28 thoughts on “What Is Wrong with These People? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. So youre explanation is simple its all about the “oppression” in Gaza…
    Granted of course there is no propoganda images coming out in that war via Hamas…..

  2. @ Jeremiah : have you ever think that maybe, just maybe, it is that simple? That people do care about humanity, in BOTH SIDES? that maybe there’s nothing ‘propaganda’ about THE REAL IMAGES?

    Geez…i’ve said this all the time : What’s wrong with these people?

    Thanks so much, Mr. Silverstein.

  3. To be fair to the scholar she is talking about the responses of the Turkish state not Turkish society at large per se and states are generally guided by realpolitik reasons in their dealings with other states. The title of the article and its analytical thrust should have made this clearer.

    However, it should be stated that Israel’s actions in Gaza have inflamed Muslim opinion in many places around the world; understandably so since it is mainly Muslims that are being killed in large numbers. The scholar should have contextualised it more with the wider outrage in Turkish soicety but we would probably have seen a more muted response if there had been a Kemalist military govt in power.

  4. Perhaps that would be true if the author wasn’t so flippant about the Gaza attacks.

    I do see your point though. When Egypt is such a subservient client State, you’d expect Turkey to do the same.

    1. Yes, that is fair. The author makes a basic mistake about the Gaza attacks in that to a degree what she thinks of them and who has responsibility is largely irrelevant, what is relevant is how this event is seen by those outside, especially other spectator audiences in the Middle East.

  5. ok to reply what I think is this –
    What I think –

    Hamas is at least equal and more likely far more responsible for what happened in Gaza. At some point stealing food aid and reselling it and choosing what people get or don’t get it – shooting from schools – violence against their own civilians – incessantly shooting rockets at Sderot and doing it in the am when kids go to school and early afternoon when they get out purposefully –
    they get most of the blame… they are the iron fist/gov’t in Gaza.

    I think they wanted this war as a propoganda and way of increasing their popularity within Gaza and outside of it on the international stage. I think the leader of Turkey is an Islamist lite who saw an opportunity to make himself look like THE big man/hero at Davos to the Islamic world…
    I also think that in every 1 of these conflicts their is loss and tragedy and debate, that is going to be a given in every conflict… but it’s also true in my strong opinion that Hamas purposefully shoots rockets at Israeli towns from within population areas hiding behind civilians… if Israel shoots back at them and civilians die, they win, if Israel doesn’t shoot back bcs of it they win… bcs noone says a thing about the fact Israel had someone in their sites and canceled or diverted the remote guided missile….

    Hamas is also by design as in past wars going to feed fake blown up stories to the media which will make Israel look as bad as possible in the Int’l media…
    “Israel Shoots inside a UN School Compound”…

    Turns out they didn’t and that Hamas was shooting rockets at Israel purposefully within and outside of the school, not a surprise… the UN stated to the Int’l media “We don’t understand why Israel did this we gave them all the coordinates”…. turns out they didn’t.

    So that made the news cycle… and the correction appears in a byline a week later, damage done.

    Also, recently read a news article from a Turk who said the Mohammed Al Durra story and image which is constantly replayed over and over on Arab and Muslim medias left the strongest impression in Turkey than anything else….

    So yes, there were tragedies in Gaza and real ones, families killed. It just begs the question why Hamas and the PLO have to lie and manufacture stories as well then? And while you can rightfully debate about what Israel should have or should not have done, I think Hamas wanted this war, a lot more than Israel did… for political reasons… however, all I hear is how Israeli politicians wanted it for their elections… again, all responsibility and the entire story lay in Israel’s court as usual…

  6. What is with Zionists and this human shield thing? BOTH have used human shields.

    Do you think that by mentioning it more often that you’ll rewrite history?

    The IDF used human shields during the offensive. Plenty of mainstream articles pointing that out. I’ve yet to see one that states Hamas was using Palestinians as shields. I’ve yet to see one that states Hamas is STEALING FOOD FOR THEMSELVES ONLY and blah blah.

