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Tearstreaked notes from the news cycle: Gaza assault timing “couldn’t be better”

Happy New Year, information warrriors. I spent half an hour trying to write an angry riff on what follows, as I am still appalled by Israeli behavior. Then my mind wandered.

I pictured a junior IDF information officer, staring at a memo sent in advance of the possible ground operation, asking him to answer the question noted in the article below: “When you have a Palestinian kid facing an Israeli tank, how do you explain that the tank is actually David and the kid is Goliath?”

He was not a monster, this poor guy who dwelled in my brain for a few seconds (although hard leftists would have denounced me for having that thought, had they been able to read my mind). Far from it. Just a nice, articulate and utterly confused young guy from the muddled middle of Israeli politics, who didn’t have the faintest idea of what Israel should do about the Hamasniks on its doorstep, who believed the information the IDF gave him. I decided that his parents lived in Ashdod and he was terribly worried about them, because they were getting scared that the rocket fire would get worse, not better. I pictured his parents, who could easily have been my parents, had my grandparents (from the Ukraine and Bessarabia) washed ashore in Palestine instead of the U.S so many years ago. And then I reread the following, absolutely bloodcurdling paragraphs from the Times of London, and I got angry again…And then I just burst into tears (seriously!).

The blogosphere and new media are another war zone. The important thing is to get the truth out there, Major Avital Leibovich, an army spokeswoman, said. The stakes are high for Israel, intent on smashing Hamas before world opinion forces it to put the brakes on its devastating airstrikes on one of the most densely populated conurbations in the world.

According to Uri Dromi, a former government press adviser and air force colonel,the key to Israel’s campaign, in terms of the international reaction, was the timing.

He said: “The timing was perfect. No one was there. Obama was in Hawaii. Bush was in Texas. Condoleezza Rice was away. It was a twilight zone. It was the perfect time for Israel to do something which we believe is justified, but will always come up against problem opposition.”

However, Mr Dromi admitted that the administration will struggle to win hearts and minds if footage of those suffering in Gaza continues to be shown. “When you have a Palestinian kid facing an Israeli tank, how do you explain that the tank is actually David and the kid is Goliath?”

“That is why the television kills us. Newspapers are better because they give context.”

However, he adds: “Only when you don’t win the war decisively, that’s when you need the PR war. I would rather win the real war.”

40 thoughts on “Tearstreaked notes from the news cycle: Gaza assault timing “couldn’t be better”

  1. There is a problem of scale when discussing the responsibilities of a state.

    I/we identify with the victims of violence, especially mass violence. At our scale, an aerial assault is terrorizing, impossible to stop, impossible to respond to.

    So, we pose the Israeli assault as one of Israel attacking Gazan civilians.

    And, as a too large number of Gazan civilians have been killed, hurt, traumatized, it is a rational but incomplete choice of scale to identify with the victims.

    In doing so, we are witnesses. We are the roadkill, NOT the car (even as we once were the car, and in our pendulum swings of anger still are the car).

    The IMPORTANT question is what stops the cycle of violence, and the specific uses of violence.

    Its an unknown to me what stops it. When MM describes resistance in terms that are longer than an incident, longer than an exchange, it becomes NEVER-ENDING.

    If Hamas is fighting a hundred-years war, then our revulsion is NOT up to the task of making peace in reality.

    If Hamas if fighting a hundred-years war, and Palestinian civilians just want a cessation to violence, to get on with their lives, then Hamas IS a large part of the problem.

    The questions of Israeli over-reaction, and/or addiction to military solution, and/or dehumanization of the other, are also real.

    There are times when I conclude that those repetitions have become habit (rather than well-conceived strategy), or worse – imprinted characteristic of modern Jewish identity.

    And, there are times when I conclude that those accusations are utter bullshit, that the reality of Israeli and Jewish consciousness is CONDITIONAL on the presence and behavior of Israel’s actual enemies, with a predisposition to acceptance.

    To MM and other “dedicated” solidarity. The BIG question about Hamas is whether its “resistance” is conditional on relative circumstances or unconditional.

    If conditional, then there is a possibility of peace. If unconditional (from ideology, from political fear of being thought of as compliant, from habit, from indiscipline), then there is NO POSSIBILITY of peace, and Israel and its supporters would be forced to put aside their repugnance for violence.

