April 26, 2009

Eurasia's Shatter Zones

Robert Kaplan has a fascinating piece in the current issue of Foreign Affairs about geography and its impact on culture, politics, and history. Most of us instinctively understand geography's connection to these three phenomena, at least on a basic level. Citizens who live in a temperate climate near the sea, in port cities open to the world, tend to be broadly liberal. Those who live in a harsh climate, deep within a continent, and cut off from outsiders, tend to be provincial and reactionary.

This simple observation won't be news to many people, but Kaplan takes it many steps further and notes that some parts of the world – especially in Eurasia – are more prone than others to conflict in part thanks to the fate of geography. Kaplan calls these regions “shatter zones,” and I spend almost all my time abroad in one of these shatter zones or another.

Many Lebanese have described their predicament to me in exactly these terms. If only their country were an island, they say, with no land border with Syria or Israel. And while I can't vouch for Kaplan accurately describing each of the shatter zones in his piece, I can say he describes those I know well with precision.

The whole thing is worth reading, but here is an excerpt to give you a taste.

The Fertile Crescent, wedged between the Mediterranean Sea and the Iranian plateau, constitutes another shatter zone. The countries of this region—Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq—are vague geographic expressions that had little meaning before the 20th century. When the official lines on the map are removed, we find a crude finger-painting of Sunni and Shiite clusters that contradict national borders. Inside these borders, the governing authorities of Lebanon and Iraq barely exist. The one in Syria is tyrannical and fundamentally unstable; the one in Jordan is rational but under quiet siege. (Jordan’s main reason for being at all is to act as a buffer for other Arab regimes that fear having a land border with Israel.) Indeed, the Levant is characterized by tired authoritarian regimes and ineffective democracies.

Of all the geographically illogical states in the Fertile Crescent, none is more so than Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, by far the worst in the Arab world, was itself geographically determined: Every Iraqi dictator going back to the first military coup in 1958 had to be more repressive than the previous one just to hold together a country with no natural borders that seethes with ethnic and sectarian consciousness. The mountains that separate Kurdistan from the rest of Iraq, and the division of the Mesopotamian plain between Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south, may prove more pivotal to Iraq’s stability than the yearning after the ideal of democracy. If democracy doesn’t in fairly short order establish sturdy institutional roots, Iraq’s geography will likely lead it back to tyranny or anarchy again.

But for all the recent focus on Iraq, geography and history tell us that Syria might be at the real heart of future turbulence in the Arab world. Aleppo in northern Syria is a bazaar city with greater historical links to Mosul, Baghdad, and Anatolia than to Damascus. Whenever Damascus’s fortunes declined with the rise of Baghdad to the east, Aleppo recovered its greatness. Wandering through the souks of Aleppo, it is striking how distant and irrelevant Damascus seems: The bazaars are dominated by Kurds, Turks, Circassians, Arab Christians, Armenians, and others, unlike the Damascus souk, which is more a world of Sunni Arabs. As in Pakistan and the former Yugoslavia, each sect and religion in Syria has a specific location. Between Aleppo and Damascus is the increasingly Islamist Sunni heartland. Between Damascus and the Jordanian border are the Druse, and in the mountain stronghold contiguous with Lebanon are the Alawites—both remnants of a wave of Shiism from Persia and Mesopotamia that swept over Syria a thousand years ago.

Elections in Syria in 1947, 1949, and 1954 exacerbated these divisions by polarizing the vote along sectarian lines. The late Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970 after 21 changes of government in 24 years. For three decades, he was the Leonid Brezhnev of the Arab world, staving off the future by failing to build a civil society at home. His son Bashar will have to open the political system eventually, if only to keep pace with a dynamically changing society armed with satellite dishes and the Internet. But no one knows how stable a post-authoritarian Syria would be. Policymakers must fear the worst. Yet a post-Assad Syria may well do better than post-Saddam Iraq, precisely because its tyranny has been much less severe. Indeed, traveling from Saddam’s Iraq to Assad’s Syria was like coming up for air.

In addition to its inability to solve the problem of political legitimacy, the Arab world is unable to secure its own environment. The plateau peoples of Turkey will dominate the Arabs in the 21st century because the Turks have water and the Arabs don’t. Indeed, to develop its own desperately poor southeast and thereby suppress Kurdish separatism, Turkey will need to divert increasingly large amounts of the Euphrates River from Syria and Iraq. As the Middle East becomes a realm of parched urban areas, water will grow in value relative to oil. The countries with it will retain the ability—and thus the power—to blackmail those without it. Water will be like nuclear energy, thereby making desalinization and dual-use power facilities primary targets of missile strikes in future wars. Not just in the West Bank, but everywhere there is less room to maneuver.

A final shatter zone is the Persian core, stretching from the Caspian Sea to Iran’s north to the Persian Gulf to its south. Virtually all of the greater Middle East’s oil and natural gas lies in this region. Just as shipping lanes radiate from the Persian Gulf, pipelines are increasingly radiating from the Caspian region to the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, China, and the Indian Ocean. The only country that straddles both energy-producing areas is Iran, as Geoffrey Kemp and Robert E. Harkavy note in Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East. The Persian Gulf possesses 55 percent of the world’s crude-oil reserves, and Iran dominates the whole gulf, from the Shatt al-Arab on the Iraqi border to the Strait of Hormuz in the southeast—a coastline of 1,317 nautical miles, thanks to its many bays, inlets, coves, and islands that offer plenty of excellent places for hiding tanker-ramming speedboats.

It is not an accident that Iran was the ancient world’s first superpower. There was a certain geographic logic to it. Iran is the greater Middle East’s universal joint, tightly fused to all of the outer cores. Its border roughly traces and conforms to the natural contours of the landscape—plateaus to the west, mountains and seas to the north and south, and desert expanse in the east toward Afghanistan. For this reason, Iran has a far more venerable record as a nation-state and urbane civilization than most places in the Arab world and all the places in the Fertile Crescent. Unlike the geographically illogical countries of that adjacent region, there is nothing artificial about Iran. Not surprisingly, Iran is now being wooed by both India and China, whose navies will come to dominate the Eurasian sea lanes in the 21st century.

Of all the shatter zones in the greater Middle East, the Iranian core is unique: The instability Iran will cause will not come from its implosion, but from a strong, internally coherent Iranian nation that explodes outward from a natural geographic platform to shatter the region around it.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at April 26, 2009 1:37 PM
Comments

Michael,

Citizens who live in a temperate climate near the sea, in port cities open to the world, tend to be broadly liberal.

So, you're calling our really liberal friends who live deep inland in Suliamaniya, Iraq a bunch of freaks? I'm just saying that the shatter zones depend on an ossification not entirely dependent upon geography. I would also argue that it is more a question of open commerce and view of the world than strict adherence to sea lanes. I bet if you follow traditional caravan routes, there are strong tidal zones of tolerance and enlightenment.

Certainly I see this more of a function of wealth than of simple geography. In more stark terms, the peasants without access to markets have no meaningful capacity for liberal views and expression because they are far too busy working to indulge in alternative viewpoints. That whole "work or starve" motif harshly deconstructs the semiotics of esoteric imperialism. Or perhaps they don't have money for enough drugs and higher education to make the preceding sentence relevant.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 2:47 PM

Patrick: So, you're calling our really liberal friends who live deep inland in Suliamaniya, Iraq a bunch of freaks?

Um, no. I am not one who believes provincial people are "freaks" just because they are provincial. I grew up in a provincial American town. It bores me and doesn't suit me, but I don't write off my parents and childhood friends as "freaks" because of it.

But I also wouldn't describe Suleimaniya, Iraq, as "really liberal." It's liberal compared with Baghdad, but that's not saying a lot. Suli is extremely backward and provincial compared with most Arab cities on the Mediterranean. And it's even more backward and provincial compared with Istanbul. Just because booze exists there and it's politically agreeable doesn't make it liberal and cosmopolitan in any objective sense.

(Of course I'm using the word "liberal" here in its broad definition, and do not mean to imply that Beirut, Tunis, and Istanbul are Islamic versions of Nancy Pelosi's congressional district.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 3:18 PM

Although I should add that Istanbul is even more decadant than Nancy Pelosi's district in some ways. Sean and I accidentally wandered into a transvestite prostitute bar downtown, and I ended up in a heterosexual equivalent in the same area shortly thereafter, also on accident. You have to be careful when bar-hopping in Istanbul, because lots of establishements that look like regular bars are actually in the business of renting out women (and men).

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 3:31 PM

"Those who live in a harsh climate, deep within a continent, and cut off from outsiders, tend to be provincial and reactionary."

You made me smile, Michael. When I think back to how friendly and willing, even eager to listen folks in tiny Minot, North Dakota were when this New Englander was living among them, I think maybe I was better off living "in between", compared to decades on both north american coasts, among too many hypocritically closed-minded, self-proclaimed Compassionate Ones.

However...I do now appreciate why Air Force personnel refer to Minot as Siberia.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 3:41 PM

I'm not slamming North Dakota, Paul. I lived for years myself in the middle of our continent, and I rather liked it. (I was in Iowa.)

Think of the context of the article. And compare the people who live in, say, Dubai, to those who live smack in the middle of Saudi Arabia and in the mountainous highlands of Yemen.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 3:51 PM

Certainly nothing critical intended, Michael. I was just offering a personal anecdote because you triggered a pleasant memory from my youth.

Never having traveled to the Middle East, I can only imagine that their contrasts are indeed extreme compared to anything I could have experienced in North America. Michael Yon referring to Afghanistan as Jurassic Park, for example, says a lot.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 7:02 PM

The sections you quoted seem to work well in terms of the Middle East, with the countries listed, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan...

But how does this model work within Lebanon, Israel, even North-African muslim countries?

Posted by: jooliz Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 7:48 PM

I wish Robert Kaplan had left out the political opinion: "realism is about more than merely opposing a war in Iraq", "the present challenges of climate change" and stuck to his interesting focus on the inescapable influence of geography; it's an underappreciated topic, as is the influence of fresh water.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 10:40 PM

Micheal,

Suli is extremely backward and provincial compared with most Arab cities on the Mediterranean.

Like Cairo? Or Tripoli?

OK, so I'm being picky. My point is that geography is not destiny and that bad government or oppressive cultural choices can replace distance as an isolator. With regard to that, a strong argument can be made that Nancy Pelosi's district is also ossifying rigidly, although unlike Riyadh. The overwhelming cultural compliance demanded of Pelosi's constituents is also unhealthy. Both locations "benefit" from wealth unrelated to cultural behaviors that allow for irrational excesses to flourish.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at April 26, 2009 10:58 PM

"cultural compliance demanded of Pelosi's constituents is also unhealthy."

I'm with you, Patrick, having lived on Fantasy Island (S.F., CA) for 39 years; Mymood Iminajihad would be envious of the level of voluntary compliance.

Sadly, it's offered so willingly here, and not just by the inexperienced young. Because critical thinking might (hell, it would) slap warm, comfortable beliefs rooted in emotion right square in the face from time to time.

Sorry for the offtopic digression, Michael. I guess I can't resist sometimes, knowing my 'hood so well after all these years.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 12:22 AM

Patrick,

Tripoli (the one in Libya, not the one in Lebanon) is the great exception. Cairo is also shockingly backward, but Alexandria -- Egypt's actual Mediterranean city -- has a somewhat better reputation for worldliness. Gaza City is also, obviously, an exception.

Beirut, though, and Tunis and Algiers and Sousse and the coastal cities of Morocco, are very different indeed from Suleimaniya. These places have been powerfully influenced by Western civilization for millenia, and it shows. If I dropped you into some neighborhoods of Tunis, you would swear you were in France. If I dropped you into Sidi Bou Said, you would swear you were in Greece.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 12:24 AM

I agree that San Francisco is rigid and ossified. That's not because of geography, it's because a self-selecting group of nearly identical people chose to move there from somewhere else. It is the least intellectually diverse city in North America. I would not be able to tolerate living there, although I enjoy visiting a great deal.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 12:29 AM

Well stated, Michael; where rigidity masquerades as "liberality".

Dinner's on me, if you like, next time you're passing through.

You folks are my professors, about worlds I'll never see.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 12:51 AM

Michael,

I remember Malaga in 1969 and Alicante in 1994, fifty miles away on the map, five hundred years of progress between visits. I clearly remember seeing women washing clothes by hand in the hillside creeks above Malaga in 1969. (For people who've never lived without washing machines, laundry by hand is drudgery. Maytag makes you free.) Both Mediterranean cities, but the Valencia coast was quite conservative under Franco. Just across the straits, my mother couldn't walk by herself in Morocco.

I'll accept that there is a trend towards cosmopolitanism in the Mediterranean trading cities. Try to accept that cultures and peoples will reject liberalism just as Japan abandoned firearms under the Tokugawa shogunate. I'm not saying that is a movement towards thriving, just that sometimes people choose misery they are in control of rather than unconstrained prosperity.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 11:04 AM

Paul S.,

There is so much money unconnected to reason in S.F. that I could easily see them bankrupting themselves inside the next decade. The problem is that as one insanely rich person cashes out their inheritance, another moves in. Maybe we should subsidize some Somali pirates to come in and diversify the neighborhoods.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 11:12 AM

Patrick Lasswell: I remember Malaga in 1969 and Alicante in 1994, fifty miles away on the map, five hundred years of progress between visits.

And perhaps the fifth time you've spoken of your ability to understand the socioeconomic and political conditions in Francoist Spain as a toddler or kindergarten kid.

Patrick was about five years old in 1969, people.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 12:48 PM

Forgive my nodding my head in agreement with the idea of geography having such a key influence in South Asia's political/religious difficulties and rivalries hardly before I read it.
I spent about ten years in South East Asia in the 1960's, not consecutively, but at least eight of them in one general place.
This formed my opinion that we westerners do not have any "say" in Asian affairs, be they political or military. The colonial borders, which are the most recent cause of the severe problems, have created near permanent ethnic conflict.
Sadly, we're involved in our most recent intractable situation by having our troops and their horrendous logistical supply needs met over long pipelines.
Leaving aside the separate topic of why we went into Iraq and Afghanistan, we should start leaving. Our emphasis now should be on remotely controlled drones against nuclear targets. Whatever direct land combat is needed should be handled by small elite armed units. Infiltrated/exfiltrated.
Whatever tissue-thin political and military
agreements are reached, they can't last. We can't change the basics of conflict, we can't change geography.

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 7:58 PM

Once again Edgar invites us to distinguish between observation and analysis. Since Roger Simon has vouched for the accuracy of my observations of the same place at the same time, Edgar ends up calling Roger a liar because he dislikes me.

