A Troubled Comparison

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There has been much analogizing Gaza to Northern Ireland and Hamas to the IRA in the blogosphere, including odd hypothetical comparisons between the deification of Michael Collins and, say, a bathetic  biopic of Hamas leader like Ahmed Yassin. The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland says that "If republicans and unionists—who once wished each other dead—can sit in government together, then surely Israelis and Palestinians are not fated to fight for ever." The selection of former Sen. George Mitchell as peace envoy to the Middle East suggests that Barack Obama sees something in the comparison too. Another hopeful Guardian columnist writes that Mitchell "will bring the same quiet determination to negotiations on the Israeli-Arab front that he did as Bill Clinton's intermediary in the Troubles." One wonders why Bill Clinton, who desperately tried to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians part of his legacy, didn't see Mitchell's potential in 1998 and ship him off to Jerusalem to prevent the second intifada.

But former Guardian Ireland correspondent Henry McDonald, author of the new book Gunsmoke and Mirrors: How Sinn Fein Dressed Up Defeat as Victory, says that while there are similarities between the Irish and Islamist "death cults" (his phrase), the differences are too great as to be useful. But first, the commonalities:

Groups like the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah seem to revel in the iconography of martyrdom. One of the most striking things you notice on a first visit for instance to the Shia heartlands of south Lebanon was the profusion of posters of fallen fighters and murals depicting their new status in a rainbowed paradise after-life of flowing fountains and doves along the walls of towns and villages where Hezbollah and the more openly pro-Syrian Amal were dominant. The iconic imagery, in terms of both tone and style, are almost exactly like those murals of the Irish hunger strikers and fallen IRA 'volunteers' that prior to the latter stages of the peace process covered the walls of west Belfast and Derry, even down to the ubiquitous beards. Moreover, the willingness of IRA and INLA prisoners to sacrifice themselves on hunger strike, to starve themselves to death in pursuit of political causes, seemed to equate with the self-immolaters who strap bombs to their bodies killing themselves as well as their enemies. But in fact this is where the comparisons end and the contrasts begin.

The differences are, alas, for a forthcoming post (so check back tomorrow), though he will doubtless underline the vast ideological and religious separations between the two conflicts—those that demand martyrdom on a scale much greater than anything the H-Block prisoners were capable of; that, in the case of Hamas, desire not just a favorable peace with the enemy but the total destruction of the enemy's state, as enshrined in its charter, etc. And just who are the Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley figures of the Israel-Palestine conflict?

One can only hope that the intractable problems of the Middle East can be solved by the new administration team and George Mitchell, but if they think that the current situation is at all analogous to Northern Ireland, where the IRA was effectively defeated by the time of the ceasefire, they best think again. It might be able to produce another Oslo-like agreement, but, as the Clinton administration discovered, the conditions of such accords are easier to create than they are to enforce.

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  1. Any attempt to find a useful parallel between Gaza and Northern Ireland is most likely wasted effort.

    But trying to “pacify” Gaza while refusing to deal directly with Hamas will be fruitless.

  2. I fully agree.

    I go on to predict that dealing directly with Hamas will be fruitless.

  3. “Irish and Islamist “death cults””

    You want to talk about death cults, check out the side that just killed 1300 people.

    And remember when the fighting was going on first week and so many Israel apologists were telling us that 70% of the casualties were Hamas, that Israel was waging the war so humanely, etc. Now we find out that about as many children were killed as Hamas fighters and the targets we now know included UN relief centers, dozens of schools and health centers and was referred to by the UN’s humanitarian chief after a visit as “extremely shocking.”

    Nothing like blowing up hundreds of women and children, who have also had their rights to trade and freedom of movement restricted by IDF gunpoint for months now, to make right leaning scum “libertarians” like Moynihan pleased as punch.

  4. http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKTRE50M52B20090123

    For the grisly details of the mass slaughter that the US allowed to happen (if we would have threatened cutting off the welfare we kick to Israel and supporting them diplomatically it would have stopped immediately).

  5. Isn’t Israel the one who even today celebrate the “death cult” of Masada?

  6. Of course the IRA — Islam Terrorist analogy is absolutely accurate and 100% spot on.

    Well, except that the Irish didn’t have a religion that reguired the murder or subjugation of all others.

    Oh, and the IRA never had a founding document that demanded the murder of all British everywhere in the world

    Oh, and the Irish never rejected a British offered that amounted to 99% of what the Irish asked for (the only thing that wasn’t offered by the Brits being the voluntary suicide of all Brits everywhere)

    And, the Irish never destroyed the farms, schools, power & water systems in their part of Ireland

    Oh, and the Irish women raised their children to adulthood istead of training them to wear suicide belts and aspire to kill themselves

    And the holy book of the Irish had as one of its main Commandments to tell the truth and another one was to not commit murder

    Uh, anything else, oh yeah, how about when there was an agreement between the Irish and the English, it was actually followed by the Irish.

    Other than those few small things, off course the situations are exactly the same

  7. “…where the IRA was effectively defeated by the time of the ceasefire…”

    This is enormously important and is a factor that is very often missed by a lot of the commentary. The Republicans were driven to cut a deal because a) they came to realise they couldn’t win and b) they had basically been hammered. The security forces weren’t in a position to wipe them out, but public opinion among the Catholic community was strongly in favour of a settlement, they’d lost most of their best men, they were finding it ever harder to recruit new blood and, most of all, British intelligence had them infiltrated up the wazoo to the point where the people in the command structure were turning against each other due to collapsing trust.

    As far as I can see, these characteristics don’t pertain in the Middle East. American help in Northern Ireland worked (to the extent it did – I think it’s fair to say that Clinton’s role has probably been overblown [and the role of people like John Major and Albert Reynolds underplayed]) because it involved acting as honest broker between two sides who, while still mutually suspicious, were fought out and genuinely set on cutting a deal (a deal, furthermore, that recognised rather than revised the territorial status quo). This is drastically different to the situation in the Middle East right now. That’s not to say it’s not worth a try, but there’s very little reason to be hopeful.

  8. Hamas doesn’t want any settlement short of being King Bully of the Playground. It may take them a while to get there but that’s okay. They’re having a good time in the meanwhile.

  9. Mark E says

    “And the holy book of the Irish had as one of its main Commandments to tell the truth and another one was to not commit murder”

    Is that the book which Moses brought down from the mountain and when he found out that Hebrews weren’t doing what he wanted he ordered his men to slaughter 3,000 of them?

  10. Rand was on to something with her dislike of bearded men.

  11. And the holy book of the Irish had as one of its main Commandments to tell the truth and another one was to not commit murder

    You know, there are valid objections to be raised against a comparison of Hamas and the IRA.

    The peaceful and moral nature of the Old Testament is not one of those objections, however.

  12. Just so your readers know, the second part of Henry McDonald’s series will be published on Monday 26th January, and the final part a day or two after at http://blog.z-word.com

  13. “Nothing like blowing up hundreds of women and children, who have also had their rights to trade and freedom of movement restricted by IDF gunpoint for months now, to make right leaning scum “libertarians” like Moynihan pleased as punch.”

    The IDF points out that most of those killed were Hamas people. And many of the Hamas people were dressed as civilians (another war crime by the Muslims).

    MNG (Mr. Nazi Guy), as a supporter of Islamic terrorism against Jews and G-d knows who else, is not one to preach to us about killing civilians.

    p.s. Hamas using even their own civilians as shields is also a war crime, along with the many many rockets they shoot into Israel. Each rocket shot to hit civilians is also a war crime.

    It is hoped that Ohlmert’s Kadima will lose and the Likud will take power and not be so corrupt as to stop the incursion into Hamastan (Gaza) just because the Arab kid starts his inauguration.

