Going for Gold, in Israel

7 Jan, '07

Leonard Mucheru aka Musheer Salem Jawhar erstwhile Bahraini athlete

I would like to offer my congratulations to my erstwhile Bahraini compatriot Leonard Mucheru for winning a marathon in Israel a couple of days ago.

OOOPS! Did I say Israel? How did THAT happen? Do we now finally enjoy full diplomatic relationship with them? Has the thorniest conflict known to man today been resolved? Why didn’t anyone wake me for God’s sake, that would have been a show worth watching.

Ah, hang on a minute, the guy used his Kenyan passport to slip through. Man this guy must be really dedicated to his sport that he would go for a stunt like this. Either that or he’s pretty dense and no one bothered to explain to him the “dos and don’ts”. It’s all rather peculiar.

That doesn’t really concern me that much actually, him going to Israel to do his thing, I personally think that sports should transcend politics as they have been from time immemorial, otherwise, no Olympics and nor a lot of international sporting events would have ever taken place.

So what is it that sent our General Organisation for Youth and Sports over the edge and decide to strip Jawher’s citizenship off and withdraw his (Bahraini) passport? And how is it that GOYS has that power in the first place? I thought only the king could do that. It would be interesting if one of our MPs posed that question to GOYS’ officials, and also question them to find out what their future strategy is, if any.

Over the last few years what GOYS did do is import a lot of foreign athletes have been naturalized to carry Bahrain’s name at international events. I’ve mentioned some of them before, like Maryam Jamal who riled up some people for her showing her abs and Rashid Ramzi who won the first Bahraini gold in Helsinki, so I recognise their contributions and I would like to thank all athletes who allowed Bahrain’s name to shine at sporting events both local and international.

But GOYS as well as ourselves should recognise the fact that these are professional athletes whose only job is to participate in any and all events they can get into. The lifespan of an athlete at international events is rather short, so they cannot afford to pick and choose where they participate, especially when you take into consideration injuries and how long a body has to rest to recuperate.

So do I blame Leanord for participating in Israel? No, I don’t.

While I accept at that level of play, as we have seen in various other professional sporting fields, athletes do get bought and sold into countries, and yes, they are even naturalized in order for them to compete under their current country’s flag which they can and do possibly change as often as they change their jockstraps probably because it is part of their job. Nationality to them is mostly immaterial, to them, they probably think of it as simply a company they’re working for and will have no hesitation in moving if a more fortuitous opportunity comes about. Taking this into consideration, I have no problem with this situation, it is just a simple fact of professional sporting life and we shouldn’t read too much into it.

But what of the future though? Is GOYS simply going to buy their athletes in and naturalise them to win for us by proxy?

The question must be asked though, given our resources, does Bahrain really need to go out of its way to sign up these athletes? Isn’t this simply a case of instant gratification? Probably, but I suggest that it should be managed with long-term strategic thinking, one way to use this phenomenon is to put in place the tools to transfer the experience of these world-class athletes to local budding Bahrainis. Once that agreement is in place, give them whatever they want and do get them to carry the Bahraini citizenship if that is expedient, but also utilise them as inspirations to young local Bahrainis so that in a few years we can also be very proud to find locals mounting the top step at international meets.

It’s not unthinkable, and it shouldn’t be. We should not be against importing any experts in any field we lack the expertise in. But it would be an utter shame to spend vast amounts of money and effort in bringing them in and not really and methodically benefiting from ready expertise.

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  1. Naher und Mittlerer Osten - الشرق | 17 Jan, '07
  1. tooners says:

    The hubby told me that Qatar wanted to bring the Olympics to that country. How could that happen when Israel is part of the deal? Do they intend to not allow Israel to take part in the Olympics that year, if they were to get them? Not that Qatar would get the Olympics any way… I can’t see it. :whistle:

  2. Shachar says:

    I wouldn’t be all that surprised if you could get in on your Bahareini passport. You would require a visa, but if you’re an international level sportman asking to participate in a sports event, you’d probably get it. I know that pilgrims from Iran got a visa to visit Jerusalem in the past.

    You can even ask for them not to stamp your passport when you go in, so that none of the many Arab countries who will turn you down at the border if you have ever been to Israel will know you have. You don’t have to have any prior arrangement for that. All you have to do is go right up to border control and ask them. They stamp a seperate piece of paper which you return upon your exit, no trace in the actual passport.

    Shachar

  3. faceless says:

    i have a question. isn’t one of the rules of being granted bahraini citizenship is to forfeit any other passport you have?
    everyone knows that people do tend to work around that and end up having more than one passport, but maybe it was just too public. maybe that was why they took away his bahraini citizenship, because it was too public. :wassat:

  4. Ibn says:

    Maybe the Israelis should give him citizenship instead. Oh wait, he’s not Jewish. Dang it! So close. 😆

    -Ibn

  5. mahmood says:

    Tooners, Qatar is the only Gulf country who has some Israeli representation within their country. They have a “trade office” which some Arab countries objected to which resulted in its temporary closure. I have seen the Israeli flag flying proudly in Dubai while the IMF meeting was held there in 2005 and I further understand that Oman might have an Israeli embassy (yes, full diplomatic relations) open there soon if the rumours are to be believed. I remember seeing a whole delegation of Israelis walking in the Gold Souq in Bahrain a few years ago, in a very open manner. So it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination that Israel can not only participate in a sporting event in most of the Gulf countries; they will actually be officially welcomed to do so!

    As to Qatar’s chances in hosting the 2016 Olympics, judging by the excellent job they have done for the ASIAD games, they have an extremely strong chance of doing so.

    Don’t write them off Tooners, they are the awakening tiger of this area and they have done their citizens proud. They are infinitely better than we are in Bahrain and you can take that to the bank.

  6. Romster says:

    Dis this guy vote in the last election?.

  7. AJJ says:

    The Palestinian problem may have been solved by now had the PLO not infiltrated many Gulf States at management level, and encouraged local papers and radio stations throughout the Gulf to perpetuate the hate and confilct.

    It is shameful that the region has this boycott when dialogue and economic cooperation with both sides could have resolved the issue. The amount of money spent by Israel and the States on defending Israel, and the amount of money spent and lost attacking itand boycotting it could have made every Palestinian a millionaire. The PLO and the GCC are not doing the Palestinian people any favours.

  8. Bahrainiac says:

    Romster, probably, he voted for Al-Seedi :w00t:

  9. Don Cox says:

    The whole idea of importing athletes seems absurd to me. How can you talk about “The Bahraini Team” if none of the members are really from Bahrain?

    Importing coaches and trainers and physios does make sense.

    But one bunch of Kenyans labelled “Bahrain” versus another bunch of Kenyans labelled “Luxembourg” ?????

  10. Maverick says:

    Shachar is correct about the passport procedures. I have known it to be true when my parents went for pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

    I second AJJ’s sentiments. As much as I blame much of the conflict on government persons like Bush and Sharon etc, it is up to us to show a positive attitude and not blame all Jews for the problems created by a few. Arafat screwed his own people. Diaglogue helps although it takes a long time. Through continuing violence not a single good thing has been achieved neither by Israel nor by Palestine and certainly not by Hizbullah, except that they showed their mettle to Israel in the recent conflict in Lebanon.

    As for Bahrain, it has doubel standards. GCC nationals can keep their original passports and Bahraini passports when they marry Bahraini. This helps the govenment to garner votes as has been seen during this election.

    However if you are an Indian, a Pakistani or of any other nationality bahrain immigration takes your passport, so they can give it back to you after recovering the Bahraini passport, in case they want to kick you out.

    Technically as per rules of your country in case Indian or Pakistan, you have to return you passport to them in case you take up nationality of another country. However Bahrain does not give you this opportunity. Double standards is what I call it.

  11. Angry says:

    At least he has achieved something for Bahrain, but what about Asaleh (Syrian singer) who got her Bahraini nationality for free. Did anyone asked her to get rid of the Syrian nationality!

  12. Maverick says:

    Perhaps Nancy Ajram can get a Bahraini passport too….. :biggrin: Imagine the rush to for CPR to Bahrain Emergency from our dear MPs :biggrin: :biggrin: 😆 :w00t: :devil:

  13. Angry says:

    I heared that Michael Jackosn also got the Bahraini passport just to make his life easier in Bahrain. Some people think it’s positive looking to the publicity Michael will bring to Bahrain! What a funny justification.

    Bahraini passport is easy to get for those who are dear to “……” but when it comes to others, they should go through the right channel and procedures. This is what I call double standards.

  14. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, Ajj and Maverick, good points made. The Arab world, the US and others donated billions of dollars to Palestinians under Arafat, yet the Palestinian area shows absolutely nothing for it. But his wife and his old friends are loaded. High level of corruption. And the Palestinian people need the most help of all. It’s an awful situation in my opinion. And now I can see a double standard in Bahrain with the situation of this athlete. Very unfair.

    Sachar, I am glad to see you participating in this blog with all of us. How could the hateful rhetoric be stopped on the Israeli side against Muslims (and hateful rhetoric against Israel on the Muslim side), so that both sides could openly trade to raise the standard of living on the Palestinian side. Not just sports figures but commercial activity that could help everyone. Israel could certainly gain cheaper labor and agricultural products at minimum to help the Israeli economy.

    The wrong people are getting rich in Palestine with the existing conflict, and the people suffer in every case like this, whereever it happens.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  15. bikeshed says:

    deleting my earlier comment was just not cool…don’t do smilies, but if I did, it wouldn’t be a happy one…what else is removed from this site?

  16. Esra'a says:

    This baffles me, aren’t we supposed to be in good terms with Israel soon?

  17. LuLu says:

    I wonder too who delegated GOYS to give and take passports? (like candy)

  18. That's It?? says:

    I’m actually totally shocked that Bahrain and it’s new parliament didnt take a step further and maybe issued a death warrant for this guy.. or maybe start burning US/Israeli flags in the streets just to let the world to know that indeed Bahrain still rejects the existance of such a race… wasn’t this the norm?

    Will someone tell me why extremists are no where to be seen?? Aren’t we to expect that Bahrain will once again make a fool out of itself and burn flags and blaze some embassies while we’re at it???

    to be frank i applaude such behavior from this guy just because he DID IT.. did he get poisoned or killed over there?? did Bahrain all of a sudden receive any blockades or punishments from countries which find this act as treachery and disgust?? Has Hell frozen over??

    Sports is sports, its competition against any human.. Period. Bahrain and the rest of the countries of the world should amend it’s Laws to allow ANYONE to professionally play sports ANYWHERE the Sports world takes them..

    I’ll try to avoid the Budaiya and Sanabis areas which I frequently pass by tomorrow just in case..

  19. Ibn says:

    How could the hateful rhetoric be stopped on the Israeli side against Muslims

    Good point Vic. Maybe we can ask former Israeli Prime Minister to help us in this regard.

    I especially like some of his just marvelous “solutions” like this:

    Israel recently enacted policies that are impacting the highest fertility sectors of the Israel Arab population. In 2004, the government stopped granting stipends for every child born to a family, restricting them to only the first two children born. There was an immediate drop in Bedouin pregnancies.

    Selective govermnent grants that depend on your race and religion? Why… maybe we in the Arab world should adopt something similar eh? Perhaps the early ambassadors of the free and democratic state of Israel can educate us on their mastery of how to discourage fertility growth of “undesirelables” within our populaces, once they open up shop in Oman and Bahrain.

    -Ibn

  20. jayjerome says:

    “the government stopped granting stipends for every child born to a family, restricting them to only the first two children born”

    Doesn’t that policy include Israeli families too, Ibn? Anyone with more than two children have their stipends restricted?

    If so, it’s a similar law to the one passed by the Iranian government in the mid 1980s to discourage large families. The Iranians restricted maternity leave benefits after three children — substantially lowering the birth rate to 1.1 percent — in line with most of the other developed nations.

  21. jayjerome says:

    Mahmood, I don’t know if you know it or not, but there’s an ironic element to your use of the acronym GOY (General Organisation for Youth and Sports) to describe the machinations against the athlete who competed in the Israeli sporting event.

    Goy is a Yiddish word that means a gentile: someone not of the Jewish faith or people.

    link here

  22. mahmood says:

    bikeshed what the hell are you talking about?

  23. mahmood says:

    Jay, someone’s gonna get mighty pissed and change the name of the organisation soon 😉

  24. bikeshed says:

    I posted a comment on this topic, about this time yesterday, before this article appeared…

  25. mahmood says:

    Oh that…

    I deleted it because it was not relevant to the topic you commented on.

    If you want to bring something to my attention please use the available Contact Form.

    Read the site’s published comments policy, and the terms and conditions, I am sure you will find them very interesting.

  26. Loki says:

    Naturalising foreign athletes is common practice in many succesful countries . The US, UK, and Germany do it all the time. Its not a quick fix solution, it has a double impact. It gives success in the short term and it raises the bar at grass roots level.

    Generally, and I gather in Bahrain specifically, these passports come with T&Cs. Competeing in Israel would probably be in them. I think this guy was an idiot if he thought he could do this without any consequences.

    PS: Sports has always been used in politics and always will be….

  27. Hamad says:

    I was born and spent 29 years of my life in Bahrain .Im arabain as well but till today i have no passport.

    Im very sad seeing any one taking the passport while the real lover of this island ignored for one reson only because they realy love bahrain !!! you should not belong to this countery to have the passport you should be player or singer or rich thats what citizen ship mean for them. mean nothing to loving the land .

    The people of bahrain also start to hate any one get the passport for one reson only . It is the mistake of the past .

    and people like us pay the price of other mistakes .

    Hamad

  28. Loki

    Please name one athlete the US naturlized just so they could compete in competition.

  29. Anonymous says:

    CerebralWaste, when was the last time you took a look at the US football (soccer) team? Just because Ramirez & Gonzalez are common names in the US doesn’t mean they were born there….

  30. I would be very surprised if they where given US citizenship (even if they are aliens) to play soccer. That is the point and the question at hand.

  31. Ibn says:

    JayJerome,

    Doesn’t that policy include Israeli families too, Ibn? Anyone with more than two children have their stipends restricted?

    No, the article clearly states, this is targeted towards Arab families only. Again, as Netanyahu states: “Israel recently enacted policies that are impacting the highest fertility sectors of the Israel Arab population. In 2004, the government stopped granting stipends for every child born to a family, restricting them to only the first two children born. There was an immediate drop in Bedouin pregnancies.”

    Not Jewish pregnancies Mr JJ. Arab pregnancies.

    If so, it’s a similar law to the one passed by the Iranian government in the mid 1980s to discourage large families.

    Mr JayJerome, the issue here is not state incentives for family control. The issue is racially motivated state incentives for family control. Yes, Iran did have state incentives for families – so does China – and a number of current European nations do too – but I am not aware of any of them being racially motivated.

    -Ibn

  32. صلوا على النبي شباب!

    Over 10’000 other like him had the Bahraini passport under similar conditions… Obey or go away!

    Seems what he did was tooooooooo “obvious” and some religious people were ABOUT to do something of what was “leaked” outside, but the government did what it did to prevent a clash between those religious clicks from a side & to show that “we punish those who don’t do what we want them to do” etc etc etc…………

    But the whole thing is stupid, really… Starting from that athlete ending with the decision from GOYS…

  33. J. Thomas says:

    CerebralWaste:
    At least Bahrain naturalizes for sport-a harmless thing, but many went to fight in IRAQ so that they will be naturalized after their return; mainly Hispanics of course who can be spent as much as we want.

    “IN GOD WE TRUST, REST PAY IN CASH”

  34. And your point is what? Serving in the military is a pathway towards towards citizenship for those that choose to do so. No one is drafted or forced to serve. As you well know J. Thomas, military service in the US is 100% voluntary.

    Non US citizens serving in the military make up less then 1/2 of 1%. So I am not sure what you are drivng at.

  35. Ethan says:

    Ibn,

    That could be because Jews were not having more than two children?

    Maybe the Israeli government had found that it was not cost effective to subsidize huge families? Bedouins are not known for having small families, and the fact that they could get money for having even more children seems an abuse of the system.

    If this policy was truly racist, it would not have been a blanket policy. As it is now, a Jewish family with 3 kids gets the same as a Bedouin family with 3 kids, an Arab family with 3 kids, a Christian family with 3 kids… etc. I fail to see the racism aspect; especially given that there’s little racial difference between any of those groups.

    Unless, of course, you think the fact that large families can no longer live on the dole of the government is a racist policy.

    Speaking of actual racism, how about that genocide in the Sudan?

  36. jayjerome says:

    Ibn, I don’t think you read the paragraph carefully enough: it doesn’t say the policy targets ONLY Arab families, it says the policy is impacting the highest fertility sectors… the ones with the highest birthrate: the Bedouins. But it isn’t disproportionately affecting Israeli’s Muslim or Christian Arab or Druze families, because their birth rates are actually below the Jewish birth rate in Israel

    link here

    Perhaps part of the reason you misread and misinterpreted Netanyahu’s article is because you quoted it out of context. Here’s the paragraph you chopped:

    In contrast, the absolute number of births in the Israel Arab sector grew from 36,500 births in 1995 to 40,800 in 2000 and has remained there ever since. In fact, after rising slightly to a record 41,400 births in 2003, the number of Israel Arabs births fell for the first time in 2004 to 40,800. The overall Israel Arab fertility figure (which includes Israel Moslem, Christian Arabs, and Druze) declined from 4.4 in 2000 to 4.0 in 2004. Israel recently enacted policies that are impacting the highest fertility sectors of the Israel Arab population. In 2004, the government stopped granting stipends for every child born to a family, restricting them to only the first two children born. There was an immediate drop in Bedouin pregnancies.

    Again, it says the government stopped the stipends for every child born to a FAMILY — not to an Arab family. The enacted policy affected Bedouin pregnancies (which were very high), but didn’t affect Israel’s Arab or Druze populations any more than it affected Israel ‘s Jewish population.

    To state as you did above that the issue was a “racially motivated” state incentive is a distorted interpretation of the facts.

  37. Ibn says:

    Ethan,

    Maybe the Israeli government had found that it was not cost effective to subsidize huge families? Bedouins are not known for having small families, and the fact that they could get money for having even more children seems an abuse of the system.

    First off, did you actually read the article Netnayahu wrote? For anyone to read that article, and then conclude that its all about the goverment trying to save some money, is like saying the Kama Sutra addresses pillow-talk topics.

    If this policy was truly racist, it would not have been a blanket policy. As it is now, a Jewish family with 3 kids gets the same as a Bedouin family with 3 kids, an Arab family with 3 kids, a Christian family with 3 kids… etc.

    Again, read the article. Netanhayu is reporting on polices meant to mitigate the birth rate of Arabs, vs the birth rate of Jews. The entire spirit of the article is such that he addresses the “demographic problem”, by assuring the reader that (1) there isnt one, because of (2) where, we have even affected the birth rate of Arabs and reduced that number significantly.

    Which by the way, begs the question: If the Arabs of Israel are really true citizens of the state of Israel, then why on earth would a country be so obsessed with their birthrates, and in fact implement policies in trying to reduce them?

    As they say Ethan, you cant be more royal than the King, especially seeing as how this fundamental and disgusting issue has shown itself over and over again, as Israelis themselves will attest too.

    Speaking of actual racism, how about that genocide in the Sudan?

    I do not know what you hope to accomplish with this tactic – shall we ignore Israel’s inherent and fundamental racism, because there is a genocide going on in the Sudan? Or should we shut up in critisizing Israel until every last Arab becomes a docile rabbit? What does the Arab citizen of Israel (the one who’s number of kids threaten the state), have to do with a horse-riding Janjaweed mercenary in the Sudan? Are you implying a connection? On what basis I wonder. Im tempted to say it, but I wont. Ill let you answer. The one thing that is for sure however – no one is going to call the mercenaries of Sudan “free and democratic”. Maybe they should set up a lobby in Washington DC.

    -Ibn

  38. Ibn says:

    JayJerome,

    Ibn, I don’t think you read the paragraph carefully enough: it doesn’t say the policy targets ONLY Arab families

    First point: Mr JJ, what part of “Israel recently enacted policies that are impacting the highest fertility sectors of the Israeli Arab population. makes you think he is also including Jews? (bold mine).

    The enacted policy affected Bedouin pregnancies (which were very high), but didn’t affect Israel’s Arab or Druze populations any more than it affected Israel ‘s Jewish population.

    False. Here’s why: Second point: Bedouins are Arabs. The question of how many children/family the government wants to encourage through stipends is obviously a financial issue. Studies may be worked out, for the most optimal number, given tax rate, population, etc. So there is definately a financial number to it.

    Here however, the case is additive. Not only is the issue financial, (it always is), but also racial. Why would Netanyahu, in trying to soothe fears of a “demographic Arab bomb”, put statistics in place that simply reported on the annual savings rate of the government? Just what purpose would that serve?

    Why would someone reporting on the threat of Arab blood to the state of Israel report on financial savings strategies of the government? Do not drop context please.

    So its pretty darn obvious – It is an active policy, meant to curb non-Jewish demographics. Even Israeli pundits acknowledge this, and at least one MP resigned over it. Like I told Ethan, you cant be holier than the pope.

    And one final point: I have stuck to what is probably the most liberal “solution” you will find within Israel on this topic. Talk on this issue frequently revolves around voluntary and involuntary mass deportations, stripping of citizenships due to blood, restrictions of government services in non-Jewish neighbourhoods, and other such democratic and free practices.

    -Ibn

  39. Shachar says:

    IBN,

    The economics of things makes it inevitable that you win every single misquote and out of context unrelated hate speech you bring up in this blog. It would appear that I’m the only Israeli still reading this blog (well, skimming it, lately). You seem to be the only other one of this blog’s readers that takes such a great interest in what’s going on in Israel, and you do it through your own filter.

    Nontheless, I’ll try to correct the factual errors of your statements.

    Netanyahu did NOT put in place cutting back of birth support to affect the Arab population. He did it to affect a whole sub-section of the Israeli society that has two criteria identifying it:
    1. It has lots of children
    2. It has a low rate of employed adults.

    These apparently include the Beduwins, but it also include a much much greater section of the Israeli population, which is the orthodox jews. Economically speaking, the orthodox jews were the section most hurt from these changes, and they were the real target of it. I am not a great fan of Netanyahu’s personality, and so found little reason to read his blog/site, but I can assume that what he’s talking about at the relevant article is that the Beduwin child birth was most AFFECTED by the cut-backs.

    Now, you may ask, if I’m not reading Netanyahu’s blog, how do I know that these were, indeed, the reasons? The answer is very simple.

    I was there when they were publicly debated!

    Netanyahu can try and superimpose whatever retrospective reasons on these actions, according to whatever he may think may bring him the most credit today, but they were not the reasons at the time. The child payments cutbacks were not even alone.

    At the time (less than four years ago), the Israeli economy was in a very bad state. Netanyahu’s own metaphors of the time were a lean man carrying a fat man on it’s back. The subject of the metaphor was that 80% of the country’s tax income were coming from the top 10% of the population. Netanyahu, as minister of finance, identified that as the top threat to Israel’s economic stability.

    Not only that, but the bottom 30% of the population were not paying taxes on one hand, and receiving money from the state on the other. Netanyahu called that “being payed to not work”.

    So he enacted a number of changes, and he was HATED for them. The changes included:
    – cutting down (a little) the taxes that the top 20% income takers pay
    – Cutting down on all social payments. These included unemployment payments, the size of the public sector and…… child support.

    Yes, child support was cut back, but any reference you make to cutting back child support alone is made out of context.

    It was done purely for economical reasons. It had hurt certain jewish sectors even more than it hurt the Beduwins. It was done despite of a huge lobbying effort from every imaginable sector, the Arab sector being the least of them.

    And it worked. The Israeli economy today faces problems that are purely related to growth (i.e. – the sheqel is getting too strong, affecting export, etc.). These are direct results of Netanyahu’s economic policy.

    Of course, he was so hated at the time that no one is willing to give him credit for it, which causes him to try and take credit, which causes him to write stupid things in his blog (which is the reason I don’t bother reading it). However, judging the action according to the later interpretation of it makes no sense, unless you are unwilling to reach any conclusion but the one you set up to reach.

    Shachar

  40. Aliandra says:

    J. Thomas;

    Ever hear of the French Foreign Legion?

  41. docspencer says:

    Shachar, I have a question for you. I travelled to Ramat Gan and the Technion up in Haifa, as well as to several Arab countries during the early 80’s. At that time on the political level (Netanyahu types) in Israel there was a lot of concern about Arabs achieving a population majority some day within Israel, and therefore impacting the voting results in a direction that Israel did not want. In some quarters, I am guessing that the same feelings still exist. What is your experience currently?

    During my visits by the way, I found the professional people, Arabs or Israeli, even in the Israeli military, very compatible, not wanting a conflict among Arabs/Muslims and Israel. They all were in favor of open communication and trade. It is a great pity that not much improved in the two decades. Any conflict I saw then was on the part of the politicians and the newspapers – on both sides.

    Glad to see you on this board. And it is great to see such an open blog, thanks to Mahmood.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  42. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, you present the current needs in a very organized way. Did you ever consider presenting it in front of the appropriate Majlis (or Matem if Shia?)? Especially in writing like a presentation. That leaves an audit trail also. Pretty much the way you present it here.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  43. jasra jedi says:

    Ibn

    For anyone to read that article, and then conclude that its all about the goverment trying to save some money, is like saying the Kama Sutra addresses pillow-talk topics.

    made me laugh!!

    politics and pillow talk topics are very similar … whoever said that size (of the minority) didn’t matter?

    :tongue:

  44. Sami says:

    Well, now he is stateless. I read today in the news that Kenya also stripped him out of his Kenyan nationality (as it did not allow double-citizenship) …. Now is the suitable time for “Israel” to offer him its nationality.. but wait he is not Jewish.. so he would need to convert to Judaism before… what a total mess!

  45. Shachar says:

    docspencer,

    The “demographic problem” is this. Israel was built to allow a safe haven for jews worldwide. The problem of picking on jews for being jewish was relevant for hundreds of years, and every indication today is that it’s still, at least somewhat, relevant (and those aspects by which it is not are mostly because of Israel’s existance, and thus cannot be counted as an argument against the necessity of having a “Jewish state”). On the other hand, Israel wishes to be a democratic country. This means, pretty much by definition, that it has to provide equal opertunities to all of its citizens.

    The solution in Israel is this. The country is fully equal to all of its citizens, but new citizens are accepted based on criteria which are not equal. Insert IBN’s usual rants about racism here. If you stop to think about it for one second, this is not much different than almost any other country in the world. There is no country that give instant citizenship to anyone knocking on its door, and there is almost no country that treat all people wishing to get citizenship alike.

    There are practical hitches to this principle. There are cases where equality is not maintained, usually due to individuals being biased. In most cases, the local courts are fairly effective in improving this situation, and the situation is, I believe, constantly getting better. Considering how other democratic countries behave under similar circumstances, I believe Israel has nothing to be ashamed of.

    Which brings us to the “demographic problem”. On average, families in the Arab section of the Israeli population have more children than Jewish families, which means that, as time goes by, the precentage of Arabs from the entire Israeli population increases. For a nation that still remembers what it means to be up to someone who doesn’t like you to do such basic stuff as even settle down and live somewhere, losing sovernty is not an easy thing.

    Of course, the real question is “what to do”…… 🙂

    Shachar

  46. Jasra-Jedi says:

    Shahcar,

    Of course, the real question is “what to do”…… 🙂

    But, hasnt that been answered?

    1. Bomb the s**t out of Gaza and the West Bank.
    2. Jail most of the Arab men until their wives are not at child bearing age.
    3. Invent a new boogyman in the GCC (1980’s Iraq and 2000 Iran) to ensure that Mommy America is supporting you all the way.

    And .. voila! Demographics are somewhat controlled in a very Democratic way!

  47. Shachar says:

    Jasra-Jedi,

    I can see where your confusion comes from. I was referring to what WE would do, not what YOU would do.

    I know, some days, it’s really hard to keep the two apart.

    Shachar

    P.s.
    On a more serious tone, I was referring to Israeli citizen Arabs, not anyone else. Apparently, bombing Israeli Arabs is the sole priviledge of Nasrallah.

  48. Dilmun says:

    This is so embarrasing, I can’t believe we took away a man’s citizenship for going to Israel! .. His Citizenship… since when were there degrees of citizenship? And since when did GOYS Give and Take citizenship, what kind of bullshit is this? Now, its an international incident!! Yeah thanks, and we are one of the few places in the Middle East where Muslims, Christians and Jews live peacefully… Why give citizenship to a man because he can run, why not give it to a scientist? an inventor? a scholar? Why do we always give citizenship to sports/laborers/and idiot Syrians?! I mean if “ish ma3na el 3oya o ilminkasra”

  49. docspencer says:

    JJ, why do you need to be insulting to Shachar? The problem between Israel and HezbAllah and Hamas is very serious, and it deserves serious answers. The Palestinian issue is probably the most serious issue we all (I hope) want to see resolved, and part of the solution is to disarm these militias that swear to the distruction of a neighboring country. As I recall HezbAllah started this particular mess by going into Israel, overruning a guard post, killing 6 soldiers and capturing two. How would you respond? I think we should be fair. And it’s just my opinion that Israel way overdid its response, and basicly handed HezbAllah a PR victory.

    Not cool man on either side.

  50. jasra jedi says:

    doc spencer,

    i dont mean to be insulting to shacar at all. in actual fact, i like the guy. i have followed his posts before, and i acutally believe that he genuinely wants peace in the region. and more importantly, i think he is reasonable and willing to deal with discussions logically and methodically.

    i was being insulting to the israeli government.

    🙂

  51. docspencer says:

    Thanks JJ. It is very kind of you to respond so fast. I met many good, well educated people like Shachar in Israel, including military officers. The same as in your world. Governments can be very ego driven as your examples show on Mahmoods blogs and in Israel – or in Washington for that matter. Bush is about to speak in a couple of hours about a significant troup increase in Iraq, and i dread it. There were many policy mistakes and if those are not corrected, we are just wasting our men and women in service.

    I guess the only thing we can do is rememver these things at voting time, and to communicate with the members of our governments to correct some things.

    The Israeli political environment is very complicated compared to ours. And a prime minister and his staff must please the majority. That is a disadvantage of democracy, although overall it works well enough it seems.

    Vic

  52. jonny says:

    During the 1980’s, here in Australia, we imported a lot of athletes from South Africa.

  53. can we talk says:

    DS
    “As I recall HezbAllah started this particular mess by going into Israel, overruning a guard post, killing 6 soldiers and capturing two”

    I’m sorry but what you recall is what the biased media has fed you, that was neither how nor when it started. living in the US, it is understandable that you tend to get a very different view of the whole story. if you were living in the UK, for example, the news you would get on their normal channels is much more balanced and actually asks questions which are taboo in the american media. this conflict is much bigger and older than that. elsewhere on this blog you’ll find long discussions about this.

    Dilmun
    “This is so embarrasing, I can’t believe we took away a man’s citizenship for going to Israel!”
    and
    “Why give citizenship to a man because he can run, why not give it to a scientist? an inventor? a scholar?”
    while I agree that many people should not have been given citizenship for demographic reasons, many countries do offer citizenship to those who can offer it something it lacks. In Canada and the Australia you get more points for various specializations as well as for the size of the bank account you will open. and how many ballet dancers defected to the US from the USSR in the old days.
    as for speaking the language, understanding the culture, there are hispanics who have lived in the US for years who still don’t speak the language nor integrate into the culture. they do not however go to alien countries and make political statements.
    frankly, he was an idiot and deserves what he got. he is obviously going around looking for funding and selling his skills to the highest bidder with no loyalties. I think HE embarassed Kenya much more. think what it says about them that their citizens are for sale to the highest bidder? if he was the only one, fine, but he wasn’t.

    and he can’t say he didn’t know about our politics. if he really didn’t, then why did he use his Kenyan passport to go there? this is a guy who looks after number one all the way. he saw a better economic future here, so he came here. if another country offers him a better deal, he would drop his B citizenship in a second. he was supposed to hand in his Kenyan passport but he kept it just in case (ok, many people do that, but usually it is with the knowledge of the other country, not against the laws of BOTH countries). he heard there was a race in Israel, he thought he might win, so he went. he could have gone to any other race in any other country, but the genius couldn’t see past the end of his nose and miss this one. he can’t get in with the B passport, no problem, use the Kenyan one. he won the race, as a Kenyan he’s nothing special, as a B he is a rarity, use that card. he thought he was being clever, but he was an idiot. plain and simple. in every situation he finds himself, every opportnity that comes up he asks himself “what would be the most profitable thing for me to do now?”
    and if there isn’t anything in the laws that justifies revokation of citizenship, then one should certainly be introduced for future cases.

    personally, i think there should be a probation period when people are granted citizenship and if they commit crimes or you find out that they lied during that period, etc. their temporary citizenship (eg. green card or whatever) should be revoked. citizenship should not be an overnight affair.

    our willingness to give away our nationality to any joe, WITHOUT STRINGS, THAT is the embarassing thing to us.

  54. mahmood says:

    our willingness to give away our nationality to any joe, WITHOUT STRINGS, THAT is the embarassing thing to us.

    That is not true. Let me qualify that:

    our willingness to give away our nationality to any joe, WHO IS NOT EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTRY OR ITS PEOPLE IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY WITHOUT ANY STRINGS, THAT is the embarrassing thing to us.

    And I can give you names of people who have lived here over the legal requirement of 15 years, have contributed positively to this island and its people, have invested literally millions of Bahraini Dinars and continue to employ Bahrainis and export products proudly stamped with “Made in Bahrain” and they still get no passport nor nationality.

  55. can we talk says:

    i definitely agree with your qualifier. i stand corrected.

  56. Shachar says:

    can we talk,

    How different would your analysis of the situation be had he forfited his Kenya passport, and then asked for a Visa to Israel to compete, got it, and won? Would you still think that his Baharainian citizenship should be revoked?

    Shachar

  57. cwt

    and how many ballet dancers defected to the US from the USSR in the old days.

    CWT
    Just because someone defects to the US doesn’t mean they automatically acquire US Citizenship. Once Asylum is given all that means they can legally stay in the US. They must meet certain criteria and that criteria is dependant on numerous factors. Often it is only as a stop gap measure until other arrangements can be made for “Stateless” people.

  58. jasra jedi says:

    docspencer …

    The Israeli political environment is very complicated compared to ours. And a prime minister and his staff must please the majority. That is a disadvantage of democracy, although overall it works well enough it seems.

    well enough for whom? for palestinians? for iraqis? for lebanese? for persians?

  59. can we talk says:

    Shachar,
    “How different would your analysis of the situation be had he forfited his Kenya passport, and then asked for a Visa to Israel to compete, got it, and won? Would you still think that his Baharainian citizenship should be revoked?”

    not very different, actually. in an ideal world, sports would transcend politics and athletes would compete for themselves, but it isn’t and they don’t. as it is, athletes represent their countries and they win medals for their countries and when they do they participate they act as ambassadors of their countries and have to abide by the laws of their countries. so to respond to your question, yes, i would still think so.

    if he had fortified his passport, that would not mean that he automatically becomes loyal to this country and would not move on to the next attractive offer.

    i am not sure why you think that would change the scenario much. he must have known his participation would not be looked at favourably. he didn’t care. if as Mahmood said above nationality is immaterial to athletes (which i don’t believe is true of all athletes), then number 1 he shouldn’t have been offered it, and number 2 this will not bother him one bit.

    CW
    “Just because someone defects to the US doesn’t mean they automatically acquire US Citizenship. Once Asylum is given all that means they can legally stay in the US. They must meet certain criteria and that criteria is dependant on numerous factors. Often it is only as a stop gap measure until other arrangements can be made for “Stateless” people. ”

    yes, i realize that, and that would be the proper way to go about it. make it a lengthy process while you check people out. and if they prove to be an asset or a potential asset to the country, then by all means welcome them in. such as the ones Mahmood mentioned above. as far as i remember, you also have to pledge allegiance, pass a written test and have a minimum English requirement. also, if you marry an american, they check up on you to ensure that you are truly cohabitating. a Canadian couple I know won american citizenship in a raffle, but such cases are the exception rather than the rule. there are however some talented or very rich people who are welcomed and even sought because of their unusual expertise. and why not, as long as they are going to be loyal?

  60. You don’t win citizenship in a raffle. You “win” (a misnomer at that) a “green card” and the chance to become a citizen after a period of years should you continue to choose to do so and provided you meet the established criteria.

    You make it sound like you pony up a dollar for a scratch and win ticket and BINGO your an instant American. :silly:

  61. can we talk says:

    “You make it sound like you pony up a dollar for a scratch and win ticket and BINGO your an instant American.”

    ROFL

  62. docspencer says:

    My quote: “That is a disadvantage of democracy, although overall it works well enough it seems”

    Sorry JJ, I was not complete enough with my sentence for you.

