Seizing the aesthetic high ground


This is an amazing, heroic photo.

Mustafa Hassouna

Not only is it a beautiful image, but the slinger is Palestinian, and the Goliath he’s winging a rock at is Israel. That’s got to sting.

The man in the photo is Abu Amro, and he’s fighting for a just cause.

“I don’t go to protests to get pictures of me taken, but this has encouraged me to continue demonstrating,” he said.

“The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the other protests I’ve attended. My friends make fun of me, saying it is easier to throw rocks without holding a flag in the other hand, but I got used to it.

“If I get killed, I want to be wrapped in the same flag. We are demanding our right of return, and protesting for our dignity and the dignity of our future generation.”

It’s a sad truth that he does have a good chance of being killed, especially now that Israeli soldiers will be trying to make a martyr of him.

Comments

  1. whheydt says

    Yeah… About slings… Used to be that the sling was a military weapon. The Romans used to recruit military slingers from the Balearic Isle (sheep raising country). A rock delivered from a sling won’t just sting. It will kill. So the next time someone asks why the Israelis shot a Palestinian “who was only throwing rocks”, that’s probably the reason. Said Palestinian was using a deadly weapon. (I can disagree with Israeli policy while still recognizing that shooting someone using a sling is a rational response.)

  2. deadguykai says

    “Just cause”? Fighting for Hamas and Fatah is a just cause?
    Fucking warped sensibilities on display there, Professor.

  3. nomadiq says

    @1 Yeap. It’s not like Israeli military get shields and much more powerful weapons to play with. Totally the same thing.

    @2 proof this guy is fighting for Hamas or Fatah? Looks to me like he is fighting for justice. What a terrorist, demanding to be treated as a human!

  4. vucodlak says

    @ whheydt, #1

    Against soldiers in modern body armor, a sling is unlikely to cause serious injury. And, given that the Israeli soldiers are firing at him and his people with cutting-edge assault weapons, I don’t really have a problem with him defending himself with lethal force.

    @ deadguykai, #2

    You have some proof, I assume, that this man supports the actions you claim he does?

    You know, it is possible to acknowledge that Hamas does evil shit, while also opposing the brutal oppression of Palestinians by the Israeli government. In fact, Hamas and the Israeli government tend to do the exact same evil shit; the Israeli government just has a lot more firepower and support.

  5. John Morales says

    vucodlak:

    I don’t really have a problem with him defending himself with lethal force.

    Come on. That’s someone attacking, not someone defending.

    But fine: no armor, charging in encumbered, conspicuously pitiful weapon his only defence, other than the restraint of the snipers. Very symbolic.

    (Tank Man impresses me more)

    OP:

    It’s a sad truth that he does have a good chance of being killed, especially now that Israeli soldiers will be trying to make a martyr of him.

    His choice to be there and do that.

  6. willj says

    That’s what democrats are gonna look like if they don’t turn out in huge numbers to vote. Oh well, at least they’ll have aesthetics.

  7. Artor says

    “His choice to be there and do that.”
    As it would be your choice to do the same if an invading force occupied your homeland and spent decades murdering your friends and relatives and bulldozing your home.

  8. says

    I didn’t have much concern for or interest in Israel’s decades long crimes against humanity and acts of terrorism until I saw footage of a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon deliberately shelled with cluster munitions by the uniformed terrosits of the Israeli military. I could relate to that because the UN peacekeepers cleaning up the wreckage were Fijian soldiers. Warm, wonderfully friendly people I had a lot of contact with. Shortly after I met a young Palestinian who lost six of his cousins in that attack. That was my Damascene moment. I was going to write a witty comment until I saw the comments by the supporters of Israel’s criminal acts. But here it is anyway.

    Abu Amro has been compared to the famous French revolutionary painting of Lady Liberty waving the French Tricolour and carrying a musket. They have something else in common if you compare both images; they are both left-handed. Left-handers rock!!!

