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January 04, 2006

Comments

Of course Bernard sees nothing wrong with the US cooperating with Stalin.

Consistency means nothing, as long as there are points to be scored and settlements to be created.

Felix,

Your comment comes very close to defending genocide.

Stalin has nothing to do with this, and in any case the US cooperation with him did not have as its purpose mass exterminations. Are you suggesting that if the US was justified in cooperating with Stalin to achieve certain common goals, then the Palestinians were justified in working with Hitler for their common goals? Or is it that we should not have cooperated with Stalin at all, and left Hitler to rule Europe? Whatever else would have happened in that case, there surely would not have been an Israel, so I guess that's a big plus from your point of view.

The goal of al-Husseini, the one he shared with Hitler, was the murder of Jews. The equanimity with which you view this gives more than a hint of where you are coming from.

Don't worry, demography will solve it.

Still hoping for the final solution, are you?

Of course Bernard sees nothing wrong with the US cooperating with Stalin.

See, this is the problem with talking I/P, or engaging with people who live in Binary World. There's a huge space between 'nothing wrong' and 'a difficult and not morally neutral choice, but in the end the right way to go under the circumstances.' Were there a million things wrong with cooperating with Stalin? Of course there were. Would I have done it? Yes, and for the same reasons it was done. Isn't adulthood a bitch.

I babbled incoherently here.

I'm sad for many reasons. For the potential loss of the dead Palestinian and Israeli babies, and for the potential loss of all those who might not have been killed had he gone on.

I'm also sad for the souls of those who focus not on that. Did I pray, I'd pray for them to overcome the shriveling of their souls and minds. They are focused on other things.

I'd pray for their souls, did I pray.

Other have other foci. I pray for their souls, as well. We are all flawed, we all need to do better.

felixrayman: Palestinians have a right to a state. On this do we agree?

Do Jews also have a right to a state?

Let's see what you think, since you are not shy of giving your thoughts.

Posting rules, everybody. I'm out of this thread myself before I say something I'll regret.

I wrote completely incohrently about Sharon here<http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/2006/01/sharons-road-to-peace.html/a>, by the way. I'm still thinking muchly about Sharon, and expect to be doing thtat for decades hence. He led a life of much right and wrong and right.

Flip responses from those who have never had to make a fraction of the moral choices he had to make are interesting, but not so very much. Glib and easy are, after all, painless. They don't involve worry over a cousin, but merely an abstract victim. They don't involve fear of personal death, or loss of a kidney, but merely a snide aside.

They are not, per se, brave nor thoughtful

But we listen, because that's what us Jews do.

Bad formatting out!

Jews make morally comprising descions. We have no alternative, prefable, choice.

Having made them, we are condenmed, as well as compromised.

Those who speak about that tend to be doing a rorshach test.

Thoughtful answers are good. Those who make the simple answers reveal who they are, and I don't mean "anti-semites," I mean peopel who are inable to think other than simply.

Good luck to them with that, and may they forever after avoid morally complex situtations, such as planet Earth.

Meanwhile, most thinking is useful worth it. Would that be more of that, and less reductionism.

Meanwhile, most thinking is useful worth it. Would that be more of that, and less reductionism.

"Don't worry, demography will solve it."

Indeed. Death to the Jews.

Good to see that made clear.

"Don't worry, demography will solve it."

Indeed. Death to the Jews.

Good to see that made clear.

Grand to see that typepad still refuses my comments.

Grand to see that typepad still refuses my comments

Fuck Typekey, and those who use it.

Grand to see that typepad still refuses my comments

Fuck Typepad, and those who use it.

All we shall ever see is these blank pages. All that we do shall be made blank. All that is better is lost.

Typepad.

"Don't worry, demography will solve it."

"Indeed. Death to the Jews."

Maybe Typepad is randomly enforcing the posting rules.


Emily says:

From Blank to Blank --
A Threadless Way
I pushed Mechanic feet --
To stop -- or perish -- or advance --
Alike indifferent --

If end I gained
It ends beyond
Indefinite disclosed --
I shut my eyes -- and groped as well
'Twas lighter -- to be Blind --

There's a huge space between 'nothing wrong' and 'a difficult and not morally neutral choice, but in the end the right way to go under the circumstances.'

Well that's the point. Bernard will defend the US allying itself with the greatest mass murderer in history, but will use any Arab connection with Hitler to defend the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. He's inconsistent.

Your comment comes very close to defending genocide.

The hell it does. You are the one defending ethnic cleansing here. I am pointing out that you are being inconsistent in doing so.

felixrayman: Palestinians have a right to a state. On this do we agree?

I no longer believe in rights. They don't exist.

Indeed. Death to the Jews.

Demography is not violent. All the Palestinians need do is survive, and wait. The only thing Israeli Jews have to fear is that they will be treated as they treat others.

