Effect Measure

Less than a week ago we posted on an impending public health emergency in the embattled Gaza strip region of Palestine, where a relentless Israeli assault had cut off much of the population from water and power at the height of summer heat. The warning came from our friend, Palestinian doctor and social justice activist, Dr. Moustafa Barghouti (this is not the Barghouti currently being held in an Israeli jail). Things have deteriorated further and UN aid agencies have joined in the urgent warnings. From Reuters:

U.N. aid agencies said on Saturday that Gaza was on the brink of a public health disaster and civilians were disproportionately paying the price in Israel’s military offensive.

Some 50 Palestinians have been killed since Israel sent its forces into the Gaza Strip 11 days ago to try to free a captive soldier and prevent militants from firing rockets at Israeli cities. Among the seven Palestinians killed on Saturday was a 6-year-old girl.

“Civilians are disproportionately paying the price of this conflict,” U.N. agencies said in a joint statement sharply critical of Israeli military operations.

The agencies said they were “alarmed by developments on the ground, which have seen innocent civilians, including children, killed, brought increased misery to hundreds of thousands of people and which will wreak far-reaching harm on Palestinian society.”

The agencies said the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings into Gaza from Israel “must remain open 24 hours a day if humanitarian need is to be adequately met.”

The United Nations also called on Israel to repair the damage its bombs caused to Gaza’s main power plant.

Since the June 28 bombing, the entire Gaza strip has been without electricity for between 12 and 18 hours each day, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said.

The agency said generators that power Gaza’s water wells and sewage pumping plants were running low of fuel.

The World Health Organisation said the public health system was also facing an unprecedented crisis.

While Gaza’s hospitals and 50 percent of its primary care clinics have generators, the stock of fuel to power them will last for a maximum of two weeks, WHO said.

The agency said there has been a 160 percent increase in diarrhoea cases in the last week, compared with the same period last year.

The World Food Programme said wheat flour mills, food factories and bakeries were being forced to reduce production due to power shortages.

Supplies of sugar, dairy products and milk are running low due to limited commercial supplies from Israel.

As a result, food prices have increased by 10 percent in the past three weeks, the World Food Programme said. (Reuters)

Whatever your position on this complex problem, you would have to be heartless not to recognize the pain being inflicted on innocent fellow human beings by this assault. The Israeli government, like the US government in Iraq, is so imbued with the righteousness of its cause and infected with the anger of retribution it cannot hear the cries of those it no longer considers fellow human beings. It will only engender the mirror image response in the Palestinians.

There is no doubt Israel’s military power will prevail here, just as US military power will prevail in any directly confrontation in Iraq. In both cases, however, they will be defeated by their effect on fueling the cycle of violence and counterviolence which undoes every victory and sets the stage for the next battle. At some point one of the parties, with help (not hindrance) from the US, must turn its back on provocation, not out of a sense of virtue but out of a recognition of the obvious: violence will only breed more violence.

Meanwhile, Gaza with its 1.4 million people, is being turned into a Death Camp.

Comments

  1. #1 erik powers
    July 9, 2006

    I believe the Palestinians arent innocent in this matter. Immediately following the wholesale turnover of Gaza to the Palestinians, which was a move toward peace in that region, Israel came under rocket fire from that very region by a government that officially supports the elimination of any Israeli state. Don’t take sides here. No one is innocent in these bloodbaths, but Palestine had an opportunity for peace and they squandered it.

  2. #2 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    Meanwhile, Gaza with its 1.4 million people, is being turned into a Death Camp.

    A most idiotic analogy. You mean that Israel builds there gas chambers? Or that 90% of Gaza inhabitants will be killed by the IDF during the next few years? That Olmert has plans for the “final solution of the Palestinian problem”?

    Learn some history before posting such idiocy.

  3. #3 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    The Israeli government, like the US government in Iraq, is so imbued with the righteousness of its cause and infected with the anger of retribution it cannot hear the cries of those it no longer considers fellow human beings. It will only engender the mirror image response in the Palestinians.

    Israel has no other choice. The Palestinian terrorists carry on a cover, partisan war against Israel. There are two ways a regular army can win a partisan war. The first is, leave. But Israelis have already left and they can’t leave the Middle East altogether. The second is, decimate the enemy, make them pay in blood for every casualty they inflict. Well, that’s what the IDF is doing and it does not look good on TV. But they don’t have the option of acting nice.

    The ball is in the Palestinian’s hands. They can choose to join the fight with Hamas and other terrorists, stop shielding them, turn them over to the Israelis. Than the war would be over. But since they won’t do it, and building a wall around Israel (hypocritically criticized all over the world) won’t make it secure, the Israeli government is forced to what it is doing. I’m sure they dislike it as much as you do.

  4. #4 revere
    July 9, 2006

    Roman: So your position, as I understand it, is: “Screw the innocent men, women and children. They deserve it because other Palestinians (=”the Palestinians”), who aren’t innocent, brought it on their heads.” Sounds like a good reason to launch rockets on a civilian population, which would be a good reason to retaliate, which would be a good reason to launch more rockets (after all, they brought it on themselves), etc.

    Thanks for the wise, sane and effective policy.

  5. #5 rnnp
    July 9, 2006

    “I believe the Palestinians aren’t innocent in this”-

    I believe most young children–those who are dying from dehydration due to diarrhea from unfiltered water supplies, for example–are innocent. And I can’t see ‘Palestinians’ or ‘Israelis’ as monolithic groups any more than I can see ‘Americans’ as one. This conflict will never be settled by savagery on the part of either side.

  6. #6 Ron
    July 9, 2006

    The problem of our society: Calls for compassion are met from elements of both “sides” with jingoist rhetoric to justify more violence and suffering. Thank you, anyway, Revere for reminding us of the lessons of our spiritual teachers in whose names we now kill innocent children.

  7. #7 Orac
    July 9, 2006

    Meanwhile, Gaza with its 1.4 million people, is being turned into a Death Camp.

    I agree that the Israeli response has been too violent, but you’ve just made a very overblown and downright hysterical analogy. Why don’t you just come right out and say what you seem to be implying: A Nazi death camp?

    Think I’m building a straw man? Maybe, but consider this: What do most people think of when they think of death camps? Nazis, that’s what. You may not have intended that analogy, but that’s how it’s perceived. Roman perceived it that way, and so did I, so powerful is the imagery of Nazi death camps. You were one word away from a visit from the Hitler Zombie.

    The sad thing is, I was more or less agreeing with you. Then you had to go and add an utterly ridiculous, emotional, and completely unnecessary analogy to death camps. Your use of the analogy was idiotic and historically ignorant, as Roman correctly pointed out.

  8. #8 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    Roman: So your position, as I understand it, is: “Screw the innocent men, women and children. They deserve it because other Palestinians (=”the Palestinians”), who aren’t innocent, brought it on their heads.” Sounds like a good reason to launch rockets on a civilian population, which would be a good reason to retaliate, which would be a good reason to launch more rockets (after all, they brought it on themselves), etc.

    Thanks for the wise, sane and effective policy.

    My position is: very bad things happen in the Palestine now. Blame the terrorist leaders for them. Israel has no choice but to fight them, and that means civilian casualties. It’s not effective, but there is no other way. If people allow the terrorists to hide in their homes, their homes will be targets for the Israeli army. It’s not Israel’s fault that the majority of the Palestinians want to be ruled by thugs and that these thugs shield terrorists, instead of fighting them. The responsibility of the IDF is to defend the Israeli citizens. Security of the Palestinian people is not their primary concern. It should be the primary concern of the Palestinian authorities, which should do their utmost to arrest and convict terrorists, including those from Hamas. Instead of which, they act as their proxies, relaying their demands to the Israel government, keeping up their stated goal of the destruction of Israel. They’re bringing destruction on the heads of their own people and should be held accountable for this. If a sane, responsible Palestinian government emerges, I will be the first to applaud it and demand cooperation with it from the Israelis (which they’ll do, they’r not madmen).

    In war, civilians always suffer. That’s why people shouldn’t wage wars against their neighbours, a lesson apparently forgotten by Arafat and Hamas leadership.

  9. #9 AndyM
    July 9, 2006

    Israel has no choice? How about negotiating an honest peace instead? An AK47 against an F16? mmm shows how threatened the Israelis are.

  10. #10 revere
    July 9, 2006

    orac: You make a valid point. But let me at least make a slight demur. There is an important aspect behind the Nazi atrocities that I see here: the complete dehumanization of the “other” that both this and the death camps symbolize. It is true there is no comparison of the scale, which makes the difference not just quantitative but qualitative, so that is an error in the way this is written. Yet I think it is a mistake to believe the same impulses that led “good Germans” and the average Israeli and Palestinian to turn a blind eye to what a malevolent government is doing are not operating here.

    I disagree strongly with your acquiescence that “in war civilians always suffer.” From WWII on it is the civilians that have suffered the most, but it was not always true prior to that. The Israeli government knows full well what it is doing to innocent Palestinians, and it is doing it deliberately, with malice aforethought, and as a matter of coldblooded policy. It is a gross distortion to say the Israelis “have no choice.” Of course they have a choice, in fact many choices far better than the one they have made. If Rabin had not been assassinated by an Israeli rightist, most of us think things would have been far different. In particular, there probably would not have been a second intifada, which was started by Sharon’s deliberate provocation and then spiraled out of control.

    Moustafa Barghouti, a physician I know well and who is greatly admired by progressive Israeli doctors whom I also know well, was an opponent of Arafat’s corrupt administration. The Israeli government has itself to blame for the ascendancy of Hamas, and Hamas will be guilty of perpetuating the vicious Olmert rightist regime. Laying the blame solely on the Palestinains, as you do by not including Israelis in your last sentence, is a part of the problem. It’s always the “other guy.” Reducing this to people waging war on their neighbors is also guilty of a terrible and crude simplification. Countries also don’t invade and occupy their neighbors, etc., etc.

    I share your outrage at Holocaust deniers, which you eloquently and steadfastly expose on your site (to which I commend our readers). But I think you have a tendency to forget that the impulse that caused it is not a unique trait of Nazis or unique to that historical moment. The enormity of the Holcaust is blinding in its intensivty, but blindness is still blindness. My question to Roman went to that blindness. And I would put it to you, too. That is another kind of denial, and I see it operating in your comment, one of whose points I am glad to concede.