  14. I read Mr. Moynihan in that terrible website, Jewcy.

    Mr. Moynihan is not a bad guy IMHO, but he is still in denial about what Islam is.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  15. Underzog there is a search mechanism in the right hand corner of your screen for H&R. If you can find one instance of me supporting “Islamic terrorism against Jews” here on H&R then you might not be so full of crap. I condemn Hamas for what they are: evil thugs. The difference between you and I is that I apply my moral principles to the conduct of both groups, and find them both
    wanting.

    The IDF killed hundreds of children and over a hundred women. It bombed dozens of UN sites-schools, food centers, etc. Of course the IDF claims that every place they hit had Hamas boogeymen hiding in the basement, that’s what the IDF always says. It’s not very remarkable. What is remarkable is that anyone would be expected to confuse that with anything like the truth.

    Mark E, your comments amount to some pretty profound ignorance. That the Palestinians were ever offered “99%” of what they asked for is absurd enough, much less that they were offered it and turned it down. You have no idea wtf you are talking about.

  16. I don’t think the similarities ultimately hold up to scrutiny.
    That is, they are internally contradictory.

    The demographic analogy would be that N. Ireland is equal to the whole of Israel – the majority in both places being of a different ethnic/religious background, and not wanting to be absorbed into the larger state. If you go this way Ireland is analgous to the larger Arab region – the original holder of the territory that was then occupied by an invader (also Britain) that changed the demographics. But that breaks down because Ireland is the smaller weaker territory, not the larger more populous one. Also, we know the settlement in N. Ireland was to recognize that the majority of the people were protestant and unionist, so the catholic nationalist faction had no moral case. By analogy, that would mean recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Hamas is not at the point of recognizing that the Jews in Israel are the majority of the people there now and are entitled to self-determination.

    On the other hand, you could analogize Gaza to N. Ireland. But then the demographics are all wrong. Gaza isn’t a majority-Israeli piece of territory that the Palestinians are trying to reclaim. So, it’s less analgous to the Troubles, and more like the 1916 war of independence. Or maybe what might have happened if Ireland had actually gotten control of Ulster back in 1921, with the majority protestant population fighting for independence. Except that doesn’t work either cause they aren’t the native inhabitants, but the imports.

    Or maybe … to take another twist on the 1916 analogy, that they’re like the anti-treaty IRA, who were fighting to reclaim ALL of Ireland, even the parts (Israel) that are majority protestant and unionist.

    By that anlogy, there’s about another 80 years to go in this conflict …

  17. “Rand was on to something with her dislike of bearded men.”

    Bearded women on the other hand…

  18. says that while there are similarities between the Irish and Islamist “death cults” (his phrase)

    death cults?! This is enough for me to ignore anything Henry McDonald says ..

  19. The UK don’t treat the Irish like the Israelis treat the Palestinians. Catholics had equal rights as of 1829 or so. They were represented in the Parliament before the formation of the Irish Free State. In Northern Ireland there was discrimination against Catholics, but the British government has worked against that. An Irish Catholic in Northern Ireland is equal under the law and in fact with Ulster Protestants. However, the Palestinians cannot even return to their land.

  20. I think the better comparison is with the Irish republican extremists and the Zionist Jews. Both cling to a history that is more myth than fact.

  21. “The selection of former Sen. George Mitchell as peace envoy to the Middle East suggests that Barack Obama sees something in the comparison too.”

    Further evidence that Obama is as stupid as I thought he was.

    The goal of Hamas has always been the complete destruction of Isreal. They will never abandon that goal – even if they explicitly state otherwise themselves as some point down the road.

    The IRA was not seeking to destroy England.

  22. Don’t bullshit me, MNG (Mr. Nazi Guy)!

    You condemn Hamas for its agression and the Jews for fighting back (however incompletely). That means Jews are only noble and good when they die before their aggressors.

    Anti-Semites these day so hate it when the Jews fight back and you’re a prime example of that with your deceitful and ignorant whining in this thing.

    I’ve read your refuse enough to hear you complain about Israel Israel ISRAEL.

    While the corrupt Ohlmert basically launched this incursion to get Mrs. Livni elected, I predict it won’t work. A stronger government than Kadima will take over and they’ll really handle the job.

  23. There will be no peace because the Zionist leadership doesn’t want any.

  24. There will be no peace

    This one part we don’t need to argue about. But all the rest of it we can have loads of fun with.

    You lily livered lizard, you. I blow you up in my mind! A billion tiny bits you are.

  25. If the US is arming one side and Iran the other It makes sense that Iran would be involved in some way in the any negotiations.

    From here it looks like there’s fuck all carrots you could give Iran to reign Hamas in other than Uranium but maybe that’s just our media.

  26. MNG,

    It’s a stretch of the imagination to call Israel a “death cult”. Israel dropped pamphlets on neighborhoods ahead of time to warn Gazans when troops would be in their area. They went in to destroy the tunnels that Hamas uses for smuggling rockets into Gaza. Hamas builds the entrances of those tunnels in homes, so Israel targets those homes. Israel call up the risidents of the homes before bombing the homes to allow the people time to escape.

    Israel does it’s best to minimize civillian casualties, but it is difficult with Hamas opperating from behind civilians. Hamas agents fled to UN facilities and shot at Israeli soldiers from there. Israel returned fire, as they are allowed to do under international law. Hamas acts with plenty of bravo when Israel turns the other cheek, but as soon as Iraeli troops entered Gaza, Hamas agents went into hiding in hospitals and schools. Once Israel left, Hamas officials turned these same buildings into torture centers that they used on Fatah memebers in Gaza. Hamas rounded up Fatah members, accused them of “collborating with Israel” and shot them in the legs. You profess so much concern over Gazans, yet you are silent about how Hamas labels any peace activists in Gaza a “collaborator” and gives them a gruesome fate. The things Hamas does to political opponents in Gaza are ten times worst than waterboarding, yet you give Hamas a pass.

  27. Regarding US aid to Israel, that aid was promised in return for Israel withdrawing from the Sinai Peninsula. Telling another country what to do is costly. Aid is the price of influence. The anti-Israel crowd got their wish last week when Rice signed memorandum of understanding with Israel. We convinced Israel to withdraw from Gaza by promising to help intercept weapons smuggled into Gaza. So, thanks to arm chair moralists who like to tell other countries what to do, the US in now even more entangled in the situation.

  28. shorter Underzog: “If you don’t fully support Israel in their fight against animal Muslims, you’re a racist Reomite!”

  29. Here’s an idea: stop US aid to both sides. If they want to kill each other (and they do), let them pay for the rockets and bombs with their own money and with the freely donated money of their respective fanatics around the world.

  30. DJF | January 23, 2009, 8:51pm | #

    Mark E says

    “And the holy book of the Irish had as one of its main Commandments to tell the truth and another one was to not commit murder”

    Is that the book which Moses brought down from the mountain and when he found out that Hebrews weren’t doing what he wanted he ordered his men to slaughter 3,000 of them?

    That’s a rather glib summary of Korach’s rebellion (Numbers 16 & 17). If you look it up, you’ll see that Korach demanded Moses and Aaron to step down and let him lead the nation. Moses put the decision in G-d’s hand, telling Korach and his followers to offer sacrifices and see if G-d accepts them. G-d sided with Moses and caused the land to open up and swallow Korach and his supporters. If anything, the story tells how leaders should put their faith in G-d to quell political opponents rather than striking at them violently like Hamas does.

  31. BakedPenguin | January 24, 2009, 8:35am | #

    Here’s an idea: stop US aid to both sides.

    I second that motion. I’ll send donations to Israel. The tax payers shouldn’t be forece to support other countries. I particarly don’t like my tax dollars going to the PA, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebannon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, and Yemen. The census bureau just came out the the 2009 numbers.