Bernard, to me, a mass murderer is a mass murderer and a person who kills a child is a child-killer. I don't think better or worse of such a person because of the political ideology or cause that "justified" the child killing. Even if someone has a just cause, and I think the Palestinians had every right to resist a plan that involved their possible expulsion, it's monstrous to kill innocent people for it.

When I call the Mufti a despicable human being and a war criminal like Sharon, you see that as a kind of exoneration because I don't think the Hitler connection means much. I don't agree. The line that is crossed here is when you deliberately kill innocent people--if the Palestinians like the Mufti had never heard of Hitler I strongly suspect they would have behaved exactly as they did behave, which was badly. I base this belief partly on those comparisons you seem to find irrelevant or evasive.

I think comparisons are useful. I've read a little about other wars --the US/Indian conflicts and the French/Algerian war seem similar to the I/P one. And what I notice is that you have the same sort of horrific atrocities committed in those conflicts that one has in the I/P conflict. The French settlers ended up leaving Algeria because they didn't think they'd be safe and the Algerians who sided with the French were slaughtered in the tens of thousands after the French left. French civilians were murdered by the Algerian insurgents in the most gruesome ways imaginable--I've got Alistair Horne's book on that war open and decided not to type out some examples. As for Native Americans, they had no chance of killing off the whites after King Phillip's War, but they sometimes tried to kill as many as possible. I don't think the Algerians were instructed by Hitler (if anything, the Hitler sympathizers were probably more common on the French side) and the same is true of the Native Americans, yet they often acted with extreme viciousness.

So anyway, I brush off the Nazi connection as having any deep significance because in similar conflicts where two ethnic groups struggle for the same land, there are people who clearly want to kill as many of the opposing group as possible.

As for moral evasions and so forth, I think the Palestinians do bear much of the blame for the conflict. I don't think terrorist responses to injustice are ever justified. I mostly jump into threads like this one because in the US, the conflict is usually presented in ways that strongly favor the Israelis. People know about the terrorism and the antisemitism of the Arabs--they don't know that the early mainstream Zionists intended to forcibly transfer the Arabs if necessary and if the opportunity arose, and they don't know that this actually happened and that it was accompanied by numerous massacres and they don't seem to know that Sharon committed his first massacre of civilians in 1953 and yet now he's prime minister. But if the geopolitical situation were different and the US supported the Palestinians and opposed the Israelis, I'm sure everyone would know all about that. Then I would be popping into threads pointing out that the Palestinian "freedom fighters" murder children and some had supported Hitler, but frankly, I would put a lot more emphasis on the murdered children than the Hitler connection.

Now when I was younger I was quite a bit more sympathetic to the Palestinians. After all, Knoxville has quite a few them. I would drop into Asa Harb's store every day. And the guys at the Ali Baba Time-Out deli out on Kingston Pike were really nice dudes. rilkefan probably knows who I am talking about. I was a regular and talked with them quite a bit, and I know how they lost everything before they moved to the US. But years later after working with a lot of Israelis, I know how they joint-ventured stuff with the Palestinians, and worked for charities that benefitted non-Jews in the West Bank, and were truly some of the most liberal people I knew. So then when the bombing at Hebrew University killed a long-time friend of one of my friends, well there is no justification for this whatever. Killing kids for going to college? How the hell can you justify that? And it was done with the same mind set as 9/11, killing people who were just going to work. So I have changed big time. Maybe I don't have the hurt personally, but I hurt for my friend. Now, that may be irrational thinking on my part, but nobody is going to convince me ever, ever that the Israelis are disproportionately bad, because I know better. Maybe they are not perfect, but by and large I think of them as the good guys.

Gary, people are losing their tempers here over issues of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and you've chosen ths moment to launch your own personal jihad against Typepad and the infidels who use it. I admired you for your (short-lived) restraint and for some twisted reason I admire you even more for this.

(But you're violating posting rules.)

Getting back to Bernard's point, on second thought I'll modify what I just said --the Mufti's decision to try and kill Jews anywhere makes him an even bigger monster than he already was, so I was wrong with respect to him. And Arafat-- well I never heard too many people have much good to say about Arafat anyway. That said, I don't think the Nazi connections of some Palestinians are of any great significance in evaluating the rights and wrongs of the two sides.

"the Ali Baba Time-Out deli out on Kingston Pike were really nice dudes."

Never chatted with them. The Palestinian who ran the deli I used to go to in Noe Valley was a nice man.

I consider myself pro-Palestinian, I/P conflict aside, which makes their (tolerance of the) use of violence harder to accept. Just wish they had had better leadership and hadn't been exploited by the Arab govts.

The deli guys were Muslim, but most of the Palestinians there were Orthodox, like Asa, who was a hot head. I remember him going ballistic when one of his son's buddys was talking about being in Jordan's armed forces. Now that had to have been at least 6 or 7 years after Black September and the young man couldn't have possibly been involved in that war. But the PLO did in fact attack Jordan, and did occupy part of Lebanon. That was a long time ago, but there it is.