Edgar, we were having an interesting exchange before you invited a flame war. Crawl back into your hole, we don't have time for whack-a-mole.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 10:34 PM

I agree that San Francisco is rigid and ossified. That's not because of geography, it's because a self-selecting group of nearly identical people chose to move there from somewhere else.

Michael J. Totten

You ain't lying there buddy... San Franciscans are the most tolerant intolerant people on the face of the planet. My son and I ran the Bay to Breakers wearing Army shirts, along with Old Glory and the Army flag. We raising money to send care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were verbally attacked called baby killers, fascists and lapdogs. I got into a couple of shoving matches, because someone was trying to take our flags.

PJ and I were the freaks. While the nude gay men that had taken at least 10 viagra pills were the honored celebrities. Families with little children were taking pictures with them. San Francisco is such a shithole.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at April 27, 2009 11:23 PM

PeteDawg: I got into a couple of shoving matches, because someone was trying to take our flags.

PJ and I were the freaks. While the nude gay men that had taken at least 10 viagra pills were the honored celebrities.

Well, jeez man, go figure. You didn't come appropriately dressed for the event. What did you expect?

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at April 28, 2009 12:01 AM

PeteDawg, there is more diversity in SF than might appear on the surface. Many Asian Americans, hispanic Americans, and immigrants from Eastern Europe live in San Francisco. Many normal people work in the financial district, biotech, and in the tech sectors. Many Jewish Americans; and many pro Israeli people live in SF as well. There are many economic libertarians or economic conservatives (people who were upset at New Orleans during Katrina) in San Francisco. However SF can be intolerant of social conservatives (a category that includes many muslim, asian and hispanic Americans in addition to evangelicals.)

While there is less diversity in San Francisco than there is in Orange County, San Diego, or the rest of the Bay Area; it just isn't as bad as your comment implies.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at April 28, 2009 9:35 AM

There is actually plenty of diversity in SF. Try talking to a cop, a banker or a business owner next time you're there. You might be surprised at the range of views you'll get. I would guess that it seems "rigid and ossified" to MT because the kind of people likely to move from Oregon to SF are the kind of people who fit the stereotype. But SF is still one of the great cities in this country and there's actually a lot going on there, especially libertarian types. San Diego is much less interesting, probably because the lifestyle's too nice and most people there can't be bothered to think at all. There are a few really dumb conservative tropes that conservatives should consider abandoning if they want to come to grips with reality - #1 is "French people are cowards and bad soldiers." #2 is "Hitler is Darwin's intellectual heir" and #3 is SF is an "un-American den of sin". There's nothing traditionally conservative about any of those propositions, it's just group-think.

Posted by: Dyadya Vanya Author Profile Page at April 28, 2009 1:43 PM

There's a lot going on in S.F. alright. You haven't lived until you've been on the other end of the rage juvenile leftwing bullshit rooted in belief anchored in emotion fosters here. I was told, by someone who'd never met me, that I had a right wing agenda because I supported Rudy Giuliani for president. And he wasn't smiling.

I managed my building when the compassionate ones thought it was a brilliant idea to give out the highest General Assistance payment in Northern California in straight cash, and I had dealers, junkies, their needles and their blood on my front steps. And tenants afraid to come home at night.

Oh those unintended consequences, when critical thinking becomes an endanged species.

Fantasy Island gets what it deserves. I have two remaining reasons for being here, ages 11 and 14, because Uncle Paul is the closest thing to a good dad they'll see.

Enough.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 28, 2009 2:38 PM

Well, jeez man, go figure. You didn't come appropriately dressed for the event. What did you expect?

Edgar

LOL! I know I was going to enemy territory, but I didn't expect the open hostility. My bad... Next time I'll dress up like one of the Village People and I'm sure I'd get a better reception.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at April 29, 2009 12:12 AM

PeteDawg, there is more diversity in SF than might appear on the surface.

Anand

There is actually plenty of diversity in SF. Try talking to a cop, a banker or a business owner next time you're there. You might be surprised at the range of views you'll get.

Dyadya Vanya

Hey, guys I know what San Francisco is... If you put a PORTA-POTTI in the middle of a beautiful garden, does that mean it's part of the garden? No, it's still a shit hole. San Francisco was founded by drunks, gold seekers, con men and prostitutes, but if you're a third or fourth generation San Franciscan now you're respectable. ROFLAMO!

As far as talking to teachers, firemen and police officers, I have friends that work there. They'll tell you it's a shit hole, too. 70% of the teachers send there own children to PRIVATE SCHOOLS. Real firefighters are pissed that they have to work with 4' 11" women that couldn't hold a hose, set a ladder or carry an injured person to save their lives, all in the name POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. And finally the police force is demoralized because of the bumbling idiot police commissioner that can't buy a hat that will fit, that is more worried about PC than fighting crime.

Diversity isn't a problem with San Francisco. I appreciate it, after all I'm a duly designated minority according to California. In fact I'm a minority within a minority, I'm a conservative. San Franciscans love everybody, even if you want to be a pre-op transgender that can't make up your mind. It's just CONSERVATIVES or anyone with a conservative thought they can't tolerate.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at April 29, 2009 3:38 AM

Hmm, Kaplan tells us that the Turks have water but the Arabs don't. He doesn't mention the water some Arabs might have had the Israelis not stolen it.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060626/taamallah

A reason they are so unwilling to get rid of those settlements?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 29, 2009 6:19 PM

Sorry, this is a more recent article: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090428/BUSINESS/704289954/-1/ART

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 4:46 AM

Thanks for the article Molly. Israel could significantly help Gaza if it:
1) Ended the trade sanctions on Gaza
1a) Allowed Gaza access to Israeli roads, rails, air ports and sea ports
1b) Allowed Palestinians to buy water, sewage, electricity and other basic services for the same price that settlers pay (see Molly's article)
1c) Allowed free trade, free investment, free collaboration, and work visas with Gaza and the West Bank
1d) stopped interfering with Palestinian property rights by arbitrarily confiscating private property paying below market prices or no price at all.

Israeli policies are impeding the Palestinian integration into the global economy and the Palestinian private sector. This hurts Israel as much as it hurts Palestine.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 9:27 AM

Molly & Anand, have you thought of starting a separate "Help the Poor Pals" web page?

You know, the poor Pals being the victims of everyone in the world and all.

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 12:32 PM

Ron, have you thought of taking a seminar to learn compassion?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 2:24 PM

Dyadya Vanya,

#1 is "French people are cowards and bad soldiers." #2 is "Hitler is Darwin's intellectual heir" and #3 is SF is an "un-American den of sin". There's nothing traditionally conservative about any of those propositions, it's just group-think.

Well, here in Los Angeles I've heard just about everyone including latino immigrants who barely speak English express the sentiments contained in #1. Americans don't like the French. Neither do latinos, it seems. Nothing to do with politics, though it may have something to do with the fact there aren't many people in the US of French extraction.

On #2, I've never heard anyone say anything that sounded like that. Are you suggesting that Bikers and skinheads are staunch republicans or something? Where is that coming from? I've known some Bikers over the years and if I had to attribute an ideology to their political apathy I would call them anarchists. Though, they don't really care enough about ideology to make good ones.

As far as #3, I heard more New Yorkers in Greenwich Village slamming San Francisco and Berkeley than I ever heard anywhere else. And they were damn aggressive about it. But they used phrases like "looney tunes" and "land of fruits and nuts" rather than "den of sin".

From where I'm sitting, it looks to me like you're big on stereotypes. I haven't been to San Francisco in 15 years, but I was in Seattle last year and let me tell you a little story! I was there with a girl who was wearing my old dog tags and sporting them openly because she didn't know better - I did, of course, but I didn't want to spoil her fun. So, we were in a Barnes & Noble and the old hippy chick working the cash register asked her if she'd "lost" somebody in Iraq or some such thing. And she said "No, these are my friends" and points at me, who is busy trying to pretend I don't hear what's being said. So then she starts commiserating with me about how horrible it must have been for me, being in the military and yada yada yada. It never occurred to her that I might not have had a miserable experience in the military or that i might not be ashamed of my service. Totally never occurred to her. And yet, she was all ready to express her "sympathy" to my friend if it turned out she had "lost" somebody in Iraq. Is that a "good" American, Dadya Vanya? I'm not gonna claim her as such. I'm embarrassed, as an American, that we have citizens who have so much contempt for their own country that they can't imagine that anyone might be proud of having served in the nation's military. Am I wrong to think that way?

And PS- I ran into quite a few native Seattle-ans or whatever they are called who complained to me pretty bitterly about how much California transplants had fucked things up for them. In fact, just about everyone I talked to went into that rant, once they found out I was from California. And I seriously doubt they were all conservatives.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 2:25 PM

Ron, have you thought of taking a seminar to learn compassion?

Are you the same Molly who bans everyone who disagrees with her on her blog? Where's the compassion for dissenters, Molly!? Was that some special seminar you went to, where they taught you to vilify people and otherwise attempt to shut people up, in the name of empathy? Was that seminar in Berkeley, by any chance?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 2:28 PM

Did I say they were the victims of everyone in the world? No, it's mainly the Israelis and their big supporters, the US govt.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 2:35 PM

Molly, Ron and Craig have compassion deficit disorder.

Posted by: Jinx Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 3:15 PM

Molly, Ron and Craig have compassion deficit disorder.

Nah, I'm just mad because Molly insulted me, made racist comments about me, made fun of me when I complained and then banned me from her blog, and then shows up here talking about "compassion", as of it's a word she understands. Molly sees herself as a victim, even though the reality is that she is a victimizer. I find that to be truer with left wing activists.

Where am I wrong, Dyadya? Help me out here! I want to understand these stereotypical narrow minded and intolerant leftists that I see all over the blogs, so that I can feel empathy towards them properly.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 4:19 PM

How to convert Palestine from a "shatter zone" into a rich and successful area?

A Palestinian recently asked me that question. This is a very important question (if the Palestinians were rich they could bribe the Israelis to get part of what they want.) I thought I might pose the question and learn from everyone's perspectives.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 5:01 PM

Craig, I never banned anyone from the blog. It was one of the other ones. I don't believe in banning except for a few cases.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 5:45 PM

Also, Craig when did I ever say racist things about you. And when did I say I am a victim? And how am I a victimizer? What are you talking about?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 5:46 PM

What is rational about Jordan? The fact that he tortures dissidents or that he has recognized Israel?

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/09/world/fg-jordan9

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 6:11 PM

San Fransisco is a swell place - I'd love to live there. Of course, I also met many swell folks and had a good time in exurban Arkansas, so I may just love everyone.

But seriously, the fact that some of our more anti-liberal folks had a few confrontations with some outspoken & rude San Fransisco folks says very little about the community as a whole. You might as well stereotype Beirut based on Chris Hitchens' fight with the Syrians.

And yet, she was all ready to express her "sympathy" to my friend if it turned out she had "lost" somebody in Iraq. Is that a "good" American, Dadya Vanya? I'm not gonna claim her as such. I'm embarrassed, as an American, that we have citizens who have so much contempt for their own country that they can't imagine that anyone might be proud of having served in the nation's military. Am I wrong to think that way?

Dude, Somehow, in your personal universe, a readiness to sympathize with people assumed to have dead friends has become offensive to you. That's messed up. Your emotional compass is pretty out of whack when you've come to mistake sympathy, even misguided sympathy, for contempt. Sympathy is an acknowledgement of legitimacy and humanity. Get over your sh*t.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 8:40 PM

You belong on Fantasy Island, glasnost---after I leave.

I've only lived here 39 years, so there must be something about the delicate sensibilities of Fantasy Islanders I missed.

On second thought, you just full of shit, as usual.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at April 30, 2009 10:19 PM

Craig, I never banned anyone from the blog. It was one of the other ones. I don't believe in banning except for a few cases.

So, that's an excuse? It was one of the other ones? So, you aren't responsible? lol.

Also, Craig when did I ever say racist things about you. And when did I say I am a victim? And how am I a victimizer? What are you talking about?

Oh, I'm sure you don't think your comments are racist, Molly. I recall you cheering on your cronies while they were making some extremely obscene and offensive comments to somebody (you even complemented them on how witty they were), and then when that person replied in kind you threatened to ban him for being vulgar. And as I recall, he did get banned. I don't know when i got banned, I just know at some point when anand referred me to some crazy post on your blog I wasn't able to open the comment section anymore. I don't really care because your blog isn't something that interests me anyway. But just so you know, in the real world when your friends make outrageously insulting and blatantly racist statements to somebody and you chime in to tell them how right or how funny they are, you share the blame for their behavior. You don't get to play cheerleader and then pretend that it has nothing to do with you.

Just like Palestinians don't get to call mass-murderers martyrs and heroes and then act like they don't support mass murderers. And no, I don't have much compassion for people who take pride in committing mass murder. Sorry.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 8:56 AM

Dude, Somehow, in your personal universe, a readiness to sympathize with people assumed to have dead friends has become offensive to you.

Should i be surprised that you missed the point, glasnost? The woman assumed that the only reason that anyone would where dogtags is to memorialize somebody who was killed. What kind of person makes an assumption like that, glasnost? She also assumed that anyone who served in the military would be ashamed of it. Again, what kind of world view is that?

And thanks for the advice, but no... I won't ever be accepting of Americans who have this worldview. Instead of moving o San Francisco, they should consider moving to a country they feel more comfortable with.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 9:02 AM

Glastnost,

I feel the same way Craig does about that lady he met. She was messed up. Craig, most people in the Bay area are not like that lady. Most in San Francisco are not like that either. Ladies like her are part of a very vocal high profile minority.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 9:10 AM

I feel the same way Craig does about that lady he met. She was messed up. Craig, most people in the Bay area are not like that lady. Most in San Francisco are not like that either. Ladies like her are part of a very vocal high profile minority.

I know, anand. I used to run into people like her once in a while here in LA, while I was still in. But I'm sure there are quite a few more like her in Seattle and the San Francisco area than in any other part of the country.

To glasnost, in case he thinks her assumption about the dogtags was valid: When I used to be home on leave or liberty, I always took my dogtags off and left them on the counter until I had to go back to base. They often came up missing. I had no clue what was going on until I saw a girl wearing dogtags at a party and happened to glance at them and saw MY NAME. I was like "WTF!? I don't even know this girl, and she's wearing my dog tags!?" and since I had to have a new set made up whenever I "lost" my old ones, it got old really fast. I solved the problem by leaving them in my footlocker on base, instead.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 10:02 AM

Molly,

"What is rational about Jordan? The fact that he tortures dissidents or that he has recognized Israel?"

I'd have to think about it, but I would probably put more weight with the latter.

"Ron, have you thought of taking a seminar to learn compassion?"

Hmm, no, since CDD is one of my least dysfunctional idiosyncrasies. Your suggestion is most appreciated though.

I tend to reserve my compassion and empathy for those that are deserving of it.

