Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hamas is a difficult (or impossible?) thing to change

A question posed by the folks at Augean Stables:

Michael Portillo, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kensington and Chelsea (UK) hopes that Hamas will change. He makes the following analogy in an Op-Ed piece in the London Times:

Terrorist organisations do sometimes metamorphose into law-abiding political parties. Anything is possible if Menachem Begin, once leader of the Irgun movement that carried out the murderous attack on British forces in Jerusalem ’s King David hotel, could go on to be Israel’s prime minister and a Nobel peace prize winner.

I heard this analogy many times (including by those who are strong supporters of Israel, such as Michael Portillo). Israelis were once terrorists and then changed. The same will happen with the Palestinians. My question is: is it a fair analogy?


Well, there's a short answer, a long answer, and a very long answer. The very long one could be a multi-part series (oh no, another?) Perhaps some day I'll tackle it. But today I'll take the (relatively) short route.

The history of Israeli terrorism, and the definition thereof, is complex. One problem with looking up the history of Israeli terrorism online--where I've done most of my research so far-- is that most of the websites offering information have a rather transparent agenda, either pro-Israel or con. Now, having an agenda doesn't mean that a site can't offer correct and objective information. But it certainly can make it hard to evaluate the truth and completeness of the information one finds there.

From my own rather brief foray into researching the topic, my impression is that one of the better sites for general information about the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict is this one. The article is long, but I think you'll find it worth reading if you're interested in the details.

The oft-cited example of the bombing of the King David Hotel, mentioned in the London Times op-ed piece quoted by Augean Stables, is one of the most famous instances of Israeli terrorism. The details of that event are shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, but the preponderance of evidence (check out that link, and the ones that follow this paragraph) seems to make it fairly clear that the bombers only intended to demolish the building and some incriminating documents within it. A warning was delivered by the Irgun in enough time for the inhabitants to have evacuated, and this warning was apparently ignored or the evacuation bungled (it's not clear which).

But some may deny or question that fact. What's the truth? Here are some further sites on the subject: this and this.

What of the case for the other side? I've spent some time searching for the Palestinian viewpoint on the King David Hotel bombing. My search couldn't be called exhaustive, but it wasn't brief, and all I've been able to find are the usual cursory references to the bombing as terrorism, and the fact that people were killed--nothing that contradicts the official Israeli story. (I found an article at Al Jazeera on the subject, but I've lost the link and can't find it now--I'll try to recover it later).

So as best we can conclude from the historical record, the King David Hotel bombing differed in many important respects from the usual terrorism employed by a group such as Hamas. The site had strategic value, and a warning was given. If we concede that the King David bombing was only intended to destroy the building rather than the people in it, and that it went horribly wrong, then I think it's clear it should have been called an act of sabotage rather than terrorism.

But those who place a bomb in a building loaded with people, even for purposes of sabotage and with a warning, are aware that they are putting those people at risk. I'll even go so far as to speculate, for the sake of argument, that the Irgun actually intended to kill British soldiers, and even understood that some civilians might die in the process. If so, this would certainly have made the bombing a terrorist act--and, in fact, if you read the Irgun links, you will see that there were definitely other Irgun operations that had the explicit purpose of killing British soldiers and which did accomplish that end, as well as killing some others into the bargain.

But even so, are all terrorist acts the same? Are terrorist attacks that target only soldiers always morally acceptable for that reason, for example? I don't think so, but I absolutely refuse to put them on the same moral plane as purposely targeting as many civilians (including women and children) as possible. I think there is a hierarchy of terrorist acts, and that the latter is considerably more heinous.

So, did the Irgun ever target Arab civilians rather than British soldiers? The plot grows thicker here, and murkier. Here are two interesting articles on the history of the Irgun: this and this. The first site is the official Irgun site, but it seems relatively straightforward; the second, of course, is Wikipedia, which has its own drawbacks.

In fact, speaking of drawbacks, take a look at this. It gives you an idea of the quicksand into which one almost immediately sinks when attempting to research this area. It's a discussion of whether many of the alleged Irgun attacks (especially some on Arab civilians) in fact happened, and whether they can be attributed to Irgun. It's way beyond the purview of this post to even try to sort it out right now. But again, for the sake of argument only, let's just say that some attacks on Arab civilians occurred, and that Irgun was responsible. This would make the Irgun/Hamas analogy more tenable. However, there still remain many differences, which I will get to in a moment

Getting back to the original question--whether Hamas is likely to undergo some sort of change and renounce the use of terrorism, as Irgun did--it is extremely important to look at context. Much Israeli terrorism existed in the shadow of World War II and the Holocaust, and was a desperate attempt to allow the Jews of Europe a place to emigrate when all other avenues were largely blocked. The terrorism was always considered temporary and strategic, with the long-term goal of driving the British out of the country and establishing the only Jewish refuge on earth.

Some, of course, would say this is the goal of Hamas re Israel: driving out the "occupiers," and creating a Palestinian homeland. However, the history is quite different: for one thing, the Palestinians had a chance for their homeland in 1947, and refused to take it. Also, take a look at their charter and study it; see whether you think it resembles the goals of the Israelis in regard to the British, or if you think Hamas would be satisfied if the Israeli "occupiers" left the current area known as Palestine, and whether Hamas would allow Israel to exist.

Another very important difference is in the context of the societies involved: among the Israelis there were, and are, no generations systematically and broadly steeped and educated in deepest hatred (although no doubt there are individuals), no children wearing bomber belts in parades, no glorification of the act of bombing as martyrdom, no deliberate intent to maximize the number of women and children as casualties. In fact, there have been no deliberate martyrs, as far as I know; the perpetrators of the Irgun bombings wished to live. There was/is no glorification of killing and death itself, no nihilistic fury, except by one or two random individuals.

Israeli society as a whole has consistently condemned terrorism, whereas Palestinian society has come to embrace and elevate it. This, along with the careful education of an entire generation in hatred of Israelis and Jews, is one of the most unfortunate and deepest obstacles to any change in Hamas.

In summary, I don't think the analogy to Irgun is a valid one; there are too many points of difference.

Is change impossible for Hamas, then? I would never say "impossible," especially if we are looking at change over a very lengthy time. But is it likely to happen, if only the Palestinians can get their own country, as occurred with Irgun? My answer is a most definite "no," although I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

52 Comments:

At 5:31 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger David said...

