Democrats & Liberals Archives

"Birds Of A Feather?"

We’ve heard that old saying, “birds of a feather flock together.” When it comes to our alliances with the United Kingdom and Israel most Americans assume we are allies because, well, we just are, we always have been.
Is it Democracy that binds the United States and Israel? Economic strength? Military power?
Could it simply be “Birds of a feather?”

Is America’s unconditional alliance with Israel based on the parallel histories of colonization and domination of the indigenous people of those lands without remorse or regard to the long-term destruction of those peoples? Is this historical similarity the glue that binds our two nations?

Historically, we can see obvious similarities between the ” Zionist Movement” in Israel and “Expansionism”, here in the United States.

The creation of the United States and Israel were essentially land grabs by Europeans that displaced and often did harm to the native people who were unfamiliar with the European idea of land ownership and sometimes unaware of the existence of the very people who meant to displace them until it was too late to prevent it.
History tells us that The United States was particularly ruthless and brutal in its methods when dealing with the indigenous people of America. You can see many parallels between the creations of both nations.

Baruch Kimmerling, Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University, and Joel S. Migdal, Professor of International Studies, University of Washington, in their 2003 book entitled The Palestinian People p. 23-25, wrote the following:

"In the 1880s, the Jews could not have been perceived as very different from the Templar, a marginal group of evangelical Germans who settled in Palestine at about the same time...Most of the country's rural Arab population was simply unaware of either group's existence...Nevertheless, Jewish land buying, mostly of state-owned or notable-owned tracts [of land], did affect the local peasants and resulted in numerous land disputes...

Even if the scope of Jewish land purchases was limited, they did shape future Jewish-Arab relations. The Jews were establishing an economy based largely on the exclusion of Arabs from land they farmed and from the Jewish labor market. Slowly, the most fertile lands in the northern valleys and in the coastal plain passed to Jewish hands, with jobs and higher wages going to the Jewish newcomers. The logical conclusion of this process was the separate development of the Arab and Jewish economies and, eventually, the creation of two separate nationalist movements."

Don Peretz, Professor Emeritus Political Science, State University of New York at Binghamton, in his 1996 book entitled The Arab-Israel Dispute p. 9, wrote:

"Tensions began after the first Zionist settlers arrived in the 1880s. Quarrels broke out between the new settlers and neighboring villages over grazing, crop and other land issues. Disputes also arose when Jewish settlers purchased land from absentee Arab owners, leading to dispossession of the peasants who cultivated it. As the number of Jewish settlements increased and as Arabs became aware of the Zionist intention to establish a Jewish homeland, opposition to the movement spread among the fellahin [peasants], urban notables, intellectuals and the merchant class. The lack of familiarity of the European settlers with traditional Arab customs often stirred conflict. The fear of peasant dispossession became a central issue in Arab nationalism."

Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs columnist for the New York Times, in the 1995 edition of his book entitled From Beirut to Jerusalem p. 13-14, wrote the following:

"The conflict between Jews and Palestinian Arabs began in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when Jews from around the world began flocking back to their ancient biblical homeland in Palestine, driven by a modern Jewish nationalist ideology known as Zionism. The Zionists called for the ingathering of the Jews from around the world in Palestine and the creation there of a modern Jewish nation-state that would put the Jews on a par with all the other nations of the world. Most of the early Zionists either ignored the presence of the Arabs already living in Palestine or assumed they could either be bought off or would eventually submit to Jewish domination."

The United States and Israel created their Nations at the expense of the people who were already there and both countries have justified the forced displacement of Palestinians and Native Americans as their” divine right.”
Even today in the U.S. we see whole communities demanding more “Indian” lands. We also see the denial of just claims to win back lands that were illegally taken from their ancestors. I cannot help but see the similarities between the Palestinian “territories” and Native American “reservations” and therefore must logically ask the question, is this the main reason we continually come to their aid, defend their policies and ignore their mistakes?


In the book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” Jimmy Carter States, “Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land."

Does our government see Israel when it looks into the mirror? Does Israel's government see us?
Is peace in the Middle East impossible due in part because the very creation of our two nations hurt others, and those we hurt may never forgive us?

I hope not.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at December 7, 2006 1:34 PM
Comments
Comment #198170

What a crock of B.S. How many countries in this world were not at some point overrun by another country and pushed out. Our relationship with Britain and Israel is due to our common culture, values and language (I suspect most Israelis speak English). If it wasn’t for Israel taking over all of palestine the palestinians would not have any chance of getting their own country since the other Arab countries would have never given it to them as long as they controlled that land.

Posted by: Carnak at December 7, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #198176

I guess I’m with Carnak on this one Andre; when does history start? Why not go back and let the Turks have their rightful claim to this land. Or give back to the Romans.

Man has been killing man over land, resources, and treasure since the dawn of time. There’s nothing new here other than a more recent compassion to not just wipe out the indigenous population. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a war without the traditional, historical conclusion: one side wins and the other side loses. The U.S. is not the only bird in this flock.

Posted by: George in SC at December 7, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #198185

Don’t blame America for Bushes stupidity in the Middle East. There are many who support his actions but the reason we are allies with GB and Israel is “common purpose”. We all believe in Democracy and peace. We are all best served by stability and status quo.
If you want to look for support to return to the Ottomans, I can’t support you there. As for the Palestians and Arabs being blameless indigeounous people victims of a land grab? Cm’on, really…

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at December 7, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #198188

One thing you neglected to mention that we see in common with Israel is that Israel and the US constitute the first and second largest jewish communities in the world.

Don’t forget that Israel also did try to make peace with its Arab neighbors (and by extension the Palestinians) since the country’s founding (although not always wholeheartedly).

Posted by: Steve K at December 7, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #198214

Israel is a useful tool for the US to maintain control of Mid East oil. As long as it is the regional superpower, it can maintain a stranglehold on military developments in the region, and thus keep the natives in their place, and divided. Of course, it is also true that the Jewish lobbly maintains almost absolute control of US policy in that region through organisations like AIPAC and the ir cynical use of the fundamentalism Christian groups, particularly the rapturists. The control of the Jewish lobby has insidiously permeated even the Universities. Can you remember hearing any serving politicial ever criticising Israel? It amazes me that a country like the US, or indeed any country, would allow a foreign power and its agents and acolytes such overwhelming influence on its foreign policy in their region. It’s like the tail wagging the dog. It sugggests very little pride in their own country, that they can be so cowed by such a tiny, if powerful lobby. That they ignore the elephant in the corner of illegal settlement in the occupied territories, and the development and stockpiling of WMD’s and the inhuman treatment of the people of Palestine. Not to mention the massive destruction and destabilisation of the only Arab democracy in the region, one the US holds up as a model for the region.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 7, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #198251

You fail to recognize or even mention the religious reasons of why the United States and Israel are so closely related.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at December 7, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #198258


Andre: While accurate, your piece is rather oversimplified. That little strip of land has been a vital trade route and a hot bed of intrigue since before the Israelite’s slaughtered the people and conquered it in Biblical times.

