gates of hell
March 21, 2004 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Hamas said, "... Sharon has opened the gates of hell and nothing will stop us from cutting off his head.''
a. is assassination of political/spiritual leaders justified?
b. how much of setback to peace in israel/palestine, is this move?
c. did the whitehouse pre-approve this arguably major expansion in israel's war against palestinian "militants"?
ny times link
posted by specialk420 (217 comments total)
 
you really do have to wonder about the timing of this. I don't know if the white house pre-approved it, but we never seem to disapprove of anything Sharon does.
posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on March 21, 2004


ny times login
posted by specialk420 at 8:46 PM on March 21, 2004


Sorry, but "political/spiritual leader" is a one-sided euphemism. If this guy is a "leader," then Osama Bin Laden is a "leader" too. The correct word is "terrorist."

Israeli covert ops certainly creep me out, and the Sharon government is abominable. But I'm not sure you have much of a good argument against the end result here.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:50 PM on March 21, 2004


i was wondering when someone was going to post this to the blue....it took a whole 15 minutes this time....

but to be on topic, i'm not sure how this will help the war any. even as the spiritual leader, i'm not sure how much power this man had on the military wing of the organization. and i'm with amberglow on this one. the white house might not have approved, but it sure doesn't seem to complain much.
posted by Stynxno at 8:53 PM on March 21, 2004


i am certainly no expert on affairs in israel/palestine - but this does certainly seem like an extremely dangerous (for both sides) escalation of the conflict. i already said a quick prayer for innocents on either side.

cynical thoughts about the timing of this strike are inevitable.
posted by specialk420 at 8:56 PM on March 21, 2004


Here's the bbc's take -- this is going to provoke massive retaliation by the palestinians. ugh...
posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on March 21, 2004


I'm honestly not all that surprised. Provided the Israelis can find him, I'd imagine Muhammed Deif will be be among those hit next. Perhaps Abdel Aziz Rantisi too. Salim Qudih, a mid-level Hamas figure, was killed yesterday.

For those of you not paying attention, Israel appears to be seriously planning to withdraw from Gaza over the next year or so (surprisingly, under Sharon's leadership). That explains the timing - this is part of that process. Since Israel is afraid of Hamas claiming victory with a Gaza pullout, Israel is hitting them hard now to try and show who's boss. Many on the right wing in Israel still point at Lebanon as a poorly handled withdrawal, because Hizbollah was able to somewhat credibly claim a 'victory.'

I suspect, and fear, that the next couple weeks could get ugly for both sides.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:00 PM on March 21, 2004


But I'm not sure you have much of a good argument against the end result here.

i'm not making any arguments about the end result princevalium ... one way or the other prince valium. just praying for the innocents of future acts of retaliatory violence who had no say in this escalation of the war.
posted by specialk420 at 9:02 PM on March 21, 2004


I'd like to get all gung-ho about assassinating terrorists, in a Bruce Willis action movie sort of way. Unfortunately, we'll see retaliation suicide bombings, retaliatory destruction of houses, dead children on Al Jazeera, and more chicken hawks sucking in their soft white bellies and puffing out their proud chests and asking for more.
I'd just like to take a moment to say "bravo" to religious fanatics everywhere. You've made the world quite a fascinating place, and it's been fun, but perhaps you should all catch the next bus to paradise or whatever home in the clouds that awaits you. Don't worry, we'll take care of any loose ends you might leave behind; it's no trouble. No trouble at all.
posted by 2sheets at 9:11 PM on March 21, 2004


You've made the world quite a fascinating place, and it's been fun, but perhaps you should all catch the next bus to paradise or whatever home in the clouds that awaits you.
Um...the killing of a spiritual leader that's going to provoke massive violence on both sides just occurred. That's reason for calling for more deaths? wtf? (and the whole problem there is more territorial than religious anyway.)
posted by amberglow at 9:16 PM on March 21, 2004


Israeli helicopters? I thought he was going to be killed by Wormtongue pushing him off the roof of Orthanc.
posted by homunculus at 9:16 PM on March 21, 2004


>and the whole problem there is more territorial than religious anyway

I wouldnt say that. The religious differences are probably the main roadblock to peace. Of course, no one wants to admit their religion is inferior or whatever, thus the years of fighting and other bullshit.

Greg Palast gave Clinton one compliment on his middle east policy and that was "he kept Sharon on a leash while Bush told him he can do whatever he wants." Seems Palast was right.
posted by skallas at 9:23 PM on March 21, 2004


Can't wait to watch Mosaic tomorrow. Its Middle East news translated into English from many nations in the middle east some state controlled, some not.
posted by skallas at 9:25 PM on March 21, 2004


skallas: When Sharon was elected, dubya was already in office.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:26 PM on March 21, 2004


I'm probably misquoting him anyway. Perhaps he just said Israel, or Barak, or Likuds.
posted by skallas at 9:37 PM on March 21, 2004


The religious differences are probably the main roadblock to peace.

the grim reality of this conflict is that it originally was a secular/territorial conflict which has be co-opted by the religous extremist on either side for their own purposes, and thus making a resolution all the more difficult (and expensive for american taxpayers ... cue fiscal conservatives, what the hell happened to them anyway?)
posted by specialk420 at 9:40 PM on March 21, 2004


>and the whole problem there is more territorial than religious anyway

Maybe, but one can't deny that this whole situation would be immensely different if not for the fact that half the damn world has an opinion one way or the other as to whom God wanted to give a certain piece of desert.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:42 PM on March 21, 2004


cue fiscal conservatives, what the hell happened to them anyway?

They found Supply-Side Jesus
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:44 PM on March 21, 2004


and the whole problem there is more territorial than religious anyway

I don't know about that. The whole point of Israel being created in the late 40's was to make a Jewish state. There had been many Muslims there, unfortunately, and eventually religion-inspired territorial conflicts ensued. There's no way that you can say that this is more territorial than religious: it's about religious territory.
posted by crazy finger at 9:53 PM on March 21, 2004


And let me add: the picture on the BBC story's page (wheelchair shattered on the ground, lots of blood) is pretty fucking crazy.
posted by crazy finger at 9:55 PM on March 21, 2004


Live by the sword, die by the sword. Good riddance to a rotten piece of scum.
posted by caddis at 10:00 PM on March 21, 2004


Observation:
CNN says he was killed leaving the mosque in a car.
BBC says he was killed with a direct hit to his wheelchair.

Thought that was interesting, if intentional.
posted by crazy finger at 10:05 PM on March 21, 2004




Good riddance to a rotten piece of scum.

you are ok with killing "rotten pieces of scum" without any type of judicial proceeding ... given the fact that prosecuting yassin in a criminal court was entirely possible for the israeli's?
posted by specialk420 at 10:11 PM on March 21, 2004


Such timing! WMD? Clark who?
posted by skallas at 10:13 PM on March 21, 2004


one would imagine killing a leader in a wheelchair (criminal or not) would fit jessica stern's identification of the root causes of terrorism:

"But the variable that came up most frequently was not poverty or human-rights abuses, but perceived humiliation. Humiliation emerged at every level of the terrorist groups I studied — leaders and followers."

just or not, one wonders if this killing will create more or less terrorist related death ..?
posted by specialk420 at 10:16 PM on March 21, 2004


I more curious at to what part of the Roadmap to Peace involved this guy's assassination?
posted by skallas at 10:18 PM on March 21, 2004


I more curious

dont stay up too late looking for that line item skallas
posted by specialk420 at 10:29 PM on March 21, 2004


I can't see any good coming out of this.
posted by rks404 at 10:47 PM on March 21, 2004


Live by the sword, die by the sword. Good riddance to a rotten piece of scum.

What, did somebody kill Sharon?
posted by Ty Webb at 11:33 PM on March 21, 2004


No, but someone will.

The only good that may come of this is if both Sharon and Arafat wind up dead. Take those two out of the picture, and things may actually start to improve.
posted by subgenius at 11:42 PM on March 21, 2004


For a little bit of background:

According to ICT papers, Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma al Islami, which widened its base of supporters and sympathizers by religious propaganda and social work.

According to U.S. administration officials, funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel. The PLO was secular and leftist and promoted Palestinian nationalism. Hamas wanted to set up a transnational state under the rule of Islam, much like Khomeini's Iran.

Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

posted by Ty Webb at 11:50 PM on March 21, 2004


OK. When does the spell break and we realise that our deliquent child really is shitting in the neighbour's sugar bowl and there aren't any exuses for it any more?
posted by RichLyon at 11:55 PM on March 21, 2004


errrm.. That's "delinquent", as distinct I suppose from "deliquescent" (would that Israel were...)
posted by RichLyon at 11:57 PM on March 21, 2004


and we all agree that the yassin - take out - was pre-approved by the bush cabal crew?
posted by specialk420 at 12:11 AM on March 22, 2004


israeli govt spokesman "israel has eliminated the biggest threat to peace and stability in the region". well done then, so let's sit back and congratulate ourselves as we watch the number of young palestines blowing themselves up dramatically decrease, and peace return to the streets of jersulem and tel aviv. after all, we all know that he was a bad guy, and when you kill the bad guys, only the good guys remain, right?
posted by coyroy at 12:48 AM on March 22, 2004


OK. When does the spell break and we realise that our deliquent child really is shitting in the neighbour's sugar bowl and there aren't any exuses for it any more?

Yeah, how dare they kill someone whose life work was the explicit stated intent to commit genocide, who incited countless kids and young adults to go commit suicide/homicide in the name of holy martyrdom? I mean geez, the nerve of those Israelis to finally get rid of the guy.

Whether this was a smart move on the part of the Israelis (possibly not) is not the same thing as whether it was justified (definitely).

And are people here more pissed off that Israel did this with the possible consent of the US or that they did it possibly without the consent of the US? I can't tell.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:40 AM on March 22, 2004


"a. is assassination of political/spiritual leaders justified?"

Sometimes the answer is absolutely yes.

Thats probably not full of enough disclaimers to play well, especially here, but its the simple answer to a simple question.

* Are the ramifications complex? Yup.
* Are the factors in the decision complex? Sure.

But the basic question? That's simple... "Yes, sometimes it is".

I do see, as a practical matter, that sometimes killing the leader of your sworn enemy may bring a increase in violence. However you cannot always allow someone to act against you with impunity and always back off so you don't "get them really mad".

You cannot continue to live your life with some madman randomly killing your people and attacking your nation and simply roll over and say "we won't fight back, that will only make it worse".

Of course its a symmetrical proposition, your enemy may well see your attack as one they cannot tolerate and open conflict will arise. But that doesn't change anything. You still cannot grant your enemy impunity because they are a threat to you... not if you hope to survive in the long run.

Sometimes you simply have to pull the trigger, knowing it will start a war...because the continued existence of that partular human bent on your destruction is a bigger threat than the zealots who will arise to avenge him.

Imagine a serial killer on the loose. He is killing women and children and he says to the media "lay a finger on me and my 5 serial killer friends will start where I left off".

How long will you tolerate this?
How long will you allow it to go on out of fear?
How long before you realize that the only response to being a victim of terror is to fight?

Appeasement won't save you. So you shoot him down, and when his 5 friends come you shoot them, and the 10 after that.

Because living on your knees while some terorist holds a figurative gun to your head is no way to exist as a nation or a individual.

Are there some folks out there using exactly the same logic to justify attacks on Isreal or the US? Sure thing. They obviously see themselves as the victims and us as the terrorists. The proposition is symmetrical because their analysis is correct insofar as they realize that they too have an enemy bent on their destruction. The irony of that doesn't change anything about the realities.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:51 AM on March 22, 2004


just or not, one wonders if this killing will create more or less terrorist related death ..?
etc.
Assuming of course that creating more is possible, that Hamas isn't already running at full throttle. Everything I have read has indicated that their capabilities have been severely limited by the incessant assasinations. These guys used to be able to pull off two suicide bombs a day (remember 1994, when they destroyed the Perez govt. and brought Bibi in?), now its like one a month, if that.
posted by ednopantz at 1:58 AM on March 22, 2004


CNN says he was killed leaving the mosque in a car.
BBC says he was killed with a direct hit to his wheelchair.


The images of bits of wheelchair [not pleasant, obviously] don't prove anything, but they'll be seen around the world.

I mean geez, the nerve of those Israelis to finally get rid of the guy.

Quite. If you're going to talk about 'justification', though, it might be worth thinking about the 'jus-' part and the way in which systems of justice work by resisting the ideologies and methods of the cesspit.

Now, you could lock Yassin up -- as he had been in the past -- and let him shuffle off to meet his maker, thus showing the triumph of the rule of law. Instead, reducing him and seven others to offal creates a geriatric martyr and -- let's say it now -- increases the chance that several Israelis won't make it to next week for reasons other than natural causes. (That Old Testament 'eye for eye' thing was about limiting revenge: something that's easier with a sharp stick than either a suicide bomb or a guided missile, no matter how 'targetted' the latter.)

So, yes: it shows that you can always trust the Sharon government to make the dumb choice, and not necessarily the long-term bravest one. Sometimes, sadly, it works out better when bad men die in their beds.
posted by riviera at 2:06 AM on March 22, 2004


Assuming of course that creating more is possible, that Hamas isn't already running at full throttle.

