162 thoughts on “Noa Does a ‘Benny Morris,’ Calls Hamas ‘Nazi-Like’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. you are right, Richard! She removed her article about the elections after I published it! I hadn’t noticed that, thanks for pointing it out. And I wonder if it’s still up on the Ipeace site… I can’t check it out, but I am under the impression she cross-posts there.

    It is going to have to become a policy with someone like this to archive all the tasty bits because she apparently gets upset if someone disagrees with her or points out the racism and belligerence of her comments.

    1. I checked out the iPeace site also & it doesn’t appear to be there. I imagine one of her “handlers” or publicists told her it wasn’t a good idea to insult Muslims in the run up to Eurovision. The poor woman seems to have no barrier between her brain and her mouth–it all just comes tumbling out.

      The interesting thing is that normally it would be retained in the Google cache esp. if it was removed recently. The fact that the page doesn’t even show up in the cache indicates that whoever removed it fr. her site also specifically asked Google to remove that particular page. She really wanted to scrub that thing off her site.

      1. That is pretty interesting! The thing that I did notice though, is that her “Spotlight” page does not have an individual URL number to it, as you can see, the page is arrived at internally, kind of like wiping off a comment from a bulletin board page or something.

        I also got heavy abuse at the Eurovision site when I mentioned this. I was told that Palestinians had no culture, that I was jealous, that I had to get the fuck out and that it was not called “ARABVISION”. I got a letter from the moderator telling ME that I was receiving complaints, but Yonisrael remained, the worst comments gone, but no trace of mine at all! There are a lot of people who are trying to protect the “propaganda” image of this person, and yes, she may be a talented idiot with a racist world view, and this would not exclude her from participating in Eurovision, but to promote her work as a peace activist is a far cry!
        in her own words, before they too get deleted!

        Hello friends,
        As some of you might have heard, I will be representing Israel in the Eurovision song contest in May, together with my good friend Mira Awad.

        I imagine this may come as a surprise to some of you……

        I had been offered this position in the past and refused. This year I agreed, with the goal of using this huge media platform (many millions of viewers) as a means to convey a message of peace in these difficult times, together with my friend Mira . We will write and perform the song together, in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. With a message such as this, and artistic freedom , I am proud to represent Israel in the Eurovision.

        Mira Awad is a Palestinian-Israeli singer/songwriter/actress. We have collaborated often in the past 8 years. She is a gem, a brave, talented unique woman. She represents 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel as Israeli citizens.

        The war in Gaza is a horrible tragedy for all of us, as all our many wars and acts of terror have been over the years. The innocent lives lost, year after year, are heart-breaking and unbearable for both sides.

        Mira and I want to convey a message of peace and dialogue during these difficult times, to show that co-existence is STILL an option, our only one!
        Our friendship is living proof of this.
        We have not lost hope!
        To quote the one and only Leonard Cohen:
        “Ring the bell that still can ring,

        Forget your perfect offering,

        There is a crack in everything,

        That’s how the light gets in”

        Sending you all my best wishes, shalom and saalam,

        Noa (Achinoam Nini)

      2. also important to note in her post that disappeared were the videos she linked to; pure pro-Israeli and anti-Hamas propaganda if there ever was any.

  2. This Israeli star has interesting views. Besides Hamas she blames the rest of the world for the Israeli Jews present attitudes. Not a single comment in her bubbling about the occupation, the excursions to Lebanon, land grabbing, home demolitions, illegal settlers, separation walls, etc. Can any sane person see these actions as self defence and acts towards a just peace and peaceful coexistence? And claim that Israel is the one wanting peace?

    It amusing how pro-Israelis try desperately constantly to portray that Israel is a secular normal democracy and the problem is the other sides religion. If Palestinians would be Hindus or have any other religion and be treated as they are now treated, it is most certain that the resistance would have found equal means as they are now. Also totally “erasing” the Israeli Jewish own religiousness (and the widespread Jewish extremism) and the fact that Israel is purely founded on a religion and the cultural heritage around it is somewhat disturbing if intellectual honesty is a criteria of evaluation of the comments.

    It would be interesting to know what Noa as a Jew would say and think about western parties in western countries who would demand basically what most Israeli Jewish parties do with land rights, dominate religion etc and have the same attitude towards Jews as “they” have in Israel towards Muslims and Christians. Surely Noa would not be happy to be treated like a Palestinian in Israel simply because of her religion in Europe or USA. Claiming that an Israeli Jew is the victim in Israel in present times is as naive as Nazis would have claimed in 1938 that they are the victims of Jews and massive international propaganda.

  3. The only thing I am unhappy about the Eurovision Song Contest is that the use of English, in the Contest increases year by year.

    As a native English speaker I think this is unfair!

    It’s certainly time to break the habit of “language imperialism”, in the Eurovision Song Contest, and use a song, sung in Esperanto instead!

    This is a serious suggestion, as you can see from the Esperanto music which is already available at http://www.vinilkosmo.com/?prs=listen or at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

    There’s even cheesy Esperanto music available! See http://www.ipernity.com/home/56084

  4. I’m curious when the worldwide Arab population reached 1.5 billion. If 20% of the worldwide Muslim population is Arab, and there are still about 7 billion people in the world, then everyone is Muslim. Methinks Ms. Noa is a bit confused on the difference between ethnicity and religion, amongst other things, which I think is ironic coming from someone of Sephardic descent.

  5. Thanks for this post, Richard.
    I saw on the news that some Arabs and Palestinians had demonstrated against Noa, and the report provided nothing about her remarks. One was left to conclude that the demonstrators were against collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians, and that left me sad and puzzled.

    I appreciate having the whole story.

  6. I think your rage (the two of you) says more about your lack of determination and failure to accept relatively minor differences of perception.

    A rational and genuinely peace and justice-seeking person can hold a different impression about the practices, role, judgement of Hamas than you and still be sincere and genuinely progressive.

    In many respects the apology for Hamas genuinely DETERS the prospect of peace and justice for Palestinians in giving cover to more racist approaches on the basis that it faces immaturely and irrationally violent foes.

    Its been stated a million times that the situation of the Palestinians is so compelling that a genuinely non-violent “voting rights” movement would achieve near universal international sympathy and result in either a democratic CIVIL single-state or a democratic viable two-state.

    I don’t know NOA or Israeli art scene really much at all. From your comments, I discern that her perspective and intention is a nuance (on a different side of a continental divide) than yours, and that frankly you are ALIENATING your allies by your attempt at politically correct disciplining.

    I personally regard Hamas as being the primary current cause of the reinstitution of a state of war between Israel and Gaza.

    You got sold a bridge.

    For one Hamas’ claim to be “legitimate elected leader of the Palestinians” is a SELECTIVE read. They undertook a coup, SEVERING the West Bank from Gaza, and nearly permanently with the degree of suppression of Fatah supporters that they instituted.

    Please do not minimize the importance of public and summary execution of some Fatah supporters, or the armed confiscation of periodic shipments of UN aid, let alone the escalation of shelling from desert, to Sderot, to Ashkelon, to Beersheba and Ashdod, with the verbal threat of “next time it will be Tel Aviv”, let alone the continuity of shifting from a strategy of dissent focusing on nail-bomb vests in cafes, buses, hotels to random shelling of civilian towns.

    That there is misunderstanding about the situation for Gazans, or that Gazan life is not accurately understood by Israelis and westerners, does not diminish the elements of truth in criticism of Hamas and in NOA’s statements.

    I have a personal experience that I found amazingly informative, that I repeat.

    That is at 19 I went to a concert in Eugene, Oregon and took a friend’s dog to the concert. The dog got into a fracas with another dog at the concert, and I tried to pull my friend’s dog away in a fight. The dog turned on me, bit me, and entirely forgot the other dog that he was fighting with. His anger, his reaction, overshadowed his “reason”, his acknowledgement of our being family. Rather than turn and look and assess, he bit first.

    And worse, your willingness to viciously discredit an artist, is as tribal as you get, in the name of opposing “tribalism” in favor of humanism.

    1. Much of that is true, Witty, but you left out some facts–

      1. Hamas and Fatah were forming a unity government after the 2006 election. The Bush Administration and Israel didn’t want to see this and the Bushies pushed Fatah into planning a civil war. Hamas won. It’s true Hamas committed atrocities and was and is quite brutal, but the PA is also intolerant of dissent and we never hear much about that from those who complain about Hamas.

      I think the fact that Hamas was democratically elected in no way means we can’t criticize them for their violations of human rights. But the same is true of the Israeli government, which violates human rights.

      2. As for Hamas being the primary cause, this is only plausible if you think Israeli violence, including the blockade of Gaza, is of no moral importance. And while I wish Palestinian resistance was exclusively non-violent, it’s sounds really ugly for you to blame Palestinians for their violence when you say so little about Israeli violence. Why shouldn’t the Israelis practice nonviolence, if that’s supposed to be the pathway to a just solution? Or if that’s too much for you to ask, as apparently only Arab violence is unacceptable, maybe the Israelis could at least refrain from committing war crimes and engaging in collective punishment?

    2. A rational and genuinely peace and justice-seeking person can hold a different impression about the practices, role, judgement of Hamas than you and still be sincere and genuinely progressive.

      You’re really arguing this on behalf of yrself & Noa who are, at least in yr view, “rational & genuinely peace & justice-seeking persons.” But I’m afraid that wouldn’t be the judgment of others, in Noa’s case many others. While yr views of Hamas are wrong, you don’t seem to scream quite as histrionically as she does & you’re somewhat more willing to acknowledge Israeli shortcomings. Noa, on the other hand, is beyond redemption.

      Its been stated a million times that the situation of the Palestinians is so compelling that a genuinely non-violent “voting rights” movement would achieve near universal international sympathy and result in either a democratic CIVIL single-state or a democratic viable two-state.

      Either you or someone else argued here similarly not so far back. The proper response is there ARE Palestinians who advocate non-violence. They are routinely beaten up quite brutally, arrrested & imprisoned by Israel. THe diff. bet. Israel and the U.S. in terms of the efficacy of non violence. Israel is the south circa 1967. But there is no north. THe reason non violence could work in the U.S. when MLK used it is that there WAS a north. Without that King would’ve failed. There is hardly a moral conscience in Israel to appeal to as there was in the U.S. There is no political authority to appeal to as there was in the U.S. Congress & LBJ in the 1960s.

      So I’m afraid that advocating Palesitnian non violence is like a religious Jew waiting for the messiah to come. It might happen, but you might die long before it did.

      I don’t know NOA or Israeli art scene really much at all.

      It shows.

      I discern that her perspective and intention is a nuance (on a different side of a continental divide) than yours

      Hell, yeah. The diff. bet. my views of Hamas & hers in railing against them as “Nazi-like” is just nuance. Sometimes I wonder if your brain or your glasses are clouded. You don’t seem like a dumb person. You have some degree of reading comprehension. Then why can’t you get the diff. bet. my views of Hamas & hers? This isn’t rocket science after all. Clearly you’re dense. But what disturbs me is that you seem deliberately blind. Or maybe you have some type of condition that only allows you to comprehend every other word when you read?

      frankly you are ALIENATING your allies by your attempt at politically correct disciplining.

      I think this is called “concern trolling.” But gee thanks for yr level of concern. But I’ve got news for you. Noa is NOT my ally. Noa’s fans aren’t my alllies either if they embrace her lame-brained ideas about Muslims. With friends like Noa, Israeli-Palestinian peace might happen in another century or two, if then.

      I personally regard Hamas as being the primary current cause of the reinstitution of a state of war between Israel and Gaza.

      You got sold a bridge.

      We know. You’ve said this about 14 times. But you’re no more persuasive now then the first time you tried it out on us. We’re not buying YOUR bridge, Richard W. And by the way, you’ve overused that metaphor as well. Could you pls. knock it off with the bridge selling. Try some new metaphor and abuse it until we get sick & tired of it.

      Hamas’ claim to be “legitimate elected leader of the Palestinians” is a SELECTIVE read.

      No, not selective. Entirely accurate actually.

      They undertook a coup

      Richard, you’ve got a bad case of logorrhea. You’ve raised this issue innumerable times. You clearly don’t listen to others who correctly point out that the real coup was initiated by the U.S. & Fatah & that Hamas merely preempted (similar to the way Israel attacked Egypt in the 1967 war) & attacked first. Read carefully, DO NOT raise this argument again. I’m simply tired of hearing you claim Hamas engineered a coup w/o acknowledging the all important context in which this coup happened. If you do raise this argument again I’ll moderate all yr comments & approve them individually to ensure you’re complying in future.

      The dog turned on me, bit me, and entirely forgot the other dog that he was fighting with. His anger, his reaction, overshadowed his “reason”, his acknowledgement of our being family. Rather than turn and look and assess, he bit first.

      I’m deliberately trying to restrain my innate sense of sarcasm here in order to be somewhat charitable to you. It’s hard, but I’m really trying. First, Richard, taking someone else’s dog to a concert full of strangers is the height of irresponsibility. Do you know the first thing about dogs? (I say this as a long time dog owner myself).

      Second, dogs are not people, Richard. They are domesticated animals with a lot of the wolf still left in them. I think it’s simply hilarious that you’re likening me to an angry dog and my argument with Noa to a dog fight. I will have to resist the urge to bite you even in written form. But I do assure you that I’ve devoted a lot more thought to my condemnation of Noa and you than your friend’s dog devoted to the decision to bite you.

      your willingness to viciously discredit an artist, is as tribal as you get

      No, Richard. Noa discredited herself. She didn’t need any help fr. me. As I wrote, she has no mediation bet. brain & mouth & simply let fly her worst, most obnoxious ranting. She dug her own proverbial grave.