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 10:55 AM

You mean like certain races, Ron? I understand, collective punishment. Those Palestinian babies deserve to suffer, eh?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 5:16 PM

You mean like certain races, Ron? I understand, collective punishment. Those Palestinian babies deserve to suffer, eh?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 1, 2009 5:16 PM

Molly the racist, making allegations of racism against somebody she doesn't agree with, based on nothing. What a surprise.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 12:18 AM

"Should i be surprised that you missed the point, glasnost?"

No.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 1:08 AM

"You mean like certain races, Ron? I understand, collective punishment. Those Palestinian babies deserve to suffer, eh?"

No, just Jewish babies, right, Molly?

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 1:09 AM

By the way, Molly, speaking of babies, the infant mortality in the West Bank and Gaza is about half of that in Iran, which is run by one of your favorite blowjobees.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 1:14 AM

Gary that was over the top. Molly loves Jewish babies. She is Jewish!

I saw this article:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1082153.html
Is Israel becoming a shatter zone society? Is Israel losing its secret sauce and starting to fall behind the rest of the world in technology, educational achievement, military competence, intelligence capability, and governance?

Israel's performance in the latest OECD education global test was underwhelming:
"The initial results of the exam, which were published about a year and a half ago, showed Israeli students in 40th place out of 57 countries in reading and math, and in 39th place in science. In all three fields, the average Israeli score was 55 to 60 points below the international average.

On Wednesday, the OECD issued a follow-up report that analyzed the achievements of each country's top performers. It showed that while overall, 4.1 percent of students earned top scores in all three subjects, only 1.7 percent of Israeli students did."

Is this an anomaly, or does it reflect a deeper decay in Israeli society? If it is the later, should countries de emphasize their long term strategic relationship with Israel in favor of other rising powers (such as Malaysia or Chile)?

Personally I think the decline of Israel is bad for the world. I want a successful and prosperous Israel because it benefits Palestine and the rest of the world. But if Israel is in decline; then shouldn't other countries adjust their policies to reflect this?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 1:25 AM

Molly, I think that all helpless people should be protected. Generally speaking I would include babies, old people and others who are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of themselves in the category of being helpless.

I do NOT include people (or countries), such as the Palestinians, who over at least the last thirty years or so chose not to help themselves, but rather to blame others.

Having said that, you are a twisted person with inflexible bias', and not up to the caliber of persons I normally see on this blog.

You sometimes veer off into reasonable and intelligent thought processi and comments, but inevitably your ethical/moral compass takes you back to your propagandist, racist, anti-Israel core.

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 5:46 AM

Should i be surprised that you missed the point, glasnost? The woman assumed that the only reason that anyone would where dogtags is to memorialize somebody who was killed. What kind of person makes an assumption like that, glasnost? She also assumed that anyone who served in the military would be ashamed of it. Again, what kind of world view is that?

Why are you so confident that you understand the worldview occurring here? Let's break this down some more, just for fun.

The woman assumed that the only reason that anyone would where dogtags is to memorialize somebody who was killed.

Look, I wasn't there, so I'm only reacting to your descriptions. But you have no idea if she believes that the "only" reason someone would wear dogtags is out of mourning. All you know is that she wondered about it. That doesn't preclude her acknowledgement of other reasons to wear dog tags.

The only reason I posted at all is because I can imagine a similar train of thought from myself. Not your version of it - that people only wear military signifiers because they're in mourning. But to wonder if someone who you've identified as from the military has lost friends in Iraq? Who doesn't wonder that when they meet a soldier? And how exactly this become a hostile point of view? There's a couple of officers coming to a shindig I'm hosting next week. I wonder who they knew that got strike three in there, though I won't ask. Considering that question makes one more, not less, likely to respect Services personnel.

All I can see here is a grandma, perhaps without an A for social skills, acting a little bit awkward... okay, I wrote that sentence, then reread your comment. I wasn't there for the Part 2 where she went on about how much it must have sucked to be in the military, etc. That I can understand the complaint about, although I think that's also something that shouldn't be misunderstood. After Vietnam, the "hippies" were most disgusted and angry at veterans. It's not easy to be personally nonhostile to people who belong to an institution whom you believe is committing cruel and immoral acts. A lot of the left still tend to see US Ops that way. Feeling sorry for you, while you may not enjoy it, is an admirable attempt to be disgusted at your institution, but not at you personally. I'm not saying that should impress you or anything, but something to think about along the lines of "give these people a break".

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 8:06 AM

Yes, Israelis choose to help themselves...to other peoples land.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 8:08 AM

Yes, Israelis choose to help themselves...to other peoples land.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 8:08 AM

Being anti-Israel is not racist, it is anti a state which came into being by the theft of land from the natives and now define itself by the exclusion of those natives. And no, the United States does not do this, all Native Americans are citizens. Saying being anti-Israel is racist is saying that all Jews agree with the state of Israel's actions or existence, which we do not. Stop lumping all Jews together, it's racist! By the way, bias' and processi are not words.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 8:13 AM

anand,

"Gary that was over the top. Molly loves Jewish babies. She is Jewish!"

No, it wasn't.
Yes, nobody doubts Molly loves all the babies regardless of race. Problem is, Molly is hiding behind babies just as readily. She conveniently disregards the fact that parent are responsible for well being of their babies first of all. While it is unfortunate that Palestinian babies get to suffer it is their parent who deny them compassion. Israelis are not obligated to care about Palestinian babies more than Palestinians themselves. And Molly better not try to be compassionate at others expense either.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 8:59 AM

>>>Being anti-Israel is not racist, it is anti a state which came into being by the theft of land from the natives and now define itself by the exclusion of those natives.

Baloney. Not a single Arab was displaced from his land by the creation of the State of Israel. Those Arabs that chose to stay still remain on their land and in their homes. Those that chose to leave now sleep in the bed of their own making.

The only truly displaced Arabs are the result of subsequent wars declared UPON Israel by the Arabs. And while the wars displaced many Arabs, millions more of them still live within Israel, while not a single Jew is allowed to live in palestinian territories. And please spare me the same old tired-- and lonely-- example of Deir Yassin. For every example of Jewish heavy-handedness I can give you 5 or more examples of Arab atrocities which preceded it.

Those are the facts, while you offer only platitudes and orwellian slogans.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 9:12 AM

"Gary that was over the top. Molly loves Jewish babies. She is Jewish!"

There is no more evidence for those two assertions than there is for other lies you have made, such as "Israel 'forced' Arafat on the Palestinians".

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 9:25 AM

Really, Carlos? Ben Gurion would disagree. During the 'long seminar', a meeting of Ben-Gurion with his chief advisors in January 1948, the departure point was that it was desirable to 'transfer' as many Arabs as possible out of Jewish territory, and the discussion focussed mainly on the implementation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Palestinian_exodus

And Gary, although I am Jewish (I even posted a call for a Jewish state by my Great-Grandather on my blog), that shouldn't matter. To say I'm not Jewish is a ad hominem attack. Focus on the argument, not the person is what my philosophy teacher told me. :)

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 9:36 AM

Should I throw some yiddish at you, Gary? Gay Kaken affen yam.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 9:46 AM

>>>Really, Carlos? Ben Gurion would disagree. During the 'long seminar', a meeting of Ben-Gurion with his chief advisors in January 1948, the departure point was that it was desirable to 'transfer' as many Arabs as possible out of Jewish territory, and the discussion focussed mainly on the implementation."

Indeed-- AFTER war was declared by the Arabs. And yet there is no evidence that this "discussion" was ever carried out as policy. In fact, pro-Pal anti-zionist Benny Morris concludes that:

"...only 'an extremely small, almost insignificant number of the refugees during this early period left because of Haganah or IZL or LHI expulsion orders or forceful "advice" to that effect'.

From your own wiki source.

The vast majority of Pals fled on guarantees by Arab authorities that once the Jews were exterminated they could then return.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 10:18 AM

Look, I wasn't there, so I'm only reacting to your descriptions. But you have no idea if she believes that the "only" reason someone would wear dogtags is out of mourning. All you know is that she wondered about it. That doesn't preclude her acknowledgement of other reasons to wear dog tags.

glastnost

Up to your trolling tehniques again, glasnost? What do get out of nitpicking people's comments? If you wanted clarificatiion all you had to do was ask craig instead of "only reason", do you mean "main reason"? Therefore, the debate could have been moved forward to gist of craig's comments, that while when liberals aren't openly hostile towards military personnel (as in my case), they are in general very condescending towards them.

It reminded me of your "failed" attempt to sidetrack Michael's reporting of the surge's success in Anbar 2007.

Finally, in regards to you living in that shithole San Francisco, I can honestly say you'd fit right in and add your own distinct fragrance to the city.

Posted by: PeteDawg Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 12:32 PM

PD, I'll add my comment that the only place I was treated well while wearing my uniform (this was during the last few years of the Vietnam War) was Utah. Places other than my hometown, including the truly beautiful SF area, often, even usually, treated me with disrepect because of the uniform. Those persons that treated me like crap and insulted the uniform could KMA both then and now.

If anyone disagrees with what the military is doing, work to get the civilian leaders to change it. Don't frak with the person wearing the uniform that is willing to put their life on the line to preserve your freedoms.

Molly: bias' was an error; processi is a word that I just like, regardless of its "dictionary" validity. Just sounds good. My bad.

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 1:00 PM

Carlos, don't confuse molly with the facts!

"although I am Jewish (I even posted a call for a Jewish state by my Great-Grandather on my blog), that shouldn't matter."

Then why did YOU bring it up in the first place (on another thread)? And then try to "burnish" your credentials by hurling a well-known Yiddish insult at me? Given your relentless mendacity, there is no reason to believe it is true or that this allegedly Zionist great-grandfather ever existed. As for your Yiddish, I bet you can find that at any Stormfront website.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 3:30 PM

molly,

"Gay Kaken affen yam."

What's with an accent? Where are you from?

Gary,

It is not an insult really even though it is rather rude expression.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 4:24 PM

Molly is Jewish. Period. She has had 3 blogs over many years. She has never hid her background.

Glastnost, just admit that the lady Craig met was a jerk.

Carlos, the Palestinians didn't have anything to do with the Arab armies of 1948. The Arab armies weren't there "for" the Palestinians or to "help" the Palestinians. The Arab armies did persuade many Palestinians to temporarily leave so that they could go after the Jews. They were wrong to ask Palestinians to leave, and they were wrong to go after the Jews, versus try to negotiate a solution that benefited Jews and Palestinians.

The Israelis should have invited the Palestinians to return in 1948 "AFTER" Israel defeated the Arab armies. This was Israel's mistake. If Israel had invited the Palestinians back; united the Jews and Palestinians could have stood up to the Arab dictators.

Israelis have long under appreciated how great and capable the Palestinians are; and how much the Palestinian success benefits Israelis. This is a subtle form of bigotry, similar but more intense than the bigotry of low expectations many American have toward black Americans.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 5:48 PM

anand,

I have no doubt the Israelis hate Pal guts and are bigoted towards them. Who could blame them. And the feeling is more than mutual I'm sure (something about pigs and monkeys I believe).

But that's neither here nor there when the Pals don't even believe in Israel's right to exist. It's a moot point.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 6:43 PM

Look, I wasn't there, so I'm only reacting to your descriptions.

And yet, you corrected the opinions I formed of her behavior? So, I was there and you weren't, but your opinions are valid and mine aren't? Is that how it works?

But you have no idea if she believes that the "only" reason someone would wear dogtags is out of mourning. All you know is that she wondered about it.

That isn't true. All I know is that she assumed my friend was wearing dogtags to memorialize somebody who died. Why would she assume that, and not something else, glasnost? And if she was just curious, why didn't she ask?

I think her motivation is self-explanatory. And my opinion of her motivation was confirmed by the way she addressed me afterwards, when she found out I was a vet and that they were my dogtags.

That doesn't preclude her acknowledgement of other reasons to wear dog tags.

I have no idea what you are talking about, here. You think she deserves the benefit of the doubt, even though there isn't much doubt to be found? lol. Something tells me you wouldn't be so open-minded if we were talking about a suspected right-wing conservative in Alabama, eh?

The only reason I posted at all is because I can imagine a similar train of thought from myself.

So can I :)

Not your version of it - that people only wear military signifiers because they're in mourning. But to wonder if someone who you've identified as from the military has lost friends in Iraq?

My friend was quite obviously not in the US military. She is also quite obviously not American.

Who doesn't wonder that when they meet a soldier?

And is that what you think people ask the most often when they meet somebody in the military? It seems a bit ghoulish, to me. And unlikely to draw a favorable reaction.

And how exactly this become a hostile point of view?

Her assumption that I was ashamed of being in the US military is when I started treating her as a "hostile" :)

There's a couple of officers coming to a shindig I'm hosting next week. I wonder who they knew that got strike three in there, though I won't ask. Considering that question makes one more, not less, likely to respect Services personnel.

I don't know if you respect teh US military or US military personnel or not, glasnost. I know this woman, didn't.

All I can see here is a grandma, perhaps without an A for social skills, acting a little bit awkward... okay, I wrote that sentence, then reread your comment. I wasn't there for the Part 2 where she went on about how much it must have sucked to be in the military, etc. That I can understand the complaint about, although I think that's also something that shouldn't be misunderstood. After Vietnam, the "hippies" were most disgusted and angry at veterans. It's not easy to be personally nonhostile to people who belong to an institution whom you believe is committing cruel and immoral acts. A lot of the left still tend to see US Ops that way. Feeling sorry for you, while you may not enjoy it, is an admirable attempt to be disgusted at your institution, but not at you personally.

My parents were hippies, glasnost. That was a long time ago. My parents grew up. This woman is 60 years old and is living 40 years in the past, and working as a cashier at Barnes & Noble in Seattle, and projecting her leftist hippie counter-culture viewpoint on customers at the store that employs her.

Do you think that is rare in Seattle? Or in San Francisco? That's the point I was trying to raise. because, it is rare, here in Los Angeles.

I'm not saying that should impress you or anything, but something to think about along the lines of "give these people a break".

No, I won't give them a break. If they want to speak their minds then I get to speak mine too, right? As politically active as that click is in San Francisco and the Pacific north-west, and you think they deserve some sympathy from the people they attack so aggressively?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 2, 2009 6:46 PM

"Molly is Jewish. Period."

Again, how do you know other than her say-so?

"She has had 3 blogs over many years."

I never heard of her (fortunately) until these threads.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 1:33 AM

"Carlos, the Palestinians didn't have anything to do with the Arab armies of 1948."

More bullshit from anand the liar. The Palestinians were part of those Arab armies. That's anand's looking-glass world of lies - Palestinians didn't have anything to do with the Arabs in 1948, and Israel is responsible for Arafat.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 1:37 AM

Something tells me you wouldn't be so open-minded if we were talking about a suspected right-wing conservative in Alabama, eh?

