25 thoughts on “U.S. Democracy Double-Standard: We Embrace Lieberman, Reject Hamas – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Heaven knows there might be plenty of reasons to boycott Lieberman. But I don’t think the comparison with Hamas is a fruitful path to pursue. Ironically, Lieberman supports some kind of two-state solution and may even be ready to meet Palestinian territorial demands (he certainly has no problem with dividing Jerusalem). He also hasn’t won the election. In the potentially dark days ahead, it’s very important that we know our enemy. To reduce him to this or that slogan or pat comparison will not be an effective strategy.

    1. “Some sort of 2 state solution” with the emphasis on “some sort.” I myself can’t quite figure out what “sort” of solution he supports. He wants to ship as much of the Israeli Arab population out of Israel & dump it on the new Palestinian state in return for Israel retaining as much of the settlements it has grabbed by carving out Palestinian territory. Is this a real 2 state solution? C’mon. This is rank hypocrisy that gives Israel & Lieberman a twofer: get rid of Israeli Arab traitors and keep all the settlement territory which Israel has stolen (er, appropriated). Nice work if you can get it. But to call this a 2 state solution in the context in which that term is generally understood is laughable.

      Oh, I know Lieberman. I think it’s you who are playing with semantics to diminish the evil he represents.

  2. It is a mistake to accept Lieberman, but it is not a double standard yet.

    Lieberman is way “better” than Hamas. There is a big difference between making declarations about taking some rights from some people to actually shoot your opponents. I’m sure (ok, I hope) that if Lieberman will kill 50 left wing activists, then it won’t be acceptable by the US government.

    The way that Liebermann leads puts Israel in a serious danger to become a fascist country, but Hamas is already there

    1. Well there is also a other difference Lieberman has a country, Hamas not. And that is a big difference. Pretending that Gaza is a free area equal with Israel is as naive as the claim that Warsaw Ghetto was an independent Mini Israel.

      I see it extremely childish when the pro-Israeli propaganda writers pretend that Hamas and Palestinians have a equal “country” as Israeli Jews have. It is mildly said hypocritical to demand that occupied people would have equal ways/opportunities of behaving, unity and democratic structures as normal countries have. All occupied/new countries/areas have had a relative fragmented power structure where many movements are fighting for power and influence even they have the same basic goal – to fight against the occupier. And often that struggle ends long after the occupation has ended until the strongest movement wins. So was it also with the Jews in 1948, when the strongest group took the power, but before the independence there were many rival movements. After the independence to the political rivalry was done in a democratic way, well more or less. I suppose that same would happen also with the Palestinians, but surely not when they are under occupation.

      1. It is difficult for me to understand what made you conclude that I think Gaza is an independent country.

        In any case, I can not accept that by not having a country a person is gaining the right to being shot when he takes the wrong political side.

  3. On Phil’s comment of hypocrisy.

    There is no test yet. The test will occur when/if Palestine engages in a third parliamentary election.

    And pre-requisites to that test revolve around Palestinians’ actions more than Israelis. If Hamas agrees to be part of Palestine (accepting either civilized minority status, or responsible majority), and permits FULL and unencumbered Fatah and other presence in Gaza as peers, then there might be a subsequent election among Palestinians.

    There really is no rational way to simply state that “Hamas was elected by a majority of Palestinians and IS the elected government” without considering their rejection of prior Palestininian law (without due process in courts), and their coup in Gaza.

    It is disengenuous to state “Hamas is incorruptible”, and “Fatah is corrupt”.

    That is propaganda. The truth is much more ambiguous, and to state the propaganda, is to name oneself as gullible tool, rather than as thoughtful and just.

    “Keep your EYE ON THE PRIZE”, not on the past. Justice is a future orientation, NOT recompense for selected historical stimuli to anger.

    1. If Hamas agrees to be part of Palestine (accepting either civilized minority status, or responsible majority), and permits FULL and unencumbered Fatah and other presence in Gaza as peers, then there might be a subsequent election among Palestinians.

      I and other commenters here have pointed out the cultural condesension of your views toward the Palestinians yet you’ve ignored such legitimate criticism & continue with yr presumptions. I don’t know what “civilized” status is but Hamas is certainly under no obligation to you or anyone to be “civilized.” It’s only obligation is to represent the interests of its Palestinian constituents. Last I checked you weren’t one. Similarly, I don’t know what “responsible” means other than these are the same terms used by Condi Rice to render Hamas treif. Mazal tov, you and Condi are on the same pg. You’re in good neocon company.