Paul in Euroland: I am glad that you brought up the influence and power that Israel has in our government, especially their control over our foriegn policies with nary a squeak from any of our politicians. One would think that with that kind of influence, they would not have to spy on us. But, no country is better at stealing our governmental and technologic secrets than Israel is.

You also mentioned the cynical use of fundamentalist Christians by Israel. In my opinion, it is not really cynical because the fundamentalists are really want to be Jews. They, for the most part, ignore the teachings of Jesus or reinterpret them to be more in compliance with their beliefs. They use the good name of Jesus to promote their belief in Old Testament Jewish law, not Gods law but Old Testament Jewish law which has much more in comon with fundamentalist Islamic law than it does with enlightened Christian Doctrine.

Posted by: jlw at December 7, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #198261

Good point jlw

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 7, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #198280

Andre

What simplistic nonsense.

• Israel’s “occupation and colonialization” of the West Bank and Gaza is the reason there is no peace.

FACT: President Carter deliberately overlooks that in 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak went to Camp David and offered Yasser Arafat 95% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza and part of the Old City of Jerusalem for a Palestinian State, along with $30 billion in compensation for Palestinian refugees. Arafat’s response: launching the bloody Intifada which targeted innocent civilians in restaurants, malls, schools, and religious services with suicide terror attacks. Had Arafat accepted Israel’s offer at Camp David there would have long been a Palestinian State alongside Israel.


You also make it sound like the tiny strip of land now known as Israel was this land of milk and honey talked about in the bible, when in fact most of it was marsh and swamp land that was worthless until the Jewish settlers reclaimed it and made it usuable.

Posted by: Keith at December 8, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #198284

Keith: At Camp David in 2000, The Palestinian’s wanted ful sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza although they were willing to consider a one to one land swap with Isreal. As a starting point, Resolution 242 calls for Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in the Six-Day War and at Oslo, the Palestinian’s agreed to accept the Green line Borders ( the 1949 armistice line) for the West Bank. For this, the Palestinian Authority would crush all Palestinian terrorists groups.

Barak offered to form a Palestinian State initially on 73% of the West Bank ( 27% less that the Green Line) and 100% of the Gaza Strip. In 10 to 25 years the West Bank would expand to 90% (94% excluding Jerusalem.)

In addition, the Israelis wanted a road that would separate the West Bank from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea which Israel could close whenever they felt it was necessary thus cutting the West Bank in half. In other words, no autonomous Palestine.

The consensus in the United States and Israel was that the talks failed because of Arafat and the Palestinians.

The consensus in Europe and the Arab countries was that the talks failed because of both sides.

Posted by: jlw at December 8, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #198289

jlw,

Excellent points on the 2000 land deal. What I refer to as the “Israel can do no wrong” lobby constantly bring up the 2000 talks as “proof” that the Palestininans are all to blame for all the problems. But the only map I have even seen of Israel’s offer shows that Israel made a piss-poor offer, and Arafat was justified in rejecting it.

Posted by: Steve K at December 8, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #198305

jlw

Nowhere in resolution 242 does it state that Israel must withdraw from all territories occupied after their defensive war against Egypt and Syria.

Posted by: Keith at December 8, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #198323

Keith, UN Security Council resolution 242, approved in November 1967 reads in part:

The Security Council … Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include … Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict

The resolution does not order Israel to withdraw, but it clearly endorses the idea that Israel should withdraw. Is this the distinction you are trying to make here?

Posted by: Steve K at December 8, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #198333

I agree 100% with Paul in Euroland’s response. Well said, sir!

In this country, anyone who dares to question the extremist actions of Isreal (either currently or historically), or the supportive stance the US has taken to all of those actions, is often automatically and wrongly labeled as anti-Semitic. This is even true of people like me, a woman who is married to a Jewish man, and believe it or not, to my husband and many other Jewish-Americans who also dare to question those actions. This makes no sense whatsoever.
The flip side of this of course, is that among people who declare themselves to be pro-Palestinian, any criticism of the extreme violence perpetrated on Isrealis is often excused, or somehow considered justified. People like my husband and I don’t buy this stance for a moment either — because it changes and improves nothing for the Palestinian people, and should rightfully be strongly condemned, as well.

Great LA Times article by former President Carter regarding his new book: Speaking frankly about Israel and Palestine
I intend to read Carter’s book — because he seems to be one of the few prominent American politicians who can speak both logically and ethically about both sides of this tragic issue.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 8, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #198335

anyone who dares to question the extremist actions of Israel … is often automatically and wrongly labeled as anti-Semitic. This is even true of people like me, a woman who is married to a Jewish man, and believe it or not, to my husband and many other Jewish-Americans who also dare to question those actions.

Adrienne,

Am glad to hear someone else is in this boat! For far too many American Jews, the attitude is: if an individual is not Jewish and criticizes Israel, then that person is an anti-Semite. If the person in question is Jewish, then he’s a nutcase. This, obviously, is wrong and is a complete conversation stopper.

What is dangerous is that the anti-semite card has become the case of the boy who cried wolf. We hear it so much people no longer believe it when it is really true.

What is curious is that in Israel the debate is alive and well, but in the US the “Israel can do no wrong” lobby has way too much influence over the debate — and many in that group use those tools I describe above.

Posted by: Steve K at December 8, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #198347


The official name of the card is either you are for us or you are against us. The names can be changed to suit the circumstance. The suggestion is that no one can be pro-Israel and pro-Palestian. The problem with that is that many people are.

Posted by: jlw at December 8, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #198367

I can’t believe that you would be so naïve as to think that the leaders of Israel and the United States would even consider the history of the Native Americans as a justifiable reason for allying themselves with each other. The similarities that you point out between the Native Americans and the Palestinians should be mentioned but I don’t believe it should go any farther than that. They were both pushed-out, bought-out and erased out of their own land but to say that this history keeps the U.S. and Israel’s relationship meaningful is short sighted at best. Your comparison of the Palestinian territories and the Native American reservations is poignant but far fetched. The way you’ve juxtaposed the two leaves out tons of religious history from the Palestinian point of view and even more Native American culture, and spirituality. Though many would argue that the Native Americans were tricked into giving up so much land, a small number of the tribes willing settled on their reservations. Democracy, economic strength and greed are far bigger factors that fuel the relationship of the U.S and Israel.

Posted by: yusufyoung@hotmail.com at December 8, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #198385

I think there are more American Christians that stand up for Israel than American Jews. I find that funny.