  32. MNG | January 23, 2009, 10:38pm | #

    Underzog there is a search mechanism in the right hand corner of your screen for H&R. If you can find one instance of me supporting “Islamic terrorism against Jews” here on H&R then you might not be so full of crap. I condemn Hamas for what they are: evil thugs. The difference between you and I is that I apply my moral principles to the conduct of both groups, and find them both
    wanting.

    Thanks for realizing that Hamas is bad. Next time could you mention it without the reminders from me and underzog?

  33. Underzog,

    I looked at one of the links you posted, Faith Freedom. It had an informative post about how communists supported Muslim dictatorships. Still, I think it’s important to keep in mind the Muslims who are working for peace, freedom, and democracy. Arabs for Israel is run by such Muslims.

  34. jtuf, I believe the national aid* just enables idiotic behavior. Israel will continue to believe they can have settlements that further encroach on Palestinian land, and the US won’t care. The Palestinians believe they can continue to fight against this by rocketing / suicide bombing civilians.

    If they were left alone, with the knowledge that no one was going to help them, I honestly believe they could come to a compromise.

    *private citizens, of course, should be free to give wherever they wish.

  35. “jtuf says

    That’s a rather glib summary of Korach’s rebellion (Numbers 16 & 17). If you look it up, you’ll see that Korach demanded Moses and Aaron to step down and let him lead the nation. ”

    No, Numbers 16 & 17 was a different slaughter. I said when Moses came down from the mountain, that is obviously Exodus, specifically Exodus 32. That is when Moses ordered the Levites to slaughter 3,000 who did not worship as Moses said they should worship. Though Moses did spare his brother from the crime of leading the 3,000 in that same prohibited worship.

    Obviously you need to read your Torah more since you don’t even know when Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 commandments. You better read up quickly or your “G-d” may find that you are not worshiping the way he ordered. Have you burned any meat lately to create a pleasing smell for “G-d”?

  36. jtuf
    I was hoping particularly you would show up, because that tripe you were saying a few weeks ago is increasingly hard to maintain.

    “Israel does it’s best to minimize civillian casualties, but it is difficult with Hamas opperating from behind civilians.”

    How do you know this? Because the IDF says it? I mean, the IDF intentionally kept all press away from the area (despite a contrary order from the Israeli Supreme Court that issued in the first days of the fighting). Neutral observers like the UN, HRW, the Center for Palestine contradict what the IDF says about its humanitarian measures. The IDF immediately said upon the news of their bombing that first UN building with refugees huddled in it “that Hamas retreated from the building” then they went back on that and said it was simply a tragic mistake (when UN officials said they could contest the claim). You should check your credulity before buying guillibly into the claims of a very interested party here. I mean, despite these “humanitarian” measures used it seems more children alone than Hamas members were killed.

    You do know the Germans said they conducted WWII in the most humanitarian and gentlemanly of ways, right?

  37. MNG,

    You condemn Hamas for instigating aggression, and you condemn Israel for defending itself from that aggression.

    There is a difference in your positions, no matter if you are honest enough to acknowledge it or not.

  38. jtuf
    I comment on pretty much every Israeli-Palestine thread, and on every one I have immediately pointed out that Hamas is a bunch of thugs, whether “reminded” or not. It’s such an obvious fact. Since no one is defending Hamas I’m not sufe what your point is.

    On the other hand, can you point out ANYTHING which you are willing to say the IDF has done that is immoral? Because I have yet to see it.

    Your foriegn aid numbers are interesting though. Notice in grants and credits we give Israel about four times more than Jordan, Yemen, PA and Lebanon COMBINED. Wow, Israel is quite the welfare queen, eh? Maybe if we put some conditions on that money, like don’t use f-16’s to bomb heavily populated urban areas in, you know, a “humanitarian” fighting style (can anyone imagine England using F-16’s on Catholic neighborhoods in N. Ireland killing hundreds upon hundreds of people? No, I can’t either).

  39. Nooge
    I do not condemn Israel for defending itself against aggression. In past threads I’ve pointed out that complained nary a once about the limited and more sensible strikes Israel conducted in response to Hamas rocket attacks in the years before the current IDF slaughter began (these limited attacks btw killed 245 Palestinians last year alone, compared to 19 Israelis killed by rocket fire).

    What I do condemn is when Israel engages in a disporportionate slaughter certainly likely to cause an amazingly high number of civilian casualities in response to those rocket attacks, which they just did.

  40. In addition to 245 Palestinians killed by limited attacks prior to the recent slaughter I hope everyone is aware that literally THOUSANDS of Palestinians have been kidnapped and are being held by the IDF (oh, I mean “arrested”, interesting eh, Israeli apologists insist that Israel doesn’t “rule over” the poor Palestinians [because then they would have to acknowledge they rule over them via force and with no consent of the ruled, kind of egregious to anyone who has read the Declaration of Independence] but then they insist that the thousands of Palestinians have been “arrested” not “kidnapped” at IDF gunpoint). About 1,000 of these Palestinians got no trial at all yet are being held. Yeah that IDF, human rights bleeding hearts to the end!

  41. Here is some typical IDF fun.

    They used white phosophorous shells in Lebanon two years ago, despite their being banned by many international agreements because their use in high civilian areas is so dangerous. At first they denied it. Then there were these investigations. Haartz eventually found that yes, they were used and the IDF just admitted it.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/777549.html

    Here we go again. There were reports of their use in Gaza. The IDF denied it. Outside agencies are investigating and now the IDF says they too will investigate just to see if any of their personnel wrongly used these weapons. Sigh. But at least we know that before they used them they probably called up the residents and warned them, I mean we know that because the IDF says they did.

    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=241009&Sn=WORL&IssueID=31310

    Sheesh. When it comes to Israel normally sane people go completely crazy in their reasoning. “Libertarians” that support Israel start the most amazing mental gymnastics to support collective punishment (bulldozing the houses of family members of offenders), collective restrictions on trade and movement (blockades), administrative detentions of hundreds, and forcible rule over hundreds of thousands without the latter’s consent being counted at all (the occupation of the territories). These are people that would have a cow if Castro restricted cell phones on the island of Cuba (how many cell phones can a Gazan buy right now?) or if the U.S. government called for one person to bear the brunt of one dollar for the actions of another, but when it comes to those wacky Arabs they go off on some bizarre positions…

  42. Why are Americans getting themselves so worked up over foreigners across the ocean? I’m not being flip, honest question. Is anyone on here even Arab or Jewish?

  43. Palestine doesn’t even have any good natural resources. No oil, no gold or anything. Why do we care?

  44. I particarly don’t like my tax dollars going to the PA, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebannon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, and Yemen.

    I don’t see Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in any of the 2 lists you posted. I don’t think they receive any aide (military or otherwise) unless the cost of running military bases is considered “aide”

  45. BakedPenguin | January 24, 2009, 9:55am | #

    jtuf, I believe the national aid* just enables idiotic behavior. Israel will continue to believe they can have settlements that further encroach on Palestinian land, and the US won’t care. The Palestinians believe they can continue to fight against this by rocketing / suicide bombing civilians.

    If they were left alone, with the knowledge that no one was going to help them, I honestly believe they could come to a compromise.

    *private citizens, of course, should be free to give wherever they wish.

    Agreed.

  46. MNG Said:

    “How do you know this? Because the IDF says it? I mean, the IDF intentionally kept all press away from the area (despite a contrary order from the Israeli Supreme Court that issued in the first days of the fighting).”

    So any facts that don’t fit your view are just lies and part of some Jewish conspiracy?

  47. anon | January 24, 2009, 1:06pm | #

    I particarly don’t like my tax dollars going to the PA, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebannon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, and Yemen.

