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The Israel-Palestinian issue in rap

The so-called Middle East ‘Peace Process’, which needs to be relabeled to the more accurate ‘Delay and Deny Palestinian Rights Process’, has been called off for the umpteenth time since the Israeli government objects to the fact that the Palestinian Authority, that governs the Occupied Territories in the West Bank, has applied for recognition from various international agencies and has also arrived at a unity agreement with Hamas that governs Gaza.

A group named Juice Rap News from Melbourne, Australia has produced a rap video that provides a brief synopsis of the issue. It provides a surprisingly good analysis in a brief time for such a intractable problem, throwing in the one-sided US government policy and media coverage. (If you click on the ‘cc’ button you will get closed captions, which is always helpful with fast-paced raps.)

(Via Adam Horowitz.)

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    the Israeli government objects to the fact that the Palestinian Authority, that governs the Occupied Territories in the West Bank, has applied for recognition from various international agencies and has also arrived at a unity agreement with Hamas that governs Gaza.

    Translation: The Government of Israel declines to negotiate with the terrorist Hamas Government of the Gaza Strip which demands that the former agree to go out of business.

    A group named Juice Rap News from Melbourne, Australia has produced a rap video that provides a brief synopsis of the issue. It provides a surprisingly good analysis in a brief time for such a intractable problem, throwing in the one-sided US government policy and media coverage.

    Translation: The US Government, which has declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization, declines to pressure the Government of Israel to agree to go out of business. The Government of Israel should agree to negotiate its dissolution with Hamas when the US Government agrees to negotiate with Al Qaeda.

  2. AsqJames says

    colnago80:

    The Government of Israel declines to negotiate with the terrorist Hamas Government of the Gaza Strip which demands that the former agree to go out of business.

    As I understand it the PA-Hamas agreement had no effect whatsoever on who was attending the negotiations or who they represented. Are you saying that the PA-Hamas agreement would have made Hamas a party to the talks? That seems highly unlikely.

    The US Government, which has declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization, declines to pressure the Government of Israel to agree to go out of business. The Government of Israel should agree to negotiate its dissolution with Hamas when the US Government agrees to negotiate with Al Qaeda.

    That’s actually quite a good analogy in a way. The US has constant diplomatic relations with the Afghan government (such as it is), and the Afghan government agreed to have peace negotiations with the Taliban/Al Qaeda. Does that mean the US government has consented to negotiating with Al Qaeda?

  3. colnago80 says

    Re AsqJames @ #3

    By agreeing to bury the hatchet with the terrorist Hamas government in Gaza, the PA was implicitly giving it veto power over an agreement Hamas has made it quite clear that the only agreement whey will acquiesce in is one in which the Government of Israel agrees to dissolve itself.

    The US has constant diplomatic relations with the Afghan government (such as it is), and the Afghan government agreed to have peace negotiations with the Taliban/Al Qaeda. Does that mean the US government has consented to negotiating with Al Qaeda?

    Of course not. The US administration is busy carrying out drone strikes against Al Qaeda assets.

  4. AsqJames says

    colnago80,

    I think you’re wrong about both the motives for the PA-Hamas agreement and it’s meaning. Hamas has been severely weakened by Assad having to focus on his internal problems, and the Egyptian military ousting the Muslim Brotherhood and cutting off much of their support from that direction. They’ve had to compromise with Fatah/the PA rather than the other way around.

    In effect, this is the most recalcitrant and militant bloc within the Palestinian Occupied Territories moving towards the more moderate bloc. Through political and economic necessity more than anything more “pure”, but the move is welcome nonetheless. It makes the PA and Fatah stronger and Hamas weaker.

    But that is all rather beside the point. The conditions under which the talks were being held (who was talking, what they were talking about, what they were aboslutely NOT talking about) did not change. The Israeli government did not have to change its negotiating stance one iota. They did not have to accept any new entrant to the talks, nor allow any new issue onto the table.

    The only thing related to the talks that changed was that the party the Israeli government were dealing with suddenly appeared to have a greater chance of actually delivering on any bargain they struck with Israel.

    How is that bad for Israel?

  5. sailor1031 says

    “How is that bad for Israel?”

    It’s bad for Israel because Israel does not want a settlement. They have never wanted an agreement and every time an agreement has been remotely in reach Israel has found an excuse to suspend talks while continuing building settlements and weakening the palestinians as much as possible. The last thing Israel wants is for the palestinians to present a united front – it means they can’t play Hamas off against Fatah and by dividing defeat them. So Israel has found, for the umpteenth time, an excuse to halt “negotiations”.

  6. AsqJames says

    sailor1031,

    That was my thinking too, but I’m sure colnago/SLC has a much more rational explanation. And if I keep asking awkward questions he might give me an insulting nickname to prove he’s won the argument through logic and reason.

  7. readysf says

    The “Peace Process” has been one of stalling, delaying, and buying off Palestinian “leaders” with money while the real leaders are either killed off or jailed. It is utterly shameless, and we should all be ashamed.

    The Palestinian leadership should resign, force Israel to grow up and decide what to do on its own without cover from the US. It can do as it wishes, and be exposed in the process. There is less and less about Israel which is consistent with Jewish values.

    The new line is that the US should NOT be evenhanded! That Israel is superior and should be preferentially supported. Not while I still have a vote!

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4512737,00.html

  8. says

    Wait, terrorists are bad?! When did that happen? I thought the Stern Gang and Irgun were good guys… Help,me out, Colnago, I can’t play “moral relativism” as well as you do.

    Wait, lemme guess what he’ll say: it’s not as bad as what Assad is doing in Syria, or something like that.