  11. #11 Ana
    July 9, 2006

    Hearless and cruel? Certainly.

    A way out of the sorry trap of being forced to ascribe voluntary, evil, murderous intent is to state the Israeli authorities have no choice – their murderous actions are a necessary evil, something they are somehow forced to carry out – by making implicit reference to common law (and the laws of most countries) that do in some measure recognise revenge (in the form of a comprehensible overriding emotional response that leads someone to lose control, commit a crime, etc.) or self-defense as mitigating circumstances – or even justification. For self-defense, at best, it is considered that the press of circumstance, the swiftness of events, the threat to life, may lead to actions that can, post hoc, be seen as inevitable, or justified in the circumstances, etc. (Everyone knows this, why am I writing it down?)

    None of that applies to a State organism, acting deliberately with power, planning, coordination, skill, involving tens of thousands of people or more and, for that reason btw, violating practically all of international law (e.g. Geneva Conventions.)

    The no choice argument is the stuff of gossip columns and drunken discussions and does not belong in law or reasoned discourse. .. = the cheapest of emotional appeals.

    There is only one defense that affords legitimacy to the no choice argument, the insanity defense, which stipulates that due to whatever characteristics of the actor he or she in effect does not have the capacity to choose and so must be considered irresponsible. Until recently, in much of the world, that defense (lets not quibble here, my point is very general) was used only for persons who were psychiatrically ill (demonstrably loony!) or clearly terribly diminished in their reasoning capacities – mentally retarded – in ordinary language so g-damn stupid or clueless that they can/t tell one part of their anatomy from another.

    Are the Isareli authorities (Gvmt, military, secret services, etc.) and the Israeli people whose silence signals consent stupid ?

    I think not.

  12. #12 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    Israel has no choice? How about negotiating an honest peace instead?

    And what else have been they trying to achieve all the time? Didn’t Ehud Barak try? What did he get in return?

  13. #13 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    To all those who claim that Israel could defend itself without harming civilians, and negotiate a lasting peace: explain, how.

  14. #14 Name
    July 9, 2006

    Revere writes in to alert us that innocents are dying and all we can do is stand around arguing about whether his prose is PC and who’s right or wrong?!

    Step back for some perspective and get a grip, people!! What can we do to help the beleaguered children and citizens of the region, never mind their religion or the past wrongs of their fathers!

  15. #15 revere
    July 9, 2006

    roman: “To all those who claim that Israel could defend itself without harming civilians, and negotiate a lasting peace: explain, how.”

    How about this answer:

    To all those who claim that Palestine could defend itself without harming civilians, and negotiate a lasting peace: explain, how.

    Israel needs to withdraw from the territories it is occupying. Let’s start from there. They don’t want do it because they have settled several hundred thousand people there. That’s the bottom line. The majority of the Palestinians, like the majority of Israelis, want to be elft alone. That’s a good starting point.

    While Barak didn’t completely succeed (and Israeli rightists and Arafat had something to do with that), both peoples were much better off then than when Sharon took over and sent the whole region to hell in a handbasket. You acknowledge that the Israeli strategy of ovewhelming retaliation isn’t effective (which is obvious). Then they are doing it for one reason only: retribution: one hundred eyes for an eye. Is it wrong if I don’t respect that? Because I don’t.

  16. #16 tympanachus
    July 9, 2006

    Revere: “~cannot hear the cries of those it no longer considers fellow human beings.”

    Untermensch, eh?

    About 15 years ago I had a holotropic breathwork experience featuring a Middle East nuclear exchange that I “witnessed” from the summit of the Great Pyramid. I lacked the hubris (hard to imagine, I know) to think this truly prescient but the prospect grows more likely as Israel continues to accumulate nuclear weapons and the Muslims continue to look for ways to tempt their use.

    Iraq dropped a dummy SCUD warhead into the Negev in ’91 that may have prompted the premature end of the glorious war to rescue the Kuwaiti paragons of freedom and reassure our codependent Saudi buddies. Had it been loaded with gas or bugs and targeted at Tel Aviv, we might have seen at least a dry run for Armageddon. The final solution (maintaining your theme here, Revere) may be difficult to describe as Armageddon – there is little hope of any forces for good in the Middle East.

  17. #17 Ed Luciano
    July 9, 2006

    The heartless and stupid ones are the palestinian leaders and most of the palestinian adult population that teach hatred for the Israeli government and its people,they’only succeeding in making their own lives miserable. They could have peace tomorrow if they wanted to so,please spare us the nonsense that Israel’s to blame for this,they have no choice,it’s up to the palestinian people themselves. The majority don’t want to live side by side with the state of Israel,they want to destroy it. They could have chosen non-violence and accept Israel’s right to exist,the whole world would have come to their aid and helped them. Instead they chose war by electing a terrorist group like Hamas as their leaders. Also,they continue to glorify suicide bombings by their own children and launch missles into Israel—how pathetic,insane and stupid can human beings be? I have little sympathy left for them and by blaming Israel you’re not helping the very people you claim to have compassion for,in reality you’re only enforcing their insanity and stupidity and ensuring they will suffer more misery and death for years to come.

  18. #18 Barry
    July 9, 2006

    “And what else have been they trying to achieve all the time? Didn’t Ehud Barak try? What did he get in return?”

    Posted by: Roman Werpachowski

    What he tried was an agreement where the Palestinians would get screwed, blued and tatooed, and still be occupied/surrounded/cut up by Israeli fortifications. I’ve seen the maps – there was no ‘97%’ offer made, and Sharon stated that he’d renege on any offer which was made by Barak.

  19. #19 Complex
    July 9, 2006

    The Left loves to divert the Middle East with the ‘complex’ issue. There is nothing complex. The ARAB world wants Israel to not exist and all Jews to die. If a magic wand was waved and suddenly the Arab world didnt want all Jews dead, then the Middle East problem would be gone today at 3:00.

  20. #20 revere
    July 9, 2006

    Ed: Do you have evidence that the majority of adult Palestinians teach hatred for the Israeli government and its people? Like saying most Israelis are heartless and stupid (not just some of their leaders)? Or do you just believe this because your leaders tell you that?

    Most Israelis are like most Palestinians. They are tired of this and want it stopped. But both are saddled with political leaders that guarantee more reactions like yours. Somewhere there is a Palestinian saying what you are saying. On both ends of the rifle you’re the same. Because the majority among both peoples want this stopped I persist in what seems futile. Remember, though that Northern Ireland finally righted the ship. There’s a way to go still, but they are no longer sinking the way Israel and Palestine are.

    The rest of the world needs to weigh in here because the parties involved are too morally bankrupt to do it on their own. Bush and Rice have turned their back on it. If it were Carter or Clinton they would have been a positive force, not a negative one. I agree with Barry about the outcome of a flawed process, but if there had been time there might have been a chance for progress. Instead we got Bush and evangelical allies that support Israel for their own corrupt purposes, not the welfare of any Israeli. I am no fan of Clinton’s but a peace process is still better than a war process.

  21. #21 Greenhammer
    July 9, 2006

    For Heaven’s sake, people! The Zionists moved into Palestine in the early part of the last century, displacing hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had lived there for centuries. Ben-Gurion himself said that he if were an Arab, he would never make peace with Israel because “we took their land.”

    Establish the border at the 1967 line. Get all the settlers out of the West Bank. Undo the illegal annexation by Israel of East Jerusalem. Then you will have peace.

  22. #22 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    roman: “To all those who claim that Israel could defend itself without harming civilians, and negotiate a lasting peace: explain, how.”

    How about this answer:

    To all those who claim that Palestine could defend itself without harming civilians, and negotiate a lasting peace: explain, how.

    Simple: stop attacking Israel. Turn the terrorists over to the Israelis. They *must* know where the local Hamas activists live. All they have to do is to give the info to Israelis or, if there are such, Palestinian officers/policemen. And let them handle the bastards. But they don’t do it, instead they praise those stupid bastards who blew themselves up for Allah, hang their portraits in the living rooms and teach their kids to be just like those “martyrs”. The idiocy of that is staggering.

    The reoccurring pattern is the following:
    1. Palestinians blow up/kindnap/fire a rocket.
    2. Israelis answer with force.

    Note the ordering? Eliminate 1. and there will be no 2. Is that so hard to grasp?

  23. #23 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    For Heaven’s sake, people! The Zionists moved into Palestine in the early part of the last century, displacing hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had lived there for centuries.

    How did they “displace them”? With what army?

  24. #24 revere
    July 9, 2006

    to others: “Complex” (see comment above) is a sock puppet who uses a variety of names (the former AF) who apparently is a paid internet troll, in this case for AIPAC. He/she uses an anonymizer so there is no steady IP to ban. This is pocket money for a highschooler who should be studying for the SATs but plays on the computer instead. His/her hate filled anti-Semitic crap (Arabs are semites, little fellow) shows up whenever Isreal appears in a post, but that’s his/her job, I guess. Some kids will do anything for money. I don’t bother with him/her anymore since the comments all have the same theme: all Arabs hate all Jews and should be killed and he’ll be glad when they are and I’m a communist anti-Semite, with various permutations and combinations.

    Real people, no matter how vehemently they disagree, usually get a hearing here and often a reply. This one is beyond the Pale (a deliberately chosen phrase from someone whose father had to flee his native land for being a young Jew who went into forbidden territory and came to the US).

  25. #25 revere
    July 9, 2006

    roman: apparently it is hard for you to grasp that God did not establish the order you prescribe. You established it. If this is a deterministic process that depends on who cast the first stone, this has no solution because a case can be made that both sides cast the first stone (sorry to use a Christian metaphor but why not?).

    Your version is like the town in the US midwest that had a law that said that when two cars come to an intersection, each has to wait for the other to proceed. You can make a law like that but you can’t make it work. So stop supporting it.

  26. #26 Aunt Deb
    July 9, 2006

    The “they started it” justification is a moronic tactic, given that the Israelis blew up an innocent Gazan family that was trying to have a nice day at the beach. Luckily for the IDF, they had one of their soldiers taken prisoner shortly afterward and that provided the Israeli news machine with all sorts of great sob story stuff to take the place of the possible stories about the kids blown up in the sea at Gaza.

    Oh and did I mention Qassam Qassam Qassam? That’s the Israeli equivalent (moral and rhetorical) of 9-11 9-11 9-11. Although, let’s face it, at least lots of people died as a result of 9-11 and the number of people actually injured or killed by a Qassam is not yet in the double digits.

