AN ISRAELI TROIKA

Three related things about Israel and the Gaza blockade.

1. From The Economist:

I'm not sure it could be more painfully obvious that the sole purpose of this blockade is to be senselessly obstructionist – in essence, to fuck with people in Gaza and manufacture an excuse to slow the flow of supplies to a trickle. If there's a valid military or strategic purpose to more than a fraction of the stuff that is "banned" (by a country that totally isn't an occupying power, it just controls the borders and everything that passes through them) I'd be shocked. But what could be more pointless than trying to derive logic from Israeli foreign policy. Banning an item appears to require no more than a fertile imagination, raging paranoia, and balls the size of geodesic domes – see David Frum's matter-of-fact explanation of how concrete is banned because it "could be used to build bunkers." And food could be used to feed terrorists, so you should probably ban that too. I have a future in Israeli politics.

In any case, if there was any real strategic purpose to this blockade they wouldn't have goddamn fertilizer – star of such homemade explosive hits as The Oklahoma City Bombing and the first World Trade Center attack – on the Permitted list.

2. Not to get all stuff-you-don't-care-about on the average ginandtacos reader, but let's briefly scratch our heads at the blockade idea from a strategic perspective. Israel has one of the largest, most active, and most expensive militaries on the planet, but one thing they don't have is much of a navy. It would not be out of line to say that their navy is pretty pathetic. Their air force may be laden with 4th-generation fighter planes and their ground forces may be among the most formidable (esp. their mechanized infantry) but their navy is basically a bunch of lightweight patrol boats and three corvettes. This is about the lamest navy that has ever attempted to blockade something larger than a retention pond. If a real warship from a real navy sailed with a future "flotilla" heading to Gaza there wouldn't appear to be a whole hell of a lot that Israel could do about it except sink it (presumably from the air). Sinking a ship with a European, Russian, or Chinese flag would require a level of stupid that even the Israeli far-right can't reach. So this scenario merits a lot of attention if/when it happens. What are they going to do if confronted by a real vessel?

3. I am starting to understand why the pro-Israel lobby gets along so famously with neocons. Listen to Jennifer Rubin:

There is a single question that every individual, group, and nation must answer. To borrow from the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman: if you are not with Israel, you are against her. And if you do not oppose with every fiber of your being and every instrument at your disposal that which intends the Jewish state harm, you are enabling her destroyers.

And what's more, if you don't send a monthly donation to AIPAC you personally murdered a dozen Jews in Buchenwald.

I struggle to recall a more fascist opinion expressed in print recently without resorting to links to fringe websites. This passes as not only mainstream opinion but a fairly widely held one – the kind of thing one can express at a cocktail party without being thought a tinfoil-hatted extremist or a potential truck bomber.

Oh, Israel. You're going to be entertaining for the next few months, aren't you?

35 thoughts on “AN ISRAELI TROIKA”

  • America is discovering what so many other nations already know, that the Israelis don't give a monkey's arse what anyone thinks, just so long as America keeps defending her in the UN and around the world, and pumping $7M a day into her economy in economic and *military* aid.

    On the subject of "give to AIPAC or you're a Jew-hating terrorist"… One of the fun things your tax dollars fund? Remote controlled machine gun sentries so they can kill at the touch of a button. Yes, just like in "Aliens". So some IDF kid can play shoot 'em up with real humans. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/12/israeli-auto-ki/

    Before that, the Qana massacres (in '96 & '06), Sabra and Shatila massacres, the attack on the USS Liberty, etc, to name but a few. It's depressing, because I grew up believing Israel was just a brave state born from the hard work of a bunch of plucky Holocaust survivors. Now, they're building their own ghettos and starving women, children and old people. I'd like to put it down to a national hysteria, a mental illness, but really, they democratically elected Netanyahu and Lieberman (whose racism amazes even me) and have become deranged by religion and their ancient, Semitic version of manifest destiny.

  • Israel's Navy isn't much more than a coastal constabulary, but in the narrow waters of the Med ( and the Red Sea) her shore- based and aerial launched anti- shipping missiles would be more than adequate to fuck- up any fleet that wasn't first- rate.
    And I don't understand how if one supports the Palestinian people's human rights one is an anti- semite. Last time I checked, Arabic was as much a semitic language as Hebrew . Arabic culture is a Semetic culture… like Hebrew culture. Anti- Zionist, sure, but anti- Semetic is just stupid.

