am
This said, Jordan seems to treat Palestinians better than any other Arab country and better than Israel treats its Palestinian Israeli citizens.


When was the last time Israel stripped Arabs of their Israeli citizenship, en masse, for any reason?

I'll repeat what I just posted aboive, in case you didn't get it the first time:

...your stated positions, recycling of myths and distortions about Israel, and your perpetual white-washing of Palestinian Arab responsibility for their own misery pretty much disqualify you from assuming any posture of moral indignation at how Israel conducts herself as a nation under siege.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 11:35 am
"I don't think you have any interest in helping Israel defeat the Hamas extremists." Umm, no. I want the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace next to each other, and treat each other as family.

I don't want Israel and Hamas to fight each other. Is that so wrong?

Hamas is internally divided, with many factions. Still, Hamas has mostly abided by a cease fire (Hudna) with Israel for many years.

Hamas has no ambitions outside of Israel/West Bank/Gaza. Hamas has tried to reach out to countries other than Israel; including quietly I believe to the US.

Why should America or the world try to destroy Hamas; or try to help Israel destroy Hamas?

Hamas has proclaimed its concern about Palestinian Israeli citizens. This is why I believe Israel treating its Palestinian citizens better would go a long way towards solving solving the Palestinian/Israeli dispute.

"white-washing of Palestinian Arab responsibility for their own misery" How do I do this? I am quite critical of both Hamas and Fatah.

"disqualify you from assuming any posture of moral indignation at how Israel conducts herself as a nation under siege." I don't mean to convey moral indignation. Rather, I want Israel to act in Israel's own national interests, and to act consistent with Israel's own values. This means treating Palestinians more respectfully, more justly and more compassionately.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 11:54 am
"white-washing of Palestinian Arab responsibility for their own misery" How do I do this?

Read every post you have ever made on this topic.
========================
Why should America or the world try to destroy Hamas; or try to help Israel destroy Hamas?

Because genocidal Islamists are bad for everyone, not just Jews.
========================
Hamas has no ambitions outside of Israel/West Bank/Gaza. Hamas has tried to reach out to countries other than Israel; including quietly I believe to the US.

Hamas reaches out to Iran for mass-terror weapons to kill Israelis. And no ambitions outside of Israel, as if that is somehow, in and of itself, acceptable? You need to read the Hamas charter.
=========================
Hamas has mostly abided by a cease fire (Hudna) with Israel for many years.

False AND a white-wash.
=========================
Umm, no. I want the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace next to each other, and treat each other as family.

The question was about defeating Hamas, not peaceful coexistence of Arabs and Jews. Hamas, by definition, rejects peaceful coexistence, you maroon.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 12:10 pm
Why should America or the world try to destroy Hamas; or try to help Israel destroy Hamas?

Because peace is impossible while Hamas has any power. This conflict can never ever be solved before Hamas is overthrown, defeated, or destroyed.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2010 12:13 pm
I don't mean to convey moral indignation. Rather, I want Israel to act in Israel's own national interests.

I could only accept what you say if I, too, believed that it is in Israel's interest to commit national suicide.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 12:14 pm
Meislin/jb - Most of what you are saying is irrelevant and hysterical. The grotesque accusations against me of anti-Semitism - when Zionism itself was rejected by most Jews until Nazism - is ridiculous. I repeat it: an ideology that purports "returning" to found an ethno-national state on somewhere *already occupied by people* is immoral. When those people happen to be Arabs, and there are 300 million of them, it is not just immoral, but clinically stupid.

That is separate from issues regarding to Israel today. I say again, to those who are denied statehood and national existence by Israel (that is to say 5 million Arabs), Israel has no legitimacy. Perhaps it would be clearer if we had proper terms. Because Israeli hawks like to confuse things. There is Israel proper and there is greater Israel.

Within Israel proper, before 1967, we have a democratic state with reasonable respect for the rights of the Arabs (who are citizens). In greater Israel, we have settler colonialism and, yes, something quite like Apartheid (I suppose now, I am among the "demons" Jimmy Carter, Stephen Walt, Tony Judt and how many others..). Israeli Hawks and American neocons use the term "Israel" indiscriminately. They are working more and more to make Israel proper and greater Israel synonymous. Just now, Biden has been humiliated by Netanyahu with declarations that more Israelis will settle in land seized in 1967. They don't won't peace. They want as much they can get no matter who was before them.

