Smart move Sherlock

So a Palestinian faction kidnaps an Israeli soldier and all hell breaks loose. Tens of Palestinians get killed, hundreds homeless, Palestinian ministers get kidnapped, houses get demolished, orchards get destroyed, all to secure the release of one single kid who is not yet 20.

hizbollah.jpgHizbollah obviously thinks that they can do better.. so they go ahead and kidnap two Israeli soldiers! You think that Hamas is bad, damn man they’re badder! They kicked the Israelis out of Southern Lebanon, and they’re banking on that legacy to drive them now into the sea!

Israel, so far, killed 27 people, 10 kids, 17 adults. They took Beirut Airport out of commission, they shelled the South, destroyed bridges and communication systems and their air raids are continuing with impunity. Hizbollah is not backing down.

They’re men.

And the kidnapped soldiers? Are they going to be released? How are they going to be released? Hizbollah insisted the two would only be returned via talks.” But after what? After hundreds more human beings and everything else in Israel’s path perish needlessly?

Look: Israel, whether we like it or not, has the upper hand and has had it for an awful long time. Politically, militarily and even morally in the eyes of the world. We have lost the battle on so many fronts that it boggles the mind that we still don’t recognise that the only way forward is swallowing our pride – even momentarily – and making peace. Because if the Palestinians really think that Arabs will come to their rescue, they are dreaming! Unfortunate, but true. Arabs and their leaders are more concerned with rhetoric and their cushy existence, not to carry a weapon and go fight, at least not to “drive the Jew out of the Promised Land”, they’re more than happy to kill each other in Iraq.

So facing reality, what have we really benefited over the last 60 years of waging wars with Israel and the whole world other than bigger cemeteries for both sides?

Isn’t it high time for the olive branch?

Leave a comment:

489 comments
Tawfeeq Rayyash - 13 Jul, '06

This one of the best news i have seen until now!!
Bravoooooooooo Nasser Allah.

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Good commentary.

The simple fact of the matter is that Israel isn’t going anywhere. Whether one loves, hates or is neutral about her existence, failure to recognize this fact can only mean that the observer has withdrawn into a fantasy world.

Jordan, and to a lesser extent Egypt, have normalized relations with Israel. Jordan in particular (which has no reason to love or trust Fatah,, Hamas or the PA–remember the attempt by the former to seize control in Jordan during ‘Black September’) has benefitted greatly by normalized trade with Israel; Jordan’s own military has benefitted: ‘One of the main benefits Jordan has reaped from its peace treaty with Israel is the removal of a hostile military danger on its western border. Jordan has thus been able to freeze the process of conscription, making the conversion to an all-volunteer army’ (source: http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/government5.html)

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have been woefully ill-served by their own leadership, such as it is. Israel has repeatedly offered peace, peace and more peace, and even accepted the idea of a Palestinian state; the Palestinian Authority.

I suspect, however, that it is NOT in the interest of the PA’s leadership, much less of various terror groups, to see a peaceful, prosperous ‘Palestine’ coexisting with Israel. The entire raison d’etre for many terror groups would vanish. If the PA no longer needs ‘liberating’, what purpose terror? And, more crassly, if the PA become peaceful and prosperous, what need to endless international aid monies which usually tend to end up (ahem!) in Swiss bank accounts?

Mahmood, the whole thing reeks of hypocrisy. Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese–everyone in the neighborhood, in fact–is being hurt. They and their children are maimed or killed, and all in pursuit of a chimera.

I pray that the day arises when the Palestinians themselves say ENOUGH to an ideology which seeks to murder their own children and to keep themselves in poverty and despair for the benefit of terror groups and corrupt politicians.

Peace.

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Rayyash:

Greetings. I’m not sure I understood your comment. Do you feel that an all-out war between Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel is good? Or did I misunderstand?

I hope I just misunderstood!

Peace!

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Bravo? For what? For a little publicity stunt? For short-sighted gains? Your pride as an Arab has been restored? What is it about this news exactly that is good, Rayyash? I cant see anything good about it – except we as Arab citizens get jerked around by one person in power and then the next, happy to think we’ve gained anything. I think we are so politically bankrupt that we think the kidnapping of 2 soldiers is a victory. Thats really sad.

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Eric, while I think Hizbollah’s move was shortsighted and stupid, thats not to say Israel has been an angel spreading peace and love. Israel is morally bankrupt, yet it has learnt to play the game very well, turning the world around to think its a victim of some sorts here. What we Arabs should have learnt is to strategize too, play the political game, like Israel.

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na9rawi - 13 Jul, '06

Kidnap the State

Backstrap the hate
Meditate on the intricacies of David’s mind.

My rhetoric is little
to do with Arab pride
Long ago died
Buried like forgotten truths in the emblem of the star’s eye

Kidnap the State
Btchslap its fate

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Ahmed O. - 13 Jul, '06

I almost agree with everything you said Mohammed. I might add that we cannot forget the relationship between Syria and HizbAllah .. and Iran as well .. and how such relationship influnce the actions of HizbAllah..

However .. did Israel wait for such actions to kill?
Palastinians were killed before the recent incidents.. and will be killed afterwards!.

Israel .. and most of the world didn’t recognize the choice of Palastinans when they selected Hamas!. So seriously .. why shall they trust the promises of peace!. Unless peace is taken exactly as Israel define .. which means that Palastinians will have a country with no army .. with pieaces of land shattered all over with no direct connection between the land except through Israeli controlled roads .. and yeah .. if someone did a bad thing to Israel (and Israel has the sole mean of defining what is bad) .. Israel will come after him.. and possibly after all others who Israel think it should!!.
Gime a break!.

As much as Palastinians don’t get the point that Israel will not disapear tomorrow .. Israel didn’t learn the same exact lesson .. After all these years .. Palastinians do exist .. and will keep being .. regardless how many Israel will kill .. they will be there!.

As for HizbAllah .. yeah .. I don’t like what they did yesterday .. but tell them when they will get their prisioners in Israel?!.

Eric
Talking so positively about Jordan benefits out of peace with Israel ignores the fact that when peace is based mainly on me (Jordan) is weak and Isreal is strong .. it won’t last!.
Israel never showed real interest in co-existance with the rest of the Arab countries .. it talked about it .. yeah .. but then kept killing Palastinians for a reason .. or no reason!.

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Salman Al-Rahma - 13 Jul, '06

Eric Jacobson said:

Israel has repeatedly offered peace, peace and more peace, and even accepted the idea of a Palestinian state; the Palestinian Authority.

oh my GOD, poor peace seeking Israel, and very bad you invading, land occupying ‘people’, go find yourself another land to live in, and leave the ‘promised land’. it is not yours.

how funny.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

My view from a millions miles away:

Israel, so far, killed 27 people, 10 kids, 17 adults.
Israel was stupid. They fell straight into the trap the kidnappers (and Hamas) set for them. Now they look like the bad guys and get called state-sponsored terrorists by Hamas (of all people) and the Western media are just lapping it up. It probably won’t get the kid(s) back in one piece in any case.

We have lost the battle on so many fronts that it boggles the mind that we still don’t recognise that the only way forward is swallowing our pride – even momentarily – and making peace.
They tried that. Then factions within both sides decided that they missed blowing one another up.

Isn’t it high time for the olive branch?
Yeah, but who gets the credit and the political capital? The biggest problem facing Palestine is that the government doesn’t run the country, the gangs do. What Israel (and the rest of the world) really needs to do is help the Palestinian government (any government) to get rid of the gangs and assert control. But nobody is interested in that because it’s too hard and deemed an internal matter. So what we end up with is the gangs (admittedly probably at the behest of rogue members of the government) to stir up trouble for political gain and the Palestinian people paying for it. But taking out power stations and airports is just stupid. Can you imagine if some Mexican gangs kidnapped a US solider and the US started taking out the power stations and airports in Mexico City?

Just stupid. They deserve one another.

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Jonathan - 13 Jul, '06

Please read without prejudice, Thanks.

As an Israeli, i do agree that my nation is morally corrupt. We’ve been corrupt since we’ve held two nations under military occupation for the last 40 years. the Palestinian and the Israeli nations have both been under occupation. I Served in the Israeli army, just to strengthen my beliefs that the use of force is wrong.

However, Terrorist bombing – as terrorism – Violence against citizens (and not soldiers) is wrong. no matter what – whether it is the suicide bombers who exploded 100 ft from my house, the ones who murdered my good friend’s grandparents, the ones who kidnapped an 18 year old pupil two weeks ago and killed him cold blooded – And the ones who bomb houses with no discretion; the ones who kill without a trial and only encourage violence on both sides.

I Do believe that violence encourages violence, and that the Bullhide had no excuse to wage war on behalf of the Lebanese people against Israel. the kidnapping of the two soldiers was unjust and unacceptable.

However, I still remember, as an Israeli, that the unjust war waged on Lebanon took many lives on our side and i still remember my last night at the army, sitting in a barren settlement in the midst of the west bank and hearing on the radio about leaving Lebanon.

I do not encourage violence on my side, and i do hope that people will do realise that coexistence is possible. I have had several business enterprises with Jordan, but in none was i the “strong” and they were “weak”, we were partners – mutual friends which did business.

Please bare in mind that the internet enables us to communicate and do decrease hate, and that when people know people then there are better ways to solve disputes.

I do not think that the Bullhide has any reason to do what they did after Israel withdrew from Lebanon six years ago.

I know that the Israeli operation in the gaza strip is not only because of Gilad Shalit (the solider kidnapped) but because of the will to revoke the Hamas from government. I do criticise my government, and i do it often – but i do want my peers from Palestine to criticise their government as well.

And i do think that whilst some may think that Israel is the illegitimate son of the middle east, we are here to stay, and we are here to live together with mutual benefits.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Jonathan, well said. When are you running for parliament? =)

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Jonathan - 13 Jul, '06

I ran for the israeli parliament last elections, but my party quit the race too early.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 13 Jul, '06

Jonathan, I agree that trade bridges a lot of gaps and brings cultures together. It also accelerates peace, because prosperous people want nothing more than stability to get even more prosperous. That’s human nature.

I also applaud your stance for peace, we (Arabs) need to hear this message a lot more from normal Israelis so that the traditionally portrayed image of “Israelis = Monsters” should dissipate. The same of course must be reciprocated for Palestinians as well and they should show the world and normal Israelis that they want peace too and they are a peaceful people; in time both nations will see each other in this light to bridge that huge chasm.

The problems between us are most certainly not going to disappear nor are they going to be solved over night, it requires honest work and diligence from all parties to recognise the negotiation, not violence, is the only way forward.

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Good comments, Jonathan.

Contrary to what one poster appears to believe, I myself don’t live in Israel, nor am I Israeli, nor even Jewish.

The simple facts are these:

Israel is not going to go away. Her people are not going to suicide, nor is she going to relocate to Madagascar or Finland or even Swabia (as Iran’s President recently suggested).

The Palestinian people are not going to go away, either.

Therefore, unless we want to indulge in blood-crazed fantasies about ‘Jews drowning in rivers of blood’ or ‘extermination of all Palestinians’, we need to realize that both sides must co-exist.

It’s quite simple, really: unless both sides are willing to stop fighting–and to forcibly eject those elements who wish to continue doing so–the cycle will continue until some nutcase detonates a nuke in Tel Aviv or Haifa.

And then all hell will let out for noon. It’s one thing to scream for the death of one’s enemy, quite another when large-scale destruction is imminent. I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt that Israel, should she see herself being destroyed, will let loose with every one of those 200+ nukes she possesses.

And then we all lose, forever.

This is not an outcome anyone in their right senses can possibly want. As Mahmood observes, it’s time for an olive branch, and frankly, as long as both sides realize they must concede something in return for permanent peace, then the latter is possible. Israel is not going to ‘own the West Bank'; the mere fact that she subscribed to Oslo and has in fact withdrawn from Gaza and nearly all the WB, given de facto recognition to the PA, and even gone so far as to take the passive approach of building a barrier (rather than going in and blowing up people’s houses, etc) to deter terror attacks indicates that she’s willing to ‘give peace a chance’.

I suspect many Palestinians are willing to do so, too–but their leadership, all too clearly, has powerful reasons (aided by Syria and others) to keep the fires stoked.

Doing so can have only one result, in the end, and I pray that we–all humans of good will–decide to achieve peace while it’s still possible. The road of hate and bloodlust will only lead to hell for all of us.

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Jonathan - 13 Jul, '06

I Agree, that’s why the internet must serve as a bridging function, it must help people not only to trade money, but to trade ideas and ideals, to make friends – with friends it is harder to wage war.

I agree that the only way is through negotiations, but neither the Israeli nor the Arab countries (with the exceptions of Egypt and Jordan) are willing to do so; that’s why bloggers are the only people who can go through borders and speak out for their ideas, since if i called for a peace conference in Baharain i would be most likely be arrested.

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Jonathan, I appreciate what you wrote.

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Mahmood:

I truly enjoy your blog, and have been recommending it to various friends of mine (yes, it’s probably my fault that your server is showing more and more traffic; I apologize).

As a Westerner, I think it’s important–and I am NOT being patronizing–for more of my fellow Westerners to read blogs such as yours. All too often, Europeans, Americans, Canadians, etc. tend to see ‘the Mideast’ as a sort of monolithic entity, one culture, one set of beliefs. All the men wear checkered kaffiyehs or robes, all the women are in burqhas, and it’s all generally either ‘Lawrence of Arabia/Lion of the Desert’ or else ‘Run for your lives, it’s a terrorist!’

Sad to say, those tend to be the stereotypes in the West (and doubtless the Mideast has many stereotypes for the West, too), and of course they are both wildly wrong and deeply unfair, since they blanket a vast territory comprising dozens of separate cultures, hundreds of millions of souls, and widely different points of view on culture, religion, politics, history and much else.

Thanks for a great blog, and for many intriguing comments. While I don’t always agree with all your opinions (that would be boring) I’m always engaged by them.

Peace!

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David Abutbul - 13 Jul, '06

I got here via Jonathan’s blog, I read his comments and the follow ups by both sides here in this conversation. I would like to add my bit.

It seems that neither sides actually want to be at war with eachother but the ‘situation’ takes both sides to a corner they must act.

I don’t believe words over ip may cause alot of change but I do believe people that read them can quite change things, especially people like Jon.

PLEASE do your best to let other people on both sides see that there is an alternative of talking and setteling things by words and not by bullets, it will be important for our future and our kids future and I do trust our kids future is a common objective for both nations.

peace.

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Salman Al-Rahma - 13 Jul, '06

Eric Jacobson:
If it was me you are refering too, be assured that I didn’t think that you live in Israel, nor an Israeli, nor even a Jewish. I don’t think my comment implied this, but just in case.
I quote you

Israel, should she see herself being destroyed, will let loose with every one of those 200+ nukes she possesses.

well, they are doing almost everything now sans the nukes, and is it because ‘she’ sees herself being destroyed?! killing tens of civilians, damaging airports and power stations, and destroying infra structure in both palestine and Lebanon, for what? for a one small ‘military base’? being attacked and 2 ‘soldiers’ taken as prisoners and 8 killed in the process? didn’t Israel do the same very recently and kidnapped palestinian prisoners, leaders, from the heart of the palestinian terretories, and they are kidnapping and killing tens of civilans every day including children.
Why does Israel still keep prisoners from Lebanon, some of them for more than quarter a century, and still fill more in every day from the palestinians? You asks Lebanon to negotiate? why don’t you ask Israel to do the same, instead of unleasing its deadly force every now and then?
Or do you think that israel value ‘her’ soldiers and we don’t value our people,
When you come ask for negotiations and peace, we should be on an equal bases, imagine a peaceful world where Israel coexists with its neighbours, arm-less neighbours since they will not be allowed that for the safety of Israel, and suddenly something happened, a crazy man ‘kiddnapped’ an Israeli soldier? I am sure that we will be back to square number zero again. People are happy about withdrawals but at the first test the Israeli tanks are back to occupy.
and Jonathan, just remember that the land you are living in belonged to some other people before you or your (grand?) father came. Those people are currently living in refugee camps for the past several decades looking at you enjoying the land and defending it for enemies!

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Hi Salman:

Okay, no problem, I just wanted to make clear that I’m not Israeli, in case you’d thought I was :)

As my comment below will illustrate (I hope) I sincerely want peace for EVERYONE. Nobody is winning in this current state of affairs. Now, indeed, I’m reading that Syria and IRAN are mobilizing. This could rapidly become a regional conflict, and that deeply alarms me.

Regarding ‘being destroyed’, what I’m referring to is the repeatedly stated goal of ‘pushing Israel into the sea’ made by some groups. Mind, I suspect that many Palestinians have no such desire, and only want to live in peace, but their leaders seem to be setting the agenda here.

Yes, innocent Palestinians are suffering, as are innocent Lebanese; and so have hundreds of innocent Israelis, who have had to endure bombings in their shopping malls and on busses, or rocket attacks on their homes.

The ONLY way out of this is for BOTH sides to take positive steps, on their own. It’s no good each side saying ‘you first!’ because neither side trusts the other, and neither side is going to put down their guns at the other’s request.

There are ways out of this: first and foremost, by building an infrastructure which allows people to better their lives. It’s pretty much a truth that if people have reasonably happy lives, they won’t be highly motivated to start wars with others and risk losing all they have. That’s been the theory behind the megamillions of aid which have been poured into Gaza and the West Bank. Unfortunately, nearly all the aid–as the PA itself admits–has ‘gone missing’, most likely into the pockets of completely corrupt politicians. In that sense, the hapless Palestinians are being governed by people who share a lot in common with central African dictators. I don’t believe for a second that the PA leadership, much less the various terror groups, give a darn about their own people–if they did, they could have peace tomorrow, and heaven knows enough aid funds have been provided that the PA could long since have had a well-established economy.

But when the leaders’ goal is to incite hate (for without the hate, they’d have no power), then nobody wins–except those leaders, who are making lots of money, no doubt.

I submit that Israel HAS made good-faith efforts, just as she did with Egypt and Jordan. Anwar Sadat, a courageous man to the end, had the vision to make peace with Israel, which meant that his country could begin to progress economically. Jordan, which of all Israel’s enemies fought the best (by far) and has an excellent military, also had the wisdom to give over the fight in favor of normalized trade and peace. Now, instead of sending her young men to kill, and be killed by, Israeli young men, she has peace and prosperity.

I’m only urging the PA (and Syria) to do likewise. To do so, however, both will need leaders of vision (perhaps Mahmood could volunteer? –we need people like him in charge).

If this doesn’t happen, and Israel is one day ‘pushed into the sea’ as her enemies want, she will unleash hell on the Mideast. None of us want that (except possibly the Iranian President). That’s all I was saying….

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Hold on, Eric, I dont know where you got your news that Syria is mobilizing, but I wish you would stick to facts, not fabrications. Syria hasnt mobilized in 30 years and will likely never mobilize. Both Syria and Israel know that. However it is typical Israeli propoganda – start widening the framework. Every time a Palestinian attacks an Israeli soldier, it is Syria’s prodding (or Iran’s or Nicaragua’s or Timbuktu’s) and not the Israeli occupation that is to blame.

As for your repeated claim that Palestinians want to throw Jews into the sea, I think we both know that many Israelis in power, from Begin to Rabin to Ovadia Yossef, have voiced exactly such a fate for the Palestinians.

If you really want to be taken for a moderate, you’re going to have to work on that agenda of yours.

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bikeshed - 13 Jul, '06

Aaaarghh-Gwahh, pardon me while I try to choke back the posturing and the rhetoric….

Peace is a wonderful thing, but considering the history of mankind has been written in blood (and the freshest wounds are in this part of the world), it is a bit of pipe-dream, methinks. I mean, they are still celebrating a Serbian victory from over 600 years ago which they believe lays claim to their (the Serbs) right to rule, so why does anyone think it is going to be different here?

What I think we are witnessing is the demise of the zionist ideal. They have failed to create a ‘safe’ homeland for the jews and have created a state – by force – which has managed to gain the enmity of every single state around them, Egypt and Jordan, notwithstanding since those were political decisions taken by their paymasters (I still consider Sadat one of the greatest arab leaders of the modern era – more honest than nasser).

The kidnapping of soldiers is hardly a bargaining tactic as much as it is a scare tactic that drives to the heart of jewish funeral rites. You can have them back, but in pieces, and not all the pieces. And this is a direct reaction the use of exessive force.

Do you really think that demolishing the homes of suicide bombers will stop them? Or that bombing the airport in beirut will somehow affect hizbollah (other than making them the scapegoat and turning public opinion against them)? I just drove through the Bekaa Valley about a month ago, on the sixth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawl, and let me tell you, there is no lebanese governement there, only hizbollah. And in the south, who has been resisting the israeli occupation of southern lebanon? These institutions (Hamas and Hezbollah both) have become defacto governments and have earned the respect and support of the people there because they are the ones that are providing food, healthcare and education, not the so-called governments.

Finally, the rules of engagement are changing…the palestinians are getting smarter and more capable (this is also evidenced in Iraq with a couple of snipers holding off a battalion of US troops in Fallujah). Sharon recognised this early on, but could not find an alternative to retreating from Gaza, as they did from lebanon earlier. Now, they are fighting a war on two fronts, neither one of which they are capable of winning.