In the Bible, God said that He will bless those that bless Israel. Our Judeo-Christian background is probably why we wanted to align with Israel. That is the religious reason why we have aligned.

In the beginning, at one point, the Useless Nations decided to divide the Holy Land in half. The Palestinians started attacking the Israelis. Israel attacked the Palestinians and started taking the land they possess.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at December 8, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #198392

I think there are more American Christians that stand up for Israel than American Jews

No. I disagree. I think fewer American Christians are willing to openly criticize Israel for the reasons I outlined above. They would be accused of antisemetism.

Posted by: Steve K at December 8, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #198395

SteveK

No this is what I am referring to.


The Meaning of Resolution 242

————————————————————————————————————————

On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 242, establishing the principles that were to guide the negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. This resolution was a tortuously negotiated compromise between competing proposals. By examining what was discarded as well as the language that appears, it is possible to discern the Security Council’s intent.

The first point addressed by the resolution is the “inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by war.” Some people read 242 as though it ends here and the case for requiring a total Israeli withdrawal from the territories is proven. On the contrary, this clause does no such thing, because the reference clearly applies only to an offensive war. If not, the resolution would provide an incentive for aggression. If one country attacks another, and the defender repels the attack and acquires territory in the process, the former interpretation would require the defender to return the land it took. Thus, aggressors would have little to lose because they would be insured against the main consequence of defeat.

The ultimate goal of 242, as expressed in paragraph 3, is the achievement of a “peaceful and accepted settlement.” This means a negotiated agreement based on the resolution’s principles rather than one imposed upon the parties. This is also the implication of Resolution 338, according to Arthur Goldberg, the American ambassador who led the delegation to the UN in 1967. That resolution, adopted after the 1973 war, called for negotiations between the parties to start immediately and concurrently with the cease­fire.

Withdrawal from Territories
The most controversial clause in Resolution 242 is the call for the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” This is linked to the second unambiguous clause calling for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” and the recognition that “every State in the area” has the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. Moreover, it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up. The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from “all the” territories occupied after the Six-Day war. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant “that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands.” The Arab states pushed for the word “all” to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word “all.” The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: “It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear.”

This literal interpretation was repeatedly declared to be the correct one by those involved in drafting the resolution. On October 29, 1969, for example, the British Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons the withdrawal envisaged by the resolution would not be from “all the territories.” When asked to explain the British position later, Lord Caradon said: “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.”

Similarly, Amb. Goldberg explained: “The notable omissions-which were not accidental-in regard to withdrawal are the words ‘the’ or ‘all’ and ‘the June 5, 1967 lines’….the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.”

The resolutions clearly call on the Arab states to make peace with Israel. The principal condition is that Israel withdraw from “territories occupied” in 1967, which means that Israel must withdraw from some, all, or none of the territories still occupied. Since Israel withdrew from 91% of the territories when it gave up the Sinai, it has already partially, if not wholly, fulfilled its obligation under 242.

The Arab states also objected to the call for “secure and recognized boundaries” because they feared this implied negotiations with Israel. The Arab League explicitly ruled this out at Khartoum in August 1967, when it proclaimed the three “noes.” Amb. Goldberg explained that this phrase was specifically included because the parties were expected to make “territorial adjustments in their peace settlement encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure.”

The question, then, is whether Israel has to give up any additional territory. Now that peace agreements have been signed with Egypt and Jordan, the only remaining territorial disputes are with Lebanon and Syria. Israel’s conflict with Lebanon is a result of fighting after 1967 and is therefore irrelevant to 242 (Israel has said it would withdraw to the international border if a treaty is signed and the central government takes control of northern border areas currently in the hands of terrorist groups).

The dispute with Syria is over the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin expressed a willingness to negotiate a compromise in exchange for peace; however, President Hafez Assad refused to consider even a limited peace treaty unless Israel first agreed to a complete withdrawal. Under 242, Israel has no obligation to withdraw from any part of the Golan in the absence of a peace accord with Syria.

It is also important to realize that other Arab states that continue to maintain a state of war with Israel, or have refused to grant Israel diplomatic recognition, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya have no territorial disputes with Israel. They have nevertheless conditioned their relations (at least rhetorically) on an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders.

Although ignored by most analysts, Resolution 242 does have other provisions. One requirement in that section is that freedom of navigation be guaranteed. It is important to remind people this clause was included because a principal cause of the 1967 war was Egypt’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran.

Israel’s Obligations to the Palestinians
The Palestinians are not mentioned anywhere in Resolution 242. They are only alluded to in the second clause of the second article of 242, which calls for “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” Nowhere does it require that Palestinians be given any political rights or territory. In fact, the use of the generic term “refugee” was a deliberate acknowledgment that two refugee problems were products of the conflict-one Arab and another Jewish. In the case of the latter, almost as many Jews fled Arab countries as Palestinians left Israel. The Jews, however, were never compensated by the Arab states, nor were any UN organizations ever established to help them.

In a statement to the General Assembly October 15, 1968, the PLO, rejecting Resolution 242, said “the implementation of said resolution will lead to the loss of every hope for the establishment of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East region.”

By contrast, Amb. Abba Eban expressed Israel’s position to the Security Council on May 1, 1968: “My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace. I am also authorized to reaffirm that we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution.”

It took nearly a quarter century, but the PLO finally agreed that Resolutions 242 and 338 should be the basis for negotiations with Israel when it signed the Declaration of Principles in September 1993.


Posted by: Keith at December 8, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #198398

Andre
So the US should cease to exist, all the whites should move back to Europe, and all Jews should be kicked out of Palestine, their ancestral home which did actually belong to them until the Romans kicked them out in 73AD?

I’ll grant that lots of Christians support Israel because they believe a Jewish state is necessary for the rapture. More support Israel because of Christianity’s link to Judaism. Most Christians, I think (and hope) support some Palestinian claims but not all and would agree to a Palestinian state in a heartbeat as long as Israel was left defensible.

jlw
Would you like to elaborate on what constitutes enlightened christian doctrine?

Posted by: Silima at December 8, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #198428

stubborn:
“I think there are more American Christians that stand up for Israel than American Jews. I find that funny.”

Personally, I think it’s kind of strange that you would say this — like it’s a “belief” of yours, rather than something that is based on actual facts. Honestly, I can’t imagine why this would even occur to you. Is this a serious comparison you’re trying to make here? Also, you say “American Christians and American Jews” when what I suppose you are really getting at is American Christians and Jews who faithfully practice their religions? As you must be aware, the term Jewish encompasses a religion as well as a cultural aspect. This is an important distinction since “American Jews” covers folks who are religious, those who aren’t religious, and those who are somewhere in between.