    No, there’s no justification for what Israel is doing to Gaza, east Jerusalem, or the West Bank. And there’s no justification for the US’ failure to speak out against Israel’s doing it.

  27. #27 mary in hawaii
    July 9, 2006

    Revere: You say that Bush and Rice have turned their back on what is happening. Outwardly perhaps, but secretly the Bush administration is heavily involved, as I will go on to explain. (You do later sort of clarify this by mentioning “Bush and evangelical allies support Israel for their own purposes,” but don’t go far enough to explain this.) Also relevant: tympanachus describes the prospect of Armageddon and greenhammer mentions the fact that Zionists began moving into the territory since the end of the 19th century, displacing hundreds of thousands. Yet to the best of my knowledge until 1948 there were no constant terrorist attacks by Arabs out to displace them, and they lived in relative peace. So what has changed? How does all this tie together?

    The evangelical Christians, which have gradually built up tremendous influence in our government, and the Bush administration in particular purposely foment the state of war in which Israel finds itself in order to fulfill biblical prophecies regarding the apocalypse and armageddon. We’re talking Rapture…bring it on! Far fetched? Start googling things like zionism, eschatology, JINSA, theocracy watch, PNAC, “the covert kingdom”, the rapture. Follow the links, do your homework. Ask yourself why we have spent billions upon billions of dollars in supplying Israel with its war machine. Ask yourself if that has helped peace, or war. Ask yourself what Israel has that we want, (certainly not oil, unless it’s olive oil) cause we never never never do anything out of the goodness of our hearts. Nor do I believe we are doing it out of guilt or sorrow for the victims of the holocaust which we, the USA, did nothing to either cause or prevent. We certainly haven’t lost any sleep about the innocent victims of our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And please don’t anybody come back with the argument that we had to bomb them to end the war: I don’t want to even get into that argument again. But you might want to look up who gave Israel the technology to build nuclear weapons, and for god’s sake why, when none of the arab countries that were threatening them had anything close? Look up Feith. Follow the trail, figure it out. The problem between Palestine and Israel, as a matter of fact between the whole Arab world and Israel, is us.

  28. #28 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    Luckily for the IDF, they had one of their soldiers taken prisoner shortly afterward and that provided the Israeli news machine with all sorts of great sob story stuff to take the place of the possible stories about the kids blown up in the sea at Gaza.

    Your sentences mean plainly that you don’t care a bit about this young soldier’s live. Not surprisingly.

    The Israelis had serveral soldiers kidnapped already. They never recovered any of them living. But that’s just a sob story for you.

  29. #29 Roman Werpachowski
    July 9, 2006

    roman: apparently it is hard for you to grasp that God did not establish the order you prescribe. You established it. If this is a deterministic process that depends on who cast the first stone, this has no solution because a case can be made that both sides cast the first stone (sorry to use a Christian metaphor but why not?).

    You see, that’s what we have brains for: to analyze things. God (whose God? Allah? Jehovah? Jesus? Pat Robertson?) did not establish it. This order is a logical consequence of the situation there. Israel, as a defending force, reacts to events created by the terrorists. In a partisan war, the bigger player always has to react – or do things which would make your blood chill.

    Since Israel is a rich state by Middle East standards and has a regular army, it is doomed to failure in the media battle even if they try to limit the civilian casualties. It would be utter foolishness for the Israelis to provoke clashes. They already withdrew from lots of territorries. But the attacks still happen and the terrorists get elected to power.

  30. You would also have to be heartless to ignore the constant rocket attacks being launched at the towns of Ashkelon and Sderot in Israel and the panic they cause Israeli children as they do on the Palestinian side. The question is why did nobody stop this insanity from happening before hand? Israeli police and security forces must fight not only palestinian terrorist radical groups; but also their own demons from within in the form of the radical right wing. Had the Palestinians done the same all this would not have happened. But they have no interest in doing so as their government proclaimed. This foolish act that broke the cammel’s back and ignited the area was, as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas commented: “done against the interests of the palestinian people”. A fact we unfortunately see now.

  31. #31 andy
    July 9, 2006

    I agree with Orac and others. This post does you little credit and may even do some harm in your otherwise highly commendable attempts to improve the status of public health worldwide. I don’t think this is really a public health issue; it is a political matter which involves highly complex international issues that cannot be as simply dismissed as you have seemed to do.

    Please, revere, I understand your POV and your sympathies but perhaps this is not the most appropriate forum to post them? Maybe, since you feel so strongly and sincerely about Israeli-Palestinian issues, you should create a new Blog to write about these specifically and not “muddy the waters” in this manner.

    I’m sincerely trying to help you and your commentators to find an amicable solution to a highly contentious and divisive issue.

    I have the greatest regard for this blog and for your public-health and AI-related posts.

  32. #32 Ed Luciano
    July 9, 2006

    Revere—-non-violence on the part of the palestinians and accepting Israels’s right to exist is the ONLY solution.No amount of diplomacy by other countries will do anything to solve this problem and asking for other countries to help solve it is just prolonging the agony.Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they see the light and I’m afraid that’s what has to happen here with the palestinian people.The answer is right under their nose,but until they choose to use non-violence as a weapon instead of bombs and terrorist tactics they will continue to live in total misery,it’s their choice.

  33. #33 penguinzee
    July 9, 2006

    What would be truly ironic, in this instance, would be in the creation of these awful conditions (and no matter how you slice it, the conditions in Gaza certainly qualify for that, no matter the road taken to get there), something opportunistic like H5N1 sprung up in the camps and caught fire there.

    Now before everyone decides to jump all over me, remember that (a) H5N1 has been reported in the area, with Egypt already reporting human deaths (b) under the circumstances currently in place in Gaza, anybody there will eat anything that might be deemed edible, including diseased chickens, both alive and dead (c) the old maxim of pestilence always following war has a chance to proven once again.

    I’ll stay out of the political tussle on this one…

    Franc (penguinzee)

  34. #34 Joe in Australia
    July 9, 2006

    I’ve commented several times about the way this blog seems to be obsessed with Jews.

    One of the reasons for my belief is the language and analogies used. Revere consciously uses Nazi imagery in this post and its predecessor: “Gaza … is being turned into a Death Camp”; “… until one or the other succeeds in a Final Solution”. These are just Revere’s own words. Other posters are much quicker and more explicit in their use of these analogies.

    I haven’t seen terms like these used to describe the actions of any other governments. It seems to me that they are directed at Israeli actions because Israel is “the Jewish State” and that it’s a particular way of demonising Jews. The same actions by a different government might be reprehended, but because they are not associated with Jews they are not Nazi-like.

    Revere is obviously entitled to express his own concerns on his own blog, and the fact that he is more interested in Israel than East Timor is his own business: it would be silly to suggest that he must have a public position on every issue. None the less, it is my view that his public position derives from a private conviction that Jews are in a different category from other people; that they have a different moral status; and that the actions of individual Jews or Jewish groups reflects on the objectives and character of Jews as a whole.

    I don’t think this is a scientific or a praiseworthy attitude. I hope that Revere (who has an obviously acute mind) will recognise this, and strive to keep prejudice out of his future posts.

  35. #35 revere
    July 9, 2006

    Addict: It’s always the other guys fault, right? So the Palestinians say the visit of Sharon to the al Aqsa mosque that started the second intifada was the mistake. Then the Iraelis say, etc., etc. Get fucking over it. You are the problem. You and your goddam Israeli, Palestinian, pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian counterparts who only give a shit for their own people and don’t give a shit about anyone else. I’m fed up with you all.

    andy: I respectfully disagree. War is a public health problem. The situation Gaza is a public health problem. I’m sorry you don’t feel that way. Read around it.

    penguinzee: As you know, I’ve discussed it in these terms in earlier posts. It could happen.

    Joe: I know this bothers you as you say the same thing each and every time I criticize Israel. I explained to Orac (whom I respect, BTW, although we disagree on this topic) where I think the connection is with Death Camps: the absolute dehumanization of the enemy. The US knows a lot about this as we are doing it in Iraq and we did it in Vietnam. It is Nazi-like. I understand it pushes your buttons. I have discussed East Timor here a number of times. Are Jews in a different category than other people for me? Only to the extent that I am a Jew. But I have spent plenty of time here criticizing evangelicals, catholics and others and you don’t complain. You only complain when I criticize Jews. But you don’t discuss what I complain about. Let me put it to you directly: do you think what Israel is doing in Gaza — involving the collective punishment of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and doing it deliberately as a matter of policy — is right? It is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and the laws of war, but that is a legal argument. I am asking you, Joe, a moral question. Or do you think that Israel is forced into this policy by the action of some Palestinians, and as for the innocent ones, tough shit. They asked for it by electing Hamas or their feelings about the Israelis (mirrored by how Israelis feel about them), or it is not really Isreal doing it to them but their own leaders. That last is the last refuge of scoundrels and moral cowards IMO, but I am interested in what your position is.

  36. #36 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 9, 2006

    You know I do believe that just about each and every time the Israeli’s witheld their attacks, negotiated, or generally UN’d it they got their teeth handed to them. The Yom Kippur war they knew was coming and they held back even though a pre-emptive strike was CLEARLY what I would have done and with as big a damned bomb as I could find. But they held back and they lost thousands. The only people that have stuck to their end of the bargain is the Egyptians and while its strained at times, they arent out there shooting missiles at each other.

    Palestine is a country with an elected body for all intents and purposes. The Israelis have given back land that was paid for in their blood. All it did was move the lines closer to more populated areas and put larger civilian targets within range of their missiles. If this continues I think the gloves are going to come off and they are going to wipe the Palestinians out completely. The IDF is very capable militarily and Rotens quote regarding Martin Creveld is not lost on anyone. MC is required reading in Professional Military Education for both Non Coms and Officers. MC though is also debunked by many because of his beliefs. He is probably one of the best historians that there is but not someone that the military pays much attention to farther than that. Learn from the lessons is his mantra. You cant hit a terrorist with a bomb, one or two always slip away. It is also the statement he has made on many occaisions during his brilliant career. Sure Roten is right, but only based upon assumptions made and given as being fact. The IDF is fettered by the Knesset. Moshe Dayan was an avid reader of MC and several others. He said exactly the same thing. Hitting someone for two hours in an artillery bombardment after they fire a mortar is nuts. Taking a tank division and pushing them into the sea isnt.