  • You're probably correct that even Israel would hesitate before sinking a warship of a major power. However, if they needed to do it, they would probably do it the same way we would: with cruise missiles launched from shore, or with missiles launched from fighter-bombers.

  • For what it's worth, the principle of selection by which some things are allowed in and some are not appears to be driven by the needs of the Israeli economy; I don't know the details, actually, but I've heard in several different places that the blockade is extremely responsive to lobbying by farmers and manufacturing producers.

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    The thing that annoys me is that Hamas is doing so little to appear sympathetic. Israel is monumentally stupid in how they deal with terrorists, and yet as much as I'd like to criticize them, I do understand that they are still under repeated attacks every day from Gaza.

    Like two dumb kids on the playground, they both accuse the other of starting it–but even as the teacher drags them both away, they're still taking swipes at each other.

  • Crazy for Urban Planning says:

    This is a pretty daunting topic. I'm not sure if anyone watches television, but a good Sunday show is Fareed Zakaria's GPS on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/fareed.zakaria.gps/). On Sunday he had two Jews on the show, one from the Bush II Iraq war build up, and some liberal guy. In any case, the Bushy was crazy as a bat. Holy cow. I don't think Israel can defend this preposterous blockade.

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Crazy for UP: Why do you call them Jews? Did they have a Star of David badge?

  • ladiesbane says:

    Aside from headgames, and pleasing their merchants, Israel might also be changing the list of acceptable items more quickly than aid can be organized and shipped. Aid shipments with (newly) prohibited items can be rejected. Would anyone be surprised to hear that happen, under the header, "Look, the swine are trying to import contraband items" rather than "Oh no! Nutmeg!"?

    Like Prudence, I grew up with the beautiful story of Israel. I was never told that Palestinians were driven from their homes to create part of it. Hamas is despicable, but I think Bush caused major problems by encouraging Fatah to change from the losing political party to a violent group in open rebellion against the elected leaders. Just because we were rooting for Fatah doesn't mean we should foment a violent response to a legal election.

    The internal collapse of the Palestinian political body is more extreme, but still seems a pattern of internal U.S. reactions to Obama's election, including the Tea Party movement.

  • "The thing that annoys me is that Hamas is doing so little to appear sympathetic."

    Yeah, the cease fire and attempted negotiations are not enough, they should start crying and pleading for help from people who don't give a fuck about human suffering unless their representatives are 'sympathetic'

    "Israel is monumentally stupid in how they deal with terrorists, and yet as much as I'd like to criticize them, I do understand that they are still under repeated attacks every day from Gaza."

    WRONG. Firstly, Hamas are an elected government, so if it is their violent actions alone that make them a terrorist group then Israel is a much bigger and more brutal terrorist group. Hamas have stuck to the cease fire, there has not been a rocket attack since 2008 and the only violence committed by Hamas has been caused by Israel breaking the cease fire. It is laughable to say that Israel are under 'repeated attacks every day', especially in comparison to their victims who are actually brutally attacked on a daily basis by IDF thugs.

    "Like two dumb kids on the playground, they both accuse the other of starting it–but even as the teacher drags them both away, they're still taking swipes at each other."

    A more appropriate analogy would be a child being beaten to death by a fully grown man while the man shouts 'He's fighting back! I have to defend myself!'.

  • Crazy for Urban Planning says:

    @displaced Capitalist – Very poor use of words from my part. What am I supposed to call Jewish Americans put on a television program to talk about Israel?

  • Crazy for Urban Planning says:

    @George – That is a great point! If I remember that election in Gaza correctly – every one who knew anything about the Gaza Strip told the Bush Administration not to encourage an election because Hamas will win. When they did win the Bush Administration immediately called the new government "terrorists" and pulled the plug on any aid money! Remember, the definition of a terrorist is a non-state sponsored act of violence. If the Hamas party is controlling the government they are not terrorists.

  • @ Dis. Cap.: The use of "Jew" as an identifier is a thorny issue–given the rich tradition of using it as a slur, there's an unacceptable element to it, but English hasn't given us a good shorthand term–"Christian," "Muslim," and "Buddhist" are all adjectives, so that seems to be the non-judgmental way to go, but referring to someone as a "Jewish" doesn't seem to work. "Judaic," maybe? Agreed that we need a non-offensive term, but "Jewish person" is too long and clunky, so could we get the ADL to put their heads together and make a suggestion?

