Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yet another road to hell

It's not true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Some ill-intention-paved roads also lead there.

Case in point, the one being built in the West Bank between the legal Jewish settlement of Eli and the illegal Jewish outpost of Yuval. The road will run through privately-owned Palestinian land, in a fresh instance of thievery of Arab real estate.

Before we continue we must clarify that the terms "legal" and "illegal" refer to Israel's own description of both population centers. Under international commitments it has signed, Israel can't build any more settlements. At the same time, it wants to. The solution to this dilemma has been to disguise new settlements as extensions of existing ones "to accommodate natural population growth." If anyone wants to build hundreds of new homes (for Jews, that is) in the West Bank, all they must do is propose a project that is contiguous to existing structures.

The fellows now building the road, however, didn't have enough patience to wait until an extension from Eli reached Yuval, and directly went there and established their outpost. Much to its regret, the Israeli government had to tell them, "sorry, guys, we'll have to classify you as illegal; there's nothing we can do about it."

The private Palestinian owners whose land has been stolen to build the road have protested to the Israeli authorities. As Haaretz reports:

In fact, the Civil Administration, a government body that governs civilian aspects of daily life in the West Bank, has itself already issued an order to stop the work

So that the rights of Arabs living under Israeli occupation are respected after all? Wait; notice there's no period at the end of the quoted passage; let's see how the sentence ends:

but it has not been enforced.

Why am I not surprised?

***


Under a Hasbara argument highly popular among Israel's apologists, the country has already withdrawn from Gaza and Lebanon and has been attacked with rockets from both places. That's why it can't consider further withdrawals, for instance from the West Bank. The Israeli population is firmly committed to a 2-state solution and wants to evacuate most of the settlements, and it's only Arab intransigence that prevents an agreement. But the day a Palestinian leader arises who is prepared to talk peace, the Israeli side will be there, prepared to make all sorts of painful concessions.

This is a bad-faith argument for more than one reason. In the first place, the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza were not part of an agreement; the only retreat carried out by Israel under an agreement was that from the Sinai, and not a single missile has been fired on Israel from there. It's not like the Gazans promised something and then didn't deliver.

In the second place, the argument explains why Israel can't withdraw from its existing settlements, but it doesn't explain why it is tolerating and, in fact, encouraging (through the provision of State services) the construction of ever more new outposts and roads.

In the third place, what does "most" mean? 51% of the settlements is most of the settlements. The argument doesn't clarify that the settlements Israelis are not prepared to painfully concede are the ones currently driving two long wedges into the West Bank and making territorial contiguity of a Palestinian state all but impossible.

Finally, asserting that Israel can evacuate the West Bank because it already evacuated Gaza is like someone claiming that he can quit cocaine anytime because last year he quit smoking. The situations in both territories are radically different. The settler population in Gaza was small and concentrated. They hadn't built roads that criscrossed the territory, nor did they roam it at will harassing the local population.

In the West Bank, on the other hand, the militarized settlers have created a state within the state. They have resources to carry out public works, they issue internal building permits and they have patrols dedicated to the repression of the native population. The State is absolutely powerless to stop them from stealing land, uprooting trees, burning fields or harrassing the Palestinians.

The balance of power between Israel and the settlers is very much like that between the Sicilian government and the Mafia, or between the Brazilian government and the São Paulo narcos. The State can take a few symbolic measures, but never seriously crack down on them. That's why the State can issue orders against the construction of a road, but it can't actually stop the work. To use a rude but fitting popular metaphor, while a majority of Israelis hate the settlers, the settlers have Israel grabbed by the testicles. There's nothing the State can do to them. So we need not speculate that when the time comes the State will deal with them appropriately; the settlers just won't allow that time to come.

The prospect of a binational state, in which they'll have to share their country with the Palestinians, is hell to Israeli Jews. Too bad they didn't stop their fanatics in time, because now, with all the frantic settlement building taking place, and with Jewish outposts scattered all over the West Bank, a situation has been created in which it's impossible to unscramble an egg, and the country is firmly on the road to that perceived hell.

64 comments:

Gert said...

Absolutely excellent, I'll be linking to this post sometime tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You don't get it. The settlements are a bargaining chip. In fact, each settlement is a bargaining chip of its own. Some of them have the benefit of protecting the Jewish claim on Jerusalem, others are needed for their water resources. Many of them will no doubt eventually be returned to the Arabs but the biggest, most important ones will remain part of Israel and in exchange the future Palestinian State will take majority Arab cities within the Green Line off Israel's hands.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

See, the negotiation is intended to be land for peace. Currently, Israel holds Palestinian land, and the Palestinians attack with their Qassams, or bulldozers, or axes, or whatever. The idea is that the Israelis will return the land and the Palestinians will stop the attacks.

However, if you say that Israel has the right to grab more Palestinian land than it already holds, for the balance of bargaining power to remain intact the Palestinians should have the right to correspondingly step up their attacks on Israel.

In other words, you're admitting that the Palestinian terror attacks do not pop up in a vacuum, but within a logic of each side trying to gain bargaining chips. Which lays waste to the notion that Palestinian terror can only be explained as purely irrational hatred of Jews.

Anonymous said...

"for the balance of bargaining power to remain intact the Palestinians should have the right to correspondingly step up their attacks on Israel."

So the Israelis building houses on open land is equivalent to Arab terrorist attacks against Jewish targets? That's some pretty screwed up ethics they taught you at the madrassa.

"In other words, you're admitting that the Palestinian terror attacks do not pop up in a vacuum, but within a logic of each side trying to gain bargaining chips."

Again you are equating building settlements with murdering innocent people. This is a morally perverse equation.

"Which lays waste to the notion that Palestinian terror can only be explained as purely irrational hatred of Jews."

Who would ever claim such a stupid thing? This is a straw man argument. Of course, Palestinian terror is motivated not by the hatred of Jews qua Jews but of Israel and Israeli Jews. It is not an irrational hatred, it may even be motivated by the desire for a better bargaining position once negotiations restart, but it doesn't make the terrorism any more morally acceptable. In fact it gives Israel a moral duty to do everything within its power to fight it.

Anonymous said...