  9. colnago80 says

    Re #5

    Well, Hamas says that they will never recognize Israel. Therefore, what is there to negotiate?

    http://goo.gl/r7qHIX

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #9

    Ah gee, the Stern Gang. That’s the best that ole Marcus can do, point to something 65 years ago.

    Re Sailor @ #6

    Wrong as usual. Arafat walked away from the table in 2000 without making a counter offer. The reason he did that is very simple. He was unwilling to give up the Palestinian demand that inhabitants of refugee camps be resettled in Israel. Since no Israeli Government could acquiesce in such a demand and remain in power for as much as an hour, it’s a non-starter. Until such time as the Palestinians give up on this demand, there will be no agreement.

    Re readsf @ #8

    Who are these “real” leaders? Marwan Barghouti per chance (rumor has it that he is in the pay of the Mossad)?

    The new line is that the US should NOT be evenhanded! That Israel is superior and should be preferentially supported. Not while I still have a vote!

    Definition of evenhanded: throw Israel under the bus.

  10. AsqJames says

    colnago80,

    Are you being deliberately obtuse or did you not even read what I said?

    Well, Hamas says that they will never recognize Israel. Therefore, what is there to negotiate?

    The Israelis were not negotiating with Hamas. Nobody has suggested the Israelis should start negotiating with Hamas (at least nobody who wasn’t already advocating that anyway).

    There was no change in who the Israeli government was negotiating with. As far as I’m aware there was no change in either sides negotiating position either. So I repeat: what was the potential damage to Israel from continuing the talks? Why did Israel walk away?

  11. colnago80 says

    Re AsqJames @ #12

    If the new Palestinian Government includes representatives of Hamas, the Government of Israel would be negotiating with Hamas.

  12. AsqJames says

    re colnago80 @ #13

    But that hasn’t happened, has it?

    So based on what has happened, why have Israel walked away from the talks?

  13. says

    Definition of evenhanded: throw Israel under the bus.

    Any attempt to achieve justice in that region would result in severe curbs on Israel’s expansion, if not its outright dissolution. So, yeah, you’re right – evenhandedness means throwing Israel under the bus. Not because of who they are, but because of what they did, and what they are doing. For exactly the same reason that the Third Reich was “thrown under the bus” and the Japanese Empire along with it.

  14. AsqJames says

    re colnago80 @ #13

    If the new Palestinian Government includes representatives of Hamas, the Government of Israel would be negotiating with Hamas.

    The current Israeli government includes representatives of Jewish Home and Shas, parties which both oppose any halt in settlement expansion (let alone withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the occupied territories). The PA are negotiating with them. Would you approve of the PA refusing to negotiate with any Israeli government coalition which included such parties?

  15. colnago80 says

    Re #17

    Just as a matter of correction, the Shas Party is not, repeat not part of the current ruling coalition. Neither are any of the other religious parties.

    Re #16

    When oh when will Ranum return his Pennsylvania property to Native Americans from whom it was stolen? Crickets, crickets.

  16. AsqJames says

    Oops! You’re right about Shas, my mistake.

    But are you seriously saying Jewish Home is not a “religious” party?

  17. Holms says

    Unlikely, he had opportunity to rebut those points, but appears to have skipped over them.

  18. colnago80 says

    Re Asqjames @ #19

    Technically, it’s not a religious party. In fact, Naftali Bennett was elected on the platform of pushing laws to require drafting of the Haredim into the IDF, which is opposed by the religious parties. However, I will grant that it is, however, quite conservative and pro settlements, as are the Russian secularists under Lieberman.

    Based on the agreement made by the PA with Hamas, there will be Hamas terrorists in the new government. As was pointed out in the link in comment #10, the Hamas terrorists say they will never recognize Israel so there is nothing to negotiate with any Palestinian authority including them. Unlike many left wing commentors here, I consider that the Hamas folks are serious people who say what then mean and mean what they say so I take them at their word.

  19. AsqJames says

    I consider that the Hamas folks are serious people who say what then mean and mean what they say so I take them at their word.

    The IRA were pretty serious folks who made quite definitive statements too. They were absolutely and unequivocably committed to the violent overthrow of British rule in Northern Ireland. They shot down helicopters and bombed police and army patrols. They bombed British cities and Irish towns. They murdered men, women and children. They murdered judges, magistrates, police officers and soldiers. They murdered the queen’s cousin.

    And one of them recently sat down at a state dinner with the Queen.

    It is possible for people to change their positions, but aside from outright annihilation, it doesn’t come through bombs and bullets.

  20. colnago80 says

    Re AsqJames @ #23

    Poor analogy, the IRA never demanded that the British Government go out of business and never denied that the English and the Scots were legitimate inhabitants of England and Scotland.

  21. AsqJames says

    No analogy is perfect.

    The point was: implacable opposition and animosity became constructive cooperation because the parties talked to each other.

    If that was too hard for you to figure out you must struggle with quite a lot of daily life.

  22. colnago80 says

    Re AsqJames @ #25

    The bid difference between the IRA and Hamas is that the latter are religious whackjobs. The IRA was intent on unifying Ireland and kicking the British out of Northern Ireland, not out of England and Scotland. Hamas is intent on kicking the Jews out of Israel.

  23. says

    AsqJames (#20) –

    And is there any chance you could address my previous points?

    No chance of that. In his fetid mind, any position that doesn’t result in the 100% forced removal of Palestinians equates to attempted genocide of jews. Saying that there is enough land for both is unfathomable to him.

    Monomania strikes again, nine out of 27 posts thus far.

  24. Silentbob says

    @ 24 colnago80

    the IRA never demanded that the British Government go out of business and never denied that the English and the Scots were legitimate inhabitants of England and Scotland.

    They very probably would have if England and Scotland had been Irish until less than a century ago, with the British arriving en masse from mainland Europe to take possession, driving three quarters of a million Irish out in the process.

