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Israel attacks
October 5, 2003 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Israel attacks "terrorist training camp" in Syria Last time I checked Syria was a sovereign State. I don't know if there is a formally declared war already ongoing between Israel and Syria. Is there one now ?
posted by elpapacito (138 comments total)

 
According to BBC News 24, this attack wasn't "aimed at Syria" but rather terrorists within Syria. Yeah, sure. A convenient distinction, which means that I'm *sure* Israel notified the Syrian government of their intentions and got their full cooperation. Well, 99% sure they did.... well, OK, 90%... OK, OK, 10% sure. But I'm not going any lower, OK?
posted by kaemaril at 6:16 AM on October 5, 2003


I don't know if there is a formally declared war already ongoing between Israel and Syria.

Yes.
Last time I checked Israel only made peace with Jordan and Egypt following the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
posted by PenDevil at 6:18 AM on October 5, 2003


Why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why ?

a) Why do people think that escalating violence will achieve anything?

b) Why bother posting this?
posted by daveg at 6:36 AM on October 5, 2003


In earlier news, "A Palestinian woman blew herself up in a crowded seaside restaurant at lunchtime Saturday, killing 19 people including three children. It was one of the deadliest attacks in the past three years."
posted by marcusb at 6:47 AM on October 5, 2003


1. Syria listed by U.S. as Terror state.
2. The group claiming responsibility for killing 19 people in suicide attack is located within Syrian borders.
3. Israel does nothinbg without getting ok from White House.
4. If you house killers do you think those being assaulted ought not go after you because you are in someone's "private property"? The days of seeking sancuary in churhes is long gone.
5. I object to a poster decidinbg for all what ought and ought no be posted. Don't like the post, move on.
posted by Postroad at 7:00 AM on October 5, 2003


postroad : on your #4 point. If i break into your house (which is obviously your private property) because I'm chasing a killer and I accidentaly kill half of your family while shooting at the killer, am I justified because I was chasing a killer ?
posted by elpapacito at 7:18 AM on October 5, 2003


The days of seeking sancuary in churhes is long gone.

That argument is so flawed, I don't even know where to begin.

Is there anyone wanted for crimes against the Chinese government living here in the US? Because if so, I hope everyone's got their bomb shelters stocked.
posted by jpoulos at 7:46 AM on October 5, 2003


3. Israel does nothinbg without getting ok from White House.

I assume that you are a 'physically' grown human, but somehow have come to this opinion anyway.

This whopper is one of the most foolish, if not deranged ideas I've ever heard concerning middle east relations.

Israel does little without US money, but that money has been given freely by us, with no limitations/conditions, unlike our UN dues.

Your point #4 is the exact same rationale behind the terrorists. They see regimes supported by US as killers, and see our 'private property' as fair game for opportunities for revenge. Good company you keep.
posted by Busithoth at 8:00 AM on October 5, 2003


postroad, I think your #3 point is out of date. These days Israel goes ahead and does what it wants and for reasons that make no sense to me - and I'm and American Jew - America rubber stamps it, or on occasion makes some naughty, naughty gestures and follows them with a wink and a nod.
posted by donfactor at 8:04 AM on October 5, 2003


jpoulos-I'm afraid you completely misunderstood the situation. We're GOOD. We're hosting those Chinese because we're good and support their rights to Freedom™ and Democracy®. And the Chinese are BAD. So these rules just don't apply. EVIL nations can't make preemptive strikes on other countries just because the ambassadors second cousin heard at a frat party that somebody somewhere is maybe making a WMD, because they're EVIL. We and our allies only work out of the kindness of our pure hearts, so it's acceptable for us to do these these things. Because we're GOOD. And they're EVIL. God said so.

This has been a public service announcement from the Ad Council. Please support the economy, get out there, and start consuming.
posted by ehintz at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2003


Why do people think that escalating violence will achieve anything?

Because doing otherwise only encourages the attacker to do more.

Basic law of the playground - one wonders how you missed it. Perhaps you were raised in a Skinner box?
posted by hadashi at 8:10 AM on October 5, 2003


"3. Israel does nothinbg without getting ok from White House."

Your point here seems like it might possibly be weak. While it's certainly not something I would accuse you of, many here seem to think you've made it up or are deluded. If it were true (that the Bush administration, and I guess the Clinton administration as well?, vet all Israeli military action), that would be very damning wouldn't it? If it wasn't made up I mean. I'd be very interested in seeing you provide some documentation on this point. Or if, for some reason, documentation seems to be unavailable, it might be fun to have to you give us a rhetorical basis for your belief in this cause and effect relationship.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:16 AM on October 5, 2003


I object to a poster decidinbg [sic] for all what ought and ought no be posted.

Perhaps we could call this the metanaturalistic fallacy: the belief that what is posted ought to be posted.
posted by srboisvert at 8:29 AM on October 5, 2003


It is, interestingly, the 30th anniversary of the Yom Kippur tomorrow (at least by the Jewish calendar, since tomorrow is Yom Kippur). This attack was, I'm sure, planned to be a symbol of strength, on the anniversary of a point at which Israel's position was weakest.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:01 AM on October 5, 2003


Is there anyone wanted for crimes against the Chinese government living here in the US? Because if so, I hope everyone's got their bomb shelters stocked.

False analogy, because the "crimes" of the Chinese dissidents in exile here are not comparable to the atrocities committed by the Islamofascist gangs, harbored by Syria.

If we had Chinese groups here, who periodically sent bomb-laden assassins to kill Chinese in Hong Kong restaurants, I think we would've heard from the PRC by now.
posted by reality at 9:05 AM on October 5, 2003


Attn: editors

In an effort to ease time-wasting on Israeli-Palestinian violence, please feel free to use the following story as "public domain:"
A Palestinian suicide bomber killed several innocent people today. Israel has since responded by sending helicoptors and/or tanks into a Palestinian-populated neighborhood in the West Bank. When reached for comment, both sides were quoted as saying "this will solve everything."
Thank you.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2003 [1 favorite]


Basic law of the playground - one wonders how you missed it. Perhaps you were raised in a Skinner box?

Or raised by people who value not behaving like children.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:11 AM on October 5, 2003


XQU, that's awesome.

not really on point here, though.

Yes, it means that Syria and Israel are sort of at war, but Syria said that they're going to the UN instead of doing anything of substance.

See, Islamic Jihad's offices, which were bombed today, are those selfsame offices which the Syrians swore to Colin Powell that they were closing. Swore. "We won't support those terrorists, Colin" they said.

And then they didn't do what they said. Not so much with the pity on that one.

Do any innocent civilians in Syria who might have gotten hit have my sympathy? As much as the families in Israel whose families were killed by the suicide bomber. Which is to say, quite a lot.

There are an awful lot of civillians in harms way here.

One difference, of course, is that if the Israelis think that there is too much violence and a regime change of their own leaders will help, they can dissolve the government and start over.

Same can't be said of the Palestinians or the Syrians, now can it? So if their policies are insane and are bringing ruin to their people, what can the common civillian do? Besides pray?
posted by swerdloff at 9:17 AM on October 5, 2003


Regarding Syria: Did the Bush Administration burn a useful source on Al Qaeda?
posted by homunculus at 9:17 AM on October 5, 2003


Ignatius--

Big words from a guy whose country blasted the shit out of Afghanistan (we'll leave Iraq out of this) for housing terrorists.
posted by effugas at 9:20 AM on October 5, 2003


effugas-
And did that violence solve the underlying problem? Was it childish to blow a bunch of shit up instead of finding and prosecuting bin Laden and his network? In my eyes it was.

I neither supported nor decided on the war in Afghanistan. I am rarely consulted on major foreign policy decisions, you might be surprised to learn. My country also practiced slavery until 140 years ago, so would it be hypocritical for me to come out aginst slavery now?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:25 AM on October 5, 2003


I have long been under the impression that Israel attacks whoever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they want.

Then again, I don't have much respect for any country whose politics is so heavily mired in religion.

(Then once again, I can't say much for the classically atheist countries either.) ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2003


hadashi: yeah on the playground it's true. Unfortunately somebody thinks playground closely mimics war, but on a playground you're not killed or starved or bombed. And it's only a game that you can always quit with minor consequences if any.

On a tangent : maybe he was raised in a box, but you should stop playing Unreal/Quake it's affecting the way you judge reality. Get real.
posted by elpapacito at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2003


not really on point here, though.

Yes, it means that Syria and Israel are sort of at war, but Syria said that they're going to the UN instead of doing anything of substance.

I think that's exactly why it's on the point. One of the lesser-reported facts of this story is the rationale for the woman who comitted the suicide attack in Israel that killed herself and 19 other people: the woman claimed in her martyrdom video that she wanted revenge against Israel for the death of two of her family members at the hands of ther Israeli military.

Does this justify her actions? Obviously not. And likewise, is there a real "revenge" here? No. Just more random dead people.

Similarly, Israel has attacked Syria on an anniversary that blatantly opposes most notions of coincidence. In other words, both sides have just perfomed an action that is not as much for true retaliation, but for symbolism.

Likewise, Syria's move to the UN is symbolic. In the real world, the moment we hear about a death in this missile strike we get to wonder who's family member in Syria "wants revenge" now, too. Israel has easily risked opening a new front in this "war" regardless of the Syrian government choosing to take part in it. Their move to the UN is, at least initially, purely symbolic. Their real response will unfold in six weeks at a bus station in Israel. Message recieved? Expect response shortly.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:48 AM on October 5, 2003


Yes, Ignatius, the US should have "found and prosecuted" Osama and pals because it was just a matter of choosing to find them. You make it sound so easy. Not to say that the US failure to capture Osama is not a major screwup, but how the hell would *you* go about "finding and prosecuting" a terrorist network hidden within an incredibly hostile region? Perhaps the UN could have imposed some sanctions on the terrorists?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:10 AM on October 5, 2003


This thread, while not descending into blatant name-calling (yet), is remarkably uninformed and clumsy.
posted by signal at 10:21 AM on October 5, 2003


And please, lets all remember that Israel has been (and remains) in violation of UN Security Council resolutions since 1967. Adding another UN SC resolution probably won't make them change their behavior.
posted by Birichini at 10:25 AM on October 5, 2003


We are a doomed race.
posted by moonbiter at 10:50 AM on October 5, 2003


One difference, of course, is that if the Israelis think that there is too much violence and a regime change of their own leaders will help, they can dissolve the government and start over.

Hey, I'm all for democracy, but didn't you just say that it's okay for a country to engage in as much violence as it wants as longs as a majority of its citizens support the violence?
posted by Slothrup at 10:52 AM on October 5, 2003


Sorry folks, it's time to can to B.S. and some wonder why some accuse us on the of being anti-Semitism.