These nonsensical complaints about Jews building a few houses on unused open land in the West Bank (land by the way that the Arabs had never and will likely never put to any use) is just a smokescreen to hide the massive terrorism perpetrated by the Arabs across the world and especially focused against attacking Jews in Zion. The recent car bomb (thankfully diffused in time) planted in Haifa, as well as the recently thwarted Hizbullah attacks in Azerbaijan, Sinai and Tel Aviv all testify to a deranged, out of control Islamist terrorism which must be stopped before it is too late.

Israel is at the forefront of a global battle against these Islamist terrorist organizations funded by Syria and Iran. Israel is currently in the position Churchill's Britain was in September 1939.

People like the Hasbara Buster by complaining about a few houses built on disputed land in the West Bank is throwing up a smokescreen to hide his fellow Islamists' true ambitions of destroying Israel and eventually the West as well.

Joshua said...

I hardly would define it as "a few houses on unused open land" when there are so many examples to the contrary. I find it VERY interesting that what you find offensive is the "few" instances of terrorism that takes Israeli lives opposed to the hundreds of thousands that LIVE on occupied land in the West Bank and the Syrian Heights (that's right, Syrian Heights). I wonder why you don't have the temerity to stand by your convictions and really reveal your intention or your identity.

Your reality is somewhat distorted to fit your hardly nuanced point of view. There are no Nazis, the Palestinians don't even have a state to build around. It's silly and naive to assume that the surrounding Arab states are bent on Israel's destruction when two of them have peace treaties signed WITHOUT the Palestinians involved and Syria are trying to work out a "peace" with Israel too.

Once again, very skewed.

Anonymous said...

" find it VERY interesting that what you find offensive is the "few" instances of terrorism that takes Israeli lives opposed to the hundreds of thousands that LIVE on occupied land"

Oh yeah so people living on open, empty land is equivalent to killing innocent people? Joshua (if that is your real name, which would be highly ironic since it's a Jewish name) if this is what you believe you are morally bankrupt. Under no circumstances are people justified to be killed simply because they live somewhere.

Besides, you see no problem in more than a million Arabs living with full equal rights in Israel and yet no Jews can live on the "occupied" land of the West Bank and the Golan? LOL

Btw you call that land "occupied" but the whole point is we do not see it that way!

Margaret said...

Anonymous - So the Israelis building houses on open land is equivalent to Arab terrorist attacks against Jewish targets?You dismiss the refusal of Israel to acknowledge property rights which allows you to ignore that such actions, when done by a state, traditionally have evoked war in response. Pretty screwed up logic - but I won't malign whatever school you attended. You are responsible for your conclusions, as Israel is responsible for it's actions.

Anonymous said...

Margaret,

So you are essentially saying that grievances over "property rights" justify war?!

Well, in your warped logic that would mean the the Jews declare war on most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East since they've lost millions of properties over the last 60 years.

As I said before, people who think like you and HB are clearly totally morally bankrupt. You advocate war for land, but this will never work. The Arabs must lay down there arms and accept the Jewish State before they get any disputed territory back.

andrew r said...

There's no reason to believe everything would be alright if they all disarmed and signed a piece of paper accepting Israel. Maybe that would be a good idea if the 1948 refugees were the only issue, but Israel got away with it, and now they're seeing what else. Ultimately, it might be better they get away with nothing.

They're not just building some houses. The settlements come with a wide range of violence against those who are excluded from living in them. My elementary school counselor used to say a play fight turns into a real fight. Seems to work for playing dumb. And watching an apologist for Israel play dumb is beyond tedious.

Why did Israel dismantle the Gaza settlements? Because violence drove them out. To be sure, it didn't make Israel any more peaceful, but it disrupted the plan to enlarge the state and fill it with the preferred race. That goes for the Sinai. Israel was forced to give that up.

The Palestinians should resist so they don't lose any more land, at least make themselves a tough target for another mass expulsion. And every non-violent strategy should be exhausted to terminate Israel's aggression for good.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, it is hard for me to believe that you are half Jewish but then again there is a long nefarious tradition of self-hating Jews and half-Jews so perhaps you belong to that.

"There's no reason to believe everything would be alright if they all disarmed and signed a piece of paper accepting Israel."

There is no reason for Israel to believe things will be peaceful if they stopped the "occupation" and gave into all the Arabs' demands. In fact there is every reason to believe this would result in genocide against the Jews.

"Ultimately, it might be better they get away with nothing."

Hmm. Is this a coy way of saying that Israel should have never be founded? The classic antisemitic position is to deny the jews a state of their own despite there being over 20 Arab-Islamic states.

"They're not just building some houses. The settlements come with a wide range of violence against those who are excluded from living in them."

This is false. There is a hundred fold more violence perpetrated by the Arabs against the settlers than the other way around -- go check the stats. Living next to the Arabs indeed "comes with a wide range of violence." That's why Israel had to build a fence to keep the terrorists out.

"Why did Israel dismantle the Gaza settlements? Because violence drove them out."

Revisionism. There was not a single rocket fired from Gaza before Sharon withdrew the settlements. It had nothing to do with violence and everything to do with demographics.

"To be sure, it didn't make Israel any more peaceful, but it disrupted the plan to enlarge the state and fill it with the preferred race."

This is pure neo-Nazi propaganda: the Jews are not a "race" and never in their history claimed to be. Trying to paint them as Nazis is what Freud called antisemitic "projection".

"That goes for the Sinai. Israel was forced to give that up."

HAHAHA. There was an 8 year ceasefire with Egypt before Begin gave up the Sinai. The Israelis weren't forced to do it -- they did it because the Jews prize peace above almost anything.

"The Palestinians should resist so they don't lose any more land"

Standard pro-war, pro-jihad anti-peace process argument of the Islamist-collaborating Left.

"at least make themselves a tough target for another mass expulsion."

Oh you mean like the mass expulsion of 10 million Jews from Europe and the Arab world between 1939 and 1948?

"And every non-violent strategy should be exhausted to terminate Israel's aggression for good."

Throw away sop to "non-violent" strategies. COme on Andrew, the game is up: you are not interested in non-violence. What you want is "resistance to the occupation" -- which we all know really means blowing up school buses full of Jewish kids.