Abu Sa'ar - It is important to confront those one opposes from time to time. To sharpen one's arguments and be sensitized to theirs. I don't expect to change anyone's opinion, anymore than I could convince a Raoul Salan not to murder de Gaulle in 1962 or an Afrikaner that the "Bantu" is a human being equal in dignity (or, for that matter, a Southern White Segregationist). You don't convince colonialists with words, they are lost too deep in their psychosis, but with actions (in this case, actions would mean ending of aid to Israel and probably sanctions).

jb - You don't anything about me and you tell me I am a genocidal maniac. When can I resort to expletives towards the weak of mind?

Craig - What kind of idiotic argument is that? Because Silesia was first part of Prussia it wasn't really part of Germany? Because the German state was only 70 years old (the German nation much older)? In the name of consistency, I suppose you also believe Virginia is not really part of the U.S.A. as it was first part of the British Empire.

And as to your "occupation," Germany was not a state after 1945. The German nation-state was destroyed, rightly, for Germany's crimes. It took half a century to reconstitute it. And stop being stupid about the Germany-Austria distinction. National identities are flexible and changing. Austria is an ethnically German territory, the Austrian Habsburgs were considered the political leaders of the Holy Roman Empire, which was then essentially what Germany was (Germany was a cultural, linguistic nation before being a nation-state). The distinction between Austrians and "Germans" only came with Bismarck's Germany and was only made permanent after WW2, when the Austrians quite naturally wanted to disassociate themselves from defeated Nazi Germany as much as possible. The Anschluss, at the time however, was not unpopular and both Germans and Austrians found hated that after WW1 they were not allowed to join their states.

MJT - The fact you even bring up Chomsky to "discredit" what I said shows you have no idea what Chomsky actually says. I recommend watching an interview of him to know what he says as opposed to the caricatures presented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ghoXQxdk6s
(And, for those who care, there are interviews with neocons and/or Islamophobes like Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, David Frum, Max Boot and others, and I have watched them too. Contrary to the assumptions of people here, I have listened to "the other sides," and found them lacking. I am not closed minded. I even read Charles Krauthammer, though in moderation, as such a concentration of ill will makes my eyes bleed.

My point on Austria is incidentally a minor one and unrelated to the rest of my arguments, notably on the destruction of the German nation-state (or Apartheid South Africa or the British Empire for that matter) and on the majority of Jews who were not Zionist, which you have all continued to pointedly ignore.
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 11, 2010 1:33 pm
Ombra,
I know this is difficult for you but you really should make an effort to understand what you are trying to read, particularly when the words contain more than one syllable.
My statement: "They would show them that the route to statehood is compromise, not threatening genocide." does not accuse you of being a "genocidal maniac", I don't know you except from your posts. But it does that people (probably you included) should not try and defend those who do espouse it.
As far as accusing me of hysteria, you've done that before. Ca ne me fait rien du tout!
You just ignore and dismiss the comments because they don't mesh with your own warped world view.
The ironic thing is that they are generally a lot closer to the truth than your comments will ever be!
Tough shit!
Posted by: yesjb at March 11, 2010 2:06 pm
I say again, to those who are denied statehood and national existence by Israel (that is to say 5 million Arabs), Israel has no legitimacy.

So Israel should allow another terrorist entity to be created and cede whatever shred of strategic depth remains on her eastern flank? Just like that? To whom? You cannot make a reasonable and rational argument that the Arabs of Judea and Samaria could govern themselves effectively and not constitute a mortal threat to Israel and her citizens right now. Can you not suggest steps the Arabs should take to bring a new state for them closer to realization? If you cannot, then it is your arguments and positions that have no legitimacy.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 2:14 pm
The grotesque accusations against me of anti-Semitism - when Zionism itself was rejected by most Jews until Nazism - is ridiculous.

That was then; this is now. You may not have learned anything from the slaughter of European Jewry, but the rest of the Jews around the world, and in Israel, certainly did.

The accusations against you aren't grotesque. It's what you write on these pages that is grotesque and warrants those accusations.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at March 11, 2010 2:27 pm
Ombrageux, you are right that the question of what happened 1900 to 1948 "is separate from issues regarding to Israel today." What happened in 1948 is history that cannot be undone in the present. You are also right not to focus excessively on those events; because if you do then everyone on all sides will get worked up and polorized with no positive end result.