      As for your other claims about Hamas, they are equally specious. Hamas’ actions in Gaza were meant to preempt a violent uprising by Fatah that was coordinated with the Bush neocons Elliot Abrams and David Welch. To say that Hamas engaged in a “coup” while ignoring the context of the event is disingenuous on yr part.

      It is ACCURATE to say that Hamas is not corrupt and Fatah is. Do please provide a single ounce of evidence that Hamas is corrupt. Then we’ll know the truth. If you can provide no evidence then it is you who have the problem. And if you use the term “gullible fool” here again in any context in which it might be construed as referring to me you will lose yr privileges to comment here.

      Justice is a future orientation, NOT recompense for selected historical stimuli to anger.

      Another ludicrous statement. Justice has almost nothing to do with the future & everything to do with the past. Justice relates to the future only in the sense that it takes account of the past. Justice divorced from the past is simply not justice.

      1. Richard,
        Again, you bought a bridge.

        Hamas is divided. It is a silly assertion to describe it as “incorruptible”. I described the primary manner that I regarded Hamas as CORRUPTED, and that is that it receives funding, training, armaments from a foreign power (Iran) that seeks and does influence Hamas’ political relations and internal opinion.

        Maybe that is not “corrupted” in your view of what constitutes principled political commitment. Maybe, Iran is just a supporter.

        You take a low-standard approach in attacking the use of the word “civilized”. You use it.

        Practically, Hamas has postured and engaged in civil war relative to the PA, not only been sincere and principled.

        You could state that is a conflict, but to state Hamas as “incorruptible” puts you in the gullible category.

        1. It is a silly assertion to describe it as “incorruptible”

          No, “incorruptible” was your word, not mine. My phrase was “not corrupt.” There is a difference. Don’t try to elide the difference & place your words in my mouth. I will not have it.

          Omigod, Hamas is supported by Iran! I’m shocked, shocked I say. Did you expect Hamas to roll over and die if it couldn’t find nations supporting it who would satisfy your moral standards?? When you’re running a government for 1.5 million people and the world seems to be doing its best to kill you off via a slow death, I’d say you turn for support to just about anyone who will give it (with a few moral exceptions). Iran’s support for Hamas is not much more morally tainted than U.S. support for Israel.

          1. I think the question of degree of moral taint is a much larger question than yes/no.

            I’m glad that you do acknowledge that Hamas’ is NOT uncorrupted, in comparing it to a US/Israel relationship that you do describe as corrupt.

            I don’t expect Hamas to roll over and die, and I greatly hope that it will make much better choices than it has in its recent history for the good of the planet, and of Israel.

            Hamas was instrumental in many and large terror attacks specifically at civilians. It is not forgettable nor forgivable.

            I have no idea how that status is healed. I DON’T see it healed by denial, your denial of their actions.

            Maybe it would be healed by permanently and assertively regarding Israel and Israelis as human beings, for whom terror is inhumane. That has NOT happened yet, really in any form.

            I regard your defending comments of them as a pandering, worse than a naivete.

            Its possible to proceed without your simplistic Bushist “evil/good”. An adult perspective recognizes that that triviality is innaccurate.

      2. I think you should look beyond the narrow scope of “corruption”. No, Hamas doesn’t hoard aid like Fatah did, but keep in mind why the Palestinians chose them over Abu Mazen’s faction: They provided the food and aid that Fatah never did. Fast forward to today, and you’d find that Palestinian humanitarian conditions are MUCH worse off. No, it’s not exactly Hamas’s fault no matter how the hasbaraniks try to pilpul it, but they have FAILED in their original mission of feeding the Palestinians. And that is just as bad as Fatah corruption, and it WILL matter in the elections.

    2. This is either hypocrisy or ignorance on your part, Witty. Hamas was willing to enter a unity government back in 2007–it was the US which encouraged the Fatah warlord Dahlan to try and overthrow them. Unfortunately for the US, Hamas won the civil war our government was inciting. This was all explained in the April 2008 Vanity Fair and in various blogs and foreign newspapers in 2007.

  4. There is no comparison. Lieberman does not kneecap his political opponents with guns and bats. He does not call for death to his enemies.

    A better way to put it would be, “We accept Saudi Arabia’s leaders and reject Hamas?” Certainly the Saudi’s, with their laws restricting women, honor killings, outlawing the building of churches, and death penalty for homosexuality have much more in common with Hamas than Lieberman.

