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Mordechai Vanunu told the world about nukes in Middle East, but too bad for him they were in Israel. Vanunu was just released from prison after serving 18 years, 12 in solitary.

"Israel doesn't need nuclear arms, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons," Vanunu said at a press conference, an act which itself might violate the terms of his release.

NEXT: Hide the Chalabi

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  1. zorel,

    Your comment concerning Jennifer is about as useful and dimwitted as calling Rumsfeld a “chickenhawk.” Indeed, questioning her “loyalty” is the standard refrain of a person who lacks an argument.

  2. Jean,
    True, he was a foreign national, but had lived in France for 25 years. He was deported for being rude, a strange irony coming from the French.

    He wasn’t imprisoned, but then he didn’t divulge national secrets, either. I’m not trying to equivocate, but illustrate that there is something of a consistent curve here–it’s not so simple as “France is civilised, Israel is barbaric.”

    Out of curiousity, what would France have done to a French citizen who expressed the same views? Jail him? If not, isn’t this a case of institutionalized racism?

  3. meep,

    No, he was deported for violating the law; specifically laws against inciting criminal activity (as I explained earlier).

    “He wasn’t imprisoned, but then he didn’t divulge national secrets, either.”

    Well, you were the idiot making the comparison, not I. Please, don’t try to lie about what you originally wrote.

    “I’m not trying to equivocate…”

    Oh, but you most certainly are.

    “…but illustrate that there is something of a consistent curve here–it’s not so simple as ‘France is civilised, Israel is barbaric.'”

    Again, argument I did not make. Do you have any more examples of arguments I did not make?

    “Out of curiousity, what would France have done to a French citizen who expressed the same views? Jail him?”

    If found guilty of the crime of incitement, yes; just as he would have been found guilty of such a crime in the U.S. Indeed, just as Rahman was convicted of in the 1990s.

  4. meep,

    Need I suggest that in the future before you comment on affairs away from your shores, that you actually know something about them in the first place.

  5. Wow, I’m a dipshit so quickly? I must have hit a sore spot!

    I’m not a lawyer but I assure you that an American citizen would not face criminal charges for stating such an opinion in a public interview. Otherwise, Howard Stern would have spent the last 12 years in solitary rather than national radio. France won’t tolerate comments which “attack the dignity of women?” Say goodbye to the entire American rap scene…

  6. Mark Bahner:
    “My advice to Israel: keep your nukes until every single government in the Middle East is a well-established democracy (“well established” meaning, say, 20 uninterupted years).”

    Yeah, like democractic states never start wars and never use atomic/nuclear bombs. Get real.

  7. meep,

    If he were inciting or conspiring to commit such acts he most certainly would be charged. Again, you know nothing about the actual story; or his actions. He did more than simply say these things, he issued a fatwa as to such, and implored people to commit such acts. Such is incitement; you have the very same laws in the U.S. concerning these issues, and they have been upheld time and time again by the US Supreme Court. Your ignorance of the affair as well as American law is telling.

  8. meep,

    And to further clarify, it is more than your erroneous and ignorant assertion that he merely voiced an opinion on the subject; he incited people to act on his words; he issued a religious order (a fatwa) to that effect. Such incitement to break the law is illegal in France and the U.S. I point you toward Brandenburg v. Ohio, Dennis v. US, Schenck v. US, and US v. Rahman for examples of this in American courts.

    Furthermore, again, the man was deported; accordingly your analogy is far off base.

  9. Keith Wrote: “The assertation by people and nearly every article in mainstream press that Israel is a liberal democracy bothers me. For this to be true, either the Palestinian population within Israel’s borders should be citizens and represented in the Knesset; OR Israel should promote a policy of creating a true Palestinian state.”
    Uh, Keith, sorry for the sarcasm, but as Private Hicks so eloquently stated in Aliens, “Maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events?”The Arabs-Israelis in Israel DO have the same political rights and ARE represented in the Knesset. Just thought you might like to know.
    Also, Israel HAS accepted a two-state solution, it’s simply NOT the two-state solution that Arafat wants, and it is arguable if the PALESTINIANS have accepted the two-state solution. Certainly, Hizbollah and Hamas have not.

  10. In America, stating an opinion isn’t the same thing as “incitement”. Apparently, either France or yourself have a very low standard for open discourse. Thus you resort to calling people dipshits when you remember something you read once after you’ve already posted your reply…

    “I think it is OK to beat your wife” is not incitement. Donning white sheets, grabbing a torch, and saying, “hey guys, let’s go kill us some niggers right now! Those darkies are bringing down the racial purity of this great nation and it’s high time we did something about it!” That, for example, is incitement. And even then, it’s only incitement when spoken publicly to a gathered crowd–not in a publication.

    Why the difference? American law assumes that people are generally rational enough to not act on stupid advice except under extreme circumstances. France apparently thinks that some thoughts are so dangerous that they aren’t permissible in any form.

  11. Keith Wrote: “The assertation by people and nearly every article in mainstream press that Israel is a liberal democracy bothers me. For this to be true, either the Palestinian population within Israel’s borders should be citizens and represented in the Knesset; OR Israel should promote a policy of creating a true Palestinian state.”
    Uh, Keith, sorry for the sarcasm, but as Private Hicks so eloquently stated in Aliens, “Maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events?”The Arabs-Israelis in Israel DO have the same political rights and ARE represented in the Knesset. Just thought you might like to know.
    Also, Israel HAS accepted a two-state solution, it’s simply NOT the two-state solution that Arafat wants, and it is arguable if the PALESTINIANS have accepted the two-state solution. Certainly, Hizbollah and Hamas have not.

  12. meep,

    “In America, stating an opinion isn’t the same thing as ‘incitement.'”

    As I wrote he was not merely stating an opinion; he was urging people to commit illegal acts, and did so through the power of his office no less. Again, get your factual predictates correct; or rather, stop lying.

  13. meep,

    Again, I direct you to the actual law on the matter, rather than your uninformed and ignorant musings.

  14. Joe L.,

    Actually, and this is admitted by Israel’s Supreme Court, the state of Israel purposefully discriminates against Israeli-Arabs in a number of ways – be it in the ability purchase land or seek employment. They often do this in a less than open way by passing on government authority in areas like say land sales and regulation to a private party, who then discriminate against Israeli-Arabs. Representation in the Knesset is minimal, and does not protect them from these abuses.

