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QUININE OVER THE COUNTER

By Dan Fleshler | February 27, 2010

QUININE OVER THE COUNTER, Netanyahu's decision to include two religious sites in the West Bank in a national Heritage Trail has provoked a predictable political firestorm. This gesture, QUININE blogs, Herbal QUININE, involving Rachel's tomb in Bethlehem and the burial place of the patriarchs in Hebron, is more than just another attempt by Netanyahu to placate his right wing, QUININE samples. QUININE description, It also reveals something important about Israeli Jews' attitudes towards other cultures both east and west of the Green Line.

Moshe Yaroni (the nom de plum of a left-wing American Jewish activist) has a valuable post on this point:

..The National Heritage list includes only Jewish sites, QUININE from canadian pharmacy. Is QUININE addictive, Sites which have significance to other faiths as well as Judaism are treated only in terms of their Jewish importance. So, what nation is it whose heritage is being claimed here, QUININE OVER THE COUNTER. Obviously, where can i buy cheapest QUININE online, QUININE interactions, the Jewish nation. That seems natural for the Jewish state, discount QUININE, Buy generic QUININE, of course.

The problem is that while Israel may be the Jewish state, order QUININE online c.o.d, QUININE results, it is not only Jewish. One-fifth of its population is not Jewish, buy QUININE from mexico, QUININE alternatives, and they are a part of the state. QUININE OVER THE COUNTER, This is not a small problem. As geographer Oren Yiftachel said, QUININE images, Order QUININE online overnight delivery no prescription, the exclusive nature of this Heritage Plan is "a small but very symbolic step to the effect that the dominant group is not capable of maturely including the other groups that live here... If the dominant group were surer of itself, QUININE without prescription, QUININE maximum dosage, then what would it care if they preserved the mosque in Be'er Sheva?"...

...The Jewish connection and Zionist claim to the "Land of Israel" or to the territory that was once known as "Palestine" is undeniably real, QUININE dangers. QUININE price, Yet no matter what historical period you look at, this was never an exclusively Jewish (or, online buy QUININE without a prescription, QUININE gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, in ancient days, Hebrew) land, buy QUININE without a prescription. What validated the Zionist claim was not that this land was exclusively "Jewish," but that there was no other land that could credibly be connected to the Jews as a homeland.., QUININE OVER THE COUNTER. QUININE street price, ...The issue at hand is very much the character of the Israeli state. Yiftachel's point is crucial in its implications: Israel need not sacrifice its Jewish character nor its place as the worldwide center of Jewish self-determination and expression in order to embrace the other cultures that make up the fabric of the country, after QUININE. Low dose QUININE, It can be both Jewish and multicultural.

Nor, buying QUININE online over the counter, QUININE steet value, for that matter, does Israel need to own all that is Jewish in the area to sustain itself, QUININE class. QUININE OVER THE COUNTER, Without a doubt, any future that holds a workable permanent status agreement with the Palestinians cannot exclude Israeli-Jewish access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. QUININE for sale, One of the most difficult memories to overcome in the Israeli mind is the period from 1948-1967 when Jews could not get to the holiest and most meaningful places in Jerusalem under Jordanian rule.

If Israel needs international guarantees backed by the United States to ensure that access, buy QUININE online no prescription, QUININE pharmacy, then it should have them. Just as Israel is responsible to ensure that Christians can get to Nazareth or Tiberias (or, QUININE price, coupon, QUININE from mexico, at this time, to the Via Dolorosa), is QUININE safe, the Palestinians must be responsible for Jewish access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Yiftachel's point is that Israel is now a strong and established country and society. It must overcome its own insecurities and accept that the state is multicultural, with a Jewish majority that sets a tone for the country.

In the same ecumenical spirit, Avraham Burg has a suggestion:

Netanyahu could not even think of the possibility of cooperation in the Cave of the Patriarchs, because just like many others he cannot enjoy the site’s sanctity if local Muslims sanctify the graves of our shared forefathers.., QUININE OVER THE COUNTER.

What would happen, or more accurately, would anything bad happen had Israel’s prime minister called Palestine’s president and said: “My friend, at this time we are about to resume negotiations. Let’s do something symbolic and significant together. Let’s jointly renovate the Cave of the Patriarchs, the synagogue, and the mosque, and change the access and worship procedures at the site so that it will change from a controversial place to a symbol of peace, dialogue, and friendship in the spirit of Abraham, the forefather of both nations.”

Is this groundless. Is it impossible. QUININE OVER THE COUNTER, Is it too foolish. I don’t think so. It’s a matter of psychology and religious zealotry that has taken over the political thought process of Israel’s prime minister too.

However, it’s not too late yet. Some people sanctify sites and stones. I respect their faith but this faith does not have to come at the expense of others or, heaven forbid, claim human life. It’s still possible to do it differently.

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Topics: Benjamin Netanyahu, Hebron, Israel, Israeli Arabs | 73 Comments »

73 Responses to “QUININE OVER THE COUNTER”

  1. Y. Ben-David Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 1:00 am

    What kind of world do these “progressives” commentators live in? Everyone knows that if Israel gives up the Jewish holy places, even with supposed guarantees of access as a result of a so-called “peace agreement” they won’t live up to it. The Jordanians promised Jewish access to the Kotel (Western Wall) as a result of the armistice agreements ending the War of Independence in 1948. They didn’t honor it. The Palestinian Authority promised to allow Jewish access to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem as a result of the Oslo Agreements. Instead it was attacked, soldier Madhat Yusuf was killed there and the shrine burned to the ground.
    The same is true with the Christian holy places. I have given links in the past to a column by “progressive” Seth Freedman at the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” about a visit to Nazereth. Barak originally agreed to allow the Muslims build a mosque across the street from the Church of the Annunciation which would tower over it. The plans were cancelled after Christian protests. However, Freedman reported that there is a huge green banner in Arabic and English facing the entrance of the church that says something to the effect that everyone who doesn’t believe in Islam, “the only true religion”, is going to rot in hell. Some “tolerance”…and this is with neutral Israel protecting access. What will happen if the Palestinians are given control of the Jewish holy sites? EVEN THE KOTEL WILL BE LOST, even if Israel controls the immediate area, if the Palestinians are given control of the Old City and the access to the area. They may not start out by outright banning Jews from visiting the site, we may just see assaults on Jews by Muslim/Arab “extremists” whom the Palestinians would have “difficulty” in controlling. Or if “international forces” are put in charge, we would see after an incident in which are attacked that it would be necessary to convene the UN Security Council in order to get them to take action. How long would that take? Who says someone like Russian or China might not veto any demand for action?
    We Jews learned one thing….we can not rely on ANY outsiders to guarantee our rights and security. Israelis will NOT agree to divide Jerusalem or hand our holiest places over to Arab control because they would never truly recognize our rights to be here and to have access to these holy places.

  2. Richard Witty Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Have you tried talking?

    What sanctifies a place? Expropriation combined with even perfectly performed ritual (mechanics and attitude), don’t accomplish sanctification.

    It then makes that holy place as an invited focus of relationship with Hashem, into an owned place, a patent at best.

