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Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths

April 15, 2002 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths
Vital and timely reading.
posted by mapalm (53 comments total)

 
How is a biased Palestinian defense of their cause "vital and timely" reading?
posted by Bezuhin at 9:05 AM on April 15, 2002


Because other viewpoints are appreciated on this forum, regardless of slant, ideology or stance.

Anyway, it is biased, but it is helpful to be able to see the other side, no?
posted by plemeljr at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2002


Why this is so insightful and refreshing. Now I understand the problem perfectly.

please.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:10 AM on April 15, 2002


well gosh. we have a rigorously annotated, well-reasoned and logical argument on one side -- and then we have sarcasm and dismissive rhetoric on the other side.

whatever evidence is available, whatever arguments can be made, whatever the truth is -- that kind of response only succeeds in further discrediting (in this case) those who would argue on the side of the Israelis. Similar kind of dismissals are constantly made by pro-Palestinian commentors also. Is it an attempt to deliberately sabotage all hopes of reasoned discussion?

I am not saying that this article is full of truth. But if you are so eager and able to dismiss it as useless, give me something as well documented which tells me why.
posted by milkman at 9:20 AM on April 15, 2002


but hell, milkman, offhand dismissals are just sooooo much easier and convenient than are thoughtful, reasoned rebuttals.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:24 AM on April 15, 2002


Is it an attempt to deliberately sabotage all hopes of reasoned discussion?

It would seem to be more reasonable to expect reasonable discussion only once suicide bombers who are killing one's civilians have been stopped.

It's rather stupid to attempt to talk during a war. One wins. Then one talks from a position of strength.

I think the Israelis are being the very model of restraint... given the circumstances. I'd listen to the Palestinians if they weren't resorting to terrorism... as is, they've renounced any right to be seriously considered. No arguement, well-reasoned or not, can trump their behavior.

Whatever the Israelis need to do to protect their people, I support them. Once the Palestinians aren't killing anyone but Israeli soldiers... it will be time to consider their viewpoint. Not until then.
posted by dissent at 9:42 AM on April 15, 2002


nice post mapalm.

the endless repetion of these "myths" in american media is sickening - particularly who "started" the intifada - sharon's march up temple mount with hundreds of his over zealous followers is rarely mentioned... followed by the days of stonethrowing in which numerous palestinians were killed - before the first israeli casuality.... it does seem that sharon bears direct responsibility for the current crisis.
posted by specialk420 at 9:46 AM on April 15, 2002


We can blast propoganda at each other all day, if anyone thinks that will help. But please -- present it as propoganda. Dressing it up as "thoughtful" or "important" or "alternative" is just evasion.
posted by argybarg at 9:47 AM on April 15, 2002


Here's one reasoned argument, about the first myth.

The myth states that there is moral equivilance between the suicide bombings on the palestinian side and the killings of militants by Israel. Since Israel has killed more people (three times as many actually), they're actually the more morally repugnant.

Except that the article takes no pains to distinguish between an "innocent civilan" a "bystander" or a "protestor" or a "rioter" or a "militant". The article lumps them all together, as civilians, which is true, I guess.

But, saying there is a spectrum, with random people walking down the street on the way to market to get bread on one end (we'd call this an "innocent civilain bystander") and a young man with an AK-47 assult rifle, military fatigues on, holed up in a makeshift bunker trying to kill IDF army forces on the other(lets agree to call him a "militant"). That's a pretty big spectrum of civilians, right?

My claim is that many of the Israeli deaths are on one side of the spectrum -- people living their daily lives, and the Palestinian deaths are on the other side -- people deliberately putting themselves in harms way, by taking up arms in a "war" even if they are not soldiers in an army.

Now, admitting that there is a specturm is good -- because it lets us ask and reflect on the important questions: Should Israel shoot to kill 16 year-old boys throwing rocks? Should it shoot to kill students throwing molotov cocktails?