What a moral degenerate.

Gert said...

Wow, I only came here to tell the owner of this blog that my reprint of his piece (over at mine) had attracted a Jewish settler (from Shiloh), only to find an anonymous Zionist nutter (and one of the dumbest variety) is spouting his inverted worldview here.

I wouldn't know where to start refuting his particular form of Ufology.

I'll just say two things:

"In fact there is every reason to believe this would result in genocide against the Jews."Firstly it would be more accurate if you could refer to Israeli Jews as... well, Israeli Jews. Many non-Israeli Jews are committed anti-Zionists.

And genocide against Israeli Jews?? How and what with? The Palestinians are essentially a defenseless people, armed with street guns and bottle rockets. The IDF, by contrast, is the 4th or 3rd most powerful army in the world, equipped, thanks to Holy Land II, with every latest military gadget going.

In every confrontation the Arab/Zionist kill ratio is about 10/1, except for the last one where the IDF really excelled and obtained a kill ratio of about 100. Some genociders, those Palestinians...

"Hmm. Is this a coy way of saying that Israel should have never be founded? The classic antisemitic position is to deny the jews a state of their own despite there being over 20 Arab-Islamic states."Considering the utter misery the Zionist Project has bestowed upon an entire other People, the creation of Israel can be seen as the biggest postwar foreign policy blunder of the West. The security of one People at the expense of another. Even Einstein (once asked to become Israel's first president) agrees with me on that.

Had Israel been created the way it was in Palestine but in Europe or US or elsewhere, the same problems we're seeing now would also have occurred. People resist being thrown off their land, because it's all they've got. Palestinians today STILL have to resist land expropriations by Israeli authorities because these things happen all the time.

As regards the fence, its purpose is at least dual. If its purpose was solely security, why then does it run deep into West Bank territory? Why does it cut of entire Palestinian hamlets from the rest of Palestine? The same thing happens deeper in the West Bank with checkpoints and 'Israeli only' roads.
No, pal, Israel's goal is to colonise the whole of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. You want to believe all this is due to "Islamofascism"? That makes you a numpty. Probably a Meircan numpty.

andrew r said...

Andrew, it is hard for me to believe that you are half Jewish but then again there is a long nefarious tradition of self-hating Jews and half-Jews so perhaps you belong to that.I love how you call me half-Jewish and then below say the Jews aren't a race. By the way, who do you think wrote this?

"the source of national feeling ... lies in a man's blood ... in his racio-physical type, and in that alone ... a man's spiritual outlooks are primarily determined by his physical structure ... For that reason we do not believe in spiritual assimilation. It is inconceivable, from the physical point of view, that a Jew born to a family of pure Jewish blood ... can become adapted to the spiritual outlooks of a German or a Frenchman ... He maybe wholly imbued with that German fluid but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish ... The spiritual assimilation of peoples whose blood is different is impossible ..."

"Self-hating" is meaningless, in fact. I could throw that epitaph at Jews who abandoned their religion for a secular, Euro-spawned nationalist ideology. If anything, I like myself way too much to serve as cannon fodder for a state that wants my ethnicity.

The classic antisemitic position is to deny the jews a state of their own despite there being over 20 Arab-Islamic states.I answered this a bit in another thread. Most ethnicities in the world don't have their own state. If they did, there would be thousands of states. And no one's point isn't that the Jews shouldn't have a state. The point is that the West shouldn't support a state based on ethnic cleansing and gerrymandering an ethnic majority in a country that doesn't have such a majority.

There are 60 Anglo-Saxon states. You can have New Jersey or Rhode Island. Heck, I'll give up 10,000 sq. km of Missouri if it stops Zionism in Palestine. But seriously, a de-Zionised Palestine can be a state for the Jews who live in it.

That's why Israel had to build a fence to keep the terrorists out.That doesn't explain why they bribe new olim to live next door to where the terrorists usually come from. For some reason the settlers are only too anxious to be near these violent Arabs. Why are 400 Israelis in the Old City of Hebron, where there's no fence?

HAHAHA. There was an 8 year ceasefire with Egypt before Begin gave up the Sinai. The Israelis weren't forced to do it -- they did it because the Jews prize peace above almost anything.That explains the Lebanon invasion. And yeah, Egypt's ability to pose a credible military threat had nothing to do with Camp David. Silly me.

Standard pro-war, pro-jihad anti-peace process argument of the Islamist-collaborating Left.*yawn* 30 years ago it was communism, now it's islamofascism.

Throw away sop to "non-violent" strategies.Nothing throw away about it, the international community enables Israel, so it can pull the plug as well.

which we all know really means blowing up school buses full of Jewish kids.I would call the suicide bombings punitive as opposed to resistance.
Palestinians resist through demonstrations such as the ones at Ni'lin, through breaking the rules imposed on them, they resist simply by not leaving, and when someone leaves the territories incl. East Jerusalem, Israel makes it very hard for them to come back.

Margaret said...

Anonymous 12:18 am:

Is to say that historically events occur also to say that one considers history justification of the event to which one refers? No.

Israel seems to be mounting acts of war over much of North Africa and the Middle East. And, in fact, my understanding of the Israeli-based 'war on terror' is that it is conceived to be a war on terrorism no matter where in the world.

If I have not indicated so, I am unimpressed by your moral judgments. Undoubtedly, if I used the same frame of reference, I would consider you equally bankrupt; take it as given.

Margaret said...

Anonymous 3:47pm
Speaking of reason and Israel in the same sentence is problematic. You demonstrate why. Israel as a state with equal protection under the law for all inhabitants would be an example for all nations to follow.

It's very easy to back up violence against the Palestinians, less easy to do so when one is documenting Palestinian violence against the Israelis. Which is interesting, given the voluminous amount of information there is of Palestinian violence against Israelis. But IMO it all comes down to statistics, and the statistics show that the deaths and casualties for Palestinians are astronomically out of proportion to the total population of Israeli and Palestinian people harmed by the conflict. You don't have a foot to stand on, floating there in ether; either demonstrate the validity of your statement or abandon it.

Margaret said...