    Is Hamas “resistance” and manner, CONDITIONAL or is it UNCONDITIONAL?

  2. Once again, Bravo.

    The caricature of “hard leftists” though is off-target — the boys and girls in the IDF are not seen as the villains; far from it. Most anti-Zionists I know pity them.

    The real villains are the American and international Jewish organizations that profit from blindly bolstering murderous Zionism, while sabotaging democratic institutions that would seek to intervene in this slow-motion genocide.

    The vast majority of Israelis are mere pawns in that game.

  3. I read this twice. Mr. Fleshler, while I understand your desire to find humanity on both sides, ultimately, I found this to be very manipulative. I fail to see why I should have any sympathy whatsover for the monsters (yes, that’s the right word) who are planning and cooperating in a genocidal attack on the people of Gaza.

  4. Dan,
    A more important question is “what do you think?”

    There is no monolith that I see in the press that I read (NY Times, Washington Post, Haaretz, NPR). I do not have TV. There is a variety of reports conveyed, with a variety of interpretations.

    In Haaretz in particular, there is a wide variety of opinions expressed, from anti-Zionist (Amira Haas), to critical Zionist (Gideon Levy), to labor government, to slightly more right-wing.

    There is a problem of scale between the personal and the organizational or even movement, that is at play. I sincerely wish that only the personal scale, the scale of sympathy and repugnance at harms, were relevant.

    The personal scale is the relevant scale for witness to the effects of organization, movement and state logic.

    But, in THIS case, the decision to ignore the actions and policies of Hamas in targeting ONLY civilians, as distinct from the Israeli policies to target strategic targets (with sadly inconsistently weak criteria), is a big problem. It ENCOURAGES the abuse of the personal scale within Israel, while it condemns the abuse of the personal scale within Gaza.

    “Enough is enough” is a relevant and compelling comment to describe the shelling of Sderot, Ashkelon with “bottle rockets”, but now Ashdod, and my cousins’ home Beersheba with larger innaccurate rockets.

    MM’s advocacy of Hamas’ hundred-years war, is the oppossite of peace-seeking.

  5. I saw a photo that was presented at one of the dissenting advocacy sites a couple days ago.

    The photo showed an entirely bombed out building (tightly shot), with a caption referring to “Israeli massacre” (I don’t have a citation or remember the exact caption.)

    A day later, another photo of the same location was presented by another photographer with a wider frame, that showed two houses standing and undamaged next to the building that was bombed.

    The implication of the first photo was of indiscrimminate carpet-bombing. The implication of the ACCURATE second photo was of very precise targeting.

    It is a media war, but pictures only speak a thousand words from multiple perspectives.

    Until we KNOW, we don’t yet know. Anyone that says that they know in fact, are either intimately present and can see clearly, or are lying propagandists (or repeaters).

    On NPR two nights ago, a Gazan Palestinian reporter stated that on the first day, the Israeli targets were uniquely precise and strategic, NOT indiscrimminate, but that that had changed as they ran out of clear targets but were still eager to “finish the job” (whatever that was).

    On NPR last night, Rashid Khalidi expressed his impression that world stature for Hamas and for Israel had BOTH declined (though both had increased on their respective “street”).

    In Haaretz today, a poll was published showing that Labor had increased its standing in polls greatly, that likud had slightly, and that the religious, expansionist nationalist, and left parties had each declined.

  6. Dan,

    I don’t cry very often. This one got to me. I don’t exactly know why, though. Maybe all the pent-up grief caused by the last week just needed to get released. But whatever, as my kids say…Kol hakavod for staying angry without losing your humanity. Not easy, is it? Happy new year.


    The reaction from “Anon” (#3) just contradicted you. But I hope you are right about the “hard left.” I do notice that there is less hostility from you to some of the arguments you don’t agree with, lately. And while I have had my arguments with you, I appreciate the fact that you and I can both agree that Dan’s post is spot-on. This conflict is a terrible tragedy for both peoples. May the New Year bring civil dialogue between those who in their heart of hearts want the same things.