    Oooh hold it before you say it.

    On the other hand he also wrote in his books that to deal with a terrorist is to deal with your future demise. His answer was simple. Pull back until they hit you very, very hard and the politicians get it that they are now the big targets. Then the money flows, the troops sign up, and then they go and kick their asses. Creveld is very right, I think the time for negotiations is fast slipping away and it is Hamas that had better settle down even if its just to lick their wounds, or theres going to be a lot more of them.

    The IDF is about to wade in there and kill them all I do believe, whole towns and villages. I watched on the tube today a report from Fox News where they were close enough to show the guy lighting the rocket for Christ sake. If this is a random act then they shouldnt be able to get that on the six o’clock news. Most Palestinians are as you say Revere as innocent as they come. But the outcome is the same if they get it with a bomb or a broom handle. If Barghouti is as widely respected as you say I suggest you get him to speak to Hamas and ask them to back off and reconsider what they are doing because the Israelis are getting pretty fed up. The Israelis I dont believe want to drop another single bomb or strafe another village. But if they cant get the single terrorist, they CAN get the whole village.

    Right or wrong, full on war or lack of water a lot of people are about to get dead.

  37. #37 bert
    July 9, 2006

    “Non-violence on the part of the palestinians” is “the ONLY solution”? Please tell me this is a sick joke. Can you not see how narrow-minded that statement is?

    I frankly find the actions of both sides reprehensible. There are no heroes, and there are few leaders who deserve any honor at all. But let us look at the sides.

    On one hand, we have terrorists, with all the venom and evil that that words has taken on in recent years. Let us call them monsters — I agree wholeheartedly. On the other hand, a nation, its government and people, and one of the most advanced military powers in the world — a nuclear power, no less. “State-sponsored terrorism” is far too kind a phrase for the violence done: it is simply state terrorism, using the military against civilian targets regularly and heartlessly. This sort of organized military action against civilian populations makes the US invasion of Iraq look like the World Cup.

    It’s about time someone took the fucking moral high ground for a bare instant, although it sure doesn’t look like it will ever happen. It certainly isn’t going to be the terrorists; even if every other Palestinian called for peace, it only takes a couple of loose cannons to set it off again. But one of these two “sides” is not a handful of loose cannons, but is a government, with its associated military, elected to power by the people of a supposedly civilized nation. It’s time for them to start acting the tiniest bit civilized. (I admit, as a liberal citizen of the USA, that that is not always an easy thing to force your government to do.)

    “They started it” is the justice of the second-grade bully. Truly despicable.

  38. #38 Judy
    July 10, 2006

    Arguing about who is right and who is wrong does nothing to resolve the situation; and I agree that war is a public health problem. I too am concerned that H5N1 could possibly get a hold there which could spread far beyond any border.

    There are no easy solutions, no easy answers. I only know that if it had been my six year old child who had been killed, if my mother, son, husband or father died in one of these buildings: Then it would be personal. My grief would would not allow for politics, religion, or nationality. The person who caused it would be my enemy, even if moments before I had been willing to see their point of view. As Revere stated, violence will only breed more violence.

    So the U.N. speaks out in protest. Well, and good. Sitting here safely at my desk in America, with my daughter safely asleep in her bed, I also protest; and I also say talk is cheap. While the world talks, another innocent dies: time is not on their side. So I would ask the U.N., “What will you actually Do to stop this? And if you think you can stop this, don’t you think you should move a little faster?”

    I fear M. Randolph Kruger is correct: “Right or wrong, full on war or lack of water a lot of people are about to get dead.”

  39. #39 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    I explained to Orac (whom I respect, BTW, although we disagree on this topic) where I think the connection is with Death Camps: the absolute dehumanization of the enemy.

    Maybe you should visit Auschwitz and see for yourself, what the true “absolute dehumanization of the enemy” looks like. Your analogies are almost of the kind of those made by the Holocaust deniers.

  40. #40 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    Nor do I believe we are doing it out of guilt or sorrow for the victims of the holocaust which we, the USA, did nothing to either cause or prevent.

    What? The USA, together with the UK and the Soviet Union, defeated Hitler, for the cost of several hundred thousands US casualties. This is “nothing”???

    We certainly haven’t lost any sleep about the innocent victims of our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And please don’t anybody come back with the argument that we had to bomb them to end the war: I don’t want to even get into that argument again.

    … because you know you’d lose it.

  41. #41 Joe in Australia
    July 10, 2006

    “I know this bothers you as you say the same thing each and every time I criticize Israel.”

    It’s not criticism of Israel per se, and I don’t do it *every* time you criticise Israel. I think I’ve done it three times, and last time was when you alleged that there was a Jewish plot to oust a university professor.

    “I explained to Orac … where I think the connection is with Death Camps: the absolute dehumanization of the enemy.”

    That isn’t apparent to me, and I’d be interested in hearing you expound on it.

    “I have discussed East Timor here a number of times.”

    If you want you can substitute Algeria, Brazil, Cameroon, or Zambia. What I meant was that you can’t address everything, and so your focus on Israel isn’t intrinsically objectionable.

    “I have spent plenty of time here criticizing evangelicals, catholics and others and you don’t complain. You only complain when I criticize Jews.”

    It’s your focus and the way you do it. Leaving aside the fact that you don’t keep banging on about Catholics the way you do about Jews, when you do mention members of another religion you confine your comments to the relevant. I remember when you described an Israeli politician’s stupid behavior as being “kosher”. It was an inflammatory choice of words, much like a right-wing blogger calling a politician a “dhimmi”.

    “Let me put it to you directly: do you think what Israel is doing in Gaza … is right?”

    I don’t have answers to most moral questions, and I don’t think anyone else does either. I’ve studied enough philosophy formally to give you an answer from a utilitarian point of view (“depends on the outcome”); from a deontological point of view (“depends on their objective”); or from a virtue ethics point of view (“depends on their state of mind”). I hope you find these answers as satisfying as I do.

  42. #42 revere
    July 10, 2006

    Roman: :Your comment that my opinion are like those of a Holocaust denier are stupid. It means you’ve never encountered a Holocaust denier. You are the Holocaust denier in the sense that you cannot perceive that the impulses that caused the Holocaust are not unique to the event but can even be harbored by those whose people were victims of the Holocaust. Your habit of quoting things in your comments as if they all came from me doesn’t help. It takes little extra effort from you (and you have expended a lot of effort already) to say who made comments you are criticizing. Your technique is more like a smear than a reply.

    Joe: See my reply to Orac at 11:06 am, very first sentence. I think if yo will go back over the Sermonettes you will find I have treated other relgions/tribalisms just as I have treated Judaism. I also get outraged responses, like yours, from evangelicals and Catholics who consider my views offensive and disrespectful. That’s inevitable and I understand it in the sense that I consider remarks made about atheists offensive and disrespectful. When I comment on other religions it just doesn’t bother you, only when I comment about Jews (and as you know, I am Jewish, and, I believe you have said, you are not).

    You (and Orac) spent a lot of time focused on the last sentence (which I will defend in the terms I have given) and nothing on the rest of it, which you admit you have no answer for. Giving me a catalog of ethical positions is not an answer. Letting it happen without taking action of any kind — even a remonstrance — is taking action. You have thus expressed a position. It doesn’t bother you enough to say “enough.” Roman has also spoken clearly. It’s OK with him that the Israelis do this. It’s not OK with me and I have said so. You have focused on how I said it, not what I said, which itself is a statement.

  43. #43 incredible
    July 10, 2006

    Revere, you guys are spouting a standard liberal line. It’s so expected, it’s indicative of an unthought, but biased mind. The proof is in the pudding. Today, the “non leader” Mershal, is offering a prisoner exchange and a cessation of invasions, bombings, and rocket attacks.

    Instead of looking at what Hamas has been festering, what the Palestinians have been teaching, what direction their society was directed, and I mean the entire society (including those who are the now affected “civilians”), you choose to narrow an argument which now bites you in the face due to the facts on the ground as they’re unvailing.

    I see it likely that the politicians will each find a way to save face, but with the main outcome, a high price to the Palestinians for what they should have had to pay nothing, for the cessation of unilateral attacks, for a change of focus onto their own local needs, for a first, yes a first, a rational engagement over the dilemma they’re in, trapped by incredibly pig-headed political positions of their prior and current leadership.

    I don’t think you understand that in order to get through to the leadership, as is now being done, massive, incredibly destructive force is the way that Israel has decided (and they’re not the USA…they’re not stupidly shortsighted) to whack them on the side of the head and give them a wake up call.

    Let’s hope that this time the Palestinian leadership will say to themselves, “What else do we have on our agenda for our people?”

    But your response is amazingly unthought and I’m disappointed as I hold you in the highest esteem when it comes to capacity to cogitate.

  44. #44 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    revere:

    Roman: :Your comment that my opinion are like those of a Holocaust denier are stupid. It means you’ve never encountered a Holocaust denier.

    You misquote me. I said that your analogies (not opinions) are almost (not quite) like those of the Holocaust denier. I know you’re not one of them, so the more am I surprised that you use such analogies.

    BTW, I met several of this scum on the internet.

    Your habit of quoting things in your comments as if they all came from me doesn’t help. It takes little extra effort from you (and you have expended a lot of effort already) to say who made comments you are criticizing. Your technique is more like a smear than a reply.

    Sorry. I thought it should be easy to spot who said what.

    Roman has also spoken clearly. It’s OK with him that the Israelis do this.

    No, it’s not. I pity them that they are forced to do such things.

    Added: Israeli government said that it could release some Palestinian prisoners if the captured soldier comes back alive. See?

    bert:
    “Non-violence on the part of the palestinians” is “the ONLY solution”? Please tell me this is a sick joke. Can you not see how narrow-minded that statement is?

    Ah, so calling for the cessation of aggression is “narrow-minded”. How open minded should I be to give the Palestinians the right to attack Israeli citizens without facing retaliation?

  45. #45 Name
    July 10, 2006

    “incredible”, the atypical grammar makes it difficult to be certain, but you appear to be saying that the incredibly destructive Islaeli action in Gaza was a necessary wake-up call for the “pig-headed” Palestinian leadership? And that Revere’s criticism is a “standard liberal” line (i.e. indicative of an unthought and biased mind), because the Israeli leadership has offered to halt its attacks.

    Incredible, indeed!