    @ 27 left0ver1under

    Monomania strikes again…

    True, but I don’t think the criticism is valid when (for once) the monomania is actually on topic.

    **********

    Re the video, I LOL’d at the ‘Palestinian suicide homes’ throwing themselves into Israeli bulldozers. :-)

  25. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Well that clip was incredibly biased, misleading and unfair to the Israeli side of the issue here.

    Wasn’t even funny.

  26. colnago80 says

    Re Silentbobg @ #28

    They very probably would have if England and Scotland had been Irish until less than a century ago, with the British arriving en masse from mainland Europe to take possession, driving three quarters of a million Irish out in the process.

    Gee, you mean like European settlers did to Native Americans, driving them out of land they had occupied and into concentration camps (what else were reservations?).

  27. AsqJames says

    Re colnago80 @ #26,

    Even religious whackjobs can be reformed. And if attempts to reform the adults in a religious whackjob group fail (or you think they’re going to fail), the logical thing to do is still engagement so the next generation don’t grow up just as, even more, radicalised.

    But all that aside, I’m well aware of differences between the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Troubles and I can think of about a dozen others you haven’t touched on yet (major or minor). Are you going to bring each up one, at a time? Do you think that will allow you to indefinitely avoid the main focus of the analogy?

    Conflict resolution is never achieved by more conflict. All that does is harden hearts, entrench existing positions and further alienate people on both sides. I’m sure you already know this.

    So what are the options?

    1. Complete annihilation of one side or the other? Even were that possible to do within the region itself, the diaspora of both groups would still exist.
    2. Complete apartheid? Again, the diaspora on both sides would make that impossible without completely sealing off both groups from the entire outside world. I hope you wouldn’t advocate that?
    3. Continued sporadic tit-for-tat violence indefinitely? That’s not a solution, that’s the problem itself.

    If you think it’s right to abandon dialogue there must be an available alternative you favour. If it’s not one of those listed above, what is it? The Palestinians want to keep talking (this time – if it’s them who walk away next time, I’ll put the onus on them then). What should the Israeli’s do which would be preferable to continuing those talks?

  28. colnago80 says

    Re @32

    I think we have to recognize that, as Einstein once opined, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. In particular, IMHO, the US over the last 3 administrations has devoted entirely too much time trying to resolve the Israel/Palestine problem. I think that there are more important problems in the world that are far more serious relative to world peach. In particular, the situation in Syria, which threatens to set of a Shiite/Sunni religious war, the situation in Ukraine, and the situation between Japan and China in the sea areas in dispute between them.

    IMHO, the Israel/Palestinian problem is insolvable as we sit here today as the positions of the two sides are too far apart. In fact, it is not in the interest of the current leadership on either side to arrive at a solution, as it would require compromises that would result in the collapse of both governments. To quote the late senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, maybe we should try benign neglect.

  29. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @28. Silentbob :

    Re the video, I LOL’d at the ‘Palestinian suicide homes’ throwing themselves into Israeli bulldozers.

    Really?> You actually found that amusing? Are you really totally unaware of the reason why such homes were demolished? These homes were those previously occupied by individuals who took part in homicide-suicide bombings which often killed innocent Israeli civilians going about their lives in markets, on buses at bar mitzvah’s in restaurants.

    How do you punish a murdering douchebag Jihadist who is already dead? How can you deter such attacks – which in past days were incited by other Arab nations (for example the Late and Unlamented Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein paying money to the families of homicide-suicide bomber “martyrs” (spits) – if not by acting against their assets and families?

    No, the homes didn’t jump into the bulldozers -but the inhabitants of thsoe homes murdered innocent people out of their politico-religious convictions and believed they and their families and friends would benefit from that and not have to suffer any consequences. What would you have or expect Israel do? Nothing?

    @31. colnago80 : “What else would you expect from the blogmaster of this blog?”

    Better.

    I would hope and expect to get something better than this tripe because ithink manoSingham is a better person than this promoting hateful rap seems to indicate.

    @33. colnago80 :

    MHO, the Israel/Palestinian problem is insolvable as we sit here today as the positions of the two sides are too far apart. In fact, it is not in the interest of the current leadership on either side to arrive at a solution, as it would require compromises that would result in the collapse of both governments. To quote the late senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, maybe we should try benign neglect.

    This much more balanced and reasonable if depressing article :

    http://theweek.com/article/index/259597/sorry-there-is-no-solution-to-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict

    seems to bear that idea out.

    One thing is sure – it will be up to the people involved the Israeli and Palestinian themselves to make peace -if and when they decide they are serious about doing so. That will require a massive, radical change in Palestinian culture before they accept peace with Israel and reject violence and trying to exterminate it. As Golda Meir said : “peace will come when the Arabs decide they love their children more than they hate ours.”

    And when they stop idolising homicide suicide bombers and Hamas extremists and accept Israel is there to stay and not going anywhere.

    So ..no. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Far from any Judaeophobic* boycott and unfair pressure being placed on Israel solving this the best hope is in pressuring the Palestinians into changing their culture which is clearly toxic and self-destructive as well as almost literally hopeless.

    * Or if you prefer anti-Semitic. Modelled, of course after that “Islamophobia” term. Which I’m not. “Islamophobic” that is. Muslims have a right to live in peace like everyone else. Even Israelis and Jewish lobbyists and those who disagree with us on various blogs.

  30. Mano Singham says

    StevoR @#34,

    So the Palestinians have a “culture which is clearly toxic and self-destructive as well as almost literally hopeless.”. If you replace ‘Palestinians’ with ‘blacks’, your statement would be indistinguishable from anything that Cliven Bundy or any other run-of-the-mill racist would utter. But according to you, that is not ‘Islamophobic’ or racist at all. Nope, not at all.

