What Happens When You Tear Down Those Walls

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Palestinians have blown a huge hole in the wall around Gaza and streamed through the gap to go … shopping. In Egypt. The NPR correspondent I was listening to just described it as a "giant, happy, chaotic shopping spree."

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  1. So let’s say that it was terrorists who blew the hole in the wall and are going shopping. (I haven’t read the article and it’s probably not true.) Does this mean that when we went shopping after 9/11 we were supporting al Qaeda?

  2. Are the shoppers using money?

  3. (news reporter)

    sales on the black market today in Egypt have skyrocketed. Worried black marketteers are celebrating “Red Wednesday” as happy Gazans escape their consumer entrapment to snatch up such goods as fake Nike shoes, imitation A&F tshirts, replica Kalashinakavs and of course the uniquitous boxed Mac and goat cheese. A local black marketteer told this reporter that “things have really picked up. Just last week I was worried that my few sales of fake rolexes was not going to pay my families bills, but after selling out of fake Crocs, I think we’ll have a happy Ramadan come next holiday.” It is a truly a miracle from Allah this wednesday. Back to you Bob

    (/news reporter)

  4. Might make one wonder how well a 700 mile fence on the US southern border will hold up.

  5. Although calling it “shopping” is accurate, it suggests a frivolous and light-hearted activity, when in fact Gaza was basically running out of food due to the blockade.

    “Starving people break down wall of open air prison” might be a better description than “shopping”.

  6. Can’t keep women from shopping. Even oppressed Palestinian women will find a way.

  7. Well, it’s cool if 95% of people go and get food for their families, clothing, business supplies or whatever…

    What happens if 5% (more? less?) come back with weapons or the means to make them?

    The Gazans–some of them–have never quit firing rockets into Israel, particularly Sderot.

  8. damn,

    the lack of stuff to do in Gaza might have something to do with the continued fascination of launching unguided rockets into Israel. I still condemn the action, but if you had a profitable fish business and a functioning government, that might cut down on your rocket hobby.

  9. damn,

    Israel will just bomb the shit out of their neighborhoods… indiscriminately killing the just and the unjust.

  10. What happens if 5% (more? less?) come back with weapons or the means to make them?

    Well, best we shut down the free market then, giving overwhelming data like this.

    I suppose we should shut down American malls and shopping centers, because you can make weapons out of wire, fertilizer, gasoline and wireless phones.

    Americans come back with the “means” and “material” to make weapons all the damn time. I don’t see you getting all Chicken-Littleist about that.

    I wonder why that is?

  11. What happens if 5% (more? less?) come back with weapons or the means to make them?

    I read a news article that said weapons dealers in Egypt were the only merchants not making bank after the wall-busting shopping spree. That’s because so many weapons are smuggled into palestine via tunnels from Egypt that there was no weapons shortage in Palestine. Just a food/fuel/medicine shortage.

    It’s all about priorities.

  12. Matt Welch-

    Sorry to break it to you, but I wouldn’t call that shopping. I would call simply trying to survive. I heard the NPR piece this morning, but you sure sound a whole lot more condescending than they did (which I do not think they were).

    You say:

    Palestinians have blown a huge hole in the wall around Gaza and streamed through the gap to go … shopping.

    So, what, Palestinians know nothing except violence to meet their goals, even those basic ones as “shopping”?

  13. I would call simply trying to survive

    I don’t see the difference.

  14. What happens if 5% (more? less?) come back with weapons or the means to make them?

    Maybe Israel will realize that cutting off humanitarian aid, beyond being immoral, doesn’t work.

  15. Yogi- Most Americans here don’t just go shopping to survive. They go for plasma TVs, videos, the newest video game, etc. I do not believe that Palestinians who entered Egypt where “shopping” for these things. According to the NPR and other reports, they went for gas, living essentials (food, water, etc), etc. In other words, it is a crisis for survival.

  16. Ali – not to be picky, but how is gas “essential” for living?

    you can live without it, which (I believe) was Yogi’s indirect point: you need very little to survive, but life requires shopping.

  17. I must admit I like the idea of commerce concurring a seemingly intractable quagmire. But this is the Mid East we’re talking about, the blood will flow soon enough. Maybe some lines on a map might shift a bit, but the suffering and hatred will go on.

  18. Yeah, I understand the point, but to some extent, all shopping is for survival, even that for enjoyment. The beverly hills shopping is done to survive in a certain culture where having the right shoes with the right jewelry is absolutely crucial.

