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  #1  
Old 06-03-2010, 07:55 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Above Kerfuffle (Robert Farley & Dan Drezner)

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  #2  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:07 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Above Kerfuffle (Robert Farley & Dan Drezner)

Thank you.

I now forgive you for letting Jim Pinkerton continue making David Corn look like a genius in comparison.
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2010, 10:49 AM
Sullen Raconteur Sullen Raconteur is offline
 
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Default Re: Above Kerfuffle (Robert Farley & Dan Drezner)

It's pronounced "Erdoan," with no 'g' sound. In Turkish Erdogan's name is written with a hatchek over the 'g' which signals that it is not pronounced.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2010, 12:05 PM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default Re: Above Kerfuffle (Robert Farley & Dan Drezner)

whaaaaaaaaat??????? Farley and Drezner "tactically" fault the IDF for NOT using sufficient "suppressive" force???? Israel attacked a defenseless flotilla in international waters with Turkish flags! There were no arms on board & civilians were attacked. This was an act of war! "Public relations" my ass! The issue is whether or not Israel will be willing to exist by abiding by international law. A wonderful follow-up, Bhtv, to Pinkerton!
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2010, 12:20 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: Above Kerfuffle (Robert Farley & Dan Drezner)

Kentucky ? Lawyers, Guns and Money ? Farley's hat is totally "JUSTIFIED."
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:33 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Diversions from real bad actors

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/285...3:49&out=14:49


And like puppets on a string, your double standards and confusions about the real negative influences dance to the tune of Ahmadinejad.


I wonder, do you enjoy getting plucked and played and distracted? I suppose not. Better to pile on against Israel, to the delight of those who have killed and murdered far more people, and intend to do more.


I sometimes wonder why the left is so eager to jump down the throat of the rough around the edges relative while ignoring the slaughtering of a stranger.

Do they actually believe in human rights? Or is it that they simply think they will get more traction from more "reasonable" players? And what of the relative silence towards those who are less reasonable? Is that a good strategy?

Even if you are not willing to charge into a place guns blazing, can't you at least align your focus and rhetoric against worse actors with more effort than you put into Israeli transgressions?

No? This is why I am not left.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:40 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

But Liberals do have problems with Iranian behavior, so your complaint comes down to a matter of complaining about the amount of time and energy that we devote to criticizing different human rights abuses. I think that it would be useful if we had a clearer idea of what formula you're using to determine the proper amount of condemnation. Perhaps you could give us some sort of guidelines, or maybe an excel sheet for computing how many blog posts per day we should spend discussing Gaza, Iran, North Korea, etc. etc. etc.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:44 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
But Liberals do have problems with Iranian behavior, so your complaint comes down to a matter of complaining about the amount of time and energy that we devote to criticizing different human rights abuses. I think that it would be useful if we had a clearer idea of what formula you're using to determine the proper amount of condemnation. Perhaps you could give us some sort of guidelines, or maybe an excel sheet for computing how many blog posts per day we should spend discussing Gaza, Iran, North Korea, etc. etc. etc.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:47 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
But Liberals do have problems with Iranian behavior, so your complaint comes down to a matter of complaining about the amount of time and energy that we devote to criticizing different human rights abuses. I think that it would be useful if we had a clearer idea of what formula you're using to determine the proper amount of condemnation. Perhaps you could give us some sort of guidelines, or maybe an excel sheet for computing how many blog posts per day we should spend discussing Gaza, Iran, North Korea, etc. etc. etc.
Of course they have a problem, but look at the focus. The disproportionate outrage. Does not that seem bizarre to you?
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2010, 06:31 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

No, not really. I think Americans tend to be more sensitive to the Israel-Palestine conflict than other festering issues for reasons of culture, history, religion, etc., which is reasonable. Beyond that, I just don't see how it's that disproportionate unless one believes that the injustice of the occupation is a minor thing, or maybe not even an injustice at all.