      1. “The proper response is there ARE Palestinians who advocate non-violence. They are routinely beaten up quite brutally, arrrested & imprisoned by Israel. THe diff. bet. Israel and the U.S. in terms of the efficacy of non violence. Israel is the south circa 1967. But there is no north. THe reason non violence could work in the U.S. when MLK used it is that there WAS a north. Without that King would’ve failed. There is hardly a moral conscience in Israel to appeal to as there was in the U.S. There is no political authority to appeal to as there was in the U.S. Congress & LBJ in the 1960s.”

        I love you Richard. I really, really love you. Just wanted you to know that. You understand and explain things so beautifully, and I admire the energy you expend refuting these same tired arguments we hear over and over again. People who have bullied me into silence can never cow you and I’m proud of you. 🙂

      2. The dog analogy is the process of political correctness, rather than thought.

        Your last tirade was solely a name-call.

        I’ll continue to present my perspective, my different fundamental assumption here, so long as it is relevant to the content presented.

        You construct your conclusions on a bed of prior conclusions and assumptions.

        An “honest” inquirer candidly evaluates his/her assumptions and conclusions, open to other interpretations, and open to agree to disagree.

        I’m sure you get my analogy of the continental divide, the zone between the Cascade forests and the rain shadow, and the very insignificant difference in location, resulting in BLACK/WHITE differences in environ.

        I don’t seek a great divide. I seek a humane solution, that includes criticism of Israel but also criticism of Hamas, and criticism of dissenters.

        You want to call it trolling, then that ends up as trolling your own site.

        1. No, there’s a difference between “including criticism” of Hamas and blaming it entirely for the fate of the conflict. Hamas certainly has its share of errors, which I have pointed out here in the past. But one cannot have the entire big regional/historical picture, subtleties and all, laid out out before him and come to the conclusion that Hamas is entirely to blame without having some sort of bias.

      3. Erm, there wasn’t even a “North” in the northern U.S. during Jim Crow. It was either subdued racism or willful indifference. King got support from sympathetic whites from BOTH sides of the Mason-Dixon.

        Keep also in mind that during King’s non-violent campaign, there was also a rising (and violent) Black nationalism.

  7. 1.5 billion Arabs?!

    This singer needs to get her facts right; will be lucky is there are that many Muslims in the world never mind Arabs.

    Morris was never particularly liberal; he always supported Labour Zionism and its actions during the 1948 war, he just wasn’t aware of their extent earlier. He has always been inside the Zionist mainstream on his views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has never been a radical. It is a frequent error that people mistake the quality of his scholarship (itself while original, hardly brilliant) for radical views.

    1. Those are all very good points. The thing is, Morris was perceived as being supportive of Palestinians because he wrote about some (by no means all) of the atrocities committed in the foundational years. The matter that in his famous interview “The Survival of the Fittest” he came out with comments such as his view that Ben Gurion should have gone all the way and that you can’t have a democracy without breaking some eggs…, these were moments when the reputation clashes with the statements. Noa, like Grossman, Oz, Yehoshua and others used many of the repetitive hasbara phrases such as self-defence and justifying “some” of the war, while always stating in the same sentence their “progressive credentials” and claiming they were peace embassadors to the rest of the world.

  8. another message from her site… seems like the problem in her view is that Jews aren’t enjoying rights in Arab and Muslim countries…. read it to believe it. Yes, Israel holds its hand in peace to anybody who will listen… and if they don’t listen, I guess that means it is good and fair to exterminate them and call it self-defence. Also, she has an allergy to religion. Why can’t Muslim majority nations decide what kind of system they want for themselves?

    A message from Noa at the onset of her Spanish tour, Feb, 2009

    Dear friends,

    In light of the current events, i cannot start the concert without saying a few words to you. I apologize for my Spanish.

    In the spirit of freedom and democracy i support the right of people to demonstrate wherever is legally possible. i also support the right of non Spanish or non catholic minorities to live in Spain enjoying equal rights. i have always expected the same attitude from the Arabs and Muslims towards the Jewish people and its right to live in freedom, security and self expression in Israel since it was founded and recognized, and anywhere else for that matter..

    Unfortunately this has not been the case until this very day. We in Israel are still struggling to make it happen. We are praying for this day to come soon. We hold out our hand in peace to anybody who will listen, to people like the great president Saadat of Egypt who paid with his life for this! And to the venerable late king Hussein of Jordan. We ceaselessly continue the dialog with the brave leadership of the PLO headed by Abu Mazen.

    The Waste of human life is heartbreaking.

    I believe that violence is a primitive substitute for dialog, sharing and reconciliation. These beautiful human values can materialize via communication based on empathy for all human beings. We should all stay away from justice based on religion, self righteousness, national extremism, racism, and anti-Semitism. Justice that is not a prologue for reconciliation is a license to kill. We hold true that actions may be tragic, but sinister intensions especially those wearing a cloak of freedom and democracy are very dangerous.

    One last point, to my Spanish friends:

    The Spanish nation who has a great mind and a great heart has had its share of oppression and fascism.. Your sensitivity for the sorrows of other people is admirable. i wish all people will be as involved in the horrors of the world between and within nations in all continents. I also urge you to lift your spirit above your own traumas so that you do not, by mistake, judge other struggles automatically as similar cases to your own experience. In the same way i call for trusting my Palestinian and Arab brothers whenever they declare peace and not war, in spite of the Jewish endless traumas since the Spanish inquisition and through the Holocaust.

    1. Mary,
      There are very restrictive laws in many Arab countries as to the rights of Jews to own property, to practise different professions, etc, that are highly discrimminatory.

      For a consistent dissenter, it would be relevant to object to them.

      For example, in Haaretz in October, there was a reported execution of an individual that sold land in the West Bank under Palestinian effective jurisdiction, to a Jew representing a settlement. Its obvious that the PA feared that the land would be considered then part of Israel, and permanently.

      But, that prohibition flies in the face of assertions that Palestinian design of what constitutes democracy “might” be MORE of an ethnically screened design than Israel.

      1. There are very restrictive laws in many Arab countries as to the rights of Jews to own property, to practise different professions, etc, that are highly discrimminatory.

        This is true and needs to be changed. However, none of these countries are democracies and we don’t have to listen to lengthy lectures by their supporters about how they are “the only democracy in the Middle-East” and an outpost of liberty blah, blah, blah.

        What we should do is exert pressure on as many of these countries to reform these discriminations. That means not cosying up to the repressive instincts of reactionary funadamentalist satraps in Saudi Arabia or Egypt. It also means one should work towards ensuring that these minorities can lead a normal life in the country of their choice; instead of embarking on ill-advised covert operations to generate insecurity and terror and enforce a migration as Israel has done.

        Of course I can’t see Israel doing this and the crocodile tears shed about the plight of Jews in Arab countries is pretty rich given that the history involved here. Of course itis ridiculous of us to even expect that Israel will do anything much constructive to ensure that Jews can have thriving communities outside Israel, since it undermines one of the raisons d’etre.

      2. “There are very restrictive laws in many Arab countries as to the rights of Jews to own property, to practise different professions, etc, that are highly discrimminatory.”

        Said laws exist in Israel too, and is far more discriminatory.

        “In Haaretz in October, there was a reported execution of an individual that sold land in the West Bank under Palestinian effective jurisdiction, to a Jew representing a settlement. Its obvious that the PA feared that the land would be considered then part of Israel, and permanently.”

        I couldn’t find the report in Haaretz you referred to. Unfortunate the execution may be, Israel on the other hand wantonly confiscates Palestinian land wholesale – severely beating, sometimes to death, Palestinians in the process. I don’t, therefore, see the logic in your point.

        You may want to see this talk by Saree Makdisi:
        http://cspanjunkie.org/?p=1585

        I don’t understand why Israelis and pro-Israelis attack crticism of Israel with tripe like “well, Palestinians do far worse. And Arabs worse still.” Take the criticism and use it to make your country and the policies of its government fairer and more just for its society. And no, criticism of Israel does not threaten its existance. Israel will always exist. It is an established fact. It has the full support of the US and most of the free world for f**k’s sake. “Palestinians do far worse. And Arabs worse still” seems to me like you are saying “yes, we know we are bullies, but we don’t intend to change any time soon.”

        1. Take the criticism and use it to make your country and the policies of its government fairer and more just for its society. And no, criticism of Israel does not threaten its existance. Israel will always exist. It is an established fact.

          Indeed. I’ve written virtually the same sentiment here a number of times.

          1. To say “Israel will always exist” is not really an established fact, as you can’t establish anything for the future, not even that you will be on this planet tomorrow, as many innocent people in Gaza found out in recent days.

            The land will exist as long as the planet does, but how it is divided up politically is not something anyone knows, not even Israel, which has yet to draw up some boundaries others recognise.

  9. Mr. Witty,

    You said in your post above that “I don’t know NOA or Israeli art scene really much at all. From your comments, I discern that her perspective and intention is a nuance (on a different side of a continental divide) than yours, and that frankly you are ALIENATING your allies by your attempt at politically correct disciplining.”

    ”Nuance”? I humbly suggest you look up the meaning of the word in a basic dictionary and leave bridge-selling references to others.

  10. I have to ask with all sincerity: “Isn’t it perhaps time for Jews with a sense of decency to do a ‘Marlene Dietrich’?

    BTW, in English we talk about blood-and-soil nationalism, but in French the phrase is la terre et les mortes.

    Zionism belongs to the class of blood-and-soil nationalism and is therefore inherently death-worshiping by definition, and one can certainly find death worship throughout Zionist ideology.

  11. She emphasized the role of Hamas terror on civilians, which in my mind and in the memory of most Israelis include gruesome terror bombings on buses, cafes, hotels, as well as 8 years of frequent shelling of civilians.

    You exclude that from the math of “justice” to declare oppression rather than conflict.

    I agree that Israel has continued its state sponsored settlement expansion, but I disagree ENTIRELY about the character of Hamas (and Islamic Jihad, and PFLP, and even Al Aqsa Martyrs – ironically alternately sited as independant militants and directly associated with Fatah).

    I cannot ignore their character, behavior, ideology, international relations from my math.

    I will NEVER call them “incorruptible”. Its false. They have been corrupted from independant internal deliberations by the insistence of Syria and Iran. (You could call some of it “solidarity” from Iran, but a rational cool-headed view notes external and intentional INFLUENCE.)

    The apologist view is the untrue one.

  12. If you’ve ever been to the continental divide, or closer to home for Richard S, the peak line of the Cascades, a distance of a few hundred feet is the distinction between whether water flows east of west.

    I’m sure (if he gets out at all) that he’s observed the shift between the western side of the Cascadian divide (lush, wet, green) and the eastern side (dry, brown, desert). Just a few feet.

    The difference between ignoring the brutality of Hamas, and the wishful thinking that they have already changed their political strategy.

    That is NUANCE. Still regarding the Palestinians as human beings deserving a good present and future, but not imagining that their “solidarity” are really particularly helpful to the extent that they invest in Hamas in any material regard.

    The best that can occur with Hamas orientation (without a fairly fundamental change) as sovereign anywhere relative to Israel is firm isolation. The worst is brutal war.

    So unless you Richard are advocating the elimination of Israel from the map (not genocide, just political), advocating for Hamas is odd. It makes sense to a chess player that can only think a single move ahead.

    In contrast, the best that can occur with Fatah orientation is integration, even in some not far distant future a federated single-state. The worst is more of the same, incremental annexation.

    But, the determined non-violent dissent path can eliminate the prospect of incremental Israeli annexation.

    You can’t really have it both ways.

    1. unless you Richard are advocating the elimination of Israel from the map (not genocide, just political), advocating for Hamas is odd. It makes sense to a chess player that can only think a single move ahead.

      No, actually a far-sighted critical Zionist admits the legitimacy of some aspects of the Hamas perspective BECAUSE he or she is thinking many moves ahead. You, on the other hand, are the chess player with no forward vision whatsoever. You’re the one who is reactive and not pro-active. You have no vision or strategy for a resolution of the conflict. Certainly not one w. the remotest chance of success.

      In contrast, the best that can occur with Fatah orientation is integration

      Fatah is dead good buddy, kaput, finito. They have no future, at least not in their present form. So forget about integration. Forget about anything positive coming fr. Fatah.

      the determined non-violent dissent path can eliminate the prospect of incremental Israeli annexation.

      You’re delusional. Do you know what would happen if Palestinians marched non violently en masse against a settlement or the Separation Wall or against the Gaza siege? The IDF would, with little compunction simply mow them down. I don’t know whether they’d kill 10 or 100 or 1,000. But they’d kill with little concern for the outcome or repurcussions. YOU my friend, know absolutely nothing about how Israel really is. You live in some sunlit room and project yr own wishes onto the grim I-P reality.

      1. Richard,
        One of the great frustrations of the conflict, is that BOTH Fatah and Hamas are dead as leadership towards any peace.

        Hamas has NO CREDIBILITY in any negotiaton, post-war or avoiding war.

        Relying on them for leadership results in a ten-year delay at least.

        No question that it is frustrating.

        Its frankly ignorant of you to describe my comments as offering no appreciation or recognition of Hamas. I sincerely have no appreciation of their terror wing, including terror on Israelis and terror on Fatah in Gaza (and thereby terror on democracy in Gaza, unless you “are a supporter”.)

        I do have appreciation for their social service wing (the majority frankly) that are genuinely concerned with their community, and recognize that it implies mutual dependancy on their neighbors, that is NOT served by terror.

        You are also FAR AWAY, further away than I frankly.

        Did you understand my reference to the Cascades rain shadow? Only a few feet away. A moderate shift in assumptions in reality, but contemptuously condemning anyone that doesn’t “smoke the same cigarette as me”, and stated in the name of “democracy”.

        1. BOTH Fatah and Hamas are dead as leadership towards any peace.

          Hamas has NO CREDIBILITY in any negotiaton, post-war or avoiding war.

          Relying on them for leadership results in a ten-year delay at least.

