Friday, July 14, 2006

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The fluid situation in Lebanon

You know a crisis is still in a fluid state when major U.S. newspapers take opposing positions on in their new analysis of the situation.

For example -- how have the Israeli attacks affected Hezbollah's political position in Lebanon?

The New York Times' Michael Slackman thinks Hezbollah is the big winner:

A few short months ago, representatives of every Lebanese faction gathered in central Beirut and discussed many of the issues that divide them - including how and when to disarm the Hezbollah militia.

While Hezbollah and its supporters vowed never to give up their weapons, the recent events have served only to support their position: anyone calling for disarming Hezbollah now risks being called a traitor.

"It is strange that one man representing a faction of the Shia, Hassan Nasrallah, is holding the whole Lebanese population hostage," said Elie Fawaz, a Lebanese political analyst....

In Lebanon, [Hezbollah leader Hasan] Nasrallah tried to make clear during his own press conference on Wednesday that Hezbollah was only acting to free Lebanese prisoners and to liberate a disputed piece of land called Shabba Farms. Hezbollah has always maintained that its mandate is to fight for Lebanon - not to pursue anyone else's agenda, not even the Palestinians. No one doubts that the recent events served Hezbollah's interests, at least in the short term.
In the Washington Post, Anthony Shadid takes a different position:
The radical Shiite movement Hezbollah and its leader, Hasan Nasrallah, hold an effective veto in Lebanese politics, and the group's military prowess has heartened its supporters at home and abroad in the Arab world. But that same force of arms has begun to endanger Hezbollah's long-term standing in a country where critics accuse it of dragging Lebanon into an unwinnable conflict the government neither chose nor wants to fight.

"To a certain Arab audience and Arab elite, Nasrallah is a champion, but the price is high," said Walid Jumblatt, a member of parliament and leader of Lebanon's Druze community. "We are paying a high price."....

Since the fighting with Israel started Wednesday, calls for Hezbollah to relinquish its weapons have gathered urgency. The violence began when Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border incursion, followed by an Israeli attack on roads, bridges, power stations and airports.

Lebanese critics as well as allies of Hezbollah insist that the Israeli response was disproportionate. But at the same time, in meetings Thursday, Lebanese officials began to lay the groundwork for an extension of government control to southern Lebanon. Hezbollah largely controls southern Lebanon, where it has built up a network of schools, hospitals and charities.

"To declare war and to make military action must be a decision made by the state and not by a party," said Nabil de Freige, a parliament member. He belongs to the bloc headed by Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafiq, a former prime minister and wealthy businessman, was assassinated in 2005, setting off a sequence of events that forced the Syrian withdrawal. "It's a very simple equation: You have to be a state."

After a cabinet meeting Thursday, the government said it had a right and duty to extend its control over all Lebanese territory. Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said the statement marked a step toward the government reasserting itself.

Other government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, went further, calling it a first move in possibly sending the Lebanese army to the border, a U.N.-endorsed proposal that Hezbollah has rejected. The officials described the meeting as stormy and contentious but said both sides -- Hezbollah and its government critics -- were especially wary of public divisions at a time of crisis.

"It is becoming very clear that the state alone must bear responsibility for the country's foreign policy," said Samir Franjieh, a parliament member who is close to the Hariri bloc. "But our problem now is that Israel is taking things so far that if there is no help from the international community, the situation could get out of hand."


posted by Dan on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM


Anthony Shahid is a brilliant reporter. I think his article is likely much closer to the truth. THere is no love lost for Israel in Lebanon, but non-Shia Lebanese most definitely do not want to be caught in a regional war. The economy is already badly hurt.

With all that, I think Hezbollah still has strong support among the Shia, who are 40-50% of the country (probably). And if Israel's attacks seriously disrupt Lebanese life, then I think that could change.

Too bad Neil Farquahar of the NYT isn't in Beirut anymore. He did a fantastic job of reporting last year on the Cedar revolution.