    I am not surprised since your worldview seems to be similar to that of colnago80 (aka slc1) who has called for dropping nuclear bombs on Tripoli, Baghdad, Kabul, Teheran and other Iranian cities.

    As for all the bulldozed homes being those of terrorists, that is not even factually true as even a cursory examination would reveal, even leaving aside the moral issue of whether you should destroy the home of a family because one person is suspected of being involved in a crime. Is that your idea of a good justice system? If so, and since you are not ‘Islamophobic’ or racist, would you like to see that same system (where the homes of family members of suspected criminals are bulldozed at 10 minutes notice) also implemented in Australia? Or is such a system only suitable for Palestinians?

  31. says

    Mano (#35) –

    In 1945, such action was deemed collective punishment, and was punished as a war crime. Obviously, such designations didn’t stop the Soviet Union from putting the relatives of “political criminals” into gulags for decades. And now SLC, StevoR and others of their ilk come in here and advocate the very things be done to people they don’t like. Isn’t it funny how some people are willing to adopt the tactics and actions they claim to oppose and abhor if anyone else does them?

  32. says

    Here’s an interview with one of the moderates in the current Israeli Government who is ready to throw up his hands in frustration.

    Well, if none of this negotiation is working, Israel has a pretty good alternative option: pull all their military forces and settlers back behind that big border fence they built awhile back. I heard someone say that since the fence was completed, terrorist attacks in Israel proper dropped about 40% — that’s a better result than occupation and settlements got them, so why not scrap the policies that don’t work and follow through with the one that does?

  33. says

    StevoR @#34, So the Palestinians have a “culture which is clearly toxic and self-destructive as well as almost literally hopeless.”

    In fairness to StevoR, if he’d replaced “culture” with “political culture,” he’d be right. And no, that’s not the Palestinians’ fault either; it’s the fault of both Israel, and other Muslim powers using them as cannon-fodder, refusing to give them any real help, and forcing them into a position of paralysis and powerlessness.

  34. colnago80 says

    Re Raging Bee @ #37

    Well, if none of this negotiation is working, Israel has a pretty good alternative option: pull all their military forces and settlers back behind that big border fence they built awhile back.

    Well, the much maligned Arial Sharon did just that in the Gaza Strip. How’s that working out?

  35. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @35. Mano Singham

    StevoR @#34, So the Palestinians have a “culture which is clearly toxic and self-destructive as well as almost literally hopeless.”. If you replace ‘Palestinians’ with ‘blacks’, your statement would be indistinguishable from anything that Cliven Bundy or any other run-of-the-mill racist would utter.

    I don’t think that’s true at all.

    For starters, my comment has nothing to do with skin colour or “race” a notion I consider a destructive social myth NOT a scientific reality.

    I hate racism and racists. I completely disagree with those who unplug their brains to spew racist hatred based on the myth of one ethnic group or one level of any inidvidual or groups melanin pigmentation in the epidermis meaning anything more than how much sunscreen an individual human needs to wear on a hot or high UV risk day.

    Race is rubbish. There’s only people and what they choose to do as a group or collectively. I support the rights of all humans to equal rights and good treatment and assess individuals and groups on their behaviour and beliefs.

    So what do the Palestinians believe and how do they collectively behave? Well, you know their hsitroy as wellas I albiet we see things from different persepctives.

    They idolise homicide-suicide bombers, they vote for Hamas, they spew hateful rhetoric about driving the Jews into the sea and demonise Israel and they behave accordingly. They make horrific self-destructive and globally destructive errors of judgement all the time. This has nothing to do with their “race” (again, a silly notion that I have no belief in or time for) and everything to do with their words and actions.

    But according to you, that is not ‘Islamophobic’ or racist at all. Nope, not at all.

    I don’t think “islamophobia” is anything real any more than “race” is.

    Islam is a religious ideology – or more precisely a set of ideologies which vary in their specific history, details and degrees of harmful extremism. Islam is a set of powerful and in much of the world influential but false beliefs with a few core principles defined as believing a certain Dark Age warlord and pedophile who was an extremely dangerous, nasty and deluded long dead man but gets wrongly revered and taken as an ethical exemplar when the “prophet” Mohammad was anything but a man to be admired or emulated .

    Muslims are individual humans who have adopted the ideology of Islam to some degree or other. Most Muslims are peaceful people, many are very good people despite their false belief in that ideology.

    Other Muslims however, are notoriously dangerous people who have swallowed their false belief to the point where they committ appalling atrocities against other humans and these Islamists need to be stopped from causing harm to everyone else in the world.

    Is this “”islamophobic” do y’all think – or just a reasonable, rational, accurate assessment of global reality?

    Seriously, I would like your answers to that – and your reasoning either way.

    In a world where we have Islamic Jihadist extremists like Al Quaida, Hamas, Jemaah Islamiyya, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, the Janjaweed, ad nauseam is it actually a “phobia” to think there is a particular problem with Islam as the religious ideology motivating those groups?

    I am not surprised since your worldview seems to be similar to that of colnago80 (aka slc1) who has called for dropping nuclear bombs on Tripoli, Baghdad, Kabul, Teheran and other Iranian cities.

    Well I do NOT support such bombings. I don’t want to see anyone or anywhere hit with nuclear attacks.

    I don’t agree with colnago80 on this and I hope we find better alternatives to such bombings. I also think his views – as well as mine – have evolved and mellowed with time and events incl. through discussions here on your blog and other FTb blogs.

    I have, I will admit, gone too far in some of my past comments and said things I now regret and would no longer say or advocate.

    As for all the bulldozed homes being those of terrorists, that is not even factually true as even a cursory examination would reveal, ..