Postroad, thanks for the good points.
posted by Bag Man at 10:54 AM on October 5, 2003


Israel sometimes does bad stuff, but they have a right to defend themselves. It makes me sick that some people (most people here) can't distinguish between the two.
posted by Bag Man at 10:57 AM on October 5, 2003


If this comes up in the security council the US will veto any resolution blaming Israel. The US has been doing this for years, postroad's item #3 seems to be truer than ever.

This is why many member states want internal reforms in the UN. One country with a veto hampers the democratic process and only the security council holds any power.
posted by skallas at 10:57 AM on October 5, 2003


Yes, Ignatius, the US should have "found and prosecuted" Osama and pals because it was just a matter of choosing to find them. You make it sound so easy.

The Guardian reports that the US may have made a deal with Paikstan not to capture Osama Bin Laden, who is believed to be holed up in that country's northern mountains, in order to prevent Pakistani civil unrest.

(The article is based on a single, possibly suspect source, but still....)
posted by jpoulos at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2003


False analogy, because the "crimes" of the Chinese dissidents in exile here are not comparable to the atrocities committed by the Islamofascist gangs, harbored by Syria.

Why not? Because we consider overt terrorism "out of bounds", and so we would give turn over any Chinese terrorists to Beijing? The Chinese consider speaking out against the government "out of bounds", but we don't. That's why the Chinese haven't come after us for them.

Just as we consider anti-government speech a valid political tactic, so do the Syrians consider terrorism fair play. And just as we won't turn over anti-Chinese activists because we think they're tactics are valid, so won't the Syrians turn over the Palestinian terrorists. It's not right, but it's logical. And I think the analogy works.

Do I personally consider seditious speech the equivalent of suicide bombing? Of course not, but going into a sovereign nation with guns blazing is not how you conduct international politics--unless you want the world to turn against you (see Bush, George W.).
posted by jpoulos at 11:12 AM on October 5, 2003


but how the hell would *you* go about "finding and prosecuting" a terrorist network hidden within an incredibly hostile region?

By pretending that an unrelated dictator had really bad weapons, lying my way to war, and pulling agents off of the bin Laden hunt to get them to work on Iraq?

I'm not questioning the difficulty of finding a billionaire fugitive (and it's especially hard when our friends are helping to hide him), I'm questioning the earnestness with which it has been pursued. Your reasoning is like defending the ELF's arson because "stopping global wamring is hard. how would you save the Earth?"
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:21 AM on October 5, 2003


I don't know if there is a formally declared war already ongoing between Israel and Syria. Is there one now ?

Sort of... its called The War Against Terrorism (TWAT for short). Or you could call it The Global War On Terrorism, as the Bushies like to call it lately. (TGWOT? Not as catchy.) Or you could just go ahead and call it World War III, which is probably what the history books will end up calling it a few decades from now. In any case, terrorism is everywhere, we're all involved, and you're either with us or agin' us. Haven't you heard?

Think they're not related? Here's what I see:
Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said, “Any country who harbors terrorism, who trains, supports and encourages them, will be responsible to answer for their actions,” Ha’aretz reported.

And then there's this one...
“We will not tolerate the continuation of this axis of terror between Tehran, Damascus and Gaza to continue to operate and kill innocent men, women and children,” the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman, Gissin, said, according to media reports.

Any of this sound familiar?
posted by spilon at 11:25 AM on October 5, 2003


jpoulos,

You have missed the point totally and your logic is flawed. Today Israel did not do what GWB did in Iraq. Today Israel did not attack a sovereign nation, rather they attacked a rouge group that attacked them first. In contrast, GWB attacked a sovereign nation with little or no evidence that that nation has ever attacked the US. Please jpoulos, this totally different that the Iraq war.
posted by Bag Man at 11:26 AM on October 5, 2003


Do I personally consider seditious speech the equivalent of suicide bombing? Of course not

You basically did...violence is not and has never been a protected form of dissent, nor should it be.
posted by Bag Man at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2003


spilon,

Of course it sounds familiar, but it's just the rhetoric. Today a group attacked a sovereign nation, and that sovereign nation has the right to defend itself against that group. That's exactly what Israel did. Something those on the left (like spilon and jpoulos) can as fundy has those on the right. Not all wars and military action is inherently evil, this example of a measured response justified by prior events. It's time to look at the facts kidies and not just the parties involved. It know it's not "in" to like Israel or believe in its right to protect its people, but I'm one lefty who thinks Israel has the right to exist and the right to take actions to protect itself when that response is reasonable. That is what happened to day.
posted by Bag Man at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2003


Just as we consider anti-government speech a valid political tactic, so do the Syrians consider terrorism fair play.

Right, which is why since Israel considers this bombing a form of protecting their interests equivalent to, say, US tariffs on Chinese imports, there's no point in complaining about what they did either. Not that I personally consider them equivalent. Metaphors: they're all fun and games until someone pokes an eye out.

PS I'm kinda surprised no one brought up the Osirak nuclear reactor incident; that's the first thing I thought of when I read about this.
posted by boaz at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2003


BM: Today Israel did not attack a sovereign nation, rather they attacked a rouge group that attacked them first.

Territory of a sovereign nation is still part of a sovereign nation. It seems like your attempts to defuse this only seem to defend that Arabs have no rights to international sovereignty. Which is the root of the problem: see Palestine's lack of autonomy.

BM: and some wonder why some accuse us on the of being anti-Semitism.

You may ask yourself why you have no respect for international law broken by a well US funded nuclear power attacking its neighbors. A part of me wonders how much longer until they just use the bomb and finish the job.

Also, you can put your "criticizing the hard-right wing government of Israel equals anti-semitisim" straw-man to bed.
posted by skallas at 11:53 AM on October 5, 2003


Skallas...Also, you can put your "criticizing the hard-right wing government of Israel equals anti-semitisim" straw-man to bed.

Please read a prior post of mine....no straw man here.
posted by Bag Man at 11:56 AM on October 5, 2003


Also, bagman, riddle me this. If Damascus sees this as their 9/11 or Pearl Harbor does this justify them launching a, say, neutron bomb into downtown Tel Aviv to defend itself? Afterall, their conventional military is no match for the Israeli military my tax dollars pay for.

The war on global terror is a double-edged sword. Crying foul at retalitation, which is the core of Palestine/Israeli dynamic of late, is a morally bankrupt position.
posted by skallas at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2003


You have missed the point totally and your logic is flawed. Today Israel did not do what GWB did in Iraq. Today Israel did not attack a sovereign nation, rather they attacked a rouge group that attacked them first.

Since 9/11, the US has gone after Al Quaeda leaders in other nations (Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.), performing surgical strikes to take out targeted individuals. They did it only with the permission of those nations. Without that permission, their acts would have been seen as illegal aggression against those nations.
posted by jpoulos at 12:04 PM on October 5, 2003


BM: Today Israel did not attack a sovereign nation, rather they attacked a rouge group that attacked them first.

Territory of a sovereign nation is still part of a sovereign nation. It seems like your attempts to defuse this only seem to defend that Arabs have no rights to international sovereignty. Which is the root of the problem: see Palestine's lack of autonomy.


This why I'm sometimes ashamed to a leftie...it's knee jerk reactions that make me sick and it pisses me off that skalla implied that anyone who defends Israel is some sort of Arab hater. Like Howard Dean, I am on the side if peace, but there can be no peace if violent groups continue to attack. These groups are not the Palestinian people nor do I feel they represent the majority of Palestinian people. So a balanced approach is need. Promote the peaceful factions while dealing with the violent facts that continue to frustrate the process. This including eliminating terror groups and hawks in the Israeli government.

Basely Skalla’s argument reminds of some valley girl throwing her arming and proclaiming "why can’t be all get a long?" It’s well established that when group A attacks group B, group B has the right to take action. This was the case here.

Just in case Skalla can’t read, I’ll remind Skalla the gist of my prior post I linked too: I don’t support all of Israel's actions, but I support this one. Why kiddies? Simple, Israel was attacked by a specific group and that gave Israel the right to attack that specific group. Once that group has attacked Israel they have gave up their right to claim the protection of international sovereignty. While on Syrian land, the government Syria was not attack nor has Syria taken any steps to stop this group, which incidentally is violating international law by attacking.
posted by Bag Man at 12:12 PM on October 5, 2003


Since 9/11, the US has gone after Al Quaeda leaders in other nations (Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.), performing surgical strikes to take out targeted individuals. They did it only with the permission of those nations. Without that permission, their acts would have been seen as illegal aggression against those nations.

jpoulos, you mention Afghanistan, but the US did have the permission from the Taliban to attack; Nor did Clinton have permission to attack several Al Quaeda targets during his tenure. I supported those moves just has I supporting this one today.

I know people have gone to great pains to cast me as Nazi, racist and right winger, but they are wrong. I voted for Clinton. I voted for Gore. I voted against Bush. If I could, I'd vote against Sharon and his government. If I have my there would be not Iraq war. If I had it my way Bush would be up on war crimes charges. If I have my way Israel and the POL would be at the table hammering out a deal. However, under no circumstances does any nation have the right to harbor those who attack sovereign nations or support the attack of sovereign nations. That kiddies is the issue.
posted by Bag Man at 12:20 PM on October 5, 2003


Err, since Syria and Israel are technically still at war, and there have been scuffles before, how exactly is this a huge escalation, or a syrian "9/11 or Pearl Harbor"?

This is not, by middle east standards, a major event, unless you interpret it as a warning to Syria of further action to come unless they crack down immediately. Which it is not, since Israel would not strike in any major way against Syria with Israeli/Hizbollah prisoner-exchange negotiations at so advanced a stage.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:26 PM on October 5, 2003


You can have whatever feelings you wish about Syria (which happens to be my Dad's home country) but this is a blatantly aggressive act, and I hope the U.N. pulls its thumb out of its ass in a hurry and condemns it.

Not that U.N. resolutions ever meant anything to Israel.

Thanks for the post.
posted by scarabic at 12:31 PM on October 5, 2003


Also, bagman, riddle me this. If Damascus sees this as their 9/11 or Pearl Harbor does this justify them launching a, say, neutron bomb into downtown Tel Aviv to defend itself? Afterall, their conventional military is no match for the Israeli military my tax dollars pay for

Aside for the Batman rhetoric, this argument is so flawed I can't begin to respond...are you suggesting that Syria has the right to attack Israel because of 1973? Or are you suggesting some sort of justification for attack because of the impasse in the peace process? Or are you suggesting that the harsh treatment of the Palestinian people by the current Israeli government allows Syria to wipe out Tel Aviv?