  7. Agreed, Teddy. I disagree with comment #3 that the IDF kids are “monsters,” but I agree that those planning the attacks (allegedly for almost a year now) fit that bill.

    Richard, “Hamas’ 100 years war” is one of your most dishonest phrases yet. Really. Hamas hasn’t even been around for 100 years. Zionism has. Details, details.

  8. And, that you were in solidarity with that unconditional long-term resistance.

    Perhaps I misinterpreted your comments.

    For what its worth, the PR WAR is an arm-chair one. One that we argue from a safe distance each with the vanity that we know.

    What does one do not knowing? Are we silent and risk enabling a cynical dysfunctional combination of careerism and habit?

    Or, are we noisy and condemning and risk enabling a dysfunctional combination of fanaticism and neo-fascist theocratic tyrrany?

    Or, some other option, some more long-term option that actually solves some of the problems of the mutual disease, rather than the trauma-invoking symptoms?

  9. I see MM. The Jews are monsters but those happy go lucky lads from Hamas and Hezbollah are just a bunch of fun guys. How do you make that judgement.

  10. Wonderful humanization Dan,

    Now to the pertinent question.

    Can you do the same for a Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank?

    It seems that they are all labeled “terrorists”, and after they are killed or abducted and disappear into the Israeli gulag, there are never human stories about them. We see plenty of human stories about the families of the Israeli victims of “Palestinian terror”; we see thier names on the news, we are shown their funerals, their crying mothers. We hear the comments from their friends about how nice they were. Please let your mind wander in another direction and let us see that human Palestinian boy, be he a follower of Hamas or not.


  11. Paul,

    Good point. My own imagination and irrational thoughts are not exactly phenomena I can control. All I can tell you is that, believe me or not, I have “seen” that Palestinian boy, both in person and in my mind, for decades now. While the MSM needs to be monitored vigilantly to make sure his story and the story of his family is told, I actually believe that the sufferings of the Palestinians in Gaza have not been hidden by the MSM and other readily available media; quite the contrary. It’s all there, plain as day, for anyone who turns on a television or reads a paper or surfs the Web. For me, on my personal journey, the most pressing and immediate problem is not “media bias,” although of course that exists and must be addressed. The most important question is why so many people from the organized American Jewish community and Israel have made the decision to rationalize what is right in front of them.

  12. I appreciate the insights into Israeli strategic thinking.

    Can anyone present some insights into Hamas strategic thinking? What is their strategy these days?

  13. “The most important question is why so many people from the organized American Jewish community and Israel have made the decision to rationalize what is right in front of them.”

    Its because they don’t know what is right in this situation. Neither do I, and I expect you.

    They do know that what is occurring is at least a “cycle of violence” and NOT an oppression, not a colonialization.

    And they know that Hamas is theocratic and anti-Zionist in the worst interpretation of that term. (Not the embellished political democratic meaning of the term.)

    I expect you cry mostly from frustration and inability to effect a positive outcome.

    I personally cried yesterday for the recognition that my young adult investment in enlightened consciousness and social welfare has not resulted in a moral society and kind, loving life.

  14. Charles, thanks for bringing up that question. There seems to be an assumption among many of Israel’s critics that 1) Hamas would not have fired those rockets or allowed those rockets to be fired had Israel opened up the Gaza borders and met Hamas’ other terms for a ceasefire. 2)Reliable leaders of Hamas have clearly indicated that they would be willing to live side by side with Israel, in an imperfect but nevertheless real state of state of peace, even if they will never recognize Israel’s right to exist or abide by the previous agreements made by the PA.

    I don’t know enough to properly dispute these ideas or to accept them. But just as some people here don’t believe the MSM’s reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, why do they take a leap of faith and believe in the independent news sources that make the aforementioned case about Hamas? Why do they seem to summarily dismiss those who say that Hamas has never renounced its quest to destroy Israel and that its “strategy” –up til now, at least–is a long-term one, which is meant to make life unbearable for Israelis? Just because the Israel lobby believes something does not mean it is incorrect…

  15. “If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”

    In BOTH Gaza and Israel that is exactly what is occurring. People are “leading” with anger (at least in Gaza, indifference perhaps in Israel), not compassion, and not accurate balanced political analysis.