    Really? That doesn’t jibe with what I’ve always understood before. I do NOT think Israelis are going to demolish anyone’s homes without *very* good reason.

    I have skimmed through (work alas tomorrow early, must sleep, should probably be in bed already) your Why the two-state solution is (almost) dead’ article link there and there only seems to be passing mention of home demolitions of a sort I wasn’t actually talking about in my earlier comment and I don’t think those are typical. I do think the usual case is demolition of the homes of homicide-suicide bombers and even in the cases you mention, those homes were illegal under Israeli law so the obvious thing to do is not build them or seek legal redress.

    When you live in a country, you have to follow its rules. If don’t like those rules(in this case Israels) then you are probably best emigrating out of there and making a new life in a nation more to your liking (say fr’ex Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait – plenty of neighbouring Arab lands to choose from. Jews have only one Jewish nation which is tiny at that )- that would be my thinking there and advice to the Palestinians involved. There’s a famous saying about insanity being doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If your house keeps getting demolished because (among other things maybe?) it is built illegally where you don’t have permission to build it, maybe you should think thrice and do a few things differently before trying again?

    .. even leaving aside the moral issue of whether you should destroy the home of a family because one person is suspected of being involved in a crime.

    Not suspected – known. Not just any crime but the most horrific and harmful.

    Gruesome fact I’ve read in previous news accounts – the heads of homicide-suicide bombers usally survive intact being blown up and outwards from the carnage they create. This was the case for the Bali bombers for instance or so I vaguely recall. They also have videos and plenty of other evidence incl. the “suspect” – “martyr” – mass murderer boasting of it beforehand.

    ..Is that your idea of a good justice system? If so, and since you are not ‘Islamophobic’ or racist, would you like to see that same system (where the homes of family members of suspected criminals are bulldozed at 10 minutes notice) also implemented in Australia? Or is such a system only suitable for Palestinians?

    I would be very happy to see this home demolition policy enforced against all homicide-suicide bombers homes regardless of where they live and the motivation for committing their horrendous crimes. Yes in Australia, as in Israel, as in Outer Mongolia or Antartica – wherever someone murders other people by blowing themselve sup ina crowded place whatever can be done to deter and punish them and those who aid and enable them should be done.

    Whether the homicide suicide bomber is Palestinian, Iraqi or Tamil or anything else and whatever the skin colour and ethnic background of the homicide suicide bomber – YES. Demolish their homes, confiscate all their family assets* and make it very clear that there will be consequences beyond the mere “sacrifice” of one life when you engage in that disgusting, unethical, evil, unjustifiable whatever their supposed “rightness” of cause, tactic.

    The cost of committing such homicide suicide bombings needs to be made so high that however angry the Palestinians – or anyone else – is they find it unacceptable and reject the tactic.

    I would personally make it even harder on the Palestinians for generally supporting and enabling these atrocities than Israel actually does. Every monument and poster of a homicide bomber should be illegal and result in jail time -and be destroyed. I would not allow the families to bury or hold any memorials for the killers and would dump their remains at sea like they did in the case of Bin Laden to prevent shrines. The whole world should make its utter disgust and rejection of this despicable method of warfare completely clear.

    Do you seriously think otherwise? Do you think it is okay to commit homicide-suicide bombings or that the world should avoid doing whatever it can to prevent those?

    (Am I furious,enraged and emotional over these type of attacks? You bet I am! How can one not be?)

    * Unless a particular family member can prove they acted to stop the homicide-suicide bombing attack. Then and only then wouId I allow them to retain their home or property. If they can prove that, for instance, they argued with the homicide-suicide bomber *and* informed the authorities and did everything in their power to prevent innocent deaths.

  36. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @40. Raging Bee : Yeesh. Do you really know so little about the Israeli -Arab conflict that you can say that with a straight face?

    Have you ever actually read or seriously thought about how this conflict appears from the Jewish or /and Israeli side of the fence?

  37. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @39. colnago80 :

    Re Raging Bee @ #37 “Well, if none of this negotiation is working, Israel has a pretty good alternative option: pull all their military forces and settlers back behind that big border fence they built awhile back.”
    Well, the much maligned Arial Sharon did just that in the Gaza Strip. How’s that working out?

    About the same way the then-much-heralded and celebrated Oslo accords of the mid 1990s worked out. Badly.

    The Palestinians had a (yet another) chance to make peace and they blew it. (Literally they blew it up I spose to use some grim humour.)

    Israel offers its deadly enemies peace and land in exchange for peace time and time again.

    Time and time again**, their enemies turn down even the most extraordinarily generous of peace offers, ramp up the violence and rhetoric and hate and resort to murderous wars aimed at exterminating the whole six million – or is it seven or eight million Jews in Israel. Time and time again, Israel’s enemies lose and end up worse off* having to beg the international world (where anti-Semitism isn’t exactly rare.) to save them for the results of their own aggression and idiocy.

    When will this cycle ever stop – and how the hell can anyone knowing the actual history here keep scapegoating Israel as supposedly the bad guy here!?

    * Hence the maps seen in the other link Mano Singham provided in #35 – If one side starts wars aimed to committing genocide, there are negative consequences for – and that’s how it should be. Hint to the Arab side – no more wars please!

    ** Excluding only the Cold Peace Israel gained by returning the Sinai Peninsula to Anwar Sadat’s Egypt in the 1970’s-80s. The Islamists murdered Sadat for seeking and making that peace but the peace at least has so far mostly held.

  38. Mano Singham says

    StevoR @#41,

    Anyone who murders an innocent person is guilty of a crime and should be punished. I don’t see why doing so with a suicide bomb is worse than gunning them down or bombing them from the sky or with missiles, and why different standards of justice should apply.