Ralph Peters has usefull distinguished "practical terrorism" from "apocalyptic terrorism." Practical terrorists use terror as a strategy to achieve a political goal; for apocalyptic terrorists, the terror *is* the goal.

I think it's pretty clear which type we are now contending with.

 
At 6:21 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger MikeZ said...

One telling point is that in order to find examples of Israeli terrorism, you have to go back some decades; to find examples of Palestinian (and other) terrorism, you have to go back only a day or two.

And I might suggest that the goal of the IRA was independence from, not the destructtion of, England.

 
At 8:10 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

If we grant for the sake of argument that who we now call The Palestinians once had a legitimate argument, they have long since lost it.

There are some rules of conduct among tribes which, fair or unfair, have a respectable run of centuries of evidence: if you keep losing wars, you won't have any land; if you keep allying yourself with tribes that lose wars, you won't have any power; if you kill other people's women and children they won't like you; if no one will take you in (hello Egypt, Jordan?), you don't really have any friends; if you don't have anything to sell, no one will buy from you.

These are simple lessons which nations must learn before they can move on to more elevated moralities including the subaltern voice or The Other.

 
At 9:28 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Megan said...

Can they change? Sure, change is always possible. Will they? I doubt it. Look at the ridiculous reaction over some cartoons being seen across the Muslim world. With behavior like we're seen recently I do not think there is a desire to change. After all, a person can only change if they WANT to ... I don't think the Muslim leadership (Hamas now included) has any desire to change.

As to the definition of terrorism...isn't it kind of like porn. You know it when you see it? :-)

 
At 10:36 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger troutsky said...

How would the Villiage Idiot explain Germanys ability to hold onto it's territory despite a couple of rather brutal losses?
"Palestinian society as a whole has come to embrace terrorism" could certainly be disputed.
As for the "careful education of an entire generation in hatred of Israelis and Jews" will you not concede that conditions of life could be an aspect of that education? If I could show impartial data showing far more unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians in the last twenty years would it change your analysis? I am not trying to excuse the behavior of either side, but understanding what provokes immoral behavior is a step towards ending it,eh?

As for 1947, the Palestinian expectation during the British mandate for an Arab state in all of historic palestine was shattered when the UN partitioned the territory granting 55% to the Zionist immigrants, who at the time owned only a small amount of the land.So it goes.

 
At 11:46 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Solomon2 said...

People seem to forget that in 1949 displaced Arabs had the opportunity to return to their homes if they would recognize Israel, and over a quarter did so; none of the Jews expelled from Arab lands since 1948 have been allowed to return. Not a hopeful precedent.

 
At 1:04 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Ilana said...

Troutsky: as neo-neo says, it is practically impossible to find any impartial data on this subject. There is an analysis of casualties here http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=439
which seems fairly factual and shows the difficulty of defining who is a civilian.
The same applies to the conditions of Palestinian life: it is impossible to say how much is the result of Israeli repression and how much is the result of deliberate policy of keeping Palestinians poor to stoke their hatred (Arafat alone could probably have given them all nice houses), and taking the cyclical theme even further, how much Israeli repression is the result of having to deal with a hostile population.
My overall point is that trying to understand the past may be an interesting exercise but has little to contribute to a discussion about the best solution.
As for the terrorism comparison, I think Ralph Peters' reference to "apocalyptic terrorism" is bang on, not just because the terror is the goal, but because it indicates the religious aspect of Hamas terrorism, which is what makes it utterly different from Jewish terrorism.

 
At 4:07 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger camojack said...

Isn't annihilation a form of change?

I do believe it is...

 
At 5:45 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger David Thomson said...

“If I could show impartial data showing far more unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians in the last twenty years would it change your analysis?”

Your point is not even slightly relevant. It reeks of moral relativism. One must distinguish between direct and indirect intentions. Israel never directly targets innocent civilians. Ordinary citizens are also sometimes killed during police car chases. The moral responsibility for their deaths rests solely on the shoulders of the pursued criminal suspects.

 
At 6:34 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thomson is "right", Israel doesn't target civilians. On the other hand it doesn't have to. It's already a rich Machiavellian western construct, with all the baubles that come with it. Yet when "Israel" had to, before it's creation that is, they did target civilians, and plenty of them. More recently they had the "decency" to outsource the massacre of civilians to Lebanese militia's.

As for Neo-neocon's opinions on Irgun, the British, who administered Palestine in the time she questions, included it on their list of terrorist organisations, along with Palmach, Haganah and the Stern Gang (mysteriously absent from her post). That Irgun and the others were on England's list of terrorist organisations should be enough for anyone.

I fear her effort here to quantify "terrorism" is but a feeble attempt to demonise our new enemies in the Middle East. For example:

Neo-neocon: "I'll even go so far as to speculate, for the sake of argument, that the Irgun actually intended to kill British soldiers".

A most stunning intellectual leap. Imagine that, "even go so far" as to "speculate" Irgun intended to kill an English soldier? I certainly stumbled onto a cutting edge site here.

..You're damned right they intended to kill British soldiers, I know, my father (Irgun) was one of them (again so did Palmach, the Stern Gang and Haganah).

"But even so, are all terrorist acts the same?"

Obviously not, according to the list of "good guys" vs. "bad guys" she hides underneath her veneer of objectivity.

"So, did the Irgun ever target Arab civilians rather than British soldiers?"

Yes. Scores of villages were massacred, (by Palmach, Haganah, Stern Gang too).

"Much Israeli terrorism existed in the shadow of World War II and the Holocaust".

Rubbish. Plenty of it was already going on before and during W.W.I, the result of Czar Nicholas's anti-semitic purge, and the first wave of Jewish immigrants (some radically Zionist) returning to Palestine, the creation of Palmach. (Disgusting to see on CNN the hoopla around the reburial of (Jew-hater) Czar Nicholas at St. Petersburg cathedral, wasn't it? ..Why do I suspect he's on Neo-neocons list of "good guys" too?)

"The Palestinians had a chance for their homeland in 1947, and refused to take it."

Rubbish. In 1947 the U.N. "offered" the Palestinians to be ruled under a non-Palestinian, the Hashemite King of Jordan (more malable to western interests then the troublesome Mufti of Jerusalem). I wonder if the Jews would have accepted the State of Israel ruled by ..the Pope? In other words the Palestinians were offered nothing. No homeland anyway.

This has the same false rings as the Paletinian "Camp David refusal" in 2000. If anyone bothered to look at that "generous offer" (the new map) it would be clear why they refused it. Just another "refusal" fairy tale.