    And, the leaders are following.

    The idea of puppet-masters, say of the Israel Lobby, or “hasbara”, is an innaccurate one.

  16. Charles,
    Hamas, like the Nazis during WWII or the PLO in the 1980s, is not a monolithic organization. The exile military wing in Damascus is more radical than many of those operating in Gaza and the West Bank. In Gaza there seem to be many different opinions. Some Hamas leaders have spoken about a long-term truce (hudna) with Israel lasting for 20-30 years. But in exchange for that they ask for the same terms that the PLO was demanding for a final settlement. One can only speculate as to whether this is an attempt to sucker Israel into a deal that will be a stepping-stone to a one-state solution on Islamist Palestinian terms or an attempt to introduce pragmatism into the organization slowly. This was the same debate that was held in the 1970s over the meaning of the PLO’s “stages strategy” of accepting partial deals as a stepping stone to liberation of the homeland.

    It seems that the majority of the Islamists want to prevent a final settlement with Israel for at least several decades until the Palestinians are either strong enough to force a settlement on Israel on terms favorable to Hamas, or eliminate Israel completely. In the short-term Hamas wants to weaken and eliminate Fatah as a viable alternative to Israel by portraying it as an ineffective Israeli agent or puppet. Judging from events in 2007, Hamas seems to be as democratic as the Bolsheviks were in 1918, as the Nazis were in 1933-34, or as many in Fatah were and still are.

  17. Dan:

    I just want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to read not only what you have to say, but also the dialouge that is offered by and between your regulars. Candidly, I had drifted from matters pertaining to Israel and Palestine out of exhaustion, and because my focus on matters political had shifted to the endless presidential campaign. Now I am smacked back to reality by what has taken place in Gaza and I confess to be utterly confused and frustrated about what is justified and what is not, what is moral and what is not, and of course what should or should not be done. Few places I have visited over the past week–in particular, my regular hang-out at Josh Marshall’s place, with his principal I-P contributor MJ Rosenberg–have educated me (except to the extent that new and improved name-calling can be considered educational) and caused me to think outside of the box in the way that you and your regular, informed, and eclectic contributors have. Yasher Koach to each of you, and while I haven’t cried as you have, I share your distress, fear for the future, and still I continue to hope for better days ahead for Israelis and Palestinians.


  18. Dan,

    Thanks for the response; of course I believe that you can and have been able to see the Palestinian boy, both in your musings and in reality. I also concur with your statement:

    “The most important question is why so many people from the organized American Jewish community and Israel have made the decision to rationalize what is right in front of them.”

    I think that you should go farther though, and tell us exactly what it is that is “right in front of them.” Richard Witty is unable to criticize it, he rationalizes and spins, saying that they don’t know what is right, you don’t know what is right, I don’t know what is right… And then he goes on the rationalize it again, saying that it isn’t oppression or colonization. What is it then, Richard? I think it’s ethnic cleansing and war crimes personally.

    Dan, I applaud you for admitting that it has made you cry. I agree with Richard about why you cry; you’re frustrated and upset, and you would like to effect a positive outcome. I believe that you want a positive outcome. Unfortunately, the definition of “positive outcome” varies among individuals!!

    I disagree strongly with your outlook on the MSM.

    “While the MSM needs to be monitored vigilantly to make sure his story and the story of his family is told, I actually believe that the sufferings of the Palestinians in Gaza have not been hidden by the MSM and other readily available media; quite the contrary. It’s all there, plain as day, for anyone who turns on a television or reads a paper or surfs the Web.”

    It’s not all there, and it is not presented factually or in a balanced way. Israeli actions are ALWAYS presented as “retaliation” or “reaction” to terrorism, and the words “Occupation” or “Occupied Territories” are for the most part omitted. Opinions and Op-eds are predominantly from viewpoints of the Israeli or Organized American Jewish variety. I find it hard to believe that you, who I think are very knowlegable about the I/P conflict and the support that Israel receives from Organized American Jewry, are unable to see that the presentation of the conflict in American Media is anything but fair and balanced.

    I know it’s dated, but watch “Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land” again. Tell me what you think about it.