The Time-Out deli was a favorite because my wife is a vegetarian, and they had these sandwiches, emptaboels or something, with deep fried eggplant and cauliflower drizzled with sesame sauce, plus other mysterious spices. When asked what was in it, they said "There is not a word for that in English". I think that we may have been a little bold, like asking Colonel Sanders for his secret recipe. Perhaps you will drop back by in the area. My dad mentioned that they are expanding "the lab", ORNL, to add some sort of super-collider. I guess Fermilab kind of lost out because of politics or something.

I almost lost the comment, but AOL allowed me to click on reload and I got them back, so Ive got that going for me...

Hey Dave, I go back for xmas and folks-getting-old kinda stuff. If you're in town next year let me know and I'll buy you a beer somewhere.

If Sam and Andys were still there, that would be my pick. Steamed Deli sandwiches, maybe a Reuben w/ the horseradish, too. Can't find em in Illinois.

Explanation of sandwich here.

Donald,

Thank you for clarifying your comment, and for thinking carefully about al-Husseini. I misinterpreted some of what you said, and I apologize.

I am reluctant to comment further on the underlying issue, because my views are complex. Suffice it to say that I have great sympathy for the plight of the ordinary Palestinian, and that I think Israel's settlement policy is, broadly speaking, misguided for any number of moral and political reasons. But I also think that assigning the blame for the entire mess completely, or even primarily, to Israel and the Zionists, is wrong.

Finally, I do think that much anti-Zionism is tinged, or worse, with anti-Semitism. I do not consider your comments to be in that category.

"The only thing Israeli Jews have to fear is that they will be treated as they treat others."

Because that's where it all started. It all flows from that.

The whole "set up a democratic Parliament for all" thing was so wrong.

Check.

"I admired you for your (short-lived) restraint and for some twisted reason I admire you even more for this."

Damn Ambien made me insensible. Embarrassing, and I apologise. It's, as I've said, the most dangerous drug I've ever taken. It completely strips away my forebrain before it knocks me out, but doesn't stop me from reading and using my keyboard.

It's the best way I know to make a public fool of myself. My apologies to all. Color me very red.

The whole "set up a democratic Parliament for all" thing was so wrong.

I do not think the word "all" means what you think it means.

Apology accepted Bernard. You didn't actually insult me anyway, but I was wondering if you were thinking nasty things about me.

I sometimes wonder what good I think I'm accomplishing getting up on soapboxes in comment threads. It feels good to vent, I guess, but I should probably try to stick to my New Years resolution and cut way back on this stuff.

No need to apologize Gary. I thought it was a welcome relief to see you getting mad at software.

Do Jews also have a right to a state?

Do the Kiowa have a right to a state? the Cheyenne? the Basque? the Yaruba?

In Binary World, the answer to all four questions is yes, and so states should be set up, no matter what the human cost. In the real world, the disruption of setting up these states probably outweighs the "right" to have them imposed on the people living where they would be created.

If it was 1947 all over again, I'm not sure what I would think should be done. It was maybe a little too easy for Euro-centrics to be maybe a little too casual about the human costs of creating a Jewish state, whether out of guilt or racism.

It's not 1947, of course, and so one has to make do the best one can.

Charley,

I don't think the question actually is whether the Jews, or the Kiowa, et al have a right to a state. The question is whether such groups have a right to live free of persecution - physical or other - adhering to such religious and cultural practices as they choose. Of course they do(For the benefit of all - yes this includes Palestinians).

Zionism was motivated in large part by the conviction of some European Jews that there was no way for Jews to achieve this short of a Jewish state. Can anyone say they were wrong?

Thus I do not think the case for Zionism generalizes to all other minority groups. Establishing a state is not a right - it is one way to obtain a right. There are others. Should African-Americans have a state? Had the civil rights movement failed I would say yes. It did not fail. (Insert standard disclaimers about current status of blacks, etc.) Similarly, I believe the Palestinians should have a state. I see no other practical way in which these rights can be secured.

As for 1947, I think it is imperative that critics of Israel do say what they think should have been done, and be prepared to discuss the likely consequences of their alternative. Indeed, I think that critics of Zionism have an obligation to understand the real problems that motivated it.

In this lies, maybe, the reason these threads get so heated. There is a very deep-seated sense on each side that their critics simply ignore history.

(To head off an obvious response: Of course being a victim of persecution does not give one the right to become a persecutor. My purpose here is not to weigh Israeli and Palestinian misconduct. It is to discuss the issue of having a right to a state).

Of course I understand why Zionism arose, and the basis of its strong moral claim. The problem with Zionism, in my view, is perfectly encapsulated in the way the Absentee Property Act has been applied. (And yes, if it must be said, the Coloradoans' treatment of the Cheyenne was very bad, and the various acts of violence against Israel, and individual Israelis, is awful).