  15. Hmmm, I guess I’m a dipshit after all. I can admit it, but Jesus Christ Jean, get off your tight-lipped power trip. I suppose at least France has finally figured out how to deal with its long-ignored Muslim problem–deport them all! Only 4,999,999 left to go. Just think of the government jobs that will be created to handle that task.

    I guess my question now is this: since he clearly did break the law, why the hell wasn’t his ass thrown in jail? France seems very fond of the dealing with problems by not dealing with them, but this seems ridiculous. Why treat the guy like he has diplomatic immunity? Oh, that’s right, France is afraid to take action against Muslims for fear of bombs showing up on their own train tracks.

  16. meep,

    Most of them are citizens; therefore they cannot be deported. What evidence do you have that a “Muslim problem” was long ignored, BTW? Aside from whatever rantings you read in the National Review that is.

    It is standard procedure throughout much of the world to deport people who commit crimes.

    Your inability to address the actual issues, and run like a rabid dog in an effort to insult France is also telling.

  17. JB:
    “The state of Israel purposefully discriminates against Israeli-Arabs”

    Additionally, the right to gain citizenship. Jews wherever they were born/live have the right to an Israeli citizenship, whereas palestinians who were born in what is called now Israel, don’t have that right (not even the right to go back to their homes- thanks to Bush’s latest endorsement).

  18. Do Arab-Israelis have more or less freedom than their Arabs counterparts? In short, would you rather be named Ahmed in ISRAEL or Egypt?
    Also, Knesset representation is minimal for ALL Israelis, after all there are only 120 seats for the nation, and a WHOLE LOT of differing opinions on any issue. This is compounded by the fact that Arabs are a minority within Israel proper.

  19. JB:

    I have a couple of questions regarding the case of the guy that the French government deported recently. As far as I know, the Quran states that a married person (man or women) who commits adultery should be subject to capital punichment.

    Did this guy claim that this punishment is for women only? If not, then why is pointing this fact out is an incitement to violence against women since the punishment is supposedly for men and women?

    Another question, if someone advocates capital punishment for murderers in France (i.e, if I say that murderers should be executed) is that considred incitement? If not, then, how is this guy’s case any different?

  20. How is it treason “plain and simple?”

    Here’s a better idea: since he was tried and convicted in a court of law, how about YOU prove that the conviction was not legal? Betraying your country to its enemies certainly qualifies as treason in my book. It may be that it doesn’t meet the Israeli definition, but you haven’t shown that to be the case.

  21. “?whereas Palestinians who were born in what is called now Israel, don’t have that right (not even the right to go back to their homes- thanks to Bush’s latest endorsement).”
    You mean Eretz Israel will not have to commit demographic suicide by accepting Palestinians within its boundaries? Certainly, Hamas and Hizbollah have supported “the right of return” explicitly as one more way to destroy Israel. You’re right Israel isn’t going to accept them and isn’t going to allow itself to be destroyed. If this is a cause of heartburn, I’m sorry.
    It is one of the reasons, amongst many, that I have supported the various “peace projects” over the years, that Eretz Israel will be forced to accept Palestinians as citizens, and then Israelis will find themselves a minority within their own country. Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank and Gaza have no business being a part of Israel.

  22. Jean Bart,

    I was not questioning jennifer’s loyalty. I don’t know what the heck you were talking about. In any case, she is capable of representing herself – I don’t see you adding anything to the “debate” either with many of your comments (where you call people names).

    Since I spent the time to respond to your post, let me explain what my post (re: jennifer) meant:

    she supported the “French position” on how they were dealing with the Muslims and said her main complaint was that “they are not doing enough” of whatever it is …

    Since she is so adamently opposed to what Bush’s admn does to deal with Muslim terrorists, (IMO because of her personal dislike of Bush) I said in 2009 when someone else is the President she would also support the US (doing whatever it is this country would do).

    What in the above did you find “dimwitted” or “lacking in argument” or questioning her “loyalty” (btw. loyalty to what/whom)?

    If you have itchy fingers, type away – but try to understand a post before you use various adjectives to describe it.

  23. Jean Bart,

    For someone who criticises the US so much, it is very interesting to see that you take the “it is the same with the US law also” defence.

    In your opinion ss there anything wrong with France and the French? (that is a serious question)

  24. Joe L:
    “commit demographic suicide”

    So, if Israeli Arabs become a majority within Israel you plan to strip them of their citizenship?

  25. “So, if Israeli Arabs become a majority within Israel you plan to strip them of their citizenship?”
    No, that would be wrong and irresponsible, each equally damaging and damning in its own way. However, the Right of Return or the retention of the West Bank would inevitably lead to demographic suicide. So both are bad ideas.

  26. Joe L.,
    You know, the South African whites commited demographic suicide by ending apartheid and giving blacks the right to vote. Why weren’t many people supporting S. Africa about that possibility when we sanctioned them?

  27. It is sickening to hear all the anti-Israel racism on this forum, but I guess it does explain, if people are so screwed in the head, why they support all the vicious, racist, fascist anti-Isreal nonsense from dictatorships while spending much of their time criticizing the one free country in the Middle East.

  28. Mo–your argument is so dishonest and racist, I won’t lower myself to refute it. However, since I don’t think you believe it–no one could–I would suggest you write in again and apologize.

  29. “Do Arab-Israelis have more or less freedom than their Arabs counterparts?”

    What does that matter?? They are citizens! Would it have exculpated the South African regime to ask if Blacks in other African nations “have more or less freedom than their Black counterparts”?

    The Sharon government has actually backed “Jews Only” housing laws on government land in open discrimination against Israel’s 20% Arab population!: http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html
    and
    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    Sharon should be shunned by the civilized world. Instead, the Bush administration is granting is every thieving, and racist wish.

  30. Mo Wrote: “You know, the South African whites commited demographic suicide by ending apartheid and giving blacks the right to vote. Why weren’t many people supporting S. Africa about that possibility when we sanctioned them? ”
    I’m slow today, what is the point of your question?
    Israel grants Arab-Israelis civil rights and allows their participation in the Knesset. Something that the South African whites denied their black citizens. So, your point eludes me. I’m sorry.
    It’s true PALESTINIANS don’t have full rights or representation, but they aren’t Israelis and don’t want to be either? In the same measure that Canadians don’t have the same rights as US citizens in the US or representation in the US Congress.