    What is your justification for reserving this kind of collective punishment without due process (which is a war crime, by the way) for just one type of murder? This is how apologists work, by carefully defining things in such a narrow way that their favored side is exempt and the ones they dislike are culpable, rather than applying a single uniform measure.

    What do you think should be the punishment for what the Israeli government did in Operation Cast Lead? Was that not a terrorist campaign? In fact, it was widely seen as acts of indiscriminate murder and a war crime.

  39. says

    @40. Raging Bee : Yeesh. Do you really know so little about the Israeli -Arab conflict that you can say that with a straight face?

    Okay, who DID stop Sharon from pulling his own country’s military and settlers from land they fully controlled? You keep on calling me ignorant, but you never correct my ignorance with superior knowledge of your own.

    Also, in #43 above, you go back to the same droning litany of all the things Israel did that didn’t work. So why not go with the policy that they can carry out on their own, and — as I said in #37 — has already shown measurable benefit?

  40. says

    I don’t think “islamophobia” is anything real any more than “race” is.

    You’re dead wrong on both counts. Both of those are real things, if only because bigots make them real by the actions they take against their targets.

    Seriously, you stupid git, do you also believe antisemitism isn’t real?

  41. says

    …is it actually a “phobia” to think there is a particular problem with Islam as the religious ideology motivating those groups?

    It is, at the very least, incredibly stupid to think that the ideology is the ONLY cause of the problems we see. Real life is a LOT more complex than that. (Pop quiz: was Christianity the only cause of the rise of Hitler?)

  42. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Raging Bee : Only cause of the problem? No. A very major cause still – yes.

    Anti-Semitism is very real as is racism of all sorts – but “race” is scientifically absurd because humans are only a single species and NOT truly divided into different “races’ at any meaningful level – just a few phenotypic variations in skin colour, etc ..

    As for your #45 and #40 It isn’t who stopped Sharon from pulling out of Gaza – its how that pull out worked out with Hamas taking control and then using the territory to fire rockets at innocent Israeli civilians.

    @44. Mano Singham

    StevoR @#41, Anyone who murders an innocent person is guilty of a crime and should be punished.

    I agree.

    I don’t see why doing so with a suicide bomb is worse than gunning them down or bombing them from the sky or with missiles, and why different standards of justice should apply.

    Are you referring there to Israeli responses to stop further acts of terrorism against others by bombing or killing Palestinian terrorists? Can you, a very smart, humane blogger and astrpophysicist really and truly not see the ethical as well as legal difference between murdering innocent civilians for the sake of a hateful political ideology and protecting innocent civilians by acting – admittedly with sometimes extreme measures – to take out Palestinian terrorists before they strike?

    Israelis de facto at war with the Palestinians esp Hamas Jihadists. It doesn’t want to be at war and has offered peace on extremely generous and to Israelis painful terms but Hamas and the Palestinians keep turning them down and attacking them anyhow.

    War is an awful thing and involves killing enemy soldiers – such as (de facto again), Hamas combatants. (Although Hamas often break the rules of war by dressing as and pretending to be civilians and using their own civilian populace as human shields and propaganda.)

    Israel takes care to avoid inflicting unnecessary casulaties. Innocrent deaths occur despite the wishes of the Israeli Defence Forces not because of the wishes of the IDF.

    OTOH, Hamas takes NO care to avoid innocent casualties and follow the Geneva convention and rules of law and war – quite the reverse. Hamas seeks maximum innocent casualties not only Jewish but also Palestinian casualties as well.

    Plus the whole conflict is the fault of the Palestinians and Hamas in the first place and they could get peace at any time by accepting one of the many generous peace offers Israel has made. The whole series of Israeli-Arab wars are in essence caused by the Arab sides refusal to accept that Israel has a right to exist as a small Jewish state in what has forever been a Jewish occupied, Jewish homeland. The Arab sides determination to wipe Israel off the map based on the racist intolerance of the Arabs for those of Jewish ethnicity is the main cause of the problem here. At least as I and many others see it.

    It truly baffles and frustrates me that you and others who should be smart enough to recognise this reality seem unwilling or unable to do so.

    What is your justification for reserving this kind of collective punishment without due process (which is a war crime, by the way) for just one type of murder?

    Its what I said back in comment # 34 above :

    “How do you punish a murdering douchebag Jihadist who is already dead? How can you deter such attacks if not by acting against their assets and families? No, the homes didn’t jump into the bulldozers – but the inhabitants of those homes murdered innocent people out of their politico-religious convictions and believed they and their families and friends would benefit from that and not have to suffer any consequences. What would you have or expect Israel do? Nothing?”

    To deter future and punish past homicide-suicide bombings and make them so costly and have such severe consequences that the Jihadists stop resorting to that disgusting unethical war criminal tactic.

    (1) What do you think should be the punishment for what the Israeli government did in Operation Cast Lead? (2) Was that not a terrorist campaign? In fact, it was widely seen as acts of indiscriminate murder and a war crime.(3)

    Numbering added for convenience.

    1) No punishment is appropriate because it was a legitimate military campaign. War is an awful thingand to be avoided – but the soldiers were doing their jobs and the government had toprotect its civilains fromthe enemy attacks.

    2) No. No, it wasn’t. It was a response to a terrorist campaign which is counter-terrorism and it was also another episode in the endless series of Arab wars aimed at exterminating the millions of (by choice) peaceful Israel civilians.

    3) Widely seen that way? Wrongly seen I think.

  43. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ D’oh! Typos and blockquote fail. Mea culpa, sorry.

    Incidentally :

    “race” is scientifically absurd because humans are only a single species and NOT truly divided into different “races’ at any meaningful level – just a few phenotypic variations in skin colour, etc ..