“In the Bible, God said that He will bless those that bless Israel.”

I find it strange that people who call themselves religious would decide to view this quote as some sort of a blank check. As if this has more to do with protecting and claiming a piece of land than anything else. And that anything done in the name of keeping this land could be all that is necessary for blessings to be given by God.
In my view, the idea of “blessing Isreal” likely has very little to do with land and more to do with protecting and helping the people, and making sure that they are not persecuted. Otherwise, it’s like saying that endless territorial fighting and warfare and murder over land is what God is asking from all of us.
Both religious Jews and Christians will have read the book of Daniel (at least I assume they would have done), and so, I would think they’d take a few of these passages very much to heart:

9:3. And I set my face to the Lord, my God, to pray and make supplication with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

9:4. And I prayed to the Lord, my God, and I made my confession, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord God, great and terrible, who keepest the covenant, and mercy to them that love thee, and keep thy commandments.

9:5. We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly, and have revolted: and we have gone aside from thy commandments, and thy judgments.

9:6. We have not hearkened to thy servants, the prophets, that have spoken in thy name to our kings, to our princes, to our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

9:7. To thee, O Lord, justice: but to us confusion of face, as at this day to the men of Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, to them that are near, and to them that are far off, in all the countries whither thou hast driven them, for their iniquities, by which they have sinned against thee.

9:8. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our princes, and to our fathers, that have sinned.

9:9. But to thee, the Lord our God, mercy and forgiveness, for we have departed from thee:

9:10. And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord, our God, to walk in his law, which he set before us by his servants, the prophets.

I think I’ll cut to the chase and leave out a few passages.

9:14. And the Lord hath watched upon the evil, and hath brought it upon us: the Lord, our God, is just in all his works which he hath done: for we have not hearkened to his voice.

9:15. And now, O Lord, our God, who hast brought forth thy people out of the land of Egypt, with a strong hand, and hast made thee a name as at this day: we have sinned, we have committed iniquity,

9:16. O Lord, against all thy justice: let thy wrath and thy indignation be turned away, I beseech thee, from thy city, Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and thy people, are a reproach to all that are round about us.

9:17. Now, therefore, O our God, hear the supplication of thy servant, and his prayers: and show thy face upon thy sanctuary, which is desolate, for thy own sake.

9:18. Incline, O my God, thy ear, and hear: open thy eyes, and see our desolation, and the city upon which thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before thy face, but for the multitude of thy tender mercies.

I don’t know what you all religious folks make of such a passage, but I’ll give you my own summation (I know, Agnostics like me aren’t supposed to do things like this, but I do from time to time, so here goes…):
People must be honest with themselves and with God. They must be earnest and admit to their mistakes and sins, as well as those of their own people, whenever and wherever they see them. Justifications and excuses for doing terrible things just isn’t going to cut the mustard with the Big Guy. Mercy and Forgiveness is what God may choose to give to those who are deserving — to people like Daniel. People who are deserving are most likely those who can be honest and earnest and merciful and forgiving themselves.

That’s my take. Doesn’t seem to have much in common with the ideas or the actions promoted by either hardline Isreali Zionists, or extremist Palestinians, to me.
Btw, my husbands name is Daniel, and he is all of those things. He’s also an Atheist, who can speak and sing the Hebrew he learned as a kid very beautifully.

“Our Judeo-Christian background is probably why we wanted to align with Israel. That is the religious reason why we have aligned.”

Sometimes I wonder if people ever pause to consider that “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Posted by: Adrienne at December 9, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #198431

Steve K:
“What is curious is that in Israel the debate is alive and well, but in the US the “Israel can do no wrong” lobby has way too much influence over the debate — and many in that group use those tools I describe above.”

jlw:
“The official name of the card is either you are for us or you are against us. The names can be changed to suit the circumstance. The suggestion is that no one can be pro-Israel and pro-Palestian. The problem with that is that many people are.”

Yes, and Yes. I agree with both of you.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 9, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #198443

Adrienne:

Yeah, the whole Old Testament was God kicking Israel out of the Holy Land for being sinful, but he also promised them that he would never leave or forsake them, which meant eventual return. God kicked them out in 73 AD, but they returned after WW2.

Israel is doing good with God. They are the strongest nation in the region. Wben they became a nation, they fought Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine in the same war with no allies. The war of 1967 was 6 days long.

I admire Israel when it comes to war. They pursue their enemies until the threat is neutralized. The war with Hezbollah, according to a poll, was supported by 90% of the people. Israel takes care of itself. It does not listen to the Useless Nations.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at December 9, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #198444

Interesting post Andre. Unfortunately, scholarship, such as you have displayed in this post, is beyond the grasp and comprehension of most who will read it and respond. This fact should be evident in several of the posted responses who seek to compare the “transplanting” of Europeans (of the Jewish faith) after WWII with the succession of historical conquests beginning from the earliest civilizations.

I applaud your effort, however, because what this world can ill afford is another completely moronic and intellectually barren “leader of the free world” like the one with which we are currently saddled. John Kerry may have botched a joke, but his take-home message was right on point. We neeed to improve and heighten the education and intellectual development of our youth. It is our best defense against the “purchase” of political power by idiots (e.g. George W. Bush). Those of you that think my critism of the “president” and the likewise intellectually barren—consider this point. The number of AMERICAN troops (volunteers mind you) killed in Iraq almost equals the total lives lost from all the 9-11 attacks. THAT IS NO JOKE.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at December 9, 2006 5:49 AM
Comment #198456

Kim-Sue

John Kerry may have botched a joke, but his take-home message was right on point.

Kerry botched the joke after two years or so after the election. Unfortunately he supported abortion, gay marriage, repeatedly attacked Bush mercilessly and was aloof, “more intelligent than thou.” Abortion and gay marriage turned TONS of people off to him, insulting Bush didn’t help with he people who were wavering on supporting him. And arrogance just turns people away. And he never really articulated a straight game plan. Bush was very clear where he stood, Kerry was not, or I couldn’t tell.

Posted by: Silima at December 9, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #198460


Silma: Enlightened christianity is that which stresses the relationship between God and one’s innerself, being or soul. I call it walk the walk and talk the talk of God and his messenger Jesus.

An enlightened christian is one who has freed him/herself from the religious and secular dogmas of organized religion. Organized religion invokes the name of God or Jesus to force their dogma’s on their followers and lead them down a path devoid of logic and reason. They promise hell fire and damnation to the heretics and nonbelievers of their dogma’s.

Organized religion want’s to force it’s dogma’s on everyone and uses it’s followers to do so. In America, the organized religions are using their followers to force their dogma’s on the government (the People.) They advocate teaching creationism and abstinance only sex education devoid of science to our children. They now want to decide what our Constitutional rights are and who amoung us should have those rights.