Did Iran urge Hezbollah to carry out this attack to distract from its nuke program ? I think its possible, but I think it more likely that HEzbollah saw this as a change to attack Israel when it was already having troubles in Gaza. I don;t think it benefits Iran to play the Hezbollah card just now.

posted by: erg on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

The situation is fluid and Israel will not allow it to solidify before Hizb'Allah (The Party of God) is flushed down with its leader Nasr'Allah (The Victory of God). What a pity that Lebanon is emptying of its Christian elite and becoming a standard Middle East failed state.

posted by: jaimito on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Ah, it is all so fleeting. As if in a dream, I see scantily clad levantine babies dancing to mideastern pop (thank god my dream doesn't include audio) , in a country throwing off the tyranny of a foreign oppressor to be welcomed into the feverish city that is the neo-liberal global order. But today I hear war and rumors of war. Come Nineveh, come Tyre.

posted by: Mitchell Young on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

First, Hizbullah isn't going to get flushed, that;s a naive fantasy (as is the idiocy supra re Xian elite: Maronite supramacists contributed heavily to Leb Land being a failed state 30 years ago, whinging on about Xian elite flight now is ... well, bigotry).

And one need only talk to non-Maronite Xians to find plenty detest the Maronite elites and have warm feelings towards Hizbullah as a "liberation movement." Contextual. Only bigots and fools pimp the Xian elite thing.

Second, it strikes me the situ is still too fluid to call winners. Jumblatt is spinning. As he should of course. It depends on what Israel does in large part. Blockade and hitting lots of civilian targets with collateral damage is going over time to provoke nationalist reaction. How long will it take for anger at the foreigners (Israel) to overtake immediate anger with Hizbullah. A balance, both are true, which one wins out depends on how long this lasts. In the long run, the hatred of the foreigner almost always wins.

posted by: The Lounsbury on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Israel is showing itself to be an amoral, rogue state. It is clear that Mearsheimer and Walt were right. The big loser in all of this will be the United States. Apparently, Condi Rice's mild approbations toward Israel were slapped down -

Israel acts with complete impunity because of unwavering American support - financial and diplomatic. It is time to put an end to this situation.

posted by: realist on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

"Israel is showing itself to be an amoral, rogue state. It is clear that Mearsheimer and Walt were right. "

Sure. If a Canadian paramilitary group kidnapped 2 American soldiers and showered rockets down on Seattle im sure you'd be fine with letting diplomacy solve the issue. Whatever.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

why is it we have one incident (mind you, a war) and people give up on the Cedar Revolution? man, our ancestors are shaking their heads in shame - what faithless wussies we've become. We have and will survive hard times. And so have the Lebanese... heck tougher than us in fact. Has the "good old times" in the 1990's softened our resolve? The Cedar Revolution may not have been perfect, but would you rather them give up? And don't give me the Iraq president would have gotten involved with Beirut...remember the 80's when St. Reagan bolted a fast retreat?
If we need a leader, and don't have it in Bush, that does not mean that those not in power can voice out their opinions (I'm looking right at you, Dems). If they know attacking Syria or standing ground with Israel is the way to go, why don't they announce it?

posted by: Rachel on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Buehner -
Israel is at war with its neighbors. It looks at this as a one sided war - thay can wage war, their opponents cannot. Israel is concerned about 2 soldiers taken prisoner ("hostages"). Israel holds over 9,000 Palestinians prisoner - (also hostages). Over 1,000 of them are held in administrative detention - no trials, no charges, nothing. The other 8,000 were convicted by military tribunals, usually with confessions extracted with torture - "extreme pressure" as the Israelis call it - and as defended by the noted civil rights activist Alan Dershowitz.

The Israeli high court in 1997 said hostage taking was OK - referred to them as "bargaining chips". That ruling was later overturned but Israel continues to take hostages. Just because it is not reported in the US media does not mean it is not happening.

Since Israel left Gaza in 2004, it has fired about 9,000 heavy artillery shells into Gaza. The Palestinians have fired about 1,000 of their crude Qassam missiles. In the past 5 years, 8 Israelis have been killed by these missiles. In the past 6 months, 80 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli shelling.

Don't tell a small part of the story. In the US, AIPAC is doing a great job of making sure what goes on in the Middle East is reported from the narrow Israeli pespective. This is what Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz:
'We started. We started with the occupation, and we are duty-bound to end it, a real and complete ending. We started with the violence. There is no violence worse than the violence of the occupier, using force on an entire nation, so the question about who fired first is therefore an evasion meant to distort the picture. After Oslo, too, there were those who claimed that "we left the territories," in a similar mixture of blindness and lies.