    1. Lieberman does not kneecap his political opponents with guns and bats

      That’s only because he couldn’t get away with it. He’d be arrested and hauled away to prison. If he COULD get away with it he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. The guy was a night club bouncer for God’s sake!

      He does not call for death to his enemies.

      Surely you jest? He called for strining up Arab Knesset members by a lamppost. Or are you trying to argue that he meant only to scare them by hanging them but not to kill them outright?

  5. Richard – I’m not playing with semantics; I’m just suggesting making pat comparisons with Hamas (or vice versa) isn’t the most fruitful path to pursue.

    Typical of this is the night club bouncer stuff – by all means critique his politics etc. The fact that he once had a job as a nightclub bouncer as a teenager in Moldova doesn’t seem to have much to do with it, and I’m surprised to see a left-wing blog roll with the prejudice that night-club bouncers are automatically predisposed to racial violence.

    1. Why do you think many media outlets (not just me) mention this part of his resume? Because it seems entirely apt and appropriate given his thuggish personality and odious political beliefs. Certain night club bouncers are undoubtedly predisposed to racial violence. Certainly Lieberman is one.

  6. Richard said

    This is rank hypocrisy that gives Israel & Lieberman a twofer: get rid of Israeli Arab traitors and keep all the settlement territory which Israel has stolen (er, appropriated). Nice work if you can get it. But to call this a 2 state solution in the context in which that term is generally understood is laughable.

    Get rid of Israeli Arabs, keep not only settlement territory, but all of the territory west of the Jordan, cleansed of Arabs ( who should be absorbed into the surrounding countries after all “they are the same people, they have their states”)….. this is what I hear more and more Israeli’s are admitting to themselves. This is an old argument, taboo to say these things in public, but that is rising from subterranean depths.

  7. Personally Suzanne, I think those feelings have always been latent. The latest escalation of conflict with Gaza, the un-“moderate” (there’s that word again) face of Hamas and the spectacular failures of both Israel and the PA to negotiate on anything makes it more bold that the past way of “negotiation” (if it really was that) is a no-go and the only way is to “rid” of the Palestinians. Goodie, goodie. It’s “taboo” but wasn’t really: Kahane and Goldstein lives on. They are lionised. And we make fun of Arab “martyrs”. Despicable.

    Also to Richard:

    The Washington Post criticised Hugo Chavez for supposed wanting the Jews of Venezuela to “pledge their solidarity” (I’m not sure of the exact wording) to the country, similar to the “loyalty oath” of Lieberman and YET they were silent of Lieberman’s call to do the same in Israel.

  8. Joshua- worse I think is that a number, maybe a growing number, on either side does not want to see the more moderate face of the other. I am most familiar with a particular Jewish view that extends from Brooklyn to Israel that talks peace only “when the time is right”, or when the other side proves they are ready for it, but won’t exert any energy, even mental energy towards moving to that day.

    People say they are for peace and a two state solution etc. mouthing all the right words and then use that as a cover for opposite feelings, wishes, hopes that the enemy ( a monolith) will all go away or be destroyed somehow. The walls, the checkpoints, the almost complete separation has made it things much worse.

    1. I think that you pointed a key problem in this conflict. As it looks from Israel, the current Liebermania can not be understood without a complimentary factor: the dehumanization of the other side makes it possible to believe in an absolute tribal justice. The solution starts to look like something clear and strict, when the other side expected to behave like a positive caricature instead of like the bad guys.

      When adding this factor to the expectation from the other side to prove it’s readiness of peace, the stagnation is becoming escalation, and a good infrastructure to fascism is created.

  9. I think that other media outlets share your prejudice.

    Certain nightclub bouncers is a meaningless statement; the same could be said for any profession in the world. Certain restaraunters are predisposed to pornography, certain bloggers are predisposed to idiocy.

    The point is the fact he was a nightclub bouncer has zero to do with his politics. This sounds like all too familar liberal borgeoise prejudice – take on his arguments; otherwise you are playing into his hands.

    1. You can argue this till you’re blue in the face. But it IS relevant. It is perfectly within his character and an apt job for him to have plied in his youth. He still retains the aura of a political/ideological bouncer with all the meanness, surliness and latent violence that it connotes.. The label sticks because it resonates. You can complain all you want. That won’t change things.

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