  19. Ayn_Randian: You are being picky. OK, may be they didn’t “shop” for gas. But you get my point. One simply does not blow up barriers, forcefully cross borders into another country to go shopping. Canadians don’t do that when they “shop” here. So, I would not call what happened in Rafah “shopping”.

    This and this does not look quite like going on a shopping trip to me.

  20. I see the error, here:

    Colloquially speaking, when we say “shopping trip” in American culture, we mean “a chance to spend expendable income on nice things we want but we don’t really require for survival or even normal, everyday life”.

    Strictly speaking, the Palestinians were shopping, they just weren’t on an American “shopping trip”.

  21. Maybe if they stopped bombing Israel constantly they’d end the blockade.

    Just a thought.

  22. Maybe if they stopped bombing Israel Palestinians constantly they’d end the blockade violence.

    It works both ways. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  23. Did the Israelis or the Egyptians build that wall, and why are the Egyptians refusing to allow Palestinians through a gate or something?

  24. I think nobody should be blown up, ever. And I like chicken omelets.

  25. Maybe if they stopped bombing Israel Palestinians constantly they’d end the blockade violence.

    Really now.
    You think?
    Despite all historical evidence to the contrary?

  26. What happens if 5% (more? less?) come back with weapons or the means to make them?

    Gun control for Gaza!

  27. it is an apartheid wall.

  28. it is an apartheid wall.

    Just like the other one around the WB.

  29. When I heard the report on npr this morning, I let out a fist-pumping cheer. I love that the Egyptians did nothing to stop it.

    Let them come and buy food, building supplies, cigarettes… whatever they need, then let them go home. And yeah, they’re not shopping for weapons today – they can do that any day.

  30. When they cross the Israeli borders they kill Jews.

    But hey, I guess that’s just fine with the Ron Paul supporters here. Those Jewish bankers do control the world you know.

  31. Good walls make good neighbors.

  32. Great headline, Matt.

    Gee, who would of thought the Palestinians want to eat?

  33. When they cross the Israeli borders they kill Jews.

    “They?”

    Who is “they?”

    What percentage of Palestinians have killed an Israeli?

  34. Daniel. Pay attention. They aren’t crossing the Israeli border, they’re crossing the Egyptian border – with the tacit approval of the Egyptians, no less.

    Also, ditto Neu Mejican.

  35. But hey, I guess that’s just fine with the Ron Paul supporters here. Those Jewish bankers do control the world you know.

    You seem to have a lot of conspiracy theories about Ron Paul supporters. Most I know of supported him before they knew of the letters. Do some of his supporters support him because of his stances on the ME? Yes. Why not? What is so conspiratorial about that?

  36. Ayn Randian,

    not to be picky, but how is gas “essential” for living?

    This quote may help you think about it…

    Moaiya Hassanain, a health ministry official, said: “We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms.”

  37. Collective punishment does not facilitate peace.

  38. Those Jewish bankers do control the world you know.

    where’s my check?

  39. Ditto NM, Bronwyn and edna.

  40. Why is there a wall between Gaza and Egypt? If they are friendly trading partners why have a wall that has to have a hole blown into it?

  41. Why is there a wall between Gaza and Egypt? If they are friendly trading partners why have a wall that has to have a hole blown into it?

    If left to their own means, I do not think either side would want to have the wall. Go figure.

  42. Daniel

    Wow. A sweeping bigoted generalization about Palestinians followed by a snark at sweeping bigoted generalizations about Jews.

    Does “cognitive dissonance” mean anything to you?

  43. Why is there a wall between Gaza and Egypt?

    As I understand it, Egypt and Israel have this peace treaty and good relations. Egypt agreed to help Israel isolate Hamas.

    Anyone got better details?

  44. This is an example of those “economic sanctions” that are used against unfavored governments…collectively punish the people under their rule so that the people will suffer and eventually take their support away from the unfavored government.

    Has it ever worked?

  45. Has it ever worked?

    Cuba? Iran? Saddam’s Iraq?

  46. And what do you suggest Israel do, Ali?

    Hamas doesn’t want peace, it wants the destruction of Israel, and will accept nothing less.

    Ask yourselves what we’d do if the Mexicans (if have as much right to the southwestern US as the Palestinians have to Israel) started bombing us.

    Further to that point, aren’t illegal Mexican immigrants simply trying to return to a homeland that was stolen from them?

  47. Has it ever worked?

    Cuba? Iran? Saddam’s Iraq?

    South Africa?

  48. South Africa?

    In SA, where the rulers and the ruled the same? In Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, the rulers and the ruled share a lot, a whole lot more, in common. The racial fault line in the case of SA as well as the population size between the rulers and the ruled makes a huge difference in that case.

