Silly swastika

gerald_giampa's picture

The opposition does not exist, and the coalition, with Ariel Sharon at its head, claims the right to remain silent. In a nation of chatterboxes, everyone has suddenly fallen dumb, because there

hrant's picture

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3377897.stm
Why is "right of return" so valuable to Israel, I wonder... :-/

hhp

William Berkson's picture

'Kol Yisrael arevim zeh le zeh' 'All Israel are responsible one for the other'. This principle from the Talmud is one of the reasons we have survived in spite of those who are ready to invent false reasons to hate and kill us. We know that if we don't look out for each other, no one else will.

In this case, I believe the people involved had actually had formally converted to Christianity to try to escape persecution, and this was unsuccessful - the persecution in a desparately poor country to start with was pitiable. There was a long debate over whether Israel should accept them as Jews, as they claimed to be, and give them the right of return. In a humanitarian decision, Israel finally decided to accept them. The right thing. That's the reason.




hrant's picture

> The right thing. That's the reason.

Riiight - just like The Fence, eh? Coping mechanism and/or distortive propaganda in full gear here! Of course similarly Dubya wants to give legal citizenship to Hispanics because he loves their culture so much... You need to realize that your rose-colored glasses are in fact tinted with nothing else but blood.

It's more like "if we inundate the 'Promised Land' with poor desparate Ethiopians who are in no position to complain, we'll have another weapon against the Palestinians." The Israeli "right of return" is not racist at all, quite the contrary: it will use people of any color as cannon fodder in this war. In the same way that racism is on the decline in the US... because it's bad for business.

BTW, take a look into this mirror, your legacy to the world:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3380387.stm

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Hrant, you respond to my pointing out an humanitarian gesture of Israel by empty, lame insults, and a link to a story about people being overweight.

I will trust that typophiles will figure out that you are completely irrational on this subject.

gerald_giampa's picture

How do you find the initial postings to this thread?

William Berkson's picture

Gerald, click on the archive link at the top of this page.

gerald_giampa's picture

Frankly in spite of the obvious Ethnoism and Religious Discrimination inherent in Jewishness what, possibly, could be more wonderful than this solution?

It shows that the Arabs are big hearted and wish to Kiss and Make Up.

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/08/israel.palestinians.ap/index.html

John Hudson's picture

It shows that the Arabs are big hearted and wish to Kiss and Make Up.

Er, no, it shows that they're really spooked about the Fence, and with good reason. Attacks within Israel have been Arafat's biggest bargaining chip: they brought the weary Israelis to the negotiating table at Oslo to offer land in return for peace. Arafat promised peace, but never delivered, and the Israelis didn't deliver the land -- because neither side trusts the other --, so there has been a violent stalemate for the past two years. The Fence changes the whole equation, because if Palestinian militants can't launch attacks within Israel anymore, then Arafat has nothing left to negotiate with. The Palestinian Authority is justifiably worried, and the idea of 'pushing for a one-state solution' just shows how desperate they are. On what basis are they going to push? Blowing up civilians in Israel is the only card in their hand, the offer of peace their only negotiating tool. If Israel makes it impossible for Palestinian militants to operate within Israel, Arafat will be left sitting outside the fence with a lot of angry Hamas members on his hands, probably wishing that he'd cracked down on them like he promised to do at the Oslo peace talks.

And I write this in full sympathy for the ordinary Palestinian people who, once again, will be the victims of both Israeli policy and their own corrupt and strategically-blind leadership.

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

You confuse me. You say that Sharon is a terrorist and a war criminal. Now you are calling a Nobel 'Peace' Prize Winner Arafat corrupt!.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/6CA77D80-5103-4463-96F2-092C5D6E277D.htm

What do you make of this?

Firstly William says that Israel is not a racist state. Then I make clear point. Cornered, William abandons previous position. Catching breath he gears his loyalties to soft and heavenly explanation spewing guilt upon all others as to why the Jewish peoples have come by ethnoism and religious discrimination honestly. Here William quotes and writes

'Kol Yisrael arevim zeh le zeh' 'All Israel are responsible one for the other'. This principle from the Talmud is one of the reasons we have survived in spite of those who are ready to invent false reasons to hate and kill us. We know that if we don't look out for each other, no one else will.

