Privacy for me but not for thee


Some members of congress are incensed by a story in the Wall Street Journal that said that the USA had monitored the communications of the Israeli government and its prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and those members of the US Congress that Israeli officials were speaking to during the negotiations between the US and Iran, in order to find out what they knew about the discussions and what they were doing to derail the deal.

Glenn Greenwald says that this is yet another example, if we needed one, of how the very same people who mocked those who raised privacy concerns over the NSA’s actions are the ones who get most outraged when they discover that they and their friends have been targeted.

In January 2014, I debated Rep. Hoekstra about NSA spying and he could not have been more mocking and dismissive of the privacy concerns I was invoking. “Spying is a matter of fact,” he scoffed. As Andrew Krietz, the journalist who covered that debate, reported, Hoekstra “laughs at foreign governments who are shocked they’ve been spied on because they, too, gather information” — referring to anger from German and Brazilian leaders. As TechDirt noted, “Hoekstra attacked a bill called the RESTORE Act, that would have granted a tiny bit more oversight over situations where (you guessed it) the NSA was collecting information on Americans.”

But all that, of course, was before Hoekstra knew that he and his Israeli friends were swept up in the spying of which he was so fond. Now that he knows that it is his privacy and those of his comrades that has been invaded, he is no longer cavalier about it. In fact, he’s so furious that this long-time NSA cheerleader is actually calling for the criminal prosecution of the NSA and Obama officials for the crime of spying on him and his friends.

So now, with yesterday’s WSJ report, we witness the tawdry spectacle of large numbers of people who for years were fine with, responsible for, and even giddy about NSA mass surveillance suddenly objecting. Now they’ve learned that they themselves, or the officials of the foreign country they most love, have been caught up in this surveillance dragnet, and they can hardly contain their indignation. Overnight, privacy is of the highest value because now it’s their privacy, rather than just yours, that is invaded.

Whatever one’s views on that might be — i.e., even if you’re someone who is convinced that there’s nothing wrong with the NSA eavesdropping on the private communications even of American citizens, even members of Congress, without warrants — this sudden, self-interested embrace of the value of privacy should be revolting indeed. Warrantless eavesdropping on people who have done nothing wrong — the largest system of suspicionless mass surveillance ever created — is inherently abusive and unjustified, and one shouldn’t need a report that this was done to the Benjamin Netanyahus and Pete Hoekstras of the world to realize that.

As another example, Marco Rubio, one of the most stalwart defenders of NSA spying, is also suddenly outraged that Israeli leaders were spied upon. Rubio has been making a big play to be the main beneficiary of Sheldon Adelson’s largesse and win the favor of the Israel lobby and, given that those two entities’ pet cause is hardline right-wing Israeli politics, his reversal is easily understood. Rubio has already got the support of billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, another oligarch whose main interest is promoting Israel’s interests.

Hypocrisy on government intrusions on our privacy and devotion to Israel’s interests are bipartisan affairs. Greenwald also recalls previous cases involving Democrats Jane Harman and Diane Feinstein who also did an abrupt about-face when they discovered that their own communications were being monitored. All these people are perfectly fine with, even cheer, when the communications of everyday people are swept up without warrants or cause but they are outraged when their own or that of Israel becomes part of the dragnet.

These people truly see themselves as an entitled class.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m sure the founders of the United States were careless when they accidentally left out pledging fealty to Israel when they drafted the constitution.

    Disclaimer for the usual lot: It’s possible to be critical of Israel and the devotion demanded of it by the right wing not just in the US but other countries too without being anti-Semitic.

  2. says

    I was very disappointed in Edward Snowden’t strategy. From the beginning, he appeared to be being coached by someone who was feeding him anarchist philosophical tropes. But then it .. trailed off into the weeds.

    What I was hoping he had in mind was to trap the oligarchy in its own lies. To start off with throwing down some of the NSA’s powerpoints and let the police state say “it’s just metadata!” then demonstrate that that was lies by throwing down some more captures including payload(*) That would have caused problems for the surveillance state. But then I was hoping Snowden would throw down the dossiers of a number of prominent individuals: a few hollywood bigwigs, one of the Koch brothers, a federal DA, a supreme court justice , and a couple congresspeople who serve on the senate intelligence committee. Because you KNOW that if the oligarchs were forced to confront the fact that their apparatus spies on them, too, there would be gigantic diarrheal shit-squirting spasms of rage, “How DARE you do this to ME!”

    That would have been the way to cause change. Although the change would have probably been in the form of an omnibus surveillance reform that banned the government from surveilling the 1%.

    (* I have written about this elsewhere. The NSA defines “data” as “metadata” so they can, uh, lie. If you think for .03 seconds you’ll realize that a system that only captured metadata would be useful in wartime but not in surveillance. To be useful for surveillance you have to have the actual data captured somewhere, so that if the analysis of the metadata leads you to something interesting, the underlying data is available. NSA has redefined “look at” as meaning “human eyeballs look at it and think about it.”)

  3. says

    I’m sure the founders of the United States were careless when they accidentally left out pledging fealty to Israel when they drafted the constitution.

    Well, in fairness, the European world (*) didn’t realize it had a problem with anti-semitism until the Germans, Austrians, and Russians rubbed it it everyone’s faces. So Europe decided to export its problem to the Middle East. You’ve got to admit it beats the hell (for Germany, France, and Russia) out of trying to come up with some kind of reasonable and fair approach to dealing with their anti-semitism. It works for everyone except the Palestinians, which is why Europe’s colony in the Middle East continues: it’s so convenient.

    In case you read the preceeding and thought “Marcus is being ridiculous!” No, I’m not. Israel is basically the Liberia “hey send ’em back to Africa” racist trope the US tried to pull in the 1840s.

    (* at that time that included the US)

  4. says

    These people truly see themselves as an entitled class.

    They are. They don’t deserve it, but the whole system of self-perpetuating wealth is designed to build and preserve such entitlement. They feel that way because it’s in the rules.

    If you want some perspective on this, imagine a “Monopoly” game in which all the players but one complained that the rules of the game were unfair. “So what?” says the person who’s winning, “That’s how the game is played!” It turns out 5 years into the game that the person who’s winning was able to adjust the rules because they owned stock in the publisher that produced the game.

  5. says

    Dang it, Marcus, now I want to make a realistic Monopoly variant where whoever starts to pull ahead can change the rules to make it increasingly more difficult for anyone else to even have a chance.

  6. says

    @Tabby #5:
    “Chutes and ‘pull up the ladder'”

    You land on Community Chest and play the Piketty card: “everyone with over $1000 in their pile has to laugh loudly. Then gameplay resumes.”

  7. StevoR says

    @1. Tabby Lavalamp : “Disclaimer for the usual lot: It’s possible to be critical of Israel and the devotion demanded of it by the right wing not just in the US but other countries too without being anti-Semitic.”

    Emphasis added on the possible there but it often isn’t the case seeing as a lot of anti-Semites do cover their ugly anti-Semitism with we’re just criticising Israel and hearing on and supporting its enemies and ignoring the Jewish people’s legitimate human rights and case to exist in peace in a region that has always been theirs as well.