  19. I loved your comment about “no deaths to either”.

    Its too damn obvious to me that Hamas is conducting a PR campaign in this as much or more than Israel is.

    And that is why I call the words of much “solidarity” to be gullible.

    Anger itself is a reaction, and physiologically temporary. Hate is its permanent imprint, its formation into ideology.

    For that reason, anger can NOT serve as a functional progressive thesis. It provides nothing of lasting value, and cannot remain among real living human beings (that include innocent young, old, infirm, women placed in the crossfire of “youthful” zealotry).

  20. Bruce,

    Thanks for your kind note. Welcome back.


    Brief note on the MSM. You are making a general, global statement about media coverage. I was making a simpler point, commenting about this particular tragedy. I don’t think that the terrible suffering the Israelis have wrought has been hidden; the loss of innocent lives is there for everyone to see. More, much later, when I have time for a post.

  21. Witty, the “Hamas solidarity” is all in your head. You call Palestinian sympathizers “gullible” because you yourself are sticking your head in the sand with regard to Zionism’s colonial nature.

    It’s a classic case of projection. You intentionally maintain a misunderstanding to shelter your own preconceptions and prejudices, and then you claim others are the ones doing that. It’s a pattern of behavior easily observed in your posts here and elsewhere.

    Despite all the wringing of hands, this issue is as simple as 1+1=2: ethnic ashkenazim NEVER had any right to violently colonize and plunder Palestine–not even the UN had any legal right to divide Palestine–any more than a group of ethnic Arabs could use the Nakba as justification to colonize your neighborhood on the East Coast of the U.S., with or without the support of the imperialist powers of the day.

    Zionism demands that you not accept that, I know, and that is the blindspot leading to the hopeless situation Israel/Palestine finds itself in.

    Teddy, the focus on Hamas is a distraction. Why distract yourself? The nature of your own side’s actions exists independently of Hamas–the evidence is that Zionist war crimes predate Hamas existence by many decades.

    Why not examine what your own side could do differently, instead of fixating on the enemy as justification for your own side’s failures to act legally, morally, and with respect for human rights?

    For what it’s worth, international press has been reporting that Hamas would consider a cease-fire for FIVE days now–since the 2nd day of the bombing.

    Hamas’ endgame in firing missiles? We can all only speculate–I think it’s radicalized youth trying to show an indomitable spirit. To demonstrate that Israel cannot have tranquility while Palestine still faces such grotesque injustice.

  22. MM,
    I guess we will never talk with each other.

    And, as an ideolog, you will never seek peace with Israel.

    Israel and Israelis EXIST. They exist as a nation (a people), and they exist as a legal jurisdiction (a state).

    Its time for you and Hamas to accept that.

    Humans colonized the planet. That does not imply that we should embrace a great suicide.

    Hamas was reported to have REJECTED pleas by the Egyptian government to accept a long-term cease fire that would require them to renounce shelling of civilians.

    They want to win more than they give a shit about Palestinians, or other human beings. Its a big problem.

  23. I have no heads in the sand.

    Zionism is various. There are multiple approaches with a common VALID theme.

    The humane position to do is to be a humane Zionist, not anti-Zionist.

    Otherwise you advocate for suppression in the name of liberation.

    The art for Zionists, is to find ways through the maze of contempt, to enhance the prospects of decent life for Palestinians.

    Hamas shelling civilians is one of the most knotty and contemptible (and contemptuous) obstacles.

    It is self-talk, oriented to self-embellishment, rather than improvement for Palestinian life.

  24. “Humans colonized the planet,” so I guess I can come colonize your neighborhood and violently expel you and your family from your house.


    Or only the Jews were entitled to do that?

    Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post today on blind tribalism. It is Richard Witty to a tee.

    He quotes Orwell most fittingly:

    “All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side … The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

    Ultimately this Zionist-driven hegemonic imperialism, with its propagandistic media and total usurpation of democratic institutions, is going to lead to a civil war in the United States.

    Endless war in the Middle East is simply NOT in the interests of a majority of Americans, and more and more of them are discovering why the U.S. is implicated in such.

    The time would be NOW to begin to dismantle this obviously unsustainable system. But Jewish Zionist and American military industrial interests will not accept such a change to the lucrative status quo.

