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  #1  
Old 05-20-2009, 12:20 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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  #2  
Old 05-20-2009, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

PREDICTION: 14 or 15 more peace accords and we'll finally be there.
seriously, though, why would Israel want conditions in the Territories to improve? right now they're barely even on the radar when compared to Iran. If i were an israeli i'd want to keep them poor because I'd have no faith that the hatred would leave once they had jobs. i'd simply assume they'd just use the extra dough for rockets (kinda like what they do now). granted, you have to move for economic growth instead of just letting terrorists use people but i'm not gonna hold my breath.
I'd say well before 10,000 AD we'll have this thing licked.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:21 AM
Jeff Morgan Jeff Morgan is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Thank you bh.tv!
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Empathy

This dialogue between two such intelligent and mutually empathetic speakers (to use a word in vogue) only illustrates that intelligence and empathy may be powerless against the stupidity and mutual enmity that are at the root of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Calling on the United States and Europe to intervene to help bring about a settlement is indeed the only hope, but the last word of the dialogue---Imshallah (God Willing)---bodes ill, I am afraid, for the future. There are too many people on both sides who seem to think they know more about what God wills than about what they will.
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2009, 02:53 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

If Europe would commit to a long-term program of aid and investment for the Palestinian community, one that would produce rough parity in standard of living between Israel and a future Palestinian state, and whose continuance would be conditional upon the Palestinian community honoring the terms of any final settlement -- wouldn't that help establish "a just and lasting peace" in the area? Certainly it is hard to imagine a lasting peace in the absence of such parity.

Hear that, Europe?

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 05-20-2009 at 02:55 PM..
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:09 PM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
If Europe would commit to a long-term program of aid and investment for the Palestinian community, one that would produce rough parity in standard of living between Israel and a future Palestinian state, and whose continuance would be conditional upon the Palestinian community honoring the terms of any final settlement -- wouldn't that help establish "a just and lasting peace" in the area? Certainly it is hard to imagine a lasting peace in the absence of such parity.

Hear that, Europe?
I believe the European Union is already the largest supplier of aid to the Palestinian Authority. No doubt more could be done. Since Israel only listens to the US, and the US under the Bush administration lent support to the most stupid Israeli policies........ Hear that US?

http://ec.europa.eu/external_relatio...y/index_en.htm
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

yeah, they've been getting aid for years. it does nothing for africa and will do nothing for palestine except keep people from starving to death and maybe buy them a few rockets. this is what sam was angling at: promote private sector growth. it's the old "teach a man to fish" deal.
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2009, 08:24 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Still not enough. Europe should do more. Israel exists thanks to Europe.

Seriously though, Bahour and Avishai are right. Palestine will have to rely on Israel to help grow its own economy. The stronger the economy there is, the less likely people will want to waste their time with Hamas and instead work to sustain and grow their own business, etc...

A Yemeni friend of mine right before 9/11 told me the problem in Yemen and other non-oil Middle Eastern countries was that there were not enough jobs. Several middle eastern countries' economies are mostly moribund. The sooner this changes, the sooner there will be less terrorism in my opinion.

Last edited by Lyle; 05-21-2009 at 03:18 AM..
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2009, 11:48 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Adding to my comment above: To establish economic parity between a future Palestinian state and Israel would take roughly the same amount of money the US has spent in Iraq -- around a trillion dollars -- though it would arguably be much better spent.

As to why Europe should spend it, beyond the fact that they are roughly as wealthy as the US and have the same interests we do (the whole world does) in stability in that oil-rich corner of the world, there is the fact that it was European anti-Semitism that drove the Jews out of Europe and European statesmen who decided to solve Europe's "Jewish problem" by giving someone else's land away.

In schematic terms: if A pushes B into C, causing a fight between B and C, then A is responsible for the damages to C. It is written somewhere that Israel shall be redeemed by judgment; I'm not sure what judgment means, but it ought to include reason and equity.