"Also, take a look at their (Hamas) charter and study it; see whether you think it resembles the goals of the Israelis in regard to the British"

As for "the goals of Israeli's" and Jews it's worth mentioning that prior to the creation of Israel, many, if not a majority of Jews were against a solely Jewish State. They (Jews at the time) were predominantly socialist and communist, and saw such a State, based solely on race and religion, as inherently undemocratic, "the Siamese twin" of that other purely despised racist State, facist Germany. That nothing fruitful could come out of something so unjust was clear to them. They were right.

Unfortunately many of those Jewish voices of reason, including leaders of the Zionist movement, British M.P.'s and U.N.Officials, were gunned down and silenced in a hail of Palmach, Irgun, Haganah and Stern Gangs bullets (Mr. Stern was eventually killed by the Bitish). If that's not organised terrorism then what is?

Likud was built on the remnants of terrorist, radically Zionist Irgun, a mirror of radical Islam. So much is obvious. There are many reasons why Israel didn't write down it's true aims on paper, as Hamas has, foremost being the necessary illusion that Israel, and it's western backers, stand for something decent.

"Another very important difference is in the context of the societies involved: among the Israelis there were, and are, no generations systematically and broadly steeped and educated in deepest hatred (although no doubt there are individuals)".

I disagree, there were, and are plenty of Orthodox, radical Jewish orginisations that mirror radical Islam. Another aspect of the problem you choose to ignore. Believe me, there's plenty of crazy Jews out there. Both sides have been radicalised by each others terror.

"Israeli society as a whole has consistently condemned terrorism, whereas Palestinian society has come to embrace and elevate it."

Maybe because Israel is already a country? And is afforded all the rights of nationhood, including state-terrorsim? Not to mention the blank checks we write to sustain her, the military and diplomatic get-pout-of-jail free card we give her? The Palestinians on the other hand have, well, ..nothing, do they? Only hate, and who can blame them. Perhaps a reason for their "terrorism"?

"..the careful education of an entire generation in hatred of Israelis and Jews, is one of the most unfortunate and deepest obstacles to any change in Hamas."

I agree. We'll see if they can change. But it will be difficult if Israel doesn't change her policies.
..But who's asking her?

In the meantime we can sit back and watch the western diplomatic community do absolutely nothing to facilitate peace, only radicalise the situation. Business as usual.
And no suprise. Back in '46, when it became apparent that Palestinian's were going to be cut out of the U.N. mandate, and major problems would arise, a British govenor of Palestine had the incite to right in his diary that, in the future: "Israel will be our little Ulster Brigade". And he was absolutely right. Long live Machiavelli!

"But is it likely to happen (change), if only the Palestinians can get their own country, as occurred with Irgun? My answer is a most definite "no".

Your answer isn't no, your answer is more terrorism, more death, and less security and international stability. I would say let's give them their country, and for once try to help them, and see what happens. Christ, if it doesn't work out and they turn out to be the boogey men you so fear, ..well, we can bomb the hell out fo them again, can't we?

But then "we'd" lose "our little Ulster Brigade" wouldn't we? And the
control the powerful have always won through conflict and the spread of fear. An intellectual leap too great for the like of a Neo-neocon.

No wonder these people hate us.

 
At 6:52 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Neo wrote:

I'll even go so far as to speculate, for the sake of argument, that the Irgun actually intended to kill British soldiers, and even understood that some civilians might die in the process. If so, this would certainly have made the bombing a terrorist act--and, in fact, if you read the Irgun links, you will see that there were definitely other Irgun operations that had the explicit purpose of killing British soldiers and which did accomplish that end, as well as killing some others into the bargain.


This is incorrect use of the term "terrorism". If the target was a military one, then the attack was a guerilla attack rather than a terror attack. As far as I'm aware, the British had taken over (at least partially) the King David Hotel to use as a military headquarters - making it clearly a military target.

It's vitally important not to extend the word "terrorism" to include military targets, since by doing so we seriously weaken the moral disapproval terrorism deserves. As I like to put it, "if everything is terrorism, nothing is terrorism" - that is, if we use the label indiscriminately, the word no longer carries a strong message of immorality.

For more on this subject, see "Terrorism: No Prohibition Without Definition" by Dr. Boaz Ganor, at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism website.

 
At 7:03 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Here's a direct link to the article I cited.

 
At 8:15 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr. Radlauer:

"Terrorism: The political use of terror and intimidation." (American Heritage Dictionary)

The key word here is political (no mention of target). In this context of the Palestinian and Irgun fight for statehood, both targetted civilian and military targets. I see no point in focusing on just the King David Hotel, whatever it's function.

And I disagree, "if everything is terrorism, nothing is terrorism" - that is, if we use the label indiscriminately, the word no longer carries a strong message of immorality". State (military) terrorism is terrorism too. That doesn't make civilian terrorism any less immoral, rather, should only elevate State terror to the same ghastly level. In your game of semantics that seems something you're unwilling to accept.

 
At 8:58 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Ruth said...

to troutsky

You wirte: "How would the Villiage Idiot explain Germanys ability to hold onto it's territory despite a couple of rather brutal losses?"

This patently false. As a result of WWI, Germany lost Elsass-Lothringen and the Polish corridor was created effectivley separating Koenigsburg from the rest of Germany.

As result of WWII, Germany lost a wide stripe on its Eastern border, Schlesien etc. were given to Poland.

 
At 9:10 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Thanks, Anon, for a LOT of interesting perspective on the terrorism of the Israeli Independence folk.

It confirms my own view that the creation of Israel was not a fully just act. Unfortunately, there is no "just" solution, now -- every option is quite unjust.

I note you skip how the British had forbidden Jews from emigrating into Palestine before WW II -- this forbidding of immigration was also not fully just.

I understood that Jews owned some 8% of the land that became Israel -- it's not clear who had legal title, from what "legitimate authority," for the rest of the land. I'm pretty sure most Palestinian people did NOT have legal titles.

Your long post is conspicuously short on opinions about correct Israeli actions now.

My own suggestion: keep building the wall. Offer land for peace. Take land (in Jerusalem) for war -- 100 houses for each rocket attack; 1000 for each Israeli death. (Ship them to Gaza.)

Instead of dealing with Hamas, deal with Palestininan people who are willing to start businesses. Offer them business loans -- for food (processing more than growing), clothes making, and house building. The US, EU, and UN all should ignore Hamas and deal with individual Palestinians.