    @ Ed: Oh, Ed, you didn't get enough sturm/drang last week on this one? Not that the issue's not worth revisiting so long as it's ongoing, but isn't it *always* going to be ongoing? (Though I quite understand the need to call 'bullshit' on any policy that allows "Cartons for transporting chicks" but forbids chickens and hatcheries. That's just flat-out dickery. "Permitted: XBox and PS3 Game Disks. Forbidden: Platforms." Mean.)

    But what's going to happen? Israel is still a long way off from doing something so egregious as to force the U.S. to withdraw support–and frankly, I'm hard put to think of *anything* so heinous as to cause both U.S. conservatives (End Of Days Christians) and U.S. liberals (Post-Holocaust Guilt-trippers) from saying "Enough" to the Holy Land/Independent State.

    Our 20th-century foreign policy has shown that we're pretty comfortably propping up murderous regimes for a variety of selfish reasons, and as ladiesbane and Prudence point out, Israel is an easy sell if you tell the story the right way. The Palestinians are Muslims with a history of acts of terrorism committed on their behalf. (Please note the phrasing there; I'm not implying that Palestinian = Terrorist.) How much substantive sympathy can they gain in this country? If we were willing to say in the '80s "But if we don't support the contras, the Commies will win, and pay no attention to those murdered nuns," are we really going to say now, Post-9/11, "Let the Muslims win this one"? I think not.

    So we're just going to keep supporting Israel, and Israel, knowing this, is going to keep getting away with its treatment of the Palestinians, and that's that. Israel doesn't have to justify what they're doing beyond the usual blanket claim of self-defense. Which, what with the occasional disco suicide bombing, is likewise an easy sell. (Seriously, Palestinian militants–do the math. The Israelis outnumber you 2-to-1; if every dozen Israelis you murder in a marketplace explosion leads to the rocket-based deaths of a couple dozen Palestinians in the inevitable Israeli reprisal, the figures just aren't with you on this. Try going Gandhi on their asses–it's a gamble, but one worth trying.)

    Now I'm depressed–can I get an FJM, please? Those always cheer me up.

  • Islam arose in response to the Crusades…I think that says it all. We are truly fkd to be able to do anything about this mess, the West is its mother and father all rolled up in one.

    After hearing these "settlers" argue with a straight face that some piece of dirt is "theirs" as given to them by their "God", I am fully confident they will have no qualms about defending it from any navy that threatens that conviction.

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    To all those who disagree with my criticism of the term "Jew":

    It's easy, just call them Israeli sympathizers. Why should their religion be at issue? Plenty of Jews oppose Zionism, so to call them Jews is to suggest that all Jewish people support the nation-state of Israel. Are we going to say that every commentator on US issues is a Christian? Every commentator on Iran is Muslim?

    George:

    What part of what I said was "WRONG"? Do you deny that Hamas is trying to destroy Israel? (I'll give you a hint: they are. And the fact they changed their language in their manifesto from "destroy" to "maintaining armed conflict" hardly changes that. See here.) Yes, Isreal is overpowered compared to them, but what is Israel supposed to do? Throw pebbles into Gaza while Hamas shoots rockets? It's not as simple as you seem to think it is. Hamas is not the perfect innocent victim.

    (AND PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't read more into what I'm saying here and assume I'm some kind of Israeli sympathizer myself. I'm not, they're idiots for taking such aggressive stances in the war just as much as Hamas is.)

  • "The thing that annoys me is that Hamas is doing so little to appear sympathetic. Israel is monumentally stupid in how they deal with terrorists, and yet as much as I'd like to criticize them, I do understand that they are still under repeated attacks every day from Gaza."

    You're right, a democratically elected government fighting back because a powerful neighbor is stealing their land (because "God" gave it to them, no less) is exactly like terrorism. Of course you're finding it tough to criticize them, after all they have to defend themselves. Never mind the vast numbers of innocents and children (http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualties.asp) that have to die; what do you expect them to do, throw pebbles!?!

    Just because you're not an Israeli sympathizer doesn't mean you're not stupid.

  • Bugboy: "Islam arose in response to the Crusades…I think that says it all."

    If by "all" you mean "I need to read more about the history of Islam", then yes.

    It was, in fact, the Crusades which arose in response to the Islamic conquest of the lands around the eastern and southern Mediterranean.

  • truth=freedom says:

    @George: while I think your analogy (man being "attacked" by a child) is largely apt, a cursory Google search shows that Israel is receiving a more-or-less steady stream of attacks from Gaza (though not daily attacks). Have they killed anyone? Not this year (so far as I could tell).