  49. And what do you suggest Israel do, Ali?

    Since they have the upper hand and the military prowess, may be they could unilaterally correct the injustices on which Hamas and the radicals capitalize.

  50. In Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, the rulers and the ruled share a lot, a whole lot more, in common.

    What do you mean by share?

    I don’t think oridnary Iraqis shared Saddam’s 17 palaces. I’m pretty sure Fidel doesn’t wait in line for toilet paper. And I don’t know how many run-of-the-mill Palestinians drive a Benz, but the guys at the top all do.

  51. Further to that point, aren’t illegal Mexican immigrants simply trying to return to a homeland that was stolen from them?

    Not as such, but they’re still welcome to come on over and sell me tacos, to take a stereotypical and sabroso example, and engage in every other manner of economic and cultural activity. That enriches both of us, and we both know it.

  52. “I don’t know how many run-of-the-mill Palestinians drive a Benz, but the guys at the top all do.”

    If they really cared about the poorer Gazans, the Hamas leaders would try to make peace with Israel like Abbas is trying to do, or have I missed something. THen again, they’d be out of a job if there was peace.

    In any conflict, oftentimes the poor that suffer the most have been told that it is the outside oppressor that is to blame. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong in believing that. But in either case, without more information, how would they know who to believe?

    Conversely, in America, those that support the current administration and believe their lies have no excuse because we all have access to the information, should we choose to look.

    I’m not suggesting Israel is right but the poor Gazans “know” Israel is the enemy when it could be argued that Benz-driving Hamas leaders are just as much an enemy to poor Gazans as Israel.

  53. Texas Toast, I was thinking the same thing for Israel/Palestine.

  54. Nick,

    I’m not suggesting Israel is right but the poor Gazans “know” Israel is the enemy when it could be argued that Benz-driving Hamas leaders are just as much an enemy to poor Gazans as Israel.

    The average Gazan recently realized that Fatah was as much their enemy as Israel and tried a change of leaders…they will eventually realize that Hamas leaders are no better, and perhaps worse. If improvements in the West Bank are seen as a result of the current peace process, maybe Gazans will recognize the Hamas strategy as a losing strategy, but…Israel wants to link Gaza and the WB together in the talks…thereby preventing improvement in both the WB and Gaza… and round and round it goes.

  55. If they really cared about the poorer Gazans, the Hamas leaders would try to make peace with Israel like Abbas is trying to do, or have I missed something. THen again, they’d be out of a job if there was peace.

    That’s all true, but regardless of any of that, collective punishment of a civilian population for the acts of terrorists in their midsts is illegal under international law. Specifically, the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

  56. Xanthippas,

    True, that.

  57. Seeing as the Palis have a border with Egypt, how can the Israelis cut off aid? Why can’t it just be shipped through Egypt rather than Israel?

    Since they have the upper hand and the military prowess, may be they could unilaterally correct the injustices on which Hamas and the radicals capitalize.

    Seeing as these injustices consist mostly of Jews actually living in Israel, I’m not sure what’s really being suggested here.

  58. RC Dean,

    See above… Egypt has an agreement with Israel to assist them in their sanctions against Hamas.

  59. From the article:

    Egypt has largely kept its border with Gaza closed since the Hamas takeover, amid concerns of a spillover of Hamas-style militancy into Egypt.

    However, Hamas has orchestrated daily demonstrations on the Gaza-Egypt border in an apparent attempt to appeal to Arab public opinion and pressure Egypt to open the passage.

  60. Seeing as these injustices consist mostly of Jews actually living in Israel, I’m not sure what’s really being suggested here.

    Then you need to get some new eye glasses.

    But seriously, it is simple, right of return and free commerce, equal rights to all Israeli citizens regardless of race or religion. If Israel insists on maintaining its religious identity, then it has to live with the consequences tof the hat injustices they have incurred (no right of return, discriminatory land and property laws, walls preventing Palestinians from free moving even within their current lands, etc). Am I justifying these consequences? Absolutely not! But it seems that they are a fact of daily life in Israel/Palestine.

  61. Seeing as the Palis have a border with Egypt, how can the Israelis cut off aid?

    The Israelis left Gaza, but retain control of the perimeter, including the border with Egypt. The Egyptians, who get a lot of money from America, allow this.

    As Neu Mejican pointed out, Hamas only came to power as a result of the corruption and incompetence of Fatah.

    And there will never be any long term success for a peace process as long as the Israelis persist in their intentional destruction of the Palestinian economy.