Gaza is in serious trouble, ruled by death, horror and daily difficulties, far from the eyes and hearts of Israelis. We are only shown the Qassams. We only see the Qassams. The West Bank is still under the boot of occupation, the settlements are flourishing, and every limply extended hand for an agreement, including that of Ismail Haniyeh, is immediately rejected. And after all this, if someone still has second thoughts, the winning answer is promptly delivered: "They started." They started and justice is on our side, while the fact is that they did not start and justice is not with us. '

You can read the whole piece at:

posted by: realist on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Which occupation is Gideon Levy talking about? The only one that will satisfy the Palestinians is the one that is called Israel. They won't be happy until the last Jew leaves Tel Aviv and Haifa, until there are no more kibbutzim.

It is time to quit talking about occupation. The Palestinians have their chance but as their ambassador Dan Gillerman said (paraphrasing) the Palestinians would be nothing without occupation. It is their eternal excuse.

posted by: al_miller on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Israel should make it clear to Iran that no targets are off limits if the war escalates. Most especially Israel should point out thatIran's refineries and oil fields are well within range of Israel's missiles and aircraft.

posted by: Darrell Mattheis on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

If Lebanon believes that the Shabba Farms are rightly its territory, and wants to fight a war over that issue, so be it. But don't complain when Israel fights back. Until Lebanon officially agrees to a border with Israel, a state of war exists. Unfortunately, the official position of most governments in the region is that the Zionist Entity is inherently invalid, that all of the former Palestine Mandate territory not currently recognized as part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan rightfully belongs to a nation that has never existed.
Therefore Israel will have to periodically beat the crap out of them until they agree to borders one at a time. This week it's Hizballahstan.

posted by: The Monster on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]


Maybe the Palestinians should stop pushing for the destruction of Israel?

No sympathy for a group that would kill all Israelis if given the opportunity.

Israel could, but doesn't. All the poor conditions you cite aren't as bad the desired destruction of Israel.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Who is pushing for the destruction of who? For god's sake, I am sick and tired of hearing that bullsh*t. It is absolutely stupid. Israelis talk explicitly about "population transfer" and ". You can go to Israel and see Billboards that call for it. It is everywhere. Even on this thread the lie of Palestinians wanting to exterminate Jews is used to justify that "no targets are off limits" and "why should we restrain Israel?..." Who is calling for the destruction of whom?

Did the ANC want the "destruction" of South Africa? Did MLK want the destruction of the USA? No, they wanted JUSTICE. Even the most racist Jew knows that the Palestinians have been made to suffer great injustice. Do you expect us to be happy about it? Do you expect us to love and respect you? Do Jews love and respect their oppressors? It is just stupid.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

"Israel is at war with its neighbors. It looks at this as a one sided war - thay can wage war, their opponents cannot. Israel is concerned about 2 soldiers taken prisoner ("hostages"). Israel holds over 9,000 Palestinians prisoner - (also hostages)"

Before the incursion and kidnapping, I dont recall Israel being at war with Lebanon, which Hezbollah is supposedly in the business of defending. If you cant tell Palestinians and Hezbollah apart you made need to study a little bit.

Secondly Israel holds Palestinian prisoners that have blood on their hands. Again, no other nation on earth would possibly be expected to release illegal combatants who killed their civilians.

Is there anything these terrorist organizations do you are willing to condemn them for?

posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

"Who is pushing for the destruction of who? For god's sake, I am sick and tired of hearing that bullsh*t. It is absolutely stupid. "

Oh, I dont know... maybe Palestinian SCHOOLBOOKS:

posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

"You know a crisis is still in a fluid state when major U.S. newspapers take opposing positions on in their new analysis of the situation"

presuming that their analysis is worth more than a coin toss.....

posted by: soaringeagle on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

So what are the respective roles of Syria and Iran in Hezbollah's decision to raid across Israel's northern border?

Iran is a financier and armorer of Hezbollah; Syria is the conduit for aid to that organization. The Syrian government maintains a deep interest in Lebanese politics, and its support of Hezbollah allows it to keep its anti-Israeli credentials in good order without risking a military clash with Israel over its own frontier on the Golan. Iran's interest is less deeply rooted; while any conceivable Syrian government would share some of the current one's interest in Lebanon, Iran is remote physically and gains little or nothing tangible from inciting violence on Israel's northern border. It is true that most Iranians, being Shiite, could be expected to have some sympathy with Hezbollah's main constituency, but this does not easily explain why Iran would want to incite a conflict from which Lebanese Shiites are unlikely to benefit in any way, in which indeed they are likely to suffer substantial hardship.
On the other hand the Iranian president sounds quite sincere in his hatred of Jews, and while he may not be making Iranian policy in this area it is certainly possible that his attitudes are typical of the people who are.