"to those who are denied statehood and national existence by Israel (that is to say 5 million Arabs), Israel has no legitimacy." Let me try to rephrase if I may. The current arrangement in greater Palestine lacks legitimacy because:
-Palestine/Israel is surrounded by illegitimate dictatorships
-Many millions of Palestinians live in the surrounding Arab countries . . . and are treated like dirt by their arab brothers
-1.5 million Palestinian Israeli citizens are mistreated (see the public opinion poll of Israeli High School students in this comment section), and lack full equality and civil rights
-More than 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza lack either Israeli citizenship or the citizenship of an independent free Palestine. They are also mistreated by Israelis, who among other things arbitrarily confiscate Palestinian private property paying below market rates or no price at all.

The current situation as a whole is therefore considered illegitimate.

I think that those who want to help Palestinians (such as Carter) should be applauded. Again, it is about helping Palestinians, not opposing Israel.

"It is important to confront those one opposes from time to time. To sharpen one's arguments and be sensitized to theirs. I don't expect to change anyone's opinion." Do you really oppose Israel, or are you pro Palestinian? If you are pro Palestinian, as I think you are, you are necessarily pro Israeli, since Israel benefits from the success of the Palestinian people. I don't think the goal is change the opinions of others, but rather to remind them of what their conscience already tells them.

Most Israelis know that they haven't done right by the Palestinians; and aren't proud of it. Part of them wants to do the right thing.

Ombrageux, I think you need to reach out to that part of Israelis, and show them a path to a clearer conscience, self satisfaction, and inner peace.

Doing right by the Palestinians benefits Israel in many ways. Reminding Israelis of this is the act of a friend of Israel, which I think you are.

The Palestinians are divided into three camps regarding a just solution:
1) Hamas' objective:
-reunification of the motherland, merger or marriage with Israel
-extending Israeli citizenship to all Palestinians (in the occupied territories and to Palestinians in other countries who may choose to return to Palestine and contribute to Palestinian society.)
-full civil rights and freedom for all citizens of a united country, Jewish, Sunni, Christian, Atheist and other.
-compensation for all confiscated Palestinian property and other improprieties committed against Palestinians
-there are some permutations of the one state solution between its many proponents; but this is the rough outline.
2) Two states based on 1948 UN partition borders with territory swaps of equal quality:
-two diverse multi-ethic states, since Palestine would include a large Christian and Jewish minority
-full civil rights and freedom for all citizens of both countries: Jewish, Sunni, Christian, Atheist and other.
-some limited right of return by Palestinians to their homes in the Israeli state.
-compensation for all confiscated Palestinian property and other improprieties committed against Palestinians.
3) Two states based on 1967 borders with territory swaps of equal quality:
-full civil rights and freedom for all citizens of both countries: Jewish, Sunni, Christian, Atheist and other.
-The Palestinian state may or may not retain a sizable Jewish minority
-some limited right of return by Palestinians to their homes in the Israeli state.
-compensation for all confiscated Palestinian property and other improprieties committed against Palestinians.

The Israelis have never offered this type of solution to the Palestinians.

In 2001, at Talba, the Palestinians offered to accept 100% of Gaza, 97.6% of the West Bank, and territory in Israel proper of equal quality, plus very limited right of return of Palestinians to their homes in Israel proper. The Palestinians also offered to accept far less than market compensation for Palestinian private property confiscated by Israelis since 1948 paying below market prices.

Israel turned down this Palestinian offer. Clinton (not Israel) at Talba offered 100% of Gaza, 95.8% of the West Bank, and territory in Israel proper of equal quality, plus more limited right of return of Palestinians to their homes in Israel proper than the Palestinians requested. Clinton also offered to far less than market compensation for Palestinian private property confiscated by Israelis since 1948 paying below market prices.

The Palestinians came very close to the Clinton offer, and negotiated in good faith.