That could be a real model for reduced corruption in Africa, too.

As one who's been reading Neo-neocon "faithfully" since BEFORE she had a blog, I'd be very interested in her opinions on your post. I'd guess she's glad you came, interested in your facts and opinions and especially experiences.

And not happy about your rage and snark with on alternative offered. (I'm projecting! wondering about convergence.)

 
At 10:23 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

Anonymous, 6:34 am, provides quite a bit of accurate information about one segment of Israel's settlers. In the USA we used to see them ALL as the frightened arrivals from German DP camps, as depicted in "Exodus." And indeed, hundreds of thousands were just that. But Jewish terror gangs existed too, and long before WW II. Israel is no exception to the culture of nation building and nation states. Nietzsche describes it well:
"Life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the strange and weaker, suppression, severity, impositionb of one's own forms, incoporation and, at the least and mildest, exploitation."
All religions and almost all countries have played this role and continue to play it.
And then there are the departures, the periods of decency and common humanity and greatness: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the defeat of Fascism,the Marshall Plan etc etc. And even in those times, the Nietzschean "life" co-exists with the thoughts of Kant or the poetry of Rilke.
Same goes for the USA, the Israelis, the Europeans. Islam may be 1000 years behind even such a mixed "civil society"--read Hitchens in Slate, Feb.4, "Cartoon Debate."

 
At 10:24 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Tom Grey:

The problem is the Palestinians got nothing out of the deal. Having said that I don't see how taking more from them is going to improve the situation. Two wrongs don't make a right. Not that it was Israel's duty to go to bat for the Palestinian cause either in '47, but they are sitting on their land. I just read the Palestine census of 1900, 700,000 Palestinian and Arabs,
12,000 Jews. They got screwed.

As for solutions, for starters Israel should withdrawl to pre-1967 international borders, as the U.N. has ordered. Jerusalem should be shared. And Jordan should cough up some territory to sweeten the deal.

Ok, call me a dreamer :-)

 
At 10:51 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

All that land is pretty played out now after millenia of hard use - in ancient times, it was famously verdant - why not give it a rest? Give the Palestinians Utah and the Israelis Nevada.

I'm sure the people there can learn to adjust to their new neighbors.

On the other hand, however good and enlightened moral equivalence makes us feel, it does no good for those who can't figure out where the limits of our tolerance lies because we never tell them no. What we think of, with no little vanity, as strength is perceived as the basest weakness.

 
At 12:33 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger David Thomson said...

“I'm pretty sure most Palestinian people did NOT have legal titles.”

“I just read the Palestine census of 1900, 700,000 Palestinian and Arabs,
12,000 Jews. They got screwed.”

The only thing that matters is who owns the land. A thousand people may reside in an apartment complex---but they still do not own the property. They are merely renters.

 
At 12:34 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger flenser said...

Moving back on topic somewhat, the key statement here is that "Terrorist organisations do sometimes metamorphose into law-abiding political parties."

This should be easy enough to prove or disprove, without getting bogged down in the nature of Irgun.

Many African nations are now headed by governments which were once terrorist groups, most notably South Africa. So there is some degree of truth to the proposition. The downside is that the quality of government based on terrorist groups is pretty poor. The characteristics which make for a good terrorist are the opposite of those needed to run a functioning country.

Under normal circumstances I'd predict that Hamas will split into a moderate and a militant wing. This probably won't happen here because Hamas is ultimately run from Syria and Iran.

 
At 12:41 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bezuhov:

.."however good and enlightened moral equivalence makes us feel, it does no good for those who can't figure out where the limits of our tolerance lies, because we never tell them no."

I think we've made very clear where the limits to our (western) tolerance lies. For Israel to eternity. To the Palestinians ..not an inch.

 
At 12:41 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger troutsky said...

"Israel never directly targets innocent citizens" DavidThompson, if this notion were proved to be false, would it change your position vis a vis Israel/Palestine?

Ilana is right about the difficulty with credible information, but we have to accept documentation on some level,something needs to be agreed upon as empirical.

 
At 12:52 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Thomson:

My point was that for a thousand years or more Jews were an outright minority in Palestine, tolerated and taxed like everybody else, until Eropean anti-semitism in the late 19th century, and after, saw Jewish immigration go from a trickle to a flood. No access to land titles, considering the numbers I'd be willing to bet Jews held a minority of land ownership too before 1917.

 
At 1:34 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Anon -- The problem is that the Palestinians, and their Arab nationalist leaders, were NOT "dealing." They were waiting to exterminate all the Jews, under Nasser's pan-Arab leadership and the idea they would fight the Jews and win.
That may NOT have been the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, but that was the choice they took, "as a people." Screwed by their leaders -- welcome to the club of humans.

You say "as a start, Israel should withdraw." I say, Israel should take MORE land. Why? Because the Palestinians fought, and lost; and fought, and lost; and even in the 1973 Yom Kippur surprise attack war they fought, and lost.

Yet, as losers, they have not yet accepted Israel's right to exist. I think it is because they have the mistaken belief that, by "not dealing," they will get a better deal. Yes, maybe, Hamas was elected more for their anti-Fatah corruption than for war with Israel. But the voters voted -- for war.

Now they need to surrender, give up, stop fighting. For justice or for Palestine or for honor or for any reason -- stop fighting.

I think if Israel has a clear policy that more fighting means Israel will take more land, at some point the Palestinians will "stop fighting."

I am certain that if Israel goes back to pre-67 borders BEFORE the Palestinians "give up", the Palestinians will NOT "stop fighting." And I strongly suspect you disagree with this.

(A Gaza strip with foreign investment and a free market could be as successful as Hong Kong, were the Palestinians willing to work for profit instead of for terror. My proposal of giving business loans to individuals would help that.)

PS -- I do NOT believe the 700 000 vs. 12 000 in 1900; have you a link?
I would believe 100 000 plus 2-400 000 nomads vs 20 000 or so Jews; I have no link. I have weak opinions on long ago interest (mostly pre-9/11)

 
At 1:52 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

anonymous 6:34 AM has done just about what I expected someone in the comments section to do, and that it is to present the usual line against Israel, complete with all the allegations it would take a book (and has taken many books) to refute.

There are many websites that debate the allegations about Camp David, the founding of Israel, the history of the area ever since--all these things would take over my blog and all my time if I tried to argue with anon and others. There are plenty of places to do that on the web, so I don't have to.

However, I'll take just a couple of specific points that are relevant to my words in this thread and respond to them.