The nuclear option? radioactive oil for the rest of the world? destruction of the cradle of human civilisation? can anyone hum the tune to that Sting song, “I hope the russians love their children too”

Side note: not only did the zionists establish a homeland in palestine, they also redrew the continental map of Europe as Israeli teams compete with Europe due to the fact that all of its neighbors don’t want to play with them…hilarious…

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Lujayn, Bikeshed, I regret to say that Syria’s military has mobilized much more recently than ’30 years ago’. Ask any citizen of Lebanon; I’m sure they’ll point out that Syrian forces controlled their country until, well, quite recently. That occupation alone required an ongoing mobilization of Syrian forces, a fact which nobody in the region is likely to forget. It’s also no accident that the last time Israel had to go after terrorists in Lebanon, into whom did they run? Syrian armed forces! Both in and above the Bekaa, mobilized Syrian forces were present in Lebanon BEFORE the IDF entered the country.

And yes, Syria is mobilizing. They’d have to be insane not to, at the moment. An Israel which is busily calling up her reserve forces and going to a war footing (Damascus is roughly 10 minutes from Israeli airfields); which owns the high ground of the Golan and which, from there, can easily sweep down onto Damascus proper. Yes, I wager Syria is indeed mobilizing, if she has any sense at all, and the reports are correct. As for Iran, that country is already alerting her own forces, though doubtless more as a gesture of moral support than anything else.

I’ve tried to illustrate that both sides need to compromise. For that effort I’ve been labelled as immoderate (amazingly) Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but until Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier, Israel was OUT of Gaza entirely and had been for a year. The Hezbollah thugs kidnapped two more soldiers on Israeli territory, merely to stir up more trouble.

Israel has tried repeatedly to offer peace. Each time, her actions have emboldened her enemies to launch further attacks. Playtime is now over, it appears.

The problem is, ‘hate’–hate for Israel, hate for the Jooz, hate for the US, hate for the West, hate for Britain, India, Christians, Russians–heck, just about everyone else–seems to be the operative emotion over much of the Mideast, and has spread its lethal results to places like NYC, London, Madrid, Beslan, Bali, Bombay, Somalia, Nigeria, etc, etc.–Some 5300 separate terror attacks since 9/11, or some three a day, worldwide, year on year.

It appears that a culture of death has gripped large parts of the Mideast, and we in the West are learning that, though we want to live in peace with others, we are going to experience precisely what the Israelis have had to learn the hard way: there’s a whole subculture out there who appear infatuated with death. They don’t want peace; they want Israel dead; they don’t want to coexist with the West; they want us dead or under their rule, no matter what.

So let me repeat: we have far, far more power than the death-lovers. Provoke us–or the Israelis–enough, and you will see us rising to defend OUR children and our relatives with a wrath you cannot even imagine.

We will no longer be bullied, or terrorized, in the name of Islam. Those Muslims of true good will are going to have to recognize Israel’s right to exist, recognize that other cultures and faiths have the right to exist in peace, and take matters into their own hands to rid Islam of the vileness which is hijacking it.

Nothing else will do. Israel is NOT going to go away, nor will she tolerate endless slaughter of her people indefinitely. She’s done her best to offer peace, and been kicked in the essentials each time. And with each new Islamist atrocity around the world, the other 5.3 billion of us are beginning to say ‘now we understand what Israel’s been enduring’.

The Palestinians can drop the victimization complex and accept Israel’s right to exist, or suffer complete, total defeat. I opt for the former. What do you wish for?

Personally, though I know people who lost friends and relatives on 9/11 and am convulsed by rage when I think of it–I, I say, am trying desperately to find a way out. However, if I find that the peace offering is slapped aside in blind hate every time I make it, sooner or later I too will just say ‘f**k the lot of you, if you attack us any more will exterminate you all’. Is that what we want? Any of us? Do we really want hatred and violence to run over into a catastrophe?

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Bikeshed:

The Mideast’s oil will become less relevant over time. First off, several of the largest fields are already declining (ie in Kuwait and SA); estimates are that overall Mideast production will be dropping drastically by 2030 at latest (at current demand rates), and probably earlier if world demand continues to rise.

Canada’s oil sands are probably the sole remaining long term supply, and even they will only supply some 5 Mb/day at peak production.

IOW, the times, they are a’changing, for better or worse. OPEC’s power, and with it the income of its member states, is going to dwindle both quickly and by a large margin, to be replaced by alternative energies or alternative oil sources.

And so far as Israel and her nukes go, do you really think if she’s being destroyed? Really?

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Good information on the Syria-Iran link, and the current crisis:

http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD120406

Sounds as though both countries are doing their best to stir up trouble, eh? Methinks one should NOT be blaming Israel in this case.

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Syria has not mobilized against Israel for 30 years, thats what I said. Dont go widening the scope again. Incidentally, the Syrians entered Lebanon on request from the Lebanese president, which is not something the Israelis can claim. However, the Syrian’s stay became unwelcome later and the request by the Lebanese government that they leave was a valid request.

Second of all, Israel does not own the high ground of the Golan Heights, it only occupies it from Syria. Thirdly, Syria will not mobilize because it is not in its interests to be drawn into a conflict it cannot and will not win, militarily. Syria has never been that suicidal. Israel, apart from a minor cosmetic blow to Syria, will not swoop down on anything. I hardly think Israel wants any change to the status quo in the Syrian leadership – now that would be suicidal for Israel and Israel is not stupid. If you had any sense at all, you wouldnt have said that if Syria has any sense it would mobilize.

Fourth, I hardly think anyone in their right mind believes Israel has been peacefully existing alongside the Palestinians, even since their withdrawal from a sliver of land. What is your definition of the peace it is offering the Palestinians? The way I see it, that is usually reffered to as mass-destruction, not peace. Random indiscriminate killings, strangling of the economy, continued occupation of the west bank, and continued assassinations. Where can I get some of that peace?

Fifth, glad you dropped the facade altogether and showed your true colors. Go right ahead and say “‘f**k the lot of us” and do your best to exterminate us (those are your words). I love the threats littering your argument! I really cant understand how people like you make a valid peace partner.

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Oh come on, Eric, you’re quoting Memri? Give us a break. Thats like me quoting Hizbollah’s news agency as a valid source of news on the Israeli state.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Israel’s murderous actions disgust me.

The Palestinians have been totally let down by their leaders especially Yaser Arafat (RIP)

Forget the conceopt of the Umma – where are you now Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, KSA, Iraq? Where are you now other Muslim countries? Puring money in for arms? What a waste? Helping rebiuoild the countries? Nope

I can see no resolution

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

In line with Mahmood’s original sentiments on Hezbollah’s HareBrained Hoopla, some comments from others in the area:

“Even more surprising for Hezbollah was the Sunni response to the bombing of both the old and new roads at Damour. The Sunni in Saida explained this Israeli aggression away noting that the Israelis were trying to block Palestinian militants at Naameh from going on the attack.

According to three Sunni shop owners in Beirut from Saida, they and their families are more upset with Hezbollah than they are with Israel. In fact, they understand the Israeli position.”

http://lebop.blogspot.com/2006/07/hezbollah-surprised-by-their-own.html

This blogger doesn’t sound very happy with Hezbollah, either…

http://lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com/2006/07/breaking-news-flowing.html

Nor this fellow:

http://www.beirutnotes.blogspot.com/

I’m guessing a lot of folks in Lebanon, in fact, would like Hezbollah to commit collective suicide. It’d be a good thing for the Lebanese, for Israel, and for the world…

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Jonathan - 13 Jul, '06

Salman,

Just to answer a few of your points, in effort to clear out things.

first of all, i oppose holding the prisoners held in israel (without trial) for more than a quarter of a century. If you will check you will see the pictures of my friends and mine in demonstrations against the occupation in Gaza and the West Bank and in demonstrations against country enduced terror on citizens. I work for peace since i became an adult and i have lobbied peace both on the Israeli side and the PA; I went to Geneva to the signing of the Geneva Accord and i worked alongside Palestinians to arrange bilatteral demonstrations for peace.

On the other hand, I am trying to defend my life, when my Great-Great Grandparents came here after being persecuted in Europe for being jewish, they bought land from friendly neighbours and worked alongside them, as did most of the Jews who came to israel pre-1948.

On 1948 was a terrible disaster. Most of the Palestinian people living in Sovereign Israel were forced out of their homes; However, this can only be compensated with Money – in the same manner that i cannot be compensated for the land taken from my Great Grandfather’s house in Poland while my grandfather escaped and while i cannot ask for my best friend’s parent’s house in Iraq where they were persecuted.

Mistakes are made constantly, it is human. What is more human is to understand these mistakes and take means to correct them. That’s why the Geneva Initiative offered a solution for the refugee problem, a good solution that is possible.

Bikeshed,
I am against demolishing houses since i am a humanist, i do not believe in collective punishment. However, i do not think that there’s a need for the Zionist ideal. Israel was created as a country further to the holocaust and was a home for the jewish refugees worldwide. Once israel was established, the Zionist movement died and became more pragmatic, it became political and not ideological.

I do believe that we were on a good route to peace before Rabin was assasinated on 04.11.95 (i was there in the square as a demonstrator for peace) and afterwards Nethanyahu and Sharon made great damage. I think that Olmert and Peretz are able to fix these damages.

Peretz was born in Morroco. He is fluent in Arabic and knows the culture, he can talk, he can smile and he can act not as a general but as a friend. He was one of the establishers of “Peace Now” and called to withdraw from lebanon as early as 1982. He is a good person and i believe that if he were the prime minister, things would have been different (he is also a social democrat, which is closer to me).

However, both the Hamas and Hizbullah give him a hard time, they are unwilling to speak about peace and are unwilling to end this conflict.

When they will be ready, i hope that they will still have some of the israeli left to back them up in negotiations.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

I am quickly typing before my little one wakes up. I will say only this and I will add I did not read everyone’s comments.
Years ago, in my middle eastern political science class, there was one thing that stood out to me. That when our professor told us how Israel, or the Jewish settlers at the time, got the land from the British to start up ‘Israel’..the Palestinians lost. They lost not only land, they lost because they could not relate and understand the British. The Jewish settlers were Europeans who knew ‘how to play the game’. They knew about quite a few thing but the Palestinians, understandably, dug their heels in and acted upon the ‘it’s our right, you cannot possibly take our land after we have been living on it for a few thousand years’ kinda thing.
Israel still knows how to deal with the Western culture(s). They have learned a big thing which has gotten them the US in their pocket; AIPAC, the pr lobby and the monied interests. If only any Arab leader who was truly interested in helping the Palestinians (and so many are really not), they could have used the money to counter the public relations to bring home the plight and injustices done to the Palestinian better than allowing the terrorist actions of any Palestinian group which always has given Israel the ‘see?’ attitude. The Israeli lobby has gotten to these fundamental christian types and many of them feel that ‘we’/US needs to protect Israel. Never mind that millions and millions of tax dollars go to a country that equally has engaged in terrorist acts from and before day one.
Ingrid

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Lujayn:

Um, what issue do you have precisely with the article I cited fromMEMRI? I trust you were able to look up the citations within the piece? It’s not an ‘op-ed’ piece by MEMRI, but an article recounting factual material, readily available elsewhere on the web, as indeed practically all of MEMRI’s material is.

I trust, too, that you realize MEMRI quotes and translates the material of others? When it publishes comments from the Arab press, for example, they are merely translations, not MEMRI commentary.

Your stance is puzzling.

As for ‘thirty years’, you made an erroneous statement, and I’m merely correcting you on it. I’m sorry that you forgot about Lebanon and the fact that Syrian forces had mobilized to enter that nation, but that’s your affair, not mine. Israel has had to fight for her existence, repeatedly. Keep it up, and I guarantee she will, if pushed to it, vaporize every Muslim city from Marrakesh to Islamabad as she goes down. If there’s going to be a second Holocaust, don’t be surprised if Israel makes sure a whole lot of people come along for the ride.

And I’m glad you appreciate my candor. Here’s the thing: we in the West have done NOTHING to warrant seeing our relatives blown apart, terrorized, murdered, and if you take my calm, considered promise–and it’s a promise the whole world is beginning to make, by the by, as we realize Islamism wants all of us dead or subjugated, as a ‘threat’, that’s your problem, not mine.

Here’s the bottom line: we will no longer be bullied. We will no longer sit by while Muslims complain that THEY are being ‘victimized’ because we look on them with suspicion. This is a pattern we’ve seen so often that nobody believes it any more: some terrorist atrocity is committed, and immediately, if you please, MUSLIMS complain that they are being ‘oppressed’ or feel ‘unwelcome’. Boo hoo.

Worldwide, we–the other 5.3 billion of us–have good reason NOT to trust Muslims. It’s not Jews, not Buddhists, nor Christians or animists or Bahai’s or Shintoists or atheists who are slaughtering all and sundry in the name of their religion. There is one religion whose name IS being used to justify such atrocities, and these acts are being carried out right around the planet, every day.

If you don’t like that fact–and if you don’t like the fact that the victims are now turning around, gun in hand, to say ‘back off NOW’, then I suggest you start adopting a more peaceful attitude. You can start with Israel, and continue with the rest of the planet. As I think Mahmood himself has remarked here, ‘Islam’ is becoming synonymous with ‘death, hate, violence, oppression of women, torture, intolerance’.

That’s not my doing; it’s not Israel’s doing, or the West’s, or India’s.

Your choice. You can feel all victimized and sorry for yourself, or you can learn to live in peace with everyone else. Until Muslims decide to clean their own house of the filth that’s attacking me, mine, and all other non-Muslims, there will be no peace.

Your choice.

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Jonathan, I really dont know what I feel about the point that Palestinians who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 1948 should only be recompensed with money. I really dont. I have close friends who hail from Yaffa and villages in the north of Israel, who currently live as on refugee-status in different Arab countries. They dont want money, they want to go home. Maybe some Palestinians dont want to go back, but some do. If you wanted to reclaim your home in Poland, would you readily accept that the Polish government refuses to even consider your claim?

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Eric sorry bub..but speak for yourself. There are plenty of actions you can accuse certain Muslims of, but make no mistake, there are plenty of actions that Muslims can blame Western countries of as well. However, you already are inclined to not look any further nor past the end of your nose (Dutch expression) so I do not think that there is any point turning this into an argumentative match. The history of injustices and perpetrations on the many sides (it’s not a simple black and white history, there are plenty of players involved) is long and even Mahmoud’s humble lil’ blog could not do it justice to write on it. Not too many people can discern and critique information (alternative, ‘official’, or ‘propaganda’ what have you) nor are many people interested in such. Your own attitude is all too clear that you brush all Muslims with one broad stroke which is pretty common. However, if I have learned one thing from having lived and traveled in different countries it’s this; there are some stereo types, and there plenty who don’t. There is always more going on than what you read anywhere as nothing happens in a vacuum. Especially when it comes to Israeli actions towards the Palestinians, military, economically , for those who follow alternative news sources and rely on journalists who do not censore themselves; there is a whole different picture than what the mainstream American media portrays.
Please do not speak for all the other ‘billions’ of people. I am on the board of a home owner’s association, I know how easily people disagree over even the most petty of things..and don’t act all petty over one little attack when you have never been invaded, bombed, or threatened..other countries have far more experience than you, in case you have been asleep at the wheel..it’s all about the oil.
Ingrid

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Tawfeeq Rayyash - 13 Jul, '06

I have started the comment on this articl with my personal feeling, but the world and the pepole changed dramatically when it come to Israil the peace maker in the region!!
the win/win agreement Israil made with the Arab is i will kill you and attack you every day and you just close your F**King mouth.
Sorry I’m happy and i will be happy with every Israily soldiers going down or kidnapped.

“Eric” I pray that the day arises when all the Israil pepole is out from all the Arabi world and from Palestin not by Peack talk but by bombing them out.

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shame on you! - 13 Jul, '06

Basically, if a religion becomes more important than the human him self, this is the result. a Jewish state! and hell to other humans and other religions, hell to arabs, hell to those who lived for generations in these lands, as far as the DREAM is fulfilled! what dream is this?! it is a nightmare if you tell me, for the arabs and for the ‘Jewish state’ that does not allow anyone but jewish to live! The conflict is not between muslims and jewish, because the christians are also suffering from the occupation by the Jewish state. a state that is man made to gather all jewish from all around the world in one spot. interesting!

Read the following comments from;

http://news.netscape.com/story/2006/07/13/isreal-fires-on-lebanese-airport/

asalf:

You don’t have a clue what’s going on in the middle east!!! You don’t have a clue who are the Arabs are!!!
Even though they look like humans, they are just animals!!!
advanced animal!!!
They can think, they dress and so on, but the behavior of 99% of them is totally animaly.
This is accordingly to almost day-to-day life with them!
They do things, not just not accordingly to their not existing “religion”, but opposite of it!!!
Their leaders do all the terror for money, in disguise of religion!!!
They settle in our country, and just beacause of the “bleeding heart” euopeans, we can’t bring back our lands!!!
I wish the all Arabs were dead!!! And that all the ornery and cruel creatures which lead them were in hell forever!!!

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Eric Jacobson - 13 Jul, '06

Good grief.

Well, I tried. I tried to be calm, measured and open.

In return, I’ve seen screeds praying and hoping that Israel is utterly destroyed, that Israel is always in the wrong, that she has no right to exist.

What can one say to such invincible hate and blindness, except: this is PRECISELY why the world increasingly distrusts Islam. What we’re seeing is, over and over, screams of hate, threats, bullying, and when anyone says ‘enough’, the response is either ‘you’re being mean to us’ or yet more threats and firebreathing.

The reality is this: Israel will not be going away, that is, the only way it’ll be destroyed is by some sort of nuclear attack, and if that happens, you can kiss the entire Arab Mideast goodbye. First on the target list will be Mecca and Medinah, followed by Alexandria, Damascus, Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, Tunis, Marrakesh, Fars, Tehran, etc, etc.

I–and many others–have warned repeatedly that this unreasoning savagery toward Israel will result in either the destruction of her enemies, or the destruction of Israel plus her enemies. In either case, note that the Mideast goes to hell in a handbasket. The response, unfortunately, has mainly been vituperation and yet more hate.

And that’s why the rest of the planet is beginning to despair of the region: like it or not, the place is being viewed as the home of utter and complete lunatics who no longer no how to love, but only how to bring death and terror to everyone else.

Is that what you all want? I know that Mahmood, at least, doesn’t, but the voices of rage and hate and intolerance and smug self-righteousness seem to be in the majority.

Just remember: Israel has nukes. Lots of them.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Scared… very scared… for friends, neighbors and the potential of Lebanon returning to failed state status….

Did you hear Nasrallahs speech? He sweated his way through the thing, and didn’t maintain his usual tone… Irani strings are more then evident and I think he very well realizes he’s selling the country down the gutter for another countries political motives (history repeats itself, then and again).

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Anonymous - 13 Jul, '06

many innocent people will pay the price as they have in the past, present and future.

Israel at the moment is more powerful, but that doesnt mean that will always be the case….one day I am sure there will be a role reversal.

I also believe that when (big WHEN) the Arabs are more powerful, it wont mean we will be better or offer a better quality of life for everyone..

One solution, one country for everybody..doesnt matter who is majority/minority or what religion they follow…so long as their law and order and respect..

Israel can enjoy its days of glory , but in the long run i doubt if it will always maintain the upper hand.

Empires come and go even if they last for thousands of years whether it be for the Arabs or Isrealis. Civilizations flourish and cease, even languages. We dont know what the future holds.

Being an Arab, I am wishful that the coming days are to our favour but not at the cost of human life. At the same time, I am not ready to bow down and swallow whats “fed” to me because Israel has the upper hand at the moment. Maybe a little bit of pride is involved, and pride does indeed very often come before a fall. I disagree with Mahmood that Arabs should accept the status quo and wag their tails for any leftovers :)

Time for people to see each other as equals and learn to live with one another (as opposed to living behind a fence and exchanging false greetings and kisses) otherwise we will just be at each others necks as we have been for the past @# years. Just waiting for the chance to destroy each other.

One state for all! :) Let some superpower impose it on all sides and give us no option but to live TOGETHER. Maybe in a generation or two the people involved can then manage it on their own!

If its possible for people to live together in other parts of the world, I am sure we can do it too if we believe in peace. A peace between cultures and religions and not a handshake betwen two leaders , where one tells the others sign on the dotted line.

Imagine not being able to sleep because you think theres an axe murderer around just waiting for you to shut your eyes. Imagine not being able to sleep because you are too afraid to sleep. Imagine being not able to sleep because you are no longer in your own house and the wife has sent you to spend the night in the garden. People who dont get enough sleep become Monsters on either side.

Just some thoughts, wish everyone a monster free evening.

ps i dont own an axe

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Loki - 13 Jul, '06

I think this is the worst thing you have ever written (that I’ve read so far). Offer peace under what terms? The west bank and Gazza under Israeli control?

Peace is a lovely lofty ideal but I think you’ll find that the approach was tried and it failed. Israel don’t want a two state solution and they don’t want to give the West Bank to Palestinians (maybe Gazza only because its more trouble than its worth).

But hey, maybe your right. Lets swallow our pride and make peace. While we’re at it, lets hand them Gazza, the west bank, and heck let’s not stop there, there’s always Sinai and the Gollan Hights.