What I'm worried about is not necessarily the Hamas' operational abilities (which indeed have taken a big hit as a result of the assassinations), but the possibility that this will reenergize the flow of volunteers to join the suicide ranks.

remember 1994, when they destroyed the Perez govt

The man is not a latino - it's not Perez, it's Peres. S as in Sam. Stressing the first syllable.
posted by CountZero at 3:10 AM on March 22, 2004


"And are people here more pissed off that Israel did this with the possible consent of the US or that they did it possibly without the consent of the US? I can't tell."

I don't know, it appears to me that most people here are simply pissed off that the consequences of all this will be that:

a) suicide bomber recruiters now have the highest-profile martyr of recent years -- that'll do wonders to find new, ahem, blood in the never-ending war to kill various Israeli civilians

b) Hamas is now in the position of _having_ to kill an appalling amount of Israelis in a single attack -- otherwise they'll look weak and past experience shows how they resent to lose face

c) there used to be a different policy -- ie Yassin's life had been spared until now. now all bets are off. on both sides.

d) you don't really want to touch the "consent" issue. I mean, since the IDF explosves that killed Yassin have been bought by the American taxpayers (who are also funding the West Bank occupation), the "consent" issue will have some at least tangential importance, as long as Israel keeps receiving many billions of dollars (about 6 or more, it's pretty hard tio keep track) every year from various Federal budgets

also, what riviera said
posted by matteo at 4:10 AM on March 22, 2004


Yeah, how dare they kill someone whose life work was the explicit stated intent to commit genocide

In my country, that sort of thing is determined by a legal process. My word was chosen with care (even if the spelling of it did not reflect it).

Like many people prior to 9/11, I believed events in Palestine were none of my business. I was happy enough to accept the notion, without much scrutiny, of Israel as a people deserving of our pity and support. The basis of their claim to the land they occupied was never really clear, but whatever it was, the horrors of their past earned them a measure of latitude in whatever view we took.

Today, it is only matter of time before one of my (British) countrymen is killed in a targeted terrorist attack, in part because of the West's continued support of the state of Israel. So every intelligent person needs now to test the facts for themselves. Facts I find impossible to overlook are that, in the year my grandmother was born, the number of resident Jews on what was then Palestinian soil could be counted on a few hands. Today, the debate focuses on what parts of its Annexed territory Palestine can retain, and the terms of that debate are skewed massively in Israel's favour by US military funding and support.

Perhaps when Britain and others set up the state of Israel, it was their intention that the parasite should one day swallow its host. But the argument for its existence today isn't all that compelling.

In the absence of compelling legitimacy, it would be reasonable to hope that the risk we are now shouldering is in service of promoting Western standards of civility and democracy.

And yet, in a civilian place, and without a shred of legal process, an old, disabled person was bombed yesterday in his wheelchair. Irrespective of that individual's past, this is not the behaviour of a civil society. And as is so often the case when we inspect Israel's behaviour, Western standards of civilisation have been degraded rather than strengthened through its actions.

As a formerly neutral individual, I find to my surprise I am unable to defend or support the legitimacy of either Israel's cause or its actions. I remain curious as to whether anyone else has had a similar epiphany.
posted by RichLyon at 4:18 AM on March 22, 2004


b) Hamas is now in the position of _having_ to kill an appalling amount of Israelis in a single attack -- otherwise they'll look weak and past experience shows how they resent to lose face

matteo hits the most important fact of this argument. Hamas will feel obligated to waive serious negotiations for suicide bombers for however long Israel waves the same for prosecution via missile. What does it say when Israel isn't even speculating retaliation, but openly "preparing for it" after doing stuff like this?

Every argument both sides make in this conflict are essentially glorified schoolyard logic- all that matters is being the last person to get a hit in before teacher comes to break you two up.

Nevertheless, it amazes me that, just like the deaths of other Hamas and Palestinian figureheads, the celebratory cheers on warblogs will again reach new heights... it amazes me the capacity some have for the sheer number of people out there who's deaths make them happy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:52 AM on March 22, 2004


I think there is a misconception about Sharon's aims: this guy wants to bring on an extreme Palestinian reaction. That's why Arafat is probably next.
The Israeli lunatic right's (Likud) plan is the expulsion of all Palestinians from the West Bank. Permanently. This is just the first act of a hideous operation of ethnic cleansing.
posted by talos at 5:08 AM on March 22, 2004


talos- I agree, but Hamas is unlikely to commit an act of magnitufe justifying such an assault from Israel. The suicide bombings are horrific and without question unforgivable, but 9/11 killed thousands and caused billions in damage, and even then the Saudis needed bribes to support the U.S. in attacking Arab states.

My point is that outside of a terrorist setting off a nuke inside Tel Aviv and (god forbid) slaughtering integral percentages of the population of Israel, the response to something like Arafat's assassination would never be considered severe enough to merit full-scale invasion from Israel as retaliation from the surrounding world. The tragedy of the current situation is that if Arafat had a bullet put in him tomorrow, any Israeli body count below 30-40 people by Wednesday would merely be met with "well, duh" on all sides.

The other common misconception is that the entire Arab world is "opposed to Israel." Though this may be true, it's not the same as "defending against Israel." I'm opposed to George W. Bush, but I'm not planning on launching a missile at him if he goes too far. If Israel went to war, nearly a dozen countries would go from disliking Israel to actively preparing military confrontation with it. That's an escalation in conflict to the 1976th degree.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:22 AM on March 22, 2004


Jack Straw (UK Foreign Secretary) says:

"All of us understand Israel's need to protect itself - and it is fully entitled to do that - against the terrorism which affects it, within international law," he said.

"But it is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing and we therefore condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is unjustified and it is very unlikely to achieve its objectives."

posted by brettski at 5:28 AM on March 22, 2004


c) there used to be a different policy -- ie Yassin's life had been spared until now. now all bets are off. on both sides.

Apparently, this is not the case, according to the BBC article posted earlier in the thread by skallas:

"At a cabinet meeting last week, formal authorisation was given to attack and kill specific targets Israel says were responsible for the twin suicide attack in the port of Ashdod on 14 March that killed 10 Israelis.

...

Israel has warned on many occasions that it would target the Hamas chief after the militant group killed scores of Israelis.

A few months ago, they narrowly missed him after firing on a house where he had been having lunch with fellow Hamas members a short while earlier."

Given that, why is everyone so surprised?
posted by me & my monkey at 5:32 AM on March 22, 2004


XQUZYPHYR: "...the response to something like Arafat's assassination would never be considered severe enough to merit full-scale invasion from Israel as retaliation from the surrounding world"...

I really, really, hope you are right...
posted by talos at 5:54 AM on March 22, 2004


Let's see... A terrorist leader who has been waging war on innocent people for years gets killed....and that's somehow a bad thing?

Sheesh.. :(
posted by eas98 at 6:15 AM on March 22, 2004


What took place a few days ago that prompted this retaliation? Odd this is never mentioned. That guy was a "spiritual leader" the way I am a pro football player. Fact: he is the founding father of Hamas, a group dedicated to destroying Israel. Of greater interest (he has now 72 virgins)--Arafat versus Hamas for control.
posted by Postroad at 6:21 AM on March 22, 2004


Let's see... A terrorist leader who has been waging war on innocent people for years gets killed....and that's somehow a bad thing?

Didn't you get the memo? There are no "terrorists" -- one man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter."

Or "spiritual leader," as the case may be.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:24 AM on March 22, 2004


one man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter."

See also "Irish Republican Army", "Contras".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:32 AM on March 22, 2004


Bravo, Israel! Great work!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:49 AM on March 22, 2004


The issue is not whether he was a "terrorist," but rather whether he was responsible for attacks on hundreds of innocent civilians. How is this different from the United State's efforts to kill Osama?
posted by caddis at 6:49 AM on March 22, 2004


The inability of people here to see that this is a triumph is a good litmus test for those same people vis a vis Iraq, and, in general, vis a vis the President. How stupid or cowardly to be troubled by this development.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:59 AM on March 22, 2004


The issue is not whether he was a "terrorist," but rather whether he was responsible for attacks on hundreds of innocent civilians.

yeah, but if that is the case - why couldn't they arrest him and bring him in to a court of law?

wouldn't that have been a more effective way of ending the cycle of violence?
posted by specialk420 at 6:59 AM on March 22, 2004


How stupid or cowardly to be troubled by this development.

and if it is your sister who is killed in the next round of violence, you'll be ok with that ... 'cause this is war. right paris? "stupid, and cowardly" are words that should be used for the israeli's that found it easier to kill the guy with a missle from 150 feet overhead rather than drag the old bag of bones into a court of law and show the world how civilized people deal with terrorists when given the chance.
posted by specialk420 at 7:02 AM on March 22, 2004


I'm not surprised. I'm appalled. And not for the death of Hamas' spiritual leader. If this man deserved death then Sharon and Arafat probably deserve it as well. There are many who should be tried for war crimes, yes. Kissinger, for the bombing of civilians in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War surely. Many deserve a trial. Many.

But that is not really the important point here, though I'd note that the Sheik's two son's and a number of innocent passers-by were also killed and wounded in the missile attack and - as grotesquely awful as suicide bombing are - I find something even yet more grotesque in this sort of hunting down of individual human beings, from the air, with missiles. Not the least of which for the killing of innocents in such assassinations, Palestinians will call such terrorism.

There is terrorism, really, on both sides of the conflict - and the civilian populations on both sides are now held hostage to ideological extremists.

The point and question, cited by Specialk420 above, is whether international law - civilian justice - can replace the current mutual, terrorist/military vigilante "justice" which characterizes the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

To those cheering on such assassination from the sidelines, I'd say this ; sooner or later, appeals to this sort of violent, vigilante "justice" which ignores the fact of massively unjust killings, by both sides of the I/P conflict, of Palestinian and Israeli citizens becomes mere enabling rhetoric which allows further escalation of those hatreds which drive the conflict.

____________________________________________

"...I think there is a misconception about Sharon's aims: this guy wants to bring on an extreme Palestinian reaction. That's why Arafat is probably next. The Israeli lunatic right's (Likud) plan is the expulsion of all Palestinians from the West Bank. Permanently. This is just the first act of a hideous operation of ethnic cleansing." (talos)

"talos- I agree, but Hamas is unlikely to commit an act of magnitude justifying such an assault from Israel." (XQUZYPHYR)

Give them time, give them time.

Consider the recently uncovered frenzy of black market nuclear proliferation. Why assume that Hamas doesn't have more extreme measures in reserve, or that it isn't actively seeking such? These things are possible and - given the recent explosion of proliferation coming from an ostensible US ally, Pakistan - possibly inevitable in the current climate which ignores rampant nuclear proliferation to focus, instead, on an abstract ideological agenda.

The Bush and Sharon Administrations are doing a bang-up job of uniting the Islamic world in hatred and as Israel manages to reduce Palestinian populations to a desperate, disorganized state of abject poverty, their loss of power will be counterbalanced by gains in external support as their increasingly radicalized cause gains ideologically extreme adherents - terrorists - from the larger Islamic world.

And - though the Palestinians may not now have access to the most extreme destructive technologies - there is a risk that Israeli policies of the sort Sharon favors will enlist external allies who can provide such weapons.

___________________________________________

I think that invocations of "morality" and "justification" in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict represent a dangerous distraction.

Are Palestinian terrorists justified in slaughtering thousands of innocent Israeli citizens? Of course not. Is the Israeli government justified in slaughtering thousands of innocent Palestinian civilian ("collateral damage") and in reducing the Palestinian people to a state of abject poverty and extreme humiliation? Of course not.

Both sides in this conflict have suffered terrible personal loss and so their hatreds are more understandable. But those external to the conflict, those who are not tied to the conflict itself through personal suffering, those who cheer on acts which perpetuate and exacerbate this extreme death-embrace - are they not, in a fashion, morally culpable?

What, exactly, is the point of cheering on such assassinations? Isn't the desired goal here at least a grudging peace if not reconciliation? Doesn't rhetoric supportive of inflammatory actions - on either side of the conflict - merely perpetuate and inflame the conflict and so support the very processes which are slaughtering civilians?

______________________________________________


I have to repost specialk420's quote, from the noted terrorism expert Jessica Stern, on the root factors underlying terrorism : "....But the variable that came up most frequently was not poverty or human-rights abuses, but perceived humiliation. Humiliation emerged at every level of the terrorist groups I studied — leaders and followers."

A missile attack on an old man, a sheik even, in a wheelchair?....... It is hard to imagine a more extreme act of symbolic humiliation, or that a single act could have been more precisely calibrated to provoke a bloody response.

Sharon, Hamas, Arafat, and all those cheering on the conflict from the sidelines - I would call all of these terrorists.
posted by troutfishing at 7:14 AM on March 22, 2004


Interesting aside: Hamas has recently been trying to take over Palestinian rule in the Gaza Strip from Arafat's Fatah faction, who clearly control the West Bank. This comes on the heels of a revolt in Fatah from some of its younger members, protesting what they see as the old guard's greed and unwillingness to stand for a vote, according to their charter. There have been many defections from Fatah to Hamas.

