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A priest, a rabbi and a Hamas leader walk into a bar. .
April 3, 2006 5:37 PM   Subscribe

"If Hamas fails to agree to a permanent ceasefire, we will have to create another leadership, just as we did before with Sheikh Yassin." Former head of the double ISO (Mossad), Efraim Halevy Spoke at the Middle East Forum in Boston last week (yes, he's selling a book) and had some interesting things to say. Earlier post here. (More inside).
posted by Smedleyman (19 comments total)

 
He also had some interesting things to say in the economist back in 2004.
("In intelligence, there can be no sharing in responsibility; it is, and will always remain, indivisible.")

More on Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - from cnn, and the bbc.

And from Islam online:
"For Muslims, the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin represents a watershed event, perhaps signaling a turning point in the Arab-Israeli struggle and in the overall Western-Muslim conflict that has recently taken on global proportions with the U.S. claimed “war on terrorism."
posted by Smedleyman at 5:40 PM on April 3, 2006


What makes him think that it will work this time?
posted by Ironmouth at 5:44 PM on April 3, 2006


Seems like a natural response to Hamas' latest bout of saber rattling.

(And wow, it *has* been a while since we've had a collective mourning session for poor Sheik Yassin.)
posted by Krrrlson at 5:55 PM on April 3, 2006


I believe that, with very rare exceptions, a policy of targeted assassination does not work, and violates everything that a democratic state should hold dear. Terrorism has to be fought by intelligence, combined with police and the courts; using armies and assassinations only makes the problem worse.

Changing people's minds is a long, slow, and difficult process; turning someone from an enemy into to at least a neutral party takes a huge amount of effort.

Turning someone from the closest of friends into a deadly enemy, on the other hand, requires only a bullet.
posted by Malor at 6:04 PM on April 3, 2006


What, hypothetically, are the very rare exceptions?
posted by odinsdream at 6:14 PM on April 3, 2006


Back in January '03 I kept hearing calls around here for the assassination of Saddam Hussein in lieu of an invasion. Maybe that would be an example?
posted by Ryvar at 6:29 PM on April 3, 2006


I believe that, with very rare exceptions, a policy of targeted assassination does not work, and violates everything that a democratic state should hold dear.

I would argue that Israel is not a democratic state. Neither was the United States pre-Civil War and after reconstruction. A democratic state is one of the people regardless of race, color, or creed. Israel violates what a democratic state by its very nature (a Jewish state which discriminates against non-Jews, almost entirely brown skinned Arabs).

What Israel is doing with Palestine, is denying that populace a right to self-determination and by doing so is guilty of apartheid. The Palestinians could never join Israel, because the Israelis wouldn't let them. Israel would never allow for an Arab to be President and so we are at the situation where we are now- the Palestinians feel like a caged and wounded animal without any choice but to fight back.

There are many comparisons with Palestinian suicide bombers to Al-Queda terrorism, these are completely false. The Palestine are fighting against an oppressive regime which never wanted them in the first place. If what Palestinians are doing is terrorism, then was the American Revolution not an act of terrorism? Israel is not democratic, its a theocracy. It seems that a different destruction of Israel is necessary to move forward- one which does not harm a single Arab or Jew, but unites them.

I do find the Palestinians use of violence against Israel to be a poor policy and as history has demonstrated, it has to a large part been a failure. Israel holds itself to a high standard, the city on the hill, the nation that civilizes the savages. If I were Palestinian leaders I would through peaceful means force Israel to allow Arabs citizenship in Israel, then Israel would be exposed as the bigoted state that it is. As it is now though, the Palestinians through use of violence have allowed Israel to identify them as the savages and until things change it will be stuck at an impasse.
posted by j-urb at 6:59 PM on April 3, 2006


If what Palestinians are doing is terrorism, then was the American Revolution not an act of terrorism?

Nope. Although there were certainly terroristic acts in the revolution, it was mainly a conventional war fought against an opposing military force. The Palestinians don't make the slightest attempt to confine themselves to non-civilians, or even to only target adults. The Palestinians are far more indiscriminate, unnecessarily so, in fact. As for the Israeli's discrimination, what about the Arab states' discrimination? Jews are persecuted throughout the Middle East. Is there any logical reason to believe that a free Palestine would act any differently than its neighbors?
posted by unreason at 7:08 PM on April 3, 2006


The Palestinians could never join Israel, because the Israelis wouldn't let them.

Not so surprising in light of the fact that the current Palestinian government was elected on a platform of promising to destroy Israel.

Israel is not democratic, its a theocracy.

This is idiotic at best and a malicious lie at worst.

It seems that a different destruction of Israel is necessary to move forward - one which does not harm a single Arab or Jew, but unites them.

As long as its destroyed one way or another, it's all good, right?
posted by Krrrlson at 8:02 PM on April 3, 2006


As for the Israeli's discrimination, what about the Arab states' discrimination?