    I don’t see Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in any of the 2 lists you posted. I don’t think they receive any aide (military or otherwise) unless the cost of running military bases is considered “aide”

    I posted three links here. Two of them in comment directed at underzog. The other in a separate comment about foreign aid. There the foriegn aid link again. It’s from the census bureau 2009 Statistical Abstracts. The link brings you to three charts. The third one, “Foriegn Economic and Military Aid by Major Recipient”, has the list of countries who recieve foreign aid. The census bureau calls it “aid”, so I don’t think they are talking about the rents we pay for bases.


  48. So any facts that don’t fit your view are just lies and part of some Jewish conspiracy?”

    It is more than that with MNG (Mr. Nazi Guy). He parrots arab propaganda about the use of Israeli phosphorous never mentioning that the use of phosphorous to illuminate dark places is NOT a violation of international law.

    But keeping in the best Nazi/Muslim turnspeak propaganda tradition, MNG accuses Israel of what his Hamas buddies did when they filled one of their rockets with phosphorous to burn and scar the Jews of Sderot; etc.

  49. I opened the Excel version of the foriegn aid list. The most recent figures available are from 2006. Kuwait (line 122) got 43.8 million in economic assistance and 3.4 million in millitary assistance. Qatar (line 164) got 1.3 million, all as economic assistance. Saudi Arabia (line 170) got 1.8 million, all as economic assistance.

  50. People like McDonald are funny.

    Twenty years ago, he was telling us that Gerry Adams was an unreconstructed terrorist with whom negotiations would be fruitless.

    Now, he’s telling us that there’s no way any Palestinians could be as realistic and statesmanlike as Gerry Adams.

    And just who are the Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley figures of the Israel-Palestine conflict? would be a much more impressive argument if not for the above point.

  51. BDB: “Palestine doesn’t even have any good natural resources. No oil, no gold or anything. Why do we care?”

    The more important question is why do the Muslims care about a country the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey.

    The Muslims view the Jews as a very inferior people (descendants of apes and pigs is their common refrain) and such an inferior people cannot have a country — certainly not one surrounded by Arabs/Muslims.

    Also, Israel stands in the way of the attempts of the Muslims such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran; etc., of establishing their world wide caliphate.

    You Libertarians may dump Israel, but it will not make you or me in the U.S. any safer.

  52. Israel does it’s best to minimize civillian casualties

    I always see these assertions about how much the IDF tries to minimize civilian casualties.

    Then I see the numbers.

    Either the IDF is the most incompetent military on the face of the Earth, or this is bullshit.

  53. MGN,

    I oppose the US government giving foriegn regardless of the amount. It’s the principle, not the quantity. Foriegn aid through government creates resentments and fights over the aid in the receiving country. It also turns the receiving government’s efforts away from benifiting it’s people and toward kissing up to the US. When the people of the receiving coutry get upset at their government, they also get angry at the US for funding that government. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s sister organization in Egypt, would be set on destroying the US over the 1,786.5 million (about 1.8 billion) we give Egypt even if we cut all ties with Israel.

  54. The only people who have anything to fear when Underzog is here are decent, thoughtful Zionists, because she makes them all look like genocidist savages.

    SOOOOOO glad she’s not on my side.

  55. “So any facts that don’t fit your view are just lies and part of some Jewish conspiracy?”

    Ur, you have to establish them as facts, and I was expressing how astonished I am at your tendency to use “because the IDF says they do” to establish these things as facts.

    BDB
    I care so much because 1300 people is a lot of people. Really, nations don’t just kill 1300 people on a daily basis, it’s a big deal. I also care so much because unlike many awful killings (like in Darfur) the US, which I am part owner of, could have stopped it on day one.

    Underzog
    Yeah, Haartz is Arab propaganda. Oh, and since the IDF admitted using it Lebanon in 2006 I guess now the IDF is in on the Arab propaganda. I never know if you are one of the dumbest posters in the universe or some clever subtle Urkoboldian performance art.

  56. But joe, the IDF says it!

    So it must be true!

    Who’s side are you on, anyway?

  57. This idea that the IRA had been defeated, but Hamas hadn’t, is laughable on its face.

    When was the last time the UK killed several hundred IRA fighters?

    When was the last time the entire Catholic population of Ireland was herded into bantustans?

    I remember the IRA carrying out a coordinated Christmastime series of bombing in the LONDON subway system in the mid-1990s. Hamas counts it a great victory if they can manage to knock down an outhouse with a rocket, or a single idiot almost gets close to the door of a bus before setting of a single bomb vest.

    As for infilitration, you’ve got to be kidding me: the Israelis have been getting inside information from Palestinians for years, from one of the best informant networks in the world.

  58. MNG: “What I do condemn is when Israel engages in a disporportionate slaughter certainly likely to cause an amazingly high number of civilian casualities in response to those rocket attacks, which they just did.”

    What’s the problem, Mr. Nice Guy? You haven’t seen enough Jewish bodies?

    Pssst… Click here

    Feel better now, buddy?

  59. What’s the problem, Mr. Nice Guy? You haven’t seen enough Jewish bodies?

    No, dimwit, he’s seen too many Palestinian bodies.

    Funny how the idea of someone wanting less death never occurs to you.

    But why would it? Less death means less war porn for you to look at, and think it makes you a tough guy.

  60. Joe: “The only people who have anything to fear when Underzog is here are decent, thoughtful Zionists, because she makes them all look like genocidist savages.

    SOOOOOO glad she’s not on my side.”

    JOE, calling a man a woman may be a big insult in your Arab societies, but I’m not all that offended.

    In fact, I think it’s kind of funny.

  61. Now not only is Haartz and the IDF Arabic, so is joe.

    Hilarious.

  62. joe | January 24, 2009, 1:47pm | #

    Israel does it’s best to minimize civillian casualties

    I always see these assertions about how much the IDF tries to minimize civilian casualties.

    Then I see the numbers.

    Either the IDF is the most incompetent military on the face of the Earth, or this is bullshit.

    What are you comparing the numbers too? The US has a couple million active millitary personnel. The navy has summary statistics on war deaths. Table 5 lists deaths from 1980 to 2004 by year and cause. The death by accident figures for the 1980’s are:

    1980 1,556
    1981 1,524
    1982 1,494
    1983 1,413
    1984 1,293
    1985 1,476
    1986 1,199
    1987 1,172
    1988 1,080
    1989 1,000

    By your logic, America was wantonly killing it’s own millitary personnel in the 1980’s. Battles are messy and accidents happen even when soldiers take care against them. We can see that Israel takes as much care to avoid Gazan civillian deaths as the US takes to avoid American deaths.

  63. joe
    I remember the same folks saying “well of course you can’t bargain with Arafat and Fatah, those guys just are’nt amenable to reason.”

    Now tough action against Gaza is often justified by saying it will help get Fatah back in power so that we can have a more reasonable bargaining partner.

    The US and the IDF kept acting in ways that ignored how they were undermining more reasonable Palestinian spokemen, and now they’ve got nutty thugs like Hamas to deal with…It’s a tragedy all the way around, an all too avoidable one…

  64. MNG | January 24, 2009, 1:52pm | #

    “So any facts that don’t fit your view are just lies and part of some Jewish conspiracy?”

    Ur, you have to establish them as facts, and I was expressing how astonished I am at your tendency to use “because the IDF says they do” to establish these things as facts.

    The same rules of debate should apply to all. Prove that your “facts” are true.

  65. By the way, I’ve never cited the IDF as my source.

  66. So, to get back to the beginning, how do you know the IDF calls up the houses of those they are getting ready to bomb prior to the bombing? That they take especial care to wage war in this humanitarian way? That the buildings they hit really had Hamas boogeymen in the basement launching rockets?

    How do you know that?