  3. Y. Ben-David Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Talking about what? They claim that the Jewish holy sites are fakes. Arafat was offered sovereignity and control over the Temple Mount if he would just agree to a clause in the agreement that said Jews also viewed it as a holy site. He adamantly refused even after Clinton berated him for this.
    Before 1948 Jews were banned from all entry into the Temple Mount and the Ma’arat HaMachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hevron. This was the “status quo” that the British enforced. This would be the situation if Israel (G-d forbid) gave up control of these places in the future.

  4. Bruce Levine Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Dan:

    I’m so glad you picked up on what Avram Burg’s take on this. This did not have to be an issue, or at least there is no doubt that Netanyahu could have chosen another approach, as Burg who I have other issues with but who I credit here, suggests. This is an issue that at least had the potential to show good faith and help bring two good Peoples closer–a wee bit closer–as a precursor to challenging negotiations.

    YBD, let me say that I understand your pain. It is not just the mainstream Palestinians who question the legitimacy of Jewish holy sites. It is also people on the American left who supposedly are trying to promote a peaceful, two-state solution, who add fuel to this fire. Andrew Sullivan, for example, referred to the Tomb of the Patriarchs without referring to it; instead he just called it the place where Baruch Goldstein committed his heinous crimes.

    That said YBD, can you find it in your heart to recognize that that it is not only Jews who consider the Tomb a sacred place.

    And, Richard, I appreciate what you write, but with real respect, what does a debate over what makes a place sacred have to do with the issue before us. In short, it’s an issue and it should be dealt with, and it should have been dealt with better.

    Bruce

  5. Bill Pearlman Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    The tomb of the patriarchs and Rachels Tomb are fairly significant places in Judaism. And the Arabs have shown an amazing facility for trashing Jewish religious sites when they get the chance. Josephs tomb being a great example. I only hope Netanyahu hangs tough on this one.

  6. Y. Ben-David Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Bruce-I have no problem acknowledging that the Arabs/Muslims view the Temple Mount or Tomb of the Patriarchs as holy places and I have no problem with them praying at these locations. THEY DO NOT RECIPROCATE even though we have at least as much right as they do to the places. I read some time ago an article by an Indian journalist who said that in India, the same process is underway…the Muslims now claim many Hindu holy places as “really” belonging to them (recall the struggle over the Ayodya [sp?] mosque), that Islam is the “original” religion of Indian, the Hindus are supposedly “usupers”, although they, like the Jews were first, and that the Muslims are, by rights, supposed to rule ALL of India, not just Pakistan, because the Muslim Moghul Emperors ruled India before the British arrived.

    Even if Avrum Burg was Prime Minister and he went supplicating to Abu Mazen and asked politely for the right of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount or Tomb of the Patriarchs, Abu Mazen would laugh him out of the place…he would never agree to it….it would be a betrayal of triumphalist Islam. They will NEVER, on their own accord, recognize Jewish rights, just as they don’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The modus-vivendi that does exist at these holy sites exists only because of Israeli control ON THE GROUND. Not because of “international brotherhood” or “good will”. Raw power is the only thing that guarantees Jewish rights and if anyone thinks that we are going to roll over and voluntaril give up our rights, they are mistaken.

  7. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Actually including non-Jewish sites would give Israel some amount of leverage. If the Arabs refused to allow access to Jews to Jewish sites in the West Bank after a settlement, Israel could stop funding Christian and Muslim sites within Israel. Israel might start by commemorating some non-religious Arab sites such as those related to the Crusader era or to the original Muslim conquest.

    My understanding of the Heritage Trail was that it was primarily intended to commemorate secular Zionist sites of historical importance dealing with the resettlement of Eretz Israel since 1981. The naming of the two religious shrines appears to have been a political sop to the religious Zionists to get support for the Trail. It would make more sense if religious sites came under a different ministry, such as religious affairs. If, however, Israel were to include non-Jewish sites I don’t know if the ministry of religious affairs would be the most trustworthy ministry to watch over them.

    Israel’s treatment of this issue is another indication of how well Israel has assimilated into the region by copying regional norms. Just as Muslims give preference to their religious sites and history over that of Christians, Jews, Yazidis, etc. Jews are giving preference to their religious sites and history.

  8. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    It would also be nice if the arabs didn’t feel the need to toss 1st and 2nd temple artifacts into garbage dumps but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Or if Arabs had granted access to the western wall before 1967, or hadn’t desecrated Jewish site in Jerusalem and wherever else they found them. But that would be like saying one side is a good superintendent of these places and the other side bites the big one. Those are the facts. But it’s not the Tom Mitchell way.

  9. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Mr. Pearlman,
    Unlike you I don’t deny facts, but I also don’t take an emotional ethno-centric approach to everything. The Jews have generally been very good superintendents of the holy sites in Jerusalem. Mr. Netanyahu, personally, however, does not have a good record. It is to be hoped that he would uphold the Israeli record rather than altering it.

  10. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 am

    How Obama has
    (1) Destroyed American influence in the Middle East
    (2) Strengthened the most radical, anti-American forces in the region
    (3) Betrayed and weakened the moderates

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=169867

  11. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Wow, Tom, saying Israel has done something right. That’s a major jump for somebody like you. ( no sarcasm, seriously ) BTW, what exactly has Netanyahu ever done vis a vis moslem or christian sites that would make you say that.

  12. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I was wondering that myself. If Tom means Netanyahu’s opening of the Western Wall Tunnel, which Arafat used as an excuse for mayhem and murder, well, it has nothing to do with any Muslim holy places, it runs outside the Temple Mount. Netanyahu did foul up really badly in his first term because he allowed the Muslim Waqf to tear up the Temple Mount with massive illegal excavations in the area of the Al-Aqsa mosque at the south end of the Temple Mount and priceless archaeological relics were dumped in a massive garbage dump. Many prominent Israelis including many from the Left protested this, and there has been less activity of this type since then, but this is a case of him allowing pillaging of a JEWISH holy place.

  13. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I said that Netanyahu did not have a good record, this was meant in regard to Jerusalem in general. He gave Arafat an excuse to attempt his pressure tactics. Netanyahu, like Arafat, likes to make incompatible promises to various people. He gets into trouble and then keeps digging the hole deeper.

  14. Bruce Levine Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am

    So far as I have read, the Israeli government, regardless of who is in power, has respected and protected the sacred grounds of all other religious. So far as have read, the same cannot be said for the Jordanian authorities when they were in control of the West Bank and the Old City, and the same cannot be said for the PA with respect to certain sites such as Joseph’s Tomb. And who the hell knows what’s going on up on the Temple Mount; the fact is the PA doesn’t recognize the Temple Mount as having any significance to Jews and who the hell knows what they are doing to anything they find up there that might conflict with their official position (that nobody in the Western world seems to give a hoot about). And it bothers me as a Jew, and it bothers me as a person who likes people to acknowledge what is right, and it makes me feel that people are, again, not treating Jews in the same manner as they are treating other peoples.

    Having said all of that, none of this has anything to do with the bonehead way that Netanyahu went about designating sites in the Occupied Territories for the National Heritage Trail, and he didn’t have to do it this way. He screwed up, and it’s embarassing and it that much harder to get to the bargainng table. At the bare minimum, it gives the Palestinians yet another pretext for staying away from the table. Just dumb and just unnecessary, unless it was Bibi’s intention to screw things up, which would make this move even worse.