But it's ridiculous to claim that there is moral equivilance. It does't seem like there's a myth at all. If you're honest about the terms, there's no way to claim moral equivlance.
posted by zpousman at 9:48 AM on April 15, 2002


i'm still learning about all this but isn't the palestinian belief that isreal shouldn't exist at all? if the only resolution to the problem is to kick everyone out then i don't see there being much peace in the area, ever.

and the death toll statistics quoted in the link seem to consider ALL palenstinian deaths to be civilian since they aren't part of an "army," but isn't that incorrect? if a "civilian" is shot while being part of a violent resistance or ambush then... they can hardly be classified as innocent civilians.

i'm assuming that most of the isreali deaths are actual civilians killed while commuting or something.
posted by ggggarret at 9:49 AM on April 15, 2002


Swap 'Israeli' and 'Palestinian' in your last graf, dissent, and see whether you still agree with yourself. I believe it's what's known as the 'shoe on the other foot' argument. (And no, the 'you deliberately target civilians, we inflict collateral damage, he's a war criminal' irregular verb just won't do, in the light of the bulldozing of Jenin.)

zpousman: please justify your claim.
posted by riviera at 9:53 AM on April 15, 2002


specialk420: I agree with you that Sharon's actions have precipitated much of this, btw.

I've lived in Israel (1996 - 1997) during a time of comparative calm -- only 100 or so deaths that year. Sharon was stepping into a hornets nest when he did that, and he knew it. He did it to show Israeli "Sovereignty" over a Muslim religious and cultural site, something that has almost never happened in Israeli History (Meir Kahane being the only other incident I can think of).
posted by zpousman at 9:53 AM on April 15, 2002


Some of the rebuttals to these myths are well argued, others less so. The one that really matters to me is the Barak generous offer. The others I believe have more to do with conflict than with resolution, and in conflict it is easy to get into a cycle of blame and counter-blame which has no solution. However when we look at how this problem has been resolved, or attempted to be resolved, we can learn about what it will really take to finish this senseless war.
posted by cell divide at 9:58 AM on April 15, 2002


He did it to show Israeli "Sovereignty" over a Muslim religious and cultural site

And do you think this was a good idea?
posted by Grangousier at 10:00 AM on April 15, 2002


zoopraxiscope: offhand dismissals are just sooooo much easier and convenient than are thoughtful, reasoned rebuttals.

And I suppose they're only thoughtful and reasoned if they agree with your viewpoint, eh?
posted by Danelope at 10:05 AM on April 15, 2002


This is propaganda. This is no different than McDonalds 'debunking' the myths of the flame broiled Whopper. The real discussion topic of this thread should be: why do so few people today lack even the most rudimentary critical thinking skills?
posted by plaino at 10:05 AM on April 15, 2002


Of course a better question might be: Why do so many people today, etc...
posted by plaino at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2002


i just want to point out for the record that so far we have not seen any documentation for ANY claim made in this discussion, other than those in the original post.
posted by milkman at 10:10 AM on April 15, 2002


why do so few people today lack even the most rudimentary critical thinking skills?

The triumph of public education! Or the triumph of enriched flour! Or the triumph of cable television!

You choose!
posted by iceberg273 at 10:12 AM on April 15, 2002


This is propaganda. This is no different than McDonalds 'debunking' the myths of the flame broiled Whopper. The real discussion topic of this thread should be: why do so few people today lack even the most rudimentary critical thinking skills?

i think this is a great example of the most infuriating part of this -- and many -- debates. how is it possible that in the same paragraph someone can dismiss something as propeganda, and then slip into completely unsupported rhetorical invective? it renders the discussion useless and is totally disheartening.
posted by milkman at 10:12 AM on April 15, 2002