Does anyone other than George Bush really believe that God wanted George Bush to be President? If so, why not a voice from heaven saying do not bother with your election, I have chosen George Bush to be your leader. Does anyone really believe that God said, George, I want you to attack Iraq and free a half million souls from their earthly bondage? George Bush does.

Posted by: jlw at December 9, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #198478

jlw

I think you will find that most conservatives or “religous people” want intelligent design taught as an addition theory (not creationism) to evolution. There is a reasion it is called Darwins evolutionary theory, it has not been proved. As far as abstinence only, I think you will find that what parents are looking for is a message that says the only safe sex is no sex. As opposed to the message that since your going to do it anyway, here’s a condom and we’ll show you how to put it on.


Kim-Sue
Kerry’s botched joke would have been funny, if he was smarter than GW. Being arrogant and talking like an intellectual does not make you smart. Check the transcripts who did better in college?

Posted by: Keith at December 9, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #198499


Keith: I have no problem with teaching abstinence, I think it should be stressed the most and possibly the only thing to younger students. But lying to students about the effectiveness of condoms at preventing aids can have very detrimental affects on them. I can sympathize with the message that parents would like their children to hear but, it ignores some basic fundamentals of nature and life.

Posted by: jlw at December 9, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #198501

Keith… It’s true that bush did do better in school then Kerry.. so what happened too much coke and drinking? As far as Kerry maybe he is still suffering the effects of combat from sereving his country in our other stupid war.

Posted by: Jeff at December 9, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #198502

Evolution is considered a theory, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fact, or that alternate explanations make as much sense. It’s the best explanation of how life came to be, and it has tons of evidence. ID (which most certainly is a form of creationism), on the other hand, has absolutely none.

I agree with abstinence and teaching it, however many parents and students are not religious and don’t want teachings based on the Bible forced on them. Because of the separation of church and state, they may have a point.

There’s nothing wrong with saying abstinence is the only 100% safe method. It just become an issue when it involves propaganda and misinformation, such as saying birth control doesn’t work or if you don’t practice abstinence, you’re 100% guaranteed no matter what to get STDS and/or pregnant and emotional problems that’ll permanently ruin your life.

The bottom line is if you want your kids to have a religion-based education, you’re free to send your children to a private school or teach them at home, but it doesn’t give you the right to force your religion on other public school students.

Posted by: mark at December 9, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #198534


We don’t know that Bush did better in school than Kerry. We know that Bush cheated to get into the national guard. We know that he cheated the guard out of work he was supposed to perform. We know that he has had extrodinary help all of his life and that he has been a failure at virtually everything he has done in his life. If he had been born on the other side of the tracks, he would still be there if he hadn’t drank himself to death. There are several ways for spoiled rich kids to get good grades without earning them.

Posted by: jlw at December 10, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #198536

Actually we do know that Bush did better. Exactly how did he cheat to get into the guard?

I guess it would have been better if he just married rcih women for his money.

Posted by: Keith at December 10, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #198563

How does this: but he also promised them that he would never leave or forsake them

Equal this: which meant eventual return?

Posted by: womanmarine at December 10, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #198578

land grabs by Europeans that displaced and often did harm to the native people who were unfamiliar with the European idea of land ownership and sometimes unaware of the existence of the very people who meant to displace them until it was too late to prevent it

Before Plymouth rocked, French and English fisherman were frequent visitors to the east coast of North America. In the early 1600s, one group of fisherman hijacked another group, and took their boat and catch and left them on the coast of what is now Maine. The natives took them in, and 90 per cent of the native population was dead within a few years of unfamiliar diseases. Natives who had more exposure to a wider population through commerce survived.

The land ownership concept in Europe was a relatively recent development in the 1600s, and was being resisted by the population there, without much success, although the monarchy was generally on the side of the people, and against land encroachments. The lawyers won.

Israel and the U.S. are certainly at a low point in their relations, but the U.S. is in a low point in its relations with most countries. I wonder where the problem could be?

The palestinians of Cis-Jordanie already have a homeland on the other side of the Jordan, called Jordan, formerly called Trans-jordanian Palestine. More palestinians live there than on the near side of a river that is not so deep or wide as religious people would like you to believe.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 10, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #198657

jlw, interesting! If your second paragraph in Comment #198460 accurately describes an “enlightened christian” (smallcase “c” is interesting, as well), what could possibly constitute an enlightened Islamist or islamist?? Is such possible? If not, I think the present situation will still worsen until one side dominates. What do you think??

Posted by: Jack McG at December 11, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #198875

To all,

I was just wondering, why Israel can do no wrong?
We question our other allies from time to time, why not Israel?

I realize that the theory was weak. I wanted people to see a similarity in both nations creations and voice an opinion on whether they see Israel and the U.S. as your basic run of the mill “Buddies” or does the U.S. feel some sort alternative reason that compels our gov’t to turn a blind eye to what Israel does and are quicker to point out mistake by Palestinians.

“What a crock of B.S.”

posted by Carnak

Maybe? Or maybe not?
It’s a theory that was thrown out there. I’d just like to know why we keep siding with Israel, even though their existance(unfair) and their policies destablize the region?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at December 12, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #198921

Israel has been doing a lot wrong recently, and our government’s blind eye has been a deliberate policy for 6 years. The people described as palestinians are permanent malcontents. Most actual palestinians are now Jordanians, or productive citizens of other countries, including ours.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 12, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #198939

YOu’re right ohrealy, they are permanent malcontents. I suppose it has something to do with their land being stolen and settled by invaders, their homes being destroyed, and being treated like prisoners in their own land. Their freedom to move, to attend school, university, hospital taken from them. What a bunch of malcontents. When we all know they should have the intelligence to move away and let the nice Zionists have the land. After all, they were there thousands of years ago, so why shouldn’t they come back and ethnically cleanse the place? after all, they’re only Muslims and Arabs.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #198954

You guys finally get it. The only solution is for the Palestinians to be dispersed among the Arab countries especially Jordan, which is the country most of them came from.

All of you moral equivalency people out there, what do you say about the Palestinians in Gaza brutally murdering 3 of there own children? Until you realize that the 2 sides are no where near equivalent, you will not understand the situation at all.

Posted by: Keith at December 12, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #198960

No we get it Keith, ze Palestinians are untermensch und are only fit fur extermination. Ze chosen peple haf to take on zis responsibilty fur awl uv mankind. Ve must cleanse the blut. Dr Strangelove.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #198961

Paul

I didn’t say anything about extermination.

Nice try asshole…..