  62. P Brooks- Dittoooooooo!

  63. It sounds like a lot of people here have followed the situation for a while. Does anyone agree or disagree with Ron Paul’s assessment that cutting off aid to Israel, Egypt, and all the other countries and peoples involved would speed up the peace process? It sounds good in theory to me, but I haven’t studied the conflict that much.

  64. I predict all this angst ends after a little education. Why would anyone continue to follow an obviously made-up and plagiarized religion?

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA15Ak03.html

    Muslims and Christians are mistaken Jews.

  65. The intent behind the Israeli blockade was to encourage the Gazan public to turn against Hamas and its militants.

    Hamas militants then blew holes in the wall, allowing hungry and desperate people to save themselves and their families, so now they are heroes.

    First the war to turn the Lebanese against Hezbollah, now this. I’m starting to think that Ehud Olmert might be even more stupid than George W. Bush.

  66. First the war to turn the Lebanese against Hezbollah, now this. I’m starting to think that Ehud Olmert might be even more stupid than George W. Bush.

    Agreed.

  67. I wonder if the big shopping spree will be enough for all the Gazans to forget and forgive that whole summary executions in broad daylight/tossing people off of buildings/general orgy of violence thing a few months back? Remember the whole “This shit is worse than what the Israelis did”?

    Oh well. Hamas can blow up walls, therefore they’re the good guys.

  68. Who are you talking to, stubby?

    Is your browser displaying some comments calling Hamas the good guys, that the rest of us can’t see?

  69. And even if the US did not encourage/force Egypt to maintain the Gaza border wall, it would still be there. Egypt does not want everyone in Gaza to have free access to Egypt; how many Arab countries allow Palestinian refugees to own property, own businesses, or practice professions? Not many, if any. Egypt’s economy is not exactly robust and they don’t need an influx of Palestinian refugees. A shopping spree now and again, they might chuckle and appreciate the opporunity to make Israel look bad. More than that, and the border guards won’t be so friendly.

    I think Egypt should go ahead and conduct their foreign policy however they see fit. And I think they should do it without the benefit of two billion dollars a year.

  70. Egypt does not want everyone in Gaza to have free access to Egypt

    Unless you’re Egyptian, how would you know? I am Egyptian. Palestinians are welcome in Egypt at anytime. As for the rest of your post, you do not seem to understand anything about the dynamic of the conflict on the Arab side.

    And I think they should do it without the benefit of two billion dollars a year.

    And I agree. If that 2B is taken away, rest assured that that wall will cease to exist.

  71. No, joe. My browser is working just fine, thanks. I am referring to your reference to heroes, which I took to mean that you think that some Gazans will now view Hamas as heroes for blowing up the wall. Which I think is probably true, despite the horrific conditions now prevailing in Gaza.

  72. stubby – people have short memories.

    If the worst person I ever personally knew walked in and fed me (or made so I could be fed), I’d have to entirely reassess that individual.

  73. Actually, stubby, they are heroes to the Palestinians precisely because of the horrific conditions now prevailing in Gaza – the hunger, the sewage running down the street, the hospitals that can’t run their machines, and all the other consequences of the Israeli’s blockade.

    It is precisely because of these conditions that Hamas got the opportunity to be heroes, saving people’s babies and sick relatives.

    Before you wrote about how stupid the Gazans were for feeling that way, did you have a nice lunch?

  74. I’m not saying Egyptians wouldn’t welcome them, Ali. I’m saying that the Egyptain government would not.

    If there are Arab nations which allow Palestineans to live and work freely, please let me know. I was honestly under the impression that there aren’t.

  75. I’m saying that the Egyptain government would not.

    But they just did! According to the reports I have heard and read, Mubarak said he would let Palestinians in despite Israel’s objections. He wants to protect his worthless behind by allowing the Palestinians in to abate the Egyptian public anger (there were major protests on the streets because of the blockade).


    If there are Arab nations which allow Palestineans to live and work freely, please let me know. I was honestly under the impression that there aren’t.

    Yes, there aren’t. But not for the reasons you think they are. As I said, stop the 2B aid and see what happens. Also, it was found out that Palestinians when having to choose between the choking lifestyle they lead in the occupied territories and emigrate to neighboring Arab countries with favorable living conditions, they usually end up taking the latter –not out of willful desire, but out of force and compulsion (due to the occupation). One way to resist this exodus, Arab governments (Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lybia, among others) decided, they had to make their living conditions in the host Arab countries also difficult (i.e., give them some incentive to remain in Palestine), otherwise the whole Palestinian cause is lost.