This being the case, it creates the weird notion of the Baxters vs. the Rojos, with Sharon as Clint Eastwood, riding into town, then unbalancing the situation by further weakening the weaker of the two families, to cause discord.

By weakening Hamas, has Israel created the conditions for a civil war between them and Fatah?
posted by kablam at 7:14 AM on March 22, 2004


Actually, I would favor what happened over a judicial proceeding: more effective, more appropriate, less likely over time to foment more terrorism.

In any case, what makes you think "bringing him in" was possible?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:15 AM on March 22, 2004


more effective, more appropriate, less likely over time to foment more terrorism.

i'm sure you would approve of the killing or resettlement of all of the palestinian occupants of the west bank and occupied territories as well, paris ? ... i hope people who think like you (on either side) someday see the light.
posted by specialk420 at 7:26 AM on March 22, 2004


Any judicial proceeding would be labeled a sham by those who would be paying attention to it: a zionist sham; an american sham; a non-islamist sham. Who are you kidding?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:27 AM on March 22, 2004


specialk420: no I would not.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:29 AM on March 22, 2004


Imagine a serial killer on the loose. He is killing women and children and he says to the media "lay a finger on me and my 5 serial killer friends will start where I left off".

Don't you think a random killer makes a rather poor analogy for people living under occupation?

Nevertheless, my three-step plan for dealing with the Serial Killer On the Loose:

1. Find out where he buys his groceries and fire rockets into the deli counter once in a while.

2. Find out where his parents live and knock down their house.

3. Find out who his serial killer friends are and encourage my craziest friends to build houses in their back yards.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:30 AM on March 22, 2004


Well, Paris - which would have been worse : putting this old man on trial, or blowing him to bloody bits and - in the process - killing innocent civilians?

"....But the variable that came up most frequently was not poverty or human-rights abuses, but perceived humiliation. Humiliation emerged at every level of the terrorist groups I studied — leaders and followers."

A missile attack on an old man, a sheik even, in a wheelchair?....... It is hard to imagine a more extreme act of symbolic humiliation, or that a single act could have been more precisely calibrated to provoke a bloody response.
posted by troutfishing at 7:33 AM on March 22, 2004


Assuming of course that creating more is possible, that Hamas isn't already running at full throttle. Everything I have read has indicated that their capabilities have been severely limited by the incessant assasinations...

Has the war in Iraq created legions of new Islamsists who would overthrow the region's govenrments? Well, so far, the evidence is: no...
posted by y2karl at 7:56 AM on March 22, 2004


A missile attack on an old man, a sheik even, in a wheelchair?....... It is hard to imagine a more extreme act of symbolic humiliation

No, it isn't. Ritualized strangulation in public is one easy-to-imagine historical example. Or crucifixion. Public impalement. Public sexual abuse by Sharon. Other forms of public torture. Hanging while nude. Forced conduct counter to Islam, followed by any of the above. Any of these, followed by wrapping in pigskin and leaving the body to dogs.

It's nasty and all, but why not keep the rhetoric within reason? Human imagination is prit-near unbounded when it comes to ways to humiliate other people to death.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:01 AM on March 22, 2004


y2, try using words instead of links. What was the point you were trying to make?
posted by ednopantz at 8:08 AM on March 22, 2004


Any judicial proceeding would be labeled a sham

true or not - do we let supporters of "terrorist leaders" determine how we as civilized world deal with them and use the rule of law?


people (like paris) who support this kind of approach to the problems in israel and the middle east have the blood of the next victims (israeli or palestinian) of terrorist attacks and escalation of violence on their hands - everyone else should be yelling at their congress people to end support for the status quo in israel and the occupied territories.
posted by specialk420 at 8:12 AM on March 22, 2004


Rou_Xenophobe - Well, I might have added "being carried out in this modern era". In a sense, I suppose, this humiliation could have been contrived to have been worse. But I find something in the clinically detached nature of this assasination, the hunting of a single human by multiple helicopters armed with missiles, which is the epitome of a certain style of humiliation.

It was not at all about personal humiliation - as with the forms of the humiliation you cited above. Instead, it was the humiliation of an utterly depersonalized execution which declares, quite bluntly : "We can rub your leaders out, at the time and place of our choosing, like insects"

In fact, the IDF might as well have used giant cans of "Raid".
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 AM on March 22, 2004


this will be bad news for bush, because it's gonna spawn some pretty heinous retaliation.

but as XQ pointed out here, we in america probably don't have to worry about it. fuck yes we shoulda killed him, dude was evil as hell!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:31 AM on March 22, 2004


Condi Rice continues to work on her credibility:


"National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice tells N-B-C's "Today" show U-S officials received no advance warning of the missile strike that killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin"
posted by specialk420 at 8:35 AM on March 22, 2004


How does what Israel did differ from the US chasing down, with intent to kill, Osama Bin Laden?
posted by caddis at 8:40 AM on March 22, 2004


My understanding of the I/P conflict must be woefully incomplete.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that has sponsored the murder of many Israelis, right? Israel killed a prominent Hamas leader. Are people arguing that this was immoral? If so, would someone explain why this was immoral?
posted by trharlan at 8:44 AM on March 22, 2004


A missile attack on an old man, a sheik even, in a wheelchair?....... It is hard to imagine a more extreme act of symbolic humiliation, or that a single act could have been more precisely calibrated to provoke a bloody response.

yeah, the grandfather approach, good thinking trout.

We strongly urge you to adopt and publicize a policy of full respect for the laws of war, including an immediate and total stop to the practice of targeting civilians. We ask that you publicly and unequivocally call on the military wing of your organization, the 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and any other groups or individuals acting on behalf of the Islamic Resistance Movement, to desist from any attacks or acts of reprisal that deliberately target civilians or are indiscriminate. Such attacks have continued unabated for far too long. It is incumbent upon you as a leader of the organization sponsoring these attacks to take a clear and forthright position in opposition to the killing of civilians-no matter what justifications may be put forward.

So many people will take seriously his charge that the regional conflicts may be turning into a religious war.

really?

so, where do i send the case of beer to the pilot who greased this piece of shit.

I recommend this book for all our to read.
posted by clavdivs at 8:46 AM on March 22, 2004


Sometimes, from the darkest corners of my mind, the wish that we could just saturation-nuke the whole region comes crawling out. We could get rid of the whole Israeli-Palestinian Holy Land crap that way, and we wouldn't have to listen to any of this stupidity any more.

Then I come to my senses once again, and realize that I have the same cruel, cruel monster of human nature inside of me as those who make that conflict a problem in the first place.
posted by moonbiter at 8:51 AM on March 22, 2004


Are people arguing that this was immoral?

no. read the thread.

How does what Israel did differ from the US chasing down, with intent to kill, Osama Bin Laden?


here is a leading a israeli newspaper for you and tharlan to read once in a while.

bin laden = sheik yassin - sure. if you are a complete simpleton with no understanding whatsoever of the middle east.
posted by specialk420 at 8:56 AM on March 22, 2004


like clavdivs.
posted by specialk420 at 8:58 AM on March 22, 2004


"Old man in a wheelchair". Reminds me of FDR.
posted by kablam at 8:59 AM on March 22, 2004


In fact, the IDF might as well have used giant cans of "Raid".

why you little cuss. So, you think the IDF should use pesticides against it's enemy?
is that some sorta cyclone B sick joke?
are you equating the IDF actions with Hitler? I could be wrong, maybe RAID and the act of raiding someone is what you meant?
posted by clavdivs at 8:59 AM on March 22, 2004


so, where do i send the case of beer to the pilot who greased this piece of shit

Clavdivs -- you can try Pizza IDF (I know it's not beer, but...) -- You can tell them a specific person if you can find the IAF pilot's name. At any rate, you can simply send some to random IDF soldiers as well.

Personally, while it will probably cause a great deal of turmoil and fighting, for once in my life I find myself very pleased that the scumbag is dead. I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I am.
posted by greengrl at 9:00 AM on March 22, 2004


I recommend this book for all our to read.

I guess the missing words in there are "easily duped xenophobes". Emerson was all over TV after Oklahoma City claiming it was the work of muslims terrorists. His credibility is suspect at best.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:02 AM on March 22, 2004


you can try Pizza IDF

OK, where can I send a pizza to the palestinians made homeless by Israeli missile attacks? I mean, without being seen as a terrorist-sympathizer.
posted by jpoulos at 9:04 AM on March 22, 2004


i am certainly no expert on affairs in israel/palestine - but this does certainly seem like an extremely dangerous (for both sides) escalation of the conflict.

if you are a complete simpleton with no understanding whatsoever of the middle east.

very much like yourself. go read a book you creepy little toady.
(tee-hee) name calling is fun.

AM, nice move, read the book and read his take and what he thought about the situation.
then read how many new outlets told the same story, that Muslims could have been involved. Then Newsweek wanted to hire him....

boy, the dan rather blacklist. Mr JFK head-snap.
posted by clavdivs at 9:12 AM on March 22, 2004


Haaretz is against the action, but the Jerusalem Post calls Yassin the biggest terrorist - predictable opinions from both. Hamas has taken credit for the killings of hundreds of innocent civilians. How does that make them any better than al Qaeda?
posted by caddis at 9:16 AM on March 22, 2004


go read a book

i think ill pass on your recommended reading list bigguy.
posted by specialk420 at 9:25 AM on March 22, 2004


boy, the dan rather blacklist. Mr JFK head-snap.

Are these meant to be sentences?
Are they meant to convey a thought of some kind?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:28 AM on March 22, 2004


How does that make them any better than al Qaeda?

who said anything about hamas being "better" than al queda? apples and oranges caddis.
posted by specialk420 at 9:28 AM on March 22, 2004


except for those who think those damn muslims are all terrorists ...
posted by specialk420 at 9:32 AM on March 22, 2004


The idea that a missle was sent to take out a wheelchair is really the crux of modern life.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:44 AM on March 22, 2004


boy, the dan rather blacklist. Mr JFK head-snap.

Are these meant to be sentences?
Are they meant to convey a thought of some kind?


they are indeed, Armitage.

Dan Rather's "fib"
Dan Rather, at the time an unknown newscaster from a small market Texas TV station, viewed the Zapruder film, then described it to America on the CBS network. As this recording of that broadcast shows, Rather lied to all of America in claiming that the head shot pushed John F. Kennedy's head forward. Rather's meteoric rise to network status and stardom soon followed. When the Zapruder film was finally shown publicly, during Jim Garrison's trial of CIA agent Clay Shaw, Rather's lie was revealed for all to see. Sound file provided by www.warrencommission.com.
posted by matteo at 9:57 AM on March 22, 2004


Look, the whole Palestinian justification for terror, from their point of view, is that if the world attention was directed away from the west bank, Isreal would quietly grind them into paste and bury the remains. This is one of the reasons they can justify suicide bombing. The bombers are told that they are saving lives of future palestinians. It's remarkably effective.

Now with that in mind, do you think using a missle on one old man in a wheelchair is going to change their minds? Sharon and co probably know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to provoke a response so severe that they can escalate to open war and blame terrorism.

Ask yourself this: Why did they need a missle? Why not arrest him?
posted by lumpenprole at 10:03 AM on March 22, 2004


"why you little cuss. So, you think the IDF should use pesticides against it's enemy?....is that some sorta cyclone B sick joke? are you equating the IDF actions with Hitler?" - clavdivs, you said that. I didn't. But, since you're steeped in historical lore, I assume that you know of David Ben Gurion's statement - that he would rather one Jewish child be saved from the Holocaust and sent to Palestine to work for a Jewish state than two Jewish children be saved and sent to Britain......or the fact that the World Jewish Congress followed this aim - to channel it's resources to saving a much smaller number of Jews from Hitler, so that they could be sent to Palestine. Israel and it's larger aims are not synonymous with those of all Jews.

But - back to the point at hand - the sheik was not the only victim of this suicide attack, and this is a point which has escaped many who have voiced support here for the assassination. I meant what I said - not as a reference to cyclon-B, but as an observation that the IDF squashed, or obliterated, Sheik Yassin in the manner in which one would squash a bug....or exterminate it with poison. Hence my imagery of a giant can of Raid.

Yes, I do find something similar, to Nazi methods which dehumanized their victims, in certain of tactics of the IDF tactics - both in bureaucratic dehumanization through destruction of Palestinian homes, through raids, by checkpoints, identity cards and papers, in the carving up of the West Bank - and also in these assassinations from the air by missile attack that serve to dehumanize Palestinians. These methods ARE similar, in nature if not always in extremity, to the manner in which Jews were dehumanized in the Holocaust.

But I can't mention this without observing that the Jewish victims of Palestinian suicide bombings are - in the rhetoric and sentiments of those on the Palestinian side who would justify such killing - dehumanized in a very similar way. Both sides would dehumanize the other.