    Israel (or at least its leaders) is clearly suffering a form of national insanity which causes them to over-inflate any attack against them, and any deaths they suffer, and to minimize the deaths and injuries of their opponents. Until they realize the difference between truly existential threats– in which category I'd even put commonplace suicide bombings within Israel against civilian targets– and dial back the crazy, they're neither going to win nor find peace.

    That said, I think Palestinians are also missing the boat here. They're never going to win in a strictly military confrontation. The Israelis have found the solution to fighting against asymmetric attacks– force a stalemate. True, they won't win. But since they're in a relatively safe position, a stalemate is apparently OK with them. To us, that stalemate is crazy, but as long as the outside world accepts the status quo, or at least doesn't push back enough to make a difference, they'll stay there. For the Palestinians to reach an acceptable situation (assuming it's actually OK for Israel to exist), they'll have to abandon military confrontation, which is just ego-stroking in its current implementation, and choose peaceful, passive resistance. Not so much as a thrown rock. In front of every camera they can find.

    Heck, it worked in Mississippi in the 60s. It's worth a shot.

  • Eventually, a political settlement is inevitable. I think that the Israeli right does this shit to postpone it as long as possible, so that their pro-settlement policies in the West Bank have more time to take effect. Cause that's how the land is always split up in the proposed settlement agreements – not who should own it, but by existing demographics.

  • George: Islam was founded almost 500 years before the First Crusade.
    Jimcat: Each Crusade had its reasons for being launched. The First was officially launched to recover the Holy Land. In reality, the Normans were raising hell in Italy and Sicily and the Pope wanted them to get the hell away from Rome. Crazy and ruthless fuckers, those Normans.
    The Second crusade was an attempt by Richard II of England to recover Jerusalem after Saladin reclaimed it for the Abbasids of Egypt.
    The Third Crusade- I forget. Was that the one that got cancelled after that german Emperor had a heart attack and drowned in the river he fell into?
    The Fourth Crusade was all about Venice wiping out its chief commercial rival-Christian Constantinople. The venetians tricked the Byzantine Emperor into letting their army into Constantinople " on the way to the Holy Land" of course. Once inside the Venetians told their mercenaries to burn, rape, and pillage to their heart's content. Mission accomplished.
    At no time were these considered defensive undertakings against the Muslims.

  • @displaced – After my attempt to engage with your… ah… comments… spun out to seven or eight bullet points, I gave up.

    Please refer back to Mark's comment. I think his last sentence says it best.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    The first Crusade was a sort of mistaken response to a plea for help from Constantinople after the disastrous battle of Manzikirt, which opened Anatolia to the Turks. And I think it was the second crusade when the German Barbarossa foolishly tried to cross the Goksu in his armor, drowning. Ironically Hitler named his invasion of the USSR Barbarossa, and the ultimate failure of his aims would occur about a year later when several of his armies were encircled and destroyed…wait for it..between two rivers. There's your irony trivia for the day.

    As for Hamas, it is ridiculous to think that they can possibly stop people from launching rockets(which cause few casualties) into Israeli territory(formerly Palestinian territory). I once posed this question to a pro-Tea Party nut: Imagine if some guy with known ties to your movement(not really hard to imagine), decides one day to blow up a federal building. In response, the government cordons off areas known to be populated by conservatives. Apaches go in and launch rockets or missiles while artillery pounds ground targets. How would you feel about that? As I expected, the analogy went FAR over the TP supporter's head. Why do I waste my time.

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Nice beau. I'm actually willing to hear counter arguments. Half the reason I come to G&T is to learn something. By failing to list your points you failed to teach me anything. I'm sorry you feel that way.

    So you think that violence is the only solution to the conflict in the Middle east? Did Gandhi teach us nothing?

    What about this man? Is he a traitor for choosing not to fight Israel?

    Violence is almost never the answer, even when it's a pathetic child trying to fight a grown man.

  • Sinking a ship with a European, Russian, or Chinese flag would require a level of stupid that even the Israeli far-right can't reach.

    Aside from the whole USS Liberty thing:

    In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 as full payment to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 in compensation to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the U.S. claim of $7,644,146 for material damage to the Liberty itself.

  • From your opening comment to your bizarre assumption that I am advocating violence, I don't see any evidence that you are in fact willing to listen to counter argument on this topic.