    And your table you posted to joe about. You are counting the fact that in an army of several million strong that hundreds of those members die a year, from accidents (like car accidents on base), from suicides, from illnesses as proof of, what?

  67. It’s not about “proving my or your facts are true.” I’ve linked to sources for the factual underpinnings of my statements. Then we can argue, for example, whether the various figures cited by the UN or HRW or whatever are correct or not.

    But you just show up and say “hey, the IDF is doing everything it can to fight this war humanely! It calls up the areas by phone before it bombs them and warns them, it only strikes houses that have Hamas boogeymen in it, etc”. And I want to know, what makes you think that is true?

  68. Brother, there is some pretty furious Googling going on right now!

  69. “Throughout the recent war in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) insisted that it took extraordinary care to spare civilians. But it then prevented journalists and human rights monitors from entering Gaza during the conflict to independently verify this claim.

    Now that Human Rights Watch and other observers have been let in, it has become clear that hundreds of Palestinian civilians were not the only casualties of the fighting. So was the credibility of the IDF.” Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch

    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/22/incendiary-idf-kenneth-roth

  70. MNG,

    I get most of my info from http://www.jpost.com . The articles are a few days old now, so you might need a subscription to see them. I didn’t question the UN claims out of politness at first, but since you bring up credibility, I don’t find the UN or its agencies credible.

  71. I don’t consider Human Rights Watch a reliable source of information about Israel.

  72. The UN is easily as credible a resource as an Israeli newspaper jtuf, when looking at a war involving, well, Israel. I guess I could link to Al Jazera…

    That said, I think they all (JP, Haartz, UN and HRW) have a great deal of credibility to be honest.

  73. “So any facts that don’t fit your view are just lies and part of some (anti)Jewish conspiracy?”

  74. JOE, calling a man a woman may be a big insult in your Arab societies, but I’m not all that offended.

    That’s al-joe to you, bub.

    Allah-joe-bar! Allah-joe-bar!

    jtuf,

    What are you comparing the numbers too?

    I’m comparing the numbers of civilian deaths they inflict to the number of combatant deaths they inflict. Duh. How else would one draw a conclusion about the level of care taken to minimize civilian casualties.

    By your logic, America was wantonly killing it’s own millitary personnel in the 1980’s. That doesn’t come within a light year of making sense. Because the American military used to suffer lots of accidental deaths, that shows Israel is taking super-duper care to minimize civilian deaths? What the hell are you talking about?

  75. I don’t consider Human Rights Watch a reliable source of information about Israel.

    Of course you don’t.

    But the statements a nation’s military puts out in the middle of a war about how awesomely decent its tactics are – that’s well-nigh unassailable.

  76. Well, we agree the Jerusalem Post is reliable. I’ll give Haartz the benefit of the doubt, since I haven’t read enough of it to judge. HRW was to quick to make a ruling on the white phosphorous claims. It takes months to have a thorough investigation. That tells me that they’re more concerned with a quick press release than accurate reporting. The UN hasn’t been a reliable organization for years. This is the world body that recently outlawed insulting religion.

  77. Joe,

    Like I said before, I don’t read IDF statements. I get most of my info on Israel from http://www.jpost.com .

  78. Underzog, are you Jewish? No? Then why the fuck do you care?

  79. Seriously, is anybody on this thread Israeli or Palestinian, or hell, even just plain Jewish or Arab? Anyone?

  80. Some other thoughts …

    This analogy sorta depends on what you think Hamas’s goals are. Wether you think doing away with Israel is window dressing or the whole point. The IRA wasn’t trying to wipe out all of the UK. But N. Ireland is mostly protestant and unionist, so it really makes no sense to claim that it’s analgous to Gaza.

    Again, it makes a lot more sense if you think of it as the Irish war of independence, rather than the Troubles, with Fatah playing the part of the Irish Free State and Hamas as the anti-treaty IRA.

    The Troubles would be more like what’s probably going to happen in Israel in 40 years when the Arab minority gets big and starts demanding civil rights. But that’s down the road at some point after a two-state solution. A key provision in the Good Friday Agreement was Ireland giving up it’s territorial claim to N. Ireland and recognizing that N. Ireland would remain part of the UK until it’s citizens voted otherwise. Without a stable independent Ireland that wanted peace, it wouldn’t have been possible.

  81. BDB, the Gaza-Israel conflict is in the news and people all over the world are protesting about it. I agree that the World press pays too much attention to it. Regional conflicts in Spain, Greece, India, Sir Lanka, the Phillipines and Sudan don’t get near as much attention. The press’s foccus on Israel started in the 1970’s with the PLO hijacking of Western airplanes. This press response only encouraged terrorists to keep targeting Westerners.

  82. Jpost often has stories like this “The Israeli military says it called the houses before it bombed…” So you are indirectly getting that kind of nonsense claim from the IDF.

    HRW explains their evidence and deductions so we can all judge. They are a well respected organization, in fact ironically Moynihan links to them to show how bad Chavez and Castro are. Just not for Israel though.

  83. BDB
    Do you know of any other nation that we could leverage as much as Israel (that we give equivalent amounts of money and diplomatic support too that we could with) that has killed 1300 people lately?

    That’s why it’s a big deal.

  84. “Regional conflicts in Spain, Greece, India, Sir Lanka, the Phillipines and Sudan don’t get near as much attention.”

    Regional conflicts in Spain and Greece don’t result in so many deaths. But you’re just wrong about Sudan, it gets a ton of coverage. You know, George Clooney, Don Cheadle and all that…

    As to Lanka, most people don’t even know that place exists.

  85. Here’s an idea: stop US aid to both sides.

    Motion passes by acclamation.

    If I may offer two further motions:

    (1) That the US stop all foreign aid payments to any country whatsoever except in the case of natural disaster.

    (2) That the US maintain a resolute silence about the Israeli-Arab conflict, except to condemn those not a party to the conflict who attempt to interfere. Yeah, I’m looking at you, UN.

  86. I agree w/RC Dean.

  87. Great idea R C Dean.

  88. Does the UN get to be a party when it has a few dozen of its properties blown to hell and some of its personnel killed by the IDF?

    Also, isn’t it ironic that Israel supporters often point to the UN Partition Plan (follow the deed: Turkey-England-UN-Israel) as establishing the legitimacy of the State of Israel’s founding, but then rag on the UN for not turning a blind eye to Israel’s transgressions?

    Just saying.

  89. I’d vote for RC’s motion in a heartbeat as opposed to the status quo, but I’d rather see one where we spend some time and effort fixing the humanitarian and human rights debacle that we helped create in dumping money uncritically into the IDF and providing some of the world alienating, nuttiest diplomatic support for one side in a conflict one could think of in recent times…

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

  90. Good point here, Hazel:

    Again, it makes a lot more sense if you think of it as the Irish war of independence, rather than the Troubles, with Fatah playing the part of the Irish Free State and Hamas as the anti-treaty IRA.

    McDonald makes the mistake of thinking that Hamas is the equivalent of the Irish people, rather than the equivalent of the “Real IRA” group. Of course, you can see this shortcoming is his question “Who is the Palestinian equivalent of Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley,” as if the SDLP and David Trimble never existed. Hamas is the equivalent of Paisley, and of the hardline, anti-peace IRA leadership – who, let’s all remember, were unable to block a peace deal in Ireland.

    And also too, how is the UN not a party to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? The UN created Israel! The UN tried to create Palestine at the same time. The UN was a party to this conflict before there were Israelis to be a party.

  91. MNG: “I’d vote for RC’s motion in a heartbeat as opposed to the status quo….”

    Whoopeee doooooo. I’m so impressed with your opinions /sarcasm

  92. Unzerdog:

    The IDF points out that most of those killed were Hamas people. And many of the Hamas people were dressed as civilians (another war crime by the Muslims).