There are crimes against humanity aplenty on both sides of this conflict, and I believe that to cheer merely for one side or the other is simply to feed those ideologies - on both sides - which contribute to the overall dynamic of violence and dehumanization of the "other".

_______________________________________________

''Sharon and co probably know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to provoke a response so severe that they can escalate to open war and blame terrorism.

Ask yourself this: Why did they need a missle? Why not arrest him?"
- Exactly.
posted by troutfishing at 10:15 AM on March 22, 2004


Honest question: why is the argument advanced as if it is axiomatic that a precision strike using a missle from a helicopter that eliminates only its target is somehow inhumane, cowardly or the like? Why is that so? Is it cowardly that someone has superior technology and uses it effectively? (sidebar: Must all things be pushed to the lowest common denominator in order to be fair?)

Just so I can understand the argument: is it un-cowardly to blow yourself up on a bus full of innocent people but cowardly to eliminate someone with a percision missle from a helicopter? What are we attempting to valuate with such labels?
posted by Seth at 10:17 AM on March 22, 2004


Another question: Why is assumed that the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the land and that the Jews are occupying it? The reason I ask is because I seem to recall that the Jewish people were there first a couple thousand years ago, but they were dispossesed by the Muslim empire. So wouldn't that make the Palestinians the occupiers? On this point, I really am curious to what others say because I am sure someone can explain it to me.
posted by Seth at 10:21 AM on March 22, 2004


that eliminates only its target

What? New set of facts? Thanks, voice of reason guy!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:23 AM on March 22, 2004


Just so I can understand the argument: is it un-cowardly to blow yourself up on a bus full of innocent people but cowardly to eliminate someone with a percision missle from a helicopter?

can you explain to anyone how came to infer from this thread that that is "the argument"??
posted by specialk420 at 10:25 AM on March 22, 2004


As opposed to large quantities of innocent civilians.
posted by Seth at 10:25 AM on March 22, 2004


Well, specialk, it seems that the point has been made that it is cowardly to use a missle from a helicopter. It also seems that the argument has been advanced that the suicide bombers are "freedom fighters" and doing a very brave thing (sacraficing their life) to fight the evil occupiers. A similar sentiment creeps into most threads on this subject, though it may not be explicit here.
posted by Seth at 10:28 AM on March 22, 2004


a precision strike using a missle from a helicopter that eliminates only its target

What fantasy world do you live in Seth? According to a report by one Palestinian human rights group last year, more than 130 Palestinians had been targeted and killed by Israelis and more than 60 bystanders had been killed.

Just so I can understand your argument, how many collateral deaths per missile are acceptable to you?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:30 AM on March 22, 2004


ok,
"Tom Clancys fiction pales in comparison"

-Dan Rather, from a book blurb of 'Charlie Wilsons War'

Rather made the comment that "he misled us all" concerning his view on who may have done the OCB.

I find that very funny from a man who watched the Zapruder film and said that the evidence points towards the shots coming from the DSBD.

In fact, the IDF might as well have used giant cans of "Raid".
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 AM PST on March 22
back in a minute....


sk420, i have read the article and there seems to be some meat there, but i will stick to the book i said. PBS aired the documenatry, shall we cast doubt to them? I did read the piece, seems kinda cobbled together but none the less worth a read. I see what you mean but do not buy this Sugg article.
Emerson was wrong when he initially pointed to Yugoslavians as suspects in the World Trade Center bombing
well, even the FBI thought they where the likely supects at first, so why did not Suggs mention this?

ok trout read this little book.

then tell me about comparisons. Similar? tactics to fight an enemy (an enemy that shoots back BTW)

are the Palestians 'dehumanized', they seem pretty human to me because they vow to cut off Sharons head.

compare these
posted by clavdivs at 10:35 AM on March 22, 2004


It also seems that the argument has been advanced that the suicide bombers are "freedom fighters" and doing a very brave thing (sacraficing their life) to fight the evil occupiers.

i must not be reading the same thread as you seth ... i don't see any of your assertions in this thread. feel freel link them up though.
posted by specialk420 at 10:36 AM on March 22, 2004


Ask yourself this: Why did they need a missle? Why not arrest him?"
And they should have peacefully arrested him...how?
posted by kickingtheground at 10:45 AM on March 22, 2004


thanks matteo, well said.
and to show i am not a complete shithead

THIS IS COURAGE

posted by clavdivs at 10:46 AM on March 22, 2004


at the end of the day - the assassination of yassin furthered the goals of those opposed to the geneva accord, and diminished the prospects of a moderate settlement of the conflict, and that is sad for israeli's and palestinians and world in general.
posted by specialk420 at 10:47 AM on March 22, 2004


specialk, since you are being deliberately coy about the nature of my question, I'll be completely explicit.

Please explain the logic behind this:

as grotesquely awful as suicide bombing are - I find something even yet more grotesque in this sort of hunting down of individual human beings, from the air, with missiles.
posted by Seth at 10:48 AM on March 22, 2004


Just so I can understand your argument, how many collateral deaths per missile are acceptable to you?

That's just what I was thinking. That, and that Seth's preconceptions of Metafilter are so powerful as to actually cause pinko-caricature posts to appear before him on the screen. I had an uncle who had similar problems with racing forms.

And they should have peacefully arrested him...how?

Yeah, they obviously didn't know where he was or anything. What, like they could have just, like, flown by in a helicopter and found him?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:51 AM on March 22, 2004


And they should have peacefully arrested him...how?

By sending in an elite special forces unit trained to outrun a blind paraplegic in a wheelchair?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:52 AM on March 22, 2004


It also seems that the argument has been advanced that the suicide bombers are "freedom fighters" and doing a very brave thing (sacraficing their life) to fight the evil occupiers.

I do not think anyone has advanced that argument. The main argument is that criminals, terrorists included, should be put on trial rather than blown up at every oppertunity.

But back to what you were saying...

An act can be brave even if the purpose is evil. But when you think you are going to be rewarded in the afterlife for doing it, you are not so brave in that case. If you don't believe in the afterlife but still are willing to die for a cause you believe in, that is brave. Whether or not your cause is just.
posted by bargle at 10:54 AM on March 22, 2004


The main argument is that criminals, terrorists included, should be put on trial rather than blown up at every oppertunity.

Particularly, when, in contrast to Seth's absurd implication, they usually take other random people with the target. Two bodyguards and one of Sheikh Yassin's sons were reported to be among those killed. At least 15 people were wounded.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:58 AM on March 22, 2004


Armitage, why are deliberately ignoring my point?

There was minimal collateral damage. From the reports, the only people who died appeared to be Hamas people. Therefore they are not "collateral damage." There were people wounded, but I refer to that as minimal.

But that wasn't my point. I asked a very simple question for purposes of clarification because I have yet seen anyone explain it: why is the use of a percision strike from a Helicopter axiomatically considered cowardly? That suggestion is explicit in this thread and I even linked to a quote from troutfishing that said as much.

I am merely asking what the "problem" with such a tactic is?
posted by Seth at 11:06 AM on March 22, 2004


Perhaps this will re-route the suitcase nukes destined for the USA. It'll be interesting to see where the first porta-nuke is detonated.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:13 AM on March 22, 2004


It's not cowardly so much as it's swatting flies with nukes. There's such a vast disparity between Israeli firepower and Palestinian that there's always other people (neighbors, people walking on the street near the car/house/etc) killed when Israel bombs somewhere, no matter how targeted. (Of course, the Palestinians retaliate with suicide bombers who then kill many Israelis). It's a vicious cycle that's exacerbated by the disparity in weaponry and resources.

Also, there were already people in Israel when God gave it to us Jews...It doesn't get mentioned much, but it was not an empty land. (Abraham was Babylonian and still living there when God first contacted him, and we started being. Jewish). Other people here can explain it better than me.
posted by amberglow at 11:16 AM on March 22, 2004


why is the use of a percision strike from a Helicopter axiomatically considered cowardly?

a less cowardly approach would have been to prepare a case against the man and try him in a court of law - and do what you can to end the cycle of violence.
posted by specialk420 at 11:20 AM on March 22, 2004


Why is assumed that the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the land and that the Jews are occupying it?

For the same reason, Seth, that modern day Americans would be considered the rightful owners of the land that Native American Indians attempted to reoccupy.
posted by RichLyon at 11:39 AM on March 22, 2004


I could not care less. This killer founded the group that has vowed to kill every Jew/Israel possible. This group pushed Klinghoffer in his wheelchair in the sea (cruise ship incident)--so I am to worry about the poor old guy? Screw that killer. If I could have taken out Hitler or Ossama before they did what they fully wanted to do I would gladly have done it....The Palestinians, so called, did not have a land or state. What is occupied was owned by Egypt and Jordan and won during the an attempt to destroy Israel...and the land is to be given back, if not fully, when a peace accord is worked out. You simply do not give back land taken in war because of a refusal to work out a treaty. I f the killers choose to hide among civiliians pop. , so be it...when the Arabs decide that enough is enough and murder has not gained them anything, then they might try another, more peaceful approach. If Israel then turns down every proposal, it is on them. But this has not yet happened. The terror and suicides have not ceased. Ever.
posted by Postroad at 12:07 PM on March 22, 2004


This group pushed Klinghoffer in his wheelchair in the sea

No, that was Abu Nidal's group. And it was an Italian cruise ship, and Klinghoffer was an American. But don't worry about getting your facts right, as this is MeFi.
posted by norm at 12:17 PM on March 22, 2004


This group pushed Klinghoffer in his wheelchair in the sea (cruise ship incident)--so I am to worry about the poor old guy?

No, Postroad. That was Abu Abbas. And you're to worry about just how many in Gaza who weren't already sufficiently radicalized will be so now. And you're to worry about the consequences for ordinary Israelis.

You simply do not give back land taken in war because of a refusal to work out a treaty.

You simply do not annex land taken in war, nor do you transfer population inside or outside occupied regions. Not unless you have complete disregard for the modern standards of state conduct encoded in the Geneva Conventions. (And before anyone talks about how suicide bombings aren't endorsed by the Geneva Conventions: the point is that states have privileges and responsibilities that the stateless do not.)
posted by riviera at 12:19 PM on March 22, 2004


Nidal, Abbas, whatever. I knew damn well it wasn't Hamas.
posted by norm at 12:22 PM on March 22, 2004


There were people wounded, but I refer to that as minimal.

So whether it's a couple of men with a bump on the head or a few dozen men, women, and children maimed, it's all minimal to you? Or do you have specific information about the number and type of injuries?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:28 PM on March 22, 2004


Postroad: I could not care less.

The Israelis have (thanks to massive American funding) one of the most sophisticated secret services in the world. An assertion that they could not bring to justice an old man in a wheelchair is absurd. It lay within their grasp to uphold the principles of civilisation and they elected to descend to the principles of barbarism.

So be it. They set out the principles upon which an Israelis state would be constructed. "Screw that killer" is, I'm afraid, not quite good enough a test of admission to the club of civilised societies.

Why does your recollection of history not extend back before 1940 - doesn't the casus belli have some implication for the legitimacy of any land gains made by the Israelis? Would you admit that the statement "if not fully" might be less reasonable than you no doubt intend it to sound? In what way would you consider the investment of $1bn in a dividing wall and fortification system while you "negotiate" to be consistent with "working out a treaty"? etc. etc.
posted by RichLyon at 12:31 PM on March 22, 2004


a less cowardly approach would have been to prepare a case against the man and try him in a court of law - and do what you can to end the cycle of violence.
I really don't see that as a serious option. Yassin was always surrounded by a bevy of armed bodyguards, and he tended to say in the middle of Gaza City, where the IDF very much prefers not to tread (the streets are narrow and confusing, and the palestinian gunmen operate much more freely than in the west bank). Had Israel tried to arrest Yassin by sending in undercover forces, the resultant shootout would likely have resulted in the shedding of much more blood, and likely the deaths of more innocents.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:32 PM on March 22, 2004


You simply do not annex land taken in war, nor do you transfer population inside or outside occupied regions.

I'm glad to hear that. Here I was thinking that Danzig was still Gdansk, and that Poland had been shifted west after WW2, and that a whole raft of Germans got displaced west into the four occupation zones in the process. All with the blessing of the US, UK, France, and USSR.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on March 22, 2004


Here I was thinking that Danzig was still Gdansk, and that Poland had been shifted west after WW2, and that a whole raft of Germans got displaced west into the four occupation zones in the process.

Nice bit of selective quotation there. Of course, if you look at the next sentence, you'll see that I talk about a set of not-unimportant agreements made in 1949, which, strangely enough, comes after the events you describe -- and which it's fair to argue mark the beginning of the 'modern' (i.e. post-WW2, post-founding-of-UN) approach to codifying state conduct in military conflicts.

But here I was thinking that you could read.