  9. John Morales says

    Artor,

    “His choice to be there and do that.”
    As it would be your choice to do the same if an invading force occupied your homeland and spent decades murdering your friends and relatives and bulldozing your home.

    So you agree with me. His choice it is to have a good chance of being killed and becoming a martyr thereby.

    (Yet another one)

  10. Mark Jacobson says

    @10 John Morales

    Much like it’s your choice to post asinine comments that have a good chance of being called out. Guess you should just be quiet.

  11. vucodlak says

    @ John Morales, #6

    Come on. That’s someone attacking, not someone defending.

    That’s right. Anyone who picks up anything that could conceivably be a weapon is an aggressor, regardless of context, always… unless they do so in service of the people who hold all the power. Taking up arms in service to power makes one a noble guardian of Law and Order, in the defense of which all things are permitted. That’s why it’s perfectly fine when the police shoot down black people who are holding anything at all in their hands, and that’s why this image is prima facie justification for firing a few hundred more shells into playgrounds, schools, and apartment buildings.

    Therefore, the soldiers who shoot down protestors, or blow up children with antipersonnel munitions, are never attacking anyone. No, they’re just defending freedom Order.

  12. William Webb says

    Israel:

    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State;

    – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and
    oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years;

    – refuses to honor its obligations under international law;

    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going war crimes; and

    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    See http://www.ifamericansknew.org and http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/photos/maps/landloss.html for more information.

  13. dorfl says

    His choice to be there and do that.

    This is a technically true statement. If I respond to an aggressor in any other way than by following their demands, then I am in a sense ‘choosing’ their subsequent violence against me. So you haven’t strictly written a falsehood. You’ve managed to imply that he is in some sense responsible if Israel kills him, but you haven’t actually said it, so good job writing this carefully-worded technically-not-false sentence.

  14. unclefrogy says

    the root of the problem is the Israelis want a jewish state in the 21st century. The realistic possibility of that happening has passed. They can not allow all of the occupants a voting choice because they are not all jewish and have been living there for a long time some I am sure could trace their roots 1000’s of years in the past they would not be “in control” for very long. Their option is to expel the people previously living there and take over the land. how ever this is not biblical times the only way they can do that now or any other time really is to suppress the human rights of all the none-jews to some degree or other. They can not do so while calling themselves a modern democracy without lying to themselves and everyone else.
    I cannot give my full support to anything other than a fully democratic state where ever it may be on the face of the earth.
    uncle frogy

  15. rcs619 says

    @#20

    Pretty much, yeah. There’s a great quote that I forget the source, but it went “Israel can either be a democratic state, or a jewish state.” They can’t have it both ways. Considering how right-wing the current government is, I suspect that they’ll wind up choosing the former. They certainly seem to be heading in that direction.

    The thing that infuriates me is how much sway Israel has on US politics. They’re a tiny little country with the population of New Jersey, but they strut around like a freaking superpower, and the US constantly bows and scrapes to try and appease them. We hold all the power in that relationship, they only continue to exist because we’ve continually propped them up against outside aggression. We need a president and a congress that will finally yank on that leash and tell them to either negotiate honestly to end the conflict with Palestine, or we just stop supporting them. Having them push us around, and spit in our faces by sabotaging the peace process again and again is freaking embarrassing.

    Yes, they’re a valuable ally, but that doesn’t mean they just get to walk all over us and actively foster extremism in the region. Unfortunately though, the government of Israel and Hamas are kind of in a symbiotic relationship at this point. Hamas’ attacks, while ineffectual, do tend to bump up approval ratings for the Israeli government. Israel’s inevitable overkill also, in turn, drives people into more extreme responses, and into hamas’ arms.

  16. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Used to be that the sling was a military weapon.”

    Well, good thing he isn’t using BAGPIPES then, because they’re still a deadly weapon.

    An ongoing war-crime in the wrong hands also, too.