I'd listen to the Palestinians if they weren't resorting to terrorism... as is, they've renounced any right to be seriously considered. No argument, well-reasoned or not, can trump their behavior. . .
dissent: I think this type of statement is part of the problem. "The Palestinians" are not, as a whole, resorting to terrorism. The suicide bombings sicken the average Palestinian the same way the Oklahoma City bombings sickened 99% of Americans. These acts are carried out by a very small minority of radicals. They are not state-sanctioned actions. While most Palestinian people may not hold a great love for Israel, they don't wish innocent people to be killed - and wish to co-exist in peace. Calling ALL Palestinians "terrorists" simply gives carte blanc to the Israelis and the US to do anything they choose to any innocent person - since it's in the name of "stopping terrorism."
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:12 AM on April 15, 2002


Hmmm... yes, the Oklahoma City bombings sickened us (Americans) but we as a people (and our government) tracked down and prosecuted the terrorists. I don't see Arafat or the Palestinians calling for tracking down and prosecuting their terrorists. By sitting on their hands and letting it continue, it appears to an outsider like me that they in fact encourage the behavior.
posted by stormy at 10:18 AM on April 15, 2002


(And no, the 'you deliberately target civilians, we inflict collateral damage, he's a war criminal' irregular verb just won't do, in the light of the bulldozing of Jenin.)

This isn't entirely clear, but...

I won't swap Israeli and Palestinian... I don't find the terms interchangeable. If it were "English" and "Canadian", for instance,I might. But I find the character and behavior of the two groups- from the groups they associate with, their attitude towards the US, and their general behavior as a people- makes them far from equivalent.

It's not always logical to put shoes on feet other than the ones for which they were intended. In fact, I would say it seldom is, unless there are overwhelming similarities between the so-called "feet". In this case, there are not.
posted by dissent at 10:21 AM on April 15, 2002


nice work with the offhand dismissal of my post, danelope. thanks for making my point.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 10:24 AM on April 15, 2002


then slip into completely unsupported rhetorical invective? it renders the discussion useless

Guilty. I retract my unsupported rhetoric. However, I would like to point out that one cannot render useless that which is already useless. Or do you think a relatively obscure weblog discussion between overpriveledged westerners (mostly) will make a difference?

I don't pretend to know which side is 'right' in this conflict. Neither side looks even remotely credible. Most people I know learned in grade-school that the 'who-started-what' approach to conflict resolution only perpetuates conflict. Adults, let alone leaders of nations, ought to be utterly embarrassed to resort to such a childish tactic.
posted by plaino at 10:29 AM on April 15, 2002


You want hard statistics. Here you go.

Here's the article. Just a Yahoo News Story. But I think it illustrates what I'm saying.

You'll agree I think that no statistics about the 1400/400 number can be provided, since, if you agree with me that there is a spectrum of "civilians", where you draw the lines will always change your statistics. Even if you have an account by account story of each and every death.

From the article:

The mounting Israeli casualties -- including five children among the nine people killed by Saturday night's bomb

That's 9 innocent bystanders.

Twelve hours later, a Palestinian gunman on a hill overlooking an Israeli army roadblock in the West Bank shot dead 10 Israelis... Palestinian gunmen killed one Israeli in an ambush on a convoy.

That's 10 not-quite-as-innocent bystanders. They're living in Palestinians area, as settlers, and, in my estimation, do so for political and religious reasons.

The one Israel mentioned seperately is a soldier, I think (it's unclear in the article). Call that 1 Israeli combatant.

Israeli soldiers fired on a car near the village of Tubas on Sunday, killing a member of the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Palestinian witnesses said.

This is a militant. Though he was at the time riding around in a passenger car. 1 militant.

...troops killed 30 Palestinians ... It said the dead men were all armed but Palestinians say they included civilians.

This gets harder. Since this took place in Balata and Jenin, and not on a street corner in Jerusalem, I'll say probably 20 of the 30 killed where militants. I'll give a serious benefit of the doubt answer of 10 innocent bystanders killed. 200 werre wounded though, probably more of these were bystanders. 20 militants and 10 innocents.