Posted by: Keith at December 12, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #198965

Despite your protests Keith, there are many of us around the world who understand the situation all too well, including many in Israel. But what the hell, they’re just self hating Jews, eh?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #198970

The people being described as palestinians are the people that Jordan does not want, and for good reasons. I forgot to mention that some former palestinians are now Israelis, and have more rights there, than they would have in any country in the Middle East.

I know palestianians, I have done business with palestianians in the U.S., and they are all very nice sensible people.

The Israeli government has drifted into its current policies because of the disengagement of our useless government, but what does that say about what the Israelis would do if left to their own devices? Build a wall.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 12, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #198972

Paul, You don’t understand anything.

Here check this out.

Walid Shoebat Foundation/

Posted by: Keith at December 12, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #198974

I agree with you Andre and so I will probably labeled anti-semetic. I really wish that more Americans would watch news from outside of the U.S. They would be mortified at the brutality and cruelty that Israeli soldiers inflict on the people of Palestine. On a french news station I witnessed something horrifying. It was an Israeli soldier use the butt of his rifle to break the leg of an old palestinian woman. If America was allowed to really watch the news uncensored, Our government would have alot of explaining to do on why we support that country.

Posted by: Daniel H at December 12, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #198989

Like I said, you people understand nothing.

Palestinian atrocities, Israeli retaliations and the laws of war

Posted by: Keith at December 12, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #199005

Andre,

Unfortunately you are asking a great deal for the average respondent to “think.” It is much more important for a such sad and “Bush-like” lot to have the appearance of intellect and understanding because it makes it much easier to avoid cogent and serious issues and discussions.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at December 13, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #199019


Keith: I read the article that you posted. It proves your argument without a shadow of doubt. I know that people will argue that it was written by an Israeli and gives the Israeli government argument verbatum but that doesn’t make the article any less true. Those people are just woefully misinformed and only listen to Palestinian propaganda instead of the Israeli side.

Israel can never rest until the UN stops interfering and they are allowed to defeat the Palestinian’s and drive them from the West Bank and Gaza. Even then Israel will not have the peace that they deserve because that is just half the battle. That will still leave at least half of Israel’s land in the hand of Arabs because most of Jordan belongs to Israel, most of Lebanon belongs to Israel and most of Syria, including their capital Damascas belongs to Israel. When Israel has reclaimed the Kingdom of David and Solomon, then they will be a mighty nation that commands respect, the nation that God intends them to be.

Posted by: jlw at December 13, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #199029

It is important to better understand the profound moral and legal differences between Palestinian terrorism, which is always deliberately barbarous and indiscriminate, and Israeli retaliations, which are always consciously designed to AVOID civilian casualties.

Keith, the above quote is from your article. I didn’t realise just how incompetent the Israeli security services are. Given how much effort Israel puts into avoiding civilian casualties, their killing figures are enormous. And as for those barbarous Palestinians, well, they’re not very good at that either, given thier bloodthirsty efforts to indiscriminately kill Israelis. From July to Nov this year, Israel has killed 93 Palestinian civilian per month.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5951.shtml

As the above source points out;
“Despite the fact that they have vastly inferior weapons, are killed in much greater numbers than Israelis, live under Israeli occupation and are having their land taken from them by Israelis, Palestinians are generally portrayed in the US as the aggressor. Ironically, under the much vilified Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, Palestinians have killed by far the fewest Israelis in any period during this six-year intifada — nineteen Israelis over seven months.

Hamas has largely maintained a ceasefire since early 2005, even as Israel and western governments demand that Hamas renounce violence and recognize Israel, and the western media simplistically repeats that Hamas is “committed to the destruction of Israel.” In the meantime, Israel is actually destroying the Palestinian people and any hopes for a Palestinian state through heightened violence and land seizure. But the world has been silent about Israeli actions.”

Keith, I don’t know what iron you have in this fire. However, assuming that you hold your beliefs honestly, it changes nothing. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

jlw, nice one.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 13, 2006 6:08 AM
Comment #199053

most of Jordan belongs to Israel, most of Lebanon belongs to Israel and most of Syria, including their capital Damascas belongs to Israel.

I respectfully disagree. Dan to Beersheba should be the north and south borders, with a defensive corridor at each end.

I do not agree with much of what Israel is doing, but they have always been careful not to do things that have been done to them in the past. They do not want to put themselves in the position of being compared to the germans in WW2.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 13, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #199058

Paul

Do you have one mainstream source (even the UN) to back up those figures? They sound like the same people that said we have killed 600,000 Iraqi civillians.

Posted by: Keith at December 13, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #199068

Keith, read this: I know it is dated, but gives a general sense of the death tolls. Remember that the truce only happened in the last year or two.

Israeli death toll
Palestine death toll

death toll


I’ve heard some people say that Palestinians are actually Joradanians and I’d like them to explain what they mean. I know that TransJordan was originally part of the British mandate to occupy Palestine and I know that Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 until 1967. I also know that a large number of Palestinian Refugees are now forced to live in Jordan because of Israel’s policy; yet I don’t understand what is meant when it you say that the Palestinians are really Jordanians.

Posted by: Warren P at December 13, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #199072

Warren P

What Israeli policies are you referring to? The one where Palestinians who did not leave Israel at the behest of the other Arab countries, live a better life than in any other country in the middle east.

Posted by: Keith at December 13, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #199108

I’m talking about the refusal of Israel to let Palestinian refugees return to their land.
wikipedia
Israel mischaracterizes attempts by refugees to return to their land by calling it the “Palestinian Infiltration”.

Posted by: Warren P at December 13, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #199146

Warren,

You are talking about something that was taking place 50 years ago. That is much different to the “right of return” that most people allude to now, which doesn’t exist.

Posted by: Keith at December 13, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #199293

Actually the attempts by Palestinians to return to land they own back in the 1950s are the same thing as the modern day concept of a Palestinian Right of Return. You still have not answered my first question about how you said Palestinians are actually Jordanians when as far as I can see they are two different subsets of people.

Posted by: Warren P at December 14, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #199321

Warren, Keith is a propagandist for vicious Israeli imperialism. He is not interested in the truth. Quite the opposite, he is trying to smother it. Don’t encourage him.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 14, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #199342

vicious Israeli imperialism

Yeah, right, Israel has such a huge empire, if they had 6 square yards, you would be complaining because Euroland has not manage to kill them all yet.

On the disingenuous flamebaiter who keeps asking about Jordan and Palestine. Jordan is a river, as in Jordan’s Stormy Bank and Roll, Jordan roll. The Hashemite king claims to be a descendant of somebody really good from way back when people were better and more religious than nowadays, and the country has always been a client state, first of the Brits, and now the U.S.