    Democracy works well enough for us in the USA, in Canada, in Mexico, in Chile, in Israel, in Turkey, in Japan, in India, in Australia, in New Zealand, in Germany, in the UK, France, etc., etc. in many-many countries. Virtually everywhere. I would suggest that you all look at the Singapore model. Very small country, absolutely no natural resources, it used to be one of the poorest places on earth some 30 years ago and today it is most prosperous. The management style within the government is better than ours, more like a corporation’s style and gov’t departments are run like a business. All government departments (buying and selling services, there are good result-measurement systems in place, and they do measure). A country can do that when it is new to being a democracy, like all of you would be, but it could not if you were operating in democracy for several decades already.

    I think Singapore is the role model.

    I ASSUME that it could work well for the ME countries as well. I ASSUME that it could work well for the Lebanese, Iran, Iraq and for a nation of Palestine as well. It appears that it never works right away from day one. THAT IS what should not be forgotten. For both Germany and Japan it took 8-10 years, with a lot of terrorist attacks during the first 3-5 years after WWII.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  63. docspencer says:

    JJ, for you and others if interested, here is a fairly concise description of Singapore, its economy and gov’tal system:
    https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sn.html

    You can compare it to other countries in the Middle East if you want.

    It is a great place to visit (for a vacation?). Very impressive place.

    Vic

  64. mahmood says:

    I think Singapore is the role model.

    For a police state, maybe, for democracy and human rights, it most definitely is not.

  65. Shachar says:

    CWT,

    If I understand you correctly, essentially, you are saying that for any Baharainy citizen to visit Israel, presumably for whatever reason, is an offence punishable by revoking his/her citizenship.

    Makes little sense to me.

    Unless you are saying that it’s ok for a sportsman to compete in Israel, so long as he doesn’t win….

    Shachar

  66. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, Singapore is a democracy where the government responds with higher penalties than most countries for things like defacing property, littering (high dollar penalties), and drug posession. It is incredibly successful economically, without any natural resources with no unemployment. Singapore is NOT a police state. Germany was a police state under Hitler. North Korea is a police state under Kim Jong Il.

    You do not have to adapt all laws of a role model state, although this one produces excellent results. I would pick a role model based on results. Do you have a role model for a Bahraini democracy? What criteria do you use to pick it?

    Still have not heard from you about presenting your ideas about a democratic Bahrain to the appropriate Majlisses to start some action and see what response you would get. And you want to start now, rather than wait a bit like some others in your Den. Do you think that the Majlisses would not listen?

    Best regards,

    Vic

  67. Jasra-Jedi says:

    doc spencer ..

    singapore is most definitely not a democracy. it is an economic success story … but it is not a democracy. it is a very centrally planned economy that leaves no chance to the market ..

    as for bahrain’s model .. it needs to evolve organically. and given the regional bloodbath, it is going to have to sort out its sectarian issues first and formost .. the whole region is facing this square off ..

  68. M says:

    Are there other countries on the planet that a visit to would qualify the visitor for a loss of citizenship or is it only Israel?

  69. mahmood says:

    I don’t know M, what happened to Americans visiting the USSR not too long ago?

    Maybe they didn’t get their citizenship revoked, but could well have for all the harassment they probably received. And vice-versa of course.

    What I’m saying is that this situation is exclusively political. Bahrain is officially at war with Israel, like the majority of the Arab world. What possible outcome would you think possible in this situation where one of your citizens not only visits your enemy, but participates impudently in their functions?

    Israel’s PR played it right, I’ll grant them that freely, and Mushiru was the peon who paid the price.

    I personally believe that this should not have been politicised, but then I realise that all sports now are steeped in politics, especially at his level of the game.

  70. I don’t know M, what happened to Americans visiting the USSR not too long ago?

    Maybe they didn’t get their citizenship revoked, but could well have for all the harassment they probably received. And vice-versa of course.

    Mahmood

    The only way a natural born US Citizen can lose his citizenship is if he or she revokes it themsleves.

    A “Naturalized” citizen can only be stripped of his or her citizenship IF and only IF it is found they LIED or Omitted something during the application process to become citizens.

    Americans during the cold war could freely travel to the USSR assuming the USSR would let them in. I know several who went on group tours to Moscow. Some were debriefed afterwards by the FBI but this was par for the course in those days. And I wouldn’t call the debriefing harassment either.

  71. M says:

    Mahmood,

    That was a serious question about other countries out of curiosity; I did not realize Bahrain was at war with Israel.

    To answer your question about what happened to Americans, I believe the answer is nothing. As CW says, I also remember people going for visits to Russia just because they could; if they were monitored or watched upon their return, then I am grateful the powers that be were doing their job although they did seem to drop the ball on Lee Harvey Oswald. Believe me, if people were harassed as a matter of policy, the entire country would have heard about it in those days.

    I do not take exception with Bahrain’s right to enforce their own policy even if I do not agree with the logic or sentiment behind it. As CWT has noted, the gentleman took a chance and paid the price; he bears responsibility for his decisions. As far as Bahrain, I think the government acted in a predictable manner and should be viewed in the same light as all other governments. They act in their own interest, there’s some good and bad and “they shouldn’t be elevated more than they deserve”.

    In terms of sports, I think athletes should compete for their own counties, otherwise it means nothing; but the world stage should be open to them all as it should transcend politics on a global level.

  72. billT says:

    We aren’t supposed to visit Cuba now but there seem to be a lot of Americans going there with no harassment. Cuba is one of the better examples of American arrogance in dealing with other countries.

  73. billT

    There is no law saying as an American you can’t go to Cuba. The law states you may not SPEND any MONEY in Cuba. There are waivers for this for people such as reporters, athletes etc.

    Since there are literally no direct flights from the US to Cuba travel is difficult but not impossible. You must go to Canada or to Mexico (or another country) and catch a flight.

    To my knowledge there are very few if any prosecutions for “breaking” the above law.

  74. docspencer says:

    JJ and Mahmood, I was wrong about Singapore being a democracy. My apology to you guys. It is a unicameral parliamentary system with a written constitution, and the government operates radio and television and supervises newspapers – which we would not want.

    And JJ you are right. Without sorting out the sectarian issues first regionally, it would be a painful mess. And that seems like a painful road that may take some time.

    Thank you for your feedback. Both of you.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  75. docspencer says:

    CW, there are charters now from Miami to Cuba. The US passport no longer has a restriction in it about Cuba.

  76. billT says:

    CerebralWaste Government can harass you in many legal ways. I’m on the don’t fly list and get harassed or inconvenienced every time I fly. I should have visited Cuba so there would be a reason to be on it. No doubt I would have visited the Floridita bar for a $6 daiquari and that would have been no fly for me.

  77. Doc

    Thanks for the update! Havana here I come!

    Bill

    Why are you on the DNFL? Any explination?

  78. docspencer says:

    Just before Castro got sick I met a Danish student who was spending a year in Cuba to learn Spanish. She spoke of a lot of hopelessness by the people. People just lost hope. Very sad. Things may change in the not to distant future. Cubans are excellent workers.

    Enjoy a Cuba Libre or two…or three.

    DNFL is not a smart list. It IDs you by name only. If your name happens to be the same, you get the full questioning treatment.

    Vic

  79. I am confused. Bill says he is on the DNFL YET he then says he gets “harassed or inconvenienced” every time he flys. I thought DNFL means you aren’t allowed on the plane. As the example when some jackass put Massuchsetts Senator Ted “I drink Alot” Kennedy on it and he was not allowed to board the plane from DC to Boston.

    I myself get extra screening and I 1)understand it and 2) Don’t mind it. I have a passport full of Mid East visas and as male between 25 and 50 I travel alone.(the Red Headed EVIL wife doesn’t like to fly!) All RED FLAGS. I feel the government would be remiss if they didn’t check me out.

    I am also given the 3rd degree passing through Europe. Again I understand and don’t mind. I have nothing to hide.:devil:

    And you are right Doc. The list isn’t perfect but at least there is a list.

  80. billT says:

    The only reason I can figure out is that a couple of weeks after 9/11 I was flying to Kauai for a job and the state guy told me to take off my shoes. I replied in my usual sarcastic mouthy way that it would make people feel better if he said please. He replied he didnt have to say please. That was the total of the conversation. Next thing I know there is a guardsman with a M-16 next to me. Turned out we went to school togeather in Honolulu and we both had a good laugh over the issue but every time I fly in Hawaii now I get the treatment. Friend of mine who works for United is the one who told me I was on the list.

    My fault I know but the only threat to flying I am is that I might wear out the carpet on the way to bathroom during a long flight.

  81. docspencer says:

    In the US the DNFL is managed fairly well. On most int’l flights to the US we do not get the pass list until the plane is airborne – if we get it at all. That can create delays as well. Mexico is so bad that their metal detectors can be off say in Cancun or set on low so that they do not pick up on a metal handgun, you complain in writing, and their gov’t does nothing about it. One of the worst.

    In today’s world, I do not mind the delays or security checks at all. The security is very good in Israel and in some Muslim countries, especially on the Gulf.

  82. Bill

    If it makes you feel any better the nice man with M16 had no BULLETS in it! AMMO wasn’t issued to the guardsmen right after 9-11 for one reason or another. At least that was the case in Boston.

  83. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    I do apologise for the long delay.

    It would appear that I’m the only Israeli still reading this blog (well, skimming it, lately). You seem to be the only other one of this blog’s readers that takes such a great interest in what’s going on in Israel, and you do it through your own filter.

    Why! Come now my dear Zionist adversary Shachar – I think you and I make a rather charming complimenting pair on Mahmood’s Den, wouldnt you say? You see its quite simple: You get to justify to the world why eating pigs is not kosher, but usurping people of their lands is, and I get to berate you on it. This will get the attention of some lurking Israeli surfers, and some Americans of the conservative persuasion. They will then rush to your defence, call me an anti-semite, and proceed to call Israel a “beacon of light and freedom in the middle east”.

    I will chuckle a little bit, and when my laughter somewhat subsides, it becomes my turn to berate your well-intentioned but brainwashed American allies, where I proceed to ask them how they expected Arabs to accept foreign and illegal Zionist colonizers of another religion, if Americans today cant accept foreign and illegal Mexican workers of the same religion.

    I then go on to ask my American counterparts, if they would like to see and support a government program that targets and affects certain parts of the population, because they are of a certain race. Maybe they should target black birth rates, and see if inner city crime rates go down. “But thats unconstitutional!” someone at the back says. “But fear not”, I say. “This plan was articulated by a Prime Minister of a free and democratic country! Benjamim Netenyahu! Surely this democratic practice is not an infringement of your rights! Especially, since it comes from our local beacon of freedom – Israel.”

    But just as I sit back smiling to enjoy the sight of many Americans frothing at the mouths in total and utter anger at me, you manage to pop your head up at me, Shachar, and apologetically tell me, that:

    Netanyahu did NOT put in place cutting back of birth support to affect the Arab population. He did it to affect a whole sub-section of the Israeli society that has two criteria identifying it:
    1. It has lots of children
    2. It has a low rate of employed adults.

    Do I doubt that Netenyahu was at some point pushing some program for cutting back birth-support for people with large families, from a purely financial stand point? Well, no, I do not doubt it – surely the financial affairs of state are of a great concern for a Prime Minister?

    However, as can be seen from the Netenyahu’s own website, he has approched the issue of government funded birth-support from another angle, this time, for the sole purpose, of undermining Arab birth rates, in favour of Jewish ones. And using the government to do so. One of the first introductory paragraphs of his article reads:

    However, the “Prophecy of Demographic Doom” has been based on grossly erroneous assumptions and on misrepresentations. In fact, a 67:33 Jewish majority has been in effect west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), at least, since 1967! Long term trend indicates a rise in Jewish birth rate with sustained positive migration (Aliya), while Palestinians experience (since 1990) a decline in birth rate and a high annual emigration.

    Now, why would someone, who is talking to me about fiscal savings, mention a “Jewish Majority” at all? Just what purpose does that serve, my dear Sir, Shachar?

    In fact, the very first paragraph reads like this:

    . Demographic fatalism underlies the assumption that a retreat from geography – which possesses a critical security significance – is required to salvage Jewish demography. Demographic fatalism (that Jews are, supposedly, doomed to be a minority west of the Jordan River) has marginalized the role played by the issues of History and Security in Israel’s political debate about Judea & Samaria.

    Explain to me, Mr Shachar, how this opening paragraph, talks about anything less than the demographic problem, and on how Israelis absolutely MUST, maintain a bigger majority of the population, and how the evil A-rabs cannot be allowed to out breed them. How is this paragraph above, and in fact the article than subsumes it, an op-ed for “purely economical reasons”, as you said in your post? Just how did you twist the English language to get that conclusion?

    However, judging the action according to the later interpretation of it makes no sense, unless you are unwilling to reach any conclusion but the one you set up to reach.

    This article isnt an interpretation. Its an article. With a title, a body, and a conclusion. And then entire thing revolves around the “Demographic Arab bomb”, as someone so succintly put it. I mean, dont take it from me. Take it from your own ex-Prime Minister.

    Let me conclude this for you:

    – Your so called “nation” practices racist child-support programs, because 20% of its demographic makeup is a threat to the state, on the basis of their blood alone. Do you deny this? Do you deny Mr Shachar, that if the Arab Israeli citizenry reach 50% or more, that there would be no problem? Hmm? Answer this.

    Oh, and before I forget, allow me to show you why your statement to Docspencer is inherently useless, because it totally misses the point:

    The country is fully equal to all of its citizens, but new citizens are accepted based on criteria which are not equal. Insert IBN’s usual rants about racism here. If you stop to think about it for one second, this is not much different than almost any other country in the world. There is no country that give instant citizenship to anyone knocking on its door, and there is almost no country that treat all people wishing to get citizenship alike.

    The issue here, is what to do of the Arab citizenry, and not what the immigrant policy is. So telling him that “oh, well every country gets to chose their own immigration policy” is a strawman. No one is talking about immigration. The subject is your own non-Jewish citizens, and your own non-Jewish refugee populace. You see, even if I did leave Israel’s immigration policies aside, you have to contend with two things:

    1) The local Arab Israeli citizenry, who threaten their own country apparently just based on their race.
    2) The Palestinian Arab refugees, who are refused entry back into their lands, based on, you guessed it – their race/religion.

    Immigration, is the act of people from one land, moving and making a new home, in a new land. But Palestinians who have a right to come back into land that has been stolen from them, are not immigrants. They are the rightful owners, and rightful inhabitants. Therefore, the Palestinians, are not immigrants.

    You cannot kick people out, and then refuse to take them back in because they violate your immigration policies. Because immigrants have no prior claim to that land. The Palestinians do. And your government, with citizens who support it like you, are the physical manisfestation of why there those rightful inhabitants are not allowed in – because they are of the wrong race/reglion.

    So do not try for one moment of obfuscate the issue by playing the “well everyone gets to chose their own immigrants, right?” Right. Apparently everyone except the Arabs from 1917 and onwards. Zionist Jews such as yourself came in in spite of their immigration opinions (thank you England), and now you want us to respect yours?

    -Ibn

  84. Ibn says:

    Jasra Jedi,

    made me laugh!!

    politics and pillow talk topics are very similar … whoever said that size (of the minority) didn’t matter?

    Hehe, quite true my dear! I myself enjoy the passionate political pillow-talk arguments with my female counterparts – the fiery disagreements tend to morph into teasingly enjoyable wrestling and … ahh, better stop here. 😉

    -Ibn

  85. docspencer says:

    Ibn baby, here I am! Conservative American. But first things first.

    There are four fundamental truths from the religious point of view as far as we are concerned in the South USA where I live:

    1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God’s chosen people. Well, OK.

    2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Well, not so OK, but we will live with it.

    3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world. This really doesn’t seem to be upsetting anyone.

    4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters. For those who do not know, Hooters is a US restaurant with scantily dressed ladies for waitresses with excellent figures. They look outstanding. Both you and Shachar would enjoy having lunch there I bet. HOOTERS! ALL RIGHT!!! And Baptists can do as they wish.

    One might say, what does this have to do with your blog to Shachar.

    Absolutely nothing unfortunately.

    Some questions:

    Why is Sachar a Zionist adversary of yours. Jew I understand, but just for my education, what is the difference between a zionist and a Jew? Sorry about my ignorance. What my take is on the two of you is that people like you two could talk and work things out. And all three of us may hope that Bibi Netanyahu does not ever become prime minister of Israel again. Ibn, you are wasting a lot of comments on Bibi in my opinion. We all learn and evolve. I don’t think Israel would be an exception to that. They recognize now that they need a separate nation status for Palestine, but we all should also recognize that fact that armed militias on either side (and Israel has these but more underground and under better control) that have in their charter the destruction of the neighboring state is not only counterproductive but incredibly stupid. They are not part of the solution for obvious reasons. And WE ALL WANT A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM. The Israeli public certainly wants that. The Palestinian public is sick and tired of the crooks who have been syphoning off the Palestinian aid in billions each year, and the terrible inhuman life they live. Is that a reasonable statement?

    Shachar, there were many public statements on record from Israeli leaders during the first 35 yrs or so of Israel who wanted to get rid of non-Jews (mostly Arabs) so as to not imbalance any future votes. That’s an undeniable part of history, but it appears to be changing although very slowly. But it seems to be changing.

    Both sides have enough intelligence to realize after a while that this mutual destruction, even at a slow rate, makes things worse for the population while a few fat cats on top make a lot of money. Ask Arafat’s family and friends. We are talking about billions of dollars that could go to much better use, IF the countries in question were democracies where the public demands accountability. Unfortunately, this great tool is lacking in the Middle East. Sorry Ibn, but so far Israel is the closest to having it, and you can clearly see that when you follow Israeli public polling results against what the politicians are doing.

    And this is in a world where no one is perfect. Yet many want perfection. Criticism is easy, especially without the offering of a solution. But perfection is in Heaven only, and no one wants to go there just yet except for the naive suicide bombers. I am quite familiar with the Qur’an, and it seems that those poor bastards are destined to hell, not Heaven. And too many Muslims are silent on the issue. Way too many unfortunately.

    There is a lot of work to be done here, on all sides. And that includes the USA as well.

    Focus on solutions and actions. Not the bitching and complaining.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  86. docspencer says:

    My own quote above: “…democracies where the public demands accountability. Unfortunately, this great tool is lacking in the Middle East. Sorry Ibn, but so far Israel is the closest to having it,…” is not exactly right. Turkey is obviously a successful democracy and an outstanding role model in the Middle East.

    Vic

  87. billT says:

    Might ask a Kurd if they consider Turkey a successful democracy. Might also ask people who lived in the 3,000 or so villages that the Turkish army has destroyed. Democracy by use of the gun isn’t exactly democracy.

  88. docspencer says:

    Thanks Bill T for your input. The article is seven years old, and Turkey has inherited a century old decision that in hind sight seems unwise. But at the time smart people made a decision who were not well enough informed and drew some lines on a map. I think that this map is not going to be redrawn, not even with a massive flow of blood. Despite that and the problems this decision created, I do stand by Turkey. Singapore, Turkey, the USA and others, they are not perfect, but they have some traits that make them better and more stabilized than most other, if not all countries in the Middle East today. Just my opinion based on what I read.

    I hear that many Turkish Kurds are migrating into an Iraqi Kurdistan that is having a prosperous start. But it’s a small percentage of the Turkish Kurd population.

  89. billT says:

    Turky hasnt gotten any better at least according to the Human Rights Watch.

    Both Turkey and Singapore stifle freedom of speech and action in the name of national security.

    We (US) on the other hand have been on a binge of me me me and forgot to look at the consequences of our actions both personally, politically, envirementally and industrially. Now we are faced with harsh choices when we look inward or outward over national security.

    We have a couple of hundred years of democracy with only 1 civil war and a minor rebellon or two so I’m not sure we can cope with democracy in other parts of the world where violence is more common.

    Of the three at least in Singapore the guy getting on the elevator isnt going to stink 🙂

  90. docspencer says:

    Bill, mine was just a comment about who is closest to a democracy model to be looked at within the Middle East plus Singapore because Singapore came a very long way with excellent results – not who is perfect. It is a tough conversion to be made when a country changes to a democracy, and generally a complete human rights protection system is one of the things that takes longest to achive. If one seeks perfection from the start, one will never get moving on a project. Of course it would be better in Turkey if they fairly arrested Kurds who violated specific laws, have fair rules of evidence, and have them tried in a court locally that applies the judicial process in an unbiased manner according to the law of the land.

    Our opinion is not so important because the decision making will be local. As in Bahraini citizens deciding for Bahrain. Turkish citizens deciding for Turkey. And Palestinian citizens deciding for Palestine, I hope soon, when Palestine becomes a country with its own constitution and laws.

    We live in a world that is not perfect, but there is a lot of good in it that we can focus on. We don’t have to focus on the bad parts only.

    The last word on this is yours if you want it.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  91. billT says:

    Nah I agree with you that its not going to be our decision. Suppose we get togeather and try to convince the numbnuts in Washington that democracy in the world isnt going to mirror their views on democracy:)

  92. jasra jedi says:

    docspencer,

    democracy is not the main goal of any of us who are involved in the middle east. what we want, and what we need, is acountability.

    and without accountability, there will be no democracy.

  93. docspencer says:

    JJ, I see it differently. Without accountability you cannot depend on any system including democracy, or even a simple company. This is a management issue, a people choice issue for a given position, and how well the job goals and expectations are defined. In any organization. Democracy is a governmental form. You need not wait with a change in the way a government operates until the accountability has been established in the existing system.

    Do I make sense to you?

    I appreciate your response. Thanks very much.

    Vic

  94. jasra jedi says:

    I don’t think we are disagreeing. And if we are, I am not sure why?

  95. Ibn says:

    DocSpencer,

    Why is Sachar a Zionist adversary of yours. Jew I understand, but just for my education, what is the difference between a zionist and a Jew? Sorry about my ignorance.

    Ignorance is fine. Very simply, a Zionist, is a Jewish nationalist. Zionists tend to achieve their goals of a national Jewish homeland by usurping that same right from other peoples’ using excellent PR and (at the time of its founding) illegal and black market weapons. Moreover, Zionists will claim that they are democratic and pluralistic, but non-Jews are a threat to a Zionist home based purely on their genetics and/or religion.

    That, in a nutshell, is Zionism.

    You ask why Shachar is an adversary of mine. Well, what did you expect him to be? My esteemed barber? Shachar is an Israeli who subscribes to the above said ideology, and funds a terror-state willingly through his taxes and by simply living there and breathing its air.

    I on the other hand, do no such thing, and frankly, couldnt live with myself if I did. I have never usurped people of their lives and property, nor have I given money towards such ends. (I did steal candy from a dukan once when I was 9, but my parents found out and I was grounded, slapped, and given long long lectures).

    If Shachar decided to start stealing KitKats instead of funding and living in a state based on a burglary, I would call that progress, although Nestle might see it otherwise. But Im sure they’d get over it.

    That in a nutshell, is why he is my adversary, along with just about every other Zionist Jew.

    And all three of us may hope that Bibi Netanyahu does not ever become prime minister of Israel again. Ibn, you are wasting a lot of comments on Bibi in my opinion. We all learn and evolve. I don’t think Israel would be an exception to that.

    I dont care for Bibi in and of himself. He is afterall, an Israeli. What I do care about are political opinions vioced by citizens of the planet’s only legalalized 5-million strong terror cell. What are those 5 million or so peoples’ problem? Well among other things, they see the other 1 million of their non-Jewish “citizens” as a thing to be contained at best, and killed/deported at worst. Their crime? Being non-Jewish. Dont beleive me? You dont have to. Bibi talks about it. University professors talks about it. Journalists berate polititians who talk about it. Journalists berate politicians who dont talk about it.

    So I picked Bibi as an example of a person who Israelis voted into high office, and his opinions on how to contain the population of the evil and caniving Arabs.

    Bibi’s opinions himself on this particular subject are probably on the liberal end of the spectrum. Do some research, and you will find other great solutions that resemble Lebenstraum.

    And WE ALL WANT A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM.

    I dont care for a solution. I care for justice. If your solutions contains full, uncompromising, and unconditional justice for the Arabs, it is acceptable. If it does not, it is not a solution and thus, inacceptable. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Unfortunately, this great tool (democracy)is lacking in the Middle East. Sorry Ibn, but so far Israel is the closest to having it,

    So since Israel has a voting/polling tradition, that makes in a fully fledged democratic and free system right? Well let me ask you something Vic:

    If I put lipstick on a pig, would you kiss it? Of course you wouldnt. But why? Because its still a pig Mr Docspencer, and no matter how much lipstick you put on it, the next time you look at it, its still going to munching its own crap. Thats its nature. Thats what pigs do.

    In a similar vein Mr Vic, Israel’s nature is to be severely allergic to its own non-Jewish citizens. It can put the lipstick on of voting and representative government, but those are cosmetics. Its true nature is what damns it.

    So look at this woman Mr Vic, and dont pay too much attention to the makeup, but to the whore thats being covered up.

    Criticism is easy, especially without the offering of a solution.

    I did offer a solution. It was on another thread, long before you came to Mahmood’s Den. I outlined the three major Israeli crimes, and asked for nothing, except simple acknowledgement. Out of the 4 or so Israelis that we had discussing it, only Shachar admitted to the crimes, and even then, he only admited to one of them. And I hadnt even begun to demand land back yet.

    Focus on solutions and actions. Not the bitching and complaining.

    I already offered a solution, and the ball is in the Israelis (occupied) court. As far as the bitching and moaning goes, well, heh – gotta start somewhere.

    -Ibn

  96. docspencer says:

    Ibn, sorry for my ignorance and thanks for explaining of what a Zionist is.

    I would be interested in reading your proposed solution. Could you give me a URL for it or point me in the right direction please?

    Come on man. I read some good ideas from you and you get to be outright insulting. I don’t think that your pig analogy is appropriate, especially with lipstick, although a girl in college convinced me once to go on a blind date with someone who was very similar to what you describe.

    I am very aware of old Israeli leaders expressing opinions in the open press about the danger of letting the Arab population grow faster than the Jews and what that will do to Israeli votes. But there is no need for you to be insulting. By the way I met a whole lot of Arabs who are the same as us, and i also met quite a few Israelis in Israel a long time ago who were good people and did not want the conflict that politicians want despite of the opinion of Israeli citizens.

    And no you do not have to bitch and moan. You CAN sound cool and smart.

    Sorry but it is my impression that Shachar is the kind of person that we all could get along with. It is unfair to berate him just because he lives in Israel. “If you do not like it in Israel, move” is not so easy for people with families and it is unreasonable to demand that.

    I was born in a communist country, and escaped at age 16 by myself, and was planning it for years. Even that was very difficult, even though I had a threat of arrest over me. So give Shachar some slack man. Your expectations of guys like him may be a bit unreasonable.

    Now don’t come at me fuming. Just give me a pointer where I can read your proposed solution.

    Stay always cool.

    Vic

  97. Shachar says:

    docspencer,

    I’m afraid you are falling into a very common misconception. Though I’m sure that if you follow through your current line of questions you will find it out on your own, I’ll point it out for you as something to keep in mind. The misconception is that just because someone is having a two way conversation with you he is not a fanat. Asking IBN about a solution is EXACTLY what will likely get you there, assuming he does not (as he did for me) stop answering at some point.

    Quoting IBN:

    I dont care for a solution.

    Truer words have not been said.

    I care for justice.

    Prima-facia, justice is, indeed, contradictory to a solution, and therefor this could have been a correct statement. Unfortunately, justice is also self contradicting, and so it is not obvious what this actually means. Fortunately, we can find that out because IBN clearly states that justice is not what he’s after.

    If your solutions contains full, uncompromising, and unconditional justice for the Arabs, it is acceptable.

    (some emphasis removed, other emphasis added)
    In other words, IBN picked an arbitrary side, scanned through history wearing that side’s glasses, disregarding such trivialities as “wrongs the Arabs did”, or “those wrongs have consequences”, decided that he is authorized to be an impartial judge (more so then, say, the British who actually had control over the land by a mandate from the U.N.s predecessor, forgot its name), and dispenses “justice” demands, costs be damned.

    Is this really the unbiased source you want for defining what “Zionism” is?

    If you want to understand the meaning of “justice”, think of an analogy. It happens that one buys a house from the apparent owner. After the deal has already been sealed, money already changed hands, and the buyer already settled in, it turns out that the owner was actually just a renter, and the real owner wants his house back. Of course, by this time the fraudulent seller is long gone and untraceable. In this case, you have the real owner’s justice and the buyer’s justice. Each’s claims are very convincing. One has had his property sold without anyone paying him a cent and without his consent, the other paid full price for the property and views himself as having full right over the house.

    IBN’s “solution” is this. Toss a coin (or, in his case, one of the buyer/owner is his relative, so he skips this stage) to decide who’s justice it is you want to accept. It sure is representing the buyer/owner’s justice great, but is it really “justice”?

    You said that you are sure that if it were just between IBN and myself then the problem would be easily solved. Lets just say that I don’t share your optimism. I’m sure I can reach an agreement with someone seeking a solution. There is nothing I can do for someone seeking justice.

    Shachar

  98. Ibn says:

    Ibn, sorry for my ignorance and thanks for explaining of what a Zionist is.

    There is no need to apologise for ignorance Vic. We are all like that at some point.

    I would be interested in reading your proposed solution. Could you give me a URL for it or point me in the right direction please?

    Sure. After some digging up, I found it here:
    http://mahmood.tv/2006/07/13/smart-move-sherlock/#comment-29529

    Come on man. I read some good ideas from you and you get to be outright insulting. I don’t think that your pig analogy is appropriate, especially with lipstick, although a girl in college convinced me once to go on a blind date with someone who was very similar to what you describe.

    Ahh, if possible, can you put me in touch with her? Maybe ill make her the new mascot of my Israeli-analogy instead.

    I am very aware of old Israeli leaders expressing opinions in the open press about the danger of letting the Arab population grow faster than the Jews and what that will do to Israeli votes. But there is no need for you to be insulting.

    Insulting? To the pig maybe. Poor pig. How mean of me to equate her to a legalised terror-state. Especially when she puts on her lipstick trying to look her best. Sorry Miss piggy! Guess ill have to go to Seaseme street and make up with her. Might also have to apologise to her husband, Kermit the frog.

    Sorry but it is my impression that Shachar is the kind of person that we all could get along with. It is unfair to berate him just because he lives in Israel. “If you do not like it in Israel, move” is not so easy for people with families and it is unreasonable to demand that.

    Oh! His family! LOL! Why! Vic! Thank you! Thank you so much! I now see the light! teehee! I see! Im being a total meany by demanding that his Israeli family immigrate (or at least change the system), but its just A-ok to demand that a Palestinian family get deported out of their own land and rot away in some refugee camp 10 miles from his location. I see! What a fool I am! hahahaha

    See, this is what Im talking about. The great Western hypocricy. You can apply excellent standards to yourselves, and bitch at us like milter was doing on why havent figured out in 50 years what it took you to figure out in 500, but Israel gets a carte-blanche on its methods of founding, laws, actions, and ideology. Its mean to ask for an Israeli family to pick up and leave, but nothing gets said or was said when Israel deported or killed Palestinian familes, and then chatters about what to do with the cancer of non-Jews who hold citizenship.

    This myopia is so strange, so … I dont know … so weird – it is something alien. Its not from Earth. How can any living, breathing, human being, not see this? How does one go from “We cant ask Israeli families to move because its unreasonable”, to saying nothing, absolutely nothing, about similar demands made and being made on Palestinian familes by the Israeli angels? I mean, I knew AIPAC was effective, but to get into random peoples’ heads like this? Wow. I’ll admit, im impressed.

    If there ever war a definition for bias or brainwashing, it should be this.

    Now don’t come at me fuming. Just give me a pointer where I can read your proposed solution.

    Please do not confuse colorful passion, with incoherent fuming. I am a passionate person and I interject it where I see fit, but I try never to sacrifce my arguments logic in the process. If you dont like it, ill look into typing my next post in binary.

    -Ibn

  99. can we talk says:

    it is this “western hypocrisy” and “myopia” which leave many feeling aggrieved in this part of the world. how can someone be so two-faced? so inconsistent?
    i don’t blame the defendant for lying through his teeth to escape punishment, or for brainwashing himself into believing that he is in the right, after all he is fighting for his existence.

    i do however blame the judge and the jury for sitting up there and masquerading as fair and just and neutral while clearly applying two completely different moral standards to both parties and put two completely different prices on the lives of the humans in both parties and then having the gall to look surprised and offended when somebody speaks out!

    the logic is so illogical that it is difficult to know how one can even begin to reason with.

  100. Jasra-Jedi says:

    cwtn,

    and then, they ask … ‘why do they hate us?’

  101. M says:

    “ and then, they ask … ‘why do they hate us?’”

    For a minute there I thought you were talking about Muslims, and thought I was going to have to listen to another rant from you or Ibn. Whew, must be my lucky day. :biggrin:

    CWT,

    “it is this “western hypocrisy” and “myopia” which leave many feeling aggrieved in this part of the world with.”

    Oh spare me! Are you trying to tell me that the west has a monopoly on hypocrisy or myopia? Take a look around you; sorry, no sale.

  102. Jasra-Jedi says:

    M ..

    tsk tsk my dear ..

    The West does not have a monopoly on hypocracy. Trust me, Arab society is as hypocritical as they come.

    However, the story that the Bush Administration sold the world about Iraq and WMD did slightly a little bit more damage than the double standard Saudis who hop across the bridge for some R and R whilst keeping their women firmly tucked away ..

    The Bush Administration jeapordized the West’s moral standing. Even Jimmy Baker thinks so ..

  103. docspencer says:

    JJ, we agree. I would like to correspond with both you and CWT, if you are willing. My email is vicspencer@charter.net .

    Ibn, thanks for the link. In negotiation, if one wants to win, one cannot take a position of “first you admit your sins as I identified them, and then we can talk”. Just my opinion man! I mean that approach can work, if you are holding a gun to the other person’s head. Not a good way to negotiate.

    I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Where do you live?

    Best regards,

    Vic

  104. mahmood says:

    Vic, you are more than welcome to continue your discussions here, but stay on-topic please, that will make the Den a much tidier place for others to peruse too.

  105. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, I understood you very well before where I am welcome and where I am not welcome. I think I stayed on topic since I read and answered your warning. True or not?

    You accused me of pushing my “blog”, a Web site, not a blog, about my visit last year to Bahrain and Dubai, AND information about Islam, in order to educate the American public. We are very uninformed in this area. You also clearly implied that I am not welcome if I want to use your blog to learn further about Islam since I have some questions, and you have an objective for your blog that is not compatible. I do not find this objectionable at all. You are inner focused on Bahrain and its challenges, and thats good. And for many of you guys, my really basic questions about Islam must be pretty boring. I can understand that.

    At the same time someone outright advertised his/her blog on yours as if it was a message, but you said nothing on your blog.

    The bottom line is that I would like to be part of your blogs, you ARE doing an excellent job, but I would like to be able to discuss some other things with a few good people off line if they are willing. The basic Islam-related questions that you say do not belong on your blog are important to us in the USA, however fundamental they may appear to you guys.

    You have no idea how difficult it is to get answers about Islam to some questions, and that includes people in your Grand Mosque. I got more from some people on your blogs than from any other source, and I am thankful for that.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  106. M says:

    JJ,

    Well if James Baker thinks so, then it must be.

    Listen, if you think I am going to apologize for anything this country does, then you are sadly mistaken. As far as I am concerned, we lost the moral high ground while the ink was drying on the Declaration of Independence. We are no better or worse than anyone else on the planet; we act in our own self interest just as everyone else does. Besides Bush sold the world nothing on Iraq; Iraq and Iraqis meant nothing to the “world” either under Saddam or now.

    Perhaps when the world steps up to the plate and consistently lives up to the high moral ground they so frequently talk about, I’ll change my mind, but don’t hold your breath.

  107. Anonymous says:

    M
    as individuals, ok, but being a superpower comes with a price-tag. if it is to command respect, it has to do it by example, not by bullying. it has to earn respect through its actions, the higher moral ground therefore becomes a requirement.

    if it wants to be believed and taken seriously, it has to tell the truth.

    if it doesn’t care, that’s fine, but then it shouldn’t pretend that it does……. and it shouldn’t go around deciding who is allowed to play and who has to go to detention!

  108. can we talk says:

    sorry, that was me

  109. docspencer says:

    JJ, I am not a fan of Bush. However, before the decision was made to go into Iraq, let’s not forget that a bunch of intel agencies advised that WMD was present. The US was not alone by any means, despite the fact that we found nothing. The frontal action military planning and execution was good, but the protection and follow up planning was incredibly poor. These two jobs done so poorly left a dangerous vacuum. The two parties most culpable about this was Defense secretary Rumsfeld who was not interested in listening to different opinions including the military, and of course his boss President Bush, because “the buck stops there.”

    Best regards,

    Vic

  110. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Asking IBN about a solution is EXACTLY what will likely get you there, assuming he does not (as he did for me) stop answering at some point.

    Shachar, if I recall correctly, it was you who stopped responding to me. As far as I know, the last post you made out to me on the Smart-move-Sherlock thread was on 22 Jul 2006 at 12:53 pm. This, I replied to, on the same thread, on 26 Jul 2006 at 8:05 pm. After that, you said nothing. Unless I have missed a thread, you are wrong. You have ignored my points, not vice versa.