Plus, I think you're wrong on the descriptive point about condemnation of Israel on the left. The mainstream Democratic party has an awful lot of sympathy for hawkish Israel policy, and the more radical, activist left puts the plight of Palestinians up there with all sorts of other issues on its agenda. When condemnation of Israel is sharing space with drug legalization, Free Tibet, Organic Food and, yes, the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, I don't quite see where this "unseemly" disproportionality is supposed to exist.
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:08 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Of course they have a problem, but look at the focus. The disproportionate outrage. Does not that seem bizarre to you?
No. Our billions go to Bibi, not Mahmoud. Get it?
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2010, 12:16 AM
SteveD SteveD is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Of course they have a problem, but look at the focus. The disproportionate outrage. Does not that seem bizarre to you?
It would be morally problematic to say that anything good could come from the IDF flotilla killings. However, it has been hard not to take some satisfaction in the shift in pro-Israel (zionist) rhetoric in recent days. No longer are zionists appealing to the old Euro-colonial mythology of the "Western" and "liberal" Israel, beacon of human rights, surrounded by barbarians. Instead, the new zionist PR strategy is to insist that Israel be judged by the same standard as we use to judge North Korea and Burma.

This in itself is a huge victory for Palestinian solidarity activists around the world (and in Palestine) who have worked for years to establish exactly that equivalency.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:42 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by SteveD View Post
It would be morally problematic to say that anything good could come from the IDF flotilla killings. However, it has been hard not to take some satisfaction in the shift in pro-Israel (zionist) rhetoric in recent days. No longer are zionists appealing to the old Euro-colonial mythology of the "Western" and "liberal" Israel, beacon of human rights, surrounded by barbarians. Instead, the new zionist PR strategy is to insist that Israel be judged by the same standard as we use to judge North Korea and Burma.

This in itself is a huge victory for Palestinian solidarity activists around the world (and in Palestine) who have worked for years to establish exactly that equivalency.

I am pretty sure no one thinks any good came from the flotilla incident from Israels perspective.


As to the liberal Israel, beacon of human rights, compared to its region, it still is. My approach with the whole same standard mantra is to try and crack the armor of liberals/lefties who place such special emphasis on Israels transgressions at the expense of far worse ones around the world.


To me it is an example of a basic moral/ethical confusion illustrated in the following examples taken from real world events.

two incidents

incident A

A Man tries to commit suicide by parking an suv on train tracks and waiting for it to strike. He chickens out at the last minute and jumps out of the suv, unfortunately, the train is moving rear first, and when it strikes the suv it is much more unstable, it derails, and ends up killing around 10 people.


incident B

A man sees a film by a director that he feels is disrespectful of Islam. He seeks out this director and finds him in public streets. In broad daylight, he takes a knife and stabs the director repeatedly. The director pleads with the assailant, begging him to talk this over, he pays no heed, the director dies in the streets.


Now for the easy question. Who committed the worse crime?

Incident A led to 10 times the loss of life, but that man, troubled though he was, did not murder those people. He was reckless, and incredibly foolish, and deserves punishment, but his crime was less than murder (or should have been).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Manuel_%C3%81lvarez




Incident B led to only 1 life being taken, far less than the first, but the attacker here did commit murder, his intent was malevolent to its core. This was not an accident, not unintentional, not collateral damage, it was focused, its goal was destruction of life where the innocent was perverted in twisted theological logic into something that must be destroyed.


The second incident contained the worse crime. Even though the disproportionate loss of life occurred in the first incident, the man responsible did not commit the worse act.

Basic. I know this is astonishingly basic, and yet, take this logic up to issues between Israel and Palestinians and it gets turned upside down.


The highest crime, is not the intent of harm, it is the raw number of people harmed. Disproportionate harm gets bandied about all the time, NO mention of what crime was worse, only the numbers, blind to all concerns of proper ethical calculations. Where the understanding of right and wrong, better or worse goes one layer deep.