    Even if humans were divided into different sub-species, say imagine if some neanderthals, “hobbits” or australopithecines survived into modern times – that would NOT justify mistreating or behaving badly against those lesser sub-species.

    I believe we should always treat those worse off than ourselves with compassion and respect.

  44. Mano Singham says

    StevoR@#48,

    So the massive Cast Lead assault that used massive military power on a defenseless and trapped population in Gaza, that killed 1400 people, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under the age of 18, are casually dismissed by you with the ‘tough luck, war is hell’ excuse. People glibly trot that out when the people killed are those they perceive as the enemy, never their own.

    You claim superiority to colnago80 because you are opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. But you seem just as cavalier about killings by Israel as long they use other means. He thinks wholesale, you think retail.

  45. Silentbob says

    @ 50 Mano Singham

    If StevoR is opposed to nuclear weapons, that’s a recent development. He used to advocate a “pre-emptive” Israeli nuclear attack on Iran – just as @48 he supports “[taking] out Palestinian terrorists before they strike”; in other words “terrorists” who haven’t actually done any terrorism.

    I also can’t resist commenting on this, which StevoR thought was so good he wrote it twice:

    How do you punish a murdering douchebag Jihadist who is already dead? How can you deter such attacks if not by acting against their assets and families?

    ‘We can’t punish a dead man, so we’ll punish his wife and children instead.’ What sort of monster thinks like that?

    @ 48 StevoR

    [Palestine] has forever been a Jewish occupied, Jewish homeland

    … except for a brief interlude when it was Assyrian, then Babylonian, then Persian, then Macedonian, then Roman, then Ottoman, then British. And not forgetting that according to Hebrew Bible the Israelites themselves stole it from the Canaanites. (Even in 1948, at the time of the UN partition plan and after a huge surge of Zionist immigration from Europe, the population of Palestine was only one third Jewish.)

  46. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Silentbob :

    If StevoR is opposed to nuclear weapons, that’s a recent development. He used to advocate a “pre-emptive” Israeli nuclear attack on Iran ..

    Um, no, I don’t think so.

    as @48 he supports “[taking] out Palestinian terrorists before they strike”; in other words “terrorists” who haven’t actually done any terrorism.

    So you think its better to wait until innocent people have been killed when you could have prevented those deaths instead?

    I also can’t resist commenting on this, which StevoR thought was so good he wrote it twice:

    Actually I wrote it once then cut’n’pasted when people seemed to have missed it the first time because it still answered the point best. (shrug.)

    ‘We can’t punish a dead man, so we’ll punish his wife and children instead.’ What sort of monster thinks like that?

    What kind of monster straps a suicide bomb vest on and commits mass murder of innocent civilians in a crowded market, on a bus, at a restaurant, at the finish line of the Boston marathon, etc ..

    Those are the monsters we’re fighting. How do you suggest we fight them? How do you deter that?

    The wife is raised in a culture where that’s supposed to be okay. The kid is likely doomed to follow the same example, maybe the wife too. How can they not know? How can they enable that to happen or fail to stop it? If they don’t care about their own lives maybe peer pressure, family pressure, might make them think twice?

    Homicide-suicide bombings are an appalling, disgusting, repulsive tactic. They cannot be allowed to suceed and they cannot be allowed to go unpunished. Yes? Surely!

    So if not the relatives and wife and kids? Who? the leaders Well I’d like to think Israel (& other nations) can and does go there but that too probably gets your condemnation. The mosques that preach that hateful nonsense? I’d say Israel should demolish those as well but I don’t see that happening. What else would you suggest Israel target in response – and remember they *do* have to target somebody. They have to protect their civilians, respond to their victims for the suffering the Palestinian Jihadists have caused them.

    [Israel -ed] has forever been a Jewish occupied, Jewish homeland ..

    … except for a brief interlude when it was Assyrian, then Babylonian, then Persian, then Macedonian, then Roman, then Ottoman, then British.

    And throughout that diaspora period Jewish people still loved and remembered and wanted to return and still there. Google that phrase “Next year in Jeruslaem”. Read or watch Daniel Deronda :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Deronda

    Seriously.

    Israel is always what the Jewish people sought – their homeland, their refuge. They have suffered more than enough.

    And not forgetting that according to Hebrew Bible the Israelites themselves stole it from the Canaanites. (Even in 1948, at the time of the UN partition plan and after a huge surge of Zionist immigration from Europe, the population of Palestine was only one third Jewish.)

    1948 was just after the Shoah.

    If you don’t know what that was look it up too. Look up how the British prevented Jewish people emigrating to what would become, despite the odds, Israel, making Aliyeh, when it was literally life and death. How many more would have lived in Israel had they been able to and not murdered en route. How many lives lost needlessly to British bureaucracy and Arab hate -and what could those lives have contributed to our world?

    We’ll never know.

    That I think is a tragedy not a debating point.

  47. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @50. Mano Singham :

    StevoR@#48, So the massive Cast Lead assault that used massive military power on a defenseless ..

    Defenceless? Yeah, that explains away all those Hamas rockets that rained down on isreali civilians constantly :

    Between 2005 and 2007, Palestinian groups in Gaza fired about 2,700 locally made Qassam rockets into Israel, killing four Israeli civilians and injuring 75 others.

    Source : Wikpedia Gaza War

    And Hamas and the Gazans can’t say they weren’t warned what the response would be if the rockets continued :

    On December 25, after Israel had “wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive”, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert delivered a final warning in an interview with the Arabic language satellite channel al-Arabiya. He said “I am telling them now, it may be the last minute, I’m telling them stop it. We are stronger.”[110] Another 6 Qassams landed in southern Israel.[111]

    Ibid.