  31. Mo wrote: “You know, the South African whites commited demographic suicide by ending apartheid and giving blacks the right to vote. Why weren’t many people supporting S. Africa about that possibility when we sanctioned them?”
    I’m sorry I’m thick today, seriously, what is the point you’re driving at? White South Africans denied citizens of South Africa civil liberties and representation in their own nation.
    Now, Palestinians don’t have all the rights of Israelis nor representation in the Knesset, but they’re Palestinians. They don’t get citizenship in Israel. many don’t want that, any way. they want citizenship in PALESTINE. What is being debated, if that term may be used loosely, is the scope and nature of the future Palestinian state.
    Canadians don’t have full rights in the US, why should they? The tragedy was that Blacks didn’t have full rights in their own country until 1964.

  32. …make that: the Bush administration is granting His (Sharon’s) every thieving, and racist wish.

    preview button, preview button, preview button…

  33. “It is sickening to hear all the anti-Israel racism on this forum…

    What?? Criticism of the Israeli government is not racism. Not to criticize the actions of the Israeli government would be to ignore racism.

  34. “Sharon should be shunned by the civilized world. Instead, the Bush administration is granting is every thieving, and racist wish.” that’s the first thing that goes wrong in these threads? “thieving/racist” really? name calling? Is Sharon a thief? And if Sharon is to be shunned how about Syria or Egypt? Ask the Copts in Egypt or the Kurds in Syria about THEIR treatment. you could ask Jews in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, or Iran about their treatment, but you’d have to go to Haifa or Tel Aviv to do so, they all got expelled. And MY POINT is there is a lack of proportionality in these arguments. Israel is not perfect, but?????? No one seems to apply the same standards to its neighbors.

    And yes Rick, give credit where credit is due. The fact is that Arab citizens are infinitely freer than their Arab counterparts and so that should count towards some credit to Israel. Again, that proportionality. IF Israel is evil and deserves shunning then the PLA, Egypt, Syria, and Iran need invading and reforming. Because their actions are far worse.

    Now, there are simple solutions to this conundrum Rick, 1) admit Israel ain’t a bad joint and grants most of its citizens a far better standard and quality of life than its neighbors 2) Support the overthrow of almost all existing regimes in the region and their full-scale replacement. Because if democratic Israel is bad, racist, thieving then what terms may be used to the OTHER regimes in the region? Or is it only wrong if WHITE people do it, whatever “it” is and if the indigenous peoples treat one another atrociously that’s OK?

  35. Pam and Joe L,

    It’s hard for me to reconcile the assertation that Israel is a liberal democracy with the concept of “demographic suicide” if they were to classify as citizens people who live within what’s acknowleged as Israel’s borders. For me to accept the “liberal” appelation, either the border has to change by cession (and it has to be Israel’s policy that it will) or they have to extend sufferage to people who live within their borders.

    Israel certainly has the right to self defense. I see little wrong to the missile attacks on Hamas leadership. To my mind, Israel can legitimately claim territory held after the 7 Days War, if they wish to administer it as a part of their country (with everything that would entail!).

    Surely, Israel has a more-free government than their neigbors. That doesn’t support the adjective “liberal”. Mo raises a good point. I’ll have to consider this some more, but I ask: comparatively, was FW DeKlerk’s a better government than Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe’s? Would you consider the South Africa of 10 years ago a democracy? A “liberal democracy”? Why or why not?

  36. Joe L,

    Why is it demographic suicide to allow Palestinians who left during the Israeli war of independence and their offspring to return to Israel, but the same reasoning doesn’t support stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship if their numbers threatened to have the same effect?

    Rick Barton,

    The Jews-only housing policy is abominable. But on what basis do you say Israeli Arabs are not citizens? I’ve always heard they have the same right to vote as Jewish Israelis. Am I wrong?

  37. Zorel said:
    jennifer,

    there is no surprise in you ‘supporting the French …’

    I will wait until 2009, when someone other than Bush will be in the Whitehouse, and then you will again support the US.

    Posted by zorel at April 21, 2004 12:45 PM

    My question is: when did supporting France and the US become an either-or proposition? I hate George Bush precisely BECAUSE I love America, and hate what Bush and his cronies are doing to it.

    France kicks out non-citizen Muslim troublemakers; during the Cold War we wouldn’t let Communists come here. Personally, if that guy was so fond of Muslim theocracy I don’t know why he bothered going to France in the first damn place.

  38. The difference between South Africa and Eretz Israel is that South Africa denied its CITIZENS of their rights. Now, Israel may discriminate but it doesn’t deny citizenship to all its citizens?. It DOES deny full rights to citizens on the West bank and in the Gaza Strip. They aren’t Israelis. They don’t want to be either. They want to be Palestinians.
    And IF Israel does not cede much or all of the West Bank to a Palestinian state it must confront two alternatives: 1) Become South Africa deny the Palestinians their citizenship and rights, something that the Intifada I forced Israel to face or 2) accept within its boundaries a mass of “citizens” that wish to extinguish the State of Israel and replace it with the State of Palestine. Neither is palatable, either materially nor morally.
    So, Israel, most of it, has resigned itself to some form of Palestinian entity as a neighbor. We are debating the form and the extent of that entity. Hamas and Hizbollah want a theocratic state that will eventually occupy the Rump Israel. The PLA seems to be in a strange in-between state, neither capable of distancing itself form the more radical Islamist positions, but unwilling to surrender its power to them. The terms of this debate centre on Homicide Bombings and assassinations, sadly.

  39. Joe L.:

    Is Sharon a thief?

    Yes, and his intent was always malicious. Winston S. Churchill III in 1973 asked Ariel Sharon, “What is to become of the Palestinians?” Sharon’s answer: “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

  40. An odd thief that gives up some if not all the land of its “victims.” And, BTW, as usual the Palestinians are their own worst enemies. Had they accepted Ehud Barak’s offer prior to Intifada II they’d be infinitely better off, BUT they didn’t, or they didn’t get a chance to, because their leadership didn’t want to put it to a vote for fear of the outcome. Again, it’s proportionality, Rick.

    The Palestinians are in a cleft stick, or their own making. I can support their right of self-determination, BUT still say, “Those Palestinians have no business running a nation.” And that seems to be where we’re at. The current crop of Palestinians “leaders” seem to fall into two groups, Crazies that think Sbarro Pizzerias are legitimate targets of attack and the Aging Kleptocrats of the PLA. Not much choice, there.

    I have sympathy for the Palestinians, but have they been robbed or have they simply managed to put themselves, “?in rats’ alley,
    where dead men lost their bones”?

    And you make this too personal, is it really all about Sharon? Was it really all about Hitler or Stalin?

  41. fyodor

    “But on what basis do you say Israeli Arabs are not citizens?”