Eye twitchingly annoying to suffer through. And so it goes to modern events. The world does not care who attacked first, or the why the soldiers fired on that sixth and only ship. All they care about is the raw numbers. 10 non Israelis dead, no Israelis dead. Israel = evil actor.

(Screams at stupid jackal/animalistic/barbarian understandings of right and wrong)

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 06-04-2010 at 03:50 AM..
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2010, 01:56 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
To me it is an example of a basic moral/ethical confusion.
You got that right. You're ethically and factually confused.

Israel is holding over a million civilians in a giant prison and further north runs an Apartheid society. We, Americans, are subsidizing this moral outrage.

So spare us your grade-school lectures about "proper ethical calculations."
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
You got that right. You're ethically and factually confused.

Israel is holding over a million civilians in a giant prison and further north runs an Apartheid society. We, Americans, are subsidizing this moral outrage.

So spare us your grade-school lectures about "proper ethical calculations."
These "civilians" belong to enemy nation against which Israel is fighting a war of survival. That's why they are under occupation. Being under occupation is not and it's not supposed to be a pleasant thing. You liberals think you can just disregard concepts such as "foreigners vs. countrymen", "nations at war", "existential enemies" and such, and treat every conflict as human rights issue. That won't take you a long way in understanding how the world works.
BTW, whether the US should support Israel is a separate issue entirely. It's up to American people to decide. I am personally against it, but for different reasons. Not because Israel did anything wrong because she didn’t.
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:55 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
These "civilians" belong to enemy nation against which Israel is fighting a war of survival. That's why they are under occupation. Being under occupation is not and it's not supposed to be a pleasant thing. You liberals think you can just disregard concepts such as "foreigners vs. countrymen", "nations at war", "existential enemies" and such, and treat every conflict as human rights issue. That won't take you a long way in understanding how the world works.
BTW, whether the US should support Israel is a separate issue entirely. It's up to American people to decide. I am personally against it, but for different reasons. Not because Israel did anything wrong because she didn’t.
ohreally's got your number, too:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
...You're ethically and factually confused....
The facts of the case aren't nearly as clear cut as in your cartoon version of the conflict. Regardless of any state of war - treating an entire civilian population as prisoners is not acceptable behavior, ever. You disregard civilized norms and pretend that the only moral dimension in a conflict is self-defense. "Me and mine" is a morality for ethical pygmies.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
ohreally's got your number, too:



The facts of the case aren't nearly as clear cut as in your cartoon version of the conflict. Regardless of any state of war - treating an entire civilian population as prisoners is not acceptable behavior, ever. You disregard civilized norms and pretend that the only moral dimension in a conflict is self-defense. "Me and mine" is a morality for ethical pygmies.
You are frigging crazy if you think Israel has been particularly unscrupulous in their treatment of Palestinians. There are ways to go for both how cruel Israelis are willing to be towards Palestinians and ways to go in what Palestinians are willing to endure to achieve their nationalistic goals.
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:12 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
You are frigging crazy if you think Israel has been particularly unscrupulous in their treatment of Palestinians. There are ways to go for both how cruel Israelis are willing to be towards Palestinians and ways to go in what Palestinians are willing to endure to achieve their nationalistic goals.
I think David Ben-Gurion was a giant compared to Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu, who have defiled his work. Their legacy, I fear, will be the end of Israel, with very few to mourn its passing.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2010, 08:11 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

You're going to cheer the destruction of Israel? What?
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  #20  
Old 06-05-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
You're going to cheer the destruction of Israel? What?
Is it possible that you will ever, even once, post a response that is not jaw-droppingly stupid in its obliviousness? Will you ever learn to read more than just sounding out words?
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:21 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Award for Joe K

Quote:
You are frigging crazy if you think Israel has been particularly unscrupulous in their treatment of Palestinians.
In a forum known for outlandish remarks (on both sides, I will concede) this one takes the cake for ignorance, denial and fauxtrage. Rarely have I seen such an utter reality-defying post.

