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June 05, 2010

Comments

I'm not sure what your point is, here. If, as the Israelis claim, the commandos were attacked by the ship's passengers with improvised clubs and such, you would expect the forensics to show that the shots were fired at close range. If evidence showed the shots had been fired from long range, that would lend credence to the claims that shots were fired even before the commandos landed on the ship.

Yeah, and shots to the back of the head? Multiple?

Shots to the back of the head could result from the person being shot in the front and then being spun around by the impact as the shooter continues to fire. The person could have been shot as they attacked someone else so that they had their back turned to the shooter. They could have been next to other people who were attacking the shotter and got hit by stray bullets.

Another interesting thing from that article is that all but one of the bullets recovered in the autopsies were 9mm. That gives credence to the Israeli claim that initial boarders were armed with paintball/pepperball rifles and sidearms with live rounds. 9mm is the caliber for a sidearm. Battle rifles would have a 7.62mm or 5.56mm caliber.

Uzis are also 9mm.

Uzis are also 9mm.

so are some Tavor TAR-21s, which is the IDF's new assault rifle.

Today, Israel seized an Irish-flagged ship after boarding it from boats alongside rather than from helicopters. According to reports, no one was injured.

The deaths aboard the Turkish-flagged ships earlier this week were the foreseeable result of the Israeli decision to seize the boat by force from above. Israel has seized other boats peacefully in the past, and has shown that they have the knowledge and skill to prevent or minimize casualties. My conclusion is that they wanted to display force in the case of the Turkish flottila. The blowback that they are experiencing is the result of their own political decisions and reckless actions.

It's odd that Israel keeps jumping back and forth between claiming that this is a military blockade and claiming that it's sanctions depending on what they're trying to justify. If it's a military blockade, Israel is mandated to allow purely medical shipments through (even if they're solely intended for Hamas militants). If it's sanctions, there needs to be some international approval if sanctions include blocking international shipping in neutral waters. Israel's claiming this is a military blockade today (so that their boarding is legal) without fulfilling the requirements of an occupying power under Geneva. They claim that they do not occupy Gaza, but rather control its borders.

"Shots to the back of the head could result from the person being shot in the front and then being spun around by the impact as the shooter continues to fire. "

Would a person hit by a 9 mm pistol bullet spin around so quickly that the shooter could then inadvertently put bullets into the back of his head before he hits the ground? The first bullet would have to be off center on the torso (unless it hits an arm) to cause the spin and then the other bullets hit the head. This seems implausible.

Anyway, Fulkan " was shot five times from less than 45 cm (18 inches) away, in the face, the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back, it said." I'm no forensics expert, but that sounds suspicious, as does the four bullets in various places on the 60 year old man.


The different ships are different sizes and laid out differently. Boarding from the side may not have been practical.

The number and closeness of the wounds don't contradict the claim of self-defense. Given the videos, it's dumb to claim it wasn't.

It's nuts to attack armed soldiers with sticks and knives. This is the result. The people on the other boats did not attack and did not experience violence.

Shots to the back, even of the head, are not evidence that it wasn't self-defense. And there is no alternative theory that fits.

You can see from the results of the other 5 boats and the recent stoppage of a boat on Saturday that the Israelis are trying hard to avoid violence. Implying otherwise is slander.

You can see from the results of the other 5 boats and the recent stoppage of a boat on Saturday that the Israelis are trying hard to avoid violence.

well, they are now. it doesn't take much of a genius to know they'd like to avoid any more negative attention.

Yes, there is a rather simple alternative theory that fits, Areaman. Witnesses claim the IDF opened fire from the air, and that one person - the journalist Chetin Genghis - was shot. The autopsy reports also says he was shot from above.

Would you be all meek and agreeable if your best friend just was killed with shot in the head, before your eyes?

Links of interest:

A flotilla passenger committed to and with long experience in nonviolent resistane, beaten repeatedly by the IDF.

Marcy Wheeler on how the U.S. response to the attack on the flotilla fits into the larger framework of our "war on terror".

"Nine Turkish activists killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship were shot a total of 30 times and five died of gunshot wounds to the head, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Friday."

According to http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177445>the IDF, the people actually doing the fighting onboard the ships were wearing those bullet proof vests mentioned earlier. That would certainly explain a large excess of shots relative to kills, and most of the kills being due to head shots.

"Based on preliminary results of its investigation into the navy’s takeover of the Mavi Marmara, which ended with nine dead passengers and more than 30 wounded, the IDF said on Thursday that the commandos were attacked by a well-trained group of mercenaries, most of whom were found without IDs but with thousands of dollars in their pockets.

The group was well trained and was split into a number of squads of about 20 mercenaries each distributed throughout the upper deck, the IDF said. All of the mercenaries wore gas masks and ceramic bulletproof vests and were armed with either bats, slingshots, metal bars, knives or stun grenades."

I remember back when the Israelis were good at propaganda.

Now they just turn out crap that only their right-wing and their groupies in America swallow.

It almost doesn't matter to me whether or not the commandos were shooting in self-defense. Even if they were, it was still an unnecessary escalation of the situation to send them in at the time and in the manner and place that the IDF did. I say almost because it would certainly be worse for them to have just started shooting people for no reason at all (to be the King of the Obvious, I). But the self-defense argument doesn't exonerate Israel, just the individual commandos. While not moot, it is also not crucial.

"I remember back when the Israelis were good at propaganda."

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite. But that's only because I'm over 50...

Look, I don't think the Israeli government is particularly nice. OTOH, "nice government" is something of an oxymoron. There are maybe a dozen governments, world-wide, that are significantly less nasty than Israel's, and, not coincidentally, none of them are surrounded by mortal enemies. There are at least a hundred governments that are significantly nastier than Israel's, and they don't get half the criticism Israel gets.

Hell, China probably murders more people on any given day than Israel does in a year, and how much time do you clowns devote to complaining about them? They can commit GENOCIDE, and get less grief about it than Israel gets closing a border with a neighbor that's raining missiles on them.

Man, talk about double standards...

Hell, China probably murders more people on any given day than Israel does in a year, and how much time do you clowns devote to complaining about them?

I condemn the murderous assholes in China, just in case you think I don't condemn murderous assholes. But really, do you think I don't condemn murderous assholes in general or are you just complaining that I don't do the obvious all the time?


Do all of us need a disclaimer at the front of our posts/comments listing the assholes that are worse than the ones we're about to complain about such that we're not "clowns?"

"Man, talk about double standards..."

China gives the U.S. money whereas Israel takes U.S. money.

Besides, there's a big difference between executing corrupt businessmen and gunning down civilians.

Apparently?

Actually on the world stage, I think it is completely fair to notice that China gets less crap for ongoing genocide in Tibet than Israel gets for even their individual bad acts like this flotilla incident. And it is also fair to notice that even in aggregate, Israeli actions don't approach the level of Chinese actions in Tibet.

That isn't much of a defense of Israel, of course. As "better than China" is a really crappy standard.

I would say that as a practical matter, Israel gets more crap than a lot of countries because it goes back and forth on whether or not it wants to be heavy handed. Syria for example pays no political price for Hama (literally executing 400 males at random as collective punishment for terrorist bombing, creating a death penalty for being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then shelling the city from afar, killing 10,000-30,000 citizens at random to break the back of the insurgency). Interestingly, for what it is worth, the Muslim Brotherhood has publicly renounced political violence vis-a-vis Syria, a step that Hamas has never taken vis-a-vis Israel.