  15. Koshiro Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 4:30 am

    “Just dumb and just unnecessary, unless it was Bibi’s intention to screw things up, which would make this move even worse.”

    Are you really that naive?
    Of course it’s his intention to “screw things up”. Whenever things have calmed down to the point that the Palestinian side might be able to return to at least tentative contacts without alienating their people, Netanyahu pulls another insult out of the bag to hurl into the PA’s faces, which again makes it impossible for them to return to talks without losing all their credibility. Netanyahu cannot so stupid he doesn’t realize that, which only leaves one possible conclusion: He does it on purpose.

  16. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Koshiro-
    You are apparently oblivious to the endless drumbeat of antisemitic and anti-Zionist propaganda that emenates every single day from the official Palestinian government-controlled media. How come that isn’t “screwing things up” for the peace process? Abu Mazen keeps saying that “the creation of Israel was the greatest crime every committed”. Is that supposed to make for good will on our side? For years, the Israeli “peace-camp” said “ignore these incendiary statements, no one pays any attention to them, it is propagated for domestic political reasons”, but after the suicide bomber campaign started in the wake of Oslo, and the Palestinian media started revelling in the murder of Jews, people here in Israel started saying “hey, they really mean what they say”, and that is the reason today that a clear majority of Israeli now don’t believe that the Palestinians will ever agree to live in peace with Israel, even if a Palestinian state should (G-d forbid) be established.

  17. Koshiro Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 5:32 am

    If logical fallacies had a price, you would certainly get a volume discount on “tu quoque”.

  18. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    According to Koshiro Jewish sites, religious and historical are insults to the Arabs. But I guess has a pro-hamas, kill the jews guy. He at least is intellectually honest. Much like Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job) Weiss

  19. Koshiro Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    And now, after the tu quoque, Bill comes to the rescue with a timely strawman fallacy and some nice little ad hominem. You are truly masters of rhetorical and intellectual bankruptcy.

  20. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Koshiro,
    The name of the site is Realistic Dove, but nearly all the regulars hear are hawks that believe that either Israel can do no right or that it can do no wrong. I include you in the collection along with Bill. If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  21. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Here is an “interesting” piece by the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who visited Saudi Arabia, and discovered there that Saudi Arabia is well on its way to become a pluralistic, tolerant, secular, feminist-friendly country, while Israel is a repressive, theocratic, ethnocentric, anti-democratic country. She reached this conclusion about Israel by reading the Jewish Daily Prayer Book.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/opinion/03dowd.html?em

  22. Koshiro Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 6:34 am

    “The name of the site is Realistic Dove, but nearly all the regulars hear are hawks that believe that either Israel can do no right or that it can do no wrong. I include you in the collection along with Bill.”

    You’re wrong (the factual kind of wrong.) I believe that Israel can do right – if there is a change in public opinion and a different government. And Bill certainly believes that Israel can do wrong – if there is a change in public opinion and a different government.

    I do, however, believe that almost everything the current Israel does and intends regarding the Palestinians is morally wrong. I can say this with some confidence because I actually have a concept of justice. If you’d rather be an ethically blank sheet, knock yourself out like this guy:
    http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20040908.html

    But don’t go pretending that your fence-sitting ways are “part of the solution”.

  23. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 6:49 am

    alestinian outrage over Israel’s declaration of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb as national shrines, has the aura of true political farce about it. Palestinian national identity has been wounded; the concept of national co-existence has been assaulted and the very basis of common diplomatic civility has been upended. Saeb Erekat, that master of Palestinian spin, has stated: “The unilateral decision to make Palestinian sites in Hebron and Bethlehem part of Israel shows there is no genuine partner for peace, but an occupying power intent on consolidating Palestinian land. ” Not to be outdone, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has engaged in his own form of sabre rattling, threatening war over the move.

    Well, par for the course. Abba Eban famously stated that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. But I believe just the opposite. Palestinians regularly seize opportunities to pound out public relations victories for themselves, all in the interests of establishing credibility for illegitimate claims and validating absurd revisionist history.

    So maybe a history lesson is in order. After the 1967 Six Day War, Jews began to return to Hebron to rebuild the abandoned Jewish quarter there and to construct the Jewish suburb of Kiryat Arba, situated a quarter of a mile distant. Jewish control of Hebron and stewardship of the Caves has meant equal access to all religions with as much respect lent to Muslim practices and rights of access as Jewish. Indeed, if one travels to Hebron today, he might be mistaken for thinking the shrine there not Jewish but Muslim, so prevalent are Arabic signs and Muslim devotional emblems.

    This is all, of course, in marked contrast to Palestinian control of exclusively Jewish religious sites. In 2001, during the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Joseph’s Tomb, situated in Nablus (Shechem) and the site of a prominent yeshiva, was sacked and looted by Palestinian militia. Torah scrolls were desecrated, holy books were used as toilet paper and the entire place was torched. An Israeli soldier bled to death defending the tomb as the Palestinian crowed “Death to the Jews!”

    The Jordanians did not disport themselves any better. After the capture of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City in May, 1948, the Jordanians went purposively from synagogue to synagogue, setting them on fire with all their contents. Between 1948 and 1967, 34 out of 35 synagogues in the Jewish Quarter were sacked; the area abutting the Western Wall was deliberately turned into a slum; and of the 50,000 Jewish tombstones on the Mount of Olives, no fewer than 38,000 were smashed or used as paving stones for army latrines and roads.

    Small wonder that, soon after uniting Jerusalem, Israel passed a law protecting the Holy Places of all religions against desecration and ensuring freedom of access and prayer.

    Of course the real Palestinian argument is about land rights and not shrine rights. That argument is not likely to be resolved any time soon. But even if the notion that this is Palestinian land is conceded ( which, at least here, it is not), the fundamental question remains as to whether any nation has the right to maintain the graves of either its ancestors or its fallen soldiers on land that it no longer controls. Should , for instance, the American government cede control of its eleven military cemeteries in France, in places such as the Meuse-Argonne in Verdun, Colleville-sur Mer in Normandy or Suresnes near Paris? Should the Australians cede control to Turkey over their cemeteries at Gallipoli or the British of their hundred of graveyards throughout the former British empire?

    The Israelis decided to extend national protective status to these ancient shrines because they know that, in any future disposition of the territories in question, Jewish rights of access may in practice never be guaranteed. For unlike the United States in France and the Australians in Turkey, the Israelis do not have the luxury of knowing that the custodians of a national heritage site also respect Jewish national memory . In fact, they are painfully aware that these sites may fact suffer a form of violation for which Arabs throughout the centuries have demonstrated a particular proclivity.

    Mahmoud Abbas and Saed Erekat do not need the excuse of this new national designation to go to war. They have been at war all their lives with the very notion of a Jewish state. Shrines or no shrines, their modus operandi is to use any excuse to castigate Israeli actions as a provocation. The Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, holy to Jews and Muslim alike, should become, rather than a casus belli , a symbol of cooperation and respect between the two communities. Sadly, there is only one side of the conflict that responds in this way and in the absence of mutual respect and understanding, the Israelis are absolutely correct to extend national sovereignty to these shrines.
    Avi Davis is the president of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles and blogs at The Intermediate Zone.