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Anon, figure out a way that all the domestic monarchies would be willing to succeed power to a single state… or to have religous or non-religous laws imposed…. everyone is at disagreement, and borders to a lot of these people are becoming more and more important to keep the “other” out … whoever the “other” may be.

If Arabs ever got the upper hand, I’d only hope the people in charge would have a sense of mind to practice restraint and forgivness for the past and future, friends and enemies…. its sad everyone has to be so conflicted today, that when it all boils up it leads to these sorts of situations

*ducks and covers for the onslaught of nationalists, ‘patriots’ and realists*

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Hi all!

Sorry for the extra long hiatus Mahmood – I have been lurking for a while now, enjoying summer now that exams are over. Hope all is well. I am happy to see that the majority of people dont take Steve seriously anymore – afterall, the very act of debating someone means you – in some little way – sanction their point of view.

Recent events have yet again managed to pull me back to writing, and hopefully, I will have the time to reply. I mainly want to address Eric Jacobson in the next post.

-Ibn

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Anonymous - 13 Jul, '06

It’s at times like these that you’re reminded that Zionism’s one of those late-19th Century ideologies like Marxism and fascism that was meant to transform the bourgeois man through struggle into the man of destiny. Like its sister ideologies its been a moral and intellectual black hole that’s corrupted all concerned. Violence, like today’s scenes in Lebanon, is built into its ideology since its impossible to found a nation-state comprised of migrants on top of the area’s indigenous inhabitants without struggle. The removal of the Palestinians – and all the subsequent consequences – was implicit in the ideology from the start.

The irony is that while Israel is the region’s superpower, it cannot gain the legitimacy it seeks through war, only through the acquiesence of the Palestinians. Bombing Lebanon or fencing off Gaza turning it into the world’s biggest ghetto ain’t going to change this.

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AntiApologists - 13 Jul, '06

Mahmood,

I knew that you were an American apologist and a “Native Informant“, but I never expected that you’d be that for Israel as well.

You think that the reason hizbollah and palestinians are doing this is because they want to show “they’re men and big baddies”????? I want you to stand up and say that to the millions of palestinians living in exile because of 1948 and after. I want you to stand up and say your sarcastic remark to the families of all who’ve been killed in the intifada, those imprisoned, and those who’ve had they’re land confiscated by the Jewish National Fund. Of course, the reason they’re doing that is because “they want to be called men.” What about Al Nakbah and the more than 500 villages wiped out in it, what about the two intifadhas, what about the biggest refugee community in the world, what about the confiscated lands, what about the ongoing killings and suffering?

Of course, you’re solution is empty and vacuous rubbish put forward to keep your legion of american neocon readers happy. Let us make peace right now and extend the olive branch! Ahh… how nice. and can you care to explain to me what kind of peace oh you most knowledgable one proposes? Is it a two state or a one state solution? Or is it just some nice word you like throwing around to make yourself look nice? Any concrete proposals? Does it include the right of return? does it include dismantling all of the major settlements that are taking up a massive chunk of the remainder of the 23% of historic palestine in the west bank and gaza? Do you know that Israel has categorically refused to do both? Do you know what those are the twO MINIMUM, the least, that the palestinians need and demand in order to have a viable state and lasting peace? Is that too much to ask? Let me go back to my country and give me some sort of a land that is not a joke collection of bantustans?

What peace are you talking about? Is it just giving up and surrendering while the only benefit being that Israeli military bombardments are ended, while no right of return is given and the palestinians are given land crumbs that are a pathetic excuse for a state?

Did you know that just before the Israeli soldier was arrested in Palestine, “Israel entered Gaza and took two Palestinians hostage ? Did you know that this happens on a very regular basis, and rarely does a media outlet bat an eyelid to it? Of course you wouldn’t have known. I doubt the news sources you go to would report such trivialities. Israel regularly arrests Palestinians. No one gives a toss. An Israeli soldier is arrested and people describe it as a brutal act that has brought the end of the world. It is not the Israeli act that is disgusting, where bridges, electricity plants, and airports are targetted, affecting hundreds of thousands, but it is the abducting of the soldier that is a henious crime. So terrorism is described as abhorrent and unjusitifiable under any circumstances, and then targetting soldiers is also considered unjustifiable!!!!!!!! In fact it’s also called terrorism! Of course, the only thing you should do is lay your arms and give up unconditionally.

You ask what have we gained in the last sixty years from the conflict with Israel. Materially… nothing. I guess for a neoliberal neocon and an apologist like you you cannot fathom what the hell is the point if we haven’t gained any material riches, trade, or money. The point is you don’t give up your right, dignity, land, and the blood of the people of your country for nothing less than a tangible and proper solution. You do not go and become all friends with the person who just raped your sister, your mother, and your daughter just so that you get some money from them. You can go and do that if you want, but we won’t.

To all Arabs who are Israeli and neocon apologists and just want the Palestinians to shut up and give it a rest because it’s too much of a hassle for them, I dedicate the following poem:

القدس عروس عروبتكم ؟!!
فلماذا ادخلتم كل زناة الليل إلى حجرتها
ووقفتم تسترقون السمع وراء الأبواب لصرخات بكارتها
وسحبتم كل خماجركن ، وتنافختم شرفاً
وصرختم فيها أن تسكت صوناً للعرض ؟؟!!
فما أشرفكم !
أولاد القحبة هل تسكت مغتصبه ؟؟!
أولاد القحبة !
لست خجولاً حين أصارحكم بحقيقتكم
إن حظيرة خنزير أطهر من أطهركم
تتحرك دكة غسل الموتى ،
أمَّا أنتم
لا تهتز لكم قصبه !
الآن اعريكم
في كل عواصم هذا الوطن العربيّ قتلتم فرحي

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mahmood - 13 Jul, '06

Eric Jacobson,

Ahh, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I dont call it the “Islamic – Jewish” conflict, because really, this has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with territory. In fact, technically it is not even the Israeli-Arab conflict, because Morrocans have almost no beef with Israel. Understandably the Arabs around the Palestinians go irked once that disaster happened in 1948, because they realized it could just as easily have been them. But I digress. Here is my main post:

Eric Jacobson, I have read your posts on this section, and after inviting you to wipe that saliva that drooled down your mouth, I would like to debate this with you.

Eric Jacobson, as far as I see it, Israel has no right to exist. Thats right, you heard me right – does NOT have a right to exist. My reasoning for this is very simple. I do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, anymore than I would acknowledge a burglar’s right to my house.

How so? Let me make an analogy:

I have a house I am living in. In comes an individual, who is physically more powerfull than me, and manages to kick me out into my neighbours front yard. I try to regain my terrirotry, but to no avail. My neighbour sees me camped out on his front yard, and offers minimal assistance, but does not allow me to live in his house.

A week later, on my latest attempt to regain my house, the burglar says:

Burglar: “Peace! I offer peace! How about you live in the basement, and ill live in the rest of the house?”

I say: “F*** you, get out of my house.”

The burglar replies: “Why do you hate me? why do you hate my race? you only hate! See! He cant even agree to peace! He just wants violence! Ahh! I get it! He wants to commit violence against me because im Jewish! War monger! Hate monger!”

———————————–

Now, who is the “wrong” party in this scenario? The burglar. Period. The neighbour, well he can be said to be very un-neighbourly, but at the end of the day, it is still HIS right, who he wants to let inside HIS house.

Now Mr Eric Jacobson, I trust you will agree with me that the burglar is the scumbag in this scenario. What you will probably take issue with however, is how this analogy fits real life. I motion that it does near perfectly. I predict yours will be that it is way off the mark. Suffice it is to say that I reached this conclusion after about 7 years of on and off research. I have talked to Israeli groups, gone to their lectures, asked questions, gone to their parties – I even has the pleasure of conversing repeatedly with some HARD core Zionists, who beleive Palestinians were planted en masse by Egypt and other equally crazy consipiracy theories. These are my accumulated sources. Ive used to know an Israeli tank commander. I do know one of their soldiers. So those are a sample of the sources I am basing my opinions on, 7 years later. I even remember going to the library and checking out BBC news from the 40s, and would you believe they used to call the early Israeli Jews terrorists? On screen? Big bold letters. Its very telling. So anyway, whichever way you slice it,you cannot change the fact that Israel was founded on one big giant crime.

On a deeper note: Why do I really think Israel doesnt have the right to exist? Because Eric Jacobson, I do not agree with the premise of might-makes-right. I do not want to live in a world where the latest sect who has been wronged, has a carte-blanche to simply take over another territory that has already been occupied. I dont want to live in that kind of world. For me to accept Israel’s right to exist, means I have to accept, that at ANY time, for whatever reason, a group of people have the right to rob me of my home, for no reason at all. That is the main reason, I simply CANNOT accept Israel’s right to exist.

Therefore, any chest pounding along the lines of “Israel has nukes…” is just the equivalent of the burglar in my example saying: “I have an uzi, and if you do not stop pertering me, I will moe you down.” I believe this is called bullying. If that is Israel’s/your stance, fine! It gives my counterpoint even more credance – talking about nuking every major Arab capital because of a nation of 6 million just makes you look bad, not me. That statement is actually a treasure – for it gives us rare – very rare – insight into the true mind of Israel, allowing us to see how barbaric it is to its core. Killing 10 for 1? Wow. You’ve even beaten Hammourabi’s an eye for an eye! Either way, it gives more credance to the counter points.

Similarly, the stance of “We’re here, live with it.” does no good. It is simply intimidation. For example, when you are held at gun point by a robber, you comply with his every demand – you are “living with it”. But still, that does not make what he is doing right. Should half a chance arise, there is no doubt you would annihilate the robber, and rightly so. Again, bullishness on your/Israel’s part gives the counter points even more credance. Good job. I couldnt have called you out without you. Literally.

——————————–

Although my stance is that Israel does not have a right to exist, I do in fact sympathize with the ordeal the Jews had to indure suring WWII. Obviously, the holocaust was a crime unheard of in history, and Hitler is evil incarnate. So I can sympathize with their plight. From plight, people work to create solutions. Unfortunately, some Jews chose a late 19th century ideology, namely, Zionism. And unfortunately, Zionism steps on my toes. As it does yours. If the Zionists had picked Wyoming instead of Palestine, there is no doubt the Americans would have their own “martyr’s square”.

So,

Plight –> Zionism.

Plight: OK. I sympathize.
Zionism: NOT OK. Because it is ok to confiscate my home and property if it serves the purpose of founding a Jewish homeland.

I do not support Israel.

-Ibn

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Lujayn - 13 Jul, '06

Eric, when I commented, I made the comment with reference to Syria, as I remember, and nowhere in the Memri “translation” is there any reference to Syria saying anything about mobilizing. There is one unidentified source that says they discussed the situation in Lebanon with Iran and Palestine, and how to deal with the situation. How did an unidentified source become a credible source on Syria mobilizing.

As for Memri, I believe Memri translates with a slant, an agenda. How many pro-Western Arab articles have you read translated on Memri? Not many, I think, eh? Memri aims to translate (and I use the word translate, loosely) what paints Muslims in a bad light, especially since many in the West hardly try to corroborate facts, and take Memri as the holy word.

I reiterate. Syria has not mobilized against Israel. It has mobilized inside Lebanon. Not against Israel. What part of that dont you understand?

The Arab-Israeli conflict has very little to do with Islam, so dont go dragging Islam into the argument. Its a territorial, national conflict. Christian Arabs are just as incensed by Israel’s transgressions and live under occupation too in Palestine.

We are not discussing you being bullied by Muslim terrorists here. We are discussing the Israeli/Arab conflict. How on earth did it become about Muslim terrorists again? However, if you insist on insulting Islam indiscrimately, then I think I’m allowed to respond. I dont believe I insulted the West nor Israel. The only “savagery” has been your rant, nowhere have I been anywhere close to “savage”. I was just pointing out your spin.

May I remind you, too, that the Jewish holocaust was perpetrated by Christians, Europeans. Not Muslims, not Arabs. In fact, ideologically, Islam and Judiasm are very close. However, the conflict that arose between the two is purely territorial. It has nothing to do with religion.

I pray that a people that has been subjected to the horror of the holocaust would not perpetrate it against others.

Lastly, I’m glad you know the name of a few cities in the Arab world, however, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of the region and realize that Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt have all normalized relations with Israel and hardly constitute a “threat”.

Oh, and this “its your problem, not mine” thing you’ve got going – so juvenile.

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Lujayn - 14 Jul, '06

Loki, nobody said anything about giving them Gaza or West Bank or Golan Heights or Sinai. Those are non-negotiable. However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere. Five years ago, the people of Gaza were in a far better state. I don’t believe our pride should come at the expense of their lives.

Loki, nobody said anything about giving them Gaza or West Bank or Golan Heights or Sinai. Those are non-negotiable. However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere. Five years ago, the people of Gaza were in a far better state. I don’t believe our pride should come at the expense of their lives.

AntiApologists, I am not an apologist. I am trying to be a realist. I believe that there is something wrong with our approach, if after 58 years, we are no closer to a solution and the Palestinian people who we all are supposedly defending are in a far more miserable state than they were years ago. Do you really believe that these minor slaps are going to have any effect on the Israeli state? If we cannot do anything to change the course of events, then I believe we need to bow down and try a different strategy, until we develop ourselves into full citizens, not half-humans, not-half-citizens. I truly believe that we deserve the name you called us in the poem, only because we really are useless. We sit back and allow our fates to be decided by every tom, dick and harry, and we grumble a bit, then take it. We have no power, no say. However, judging by the many intelligent people conversing here and elsewhere in countless Arab blogs, I believe we do have control over one thing only in the Arab world and that is our ability to develop as intelligent, productive beings.

Can you imagine the force of 300 million educated and advanced Arabs in the Arab world? Right now we might as well be 300, for all the power we have. I am not advocating violence in any which way. If there is anything I believe strongly in, is that violence is not an option, it’s a loser’s tool. However, our power as productive, developed citizens will shrink Israel back to a normal size. It currently enjoys unimaginable financial and moral support, because it’s the “victim” in the midst of “hostile” nations. If we are no longer “hostile”, what makes Israel any more special than Madagascar?

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Lujayn - 14 Jul, '06

Sorry for the repetition.

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Btw..Ibn (long time no see), zionism originally was just a spiritual quest and Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, equated zionism with the search for heaven in christianity..but a spiritual one. Not an actual place for people to congregate in the afterlife, but a state of spiritual being in the here and now..as someone mentioned (might have been you), it’s been perverted..like so many things.
I also agree with your stance on Israel. It is a very very emotional one for many Jews even or especially those in the US an emotional one, less so with European Jews who are a bit more realistic. Menachim Begin was a terrorist and wanted by the British I think it was during the 20s or 30s..don’t remember. When Israel became a state and Begin was its prime minister scheduled for a visit to the UK, the officials had to quickly take him off the terrorist list to prevent ‘embarrasment’..too bad..
Ingrid

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Salman Al-Rahma - 14 Jul, '06

I can only say: well said Ibn

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Anonymous - 14 Jul, '06

Not all arabs are the same as bahrainis…we don’t buy US marines watches and laptops. From I heard, marines are going out with bahraini girls and their fathers like it.
why can’t you call yourself a pakistani or indian and not arab. you are insulting us.
And as described by an indian blogger: ” BAHRAIN -The Whore of Arabia.”
lOOK FOR YOURSELF:

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/06/20/042635.php

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billT - 14 Jul, '06

I think the two biggest mistakes in the past 20 years occurred recently. Hammas’s refusal to renounce terrorism and the US’s cutting off aid to Palestine. I’m so sick of the saving face routine. So people bleed and die again and face is saved.

billT

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

So people’s nerves are raw, everyone views this issue as very emotive and existential to all sides. May I suggest, please, stay off the personal attacks and keep on discussing ideas. I do not expect that the conversations we have here will solve the deep Palestinian/Israeli conflict, not by a long shot, but if it contributes to bringing both sides closer in their views by a single atom space, then I’m happy.

Thanks all for taking the time to comment.

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Faf LaRage - 14 Jul, '06

Mahmood:

How about Israel being another oppressor to add to the list of the internal oppressors such as the many dictators. the problem with your thesis is that it fails (deliberately, I think) to put things in context. Somehow, we the arab masses, are so sutpid and ignorant that we’re suckered into hating israel instead of concentating on our own problems. Now, how delusional is that when Israel kills on daily basis dozens upon dozens of people IT SAYS are “terrorists” ?? and has a long track of killing its enemies while deliberately ignoring the by-standers’ being harm’s way. Why should I be sympathetic to Israel or to its kidnapped and killed soldiers?? they’re not even civilians.

The problem is not a “pride” problem it is an issue of propotion and disproportion. Oh, by the way, speak for yourself, you don’t represent or speak for Arabs.

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Faf LaRage - 14 Jul, '06

Another thing, how come you’re silent on Israel’s Human Rights record??

Yeah, I forgot, the only democracy in the middle-east…… Oh no, my bad, I meant Cyprus.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

Could you re-read what I have originally written? Where does it say that I condone Israel’s barbarism, or that of any other oppressor and terrorist? Where does it even show my personal position on this conflict? But it seems that some simply want to attack rather than understand.

Debate, my friends, has the principal of trying to reach a conclusion with discussion. Not with personal attacks, not with raised voices, not with violence, and not with skewing the truth to suit you own argument.

So let me tell you very briefly what is at hand here, and again, the premise is discussion. If you want to continue to attack me rather than my ideas, then be my guest, you will only show yourself off rather than put me (or force me?) into a bad light:

1. Israel exists.
2. Palestinians have accepted its existance.
3. Arabs, by virtue of the King Abdulla’s plan, accepted its existance.
4. It is a fully fledged member of the United Nations.

These are all inescapable facts. If you want to persue an emotional path, then that’s your problem. The reality is that it exists, and the Palestinians themselves – who are the first party here – accept, condone, and recognise that fact.

Now, is the Israeli state saintly and without fault? No.
Is Hamas saintly? No.
Is Hizbollah saintly? No.
Is there any country or regime on earth saintly? No, of course not.

Are their transgressions by Israel against the Palestinians? Yes.
Are they fair in their actions? No.
Do they practice collective punishment? Yes.
Do they practice state-sponsored terror campains? Most definitely.
Do I condone their actions? No, nor do I condone violent actions by the various factions.

What’s the solution to this problem then?

Dialogue.

And that’s what we’re doing here.

So get off your soap box and get off your emotional masturbation, review the facts and debate objectively. Otherwise, save your own prejudices to yourselves regardless of where you stand on the divide. And don’t you dare put words in my mouth and do not even pretend to know me and my motives.

Have a wonderful Friday.

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jc - 14 Jul, '06

Too many people want to look like leaders, rather than be leaders.

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jc - 14 Jul, '06

Who’s hand is strengthened? Why, tis everyone (except for the government of Lebanon). Hamas, I think, is one of those political entities that gains popularity when it can point to the perfidity of the “other” (I suspect that Hamas prefers this to headlines about civil servants not being paid for three months). The current Israeli government surely must be happy because Hamas is nice and predictable (so was Nixon in the eyes of the USSR). Hezbollah is elated now that it can show strikes against the hated Zionist opressor, and then take credit for Israels withdrawl when this stupid operation is over. For Israel, shores up the bona-fides with American and Israeli conservatives by showing “bold, decisive action”, distracts everyone else. Its a win-win!

Unless you actually run Lebanon, in which case your response to violation of territorial soverignty has just been shown to be as limp as Rush Limbaugh before Viagra. Or are actually Palestinian, Israeli, Lebaneese, or have any personal or business interests in the Middle East at all.

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Faf LaRage - 14 Jul, '06

Mahmood:

You didn’t say one word about Israel’s barbarism in that posting, not one word. Besides, how is it that you frame the issue as if Israel’s existance was in question?? As a matter of fact, ALL the arab states have recognized israel’s right of existance either through diplomatic relationships or direct negociations (syria) or by virtue of their adherance to King Fahad’s peace initiative which, by the way, israel squarely rejected.

So much for dialogue, now, admitting for a second that the existance of Israel was somehow in question in the Arab states, What can they possibly do about it as it can soundly beat any combination of armies, alphabetically or out of order? How’s israel de facto existance related to stating the obvious: its disproportionate use of of violence and crimes and against civilians??Please, give me a break!!

Now, how come you didn’t deem it worthy of your time to point out that it is Israel that is rampaging left and right and exacting a huge human toll on the Palestinians and Lebanese?? you don’t see a story there, or it is Arabs “emotional masturbation” that is the story??

I thought that you’re a human rights activist, how can you remain silent when civilian are being collectively punished and killed by israel??

Too many quesitons, at least I appreciate you addressing my first message, others would have just erased the inconvient comments for it doesn’t look too good in the west to criticize israel; maybe it is a sign of arab “denial”.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

What break do you need? If you had bothered to read my article without blinkers, and without prejudgement you would have understood that I was addressing a single facet of this whole equation, but you happily inferred from it my position on a myriad of subjects which I had not come close to mentioning.

I understand that this whole issue hurts a lot, I recognise that. I also recognise that passion and the raw emotions associated with it. I; however, chose not to digress from an important issue which I have raised and you are more than welcome to debate it. Other than that, you’re more than welcome to write as much as you want and rant as much as people could take in your blog if you have one. Just don’t pour your own prejudices on me.

