Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Everywhere Is War: Gaza Edition

Let's just say that both George Orwell and Hannah Arendt would be having a field day with the way the Western media are covering both the Forever Wars and the Forever Propaganda Wars. Luckily for us, the major actors are dumb enough and clumsy enough to be caught in the act of gross dishonesty on a regular basis. Every day comes news of some major new atrocity and every day come revelations of the atrocious ways the media are trying to hide the truth and twist the facts.

If there's  one thing we've learned since the latest assault on Gaza began, it's that the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity.  And that the narrative which they sell on a daily basis -- that Republicans and Democrats are sworn enemies -- is a complete fabrication.

As Counterpunch and other outlets have revealed, there's even a secret instruction manual floating around which lays out myriad clever ways to "blame your victim/sympathize with your victim." It was written by GOP propagandist Frank Luntz, specifically for pro-Israel apologists who were desperate for bromides to justify the last mass slaughter five years ago. These identical talking points are still being used with mindless abandon across the political spectrum... which in America the Righty and Mighty, runs the gamut from A to B. (H/T Mary McCarthy.)

Republican and Democratic politicians and government bureaucrats and ruling class personalities all joined hands at a Support Israel Rally Monday in Washington, D.C.  It might have been titled "We're Saying It Loud and We're Saying It Proud: We're All Neocons Now!" We haven't seen anything like it since these phony merchants of death all joined hands and sang America the  Beautiful and replaced the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act after the CIA blowback attack known as 9/11.

The Wall Street Journal was on it, with all the vapidity it could muster:
Speaking at an impromptu gathering of Jewish leaders here, congressional leaders denounced Hamas as a terror organization.“We will not equate professional militaries with terrorist organizations that use human shields as they seek maximum civilian casualties,” House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said, pledging Congress’ support for Israel. “America must send this clear, public and united message: Israel is our friend, and Israel’s enemies are our enemies. And as long as I am speaker of the House, I give you my word this will be our cause.”
Multiple lawmakers, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), called for a demilitarization of Gaza to end violence in the region. “If there is to be a political solution, it is imperative that Hamas is disarmed,” Mr. Hoyer said, adding that Palestinians must have confidence that their government is using its resources to support them, rather than invest in weapons.....
Susan Rice, the White House national security adviser, told several hundred people at the conference that Israel has “the same unequivocal right to self-defense as every other nation,” and that Hamas is to blame for the violence. “Hamas fired the rockets. Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli citizens, particularly civilians,” she said. “Hamas refused an early plan for a cease-fire. Hamas, in a time of glaring human need, instead of investing in the future of Gaza’s children, built tunnels to kidnap and kill Israelis. So Hamas initiated this conflict. And, Hamas has dragged it on.”
Meanwhile, lest too much of the light of truth escape from Gaza, its one electrical power plant blew up in one of those same spontaneous combustions that have been mysteriously afflicting Palestinian schools, hospitals, United Nations shelters and places of worship. More than a thousand civilians, at least a third of them children, have been killed. The official media narrative would have us believe that this "collateral damage" was deliberately conceived and birthed by Palestinian parents to serve as human shield photo-ops.

The establishment of a Heart of Darkness in what's been described as the world's largest outdoor prison should save NBC the trouble of having to scrub out the actual cause of the combustions from its website. What journalists can no longer actually see will not hurt the Israeli government's explosion of propaganda. Moon of Alabama has the details of what is only the latest and more blatant example of self-censorship of the "free" press.

And then there's David Gregory of Press the Meat. He is the poster child for the way not to do slick propaganda. Rumor has it that he's on his way out, but for now, he is a very non-useful idiot indeed. David Gregory didn't even try to hide the fact that he was blind-siding a U.N. official with some phony film footage purporting to show a Hamas rocket launch from a U.N. school. To the official's credit, his reaction to Gregory's ham-handed antics was barely contained laughter.

And as for Barack Obama: the official narrative is the same old, same old schizophrenia. He hates it when children die, but supports Israel's right to slaughter them. He loves peace even though he himself wages war.  Common corporate media verbiage has him alternately "grappling" and "wrestling" with the tragedy, the weight of the entire world upon his inner Buddha. He has a "frosty" relationship with Netanyahu. He occasionally picks up the phone to impart some tepid wrath.

Philip Weiss, though, has a reality check, pointing out that it was Obama who quashed the global condemnation (the Goldstone Report) of Israel's previous  onslaught on Gaza, and effectively granted Bibi perpetual immunity from war crimes prosecution. Therefore, the current fatalities should indeed weigh heavily upon whatever passes for the president's conscience.


73 comments:

Jay - Ottawa said...

I was about to append the following comment to the previous post, but by the time I had finished it, fast-draw Karen had already put up this new post. (Paul Ryan may be as fascinating as a cobra, but I, like most Sardonickists cannot turn away for long from what is unfolding in Gaza.)
_____________

So a terrorist and a freedom fighter walk into a bar ......

Stop! First, we have to be able to tell the two apart. right? Definitions must be clear. Otherwise, we’ll never get the joke. As Lenin put it ages ago, “Who whom?” So, what's the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?

Even over at The Intercept, Greenwald is dropping the NSA story to talk about the Middle East. There is one old link early within Greenwald’s post you must not skip over. It provides a rich history –– THE HISTORY –– of how the word “terrorism” entered "political discourse" in the US and elsewhere. Spoiler (and a h/t to conspiracy theorists): it took considerable guidance from certain quarters to elevate terrorism into routine political discourse..

http://www.salon.com/2010/03/14/brulin/

“…at the conference, you look at the list of the people invited, and you have George Bush, the father of W. Bush, who was the ambassador, the American ambassador at the UN in the ’70s.

“You have Jack Kemp, Republican from New York. You have George Will, you have Norman Podhoretz, you have Henry Jackson, famous senator, you have Richard Pipes, a right-wing ideologue. You have Menachem Begin who is there, you have Shimon Peres, you have Netanyahu, of course, Benjamin Netanyahu who is now prime minister, and so you have a clear link between the American discourse, suddenly, and the Israeli discourse, and from that moment on, in America, people are going to be starting to talk about terrorism in ways similar to how Israel had been talking about it for 10 or 15 years.”

The same link is also where you can find the answer to Lenin’s question for the ages, in case that ever engaged you. And it's where you’ll find many good ideas for a punch line to the do-it-yourself joke above.

Denis Neville said...

“A war with no goal is among the most despicable of wars; the deliberate targeting of civilians is among the most atrocious of means. Terror now reigns in Israel as well, but it’s unlikely there is a single Israeli who can imagine what it’s like for Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants, whose already miserable lives are now totally horrific. The Gaza Strip is not a “hornet’s nest,” it is a province of human desperation.” - Gideon Levy

As much of world watches Gaza in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel in order to secure and maximize donations to their political campaign funds.

We are ruled by cowards and cravens. Not one of them will risk the loss of his or her seat in Congress by criticizing the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Instead they applaud and fund the systematic destruction of Gaza.

Gideon Levy asks, “When Obama said he admires Israel’s “core values,” which values was he talking about? The dehumanization of the Palestinians? The attitude toward African migrants? The arrogance, racism and nationalism? Is this what he admires? Don’t separate buses for Palestinians remind him of something? Doesn’t two communities living on the same land, one with full rights and the other with no rights, “ring a bell,” as they say in America? To admire “core values” while knowing we’re talking about one of the most racist countries there is, with a separation wall and apartheid-like policies, means betraying the core values of the American civil rights movement that made the Obama miracle possible.”

The basis of all human morality is doing the right thing, doing what must be done, in spite of the risks and dangers, pressures, and any possible personal consequences.

“People who make use of all their senses in trying times are no less patriotic than those whose restraint is lost, whose senses are dimmed and whose brains are washed. This is also the time for the patriot to say: Enough.” - Gideon Levy, The Punishment of Gaza

Pearl said...

Karen: Thank you for your usual magnificent column of truthful clarity. The middle east conflagration we are witnessing is a symbol of what happens when people burdened with deceitful leaders swallow the propaganda of hatred and fear of their own narrow purposes.
Among other things it reveals the true character of those involved and your report of Obama's role in this catastrophe past and present reveals a truly vile personality.
Any kind of warfare among nations is contagious everywhere as is witnessed by the strong positions people in the U.S. are taking for and against Israel and/or the Palestinians creating more divisiveness between people.
That is why we must speak up and out and sometimes we hit a nerve as happened to me the other day. The responses to the Grossman article reveal a great divide among readers who should be better versed in the facts of history especially since they represent a more educated group and one wonders how lesser knowledgeable citizens deal with such news or merely avoid it.
Hopefully, sometimes we do get organized reaction or change as in the protests against the Vietnam war which was a rarity.
And thanks to 'our gang' and others who teach and inspire me and quote great souls with remarkable insight.
I am on topic this time around.

Noodge said...

"...the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity."

Great. Another "Jews control the media and the American government" screed.

Might as well have come straight form the pages of Protocols. What a load of crap.

Don't even try and bother justifying this on some sort of "anti-Israel doesn't mean anti-Semitic" basis. That statement is bullshit.

I get it. I get it. You don't hate Jews per se. Only the evil ones who control the media and the government.

Pearl said...