    It also possible and indeed most likely that much of the excessive criticism of Israel for defending its land and its civilians from attack is deeply unfair and motivated by conscious or sub-conscious anti-Semism which the Arab world and its advocates here are steeped in and associate with when the decry Israel fighting the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and taking reasonable and effective measures such as the separation barrier to protect Isrealiand jewish lives.

    @3. Marcus Ranum : So Europe decided to export its problem to the Middle East. “

    Your ignorance of Israel’s founding is staggering and should disqualify you from making any further comments here. The Jewish people led by Theodore Herzl ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl ) made their own decisions here and voted with their feet and lives as well as words. Guess you’ve never seen or read Mary Ann Evans’ (George Eliot’s) <iDaniel Deronda just as you’ve never seriously and sympathetically looked at the Israeli side of this issue and the historical facts of the case here.

    You’ve got to admit it beats the hell (for Germany, France, and Russia) out of trying to come up with some kind of reasonable and fair approach to dealing with their anti-semitism.

    Don’t forget the anti-Semitism of the United States and of the Arab world and of almost every non-Jewish country on the globe really. Y’know what, geez, the world could really desperately do with one nation where anti-Semitism isn’t prevalent couldn’t it? A nation where, say, Jews get to be Jews and run their lives as they please without being hated and killed for it? A land of their own which they have inarguable cultural and historical links to? Funny, there should be such a land somewhere , shouldn’t there, now, if only I could think where that country was?

    Oh yeah, that Jewish country where Jews get to live and exist in peace as Jews really exists and its called Israel and is there for that very purpose! Saying you want Israel to go away and vanish from existence is like saying you want anti-Semitism to win everywhere and Jewish people to be facing anti-semitism everywhere too.

    It works for everyone except the Palestinians, which is why Europe’s colony in the Middle East continues: it’s so convenient.

    Israel is NOT a colony but a nation – basic factual FAIL on your part once again revealing your complete ignorance here.

    Also and as above the Palestinians problems stem from mainly their own actions such as constantly rejecting peace,turning down the most generous offers of states of their own and turning to violence and terrorism in an attempt to commit genocide and also from the actions of the Islamic world which has – for its own cruel and warped political ends – encouraged, supported and armed the most extreme, violent and horrific Jihadists funding and creating and using as proxies groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad ad nauseam.

    Additionally the Arab world which could and should have easily absorbed their Arab refugees and resettled them in their own nations – from which incidentally most of them really came. (Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt, for instance and pre- WWII most Arabs in the region considered themselves “South Syrians” or simply Arab and little else besides tribal.) Note the contrast to how Jewish refugees from all the Arab lands that expelled Jewish populations after Israel’s creation and survival of several attempted genocides have all been resettled peacefully in Israel without needing to y’know fire rockets and use bombs, guns, knives etc ..on innocent people in support of a supposed political goal – their own state – that when offered they have repeatedly turned down. The Palestinians – who already have Jordan and Gaza as their own lands to rule – and hasn’t the latter especially worked out well for everyone – are the most to blame for their own plight.

    (Protip for the Palestinians here : Don’t keep firing rockets and cut the terrorism and brainwashing your kids into lives of hatred and nothing more and negotiate in good faith being willing to compromise and settle for less than 100% of your ambit claim and things will get better for you. If you truly support the Palestinian cause that should be what you argue for and encourage them to do although likely any Palestinain leader who tries that course will be murdered by their own extremists just as Anwar Sadat was.)

    In case you read the preceeding and thought “Marcus is being ridiculous!” No, I’m not. Israel is basically the Liberia “hey send ’em back to Africa” racist trope the US tried to pull in the 1840s.

    Yes Marcus you are being ridiculous you are just too one sided and willfully ignorant of the Israeli story and people and case to see it. Read and listen to the Jewish and Israeli perspectives here and reconsider your current Israel-bashing and remedy your own evident ignorance here please.

    (In case you’re wondering and before you say it, yeah, I’ve read and listened to the Palestinian and Arab side here as well and there was a time now many years ago that I thought and argued much as you did or even worse. I’ve changed, you and others can too.)

  8. StevoR says

    @ ^ Typo fix ‘Daniel Deronda’ meant to be in italics – see :

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

    The idea that it was the wish of the European imperialists and more than the desire and creation of the Jewish people themselves is false and is itself rather anti-Semitic in denying the agency, independence and wishes of the Jewish women, children and men who founded the Jewish nation of Israel.

  9. Silentbob says

    @ 8 StevoR

    … the agency, independence and wishes of the Jewish women, children and men who founded the Jewish nation of Israel ruthlessly drove 700,000 Palestinians out of their own country in a vicious land grab.

    FTFY.

  10. sonofrojblake says

    the world could really desperately do with one nation where anti-Semitism isn’t prevalent couldn’t it? A nation where, say, Jews get to be Jews and run their lives as they please

    Yes, it could. And it’s been tried. How’s that working out?

    (In 1982 the British satirical TV show “Not the Nine O’Clock News” published a book/calendar called “Not 1982”. There were jokes for each day, some of them running jokes. One of the running jokes was “Ten Years Ago Today It Was Still Possible To…”, followed by amusing lines like “bribe a policeman for a pound” (hahaha, inflation exists). Another line I remember from that running gag was “Ten Years Ago Today It Was Still Possible To: admit the Israelis had a point”. I didn’t get the joke at the time (I was quite young). I get it now.)

  11. Holms says

    Israel’s attack mouse to the rescue! The usual run-on mess of mixed points ensues, but let me give a terse reply to the fails and outright dishonesties individually:

    Emphasis added on the possible there but it often isn’t the case seeing as a lot of anti-Semites do cover their ugly anti-Semitism with we’re just criticising Israel and hearing on and supporting its enemies and ignoring the Jewish people’s legitimate human rights and case to exist in peace in a region that has always been theirs as well.

    – You need to actually make the case that a criticism of Israel is bigoted, rather than simply asserting that it is so.
    – You know very well that no one here has stated or implied that jews don’t have the right to live. To insinuate that we have ever done so is dishonesty.
    – One of the major reasons Israel does not currently live in peace was the manner in which it was founded. This is in the past and so impossible to undo, but another major reason for said lack of peace is Israel’s belligerence. That does not make attacks against Israel legal, but the motivation for Palestinians to scratch at the boot at their throat is understandable.

    It also possible and indeed most likely that much of the excessive criticism of Israel for defending its land and its civilians from attack is deeply unfair and motivated by conscious or sub-conscious anti-Semism which the Arab world and its advocates here are steeped in and associate with when the decry Israel fighting the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and taking reasonable and effective measures such as the separation barrier to protect Isrealiand jewish lives.

    – The concept of Israel defending its own land is ironic, given that Israel is currently engaged in carving out more land for itself at the expense the preexisting peoples, and has been doing so since its founding.
    – ‘Reasonable and effective measures [of self defense]’ like sabotaging the water table under Gaza along with war damage to their water purification facilities resulting in:
    “The Coastal Aquifer is the only source of water in the Gaza strip. It runs beneath the coast of Israel, with Gaza downstream at the end of the basin. With the water flows underground mainly east-west, however, Palestinian extractions from the aquifer have no effect on the Israeli side. Israel, on the contrary, has installed a cordon of numerous deep wells along the Gaza border and in this way extracts much of the groundwater before it can reach Gaza. Israel sells a limited part of the water to the Palestinians in Gaza. While Israel transports water from the north of its territory to the south, the Palestinians are not allowed to move water from the West Bank to Gaza. This is a reason why this aquifer is heavily over-exploited, resulting in seawater intrusion. The aquifer is polluted by salt as well as nitrate from wastewater infiltration and fertilizers. Only 5-10% of the aquifer yields drinking water quality. By 2000, the water from the Coastal Aquifer in the Gaza region was considered no longer drinkable due to high salinity from the sea water intrusion and high nitrate pollution from agricultural activity.