  76. You’re quite a wit, Joe. Of course my criticism of Hamas, and my criticism of Gazans who voted for Hamas, naturally means that I am unconcerned with starving babies and people dying in hospitals. Because I blame Hamas for much of Gaza’s current agony – which is much worse than when Fatah was in charge, even given Fatah’s complete corruption – because I think that the leaders of Hamas are more concerned with power and destruction than they are with actually governing and trying to improve the lives of Gazans, because I think that Hamas is more than willing to watch people starve and die in hospitals if it increases international anger at Israel, because I think Hamas is happy to hold Gazans hostage to its own agenda – obviously I don’t care about the children.

    Do you live in a state of perpetual sanctimony and moral outrage in your real life?

    No, I haven’t had lunch yet, but I’m getting ready to go.

  77. The sad fact is that, with Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinians have had the choice between murderous, puritanical fanatics and slightly-less-murderous kleptocrats. Both of them have posed as “liberators” (or as joe accurately points out “heroes”) while inciting the Israelis to do things that hurt the Palestinians.

    The even sadder fact is that, given time, the former will turn into the latter.

  78. One way to resist this exodus, Arab governments (Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lybia, among others) decided, they had to make their living conditions in the host Arab countries also difficult (i.e., give them some incentive to remain in Palestine), otherwise the whole Palestinian cause is lost.

    I’m not sure that’s true – I don’t think that’s why the Arab countries have treated Palestinian refugees so badly, or at least that’s not why they’ve continued to do so. I mean, it’s been over 50 years – how many generations have grown up in refugee camps? I think the Arab nations are just like Mubarak – Palestinians, and the Palestinian cause, provide a safety valve for populaces living under oppressive regimes. As long as the people have the Palestinians to get angry about, they won’t get angry about the miserable state of their own countries. Making Palestinians suffer for decades, long after it’s become apparent that it won’t change the facts on the ground, is extremely cynical.

  79. stubby– Trust me, the Arab populace will and rarely got angry at the Palestinians. You will point to Lebanon’s experience with the Palestinians as counter evidence, and I will only say that you have to study the events there very carefully and see who started what and why to cause friction between the Palestinians and the host countries.

    With that said, going back to my earlier suggestion at 11:50, do that and much of this mess will go away. Insist on having a religiously “pure” (and somehow democratic) country, and the situation will go from bad to worse. 60 years have gone by? We will probably see more of it in the next 60. Sadly enough.

  80. “”Starving people break down wall of open air prison” might be a better description than “shopping”.”

    No. People tacitly supporting the continuous rocketing of their neighbors thereby placing themslves in dire economic straits — would be much more accurate.

  81. Ali – I meant that the Arab populace would get angry about the Palestinian situation, not at the Palestinians, and that the Arab governments hope that this anger keeps the populace from pouring their anger and energy into resistence against the government.

    It will probably go on for 60 years, because Israel isn’t going away and they won’t allow five million Palestinians to return.

  82. I wonder if the big shopping spree will be enough for all the Gazans to forget and forgive that whole summary executions in broad daylight/tossing people off of buildings/general orgy of violence thing a few months back? Remember the whole “This shit is worse than what the Israelis did”?

    Oh well. Hamas can blow up walls, therefore they’re the good guys…

    Do you live in a state of perpetual sanctimony and moral outrage in your real life?

    I’m sorry, were you saying something about sanctimoniousness, stubby?

  83. OK, Blimpy, how about people who tacitly support the starvation of their neighbors?

    What should we call them?

  84. the continuous rocketing of their neighbors

    shanannigans!

  85. “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

    The chicken; eggs can’t cum.

  86. “Palestinians are welcome in Egypt at anytime.”

    Then why the wall? You can’t have it both ways, Ali.

  87. That wasn’t sanctimony, joe – that was heavy handed sarcasm, or snark, but not sanctimony.

  88. “As I said, stop the 2B aid and see what happens.”

    Damn those big-nosed money-grubbing Egyptians!

  89. “otherwise the whole Palestinian cause is lost.”

    Up with causes! Down with people!

  90. Jenny- Have you read previous comments? See P Brooks’ comment at 12:36.

  91. Biff- The “Palestinian cause” is the Palestinians’ peoples’ rights.

  92. “The sad fact is that, with Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinians have had the choice between murderous, puritanical fanatics and slightly-less-murderous kleptocrats.”

    Translation: Pals, like blacks, lack governance skills.

  93. “OK, Blimpy, how about people who tacitly support the starvation of their neighbors?

    What should we call them?”

    Heroes.