But again, "better than Syria" sucks as standard too.

I honestly despair at the whole thing. I can't imagine any likely scenario that leads to peace.

If we're going back to 1982, Syria's killing in Hama was on the same scale as Israel's killing in Lebanon. Israel ran a torture center in Khiam
with its partner the SLA during its occupation there. The American press downplays Israeli human rights violations. I don't think they are the worst country in the world in that respect,but I also don't think there's any reason to think that only a dozen countries are better or that 100 are worse, despite what human rights experts like Harold Bloom or Brett might want to claim.

As for crap received, Israel gets much verbal abuse from many countries, but love notes and a few billion dollars per year from the US and I think in practical terms the latter matters to them more. We don't support Syrian human rights violations--we support Israel's.

"We don't support Syrian human rights violations--we support Israel's."

I should correct that, since Maher Arar would disagree. We don't support Syrian human rights violations to anywhere near the level that we support Israel's.

Donald, if Israel shelled Gaza from afar and killed 20,000 people it would probably end the uprising, just as Hama broke the back of it in Syria.

Do you think that Israel would get off as easily as Syria?

I doubt it. (Frankly I hope not).

This shouldn't be interpreted as cheerleading for Israel. I honestly don't see a good end to any of this. Hamas is not going to stop bombing Israel, and the international community isn't even interested in pressuring them to stop. Israel isn't going to just sit back and let it continue, and the international community isn't able to force them to allow Hamas to keep bombing them.

So I don't forsee anything good. (Which to be SUPER clear, is said with despair, not something like anticipation).

Sebastian, you're comparing Syria's 1982 action with Israel's 2009 action--I'm comparing Syria in 1982 with Israel in 1982 and they are quite comparable in brutality in that year. They both got away with it, except for some verbal abuse. The world no doubt yelled more about Israel--big deal. We kept giving them aid and diplomatic support, a lot more than we give to Syria. And among people who actually follow the Mideast, Hama is as well known as the 1982 Lebanon War.

Yes, Israel gets more condemnation in the UN. That's a problem,though not because Israel gets the criticism, but because other countries don't get enough criticism themselves. As for Israel, I think they care more about what the US Congress says about them and there the problem is exactly the opposite of what it is in the UN.

Hamas did stop bombing Israel in 2008 and it was Israel that broke the ceasefire on November 4--a ceasefire that they never really honored in the first place, since they maintained the blockade. Hamas demanded an end to the blockade (part of the original agreement) as a condition for reinstating the ceasefire in December. Israel didn't lift it and the war (if one wishes to call it that) began at the end of the month.

There appears to be a moderate element within Hamas, just as there was in the PLO decades ago when talking to the PLO was seen as capitulation to terrorism. What the US and Israel have been doing is saying that we will pick the Palestinian leaders for them and we will help instigate a civil war to do it and then we point to that as evidence of Hamas extremism.

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite.

I recall when you could tell the difference between a conservative and a playground bully. Just kidding: actually, I don't.

Sebastian: Donald, if Israel shelled Gaza from afar and killed 20,000 people it would probably end the uprising

Well, temporarily, yes. And by "temporarily", I mean probably till the next Palestinian generation grew up.

The only final solution to uprisings in an apartheid state such as Israel is, well, a Final Solution. I do the Israelis the credit that they prefer a continuous program of harassment, discrimination, substantive legal inequality, bombings, assassination, and casual killings, to actually rounding these inconvenient people up and slaughtering them en masse.

Israel can take down the walls around Gaza and the Israeli-only towns in the West Bank, and grant legal equality as citizens to all of the Palestinians inside Israel's defacto borders, and that will end the war. So long as they perceive it as preferable to kill and harass Palestinians at little risk to themselves, they will continue to do so.

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite. But that's only because I'm over 50...

Jeez Brett, what about all the liberal Jewish critics of certain of Israel's behavior in America? Anti-Semites I suppose. Right?

Regardless, as mentioned above, Israel is the largest recipient of US aid. As such, citizens of the US have certain expectations, and consequently, are held to a degree responsible for the Israeli government's actions.

So even if they are slightly better than other odious regimes, an worse than others still, the criticism of American liberals is directly tied to those levels of aid, the complicity and, for many others, a belief in the concept of Israel and a desire to see Israel do the right thing.

Absent a two state solution, Israel will either cease to exist as a Jewish state, commit massive genocide/ethnic cleansing, or continue to administer a brutal, oppressive apartheid state.

Not sure why those that are trying to get Israel to change that course are considered the anti-Semites, but there you have it.

"Absent a two state solution, Israel will either cease to exist as a Jewish state, commit massive genocide/ethnic cleansing, or continue to administer a brutal, oppressive apartheid state."

I entirely agree. The problem is, achieving a two state solution isn't just up to Israel, it's also up to the Palestinians. They've elected a government officially dedicated to Israel ceasing to exist.

It's kind of hard to achieve a two state solution when the other state is dedicated you your destruction, even if they ARE too puny to achieve it.

They've elected a government officially dedicated to Israel ceasing to exist.

This is not true. Hamas has renounced that plank, and officially recognizes Israel's right to exist.

And Israel is hardly dedicated to such. See, ie, the settlement activity, and the way in which Sharon disengage from Gaza - in a way that, as was predicted at the time, would empower Hamas.

I'm not sure what your point is, here.

The point is that this was stupid and unnecessary. See Mike's 3:51 for details.

Actually on the world stage, I think it is completely fair to notice that China gets less crap for ongoing genocide in Tibet than Israel gets for even their individual bad acts like this flotilla incident.

You're a front-pager, start a "Chinese genocide in Tibet" thread. Rather than, frex, enabling Brett's threadjack here.

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite.

Were ObWi not the polite and measured place that it is, the appropriate response here would be "FU".

Since ObWi is what it is, I will instead mention that throwing claims of anti-semitism around every time somebody criticizes the political state of Israel is cheap, weak BS.

There is, in fact, very real anti-semitism in the world. You hang out in militia circles, you should be quite familiar with it.

Pointing out egregiously bad behavior on the part of the political leadership of the nation of Israel is not anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is when you hate Jews. The two things are not the same.

And every person in the United States of America has a material stake in how the political leadership of Israel does, and does not, behave, because their actions affect our interests as well as their own. We have every reason to offer our opinions on the matter.

It's time to lay the f**k off the "anti-semitism" thing. And I especially direct that to folks who are quite happy to make invidious comments about other ethnic and racial groups.

Leave it alone, dude.

Hope all of that is clear.

Not sure why those that are trying to get Israel to change that course are considered the anti-Semites, but there you have it.

For the same reason Americans who opposed the invasion of Iraq were called traitors.

When you don't have a decent argument but you desperately want to start killing people anyhow, you put your fingers in your ears, close your eyes, and start calling everyone who doesn't agree with you nasty names, in a very loud voice.

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite. ~Brett

Let's see, I'm a conservative. And I remember the days of the 1967 when my (Jewish) college roommate and I were watching and feeling, in the words of a columnist back then, "Go Israel go!" But I think on this one Israel screwed up big time.