    Some of them were even disguised as toddlers, the devious bastards.

    Since Moynihan forgot to post his disclaimer, I’ll add it for him:

    “Senior Editor Michael C. Moynihan has travelled though Israel on a program sponsored by the American Israel Education Fund, a travel program for journalists sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

  93. I don’t think your Muslim terrorist side should preach to me about dead toddlers.

    Your heroes target civillians. These are war crimes which you and Mansour Nidal Gholumb (MNG) approve by your refusal to criticize them (unless prodded by Jtuff or myself.

  94. Ok, who is playing “Underzog”? Fess up.

  95. Incidentally, testimony or even photographic evidence produced by is deceitful, just like the cheerleaders for Islamic terrorism on this Hit & Run board.

    I am familiar with their fautography in Lebanon. And the Jawa report even did a humorous take on the Islamic lies about Israel when the Jewish state tries to defend itself: All your fakes are belong to us.

  96. I’ve read about…I’ve read about Mr. Nice Guy. I don’t trust him. He’s…he’s not…he’s…uh…

    He’s an Arab.

  97. The video in that hyperlink in my last post was taken down. Probably due to the anti-Semitic creeps in this Hit and Run board.

    I’m dealing with real slime here. If Jews don’t have the right to enter a bus at one stop and be in one piece the next stop, why should they have the right to do satire on you tube?

    Scumbags.

  98. That is not the real underzog:
    The real underzog likes to toss accusations of Roehm support quite freely.

    This one is probably some Islamic Jihad supporter that is trying to make Israelis and their supporters look stupid.

  99. I prefer the video version of MNG talking about Israel.

  100. Joe, that 9:58 post wins.

  101. I think it shows the weakness of pro-Israeli apologists’ arguments that they lump any and all criticism of Israeli policy together. Jimmy Carter=Khomeni=The Grand Imperial Wizard. It’s the kind of weak position that crumbles under even the slightest examination, and these guys know it. It’s why dissenting voices to the current Israeli love fest among our politicians and pundits must be savagely attacked as anti-Semitism and such. But the American people are wising up to that kind of crying Wolf.

  102. Many Arabs and Muslims are pro-Israel. Arround a million Arabs Muslims live in Israel as citizens. Half the Jewish population of Israel is descended from immigrants from Arab lands. Brigitte Gabriel, an American born in Lebbanon, is a staunch defender of Israel in her books. Kosov, a Muslim majority country, supports Israel.

  103. “The real underzog likes to toss accusations of Roehm support quite freely.

    This one is probably some Islamic Jihad supporter that is trying to make Israelis and their supporters look stupid.”

    how do you tell the difference? running around shouting “you’re all a bunch of gay nazis!” is at home in either scenario.

  104. Your heroes target civillians. These are war crimes which you and Mansour Nidal Gholumb (MNG) approve by your refusal to criticize them (unless prodded by Jtuff or myself.

    There are no heroes in these bloodbaths, or if there are, they aren’t armed, and we’ll never know their names.

  105. MNG,

    To what extent do you believe Hamas is morally responsible for Palestinian civilian casualties as a result of conducting rocket attacks from near schools, hospitals, etc? I mean, it always seemed to me that Israel is not responsible for a lot of those deaths. Israel uses a lot of heavy handed tactics, but they have evolved over a long time in response to some very dirty crap played by the resistance.

  106. domo
    What we do know is that the IDF will often say they blew up some building “because” it was the site of an attack when in fact this turned out to not be true. Human Rights Watch and other groups conluded this after investigating such claims in the 2006 Lebanon war for example. Often we have the word of the IDF only that this is what goes on (they expressly kept any and all press from covering this latest slaughter).

    Now, having said that, let’s just get an answer from like every action film or show ever made: if the bad guy ran into a house full of people does the cop lop a bomb into the house and just say “well, it was the fault of the bad guy who ran into there?” Of course not, because then most people would have some serious questions about the good guy. That’s what I have about Israel’s actions. They undertook actions which were bound to create a great deal of innocent deaths (for crying out loud do you think an F-16 bombing is some kind of pinpoint attack?). And for that they are morally blameworthy.

    Of course that doesn’t absolve any cowardly Hamas fighters who purposely invite damage onto non-combatants in the manner you describe. But, as we learned in the schoolyards as kids, two wrongs don’t make any one side right. They make both wrong.

  107. “Predictably, the IDF holds Hamas wholly responsible for civilian casualties in Gaza, alleging that Hamas combatants stored weapons in mosques and fought from among civilians. Those allegations may or may not be true. Long experience, as during the 2006 war in Lebanon, shows that we must take such ritual IDF pronouncements with a grain of salt. We will not know exactly how Hamas waged the war until human rights monitors can conclude the on-the-ground investigations that they are only just beginning because of the IDF’s earlier refusal to let them into Gaza.” Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch

  108. Domo
    One more thing. Only one of the two sides do we send billions of dollars to. Only one of the two sides have we for the past few decades used our Security Council UN veto to squelch any international action against. Only one side did our Congress, in a vote of something like 420-5, heap praise on for the latest actions.

    As I’ve said umpteenth times Hamas is a bunch or irrational, evil thugs. But we already denounce them diplomatically, cut off aid to, and outlaw the giving of any assistance to (as we should). One reason I don’t denounce Hamas all day long and tend to focus criticism on the IDF is because we already treat Hamas much like we should. It’s the bizarre uncritical acceptance and fostering of bad Israeli behavior that irks me the most.

  109. MNG,

    Coupla things. Human rights watch – ok. I guess they’ll investigate at some point. I doubt the testimonies they get from the Palestinian survivors will be very impartial. IDF won’t say shit except for boilerplate. Which doesn’t leave us with much information to go off. FWIW, Human rights watch loves the underdog – I won’t accuse them of being anti-israeli, I think it’s more of a bias of their perspective toward condemning state actors, rather than non-state actors.

    As far as the cop/hostage analogy. It’s not as apt as I would like. For one, this is not a police action. I have yet to hear anyone argue convincingly that more proportional responses would be effective as a self defense strategy. I too, would like to see the IDF use less egregious strategies, and I think they could probably get by without using WP, etc. I also get pretty ticked that the equally egregious tactics of Hamas don’t get as much press.

    I think the current gaza conflict is remarkably instructive concerning the war on terror. Israel vacated gaza, uprooting jews to do so. It’s the only voluntary yielding of territory in response to violence that I can think of – yet they did it. How long did it take for the rocket attacks to start? the lesson is “give an inch, take a mile.”

  110. we send billions to Israel, but then we send a lot of money to Hamas too – remember $140/barrel?

  111. MNG, All that said, you seem like an intellectually honest critic of Israel, which I commend as I note it’s rarity. It’s very frustrating that most of Israels critics seem ideologically or racially motivated: it ends up meeting a lot of deaf ears as a result – I think it hurts the cause of applying pressure on Israel to do better.

  112. Those allegations may or may not be true.

    So if you’re going to cop out like that, why even bother making the report?

  113. Noogie
    They haven’t made a report on the current action yet as all observers were barred by the IDF, hence the “may or may not be.” They did make a report for 2006 Lebanon, you can go read it if you like.

    Domo
    You may be right about HRW’s leaning against state actors, but one would think that would be applauded on a libertarian site. I mention HRW for a reason though: Moynihan the author of this post invokes them to show what a heel Chavez, Castro, etc are, but for some reason seems not to mention their reports concerning Israel…

    I think Hamas’ tactics get plenty of bad press, the IDF “side” is told in pretty much every article I read on this subject. The problem is that every article must also mention the little fact that it was the IDF that actually dropped the bomb or fired the artillery that directly caused the death of innocents.