Totals:

Israeli Deaths -- 20 innocent bystanders and 2 militants. [I didn't quote one about an Israeli police officer getting stabbed to death. This is another point of language being tricky -- Israel has an army and a police force. Palestine only has a police force.]

Palestinian Deaths -- 10 innocent bystanders (maybe) and 21 militants.

Case closed, riviera?

Grangousier: Just to answer your question -- No, think it was the worst decision that could possibly be made. This recent flare-up can be pinned directly on Sharon.
posted by zpousman at 10:31 AM on April 15, 2002


It's true - the OKC bombing is not a perfect anology. There is a much more complex political and sociological history and situation in Palestine- any yes- probably a higher level of tolerance for acts of violence among some groups and even radical factions within - or with connections to the current government. But I still don't think this means we can refer to anyone who happens to be born in or live in Palestine a terrorist.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:31 AM on April 15, 2002


Attributed to Arnold Kling via Bruce Hill.

The moral state of things is this:
1. If the Palestinians unilaterally lay down their arms and renounce
violence, they will be given peace, dignity, and their own state.
2. If the Israelis unilaterally lay down their arms and renounce
violence, they will be slaughtered.
3. As far as most of the world is concerned, either outcome would be
satisfactory.
posted by revbrian at 10:35 AM on April 15, 2002


Here's some info covering both sides of the issue, from Human Rights Watch. I don't think either side has the high moral ground.
posted by airgirl at 10:35 AM on April 15, 2002


1. If the Palestinians unilaterally lay down their arms and renounce violence, they will be given peace, dignity, and their own state.

Of course, there won't be much of a state if militant Israeli settlers keep taking their land.

There is no moral justification for the kind of terrorist acts being carried out against Israeli civilians. The crushing oppression that many innocent Palestinians suffer every day is equally unjustified. The difference is that the injustice from one side is carried out by disenfranchised maniacs, and the injustice on the other side is carried out by the government.

We in the US have very little influence over suicide bombers, but we do have influence over the government of Israel. The US should put pressure on Israel to allow the Palestinians to form their own country. Or better yet, the Israeli people should wake up to the fact that Israel's only hope of survival is to make peace with their neighbors.
posted by Loudmax at 11:00 AM on April 15, 2002


[...the Israeli people should wake up to the fact that Israel's only hope of survival is to make peace with their neighbors.]

Peace isn't a one sided proposition. I'll agree that Israel isn't doing itself any favors with the settlements though.

[The crushing oppression that many innocent Palestinians suffer every day is equally unjustified. ]

Agreed. Do you think a whole lot of that "crushing oppression" would fade away rather quickly if Arafat and his ilk stopped supporting suicide bombings? It seems to me that things have reached a point where if terror is no longer a factor, the Palestinians can have their state.
posted by revbrian at 11:11 AM on April 15, 2002


revbrian. Why are you forgetting that the crushing oppression was there way before the start of the suicide bombings. Why is our long term memory so short. Though it never fails to forget the holocaust.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:31 AM on April 15, 2002


If the Palestinians unilaterally lay down their arms and renounce violence, they will be given peace, dignity, and their own state

Rapist to rape victim: "If you'd only stop struggling, I might pull my dick out of you"
posted by laz-e-boy at 11:33 AM on April 15, 2002


I agree with the propaganda accusations. This is like linking pro-Israeli stuff from the Jewish Defense League. If you're going to throw biased stuff up here, at least pick something biased from both sides to make a point about how the Palestinians and the Israelis seem to be reporting on two completely different conflicts.

Anyway, the page is misleading and not especially insightful:
1. No. There is no moral equivalence between a child getting shot while throwing rocks at soldiers (while men with guns shoot at the same shoulders from civilian apartments) and teaching and encouraging your children to blow themselves up in a crowd of grandmothers.