          Entirely wrong as usual. Fatah is DEAD period for leadership toward peace or leadership of any kind. As for Hamas, the important thing about it is that it represents the voice of a certain section of Palestinians. As long as it does so it will be a legitimate political movement & a force to be reckoned with. It certainly has credibility among Palestinians & anyone who truly wants peace will have to eventually accept that as Barack Obama has tacitly conceded now & will explicitly concede in the not too distant future.

          Any “delay” in negotiating peace will have nothing to do w. Hamas & everything to do w. Israel. Neither you nor Israel get to determine who Palestine’s political leaders are. I know its unfortunate for you both. But there it is.

          Its frankly ignorant of you to describe my comments as offering no appreciation or recognition of Hamas.

          That’s not what I said about you. I said you don’t have the least understanding of Hamas’ ideas or political principles or proposals. And you don’t. You’re content to “hear what you want to hear & disregard the rest” as Paul Simon used to sing.

          Your reference to the Cascade rain shadow is ridiculous. This isn’t weather or geography we’re talking about. It’s politics. As far as I’m concerned if I live in western Washington, Noa lives in somewhere near Pluto and you’re somewhere in between. You’d do a lot better if you’d avoid prettifying your already paltry analysis w. metaphors and allegorical statements.

          1. Lame Richard.

            Of course the rain shadow metaphor is relevant. You opened your blog on the assertion that you are a Zionist, a supporter of a healthy Israel, that supports peace and justice.

            But, you dismiss the relevance of terror on Israel’s health and latitude for options.

            And, you resort to odd name-calling that utterly alienates those that aren’t as contemptuous of efforts that are rationally arguable as defensive. (By that I am referring to your EARLY condemnation of any Israeli response to the Hamas resumption of shelling of civilians, in favor of the politically correct.)

            Its a different question of whether the length and intensity of response was excessive. Your comments were that ANY response was unjust.

            NOA is a young artist appealing to sentiment, not an analytic political commentator. To take the attitude, “I’m going to write you off, you b…” is small pond. (Big fish in a small pond.)

          2. you dismiss the relevance of terror on Israel’s health

            No, I don’t dismiss it. But unlike you I understand that Gaza rockets give Israel a cold while Israeli Occupation gives Gaza terminal cancer. That’s the diff. bet. us in a nutshell. You have no sense of proportion in addition to having no understanding whatsoever of anything Palestinians think or believe.

            you resort to odd name-calling that utterly alienates those that aren’t as contemptuous of efforts that are rationally arguable as defensive.

            Oh my goodness, have I alienated you? Alienated Noa? Such a loss for my side.

            your EARLY condemnation of any Israeli response to the Hamas resumption of shelling of civilians,

            More willful ignorance on yr part. I have written here that I would have no serious problem w. Israeli military responses to the Hezbollah kidnapping or even Hamas rocket fire (though unlike you I understand that Israel fomented the breakdown of the ceasefire & so has only itself to blame for the rockets) AS LONG AS they were proportional & had limited objectives & duration.

            Your comments were that ANY response was unjust.

            Never said it. That’s a lie.

            NOA is a young artist appealing to sentiment

            “Sentiment,” ah yes. A euphemism for a petulant artist with a mouth bigger than her body.

          3. Well, in the particular case, as Noa and Israelis want, it gets shoved into the category “oh, we are fighting against Hamas”. First of all, if this was the case, it was extremely unbalanced warfare, and if it wasn’t, the collateral damage was far too much to think that it could be just accepted like “the occupation we are used to”. It is much more, but once again, the world’s getting amnesia, and Noa is there precisely for that reason. She also defended the war against Lebanon.

            Now, the message about the elections she left is indeed far more tricky, as she plays on ignorance (it is hers that we expose, but she counts – or her writers do – on us being the ignorant ones.) She seems to forget that Israel outlawed two parties for this election, because they were not Zionist parties. It has nothing to do with racism, it has everything to do with Israel suppressing the voice of their large minority. In addition to the other gross errors and the Islamophobia in her words, it is meant that no one questions her. In fact, when I did I was booted off i Peace in 5 seconds. This is dialogue folks, get used to it!

          4. “But unlike you I understand that Gaza rockets give Israel a cold while Israeli Occupation gives Gaza terminal cancer.”

            They actually give Israel the flu, which particular strains kill hundreds of thousands.

            I’m glad that you acknowledge that terror is real, and that terror on buses, schools, cafes, hotels was the preamble to the shelling of civilians (guided by the same ideology, leadership, controlling documents and accountabilities to foreign powers – Iran for example).

            The statement by Olmert and Livni before the Israeli military response was “enough is enough”.

            It is a true statement.

            The term siege could be applied to fifty or so land-locked countries that have mutual animosity with each of their adjacent neighbors. The most mature of them WORK to improve their relationships with those that they share borders and trade with.

            The experience of Palestinians is horrible and should be improved. Hamas shelling or permitting shelling by Islamic Jihad and PFLP, HINDERS the improvement of Palestine.

            Its practical, NOT ideological.

          5. They actually give Israel the flu, which particular strains kill hundreds of thousands.

            Don’t be a total idiot, Witty. No flu has killed “hundreds of thousands” in a century & Palestinian rockets haven’t killed more than a few dozen Israelis if that over 8 yrs, during which time thousands of Palestinians have been killed. You’re up to yr usual tricks I’m afraid.

            The term siege could be applied to fifty or so land-locked countries that have mutual animosity with each of their adjacent neighbors.

            Since you’re speaking in the present tense I dare you to name one.

            Hamas shelling or permitting shelling by Islamic Jihad and PFLP, HINDERS the improvement of Palestine.

            No, the Israeli Occupation and IDF killing machine are what “hinder the improvement of Palestine.” You’ve become little better than a 2 bit apologist for the Israeli Occupation. You’re smarter than the avg. rightist & hold views slightly more liberal. But when it all comes down to it you both serve similar functions. Yes, you are better than a 2 bit apologist, but only by a little.

          6. “But when it all comes down to it you both serve similar functions. Yes, you are better than a 2 bit apologist, but only by a little.”

            Only in relation to terror could you say that. And, if you adopted an actual principled refutation of terror as means, then you would conclude oppossite, that I am in fact ENGAGED in supporting Jewish awareness of the nakba for example, and ENGAGED in collaborative efforts to improve Palestinian life.

            You are a very snarky writer, Richard. Is that tikkun olam?

  13. Witty, you and Noa are on the same page.

    I don’t doubt the significance of the terror caused by suicide bombings.

    But you – like Noa – do not put the violence of the conflict in context.

    I know I’ve often gone kinda crazy on you when you’ve referred to the firing of Qassam rockets (crude/homemade, 20 dead in 8 years) as “shelling” so let me just preface my future remarks.

    I don’t live in that part of the world so I can’t imagine what it may ‘feel’ like to have that violence in the periphery. However, as we engage in dialogue with the INTENT of *solving the conflict*, we should try our best to put everything in context.

    That means we’ll be quite antiseptic at times. Although, I myself have lost it now and then so I can’t say this without feeling a bit guilty.

    Anyways, the point is that these comparisons to the Nazis are false.

    I’ve referenced the Washington Post interview with Ismail Haniyeh.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR2006022402317.html

    He answers all the important questions. Moreover, these answers make sense.

    Put the violence in context. Israel kills far more civilians and notably, far more children. Israel regularly destroys the PHYSICAL infrastructure of the Palestinian people. Schools/Hospitals/etc.

    I know you would play the human shield card. JUST as Noa did. That’s a standard line in your playbook.

    But read the US Army War College report on the 2006 War in Lebanon as an example. Read Amnesty International’s report on the war as well, entitled ‘Bombing Southern Lebanon’ (I believe that is the name).

    Both explicitly note that – in this case Hezbollah – did not intermingle with the civilian population. In the US Army War College report, Israeli soldiers were extensively interviewed.

    The report states that Hezbollah fought better than any Arab army before it – fought in the style of conventional warfare. More ‘mature’ I suppose. It also said that the main battles took place away from civilian populations.

    This human shield claim is utter nonsense. Read these reports. Just google.

    In fact, even IF they were true, you have to ask WHY do Israeli apologists bring this claim up SO OFTEN?

    I mean, Israel legalized hostage taking until 2000 – while still regularly kidnapping Palestinians whenever. Israel was considering LEGALIZING human shields. And they use them still often regardless.

    Based on my own impression of this claim, you find more mainstream reporting that details ISRAEL using human shields. Not Hamas or Hezbollah. In particular, the BBC and B’Tselem have been doing extensive reporting on this issue.

    Just look it up yourself and compare. B’Tselem has the statistics too. I could be wrong but check it out.

    So with all this in mind, why is it that someone like Noa brings up human shields and Nazis?

    Well, maybe she’s uninformed. She’s definitely an apologist though. I mean, look at the statistics of this conflict. Look at her idiotic generalizations. As if the entire Arab world is a monolith. They have their own problems Iraq, Afghanistan… maybe Iran. Saudi Arabia? Egypt?

    Police states that are subservient to the West or currently destroyed. Iran actually is the exception, but that just puts it on the waiting list to be destroyed.

    I recall seeing a protest by a group of Jewish women at the Israeli consulate in LA? I can’t remember. Anyways, the news report flashed between the group addressing the press and then a spokesperson for the Israeli consulate.

    The Israeli guy was hysterical. He went on and on about how this was Hamas’s fault and that Israel was on the side of the “moderate” Arab world “like Egypt.” “Like Jordan.”

    That’s how honest people like that are. Describing Egypt as moderate. Implying that Egyptian government was representing Egyptians. That the Egyptian government was ‘moderate’.

    What it means to be moderate is to agree with Israel.

    And this is the very ESSENSE, the tone of arguments like that of Noa – and you, Witty.

    Between these superficial truths and pure whitewashing. No context to any of the violence and purposeful avoidance of discussing the very blatant roadblocks to peace – increased settlements and ongoing injustice in the OT – are the problem.

    Not this ‘bridge scam’ on Hamas’s part.

  14. “SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.”

    *A Fierce debate has been raging in ‘The Independent’ about Israel’s conduct in Gaza. Here, one leading Jewish thinker (Antony Lerman) argues that until Jews shake off their persecution complex, there can never be peace in the Middle East. Antony Lerman is the former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

    “Must Jews always see themselves as victims?” – By Antony Lerman, Saturday, 7 March 2009

    “In the wake of Israel’s attack on Gaza, eager voices are telling us that anti-Semitism has returned – yet again. Eight years of Hamas rockets and the world unfairly cries foul when Israel retaliates, they say. Biased media are delegitimising the Jewish state. The Left attacks Israel as uniquely evil, making it the persecuted Jew among the nations. Even theatres keep wheeling out those anti-Semitic stereotypes, Shylock, Fagin and the “chosen people”, just to torment us. If this bleak picture were an accurate portrayal of what Jews are experiencing today, who could deny that suffering is the determining feature of the Jewish condition?

    In most Jewish circles, if you pause to question this narrative and suggest that it might be exaggerated, that it unrealistically implies a level of dreadfulness and victimhood unique to Jews, you’ll attract hostility and disbelief in equal measure, and precious little public sympathy. But in the work of Professor Salo Baron, probably the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century, we find powerful justification for just such a questioning……”

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/must-jews-always-see-themselves-as-victims-1639277.html

  15. LD,
    Rather than imagine what I would say, how about respond to what I actually say?

    The significant point of including Hamas attempted and realized atrocities in the math serves two purposes.

    One is to understand the consciousness of Israelis, that although certainly biased and opportunistic in ways, it is also understandable, rational.

    The majority sincerely prefer to live and let live, and clearly have neglected to understand fully how long-term Israeli policy has gotten in the way of live and let live (particularly the settlement expansion and most unnecessary West Bank roadblocks).

    You and others assert repeatedly that Hamas floated a willingness to coexist, which was a radical departure from its prior hundred or so acts of brutal terrorism against civilians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hamas_suicide_attacks

    The resumption of shelling of civilians as a norm of chosen “dissent”, confirmed to IDF and most Israeli civilians, that Hamas had no intention of co-existing.

    They are FAR from credibility in that regard. I can only conclude that those that regard Hamas suicide bombings morphing into shelling of civilians (Qassams AND mortars, recently Katyushas and Grads).

    The “human shield” accusation is not only literally the use of individuals to hide behind, but the siting of military efforts in civilian homes, hospitals, schools, ambulances, etc. It is a form of human shield.

    Its not atypical for a guerilla movement, to “ambush”, then slip back into the crowd.

    What it means to be moderate is to be assertive using diplomacy as means of dissent rather than kidnapping, terror on civilians, and insistence on revolution rather than reform as goal.

  16. LD,
    Rather than imagine what I would say, how about respond to what I actually say?

    The significant point of including Hamas attempted and realized atrocities in the math serves two purposes.

    One is to understand the consciousness of Israelis, that although certainly biased and opportunistic in ways, it is also understandable, rational.

    The majority sincerely prefer to live and let live, and clearly have neglected to understand fully how long-term Israeli policy has gotten in the way of live and let live (particularly the settlement expansion and most unnecessary West Bank roadblocks).

    You and others assert repeatedly that Hamas floated a willingness to coexist, which was a radical departure from its prior hundred or so acts of brutal terrorism against civilians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hamas_suicide_attacks

    The resumption of shelling of civilians as a norm of chosen “dissent”, confirmed to IDF and most Israeli civilians, that Hamas had no intention of co-existing.

    They are FAR from credibility in that regard. I can only conclude that those that regard Hamas suicide bombings morphing into shelling of civilians (Qassams AND mortars, recently Katyushas and Grads).

    The “human shield” accusation is not only literally the use of individuals to hide behind, but the siting of military efforts in civilian homes, hospitals, schools, ambulances, etc. It is a form of human shield.

    Its not atypical for a guerilla movement, to “ambush”, then slip back into the crowd.

    What it means to be moderate is to be assertive using diplomacy and civil efforts as means of dissent rather than kidnapping, terror on civilians. It also means that the goal of the dissent is reform rather than revolution.