It depends on whether I was reacting to the Alabama conservative personally in real time, or whether I was listening to someone else talk about him. In the latter case, I probably would. My default bias is that whoever's talking is wrong. Not that I don't have others, but that one usually wins.

And is that what you think people ask the most often when they meet somebody in the military? It seems a bit ghoulish, to me.

Every hero pays a price, right? Who doesn't look at a hero and find themself wondering what sacrifices were made along the way? Am I ripping this directly out of a John McCain speech?

Your point is fine. I think we'd all be better people to recognize the sympathetic instinct as an act of peace, an attmept to take your side, and to avoid taking offense, even if the instinct is based on values, beliefs, opinions, etc, we don't much like. That's my (classic "liberal", I suppose) point. +1 me, extended civil conversation. And as a bonus, I don't think I used a curse word even once this post.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 8:42 AM

I brought up being Jewish because you can't accuse a Jew of being anti-semitic for criticizing Israel. That's why Israelis are allowed to do so, but not most Americans. I doubt you can find that phrase on Stormfront. Was there an accent in it? I don't know, I learned it from my dad. Where am I from? Brooklyn. Here is the post about my great-grandfather: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_3s4vvKyCKyg/SfOrPuMTSUI/AAAAAAAAAEI/2gLhdAp8-qc/s1600-h/MyersLouis_SonsofZion_27une1933-3.jpg

Anyway, Zionists talked about getting rid of the natives for a long time before any Arab armies threatened anything. Learn about Zionism before saying silly things. I could find you all sorts of information on ways the Zionists were killing and threatening Palestinians before their exodus but I'm tired right now. Maybe some other day. If you are interested, you can find it yourself. Read books by Zionists and you will see. And why shouldn't they threaten anyway when they were going to declare a nation on someone else's land. And Benny Morris would be very surprised to hear himself called an anti-Zionist. Read up on the guy before making these claims.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:45 AM

Oh, and you can find me on Masada2000's list of self-Hating Jews along with people like MIchale Lerner. lol Like Woody Allen might say, I'm a self-hating Jew, I might hate myself but not for being Jewish. Well, he would probably say it funnier.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:48 AM

I don't know if you respect teh US military or US military personnel or not, glasnost.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative)

or, in the original phrasing, "the answer lies outside the context framed by the question/assertion/statement")

Your non-opinion is correct. My nonopinion is correct. An accurate description, and the space for the more accurate process than could be obtained with the heuristic of respect/disrespect. Thus, mu. The question cannot produce a useful answer.

That is also my approach (ideally) for all instances in this class. It's worth mentioning here that although the assertion of respect is socially used to note the absence of disrespect, the most unique entity in the meaning space of respect is a positive, affirmative emotion.

I try to save those for people and situations, not to be used on abstractions. Respect and disrespect cloud the mind and are best minimized.

I could have said "justice knows no respect or disrespect, thus the finger to the whole framework", or even "What Would Dr. Spock Feel?", but I started thinking.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 11:07 AM

molly,

so far a lot of irrelevant sound and thunder about those nasty zionists, but amounting to nothing. No Arabs were displaced by the creation of the state of Israel, and you've yet to disprove that.

And I meant to say Morris is a post-zionist, not anti-zionist. My bad. Though that too is irrelevant as he's cited by your own wiki source so it hardly matters what you want to call him.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 1:11 PM

One's views on zionists should have no impact on a fundamental question: is facilitating Palestinian private sector and Palestinian civil society good for Israel and Palestine? The answer in my view is yes. This is why Israel urgently needs to change its policies that are impeding the Palestinian private sector and civil society.

Another very important question is whether Israel has to improve its treatment of its Palestinian Israeli citizens. Again I think the answer is yes.

Carlos, substantial amounts of Palestinian private property were confiscated by the Israeli government in a type of 'eminent domain.' Israeli courts do not always recognize Ottoman era property deeds. The Israeli government confiscates Palestinian land using the "Custodian of Absentee Property Law." Since 1961, a formal institution, the Israel Land Administration (or, "ILA") has existed to administer many of these "absentee" properties (Palestinian owned property.)

There is a discussion of Israeli law here: http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/2008/12/kill-your-tv.html

These land confiscations took place both sides of the 1967 borders. However, land confiscation in the occupied territories is illegal unless absolutely necessary to administer the area. I hope we can both agree that Israeli land confiscation has been beyond what was required to administer the area.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 2:06 PM

David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

Posted by: Jinx Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 2:15 PM

Check these out Anand.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6200102/zionist-quotes

Just scroll down for loads of unbelievable
and fascistic madness by the leaders themselves:
a true light unto the nations! ;)

Posted by: Jinx Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 2:36 PM

For Carlos

"We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs and we are building here a Hebrew, a Jewish state; instead of the Arab villages, Jewish villages were established. You even do not know the names of those villages, and I do not blame you because these villages no longer exist. There is not a single Jewish settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab Village." – Moshe Dyan, March 19, 1969, speech at the Technion in Haifa, quoted in Ha’aretz, April 4, 1969.

"Because we took the land this gives us the image of being bad, of being aggressive. The Jews always considered that the land belonged to them, but in fact it belonged to the Arabs. I would go further: I would say the original source of this conflict lies with Israel, with the Jews – and you can quote me." – Yehoshofat Harkabi, former Israeli Chief of Military Intelligence, in ‘Peace Won't be a Plane Ticket to Cairo,’ International Armed Forces Journal, October 1973, p.30.

"Let us not today fling accusations at the murderers. Who are we that we should argue against their hatred? For eight years now they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their very eyes, we turn into our homestead the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived." – Moshe Dyan, 1953, quoted by Uri Avneri in Israel without Zionists, p. 134.
"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'" – Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.
"Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment . . . Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." – Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.

Posted by: Jinx Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 2:48 PM

For Jinx,

Exposing false zionist quotes:

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_print=1&x_context=6&x_article=1521

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 3:11 PM

Thanks for the link Carlos. From your link it appears that some of the old quotes linked to Israel's founders are inaccurate. Thank goodness.

However, this does not change Israeli policies of property confiscation. "Soldier No Longer in Iraq" describes some of the Israeli laws involved in the confiscation of Palestinian private property in the link from Abu Muqawama. Please consider looking at it.

I don't think that Israel's founders were devils; however I disagree with how Israel's version of eminent domain has been carried out for decades.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 4:42 PM

Look, even if the Palestinians left because they were afraid of an impending war and not driven out, by international law and by universal ethical systems, they should get their homes back.

And Carlos and Anand, the first quote was reported in Haaretz. Do you disbelieve Haaretz?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 4:56 PM

Also, Anand, I would not believe everything that Camera says, either. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_mideast_editing_wars

The Zionists had no compunction about using terrorism to get rid of the British. Why would they have any about getting rid of the Palestinians, whom they denigrated much more than the British (as peasants, barbarians, etc)?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 5:12 PM

Ultimately it's irrelevant whether these quotes are true or not. The Pals and their Israel-hating enablers wouldn't have to peddle phony zionist quotes if instead they could point to actual zionist deeds on the ground. Apparently they can point to nothing the zionists actually DID, so we get phoney quotes instead. Turns out the Pals are quotable too, like wipe Israel off the map, drive the jews into the sea, Jews are monkeys and pigs, blood libels, etc. Does Molly care? Apparently not. The closest thing to objectionable zionist deeds on the ground is what Anand is offering.

Anand,

we're the palestinians who lost their land to eminent domain compensated?

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 5:22 PM

anand,

"Palestinian Israeli citizens"

Please, could you clarify who do you mean?

I do not believe there is such entity as "Palestinian Israeli citizens", but I could be wrong.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 5:36 PM

Jinx,

David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"

I am confused.
Are you quoting Ben Gurion putting himself into Arab shoes as if it were actual Ben Gurion's opinion?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 5:46 PM

molly,

"Look, even if the Palestinians left because they were afraid of an impending war and not driven out, by international law and by universal ethical systems, they should get their homes back."

Unless there is statute of limitation the same logic is applicable to Jews who came back home after 2000 years. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 5:50 PM

Palestinian Israeli citizens = Israeli citizens of Palestinian ethnicity.

"we're the palestinians who lost their land to eminent domain compensated?" In many cases they were not (often Israeli courts do not recognize Ottoman property deeds.) In many cases they were offered rent which they declined for political reasons or for safety reasons. Many cases they were offered rent or purchase prices below market rates.

Another huge problem is that few Palestinians can afford high priced lawyers to demand their rights. Pro Palestinian organizations should spend hundreds of millions of dollars offering Palestinians gratis legal representation.

I suspect another problem is that Turkey is an ally of Israel and has not helped provide Palestinians proper Ottoman documents.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 7:05 PM

"if the Palestinians left because they were afraid of an impending war and not driven out, by international law and by universal ethical systems, they should get their homes back." I agree completely. They should either get their homes back or compensation equal to the market value of the property they lost.

"And Carlos and Anand, the first quote was reported in Haaretz. Do you disbelieve Haaretz?" I am willing to trust Haaretz. Some of the quotes seem to be true; some may not be true. But I really don't see the point in rehashing that. Palestinians and Israelis flashing quotes from the other more than 50 years ago doesn't help. I don't hold today's Israelis accountable for their grandparents (except for the state of Israel which should be accountable for confiscated property.) I am much more concerned by recent quotes from Lieberman and Netanyahu. And I am much more concerned about specific Israeli actions than the words of Leiberman.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 7:12 PM

Leo, shouldn't the Israeli government pay for confiscated property from 1948 and 1949? If Israel wants to condition the money so that it can only be spent on education, investment etc. by Palestinians, that would be a constructive proposal. But to not pay the money Palestinians are owed is immoral.

One idea that I have is for Israeli universities to reserve 10% of all undergraduate admissions to Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens. This would be a way for Israelis to partly recompense for the past. All tuition should be paid for the Israeli government. I don't know if this idea is practical. Maybe the percentage should be 5% the first year and gradually phase up to 20% over many years.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 7:17 PM

anand,

"Palestinian Israeli citizens = Israeli citizens of Palestinian ethnicity."

What is Palestinian ethnicity? When did it come into being and what is it comprised of?

"Leo, shouldn't the Israeli government pay for confiscated property from 1948 and 1949? If Israel wants to condition the money so that it can only be spent on education, investment etc. by Palestinians, that would be a constructive proposal. But to not pay the money Palestinians are owed is immoral."

I do not object to this approach at all. However (always like that), first enemy combatants are not to be compensated, second, compensation must come from Israel only if Arab states will agree reciprocally compensate Jews who were expelled from Arab states and had their property confiscated.

"If Israel wants to condition the money so that it can only be spent on education, investment etc..."

I disagree. Israel has no business to dictate how compensated (if there is such word) wishes to use compensation. There must be no pre-condition for use what so ever.

"One idea that I have is for Israeli universities to reserve 10% of all undergraduate admissions to Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens."

Only as gesture of good will if Israel so chooses. Besides I wouldn't want to pay 10% extra to cover somebody else's keep unless I have a say in the matter. Alternatively non-tax-paying non-citizens must pay full tuition.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 7:48 PM

"I disagree. Israel has no business to dictate how compensated (if there is such word) wishes to use compensation. There must be no pre-condition for use what so ever." Good point.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 9:32 PM

I brought up being Jewish because you can't accuse a Jew of being anti-semitic for criticizing Israel.

Unfortunately for you, being Jewish does not give you a pass for all the "redneck", "cracker" and "trailer trash" hate that your click likes to spew, and you like to endorse, molly. And Anand telling me you aren't a racist doesn't have an impact on my opinion. You clearly are. Even if you didn't go out of your way to embrace racial hatred on your blog, it would still show in the company you keep. Reality check time.

Glasnost, just wanted to let you know I read your comment, and that I'm not really interested in dissecting the whole thing. The fact that you work so hard trying to explain away her behavior is pretty good evidence you know I've got a point :P

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:23 PM

My default bias is that whoever's talking is wrong.

That's strange, Glasnost. And not at all logical.
A person isn't wrong because they're talking, they're wrong because they're wrong (if they're wrong). You probably know that, but it seems right somehow to remind you.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:30 PM

Anand: From your link it appears that some of the old quotes linked to Israel's founders are inaccurate.

There is a lot of that on the Internet, believe me. Israel is the most lied-about country on Earth.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:35 PM

But to not pay the money Palestinians are owed is immoral.

Anand, how can you jump to the end-game like that while there's still a war going on? I don't think any reasonably fair-minded person could object to a just settlement (on the part of ALL parties) once there is a peace agreement, but surely you aren't suggesting Israel should unilaterally throw money at Palestinians, with or without peace?

You remind me of Mojo sometimes, with his calls for "justice", but he only expects Israelis to behave in a just manner. Do you or do you not agree that the ringleaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others need to be put on trial for war crimes and possibly for crimes against humanity before there can be talk of justice? I've seen you state that you think the US should deal with Hezbollah, and reach some kind of accommodation. How can that possibly happen when Hezbollah has murdered hundreds of innocent Americans, and nobody has ever been called to account for it? I will oppose you on that to my dying breath.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 10:38 PM

"I brought up being Jewish because you can't accuse a Jew of being anti-semitic for criticizing Israel."

That is exactly why someone with a fanatical hatred of Israel would be motivated to say they were Jewish even if they weren't. I've seen so many people on the Internet trash Israel and then claim to be Jewish. Why should I believe it? I'm sure it's true in some cases, but it's so easy to make up false identities on the Internet. There's no reason you couldn't have made it all up. As I said before, it's a crutch.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 3, 2009 11:09 PM

Leo, yes I do believe there should be a statute of limitation. Any people harmed within the last 100 or so years. Going back 2,000 years is ridiculous.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 4:23 AM

And, Gary, how is it a crutch? I am entitled to my opinion whether I am Jewish or not. To say otherwise is racism.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 4:25 AM

Anand, lest you think the founders of Israel were so lovely (I am not talking about non-combatants fleeing the Nazis), please read up on Deir Yassin, Count Folke Bernadotte and the bombing of the King David Hotel. I can also refer to you this reading list: http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/2006/08/recommended-reading-on-palestine.html

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 4:48 AM

molly,

"Leo, yes I do believe there should be a statute of limitation. Any people harmed within the last 100 or so years. Going back 2,000 years is ridiculous."

Why 100? Why not 60?
Anyway, according to you we should continue our conversation after Israel celebrates centennial. I can live with that.