In this conflict there is "right side", but Israel today was justified. Tomorrow when the Israeli government bulldozes some people’s houses they are likely to be on the wrong side. Why? Not because of who that are (Skallas suggests), but because what they do.
posted by Bag Man at 12:31 PM on October 5, 2003


skallas: Palestineans have no sovereignty today because Arab leaders decided in 1948 to attack Israel rather than accept the UN-mandated partition of Palestine into separate states. Instead, Jordan absorbed what should have been the Arab state and since then Arab leaders have kept these people in refugee camps rather than allow them to become citizens of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria and so forth.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:32 PM on October 5, 2003


Since the likelihood of Syria agreeing to allow Israeli retaliation would be not only nil but also utterly absurd, Israel's decision to simply retaliate without approval was probably the correct decision. Its not as if they had many options, and if some recent reports on some Mossad failures are true, then the Mossad was not available for a quieter form of retaliation.

Its not as if Syria could or would retaliate to this bombing. Syria knew the risks when it funded this group, and I would imagine that in Damascus tonight, they are congratulating each other on what is, for them, a nice victory.

After all, their client group managed to shed a large amount of Israeli blood, and then drove the Israeli's to this retaliatory bombing which allows Syria to play the part of the pious victim, thus further driving down the Israeli cause in the eyes of the world.

This is a fairly effective and smart strategy by Syria, who cannot face the Israeli's on any sort of equal military standing.

As for the Israeli's, there wasn't much of a choice. For the peaceniks in the audience, would you rather have the Israeli's simply stomp their feet in Syria's general direction and pout? Send some angry letters? Stand on the border and make obscene gestures? File a formal protest at the UN?
posted by pandaharma at 12:35 PM on October 5, 2003


You can have whatever feelings you wish about Syria (which happens to be my Dad's home country) but this is a blatantly aggressive act, and I hope the U.N. pulls its thumb out of its ass in a hurry and condemns it.

Not that U.N. resolutions ever meant anything to Israel.

Thanks for the post.


Sometimes I wish a strawman was a strawman for all. But them again I guess Jews don't get to defend themselves.
posted by Bag Man at 12:35 PM on October 5, 2003


pandaharma said (minus the "peaceniks" insult).
posted by Bag Man at 12:38 PM on October 5, 2003


great post! thanks elpapacito!
posted by poopy at 12:41 PM on October 5, 2003


Bag Man: Actually, I largely agree with you on this issue. I was just pointing out the disturbing yet predictable 'monkey see, monkey do' aspect of the Perma-War.
posted by spilon at 12:48 PM on October 5, 2003


spilon,

Point well taken, but rhetoric is often copied and reused. I think I'd have a problem if Israel up and invaded, conquered and occupied another country without justification as Bush did. However, talk in this case is cheat. Perhaps the Israeli spokesman was trying to get a bit of "street cred" from Bush by using the Bush-like statement, but likely nothing more.
posted by Bag Man at 12:55 PM on October 5, 2003


You can have whatever feelings you wish about Syria (which happens to be my Dad's home country) but this is a blatantly aggressive act, and I hope the U.N. pulls its thumb out of its ass in a hurry and condemns it.

Well, since in 1973 Syria invaded Israel without prompting a UN resolution condemning it (though they did quickly broker a 'no-fault' ceasefire once it became clear Israel was going to win), how are they gonna look if they condemn this isolated act now? Pretty much like they've looked for the past 30 years, bigoted and short-sighted.
posted by boaz at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2003


US did have the permission from the Taliban to attack

I assume you mean that they didn't have permission from the Taliban. I was referring to post-Taliban Afghanistan. They had permission from the government that the US installed there.

There is no precedent that I know of where a military went into a country without its permission to take out "rogue" groups that weren't seen as illegal aggression towards that country, or an outright act of war. I'm no historian, though. If I'm wrong, please point one out.
posted by jpoulos at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2003


weren't wasn't
posted by jpoulos at 1:04 PM on October 5, 2003


On post: I think BM already mentioned Clinton's missile strike against an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 1998 as a pretty clear parallel situation, jpoulos.
posted by boaz at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2003


1. The suicide woman lost two members of her family. Both belonged to Terror groups!
2. Syria is going to the UN? nice. Syrian has a rotating seat at the Security council. Israel is denied this rotating seat because of pressure from 22 arab nations! The UN is worthless and consists of how many nations that begin to resemble democracies?
3. When 9/11 happened and we lost some 3 thousand people, the Taliban refused over and over to turn over Osama and close down the terror camps that trained the killers involved in 9/11--did we do right by invading a sovereign nation? you bet your ass...the 3 thousand deserved no less; the Taliban deserved even more than they have thus far got.
3.4 Any nation that harbors and allows terror groups to act against your nation is no longer sacrosanct and is a nation allowing warfare against your country. A nation's first duty is to protect its citizens.
posted by Postroad at 1:20 PM on October 5, 2003


1. The suicide woman lost two members of her family. Both belonged to Terror groups!

This is an argument against an act already established as a bastardization of overreactive emotions? What's your rationale here: "Dammit, I can see that this complete stranger I never met is a horrific monster. Why doesn't the member of his family that lived with him all her life? Don't you get it? She not ALLOWED to be sad!" Additionally, are you suggesting that every single person killed by Israeli air strikes and raids deserved it via your Kevin Bacon method of linking to terrorism?

3.4 Any nation that harbors and allows terror groups to act against your nation is no longer sacrosanct and is a nation allowing warfare against your country. A nation's first duty is to protect its citizens.

Well, except when we're the United States, you know, training terrorists to wage warfare against your country. I'm very worried that you support the idea of the Nicaraguan army being justified in launching air strikes against downtown Houston. But let me guess, that's not what you meant.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:44 PM on October 5, 2003


What I wonder is why Israel chose to attack (an empty building in) Syria after 30 years of cease-fire instead of going after another terrorist camp/building in Palestine (with some terrorists in it). Heck, going after Arafat would probably make more sense.

To me it smells like a symbolic act of (artificial) power from Israel's side - and only God knows what they want to achieve with it - leaving the UNSC and the US with allies in a pretty tricky situation. Israel can't really be blamed for going after a country that's (probably) hosting terrorists attacking its citizens, but by doing so Israel also escalates the hostile situation in the region. Unwelcome and unpredictable consequences down the road.

Anyone got any ideas?

I also wonder, slightly off-topic, where this global "war on terrorism" went. Since the embarrassing efforts in Afghanistan there's been nada nil and nothing even remotely close to what could be called progress, which is exactly what we need.

And, yes, to address the original question: As far as I know nothing really came out of the January 2000 land-for-peace agreement talks in Washington, meaning there's no formally declared peace between the two contries.

posted by psychomedia at 2:02 PM on October 5, 2003


To me it smells like a symbolic act of (artificial) power from Israel's side - and only God knows what they want to achieve with it

I'm sitting watching the UN coverage live on CNN, and something is fishy--maybe we pushed Israel to do this? This is not the timing Israel would have chosen (hours before Yom Kippur), even though Islamic Jihad has its headquarters in Syria. Is this the start of the next round of the War on Terror™?
posted by amberglow at 2:16 PM on October 5, 2003


elpachito. You run into my house, you be dead. End of story asstard!
posted by effer27 at 2:16 PM on October 5, 2003


Palestinians have no sovereignty today because Arab leaders decided in 1948 to attack Israel rather than accept the UN-mandated partition of Palestine into separate states.

Well, if we're going to maddeningly oversimplify things, we could say that Palestinians have no sovereignty today because Zionist terrorists physically ejected them from their homes in 1947-48.

Understand this: The occupation and Jewish settlement activity (which is increasing, in violation of Israel's own pledges) is a continuing provocation, yet another signal that Sharon's government simply does not negotiate in good faith.

Since we are coming into a U.S. election year, expect Israel to ramp up its settlement activity and its military incursions into Palestine, since no American candidate will likely want to alienate the pro-Israel vote by suggesting that Israel doesn't have the right to brutalize Palestinians and destroy their homes at will.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:24 PM on October 5, 2003


effer27: Well it seems like you need to practice your interaction with people MORE...quoting from one of your postings..

I've been practicing lucid dreaming for a couple years and it is an odd experience.
The benefits include enhanced control over nightmare dream, shaping the environment of my dreams, and a "safe" simulation to express myself and interact with the "people" in them


Stop interacting with imaginary friends , they don't exist. Try relating with people without using the asstard meme, It doesn't impress anybody anymore.
posted by elpapacito at 2:55 PM on October 5, 2003


bag man: but they have a right to defend themselves

skallas: does this justify them launching a, say, neutron bomb into downtown Tel Aviv to defend itself

It's interesting that attacking other nations is now considered defense. Checking the definition of defend I get this:

1 : to take action against attack or challenge <couldn 't fight back, could only defend>

This is a little piece of newspeak I think really hurts the discussion. Offense != Defense.

bag man: It’s well established that when group A attacks group B, group B has the right to take action.

post road: did we do right by invading a sovereign nation? you bet your ass...the 3 thousand deserved no less;

I'll put it more strongly than bag man. They don't have just have the right to take action they have the duty to put an end to the violence.

Does anyone think that the souls of the 3,000 we lost rest any easier because we've sent Iraqis and Afghanis to join them? Does killing Palestinians bring back the lost Israelis or does it put more in harms way?

Israel has been using violence for decades to try to bring them peace, and it obviously hasn't worked. Is it so outrageous to suggest that they try a different approach, or that the United States not fall into the same trap?
posted by betaray at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2003


They don't have just have the right to take action they have the duty to put an end to the violence.

Yep. A full-on fine toothed comb approach to the terrorist-infested palestine breeding grounds is absolutely necessary. The Israeli army is capable of it, so why the reluctance to stomp the terrorists completely out?

It might take a week or so to jail, subdue or dispatch the entire Arafat gang of thugs. Whats the wait?
posted by hama7 at 3:24 PM on October 5, 2003


A predictable end to the week that was Bush/Rush/Arnie's worst.

As always, Games without frontiers.
posted by BentPenguin at 3:26 PM on October 5, 2003


If we consider the attack in Syria not as a political retaliation against a terrorist group , but as a method of protecting israeli
people from more attacks (by removing the source of attacks) I don't see how that's going to work.

Unlike the coward white supremacists (read neonazist) that did the Oklahoma bombing who escaped the explosions, the suicide bombers do die in action.

Let's assume that they both were subject to strong brainwashing with different ideals , but substantially with the same purpose (implanting the idea that your group is supremely superior and always right) ..how did that work with the last suicide bomber who allegedly was a lawyer , not your everyday Joe ?

Maybe desperation ? I can't see how more war and more retaliations is going to reduce desperation. Maybe the israeli pilots who recently refused to keep on attacking palestinians (and that were quickly labeled as traitors for this) understood military might is not the answer for terrorism.
posted by elpapacito at 3:36 PM on October 5, 2003


jpoulos, you mention Afghanistan, but the US did [sic] have the permission from the Taliban to attack; Nor did Clinton have permission to attack several Al Quaeda targets during his tenure. I supported those moves just has I supporting this one today.