Does that make me suddenly a liberal? (And won't the liberals I know be startled to hear that!) Or does it somehow make me an instant anti-Semite? Kinda confused here, Brett.

I remember when you could tell the difference between a 'liberal' and an anti-semite.

welcome to the pie filter, jackass.

"You're a front-pager, start a "Chinese genocide in Tibet" thread"

That's a good idea, Sebastian. Or pick any human rights topic you want--I'm pretty sure you'd get a fair amount of agreement and maybe some disagreement about details and almost certainly about what policy to follow, but not too many ObiWi people are going to come out and defend (frex) China's treatment of Tibet.

Jeez Brett, what about all the liberal Jewish critics of certain of Israel's behavior in America? Anti-Semites I suppose. Right?

Actually, Eric, the usual derogatory term for those critics of Israeli policy is "self-hating Jew". If the facile equation of "liberal" and "anti-semite" isn't dismissive enough.

"Or pick any human rights topic you want--I'm pretty sure you'd get a fair amount of agreement and maybe some disagreement about details and almost certainly about what policy to follow, but not too many ObiWi people are going to come out and defend (frex) China's treatment of Tibet."

Actually lets experiment. Even though I'm pointing it out openly here, I strongly suggest such a thread won't get nearly the commentary attention that the four recent Israel posts have. Hmm.

"Do all of us need a disclaimer at the front of our posts/comments listing the assholes that are worse than the ones we're about to complain about such that we're not "clowns?""

Yup, pretty much. If you complain about the mote in one person's eye, while ignoring the beam in twenty others', what's to be concluded except that you have it in for the first person?

" Even though I'm pointing it out openly here, I strongly suggest such a thread won't get nearly the commentary attention that the four recent Israel posts have. "

If so, it might have something to do with the fact that it's noncontroversial to say that China is guilty of massive human rights violations. OTOH, with Israel you have the overwhelming majority of our politicians lining up behind Israel either defending what they do or criticizing it in the most limited of ways. always being careful to blame Palestinians as much or more. Obama, for instance, criticized Israeli settlements and Palestinian terror in his Cairo speech--he wouldn't ever condemn Israeli war crimes. Quite the contrary--in the case of the 2006 Lebanon War he took the standard US politician stance that civilian casualties there were because Hezbollah used them as human shields. No nuance, no claim that maybe that happened sometimes (which is debatable), but other times it was Israel's fault--no, Israel was completely innocent. This total absolution given to Israeli violence is the norm. The rule of thumb in US political circles is that you criticize the settlements if you criticize anything at all, but never accuse Israel of crimes with the same emotional intensity that one would use when discussing Hamas's actions.

What drives the focus on Israel among most leftwing types in the blogosphere is the support our government gives combined with the hypocrisy of it all. It's the same story with other human rights violators--American lefties tend to focus on the violators our own government supports (or the violations we ourselves commit). You can disagree with this emphasis, but there's no mystery about it.

Brett has come out and said it's anti-semitism. Is that what you are implying?

"Actually lets experiment."

By all means. After all both instances you cite undoubtedly have a large, vociferous, politically active, and powerful domestic US constituency that is determined to defend anything the perpetrator has done, and include hugely important geopolitical implications having to do with our current fascination with the Middle East where, if I am not mistaken, we continue to be embroiled in two wars....but whatever.

I'm sure a post about the current status of my golf game (another example of evil inhumanity) would also really run up some numbers (just like my scores) :)

Even though I'm pointing it out openly here, I strongly suggest such a thread won't get nearly the commentary attention that the four recent Israel posts have. Hmm.

I agree with that prediction. But I think the reasons are also far more complex than just "everyone's picking on Israel."

Israel was created by / with the collaboration of Western/European powers, partly (largely?) in response to the Holocaust, which was perpetrated by a European power. It is heavily supported by our tax dollars.

Speaking as someone who has just spent 5 weeks in China, and whose son has been there for two going on three years (and who in effect majored in China in college) -- Europe is right next door compared to China. When my son decided to take a job in China, one of my lighthearted attempts to cope with my sadness at missing him was a joke about how I wished he would have gone to Europe instead; it's on our doorstep, comparatively speaking. Also culturally speaking, linguistically speaking, ethnically speaking, etc.

Europe is where a large percentage of Americans have their ancestral roots. Many of us still remember the European immigrant generation in our families; hell, in many families the European immigrant generation is still alive. The beginnings of the US as a nation were as colonies of a European nation, not an Asian nation. The inhabitants of Israel for the most part come from centuries or millennia in European countries.

Our dominant language, and our most dominant second language (nationally speaking; I mean Spanish) -- both are European.

There are many more Jewish Americans than Tibetan Americans.

As little as the average American knows of world history, I would bet that the average American knows a lot more about European history than about Asian history, separate from the Middle East. And a lot of what Americans know or think they know about the Middle East is related to Israel's positioning there.

This is not even to mention that the religious roots of the majority of Americans are connected to Israel and the Middle East. Speaking in terms of the land itself, Israel is “the Holy Land” to many if not most Americans. China and Tibet are too far away and too foreign to play anything but a bit role in the imaginative lives of most Americans.

For the record, while I was personally made very welcome in China, there is a lot of chippiness in China about their relations with the West, now and historically. No Chinese person I talked to (or that my son has ever talked to), even the ones that aren't entirely thrilled with their system of government (to put it tactfully), has the slightest doubt that Tibet and Taiwan are and have always been part of China. (I'm not saying I agree with them.) They're convinced that the US played almost no role in defeating Japan in WWII. Etc. Etc. But they also are mindful of a history in which -- just for example -- Britain went to war with China in order to force China to allow the British to keep selling opium in China. They don't really think we have a leg to stand on in criticizing them.

This is scattered and I don’t have time to make it less so. But I think Sebastian’s prediction is right, I highly doubt I would agree with his reasoning about why.

(P.S. I know that not everyone who comments here is American, or European-American. But though it’s always uncertain what’s behind the handle, my impression is that there are very few Asians or Asian-Americans. gwangung, are you out there somewhere? And in this massive lumping, I’m not counting Middle Easterners (e.g. Egyptian-Americans, hi Turb) as Asians. My point is that the US, Europe, and the Middle East are far more enmeshed with each other than any of them is enmeshed with China. Hence the allotting of our attention more in one direction than in the other.)

Yup, pretty much. If you complain about the mote in one person's eye, while ignoring the beam in twenty others', what's to be concluded except that you have it in for the first person?

I'll keep that in mind next time you criticize Obama without mentioning Kim Jong Il.

Who gets to be Israel -- Tibet or China?

Or maybe the Palestinians are Tibet? Or, are they Beijing?

Taiwan's going to feel left out.

I'm a self-hating Republican, by which I mean I've never changed my registration and I hate myself for it.

It could be that many of the commentariat here object so strenuously to Israel's behavior in the flotilla incident because (I would say "we", but I hate everyone, ha ha) they expect so much more from the Israelis.

And maybe some feel a little ownership over the weapons the Israelis used, since we probably paid for a least a portion of them, whereas Beijing at least has the good taste to be assholes on their own ticket.

Or, are we selling weaponry to the Chinese now too?

I can't keep up.

I'll keep that in mind next time you criticize Obama without mentioning Kim Jong Il.