  17. The “human shield” accusation is not only literally the use of individuals to hide behind, but the siting of military efforts in civilian homes, hospitals, schools, ambulances, etc. It is a form of human shield.

    Its not atypical for a guerilla movement, to “ambush”, then slip back into the crowd.

    How thoughtless of them, what they really should do is stand in 50 sq metre clearings with huge bullseyes so the IAF can target them more effectively.

    This claim so laughable it is unbeleivable it is still being asserted. No Palestinian beleives that civilian casualties are going to defer Israeli airstrikes. For fucks sake the IAF don’t beleive as former commander Dan Halutz said when his pilots can “sleep like babies” despite dropping bombs which lead to a high amount of collateral damage. So if the Palestinians don’t beleive this tosh, the Israelis don’t beleive who does? Ah, yes the old apologist brigrade in the ranks of the pro-Israeli adovocates abroad. The only last segment of gullible idiots left in this debate.

  18. Witty.

    What part of my post didn’t deal with your ‘clarification’?

    You said I was imagining what you’d say… Well, obviously I was right.

    I dealt with the Nazi analogy. The sensationalist rhetoric when it came to Hamas’s violence (in relative terms, ie. even 1 death is tragic BUT in the context of the conflict between the 2 entities and the violence they both commit and WHY they do so).

    I dealt with the human shield issue.

    Israel – Palestine is a small piece of land. The battlefields take place in cities and towns.

    I’m sure you’d like it if Hamas wore bright colors and gleefully skipping along an open road so that you could mow them down.

    So let’s put their actions AND Israel’s in context. This is in no way a justification. Of course I think it’s cowardly. But there’s no where else to fight. Israel invaded and bombed Gaza. Israel attack civilian infrastructure – something it REGULARLY DOES, whether it’s in Lebanon or Palestine.

    And this goes back to my reference to the various studies on these wars.

    The US Army War College concluded that Hezbollah did NOT hide amongst civilians. No question about it. Who did the study interview? Israeli soldiers. Amnesty International also ran a study and came up with the same results.

    These allegations are simply rhetorical. They are used as propaganda – superficial truths.

    Yes, Hamas and Hezbollah might have done these things but given to context of the conflict and the typical stage of the battlefield – WHAT is the more important and RELEVANT question?

    Not if they do these things – but rather the DEGREE to which they do them. How often do they do them? And is this act of human shield – IF it occurs so often – the cause of so many civilian deaths?

    Of course Israel’s supporters won’t go that deep. They do so, and they lose. The studies don’t give them the answers they need to win rhetorically.

    The INTENT, the MORALLY SERIOUS intent – is to resolve the conflict. That is what should be our agenda and guiding force in our commentary.

    Zionists do not want to resolve the conflict as the international consensus approves of. They wish to colonize the whole of Israel.

    You build up this image of Israeli public opinion or culture as being of the motto ‘live and let live’. What a joke. Israel is a Spartan society. A highly militarized ethnocentric/racist society.

    What percentage of Israeli’s approved of the Gaza massacre?

    What percentage of Israeli’s approve of the Two State solution? Giving up the W. Bank?

    Look at who Israeli’s vote for. Look at the discrimination of Israeli Arabs. The fact that Occupation of another people has become part of Israeli Jewish (and American Jewish) culture.

    You enjoy your secular lifestyle while the original inhabitants of the land are persecuted/humiliated/murdered/fragmented/etc.

    Yea, you want to live and let live. You want the Jews to live and let the Palestinians live – elsewhere. Not in Eretz Israel.

    SO!

    In summary:

    Read the various studies of the Lebanon War to get an impression of how reactionary Zionist rhetoric is employed to buy political time, as it were. The intent of the Zionist is not to solve the conflict as we all wish it to be solved – fairly. The fact that Palestinians have been driven to 20% of their original homeland and Israelis STILL do not wish to let them stay is disgusting. It’s GREEDY.

    The human shield card is a great superficial truth. It justifies – in the minds of the morally corrupt and ignorant – that Israel’s actions are fine. That all those deaths of Palestinian civilians were ‘collateral’ damage. Unavoidable – tragic. The poor poor ‘most moral’ army in the world couldn’t help it. They weep for the poor poor Palestinians.

    Who believes that garbage? You do. You exude that garbage.

    So, get to the bottom of this human shield business. Who does it more often, put the usage in context by asking pertinent questions. We can assume both sides are despicable in this regard no matter the reason, but since they BOTH do it you have to lower your standard – HENCE, putting the violence IN CONTEXT.

  19. “Israel attack civilian infrastructure – something it REGULARLY DOES, whether it’s in Lebanon or Palestine.”

    You’ve also been sold a bridge, or failed to think analytically. In the two references that you described, WAR was initiated and confirmed by Hezbollah and Hamas (both extra-legal militias, is that a coincidence?).

    You lie about me in describing my comments as not attempting to resolve the conflict. (Thank you for calling it a “conflict” rather than the repetitive “oppression”)

    I consistently state that there are two issues at question:

    1. Sovereignty – What is the jurisdiction, what is the basis of law and governance? That definition of sovereignty is a CHOICE of jurisdiction based on optimizing long-term democratic consent of the governed.

    The three potentially progressive options for sovereignty include:

    Single democratic state
    67 border two-states
    Functional plebiscite two-states

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each. I’ve settled on the 67 borders as my preference on the basis that it is clear, largely defensible for both, in conformity with UN passed resolutions (not only general assembly, that’s like passing one house of Congress), and creates a diversity within both states but still with clear majority character (rather than the ethnically cleansed version of Jew-free Palestine).

    There clearly are NO easy answers, so pot-shot criticism at my proposal is easy and cowardly.

    I do observe that Hamas and Hezbollah employs a human shield methodology (even if it is just to deter Israel from attacking a Hamas military infrastructure site on the basis of their actual consideration of civilian casualties, in contrast to Hamas’ which TARGETS civilians).

    I don’t parade that. I comment on it when its been brought up by others.

    The concept of Palestine as a nation was not prevalent until Zionism emerged. Early Palestinian political organizing and parties included pan-Arab orientation far more prominently.

    It certainly was their homes, some by extended residence, some by recent.

    Title:

    If you’ve read my comments at all, you’ve noticed that I state that the early 50’s laws that firmed the exclusion of Palestinians from their former residences should be overturned, and reconciled by courts.

    In FEW cases (who knows how few), I recommend actual return of property rather than compensation to perfect title.

    MUCH land, even land that is claimed to be West Bank Palestinian has contestable title, which requires a color-blind court to sort through, and in the most humane manner possible.

    The “most humane manner” refers to CURRENT conditions. Prior taking must be addressed, but to address it by mass forced removal is a second wrong, and as it is a present one a WORSE one.

    JUSTICE, not revenge.

  20. “(even if it is just to deter Israel from attacking a Hamas military infrastructure site on the basis of their actual consideration of civilian casualties, in contrast to Hamas’ which TARGETS civilians)”

    Israel also targets civilians–they lie about it, but they do.

    I don’t have a source handy, but I’ve read that Hamas officials sometimes deny that they target civilians. They claim that they people they kill are really legitimate military targets. Obvious nonsense, but apparently they too feel the need to rationalize their cold-blooded killing, just as Israel and its supporters cling to the myth that when Israel kills civilians it’s really because their enemies use civilians as human shields.

    So long as you keep repeating this propagandistic nonsense, Witty, it means that you yourself are more interested in deflecting blame than in reaching a just solution. I don’t doubt that you want a just solution, but virtually all of your outrage is directed at people who criticize Israel more harshly than they criticize Hamas, so it’s clear where your emotional priorities lie.

  21. The Kabobfest blog entry entry entitled Homeless in Gaza speaks for itself in describing the heinous atrocity
    that was committed by Israeli Zionist Jews in rampaging through Gaza and that was supported by 79% of American Jews.Jerome Slater’s article A Perfect Moral Catastrophe: Just War Philosophy and the Israeli Attack on Gaza supplements the Kabobfest discussion by addressing a subset of Zionist criminality from the standpoint of International Law.

    The ridiculous Jewish Zionist “right of defense” argument, which has been parroted by far too many US shabbesgoy politicians, amounts to believing that Jews have the right to plunder, to brutalize and to murder non-Jews with impunity.

    Slater disposes of such nonsense in the first two paragraphs.

    Even strong critics of the Israeli attack on Gaza have generally prefaced their criticism by saying, in essence, “of course Israel has every right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks, but its methods are disproportionate.” Or, as it is sometimes put, “no country can ignore attacks on its territory and citizens.” There are two problems with these arguments. The first is that calling Israel’s attack on Gaza “disproportionate” falls well short of revealing the full dimensions of its behavior: the Israeli way of war-including in most of its previous wars, not just in Gaza-is worse than merely “disproportional,” or even “indiscriminate.” Second, a nation does not have a “right” of self-defense if attacks on its soil are triggered by-or are acts of resistance against-its own aggression, colonialism, occupation, or repression.

  22. Donald,
    I’m VERY interested in dialog on proposal.

    I’m not interested in “dialog” that requires that I adopt a Finkesteinian interpretation as prerequisite that conflicts with what I conclude from my own reading and research.

    1. I’m not interested in “dialog” that requires that I adopt a Finkesteinian interpretation as prerequisite that conflicts with what I conclude from my own reading and research.

      Don’t worry, I think most of us have realised there is little danger of you doing this.

      1. Lazy,
        Finkelstein is adept at discouraging dialog outside of his pre-requisite that all agree that nothing that Israel does is understandable, rational, just in any way.

        It makes dialog difficult.

        I love much about Israel, and criticize much. I love that dissenters that are motivated by compassion for all humans, act that.

        I am disturbed when in the name of compassion, dissent adopts a punitive approach.

        1. You are mischaracterizing Finkelstein, much as you mischaracterize Hamas’s thwarting of Fatah’s attempted coup, and misplacing the blame for breaking of the cease fire on Hamas rather than Israel. On the later point, and to address your inability to acknowledge that Israel is the main obstacle to peaceful resolution of this conflict, I ironicly recommend an article from Finkelstein:

          http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2542

          1. Kyle,
            EVERY Finkelstein article confirms his rancor, and your conclusion “that Israel is the main obstacle to peaceful resolution of this conflict”, which I interpret you to mean that you approve of Hamas’ approach of terrorizing civilians through 15 years of suicide bombings on buses, cafes, hotels, and of their last 7 years of shelling civilian towns in southern Israel.

            I don’t see how a compassionate person can regard that approach, combined with confirming fundamental documents (never amended).

            When there is an objective change in their position, then a compassionate person can say “War is not necessary”.

            Its not happened yet.

            Even Richard’s comment about Barak, “maybe we should consider Hamas’ proposal to extend the cease-fire” is a barely representative description of what occurred.

            Hamas’ “proposals” have always been highly rhetorical, insisting on acknowledgement of the “corrupted nature” of Zionism.

            Its not the basis of even a cease-fire.

            It is reasonable to state, “our methods were wrong and inneffective. We are changing to a non-violent approach that acknowledges the humanity of the community that we have been attempting to attack”

          2. Hamas’ “proposals” have always been highly rhetorical, insisting on acknowledgement of the “corrupted nature” of Zionism.

            That’s crap. Read the damn Guardian article & you’ll find that Hamas’ proposals insisted on nothing of the sort. Pls. don’t show yrself so blatantly to be vacuous when you have the opportunity to read precisely what Hamas offered & Olmert rejected.

    2. “Finesteinian” doesn’t tell me anything–I’ve read Finkelstein’s books and his website. I agree with him maybe 80 percent of the time. I think his rhetorical style is bad–way too much unnecessary invective. All he has to do is tell the truth about Israel to make his point–I wish he’d cut out the endless Nazi/Israel comparisons and jokes on his website.

      But he is right on the question of Israel’s human rights violations and as his most recent book shows, all you have to do is read the reports put out by B’Tselem, HRW, and Amnesty International to realize this.

      My problem with you is this–you are quite right to condemn Hamas’s human rights violations, but you don’t condemn Fatah’s, let alone Israel’s, with anything like the same degree of harshness. Hamas rocket fire at civilians–really bad in your book and you’re right. But to put all the blame on them right after Israel has killed several hundred children is morally insane. You seem to cling to the vestiges of the purity of arms myth–it seems really important to you that people believe that the bulk of the guilt be placed on Hamas. You should be pleased that so many cowards in Congress are still happy to pander to your prejudices, but in the long run this moral self-indulgence is only going to delay a just settlement, perhaps forever.

      I agree that people in both Israel and Palestine have a right to live peaceful and productive lives, without the threat of violence, and the Palestinians have the right to live without daily Israeli oppression. But we’ve had decades of lying by the self-styled Israel-defenders in this country–lies about the origin of the 48 refugee crisis, lies about “purity of arms” and I don’t think the US can function as an honest broker if we continue to put up with these sorts of lies.

  23. Strange – somehow my comment on this Noa thread ended up on the other Noa thread. Anyway, best to continue it here as it pertains to this post.
    Are you saying that it is unfair to detest Hamas because they are representative of Palestinians, whereas Lieberman isn’t really representative of Israelis, so it’s ok to detest him?

    1. No, not precisely. I’m saying that Noa doesn’t have the luxury of deciding who the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people are. And since Hamas has won a democratic election, she and Israel will have to deal with them whether they like it or not.

      Lieberman has not won a democratic election though he has succeeded in gaining a far larger vote than he ever has before. But that’s still a small minority of the Israeli electorate. I think it’s virtually impossible (God, I hope I’m not proven wrong on this) that Lieberman will ever succeed in gaining the kind of result Hamas did in the last PA election. So I don’t think the Palestinians will ever be put in the position of having to sit across the table fr. a prime minister Lieberman. At least I hope not.