  25. Dismantling Zionism need not harm any Israelis, either–just as the transition from apartheid to equal rights in South Africa didn’t cause the Afrikaners to be “swept into the sea.”

    The fear-mongering of faux-progressives like Witty is a defensive reaction to protect the favorable status quo. And as Avrum Burg noted, the Holocaust obsession is almost certainly caused–70 years later–by a need to justify the atrocities committed in Palestine.

    Democracy or sovereignty for Palestinians, generous compensation, and a Truth and Reconciliation could end this.

    But Richard Witty and the legions of hasbara ostriches are colonialist dead-enders.

    Thankfully they’re mortals, and the next generation will have a chance to resolve this stain on humanity’s conscience. Let the colonial era finally end, already.

  26. “Democracy or sovereignty for Palestinians, generous compensation, and a Truth and Reconciliation could end this.”

    That is EXACTLY what I’ve advocated for.

    You just haven’t listened. Talk about “blind tribalism”.

    Somehow the actions of Hamas are of no consequence to your analysis.

    Very very odd to describe that as “eyes open”.

    Your description of US/Israel joined at the hip is innaccurate. Israel is operating largely independantly in Gaza and in relation to terror and terror states in the Mideast and elsewhere.

    I would LOVE for the defense establishment to be unnecessary.

    Sadly, the rejection of Israel as Israel, causes the military in Israel to remain relevant.

    The memory of the holocaust and the few thousand other “genocides” of Jews (if Gaza is to be described as “genocide”) are not “excuses” as much as reasoning.

    Absent attacks, preparedness would just not get used.

    If you are so committed to regime change, then you are one with the neo-conservatives that you criticize, MM.

    I prefer elections.

  27. MM,
    Have you read the Michener book “The Source”.

    It is definitely sympathetic to Zionism, but also describes the colonial nature of the region, using 15 or so layers of an archeological dig to describe the chain of violent “colonial” imposition by one power over another (INCLUDING multiple forced removal of Jewish civilian residents, and INCLUDING the MUSLIM forced imposition, and the more gradual Palestinian.)

    Agitation does not engender friendship and civility, necessary for a political union between various populations in the region.

    It would be wonderful if you and others in solidarity actually WORKED, or even just contributed (as MANY Jews do), to the fields that crossed cultural boundaries.

    Public health, environment, culture, trade.

    In my personal experience in Israel, in 1986, I stayed with folksingers in Arad (third cousins) following an annual folk festival there. Nightly, we went to cafe’s in Arad and Beersheba and sang with Jews, Bedouin, Druze, Palestinians.

    Following the first intifada, in 1987, my cousins told me that because of the physical conflict, and moreso the hostility between Palestinian solidarity and Zionist (mostly Palestinian), that it was no longer possible to have cross-cultural contact.

    That struck me as an irony, actually much worse than an irony.

    Comparable to the likely similar ironies that the current war engenders, that of making it LESS LIKELY that a single-state or multi-nation federation is possible at all.

    Solidarity shoots itself in the foot, and then describes it as not occurring.

  28. It makes me think that solidarity is mostly vanity, and NOT interested in the goals that it describes.

    (It actually does not describe goals to work for, as much as complaints, a silhouette that does not end up constructing an image.)

  29. Richard, the status quo is bolstered by your endless prevarication.

    Jews were living in Palestine PRIOR to Zionism.

    Hamas’ very own charter, the document you point to constantly as justification for racist Israeli militarism and the on-going genocide of the Gazan population, explicitly states that Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all welcome in the future Palestinian state.

    What Zionism attempted to do was impose an ahistorical reality on one of the oldest civilized regions on the planet. It was an idea dreamed up in Vienna coffeeshops and carried out by people who were outsiders–not a part of the historical or cultural fabric of the Middle East.

    Did the Crusaders have a right to permanence?

    Neither do the Zionists.

    And their fate will be the same. There’s that old “writing on the wall” that my favorite Jewish musician Paul Simon once sang about.

    Give the rationalizations a rest, and try empathy. Try humanism. Try taking a break from your hasbara activity on Mondoweiss and considering how you would view this situation if you were on the other end of those cluster bomb runs.