    That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened but in the case of the former, cut the shit. Israel does this, Israel tried to LEGALIZE this. They legalized hostage taking. They regularly torture. They hold 1000 Palestinians as administrative detainees without any paperwork. This is amongst the 10000+ overall prisoners. They hold children too.

    Zionists keep deflecting their own crimes onto Hamas as to compensate for the disgusting civilian death-toll.

    Moreover, HAMAS kept to the terms of the truce. Israel’s MFA report concedes this and states that the sporadic rocket fire was often caused (they do not specify exact numbers, but apparently enough to take note) by groups IN DEFIANCE OF HAMAS.

    So, Hamas didn’t fire those rockets during that period of the truce, from when it began to Nov.4th.

    Then, Israel bombed ‘defensive tunnels’ (as Jimmy Carter described them) and broke the truce, killing 6 Palestinians. This escalated the rocket fire.

    Meanwhile, the entire time and BEFORE, Israel had not sufficiently eased the blockade. Israel CAUSED THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.

    The Red Cross, UNWRA, etc. etc. etc. all condemned Israel for not easing the blockade.

    And you blame Hamas? FUCK you. If you starve 1.5 million people. If you treat them like animals. Deny them medicine, electricity. Etc. Then, yea, they will fight back and fire those rockets. Those worthless rockets. How effective are they? 20 dead in 8 years.

    In 3 weeks, Israel killed 1300 people. Mostly civilians. Mostly children. 500 dead kids.

    And this is Hamas’s fault? Gaza is an urban area. I know, morons like you who play this game of superficial truths and avoid giving context and avoid the truth, like to use ‘human shield’ a lot, but you’re losing ground.

    Same bullshit arguments spewed from the apologists over the years. Same garbage.

    If this were Tel Aviv, how would we be speaking about this ‘human shield’ business? Military targets are located in urban areas in Israel proper. How do you wage a war without killing those innocent people within the warzone?

    Israel had all the power in the world to avoid the fighting. They WANTED to fight. They KNEW they’d wreck Gaza and kill tons of innocent people.

    This was being planned months in advance. READ HAARETZ. READ THE INDEPENDENT. READ THE GUARDIAN.

    They all point it out. In Haaretz there was an article talking about how the IDF were consulting lawyers on whether they could legally bomb the police graduates in Gaza. This was months in advance of the attack.

    In Feb. 08, the Guardian did an article on some Israeli government official who claimed the Palestinians would suffer a ‘shoah’ if they kept with the rockets. The article ended with a reference to Israeli army radio stating a ‘big operation’ was in the works.

    Israel planned this attack. It’s not about terror. It’s not about S’derot. It’s about destroying resistance to ZIONISM.

    Fuck you. You don’t give a damn about anyone but yourself. You only care about your ‘group’. FUCK you.

    1. LD: Such nasty invective is a serious breach of my comment rules. ALL your future comments should there be any will be moderated and the next violation will result in permanent revocation of yr comment privileges. I don’t stand for this sort of thing, period. And you should be ashamed or yrself.

    2. Kind of a shame– strip away the f word and the last three sentences and that was a pretty good response, IMO.

      And you’re right to be angry in this case–just keep in mind that you are in someone else’s living room, so to speak.

    3. I agree with Donald. It would have been an excellent response but for the personal invective. I frequently find myself shouting at the radio/television/screen so I understand the anger behind it, but it weakens otherwise strong arguments.
      I’ve seen quite a few posts from Jeremiah R so he’s clearly interested. Given how well informed most of the commenters to this site are, I don’t think he’s just propagandising; which would be rather pointless here.
      You are more likely to win people over by treating them with respect, however misguided they may be in your opinion.
      All that said, the substance of the comment was spot on.

      On the substance of the issue (who started it?), there is a clip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SILJxPTqjAM of Mark Regev being forced to admit that it was Israel which broke the cease fire. It is yet another classic of official Israeli doublespeak.

      1. Just to clarify: when I referred to a comment that didn’t conform to my comment rules I was referring to a comment you haven’t seen since I didn’t publish it. That is the only comment of Jeremiah’s I haven’t published & I look forward to publishing more in future.