    So now we should celebrate the creation of yet another fresh generation of enraged Palestinian terrorists committed to violently delivering the necessary “wake-up call” to what they see as the “pig-headed” Israeli leadership. And if they can whack them on the head hard enough, we will all see the standard non-Liberal lines as indicative of non-Liberals’ unthoughtful and biased minds, because the terrorists will have succeeded in killing and demoralizing innocent Israeli citizens sufficiently to offer to halt their own attacks…(!!?)

    Does this even begin to illustrate to you the meaning of a “cycle of violence”? Or the futility of attempting to define a moral high ground for either of two enraged opponents determined to wipe out each other in retribution for past transgressions? Or the rank unhelpfulness of dismissing the efforts of someone trying to find a way to break the cycle and help the innocents on both sides as “indicative of unthought and biased minds”?

  46. #46 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    Name: where did you see in revere’s posts any “trying to find a way to break the cycle and help the innocents on both sides”? All he does is criticising Israel, criticising Israel, criticising Israel. Nothing more. Did revere thought fit to condemn the Palestinian terrorists for firing rockets to Israel? Did he criticise them for kidnapping a soldier? No. But he found time and put effort into criticising Israel for reacting to those crimes. This speaks volumes about his attitude to this situation. Israel is always criticised, terrorists are glossed over, no proposition for the improvement of the situation is given. Because the mantra “let Bush push Olmert and Olmert will solve the problem” is not a genuine proposition. It’s just political propaganda.

  47. #47 revere
    July 10, 2006

    roman: I have taken pains to say not to point fingers (either way). I notice that you have — not once — criticized Israel. I have asked you your position on the current assault and all you do is point fingers. Do you think what is Israel is doing — collective punishment — is right or not? I will say right out that I condemn acts of terror whether by Palestinians or the IDF. Will you?

  48. #48 mary in hawaii
    July 10, 2006

    Roman: When I said we did nothing to prevent the holocaust, I would remind you that we turned away shiploads of Jewish refugees trying to escape Hitler’s pogrom. Had we opened our arms to them many wouldn’t have been rounded up and taken to the death camps. Yes, eventually we reluctantly entered the war when we were forced into it by the attack on Pearl Harbor, and eventually we stopped Hitler, but by then the vast majority of Jews in the concentration camps had already been killed. So I stand by my statement. You told revere in your first post to “learn some history before posting such idiocy.” Right back at you.

    As regards Hiroshima and Nagasaki, again go read history. It was unnecessary. We did it not to stop Japan but to send a message to Russia. And if there was any lingering uncertainty that Japan was about to give up, then all we had to do was drop one of those A bombs in the water 50 miles off shore to give them the message. You think they would have said, to quote the genius running our current empire, “bring it on!”?? You come off as a hard core in attacking anyone who disagrees with your point of view. However in going back through all your posts, I’ve noticed that you mostly lob verbal grenades in the former of rhetorical questions and insults without much substance. Your only opinion seems to be that Palestinians have it coming, and anyone who differs with you is an idiot or a bigot,right?

  49. #49 Name
    July 10, 2006

    Meanwhile you, Roman, have been abundantly helpful by…?

    My point is that none of us can be helpful (if anything, we’re just fanning the flames) as long as we treat the Israeli/Palestinian conflict like a spectator sport, standing on the sidelines cheering “our team” on, while reviling their opponents and their supporters. Someone has to be the grown-up and not cast the last stone. Whoever is prepared to stop attacking in the face of provocation can start making their way to moral high ground to join in the discussion of how we might help the innocents on both sides to neutralize the violence and the aggressors on both sides who perpetuate the cycle.

    If Revere wrote something that you thought wasn’t entirely fair or PC, would it kill you to ignore it and focus instead on whether he said *anything* that we can use as a starting point for progress towards the peace we all claim is our ultimate wish for these wretched people?

  50. #50 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    revere: I do not consider the acts of the IDF to be acts of terrror. They retaliate against a country which attacks them. No attacks => no retaliation. You can’t say the same about Hamas. If there are civilian casualties because of the attacks on Hamas members, then this is of course sad and tragic, but it is the responsibility of those terrorists who hide between the civilians, and those civilians who give them shelter. If the Israelis could simply send a squad of infantry, without the fear of being attacked by an angry mob, and arrest the terrorist, why would they waste the expensive rockets?

    m in h: If you had just a cursory knowledge of the history of WW II and Holocaust, you would know that most of the European Jews were already dead in 1944. Before that, even if the USA entered the war in 1939, the Allies would have NO MEANS to stop the Holocaust. In 1939, the US Army was below 200,000 strong! How could you expect it to defeat Wehrmacht, which managed to defeat a strong French Army in just a few months? Moreover, USA was waging an undeclared war against Germany in the seas much earlier than Pearl Harbour. Roosevelt was preparing his country to a war, but it needed time. During that time, USA was helping Britain and USSR defend itself.

    About Japan: you underestimate the fanaticism of the Japanese military commanders.

  51. #51 revere
    July 10, 2006

    Roman: I surmised as much. It’s always the other guy’s fault. They are terrorists and we are just defending ourselves. Remember, just by way of a minor point, the IDF has been assassinating Hamas personnel for years. But that’s not an attack. That’s defending themselves. You are morally bankrupt. I think this conversation is over. YOU are the problem.

  52. #52 Name
    July 10, 2006

    If more Jews and Israelis stood up with Revere and more Moslems and Palestinians stood up against the atrocities from their side, the whole conflict would evaporate. By standing against the tide and ultimately turning it, such courageous individuals would do far more to help the innocents than partisans like Roman.

    But there is no way to get past this utterly futile, indeed destructive, debate if fanatics from either side are allowed to monopolise the discussion and to drown out such efforts with their hatred and bigotry. Rewarding such negative behaviour with the spotlight of attention only encourages more attention-seeking negative behaviour–and I believe this is one aspect of the region’s seemingly intractable problem.

  53. #53 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    Remember, just by way of a minor point, the IDF has been assassinating Hamas personnel for years.

    And they were right to do so. Hamas is a rotten, immoral and dangerous organization. “Hamas personel”. Heh. And “Al-Qaeda” personel blew up WTC.

    You are morally bankrupt. I think this conversation is over. YOU are the problem.

    At least I’m not defending murderers.

  54. #54 DavidK NZ
    July 10, 2006

    Hats off to the Revere(s) for their fearless dedication
    to our common humanness…..

    From ” A Course in Miracles”

    A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.

  55. #55 revere
    July 10, 2006

    roman: “At least I’m not defending murderers.” But you are. Indeed you are.

  56. #56 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    No. I am defending soldiers doing their duty to defend their country against cowardly terrorists.

    It is up to you to see the difference between a civilized country and an unwashed mob.

  57. #57 Marissa
    July 10, 2006

    In 1948 the British gave in to the thugs who initiated the war in Palestine. A plague on both their houses: the British for screwing up/abdicating and the Jews for initiating violence. Then the Jews started kicking out the Palestinians out of their territory. Why shouldn’t the Palestinians be pissed? Am I missing something from this history lesson?

    The only answer will be for Palestinians (not Hamas or the corrupt Fatah) to sit down at the same table as Israelis and negotiate. When both peoples can agree to a set of borders and all the aggressors are neutralized, peace will reign and not before then. As Revere pointed out, it happened in northern Ireland, it can happen in Gaza.

  58. #58 Roman Werpachowski
    July 10, 2006

    This “short history of the Middle East” conveniently ignores all anti-semitic sentiments of the Arabs. Like the fact that some Arab leaders were eager to help Hitler murder Palestinian Jews.

  59. #59 rnnp
    July 10, 2006

    Name:Your first paragraph, in particular
    DavidK NZ: What you wrote
    Revere: Your ability to write truth

    Would that I had the ability to write as well…

  60. #60 revere
    July 10, 2006

    roman: I’ll give you the last word you so desperately crave. Thread is now closed.

  61. #61 mary in hawaii
    July 10, 2006

    Roman: If you read up on the history of Zionism, you will find that those who promoted the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 were not a group of religious jews seeking a return to the holy land but actually atheists seeking to take over a territory for political and economic reasons. There were labor zionists, political zionists, revisionist zionists, and finally bringing up the rear were the religious zionists. Dear little Roman with the enormous ego, look it up! It’s right there in wikipedia. Revisionist zionism, which still underlays the right wing majority party in Israel today, had such strong nazi ties that their party was condemned by over 2 dozen prominent new york jews including Albert Einstein, when Menachim Begin came there in Dec. 1948. Let me quote a portion of their New York times letter to the editor: “Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.”

    Oooo, Roman, did you notice the word “terrorist”? Right there in 1948, and used to describe the Zionists, not those nasty Arabs. So? Also there is a substantial portion of the world’s orthodox Jewry today who opposes the zionist state of Israel as being completely contradictory to the teachings of the Torah, and who claim that the founders of Zionism were all atheists who denied the Torah. These Jews claim that the founders of Zionism actually purposely instigated anti-semitism in Nazi Germany and helped Nazi’s to take whole Jewish communities off to the concentration camps in order to force Jews to flee to their planned new state. (These writers cited the books “Perfidy” and “Min Ha Meitsor” which they say are Zionists writings which openly admit this.) I have not been able to independently verify these claims, although I have found historical references to close interactions between Zionists and the Nazi state which lend some credence to it. For example in wikipedia it talks about a letter sent from a military wing of the revisionist Zionism party in Germany, NMO, who in 1940 and 41 “proposed intervening in WWII on the side of Nazi Germany to attain their help in expelling Britain from Mandate Palestine and to offer their assistance in “evacuating” the Jews of Europe…”
    (http://www.marxists.de/middleeast/brenner/irgunazi.htm)

    Point being, Roman, that while you claim “the fact that some Arab leaders were eager to help Nazi Germany murder Palestinian Jews” history says it was the Zionists, not the Arabs doing this. Do you have some sources you can cite to support your claims, or do you just make up history to suit yourself as you go along and hope you can bluff everyone else out by intimating they are illiterate buffoons? I think we have all seen through you, Roman: now hold up a mirror and see through yourself.

  62. #62 Orac
    July 10, 2006

    My question to Roman went to that blindness. And I would put it to you, too. That is another kind of denial, and I see it operating in your comment, one of whose points I am glad to concede.