  94. From the Times of London:

    Some staggered back into Gaza carrying televisions, and others sported brand-new mobile phones. In Gaza City, prices of cigarettes–which had skyrocketed during the total blockade of the past week–fell by 70 per cent in a few hours.

  95. Those dirty bastards! Where do they get off, living above subsistence level?!?

  96. Ass-

    Some buying TVs and cigarettes (even if all), does not mean that they tore down the wall only for these things. Some logic could help sometimes.

  97. David

    Translation: Pals, like blacks, lack governance skills.

    Your words, not mine.

    Since the Israelis have gone out of their way to undermine and destroy any Palestinian state, it’s a little hard to validate that.

  98. “And there will never be any long term success for a peace process as long as the Israelis persist in their intentional destruction of the Palestinian economy.”

    There will never be peace until Israel’s opponents accept, and recognize them as a state. Offering concession after concession to a group of people who see those concessions as weakness is not how you go about protecting your population from proposed genocide.

    Of course, the underdog fascination persists, and such ideas are conveniently ignored.

    If the population cannot control these groups, then someone has to. The use of them as human shields by their own people is not the fault of Israel.

  99. “Since the Israelis have gone out of their way to undermine and destroy any Palestinian state, it’s a little hard to validate that.”

    I think you have that backwards sweetheart.

    yes, the poor Palestinians. Slaves to Israel, and Slaves to their own well supported militia groups. Israel, American, the world. They’re all stopping the Palestinians from garnering a reasonable attitude, and placing peace over archaic tribal ritual.

    What’s a perpetual shit-hole to do?

    The U.S. needs to abandon its involvement if only to let these fledgling club nations destroy themselves, and not have anyone else to blame for their failure.

    Then again, that hasn’t worked very well in Africa, so we’ll just keep our finger’s crossed.

  100. They’re all stopping the Palestinians from garnering a reasonable attitude, and placing peace over archaic tribal ritual.

    Thanks for that in-depth explanation of the Palestinian mindset. I didn’t realize it was “archaic tribal ritual” that was the motivation for many Palestinians to resist Israel. One might imagine it having something to do with land dispossession or their treatment as second-class citizens (rightful or not), but thanks for setting us straight and making it clear it’s a mere cultural issue.

    By your reference to Africa you probably mean Somalia, in which case you should be aware that we are permissive towards and involved in the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. You might want to read up on that region as well, given how close it is to the Middle East you apparently know so much about.

  101. If they stopped lobbing rockets at their neighboring country’s civilians, they’d probably find their economy improving. In fact, if they renounced violence, they would eliminate Israel’s negotiating leverage. Why continue this universally damaging action? It must be considered more successful than the alternatives. It’s only comparative success is the increased death count of Israelis. What is their goal if this is their tactic of choice? Which is a more reliable indicator of intentions, actions or words?

  102. By land dispossession, do you mean selling swampland and then getting pissed when it’s transformed into orchards. Or do you mean clearing the way so the advancing Arab armies could “push the Jews into the sea” and then getting pissed when the Jews survived?

  103. As I understand it, Egypt and Israel have this peace treaty and good relations. Egypt agreed to help Israel isolate Hamas.

    Gaza strip was originally occupied by Egypt, then by Israel. Egypt agreed to patrol its border with Gaza to stop the importation of weapons. No wall/isollation was ever stipulated.

    Hamas is largly funded and influenced by Iran. Iran and Egypt dont exactly have the greatest history and relations. Its no difficult to comprehend why Egypt would want to make sure that Hamas stays where it is.

    But hey its much easier to explain Arab politics and Palestinian-Arab relationship with “Israel made them do it”

  104. or their treatment as second-class citizens

    I often see argument comming up in this context and Im curious if this is a reference to problems that Israely citizens of Palestinian decent have or something else?

    Quite frankly, if you are talking about Israely citizens then you are trivializing the problems that Palestinians have inside Gaza and WestBank. They are second-class citizens in the same sense our inner-city populations are second class citizens. So it would be like me talking about the problems in Africa and problems in Harlem in the same sentence.

  105. Fair enough, stubby. I guess I misunderstood your meaning.

    Subtle sarcasm is tough in this format.

  106. Subtle sarcasm is tough in this format.

    You can be such a dick sometimes, joe.

  107. There will never be peace until Israel’s opponents accept, and recognize them as a state.

    That’s not quite true. The Palestinians would have to accept negotiation and an political process as the means to settle their dispute with the Israelis, but there is no reason why recognition of the state needs to be a precursor for anything.