    You have already aggressively ignored George's attempt at explaining a simple problem with your opening comment. I thought George was pretty clear, and also correct.

    Aslan's second para also addresses your lack of sympathy for Hamas. You seriously believe you'd be making reasonable decisions in their position?

    Also, since you asked, here's three I can remember.

    "repeated attacks every day from Gaza".

    Just wrong. Also discussed above. Also apparently ignored by your good self.

    "Israeli Sympathizers"

    Apart from the negative connotations attached to the term sympathizer, and the fact that many, many Israelis oppose this occupation, is it really offensive to call gay people gay, immigrants immigrants, Puerto Ricans Puerto Rican or two Jewish dudes Jews? Just because stupid people use the terms as insults?

    And

    "Hamas is not the perfect innocent victim."

    If you can show me anyone, ever, in any forum, describing Hamas in those words, I will pay you the sum of $5. If you can make me believe that was a legitimate reading of George's comment, I will fly to wherever you live and follow you around for a week, just telling everyone we pass "Hey, listen to this guy, he knows his shit!".

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    1. Ghandi is often a liberal sacred cow. Indian independence was not solely the product of Ghandi and non-violence.

    2. Palestinians have tried non-violence in the past, it didn't work. Do you really think non-violence would work in all situations? Would it work in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?

    3. Why should they be non-violent? Were the Zionists non-violent when they invaded Palestine, when they committed acts of terror against the British? Why should one side be required to resort to non-violence, which actually has a poor track record of getting anything done.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    1. Ghandi is often a liberal sacred cow. Indian independence was not solely the product of Ghandi and non-violence.

    2. Palestinians have tried non-violence in the past, it didn't work. Do you really think non-violence would work in all situations? Would it work in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?

    3. Why should they be non-violent? Were the Zionists non-violent when they invaded Palestine, when they committed acts of terror against the British? Why should one side be required to resort to non-violence, which actually has a poor track record of getting anything done?

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Sweet Jesus, since when did all of you become militants? I was under the mistaken impression that progressives were opposed to violence but I guess I was wrong. I have no sympathy for Hamas, but I do sympathize with the PLO… are you starting to see the pattern here?

    Ok I'm going to have to start providing links and quotes to prove you all wrong:

    George said:

    Hamas have stuck to the cease fire, there has not been a rocket attack since 2008 and the only violence committed by Hamas has been caused by Israel breaking the cease fire.

    Beau said:

    "repeated attacks every day from Gaza".

    Just wrong. Also discussed above. Also apparently ignored by your good self.

    I see that Republicans are the only ones who spread lies. From Wikipedia (citing the BBC which I'm pretty sure is a reputable source):

    As of January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life.

    Beau said:

    "Hamas is not the perfect innocent victim."

    If you can show me anyone, ever, in any forum, describing Hamas in those words, I will pay you the sum of $5. If you can make me believe that was a legitimate reading of George's comment, I will fly to wherever you live and follow you around for a week, just telling everyone we pass "Hey, listen to this guy, he knows his shit!".

    Then why are you comparing Hamas to a child? Or do you know of any children who are secret militants?

    Aslan Maskhadov said:

    1. Ghandi is often a liberal sacred cow. Indian independence was not solely the product of Ghandi and non-violence.

    Can you cite to me any violent incident during India's independence that helped lead to their independence? I'm not aware of any that actually HELPED.

    2. Palestinians have tried non-violence in the past, it didn't work. Do you really think non-violence would work in all situations? Would it work in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?

    Did you even read the Slate article I posted? The PLO has been cooperative in the West bank for quite some time now and it's lead to unprecedented peace with the PLO. You are assuming that Hamas represents all Palestinians; they do not.

    3. Why should they be non-violent? Were the Zionists non-violent when they invaded Palestine, when they committed acts of terror against the British? Why should one side be required to resort to non-violence, which actually has a poor track record of getting anything done?

    What on earth are you talking about? Though the original Zionists where quite violent, so were the Palestinians, so was everyone who has tried to control the region since the Roman Empire. The violence between Zionist settlers and Palestinians has been going on for over a century and has it done any good to bring peace to that region? Violence DOES NOT WORK. I does not work in Iraq. It does not work in Afghanistan, it does not work in Somalia it does not work in Korea, it does not work in Vietnam. And contrary to what Teabaggers say, it wont work in Iran and it won't work on the Mexican border either.