PS. Molly, the only free cheese one can find is in a mouse trap.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 5:16 AM

Leo, okay, 100 is a bit arbitrary. How about any population who still has people alive who have had land or property stolen from them?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 6:03 AM

molly,

OK, it is even less than 100 years. I can accept that.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 6:37 AM

So since the population of Palestinian refugees still has people that had land stolen from them, you are willing to give it back? Good.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 7:07 AM

Do not be silly. I'll wait until they all are dead. Luckily not much time left. Another 20-30 years or so. In the mean time tell Palestinians to keep stalling.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 7:43 AM

Oh, yes, how silly of me to suppose that people who lived on a land for hundreds or thousands of years should live on it. This is the real face of the Zionist. How are they "stalling"?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 7:56 AM

molly,

I do not do 'guilt'. If you have an argument to offer, please do.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 8:35 AM

Nobody today gives a crap about those displaced by the population transfer of that happenned when India and Pakistan split. They moved on. All the Jews displaced from Arabia in '47 have moved on too. So who gives a crap if the Pals refuse to. Certainly not me because I know this war is simply a stratagem by the Arabs, and the Pals are their willing accomplices. The self-pitying tools are the most unsympathetic people on the planet

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 9:05 AM

http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/2006/08/recommended-reading-on-palestine.html

Thanks for the reading lists. Israelis have told me about many of these terrorist attacks from the 1930s and 1940s. Many Israelis are not proud of this history. Many Israelis also think Palestinians have gotten a raw shake.

"Nobody today gives a crap about those displaced by the population transfer of that happenned when India and Pakistan split. They moved on."
India is governed by the rule of law. Muslims who moved to Pakistan were able to demand what was theirs. Unfortunately, good lawyers cost a ton; and the court cases often took a long time to adjudicate.

On the Pakistani side, this was less true. In many cases, fleeing Hindus gave the power of attorney or gifted their property to family and friends when they left.

"All the Jews displaced from Arabia in '47 have moved on too." This is true. I am glad that the Jewish Arabs don't expect to be repaid.

However their confiscated property is an emotional issue for many Palestinians. Shouldn't Israel try to make them whole?

"how silly of me to suppose that people who lived on a land for hundreds or thousands of years should live on it." Unfortunately this happens to hundreds of millions of people around the world. It has always happened throughout history. I know Kashmiris who had to leave their ancestral land even though it is still inside India. My family's ancient ancestral land (that still is still reported to logs when visiting Indian pilgrimage sites) was lost in 1947. No one in my extended family complains. They accept it as a fact of life. Many tens of millions have been forced to flee their ancestral lands in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Somalia. Many were forced to flee Iran in 1979. Many were forced to flee Cuba in 1959. Many Syrians have fled Assad and still not been allowed back home. Unfortunately this type of thing use to happen all the time throughout recorded history. It is only very recently that some well intentioned and idealistic people have begun arguing that this sort of thing should stop happening.

I am glad that there are people like you Molly, who "suppose that people who lived on a land for hundreds or thousands of years should live on it." Maybe one day your vision will be realized.

Craig, many Iraqis want Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who supported Saddam and Zarkawi to to tried for crimes against humanity. I think they have a point. However, most Iraqis know that this is impractical and would make do with a heart felt apology from the Palestinian people. Shouldn't we Americans do likewise?

Has Hezbollah done anything to America since 1983?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 10:29 AM

For the record, Molly's parents and siblings are Jews. She has published many pictures of her siblings and parents on her blogs over the years.

How could Molly not be a Jew when the rest of her family are Jews? Is it because she is a secular and non religious Jew?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 10:34 AM

anand,

This is beautiful - "Jewish Arabs".
Even better than "Palestinian Israelis".

"However their confiscated property is an emotional issue for many Palestinians. Shouldn't Israel try to make them whole?"

Even exchange only. Or better yet, proportional exchange. For example, if Jews lost $100 and Palestinians lost $1000 then for every $1 Jews get Palestinians should get $10. And vise versa, of cause.

"many Iraqis want Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who supported Saddam and Zarkawi to to tried for crimes against humanity. I think they have a point. However, most Iraqis know that this is impractical and would make do with a heart felt apology from the Palestinian people. Shouldn't we Americans do likewise?"

What makes you think it is right thing to do?
I may go for it (emphasis on may) if Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, ... were to renounce their actions and cease and desist. But unless they do why should we?

"Has Hezbollah done anything to America since 1983?"

What do you want them to do?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 10:45 AM

There is nothing wrong with holding Israel to a higher standard than many other countries around the world that have behaved badly. We hold Israel to a higher standard because we respect Israel. We expect a decent free plural democracy to behave like a decent free plural democracy. We expect Israel to behave better than dictatorships.

To the degree Palestinians expect more from Israel than from other countries; it is also a reflection of their subconscious respect for Israel. Palestinians believe that Israel is better than how it is behaving; and better than what they can expect from their neighbors.

Palestinians don't want to live with their Arab neighbors (even Palestinians who have been living with the neighbors since 1948.) They want to move to Israel and Palestine. They want the right of return. 53% of Palestinians favor a one state solution; where all Palestinians become Israelis and all Israelis become Palestinians. Palestinians would not feel this way if they didn't respect Israelis.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 10:51 AM

"There is nothing wrong with holding Israel to a higher standard than many other countries around the world that have behaved badly. We hold Israel to a higher standard because we respect Israel. We expect a decent free plural democracy to behave like a decent free plural democracy. We expect Israel to behave better than dictatorships."

As flattering as it may be and even though I agree that Israel must be held to different standard, I suspect, my reasons are different from yours.

Yes, Israel is trying to become "decent free plural democracy" and while it is not perfect it is squarely on the way to it.
However, you must also account for adverse environment Israel is trying to build it in. And while I do not always agree with methods Israel employs I give its leadership benefit of a doubt while knowing full well whom they have to deal with on daily basis.

"Palestinians don't want to live with their Arab neighbors (even Palestinians who have been living with the neighbors since 1948.) They want to move to Israel."

The trust is gone. Palestinians, unlike in 1948, are no longer wanted. Besides they choose funny way of convincing Israelis they want to live together. Let Palestinians build their own country and make it even better than Israel.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 11:12 AM

Maybe Jews from Arab countries call themselves Arab Jews. Jewish Arabs is just another way of saying it. You have a European bias.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:02 PM

That should have been many, not maybe.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:03 PM

Anand, no country should be held to a higher standard. That's silly.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:08 PM

Anand, they want to claim I'm not Jewish so they can call me an anti-semite. Remember when Saif told you you couldn't criticize Muslims because you were not Muslim. That's what they want to do with me and my criticisms of Israel. And they have done it to you, too, calling you a Jew hater or Palestinian lover (as if the latter were a bad thing) or something like that.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:28 PM

Anand, they want to claim I'm not Jewish so they can call me an anti-semite. Remember when Saif told you you couldn't criticize Muslims because you were not Muslim. That's what they want to do with me and my criticisms of Israel. And they have done it to you, too, calling you a Jew hater or Palestinian lover (as if the latter were a bad thing) or something like that.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:28 PM

"Many Jews from Arab countries call themselves Arab Jews."

No Jew will ever call self 'Arab' or even 'Arabian'. Iraqi, may be. Egyptian, may be. Iranian, may be. Russian as being from Russia, may be ... and most likely, but never 'Arab'.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:28 PM

I don't agree Molly. I have no expectation that Pakistan and Bangladesh will compensate Indians for lost property related to 1947. I don't expect that Kashmiri Pandits will get to return to their homeland even though it is still inside India. I do have some expectation that the Chinese might return private property to Indians in the areas China occupied in 1962. I have higher expectations of the Chinese. I don't think Arab Jews should have any expectations to be allowed to return to their ancestral lands or to get their property back. I have no expectation that Zimbabweans, Congolese, Rwandans, Darfur residents, Southern Sudanese, Ugandans, or Cubans (1959) will get their property back.

I would tell anyone in any of those circumstances to get over it and move on. However Israel is governed by the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms. Israel "HAS" to be held to a higher standard. Israeli courts have to provide justice to those who demand their rights.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:37 PM

Leo, this shows how much you know about the middle east other than the Zionist monologue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD-zFbu-OQ0

http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/arab_jew.html

The latter is an article called reflections of an Arab Jew, from a teacher I met here in NYC.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:38 PM

Leo, Arabs are cool. Wouldn't Jews be honored to be called Arab Jews or Jewish Arabs or whatever other descriptive term they prefer? ;-)

"they want to claim I'm not Jewish so they can call me an anti-semite." Only a some of them have. Most of them have not.

I strongly object to anyone calling Molly anti-Semitic. The capacity to self criticize is a virtue. I tend to criticize those close to me the most, because I love them the most and expect the most from them. I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

Irshad Manji says that moral courage is the capacity to criticize one's own tribe and people. Shouldn't we respect Molly's moral courage; even if some of you disagree with her?

Being called a "Palestinian lover" is a badge of honor. Being pro Palestinian is very different from being anti Israeli. I believe that what benefits Palestinians benefits Israelis.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 2:51 PM

http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/arab_jew.html
Moving piece.

I don't like the term "shatter zone." Isn't the convergence of many different cultures and civilizations an asset? Arab Jews typify that into a single person. Arab Jews have many advantages: the rich, ancient and diverse Arab cultures; Israeli culture; and in some cases still another culture (if they moved outside of Israel.)

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 3:05 PM

It's okay, Anand, I don't need you defend me. They only make themselves look desperate when they question my Jewishness instead of engaging in the argument.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 3:11 PM

It's okay, Anand, I don't need you defend me. They only make themselves look desperate when they question my Jewishness instead of engaging in the argument.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 3:11 PM

anand,

"Leo, Arabs are cool. Wouldn't Jews be honored to be called Arab Jews or Jewish Arabs or whatever other descriptive term they prefer? ;-)"

Jews are Jews and Arabs are Arabs. Both are proud of who they are and neither wants to be the other.
I do not know nor care who you are but if you are Arab rest assured you are cool as everybody else.

molly,

Please, do me a favor. Do not try to pass exception from the rule for the rule itself.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 5:14 PM

molly,

Almost forgot.

From the article:

"I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman"

How does it contradict with what I said?

anand,

To add:
Iraqi Jew and Lebanese Jew both would speak Arabic but saying that both are Arab Jews is like saying nothing, hence the need for a Jew to be more specific.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 5:22 PM

anand,

you wrote,"the rich, ancient and diverse Arab cultures".

That strikes me as fashionable-speak jargon, rather than true.

Perhaps you might explain what are these supposedly rich, ancient and diverse cultures?

Also, anand,
you neglected to respond substantively to my comment on the Geneva thread, so here it is again. Perhaps you might offer some criticism of those you feel so close to? Or acknowledge how completely fantasy-based are your claims that the so-called Palestinians secretly admire the Jews etc.?

Reality:

from Yourish.com
05/01/2009

http://www.yourish.com/2009/05/01/7349#comments

"Forget for a moment that the party involved is the “moderate” Fatah faction. (via memeorandum) Forget for a moment that the case violates the Oslo Accords.

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that a Palestinian man was sentenced to death for selling land to a Jew.

In the first case of its kind, a Palestinian Authority “military court” on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging after finding him guilty of selling land to Jews.

As I mentioned before, this isn’t really that new. In 1997 the Palestinian justice minister, Freih Abu Medein declared that selling land to a Jew was a capital crime and in the next month three Palestinian land dealers were murdered. And in 1998 the Palestinian Legislative Council passed a law, declaring that selling land to an Israeli constituted “high treason.”..."

Posted by: del Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 6:23 PM

"Leo, Arabs are cool. Wouldn't Jews be honored to be called Arab Jews or Jewish Arabs"

You've never said anything like that about Jews, but you laugh at the thought of them being slaughtered by Muslim fanatics.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 12:24 AM

"I am entitled to my opinion whether I am Jewish or not. To say otherwise is racism."

YOU are the racist, because YOU brought up the fact that you are Jewish, or so you claim. And don't worry Molly, I consider you antisemitic even if by some wild coincidence you are Jewish.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 12:27 AM

"Israel is the most lied-about country on Earth."

Amd anand has contributed more than his share as I have shown repeatedly. I wish you'd recognize that, Michael, even if you don't think he's "antisemitic".

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 12:35 AM

Has Hezbollah done anything to America since 1983?

Absolutely. But that's not the point, anand. There's no statute of limitations on murder. Nobody has ever been held responsible for Hezbollah's many crimes. Instead, Hezbollah and its supporters gloat about them. What part of this aren't you understanding? Justice means people who commit crimes are punished for them. It's beyond absurd to speak of justice when a terror group like Hezbollah is on one side of the equation. I can't understand how you believe the US would ever just let all that shit HA did go, like it never happened. Over my dead body.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 3:25 AM

Craig, many Iraqis want Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who supported Saddam and Zarkawi to to tried for crimes against humanity. I think they have a point.

That's nutty. You can't put people on trial for crimes against humanity because of statements of support, anand. They have to be directly involved, on some level, in order to be held responsible. Don't you dare try to confuse the issue with that kind of crap.

Do you or do you not agree with me that the leadership of Hezbollah as well as individual members who were involved in planning or participating or otherwise being involved in the many acts of terrorism over the decades need to stand trial for crimes against humanity?

It's a simple question.

However, most Iraqis know that this is impractical and would make do with a heart felt apology from the Palestinian people. Shouldn't we Americans do likewise?

See, that's what pisses me off about you, anand. Iraqis have no case against Palestinian groups who didn't actually participate in crimes against Iraqis. So you use that non-case to try to dismiss the legitimate case the US and other countries can and should make against HA. Why you try to blow smoke up my ass like that?

So, your bottom line is that there is no penalty for terrorism. Is that correct?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 3:36 AM

Craig, where is the penalty for Zionist terrorism? It landed them a state on someone else's land.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 4:24 AM

Craig, where is the penalty for Zionist terrorism? It landed them a state on someone else's land.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 4:24 AM

molly,

For some reason each of your posts appears twice.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 5:01 AM

I don't know why that is. Sorry.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 9:47 AM

anand,

On the subject of compensations, you might find it interesting:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3709731,00.html

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 9:50 AM

Craig, where is the penalty for Zionist terrorism? It landed them a state on someone else's land.

Molly, I'm neither an Israei Jew nor a victim of Israeli Jews. If you feel you've got a case to make, then make it. Please don't change the subject to suit your agenda.

Do you agree with me that Hezbollah should be prosecuted for the many crimes it has committed against the US, which it not only admits but brags about? What others may or may not have done in the past has nothing to do with it. It's a "yes" or "no" answer. You claim to be American, do you not? As an American, what do you think about that?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 12:01 PM

By the way, Molly, if you answer "no" to the question I just asked you (and I assume that you will) then I wonder how it is you justify in your own mind complaining about injustices that Palestinians suffer? Somebody who believes only certain people are entitled to justice, does not believe in justice at all.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 12:34 PM

Do you agree with me that Hezbollah should be prosecuted for the many crimes it has committed against the US, which it not only admits but brags about?