Get back to the issue.

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Anonymous - 14 Jul, '06

If you know any good Lebanese forums please post here.

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Faf LaRage - 14 Jul, '06

In other words, you can’t or wouldn’t respond to the raised issues. So much for human rights activism, you would not take a stand on what is going on, you’d rather criticize Hezbollah, but not a word on the indiscriminate killing israel has inflicted. Interesting sense of morality…

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

Ah, so it’s my criticism of HIzbollah which pushed your buttons then… and nothing else.

Ok, good. Now think objectively about their actions, the results, and how they are going to respond.

Do you like what you see? If so, then you might want to consider moving to Southern Lebanon for a while, rather than the precincts of that mighty North American river!

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Faf LaRage - 14 Jul, '06

Getting Ad-hominem here, nonetheless my point stands. It is your total silence on the suffering of the civilians that discredits you, by the way, a simple word of rememberance of the lebanese, palestinain and israeli civilian victims would have gotten you some credibility. Thank you though for taking the time to answer-or avoid answering- some tough questions.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

Let me repeat: Ok, good. Now think objectively about their actions, the results, and how they are going to respond.

As to the rememberence of the victims, I did, several times, over several years. But I guess you want to feel important enought to answer you specifically? Ok, re-read my articles here and you’ll find my position amply explained.

Now, let’s get back on track and answer the simple question above.

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Jett - 14 Jul, '06

What I would have like to have seen…one (1) Palestinian try to build a school in Gaza..or maybe a hospital. Since the Israeli’s pulled out how of Gaza how many Palestinians have tried to make it a better place? Oh yeah..none. No..they shot rockets out of Gaza…and build a tunnel to kidnap a soldier. Good freakin idea. It doesn’t matter that they probably couldn’t have built a hospital or school..but had they shown to the rest of the world they wanted to try instead of letting ski mask wearing fools launch rockets out of Gaza ..maybe the rest of the world would have a different opinion of the Palestinian plight.

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Lujayn - 14 Jul, '06

Jett, have you been to Gaza? do you speak from experience? People in Gaza are not war-crazy lunatics. They’re human beings just like you. And they build and develop DESPITE every attempt by the Israelis to drag them back down with continued assaults, massacres and aggression. I say despite, because the Israelis have done everything possible to strangle the Palestinian economy and their livelihood. Please say something meaningful, instead of regurgitating racist arguments.

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Solas - 14 Jul, '06

Hi everyone,
I’ve been a lurker here for some time and I don’t know whether me posting here is a good idea as I really do not want to add to the tensions but I’ll give it a go.

This is an emotive issue but that does not mean we should throw ourselves into this from that standpoint. Instead of he said- she said arguments we should be debating and discussing how to bring lasting peace and security for all parties. I think a good start would be a simple petition that would simply express the desire for peace and abhorrance to violence with no qualifying statements. Those that want peace should work to have that petition signed by the israeli people, the palestinian people, all the people in other arab states and let it build a momentum so that government ministers have to sit up and pay attention and if they’re smart they will also sign it. At this point I’m sure you think that I am a naive idiot but such a simple idea got the warmongers on either side of the Northern Ireland conflict to sit up and finally listen to the people whose lives they were playing with. It forced them to sit down and talk or face obseletion. That spawned the Good Friday agreement otherwise known as Sunningdale for slow learners :) A petition of this scale would take a massive amount of effort to get off the ground and actually work, so who wants to work for peace? Remember war is easy peace is hard.

Maybe my suggestion is stupid but I am looking to the future and thinking how can I make it a positive one because whatever some of you might think there can be no winners from a conflict like this, only losers. The sooner everybody realises this and stops the blame game, the sooner we can make a happy future.

ibn: with regard to your statement about Israel’s right to exist, I don’t think there is any problem in questioning any states right to exist but in your scenario where do you draw the statute of limitations? Is it ok for me to say I’ll throw out my protestant neighbours because I dont think their ancestors should have been in “my country” in the first place? Or lets get the Normans out of Britain?
Borders, countries and people are fluid, they change over time and despite what anyone says, borders are not drawn by god. I doubt the middle east’s clean straight borders will last forever, they will change just as they have before everywhere. Look at the lines of Europe, they make no sense but it works for most and when it doesn’t it will change. Countries do not have a right to exist, they just exist. It is people who have the right to exist. At the moment borders are negotiated through violence in the future that will negotiated through talks, where liberal democracies will talk to other liberal democracies. That is the future.

Lujayn: while I don’t agree with what Jett was saying or certainly the tone at least, it is not fair to call it racist nor is it fair to disqualify him from an opinion because he has not been to Gaza. This shuts down discussion and both sides only talk among themselves. It is counter-productive

Sorry for the long post and I’m not here to attack anyone, just give my opinions

Great blog by the way Mahmood!

Solas

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The Way Forward - 14 Jul, '06

“Countries do not have a right to exist, they just exist. It is people who have the right to exist.” That is a good point.

Let me add one thing,
if Isreal wants peace, I recommend allowing ALL native people to return to their home land, and treat them under the civil rights, all are equal, not based on relgion or anything else, stop the naturisation process, make the constitution agreed by all sectors, arabs and non arabs, regardless of the religion. So one country for all…

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abaC - 14 Jul, '06

Your article has touched me.
I whish your voice of reason will spread in the Arab world.
I served as a soldier in Gaza where Arafat came in.
The people where vary happy and cry “now we have a state”
Since then billiards of dollars came to the Palestinian and what they do with it?
Build school, factories, and parks for children? No!!!!!!!!!!
They will rather starve and buy more guns.
We also buy guns, but we also build, and think how to make the future better for our children.
Now I am a father.
And if I will have to go to war I will go to defend my family.
But every day i think how I can teach my girl, how can I make her happy.
That’s why we move forward and most of the Arabs stay foot.
We have a say “he who run after pride ‘ the pride runs away from him” and the poor Arab leaders always run after the pride…

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Anonymous - 14 Jul, '06

hi all
its nice to see people can talk freely and chat though the situation.
no one here in israel hate lebanonise,more than that,we see lebanon people the real peace seekers and toerd of wars.
the problem with your poor country is that christians hate the muslims,and muslims fanatics are rolling you by the suport of syria.
we just want a clean boarder with no missiles on us with no reason!!
israel gave lebanon her lands as the UN asked for,but steel,there are some terror groups that want us to extinced,and just cant get enough.
its not a war against lebanon,WE WANT PEACE!!!
we are more tierd than you from all this situation belive me.
take out hizbullah from your country,they are only 4000 soilidgers and your army is 75000.
the army should be on the border and not terror groups.
i pray for you saftey as i pray for my family.
i wish one day we can all sit together and hug each other.
WE ARE ALL PEOPLE!!!
asher

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sunrunner - 14 Jul, '06

History is toxic. It keeps one stuck in the past, when the past doesn’t really exist at all. Just look at the clock. Look at a Calender. We are all here now.

And I am afraid that until ALL of us learn that, we will continue to re-enact the pain and suffering of the past. We have become a world filled with children. “I can hit him because he hit me.” That is the logic of a child.

So for me, the question is, what do we do with what exists NOW. Based on what is right now. What is the best way forward? This is a difficult questions, more difficult than deciding what to do based on the past, because it requires that all involved be willing to grow up and leave the past behind. It requires that all of us be willing to embrace the idea of change. None of us are innocent (only children are) . . . and I will also say that is something that is “right” for me isn’t also “right” for anyone else, it is wrong. In other words, my “right” to hate the “other” is just as wrong as their hatred for me. Hatred is hatred is hatred. And it only begets more.

And indeed the world is changing (whether or not we like it or want it) very quickly. The question is, whether or not we humans can find the inner resources and the courage to embrace this change, rather than fight it. If we can embrace that things MUST change, then I sincerely believe that is possible to discover new ways to learn to live together. If we don’t we will only suceed in destroying each other.

We are indeed ALL people. And none of us are perfect, so it logically follows that we have no right to “blame” others for their lack of perfection. We need to not only forgive each other, but we need to forgive ourselves and just move on. With courage, compassion and hopefully informed with just a little more wisdom.

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kjds - 14 Jul, '06

הגיע הזמן לחסל את הטרור הערבי

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mark - 14 Jul, '06

i would like to join those from israel calling for a dialogue between the nations, via blogs and the network.
i believe, as an israeli, that we’re into this whole deep shit mainly because of those people holding power in israel and in the hezbollah.
i believe that as human beings, christians, jews, muslims and aetheists, we should, and could, co operate and make the middle east a beautiful place.
call me naive, call me whatever. i do believe so.
i happened to meet a few lebanese abroad, we can co-operate much better as human beings than as the entity of are nationality is forcing us to. we can understand each other so much better than we can understand europeans (but that only comes from my experience), and we can live a great life of peace between ourselves, without our poor governments and organizations of fanatics forcing us to live in constant sorrow.
let us prove the world that a country consists of people and not of high chiefs and artillery assaults.
we can make a change, co-operating, rather than hating and fearing each other.
israelis do not want to conquer the middle east.
we do not want to kill and destroy.
we want to live and support our families quietly, like all human beings.
and we also do not want to force suffer and pain on our neighbours.
let us prove that the thing postponing it is the leaders.
i think i have said enough. i am sorry if i am not coherent or repetative too much.
it’s a burst of feelings and emotions.
thanks, and sorry,
mark

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patti - 14 Jul, '06

no hizbollah know peace……no hamas know peace….. this should be a mantra for lebanon palestine and isreal may peace find them all

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Solas,

ibn: with regard to your statement about Israel’s right to exist, I don’t think there is any problem in questioning any states right to exist but in your scenario where do you draw the statute of limitations? Is it ok for me to say I’ll throw out my protestant neighbours because I dont think their ancestors should have been in “my country” in the first place? Or lets get the Normans out of Britain?

The Statute of limitations. I assume you are talking about Palestinian refugees (and their decendants) from the 1948 war. In this case, it was the Israeli state that put the original refugees into their current predicament. Because the world didnt help their decendants, is not something we can demand. You cant demand someone help someone else. Its inhumane, yes, but you cannot demand it. But we can demand that Israel (which still exsits) allow the refugees that they originally kicked out (some of which still exist) to come back in, because both of those entities still exist. Thats the first part. So as far as the statute of limitations goes, yes, I believe one can make the argument that say, after x number of decades, the great-great-great-decendants of the original 1948 refugees have no claim, but we are not at that stage yet. Your Protestant neighbours go back 4 centuries. We are still talking about 4 decades.

But there is a second more important point to the statute of limitations in this context. I predicted that someone would bring it up, so I waited. Here is what you also have to remember:

One of the traps of the statute of limitations here, is that eventually over time, we will be forced to say “ahh, forget about it. It happened so long ago.” and move on. Correct? We will say: “Israel came, now they are here, ahh what the hell.” No doubt the Israelis will be very very happy. But here is the problem: If the Israelis dont even acknowledge that their country was founded on violence, ..then…

…what garuantee do we have it will not happen again? What garuantee do we have, that in the year 2046, Israel will not AGAIN decide to redraw its borders through violence, just as in 1948? And what garuantee do we have that Israel will not do the same in 2132? In fact, what garuantee do we have, that another beaten up sect from, say, Indonesia will ride on Israel’s example and decide that it is going to set up a national homeland in Bahrain? “Afterall, if Israel could do it, why cant we?” is what they would ask. So a precedent has now been set:

Israel’s Precedent:

*If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.*

Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.

If yes, then you must agree that Israel immediately face consequences for the crimes it has commited, indeed, for its illigitimacy. Among those would be reinstatement of ALL refugees it has kicked out over the period of 60 years, and a nice big fat cash bill to all the families of all those people who have had a family member killed by her. Thats a good start.

If no, then we cannot raise one PEEP about what Hezbollah and what the Palestinians are doing. Know why? Because just as Israel redrew its borders through violence in 1948, so too are the Palestinians trying to redraw their borders with violence in 2006.

Pick one.

-Ibn

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Jared in NYC - 14 Jul, '06

Can’t really add anything useful, so I’m just dropping in to voice my support for Jonathan, Lujauyne, Mahmood, and any others I’ve missed who support the spirit of truthfulness, realism, and respectful dialog.

Jared

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Loki - 14 Jul, '06

“What’s the solution to this problem then?

Dialogue”

right, you mean like the dialogue atCamp David, Oslo, and the “road map.” Israel is not interested in dialogue. Every cease fire was broken by Israel assisinating (sorry, did I say assisinating? I meant targetted killing) a member of Hamas, Fath,etc when the retaliation in the form of a suicide bomber occurs, THEN it gets the world’s attention. Dialogue is great for the side that has a veto-excersizing super power backing it all the way. I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, dialogue has been tried and tested and shown to be ineffective.

Clearly, Hamas , Hizb, etc have done themselves no favors in many of their militant activities. But frankly, who the hell are we to go telling them to turn the cheek for some imaginary moral high ground? When you’re houses get destroyed, you’re children imprisoned or killed (accidently by the IDF with gun shot wounds to the head and chest!?), when everything you own is seized, when relatives are separated by a “fence” (which brings to mind images of the Berlin “fence”) and all the while you were holding on to the olive branch.Then, you might consider that the pursuit of a perceived moral high ground to be of a pointless (and rather painful) exercise.

You can have all the dialogue you want, and you know what? allot of people want dialogue, the palestinians want it, the arabs want it, even the Israeli public want it. Just one problem, the Israeli government has never been interested and this won’t change in the foreseeable future.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

Ibn said:

If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.*

Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.

I’m afraid that logic appears faulty. If not, then virtually no country in the world has the right to exist:

Bahrain: 250 year or so, a raiding tribe came in from the Arabian Peninsula, via Zubara in modern day Qatar, invaded Bahrain, used violence to perpetrate their rule.

So is the regime illigitimate after 250 years? Should Bahrain – based on the fact that it was taken under a violent raid, has no right to exist.

Ok, let’s take an even more recent country, not 25 kilometers to our west: Saudi Arabia: by most accounts it’s only some 70 years old, and it was amalgamated under violence, in which some estimate more than 500,000 people perished due directly to the vilence employed by Al-Saud to initiate and then perpetuate their rule. Does Saudi Arabia – in this context – have a right to exist?

If you (not you Ibn, you’re much more intelligent than that, but others) are going to come back to me now and call me an “apologist”, save your breath, I wouldn’t care what you think. But if you can find fault in this premite, then please correct me objectively.

Like most people on earth, I’m here to learn.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

Loki said:

Just one problem, the Israeli government has never been interested and this won’t change in the foreseeable future.

Ok, how do you think it best to solve this particular problem? Leave everything else, everything. Just tell me, how would YOU solve this particular problem?

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Solas - 14 Jul, '06

Hi Ibn thanks for your reply,

I wasn’t particularly talking about the refugee issue, more about how far we are willing to go back in history to deal with the present. If I was talking about the refugee issue I would hardly go back as far as the Normans in order to draw a parallel. Although I agree with you on the refugee issue, it still begs the question of where is the line drawn?

Whether we like it or not, in reality there is a statute of limitations in play, only nobody is quite sure where to draw the line. I appreciate what you are saying about the precedent being set by Israel, but with all due respect Israel was not the first such case nor do I think it will be the last (why I think that is, is a discussion for another day). In this respect there is nothing stopping anyone (as per your example) from taking over anywhere if they had the power anyway. Precedent or no precedent. Almost every year I have to buy a new map, but this is no break from the past. In such a situation there are three possible options:

1. Ultimate victory for one side
2. Protracted conflict
3. Negotiation and accommodation

In this conflict no one has won an ultimate victory, protracted conflict is not working for either and is causing misery, so in my book we are left with negotiation and accommodation. Where would you start? would you advise any accommodation on the Palestinian side?

Of course all of the above is pointless if you view Israel as illegitimate and are waiting for it to disappear or for the UN to put back everything the way it was. This is highly unlikely. If you want to set good precendents for the future, getting rid of the UN would be a good first step. It is a safe haven for tyrants and dictators which makes it virtually impossible to intervene on behalf of the weak or be a force of unbiased good anywhere.

I don’t believe in your either/or ultimatum. Israel can negotiate on all the above without saying that it shouldn’t exist. As for the second option, I don’t believe the Palestinians are capable militarily of forcibly redrawing its borders, so instead of victory we have protracted conflict – nobody wants that.

What future do you see for the conflict if you could draw it yourself?

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

“Do you like what you see? If so, then you might want to consider moving to Southern Lebanon for a while, rather than the precincts of that mighty North American river”

A lot of people here that are cheering on Hezbollah for what they’ve done are very much detached from the situation in terms of geography, and connected in terms of ideology and a sense of a shared historical identity. – I wonder if they’d feel the same way had the situation been much closer to home, friends and family.

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Sorry, forgot to cite the quote was from Mahmood. :)

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

It appears that there was a demonstration in support of Hizbollah after the Diraz Friday prayers, judging by the amount of empty water bottles and cartons on the Saar roundabout and the thrown bottles between it and the Diraz roundabout. I unfortunately came after the fun has already ended as I would have loved to take some pictures. No doubt we’ll see them in the papers tomorrow.

There wasn’t any such impromptu demonstration for the last two weeks in support of Hamas in Gaza, or against Israel, as far as I can remember during this particular phase of hostilities.

I wonder why?

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

You might be interested to hear what a Palestinian intellectual, whom I had the honour of meeting a couple of times, has to say about the issue at hand:

http://daoudkuttab.com/?item=perspective-narratives

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Anonymous - 14 Jul, '06

the issue here is not whether or not the state of israel has the right to exist, it does, un fait accompli. Its about how the israeli’s and arabs wish to continue living with each other’s presence. Both parties have used violence & terrorism and continue to do so. Israel used it and continue to do so in order to gain and keep their existence while the arabs have used it and are using it to defend their interests.

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jasra jedi - 14 Jul, '06

whats next? syria or iran?

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Solas,

I wasn’t particularly talking about the refugee issue, more about how far we are willing to go back in history to deal with the present.

How far back does your credit-union/bank go into your history to deal with that housing loan you want to take out in the present?

Although I agree with you on the refugee issue, it still begs the question of where is the line drawn?

Like I said earlier, both Israel, and the refugees it kicked out in 1948 are still in existance, as of today. Both players are still in existance. Thus, the concept of Justice can still be applied as it pertains to both players. So I am not saying the statute of limitations has no limit in this case. Wherever it is in time, I know that we definately havent reached that limit yet.

I appreciate what you are saying about the precedent being set by Israel, but with all due respect Israel was not the first such case nor do I think it will be the last.

In ancient history, yes. In Modern 20th century history, there was a major push by the (some) countries in the West, to put an end to the constant un-ending wars that were plaguing mankind from the beginning of time. Naturally, one of those things that had to end was the forcefull seizure of territories. They even saw the Genava conventions be written up in that century. So there was a MAJOR push, to elevate mankind from constant war, to civility. With that, comes precedent. The last three countries to try that policy were met with total annihilation: Germany, Italy, and Japan. All three had taken it upon themselves to forcefully take territory, based on some form of nationalism.

So when you state…

In this respect there is nothing stopping anyone (as per your example) from taking over anywhere if they had the power anyway. Precedent or no precedent.

…that is wrong, because the precedent has made an impact. Chezkoslovakia redrew its own borders peacefully, into Chezk Republic and Slovak. The UAE settled its own territorial disputes with Qatar and Oman peacefully. This is precedent in the works. Had this been 100 years ago, all those scenarios would have involved a war of some kind. So yes, precedent makes a difference. And as I said before, Israel has set a precedent that is contrary to the motions undertaken in the 20th century.

So your last statement about “there is nothing stopping anyone anywhere from taking over a territory” is, I am sorry to say, BS. This planet is simple AWASH in countries that make the power to turn Earth into a cinderblock, yet cannot, because of their underlying ideologies. Your statement here is BS because you also fail to take their past performances into account. When was the last time Switzerland invaded anyone? Yet I am sure they have sufficient capabilities to do some real damage. The last time Mongolia bothered anyone was 1000 years ago when Genghis Khan decided to take over Europe and Asia. We havent heard from the Mongolians since. And we also havent heard from the Norwegians ever since they sent Vikings over to kill Englishmen. Norway today can do alot of damage, but:

1) They do not have that a modern history report of forcefull territorial acquisition.
2) They follow the precedent set off for the 20th century.
3) Their country’s ideology and constitution is not an exclusivist borderline-racist ideology like Zionism.

So yes, precedent makes a difference. And looking at a country’s past actions makes a difference. And yes, looking at a country’s current constitution and laws makes a difference. (A big debate inside Israel right now is “what to do when the Arab population inside Israel becomes more than the Jewish population”. Wow. An ethino-demographic nightmare. Surely the stuff of free democracies.

In this conflict no one has won an ultimate victory, protracted conflict is not working for either and is causing misery, so in my book we are left with negotiation and accommodation.

I think you are confusing the moral stance with the tactical stance. Seeing as how the Palestinians are currently outgunned, it is probably tactically smart and correct to accomodate the Israelis. (And I say probably because maybe I havent considered all possible strategies yet). But by virtue of Israel being illigitimate and criminal to begin with, it is morally correct to fight them.

So:

Tactically: Accomodate. Just as how you accomodate a robber when he points a gun at you and asks you for your money.
Morally: Do not accomodate. Resist and fight. Just as how it would be morally correct for you to fight the destroy the robber.