Andrew - Interesting clarification, that the suicide bombing is punitive. It explains in some part, IMO, why there seems a natural balance to suicide bombing that is absent in targeted killing. It is punitive both to the actor and to those who are acted upon, and there is in the act an implicit and important social acknowledgement by the polity IMO. It kills the actor; the individual represents the polity; the death is harmful for the social group represented. Yet, it seems to me the silence after such an event rings with this question: what alternative is there? As long as Israel continues to shut down non-violent activity, or to turn such actions into violent interractions with military force, what alternative is there? Give the non-violent a greater resounding voice, and the violence -IMO- will diminish; give them equal rights, and the situation would turn into one of civil law. That, without a doubt, would up-set the apple cart from people growing wealthy from the current situation; those actors need to be identified and focused upon: what are they doing?

Margaret said...

What Gert said.

Conrad Barwa said...

Andrew, it is hard for me to believe that you are half JewishWho died and made you the arbiter of who is Jewish/half-Jewish or not?

Being Jewish and/or Zionist doesn't allow you to make these sort of judgement calls unilaterally without and substance.

Joshua said...

"Oh yeah so people living on open, empty land is equivalent to killing innocent people?"

How can some openly assert this? You wrongly attribute a point of view to people when you find it appropriate. Ibrahim never equated it nor did I. It is you who fail to come to terms that such a thing as this disputed territory means more than what you make it out to be.

I don't know how anyone can downplay the importance of the land in question when it is the most vital part of the conflict that lives are taken because of it. Anonymous (clearly a man of integrity who openly questions other people on the basis of their first name when he doesn't even post his own) is led to believe that the occupation is benign, it serves the purpose of nothing but "bargaining chips". 40 years of bargaining chips and language from leaders that iterated time and again how they want to "grab hilltops" (Sharon's words).

"Under no circumstances are people justified to be killed simply because they live somewhere."

Nor should they be removed from their homes also by strong-arm tactics. Why are you a Zionist again? Didn't they kill people because "they live somewhere"?

Anonymous said...

Joshua:

"How can some openly assert this? You wrongly attribute a point of view to people when you find it appropriate. Ibrahim never equated it nor did I."


Well, Andrew says: "I would call the suicide bombings punitive as opposed to resistance." That's right. Andrew thinks the suicide bombings are justified as some kind of punitive murder expedition against the so-called "occupation"! What a moral degenerate. Almost as disgusting as Gert and Alberto "convert" Ibrahim.

"Why are you a Zionist again? Didn't they kill people because "they live somewhere"?"

No, this is sheer blood libel. The Zionist settlers NEVER killed people because they lived somewhere! The whole point of Judaism is LIFE. We are the culture of Life -- that culture and its values is our greatest gift to humanity. If you want to know about the culture of death, ask Ibrahim.

And I agree with Gert that we live in two different moral universes when it comes to the Middle East: he is on the side of 500 million Arabs, I am on the side of 5 million Israeli Jews. He has numbers on his side, I have the Jewish People. We'll see what happens.

Oh, Gert: don't delude yourself that there are "Many non-Israeli Jews are committed anti-Zionists." A recent study by Brandeis University in Boston puts the percentage at around 2% -- in other words, with the exception of some fringe freaks (read: trotskyites and Naturei Karta) Jews around the world pretty much unanimously support the only jewish state, reborn miraculously on the land of our forefathers after 2000 years. As they should.

Margaret: never forget that since the Holocaust the Jewish State claims jurisdiction for its armed forces EVERYWHERE in the world.

andrew r said...

That's right. Andrew thinks the suicide bombings are justified as some kind of punitive murder expedition against the so-called "occupation"!
I haven't said anything to indicate support for punitive attacks. However, any section of humanity that's victimized for their race is going to produce some people who answer back in the same language. It seems to me the vast majority of Palestinians are showing more respect for human life than they're given.


Oh and 'so-called' occupation. That's cute. Even now the military issues orders regarding the West Bank and Gaza.

he is on the side of 500 million Arabs, I am on the side of 5 million Israeli Jews.
Wow, you really do see this as a race war. Crazy...

never forget that since the Holocaust the Jewish State claims jurisdiction for its armed forces EVERYWHERE in the world.
A heavily armed Israel prevents another Holocaust ~ this is yet another selling point of Zionism that doesn't live up to scrutiny (is there any one that does?). Israel had good relations with a post-war regime that persecuted Jews.

"Israel made a profit of one billion dollars from arms deals over the entire period of the military junta regime.80 Israel claimed that giving up the economic profit would have been folly since this in itself would not have solved the problems of the Jews in Argentina."
http://www.jcpa.org/jpsr/jpsr-mualem-s04.htm

The sad irony is that Israel is probably the one post-war regime that killed the most Jews, not only through its utilitarian settlement practices but direct racist murder.

"
David Deri makes the point that only Sephardi children received the x-rays: "I was in class and the men came to take us on a tour. They asked our names. The Ashkenazi children were told to return to their seats. The dark children were put on the bus."

The film presents a historian who first gives a potted history of the eugenics movement. In a later sound bite, he declares that the ringworm operation was a eugenics program aimed at weeding out the perceived weak strains of society. The Moroccan lady is back on the screen. "It was a Holocaust, a Sephardi Holocaust. And what I want to know is why no one stood up to stop it." "
http://web.israelinsider.com/views/3998.htm

I know none of that will stop a committed Zionist, but Zionism has been racist to Jews as well. One thesis I read about Baghdadi Jews* devoted a paragraph to detailing that Ben-Gurion decided during the holocaust that Arab Jews would be needed as a source of labor.

* Search for the jews of baghdad and zionism

Israel is the state of its ruling class like any other. It's sold to potential peons with claptrap about ancestral land and whatnot.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

As I've tried to explain to you many times on this and other threads: the Jews are not a race and the only ones who treat them this way are people (like) you who deeply misunderstand the complex nature of Jewish identity) or neo-Nazis. No Jew in or outside Israel would ever consider the Jewish People to be a "race."