    Defenceless? Hamas! Really? Yeah that’s why this war ended up happening? Sarcasm. Bitter laughter.

    … and trapped population in Gaza, that killed 1400 people, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under the age of 18,

    Whose fault is that? Israels? Or Hamas’es? I say a lot more the latters than the formers. If Hamas leaders wanted to fight they could have met Israel in open battle in the desert somewhere and prayed to Allah to prove his existence by delivering them a miraculous victory if they really believed instead of hiding behind their own women and children like the gutless, despicable, cowards they are. Anyone else care to predict the likely outcome of such a fair fight with Hamas leaders and militants using decnt and legal warfare tactics versus Israel? As opposed to the cowardly, pathetic, manipulative, ethically and legally criminal tactics Hamas actually used.

    Which also claimed thirteen israeli lives. Note as well :

    Throughout the war, Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel damaged or destroyed more than 1,500 homes and buildings and 327 vehicles.[408] Numerous agricultural fields near Gaza also sustained damage. Twenty-eight Israeli families lost their homes to rocket attacks .. Among the buildings hit were nine educational facilities and three synagogues.

    Ah, yes, those poor defenceless terrorists and the people and culture who supported them when they started this whole fight that they could’ve avoided by making peace decades ago.

    .. are casually dismissed by you with the ‘tough luck, war is hell’ excuse. People glibly trot that out when the people killed are those they perceive as the enemy, never their own.

    Yes, because its not like Israel also suffered in this conflict .. Oh wait, look what I’ve just noted above. Its not like Israel wanted this war or made numerous generous peace offers to attempts to prevent war – hang on they did!

    No, the blame for this conflict lies about 90% on the proudly bloodstained hands of Hamas. The moral responsibility for it is theirs as was the choice to wage war.

    Casually dismissed? No. War is hellish is a truism. War is NOT what I want and something that I think should only be resorted to when no reasonable alternatives exist.

    You claim superiority to colnago80 because you are opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. But you seem just as cavalier about killings by Israel as long they use other means. He thinks wholesale, you think retail.

    Wrong. Its not that I’m “cavalier” its that I’m realistic and coming from a different perspective to most here.

    I do NOT want war or deaths of anyone.

    I want the Palestinians to change their violent hateful culture, accept a fair peace deal and let Israel live in peace.

    What do you think the chances of my getting that wish are? Really?

    How much do Israelis have to suffer, what will it take, what must the Jewish state offer – remember the Palestinians already rejected a deal giving them 95% what they demanded – before some folks finally see the Israelis are actually the good guys here?

    Please, y’all just try, for once, to imagine how things appear from the Israeli point of view and empathise with them instead of those who to see them all slaughtered. That really too big an ask?

  48. Mano Singham says

    StevorR @52,

    In response to Silentbob you say you have never advocated a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran.

    Let me point you to a long comment thread on Ed Brayton’s blog where you and slc1/colnago80 advocated the various ways in which a preemptive strike on Iran could be carried out. You said “Iran has to be taken out before it gets The Bomb and the sooner we do so the better.”

    Later, in the course of that same thread you wrote:

    I’m pretty sure the US (& Israel) does have plenty of “daisy-cutter” fuel air bombs and incendariaries as well as some pretty great “bunker-busters” (conventional and not) however which should work just fine.

    My preference would be a decapitation strike on the leadership and Iran’s nuclear sites hidden and otherwise but I’m sure the Israeli generals now what they’re doing and already have some good plans ready and waiting to be put into effect.

    Note that the italicized emphasis on both conventional and non-conventional (i.e., nuclear) weapons is from your post so you yourself were emphatically advocating their use.

  49. Silentbob says

    @ 54 Mano Singham

    I was actually thinking of this comment from the same blog:

    I do NOT *like* the thought of nuking or otherwise bombing Iran.

    I recognise that there’ll be a lot of casualties and “war is hell” and all that.

    But I’m also rational, logical and aware enough to know that it cannot be avoided because the alternative is far worse. The alternative is, somewhere down the line, them nuking or destroying us instead.
    [… ]

    If the choice is a land invasion of Iran that will cause hundreds of millions of casualties on BOTH sides or a massive air bombing incl. with daisy-cutters, neutron bombs or nukes that will cause relatively fewer deaths — say tens of milions instead of hundreds on their side alone rather than on *both* sides — then the aerial bombardment is ethically & practically the best option.

    He goes on to say…

    PS. As for nuking Pakistan, yeah, we may well have to do that too.

  50. Silentbob says

    … It should be noted that StevoR has vaguely apologised for things he’s said in the past, without specifying what those things were, so perhaps he’s changed his mind.

  51. Silentbob says

    Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.
    [… ]
    I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

    Mohandas Gandhi, The Jews In Palestine, 1938

  52. Mano Singham says

    @55 Silentbob,

    Wow, that comment you linked to is just horrific, casually calling for the annihilation of entire populations. What kind of person can say things like that? It is quite simply beyond the pale and calls for far more than a vague apology.

  53. Silentbob says

    @ 58 Mano Singham

    Yes, I was being a little sarcastic. The amazing thing is that for all his (rightful) disgust at the Holocaust, the ‘only’ tens of millions he suggests slaughtering just in case they do something bad one day represents several Holocaust’s worth of death and, in fact, is on the order of magnitude of the entire population of Iran. It must take considerable cognitive dissonance to says that sort of thing in one breath, and express horror over the Holocaust in the next.

  54. says

    I hit submit by accident.

    I meant to also mention the ineviable false accusations of “anti-semitism” being hurled as Roger Waters and Nick Mason this past week for their support of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement. In the minds of the fervent and rabid, calling for human rights for the Palestinians equates to calling for the annihilation of Israelis.

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