If you want to set good precendents for the future, getting rid of the UN would be a good first step.

Agreed. The fact that Saudi Arabia is on the human rights commission is a joke. And besides, it was a UN-mandated vote that gave the Zionists the green light to mark their invasion of Palestine and the catastrophe that lead to its foundation in 1948.

Israel can negotiate on all the above without saying that it shouldn’t exist.

Israel, as state governed by Zionism, is illegitimate and should not exist. Should Israel convert to a different ideology, I would support its right to exist. For example, South Africa during the apartied era, had no right to exist as a state, as as such was illegitimate. However since then, it has mended its ways, and ridded itself of its exclusivist Aryan-only ideology. So today, I have no problem with South Africa, as it has become a ligitimate nation, which I plan to visit some day. Should Israel rid itself of its own exclusivist Jew-only ideology, I too will support it. (Option “yes” in my previous post). Until that happens, I will not be spending one dime of my tourist dollars on it. Ill go to South Africa instead.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 14 Jul, '06

JJ: not Syria for God’s sake… not tonight, let my lovely young niece Yara, her paternal grandmother and aunt – who were visiting their relatives in Southern Lebanon and then attempting to holiday on the mountain – finally get extricated from Lebanon via Damascus to come to Bahrain first before that country is annihilated!

They’ve been in a bus on the road now since 10am this morning and we are all praying for their and everyone else’s safety.

And welcome back! I missed you.

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neri - 14 Jul, '06

Ibn got his history wrong, the arab states (all 6 at the time) opposed the partition of 1947 in the U.N and declared war on Israel. If the mufti of Jerusalem (in Beirut that year with exiles from mandatory Palestine) choose to recognize a small jewish state with Jerusalem internationalized the fate of the Palestinians would have been other. The Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Barak as prime minister in 1999 offered Arafat more than symbolic recognition in the right of return regarding 50,000 refugees in to the state of Israel plus the division of Jerusalem and a Palastinian state under Abu Mazan Beilin formula. Arafat failed to deliver pusing center left Israelis out of power. This was the government to pull out of Lebanon under strong criticism As for the Lebanese – Israeli border it has been the most stable since 1948 or maybe as early as the post world war 1 era. Israeli over reaction always appears with what we concieve as a justified cause that rests on our unique psychlogy combind with the normal dynamics of ethnic conflicts. Ibn is wrong expansionism is limited to a very small group of religious settelers. one side effect of recent events is the delay in more disengagements that open way for some soulotion in the long run. With referance to 2046 i hope all of as will be able to be more relaxed about borders and nation states it looks gloom tonight.

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bikeshed - 14 Jul, '06

yowza! there’s been some action going on here, eh?

What happened to eric and his canadian bitumen theory? The reason they are refining bitumen from solid form is because it has only recently become economical due to the current price of oil, and anyway, refining it is too inefficient to be reliable source of energy. And what is up with the Dr Strangelove schtick – scary –

Mark, seriously, I hear you, man. Keep up those bursts and I will believe we can actually get somewhere…lets get it on…

A shout out to mahmood for his excellent electronic salon. I believe they call it manifest destiny.

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Ibn: “Israel’s Precedent: *If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.* Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.”

Isn’t this really Islam’s precedent? After all, virtually the entire Islamic world has been taken from others by force. Muslims forcefully took over the Mediterranean basin from the Christians and others, killed and chased off its inhabitants, and then held on to it. It worked for them. Many Muslims even believe that Spain/Andalusia still belongs to them after the Christians chased them back out after a few centuries of Muslim occupation. In fact, Israel and Palestine were Christian countries before the Muslims took them by force.

So, Ibn, is this the precedent you want to set? Yes or no? Or do you exclude Muslims from this particular moral objection of yours? Perhaps you would claim that since the Muslims have held on to their stolen land for so long that it’s rightfully theirs, eh?

Ibn: “If yes, then you must agree that Israel immediately face consequences for the crimes it has commited, indeed, for its illigitimacy. Among those would be reinstatement of ALL refugees it has kicked out over the period of 60 years, and a nice big fat cash bill to all the families of all those people who have had a family member killed by her. Thats a good start.”

And the Arab Muslim countries would reinstate all the Jews they have kicked out over the last sixty years, too, right? And the Arab Muslim countries would pay for all the infidels they have killed, right? I have a list of 2985 people killed on Sep 11 murdered by Muslim nutcases in the pay of Muslim countries which would make a good start for these payments you crave in the name of justice. I’m sure their families would accept it in twenties.

Steve

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Solas - 14 Jul, '06

Ibn,

You’re splitting hairs with me now and arguing with me about things I agree with you. Mahmood explained best what I meant by illegitimacy and a statute of limitations. As regards precendent, I am actually aware of the 20th century and I benefitted much from it, thank you. However, when the world is divided into two camps: one of universal freedoms for all and another for tin pot thugs, I don’t feel safe with precedent. Moral arguments are for those who at least appreciate morality.

Ibn, there was no need to call what I said BS or be condescending, besides the fact that its not a valid argument, it is impolite. I have been polite while addressing you, I expect the same back.

Solas

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abaC - 14 Jul, '06

I don’t know who you are.
I don’t hate you for what you said that my country is illegitimate.
If you are full of hate, it’s your problem.

If you can see me as a human that can be your friend, o.k. .
If you try to harm me, I will defend myself.

I’m spending most of my time in making a better future for me and my family.

I advise you to do the same instead of life full of hate because it will take you nowhere.
Just see what’s going in Iraq between Arabs, the same as in Ireland between Christians.

Read some history and see if you can take the will back.
Should the Indians try to kill all American and Spanish for what they did?
Should the Scottish try to kill all English for taking Scotland 400 years ago?
Should black people try to kill all white people for killing them and robbing all treasures of Africa for centuries?

Be reasonable. Israel is a fact. Let’s try to live together instead of being right.

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abaC - 14 Jul, '06

its meant for ibn

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

Solas,

You’re splitting hairs with me now and arguing with me about things I agree with you.

Solas, I am vocalizing my responses to you. To the extent that you agree with them, great! Perhaps now you can join me in condemning Israel, and its right to exist! :)

Ibn, there was no need to call what I said BS or be condescending, besides the fact that its not a valid argument, it is impolite. I have been polite while addressing you, I expect the same back.

Come now. I have not called you anything. I happen to think that statement of yours is BS. The statement. Not you. Please know that it is that particular statement that I think is widely inaccurate and BS. So far you seem to be polite and a good debater. So please do not take it personally. …I think you are a good person to talk to.. :)

Mahmood explained best what I meant by illegitimacy and a statute of limitations.

I will be addressing him in the next post.

As regards precendent, I am actually aware of the 20th century and I benefitted much from it, thank you. However, when the world is divided into two camps: one of universal freedoms for all and another for tin pot thugs, I don’t feel safe with precedent. Moral arguments are for those who at least appreciate morality.

You claim you do not feel safe with precedent, yet also claim that you owe your current life to it.

But I am glad that you benefited from 20th century precedent of going against forcefull territorial acquisitions. Unfortunately, many Palestinians did not have that pleasure. And they did not have that pleausre as you or I because they did not benefit from that precedent. Rather, they were victims to a new country that went against that precedent.

To the extent that you do not feel good with tin pot dictators either, also has alot to do with precedent. Afterall, they do not follow precedent. That is what makes them outcasts. In this case, the precedent is a good thing, (no to forcefull territorial acquisitions), thereby making them bad. And again, just as those dictators do not follow precedent, neither does Israel, not its foundation, and not its ethno-centric laws, or constitution. In fact, their Jew-only ideology Zionism has more in common with early European colonial racist ideologies, than with modern liberal democratic institutions. And they call themselves “free and democratic”. And this is the 21st century.

I look forward to you commenting on the rest of my previous post.

-Ibn

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mahmood - 14 Jul, '06

abaC said:

I don’t know who you are.
I don’t hate you for what you said that my country is illegitimate.
If you are full of hate, it’s your problem.

…and the burglar said: (taken from my previous post:)

**************************
Burglar: “Peace! I offer peace! How about you live in the basement, and ill live in the rest of the house?”

I say: “F*** you, get out of my house.”

The burglar replies: “Why do you hate me? why do you hate my race? you only hate! See! He cant even agree to peace! He just wants violence! Ahh! I get it! He wants to commit violence against me because im Jewish! War monger! Hate monger!”
**************************

I dont hate you for your race abaC. I am not a racist. I have a couple good Jewish friends.

I dont hate you for your religious orientation abaC. I am not a fundamentalist.

I hate you, abaC, for taking an oath of allegiance to a country that came into existance on the biggest territorial burglary known to our times. You have sworn allegiance to this entity, and you were a soldier in its army, holding a gun, in her name, being one more pawn in the executive branch of a nation whose ideology is Zionist. You held a gun, to defend a country that subsribes to an exclusivist Jew-only ideology. You defended the burglary. You defended a modern “democratic” nation that debates what it must do when the number of Arabs outnumbers the number of Jews. You picked up a gun, in the defence of this sickening reality.

THAT is why I hate you.

—————————————

What more do you want me to say to you? Do you want me to ask you how you could live in good conscience in a Israeli town like Haifa, in houses on mount Carmel whose true owners live 20 miles to your east in squalor, while you wine and dine in them? Do you want me to ask you this?

If you want to talk about peace, talk to me about what you plan to do about those owners sitting in Nablus right now, and how you plan to petition your government to re-instate them, or at the very least, compensate them. Talk to me about how you, an Israeli, plan on going on national television, and claim that ethno-demographic debates on the number of Arabs inside Israel is disgusting, and not the speech of free countries. Talk to me about how you plan to implement checks and balances inside Israel such that forcefull territorial acquisitions by Israel become a thing of the past.

Oh whats that? You dont want to? Ok, so what do you want to talk about then? The weather? Nice hot travel spots? Work? Women? Would you rub elbows with a former SS soldier? I sure wouldnt. Would you hob-nob with a convicted burglar, who destroyed lives and property? I wouldnt. I dont respect such people. I cannot respect them. I hate them. And its justified.

Does such hate swallow me? No. I do not think of them all day. I prefer doing other things that I enjoy. Reading books. Going to school. Playing soccer with my buddies. Chasing girls. One day when I have a family, I will concentrate on them too, and not worry myself too much on the affairs of the world. So you do not need to worry your little head about my “hating”.

I control my justified hate. It doesnt control me.

-Ibn

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gerry - 15 Jul, '06

You are right this was not such a a smart move – we should leave Israel alone

Israeli Jets Strike Hezbollah Targets in Southern Beirut

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sunrunner - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

Everyone who hates feels “justified.” And while much hatred is ‘understandable’ — in the end, “justified” hatred is just as destructive as “unjustified” hatred (I won’t even begin to try to differentiate between the two).

My personal opinion is that the creation of the state of Israel was a collosal disaster, not only for the Arabs who once did and still do live their, but for the Jewish people as well. But mistakes generally can’t be undone, particularly when they are almost 60 years in the making. And if 60 years of bloddshed has shown us anything, it is that it won’t be undone through violence.

At some point, we all have to grow up and deal with the facts on the ground. Israel is “there.” So are many Palestinian people. Somehow the violence has to stop. Then — and only then, can other questions be addressed.

Will peace be perfect? Never in this situation. But at least it would be peace and a good place to begin.

Like you, I think that the idea of a “Jewish” state is inherently racist and unjust, just as I think that the plight of women in Saudi Arabia is sexist and unjust (on some level I think the idea of national borders is silly, even though I see the “practical” necessity in the current world) — and in my mind one is as bad as the other. While I don’t believe that Israel will ever dissapear in yours or my lifetime, I do think that perhaps, after a period of peace, the zionist part of it could be fixed. I personally know many Israelis who are uncomfortable with that idea, though they (like me) firmly believe that the Jews who live their now should have the right to stay and like the Palestinians, live in peace.

But war and violence will never create a just and equitable life in either place. It will only generate more trauma — particularly in the children who are so vulnerable. People need the opportunity to develop secure lives for themselves and their children before they can even think of “opening” their minds. That takes time, education, and I submit a certain degree of prosperity. And freedom from violence.

My gut feeling is that the extremists on both sides of the equation are desperate to keep this conflict going. And so hizbollah kidnaps soldiers and Israel bombs a nation and voila, another generation of violent extremists are born. Just in time to keep the memories of trauma and pain alive (which is always what is behind hatred) for another 20 years or so.

In my youth, there was a slogan, “you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.” Never more apt than now when we are living in world in which great powers and terrorists fight each other down to the lowest slimy common denominator.

As for reparations, something needs to be done about the large number of virtually stateless Palestinians, not all of whom will ever fit into the West Bank and Gaza. The entire world community needs to take that one on board and pony up with cash and offers of citizenship — since in some respects the entire world community is responsible for allowing and aiding and abetting an intenuous situation.

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sunrunner - 15 Jul, '06

I meant to type untenable.

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AntiApologists - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

You’re awesome man. Keep up the good arguments. It’s good to see more and more people who’ve actually sat down and read serious scholarly work on this subject and who are able to expose Israel for what it is: a racist settler colonial state that, unfortunately to them and all kudos to the palestinians, has not been able to kill off the spirit of the indiginous population yet as other settler colonial states have done.

To those who keep comparing Israel’s actions to Spanish inquisitions or other colonialists in the past. Good! You can identify Israel as a colonising country! Perfect! That’s the main argument against it! The fact that back then European colonialists were not held accountable to what they did does not make it right! It was atrocious and disgusting! And it is seriously misguided to try to and to say the atrocities that happened in Palestine are somehow something in the past that should be left there. They are ever continuing, and rightfully should be condemned, resisted against, and eliminated. Just take a look at the policies of “Judaizing the Galilee”, “Judaizing the Negev”, the Jewish National Fund land policies, the laws allowing anyone with Jewish decent to become Israeli, while not allowing any Palestinians the right of return. In fact, an Arab Israeli is not allowed to naturalize his wife, even if she was born right across the border in Ramallah!

Of course, these are only serious violations against Palestinians with Israeli passports. Palesitinians in the west bank or gaza fare even worse. More than 300 checkpoints in the West Bank alone (can you imagine that???), a wall that completely encloses and envelopes a community as if they are a plague to be contained in a small piece of land, and a policy of bantustanization reminiscent of that in Sourth Africa. This is not to mention the regular killings, imprisonment, and torture in prison of Palestinians. I stress, these are all present-day continuous atrocities; one does not even has to hark back to the 1948 nakba or other atrocities.

We can all help in playing our part in ending one of the most disgusting, enduring, and continuing oppressions of the modern age. To anyone sympathetic with the Palestinian plight on a humanistic level, I urge you to visit this website and go to the section called Resources: Palestine.

http://www.endisraeliapartheid.net/

Obviously it’s pro-Palestinian (and proud of it!!). It has well researched and detailed articles, fact sheets, and maps about the ongoing human crisis in Palestine. If anything, it also lends us heart to know that there are lots of Arab students out there who are able to produce such well researched, thought provoking, and smart material on the subject. Hopefully there are many more to emerge, which is how we will eventually win this mother of all struggles, hopefully as well as winning the other struggles against injustices in the Arabic world. After all, knowledge is what will give us the power!

In the end, a quote from leila khalid:

‘In today’s world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. You are either on the side of the oppressors, or the side of the oppressed.’

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

File this under “Be Careful What You Wish For”:

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah threatens Israel on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television: “You wanted an open war, and we are heading for an open war. We are ready for it.”

It looks like the only thing Hezbollah is ready for is to get the crap beat out of it.

Nasrallah: “You (Israelis) must take responsibility for what your government has done. You will soon discover how stupid and foolish your new government is.”

Somehow, Israel doesn’t look like the stupid, foolish, irresponsible party to this conflict. When Hezbollah kept lofting rockets into Israel neighborhoods, did they think they would respond with a thank you note and a nice fruit basket?

Nasrallah again: “The surprises that I have promised you will start now. Now in the middle of the sea, facing Beirut, the Israeli warship that has attacked the infrastructure, people’s homes and civilians – look at it burning. It will sink and with it will sink scores of Israeli Zionist soldiers. This is just the beginning.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, it appears a Hezbollah rocket hit an Israeli ship but caused little damage. Looks like Nasrallah is playing Hezbollah’s Baghdad Bob. Next thing you know, Nasrallah will be announcing Israel’s defeat as Israeli tanks cruise in the background.

Nasrallah again: “I promise you a new victory, just as I always have.”

Looks like Nasrallah is full of promises. Old Nasrallah is sounding a lot like Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War Mother of All Battles, promising victory while running for his life. The next step is for Hezbollah to define victory down like Saddam where victory doesn’t mean victory but rather it means not completely losing.

Steve

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Solas - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

I understand that you called a statement BS and it is not a personal attack. I just do not like that style of debate, especially on emotive issues because I think it is a slippery slope, that is all. I never take debate personally, but I do enjoy them.

I am not clear about where you stand on the right of return. Do you want the right of return of refugees and their decendents? If so should this be an amnesty situation, as in a one time opportunity and not something someone can do 50 years from now?

Yes Ibn I fully agree with you, that the 20th century advancements in democracy, human rights. WWII was in my opinion one of the most just wars ever fought. It is great that many countries will now consider peasceful settlement of disputes an attractive alternative to all out war. Some countries who have the power to do so, do not wage wage because of their ideologies like you say, while others consider the trade-off not to be worth the effort.

When was the last time Switzerland invaded anyone? Yet I am sure they have sufficient capabilities to do some real damage. The last time Mongolia bothered anyone was 1000 years ago when Genghis Khan decided to take over Europe and Asia. We havent heard from the Mongolians since. And we also havent heard from the Norwegians ever since they sent Vikings over to kill Englishmen.

I did not think I would have to explain this. Obviously, countries have to have intent as well as power. If I am going to sit down and eat a meal, I will need both food and an appetite. What’s your point? I wasn’t exactly losing sleep over Genghis Khan.

I agree with you that racial or religious based citizenship is disgusting. Israel does not stand out in the region for that though. Naturalisation is not an exactly free and fair process in the Arab world. I denounce all such racial citizenship in the region, you should too.

Tactically: Accomodate. Just as how you accomodate a robber when he points a gun at you and asks you for your money.
Morally: Do not accomodate. Resist and fight. Just as how it would be morally correct for you to fight the destroy the robber.

First of all I dislike using these analogies because it is putting everything on your terms. If you are robbed you either accomodate or resist, you can’t do both. Germany, Italy and Japan were all dealt with within a reasonable time frame. You view Israel as the same, but they were not dealt with at any time. How much back pay do you propose giving them? What will you do with all the Israel’s citizens? You said yourself that if they changed their racial citizenship you would support them. I say excellent! This is a brilliant opportunity for you to launch a campaign encouraging all states in the region to abandon racial citizenship

You claim you do not feel safe with precedent, yet also claim that you owe your current life to it.

You are trying to make this seem contradictory, it is not. Liberal democracy flourished around me and I benefitted. Unfortunately this is only one part of the world, and it is not enough, all people are entitled to it. I believe that these are universal values that should spread to the entire world, and even then there is always going to be threats from the power hungry and there’s not much precedent will do about that.

No I will not say Israel has no right to exist. This is not the way forward, this is not the future. I really don’t think there is a future in saying Israel has no right to exist, you do, but apart from that I dont know what you want from the future. A two state solution with peace and reconciliation talks and compensation? the destruction of Israel?

I’m sorry I don’t have enough time to address you post in more detail, but I’m slightly preoccupied.

Solas

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milter - 15 Jul, '06

Mahmood,

First of all, thanks for opening my eyes to a part of The Arab world that I never saw during my 11 years there. That is, a part that can say: “Let’s talk about this subject without resorting to threats of violance of one sort or the other”.

You mentioned “the olive branch” in your first comment. I also noticed your comment about “swallowing our pride”.

I know pride is a big part of your culture (and one that sometimes has a sour taste) , but, as far as I know the Quaran also talks about accepting conditions where an enemy has the upper hand for a certain period of time. I don’t see many of the comments here that say something like: “Let’s try the way the “oppressors” give us and see what comes out of that”. If they were given 10 years they might prefer that to what Hizbollah has to offer!

As far as I can see, the “olive branch” is almost completely missing in a lot of the comments here and, unfortunately, from a lot of comments from the leaders that are involved in this conflict

Do you see any way out of this? I know it has worked in other parts of the world, like Ireland where my wife comes from?

Milter

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

AntiApologist: “In the end, a quote from leila khalid: ‘In today’s world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. You are either on the side of the oppressors, or the side of the oppressed.’ “

It’s hardly surprising that a violent skyjacker like Leila Khaled would divide the world into two opposing black & white sides with no shades of gray, with anyone who doesn’t support her automatically classified as an enemy, like those passengers she was intending to blow up with the grenades in her bra. Let me take a wild guess that the Muslims are the ones who are oppressed and the oppressors are the non-Muslims, right? In other words, the world is divided into the Muslim Dar al Salaam and the non-Muslim Dar al Harb.

Steve

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Sam - 15 Jul, '06

There is only one road to peace , and that is locking up the jewish pmsing rabbis and politicians that have an 80 year old agenda of controlling the world (they are almost there).
Israel has been the cause of almost every war in the last century, all because Europe decided to dump its garbage on someone else’s backyard !