There is racism in Israel like in any other country, but much less of it than in many other countries. The UN Report on Racism lists several European countries (including Spain, Greece, Austria, the UK and Italy) as having significantly higher incidences of racist violence than Israel has and many fewer representatives in government. Moreover, Israel has enshrined equal rights for all in its constitution which is certainly more than ANY of the dozens of miserable Arab dictatorships you and Ibrahim champion. So next time you're looking for racism don't accuse Israel -- the only country in the Middle East that allows Arabs to vote and elect representatives. Why not direct your ire at Saudi Arabia that has banned Judaism as illegal.

Until then your faux outrage towards Israel will remain what it is: simply uneducated and morally bankrupt, if very politically correct and even trendy propaganda. Your moral degeneracy could be cured by an eye/opening trip to Israel: you will see what a wondrous place it is and what a model democracy it has created despite the many challenges of the neighborhood.

Otherwise you remain a deeply conflicted and self-hating half-Jew. And I use that term not in the racial sense but in the sense that half your cultural heritage is supposedly Jewish -- even if it's a half you are ashamed of and conflicted about. (What happened? Did your Jewish father abandon you or something? Or did he never bother to inculcate you with a Jewish identity leaving you bitterly stranded between worlds? Hmm.)

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd share a fantastic article that rings so true to anyone who has ever spent some time in Israel. It is by David Brooks in today's New York Times. I hope it will only deepen your puzzlement and curiosity over this great nation of which you have formed such a shallow opinion shaped by antisemitic bias and second-hand sources.

Here it is:

A Loud and Promised Land
By DAVID BROOKS

TEL AVIV

On my 12th visit to Israel, I finally had my baptism by traffic accident. I was sitting at a red light, when a bus turning the corner honked at me to back up. When I did, I scraped the fender of the car behind me.

The driver — a young, hip-looking, alt-rocker dude — came running out of the car in a fury. He ran up to the bus driver and got into a ferocious screaming match. Then he came up to me graciously and kindly. We were brothers in the war against bus drivers. Then, as we were filling out our paperwork, another bus happened by and honked. The rocker ran out into the street and got into another ferocious screaming match with this driver. Then he came back to me all smiles and warmth.

Israel is a country held together by argument. Public culture is one long cacophony of criticism. The politicians go at each other with a fury we can’t even fathom in the U.S. At news conferences, Israeli journalists ridicule and abuse their national leaders. Subordinates in companies feel free to correct their superiors. People who move here from Britain or the States talk about going through a period of adjustment as they learn to toughen up and talk back.

Ethan Bronner, The Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief, notes that Israelis don’t observe the distinction between the public and private realms. They treat strangers as if they were their brothers-in-law and feel perfectly comfortable giving them advice on how to live.

One Israeli acquaintance recounts the time he was depositing money into his savings account and everybody else behind him in line got into an argument about whether he should really be putting his money somewhere else. Another friend tells of the time he called directory assistance to get a phone number for a restaurant. The operator responded, “You don’t want to eat there,” and proceeded to give him the numbers of some other restaurants she thought were better.

We can all think of reasons that Israeli culture should have evolved into a reticence-free zone, and that the average behavior should be different here. This is a tough, scrappy country, perpetually fighting for survival. The most emotionally intense experiences are national ones, so the public-private distinction was bound to erode. Moreover, the status system doesn’t really revolve around money. It consists of trying to prove you are savvier than everybody else, that above all you are nobody’s patsy.

As an American Jew, I was taught to go all gooey-eyed at the thought of Israel, but I have to confess, I find the place by turns exhausting, admirable, annoying, impressive and foreign. Israel’s enemies claim the country is an outpost of Western colonialism. That’s not true. Israel is, in large measure, a Middle Eastern country, and the Israeli-Arab dispute is in part an intra-Mideast conflict.

This culture of disputatiousness does yield some essential fruits. First, it gives the country a special vividness. There is no bar on earth quite so vibrant as a bar filled with Israelis.

Second, it explains the genuine national unity. Israel is the most diverse small country imaginable. Nonetheless, I may be interviewing a left-wing artist in Tel Aviv or a right-wing settler in Hebron, and I can be highly confident that they will have a few things in common: an intense sense of national mission, a hunger for emotionally significant moments, an inability to read social signals when I try to suggest that I really don’t want them to harangue me about moving here and adopting their lifestyle.

Most important, this argumentative culture nurtures a sense of responsibility. The other countries in this region are more gracious, but often there is a communal unwillingness to accept responsibility for national problems. The Israelis, on the other hand, blame themselves for everything and work hard to get the most out of each person. From that wail of criticism things really do change. I come here nearly annually, and while the peace process is always the same, there is always something unrecognizable about the national scene — whether it is the structure of the political parties, the absorption of immigrants or the new engines of economic growth.

Today, Israel is stuck in a period of frustrating stasis. Iran poses an existential threat that is too big for Israel to deal with alone. Hamas and Hezbollah will frustrate peace plans, even if the Israelis magically do everything right.

This conflict will go on for a generation or more. Israelis will keep up their insufferable and necessary barrage of self-assertion. And yet we still dream of peace and the day when I am standing in line at an Israeli cash register and an Israeli shopper sees a chance to butt in front of me, and — miracle of miracles — she will not try to take it.

andrew r said...

Anon, for a variety of reasons, what we call polite society usually doesn't refer to "race" in a normative sense. That doesn't mean racism is confined to cartoonish louts like the KKK and other white supremacists. Before WWII, Zionists referred to race all the time like most of the upper crust asswipes who run the world, that bit I quoted above was written by someone who has a memorial day in Israel.

You dodged the question last time, why does the Jewish state tell me I'm "the child of a Jew" in a law that it uses to define Jews for the purpose of immigration? If you've got another explanation, let's hear it. All you have so far is your own opinion of Jewish identity which would be relevant to another discussion, but not this one.

This isn't about how Jews identify themselves as Jews. It's about how the state of Israel IDs them. I fully agree that Jews are not a race. I didn't write a sodding law that tells intermarried couples their children are not Jewish even if they're brought up that way.

miserable Arab dictatorships you and Ibrahim champion.Zowie. I can't remember referring to any Arab dictatorship in anything I've written this month.