I'm more looking forward to Brett's explanation of how the Michigan Militia and the Hutaree movement are full of people who just love the resiliency of Jewish culture.

How bout we offer a slogan to the Israeli government:

"Israel, not quite as bad as China or Sudan"!

Anyway.

Basically, what I said upthread, that Brett has not responded to.

Also what Russell, DJ and bobbyp said.

It's simple.

1. Israel gets more in US aid than any other nation. I hereby vow to pay less attention to their gross human rights abuses when our aid stops.

Deal?

2. China's abuses and, say, Sudan's are obvious and almost universally decried. Especially here in the US, you won't see any politicians defending them. Not only do we not offer those regimes rhetorical support, we don't given them any aid. Israel, on the other hand, gets billions. Each year. Billions.

3. The story in the US is so one-sided in favor of Israel, that it creates a hornet's nest of controversey to try to discuss basic facts and what would otherwise be obvious conclusions about wrongful actions.

But to blame that on people that criticize some actions of some ruling regimes in Israel, and further to blame that on anti-Semitism, is as insulting as it is absurd. Again, especially considering how many Jews and how many Israelis themselves! are critics of those same policies and ruling factions.

By Brett's ingenius calculus, not only are large swathes of American Jewry anti-Semitic, but so is - depending on the topic - a large chunk of Israel's population itself.

Brilliant!

I strongly suggest such a thread won't get nearly the commentary attention that the four recent Israel posts have. Hmm.

If so, it might have something to do with the fact that it's noncontroversial to say that China is guilty of massive human rights violations.

To that I will add:

China's violations of human rights don't complicate our relations with a billion and a half people with whom our relationship is already pretty freaking fraught.

China's violations of human rights don't inspire young Tibetans to murder Americans or other Westerners wherever they can be found.

We don't fund the material infrastructure of China's army and police to the tune of billions a year.

But by all means, in a thread on the topic of bad behavior on the part of Israel, let's not discuss whether their (Israel's) policies and actions are good, moral, constructive, legal, or helpful in any way to either their interests or ours.

Let's talk about China, and whether all liberals are anti-semites.

To set the record straight:

China's human rights policies have bugger-all to do with the topic at hand.

Liberals are not invariably, usually, or even commonly anti-semites.

If you actually do want to find anti-semites, they are bloody easy to find. Go out in the woods on the weekend and look for the guys running around with guns, wearing camo over their lily-white skin, and trading stories about the one-world gummint.

That's where you will find your anti-semites.

Yup, pretty much. If you complain about the mote in one person's eye, while ignoring the beam in twenty others', what's to be concluded except that you have it in for the first person?

See, that's not actually the correct biblical reference. You have it completely wrong, and your rather basic mistake reveals the purpose.

The point is NOT that you should never criticize behavior unless you criticize every other bad behavior ever in the history of the world for all time.

The point is that you shouldn't criticize someone else's behavior when you yourself are exhibiting that exact same behavior.

Meaning, Brett, that you totally missed the point.

If you actually do want to find anti-semites, they are bloody easy to find. Go out in the woods on the weekend and look for the guys running around with guns, wearing camo over their lily-white skin, and trading stories about the one-world gummint.

Bingo!

Also, see, the KKK and other White Pride/Power groups. Ain't hard to find. But being critical of certain policies of right wing Israeli governments is not prima facie, or even tangential, evidence of anti-Semitism.

You'll note that most Jews - the overwhelming majority in fact - vote for liberal politicians again and again. Odd that.

Okay, Brett. You're argument is ridiculous, for all the reasons already listed. And you're just embarrassing yourself by continuing in this line when you have other at least arguable points.

And I'll add another point to the ones already made. It isn't merely that Israel gets money from the U.S. It's that the U.S. is held accountable for actions Israel (by which I mean this particular government) takes, which hurts our credibility and makes us a target. Add to that the fact that the U.S. government cannot bring itself in any way to criticize Israel for its actions, and you have a situation where we are made complicit in actions many of us see as wrong.

Insofar as the U.S. does not condemn China for its treatment of Tibetans, you see a considerable amount of consternation and anger from "liberals." And if we had a situation where we had video of Chinese troops killing activists in the process of protesting that treatment, we'd have a nice point of comparison.

But you don't have comparisons like that, which really exposes the weakness of your attempts to deflect valid and necessary criticism of Israel's actions here. You don't see rash of debate about genocide in Africa, certainly not to the extent that this flotilla has gotten it. You want to blame that on anti-semitism? Your point is that we don't generally care about human suffering, but we all really hate Jews?

Wow. Just, wow.

Those of us who have bent over backwards to accommodate Israel's positions over the years do so because we understand how problematic their situation is. But you haven't engaged the substance of this particular incident. Or the fact that Israel's own evidence, even assuming what they've shown us is correct, doesn't prove what they say it proves and doesn't justify their actions.

I mean, really. The fact that the activists were wearing bullet proof vests proves that they were violent? Or proves that they were up to no good? When you consider how much Israel has controlled the information in this situation so completely (holding the passengers, confiscating their recordings, reediting their recordings), and what they've come up with is still such weak tea.

And we haven't even gotten to the three-year old blockade and its effects on the people of Gaza. I'm not horrified because I think that this is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. I'm horrified that the excessiveness of these actions by our ally are so transparently unjustifiable and that pointing out such a simple fact is enough to have random people call you an anti-semite.

"You're" argument may be ridiculous, but your spelling is fine.

Hamas has renounced that plank, and officially recognizes Israel's right to exist.

No, they haven't.

It's not worth hunting down the exact quote, but Brett has quite recently said something to the effect that he agrees with a lot of people here more often than we think, and that he mostly only writes when what he says will be controversial.

Controversial would be one thing, however; inanely provocative, nasty, superior, and insulting thread-jacking is quite another.

I'm with cleek. Time and attention are precious commodities, and Brett isn't getting any more of mine. And when threads get deflected to where Brett wants them to go, and many many comments end up engaging Brett to no useful end, Obsidian Wings itself is that much less worth reading.

Charles Bird's link is definitely worth reading, as it shows some evidence of Hamas moderation. They haven't officially renounced that plank, but Meshal is obviously willing to abandon it in practice.


That's the kind of incipient moderation that should be encouraged, not dismissed.

Back to the beginning.....somebody gets shot FOUR TIMES IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD AT CLOSE RANGE and this is written off with specious ballistic ruminations or justified on the grounds that the victim was wearing protective clothing.

It strikes me as a cold blooded execution of the "this could happen to you" variety.

What DJ said:

They offered peace for land. Exactly what Brett said they wouldn't.

Even if not repealed, it seems at least a discussion point, or moot considering the land for peace offer.

"Brett has come out and said it's anti-semitism. Is that what you are implying?"

Anti-semitism is absolutely a factor in the equation to varying degrees. I think it is certainly why the issue gets played up so much by Arab governments while they mistreat Palestinians at home.

I actually tend to think it is more of a bullying factor combined with self righteousness. People see human rights issues and want to make a response. Seriously proposing that Israel be treated like South Africa (mandatory disinvestment or the like) makes them feel like they are doing something. If they tried that with China they would risk actual war with an actually strong power, and they would risk economic meltdown. Israel for two major reasons: A) they aren't ruthless enough to decisively end the conflicts, relegating the worst of the violations firmly in the past; B) they aren't a big player, so picking on them doesn't have much of geo-political cost. (Arguably it is difficult to imagine that picking on them has ANY geo-political cost).