Don't we prosecute individuals, rather than organizations? The comparison to prosecuting Hizballah would be... prosecuting the Likud? What does that even mean?

The law enforcement model stops being useful when criminal problems become political problems. People should be prosecuted for their crimes when there are reasonable odds that doing so does not lead to increased crime in the short run. Mostly, that works in individual or criminal / wealth motives. It often fails with political movements.
The concern for justice comes from a desire to make bad behavior stop happening. No one wants to create justice at the cost of burning down the shop. That's why extremists often have their way. It works for Hizballah, and it worked for the Bush administration, whose crimes against US law (ratified treaties are legally binding!) will never be criminally investigated.

The very idea of punishing people for crimes in a population becomes inviable if a large enough proportion of the population values the criminal act enough to continue doing it/supporting it even in the face of punishment. You can only put so many people in jail.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 2:09 PM

glasnost,

I have only one question.

Hah?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 2:28 PM

Don't we prosecute individuals, rather than organizations? The comparison to prosecuting Hizballah would be... prosecuting the Likud? What does that even mean?

No, Glasnost. The difference between "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" is that a war crimes charge applies only to individuals, and a crimes against humanity charge applies only to groups that engage in a systematic and organized effort to perpetrate war crimes.

You aren't as well versed on this stuff as I had come to believe, apparently. Slobodan Milosovich was not tried for crimes against humanity because he personally committed criminal acts. Is it that difficult to grasp? When I get back later tonight I'll throw up some links that define what crimes against humanity are, if it'll help.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 2:55 PM

Thanks for the link Carlos. From your link it appears that some of the old quotes linked to Israel's founders are inaccurate. Thank goodness.

That's a stretch. That link demonstrated - reasonably, to its credit - that Ben-Gurion's views on ethnic cleansing were conflicted. That's as far as it goes. (The part about "transfer" not being "ethnic cleansing" is stupid). But, yes, the invading armies of 1948 contained many elements who would probably have committed outrageous acts against the Jews. It was a dirty war.

It's also fair to say that the Morality System was a lot looser in 1945-8 than it is today. On that note, I would agree with anand telling Molly to move on:

I don't agree Molly. I have no expectation that Pakistan and Bangladesh will compensate Indians for lost property related to 1947. I don't expect that Kashmiri Pandits will get to return to their homeland even though it is still inside India

Molly - I don't think you're an anti-semite merely because you criticize israel, even exclusively. It's the merit of the criticism, not the target, that matters.

Having said that, what's the point? Criticizing that behavior in the 30s doesn't make a case for today. The Zionists (sorry, there's no other word for pre-Israel Israelis) said and did some nasty things, and so did the Arabs. Jewish folks had some advantages under the British colonial system and used them. It wasn't especially fair, so the Arab folks rioted and had a few massacres. That wasn't fair either. If not for the continuing problem, the unfairnesses would basically cancel each other out.

However,

Being anti-Israel is not racist, it is anti a state which came into being by the theft of land from the natives and now define itself by the exclusion of those natives.

It may not be racist, but it's stupid and not historically accurate. Plenty of land was acquired by non-theft, a decision was made by the UN, and the remaining Arabs in 48' Israel have reasonable political and civil rights these days.

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

Not everything that happened, both pre-WWII and post-II, was "fair" or in accordance with modern ethical standards. But it's definitely fair to ask - "why are you "anti-Israel" because of the bad things it did in 1948, but not anti-Egypt, Syria, and Jordan? Because their attempt at invasion and conquest wasn't anymore humane than the alternative. And if you are anti-everyone, then what's your point, exactly? You no longer have a case for action targeted against anyone specific.

Furthermore, there's no way Israel can not exclude Palestinian refugees from 1948, nor would those refugees be better off there, no matter what their opinion is on the matter.

Almost every state on the world map came into existence through theft, ethnic cleansing, and colonization. It's just a question of how far back you go. Your case for returning Palestinians becomes the fact that they are angrier about it than other nations' refugees. Frankly, that's not good enough. Are you going to displace 5 million Israelis to put them all back in the exact same houses they think they left? If not, that's no longer "justice", is it? Bringing back those refugees would start a civil war. No one's hands would be clean in it. Everyone involved would begin to act even less ethically than they are now.

Furthermore, almost everyone who actually, physically had to leave anywhere is dead. We're talking about descendants. Descendants never have, and never should have, an automatic right of return anywhere. Rules should pragmatically make the world a place with less violent conflict. Your version would start tens of civil wars.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 3:36 PM

Glasnost, the land that was acquired by "non-theft" was bought out from under Palestinians from their colonial landlords, the Ottomans. It would be like buying India from the British. I'll answer the rest tomorrow. My toddler has been waking up at 5:30 the past few days.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 5:06 PM

glasnost,

"The Zionists (sorry, there's no other word for pre-Israel Israelis)"

I see no reason to be sorry. This is exactly who those people were and proud at that.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 6:27 PM

>>>Glasnost, the land that was acquired by "non-theft" was bought out from under Palestinians from their colonial landlords, the Ottomans. It would be like buying India from the British. I'll answer the rest tomorrow. My toddler has been waking up at 5:30 the past few days.

Sounds like more phony history to me. So much of that from anti-Israel camp. Even the very notion of a "palestinian" is phony, that political term being coined specifically for the Arab population as recently as the 1960's. Before that they were simply Jordanian or Egyptian Arabs. Palestine was a backwater inhabited by Arabs, Turks and Jews alike, and had been in in Ottoman hands since 1500. Anybody holding a deed from the 1500s is the rightful owner as far as I'm concerned, I don't care what his ethnicity.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 6:58 PM

And ps., yes I'm in favor of Israel compensating deed holders. But not of returning.

Posted by: Carlos Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 7:01 PM

Y'know, I agree that geography matters, but in the Middle East, what matters more seems to be history, or each group's perception of history, anyways. It is a modern (late 20th century onwards) western conceit that history shouldn't matter, that history causes conflicts, and should therefore be forgotten or modified in the interest of some sort of large scale peaceful future. Not everyone on the planet would agree.

Certainly, no one, nor any group, has perfect recollection or understanding, but some groups' perceptions of events-past are closer to real, while other groups' versions are fantasy.

So this questionnaire, an internet classic from a few years ago, is for molly (especially) and similiar ideologues anywhere. Someone as self-confident in her assertions as she is should be able to answer every question definitively and decisively in seconds, with no possible worthy disagreement from those evil Zionist tools.

(questionnaire by Yashiko Sagamori, 2002)

"If you are so sure that 'Palestine', the country, "goes back through most of recorded history", I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions

about that country of Palestine:

A. When was it founded and by whom?

B. What were its borders?

C. What was its capital?

D. What were its major cities?

E. What constituted the basis of its economy?

F. What was its form of government?

G. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

H. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

I. What was the language of the country of Palestine?

J. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

K. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

L. Since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

M. And the least sarcastic question of all? If the people that are mistakenly called "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War? "

[end Sagamori]

Now. For the purposes of discussion at least, one might partly agree with someone who asserts that what happened shouldn't matter etc, and what matters is now, 2009. That person might continue that, in 2009, there are people on this planet who sincerely, if often viciously, identify themselves as "Palestinian". Therefore they deserve self-determination, a land of their own, etc.

I'm curious what commenters would think if some such group developed in "their" country and even in "their" city.

Give them a state? Unconditionally?

Oslo was a test. The "Palestinians" and their supporters flunked it, spectacularly, as molly has demonstrated in various threads here: completely self-righteous and horribly sanctimonious. She knows apparently little about Ottoman history of the area, and likely less about the history before the Ottoman Turks, before the Mamelukes, the Arab caliphates, The Crusader States, the Byzantine and Persian and Roman and Greek and Persian and Egyptian and Assyrian and Hebrew and Phoenician and Philistine [Arabs? Semites? Muslims? no. no. no.] and Canaanite and who-knows-what.

So. What would be reasonable conditions for a group to receive a "new state" from some sort of "patrimony" of another?

Assume that you are part of the people who are giving up their land --not a 3rd party observer.

I realize that the current-western-commonly-held-politically-correct view would be that the interloper Jews are the upstarts taking from the Palestinian patrimony. However, any reasonable reading of history would demonstrate the reverse. Like I said above, though, the convenient forgetting of history is a modern western conceit.

However and therefore, for discussion, imagine a corner of Luxembourg and assume you are a Luxembourger, or preferably imagine your own country is being split up.

What reasonable conditions and obligations should be part of what process to achieve some sort of "justice"? Should those conditions and obligations have universal applicability to other similiar situations elsewhere? Why or why not? How would failure to follow those obligations be determined? By whom? With what punishment? In human history, is there any precedent for this state creation? Has it worked?

Posted by: del Author Profile Page at May 5, 2009 7:37 PM

"Has Hezbollah done anything to America since 1983?"

Maybe not to America, but what about the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994 that killed nearly a hundred innocent civilians? Oh, I forgot, I'm sure anand is "LOL" at that one - he's got such a nutty sense of humor!

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 12:18 AM

"glasnost,

I have only one question.

Hah?"

Leo, you were merely blinded by the brilliance of glasnost, the dispenser of wisdom and TRVTH on Michael's blog. 'Tis not for peasants like us to understand.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 12:24 AM

"Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?"

No sweat. Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, was the most important Palestinian leader of the 20th century prior to Arafat. He collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and once wrote a letter to his friend Himmler asking that Jewish children be sent to Poland so they could be under, uh, "active control".

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 12:32 AM

molly,

This one is for you:

"The papyrus is believed to date from the 2nd century A.D. and is a legal document in which a widow named Miriam Bat Yaakov transferred her property to her late husband's brother."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3711796,00.html

PS. It could be your or mine ancestors for what we know.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 6:09 AM

Glasnost, the land that was acquired by "non-theft" was bought out from under Palestinians from their colonial landlords, the Ottomans.

Well, for one thing the Ottomans were evicted from Palestine in 1917, Molly - how many Palestinians are alive today who sold their land to Jews prior to 1917? Are there any at all?

For another thing, if Palestinians didn't own the land in the first place, then how could it have been stolen from them? And is there something wrong with Jews buying land from the legal owners?

Something isn't right with this story you are telling. I'm not sure what it is, but it seems to convenient by far. Likely it is a cop-out to avoid admitting that there was no shortage of Palestinians and other Arabs who were happy to sell their land to Jews, way back then.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 8:13 AM

Maybe not to America, but what about the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994 that killed nearly a hundred innocent civilians?

Hezbollah has perpetrated numerous attacks on Americans since 1983, Gary. As Anand could easily have found out. I chose not to try to enumerate them because it's irrelevant to the question I asked him.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 8:17 AM

In all sincerity, Craig, I am not familiar with crimes Hezbollah has committed against the US. So I googled and got this, which was not very helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah#Suicide_attacks_and_kidnappings

Which crimes are you talking about specifically, so I can read up on them and answer your question?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 8:59 AM

In all sincerity, Craig, I am not familiar with crimes Hezbollah has committed against the US. So I googled and got this, which was not very helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah#Suicide_attacks_and_kidnappings

Which crimes are you talking about specifically, so I can read up on them and answer your question?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 8:59 AM

Michael, is there any way to delete comments if they appear twice?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:01 AM

Michael, is there any way to delete comments if they appear twice?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:01 AM

Hey, Del, your little questionnaire written to justify land theft can be answered quite easily. It actually doesn't matter if there never was an exact nation called Palestine. There is no nation called Northern France but that would justify expelling all the people who have lived there for hundreds if not thousands of years either.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:06 AM

Hey, Del, your little questionnaire written to justify land theft can be answered quite easily. It actually doesn't matter if there never was an exact nation called Palestine. There is no nation called Northern France but that would justify expelling all the people who have lived there for hundreds if not thousands of years either.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:06 AM

Molly, there are much better sources for Hezbollah activities than wikipedia, but if you want to use it that's fine. From the link you gave, I found these four attacks against America and/or Americans in that one paragraph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_1983_U.S._Embassy_bombing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_847

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

I'm unclear what further information you are asking me to provide. Do you want a longer list of attacks HA has committed against Americans? I can provide one, but I don't honestly understand why it would make much difference? There are already hundreds of American victims just in those four, alone.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:22 AM

Craig, if it was a test, it was not a fair one. Not that one should test people living under military occupation through no fault of their own. The myth of the generous offer:

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1113

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article518.shtml

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:24 AM

There is no nation called Northern France but that would justify expelling all the people who have lived there for hundreds if not thousands of years either.

In actuality, Molly, Northern France is currently inhabited by the descendants of invaders from Germany who did exactly that. Even the name of the country comes from a Germanic tribal confederation who were called the Franks. The Franks eventually settled in present day Belgium. The Netherlands are inhabited by Saxons, who got there by pillaging their way westward from the south shore of the Baltic. Speaking of the south shore of the Baltic, that's where the English are originally from too. The list goes on and on and on and on, so be careful before you start talking about the rightful owners of land in Europe. That's a swamp you really don't want to get into, with your political agenda. Not one bit. Europeans have never played that "rightful owner" game... not even on their own turf.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:33 AM

"The list goes on and on and on and on, so be careful before you start talking about the rightful owners of land in Europe."

Interestingly enough the same can be said about any other part of the World and especially about Middle East. Jerusalem alone has changed hands 37 times since Jews first captured it 3500 yeas ago. And this is only recorded history.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 12:22 PM

Craig, actually I have no problem getting into that "swamp", but thanks for the condescending tone. Invading and dispossession was wrong then, is wrong now and will always be wrong. Strange that I should have to tell you that, but I guess Zionists do get mixed up trying to justify...well, invasion and dispossession. Hey, and Leo, I can predict where you will go next. You will say, "but, Molly, it was okay when the Arabs did it, right?", trying to catch me in a hypocritical belief. And I will refer you to my second sentence here.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 5:19 PM

Craig, the question of whether organizations or individuals should be prosecuted is an interesting one. I don't think there's much point in punishing Hezbollah as an organization for those crimes, just as I don't think there is a point punishing the US govt. as an "organization" for its many crimes.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 5:42 PM

molly,
Your response of 5:19 PM is incoherent. Do you realize that?

As for your response to the quiz I posted: that is a truly weak response and seems intended to confuse or to demonstrate your own confusion. A slightly thoughtful response, with at least a tad of good-faith rather than ideology, might have observed that two different meanings of ownership are entangled in the whole mess and our discussions here. One is of individual title, the other is of group sovereignty. Instead of aiming to clarify, your comments veer around to mislead, however. That is why I described you as an ideologue.