  24. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Bill,
    As far as cemeteries go, Turkey, France, and the United States are all NATO members–hence military allies–and Australia is a close ally of the United States. A more comparable analogy would be between nationalist and unionist graves in Northern Ireland or Shi’a and Sunni graves in Iraq.

  25. Koshiro Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 4:37 am

    “The Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, holy to Jews and Muslim alike, should become, rather than a casus belli , a symbol of cooperation and respect between the two communities. Sadly, there is only one side of the conflict that responds in this way”

    … by uniliterally declaring these sites national(!) heritage without even consulting the other side. Huzzah for cooperation and respect!
    (We should mention that all cooperation and respect may of course never ever go so far as to give Palestinians citizenship in Israel or control over their own sovereign state.)

  26. Koshiro Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Argh. “Unilaterally”. I blame the wine.

  27. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    “We should mention that all cooperation and respect may of course never ever go so far as to give Palestinians citizenship in Israel…”

    Wrong again Koshiro, over half a million Palestinians have citizenship in Israel. They have been voting in Israeli elections since independence. This is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East where Arabs have had a vote for that length of time or anywhere near it.

  28. Koshiro Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    “Wrong again Koshiro, over half a million Palestinians have citizenship in Israel.”

    Yeah, so? This status quo is accepted – often grudgingly – by the Israeli establishment. Doesn’t alter the fact that *giving* Israeli citizenship to Palestinians who don’t already have it by virtue of birth is quite obviously anathema to Israel. Palestinians can not even become Israeli citizens if they marry Israelis.

    “This is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East where Arabs have had a vote for that length of time or anywhere near it.”
    By “this” you mean Turkey, right? Because Turkey is a) arguably more democratic than Israel, by virtue of not ruling over millions of non-enfranchised colonial subjects and b) yes, does have an Arab minority as well.

    In any case, would it have killed you to pay attention to the context? The text was about the occupied territories, and so was, of course, my comment.

  29. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Koshiro,

    Turkey has also had four “interventions” by the military to protect its secular constitution. Israel has yet to have a single one. And the Turkish Kurds or “mountain Turks” (as they were refered to until quite recently) might have some dispute about their status within Turkish society.

    Yasir Arafat in 1965 said that his strategy was to provoke a general Arab-Israeli war that would result in the destruction of Israel. Well he got half of what he wanted, being partly responsible for the conflict between Israel and Syria that served as the backdrop to the war. For the next 21 years after the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza, the PLO’s official policy was to destroy Israel and to allow those Jews who could establish that they could trace their ancestry (on both sides no doubt) to before the “Zionist invasion” (1882 or 1917–take your pick) to remain under Arab rule. Even after Arafat said he was willing to recognize Israel and make peace in December 1988 key lieutenants made contradictory statements and weren’t disciplined. In 2000 the Palestinian Authority aligned itself with Hamas passing fatwas declaring any compromise on a whole host of issues to be a capital offense. In 2006 Hamas was voted into control of the Palestinian legislature and 18 months later carried out a coup in Gaza. Israel has never annexed the West Bank or Gaza. If the Palestinians are “colonial subjects” their leadership has done quite a bit over the decades to keep them that way.

  30. Koshiro Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    “Turkey has also had four “interventions” by the military to protect its secular constitution.”
    Yeah, so what? Turkey has lots of other skeletons in the closet, too. Its ethnocentrism, its denial of the Armenian genocide, its general human rights record… but that wasn’t the point. The point was that Turkey is more democratic than Israel. Which it is. Yes, even for the Kurds, who are Turkish citizens and can vote in Turkish elections.

    “Israel has never annexed the West Bank or Gaza.”
    Duh? That’s basically the point.
    Israel should have either annexed the territories and made their inhabitants Israeli citizens, if the land was so important to them.
    Or it should have kept their hands off and engaged in some nation building, if Jewish ethnic dominance was so important to them.
    But Israel wanted to have the cake and eat it too, and that’s basically how it remains.

    “If the Palestinians are “colonial subjects” their leadership has done quite a bit over the decades to keep them that way.”
    How so? Did they somehow force Israel not to annex the West Bank or Gaza and give their inhabitants citizenship? Did these unelected “leaders”, for whose whims you hold the WB+G Palestinians responsible, force Israel not to build a Palestinian state on its own initiative? Yeah, right.

  31. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    “How so? Did they somehow force Israel not to annex the West Bank or Gaza and give their inhabitants citizenship? Did these unelected “leaders”, for whose whims you hold the WB+G Palestinians responsible, force Israel not to build a Palestinian state on its own initiative? Yeah, right.”

    They did force Israel to conquer the West Bank in the first place. And by continually making threats against Israel played on the anxieties of a traumatized people so that it was not willing to trust an evacuation. Arafat was elected by the Palestinians in an election on the West Bank in 1996; Hamas was elected in 2006.

    Why don’t you get an ideology that fits the facts instead of trying to do it the other way around?

    Comments

  32. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Koshiro,

    Aparently you think that France became a democracy in 1962 when it pulled out of Algeria? And Britain must have become a democracy only in the late sixties after it withdrew from Africa? Remember the Algerian Muslims couldn’t vote in French elections. The Africans who were British colonial subjects couldn’t vote in British elections. So was Turkey in 1960 after the military coup more democratic than France and Britain?

  33. Koshiro Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    “Aparently you think that France became a democracy in 1962 when it pulled out of Algeria?”
    Oh yes. To answer all of the other examples you might name at once: Colonial rule, especially of the French Algeria type and (modern, human rights-based) democracy are incompatible concepts.

    I mean, you can of course protest or ridicule that idea, but what inequalities would you accept for a country to have and still call it a democracy? Was France, in your eyes, a democracy before 1944 (women’s suffrage)? The US before the abolishment of slavery? Prussia, under the three-class franchise?

    Democracy, from the viewpoint of individual rights, is about every person having an equal say in government. Placing a person under the power of a government said person has no equal say about is undemocratic. (No, that does not necessarily apply to immigrants, who are voluntarily placing themselves under the power of a foreign government.) Hence I don’t really care about one state or two states. I care about giving every Israeli and every Palestinian equal influence over the powers that actually rule them – which, as things are right now, is the Israeli government, in both cases.

  34. Koshiro Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    “They did force Israel to conquer the West Bank in the first place.”
    Nonsense. They didn’t control the West Bank, they didn’t start the war (Israel did, and Jordan came to the aid of its ally Egypt), and they were not at all powerful or influential enough at that time to have any real effect on the war.

    “Arafat was elected by the Palestinians in an election on the West Bank in 1996; Hamas was elected in 2006.”
    Thirty years after the war, and more importantly after Israel had recognized the PLO as the representation of the Palestinian people. You have just proven my very point.

  35. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Koshiro,

    You are at least consistent in your delusions. But most historians and political scientists would beg to differ with you. The U.S. is generally held to be a democracy starting in the 1820s with popular election of state legislatures. Remember the book by Alex de Tocqueville? France is considered to be a democracy after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, and Britain by the 1880s when suffrage became widespread among adult males. You can retroactively redefine the term but this is like Communists using the term to mean what they want instead of what is commonly understood by the term.