    I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that what makes the Sharon regimes support for racist housing laws that discriminate against them even more reprehensable is that they are citizens! Decent people should not countenance the racist behavior of the Israeli government.

    And, there is the Israeli government’s shameful, Nazi like, mixed marriage impediment law:

    law:http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/01/international/middleeast/01MIDE.html?ex=1072933200&en=b3bdb3489e181def&ei=5070

  42. Joe-
    If Palestinians commit Homicide (as opposed to suicide) bombings, then what did Tim McVeigh do?

  43. Joe L:

    “Again, it’s proportionality, Rick.” “The fact is that Arab citizens are infinitely freer than their Arab counterparts and so that should count towards some credit to Israel.”

    That doesn’t matter. They are citizens of Israel. Again; Would it have exculpated the South African regime’s treatment of Blacks to compare their lot to that of Blacks in other African nations?

    Also, the characterization “Infinitely freer” certainly cannot be applied to all of the Arabs living under other regimes .

  44. “Joe-
    If Palestinians commit Homicide (as opposed to suicide) bombings, then what did Tim McVeigh do?”
    And Jennifer your point would be? That if Americans commit mass murder its OK for Palestinians to do it on a smaller scale? Tim McVeigh got the Death Penalty (which I oppose) and was almost universally condemned. No one sent his family $25,000 for his “Martyrdom”. Now, I don’t see the equivalent punishments or opprobrium meted out to Palestinians. Nope, don’t see a vast majority of Palestinians, or for that matter Leftists/Progressives/ or Anti-Statists condemning the Seder Bombing? But I DO see several years of salary flowing in to families of martyrs, as if Oh say Canadians had donated USD 150,000 to McVeigh’s family and pledged to give that much to anyone else that struck at the ZOG.

  45. Well, Rick Arab-Israelis get to vote, get to speak, get to assemble, to hold property? would you care to point out any Arab nation, apart from Qatar, that even APPROXIMATES these rights for its citizens? Really, I await with baited breath your list? Note I said APPROXIMATES, even. I don’t think Jordan passes muster on the voting thing, the Parliament is CONSULTATIVE. I don’t think Qatar has a functioning legislature, and neither does Kuwayt. The rest of the Arab Middle East is a morass of corrupt, brutal, authoritarian kleptocracies.

  46. Joe L.:

    “IF Israel is evil and deserves shunning then the PLA, Egypt, Syria, and Iran need invading and reforming.”

    What in the Hell? First, Israel is not evil. The Israeli government is. We should cut off taxpayer dollars to Israel, (the #1 recipient of US foreign aid dollars) Egypt,(#2 recipient) and all the other regimes where our government subsidizes mis-behavior. We don’t need another senseless invasion, Joe L

  47. Hmmm, I guess I’m a dipshit after all. I can admit it, but Jesus Christ Jean, get off your tight-lipped power trip. I suppose at least France has finally figured out how to deal with its long-ignored Muslim problem–deport them all! Only 4,999,999 left to go. Just think of the government jobs that will be created to handle that task.

    I guess my question now is this: since he clearly did break the law, why the hell wasn’t his ass thrown in jail? France seems very fond of the dealing with problems by not dealing with them, but this seems ridiculous. Why treat the guy like he has diplomatic immunity? Oh, that’s right, France is afraid to take action against Muslims for fear of bombs showing up on their own train tracks.

  48. Oops. Silly ascii browser.

  49. Well, Rick after we cut off the money are the Arab-Israelis better off, more safe, more free? So your point is you don’t care about how people are doing in the region, just that no US dollars are expended? Well, it?s the a Libertarian, Anarcho-Capitalist thing I guess? Me, I see US engagement as useful, for both Israel, the United States, and Arabs; so now we have come to a definitional/assumptional divide from which we can argue no further.

  50. To understand the back ground and current state of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak

  51. Oh and Rick, “…racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped” is a bit daft. Is Israel GRIPPED by this at all? Having just seen some photo’s out of a public gathering in Israel that revealed, and that is the operative word, a WHOLE lot of Israelis and their bodies, I’m not buying that the “Israeli polity is currently gripped” by a fundamentalist extremism. Sorry. And if what I have seen an read of Israel is any where close to true, again, you lack proportionality. You seemingly compare Israel to some PERFECT model, but then don’t seem to be concerned to compare anyone else to that model. Israel is a VERY LIBERAL democracy granting its citizens human rights, social justice, and economic bounty far in excess of its neighbors.
    Israel is not gripped, the Likud Coalition is gripped, and that may be a result of electoral politics as much as racism or extremism. Hey, Likud needs votes in the Knesset and Sharon needs all the friends he can get. The result is the religious parties are getting more of their agenda thru than under Barak.

  52. Joe L.-
    No, my point was that the Fox-News-invented phrase “Homicide Bombing” might make Americans feel righteous in a nyaah-nyaah-nyaah sort of way, but it is meaningless. ANY bombing which causes death is, by definition, a homicide bombing; the phrase “suicide bombing” describes a bombing in which the bomber himself also dies. The Palestinians are mostly suicide bombers.

  53. Joe L.:

    “Rick after we cut off the money are the Arab-Israelis better off, more safe, more free?”
    “Me, I see US engagement as useful, for both Israel, the United States, and Arabs

    Useful?? In what way? The brutal Egyptian regime gets billions of US tax dollars every year,(second only to Israel) where there is little freedom of political expression and little freedom of enterprise.

    Is it useful to have our government finance the Israeli government’s administration of occupied Palestine where widespread deprivation of individual rights and malnutrition go hand in hand for the Palestinian people.

    Egypt was bought off for Israel in 1979 and the total US tax dollar aid for that thug regime is now up to $1.85 billion a year. Israel’s peace with Jordan currently costs US tax payers $.5 billion a year.

    In comparison, Israel, as usual, will be the world?s largest recipient of US aid and Sharon is asking the Bush administration for $4 billion in grants, in addition to $8 billion in commercial-loan guarantees. This would be in addition to the nearly $3 billion that Israel already receives each year.

    It is very likely that, sans US government money, the situation for the people in the area would be more safe, and more free.

  54. Rick: “It is very likely that, sans US government money, the situation for the people in the area would be more safe, and more free.” Well, if you say so. I sure don’t see how you can believe it. Is Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Iraq or any of the Gulf States good places? They are wealthy of their own accord, no US aid, per se. The Middle East is not a nice place. And I don’t see Israel surviving too long without US aid. Now Saudi Arabia isn’t Stalinist Russia but it sure ain’t Israel and I think that the Arabs in Israel would be better off under Sharon rather the House of Saud.