I do not find it difficult to believe that Hezbollah at least consulted with the Syrian government, or its security services at any rate, before opening hostilities against Israel last week; I would be surprised if the idea itself came from Damascus instead of from Nasrallah and the other Hezbollah leaders. I am less convinced that Iran was an active player before the fact. Tehran having decided its commitment to Hezbollah was an interest in itself, its support for whatever action Hezbollah chose to take may have been something Nasrallah -- evidently correctly -- simply took for granted. It would not be the first time in history that a small power decided to take steps on the assumption that a powerful ally would acquiesce rather than reassess the relationship between the two. In the Middle East it has happened about once every 18 months since World War II ended.

Of course, this could all be wrong. The volume of Iranian shipments of missiles to Hezbollah would point to Tehran's having expected that they would be fired at some point. On the other hand, Syria's apparent bet that the conflict ignited last week can be contained is a little less cautious than the Assad's regime's reputation; I suppose it could be that neither Damsascus nor Tehran was consulted by Hezbollah before the raid into Israel. Finally the assumption implicit in all of the above -- that no elements of the Syrian and especially the Iranian governments are able to commit their nations to policies without the approval or even the knowledge of the people nominally in charge -- is not one of which I'm thoroughly convinced.

Crises in this region always get people excited, and lately there has been some wild talk about coordinated strategies by anti-American actors in the broader Middle East to take advantage of the protracted American commitment in Iraq. I don't doubt the Iraqi quagmire is a factor in the thinking of America's enemies as well as our friends -- one reason, though not the main one, that I am anxious to liquidate it. It is a big jump from that to the idea that the Iraq war has spawned a formidable transnational conspiracy the fruits of which we are starting to see in Lebanon.

posted by: Zathras on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

M&W don't exactly say that Israel is ammoral, just that much of its supposed moral authority is 'dwindling'. Israel, like many if not most other nations including , was built by expelling some people, making war, and looking out for its own survival. It is neither 'a light onto nations' nor the devil incarnate.

Israel simply does what it sees as necessary for survival. The only real difference is that it has a freedom of action that is unprecedented largely to unthinking sponsorship of 'the world's only superpower.' When is the last time an American president actually *declined* an oportunity to call for a cease-fire between belligerents? Today it is reported that he is asking Syria to stop Hezbollah, without reigning in Israel. Incredible.

posted by: Mitchell Young on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

"Today it is reported that he is asking Syria to stop Hezbollah, without reigning in Israel. Incredible."

Why is that incredible?! ISRAEL CEASING FIRE WILL NOT GET THE KIDNAPPED SOLDIERS BACK. There is no reason to beleive it will stop the rocket fire. Dont you guys get it? Israel did not initiate this round of violence. By asking them to stop shooting you are asking them to take the beating any time their enemies feel like dishing it out. How does that work? This is real, real simple to end. Hezbollah returning the soldiers and stop launching rockets, Israel will stop shooting- even if they dont want to they will be forced to. Same with Gaza. Return the soldier and Israel will vacate gaza (so long as rockets arent raining down). I fail to see how in gods name you people can expect Israel to not respond to kidnappings and murder of its citizens and constant barrages of rockets. No nation on earth would stand for that. You respond to force with overwhelming force. I though liberals were fans of the Powell doctrine?
Sorry if I'm ranting, but its people like i am seeing on this thread (and EU/Russian diplomats) that are proving the Israeli hawks point. No matter what Israel gives up, no matter what it does to placate the Palastinians, they reserve the right to attack Israeli citizens without being retaliated against and you idiots reserve the right to let them. There have been many occasions where Israel was guilty and provacative in this longterm nightmare, but _this is not one of those times_. Any call for peace that doesnt require the terrorists to release their illegal prisoners is a call for flat out appeasement.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Did the ANC want the "destruction" of South Africa? Did MLK want the destruction of the USA? No, they wanted JUSTICE.