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 05-20-2009 at 11:58 PM..
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2009, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

i don't think you're getting it: europe just doesn't care as much as we do and aid money doesn't actually change anything. it's like giving a bum $100,000 - he's not gonna change at all, he's still just a bum with $100,000. we've given africa almost $1 trillion over the last 40 years and look what's going on there.
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2009, 06:41 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
As to why Europe should spend it, beyond the fact that they are roughly as wealthy as the US and have the same interests we do (the whole world does) in stability in that oil-rich corner of the world, there is the fact that it was European anti-Semitism that drove the Jews out of Europe and European statesmen who decided to solve Europe's "Jewish problem" by giving someone else's land away.
First of all, contrary to what you appear to believe, there is no such thing as collective responsibility---legally. Europe was not and, in the opinion of many, still is not a political entity. If the responsibility for the Holocaust lies on any political entity, it lies on Germany, and Germany has already done much to make amends for its past by giving aid to Israel.

Anti-semitism was no doubt widespread at one time in Europe (as it was in the US), but that creates no legal responsibility on the part of contemporary Europeans to make amends for the sins of their fathers by helping the Palestinians, whose fate in any case was determined not by "Europe" but by Great Britain. That both contemporary Europeans and Americans feel, with various degrees of conviction, a moral responsibilty to help bring peace to the Middle East attests more to their individual consciences than to any sense of collective guilt. Only the mentally ill feel guilty for crimes they did not commit.

Until contemporary Americans decide to compensate black citizens for the enslavement of their ancestors, lectures on collective responsibilty will fall on deaf ears.

Last edited by Francoamerican; 05-21-2009 at 06:46 AM..
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2009, 10:34 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by Francoamerican View Post
Only the mentally ill feel guilty for crimes they did not commit.
I don't agree with this. I feel guilty at times both for slavery in America and for the horrors done to native Americans, but my ancestors did not arrive in this country until the early 20th century. Does my feeling of guilt make me mentally ill? Or was I, in fact, somehow complicit in the alleged crimes? The kind of guilt I feel is probably related to what is called survivor's guilt. I think it's pretty common and not an indicator of mental illness.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2009, 01:27 PM
abemahler abemahler is offline
 
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Default Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai could form their own viable state

As for questions of private business opportunies in Gaza or the West Bank, it's hard to know whether to trust either of these guys.

Bloggingheads has put together a Palestinian American who writes for Counterpunch on the necessity of giving the Palestinians "the literal right of return" to achieve "peace between Israel and Palestine"; and an Israeli American who has written for Harpers that young Israelis are condemning Israel to an anti-humanistic future when--after learning about the history of Palestinian refugees--they feel patriotic in any way about Israel having an identity as a Jewish-majority democracy.

But what's the point of having these guys in a diavlog to jerk each other off? To make us feel better about peace?

The most recent polls show the vast majority of Palestinian supporters of the two-state solution also supporting a one-state future (either secular or as an Islamic waqf) after that. The way the two ideologies in this diavlog relate to each other doesn't reflect the nature of an eventual peace between Israeli Jews and their Arab neighbors.

Granted, getting an anti-violent secular Arab together with a supra-accommodating guy with an Israeli passport provides the kind of dialogues loved by Western "one-state" supporters or by Westerners, including many Harpers readers, who bizarrely lay the onus of the Palestinian conflict on Israel alone.

(BTW, I believe Israel should unilaterally withdraw from almost all the West Bank, coordinating with Fatah as much as possible.)
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  #14  
Old 05-21-2009, 03:31 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
I don't agree with this. I feel guilty at times both for slavery in America and for the horrors done to native Americans, but my ancestors did not arrive in this country until the early 20th century. Does my feeling of guilt make me mentally ill?
No, it probably just makes you smart enough to connect the dots between your own privileges and opportunities on the one hand and slavery/genocide on the other.