    Jennifer, I like Homicide over suicide? Just think that it makes the point, these guys are killing people, and by-and-large INNOCENT people by their actions.

  55. How is what I said racist? Yes the Palestinians aren’t citizens, but they still live under Israeli rule. The South Africa analogy isn’t exact, but it’s the closest historical situation to the IP one. The Pals aren’t Israeli citizens, but they are under their rule. Since there is no “Palestinian” citizenship, Israel is the resposible government.

    Want me to call Egypt, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia worse than evil? I have no problem doing that and have done so many times on these boards. Are they ripe for regime change? Damn straight. Would I support an invasion and clean up? Fuck no. It’s not in our interests and it would be a royal pain in the ass (though Egyptians are historically very pliant when occupied).

    Israeli Arabs are better off than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East, but the Palestinians are worse off than the vast majority of them as well. Their treatment of the Palestinians is deplorable. I don’t mean the assasinations of terrorist leaders, those guys deserve to die. The conditions the Palestinians live in are awful, Sudan awful.

    I have condemned every civilian targeted suicide bombing that has occured (I have no moral issue with attacking military targets). I support the construction of the wall because I believe it will lead to a peaceful solution sooner rather than later and many of the far off settlements will pull back rather than be cut off from the mother country. I cannot sit here and say that what Israel is doing is ok because it’s better than most Arabs get. Most people here wouldn’t accept “Well, we’re still better than Canada” as an excuse for speech codes or restrictions on guns. When you set yourself aside as a moral democracy, the standards are going to be higher than the standards for Egypt or Syria.

  56. Israel is not gripped, the Likud Coalition is gripped,

    And, the Likud is running the government right now and our tax dollars are supporting these nut balls. But really, get the Israel Shahak book. Also, there is Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

  57. Blech, must learn to reread and edit before I post.

  58. Joe L-
    I agree, the Palestinians are killing people. My point was, if you call the Palestinians Homicide Bombers, how can you distinguish between them and Tim McVeigh, or the abortion clinic bombers? Suicide bomber actually delivers information; homicide bomber does not. Do you really think that muddying the waters of clarity will help solve anything?

  59. OK, Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolf are Homicide Bombers, Happier now?

  60. “It is very likely that, sans US government money, the situation for the people in the area would be more safe, and more free.”

    On what are you basing this? I don’t agree with the quantity of aid we give to the region, and I especially don’t like the Egyptian protection racket game, but why in the world would you believe that everything settles down as soon as we leave?

    An Israel without American backing is as secure as its nuclear deterrent makes it. Without aid to fight terrorists, continual bombing will succeed in eroding public confidence in the IDF, and the people will demand action. What form do you suppose that action will take? Do you think that the West Bank or the Golan Heights, being strategically important, would EVER fall outside of Israeli control?

    Let’s be clear, here. The militant Ismamists hate us because we supplied the aid that prevented them from pushing palestinian jews into the ocean. If we seek to enhance our safety by removing aid to Israel, that is fine, but we should not delude ourselves that it would be good for Israel. It would be the decision that, in light of the costs to us, we are okay with any aggression that comes their way.

  61. I agree, the Palestinians are killing people. My point was, if you call the Palestinians Homicide Bombers, how can you distinguish between them and Tim McVeigh, or the abortion clinic bombers?

    This may be a silly question, but: why would we WANT to distinguish between them, and Tim McVeigh, and abortion clinic bombers? Whether Moslem or redneck or Christian, they’re all terrorists.

    My take on the Suicide Bomber vs. Homicide Bomber issue is this: the latter describes the important and interesting feature of the bombing, and the former doesn’t. If some psychopath murders a dozen people with a bomb, the fact that *he* died in the blast as well is interesting only inasmuch as it saves us the hassle of tracking him down and killing him ourselves.

    “Suicide bomber” makes it sound like the important fact is that some nut blew himself up; it diminishes the importance of the victims. “Bomber”, by itself, fails to convey the fact that the bomber deliberately targetted and killed lots of people. “Homicide bomber” sounds stupid.

    Which is why I prefer the term “terrorist”, myself; I don’t really care what their specific techniques are; they all deserve to die.

  62. Mo, I just am reminded of the old engineers dictum, “The best is the enemy of the good enough.” I just find Israel pretty close to the good enough, pretty close…
    Just how good does Israel have to be?

  63. Joe L:

    “The Middle East is not a nice place. And I don’t see Israel surviving too long without US aid.”

    That is not a realistic assessment of the situation now. Israel is a wealthy industrialized nation whose military capacities far exceed her neighbors. The vast share of US government military aid goes not for defense, but to support the Israeli government’s murderous and thieving occupation of Palestinian land.

    This shameful occupation has now been given sanction, in a dramatic reversal of long standing US policy, by the Bush administration much to Sharon’s delight.

    Joe, if you want to send money to any of these Mid-East regimes, go right ahead, just please quit forcing the rest of us, via politics, to do so!

  64. I’ve heard the same expression said as “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Israel isn’t good enough.

    Good enough: Build the wall, give the Pals a reasonable sovereign nation and defend themselves from attacks. Give the Pals access to East Jerusalem.

    Better: Two states. Slight modification to the 1947 borders to trade off neighborhoods, settlements and certain terrain. Relative equality in which lands are exchanged (as far as access to water and fertility of the land).

    Perfect: Come to an agreement with a single state federal solution. Jewish Israel is a state, Islamic Palestine is a state and a smaller holy region that is administered equally by Christians, Muslims and Jews that will run the Jerusalem and surrounding holy neighborhoods. Each state runs their own internal matters and affairs, has their own law enforcement and citizenship rules. Allow free travel and employment across borders.

  65. Jason Ligon:

    “If we seek to enhance our safety by removing aid to Israel, that is fine, but we should not delude ourselves that it would be good for Israel.”

    If the occupation ended, Israelis would be much safer. People on the Israel right, albeit a more free market right than Sharon, are among those pushing this case.

  66. Joe L.
    Also, cutting Israel off would make the decision to subsidize settlers a more difficult one. As it styands our dollars make the decision easy. If we pull back our aid, the real cost of settling and the occupation will be obvious for the Israelis. They will be able to decide for themselves based on what their nation can afford. Egypt and Syria won’t attack, they’ve learned their lesson.

    Plus, Mubarak loses money used to oppress the Egyptian people. Win-win, baby!