    Pursuant Oslo II (Annex III, Article 40.7), Israel committed itself to sell 5 mcm/year to the Gaza Strip. This was not fulfilled. Gaza is not able to supply itself and has to either import water, or produce drinkwater by means of desalination plants.”

    Don’t forget the anti-Semitism of the United States and of the Arab world and of almost every non-Jewish country on the globe really. Y’know what, geez, the world could really desperately do with one nation where anti-Semitism isn’t prevalent couldn’t it? A nation where, say, Jews get to be Jews and run their lives as they please without being hated and killed for it? A land of their own which they have inarguable cultural and historical links to? Funny, there should be such a land somewhere , shouldn’t there, now, if only I could think where that country was?

    – “…the anti-semitism of the United States…” stands out glaringly. Are you aware that USA is Israel’s staunchest ally by far?
    – Yeah the world could use a nation without bigotry of any kind. Israel may not have the anti-semitic flavour, but that’s because they simply replaced it with anti-muslim bigotry.
    – That aside, other people wronging Jews in no way grants them freedom to wrong someone else in turn. You know this, but you bring it up anyway because you are utterly dishonest when it comes to excusing Israeli atrocities.
    – And no, there is no requirement for there to be a jewish nation at all, nor any other religion for that matter. You know this as well, which is why you don’t bemoan the lack of a similar ‘safe harbour’ nation for other religions that don’t have one, such as Wicca.
    – And even if you do support the idea of each religion having a home nation, where does the land come from? Carving it out from other nations is theft of land, pure and simple.
    – Israel, and all nations in fact, would be better off with no official religion at all, and equal rights for all ethnicities. Guess whether Israel has those? Of course not. It is de facto Jewish despite being officially secular, and grants reduced rights to its arabic citizens.

    Israel is NOT a colony but a nation – basic factual FAIL on your part once again revealing your complete ignorance here.

    – Israel is a colonial nation in that it was an influx of people settling on top of, against the wishes of, and displacing, the preexisting inhabitants of the land. Exactly like Australia, the nation you live in.
    – Idiot.

    Jesus christ, after wasting something like an hour on this, what was I thinking? The man has already demonstrated his refusal to deal in this topic honestly, I know for a fact his response will just be the same points that get refuted every single fucking time, fuck it. StevoR, I continue to be embarassed to be living near you.

  12. says

    Saying you want Israel to go away and vanish from existence is like saying you want anti-Semitism to win everywhere and Jewish people to be facing anti-semitism everywhere too.

    Hey, stupid? Hate and racism (anti-semitism is a subset) does not have a conservation law. The way to deal with anti-semitism is not to shuffle jews around the planet – whether it’s done by their displacing palestinians or putting them in boxcars.

    And yes it’s bizzare to pick apart why some US evangelicals want Israel so they can bring about god’s eradication of the jews and everyone else.

    Your problem is that you presuppose that nations should be founded on ethnic legends and religion. Show your work?

  13. says

    Me@12: the way to deal with anti-semitism would have been to change French, Russian, Polish, German, etc motherfucking culture to stop being so fucking anti-semitic. Instead it’s been: “now y’all are someone else’s problem lol” the ‘solution’ of no solution to a problem that’s in Europeans’ minds.

  14. says

    Emphasis added on the possible there but it often isn’t the case seeing as a lot of anti-Semites do cover their ugly anti-Semitism with we’re just criticising Israel and hearing on and supporting its enemies and ignoring the Jewish people’s legitimate human rights and case to exist in peace in a region that has always been theirs as well.

    Speaking of adding emphasis, always been theirs? That would have been a surprise to a lot of people pre-1947, and is a surprise to the people currently losing their homes to the “settlers”. I am in favour of Israel existing within it’s pre-expansion borders. What’s done has been done (and I say that as a Canadian of European descent). But the “settlements” are one of the biggest issues right now and trying to brush it off with “It also possible and indeed most likely that much of the excessive criticism of Israel for defending its land and its civilians from attack is deeply unfair and motivated by conscious or sub-conscious anti-Semism” is pure, unadulterated bullcrap.

  15. doublereed says

    Minor point: there’s plenty of anti-semitism in America regardless of whether America is Israel’s staunchest ally.

    Relating the two makes all sorts of bizarre assumptions about Jews, Israel, and Anti-Semitism.

  16. StevoR says

    Tried posting this and wouldn’t post for some reason -take II w/o links :

    ***
    @ 16. doublereed : Correct and there’s anti-Semtism from a lot of Leftwing Americans who would be overjoyed to see the Jewish nation thrown to the wolves as well as religious right bigots who are supporting Israel’s existence only for their bizarre end times beliefs.

    @15. Tabby Lavalamp : Its not really “bullcrap at all as a bit” of basic research would quickly show you. One good starting place for you here :

    Simon Wiesenthal Center

    Also were Israel (& Judea & Samaria) “always” Jewish? Yeah, well perhaps not technically if we go back to the Jurassic but really yes pretty much since human history began given the Israelis are the direct descendants of the Hebrew peoples who founded the Davidic kingdom etc ..and certainly way longer than the Arabs and Islamists who can trace their ancestry as an identity back to about the mid 1960’s when the Arabs realised they weren’t going to exterminate the Israelis as quickly and completely brutally as they first expected. A realisation which the Arab side calls “The Catastrophe”(al Nakbah) whereas decent humans would say thank FSM the Israelis survived!

    I am in favour of Israel existing within it’s pre-expansion borders.

    If you mean the pre-1967 boundaries there are very good reasons shown and explained well here :

    ”Outstanding Explanation: Why Israel can’t withdraw to its pre ’67 borders line’ youtube clip.)

    Why that is another bit of Israel -bashing and not at all reasonable. Pretty sure I’ve shared that here before and never got any actual rebuttal of the points raised there.

    Note here too that I do support the rights of Palestinians and Arabs to live in peace as well but they can’t do this despite what any of us wish for whilst they are ruled by the likes of Hamas with its tyrannical, evil oppression and the sort of brain-washing that almost every Palestinian child is put through – see :

    arabisraeliconflict (dot) info / arab-israel-facts / fact8-palestinian-children

    I support a peaceful negotiated settlement of the Palestinian issue with all human lives being respected – but its very hard to see how this can happen until one side stops being determined to exterminate the other and starts accepting the humanity of Israeli and Jewish lives.

    I’ll also add that I don’t think Israel is always perfect and it has certainly gone too far and done some things wrong too and also has its extremists causing some issues but its far less of a monster than it has been demonised as. Give peace and Israel a chance!

    @14. Marcus Ranum : “Where can I get one of these pieces of paper that apparently makes me qualified to talk about the founding of Israel? One like yours.”

    Start by doing your research with both eyes open and looking at the merits and history and facts that the Israeli side presents instead of just relying on the propaganda its enemies wrongly spew about it. Take your time and do your research seriously.