      One of the reasons Hamas has won an election and Lieberman hasn’t is that Hamas puts forward positions many Palestinians consider reasonable about the political and social issues facing them. One of the reasons I believe Lieberman will never win such an election is that he doesn’t put forward positions many Israelis consider reasonable about the political & social issues facing them.

      1. That is precisely the point: Noa expresses the views of the radically intolerant parts of her country, that it is acceptable for them to punish another people and bombard them day and night with lethal weapons, disregarding all aspects of humanitarian compassion or even political expediency, because they did not vote in the party that Israel wanted. She obviously thinks she “knows better” what is good for Palestinians, and that they had it coming, and in fact, it is really Israel making all the steps to Peace, Israel has all the peace organisations, and the Muslims are “death-loving” and on a Jihad.

        All one has to do is look at Gaza TODAY. It is clear how peaceful Israel has been and is, isn’t it? All that destruction sure is the way forward now, isn’t it, Noa?

        The tendency to ONLY criticise Lieberman is also insane, as the masters of the destruction were Kadima, Labour and of course, lead by the “peace prize laureate” himself Peres.

        I don’t know how someone can say what she says and really believe it, unless they have some part of their brain that is blind to the suffering of others.

        Actually, I don’t care if she reflects the majority of Israeli thought, it is the attempts to come off as a Peace Advocate that reek of incredible hypocrisy. The cancellation of the gig in Spain is showing that people are beginning to wake up to her hypocrisy. This alone is a very positive sign.

  24. Presumably, though, if Lieberman ever were to actually win an election, you’d be the first to tell Palestinians and the international community not to detest him, as he would have the legitimacy granted him by the Israeli people.

  25. I have one more thought on her declarations: if she believes that there is some kind of justification for punishing Palestinians collectively, then how would she feel if someone said, “It is acceptable for Gazans (and leave aside that it’s not even clear “who” is doing it) to launch Qassams over the border, because Gazans have to tolerate the blockade and the restrictions of all sorts. It is sad when humans have to die, but there are important political reasons for it, given that Israelis have shown little respect for the rights of others and do not hestitate to attack them day and night.”

    It’s not only her problems of understanding proportion, it is the cleansing of Israel and lack of context that make her so disturbing. I would not like someone who justifies collective punishment preaching to me about peace.

    1. But that is exactly what you do in apologizing in any way that Israel is compelled to engage with Hamas if Hamas has not renounced its choice to shell civilians as its means of dissent.

  26. The Wittys of this world should know their facts. Israel has actually intensified their siege of Gaza since their ceasfire after the Hanukkah Massacre.

    – The no-go free fire zone along the Gaza border with Israel has been deepened from 300m to 1km. This is very considerable in a territory that is only 6-12km wide.
    Sniping at farmers from the Israeli side of the border still occurs regularly.
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/of-knees-and-tranquility/

    – The ‘territorial waters’ that Gazawis are still allowed to fish in have been reduced to 3 nautical miles from shore.

    – transport of necessary medical supplies and food has actually been reduced. Cement and rebars for rebuilding are totally banned.

    Discussing Noa’s attitude towards Palestinians is irrelevant, except to those who were conned into believing she was a peacenik.
    http://justworldnews.org/archives/003439.html
    The Eurovision song ‘contest’ will be used politically, as always.

    Of course Gaza has also intensified rocket fire since the ceasefire, but please remember that many, if not most, of these rockets are fired by Islamic Jihad or the Fatah-affiliated Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades (not for nothing are the rockets called Qassams). Both of these groups oppose Hamas.

  27. Humble apologies – the Fatah-affiliated group in Gaza are the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, not the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which is Hamas’ military wing.

    Witty – I’ve eaten a small piece of my hat already.

  28. Thanks for this article Richard. Whilst I disagree with Noa’s Islamaphobic viewpoints, I must admit that she is entitled to an opinion. However, I find it regretful that pop-singers can rant on publicly without the backing of credible and factual evidence. Noa may have believed that as a left-wing dove her opinion will have solidified the peace process, but I believe she has done more harm than good.

    To Richard Witty and his ilk I provide this link to a Vanity Fair’s exposé: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804?currentPage=all

    You may already be aware of this Witty, but in case you weren’t it never hurts to know a little more of the truth.

    1. Thanks for the link Moje.
      I knew it wasn’t great, but this story is just awful. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am really shocked.

  29. Richard Witty,
    I don’t approve of any terrorising of civilians, be done it by Hamas, Fatah, or anyone else, including Israel. On the other hand, it seems you are willing to overlook Fatah’s terrorism and cheer on Israel’s while misrepresenting anyone who doesn’t share your bias. Can you not even acknowledge Finkelstein’s point that Has only resumed attacks in retaliation to Israel’s attack on them? The source he provided to substantiate that fact is about as authoritative as it gets, but I can provide many others if need be.

    As for “fundamental documents”, if you bother to look at Likud’s platform you’ll see they don’t accept Palestinians right to exist either. Furthermore, if you look at the history of this conflict you’ll see that all major parties of Israel has been systematically violating Palestinians rights in more ways than one can rightly be expected to recount here, since long before Hamas existed. So, yeah, Israel being the side which holds the vast majority of the power in the conflict is the main obstacle to peace. As long as people like you and Noa insist on incessantly waving your finger at Hamas while ignore such facts, you aren’t actually supporting peace, but rather you are only providing cover for the Zionist movement’s ongoing process of wiping Palestine off the map.

  30. Moje,
    Why don’t you CONSISTENTLY condemn all use of torture, including that described as conducted by Hamas?

    During the Gaza War, they took the opportunity to summarily execute “SUSPECTED” Israeli informants, mostly associated with Fatah.

    That is not even close to what Lieberman proposes to “disloyal” Arab supporters of Hezbollah during similarly times of war.

    If you treat mutual assault (and terror) as only oppression, then you ignore the reality, and apply inneffective medicine to the problem.

    I will proudly attend a pro-Israel demonstration that sincerely presents itself as pro-fair and just peace, and I will walk away from one that expresses any racism toward Arabs or contempt for Palestinian condition and aspiration.

    I will proudly attend a demonstration that is critical of Israel that sincerely presents as pro-fair and just peace, and I will walk away from one that expresses ANY sentiment of “Zionism is racism” as a formula.

    Yesterday, I attended a pro-Israel pro-fair and just peace demonstration in Amherst, MA, organized by two Jewish Hampshire College students that opposed the divestment petition and primarily violently condemning tone of the petition leaders.

    Pro fair and just peace.

    How do you get there? Not by ignoring fact that is inconvenient to a side’s propaganda, and not by hate in any form, and not by the active or even passive support of terror on civilians.

    You can’t really get around it. Terror must stop for there to be any progress at all. It is an INVALID means of dissent.

    And, to suggest otherwise is a brutality to the term “tikkun olam”, which is why I repeatedly suggest that Richard change his brand name.

    Again, Richard. Did you see the movie “The Mission”?

    1. Witty,

      I don’t like Hamas, I never have. Any person that tortures/kills another person has dick issues as far as I’m concerned and should be publicly humiliated as such.

      However, I’m a firm believer in justice. For me to condemn one side of a conflict would be to excuse the other side. I cannot do that. So in answer to your question: The day I “CONSISTENTLY condemn all use of torture, including that described as conducted by Hamas” is the day Israel consistently condemns torture of Palestinian political and civilian prisoners. The day Israel lifts the (torture) blockade of Gaza. The day Israel declares it is willing to negotiate peace and/or settlement with the Palestinians. You can’t ask me, today, to condemn Hamas torture only for me to read in tomorrow’s paper how Israel and some western superpower has provoked them in to further acts of barbarism in order to assert their authority. Where does one draw the line?

      Hamas is nothing more than a bunch of ragtag fanatics. But to me, the bigger problem is the Israeli occupation and all that it entails.

      I commend you for attending the rally you mentioned. But lately, with the I/P situation worsening (maybe even at its lowest in decades) I’m starting to wonder if Israel and Justice and Peace can co-exist or if it’s just a contradiction in terms.

      1. I do expect you to condemn Hamas torture if you become aware of it, and to condemn Israeli torture if/when you become aware of it.

        In that way, you will be dissenting against torture, rather than picking one torturer’s side.

        1. Have you written to your congressman to condemn the torture of innocent Iraqis and prisoners held in Guantanamo?

          Believe me Witty, being Muslim myself when Hamas tortures, to me, it becomes personal. But excusing context is, on your part, an epic fail.

          You can sit here and condemn Hamas until you’re blue in the face but it won’t change the fact that Israel is the occupier and the Palestinians are the occupied. Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians are the oppressed. For me, oppression is the worst form of torture. And this torture has been going on for more than sixty years. Condemn that.

          1. I see it as conflict, not primarily oppression.

            The reason for that observation is that I identify oppressive efforts extending in multiple directions. For example, the prohibition from Jews owning land (even as prospective Palestinian citizens) in the West Bank, strikes me as an oppressive effort (whether it is the chicken or the egg is of no significance).

            Seeing the problem as conflict rather than as oppression affords the opportunity to clarify needs, even angers, as peers worthy and deserving of respect. Oppression is language that enables dismissal of the other. To my mind, the dehumanization of the other is THE problem. That the political and other means are tangible design problems that can be mostly reconciled. (There probably are some needs/demands that are mutually exclusive. There still are likely solutions, but then require mutual renunciation of demands.)

            Towards that tangible design, the other IMPORTANT effort for a dissenter that actually wants to accomplish change, is to identify what SPECIFICALLY constitutes an oppressive relationship that can be changed. In that way, the specific reforms to a potentially co-existing relationship can be described, communicated, considered.

            There are many dissenters against Israel that have no room in their minds in any way for Israel to exist as Israel. When those speak of “the occupation”, they are not seeking to reform to conditions of co-existence, but to remove.

          2. Witty,

            You can sugar coat it all you like with a term such as ‘conflict’, but in the end what’s taking place on the ground is, literally, oppression.

            The time for identifying what specifically constitutes an oppressive relationship that can be changed has long past. It’s been in your face for sixty or so years. If you’ve failed to identify it by now, you’re hardly likely to after another sixty years are you? Actually, you’ve identified the problem of ‘dehumanisation’, I’ll give you that – but again, on the ground, what has dehumanisation accomplished? It has legitimised the oppression. And legitimate oppression is worse than illegitimate oppression because it ensures the international community will turn the other cheek – as history has proven.

            To the list of dissenters against Israel that have no room in their minds in any way for Israel to exist as Israel I would add Israelis themselves to the very top of that list. Rather than swiftly and justly resolve a conflict of their own making they would choose to fall on their own grenade, as it were. And no, criticising the occupation does not warrant the end of Israel and co-existence, it is merely criticism – that Israel should be making the most of. It would seem, Witty, that my argument with you has come full circle. Hardly surprising.

    2. During the Gaza War, they took the opportunity to summarily execute “SUSPECTED” Israeli informants, mostly associated with Fatah.

      That is not even close to what Lieberman proposes to “disloyal” Arab supporters of Hezbollah during similarly times of war.

      Oh, you mean Lieberman’s public call in the Knesset to string up Arab MKs by the lamp post was different than summary execution? Or perhaps you’re claiming that Lieberman would convene a court of some sort before the hanging? Certainly not the Israeli Supreme Court which he detests. Maybe a Moldovan style kangaroo court since he’s originally from that lovely country? He’d surely want Baruch Marzel and Dov Wolpe on his judicial panel as disinterested parties.

      Pro fair and just peace.

      An anti-divestment demonstration that favored peace? Howso? The only content of the demonstration you mentioned was opposition to divestment. I see that’s being “fair” to Israel. But how is it “fair” to Palestine & how does it advance a pro-peace agenda?

      1. Speakers consistently referred to the condition of Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, including settlement construction, and urged Israel to apply policies and practises that facilitated a viable Palestine.

        Not all did. Some expressed more right-wing sentiments, and didn’t get much applause.

        Enough for me to regard the intent as there, with details to fill in and correct.

        The rally was a contrast to the divestment approach, which the peace advocating Hampshire students that organized the rally described as coercive, censorial, and periodically fascistic on that campus. (A couple of students have left Hampshire because of the rancorous tone. So, even if you laugh at Dershowitz comments, they are at least partially observation, not just threat.)

        The behavior of a minority portion (maybe 20%) of the counter-rally, pro-divestment, anti-Zionist, was aggressive, taunting, threatening.

        It was an observably stark contrast.

        In 1999, I worked in the adminstrative offices of Hampshire, and know their policies and processes more than folks here. I worked in fiscal oversight of grant funding, and other accounting functions.

  31. Hamas attacked Israel unilaterally, over years, NOT in response to specific incidents.

    Finkelstein is rationalizing.

    I don’t support Likud in any way, or Israel Beitanyu. I oppose their initiation and encouragement of settlement construction and expansion. I oppose their unencumbered free market ideology. I oppose their inconsistent application of the rule of law.

    I do NOT apologize for Hamas in any way, and it is complicity in continuing crime for dissenters that are otherwise motivated by compassion for Palestinians’ condition, to do so.

    When Hamas renounces terror on civilians as its chosen means of “dissent”, then there is some prospect of co-existence. Until then, Hamas’ behavior towards Israeli civilians remains criminal and any prospect of forced opening of borders by dissent, is a fantasy.

    1. “When Hamas renounces terror on civilians as its chosen means of ‘dissent’, then there is some prospect of co-existence.” Are you suggesting a final peace settlement lies with Hamas? This is beyond laughable, what planet are you on? What about Fatah and the West Bank, why don’t they settle with Israel as an example to those in Gaza?

  32. Hamas elected Netanyahu.

    Hamas has so much influence over the context of the conflict that dissenters’ description of its status as victim is ludicrous.

    If Hamas had a consistent even conditional approach towards Israel, then your points might be valid.

    But, its contempt and rejection of Israel remains unconditional. Nothing therefore can change for Palestinians to the extent that they are in power in any manner.