But what do you make of this? This seems to explain the profound Ethnoism and Religious Discrimination of the Jewish peoples, but I hope not. In otherwords it may harder to be sympathetic as William has suggested. In fact if there is truth to this I am very offended. I think lots of us will be very offended.

Excerpt from the ultra-orthodox newspaper Hamodia The sacred book Zohar has taught us that Israel is linked to rationalism.* Thus, the great distance between the Jew and the Gentile is such that it can only be compared to the distance between animals and humans. Rabbi Loew Yehuda of Prague has spoken at length of this fundamental difference in his Lord of Israel, in Chapter 14, where he indicates that the great difference between the Jew and the Gentile is such that it can only be compared to the distance between animals and humans. Our rabbis have also said, You are humans; Gentiles are not humans.

Hamodia Newspaper, are they anti-semitic, or are they very evil racist?

hrant's picture

John, besides your lopsided formalisms of what's terrorism and what's not (definitions don't make peace), there are two flaws in your thoughts:
1) You're severely underestimating the ability of the Palestinians to kill Jews. Don't be surprised if one day even a "dirty bomb" goes off in the heart of Jerusalem, when the time is right (read: when the Palestinians are desparate enough). BTW, I'm not condoning such acts, in fact I'd like them prevented. But not at the cost of Palestinian slavery.
2) You're ignoring the true function of The Fence - its protective role is secondary - its true role is to draw borders and make it much harder to dismantle the illegal settlements in the future. The UN cartographers have seen what's really going on, and once Israel is judged to be an apartheid state by the international court, hopefully some international sanctions will kick in. The sanctions won't be huge (since the servile US would never participate), but they might be enough to finally cause the Israeli populace to cross over to the light.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Hrant, I'm not ignoring the other real or potential functions of the Fence: I was looking at the Fence in terms of its impact on the strategy of the Palestinian Authority.


Gerald, Arafat's authority is widely recognised as corrupt by Palestinian political commentators. New political organisations have formed specifically to challenge Arafat and his cronies on anti-corruption platforms. As for the Nobel Peace prize, Arafat was given the peace prize for saying that he would put an end to terrorist attacks and commit to a peaceful solution: but he has not actually done these things.

I have nothing to say about Hamodia. As noted earlier in this discussion, there are fanatical extremists on both sides. What you quote from Hamodia to back up your comments about 'the profound Ethnoism and Religious Discrimination of the Jewish peoples' are not opinions held by any Jews who I know.

The Jews are peoples (several ethnicities, multiple cultures, numerous languages) with a religion, and they look after each other because they've noted, over the centuries, that very few other people want to look after them. And now they have a country to which any Jew can go and be free from persecution by non-Jews. That was the whole idea behind the UN creation of Israel back in 1948, remember? And if the Arabs had accepted the UN partition then, the Palestinians would have had their own state for the past 55 years -- one very much larger than anything they can seriously hope to gain now --, and Jews and Arabs could have spent half a century building mutual prosperity instead of killing each other. Instead, we have Hamas militants dedicated to turning all of Israel into an Islamist theocracy, a corrupt secular Palestinian Authority that is either unwilling or incapable of implementing what it promises at the negotiating table, a self-professed war criminal running Israel, Arab states that maintain their Palestinian brothers and sisters in misery to keep them as a thorn in Israel's side, and people spouting antisemitic hatred on the Internet to question the very basis for the existence of Israel. In all of this, only one thing is perfectly clear to me: the reasons for the existence of Israel are as valid today as they were when the concentration camps were liberated.

William Berkson's picture

>Cornered, William abandons previous position

You are hallucinating. I did no such thing. Judaism is not a race.

This is not to say that there are not bigots and idiots who are Jews, both in the past and in the present. The ultra-orthodox are a very small minority, regarded by Israelis generally as nuts. Quoting the crazy extremists as representing Judaism is like quoting the Klan or Louis Farakan and saying that represents the opinion of Americans as a whole.

Gerald, are you so blinded by bigotry you can't understand the simplist point? The point of Jews being responsible for one another is not that they shouldn't care for anyone else. On the contrary the most often repeated commandment in the Torah is to love the stranger - 'ger', the resident foreigner - for we were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The point is that that your first responsibility is to those near to you before those far away. Hence the special responsibility to help the Ethiopian Falasha Mura. Jews are in fact some of the biggest supporters of non-Jewish charities in America, which is indicative of the Jewish committment to bettering the world.