    Is this really the unbiased source you want for defining what “Zionism” is?

    Sure. Look it up on Wikipedia. Its like a recipe for making a cake – you have to break some eggs doing it. And that is what I have highlighted to Vic. Plus, I find it rather amuzing that it is only under “Zionism”, where we find “The Neutrality of this article is disputed”, whereas look up Capitalism, Communism, Ba’athism, Nazism, and you get pretty much cut and dry articles.

    Prima-facia, justice is, indeed, contradictory to a solution, and therefor this could have been a correct statement. Unfortunately, justice is also self contradicting, and so it is not obvious what this actually means.

    Justice is also self-contradicting? Interesting Shachar. Yes, I am not after a solution. I am after justice. Let me point out the difference:

    A solution is what people seek out, when there is a non-criminal dispute between them. For example, a neighbour’s encrouching fence. A fender-bender. Telling a hairdresser to only take 1-inch off, but have her take 5, and then refusing to pay for it. Those are what people will try to find solutions to.

    Justice on the other hand, is what one party seeks upon another one, because of a knowingfully criminal action being taken by the latter. Criminal actions like burglaries. Theft. Property destruction. Vandalism. Muder. Mass murder. How many families sought out “solutions” to their loved ones being murdered instead of Justice with a capital J? If your home got broken into and your child killed, would you want to “work out a nice solution”, or would you want Justice? Jesus christ man I shouldnt have to even write this obvious distinction out for you.

    And here you are, making it sound like a bad thing that I want Justice, not a solution, as if to you, the conflict with Israel is like having a bad day at the barber. How utterly disgusting. And what a dishonor to all those Palestinians living in rat infested holes thanks to you and your government.

    decided that he is authorized to be an impartial judge (more so then, say, the British who actually had control over the land by a mandate from the U.N.s predecessor, forgot its name), and dispenses “justice” demands, costs be damned.

    The British? You mean those impartial-mandators who detained what THEY called “illegal Jewish immigrants” in Cyprus only to have the their King David Hotel get blown up Jewish terrorists? Those guys? You Zionists didnt like THEIR impartial judgement, so you blew them up instead. Ok, I see. Way to shoot yourself in the foot dude. hahaha

    The misconception is that just because someone is having a two way conversation with you he is not a fanat.

    Ahh, I see. First I was engaging in “hate speech”, and now Im a fanatic. I appreciate the sentiment Shachar. But lets talk about hate speech:

    From Ben Gurion:
    1) “We must expel Arabs and take their places.” — David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985

    2) “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), pp. 121-122.

    3) “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.” – David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

    From Yitzhak Rabin:

    4) “We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!”– Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

    From Menachin Begin

    5) “[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.” – Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the ‘Beasts,”‘ New Statesman, June 25, 1982

    From Yizhak Shamir

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

    From Benjamin Netenyahu

    7) “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.”– Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

    From Ehud Barak (a “dove”)

    8) “If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force….” – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.

    9) “I would have joined a terrorist organization.”– Ehud Barak’s response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

    From Ariel Sharon

    10) “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”– Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

    (Did someone say colonization?…)

    11) “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them.” – Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

    … and of course, my personal favourite:

    12) “Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.”– Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

    … Now in light of those memorable quotes given by your leaders, both left and right, over 5 decades Shachar, coupled with the actions of your terror-state, I come to you asking for, at the very minimum – nothing but simple acknowledgement of Israeli crimes, and you come to me with a straight face, and call what I say “hate speech”, and then call me a fanatic?

    Lets just say that I don’t share your optimism. I’m sure I can reach an agreement with someone seeking a solution. There is nothing I can do for someone seeking justice.

    LOL! Wow! In other words, you seek a solution – but so long as it doesnt include justice?! Oh my god. I. could. not. have. made. this. up.

    Ya jama3a! Please, if I may have your attention. Here, we have the true, and naked, spirit, of Zionism, and Israel itself:

    Lets find a solution, but do not bring us to Justice.

    Shachar, I never thought id say this, but thank you. Thank you SO much. I.. I.. am beside myself. I am ecstatic. Thank you for showing me – no – the world – what has always been so amply clear: That you Zionist Israelis are not after justice. No. Never were. You simply want to be left alone, never to answer for your crimes. You want a blank cheque.

    Shachar, I promise you, that I am going to spread this quote and trump it up, until the Sun runs out of Helium.

    So, you have called what I say hate-speech. You have called me a fanatic. And here you are telling me that you cannot work with someone who wants Justice.

    Well let me tell you something: If resisting your leaders who have provided us with the above inhuman quotes – if resisting the ideology that governs them – if resisting the people such as yourself that live under such a state – if resisting a reptilian logic that does not care for universal and human Justice – if all of those things make someone a fanatic Shachar, then yes, you are absolutely right. I am a fanatic. And I am proud of it.

    -Ibn

  111. mahmood says:

    Vic, when you’re done pouting, you’re more than welcome to continue writing.

  112. docspencer says:

    Ibn and Shachar, a negotiated solution includes all important aspects for the negotiating parties. There would be no negotiated solution unless the parties felt that it was just and workable. So Ibn, justice is implicit to this process.

    Ibn, you are a very bright guy, but your delivery is probably not as you intend it. A negotiated solution also means that all citizens of the countries participating do not have to agree with the solution yet it can become the law for all participants. For example I may not agree with it, but tough luck if I was in the minority. Same for each of you guys.

    Ibn, don’t spit on me now, or I’ll find you and make you kiss that girl I described!

    :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
    Vic

  113. Shachar says:

    Shachar, I promise you, that I am going to spread this quote and trump it up, until the Sun runs out of Helium.

    I have no doubt in my mind that you will. After all, you are proved yourself very adept at spreading out of context quotes.

    If you spread that quote along with a pointer to where I said it, so that the intelligent reader could also see what I meant, then I’d say “go ahead”. Otherwise, it’s just business as usual, I’m afraid.

    Shachar

    P.S.
    I did not say that justice and a solution cannot co-exist per-se. I said that justice, as in impartial absolute justice, does not exist (at least in this case), and therefor cannot co-exists with anything.

    Even you do not speak about justice. You speak about justice to one, totally arbitrary, side of the conflict. That is not justice by any common meaning of the word.

  114. Aliandra says:

    The Bush Administration jeapordized the West’s moral standing.

    The West never claimed the moral high ground, Jasra. The West’s behavior during the last century was abominable – world wars, genocides of religious minorities, etc ..

    The rest of the world should stop demanding that the West/US accrue to impossible standards that their own countries fall far short of meeting. We’re just as egotistical, self motivated, and politically hypocritical as anyone else.

  115. Jasra-Jedi says:

    Aliandra,

    The West never claimed the moral high ground, Jasra.

    But, it did. Or specifically, the US did. “This will not stand’ and all of that. The US wanted to rid the world of WMD and Saddam was a dictator et cetera et cetera. Not once did we hear that this was a war about Oil.

    Someone once said that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, just permanent interests. And, I think that is true.

    Today, all the US vitriol against Saudi Arabia post 9/11 has died down, because, today, the US needs Saudi for its Iraq policy, and its Iran policy.

    Now, the bigger damage to the US is not just that it lost its moral standing, but that she has shown that she is just not capable of playing power politics in the big league. She screwed up in Iraq, and she also miscalculated in the Hizbollah/Israel shennanigans this summer.

    Note, I am not shocked that the US wants to protect her interests. I am shocked that the US Government has dumbed down its population to the point where Fox News is debating the definition of a civil war in Iraq!! I am shocked that the US miscalculated what it needed to keep Iraq stable after day three.

    I think that in the future, the US Government should make it mandatory for US college students to spend at least 3-4 semesters in Europe reading the news here. It would be the best investment America will ever make for its youth,

  116. AGA says:

    JJ,

    Why is it important for you that the “war was about oil?” Is it sufficient to acknowlege that oil is important, Iraq is sitting on oil, so Iraq is important, or does the “war is about oil” concept require involvement of Haliburton and the like?

    Was or is the war about democracy in any sense, or is democracy promotion merely a ruse?

    Personally, I absolutely disagree with the statement, “Someone once said that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, just permanent interests. And, I think that is true.” Its not true in my personal life, its not true in my business life, and its not true in the life of my country. It is also true that I have personally behaved selfishly, even acted immorally, as has my employer, as has my country. But, I guess, so what? What is important?

  117. Aliandra says:

    jasra;

    Not once did we hear that this was a war about Oil.

    The nonsense that it was all just an oil grab is simple to test. Did the US in fact grab the oil ? Did it get a special deal on prices or did prices fall? The answer to all these is NO, NON, LA, but your statement is oblivious to empirical reality. You might also wonder why did the US not cut a deal with Saddam? Why did the US not take the oil in 1991? Why did it not invade Venezuela, which was closer to home and lacking in religious nutters?

    Now, the bigger damage to the US is not just that it lost its moral standing, but that she has shown that she is just not capable of playing power politics in the big league. She screwed up in Iraq, and she also miscalculated in the Hizbollah/Israel shennanigans this summer.

    Jasra, is no one in that region ever at fault for the problems that haunt them? The US isn’t blameless in Iraq, but the conflict there has more to do with the culture of Iraq than with the US. The clusterf–k that is Israel/Palestine is primarily the fault of Israel/Palestine. The US is not the great moral paragon standing on a pedestal and it is not the global parent. It cannot make the children of the world play nicely with each other if they don’t want to.

    I think that in the future, the US Government should make it mandatory for US college students to spend at least 3-4 semesters in Europe reading the news here. It would be the best investment America will ever make for its youth,

    I most heartily disagree. American teenagers are embarassingly ignorant about a lot of things but with statements like Not once did we hear that this was a war about Oil there’s no need to add to it.

  118. Ibn says:

    Docspencer,

    There would be no negotiated solution unless the parties felt that it was just and workable

    Vic, in principle, I would agree with you.

    However, no one asked the Arabs in 1948 if they felt the UN’s/Zionists’ solution was “workable”, yet it went along anyway. What do you have to say about that? Tough potato? Lets foggetaboutit? Sh*t happens? Life isnt fair? Im curious.

    I know your intentions here are good. But please dont demand of us to “make sure the other party feels its workable”, if they didnt want to impress the same standard on us back in 1948, and everytime after.

    Sorry, no dice. They want to play by laws of the jungle? You got it. Lets go.

    -Ibn

  119. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Otherwise, it’s just business as usual, I’m afraid.

    Well, ok, just know that ignoring someone for half a year isnt a rebuttal.

    Even you do not speak about justice. You speak about justice to one, totally arbitrary, side of the conflict. That is not justice by any common meaning of the word.

    When Israeli leaders start to bomb Jews for the sake of being Jews, call me, and I will gladly demand that Justice be served for them.

    In the meantime however, while you guys are busy cleansing your populus of Arab undesirelables and refusing to own up to the deportations, rotting, and deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians, I will demand that unconditional justice to be done towards the Arabs.

    did not say that justice and a solution cannot co-exist per-se. I said that justice, as in impartial absolute justice, does not exist (at least in this case), and therefor cannot co-exists with anything.

    Said the murderer: “I will admit I killed your kin, if you admit you scratched my car.” Ok, fine. bwhahaahha.

    Drawing a comparison between the actions of your country through your money and assistance, to the actions of the Arabs who are and were acting defensively, is like the murderer blaming the victim for fighting back.

    How warped is this? When a criminal begins to blame his victim, for hurting him in self-defence! Does the twilight zone extend from Eilat to Haifa? Is that where they filmed the series in the 60s?

    -Ibn

  120. Ibn says:

    Aliandra,

    The nonsense that it was all just an oil grab is simple to test. Did the US in fact grab the oil ? Did it get a special deal on prices or did prices fall? The answer to all these is NO, NON, LA, but your statement is oblivious to empirical reality.

    You are trying to imply a linear connection, when there is none. See below for the explanation:

    You might also wonder why did the US not cut a deal with Saddam? Why did the US not take the oil in 1991?

    Youre right. It didnt take Iraqi oil. But then, why did it go to war in 1991? You see, it didnt go to war to take Iraq’s oil. It went to war to keep taking Kuwait’s oil. (And UAE, and Saudi).

    You see Aliandra, Iraq, by invading Kuwait, threatened to take control of all the oil in the gulf. What did that translate to for the US? No oil. Hence, they went to Kuwait, to stop Saddam, from – you guessed it – taking their supply of oil.

    Hence, the war in 1991, was for oil. Fact. Even the adminstration admitted it was doing so “to protect our oil interests”.

    So yes, in 1991, your country went to war because of “their” oil.

    ————————-

    Now, 2003, that gets trickier. We were told:

    1) Iraq has WMD.
    2) Iraq has the capability to make WMD.
    3) Iraq has connections with alqaida.
    4) Iraq has connections with alqaida so that they might give WMDs to alqaida.

    Now Im not going to go into the details of this. There have been a myriad number of reports, articles, clips, this, that, supporting one claim or another. Suffice it to say that (1) is false however. (Unless you listen to Sean Hannity who will tell you that 10 canisters of sarin gas do in fact constitute WMD).

    Now, EVEN IF ALL THE ABOVE WAS TRUE, you have to contend with this:

    1) Iran has been and always was, alot closer to producing WMD than Iraq (What with all the ready infrastructure today. Iraq never had that).
    2) Iran has and always has had alot more dubious connections with international terrorists.
    3) Iran is a fundamentalist Islamist state. Iraq was secular Ba’ath.

    Those are plain, basic facts. So then, why was Iraq invaded, and not Iran? Why hasnt the US invaded Pakistan, who whole heartedly supported the Taliban, and now has nukes, and whose ISS is has connections and ties with alqaida and international terrorists?

    Why the secular Iraq? Are there other possibilities?
    This I am not sure about. I admit, I cant say for certain, that it was 100% for oil, as in 1991. (Not yet at least). But I know that the above reasons are bogus.

    ———————————

    And one more thing: History: During the 1973 oil crises, the US did in fact consider invading and capturing Saudi oil fields, along with other ones in Abu Dhabi, and off shore depots. The reason given was something along the lines of the US not wanting to be held hostage by “third world desert dwellers”.

    Thats oil interest for you. A legacy, and a policy.

    -Ibn

  121. docspencer says:

    “However, no one asked the Arabs in 1948 if they felt the UN’s/Zionists’ solution was “workable”, yet it went along anyway. What do you have to say about that? Tough potato? Lets foggetaboutit? Sh*t happens? Life isnt fair? Im curious.”

    Of course I wouldn’t say any of that. What my concern would be is what’s going to be better for the future of our people, our country and its future generations.
    Getting even really clouds one’s judgement.
    I know your intentions here are good. But please dont demand of us to “make sure the other party feels its workable”, if they didnt want to impress the same standard on us back in 1948, and everytime after.

    Sorry, no dice. They want to play by laws of the jungle? You got it. Lets go.

    Ibn, then you and many of your like minded friends would die. Unfortunately. This is a classic losing strategy. This is exactly what your enemy wants you to do.

    I do think that you are very smart, and it would help you if you kept your emotional side in check.
    Just this old guys opinion man.

  122. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, my lab just completed a very effective study on “hair restoration effectiveness, the latest in medical technology”.

    Are you interested?

    Vic

  123. mahmood says:

    First the doc dispenses worthwhile advice:

    it would help you if you kept your emotional side in check.

    then, he tries to be funny:

    “hair restoration effectiveness, the latest in medical technology”

    Very nice Doc, especially for a mature person!

    So I guess the pout is still on your face?

    Awwww.. how saweet! (on a teenager, not someone who’s pushing 70!)

    Get with the program man.

  124. Shachar says:

    …if you admit you scratched my car.” Ok, fine.

    Please do.

    Shachar

  125. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, there is no pouting. I thought I got with the program. You will be able to Google for it in about six months if interested.

    If I wanted to be funny, I would have listed some bumper stickers I saw down here, like:

    Jesus is coming – look busy!
    Driver carries no cash! – he is married.

    Peace be with you.

    Vic

  126. docspencer says:

    Mahmood,

    Peace be with you. You can google for it if you want in about six months by the same title.

    Vic

  127. Jasra-Jedi says:

    Aliandra,

    I think Ibn has addressed the issue about Oil. Please do let me know if what he said is not clear.

    Regarding your other points:

    Jasra, is no one in that region ever at fault for the problems that haunt them? The US isn’t blameless in Iraq, but the conflict there has more to do with the culture of Iraq than with the US.

    But, the US was told that civil war was likely to erupt if they didn’t have a plan for day 3 and if they didn’t put enough troops on the ground and if they didn’t provide security. I am not saying that the US made Iraq into a mess, I am saying that the US has the ultimate responsability of cutting the very very fragile bonds that was keeping it together and is thus, responsible for ‘fixing’ it.

    The clusterf–k that is Israel/Palestine is primarily the fault of Israel/Palestine.

    Chicken – Egg. Who allowed the creation of Israel which is an artificial nation slap bang in the middle of the Arab Middle East?

    The US is not the great moral paragon standing on a pedestal and it is not the global parent. It cannot make the children of the world play nicely with each other if they don’t want to.

    Correct. But, if you are in the business of superpowers and if you claim publicly that it is your moral right to get rid of the bullies, then, well … you gotta fill the vaccum with something good ..

    Aliandra. I don’t envy the US. I really don’t. And if you notice, EVERY US President, at some point, gets bogged down in the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Because of Israel.

    And ALL of them get bogged down in the quagmire of Saudi Arabia. And Iran-Iraq. Because of Oil.

    What a mess. For you, and for us. And, the worst thing is, there will be no winners.

  128. jasra jedi says:

    AGA

    You said, quoting me “” Personally, I absolutely disagree with the statement, “Someone once said that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, just permanent interests. And, I think that is true.” Its not true in my personal life, its not true in my business life, and its not true in the life of my country.”

    Uhhmm .. I think it was Henry Kissinger who actually made that statement. And last time I checked, that was the running theme behind all the US’ position in business, and in geopolitics. And, if am not mistaken, Henry Kissinger holds a US passport, does he not?

    Ergo. The statement IS true in the sense that it has shaped US policy way before Kissinger ever was secretary of state.

  129. Aliandra says:

    Jasra and Ibn;

    Who is the owner of the oil? The US? Or Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states? Is the US taking the oil or buying it like other countries (who also joined in Gulf War 1). If the US is buying it (like other countries), then it is not the owner of the oil. So it did not go to the Gulf to grab the oil.

    No amount of non-euclidian logic is going to get around that empirical fact.

    Ibn, as for the rest of your post, the US (and UK) have been technically at war with Iraq since 1991. They were maintaining those no-fly zones for 12 years, with sporadic shootings going in both directions. That is why the US did not invade Iran, Pakistan, or Botswana.

    Jasra;

    Who allowed the creation of Israel which is an artificial nation slap bang in the middle of the Arab Middle East?

    Looks like a European project to me. Those Zionists were immigrating there under British auspices way before the US heard about the place. Lots of countries were artificially created in the last century. Most of them aren’t clusterf**ks.

    And if you notice, EVERY US President, at some point, gets bogged down in the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Because of Israel.

    Never because of the Palestinians, because they always meet their end of the bargain?

    if you are in the business of superpowers and if you claim publicly that it is your moral right to get rid of the bullies

    We didn’t deliberately decide to go into the superpower business. The US is just a big country with a very successful economy. China will eventually reach the same status.

    Jasra, I would like very much for the US to stop claiming the right to get rid of bullies. I know it doesn’t always do that.. But I would also like rest of the world to stop demanding that we do so. Like for the cases of Rwanda, Kosovo, and Darfur. The world can’t have it both ways.

  130. docspencer says:

    JJ and Aliandra, the entire world depends too much on oil as an energy source. This dependence is getting worse slowly with the size and rate of increase of the Chinese and Indian economies, and resulting increase expected in automobiles. Until the world, not just the US, becomes more independent of oil, every nation is going to be scared of what is happening in Iraq, and what may happen in Iran. Iran could destroy the Eastern oil fields in Saudi Arabia with a tactical nuclear weapon. And the US is guzzling the most of the oil at this time. Therefore an uninterrupted supply of Middle Eastern oil is vitally important to the US and a good number of other countries. It is only a natural conclusion that oil was a major reason for the US in both wars in the region, but it was not the only reason. This excessive need for oil will continue for a decade, and we the US and other dependents are economically forced to act accordingly during this period.

    Another point I made before is important here. We made a huge mistake with the size of the invading force in Iraq, and created huge vacuums after capture that outside elements could take over. It was Rumsfeld who held the numbers too low to look good, and Bush did not talk to his sources who knew better. The military planning focused on taking territory rapidly, which was very well done indeed. But it totally ignored in planning the actions we should have taken after the primary capture of territory was accomplished. This created an incredible opportunity for the opposition that we know now in Washington, and the plans are improving. We are all very sorry that this happened this way. The opposition party gained some seats in our Congress for this very reason. And blame for the slowness to this dilemma always rests with the president, despite the fact that he did many good things also. His job is an incredibly tough job. And they all age tremendously while in office. Just look at their pictures before and after.

  131. M says:

    “Who is the owner of the oil?”

    We gotta stop raising the price of our oil; just like us to shoot ourselves in the foot. 😉

  132. AGA says:

    JJ

    I am not sure whether Kissinger said those words, but I think that the quote is generally attributed to Lord Palmerston who believed that the main objective of foreign policy was to increase Britain’s power throughout the world.

    I don’t agree with the quote, whoever has said it over the years, and if I did, I would be in no position to utter the phrase “moral standing,” or if I did, it would mean something very different than what ordinary folks mean when they say it. But maybe that was your point, and I simply didn’t get it. In otherwords, your point is that the US (current adminstration?) is the supreme hypocrit, acting purely for self interest while claiming to act for the benefit of someone else.

    Again, I disagree, but its largely a matter of belief based upon weighing certain facts and determining the relative weight. And to demonstrate what I mean by “its a matter of belief,” I mean that one could argue that the various US relief efforts following natural disasters, e.g. tsunami, are purely self interested efforts designed to engratiate itself with others throughout the world and have nothing to do with alleviating human suffering. To my ears, your earlier comment sounded like the hypothetical argument, and that was the reason that I asked those questions. In hindsight, it was probably too vague to be understood (even with your European education 🙂 )

  133. billT says:

    Another point I made before is important here. We made a huge mistake with the size of the invading force in Iraq, and created huge vacuums after capture that outside elements could take over.

    Lets not forget the mistake we made in invading in the first place or the lies used in justifying it.

  134. docspencer says:

    the lies used in justifying it (the Iraq war).

    Bill, you and I can agree to disagree on this one.

    Vic

  135. Jasra-Jedi says:

    AGA:

    (even with your European education 🙂 )

    American education, darling. Only the best for this Jedi.

    Cant find the source of the quote. Will keep looking.

  136. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    Forgot to address you, so it may not have been clear. Comment #125 was directed at you.

    Shachar

  137. AGA says:

    Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.

    Speech to the House of Commons, Hansard, 1 March 1848

    Phrased this way, I am not sure that I disagree with it, because it could be read as stating that there are eternal interests, as opposed to perpetual self interest.

  138. Jasra-Jedi says:

    AGA,

    We aren’t disagreeing then.

    US current interests lie firmly in trying to maintain global superpower status. For that, the US needs to ascertain that it is not at mercy of some seriously schizophrenic countries in the Middle East who happen to control some of the world’s largest Oil and Gas reserves.

    If I were American, I would do exactly the same.

    I am not sure what you mean by differentiating between ‘interests’ from ‘self interest’.

  139. AGA says:

    In the reading to which I am subscribing, I am reading the word “interest” as a synonym for “principle” so that the message is that it is our duty to follow our “eternal and perpetual” principles. It would sound odd to me for someone to advocate a “duty” to follow self interest or to do what is best for oneselve regardless of friendships or alliances.

    I read your statement:

    Uhhmm .. I think it was Henry Kissinger who actually made that statement. And last time I checked, that was the running theme behind all the US’ position in business, and in geopolitics. And, if am not mistaken, Henry Kissinger holds a US passport, does he not?

    Ergo. The statement IS true in the sense that it has shaped US policy way before Kissinger ever was secretary of state.

    as suggesting that self interest is the guiding principle at the level of the sovereign and at the level of business relationships within the US. That is simply not accurate in either my view or in my experience. Self interest is surely a factor, but its not the dispositive factor, and if it were, I would be inclined to call such a person or government without morals or conscience.

  140. jasra jedi says:

    AGA,

    What do you think is the single most driving powerful ‘principle’ or ‘instinct’ of human nature? Isn’t it the will to survive? Or the survival instinct? (And I am only differentiating between the two because one is an implied choice: will and other is a deep rooted genetic (maybe) makeup: instinct).

    Either way, if human beings are governed by the will to survive as being the MOST significant driving factor in our choices, then countries/ communiites are the same. Self interest is not an a-moral way of being. Self interest does not mean lack of conscience.

    Self interest means that you know what you need for you, individually, to surive, and what you, as a country need to ‘survive’. And you follow those principles accordingly. And in my humble experience, i think that one cannot look at the notion of self interest when it comes to nations without assesing power; be it economic or military.

    And, sometimes systems have to do what they have to do to maintain where they are at. There is ALWAYS an ugle side to power. Like there is an ugly side to survival. It doesnt mean a lack of conscience. It means that leaders have to make very tough decisions sometimes and they have to make judgement calls where they often have to sacrifice something in the present for a beleif in the future. That sacrifice might be principles in the Kyoto Protocols, or the decision not to stop the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah, or the decision to implement Bandargate or the decision to attack Bandargate .. everyone here is led by their own differeing views of self interest.

  141. AGA says:

    In your most recent comment, you tie “self interest” to survival. I am not using that term as restrictively, and I did not understand you to be using the term as restrictively in your earlier posts.

    Take for example a human individual who has food, clothing, shelter, and security. Beyond fear of losing his or her job, survival is not an issue. What is in such a person’s “self interest” when survival is not at issue? Under your structure, is there a concept of greed or selfishness? Or, have those concepts simply been reduced to an analysis of whether too much self beneficial activity is in reality harmful and hence not truly in the individual’s “self interest”?

    In all honesty, I am not sure whether you are “playing” with me or whether we have a genuine misunderstanding. You write, “Self interest is not an a-moral way of being. Self interest does not mean lack of conscience.” These are true statements, but in my view, abiding by self interest to the exclusion of the interests of others is amoral and it is indicative of the absence of a conscience.

  142. docspencer says:

    JJ, AGA is correct if the self interest excludes other people. When you cross that line, the outcome or diagnosis is a function of to what degree you have crossed the line. At that point you are likely to move into abnormal behavior, ego driven behavior, absence of conscience and sociopathology.

    These abnormal behaviors can show themselves if a group of people is struggling at the low end of Maslow’s Hierarchy – struggling with basic needs. That is when the ugly part of survival instinct shows in otherwise perfectly normal people.

    That is why it is so important to solve human problems as in Palestine, extricate those interests whose objectives include other than the well being of their country (an independent Palestine) and countrymen (e.g., Hamas and HizbAllah having an objective in their charter to destroy Israel) and it is very important to help them to build their infrastructure and raise their standard of living.

    Vic

    Vic

  143. AGA says:

    Doc:

    Just so you know, I have been reading Ms. Jedi’s comments for over two years and in that time I have come to have enormous respect for her and for her views. She doesn’t know that either, and it was for that reason and that reason alone that I stated that I did not know whether she was “playing” with me.

    From my perspective, there’s no “correct answer” here, merely views to which persons subscribe and explain using reason, experience, and belief. What I am discussing has little obvious or specific relevance to Palestine or to Lebanon, subjects which I have only relatively recently made the effort to learn anything about and subjects upon which I am incompetent to comment except in terms of position and belief. I do know that nearly everytime either of those subjects is mentioned, discussion frequently turns to argument replete with shots that appear cheap only to the recipient and his or her “side”.

    You write:

    When [the self interest excludes concern for others], the outcome or diagnosis is a function of to what degree you have crossed the line. At that point you are likely to move into abnormal behavior, ego driven behavior, absence of conscience and sociopathology.

    From my perspective, selfish, ego driven behavior is both common and normal, and it is something to be resisted. One need not wait for narcissism or sociopathology, as for example, greed occurs at the moment that self interest excludes the needs or rights of others. I expect more than pursuit of personal interests out of my friends, out of my business, and out of my country, and I in fact believe that I am receiving it from all three, though in differing and certainly debatable degrees.

  144. jasra jedi says:

    AGA,

    In all honesty, I am not sure whether you are “playing” with me or whether we have a genuine misunderstanding. You write, “Self interest is not an a-moral way of being. Self interest does not mean lack of conscience.” These are true statements, but in my view, abiding by self interest to the exclusion of the interests of others is amoral and it is indicative of the absence of a conscience.

    I am most definitely NOT playing with you. I think that this issue we are both struggling with is exactly what makes a difference between a Mahatma Ghandi and Usama bin Laden. Or, the difference between a Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X.

    Meaning, the issue of where does ‘survival’ stop and where does irresponsible self interest start is a very very difficult one to resolve on the continium. MLK thought it was enough to inspire. He thought that the Civil RIghts movement needed to happen and unfold in a certain way. Malcolm X also had the same vision, but I think that he probably disagreed with the means. I think that Malcolm X at some point thought that the Black Panthers were part of survival mode, and not part of irresposible self interest mode.

    I think that Bush Sr thought that freeing Kuwait in 1991 was survival. I think he thought that keeping Saddam Hussein in power at the time was also survival. To do anything different would have been irresponsible self interest.

    I think that Bush Jr thought that ousting Saddam in 2005 had shifted from irresponsible self interest to survival.

    So, it is a question of judgement. It is somewhat objective. (You can measure when a country as growing nuclear capability) But, it is also somewhat subjective. (Where does the threat lie on the continium. When does it go from ‘likely’ to ‘probable’ to ‘possible’).

    And it is the ‘subjective’ judgement that differentiates bad leaders from great leaders! Chamberlain and his appeasement for example.

    The other thing is that power, by definition, is limited to the ‘winner’. During the cold war, the fact that the USSR and the US held each other in check to a certain degree was not such a bad thing. Now, the US acts alone globally, with no formal or informal checks and balances to temper her.

    This is worrying. Specially when dealing with the Middle East where we have Oil. And we have had such a checkered and messy internal history with our own indigenous peoples.

    The future does not look very bright.

  145. jasra jedi says:

    Doc,

    That is why it is so important to solve human problems as in Palestine, extricate those interests whose objectives include other than the well being of their country (an independent Palestine) and countrymen (e.g., Hamas and HizbAllah having an objective in their charter to destroy Israel) and it is very important to help them to build their infrastructure and raise their standard of living.

    The sad thing that most Americans dont realize is that Hizballah today, does a much better job in Southern Lebanon of building infrastructure and raising standards of living than the Lebanese Government. I dont know much about Hamas, but I would venture to say the same.

    You guys see them as militant Islamic threat from a foriegn policy perspective. The reason they control the streets in their respective countries is because they provide a basic service to their domestic community, first and foremost.

    It is for this reason alone that the US NOT securing the sreets in Iraq after day 3 is the biggest, single most contributing factor to the current civil war in Iraq. If there was a recognition that providing generators and security to the streets during the first 6 months would have saved them the lives and the billions that have been shed, unnecessarily, then we wouldnt be dealing with what we see today.

    Until the US (and her allies) realizes the roles that these organzations have on the ground, and until they can deliver the same, then this will be a long and losing battle.

  146. jasra jedi says:

    AGA,

    I have been reading Ms. Jedi’s comments for over two years and in that time I have come to have enormous respect for her and for her views

    Why, thank you! :blush:

  147. docspencer says:

    JJ, both HisbAllah and Hamas run better social programs than the local governments, especially in medical areas and schools. If that was their primary objective, they would do away with the objective to destroy Israel. They are bringing untold grief more to their own people by executing on this Israeli destruction objective. And all that effort and money could be used for more good within the social programs, unless it is the military “adventures” against Israel that brings in the money in the first place.

    Having an objective in your charter (in both cases) to destroy Israel, is like me picking a goal that has less then one percent probability of achievement. I am sorry, but it is my opinion that this is outright stupid. But their leadership is not stupid – they are smart. So it may very well be that they need this objective to survive – get enough donations from the other dummies who think that an objective to destroy Israel has a reasonable probability.

    This is not a winning strategy. The only thing it does is it destroys the life and living standard of their own people a lot, and it changes very little in Israel. It does indirectly create a lot of anti-Israeli feelings, because Israel is forced to respond now and then, and they PR the hell out of that, and the donations come pouring in.

    Without this stupid objective and execution thereof, they could be an excellent political party that the world would support. For example, Hamas is way superior in organizational and management knowhow than Arafat’s party. If they have done away with the destruction of the Israel objective, they could have been very successful.

    JJ, as you know I think very highly of your comments here. We can agree to disagree on this topic, and it would not change my opinion of your contribution here.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  148. mahmood says:

    Ibn, here’s a prime target for you. Have fun!

  149. docspencer says:

    Mahmood you devil :devil: , I forgot about the Ibn test! Holy sh*t!! :shocked:

    Vic

  150. docspencer says:

    Postscript to my msg 148:

    If possible, I would like not to hear about the past as an answer to my message regarding how the Middle East was carved up by the English and French and how Israel came about curtesy of the UN in 1948. None of us can change the past, and blaming things on the past in my opinion is a waste of time. Blaming others for past actions is a waste of time in my opinion. However, learning things from the past is a smart and useful thing. And we can learn from anyone’s mistakes.

    The interesting question always is what we CAN do today and what action we can plan for tomorrow. I am very interested in that.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  151. mahmood says:

    Vic, you’re not making sense. Are you suggesting that we should forget the horrors of the holocaust and other mass attrocities and attribute them to just “mistakes”?

    No, history is very much germane to this problem and should be so taken into serious consideration.

    I’m not going to go through the whole thing because we have covered this issue over and over again. All you have to do is search for Palestine and you will see how many hits you’ll receive to keep you awake several days reading and comprehending what has already been said. Rehashing it all over again won’t help anything.

  152. docspencer says:

    “Five female students have been killed and two dozen wounded in a mortar strike on a girls’ secondary school in Baghdad.
    Kholoud Secondary School is in Baghdad’s Adil neighbourhood, a largely Sunni area of the city.”

    Al Jazeera carried this news front page. I also looked at Tehran Times, Palestine Post, Khaleej Times and your Gulf Daily News. They did not.

    Why is it that we hear about this kind of incredibly barbaric stuff from the Middle East, and we do not see government and religious leaders jumping up and down denouncing it in your newspapers? I really don’t understand it, and it bothers me a great deal.

    There are not to many things that are worse than intentionally targeting a school like this with TWO mortar shots. It cannot be accidental, it cannot be collateral damage, it is intentional and incredibly sick minded act by one faction of Islam against the other.

    Could your Imams on both the Shia and Sunni side do and say something about this in all neighboring countries such that it is visible to us through ALL your major newspapers?? I think they could. If they wanted to.

    This is really sick human behavior and incredibly sad for all humanity, not just Islam. But most of all for Islam. This is the kind of news that makes the newspapers and TV channels everywhere outside the Middle East creating an impression of Islam. And it seems to us that the Imams are invisible. I am sorry but this seems to be very harmful to Islam itself.

    Vic

  153. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, I did not say that. I said learn from the past, but wallowing in it constantly to whip up emotions just creates hate in my opinion. We do NOT need any more hate!

    Why keep repeating constantly what happened? Enough already.

    The question at hand is:

    If there is a problem (and there sure is one between the Palestinians and Israel) what are you/we doing about it today and what are you/we planning to do about it tomorrow. And do it! Bitching and moaning about something that you cannot change is a waste of time. Reigniting hate repeatedly is bordering on irresponsibility. I don’t think you will change what happened in 1948. Can’t go back and change it. I don’t think you will change the past event of the Brits carving up the Middle East a century ago.
    No one in the Middle East is going to push Israel into the sea and make it disappear in any other way. The price would be too high.

    Action, action, action. One that solves problems. Not emotional BS that accomplishes nothing other than creates more hatred. We have too much of that already.

    Vic

  154. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Ibn,

    Forgot to address you, so it may not have been clear. Comment #125 was directed at you.

    Shachar

    I know. I see it. And apologies for the long delay, as I have been very busy.

    My response to you is that I am glad that you accept the heart of the analogy, being that, the crimes of the Palestinians compared to the crimes of the Zionists are like comparing “the man who stole three trucks to see his dying mother” VS “The Texas chainsaw massacre”, in that order.

    Like the unfortunate college students in TCM, the Palestinians’ were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Maybe thats their crime: Stupid Palestinians. How dare they simply be there? Why did they dare not force themselves out to make room for incoming foreign Zionist Jews from another continent? Didnt they see the writing on the wailing wall? How mean of them! To simply be there, eating, living, dancing, and not roll out red carpets for the incoming European-Jews-who-want-a-country-only-for-themselves! Would you agree with me Shachar? That thats one of their crimes? lol

    On a serious note though, what I find inexcusable is the killing of children. (Intentional). Children are not Muslim, or Christian, or Zionists, or whatever. They are blank slates. They are simply, children.
    To the extent that Palestinains have intentionally targetted Israeli children, that in my book is a crime.