  67. Rick, sorry I just don’t see the occupation as “murderous and thieving” The Palestinians and their Arab neighbors/backers did for forty-plus years deny Israel’s right t exist. Now it is true that Egypt and Jordan have, finally, accepted this. But this occupation has been necessary (AND desirable for some Israelis) since 1967 as the neighbors didn’t acknowledge the right of Israel to even be! Until 1992, the PLO didn’t accept the right of Israel!! So, what was Israel supposed to do? Continually defeat Arabs and hand the land back to them? Just wondering in “Rick Land” what Rick would have done differently in Israel’s place?

    Palestinians could have had a state in 1948, but that didn’t happen. Could’ve had one any time from 1949 on, but Jordan and Egypt didn’t let it happen. But I see Israel comes in for the pounding?

    I am by no means a blind supporter of Israel, but you seem to use such intemperate language about the State of Israel. “thieving, murderous, racist” etc. and I just don’t see Israel in that light and I don’t think that the history of the region allows one to claim that about Israel and not then apply worse adjectives to the surrounding states.

    If Israel is thieving, what of Syria and it’s theft of LEBANON? If Sharon is murderous how about Syria, ever heard of the village of Homs? It seems as if there is ONE problem in the region, Israel, in your mind and that’s simply not true. And the establishment of a Palestinian state was not possible until the 1990’s (when the Palestinians agreed to a two state solution-if indeed they truly did and Jordan acknowledged the West Bank as non-Jordanian). Prior to that time the proto-Palestine was the sovereign territory of Jordan and Egypt. Israel, alone, is not the culprit here, Arabs and Palestinians have maneuvered on this issue, much to the suffering of the Palestinians.

    Lastly, Palestine is poor because of the PLA, not Israel. Hundreds of ,millions have flowed to the PLA, where has it gone. By-and-large into the pockets of Arafat’s cronies and into the armouries of the various militias. So, the Palestinians are suffering, from mismanagement as much as oppression, and the oppression is from their own people as is it the Israelis.

  68. “Whether Moslem or redneck or Christian, they’re all terrorists.”

    And, there are terrorists in Israeli military uniforms. State terrorism is terrorism as well. During the duration of the Sharon regime there have been more Palestinian children killed by the Israeli government than the total of all Israelis killed by Palestinians. This includes Israeli soldiers.

    Also, stealing and destroying the property of Palestinian people is terrorism against them as well as their murder is, and our government pays for it! This has got to stop. It is beneath the dignity of the American people.

  69. Ooops, above 1947 should = 1967

  70. “Palestinians could have had a state in 1948

    What?? The Palestinians were dispossessed en masse (at least 750,000) upon the founding of Israel in 1948 in an episode of brutal ethnic cleansing. Israeli historian, Benny Morris has documented that 369 Palestinian villages were eradicated, at least 234 by direct Israeli military action.

    In 1949 the UN set up refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon And Syria. The great bulk in Jordan. The Israeli government was supposed to allow the refugees to choose between return or compensation but has thus far renegged. Tragically over a million Palestinian refugees still live in refugee camps. (see; The Birth of Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 by Israeli historian Benny Morris, and also see: Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict It is probably the best history of the situation available:

    The ongoing and expanding occupation and outright theft of Palestinian land in Gaza and the West Bank has continued via “settlements” This larceny is now accelerating under the guise of the “protection fence”.

  71. Rick-
    Also, there’s the fact that just a couple of days ago, Bush told Sharon that it was unrealistic to ever expect the Palestinians to ever get their West Bank land back, and the Arab world is FURIOUS over this, because until then the US paid at least lip service to the idea of giving the Palestinians their homes back. Every English-language Arab newspaper I’ve checked has said the same thing: the Arab world now officially hates the US even more than it did before.

    But I’ll give Bush this much credit: he didn’t actually point his middle finger to the news cameras and shout “Fuck you, Palestine!” If he had, the shit would have hit far more fans than it already has.

  72. Here’s my question – is there anyone on Earth as dumb as Jean Bart, and yet simultaneously so convinced of his own knowledge? Wow, what an idiot.

  73. Joe L:

    “Palestine is poor because of the PLA, not Israel.

    No way. The Israeli government severely restricts private enterprise among the Palestinian people and in fact requires that all most all enterprise go thru the corrupt PLA!

  74. That’s PA not PLA.

  75. Rick,

    I believe the statement that the Palestinians could have had a country in 1949 is based on the fact that Israel accepted a UN plan that divided what is now Israel proper between an Israeli state in the north and a state of Palestine in the south. This partition was rejected by the Arab nations, which was why Israel had to fight for its existence, and in doing so it took the area set aside as Palestine under the UN plan. The New Historians of Israel claim that Israel knew there would be a war and thus never took the partition plan seriously. But regardless of what their evidence for that is, it seems to be accepted knowledge that Israel officially accepted the plan which would have included a small Palestinian state.

  76. Vanunu broke Israeli law. Whether that law is just can be debated ad nauseum. In Vanunu’s case it is moot, anyway. Can’t any of you people get beyond two dozen posts before devolving into personal attacks? Just curious . . .

  77. Joe L:

    “If Israel is thieving, what of Syria and it’s theft of LEBANON? If Sharon is murderous how about Syria, ever heard of the village of Homs?”

    Yes, the Syrian regime is murderous and thieving as well, and none of these regimes in the area should be getting US tax dollars, but the Israeli government perennially gets huge amounts of them.

    …”you seem to use such intemperate language about the State of Israel. “thieving, murderous, racist” etc.”

    The thieving action of the occupation is self evident, and this theft has accelerated with the wall. The murderous actions of the Israeli military in prosecuting the occupation is well and tragically documented.

    Racist? How else to categorize a government whose head actually backed “Jews Only” housing laws on government land in open discrimination against Israel’s 20% Arab population?:
    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    The Israeli government racist? How else to categorize a government that has a hideous, Nazi like, mixed marriage impediment law:

    law:http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/01/international/middleeast/01MIDE.html?ex=1072933200&en=b3bdb3489e181def&ei=5070

  78. fyodor,

    Right, Morris covers the calculations and contingencies of the founding Israeli government against the de facto reality of a Palestinian state.

  79. Jennifer,

    Besides being a terrible injustice, I think that Bush’s yielding to Sharon’s every wish will come to be known as a real blunder for the US.

  80. Aaaarghhhhhh! My server and connection caused me to post many times, OOOPS sorry there…..

  81. fyodor,

    Actually, it might be Norman Finkelstein in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict that covers this aspect, or maybe both. I’ll have to check.