Noodge: Have you read several columns by Karen where she listed the many wealthy donors to Obama's campaigns who are Jewish? And since many Jews support current Israeli policies I know that Obama palling around with these wealthy families and holidaying with them is all political to keep him supporting Israel. I therefore don't trust Obama politically nor his wealthy friends -Jews and non Jews who influence his administration policies. And frankly I cannot figure out if you are being sarcastic or ironic.
When Bush and family palled around with Saudi Arabian oil big shots I didn't trust them or him either. That doesn't mean I hate Saudi Arabians.
So try saying what you are attacking clearly and without clever innuendos. And to add to your comments I can honestly say some of my best friends are Jewish.
There are people I admire and others I don't which only connects to their character and behavior and not their ethnic extraction. Hate is reserved for those who destroy other people's lives in order to improve their own. And how do you view the current Israeli/Palestinian brouhow, Nudge?
From a non self hating Jew.

Pearl said...

Sorry, I misspelled your name Noodge. That was not deliberate.

annenigma said...

Israel is acting like it is trying to wipe Gaza off the face of the earth. They don't need to say it out loud. Actions speak louder than words.

Karen Garcia said...

Noodge,

I was saying (or trying to) that the American govt, the Israeli govt and the corporate media are the same entity in the context of the propaganda being spewed on the current Gaza tragedy. Israeli and American politicians are marching in lockstep, using identical Frank Luntz talking points to justify the killing of civilians... which the corporate media are largely parroting. I didn't think calling them out on it was anti-Semitic.

This is not to deny that anti-Semitism exists. Of course it does. Xenophobia is everywhere.

Readers might be interested in a blog post about this sensitive issue:

http://this-is-not-jewish.tumblr.com/post/34344324495/how-to-criticize-israel-without-being-anti-semitic

Denis Neville said...

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy says serious questions need to be asked about the relationship between the American Jewish community and its political and financial power to shape domestic and international policies, especially those affecting peace in the Middle East.

“It’s time to air out the relationship between the world’s largest and second-largest Jewish community – a relationship that has long become distorted and even harmful… We must now question the Jewish money flowing to Israel from those who choose not to live here.

“Israeli politicians from all parties engage in an overly close rapport with American Jews, and of course, their money. The American Jewish establishment may support all Israeli governments blindly and automatically – this, too, is inexplicable and raises weighty questions. But under the official countenance of not intervening in our internal affairs, they have a thumb in every pie.

“The name of the game, of course, is money. Everything is about money, even if it is concealed under a pile of cliches and promises. From the prime minister to the mayor of a remote town, from hospital director to community center manager – all look to Jewish-American money. That’s a guarantee for unhealthy relations.

“In many areas the damage is direct and considerable. The settlements in the territories, for example, would not have thrived and grown had it not been for the big money flowing from American Jews. A Ynet investigation released around two years ago found that American Jews sent $100 million to the settlements in the past decade…Dozens of Jewish associations…are all fattening the settlements, some openly and others under the table.

“By so doing the Jews are helping to shape and mutilate another state. It’s not only money: The loud, blatant Jewish right wing, which crushes any display of a different opinion in America, is trying to do the same in Israel. Camera, a McCarthyist group that persecutes journalists in the United States, is directing its absurd persecution and slander campaigns against the Israeli media as well. That is also part of the distorted relationship.

“It is time to say to the American Jews directly, as is customary among relatives: Leave us alone. Take your hands off Israel. Stop using your money to buy influence in Israel. Stop “contributing” to advance your interests and views, some of which are at times delusionary and extremely dangerous to the future of the country you’re supposedly trying to protect.

“If Israel is dear to you – and that is true of most of you – then be honest enough to criticize it as it deserves. Think about your personal friends. What would they value more: your blind, automatic support, or criticism born of love when it is warranted?”

Pearl said...

There is another question that is troubling and that is whether you are really a Jew if you are not religious, don't attend a Synagogue and believe what is written in the Torah. I have never had an honest answer to this question and as an atheist wonder how one is so judged. My father who sturdily supported Israel but later had a change of heart after visiting the country in his retirement, always hated Rabbis and what they represented whether orthodox or reformed with his strong feelings based on the misrepresentation of truth he believed in and their control over the minds and behavior of Jews who were otherwise not considered fit to be accepted into the brotherhood. That is why I referred to Jews as an ethnic group which accepts both points of view.
I think the exaggerated importance of religious orthodox Jews creating policy in Israel plays a big role as well as unacceptance of Reformed Rabbis who are permitted to operate in the U.S. Marriage and family law is based on ancient religious dogma in Israel which clashes with more modern beliefs.
Any information on this issue wise friends with amazing information at your fingertips?

Pearl said...

Friends: I cancel my plea to let me know what makes a Jew if one is an atheist. Looking it up in Wikipedia is so complicated that almost anything makes one a Jew or not. I am mainly an ethnic Jew but there are not tried and true answers depending on family tradition, religious tradition, where you live, who makes the decisions, who your parents were, what your beliefs are, how you view your peers who may judge you, with different rules for different people, ad infinitum and what the Rabbi decides.
The only ones who have clear ideas are the extremist Jews in Israel who wear large furry hats and dance in circles together and do not believe in doing military duty and have their strong say in making policy. I wonder how they view the military operations now when they support Israel but do not become soldiers.

Denis Neville said...

@ Pearl

You are in very good Jewish company. Amos Oz, on what it means to be a Jewish atheist, "We regard Judaism as a civilization, not just as a religion. I think there are many, many ways to be a Jew. And one of those ways to be a Jew is to be a nonreligious Jew. The heritage contains, first and foremost, books, texts, spiritual creativity. And religion is only one of the components of this magnificent heritage."

Pearl, you are a Jewish atheist in a similar way that the late Michael Harrington called himself a Catholic atheist - “I am a pious apostate, an atheist shocked by the faithlessness of the believers, a fellow traveler of moderate Catholicism who has been out of the church for 20 years.”

The realities of poverty, hunger and suffering drove Harrington to the question God’s existence. “If he were half the God he claims to be, he would leave his heaven and come here to do penance in the presence of a suffering that he as God obscenely permits. But he does not exist."

For Catholic atheists, like Harrington and me, Christian atheism is a theological position in which the belief in the God of Christianity is rejected or absent but the moral teachings of Christ are followed.

Faith is not important. What is important is doing good deeds. It is not in heaven above, but in our mouth and heart and in our thoughts and actions that we ethically navigate this complex world.

Religious Jews and Catholics need atheists to keep them honest and to remind of them of the ways in which they err and fail.


Noodge said...

"I was saying (or trying to) that the American govt, the Israeli govt and the corporate media are the same entity in the context of the propaganda being spewed on the current Gaza tragedy."

Now I get it. We just have to see it in context.

The Jews don't ALWAYS control the media and the government, only in this context.

Well then. I stand corrected. How could anyone ever see that as anti-Semitic?


James F Traynor said...

So Noodge, what are your feelings about Hannah Arendt and her opinions about Eichmann? Or her and Einstein's opinion about the Zionists? A couple of self hating Jews? Or intellectuals deluded by the subtle tactics of we anti-semitics?

James F Traynor said...

Damn, your right! I am an unconscious anti-Semitic, as conclusively demonstrated by my use of the lower case in anti -semitic. Damn, there I go again!

James F Traynor said...

Is there no end to it all.?

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Oh shit! Now how did that happen?

James F Traynor said...

It's gotta be my limbic system (the beast).
And this is my 4th comment in a row.
H
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I
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g
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d
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!

Karen Garcia said...

Here's a good analysis of the propaganda lockstep as practiced by the skilled steno pool at the NY Times:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/25236-soft-edges-hard-core-a-media-tilt-to-israel-in-gaza

Will said...

James,

I got you, brother. Here's an infinitely interesting interview with Anthony Bourdain about breaking bread with people all over the world. The current state of affairs in Gaza is also touched upon, so I'm on topic for once.

http://www.blogsofwar.com/anthony-bourdain-talks-travel-food-and-war

Pearl said...

Denis: Thank you for your logical brilliant responses about the questions thrown out on this specific issue. I feel better being in good company regarding Jewish atheism. However, there still remains the problem of how far an atheist Jew living in Israel will separate him or herself from loyalty to the country on certain levels where policies are clearly not humane. For example, Grossman's article while pleading for peace does not separate himself from the basic approaches and beliefs of Zionism which are the bedrock of policy past and present and questioning this indicates disloyalty to the state and to one's fellow Israelis. This was mentioned by some commenters. This is true in other countries as well where loyalty politically includes support for the religious involvement such as many Americans considering their country is a Christian nation.
This emphasis on loyalty to a country one lives in has created a current crisis with my daughter who always had good memories of her childhood in Israel and now has to sharpen her attitudes to Israel as a result of the Gaza catastrophe and is so upset she cannot even discuss her feelings with me.
Those of us who are highly critical of U.S.policy are probably considered the Anglicized version of anti-Semitism and are treated and shunned as a result. For example, if Karen published comments to the NYTimes on a level of the kind of open truth in her columns to us, she would be censored or not receive the support she is currently receiving. And the opposition to such thinking such as the anti Wall Street sit-in was physically and politically destroyed for the time being as a warning to us for the future. I wonder how far the atheist Jews you listed would denounce Israeli policies from the very beginning of the country's formation? Remember the people that pushed themselves into power were not what had been planned originally and was the reason we found such conflict in the population when we arrived in Israel. This has since been muted and silenced with the excuse that other country's want to destroy Israel which has developed as a result of Israel's behavior to the Palestinians and the concern of other middle east countries about Israel's expansionist plans and settlement arrangements as well as various battles and invasions (like in Lebanon)orchestrated from Israel. So not only am I Jewish atheist but a political rabble rouser as well.Are there any others out there?