    There’s no denial. The differences between the Nazi death camps and the situation in Gaza are many orders of magnitude, not to mention major differences in intent and situation. By comparing Gaza to a “death camp,” you clearly implied that the aim of the Israelis is to kill every last Palestinian in Gaza. Even the most rabid enemy of the State of israel would be unlikely to go that far. Your analogy provided a lot of heat, but no light. I just remembered, there was an article in the NYT over the weekend describing how militants in Gaza have been firing crude rockets into southern Israel for many months now. What should Israel do about that? Tolerate it? Would any nation on earth tolerate that for long? Would the U.S.? I am appalled at the the collective punishment that the Israelis have been meting out, but it is wrong to imply that there hasn’t been any provocation. As my blog buddy and more accomplished fellow fighter against Holocaust denial Andrew Mathis (who is by no means shy about criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians) put it:

    I love the lede in the linked article in particular (emphasis mine): “The Palestinian Government says it wants a cease-fire with Israel and is willing to speak to Palestinian militant factions in Gaza to get them to stop firing rockets at the Jewish state.”

    How about not “speak[ing] to Palestinian militant factions in Gaza” and just pounding the crap out of anyone who launches a Qassem missile into Israel at all? Let’s all take a bite of the clue cookie, here: Gaza is no longer occupied by Israel and hasn’t been since late summer of last year. So when Gazans fire missiles at Israel’s sovereign territory, they are committing acts of war akin (although lesser in scale) to al-Qaida attacking the U.S. on 9/11.

    While we have common ground as far as considering the collective punishment against civilians to be unacceptably harsh and indiscriminate, I have no problem with Israel going after militants that fire missiles into its territory, if the Palestinian government won’t put a stop to it.

    I stand by my statement that your analogy was, quite frankly, deserving of a visit by the Hitler Zombie, and, believe me, it would have received one if you had actually used the word “Nazi” instead of having just implied it. As it is now, it will only receive a “near miss.”

  63. #63 Orac
    July 10, 2006

    my opinion are like those of a Holocaust denier are stupid.

    Not as “stupid” as you think. I do not know if you are aware of this, but accusing Israel of crimes similar to that of the Nazis is a very common tactic among Holocaust deniers. I know this from spending so much time combatting them online and delving deep into the cesspools of Holocaust denial Usenet newsgroups, discussion boards, and websites. No, I’m not saying that you are a Holocaust denier. What I am saying is that, comparing your claim that Gaza is being turned into a “death camp” to Holocaust denial is not as “stupid” as you may think. Personally, I don’t believe that you meant it that way, but I do believe that you are unaware of just how often Holocaust deniers use similar analogies to the one you used.

  64. #64 revere
    July 11, 2006

    Orac: Now I believe it is you who is guilty of wild hyperbole. The use of Death Camp was so clearly meant in the sense of a vast policy of collective punishment for the sin of being a Palestinian (you may or may not agree with that but that is what collective punishment is) and not as a Final Solution that it is perverse to call it Holocaust denial. Your whole argument hinges on the dubious tactic of saying that whenever there is an intersection between what a Holocaust denier has said and what I have said, even in form, it is Holocaust denial. It is no different than saying that if an Israeli acts like a Nazi acted, Israelis are Nazis.

    I would suggest that you have become so obsessed with the lowlifes who practice Holocaust denial that you are unable to differentiate one thing from another. Worse, it has become a type of politically correct smear. To even suggest that my views, which are mirrored by many Jews, is in any way akin to being a Nazi (” a near miss”) is itself the crudest form of smear. I am surprised and appalled.

    Here’s what you could have done. You could have said, Hey, wait a minute, that’s perhaps hyperbolic and it gets in the way of your main argument which I agree with (I acknowledged as much). Instead you launched an over the top and personal attack that diverted the main point. You can legitimately blame me for opening the door to those who didn’t want to discuss the collective punishment but then you didn’t have to illustrate it by going off the deep end. And the deep end, is mighty deep. You will be swimming in the same pool with Roman, an obvious wingnut and hater. You also don’t understand the problem in ways that have become the cause of the problem. Once you frame it as Israel legitimately responding to terror attacks you just replay crazy Roman’s and other’s scenario of who did what first. This is a recipe for continued violence.

    The tragedy of the Holocaust is that it isn’t over. Like all horrible events it has a way of twisting and distorting things in its aftermath so that some people can never see the world aright again, and it affects those, like you, who weren’t even born when it happened. It is a multigenerational tragedy, deforming sensibilities through the ages, like racism and slavery (an even bigger Holocaust than the one that occupies so much of your thoughts). It has become the excuse for almost everything whoever is at the helm in Israel does and has been used cynically (like 911) for that purpose by numerous Israeli rightists, including Begin (himself a terrorist), Sharon (a war crimnal) and now Olmert. And you.

    Accusing me of any sympathy for Nazism, even by deft implication of a “near miss,” is offensive, but I would rather believe it is the product of an overwrought sensibility to something that understandably produces overwrought sensibilities. You are not the final arbiter of these things, although you have set yourself up as a vigilante who decides whom to tar and feather with the brush of Holocaust denier. I hope you rethink this.

  65. #65 Joe in Australia
    July 11, 2006

    “I think if yo will go back over the Sermonettes you will find I have treated other relgions/tribalisms just as I have treated Judaism.”

    With respect, I haven’t seen that.

    “I also get outraged responses, like yours, from evangelicals and Catholics who consider my views offensive and disrespectful.”

    I can’t see how comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is being disrespectful to religion. You’re using an inflammatory comparison that relies on the fact that it’s especially hurtful to Jews. That doesn’t make it a commentary on religion.

    “When I comment on other religions it just doesn’t bother you, only when I comment about Jews”

    Criticising *Jews* is not equivalent to criticising *religions*. When Jews do something you don’t like you underscore and emphasise the fact that they are Jewish, and imply that they are acting on the basis of their faith.

    “and as you know, I am Jewish, and, I believe you have said, you are not”

    I don’t recall having said that.

    “Giving me a catalog of ethical positions is not an answer.”

    I agree. I don’t believe there are answers to most real-world moral dilemmas. Anyone who can produce a genuine algebra of moral philosophy will be an instant candidate for the Nobel Prize.

    “Letting it happen without taking action of any kind — even a remonstrance — is taking action.”

    That’s utilitarianism, and there are a lot of philosophers who would agree with you. The problem for you is that they would measure the moral worth of your action by whether the ultimate results were good or bad. For instance, they would have little problem agreeing in theory with the proposition that the Israeli incursion is a good thing if it kills one hundred people, but as a result saves the lives of one hundred and one (and has no other effects). They certainly wouldn’t say that the Palestinians (or Israelis) have any “rights”; everything is a pragmatic calculation of human happiness.

    “You have focused on how I said it, not what I said, which itself is a statement.”

    I really do think I commented on what you said.

  66. #66 Orac
    July 11, 2006

    I would suggest that you have become so obsessed with the lowlifes who practice Holocaust denial that you are unable to differentiate one thing from another. Worse, it has become a type of politically correct smear. To even suggest that my views, which are mirrored by many Jews, is in any way akin to being a Nazi (” a near miss”) is itself the crudest form of smear. I am surprised and appalled.

    I’d say that your response to me is off base, as you misinterpret what I said, and your misinterpretation is as over the top as the death camp analogy. It’s a straw man. I said nothing of the sort, nor did I ever accuse you of being a Holocaust denier or of Nazi sympathies. What I did say is that Holocaust deniers frequently use analogies like yours, which is why Roman’s associating what you said with Holocaust denial is not as “stupid” and easily dismissed as you seem to think it is. Roman’s comments may be too easily dismissive of the brutality what Israel is presently doing in Gaza and too defensive of Israel’s actions no matter what they are, but your dismissal of how he (and to a lesser extent I) reacted to your analogy reveals a blindness in you that is as disappointing to me as your mistaken perception about me that I implied that you are a Nazi is to you.

    You also completely misinterpreted my “near miss” comment. I did not mean you made a “near miss” as far as Nazi sympathies or Holocaust denial. I meant that you made a “near miss” as far as using an overblown and inappropriate Holocaust analogy worthy of a visit from the Hitler Zombie–specifically, because you never actually came out and used words like “Nazi.” By that remark, I was not calling you a Holocaust denier or a Nazi sympathizer, as you seem to be interpreting it. How many times do I have to say it, other than the time I mentioned it in the comment that got you so pissed off? Go back and read my comments again and see what I mean. If you ever read my blog, you would know that I almost never make accusations of being a Nazi, and when I do it’s only when it’s 100% crystal clear to me that the person is, in fact, a Nazi or a Holocaust denier. Indeed, the whole Hitler Zombie schtick is a continuing series of mine that mocks inappropriate or overblown Hitler/Nazi/Holocaust analogies used to demonize one’s political opponents, by making them the result of the zombie of Hitler’s corpse showing up and eating the brains of the person, causing them to make such inappropriate analogies. It’s an intentionally silly schtick people seem either to love or to hate. I should have perhaps included more links, so that you could have a clearer idea of the silliness of it all and the fact that it is a device designed to mock overblown Hitler analogies, not to call someone a Nazi. Perhaps my “self-absorption” led me to assume that you knew what I was talking about (gee, doesn’te everyone read my blog obsessively?), and a little explanation would have prevented your misinterpretation. My bad.

    I always give people the benefit of the doubt, and I gave you the benefit of the doubt by stating explicitly that I didn’t think you were a Holocaust denier but that rather your reaction to the offense that Roman and I took at your analogy came from your ignorance of Holocaust denial and why such analogies are offensive. Methinks it is you who are blinded, or perhaps we both are. You saw the words “Holocaust denier” and “Nazi” and jumped to the conclusion that I was calling you one, when in reality I was merely trying to point out that, whether you knew it or not, your equating Gaza to a “death camp” has certain implications based on history and is an analogy commonly used by certain nasty people. You were shocked by the vociferousness of mine and Roman’s reaction. You wouldn’t have been if you knew a little more. At least I assumed that that was the case.

  67. #67 Orac
    July 11, 2006

    Here’s one more example of the Hitler Zombie:

    It returns: The horror invades Michigan

    For some other examples of my take on overblown or inappropriate Nazi analogies that don’t use the Hitler Zombie as a questionable attempt at satire, try:

    Hey, it worked for Hitler
    Vox Day: Too Much of a Wingnut Even for WorldNet Daily

    I hope these examples clarify my position and bolster my point that I do not call people “Nazis” lightly and that I wasn’t calling you a “Nazi.” If you had known a bit more about Holocaust denial before you used it, you wouldn’t have been so shocked at the strong reaction your analogy caused. I truly wasn’t calling you a Nazi or a Holocaust denier; I was merely trying to explain to you why your analogy was so offensive. I hope you’ll eventually understand, but if you don’t at least I gave it my best, if inelegant, shot.