    Why is that less than what Zionists have done? Because Shachar, to the extent that the Palestinians resist you Zionists, is to the extent that they acting in self-defence, and in some ways, defiance. At the end of the day, the meaning you should take out of all this is “You are not going to get away with it.” In a philosophical way Shachar, it makes alot of sense – theres no such thing as a free lunch – nature always has a way of equalizing inequalities. Push here, get pushed back. Pull there, you get pulled too. In other words, you simply cant expect to waltz on in and create state out of nothing. On the moon maybe. Not on Earth.

    One might argue that the war is over – Israel is here now – so what are Palestinians fighting for? How does it make sense to fight in self-defence? The answer is two-fold:

    1) Self-defence: To a State that frets about its demography and sees Arabs as a threat to be contained – that in and of itself is an implicit declaration of war against anyone who happens to be Arab in that region. Self-defence means gaurding against this monstrosity, and taking any means possible in making sure this philosophy (Zionism) is dismantled.

    2) Justice: To the extent that the hostilities of 1948 are over, and to the extent that the crimes of the Zionists from that era go unquestioned, is to the extent that the Palestinians are going to demand Justice. (Not a “solution”). Dont want to give them justice from 1948 and every year onward? Then they do something similar: Dont give you justice when a pizziera gets blown up. “Wheres the Justice for us in that” you say? I will answer you – the same place your justice is for them. (One might argue its also the same location of Iraq’s WMD). Like I said, nature has a way of equalizing itself.

    —————————————————————————

    Let me tell you something my dear Zionist adversary: And Vic please pay attention to this too: This entire fiasco, this entire Israeli/Arab conflict, is one very, very, very simple card game.

    You are sitting in a coffee shop playing a card game with someone else.

    The card in your hand is a “J”. Not for “Jack”. J for Justice. You refuse to give it to your opponent, who holds nothing in his hands. Your opponent asks, pleads, asks others, and nothing. He doesnt get his Justice. You in the meantime sip your tea, puff on your malboro, to the sounds of fayrouz playing in the background, with the occasional wails from your opponent.

    An hour later, your opponent finds a card on the ground. Its a “K”. Not for King. K for “Kaboom”. It actually happens to be the same one you dropped a while back when fighting the British and blowing up Arabs. Now your opponent has it.

    It is at this point and at this point only that he has your full and undivided attention. Almost choking on your cigarrete – you bark: “How dare you use such an inhuman card!”. “Its violent!”. “Its sadistic!”. “Its .. its… terrorism!!” Your opponent looks bewildered at how someone could say such things but use the same card with impunity when it suited him. He shrugs the thought, and smiles. “Hypocrisy” he says to himself. Now, waging your index finger at him, you start to say ” Ahh… it is because you are a Muslim that you want to use the K-card! right? .. ahah!”. “What a violent religion you have!”. “Terrorist!”. “If only you werent to fundamentalist! We would have peace!”

    Now your opponent is really confused. He doesnt use the K-card because he is Muslim … he doesnt even pray 5 times a day, and every now and then, a Heinekin gets the better part of him…

    … He just wants his J back.

    ———————————————————————-

    So there you have it my il-respected Zionist opponent, Shachar. This is the game we play. You will not get your K, until we get our J. Its a simple, simple, story. Lesson for mankind: You cannot escape Justice. Good will always prevail.

    -Ibn

  155. docspencer says:

    1) Self-defence: To a State that frets about its demography and sees Arabs as a threat to be contained – that in and of itself is an implicit declaration of war against anyone who happens to be Arab in that region.

    Ibn, that is only one of several options, in fact the worst strategically for Israel, as I see it. Also, you picked this to suit your conclusion. Sorry man! But you are smart as a whip man!

    ) 2 Justice: To the extent that the hostilities of 1948 are over, and to the extent that the crimes of the Zionists from that era go unquestioned, is to the extent that the Palestinians are going to demand Justice. (Not a “solution”). Dont want to give them justice from 1948 and every year onward? Then they do something similar: Dont give you justice when a pizziera gets blown up. “Wheres the Justice for us in that” you say? I will answer you – the same place your justice is for them. (One might argue its also the same location of Iraq’s WMD).

    Ibn, I don’t understand this at all, but would like to understand it.
    Could you list for me what would constitute justice, and would that be an end product under which an independent Palestine could be established in your opinion? The way you state it, it cannot be acted upon, and it is highly subject to argument.

    We all would like to see good to prevail. Unfortunately what’s good for me, may be bad for you. And that is why two sides have to talk and find a way hopefully to come to an agreement. If they really want to solve the problem and accept each other as a human being, they will make progress most likely.

    Just my experience and belief mon!

    Best regards,

    Vic

  156. Ibn says:

    Vic,

    They are bringing untold grief more to their own people by executing on this Israeli destruction objective. And all that effort and money could be used for more good within the social programs, unless it is the military “adventures” against Israel that brings in the money in the first place.

    Two points Vic:

    1) Since you care so much about the grief of the Palestinian people, I find it quite interesting that not a peep has come out of you regarding their suffering due to past and present Israeli actions. Please enlighten me on this.

    2) One thing that often gets confused is the tactical and moral issues. You are partly right when you say that Hamas is wasting its time/money on hodgepodge attacks, whereas that money could be used in a better way for schools, etc. Now that may be a good argument. However, it is a tactical argument. Meaning, that the Palestinians still have a moral right to resist, using any means possible. Tactically, it is bad and a waste to mosquito bite your opponent the way Hamas is doing. Morally, it is not.

    And in fact this is one of my biggest problems I have with the Palestinian leadership – they think too much in the short-run. It does no harm to take a tactical break, fix yourself up, build here, grow there, and come out much stronger in the end to be able to fight Israel on a much better footing, again, using any means possible.

    The moral right is always with the Palestinians, but the tactical stance might be in error.

    Having an objective in your charter (in both cases) to destroy Israel, is like me picking a goal that has less then one percent probability of achievement. I am sorry, but it is my opinion that this is outright stupid.

    Hey, I give them bonus points for honesty. If your argument is that it is stupid to have something in your charter than has such a low probability of hapenning, I scoff – there have been so many political events, inventions, etc, in human history, that had such a low probability of hapenning, but happened thanks to hard work from whoever beleived in it. How would one of the founding fathers of your country react if told that one day a black man would be a governer of a state?

    Mahmood, I did not say that. I said learn from the past, but wallowing in it constantly to whip up emotions just creates hate in my opinion. We do NOT need any more hate!

    Let me tell you something Vic. I went to an elementary school where we had “Knowledge is power” and “The pen is mightier than the sword” plastered in every classroom.

    Now I hate to be the forebearer of bad news, but as human beings, just about every judgement we make based on a set of facts brings about an emotional response. Thats just the way we are wired.

    I want to ask you – just when is hate “ok” in your book? When you study a subject, look into it, ask people, go to lectures, read books, go to group meetings, discuss, observe, dwell, think, read more books, and then come to the conclusion, that someone really, really, really, doesnt like you, or your kind, has waged wars on them, deported them, and even killed them, just what emotional response do you predict this person is going to have? Love? Please be realistic.

    I ask because your statement implies that hate in and off itself is a bad thing. Its not. Its an emotion. Its there for a reason. It didnt appear out of a vacuum one day.

    I can tell you what is wrong: Subsuming reason to emotion: That is very wrong. This means, just hating, for the sake of hating, or for the sake of some lie you want to believe – that is wrong. One might classify this as the definition of evil.

    If on the other hand, once you excercise your reason, and you have come up with sound, logical arguments regarding a set of incidents, and then hate, that is normal, fair, and good. Its natural, and healthy. Because in the latter case, reason comes first, and then emotion. The emotion is a reaction in this case, and not a cause

    I only want to add one more thing: The one thing about having an army, is that hostilities tend to end rather quickly, on a period on weeks, maybe months. With terrorism, it takes decades, centuries, maybe even never. (The Basque have been using terrorism since the Romans).

    The interesting thing I want to point out, is that in a war, where a couple thousand people might die all in one burst, its “just war”. But suppose the deaths came over a period of years, a little here, a little there, then its “evil terrorism”.

    Maybe this is at the root of why you are so lopsided in your criticism of Arabs VS Israelis. Israelis killed thousands upon thousands of Arabs from ’48 up until now, but it was just about always done in busrts. So it was “just war”. But when the Palestinians fight back, taking a couple 10 here, a couple 10 there, over a period of decades, its “vicious terrorism”, and even causes their own religion to be called into question.

    Interesting how the temporal element can create such a moral shift in the minds of people, even if the end result in casualties are the same.

    -Ibn

  157. docspencer says:

    Ibn, about your msg 157:

    You seem to be brighter and smarter than I am. However, we can agree to disagree about 50-60% of your conclusions in this message, based on my experience, and I do not see much point in trying to argue/discuss with you the topics when you feel that hate is OK. This is about msg 157 only.

    Time will tell who is right on most of these topics. I do respect your opinion.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  158. Ibn says:

    Vic,

    You seem to be brighter and smarter than I am.

    I do wish you would stop saying that.

    based on my experience, and I do not see much point in trying to argue/discuss with you the topics when you feel that hate is OK.

    Well, that is your perogative Mr Vic.

    However, I am but one man. Perhaps you should also extend your boycott of haters to Israeli leaders and the populace who voted them into power. I pasted exceprts of their hate-speech above.

    -Ibn

  159. docspencer says:

    Hey mon, you ARE very bright. You structure your responses like a well trained attorney. But in Msg 157, we are too far apart.

    I am aware of a longer list of past Israeli leaders who voiced terrible opinions against their Arabs, in order to ensure a Jewish voting block that is larger. I think I mentioned that here several times. Of all the leaders I liked and like still is Ehud Barak, if I spelled it right. And i met many Israeli professional people in Israel a couple of decades ago, mostly at the Technion and at military command centers who were good people and thought the same way as you guys about these political problems. But…unfortunately…politics attract people with huge egos, with a very high bullshit coefficient, and somewhere along the line they get expert training in how to steel more money than their salaries. Not all, but a significant enough percentage it seems in ALL countries. We have plenty of them too.

    Mr. Vic I don’t like, but you can use Vic or Dr. Spencer, as in MD. I like people to use Vic.

    If JJ does not want to, would you explain to me how an eye-related or liver-related complement is used in an Arab environmrnt and what it means? And are any other body parts used that way? I still don’t understand it.

    Have a good day!

    Vic

  160. can we talk says:

    Ibn,
    your #155 is a classic. i love it. as always it doesn’t cease to shock me the lack of understanding from others and as always i absolutely LOVE your posts.

    Vic,
    i recommend you go and stay for a while with a palestinian family and live the life they do for a month, experience the checkpoints, just absorb it all. i promise you, you will understand that sometimes it is not only ok to hate, but hate is the only natural reaction.

    you keep talking about these good israeli people you met. what does that have to do with anything? what is “good”? what qualifies you to judge “goodness” anyway? what, they offered tea and a cosy conversation? most of the countries of the world are full of “good” people, so what? you will find that most of us here are “good” people, and in Palestine you will find most people are very “good people” trying to keep their children alive. and i wouldn’t blame them one bit if they stopped being good, after what they have seen

  161. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    Please allow me to relate only to the part where you actually answer my question, and disregard the parts where you put words in my mouth, sidetrack to areas that have already been covered at length, or otherwise try to muddle the issue.

    One follow up question, if I may.

    On a serious note though, what I find inexcusable is the killing of children. (Intentional).

    For something inexcusable, you sure found some pretty strange excuses. Still, thats, according to you, on par to admitting (comment #120):

    scratched my car.”

    And, you even have have the decency to state your opinion about said action:

    bwhahaahha.

    So long as we know where we stand.

    Shachar
    P.s.
    As I understand it, that is, according to you, the ONLY morally questionable acts by the Arabs, justifiable or not.

  162. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    For something inexcusable, you sure found some pretty strange excuses.

    Really? What part of “To the extent that Palestinains have intentionally targetted Israeli children, that in my book is a crime.” sounds like I am making excuses for their actions? If you are going to refer to a later part of my post (which you have ignored as noise but now may want to actually refer to), I said that resistance against the Zionists is just fine with me, seeing as how they are immune to reason as evidenced by the Den’s token one. All resistence, except the targetted killing of children is morally legitimate, given Israel’s past, and its philosophy.

    (Although Israel might disagree on the intentional killing of children is bad part).

    But please. List the “excuses” I have made.

    Still, thats, according to you, on par to admitting (you scratched my car).(comment #120):

    Its called an analogy.

    And, you even have have the decency to state your opinion about said action:

    Oh it isnt so much about said action, as much as the lunacy of penalizing someone for a scratching a car, when right next door his wife is being raped by the owner of said car.

    Thats the funny part.

    -Ibn

  163. docspencer says:

    CWT, Ibn and JJ and anyone else, what would need to be done in your opinion to decrease the hate between Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs, so that perhaps it could be eliminated after a few generations? What are the most important three things that are actually doable. For example in my opinion destroying Israel would not be a valid option.

    Vic

  164. docspencer says:

    Ibn, how far do you live from East Tennessee where I live? Would love to meet you and just shoot the breeze by some coffee or tea or whatever. Are you married and do you have children?

    Vic

  165. mahmood says:

    Oh for God’s sake… :face:

  166. Shachar says:

    IBN,

    I’m not sure I follow. Even if we accept that killing children is the only morally questionable acts done by any Arab throughout the conflict (a claim I find strange), one would expect, if global justice is indeed what interest you, that those should be avenged.

    And yet, if during the (presumably justifiable) attempt to avenge child killers, innocents are accidentally hurt, that is a crime akin (according to your analogy) to “raping your wife”.

    No, I think taking my view, that “justice” is impossible unless you will ignore one side’s actions (in your case, the Arab side) make much more sense. If it’s impossible, we might as well not aim for it, and opt for a solution, which will prevent further injustices from happening on both sides, instead. Like I said, and you so gladly took it out of context:

    I’m sure I can reach an agreement with someone seeking a solution. There is nothing I can do for someone seeking justice.

    In your last reply you said:

    Its called an analogy.

    That’s what I said too. You find intentionally killing children analogous to scratching my car, and seal it off with maniac laughter. At least one of us is having fun.

    Shachar

  167. Ibn says:

    Oh for God’s sake…

    ROFL! I second that Mahmood! :biggrin:

    Dr spencer, you are a funny, funny man! :biggrin:

    What are the most important three things that are actually doable. For example in my opinion destroying Israel would not be a valid option.

    Very simply Dr Spencer, Israel must enact justice towards the Palestinians. To be more precise:

    1) Israel must acknowledge that it is not just for people to colonise a foreign land, especially when your ideology explicitly states that the natives are to be excluded. This will result in an acknowledgement, or at least tacit approval (what I had talked about before) of Crimes 1, 2 and 3.
    1) Israel must then renounce the last vestige of ethno-colonialism of our age: Zionism. (If it cant do that, then no need to read any further, since this is a pre-requisite).
    2) Israel must allow the Palestinian refugees it caused to be displaced back into its borders, and integrated as part of this new society. (It need not be all the sudden, it can be a phased process).
    3) Israel must pay reparations towards said refugees for material hardship, some of which will cross the generational gap. At the very least, it must give them some money just to get started on their new lives, inside the country. (Again, may be a phased process).

    Look, no one wants war for the sake of war. I believe an evil war is one where your goal is to secure more land mass, more terrain, etc (eg, Zionism, Colonialism, etc). A just war is a war you fight for the implmentation of Justice. (Palestinians fighting Israel as it is today, among other wars in history).

    One more thing DrSpencer: The middle east is just full of peoples and ethnicities from every possible background, who have come and settled here, (or grown here) with relative peace, and today are just simply known as Arabs. Circassians, Armenians, Turkmen, Persians, Nubians, Assyrians, Druze, Alawis, etc etc. There is no reason why the Jews could not have been the same. And its a pity they did not chose that path, but chose one based on exclusivity and colonialism. Its a real pity. And I mean it when I say that. A real pity. It could have been so different…

    …They would have been welcomed as our cousins…

    -Ibn

  168. M says:

    “They would have been welcomed as our cousins…”

    Ahh, cousins. Cousins, but never brothers.

  169. mahmood says:

    okay then, brothers.

    M, cousin in Arabic culture = brother. ie, no difference in a manner of speech.

    Next objection?

  170. Shachar says:

    Next objection?

    Sure. Since M’s nit-picking started from the end, I’ll continue in reverse order.

    …They would have been welcomed as our cousins…

    By whom? IBN does not actually represent anyone. What’s to stop us doing all of what IBN asked us for, and then the Palestinian to say “Who is this IBN which promised you those absurd things? Why should we honor his empty promises?”

    I’ll give the rest of the objections when this one is settled, if it’s ok with you guys.

    Shachar

  171. mahmood says:

    Shachar go ahead!

    You’re right that Ibn does not represent the whole Arab nation – if there is such a thing – nor does he represent Palestine, but judging by the voices accepting and encouraging his point of view especially as far as Zionism goes, he does represent a good segment of society.

    The thing is he is voicing concerns held by a lot of people here and they are at least worth investigating.

    Ibn’s objections notwithstanding, I see that Perez is in Qatar on a 2 day “unofficial” visit. If Qatar is anything to go by, and if they represent points of view larger (more official) views than Ibn, then this conversation is moot and we – in the Gulf – will be having official relations with Israel before this decade is out.

  172. M says:

    Mahmood,

    Well, I thought about the choice of words and wondered why Ibn didn’t use brothers when he is articulate as he is; however, I trust you and your explanation.

    Next objection? No, more like questions. Admittedly, I don’t buy all Ibn is selling, and since it’s his position, although apparently shared by many, I’ll address them to him later when I have more time. Thanks.

  173. docspencer says:

    Ibn, thanks for responding. You have a good sense of humor.

    Could you send me the msg number for the 3 crimes?

    Eh…er…I don’t like Dr. Spencer either. Sorry. I am not spending any more time at the hospital.

    But could you call me Vic or “All-feeling and all-knowing Grand Maharishi” please? Please…

    How far do you live from East TN?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Vic

  174. Jasra-Jedi says:

    M,

    Methinks the Jews go back to Isaac and the Moslems to Ishamel. Both sons of Abraham. Hence the use of the words cousins and not brithers. Ibn was being literal about this.

  175. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    but judging by the voices accepting and encouraging his point of view especially as far as Zionism goes, he does represent a good segment of society.

    The thing is he is voicing concerns held by a lot of people here and they are at least worth investigating.

    Yes, but these “concerns” are based on lies. I am called a racist by people because meaning (not actions, mind you) are attributed to people, most of them died long before I was ever born. How can anyone argue with that? I cannot disprove axioms.

    Zionism was a movement formed somewhere in the 18th century which came to the realization that if Jews remained to live in Europe, then sooner or later they will be killed. About a hundred years go by, and Hitler shows that the people who founded Zionism were right (in fact, they actually under-estimated the scope of the danger. They figured about 50% of the Jews in Europe will be killed, in reality about 90% were).

    To counter this danger, they sought a place that Jews could settle in. The mid-east of the time was nothing like what it is today in terms of “sovereignty”, and seemed like a place that could accept the Jews without disrupting anyone, by buying the required lands.

    Due to reasons that have nothing to do with what IBN keeps quoting, and much more to do with the fact that most of the inhabitants of Palestine of the time were right-less farmers who lived off land that belonged to (Arab) land lords who lived in what is, today, Lebanon. When the Jews started buying lands, that meant that the inhabitants had to move out. That is where most of the original anger against Jews came from (and not, as IBN will have you believe, because the mere idea of a Jewish state was abdominal).

    Of course, quoting the true history like that means that you have to acknowledge that around 1920 the Arabs started killing Jewish civilians, which triggered a process of grouping self defense groups in the Jewish settlement, which lead to a gradual deterioration of the Jewish-Arab relationship into tracks of violence.

    So Ibn and his like simply ignore some of the events. They reset history to start at 1948 (Ibn’s “crime #1”, almost 30 years after the violence has already started), they hide the fact that the Arabs chose a course of action (i.e. – violence), and that choices has consequences, and redress the meaning of preceding events. Above all, IBN repeats the mantra – Zionism is racism.

    Yes, this view is quite common in the Arab world, along with many others that have just as much traction with truth. As the proverb goes, a lie can travel three times around the world in the same time it takes truth to put on its shoes.

    Does that mean I need to address it? Can I? With twisted up sense of justice as given and zero desire to actually get the conflict resolved, I don’t see what is the point. I just let IBN rant his rant, and try to only get involved when it seems that someone is buying his crap.

    Ibn’s objections notwithstanding, I see that Perez is in Qatar on a 2 day “unofficial” visit.

    I thought I was doing my share of scanning the daily news here, but I only noticed any mention of this fact when I started to look for it right now, as a result of you mentioning it.

    If Qatar is anything to go by, and if they represent points of view larger (more official) views than Ibn,

    Don’t forget that I no more represent Israel than any of you represent anyone else.

    will be having official relations with Israel before this decade is out.

    If I understand things correctly, a lot of (or, at least, some) Arab countries think (as do I) that the Palestinian had plenty of opportunities for sorting out this mess by now had they wanted to. They ask themselves whether they should hold back on diplomatic relations with Israel for the sake of helping someone who doesn’t seem to want to help themselves.

    Shachar

  176. Shachar says:

    JJ,

    Or so the saying goes. I doubt that if you trace the actual lineage you find this the case (for the Arabs for sure, possibly for the Jews as well).

    M,
    Let me just state that I have heard the term “cousins” with the meaning as described by Mahmood before this thread, so I would let that point rest.

    Mahmood,
    I deal a lot with computers, and have NEVER heard of a counter getting wrapped at “176”. What kind of number is that? 128 I can accept, but “176”?

    In a rather symbolic move, my comment above was numbered “1”, which brings the expression “brought us back to square 1” into mind regarding its content…..

    Shachar

  177. Anonymous says:

    Ibn,

    It’s late, and I have an early day tomorrow; so I’m just going to throw out a couple of things for you or anyone else to address. Feel free to go for the jugular; it takes a lot to impress me.

    “Israel must acknowledge that it is not just for people to colonise a foreign land,”
    Why would or should they do that Ibn? What’s so special about the Palestinians? People have been “unjustly” colonizing their friends, enemies, neighbors and their own for thousands of years. With that colonization usually comes the loss of everything for the natives; why should the Palestinians be any different? Are you suggesting right of return, reparations, and equal citizenship for all peoples for all time cause there are a whole lot of people who will need to pack their bags pronto including a lot of Arabs.

    “especially when your ideology explicitly states that the natives are to be excluded.”
    While it does not make it right, it seems to me this is a little one sided on your part and can be applied to many counties. I was first struck with it after reading Chan’ad’s accounts of his parents living in Bahrain for 35 years, being born there and not being a citizen. Inexcusable.

  178. M says:

    Above anon was me. :ninja:

  179. M says:

    Oh, boy. I’m #1 :silly:

    Am I always going to be #1, Mahmood. I know they is an explanation. Don’t tell me cause I want to stay #1 for a while longer 😎

  180. can we talk says:

    M,
    ok just so we’re clear about this, you are saying that

    just because murder and rape and paedophilia and theft have happenned before and the perpetrators have gotten away with it, then I should have no rights to demand justice when i get raped or robbed or my kids get abused?

    that i have to accept that this has happenned to others, that i am not the first and definitely won’t be the last and that is reason enough that i should get off my high horse demanding retribution and shut up?

  181. mahmood says:

    Guys this is a new comments plugin that I installed which is Ajaxed, that means that the comment is posted when you click submit without it having to reload the whole page to show it. Did you not notice that sexy drawer effect when you hit submit? That lessens the load on the server a lot (I hope).

    I don’t know why it doesn’t display the proper comment number though on that instant, but if you do reload the page (I know, defeats the purpose) you will notice that the numbering is correct.

    I’ll try this comment module for a few days and see how it goes. If you have an feedback on this, please let me know.

  182. mahmood says:

    Shachar: If I understand things correctly, a lot of (or, at least, some) Arab countries think (as do I) that the Palestinian had plenty of opportunities for sorting out this mess by now had they wanted to. They ask themselves whether they should hold back on diplomatic relations with Israel for the sake of helping someone who doesn’t seem to want to help themselves.

    And they’re ALL looking for a way out. But their people’s feelings are so charged about this subject (which they did themselves, ironically) that they cannot go all out and declare normalisation of relations now. There are some shy attempts throughout the Middle East, and more overt moves as in the case of Qatar, but the majority will toe the line. There is no over-riding political need for them to normalise with Israel any time soon, so they let the situation simmer, even feed the tensions sometimes as that “problem” provides the requires scapegoat for their own deficiencies and provides the ready excuse for not rising with their own countries and pushing them forward. Blame Israel is the first and most potent arrow in their quiver.

    Business; however, will be the normaliser, and it is already: Intel, Motorolla, Plastics, agricultural, medicine and scientific products and many other products that we cannot live without; hence, we turn our heads while these products are welcomed and we maintain our hypocrisy and politically fight it while realistically welcome relations with Israel. Regardless of I, Ibn, or anyone else says.

    This whole thing about Israel and Palestine is now nothing more than a philosophical exercise, unfortunately stoked by the permeation of hatred rather on both sides, rather than do the right thing and sit down to solve this thorny issue once and for all.

    Sure you will always find people like Ibn who is idealistically looking for intangible – if not impossible – acknowledgments of wrongs done by Israel first and foremost before one even approaches the discussions table, his insistence on these acknowledgments is shared by a wide cross section of society, and I can see why and even agree with some of them: you cannot hope to have a peaceful country which inculcates the idea of a stratified society based on religion or any other metric, for instance, hence if the ideal of Zionism is what drives that vision, then it is high time to relook at this ideal and correct or remove it completely.

    Practically though, you also cannot hope for a peaceful society with that kind of disparity between its peoples. So without sorting these philosophical issues first, there doesn’t seem to be hope for a practical solution to exist. There is no one in the world who would accept being a second-class citizen just so that he or she would enjoy peace. Human dignity will not allow it.

    These discussions that we are having here are doing good and allowing both sides to see the others’ point of view. I hope these discussions continue, they are a minute start to a hopefully peaceful end, but a start nonetheless.

    I would like the discussions of all parties to rise above personal insults and accusations and rise to the intellectual level; I have noticed (Ibn) particularly in the last few posts veering towards (though not crossed yet) that line. So maybe a breather is called for now and hopefully everyone will continue to reflect on the things we have been discussing.

    It is hard of course, very hard, for have a person move even a little from deep rooted beliefs: you for instance would find it hard to declare that you disagree with Zionism, and Ibn would find it hard to declare that Israel does have a right to exist, but a little bit more malleability in positions – I think – is the only way forward as I don’t think there will ever be a solution without compromise. From both sides. if the issues are to be solved presently.

    There are those of course who are around who say that the conflict is only 50-odd years old and excuse that as only the start, as other conflicts took centuries to be resolved. To that I say that times are different. What worked several centuries ago, will not work in this day and age. Resolution, equitable resolution, must be sought and being continuously at loggerheads will not approach the solution.

  183. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood ..

    You are begininng to sound like a secretary of state!!! i am impressed!

  184. M says:

    can we talk,

    Understand your point. I didn’t say it was right, I said it was what it is.

    Sure living in America, Ibn has already heard everything I have said or will say including this one before just as I have heard his arguements.

  185. M says:

    “I’ll try this comment module for a few days and see how it goes.”

    Knew there was an explanation 🙁

  186. M says:

    Mahmood,

    Sorry, I posted above before reading your 183 comment which pretty much says it all. I’ll confine myself to garden comments for a while.

  187. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, your 183 is a very good perspective. A hateful perspective on both sides that got amplified through several generations will not go away by trying to convince people. It will take a long time. But trade, educational and cultural exchanges and communications like on your blog, but on a larger scale could go a long way, since both sides have a lot to offer in the trade and cultural and educational areas. And along with it talk about differences openly and eventually solutions and forgiveness will develop. I happen to like Ibn, he is smart as a whip and may not believe me now.

    Other topic. I found this Web site that you and Frances and others may enjoy, especially those above 40. It is like a juke box, playing the most popular songs in the USA up to 1982, 10-20 of the most popular by year. Just pick your most romantic year, turn on the volume and you might even dance with Francis to it.
    >
    > http://www.tropicalglen.com
    >

    Vic

  188. docspencer says:

    Ibn, Mahmoods 183 and my 188 tells you pretty much what my opinion is. Things like demanding justice doesn’t work well as an approach in my opinion.

    Continued hostilities are very unproductive also. However, despite the continuous hostilities Israel managed to achieve a very good position in education and some important industries as well as in agriculture in the desert. On the Palestinian side it appears that many-many billions of dollars just disappeared under Arafat, and the infrastructure dis not develop at all. Nothing. I don’t think that one can blame Israel for all of that. I would say Israel can take 25% credit at most for Palestinian infrastructure for being what it is, and the old Palestinian leadership can take credit over all these decades for 75%, by stashing the funds that were intended for Palestinian infrastructure. I think that leadership has been a great problem in Palestinians’ past, and I hope that Abbas with a peaceful Hamas can do much better. It seems to me that the Palestinian talent that could provide effective leadership for recovery is nowhere to be seen in Palestine itself and does not want the job and return. And its understandable as long as there are armed groups around to whom the destruction of Israel, which is a dumb objective for its impossibility, is more important than the economic recovery of Palestine. The schools and medical facilities they maintain is just a token positive PR gesture compared to the weapons expense, and is probably just a small percentage of the money that was given to Arafat by the Saudis, us and others.

    What these groups have been doing is irritating Israel with some minor military actions aimed at civilians and children, that kill enough civilian Israelis and children, who respond after a while, like anybody else would under similar circumstances. So Hamas and HizbAllah actions really come back and hurt Palestinians and Lebanese, so that in the end these armed groups can take more local control. That is very obvious in Lebanon. There isn’t a place on earth where such groups brought about economic prosperity and a good living standard for the people. Not one.

    Ibn, I am sorry, I know that you will disagree, but this is what it looks like to me.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  189. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood,

    First, sorry for the long delay. I’ve been (and will continue to be, I’m afraid) tied up with work. I’m also sending this from my sister’s computer, hence the lack of login.

    you cannot hope to have a peaceful country which inculcates the idea of a stratified society based on religion or any other metric, for instance, hence if the ideal of Zionism is what drives that vision, then it is high time to relook at this ideal and correct or remove it completely.

    That’s the sentence I feel is an axiom, and therefor find it very hard to answer.

    “Zionism” as practiced by the state of Israel means just one thing – Israel is a safe haven for Jews. That is the short and the long of it. If you think that’s racist, please explain why. If you do not, then either your definition of Zionism is wrong, or Israel is already not Zionist.

    In particular, there are no laws promoting discrimination of any kind, and quite a few laws prohibiting them (including “equal employment” laws for everyone, Arabs including). As is often the case, those laws are not enforced as completely as they should, and the situation de-facto is far from perfect. It is, however, constantly getting better, and I do hope that, as far as Israeli citizens of all nationalities go, we will reach a decent equilibrium point as soon as possible. At the moment, there is some behavior by the Arabs which is almost as much hinderance as any other, but, as I said, things are getting better.

    That being the case, I think the term “Racist” ranges from ignorant to malicious. Of course, I may be naive. If you have substance to the claims, I’ll gladly listen.

    And I am talking to you. I cannot talk to the masses. I have no channel of communication with the “masses”. The fact that this view is shared by many is neither here nor there. As the saying goes: “Eat shit. 50 billion flies can’t all be wrong”. (or, if you like a less offensive but more controversial one, “Use Windows, 400 million people can’t all be wrong”). So I really would like to hear YOUR take on things. If you agree with IBN, that’s fine. I do believe that I will be able to converse with you….. 🙂

    Also, a small but important correction. The violence was first started somewhere around 1920 (about 90 years ago). If Zionism was really the trigger, then Jews started inhabiting the country in order to live here about 150 years ago. There is nothing particularly unusual that happened 50 years ago.

    Shachar

  190. docspencer says:

    I tend to be a skeptic, but Shachar seems to be more right than wrong. And Google is a great tool.

    Here is the Israeli labor law in English:
    http://www.moital.gov.il/NR/exeres/9034396F-AC64-4C44-9466-25104B45FBB1.htm

    But there is some work left to be done for minority rights in Israel:
    http://www.adalah.org/eng/backgroundlegalsystem.php

    However, the great majority of Arab countries are nowhere near the same level of acceptance for Jews or Israelis.

    By the way I was surprised to learn that there are two official languages in Israel: Hebrew and … Arabic. About 20% of the population is Arabic, and about 18% is Muslim.

    Most Arab countries and Israel appear to be improving in this area.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  191. docspencer says:

    More info on Israel that appears to be valid.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31947
    Quote:

    Far from being mistreated, the Arab population in Israel and in the territories administered by Israel has been freer than the population in any Arab state. Arabs in Israel vote. They elect leaders to the Knesset. They have their own political parties. They have their own newspapers. They have full rights to citizenship. They are free to speak their minds. As an Arab-American journalist who has spent a good deal of time covering the region, I can tell you there is more freedom for Arabs in Israel than in any Arab state.

    Ibn my buddy, don’t get mad at me now!

    Vic :sleeping:

  192. Ibn says:

    M,

    I was first struck with it after reading Chan’ad’s accounts of his parents living in Bahrain for 35 years, being born there and not being a citizen. Inexcusable.

    I will be the first to say that the gulf-states should make their immigration standards alot easier for the rest of the world. I believe I addressed this is another thread – I dont remember which… And even though I do not personally know Chan’ad, it is a pity that after 35 years he is not a citizen yet. If it was up to me, he would have been a citizen in 5.

    However, Chan’ad’s case is a immigration issue. The issue I raised was an ideology that excluded natives. (Natives are not immigrants). You are comparing apples and oranges, and therefore, the association you have made between them is inaccurte.

    Why would or should they do that Ibn? What’s so special about the Palestinians? People have been “unjustly” colonizing their friends, enemies, neighbors and their own for thousands of years. With that colonization usually comes the loss of everything for the natives; why should the Palestinians be any different?

    M, I have already addressed this on this URL: http://mahmood.tv/2006/07/13/smart-move-sherlock/

    — In Message 69, paragraph 4, “Solas” begins to raise the same question as you are now.

    — In Message 77, paragraphs 1 – 7, I provide the initial response.

    — In Message 82, he/she provides another response.

    — My response then is in Message 89, paragraph 3, which gets to the heart of the issue, with regards to the post-WWII-precedent argument I put forth.

    — Message 94 contains his/her third itteration.

    — My response is in Message 97, (attention to paragraph 4).

    — He/She responsed in Message 104, all paragraphs.

    This is the end of the discussion we had on the subject. If you want an answer, you will find it there.

    ————————————————–

    Docspencer,

    Your post 189 talks about the wastefullness of Arafat’s government, and corruption therein. You also talk about the idoicy of Hamas’s hodge-podge attacks against Israel. (I call them mosquito bites). I have already addressed those two points, in a previous post, under the tactical-moral dichotomy.

    My post 157 paragraph 3 of this thread is where my address to those issues can be addressed. I cant imagine you missed such a large post. Please read it.

    Also, as far as your most recent posts go on the civil-liberties of the Arab “citizens” of Israel, I have not raised any objection. I never even addressed that. I did not raise any issue about their “treatment”, I didnt raise an issue about the hiring practices of Israeli firms, and the behind the table discrimination that Arabs might be put through. I didnt say they couldnt vote. I didnt contest that they have more voting rights than other Arabs in other countries.

    And I agree with those above issues points.

    But its a strawman. Because thats not the point.

    The point is, under the Zionist ideology, the number of Arab citizens of the State of Israel, are a threat to said state. I already pointed to an example of one former Israeli politician talk about the “demographic bomb”, (and he is on the liberal end of this issue). This is what the point is. So long as a nation sees part of its demography, as a threat to be contained … well – sorry, but by all accounts, that is as racist as one can get. (The fun doesnt stop there – listen to some of their proposed “solutions”).

    So do the Arabs citizens of Israel threaten the state of Israel simply by existing? Sure. Israeli newspapars, former leaders, op-eds and university studies on this abound, and the answer is, yes, Arab “citizens” are seen by Jewish leaders and their constituents (populus) as threats to the very fabric of what it means to be “A Jewish State”.

    I will humour you: Lets assume there was zero controversy about Israel. Lets say that it was just another Western country, like, say, Portugal. Then one day, through a constitutional ammendment and ratification, laws get passed claiming that “Israel must always remain a Jewish state”, and that “the population of non-Jews must never exceed 50%”. Articles begin to appear in local newspapers on how to contain the “non-Jewish threat”, ranging from government incentives to curb the number of children, to outright deportation and extermination.

    In all honesty, how would this be viewed by you, your countrymen, and in fact the world? Would you not consider this a racist policy, aimed at the minority? And this is simply about the policy.