Does this operate on an individual level? I'm not sure. But it definitely operates on a systemic level. Amnesty International, as an organization, is perfectly well aware that their reports on Tibet are going to be completely ignored by the world. No major power is going to risk one ounce of energy seriously confronting China on Tibet. But European powers practically fall all over themselves to criticize Israel, and are perfectly willing to take actual steps against it because doing so isn't remotely dangerous for Europe. So systemically, Israel gets criticized because it is weak. That isn't an anti-semitic impulse. That is a bullying impulse.

Now why it gets more criticism than say Syria, or Saudi Arabia is more arguably anti-semitism.

I should have said "Israel gets more criticized because it is weak"

I'm well aware that AI issues its reports on Tibet, just as I'm well aware that it spends more of the political capital/press capital that it has on Israel.

"Even if not repealed, it seems at least a discussion point, or moot considering the land for peace offer."

Thats a rather significant change of opinion. Earlier in the thread it sounded like you thought the repeal was a really important point used to refute Brett's comments on the two state solution.

So lets revisit that. How tenable is the two-state solution so long as Hamas continues to say that Israel has no right to exist and continues shelling, bombing, and firing rockets into Israel? Are Israelis crazy to at a minimum ask for change in the party plank recognizing their right to exist? I mean that doesn't seem like a really big minimum to me.

Hell you could change the party plank and still secretly harbor a desire to destroy Israel. Governments do things like that all the time, see for example China's stated policy with Tibet. Isn't the fact that Hamas won't even do that a pretty serious sign that maybe they believe it? Which then causes some rather thorny problems for
a two state solution.

Further, doesn't Israel get the same benefit of the doubt? In the past, they've gone further than merely 'mooting' a freeze on settlements, or offering as 'discussion points' an end to the blockade in exchange for ACTUAL peace. So they are in pretty much the same position as the Gazan government right? Both sides have vaguely offered the hint of change, and neither side has taken particularly useful practical steps--even easy purely rhetorical ones.

Okay, enough of this crap. It's time somebody came to China's defense.....

http://www.index-china.com/index-english/Tibet-s.html

....even at the risk of inciting an "economic meltdown"(?)

Israel, not as bad as Syria and Saudi Arabia. The point is that Israel set itself up, and continues to present itself as a beacon of democracy in a still-benighted region. Then, when it carries out actions that contradict this image it--and its enablers--start throwing charges of antisemitism around. Israel's enablers also take quite a different line when it comes to the other democracy in the region...Turkey.

Note that I do not use the term "supporter" in this case. Israel's supporters, among whom I count myself, want to see Israel survive and ultimately prosper in a degree of harmony with its neighbors, and a resolution of the Palestinian issue in a way that allows peaceful commerce between Israel and the Palestinians. When Israel does something that is manifestly counterproductive in support of a policy that is unsustainable, supporters should be able to criticise Israel; and Israel should take it very seriously and act on it. Criticism from opponents and enemies can be ignored, criticism from supporters must not be, or they may risk that support.

Those who claim to support Israel no matter what--for tribal or theological reasons--it does are not supporters, they are enablers.

There's no need to bring China into it if you want to talk about bullying. What is the chance that a high-ranking American will be tried for war crimes? What is the chance that any high-ranking Western official will be tried for war crimes? Somewhere around zero. Israel is a member of the club--you'll have activists trying to get Israeli officials arrested when they visit other countries, but it's not going to work because there's this useful fiction around that Western democracies police their own war crimes. The precedent set by having a Western official answer for war crimes is not one American officials would like to see. That's also part of the reason Obama isn't investigating Bush's war crimes.

And you've said nothing about the ridiculous pro-Israel bias among US politicians. Given that the US is the only hyperpower in the world and is the dominant outsider in the "peace process", that bias ought to be some cause for concern.

As for Amnesty International and other groups, it's their job to do the best they can reporting on human rights violations around the world and what you find is that they are quoted favorably when they attack America's enemies and ignored or attacked in the American press when they criticize America or its friends. Bush I cited AI when making the case against Saddam Hussein back in 1990. I don't think he cited them too often when discussing El Salvador or Guatemala in the 1980's. More recently you had one of the founders of Helsinki Watch (Richard Bernstein) accusing HRW of anti-Israeli bias. Nevermind that the vast majority of their Mideast reports are about countries other than Israel or that their reports on, say, the 2006 Lebanon War were carefully balance, with some focusing on Israeli crimes and others focusing on Hezbollah crimes. They get criticized by some lefties for this, though not by me and others who think that's exactly what they should be doing. And as for the spending of political capital,all that means is just what I said--human rights groups don't have to be worried that they are going to get much criticism in the West when they write reports about China. China will dismiss them as biased, as every human rights violator will do when this happens. AI knows damn well they're going to be dismissed as biased by many Westerners when they criticize a Western country. Since their base is in the West, I suppose you could say they spend more political capital when they take on the US or Israel than when they take on China.

There is obviously anti-semitism among the Arabs and some Westerners--nobody denies that. There is equally obviously anti-Arab racism among Israelis and many of their Western defenders.

Se bastian: How tenable is the two-state solution

The two-state "solution" is not tenable at all. About half of the people who live in Israel - mostly the non-citizens to whom "two states" are being offered as a "solution" - do not want to live in bantustans, which will not be permitted by Israel to have sovereignity over their own borders or to be allowed democratic freedom to elect its own government.

The only tenable long-term solution for peace is the one-state solution: Israel has to take down the walls and fences around Gaza and in the West Bank, and admit all the inhabitants to full Israeli citizenship.

Until then, that Israel keeps killing the non-citizens and crying "provocation" when the non-citizens fight back, will make the various bantustan "solutions" proposed untenable as well.

Anti-semitism is absolutely a factor in the equation to varying degrees. I think it is certainly why the issue gets played up so much by Arab governments while they mistreat Palestinians at home.

I don't believe the claims of anti-semitism that we've seen on the various threads concerning the flotilla raid were made in reference to Arab governments.

Whenever people *in the United States* are critical of the policies or actions of the political state of Israel, the first smoke bomb that gets thrown is "anti-semitism".

It's a load of crap.

Anti-semites are people who *hate or discriminate against Jews*. To my knowledge, those people aren't participating here, and are not particularly numerous among the American critics of Israel's actions regarding the Palestinians.

Being critical of the actions of the state of Israel is not synonymous with, and in the United States has no meaningful correlation with, anti-semitism.

Next freaking topic, please.

So lets revisit that.

OK

How tenable is the two-state solution so long as Hamas continues to say that Israel has no right to exist....

I cannot imagine a two state solution whereby Israel did not get this concession as part of the outcome.

Are Israelis crazy to at a minimum ask for change in the party plank recognizing their right to exist?

Yes. I find the insistence of the right of an apartheid regime to exist rather abhorrent. You apparently feel otherwise.

It's time somebody came to China's defense.....

http://www.index-china.com/index-english/Tibet-s.html

China coming to China's defense on this issue is a lot like Israel coming to Israel's defense about the flotilla.