There are undoubtedly some who oppose Israeli policy, and/or existence, out of anti-Semitism, or ignorance of history (whether willful or not). There are undoubtedly some who opposed the invasion of Iraq because they hated America, or because they loved Saddam Hussein. I have serious problems with the Zionist project, as applied, and it has nothing whatever to do with either ignorance or antipathy towards Jews. In my case, I'd say it's quite the contrary on both counts. Most people with whom I've discussed I/P at all, if they agree with me about my reservations, share these attributes with me. I understand that it's a lot easier to just project some kind of illegitimate view onto those with whom one disagrees, than it is to face the areas of disagreement. Doesn't make it correct or worth anyone's time: slander isn't argument, much less civilized discussion.

OK, I'm now falling silent on I/P for a while, and won't read anything further on this thread. I have this luxury, of course, because (a) my life has not been turned upside down by the Zionist project and (b) I'm not spending my days worrying about getting blown up whenever I get on a bus, or go to a restaurant. Were I in either circumstance, I'd probably spend more energy tring to find a just way out of the situation we're in, rather than trying to convince the other guy (and his friends) that he's getting what he deserves.

For those of you unfamiliar with Sand Creek, it seems to me that the conduct of the IDF in Jenin, and the PLO everywhere, actually compare pretty favorably to the conduct of the Colorado militia at Sand Creek. The whole body-parts-as-trophies thing takes them off the charts in my view.

"I do not think the word "all" means what you think it means."

All.Abdulmalik Dehamshe, Talab El-Sana, Azmi Bishara, Wasil Taha, Jamal Zahalka, Mohammad Barakeh. Issam Makhoul, Ahmad Tibi included.

Given your wisdom and expertise on Israeli-Palestinian relations, I'm sure you could give, of the top of your head, without googling, a brief precis of the political careers of each of these men, and their various differences, and chat a bit about the political history of the parliamentry Arab parties.

To be sure, they've worked a bad deal. A deal in many way comparable to the situation of, say "blacks" in America in much of America's history, though also wildly different in many ways. There's much to condemn. Israel has done many things wrong, and I'm one of the first to say so whenever that's the topic.

It's nice to have a clear grounding in the full facts and history from which to engage in such condemnation, though.

"OK, I'm now falling silent on I/P for a while, and won't read anything further on this thread."

I hope you change your mind on that. For all that any of us go off now and again -- and I'm still deeply embarrassed by my Ambien-induced incoherency above, which I'd delete if I could -- this has been one of the calmer, more productive, blog thread conversations on Israel and Palestine I've seen in a long time, and that in itself is a tiny comfort, and one maybe only myself could use.

Nobody gets scot-free (must look into derivation of that term, too) out of discussions of Israel and Palestine, because there's far more than enough wrongness and horribileness in the history there.

But the job of finding, if not "solutions," but ways of going on that are least bad, still desperately needs to be done, and thoughtful people turning away from debate with those who disagree is, absolutely, the wrong way to turn, in my view. It's dirty, painful, hard work, and that's the work most worth and necessary to do.

People's lives hang in the balance, as do those of children yet to be born. Ways of fairly getting along have to be found. They must be found.

And it's better that they be looked for with words, with language, with thought, with mutual respect, than with guns, c-4, and hatred.

Your 12:40 post is sort of inspiring, Gary, but do you think that a handful of people slanging away at each other in a comment thread (even with an above-average degree of politeness and mutual comprehension for this topic) are doing that much to further the cause of peace in the Middle East? That's what I was getting at when I said I need to cut back on this stuff. I get a warm fuzzy glow when I think I've made my point adequately, but what have I actually accomplished?

In contrast, when Katherine writes something there's usually some practical action to take that she includes.

"Your 12:40 post is sort of inspiring, Gary, but do you think that a handful of people slanging away at each other in a comment thread (even with an above-average degree of politeness and mutual comprehension for this topic) are doing that much to further the cause of peace in the Middle East?"

Each of us is a world. Each of us is a mass of moral potential. Touch and affect and change one, and you've changed a world.

All of our worlds, combined, make up the larger world.

We all change the world with every thought, every understanding, every step, every act.

"That's what I was getting at when I said I need to cut back on this stuff. I get a warm fuzzy glow when I think I've made my point adequately, but what have I actually accomplished?"

Affecting a single person's thought changes their world. And we all go on in this world to affect each other. Large and small.

Every bit counts. Every bit hurts or helps. It all matters. It all can change things.

A thought now might result in an act to save a life seventy years from now. We don't know.

But I try to take the opimistic view. It's often proven at least as correct as the pessimistic view, for me.

We are all individuals, and we are all our own worlds, and we all have the power to change world after world, even unto objective reality. We are all powerful, at times, little though we notice. Together, we can save some of ourselves.

Apparently dizziness makes me a bit poetic, and all that. Beg pardon if it's all crap. I'm always with the moods.