You ignorant self-hating arabs keep praising “moderate” jewish fanatics pretending to like arabs, while at the same time they knot a few webs to trap you in and tell you oops that was an accident “USS Liberty , anyone?” .

It’s quite sad to see arabs swallowing their arab pride (which is the only arab thing they have left) for a sarcastic dream called “peace” .
Peace, when you are a 3rd class citizen (or even 10th class) is like having lobster picked off someone else’s shoe !

What Hezbollah (just an organization) did, the entire arab world couldnt even dream of (and im talking after they sank the israeli warship) .
I wonder if you would have said the same if you had a son in an israeli prison rotting for 10 years for no crime and now you got some hope of seeing him again ! (they drove israel out of lebanon 6 years ago !! )

Vive la Resistance , Vive Hezbollah !
(or arabs not cool enough for you to have their own resistance ?)

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Sam - 15 Jul, '06

Ohh and Mr. Steve, heard the latest news “Hezbollah drone “batters” Israeli warship” . Please dont use too much salt when you eat your heart out , its not very good for you !

And when you go fill up your car tank , please do remember your israeli friends that care for you after you gave them thousands of your hard earned tax money .

I remember back in 2000 when Mr. Nasrallah said they will drive israel out of lebanon , and he kept his promise. Unlike your war-loving president that failed every single promise he “or his secretary” gave !

I hope you feel more secure now after his awesome war on terror , war on afghanistan , war on iraq and war on the Americans themselves ! haha

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AntiApologists - 15 Jul, '06

Monkey Steve,

No! Actually I lump neocons, dictators, closed-minded salafist, and apologists all in there! You see Steve, I know that you see the world in terms of Muslims and Non-Muslims, with Muslims being baddies, you racist excuse for a human being. Your incessant addiction and fetishness with everything to do with Islam and muslimsn has really blinded your eyes. How else can you explain you spending half of your life on Middle Eastern blogs crassly dissing Islam?

I, thank god, don’t see things in terms of Islam versus the rest of the world. I believe that one can identify when there is someone clearly being oppressed and that who is oppressing them, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Whether they are Palestinians, black people back in Apartheid South Africa, or shias in the days of Taleban Afghanistan.

Anyway, I know I’m talking a brick wall here that has been blinded by its hate and fetishness of a religion. You’re no difference than a closed minded wahhabist, except that you’re fundamental in your hate of Islam! Sheesh. Talk about a fucked up obsession!

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Komai - 15 Jul, '06

Mahmood,

Well said.

The point in this conflict is not to do what is ‘right’ but what will work. For as long as both sides are trying to sort it out by justifying our fears and tribal identities, we will find the proof in the other’s actions to perpetuate the cycle of violence onto yet another round of ‘he started first’.

In my meager opinion, because Israel has the upper hand, the onus is on us to try harder and change. However, leaderships on both sides have failed continuously to give this new era a chance. “Insanity”, said someone (Einstein?), “is trying the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result…”. Worse still, there are enough madmen on both sides to derail almost any good will.

In blogs and chat rooms, emails and text messages that the next revolution is made. There is hope. Keep writing for sanity.

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Anonymous - 15 Jul, '06

Kiss my a** Mahmood!

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

AntiApologists: “No! Actually I lump neocons, dictators, closed-minded salafist, and apologists all in there! You see Steve, I know that you see the world in terms of Muslims and Non-Muslims, with Muslims being baddies, you racist excuse for a human being.”

Non-responsive to my point, which is that the terrorist skyjacker Leila Khaled is mouthing a variation on the ancient Muslim division of the world into Muslim and non-Muslim, good and bad, peaceful and warlike. She simply substitutes oppressed and oppressor for Muslim and infidel.

Such a division of the world is not my invention, but Islam’s. That point has been forcefully and repeatedly brought to my attention by the many terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on non-Muslims all around the world from New York to Bali.

And by the way, Islam is not a race.

AntiApologists: “Your incessant addiction and fetishness with everything to do with Islam and muslimsn has really blinded your eyes. How else can you explain you spending half of your life on Middle Eastern blogs crassly dissing Islam?”

Crashing jumbo jets into buildings to kill thousands of Americans was a powerful attention getter. The continual Muslim threats to do more and worse attacks holds my attention. Should this insane Muslim hatred cease, my attention will no doubt wander elsewhere.

And I only spend a few hours a week on this forum. I cheerfully educate folks on other forums as well, sort of my public service. And I do read a lot, an awful lot. And I’m learning Dreamweaver and seeing the sights in Washington. Of course, there’s work. So I appreciate your concern for my apparent obsession but assure you my life is healthily balanced.

AntiApologists: “I, thank god, don’t see things in terms of Islam versus the rest of the world. I believe that one can identify when there is someone clearly being oppressed and that who is oppressing them, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Whether they are Palestinians, black people back in Apartheid South Africa, or shias in the days of Taleban Afghanistan.”

Or Israeli kids having a slice of pepperoni pizza in Sbarros?

AntiApologists: “Anyway, I know I’m talking a brick wall here that has been blinded by its hate and fetishness of a religion. You’re no difference than a closed minded wahhabist, except that you’re fundamental in your hate of Islam! Sheesh. Talk about a fucked up obsession!”

My criticism of Islam will continue until Muslims stop killing people to propagate their religion. It’s that simple.

Have a nice day!

Steve

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Somehow, Israel doesn’t look like the stupid, foolish, irresponsible party to this conflict. When Hezbollah kept lofting rockets into Israel neighborhoods, did they think they would respond with a thank you note and a nice fruit basket?

The problem is, Steve, is that Hezbollah like the Lebanese government almost as much as they like Israel. They’re trying to set up an Islamic state in southern Lebanon. When Israel attacks the Lebanese infrastructure they’re actually harming the Lebanese government and not Hezbollah. In any case collective punishment has never worked. Ever.

Ideally what Israel should be trying to do is work with the Lebanese to wipe out Hezbollah. But that’s wishful thinking on my part.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Lujayn: “However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere.”

Well said, Lujayn. The Palestinians would have made better progress with peaceful tactics than terror tactics.

Israel’s weak points are its contradictions: it’s a democracy dedicated to a specific religion surrounded by authoritarian states dedicated to a hostile religion. A democracy founded on individual liberty can not logically deny those same liberties to citizens of a minority religion. It can either remain a democracy or a theocracy but there will always be tension between the two states of being, pulling it one way or the other. It seems difficult to straddle those two poles indefinitely. Being surrounded by Arab Muslims, Israel will inevitably fill up with Arab Muslims merely by osmosis through its borders.

If the Palestinians focused their energy on building up their community and taking their case to the world through legal means, their cause could well become irresistable. When they blow up people in shopping centers and lionize mothers who take money to send their sons off as suicide bombers, it really doesn’t matter what legitimate grievances they may have. Their reputation becomes so bad that no decent person cares about their welfare.

The terror blocks a fair hearing for the Palestinians. Remove it and you’ve made the first steps toward gaining the favor of the world.

Steve

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AntiApologists - 15 Jul, '06

Dear Fundamentalist,

Those are great arguments. I’m won over and completely converted. Just two small factual errors in your response that you may want to correct them for the next time you release a brainfart.

1. Did you know that Leila Khaled was a marxist Leninst and member of the PFLP. Now I doubt your pea of a brain knows what marixst leninist means (you’re probably saying, “They’re all COMMIEESSS!”), but suffice to say islamic fundamentalism or a division of the world into two groups of Muslims and Non-Muslims is not part of their ideology. You can take your best shot, however, at trying to link them and making us laugh along the way.
This is why I called you racist. Now I know you’re anti-Muslim, but you also assume that somehow all Arabs are by nature corrupted and tainted by Islam. This is why you assumed Leila’s words must derive from fundamentalist Islam, and this is why you assumed that by quoting (oppressor and oppressed) I, being an Arab, surely was dividing the world into Muslim and non-Muslim spheres! Dar El Salam and Dar and 7arb! What a brain fart…. So there you go! You have the elite honour of being anti-Muslim and a racist!

2. This is from a different post, but heck, let’s combine them anyway for brevity. You accuse a guy called Omar non-challantly of practicing Taqqiya under the “Big Religion Chart” post. Now anyone worth his salt who knows the bare basics of Islam would laugh his ass off at such a ridiculous insinuation. You see, Omar is a very sunni name, and it’s one of the most hated names for shias. Taqqiya, on the other hand, is invariable associated with shias, and it is one of the issues that causes most conflilcts between sunnis and shias. By making such a ridiculous statement, you are embarassing yourself in front that has the most basic knowledge of Islam. You may read a lot, oh big bragger, but it looks like most of what you read is shit. Although bashing Islam is your main fetish, you are astonishingly poor at grasping some of its most basic concepts.

Seriously Steve, I’m saying this for your own good. You’re making a fool and a mockery out of yourself in front of everyone for the past god knows how long. It’s entertaining, I’ll give you that, but it must get really bad with everyone taking the piss out of you after a while. Still, can’t blame a jackass for being ever so committed even after so long!

Ahh, who am I kidding, you’re just gonna take it on the chin, store the info I’ve just given you and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes when you invariably spill your vile again. Also, who am I kidding that I seriously want to help you. I just think it’s mildly entertaining to embarass you in front of the readers!

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Shachar - 15 Jul, '06

Hi Ibn, all

Sorry for joining the conversation so late in the game. Yes, I’m Israeli.

Ibn, I have a small clarification question for you, if I may. Let’s start with an hypothetical situation. The year is 1948. Ben Gurion has just declared the state of Israel, soverning over the area that the UN gave the Jews, based on where they already were (bought land, at this point, as the official war has not started yet). Everyone in the Jewish community understands that this will result in war, and are scrambling to unite the Hagana and Ezel into what everyone hopes will live long enough to become the IDF. Great hopes, mingled with great fear, as the enemy forces seem excessive in both equipment and numbers. So far, this is just History. It later turned out that they were excessive in equipment, but about the same scale in terms of numbers. War ensued, the Arab nations aiming at eliminating the newly formed Jewish state, but losing. During that war, the events you complain over occured.

But I digress. Let’s suppose, for a second, that the Arab states pulled in twice the number of volunteers they managed to in actuality. The Jewish state is slowly forced to retreat into the large settelment areas (Tel Aviv proper, the new Jerusalem areas, the south). Do you think that the Arab army would have stopped then, while it was winning?

If so, would you support that refugees of Petach Tikva, Lod and Haifa be able to return to their old homes?

Shachar

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Shachar - 15 Jul, '06

Mahmood, regarding http://daoudkuttab.com/?item=perspective-narratives, here’s my point of view.

There is no such thing as “a just piece”. It’s a logical impossibility.

The reason is a simple one. Suppose we look at a piece offer, and ask whether it is just. The immediate followup question is “just to whom?”. Obviously, we would like the answer to be “just for everybody”. This is where the inherent contradiction lies. It is impossible to simultaneously be just toward a Jewish mother who’s son was killed while waiting in line to enter a pub by suicide bomber, and toward a Palestinian mother who only wishes her son back from jail, where he was sentenced for many years for planning that very same bombing. And these are just the easy dillemas, those involving people who are still alive.

This, however, does not mean that piece is impossible. It just means that piece, when achieved, will not be just. It can be fair. It can be respectful. It had better be mutually beneficial, or it will not last (see “Nash’s Equalibrium” for details). It will not be just.

Knowing this, I think we can answer the perspective narrative problem, and in particular, the time line question. When do we clean the slate, forgive all past wrong doings and start afresh? At the moment the piece contract is signed. No past injustices can be accounted for, or we will have to account for ALL past injustices. Like I think I showed above, this is simply impossible to do.

For the Israelies, this would probably mean that ALL palestinian prisoners involved in terrorist activity will have to be released. If we forgive all past injustices, surely there is no reason to hold them in prison. For the palestinians, this means no return of refugees. These are hard things to swallow, I know. I just don’t see any actual lasting piece without them.

Shachar

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

It is impossible to simultaneously be just toward a Jewish mother who’s son was killed while waiting in line to enter a pub by suicide bomber, and toward a Palestinian mother who only wishes her son back from jail, where he was sentenced for many years for planning that very same bombing.

Actually, I don’t think that one is too hard. Nations deal with similar issues every day. The Palestinian did the crime, he does the time.

A much thornier issue would be the Israeli mother, as in your example above, and a Palestinian mother whose child becomes collateral damage in an Israeli assassination. Who did the crime in that case? The guy that pulled the trigger? The General that ordered him to do it? The politicians that ordered him? Or, being the ultimate power in a democratic country, the Israeli people? It is much harder to find justice in any case like that.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

AntiApologists: “Did you know that Leila Khaled was a marxist Leninst and member of the PFLP. Now I doubt your pea of a brain knows what marixst leninist means (you’re probably saying, “They’re all COMMIEESSS!”), but suffice to say islamic fundamentalism or a division of the world into two groups of Muslims and Non-Muslims is not part of their ideology. You can take your best shot, however, at trying to link them and making us laugh along the way.”

The Marxists shared the same binary view of the world as Muslims. In Lenin’s view, you were either a Communist or an enemy of Communism, ie a reactionary. I would imagine that Leila Khaled, raised in a culture that sees the world as the Dar al Salaam versus the Dar al Harb, believers versus unbelievers, would readily take to the analogous view of Marxism which also broke the world down into believers and unbelievers. It would not be much of a transition at all.

AntiApologists: “2. This is from a different post, but heck, let’s combine them anyway for brevity. You accuse a guy called Omar non-challantly of practicing Taqqiya under the “Big Religion Chart” post. Now anyone worth his salt who knows the bare basics of Islam would laugh his ass off at such a ridiculous insinuation. You see, Omar is a very sunni name, and it’s one of the most hated names for shias. Taqqiya, on the other hand, is invariable associated with shias, and it is one of the issues that causes most conflilcts between sunnis and shias. By making such a ridiculous statement, you are embarassing yourself in front that has the most basic knowledge of Islam. You may read a lot, oh big bragger, but it looks like most of what you read is shit. Although bashing Islam is your main fetish, you are astonishingly poor at grasping some of its most basic concepts.”

From Wikipedia: “Although Taqiyya is generally thought of as a Shi’a term, according to principles defined by the great Sunni theologian al-Ghazali, lying, including protection of oneself or others, is permissible under certain circumstances:

“Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish it through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…, and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory. …One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie…”

On the other hand, most Sunnis generally assert that the Shi’a doctrine of Taqiyya is an act of hypocrisy that serves to conceal the truth. According to them, Taqiyya constitutes a lack of faith and trust in God because the person who conceals his beliefs to spare himself from danger is fearful of humans, when he should be fearful of God only. Nevertheless, some Sunni Muslims in fifteenth-century Spain went to the extent of eating pork and denying the Prophet in public, while practicing Islam secretly, to save their lives during the Spanish Inquisition. Other Muslims left Spain or were killed for their belief.”

How about that, AntiApologists? It seems that taqqiya was established in Sunni Islam a thousand years ago by al Ghazali.

Nice taqqiya, AntiApologists.

Steve

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

skribe: “A much thornier issue would be the Israeli mother, as in your example above, and a Palestinian mother whose child becomes collateral damage in an Israeli assassination. Who did the crime in that case? The guy that pulled the trigger? The General that ordered him to do it? The politicians that ordered him? Or, being the ultimate power in a democratic country, the Israeli people? It is much harder to find justice in any case like that.”

You forgot to include the target of the assassination, the terror chieftain who hides among the civilian population while making his attacks, cynically using them as human shields. Wouldn’t you agree that he bears the blame for attracting violence to the innocent?

Steve

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Anonymous - 15 Jul, '06

Wow. Stubbornly conflating Leninism and fundamentalist Islam, taqqiya and omar, and still be beligerent about it and call those who try to point his errors liars and practicers of Takiya. You are something else Steve.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

You forgot to include the target of the assassination, the terror chieftain who hides among the civilian population while making his attacks, cynically using them as human shields. Wouldn’t you agree that he bears the blame for attracting violence to the innocent?

Of course all targets for assassination should boldly and openly declare themselves and make it easy for the assassin to limit any collateral damage by moving to a safe, deserted area immediately before the time of the planned assassination. In fact both sides should have predesignated areas where those targeted for termination would be encarcerated during the period of the contract. In fact it could be a massive tourist attraction, a bit like a zoo for ideologues where you could pay your $20 and have a shot at Yasser or Ariel. $100 for 10 shots. I like the idea, Steve.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

let my lovely young niece Yara, her paternal grandmother and aunt – who were visiting their relatives in Southern Lebanon and then attempting to holiday on the mountain – finally get extricated from Lebanon via Damascus to come to Bahrain first before that country is annihilated!

I wish them all the best and safe journey. There are several THOUSAND Australians trapped in Lebanon at the moment and our ineffectual government are telling people to stay where they are and try not to get shot. It’s a bloody disgrace.

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Anonymous - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

Your statement “Israel has no right to exist” has come as a surprise to me. I have been reading Mahmoods posts for some time and occasionaly popping up myself to add my little bit to the pot. Your opinions, although invariably flawed, tend to have an intelligent point to make. Your input into this post is usually structured and informed.
However, this statement you make is nothing short of ignoRANT, racist sensationlism. If Israel has no right to exist because they forced their way onto land that seemingly wasnt theirs, then this must also be applied to almost every other country in the world. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan etc etc. Your hope that the “time limit” argument might work is also ridiculous. How can we say that becuase Germany attempted to turn the world into a Nazi state in the 40s that they should now no longer have the right to exist. Even though they were unsuccessful, they still fall into the same boat (and a bigger boat at that). Or can we say that the UK has no right to exist because less than a century ago it had conquered the best part of the world. which would mean that I, being British, also have no right to exist.
Now I am not saying that their actions are correct, far from it. It sickens me to think that my ancestors conquered countries throughout the world in the name of the “Empire”. Just because countries gain territory (through whichever means , war, sanctions, etc) does not mean that they or their people have “NO RIGHT TO EXIST”. If we all believed your opninion, then I think you will find that almost of all of us have no right to exist, yourself included, except people from Switzerland, who are just basically pretty nice chaps.
But lets face facts, this world we live in is ever changing. Territories are being redefined all the time. We have to move on, and try and stop any future territorial battles where possible but not live in the past and make ignorant statements about events that happened 60 years ago before even mobile phones were invented!

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Shachar - 15 Jul, '06

Skribe,

It’s very easy, while two people with widely different interpretations of the same acts, to get sidetracked. I am very surprised by your view that the palestinian prisoners should remain encarserated. I doubt it is a view shared by many of your peers.

Either way, let’s just agree that no agreement that ends the violance can be just, and move on to the other points I made.

Shachar

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Sachas,

Do you think that the Arab army would have stopped then, while it was winning?

Umm…gosh I wouldnt know. But I would hazard a guess that they wouldnt have stopped.

If so, would you support that refugees of Petach Tikva, Lod and Haifa be able to return to their old homes?

Since you are using the towns’ Israeli names, I would assume you are talking about Jewish refugees, or as the British used to call them, illegal immigrants. Yes, I would support them being able to return to their old homes in Europe.

…I have the distinct feeling that is not the answer you were looking for. Although in all honesty, I do not all quite understand the question either…kindly clarify.

Solas,

I agree with you that racial or religious based citizenship is disgusting. Israel does not stand out in the region for that though.

True, it doesnt. But it is the only country that refers to itself as a “liberal free and democratic country” all the while its constitution, laws, and foundation are contrary to this. That is the difference. And to the extent that it does, it does stick out in the region like a sore thumb.

Naturalisation is not an exactly free and fair process in the Arab world. I denounce all such racial citizenship in the region, you should too.

Please do not take my anti-Israeli stance, to mean a pro-Arab-dictatorship stance. I will be the first to denounce them, as evidenced from my previous threads on Mahmoods forum. Their actions do not excuse you from repeating them though.

How much back pay do you propose giving them? What will you do with all the Israel’s citizens? You said yourself that if they changed their racial citizenship you would support them. I say excellent! This is a brilliant opportunity for you to launch a campaign encouraging all states in the region to abandon racial citizenship

By your statement you are implicitly stating that Israel is now on the same moral level more or less as other dictatorial regimes. Dictatorial regimes like Saddam’s Iraq that believed in Sunni nationalism. A close parallel can also be drawn on Iran, where they have Shitte nationalism.

What would I do with Israel’s citizens? What would I do with Israel?
Well the US dealt with Saddam’s Iraq by annihilating its government, and is currently occupying it. Every now and then a couple Iraqis die due to collateral damage, through no fault of their own. Since you have already implicitly agreed that both Israel and other dictatorships in the general region are somewhat the same in form, (racist constitutions, laws, forcefull territorial acquisitions being the norm, etc), then I would support an invasion of Israel to wipe out its government, institutions, and executive branch. The goal would be to remove its inherent Zionism, just as I supported the US in going into Iraq to remove its Ba’athism, which was also a racist ideology. (At least its Iraqi version. The original Ba’ath party stood for nationalism and socialism).

To the Israeli civilians who die due to collateral damage, well, such is war. Every attempt must be made to avoid civilian casualties of course, but dont consult the Israeli Army manual for guidance on that. Maybe they will meet their Iraqi counter parts with the big guy upstairs and laugh together over a heavenly drink of Arak.