It should be said, also, that the Israeli policy of recent years has been a masterful self-contradiction. By restricting the movements of the Palestinian Authority -- and reducing its West Bank infrastructure to rubble -- Gaza has been left, in essence, to become a Hamas stronghold. And yet, whenever Hamas carries out an attack from Gaza, Arafat has been condemned, and often targeted for retaliatory attacks, for 'failing to control' terrorism. It's rather like tying someone's hands and locking him in the shed, then punishing him for failing to catch a brick lobbed at your front window.
posted by riviera at 12:49 PM on March 22, 2004


Amberglow beat me to the punch but, still, a quote is in order : "When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them." Deut. 7:1,2

The Canaanites were the previous tenants in the land of Israel before being wped out, per divine order, by the Jews. So how far back does this "rule of prior claims" go? Are there still any Canaanites left? Maybe they should get a piece of the action, not to mention the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites........
posted by troutfishing at 12:52 PM on March 22, 2004


From a question/answer in a still ongoing chat with Fawaz Gerges, chair of International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, on Washingtonpost.com about the attack:
Washington, D.C.: If the consequences are so obviously different from stated policy, I must wonder just how un- the unintended consequences could be? Why is it that every step America and Israel take to increase safety only results in further bloodshed and war?

Fawaz Gerges: It is worth noting that Yassin was considered a moderating voice within Hamas. Although this footnote might surprise some American readers who do not see any distinctions among Hamas leaders, the fact is that Yassin managed to prevent more hawkish colleagues from fully plunging into an all out war against Israel.

Now Hamas will fall into the hands of more aggressive leaders, like those of Dr. Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, who have advocated a full onslaught against Israel. After Yassin's assassination, the rallying cry of Hamas leaders is for all-out war, and that there no longer exist any red lines. There is a danger that the further radicalization of Hamas will translate into more suicide bombings against Israelis. This is excatly what I meant by the law of unintended consequences. Will Israel be safer after the exist of Yassin from the scene? It is very unlikley!
Just sayin'...
posted by tittergrrl at 12:56 PM on March 22, 2004


at the end of the day - the assassination of yassin furthered the goals of those opposed to the geneva accord, and diminished the prospects of a moderate settlement of the conflict, and that is sad for israeli's and palestinians and world in general. Although I am not sorry to hear of Yassin's demise, I agree with this statement. I am not sure why Sharon has pursued this path. I fear it is more than just frustration with the attacks, but rather as some have suggested that he seeks all out war. Perhaps if it becomes a more conventional war than a war of terror he thinks Israel's military will have an advantage.
posted by caddis at 1:23 PM on March 22, 2004


Perhaps if it becomes a more conventional war than a war of terror he thinks Israel's military will have an advantage.
I don't see how it ever could be a conventional war against the Palestinians--they'd have to get Syria and Lebanon to fight on their side. The PA doesn't have an army, or weaponry, or planes, or anything.
posted by amberglow at 1:28 PM on March 22, 2004


Of course, if you look at the next sentence, you'll see that I talk about a set of not-unimportant agreements made in 1949

It's a fair cop. I mentally misplaced the Conventions as being (mostly) post-WW1. Bad ROU. No biscuit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:34 PM on March 22, 2004


"Yassin was considered a national symbol, he was far more moderate and did not rule out Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. Without a doubt, Sharon initiated the targeted killing, and if he believed that by doing so it would weaken the Hamas's control of the Gaza Strip, he is mistaken," said Paz.

"I can't see anything good coming out of it. I believe in the coming weeks, we will witness an escalation of violence, not just suicide bomb attacks, but attacks carried out by loners who aren't affiliated with any movement but seek revenge," he said.

"It is also possible that Yassin's death will lead to a further strengthening of ties between the Fatah's Al Aksa Brigades, Islamic Jihad and Hamas who have launched a number of joint attacks in the past and may well decide to continue," he said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1079929448127
posted by specialk420 at 1:40 PM on March 22, 2004


Hamas seems to be threatening to target the U.S. now.
posted by homunculus at 1:49 PM on March 22, 2004


"Moreover I am sure that sooner rather than later many innocent non-Israelis around the world will die just for being near by an Israeli embassy, Israeli consulate, a synagogue or even an American bank...This is the reality Sharon favours the most.

This is exactly what Israel wants: to turn the entire world into a victim of terror."
posted by specialk420 at 2:05 PM on March 22, 2004


There seems a good deal of unformed commentary here. Hamas has had already killed Americans. Wheel chair Klinghoffer on cruise ship, taken over by Hamas, and he was tossed to his death. Hamas (and the "spiritual" leader said only that at best they would declare not peace but temporary cessation of terror if Israel vacated West Bank and Gaza....and then? He has said over and over that he wanted to eliminate Israel. A recognized leader? He was a killer and reaching point of contesting leadership with Arafat , and hardly a moderate of any kind...yes, Israelis and /or Jews will die but do you expect a French passivity under threat? Never Again.
posted by Postroad at 2:19 PM on March 22, 2004


That's some pretty twisted logic there, specialk420. Terrorists threaten to expand their murdering to include more innocent people and we decide to blame...a culture of death and "martyrdom" perpetuated by religious fundamentalism? A lack of democracy, free speech, tolerance, and overall human rights anywhere in the Arab world save for fragile fledgling Iraq? The terrorists themselves, who are after all autonomous human individuals choosing to commit their acts against buses or synagogues or embassies or banks?

No, let's just blame Sharon and Israel. Because they "provoked" the inevitable sick response. And so the hypothetical increased numbers of dead bodies are somehow on their hands, not the terrorists'. If there are more terror victims--made suddenly unpalatable to the West because they're non-Israelis--it's because Israel "wanted" it. To paraphrase something Sharon himself once said, Muslims will kill Christians and the world will blame the Jews. [sigh]
posted by Asparagirl at 2:28 PM on March 22, 2004


Postroad: please read the above comments. Hamas was not involved with the Klinghoffer incident. That was the Palestine Liberation Front, NOT Hamas.

I am now the third person to say this. Hopefully it's the charm.

And, again, while Yassin's group has done horrible things, and he himself may have said some pretty fucked up things, the fact remains that of those who study the area... Yassin was seen as a moderate in Hamas who helped keep the bloodshed from getting too high. As much as he wanted Israel to disappear, he also advocated NOT entering into a holy war. He also was de facto signing off of the pull out of Gaza, etc.

Now, if you read my comment earlier from the chat with the Middle East expert, you have the much more rabid, hardline, "kill them all!" side of Hamas coming to power. And a pretty damned good symbol to use to rally new troops and action.

While he may not have been as moderate as people might like, the fact is when compared to others in leadership of Hamas, he kept the group on a leash. Now that leash may be severed, and the dogs of war might very well be unleashed.

Um, yay?
posted by tittergrrl at 2:28 PM on March 22, 2004


That's some pretty twisted logic there

i don't take credit for it ... the words posted were by Gilad Atzmon an Israeli and former member of the Israeli military.

One would think you sharon apologists would have some concern for the israeli's (and palestinians) who will be inevitably killed as the violence escalates ... while you do your thing in los angeles or new york - or wherever you call home ... jeezus.
posted by specialk420 at 2:45 PM on March 22, 2004


Postroad: Are you not reading responses here? Abu Abbas (who is now also explaining his actions to the Big Man) was behind the Achille Lauro hijacking.

And while Hamas has, undeniably, killed Americans in Israel through its indiscriminate use of suicide bombers and remotely-controlled explosives, it has never explicitly targetted Americans in Israel. (The October attack in Gaza on a US diplomatic convoy was carried out by a Fatah splinter-group.) Nor has it exported terrorism beyond Israel or the occupied territories, unlike other groups. That may change.

ROU: no worries. In fact, it reminded me of the fact that while the Conventions were designed to prevent the kind of military tactics that, historically, create the conditions for the next war -- especially annexation and occupation -- the leading lights were guilty of the same tactics just years previously. So it goes.

No, let's just blame Sharon and Israel. Because they "provoked" the inevitable sick response. And so the hypothetical increased numbers of dead bodies are somehow on their hands, not the terrorists'.

No: let's invoke a straw man. Oh, sorry, that's just you, Asparagirl.

I don't believe anyone is 'just blaming' one side here. But I do think that, if you're going to stick to the line that Israel is a beacon of 'democracy, free speech, tolerance, and overall human rights' in the region, as is your implication, shouldn't perhaps its leadership be held to the standards expected of a democratic nation, than those of the 'sick' groups that try to bring death to the country?

To paraphrase something Sharon himself once said, Muslims will kill Christians and the world will blame the Jews. [sigh]

Of course, you know that those words are referring to Sharon's denial of any culpability in the Sabra-Shatila massacres, something which the facts don't bear out. (Try reading the Kahan Commission report some time.) Making it rather unfortunate and inappropriate here. Perhaps you meant to post that to LGF instead? [sigh]
posted by riviera at 2:47 PM on March 22, 2004


While he may not have been as moderate as people might like

Understatement of the year.

the fact is when compared to others in leadership of Hamas, he kept the group on a leash.

Some leash. Yeah, he was a real fucking humanitarian. Will somebody please give this guy a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize? (After all, Arafat has one).

It's time to accept a fundamental truth: This problem can't be solved. There is nothing we can do, and no shame in admitting that. The only shame is that we have to share membership in the same human race as these fools (on both sides). I would say both sides deserve each other, if the price wasn't being paid by innocent bystanders.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:56 PM on March 22, 2004


I'm sorry to be the cynic in the house, but this assassination has very, very little to do with "punishing terrorists", or "protecting Israel":
This is a despicable ruse by a corrupt politician, mired in scandal to divert voters' attention from his sleaziness while at the same time propping the most extreme elements among the Palestinian leadership so that his extremism can be justified in terms of the other side's equal extremism. Without a hardcore Hamas, Sharon is out of a niche. He needs them in order that he and his merry band of assorted religious and secular wingnuts can claim the vote of an increasingly poorer population. Of course this would tie in nicely (just ask the folks in ex-Yugoslavia how well nationalism works in making a cleptocracy invisible) with the scenario I mentioned previously - the "ethnic cleansing" of the West Bank, while Gaza (which under the principled leadership of Israel has become a huge concentration camp, one of the world's poorest regions - just below Malawi) drifts towards murderous, ungovernable chaos. It will be left as crippled as possible and -maybe- given away as a refugee haven.
Sharon knows that this will cause the deaths of even more Palestinians and Jews alike. He doesn't give a damn. He's been a peddler of blood for all his political life. And he has been instrumental in preserving that fluid's flow for quite a few decades now.

Also, as Ty Webb suggested above: Hamas is Likud's baby.
posted by talos at 3:01 PM on March 22, 2004


pardonyou?: I am not defending him. But a long leash is better than no leash at all, I'd argue. I mean, all these people are saying what a madman he was, and how great it is he's dead. All the while blithely ignoring that now it seems an even CRAZIER madman (or, madmen) may be taking over. And, you gave them a big ol' martyr to use as a rallying point. Oh BOY! That IS something to celebrate!

...

But beyond that, you and I are mostly in agreement. I do think it could have been fixed, and was well on the way before Rabin was assassinated. At this point, who knows. May just be inevitable that one wipes out the other. :(
posted by tittergrrl at 3:14 PM on March 22, 2004


Killing...to vanquish killing. Here we all be, supposedly trying to cleanse the bloodstains from continents....using that selfsame sticky red liquid as rinse.

Reason, and the rule of law. So very late to our world. So easily cast aside in endless, mindless retreats from responsibility.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:18 PM on March 22, 2004


i don't take credit for it ... the words posted were by Gilad Atzmon an Israeli and former member of the Israeli military.

Then why did you post them and link them here? I took that to mean that you agreed with his perspective--apologies if that isn't the case. The idea that Israel "wants" everyone to become a terror victim and so it acts provactively is, unlike what riviera said, obviously not a "straw man" but a likely response to increased terror attacks by Hamas against non-Israelis. And it's one I would hope to help refute.

One would think you sharon apologists would have some concern for the israeli's (and palestinians) who will be inevitably killed as the violence escalates ... while you do your thing in los angeles or new york - or wherever you call home ... jeezus.

Way to personalize this, that's real classy. You really think I don't give a damn about what happens to the Israelis? Um, okay...that's just crap. Refusing to shed tears over Yassin's death doesn't mean I don't worry about more reprisals, more violence. But the level of that worry has been high for a long time now, with good cause.

And if the Hamas violence does spread to non-Israeli targets, you really think that it won't possibly be against American targets, or Jewish targets, or American-Jewish targets, or American-Jewish targets in big cities like LA and NYC, or American-Jewish targets in big cities like LA and NYC in traditionally Orthodox/Hasidic neighborhoods like mine? I live within three miles of perhaps 15 shuls and religious schools; their value as targets is on my mind to a depressing degree. I haven't been inside a synagogue in three years--and I've been to maybe seven in three states in that time--that hasn't had armed guards, ugly concrete truck bomb barriers, and/or metal detectors, often all three. Hell, I had to deal with the prospect of armed guards at my wedding last November because of terrorism fears. For you to claim that 1) I don't really care about what happens in Israel and 2) whatever happens won't affect and hasn't affected me, since I'm "safe" in NY or LA, is wrong and blind and stupid and lots of other mean words.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2004


if you're going to stick to the line that Israel is a beacon of 'democracy, free speech, tolerance, and overall human rights' in the region, as is your implication, shouldn't perhaps its leadership be held to the standards expected of a democratic nation, than those of the 'sick' groups that try to bring death to the country?