  82. “My advice to Israel: keep your nukes until every single government in the Middle East is a well-established democracy (“well established” meaning, say, 20 uninterupted years).”

    And then it’ll be safe to disarm? Yeah, democracies never engage in land grabs– just look at the US. Mexican-American War? Not about manifest destiny at all. Spanish-American War? Well, what else were we supposed to do about the Main? Yup, once everyone’s all democrafied, we can all turn our nukes into microwaves.

  83. “the Palestinians COULD have had a state in 1948 or 1949, BUT the Arabs decided to invade, in 1948. If they had accepted the Partition Plan there could have been a state.”

    That ignores the documented machinations of the founding Israeli government against a Palestine state and also, the Palestinian people are not to blame for the actions of Arab governments. The Palestinians were dispossessed en masse (at least 750,000) upon the founding of Israel in 1948 in an episode of shameful ethnic cleansing. (see; The Birth of Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 by Israeli historian Benny Morris, and also see: Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict )

    There is nothing that serves as pretext for the on going occupation. It is naked theft.

  84. “Can’t any of you people get beyond two dozen posts before devolving into personal attacks?”

    Certainly not, butthead. What’s wrong with you?

  85. Joe L.

    “I just find Israel pretty close to the good enough”

    If you’re talking about the Israeli government, your standards are tragically low! And, you want all of us to pay for it!

  86. Rick,
    In fairness, he was referring to my good enough.

    That good enough is a pretty low bar, I admit. But I would rather have a shitty, unequal peaceful solution than a violent holdout that lasts another 3000 years. Israel should’ve given Gaza back to Egypt and made its job easier.

  87. Joe L:

    “I think Israel is close to the good enough solution, the Wall.”

    What??? The wall finalizes, and is expanding the theft of Palestinian property. Among other Palestinian property, the building of the wall, reaching deep into Palestinian territory, is stealing olive groves that have been owned by the same Palestinian families for hundreds of years.

    The only “good enough solution” is one that ends the occupation or a “one state solution” that fully compensates for stolen property when not returned.

  88. Thanks, Doug, you crypto-fascist boob . . . That feels better.

    Oh yeah, Israel/Palestine: Heres a novel idea: Pontius Pilate the whole thing. As in wash our hands of the whole frickin’ mess.

  89. Ah yes, Israel; land of “liberty.” Why is that the Saudis and Israel have so much in common?

  90. because George W. loves them both!

  91. I don’t agree with his treatment while in prison, but come on, let’s put this in perspective. He leaked details of Israel’s nuclear weapon program to the British press. That is treason, plain and simple. It is in Israel and it is in the U.S. Unless of course you don’t mind our gov’t officials telling everyone else about our military capabilities and weaknesses.

    I’m not a defender of Israel, or any other country in the Middle East for that matter, but this just seems like fishing for a reason to bash them.

  92. Well Rick, when a man offers you a bribe, you don?t have to take it?. And in 1949 the Palestinians and Arabs could have taken half a loaf, but they CHOSE not to. You can point out Benny Morris? work all you want, BUT had the Palestinians said, ?OK, we?ll take what we can get.? They?d have defeated those crafty, murderous, thieving, racist Jews. The way to avoid going to for bribery is don?t take bribes, the way to get a state is to take one when it?s offered?. Had they taken half a loaf they would have been able to argue for a Right of Return and pointed out the unjustness of their cause. As it was, the Palestinians made a series of bad decisions and are paying for it.

    I don?t see the occupation of a piece of land that is occupied by your enemies is unjust or immoral. Not everyone that fled Israel fled because of a Deir Yassin policy.

    Read Michael Walzer?s ?Just and Unjust Wars? in the section concerning Alsace Lorraine and the concept of the land following the People. Even in the case of an unjust acquisition of territory, sooner or later that land does not belong to the former owners. The Palestinians don?t have a right to return to the 1947 Israel. Yes, they have a right to a homeland, but I can?t see that they are the ?victims? of a rapacious Israel. Better to say that since 1947 Arabs and Palestinians have made a number of misjudgments that have led to an increasingly poor position relative to Israel.

    Oh and finally, Israel MAKES people turn to the PA? How so? Israel no longer controls the West bank or Gaza. So, if the PA is exploiting Palestinians, it?s because the PA chooses to, not because the Israeli?s allow them to. Not everything that happens is the fault of the Israeli?s, it?s a comforting position to take, and it makes things so simple, Israel=Bad Palestinians=Victims? Reality is far different.

  93. Hans,

    How is it treason “plain and simple?” BTW, can you please refer me to U.S. and Israeli law concerning this issue. One case that comes to mind is U.S. v. Rahman, which does not hold to the definition of treason that you appear to throw about.

    And what “secrets” did he expose? As I recall his primary statement was that it actually exited; this was at a time when it was actually illegal for anyone to even mention its existance, or to even discuss its possibility. In fact, as I recall, Israeli law applied this legal sanction not only against Israelis, but against any foreign national who might discuss it; threatening journalists in the U.S. and other countries in other words.

  94. Sean Dougherty,

    Let me blunt, if France had done something like this you and your ilk would shitting your pants in an effort to bemoan it as a fascist state, etc. Many apologies, but Israel’s actions here (and in other areas concerning speech and the press) are outrageous and as barbaric as anything done by the Saudis.

  95. “Israel doesn’t need nuclear arms, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons”

    Because everyone knows that nukes can only be mounted on short-range rockets…America clearly doesn’t need nukes either since Mexico and Canada are harmless. But what kind of pronouncement is this? After 18 years in prison, I think I’m probably just as informed as he is on the state of global weapons programs.

  96. “Let me blunt, if France had done something like this” A blunt speculation? πŸ™‚

  97. I think this guy actually did Israel a favor!

    By ‘revealing’ that they had nukes, he passed on a warning to the neighbours that another direct war would be dangerous (of course, past war experience also should have helped the Arab states in this regard).

    Israel could maintain their ‘official’ stance of not saying one way or the other.

    [Jean Bart]

    Israel = Saudi Arabia?!

    What next, US = France? πŸ™‚

  98. Yeah, France would never do something like deport someone for expressing politically incorrect views. That would be “fascist”, and we’d all be in a tizzy.

    http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/04/20/world/Frenchimam_040420

    “the government will not tolerate public comments which attack human dignity and in particular, the dignity of women.”

    Let’s be clear: if Bush had done this, there would be a worldwide uproar. When France does it, no one blinks. That quote might well be truncated to read, “the government will not tolerate public comments.”