  17. lotharloo says

    The middle-east conflict is the best example of rightwing policies in action:

    Israel: A predominantly right-wing government that delights in conflict and for whose leaders conflict is business.

    Hamas/Fatah: Predominantly right-wing movements that know they will be in power for as long as the conflict lasts.

    Conclusion: Right-wing policies can easily result in perpetual and infinite wars. This conflict will go on and on and on and on and forever, until one side manages to wipe off the other side completely. Their stupid religions will fuel this conflict and the ultimate result will be genocide. It’s right there in their holy books too.

  18. Bill Buckner says

    How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel? It is hypocrisy (or self-serving rationalization) at its finest.

  19. Ed Seedhouse says

    Bill Buckner:
    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel?”

    This is logically exactly equivalent to:

    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Nazi Germany?”

    So obviously that whole second world war thingy was all a big mistake, right?

    As to hypocrisy at it’s finest, yes I think this is on display here, but not from the place you think it is.

  20. Bill Buckner says

    #26,

    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Nazi Germany?”

    Epic fail. The comparison you seek is: “How can anyone who active or passively participates in their nation’s scientific and systematic program of extermination of entire peoples based on race, religion, or sexual orientation consider they have the moral high ground from which they can criticize Nazi Germany?”

    As to hypocrisy at it’s finest, yes I think this is on display here, but not from the place you think it is.

    Yes, in fact it is exactly where I place it. What Israel has done is far more (not perfectly, but far more) analogous to what European colonization followed by enforced resettlement/segregation on reservations did to the North American natives than what Nazi Germany did to Jews, homosexuals, etc. If you are a European who owns land in North America, then the only difference between you and an Israeli settler is that you are a few generations further removed from the theft.

  21. consciousness razor says

    Bill Buckner:

    How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel? It is hypocrisy (or self-serving rationalization) at its finest.

    You’ve acted hypocritically and rationalized before. You know how. One doesn’t need “high ground” (which is just some irrelevant picture in your mind) in order to formulate a criticism. That’s basically just divine command theory, but since nobody is subject to apotheosis, what we’d be left with is a bunch of asshats like you pretending that moral thinking is impossible (but perhaps only when the criticism is about something you wished you could support, otherwise it’s plain authoritarianism).

    I didn’t invent the concept of owning land, and I don’t consider that particular feature of our society my personal responsibility. (Actually, I rent an apartment and have zero land to return to anyone, whoever that might be, if they even exist now. My landlord’s an asshole, but I guess you wouldn’t hurt to direct your asinine questions to him if you think it’s important. You definitely haven’t given a reason why I deserve to be homeless or sent somehow to multiple countries where various ancestors lived. What you’re doing instead is just bullshitting.)

    Anyway, what I can tell you is that I want to live peacefully with others in our society, no matter their religion/ancestry/etc., so that together we can make it better and fairer and so forth. I think those are moral obligations we all have to each other. We’re all human beings who are stuck living with each other and should make the best of it. If I don’t live up to that kind of standard, you should criticize me, even if you yourself have also failed in exactly the same ways. (Indeed, maybe you’ll have learned something from such mistakes and can share it with me. Are you still a fucking baby, or are familiar enough by now with phenomena like that?)

    There are no perfect countries, and in fact, that’s all it fucking it takes for there to be a valid criticism of a country like Israel or New Zealand or Denmark or Paraguay or any of the others on this planet. You could be in that very country, in some other country, sailing in international waters, in outer fucking space — anywhere at all — and give those criticisms. But how it works is that you have to think about such things and share the reasons why you think as you do, not impose your dictates from on high.

  22. raven says

    Bill Buckner the cosmically stupid troll:

    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel?”

    If you are a non-native North American, what right do you have to criticize anyone in the world for any reason?
    Including PZ and us.
    By your own dumb nonlogic, you don’t have any moral high ground to base it on.

    Even if you are in the UK or Australia the same nonlogic holds.
    The Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain and dispossessed the native Celts.
    Then later, they became the British empire and were the ones who actually invaded North America and created havoc all around the world.
    And according to you, these Original Sins attach themselves to people forever generation after generation.