    But then, your apologetics for collective punishment demonstrate that you’re not arguing in good faith.

  108. They’re all stopping the Palestinians from garnering a reasonable attitude, and placing peace over archaic tribal ritual.

    Speaking of archaic tribal rituals, how’s that “God said we get all the land between the Jordan river and the sea” thing going.

  109. By your reference to Africa you probably mean Somalia

    No, I’m pretty sure he means “the negroes.”

  110. If they stopped lobbing rockets at their neighboring country’s civilians, they’d probably find their economy improving. In fact, if they renounced violence, they would eliminate Israel’s negotiating leverage.

    “They,” who? The six-year-olds? The hospital patients on respirators?

    You support collective punishment, because you are a collectivist.

    See, kids, this is a what a collectivist looks like. Not “it might be a good idea to make sure everyone has health insurance.”

  111. val,

    People in Harlem are allowed to vote, move to Long Island, and drive on the roads.

  112. People in Harlem are allowed to vote, move to Long Island, and drive on the roads.

    And they are allowed to buy and sell lands if they so wish. There are property laws that prevent non-Jews from buying lands from Jewish owners.

  113. “Speaking of archaic tribal rituals, how’s that “God said we get all the land between the Jordan river and the sea” thing going.”

    Its’ going about as well as the Palestinian denial of Israeli’s right to exist. If you’re going to play tit for tit with fallacious political positions, then as a Palestinian shill, you will certainly lose.

    Also, if ad hominem attacks, and appeals to emotion are all that you can muster, then I suggest that you call it a night.

  114. Good thing I’m not a Palestinian shill, then.

    You know how you can tell a shill? He thinks everyone who calls bullshit on his shilling is working for the other side.

    …then as a Palestinian shill, you will certainly lose. Also, if ad hominem attacks, and appeals to emotion are all that you can muster, then I suggest that you call it a night.

    I couldn’t agree more, shill. Maybe you could rent a movie.

  115. “Why continue this universally damaging action?”

    Because the Palestinian authority and their supporters don’t really want peace. They want the removal of Jewish people from what they consider to be their land.

    Of course, when Israel’s not a galvanizing presence, most of these nations would be trying to eliminate each other. You know, as an act of M.E. brotherhood.

    You attempt to attack Israel, and enact genocide, and then complain when they beat you handily (due to some truly moronic military tactics by M.E. allies) and then complain when they assert themselves against any further attacks that have not been ruled out by their opponents.

    Israel has people to protect. What some fucking dilettante B.A. Political Science has to say about the details if of little relevance to the real danger.

    How anyone can see the Palestinians, and their allies in any innocent light is beyond me, but again, the underdog fetish prevails, especially on the Internet: Home of the mentally ill.

    Overall, it’s not so much about Israel, but about its association with the U.S. that endears people to the Palestinian clusterfuck that was brought on by themselves, and their allies.

    All the while, the entire region falls further and further behind the rest of the world.

    Once again, it’s all about the Jews, and America.

  116. “Thanks for that in-depth explanation of the Palestinian mindset. I didn’t realize it was “archaic tribal ritual” that was the motivation for many Palestinians to resist Israel.”

    So, proposed genocide is now “resistance?”

    Here’s how you gain leverage in the debate: Support, unequivocally Israel’s right to exist.

    This has yet yo happen, and until it does happen, Israel has every right to be on pins and needles.

    It doesn’t matter what every single Palestinian wishes. The ones who make the decisions, and the ones who support those decisions are the ones who make policy. Israel has to deal with those people, since clearly the so called moderates don’t have any power to speak of, and likely never will.

  117. For the sake of reason:

    There are no playing games here (at least not for me). Just come out clean and say that it is okay to take someone else’s private property (by force, or en route to defending yourself) and not give it back. Also come out clean regarding the fact that those who were wronged, chances, were not be very happy about it. Chances are that there will be thugs, dictators, and really bad people who are going to hijack the cause of those wronged, promise them justice, and that those wronged will most likely, under the dire circumstances (and very little hope otherwise) succumb to these thugs (i.e., Hamasa, Amal, etc) as their only resort.

    When Israel returns the lands to its rightful owners, and treats all its citizens equally, I really think that all this talk about “pushing Israel into the sea” will go away. See my comment above at 11:50.

    I see nothing in this argument tat is fallacious or ad hominem.

  118. For the sake of reason:

    Your arguments are sooo out of fashion. Better come up with new ones.