    As Martin Luther King said, when the time comes, we won’t remember the words of our enemies as much as the silence of our friends.

    You missed the opportunity to speak out against the war crime in Lebanon in 2006, in favor of apologism.

    Will you let another opportunity pass you by? World opinion is not evenly divided on this, you know.

  30. MM,
    World opinion by those with responsibility to govern is still highly supportive of Israel, in the sense that it KNOWS that Hamas undertakes terror, refuses to negotiate with Israel, advocates for an overt Muslim theocracy in which Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists are ALL subordinate to “believers”.

    Zionism attempted to realize national self-governance for a people that had LONG been denied self-governance.

    The trend in the world over the past thirty years has been mixed as far as cosmopolitan vs national basis of governance, as a trend, and as a rational trend.

    The instances of cosmopolitanism as a trend has occurred most prominently in Europe, which is largely a commercial response to currency instability and commercial competition from US, Japan and now China.

    In the majority of cases, cosmopolitan visions have divided rather than formed. Yugoslavia is now five nations (some fascist, some more progressive, most more anti-semitic). The former Soviet Union is now 12.

    Maybe that is a “colonial plot”. Maybe its a partially creative response.

    If you favor self-determination for peoples, then the realization of Israeli self-determination is a great positive.

    I get that the creation of something new is disruptive.

    And, many trends within Israel are disturbing, as many are inspiring.

    In my visits there, I spent time at sufi centers, yogic centers, Bahai, multi-cultural festivals, vigorous ethical and political discussion.

    Those are jewels to my understanding.

    In further travels to India, I met an African-American yogic adherent who was imprisoned for two years in Egypt for teaching non-religious meditation practice. I’ve met others that had been imprisoned in Iran and Saudi Arabia for publicly advocating for equal rights for women.

  31. @ Richard,

    “I met an African-American yogic adherent who was imprisoned for two years in Egypt for teaching non-religious meditation practice. I’ve met others that had been imprisoned in Iran and Saudi Arabia for publicly advocating for equal rights for women.”

    I guess that makes all Muslims evil terrorists, doesn’t it Richard? Especially those evil Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip, right Richard?

    Well, when I was in India, I met Israeli young people, fresh out of their military service, who went on about how they could NEVER trust another human being the way they could trust an Israeli.



  32. It makes Israel a state that accepts social differences, while in most Arab states acceptance of diversity is rare, and often enforced viciously.

  33. Iran isn’t an Arab state, Richard, but don’t let that slow the Richard Witty Stupid Vilification Express.

    Any word on when those 25,000 Iranian Jews are going to see the light and emigrate to the apartheid Jewish state?

  34. MM,
    Don’t get petty with your criticisms of my choice of words.

    The Iranian Jews live in a state of ambiguity. They are “protected” dhimmi in Iran comprising 6% of their original population 60 years ago.

    By “protected” they are periodically subject to purges like when a moderate Jewish critic of the Iranian regime was tried and executed for being a Zionist conspirator, in less than a fair trial. It SCARED people there.

    Maybe it was just a “single isolated incident”.

    The Iranian Jews that I’ve heard of being interviewed outside of Iran have different comments than the ones inside. They BOTH stated that Iran was their home, and that they had moderately convivial relationships with most of their neighbors. At least in Farsi, there are different words for Jew than Israeli, unlike in Arabic usage (yes, I’m just repeating what I’ve been fed).

  35. You’ve been fed a lot of lies, Richard. Let your bowels expel that waste and come into the light.

    Do you have any idea what Israel and Zionist organizations have been trying to do, and for how long, to entice Iran’s Jews to emigrate?

    Why do you have such a hard time understanding that it was Zionism itself that made Jews unwelcome in the Arab world. Does it ever cross your mind that there have been multitudes of JEWISH victims of Zionism as well?

  36. “Zionism itself made Jews unwelcome in the Arab world”, is a uniquely RACIST statement.

    Its up there with “my wife made me beat her”.

    I guess you’ve never been purged.

    “Fed a lot of lies”. Such a silly dismissal. I don’t dismiss the experiences of others, even those that disagree with me 180 degrees.

    What do you prefer instead of nationalism, instead of Zionism? What do you practice in fact?

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