  68. #68 Name
    July 11, 2006

    This is really sad, people! Can’t you all stand back and see what’s going on? There’s probably some truth contained in every post above, along with growing amounts of hyperbole, anger and ego. But after 66 posts, we are all further than ever away from any chance of being able to discuss how to address the violence and help innocent civilians to be free from terror and abuse. (Not that I’m naive enough to believe we can solve anything substantive, but if we can’t even talk about it without the discussion dissolving into increasingly acrimonious attacks, how can we hope for either of the combatants to extricate themselves from the senseless hatred…)

    Surely being able to model the peace and tolerance we all wish for is more important than any of us convincing ourselves (if no one else) that we (and our “side”) are morally and/or intellectually superior?

  69. #69 revere
    July 11, 2006

    Orac: OK. I accept your explanation. It sounds like there may have been some talking past each other on both sides and I certainly did interpret your response as saying I was essentially the same as a Holocaust denier and the Hitler Zombie visit as an accusation I was blind to or sympathetic to Nazis. Your explanation satisifies me and I regret my misinterpretation. I still disagree about the issue but disagreements in this area are the rule, not the exception. I have lost friends on both sides of this stupid conflict and I’m sick of it.

    Regarding Roman, you might want to look at what else he had to say beyond your initial sympathy with his reaction. He is a hater and I find his views offensive, unconstructive and dishonest. Many others here have disagreed strongly with me (e.g., Joe in Australia) but we can still have meaningful, albeit tense and testy, exchanges. Not Roman. In my view he is an example of the worst of the genre and an avatar of the problem (mirrored by counterparts on the other side).

    Joe: Regarding the Sermonettes: If you search on Sermonettes on the old site and here I believe you will concede my point. I never said Israel was Nazi Germany and I explained why I used the phrase, so that’s a straw man. I don’t understand your other point. I thought you had said in an earlier post you weren’t Jewish, but it’s of no consequence whether you are or not. I am, also of no consequence.

  70. #70 Orac
    July 11, 2006

    I think we’re closer to the same page than you think.

    However, in case you think I was exaggerating when I said that Holocaust deniers like to equate Israel with the Nazis, here are a few examples of just such overblown comparisons, courtesy of big-time Holocaust denier Michael A. Hoffman II:

    Israeli Holocaust Against Gaza in Pictures
    The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians
    Israelis Boldly Admit they are Collectively Punishing the Palestinian People: Revelation-of-the Method signals accelerated advance of Judaic supremacy
    The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians: The Israeli Genocide in Palestine, March 29 – April 18, 2002

    This is but a small taste, where I went to the blog of one particular Holocaust denier who particularly likes to compare Israel to the Nazis. (Of course, given how much he clearly admires Nazi-ism, one would have to wonder why to him tha twould be such a bad thing.) I could easily find much more.

    Now do you start to understand why your death camp analogy is so offensive?

  71. #71 gaudia ray
    July 12, 2006

    Posted by a person whose moniker is pal on the Haaretz.com talkback commentary section.

    Does it not show that what Revere posts, a call for humanity to the Israeli’s, completely offbase?

    These are the children of Husseini, the diabolical mastermind and architect of modern Islamist terror. In his own words…”the Zionists, will be massacred to the last man. We want no progress, no prosperity. Nothing but the sword will decide the fate of this country.”
    #16 this happened in the 30`s and 40`s. This is when the People of Israel now arrived from the whole world to take my fathers and grandfathers land, home, olive trees, orange trees, and all the pine trees that you can see today in this beautiful land. Only you know the value of this special land. And we will never, never, give it up.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/737324.html
    post #41 from Shuan

  72. #72 Roman Werpachowski
    July 12, 2006

    revere:

    Regarding Roman, you might want to look at what else he had to say beyond your initial sympathy with his reaction. He is a hater and I find his views offensive, unconstructive and dishonest.

    Dishonest? I am very honest in expressing what I think about this situation. Neither do I hate the Palestinians. I pity them for being held hostage by incompetent leaders who brainwashed them into fanatical support of terrorists.

    I really do wish that some responsible leader emerges on the Palestinian side who could be a partner for Olmert. Maybe their president could do the job, but he’s very weak after the last elections.

    It looks now that things are going to get even hotter. Lebanon joined the game and Israel won’t sit idle. When will these idiots understand that Israel has the right to exist, period?

  73. #73 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 12, 2006

    The Israelis have entered Lebanon as of 02:00 EDT. This is in response to Hamas taking Jewish soliders captive. I would recommend that they give them back. This is as I said the beginning of what is about to become a farther reaching war and They are going to drive all to the way to Damascus if the damned Syrians dont quit supplying Hamas with arms. They stopped 30 miles south last time. This time its regime change. It wont be anything less than a rout and if you have interests there its time for them to leave.

    Revere if if Barghouti has any influence, nows the time to use it. The Israelis will watch their flank very carefully and I think any provocation of anykind like a hand fired missile will result in the Palestinian problem being permanently erased from the face of the Earth. They wont want to do it, but they will do it because they feel they must. They know about eradications but to them the Palestinians are nothing but Nazi’s with head dress.

  74. #74 Jodi Upin
    July 12, 2006

    I find these comments very interesting although I must say that many of the writers base their comments on what is printed through the eyes of the American and European press- which has been less than fair or balanced.
    I would like to make a couple of points regarding Israel, Gaza and Medical care.

    One basic fact is true- Israel is under terrorist attack.
    Israel has at various point in peace negotiations offer 98% of what the Palestinians asked for- but Arafat rejected the proposal out of hand in January of 2001.If Arafat had accepted the offer from Ehud Barak- he would have been out of a job.

    The Palestinians have received billions of dollars of aid from the Arab countries, the EU and the US over recent years. Their government has used that money to line the pockets of a few PA leaders and done nothing to build infrastructure in Gaza or the West bank.
    It is a well know fact that Arafat died a multi-millionaire and his wife lives a luxurious life in Paris. At the same time Gaza has deteriorated and continues to do so. The population is a victim of corrupt leadership not “occupancy” from Israel.

    Last year (2005), at the time Israel withdrew from Gaza, the President of the World Bank purchased – for the behalf of the Palestinian people existing hydroponic green houses for jobs and commerce to help the Palestinians start to support themselves. The Green houses had been a very profitable business for the Israeli settlers. After the purchase – which was millions of dollars- the Palestinians looted and destroyed the green houses.

    Finally is the subject of Medical care. Even today- Palestinians are treated in Israel for emergency and life threatening emergencies. However, Israel has been criticized for making emergency vehicles stop at check points to be searched. The part of the issue that does not make the popular press is the fact that the terrorist groups have used emergency vehicles to conduct their terrorist activities. In 2002, a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance coming from Ramallah was stopped for inspection before entering Israel. . The vehicle was being used to transport explosives and other prohibited weapons into Israel .The driver was using children posing as sick patients. The explosives were found under the stretcher.

    In 2003 in Beer Shiva, a Palastian woman was treated at a hospital in Beer Shiva for a life threatening issue. During her recovery, the Doctor asked her to return for a post operative check up. She returned with a belt of explosives on her to blow up the medical facility that saved her life. She was stopped before she could enter the facility.

    I read the my local paper, the NY times, and the Jerusalem post almost daily- I read about the issues in the Middle East and sigh- I think of what Golda Meir said after her political life was over- “Israel will have peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.”

  75. #75 revere
    July 12, 2006

    Randy: If Israel again occupies southern Lebanon it will be a catastrophe for them, as it was the first time they did it, just as Iraq is a catastrophe for the US. Both have overwhelming military superiority but that is only a small part of what is required. I can’t believe how stupid Olmert is to do this, but time will tell who is right.

    Jodi: These events are well reported in the US press. Both sides have been responsible for this and what I find exasperating about your comments is not their truth or falsity (they report actual events) but their failure to recognize that a Palestinian could do a global search and replace and say the same things accurately (except of the medical care issue, which they can’t accomplish because they don’t have ther resources but in fact have had those resources destroyed by Israel). _alestinians also believe they are under terrorist attack. Instead of explosive belts it is helicopter gunships or missles. That argument doesn’t get us verry far, or rather, it gets us to where we are today, which is in a pretty bad fix.

    I note that both of your sources of information are heavily pro-israel, which doesn’t mean they are wrong but does mean they are incomplete. Failure to put yourself in the other guy’s shoes is one of the main problems for the average Palestinian and average Israeli or pro-Israel American or European. You can’t do that if you can’t see the world from their perspective and reading the NYT and JP daily won’t do that for you if you aren’t already so inclined. The governmental leaders of both sides (Hamas and Olmert’s gang) are just plain criminals as far as I am concerned. They know what they are doing and are both so enraged and at the same time so cold-blooded they don’t care about the consequences. A plague on both of them.

  76. #76 j
    July 12, 2006

    revere-
    Correction- ThePA was given billions of recsources to build an infastructure for their people but chose to put themoney in their own pockets insted of building hospitals, schools,and roads for their people.

  77. #77 revere
    July 12, 2006

    j: There is no doubt corruption was rampant in the old PA but not all the money went to there. Infrastructure has also been systematically crippled by Israeli policies which also contributed mightily to the Hamas electoral success. The US has given even more billions to Israel, some of which lined the pockets of Israeli politicians and their relatives as well. But these things seem beside the point. We will not get far to solving this problem with arguments of this kind. Israel and the US should be doing its best to strengthen the hands of those within the PA trying to rein matters in, instead of pursuing policies which only strengthen the hands of the worst elements. The same could be said of Hamas. They only strengthen the hand of Olmert and his henchmen. To say “Israel has no choice” is utter nonsense. There are many choices and they have chosen from among the worst. They could, for example, have a simultaneous prisoner release of women and children Palestinian prisoners. If the claim is that this would only encourage more kidnapping, there will be more kidnapping anyway, probably more than othewise, because of the need to “answer” the Israeli kidnapping of Palestinian politicians, etc., etc., with no end in sight. Some Israeli governments would do this but not the Olmert regime. It is a choice they have made and it will only ensure more violence, not less violence. The response, “Israel has no choice” is made for every single policy of the Israeli government as a reflex without any recognition that other choices are possible. It amounts to no more than an unconditional endorsement of whatever that government does.