  23. raven says

    Bill Buckner the cosmically stupid troll:

    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel?”

    There is so much wrong with the twisted nonlogic of the troll that it would takes pages to laugh at it.

    .1. Among many others, I/we didn’t occupy North America and push the natives onto reservations.
    I wasn’t even born 300 years ago. Neither was anyone living today.
    My European ancestors weren’t even in the USA up until quite recently.
    Original sin doesn’t exist much less attach itself to people who had nothing to do with ancient history.

    .2. Of course using Buckner’s stupid nonlogic of Original Sin being passed down forever, the Jews above all peoples have zero right to make any moral judgements about anything and everything.

    The OT bible is the charming story of how the Jews invaded Canaan, genocided the Canaanites, and stole all their stuff, animals, land, and women.
    It is a story of unrelenting atrocities and evil.
    Payback was severe as they were in turn invaded by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. And they couldn’t complain since that was exactly what they did to the Canaanites.
    According the Buckner, the Jews couldn’t even complain about the German attempted genocide that killed 6 million of them. Because they have no moral high ground after they did the same thing to the Canaanites.

    More recently, they occupied Palestine/Israel and drove the natives out so their moral high ground wouldn’t exist that way either.

    Hmmm, so who does have any moral high ground?
    Maybe the Palestinians who were the victims, not the perpetrators.

  24. Bill Buckner says

    Raven,

    Who are you quoting in #30 with the first line in your quote “Bill Buckner the cosmically stupid troll:” ? That appears nowhere prior in this thread. How sad for you if your intention was to precede the quote, and you fucked up, in a “brilliant” comment the primary intent of which was to call me stupid.

    consciousness razor

    You’ve acted hypocritically and rationalized before. You know how. One doesn’t need “high ground” (which is just some irrelevant picture in your mind) in order to formulate a criticism.

    Fair enough. However, it is generally considered good practice to acknowledge that one is guilty of a similar crime. Even a murderer might criticize another murderer, but we would expect to see a mea culpa in the preamble. Yes I’m a killer too, but still…

    A criticism of Israel, IMO, needs to be nuanced and include the acknowledgment that it is a geopolitically and culturally complex situation. Many Jews were born in Israel, and unwittingly benefitted from crimes committed by previous generations, just as in the case for me and my European ancestors. Of course that doesn’t invalidate the claims of the Palestinians (or the native Americans) but is does make the silly black/white Palestinians-good/Israel-evil approach (which is more or less always the approach of this blog, to every issue) hypocritical.

  25. imback says

    @rcs619 #21. The quote you’re probably thinking of came from Secretary of State John Kerry in December 2016, but it was qualified by whether the path is the one-state or two-state solution. Here is the quote with context:

    “They can choose to live together in one state, or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace.”

  26. Curt Sampson says

    [Israelis taking Palestinian land is similar to Europeans taking native North American land.]
    This is logically exactly equivalent to…
    [Nazi Germany.]

    Godwin’s law aside, I’m having difficulty with this one. The Lebensraum similarity I can see, but what, precisely, is the North American parallel to putting pretty much every last Jew in the areas they controlled into the death camps?

  27. Curt Sampson says

    .1. Among many others, I/we didn’t [do bad thing in America].
    I wasn’t even born 300 years ago. Neither was anyone living today.

    Man, I have so heard this exact argument from white Americans before. I’m just trying to remember where.

  28. says

    Bill Buckner:
    “How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel? It is hypocrisy (or self-serving rationalization) at its finest.”

    They can’t occupy the high ground. It is occupied by Israeli snipers murdering Palestinians.

  29. F.O. says

    “Just cause”? Fighting for Hamas and Fatah is a just cause?
    Fucking warped sensibilities on display there, Professor.