Changing the name of the country from Palestine to Jordan to Abullalaland, does not change the fact that they are still the same people living there, on whatever side of the Jordan river.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 14, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #199344

Paul, I disagree with your characterization of the expansion of Israel into Palestine as “vicious Israeli imperialism”. I believe that Israel trully did not wish to hurt other peoples, but they were merely pushed into a “survival mode” of sorts. The 1940s were not terribly friendly to the Jewish population. Because of the general feeling of urgency that their survival was at stake, many Israelis felt that ends justified the means if the goal at stake was merely your own race’s existance. I surely would do the same if I was in their shoes. My gripe with Israel is that after its security was insured and it became the most powerful nation in the region, it did not return to its original borders, but instead settled it with new people instead of letting the owners to return.

I surely hope Keith is not one of those radical zionists that think Israel should stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Posted by: Warren P at December 14, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #199348

Ohrealy, I started writing my comment before you posted yours so I did not get a chance to adress you.

First, I really do not like being called a “Flamebaiter”. I was just uncertain about what you and Keith meant when he and you said:

“The people being described as palestinians are the people that Jordan does not want” (Comment #198970)
and
“The only solution is for the Palestinians to be dispersed among the Arab countries especially Jordan, which is the country most of them came from.”(Comment #198954)
Posted by: Warren P at December 14, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #199355

“My gripe with Israel is that after its security was insured and it became the most powerful nation in the region, it did not return to its original borders, but instead settled it with new people instead of letting the owners to return.”

Warren P, your above quote confirms what I say about imperialism. If you settle occupied land illegally, then you are engaging in imperialism, plain and simple. Given the Israeli treatment of palestinian Arabs, vicious is the only word that I feel come close to accurately describing it. Check out this link;

http://www.rachelswords.org/2006/09/05/israeli-prof-ilan-pappe-genocide-in-gaza/

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 14, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #199364

Imperialsim is, in my opinion, when one nation intentionally tries to exert political and economical influence over a region for economic or egotistical gain. Israel is not doing this, instead they are overly paranoid about their existance do to their long history of persecution. That is why they refuse to withdraw from the occupied territories.

Posted by: Warren P at December 14, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #199373

Paul

Now you’re bringing into the argument an idiot who walked in front of a bulldozer.

I’ve said it before you are a pompous ass who goes through life with blinders on.

Since you can not understand that there is no law of occupation for territory you captured in a defensive war, everything else that comes out of your mouth is nonsense.

The answer is simple, if the Palestinians and the other Arabs stop trying to kill the Israelis and push them into the ocean, all of this would stop. All Israel wants to do is live in peace. If you don’t understand this you can’t understand anything.

Posted by: Keith at December 14, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #199385

Keith,

You honestly believe that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is one sided? That’s funny.

“The answer is simple, if the Palestinians and the other Arabs stop trying to kill the Israelis and push them into the ocean, all of this would stop. All Israel wants to do is live in peace. If you don’t understand this you can’t understand anything.”

Is your last name Netanyahu?

I implore you to read any book that details the factual history of Israel and the conflict with Palestinians. Even the Israeli’s would laugh at your last remark.


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at December 15, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #199396

Sorry Andre

You cannot show me one book that truthfully says that, since it’s inception in 1948 Israel has not just wanted to live in peace.

Posted by: Keith at December 15, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #199400

The answer is simple, if the Palestinians and the other Arabs Israelis and other Zionists stop trying to kill the Palestinians and pusing them into the ocean desert, all this would stop. All Israel Palestine wants to do is live in peace. If you don’t understand this you can’t understand anyting.

See? It works both ways.

Until Israel stop trying to take their land and actually take proactive steps to allow Palestinian Refugees to return to land that they OWN, Palestinian will still wage a defensive war against occupation of their homes.

I agree with the premise that they are not waging war as humanely as one could, but that is because the United States and other nations prevents them from purchasing smart bombs and other weapons that would allow for solely military targets in attacks and minimize civillian deaths. We gladly sell these weapons to Israel, but never to Palestine.

BTW It is impossible to capture territory in a defensive war. Defensive war is by defintion, war waged to repel invaders that have crossed the border. The end result of a sucessful defensive war is that the invaders are pushed back to the border. If the victorious nation that was attacked crosses the border the defensive war ends and a new war of conquest begins. Nowadays, usually when this happens, the victor returns the land gained in this war of conquest after the war is over. One example of this is the return of German land to Germany in both World Wars.

Just because a war is one of conquest does not mean it is not justified. The Allied invasion of Germany in World War II and Israel’s invasion of Palestine are two examples of justified wars of conquest. The problem with that latter is that the land gained in the war was not returned after it became clear that Israel was no longer threated by invasion by Egypt and Jordan.

Also the 1967 war was not entirely defensive; it was Israel that took the initiative to do the first military action; it is usually characterized as a pre-emptive war in response to Egypt not letting Israel use the Suez canal or the Red Sea.

One more thing, I inform myself from a wide variety of sourves. I even watch a pro-Israel television program on Daystar created by Zola Levitt every friday evening; Walid Shoebat is a usual guest on that show so I already have heard a lot of what he has to say.

One last thing, characterizing a non-violent protester as an “idiot” is a very disrespectful thing to do. I guess you must consider this person an idiot as well. Maybe MLK Jr. and other African-Americans were idiots to protest the discrimination waged against them. Following your logic Ghandi must’ve been an idiot to think that non-violent protest would cause South Africa to end discrimination against Indians and to think that it would cause the British to leave India.

Posted by: Warren P at December 15, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #199436

Warren p

“Until Israel stop trying to take their land and actually take proactive steps to allow Palestinian Refugees to return to land that they OWN, Palestinian will still wage a defensive war against occupation of their homes.”

What land are you talking about?

“The answer is simple, if the Palestinians and the other Arabs Israelis and other Zionists stop trying to kill the Palestinians and pusing them into the ocean desert, all this would stop. All Israel Palestine wants to do is live in peace. If you don’t understand this you can’t understand anyting.”

That’s about the stupidest moral relativist pap I’ve ever read.

How long did it take for the Soviets to return East Germany?

We gave Germany back to the Germans when and only when it was determined that they were not a danger to their neighbors or the rest of the world.

If you truly believe that Israel would be safe allowing Palestinians to come and go as they please, then there really is no sense in continuing the dialogue.

Has the Israeli govenment made mistakes YES, are they responsible for the conditions that the Palestinians continue to live under, NO. Arab countries (you know the ones with all that oil money), are intentionally leaving them to live in squalor because it fits in with their plans. They want the area to remain unstable.

Posted by: Keith at December 15, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #199437

Warren P

Maybe idiot is to strong a word. Maybe foolish or stupid would be a better word for someone who steps in front of a moving bulldozer where the driver could not see her.

Posted by: Keith at December 15, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #199460

Paul

Now you’re bringing into the argument an idiot who walked in front of a bulldozer.