You win my Flat Earth Award for 2010. Mazal Tov.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:25 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
You are frigging crazy if you think Israel has been particularly unscrupulous in their treatment of Palestinians. There are ways to go for both how cruel Israelis are willing to be towards Palestinians.
Watch out, JoeK, you're going to lose your hasbara membership with such loose talk. You can't suggest that Israel might be "particularly unscrupulous" because that's admitting Israel is unscrupulous (just not yet "particularly" so). Second, you can't say Israelis might be willing to be more cruel to Palestinians, because that too implies Israelis are already willing to be cruel.

Remember Aunt Golda's wise words: "We, Israelis, can't forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children." Any deviation from this line and you're off the Hasbara Purim invite list. Fair warning.
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2010, 03:08 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
These "civilians" belong to enemy nation against which Israel is fighting a war of survival.
To be an "enemy nation" you need to be a nation. Get your facts straight.

Are the daily humiliations of old ladies and children at the 600 checkpoints in the WB part of the war of survival?

Is the building of settlements on every hilltop in the WB part of the war of survival?

You guys need help....
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2010, 05:39 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
To be an "enemy nation" you need to be a nation. Get your facts straight.

Are the daily humiliations of old ladies and children at the 600 checkpoints in the WB part of the war of survival?

Is the building of settlements on every hilltop in the WB part of the war of survival?

You guys need help....

What is the election of Hamas? Was that a show of support for coexistence?

I love how you ignore groups that are quite explicit in their disregard for coexistence, groups that gained a majority of Palestinian votes, and pretend that the only blockage for progress is from Israel. You confused muddled soul.


Instead of choosing the path of a ghandi or a king, they chose the path of the black panthers, and wonder why Israelis are less willing to deal and trust them.
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2010, 08:27 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
To be an "enemy nation" you need to be a nation. Get your facts straight.
He probably meant enemy "race".
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  #26  
Old 06-04-2010, 05:55 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
You got that right. You're ethically and factually confused.

Israel is holding over a million civilians in a giant prison and further north runs an Apartheid society. We, Americans, are subsidizing this moral outrage.

So spare us your grade-school lectures about "proper ethical calculations."
My example earlier applied to a broader cross section of incidents where people weighed in and condemned Israel for "disproportionate" responses. But that was a nice dodge of the point. No answer then, ok.

I don't care if the US ended funding to Israel. That is a non issue.

As to the giant "prison."

I don't want that situation to continue as is. Palestinians don't. And do you know who else does not? Israelis.


The rub is the following, as much as they may have problems about the current situation, they happen to care about the safety of their own people even more. Take that concern away, and the support for the current situation will end.

The rub for too many of the Palestinians is that as much as they loathe the current situation, they don't hate it more than their pride. Pride that prevents too many of them from putting down the cudgels and working for a different track, from working for coexistence rather than retribution.

safety of its people vs pride and revenge

Ah yes, in the world of the left, the advocate of the former is the worse actor. As seen by the relative silence as the vengeful souls use their own people as a shield while attacking, can the examples get any more plain?

Can the motivations be any more plain? And people do, not, care.
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  #27  
Old 06-04-2010, 07:58 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

I haven't seen many cudgels in the west bank, just rows and rows of illegal settlements.

When cement is prohibited from rebuilding the bombed out schools and factories of Gaza, but flows freely into the foundations of another illegal settlement, I have to wonder who really should be blockaded.
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  #28  
Old 06-04-2010, 10:57 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

Quote:
Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
I haven't seen many cudgels in the west bank, just rows and rows of illegal settlements.

When cement is prohibited from rebuilding the bombed out schools and factories of Gaza, but flows freely into the foundations of another illegal settlement, I have to wonder who really should be blockaded.
Ok, lets go down the chain of causes.


Why does Israel prevent these things? Why are they fencing people in? Racial Hatred of Palestinians?