    Israel as a sovereign state has the RIGHT to close its borders to another entity that is in active war with it. Egypt does similarly.

    It is adolescent immaturity on the part of Hamas to FAIL to rise to its role as prospectively governing.

    1. Then who elected Hamas – Ehud Olmert? Your lack of ability to see context is disturbing. No member of Hamas had control over Olmert’s grand theft of the treasury, and certainly no control over the pathetic leadership of the Israeli left.

      BTW, Gaza is not at war with Egypt. And the coast of Gaza is certainly NOT an Israeli border.

      1. IRT above usage of the word “conflict” v. “oppression”

        Israelis are free to drive from Haifa to Eilat, and from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They are free to engage in their (regulated!) vital market economy, as well as freely move out of the country to tour India or make yerida to the United States. Now this is ALL despite attacks from Hamas potentially stifling freedom of movement. Palestinians could only wish they had such luxury.

        Some of Palestine’s lack of liberties can be blamed on their own government (in particular freedom of speech, association, and assembly), but neither Hamas nor the PLO closed down borders, built up walls, or set up checkpoints that crush any hopes of Bibi’s vision of “economic peace”.

  33. Lets put Palestine on the map, by assertion, by commitment.

    Lets leave Israel on the map, and condemn any permanent attempt to remove it.

    Lets insist that Hamas put Palestine on the map, by confidently accepting that Israel is on the map.

  34. “Can you not even acknowledge Finkelstein’s point that Has only resumed attacks in retaliation to Israel’s attack on them?”
    Not only is this not true, even Hamas doesn’t claim it’s true.
    “As for “fundamental documents”, if you bother to look at Likud’s platform you’ll see they don’t accept Palestinians right to exist either.”
    I don’t know what the Likud platform says but the state of Israel has already accepted a two state solution when it accepted the Annapolis framework. In theory the Palestinians also accepted it, but Hamas has said id will not honor agreements reached with the PA. The Likud on the other hand says it will accept prior agreements.
    Hamas ended the Tahadiyah because it wanted to extract concessions from Israel by terrorizing its civilian population.

    1. Not only is this not true, even Hamas doesn’t claim it’s true.

      This is a lie.

      I don’t know what the Likud platform says

      Why not, you’re a fine upstanding Israeli rightist. Netanyahu is going to be the next P.M. & determine Israel’s policy regarding a 2-state or no-state solution. You’d think you’d want to know what Likud has to say about this (unless you already agree that the Palestinians don’t deserve a state of their own).

      Likud on the other hand says it will accept prior agreements.

      What nonsense. Likud will no more allow the creation of a Palestinian state during its term than the Lubavitcher rebbe would eat ham.

    2. Once again, there are some who would like to forget that Israel dropped the first attacks on the day Barack Obama got elected. Hamas honored the ceasefire in spite of attacks continuing to be launched from within its borders. It only ended the ceasefire when Israel violated it..

  35. How about you stop putting the chicken before the egg and come to terms with the fact that Israel has been wiping Palestine off the map since long before Hamas existed. Pushing the onus onto Hamas here is absurd.

  36. Lazy,
    Finkelstein is adept at discouraging dialog outside of his pre-requisite that all agree that nothing that Israel does is understandable, rational, just in any way.

    It makes dialog difficult.

    I love much about Israel, and criticize much. I love that dissenters that are motivated by compassion for all humans, act that.

    I am disturbed when in the name of compassion, dissent adopts a punitive approach.

    Richard Witty,

    I disagree with Finkelstein one quite a few things but I don’t think this is a fair characterisation of his position at all. You seem to have taken some soundbites as representing the entire thrust of his approach. Not that he is above criticism but I don’t think this is a particularly powerful criticism of him. He is actually very open to dialog and interaction with people opposed to him and whenever I have seen him and interacted with him he has been almost obscenely polite, even when I have been rude to him. You do him a disservice in your comments on him not being open. He does not share the same assumpstions or movtivations as you do but that is not a bar to having engaged and constructive dialog.

    Re the rest of what you say it is of a personal nature so I won’t comment on most of it. I think it is very clear that you feel strongly towards Israel and ‘love’ it as you say you do. It is difficult to see how this has not hampered your understanding of the subject. I have two close Israeli friend from my time at university and we argue a lot about various things. While we have differences over the Palestinian issue we don’t argue that much simply because they are aware of the reality of what is going on; the only difference being that having an attachment to Israel and to their interpretation of mainstream Zionism they feel regrettably that they have no choice. They don’t pretend to defende their actions on any grounds of morality or compassion because they have not deluded themselves into beleiving that this is possible. While I disagree strongly with their position, I respect it since we don’t disagree over the main details merely on the conclusions we reach from it.

    Your problem seems to be somewhat different; you claim you criticise much; but from what I can see the vast bulk of your criticisms are always directed either at Hamas, Fatah or some other Palestinian target. You hardly ever criticise Israeli action or ideology unless forced to accept a point by another commenter and then only to qualify and hedge it with excuses and rationales which seek to put the blame back on the Palestinians. Maybe I am being overly harsh on you since I haven’t been reading this blog for very long but this seems to be my impression. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that you basically are a pro-Israeli apologist in that for you the blame and responsibility for any problem and outbreak of violence wil inevitably be Palestinian, Arab etc. bascially any source but Israel.

    I have a lot of admiration for the early generation of Zionist leaders and pioneers; however in their vision of settlement and establishment and in the nationalist values they esposused and bequeathed, “compassion” was certainly not one of them. your desire for ‘compassion’ etc may come from a number of sources but I feel it does not match well with the reality of Israel today nor did it match with the reality of Israel in the past. It is the same with all nations.

    You say you “love Israel”; to me this is actually a troubling statement. Like many who profess a love of nation, in this case I feel that you have created a vision of the object of your desire that bears little relation to the Real. I hold little hope that anything I say or that anyone can say will change this; for such is not the relationship between the object of desire and the desiring subject. And alas, love as well all know is all too often blind.

    1. To (mis)quote Huxley on hearing Darwin’s theory:
      “How stupid of me not to have thought of that!”
      I wish I’d written this post.

    2. “He does not share the same assumpstions or movtivations as you do but that is not a bar to having engaged and constructive dialog.”

      I had extensive e-mail correspondence with him, in which I very respectfully disagreed with his comments, to which he responded that I was the equivalent of a “holocaust denier” for not adopting his conclusions. I’m glad that he responded to your rude comments civilly. He responded to my civil comments rudely.

      I said that “there was much that I love about Israel”, close to but also with a different inflection than your “paraphrase”.

      1. I had extensive e-mail correspondence with him, in which I very respectfully disagreed with his comments, to which he responded that I was the equivalent of a “holocaust denier” for not adopting his conclusions. I’m glad that he responded to your rude comments civilly. He responded to my civil comments rudely.

        Finkelstein can be very brusque, some people are like that paritcularly those with very strict standards and views on life, I don’t think this is rudeness we need to judge people differently. He had always been polite to me in email exchanges; the incident I am referring to was a personal encounter where we met and I was unfortunately quite rude to him verbally and physically in the heat of the arguement, which I now deeply regret. To his credit this has never been brought up by him in our subsequent meetings.

        I can’t comment on your exchange with him since I don’t know the details but it would be unlikely that I would agree with your assessment of him even if I were privy to the details. He makes very strong judgements and assertions which people may find rude but if you interact with him directly in person you will find that this is not his character.

        I said that “there was much that I love about Israel”, close to but also with a different inflection than your “paraphrase”.

        I am sorry to have misquoted you, that was my error – my English isn’t perfect and I write too quickly sometimes. My point though still isn’t really affected that much. I think yoiu have idealised certain conceptions about Israel, which is far removed from the reality. removing them won’t make you agree with me or anybody else on this side of the divide; but it will change your appreciation of the facts on the ground. This is one reason why it is generally much easier to debate these issues with Israelis than it is with their supporters based abroad; the former don’t share the illusions that the latter labour under.

  37. “The term siege could be applied to fifty or so land-locked countries…”

    Are you so ignorant as to believe Gaza is landlocked, or are you just being intentionally disingenuous here?

  38. It’s sas long as the Egyptians maintain their policy on Rafah, it’s still inaccurate to refer to Gaza as ‘Israel-locked’, whatever this fellow Witty may or may not say.

    1. Alex, from what I understand Egypt maintains its blockade of Gaza mainly under pressure from Israel and the US. In other words, were it not for that pressure, Egypt would have lifted its blockade, as it has more to gain than lose from such a move. I haven’t researched this too deep, though. Will appreciate any pointers anybody could supply.

      1. Actually, I have reason to believe that Mubarak wants to keep Hamas at bay. Hamas and the Islamic Brotherhood (the bane of Mubarak’s existence) are joined at the hip, and any empowerment of Hamas empowers the IB and threatens the Pharaoh’s own power base. Open crossings between Gaza and Egypt might benefit Egypt as a whole more, but keep in mind that Egypt as a whole does NOT call the shots.

        That’s not to say that Mubarak doesn’t have plenty of support/pressure from Israel and the West.

        1. OK, but it is arguable what empowers Hamas more – closed border or open border. In fact, it is more nuanced: it seems to me that closed border empowers mostly the militant wing (the Damascus leadership and the young radicals on the ground) while open border empowers mostly the pragmatical wing. Thus, if my thesis is correct, Mubarak is actually shooting himself in the foot by empowering the wrong guys (Israel does too, only in this case it is all but obvious it being not a mistake but rather a deliberate strategy.) Since I don’t believe he is that stupid, in addition to all the domestic problems the role of Egypt in the blockade fosters, it seems reasonable to me that Mubarak is first and foremost doing the US-Israel bidding. (Still have to search the web to find whether there is a good, credible analysis besides me talking out of my ass…)

  39. Afghanistan, Iran, Mali, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Rwanda, Burundi, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Macedonia, Andorra, Lichtenstein, Armenia, Azerbhaijan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Krgystan, Tajikistan, Nepal, Laos, Palestine, Bolivia, Paraquay are all definitively landlocked.

    Thats around 30.

    Another large number have very limited borders, comparable to Gaza (if it were a state).

    For each of those communities to thrive, they need to retain (and/or construct) good relations with their immediate neighbors.

    Hamas on the other hand shells civilians, and foments revolution, in its immediate neighbors, complying with the “encouragement” of Iran.

    “But when it all comes down to it you both serve similar functions. Yes, you are better than a 2 bit apologist, but only by a little.”

    Only in relation to terror could you say that. And, if you adopted an actual principled refutation of terror as means, then you would conclude oppossite, that I am in fact ENGAGED in supporting Jewish awareness of the nakba for example, and ENGAGED in collaborative efforts to improve Palestinian life.

    1. You forgot Jordan. Also, Gaza has a coastline that would be open if not for the Israeli blocade! Now who’s selling the Bridge in Brooklyn?

  40. Peter – needless to say I think it’s a bit more complicated, although obviously that’s one factor. There’s also the obvious domestic concerns – fears about Muslim Brotherhood, fears of suddenly becoming fully responsible for Gaza.

    1. Sure, I heard these arguments, I also heard counterarguments. In general , it seems reasonable to me that the blockade undermines the regime domestically more than its lift would have; thus, external influence needs to be accounted for. Again, I could be wrong. Are you aware of any credible analysis on that that I could read? I will search myself, of course, as well.

  41. Nothing offhand, although I think your counterargument is based on certain assumptions about Egyptian public opinion (not to mention how the regime reacts to that public opinion).

  42. Repairing the world demands confrontation with those who craft graven images of it; your incessant fixation on Hamas’s terrorism while ignoring Israel’s own being one notable example.

  43. Direct quotes from the HAMAS charter:
    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”
    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
    -So, lets see…the “freely and democratically elected” (just like the Nazis) representatives of the Palestinian people calls for genocide against Jews, calls peace initiatives “vain endeavors”, and invokes the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in their CHARTER. Then these same “resistance fighters” launch thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians and the world blames Israel for there not being peace?!?!?!? If this isn’t anti-Semitism, I really don’t know what is…

    1. I can’t think of anything more tedious than respond for what feels like the 80th time to people who quote the Hamas Charter (circa 1988) as if it is the Magna Carta & U.S. Constitutional rolled up into one. It may surprise you, but the NY Times wrote a piece about the Charter and asked Hamas leaders if they knew these quotes were in the Charter. Many of them swore it could not be so. When told they were they had no idea these passages existed. In other words, a 20 yr old document sits in mothballs in someone’s closet and on the browser screens of the extreme pro-Israel crowd like notamoron. This document means nothing to anyone except those who wish to use it to browbeat Hamas.

      If you want to do that you’ll have to find something more timely, more relevant & more operative. Show me a current senior Hamas leader who’s advocated any of these views. You can’t. So give it a rest.

      1. Oh, wow. I hope everyone reads this one. What you’re saying is that I (a random American) know more about the basic, fundamental Hamas charter from doing a simple google search, than Hamas’ own leaders?!? Come on, even an anti-Israel partisan like you needs to realize how ridiculous that is. You’re implying that Hamas leaders are incredibly stupid. “Many of them swore it could not be so” LOL. Well it so, now they know, so now they should change it. Maybe it isn’t obvious to the mentally deficient Hamas leaders (what you think) but to most people, a document calling for the genocide of Jews while many in Israel are survivors or children of survivors of the worst genocide in recent history would expectedly lead to more than a little anxiety and a strong reaction. “Show me a current senior Hamas leader who’s advocated any of these views. You can’t. ” Do you really want me to do another quick google search of recent statements made by Hamas leaders? It’s only going to further undermine your argument. Hamas is an anti-Semitic, vile, terrorist organization. So, you give it a rest.

        1. I’m disturbed by the fact that I specifically told you that the NY Times did a story in which they queried Hamas leaders about the Charter & they were so unfamiliar w. it & it had so little to do with their lives that when read passages fr it they specifically denied that they could be in it. That’s how irrelevant the Charter is to Hamas. So get off the Charter. I’m sick & tired of this stupid issue. Bring it up again & your future comments WILL be moderated.