    Read what I said carefully. Read the articles I posted and the Wiki. Read what Truth=freedom said before you respond.

  • @capitalist –

    Still not advocating violence.

    Still not comparing Hamas to a child, that was George. But OK, you've got me. I do not personally know any child soldiers. But I am led to believe that they do actually exist. I will spare you the patronizing wikipedia link.

    Speaking of which, "REPEATED attacks EVERY DAY" is not supported by your evidence of some attacks, some of the time. Sorry.

    I read t=f. Did you?

    "Israel (or at least its leaders) is clearly suffering a form of national insanity which causes them to over-inflate any attack against them, and any deaths they suffer, and to minimize the deaths and injuries of their opponents."

    Sounds a lot like what you are accused of with the whole "repeated" and "every day" thing, no?

    t=f then goes on to misidentify a submission hold as a stalemate. An honest mistake, and easy to make.

    Your repeated statement "I have no sympathy for Hamas" shows your ignorance on this matter. I don't pretend to understand this basketcase of an institution, but I do know that it is a widely accepted fact that the majority of their works are charitable.

    I suppose you may be attempting to refer to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing). But even then, some of the people you are referring to have lived their entire lives under occupation – subject to strip searches, indefinite and unwarranted detention, curfews, and good old-fashioned beatings just about when ever the IDF feel like it. Or whenever some psycho who is apparently 'on your side' lobs a rocket, grenade or rock over the fence. Oh, and in all probability, they've also lost one or more loved ones to 'colateral damage' or some such. What do you imagine that does to one's decision making process?

    FWIW, I have endless sympathy for innocents on both sides. I have sympathy for combatants on both sides. For warmongers and their apologists I have nothing but contempt.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    "Can you cite to me any violent incident during India's independence that helped lead to their independence? I'm not aware of any that actually HELPED."

    Of course you are not aware, because like most American liberals you aren't that much more knowledgeable about history than your conservative opponents. In India, Ghandi is not seen as the sole father of Indian independence. Among others is Subhas Chandra Bose, a nationalist who originally looked to the support of the USSR, but found himself making a devil's bargain with Hitler. He was responsible for the creation of the Indian Legion and the Indian National Liberation Army, which fought alongside the Japanese in Burma. Ghandi was successful because the British were made aware that there were Indians willing to fight. The fact that they had been bankrupt since 1940 didn't help either.

    "2. Palestinians have tried non-violence in the past, it didn't work. Do you really think non-violence would work in all situations? Would it work in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?"

    "Did you even read the Slate article I posted? The PLO has been cooperative in the West bank for quite some time now and it's lead to unprecedented peace with the PLO. You are assuming that Hamas represents all Palestinians; they do not."

    Wow, a Slate article said something so this must describe the Palestinian predicament as a whole! And for the record I never conflated Palestinians as a whole with Hamas.

    "What on earth are you talking about? Though the original Zionists where quite violent, so were the Palestinians, so was everyone who has tried to control the region since the Roman Empire."

    Actually some of the original Zionists were not violent, and the Palestinians were not either. The Zionist violence started in the 1940s. Arab violence was a response to this.

    "Violence DOES NOT WORK."

    Yes, tell that to the Germans and Japanese.

    " I does not work in Iraq. It does not work in Afghanistan, it does not work in Somalia it does not work in Korea, it does not work in Vietnam."

    Oh it doesn't work? Ok how are the Iraqis and Afghans thwarting the aims of the American imperialists? Oh right, with violence. How did the Koreans end up negotiating a cease-fire? Violence. How did the Vietnamese achieve independence and drive out the US? Violence. Sounds like it "worked" pretty well.

    " And contrary to what Teabaggers say, it wont work in Iran and it won't work on the Mexican border either."

    It depends on what you mean by "work." It won't work in Iran because under occupation, the Iranians can apply more effective violence.

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Well, ya got me. I guess I'll change my voter registration to "Tea Party" and start voting to use violence in all situations.

    You both failed to provide any links and I'm too damn tired to continue arguing with you both since you both have devolved into incomprehensible arguments (either that, or I'm tired.) Read the wiki articles. Yes, I know that wiki is a stinking shithole of liberal ideals, but I check most of the citations they have which all seem to come from reputable sources like the BBC (or is the BBC a stinking shithole too? Do you get all your ideas from FOX?)