Now you add to your numerous anti-semitic links a link to some sentimental art picturing the Exodus. I was going to ask what is your point, but I won't. Enough already.

hrant's picture

It is the oppressed, and not the priviledged, who decide when enough is enough.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

The ultra-orthodox are a very small minority, regarded by Israelis generally as nuts.

Indeed, not only that but some of them are regarded as far from orthodox in anything but name. Gerald's quote from Hamodia includes the sentence 'The sacred book Zohar has taught us that Israel is linked to rationalism.' I believe many Jews would question the application of the adjective 'sacred' to the Zohar, except insofar as it is a book that concerns itself with sacred things. The Zohar is certainly not scriptural: it is a Kabbalistic text, and Kabbalism is a post-diaspora adjunct to Judaism, culturally and intellectually important but not central or even necessary to the Jewish religion. And of course, you shouldn't assume that Hamodia's interpretation of the Zohar in any way reflects mainstream Jewish thought.

By the way, Gerald, where did you find that quote? Perhaps it was at this flagrantly antisemitic website? If that is the source of your opinions, then you are seriously lacking in discrimination. About the only thing missing from that catalogue of hatred is the accusation of ritual human sacrifice and the making of matza balls from the blood of gentile children, but perhaps I wasn't reading closely enough.

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

You say the Zohar is culturally and intellectually important. If that is the case I have become even more worried.

Contrary to your indications the Zohar enjoys much more respect than you deny. Or why would you find the Zohar here?
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805210342/inktomi-bkasin-20/ref%3Dnosim/104-9237214-0994352

More importantly, find the Zohar here.
http://www.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/

How could you compare the Kabbalah Centre to something as vile as this.
http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/thisweek.htm

Shame on you John.

Your reading materials are clearly written by "white sheet supremist". Maybe if you stayed away from sites like that you would not write material like this.

John writes: When much of the world's media was swallowing the lie that Israeli troops had deliberately massacered civilians in Jenin (a lie that still gets repeated, despite even the report of Palestinian doctors in Jenin that the massacre never took place), the Palestinian Authority was declaring a military victory in Jenin because 15 Israeli soldiers had been killed in the battle.

Johnnie want a cracker? You are parroting this critter.
http://www.adl.org/Learn/Ext_US/zundel_up.asp

But in summary John, the Zohar is an important Jewish text. Especially by your excuse, 'culturally and intellectually important', indicating the Zohar is "subliminally embodied in spirit." This has me gravely concerned. Perhaps William would be kind enough to put my mind to rest. I do not wish to believe this writing resembles anything in the Zohar. Because if it does, even vaguely, I must say that it is most disgusting.

Be kind and assure my worried soul there is no truth, whatsoever, to what is indicated in the quote below.

The sacred book Zohar has taught us that Israel is linked to rationalism.* Thus, the great distance between the Jew and the Gentile is such that it can only be compared to the distance between animals and humans. Rabbi Loew Yehuda of Prague has spoken at length of this fundamental difference in his Lord of Israel, in Chapter 14, where he indicates that the great difference between the Jew and the Gentile is such that it can only be compared to the distance between animals and humans. Our rabbis have also said, You are humans; Gentiles are not humans.

And John, your constant apologist positioning makes me uncomfortable particularly with this issue. I get the feeling you are, pardon the pun, "white" washing and resorting to smear tactics in your defence of these disturbing findings.

Disturbingly also that I find the two of us miles apart on the issue of "killing" which is clearly an infraction of the ten commandments. You do know that I assume. Now I find you on a similar "thin edge of the wedge" when it comes to racism, ethnoism, and religious discrimination.
--------------

THE SILENT ASSUMPTION

ponofob's picture

i follow this discussion from the beginning, and though there was already weird things added, and many out of topic comments, i don't see the thing with the Zohar. Every religious (in a large view) books, from the Bible to the Coran, have an offensive content for the one who doesn't belong to the religion. Every religion claim to be the only true one. Which doesn't make the whole thing stupid. It's the same thing with the Zohar, nothing more. I really don't understand.

gerald_giampa's picture

I believe freedom of religion is sacred. On the latter I have no choice, my God is the very remarkable consular Pooh Bah, consul for the entire planet who by more than coincidence was helpful in Jerusalem. When I die I get to go to Spain.