The Israelis could have offered other things to Palesine that might have enabled them to accept the deal. Some of my ideas would be:
-affirmative action to reserve 40% of all Israeli university admissions to Palestinians with scholarships for 50 years. These Palestinian students would be offered a pathway to Israeli citizenship upon graduation if they choose to live in Israel.
-true market compensation + an inconvenience premium for all confiscated Palestinian property
-free trade and free investment agreement with Palestine
-help build a Dubai style seaport, airport and business hub in Gaza, closely integrated with the Israeli and regional economies
-allowing all Palestinians born in Israel proper to return ASAP to their motherland before they pass away. The Israeli government should arrange accommodation for them in diverse integrated Israeli retirement communities (where they can live side by side with Israelis.)
-these are just a few thoughts, I am sure that many of you have your own ideas.

Ombrageux, Craig is right on Germany. But it is off topic.

Ombrageux' perspectives are different from Chomsky's. There is no need to conflate the two of them; they are different.

Ombrageux, I would give MJT, Craig, Abu Sa'ar, and many other folks here a chance. They might be more open to your perspectives than you think.

If I am not mistaken, MJT grew up around leftists and still counts many of them as his friends even though his own views have changed over time.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 6:37 pm
Anand,

I didn't just grow up around leftists, I was a leftist. And yes, most of my friends, including my wife, are still on the left--though my wife is a moderate. She was to the right of me when we met. She thought I was a bit off the deep end, much as Ombrageux is now, and she was right.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2010 6:51 pm
Anand,

Hamas is internally divided, with many factions.

And they are all bad.

Still, Hamas has mostly abided by a cease fire (Hudna) with Israel for many years.

Let me know when the "international community" puts Hamas leadership on trial for the war crimes and acts of terrorism/mass murder they have committed. Because, there's no coming back from that. The criminal elements of Hamas must be purged and punished before Hamas can be taken seriously as anything other than a criminal terror group.

Hamas has no ambitions outside of Israel/West Bank/Gaza.

Of course not. Hamas is a proxy. Their only reason for existing is to fight Israel.

Hamas has tried to reach out to countries other than Israel; including quietly I believe to the US.

Do you have a list of the countries who didn't slap their hand away in disgust?

Why should America or the world try to destroy Hamas; or try to help Israel destroy Hamas?

Because Hamas is a terrorist organization that has murdered hundreds if not thousands of innocent human beings, and brags about it.

Anand, you go too far when you call on the US (and others) to support Hamas and Hezbollah. I'm not sure how you get to that place from defending Palestinians, either. A piece of advice from me, though: If you want to advocate for Palestinians you have to make sure it's clear that you would see Hamas thrown over the side. I doubt there are even 1% of Americans who could tolerate Hamas, so every time you tie Hamas in to the destiny of Palestinians 99% of Americans tune you out.
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 7:05 pm
Ombremeux,

Craig - What kind of idiotic argument is that?

Idiotic argument? You are the one who either was either ignorant of the history of the region, or deliberately lied about it. How does correcting you qualify as idiotic? Well, actually I guess it is pretty idiotic to continue correcting you when you keep conveniently misplacing the facts, all the while never acknowledging you were wrong in the past.

Because Silesia was first part of Prussia it wasn't really part of Germany?

Historically, it wasn't ever part of Germany. Prussians are more closely related to Poles and Lithuanians than Germans. And specifically, Prussia joined the Wiemar Republic in 1919. That's less than 30 years. You said 500 years. The only times that part of Europe has been considered part of Germany was when it was part of an expansive German empire. Hitler's empire was dismantled at the end of World War II, and deliberately so.

Because the German state was only 70 years old (the German nation much older)?

What the hell does that even mean?

In the name of consistency, I suppose you also believe Virginia is not really part of the U.S.A. as it was first part of the British Empire.

Actually if you wanted to be consistent, you'd realize you just admitted that you know you are full of shit. Virginia was part of the British empire in exactly the same way that Prussia was part of the German Empire.

And as to your "occupation," Germany was not a state after 1945.

Now you are confusing the concepts of statehood and sovereignty. I'd love to educate you on that too, but I'm short on time.

The German nation-state was destroyed, rightly, for Germany's crimes.

Somehow I'm getting the idea you don't really believe that "rightly" based on all the sobbing you've been doing for the demise of Hitler's Germany. If you're just trying to be PC, save it. There aren't many (if any) on this blog that will fall for it.

It took half a century to reconstitute it.

I see you don't consider West Germany to have been a sovereign nation. Whatever.