So I assume you support any future retaliatory attacks by representatives of Iraq upon U.S. territory?

This is an argument against an act already established as a bastardization of overreactive emotions? What's your rationale here: "Dammit, I can see that this complete stranger I never met is a horrific monster. Why doesn't the member of his family that lived with him all her life? Don't you get it? She not ALLOWED to be sad!"

Being "sad" is one thing; committing murder, quite another. Or in your world, is it appropriate for me to come and kill your father if he runs down my sister in his car while drunk?
posted by rushmc at 3:38 PM on October 5, 2003


A full-on fine toothed comb approach to the terrorist-infested palestine breeding grounds is absolutely necessary. The Israeli army is capable of it, so why the reluctance to stomp the terrorists completely out?

Same reason the US is having so much difficulty cleaning up Iraq. It's a lot harder than you might fantasize.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:59 PM on October 5, 2003


Why kiddies?
whats up with all these "kiddies" remarks?

Bag man
You are also obviously a firm believer in "the best form of defence is the offence". So i guess, according to your logic, palestinians have every right to defend themselves by bombing the fuck out of israel too.
posted by carfilhiot at 4:04 PM on October 5, 2003


>Or are you suggesting some sort of justification for attack because of the impasse in the peace process?

This "valley girl kiddie" as you keep calling me is pointing out two facts:

1. Unilateral attacks across borders are a violation of international law.

2. The above doesn't even work, Israel has lost more people to suicide bombers this year than ever I believe.

Lastly, and I'll say it again for Bag Man, if you take the "revenge is sweet" role then so will your enemy. Thus the endless back and forth between Israel and Palestinians.

Worse, there is no exit strategy in that region. Settlements continue and now there's a wall. If Israel wants to play apartheid it should be without US money, plain and simple. Lastly, if Syria was a nuclear power also this kind of action would have never taken place. Maybe crazy old Teller was right: more nukes the better.

Why the constant mention of 1973 when the root problem was the quick and dirty formation of Israel and Zionist terrorism. We can go back into history until before civilization, but the real problems of today are not going to be solved through Israel's heavy handed tactics with the US's approval and funding.
posted by skallas at 4:24 PM on October 5, 2003


It might take a week or so to jail, subdue or dispatch the entire Arafat gang of thugs. Whats the wait?

Your post left a sick feeling in my stomach.

It's amazing that you think that all Israel's woes are caused by some 'gang of thugs'.

killing arafat could do nothing but make it worse. there is not 1 person or 10 or 10 000 people you can simple exterminate to end this conflict. it is people against people. it's about land, sovereignity and pride. and the only way to stop it is to STOP THE RETALIATION. a cycle of violence can never be stopped by more violence. you have to be a fool not to see that. Lives are so much cheaper than honour, i promise you that. for peace, people need to grow up and stop acting like children in a playground. that is the only way.
posted by carfilhiot at 4:29 PM on October 5, 2003


billsaysthis: if you want to tell us about the recent history of israeli-palestinese conflict you're welcome (really) but check some interesting facts.

That little piece of land was under British "protection" for many years. Eventually the British literally fled the zone after years of "policing" because it was becoming the unholy unsolvable mess it looks like now ; that also thanks to the terrorist actions of a group of israeli extremists that wanted the britons OUT and that didn't sympathize for the arabs either. As much as palestinians , they wanted their own complete indipendence and they wanted to achieve it by ANY means ; also wanted some more land, which angered the arabs. Now add the cultural and religious clash between jews and muslims, you've got hell.

Now my summary isn't but a fraction of recent history, but without any doubt there has always been a strong terrorist component both from the israeli side and from the palestinian one. As we see, it seems to be useless and endless.

The problem, as it seems to me, is that there isn't any generation of palestinians and israelis that have enough power or will to say "enough of this religious nonsense, enough of this bloodbath. Let's solve it before we're reduced to a protectorate by **insert your favourite superpower here, most likely usa** that doesn't give a flying f*uck about us"
posted by elpapacito at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2003


elpapacito, I completely agree that religion-based violence and hatred is absurd and wrong.

Well, if we're going to maddeningly oversimplify things, we could say that Palestinians have no sovereignty today because Zionist terrorists physically ejected them from their homes in 1947-48.

I wasn't referring to the Arabs living inside the UN-drawn 1948 borders but to the other part of the British-controlled territory. Part of that territory is now the Israeli-held West Bank, no doubt, but if the Arabs had not attacked in '48, '56, and '67, Israel would have had no reason to grab that territory. If anything, the growing economic power of oil might have led events on a very different path.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2003


killing arafat could do nothing but make it worse. there is not 1 person or 10 or 10 000 people you can simple exterminate to end this conflict. it is people against people. it's about land, sovereignity and pride. and the only way to stop it is to STOP THE RETALIATION. a cycle of violence can never be stopped by more violence. you have to be a fool not to see that. Lives are so much cheaper than honour, i promise you that. for peace, people need to grow up and stop acting like children in a playground. that is the only way.

But therein lies the problem. The Mideast conflict is no longer about resolution, it's about victory.

Israel could dismantle the settlements, secure the Green Line, fortify a security road between Palestine and Gaza, and become impenetrable to terrorists at a fraction of the military financing they are wasting now to protect a decimal-percentage of the Israeli population. For all the rhetoric of the hard-right settlers, they would retreat from their promised section of sand in an instant if Sharon announced that the border is being walled up and anyone east of it is on their own from now on.

Likewise, the PLO and Hamas could drop all weapons tomorrow morning, begin marching thousands of unarmed Arabs through the streets of Jerusalem and sitting down in the middle of security checkpoints and probably have a state by the end of the week when Sharon realizes it's his only available response other than televised genocide.

Yet both sides instead opt for a face-saving strategy that costs countless lives and profits nothing. Israel will never gain significant land and/or power in the Middle East without entering a war that would involve anywere from two to five nuclear-capable nations. Their idea of "eliminating all enemies of Israel" is a fantasy in light of the sheer population of the anti-Israeli Arab world as it currently stands. On the other side, you have an impoverished population of desperate, misinformed, and manipulated people convinced that the Ouija-board military strategy of a 75-year old lunatic will somehow evolve into the overnight destruction of the Jewish race.

Arafat no longer has to form a home for his people. Arafat has to make Israel succumb to the demands of the Palestinian Authority. Israel must no longer merely secure its borders. Israel has to "win."

What makes this so depressing is that the stubborness reflects even in those who debate the crisis from afar. Doves in Israel are shouted down and voted out, while advocates for peace on both sides of the table are dismissed or killed by their own militant followers. Instead, the debate is dominated by sides that demand to continue tactics that have killed more Jews and Arabs per week than any other time since the formation of Israel, and people who suggest these wild conciliatory ideas that prevent that from happening are accused of either hating Jews or serving them.

Israel and Palestine are going to have to work this out, and they're going to have to do it soon. For all his uselessness, Arafat still serves as the one cohesive icon of the Palestinian people... his death, even by natural causes, will destabilize the entire West Bank and its encompassing militant groups (and if you think there's chaos now...)

Israel equally will watch itself plunge into social, cultural, and economic isolation and disparity if it continues to alienate the surrounding 1/5th of the global population, and its policy of annexation will only last until the Arab world decides to abandon the two-state solution and support a new kind of one-state solution: one in which all the residents of the occupied territories declare themselves Israeli citizens and demand voting rights.

The alternative to this is the formation of a Palestinian state by the only feasable guidelines: a return to 1967 borders or at the very minimum a land exchange redistricting Jewish settlements to positions non requiring external access, in exchange for the abandonment of refugee return claims. It is, with obviously more setail work required, the only overall solution that could realistically unfold.

Unfortunately, it requires both parties to cast an aura of "losing." But golly, that's just not worth saving a few thousand lives now, is it?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2003


pyschomedia is the only one who has accurately summarized the present situation, I think. Israel attacked an empty building as a warning to Syria (and verbally to Iran), as one of Sharon's new strategies is to try and cut off funding for terror groups, which is bound to be another losing, stopgap manuever. In the US and European countries, this effort has consisted of diplomatic and other pressure, but Iran and Syria have no relations with Israel and thus cannot be pressured this way. Israel knows that there has been no terrorist attackers trained in Syria in a long time, this was a symbolic strike, an escalation of hostilities by the stronger power in order to send a message.

Like most Israeli moves of the past 30 years, which fail to address the underlying problem, which is the dispossesion and later oppression of the Palestinians, it will be effective in changing nothing.
posted by chaz at 6:45 PM on October 5, 2003


XQUZYPHYR - if only it were so easy.

I also want Israel to dismantle the settlements, but I've been at those settlements, and I know it cannot be quick and easy. Many of those living in the settlements are merely there fore cheaper land and tax breaks - many others, however, are there because they honestly believe that it would be a disaster or a sin to abandon the settlements. Are they mad? Perhaps (and I'm sure many of them are extremely vile people - while others are just deluded), but nonetheless, they are there, there are many of them, they have have weapons, they have families, and they vote. No Israeli government will ever abandon them to the hands of the palestinians - and rightly so. As far as breaking up the settlements, this would take a massive amount of political will, money, and public support. None of those are currently there. If the populace believed wholeheartedly that they could withdraw to the green line (with some adjustments - keeping the old city of Jerusalem and some of the large settlements that have practically become cities - such as kedumim) and everything would quiet down, I think the will would be there, but the people don't have that trust, and I can't say I blame them.

As far as the palestinians are concerned - I know less about them, but I can say that (to a much greater degree than Israel), there are a tremendous number of individuals and organizations who need the violence to continue in order to gain/hold power and funds. Beyond that, they too probably lack the trust in Israel needed (although Israel has probably been more credible overall) for them to accept a peace.

Sometimes, as absurd as it is, I'm almost tempted to agree that the best policy is to "let the IDF win," strike hard against Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all them, and let Israel dictate the terms of peace (on the basis that Israel, being far the stronger power, must decide for both since they can't agree). And sometimes, I'm shocked at my own pessimism and anger; and try to convince myself that, eventually, a new more peaceful generation will take over (although the signs are not encouraging. Most of the time though, I don't have any ideas or hope or anything at all.
posted by kickingtheground at 6:54 PM on October 5, 2003


billsaythis:
I wasn't referring to the Arabs living inside the UN-drawn 1948 borders but to the other part of the British-controlled territory. Part of that territory is now the Israeli-held West Bank, no doubt, but if the Arabs had not attacked in '48, '56, and '67, Israel would have had no reason to grab that territory.