Chinese people will sit by the hour extolling the glorious 5000-year Chinese history of practically everything, including e.g. bai jiu, the favorite drinking game liquor, which has been made in China, from corn, for 5,000 years.........

Chinese people will also tell you with a straight face, as I mentioned earlier today, that the US had very little to do with the defeat of Japan in WWII.

Their credibility, especially about their own history, is not stellar. Not that the average American's credibility about our history is a whole lot better, in my view.

Or was your tongue in your cheek?

They offered peace for land. Exactly what Brett said they wouldn't.

Not quite, Eric. Hamas also demanded the right of return. Because such a condition is a dealbreaker--and I'm sure Hamas knows this--their position has not changed. But the point is that you said "Hamas has renounced that plank, and officially recognizes Israel's right to exist." The statement is false. They haven't done so. They said they would do so but only under unrealistic and untenable conditions.

@Seb:
How tenable is the two-state solution so long as Hamas continues to say that Israel has no right to exist and continues shelling, bombing, and firing rockets into Israel?

How tenable is the two-state solution so long as Israel continues to say that Palestine has no right to exist as a sovereign nation and continues shelling, bombing, and firing missiles into the the Occupied Territories?

@Brett:
According to the IDF, the people actually doing the fighting onboard the ships were wearing those bullet proof vests mentioned earlier. That would certainly explain a large excess of shots relative to kills, and most of the kills being due to head shots.

This was pretty well dealt with upthread, but I find it rather amusing that you quote the text you quote, given that this IDF press release originally identified these "mercenaries" as having been identified as AQ operatives before silently retracting that claim. Not exactly what I'd call a credible source to cite. Just sayin'.

"Or was your tongue in your cheek?"

Planted firmly therein. But it's nice to find out the Chinese are much like everybody else in this regard...so much for 'exotic orientals'.

But seriously, do you support Tibetan independence, and deny Chinese claims to sovereignty?

Seb's forthcoming thread should be a real kick-ass affair.

bobbyp, in general I'm not in favor imperialism or expansionism. In general I don't trust the Chinese about their own history or a lot of other things. In general I have no wish to see anyone live under the system of government they have in China.

But that's more a set of emotional reactions than a historically informed assessment of anyone's claims to anything, including China's claim to Tibet.

However. Another "fact" I heard in China -- which might give a clue to how likely I am to support or deny China's claims -- was that Moscow was once a Chinese village.

This assertion is apparently linked to the fact that the Mongols conquered China, and then they conquered a lot of what is now Russia....

I certainly don't want the Chinese running my life, so I have a lot of sympathy with any Tibetans who don't want the Chinese running theirs. Of course, that could be extended further...but I'm not going there.

Another "fact" I heard in China -- which might give a clue to how likely I am to support or deny China's claims -- was that Moscow was once a Chinese village.

You know, a few years ago a Celtic plaid garment was found in China.

I think it's time we admitted that the whole world really belongs to the Scots.

Anti-semitism is absolutely a factor in the equation to varying degrees. I think it is certainly why the issue gets played up so much by Arab governments while they mistreat Palestinians at home.

This kind of logical fallacy is beneath you, Sebastian. As others noted, those who expressed negative attitudes toward actions by the Israeli government were labeled anti-semitic. Whatever other motives someone else might have for using an argument neither makes the argument anti-semitic nor addresses the motives of individuals who make it.

In other words, regarding the question of whether the Israeli government's actions were justified or not, what motives these Arab states have is entirely irrelevant, both to the overall question and to the motives of those of us who find their actions unjustified.

Paul, I was responding to a particular question which you seem to be expanding well beyond my answer. Further, I explained what I thought was the functional answer, and it didn't have to do with anti-semitism.

Is it that you agreed with the rest, so you focused only on the point you disagreed with?

As for my thoughts on general Israeli justification re the blockade:

They are absolutely 100% justified in having a blockade and searching every single ship for weapons. That justification continues *at least* until Hamas really sues for peace--i.e publicly accepts Israel's right to exist and ceases the bombings. Hamas is at war with Israel, and Israel absolutely has the right to blockade weapons. Denying this, is difficult to justify and would make me suspect anti-semitism.

They are not justified in having a blockading shipments of food, medicine, etc. to the civilian population. Denying this is difficult to justify and would make me suspect Israelophilic tendencies.

The justification for blockading dual use items, like manufacturing equipment is somewhere in the middle I'd have to think more on it. Probably reasonable minds could reasonably disagree.

Israel should have exercised their right to blockade weapons in a better fashion than they did with the recent ship in question. That was both unnecessary and wrong.

Israel is a sacred cow! Don't criticize! Besides, the US wants the unfettered right to open fire and avoid questions later. Criticizing Israel on this is like being unpatriotic! Treason!

Brett: "Hell, China probably kills more people on any given day than Israel does in a year..."

How long have you hated all Chinese people?

minnesota phats -- how dare you accuse Brett of antisinitism!

All Chinese may believe that Tibet is, and should be, part of China. But it is worth remembering that the basis for this is simply that it once was conquered and a part of a Chinese Empire. Not that is was ever populated by Chinese, just that it was conquered territory for a while.

And on that basis, Japan has as good or better a claim to Manchuria, not to mention other parts of China. (Of course, Japan is not making any such a ridiculous claim.)

But it is worth remembering ...

Has anyone here expressed any support for what "all Chinese" believe?

Russell: I think it's time we admitted that the whole world really belongs to the Scots.

The constitution of the One World Government:

1. January 25 will become an international holiday
2. The captive breeding of farmed haggis for slaughter will become illegal, and all haggis reivers will be vrocht.
3. Awbodie complains o want o siller but nane o want o sense.

Jes, I was hoping you'd take that one and run with it!

There is a distinction between Hamas, who are clearly anti-semites that want to wipe Israel off the map, incinerate Jews, and wipe the sons of pigs and monkeys off the face of the earth, and the people who merely support Hamas. So the progressives support Hamas, is that so surprising? The eradication of the Zionist Entity is the ultimate end of billions of community organizers, from the UN world stage to the suicide bomber. Israel does not have that many sympathizers. After all, most every NGO, the UN Human Rights Council, Europeans, Chinese, every Muslim country, plus Venezeuela, Cuba, etc. hates the Jews. How can they not be right? It is consensus like Global Warming. I expect that the Michigan militias do not really even think so much about Israel and Jews. (More about Waco and Ruby Ridge.) Progressives, however, as you can easily see from this blog, they do really hate Israel Not all Jews! Jews are bad if they want their own country, but tolerable otherwise except for Joe Lieberman. I suppose that this isn't anti-semitism, but why all the full-throated support for Hamas and the other anti-semites?

DaveC,

How have you survived this long with reading comprehension skills this poor?

So bad I thought this was satire. (Or, wait...)

We'll never know what happened. Israel will conclude they aren't even capable of a plausible whitewash and do no significant public investigation. Obviously the fix is already in between Israel and the U.S. on any independent (to say nothing of UN) investigation. It's over.

Regarding Hamas "recognizing Israel's right to exist": there is nothing they can possibly do that will be correct here.