And stop being stupid about the Germany-Austria distinction.

The only one being stupid here is you. Austria was the powerhouse of continental Europe for a couple hundred years in the run-up to World War I. I find it mind-boggling that you talk as if Austria was just a German province or something.

National identities are flexible and changing.

Except in the case of Germans, it seems! :p

Austria is an ethnically German territory...

Who gives a shit? I'm ethnically German. Anyone who is ethnically English is ethnically German. Same for the Dutch, the bulk of the people in Scandinavia, many people in Poland and France, and etc.

Should I be surprised you are trying to define the concept of nationhood on ethnic grounds? You aren't a white supremacist by any chance, are you?

The distinction between Austrians and "Germans" only came with Bismarck's Germany...

Completely false.
Posted by: Craig at March 11, 2010 7:39 pm
Ombrageux, I agree with Craig on Germany, Prussia and Austria. It really is off topic; you can use other examples to advocate your perspective on Palestine.

The Austria Hungarian Empire were independent from Prussia for over half a millenia. Both had many German speaking people. There were many great German nations; Austria Hungaria and Prussia being the largest.

The Holy Roman Empire might be similar to the British Commonwealth (which share the British Queen as a type of symbolic ceremonial semi head of state) or the NATO alliance of today (if it had some kind of symbolic powerless head of state.) It was never as tight knit as the EU currently is; for example.

The only part of Germany that was truly lost after WWII was lost to Poland (Stalin did that so that he could steal half of Poland.) German sovereignty was returned to it after a short occupation.

I wouldn't agree that the German people or German people were "punished" for Hitler. The short occupation of West Germany was quite progressive and moderate. Germany got foreign grants to reconstruct economically after the war. In fact, the German people were surprised by how well they were treated by the Western powers after WWII.

This is a major reason for the good will in Germany towards Europe and the US today; and a major reason by Germany recently increased the number of their troops in Afghanistan from 4500 to 5400. Note that almost from the beginning, after 9/11, Germany has maintained a troop strength of about 4 K in Afghanistan. If you account for the number of rotations involved, more than 30 K German soldiers will serve in Afghanistan. Maybe a lot more, depending on how the war in Afghanistan goes.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 8:33 pm
If the Lebanese and Palestinian people elect Hezbollah and Hamas; why shouldn't America, Europe and the international community explore what kind of accommodation with Hezbollah and Hamas is possible?

It is true that Hamas has a very colored history, including with respect to terrorism against civilians 2000-2003, Hamas' war with Fatah (that lead to the deaths of many Palestinians), Hamas' conflict with the Arab League, and the incredibly stupid brain dead remarks made when Zarkawi was killed in 2006.

However, Hamas seems to have changed in recent years; mostly abiding by a Hudna (cease fire) with Israel. The Palestinians people seem to have thought that Hamas had changed when they elected Hamas. Hamas was elected on a platform to reduce corruption, improve the quality of governance (security forces, education, basic services) and to encourage business development.

I think there are factions with Hamas who genuinely want peace. If Hamas does well in the next Palestinian election; why not explore what Hamas' real positions are with actual direct negotiations? If Hamas does poorly in the next Palestinian elections, then America, Europe and the international community should negotiate directly with the new Palestinian government.

I don't support Hamas; but was impressed by the way Hamas fought with AQ linked militants on many occasions.

Hezbollah is another question. I know we don't agree regarding Hezbollah Craig. Iran's government is likely to change significantly over the medium term. I think Iraq will use its oil money, the soft power of the Najaf Marjeya, and the soft power of an increasingly free successful prosperous Iraq to win over the Lebanese Shia. Hezbollah will either adjust to this new geopolitical reality, or be dumped by the Lebanese Shia in favor of Amal or other Shiite parties.

Remember, that if the international oil companies don't boost Iraq's oil exports to over 10 million barrels/day within 5 years, they need to pay the GoI (Gov of Iraq) large fines. Iraq use to export 2 million barrels oil/day in 2002 and almost no NG.

Imagine what the GoI will do with all this oil and NG revenue. The geopolitical reality of the middle east will transform in ways that are hard to imagine now. Mostly for the better I think.
Posted by: anan at March 11, 2010 8:50 pm
Anan - I agree on MJT's good faith. He is the only one I've been arguing with who has said outright: "By the way, my arguing with the first part of your sentence does not mean I disagree that the Palestinians need either a) a state, or b) Israeli citizenship. They do need one or the other." For everyone else, it seems, the Arabs in the territories have no rights, sometimes no existence.