Why do you believe that The Arabs of "Palestine" have special rights on this planet, more than that of, apparently, any other group in the history or geography of the Earth? By which I mean: why are they, uniquely, allowed to invade and seize both property and sovereignty, whereas no other group has ever been "allowed" (by you) to do so, according to your second sentence?

The Zionists did not go to Uganda. They went back to Zion, to which they have a far stronger legal, moral and historical claim-to-sovereignty-of than did the local fellahin and bedouin.

Posted by: del Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 8:41 PM

molly,

"Hey, and Leo, I can predict where you will go next. You will say, "but, Molly, it was okay when the Arabs did it, right?", trying to catch me in a hypocritical belief."

I do not understand what you mean.
Oh, and why are you mentioning hypocrisy? Is there something I should be aware of?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 9:20 PM

Molly,

Invading and dispossession was wrong then, is wrong now and will always be wrong.

But only Palestinians have a right to get the whole world trying to get back what they lost for them. Right?

Care to explain?

Craig, the question of whether organizations or individuals should be prosecuted is an interesting one.

No, it isn't an "interesting" question. It is a settled question. To prosecute only the low ranking members who do the actual grunt work of crime against humanity rather then the people who hatch the plans and issue the orders is not just illogical it is immoral. Both sets of people need to be prosecuted.

I don't think there's much point in punishing Hezbollah as an organization for those crimes...

Which is the answer I assumed you would give. Why waste 2 days stalling to give what was obviously going to be your opinion from the start? Why did you ask me for more details and for clarification, when you already knew from the outset you would be opposed to holding the terrorist group Hezbollah responsible for its terrorist crimes?

And why pretend you care about justice, when you don't? Do you think you are fooling anybody?

...just as I don't think there is a point punishing the US govt. as an "organization" for its many crimes.

yawn.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 6, 2009 10:22 PM

"trying to catch me in a hypocritical belief."

Like trying to catch a fish in water.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:33 AM

PC, agree with the "yawn".

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:01 AM

programmer_craig,

"And why pretend you care about justice, when you don't? Do you think you are fooling anybody?"

I am guessing, there is at least one person who is fooled.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:08 AM

But only Palestinians have a right to get the whole world trying to get back what they lost for them. Right?

No, anyone dispossessed should be allowed back home. Anyone with stolen land or property should be compensated.

Why waste two days "stalling"? 1. I have a life. I have a 16 month old boy who keeps me up at night. 2. I really am not that familiar with the history of Hezbollah. If you want to prosecute them for their crimes, please have some consistency (I know you are trying to find inconsistency in my position, but you will not) and demand prosecution of Israel for their crimes as well. And I am sorry you find it boring that the U.S. has committed crimes. That's one of the reasons the much of the world hates us.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 8:28 AM

molly,

I find strange your obsession with prosecuting Israel and willing other go for deeds, which are considerably worst.

I think you are confused. Go ask your father to help you find your Jewish neshama. He owes you that much.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 11:15 AM

Leo, sorry I find no contradiction between being Jewish and criticizing Israel and I am not alone. You have not shown me to be willing to let others go for worse deeds, sorry.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:11 PM

Leo, sorry I find no contradiction between being Jewish and criticizing Israel and I am not alone. You have not shown me to be willing to let others go for worse deeds, sorry.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:11 PM

Leo, the reason I am so interested in Israel's crimes and opposed to other countries is because I am Jewish. I grew up thinking we were always victims, and had never oppressed others. It shocked me to me core and changed my whole view on humanity that we could behave so badly after experiencing the Holocaust.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:24 PM

Del, so people living there 2,000 years ago have a stronger connection than people living there in 1948. Do Zionists realize how absurd this sounds? And, yes, I understand the difference between group ownership and individual ownership. But that doesn't justify Zionist crimes.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:38 PM

Del, so people living there 2,000 years ago have a stronger connection than people living there in 1948. Do Zionists realize how absurd this sounds? And, yes, I understand the difference between group ownership and individual ownership. But that doesn't justify Zionist crimes.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 12:38 PM

leo: "I think you are confused. Go ask your father to help you find your Jewish neshama. He owes you that much."

molly: "Del, so people living there 2,000 years ago have a stronger connection than people living there in 1948. Do Zionists realize how absurd this sounds?"

molly, need I say more?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 1:25 PM

No, anyone dispossessed should be allowed back home. Anyone with stolen land or property should be compensated.

Empty words. I don't think I would even put Palestinians anywhere near the top on the list of international "victims", and they certainly are no place near the top of the list of people who need and deserve aid. Not in reality. But as far as the way the world's attention has been focused on them for decades? You'd think nobody in history has suffered like Palestinians have. I'd ask you to explain, but you're one of the people who thinks the world doesn't care ENOUGH, so it would be pointless.

Why waste two days "stalling"? 1. I have a life. I have a 16 month old boy who keeps me up at night.

And yet you left dozens of other comments here. And you and I both knew what your answer was going to be from the start. And you had enough time to ask me questions about what I meant. You spent a lot more time trying to pretend you were going to carefully consider the matter before issuing an opinion than would have been required to just tell the truth.

2. I really am not that familiar with the history of Hezbollah.

Really? I find that difficult to believe. As intimately involved as the are with the Arab-Israeli conflict? And as much as you care about that? lol.

If you want to prosecute them for their crimes, please have some consistency (I know you are trying to find inconsistency in my position, but you will not) and demand prosecution of Israel for their crimes as well.

Nonsense. That's like saying that we can't prosecute criminals here in the US unless we can get Mexico to also prosecute criminals? What the hell kind of sense does that make?

And I am sorry you find it boring that the U.S. has committed crimes. That's one of the reasons the much of the world hates us.

Again... yawn. Do you honestly believe the US has ever done anything that Arabs (as a people) disapprove of on moral grounds? That's good stuff, molly. I'm the majority of Arabs who approve of kidnapping enemies and torturing them to death would have major issues with the barbarity of water-boarding, right? I'm sure that the majority of Arabs who approve of suicide bombing as a legitimate and even heroic tactic and who refer to the cold-blooded murderers of women and children as heroes and martyrs disapprove of US use of tactical air strikes due to their potential for causing collateral damage, right molly?

Or could it be that Arabs (and others) who make such claims against the US do so because it seems like a convenient and effective political weapon which they can use to score a few cheap propaganda points on the world stage?

It's a huge yawn. It really is. No country on this planet has a history of more humane behavior in war. The only one that can even try to put forward the argument that it does is Israel, and we all know how the world loves to make allegations of inhumane behavior against the Israelis, right?

If you disagree then please name the nations you think have behaved better when they were at war, and lets discuss. But don't come back at me asking for more clarifications, eh?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 1:27 PM

Del, so people living there 2,000 years ago have a stronger connection than people living there in 1948.

Molly, most people don't really feel a "connection" to a piece of land. They just don't. Witness how eager people are to immigrate to someplace better. I've lived in California for over 20 years and if somebody kicked me off "my" land here, I wouldn't mind very much. I've been thinking of moving to the East Coast for a few years anyway. I would mind if somebody kicked me out of the US, but that's because I love my country, not because I love the piece of land it is situated on. If you're going to claim Arabs are different I need to see some proof, because Arabs don't seem to hesitate any more than anyone else does when it comes time to pack up and move on to greener pastures, from what I can see.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 1:36 PM

So, it's okay to steal Palestinians land because you want to move to the East Coast? Like you say, Craig, lol. Look, if you're not going to believe what I say when I say I truly did not know about Hezbollah's crimes, then I guess there's no point in trying to have a discussion with you. My point about Hezbollah being held accountable for their crimes: look, I don't even think Israel should be held acountable for their crimes, and I think theirs are much bigger than Hezbollah's. I was just pointing out your inconsistency. Jews have a strong attachment to the land but Palestinians don't, is that your point. In general, Craig, immigration is for economic reasons. That's the main reason Arabs immigrate.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:41 PM

Craig, are you making the claim that the majority of Arabs support torture and the killing of women and children?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:52 PM

Craig, are you making the claim that the majority of Arabs support torture and the killing of women and children?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:52 PM

So, it's okay to steal Palestinians land because you want to move to the East Coast?

Is that what I said, Molly? Or did you just translate what I said into something you wanted to hear me say? That would be such unusual behavior for an activist such as yourself!

Look, if you're not going to believe what I say when I say I truly did not know about Hezbollah's crimes, then I guess there's no point in trying to have a discussion with you.

Did I ever indicate I wanted to engage in discussions with you? I think I was pretty clear on your blog that I wasn't interested in that, even before you banned me. I don't particularly enjoy arguing with people who are opinionated to the point of being irrational.

I addressed the question about Hezbollah to anand. You chose to chime in with your opinions, so I asked it of you as well. It was mostly a rhetorical question, in your case, since I already knew what your answer would be. I don't know how anand feels about it, and he still hasn't clarified.

My point about Hezbollah being held accountable for their crimes: look, I don't even think Israel should be held acountable for their crimes, and I think theirs are much bigger than Hezbollah's.

That's meaningless babbling. When you talk about justice, you are talking about holding people accountable.

I was just pointing out your inconsistency. Jews have a strong attachment to the land but Palestinians don't, is that your point.

Is that what I said? And I'm Christian, in case you were wondering.

I personally think the fact that Jews spent 2000 years in diaspora is pretty good evidence they are just like everyone else in that they will pack up and move without much hesitation if it is in their best interests to do so. I think (again, my opinion) that the reason Israelis are so fanatical now about having (and protecting) a state of their own - a JEWISH state - is that they've been so badly used and abused by host cultures over the centuries.

But these personal opinions of mine don't really matter, because I'm neither Jewish nor Arab or even Muslim and I don't base my political viewpoints of the middle east on history. I base them on current events.

In general, Craig, immigration is for economic reasons. That's the main reason Arabs immigrate.

True in some cases and not in others. Bottom line: are you agreeing with me that Arabs aren't bound to a particular piece of property any more than anyone else is?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 5:57 PM

craig,

Although many people may not feel a strong connection to a land, many others do. It is a mistake to project your own views of this onto others.

molly,

you wrote: "Del, so people living there 2,000 years ago have a stronger connection than people living there in 1948. Do Zionists realize how absurd this sounds?"

Of course you frame your little byte of propaganda to make it seem to a naive reader that all-of-a-sudden, weirdly, some Zionists, after 2000 years, in 1948, decided to occupy, an arbitrary foreign land. I did not expect less. You're a fine ideologue. You misrepresent history in order to promote your agenda.

I am confident that you know there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, also known over the years by Europeans as The Holy Land or as Palestine, but by Arabs as Southern Syria [scratches head...what??? some investigation might be in order] for 3000+years. Under the Ottomans, even prior to the 19th and 20th century waves of Zionist immigration into The Land of Israel, there were considerable Jewish communities in the various towns and small cities: Safad, Tiberias, Hebron, Jerusalem, Gaza [?!]. My understanding is during at least part of the 19th century, Jerusalem was majority Jewish. And yes, Jews living in diaspora did have a very strong connection to the Land of Israel, quite possibly including your own grand or great-grand parents, etc. Some more. Some less.

Actually, large numbers of the Arabs who call themselves "Palestinian" today have great-grandparents who migrated into southern Syria in the 19th and 20th centuries themselves, generally for economic reasons, even from places like Egypt, Syria, Bosnia, Albania, Circassia [what? yeah.]. And no shortage are descended from Arabs who signed onto the refugee gravy train in 1948 without having ever lived in what is now Israel.

But yes, some "Palestinians", which I put in quotes because it is an identity manufactured mostly post-1967 as a strategy of the Arab-Israeli War (I think Carlos made that point yesterday), do have longer roots in their land of southern Syria/Palestine. That is particularly true of the Christian Arab-"Palestinians" of Nazareth, Bethlehem, Bet Sahur. But why have they left, especially in the last 10 years? Did the Israelis throw them out? No. Their pals in the PA have steadily mistreated them, seizing property,and intimidating and murdering. Read Khaled abu Toameh.

I realize that many people ignore or reject history. But history, as well as geography, matters.

Posted by: del Author Profile Page at May 7, 2009 11:26 PM

First you say you don't want to engage in discussion with me, then you ask me this question:

True in some cases and not in others. Bottom line: are you agreeing with me that Arabs aren't bound to a particular piece of property any more than anyone else is?

My answer is that I do think people feel an extremely strong connection with their homeland.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 9:42 AM

Del, there are many articles written by Palestinian Christians who will tell you that it is the Occupation which is the problem (yes, they may have some problems with Muslims as well), but I stumbled upon this video first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjkgfJfWPpk

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 4:06 PM

molly,

Regarding the link you posted @ 4:06 PM.

Why did you say "article written by Palestinian Christian" instead of saying "article written by Palestinian"? Did you mean to say something extra?
In case you did here is my reply (found on the same youtube page by accident):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glpd032iqT8

Now, regarding this woman's commentary.
She is in pain and she is looking for help.
But is she telling the truth? Partly at best.
Most of the time however she is engaged in demagoguery. Not impressive.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 4:50 PM

Leo, I don't know what you are talking about in the first part of your post. In case you are interested, here is interview with three women, one Jewish, one Muslim, one Christian who talk about the Occupied Territories who affirm what I was saying: http://www.democracynow.org/2005/7/18/three_women_palestinian_christian_muslim_and

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 5:01 PM

And you should definitely check out Sabeel: http://www.sabeel.org/etemplate.php?id=26

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 5:06 PM

And you should definitely check out Sabeel: http://www.sabeel.org/etemplate.php?id=26

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 8, 2009 5:06 PM

"Why did you say "article written by Palestinian Christian" "

Because molly is addicted to using identity as a crutch. By the way, the moron is still double-posting.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 12:49 AM

"My answer is that I do think people feel an extremely strong connection with their homeland."

Except for molly, who wants to move to Europe.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 12:52 AM

Why call someone you disagree with a Moron? Is that what 10,000 years of human civilization has come to?

I think that highly talented and cultured Palestinians moving to Israel would be a boon to the Israeli economy long term. Therefore, I don't understand the extent of paranoia some have about "the right of return."

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 1:08 AM

Actually, large numbers of the Arabs who call themselves "Palestinian" today have great-grandparents who migrated into southern Syria in the 19th and 20th centuries themselves, generally for economic reasons, even from places like Egypt, Syria, Bosnia, Albania, Circassia [what? yeah.]. And no shortage are descended from Arabs who signed onto the refugee gravy train in 1948 without having ever lived in what is now Israel.-Del the funky homosapien

Proof? And don't send me Joan Peters, who has been thoroughly discredited. Why call me a moron, Anand? Because he has no better argument so he resorts to ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 6:11 AM

Gary,

"By the way, the moron is still double-posting."

I hardly agree with molly on anything except one thing. If you use insults, you lose an argument and demean yourself in the process.
Please, let's keep out discussion on acceptable level.