That is what I would do. Of course, there is also a peacefull option. Like I said earlier in my post yesterday, Israel must pick option “yes”, from my post: (Ibn – July 14th, 2006 at 7:25 pm) as a start.

Truth be told however, I would be harsher in invading Israel, than I would be with Iraq. The difference being that Israel’s citizens actually had the audacity to choose and vote for a continuation of existance of a racist constitution and laws. They never voted it out, even though they are free in that regard. They actually chose to defend Zionism. Their Iraqi counter parts however had no such luxury. They were held under the yoke of a tyrrant, which there was next to nothing they could anything about. So I pity the Iraqi. But I despise the Israeli. So if the Israelis choose racism, then they must face the consequences of it. And we all know how Germany was dealt with after they voted a racist madman into power.

That is my stance on the solution. War is horrible. But sometimes the only way for justice to be served is through war. It is regrattable, but such is life.

I really don’t think there is a future in saying Israel has no right to exist, you do, but apart from that I dont know what you want from the future. A two state solution with peace and reconciliation talks and compensation? the destruction of Israel?

If by destruction of Israel you mean what I described above, then yes. Absolutely. 100%. Even though its populace DOES in fact support racist Zionism, (by virtue of them not having voted it out), and thus ARE responsible for its crimes, I am not sadistic. I dont kill for the sake of killing. Once Israel’s institutions and executive branches are utterly destroyed, they no longer pose a risk. They must be occupied, and given a chance to create a true liberal democracy, one that respects ALL human rights, regardless of race or religion, unlike Zionism. To the individuals and underground Zionist groups that resist, they must be annihilated, since they obviously hate freedom.

Of course, as before, there is the peacefull option. If the Israelis come to their senses just as their South African counterparts and dismantle Israel’s Zionist core, retract its Jew-only laws, and re-instate the refugees it helped create, then it would have my full support. It would have become a truly free and ligitimate country, one that is open to people of all creeds, race, and faiths. If change can come from the inside, all the better. Fat chance though. Afterall, this is a country where its people openly worry about the racial makeup of its majority.

Anonymous,

If Israel has no right to exist because they forced their way onto land that seemingly wasnt theirs, then this must also be applied to almost every other country in the world. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan etc etc

The short answer is that no country exists today that matches Israel’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they are of the wrong creed. The last ones who tried got firebombed. One got nuked.

The long answer is for you to read all I have said so far. Its alot of material, but please do your homework.

-Ibn

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Shachar - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn

First, thanks for taking the time to correctly spell my name. I know it is not an easy one to follow in Latin characters, and the minute attention for details says something about the person applying it.

All of the uprooting claims I have heared to date relate to supposed acts of horrors done by the Israelies during the 1948 war. Historically, however, there was a rather extensive Jewish settelment throughout the country long before that. This was done in two ways. The first is outright buying (i.e. – paying money, getting ownership) of land. The other is settling in land no one, in his right mind, would want. Petach Tikva actually bought a whole village (Melabes), who was almost entirely depopulated at the time (we’re talking 1878).

So, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Jews had no right to buy land. You equate buying land by Jews to burglery, despite the fact it was done with the full consent of the sellers.

Was it a large scale? Apparently, most of the land Jewish setllers used was like that. The proof is that the UN commity that decided to divide the country between a Jewish and an Arab states did so based on demographics. All the locations that were given to the Jewish state were densly populated with Jewish people, and lightly populated with Arab people, long before 1948. Will you claim all of these areas are “Burglers”? If so, based on what claim?

Shachar

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 15 Jul, '06

Thanks Skribe they arrived in Bahrain at 7am this morning, after a 12 hour bus ride to Damascus via Northern Lebanon and Allepo (I think), then had to wait in the airplane for other refugees for a few hours before they could fly back to Bahrain.

I understand that the North was bombed last night, so it was very close, and we are thankful for their safety, and thankful too for the Bahraini government to have acted swiftly to rescue its citizens to bring them home.

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Sam - 15 Jul, '06

[b]The Marxists shared the same binary view of the world as Muslims. In Lenin’s view, you were either a Communist or an enemy of Communism, ie a reactionary. I would imagine that Leila Khaled, raised in a culture that sees the world as the Dar al Salaam versus the Dar al Harb, believers versus unbelievers, would readily take to the analogous view of Marxism which also broke the world down into believers and unbelievers. It would not be much of a transition at all.[/b]

Doesnt this remind you of someone you know very well ? *cough*Bush*cough*
‘You are either with us or against us’
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/11/06/gen.attack.on.terror/

Ohh sorry i forgot its alright for Mr. Pretzel to divide the world to two camps. He is here to save the planet !

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Good to hear, Mahmood.

It’s come out that there are nearly 3000 Aussie tourists in Lebanon at the moment plus 20,000 Lebanese Australians living there. Meanwhile our government continues to sit on its hands and even fails to provide information to their families.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Sam, who would have guessed that Bushie was taking his directions from Lenin? =)

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

I am very surprised by your view that the palestinian prisoners should remain encarserated. I doubt it is a view shared by many of your peers.

I daresay that most of my peers believe that nuking the entire site from orbit is the only way to be sure.

I thinking you’re confusing me with someone that has a vested interest in the saga. I assure you I do not. I think both sides have made henious wrongs. I also understand why both sides believe it is their right.

I have a Palestinian friend who believes there will never be peace. Not because he wants to drive the Israelis into the sea because, as he says, ‘They’ve been fighting for thousands of years. It’s in the blood now.’ I prefer to be optomistic like my Israeli friend who believes that eventually the two sides will realise that they have more in common that they thought and will (re)unite.

We’ll have to wait to see what happens. I wouldn’t expect to see it in your lifetime, however.

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Loki - 15 Jul, '06

Mahmood wrote:

“Ok, how do you think it best to solve this particular problem? Leave everything else, everything. Just tell me, how would YOU solve this particular problem? “

And actually leave the comfort this nice ivory tower I have going here?!
Seriously though, its a fair question and my answer is simply this, I dont know. That is my answer. it may be Rubbish, but I AM sick of the “we need to rise above it ” approach which has failed time and time again.

The one time Israel made genuine offers is when it was beaten out of them with a stick. Namely, 1973. Egypt and Syria put Israel on the back foot and all of a sudden genuine offers were flowing out of Israel. This is the ONLY time Israel actually gave back any of the land it occupied. Everything since then has been flowery rhetoric backed by snipers bullets and gunship rockets.
The next most promising initiative (in my opinion) was the King Abdullah plan. This is would have defined a rather critical common foreign policy and given Israel a genuine Carrot. But that’s been done and it failed, Egypt and Syria did their best to torpedo it (God forbid a good idea should originate from those Bedouins in the Gulf). The failure of dialogue in this case is the dialogue between Arab states .

So where does this leave us? to make peace without any terms that satisfy the Palestinians (namely Gaza and the West Bank )? That is NOT an option. The UN is a joke, and Israel bombing and blockading a sovereign country is treated as a mere “disproportionate response”. If I could do it, I would make all Arab and Muslim Nations leave the UN. But since that will only happy when the Saudi football team wins the world cup, I won’t bother going into what I would do after that.

Back to my initial answer, I don’t know. I truly believe there is no answer that doesn’t involve any bloody shed. Unless, Unless, an Israeli government comes to power that has the courage to do what’s right and give the Palestinians back their land ( or rather, that small part of it that they are asking for). As I said before, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

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Mahmood Al-Yousif - 15 Jul, '06

Thank you Loki. You have just increased the level of hope that I have. I’m glad that you too do not see a dead-end in negotiation, no matter how onerous that path is. The first step then, is fixing our own house, and gain the trust of our other fellow Arabs that we in the Gulf also have good and honest ideas, regardless of the way they (other Arabs) continue to look down on us.

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abaC - 15 Jul, '06

Loki,

Imagine how your personal life look if you will think that you and only you are right?

If you want to solve a problem, you must look some time at the other point of view.

Is it possible that even Egypt realize after 73 that she could not win Israel and should try a peaceful solution?
Just read some war history about 73 and you will find that idf move deep forword into Ismailia and 40 km from Damascus at the end of the war!
Some victory for the Arabs ha?

Do you really believe that all blame is on Israel?
Since we let Arafat to come to Gaza we suffered from suicide bombers.
Each time by different group wile he doesn’t take action or responsibility
When we said that those who glorify the suicide bombers will suffer the same, nobody believes us.
Now it spared all over the world including Arab sates like Saudi, Egypt, Tunisia,
Iraq and even in Syria.

You like ibn choose to ignore our history in this land that started more then 1500 years before Mohammad.
You choose to ignore that Arab states always threaten to destroy Israel, but Israel never threaten to destroy any Arab state.
In fact Israel is the only state in the world that is in such danger.
You choose to ignore that in this conflict Iran is raping Lebanon in its own interest
to divert the worlds from her nuke bombs.

The only way to solve this is to except that we have a right to one very small state,
And all parties should compromise their dreams of unconditional demands.

Lets hope that common sense and peace will win at the end.

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Skribe: “Of course all targets for assassination should boldly and openly declare themselves and make it easy for the assassin to limit any collateral damage by moving to a safe, deserted area immediately before the time of the planned assassination. … “

Skribe, the Geneva Convention requires as a condition of civilized warfare for the combatants to identify themselves with insignia or uniform. The civilized countries have no trouble complying with this condition and clothe their troops in uniforms and mark their equipment with their nationality. Are you in opposition to the Geneva Convention because of this condition?

Steve

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn: “The short answer is that no country exists today that matches Israel’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they are of the wrong creed.”

Not so, Ibn. Virtually all of the Muslim world was taken by force, kicking out or killing people of the “wrong” creed. Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed. The Muslims had to kill a lot of people, including three Jewish tribes, to establish their hold on Arabia. The whole of the Mediterranean basin was largely Christian when the Muslims conquered most of it, giving the inhabitants the classic Koranic choice of converting, accepting subjugation as dhimmis, or death. Palestine was Christian. So was Egypt when Muslim armies annihilated whole villages which resisted. Beheading was very popular with Muslim conquerers then, just as it is with Muslim jihadis today. All the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East and Europe are the product of Muslim aggression, of Muslims imposing their religion on others through insane violence. And of course, the Muslims did the same in their push to India.

All those Muslims countries exist today because of Islam’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they were of the wrong creed. Some Muslims even claim Spain/Andalusia because they had conquered it once.

So, Ibn, would you claim that because Islam has held these countries for long enough, that such possession has been sanctified by time? If so, does that not sanctify Israel’s claim, by your logic? If not, are you urging that Muslims give up their lands to their rightful and original infidel owners?

Steve

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Anonymous - 15 Jul, '06

History of Islam according to Steve. How would Steve explain that certain countries in South-East Asia are Islamic when a Moslim army never landed there? Google it Steve, maybe some obscure website can provide an answer that fits into your worldview.

Odd that the large majority of Christians in the world today are the results of Christian military expansion in both in the New and Old World. Go on, read about it and learn about how popular beheading and other killings were by the soldiers of the church.

Given the superior moral standard that Steve is sharing with us all the time, would he think of the genocide on the American natives during thanksgiving day?

Makes us wonder what “right” creed is followed by Steve.

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Omar - 15 Jul, '06

Sorry, the previous post was written by me.

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Solas - 15 Jul, '06

Not everything is pessimistic:

http://www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=3&id=1295

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Loki - 15 Jul, '06

AbaC

I never said the Arabs were victorious, I said they beat Israel with a stick and had them on the back foot. Neither side can claim victory (though both do). I know the history of 73 well enough. Well enough to know the american military stock pile in Germany disappeared shortly before military hardware bearing american stars was being used by the IDF.

“Do you really believe that all blame is on Israel?” – yes and indirectly on european countries for a) allowing the holocaust to occur . B) allowing their guilt on this to be shouldered by the Palestinians.


 “Since we let Arafat to come to Gaza we suffered from suicide bombers. “- Oh dear, those inconsiderate arabs, we take their land and now they send suicide bombers. How very bloody inconsiderate of them.

“You like ibn choose to ignore our history in this land that started more then 1500 years before Mohammad. ” - Tell that to the millions of palestinians living as refugees, I’m sure they’d be fascinated. Especially the bit where the europeans commit genocide against you and they had to pay the price along with you even though they had nothing to do with it.


 “You choose to ignore that Arab states always threaten to destroy Israel, but Israel never threaten to destroy any Arab state. In fact Israel is the only state in the world that is in such danger. ” – examples please? What arab states are always threatening to destroy Israel? be specific. All Arab states have directly or indirectly indicated that they would make peace with Israel (this btw, includes Hamas). See King Abdullah plan.

“The only way to solve this is to except that we have a right to one very small state, And all parties should compromise their dreams of unconditional demands.”

I’m sorry I must be confused?? Are you Palestinian?? You know what friend, you are so right. The only way to solve this is to accept that they have a right to one very small state. You’ve got your state, don’t you think its time to give the Palestinians thiers?

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Steve the Confederate said:

“Not so, Ibn. Virtually all of the Muslim world was taken by force, kicking out or killing people of the “wrong” creed. Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed. The Muslims had to kill a lot of people, including three Jewish tribes, to establish their hold on Arabia.”

Nevermind, that I had said no modern COUNTRY exists today that matches Israel’s en-masse evictive ideology. This means, that within the context of the 20th century, when a major drive to stop forcefull territorial acquisitions, no country can match Israel’s forcefull evictions. So the context here is the modern era – after the major push to set the proper precedent that has been mentioned in the above posts.

In ancient history, not only did the Islamic Arabs invade and pillage, but so did the Persians, the Greeks, the Vikings, the Romans, the Mongols, and the Samurai. Back then, if one had an empire, why of course! You had to invade and pillage.

But since they are oh so very far back though, the statute of limitations applies very nicely to them.The statute of limitations doesnt apply to Israel’s crimes just yet, because both Israel, as well as the refugees are still in existance. Thus, Steve the Confederate’s point is moot.

Shachar,

I will reply to your post later. I am in a bit of a hurry because I have my sprint running to attend to right now, but this will also give you a chance to calm down due to my mis-spelling of your name.

-Ibn

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sunrunner - 15 Jul, '06

Good grief! So much ancient history. What about RIGHT NOW?

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Omar - 15 Jul, '06

This must be the statement of the week: “Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed”

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Jared in NYC - 15 Jul, '06

Mahmood, I’m very glad to hear that your family is home safely, and very sorry for all the fear and anguish they experienced on their way back.

Jared

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Anon: “History of Islam according to Steve. How would Steve explain that certain countries in South-East Asia are Islamic when a Moslim army never landed there? Google it Steve, maybe some obscure website can provide an answer that fits into your worldview.”

You’ll note that I did not includee SEA in the list of Muslim conquests by force. It does not speak well for Islam that SEA is the exception to forcible conversion rather than the rule.

Anon: “Odd that the large majority of Christians in the world today are the results of Christian military expansion in both in the New and Old World. Go on, read about it and learn about how popular beheading and other killings were by the soldiers of the church.”

There’s a kernel of truth to your assertion. Certainly the Spanish tried to forcibly convert South American Indians to Catholicism much as the Muslims had previously done them with respect to Islam. However, there was little such coercive conversion in North America under English colonization.

In America, missionaries to the Indians relied on persuasion, with few takers. The missionaries were a bit too alien and aloof for most Indians to imitate them. However, Indians continue to practice their original religions in America today. The US government concedes to their religious demands in most cases with respect to the treatment of ancient remains and the use of peyote in ceremonies.

You’re way off base as to the spread of Christianity by violence in the Old World. Christians were the oppressed for the first few centuries after Jesus. Christian missionaries relied mainly on persuasion and their own example to make conversions covertly. While Christianity benefitted from the transportation net laid down by the Romans, the legions did not spread Christianity by force.

You might also note that the US, like the rest of the civilized world, maintains the right of freedom of worship.

Anon: “Given the superior moral standard that Steve is sharing with us all the time, would he think of the genocide on the American natives during thanksgiving day?

Despite what your Middle Eastern textbooks and media say, there was no genocide of the Indians. They’re still around. There were about two million of them in America when Columbus landed. There are two million of them now. Genocide better describes how the Wahhabis conquered Arabia.

I have no doubt that wildly biased sources in the Muslim world might claim that Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by slaughtering the Indians. What happenned in the real world is that the English colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated a thanksgiving meal together. Those colonists would not have survived without the Wampanoags, who traded food for English goods. The Wampanoags were not annihilated, but rather their numbers were reduced by epidemics. The remainder declared war on the colonists and lost. They now live on in Rhode Island and Massachussetts.

Anon: “Makes us wonder what “right” creed is followed by Steve.”

Any creed that believes in live and let live. In more concrete terms, any religion that is not planting a bomb on my train or making snuff videos or skyjacking jets to fly them into crowds. Other religions don’t have any problem with letting each other worship whatever god they chose or no god at all. It’s time the Muslims cast off their murderous intolerance and adopted such modern cultural norms as religious tolerance and freedom of thought.

Steve

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mahmood - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn: “In ancient history, not only did the Islamic Arabs invade and pillage, but so did the Persians, the Greeks, the Vikings, the Romans, the Mongols, and the Samurai. Back then, if one had an empire, why of course! You had to invade and pillage.”

Except for the Japanese, the Muslims are unique among all those civilizations for imposing their religion on the vanquished by force. The Romans and Mongols were particularly tolerant of diverse religions. The Vikings didn’t care what religion you were. They just wanted your stuff and your women. The Persian empire didn’t have a religion they pushed, being a multi-cultural empire with an army composed of many disparate ethnic groups. As long as you accepted the Persian emperor as divine, they were OK with you.

However, it’s nice to see that you agree that Muslims of old were as evil in your eyes as the modern Israelis but that time sanctifies their atrocities.

Steve

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sunrunner - 15 Jul, '06

Steve,

You really need to read up a bit more on European history. Actually, a lot more.

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Sam - 15 Jul, '06

I think he needs to get a life, and stop obsessing about other men !

Steve, nothing else to do in your trailer park ? =)

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Shachar - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

Sure, let me know when you have assembled an answer. You seem like an intelligent person, which is what makes this discussion interesting. I also have the impression you are hate driven, but feel free to prove me wrong. After all, what’s the point of discussing things with people who agree with you?

Shachar

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Anonymous - 15 Jul, '06

Ibn,

You write “Nevermind, that I had said no modern COUNTRY exists today that matches Israel’s en-masse evictive ideology”.

Just like to correct you if I may, you did not say “modern” in your post. This makes quite a difference to your argument.

Keep up the entertainment!

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Salman and others
I too am an Israeli, a daughter of two survivors of the Holocaust, born a few years after the inception of the state of Israel. One wonderful legacy my parents taught me is to forgive but never to forget. I ask all of you who are Arabs or Palestinians: if my parents were willing to forgive the German and their Nazi past for the atrocities they had committed against them, move on with their lives and try and raise a normal family with a promising future for their children, why can’t you forgive, not forget, what injustices, if any, were done to you by the Israelis and the founders of their state and move on with your life?
It is time to heal wounds on both sides! Why not start now?

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Arab - 16 Jul, '06

Batzi,

I hate to state the glaringly obvious, but here goes. Your parents can forgive because the Holocaust occured in the past. We cannot forget because injustices against the Palestinians occur to this very day. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.

Regards,
An Arab.

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Arab - 16 Jul, '06

I meant to say “We cannot forgive because…”

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sunrunner - 16 Jul, '06

I was taught that the best reason to forgive for the sake of one’s own soul. Until one does, peace can never be found.

I am thinking of Nelson Mandela, as one example of a person who came to this realization while he was still imprisoned by the Apartheid gov of South Africa. Another person who advocates this approach is the Dalai Lama, even though the Chinese still occupy his homeland, while he continues to speak out on the behalf of Tibetan refugees.

If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus immediately on pulling out the arrow. Shakyamuni, the Buddha

In spite of the difficulties still confronting the people of South Africa and Tibet, the suffering of the people of the middle east far surpasses it . . . and I would argue that the reason for it is an addiction to anger and revenge. It makes most people do really really dumb things which only engender more suffering for more and more people — like lob missles at Israel and bombing civilian targets in Lebanon.

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Dear Arab,
The scars that were inflicted on my parents lasted their whole lifetime. Those scars affected my whole life. My father was 70 percent disabled from the tortures inflicted upon his body. Emotionally, he was an invalid. Yet, he forgave. He taught me not to hate for hatred consumes one’s soul and diverts too much energy away from more productive tasks. Try to forgive and you shall see how much further forgiveness will take you. Just try please.

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Arab - 16 Jul, '06

Batzi,

My intention was neither to question the seriousness of the Holocaust nor to question the role forgiving plays in cleansing one’s soul (if you will). I simply wanted to point out that forgiving for past atrocities is a whole different ballgame than forgiving one for crimes that continue to occur. It is impossible to forgive the Israeli government for its continued use of state sponsored terrorism, unless such activities come to an end.

Do not take this post to mean that I am supporting Hizballah, Hamas, et al. All I intended to point out was that the parallel you are trying to draw between two situations just doesn’t exist.

Regards,
An Arab.

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mahmood - 16 Jul, '06

Are you in opposition to the Geneva Convention because of this condition?