    What about the culture? What would be your reaction to a country, where the culture openly views the other 20% as a threat, simply based on their ethnicity/religion?

    This is what it comes down to. Therefore, what is the relevance in pointing out to me that “Arabs vote”, or that Israeli money contains Arabic script? So what? If and when Arabs begin to claim 25%, 30%, 40%, (An Israeli’s blood pressure probably goes up just by hearing this) – do you think that a government official will notice “Bank Of Israel” written in Arabic on an Israeli shekel and suddenly decide that Zionism also includes Arabs?

    And so far in this example, I have assumed that Israel was just another Western country, with a speckling clean history. Now insert reality, where, unlike what Shachar would like you to beleive, the poor Jews came from Europe and the Arabs started to attack them in the 1920s, just because they were there. (No explanation given), whereas in fact, (again, as I said in another post on another thread, which you have the link to), the real problems started with Balfour. This is what I will address in my next post.

    This post addresses points I have already addressed, and is a reply to M, and you (docspencer). My next point will address Shachar, and his rebuttal to my “rants and crap”. (Why does he respond to crap?)

    -Ibn

  193. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Even if we accept that killing children is the only morally questionable acts done by any Arab throughout the conflict (a claim I find strange), one would expect, if global justice is indeed what interest you, that those should be avenged.

    Not avenged. Brought to justice. But otherwise correct.

    And yet, if during the (presumably justifiable) attempt to avenge child killers, innocents are accidentally hurt, that is a crime akin (according to your analogy) to “raping your wife”.

    Right ends. Wrong means. Enacting justice on an individual doesnt mean you bomb his village.

    Example: Some US soldiers in Iraq have been found guilty of cold blooded murder. Suppose that the Iraqis, going on their own knowledge, know for a fact that a certian soldier or group thereof, are guilty of war-crimes, and since the US wont do anything about it, decide to blow up his hometown in Ohio, in trying to rectify the wrong. Is that right or wrong?

    Now switch. Suppose that Israelis do have in their sights a person whom they know for a fact has murdered children. Should they blow up his home town? Yes or no?

    Now that I think of it, perhaps your statement “avenge” isnt a faux-pas after all – maybe you really are after vengence. Hence why Israel is so lax when they annihilate entire Palestinian families just because they are going after one person, who they believe is a criminal or terrorist. Interesting.

    Furthermore, I believe you have misunderstoof the analogy, by your statement:

    innocents are accidentally hurt, that is a crime akin (according to your analogy) to “raping your wife”.

    Ok. I am going to make this as simple as I think I can make it:

    Do you know about the delta, in morality, depravity, and gravity, between someone scratching your car with his keys, to that someone murdering your kin? Call this delta, X.

    Do you know the delta, again in morality, depravity, and gravity, between all crimes ever commited by Israel, and all crimes ever commited by the Palestinians? Call this delta Y.

    Y = X.

    This is the analogy. It does not mean that killing a child really is equal to making a car dent. It means that the moral gap between Israel and the Palestinians, is as big as the moral gap between a vandal and a serial killer. (Israelis will agree to this gap-analogy, except that – the Palestinians are the son of sams). I accept the gap theory, with our positions reversed of course.

    …I cannot possibly make this any clearer.

    Now, what about enforcement? You might say “Ok, sure, but when is justice for those crimes going to be enforced?”

    My answer will be the same time Israel enforces justice for its crimes commited against the Palestinians, namely Crimes 1, 2 and 3.

    If you say that it is immoral to delay Justice, I can safely say that I didnt invent anything new – since Israel has been doing that all along for over 60 years now. And if you are really incesed by all this, then point at your own leaders and countrymen for failing to implement Justice for 60 years before you start asking foreingers to do the same.

    ———————————————————

    Addressing your other posts:

    …They would have been welcomed as our cousins…
    By whom? IBN does not actually represent anyone. What’s to stop us doing all of what IBN asked us for, and then the Palestinian to say “Who is this IBN which promised you those absurd things? Why should we honor his empty promises?”

    I do not represent anyone in an official capacity, but I can make predictive statements such as this based on past experience with other fellow Arabs, and being familiar with the culture. That is how I “know this”.

    Are you telling me that you cannot predict some things that Israeli society can and cant accept today, simply because you do not officially represent them? Anyway, your statement regarding the representation is ridiculous. Yes, I can say with 90% confidence, that had Jewish goals not been the creation of an exclusive state, that you would have been welcomed as cousins. (Which like Mahmood alluded to, has the same meaning as brothers in our culture).

    Yes, but these “concerns” are based on lies. I am called a racist by people because meaning (not actions, mind you) are attributed to people, most of them died long before I was ever born. How can anyone argue with that?

    Kindly eloborate what you view as “lies”.

    Furthermore, no one is holding you personally responsible for what your past leaders have said. I however, am holding you responsible for actively supporting, and being an active part of, an ideology that those past leaders beleived in, and caused them to say the vile that they did, which in turn, led to the actions of your state.

    You are an atom of Israel. Part of it. Hence, share in its responsiblity, especially given the fact that you vote your own leaders into office.

    That is where most of the original anger against Jews came from (and not, as IBN will have you believe, because the mere idea of a Jewish state was abdominal).

    Why would a land owner who had just sold you land, become angry at you, for moving in? It is a ridiculous proposition. No, there was something else at work here, and it started with a capital B. The Balfour Declaration. The Balfour declaration, promised a piece of occupied territory, by the occupier England, to totally foreign European Jews, in spite of the opinions of the occupied.

    This is why the Arabs rebelled, and rightfully so. I can make it simpler:

    There is nothing wrong with Jews owning land in Palestine. What the British then told them, was this: Ownership = Sovreignty. And the Zionists-Jews accepted it. It is that small equality over there – that anywhere else would be touted as ridiculous, that Zionists accepted, and here we are today.

    In fact Shachar, I already said this in the Smart-move-sherlock, specifically where I said that there was nothing wrong with Jews buying up land, but that Arabs becoming aware of the Zionists’ plans to claim sovreignty over land they bought, that became a problem, and that caused a rebellion.

    Here is the URL: http://mahmood.tv/2006/07/13/smart-move-sherlock/#comment-29529

    Finally, I want to close with this:

    To counter this danger, they sought a place that Jews could settle in. The mid-east of the time was nothing like what it is today in terms of “sovereignty”, and seemed like a place that could accept the Jews without disrupting anyone, by buying the required lands.

    I like this. It is gold. It is another one of those rare cases that offers a glimpse into the sinisterism of what you say:

    You see, by this logic, just about all of Africa, the entire middle east, including what are currently Egypt, Saudi, Iraq, Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, etc, were just fair game for settlement / colonization by Jews, because they didnt have any idea of “sovreignty”, and if Jews had purchased land there. A very heartwarming thought.

    I believe European colonizers said something similar, vis-a-vis “white man’s burden”, among other reasons. In that, alot of colonization and settlement by Europeans in much of today’s third world was justified because those said territories did not have their concept of a nation-state, and sovreignty.

    Had the number of European Jews been much, much larger, what, by your logic, would have stopped them from settling not just in Palestine, but also in Jordan, the deserts of Saudi, Iraq, the Egypt, (lets just say from the Nile to the Euphrates just to make it easier) – since none of those places really had sovreignty at the time of original settlement?

    In fact, let me formalize this into a question and thought experiment directed at you:

    The thought experiment: Suppose foreign European Jews started to buy up land, and thus settle, not just in Palestine from the 1870s on, but also in modern day Jordan, all of Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi, the gulf States, and Egypt’s deserts. Would you then claim, that all that land mass – in effect the heart of the Arab world – should have become rightful Israeli territory, since at the time, none of those places had any “sovreignty”, and that foreign Jews had already settled on purchased land?

    -Ibn

  194. mahmood says:

    Ibn my buddy, don’t get mad at me now!

    docspenser, you’re getting to be increasingly petty and annoying. Raise your game please.

  195. mahmood says:

    Shachar, Ibn beat me to answering your questions. And I agree with his logic and explanation.

  196. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    Shachar, Ibn beat me to answering your questions. And I agree with his logic and explanation.

    Which is the answer to IBN’s

    Why does he respond to crap?

    which is, said crap is believed by people other than IBN, which makes it worth answering.

    More to the point:

    Also, as far as your most recent posts go on the civil-liberties of the Arab “citizens” of Israel, I have not raised any objection

    And I agree with those above issues points.

    One could claim that these are extremely heavy weight character witnesses. Do Jews in Iran have the same level of freedom? In Yeman? I would have asked about other countries, except I’m not aware any of them has any Jewish community to speak of left.

    But its a strawman. Because thats not the point.

    It’s certainly not the point that promotes your intended conclusion.

    The point is, under the Zionist ideology,

    You seem to have an implicit claim here. The claim is “Israel is Zionist, Zionism is racist, therefor Israel is racist”.

    If this implicit claim seems reasonable to you, I wonder what you have to say about the same sentence when a couple of nouns are replaced: “Hamid is Muslim, Islam supports Jihad, therefor Hamid is a terrorist“. If that last sentence seems as outrageous to you as it does to me, I ask that you stop using the former logic as well.

    That holds true even if I accept your statement that Zionism is racist.

    (The fun doesnt stop there – listen to some of their proposed “solutions”).

    I will offer the following, simple, counter argument. Israel is a self-governing state, and has been for almost 60 years now. For the entire duration it had a Jewish majority in parliament, and, again, according to you, all of its leaders, without exceptions, were racist. One would expect this fact to be reflected in its laws by now in some way. Not only is this not the case, you, yourself, admit that the exact opposite is true. According to my formal education in logic (a single semester course only, I’m afraid) that means one of your assumptions are wrong. I suggest that it is the assumption that Zionism is racist, but I’m looking forward to read which one you will choose to toss out.

    To me, the only explanation is that either Zionism does not mean what you say it does, or Israel is already not Zionist. Either way, I think you owe a lot of people an apology.

    I will humour you:

    As humor goes, this is not very funny.

    Lets assume there was zero controversy about Israel. Lets say that it was just another Western country, like, say, Portugal. Then one day, through a constitutional ammendment and ratification, laws get passed claiming that “Israel must always remain a Jewish state”, and that “the population of non-Jews must never exceed 50%”.

    You switched from Portugal to Israel mid-analogy, but let’s not nit-pick.

    The analogy is flawed in one, important, way. Your only attempt that I have seen to actually produce racist laws as proof I already explained was irrelevant. I know, you answered that, but you answered that based on Netanyahu’s “blog”, written 2006, at a time Netanyahu is head of opposition and with, more or less, zero affect on the actual Israeli policy. My original rebuttal, however, is based on events I witnessed myself at the time the actual laws (well, ordinances) were passed, in 2003 (I think), when Netanyahu was minister of finance. I bring witness to things he said at the time, when what he said was affecting policy, while you bring witness to things he wrote in 2006, when he was affecting no-one.

    An Israeli’s blood pressure probably goes up just by hearing this

    I think a civilized conversation requires that you state your side, and I state my. While I realize how fond you are of supplying my end of the conversation, so you can prove how silly my arguments are, it is just your arguments put in my mouth that are turned silly by this tactic. I think it’s arrogant, and I would appreciate it if you could bring yourself to stop it.

    Right ends. Wrong means. Enacting justice on an individual doesnt mean you bomb his village.

    How about you shoot him, then? Is that an acceptable course of action in your eyes?

    maybe you really are after vengence. Hence why Israel is so lax when

    IBN, you have a severe case of being in able (or not wanting) to distinguish between one, Shachar Shemesh, an Israeli citizen, and the Israeli government. If you can attribute one word said by private citizen Shemesh when asking you about your position to actions done by the IDF, then it certainly could explain:

    I however, am holding you responsible for actively supporting, and being an active part of, an ideology that those past leaders beleived in, and caused them to say the vile that they did, which in turn, led to the actions of your state.

    Oh right. I have not left the country. I have not rejected “Zionism” merely because I think it means something completely different than what you claim it does. Further more, I do not trust the quotes you are so keen on bringing to say that that’s what my leaders believed in.

    Your insistence on relating to what people said can only lead me to believe that you would have sent Hamid to prison, had you been a juror. I wouldn’t. I actually care about what people actually do. You can say I follow the behaviorist philosophy. You can state you believe something at every chance you get, but if all of your actions indicate otherwise, then you don’t really.

    These sentiments are even more prominent once I can see how reliable your quotes are whenever you quote something I have other sources for. see the Netanyahu case, or, even more typically, when you quoted me. Asking me to make up my mind about someone based on quotes brought by someone with a self stated agenda and a known history of out of context quoting is not something I feel myself compelled to do.

    Back to earlier parts of your message:

    they annihilate entire Palestinian families just because they are going after one person, who they believe is a criminal or terrorist. Interesting.

    Like I said many times in the past, those things are very regrettable. To the extent (and I have no reason to believe that that was the case) that such events happened on purpose, the people responsible should go to prison. This is also the case (and that does seem to have been the case on a few occasions) where the people responsible did not wish for innocents to get hurt, but were much more careless than they had any right to be.

    HOWEVER

    A. That was not the discussion here.
    B. Indicting an entire country, and me in particular, because of this is pure insane.
    C. In Israel, unlike in the Arab world, those people ACTUALLY DO get punished.

    You are an atom of Israel. Part of it. Hence, share in its responsiblity, especially given the fact that you vote your own leaders into office.

    Let’s do talk about Bush’s treatment of, well, any subject you would care to raise. After all, you are an atom of the USA, a part of it, and hence share in its responsibility. especially given the fact that you vote your own leaders into office. There is a mister Hamidi Hayat who would love to hear your input.

    In other words, bullshit.

    Back to the actual discussion (well, almost):

    Arabs started to attack them in the 1920s, just because they were there. (No explanation given)

    Actually, an explanation was given. You just don’t agree with it. I’m sure it’s just an atypical oversight on your part, but I’m afraid your atypical oversights are becoming quite typical.

    Why would a land owner who had just sold you land, become angry at you, for moving in?

    Read what I wrote again. The lands in question were not inhabited by their owners, but by land-bound dwellers who owned nothing at all. It was a feudal system. It was them, not their land owner, who got angry. I only mentioned that the land owner were Arab too because I didn’t want you to start claiming racisim again.

    This is why the Arabs rebelled, and rightfully so.

    What are YOUR sources for this?

    And even if we accept this, let’s look at the relative reactions. The British publish a statement that says:

    His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

    And the Arab reaction? For three days murder Jews in Jerusalem, burn down synagogues, and in the north, deport several settlements, killing quite a few in the process. Yes, I can totally see how you can say that the first is akin to “raping your wife” while the second is akin to “scratching a car”.

    Shachar

  197. docspencer says:

    Mahmood and Ibn,

    I will humour you: Lets assume there was zero controversy about Israel. Lets say that it was just another Western country, like, say, Portugal. Then one day, through a constitutional ammendment and ratification, laws get passed claiming that “Israel must always remain a Jewish state”, and that “the population of non-Jews must never exceed 50%”. Articles begin to appear in local newspapers on how to contain the “non-Jewish threat”, ranging from government incentives to curb the number of children, to outright deportation and extermination.

    On this basis, you can assume anything bad, just to support your anti-Israeli anti-anything feelings. Logic no longer rules. Hate does. Because you feel that hate is all right. Old prejudices rule. People grow up, countries grow up and evolve. And believe me, there is plenty of crap on both sides in the past that could be quoted, but that’s a total waste of time and does nothing but fans the flames of hate higher. And that is what some of you are doing.

    Support the facts man! Both of you! Not made up assumptions just to run down someone else’s country and justify hateful remarks.

    Mahmood, I am very disappointed that you support this kind of logic in Ibn’s argument.

    How about taking some action about real problems?

    1. How about a simple objective like stopping the hateful and useless rhetoric that was fine honed now by several generations?

    2. How about focusing on stopping existing hostilities?

    3. How about speaking out about armed organizations whose stated objective is to destroy a neighboring country, and whose actions just bring poverty, destruction and tears to those they profess to protect?

    And Mahmood, how about moderating those things? Wouldn’t that be a good and useful idea? In my opinion, the Middle East needs help. And such internal blogs would be be of great help. Fanning the flames of hate and old prejudices is NOT OK.

    Vic

  198. mahmood says:

    Well docspencer, I understand your “mission” now. Over and out. You’re like a parrot and is not worth engaging.

    Shachar, I understand your point of view and appreciate it. I’ve been reading a about Zionism but because of the various contradictory views, I am left thoroughly confused; so disregarding everything surrounding this issue, if you were to distill Zionism in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

  199. docspencer says:

    Well docspencer, I understand your “mission” now. Over and out. You’re like a parrot and is not worth engaging.

    Mahmood, you just don’t get it, despite the repetition. That’s really unfortunate. Peace and less hateful rhetoric would be much more constructive in my opinion.

    Vic

  200. docspencer says:

    Well docspencer, I understand your “mission” now. Over and out. You’re like a parrot and is not worth engaging.

    Mahmood, you just don’t get it, despite the repetition. And you get too damn emotional, taking things too personally. That’s really unfortunate. Peace and less hateful rhetoric would be much more constructive and helpful all around in my opinion. And you could make it happen if you wanted to.

    Vic

  201. mahmood says:

    docspencer, you haven’t seen me get emotional yet, I was being quite respectful actually and telling you that you are as an annoying fly. You are shallow wrapped up in a cloak of “wanting to understand Islam” and the rest of the scratched record.

    No, doc, I do get it. I doubt very much; however, that you ever will.

    And that’s me being pretty objective.

  202. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    In a sentence, Zionism is the realization that if Jews remain stateless, they will be destroyed by progroms and general hostility from the environment. Zionism therefor attempted (and succeeded) in having a Jewish state that will be a safe haven for Jews from antisemitism.

    Like I said before, the basic assumption behind the necessity of Zionism was proven by Hitler, but the actual idea was first floated mid 19th century at the very latest (I do not remember the precise date Herzel published alt-noiland).

    I will add one more thing. Even if IBN’s definition of what Zionism means is the historically correct one, the very fact that it is not what most people defining themselves as Zionists today see it as means that IBN’s definition is meaningless for any modern discussion. It just as meaningful as claiming that Arabs cannot be antisemitic because they are of the semitic origin themselves. It is long now that antisemitic means “hating Jews”, and not “hating anyone of semitic origin”. Whether it ever meant anything else is irrelevant for any discussion concerning modern days.

    Shachar

  203. Shachar says:

    docspencer,

    I don’t get it. What good is moderating comments for content supposed to achieve? Will IBN (or Mahmood) change their mind merely because they will not be allowed to be heard on this blog?

    I believe that the reason Mahmood holds the opinions he does is because he has not been exposed to differing views. To this end, I think removing restraint on all opinions is the best thing for getting an open discussion.

    Sure, some bad language is being used. Personally, I am not offended by anything IBN has to say. I do not care whether he thinks I am a racist who is up to (I’m not sure what he thinks I want to do, actually), or a wonderful guy who wishes to commit sepuku for crimes that other people did long before I was born.

    Here is a question for you. Mahmood has already stated which opinion he holds himself. If he is to restrict comments based on content, which do you think he is more likely to restrict? IBN, who echoes opinions he holds, or that person which comes from an IP that shows a white and blue flag adopted by the Zionist convention sometime late 19th or early 20th century (I think it was the third).

    Here is a small tip for you. It was originally written for democratic political systems, but it may apply here as well: Never suggest giving someone power if you will not feel comfortable should that power be entrusted to your most hated politician.

    Daylight is the best disinfectant. Let the opinions be shown and openly discussed.

    Shachar

  204. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I’ll try this comment module for a few days and see how it goes.

    Ok, now it gives NACK for every comment sent, despite the fact that it does, in fact, send the comment. This causes people to send multiple times or, in my case, to copy the comment to the clipboard and hit reload to make sure it was posted. Believe me, spending over an hour on a detailed answer to IBN, and then have the thing say “No, I’m sorry” is a scary thing.

    So, as I’m reloading manually after every submit anyways, I vote out with it.

    Shachar
    P.s.
    Despite what might have been inferred from my previous comment, deleting duplicate comments does not count as “censorship” in my book.

    P.p.s.
    In your “contact me” page you refer to 409ers. I hate to nitpick, but the article in the Nigerian penile code for forward payment scams is actually 419, not 409. Also, if any actually does contact you, 419eater.com is good for quite a few laughs.

    Shachar

  205. docspencer says:

    You are right Shachar. It would not be a good idea to restrict a blog in any way, other than profanity and so on. I was certainly not right Mahmood in suggesting that. Open communications is indeed too important.

    Thanks for the civil reminder and explanation.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  206. Neil says:

    Dont you hate this?

    Check out http://theScamBaiter.com

    These guys get even with these crooks, and sometimes even get them arrested even though they are in Nigeria.

    There is a lot of funny stuff there too, you have to see what they make these scammers to so get “paid”, check out their “mugu museum”

    http://thescambaiter.com/forum/vbimghost.php?do=userlist

  207. mahmood says:

    I vote out with it.

    Shachar I agree with you. Too many timeouts (it’s set for 25 seconds, which is too low for this database) so I’ll remove it. I hope that the new caching mechanism will compensate.

    Thanks for the 409/419, I’ll correct that, and I agree, 419eaters.com is a classic (I love the guy with the loaf of bread on his head!!)

  208. mahmood says:

    Ah it was thescambaiter.com was the site I meant! thanks Neil.

    No it wasn’t! It was indeed 419eater! One could spend hours having fun just reading and looking at pictures of morons on that site.

  209. mahmood says:

    Shachar:

    Zionism is the realization that if Jews remain stateless, they will be destroyed by progroms and general hostility from the environment. Zionism therefor attempted (and succeeded) in having a Jewish state that will be a safe haven for Jews from antisemitism.

    That in itself is racist? And if I understand it correctly, the Law of Return is its tool in which it insure immediate Israeli citizenship with all duties and rites to all Jews and their dependents and descendants without question. While that same right and privilege excludes even the people who originally been disposed of or left of their own volition fleeing for their lives.

    Shachar, thinking about this ideology which is exclusionary in principal is at variance with the dignity of man; hence, it is flawed and should be revised, especially in this day and age where no danger realistically exists against Jews the world over, other than the political situation in Palestine/Israel.

    If and when the State of Israel removes these exclusionary laws and ideologies, I’ll be the first on a plane to come over to visit. I have no problem with the State of Israel’s continued existence; the Palestinians themselves as well as virtually the whole Arab leadership accepted that fact. What remains now is moving on to the next phase of its existence, and that is the peace it must have with countries and peoples around it. And that won’t happen, I don’t think, as long as the ideology of exclusion remains.

  210. jasra jedi says:

    Shahcar,

    Like I said before, the basic assumption behind the necessity of Zionism was proven by Hitler, but the actual idea was first floated mid 19th century at the very latest (I do not remember the precise date Herzel published alt-noiland).

    My dear boy, a little learning is a very dangerous thing.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Herzl.html

    If you read through that link, you will find this little paragraph:
    Herzl’s ideas were met with enthusiasm by the Jewish masses in Eastern Europe, although Jewish leaders were less ardent. Herzl appealed to wealthy Jews such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild, to join the national Zionist movement, but in vain. He then appealed to the people, and the result was the convening of the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, on August 29­ 31, 1897. The Congress was the first interterritorial gathering of Jews on a national and secular basis. Here the delegates adopted the Basle Program, the program of the Zionist movement, and declared “Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.” At the Congress the World Zionist Organization was established as the political arm of the Jewish people, and Herzl was elected its first president.

    Hitler came along at the right time. It wasn’t the holocaust that created Israel. It was the way the Zionists used it to create the public support needed from the West to do so. But, Israel was a planned process that had its roots in Basle at the end of the 1800’s.

  211. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    That in itself is racist?

    I’m assuming you meant “That in itself isn’t racist?”.

    No, it is not. That, in itself, is called “Self preservation”. Doing something because otherwise you will perish is called “survival”. Denying someone the right to do so merely because he’s Jewish, however, is called “Racism”. There is a proverb in Hebrew. It says “He disqualifies does so for his own faults”.

    You (collective) are using the term so much it is inflated by now. Racism is denying rights from others merely because they belong to an ethnic group. Looking after your own is not racism, or else all countries in the world and all people are racist.

    I know you claim that the situation has changed. Zionism was not defined today. It was defined over 150 years ago. IBN, at least, claims it was already racist then.

    I have other things to say, but this is a weekend and I have much better plans for today than having people called names for wishing that I survive. I have a busy day scheduled for tomorrow, so it is possible that I won’t be able to say everything else I have to until Monday. I’ll answer the rest of your comment when I have time until then (possibly even tonight), unless you want to revise what you said in any way.

    Shachar

  212. mahmood says:

    Your assumption is wrong actually Shachar. I genuinely want to understand and am not attacking you (singular or collective). To me if an ideology excludes others based on race, religion, colour, sex or any other defining characteristic, that is racist, even though it might be understood that it is so due to its proponents’ survival instincts, it is essentially racist.

    So let me recap the basic premise of Zionism: it is created by Jews for Jews exclusively. Hence, that ideology is racist. Which is an unsustainable method of governance AND survival. Therefore, it needs to either be revised, or outlawed. Correct?

  213. docspencer says:

    Mahmood 210:

    the Law of Return is its tool in which it insure immediate Israeli citizenship with all duties and rites to all Jews and their dependents and descendants without question. While that same right and privilege excludes even the people who originally been disposed of or left of their own volition fleeing for their lives.

    Shachar, thinking about this ideology which is exclusionary in principal is at variance with the dignity of man; hence, it is flawed and should be revised, especially in this day and age where no danger realistically exists against Jews the world over, other than the political situation in Palestine/Israel.

    Shachar, Mahmood is right about the Law of Return. I would think that although it served its purpose decades ago, it seems too exclusionary now. I would understand if immigration law had an exclusion from states where the political structure includes parties who are swarn to the destruction of Israel. Mahmoud and Sachar, would that be reasonable?

    Vic

  214. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    This answer of mine relates to just one word. I’ll gladly discuss everything else with you, including the law of return and everything else, but we must get this one word resolved first. The word is “racism”. You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Discrimination is a part of everyone’s life. It’s how the world works.
    Do you let stranger from the street into your house with the same ease you would your family? If not, that’s discrimination. Are you more likely to help someone who went to school with you then a stranger? That’s discrimination too. Do you care more about a Baharaini who lost all he had than someone from another country? That’s discrimination.

    Discrimination is not, in an on itself, a bad thing. Humans are designed to work in a pack. It’s how we are wired. We divide the world into those we care more an those we care less about, and we treat those groups differently. There is nothing wrong with that in itself.

    Racism, on the other hand, is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”.

    It therefor follows, to me, that wanting to help a certain group out is not racism, even if that group racially defined. There is a major difference between focusing your aims on one group and believing this group is superior.

    Please, let’s resolve what “racism” means before we start discussing whether Zionism is racist.

    Shachar

  215. mahmood says:

    Shachar, we’re talking about an all encompassing COUNTRY here, not a house. There is a vast difference between them.

    A country is “a nation with its own government, occupying a particular territory” as is defined in a dictionary. If we are to extend that definition a little then we will get to the conclusion that that country and its government should be at the service of all its citizens, regardless of their original race, sex, colour, or political views. The country is the encompassing entity here and expends all efforts into making its citizens feel undiscriminated against and be safe within its environs.

    Creating a country that caters to only one group which is defined by religion, sect, colour, political leaning, or just those interested in gardening is discriminatory, and discrimination is prejudicial in this sense is racist.

    Racism, in my dictionary is defined as: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief”; hence, as Zionism “prejudices, discriminates and antagonises” all those who are not Jews, tell me my friend, what would you define Zionism to be but racist?

  216. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    Racism, in my dictionary is defined as

    So it comes down to this. It’s really sad.

    You use a strong word. You use a strong word because you know it shocks people hearing it. However, you use said strong word with a different meaning than the one used by the listener. This tactic is one I find low, and definitely not one that shows respect.

    If you prefer your private definition to the one in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, what hope do I have to getting any message you don’t want to believe in across? If you redefine words in the English language based on your private views, what language do you leave me in order to communicate with you?

    In fact, how can I know that you are even willing to listen? If Merriam-Webster is not authoritative enough for you, why should anything I say mean anything?

    Shachar

  217. jasra jedi says:

    Shahcar,

    You use a strong word. You use a strong word because you know it shocks people hearing it. However, you use said strong word with a different meaning than the one used by the listener. This tactic is one I find low, and definitely not one that shows respect.

    Funny. You get upset at Mahmood using the word ‘racist’. Yet, we, ever single day, have to deal with hearing the word ‘anti semitic’ anytime someone even questions Israel or Israeli policy or US policy towards Israel.

    Shahcar, it is unfortunate that you are the only Israeli in this discussion and are dealing with all of us throwing stuff at you. You are doing well, all things considering. But .. you can’t use an argument (or a style of argument) when it suits you and your interests, and then cry wolf when it is used by the other side.

  218. Shachar says:

    JJ,

    Are you certain you are not, now, blaming me for someone else’s actions?

    I promise you this. If you show me something that I did wrong, I will apologize. It may not sound as dramatic as IBN’s “go to Israel and kiss every knesset member I meet”, or Mahmood’s not much less dramatic statements, but it is something I will do, immediately, and without any hard feeling.

    However, I do not remember accusing anyone here of anti-semitism. I also do not remember thinking anyone here had anti-semitic statements. If I’m wrong, do point me to the statement and my reaction, and I’ll be more than happy to clarify or apologize.

    Shachar

  219. mahmood says:

    Shachar, I am really disappointed. You have been around here long enough for you to know me a little bit better. The definitions I put up did not come from an obscure dictionary, but that which is delivered with every single Apple Mac. I never looked at which dictionary they base that program on, but let me find out for you so that you would have peace of mind:

    It’s based on the New Oxford American Dictionary. The program version I use is 1.0.1 which is copyrighted in 2005 by Apple Computer, Inc. I am sure that this is good enough for you. However, if it is not, and as at least three credible sources should be used to get a balanced and objective point of view, let me now go out and get those definitions so that we can carry on our discussions without getting overly sensitive, but hopefully stay objective in trying to understand this situation:

    The word: racism
    The dictionary: dictionary.com
    The definition:

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    The word: racism
    The dictionary: Mirriam Webster
    The definition:

    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
    2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

    So tell me my dear friend, as all three definitions from credible sources clearly show that racism is the same as prejudice and discrimination against other human beings who are viewed by the perpetrator as inferior and hence deserve less privileges, how in all that is Holy, can you for an instant define the ideology of Zionism in all of its branches as being anything BUT racist?

    Truth is sometimes really really ugly Shachar. But in recognising a truth, intelligent human beings utilise these truths to build better judgments on ones life and circumstances. Hide away from it, and all you’re doing in reality is lying to yourself.

    Now convince me that I am incorrect in my interpretation of the plain and recognised multiple dictionary definitions, and I shall gladly recognise my fault and hence correct my point of view.

    Until then, you will forgive me for continuing to equate Zionism with Racism.

  220. Shachar says:

    There are two parts to my answer. The first has to do with the definition of racism. I’m quoting one of the sources that I agree with, and I believe you will too, because the source is you. I emphasized the word that is missing from the rest of the discussion, on which my entire objection rests:

    clearly show that racism is the same as prejudice and discrimination against other human beings who are viewed by the perpetrator as inferior and hence deserve less privileges

    Is Zionism discrimatory? Of course it is! Any group who acts to promote one target is implicitly discrimatory against all other targets. Green piece discriminates against industrialization. The gay movement discriminates against straight safety. The PLO discriminates against Israeli Jews.

    Just like I said before, however, it takes more than discrimination, even discrimination that happens to be bounded on race lines, to be a racist.

    According to my reading of the definition, you have to show that the discrimination is explicit, not implicit. I’m not sure whether you will want to agree with that or not, but I doubt you can disagree with the fact that in order to show Zionism is racist you have to show that said discrimination is based the belief that the the people being discriminated against are racially inferior.

    You claim that Zionism, even when going by my definition of what Zionism is, is racists. I don’t see in my definition any mention at all of the Arabs (not explicit), and no mention that Jews are superior to anyone at all (no racial inferiority). So, yes, I fail to see how Zionism is racist.

    This is not a triviality. The word “racist” is a loaded word, especially to a Jew who knows what happened during the Holocaust. It is loaded precisely BECAUSE of that very part of the definition I feel you have left out.

    Shachar

  221. mahmood says:

    Ah, you’re nitpicking now to escape the truth, not to embrace it Shachar.

    Do me a favour, tomorrow morning pick up any respected newspaper in Israel and read the headlines and bylines. Think from a non-Israeli (and to be more objective, not an Arab’s) point-of-view as your read those pieces, and ask yourself this question:

    Do the actions, the words and the effects of Israelis on Arab Israelis (not Palestinians, they’re out of this exercise) discriminatory?

    Then look up some statistics on the Internet on any Israeli credible source and keeping the above condition in mind, ask yourself this when you find that the Arab Israeli villages and towns municipal and living and health conditions at much lower level than those enjoyed by non-Arab Israelis, is that explicitly discriminatory?

    I am sure that given less than an hour I can look through your own resources and find quite a number of quotes, links or actions which would support the argument that Zionism does indeed equate to racism, implicitly and explicitly.

    In fact, if we just disregard all conditions and just think logically about the situation, would one not find the Zionism is indeed a racist ideology?

    I am dumbstruck that you find it anything but racist!

  222. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I will say this again, but I’m not sure how many times more. I have no interest in forcing my view on someone who will not listen.

    Zionism is a movement. It’s primary aim was, more or less, achieved in 1948. Everything since is merely defending what was achieved. Equating “Israel” with “Zionism” does nothing more then muddle the water.

    You used an extremely strong word to describe Zionism. You gave a definition for that word which suggests that you did not intend to use that word (i.e. – you intended to say “discrimatory”). I am telling you that I find that word offensive, and ask that you justify it. Don’t change the issue to something else. Don’t call me blind. Don’t switch to a totally different era. Don’t bring out of context quotes. Justify the actual word you use, or apologize for using it. To quote you:

    But in recognising a truth, intelligent human beings utilise these truths to build better judgments on ones life and circumstances.

    Please tell me that that quote applies to you as much as it applies to me.

    The reason I’m asking you not to switch to modern day Israel is simple. The whole of IBN’s claims of injustice were rooted around the claim that Zionism was racist to begin with. Not specific people, not necessarily the actions, the entire movement. If that statement is not true, the 1920 murders, as are the 1921 and later murders done by Arabs are not as justifiable as IBN (and you) claim them to be. If that is the case, the 1948 deportations (IBN’s so popular Crime #1) are not an indicative act of aggression, but something done by the Israelis that was, up to that point, done many times before by the Arabs.

    In other words, the entire argument hinges on the claim that Zionism is a racist, and was so from the very beginning. If that is not the case, the entire construct would have to be rebuilt.

    This is not nitpicking. This is answering your claims. Switching to different eras is avoiding the issue.

    Shachar

  223. mahmood says:

    Shachar, please do not fall into the envelope of telling me what I meant or did not mean; the word I left out or didn’t, or what I thought or did not think. Everything I said is right in front of you, documented, so please do not escape the issue by assuming that you know my intention or words better than I do.

    Further, I have no quarrel with Israel. I have no quarrel with Israelis. I harbour no ill-will toward its people or the state. I do not wish to get into a discussion of its right to exist. It already is. It will always stay, regardless of anyone’s wishes. This is not the concern of this part of the discussion. What is is rather simple, it is ascertaining whether the ideology of Zionism is racist. That is all.

    I trust that all of the above is crystal clear.

    Based on that, I invite you to disassociate yourself from being an Israeli, or a Zionist, or a Jew, or whatever other condition which might cloud your judgement, and answer this with hand on your heart and your conscience very much in attendance:

    If an ideology exists simply to exclusively include a certain “type” of human being, is it by definition racist?

    Don’t toss and turn. Don’t bring Ibn into this discussion, with all due respect to him, he is irrelevant to this particular discussion between you and me. Just you and me. Two friends who are trying to agree, or disagree on a concept and who genuinely want to understand and have open minds.

    Don’t tell me of historical context of what Zionism was and what it is now. The basic tenet did not change since 1897. Unless I am sorely mistaken, it is an ideology and a movement which excludes all but Jews. Hence, as it is exclusionary, it is – to my mind, and as described by the three dictionaries I brought forth – racist.

    I don’t need any answer from you right this minute. Please enjoy what is left of the night and have a drink on me or go watch TV or enjoy the company of your family. Come back in a couple of days or a week, I don’t particularly care to push for an immediate answer. But when you are ready, come back and spend a few minutes with us and let me know your answer to the very basic question posed, barring all other extraneous factors but concentrating on the basic premise of the idea:

    If an ideology exists simply to exclusively include a certain “type” of human being, is it by definition racist?

  224. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I am not at all sure I understand the question.

    If an ideology exists simply to exclusively include a certain “type” of human being, is it by definition racist?

    It really depends on what you mean by “include”. Include in what?

    If a movement exists that states that a certain type of people are the only ones to have some sort of basic human right, then yes, it is either racists or, if it based on a line that is not running along race borders, then it deserves another name that is no less harsh.