James F Traynor said...

Pearl, you see it's like this: You're such a nice person, you feel guilty you're not nice enough. And you're an atheist, and a Jew; not a good combination in the guilt department; it's like being an Irish-American (the worst kind) former Catholic atheist. So maybe we'll split the difference and say you're a border line self doubting Jew. In other words, don't listen to Noodge, he or she'll drive you crazy.

Seriously, sorry about your daughter.

Pearl said...

"For Comic Relief

This is about the sixth e-mail I have received from the National Democratic party leaders. I can hardly wait to see what will happen.

From: Nancy Pelosi
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:34 PM
To: Pearl Volkov
Subject: Pearl, I'm pleading
I'm just... disgusted.
In a few moments, Barack Obama will become the first President -- ever -- to be sued by Congress.
Boehner is clearly trying to get his chance to drag the President's good name through the mud.
I’m tired of it. I’m fed up. And I’m ready to fight back.
Pearl, I know you haven’t had a chance to answer President Obama’s call-to-action yet. But there has NEVER been a more critical time than right now to support the President.
I’m pleading. Please chip in anything you can now.
All Gifts Today Triple-Matched!"

A good antidote to the news from the Middle East.






Denis Neville said...

Karen above said, “Israeli and American politicians are marching in lockstep, using identical Frank Luntz talking points to justify the killing of civilians.”

Israeli’s current ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, is a former GOP political operative who once worked for the odious Republican master of propaganda, Frank Luntz!!!

Dermer (aka "Bibi's Brain") was a featured speaker at Sheldon Adelson's summit for 2016 Republican nomination hopefuls earlier this year. According to the New Republic:

“The Republican Jewish Coalition, a group funded by Las Vegas gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, announced that Dermer would be a featured speaker at its leadership meeting at Adelson’s Venetian Hotel this weekend. The event was designed to allow Adelson and other Jewish high-rollers to gauge the appeal of four Republican potential presidential candidates.

“It’s about as political and partisan a get-together as you could imagine, and Dermer will be there—a prime draw—representing Israel and the Netanyahu government. J.J. Goldberg writes tongue-in-cheek in The Forward, “Amid mounting alarm that anti-Semitism is on the rise in key spots around the globe—and fears that Israel could be a prime target—a prominent Republican group has come up with a unique approach to fighting back: gather a bunch of Jewish zillionaires at a casino in Las Vegas, announce plans to buy the White House in 2016 and invite leading politicians to come, hat in hand, and beg for permission to be the candidate.”

This month, Dermer egged on Christians United for Israel (CUFI), whose founder and leading light of Christian Zionism is the Rev. John Hagee, at their Washington Summit. “We’ve come to Washington to ask our government to stop demanding for Israel to show restraint,” said Hagee.

Stumping for Protective Edge’s assault on Gaza, Dermer provided the red meat, “What is at stake is nothing less than, a battle between a democratic society that seeks peace with all its neighbors and a terror organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of the Jewish people… the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize… a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint.”

These people are fucking crazy!

Israel appoints a former GOP activist as its ambassador to the United States and aligns itself with the worst of America - with Republican media manipulators and the Christian nutcases. Is Netanyahu coordinating with these American right wingers to prolong the Gaza carnage?

Pearl said...

I just received a strongly worded petition to sign from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization who are strongly condemning Israel for the current crisis in Gaza.
The petition consists of letters to three major U.S.Jewish organizations strongly criticizing their stand in supporting Israel in this invasion of Gaza.

Lots of divisiveness among Jews on this major issue.

Pearl said...

Another killing spree with thousands of Palestinians without anywhere safe to go tonight (whenever that is). Israel trying to deny its role but a very angry CNN reporter at the site (with an English accent) had the guts to tell the truth of what was found and who was responsible for destroying another CNN haven, which was a change. Wonder if he will suddenly disappear like others who dare tell the truth.
I don't think I have ever disliked Obama more (I think hate is the appropriate word here) than his silence on this catastrophe which means as MLK said, if you don't speak up you support the victims.
He was and is ready to interfere with money,ammunition, "advisors" threats in the field to other areas of conflict (Syria, Iraq, Ukraine ad infinitum) when a few whispered words to his pal BiBi such as "not another cent pal" unless you - - - - - - would be very effective. However he would lose some votes in upcoming elections without being assured of gaining support unfortunately. I should tell Nancy that I don't plan to support him against being sued by the Republicans which I hope will go through even if for the wrong reasons. If there was ever a question about it, this makes it clear that he belongs in the same class as the other war criminals inhabiting positions of power in the USA. Who's next?

James F Traynor said...

Israel is buying the F35, a squadron load - 19 planes at $2.75 billion. Tell 'em about the F35, Neville. And compare that with the shrewd deal the Israeli's made or tried to make in the good old days with the F4 Phantom. It's become one big cluster fuck as the marines would say.

It looks like that fucking dog won't even hunt. Another pig in a goddamn poke - to mix metaphors. And the Israelis bought it? I don't think so; something very ripe here.

And speaking about the marines:

"The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) is a lightweight, magazine-fed 5.56mm weapon used by the United States Marine Corps. It is intended to enhance an automatic rifleman's maneuverability, and it is based on the Heckler & Koch 416. The U.S. Marine Corps is planning to purchase 6,500 M27s to replace a portion of the M249 light machine guns currently employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. Approximately 8,000–10,000 M249s will remain in service at the company level to be used at the discretion of company commanders. The United States Army does not plan to purchase the IAR.[2][3][4]"

You've got to give it to the jar heads, they know a cluster fuck when they see it.

James F Traynor said...

..."based on the H&K 416" ? It is the goddamn H&K 416 - a German army weapon. And we can't do as well? Horseshit!

Pearl said...

Small correction to last comment of mine on this page. It should read in the first paragraph 'who was responsible for destroying another UN haven (not CNN haven). Too many intitials to remember.

Tonight watching the terrorized faces in Gaza of all those frightened people seeing the damage to their UN resting place for the night suddenly brought back to me the image of similar terrorized faces of women and children from the past - the people walking to the gas chambers in Germany during the war still not sure what awaited them. Horrifying. Past and present connected in a surreal way.

annenigma said...

"It's a hell of a pinprick operation." Secretary of State John Kerry was recently caught on mic scoffing about Israeli strikes, evidently not believing what Israel was shamelessly and proudly admitting: they ARE engaging in precision strikes - against the children of Gaza. It's preemptive war - eliminate future generations of threat.

The only thing worse than this ongoing massacre of children is a Nobel Peace Prize winning President supporting and assisting it. I don't know how he sleeps at night. He must think his own children will enjoy a long and safe life with no repercussions. That's how far his Exceptionalism delusion extends.

Today Barbara Boxer introduced the 'U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014' (a co-sponsor was Senator ELIZABETH WARREN) to strengthen economic and security cooperation between the sick evil twins. Among other items it specifically:

• Authorizes an increase of $200 million in the value of U.S. weapons held in Israel, to a total of $1.8 billion. This stockpile is intended for use by U.S. forces in the event of a crisis, but it can also be used by Israel in the event of an emergency with Israel reimbursing the U.S. for any weapons used.

• Authorizes the President to carry out cooperation between the U.S. and Israel on a range of policy areas including energy, water, homeland security, and alternative fuel technologies. And it requires the President to study the feasibility of expanding U.S.-Israel cooperation on cyber security.

• Includes new language that encourages the Administration to work with Israel to help the country gain entry into the Visa Waiver Program, which would make it easier for Israeli citizens to travel to the United States without first having to obtain a visa.

• Requires the Administration to provide more frequent and more detailed assessments on the status of Israel’s qualitative military edge over its neighbors.

http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/072814.cfm

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we recently discovered that the U.S. has been secretly giving Israel ALL the electronic communications of ALL Americans, including judges and politicians, in raw, unfiltered form with absolutely NO legal restriction on what they do with it. The NYT didn't deem that newsworthy). So now Congress naturally wants to give Israelis carte blanche to come and go from our country as they please, for whatever reasons they want. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Congress next passes legislation to authorize Israel to station troops here to protect their monied, I mean many, interests and maybe conduct a few pinprick operations more easily. Oops, I forgot they have all our words collected. Did I mention how much Israel totally won my heart and mind with their pediatric Gaza operations?

The fact is, in the eyes of the world, there is NO difference between Israel and the USA, and for all military, economic, and security purposes, they are right. Americans, especially the young, should seriously think about what that means for their future - and whether they even have one here.

There's going to be hell to pay.

Pearl said...

Annenigma: I am crossing Elizabeth Warren off my list. I recall some other unacceptable things she has supported in the past.

And the UN has declared the killing of sleeping children an indictable criminal offense. Hope they do something about the carnage rapidly.
Pictures and articles in the Guardian are beyond belief about Gaza and over 90% of Israelis condone the actions of their military. I fear that a stronger repeat of 9/11 may be in the works as a result of U.S. involvement in this insanity.

Denis Neville said...

Israel’s increasingly toxic right-wing political culture and their dehumanizing comments about Palestinians …

“You can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic."

"Our soldiers are the only innocents in Gaza. Under no circumstances should they be killed because of false morality that prefers to protect enemy civilians. One hair on the head of an Israeli soldier is more precious than the entire Gazan populace, which elected the Hamas and supports and encourages anyone who murders Israelis."

“Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews."

“Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave.”

“Defense - Any place from which Israel or Israel’s forces were attacked will be immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.”

“Conquer - After the IDF completes the “softening” of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.

“Elimination - The GSS and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.”

- Moshe Feiglin, a West Bank settler, deputy speaker Israeli Knesset, member Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee

“The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.” - Martin Sherman, Head of the Israeli Institute of Strategic Studies

Final Solution? Lebensraum?

A destructive mindset justifying violence against Palestinians from a country that touts itself as a uniquely advanced First World state in the Middle East.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Well, I have to give Nooge a bit of credit, although I can't agree with him or her, this has been the best set of reader comments on Sardonicky in a long time! And James, I finally have forgiven you for voting for Obama. You have redeemed yourself in my eyes with your comments which made me laugh. Denis, you are a STAR! I cannot tell you how much I missed you and look forward to your comments.

Noodge said...

@ Valerie Long Tweedie:

My comment may have spurred some other comments, but none of them has been to the point. There are lots of comments here complaining of Israel's conduct and those Americans who support them, but I didn't say a single word about what I thought of the way the Israelis are acting, and I won't because it's irrelevant to the original statement.

Karen Garcia wrote, "...the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity."

This is simply a restatement of the old anti-Semitic canard that some Jewish cabal dominates the world media and world governments, particularly that of the United States.

Ms. Garcia's "clarification" which tried to place that statement in some sort of context where it would not bee seen as anti-Semitic was hardly better. The statement stands for itself, and there is no way to spin it so it somehow does not say what it clearly says.

And nothing Arendt or Einstein ever said, nor any of the sarcastic contempt thrown my way by other people commenting here will change the basic sentiment behind that comment (or has even addressed it).

Again, my complaint isn't with the criticism of Israel's conduct. My problem is with the notion - a notion that everyone else here seems to accept as having merit - that the US government, the Israeli government, and the mainstream media are all being directed by a single source (and we all know who they are).

As soon as someone can tell me how Ms. Garcia's statements did NOT say such a thing, I will shut up.

annenigma said...

Israeli citizens interviewed on television frequently say that GOD WILL PROTECT THEM. I'll wait while you stop laughing - or crying....

'God' must be a euphemism for the USA or Obama Himself. What was it that Obama said about those who cling to their guns and religion? If he took his own finger off the trigger every once in a while he might see clearly to help others do the same. A modern day Massacre of the Innocents is happening on his watch. The reflection from his Nobel Peace Prize medal must be blinding him.

Israel has been referred to (Noam Chomsky?) as America's landlocked aircraft carrier, weapons research test bed and nuclear armed military base in the middle of a couple hundred million brown people and a good fraction of the world's most easily accessible oil. If anyone is clinging to guns and religion, it's Emperor Obama, the whole Anglo-American Empire, and it's Middle Eastern militia currently named Israel - soon to be renamed Armageddon.

Karen Garcia said...

"Noodge",

Taking someone's phrase out of context in order to attach a nefarious motive is the oldest trick in the intellectual dishonesty book.

Since the Gaza massacre began, critics of Israel are being regularly slapped with the "anti-Semitic" slur, and it's getting pretty old. I guess it's meant to make people shut up or self-censor.

However, I stand by my assertion that when it comes to the current situation in Gaza, the Israeli govt, the American govt and the media are reading from the same playbook. You literally cannot tell them apart. They are, indeed, the same propagandistic entity. And as Denis pointed out, the playbook leans heavily to the right (Republican). This is probably what is driving the "liberal" defenders of Israel crazy. Cognitive dissonance is a very hard thing to endure.

The Israeli ambassador ("Bibi's Brain") to the United States is himself a former GOP operative. CNN's Wolf "Terror Tunnel" Blitzer is an AIPAC alum. NBC has been literally caught in the act of censoring and obfuscating,the NYT soft-pedals atrocities in its editorials. The evidence is out there for all to see. Pointing it out does not make me and other critics "anti-Semitic."

Never once did I say that "Jews control the media and the government" or espouse Elders of Zion conspiracy theory nuttery. Never in my life have I ever been called anti-Semitic.

Then again, I'd never been called a racist, either, until I dared accuse President Obama of being a corrupt stooge of Wall Street. I guess there is a first time for everything.

So congratulations, "Noodge," on your derring-do.

By the way, for those of you who get the Sundance Channel, a new series starts tonight at 10. It's about a British-Israeli heiress who makes it her life's work to help the Palestinians.The Times is on it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/arts/television/the-honorable-woman-starring-maggie-gyllenhaal.html?hpw&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

It's described as an homage to John Le Carre. Uh-oh. All we need.... More conspiracy theories.

annenigma said...

@Noodge

What's there to debate? The earth is round, it revolves around the sun, there is no God that protects us and "the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity."

Trying to engage us in debating the obvious is simply a red herring to avoid the real matter of a bloody massacre of children going on with the support and encouragement of the entire corporate Empire. We don't live in the last century/millennium anymore, and we now clearly see the power structure of this planet. We also know history. When you can't defend the indefensible, I guess you end up grasping at straws, or straw men.

'Love your neighbor as yourself' is also something we shouldn't have to debate. That encompasses the very essence of God and the 'protection' that religious people believe in yet don't acknowledge their personal role in. They'd rather leave it up to the powerful Guy in the Sky, especially when encouraged to do so by 'religious' leaders.

It's understandable why all our great truth tellers have been demonized and killed over the course of history. The Eye-For-An-Eye mentality can't stand usurpation of its retributive justice. Humanity must not be allowed to become Humane. It's antithetical to power. That's why the first entity they conquer, or buy, is the media.

The media shouldn't be, but it is a vital cog in all killing machines. It's called Propaganda. It's always been that way in one form or another. That's how the people are brought on board to create artificial support for the killing sprees of the powerful.

Noodge said...

I didn't take the phrase out of context. And your attempt to paint me as an apologist for Israel will not work. I am no more trying to justify Israeli conduct than you are.

I simply don't understand how you go on from "...the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity" and "They are, indeed, the same propagandistic entity" while at the same time maintaining "Never once did I say that "Jews control the media and the government.""

How do you make the first assertion without making the second? Is somebody other than the Jews directing this coordinated propagandistic exercise?

Your excuse seems to be more along the lines of "it's true" rather than "it doesn't say what you think it says."

You are the one to be congratulated for the act of derring-do.

And with that I am through.

Karen Garcia said...

Noodge,

Permit me to clarify again, and then I, too, am done.

Follow the money.

Who is financing these lock-stepping governments and media outlets and who is benefiting from the bloodbaths of the world? The defense industry (Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed, Northrup Grummon, Halliburton, etc.) along with Big Oil, Big Finance and tax-averse multinational corporations and their investors. The six major media conglomerates. The Forbes 400. Neocons and neoliberals. Revolving door politicians. One great, big, incestuous family.... aka the .01%.

Pearl said...

Trying to make sense out of Noodge's comments serves a purpose. The responses from Karen, Annenigma, Denis and others have reached heights of brilliance that light up the Sardonicky website.
The logic is inescapable and trying to figure out Noodge's twisted thinking is a waste of time. But I am enjoying the wonderful explanations, especially from Karen of how anyone opposing oppressive regimes is tarred and feathered
by total illogical and off topic accusations. I suspect Noodge is an orthodox Rabbi or student of such orthodoxy as his comments seem to echo some of their biblical explanations. Which incidentally is what conservative Zionists subscribe to in order to explain their plans for oppression of others and enlarging their borders into other people's land.

What is sad is how brainwashed Israelis have become, motivated by fear in the same way the U.S. controls their power base. I hope this doesn't bring Noodge back to our site but his belief process is what we are clarifying for each other. It is the way Obama explains his decisions which also don't make sense.

Denis Neville said...

“We must execute not only the guilty, execution of the innocent will impress the masses even more.” - Nikolai Krylenko, Bolshevik Minister of Justice

Accusing Karen of a restatement of the old anti-Semitic canard because of her critical comments, just as John L. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt [The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy] were smeared, is simply a lie. Neither Karen nor Mearsheimer nor Walt ever said anything remotely close to “Jews control Washington.”

As Glenn Greenwald observes, “You can’t run around making direct appeals to the Jewishness and Israel-affection of American-Jewish voters when you want to induce them to vote Republican, but then turn around and scream “anti-Semite!” at your political opponents when they discuss the same issues in the same context or talk about the political beliefs of various Jewish factions. At least you can’t do that without being guilty of hideous double standards and, worse, cheapening and trivializing “anti-Semitism” to the point of irrelevance.” (The boy who cried wolf is a story that everyone should keep in mind.)

Reductio ad Hitlerum is a term coined by philosopher Leo Strauss. According to Strauss, the Reductio ad Hitlerum is form of association fallacy that consists of trying to refute an opponent's view by comparing it to a view that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party. It is a form of ad hominem or ad misericordiam, a fallacy of irrelevance, in which a conclusion is suggested based solely on something's or someone's origin rather than its current meaning. It is a tactic often used to derail arguments.

The charge of "anti-Semitism" has been cynically exploited and used to bully anyone who would dare criticize Israeli actions or question U.S. policy towards Israel. The real strategy here was to change the subject from the merits of the idea being discussed.

Pearl said...