          Further, READ MY COMMENT RULES. Call the leaders of Hamas “mentally deficient” one more time & you’ll not only be in violation of the rules, but you’ll be in danger of losing yr comment privileges. Ad hominem attacks on Israelis or Palestinians or your inane sort are treif. Note bene (“mark this well”).

          When I said you can’t find statements by senior Hamas leaders calling for genocide against Jews that’s what I meant. Don’t bother asking me whether I want you to do a Google search or not. I don’t care what you do. I’m just stating a fact.

          1. You obviously misunderstood me. I do not consider Hamas leaders to be mentally deficient. I was saying that if you were right (which you are not) and they didn’t even bother reading their own founding charter than they must be. Here’s a good quote by a Hamas leader I found after searching for less than a minute on google:
            “Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day.”
            -Dr. Mahmud Al-Zahar, Hamas leader in Gaza, Washington Times, February 4, 2006
            – But I guess any sort of language or brainwashing is okay as long as it is against Israel, right? If anyone is interested I can also find some nice video footage of what they teach their children in Hamas controlled Gaza and other parts of the Arab and Islamic world, but I think I’ll spare you all for the time being.

          2. Humilitation and degradation are not the same as genocide, which is what you claim that Hamas believes. Humilitation and degradation are what Israel metes out to the Palestinians every day in one form or another. Yet I don’t even believe Israel wants to commit genocide against the Palestinians.

            Try again.

  44. Richard – I understand the point that the significance of the Hamas charter is exaggerated. Given the bad effect it has on Hamas PR, though, why don’t they just change it? Especially if it doesn’t hold any significance? What would be the big problem in changing it?

    1. As far as I know, there are several “versions” of what the Charter actually says. I am a translator (not in Arabic though) and I can attest that there are a series of acceptable, legitimate AND VASTLY DIFFERENT ways to interpret and translate a text. At any rate: where is the Israeli constitution so that we can make a comparison? We instead have thousands of quotes from PMs, officials, leaders, Statesmen, who basically declare that Palestinians are fair game for transfer (deportation, to those who remember WW2), extermination, siege, etc. These are apologists for atrocities, and not only do they speak, they ACT. We can see what they do to anyone they feel threatens them.

      The use of Pro-Zionists of pulling out off the dusty shelves the Protocols, the Hamas Charter and Farfour the Mouse is convincing only to the “uninitiated” in the complexities of the struggle. Those who know better see them for the propaganda tools they are.

      Why would the Hamas need to change something so that people stop criticising them?

      One more question: recently we translated a video of one of the sole survivors of the Beit Hanoun slaughter, a child. She said, “The Jews shot at us”, and so on. On a French site, the translation was “The soldiers”, so those who did not understand Arabic were asking why our (Tlaxcala) translation of the French was different and why we used “Jews”. The fact is: this is what the child said. Besides, if the IDF, the army of the Jewish State comes into your home and their uniforms carry the insignia of the Jewish State, their F16s have the symbols of the Jewish State emblazoned on them, all of a sudden, when they exterminate 26 members of a family in their courtyard, they are suddenly not Jewish? They become plain old “soldiers”.

      Israel was very clever to create this body shield where they were exempt from criticism because they are Jewish. Where else in the world does this happen?

      1. Well Mary, as far as you know is obviously not that far. One Hamas charter. One version. One simple translation. The Israeli constitution is available online. What do you expect to find-some statements that will make you say, “oh, you see-invoking the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and calling on all Muslims to kill Jews in the Hamas charter isn’t wrong…look at what Israel’s constitution says!”? I disagree with many of Israel’s policies (just like I disagree with many of the US’ policies, just like I disagree with many of Guatemala’s policies, etc.) but I would hope that you people would at least have the intellectual honesty to admit that Hamas is a terrorist, Islamofascist, anti-Semitic organization. Your failing to do so only undermines your position. “Israel was very clever to create this body shield where they were exempt from criticism because they are Jewish.” Israel didn’t “create a body shield”…Israel is a Jewish state. LOL, it’s not like they did bad stuff and then decided to be Jewish. “Israel is exempt from criticism”? I love how you’re saying that on a blog devoted to criticizing Israel. Israel gets more criticized than any other nation on earth. More criticized than Sudan in which 300,000+ people have been murdered in the past 6 years, more criticized than China for their genocide in Tibet, more criticized than Russia for their genocide in Chechnya, and the list goes on. I thought I could engage in a meaningful debate with people with different views than me on this site, but so far I’ve only encountered imbeciles. Is anyone else on this blog reading this nonsense?!? Have I entered the twilight zone where everyone’s IQ has dropped below 70?!?

          1. Mea culpa, Peter D. Sorry, not a constitution but a declaration of independence. I’m glad that after reading all my points you manage to find the most irrelevant and tedious detail to criticize me on. I guess that says more about the opposing position than mine.

    2. Alex, it does hold significance. Imagine the outrage that there would be if similar statements were in the Israeli constitution? Do you people not understand that Hamas and their ilk do not think like us? They are Islamic radicals! To alter their charter would be to fundamentally change their worldview.

      1. if similar statements were in the Israeli constitution?

        Actually, your “handle” should be “notabrain.” As Peter pointed out Israel has no Constitution. But it does have a Declaration of Independence which calls for complete equality among all ethnic groups in Israel. This wish is not honored in reality. That’s a problem for me . How ’bout you? How much do you know about Israel or Palestine?

        1. Considering that my father spent his whole life in Israel, half my family lives in Israel, and I spend much of my time there, and I study the conflict in a university, I think I know a lot about Israel. Thank you for clarifying…Israel’s Declaration of Independence does call for equality among the ethnicities. Tell that to Mary Rizzo who was hoping that she could compare it to the Hamas charter. You are right, there is discrimination against Israel’s Arab population and I of course condemn it. That is not right and I hope them and the Palestinians get the justice they deserve. But you should acknowledge the truth – that in many ways Israeli Arabs have more rights and opportunities than Arabs in Arab countries (especially Arab women and of course Arab Christians, and Arab homosexuals). There are literally Arab parties in the Knesset that call for the destruction of Israel and meet with Israel’s sworn enemies…no other democracy in the world can claim that feat. Noa’s remarks are well said, true, and poignant. Am Israel Chai!

          1. I study the conflict in a university

            You need to do more studying.

            There are literally Arab parties in the Knesset that call for the destruction of Israel

            That’s a lame, stupid statement. There are parties in the Knesset who call for Israel to be a state of ALL its peoples rather than one that treats Jews as superior. Is that what you mean by “calling for Israel’s destruction?”

            I despise people who shout slogans. Do that again here & you’ll lose yr comment privileges.

  45. Mary – are Hamas incapable of providing an authoratative translation?

    Hams should change the charter because it would be sound PR. The fact that they don’t do so tells you all you need to know.

    How’s your mate Gilad?

    1. The fact that they don’t do so tells you all you need to know.

      This isn’t the Republican Party or Labour Party. Hamas is trying to survive. It’s got bigger fish to fry than amending a Charter which isn’t even operative. For you, this is important. But Hamas actually has to decide what it’s priorities are & right now it’s got to figure out how to do its best to run Gaza, create a unity government, end an Israeli siege. If I were Hamas I wouldn’t pay much attention to the Charter either until I’d figured out to handle more pressing matters.

      How’s your mate Gilad?

      Mary, Alex seems unable to control his snark factor. So I’m asking you not to be dragged into any off topic discussions with him. And Alex, I’m happy to place you on moderation as well if you misbehave. When & if I ever write about Gilad Atzmon is when you can delve into that subject. Till then, write about him on your own blog.

  46. If it isn’t operative, why don’t they say so? Surely de facto acknowledging that it’s not operative would be to acknowledge that is defunct? Given that the Charter is one of the main reasons the international community is still unwilling to deal with Hamas, are you sure that this isn’t an important fish to fry?

    As for Mary, it was an honest question. As far as I know, she is an ally of Atzmon, who is an anti-Semite. Let’s say I ran a website with Avigdor Lieberman. Would I be welcome here?

    1. “…Atzmon, who is an anti-Semite”

      Nu-nu-nu, why an “anti-Semite”? Let’s say a person struggling with his Jewish heritage? I’ll take Gilad over Lieberman (both A. and J.) any time. He’s also a great musician.

    2. That does it. I told you commenting on Gilad Atzmon is off topic. The thread isn’t about Gilad Atzmon. The blog has never mentioned him.

      That’s a violation of my comment rules PLUS you went right ahead though I’d already warned you not too. Your future comments will be moderated. And you dug your own grave on this one. As for being welcome here, you are if you can read & follow the rules. If you want to thumb yr nose at them & act like an immature child, then you’ll pay the price.

      1. My apologies for adding fuel to the fire. I replied to Alex and it looks like caused Richard to ban him. Richard, you have a right, of course, since it’s your blog, to decide what comments should be and I realize that you found Alex’s “snark” objectionable. That said, a lot of times comments swerve from the topic of the post, so, it is natural for people to assume that it is fine to discuss other matters.
        Anyway, my apologies again.

        1. I didn’t ban Alex. I’ve moderated his comments because I was concerned when he insisted on posting about Gilad Atzmon though it was off topic & I’d explicitly requested that he not continue that discussion. Moderation means I approve the comment before it’s published.

          You have nothing to apologize for.

      1. I haven’t read Walt’s book about “The Israel Lobby” because I heard it was very poor scholarship (i.e. not interviewing any actual pro-Israel lobbyists) but I don’t think Walt is an anti-Semite by any stretch of the imagination, just because his work is often used by ignorant anti-Semites to further their hatred of Israel and Jews. I do know that Walt is a super-realist when it comes to international relations, meaning he doesn’t believe that any state would ever engage in a policy that does not increase their power. So, when it comes to America’s support for Israel based on the fact that most Americans identify with Israel as the only bastion of liberalism and democracy in a region that is truly lacking in those regards, and most Americans are sympathetic to Jews and understand their desire to determine their own destiny after 2000 years of being at the mercy of others who were usually not too merciful; this is a clear contradiction to his worldview. That is to say that ideology and human rights sometimes impact state’s action more than simply seeking more hegemony and power. In other words, it would obviously be much easier for Americans to support the enemies of Israel, being that Israel is a tiny country with a small population and no natural resources, and Jews worldwide amount to less than 0.3% of the world’s population, while there are 57 Islamic countries with vast oil and other resources and comprise well over 20% of the world’s population.

        1. I haven’t read Walt’s book about “The Israel Lobby” because I heard it was very poor scholarship

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the same exact statement from people afraid to read something that might jar their tender sensibilities. You HEARD it was poor scholarship. That’s like saying “I don’t believe in Einstein’s theory of relativity because I heard he flunked out of science class when he was in elementary school.” Yours is a lame excuse & totally discredits anything you might say on the subject.

          I do know that Walt is a super-realist

          There is no such thing. There are realists, there are neocons. I know which one I would prefer. You can have the other.

          he doesn’t believe that any state would ever engage in a policy that does not increase their power.

          You haven’t read his book yet you have enough confidence to expound on Walt’s beliefs about the nature of states. Ridiculous. He believes that a state should engage in policies that reflect their interests. What you wrote is nonsense though perhaps it might fit well with a Hitler or Bismarck.

          most Americans identify with Israel as the only bastion of liberalism and democracy in a region that is truly lacking

          No, those are YOUR views, not the views of Americans. Most Americans have a vague sympathy for Israel & have little or no idea about the issue of liberalism or democracy. BTW, Israel is neither liberal or a full democracy.

          it would obviously be much easier for Americans to support the enemies of Israel

          And if Israel continues along the road it’s traveling that may indeed happen.

          1. I haven’t read his book,but I’ve read articles by him and I’ve been to a lecture of his where he explicitly called himself a super-realist. He does feel that states only care about their power – ideology, regime type, etc. are completely irrelevant in his opinion. I personally disagree with him, though not completely. America’s support for Israel is just a good example of policy based on ideology as opposed to pure hegemonic interests, which is personally why I think Walt is opposed to it.

    1. I’d say anyone who calls themselves “notabrain” opens themselves up to ridicule.

      As for violating the comment rules, maybe when you show us all you understand them then I’ll address your concerns about my own alleged violations.

    1. I hadn’t seen the rule about staying on-topic.

      What about my specific warning to you not to introduce the topic of Gilad Atzmon to the thread? Did you miss that too?

      And come to think of it I’m really ticked off by yr insinuation that because Mary Rizzo agrees with Gilad Atzmon or quotes him in her blog that that means she has no place at this blog. That would make you in favor of censorship.

      There are rules in this blog for commenting. If Mary Rizzo or you or anyone else break them, then I take action. What the hell does Gilad Atzmon have to do with anything? It’s a snarky, over-cute red herring. I’m sorry, Alex but sometimes you act like you’re a hyper-argumentative teenager instead of an adult. Smart undoubtedly. But really must you deliberately attempt to provoke people as you did Mary?

      As for ad hominems–I think commenters who come across as insufferable know-it-alls and yet make the most basic mistakes like not knowing it has no constitution deserve a tweak or two. But just between us, don’t you find the nickname “Notamoron” a tad (unintentionally) humorous? I won’t tell anyone if you do.

      1. Well, what matters is that the person claims there is an “Israeli Constitution” when there clearly is not one, so all of the OT or other information I take with a chuckle.

        I hate ill-informed bags of air more than I hate anything. I have no trouble debating anyone on any topic whatsoever, as long as they are able to substantiate any information they give with fact. If they come up with a whale of wrong info like that, how can they be expected to be able to debate with correctness or accuracy. They can’t, full stop.