Anon, your reading comprehension is a bit challenged here. When I wrote, "I'll even go so far as to speculate, for the sake of argument, that the Irgun actually intended to kill British soldiers"" I was writing about the King David Hotel incident only. In fact, in the very next sentence, I write: "in fact, if you read the Irgun links, you will see that there were definitely other Irgun operations that had the explicit purpose of killing British soldiers and which did accomplish that end, as well as killing some others into the bargain," thus explicitly saying that, whether or not the Irgun intended to kill British soldiers at the King David, they most definitely targeted them in other operations.

So, the dripping sarcasm in your next paragraph ("A most stunning intellectual leap. Imagine that, "even go so far" as to "speculate" Irgun intended to kill an English soldier?...") is unnecessary.

Please read my article more carefully. I discuss the killing of Arab civilians, but say that the extent of Irgun involvement is difficult to ascertain (I am writing about Irgun in particular here, remember). I write, and I quote, "But again, for the sake of argument only, let's just say that some attacks on Arab civilians occurred, and that Irgun was responsible. This would make the Irgun/Hamas analogy more tenable. However, there still remain many differences..."

Your points about Camp David, once again, I could spend a year debating. You can go to countless sites online and see the pro-con. I've spent many long hours reading both sides very carefully: have you? I am convinced that Arafat was offered a decent (not perfect, but pretty decent) deal and he refused because he was an utterly corrupt "leader" who most definitely could not change. He sold his people down the river, and had been for decades.

My post was not an attempt to deny that the Stern gang were terrorists. It was an attempt to evaluate the differences between those such as the Irgun leaders, who later became non-terrorist leaders of Israel, and the leaders of Hamas (I'm not aware that any leaders of the Stern gang had that career trajectory--did they?). I believe the differences run very deep.

Another point: one of these days I plan to write a post on the differing views of what happened in some of the most well-known of the alleged massacres of Arab villages, such as Deir Yassin (I hope to, anyway--I've got about 200 ideas for future posts, so I never know when I'll get around to something).

I believe, anonymous, your true bias is revealed here: "There are many reasons why Israel didn't write down it's true aims on paper, as Hamas has, foremost being the necessary illusion that Israel, and it's western backers, stand for something decent."

So, the true aims of Israel are to obliterate the Palestinians and all its Arab neighbors? That, by the way, would be the analogy. It is absurd. Although indeed there is a group in Israel who believes that Israel should take over Palestine, they are an extreme minority, and do not represent what Israel stands for, and my guess is that you know that.

You write: "The Palestinians on the other hand have, well, ..nothing, do they? Only hate, and who can blame them. Perhaps a reason for their "terrorism"?"

A classic excuse. See this.

The Palestinians have been misused and shunted around by their Arab "friends," kept isolated and as second-class citizens, in "camps" administered by a corrupt UN and "leaders" such as Arafat who rob them blind and reign through terror. Yes, it's unfortunate, but don't blame Israel for that.

I am relatively certain you are quite aware that the objections to the formation of the Palesinian state in 1947 did not rest on problems with a Hashemite king, although that may have not been to their liking, either. You no doubt know that the entire kingdom of Jordan was carved from Palestine, also, and that early in the game the Palestinians did not consider themselves to be a distinct people from the Jordanians. That came later. The Jordanians managed to accept their king, somehow. The objection to the creation of Palestine was that it coincided with the creation of Israel. Israel was unhappy with many elements of the deal, also, but they accepted it. The Palestinians did not. It is a great tragedy.

Of course there are crazy Israelis who hate Arabs and want them all killed. That's obvious, and not the point. The point is that they are an extreme minority and are not supported by the society. The opposite is true among the Palestinians.

As for the racism of Israel, surely you know that the shoe is on the other foot. Jews aren't allowed to be residents of its Arab neighbors, whereas Arabs constitute one-fifth of the population of the country of Israel. You know that, of course, but choose to ignore it and to use the disgusting and despicable comparison to its "Siamese twin," fascist (ie, Nazi) Germany. You know that is a comparison worthy of Goebbels, don't you? And I don't mean that as sophistry, I mean it as the literal truth: it is a statement worthy of Goebbels in its use of the Big Lie. But of course, as Goebbels himself said, if a lie is repeated often enough it becomes the truth. And for you and many others (I'm not sure whether you're coming from a stance of leftism, guilt about your father's participation in the Irgun, or something else), you seem to have an investment in repeating that lie.

I could spend hours crafting a point by point response, but, as I wrote in my post, the issues are too lengthy and I was just dealing with the single question here. I refer you to all the websites I linked in the post. But my strong suspicion is that you are aware of the arguements on the other side and choose, for your own deep reasons, to ignore them.

My arguments here are not to convince you (an impossible task). They are simply to respond (very briefly) in order to clear up just a few points in the record, for others.

 
At 2:01 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger SteveR said...

Don Radlauer has a good point about terminology. Israel made a big mistake during the Lebanon war in calling Hezbollah "terrorists" while their actions were limited to attacking Israeli troops within Lebanon - those were gurerilla actions, not terrorism, regardless of wrong I may think they were. Once Hezbollah moved to targeting Israeli and Lebanese civilians, then, and only then, could they qualify as terrorists.

In any event, the bulk of credible evidence on King David Hotel, Der Yassein, etc that I've found over the years convinces me that Irgun was a guerilla, and not a terrorist, organization.

As for the Palestinians, what they need now is a "Second Palestine Mandate", meaning an internationally sanctioned "occupation" by an established state that would have responsiblity for insuring law and order, independent courts,economic development, etc. The purpose of the Mandate would be to foster the creation and growth of typical institutions of a responsible society, with the ultimate goal of enabling the Palestinians, some years hence, to hold a referrendum on their further status. Once a lawful and peaceful society has been established with a viable economy, they could vote for an independent state, federation with Jordan, or whatever.

Without such an arrangement (perhaps by Jordan, with very strong funding from US and Euros) there is no hope for the Palestinians. They have accomplished nothing towards building a real state.

By the time the British left Palestine, the Yishuv (Jewish population) had long-established and competent institutions to take over the running of their country.

Of course the idea of a 2nd Palestine Mandate will never be allowed to happen - it's just a pipe-dream, but it's the only way out for the Palestinians.

 
At 2:41 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Anon 6:34 said:
"...there were, and are plenty of Orthodox, radical Jewish orginisations that mirror radical Islam."

Not true. At most, the former want greater Israel. The latter want, dare I say it, to rule the world.