The latest news is Israel still avoiding taking responsibity for killing 20 residents in a UN haven but fear not - the Pentagon is now sending in a new shipment of weaponry to Israel to support and encourage more war crimes. It is beyond belief. And further explanations by the US.Ambassador to Israel on CNN about the reasons for their continuing attacks in Gaza defy description.
I am going for a walk to clear my head of this lunacy.

Noodge said...

Pearl's "thinking" is just the sort of condescending, superior, arrogant garbage that has so many people hating liberals.

I am not a rabbi, an orthodox Jew, or any other sort of fundamentalist. I am not a biblical literalist, nor am I someone who thinks some deity has promised anything to anyone (other than the chance to occupy a place in time on this planet).

I never once said anything positive or negative about Israel's conduct either in this present situation or in the past. Neither did I ever weigh in on their expansionist policies. I specifically said questions of that sort were beside the point I was trying to make.* Yet Pearl has taken it upon herself to ascribe positions on these things to me and describe me as "twisted."

Then she went on to say she hoped her little libelous diatribe would not cause me to post again.

This is a staggering sort of arrogance. Are people looking for an exchange of ideas here, or is the comments section a place only for those who demonstrate their brilliance by toeing the ideological line? Apparently the latter (Seriously; we're going to throw Elizabeth Warren overboard because of her support for Israel?). The Tea Party has nothing on the comment gallery here.

And Pearl says I'm the one who is a slave to some twisted orthodoxy. Please.

The good news, however, Pearl, is that you won't ever have to read anything from me again. You can all go on feeling superior while you do absolutely nothing to convince anyone other than those who already agree, while simultaneously driving off everyone else.

*For the record, despite what Pearl says, I am unalterably opposed to the barbaric Israeli policy in Gaza, and to me any Israeli on any land beyond their pre-1967 borders represents an act of aggression. But I also understand that opinion places me among a decided minority in America. The most recent Pew Research poll shows Americans sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians by 51% - 14% (and Jews represent less than 2% of the American population). I am also intelligent enough to understand that American policy may actually reflect that reality, and not ascribe the policy to some sort of cabal, Jewish or otherwise.

annenigma said...

@Noodge

For some reason, I'm thinking of the old song 'How Can We Miss You When You Won't Go Away?'. There is just something so familiar about you, Noodge, but I don't know what it is. It's like the Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks song I guess.

Wait! I know what it is. I notice in your diatribe your insistence that we are supposed to try to convince each other rather than just express ourselves and share thoughts. Yes! I do recall now someone here in the past being just as critical and insistent, but in that case it also included some oblique vulgar phrase I used. I think I said to her 'and the horse you rode in on!' and she took great personal offense, go figure. You are so much like her!

So like you, that's the last thing I've got to say - until next time.

Oops! I almost forgot "... and the horse you ride out on!"

Pearl said...

Noodge: I never said you were twisted I said (and look it up above)"trying to figure out Noodge's twisted thinking is a waste of time."
However, I have one important question for you. Now that you have stated that you have not exactly indicating your approval or disapproval of Israel's attack in Gaza, just what are your reactions to this catastrophe? You make a lot of assumptions about the tarrogance of progressives or real liberal thinkers, but we are open about our beliefs while you are a mystery and give only avoidance answers to the questions discussed openly here. I will make another comparison you may not like - this is how the intelligence agencies representatives behave as I well know. It is a familiar way of eliciting information by posing as an interested spectator but not revealing one's true self or purposes.
Also Noodge, if you are ever moved by what we are witnessing now, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?
Karen has put her professional life on the line by speaking out clearly what she finds in her unending research (a true scholar)and having the courage to speak truth to power.
Others, including myself take time and energy to comment, write letters, sign petitions, educate the people around me and if I was younger and more energetic would be involved in person with good organizations who need help.
Talk is cheap Noodge. And I don't object to your comments, I find them very interesting as you represent the thinking of many other uninvolved people who don't have the courage to come out into the open. Food for thought Noodge.I hope you find a group that supports your line of reasoning because none of us arrogant types are going to back off from what we know through knowledge and painful experience is the accurate truth. I think you are wasting your intelligence on endless philosophical musings which is a loss from all points of view and I would rather spend my time working with people who use their talents for good works and appreciate what I and others are really all about.

Pearl said...

P.S. What you see in us as arrogance is courage Noodge. Arrogance is what is reserved for those in power who try to silence,frighten,and punish us for
exposing their destructive activities.

Pearl said...

What John Kerry's Botched Gaza Plan Says About His Political Evolution http://nym.ag/1odOSYJ via @intelligencer

Jay - Ottawa said...

@Noodge

Sorry to have missed the middle part of this commentary. I was unavoidably circling behind the moon –– well, under anesthesia for a couple of hours ¬–– and therefore out of touch for a few days before, during and after that little procedure. Feeling much better today, thank you.

So I’m jumping in, fashionably late again.

In the money quote I appended at the very top of this discourse it is abundantly clear that politicians of the US and Israel (e.g., Begin, Netanyahu, Bush I, US Senators), philosophers or ‘thinkers’ (e.g., Richard Pipes), and journalists (Will, Podhoretz) were brought together to be on the same page in order that the term ‘terrorism’ be defined in the same way in the US as it was in Israel in the previous 10-15 years. Was it purely accidental that these chaps happened to be at the same conference?

Given the way the media is handling the Gaza invasion, I’d say TPTB –– press, government and big money –– in the US are at that point today, wouldn’t you?

Now do you see some support in that Salon report –– do read the whole thing if you have an open mind –– for the phrase you objected to in Karen’s post? I sure as hell do. Facts are not anti-Semitic.

Pearl said...

Jay: sorry you were hospitalized part of this past week, but it was a good time to be unconscious. Hope all is well and you seem to be back in fighting trim. We need you around to save us from Noodge.

Zee said...

@Jay--

Like you, I am late to the party. Though my tardiness has nothing to do with anesthesia and all that that entails (I hope that it was not serious and that you are all right now.), I might wish that I had been under anesthesia rather than moving one-half of my home into the other half of my home in preparation for the final, complete transition from carpet to wood floor. I would rather have a root canal without anesthesia rather than deal with small contractors and all that that entails. Wish me luck.

Point taken from the Salon article by Greenwald and Brulin; though I think that long before the scholasticism that Brulin draped over the origins of the word “terrorist,” it was already widely conceded that “patriots” and “freedom fighters” were/are those who “won” and survived to write “history,” whereas “terrorists” were/are those who “lost,” and were sufficiently dead or imprisoned to have much say how “history” characterized them.

If “terrorism is the deliberate systematic murder, maiming and menacing of innocents to inspire fear in order to gain political ends[,]” then it's hard to imagine any violent human conflict, on any scale and from time immemorial, that hasn't involved “terrorism.”

By this standard, then, of course both the Israelis and the Palestinians are terrorists, at least until one succeeds in exterminating the other, or one reduces the other to such impotence as to be unable to write history for itself.

If your further point is that The [American] Powers That Be—Press, Government and Big Money—are denying that reality vis-à-vis Israel's savage conduct in Gaza, well, I generally agree with you. T[A]PTB generally have decided that Israel is the “righteous freedom fighter,” whereas Gaza—under Hamas—is the “terrorist organization.” This despite the fact that Israel has killed many “innocents,” and Hamas has—IMHO—only tried to do the same with its rocket and tunnel attacks. But Hamas gets no “Brownie points” from me as the good guy here just for its lack of success; it's the thought that counts, and if Hamas could kill hundreds more innocents, you and I both know that they damn' well would. Right now, terrorism is taking place on both fronts. We'll see who gets to write the history, in the end.

That said, I think that there have been some unfortunate mis-understandings and needlessly sharp punches and counter-punches that have transpired on this thread. It seems that where discussions regarding Israel and the Palestinians are concerned, temperatures run high, up to the super-critical boiling point. It was thus when John in Lafayette was sadly forced into self-exile in this forum a few years ago, and I am similarly distressed to see Noodge take his leave of us, in part because of a misunderstanding on his part, and equally because of a failure on the part of respondents to do a better job of explaining what they meant in defending/explaining Karen's original post.

Which is why I'm telling myself that at this point I should just shut up and consign this post to digital oblivion; but, of course, knowing when to “shut up” has never been one of my strong points. So here's my interpretation of what just happened—and which shouldn't have happened, IMHO—and then I'll retreat into my foxhole, or follow John in Lafayette and Noodge into oblivion altogether.

I think that Noodge was misguided in his understanding that when Karen said “If there's one thing we've learned since the latest assault on Gaza began, it's that the American government, the Israeli Government, and the corporate mainstream media are, for all practical purposes, one and the same entity...” she was in any way suggesting that this represented some deep-seated Jewish control of the entirety of America. ( i.e., some sort of Jewish cabal.)

(To be continued...)

Zee said...

Late to the party (cont'd):

Rather, it was Karen's observation—I think, correctly—that the “corresponding” interests of (1) the American government, (a.k.a. “politicians”) (2) corporate mainstream media, and, yes, (3) American defense contractors, with (1) increasing voter appeal, (2) increasing viewer numbers, and (3) increasing corporate sales and profit, respectively, all coincided perfectly with “siding” with Israel. No Jewish conspiracy involved. Just cold, hard, numbers and dollars determining where TPTB played their chips.