I'm hardly trying to discourage anyone from working with any organization, or, having sufficiently studied the history enough to avoid making a fool of one's self, flying to Israel/Palistinian and doing some practical and helpful work, mind.

Talk, though, does have its place. Minds do change at times. This matters, greatly. Sometimes.

Palestine. Sorry.

Charley,

Just in case you relent and read one more comment, understand that I was answering your question as to who has a right to a state by saying that a state is not a right, but sometimes the only means available for a group to protect its rights.

I don't think that anything I said can be read to question your attitudes or grasp of the issues.

It's nice to have a clear grounding in the full facts and history from which to engage in such condemnation, though.

Sorry, but you apparently still do not comprehend what the word "all" means. So I'm going to go with what I said before, what Israeli Jews have to worry about is that they will be treated as they treat others.

"So I'm going to go with what I said before, what Israeli Jews have to worry about is that they will be treated as they treat others."

All Jews have to worry what people such as you think, indeed.

That threat won't be gone for a very, very, very, long time. Meanwhile, some of us do what we must, mistakes included.

Some of us are still alive, because of that.

Most, unfortunately, are not.

They were more trusting.

Only others of us are left around to chat on the internet.

I can't and don't speak for the dead, but I do think of them, every day.

Given your record of demanding action, not talk, Felixrayman, might I ask exactly what you've done in the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace, by the way?

(Unlike Felixrayman, I believe talk helps; he does not, as he has repeatedly said when attacking Katherine here, and others, for doing nothing but writing words. I can defend my position with words; he, however, by his own stance, obviously cannot.)

What decade did you sign up with Peace Now in? What year did you put your body in the way of a bullet? What day did you throw yourself in front of a bullbozer, and not just lecture Jews on the internet about their moral flaws?

What day in 2004 or 2003, even, did you write passionately about the moral complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian problem, without simply blaming the Jews?

It must have happened, and a URL will prove it.

Impress us with your past words from, say before December 2004, and make me shut up. Give us the courage of your convictions.

Show us from what mountain of morality you stand on, and find the Jews insufficient, Felixrayman.

If you prefer to start with your essay about Arab politics in Israel, that's okay. I'm sure you can do that, as well, without access to Google or anything other than your inherent knowledge of the topic, felixrayman.

We only talk about that which we know, of course. Some of us.

If you prefer to start with your essay about Arab politics in Israel

In Israel? Still missing out on what the word "all" means. Think about if for a while.

as he has repeatedly said when attacking Katherine here, and others, for doing nothing but writing words

I attacked no one. I stated that the situation was getting worse, and that if people continued to act as they have in the past, the most rational expectation is that things will continue to get worse. If people take that as an attack, they need to look at themselves and ask why they take it as an attack.

might I ask exactly what you've done in the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace, by the way?

Even if that were my cause, why would I need to do anything? As I said above, all the Palestinians need do is wait and survive to have a better chance at a just outcome. Presumably Israeli Jews have been treating them as they wish to be treated when the power situation is reversed, right?

felixrayman, what, precisely, would you regard as a human gesture to begin talking with fellow humans?

I'm not a robot, you're not a robot, but what does it take for you to stop acting so hatefully, and act like a human being, and not a completely effedd up asshole?

Because, jeebus, if you haven't noticed, that's whom you play here, and that's whom you like to play to us Jews. Oddly, we've tended to notice that people who play that role usually come and kill us shortly thereafter. I'm willing to believe you're not likely to do that. Use a phone number or something, since you have that modern option. Some of us literally are in danger of being killed, most particularatly in Israel. You, maybe not so much. One stance is easier than the other.

Give me a call. 720 and my number is in the book.

A small essay, or couple of paragraphs, indicating knowledge of the history of Arab parties in Israel over the decades might be, to be sure, a highly useful starting place.

I don't expect it will happen, but, hey, surprise me, and start on the moral high ground, why don't you?

"Comment text is required"

See, that's what I mean about typepad.

Gary, I'm glad you're realizing that the um, relationship between you and felixrayman isn't very healthy. I'm not real good at the peacemaking thing, so that's all I'll say on that.

This thread is likely to die soon anyway, since so many of the regulars here seem to have sworn off I/P discussions. I've noticed people saying similar things elsewhere, that they refuse to get into a discussion of the I/P conflict because it gets so unpleasant and I've got a couple of fairly obvious ideas about that. First, the question of whether someone who harshly criticizes Israel and Zionism is antisemitic is always there in the background or comes out and there's mutual resentment and hostility on both sides just for that reason alone. It's good to bring that out in the open right at the start.

And then there's the related problem, where someone focuses almost exclusively on the sins of one side and either denies or whitewashes or excuses the sins of the other. (If the person focuses on the crimes of Israel then the antisemitism issue comes up and if it's the Palestinians who are always condemned, than I for one start suspecting unconscious racism.) The partisans of both sides do this by reflex, and even people who try not to do it tend to fall into it. It doesn't have to be this way. If Obsidian Wings commenters can't talk about these things calmly, I'm not sure who could.