The thing is, I don't see a problem with a democratic nation hunting down and killing a sworn enemy who has delighted in killing many of its citizens and who is actively involved in planning the murders of many more. I don't subscribe to the view that it would have been better to expend more lives on both sides of the conflict to try to snatch the guy and bring him in for a trial. Especially since, as a previous poster mentioned, the trial would have been seen as a total sham by most of the world, and peace activists would probably have been lining up to protest his unjust treatment by his mean captors.

(This view extends to the actions of the US too, of course--while there are some benefits to having captured Saddam Huseein alive and putting him on trial next year, IMHO it would not have been automatically barbaric and indefensible to have killed the guy outright.)
posted by Asparagirl at 4:13 PM on March 22, 2004


While I think that the assassination of Yassin will prove to be counterproductive for Sharon (that is, assuming his goal is piece, which is not really a safe assumption), it's hard to argue against the simple logic of killing him. What I object to is the continued attempt by Israel connect their war against terror with the U.S.'s. The Palestinian's have a very legitimate grievance, al Qaeda not so much. By conflating the two conflicts, Israel is trying to obscure that fact.

Also, if Israel is "within its rights" to assassinate a Hamas leader, then obviously a Palestinian would be within his rights to assassinate Sharon, any member of Likud, any member of the IDF, or any settler.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:14 PM on March 22, 2004


Ha ha, peace not piece. Actually, either way works, piece(s) being the more truthful, at least as far as Sharon is concerned.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:16 PM on March 22, 2004


Seems to me that the justifications given for assassinating Sheikh Yassin are simultaneously justifications for assasinating Sharon.

That would be an advance toward peace, too, right?
posted by lathrop at 4:25 PM on March 22, 2004


Sharon & Arafat, perhaps including various minor figures on their respective "sides" should all be stripped naked, locked into a giant cage with each other, and then pushed into the North Atlantic.

...they can claw each others' eyes out as they sink to the bottom of the ocean, and nobody else will need to be witness to it.
posted by aramaic at 4:31 PM on March 22, 2004


is wrong and blind and stupid and lots of other mean words.

asparagirl,
when you're finished pouring Coke down mean riviera's shirt and breaking his favorite pencil in two, I suggest you carefully re-read your terrible Sabra/Chatila gaffe and try at least to put an end to the usual "you-guys-always-blame-the-Jews" trademark whining to consider a simple fact: Ariel Sharon is the guy who decided to dismantle the PLO in 1982, and he gave us the Lebanon invasion and we all remember how successful that idea was (I mean, no PLO after 1982, right?).
Since he became Prime Minister, he has consistently been giving birth to terrible ideas and policy disasters -- standard of living is down, the economy's fucked up despite massive US aid, he's cutting everything from the budget except massive aid to settlers, terror is at a record high. he is under a heavy suspicion of corruption, too.
it's unclear where he's leading Israel -- probably toward all-out war, maybe even towards ethnic cleansing of the West Bank (that would be a war crime by the way). his latest baby, Yassin's murder, is the last jewel in his crown. he may very well be Israel's worst PM, and the one who damaged the Jewish State the most.
it's not about Palestinian terrorists being terrible, terrible murderers. that is a given fact (let us not open the can of worms of what we would do if we were born and had grown up in some hopeless Gaza third world shithole with the unwelcome presence of IDF troops, discussions of root causes are of course verboten because if we do that the terrorists have won and the baby jesus cries).
it's about Sharon being the right PM to lead Israel out of this mess. there's simply a huge, bloody mass of evidence that Sharon isn't the right man to do the job. and again, he may very well be the PM who damaged Israel the most -- we'll see.

if people point out these simple facts, it's useless to cry "you guys always blame the jews" and burn the usual straw men. people here care about Israel. that's why they're appalled to see her led like this by a man like Sharon.

when you suggest otherwise -- like that there's an evil anti-Israel if not all-out antisemitical agenda here on MeFi -- you look childish, like you don't have any rational arguments at all.

against Sharon, asparagirl. not against Israel.

intellectual honesty should make that clear enough to you and to anybody
posted by matteo at 4:36 PM on March 22, 2004



having said that, I think we're all sorry that fear of those unruly Arabs has kinda ruined your wedding. I really am.
but at least you don't have to take the bus (because you're too poor to own a car) in Israel in the next few days, when it's very likely that a heartless prick with a photo of Yassin taped to his heart will blow himself -- and a bunch of commuters -- to pieces just to show the Israelis how much he liked their anti-Yassin raid.
at least you won't be on that bus. too bad other citizen of the country run so well by mr Sharon won't be as lucky as you.

*breaks another pencil of riviera's, and steals his candy*

posted by matteo at 4:44 PM on March 22, 2004


Ner ner ner, I'm right. you're wrong.
posted by Jimbob at 4:55 PM on March 22, 2004


Well said, matteo. Very well said.

Once again, the day Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated was one of the saddest of my life. I couldn't believe how emotional I could get over a man I had never met (but seen speak here in DC, once) but who to my young eyes seemed to care so much about peace and fairness. When he died, both sides of the dispute seemed to shudder with mourning. I remember going to the Israeli embassy to show my respects and seeing so many different types of people with the exact same feeling of loss as myself. And we all were praying for the people of both Israel and Palestine, I daresay. Because it wasn't a good omen of things to come.

Just writing this now is making me tear up. And it makes me so god damned angry. Maybe I am romanticizing Rabin. But I have little doubt that if he hadn't fallen that day, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.
posted by tittergrrl at 5:02 PM on March 22, 2004


So many deranged people on this site. An evil, depraved man has been liquidated: that is a positive thing. The only question is: why did it take so wrong; and to what extent (not if...) will this reduce terrorism.


I salute Ariel Sharon. I salute Israel, and may the leftist coward fear-mongers stay as ineffectual as you have been up until now.

HEY ARAFAT: YOU'RE NEXT!
posted by ParisParamus at 5:13 PM on March 22, 2004


+5 points for calling metafilter users deranged.
+10 points for celebrating death.
-2 points for spelling "long" "wrong"
+15 points for apparently honestly believing Hamas will settle down into a quiet retirement now that their spiritual leader is dead
+5 points for using the term "leftist" without irony
+5 points for calling metafilter users cowards
+5 points for calling metafilter users fear-mongers
+10 points for calling for more death

53 points for PP, a new world record!
posted by Jimbob at 5:31 PM on March 22, 2004


The only question is: why did it take so wrong;

FreudianFilter
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:32 PM on March 22, 2004


Paris is the mirror image of the Palestinians that call for all the Jews in Israel to be driven into the sea--he wants all the Palestinians dead. Really sad (but not an uncommon view, unfortunately).
posted by amberglow at 5:34 PM on March 22, 2004


Yeah. The rule of law totally sux, dudes!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:34 PM on March 22, 2004


An evil, depraved man has been liquidated: that is a positive thing.

An interpretation of positive that Mills would be proud of. Well then, Paris, if you insist on looking only at the results and never the means, why not ask yourself what you honestly expect to come from this?

Peace? Surely not. Perhaps now that the spiritual leader of Hamas is dead, you think their followers will suddenly fade away in a flurry of disorganization? Well, it didn't work too well with the Christians.

Seems to me the only thing that's going to get the world's people back into some kind of stability is if an Arab president is elected to the United States. You know, like Constantine? Maybe Bush will convert on his deathbed...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:59 PM on March 22, 2004


where does PP say he wants all the Pals dead? what he as said is that he wants those who convince and/or lead suicide and killers to slaughter innocent civilians randomly to be disposed of (aka Killed) and that is hardly the same thing. Why not try to be a bit more tolerant about what you are reading ? If I dislike the Bush view of war in Iraq does that mean I want all Republicans silenced ? nah.
posted by Postroad at 6:03 PM on March 22, 2004


How pathetic of you to put words in my mouth. I have never expressed a death wish for Palestinians: please cite where I have said such a thing. How depraved of you.

A just end, and a just means. How are the means to this end not appropriate. How vapid of you to suggest a man who has orchestrated, encouraged and prayed for the death of many should not have a hellfire missle detonate in his mouth--unfortunately, it detonated a few feet away.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:05 PM on March 22, 2004


As long as the end justifies the means, suicide bombers will continue to explode.

Much to the detriment of both Israeli citizens and mid-East peace.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on March 22, 2004


when you're finished pouring Coke down mean riviera's shirt and breaking his favorite pencil in two

Er, I was primarily responsing to specialk420, so you might want to give that lollipop back to riviera now and buy him a pen. :-)

I don't know where you got the idea that I'm a Sharon fan. No, seriously--I agree with a lot of his policies, but I've never been a huge fan of the guy, nor posted a lot of stuff in his defense. (I was a Netanyahu fan, to the extent that I gave a crap about who governed Israel at all.) I suppose an analogy would be that I agree with a lot of Bush's policies with regards to fighting terrorism and terrorist-supporting states, even if I (a Republican) can't bring myself to vote for the guy this year out of disgust for his FMA support and reckless fiscal spending. When you say [Sharon] may very well be Israel's worst PM, and the one who damaged the Jewish State the most you could be right. The man is damaged goods, and it might be better to get a new guy in there just to try to get something of a fresh start--even one who had the exact same policies might be more palatable. But just as you say that dumping on Sharon-the-person is not the same thing as dumping on Israel, my praising some of Israel's actions vis-a-vis terrorism is not the same thing as praising Sharon-the-person. Even if the actions may have come from him or his cabinet--even stopped clocks are right twice a day, and all that.

I think one could go even farther in that respect and say that when you criticize an elected leader of a democracy, you are in effect criticizing the country that put him/her in office, much more to the extent than when you criticize a dictator or monarch. It's a total cop-out to say that everyone's criticisms of Israel--whether on this thread, on MeFi in general over many threads, in society, wherever--are criticisms specifically of the Sharon government, that people make that kind of distinction everytime they toss off lines about that rebellious little country pooping in the neighbor's sugarbowl (see top of this thread) or "that shitty little country" (the French ambassador to Britain two years ago), and that the sentiments are really motivated out of love or concern for the place. I just don't buy it. And while I don't think (99% of the time) that there's anti-semitism underlying a lot of those comments on MeFi, out in the real world it would be really negligent to pretend it's not a huge motivating or contributing factor. Ignoring how much anti-semitism (not specifically-anti-Sharon-sentiment) fuels anti-Israel and anti-Jewish violence would be just as bad as falsely claiming to see it everywhere, no?

To be more specific, when you say "it's not about Palestinian terrorists being terrible, terrible murderers. that is a given fact"--would that that were so! For millions and millions of people in the world, that is just not a given fact. They are seen as glorious martyrs dying for their cause, destined for eternal nookie with 72 inexperienced hotties--or seen as "freedom fighters" or mere "militants" depending on your newspaper's style guide for such things. Given that current, you can't not reiterate some basic truths early and often: that killing terrorists is a fine idea, and that their ambitions are not always as pure as anti-Sharon's-policies or even plain old anti-Israel resentment, but often basely anti-Jewish hate, plain and simple. If this makes me seem childish to you, just ridiculously seeing bogeymen behind every comment and snark, I guess I'll just be over here playing with my jacks and play-doh.

(And the wedding was great and un-ruined, threats or no.)

(And Civil Disobedient- Re: "an Arab president"--Nader is Arab-American, and so is one of our cabinet members in the line of succession, so it's not inconceivable. I could certainly go for a National Tahini Appreciation Month myself [mmmm, Tahini].)
posted by Asparagirl at 6:20 PM on March 22, 2004


amberglow, a statement like that calls for a link/citation at the very least.
posted by Asparagirl at 6:31 PM on March 22, 2004


The Palestinians have been offered their own state over and over and over, and they have refused it every time because they won't share the territory with Jews. Pro-Palestinian activists regularly ignore that fact. So because the Palestinians still don't have their own state, it's somehow the fault of the Jews?