2. This talks about what Israel has done in the occupied territories, but not why Israel is there. There is no mention of Israel being attacked on three sides in 1967. There is no mention of land seized from Egypt (The Sinai) being returned after a meaningful peace treaty was signed.

3. Arafat isn't necessarily silent, but he is consistently duplicitous. Three days after the the first quote they cite, Arafat was on Arab television calling for "martyrs by the millions". Palestinians deserve better, democratically elected leadership.

4. Arafat needs to denounce Hamas and Hamas' stated goal of eliminating any Jewish State in the Middle East. (The Hamas Charter - translated by a Hebrew University professor). Arafat should stop buying bombs and assault weapons and buy schoolbooks. When he does buy schoolbooks, the maps in those books should include Israeli and Palestinian states. Terrorism is not just bombs, it's an idea. The Palestinians need to know that he walked away from three of the best offers they will likely ever see. (yes, I did read point 5)

5. This is a no win situation. Demanding the West Bank and Gaza be connected would split Israel in half. The water resources are Israeli water resources which would be shared. There were no water resources before Israel built them. Barak proposed a compromise starting point with room to evolve. Arafat walked away. Enough Israelis were upset with Barak that they elected Sharon instead. Sharon has spent his whole life as a soldier defending Israel from various attacks through a slew of wars. It should come as no surprise to anyone that he doesn't see compromise as an option.

6. The quote is misleading. Arafat might not have started the intifada, but he has repeatedly endorsed it.

Intersting choice of words too, calling a rioting group of youths stoning Jewish worshipers "unarmed protestors".


The longer this goes on, the more Israel seems justified in it's actions.
posted by joemaller at 11:34 AM on April 15, 2002


Do you think a whole lot of that "crushing oppression" would fade away rather quickly if Arafat and his ilk stopped supporting suicide bombings? It seems to me that things have reached a point where if terror is no longer a factor, the Palestinians can have their state.

I don't think Arafat has the power to prevent the bombings. The groups that carry them out have developed an unstoppable momentum, with a tragic and endless supply of willing martyrs.

When the supply dries up, that's when the bombing will stop. I don't think that will happen until young Palestinians see a dramatic shift towards settlement and that they can achieve their goals by other means. That is never going to happen with Arafat holed up and tanks in Jenin.

A good parallel is Northern Ireland in the 1990's. Whilst the British Government and Unionist community refused to negotiate with terrorists, the cycle of violence continued. Once real progress was made, the bombings petered out (with a couple of spectacular blips).

I think only a massive UN/US intervention can possibly break this current cycle.
posted by ksLimbs at 11:37 AM on April 15, 2002


martyrs by the millions, does not mean go blow up yourself. Suicide is not martyrdom, as long as I understand it. By what is being documented, crossing a street, or sitting in your home is enough of a crime to be martyred by the genocide inflicting IDF.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:39 AM on April 15, 2002


I think the biggest criminals in this fascade are the Jewish settlers. They know they are going to live on occupied land. They know how that land has been taken from its owners. How lives have been tarnished. Even then, they come from europe and russia, knowing very well what they are going to be used for. They are not supposed to work, just make babies, with the Israeli government compensating them for more children starting the compensation from 6 children up till 12.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:43 AM on April 15, 2002


Why this is so insightful and refreshing. Now I understand the problem perfectly.

please.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:10 AM PST on April 15

There are many examples of logical fallacies. This thread contains many of them. Take the post above.

Description of Appeal to Ridicule

The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." This line of "reasoning" has the following form:
X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed at the claim).
Therefore claim C is false.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show that it is false.
posted by onegoodmove at 12:06 PM on April 15, 2002


Why this is so insightful and refreshing. Now I understand the problem perfectly.

please.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:10 AM PST on April 15

There are many examples of logical fallacies. This thread contains many of them. Take the post above.