Zionist militias had been waging war on the Palestinian Arabs for years leading up to the 1948 birth of Israel, before any Arab states made war on them. That's not to simply say that "the Zionists started it," but, uh, they did. Lots of stuff has happened since then to spread the guilt around, but it's worth recognizing.

XQUZYPHYR, great comments. One response:
Israel could dismantle the settlements, secure the Green Line, fortify a security road between Palestine and Gaza, and become impenetrable to terrorists at a fraction of the military financing they are wasting now to protect a decimal-percentage of the Israeli population.

Indeed, Israel could probably recall all of it's soldiers from the occupied territories and line them up along the Green Line shoulder to shoulder and three deep. But that would mean abandoning once and for all the dream of the new Kingdom of Israel, which I think is recognized as unrealistic by the majority of Israelis, but unfortunately still animates an influential Israeli minority, including Sharon, not to mention a large number of American Christians who vote.

Which brings me back to my earlier suggestion that Israel will continue to increase it's military activity and expansion as the U.S. continues into campaign season.
posted by Ty Webb at 7:03 PM on October 5, 2003


Zionist militias had been waging war on the Palestinian Arabs for years leading up to the 1948 birth of Israel, before any Arab states made war on them. That's not to simply say that "the Zionists started it," but, uh, they did.

Except, uh, they didn't; the Palestinians were committing organized terrorist attacks against Zionists all the way back in the 1920's, culminating in the Palestinian Revolution in 1936-1939 during which thousands of Jews were murdered.
posted by boaz at 7:20 PM on October 5, 2003


the Palestinians were committing organized terrorist attacks against Zionists all the way back in the 1920's, culminating in the Palestinian Revolution in 1936-1939 during which thousands of Jews were murdered.

You're right, there was war between the Palestinian Arabs and Zionist settlers going back to the late 19th century. Who fired the first shot? I don't know, but it was the sustained campaign of Zionist terror and forced removal of Palestinian Arabs that characterizes the birth of Israel, and that provoked the wider Arab response.
posted by Ty Webb at 7:56 PM on October 5, 2003


not to mention a large number of American Christians who vote.

Why do they have anything to do with this? Is this really all to do with that end-times red-calf prophecy bullshit?

Hmm, shades of plastic paddies funding the IRA, but lets not go there eh?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:13 PM on October 5, 2003


Really? Most of the history books I've read of the period characterize the relation between the Palestinians and Zionists as quite peaceful prior to the 1920's, though I'm sure there were isolated incidents. I sure don't remember any wars from that period though (unless you're referring to WW1); perhaps you could point me to some documentation of that?

AFAIK, it wasn't until the Palestinian Revolution of 1937, after, if you recall, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, fresh from a trip to Nazi Germany, called for the Jewish invaders to be expelled, and the subsequent riots killed thousands of them, that the relationship between the Zionists and the Palestinians could be described as a state of war. Something in there might have, you know, provoked a wider Zionist response.
posted by boaz at 8:25 PM on October 5, 2003


Why do they have anything to do with this? Is this really all to do with that end-times red-calf prophecy bullshit?

Yes, sadly. More than a few Christian political representatives, including those serving in the Senate, tie their fundamentalist Christian beliefs into the existence of a state of Israel with the whole of Jerusalem as its capital as essential for the groundwork for the Second Coming.

The river splits, so to speak, at the point when Jesus does show up at the city prepared for him, seeing as how at that point all the Jews will be thanked for their participation and then cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. Drag.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2003


Why do they have anything to do with this? Is this really all to do with that end-times red-calf prophecy bullshit?

Yes.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:36 PM on October 5, 2003


Yes and yes. Wikipedia entry on "End Times"
The movement has spawned various timetables and countdowns to the apocalypse, whose general tendency can be summed up with the title of one of Lindsey's books, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. The former Soviet Union played a large role in Lindsey's earlier interpretations; his later books understandably tone that down considerably, while new villains like Saddam Hussein take its place. The movement has strained relationships with conservative U.S. governments and the government of Israel, as some Jews think American Christians' supposed support of Israel is merely a cover for their hope of the destruction of Judaism during the end times.

---

End times speculations have occasionally been made the subject of political controversy, especially in the United States when conservative Christians seek national political office. The implications of the prophecies that turmoil in the Middle East is inescapable, that nuclear war is predestined by Scripture, and that it will supernaturally lead to a divine utopia, give rise to some misgivings among unbelievers in the prophecies. James G. Watt, Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, once remarked that "my responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns;" this was interpreted by political foes as meaning that we did not need to take care of the environment because Jesus was returning soon. Ronald Reagan himself was quoted in 1980 as saying that "we may be the generation that sees Armageddon," suggesting that he was familiar with the prophecies. Similar controversies have followed United States Attorney General John Ashcroft.
posted by skallas at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2003


Bag Man, what news story are you reading? Would you care to substantiate *what*Israel was defending itself against by doing this? You've got to be smoking some serious crack to see an air strike across your neighbor's borders to be a defensive act.
posted by scarabic at 10:00 PM on October 5, 2003


I supported those moves just has I supporting this one today.

...

under no circumstances does any nation have the right to harbor those who attack sovereign nations or support the attack of sovereign nations.


On second thought, don't answer that. You are making absolutely no sense in this thread already.
posted by scarabic at 10:06 PM on October 5, 2003


blah blah blah blah-de fucking blah

Let's send the politicians from Israel, Syria, Serbia, Chechnya, Russia and the U.S. to the moon where they can happily wipe each other out while the rest of us live our lives.
posted by Pericles at 1:56 AM on October 6, 2003


AFAIK, it wasn't until the Palestinian Revolution of 1937... that the relationship between the Zionists and the Palestinians could be described as a state of war.

Perhaps "war" wasn't the correct term for me to use, "unrest" is probably a better term, brief conflicts over new settlements in a region which has historically scarce of resources, most notably water. The main point I'm trying to get at is that the Zionists showed up in a land that was already occupied, with a declared intent of creating a Jewish state in a majority Muslim region, and preposterously justified their claim to the land with a thousands-years old religious text.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:18 PM on October 6, 2003


The main point I'm trying to get at is that the Zionists showed up in a land that was already occupied, with a declared intent of creating a Jewish state in a majority Muslim region, and preposterously justified their claim to the land with a thousands-years old religious text.

You could also look at the Jewish immigration starting in the late 19th as a return to a land from which their families were expelled by the ancestors more or less of the then-current residents. The claim to the land is just a bit stronger than "a thousands-years old religious text." Though not, to be sure, the same as the grant deed I have for my house. Oddly enough, the argument of many Palestineans for a right of return sounds extremely similar.

IAC, I don't believe that any of us could today find an unbiased acount of Arab-Jewish relations in the years prior to 1937 that the all would agree was unbiased.

And the point still is that the violence continues and arguing that we could go back to 1967 or 1948 or 1888 is absurd. The only resolution will come, if it ever does, from dealing with the realities on the ground right now at that time.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:58 PM on October 6, 2003


Though not, to be sure, the same as the grant deed I have for my house. Oddly enough, the argument of many Palestineans for a right of return sounds extremely similar.

Except that many of those Palestinians actually have deeds.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:10 PM on October 6, 2003


Except that many of those Palestinians actually have deeds.

Sorry for attempting to inject some levity into this 'angels on a pinhead' debate. And way to go, focusing on a fairly immaterial point just 'cause its true, rather than the relative merits.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:29 PM on October 6, 2003


Why is it immatierial? You say that Israeli's and Palestinians have similar claims to certain pieces of land, and that neither claim is as objective as a house deed. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think that assertion is weakened by the fact that some of them have, um, house deeds.

Not that you're wrong in your main point, and I didn't mean to say that myself. Certainly, anyone taking one "side" must be a little dishonest with himself. But that doesn't change the fact that you misrepresented the validity of the competing land claims, though I didn't mean to assert anything more than that.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:50 PM on October 6, 2003


Who were those deeds granted by, Ignatius?

Curious. I literally don't know.
posted by swerdloff at 2:06 PM on October 6, 2003


Most deeds held by Palestinians in what is now Israel were issued either by the Ottomans or the British. The British had an extensive program of figuring out what belonged to who, but they only charted and issued papers for something like 25% of all land before the war started in 48. There were also some regional cities such as Yaffa, Haifa, and Nablus which produced municipal documentation of land ownership, especially if the land was deemed to be part of the municipality. In that part of the world, registrations and land rules were far more casual than they were in Europe, with an informal serfdom of 'leases' which had been extended to families for decades but were not drawn up in paper. Plus the Ottomans weren't all that great at paperwork.

There were also many 'absentee landlords,' wealthy people living in Lebanon or Egypt who owned relatively large areas of land but rarely visited and earned very little income from them, and the people living and farming there essentially considered the land theirs. Now of course, that land is worth a fortune.

And then of course there are many entire villages that were simply wiped out, bulldozed over. No deed really needed to prove ownership because there's nothing left. Also most of those villages were poor farming communities and probably didn't have much in the way of documentation anyway. The Palestinians who generally have saved their deeds and information tended to be of the wealthier variety, and hold deeds for homes now occupied by Jews in major areas like Jerusalem or Yaffa, or farmland which now has been turned into the suburban area of a city (such as Netanya), or is being utilized by a Jewish farmer or corporation, such as the farms surrounding the towns of Kfar Saba and other suburbs of Tel Aviv.

Some of the land taken post 1967 for settlement construction had papers issued by Jordan or Egypt (in addition to various Ottoman or British deeds), or had municipal ownership.
posted by cell divide at 2:27 PM on October 6, 2003


Some by the Ottomans, but mostly by the British Mandate that controlled the area before the current states came to be.

This link (in which the author does ultimately reject the notion that these deeds are actionable) has decent accounts of the jillions of competing land claims, and the jillions of competing criteria by which the claims could be resolved.

This link puts it in the broader context of the right of return debate. It also points out the tenets of international law under which the land claims could be considered legitimate.

This link has a more personal story of an individual effected by this:

Shihadeh holds a land registration deed written in Turkish and dated 1870, but that did not help him when the Israeli bulldozers arrived in his village last September. The Oslo agreement divided the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, with Israel having full control over C and partial control over B. Areas B and C comprise nearly 70 percent of the West Bank. The Shihadehs live in area C, so they and their neighbors are losing their homes to make way for Jewish settlements and the bypass roads that speed the settlers’ way to Jerusalem. The Shihadehs speed nowhere. They need a permit even to visit their relatives who live a few hundred meters away in a part of the village that is in area B.

OK, so in the unlikely event that every single one of these deeds is forged, what then of those who have both a deed to their old house and the keys?