    However, if by that you mean that a movement is aimed at bettering the position of a certain group, with no specific intent of making anyone else’s position worse, then no, it is not. Like I said earlier, anything else would make Green Piece, Gay rights movement, as well as all countries in the world racist. I don’t think such an interpretation would make any sense.

    I would have made the connection to Zionism had I been certain I correctly understood your question. Since I am not at all sure I did, I’ll let you either clarify or show how Zionism fits the first part of my answer.

    Shachar

  225. mahmood says:

    It’s clear enough a question. Others might feel the need to participate in this to see how they feel about it as well. I don’t mind, as I am sure you won’t either.

    I’ll leave it as it is for you to think a little more on it. But to aid you, not that you need it of course, let me suggest that it does not require an either/or answer as you have above. It is a very simple basic question that requires just as simple an answer without justification of what it could not be when applied to other principles.

    Think about it.

  226. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    It’s clear enough a question.

    I am a bit at a loss for a civilized answer. Maybe your English is better than mine, but I simply did not understand the meaning of the question. To me, the verb “include” has to have an object.

    I am asking you to rephrase the question in a way that I can understand. I gave two answers, depending on two possible interpretations of the question you asked. Without clarification, no amount of “thinking about it” is going to do any good, I’m afraid.

    Please help a crippled that has insufficient English to understand your question, and rephrase it.

    Shachar

  227. docspencer says:

    If an ideology exists simply to exclusively include a certain “type” of human being, is it by definition racist?

    Mahmood, I would suggest suggest that you use a word other than “Type”. It is too vague and subject to argument. In my opinion “race” would be better.

    Having said that, a country like Israel is entitled to exceptions to its immigration and even marriage laws, based on a population segment that has been associated with hostile action meaning killing of Israeli civilians and children. Such exclusions could be Palestinians from Ghaza and the West Bank, and unrenounced past membership in organizations that have the destruction of Israel in their charter. I think this may be in agreement with what you said.

    Shachar, this document is dated 1998:
    http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/v5i2/html/arabmi.htm
    Its source is the organization that is focusing on Arab equality problems in Israel. It is to Israels credit that such an organization is allowed to openly operate in Israel. Look at its staffing. It is very impressive. Its conclusion states that there have been improvements in this area during the years prior to publishing. I think it would be reasonable to assume that the improvement trend has continued, but perhaps not all the way. I would feel strongly about equality for all Arabs who are citizens of Israel, without exception, and immigration and citizenship rights with the above exclusions, but otherwise the same as for all prospective Israeli citizens. The exclusions could change as Palestine is established as a country, as organizations like Hamas agree with the legit existance of Israel and as peace treaties are signed. The exclusions could also increase based on increased hostilities against Israel.

    I think Mahmood’s position is reasonable, however Israel would be entitled to some exceptions based on past hostile actions by a well defined group of people in my opinion.

    I don’t know why anyone needs to use the Zionist label. At this stage it just serves as an insult, just like the rehash of its birth in the late 1800s.

    Vic

  228. Anonymous says:

    If an ideology exists simply to exclusively include a certain “type” of human being, is it by definition racist?

    No. I always thought that the term racist had a strong negative connotation. This statement makes no allowance for something like affirmative action. Does it not make a difference if the ideology is benevolent in its intent? Is this Shachar’s point?

    I would say that the previous definitions are more widely accepted.

    “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

  229. mahmood says:

    Put another way:

    If an ideology exists simply to exclude anyone but those of a single religion, is it by definition racist?

  230. Shachar says:

    Ok, now I think I understand your original question as well. I don’t think the two questions are identical at all.

    The first asks whether someone saying “All people whose name begins with an “M” should have a Sony Playstation” is a racist. The second asks whether someone saying “All people whose name does not begin with an “M” should not have a Sony Playstation”.

    The first is, almost any way you look at it, not racist. The saying is not exclusory. There is nothing stopping someone saying “All people whose name begins with an “M” should have a Sony Playstation” and someone saying “All people whose name begins with an “S” should have a Sony Playstation” from working together (unless there is a shortage of playstations, that is).

    The second question is more interesting. I think the answer depends somewhat on what it is that you wish to exclude, and a lot about whether you want to exclude it from something you do or generally.

    For example, saying “I won’t hug someone who has a long nose” is not the same as saying “People with long noses do not deserve hugs”. The second is definitely severely discrimatory with suggestion of superiority, the first is merely a personal preference.

    Shachar

  231. mahmood says:

    Yes or No. That’s all you need to do.

  232. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    You ask a complex question, and ask for a single word answer. I can’t help but feel that you are trying to put a debate style gambit on me of the 6th year old kind.

    I will humor you, however, despite the fact that this answer is entirely encapsulated in my previous answer.

    If an ideology exists simply to exclude anyone but those of a single religion, is it by definition racist?

    No. I don’t see that it is, by definition, racist.

    Shachar

  233. mahmood says:

    Shachar, don’t be so deluded. I’m not playing mind games with you. And I most certainly am not belittling your intellect. But I do find it rather perturbing that you do not equate Zionism with racism, although the relationship to me at least is very clearly so.

    That means one of us is mistaken, and we should investigate that with honesty.

    I’m off to attend the opening of an art exhibition at the moment*, so I’ll pick up on this tomorrow of I may.

    * Flying Carpets and Fish Don’t Aplogize by Fritzi Metzger and Bassem Mansour at Al-Bareh Art Gallery.

    Ciao!

  234. docspencer says:

    I found what seems to be a very comprehensive review of Zionism at http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Zionist . Ibn, I would be interested in what you think about it.

    To me this is not the most important issue. What is most important for me is how non-Jews, especially Arabs, are treated in Israel.

    In my posting 228:

    Shachar, this document is dated 1998:
    http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/v5i2/html/arabmi.htm
    Its source is the organization that is focusing on Arab equality problems in Israel.

    …there is a credible source behind the above referenced Web site who could tell us exactly what the current situation is. Check out:
    http://www.adalah.org/eng/index.php
    They would tell you. They are a Palestinian Arab support organization, they may favor a bit the Arab side, but it would be I think an excellent source for this issue.

    What do you think? And Shachar and Mahmood, just let your hair down man!

    Oops :shocked: !! Mahmood is going to get angry again with me. Those of us who are balled, could let our eyebrows grow, and comb it back! And use some glue man. Like break a bird egg on top first, then comb it back!

    That’s what I do! Wish I could send you a picture.

    Vic

  235. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Although the temptation of replying/correcting you right now is as seductive as a woman sucking on a strawberry, I must defer for 2 days, as I am currently up to my ears in busy-ness.

    I will however say, that there is a fundamental flaw in your reasoning of the “but all of us discriminate” argument, and I will point this out (along with my reply to other points) on Tuesday night.

    -Ibn

  236. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    If you want to investigate it with honesty, then please stop interrogating me like I’m some kind of witness at cross-examinaion, and stop patronizing me. I might be wrong (I know I have been before), but then again, so might you. It does not seem, from your response, that you are willing to accept this later fact:

    Truth is sometimes really really ugly Shachar. But in recognising a truth, intelligent human beings utilise these truths to build better judgments on ones life and circumstances. Hide away from it, and all you’re doing in reality is lying to yourself.

    Yes Master Mahmood!

    Either spend the time listening to what I say as well, or tell me you won’t up front so I can stop wasting my (extremely scarce) time on you.

    So far, you have been attacking my arguments, but have not seriously defended yours. And, no, saying “It’s obvious” is not called “defending” in my book.

    Do you, or don’t you, agree that “racist” is such a strong word precisely BECAUSE it includes the “superiority” part of its definition? Can you, please, show me where it is in the Zionist charter?

    Shachar

  237. mahmood says:

    Shachar, stop being so defensive. I wasn’t patronizing you nor cajoling you into a corner.

    I’ll be a bit busy today with meetings etc (I know, quite scarce!) but I shall reply when I have time this afternoon.

    For now, go ahead and read BillT’s contribution, if you would. I’m sure you will find it interesting.

  238. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I wasn’t patronizing you nor cajoling you into a corner.

    So telling me that the only reason I don’t agree with you is because it’s tough to see the truth is NOT patronizing? Telling me which words to use to answer your questions is not patronizing? Refusing to rephrase a question I did not understand because “it is clear enough” is not patronizing? Maybe my English really is not good enough for this discussion. Maybe patronizing is not the right word. What is that word that means that you think you know more than me, and therefor if we disagree it’s because I am wrong?

    For now, go ahead and read BillT’s contribution, if you would. I’m sure you will find it interesting.

    I don’t think starting a quoting war will be helpful. Do you really believe that the fact I do not collect quotes of people who agree with me means I am less right? I am not trying to converse with Paul Treanor. I’m trying to converse with Mahmood Al-Yousif.

    Shachar

  239. mahmood says:

    Shachar, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. If you feel that attacking me will actually help your situation, then by all means go ahead and do so. However, let me tell you that you’re just making a fool of yourself. Maybe you just don’t have the answer to the question or just refuse to accept it.

    Whenever you actually want to converse rather than hair off at a tangent, you will be more than welcome to do so.

    In the spirit of conversing, let me bring back the discussion to the point:

    Is Zionism = Racism?

    To me, yes Zionism is indeed a racist policy because it is designed specifically to exclude all but the Jews to establish a nation state. That state being on the historical land of Palestine, Argentina or the depths of the Congo is immaterial. We haven’t gotten there yet and the place the Jews chose to establish their state is immaterial to this discussion. What is material is the concept of Zionism and its basis on racism.

    You content that it is not, and you hair off as that it is really just to ensure the survival of your kind. I say that that is a false premise in itself, and not only that, it is an unsuccessful escape route from the crux of the problem.

    Now, please convince me that I am wrong in my affirming that Zionism is a racist policy, and if your logical (rather than just passionate) arguments do hold water, I shall be only too happy to change my point of view and shall defend Zionism thenceforth.

  240. Shachar says:

    long sigh

    To me, yes Zionism is indeed a racist policy because it is designed specifically to exclude all but the Jews to establish a nation state.

    Finally you state what you believe in. Thank you! A pity we had to spend some much time waiting for it.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “nation state”. Zionism certainly didn’t claim that Jews are the only ones allowed to have a state.

    In the spirit of our conversation so far, however, let’s try a set of questions on my part, ok? First question:

    Would you agree that a person/group has the right to defend themselves from racism without being called “racist” merely for doing so?

    Shachar

  241. mahmood says:

    even a long sigh

    Are we on the same page or do you selective read what you want Shachar? On cursory examination of this page, you would find that I always regarded Zionism as racism!

    Let me refresh your memory:

    So let me recap the basic premise of Zionism: it is created by Jews for Jews exclusively. Hence, that ideology is racist. Which is an unsustainable method of governance AND survival. Therefore, it needs to either be revised, or outlawed. Correct?

    If you want to debate, at least be honest about it for God’s sake.

    Would you agree that a person/group has the right to defend themselves from racism without being called “racist” merely for doing so?

    They can do whatever pleases them. But if they adopt racist tactics and strategies, they should recognise their racist nature and policies and admit to them, rather than continue to beat about the bush and then get sensitive about being called out.

    If you don’t want to be called and labeled a racist, then do not adopt racist strategies. End of story.

  242. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    They can do whatever pleases them. But if they adopt racist tactics and strategies, they should recognise their racist nature and policies and admit to them, rather than continue to beat about the bush and then get sensitive about being called out.

    I’ll repeat the question:

    Would you agree that a person/group has the right to defend themselves from racism without being called “racist” merely for doing so?

    Shachar

  243. mahmood says:

    Would you agree that a person/group has the right to defend themselves from racism without being called “racist” merely for doing so?

    They can defend themselves any way they deem fit. However, if they use any (I repeat -any-) racist attitudes for doing so, then they will and should be called racist.

  244. Shachar says:

    I’ll ask another question, as we seem to have some fairly basic miscommunication here.

    Should a group that is subject to existential threat have a right to defend themselves?

    Shachar

  245. mahmood says:

    Of course. Even if it is a non-existential one. If one is threatened in any way, they should do whatever is in their power to defend themselves. Using legal means of course.

  246. Shachar says:

    Ok, let’s ask another question.

    If you walk down the street, and a total stranger just walks the opposite direction, is it legal/reasonable to break his hand?

    Shachar

  247. mahmood says:

    What kind of question is this? Do you want to get to the point, if you have one?

  248. Shachar says:

    First, just so we make sure we are on the same page. Racism is “prejudice and discrimination against other human beings who are viewed by the perpetrator as inferior and hence deserve less privileges”, right?

    Shachar

  249. billT says:

    Zionism is not racism. David J. Forman founder of Rabbis for Human Rights says that Zionism is not racism. But then he goes on to state that there is universal discrimination against Israeli Arabs. Even if it can be argued that Zionism is not racism Israels unofficial policy smacks or racism.

  250. mahmood says:

    Correct.

    And all the accepted dictionary definitions of racism I mentioned, which are no less correct.

  251. mahmood says:

    Even if it can be argued that Zionism is not racism Israels unofficial policy smacks or racism.

    I don’t think that Shachar is willing to accept that. He’s been doing an eel with the description of Zionism as racism, now you throw this (implicit definition) at him? He’s not going to be a very happy puppy!

  252. M says:

    “Even if it can be argued that Zionism is not racism Israels unofficial policy smacks or racism.”

    Could that not be said of a lot of countries including Bahrain? Both countries officially endorse a particular religion and people, and in Bahrain’s case being born and living all your life there is considered an immigration issue. I can’t believe the minority citizens are viewed much differently than those of Israel.

    Enter JJ, stage left to tell me the difference :devil:

  253. mahmood says:

    That’s not the issue at hand though. We’re talking specifically about how Zionism is equated with Racism. Once it is accepted that this point of view is actually correct, then we can go and discuss other things.

    However, as you bring this new point of view – and I hope it doesn’t detract from the “meat” of the discussion – your view is certainly valid; in Bahrain – as is the case with all Gulf states – racism IS practiced, especially as far as not granting citizenship to people who have been born and raised here and have the same love of these countries as local citizens, sometimes even more so. If and when these people exercise their rights of speech for the good of their adopted countries, what they get is shipped out, denied entry (if they were away) or get their parents and friends harassed to shut them up and get them to toe the line and behave.

    I agree too that calling a country after a religion is also racist, and we have many in this area who share this privilege, yet they are the first to criticise anyone else who dares to do the same.

    I also believe that it is racist and discriminatory not to allow non-Muslims into Mecca; the Saudi government even has special bypasses designated to take non-Muslims away from Mecca.

    But all of that detracts from the issue we are discussing, and that is Zionism and it being a racist policy. It behooves the Israelis to not only recognise that fact, but throw it out as an invalid one.

  254. Will says:

    billT @ #235

    Bill, do you read this as saying that Israel and Zionism are racist in the same way that every other nation in the world is racist?

  255. docspencer says:

    Sachar, this blog gave me the incentive to look into the subject of racism and prejudice, which has been a very serious topic for us Americans since the beginning. Yet we still find signs of it, although our laws and educational systems improved things. And we have some new ones that popped up, probably fear motivated since 9/11. Unfortunately the press everywhere feeds such behavior because bad news and labels sell better than good news.

    Zionism was established for Jews and excluded others. With reason. Much of such racism and prejudice has a valid reason behind it, but it is selectively valid, because not all of the causing nationalities or religion participants were offended with Jewish behavior. Here we could easily substitute almost any nationality or religion for “Jewish”. As people become more educated in general about the tolerance of differences among them, problems caused by prejudice become and prejudice itself seems to become smaller and smaller.

    Anybody has thr right to defend themselves. And I think that both Israel and its neighbors, with a few exceptions have improved since 1948.

    But to be fair, Israel still shows prejudice against Israeli Arabs, so there is prejudice and racism in Israel to that degree. Acknowledge that without being defensive. But I am impressed by the Israeli gov’t allowing the open treatment and legal defense of Arabs against such behavior. Hwever, this discussion is only about Israel for now, which in Mahmoods (it seems) and my opinion is significantly further along with its democratic laws and legal practices than its neighbors.

    I think many of us understand that Israel, and justly so, developed some defensive feelings that resulted in defensive polices toward Palestinians especially. But agree to call things as they are, and separate from it the defending of the behavior.

    In the USA, before immigrants become citizens the FBI investigates their background and clears them. From that point on the law and the great majority of people accept them. Maybe it’s easier for us because we are a big melting pot of people.

    My advice is: Do not defend what actually IS, if it is not correct and fair. Even if there are some good reasons for the behavior. Why? Because all Arabs or Palestinians did not create the problem, and punishing ALL of them collectively in any form is racism and prejudice.

    The approach I am suggesting in fact makes you as a nation stronger and gives you the ability to make corrections. Denial prevents that even if there are good defensive reasons for the behavior. And democracy is a system with never ending vigilance of the system, corrections in law and education along the way.

    I hope I did not offend you and you understand my point.

    Vic

  256. M says:

    I know it’s not the issue at hand, and you are using the old if stupid jumps off the bridge routine, but, but, but………

    If I were Israeli and said my country was founded on a racist policy, then I assume you would ask me to change the ideology because it’s the right thing to do. I understand it’s a start, but do you really think it would make any difference? Other than a warm fuzzy, where is that really going?

  257. docspencer says:

    M, Israel, like most countries, changed a lot since 1948. They already have at least one well funded and staffed group whose URL I put up who are very active in challenging the law around prejudiced practices with Arabs. This is well beyond a start. But this sort of thing takes recognition first to start, and then it takes a long time, many years to change. I believe that Israel now has the first Arab member in the Knesset (Arabs are 20% of the population). These are signs of a real good start in my opinion to solve this problem, but this kind of thing takes a decade at minimum to work out.

    Vic

  258. billT says:

    Bill, do you read this as saying that Israel and Zionism are racist in the same way that every other nation in the world is racist?

    Yes but Im not 100% convinced that Israels treatment of Israeli Arabs is due to outright racism or fear.

    This is another subject but I think the EU is going to have a big surge of racism on their hands over the next few years with few options on controling it.

  259. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    Trying to get this one point resolved without needing to take another 24 hours cool-off timeout.

    Would you say that practically any country in the world is racist? In a way, I’m repeating Will’s question to BillT here.

    Shachar

  260. Shachar says:

    Vic,

    Correction, if I may. The Knesset (parliment) had Arab members for quite some time. The only thing new is that we now have an Arab minister (member of the government).

    Shachar

  261. M says:

    Vic,

    I was aware of Israel’s minority population and that they serve in the Knesset; it’s a good thing that needs to be improved upon.

    Shachar,

    You are going off in the same direction I did in justifying Israel’s position because others do it too; hence the jump off the bridge routine. Yes, there are other governments that are just as “racist” as Israel. Mahmood’s point, however, was that is irrelevant, because the discussion is about Israel. It doesn’t matter what others do, as your mommy would say; it only matters what you do. Israel has to clean up her act and insure the protection and opportunities for all her citizens irregardless of their ethnic or religious background, because it’s the right thing to do.

  262. Shachar says:

    M,

    That was not the point I was going after.

    I’m trying to say that calling any behavior that is not 100% equal to all inhabitants of earth “racist” is problematic on several aspects:
    1. It degrades the severity of the word
    Ideally, when you say about something that it is racist, that should be an indication that it’s a bad thing and should be avoided. Saying “you act out of pure self defense, but your self defense dictates that I call you racist” suggests that it’s ok to be racist, and that’s something I would really like to avoid.

    2. It does not fit the dictionary definition of the word
    Had it simply been me, I’d toss in the towel and say I cannot argue with facts. However, as far as I can see, all three dictionaries Mahmood chose to check agree with what I know as “racism”. That definition requires a theory of race superiority. Merely saying “I’m being singled out for my race, so I’ll build a wall to protect my race” is not a theory of racism. It’s a practical strategy, and calling it racism does not fit the dictionary definition as I understand it.

    The comparison to other nations was not an attempt to justify racism. It was an attempt to show how absurd it is to define racism as Mahmood did (not his word definition, which I agree with, but his conclusions, which I think do not logically follow his own word definition).

    The way things are currently moving, this conversation is rapidly moving toward the point where the conclusion is going to be something along the lines of “Zionism is racist, but there was no other way for it to achieve its justifiable objectives, and no other country or group of people managed any better”. It’s a conclusion that boggles my mind for its absurdity, not to mention devaluation of a very serious accusation. Had it been supported by the formal meaning of the word, so be it. Since I don’t think it is, I try (so far, in vein) to fight it.

    Shachar

  263. docspencer says:

    Sachar, thanks for the correction. Do you happen to know what percentage of the Knesset is Arab?

    There is a recent ruling about an Arab who I believe is a citizen of Israel marrying a Palestinian girl to whom citizenship is refused in the Israeli courts on the basis of one such case in the past that resulted in a terrorist attack (suicide bomber?) that killed innocent Israelis by the palestinian wife. Such a ruling seems highly prejudicial and therefore racist to me, based on one case. I can understand the Israeli concern, but I would think that an investigative body like our FBI would be required to clear such a girl prior to marriage, and that the treatment of the married couple would be without prejudice thereafter. Is my memory correct and would that not constitute a prejudicial and racist case in your opinion? You could say that it is for cause, but one such experience is not a big enough sample to justify it in my opinion.

    Having said that, we could safely say I would think that all Arab countries have more problems today with racism than Israel, and would welcome many of the democratic institutions that Israel was able to establish since 1948 with success.

    But there is no way you could say that the prejudicial treatment and therefore racism by government has been resolved totally as it should be for the Arab constituents of Israel. There has been lots of progress, but there is work remaining to be done in the law to provide beter guidance to judges. That is the purpose of law. I also say “in the law” because unfortunately human prejudice takes generations to remove when there is killing of the innocent in the memory of people on all sides, especially the killing of family members. But the law is created by intelligent people and can defend those on the receiving end of such prejudiced treatment.

    Unfortunately there was many decades of killing of totally innocent family members on both sides, giving power to the conflicts in the Middle East today. It is very difficult to solve the problems caused by these deep seeded feelings, yet this is what must be done somehow.

    It is a healthy first step for individual people on all sides to take ownership of the resulting hate and – mildly put – prejudicial feelings, and not waiting for others to do it first and pay penance first. Sachar, I hope that you appreciate my point. Ibn my friend, listen to me on this paragraph. This is a huge problem in the Middle East today that can create more spilled innocent blood very easily, spill over into some Western european countries as well, …or… no more spilled blood because people had enough of that on both sides, and would rather want a better life for their children. I do hope that this is where we are today.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  264. billT says:

    This is another subject but I think the EU is going to have a big surge of racism on their hands over the next few years with few options on controlling it.

    To add to this the KKK in the US grew by 63% betweeb 2000 and 2005 according to a CNN story. Can we blame it on Waymart for lowering the price of sheets till every ignorant sob can afford sheets? I wish but after visiting the Southern Poverty Law Center website and the Anti-Defamation Leagues website I think we are having a surge ourselves which proves we are racist also.
    Doesn’t the guy wearing the purple sheet in the photo on this page have a rainbow on the bottom of his sheet? Wonder if they know what the rainbow signifies?

  265. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Im back. I want to divide my replies to you in two parts – the first one is a response to your rebuttal, the second will be addressing the racism-argument with you and Mahmood that you have totally misunderstood.

    Lets open up with this:

    which is, said crap is believed by people other than IBN, which makes it worth answering.

    Although not particularly relevant to the topic at hand, I wonder why people would buy my arguments if they were plain old stinkin’ “crap”. Says alot about how intelligent you think they are.

    One could claim that these are extremely heavy weight character witnesses. Do Jews in Iran have the same level of freedom? In Yeman?

    As mentioned before, the civil-liberties or lack thereof of Arab civilians in Israel and of Jews in Arab lands is not being discussed, and is not relevant in this particular instance. Trying to claim that Arabs enjoy the right to vote in Israel but not in Egypt, while true, does nothing to add to the discussion on Zionism’s inherent and inbuilt intolerance. Unlike the Israeli-lobby-friendly US congress who might buy such brownie points, I dont. So lets stick to the topic.

    You seem to have an implicit claim here. The claim is “Israel is Zionist, Zionism is racist, therefor Israel is racist”.

    Thats exactly right. Elaboration will follow in next post. (Maybe in this one if I get too excited).

    “Hamid is Muslim, Islam supports Jihad, therefor Hamid is a terrorist“. If that last sentence seems as outrageous to you as it does to me, I ask that you stop using the former logic as well.

    Wrong. You are comparing a state, that is goverened by an explicitly defined and laid-out ideology, to a religion, that by its very nature can have wildly different, incoherent and contradictory dictates, and ideological facets.

    You cant run a state without being ultra-specific. But religions are by definition all over the place in interpretations and even beliefs. Given Zionism is racism (will prove), and Israel is Zionist, thus Israel is racist. Logic follows. But given Hamid is Muslim, and that some interpretations of Islam lead to terror, it cannot be shown that Hamid is thus a terrorist. Thus, your analogy is wrong.

    For the entire duration it had a Jewish majority in parliament, and, again, according to you, all of its leaders, without exceptions, were racist. One would expect this fact to be reflected in its laws by now in some way. Not only is this not the case, you, yourself, admit that the exact opposite is true.

    Really? Where is the law that had barred Palestinian refugees from re-entering and claiming their past homes, or compensation thereoff? Whats that? There was no specific law passed that said that? Ok, so why isnt it done yet? Whats that again? You dont have to nessacerily pass a law to guide the actions of a state?

    There it is Shachar. Just because your country doesnt have explicit laws highlighting specific subjects, does not mean that they have no stance on such subjects, and thus, do not take action pertaining to them.

    Therefore, your hypothethis that “by now we should have seen some racist law come into effect” is inaccurate, since “laws” are not the ultimate metric of how just a nation is.

    In fact, using the laws on a country’s books as a metric at all, is probably one of the dumbest and most inaccurate meausure of the degree of freedom and justice that nation may hold. If that were not true, then Afghanistan would look like a free central-asian paradise where a Muslim man could convert into Bhuddism while wearing a bikini – after all, just look at their (new) constitution and laws! Those papers promise religous freedom, yet they tried to hang a convert last year, and the only reason he escaped was because of some loop-hole.

    So, just because your country hasnt passed any explicitly racist laws, doesnt mean it is not built into the ideology that governs it – it never needs to be formalized. In the US – the freest of free countries in the world – there is a big ruckus right now over the detainment without due process of American citizens involved in suspected terrorism. The laws are pretty clear – due process is a must, etc, yet the facts on the ground are different, if not in clear violation of it at times.

    Either way, I think you owe a lot of people an apology.

    I apologise to the people of Israel for the existance of Arabs where your grandfathers from Europe wished to found a new exclusive state. The mean Arabs should have simply packed up and left, and rolled out the red carpets for incoming foreign colonial Zionists. How mean of them not to have done that. Please accept my heartfelt and sincere apologies.

    The analogy is flawed in one, important, way. Your only attempt that I have seen to actually produce racist laws as proof I already explained was irrelevant.

    The Protugal-analogy stands, if for no other reason, because you simply havent answered it. Again, I restate the question:

    Lets assume there was zero controversy about Israel. Lets say that it was just another Western country, like, say, Portugal. Then one day, through a constitutional ammendment and ratification, laws get passed claiming that “Israel must always remain a Jewish state”, and that “the population of non-Jews must never exceed 50%”. Is that racist or not?.

    You are saying that “well, there are no racist laws on the books”, then does that mean that should Arabs reach 40, or 50%, that events in Israel will remain hunky-dory, and that the government will simply sit by and do absolutely nothing? As I said before, the actions of a nation-state are not always dictated by what laws are currently on the books. If there are no laws regarding an “Arab demographic problem” as your Israeli comrades across the political spectrum would call it, then I trust your government will do nothing when and if this comes to pass right? After all, there are no laws regarding this! I want to see what your answer to this is, because right now as it stands, its a ridiculous proposition.

    I think a civilized conversation requires that you state your side, and I state my.

    Civilized? hahaha! You have called my arguments “hate-speech”, “crap”, and have personally called me a “fanatic”, but if I say that an Israeli’s blood pressure goes up just by the thought of there being 50% Arabs in his midst, you come to me saying I should be civilized? hahaha! Come on Shachar. I know your country plays the violin of hypocrisy real well but I didnt realise you were also a musician!

    How about you shoot him, then? Is that an acceptable course of action in your eyes?

    Is that a question, or a suggestion Shachar? Either way, its an improvement on Israel’s practice of dropping a bomb on his family’s home where you know your “evil” target is sitting smoking a cigar, but where the next room over might have his little princess brushing her doll’s hair. Good job.

    IBN, you have a severe case of being in able (or not wanting) to distinguish between one, Shachar Shemesh, an Israeli citizen, and the Israeli government.

    Good point. Please highlight to me then, the difference between Shachar Shemesh, and the Israeli government’s position on:

    1) Absorbing the Palestinian refugees that Israel created.
    2) Abolishing Zionism.
    3) Enacting Justice towards said refugees.
    4) How to go after an individual who is thought to be a terrorist.

    What is your delta? Zero? I think it is. But I dont know for sure, which is why I am asking you. If it is zero however, and you were any other person, you would be just another man with an opinion. However if you happen to be a citizen of this state, then not only do you share this in opinion, but actually provide knowing material support towards such ends. Thats why you are inseperable in that regard.

    I have not rejected “Zionism” merely because I think it means something completely different than what you claim it does.

    (“My” definition comes from the “Jewish Virtual Library”, which you can google. But this will be addressed in the next post.)

    Further more, I do not trust the quotes you are so keen on bringing to say that that’s what my leaders believed in.

    Eh? For over 60 years, Israeli leaders have made outright racist and at times facist remarks, (and where some of those ideas gained traction we see the results today), yet you “dont believe thats what they really beleived”? hahaha! Come on Shachar – im sure you could have come up with a better cop-out than that!

    What? You think every single Israeli leader suffers from some form of trourretes syndrome once he takes office that makes them say mean things about Palestinians?

    Prime Minister: “Honey, could you pass the salt please”?
    Wife: -“Sure dear. So how was your day?”
    PM: “Just fine baby – After work at the Knesset, I took my suit to the tailors.”
    W: “Really? Why, whats wrong with it?”
    PM: “Well honey – I dont know … the pants fit just fine, but every time I put my suit on the collar just seems to .. THE PALESTINIANS ARE BEASTS WALKING ON TWO LEGS .. scratch and rub my neck..”
    W: – “Um.. honey…are.. are you ok?…”
    PM: “Of course.. of course baby, what…why do you ask?”
    W: “Umemm…well..you just said…”
    PM: “Oh about the suit? Oh dont worry – the tailor said it would.. WE MUST EXPELL THE ARABS AND TAKE THEIR PLACES .. be ready tomorrow.”

    Heh. Yeah. All your leaders were simply having a bad day when they said what they said. Sure. And Iraq has WMDs.

    Your insistence on relating to what people said can only lead me to believe that you would have sent Hamid to prison, had you been a juror. I wouldn’t. I actually care about what people actually do. You can say I follow the behaviorist philosophy.

    You give too much weight to the quotes. The quotes of your leaders simply reflect the disgusting ideology your country subscribes to. And the fact that they have been made by different people over 6 decades means it was more than them just having a bad day.

    But since you care about actions, lets talk about actions, or, the in-action of: Implementing full and uncomprimising justice towards the Arabs that Israel has wronged, and the action of removing Zionism which has guided a country to cause such damage.

    Where is the action on that?

    Asking me to make up my mind about someone based on quotes brought by someone with a self stated agenda and a known history of out of context quoting is not something I feel myself compelled to do.

    lol. Ok. Under what context is the phrase “We must expell the Arabs and take their places” acceptable?

    A. That was not the discussion here.
    B. Indicting an entire country, and me in particular, because of this is pure insane.

    The frequency at which Israel kills Palestinian bystanders and civilians because it is going after another target is to high for them to simply be “regretablle mistakes because someone wasnt paying attention”. Instead, it points more towards a policy. Question: If the target was hiding among Israelis in Tel-Aviv, would the IDF level that city’s downtown. Of course not. They’re Jews there you see.

    Full answer given for next quote:

    Let’s do talk about Bush’s treatment of, well, any subject you would care to raise. After all, you are an atom of the USA, a part of it, and hence share in its responsibility. especially given the fact that you vote your own leaders into office. There is a mister Hamidi Hayat who would love to hear your input.

    You see Shachar, there is a world of difference, between an American who supports his country thats based on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equality between man, and an Israeli who supports his country thats based on Zionism, and making sure the Arabs never have too many children. (aka, “future threats”).

    Furthermore, whats the worst that Bush has done? Lead a mis-calculated and deceitful war against a tyranny (Iraq) that caused thousands of unintended yet negligent civilian deaths through ignorrance and arrogance. The Iraq war opened a can or worms.

    Now compare this Shachar, to the most benevolent Prime Minister in your history, who never enacted justice to the thousands of Palestinians who died in Israel’s creation, who never enacted justice towards their decendants who live in squalor, who never sought to remove the insidious Zionist enterprise which leads to such actions. Instead, you Prime Ministers come and go, with the consent of a populus that doesnt give a flying damn about justice towards those Arabs who do not fit the Zionist dream, and who are seen as a theat simply for being.

    The federalist papers and the founding ideals of the US were based on equality of all men, something that took a long time to implement, but which has hapened nonetheless.

    In contrast, your founding documents are based on there being a “Jewish State”, and that a “Israel must always retain a Jewish majority”, and you now fret over the frowing Arab populus in your midst. Whereas Abraham lincoln is best known for his statement “All men are created equal”, your father of the nation Ben-Gurion gave us quotes like “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population”.

    And finally, the Iraq war, probably the blackest mark on the US’s recent record, is primarily the result of the actions of one adminstration utilizing confusion at best, and lying at worst. The actions of the US regarding Iraq have no underpinnings in the very fabric of what the US actually stands for, or its ideals. In fact, that is why just about half the country wants this adminstration out – they view its actions as contrary to the ideals, institutions, and legacy of the country.

    And you? Your entire existance – the beating heart of Israel – its lifeblood, is based on securing the majority of one race/religion over another in demography, and of the hostile takeover of land and killing/deportation of its inhabitants based on religion/race in a post-WWII era. No one complains about it inside your country, because you cant complain about it and yet still be Israeli at heart. How do forced deportations and ethnic cleansing in trying to found a racially pure state go against the tenants of Zionism? In fact, how else does one found a Zionist state in a land that is predominantly non-Jewish to begin with?

    Sorry Shachar. But there is absolutely no comparison between your average Israeli, and your average American. (The only overlap perhaps being the latter’s tax payer money).

    In other words, bullshit.

    I realise I am an undesirable non-Jew but please mind your manners. 🙂

    Read what I wrote again. The lands in question were not inhabited by their owners, but by land-bound dwellers who owned nothing at all. It was a feudal system. It was them, not their land owner, who got angry.

    Even if I assume you are correct, that it was simply disgruntled tenants who got “angry” because the houses they were renting were now being sold to Jews whom they probably never met, how do you explain the sudden spike in anger and resentment right after the Balfour declaration? If it was simply a case of tenats becoming angry, why didnt this happen before?

    This is the ridiculous wall you run into with your assumption that is was just pissed of renters. And by the way, if you are going to quote Wikipedia texts, please quote all relevant parts of it, such as this statement regarding Balfour of “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.”

    And thats a wrap. I will address your points regarding the Zionism-is-racism issue tomorrow, and put it to bed on why its true. Right now I am tired and in the mood for some good laughs, so I think ill watch Fox News’s Sean Hannity defend Israel for 10 minutes. Then ill switch over to some cartoons and go to bed.

    Oh, and I see that you have nicely evaded my hypothetical thought experiement I addressed to you on Post 194. Here it is again:

    Suppose foreign European Jews started to buy up land, and thus settle, not just in Palestine from the 1870s on, but also in modern day Jordan, all of Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi, the gulf States, and Egypt’s deserts. Would you then claim, that all that land mass – in effect the heart of the Arab world – should have become rightful Israeli territory, since at the time, none of those places had any “sovreignty”, and that foreign Jews had already settled on purchased land?

    -Ibn

  266. billT says:

    Ibn The Palestinians and Jews in Israel never got much of a chance to build a country togeather. The surrounding countrys urged them to leave then invaded how many times. The Arab world is just as guilty for the Palestinian problem as Israel is.

  267. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    About 80% of your rebuttals are based on the assumption that I have already accepted that Israel is illegitimate (see comparison of Israel to USA for prime, though not unique, example). This you cannot do when trying to explain why it is illegitimate. In other words, you are using circular logic.

    if you are going to quote Wikipedia texts,

    I wasn’t. I merely brought the text of the actual declaration. I did not, as far as I can tell, bring in any text that gives any commentary on the declaration. If you feel that the text of the actual Balfour declaration, unaltered, contradicts your position regarding what that declaration means, then maybe there is something lacking in your position.

    For the sake of accuracy, and because it is important to speak truthfully whenever one can, I would like to retract one statement, however. On further investigation, it does seem that while the problem I mentioned regarding land ownership did exist, and was a major part in the resentment against Jewish land buying, it was not the only part of the cause of the outbreak, and so I would like to retract said statement. I apologize for the mistake.