  17. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    ”Outstanding Explanation: Why Israel can’t withdraw to its pre ’67 borders line’ youtube clip.

    Why that is another bit of Israel -bashing and not at all reasonable.

    Two words: occupied territories

  18. John Morales says

    PS, StevoR:

    @14. Marcus Ranum : “Where can I get one of these pieces of paper that apparently makes me qualified to talk about the founding of Israel? One like yours.”
    Start by doing your research with both eyes open and looking at the merits and history and facts that the Israeli side presents instead of just relying on the propaganda its enemies wrongly spew about it. Take your time and do your research seriously.

    What, are you then going to post him that bit of paper?

    Marcus was quipping.

    (Besides, your erudition is there for all to see, you hardly need to spruik it)

  19. John Morales says

    PPS

    Also were Israel (& Judea & Samaria) “always” Jewish? Yeah, well perhaps not technically if we go back to the Jurassic but really yes pretty much since human history began given the Israelis are the direct descendants of the Hebrew peoples who founded the Davidic kingdom etc ..

    I suppose so… if one holds that human history began around 500BCE.

    and certainly way longer than the Arabs and Islamists who can trace their ancestry as an identity back to about the mid 1960’s when the Arabs realised they weren’t going to exterminate the Israelis as quickly and completely brutally as they first expected.

    Such a naked appeal to antiquity!

  20. StevoR says

    Reading suggestions for you – Marcus Ranum (& anyone else who’s interested)

    1) ‘Rabin : Our Life, His Legacy’ by Leah Rabin G.P.Putnam’s sons ,1997. (Golda Meir’s My Life Golda Meir, Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, 1975 whilst a bit out of date is among other biographies of Israeli leaders that y’all can benefit from reading and appreciating.)

    2)’The Controversy of Zion’ by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Addison-Wesley, 1996.

    3) ‘The Case for Israel’ by Alan Dershowitz, John Wiley & sons, 2003.

    Among plenty of other possibilities and options.

    Online suggestions (as well as links noted in #18) :

    I) ‘The stand for Israel’ website with its ‘About Israel’ section especially.

    II) Danny Ayalon ‘s youtube clips ‘The Truth About the Balance of Power in the Middle East’ &‘Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the Peace Process” plus ‘The Truth About the Refugees: Israel Palestinian Conflict’ among others. (There was an attempted Palestinian rebuttal to one of Ayalon’s clips which failed very badly indeed as this clip ‘The ACTUAL Truth About Palestine (Slower Titles)’ by jbrothersblog proves.)

    III) The Young Turks – a very progressive and excellent left wing pro-Muslim non-Israeli source that Mano Singham has used before on the latest outbreak of the ongoing Arab-Israeli wars started by Hamas as explained here “Hamas Kidnapped & Killed Israeli Teens, Proving Devastating Stupidity” and on their general warped idiocy.

    (I’d post the links but ..seems I can’t post links here now?)

  21. StevoR says

    @John Morales (19, 20, 21) : “Two words: occupied territories”

    Actually the correct word is ‘disputed’ – NOT occupied.

    See youtube : ‘Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank’ by DannyAyalon.

    “What, are you then going to post him that bit of paper?

    Apart from anything else I haven’t got his address nor do I think he’d appreciate it if I did. If Marcus Ranum (or anyone else here yourself included) genuinely wanted and earnt my approval by opening both of his eyes instead of being completely one-eyed against Israel here then I’d be happy to give him respect and credit if its ever due.

    I suppose so… if one holds that human history began around 500BCE.

    Huh That’s quite a non-sequiteur there. The fact that the Jewish people were one of the oldest cultures to develop in human history and especially one of the oldest surviving ones is hardly in doubt. Yeah, there were also Summerians etc . but Mohammad and the dark age Arab conquest of much of SW Asia came many thousands years after the Kingdoms of David, Solomon and even the Maccabees. Chian and India perhaps can claim equally ancient and long histories. Few other cultures can though.

    Such a naked appeal to antiquity!”

    Or call it accurately priority or historical fact, its true anyhow. The Jewish people were there first, they have prior claim and a very legitimate claim. You seriously arguing otherwise?

  22. StevoR says

    Israel .. nation of eight million individual people albeit one of the smallest nations land-wise in the region.

    Most democratic and representative and free nation in its local region.

    (Including giving Knesset ( equiv. Parliament / Congress) seats to Arab Israelis who hate it as well as, oh yeah, those Arab Israelis also have the right to vote and more. Despite that hatred and regular Jihadist violence of theirs. With all those knife and car and (formerly) bomb attacks you all know happen every day and would happen more often still if those hateful Arabs got their way.)

    Most scientifically advanced and best educated and most progressive nation in the region. Also a nation that shares its scientific advances and progress with the USA and world generally.

    Nation with the best human rights record and history of equality for all its citizens in its region. (Fact : Despite the equine excrement you may have heard otherwise form such notable human rights champions as Syria and Hamas and Saudi Arabia.)

    This is really the nation so many of you want wiped off the map and keep targeting so disproportionately and unfairly because you’d rather stand with Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad is it?

    Is it?

    If some of you got what clearly seems to be your wishes and Israel died?

    How happy would you really be to watch the unfolding carnage and destruction, bloodshed, grief and loss to us all as another genocide of the Jewish people took place? To watch Israeli children and men and women brutally butchered as the Arabs would dearly love to do and have repeatedly constantly blatantly said they wish to do?

    Is that really what you want? Do you really not see its what the Arab side keep aiming for & what they’d do in an eyeblink given the opportunity? Don’t you see the depth of the horrific Arab hatred and its unreason and savage brutality for what it is? Do you really think the world would be better off with more agony and destruction of Jewish human individuals en masse and a new Shoah in 2016 to replace the one that ended in 1946?

    Do you really rate Jewish and Israeli lives that much lower than Arab ones?

    Shame on y’all for even imagining for a milli-second that Israel deserves anything other than a peaceful existence free of terrorism and hatred and bigotry and unfair treatment and excessive malign focus from so many globe`wide.

    Israelis are humans and good ones too.

    You may hate me for saying so but its true and I’ve learnt that so why can’t you?

    I’ve changed my mind & become pro-Israel based on learning the true facts here so why can’t you? What more do y’all really need to know & grok before you get it?

  23. says

    Start by doing your research with both eyes open and looking at the merits and history and facts that the Israeli side presents instead of just relying on the propaganda its enemies wrongly spew about it. Take your time and do your research seriously.

    See, I like how you presuppose that – because I disagree with you – I must be ignorant and wrong. And therefore I must not have put any effort into studying my history. If I cared about your opinion of me, I suppose I’d have hurt feelings or something.

    For one thing, you’re a fucking idiot for assuming that I haven’t studied enough of the history of the area. Admittedly, it’s history that largely shows the jews as being more or less insignificant nonentities until late in the 19th century. They’re barely a blip to the romans, who – in every possible sense – matter more to the early history of the region. They’re barely a blip to the egyptians, who definitely mattered more. Sure, they have a book that claims to be divinely inspired that ratifies that they conquered a piece of land and makes some crazy allegations about flight out of egypt and a whole load of crap that has utterly failed to pan out (unless you call observing that egypt was a power “validation”) It appears that the inhabitants of judea actually probably never migrated there from captivity in egypt, and are probably just local tribes; the legend about god giving them title to the land is just a legend. Have I got that about right?