Thoughtful Europeans also get the connection between their prosperity and the exploitation and enslavement of Latin America, Africa and Asia. It's not that they should feel guilty for the crimes of their ancestors; it's that they are aware they're the privileged heirs of empire.
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  #15  
Old 05-21-2009, 03:36 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
If the responsibility for the Holocaust lies on any political entity, it lies on Germany, and Germany has already done much to make amends for its past by giving aid to Israel.
I hope you're not trying to absolve the French for complicity with the Nazis. Please don't tell THAT revisionist joke.
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  #16  
Old 05-21-2009, 04:08 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

... or the fact that Zionism came about well before the Holocaust. Dreyfuss too!
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2009, 12:50 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Really interesting discussion on the very human, almost mundane, side of the occupation. Also interesting to note again how technology & globalisation is able to liberate, to some small degree, an isolated community.

I would have liked to of heard whether Tony Blair, who is tasked with developing economic growth in the area, had actually done much to deserve the plaudits of Tel Aviv University.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...-israeli-award

Thanks to both Sam & Bernard.

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 05-22-2009 at 12:56 AM..
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  #18  
Old 05-22-2009, 01:16 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Pictures of the Mall

Taken from this article http://www.icsc.org/srch/sct/sct0504/page199.php




I would have been tempted to call it Wallmart.



Pretty impressive, though it makes you wonder what the insurance premiums are like in that neck of the woods.

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 05-22-2009 at 01:18 AM..
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  #19  
Old 05-22-2009, 04:15 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I hope you're not trying to absolve the French for complicity with the Nazis. Please don't tell THAT revisionist joke.
I would be interested to know how you came to that conclusion.

But no need to bother. I have noticed that many of the people who post here like to score small and trivial victories in moral oneupmanship.
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  #20  
Old 05-22-2009, 04:23 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
I don't agree with this. I feel guilty at times both for slavery in America and for the horrors done to native Americans, but my ancestors did not arrive in this country until the early 20th century. Does my feeling of guilt make me mentally ill? Or was I, in fact, somehow complicit in the alleged crimes? The kind of guilt I feel is probably related to what is called survivor's guilt. I think it's pretty common and not an indicator of mental illness.
Just a rhetorical flourish, Ledocs. Although I wonder whether "survivor's guilt" is an altogether a rational or desirable or healthy frame of mind. Of course, that doesn't prevent it from happening, or from driving some morally sensitive people to despair and suicide...such as Primo Levi.

My only point was that the concept of collective guilt is rubbish.
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  #21  
Old 05-22-2009, 04:58 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
I have noticed that many of the people who post here like to score small and trivial victories in moral oneupmanship.
I don't consider France's role in the extermination of European Jews to be small or trivial.

Wikipedia:

Quote:
As early as October 1940, without any request from the Germans, the Vichy government began passing anti-Jewish measures (the Statute on Jews), prohibiting them from moving, and limiting their access to public places and most professional activities. In 1941, the Vichy government established a Commissariat General aux Questions Juives which worked with the Gestapo to begin rounding up Jews for the concentration camps. Between 1942 and July 1944, nearly 76,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps from France, of which only 2,500 survive.
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  #22  
Old 05-22-2009, 05:14 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I don't consider France's role in the extermination of European Jews to be small or trivial.

Wikipedia:
Neither do I. But your point is still a small and trivial victory in moral oneupmanship since I nowhere in the post suggested that the Vichy government of France was innocent.

I was addressing the issue of collective guilt, and the responsibility of posterity for the past. Try to read with a little more acuity!
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  #23  
Old 05-22-2009, 02:38 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
I nowhere in the post suggested that the Vichy government of France was innocent.
What you said was, "If the responsibility for the Holocaust lies on any political entity, it lies on Germany..."

That comment (especially in the context of your incessant hyperbolic praise for all things French) implies that responsibility for the Holocaust does not lie on nations other than Germany. In other words, you seemed to let France and other collaborator states off the hook.