    As far as the responsibility for the war go back and read how the war came about. Palestinian fedayeen supported by Syria and based in that country raided into Israel. Israel carried out reprisal raids into Syria and the conflict escalated into April 1967 when the Syrian air force suffered a humiliating loss in an aerial battle. Moscow then told Damascus that the IDF was massing on the Syrian border–a lie, which the Israeli government told the Soviet ambassador he could verify for himself by traveling to the border. Egypt then moved its army into Sinai, kicked out the UN peacekeeping force and declared a blockade of the Gulf of Akaba–an international waterway–thus commiting an act of war. Israel may have fired the first shot but the first acts of war were commited by the Arab side going back to Arafat’s Fatah organization.

    The U.S. occupied Germany and Italy for nearly a decade after the end of World War II. Were those countries then American colonies?

  36. Koshiro Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    “You can retroactively redefine the term”
    I’m not “retroactively” doing anything. You’re the one who insisted on using colonial-era standards of “democracy” to judge nowadays’ Israel. You also seem to have missed the terms “modern” and “human-rights-based”.
    If you seriously think that in our time, a state withholding women’s right to vote, limiting suffrage to the affluent or allowing slavery – all of which states which were historically named democracies did – would qualify as a democracy, it is you who is delusional.

    “The U.S. occupied Germany and Italy for nearly a decade after the end of World War II. Were those countries then American colonies?”
    First of all: Nonsense. The U.S. (and a bunch of others) occupied Germany for almost exactly a decade, Japan for a little more than six years and Italy for just about *two* years. But that’s not the point.
    The point is that, of course, the occupational regime wasn’t democratic. But – and this is, all difficulties nonwithstanding, basically similar in Iraq – the Western Allies, after a short period, systematically began to prepare Germany and Japan for democracy, and subsequently sovereignty.
    Israel, despite having occupied Palestinian territory for decades, has done no such thing. If it had, it would now be neighboured by a Palestinian state which would likely be a close ally – like Germany and Japan became to the U.S., probably even closer.

    It’s really easy to distinguish a military occupation from colonization. For one, military occupation is a military affair. No civilian settlements, no integration in your state’s sovereignty, no nothing. Score – U.S.: 1 Israel: 0

    The second characteristic, fairly obvious even in the case of Germany, is that military occupation is designed to be temporary. Any military occupation has the basic task of making itself superfluous as soon as possible. Israel has neglected to do that for decades and now seems to be more reluctant than ever. Score – U.S.: 2 Israel 0

  37. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    For all you BDS fans out there, he is a historical survey showing that BDS has been totally ineffective and has NEVER succeeded in bringing down a government or forcing it to change its policies, and why they won’t work against either Israel, or, l’havdil, Iran. It is even shown to be myth that sanctions forced out the apartheid regime in South Africa :

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1153971.html

  38. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:08 am

    YBD:

    Its a good article. I wrote my dissertation on internal settlements as a white counterinsurgency strategy in Southern Africa–which involved looking at the comprehensive trade sanctions against Rhodesia and the EC and U.S. sanctions against South Africa. I also did the research for the AIPAC initiative to institute sanctions against Iran.

    I saw an article in the late 1980s that gave the figure of 2-3% of South Africa’s external trade being affected by sanctions. The real influence was fear of the effect of sanctions over decades combined with prolongued internal strife similar to what effected Rhodesia. But South Africa was affected by financial sanctions by European (primarily Swiss and German) banks for purely commercial reasons–South Africa was simply no longer a good credit risk due to the internal unrest of the mid-1980s. This caused F.W. de Klerk to decide to negotiate a deal while Pretoria was at its peak strength after having had the ANC’s training camps in Angola closed as part of the Namibian independence deal. (Koshiro: this is what is known as sanctuary in counterinsurgency doctrine.) South Africa was very vulnerable to financial sanctions because of the high cost of apartheid due to the endless replication of government bureaucracies.

    Iran might be vulnerable because of the existing internal unrest. If the Green Movement decides to exploit the sanctions this could be a powerful multiplier of internal discontent if people decide that the regime is unnecessarily provoking the outside world. The regime could also use sanctions to rally the population to its side over its national rights. Its a gamble but much less of a gamble for the U.S. than attempting a direct attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

  39. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Koshiro:

    The Allies were able to leave Italy and Germany because both the Fascist and Nazi regimes were unpopular by 1945. Also all of their allied fascist regimes had also been defeated and occupied–most of them by the Soviets. Only Franco’s Spain and the “novo ordo” in Portugal survived. In the Middle East all of the Arab regimes allied to the PLO and Hamas are still in existence. The external threat helps keep support for retention of the West Bank and Golan at moderate to high levels. If the Palestinians gave up the demand of a return of the refugees to Israel the conflict would be much easier to resolve. Israel and the Palestinians also have very awkward political systems that allow disproportionate influence from political minorities. It took a French coup d’etat before De Gaulle was able to withdraw from Algeria. It took a major military defeat before France withdrew from Indochina. I don’t see either of these events occuring anytime in the near future. The best solution is to get Israel to change its electoral system to radically reduce the number of parties and increase the strength of the larger parties. This will increase the stability of governments and allow them to be held responsible for their decisions by both the electorate and by Washington.

  40. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Tom,
    I am not sure the “Green” people in Iran who oppose the regime have any different views on Iran’s nuclear policy or its policy towards Israel than the current ruling group, so even should sanctions help bring down the current ruling clique, there might not be much change, although it is possible they will carry on the development of nuclear weapons and support for HAMAS and HIZBULLAH with less publicity and fanfare.

    I have my doubts about whether attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities would be very effective. Israelis don’t seem concerned about Pakistan’s “Islamic bomb”, so we may just have to get used to an Iranian bomb. Moronic statements by Israeli “leaders” like Efraim Sneh who say that should Iran get the bomb, Israelis will “run away from the country” out of fear certainly play into the hands of our enemies, and are incorrect in any event. Yaakov Hisdai said that Israel should develop a civil defense system to at least attempt to protect the population in the event of a nuclear attack to show the Iranians that if, G-d forbid, they should attack, we will ride it out and hit them back 100 times as hard. Of course, the idea in building such as civil defense system, including bomb-shelters is NOT that they should ever be used, but to show the other side that they will be the ones to suffer most should they do the wrong thing and they shouldn’t attempt it.

  41. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    It’s the “peace process” itself THAT CAUSES THE VIOLENCE:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1154450.html

    BTW-I disagree with the conclusion that Palestinian violence brings them sympathy on the world stage. It simply reinforces the view that they DON’T want peace and are a “violent people”. However, Israeli Leftists, like the writers of this piece have long believed this myth. It may be true that some “progressives” are attracted to Arab violence, but this they are a minority.