Of course not, Steve. In fact I think everyone should be forced to wear uniforms. It woud just make it so much easier for the authorities to identify the ‘evil doers’. We could have pink one for the gays, white ones for the atheists and yellow and black for the tourists. The best ones, black of course, would be limited to the officer class.

In fact I particularly like Bushcos interpretation of the GCs. I’m just a little disappointed that they just haven’t pushed it far enough. It could solve so many problems. Illegal narcotics are a clear and present danger to the security of the free world. The dealers are heavily armed militia. Obviously illegal combatants in the war on drugs. Who needs a DA and a costly trial, where a suspect may use trickery to get off, when a Hellfire solves the problem permanently? You’re all for eliminating the illegal narcotics aren’t you, Steve?

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Anonymous - 16 Jul, '06

skribe,

We can also have all arabs wear Hamas-esque green. Better yet Steve, just go ahead an open up the gates at gitmo, and we’ll just walk in, eh?

-3arabiun Ana

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Hi again, Arab,
If you you state that the injustices inflicted by the Israelis upon the Palestinians is the reason for their ongoing hatred, then please tell me why was there hatred for as long as i rememeber even before there were any Palestinians under any Israeli rule i.e prior to 1967? I very well remember growing up in Israel hearing the hate speeches by Arab leaders threatening to throw us into the sea… Both sides have reason to hate….
As others said on this blog, we, the Israelis, are not going anywhere and neither are you people. So we might as well learn to live together. There are numerous examples of Jews and Arabs living side by side and having a productive relationship.

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navon - 16 Jul, '06

Where weakness rules terrorists rise.

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nostedamous - 16 Jul, '06

The siant prisoners the arabs want to free is Samir Contar, the brave man that shoot unarmad family from short range. until arabs twisted mine will straighten Israel is the defender of common sense east border.

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

Batzi, what is it with you guys that you cannot understand that you did not only occupy Gaza and the West Bank, but all of Palestine??? The reason for ongoing hatred is the continued occupation of Palestinian land. You allow the right of “return” for Jewish people who hail from Lithuania and Ethopia, who have no connection whatsoever to Palestine, yet Palestinians who lived there only 58 years ago and who hail from the land for generations and generations are not allowed to “return”. For every Arab that wanted to throw an Israeli in the sea, there was an Israeli who felt exactly the same about the Arabs. For as long as I remember, I’ve heard Israelis voice the most despicable things about Arabs. Dont go getting up on your moral high-horse, please.

You arent going anywhere? Fair enough. You feel entitled to live on that land? Fair enough. But just consider that the original Palestinian inhabitants of the land are just as entitled to live there as a blond, blue-eyed American Jew who decides he wants to live in Israel because he wants to “return home”. Living together doesnt mean you living in a house that originally belonged to a Palestinian and him living in a squalid refugee camp in Gaza or in some other country close-by. It means living together. Have you actually thought what the words living together mean? It means you accepting that the Palestinian has the right to live in your same city (his originally), your neighborhood, your street. Its you acknowledging that you’ve usurped his home.

How is it that the Jewish people want the world to apologize for the atrocities that they committed against them, yet they refuse to acknowledge the atrocities that they themselves have commited? How is it that you demand compensation and acknowledgement, generations down the line from the Holocaust, yet you refuse to recompense or acknowledge the Palestinians, just as many generations down the line too?

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

nostedamous,
As I understand from your English, you’re saying that Samir Kantar shot un-armed families at close range? Hmmmmmmmmm. Have you been watching TV at all in the last few days? Have you seen the number of un-armed families that the Israelis have killed in Lebanon using missiles launched from the air, the sea and every other means possible? Samir used a gun (and I’m not saying he was right), the Israelis are now using banned weapons including phosphorus bombs on the Lebanese. Please, if we have a twisted mind, and you are the defendors of common sense, then this world is really screwed up.

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Avi - 16 Jul, '06

Israel is a fun ,peace loving country, but the war came upon us and when thats happens -you fight.
Isreal tried already any goverment and any way to bring peace, and got in return more terror.
all along i knew thats what going to happen.
thats why i stick to the old saying:

“one arab in the sea=pullution
All the arabs in the sea=Solution ! “

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

Avi, thank you, you only prove my point.

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Avi,
As a fellow Israeli, I am sorry to hear you express yourself like this. No one is asking you to love your Arab neighbours but for goodness sake, act in accordance with our Jewish heritage and don’t rejoice when your enemy is falling,please!
Lujayn,
One cannot replay history.
The Jews did not take over Palestine. if you learn your history, you will realize that the United Nations voted for the establishment of both Jewish state and an Arab state. It was an international decision. The Arabs unfortunately decided to reject it. Is it my fault that I was born in Israel, a legal entity whose inception was voted for by an international organization? The Arabs keep pointing out that Israel does not abide by resolutions 242 and 338. Why did not the Arabs of 1947 abide by UN resolution calling for the establishment of two states? You cannot pick and choose what suites you people when it comes to UN resolutions. Neither should we.
For your information, I recently visited Lithuania (both my parents are from there) and i stood on two pieces of property that my grandfather owned. The deed to these properties is in his name. I am the righful owner. Many told me that I am entitled to reclaim the land. There are people living there right now, if I were to reclaim the property where would these people go to?
On another example. I recnetly moved from new zealand where I had been living for ten years. Many Maori people feel that the whites should leave New Zealand. Where should they go to then?
You cannot replay history. Wars over lands have always claimed their costs. We just cannot keep reminiscing about a past when the circumstances have changed. I cannot reclaim land that is still mine and expect people to just vacate it for me, neither can you or anyone else.

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

Batzi, if you decided to give up the deed to your land, out of the goodness of your soul, fine. It was your choice. However, should you have wanted to claim the land, wouldnt you agree it was your right? Would you have accepted the fact if the new people in your grandfather’s land told you to bugger off? What if you didnt have anywhere to go to? No New Zealand, no Israel? Would you be so accomodating? Would you accept the eviction of the Maoris from New Zealand so you could live there?

The two-state solution proposed by the UN at the time called for exactly that. That the people that hailed from Yaffa and Acca accept that they no longer had a right to live in their land. Who would gratefully accept that solution??

People must be accountable for occupation. You just cant say, well, its done and we’re here, therefore its right. What would your reaction be now if say, Australia decided to take over New Zealand, and managed to occupy it? Would you accept the fact, just because Australia shipped over thousands and thousands of Australians to populate New Zealand? Does that make it ok, or would you hold Australia accountable? See, Batzi, I am baffled by the inability of Israelis to acknowledge that what they have done is take over someone else’s land and home. Jewish people living in Palestine were not evicted from their homes to make way for the incoming settlers. Arabs were. Arabs and Jews were living together in Palestine pre-Zionism. However, Zionism sought to eject Arabs to make way for a Jewish homeland. Does that seem fair to you? What do you feel when people deny the Holocaust? Do you not care when people say the Holocaust didnt happen? Why do you then deny that you yourself perpetuated similar injustice?

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Brian - 16 Jul, '06

As a Jew can I also utterly repudiate the sickening bit of infantile verse at the end of Avi’s last comment.

But I would also question the view of history of Lujayn. The Jews did not sieze Arab land. The Jewish National Fund and Jewish individuals bought up land. In 1948, the leaders of the Arab Palestinians told the inhabitants to evacuate for a few weeks, during which time the Jewish forces would be defeated. Well, it was not to be.

During the Mandate period, when Britain was mandated by the League of Nations to govern Palestine with the intention of setting up a Jewish state, the British Government Peel Commission of 1937 recommended partitioning Palestine into 2 states – the larger one Arab, the much smaller one Jewish. The Jews accepted this plan, the Arabs rejected it. Ten years later the United Nations again proposed partition, and again the Jews accepted it, the Arabs rejected it. As soon as the State of Israel was declared in 1948, all Arab countries around attacked it.

In 2000, at Camp David, Israeli PM Ehud Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state consisting of 94 percent of the West Bank, with a further land allocation from within Israel equivalent to the remaining 6 percent. Palestine would have control of the Temple Mount and the Arab and Christian Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. Arafat’s response was not to say, “OK, that’s a start – let’s talk”. His response was to storm out of the talks, say that Barak could go to hell, and start the Intifada.

Let’s face it, perhaps the Palestinians, when looking who to blame, could look to their own leadership, and it’s total refusal throughout to compromise in any way.

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Lujayn,
I can feel the pain in your words.
What would you like me to do as an Israeli? What can I do? Would you want me to apologize for deeds that took place before I was born, action over which I had no control?
Under the circumstances, Israel has offered some solutions. Did Arafat not want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the west bank? Did Israel under Barak not offer him almost all of his wishes which he rejected?
If the Palestinians had indeed proven to the Israelis and the world that they are deserving of being entitled for a law of return, I think eventually something would have been granted. However, if after the pullout from Gaza and the opportunity for the Palestinians to prove that they are deserving of it, the Palestianians are still refusing to accept us in the region. What guarrantee do we have that if they are allowed in our midst, they will not destroy us from within?Please try and understand our point since you are so eager for me to understand yours.
Some things in life have to be earned. I truly believe that enough opportunities have been presented to the Palestinians to show us and the world that they are indeed deserving of returning to live amongst us. Unfortunately, they have missed all of them.
Life is not a dress reharsal. Please don’t ask us, Israelis to commit suicide. At least, at this stage that is what it seems to me we will be doing if we were to allow Hamas and Hizballah into our midst.

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

Batzi, thanks for coming across as human, even if i dont agree with everything you are saying. Its funny how we see history and events differently. If we were born into each other’s communities, we would have the opposite viewpoints. Where you see Palestinians as undeserving of living amongst you, Palestinians see Israelis as untrustworthy, as they really have gotten nothing in return for their participation in the peace process but a sliver of land called Gaza and a West Bank riddled with settler enclaves and Israeli military presence.

I dont want you to commit suicide, Batzi, not at all. I am asking you to understand that from our point of view, Israel has not really been a deserving partner itself.

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Sam - 16 Jul, '06

For any retard that thinks Israel is a fun loving disneyland :

Zionist Jewish Hatred Part 1:

1. “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies ­not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001

2. “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

3. ” [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs.” Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the Beasts”. New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

4. “The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” ” Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

5. “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

6. “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Golda Maier, March 8, 1969.

7. “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

8. “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha’aretz, 19 March 1972.

9. 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.

10. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : “We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. “The old will die and the young will forget.”

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mahmood - 16 Jul, '06

Would you accept the fact, just because Australia shipped over thousands and thousands of Australians to populate New Zealand?

I’m sure the kiwis would be very accommodating. After all 10% (over 400,000) of the kiwi population have settled in Oz. We could just ship the bastards home and bang! instant invasion =).

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Lujayn,
Thanks for your comments which I accept and fully understand. Believe me, I really hope that the day will come when we could live together in peace and harmony. We need to build mutual trust and that takes years, generations. But the eternal optimist in me truly believes it is possible. As long as there are peope like you and me, people who discuss debate and try to understand rather than belittle and show utter disrespect, there is hope, hope for us, for our children and for the world. Best wishes for Peace, Salaam, Shalom
Batzi

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Jared in NYC - 16 Jul, '06

Lujayne and Batzi, As a secular American Jew, I’ve really appreciated reading your exchange. You’ve both helped me to better understand your respective positions and heartfelt arguments. I feel deeply for you both.

I don’t supose I’m adding anything by saying this, but I’d just like to contribute my opinion that the best opportunity for peace was the offer by Ehud Barak which included a divided Jerusalem. It wasn’t everything that Palestinians wanted, but it was most of it. Arafat did great disservice to Palestinians in many instances, but I think rejecting that offer was the greatest.

Regarding a section of Brian’s post, I think the idea that all the Palestinians left for a few weeks waiting for the impending defeat of the Jews has long been a part of Israeli national mythology. I know the the historical record is controversial, but my interpretation is that some Palestinians did indeed leave under this assuption, but many were terrorised out of their homes.

I can post some links, but I’m still reading about this and trying to determine how best to judge which sources are most reliable, or at least making a good faith attempt to evaluate the evidence fairly.

Jared

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An Arab - 16 Jul, '06

Give us back East Jerusalem, Ghaza, and the West Bank. Get off our f’ing land.

’nuff said.

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Jared,
Thanks for acknowledging both Lujayn and my views. As always, there are two sides to every issue. The problem is that very rarely are people ready to engage in dialogues. I am a firm believer in communication and first and foremost try and understand where people are coming from.
Brian’s detailed response gave some very hard facts. Again, it is a question of what is a reliable source and what isn’t.
Honest reporting is unfortunately a rarity nowadays. I therefore believe that you are absolutely right in trying to sift and evaluate the evidence. Please share your findings with us.
All the best
Batzi

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Dear Arab,
You can have the West bank and Gaza (which you have had already for a year and unfortunately did not do much with it other than dig tunnels). You could have also had East Jerusalem had your leaders accepted Barak’s offer. Also,it would be nice to use a more civilized way of expressing oneself, if I may add.
Batzi

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An Arab - 16 Jul, '06

Civilized? You preach being civilized when your leader acts like a modern day Atilla the Hun? Are you kidding me?

Batzi, I am sorry but it is pretty disgusting how you go about portraying yourself as a liberal pacifist while failing to question the actions of your government against the Palestinian people.

Palestinian territories remain under Israeli occupation to this very day. You ask why there is so much hatred, yet have not experienced first-hand the feeling of being thrown out of your land after having lived their for centuries. Israel is here to stay, absolutely. But so are the Palestinians, and until an honest effort to implement the two-state solution is attempted, things will not look as rosy as you want them to. Checkpoints and barriers keep the palestinians from getting home, going to pray, and giving birth, for God’s sake! Israli settlements are being built on land that is not rightfuly theirs, and despicable human rights violations continue to be committed to this very day.

Civilized? Please don’t preach being civilized to me.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=peace+propaganda

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

An Arab, thats a powerful video!

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Anonymous - 16 Jul, '06

Sam

You have compiled “Zionist Jewish Hatred Part 1:” out of 50-plus years of Israeli speeches.

I am sure that a much longer “Arab hatred” list could be compiled out of any single day’s Arab press, or single day’s Arab cartoon output, or even Arab school mathematics lessons.

So what have you proven?

When one sees, on the news, three-year-old children dressed as ‘martyrs’, or wielding machine guns, then I think one can judge who is being educated to hate.

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Batzi - 16 Jul, '06

Dear arab,
Your attidute, I am afraid is part of the reason there is not going to be peace any time soon. You are so filled with hatred towards me. You have never even met me. You have problems with my leaders? So do I sometimes as you should have with yours. I have not done anything to hurt you or your people. On the contrary through my being a teacher and a university lecturer I am trying to educat people about the needs of our region. I try to make people aware that the Palestinians, like any other nation, are deserving of a homeland. I wonder what they will think when they read your hateful commets? Antagonism., accusations and sheer hatred are not going to help your cause!
When I ask you to act in a civilized manner, it is more for the sake of your own people for those who read your lines may see them in the same way that they see you, rude and hateful!
And despite all your accusations, I am still sincerely Yours
Batzi

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Lujayn - 16 Jul, '06

Excuse me, Batzi, but I dont think “An Arab’s” attitude is the reason there isnt going to be peace. He’s not filled with hatred, he’s stating his opinion. He is also angry, but he isnt out of line, he hasnt threatened or expressed explicit hatred. He has said he doesnt buy your slant on things. You cant really expect people to hand out flowers when they’re feeling wronged. He’s stated exactly why he feels wronged, and nothing sounds out of place. He’s acknowledged the Israelis are here to stay, but he asked that you accept that the Palestinians are too.

If you really want to communicate, you need to get over your prejudices, and listen honestly. If you dont hear something you like, it doesnt mean its wrong.

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mahmood - 16 Jul, '06

Sunrunner: “Steve, You really need to read up a bit more on European history. Actually, a lot more.”

Sunrunner, if you have some point to pick with my argument, do so. It appears that you are posing as being better educated in European history without actually doing the homework, as arrogant and intellectually lazy liberals are prone to do. I suppose you think that the goofy politically correct myths that those such as you are prone to favor trump real study, travel, and experience. Your empty and vacuous rebuttal demonstrates your empty and vacuous knowledge of European history.

Sam: I think he needs to get a life, and stop obsessing about other men ! Steve, nothing else to do in your trailer park ? =)”

Ad hominem slander based on homosexual, class & lifestyle prejudice; the signature of Neanderthal lefties who lack the intellect to make their case based on knowledge, facts, and reason.

It’s pretty easy to win an argument when rebutted by such unwashed lefty knuckleheads, like paying chess with chimps.

Steve

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Brian - 16 Jul, '06

By the way, I was the ‘Anonymous’ writing to Sam on 9:35 pm.

Regarding “An Arab”‘s video, I understand how dehumanising the checkpoints have been – but remember, they have been put in place to keep out suicide bombers and other ‘militants’.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Arabs were offered their state in 1937, 1947, 2000, and refused.

Which brings us to 1967. The video lays a lot of stress on Israel “illegally occupying” land it won in the 1967 war (without pointing out Nasser’s role in bringing the war about).

Let me quote, unedited, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khartoum_Resolution

“The Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967 was issued at the conclusion of a meeting between the leaders of eight Arab countries in the wake of the Six-Day War. The resolution, which formed a basis of the policies of these governments toward Israel until the Yom Kippur War of 1973 called for:

1. Continued struggle against Israel
2. Ending the Arab oil boycott declared during the Six-Day War
3. An end to the war in Yemen
4. Economic assistance for Egypt and Jordan

The resolution contains in paragraph 3 what became known as “the three nos” of Arab-Israel relations at that time.

1. No peace with Israel
2. No recognition of Israel
3. No negotiations with Israel

So, “An Arab”, is that history an object lesson in how to conduct diplomacy?

Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel. Palestine could have also, if it had had more reasonable rulers.

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An Arab - 16 Jul, '06

My accusations are anything but baseless.

There is no hatred in my comments, just disgust. Disgust with how complacent people can be, operating under the banner of pacifism. I am as concerned as yourself with the situation. Yet you should realize that your view of the glass as half-full is not going to solve the problem.

I am sorry if you view my comments as full of hate, I am just providing what is, in my opinion, a realistic view of the situation. You ask for people to forget, yet atrocities are being committed to this very day. That is the simple fact. Until those atrocities are halted, there will be unfortunate loss of life on both ends. And don’t get me wrong, I neither approve of nor condone such actions. I am simply aware that they will continue to take place until such issues are addressed.

You will probably point to this post again, say I am full of hatred and that people like me are the root of all evil in Middle East. If that’s not an accusation, I don’t know what is. You say my posts are full of accusations, then turn around and accuse me of being hateful. And you say I generalize?

Yours,
An Arab.

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mahmood - 16 Jul, '06

Steve the Confederate said:

Except for the Japanese, the Muslims are unique among all those civilizations for imposing their religion on the vanquished by force.

haha! Please! please!…someone….anyone…haha…please! Tell Steve to stop tickling me!…ahaha! ooo hehe!

Lets test Steve The Confederate’s hypthethis: “Only the Muslims would impose their religion upon the vanquished”.

The Romans and Mongols were particularly tolerant of diverse religions.

Uhh…the Romans forced all conquered cultures to accept Jupiter as their god, and perform the rites associated with them. If you remember, it was the Romans who invaded Judea and blugeoned the Jews, and sent them to exile. It was the Romans who drove the Christians underground, and burned their bodies alive at gatherings because they did not accept Jupiter. Many empererors like Nero and Diocletian among others are famous for religious crackdowns.

So when you say: As long as you accepted the Persian emperor as divine, they were OK with you.

The same can be applied with respects to the Muslims, where, as long as you accepted Allah, they were ok with you.
The same can be applied with respects to the Romans, where, as long as you accepted Jupiter, they were ok with you.

And the vikings? At least with the previous mentioned cultures, there was a way out. All you had to do was perform some stupid ritual and convert your faith to believe in Jupiter, Allah, or Darius, and you became a citizen of an Empire.

So when a Muslim invader came up to you, you would say:
“Allah is my god”.
When a Roman invader came up to you, you would say:
“Jupiter is my god”.

…but what do you tell a Viking?…

In fact, where would Steve rather be? In front of a Muslim horde that demanded you take the shahada and become a Muslim, or in front of a Viking horde that was sharpening their horns and swords, demanding nothing but your death, treasure, and sister?

****************

The statute of limitations translated into plain English says: “An immoral atrocity happened, but so much time has passed by that no justice can now be brought to bear.”

Your statement:
However, it’s nice to see that you agree that Muslims of old were as evil in your eyes as the modern Israelis but that time sanctifies their atrocities.

Sanctify? I sanctify their atrocities? I sanction the use of force of ancient empires against individuals? To sanction means to give approval to, meaning I give approval to all those atrocities done in the past? I somehow approve of them? Meaning I think they are moral?

There is a STARK difference, between saying:

“An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that no justice can be brought to bear upon it.”

and

“An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that in retrospect it was a moral thing to do.”

BIG difference. So when you claim I “sanctify their atrocities”, you are pinning me to the latter. I mentioned the statute of limitations, meaning I subscribe to the former.

I know you can see the difference. This is dishonesty on your side at best. At worst, well, I cant say it. I can insult an mentally retarded person in good conscience.

-Ibn

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An Arab -