If Hamas says "We recognize Israel's right to exist" then they've just conceded literally everything to Israel in negotiations. After all, Israel does not have well accepted borders. When you say Israel, does that mean "everything between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River"? Or does it mean the green line/1967 border? Or what? So if Hamas says it simply accepts Israel's right to exist, come negotiation time, it will be hammered for insisting that it get some piece of land for Palestinians since it already (in they eyes of Israel and the US and the press) acknowledged that everything under the sun belongs to Israel. At which point everyone will be able to mock Hamas' perfidy and their unwillingness to seriously and honestly negotiate will become another well worn talking point that everyone just accepts.

If Hamas says "we recognize Israel's right to exist subject to the following conditions", they'll be castigated for not being serious about peace since they're trying to foreclose options at the negotiating table. Or maybe Charles Bird will mock them by accusing them of being unwilling to negotiate seriously since they establish "impossible" preconditions.

No matter what Hamas does, it loses the media narrative and gets hammered as being unwilling to negotiate. The truth is that there are some definitions of what "Israel" means that Hamas can accept and some that it cannot. But the specifics need to be hashed out at the negotiating table with Israel. A simple assertion WILL be used against them in the media narrative.

How have you survived this long with reading comprehension skills this poor?

Paulk, just so you know: DaveC is a troll who was banned a year or two ago. He admitted to deliberately writing insulting and inflammatory comments here on OW because he didn't have the guts to confront people at his wife's church who hurt his feelings with their liberalism. He's basically an incredible coward who isn't smart enough to know that if only he had kept quiet about his motivations he probably could have continued trolling here forever.

After first reading through this thread this morning, I'm still chuckling heartily at the irony of a libertarian -- a libertarian! for pete's sake! -- trying to categorize criticism of a government as ethnic bigotry. A man for whom government is, literally, equivalent to the Mafia, is trying to shame others criticizing a government by casting them as antisemites!!

One is tempted to point out that, since Palestinians are anthropologically Semitic, his portrayal of them as "rabid dogs" is TEH REAL ANTISEMITISM DUR HURR HURR. But that would be taking Brett seriously, which is not to be done except by professionals and under extremely controlled circumstances.

But I'll make Brett a deal: He can come stand with me in front of my late grandmother's grave at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Mayfield, OH -- where most of the gravestones are in a combination of English, Russian and Hebrew -- and call me an anti-Semite. In return, I will break his face for him.

So the progressives support Hamas, is that so surprising?

Take it outside, Dave.

This is like some kind of weird dysfunctional family thing.

"If you don't support me 100% in every thing I do, then you are against me and you're my enemy forever!!!".

It's a load of toxic crap.

The Israelis did not need to board the flotilla ships at night special-ops-ninja style to keep weapons out of Gaza.

As a result of their doing so, several IDF guys had the crap beaten out of them, and a generous handful of the folks trying to break the blockade were killed.

Unnecessary. All of it was unnecessary.

Israel quite often takes a position that if you cross them, they will not only prevent you from doing whatever it is you want to do, they will louse you up in the deal, and that but good. And if they break the law in doing so, that's your problem. Go ahead and try to make them stop.

Examples of this abound. Abuse of UK passports to travel around the world assassinating people they don't like. Bombing buildings where Hamas leaders happen to be, regardless of who else is in the building. Supporting settlements by Israelis in areas that properly belong the the Palestinians.

They reserve the right to f**k up anybody they don't like, and if you object, you can pound sand.

I appreciate the unique history of Israel as a nation, I appreciate the humanistic and democratic ideals that are the philosophical basis of their government, and I appreciate that they are a very small country in a very hostile environment.

None of that gives them license to shoot unarmed aid workers, regardless of context. It doesn't give them license to drive over Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer, it doesn't give them license to deny food, basic building materials, and access to medical care to the Gazans, it doesn't give them license to engage in any of the very many brutal practices they rain down upon the heads of the Palestinians that they share their geography with.

They did not need to kill these people to prevent the blockade from being broken. They were wrong.

It's got nothing to do with pro-semitism, anti-semitism, whatever. I has nothing to do with whether they're Jewish or not.

A nation that we provide enormous support to, and whose actions, by virtue of their geography and history, have enormous implications for the interests of this nation, is acting like a gang of mobsters.

We are entitled to an opinion about that, and it's got nothing to do with god-damned freaking anti-semitism.

And if you want to scare up some real, honest-to-goodness by-god anti-Semites in this country, place one to look is in the ranks of the paranoid, black-helicopter fantasists that surround the militia movement.

If you need examples, let me know, I will be only too happy to provide.

Next topic, please.

I haven't commented for a while; the loss of hilzoy and the loss of my job, plus the seeming inability of so many people to listen to each other, made me sign off for a while. but i feel the need to chip in.

1. To be blunt, international law recognizes the law of conquest. Israel, by force of arms, has the right to exist within some boundary.

2. Given the paucity of democracies worldwide, international law is unsurprisingly thin on the rights of people as against their states. Different classes of citizenship, weak or meaningless voting rights, a biased judiciary, dispossession of historic property rights are all too common around the world (not to mention the relatively recent history of those states, like the US, which claim to live up to a higher standard).

So you'd think that Israel would have a reasonable claim to be left alone, to treat its non-Jewish occupants pretty much the way it wishes, much like the rest of the world. (just how do Turkey and Iraq treat their Kurdish minorities, anyway?)

3. BUT! a. Israel has a special relationship with the US that goes far beyond military aid. American Jews have succeeded in this country since WWII in a way that is remarkable. And Israel arose out of the ashes of the Holocaust to create a powerful nation in a very tough neighborhood.

and b. Israel's treatment of the non-Jewish people in the West Bank and Gaza (let's call them Palestinians, for short) is simply shocking. Other nations have civil wars. Israel can't seem to decide whether Palestinians are Israeli or not. (If a bunch of US militia types started setting up settlements in Canada, I'd expect the US govt to tell them to deal with local law enforcement, ie, Canadians. But the explicit approval of West Bank settlements seems to indicate that the Israeli govt considers the West Bank to be available for appropriation into Israel.)

But pinning over a million people into a tiny strip of land and denying them any ability to establish a working economy is no way to run any country, much less one that claims to hold Western-ish democratic and social values.

by the way, the unique characteristic of Israel is that it's a theocracy, albeit a democratic one. Why exactly should the US be upholding the right of one religious group to suppress the rights of a different group?

by the way, the unique characteristic of Israel is that it's a theocracy

Another "unique characteristic" of Israel is that it was, as a nation, created, by fiat, by other parties, and the land it was created on was taken from the folks it is currently treating like second-class humans.

Just to round the picture out a bit.

Israel is, it seems to me, within their rights to prevent weapons from getting into Gaza. They are likely within their rights to stop and inspect ships heading to Gaza from other places.

There are ways to do that that do not involve getting unarmed people killed.

We can discuss the history of Israel, the intricacies of international law, and the nefarious statements in Hamas' charter all night long.

None of that will change the fact that Israel chose to enforce their blockade with a stupidly excessive and unnecessary level of force, resulting in the deaths of people who were unarmed, and who, absent the forcible boarding of the ships, would have posed no significant threat to anybody.

Slingshots and glass marbles, y'all. And some sticks.

It takes some tough defense force to counter that mighty, mighty threat.

"billions of community organizers"

I remember the days when that would be considered a Jewish conspiracy.

You know, by the Republican and confederate Democratic party filth in the 1930s who wanted to murder progressives, and then by the Republican cocksuckers in the Nixon Administration in the 1960s and early 1970s who wanted the same.