Guillaume Barou 'very remarkable consular Pooh Bah, consul for the entire planet' cares to differ. The only way to win a free trip to Spain when your are dead is to follow Pooh Bah's teachings. He spoke, "Guillaume Barou must join our special travel plan or all those that pray, or preach must be have their charge cards stolen putting and end to wars once and for all."

So imagine my surprise that you show up just as he said! You want to come to our Temple on Monday? I think John and William want to come :-) Did you hear thunder? Oh God, strike me now Consular!

ponofob's picture

i don't know if it's my frenchness or if it's just i'm stupid, but i don't understand your

John Hudson's picture

Gerald, you quote an interpretation of the Zohar and extrapolation from that interpretation by some nut at Hamodia -- an interpretation that is completely at odds with mainstream Jewish thought -- and then point to the fact that this venerable text is available on Amazon as evidence that this wacky interpretation is somehow widespread. It is not. Cease your worry.

Why don't you order the Zohar from Amazon, and read it? You won't find anything in it about gentiles being non-human. The Zohar is one of the kabbalistic texts, a mystical meditation on scripture derived from the numeric and combinatorial values of Hebrew letters. Even if you do find something in it that offends you, the Zohar is not a scriptural text (unlike the Torah), it is not central to Judaism (unlike the Mishnah and Talmud), and represents a sub-culture of diaspora Judaism.


I am not a 'constant apologist' or 'white washing' anything. I've left off this discussion several times, and only keep coming back because you say new things that are stupid and offensive. Yes, there is a thin edge of a wedge, which is why I object whenever you say things that seem to me clearly antisemitic.

By the way, if you do a web search on a single sentence in that Hamodia quote, the only website that comes up is the antisemitic drivel at http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/thisweek.htm, so I think I can be forgiven for wondering where you got it from. Where did you get it from?

And stop insulting me. You have not demonstrated enough comprehension skills to be guessing what I think about killing, racism or discrimination.

gerald_giampa's picture

John wrote You have not demonstrated enough comprehension skills to be guessing what I think about killing

Excuse me, who insults who with the anti semite comments. I am not interested in morality lectures from a Mass Day Only Catholic. Killing is against the Ten Commandments. It does not say except Muslims, or Protestant Printers.

So the red says I don't have to guess John.

I have no idea why you are so intimidated by the concept of peace. Or against someone that is. Have you ever heard of Ginsberg, great American Poet? As I recall he was interested in peace. In fact he thought peace was a pretty noble cause. Did you know Ginsberg was a Jewish person John?
"The poem 'Howl' was a howl against the hypocrisy and silence of the generations of the 1950s." http://edition.cnn.com/US/9704/05/ginsberg.obit/

It is sacred duty to speak out against injustice where ever you see it. Mahatma Gandhi

For that matter the Pope is grooving along to the same tune. So, why not you?



gerald_giampa's picture

Furthermore,

I don't know why you insist on reading this. http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/thisweek.htm

When what you are looking is here. http://www.aad-online.org/ You will find some interesting reading material on your search. Good night to you all from Finland.

Don't apologize :-) I am tired of that.

John Hudson's picture

Peace, Gerald? Earlier in this discussion you were suggesting that the illegality of the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank gave Palestinians the 'duty' (your word) to kill Israeli Jews. Don't you remember that? That's not my idea of peace. As for antisemitism, I call it as I see it. If you don't want people to think you are an antisemite, be more careful how you express yourself. As I said at the beginning of this discussion, there is an established and insidious discourse of antisemitism that is easily evoked even when one doesn't intend to. Since antisemtitism is a contributing factor to war in the Middle East, it seems to me that anyone who is genuinely interested in peace should be careful in what he says.

Have I, at any point in this discussion, expressed anything other than a wish for peace in the Middle East? Have I expressed anything other than sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people? -- victims of the Israeli military, victims of fanatical hate-mongering settlers, victims of their own corrupt leadership, victims of fanatical hate-mongering Hamas militants, victims of the self-serving governments of their Arab 'brothers'.

gerald_giampa's picture

John I don't believe in killing. That does not make me incapable of understanding.

Peace, Gerald? Earlier in this discussion you were suggesting that the illegality of the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank gave Palestinians the 'duty' (your word) to kill Israeli Jews.

In this particular case it would be Israeli Jews, but that is not the point.