Description of Appeal to Ridicule

The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." This line of "reasoning" has the following form:
X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed at the claim).
Therefore claim C is false.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show that it is false.
posted by onegoodmove at 12:07 PM on April 15, 2002


It's true - the OKC bombing is not a perfect anology. There is a much more complex political and sociological history and situation in Palestine-

more important, they're not attacking other palestinians. America was quick to hunt down McVeigh because we were the victim. When foreigners are the victims, especially foreigners who belong to a state or group with whom we are in conflict, we may certainly consider it terrible when citizens are among the dead, but we will not demand justice immediately the way we do when our own are killed.

Anyway, obviously the individuals who commit suicide bombings are not available to be prosecuted, as they've already paid the highest price for their crime. So only pre-emptive measures could be demanded, and exactly what those ought to be is a little tough to define.

As for military vs. civilian: aren't all israelis by definition members of the israeli army? Not that this justifies the bombings - just suggesting more blurry lines to consider.

The whole conflict is so screwed up though. I can't say I support either side at all.
posted by mdn at 12:16 PM on April 15, 2002


It is tough to separate military from civilian when a group has been oppressed for such a period of time, they are all protesting.. at which point does a person fighting for their life and culture become a military casulty verus a civilian?

Is it fair for someone going about their daily routine to be attacked, hurt or even killed?

(now you just have to figure out if I'm talking about Palistinians or Israelis).
posted by rich at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2002


Abdul Mohammed Shuby said the last thing he saw before being entombed in his house was the bloodied bodies of three children, covered with dust, plaster and concrete, as the shovel of an Israeli military bulldozer laid them at his door.

The Israeli's keep firing missles into refugee camps, bulldozing neighbourhoods, and occupying land that isn't their's. Israel gets multibillion dollar support and the latest high-tech war gear from the USA.

Palestinians get pushed off their land, get the worst land in the region, and have rocks for weapons.

A people pushed into a corner will inevitably take extreme measures to get what they need.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2002


fff, I'm inclined to agree with you. Here is a report from the US State Dept. An excerpt:
Extremist Israeli settlers harassed, attacked, and occasionally killed Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There were credible reports that settlers injured a number of Palestinians during the year, usually by stoning their vehicles (which at times caused fatal accidents), shooting them, or striking them with moving vehicles. Human rights groups received a number of reports during the year that Israeli settlers in the West Bank beat Palestinians.

Some settlers also attacked Palestinian homes and damaged crops, olive trees, greenhouses, and agricultural equipment, usually in areas located near settlements, causing extensive economic damage to Palestinian-owned agricultural land. For example, PRCS and LAW reported that, on June 1, settlers burned the wheat fields and allegedly poisoned the sheep of Palestinians in Sawyeh village, near Nablus.[...]The IDF took no action to apprehend the perpetrators, and no compensation was provided to the Palestinian victims.[...T]he Israeli Government generally does not prosecute settlers for their acts of violence against Palestinians, and settlers rarely serve prison sentences if convicted of a crime against a Palestinian.
posted by airgirl at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2002


five, you may be right, but from a practical standpoint I think it is more than fair to say that both sides are not going to get what they want by employing their current tactics.

It is often too easy for those of us who support Palestinian rights to ignore the very real fears of Israelis who see the conflict as not just about a future Palestinian state, but of Arab desire that Israel had never existed.

Personally I believe that Israel has firmly cemented its position in the Middle East, and that a peaceful, just, and fair resolution to their problems with the Palestinians is their best hope for acheiveing regional stability and acceptance.