Fred Malek. Now a Virginia State Government consulting anti-Semite. A Sarah Palin consulting anti-American anti-Semite.

But, of course, now we have a former community organizer as President who's a horse of a different color.

Cracker anti-American now confederate republicans always like imagining some good hate between the blacks and the Jews, the better to crack the Progressive coalition.

That Muslims are mostly swarthy and semitic is like a wet dream for the Birtcher subhumans who run the Republican Party now.

Also, Louis Farrahkan can kiss my ass.

Shorter Brett: If you don't think the US should send Israel billions of dollars every year and simply STFU, than you're an anti-semite.

The friend in this Andrew Sullivan post sums it up perfectly for me when he unapologetically admits Israel comes first and somehow feels that that should be OK from an American citizen:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/quote--2.html

If you are an American citizen who thinks that Israel comes first then how about you do us all a favor and f**k off? Feel free to think that way if you want, but do so in the nether reaches of extremist websites. This kind of thinking needs to be banished from "in-bounds" American political discourse ASAP. Enough already.

If you're Jewish and under 35, you most likely don't feel this way. Well find your balls, pick up the phone, call your parents, tell them to grow up and realize Israel need some tough love, and we need their help to get our politicians to give it to them.

What, pray tell, is it going to take to get people's collective heads out of their a**es on this issue? Astounding. Just astounding.

Francis! Send me an email.

Oh, I see that it's not enabled. Send me an email at handle dot gee-mail.

"Cracker anti-American now confederate republicans always like imagining some good hate between the blacks and the Jews, the better to crack the Progressive coalition.

That Muslims are mostly swarthy and semitic is like a wet dream for the Birtcher subhumans who run the Republican Party now."

And this, somehow, is supposed to be less objectionable than what I said...

And this, somehow, is supposed to be less objectionable than what I said...

Because you meant it...

The story in the US is so one-sided in favor of Israel, that it creates a hornet's nest of controversey to try to discuss basic facts and what would otherwise be obvious conclusions about wrongful actions.

I don't see it this way, but it's just my impression from what I read. Someone with Lexis needs to do a search. I don't have it or I would.

Meanwhile, this. I tend to believe that many in the MSM share Thomas' attitude but keep it to themselves.

And compare the coverage of Corrie with others five years ago. .

Another "unique characteristic" of Israel is that it was, as a nation, created, by fiat, by other parties, and the land it was created on was taken from the folks it is currently treating like second-class humans.

Just to round the picture out a bit

As to the first part, I guess you have to forget Jordan for Israel to be truly unique.

None of that will change the fact that Israel chose to enforce their blockade with a stupidly excessive and unnecessary level of force

Hmm. Not sure if it ultimately was ">http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/g.php?g=55&p=9#gallerytop"> unnecessary. IMHO, the only way to both enforce the blockade without the same loss of life would have been to use more force initially or at least show more force initially. The mistake from a blockade standpoint was the restraint.

Another "unique characteristic" of Israel is that it was, as a nation, created, by fiat, by other parties, and the land it was created on was taken from the folks it is currently treating like second-class humans

Sounds rather like the United States, up until relatively recently.

Meanwhile, this. I tend to believe that many in the MSM share Thomas' attitude but keep it to themselves.

bc, you need to start perusing media outside of the United States. The US media is remarkably pro-Israel such that US audiences are almost completely deprived of both sides, balanced coverage. Helen Thomas' remarks are not at all prevalent - quite the opposite.

I mean, which of these media moguls, jounralists, pundits, periodicals (and their editors and journalists) are anti-Israel:

Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, the Washington Post, Fox News, The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Fred Hiatt, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Ignatius, CNN, Jonah Goldberg, the National Review, the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, ABC/CBS/NBC, Mort Zuckerman, the LA Times, Thomas Friedman, Time Magazine, Newsweek, US News and World Report, etc.

Thats a rather significant change of opinion. Earlier in the thread it sounded like you thought the repeal was a really important point used to refute Brett's comments on the two state solution.

Yes Seb, I heard the early report on Hamas, but not the later clarification. Still, Brett said they wouldn't go land for peace, and they said they would. See, also and especially, Turb's comments.

bc: And compare the coverage of Corrie with others five years ago.

And compare the coverage of Corrie with others: Nivin Jamjum, age 14, a Palestinian girl killed by Israeli settlers in Hebron, July 28 2002. Tareq Maher Ahmad a-Najar, age 13, a Palestinian boy killed in a carpentry shop in the Gaza Strip where a fire broke out as a result of IDF gunfire on March 1st 2003. 'Abd a-Rahman Mustafa Muhammad Jadallah, age 9, killed by the IDF while he was attending a funeral, March 2 2003. 'Aziza Dib al-Qeyser, age 55, killed in her home in Rafah when the IDF demolished her house with her inside it. on March 3 2003. 'Abdallah al-Ashab, age 75, shot in the neck on March 4 2003, in Deir al-Balah.

On the day Rachel Corrie was killed, March 16 2003, a 17-year-old boy named Muhammad 'Issa 'Abd al-Hadi, who lived in Khan Yunis, went to help a person who had been wounded near his house, and some soldier at the army post at the Neve Dekalim settlement shot and killed him. Had you ever heard his name before, bc? Do you think that we ought to know the name of a boy who was killed trying to help the wounded?

The day after Rachel Corrie was killed, Ilham Ziad Hassan el-'Asar, age 4, was shot by the IDF: he lived in a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah district, in the Gaza Strip. Had you ever heard his name before? Do you think that the US media ought to give equal attention to Ilham as to Rachel?

Tom Gross mentions Rachel Thaler, who was killed by a suicide bomber on February 27, 2002. He does not mention Inas Ibrahim Saleh, age 7, who was struck by IDF shelling of Jabalya Refugee Camp, North Gaza district, on February 13 2002, and who died on March 2 2002. He does not mention Mahmoud Hassan Ahmad a-Talalkah, also age 7, who was killed on March 1 2002 next to Nissanit, North Gaza district, by gunfire. He does not mention Maryam 'Awad al-Bahabsah, age 30, who was killed by IDF gunfire, from a tank, in her home in Khan Yunis, on February 18, 2002: nor does he mention Muna al-Bahabsah, Maryam's 10-year-old daughter, also killed by the same IDF gunfire that killed her mother. Had you ever heard those names before, bc?

952 Palestinian minors have been killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the first intifada in 2000. Does Tom Gross ever complain that the media just doesn't cover those 952 dead children in the same way it covers Rachel Corrie?

Rachel Corrie went to do what she did because, at that time, it was still believed that the additional publicity the death of a foreigner would receive would mean the IDF would be cautious about killing her or others with her. She was killed when she tried to stop a house demolition party by the IDF - the kind of party that killed 'Aziza Dib al-Qeyser.

Her death was not unique. But protesting that the media give her more attention than they do other victims looks horribly one-sided, if you can't even pretend to care about the many who were killed at the time she died.

As to the first part, I guess you have to forget Jordan for Israel to be truly unique.

Right you are, my mistake (as regards uniqueness).

My point there was that the Palestinians have been living there a long time, and have a reasonable claim to continue living there.

The mistake from a blockade standpoint was the restraint.

I guess they could just blow the ships out of the water.

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