  42. Koshiro Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 5:39 am

    “The Allies were able to leave Italy and Germany because both the Fascist and Nazi regimes were unpopular by 1945.”
    The Allies *didn’t* leave Germany, nor Italy, nor Japan. They haven’t actually left yet. They just stopped *ruling* them and transformed the relation into a partnership.
    Israel, if it had sponsored a Palestinian state after 1967, would not have needed to leave either. That chance has been blown, though. Israel, no matter what government, has shown time and again, that its capability and/or willingness to establish a rapproachment with vanquished enemies are extremely underdeveloped.

    “The best solution is to get Israel to change its electoral system to radically reduce the number of parties and increase the strength of the larger parties.”
    Nonsense. Israel, at the exact time the above-mentioned policies were enacted, was ruled by a solid absolute majority Alignment. Did this solid “left-wing” government do anything to either build a Palestinian state on WB+G, or incorporate these territories and their inhabitants into Israeli society? Of course not.

    The best solution is to get Israel politicians of all parties – a few marginalized figures on the far left honorably excluded – to realize that their conquest-based approach is not gonna fly with the international community. The principle of ‘Your collective tried to destroy our collective and lost, so now our collective is entitled to take generous spoils from your collective’ is not acceptable anymore. It’s high time someone shook Israel and told them that the 19th century is over.

  43. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Koshiro-
    Nice rewriting of history. During the waiting period before the 6-Day War, Jews living along the dividing line wall in Jerusalem who understood Arabic hearing the loudspeakers in the mosques on the Jordanian side screaming out exhortations to the Arabs there such as “kill them all!”, “slit their throats”, etc. The legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum also came out with a hit song in Egypt advocating killing the Jews. So do you seriously think Israel could have set up a “Palestinian state” right after the war? Remember the “3 Noes of Khartoum” right after the war? There was not then and there is not now any desire by the Arabs to set up a Palestinian “that will live side-by-side with Israel in peace”. No way.

  44. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Koshiro,

    You are wrong in your “facts” again. An absolute majority would be 61 seats in the Knesset; no Israeli party has ever had 61 seats–all governments have been coaliton governments.

    YBD,
    I’m waiting for Bill Pearlman to denounce you as anti-semitic or at least anti-Zionist for what you just wrote about Iran and the bomb.

  45. Koshiro Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    “Jews living along the dividing line wall in Jerusalem who understood Arabic hearing the loudspeakers”
    Jerusalem? You mean the one place which Israel actually *did* incorporate into its own state without expelling the inhabitants? Yeah, that works really well for your argument.

    “The legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum also came out with a hit song in Egypt advocating killing the Jews.”
    So? Israel was not supposed to set up a Palestinian state in Egypt.

    “So do you seriously think Israel could have set up a “Palestinian state” right after the war?”
    Yes, they could have – although it would of course have taken a few years and more importantly, an effort.

    The emnity between Arabs and Israel were kindergarten squabbles compared to the emnity (and vast previous bloodshed) between France and Germany. And yet, France, after initial reluctance, not only agreed to set up a West German state, it even ceded back after a referendum to that effect German territory it had already annexed. Subsequently, France and West Germany became close allies and cornerstones of the European Community.
    (All of this, it is interesting to note, happened while the Allies were still de iure at war with Germany.)

    Conditions in the early years of the occupation were actually better for forming a Palestinian state on Israel’s terms than they were for forming a German state after 1945. (No matter what the Arab countries would have said.)
    But Israel only began to accept the idea of Palestinian statehood – even if that acceptance was largely lip service – after the first Intifada. All the twenty preceding years, during which there were comparably favorable conditions for establishing a Palestinian state, Israel did nothing.

    “the Arabs”
    Your constant use of collective thinking does not lend your propaganda any more credibility. Persons are political actors. States are political actors. Organizations are political actors. Amorphous “other” groups are not.

  46. Koshiro Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    “You are wrong in your “facts” again.”
    No, I’m not. When the Alignment was formed, it held 63 seats in the Knesset, all the seats formerly taken by its component parties. (Which again means that the same allegedly progressive forces had a solid majority before the Alignment was officially formed.) Yes, it lost 6 or 7 seats in the next election, but that would certainly not have made it necessary to cobble together a government with various squabbling factions.

    The problem was not that progressive forces had to compromise with nationalist-expansionist forces. The problem is that apart from a few marginalized parties, they were (and largely still are) all nationalist-expansionist.

  47. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    The Alignment consisted of two parties: Mapam and the Labor Party. The Labor Party was a composite of three earlier parties: Mapai, Ahdut Ha’Avoda, and Rafi. Ahdut Ha’Avoda was expansionist and Rafi partly so. As YBD pointed out the PLO was not ready to negotiate, with Israel let alone make peace with it until the late 1980s. Arafat waffled about letting King Hussein negotiate on his behalf so much in the mid-1980s that Jordan finally called the effort off. If the PLO, which was recognized by all the Arab states as the authorized party to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians at the Rabat Summit, who could Israel have set up a Palestinian state with without it being denounced as a puppet state. You just refuse to hold the Palestinians accountable for their own actions.

  48. Koshiro Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    “The Alignment consisted of two parties: Mapam and the Labor Party.”
    Indeed. And they had 63 seats in the Knesset at the time of the Six-day war and its immediate aftermath. Look it up.

    “As YBD pointed out the PLO was not ready to negotiate, with Israel let alone make peace with it until the late 1980s.”
    Who the hell did say anything about the PLO? If Israel had marched ahead with establishing a real Palestinian state in WB+G, do you seriously think that they could have credibly objected? They would have, of course, but what good would that have done them without any popular support?

    “You just refuse to hold the Palestinians accountable for their own actions.”
    ‘The Palestinians’, this apparently amorphous mass of Others, didn’t elect the PLO leaders, ‘The Palestinians’ didn’t elect any Arab government either, and they didn’t start any war. Holding them responsible for ‘actions’ is absolutely no different from holding ‘The Jews’ responsible for all Israeli ‘actions’.
    Israel could have given the Palestinians responsibility – by building democracy in the West Bank and Gaza and giving the inhabitants the opportunity to chart their own course. But Israel blew this chance. (I’m, of course, not being terribly original here… recently an article by Zeev Sternhell made this point very concisely and he’s not the first either.)

  49. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 7th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Koshiro,

    You are still assuming that in the 1970s that the main goal of the PLO was to gain a Palestinian state. It was not–the main goal was the elimination of Israel. In the late 1960s the West Bank elite consisted of those politicians loyal to Jordan and those loyal to the PLO. Israel could possibly have made a deal with Jordan, although this seems doubtful as King Hussein was very risk adverse. It is natural that Israel attempted to reach a deal with King Hussein and Jordan rather than the PLO as Hussein’s grandfather had been the only major politician to interact with the Zionists during the Mandate and in 11947-48 in a mode that presented the possibility of statehood.

    The real deal that Israel missed was won with President Sadat of Egypt in 1971-72. He made declarations. Moshe Dayan wanted to take him up on his offers but Golda Meir overruled him. This was because Meir was very negative towards Arab leaders other than the Hashemites. But Sadat was perceived by most of those outside of Egypt in late 1970 and early 1971 as an interim leader who was weak. But afterwards Israel did take him up on his offer.