    Look, I am the kind of Arab who won’t blame America or Israel only for the troubles of the ME. Any person who has been on H&R for some time can tell you that I place the blame pretty much on Arab dictators. But to claim that the Arabs are the root cause of the trouble in the ME is soooo lame that I do not think many people here will have sympathy for these hollow words. They are all to blame.

  119. FTSOR,

    How anyone can see the Palestinians, and their allies in any innocent light is beyond me, but again, the underdog fetish prevails, especially on the Internet: Home of the mentally ill.

    I don’t know anyone who sees “the Palestinians” in innocent light unless they have enough knowledge to be able to deconflate “Hamas” “Palestinian extremists” the “PA” and “the average Palestinian” and recognize that the actions of a minority do not make the majority guilty.

    Liberty is about individual responsibility.
    This requires that you do not inherit the sins of your father or your neighbor.

    Israel, as a nation, has a policy of collective punishment against the Palestinians for the actions of a minority of citizens. As a government they should be condemned for that policy. The Israeli people, however, are not the Israeli government(…they do, however, have the power to remove any government that does not work in their interest…) Likewise, Hamas and the PA are not the Palestinian people…(they have recently been given the power, in theory, to remove leaders that work against their interests).

    For most of the history of this conflict, however, Israel has been the governing body responsible for the Palestinians (who had no power to remove these leaders)…and, like it needs to take responsibility for how the govern Israeli citizens, it needs to take responsibility for its policies during most of this conflict. Those policies were/are against individual Palestinians, who were/are treated not as individuals, but as members of a group who deserves punishment due to the actions of a minority within their midst.

    As a result, I don’t see how anyone can see the policies of the Israeli government as entirely justified due to the innocent light of self-defense.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right…but that is a two way street.

  120. Val,

    As I understand it, Egypt and Israel have this peace treaty and good relations. Egypt agreed to help Israel isolate Hamas.-Neu Mejican

    Gaza strip was originally occupied by Egypt, then by Israel. Egypt agreed to patrol its border with Gaza to stop the importation of weapons. No wall/isollation was ever stipulated.-val

    I was unclear.
    Egypt recently agreed to help isolate Hamas due to their recent actions.

    This is separate from Egypts treaty with Israel.
    The treaty facilitated the cooperation, but did not stipulate anything about Hamas-as-controllers-of-Gaza since they were not in control at the time.

    Israel built the wall, iirc, not Egypt.

  121. People in Harlem are allowed to vote, move to Long Island, and drive on the roads.

    joe, Im confused, as far as I know there are no such restriction on Isrealy palestinians. You are talking about Palestinians in the occupied territories I take it. Or visitors/workers to Israel? Please clarify

    And they are allowed to buy and sell lands if they so wish. There are property laws that prevent non-Jews from buying lands from Jewish owners.

    Never heard of this before, so I cant comment. Are we talking about Israely citizens of Palestinian decent or something else entirely?

    Either way, I honestly feel that it makes light of the daily grind in Gaza, when you compare it to the problem of land transfer restrictions inside Israel

  122. When Israel returns the lands to its rightful owners, and treats all its citizens equally, I really think that all this talk about “pushing Israel into the sea” will go away. See my comment above at 11:50.

    Ali,

    Im sure you realize that the right of return will never be allowed. Israel will never return land to its rightful owners anymore then the US, Canada, Australia, all of S.America, etc.. will return their lands to the decendants of their respective indegenous populations. So what do u propose happens next? Let them grind it out till one gains the upper hand?

  123. IT’S ISRAELI, DAMMIT!

  124. Palestinian Sympathizer:

    Taking NPR at face value (yeah, I know, probably bad example) they said:

    “giant, happy, chaotic shopping spree.”

    That doesn’t sound like starving people breaking out of their open air prison.

  125. Hamas has been launching a steady stream of rocket attacks from Gaza onto Israeli border towns. When those attacks spiked recently, Israel imposed an almost-total closure on Gaza, causing outrage across the Arab world about a looming Gaza humanitarian crisis.

    Hmm, methinks Hamas is getting exactly what it wants?

  126. That doesn’t sound like starving people breaking out of their open air prison.

    How about hungry people breaking out of their open air prison?

  127. val,

    I was refering to Palestinians in the territories.

  128. There is no collective punishment, just collective deterrence. If Palestinians wish to avoid the troubles of Israel protecting its citizens then they can turn the terrorists amongst them over or at least stop supporting them. Until then, Israel should continue to perform the principal role of government, protecting its citizens.

  129. this thread shows exactly whats wrong with this country, all the colleges brainwash their students with pro-israel stuff so the palestinians always get screwed over with all the smart and educated people on the israel side

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