Their charters didn't call for destruction of other people. PLO did, Hamas still does.

You may think its bullsh*t, but they don't.

Get over it Joe.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

yes mark, Israel did "initiate this round of violence." This is the exactly same "round of violence" that has been ongoing on since 1947. It is all the same. It is the fault of the Jews who decided to steal the Palestinian land. They had 1000 chances to become part of the Palestinian population, but they decided to steal all the land and displace the population. There will be more and more violence, unending, until this basic problem is resolved. Israel is he cause of he violence, Israel started it, Israel is to blame. And what is more, you are absolutely wrong about

As for Zathras, you just don't know what you are talking about. You probably listen to and believe people like Peter Bergen as though he is an expert. You have to face the fact that the establishment foreign policy "experts" are total idiots. They invent things. they invent connections because they have no idea how the entire system works. They need to prove themselves useful, so they say there are weapons, they say there are connections, they say there is danger... it is all fantisy. I heard some random idiot on cnn saying that Hizbullah is connected to "al Qaeda". The problem is that this establishment see everything directly from their own situation but has no idea what is realistic or not. It is the same thing with you. Maybe you are a religious fanatic yourself and want to see god, so you assume that everything is a giant conspiracy. You need to prove to yourself that you are in danger and that there is a reason for your $500 billion military and your racist and wild adventurism.

The difference between mark and zathras is that mark believes in retribution so he thinks any action is justified (he believes in 10 eyes for an eye), while zathras lives in a dream world of threats and counter threats. Zathras is pragmatic but has been lied to for too long to realize that his whole outlook is distorted. Mark is a fanatic, he understands what is going on, he just "only believes in force" so thus probably beats his own children as negotiation is useless....

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

The soldiers were not kidnapped - they were captured. Hamas and Hezbollah attacked legitimate miltary targets - army patrols. Israel retaliates by bombing the hell out of civilians. Reming me again - which side is supposed to be the terrorist?

posted by: realist on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]


I like how you are a "realist" but avoid questions that are too tough for you to answer.

Where is your response to my question?

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

i mean to say, "And what is more, you are absolutely wrong about..." about your view that "no other nation on earth would possibly be expected to release illegal combatants who killed their civilians."

This is wrong in two major ways. the underlying view that the people in israeli jails have blood on their hands is totally wrong. do the 10 month old children, the hundreds of mothers? how much blood does the arrested economy minister have? I have many friends who have been through israeli jails and tortured for doing nothing. for having a flag in east jerusalem or for protesting the wall. Last week a friend of mine was attacked by Israeli soldiers because he forgot to carry his papers with him, he was beaten for it. In the West Bank, outside his own house, when he was trying to go swimming. So don't give me that crap, it is just untrue. these are just random examples, but there are thousands.

But also you are wrong in saying no one would be expected to release prisoners. Every country is asked to do that. Russia is attacked every day for its treatment of chechnya, the Serbs were forced to release thousands of Muslims they accused of being in combat, Algeria just struck an amnesty deal with the islamists, S.A. freed Mandela and others before their sentences were up. Every country that is trying to make peace does it. Israel is the excpetion because it does not want peace, it only wants its own safety. Israel wants to force a solution on the Palestinians and will do anything to do so. It will never work because they have to agree to peace for the violence to end. 60 years of attacking the Palestinians has not made peace, Israel will never win if it keeps going as it is.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]


Do you live in an alternate reality?

The UN partitioned Israel in 1947, why would they start attacking?

Do you know your history?

The Arabs attack Israel, not the other way around.

It isn't Israel's fault, the the Arab's armies sucked.

They lost and now are still whining.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Joe M. has posted here long enough to know that I don't do flame wars, and of course he has the right to say here whatever Dan lets him. I have to say, though, that a poster who writes as he does immediately upthread that another poster "probably beats his own children" is one who has stepped way over the line. In Dan's place I would ban him immediately unless he apologized.