  78. #78 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 12, 2006

    Revere, its not going to be Lebanon. Its going to be Syria. It will render the Palestinian thing moot. Assad is not as bright as Daddy was and he will commit to “removing the Israelis” or some other rhetoric and the war widens. Either way, Lebanon is lousy with Palestinians and my sources which are not lets go give them water and health care tell me that they are instructed to pound the positions. The Israelis by the way occupied S. Lebanon in the 80’s because the Palestinians were building up serious arms and buried in tunnels like the Koreans did. I saw pictures of T-72’s, APC’s and most importantly artillery and anti aircraft missiles and launchers. The Palestinians were in a foreign country preparing for an invasion. So instead of Yom Kippur they did attack and they stomped a new hole in their asses.

    The Palestinians are wrong, the Jews are wrong. But once you get to killing over there they remember it for centuries. I dont see anything positive for the PA except to round those rocket guys up and put them in the can. Stop the shelling and I think the Israelis will head back to the kazerne’s. Its expensive to be out there in this kind of heat in people and equipment anyways. Hamas is in charge and wants to be a government. Even the dumbest government on the face of the earth will surrender in the face of overwhelming firepower. The PA really thinks that the Israelis are the problem, same goes for the Israelis to the PA. One thing is sure though, they better do as they are told else it wont be Israelis getting shot up.

    For all of the armchair idiots who are rah rah-ing the incursion and what they are doing I want to tell you that this is not a goddamn football game. People on both sides are getting whacked and I dont give much cover to the Revere’s and they know it. On the other hand I would speculate that they have seen some of the products of war like I have, up close and way too personal. Reveres care about what is happening to the people and to assert they dont care about the Jewish side of it is bullshit. They just dont like the politics of it. While they hang on certain points in the face of a lot of counter, they dont back off from their positions one bit and that takes guts. They are the Bushido warriors of their beliefs and I am of mine. I dont support an Israeli incursion except to protect their borders. If they have to do it to stop the random rocket attacks then I would simply lay waste on it in my military mind. I would kill every man, woman and child with a massive bombardment. This will and would not not stop the problem and history has proven that. But it would for the time being tamp it back down to an acceptable level for the space and time that I would occupy if I were there. They should BOTH be trying to de-escalate the situation. The Israelis AND Palestinians who are caught up in this just want to get along. Without a doubt by using overwhelming force the Israelis are following military training and that is to use all forces available and make it hurt as much as possible. In my opinion they are holding back right now. They could inflict terrible casualties. More than they are now and I would say to them both….Is it worth it ? If it is because Moshe got kilt by Ahmad then nothing is ever going to get solved. There is the problem, pure and simple. If God gave Israel to the Jews he forgot to drop the memo to the Palestinians and they have both been fighting for 3000 years. I dont think we are going to see a settlement until one or the other simply kills the other off.

  79. #79 Judy
    July 12, 2006

    guadia ray: followed your link to http://www.haaretz.com. I stayed there longer and read more than I intended. You don’t see these stories or comments in your local paper. I am both glad and sorry that I did.

    M. Randolph Kruger: I do think the time may be past when we would see a settlement in the “simple” (extreme) event of one killing the other off. I greatly fear U.S. intervention should Syria and Iran join Hamas and Hezbollah in outright war against Israel. How many more
    are going to be drawn into this before it is ended, if it ever will be? Maybe I am thinking extreme now, but I see as you do that this has gone beyond random rocket attacks.

    Name: you said it.

    Reveres: you stand on a mountaintop looking down in the valley; there you see both sides of the battle, and you hate the politics that is bringing death to innocents. I agree with your assessment in your reply to j. However, hate and revenge leave little room for sane or just actions. Words alone can stir up strong feelings and escalating anger, as I have seen here today in this forum. Do you think the Palestinians and the Isrealis could live in peace if the political factions were neutralized? Could the citizens disregard their own religious beliefs to live and let live? I think too much blood (3000 yrs) has been shed on both sides for that to ever happen. With a very heavy heart, I do not hold any hope for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. I cannot see any solution that can heal these people.

  80. #80 revere
    July 12, 2006

    Judy: Israel has cordial relations with both Russia and Germany. Peace is coming along in Northern Ireland. The Thirty Years War ended in Europe (after 30 years). Why not?

  81. #81 GaudiaRay
    July 12, 2006

    Reveres, you talk about healthcare at a time of war?
    It’s ludicrous.

    The war is considered just. The fact that now in two cases, a country’s government has stood idly by aftered its citizens attack the military of a neighboring country and proclaimed no responsibility due to failure to receive prior notice from its citizens of the attack is beyond absurd.

    If you can make a case otherwise, please do so.

    Under these circumstances, it is the International Red Cross who is charged with coming forward. And guess what? When it did so in Lebanon, the response was “go take a hike”.

    And your response to this?

    The Palestinians and the Iranians and the Iraqi’s and the Syrians and Lebanese have large segments of their population who want an encounter. Yet you think that their health care is of importance.

    If I say I want to kill you, are you to ask me, “How are you fixed for bandages?”

    If you answer “yes”, you have said all you need on this topic and I will consider this telling as to your way of interpreting reality.

    If you answer “no”, you will have undermined your initial argument, yet you will have returned imo to the center of reason.

    As I’m a Westerner, I honor reason above all else. Without that, society as I know it will transform. I know what the Fundementalist Islamicist would say and has said. Now I wonder what you say.

  82. #82 mary in hawaii
    July 13, 2006

    Interesting how the war of words on these pages has escalated, just as has the war of bombs and bullets in Israel and Palestine. We move farther and farther from the basic issue,which was the humanitarian crisis caused by this conflict, the impending death due to lack of sanitation, water and food for thousands of the innocent civilians of Gaza. This issue has been so lost that by the 81st post or whatever it is, the writer says: “you talk about healthcare at a time of war?It’s ludicrous.” How very sad and how very telling. People are dying in droves as we speak and yet somehow it seems so easy to intellectualize that fact away and talk about who started what. If the 7 children that died today in that house the Israeli’s bombed in hopes of killing a Hamas militant leader were your own, or your neighbors, would you sit and yap about who started what and the politics of the situation? Seriously, if bombs were falling in your own neighborhood, on your own house, killing your own, would you really give a ….who started it??? Is there any humanity and empathy left in this world. Wars are never justifiable! How can one say “I honor reason above all else” in one breath and then say in the other “The war is considered just.” By whom? One of reason would say that murder of women and children in a war is never just.

    An interesting statement was made a couple of postings back by revere, regarding Israel having a choice: “they could, for example, have a simultaneous prisoner release of women and children.” Think about what that means. That means that Israel has imprisoned women and children!!! Maybe revere even means both sides have imprisoned women and children, I’m not sure. But the idea that in a war it is justified to imprison women and children???? Why? What possible danger could they pose, how could you ever excuse this kind of conduct?

    Mr Kruger says: “If God gave Israel to the Jews he forgot to drop the memo to the Palestinians and they have both been fighting for 3000 years.” Judy says: “Could the citizens disregard their own religious beliefs to live and let live?” Yet the religious belief systems of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all about peace. It isn’t religion or religious beliefs that have made this war, it is people who are twisting those beliefs and using them to justify wars they are creating for entirely different reasons.

  83. #83 revere
    July 13, 2006

    Gaudia: As usual your argument is incoherent. But also, as usual, you just repeat the same old arguments. One side is completely innocent, the other is completely guilty. You have your usual inability to see anything from anyone else’s point of view and anyone who diagrees with you is an idiot. As I have said to others with this position, you are the problem, you and your Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. We’ll see (not that it takes a lot of foresight) how well the policy of escalating violence works in this case. Want to take any bets? You are as right about this as you were about the shelf life of Tamiflu, which you were so sure and so self-righteous about, evn though you knew nothing about it except what was printed on a drug company label. Sigh.

  84. #84 mary in hawaii
    July 13, 2006

    Gaudia: You say “The fact that the Israeli’s withdrew from Gaza, destroyed their own economic infrastructure, severely disrupted the lives of thousands of their own, offered the infrastructure undestroyed to their opponents…those are acts of compassion.” How neatly you forget that this land they so compassionately withdrew from they first rather uncompassionately stole from the Palestinians. You love to use quaint analogies, so how about this: If an 80 lb bully steals a toy train from a 30 lb child by punching him in the eye and grabbing it, would you call him compassionate when he finally gives back three or four of the boxcars, still keeping the engine and caboose?

    Today the United States exercised its veto power over a resolution, supported by all 15 other nations in the UN security council, to formally condemn Israel for their recent acts of war against civilian populations in Gaza and those in Lebanon – the consensus being, in layman’s terms, that their actions are an overkill. Only our UN Ambassador -who is a long time member of JINSA and rabid zionist sympathiser – believe what Israel is doing is justified. In other political analyses, it is said that Olmert’s radical hard line attacks are more about keeping his own political career alive than anything else. What one won’t sacrifice and justify for personal power, eh?

    Meantime, our outspoken support of Israel in this slaughter is no doubt going to backlash in the form of more anti-american sentiment in the arab world (at the very least) and more terrorist attacks. And lest we forget, the underlying cause of 9-11 (that is, the reason that Al Qaeda gave for launching an attack against the USA) was NOT because “they hate us for our freedom” but because we consistently support Israel – both politically and financially – in her ongoing conflict with Palestine over their disputed territories, no matter what. So, here we go again.

  85. I am sorry that you choose to use vile language in responding, Revre, it is most telling about you. As for me and my seemingly pro-Israel, Pro-Palestinian, one sided view whichever way you want to call it, it seems that my view is more even handed than yours. In analysing the situation I have not brought you only what Israelis are saying, but also what Palestinains are saying. All of them on both sides want to live a peaceful life because unlike one-sided people such as yourself who live outside and can afford to fight for principles, they only want the same thing people have in the west: a job, food on the table and a better future for their kids. If anyone is the problem, it is you and your one sided view inflaming the situation.

    p.s.
    Do try to be more respectful in the future in your comments to others. After all, as a wise man once said: “stupidity is not an ideal one must aspire to”

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