    The only Arab democracy in existence at the time of the 1967 war was Lebanon. Lebanon not coincidentally was the only Arab country at the time that did not have a Muslim majority. Palestine does have a Muslim majority. Lebanon’s democracy was snuffed out by civil war in 1975 and despite brave efforts by some to reestablish it, they have been thwarted by Damascus and its local proxies.

  50. Koshiro Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    “You are still assuming that in the 1970s that the main goal of the PLO was to gain a Palestinian state.”
    Hmm… beating a dead strawman. I know, terrible mixed metaphor, but then again yours is a terrible argument.

    “In the late 1960s the West Bank elite consisted of those politicians loyal to Jordan and those loyal to the PLO.”
    Even if that were true, then Israel’s task would have been to *change* these loyalties. In 1945, Germany’s elite consisted mostly of former Nazis.

    But of course, I know why you are so fixated on the PLO. It’s just so much easier to hold all the Palestinians responsible for their actions than actually considering Palestinians as individual human beings.

    “Lebanon not coincidentally was the only Arab country at the time that did not have a Muslim majority.”
    And sure, why not throw some nice little islamophobic rantings about how these dastardly Muslims are incapable of democracy into the mix, by bringing up an entirely unrelated subject?

    All in the service of dancing around the single point: Israel made, after it had occupied the West Bank and Gaza, no effort whatsoever to establish a democratic Palestinian state. In fact it didn’t make any effort to introduce democratic institutions of any kind.

  51. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 3:53 am

    A “democratic Palestinian state” would not have been possible. Iraq is attempting to set up the first real Arab/Muslim democracy. We’ll see how the succeed. I read that the voter turnout was high, so it seems the population wants representative government, even if it came on the heels of American bayonets, whether they will get it or not is a different question, since many claim western-style parliamentary democracy is “un-Islamic”.
    Pre-civil war Lebanon was only partly democratic since the number of seats in Parliament were divided up by the constitution among the different religious groups, so it really was more of a power-sharing system among different sectarian groups rather than a true western-style democracy.

    Israel did hold free municipal elections in Judea/Samaria in 1976 (another one of Peres’ brilliant ideas, Moshe Dayan opposed it but he was out of power) and the most radical elements that opposed coooperation with Israel won.
    There is no way a democratic Palestinian state could ever be set up (that is true today as well) in the 1970′s and the Palestinians could NOT oppose the Egyptians who had a lot of influence then.

  52. Koshiro Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    “A “democratic Palestinian state” would not have been possible.”
    Ah, the power of the unproven assertion. A staple of the conservative mind.

    “Israel did hold free municipal elections in Judea/Samaria in 1976 (another one of Peres’ brilliant ideas, Moshe Dayan opposed it but he was out of power) and the most radical elements that opposed coooperation with Israel won.”
    And another two nice elements. The special relationship to democracy (‘It’s democracy if someone we like gets voted for’) and the leaving out of facts (like, I dunno, the preceding 1972 elections?)

    Anyway: Seriously proposing that two municipal elections, conducted years after beginning the occupation, without any framework of statebuilding, are proof of your assertions…
    Like usual with right-wingers, I am unsure only of one thing: Do you really believe this yourself?

  53. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    “And sure, why not throw some nice little islamophobic rantings about how these dastardly Muslims are incapable of democracy into the mix, by bringing up an entirely unrelated subject?”

    Koshiro,
    Instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks how about providing an example of a single democracy with both an Arab and a Muslim majority?

    Incidentally, I believe that if Israel had been created by an Orthodox Jewish majority it would not have been a democracy.

  54. Koshiro Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    “Instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks how about providing an example of a single democracy with both an Arab and a Muslim majority?”
    Oh, now it’s the mixture that does the trick? The volatile combination of… errr… Arab-dom and Islam?
    Well before I answer let me first explain why your question is racist and misleading.
    Until the 1990s there has never been a democracy with a Russian ‘majority’. You can actually argue there hasn’t been any yet.
    There has never been a democracy with a Vietnamese ‘majority’, nor with a Burmese ‘majority’.
    Now what would it be to conclude from this that Russians, Vietnamese and Burmese are simply inherently incapable of democracy. Right. That would be effing racist.

    All that said: Algeria. Funny that we were talking about it just before and you should have forgotten it. It’s got the second largest Arab population after Egypt, too.

    “Incidentally, I believe that if Israel had been created by an Orthodox Jewish majority it would not have been a democracy.”
    Incidentally, this feeble excuse for a fig leaf is wholly irrelevant.

  55. Richard Witty Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Dissent by complaint, rather than dissent by proposal.

  56. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Koshiro,

    Let me get this right, Israel isn’t a democracy but Algeria is.

    To make sure that I hadn’t missed anything I went to Freedom House’s website and looked at their most recent survey from 2009. They list countries as being in three categories: free, partially free, and unfree. The only Middle Eastern country listed in the free category was Israel. Algeria was listed in the unfree category along with most Arab countries. Listed in the partly free category were Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, and Morocco.

    But I guess that Freedom House must just be a group of Islamophobes.

    I never claimed that Muslim Arabs aren’t capable at some point in time in creating a democracy, just that they have yet to do it.

    So, in essence your argument is that Israel is not democratic because it has not done for the Palestinians what no Muslim Arab population has yet done for itself.

  57. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I always find it amusing when “progressives” like Koshiro throw around the word “racism”. They say that to point out that different people and cultures have different values and attitudes is “racist”. If you say Arabs don’t value democracy, you are a racist. Of course, the subtext to this is the “progressives” assumption that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD THINKS LIKE HIM and has his values.
    A good example of this nonsens was a bizarre column Yossi Sarid wrote in Ha’aretz yesterday. When the Israeli Arab producer of the film “Ajami” that competed for the Oscar Awards said before the contest that he doesn’t like Israel, who gave him 2 million shekels of taxpayers money to make his film, many Israelis protested. Sarid ridiculed those critics and said “no country in the world cares about awards and prizes its citizens win except Israel”. Yossi is a “progressive” and, as such, is anti-nationalist. So being a “progressive” he assumes everyone else in the world is like him. However, in the comments section there were people from countries all over the world, including Denmark and Holland who pointed out that when citizens of those countries win awards (Nobel Prizes, Oscars, Olympic Medals) it is headline news for weeks. Of course, everyone in the world checks which countries win the most medals. National pride. But ignorant Yossi thinks he is the only person in the world whose opinions count. Arrogant “progressive”.

  58. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 3:30 am

    “To make sure that I hadn’t missed anything I went to Freedom House’s website”
    … with all the stuff you’ve been writing so far, I had already a feeling that this would be your modus operandi. Let a government-funded organization tell you what to think, no questions asked. Beats actually familiarizing yourself with complicated facts. No, I’m not gonna do it for you.

    “So, in essence your argument is that Israel is not democratic because it has not done for the Palestinians what no Muslim Arab population has yet done for itself.”
    Why yes, I would consider a non-democratic regime a non-democratic regime no matter if its masters belong to the same imagined collective as its subjects or they don’t.

    “The name of the site is Realistic Dove, but nearly all the regulars hear are hawks that believe that either Israel can do no right or that it can do no wrong.”
    That you had the audacity to judge *others* in this way is nothing short of astounding.