Explain the motivations of the Israelis please. I want to know what you or others skeptical of their motives think.
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  #29  
Old 06-05-2010, 01:13 AM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Ok, lets go down the chain of causes.
Why are they fencing people in? Racial Hatred of Palestinians?
You've got to raise your game Jon. You're 20 years behind with your security BS, you know. Maybe this is fine among your buddy hasbaristas, but this crap ain't going to fly here.

So why don't you explain to this crowd why virtually every single hilltop in the WB is occupied by families of settlers? Is that how you protect Israel? How does this work? Pray tell us, you peace lover!
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  #30  
Old 06-05-2010, 01:34 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
You've got to raise your game Jon. You're 20 years behind with your security BS, you know. Maybe this is fine among your buddy hasbaristas, but this crap ain't going to fly here.

So why don't you explain to this crowd why virtually every single hilltop in the WB is occupied by families of settlers? Is that how you protect Israel? How does this work? Pray tell us, you peace lover!
You would have made an excellent co-host of that defunct show crossfire.

Anyway, I'll be the adult and not the child to start things off by showing a capacity you lack, the ability to bend and cede points. Settler expansions are counter productive and hurt the peace process. What hurts even more is violence against civilians in the name of justice for land disputes, and promotion and support of a group that is explicitly for the destruction of the state of Israel and not coexistence.

Now answer the question I asked earlier, do not be afraid where it might lead. Glenn was not. He took his positions to their logical conclusions. And they leave little room for Israel defense as the states creation and inception was rotten from the start in his view. And so everything else flows from that.
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  #31  
Old 06-05-2010, 02:56 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Settler expansions are counter productive and hurt the peace process.
So the whole of the WB is dotted with unremovable settlements and Palestine is cut off into 4 disjoint parts.. and you call that "counterproductive." You really think Israelis are such a bunch of bubbleheads they pursued an uninterrupted 43-year expansion policy without ever thinking about the consequences. I mean, honestly, what kind of argument are you trying to make? Was settler expansion driven by security considerations, yes or no?

Quote:
Now answer the question I asked earlier.
Which one?
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  #32  
Old 06-05-2010, 07:56 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
So the whole of the WB is dotted with unremovable settlements and Palestine is cut off into 4 disjoint parts.. and you call that "counterproductive." You really think Israelis are such a bunch of bubbleheads they pursued an uninterrupted 43-year expansion policy without ever thinking about the consequences. I mean, honestly, what kind of argument are you trying to make? Was settler expansion driven by security considerations, yes or no?



Which one?

Unchecked settler expansion is not a security consideration, no. It is likely done in part out of a dismissive regard for any meaningful coexistence. That last bit and attitude likely hardened over the years with the nation being under siege and lied about and asymmetric direct assaults on civilians.


My question was, what do you think the motivation is for Israel maintaining the blockade? For having security checks? for maintaining the virtual "prison" in your sides words?

Why would they want to do that? You seem to dismiss any concern over security as you gloss over it and jump to some other topic without ever dealing with it. That or you don't care about Israeli security, like a Glenn, they were corrupt from the start, and so what happens to them, happens to them. Who cares sort of attitude. If you do not think security is the motivation, then what else is? racial hatred? Do you think they get pleasure from boxing people in and restricting movement?

I want to know the details of your internal caricature of Israeli intentions and motivations.


This is not cross fire, do not jump to some other talking point because you don't want to deal with the one laid bare here and now. This is not a superficial tit for tat for its own sake.


My own view is that the Palestinians have been going about their situation the wrong way for decades. They have too often adopted a more radicalized black panther type approach, militancy. They need to adopt a more king like approach, appeal to the fairness and decency of the Israelis, instead they have hardened them with attacks on innocents, not as collateral, for its own sake.

Appeals to decency work with essentially decent societies and people , militancy works when a side is so far gone morally for the more ethical approach to take hold in the time frame needed. To champion the militancy approach against Israel, either directly or indirectly (by disproportionate abstention of criticism of Palestinian violence), you would have to make the case that that ethical state of the bulk of Israelis was closer to the slave holding white south, than the jim crow south.