Why not direct your ire at Saudi Arabia that has banned Judaism as illegal.Find me someone who has nothing but good things to say about Saudi Arabia and I'll direct some ire at it. You'll probably find most Arab leftists and anti-Zionists in general don't like the Arab league rulers any better. It's a concept you can't grasp because you're too hung up over this Manichean opposition between Israel and the Arab states.

Moreover, Israel has enshrined equal rights for all in its constitutionIsrael doesn't have a constitution.

if very politically correct and even trendy propaganda.Where I come from, there's nothing PC about half of what I spout.

edwin said...

We are the culture of Life -- that culture and its values is our greatest gift to humanity. If you want to know about the culture of death, ask Ibrahim.When you scratch a Zionist you get a racist. Thanks for telling us that Jews are gods gift to humanity and Muslims are devil spawn. Talk about conceit and arrogance.

Otherwise you remain a deeply conflicted and self-hating half-Jew.Wow - three racist epitaphs in one short sentence.

I have heard rumours that in Nazi Germany, those Germans who refused to support the fatherland were deeply conflicted and self-hating Germans.

Gert said...

Anon:

The Brooks piece is one of the laziest pieces of Israel-apologetics I've read in a while. It was thoroughly debunked by Phillip Weiss (another "self-hater") over at Mondoweiss (look it up). Brooks prefers to be wilfully blind to what Israel is doing in the Territories, then comes away with positive impression and a phoney reason for not going to live there.

All he needs to do is tour the West Bank to get to grips with the real reasons why decent Jews should shun the place, indeed boycott it.

You're the one here who comes across as fantastically shallow, pal. A lazy armchair Israel apologist...

Gert said...

Weiss on Brooks

Anonymous said...

Andrew: "that tells intermarried couples their children are not Jewish even if they're brought up that way."

There is NO WAY you were brought up Jewish, Andrew. Don't believe a word of it after reading your comments on this thread. Simply no way you were brought up in the Jewish tradition and with a Jewish identity.


Gert: "decent Jews..."

Well, well, well. It's only a matter of time before an antisemite lowers his guard and shows his true colors. I guess you can only keep up the charade of baseless accusations of racism for only so long. So in Gert's opinion any Jew who supports Israel is "indecent" and since 98% of all the world's Jews support Israel, basically the entire Jewish People is an indecent people. And that is the essence of antisemitism. Thanks for such a clear illustration Gert, it is truly illuminating to see this new post-modern variety of antise4mitism masquerading as "anti-Zionism" so nakedly exposed.

Gert said...

Listen pal, it's clear you didn't get the memo: the ploy of calling critics of Israel anti-Semites no longer works. You're doing it here on the most spurious of grounds and mainly because you've run out of steam.

As regards your 98 % figure, I'd like some proof of that. Mondoweiss is a good barometer of how quickly American Jewry are turning around and waking up from their love affair with Israel.

You're out of touch and out of time.

As regards you're criticism of Anrew R:

Simply no way you were brought up in the Jewish tradition and with a Jewish identity.It could be construed as anti-Semitism (I don't believe it is) because you're actually telling him he's a liar and you do that without even the slightest shred of evidence.

You simply like bandying the epithet 'anti-Semitism' around because you're dumb and it makes you feel smug. You probably also believe it shuts people up or that they feel hurt or offended by it. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Gert, you can't fool me nor any other Jew. You can peddle your antisemitic propaganda to your fellow goyim as much as you want and pretend that you are just so righteously outraged at what big bad Israel is doing to the poor helpless little victim Arabs, but you will not fool a single Yiddische Kop. You can remonstrate and demonstrate and demonize till your blue but you won't stop a Jew from calling you an antisemite right to your face. Because we Jews know one when we see one. And you are one.

Anonymous said...

p.s. to everyone on this and other anti-Israel websites:

anyone who makes a distinction between "good" and "bad" Jews or "decent" and "indecent" Jews (good/decent being of course Israel haters and bad/indecent being those Jews -- the vast overwhelming majority -- who support Israel) is an antisemite plain and simple in the most classical and traditional mode of european antisemitism.

This is Gert.

btw Gert, are you from Holland? Just curious...

Gert said...

Anon:

"And I agree with Gert that we live in two different moral universes when it comes to the Middle East: he is on the side of 500 million Arabs, I am on the side of 5 million Israeli Jews. He has numbers on his side, I have the Jewish People."I missed that bit. Pa-the-tic!Why don't you make it juicier: 16 million Jews (after all they 'all' support Israel, right?) against 1 billion Muslims, huh? Doesn't that make you feel even more 'David and Goliath'?

The vast majority of Arabs and Muslims have nothing to do with this conflict, not even influence. Quite a few don't even take sides all that much.

"[...] only jewish state, reborn miraculously on the land of our forefathers after 2000 years. As they should."There was a miracle involved? Damn and here was silly me thinking it involved rather a lot of force and ethnic cleansing, going on to this day.

"No Jew in or outside Israel would ever consider the Jewish People to be a "race."Complete nonsense. Bring up the Kazhar canard and they're up in arms, many of them at least. Many Jews see their people indeed as a race. Attempts at genetically proving that have been carried out. Personally I think the question of whether Jews constitute a race or not is completely immaterial.

Another Palestinian protester killed 2 days ago at Bi'lin.

Gert said...

Anon:

Gert, you can't fool me nor any other Jew.Funny that. I keep the company of Jews all the time, including many Zionists and some Israelis too.

The only ones that have ever called me anti-Semitic are arseholes like you. Asshats that by definition equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

I'll tell you this though: tell it to my face and you'll probably walk away with a black eye for your trouble.

Where I'm from is none of your business.

Margaret said...

Jew goyim Yiddische Kop - Label Land: slap one on and no one needs to think.

So you are a Jew who thinks we are antisemitic. Big, big surprise.

Cite the sources for your statistics. They don't sound like any I've read recently. B.S. straight up, sounds like to me, made up to support your phony assertions of antisemitism.

Anon, we get that you don't like and don't agree with our opinions. OK - yeah, we disagree.You don't like us. We hear it.

"And I agree with Gert that we live in two different moral universes when it comes to the Middle East: he is on the side of 500 million Arabs, I am on the side of 5 million Israeli Jews. He has numbers on his side, I have the Jewish People. We'll see what happens"That's a keeper; great quote.