    “If you say Arabs don’t value democracy, you are a racist.”
    If you say – or imply – they are not capable of democracy, you’re a racist.
    And actually, yes, if you say that ‘Arabs’ don’t value democracy, you are a racist as well. Just exchange ‘Arabs’ for ‘Jews’ and ‘don’t value democracy’ for ‘love money’, and you, if you were capable of understand, would get it.

    “When the Israeli Arab producer of the film ‘Ajami’ that competed for the Oscar Awards said before the contest that he doesn’t like Israel”
    He didn’t say that. He said that ‘Israel does not represent him’. Israel is, I quote Bibi, ‘The nation-state of the Jewish people’. Copti is not Jewish. Does Israel represent him?

  59. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Koshiro-
    I suggest you reread what I wrote. I wasn’t talking about Copti, I was talking about Sarid’s article.
    And why do you assume that Arabs think about democracy the way you do? The vast majority of Arabs value Islam. Do you? They think people who don’t value Islam are wrong, and that everyone who doesn’t should convert to Islam. Do you think that? From the 1920′s to the 1940′s most Germans and Italians had no use for democracy. How can that be if you think everyone wants democracy? Also people in the USSR didn’t think much of Western-style democracy during the period of Stalin and after. Explain that one, if everyone in the world has the same values as you.

  60. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 5:02 am

    “When the Israeli Arab producer of the film “Ajami” that competed for the Oscar Awards said before the contest that he doesn’t like Israel,”
    … which he *didn’t* say.

    “And why do you assume that Arabs think about democracy the way you do?”
    ’cause I just asked an Arab and he told me.
    Seriously, you’re not gonna get it, are you?

  61. Y.Ben-David Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Here is an illuminating interview with a young Israeli Arab illustrating the terrible conflicts they have with their identity. On the one hand, they hate Israel, on the other hand they (or at people like the woman interviewed) want to integrate into Israeli society. I don’t see any real solution…even if Israel gave up its Zionist identity and became a “state of all its citizens” they would still feel enormous resentment against the Jews who would still be dominant.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155132.html

    Regarding her claim that Arab women have a high unemployment level because of “racism”, I should point out that a couple of years ago I read about an industrial park was built in northern Jordan for textiles enjoying free-trade relations with Israel and the US. It turns out that the vast majority of workers are imported Chinese laborers. Arabs do not like that kind of factory work. So apparently the interviewee would have to say that the Jordanian employers also suffer from “anti-Arab racism”.

  62. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 6:03 am

    “On the one hand, they hate Israel,”
    She didn’t say that or even imply it.

    “Regarding her claim that Arab women have a high unemployment level because of “racism””
    She didn’t say that either. She said that the explanation people like you usually give for high unemployment among Arab women is racist. Which it is.

    “Arabs do not like that kind of factory work.”
    Lemme assure you that nobody likes that kind of factory work. (Well, maybe there are a few nutcasess who do…) People do it only when they have no prospect of better jobs – or when they have no other way of paying for college. That’s why in areas with comparably high standards of living they hire foreign workers with lower standards (by the way the chief reason for the large number of Muslims in many European countries.)

    As long as we throw meaningless anecdotes around: Have you ever done any kind of factory work, by the way? I mean, I’m not gonna say, even could certainly support this way better than you did, that Jews don’t like factory work.

  63. Richard Witty Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Is it necessary for you to adopt racist stereotypes, in order to respond to what you perceive as a racist stereotype?

  64. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Koshiro:
    riddle me this buddy. How come this film director didn’t move heaven and earth to escape the zio-nazi jackboot of oppression. Which has we all know is the worst regime that there has ever been. In order to practice his craft in the freedom of the Arab film industry in say Saudi Arabia

  65. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Richard
    “Is it necessary for you to adopt racist stereotypes, in order to respond to what you perceive as a racist stereotype?”
    Are you familiar with the word ‘not’?

    The very point was that if someone made these sweeping, flawed assumptions about Jews, it would be rightly seen as antisemitic. But ‘Arabs don’t like that kind of factory work’ is fundamentally no different from ‘Jews don’t like that kind of factory work’. Good for you that you recognize this.
    And yes, sometimes it can be helpful to confront a particularly obstinate person with a mirror image of his own prejudices. I’m not getting my hopes up in this case, though.

    Bill
    “How come this film director didn’t move heaven and earth to escape the zio-nazi jackboot of oppression. Which has we all know is the worst regime that there has ever been.”
    You are going to cause an agricultural crisis with that amount of strawman building.

  66. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    You guys think I am making this up? The NEW YORK TIMES in different articles pointed out that NO SAUDI WILL WORK AT A JOB “LOWER” THAN BEING A TAXI DRIVER. Another NEW YORK TIMES article about Iraq said that in spite of the high unemployment in the country, there is a labor shortage because IRAQIS WILL NOT DO JOBS “LOWER” THAN BEING A TAXI DRIVER.

    Different cultures have different values. Tough.

  67. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    “You guys think I am making this up?”
    Yes, until you provide an actual reference, I am.

    I would however, from personal experience, believe that (almost) no *Kuwaiti* would take a job “lower” than or even as “low” as a taxi driver. That has little to do with being Arab and lots to do with being rich, however. They hire Pakistanis and other Muslim “guest workers” for all kinds of labor there, and it’s fairly similar with the Saudis I hear.

    OTOH, in the other Arab countries I’ve been to, it would have been pretty inconvenient had there been no Arabs who would drive my taxi, haul around my luggage or keep my surroundings clean. Not to mention building those surroundings in the first place. But I guess in your opinion Arabs all live in tents – because they don’t like the hard labor of construction work, eh?

  68. Tom Mitchell Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Koshiro,

    Even when a reference is provided, if you don’t like it you simply dismiss it and call us lazy. I’m still waiting for your justification for calling a military dictatorship like Algeria a democracy.

  69. Koshiro Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    “I’m still waiting for your justification for calling a military dictatorship like Algeria a democracy.”
    Why don’t you provide a justification for calling it a military dictatorship first? Normally I’d assume there would need to be a dictator who’s a member of the military. Which seems not to be the case here.

  70. Bill Pearlman Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Way to dodge that one big guy. Seriously, the horror, the government financed his movie, ( which begs the question of where my UJA contributions went over the years ) but I digress. The oppression is just too much to contemplate. How does go on.

  71. Y. Ben-David Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Egypt is also essentially a military dictatorship. Of course, the President is a civilian and there is some sort of rubber-stamp parliament. But in Egypt, the military is the one who makes the decisions, and this has been the case since the military coup of 1952 that eventuallly brought Nasser to power. It will be the military who decides whether Mubarak’s son will succeed him, or it will be someone else (interesting how all these “progressive” regimes are becoming hereditary monarchies…North Korea, Syria with Libya on the way and possibly Egypt!).

  72. Koshiro Says:
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:50 am

    “Egypt is also essentially a military dictatorship.”
    It is also essentially not Algeria. The Algerian president has actually worked to *curb* the power of the military.

  73. GB5DXvdfd0WpF2 Says:
    September 5th, 2013 at 3:18 am

    18089 959983Im agitated all these article directories. It sure would be nice to have every article directory that instantly accepts articles. 66181

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