  7. Actually Israel bascially told several lies about what happened in UN compounds first saying that Hamas gunmen had taken over the building, then that rockets had been fired from within the compound and lastly falling back on the ‘rockets’ were fired near the compound arguement. All claims barring the last have been refuted, with Israel looking silly like it usually does when it tells these porkies. No proof has been given by Israel of these claims, it tried to give some footage which was revealed to be several years old IDF footage.

    But this is nothing new, Israel Prime Ministers have been publicly telling lies about these kind of operations from the 1950s onwards, so this just follwing a well established pattern. The only people who believe this propaganda are the hardline pro-Israeli advocates mostly outside ISrael. I don’t even beleive that the Israeli govt believes half of this stuff. Norman Finkeltstein made a good point when he compared it to what many leftists and liberals beleived about the Soviet Union during the 1930s, that is was a land of peaceful existence and plenty; when in reality there was mass starvation and instutionalised terror. “Useful idiots” is the phrase Lenin had for these people, I think.

  8. Umm using Norman Finkelstein example “criticizing leftists” in any instance (past tense Norm used of course) to try and paint himself in a more moderate stripe is actually pretty funny…. so I wonder if Norm and Noam apply the same principles today to the leftist dictators they and many marxists idealize as well? lol….

    1. Finkelstein isn’t “criticising leftists” he is making an analogy with a well known phenomenon that actually occurred. I don’t think Finkelstein would ever see himself as a moderate; on most issues he isn’t.

      While I disagree with a lot of what Chomsky and Finkelstein say I am unaware of them “idealising leftist dictators” apart from anything else there hardly any such dictators left today.

  9. Using Norm or Noam as an example is bad? How about you wipe that smirk off your face and refute their ideas?

    This is the same garbage that is spewed on FrontPage.com which I am willing to bet you frequent regularly.

    ‘Leftist dictators’? Give us some examples and then put it in context. You haven’t responded to my reply.

    I’d like to keep this going and stay on subject.

  10. I’m really rather surprised that with all this back-and-forth post-Gazan reaction no one I’ve read in Tikkun Olam has commented on the proposed $900,000,000 the United States will donate to help Gaza. Isn’t that just under one billion? (All those ominous zeros confuse hell out of me.) And aren’t we, the proposed donors, in somewhat difficult financial straits at this time? Frankly, I’d like to see that aid amount doubled, and then some, with one caveat attached, however – that the entire sum, whatever it may ultimately be, even possibly emulating some of the collective bonuses of failed CEOs, be subtracted from the nearly $3,000,000,000 (even more zeros this time) Israel receives annually from us. After all, it was Israel that wreaked death and destruction on Gaza, and it would then be forced to pay for its military indulgence. Thus would irony be harnessed in the name of decency, justice and righteousness. Such a process might even force an ever-increasingly militaristic, right-wing Israel to consider more acceptable approaches to its challenges, both real and perceived.

    1. Promising money and later delivering the promise are sadly often two different things. Promising $900,000,000 to Gaza costs about lets say $1,000,000, costs of the extra propaganda and the time used to wave the flag with the promise. This $900,000,000 is simply a cheap propaganda which is never intended to be realized and based on the “hope” that everybody remembers the promise but few ever will ask later was it ever delivered. To those few is then easy to answer that the security situation was not “ready” and that bad Hamas… Same as with those billions promised to Afghanistan.

      Dumping now (again) billions to Gaza and West Bank is simply idiotic without a real peace plan. It only shifts the agreement further. If UN, USA, EU and Arabs would be clever they should decide that Israel has to pay all the cost of Palestinians under their occupation, as Israel under international law as the occupier has to pay. Now we are in a situation where Israel earns with the occupation, USA pays the military costs and the Israeli economy manages to pocket a healthy share of the international help for the Palestinians. If Israel had to pay all the food education etc costs from their own purses we would see a solution under one year.

      1. This happens a lot, though, for many of these international incidents. In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami several billion dollars were pledged in the weeks after but one year on only about 50% of the money had actually arrived. Most UN organisations like UNHCR and WFP will recount similar stories of large amounts being pledged and much smaller amounts actually being delivered.