And, though it is off topic, Craig is wrong on Germany. East Prussia was perfectly German by 1945, Silesia in particular had been German for 500 years. I maintain the distinction between Austrians and Germans only makes sense after Bismarck founded the German Empire (called in fact "Kleindeutsche Lösung," Small German Solution). Obviously, there were differences between Bavarians, Prussians, Austrians, Rhinelanders, etc., but they were all considered Germans until 1871 (and even then the Austrians were looked upon sympathetically, and it was expected they would join if Austria-Hungary collapsed).

As an aside, an old humorous Citroen commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMQnPWjK5pE
Posted by: Ombrageux at March 12, 2010 12:24 am
That is a funny commercial.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 12, 2010 12:29 am
"Hamas' objective"

Is the annihilation of the Jews and you know it damned well, anand, because it is stated explicitly in their charter. I have linked to it many times despite which you keep on denying it because you think you can con stupid people into believeing your malevolent lies. You clearly share their genocidal goals, else you would not be constantly defending them.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 12, 2010 2:11 am
"Hamas seems to have changed in recent years"

They have not and you know it. They have never, ever, not once abandoned their goal of annihilating the Jews. It bears repeating - you clearly share this goal because you are so eager to defend this group which is the most explicitly antisemitic group since the Nazis.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 12, 2010 2:15 am
"I don't support Hamas"

Another one of your motherfucking lies, anand. You have done nothing here but advocate for them. It is typical of your slimy dishonesty that you say "I don't support Hamas" at the same time you enthusiastically excuse their malevolence and antisemitism.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 12, 2010 2:18 am
East Prussia was perfectly German by 1945...

Ridiculous. Have you looked at a map at all? East Prussia was not even ethnically German (at all) until it was conquered by the Teutonic Knights. Germanic peoples are not indigenous to the region of old Prussia. Germanic peoples were indigenous to the south shore of the Baltic, but MUCH further west. As for you saying that it was "perfectly German" I assume you mean ethnically since there wasn't even a nation called Germany in Europe between ~1600 and ~1900.

You seem to be making an argument for ethnic cleansing. So on what grounds do you object to the way Israelis treat Palestinians? It's OK for Germans to invade, steal land and drive out the indigenous people, and in fact you support that vigorously and object when the "international community" such as it was in the late 1940s attempts to rectify it. But when it comes to Israel - which has a much better legal case - your position is the exact opposite.

Can you explain?

...Silesia in particular had been German for 500 years.

Except when it was part of Poland. Or Prussia. Or Bohemia. Or etc. Oh, but you mean ETHNICALLY German, right? Well, guess what? Germanic peoples are not indigenous to Silesia, either.
Posted by: Craig at March 12, 2010 5:15 am
Before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Prussians

The Old Prussians or Baltic Prussians (German: Pruzzen or Prußen; Latin: Pruteni; Latvian: Prūši; Lithuanian: Prūsai; Polish: Prusowie) were an ethnic group, autochthonous Baltic tribes that inhabited Prussia, the lands of the southeastern Baltic Sea in the area around the Vistula and Curonian Lagoons. They spoke a language now known as Old Prussian and followed a religion believed by modern scholars to be closely related to Lithuanian paganism with such gods as Perkūns.

During the 13th century, the Old Prussians were conquered by the Teutonic Knights, and gradually assimilated over the following centuries.


And then this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teutonic_Knights

In 1230, following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia launched the Prussian Crusade, a joint invasion of Prussia to Christianise the Baltic Old Prussians. The Order then created the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights in the conquered territory, and subsequently conquered Courland, Livonia, and Estonia. The Kings of Poland accused the Order of holding lands rightfully theirs.

I don't know how much you've read about the Teutonic Knights but they were infamous bastards and some of the most ruthless ethnic cleansers in the history of man.

And that's how Prussia became "ethnically" German. But we really aren't arguing about whether nations should be created on the basis of ethnicity, are we? Because, that was Hitler's argument. And we don't like Hitler. Right?
Posted by: Craig at March 12, 2010 5:30 am
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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