I'm glad to hear that you don't really believe that. Thanks for clarifying.
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  #24  
Old 05-22-2009, 03:14 PM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
What you said was, "If the responsibility for the Holocaust lies on any political entity, it lies on Germany..."

That comment (especially in the context of your incessant hyperbolic praise for all things French) implies that responsibility for the Holocaust does not lie on nations other than Germany. In other words, you seemed to let France and other collaborator states off the hook.

I'm glad to hear that you don't really believe that. Thanks for clarifying.
Can you cite examples of my incessant hyperbolic praise of France? No.

It is true that I think the US is inferior to France in some respects, but I am a citizen of both countries and find that each country has its pluses and minuses. I weary of the perpetual self-praise and self-congratulation of so many Americans, and the tendency of some Americans (as evidenced by the comment of Bornagaindemocrat on the collective guilt of "Europeans") to lecture and berate the entire world when their own society has so many glaring and shameful shortcomings.

Finally, I probably know far more about French and European history than you do. So please no more Wikipedia entries for me.
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  #25  
Old 05-22-2009, 03:39 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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I weary of the perpetual self-praise and self-congratulation of so many Americans, and the tendency of some Americans... to lecture and berate the entire world when their own society has so many glaring and shameful shortcomings.
Fair enough. I find I lot of that self-righteousness everywhere though. I lived in Spain on sabbatical in 2000 and listened to dozens of people lecture me on the barbarism of the death penalty in the USA (something I've always opposed).

Like the French with their Nazi and colonial past (need I mention Algeria?), the Spaniards seemed to forgot awfully quickly how many summary death penalties Franco's fascist thugs had inflicted on dissidents.

The Spaniards were also impassioned about locking up Latin American fascists from Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Chile, even though no one from the Franco regime had ever been held accountable for anything.

Historical memory is not only selective, it expands and contracts to suit the grievance or lack thereof. I know Jews who are still lamenting the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD (and the expulsion from Spain in 1492). On the other hand, I know Americans who think racial segregation was ancient history, back somewhere in the distant past, way before I-phones and Wikipedia even.
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  #26  
Old 05-24-2009, 01:04 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by Francoamerican View Post
Until contemporary Americans decide to compensate black citizens for the enslavement of their ancestors, lectures on collective responsibilty will fall on deaf ears.
I hope that the French are fully prepared to participate in this compensation that you so seem to argue are due to the descendents of the slaves.
Quote:
In the history of the Atlantic slave trade, the French turned four times as many Africans into slaves as the Americans did, they used them far more brutally, and French slavers not only got a head-start on Americans, they continued the slave trade -- legally -- until 1830
Here are a few numbers you may find interesting
Quote:
# Slaver voyages: France, 4,200; British North America/United States, 1,500.

# Slaves transported: France 1,250,000, British North America/United States, 300,000.

# Slaves delivered to: French West Indies: 1,600,000, British North America/United States, 500,000.*
So shouldn't one look first to the most prolific slaver before seeking compensation from the junior partner.
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  #27  
Old 05-24-2009, 03:39 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
I hope that the French are fully prepared to participate in this compensation that you so seem to argue are due to the descendents of the slaves. Here are a few numbers you may find interesting So shouldn't one look first to the most prolific slaver before seeking compensation from the junior partner.

You unfailingly miss my point. No one is responsible for the sins of the past.

In any case, who is the guiltier party, the buyer or the seller?
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  #28  
Old 05-24-2009, 04:32 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Economic Peace in the Middle East (Sam Bahour & Bernard Avishai)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Historical memory is not only selective, it expands and contracts to suit the grievance or lack thereof. I know Jews who are still lamenting the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD (and the expulsion from Spain in 1492). On the other hand, I know Americans who think racial segregation was ancient history, back somewhere in the distant past, way before I-phones and Wikipedia even.

Very true. We live in a hypermoralized world, and the past is being constantly mobilized to fight the battles of the present.
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