Sensitivities about Israel being what they are, Noodge—for whatever reason—did not see it that way. In fact, I had to think about it long and hard myself—my sympathies for Israel being what they are—whilst painfully moving furniture, books, boxes and multitudinous flotsam and jetsam— before I persuaded myself that Noodge might just be wrong in his understanding.

Perhaps Karen's intent could have been better explained to Noodge, by either Karen or other participants in this forum. There were a couple of attempts. But perhaps, because everything that transpires here seems to be a little bit “time-sensitive” in anticipation of the next thread/post— maybe more than it has to be—we're a little quicker on the trigger than we have to be with our comments and not as clear as we would like to—or maybe should—be.

Me? As some of you may have noted, I tend towards longer posts, and wind up trashing most of them because I'm simply too late to be relevant anymore. Not that I mind all that much. I enjoy writing and getting my thoughts in order, whether or not they ever see the light of day. When threads run longer, that's where you're more likely to see my posts.

Be that as it may, I will miss Noodge, just as I miss John in Lafayette. Both were thoughtful and interesting commenters, lost to us because of the intensity of feeling that surrounds issues related to Israel and the Palestinians. I commented on this when we lost John in Lafayette, and I feel compelled—with huge trepidation—to comment once again.

I agree that Noodge was incorrect in concluding from Karen's post that any “anti-semitism” was involved. Yet I feel that Pearl—much though I respect her age, experience and knowledge—was pretty much out of line in suggesting that she suspects[ed] that

“ ...Noodge is an orthodox Rabbi or student of such orthodoxy as his comments seem to echo some of their biblical explanations. Which incidentally is what conservative Zionists subscribe to in order to explain their plans for oppression of others and enlarging their borders into other people's land.” --Pearl

I think that I arrived here some time before Noodge, and never saw any indications thereof since he arrived. Pure and utter bilge. Sorry, Pearl.

Because I'm sympathetic to the siege-situation-meantality in which Israel finds itself, even if I think that Israel has dug itself into that selfsame situation itself since 1967, am I to be suspected of secretly wearing a plain black suit, wearing a funny black hat, dealing in diamonds and sporting long black curls instead of being a Progressive Christian with a buzz-cut and minimalist sideburns? I hope not. Valerie Long Tweedie and Karen have both seen digital images of me, and I don't think that they match such suspicions.

Pearl, I have read the Hamas Charter as provided in translation by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Their translation, admittedly, is sourced back to the Israeli Foreign Ministry for questions. But are the FAS tools of the Israeli government too? I always thought that the FAS had a reputation for speaking truth to power, too.

It seems clear that the Hamas Charter calls for the eradication of not only Israel, but Jews worldwide. And yet you suggest that Israelis should not be afraid of Hamas and its ilk?

(To be continued...)

Zee said...

Late to the party (coda)


“What is sad is how brainwashed Israelis have become, motivated by fear in the same way the U.S. controls their power base. I hope this doesn't bring Noodge back to our site but his belief process is what we are clarifying for each other. It is the way Obama explains his decisions which also don't make sense.” --Pearl (My emph.)

http://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818.htm

http://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm

“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” (Article 7)

“The enemies have been scheming for a long time ... and have accumulated huge and influential material wealth. With their money, they took control of the world media... With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the globe... They stood behind the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution and most of the revolutions we hear about... With their money they formed secret organizations - such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and the Lions - which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests... They stood behind World War I … and formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains... There is no war going on anywhere without them having their finger in it.” (Article 22)

“Zionism scheming has no end, and after Palestine, they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates River. When they have finished digesting the area on which they have laid their hand, they will look forward to more expansion. Their scheme has been laid out in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.” (Article 32)

“The HAMAS regards itself the spearhead and the vanguard of the circle of struggle against World Zionism... Islamic groups all over the Arab world should also do the same, since they are best equipped for their future role in the fight against the warmongering Jews.” (Article 32)


And if you don't trust FAS' translation of the Charter of Hamas, have a look at that of Yale University for comparison:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

I'm sorry, but if a person or organization claims to be hell-bent on my extinction, I'm going to damn' well be afraid and motivated by fear to protect myself. I'm not a pacifist, and I don't expect Israelis to be unafraid, either.

In an earlier post you suggested that peace would never occur—if I recollect correctly—until the Israeli government changed its mindset. (In response to a recent NYT article on Israel and the Palestinians.)

I submit that peace will never occur until Hamas renounces its dedication to the extermination of not only Israel, but Jewry itself.

Sometimes even paranoids have real enemies, and the paranoids respond accordingly. And not always humanely.

If I am physically attacked, my response may not be “proportionate.” Sorry, but I'm not going to wait to determine whether my attacker is merely out to (1) bloody my nose, (2) fracture a few ribs and maybe rupture my spleen, or (3) just plain kill me, before I decide what my “appropriate” response should be.

I'm going to do whatever is necessary to stop the attack, and worry about “proportionality” later.

Well, I've veered a little off topic. Or maybe not. I think that Noodge was a bit off the mark in his commentary on Karen's post. On the other hand, I think that some of the responses were a bit, well, disproportionate, too. The discussion could have been handled better on all parts.

I will miss Noodge, just as I miss John in Lafayette. And now I'm going to run for cover.

Karen Garcia said...

Jay,

Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Rest assured, judging from your usual pithiness, the anesthesia did not affect your brain!

Everyone else,

I will keep this thread open until (if) I post something new on the topic. It's a fraught subject, so let's keep the personal comments out of it. Since Noodge has left the discussion, there is no need to keep harping on his/her observations.

Denis Neville said...

Zee said, “John in Lafayette was sadly forced into self-exile in this forum a few years ago.”

“Forced?” As I recall, he left in a huff on his own accord because he quite vociferously disagreed with some opinions he deemed to be “anti-Semitic” (wrongly IMHO).

That sacred means of shutting down debate, the “anti-Semitism” charge, against anyone else who dares to criticize Israel (Others know better than to open their mouths)….

Years ago Walt and Mearsheimer [their book’s central theme: there is a very powerful lobby in the U.S. which is principally devoted to Israel and causes U.S. political leaders to act to advance the interests of Israel over our own interests] were labeled as “anti-Semitic” bigots and tarred and feathered, even though they were fundamentally correct in their well-reasoned arguments.

One of Walt’s and Mearsheimer’s contentions was that critics of Israel, and of the lobby, were bullied, browbeaten and blackguarded by the dishonest charge of “anti-Semitism.” They wrote, “If politicians know that it is risky to question Israeli policy or the United States’ unyielding support for Israel, then it will be harder for the mainstream media to locate authoritative voices that are willing to disagree with the lobby’s views.”

When their essay was published, right on cue, many - Alan Dershowitz, Marty Peretz, Christopher Hitchens, to name but a few - rushed to confirm the authors' very point for them.

American politicians assiduously court the Jewish vote. As Harry Truman once said, "In all my political experience I don't ever recall the Arab vote swinging a close election." There's nothing wrong with that, but … but it's a pity if that ends up being the answer to the anguished question Americans ask about the rest of the world: "Why do they hate us?"

Words and language are used intentionally to manipulate, regardless of what reality or facts may exist. Frank Luntz's Hasbara Bible/Global Language Dictionary for the Israel Project should be required reading for everybody interesting in reading on how to wield propaganda. “It’s not what you say that counts. It’s what people hear.”


http://logophere.com/LogoPhere%20Docs/israel-projects-2009-global-language-dictionary.pdf

Pearl said...

bthensi Zee: I will try to make it as simple as possible to explain my comments and where so many of us who are acqainted with the history of how Israel was formed can understand what and why it has become what it is today. It was a huge mistake by the UN after the war to designate taking over the then land of Palestine and dividing it between Jews and Arabs. As a result the Arab population who had lived in Palestine for generations were unwilling to accept this plan and war was waged between Arabs and Jews the latter of whom were supported by the U.S.and President Truman declared that Palestine was to bercome the State of Israel and Arabs were forced to flee their homes and properties which has never been compensated for to this day despite numerous lawsuits. The people that had instigated this war with the Arabs then took over the government (this involved Ben Gurion) and changed the definition of Zionism to one of expansionism with cooperation from the right wing Religious party and have ruled in one form or another to this day.
Those of us who are so critical of Israel go back to this beginning which continued the actions of Israel, especially to Palestinians living in adjacent areas snd whom they have planned to eliminate for a long while.
When we went to Israel in l959, it was in its early beginnings and even though my husband was very knowlegeable about history past and present, these facts later proven by documents obtained after many years were never known by him until we lived there and heard concerns from others and read local reports.
Remember, when we came there, most of the adults were immigrants with children growing up under the influence of biased leadership with school curriculum organized by the extremist Religious party. The Israeli soldiers now are the children or grandchildren of those we knew in Israel and have been thoroughly indoctrinated to the opinions and plans of the leaders of the country.One of the reasons almong others that made us anxious to leave was that children were being taught distorted histories of countries surrounding us as well as being encouraged to feel superior to others with rights to invade countries based on various oppressive policies.
Zee, you are an intelligent person and I hope you will read about the formation, history and muted purposes of Israel now coming to the surface and beginning to turn off many Jews and will understand the anger and criticism we have of the current as well as past history of Israel.

Please read Naom Chomsky's recent updated book, The Fateful Triangle to get a better picture of what is and has happened in Israel.

Pearl said...

Zee: the word before your name was part of the proof I was not a robot to a thoroughly screwed up system trying to copy strange words to send my comment out. I was afraid it was lost.

But lucky you, it wasn't.

Pearl said...