    Stepping aside from holy books, we can talk about right of conquest. That region has been conquered by every-fucking-body except the french and the spanish. Various conquerors include: babylonians, persians, macedonians, romans, crusaders, and that’s just off the top of my head (I probably forgot someone) – every one of which conquerors was more significant and held the land longer than the jews. In terms of right of conquest, the persians hold a stronger claim to the land than anyone else, I’d say. You can’t wag a stick around the middle east without encountering the remains of some great empire that owned judea at some point or other. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the mongols. The fucking mongols have a stronger claim by right of conquest than the current occupants of the area called Israel; they actually conquered the heck out of the place, and – like every other great empire who took that land – held it under colonial administration for a good long time.

    Yeah, that’s a foreshortened history, and it’s off the top of my head but that seems like the best way to elaborate on it since you’re challenging my knowledge. 😉 Is any of what I said above not factual? Is any of what I said above not accurate? Please tell me whose propaganda I have been reading; have I fallen for the beguiling lies of the babylonians? Or perhaps the pernicious puffery of the persians? The mongols, bless their hearts, weren’t much in the propaganda department. Whose propaganda am I believing?

    So, yeah, I reject land claims. I especially reject land claims based on god. Anyone with a brain ought to. For one thing, it’s pretty easy for a conquered people to promote a land claim based on gods and, uh, ?? what then. I mean, the native americans believed that they were given north america by their gods. I believe I was given your car and house by my god. It’s one thing when you point at something like north america and say “that’s mine!” when you’re a descendant of its first occupants, but in a region like judea, which has been passed around like a bong at woodstock and everyone’s had a hit off it, basically the land claim looks like a mile-long list of losers with whoever’s the current top of the heap asserting their god-given right to the place.

    If you want my opinion, it’s babylonian ancestral land; they probably did more to develop it than anyone else. Now I’m spouting babylonian propaganda. O noes! But you won’t see me advocating for a babylonian right of return.

    Want to zoom up to the present? All that stuff about the jews having god-given title to the land is fabrication, and yes, you’ve got a cultural movement, consisting of marginalized pieces of the european population deciding to move back to their ‘ancestral lands’ and displacing the current residents. Then, when the former current residents tried to resist, they curb-stomped them and shoved them into reservations. Just like the european colonists did to the first peoples in north america, except their religious crazies didn’t invent a divine land-grant until the mormons came along, by which time the process was thoroughly under way. But the pattern of colonization and ruthless conquest looks pretty familiar because it’s pretty fucking familiar. By the way, Ghenghis Khan wasn’t above claiming a divine imprimatur for his conquests, either. That’s an irrelevant aside but you seem to like irrelevant asides so I’m trying to speak your language.

    So now, yeah, you’ve got a genocidal european colony in judea/palestine that’s been displacing the former residents and expanding through force of arms. Explain to me what of that is not completely factual.

  24. says

    PS – the problem with saying something is yours by divine fiat is that it’s a declaration that you’re a fuckwit. The problem with saying something is yours by right of conquest is that someone else is invited to curb-stomp you and say “well, it’s mine now.” Which is pretty much the history of the region.

    With respect to israel – eventually the palestinians may cough up their equivalent of Ho Chi Minh. In which case, israel is fucked. Right of conquest sucks hard that way. Oh shoot now I’m spouting vietcong propaganda.

    I do have to say that, after visiting Norway a few years ago, I’ve been tempted to reclaim some of my ancestral lands. I’m not so interested in the ancestral lands in Ireland; the terrain there is way too close. But I have a letter from god that says all that shit’s mine.

  25. StevoR says

    @ ^ Marcus Ranum : Huh? When did I ever mention God or “divine fiat” here?

    Oh shoot now I’m spouting vietcong propaganda.

    Er, that’d apply to Vietnam NOT Israel. Nice of you to admit as much though.

    So now, yeah, you’ve got a genocidal european colony in judea/palestine that’s been displacing the former residents and expanding through force of arms. Explain to me what of that is not completely factual.

    Er, all of it and, yeesh, where do I even start? Try reading a newspaper, watching the news, checking wikipedia or picking up a decent textbook or, well, leaving whatever parallel reality you seem to be living in and coming back to planet Earth.

    Genocidal? No, that’d be what the Arabs seek to do not what the Israelis could do if they wanted to – but don’t do.

    Colony? FFS! Er ..no, dude, just NO. Israel is an independent indigenous nation with a long ancient history and culture and pride and regional existence. Israel dates back millennia; OTOH the Palestinians just came into being in the 1960’s or so – before that they were just Arabs or if they regionally identified South Syrians.

    Judea / Palestine – one of those existed as a nation or rather ancient Kingdom the other didn’t exist as a nation ever at all. (Regional description, maybe, nation – no.) Hint : its the former, look it up dude.

    Former residents? Y’mean like the Cairo born Yasser Arafat and Damasus resident & Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal? Like all those who were born in Syrian and Jordanian and Tunisian camps but still claim a “right” to “return” to a country they’ve never ever lived in all their lives versus Israelis born in Israel?

    Expanding through force of arms eh? Guess that explains why the Israelis left Southern Lebanon & subsequently suffered from Hezbollah rockets fired from, oh yeah, southern Lebanon? Also why the Jewish State gave back Gaza when they didn’t have to do so and, hmm, how did that work out again? Oh yeah, the Gazan’s started shooting rockets at Israel and kidnapping and murdering Israeli kids and digging tunnels into Israel and using them to attack Israel. But its Israel that’s supposedly expanding buy force of arms here? Seriously You sure? You don’t want to check that against,well, y’know reality and all?

    Oh and the Mongolians have a more legitimate claim to the land of Israel than the Israelis do because (Bbwwhhha-ha-haha!!! Oh no, pissing myself laughing here!) the Mongols have lived in Israel longer than Israelis have?! Dude seriously? Dafuck? U doin’ a Poe or summin?

    Er., yeah your’e just so incredibly totally wrong. And that’s just one ..ok ..two of your historically laughable sentences. Go learn something. Go figure or if your’e Poe-Ing, well, ya got me. Nice OTT satirical characterisation of Israeli-Bashing ignorami albeit too many pitiful fools actually are that stupendously ignorant of reality.

  26. StevoR says

    I also notice that y’all have completely ignored and failed to address the points and questions I raised in my comment #24 here.

  27. says

    I also notice that y’all have completely ignored and failed to address the points and questions I raised in my comment #24 here.

    Oh, that’s introductory internet trolling you’re engaging in, there.
    The fact that someone ignores you, or doesn’t spend the time to loop back and check on your precious thoughts, doesn’t make them any more right. It just means someone has ignored you.

  28. StevoR says

    @ 25. Marcus Ranum : “That region has been conquered by every-fucking-body except the french and the spanish.