 
At 3:28 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

neo

You are right in demolishing the manufactured "siamization" of Israeli and Palestinian acts of terror. The latter aim was (and still is) "eliminationist," to wipe out the state of Israel and its citizens.
What Anon harps on, and it's a quite different matter, was the "expulsion" of the Palestnians, often by violence--Benny Morris, the Israeli historian claims (based on IDF files) that in 1948 alone Israel perpetrated twenty-four massacres, among them those in Lod, Saliha and Deir Yassin. But the point he and Anon make is that the Israeli intention then was one of mass expulsion, of "transfer."
"Ben Gurion understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst...Without uprooting the Palestinians, A Jewish state would not have arisen here." (Morris, 2004)
Now, on what happened to the uprooted Palestinians since then and the despicable role played in this story by the Arab nations and by Palestinian "leadership,", I agree with you.
So, as in many cases everywhere--including the USA--nation-building was and remains ugly and violent
(See my earlier post.)

 
At 3:28 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

troutsky said...
"How would the Villiage Idiot explain Germanys ability to hold onto it's territory despite a couple of rather brutal losses?"

You mean like France, Northern Europe, Austria, Czechslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland Eastern Prussia, and places like that which were once German territory? Millions (yes millions) of Germans were evacuated from the east of historic Germany near the end of WWII- forced out of their historic homes. Several million more ethnic Germans found themselves in other countries at the end of the great wars cycle. Research before you post or you risk making yourself unreliable and irrelevant infuture posts.
Troutsky also said:
"Palestinian society as a whole has come to embrace terrorism" could certainly be disputed.
As for the "careful education of an entire generation in hatred of Israelis and Jews" will you not concede that conditions of life could be an aspect of that education?"

Yes, indeed the maintainance of the state of Palestinian squalor by Arafat and Fatah, as well as the greater Arab world and the UN are indeed a critical element of their propaganda and manipulation campaign to oppress and use the Palestinian people. Of course, once that had been done for a few decades, you had a generation or two of 'true believers' who will now be accountable for their position.
Again, Troutsky: "If I could show impartial data showing far more unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians in the last twenty years would it change your analysis?"
Perhaps, can you show it to me please?
"I am not trying to excuse the behavior of either side, but understanding what provokes immoral behavior is a step towards ending it,eh?"
Can you demonstrate this historically, please? Understanding what provoked Naziism had nothing to do with ending it.
"As for 1947, the Palestinian expectation during the British mandate for an Arab state in all of historic palestine was shattered when the UN partitioned the territory granting 55% to the Zionist immigrants, who at the time owned only a small amount of the land.So it goes."
No one owned the Negev desert, which was more than half by area of the Jewish portion of the 1947 partition. Then of course you'd have to also exclude the area made into the palestinian portion of the partition.

 
At 3:44 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

Erasmus: "Nietzsche describes it well:
"Life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the strange and weaker, suppression, severity, impositionb of one's own forms, incoporation and, at the least and mildest, exploitation.""

Never quote Nietzsche by the line- he is far too complex for that. This line is simply a restatement of our place in nature.

 
At 4:09 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything Israel has ever done, including its own creation, has been done for one reason alone: to keep its people alive, in a world that wants them all dead.

Survival, under these conditions, is an ugly, horrific thing, built on the skulls and drenched in the blood of those who tried to kill you. Strategies and tactics are not judged on such luxuries as morals and ethics when survival is at stake, only on who lives and who dies.

Only when people can be fairly certain they will not be killed, can they once again turn their attentions away from the needs of base survival, and toward maintaining any kind of moral or ethical standards. In Israel, as in America, it can only now be done by the peaceful and prosperous people who are sheltered from the needs of base survival, not by any mystical force granted them by their moral authority, but rather by rough men patrolling the borders, who stand ready to do violence to any who threaten them.

 
At 4:09 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

erasmus: I've read a great deal about Benny Morris and his claims, both pro and con. He misquotes and misrepresents some of his history, in my opinion. But that's another post for another time.

Here is a sample of the work of one of Morris's critics. And Morris himself has changed some (certainly not all) of his views in recent years.

 
At 4:33 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

douglas

You got three sets words in there that raise academic red flags:

"Never"
"too complex"
"simply"

Sometimes a Nietzsche is just a Nietzsche. Gesundheit.

 
At 4:38 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

neo

Yeah, Karsh landed some punches on Morris. But historians' battles aside, some of Morris'findings in the IDF files, substantiated by others, do establish that the Isralis, on occasion, used force and terror to expel Palestinians.
As the Jack Nicholson character in a "A Few Good Men" says: "Is there another way?"

 
At 5:08 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

Those who think they know what happened at Deir Yassin should read this:
http://incontext.blogmosis.com/archives/004164.html
It is a good analysis of both sides accounts of the incident. Also, one must keep in mind the prescription for Taqiya in Islamic tradition, and the well documented record of Palestinian lies, like Jenin that make it difficult to believe their accounts of things like Deir Yassin. Events don't occur in a vaccum.

 
At 6:07 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

One has to wonder, if Palestinians have gotten the short shrift of the stick from the West, then why haven't they ceased to exist under a Palestinian Holocaust?

A lot of people think the Palis got the short end of the stick, but then they can't explain why the Palises still exist and haven't been wiped out. Maybe that makes sense to a 1984 doublethink practitioner, but to most rational people, we can't hold two contradicting beliefs in our heads and call ourselves Golden.

 
At 7:35 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Ymar,
It is similar to the problem of Chomsky: if he is correct about the hegemony of the West, why is he alive?

 
At 9:36 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is similar to the problem of Chomsky: if he is correct about the hegemony of the West, why is he alive?"

Because he is a super ninja that beats up dozens of CIA hit men every day, and in fact just knocked out three while you were shaking his hand. You didn't see them? That's how sneaky they are. You didn't see Chomsky fighting them? That's how skilled he is.

That's what it is to be a l33t N1NJA.

 
At 10:25 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Tom Grey:

Here's one link regarding the palestine census ca. 1900:

http://www.palestine-net.com/geography/

More can be found by Googling "Palestine census 1900" of course. The numbers vary a bit, but are pretty conclusive: Jews were a minority before Europe's garbage hit the fan (nothing against Jews, I am one :-)

 
At 12:21 AM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Neo-neocon:

"anonymous 6:34 AM has done just about what I expected someone in the comments section to do, and that it is to present the usual line against Israel, complete with all the allegations it would take a book (and has taken many books) to refute."