Margaret: never forget that since the Holocaust the Jewish State claims jurisdiction for its armed forces EVERYWHERE in the world.April 18, 2009 11:08 PM

If I were to die violently, Anon, the whole world would know why, now. You help the science fiction plot along right briskly. My thanks. So I am considered dangerous enough to kill, not that great an achievement when the enemy is someone who threatens on the web, but it classes me in with the people I'm concerned about, and strengthens my right to carry a candle in their parade.

All in all, thanks for providing strength through opposition, Anon...

Gotta get a gun, become proficient, saddle up.

Let's roll.

Margaret said...

Just don't forget: I go nowhere without the US military.

just news said...

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090419/FOREIGN/643719584/1002/NEWS

Majority in US want Israel to be penalised

James Zogby, Foreign Correspondent

* Last Updated: April 18. 2009 11:37PM UAE / April 18. 2009 7:37PM GMT

Anonymous said...

Gert: "here was silly me thinking it involved rather a lot of force and ethnic cleansing"

Well, you would be wrong about that. Unless you charge that 600,000 Jews, almost a quarter of them new immigrants and Holocaust survivors, "ethnically cleansed" several million Arabs. This is sheer revisionism -- no different than Holocaust diminishing or denial, because it too seeks to distort reality against the Jews.

Hmmm, would this position of yours have anything to do with what your parents or maybe grandparents did during the Holocaust...?

I'm referring of course to the fact that your country, Holland, had the highest death rate for Jews of ANY country in Nazi Europe (including Poland!) And yet today, your "socialist" representatives march with Hizbullah supporters chanting "intifada! intifada!" while fellow demonstrators make hissing sounds in the backgroung. And you, being a Dutchman, knows exactly what nthat's supposed to mean: the Jews being gassed to death ("Ajax!") Don't even try to be a neutral arbiter here boy, because you are infinitely tainted by the murder of your neighbors.

Let me ask: over there in Graveyard Netherlands, do you live in a house which was owned by a murdered Jewish family? Oh wait. You wouldn't know would you, because their heirs are not alive to claim it from you!

Thief. Joker. Hypocrite. You will not and cannot absolve yourself from the guilt of your people, your civilization and even your family for the Holocaust by falsely accusing the Jews of "ethnic cleansing."

You only confirm your obvious antisemitism schmuck.

Anonymous said...

Gert:

I just noticed your threat of physical violence against me.

Why am I not surprised you dumb goy.

andrew r said...

Anon, you're still under the impression this is about me somehow. Nevermind that your opinion on how I identify as Jewish is of little consequence (I wouldn't let a rabbi of any sect tell me I'm not Jewish, so a blowhard like you doesn't stand a chance), you're obviously not talking about keeping kosher, saying prayers, performing a cedar, attending synagogue, or heck just reading the Torah when you bring up 'Jewish tradition and with a Jewish identity.'

Anonymous said...

Margaret:

Sorry but despite your hard work it is clear that you are simply too stupid to argue with.

Gert, n the other hand, like the mini-Otto Ohlendorf he is, aint stupid but simply evil. A violent antisemitic idiot who likely lives in a comfortable house in Holland stolen by his grandpa from a murdered Jew.

Anonymous said...

No Andrew I'm not "talking about keeping kosher, saying prayers, performing a cedar, attending synagogue, or heck just reading the Torah". If you had any idea at all what a Jew is you would tell me to fuck off and you would never refer to the reading Torah in such an idiotic and disrespectful way. But i don't hold it against yo since you were never taught better or brought up as a Jew. Pity you. Have fun looking at us from the outside, I guess. Just remember: it's not our fault -- if anyone, blame your dad!

andrew r said...

Anon, I've been telling the state of Israel to fuck off this whole time. And since you take that way too personal, I think it counts as telling you the same.

Gert said...

Anon:

You're starting to get on my nerves. But my nerves aren't Dutch. Looks like you can dish it but not take it. You always sounded like a fantasist, now we have evidence that you are.

andrew r said...

Wait a minute...

our fault? You've got more than one twit over there ghostwriting your anonymous posts? Sad, really.

Anonymous said...

Gert:

HAHAHA Dutchboy own up to your heritage!

Andrew:

Sorry you are not Jew enough to live up to yours.

I see the energy ebbing from the goyim like milk from a split udder...will anyone -- Margaridiot? Ibrahim Converso? -- step up to challenge the sole Jew on this stupid fucking thread?

Ernie Halfdram said...

For all his or her legion faults, I note with alarm that Anonymous has been very successful in drawing discussion into useless digressions refuting the same old long since utterly discredited hasbara bullshit. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend moderation, but as long as commenters feed the troll, he or she is likely to keep coming back.

I don't know why I keep reading stuff like, 'driving two long wedges into the West Bank and making territorial contiguity of a Palestinian state all but impossible'. The Palestinian state envisaged in just about all versions of the two state 'solution', incorporating Gaza and part of the West Bank, made territorial contiguity an absolute impossibility from the outset.

Another thing I don't understand is why it matters to anyone, apart from the owner, of course, whether the colonised land is privately owned or not. I can't imagine why it is less tolerable than colonising, say, common grazing land, national parks, or other non privately owned land.

Ernie Halfdram said...

The ‘land for peace’ slogan is a trap. It only makes sense if you buy into the assumptions that Israel wants peace, and Palestinians want war; and that Israel is somehow entitled to the land that they are supposed to be willing to painfully concede in return for the peace they desire so passionately. I don’t suppose I need to explain to any fair dinkum commenter on this thread how preposterous those assumptions are.

Margaret said...

Pure momentum, I think, Ernie. And a little fiction is always fun.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Another thing I don't understand is why it matters to anyone, apart from the owner, of course, whether the colonised land is privately owned or not.Of course we all know there's no difference from a realistic point of view.

But from a legalistic vantage point, it is true that the Palestinians accepted, back in 1993, Israel's right to administer State land in Zone C (where they exercise both civilian and military control). So that if you protest the settlers' seizure of State land, some Hasbara troll can point out that the theft can be convalidated by the State under previous arrangements, which is technically true.