I don't say all this because I'm into the right of return. Personally, I haven't a damn clue about how to make any progress there, but no one is going to have that clue if we continue to frame the discussion in invalid terms.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:33 PM on October 6, 2003


You are also obviously a firm believer in "the best form of defence is the offence". So i guess, according to your logic, palestinians have every right to defend themselves by bombing the fuck out of israel too.

I am not in support of such a policy, and if you read my posts you would know that. In this case Israel was attacked by a member of a specific group and then that specific group was attacked by Israel. Hence Israel is not on the offensive, but merely responding to the first attack.

Say for example the suicide bombing of a few days ago did not occur then I would feel that the action of the Israeli government was not justified. Or say the attack did happen and Israel had mounted a general attack against Syria or the Palestinians I would not support that either. In the above examples such move would be with provocation and pre-emptive. However, that is not the case at all.

There is no precedent that I know of where a military went into a country without its permission to take out "rogue" groups that weren't seen as illegal aggression towards that country, or an outright act of war. I'm no historian, though. If I'm wrong, please point one out.

What boaz said. I supported what Clinton did less because the strikes, I believe, was a general reaction to the bombing of the USS Cole. Again, what the Israeli government did with the recent strike was entirely different. In this case it seems that the Israeli government could make a specific link between the suicide bomber and the groups in question. Hence if Clinton had standing to strike on less firm grounds then there is no question that Israeli government was justified.

I assume you mean that they didn't have permission from the Taliban. I was referring to post-Taliban Afghanistan. They had permission from the government that the US installed there.

So I guess your argument thus falls apart.
posted by Bag Man at 3:16 PM on October 6, 2003


Bag Man, what news story are you reading? Would you care to substantiate *what*Israel was defending itself against by doing this? You've got to be smoking some serious crack to see an air strike across your neighbor's borders to be a defensive act.

I think its time that people started reading my posts before flaming me. Please see here. Like I said before there is a great deal of historical precedence to justify an attack of groups and countries that attack first. What makes Israel any different? Is the fact that many people around here don't think that Jews should have this right? Do people feel that Israel should not exist? Or that the UN is powerless to grant sovereignty? Or is it that the Palestinians and Syrian can do no wrong? Or is it because this cause of the day? Or that everything done by a Jew or by Israel is automatically evil? Or is that the fundies around here can distinguish between groups and specific facts? Has your ideology gotten so fundamentalist even groups you disagree with can not take action that is justified by objective factors? Have we lost the ability to debate objective facts just because Jews and Israel are involved? Have people lost the forest by looking at the tress too much? Is it that ideology is too overwhelming to debate an issue in its merits rather than make knee-jerk reactions? Or is it really something deeper?
posted by Bag Man at 3:30 PM on October 6, 2003


The claim to the land is just a bit stronger than "a thousands-years old religious text."

Really? Explain.

I...Israel was attacked by a member of a specific group and then that specific group was attacked by Israel. Hence Israel is not on the offensive, but merely responding to the first attack.

Sorry to have to keep banging this gong, but the everyday brutality of the Israeli occupation is a daily offense against the Palestinians, and a daily provocation to violence.

Like I said before there is a great deal of historical precedence to justify an attack of groups and countries that attack first. What makes Israel any different? Is the fact that many people around here don't think that Jews should have this right?

Please do not conflate/confuse "Israel" with "the Jews." Judaism as a faith tradition is much bigger, more complex, and wholly more honorable than the modern state of Israel, which is entirely a political enterprise dressed up in religious sentiment.

And of course Israel has the right to defend itself, but it's no good to pretend that Israel isn't waging war against its Palestinian population.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:49 PM on October 6, 2003


Sorry to have to keep banging this gong, but the everyday brutality of the Israeli occupation is a daily offense against the Palestinians, and a daily provocation to violence.

Israel's hands are as bloody as the Palestinians in the overall regard. Israel has the right to exist; there is no "occupation." Both groups need to shape up, but this instance of attack by Israel is justified. Past transgressions of the Israeli government does not invalidate this attack.

The claim to the land is just a bit stronger than "a thousands-years old religious text."

Really? Explain.


Every heard of the UN or the British government? I believe that some stuff went down in the UN that grants Israel sovereignty. Ty Webb your "occupation" argument is barking up the wrong tree and is nothing fore political hogwash and you know it. Kind of makes it look you are the one who is not respecting a nation’s sovereignty.
posted by Bag Man at 4:07 PM on October 6, 2003


The claim to the land is just a bit stronger than "a thousands-years old religious text."

Really? Explain.


As Bag Man said, there was this vote in the UN in the late 40s. And regardless of the validity of the Torah, the historical record of that land being the Jew's original home is (to me) beyond dispute.

You can argue until your face is the color of this page whether these two items are true or not but you'll never convince me otherwise, so I suggest you save your effort. But this not being my kingdom, feel free to continue if you want.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:29 PM on October 6, 2003


As Bag Man said, there was this vote in the UN in the late 40s.

Which goes to my point of the modern state of Israel being entirely a political enterprise. Also, I shouldn't have to point out the irony of a pro-Israel argument which appeals to UN authority for justification, considering the UN's many subsequent resolutions against Israel for, among other things, its continuing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

And regardless of the validity of the Torah, the historical record of that land being the Jew's original home is (to me) beyond dispute.

I don't dispute the historical record, either. I dispute the idea of God as Zionist realtor.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:15 PM on October 6, 2003


Israel has the right to exist; there is no "occupation."

Really?

Past transgressions of the Israeli government does not invalidate this attack.

I never claimed they did. I'm saying that Palestinian terror attacks are a direct response to the ongoing crime against humanity which is the occupation.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:25 PM on October 6, 2003


hey great thread guys. lots of interesting stuff.

In this case Israel was attacked by a member of a specific group and then that specific group was attacked by Israel. Hence Israel is not on the offensive, but merely responding to the first attack.

You make it sound so simple. You're like joe hillbilly, you know that the feud with the family across the river? It was always started by them, wasn't it?

Unbelivable as it may sound to you, for "merely responding to the first attack" to be a defensive manouver you have to actually be responding to the actual attack, not commiting a random act of violence yourself. that is called an eye or an eye.
posted by carfilhiot at 6:17 PM on October 6, 2003


Why does anyone care anymore? If these people wanna kill eachother let 'em. Anyone who has the means and half a brain has gotten the hell out. Far as I'm concerned you wanna blow yourself and others to bits for allah, yahweh, Sharon, Arafat, or any other God or political cause, you go right ahead.

Irefuse to take a side. Not because I'm waffling but because there isn't one worth taking anymore.
posted by jonmc at 6:33 PM on October 6, 2003


Maybe some of that was harsh. I don't wish anybody dead, but I am that disgusted with the situation there and America's response to it. Which is to bicker as bitterly and pointlessly as they kill eachother.
posted by jonmc at 6:42 PM on October 6, 2003


Anyone who has the means and half a brain has gotten the hell out.

That's right, many Palestinians with the means have left, and it's a tragedy. These are the teachers, engineers, and technocrats which made up the small Palestinian middle class, and could eventually form the basis for Palestinian civil society.

Far as I'm concerned you wanna blow yourself and others to bits for allah, yahweh, Sharon, Arafat, or any other God or political cause, you go right ahead.

Yeah, and take members of my family with them, right?
I wouldn't characterize that as waffling, just a plain old cop-out.
posted by Ty Webb at 6:44 PM on October 6, 2003


jonmc, on preview: thanks for clarifying.
posted by Ty Webb at 6:45 PM on October 6, 2003


Ty, I got familial connections (by marriage) on both sides of the conflict. Makes for interesting holidays.
posted by jonmc at 6:50 PM on October 6, 2003


Israel has the right to exist; there is no "occupation."

No. No it doesn't. Israel does not have the right to exist, nor does the United States, Canada, Palestine, Baathist Iraq, Independent Taiwan, The People's Republic of Texas, or the Confederate States of America.

What Israel has is the ability to exist. They have the ability to launch missiles into Syria. They have the ability to deploy tactical nuclear weapons over, say, Wyoming. That doesn't mean there's any force, existing or supernatural, that gives them the "right" to.

The region we know as Israel consists of several million people who have declared themselves Israelis, and are willing to enforce their claim. The region we know as the West Bank consists of several million people who have declared themselves Palestinians, and have subsequently been told by the Israeli government to go fuck themselves. A common example of this is to, for example, claim that "there is no occupation," when there are, unfortunately for Israel's viewpoint, several million people who violently disagree.

Every other historical disagreement over the "right to exist" has resulted in the need for either conciliatory negotiation or full-scale war. Israel chooses to ignore the West Bank in the hope of preventing either from happening. Perhaps this might give cause to why the people claiming themselves to be Palestinian have discovered alternative methods for being noticed.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:18 PM on October 6, 2003


I usually avoid I/P threads because there are no winners in this conflict, but...

the historical record of that land being the Jew's original home is (to me) beyond dispute.

The historical record of North America being the Indians' original home is (to me) beyond dispute.

Should we give it back?
posted by nath at 2:07 AM on October 7, 2003


The region we know as Israel consists of several million people who have declared themselves Israelis, and are willing to enforce their claim. The region we know as the West Bank consists of several million people who have declared themselves Palestinians, and have subsequently been told by the Israeli government to go fuck themselves. A common example of this is to, for example, claim that "there is no occupation," when there are, unfortunately for Israel's viewpoint, several million people who violently disagree.

I believe that the Palestinians have every right to have their own country. However no group has the right to bring about this reality by the use of violence. Going beyond the attack of the other day, these terror groups no interest in peace or creating a Palestinian state. Why? Because if there is peace and a Palestinian state there is no need for these groups and they loose their power. So they attack to bust up the peace and inflame hate. Israel should take step to remove these groups in a just and proper way. Bulldozing the home of innocents or taking other action against the Palestinians themselves or herding off the Palestinians is clearly wrong, but responding against these groups is not.

You make it sound so simple. You're like joe hillbilly, you know that the feud with the family across the river? It was always started by them, wasn't it?

Further it is naive and stupid for Israel to rollover allow people to bombard their country. My guess is that is your country was attack by a group hell bent on its destruction; you would like a little defense.

The first phase of the road map involves the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian zones reoccupied during the current uprising and a freeze on settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza.


Occupation? The settlements and invasions of Palestinian zones are issues apart from Israel's right to exist.

I never claimed they did. I'm saying that Palestinian terror attacks are a direct response to the ongoing crime against humanity which is the occupation.

Yes, I have conceded this point long ago; Israel has done some bad stuff. However, it’s not hard to parse up justified and unjustified acts. That being said, violance on either side is never the solution with some sort of justification or proper reason. What you imply is wrong, past transgressions of Israel does not invalided this recent measured response. I can stress enough that Israel seems to be the only country in the world that has no right redressed wrong done against it.
posted by Bag Man at 8:45 AM on October 7, 2003


Occupation? The settlements and invasions of Palestinian zones are issues apart from Israel's right to exist.