    Palestinians are fighting an invader that is literally taking the land where they lived for generations and destroying their homes.
    The fuck do you expect them to do? Dance in a circle and sing Kumbaya?

    And no, it’s not because the Palestinians are violent.
    Non-violent protest is also not good enough for Israel: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/24/european-parties-urged-agree-israel-boycott-bds-antisemitic-mep

    TL;DR: your oppressor will never approve of your ways of protesting.

  30. consciousness razor says

    How sad for you if your intention was to precede the quote, and you fucked up

    No, it’s pathetic that you focus on where the opening blockquote tag went. If you were able to say something of substance, that would have been something. But it was nothing.

    Fair enough. However, it is generally considered good practice to acknowledge that one is guilty of a similar crime.

    On what basis did you assert that someone like me is guilty of a similar crime? My ancestors came to the US about 200 years ago. I have no clue what crimes they may have committed. In any case, it doesn’t entail that I’m oppressing Native Americans — not in my personal life, not socially or politically, not at all. Your entire notion that it has something to do with hypocrisy is fucked.

    I know Jewish Israelis aren’t all on the same page, but what nuance is needed to speak about Israel the country? It is oppressing Palestinians, with the support of a large number of its citizens. You could say “geopolitically and culturally complex situation” all day long, and it would not change a fucking thing. I could name any society whatsoever, at any place or time in all of recorded history, and there would be fucking geopolitical and cultural complexity. That’s not any kind of fucking excuse, not even an attempt … which leads me to think that you may believe (but can’t/won’t admit) that there is no justification. And that would mean you know your bullshit objections are bullshit, yet you continue to bullshit at us, for no apparent reason. Do you think there is anything to gain from this?

    Of course that doesn’t invalidate the claims of the Palestinians (or the native Americans) but is does make the silly black/white Palestinians-good/Israel-evil approach (which is more or less always the approach of this blog, to every issue) hypocritical.

    1) I get the impression that you don’t understand what their claims are. If so, don’t try to tell us what does and doesn’t invalidate the claims of either group.
    2) Fallacies that involve “black and white” thinking are not an instance of hypocrisy. They’re bad reasoning.
    3) There is nothing which is more or less always the approach of this blog, to every issue, other than being written in English.
    4) I should give a more nuanced statement. Geopolitical and cultural complexity. Oh, but I should’ve scolded somebody first…. I’ll come back in.

  31. Porivil Sorrens says

    “If you rent an apartment in the US and criticize Israeli snipers blowing the heads off middle-schoolers, you’re a hypocrite.” is probably the hottest smooth-brain take I’ve seen in a while.

  32. Bill Buckner says

    On what basis did you assert that someone like me is guilty of a similar crime? My ancestors came to the US about 200 years ago. I have no clue what crimes they may have committed.

    That sounded better in the original Alabama drawl.

    In any case, it doesn’t entail that I’m oppressing Native Americans — not in my personal life, not socially or politically, not at all. Your entire notion that it has something to do with hypocrisy is fucked.

    No it isn’t fucked, in fact it is clear cut and unambiguous. If you occupy any land in the US you are a hypocrite for criticizing the Israelis for committing the same offense. Or at least, as I modified earlier, you should acknowledge that your legal standing for that square footage is no stronger than that of an Israeli for the land of Palestine. You can at least admit a component of Pot-Kettle-Black.

    I get the impression that you don’t understand what their claims are.

    Well, your impressions are important! And you are right–I have been living under a rock for the last 40 years so I have no idea what the claims of the Palestinians are. Based on the picture, which was my first foray into the problems of the middle east (who knew?) it appeared to me they are disputing a lack of appropriate apparel.

    Fallacies that involve “black and white” thinking are not an instance of hypocrisy. They’re bad reasoning.

    If you prefer the criticism of the OP that it is an example of bad reasoning, I won’t argue the point.

  33. consciousness razor says

    That sounded better in the original Alabama drawl.

    Well, it’s official. You’re a dumbass.