P.S. Zee: If you had lived in a country where generations of your family had owned and tilled the land and then forced out to live in refugee camps and then territories where you had no rights and treated miserably seeing that the little left you was being swallowed up by the oppressor, I think you would like to see those people disappear off the face of the earth. And as I believe Denis listed, the insulting ways you were described by Israelis and which we knew about as well as the terrible treatment of the Arabs living in Israel which we saw. That is the reason my father had a change of heart when he visited Israel and talked to many people about these issues.
The people running Israel are destroying it which is the real ultimate tragedy and which is being recognized by the rest of the world.

Denis Neville said...

@ Pearl - Understanding requires insight and your insight is much appreciated!

The history of the establishment of Israel is for the most part unknown in the United States. Or is conveniently forgotten or ignored. It is a history that has been obscured by enmity, propaganda and denial for much of the last 66 years in Israel and the United States.

In 1948, Palestinian society was destroyed. When the UN voted to partition British-ruled Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states, more than 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forced into exile by Israeli troops. Their presence and predominant ownership of the land were obstacles to the creation of a Jewish state. 400-500 Arab villages and towns were depopulated and destroyed or occupied and renamed. That exodus is called the nakba, or "catastrophe," by Palestinians.

I have just read Marie Sandoz’s Cheyenne Autumn about the destruction of a whole way of life and the expropriation of Indian lands. In the 1830s and 1840s the buffalo Indians were considered the most romantic of peoples. That was before the white man wanted the Indian lands. Then they became dirty, treacherous, bloodthirsty savages standing in the way of manifest destiny. With their buffalo gone, the Indians, reduced to helpless wards, were herded off to lands on which no white man could conceivably make a living. The resultant privation fell especially hard on the Northern Cheyennes.

Little Wolf, one of their chiefs, trying to understand these whites with whom the Cheyennes had to learn to live, observed, “It seems strange that a man would think the Powers made the good things of the earth for just him and may be a few, only a few, of his own people.”

"There is no good Indian except a dead Indian.” Gen. Phillip Sheridan, 1869

“Stay as long as you need to stay. Go wherever you need to go to deal with the vipers nest called Hamas.” Sen. Lindsay Graham, 2014

annenigma said...

Israel is clearly engaging in the US's infamous 'Double Tap' military tactic which is a war crime. Their version is even worse, if that's possible or makes any difference anyway.

In Israel's case, they drop leaflets warning people to flee before they bomb their homes, then they move on to target and bomb the shelter they fled to. They get more bang for their buck that way by creating a concentrated encampment of victims, otherwise known as a concentration camp.

One bombed shelter might be excused as a mistake, but half a dozen or more precision strikes by guided missiles? No, this is clearly Double Tap at its very worst. The UN gives the exact GPS coordinates of its sites to Israel in an effort to ensure protection, and the Israeli regime uses that info to deliberately target them, like shooting fish in a barrel.

These are clearly war crimes in which we are complicit, not just by our silence but by our funding, supplying, and equipping their brutish military regime despite knowing full well what is going on.

I think there are lessons to be learned. For starters, when threatened, integrate, don't segregate. Don't gather in one country which acts as a theocratic state of sanctimonious purists (h/t Obama) which encourages a blind faith in a Godly Military to protect you. Don't take shelter in facilities controlled by any formal authority which trusts and communicates with other formal authorities. Shelter in place. Plan ahead.

Also, know right from wrong and live it through your actions. Don't breed violence by engaging in or profiting from violence. Those who live by the sword die by the sword.

p.s. To the IDF Intelligence unit soldier who is likely monitoring this online site and others for public sentiment/loyalty to Israel, please forward this to your superiors.

annenigma said...

When the Mafia wants to deliver a serious threat, they threaten to kill someone's children. The Israeli Mafia is now carrying out that threat and killing the Palestinian children in order to teach Hamas a lesson and break them into submission. NetanYahoo says as much. Listen to him carefully.

The Israeli regime has made Israel into a terrorist state. The United States is joined at the hip.

Pearl said...

Yes: And today the war crimes continue helped with fresh munitions from the U.S. The UN has strong words for this latest horror but why can no one stop the bloodshed? I imagine other Middle East countries are reluctant to interfere as they receive money from U.S. coffers and are afraid to tangle with a terrorist nation like Israel.

annenigma said...

NetanYahoo has played Obama like a cheap fiddle.

For propaganda purposes, as it did when it falsely claimed that Hamas kidnapped 3 teenagers, Israel once again falsely claimed a kidnapping of an Israeli soldier even while they had evidence he was already dead. NetanYahoo milked that lie for all it was worth, as he usually does, convincing Obama to publicly condemn Hamas for it's 'barbaric' act of kidnapping. Mission Accomplished, Bibi!

You can always tell a propaganda campaign when they deliberately misuse words. In recent cases, Israel and the sympathetic media in this country stayed on point and repeatedly stated it was a 'kidnapping' which for some reason is far more 'barbaric' than massacring hundreds of innocent children. Ordinarily, a soldier taken during combat operations away from home is 'captured', not kidnapped or abducted. So that was our first sign this was bogus. The fact that Obama gave Israel cover for blowing up another UN school as a result of this 'barbaric kidnapping' shows why it was so effective a propaganda campaign for Israel. Obama is such a dupe!

Then Der Spiegel today came out with an article about Israel spying on John Kerry during the Mideast talks this Spring.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-intelligence-eavesdropped-on-phone-calls-by-john-kerry-a-984246.html

Like it's not enough that our government hands over all the raw signals intelligence of our entire population to Israel (oops, that was supposed to remain a SECRET forever) so they can find and target the threats they identify among us. Can you imagine how crazy with fear and paranoia they're going to be now that the entire world sees their own barbarity? No wonder Bibi used that word when he gave Obama his talking points! Talk about projection. Good job, Barack. You get a gold star.

Oh, then NetanYahoo had the audacity to scold Obama, telling him to never second guess him again (i.e. THINK too much) about Hamas.

When is Obama going to wake up? As soon as it sinks in that he has been made a fool of by Bibi the Butcher in front of the entire world. He'll be made to pay for that in Obama's own special, exceptional way - stealthily.

Zee said...

@Pearl and @All--

Please don't think that I at all endorse or excuse what Israel is doing in Gaza right now. The way I see it, a terrorist nation, Israel, is waging war on a terrorist organization, Hamas, with neither “side” able to lay claim to so much as a square centimeter of moral high ground. A pox on both their houses.

Noam Chomsky's Fateful Triangle has been on one of my many bookshelves for some time now, as is an even more massive volume, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Mark Tessler. The latter book was recommended to me by an occasional commenter here at Sardonicky during our last major discussion of Israel and the Palestinians. I don't know when I will find the time to read them, but I will try.

Still, I think that I have already made a more earnest effort to understand the roots of the conflict than most Americans, first by reading A Peace to End All Peace to understand how the modern Middle East was so unfortunately re-formed by the Great Powers after WWI, and then by reading Scars of War, Wounds of Peace that was recommended to me by Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an expert on the Middle East whom I believe I saw interviewed on PBS's Nightly News Hour.

I've gone over my understanding of how the current Palestinian-Israeli mess in this forum in the past, and won't rehash it here:

http://kmgarcia2000.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-person-who-asked-why.html

There was also an earlier, interesting discussion with significant input from Neil Gillespie:

http://kmgarcia2000.blogspot.com/2012/11/location-location-location.html

At that time (7/2013) nobody in this forum suggested that I was totally off the wall vis-à-vis my understanding of a history that has since proven tragic for both Israelis and Palestinians, and which was caused for both of them by others, viz., the British and French, who chose to arrange the Middle Eastern world to suit their purposes rather than the principals who had to live in the region.

Perhaps, as you suggest, it was utter folly for the United Nations to try to partition British Palestine. Perhaps there was a better solution had someone had the political will and ingenuity to find it at the time. But, “what's done, is done.” There's no undoing that particular event now. As history has shaken out following that fateful decision by the United Nations, I have no doubt that evil was done by both Israelis and Palestinians in all that followed.

I have accounts from other friends and acquaintances than you who have also spent time in Israel that Israel is not the model of Middle Eastern democracy and fairness that it—and other state and media entities—bill it to be. As I understand it, the 1967 War might actually have been partially engineered by the Israelis as part of a new, expansionist policy.

That was a grave mistake, as has been most of Israeli policy since that time.

To be continued...

Zee said...

Israel and Palestine (cont'd)

IMHO, Israel should then have offered land for peace in 1967, a true “Two-State Solution.” They should have accepted a partition of Jerusalem and rendered their borders with “New Palestine” (the West Bank and Gaza) impenetrable while allowing the citizens of New Palestine complete freedom of movement by land and sea on all other fronts.

Again, IMHO, any “right of return” would have been off the table, but an International Court of Palestinian Reparations would have been established, with Britain and France footing the bill for the mess that they caused.

Then, let the world watch how New Palestine chose to conduct itself.

If peace proved out, well and good. If not, when/if the first missile flew over the border or murderers emerged from tunnels originating from New Palestine, well, “'Cry havoc!,' and let slip the dogs of war.” The world would know, IMHO, which was the peaceful nation-state, and which was the terrorist.
And judge accordingly.

But no one asked me for a “solution” in 1967. Hell, I was only 17 years old!

Pearl, you ask in all sincerity, “... why can no one stop the bloodshed?”