This thread makes me sick.
posted by swerve at 6:34 PM on March 22, 2004


amberglow, a statement like that calls for a link/citation at the very least.
Nah, i'm trolling just like Paris...let him once say something positive about Palestinians, or something that acknowledges their humanity/right to exist (i've yet to see it).
posted by amberglow at 6:43 PM on March 22, 2004


out in the real world it would be really negligent to pretend it's not a huge motivating or contributing factor

huge?
who knows.
maybe big, maybe "somewhat large", maybe "smaller than 30 years ago". but "huge"?
post-Vatican II Catholics can't be anti-Semites anymore -- it is a sin now, the Pope himself asked for forgiveness for the Church's past role in creating hate for the Jews (they don't do that a lot, say they're sorry, believe me). ecumenism is the new cool thing, asparagirl.
hence the nonMuslim world should be less anti-semitical than, say, 50 or 30 years ago. how many (actual or invisible but oh-so-present in reality) "no Jews need apply" signs in Europe or the US? less than in the past. antisemitism is far from over (I guess it comes from that ugly reptilian part of the brain from where racism, nationalism and other shit comes out, but I'm no neurologist)
allow me (and many others) to doubt the "huge" role of non-Muslim anti-Semitism in the I/P war (Muslim anti-semitism is of course an entirely different beast, and not the topic of this thread). Israel often gets a bad rap because millions of westerners don't agree with the occupation, simple and plain.
and don't agree with the settlements, asparagirl.
settlements.
millions of westerners see them as a problem, not a solution. is that anti-semitism? allow me a bitter lol.

of course blaming anti-semitism (and one asshole ambassador hardly speaks for millions, I'd say) is the easy way out.

destined for eternal nookie with 72 inexperienced hotties

aaawww come on this 72 virgins thing really gets played too much not to be cringe-inducing -- I mean, we all hate that classic anti-semitical meme of the mohelim being closet child-molesters, don't we? or the joke about the kippah having been invented by a guy who just wanted to hide his bald spot?

religions are funny like that.
real funny.
all religions, OK?

so why don't we leave Islam's doctrine of the afterlife alone,
this has really nothing to do with Yassin, it's a problem for Muslims or Islamic scholars and you and I are neither -- or are you planning to convert and are wondering about sex in the afterlife, checking the options? ;)

as somebody so sensitive to antisemitism, please try to be more sensitive to anti-muslim throwaway comments, OK?

I'm sure most suicide bombers aren't looking for "nookie" as you call it, but simply for revenge, and a lot of Jewish blood. maybe, starting from tomorrow, with a Yassin photo taped to their black hearts.

*shakes asparagirl's hand, buys riviera two new pencils and a bag of hard candy, exits thread*
posted by matteo at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2004


The Palestinians have been offered their own state over and over and over, and they have refused it every time because they won't share the territory with Jews.

No they haven't. What they've been offered is nothing like a real state, more like a bantustan.
posted by lathrop at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2004


The Palestinians have been offered their own state over and over and over

False. The Palestinians have been offered a series of non-contiguous enclaves surrounded by Jewish settlements and separated by Jewish-only highways, which they rightly rejected.
posted by Ty Webb at 7:07 PM on March 22, 2004


How vapid of you to suggest a man who has orchestrated, encouraged and prayed for the death of many should not have a hellfire missle detonate in his mouth--unfortunately, it detonated a few feet away.

This thread is confusing. Are we talking about Sharon now?
posted by Ty Webb at 7:10 PM on March 22, 2004


As far as I know, no one commenting in this thread is Israeli, but you can see some interesting reflections of what this bomb has done.

On the one side you have downwardly-mobile, ends-justify-means middle-aged voter in ParisParamus. This attack shows him that Sharon really is serious about fighting the terror, and that he is the only choice to lead Israel. Despite the fact that he's been cheering every assassination, and terror hasn't been defeated, he knows in his heart that it's the only way to go and that Sharon is the only man to do it. Work may not be going well, the economy is terrible, but at least the Arabs are getting what they deserve.

On the other hand you have the young, intelligent, upwardly-mobile voter in AsparaGirl. While she's no fan of Sharon, she is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because, after all, there is no doubt that a man like Yassin ordered attacks on innocent people just like her. However this attack does not give her any satisfaction because she believes that peace might be possible, but there's no one on the other side to talk to at the moment. It may be a bad move strategically, but she isn't about to go protest in the street about it either, because at the end of the day a guy who proposed her death is gone. She will continue to support Sharon until someone proposes a viable alternative and can show that he/she can speak to the other side and calm the situation in a lasting way. Either that or she'll emigrate to America if possible.

This attack is only tangentially related to fighting terrorism, as Yassin was a symbolic leader from most accounts, and Hamas will soldier on without him. But for Sharon to make the point to his core (PP) without losing the swing voters (AG), he needs to take action in a way that will catch people's attention-- especially if he's about to let the core down by getting out of Gaza.

Apologies to the two people I used as examples, obviously they are just surrogates for two types of mainstream Israeli voters, and I mean no disrespect to either of them by using them as examples! Just wanted to illustrate my take on the events and the current political scene in Israel.
posted by cell divide at 7:51 PM on March 22, 2004


Yes, I do find something similar, to Nazi methods which dehumanized their victims, in certain of tactics of the IDF tactics - both in bureaucratic dehumanization through destruction of Palestinian homes, through raids, by checkpoints, identity cards and papers, in the carving up of the West Bank - and also in these assassinations from the air by missile attack that serve to dehumanize Palestinians

hey trout, did the nazis create these methods that are bold-faced. No, the did not originate with the nazis but with deeper in history. the nazis dehumanized those whom they saw as expendable and set about to destroy them and profit from this. profit from mass death through slavery and confinement.
posted by clavdivs at 8:01 PM on March 22, 2004


How vapid of you to suggest a man who has orchestrated, encouraged and prayed for the death of many should not have a hellfire missle detonate in his mouth--unfortunately, it detonated a few feet away.

Not nearly as vapid as reducing yourself to the same base ideology that terrorists cherish. I feel an appropriate Franklin quote coming on, but it seems to have lost its zing after the upteen millionth time uttered. To put it a little more simply for your benefit, you have no honor. None.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:51 PM on March 22, 2004


I feel an appropriate Franklin quote coming on

"The Committee of Secret Correspondence was really this country's first foreign intelligence directorate. We employed many secret agents abroad and established a courier system to relay information and even set up a secret Navy to get information and supplies to us. The Secret Committee was established a few months before the Committee of Secret Correspondence to obtain military supplies in secret, distribute those supplies, and sell gunpowder to privateers hired by the Continental Congress. We also secretly contracted for arms and gunpowder. We were so secret we destroyed many of our papers so no records were left behind."
posted by clavdivs at 8:59 PM on March 22, 2004


This thread is like a little microcosm of what is happening in the middle east. Over time it has gotten more toxic. Name calling, somewhat rare at MeFi, has crept in. Passions are running somewhat high. . . . . .
posted by caddis at 8:59 PM on March 22, 2004


yeah, it's like a particularly malignant form of the honesty virus/meme!

nice diagnosis of the pathology cell divide :D
posted by kliuless at 9:19 PM on March 22, 2004


I wish one of the death-loving monsters in this thread would explain to me why three people who weren't Yassin or his bodyguards deserved to die as they left their morning worship.
posted by rcade at 9:36 PM on March 22, 2004


Oh please. As if Israel's part remained a contiguous whole? It was a very good deal and the Palestinians walked away.
posted by swerve at 9:53 PM on March 22, 2004


Oh? There is nothing wrong with wishing the worst for someone who wished the worst upon innocent men, women and children. I'm sure the writings and speeches of this now-dead vile person would call for no Israel of any size; death to all Jews, if not all non-Muslims; and Muslims of a certain extremism.

So, why not be content about the fire-y demise of this "person." You can debate whether killing him will reduce or increase terrorism, but that debate is a far cry from suggesting that ethically, morally, such an excuse for a human being should have continued walking (ok, wheelchair...) the earth.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:57 PM on March 22, 2004


He sure has an uncanny resemblance to
Saruman in LOTR.
posted by thedailygrowl at 10:41 PM on March 22, 2004


You can debate whether killing him will reduce or increase terrorism, but ...

A perfect representation of the right wing's prosecution of the war on terrorism.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:32 PM on March 22, 2004


"On the other hand you have the young, intelligent, upwardly-mobile voter in AsparaGirl."

Can I turn that into a bumper sticker? :-)
posted by Asparagirl at 11:44 PM on March 22, 2004


He sure has an uncanny resemblance to Saruman in LOTR.

Speaking of whom, Kerry has some more explaining to do.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 AM on March 23, 2004


homunculus:
Could you send my friend a copy of that picture at grover_n@nonazitaxes.org?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:13 AM on March 23, 2004


As if Israel's part remained a contiguous whole? It was a very good deal and the Palestinians walked away.

Ummm.... your map of the offer from the 2000 peace talks (you know, the thing we were talking about, not the establishment of Israel) is off by about fifty years, swerve. I'm sure you meant maps like this which were actually about Barak's offer.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 AM on March 23, 2004


a very interesting thread, thanks to the participating parties.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:01 AM on March 23, 2004


The reason for the timing and manner of this attack is the Israeli government's current plan of "unilateral separation." Originally proposed by the Labor party, it is now being enacted by the Likud, probably in a more strong-handed and confrontational way than originally envisioned. Unilateral separation is, of course, a plan whereby Israel simply draws convenient boundaries and says: "Right, we are on this side, you are on the other side. Govern yourselves however you please (some limitations apply)." This separation will probably involve dismantling some of the outlying settlements, while annexing the land that is most densely settled.

The danger for Israel is that the move will be seen as a defeat for them, and will thereby encourage more terrorist attacks against them, and further validate terrorism as a strategy in the world at large. This was to some extent the case when they withdrew from Lebanon. So, they are looking to retreat from first the Gaza strip and later the West Bank, while dealing drastic blows to the terrorist organisations, so that a victory for the terrorists cannot reasonably be claimed. This is the reason that the sheik was killed in the way that he was.
posted by yoz420 at 5:28 AM on March 23, 2004


Actually, the Palestinians have repeatedly walked away from ever worse territorial offers, preferring to use (spectacularly incompetent) violence.

They reject one, fight a disastrous war, that inflicts enormous pain on their society, come back to the negotiating table, reject another, fight another disastrous war, etc.. The process has been going on for about 65 years now. Had the settled in 1937, 1947, etc. they would have come out ahead of where they are now.

The basic problem has been a failure to accept reality: the Zionist movement has been spectacularly good at buying and stealing land, the Palestinians have been spectacularly bad at fighting for it and almost completely MIA when it comes to coming up with non-violent means of hanging on to land. Well meaning outsiders continue to encourage recalcitrance couched in terms of "rights" that have little hope of being realized.

To prognosticate, I think the conflict is just about done, Sharon will get his wall, instead of one state the Palestinians will get four or five and the Israelis will import whatever labor they need from elsewhere.

Yoz is right about the dangers, and that explains the stepped-up campaign against Hamas. Sharon does not want to repeat what he views as the misake of leaving Lebanon on his opponent's terms.
posted by ednopantz at 6:00 AM on March 23, 2004


Look. Hamas is linked to 425 suicide bombing attempts in the recent past. They've used all their cards, all their weapons. Terrorism isn't going to increase. It may decrease, because the delluded have lost their leader.

Stop being a coward. Stop thinking that passivity will make things better.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:40 AM on March 23, 2004


"....the Zionist movement has been spectacularly good at buying and stealing land, the Palestinians have been spectacularly bad at fighting for it and almost completely MIA when it comes to coming up with non-violent means of hanging on to land." - ednopantz, to a degree, I accept your your point - however, I wasn't aware that the IDF paid much respect to non-violent methods. But - as to the success of the Zionist movement and "buying and stealing land" - well, it helps in this that the Palestinians have been reduced, by several decades of conflict, to abject poverty. It also helps that the settlers have the force of the Israeli legal system, backed up by the tanks and F-16's of the IDF, behind them. Convenient, that.

____________________________________________

"So, they are looking to retreat from first the Gaza strip and later the West Bank, while dealing drastic blows to the terrorist organisations, so that a victory for the terrorists cannot reasonably be claimed." yoz420, that's the official, accepted, talking-head explanation. Another, rumored, counter-explanation is that Sharon is trying to provoke the sort of massive terrorist retaliation by Hamas which will take a terrible toll of Israeli lives and so justify - in the eyes of the Israeli public - even more repressive and punitive measures. If Sharon can polarize the situation far enough, so this logic goes, he will eventually have license for a true campaign of ethnic cleansing.

_____________________________________________



XQUZYPHYR - Thanks for that failed 2000 Peace Deal territorial map proposal presentation. It says an awful lot in very little time - a brilliant use of flash.

If I had a quarter for every time I'd heard that "generous peace proposal" meme......I'd be retired and roasting my flesh in the sun in Florida.

__________________________________________

Clavdivs - Yup. You're right. Those "Nazi methods" of mine actually had a long, long evolutionary history. But the nazis applied them with such tremendous zeal.

___________________________________________

"He sure has an uncanny resemblance to Saruman in LOTR." (thedailygrowl) - Damn right. It is uncanny. I have a hard time believing that the resemblance wasn't intentional. I mean, really now. Of course, the dead sheik did also bear a strong resemblance to the celtic sorcerer "Tim" in Monty Python's "Holy Grail".....

Still, Peter Jackson could have depicted Saruman in many, many ways. Such as like this

_____________________________________________

cell_divide - I like your overall analysis, but I have a hard time seeing Paris_Paramus as a fundamentalist christian. A fundy? - yes. The American Evangelical fundamentalist christians are Sharon's actual base in the US, though - no doubt - those with views similar to those of Paris make up an ancillary wing.

Almost 25 years ago, and as Reagan had just swept into power - I was hitchhiking across the US and noticed a letter pinned up to a message board at a truckstop somewhere in Nebraska, or Kansas maybe. It fascinated me so much that I took it (this was unethical).