    If you occupy any land in the US you are a hypocrite for criticizing the Israelis for committing the same offense.

    Who the fuck says I criticize Israelis for occupying land? This is not one of the many problems with what they are doing to Palestinians. If you had been paying any attention at all for the last 40 years or so, you would have some kind of fucking clue, but you don’t.

    Of course they’re a different group, but none of the Native Americans I’ve ever known are claiming the rest of us should just leave … no matter how you think a preposterous thing like that is even supposed to work. That’s not what they’re on about. We have to treat each other fairly and respect one another’s rights. This country is definitely not good at that, but I do my best.

    The situation in Israeli is without a doubt a complete failure, but it seems to be totally beyond your comprehension that there are many, many things that are genuinely concerning, none of which are resolved in any way by thinking about which “types” of people live in a certain area and which don’t.

    If you prefer the criticism of the OP that it is an example of bad reasoning, I won’t argue the point.

    No, we should argue the point that you keep saying incredibly stupid shit and won’t acknowledge it.

  34. jazzlet says

    Bill Buckner @ several
    So you are arguing “Let he who is with out sin cast the first stone”, OK.

    I say that I know I’m not perfect, I know I never will be, but using snipers to shoot people who are protesting your occupation of their land by throwing stones even in a sling is just wrong, regardless of what I have done wrong. It doesn’t matter what you can find that I have done, that’s attacking the debater otherwise known as ad hominem, and doesn’t affect the validity of the point so your jibes at all white Americans are irrelevant.

    Now do you think that using snipers to shoot sling shoters is justified?

  35. vucodlak says

    @ Bill Buckner, #24

    How can any non-native North American, who has not returned their land to whatever native nation that once occupied it, consider that they have any moral high ground from which they can criticize Israel?

    Oh, that’s easy.

    First: I criticize my own country (the United States, just so we’re clear) a lot more often, and even more harshly, than I criticize Israel. I’m pretty thoroughly disgusted with the US’s history and the US’s present. I advocate for better, and I try to vote for better, though that last isn’t always an option. I can hold two thoughts in my head at once, and my heart holds enough hatred for every tyrant.

    Second: my critiques of Israel tend to revolve around their military’s tendency to blow up civilians and otherwise murder Palestinian civilians. I don’t believe it’s feasible for Israel to simply give back Palestinian lands- the state should never have been created in the first place, but it’s been there for too long now to make asking Jewish people to just pick up and get out an acceptable option. There will have to be a compromise, but in the meantime the IDF really needs to stop blowing up civilians.

    Third: it’s pretty easy to have the moral high ground over those who bomb playgrounds and schools (this goes for the leadership and military of my own country as well). I don’t bomb, and have never bombed, anyone. I don’t, as a general rule, support bombing people. Or cutting off vital aid relief. I mean, it’s trivially true that I am a very bad person, but that’s not all that relevant to this topic.

    Lastly: I don’t have any land, and I have next to no power to influence those who do.

  36. dorfl says

    As a non-american, I hereby repeat all the criticisms of Israel that have been made or will be made by Americans in this comment thread. By Bill Buckner’s reasoning, those criticisms have now been made from moral high ground, and we can now discuss their validity without any stupid meta-discussion about who is allowed to criticise Israel.

  37. Curt Sampson says

    ….my critiques of Israel tend to revolve around their military’s tendency to blow up civilians and otherwise murder Palestinian civilians. I don’t believe it’s feasible for Israel to simply give back Palestinian lands- the state should never have been created in the first place, but it’s been there for too long now to make asking Jewish people to just pick up and get out an acceptable option. There will have to be a compromise, but in the meantime the IDF really needs to stop blowing up civilians.

    That’s all fair enough. And there’s more. Particularly egregious is the expansion of the settlements: it’s unfair, destabilizing and basically just Stirring Up Shit. There is no good reason for doing that and everybody (except certain right-wing Israeli assholes) would be a lot better off if they started rolling that back.