Posted by: Keith at December 14, 2006 11:56 PM

And you accuse me of being a pompous ass going through life with blinders on. You clearly haven’t read the material on the link above. In fact, although the header on the page refers to Rachel Corrie, (a brave and idealistic young American whom you dismiss as an idiot) the article itself has nothing to do with her. But then, I suppose you would dismiss the crew of the USS Liberty as idiots also who put themselves in front of Israeli warplanes and gunboats who couldn’t see their flag flying proudly. To do otherwise would be to admit that your cherished Israel callously attacked and brutally murdered US naval personnel in international waters, to keep US eyes off their evil doing.

Keith, I’m not the one with the blinkers on. There are many Israelis and many non Israeli Jews who are as critical and even more critical that me of Israeli evil doing. That article was in fact written by an Israeli Jewish academic. Haven’t you heard of B’Selem? Norman Finkelstein? How about Gideon Levy, a Jewish writer for the mainstream Israeli paper Ha’aretz? See this link;

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=4872

Ever heard of Tanya Reinhart? Have a look at what she has to say; “What is happening in the Territories is a process of slow and steady genocide. People die from being shot and killed, many die from their wounds - the number of wounded is enormous, it is in the tens of thousands. Often, people can not get medical treatment, so someone with a heart attack will die at a road block because they can not get to the hospital. There is a serious shortage of food, so there is malnutrition of children. The Palestinian society is dying - daily - and there is hardly any awareness of this in Israeli society.”

Ever come across these Jews who are prepared to call Zionism what it is?

http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/tenquestions.htm”

There are so many more, but I know you don’t want to know about them as they witness truths that you cannot bear to take your blinkers off to see. I don’t know why I even bother to respond to you. You clearly have your mind made up and nothing fresh that does not agree with your stubborn paradigm, will penetrate. Another word for that is bigotry.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 15, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #199464

Keith, here’s a profile of a woman you dismiss as an idiot;
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=3830

I suggest that she had more courage, more idealism, more compassion and more humanity that the likes of you could ever imagine, let alone display in your own character.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 15, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #199469

I’m talking about This Land
Another Link

“stupidest moral relativist pap”
I was just trying to show you the illogical nature of your previous statement.

I think the policy of the USSR of propping up a puppet regime in East Germany was a horrendous policy and completely unjustifiable. I consider that to have been conquest.

We gave Germany back to the Germans when and only when it was determined that they were not a danger to their neighbors or the rest of the world.

That is my point, Palestine could not be considered a danger to any of its neighbors or the rest of the world in years such as 1988 or 1999. Only after more than a decade and a half of occupation with no foreseeable withdrawal, did the First Intifada begin. The second Intifada began after eight years of peaceful submission to Israeli occupation. We left Germany in 1948, three years after conquering it; Israel has controlled Palestine for much longer stretches of time.

Posted by: Warren P at December 15, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #199471

Good Point Andre
But perhaps the reasons why Israel and the US have such a close relationship runs a little deeper than you put it. Yes, one can draw parallels between the two in regards to expansionism. But one can do this with pretty much any two powers. Throughout history we see certain peoples benefiting at others’ expense.

I thought your choice of using a Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University was very wise and supportive to your claim.

Posted by: Dave at December 15, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #199480

Paul

Here’s a different take on your heroine

Rachel Corrie, One Year Later

Posted by: Keith at December 16, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #199484

Paul in lala land

“I suggest that she had more courage, more idealism, more compassion and more humanity that the likes of you could ever imagine, let alone display in your own character.”

Since you have no idea who I am or the quality of my character, I’ll just take this as you being a pompous jerk.

Posted by: Keith at December 16, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #199546

Keith, your words betray your character. But never mind, sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Now, down to business. You link above on Rachel Corrie. The fact that your hero behind this rag is Jewish, affiliated with Campus Watch and is associated with the right wing of the political spectrum should not suggest that he is biased, nor indeed that he is a regular speaker on Fox news as an analyst(Wikipedia). And of course we should disregard the fact that he was a lefty loonie in the sixties. This clearly is not indicative of schizophrenia, at least in the political sense. No, we must in all honesty take everything on his web site on trust, because clearly he has no partisan interest in this whole business.

Give me a break. Do you take people for fools? I may know little about you Keith, but what I sense of you is a poor version of your hero Horowitz. And if that’s the best you can aspire to, well, frankly, that doesn’t surprise me. I won’t abuse you, as my late mother used to say, you shouldn’t abuse the afflicted!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 16, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #199559

Paul

What are you talking about. Steven Plaut is a professor at the Haifa University and I don’t think he was ever a lefty. I may be whatever you think I am, but at least I can read.

Posted by: Keith at December 16, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #199564


I believe that the most devisive aspect of the Israel/Palestine conflict is Jerusalem. The Israeli hard line towards the Palestinians is partly because of it. The Israelis want the Palestinians to give up their claim to Jerusalem and they want to make it the capital of Israel. The Palestinians could and would never give up their claim to Jerusalem. It would be about the same as Saudi Arabia giving up Mecca to Iran.

The key to settling the conflict is to settle the Jerusalem issue. The Christians also have a claim to Jerusalem. The world community should give Jerusalem to none of them and all of them. If Jerusalem is taken out of the jurisdiction of Israel and it is proclaimed a Holy City unto itself like the Vatican in Rome, controlled by religious leaders of all three faiths, the Israelis and the Palestinians will have little left to fight about.

Posted by: jlw at December 17, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #199576

jlw,


Not a very good analogy, here’s a very good article on the history of Jerusalem and Islam.

The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

Posted by: Keith at December 17, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #199586

Keith: I have just finished reading the article. The author argues that the Jews have a religious claim to Jerusalem that greatly exceeds either a Christian or Muslem claim. He also claims that any Muslem claim is purely political, the Jews have it and the Muslems don’t want them to have it.

One could just as easily argue that the Jews denied Jesus, defied their God and as a result, lost all religious and secular claim to the Holy Land. The Jews have not reclaimed part of the ancient kingdom of Israel because God said these are my people, they have suffered enough and I am reinstating their claim and giving their kingdom back to them. In fact, their rights were reinstated by two secular nations that decided that the best way to deal with the Jewish refuge problem was to dump them off on the Palestinians and give them political and military support. They didn’t give a damn about the Jews or the Palestinians and they are living with the consequences of their decision.

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are making a political claim to Jerusalem. They both want Jerusalem as their capital. Neither has a religious government. Both are going to continue to stake their claim to Jerusalem and in my opinion, a settlement similar to what I proposed will probably be the only solution to the problem. Let’s find out if both really want peace.

Posted by: jlw at December 17, 2006 11:40 AM
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