Thank you

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 8:30 AM

"don't send me Joan Peters, who has been thoroughly discredited."

Who, exactly, has discredited Joan Peters? Her book is certainly one-sided but it is also thoroughly footnoted. For instance, she has a photocopy of the letter Palestinian leader Amin al-Husseini sent to Himmler urging that Jewish children be sent to Nazi death camps. No doubt this is the kind of Palestinian anand would urge Jews to "welcome" in their midst.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 3:44 PM

Her claim that most Palestinians went to Palestine was thoroughly discredited in the NYRB. I don't know about the letter by Husseini. By the way, even if a leader of (some) Palestinians was a Nazi, that doesn't mean you can take their land. You should really apologize for what you said about me dancing at Auschwitz. That was a cruel and undeserved attack. I know you won't, but just thought I would try.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 3:55 PM

Whoops, I deleted a part of my sentence. Went there after Zionists had settled there, I meant.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 3:58 PM

dfgfgdfg

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 9, 2009 6:27 PM

"You should really apologize for what you said about me dancing at Auschwitz. That was a cruel and undeserved attack."

Why is it undeserved when you make excuses for the Iranian mullahs who would like to perpetrate a second Holocaust?

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 10, 2009 12:40 PM

accusing others of "dancing at Auschwitz" sounds like the words of a schmuck. When did Molly endorse Ahmenijad's comments on "wiping Israel off the map" or Ahmenijad's comments questioning the holocaust?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 10, 2009 2:37 PM

I didn't. I think I asked what in his speech Michael didn't like.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 10, 2009 6:08 PM

I didn't. I think I asked what in his speech Michael didn't like.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 10, 2009 6:08 PM

molly, if you were really related to Holocaust victims you would despise Nutjob, who convened an international conference promoting Holocaust denial. Instead you came in here whining essentially that Michael was making him look bad. That's why I don't believe any of the bullshit you claim about your relatives.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 12:34 AM

I don't like Ahmedinejad. But there is something hypocritical in getting so upset about a speech that says nothing more than that the state of Israel is racist.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 5:03 AM

molly,

"I don't like Ahmedinejad. But there is something hypocritical in getting so upset about a speech that says nothing more than that the state of Israel is racist."

If I am not mistaking, point was made about Holocaust denial by Ahmadinejad and you being fine with it or at least indifferent to it, while at the same time going on and on about your personal loss due to Holocaust.

Other than that Ahmadinejad is free to say anything he wants.

BTW, regarding Nejad's accusation of Israel being racist, do you believe he is not being hypocritical?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 8:08 AM

"BTW, regarding Nejad's accusation of Israel being racist, do you believe he is not being hypocritical?"

Do you mean that only accusing one country of being racist while not mentioning any others is hypocritical? If this is what you mean, you are right that many countries around the world are racist, including his own government. I think Molly is saying that Israel can and should behave better than racist countries and dictatorships.

I wouldn't worry about Ahmenijad's speeches too much. Most Iranians and foreigners regard him as a bit of a loon. I would pay much closer attention to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Khamenei.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 11:11 AM

anand,

"Do you mean that only accusing one country of being racist while not mentioning any others is hypocritical?"

No, I mean accusing others of racism while having his record.

"I think Molly is saying that Israel can and should behave better than racist countries and dictatorships."

I do not know what molly is saying but just in case you are correct, I believe, Israel should not be expected to behave better toward its enemies. On the contrary, Israel must make price of waging war against it so high that even craziest of the craziest would not dare to think of starting one. Peace for peace, war for war.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 12:00 PM

Del, there are many articles written by Palestinian Christians who will tell you that it is the Occupation which is the problem...

And what happens to the ones who don't say that, molly? Can you use Google well enough to find out whether Palestinian Christians are victimized more by Palestinian Muslims or by Israeli Jews? Or do you need help compiling the stats?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 12:51 PM

No, I don't think there should be different standards for everyone. That's racist. As to Holocaust denial, it's retarded, but it's hardly a crime like...oh, I don't know stealing people's land and massacring them for fighting back. And, you know what, Muslims wouldn't veen be thinking about the Holocuast right now if Zionists had used that tragedy in the most despicable way, by using it to justify their of stealing land. Why should Palestinians have to pay for what Germans did? I mean, if you have to steal anyone's land, steal Germany. Yeah, I know, they're white so it's harder to paint them as savages. Oh, and right, you were their 2,000 ago. Can you imagine if every group insisted on stealing the land of where they were living 2,000 years ago? Let's see, the Gypsies have been stateless and persecuted for about a 1,000 years. They are probably originally from Rajasthan. Why don't they go there and declare it Romanistan? Oh, yes, a Zionist here said "they have never expressed a desire for a state. As if they had, it would be okay. lol

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 5:52 PM

molly,

Few hints.

First, learn more about Zionism.

Second, learn who is Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Third, compare newly gained knowledge to your latest post.

Forth, re-post with necessary corrections.

"Can you imagine if every group insisted on stealing the land of where they were living 2,000 years ago? Let's see, the Gypsies have been stateless and persecuted for about a 1,000 years. They are probably originally from Rajasthan."

We had conversation a while ago regarding statute of limitations and when it should run out. Your offer was 100 years. Remember?
Here is my counter offer, as long as people remember who they are. As long as people yearn to get back home and restore it.

P.S. Gypsies? Why not? If they know where their home is and they want to claim it back they should try.
And lastly, please, do not use term 'stealing' so loosely. Because as far as I am concerned Arabs are squatters and not Jews. See, it is all matter of perception.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 7:38 PM

"I think Molly is saying that Israel can and should behave better than racist countries and dictatorships"

She isn't saying anything of the sort. What she has said quite forcefully is that Israel has no right to exist. But she is jim-dandy with all the other brutal, oppressive, medieval states of the Mideast, as long as she can't blame it on the Joooos.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 12:11 AM

Actually, no, Gary, I don't support any of the other states of the ME. I wish the US would stop supporting them and enabling all the human rights abuses there. Especially Saudi and Egypt.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 4:53 AM

I wish the US would stop supporting them and enabling all the human rights abuses there.

Enabling human rights abuses? So, you believe that when the US gives welfare money to poor people, we are enabling poverty? Does that about sum up your philosophy?

And to take your initial point a little further and get into your hypocrisy a little more, do you also believe the UN should stop providing aid to Palestinians, on grounds they are enabling terrorism and human rights abuses?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 6:50 AM

I don't support any of the other states of the ME.

Just curious: can you direct us to the vitriolic posts you've made voicing your opposition to the existence of all those other states in the ME?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 6:53 AM

Craig, many oppose the Arab dictatorships, not just Molly. In their minds there is a secret alliance between Israel, the Arab dictatorships and the West (I don't know to what degree they think Russia, China [the largest buyer of oil from the Persian Gulf], India are part of this conspiracy.)

There are two major factions:

1) Pro Iranian (who are against Israel, the Arab dictatorships and the West)

2) Sunni Arabs (who think there is a conspiracy between Israel, Iran, Hezbollah, Iraqi Government and the West, against the patriotic Arab nation.)

I think both these widely held conspiracy theories represent deranged illogical thinking.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 9:29 AM

"I think both these widely held conspiracy theories represent deranged illogical thinking."

Inshallah

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 11:07 AM

P.S. Gypsies? Why not? If they know where their home is and they want to claim it back they should try.

So, if Gypsies care to, they may set up a state in the middle of India??? Unbelievable!!

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 13, 2009 6:20 PM

Molly, India welcomes immigrants (including 20 million Bangladeshi immigrants since 1971.) I think India would be happy to welcome the gypsies back.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 14, 2009 12:36 AM

Molly, why is it unbelievable?

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 14, 2009 7:41 AM

Anand, he is not saying it is okay for gypsies to immigrate to India. He is saying they can go there, scare people off by massacring a few villages (and warning them to leave via megaphone) and then declaring it a state and not allowing the refugees back and systematically discriminating against those who have stayed. That's what Zionists did. Would it be okay for them to do that in India? Oh, and they would say, there's plenty of room, just go live in another part of India, why do you need to live in Rajasthan?

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 14, 2009 5:20 PM

Molly,

A huge number of countries were created that way. Most of them, actually, including yours and mine. Hamas wants to do the same thing to Israel now by conquering Tel Aviv. Since you aren't six years old, I shouldn't have to tell you that two wrongs do not make a right.

I, for one, am getting a little tired of you using my blog to indulge your obsession. You are All Anti-Zionist Hate All the Time around here. Do you act like that in regular life?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at May 14, 2009 6:03 PM

molly,

First, war between Arabs and Jews was not started by Jews.

Second, if Gypsies are Hindu why would they fight with each other?

Some speculate that Gypsies could actually be Jews of one of the lost tribes. If they really are and they will come to Israel they will not be fought with and chased off. They will be gladly accepted.

BTW, unlike Jews Gypsies do not know (at the moment) what their origin is and therefore cannot really claim anything. This fact alone makes your attempt to compare Jews and Gypsies invalid.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 14, 2009 9:12 PM

If the Gypsies or any other group became Indian citizens and bought a huge amount of land in a specific part of India; settled in that same area, got elected in local elections; that would be okay.

That is what Dharmasala is for Tibetans. Bodh Gaya (where Buddha got enlightened) for many foreigners. There are many other similar examples in India of large immigrant communities.

America also has similar examples: Cuban Americans in parts of Florida, Arab Americans in Dearborn, Michigan.

Many other countries do as well.

MJT, since Molly is Jewish the mistakes committed by her fellow Jews pain her more than the crimes commited by non Jews. She doesn't discuss this topic at the expense of all others. However she is doing so here, because she is the only one with a different point of view.

I think her perspectives are important. We should remember that many pro American Iraqis also have similar views about Israel. The fact that they are also upset with Palestinians regarding Palestinian support for Saddam and Zarkawi doesn't mean that they do not share Molly's views on Israel {Including many who don't regard Palestine as a very important issue compared to parochial Iraqi concerns.} I dare say that PM Maliki, and Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al Sistani might share parts of Molly's perspective. I could provide many other specific anecdotal examples of individual Iraqis.

We Americans need to be aware of, need to understand, how many of our Arab and muslim allies feel about this issue.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 12:27 AM

Michael, yes, I know a large number of countries were created that way. Saying that is silly, however. It's like saying lots of rapes happened throughput history, so lay back and enjoy it! Many horrible things have happened throughout history. Does that mean we should not try to right the wrongs? Especially when people are still suffering from the wrongs? And there actually are some moderates in Hamas who would settle for less but Israel's actions radicalize more and more any moderate Palestinians. No, I don't act like these in my regular life. But the hypocrisy and racism of some of your readers is astounding and I thought I'd try to do something about it. I've mostly been responding to remarks addressed to me. Is that okay with you? Anand, your explanation about me is true. It does bother me more, especially since as I child I believed Jews never oppressed anyone. Plus, I think instead of getting rid of anti-semitism, it actually creates more, making life harder for those of us in the diaspora.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 6:21 AM

Michael, yes, I know a large number of countries were created that way. Saying that is silly, however. It's like saying lots of rapes happened throughput history, so lay back and enjoy it! Many horrible things have happened throughout history. Does that mean we should not try to right the wrongs? Especially when people are still suffering from the wrongs? And there actually are some moderates in Hamas who would settle for less but Israel's actions radicalize more and more any moderate Palestinians. No, I don't act like these in my regular life. But the hypocrisy and racism of some of your readers is astounding and I thought I'd try to do something about it. I've mostly been responding to remarks addressed to me. Is that okay with you? Anand, your explanation about me is true. It does bother me more, especially since as I child I believed Jews never oppressed anyone. Plus, I think instead of getting rid of anti-semitism, it actually creates more, making life harder for those of us in the diaspora.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 6:21 AM

Molly,
You have stated recently that you actually care about peace and justice for BOTH Jews and Palestinians. Based on my reading of your previous comments, I summarize your viewpoint thus:
Molly believes that:
1. Jews have a right to peace and justice.
2. Palestinians have a right to peace and justice.
3. Everything that goes wrong in the Middle East is Israel's fault.

Molly, describe specific, concrete ways in which your vilification of Israel serves to promote peace and justice.
Harold

Posted by: Harold Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 9:35 AM

Harold, I don't believe I villify Israel. People stealing land villify themselves. When have I ever said that everything that goes wrong in the ME is Israel's fault? Obviously, Assad's jailing of dissidents and Saudi's chop chop square and Christian-Muslim riots in Egypt are not Israel's fault. I am trying to promote peace and justice by making people more aware of the injustices Israel is perpetrating.

Posted by: molly Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 12:38 PM

Molly,
I'll ask this another way. Tell me concretely how making people aware ONLY of Israeli injustices (which means telling only one side of the story) is promoting peace and justice.
Harold

Posted by: Harold Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 2:04 PM

Molly,
Earlier today you wrote to MJT: "the hypocrisy and racism of some of your readers is astounding." So you insult the readers here (at least some of us, you don't say who). So it should not surprise or shock you when some of these readers insult you back. Perhaps they shouldn't, but it could be seen as understandable.
You then go on to say: "and I thought I'd do something about it." So what are doing about it?
Harold

Posted by: Harold Author Profile Page at May 15, 2009 4:02 PM

anand,

I think her perspectives are important. We should remember that many pro American Iraqis also have similar views about Israel. The fact that they are also upset with Palestinians regarding Palestinian support for Saddam and Zarkawi doesn't mean that they do not share Molly's views on Israel {Including many who don't regard Palestine as a very important issue compared to parochial Iraqi concerns.} I dare say that PM Maliki, and Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al Sistani might share parts of Molly's perspective. I could provide many other specific anecdotal examples of individual Iraqis.

Why would anybody think that Arab country, which started war with Israel 60 years ago and never made peace would have to get favorable opinion of its enemy all of a sadden? Why would you even try to compare Maliki and Molly?

We Americans need to be aware of, need to understand, how many of our Arab and muslim allies feel about this issue.

I cannot speak for others, of cause, but I personally never had illusions of any kind.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 16, 2009 11:52 AM

molly,

"Does that mean we should not try to right the wrongs?"

Just curios, what is your way of correcting wrong?

Please, if you could list all the wrongs, which need to be corrected and how each of those wrongs should be corrected.

"Plus, I think instead of getting rid of anti-semitism, it actually creates more, making life harder for those of us in the diaspora."

Molly, anti-Semitism existed, exists and will exist. It did not become bigger, you just hear about it more because of advancing ways of communication. In the past Jews were treated with contempt and hated by anti-Semites, today, thanks to Israel, Jews are respected and hated. I take latter against former any time.

P.S. Molly, you need to take care of your personal insecurity. Israel is not at fault here.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 16, 2009 12:20 PM
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