  99. Meep-
    The US does deport immigrants it doesn’t like. France is no different. Personally, I support France’s efforts to keep the country from being overrun by Muslim fascists. My main complaint is that they’re not doing enough.

    Now, if France had kicked out a French *citizen*, that would be a different story. All immigrants are in their host countries on sufferance.

  100. Hans writes, “He leaked details of Israel’s nuclear weapon program to the British press. That is treason, plain and simple. It is in Israel and it is in the U.S.”

    By *my* reading of the U.S. Constitution, there can be NO treason, unless the U.S. is in a state of declared war, and the person involved aids the government with which the U.S. is at war.

    But hey, I just know what I read.

  101. “Israel doesn’t need nuclear arms, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons”

    Is Iran in the Middle East? If so, exactly how long does Mr. Vanunu expect the Middle East to be “free from nuclear weapons?”

    My advice to Israel: keep your nukes until every single government in the Middle East is a well-established democracy (“well established” meaning, say, 20 uninterupted years).

  102. The assertation by people and nearly every article in mainstream press that Israel is a liberal democracy bothers me. For this to be true, either the Palestinian population within Israel’s borders should be citizens and represented in the Knesset; OR Israel should promote a policy of creating a true Palestinian state.

    Zorel – I like the realpolitik observation. But if so, why didn’t Israel give him a wet-noodle lashing instead of 18 years of time? Heck, I think I last heard that Pakistan’s A.Q. Kahn was getting house arrest (but can’t confirm it). 12 years in solitary ain’t a country-club prison.

  103. jennifer,

    there is no surprise in you ‘supporting the French …’

    I will wait until 2009, when someone other than Bush will be in the Whitehouse, and then you will again support the US.

  104. keith,

    may be the Israeli govt didn’t share my opinion πŸ™‚

  105. meep,

    The man was deported to his country of origin and where he is a citizen; he was not denied his liberty for eighteen years; there is a difference.

  106. meep,

    BTW, dipshit, the U.S. also criminalizes and does not tolerate speech which is designed to incite, conspire, etc. people to break criminal statutes. Domestic abuse is illegal in France; advocacy meant to incite is illegal.

  107. Joe L,

    Your distinction between whose fault it may be and whose problem it definitely is is well taken. However, I would like to point out that it also works in the opposite direction from the one you rightly described. That is, the Palestinians’ plight, regardless of however much they or their fellow Arabs may have contributed to it, continues to be Israel’s problem as long as they can do violence to Israel (which the wall may diminish but won’t likely eliminate). And it perhaps continues to be our problem for the same reason.

    Also, regarding, “Even in the case of an unjust acquisition of territory, sooner or later that land does not belong to the former owners.” I’m wondering if you could elaborate somewhat so I don’t have to read the book! πŸ™‚ For instance, how soon or late, and on what basis? A sincere: thanks!!

  108. Fyodor,

    Walzer gives no specific time frame. I like Walzer, for all his faults (as I see them) because he does try to make ethics fit the real world. his fundamental point about sovereignty is that the land follows the people. Even IF the land was illegally/immorally acquired somewhere the children or grand-children or great-grand-children are excused the sin of the acquisition. The example he uses is the Alsace-Lorraine in the post-1870 world. In 1872 it was wrong for Alsace-Lorraine to be German, but at some point it doesn’t matter HOW a piece of land came to be German, as long as the majority of inhabitants believe it IS German. When that point is reached, the land IS German, not French. but, how long is “long enough?” And that is not answered.

    For me, I don’t see the West Bank as having been under Israeli control long enough to qualify as Israeli. And as the Israelis were willing to give portions of it up, they obviously agree with that position, too.

    I do recommend the book, BTW. It is a classic. It is wrong on a number of examples, I think, but being perfect has never been a requirement of my heroes or their efforts. I guess he’s just “good enough.”

  109. “That statement is in no way related to the history of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The surrounding Arab regimes could not fairly speak for the Palestinians whose land was stolen in 1948.”

    Interesting that they could invade on their behalf, though – more than once.

  110. Jason Ligon,

    The Arab regimes mostly just used the Palestinian plight as an excuse for their part in the wars. Also, some of the wars came at the behest of the Israeli government as well.

  111. rick you make a lot of sense

  112. rick you make a lot of sense

  113. rick you make a lot of sense

  114. Rick;

    I know, but that is my point. Who are you supposed to negotiate with when Egypt, Jordan, and Syria invade you on behalf of the Palestinians, many of whom were kicked out of Jordan anyway? Don’t you have to negotiate with the guys who are shooting? The arab nations totally screwed the non Jordanian Palestinian arabs, and they did it more than once.

    Israel didn’t initiate any of those conflicts. A naval blockade is an act of war, as was the remilitraization of the Sinai.

  115. Joe L.

    “And in 1949 the Palestinians and Arabs could have taken half a loaf, but they CHOSE not to.”

    That statement is in no way related to the history of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The surrounding Arab regimes could not fairly speak for the Palestinians whose land was stolen in 1948.

    In fact, the British government had offered the then Prince Abdulla of Jordan, grandfather of King Hussein, an under the table deal for him to be King of part of the area that would be the Palestinian State, so he actually had a big incentive to turn down a Palestinian state.

    Again, see: Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    “Had they taken half a loaf they would have been able to argue for a Right of Return and pointed out the unjustness of their cause.”

    I think that you must mean “the unjustness of their PLIGHT”, but the idea that somehow this forgoing of a “half a loaf” which was not even a forgoing of their own design somehow invalidates the currant claim of the Palestinians is ridiculous.

    “The Palestinians don?t have a right to return to the 1947 Israel.”

    What?? Only by the logic of might makes right. Sure, just dispossess a people and then call them the “enemy”, occupy more of their land to solidify the enemy status. You can justify all manner of injustice that way, Joe L.

    “Israel no longer controls the West bank or Gaza.”

    I was suspicious from some of your other posts that you don’t really know much about the situation. My suspicions have now been made manifest.

  116. I wrote, “My advice to Israel: keep your nukes until every single government in the Middle East is a well-established democracy (“well established” meaning, say, 20 uninterrupted years).”

    Anon responded, “Yeah, like democratic states never start wars and never use atomic/nuclear bombs. Get real.”

    Tell you what, Anon…you find me two countries that have been one-person-one-vote democracies for 20 uninterrupted years that have gone to war with one another, and I’ll change my advice.

    Mark Bahner (aka, the King of Real)

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