"The partisans of both sides do this by reflex, and even people who try not to do it tend to fall into it. It doesn't have to be this way. If Obsidian Wings commenters can't talk about these things calmly, I'm not sure who could."

I've never had a problem yet getting along with numerous Palestinian friends and allies, in my sojourns with Peace Now, or similar endeavors. Or in just hanging out, and having tea or whatever.

Americans who have never met a Palistinian, but think they speak for them, are another question. They pretty much tend to be complete flaming assholes.

Rule of thumb, but I'm always hoping for an exception.

Palestinian. Sorry.

Gary, this provide-an-essay-or-you're-unworthy-to-talk thing you're doing is ad hom, likely a violation of the posting rules, and certainly rude. Please desist and put frm on your list of people worth avoiding getting in a spat with.

Criticizing the many crimes of Israelis and Jews without being anti-Semitic isn't actually all that hard, by the way. It's a long list, and an awful lot of Jews have written books doing it. Many of us read them every day, and actually note the difference between them, and the other stuff.

"Gary, this provide-an-essay-or-you're-unworthy-to-talk thing you're doing is ad hom,"

I may not have been clear. My phone number is 720-565-3074. I live at 2295 Goss Circle East, Apartment #11. Boulder, Colorado, United States of America. You want to walk around the curve at 23rd street to note that this is the building at the curve. I'm two floors up.

I'm very open for discussion, during times I'm vaguely awake.

If this is insufficiently non hominem, I don't know how I can do better. I'm here, I run around the internet putting out my opinion, and I lay myself as open as I know how to being told how I'm wrong.

I am sure I am wrong at times, and I welcome hearing about it. If that's ad hom, I'd only wish other people would post under their own name, and provide their own phone number. I don't feel terribly brave in doing so.

"this provide-an-essay-or-you're-unworthy-to-talk thing you're doing"

Having said what I said, I'd be appreciative, rilkefan, if you might either support your claim, or withdraw it. I'm delighted to be called down for the flaws of whatever I've said and said stupidly, but I'm less happy about mischaracterizations, and I'm fairly fuss about such, yes.

Thanks.

"and I'm fairly fuss about such, yes."

Fussy. My mouse has been acting bizarrely for a couple of days now.

Gary, you seem to be commenting in a slightly less coherent fashion than usual. I believe my above statement is accurate, but likely I'm not the person to argue with you. I respectfully suggest you call a friend to chat, or read a poem by Richard Wilbur, or listen to some Bach, or write hilzoy a long interesting letter.

"Gary, you seem to be commenting in a slightly less coherent fashion than usual."

Every damn time.

Ack, Gary, I hope that posting all private info isn't a general bar for discussing tricky matters; I for one would never pass it.

Let me put it this way:
Felixrayman, your comments in this thread haven't been particularly helpful, in the sense that they've been cryptically terse, challenging, and remnolent of the kinds of suggestions that many people find ominous. If you would like to put forth arguments and research, if you would like to engage some of the commenters here, who have (mostly) been appropriately careful with their words and their emotions, then meet them fairly and without levity on this really really freaking difficult topic.

Gary, it takes at least two people to discuss, a flamewar, rather fewer.

As to the value of discussing Israel/Palestine on the net: I must say I've learned quite a bit, carefully, zigzaggedly, while following threads--I click through to sources on every serious, intelligent conversation about the subject, so ignorant I still feel--on the subject over the years. The discussions have almost all left me very sad. (Edelstein's informed analysis of what is happening now leaves me feeling less hopeless.) One of the things I learned was how it could be that people removed from a warzone felt it necessary to send some of my professors were receiving death threats.

So, be serious in your arguments, pseudonymous felixfayman, and be careful in your self-revelatory bravado, Gary Farber.

(Thus ends your sanctimonious intrusion by a degraded daughter of Ephraim for the evening.)

[Two copies of this deleted by Slart; noted to avoid confusion downstream]

Oh, blast it all to hell. I meant to be sanctimonious, not putain de sanctimonious three times over! I thought that the whole f'ing point of the Turing-Test connerie was that it would prevent spambotitis in honest commentors.

Would someone PLEASE delete two of those?

And now that it's posted three times, it's "redolent."

I thought it was sort of a reminiscent redolence.

"...and be careful in your self-revelatory bravado, Gary Farber."

Anyone who has ever wanted to go after me has never had to look hard. The very least I can get out of that is fake bravado.

Really. There's no protection there, so why shouldn't I at least wave the non-protection around as if it meant something more than it does, since it means nothing at all?

The least it can do is make for a wavy sentence or two. Big whup. I. Am. So. Brave.

I also used to be able to do a pushup, and a chinup. I am the macho macho guy. Woot.