If you refer to cases in which private Palestinian property was seized, however, you have a watertight case. Under no treaty or convention does Israel enjoy the right to grab private land.

That way you minimize the chances that the trolls will try and derail your case on technicalities.

In the present case, Anonymous has been reduced to sputtering his vulgar anti-goy ravings, which has been quite useful to expose, once again, the essentially racist nature of Zionism.

andrew r said...

Not to give the troll(s) more fodder, but I'm wondering how many different anons have been bugging this place all month.

In this thread about equal rights, one anon gave me this fascinating remark:

"The primary purpose of Hebrew scripture is to document and preserve the history of the Jewish People from primordial times until the Persian Exile. The Torah and Tanakh proves our historical connection to the Land of Israel. This has nothing to do with God or religion."

Then today I get "you would never refer to the reading [of] Torah in such an idiotic and disrespectful way."

Uh, if the same guy said both these things, you don't think the former was disrespectful to Jews who see the Torah as the word of God and demonstrates some ignorance of Judaism? (For the record, my comment was meant to suggest that one can identify as a Jew if all they do is study Torah without forming a Zionist outlook. Didn't mean to sound flippant.).

We're either dealing with >1 anon or this is all a practical joke.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's a big practical joke Andrew. The joke is on the goyim but your daddy didn't let you in on it. So the joke is on you too!

Anonymous said...

Alberto "Yusuf":

"Anonymous has been reduced to sputtering his vulgar anti-goy ravings, which has been quite useful to expose, once again, the essentially racist nature of Zionism."

Anyone Argentine stupid enough to convert to Islam and change his name to "Ibrahim Yusuf" truly deserves racist ravings on his thread. Stupid fucking goy.

Anonymous said...

Alberto "Yusuf":

"Anonymous has been reduced to sputtering his vulgar anti-goy ravings, which has been quite useful to expose, once again, the essentially racist nature of Zionism."

Anyone Argentine stupid enough to convert to Islam and change his name to "Ibrahim Yusuf" truly deserves racist ravings on his thread. Stupid fucking goy.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Isn't Anonymous the same guy who wrote 'The protocols of the elders of Zion'?

Anyway, Ibrahim, I don't think there's much of a future in trying to prosecute legalistic arguments. Apart from being conceptually suspect and vacuous in practice, these are the same Zionists who occupied some 23% of Palestine beyond the generous allocation in the UN's preposterous partition resolution 181 of November 1947; declared property abandoned and appropriated it as state land; openly flouts UNGAR 194 with its famous right of return clause; argues that withdrawal from the Sinai fulfilled its obligations under UNSCR 242... These are the same Zionists whose own Supreme Court ruled against human shields, torture, home demolitions, and, significantly, housing discrimination against Israeli Palestinians, aside from the example you cite in your post. But somehow or other, through similarly infantile casuistical argumentation, subterfuge, and plain old chutzpah, they have managed to avoid complying with these rulings. As far as I'm concerned, the pilpul bullshit is best left to the hasbarists.

That said, you're right that in 1993, the erstwhile PLO really could claim to speak on behalf of all Palestinians in a way that the terminally corrupt PA, which could only even offer the pretense of representing the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and now apparently only speaks for abu Mazen and his clique, never could. Curious that as it were in its dying breath, the PLO relinquished the Palestinians' birthright.

Gert said...

G-d, is he (or 'they'?) still ranting on? Now he's got the gearstick in 'Islamophobic' too.

Un-be-fucking-lievable!

Anonymous said...

"But from a legalistic vantage point, it is true that the Palestinians accepted, back in 1993, Israel's right to administer State land in Zone C (where they exercise both civilian and military control). So that if you protest the settlers' seizure of State land, some Hasbara troll can point out that the theft can be convalidated by the State under previous arrangements, which is technically true."

No wonder many Palestinians rejected Oslo...

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA I LOVE THIS!!!! Love puncturing the comfortable bubble these ill-informed quasi-antisemitic Israel haters live in! Someone has to fart loudly in their echo chamber to interrupt their pointless rants against the Jewish State!

And the best part of it all probably is that there is absolutely NOTHING they can do to stop Israel from doing pretty much exactly what it needs to do to defend itself against the Arabs and their European collaborators. We will strike our enemies anywhere and everywhere on earth to defend Zion. Until the Arabs put down their weapons they will not get a single inch of land. That is true justice.

YISRAEL CHAI!

Anonymous said...

^
True justice HA! My God what warped mutilated interpretations of justice Israel apologists have.

Gert said...

Anon:

Anon, anon, anon, you're such a clown. I'm going to cut and paste some of your more comical exploits into a file somewhere, so I can use it when I get another Israel-apologist claim that there are no fanatics on their side.

"We will strike our enemies anywhere and everywhere on earth to defend Zion. Until the Arabs put down their weapons they will not get a single inch of land. That is true justice"No people, not a single one, has ever obtained anything from an occupier or oppressor by simply laying down arms, without having first obtained a guarantee of fair negotiations. Look in history: you will not find such examples. The Arabs will only lay down their arms if Israel agrees to a settlement or if outside pressure applied on Israel comes to their aid.

In the end you'll piss off even your greatest benefactor, the US.

As regards striking your enemies anywhere and everywhere in the world, that kind of thing works in places the West doesn't care about but I wouldn't try it in the US or the rest of the West, if I were you. Luckily for you, your often crazy leadership is usually more cold blooded than you are.

andrew r said...

The joke is on the goyim but your daddy didn't let you in on it. So the joke is on you too!I get it now. You're one of those Jew haters who pose as Jewish so they can make white supremacist myths appear to be true.

Kinda boring, really.

Anonymous said...

Gert: "In the end you'll piss off even your greatest benefactor, the US."

Not a chance as long as we Jews remain in control of the US.

Gert said...

Anon:

You're an impostor. You're making this shit up.

Bye now.

Anonymous said...

Muzzle watch has been to Durban II and has given personal accounts

http://www.muzzlewatch.com/

Medical Blog said...

The private Palestinian owners whose land has been stolen to
build the road have protested to the Israeli authorities.