Notice she offers none of my allegations, nor evidence or information. Only typical American generalisations.

"There are many websites that debate the allegations about Camp David"

I only asked that someome look at the map. You can Google it. Or are you afraid to agree with a Palestinian?

"..the dripping sarcasm in your next paragraph ("A most stunning intellectual leap. Imagine that, "even go so far" as to "speculate" Irgun intended to kill an English soldier?...") is unnecessary."

I apologise. Yet since you at once concede Irgun did target civilians in other instances, what's your objective in only focusing on the King David Hotel? Or soley the Irgun for that matter? It was your idea to compare Israeli-Palestinian "terrorism". What's your game?

"Your points about Camp David, once again, I could spend a year debating. You can go to countless sites online and see the pro-con."

You don't need to look far. Google the Camp David offer, the map, and post it on your site. All the little Palestinian "bhantustans", and Israel's right to station troops in all of them. And a purely Israeli Jerusalem. This isn't rocket science Neo-neocon, post the Camp David map so you and everyone can see what a "generous" offer the Palestinians refused. Post it.

"My post was not an attempt to deny that the Stern gang were terrorists."

That much was clear, you conveniently never mentioned them.

"It was an attempt to evaluate the differences between those such as the Irgun leaders, who later became non-terrorist leaders of Israel, and the leaders of Hamas (I'm not aware that any leaders of the Stern gang had that career trajectory--did they?)."

After the British shot Mr. Stern dead, our dear Yitzach Shamir took over.

"I believe the differences (between Irgun and the Stern Gang) run very deep."

The differences were purely tactical, vis-a-vis ever changing western interests. You're right though, it's confusing, but the blood was always red.

"I believe, anonymous, your true bias is revealed here: "There are many reasons why Israel didn't write down it's true aims on paper, as Hamas has, foremost being the necessary illusion that Israel, and it's western backers, stand for something decent."

I stand by that. Die hard Zionists, if you bother to read their history, always invisioned the Jordan river as the center of Eretz Israel, that means Jordan too. Denied Jordan you can be assured they feel it's their
right to take as much as they can get away with in the west bank.

If you choose to view my opinions, namely that powerful political leaders might concoct necessary illusions to promote unsavory land-grabs as biased, I would call you naive, and ask you to take a closer look. Am I biased or am I right? Do powerful nations not project their requirements on other, less fortunate?

"So, the true aims of Israel are to obliterate the Palestinians and all its Arab neighbors? That, by the way, would be the analogy. It is absurd."

I'm a Jew my friend, and excluding an Israeli land grab, with powerful Jews in many positions of western society why on earth would we want to obliterate all the Palestinians and Arabs? We already, considering our numbers, control a great portion of the world economy and thought. Why get our hands dirty, we already control almost everything? The Palestinians of course are working on another dynamic all together, if you opened your eyes.

"The Palestinians have been misused and shunted around by their Arab "friends,"

Many of those misusing them, if didn't notice, are countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, US backed dictatorships. Screwed by American's again.

.."kept isolated and as second-class citizens, in "camps"

Jordan? Also a heavily backed US ally.

"..administered by a corrupt UN and leaders" such as Arafat who rob them blind and reign through terror. Yes, it's unfortunate, but don't blame Israel for that."

I never said that Israel shoud go to bat for the Palestinians, only obey international law, not to mention those that pull the strings. You know who they are, don't you?

"Palestinians did not consider themselves to be a distinct people from the Jordanians."

Under 1200 years of Ottoman rule they were never asked to.

"Israel was unhappy with many elements of the deal, also, but they accepted it. The Palestinians did not. It is a great tragedy."

Let me get your math straight,
a people that once inhabited 90% of British Palestine has 60& of it carved off to Jordan (Hashemite), a piece for christian Lebanon, and a chunk for Jewish Israel, and their left with ..ghetto's? Of course they're not going to go for it.

"Of course there are crazy Israelis who hate Arabs and want them all killed. That's obvious, and not the point. The point is that they are an extreme minority and are not supported by the society."

Excuse me, they're Israel's ruling government.

"The opposite is true among the Palestinians."

Of course, they once had everything and now have nothing. No State, no nothing.

"As for the racism of Israel, surely you know that the shoe is on the other foot. Jews aren't allowed to be residents of its Arab neighbors"

Nonsense. Jews reside in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran. The Arabs never hated Jews, only Zionists. Many Jews hate Zionists too, that is, the concept of a State based on race, purely undemocratic.

"..and to use the disgusting and despicable comparison to its "Siamese twin," fascist (ie, Nazi) Germany. You know that is a comparison worthy of Goebbels, don't you?"

It wasn't my quote, it was from Louis Marshall, head of the American Jewish Congress, assassinated by your non-terrorist Irgun.

"And I don't mean that as sophistry, I mean it as the literal truth: it is a statement worthy of Goebbels in its use of the Big Lie."

You don't know what you're talking about.



1:52 PM, February 08, 2006

 
At 3:12 AM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"Notice she offers none of my allegations, nor evidence or information. Only typical American generalisations."
Anon, you mean similarly as you do?
Also, please try reading your posts before posting them, they are excruciatingly long, and offer little of substance, other than the hatred of something that you overflow with. Peace.

 
At 4:45 AM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

"Only typical American generalisations"

I think you may well have hit the irony-per-letter record there.

Impressive!

 
At 8:40 AM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It wasn't my quote, it was from Louis Marshall, head of the American Jewish Congress, assassinated by your non-terrorist Irgun."

And with that, Anonymous shows his true, Dearborn Independent quoting colors.

Take it from someone who has extensively researched Louis Marshall's life... Anon at 1:52 pm is full of BS. The boy thinks Henry Ford is a reliable authority.

 
At 11:54 AM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Van said...

Thank you for that insightful post; as usual your readers are rewarded not only with quality thinking but also by your explanatory writing style.

You brought up a point which caused me some reflection. By differentiating between sabotage and terrorism I can see that there is a hierarchy in which moral propriety is determinative. Until now I hadn’t given this much thought. Really, until September 11th, 2001 I hadn’t given terrorism much consideration.

Thank you for that.


You wrote:
"Is change impossible for Hamas, then? I would never say "impossible," especially if we are looking at change over a very lengthy time. But is it likely to happen, if only the Palestinians can get their own country, as occurred with Irgun? My answer is a most definite "no," although I sincerely hope I'm wrong."