Likewise, the Palestinians, who are the one people in the Middle East who really do face extinction, need to understand that the only justification to continue the oppression and seizure of land and property the Israelis have left in the eyes of the world and the majority of their own citizens are Palestinian terror attacks. Without them Israel would be forced to confront their own very real crimes against humanity. With them, it is very difficult for any Israeli to support giving Palestinians what they deserve.
posted by cell divide at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2002


What mdn said. There isn't a decent side in this fight to back. Let's airlift out the kids, put up a giant fence, spread a mile-wide cobalt track outside the fence, wait a century, then tentatively check with them again. Any whiff of cordite in 2102, we slam the door back shut, let them sit another century.
posted by UncleFes at 1:19 PM on April 15, 2002


but but but... the oppression and killing was there wayy before the suicide bombings started... the occupation was already there. How can its end be linked to the end of suicide bombings ? It can be only the other way around.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2002


All I know is, I won't be tipping my 40 to either Sharon or Arafat when they come to pass. Tho' imagining what their successors might do if one or both of them dies of unnatural causes (suicide bombing/tank ramming/whatever) makes me feel kinda woozy. At this point, it seems like the best possible thing would be for both of them to massive heart attacks or something, and maybe get Shimon Peres to step up to the plate for Isreal, and someone equally level-headed to do so for the Palestinians (anybody got a clue who?)

If that doesn't work, what UncleFes said.
posted by andnbsp at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2002


Case closed, riviera?

Hardly, zpousman; I believe that you're guilty of what would be described in warblogger circles as 'Marc Herold Syndrome'. Certainly, your methods to distinguish civilians from militants (to be summarised as 'eenie-meenie-minie-mo', based upon a single report) are at best, naively suspect -- and at worst deliberately manipulative.
posted by riviera at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2002


I vote for UncleFes's plan, too.

The conflict is, what, some sixty years old? That means at least three generations of children have been subjected to the mind-warping hatred that keeps the conflict going.

Give the population a one-month warning and a free airlift out of the country. Carpet-bomb it to sand, and keep everyone out for a full generation.

Maybe the hater's children's children can then go back and start over, rationally and equitably. I just don't see the current generations being at all capable of coming to a solution of any sort. :-(
posted by five fresh fish at 4:13 PM on April 15, 2002


As for military vs. civilian: aren't all israelis by definition members of the israeli army? Not that this justifies the bombings - just suggesting more blurry lines to consider.

This actually isn't a blurry line at all. International law is pretty clear about who/what constitutes a "combatant" and veterans do not. military service is required and Israelis are considered combatants *while* they are in service, but not before or after.
posted by lizs at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2002


international law isn't important here, Lizs -- as far as the palestinian militants are concerned, the removal of any citizen of Israel is the removal of a current, future, or past soldier, under Israeli policy.

Let's not cloud local issues with international policies (which are, as a rule, ignored when inconvenient).
posted by dwivian at 9:46 AM on April 16, 2002


riviera,

Do you admit that there is a spectrum between lily-white civilian and armed combatant? [I think you do, but if you don't, I envy you -- 'cause a world with sharply deliniated distinctions must be really easy to live in. Plus, my argument about the "myth" in question will have no weight with you.]

Do you admit that since one of the sides in this conflict has a professional military force and one doesn't, this must mean all of the the combatants on the palestinian side who are not in the palestinian "police force" are at the same time both armed combatants and civilans? This is an appeal to reason. If you have a counter argument to my unsubstantiated and at the same time totally reasonable assertion, please state it.

Do you further admit that the palestinian suicide bombers are deliberately targeting the most non-combatant civilians they can find -- malls, shopping centers, and synagogues just after services are not where to find concentrations of soldiers, combantats, or militants. They're places to find children. And kill them.

Note: I'm no war blogger, so your syndromes don't affect me. I'm just a reasonable guy with a not entirely biased view of the situation. Since there is no good analysis of the entire conflict that I could find (everyone is encourgaed to use google to find better statistics), I picked a representative article about the recent fighting and tallied it up. The only enie-meenie-mini-mo I did was to err on the side of palestinians, trying to be reasonable. sorry.
posted by zpousman at 9:50 AM on April 16, 2002


Quick! Show it to the Little Green Footballs team!
posted by Jongo at 7:24 PM on April 16, 2002


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