    I realize the cop/hostage situation is not exactly apt, but I maintain it is still pretty apt. Even the IDF admits it is an important and legit goal of a defense force to act to “limit civilian casualties”, they do this every time they feel it important enough to claim they actually do this.

    Thanks for the compliment. When those cowards in Mumbai opened up on civilians I strongly condemned them for the cowardly evil thugs they are here on H&R. I have always opposed the occupation of Tibet by China as much as I do that of Palestine by Israel. I try to make my judgments based on principles which can be applied to any side or situations: ruling people by force without their consent is wrong (whether in Tibet or Gaza), collective punishment is wrong (whether in the Congo or Gaza), and needlessly causing innocent deaths is wrong (whether in Bosnia [by the US for example] or Gaza). All in all Israel has much to be commended for (the non-Palestinians enjoy the most liberal and modern society in that area by far) and of course a person would be a fool and evil man to hate “the Jews” a people who have probably contributed more wonderful things to the world than any other group I can think of.

  114. They haven’t made a report on the current action yet as all observers were barred by the IDF, hence the “may or may not be.” They did make a report for 2006 Lebanon, you can go read it if you like.

    If you’re going to cop out like that, why even bother replying?

  115. Nooge/Noogie
    In what sense is it a cop out? Unless you are blogging live from gaza via Inmarsat, anyones guess on ground-truth is as good as yours. So are you?

  116. MNG | January 25, 2009, 2:20pm | #

    “Predictably, the IDF holds Hamas wholly responsible for civilian casualties in Gaza, alleging that Hamas combatants stored weapons in mosques and fought from among civilians. Those allegations may or may not be true. Long experience, as during the 2006 war in Lebanon, shows that we must take such ritual IDF pronouncements with a grain of salt. We will not know exactly how Hamas waged the war until human rights monitors can conclude the on-the-ground investigations that they are only just beginning because of the IDF’s earlier refusal to let them into Gaza.” Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch

    Human Rights Watch gives Hamas the benefit of innocence until proven guilty, but they take Hamas’s accusations against the IDF at face value. An unbiased observer would extend the same skepticism towards the accusations made against IDF until the months long investigation is completed. This is why I don’t consider Human Rights Watch a reliable source of information on Israel.

  117. MNG | January 25, 2009, 2:28pm | #

    Domo
    One more thing. Only one of the two sides do we send billions of dollars to. …

    We’ve sent billions of dollars of aid to the PA. So has Europe. Did you even bother to read the foreign aid statistics I linked to?

  118. BTW, does anyone think it’s interesting that incursions into Palestinian held territory seem to coincide with departing US presidential administrations. Almost seems like a deliberate strategy to take advantage of an international power vacuum to do “housecleaning”

  119. MGN,

    I agree that Israel should withdraw from the Gaza, Judea, and Sumaria. Most Israelis feel this way too. The question is how and when? Israel’s experience with the Gaza withdrawl shows that pulling back further at this point would be dangerous. I think the best plan right now is to isolate Gaza, but build up Judea and Sumaria. Judea and Sumaria are detaching from the Israeli electric grid and connecting with the Jordanian one. Israel, the PA, and Jordan are enthusiastic about the Red Sea to Dead Sea cannal. The PA has improved security in Judea and Sumaria. Over all, the situation is improving there. Even if haggling over an acre here and an acre there delays the final treaty, there are more steps they can take during the negotiations. The PA send repressentatives to many international scientific and cultural events in Europe. They should have a team in the next Olympics. The US could open a consulate in Ramallah. Let’s start with the moves towards independence that don’t put lives at risk.

  120. domoarrigato | January 25, 2009, 5:30pm | #

    BTW, does anyone think it’s interesting that incursions into Palestinian held territory seem to coincide with departing US presidential administrations. Almost seems like a deliberate strategy to take advantage of an international power vacuum to do “housecleaning”.

    Hamas picked the timing. When the 6 months cease fire ended, Hamas resufed to renew it. During the cease fire, they launched about 20 rockets a day into Israel. Once it ended, they stepped up attacks arround ten fold.

  121. Reported on Jerusalem Post this week:

    The number of anti-Semitic attacks around the world during Israel’s three-week military operation against Hamas in Gaza was up more than 300 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching a two-decade high, according to figures released Sunday by the Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism.

    I’ll give individuals the benefit of the doubt when I start a debate. However, there is a large anti-Semitic undercurrent at most of the anti-Israel protests.

  122. jtuf
    1. Did YOU bother to read the link you provided? Table 1257: we gave Israel 2,373
    million in 2007 and we gave “West Bank-Gaza Regional” 152 million. We gave Israel about 25 times more money. TWENTY-FIVE TIMES!
    2. HRW simply said they cannot take the IDF’s word because they 1. lied about this in 2006 and 2. kept all observers away. They don’t say whether Israel or Hamas is right on this claim, just that we “have to take the IDF’s ritual pronouncements” on this with a grain of salt. Something you fail to do.
    3. As to your question as to “how and when” the territories should have been unoccupied, I would say “decades ago” as it is illegal to occupy territory gained through war and it is immoral to rule over hundreds of thousands of people without their consent or voice being heard. You disagree?
    4. Anti-semitism is deplorable. But Israel’s actions don’t help matters here. And those who equate Israel with Jews in general when they scumily defend Israel (“you must be an anti-Semite if you criticize Israel” as Underzog has done throughout, why no condemnation from you, eh?) does not help this problem. Israel’s actions are so obviously immoral to the rest of the world (most people don’t like to see hundreds of women and children killed or hundreds of thousands of people ruled at gunpoint, it’s a human thing) that to the extent that fools like Underzog equate disagreeing with Israel’s actions with anti-Semitism it may make anti-Semitism more attractive to less thoughtful people.

  123. And btw, you think the Global Forum on World Anti-Semitism is reliable source (but not Human Rights Watch)? That’s kind of like saying the NAACP is a completely trustworthy source for information on racism in America…

  124. HRW tries to be objective in all of this. They rightly condemned Hamas’ despicable rocket attacks back in November.

    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/11/20/letter-hamas-stop-rocket-attacks

    and had this to say recently:

    “”Firing rockets into civilian areas with the intent to harm and terrorize Israelis has no justification whatsoever, regardless of Israel’s actions in Gaza,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.”

    They just don’t also uncritically accept the bullshit the IDF pedals.

  125. One (of the many) smart reasons why responding to Israel’s bloody actions by adopting an anti-Semitic attitude is that many of the most passionate and eloquent denouncers of Israel’s actions are Jews. The Jews have always had a historically strong sense of justice and many of them recognize the insanity and immorality of Israel’s government’s actions.

  126. MNG: “that fools like Underzog equate disagreeing with Israel’s actions with anti-Semitism it may make anti-Semitism more attractive to less thoughtful people.”

    Mr. Nazi Guy is giving a vieled threat. Don’t you dare defend the Jews from being murdered by their Muslim agressors and don’t you call anti-Semites anti-Semites or things will be worse for the Jews.

    It figures this creep would make a vieled threat at defenders of Israel.

    And if anti-Semitism is so popular with large parts of the world, that is the evil of large parts of the world not the Jewish state!

    A good portion of the world hates the United States, too — especially old Europe.

  127. Looking at that sentence again, I must be having some effect here if this creep is making a vieled threat not to defend justice and the Jews against Islamic terrorists and their many cheerleaders in this forum and, perhaps, the Libertarian party itself.