    Last, but not least, the question of racism. You state that the racism is not in the laws but still exists everywhere else. In order to keep the thread manageable, let’s disregard the many flaws of that argument, and instead ask this. If Israel has been with a racist majority for almost 60 years, based on a racist ideology, why isn’t it reflected in the laws? If the country is racist, you’d expect the laws to be the first thing where such a thing will be reflected.

    Not only that. If the country is racist, you’d expect the gap between the level of freedoms that Jewish and non-Jewish/Arab citizens to increase, instead of decrease.

    Also relevant is the Arab freedoms example you seem to have misunderstood. I was not comparing the Arab civil freedoms in Israel to those of Arabs in other countries. I was comparing the gap between different citizens. In other words, let’s define X is the gap between a Jewish and an Arab citizen of Israel (X=Freedom(Jewish)-Freedom(Arab)). Let’s take Y to be in Iran, replacing Arab with Iranian and replacing the sign. So Y=Freedom(Iranian)-Freedom(Jewish).

    X>Y, by a lot.

    Shachar

  268. Shachar says:

    Let’s try again, this time properly quoting.

    Should have been “X<Y”, of course.

    Shachar

  269. mahmood says:

    Quick note: Nido is reminding us that Israeli Apartheid Week is coming up between Feb 12 – 16 in campuses in the US, UK and Canada.

    Seems appropriate to this discussion.

  270. M says:

    Shachar,

    I do not want to put words in your mouth; but it sounds to me that you do not view Israel as racist nation because there was a valid (in your mind as well as many others) reason for its creation. Therefore, it doesn’t fit the established definition of racism based on the superiority of a particular people intentionally discriminating against another. Sort of like affirmative action here in this country many years ago when the powers that be decided to level the playing field for blacks by quotas for hiring and the like.

    The trouble with that is it requires you to discriminate against someone else to accomplish those goals, but like the creation of Israel, it did have the desired effect that was intended. Admittedly, the people who made those decisions were within their right to do so even though that is little solace to those adversely affected. I do appreciate you hanging in there and presenting your point of view.

  271. Shachar says:

    M,

    Yes, it’s part of it, but it is, by no means, the major part of it.

    To me, racism is a strong word that means unjustifiable behavior. There is no “it’s racist, but for good reasons”. You can discriminate for good reasons, but not develop a “superior race” theory.

    As part of it, I don’t think every little uneven treatment is “Racism”. I, for one, am not sure that not allowing non-muslims near Mecca is racist. I don’t know the reasons behind it. It may turn out to be racist after all. The mere act, however, is not, in itself, racist in my eyes.

    This is unlike the KKK. The KKK has a pure racist ideology which states that white & Christian is good, and everything else is bad. That is racism. It is not the acts that make them racist (I’m not sure the KKK have actually DONE anything lately), but the ideology that is behind the organization that makes them that.

    Mahmood has somewhat abandoned the questions thread (with having to talk to the police, I’m not sure I blame him), but consider the following:
    In Israel, cancer patients like myself are not allowed to donate blood, even years after being cured. I’m not sure what the exact reason is (in my eyes, my immune system will not attack a cancer cell because it carries my DNA, but your immune system will have no problem getting rid of it), but let’s assume there is a good medical reason for it. I don’t think any of us would call that “racism”. After all, we donate blood to save other people, not to put them at risk.

    For very similar reasons, people who belong to a risk group for AIDS cannot donate blood either. This, unfortunately, includes anyone who was born in Africa, such as the very large group of Etheopian Jews who immigrated to Israel. Despite the fact that the considerations for preventing me from donating blood and the considerations for preventing an Etheopian from donating blood stem from exactly the same core reasons, according to Mahmood thinking, this must be racism.

    I simply cannot accept such broad definition of this word. To me, it diminishes the perceived danger from the really dangerous groups, such as the KKK and the Neo-Nazis. If you end up responding with “what other choice does he have” to the claim “he’s racist”, then you actually say that racism is ok, which is something I would like to avoid.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not at all sure that it makes medical sense to avoid blood donation from Etheopians, just like I’m not sure it makes sense to forbid non-Muslims from visiting Mecca, or don’t think that it makes sense to do special security checks at airports to Muslims. While I think that all the above may be bad ideas (except the last one, which I’m pretty sure is a bad idea), I don’t think it’s right to call it “racist”.

    Shachar

  272. docspencer says:

    Guys, you are trying to squeeze Shachar too much and unfairly.

    What was racism in the extreme, was what Hitler and his boys did to Jews and some other minorities. I actually saw this myself as a child in Hungary, an ally of Germany during WW II.

    There can be no dispute over that fact that a blood bath at such proportion with 6,000,000 people just picked up and murdered like defenseless sheep would scare the daylights out of all Jews and that they would do anything to try to escape it forever. And then, what will do such events accomplish but create a very fertile ground for the 60 year old Zionism idea. The desire for all Jews to live some place, in their own country to give them the option to at least defend themselves. My father was a colonel on the German side, so I had a terrible view into these practices. You cannot imagine. And many German high ranking officers did not agree with it and tried to blow Hitler away. It was an awful time, especially for the Jews.

    The US also experienced racism of a much milder degree during the 1960s. I came here in 1956. And it was still tough and our form of government fortunately gave us the laws to take action against it, and win. But there is no way of comparison between what the Jews had to go through during WW II.

    My point is that racism exists in different degrees, almost everywhere among some people, generally those who are not well educated. The same way with a close relative of racism, prejudice.

    We can argue all day long about how 1948 came about, but I wonder if you can imagine what horrors prompted those jews who just wanted a land of their own. And still they were attacked in 1948 and three times tehereafter by a few Arab states who wanted to eliminate Israel. And they won every time. And if you really study Israel and visit it several times, you will see how the Zionist aspect became softer as years have gone on, but the constact attacks first from neighboring countries, then later by Palestinian groups created a sense of fear as they saw suicide bombers come and blow up innocent people and children. If that happened to you and me, we would not have waited avenging those BARBARIC acts. Imagine that happening to your family. So Israel attacked back quite understandably for me, and now the hate started spiraling deeper and deeper on both sides.

    This is getting to be a very stupid move on both sides that accomplishes nothing but an unsafe life and poverty. And here you are some of you pushing Shachar to admit to current Zionism and so on. I don’t think the Zionist argument is valid any more. They made more progress on the democratic and economic and scientific side than any Arab state, and did it without natural resources.

    They and their laws need to work on some prejudicial issues about native Arabs, to become even handed as a democracy. They are certainly getting plenty of pressure from us and others to work out these issues and the to resolve the question of Palestine – while people like Ahmedinejad, the president of Iran swears to their destruction, and so does the Achmedinejad supported Hamas and HizbAllah. Anybody has the right to defend themselves, and it would be nice to see some reasonable help in this from all of you. Why?

    Because if Ahmedinejad delivers a nuclear device as he promises for detonation in Israel, most of you will suffer from the radiation clowds and the resulting cancer for centuries at minimum. We will not be able to hold back an Israeli response with probably more than 100 nuclear devices in inventory and well tested delivery capability.

    It just seems to me that you guys are squeezing Shachar when you should be thinking about how we can prevent an absolute catastrophy upon the region, very much including Bahrain, if that absolutely crazy man in Iran and his mullah supporters deliver as he promises? The big problem is the Iran connected militia groups whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and the craziness of some people on top of the Iranian governement today.

    With Shachar the legit point is the Israeli laws changing to give equal rights to the Israeli Arabs. Not this bullshit called Zionism.

    And while you do that, reflect back a bit about how far the Arab states developed in the important areas of human rights, racism and prejudice and I might add democratic practices, compared to Israel. Many are improving in the Gulf, but they are not as far yet.

    No one is perfect. No country is perfect. Give this guy a break for Heaven’s sakes. And focus on what is really important for your future and your children’s future.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  273. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Apologies once again for the delay. I will try my best to post on the Zionism = Today’s-only-legalized-Racism topic tonight.

    One thing we must get settled however, is responces: Are you planning on responding to the questions and thought-experiments (2 in total) that I have explicitly addressed to you, which one might argue, go to the very heart of the issue? I would like to know please. Because if you do not intend on answering my questions, Ill have to rethink my communication strategy. I cannot get anywhere with someone who ignores my questions. Maybe thats your intention. I dont know. Please let me know.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Docspencer,

    I think I also asked you a while back (The Protugal-analogy) what your thoughts were on the subject. What you are failing to realise is that this struggle against Israel isnt so much about the past – its about the future. Very simply, it has to do with precedent. If it is going to be acceptable to found nations ala-Israel, then well, please let us know. That is one of the biggest answers I am trying to get to. Were its methods ok, or were they not? If they were not, what was wrong about them?

    Thats the ultimate issue. Your entire post is akin to saying “Hey, lets just foggetaboutit”. Sorry, but I for one am not going to simply “fogetaboutit”. Israel came about in the most violent and evil methods known to man – the audacity of which is multiplied even further by the fact that it was in a post-WWII era. At the very least, we can safely say it was “controversial”. I just want to know if such controversial methods are sanctioned today. If they are, then lets play ball. If not, then why not, and on what criteria?

    Thats what it comes down to. We may never retreive the justice towards the Palestinians that Israel stole from them. But at the very least, should Israel admit to that theft, we can have a sense of closure, of knowing, that what they did really was wrong, and that we must aim never to allow such a thing to happen again.

    No matter what ones religion, no matter what your culture, what your ethnicity, what your color – there is one thing that humans understand very well, and one thing that will motivate us irregardless of our background – Justice. As long as Justice towards the Palestinians is not delivered by the usurper Israel, is as long as there will be war between them, and perhaps the rest of the Arab world. I dont want it any more than you do. But such is human nature.

    -Ibn

  274. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    I did answer your Portugal question. I’ll give a more detailed answer if it wasn’t clear. You asked what happened if Portugal passed a law that prohibits a part of the population from becoming a majority. My answer was that the analogy is flawed, because Israel has no such law.

    In any case, there can be no such law. Passing a law that says “Arabs are not allowed to be more than 50% of the Israeli citizens” is like passing a law that says “A lightning is not allowed to hit my house”. I can put such a law in place, if I insist, but the law is meaningless.

    Instead, should your “Israel is preventing the Arabs from becoming majority” theory has any traction with that oh so elusive thing we mockingly call “truth”, one should expect to be able to find laws limiting that in some way. A law sentencing prison to an Arab that has more than 2 children, perhaps? Maybe just limit their employment ability so they cannot support their children? Something?

    And, please, don’t confuse the issue with what Israel does to the autonomous Palestinians. They cannot be the issue here, as they don’t vote in Israel, and are therefor not a part of the “demographic threat”.

    If your theory is correct, Israel should be having laws preventing the Israeli Arabs from multiplying. I am aware of no such laws, and have not seen you mention any such laws either. In fact, you fully acknowledge that some of the above possible measures are explicitly forbidden by Israeli law. That does not sit well with the theory you are trying to push here.

    Shachar

  275. Shachar says:

    Oh, and regarding the thought experience. I think our basic assumptions about things are too further apart for me to be able to answer that in a way that is meaningful.

    And, no, I do not feel obliged to answer each and every one of your questions. If that means you wish to conduct your conversations differently, please do.

    Shachar

  276. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Oh, and regarding the thought experience. I think our basic assumptions about things are too further apart for me to be able to answer that in a way that is meaningful.

    Balogney. The only assumption in the thought-experiment was that the eastern border move a little bit to the east, and the western border move a little bit to the west. Please stop making things up.

    At one point, you were going through history justifying Israel’s creation by virtue of “there being no modern concept of sovreignty in Arab lands”, and “Jews buying up land from other land-lords”, in Palestine.

    The question I asked you, simply expanded the borders. Thats the only difference. You said all that applied to Palestine. Fine. Now expand the borders incrementally, until you reach the suez on one side, and the Euphrates on the other. What then? Would the Jews still have be justified in declaring the state of Israel?

    And, no, I do not feel obliged to answer each and every one of your questions. If that means you wish to conduct your conversations differently, please do.

    Quit being so hostile. I have noticed you selectively answer some questions and totally ignore others. So, I have decided to lay down some ground-rules for the conversation, because without them, none is possible. If you do not want to answer a question because you think “the assumptions are too far apart”, then are you willing to say so without having me pry it out of you after 5 itterations, or do you just wish to remain silent?

    If you do remain silent on a question, I will take that as evasion, and then proceed to move on from there, and draw a conclusion from it, since it is not answered. Probably, I will say, “He cannot/is-not showing me otherwise, therefore it is probably correct”. especially given that you pounce on just about every other issue but when a question is asked you are no where to be found.

    I am not saying this as a sort of conversational-threat, I am merely stating that you leave the other debater with little choice.

    State your terms.

    -Ibn

  277. Will says:

    Quit being so hostile.

    😆

  278. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    What then? Would the Jews still have be justified in declaring the state of Israel?

    Assuming that the expansion was necessary to populate people, and that the land was obtained legally, I don’t see why not.

    I have noticed you selectively answer some questions and totally ignore others.

    As have you, Mahmood, and everyone else. It’s called “conversation”, and it is not managed by you. Sorry to disappoint you.

    State your terms.

    I thought I did. I’ll state them again.

    I do not argue with you. I think it is a waste of time as I don’t think there is any chance of changing your mind, and my time is too scarce for me to pour words somewhere they will not have any effect.

    And so, I answer your claims when I think someone who has not shut down their minds to differing opinions is paying attention. I do not think I owe you anything, and therefor I refuse to give you the position to dictate where I spend my time and what on.

    Shachar

  279. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    I do not argue with you. I think it is a waste of time as I don’t think there is any chance of changing your mind, and my time is too scarce for me to pour words somewhere they will not have any effect.

    …Are you bipolar? I hate to break it to you, but you already HAVE been responding, and argueing to me directly, for at least the last 4 days. You have called me “Ibn” and “you”, meaning the conversation was in fact directed at me and not in third person.

    As have you, Mahmood, and everyone else. It’s called “conversation”, and it is not managed by you. Sorry to disappoint you.

    What question have you asked of me that I have not answered you yet on, with the exception of announced delays due to me being busy? Or is this another one of your lies like in the beginning of this thread when you said that “Ibn stopped responding to me”?

    I do not think I owe you anything, and therefor I refuse to give you the position to dictate where I spend my time and what on.

    *chuckle*… no one is “dictating” to you what to answer to and what not to. You say you dont want to argue with me but then do exactly that 2 minutes later. When you cant provide a rebuttal to something I say, you shout “I dont argue with you!”. When you can, we get 10 KB of post courtesy Shachar, who talks directly to me. So – I frankly dont care HOW you decide to communicate, Im just asking you to make up your mind.

    Assuming that the expansion was necessary to populate people, and that the land was obtained legally, I don’t see why not.

    Back to the topic: Thank you. In other words, modern day Iraq, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria would have been flying the Israeli flag should there have been more Zionist-Jews who decided to “immigrate” to the middle east. I cant help but wondering. What would you have done with all those Arabs?

    …And you call me a fanatic.

    -Ibn

  280. Shachar says:

    Ibn,

    Let’s see. You accuse me of ignoring your questions, and then you strip away the precise part where I explain the apparent discrepancy between claiming I’m not arguing with you and arguing with you, merely so that you can taunt me with it. Hmm. I guess it really does take one to to know one.

    What question have you asked of me that I have not answered you yet on,

    I don’t remember at the moment, as I obviously did not take as personally as you did. There are a lot of questions flying back and forth here, and if any particular question seems important enough, people repeat it.

    I cant help but wondering. What would you have done with all those Arabs?

    What would I have done with all those Arabs? Since when is it the buyer’s responsibility to take care of the seller after the sell? When you buy a piece of land, you assume that the seller has arrangements for what to do after that, or they wouldn’t be selling. If a previous seller comes to you and say “Why did you buy?”, what answer can you give him but say “Why did you sell?”

    Shachar

  281. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Let’s see. You accuse me of ignoring your questions, and then you strip away the precise part where I explain the apparent discrepancy between claiming I’m not arguing with you and arguing with you, merely so that you can taunt me with it. Hmm

    You’re doing that thing again … where you talk, but dont make any sense.

    There are a lot of questions flying back and forth here, and if any particular question seems important enough, people repeat it.

    Ahh, repetition. Ok, I will use that.

    Since when is it the buyer’s responsibility to take care of the seller after the sell?

    Ya Allah, ya Mohammad, sa3idni. *sigh*. Talking to you Shachar, is like deconding C/C++ code.

    The question isnt asking you what you would have done to the Arab who sold you his house by the river, or the Arab who sells you a shoe saying “Reedbok” because not enough people notice it doesnt say Reebok.

    The question here Shachar, is, what would you have done, to the Arabs, who would have constituted about 90 or 120 million at least, in all the Arab lands from Egypt to Iraq to Oman, in the hypothetical scenario where you Zionists “immigrate” and decide to create Eretz Israel from the Suez to the Arabian sea, it clearly being obious that the Arabs vastly outnumber you, but where your country-to-be must be “a Jewish nation”.

    I have to go to work now. I will be back tonight.

    Jesus.

    -Ibn

  282. mahmood says:

    MAY I ASK YOU ALL TO CALM DOWN PLEASE?

    Especially Ibn and Shachar. The only thing that we will achieve in this thread it seems is to start a World War. I suggest that everyone takes a little break, take deep deep breaths and then come back with a FRESH perspective on things.

    I’m sorry that I’ve been otherwise occupied over the last couple of days to participate, but I am glad that I have been busy!

    Please, my friends, take a break, do NOT enter any more incendiary replies and accusations, just take a break and come back and LOOK at the problems being discussed with a fresh perspective.

    I mean, come on, we are PEOPLE here, we should be able to solve our differences better and quicker than governments!

  283. Shachar says:

    Let me ask you all, Mahmood, Ibn, JJ and anyone else, a question:
    A group of people seek a place to settle down and call their own. They don’t ask to rule over you. They only ask to rule over themselves. They pay for the land they settle in.

    Let’s even assume, for the sake of discussion, that they are absolute snobs who will have nothing to do with you, look down their noses at you, and would really like to confine themselves to only dealing with themselves.

    Still, what is so offending here? Why should any one of you be so arrogant as to say that they shouldn’t be allowed to do that? Why did the violence have to even begin?

    Why is saying “I need a state of my own so that my people won’t be killed” racism, while saying “he can’t have a state” isn’t?

    Shachar

  284. jasra jedi says:

    http://www.ijv.org.uk

    read point number 4.

  285. jasra jedi says:

    just to be clear, point number 4 in the actual declaration reads:

    4. There is no justification for any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, anti-Arab racism or Islamophobia, in any circumstance.

  286. Shachar says:

    JJ,

    The page you linked to only has 4 points, so it’s a good thing you made the actual quote.

    I am trying real hard not to reopen the racism debate here, that was has sort of died down when the police started to get on Mahmood’s case, so I find the answer a bit hard to counter.

    What I’m trying to get at is this. Even if we agree that saying “I want a state all for my own” is racist, killing people for their religion, being angry because people of a certain religion buy land, and driving people out of their homes must also be racist, and of a higher degree of severity. In other words, even if we accept that Zionism is racist, it is still no justification for the Arab reaction.

    Shachar

  287. mahmood says:

    even if we accept that Zionism is racist, it is still no justification for the Arab reaction

    Don’t qualify it Shachar. Racism is racism and it should not be condoned in any circumstance. Doing so would lessen the impact which will dilute the response it should engender which to me is to work extremely hard at eradicating the source that created it and re-evaluate the circumstances which allowed it to flourish. And the Arab reaction is irrelevant to this discussion.

    That was my whole point from the start. Racism should not be covered in chocolate to make it more palatable. And – to my mind at least – if we are to define degrees of racism, the Zionism would be at the top of that scale.

  288. Shachar says:

    Welcome back, Mahmood,

    Care to have a stab at answering 261?

    Shachar

  289. mahmood says:

    briefly: discriminatory, in most probability as nationalism falls within that definition; racist, no. not necessarily.

  290. Shachar says:

    Then I completely and utterly lost you.

    Can you explain, please, why Zionism is racist?

    Shachar

  291. docspencer says:

    Ibn, I am not able to answer your msg 275, but I have some thoughts. I just do not know enough about the circumstances.

    “Justice” to one person may mean something very different than to another. So you keeping arguing for Palestinian “justice”, will be decided between the Palestinians and Israel. It is THEIR business. I want them to be happy with it. You and I are not part of it. Shachar is part of it. Anybody who lives under the Palestinian Authority is part of it. At its root will probably be peaceful coexistance I believe and economic cooperation to raise the new nation of Palestine to a much better standard of living. And armed militias that swear to the destruction of either party must be eliminated, and not allowed to interfere with this peace-making process. THAT is not happening yet on the Palestinian side. By the way, I will not argue this point, because I believe that it is so fundamental.

    Israel gaining territory from the Euphrates to the the Suez Canal is about as senseless an argument as the militant Islamists will do anything to regain the great Califate that spread from I don’t know where to and including the Mediterranean and Spain. Both thoughts are simply psychotic. Such things can no longer happen. The world and nations are becoming too interdependent for that to happen. And peace agreements and mutual defense treaties work and will work very well.

    The one major thing Israel needs to work on in my opinion is an addition or change to some laws (immigration, marriage, citizenship primarily) to give equal rights to the citizen Arab population. They have made very good headway in this area over the decades, and they have more work to do. Israel is certainly allowing proper representation of the minority complaints with a group of very highly qualified attorneys, who are very active to resolve this issue, and that is a really great sign for me. That means that the problem shall be resolved, because such representation gives it very high visibility worldwide.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  292. milter says:

    Shachar,

    I admire you for your tenacity and stamina. Don’t let circular logic confuse or derail you.

    In the end it all comes down to one question: “Should The State of Israel have the right to continue as a sovereign state or not”?

    There can be several discussions in favor of or against the way Israel was created but, the same goes for the creation of or split up of many other countries, depending on how many years you want to back in history.

  293. mahmood says:

    Shachar, please don’t get despondent or exasperated. I have no quarrel with you and I do regard you as a friend, just as I do everyone who visits and contributes to the blog and our experiences.

    I do not take the issues of Zionism or racism lightly and my position is one that I have adopted after much thought and examination, and it is based on a single factor barring anything else, which answers your question:

    Can you explain, please, why Zionism is racist?

    To me, to my mind, any policy which is enshrined in the abject discrimination against peoples because they do not belong to a certain group or religion is racism. Hence both the policies of apartheid and Zionism I regard as one and the same: they are both racist and have been built on, and are sustained, purely by racist policies.

    Hence, I cannot, not for a second, condone either policy or ideology.

    I do; however, recognise the State of Israel and further ascertain that it has the right to exist. But NOT as it continues to recognise and enact Zionist policies. If it continues to do so, I have no sympathy for it at all and do not care for its continued existence. Should it revise its policy as has South Africa before it, I shall be on the first plane to come over and spend a few days holidays there and make some new friends!

  294. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    To me, to my mind,

    I’m not sure what’s the purpose of agreeing on a definition if we later go on and ignore it.

    any policy which is enshrined in the abject discrimination against peoples because they do not belong to a certain group or religion is racism.

    In what way is Zionism “enshrined in the abject discrimination against people”?

    Shachar

  295. mahmood says:

    Of for God’s sake Shachar, you’re getting me to be exasperated now. Are you sure you’re here wanting to listen and learn or just skirt the issues? If you just made up your mind from the beginning and brook no argument as to the despicable racist nature of Zionism against anyone in Israel who is not Jew or a Jew descendant, then let us close this issue completely as there is no fortune in rehashing all that has been discussed already.

    For the last time:

    Does Zionism discriminate against non-Jews?

    Yes or No?

    If Yes, then it is racist. No maybes not buts and no ifs.

    End of story.

    Khalas.

  296. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    First, please don’t get mad. I am pointing out things that I see as inconsistent in your logic. I feel, however, that every time I try to point this inconsistency out, you get angry at me. From my experience, this usually happens when you try to challenge someone’s axioms. Instead of getting angry, take a second to reflect why a simple civil question makes you so angry?

    Why is Zionism, according to you, racists merely for being discrimatory, while mid 19th century Arabs were being discrimatory, but not racist? Please explain, Mahmood, why your stated opinion does not constitute a double standard, where some are judged by one scale while others are judged by another merely because they are Jews.

    In other words, Mahmood, why are you not a racist by your own definition of the word?

    Shachar

  297. mahmood says:

    We’re going in loops here that doesn’t seem to want to end. Let me try again:

    Why is Zionism, according to you, racists merely for being discrimatory, while mid 19th century Arabs were being discrimatory, but not racist?

    Once again you bring a red herring to needlessly divert from the main issue. What has whomever did whenever what got to do with the main concept of Zionism which is the crux of the discussion here?

    We are talking about the definition and concept of Zionism, nothing else. Not the circumstances that surrounds it, not the existential question, not the right of abode, not the right of return, not the Palestinians, not the Arabs, not any of the myriad of factors. Those I am sure we will get to; however, we are discussing the concept of Zionism which carved out a nation for Jews primarily to enjoy all its bounty first and foremost, and everyone else are second class citizens, is that not racism?

  298. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I do not bring red herrings in. I am merely trying to resolve a conflict in your reasoning. I bring you two things to consider. Both you say are discrimatory. One you say that being discrimatory means it’s racist, the other not. I’m asking “what’s the difference”?

    It is not triviality. This is the core of the issue. Is Zionism being unfairly labeled as racist while actions just as objectionable not? Nothing is more at the core of the discussion than this.

    Shachar

  299. mahmood says:

    Oh what piffle.

    Once you stop skirting around the issue and answer my question head on I shall be only too happy to re-engage you.

  300. Shachar says:

    Fine.

    Yes sir!
    Right to attention, SIR!

    Does Zionism discriminate against non-Jews?

    No.

    Let’s do get back to the subject at hand now?

    Shachar

  301. Will says:

    Is it pedantic to ask if it matters that there is no scientific method for determining what race a person might belong to?

  302. Shachar says:

    Will,

    I don’t think we need to add any more nit-picking here. Let’s agree that any ideology claiming that one group is superior, and in particular deserves more then other groups, is racist.

    Shachar

  303. Anonymous says:

    Shachar,

    Yes, I agree. I thought that the first 2 definitions offered by yourself and Mahmood most accurately reflect what I think of when I hear the word racist. I just thought it was a bit ironic that there may be no such thing as race.

  304. Shachar says:

    Hey Mahmood,

    Once you stop skirting around the issue and answer my question head on I shall be only too happy to re-engage you.

    I was just wondering whether that was still on.

    Shachar

  305. Shachar says:

    A week ago, Mahmood said:

    Once you stop skirting around the issue and answer my question head on I shall be only too happy to re-engage you.

    To the best of my understanding, this I did. I would humbly like to know whether you intend to answer my question, or whether you said the above quote just as an excuse to avoid discussing difficult points.

    Again, this is not triviality. If you claim that Israel needs to revise its policies because you think what it does is racist, I think I have a right to know whether there is a special “Racism” scale that is used only for Israel. It is a core part of the discussion, whether you like to talk about it or not. If you are, indeed, using a different scale to measure Israel’s racism, then the entire rest of your arguments bear no validity as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think a country should bow to false propaganda issued by its enemies, no matter how long they have been doing it, how far it has reached nor how many people now believe it to be true.

    Shachar

  306. mahmood says:

    Shachar, I suggest that we agree to disagree because this conversation can go on for ever and neither of us is going to budge from declared and believed positions.

    I have defined racism above from dictionary definitions, and based on those definitions, I cannot but see Zionism as Racism, and if there were racist scales, I would put Zionism at the very top of the list.

    You can have your say Shachar, to have the final word if you like for the record, but I really believe that we should just agree to disagree on this one.

  307. Joel Portman says:

    Shachar

    I am not going to get sucked into this blog. I was actually only shown it by a friend because she knows I like my athletics. But having seen it, and having seen what you’re up against, I simply want you, Shachar, to know that I support you and greatly admire the way you keep your cool while being totally outnumbered by people whose only line is “Israel is racist and criminal”. By people who make the rules, and their rules are “we are just talking about Israel. So we don’t allow any reference to the wonderful examples of non-racism throughout the Arab world. We allow no reference to the non-racist equality enjoyed by the dhimmi, nor to the peaceful non-racist co-existence that has always prevailed between Shiite, Sunni, Christian and Kurd.”

    Of course, in the name of justice, non-racism and equality, Israel should immediately concede to all of Ibn’s solutions and then, when Jews are vastly outnumbered by Palestinians, they will enjoy the peace and security that the Christians of Lebanon enjoyed in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    Shachar, though I don’t really have an interest in this blog outside its current foray into athletics, just know that you make a lot of sense to me, and I admire your fortitude in your arguments.

    Joel

  308. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    Please understand what “agree to disagree” means. It means that you concede that the basis for your demands that Israel change its behavior are based on assumptions you refuse to defend logically. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that I, personally, and Israel at large, should just ignore said demands. Like I said before, 100 million people CAN, in fact, be wrong.

    I will summarize the point I feel is totally lacking in your, as well as anyone else’s, arguments.

    You defined racism, in one place, as:

    prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief

    This means that in order to call something “racist” it has to pass two tests. One is “prejudice, discrimination or antagonism”, and the other is “belief that such is the way things should be”.

    I have not seen, not once in all of the discussions, not in this thread nor anywhere else, anyone, not you nor anyone else, discuss the second test. As far as Zionism goes, the first test is enough for you to show racism. The closest was IBN, but he asked us to take it on faith that it exists, never actually substantiating said belief. In other words, the places where he claims such belief exists, bringing quotes and all, never pass the first test, that of action.

    The second test is not a triviality. It exists, explicitly, in all three dictionary definitions you looked up, as well as your summary of those you made, but did not appear in your reasoning. Not once. At least, not that I could spot. If I’m wrong, it is entirely possible that this whole deadlock is a simple misunderstanding.

    I tried to point out the absurdity of dropping the second test. I then tried to ask why is this second test dropped for some, but not for others. It sounded to me like the second test was dropped in order for Zionism to be racist. In other words, the desired conclusion was driving the definition, rather than the other way around.

    At that point you got so angry with me that no further civilized conversation was possible. Needless to say, my concerns over objectivity were not alleviated as a result.

    Having said that, if you do not want to further discuss these matters, I have neither means nor intentions of forcing you to. The question of whether I want to continue to hear insults from people who will not listen to my counter-arguments is one I will have to privately consider.

    Signing off,
    Shachar

  309. Batzi says:

    Dear Shachar,
    Though I chose not to be actively involved in discussions on this site in August of last year, I have certainly followed it at times and even drew others’ attention to it (see posting # 309 by Joel Portman).
    I would have written to you privately, but as I do not have an e-mail address, I am foced to use this platform to say to you and to YOU ONLY what I feel.
    You have been treated rather unfairly throughout this and previous threads. You have been insulted, misquoted, mocked and been subject to name calling. I, likewise, experienced it.
    It is not anymore a question of whether one agrees or disagrees with you, Shachar. It has become a question of whether it is possible at all to have a civilized discussion any more. A discussion where people can air out views of issues, some of which are very deep and painful.
    I commend you for the intelligent and dignified manner in which you conducted yourself throughout the various exchanges.
    Kol Hakavod!!!
    Chazak V’ematz
    Batzi

  310. mahmood says:

    When the violins stop playing, I invite you to convince me in plain English that Zionism is not a racist ideology.

    Batzi and Joel, I think Shachar has admirably demonstrated that he can take care of himself without you jumping to his unneeded defence. If you wish to engage in this discussion honestly, then by all means do so, rather than standing on the sidelines and calling whoever YOU don’t agree with names.

    I found that the discussion with Shachar quite good an educational, although I do not agree with him (currently) that the ideology of Zionism is not racist in its nature, I respect him as a person for continuing to seek dialogue and try to make people understand his point of view.

    If passions have flared a few times, that’s fine, we’re still talking aren’t we?

  311. Batzi says:

    Mahmood,
    I promised myself that I will not get drawn into any discussions on this site, remember?
    However, I hope that it does not exclude me or anyone else from reading it talking to friends like Joel (who normally could not care about politics at all!) about it and occassionally supporting someone who, like me, found himself being faced with mockery and insults. Shachar was called “bipolar” by Ibn and why? Just because he did not concede to Ibn’s argument that Zionism is racism.
    You write:
    …rather than standing on the sidelines and calling whoever YOU don’t agree with names.

    If my memory does not fail me, Mahmood, I never engaged in name calling. The one that has been called names was me. I was even accused of being “too polite,” merely for using “please” and “thank you.”

    Batzi

  312. Joel Portman says:

    Ok Mahmood, you’ve put out the challenge: “convince me in plain English that Zionism is not a racist ideology.”

    First of all, what is Zionism:

    Zionism is the aspiration to set up a Jewish state within the ancient Territory that the Jews ruled over while their ancient temples stood. I use the word “within” specifically NOT to imply a large part of the land. The Territory proposed by the 1937 Peel Commission was very small, but the Jews accepted it for their state. See http://www.mideastweb.org/peelmaps.htm. The Arabs rejected the proposal.

    Zionism grew out of the pogroms, persecutions and genocide of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    Zionism is not racist because the aspiration for a homeland has been shared by every single religious group and every nation, certainly not least by Islam. It has arisen in every nation that has been persecuted. If Zionism is racist then the whole of humanity is racist. If Zionism is racist, then the desire to avoid being killed by people who hate you because of your religion and nationality, is racist.

    Zionists yearn for Jerusalem. But the yearning never excluded non-Jews, as distinct from Islamic exclusion of non-Muslims from Mecca for example.

    You will no doubt ask me to look at what is happening now, at the “Apartheid Wall”, checkpoints at border crossings and the like. These measures have arisen because Israel needs to protect its citizens against suicide bombers. You have only to look elsewhere in the middle east to know that Arab countries would have responded far more strongly to similar threats.

    Where the Jews differed from many other religions and nations is that they did not force their beliefs on others by the edge of the sword. All they yearned for, for two thousand years, was a bit of land where they could live in safety.

    Let me quote a fellow Jew:

    “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

  313. Joel Portman says:

    Mahmood

    You began post 312:” When the violins stop playing, I invite you to convince me in plain English that Zionism is not a racist ideology.”

    Well, I responded to your invitation, with post 314.

    You ended your post: “If passions have flared a few times, that’s fine, we’re still talking aren’t we?”

    You tell me!

    You have not told me whether I have or have not convinced you. I hope that I have, and have likewise influenced those of your readers who are capable of listening.

    Best regards

    Joel

  314. mahmood says:

    Joel I did have a chance to reply to you yet. I’ve been busy with the court case and I’ve just come back from the cemetery burying a relative. I shall get back to you once I have thought a bit more about what you said, rather than jump to a conclusion.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  315. billT says:

    Joel. In the bible God calls Israel his land not the Jews or the Palestinians land. So are you saying God is wrong and its the Jews land?

  316. Joel Portman says:

    billT

    I did not mention God and I have not and do not say anything about Him.

    You talk about “The Jews’ land”. My statement is that any land bought by a group belongs to that group.

    Even rabid anti-Zionist Ibn confirms the straight historical fact that the Jews bought up land. But for Ibn, their seeking any sovreignity over the land they have bought is an act of war (see http://mahmood.tv/?p=2604#comment-31631 and his other entries), and justifies the rioting and killing that the Arabs engaged in throughout the 20th century.

    For Ibn and his ilk, Jews having any sovreignity of their own is an act of war, even though the Jews had bought the land themselves.

    But people like Ibn and his ilk call Shachar, and myself, racist. They turn “Zionism is racism” into an axiom in the popular mindset.

    You tell me: is this true?

  317. docspencer says:

    From my msg 228 above”

    Shachar, this document is dated 1998:
    http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/v5i2/html/arabmi.htm
    Its source is the organization that is focusing on Arab equality problems in Israel. It is to Israels credit that such an organization is allowed to openly operate in Israel. Look at its staffing. It is very impressive. Its conclusion states that there have been improvements in this area during the years prior to publishing. I think it would be reasonable to assume that the improvement trend has continued, but perhaps not all the way. I would feel strongly about equality for all Arabs who are citizens of Israel, without exception, and immigration and citizenship rights with the above exclusions, but otherwise the same as for all prospective Israeli citizens. The exclusions could change as Palestine is established as a country, as organizations like Hamas agree with the legit existance of Israel and as peace treaties are signed. The exclusions could also increase based on increased hostilities against Israel.

    I think Mahmood’s position is reasonable, however Israel would be entitled to some exceptions based on past hostile actions by a well defined group of people in my opinion.

    I don’t know why anyone needs to use the Zionist label. At this stage it just serves as an insult, just like the rehash of its birth in the late 1800s.

    The Zionist label applied more than 50 years ago when Israel was established with UN help. It is outright demeaning of the user’s intelligence to keep using it any more. Israel was attacked a number of times since then in order to wipe Israel out, and Israel won and captured territory every time. Some such captured territory was returned. In addition, Israel advanced quite far in its establishment of a democratic state (with one exception) during the past 50 years, in addition to becoming a country with worldclass technological knowhow, institutes and schools, and the place would be an important place of employment opportunity for Palestinians.