    And the Incans and the Aztecs and Portugese and the Dutch and the Belgians and the Luxemborgians and the Chileans and the Monacoans and Moroccan and Zimbabweans and Zambians and Russians and the Australians and the Kiwis and the Mexicans and the Guatamelans and the Bhutanese and the Scottish and the Welsh and Icelanders and the Dutch, Namibians, Angolans, Chadese, Ugandans, Arabians, Cameroonians, Argentinians, Senegalese, Vanutuans, Austrians, San Marinoans, Greeks, Baverians, Hussians, Americans (USA), Peruvians, Algerians, Kirbiatis, Samoans, Tongans, Tajikistanis, Afghanistanis, New Caledonians, Germans, Finlanders, South Africans, Swedish, Venezulelabns, Nepalese, Burmese, Cambodians, Thais, Indians, Pakistanis, Jamacians and ..hmm..

    Y”know I think this is going to take too long. Suffice to say, Bzzt no. Not even remotley close to being close. Not even within megaparsecs of it.

  29. StevoR says

    @29. Marcus Raum : Its very easy to – wrongly call me a troll – its a lot harder to actually tackle the substance of what I’ve said and asked.

    Prove me wrong if you can. With y’know that evidence and fact and logic stuff.

    Not trolling here – just pissing you off by being right and showing how you ain’t.

  30. says

    Try reading a newspaper, watching the news, checking wikipedia or picking up a decent textbook or, well, leaving whatever parallel reality you seem to be living in and coming back to planet Earth.

    Is there new news breaking about the history of the babylonian empire, on a regular basis, that I am somehow missing?

    Genocidal? No, that’d be what the Arabs seek to do not what the Israelis could do if they wanted to – but don’t do.

    I’m not sure how I can use smaller words or simpler concepts to help you out, here. I’ve been trying. Let me break it down into little words so you can do the good thinky, ok?
    – Palestinians may want to do bad things
    – Israelis may want to do bad things
    – Israelis may actually be doing bad things
    – Palestinians may actually be doing bad things
    – That palestinians may want to do bad things doesn’t make the bad things israelis are actually doing right now less bad
    – Also: it is a bad thing to do bad things to someone first because you say you really believe they want to do bad things to you
    Do you understand that? Google translator doesn’t have an option for translating to “stupid authoritarian gibberer” so I had to do my best.

    Judea / Palestine – one of those existed as a nation or rather ancient Kingdom the other didn’t exist as a nation ever at all.

    Uh, so?
    My point is that lots of people have called a chunk of land “mine” through time. There is no reason to prefer one claim over another. Or, rather, there are plenty of reasons:
    – Who held it longest? (Babylon)
    – Who did the most economic development? (Babylon)
    – Who was the biggest hardass who conquered it (Mongols)
    etc

    What is Israel’s claim on the land? Seriously. “We were there first” does not apply to jews, it applies to Babylonians.
    “God gave it to us” does apply to jewish claims but also applies to Roman, Babylonian, and Mongol claims.
    “Force of arms” does (at present) apply to Israeli claims but – as I have pointed out – can be superceeded and also applies to Mongol, Roman, Babylonian, and every-fucking-body else’s claims.

    You criticize me for ignoring lots of recent historical happenings. Good, so we are agreed that the history of the area is important. OK? Now, tell me why recent history is more important than the history of who owned the land in 1300? Or 900? Or 2? Or 1850? Or 1899? Or 1922?

    And please don’t tread on that “the palestinians are a made up people” or “there is no land called ‘palestine'” crap. The “… $ethnicity is not really people” crap was a nazi argument used against the jews; it was a bad argument used against the jews and it’s a bad argument used against the palestinians. Ditto the “there is no land called …” I hate to break it to you but if I suddenly start calling your car “my car” it’s still your car.

  31. says

    Y”know I think this is going to take too long. Suffice to say, Bzzt no

    Oh, no, you’re not acting like internet troll 101 at all. What, do you think there’s a timer and a judge sitting out there?

    Believe me, if there was, they’d be spraining their eyeballs at what a doofus you are; they wouldn’t be handing out scorecards. And – in the odd off chance they were, you wouldn’t be winning because some clock was running out.

    But you are funny. You’re not as foaming at the mouth goofy as SLC1 but you’re close. When you start ranting about solving problems with fusion weapons you’ll be there.

  32. says

    its a lot harder to actually tackle the substance of what I’ve said and asked.

    I’m not trying to tackle the substance of much of what you’ve said because your reasoning is based on a lot of presuppositions, such as that there is a valid land-claim worth discussing. And I say there isn’t.

    If you want to do the argument, start with the foundations:
    – what is the basis for Israel’s land claim according to you?

  33. says

    Let’s use this as an example: You write:
    OTOH the Palestinians just came into being in the 1960’s or so – before that they were just Arabs

    The reason I don’t engage with that ridiculous “point” is because embedded within it is the ridiculous assumption that someone must be “a people” in order to have any rights.

    If you accept the idea that landowners have rights, then we’re done. Because if what you’re saying is that someone automatically has land rights because of historical ancestral claims then Australia and the US ought to be dismantling themselves and returning to the land to the ancestral claimants. Right?

    Yes, who is claiming a piece of land in the here and now is relevant and it’s a difficult and complicated problem to say who “owns” it because often the land is going to be seen as ancestral land by someone or other, or stolen or conquered by someone else. That’s why it’s complicated. But sitting there like a keyboard ultranationalist and ranting that Israel somehow has a special claim because of their history … while ignoring all the other history — it’s suspiciously selective. Unless you’re an ultranationalist kook or religious zealot, which is what I am beginning to think I am dealing with here.

  34. StevoR says

    @ ^ Marcus Ranum : The very long Jewish history and existence in the region combined with the deep cultural significance the land has for the Israelis . Plus the reality that they are living there and have every legal and ethical and historic right to do so.

    Also why shouldn’t they? And what exactly do you have against Jewish and Israeli human beings anyway?

    (Incidentally, I don’t agree with the use of WMDs or propose genocide against anyone.)

  35. says

    SteveoR – would you support Australia’s first people’s right to kick you and other colonists out of the land you are currently occupying, and would you feel they had a right to kill you if you resisted?

    (By the way, they would have a pretty good argument for saying they have every reason to shoot first and ask questions later because, historically, there has been a lot of oppression and violence from European colonialists heading in their direction and they’ve got every reason to genocide you because – after all – you gave a good shot at genociding them. Except they wouldn’t say that because there aren’t enough of them left….)

  36. says

    The very long Jewish history and existence in the region combined with the deep cultural significance the land has for the Israelis

    It has a long history with the Romans and the Babylonians, too. After all, the Babylonians colonized it first.
    Next?

  37. says

    PS – there have been descendants of the Babylonians living there more or less constantly until even now. Explain why European colonists’ rights trump theirs, if your reasoning is that cultural history and time in occupation are what confers title to land.

  38. says

    what exactly do you have against Jewish and Israeli human beings anyway?

    Absolutely nothing as long as they’re not being assholes displacing people and killing them if they resist. I don’t like that the Americans did that to the first peoples. I don’t like that the nazis did that to the jews. I don’t like invadey genocidal conquery people-displacing killing assholes. It’s not a Marcus problem that that’s what the Israelis are doing, it’s an Israeli problem.

    By the way, even if I was a rabid hater of all things Anglo-European, that wouldn’t make my point about the first peoples’ of Australia’s rights and how they have been consistently violated any less true. You need to understand that it’s possible to be concerned universally about people’s rights — rather than preferring one tribe or cult or clan or label over the others.