        I am used to people using sexist, racist, offensive and insinuating comments about me, pulling all kinds of affiliations out of their hat, thinking it is meaningful to the issue at hand. I generally do not accept the provocation. Especially when they think they are coming up with something to try to paint me as anti-semitic. All they have to do, and I dare and double dare them, is to look up Mary Rizzo and Michael Seifert. Yes, I might be probably the only person most of you will know who had an active part in the capture and arrest of a Nazi war criminal. So give it up or get some real argument rather than lies.

        That said, I am proud of my affiliations, and I don’t run the blog that much anymore, in fact, after attempts by a self-labelled Anti Zionist Jew to close it down, which failed miserably, my two closest affiliates opened a News site together with me, http://www.palestinethinktank.com which contains over 50% original content and most of that from Palestinian writers. These two people are Haitham Sabbah and Gilad Atzmon.

        If people have problems with either of them, that is their problem.

  47. You are the one who called him ‘notabrain’; his original moniker is ‘notamoron’, neither of which sound either clever or funny to me. I think people should be encouraged to stick to their real names on blogs.

  48. [I am beginning to wonder how this thread relates to Noa]

    If Walt said it, he was yanking your chain, for Mearsheimer & Walt are certainly not superrealists.

    They write on page 92 of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy:

    There is no question that Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of anti-Semitism and that Israel’s creation was an appropriate response to a long record of crimes

    I dispose of the this nonsensical belief in Introduction: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy expose the flaws of the book in Freeman, American Naiveté, Israel Lobby.

  49. I checked out the rules, and while I didn’t see the GA rule (maybe you should write one!) I did see that you consider Cactus48 a propaganda site. That surprises me, because while it is hasn’t been updated for ages, it is a pro-Palestinian site that I would not consider “propaganda” like MEMRI or any of the other sites mentioned. Why do you say this about them Richard?

  50. Oh, my G-d…I said “constitution” instead of “Declaration of Independence” therefore all my opinions are completely invalid? That would be a fallacious argument, Mary. I chose to use the handle “notamoron” because I felt that that would differentiate me from the other posters, like you. I like to point out that Joachim Martillo thinks that “Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of anti-Semitism” is a “nonsensical belief”. Is there gonna be any moderation against offensive comments like that, Richard? I guess that my grandmother is lying that she lost her whole family in the Holocaust, and barely escaped with her life. I guess my father is lying about how Jews were mistreated in Morocco. Don’t tell either of them though, they are really attached to the lie. Also, the reason I haven’t read “The Israel Lobby” is not because I’m afraid it will upset my “tender sensibilities” but because I don’t really agree with Walt on most of his points, and yes I did hear it was poor scholarship. Am I obligated to read every book? I’m sure I can give you a long list Zionist books that you wouldn’t want to read, I wouldn’t assume that its because they “frightened” you, but rather because you maybe have other things to do. I don’t understand why say there can’t be supper-realists if someone refers to themselves as a super-realist. Statements like that make me assume you don’t understand the definition of realist when it pertains to international relations.

    1. That’s correct. You claim there is a constitution, act like anyone in the world can find it online, bla bla bla… Of course it’s untrue and a constitution is a different document than a Declaration of Independence, so if you are the one making such massive errors or simply don’t realise the difference, this does illustrate to me your capacity to participate in a debate with facts and evidence, so yes, it does make your “opinions” worthless to me. I correct that, you are entitled to your opinions, as wrong as they may be, but you are wrong to exchange them with facts, since you can list this that and the other thing about your family, but it does not stand as a substitute for such an elementary lacune in reasoning or presentation of facts.

    2. I chose to use the handle “notamoron” because I felt that that would differentiate me from the other posters, like you

      You claim you’re not a moron, yet don’t bother to trouble yrself to read the comment rules here that specifically prohibit such ad hominem arguments. Therefore your future comments will be moderated until you can prove you can both read the rules & observe them.

      Is there gonna be any moderation against offensive comments like that

      Thanks for pointing that comment out to me which I hadn’t noticed. It is troubling.

      the reason I haven’t read “The Israel Lobby” is not because I’m afraid it will upset my “tender sensibilities” but because I don’t really agree with Walt on most of his points

      You have no right to attack the arguments in the book if you haven’t read it. It makes you look like an intellectual charlatan. Sometimes it’s actually useful to read the views of someone you disagree with; it opens up the mind to new possibilities (though possibly not your mind).

      Am I obligated to read every book?

      No, just the ones you want to attack.

      I’m sure I can give you a long list Zionist books that you wouldn’t want to read

      I’m quite well read in that subject area. You might find that I’d read most books you’d suggest.

    3. Here is a discussion that a Jewish Zionist racist, Arie Brand and I had on the Mondoweiss list.

      Jewish Zionist racist [Bar Kochba]:

      Phil, if you have any regard for the truth left, read George Orwell’s article written in 1939 called “Marrakesh” (it is available on-line). He writes at length about the poverty, degradation and antisemitism directed at the Jews in Morocco (and remember Orwell was ANTI-ZIONIST).

      My Comment 1:

      What sort of sociological observer was Orwell?

      Did he at least understand the local Arabic, Berber, and Judeo-Spanish dialects?

      Did he compare Moroccan Jews with other Moroccans or with Europeans? Did he take into account the attempt of Moroccan Jews to act as native collaborators for the French and the hostility that such behavior might engender? Did he take into account the persistence of depression conditions in French dependencies?

      My Comment 2:

      It is also worthwhile to mention that Moroccan Jews had higher education levels than non-Jews and were the targets of Alliance humanitarian assistance.

      I read Masa ba`rab by Romanelli when I was an undergraduate. It was not obvious that Moroccan Jews lived worse off than Moroccan Muslims in the 18th century, and by the 20th century they were on the whole quite better off.

      The whining about exceptional Jewish suffering is simply not credible and is just another scam like the Refusenik Movement [in which I was conned into taking part.]

      Arie Brand:

      Professor David Pinto is a Dutch Jew of Moroccan origin. His family moved originally from Morocco to Israel but in 1963 he transferred from there to Holland.

      He is presently professor in intercultural communication at the University of Amsterdam, President of the European branch of the World Federation of Moroccan Jews and of the Cooperative Alliance between Moroccan Jews and Moslims. According to the Dutch language journal “Maghreb Magazine” it was nothing to be amazed about that Moroccans have taken the iniative for this alliance because Morocco has “a 2000years old tradition of a peaceful living together of both groups”.

      The prominent Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” reported on 20th September 2005, on an interview it had with Pinto at the burial of a prominent Dutch Rabbi:

      “Many Dutch youths of Moroccan origin do, according to Pinto, not realize that Morocco was for a long time a very pleasant country for Jews. The professor said: “In my time there were about 300,000 Jews in Morocco”. Jews can (could) function in all parts of society. There was no discrimination whatsoever.

      This was confirmed by Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, after a recent visit to Morocco. Cohen also pointed to the fact that one of the most important advisers of the Sultan, Mr.Andre Azoulay, is Jewish.

      I have the most profound respect for Orwell (though not for Bar-Kochba) but one wonders how accurate his information on pre-war Morocco, gathered during a short visit, was. In fact the only information he provides on discrimination against Jews was that certain places had been allocated to them to live. For the rest he reports that they were engaged in all the trades the Arabs had. Their poverty was not different from the overall poverty there on which Orwell commented:

      “When you walk through a town like this—two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom at least twenty thousand own literally nothing except the rags they stand up in—when you see how the people live, and still more how easily they die, it is always difficult to believe that you are walking among human beings. All colonial empires are in reality founded upon that fact.”

      Orwell was told by (French ?) locals that Jews had a prominent place in local finance and the banks, a fact that he could not rhyme with the poverty he had seen in the Jewish quarter and probaly dismissed as anti-Semitic prejudice.

  51. You are really funny. You’re the one that first referred to the Israeli constitution. You said something along the lines of “I wonder what the Israeli constitution says” with the hopes of finding something comparable to Hamas’ unabashedly anti-Semitic charter when I quoted it. I assumed that if they had a constitution that it would be easily found online, because Israel is a democracy. They don’t, they have a declaration of Independence which IS easily found online and contains no racist statements coming near Hamas’ in their founding charter. My reference to my family was a response to Joachim’s claim that Jewish suffering was “nonsense”. Not to you.

    1. Irony is wasted on the young & the ignorant. I specifically mentioned the Israeli constitution because I wanted to point out that THERE IS NONE. You beat Hamas over the head for a charter its leaders renounced years ago & yet Israel doesn’t even have the equivalent–a constitution. I find that ironic.

      Israel unfortunately upholds its Declaration of Independence about as faithfully as Hamas upholds its Charter–that is to say, not even close.

    2. Don’t be ridiculous…. in fact, I said that it was going to be some kind of child’s play for the likes of you to go on about a Hamas charter you never read in its original language and perhaps have only seen a dodgy translation, when there was NOTHING comparable like an Israeli constitution that others would start to look into. In fact, they were so clever to not create one. They can act as they like and it’s never unconstitutional, they escape criticism and scrutiny.

      If you think that I suggested there was one, read again, because apparently, you jump to aprioristic conclusions and you can’t even engage in a debate responding to the issues raised and only that. It was you who encouraged people to look it up, easy as it was to find and all that. So, your mistake is your mistake and you are caught with your pants down, sorry.

    3. not a moron, this is what I wrote:

      At any rate: where is the Israeli constitution so that we can make a comparison? We instead have thousands of quotes from PMs, officials, leaders, Statesmen, who basically declare that Palestinians are fair game for transfer (deportation, to those who remember WW2), extermination, siege, etc. These are apologists for atrocities, and not only do they speak, they ACT. We can see what they do to anyone they feel threatens them.

      I don’t know how it could be any clearer than that. Where is a constitution? Instead we have thousands of quotes and their actions. But they can refuse to recognise Palestinians and do them the most harm possible, just as long as they cleverly do not put it down on a paper people will debate about and accuse them of things for… clever indeed.

  52. Since Salo Baron first criticized the lachrymose version of Jewish history, Jewish and non-Jewish scholars have developed a much better picture of Jewish life in E. Europe and the Russian Empire.

    In Drone Attacks, Buenos Aires JCC, I include the following passage from Michael Stanislawski even though I do not fully agree because he makes some very important points.

    Before we can study the history of the Jews in the Russia of Nicholas I, we must examine the legacy of interpretation bequeathed to us by the classic historians of Russian Jewry. With the luxury of hindsight it is possible to discern that this scholarship reflected the social and political circumstances of its authors as much as history itself. This is, of course, true to some extent of all history writing, but Russian-Jewish historiography was particularly conditioned by contemporary reality: apolitical objectivity was neither its hallmark nor even its pretended goal. On the contrary, all the major historians of Russian Jewry consciously and candidly wrote history as a political and national statement, hoping to redress the tragedies by chronicling their horrors and thereby to influence in the most direct fashion the political fate of the Jews. Many of the resultant works were issued as party publications or parliamentary briefs. Most were published by openly ideological presses or periodicals. While the ideologies involved ranged across a reasonably broad spectrum of political opinion, they were all united against one common enemy, the tsarist regime and its obvious anti-Semitic bent as exemplified by the governments of Alexander III and Nicholas II.

    This exogenous stimulus to scholarship quite naturally had considerable effect on the assumptions, as well as the conclusions, of the scholars. To a large extent, their research was aimed at tracing the origins and background of contemporary attitudes and actions of the Russian authorities in regard to the Jews. This led, perhaps inevitably, to what now appears as an overidentification of the past with the present, a projection backward of the context of the government’s relations with the Jews.

    While anti-Semitism existed in the 19th century, it was simply not an important determinant of the treatment of the Jews. Pogroms, which included violence by non-Jews on non-Jews, Jews on non-Jews, and Jews on Jews arose because the Russian Empire did not deal with modernization particulary well while the main causative factor in the increase in hostility was wisespread disgust and reaction toward Jewish violence, which included sabotage, radicalism, and targeted assassination (including Czar Alexander II). By the 1860s non-Ashkenazi Jews seem to have been at least as annoyed at ethnic Ashkenazim as non-Jews in general.

    BTW, notamoron’s style of discussion is intellectually dishonest. He quoted me selectively and materially changed the meaning of what I wrote.

  53. Typo:

    Pogroms, which included violence by non-Jews on non-Jews, Jews on non-Jews, and Jews on Jews arose because the Russian Empire did not deal with modernization particulary well while the main causative factor in the increase in hostility toward Jews was widespread disgust and reaction toward Jewish violence, which included sabotage, radicalism, and targeted assassination (including Czar Alexander II).

  54. Yawn…Joachim, you really have too much time on your hands. Do you want me to help you find another hobby?

    1. Dear Notamoron,

      It is just a wee bit disingenuous to quote me selectively, to dismiss as offensive the opinions of eminent scholars in the field of Jewish studies and E. European Jewish history, and then to fling insults in order to avoid addressing the facts, which you refuse to accept out of bigotry and prejudice.

      Take a look at Jewish History: Facts vs. Delusions.

  55. Joachim: Jews have been persecuted throughout history. The fact that you debate that tells me all I need to know. Richard: Mary rizzo first referred to an Israeli constitution, I repeated her mistake and admitted I was wrong. Beating this dead horse is like someone dismissing someone’s argument cuz of a spelling mistake. I guess when you’re defending Hamas and being an Israel-hater one has no other choice.

    1. One of the classic lists associated with the lachrymose version of Jewish history appeared on my blog about the same time Notamoron started running on about persecution of Jews. If you are interested, you can read it here. I posted here the standard reply with some minor extensions to take into account the contemporary politics of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

  56. I’m done with this thread. After seeing all the blind hatred by posters on this site and others all I have to say is thank G-d for giving us Israel and protecting it. We clearly need our own refuge. I love that country. Am Israel chai!

    1. All I can say is in my best Yiddish inflection, “t’anks Got.”

      If slogans actually worked, Israel would live forever. But alas slogans without deeds are useless. And Israel won’t live forever unless it changes its path.

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