    The one exception to Israel being fully democratic is the inadaquate legal (as in laws) protection of its Arab citizens. Although improving, this situation has high visibility by the fact that a group whose charter is to represent these Israeli Arabs is operating freely in Israel. That is what you guys from Israel have to work on. I think you should DO it, as in actions, and worry a lot less about your critics and the word Zionism. Sachar, Joel and Batzi I think this is very important. Your laws in Israel must protect your Arab citizens equally. There can be no excuse to not do so.

    You all on the non-Israeli side, speak (at least some of you do), as if you were a picture of perfection in looking after your citizens’ interests, as if your laws supported everything related thereto, and as if you had a chance to select/vote for your leaders. representatives, ministers directly or indirectly. Sorry to tell you that Israel is way ahead of you in that department. While you like to ride the Zionism word to death, whether it really applies or not, you should at least look at yourselves collectively in the Middle East and DO something ABOUT the system of other fellow Muslims.

    In my opinion, Bahrain, Qatar and the Emirates are developing impressively. But look around you. Israel may make your best neighbor although you do not have common borders, with people like Ahmedinejad around.

    Criticism should not be one sided. We all have warts ladies and gentlemen, and ours may be much bigger than the one we are criticising.

    We should be helping each other instead. “Women should not be masterbating” is somehow a very low level and poor choice for an Imam to go public with. There are thousands of issues that hopefully Islam is concentrating on. I hope. Like doing away with the interpretations of the religion that allow for the barbaric killing of civilians and children. And jumping up and down worldwide to make sure that such things do not happen in the name of Islam, as they have to date – as in yelling “Allah Akhbar” as one saws of a screaming innocent person’s head. And saying that hating others is OK, although they have not done anything against you.

    Somehow, a discussion or argument about Zionism under these circumstances is so … petty and stupid. Blogs like this could influence people. Are you all sure that you want to reignite some old hatered around Zionism, or do you want to solve some real existing problems?

    Best regards,

    Vic

  318. Joel Portman says:

    billT, Mahmood

    Let me add to my last posting. As I pointed out, for Ibn, the Jews seeking their own sovreignity in Palestine was an act of war, justifying the Arabs rioting and killing.

    But do not think that this sovreignity was taken away from the Arabs. Palestine was administered by the British, who had been mandated by the League of Nations to set up a national home for the Jews.

    I quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_mandate

    ” In June 1922 the League of Nations passed the Palestine Mandate. The Palestine Mandate was an explicit document regarding Britain’s responsibilities and powers of administration in Palestine including “secur[ing] the establishment of the Jewish national home”, and “safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine”.

    The document defining Britain’s obligations as Mandate power copied the text of the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a Jewish homeland:

    His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    (End of wikipedia quote)
    ——-

    Palestine and the whole of the Middle East had been won from the Ottoman Empire towards the end of the First World War. Of the area conquered by Britain and France, more than 99 percent was allocated for Moslem Arab sovereignty, less than 1 percent for Jewish sovereignty. That tiny percentage was, sad to say, too much for the Moslem Arabs to bear. The Arabs rioted time and again, under the incitement of their spiritual leader Mohammad Amin al-Husayni. The wikipedia page on al-Husayni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Amin_al-Husayni , begins:

    ” Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (ca. 1895 – July 4, 1974, أمين الحسيني, alternatively spelt al-Husseini), the Mufti of Jerusalem, was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and a Muslim religious leader. Known for his anti-Semitism[1], al-Husayni fought against the establishment of a Jewish state in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine. To this end, Husayni collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and is being considered as “The most important collaborator with the Nazis” [2] and helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS.”

    Now, Mahmood and billT, you tell me who are the racists?

  319. billT says:

    Joel I have known about the Palestine Mandate and Mufti of Jerusalem since reading about them in the early 60’s. We arent talking about then we are talking about now. The job of convincing people that Israel isnt racist is Israels and Israels alone. How you do that is your problem but your going to keep loosing supporters till you do.

    I cant and wont speak for Ibn besides he has no problem speaking for himself.

    You know I have a good friend, my daughters godfather who is a Rabi. Apparently he isnt consider a Jew by Israel since he was denied the right to return because he admitted he practist Judism as a first century christan.

  320. billT says:

    Joel I consider Russia responsible for most of the problems in the middle east today since they supplied the weapons for the many wars that followed Israel’s creation with no regard for the consequences to the Palestinian population. I also consider the US responsible for the problems since we continue to support Israel reguardless of what Israel does. Syria and Iran for their support of Hezballa and Israel for not trying hard enough to make peace and the Palestinians for continuing to support hammas.

    Lot of blame to go around dont you think?

  321. docspencer says:

    Joel, if your Arab citizens are held to different laws and not equal to your Jewish citizens, which they are not, that is racist, plain and simple. It has to be fixed.

    BillT’s quote:

    You know I have a good friend, my daughters godfather who is a Rabi. Apparently he isnt considered a Jew by Israel since he was denied the right to return because he admitted he practiced Judaism as a first century Christan.

    Joel the Law of Return applies to all Jews I believe. Is there something in it that would explain the situation in Bill T’s quote?

    Arab states do not get off of this subject as saints either. Some states less but more states more, have a pitiful women’s rights record. Women’s rights range from token appointments to not having a right in private or public to some very basic things that are normally allowed in most countries worldwide. To me, this is a worse form of racism, because it may involve in countries where present, your mother, your daughter, your sister. There are other areas also within Islamic countries that need work in this area.

    Eliminating racist behavior is probably not an area that can be achieved 100%. Prejudices are hard to remedy. It is a little easier if you are dealing with highly educated people. We have been at it in the USA for some time (centuries and decades) and we are not even close to 100% yet.

    My point is: stop accusing each other and start doing something about the things that you can control. Ask the others on the Israeli side to do something about the discrapancies in law to protect Israeli Arab citizens. That would be a fantastic start. They may or may not do it. Same with racial or prejudice-driven problems everywhere. But we all seem to make things better in these areas as we mature, decade after decade.

    This is all in the realm of behavior modification, and any doctor or psychologist will tell you that your own behavior is difficult enough to change (if you ever tried), but changing the bahavior of people even within your own social group is damn near impossible. It is only education and getting to know the opponent side personally that seems to bring good results – after some time.

    So Mahmood and others, take a trip to Israel and meet lot’s of people. Joel, Batzi and Shachar, take a trip to Bahrain and Dubai, and talk to a lot of locals. I am sure that you will walk away with a different opinion. I did, every time when in a similar situation I went for a trip to get to know the locals. There are a lot of nice people on this blog and there are a lot of nice people everywhere. One does not have to agree about everything to have great relationships.

    This is not a perfect world. There were lots of mistakes made on all sides when the State of israel was set up under the UN. It was difficult for them and some unfairness resulted. In this imperfect world we make many mistakes. We the USA had a good humanistic idea about going into Iran, but so many of the areas were so poorly planned, and it was a disgrace in my opinion. Hopefully all of you are not looking badly at us now.

    There are three American soldiers who came back to my city wounded, and also an Iraqi child came bach here for treatment as well for a very serious brain injury problem, We have very good medical facilities here in Knoxville Tennessee and we like people. The child had a big problem and was fixed right up in a month, and flew back to Iraq with happy parents. A lot of tears at the air port on both sides. The three soldiers had some very serious wounds, but all wanted to go back to join their teams and the Iraqi friends they met, This was especially difficult for a soldier who lost his entire right leg, and took him 6 months of rehab. He wanted to be requalified for hard combat duty, a lot of work, he did it after three months with a new technological decice he mastered, and he was given permission to return. He was the happiest boy I have ever seen. He loved being with three families, restored the house, helped them with materials, Loved the children. It was really beautiful to see all their pictures, and despite the dangers, they wanted to go back and help these people.

    I hope that our countries like you all and Iraq will become great friends of ours this way through the years. These sldiers I meet really seem to love their protected Iraqi children and families. You have no idea how nice that feels to see that. It is a fantastic feeling just to observe some people like that.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  322. mahmood says:

    I feel that we’re not getting anywhere with this discussion.

    If, for the moment, we ignore the historical context of this problem, and just concentrate on today’s effects of Zionism as practiced by the State of Israel in excluding or at least purposefully discriminating against their own non-Jewish citizens, is this not racism?

    I’m sorry Joel, Batzi and Shachar, I am not convinced by your arguments.

  323. Batzi says:

    Doc,

    “So Mahmood and others, take a trip to Israel and meet lot’s of people. Joel, Batzi and Shachar, take a trip to Bahrain and Dubai, and talk to a lot of locals. I am sure that you will walk away with a different opinion.”

    Exactly my point all along!

    Too bad you have not seen previous threads in which I participated. You would have read that I have been to Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Dubai. And yes, I have seen good, warm and welcoming people everywhere, people who accepted me and had civilized conversations with me.
    Moreover, when I lived in Israel, the country of my birth, my family doctor was a Palestinian. What greater level of trust can you have? Putting your most precious asset, your life, in the hands of someone the whole world perceives as your worst enemy. I am certain you have seen in Israel Arabs being treated by Jewish doctors, Arabs being treated in Israeli hospitals having access to state of the art equipment. Would you find such practices in a racist soiety such as Apartheid Sout Africa any white person going to see a black or coloured doctor or vice versa?
    I can give you numerous examples of Jews and Muslims, Palestinains and Israelis living together in productive ways. Jews and Muslim in business partnerships, attending the same universityies and many other examples of co- existence.
    Unfortunately, these kinds of examples are not what is capturing people’s minds nowadays. It is only sensational issues such as “Zionism=racism” and other doomsday predictions which get people’s attention nowadays. How unfortunate!
    I think Joel’s definition of Zionism (Zion being the name given to Biblical Jerusalem) is what people should go by when trying to describe the movement.

    Doc, I gave up on this a long time ago. The mockery and insults that I faced on this site by some of the participants were far too much making it impossible to have any civilized discussion. I am only responding to YOU and to your kind invitation to go and visit Arab countries.
    I have not given up though on my efforts to improve relationships between Arabs and Israelis.
    I do it in my own quiet way and making progress.

    All the best
    Batzi

  324. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I have had it with you. First you say that Zionism is racist (actually, you say that Zionism is Racism, implying that that’s how you DEFINE racism). When you find out that you cannot substantiate a single ounce of substance behind that claim, you say, no, let’s talk about modern Israel. All this while you beret me for not answering your questions exactly the way you want me to, while claiming to keep an open mind.

    Then you say “let’s terminate the conversation and agree to disagree”, while calling it “we’re still talking”…..

    I think BillT summed it up quite nicely. He said:

    The job of convincing people that Israel isnt racist is Israels and Israels alone.

    Sorry, Bill, a system that seeks the truth works exactly the opposite. I cannot defend myself against unsubstantiated accusations that are flown up with no shred of explanation. If you want to claim Israel is racist, say in what way. With specifics.

    So, Mahmood:

    and just concentrate on today’s effects of Zionism as practiced by the State of Israel

    Don’t. The state of Israel as it is today is the result of the actions of its citizens, Jewish, Arab and small other minorities together. Do not attribute it to Zionism, as it has little relevance. Still:

    in excluding or at least purposefully discriminating against their own non-Jewish citizens, is this not racism?

    It’s hard to answer that. I’ll tell you what. You show me in what way is Israel discriminating against its own Arab citizens, and then I’ll be able to give you an informed opinion on whether its racist or not, and why.

    Shachar

  325. Joel Portman says:

    Let’s summarise what is going on. Shachar has painstakingly dealt with all accusations of racism in the present day. When Batzi and I come to his defence, Mahmood writes:

    ”When the violins stop playing, I invite you to convince me in plain English that Zionism is not a racist ideology.”

    So I then write, not about the present day, but about the ideology of Zionism. Please note that this is in direct response to Mahmood asking me to do so.

    Mahmood eventually responds to me by saying:
    “If, for the moment, we ignore the historical context of this problem, and just concentrate on today’s effects of Zionism as practiced by the State of Israel in excluding or at least purposefully discriminating against their own non-Jewish citizens, is this not racism?
    I’m sorry Joel, Batzi and Shachar, I am not convinced by your arguments.”

    In plain words, he has asked me to defend the Zionist ideology and then tells me he not convinced because what I have done is defend the Zionist ideology. He is not convinced, because I did not answer a completely different question to the question he asked.

    I am disappointed, but I am not surprised

    Joel

  326. mahmood says:

    Joel, I’m disappointed too by you taking my words out of context to suit your needs. If that is your intention rather to understand our and my point of view, then fine. I hope that makes you happy.

    It doesn’t change any fact on the ground and you know it. If you can’t see the excess of discrimination in Israel against fellow Arab citizens, then you will excuse me for saying that you need to re-look at the situation again with your eyes open.

    That discrimination to me IS racism and IS born out of your Zionist ideology. It is inexcusable however much you want to massage that ideology and try to force it upon people dressed up in nice clothes, it is still a discriminatory and racist ideology, and it has a direct impact on people’s lives.

    If you want me to bring various examples from Israel regarding this discrimination to you, I most probably can. You can do that for yourself though by using Google and looking at the situation.

    If you want to excuse all of the ills that has befallen the Palestinians because of your country’s ideology and want to call this “simple or ignorant discrimination” but it is no way racism as defined by you, then I’m sorry, you have a bigger problem than I have imagined.

  327. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    Saying that Zionism is racist because of Israel’s current actions is like saying that Islam teaches pressing charges against people who criticize government officials. It’s plain insane.

    Yes, the distinction IS important. If you want to claim Israel’s actions are illegitimate because it is based on a racist ideoligy, then you have to show the ideoligy is, in fact, racist outside of the actions of the country. Else you are using circular logic (again).

    If you want me to bring various examples from Israel regarding this discrimination to you,

    Yes. That’s what I’ve been asking for from you since the first thing I saw you indicate this position of yours, some months ago. Please do. Please.

    Shachar

  328. Joel Portman says:

    Mahmood

    You write

    “Joel, I’m disappointed too by you taking my words out of context to suit your needs.”

    I did not take your words in any way out of context. I placed them fully and correctly in context. You issued a challenge, I responded to your challenge. You are then not convinced, simply because I did not answer a completely different question to the one you asked.

    You write: ” If you want to excuse all of the ills that has befallen the Palestinians because of your country’s ideology and want to call this “simple or ignorant discrimination” but it is no way racism as defined by you, then I’m sorry, you have a bigger problem than I have imagined.”

    That isn’t taking my words out of context. It is putting words into my mouth, words I would never say. I am more likely to quote Abba Eban, that the Palestinians “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” – in 1937, 1947, 2000.

    And no, that’s not my complete analysis, for you to take out of context.

    “You have a bigger problem than I have imagined”

    If that was Batzi speaking, you would have called that name-calling. You would have asked us all to take a deep breath. But no, you feel free to treat me with disrespect, because I am a Zionist.

    Mahmood, I have spent too much time here already. Good day

    Joel

  329. mahmood says:

    If that was Batzi speaking, you would have called that name-calling. You would have asked us all to take a deep breath. But no, you feel free to treat me with disrespect, because I am a Zionist.

    You’re putting words in my mouth now, but I’ll let that pass and give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Joel, I am sorry that you have taken offence at what I wrote. I am trying to understand the whole issue as I do not fully understand it.

    What I do understand; however, is that Zionism calls for and implements systematic discrimination in that it excludes everyone else from its perceived benefits.

    Joel, this is the central thing I am against. I see this fact as a racist attitude and I cannot see in any other way.

    Educate me please, if you would, why this discrimination could not be classified as racist? Don’t try to blame this on circumstance, or necessity because of a perceived existential question or any of the other excuses. What I want to know, that you, as an educated person, how can you not see this as racist?

  330. Joel Portman says:

    “how can you not see this as racist?”

    Because every group and every society and every country in the world discriminates in favour of some people rather than others. As Shachar wrote in post 221:
    Green piece discriminates against industrialization. The gay movement discriminates against straight safety. The PLO discriminates against Israeli Jews.

    Mahmood:

    This is a discussion you are having with Shachar. He has repeatedly asked you, over several months, to provide examples of the discrimination you speak of (see post 329). I invite you to continue the discussion with Shachar by answering his challenge.

  331. docspencer says:

    Batzi, thanks for your comments.
    Shachar, Joel and Batzi, the only major problem I see with Israel is the way the Israeli citizen Arabs are treated. Do you see a way to get the right laws on the books so that we can see an end to this?

    I am not addressing anything on the Islamic countries’ side. They have a lot of work to do and so do we in the US.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=296475
    This is your own newspaper. Why do you think Israel’s government leaves itself open, and I mean wide open to charges of racism?

    I am talking only about Arabs who are your citizens. Shouldn’t they be entitled to the same protection and treatment under the law as a Jewish citizen of Israel.

    This is not personal against you. I am just wondering why this gap that opens Israel to criticism with reason, is not being remedied by the Israeli government.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Vic

  332. billT says:

    Shachar, Joel and Batzi this is probably a loaded question but in all honesty if I as a Christian wanted to immigrate to Israel what chance would I have in getting immigration papers?

  333. Shachar says:

    BillT,

    I don’t know the exact number. I would say that the general area would be better than my chances, as Jewish, of getting immigration permits to Bahrain. In fact, I think the chances are about the same as me getting visiting VISA for Bahrain.

    Shachar

  334. Shachar says:

    Vic,

    I think you are sadly confusing openness and acceptance. The mere fact that such comments receive widespread coverage in the Israeli media is precisely the answer to your question:

    This is NOT the opinion of the government. This is NOT the opinion of the general public. If it were, this remark would not be news worthy to the editors. I can tell you on authority that the above remark received much wider spread coverage than just Ha’aretz, who has a tendency to show the Arab’s point of view of things.

    Specifically, I would like to extend the challenge I issued to Mahmood to you as well. Find me cases of law where Israeli Arabs are discriminated, and we’ll discuss it.

    I am really in a hurry, so I will defer addressing the rest of the content of the article. If you have any specific point raised, there or elsewhere, point it out here, please.

    Shachar

  335. mahmood says:

    I would say that the general area would be better than my chances, as Jewish, of getting immigration permits to Bahrain.

    You specialise in turning things around, don’t you? If you were to compare situations, at least make it apples to apples. Unless you hold Bahrain or any country in the entire Arab world as a “model” to emulate.

    You pride yourself as being closer to Europe and the States, then compare your response to them, not Bahrain. This is totally irrelevant.

  336. can we talk says:

    “In fact, I think the chances are about the same as me getting visiting VISA for Bahrain”

    I like it when people answer questions so maturely. dodge ball and the price of tea in china come to mind!!

    this has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion. as usual, when the discussion starts closing, someone throws a ball into left field and brings in the policies of other countries. then someone here responds to the irrelevant issue and that steers the discussion off track for a while until someone else brings it back and it starts again without the momentum.

    the topic isn’t about other countries, or other groups who support the handicapped or gays or animal lovers, it is about a country manufactured by humans specifically to solve a perceived problem of a group being bullied by certain people, by cutting out a land for them in someone else’s land (who were not the bullyiers) and then turning it into a country and discriminating against the original land owners who stayed behind as well as bullying the ones they kicked out, under the guise of security, while welcoming anyone from Timbuctoo who just happens to be of the same religion, which they believe is a race, even though it actually isn’t. (religion and race are different things. blacks are a race, jews are not, moslems are not, christians are not, whether you like it or not.)

    and i would like to contribute the following to the above discussions of definitions:

    “The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1965, has now been ratified by most member states. Article 1 of this Convention defines the term racial discrimination as ‘any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.'”
    source: Davidson 1991 2nd article at: http://www.jewwatch.com/jew-genocide-palestinian-apartheidlaws.html
    (Shachar, note how it doesn’t refer to superiority here)

    this above link (http://www.jewwatch.com/jew-genocide-palestinian-apartheidlaws.html) actually provides two articles which are extremely interesting reading for anyone who has a single shred of doubt about discrimination in Israel.

    a couple of others are:

    http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/israel2/

    http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150422006?open&of=ENG-2MD

    http://www.workersadvicecenter.org/Delegation-document2.htm

    claiming that Israel is not racist is like claiming that Appartheid did not happen in South Africa or that the sun does not exist or that we do not breathe or that black is really white.

    and for those like doc spencer who keep exalting praise for the democracy in Israel, please visit the following:

    http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0198/9801088.html

    http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/php/topic.php?tid=219#t1457

    i can go on, but it’s not necessary. if someone likes how the sand feels around their head better than reality, it’s their perogative. but if a person really wants to know the truth, very very little research is all it takes, a few hours, and the truth will not take long to sink in.

  337. can we talk says:

    why is my #338 from 8:30 awaiting moderation?

  338. mahmood says:

    lemme check.. had to have some breakfast, sorry!

  339. Batzi says:

    BillT

    “I as a Christian wanted to immigrate to Israel what chance would I have in getting immigration papers?..”

    As difficult as it was for me to emmigrate to the UK (a western civilized country!). And it was coming over here with a New Zealand passport (where we still celebrate the Birthday of the Queen). If I had not married my wonderful British husband I would not have been allowed to live here.

    Doc,

    Please re-read Joel’s cpmment #314 where he writes:

    “You will no doubt ask me to look at what is happening now, at the “Apartheid Wall”, checkpoints at border crossings and the like. These measures have arisen because Israel needs to protect its citizens against suicide bombers.”

    Neither you no anyone else have yet given proof to your claims that Racism or racial laws and rulings are imbeded in the Zionist charter. Until such time, please look around you and see what measures your and other countries (again civilized ones!) are taking in their fight against the war on terror. Some of these are more severe than the ones taken in Israel. Would you also say that they are racist? At least some Israelis, like Haaretz correspondant, have the decency to look instropectively and see that in the process of protecting themselves and their children others are being hurt. Should such a step be incriminating to Zionism? I don’t think so.
    Sorry Doc, it has been nice to communicate with you, but I have given up on this site. Please understand if I don’t respond to any of your future comments. It is not out of rudeness.
    Batzi

  340. Joel Portman says:

    can we talk: “I like it when people answer questions so maturely. dodge ball and the price of tea in china come to mind!! ”

    mahmood: ” You specialise in turning things around, don’t you”

    No, mahmood and can we talk: the master of dodge ball, the specialist in turning things around, was Jesus: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    Was Jesus too stupid to realise that the only topic under discussion is the speck in brother’s eye?

  341. mahmood says:

    Batzi and Joel, are you related by some way? You always arrive at the same time, always backing each other up and always appear if and when we start discussing anything to do with Israel and then disappear until the next time such a thing happen!

    Too much of a coincidence? Are you by any chance also working for the Israeli or any other Zionist organisation? Disclosure might be in order, I think.

    It’s up to you, solely, whether you wish to answer this of course as it has no relevance to the discussion, but would be nice to find out.

    Back to the topic, we can continue to issue each other challenges, I frankly don’t have the time to go and research the issue thoroughly, although it is much worthy of that. Unfortunately I have to make some money to keep in living.

    But to me, just reading general news, some of which is yours, and understanding the basic building blocks of Israel and the Palestinian conflict, I am convinced, now more than ever – especially after what transpired in this topic – that Israel is a racist state because of its adoption of the Zionist ideals and ideology.

    The really ironic thing is that you are much closer to the misery created by Zionism than I am. All you have to do is to drive a few minutes or so and you will have arrived at a location within your Israeli environ, where ever that may be, and you will see how your own Arab Palestinian Arabs have been suffering due to that ideology of racism and discrimination.

    I and others have kept offering suggestions and proofs as to why we think this is the case. You too are not convinced. This leads me to believe that there is either a complete breakdown of communication (although we have been speaking the same language) or that each of us has such an opposite definition to the problem that never the twain shall meet. Further, it seems that the majority of the world regards Zionism as Racism (with a Capital R) except for the Zionists or their sympathisers. Some Jews themselves are not only non-Zionist, but are completely against that racist ideology.

    I have exhausted my time with this topic and I think you have too. I (we) cannot convince Shachar, Batzi nor Joel and vice versa. When I offered the olive branch by saying that we will have to agree to disagree, you (Shachar) chose to attack not only that olive branch, but also me personally. If that ameliorated your ego a bit, then I am happy for you.

    As to now, I should thank you three especially at moving me from the “maybe” box to the resolutely “no” box as far as the acceptance of that racist ideology called Zionism is concerned.

    You can go ahead and hurl insults at me if you like. This thread shall remain open. But don’t expect that that will move me back to the “maybe” zone.

  342. Batzi says:

    Yes, Mahmood, if you read previous posts you would have realized that Joel is a very good friend of ours. The only reason I shared with him this blog (which I now really regret) is because he is an athlete. We are both Jewish and we are also both Zionists.
    Also, we both live close to each other here in London in the same time zone so it is only logical that we are up and communicating at similar times. Coincidence? Maybe.
    No conspiracy there, I promise you! No secrets either.. sorry to disappoint you, Mahmood.

    Batzi

  343. mahmood says:

    The only disappointment I feel Batzi, is that I continued to give you the benefit of the doubt; however, being civil to you seems to have not produced any civility back from you, but rather antagonism and condescension. That doesn’t concern me really, as this attitude reflects on you directly to add to your sins of being a Zionist too.

    I still have to thank you though. Previously, I was indifferent to the whole Zionism thing due to ignorance. Again, being a person who would rather give the benefit of the doubt, that too was misplaced. Now, I thank you for forcing me to research this subject more, listen to opposing views to arrive at my own conclusion that in my dictionary, I shall never accept a racist policy like Zionism nor everything that it stands for.

    It pains me that I have left it this long. One thing I am going to do now is spread the message about this racist monster you have created and ensure that people know of the transgressions perpetrated by its name and its followers.

  344. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    You can go ahead and hurl insults at me if you like.

    I am sorry to hear you were offended by things I said. I was not aware I was throwing insults at you or calling you names. If that was the case, I apologize.

    This thread shall remain open. But don’t expect that that will move me back to the “maybe” zone.

    Then I, for one, will certainly stop trying. Like I said before, I have no interest in trying to convince anyone who does not want to listen.

    If anyone does want to discuss it further, my email is shachar at shemesh dot biz. I am receiving inordinate amounts of spam to that address, so please put the word MAHMOOD (in uppercase) in the subject the first time you send email to increase the chances of your mail getting through.

    Mahmood, good luck with the trial thing. I don’t think I will be monitoring this blog any longer.

    Shachar

  345. mahmood says:

    Thanks Shachar and I wish you all the best.

  346. can we talk says:

    Shachar says: “Specifically, I would like to extend the challenge I issued to Mahmood to you as well. Find me cases of law where Israeli Arabs are discriminated, and we’ll discuss it.”

    when presented with the links to what you requested, you chose to ignore them and comment on the other stuff.
    if you decide to investigate only one link, perhaps it should be this one
    http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0198/9801088.html
    because it discusses the laws

    good luck to you, Shachar, i hope that in time you will realize what is going on around you, and just a short distance away from you. i suppose that sometimes it is difficult for one to see the forrest when one is smack bang in the midle of the trees. you sound like a reasonable person who just finds it difficult to believe what is going on around him. maybe, in time, ..

    Joel Portman,
    talking about Jesus is as relevant to the issue as what we had for dinner last night. you merely proved my point. when you can’t respond to the issues, you go off on tangents. if you had been able to respond to the issues, you would have. but you can’t, so rather than admit defeat, you jumped in with witty (?) retorts.

    there is no point beating a dead horse..

    over and out

  347. Shachar says:

    Can we talk,

    I’ll gladly discuss it with you in private. I found little point of continuing the discussion here.

    Email me.
    Shachar

  348. Joel Portman says:

    can we talk:

    I did respond to issues. I specifically rose to Mahmood’s challenge to demonstrate that Zionism is not racism. My posts are full of relevant facts and arguments. But I do appreciate that for you it would be totally irrelevant that there was a log in your own eye, if you were monomaniacally concentrating on the speck in your brother’s eye.

    Docspenser

    You write: “Shachar, Joel and Batzi, the only major problem I see with Israel is the way the Israeli citizen Arabs are treated.”

    Since you have written with a courtesy that seems in fairly short supply here, I went on to google in a spirit of genuine enquiry and put in the search term: Israeli Arabs speak.

    I invite you to do the same. You may be surprised by what you find.

    Regards

    Joel

  349. i SEND THIS TO JAPAN says:

    If you really hate the Jews that much then have a look at what the Jordanians did to Israel and Palestine during there occupation and then come back to me…….would you tell me that Israel would be better off in the hands of an Arab State? What Arab state should be the benchmark? your kidding right?

    The Jews have the most stable and developed economy in the region even with less friends…….They do not even have oil but have easy money from the states and look how they use it to develop there country AND WHAT HAVE WE DONE with our easy money from oil……. Furthermore they have been persecuted by the Arabs and Europeans for Centuries. In our religion Islam Mohammed tells us to go back to the old Scriptures, then what old scriptures was Mohammed talking about? Only one old scripture existed at the time which was the book of Abraham i.e. The old Testament.

    The Jordanians occupation of Palestine the destroyed everything in the 40s and 50s and almost wiped out everyone it was genocide, the Jordanians massacred every Palestinian they could get there hands on.

    HISTORY WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING

    The West Bank and East Jerusalem were ruled by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) for a period of nearly two decades (1948 – 1967) following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. They were under Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1950; with British approval, Jordan annexed them in 1950.

  350. docspencer says:

    ‘I send this to Japan’, good points.

    Batzi, Joel and Shachar, could you please stay on this blog? We all need to try to build an underswtanding toward a peaceful Arab/Israeli environment, and it will not happen unless there is dialog among us.

    And if we cannot do it on our scale here, how can we expect anyone, especially governments to do it on a larger scale.

    Could you forgive anything any of you interpreted as an insult and stay with it please? Let’s at least try to come to an understanding among us please with Mahmood’s help.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  351. Joel Portman says:

    Mahmood

    I know you have written (post 295) “Hence both the policies of apartheid and Zionism I regard as one and the same.”

    However, no less a person than the current President of the State of Israel “has rubbished claims that the Jewish state is an apartheid country.” – see

    http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/world/?content_id=5753

    and

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/830745.html

    Incidentally, the current President of the State of Israel is Majali Wahabi.

    He is a non-Jewish Arab.

  352. docspencer says:

    Joe 350:

    I went on to google in a spirit of genuine enquiry and put in the search terms: Israeli Arabs speak.
    I invite you to do the same. You may be surprised by what you find.

    I did that same search. Did anyone else do it? Ibn, if you did, what did you think? Mahmood? JJ? CWT?

    Best regards,

    Vic

  353. Batzi says:

    Vic,
    To add to that, I contacted Shachar on the e-mail address that he had provided on his last entry and he commented on “can we talk”‘s link from the Washington Post (http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0198/9801088.html)

    Here is part of his answer that relates to that link:

    The land selling part, at least, does have some substance. As far as I
    > can tell, it’s a relic from the time that buying land was the weapon
    > with which the Arab-Jewish war was mostly done (before 1948). At the
    > time, the Arabs protested selling land to Jews just as some Jews protest
    > the opposite today.
    >
    > In any case, the article is a bit out of date on that front. About half
    > a year ago, the high court ruled that refusing to sell land to Arabs
    > violates the freedom of ownership law, and the practice was made
    > illegal. That’s no fault of the author, at least, as the article was
    > written before the relevant ruling.”

    As one can tell, Vic, in a seven years period much changes, especially in such a dynamic region as the middle east….

    Here is another link that dweals with sale of land to Arabs:
    http://www.meforum.org/article/370

    Thanks for your willingness to keep an open mind and listen to both sides, Vic.
    All the best
    Batzi

  354. Joel Portman says:

    There seems to be a problem of posting to this thread. I will try splitting my comment into smaller chunks:

    BillT in Post 334:

    “Shachar, Joel and Batzi this is probably a loaded question but in all honesty if I as a Christian wanted to immigrate to Israel what chance would I have in getting immigration papers?”

    BillT, Mahmood and others. I hope you will allow me the licence to look at two similar, but possibly more urgent, important and relevant questions:

    Question 1: If you were a Palestinian refugee, where would you be granted citizenship?

    Answer: Unfortunately, by NO Arab country. See the story in Arab News Daily, headlined “A Million Expatriates to Benefit From New Citizenship Law”, whereby ” Expatriates of all nationalities are entitled to apply for Saudi citizenship” EXCEPT Palestinians.

    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=53213&d=21&m=10&y=2004

    To quote from the article:

    “But Al-Watan Arabic daily reported that the naturalization law would not be applicable to Palestinians living in the Kingdom as the Arab League has instructed that Palestinians living in Arab countries should not be given citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland.”

  355. Joel Portman says:

    Question 2: If you were a refugee fleeing for your life from genocide in Sudan, where would you seek, and be granted, refuge? The answer came from the BBC a few days ago. Sudanese refugees are fleeing to Israel even though it does not share any border with Sudan. Their reason is that if they sought refuge in neighbouring Egypt, they would be returned to Sudan where they would face a death sentence for leaving the country.

  356. Joel Portman says:

    This site is not allowing me to paste in the URL. Please look up google news for

    Darfur Refugees seek Israeli home

  357. Joel Portman says:

    It appears as if the problem of getting my above message through (of course, it was only meant to be one message) may perhaps have been that some mechanism is censoring reference to the BBC News website – I don’t know.

    I think that the Sudanese refugees probably do not share Mahmood’s opinon (or should that be mantra? 🙂 ) that Zionism is Racism…

    Joel

  358. Joel Portman says:

    I should also point out that my original post only had two links

  359. docspencer says:

    Joel, Shachar or Batzi,

    Why the insistence by some people on both sides that you are not just Israeli Jews but Zionists?

    Zionism is an old idea and had to do with the establishment of a country for Jews called Israel, that finally happened in 1948 with UN support. Done. It’s over. Some challenges along the way that Israel won. You are Israeli now. Why would anyone say that you are a Zionist also? Why is that important now? Or is it?

    I am sorry but I fail to get this.

    Best regards,

    Vic

  360. Joel Portman says:

    Vic

    You should ask the opponents of Israel why they use the label “Zionism” and why they don’t move on fromevents of 60 years ago. Just like anyone else, most supporters of Israel don’t stereotype themselves with a one-word label.

    Also remember, this thread is one about African/Middle-Eastern runners competing in Israel. So you will be interested to know that Ethiopians won both the men’s and women’s Jerusalem Haf Marathon a fortnight ago. Also, watch the career of the 20-year-old Kenyan runner who for the third time set a world half-marathon record – 58 minutes 35 seconds!

    Regards

    Joel

  361. Aliandra says:

    that Palestinians living in Arab countries should not be given citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland

    Given Palestinian demographics, the majority alive today have never even lived in the “homeland”.

  362. al just al ( slightly weird ) but al anyway says:

    is the term GOY lost in its irony to everyone but me on this thread?

    its a yiddish term for a non jewish person so sorry but had a good laugh at this

    as for the hoohaa
    i grew up in bahrain from 66 to 94ish saw and heard a lot of changes,,, remember clearly the israel boycott office,, remember the ,,wires of upi ,, reporting on attacks on israel over the then aramco radio..

    yehyeh theres a lot of nastiness between the arabs and the jews ,, and a shit load of fault on both sides,, noone is innocent,, but if one sports guy puts religious intolerance behind him and his goals thenBLOODY GOOD FOR HIM ,,

    if it was that bad a thing should all*h or g*d struck him down??
    and for the religious guys that read this thread,, read the night crossing,, cant give the exact ref but the quran does say to leave them( the people of the book) to themselves and not interfere,,

    hell just me hundred fils worth

    AL

  363. Batzi says:

    Nine and Steve the American,
    Like Shachar and Brian, I left this blog as I felt that there was no point in wasting any energy in putting any of my points across.
    I will direct you and others to Mahmood’s post #346 http://mahmood.tv/2007/01/07/going-for-gold-in-israel/
    For convenience purposes, I paste it here in its entirety. It speaks for itself.
    That was the last straw for me.
    “The only disappointment I feel Batzi, is that I continued to give you the benefit of the doubt; however, being civil to you seems to have not produced any civility back from you, but rather antagonism and condescension. That doesn’t concern me really, as this attitude reflects on you directly to add to your sins of being a Zionist too.
    I still have to thank you though. Previously, I was indifferent to the whole Zionism thing due to ignorance. Again, being a person who would rather give the benefit of the doubt, that too was misplaced. Now, I thank you for forcing me to research this subject more, listen to opposing views to arrive at my own conclusion that in my dictionary, I shall never accept a racist policy like Zionism nor everything that it stands for.
    It pains me that I have left it this long. One thing I am going to do now is spread the message about this racist monster you have created and ensure that people know of the transgressions perpetrated by its name and its followers.”

  364. mahmood says:

    Yet, you continue to monitor several threads and come tumbling back for more. Desperation to vindicate your position or just masochists? I don’t know, as neither is something to be proud of.

    Whether you choose to continue to visit this blog or don’t doesn’t really make any difference to me. Enjoy yourselves while you’re around, though. Welcome!

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