No, the settlements (which continue to grow, despite Sharon's supposed commitment to "land for peace") and invasions of Palestinian zones are the major source of resentment and recruitment for the terror squads, and thus are inseparable from Israel's right to exist.

My guess is that is your country was attack by a group hell bent on its destruction; you would like a little defense.

My guess is that if your family's farmland was plowed under, your home bulldozed, and your brother shot by police, you might consider some revenge.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:08 AM on October 7, 2003


Occupation? The settlements and invasions of Palestinian zones are issues apart from Israel's right to exist.

Ummmm... what? Israel's annexation of the settlements relates completely to its belief that it has the "right to exist" all the way east towards the Jordanian and Lebanese borders. If the right-wing Whole-Jerusalem settlers didn't believe they had "the right" to live there (and consequently that "Palestinians" are a non-existent people), we wouldn't be having this problem.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:32 AM on October 7, 2003


No, the settlements (which continue to grow, despite Sharon's supposed commitment to "land for peace") and invasions of Palestinian zones are the major source of resentment and recruitment for the terror squads, and thus are inseparable from Israel's right to exist.

Ty Webb, you are correct to point out that this is a horrid sticking point and I believe (as you seem to do also) that Israel should abandon the Palestinian Zones and at least halt all of the settlement construction (if not give all of the land back). However, I'm talking about Israel’s right to exist at all and not some sort of right to exist in its current form. However, your argument not a justification to deny Israel right to attack groups that attack it.

My guess is that if your family's farmland was plowed under, your home bulldozed, and your brother shot by police, you might consider some revenge.

I really have no clue what you're getting at here. The only thing I can think is some sort vague rationalization for why terror groups are attacking Israel. However such political violence is not justified in this or any other context. I find it hard to believe that anyone but a radical right-wing hawk would endorse such violence. Or Ty Webb perhaps you are really a Bush claiming to be a leftie. Your point is weakened by the fact the Israel stood ready and willing to give 95% of the lands in dispute and radicals refused. Why? Like I said before, these radical groups loose their power once there is peace. They are obstacles to peace because they have every incentive not to make peace. Hence, playing nice with them won't work.

I also find it hard to believe that there are people are so foolish as to not know the difference between revenge and proper use of force to redress an a direct attack. See for examples:

Say for example the suicide bombing of a few days ago did not occur then I would feel that the action of the Israeli government was not justified. Or say the attack did happen and Israel had mounted a general attack against Syria or the Palestinians I would not support that either. In the above examples such move would be with provocation and pre-emptive. However, that is not the case at all.

Further you still have not answered my question: If every other country can respond if provoked why not Israel? Like I said, I guess Israel remains a second class citizen of the world with the rights of other nations.

If the right-wing Whole-Jerusalem settlers didn't believe they had "the right" to live there (and consequently that "Palestinians" are a non-existent people), we wouldn't be having this problem.

You hit the nail on head. However, their are many like me who want to see both peace and a strong Israel....this does not change the fact Israel's right to exist is apart from how Israel will be shaped. In fact, popular opinion in Israel is willing to give land (at least some) for a true peace. Denying Israel’s right to exist in some form is not only bordering on anti-Semitism, but gives fodder for radial-wring movement (mostly in Europe) and leaves Jews without the protection of a homeland. You know we don’t what that Holocaust thing to happen again.
posted by Bag Man at 11:42 AM on October 7, 2003


However, your argument not a justification to deny Israel right to attack groups that attack it.

Once again, I've never suggested that Israel does not have that right. I keep referring to the occupation because it is the major cause of Israel's insecurity.

I really have no clue what you're getting at here. The only thing I can think is some sort vague rationalization for why terror groups are attacking Israel.

No, not a rationalization nor a justification, just an attempt at explanation. I totally reject violence against civilians, but I also make a distinction between violence against civilians and violence against Israeli occupying forces, which is entirely legitimate.

Like I said before, these radical groups loose their power once there is peace. They are obstacles to peace because they have every incentive not to make peace. Hence, playing nice with them won't work.

Yes, Sharon's been having such success with a hard-line approach, hasn't he? It's only in the last few years that Israeli civilians have begun dying in almost the same numbers as Palestinians. Well done, Ari, well done.

You're right that many Palestinian radicals are obstacles to peace. They've watched the Jewish settlements grow and grow even as Israel publicly promised to stop the growth, and have seen nothing but bad faith from Israel time and time again. They can read history, they know that terrorism works, indeed the very existence of Israel proves this, as many of Israel's founders were themselves wanted terrorists at one time.

The only way to bring and end to the violence is to show Palestinians that they will directly and immediately benefit from a negotiated peace, which means an immediate end to the occupation and dismantlement of the smaller settlements, and making sure that Israel makes very large concessions because of their unilateral expansion of the larger settlements such as Ariel and Ma'ale Adummim. Ideally, we need to cultivate and strengthen the Palestinian political moderates, but unfortunately Sharon is doing just the opposite with his utterly failed military solutions.

Further you still have not answered my question: If every other country can respond if provoked why not Israel?

Yet again, I say that Israel can respond when provoked, but it's ridiculous to act as if Israel is not itself provoking attacks with the occupation, home demolitions, and settlement expansion.

You know we don’t what that Holocaust thing to happen again.

You're absolutely right, we don't want the Holocaust to happen again, so let me be clear about my feeling that Israel should be able to exist in peace and security. Let me also be clear about my feeling that every Jewish home built on confiscated Palestinian land is a blasphemy against the memory of the slain 6 million.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:41 PM on October 7, 2003


You're right that many Palestinian radicals are obstacles to peace. They've watched the Jewish settlements grow and grow even as Israel publicly promised to stop the growth, and have seen nothing but bad faith from Israel time and time again. They can read history, they know that terrorism works, indeed the very existence of Israel proves this...

Ty Webb you are right to suggest that Israel should stop the growth of the settlements and exit the Palestinian zones. You are also correct to state that terror groups attack because Israel has in some ways acted in bad faith

However, the recent attack is not part of that campaign. While terror groups do target civilians (as did the suicide bombing the prompted the recent attacks did), the recent attack by Israel did not target civilians. Rather, it was aimed to destroy the group's ability to continue attacks. My point is that yes, Israel has done things to piss off Palestinians (and that's wrong), but the recent attacks can be distinguished on two points:

1) The groups Israel attacked do not want peace to attacking and destroying them does not lead a way from peace.

2) Israel in this case did not attack civilians, but (unlike may actions both you and I have referred to) attacked basically a military outpost. Hence this more a surgical strike, much the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 1990s and in Afghanistan in 2001. In this way hopefully only those who coordinated and made possible the killing of innocent Israelis get hit.

as many of Israel's founders were themselves wanted terrorists at one time

This argument has no relevance, as Israel is now a sovereign nation.

Yet again, I say that Israel can respond when provoked, but it's ridiculous to act as if Israel is not itself provoking attacks with the occupation, home demolitions, and settlement expansion.

Some bad acts on the part of Israel does not justify suicide bombings against Israeli civilians nor does in invalidate this current attack on a terrorist training camp in Syria that is otherwise justifiable and reasonable.
posted by Bag Man at 1:12 PM on October 7, 2003


as many of Israel's founders were themselves wanted terrorists at one time

This argument has no relevance, as Israel is now a sovereign nation.


Yes, because its founders effectively used terrorism to achieve their political aspirations, just as Palestinians are trying to.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:11 PM on October 7, 2003


In this way hopefully only those who coordinated and made possible the killing of innocent Israelis get hit.

I guess as long as you pretend not to kill innocent people it's ok. but the fact remains that plenty of innocent palestinians die in surgical strikes. The only reason israel can take a moral high ground is because they have the military technology to do so.

The apartheid gov's war against the ANC was very similar, militarily, to this one. South Africa had a very advanced army and would make incursions into neighbouring countries just like israel to attack ANC strongholds. and the ANC would use carbombs. not because they were heartless or bloodthirsty, but because they felt it to be their most effective means of protest (personally i disagree but that's not important). The SA army was completely ineffective with their tactics. Similarly, there is no way in hell the israeli gov can stop suicide bombings. if you take this logic one step further, you realise that the israeli responses are as mindless as the sucide bombings.
posted by carfilhiot at 4:10 PM on October 7, 2003


Yes, because its founders effectively used terrorism to achieve their political aspirations, just as Palestinians are trying to.

No, because the founders used the British and the UN to establish Israel. A vote in the UN is non-terrorist way to establish a country, surely he are not like Bush and want to relegate the UN to the margins.

I guess as long as you pretend not to kill innocent people it's ok. but the fact remains that plenty of innocent palestinians die in surgical strikes. The only reason israel can take a moral high ground is because they have the military technology to do so.

It is likely that any surgical strike will produce innocent victims; however, that is just the price of war. It happened in Kosovo and elsewhere. Further, there is no evidence of any innocent victims in this case.

if you take this logic one step further, you realise that the israeli responses are as mindless as the sucide bombings.

Surly we have the ability to distinguish the two. We do not live in Bush’s cowboy black and white world; I hope that you do not endorse this right-wring view of the world and foreign policy because it is quite mistaken.
posted by Bag Man at 10:26 AM on October 8, 2003


No, because the founders used the British and the UN to establish Israel. A vote in the UN is non-terrorist way to establish a country, surely he are not like Bush and want to relegate the UN to the margins.

Spin it however you want, it is a historical fact that Israel's founders used terrorism to achieve statehood. Britain pulled out of Palestine and supported the UN partition (which also called for a Palestinian state, by the way) largely because they wanted to wash their hands of the entire situation, which had grown quite troublesome thanks mainly to militant Zionist terrorism. Palestinians watched, and they learned.

And once again I have to point out the irony of a pro-Israel argument which appeals to UN authority, considerin the UN's many subsequent resolutions condemning the Israeli occupation and csettlements.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:46 PM on October 8, 2003


And once again I have to point out the irony of a pro-Israel argument which appeals to UN authority, considerin the UN's many subsequent resolutions condemning the Israeli occupation and csettlements.

As I have stated many time (PLESE READ MY POSTS) I want Israel out of the settlements or at least to retreat to a mutually agreeable location (as was agreed to in the late 90s) so there will peace. Hence there is no irony in my argument.