From my vantage point, I place the Israeli position in far higher standing than the jim crow south as it is motivated out of a sense of protecting the lives of its people (the preservation of life as opposed to some racial inferiority regime).

I see Israels drastic and harsher actions as more of a response one might have to criminal behavior than I do one of apartheid south africa or the jim crow south. Based off behavior of a people, not the race of a people.


And so I do not find the parallels as compelling and one to one as many of you do.

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 06-05-2010 at 07:59 PM..
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  #33  
Old 06-05-2010, 08:53 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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My question was, what do you think the motivation is for Israel maintaining the blockade? For having security checks? for maintaining the virtual "prison" in your sides words?
.
This is a multi-faceted question. The wall was built for security reasons. Unfortunately for Israel, it worked (more on why later). The internal checkpoints in the WB have nothing to do with security. Not sure if you're familiar with the place, but the settlers do not need the internal checkpoints for their security. The Gaza blockade has little to do with security either. (If you cared about security you would not cage in hundreds of thousands of enraged young men.) No, the goal is to crush Hamas. Hamas was created with the support of Israel in order to split up the Palestinian leadership and create a civil war. The plan half-succeeded. But Fatah failed to crush Hamas, so Israel must do it. Israel's (justified) paranoia is with Hezbollah, which psychologically won the '06 war. Gaza was a reassertion of deterrence aimed mainly at impressing Israel's Shi'a neighbors and crushing Hamas.

I am not arguing that security plays no role in Israel's policies: only that it does not explain it. The oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis has as much to do with security as did the Brits' oppression of the Indians or Kenyans or French oppression of the Algerians. You can locally argue that the Battle of Algiers was a matter of security but that would be missing the larger point.

The two-state solution was NEVER a serious consideration for the Israelis -- just as it was (almost) never one for the Palestinians. The father of the TSS is Arafat and he never convinced the Israelis and only half-convinced the Palestinians. That's partly why it's dead. The other two reasons are (1) the settlers and (2) the wall. The wall provides the Israelis with all the security they need and it has killed any incentive for a negotiated settlement. Basically the Israelis have won the war and they know it. Victors don't negotiate away their gains.

Of course, this won't last.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:11 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

First of all, there is a tremendous amount of anti-Arab racism in Israel. Just read the recent article by diavlogger Peter Beinart in "The New York Review of Books" on that point.

www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/failure-american-jewish-establishment/

It seems to me that the racism probably runs on a continuum, that there is a minority of anti-Arab Israeli right-wing settler-inspired radicals who fit the "slaveholder" mold and there is a more substantial minority of "Jim Crow" types.

Secondly, I don't think it's true to say that TSS was never seriously considered by the Israeli side. It seems to have been considered, by Rabin and Barak, but probably not in terms acceptable to the other side. And there was a large section of the voting population who wanted TSS, again, under what precise terms, we don't know.

In any case, it seems fairly clear that in response to the large Palestinian advantage in fertility rate, Israel went on a binge of attracting new immigrant citizens from the Soviet Union and North Africa. The Soviet influx includes a lot of non-Hebrew speaking gangster types, people for whom democratic politics is an afterthought, if it is a thought at all. So the internal politics of Israel has shifted substantially to the right over the last twenty years, and has become more frankly anti-Arab in many quarters. I've never been to Israel, but this is my distinct impression from the reading and listening I do to Israeli witnesses. One is witness to the dimming of the old Ashkenazi founding elite of Israel, the "liberals," the people who had socialist dreams, in favor of a new class of highly competitive and individualistic capitalist types.

Something about this diavlog which no one has mentioned but which seemed very important to me was that there was a tacit implication by both diavloggers that Israel is well on its way to eliminating any moral authority, otherwise known as "soft power," that it might have had in the past. When it is said that the public relations problem becomes a Realpolitik problem for Israel in the world of international relations, that is an argument for the importance of soft power. And Drezner drops Joseph Nye's name as a political actor here in a context I no longer remember. I don't want to get into an acrimonious debate about soft power, but I do want to point out that not everyone agrees that it's just bullshit.