Everyone has issues they feel strongly about, but if their feelings are so strong that they cannot resist personal abuse of this kind they need to indulge their craving somewhere else. Dan has been awfully indulgent generally, yet has maintained a high-quality comment section for a long time. He was, as he acknowledged the other day, taking something of a risk by starting threads on a subject about which many people get carried away. He is entitled, I think, to expect that posters here will show him enough respect not to print every emotion they may feel.

posted by: Zathras on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Zathras, why one earth do you think it is acceptable to call for war and justify military invasions that kill thousands, but do not think it is accpetable to postulate on a degenerative attitude that spawns the desire for such military action? Why is discussing killing people acceptable but personalities not? even if you think i crossed the line, you act like talking about war is some intellectual exercise. You might not have a horse in the race, but i have family all over the Middle East. The wild and brazen calls for attacking other Middle Eastern countries like Syria, Lebanon and Palestine is far more personal then pointing out that Mark always wants to blow up those who are opposed with Israel (though, often not even fighting).

and Jim, fine, let's go back to the partition plan. I would accept using the 1947 plan. of course, Israel would not.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

by the way, dan is basically a libertarian. It would be shocking if he decided to censor people.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

and Jim, fine, let's go back to the partition plan. I would accept using the 1947 plan. of course, Israel would not.

Israel accepted that compromise in 1947, and the Arabs attacked because they didn't like it.

Iran and Hamas call for the destruction of Israel, and the Palestinians elected Hamas into government.

Who says anything has changed since 1947?

Israel isn't negotiating with you, Joe, they are negotiating with Arab states.

They want Israel destroyed.

Time to face reality, Joe.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

You are wrong. The Arab states (including Hamas, and probably grudgingly even Hizbullah) are not trying to exterminate the Jews. They want Israel to change and deal with the Palestinian issue in a fair way. For the most part, to do that, Israel will have to change its ideology significantly and maybe even give up Zionism (and become a state for its people, not just a state for the Jews). If you think that that means they are calling for the "destruction of Israel" then you can consider me in that camp. If you think that we want to kill the Jews, then you are wrong. as i have said before, i want a one-state solution where arabs and jews have equal political and social rights and a "law of return" for all the people jewish and palestinian. I think that Hamas would even accept that if it were on the table. If you want to say that i want to destroy Israel, fine. but you are just using rhetoric to justify Israel's agressiveness. See, you words betray you. to you "the State of Israel" is exactly the same as the Jewish people. It is this racism that leaves no place for the Palestinians and insures that the conflict wil continue for a very very very long time.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]


You need to read my posts more carefully. I did not say Arabs wanted to kill all the Jews, I said they want to destroy Israel. All of your comments about Jews reagarding my beliefs were unfounded, and should not have been said.

Yes, a "one-state" solution would destroy Israel.

Glad to see your views clarified.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

i want a one-state solution where arabs and jews have equal political and social rights

This is an absolute joke.

Can you name a modern Arab society where there is complete freedom for religious expression?

Equal rights? Please. You are in an alternative, fictitious reality.

Again, Israel isn't negotiating with you, Joe, they are negotiating with Arab states. I don't hear anyone else saying the same things that you are posting. Its easy for you to criticize Israel, because your "solutions" aren't based in reality. No one besides you is offering this solution from the Arab perspective.

Reality, Joe.

Israel isn't existing in your fantasy world, its in reality.

Wake up, buddy.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Again, Israel isn't negotiating with you...

You know, this is the oldest line in the book, and one of the biggest lies. I have heard Shimon Perez use it a dozen times in lectures and debates in reference Arafat or any one else he was negotiating with. It is just a useless tactic to act like you even care to negotiate. Everyone knows that Israel will not yield anything to the Palestinians and that it is really Israel who has no desire to negotiate. The result is that Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians and continues to destabilize the entire world.

You say that my desire for a single state means that I want to destroy Israel, but did Mandela want to "destroy" S.A.? That is a serious question, because we are dealing with a similar situation. Mandela started an army and was promptly thrown in jail. Now he is a hero because the world came to understand that a colonial minority does not have the right to dominate and oppress a native majority. The same is true in Palestine. Until this basic point is addressed, there will be endless war in the Middle East. It is as simple as that.

And Jim, I know we are weak and will continue to be killed. I know what is happening. You can say I live in a fantasy world if you want. But I actually would like to see the problem solved. The Jews are not the ones suffering, we are. You can live in your "reality" of denying that Israel did an injustice to the Palestinians. I can't force you to be human and realize that and try to make things better. But we will (assuming you are Jewish) all continue to suffer until you do.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Here is the problem Joe- you refuse to answer.

i want a one-state solution where arabs and jews have equal political and social rights

Can you name a modern Arab society where there is complete freedom for religious expression?