        I would think that while the full $900 million won’t come through maybe a smaller amount of $200-$300 million will actually be given.

  11. What about the Armenians? When is Erdogan going to address that? Turkey will never be the secure society it should be until it addresses the Armenian genocide

  12. Did Acai just equate Turkey’s genocide of Armenians to Israel’s killing of Palestinians? (Haha.)

    Hey Richard, I would like to know what’s wrong with these people here:

    “It is an all too familiar scene: the Israeli bus, travelling near predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem, is pelted with stones that smash windows and startle passengers. Except this time the stone-throwers are not Arabs but Jews. The violence is part of an unholy war in which strident elements of the ultra-Orthodox community in Mea Shearim are trying to force Israel’s leading bus company – and, by extension, Israeli society – to defer to their strict religious teachings and sensibilities.”


    Somehow I doubt Richard Witty is going to post and criticise this segment of Israeli society. BUT if this was Hamas, he would be all over it like a settler in the West Bank.

  13. LD hard to keep anything going as you say back and forth because despite the fact that you cursed up and down at me for several paragraphs which I don’t take offense to actually – your comments and others are instantly posted it seems while I have a comment from the 25th that says it is still “Awaiting Approval”….

    I’m a pretty civil guy but my opinions don’t fall relatively in line with the blog admin here, as yours and others do, so apparently my comments await “approval” while yours I assume, get instantly posted?

    1. No, LD’s comments are moderated as well, as I wrote to him after his foul outburst. I also wrote an e mail to you which you should read before assuming things that aren’t the case. I’ve noted there the ways in which yr comments don’t conform to my comment rules. So read that msg. then my comment rules & then write comments that conform & you will be published. I’m not talking about having to agree w. me. I’m talking about following the rules, which I’ve developed over long periods of trail & error in order to maintain both civil discourse & semi intelligent discussion here.

      As I wrote to you, providing us reams of quotations from Jerusalem Post or other right-wing sources “proving conclusively” that Hamas is evil or a liar or whatever is not my idea of intelligent discourse. Writing individual comments hundreds of words long is also a just plain drag. As I wrote to you, this is not a right-left debating society. I’m not trying to convert you to anything & you shouldn’t try to convert anyone here to yr beliefs.

  14. Has she lived in Turkey? Made any Turkish friends? Speak/read any Turkish language? Or is she just an expert in her own mind?

    Zhu Bajie

  15. I think the point Acai Berri was trying to make is that Turkey lecturing Israel on humanitarian matters rinks hollow until Turkey addresses its own humanitarian issues with the Armenians and the Kurds. Otherwise it looks like a transparent effort to curry favor at home.

    Richard, we disagree on many things. You think that if Israel withdraws to the 1967 line, gives back the Old City of Jerusalem, there will be peace. I believe that if Israel did that, the Palestinian appetite would not be satisfied until Israel was destroyed. Given that, there is much more debate in Israeli society over the Palestinians than there is in Turkish society over the Armenians

    1. Utter nonsense. If that were true then no one could criticize any human rights violation in another country until their own was lily white & pure. What you really are angling for is to prevent anyone from criticizing Israel until all human rights issues in the rest of the world are fixed. Nice try, but no cigar.

      Israel has profound problems with its own ethnic minorities as well as the Palestinians. Turkey must deal with its own internal problem of denying the rights of its Kurdish population. Israel doesn’t win any medals merely because there may be more conversation about the problem within its society than within Turkey’s.

  16. The real Question is: “Has G-d Spoken?” Judaism is the fact that He has, and that the Sinai revelation is the root and ground of objective truth. The propositional discourse of Tanach is eminently understandable, and includes prophecy about the Malchut. The distaste for it’s implications by the majority on this page does not neutralize it’s power. Islam as well, has spoken also in propositional terms that can be understood; on countless occasions, in massive rallies, by ten million voices: “Death to Israel!” This will not change. What is needed is a NEW third way, not the old, dusty Marxian sentiments cloaked in “Tikun”.

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