    Don’t you understand that if some asshole with a gun comes and kicks you off land that your family has owned for – however long – and they kill you when you resist, that they’re an asshole? It doesn’t matter if its an American asshole, a jewish nationalist asshole, or even a first peoples’ asshole – they’re assholes.

    You’re sticking up for the assholes.

  39. StevoR says

    @ 36. Marcus Ranum : yet you are one who is opposing the existence of a certain nation and suggesting, well, what exactly? What would you like to see happen to the Israelis?

    Don’t you accept that Israeli nationals are as human and individuals as you and I and everyone else is?

    Don’t you think that the Israelis have the right to decide their own future and live where and how they choose to do so? Based on what is important to them? In peace and security as everyone human would wish for themselves?

    If not, why not?

    Why your apparent hate for Israel and, by extension, (& yes it is automatic extension because, history and reality) the Jewish people?

    Unless you’re an ultranationalist kook or religious zealot, which is what I am beginning to think I am dealing with here.

    I am neither.

    You know who I am – or do you? Maybe? Its not like this our first discussion here. I made a very bad mistake (or fifty thousand or so) many years ago when I was fooled by the same propaganda you still seem to believe and went wa-ay too far. I’m now trying to remedy that. You could too.

    The Israelis are human individuals who have the right to live in peace and security and determine their own future and run their own country without having to face excessive hostility and bigotry and rocket-fire and terrorism from people who who seek to murder them all. Do you agree or disagree with that?

  40. says

    I don’t agree with the use of WMDs or propose genocide against anyone

    Denying people access to water is one of the most ancient WMDs. And that’s one the Israelis are using in the west bank and gaza strip right now.

    And genocide is when you favor people being killed or displaced because of their tribe or ‘race’ or culture. Which is what you are defending when you say jews have more rights to the land they are occupying than the previous occupants because there is something special about jews.

    So, explain to me again how you are not favoring WMD or genocide?

  41. StevoR says

    @Marcus Ranum :

    It has a long history with the Romans and the Babylonians, too. After all, the Babylonians colonized it first.
    Next?

    Where are the Babylonians now? Oh yeah, Italy and Iraq.

    And do they really relevantly have to do with this issue now? Fuck all is what.

  42. says

    yet you are one who is opposing the existence of a certain nation and suggesting, well, what exactly?

    I am opposing illegal land grabs. It happens that the nation of Israel has enlarged itself vastly using illegal land grabs. Even the UN – that bastion of useless hand-waving – and the US – acknowledge Israel as an ‘occupying power’ – i.e.: they have grabbed the land by force of arms.

    What am I suggesting? Seems like they shouldn’t do that. They should stop.

    Come on, you’re doing the equivalent of a car thief who, when interrupted while driving to the store, says, “well, now that I’ve stolen it, what’s your suggestion wiseass?”

    My suggestion: stop. Give the land back. Apologize. Maybe some spankings?

    Don’t you accept that Israeli nationals are as human and individuals as you and I and everyone else is?

    Of course I do!! Car thieves have rights, too. So do genocidaires and land-grabbers. They have rights.
    They’re still doing bad things and it’s not unreasonable to say “hey, stop that shit!” Right?

    Don’t you think that the Israelis have the right to decide their own future and live where and how they choose to do so? Based on what is important to them? In peace and security as everyone human would wish for themselves?

    Of course I do. I believe the nazis had the exact same rights but they got carried away exercising them and turned into a bunch of genocidal, population-displacing, killing land-and property grabbers. And I am glad the world made them stop doing it.

    Having rights doesn’t mean you have the right to hurt other people, steal from them, or kill them when they resist.
    Basically you’re making the same argument that a homophobic christian makes: your taking away my right to treat gays like second class citizens is oppressing me.

    I am not oppressing jews or being mean to Israelis when I say they should stop being oppressive and mean to palestinians.

  43. says

    Why your apparent hate for Israel and, by extension

    Do you understand that even if I were a rabid homophobe, it wouldn’t support or discredit my views if I said a gay person shouldn’t violently kill other people to occupy thier land?

  44. StevoR says

    @ 43. Marcus Ranum : Your definitions are inaccurate here.

    I don’t want the Palestinians to be exterminated by force & killed en masse but neither do I wish to allow them to do that to the Israelis as they clearly wish to do – in general based ion surveys and elections (an election anyhow.) and political reality.

    Also desalination. Among other options. Plus making the desert bloom.

    Plus again, why exactly do you seemingly hate the Israelis and Jewish people so much? Don’t you accept that they have the right to protect their lives and culture and country same as everybody else does? Do you truly think Arab lives and claims mean more than Jewish ones and, if so, why?

  45. says

    The Israelis are human individuals who have the right to live in peace and security and determine their own future and run their own country without having to face excessive hostility and bigotry and rocket-fire and terrorism from people who who seek to murder them all. Do you agree or disagree with that?

    When I said earlier that your questions presuppose your desired answer, this is what I am talking about. The critical bit is bolded above.

    They are demanding peace and security while living on land that was often stolen through force of arms or intimidation.

    Basically you’re making the argument an apologist for the French colonists of Vietnam would make: “They built all those nice farms, what are the Vietnamese peasants getting so violent about?! The French imperialists have the right to live in peace on their nice farms!” The problem is that they actually don’t.

    Shorter SteveoR: “Car theives have rights, too. Once they have stolen a car, it’s wrong to take it away from them or tell them that you won’t honor their ancestral claim to blue Cadillacs!”

  46. says

    why exactly do you seemingly hate the Israelis and Jewish people so much?

    I don’t hate them any more than I hate any other nasty violent self-righteous colonialists. Am I not sufficiently clear about that?

    I’m a fucking pacifist. I hate people who go around killing other people and doing violent shit.
    I also hate people who make excuses for that kind of activity, so yeah I think you’re a horrible ignorant asshole.

  47. says

    One of the problem with violent assholes is that they pose a severe dilemma to the pacifist. Because, basically, they do what you’re arguing: “well, nyah nyah! now that I’ve stolen this thing, violently, you’ll have to use violence against me to get me to stop!”

    That’s a huge problem.

    But the fact that I am confounded by that problem doesn’t make the violent asshole not a violent asshole. See how that works?

  48. says

    It’s weird that you keep trying to talk as if I hate jews or israelis when I have been very careful to consistently cast my arguments in terms of other violent genocidal displacing land-grabbing assholes as well.

    I think it was acceptable to violently resist the nazis. And for the vietcong to violently resist the US. And for the afghanis to violently resist US occupation forces. And, yeah, the palestinians – subject to a military occupation – have a right to violently resist Israeli occupation forces. Forces – military troops, not civilians. Although the US sure killed a lot of German civilians trying to get the nazis to stop being assholes…

  49. says

    I don’t want the Palestinians to be exterminated by force & killed en masse but neither do I wish to allow them to do that to the Israelis as they clearly wish to do

    Well, it’s a problem. If the Israelis stopped pushing them off their land and killing so many of them, maybe they’d stop trying to resist.

    I don’t have a solution for the problem, but I don’t think further violence from Israel – which has vastly disproportionately killed palestinians – is the answer. Eventually the palestinians will cough up their own Ho Chi Mihn and Israel will have a vastly worse butchers’ bill, just like the French did in Indochina.