  128. That last one was pretty garbled:
    One of the many smart reasons why responding to…is stupid is that many of the most passionate…

  129. And his fellow anti-Semites are doing pogroms against the Jews all over the world: Video of a peaceful pro Israel rally in Sweden attacked by anti-Semites. I guess they were mad at me calling the anti-Semites anti-Semites per MNG’s vieled threat. /sarcasm

  130. And he is lying about Human Rights Watch, too. It’s a George Soros organization. That self hating Jew Soros equates Israel with Nazi Germany and even has a phony organization to work against Israel while pretending to be Israel friends; e.g., J Street and another one with the guy who knocked up Elizabeth Hurley, Mr. Bing.

  131. You have to love the mind set that enables mindless apologists for Israel to call even Jews anti-Semitic when they dare criticize Israel. Nothing could demonstrate the absurdity and crude cheapness of their claim that anti-Semitism must lie at the heart of criticism of Israel than that.

  132. jtuf | January 25, 2009, 5:16pm | #

    MNG | January 25, 2009, 2:28pm | #

    Domo
    One more thing. Only one of the two sides do we send billions of dollars to. …

    We’ve sent billions of dollars of aid to the PA. So has Europe. Did you even bother to read the foreign aid statistics I linked to?

    MNG | January 25, 2009, 9:10pm | #

    jtuf
    1. Did YOU bother to read the link you provided? Table 1257: we gave Israel 2,373
    million in 2007 and we gave “West Bank-Gaza Regional” 152 million. We gave Israel about 25 times more money. TWENTY-FIVE TIMES!

    We gave 152 million to the PA in a typical year. We’ve been giving aid to the PA for arround 15 years. 152 million * 15 = 2.28 billion. We’ve given billions to the PA by now. You’re rather loose with your facts. Then when I call you on it, you clarify.

  133. MNG,

    Human Rights Watch refuses to pass judgement on Hamas’s alleged war crimes, but they believe the IDF’s alleged war crimes right away. That doesn’t strike me as neutral.

  134. 4. Anti-semitism is deplorable. But Israel’s actions don’t help matters here. And those who equate Israel with Jews in general when they scumily defend Israel (“you must be an anti-Semite if you criticize Israel” as Underzog has done throughout, why no condemnation from you, eh?) does not help this problem. Israel’s actions are so obviously immoral to the rest of the world (most people don’t like to see hundreds of women and children killed or hundreds of thousands of people ruled at gunpoint, it’s a human thing) that to the extent that fools like Underzog equate disagreeing with Israel’s actions with anti-Semitism it may make anti-Semitism more attractive to less thoughtful people.

    Actions taken by Israel or by a blogger in the US are no excuse for arson attacks on synagogues in London and Paris.

  135. MNG | January 25, 2009, 9:18pm | #

    And btw, you think the Global Forum on World Anti-Semitism is reliable source (but not Human Rights Watch)? That’s kind of like saying the NAACP is a completely trustworthy source for information on racism in America…

    I’ve heard mostly good things about the NAACP. Do you have evidence that the NAACP is unreliable?

  136. MNG | January 25, 2009, 9:30pm | #

    One (of the many) smart reasons why responding to Israel’s bloody actions by adopting an anti-Semitic attitude is that many of the most passionate and eloquent denouncers of Israel’s actions are Jews. The Jews have always had a historically strong sense of justice and many of them recognize the insanity and immorality of Israel’s government’s actions.

    So if someone dares to disagree with you, it’s “smart” to burn his house of worship instead of having an open debate?

  137. You guys are such a bunch of bluffers.

    I’m an Irish Jew (believe it or not). The situations aren’t remotely comparable.

    A few salient facts:

    1) The IRA was never as big, as well-armed or as well-funded as any of the Palestinian terror groups, it worked in small cells and very rarely targeted civilians directly (yes I know the IRA killed lots of civilians).

    2) The IRA did not want to overthrow the polity of its enemy; it wanted to evict its enemy and MERGE with another neighboring polity which, until 1998, still claimed sovereignty over the disputed territory. Imagine how quickly Israel would drop Gaza and the West Bank if a) Hamas and Fatah wanted to merge with Egypt and Jordan respectively and b) Egypt and Jordan still maintained claims over those territories. Remember, shortly after 1967, Israel tried to negotiate for precisely this outcome and was met with the famous Three No’s.

    3) The Republic of Ireland, though sympathetic to and supportive of the ends of the IRA (equal rights, unification), staunchly opposed its means – so much so that Irish security forces regularly arrested IRA members, uncovered weapons caches, tried to stop cross-border smuggling and even banned the IRA’s political representatives from appearing in broadcast media. The Republic actively cooperated with the British to stamp out paramilitary activity in NI. Compare and contrast to the Arabs/Iran and Hamas.

    4) Most people in the Republic of Ireland staunchly opposed the IRA and ultimately became ambivalent about its goals, dramatically undercutting the organization’s moral claims to be freedom fighters. As is well known, the IRA had to terrorize its “own” people in Northern Ireland – a la the Mafia – to retain support even in the disputed territory.

    5) Someone asked when the Catholic population was last herded into bantustans. Roughly 1600-1900, give or take. How, exactly, do you think the British achieved a Protestant majority in the North? How was this reversed in the Free State? Why, ethnic cleansing, of course. Remember: a Palestinian state will be Judenrein – just another asymmetry in that particular conflict.

    6) For all the babies crying about the few billion America sends to Israel, as if this is the only thing giving them an edge over the Arabs, remember the following: there is one country in the world whose leaders get at least one day of face time every year with POTUS. That country is Ireland, because on St Patrick’s Day everybody loves us. Compare with the number of visits from Israel’s typically charismatic PMs. Now tell me about “disproportionate influence”. We got an eight year tongue bath from Clinton. How much political capital should POTUS spend on a wet rock in the north Atlantic with about 5 million miserable people on it? Oh noes – teh Green Lobby!

    7) Finally, the Brits didn’t have to go all Gaza on the IRA because the IRA wasn’t a proxy army of a much larger and more dangerous regional power which also happened to want to wipe Britain from the face of the earth. Well, not since the IRA played footsie with Hitler, anyway. On second thought, maybe the IRA had more in common with the Palestinians after all…

    Hope this helps you guys make sense of the respective situations. Take it from someone with skin in both games.

  138. A word for the credulous re: Gaza casualties: the UN counts all people under 18 and all women as civilians. Given a) the likely number armed teenaged boys involved in the fighting and b) the demonstrated willingness of Hamas to deploy women as suicide bombers, what is the probable numerical error in the widely reported casualty figures? I’m gonna go with something like 300, which would put the civilian overcount at about 50% by my reckoning.

    Also, given the high rate of Israeli friendly fire casualties (indicating the IDF makes targeting mistakes even when it is clearly in its interest to be scrupulous and meticulous), who would like to estimate how many of the remaining legit civilian casualties in Gaza were accidental or incidental rather than intentional?

  139. A word for the credulous re: Gaza casualties: the UN counts all people under 18 and all women as civilians. Given a) the likely number armed teenaged boys involved in the fighting and b) the demonstrated willingness of Hamas to deploy women as suicide bombers, what is the probable numerical error in the widely reported casualty figures? I’m gonna go with something like 300, which would put the civilian overcount at about 50% by my reckoning.

    Numbers you pull out of your ass are not a good basis for foreign policy.

  140. Numbers you pull out of your ass are not a good basis for foreign policy.

    OK. Do you think the number is zero? If not, what would you propose as a reasonable estimate of combatant civilians?

  141. “Human Rights Watch refuses to pass judgement on Hamas’s alleged war crimes, but they believe the IDF’s alleged war crimes right away. That doesn’t strike me as neutral.”

    Jtuf. FYI An indictment of HRW

  142. Thanks for the link, Underzog.

  143. “The UK don’t treat the Irish like the Israelis treat the Palestinians. Catholics had equal rights as of 1829 or so. They were represented in the Parliament before the formation of the Irish Free State.”

    Wow. Are you really that ignorant of Irish history???

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