I also think everyone who thinks that using a pseudonym protects them is completely deluding themselves, but I've talked about that before, and feel no need to repeat myself. Whatever comforts.

"Gary, it takes at least two people to discuss, a flamewar, rather fewer."

I'm rereading that with a semi-colon, because that's all I have or tend to be.

Meanwhile: West Side Story as my distraction. Gosh, the Jets are so very pale.

I dunno, JM, I thought your comment was insightful enough that it deserved repetition, on the off chance that it may have increased the impact.

Gary, while I don't think that online etiquette should necessarily be decided by majority vote, I would cast my vote to support rilkefan's suggestion. I certainly understand if there's some residual bitterness over the BS that Katherine's efforts were meaningless (a bitterness I share), but if you hold some resentment at people who use a handle (or some contempt because you feel we are fooling ourselves), given that this consists of almost everyone who comments here, (though again, I don't think that the mere fact that everyone does it makes it right, but rather a number of other reasons), I think you should sort that out rather than taking it out on us.

I also think everyone who thinks that using a pseudonym protects them is completely deluding themselves

I agree to a certain degree--one shouldn't post wantonly and unseriously while trusting one's identity to remain unrevealed, but one shouldn't call attention to personal data (such as phone numbers) without expecting they'll be abused.

Personally, I'm by no means stable enough in my career to have a massive commenting result show up under my real name. However, since I've been online, I've taken as many pains as possible to ensure not being too appalled should any of my pseudonymous writings eventually be attributed to me.

But hey, if you want to publish your phone number and address, go right ahead; please, though, don't expect it of all your interlocutors.

First, the question of whether someone who harshly criticizes Israel and Zionism is antisemitic is always there in the background

Well that's bullshit now, isn't it? You're just saying that you're prejudiced, how is that a way to start a dialog?

Felixrayman, your comments in this thread haven't been particularly helpful, in the sense that they've been cryptically terse, challenging, and remnolent of the kinds of suggestions that many people find ominous

It's not my job to be helpful. I'm not your webmonkey. And yeah, I'm, terse. That's not an insult.

So far, the thing that people seem to find most ominous is that someday the Palestinians may treat Israeli Jews the way Israeli Jews have treated the Palestinians. I can certainly see why this might scare Israeli Jews, can't you?

The Israelis ethnically cleansed a whole territory. "Who, me?", they say.

Agreed: a semi-colon would have been better.

"but if you hold some resentment at people who use a handle...."

Of course I do not. I simply don't think I'm displaying bravery or bravado by not. That's all. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in that.

Whatever works, works.

I've been more than close friends with folks using handles since at least age 12 or so, and I've never betrayed their confidence, or had an unkind word for their understandable usage, as it happens. That's 35 years now.

That I fear for everyone who thinks that that means someone out to get them won't find that it works that way is an entirely different question, and one I wish I had more help to offer beyond the fact that it rarely works that way.

"Agreed: a semi-colon would have been better."

No need, given the public offerage of one.

"The Israelis ethnically cleansed a whole territory. "Who, me?", they"

More like: come get us, asshole, because now we're armed.

For no reason and no history, of course. Just sheer Jewish obnoxious wackiness. Who could see it coming?

(If anyone cares, I do not own a gun, and never have, and never have considered purchasing one. Until half an hour ago. Fucktardy language makes the thought cross the mind.)

I blew past the posting guidelines there.

If I need to be banned, so do it. (Again, how long do bans last, what's the appeal method, where are the clear guidelines, etc.?)

Apologies, also.

It's not my job to be helpful. I'm not your webmonkey. And yeah, I'm, terse. That's not an insult.

So what exactly are you doing here, besides breaking the posting rules?

Maybe you see this as countering calumnies, as responding to personal affronts, as maintaining your reputation, as letting no affront go unchallenged, as holding up a cause, as being consistent in the face of opposition, as cultural interruption---

--but this is a discussion forum; people here tend to respond better to invitations for discussion. I'm trying not to insult you, but I think your latest comment is rude to people who've been debating in good faith here and dismissive to my and others' pleas for careful debate.

Look: so far, my comments haven't even begun to address to I/P conflict. I've just been talking about civility and honesty in the debate. If you must attack me for that, felixrayman, it's on you.

I obviously have to congratulate felixrayman for touching my buttons. It didn't feel good for me, and I'm sure it felt no better for anyone else, but he did hit the right places.

Or I did, myself, in response. I don't feel happy about it, or proud of myself, to be sure.

In fact, it makes me feel ashamed of myself.

I'll try to take it as a lesson for the next time, though I'll probably still fail at my ideals.

I live, and only occasionally learn.

"Look: so far, my comments haven't even begun to address to I/P conflict."

I didn't have to read that to feel shame and apologetics.

I'm self-banning now, for a time. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said stuff, and I don't mean that in any way as regards others, but solely because I did wrong. Apologies. Bye for a bit.