Arab states don't claim to be democratic. Israel does.
posted by laz-e-boy at 8:40 PM on April 3, 2006


i think the israelis are about to violate a cardinal rule - never leave your opponent with nothing to lose ... unless you mean to destroy him utterly
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 PM on April 3, 2006


the Middle East Forum, interestingly enough, is directed by Daniel Pipes of CampusWatch

Pipes, rabid fan of the Iraq war, back in 1987 was a big fan of Saddam Hussein:
"The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar…The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad...."

it's all good, right?

nobody's picking up your usual turds, kkk, you might as well look for another thread
posted by matteo at 9:10 AM on April 4, 2006


“And wow, it *has* been a while since we've had a collective mourning session for poor Sheik Yassin.” - posted by Krrrlson

I think an argument can be made as to the effectiveness of that particular hit given the political reaction.
Was it worth it? I really don’t know.
Certainly everyone and his brother becomes a martyr if they’re killed by Israeli forces, so I wouldn’t personally argue that killing him had that particular downside. I see the point though.

Did Yassin bind Hamas together? Doesn’t seem like it. Operationally they had other targets (and hit them).
So just as a benefit analysis - the question is whether high profile assassinations like this are worth it in the long run.

And I’d agree with pyramid termite - why just clip select bits of leadership? Indeed, why leave them intact at all if that’s the course that’s set?

Looks like the thing with Arafat worked. Halevy is a smart man. I agree with some of what he says. Disagree with some other stuff. It’s all interesting though.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:44 AM on April 4, 2006


Israel is not democratic, its a theocracy.

I quote Gershon Shafir and Yoav Peled's Being Israeli, pg 125:

"Since the abolition of the military administration in 1966, the Palestinian citizens have formally enjoyed civil and political rights on an individual liberal basis. They have been excluded, however, from political citizenship in a republican sense - that is, from participation in attending to the common good of society. This exclusion is normalized by the dominance of the ethno-republican discourse of citizenship: Jewish ethnicity is a necessary condition for membership in the political community, and the contribution to the process of Zionist redemption is a measure of one's civic virtue. This conception necessarily excludes the Palestinians: As non-Jews they cannot belong to the ethnically defined community; as those from whom the land is to be redeemed they cannot partake of Zionist civic virtue. Starting with this a priori exclusion, however, under the liberal discourse Israel's Palestinian citizens are more or less secure in the exercise of their individual rights, as long as these rights do not conflict with the national goals of the Jewish majority."

A state which sole purpose is to uphold the religios majority is a theocracy. A true democratic society makes no distinction on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, or gender.


As long as its destroyed one way or another, it's all good, right?

No. The only way this conflict can be resolved is through peaceful means on the part of the Palestinians, as I said in my concluding paragraph:

If I were Palestinian leaders I would through peaceful means force Israel to allow Arabs citizenship in Israel, then Israel would be exposed as the bigoted state that it is. As it is now though, the Palestinians through use of violence have allowed Israel to identify them as the savages and until things change it will be stuck at an impasse.
posted by j-urb at 4:39 PM on April 4, 2006


The Palestinians are far more indiscriminate, unnecessarily so, in fact.

Yes this is true and I was wrong to compare. Another poor strategy... when Palestinians suicide bomb the Israeli soldiers, people in Israeli demand the troops be pulled back. On the contrary when civilians are targeted, Israeli forces go on the offensive. I think its clear that terrorism on the part of the Palestinians doesn't work and has exacerbated their problems, however, my point was intended to be that they want a free society where they do not face discrimination. This of course differs from the America revolution which was about economic interests and not those of a free society (see slavery).
posted by j-urb at 4:56 PM on April 4, 2006


* or Palestinians should want a free society where they don't face discrimination. As much as I would like to support the Palestinians as the oppressed, they are just as much to blame for the situation they're in and probably would discriminate just the same as Israelis are now if they were in power.
posted by j-urb at 5:03 PM on April 4, 2006


nobody's picking up your usual turds, kkk, you might as well look for another thread

Except you, my trusty manure fly.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:28 PM on April 4, 2006


A state which sole purpose is to uphold the religios majority is a theocracy.

Firstly, many would disagree that being Jewish means accepting Judaism as a religion. Secondly, I am uncertain as to whether Gershon Shafir and Yoav Peled's "Being Israeli" is universally accepted as the Israeli constitution. And thirdly, a theocracy is defined as "a government ruled by or subject to religious authority," which is most certainly not the case in Israel. Finally, I'm sure you'll agree that "not truly democratic" does not necessarily equate to "theocracy."


I think its clear that terrorism on the part of the Palestinians doesn't work and has exacerbated their problems, however, my point was intended to be that they want a free society where they do not face discrimination.

Is that what they wanted in Jordan, too? What happened there?
posted by Krrrlson at 8:39 PM on April 4, 2006


And everybody found normal that an Apartheid country is a friend of Europe and America??

Go ask Mandella what he thinks about Israel here

and the loving days with S-A
posted by zouhair at 3:47 AM on April 12, 2006


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