And on this point of loss of moral authority, see here, no doubt only one of hundreds of possible similar citations:

www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,698763,00.html
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:38 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
This is a multi-faceted question. The wall was built for security reasons. Unfortunately for Israel, it worked (more on why later). The internal checkpoints in the WB have nothing to do with security. Not sure if you're familiar with the place, but the settlers do not need the internal checkpoints for their security. The Gaza blockade has little to do with security either. (If you cared about security you would not cage in hundreds of thousands of enraged young men.) No, the goal is to crush Hamas. Hamas was created with the support of Israel in order to split up the Palestinian leadership and create a civil war. The plan half-succeeded. But Fatah failed to crush Hamas, so Israel must do it. Israel's (justified) paranoia is with Hezbollah, which psychologically won the '06 war. Gaza was a reassertion of deterrence aimed mainly at impressing Israel's Shi'a neighbors and crushing Hamas.

I am not arguing that security plays no role in Israel's policies: only that it does not explain it. The oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis has as much to do with security as did the Brits' oppression of the Indians or Kenyans or French oppression of the Algerians. You can locally argue that the Battle of Algiers was a matter of security but that would be missing the larger point.

The two-state solution was NEVER a serious consideration for the Israelis -- just as it was (almost) never one for the Palestinians. The father of the TSS is Arafat and he never convinced the Israelis and only half-convinced the Palestinians. That's partly why it's dead. The other two reasons are (1) the settlers and (2) the wall. The wall provides the Israelis with all the security they need and it has killed any incentive for a negotiated settlement. Basically the Israelis have won the war and they know it. Victors don't negotiate away their gains.

Of course, this won't last.
Much better, this gives a much clearer rationale on where all of this is coming from. As to the details and potential counterpoints, I have no depth of knowledge on which to judge the merits of what was said, or whether it holds up to scrutiny. Might be nice to see two people on who could get into the weeds and flesh that out.


You seem to suggest the primary goal of all of this is to crush Hamas. My follow up question is, what then? Lets say by some miracle, Hamas was crushed, elections were later held and Fatah won large majorities. Is it your contention that the bulk of the Israeli body has no interest in a palestinian state? That their intention is perpetual statelessness for the palestinians? That strikes me as an incredibly cynical view. But again, I have no reference point by which to judge such things. Be nice if there were some Israelis on these boards.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:25 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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Lets say by some miracle, Hamas was crushed, elections were later held and Fatah won large majorities. Is it your contention that the bulk of the Israeli body has no interest in a palestinian state?
Israeli Jews do have an interest in a Palestinian state, but mainly in the abstract. It's like we Americans have an interest in ending our dependence on foreign oil (or on oil period). The interest may be genuine, but it doesn't mean anyone is willing to lift a finger to really reduce his/her carbon footprint. We also have an interest in Hummers and lots of jet travel. And even supposing half of us would love a hydrogen-fueled or electric car, it's mostly just wishful thinking; we won't really get one.

Quote:
That their intention is perpetual statelessness for the palestinians?
Again, you don't have to go there. Just as Americans don't have any intention to heat up the planet or bring on a dozen other environmental catastrophes, Israelis (for the most part) have no particular intention of inflicting suffering, Apartheid or genocide.

But they don't have a lot of incentive either. Israelis feel no immediate pain from shitting on the Palestinians, and the narrative of blaming the Palestinians and Arabs and Iranians for all the murder and mayhem is a comfortable one. The Palestinians naturally get this. So every once in a while they reason (correctly), "These Jews won't do anything until we make it hurt," so they resort to terror, which of course only makes the Israelis retaliate even more murderously.