To quote my hero Hobbes: "Live and not learn, that's our motto".

Anyone need a laugh?

Given the lack of interest of clarity of any blogowners, I give myself until 9 p.m., Rocky Mountain Time, January 11th, 2006, to be clear.

It would be nice if the blogowners would make with the clarity of the rules, I say for the umpteenth time as I leave. Apparently they don't feel the need. Shame, that. But not my call.

So what exactly are you doing here, besides breaking the posting rules?

I broke no posting rules. Take it up with those who did.

Maybe you see this as countering calumnies, as responding to personal affronts, as maintaining your reputation, as letting no affront go unchallenged, as holding up a cause, as being consistent in the face of opposition, as cultural interruption---

No, I see it as telling you the truth.

If you must attack me for that

If you think I have attacked anyone here, I really hope you never see me actually attack someone. All I have done is argue for a fair fight. Many oppose the idea. Are you OK with the Palestinians taking over and treating Israeli Jews as Israeli Jews have treated the Palestinians?

That is the core question you need to honestly amswer.

frm: note that you are assuming a premise not all here agree with. It might be more productive to argue about the premise directly, if you want to argue.

Okay, fine. No, I am not okay with it. I can't speak for Gary, but based on what he said above, I'd bet a fair bit of money that he's not okay with it. Though I would also guess that we'd both disagree with you about some of the relevant facts about "how Israeli Jews have treated the Palestinians."

Can I assume that you are okay with it? You sure sound like it. And yet, in that case, what moral objection is there to those policies in the first place?

I can't figure out whether you're trying to argue that the Israelis should do unto Palestinians and they would have Palestinians do unto them, or that you're hoping that the Israelis suffer the same things that they have inflicted on the Palestinians. Gary and a lot of other people clearly think it's the latter, and I tend to agree, but I'd like you to spell it out.

They're pretty different things, see. The difference between "you were once a slave in Egypt, so feel free to enslave those Egyptians," and "you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Also, can I assume you would not be okay with Israeli Jews blowing up Palestinian children in shopping malls? Or would that be part of a "fair fight"?

Do you realize that one could easily answer "no" to both that question and your question? And that, therefore, they don't tell us very much about either who is more in the right or wrong, or what a solution would look like?

A solution? Ok, here's my proposal. The Palestinians will control the water supplies for all of Israel. The Palestinians will control the airspace above Israel. The Palestinians will control all the borders of Israel. The Palestinians will have control of all the major roads within Israel and will set up checkpoints on those roads. Israel will have no army, the Palestinians will have one. The Palestinians will keep, for an indeterminate time, "security control" over all Israeli property. Israeli Jews will be permitted, occasionally, while submitting to checkpoints, to travel on a few of the roads in Israel.

Sound fair to you?

Good lord, I'm honestly stunned. This thread blew up in the last few hours and to a large extent it's not even about the I/P debate.
Gary and frm clearly don't seem to like each other much, but I come back and it's like a barroom brawl erupted with chairs being tossed around in all directions.

And felixrayman, I was just pointing out a simple fact of the I/P debate-- one-sided criticism, or even what is only perceived as one-sided criticism immediately draws out suspicions of either antisemitism on the one hand or racism on the other. I was saying people could clear the air from the start by saying where they are coming from and I somewhat naively assumed that this could be done at Obsidian Wings if it could be done anywhere. My somewhat dewey-eyed optimism on that score has just died a messy death.

In some cases I suspect the suspicions of racism or antisemitism are justified--I certainly have heard people on talk radio or seen letters to the editor where I thought, without much question, "antisemite" or "anti-Arab racist". More commonly it's probably just ideological--people pick sides and filter out or downplay atrocities that don't fit the way they want to perceive the conflict, but they aren't necessarily racist or antisemitic. But it may look that way, especially to people equally dogmatic on the other side.

No. Does it sound fair to you? And didn't I just answer this question? Whereas all of mine remain unanswered.

Which part sounds unfair?

Oh, fun--an unending series of rhetorical questions meant to prove some obscure point that a poster utterly refuses to state directly. Why is this vaguely familiar?

When you decide to give a straight answer to a single question, or anything approaching an actual description of your position, I'm all ears. Until then, I don't have time for this.

I was saying people could clear the air from the start by saying where they are coming from and I somewhat naively assumed that this could be done at Obsidian Wings if it could be done anywhere.

OK, I didn't do it from the start, but I eventually did. And I tried to steer the "Hayride to Hell" into the ditch, where we could contemplate the busted wheel. "Hayride to Hell", by the way was one of Gerald Collier's unappreciated songs, includinding the many from "The Best Kissers In The World", as well as his country music stuff. Good luck, G, wherever you are and of course good luck GF.

A: No. Does it sound fair to you?

B: Oh, fun--an unending series of rhetorical questions

I see, it's OK when you do it. It isn't OK when other people do it. I suppose that seems consistent to you. Carry on.

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