I was expressing UN documented and published views on such matters. Legal opinions. You knew that I audited law at several universities but I am not on the UN payroll. The UN site will illuminate the problems dealing with the state of Israel especially concerning Human Rights issues. Common law makes the inhabitants of an occupied nation incapable of terrorism. Such common law predates by centuries the formation of the UN itself. They have duty to defend themselves with whatever is available to them. You should appreciate, that for the most part, Palestinians deadly soldiers are merely young children throwing stones. Families holding up cardboard signs in peaceful protest. So much for Jewish bravery.

Exceptions are no excuse. It is the occupiers duty to respect the civilians as clearly stated by UN precedence. To avoid with extreme caution endangerment of the civilian population. After all the occupiers chose to occupy. Dangers come with that package. As you have noticed in Iraq.

Have I, at any point in this discussion, expressed anything other than a wish for peace in the Middle East? Have I expressed anything other than sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people? -- victims of the Israeli military, victims of fanatical hate-mongering settlers, victims of their own corrupt leadership, victims of fanatical hate-mongering Hamas militants, victims of the self-serving governments of their Arab 'brothers'.

You have said some pretty frightening things. One such thing is confusing genocide with racial extermination. As if the state of Israel was showing kindness to their victims. Such comments do not provide much peace in my soul.

However, yes, you have mention the plight of the Palestinians. I admit that, also that you consider Sharon to be a Terrorist and a War Criminal. Usually however in a argumentative fashion. Not that you had your soul in such complaint. Therefore if I have overlooked your sincerity I am sorry.

It is my bed time. And in spite of it all I am glad you are reconsidering our misunderstanding.

Peace is a pleasant thing. Even dreams. Good night. And thank you John.

piccic's picture

>Every religion claim to be the only true one.

Guillaume, this is an informed statement as long as you stick to the surface. And that's what fuels fundamentalisms.
People think you may deal with fanatism and religion-related terrorism with either war or endless discussions or academical essays and debates. This is like pouring fuel on fire. And totally useless.

On ebay: John, I just complained because I would not be able to look for certain items (with images, at least) to bid on. On the web you may find almost everything, and they worry about offending people with images of the items on sale? Are we kidding?

A monarchist? Hey, Hrant, I also think, (with my very limited historical knowledge, sorry!) monarchy is a pretty good form of government. Democracy surely isn't. It's more an illusionary device, and it has proved that.
But we don't live in an age where monarchies could still work, I fear.

Nice to see how the Swastika topic spins its rays in historical and ethical issues of general interest, anyway.

hrant's picture

Claudio, what a pleasant surprise. And do keep the faith: all it would essentially take for monarchy to flower again is a realization by the average citizen of how little he is qualified to decide matters of state - and an insistence that nobody should expect that from him. This is why Democracy is such an effective weapon in the hands of Capitalism: it makes people feel powerful - which is a joke, of course.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Gerald, the UN says that the inhabitants of illegally occupied territories have a right to defend themselves and to resist occupation. I don't have a problem with that. I do not think, however, that blowing up busloads of children, or civilians standing in line at nightclubs, going to the market or in eating restaurants constitutes either defence or legitimate resistance. These are acts of aggression, and we should also pay attention to the stated aims of the people carrying out these attacks. Hamas, for instance, is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, not to an independent, parallel Palestinian state or to resistance in the occupied territories. When Palestinian militants shoot at IDF troops in Nablus, Jenin, etc., that too is tragic -- not least for the Palestinian civilians in the middle --, but it may be legitimately described as resisting the occupation. Going into Israeli cities and murdering civilians is something else. This is a classic case of two wrongs not even remotely making a right.

Your mention of Gandhi has me thinking... Gandhi and his followers ended 200 years of British rule in India with non-violent resistance.* After 55 years of alternating open warfare, guerilla warfare and terrorism, the Palestinians are in a worse situation than when they started. Maybe they should try non-violence for a change?


* Of course, Gandhi's campaign didn't result in peace. It resulted in partition, massive sectarian violence, the murder of hundreds of thousands of people on a scale that makes the West Bank and Gaza look pacific, the massacre of thousands in the Indian annexation of Hyderabad, half a century of intermittent wars between India and Pakistan, etc. But I suppose we can agree that his heart was in the right place.

steve_p's picture

>>It is the oppressed, and not the priviledged, who decide when enough is enough

Yep, and then, if they're lucky, they might get a chance to do something about it.
When they do, disempowering monarchs is usually a good start, and dismantling the crass ideology which justifies oppression by divine right is a sound follow-up.