The problem of 2 states is not that neither side wants it; the problem is that there is no 2-state compromise that either side can accept. Clinton, Barak and Arafat couldn't reach an agreement, and neither will anyone else.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:34 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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The problem of 2 states is not that neither side wants it; the problem is that there is no 2-state compromise that either side can accept. Clinton, Barak and Arafat couldn't reach an agreement, and neither will anyone else.
Then maybe the opposite approach of health care reform should be adopted. Instead of going with a winner takes all approach. Start with the things both sides agree on, or is there no more low hanging fruit in that arena?

I think the problem for Israelis is that the reservoir of trust in Palestinian restraint if given an olive branch is all but used up. Is there no smaller step that could be taken that would slowly reverse that mistrust?


I know people like Beinart seem to think the retreat from Gaza was a sort of decoy, with no intention of ever moving toward more palestinian sovereignty from the higher ups, but did the Israeli population at large see the move that way?

If they saw it as a positive gesture, a small olive branch, repaid in kind with rockets, what kind of reaction would such a thing provoke?

More/greater olive branches? Or a pulling back, a harder line?

"If" the palestinians were smart, if they cared more about a sovereign state rather than the downfall of Israel, they would hold their fire. The case for the "liberals" would have so much more traction within Israel if they had reason to believe it would make a difference. My assumption is that many would be willing to halt and remove some outlying settlements if that would spell the end of the backlashes and assaults. But if all you "seem" to get no matter what move you make, is attacks, whether you blockade or leave checkpoints open... how is that "liberal" policy going to gain traction?

Given the choice of being damned no matter what you do, either with greater security or lesser security, what option would you choose?

Israeli policy does not exist in a vacuum, palestinian choices and behavior have a large effect on what policies are supported/rejected within Israel. So "IF" you really cared about palestinian sovereignty, why not make the "liberal" argument easier to make within Israel? Would that not be the more rational palestinian approach? And if so, why so little criticism on them not taking it?

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 06-06-2010 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:46 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

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I know people like Beinart seem to think the retreat from Gaza was a sort of decoy, with no intention of ever moving toward more palestinian sovereignty from the higher ups, but did the Israeli population at large see the move that way?
You may recall that the Gaza withdrawal was carried out by one of the chief architects of the Settlements and an internationally infamous war criminal, Ariel Sharon. Sharon, who had been disgraced and disciplined for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres, came to power by provoking Intifadah 2 with an idiotic provocation on at the Jerusalem Mosque.

The "disengagement" was done with zero Palestinian input, and the explicit idea was to abandon only unsustainable settlements and create a fortress Israel with the West Bank walled in. More land was stolen from the Palestinians under the pretext of constructing the Wall, overall settlement population grew, a new policy (signed onto by Bush) to keep at least some Settlements in the West Bank in perpetuity was enacted, and there was no olive branch.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:16 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Israeli Jews do have an interest in a Palestinian state, but mainly in the abstract. It's like we Americans .have an interest in ending our dependence on foreign oil (or on oil period). [...]
A very interesting way to think about it. I am not qualified to say, but disclaimers aside, it does have the ring of plausibility to it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:26 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Diversions from real bad actors

The tide is shifting, probably more or less in the way that Farley suggests, declining support for Israel in the Democratic Party.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/we...ef=global-home

I just heard a platitudinous talk by James Baker to the Commonwealth Club, I saw it at foratv, in which Baker talks about how unhelpful Israel's settlement policy is.

But I just want to point out that the "strategic alliance" between Israel and the US is almost never fleshed out. What are the tangible benefits to the US of its alliance with Israel? There is the shared intelligence, and there is the use of the Israeli air force and bases in case of an all-out resource war in the Middle East. And there was the talk of Israel being used as a kind of proxy to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, but that's not going to happen. Is there something I'm missing here? Is the intelligence really that valuable? If the two countries were not seen as being so closely allied, in a patron-client relationship, maybe we would not need so much intelligence about Middle Eastern terrorists. It has never been clear to me why this relationship is so "strategic," apart from the fact that both American political parties get a lot of money from Jewish donors.
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