Ty Webb,

I suppose your entire argument against Israel's recent attacks is that Israel does not have the right to exist. (as you have devoted many posts to convince me that the UN can't grant statehood to the UN and the Israelis in attempting to protect Jews are merely thuggish terrorists) Therefore any action Israel taken to defend itself is invalid. You also hint that this also some how gives the terrorists the right to kill innocent Israelis. You try to temper this by asserting that terror should be not a means to establish a government. You also seem to argue that even the UN is powerless to help people establish a country. Your arguments are best contradictory and worst morally bankrupt and come down to the fact that you can't make a distinction between action and the actor. I may come as a surprise to that even people and groups whom we dislike can justifiable position base on the facts. Man, you and the no-cons should hang out since you both endorsee a bootstrapping foreign policy devote of facts, but filled with dogma and fundamentalism.

I grow weary of this argument because unlike you I have assed the facts rather than merely making a decision based on dogma and the persistence of an argument based solely on the parties involved. I hope people with the ability to think in nuanced terms are able to have a meeting of the minds to created a lasting peace in the Middle East.
posted by Bag Man at 3:06 PM on October 8, 2003


I suppose your entire argument against Israel's recent attacks is that Israel does not have the right to exist.

No, I said quite clearly the opposite here and here. You seem to be having an argument with someone else.

(as you have devoted many posts to convince me that the UN can't grant statehood to the UN

I don't even know what that means, so I doubt I could have been trying to convince you of it.

and the Israelis in attempting to protect Jews are merely thuggish terrorists)

Once again, you seem to have invented a phantom debater whose positions you can more easily oppose. Whatever.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:40 PM on October 8, 2003


Surly we have the ability to distinguish the two

No they are no different from each other. Neither serves a real justifiable purpose. they only seek to lower the morale of the other.

In this quest to lower morale both sides kill innocent civilians (killing civilians is a multiplying factor in the effectiveness of lowering morale). That israel pretends it is aiming at a soldier makes no difference, the fact is that more palestinian civilians are killed than israeli civilians; 568 (out of 1293) vs 420 (out of 501) during sep 2000 to may 2002. reference.

Neither side holds the higher moral ground.

If you can give me a valid reason for israels attacks (some realistically achievable objective) then i made change my mind.
posted by carfilhiot at 5:16 PM on October 8, 2003


That israel pretends it is aiming at a soldier makes no difference

Carfilhoit,

Do you have any evidence that the attack we are talking about killed civilians?

If you can give me a valid reason for Israelis attacks (some realistically achievable objective) then i made change my mind.

I don't think any valid reason will convince you, if you don't think self-defense from para-military groups is sufficient.
posted by Bag Man at 5:41 PM on October 8, 2003


Do you have any evidence that the attack we are talking about killed civilians?

How could I possibly know that any were? How could you possibly know that any were not? All I can give you are the recorded facts relating to civilian deaths.

If you can give me a valid reason for Israelis attacks (some realistically achievable objective) then i made change my mind.

I don't think any valid reason will convince you


I'll take that to mean you can't.

if you don't think self-defense from para-military groups is sufficient.

I have already argued why this is not sufficent.
posted by carfilhiot at 5:46 PM on October 9, 2003


How could I possibly know that any were? How could you possibly know that any were not? All I can give you are the recorded facts relating to civilian deaths.

As to the recent attacks there have been no reports of civilian deaths. I am arguing that recent the attack is justified; I am not arguing that all of Israel's actions (PLEASE READ MY POSTS) are justified. Hence your past stats are not relevant, unless you arguing that Israel's past sins invalidate these recent attacks. Event then that’s a piss poor argument, this was a situation wholly apart from other wrongful attacks. (please come out of your Bush like black and white [us against them] foreign policy thinking)

I'll take that to mean you can't.

if you don't think self-defense from para-military groups is sufficient.

I have already argued why this is not sufficent.
(sic)

You have just proven my point. Like I said you view Israel as a second class country without the rights and abilities many of the right of other countries. You are only adding more fodder and evidence to show that you base on opinion on the fact that Israel has taken action and not Israel's actual actions. I find your view abhorring that innocents victim cannot defendant themselves against military insurgents and groups hell bent on derailing the peace process. If you were arguing that Israel should not attack innocent Palestinians your argument would like be valid, but this not your argument. Your argument is that terror groups should be able to kill without consequences. By stating that Israel cannot defend itself against para-military groups you are allowing these groups to have free reign to kill with its victims having no protection, that is just sick.
posted by Bag Man at 8:28 AM on October 10, 2003


I am arguing that recent the attack is justified; I am not arguing that all of Israel's actions (PLEASE READ MY POSTS) are justified.
I'm arguing that none of Israel's actions are justified. I'm glad that we agree 99%.

Perhaps you can let me in on whether the latest attack by israel was in defence of something or just plain murder because i can't quite decide.

Your argument is that terror groups should be able to kill without consequences.
WRONG. I believe that both sides are engaging in terrorism and neither side is justified. perhaps you should read my posts.

that is just sick.
not it's not sick, it's called a pacifisim, if you believe it to be sick then i guess by the same logic gandhi and martin luther king are suicide bombers.

maybe it's at a level of understanding way above what you are capable of, but i would bet my life that if israel stopped "defending" itself, the palestinians would stop suicide bombings.

(please come out of your Bush like black and white [us against them] foreign policy thinking)
at least you made me laugh.
posted by carfilhiot at 3:17 PM on October 10, 2003


I'm arguing that none of Israel's actions are justified.

So you do think Israel is a second class country. That is what it comes down to, you believe that Israel is evil itself. Thanks for playing, I don't think you are capable of nuanced thinking and the ability to think Jews and Israel have a right to exist.

maybe it's at a level of understanding way above what you are capable of, but i would bet my life that if israel stopped "defending" itself, the Palestinians would stop suicide bombings.

IF YOU REALLY READ MY POSTS, you have learned long ago that I know that I do understand this. This exactly why I believe Israel needs to stop attacking innocent Palestinians, open their boards and go back to the negotiation table and then I believe some violence would stop. However, as the past proves, when Israel does do these things not all the attacks stop. Why? Because some groups don’t want peace, and will attack Israel regardless of Israel's conduct. It was these groups that were attacked the other day.

I am the one making the nuanced argument here, understanding that all countries do bad things, but are justified in some things. Your attempt at doublespeak is admirable, but false. "Defending" means that just that; however, other conduct by Israel can be deemed offensive. I am against these "offensive" moves. I guess you don’t have the metal capacity to distinguish between offensive and defensive moves. I really feel sorry for you.

(please come out of your Bush like black and white [us against them] foreign policy thinking)
at least you made me laugh.


You and Bush do share the same unilateralist and simplified foreign policy views, every post you make confirms that.
posted by Bag Man at 12:08 PM on October 11, 2003


I'm arguing that none of Israel's actions are justified.
So you do think Israel is a second class country.


uhm no. what i meant was: i dont think israel's actions are justfied.

your first paragraph has some serious blathering going on. perhaps you should try to argue your point instead of telling me what i think.

you have learned long ago that I know that I do understand this.
yes maybe you do, but i think it's important that I know you understand this.

However, as the past proves,
evidence?

*It was these groups that were attacked the other day.
AHA so you agree that israel was attacking then. Thanks for playing. HAND.

I am the one making the nuanced argument here
well why didn't you just say so in the first place. very nuanced argument there! bravo.

understanding that all countries do bad things, but are justified in some things
very nuanced argument. i'm impressed.

I guess you don’t have the metal capacity to distinguish between offensive and defensive moves
haha. no i think YOU don't. see * above

I really feel sorry for you.
good point! i can see i really pissed you off with my "level of understanding" comment. i'll try to refrain from ad hominem in the future.

You and Bush do share the same unilateralist and simplified foreign policy views, every post you make confirms that.
spot on there. i love GWB especially he's views on foreign policy. i think killing people is cool, especially if they own oil. who wouldn't?
posted by carfilhiot at 5:50 PM on October 11, 2003


spot on there. i love GWB especially he's views on foreign policy. i think killing people is cool, especially if they own oil. who wouldn't?

You seem to believe that taking the lives of Israelis is ok.

carfilhiot,

Now that your agreement has boiled to a bunch of stupid retorts and personal insults your argument has fallen completely apart (I suspect that you never had one to begin with).

I do thank you for highlighting the problems of the radical left and right. You people choose to insult and discredit your opponents rather than engaging in reasonable debate. I think it's sad your dogma has blinded you. Thanks for playing.
posted by Bag Man at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2003


when did asking for evidence about your claims amount to a personal insult. a tad touchy aren't we? and btw, there's no need to point it out to me, as you can see in my previous post, I noted my bad form.

oh that's not to say you havent got your fair share of (rather weak i should add) digs in. i don't know what the agreement is you're referring to, but it's funny how your arguments just ignore all the questions i raise. it's hard to argue with people who do that. "Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true" never truer words spoken by Mr Bacon (not not Kevin) .

let no man say I didn;t try to make and argument of this, to keep this on the straight and narrow, but i got bored along the way and for the last few posts i agree that i've just been trying to wind you up - which is very easy i might add.

You seem to believe that taking the lives of Israelis is ok.

please point out to me where i claim this? i could equally say you seem to believe llamas may one day rule the world.
As you will no doubt one day find out in your life ,what seems to be and what is are often two very different things.
posted by carfilhiot at 6:14 PM on October 15, 2003


I have tried to take an even handed view of this situation, while you take an extreme view point. Yes I have answered your question quite well.

please point out to me where i claim this? i could equally say you seem to believe llamas may one day rule the world.

By stating that you disagree with all acts Israel takes than my statement was merely corollary.

As you will no doubt one day find out in your life ,what seems to be and what is are often two very different things.

You should take your own advice as you have fallen in trap of your the Francis Bacon quote.
posted by Bag Man at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2003


I have tried to take an even handed view of this situation, while you take an extreme view point.

Well lets debate that point. Your view is that Israel's actions are mostly right (especially in this instance) and her opponents are mostly wrong.
My view is that both sides are wrong and that violence and retaliation solves nothing and is useless.

So yes I agree with you. my viewpoint is extreme. In as much as Gandhi and Jesus Christ were also extremists (which of course they were). But your viewpoint is, unfortunately, not very even handed at all.

Yes I have answered your question quite well
and which question would that be?

By stating that you disagree with all acts Israel takes than my statement was merely corollary.
Your logic is truely laughable. So if I disagree with the acts of my parents then i believe that the taking of the lives of my parents is ok? try again.

You should take your own advice as you have fallen in trap of your the Francis Bacon quote.
doh! that's the whole point of the quote. EVERYONE has fallen in that trap. It's when you don't realise that you have that it's a problem. You hadn't so i pointed it out.

Other than stating that israel was defending herself by attacking a target in another country you haven't exactly been full of interesting discourse (and you wonder why people don't read your posts). But by all means take another shot. I'm like israel, perpetuating a stupid post out of some childish lastworditish.
posted by carfilhiot at 7:48 PM on October 16, 2003


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