I think that is simply because no one other than the Israelis and Palestinians, themselves, can do so.

As I have argued before in other contexts, in general, people are (1) not intrinsincly good, (2) not to be trusted, and (3) will do whatever it takes to benefit themselves, the rest of us be damned. If the United States doesn't sell Israel arms, others will. And Hamas will have no shortage of willing arms dealers, too. “Follow the money” (as Karen would say) “...and you will be disappointed!” (as Zee would say). So, no hope there in influencing others to save the Israelis and Palestinians from themselves. The spigot of weaponry will not be turned off.

Only they can do that, and as long as they choose to live in the bubble that they have willingly consigned themselves to, they will be incapable of doing so for the foreseeable future.

I hope that this makes sense. It is written in haste during breaks in moving furniture about the house!

Pearl said...

Zee and others: Thanks for all taking time to vent your feelings and reactions to an event that none of us can really wrap our heads around. Zee, you ended by saying that it is up to Israel and the Palestinians to end this fight and make peace. But then, isn't this a 'Stand your Ground' set up where the field between them is very unlevel and the stronger member in this conflict dictates terms and blames the victim?
A close friend has a 97 year old aunt who has lived in Israel since the end of WW 2 as a refugee. She called her and asked how she was, knowing her opposition to Israeli policies now and in the past. Her answer was: "I don't care anymore Ruth." How sad for this woman to end her life this way, without hope for the future of a country she had fled to for safety so long ago.
Haaretz had an article titled " Are we killing our soldiers?"
Annenigma: Obama will never know he has been made a fool of because he is a fool and doesn't recognize it and only feels important because Bibi has praised his support for Israel.Obama is the one that lives in a bubble along with all his "upright" colleagues. The only way Israel can survive is by violent change in the country on all levels and that is hardly likely. It will become like Rome after the fall when choking on its conquests and the citizens killing each other for scraps.

Denis Neville said...

Follow the money … wealthy nations and civilian casualties

Israeli Defense Forces explicitly traded the lives of Israeli soldiers for Palestinian civilians.

Yagil Levy, Israel’s Death Hierarchy: Casualty Aversion in a Militarized Democracy, writes that Israel originally risked soldiers mobilized from privileged classes. But with rising sensitivity to its casualties, Israel gradually restructured its “death hierarchy” to favor privileged soldiers over soldiers drawn from lower classes and civilians. Later, with the use of heavy firepower, it put enemy civilians at the bottom of the hierarchy. Thus risk was shifted from its soldiers to Palestinian civilians (aka “collateral damage”).

This sounds familiar. Wealthy nations, like the Empire of Chaos (aka USA), deploy and use weapons systems (drones) to “rain fire from the skies” consistent with Levy’s grisly calculus. Our soldiers’ lives are more valuable than are their civilians’ lives. Hence the advocacy for violence by politicians, foreign policy hawks, talking heads, and the lame stream media against the unarmed peoples in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. “Collateral damage” is acceptable because it is our responsibility to protect and prevent abuses of human rights. But we never hear our “humanitarian interventionists” clamoring for military intervention in Gaza to protect the Palestinians from Israeli drones and bombs. Who is advocating protecting civilians from the brutal, US-backed dictatorships in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain? Instead, what we practice is grotesque advance weaponry experiments on helpless civilians.

"Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice." - Colonel John Chivington, Sand Creek Massacre, November 29, 1864

From Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan to within our own borders … lines to ponder:

"Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are, that bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, how shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you from seasons such as these? Oh, I have ta'en too little care of this! Take physic, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, that thou mayst shake the superflux to them, and show the heavens more just." – William Shakesperare, King Lear

Pearl said...

“What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor--inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing--permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.”
― Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492 - Present

Pearl said...

When dead children have no names: Israel's terrifying descent into numbness http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.608690

annenigma said...

The New York Times and others are trying to understand why Israel would use heavy artillery not intended for urban use. Duh. Maybe it's too obvious for them to grasp.

It's called Plausible Deniability. Direct hits with precision bombs on shelters and schools would be too obvious. Using dumb bombs, they can kill children accidentally-on-purpose and have a ready excuse. Do war crimes have the standard of 'beyond a shadow of a doubt'? If so, Israel is all set. Oops! They used the wrong weapons. Sorry. Honest mistake, honest. All they have to do is provide doubt of their intentions. But once is an accident. Six, seven times is clearly a war crime, courts or not.

People have a really hard time grasping just how evil others can be. That's how holocausts happen. Forcing people into seeking shelter at UN identified facilities with bulls eyes on their roofs after first 'helpfully' warning them of incoming fire at home serves to round them up for targeting.

How is that any different from rounding them up onto train cars bound for crematoria? Deniability.

Gaza is already one big open air concentration camp. It's saves time and money to hit one crowded shelter. They even self-transport!

'Never Forget' that Israel has nuclear armed missiles and the mindset to use them.

'Never Forget' should be a reminder to the whole world, not just to Jews, of what heinous acts are possible and what is happening right now.

Zee said...

@Pearl--

In response to my assertion that only the Israelis and Palestinians can find a peaceful solution to the mess that was created for them by others, you ask:

“But then, isn't this a 'Stand your Ground' set up where the field between them is very unlevel and the stronger member in this conflict dictates terms and blames the victim?”

My immediate—and probably wrong—response is to suggest that over hundreds of years of oppression, the British, too, (and the rest of the world) probably thought that they would be the inevitable stronger member in their conflict with the Irish, and ultimately dictating terms and blaming the victim in “victory.”

Yet against impossible odds, the Irish resisted and resisted and resisted until they won independence. (True, there was a partition involved there, too, and conflict continued for some time to come in Northern Ireland that carried over into England. But even those in Northern Ireland have finally seemed to wear each other out, and come to a peaceful coexistence.)

So despite your fears that Israel, the stronger belligerent, will come away the “victor,” I do have confidence in two unfortunate human traits: (1) the incredible power and longevity of hatred for one's enemy, and (2) the willingness of outsiders to fuel that hatred with weaponry if there's a buck's worth of profit or other benefit in it.

The Palestinians have shown far greater resiliency—not necessarily a good trait under their circumstances—than I ever thought they would, and probably greater resiliency than the rest of the world did, too. And, IMHO, their hatred has been fueled by money and weaponry from their fellow Arabs, who have found it convenient to keep them penned up in refugee camps rather than integrating them into their own national societies, in order to use the Palestinian conflict with the Israelis as a distraction from everything else that is wrong in the Arab world.

So, yes, the Israelis have the upper hand. They may always have the upper hand, militarily. But, sad to say, as a simmering armed conflict this one has gone on less that a hundred years: short compared to the Anglo-Irish conflict! After which time both sides finally reached exhaustion and came to their senses.

It may well take the Israelis and the Palestinians that long—or longer—to come to their senses.

But unless one side utterly exterminates the other, I doubt there will ever be a “victory” for one side or the other. Just long-term misery for both.

Pearl said...

Denis: Only you could figure this out - the complicated history of my ancestors.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/04/jews-muslims-and-christians-once-lived-harmoniously-in-palestine/#.U-BxJVijAiQ.twitterancestors.


Isaiah Earhart said...

@Pearl

I really appreciate your contributions here. I am having quite a time catching up with this really interesting discussion, but there is a wealth of information here.

annenigma said...

For anyone still reading this thread, here is a handy guide from “stopthewarcoalition”.

Israel Explains to the Media the Killing of Civilians in Gaza:

We haven’t heard reports of deaths, will check into it.

The people were killed, but by a faulty Palestinian rocket/bomb.

Ok we killed them, but they were terrorists.

Ok they were civilians, but they were being used as human shields.

Ok there were no fighters in the area, so it was our mistake. But we kill civilians by accident, they do it on purpose.

Ok we kill far more civilians than they do, but look at how terrible other countries are.

Why are you still talking about Israel? Are you some kind of anti-Semite?

Jay - Ottawa said...

The following letter was appended to the latest "Harper's Weekly Review." Apparently, Harper's in a previous issue was the target of hasbara heat because of Harper's "unbalanced" focus on death and destruction in Gaza.

(I'm impressed that commenters are still adding statements to this "old" post and hope this contribution is seen as reasonable and balanced and wise by Noodge and others who have until now so insistently been arguing the case for their Goliath. What more can we do but lay out the broken bodies, count, and ask our pointed questions?)
__________
Dear Harper’s:

I found little in your July 29 commentary about the Israeli-Hamas warfare in Gaza that was biased, contrary to reader David Goldfarb. He wrote: “Yes, the situation is tragic and your space is limited, but some semblance of balance would be appreciated (let alone noting that Hamas continues launching rockets aimed at civilian targets in Israel).”

Indeed, the statement about rockets launched against Israel is what it is: three Israeli civilians killed; the number of wounded has not been reported widely. What are the civilian dead and wounded in the massive rubble of Gaza; in the vicinity of 6,000?

As for the tunnels, some seem to forget the Turkish sea flotilla attempt to bring in humanitarian aid to the Gaza waterfront, and the deadly Israeli commando attack preventing a landing. No wonder tunnels have been deployed to bring in goods (some no doubt illicit); the place is cut off and is, after all, a refugee encampment with limited hygiene and potable water and electric service.

When Harper’s and others cannot simply state the facts on the ground without objections being generated, I hope Harper’s editors will not permit this sort of subtle intimidation and distortion to rule. Numbers speak volumes.

Thomas Peter von Bahr
Washington State