    And, yes, just like the French colonial experiment in indochina, Israel could be dismantled and the land given back. Just like the many British colonial “possessions” were returned to local control – often with a great deal of bloodshed – when the British finally overspent (in a useless war with the Germans…) and their empire collapsed. South Africa was dismantled. Rhodesia was dismantled. The Raj was dismantled.

    Israel could peacefully dismantle itself. The Israelis and their colonial backers choose to double down with more violence and colonialization. The French did that in vietnam and it didn’t work in the long run. Etc. Etc.

    You ignore history. This is a long-term thing. Dragging out a bad idea may result in more deaths and pain than is necessary, but that’s what happens when nationalistic/tribalistic whackjobs like you try to solve these problems.

    The only solution is to not use force. And, yes, if force was abandoned as an option, that would mean the end of Israel. What does that tell you? It tells you Israel, like Rhodesia, South Africa, French Indochina, British India, and other imperial colonies … is probably not such a great idea.

  50. says

    I don’t want the Palestinians to be exterminated by force & killed en masse but neither do I wish to allow them to do that to the Israelis as they clearly wish to do

    Ok, let’s try an abstract scenario:
    A car thief is noticed by a cop that runs a regular plate check on speeders.
    The cop pulls the car thief over.
    The cop says “that’s a stolen car. please get out and put your hands behind your back.”
    The car thief says, “hey, yeah, but now that I’ve stolen it, it’s mine.”

    Do you:
    a) return the car to its owner
    b) let the thief keep the car
    c) let the thief shoot the car’s owner, to clear up possession
    d) call the cop a racist

    So far you’ve advocated b), c), and d)

    You’re an asshole.

  51. StevoR says

    @45. Marcus Ranum :

    I am opposing illegal land grabs. It happens that the nation of Israel has enlarged itself vastly using illegal land grabs. Even the UN – that bastion of useless hand-waving – and the US – acknowledge Israel as an ‘occupying power’ – i.e.: they have grabbed the land by force of arms.

    Like when they defended themselves from attempted genocide on repeated occassions?

    Enlarged vastly? Marcus, see Gaza and Sthn Lebanon and, oh yeah, the Sinai peninsula and agreement with the late Anwar Sadat.

    Plus look at a globe,. How big – or y’know otherwise – is Israel really?How much land do they really have for a people and nation who arguably have rights to a whole lot more? C’mon.

    My suggestion: stop. Give the land back. Apologize. Maybe some spankings?

    Okay, so, how do you convince the Arabs to do just that then?

    Oh wait, you weren’t meaning the Arabs should do that there were you? Pity.

    Geez, the Israelis have tried that already. Many times. (Well, okay without the spankings part. Or okay prob’ly the apologies one too – but then they’ve nothing to apologise for really apart from “Oh dear we didn’t lay down and die when you tried to murder us all.”)

    They’re still doing bad things and it’s not unreasonable to say “hey, stop that shit!” Right?

    Well ,no. Wrong actually, Israelis aren’t “car thieves” (or land thieves – they bought a lot of it at excessive prices despite Arab bigotry) and they belong there and have every right to be there and should, stop doing what exactly? Breathing? Living? Building homes and new lives for their people and their refugees kicked out of lands they used to live in happily (~ish? The odd pogrom aside?) for centuries?

    Having rights doesn’t mean you have the right to hurt other people, steal from them, or kill them when they resist.

    Agreed. This isn’t what I’m arguing for or what I think the Israelis are really doing.

    Basically you’re making the same argument that a homophobic christian makes: your taking away my right to treat gays like second class citizens is oppressing me.

    Nope. I totally disagree with that characterisation – it is NOT what I’m saying.or arguing for.

    I am not oppressing jews or being mean to Israelis when I say they should stop being oppressive and mean to palestinians.

    I wish that were what I thought you were saying and implying in your arguments here and now and in the past too. Also it is false because Israel have tired very hard to give the Palestinians a fair go and a state of their own and they keep turning that down and keep just hating on Israel and the Jews. Brain-washing their own kids and turning them into walking, sweating, crying bombs and human shields instead. So frustrating and stupid and such a pointless cruel waste of life and human potential.

    I’d like to see peace on reasonable terms. Instead we get, well, don’t you watch the news and follow this isue? Not that. Not the Israelis fault or choice.

  52. StevoR says

    @48. Marcus Ranum : “They (Israelis -ed) are demanding peace and security while living on land that was often stolen through force of arms or intimidation.”

    That’s historically and factually inaccurate. Wrong.

  53. says

    That’s historically and factually inaccurate. Wrong.

    Are you saying all the refugees in the camps just moved there, like, uh, on vacation?
    Or are you saying “it wasn’t stolen”?

    Because you haven’t successfully established that it wasn’t stolen. Israel’s claim based on ancestral (whatever) does not convince me as much as the Babylonian’s claim to the land. I don’t find either of those convincing. I do find the more near-term occupants of the land’s claims to be more convincing — which near-term occupants are the people who were displaced to the refugee camps.

    You can say over and over how wrong I am; that doesn’t matter. Why don’t you convince the displaced refugees in the camps that Israel has a right to that land. Don’t waste your time on me. Convince them, you doofus.

  54. StevoR says

    The original Zionists (original and historic meaning of that now sadly and unfailry often derogatory word) purchased – fairly – no wait actually unfairly given they were often forced to pay far more than the land was then worth – the landthey they built on and improved and made bloom by their efforts .

    They also had to and did win and earn their land by their blood , sweat and tears when they where constantly and wrongly attacked by racist Arabs mobs whipped up into a fervour by Arabs leaders who were – historically and quite literally – Nazis.

    For pity’s sake, can you not empathise and put yourself in your imagination in the place of these Jewish individual heroes who already suffered and endured so very much? Prick them do they not bleed? Are they not men and women and children who deserve a fucken chance and fair go?

  55. says

    bought a lot of it at excessive prices despite Arab bigotry

    We are in agreement. Israel should consist of the lands that were fairly purchased. Are we done?

  56. says

    For pity’s sake, can you not empathise and put yourself in your imagination in the place of these Jewish individual heroes who already suffered and endured so very much? Prick them do they not bleed?

    Dude, I didn’t cry a whole lot for the nazi ss troopers and einsatzgruppen thugs – who also thought they were individual heroes who suffered and bled. Nor do I cry bitter tears for those nazi soldiers that conquered Poland but weren’t allowed to fully colonize it by the meanypants red army.

    Do you?

    Yes, I _am_ making an equivocation between what Israel is doing right now and what the nazis did. Because it’s getting to that ridiculous point.

    By the way, the nazis used the excuse that they bought jews out of their assets before throwing them out of the country. And they even said that they were overcharged.

    Assholes gotta be assholes, pretty much no matter the context. It’s the apologists for assholes (like you) that puzzle me.

  57. says

    FWIW – the French made exactly the same arguments about vietnam. That they bought the land (well… some of it…) and made it bloom. And by the time you had 3 generations of French colonists living there, the grandkids only knew it as “home” and naturally felt the plantations were thiers. They were resentful and uncomprehending of why those vietcong were so pissed off at them.

    What do you think about South Africa? Are you going to tell me it’s a tragedy that the boer government was pulled down by black racists who waged a propaganda campaign and were all lying meaniepants and that apartheid never happened?

    You keep talking about Israel’s history with the land but you don’t appear to know anything more about history than could comfortably be printed inside a bubble gum wrapper.

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