John Hudson's picture

Claudio,

On ebay: John, I just complained because I would not be able to look for certain items (with images, at least) to bid on. On the web you may find almost everything, and they worry about offending people with images of the items on sale? Are we kidding?

I agree that it's silly. I was simply objecting to the attempt to frame this as a 'freedom of speech' issue. It's not, its a company service policy. It may be a silly service policy, but it still has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

John Hudson's picture

Palestinians deadly soldiers are merely young children throwing stones. Families holding up cardboard signs in peaceful protest.

That was largely true of the first intifada, less so of the uprising of the past two years. The first intifada happened when the PLO was still in exile, and caught everyone including Arafat by surprise. This time, there are a lot of well armed Palestinian militants on the ground in the occupied territories, as attested by how many Israeli soldiers have been killed in the past two years.

hrant's picture

> disempowering monarchs

Aaah, but who's going to disempower the current cabal raping and pillaging the world? It's pretty clear that Democracy acts as a veil to protect the usurpers - at least where there's an overtly despotic system it's pretty obvious there's something wrong! If Democracy weren't good for business it would never have come about. Now it's to the point of being used as a weapon to bludgeon independent states into submission to globalization. If you can't see how the word "democracy" is increasingly used as a means to coax the voters to appove war (but of course never against a strong business ally like undemocratic China!) then you're part of the problem.

--

> it still has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

The compartmentalization of reality is yet another tool to distract us from what's really going on.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Okay, last one for today:

You have said some pretty frightening things. One such thing is confusing genocide with racial extermination. As if the state of Israel was showing kindness to their victims. Such comments do not provide much peace in my soul.

No, I do not limit genocide to racial extermination, but I do think it is a term that applies strictly to the concerted effort to wipe out as many of a group of people as you can, however you define that group. I think the Israeli government and army is responsible for many, many crimes and attrocities in the occupied territories, as they were in Lebanon, but I don't think they are guilty of genocide.

PS. If you are seeking peace in your soul, I recommend the peace which passeth understanding. :-)

John Hudson's picture

The compartmentalization of reality is yet another tool to distract us from what's really going on.

Well, I'll just continue to think critically and you can imagine reality to be whatever you want. :-)

steve_p's picture

>>If you can't see how the word "democracy" is increasingly used as a means to coax the voters to appove war

Oh, Hrant, you know that I know that democracy doesn't exist.
You know that I know that justice and freedom and peace are scarce too.
You know that I know that the 'current cabal raping and pillaging the world' claims to do it not just in the name of democracy, but also in the name of justice and freedom and peace.

The fact that the bastards claim to be interested in these things doesn't make them wrong.

Now, the monarchy thing.
I tried to pin you down on a few details about that before.

http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/9254.html

You're reply was:

'Your questions are good'

To which I replied,
'But not rhetorical...any answers yet?'

So, 2292 posts later, are there any answers?

hrant's picture

BTW, John, you're using the term "anti-semitism" in what's become the classic subservise manner of American society, and that's very far from "critical thought" - it's nothing short of an escapist weapon.

Anti-semitism is a form of racism. Racism is where you discriminate against an individual based on his ethnicity. This is bad because it's not fair to the individual. However, thinking -as I and many others do- that Jews as a whole -and in particular as their presence as the state of Israel, the Jewish State- are currently causing way too much misery in the world (not the same at all as saying that individual Jews are "bad people") is not racism at all - it's just a personal critical judgment borne of observation and a desire for fairness. Is it a crime to be anti-Nazi? Of course not. Ah, but why not? Simply because they lost the war... Your main fault John is that you're siding with the current oppressors (unwittingly or not) and you use all their rhetorical devices. I don't think it's because you're one of the oppressors (they tend not to discuss type design for one thing...), but I do repeat: your pride in your culture is preventing you from seeing its flaws.

And a note: I haven't been reading all the posts in this thread to the letter the past two days, so pardon me if I've missed something.

--

Steve, I'll flag that for sure now.

hhp

gerald_giampa's picture

John

You words. I don't have a problem with that. I do not think, however, that blowing up busloads of children, or civilians standing in line at nightclubs, going to the market or in eating restaurants constitutes either defence or legitimate resistance.