This is the fantasy.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

did Mandela want to "destroy" S.A.?





posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Unless joe is a complete idiot, he knows what "a single state" really means.

Unless joe's been hiding under a rock for the last 30 years, he knows that Hamas and Hezbollah have, as the central part in their charters, the goal of destroing Israel.

And, unless joe is incapable of reasoning from A to B without professional assistance, he knows that "destroying Israel" means killing all the Jews there.

I'm not sure why he refuses to see what is visible even to the folks living in Europa's methane seas. Perhaps he thinks that denying knowledge of Hamas' and Hezbollah's charter, or denying the logical results of that charter, or denying what a "single state" means, gives him a moral figleaf so he can say he's not actually supporting the genocidal destruction of a nation of 4+ million people. But that's a pointless exercise, because everyone else is perfectly well aware of what he's hoping we won't notice.

Perhaps joe has spent all his time at blogs where everyone else plays the same rhetorical game, where they spin pleasant fantasies about the wonderful world in which Israel doesn't exist, while skipping over the "regrettable but necessary" steps to realize that lovely goal.

posted by: CaseyL on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

if you guys want to lie, just keep doing it to yourselves. if you can some me a single statement from hizbullah or hamas that has been quoted in a major publication over the last 10 years that proves what you say, then i might consider listening to your garbage.

I hate to break it to you though, this is the official Hamas position now (and he does not say "kill the Jews" or anything like it anywhere...)

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Joe, you're either delusional or lying. Anybody can publish an OpEd which says anything. That is not the position of Hamas, and you know it. The charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel. And the killing of Jews. Why not cite that, rather than ludicrously citing an OpEd?

as i have said before, i want a one-state solution where arabs and jews have equal political and social rights and a "law of return" for all the people jewish and palestinian.

Well, I want a pony. Neither of us can get what we want, I guess. But if Palestinians would rather die than compromise on that position, then that's what will happen, unfortunately. If you demand unconditional surrender of your enemy, you'd better be able to back it up. Otherwise, you should be prepared to compromise. If Palestinians are willing to compromise and accept a two state solution, then there can be a Palestinian state. There could have been one years ago.

posted by: David Nieporent on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]


This is my last post that I will write to you. I've seen your posts on here for a long time and have ignored them as borderline delusional. I engaged this time, to just see really where our viewpoints differ, and as David said as well, its plain for all to see- you are either truly delusional or are lying.

You pretend that Israel is dealing with people who are not aiming to destroy Israel. If that was the case, then many of Israel's actions would not be justified. But the reality is that Israel is fighting for its existence, as the Arabs have been looking to destroy Israel since the U.N. established it in 1947.

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel. After the recent elections, the international community asked Hamas to remove this, and they refused to do so. That reaffirmed its desire to destroy Israel.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, which funds Hamas, has called for the destruction of Israel repeatedly over the past year.

These are the facts. After engaging with you for the past two days, I see that you are blinded by reality and live in an alternative reality.

I won't use more of my time posting a dialogue with someone who blatantly ignores important facts on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

posted by: Jim on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

IMHO Robert Aumann's Nobel Prize speech is under-reported. (Aumann is a resident of Israel.)

posted by: Thomas Esmond Knox on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

Do you really think you can just kill and oppress the Palestinian (and now Lebanese)people and get them to love you? You are crazy to think you will be more safe this way.

You know, 20% of Israelis are Palestinian. That will double in a couple years. And the more violence you use on their brothers, the more you setting up your Zionist enterprise for total failure. I don't put cruelity or ethnic cleansing past you, so maybe you will kick them out and steal their land too, but even that will not make you safe.

You just have to come to terms with the fact that Israel is a cancer for both Jews and Arabs. It needs to seriously change or we will all have a violent future.

posted by: joe m. on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

The Arabs could have everything "back" within 50 years if they set up pluralistic democracies in their respective states including the putative Palestinian state and established repect for property and religion. It wouldn't take long for the notion of Israel to become irrelevant in an environment of freedom.

Unfortunately Arab Muslims are totally incapable of this so it is just a pipe dream.

posted by: al_miller on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

in case anyone is interested in finding more information about the Israeli attacks, check out the site.

posted by: a lebanese on 07.14.06 at 05:00 AM [permalink]

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