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Oh yeah, and the one thing that stood out to me about your post Aslan: You're full of shit. The violence in Palestine against the immigration of Zionists started in 1920 with the Palestinian Riots. Of course, there was violence even earlier when X group moved into Y group's ancestral land and they fought over it.

    That's all I have the time to bother looking up. You guys are on your own now, I'm outta here.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    Don't throw a bitch fit, Displaced Capitalist, nobody wins all of the time. First of all, do I really need to provide a source to back up my assertion that violence defeated Germany and Japan, and solved many conflicts in the past? I didn't know that was a controversial, disputed issue. With all my research into WWII I cannot recall any successful roll-back of German and Japanese imperialism via sit-ins and non-violent resistance.

    Second, it is not my job to educate you on the history of Indian independence. I would be lying if I claimed it is an area of expertise for me, but I know from speaking to Indian nationals, as well as casual research, that Ghandi was not solely responsible for Indian independence. You need only to look at Britain's post war situation, and consider what a mess they would have on their hands had an insurrection broken out.

    Are you disputing my claim about Britain's bankruptcy during the war? Look up Blood, Tears, and Folly by Len Deighton to see how messed up Britain was even before the war was over.

    You can't whine about sources if you are not clearly disputing something. You claimed violence doesn't solve anything. There are THOUSANDS of examples to the contrary. The morality isn't the point, the point is whether violence can resolve problems. That it can do so is indisputable.

    Also I am well aware of the Palestinian riots but they cannot compare to the actions of the Stern and Irgun militias, or what has happened since then. The point is that violence between Jews and Palestinians increased as it became increasingly likely that Palestinian land would be handed over to European Jews by colonial powers. Whether any of this is "right" is not an issue.

    Lastly, I'll credit your bizarre implication that I am a conservative or Tea Partier to the pathetic dualistic American political view. I am the furthest thing from a Tea Partier. And let me tell you, if those jackasses ever want to spark off their little uprising, their going to learn the hard way that leftists are not all liberals, nor are they hippy pacifists. Violence will solve that conflict REAL quick. Of course I'll never get to say "I told you so" because their wacky Christian dominionist death squads will have probably taken you out before its over.

  • @capitalist – I, too, am attacking your left flank. Just so we're clear.

    By blaming Hamas, and putting the onus on them (or anyone who is not part of the Israeli Government) to move the peace process forward, you are advocating the status quo. By advocating the status quo, you are adopting a conservative position on this issue. That's why you are running into so much resistance here at G&T. Progressives (if that's the moniker-du-jour) want progress. We want this intolerable situation to end.

  • Monkey Business says:

    The funny thing about the Israeli military, and what we consider to be their disproportionate response is that it's actually the Israeli military being RESTRAINED.

    This a fully militarized country that has given us some of the better advances in weapons technology in the last twenty years or so. They created the Uzi. They created the Desert Eagle. They are perfectly capable of reducing the West Bank and Gaza Strip to ash while expending an effort level not far removed from you and I farting. The fact that they haven't done so indicates that they at least understand that there are limits to how far they can go before we start to say "Enough is enough."

    The best way to look at Israel is that one really short, muscular, aggressive guy in a bar. The one that got picked on in high school, went off to college, took tons of steroids, got huge, and goes to bars literally looking for a fight, just so he can beat the hell out of someone.

    If Iran even looks in the general direction of Israel, they go on high alert. God forbid someone look at them crosseyed, because that would be World War III and the end of life as we know it, because Israel would turn everything for a thousand miles in any direction into glass.

    As a Jew, I have mixed feelings on Israel. I grew up hearing stories from my grandparents and their friends escaping the ghettos and concentration camps. I've seen the number tattoos. Heard the stories of the siblings, parents, and cousins that weren't so lucky. At the same time, I see the suffering that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and ask what the difference is. Unfortunately, every time it seems like there's hope for working this out, the Palestinians screw it up. They launch a rocket. They reaffirm their committment to wiping Israel out. They do something that sets relations back another few years.

    As much as I'd like to believe that these peoples can coexist in this arid strip of mostly uninhabitable land, my gut tells me that it's not going to happen. Unfortunately, if someone pushes someone else out, the Israeli's are going to be the ones doing the pushing, and it'll be using the barrel of a gun.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    Anal retentive note: They didn't create the Desert Eagle. It was designed by the American firm Magnum Research, which didn't have the capital to put it into production. That's what IMI did. After collecting royalties or whatever the hell you get for selling a gun design, they started producing them in the US under the Magnum Research brand.

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