Question?

I trouble with this picture! What is the difference between killing oppressed innocent women and children that can barely feed their families because their livelihood has been destroyed, or dumb bombing "barbarian yuppies" stuffing their pie holes in a kitsch restaurant?

Answer: Poetic license!

However I do not believe in killing so all of this is a mute point.

gerald_giampa's picture

That was largely true of the first intifada, less so of the uprising of the past two years. The first intifada happened when the PLO was still in exile, and caught everyone including Arafat by surprise. This time, there are a lot of well armed Palestinian militants on the ground in the occupied territories, as attested by how many Israeli soldiers have been killed in the past two years.

I think I am missing something John. I was unaware that Palestinians had state-of-the-art fighter jets, smart bombs, battalions of tanks, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, submarines, or for that matter, over two hundred atomic Bombs. Or big brother USA.

gerald_giampa's picture

John, your words

No, I do not limit genocide to racial extermination, but I do think it is a term that applies strictly to the concerted effort to wipe out as many of a group of people as you can, however you define that group. I think the Israeli government and army is responsible for many, many crimes and attrocities in the occupied territories, as they were in Lebanon, but I don't think they are guilty of genocide.
-------

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html#Article%201

The resemblance to genocide lies in Article (2.)

gerald_giampa's picture

Also, stealing of water from the occupied territories is despicable.

As is this.

"your right (or your freedom) stops where your neighbour's right starts."

gerald_giampa's picture

November 25, 1929 letter to the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann:

ponofob's picture

Claudio said :
Guillaume, this is an informed statement as long as you stick to the surface. And that's what fuels fundamentalisms.
People think you may deal with fanatism and religion-related terrorism with either war or endless discussions or academical essays and debates. This is like pouring fuel on fire. And totally useless.

I disagree. For this is quite ignored as it is hidden into the part of the books that are seldom shown. Many insists on showing how the Coran, for example, contents some horrible sentences about death and war. While you can virtually see the same things in all the others religious books. Because the other religions have succeed in considering the war and hate part of their books not to be valid now. Where as some like to consider Islam is a religion of hate, because some hateful persons bear the Coran to prove they act good by quoting sentences.
It helps to say that though theses books can be considered to be holly by the ones who believe, litteraly approach is always wrong, that it suited to a different time, and now has to change. BTW, as Zohar is a part of Kabbala, which is, in a way, a science of interpretation, its content just CAN'T be taken literaly. And that's how all religious books should be taken.
I'd just add that when something is true, it's more useless to try to hide it for keep things looking good. Honesty can pay.

John Hudson's picture

Gerald, are you trying to drown me in the quantity of your messages? Too much!

My point about Gandhi is that pacifism and peaceful action do not automatically result in peace. Of course Gandhi is not to blame for what happened in India after independence, but his desire for peace didn't obtain peace. Peace doesn't proceed from wishful thinking. Peace requires a solid political and territorial settlement that protects both parties and within which trust can develop, differences can be realistically resolved by negotiation, and mutual dependence and prosperity build a new relationship. The post-WWII peace between France and Germany is a good example of how to build a solid, lasting peace.

Is this even remotely possible in the Middle East? I don't know: it is all very depressing. There is so little trust -- and, frankly, little reason for trust -- on either side. Both the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, not to mention the Arab states, grab for every advantage they can, each convinced that if they don't someone else will.

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

I have added a link. Othewise it is much the same as earlier.

out as many of a group of people as you can, however you define that group. I think the Israeli government and army is responsible for many, many crimes and attrocities in the occupied territories, as they were in Lebanon, but I don't think they are guilty of genocide.
--------

UN Definition of Genocide:
http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html#Article%201

Genocide:
http://aztlan.net/theaccused.htm
Anyway I think this point is made, about genocide I mean. Pleasant dreams all.


John Hudson's picture

What I focus on in the UN definition is the phrase 'intent to destroy'. That really is a very powerful phrase, and it is the reason I do not (yet? hopefully never) accept the accusation of genocide against Israel. I am not convinced that the 'intent to destroy' is there, so while I am willing to acknowledge and condemn the very great crimes committed by the Israeli government, army and settlers against Palestinians, I don't think this term is appropriate. The sin of many members of the Israeli government is that they do not care about the Palestinians: they do not care whether they live or die and so hold their lives cheaply. This is a very bad thing. But genocide requires this 'intent to destroy': it is not lack of care, but an obsession. Apart from anything else, actual genocidal intent would seem to make any hope of peace or justice impossible. I really don't want to draw that conclusion.