    All that said, a substantial number of people who claim to represent the Palestinians are stirring up a fair amount of shit themselves and regularly get busy killing directly targeting and killing civilians. The IDF much of the time shows admirable restraint in dealing with them. If you’re going to go looking for crimes against civilians you’ll find them on both sides, as in almost any war or war-like situation, but I think it’s pretty clear that Hamas and others of that ilk are the nastier ones here.

    And while the photograph leading this blog entry has a lot of artistic merit, someone aiming a lethal weapon at others is never something to be celebrated. (Yes, that rock can indeed easily kill someone, even if it’s not as likely to as a hail of bullets from a rifle. That may be old technology, but killing is still its primary design purpose.)

    As far as getting their land back, at this point the Palestinians are fairly well screwed and they (or at least their leaders) can take a good share of the blame for all the violence and pain. We of course can’t be 100% certain that if they stopped importing munitions into Gaza and using it as a platform to launch military and terrorist operations against Israel that that the Israelis would stop blockading and bombing the place, but hey, maybe worth a try?

  38. unclefrogy says

    what do you call a country who has by definition a subgroup of their population who are denied full political participation in the affairs of that country and how it is run and are denied their other civil rights?
    uncle frogy

  39. forodrim says

    Can we stop glamorizing and fetishizing violence and nationalism, regardless from which side?

    And how is this picture “the aesthetic high ground”? It is a prime example of totalitarian propaganda aesthetic. You just need to look at Soviet Russia or old German propaganda posters to find very similar pictures with the same pictorial language.

  40. says

    True forodrim but Palestinians are not transporting people to extermination camps or to gulags. You have to go to the other side of the illegitimate border to see war criminals doing that sort of thing.

  41. KG says

    I think it’s pretty clear that Hamas and others of that ilk are the nastier ones here. – Curt Sampson@46

    I suggest you take a look at the number of civilians killed by the IDF, and the number killed by Hamas. Relative nastiness is inevitably a subjective judgement, body count much less so.

    As for Bill Buckner’s vapourings, they amount to an implicit admission that there is no credible defence or excuse for Israeli policies or actions, so its defenders’ only recourse is dishonest attempts at distraction.

  42. alixmo says

    Playing the (useless) blame-game for the sake of it: Let`s blame Germany. Zionism would have been a marginal movement without the holocaust. Germany clearly suffered in the war (which they caused) and (for a while) afterwards. But then the “Wirtschaftswunder” (economic miracle) happened. They are still rich now, very much so (of cause, the average German just has a decent, normal life, but compared with the rest of the world, they have it pretty, pretty good).

    After the war, moving to Israel was the dream of most surviving European Jews. Having the wish for a “Jewish state” clearly was the result of being “stateless” and vulnerable.

    This is no excuse for the bloody deeds of Israel. But sometimes I think Germany got away with too much. And did not “suffer” for it. Instead, the Middle East does. And Israel gets the full blame; nobody mentions the Germans causing the existence of the country.

    That seems not fair, but life, the world, does not know the principle of “fairness”…
    I am German, by the way.

  43. Curt Sampson says

    I suggest you take a look at the number of civilians killed by the IDF, and the number killed by Hamas. Relative nastiness is inevitably a subjective judgement, body count much less so.

    The count of bodies themselves can be fairly objective, but assigning blame for the deaths is quite a different matter. And while one can argue the proportion of blame between the IDF and Hamas for incidents where the IDF is attacking munitions stores and firing sites within civilian areas (since that involves war crimes on both sides), I think it’s much more clear where the blame should be assigned when a Hamas-launched rocket falls within the Gaza strip and kills Palestinians, or Hamas just shoots the civilians themselves.

    If you’ve got source of figures that take this sort of thing into account, I’d be happy to read them and the accompanying analysis.

  44. says

    unclefrogy @47

    what do you call a country who has by definition a subgroup of their population who are denied full political participation in the affairs of that country and how it is run and are denied their other civil rights

    America.

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