I hope that you're wrong too. In order for this change to happen the movement must start and end with the younger generations. Intolerance is not innate, although in Palestine it may seem constitutional, it's not. Tolerance can be learned. But for one to teach intolerance one would have to release pre-suppositions and learn to acquiesce. In short, tolerance requires humility.

Does Hamas have humility?

 
At 12:04 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Van: interesting question about Hamas and humility. Right now, there is no reason for them to have humility; there is every reason for arrogance.

In general, though, one of the motivations for violence appears to be shame, which is far different than humility, though related. Arab culture is often described as shame-based. Dr. Sanity has written a great deal on that; see her blog for more (I think she has the shame posts linked on her sidebar). Shame, by the way, is often part of the motivation for murder (see this).

 
At 12:39 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

anonymous 1:52 PM and 12:21 AM:

As I said, I have no intention of being drawn into a debate with you on Camp David. If I want to write a post on Camp David some day, I will. My position on Camp David has come from reading voluminously on both sides. I am quite familiar with the maps and the Palestinian arguments, as well as the arguments on the other side. I've stated my conclusions, and I stand by them. Anyone who wants to look further can, as I said, read the arguments on both sides and draw his/her own conclusions. I welcome anyone to do so--just remember, read both sides.

A few specific points about my post, however, and my earlier comments to you:

I wrote about Irgun only because I was discussing the specific question asked at Augean Stables that referred back to the article in the London Times, which stated (and I quote):

Anything is possible if Menachem Begin, once leader of the Irgun movement that carried out the murderous attack on British forces in Jerusalem ’s King David hotel, could go on to be Israel’s prime minister and a Nobel peace prize winner.

I wrote about the King David Hotel for the same reason. It was a very specific response to a very specific quote. The post was never meant to be an in-depth examination of every act of Israeli terrorism. That would be a different post, and a far longer one.

Perhaps you haven't seen it, but yesterday afternoon I wrote another post that focused on some of the discussion in this one. Take a look. If you look there, I think you will find that I have already addressed your point about the originator of those comments about Israel/Nazi Germany. I was aware that the speaker making the comparison might have been Jewish (or, at least, that you might have been asserting that he/she was Jewish). I knew this because it seemed apparent from the context in which you offered the quote. However, as I said in the above-linked post, it is an odious one whoever makes it.

Here is what I said in yesterday's post on the subject:

In an interesting irony, that is a comparison worthy of Goebbels (and I don't care who made it, even if those persons are Jews; it is still worthy of Goebbels to call Israel a Siamese twin of Nazi Germany).

I had also assumed you were most likely Jewish yourself, from your statement about your father being a member of Irgun. There are many Jews, and many Israelis, who feel the way you do, or the way whoever gave the above quote feels. It is not news to me, and it is irrelevant to my arguments and my positions.

Why would the fact that the speaker might be Jewish matter? Jews are certainly capable of error, even of evil. They are human beings, after all.

However, as anonymous at 8:40 AM points out, it is not at all clear that your facts about that quote (or Marshall himself) are actually facts. Having googled him rather extensively just now, I can find nothing to support either the quote or your assetion about the manner of his death. Please offer links if yu are able to; they would be very interesting to see.

 
At 12:57 PM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shame is a feeling of inadequacy couple with a sense of entitlement, whereas guilt is a feeling of inadequacy coupled with a sense of duty."

- Pixy Misa

 
At 2:23 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Anonymous at 12:57 PM: That's an excellent quote. It says quite a lot in just a few words.

 
At 3:27 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

My position on Camp David has come from reading voluminously on both sides. I am quite familiar with the maps and the Palestinian arguments, as well as the arguments on the other side. I've stated my conclusions, and I stand by them. Anyone who wants to look further can, as I said, read the arguments on both sides and draw his/her own conclusions. I welcome anyone to do so--just remember, read both sides.

That I would define as "independent thinking" and critical applied philosophy.

What I tend to think most people who criticize Neo-Neo Con wants is a propaganda line, or fifty. Something that burns away their doubts and snatches their will and imagination, taking them on a voyage that is one way only, and forever adamant.

I just hope those people realize that Neo, like Bush, doesn't do propaganda. Regardless of how many clamor for it, regardless of the benefit and the detriments.

If people want to be lied to, want to be instantly convinced like a switch, then there's plenty of that addictive substance in Nazi-Arab rhetoric and philosophy.

Maybe if people listened to the Nazi inspired Mufti that sponsored and mentored Saddam, instead of complaining about Bush and the neo-cons, they might become more satisfied with themselves.

Cause Hitler was a great speaker, enormously better in power and verse than Bush. And the writers of Nazi propaganda can certainly be more convincing than Neo's arguments and rationality.

One of the primary reasons people read Neo is to think. It is not primarily to be convinced. She, like Steven Den Beste is one of those thinkers, a Socratic and Plato foundation, not a Demosthenes or Oratorialist model.

Whatever floats people's boat, is what I say. It takes all kinds of people to make the world. Nazis, pacifists, Jews, Amis, all kinds.

I just find it weird, that regardless of the desire, the feeling of inadequacy, people still feel they deserve Answers. Neo's duty it seems to me, is to allow people to come to their own conclusions.

Why some people don't seem to understand that, is their problem.

Debate isn't an excuse for others to remove the brainwashing of decades of misinformation.

 
At 10:03 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

"One of the primary reasons people read Neo is to think. It is not primarily to be convinced."

Well, speak for yourself. ;-)

But, point taken, and I think in general valid.

Thank you, Neo, for the insight re: shame. Perhaps I should be kinder to Mr. Reeves...

 
At 1:07 PM, February 10, 2006, Anonymous grackle said...

Anonymous 12:21 says: I'm a Jew my friend, and excluding an Israeli land grab, with powerful Jews in many positions of western society why on earth would we want to obliterate all the Palestinians and Arabs? We already, considering our numbers, control a great portion of the world economy and thought. Why get our hands dirty, we already control almost everything?

Yeah, sure, you’re a Jew like I’m an Eskimo. Come on, Anonymous 12:21, tell us everything – it’s all in The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, isn’t it? Sure & the Jews are pulling the strings of puppets like Bush & Blair behind the scenes. Right? But don’t you think that we ought to also worry about Methodists, Mormons & Presbyterians? After all, there are an awful lot of them in “control” of governments & other institutions.

 
At 2:57 PM, February 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I always speak for myself. If I didn't, I would get confused over the many different personalities I would be juggling.

 

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