Regarding Sabra and Shatila, yes this is why I call Ariel Sharon a war criminal. He should be tried and punished for allowing the Phalangist militia into the camps to commit the massacre. But what happened at Sabra and Shatila was not Israeli government policy, was not sanctioned by the Israeli state, is not permitted by Israeli law, does not indicate systemic, institutional genocidal intent. It is worth noting that it was an Israeli commission that found Sharon responsible, and that forced him to resign as Defence Minister. I agree that they should have put him on trial, in the interests of seeing full justice done, and should certainly not have allowed him to run for office as Prime Minister.

Addendum This is worth reading in full: http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/kahan.html

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

Apart from anything else, actual genocidal intent would seem to make any hope of peace or justice impossible. I really don't want to draw that conclusion.

Whereas I don't agree with your interpretation of genocide, this particular opinion

gerald_giampa's picture

'intent to destroy'

But are you saying this was an accident?
http://aztlan.net/theaccused.htm

John Hudson's picture

But are you saying this was an accident?

No, I'm saying that it was a war crime, perpetrated by the Phalangist militia, which Ariel Sharon, as Israeli Defence Minister in command of IDF forces controlling West Beirut, had a duty to prevent. If you read the report of the Kahan Commission on the massacres at Sabra and Shatila, I think you will get a good impression of that lack of care to which I referred above. Sharon allowed the massacres to happen because he did not care enough about the Palestinians in the camps to consider their safety in permitting the revenge-hungry Phalangists into the camps. As the commission wrote in its final report:

It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for having disregarded the danger of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps, and having failed to take this danger into account when he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition, responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger of massacre as a condition for the Phalangists' entry into the camps. These blunders constitute the non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defense Minister was charged.

I certainly think the Phalangist militia had genocidal intent, and that as the competent controlling military force in West Beirut at the time, the Israelis had a responsibility to be aware of that intent and to prevent it from being acted on. Their failure does not imply that they shared that genocidal intent, only that they did not do their duty. The Kahan Commission, in insisting that 'indirect responsibility' be considered, makes the case based on the Jews' own experience as victims of massacres and atrocities:

The Jewish public's stand has always been that the responsibility for such deeds falls not only on those who rioted and committed the atrocities, but also on those who were responsible for safety and public order, who could have prevented the disturbances and did not fulfill their obligations in this respect.

hrant's picture

Israel never had West Beirut - altough they certainly rained down their bombs in what we call "'ashwaa'i" style*. They did have the major East-West crossings for a short while, as well as the southern suburbs near the airport. But they lasted about as long as the US... "We put the 'e' in Marine Corpse", as some Beirutis morbidly liked to point out.

* Meaning "kicking randomly like an enraged donkey" in Arabic.

However, Israel was physically at the gates of the Palestinian refugee camps on that day, and gave an explicit OK to the Chrisitians to go in and carry out the pogroms*. Israel wasn't merely "resposible to prevent it", it was complicit in it, somewhat similar to the way the US is complicit in the oppression of the Palestinians by donating military equipment to Israel.

* To avenge the assasination of Basheer Jmayyel - although it was never clear who did that - it could have been Israel in fact, since Israel is probably responsible for about 50% of the ~250 car bombs that went off during those 17 years. The other 50% was divided among a dozen or so parties.

hhp

Dan Weaver's picture

Guys did you ever think that there are evil people playing each side against the other to have them kill each other off so they can stroll in as the heros. There was a report around the holidays that the potential threats to the US were a diversion to assinate the leader of Pakastan and the Saudi family. Machiavelli's priniciples are in full force today.

hrant's picture

Certainly, S-11 was the best thing that could have happened to the current US administration. What else besides satiating the provincial, frothing desire for revenge would they have to show for the 2004 elections otherwise? In the land of the undying cowboys, "kicking their asses" is arguably the most coveted campaign promise - just look at Arnie the Governator avoiding the taxation of the rich and cutting from school budgets instead. The faltering economy (which is actually only tangentially related to S-11) would have easily given enough cause to the hare-brained voting public to blindly support the next puppet in line. War provides wonderful job security for those in power.

hhp

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