I still have the letter (currently buried amidst my 2003 tax records, or I would quote it directly) - which was something like an extended editorial which talked at length of how Ariel Sharon was serving as an agent of God. Sharon was, the anonymous author claimed, implementing "God's Plan" in the Middle East. I don't know it for a fact, but I suspect that the term "God's Plan" for this author coded for the creation of conditions in the Middle east and in Israel and the occupied territories which will fulfill the conditions to bring about Christian fundamentalist "End-Time" prophecies.

Said Christian faction - which now has close friends (if not partisans) in the White House - hopes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will, by way of Sharon's policies and tactics, spiral out of control.

Then SATAN will walk the Earth and unleash the Four Horsemen - just like in "South Park, the Movie". This, millions of Americans believe.
posted by troutfishing at 6:48 AM on March 23, 2004


ednopantz: the Israelis never accepted the UN partition boundaries, either.
posted by lathrop at 7:10 AM on March 23, 2004


I wasn't aware that the IDF paid much respect to non-violent methods.

Of course they haven't, trout, but they have the ear of the US. So they get to play the part of the reasonable diplomat, sitting at the table waiting to carve up Palestine into tiny, non-contiguous chunks, feigning shock when their guests don't show up.
posted by jpoulos at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2004


tf, no one claimed it was a fair fight. That is what makes Pal violence so incredibly stupid. They don't have a prayer of beating the Israelis so it has been incredibly stupid to use violence to acheive their goals. Use a sports analogy: you are Michael Jordan competing against Tiger Woods. Which game to you choose? You would be a moron if you picked golf. Its actually worse than that, since the use of violence allows the Israelis to tar all Palestinians non violent tactics as little more than cover for terrorism. To keep with the analogy, like Jordan leaving basketball to play baseball. dumb. dumb. dumb.

Poverty: yep, you bet.
One of the results of the miserably incompetent armed 1936-39 revolt, now gloriously celebrated as the original intifada, was to decimate their political elite and shatter their economy.
One of the results of the 1986-1990 unarmed (and arguably quite effective) intifada was to decimate their political elite and shatter their economy.
One of the results of the miserably incompetent 2000-2004 "armed intifada" was to decimate their political elite and shatter their economy.

Detect a pattern here?
posted by ednopantz at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2004


Then SATAN will walk the Earth and unleash the Four Horsemen - just like in "South Park, the Movie".

Who, in this scenario, will be playing the giant clitoris?
posted by jpoulos at 7:28 AM on March 23, 2004


yup, i was. tremendous zeal huh as opposed to that moderate zeal...
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 AM on March 23, 2004


jpoulos - Divine, sadly, had passed on into the next world. Who could fill his wig and brassierre?

clavdivs - you seem a little less zealous here than in your last post...maybe not zealous at all, even. So - is zeal is a standardized term or unit of measure? kvetch kvetch

ednopantz - I generally agree, although my suspicion is that some on the Israeli right have actually worked both covertly and overtly to discourage Palestinian nonviolent protest tactics, and for the very reason you cite : nonviolent methods which sacrificed anything close to the number of Palestinian lives lost in the various Intifadahs would probably have achieved a Palestinian state by now. Plus, thousands of Israel citizens would be alive and many more would not have been terribly injured.

Overall, I'd say there is stupidity aplenty on both sides. The conflict still goes on.
posted by troutfishing at 8:17 AM on March 23, 2004


I'd say there is stupidity aplenty.

I'd say there is more yap and bullshit froathing from your loins then your last post.
to make an error like that is, is...then say stupidity on both sides...

your a bot aren't you.
"CAN SOMEONE HELP ME WITH THE TROUT BOT"

hey trout, rcade had a question , go ahead and answer it.

I wanna read this.....
posted by clavdivs at 8:28 AM on March 23, 2004


Then SATAN will walk the Earth and unleash the Four Horsemen

No, that is impossible. Methos is the only one of them left since he and Duncan killed the other three.
posted by bargle at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2004


Stop being a coward. Stop thinking that passivity will make things better.

ParisParamus-
I thought you were a crazy ideologue, but now I'm disappointed to learn that you're simply a fool.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:54 AM on March 23, 2004


http://www.israelblog.org/Articles/Words_have_failed_us.html

"Despite talk of "withdrawal," Israeli society has yet to show any signs that it is shaking off the blatantly immoral logic that feeds the very existence of the settlements. And that's as true of the Gaza Strip as it is of the West Bank." -- Amira Hass, ha'aretz, 3/3/04
posted by lathrop at 9:59 AM on March 23, 2004


here is an interesting comment from Juan Cole (university History prof) about the link between the assassination and the US position in Iraq. I agree with some of his points, in any case it's worth a read:

http://www.juancole.com/2004_03_01_juancole_archive.html#108002597540012091
posted by chaz at 10:22 AM on March 23, 2004


instead of one state the Palestinians will get four or five - ednopants

These won't be "states", they will be prisons, controlled by an immoral and racist jailer, the Israeli state.

It would be shameful, but you are past shame.
posted by lathrop at 10:23 AM on March 23, 2004


clavdivs - you want that I should answer this? :

"I wish one of the death-loving monsters in this thread would explain to me why three people who weren't Yassin or his bodyguards deserved to die as they left their morning worship." (posted by rcade at 9:36 PM PST on March 22)

I can't answer why these three, or all the Palestinians killed in the Intifadahs - or all the Israelis blown to bits - had to die. I think you're posing a philosophical or religious question to which there is no reply except, perhaps, the bland "because retaliation and revenge are instinctually hardwired into human nature."

But I think that's an incomplete, unsatisfactory, and at least partly incorrect answer.

But - humour me : an error like what?
posted by troutfishing at 11:05 AM on March 23, 2004


Refusing to shed tears over Yassin's death doesn't mean I don't worry about more reprisals, more violence.

asparagirl - please explain to us how sharon's (or netanyahu's) policies who you have stated you support - lead to:

a. a safer, more peaceful israel for the the average israeli?
b. a safer, more peaceful palestine for average palestinians?
c. a safer, more peaceful world in general?

the end game for sharon and netanyahu has nothing to do with safety and peace for anyone. i challenge you to show us otherwise.

i'm suprised that some would think your support for sharon (and the equally despicable bibi netanyahu) demonstrates a lack of concern for the lives and safety of israeli's and palestinian's when their policies have led to such bloodshed.

and in the interest of fairness and balance - the opportunists like yassin, and arafat deserve as much scorn as their israeli counterparts - that doesn't mean i think sharon or netanyahu et al should be assassinated in retribution for the civilians that were killed under their watch and/or by their orders.
posted by specialk420 at 12:08 PM on March 23, 2004


To cheer on specialk420's point - Hamas, beyond being a terrorist organization, also has a political wing and carries out various quasi-governmental functions which have great social utility. It has about as much claim to government legitimacy as the Palestinian Authority : the Arafat-associated Fatah carries out suicide bombings too.

Given that the two major Palestinian political movements both are directly implicated in terrorism or are associated with groups that carry out acts of terrorism - if terrorism de-legitimates, it would seem that (following this logic) :

1) the Palestinian people have no truly legitimate political organizations whatsoever to represent them , and

2) because of this they can be deprived of any leadership which arises within these (illegitimate, if you will) politico-terrorist structures, should Israel desire it.

Little wonder, then, that the Palestinians are becoming increasingly radicalized.

Or, for that matter, that the Israeli people are movibng towards support of harsher, more punitve policies towards the Gaza and the Territories : It worth noting that - relative to the casualties inflicted on the US in the September 11, 2001 attacks - Israelis have suffered proportionately far, far higher casualties, with a little less than 1,000 killed and 6,000 wounded since September 2000 (very rough figures). That's 1/5000 of Israelis killed, and more than 1/800 wounded.

By contrast, September 11 killed slightly more than 1/80,000 of Americans.

So in the latest Intifadah - that's only the latest Intifadah, bear that in mind - Israel has lost, proportionately, 16 times as many of it's citizens to terrorism, than did the US on September 11, 2001. The US wounded figures are, further, dramatically lower for the fact that the World Trade Center collapse left few surviving wounded.

This skews the disparity even further - Israel, in merely the latest Intifadah - has sustained overall civilian casualties at close to 100 times the level the US sustained on September 11, 2001.

How would US Democracy, and US public attitudes of relative tolerance, hold up against the inevitable calls for ethnic cleansing were the US sustaining such a level of casualties from terrorist attacks which originated from Mexico or Canada?

The Israelis, for what it's worth, are to be commended for relative restraint.

Nonetheless, Palestinian living conditions in the occupied territories now come close to those one would expect of one of those outer circles in the Hell of Dante's Inferno.

And, to add some perspective to this picture, consider the casualty stats, on the Palestinian side, from the latest Intifadah : somewhere around 3,000 killed. That's approximately 1/1000 of Palestinians - a death rate proportionately 5 times that suffered by Israelis. Further, f I assume the same relative killed/wounded ratio as holds on the Israeli side (a big assumption, yes, though I assume the actual figures are probably higher for various reasons) that would mean that 1/166 of Palestinians have been wounded so far in this latest Intifadah.

I blame the politicians - on BOTH sides - more than I blame the Israeli and Palestinian people.

_____________________________________________

BTW, here's an interesting site - for news on the conflict - which I just ran across : Jews For Justice For Palestinians"
posted by troutfishing at 2:10 PM on March 23, 2004


A Hamas blow for Pakistan
posted by homunculus at 3:02 PM on March 23, 2004


p.s. adolf eichmann
posted by johnnyboy at 1:51 AM on March 24, 2004


Hamas, beyond being a terrorist organization, also has a political wing and carries out various quasi-governmental functions which have great social utility. It has about as much claim to government legitimacy as the Palestinian Authority

you a kook man, your certi
fiable.

besides being terrorists, they help people, they hold conferences, have great social utility? WTF.
fucking Stalin had great social utility or pol pot for that matter. I do not trust anyone who would stuff my butt in a trunk just to meet with them, and who would want too, more likely they would put me in the trunk without the use of my lungs. But still, the chicklets and BLOOD MONEY they hand out wins over all those unemployed palestinians whom do need work and bad.

and now your crunching casultiy numbers.
you sir are a LOON BALL.
posted by clavdivs at 8:15 AM on March 24, 2004


mr. kettle.

troutfishing was explaining why hamas has so much support within the palestinian community
posted by specialk420 at 10:09 AM on March 24, 2004


ya,
troutfishing: metafilter information officer.
(yes, i a loud mouthed ass)

have either of you met someone in Hamas?
(i have not either)
but i have talked to people who know people in Hamas. Back in 99', my boss gave me the nickel tour of radical palestian groups, back then Hamas was the 'military arm' to the movement to free palestine.
now, a radical shift in thier policy took place back then, this is to kill all Israelis and those whom help them as opposed to just killing Israelis.
and i asked him....
what if there is peace, will they stop killing?
NO. they want israel gone.
then i gently explained the capacities of BIG SAM (my alter-ego, blood jaw attack dog persona.)
he said it did not matter, america would never send troops into Israel and they would target the U.S. if we did this.

and i felt like
oh no, there must be something....
see
SEE. It is a policy of violence that seeks to appeasement from the U.S.

those days are gone and BTW, OBL was considered way to radical for many palestians in 99' and Hamas was not something non-radical palestians wanted to join.(generally)
you know, they wanted to see there sons and daughters live despite, for what i will admit, some heavy handed tactics employed by the IDF.
posted by clavdivs at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2004


""Israel is very important, because on the one hand it is a very sophisticated, high-tech arms developer and dealer. But on the other hand, there are no ethical or moral constraints: there is no Congress, there are no human rights concerns, there are no laws against taking bribes -- the Israeli government can do anything it wants to. So you have a very sophisticated rogue state -- not a Libyan rogue state, but a high tech, military-expert rogue state. Now that is tremendously useful, both for Europe and for the United States.""

- The Israeli activist, Jeff Halper, who is the founder and head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison03052004.html
posted by specialk420 at 8:59 PM on March 24, 2004


Hell is what one makes of it.

It's all in how you arrange the furniture.
posted by troutfishing at 7:05 AM on March 25, 2004


no it is
Feng Shui For Dummies is for anyone who seeks a better life. This clearly written, concise, and easy-to-understand guide can help anyone to

Create harmony and happiness in your relationships
Increase your prosperity
Eliminate chronic patterns of failure, difficulty, and stress
Energize your home or workplace
Enjoy better health

posted by clavdivs at 8:42 AM on March 25, 2004


Where's the Great Wave of terror post-assasination? My guess is that the zombies who followed this animal are now scared and confused.

Arafat: YOU ARE NEXT!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2004


Excellent: NEWS ALERT Hamas Leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi Is Killed In Israeli Missile Strike (2:40 PM ET) (NYT)!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:53 AM on April 17, 2004


Yippee! More death! Yay! More killing! Whoohoo!

Isn't it grand fun to celebrate war!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 PM on April 17, 2004


The death of murderers is worth celebrating. A step in the right direction! A defeat for the feckless.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:35 PM on April 17, 2004


Killing Bin Laden would be universally recognized as a triumph. Killing Hamas leaders? May the next 100 leaders of such organizations have encounters with missiles.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:45 PM on April 17, 2004


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