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July 15, 2006 10:02 AM   Subscribe

From Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky offers an interesting look at the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. There's really no good that can come from the current escalation of conflict. Although the Bush Administration has remained complacent in the situation, the conflict will have direct repercussions toward the United States. There's also the argument posed by the EU that the attacks are "disproportionate." Inevitably this could be caused by the growing "Shiite Revolution."
posted by j-urb (95 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Not particularly interesting at all. Chomsky says he has no facts other than what's in news reports and merely repeats his oft-stated views on several elements of the mideast conflict. Now THIS is interesting: reportage, research, multiple viewpoints, well written.
posted by twsf at 10:32 AM on July 15, 2006


Who would've thought that America and Israel could finally unite disparate elements of radical Islam?

Mission accomplished. (And you forgot to mention a tanking US stock market, in addition to the expensive gas.)
posted by bardic at 10:35 AM on July 15, 2006


A more acute observ ation came from a friend who knows the area and politics. He said some time ago that the American invasion of Iraq would be a big victory for Iran. Now Iran asserting or trying to assert its leadership. For nice insights:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/world/middleeast/16hezbollah.html?_r=1&oref=login
posted by Postroad at 10:39 AM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky-Coulter; same difference.
posted by mischief at 10:47 AM on July 15, 2006


Hitler-Gandhi; same difference.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:51 AM on July 15, 2006


Coulter proclaims her love of this nation; Chomsky always blames world problems on his nation. Coulter strikes me as clever but warped; Chomsky is a genius in his field and highly regarded but leaves much to be desired (for me) in his political observations.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/world/middleeast/16hezbollah.html?_r=1&oref=login
posted by Postroad at 10:53 AM on July 15, 2006


The White House has to be looking on the current conflict between Israel, Hamas, and Hezbollah as the plausible pretext its has presumably been seeking to justify open hostilities with Iran, one of Hezbollah's major patrons.

Iraq really isn't enough, I guess. We must need the whole of the middle east to be in flames in order to advance the cause of freedom.

I guess when God talks to GWB, they must discuss the Apocalypse a lot.
posted by hwestiii at 11:04 AM on July 15, 2006


postroad: leaves much to be desired (for me)
posted by mr.marx at 11:07 AM on July 15, 2006


The Chomsky interview is the first place I've heard about two Palestinian civilians being kidnapped prior to the abduction of the Israeli soldier.
posted by malaprohibita at 11:15 AM on July 15, 2006


"Chomsky-Coulter; same difference."

Noam Chomsky is an internationally regarded linguist, theorist, and general intellectual heavyweight, generally regarded (even by those who disagree with his analyses) to be a rational, fair, and thoughtful individual.

Ann Coulter is a third-rate performance artist hack who ekes a dishonest living by flitting from one pundit venue to the next hawking ever increasingly shrill and intolerant invective for the mouthbreather crowd to "fuckin' a!" to. She has yet, to date, contributed ANYTHING of value to the public discourse, or any field of intellectual or scientific inquiry. Further, she's unscrupulous and batty enough that even most conservatives dislike her and can't take her seriously.

You're essentially comparing apples and offal. Therefore, Mischief, if you really honestly believe your statement, you sir or madam, are the single dumbest motherfucker to stroll down this pike in quite some time.

If in fact, you do not, you're a turd and a troll, and a waste of others' time and attention.

You've boxed yourself in, now you decide which flavor of jackass you'd like to be.
posted by stenseng at 11:20 AM on July 15, 2006


When AWOL and his idiot supporters launched Iraq-Nam, one Big Lie was that it would "stabilize" the region.

Reap the fucking whirlwind.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:24 AM on July 15, 2006


Astro-Zombie sums it up best. Gandhi: "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."

Chomsky-Coulter represent the same ends, but mutually dissimilar means.
posted by mischief at 11:28 AM on July 15, 2006


I guess when God talks to GWB1
Fil mish-mis.

I'm sad to say I learned this from Conor Oberst's (itms) performance on Jay Leno.
posted by sequential at 11:35 AM on July 15, 2006


mischief, you're an idiot. No internet hyperbole here--you are obviously someone who hasn't read many books, and lacks even the most basic abilities of reading comprehension. Not a crime I guess, just kind of sad.
posted by bardic at 11:39 AM on July 15, 2006


Nah, just open-minded enough to see both sides are full of shit.
posted by mischief at 11:41 AM on July 15, 2006


You have to have a mind to be open-minded. Dumb-ass.
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:46 AM on July 15, 2006


So, what kind of mind attempts to resolves debates through insults and namecalling? ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:51 AM on July 15, 2006


Oh, that of a savage, of course. heheh
posted by mischief at 11:54 AM on July 15, 2006


Hahahahahaha! Wow, you showed me! Phew. Although it took you at least three minutes to think up your punchline.

You've already shown you're either a moron or a troll, because in either case you simply throw out a tiny tid-bit without any rationalization or argument for it. So... as you were asked before... moron or troll? Or do you want to actually explain WHY you feel the sides are equivalent? If you did that, you might get something other than insults and namecalling, but I'm not holding my breat.h
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:59 AM on July 15, 2006


As a political critic, Chomsky is as third-rate as Coulter; neither of them show a level of analysis greater than that found on MetaFilter on a daily basis.

One point I will give Chomsky: his grammar is impeccable.
posted by mischief at 12:07 PM on July 15, 2006


mischief:

What exactly is your criticism of Chomsky's work? So far, you've said that he is "full of shit" and that he's similar to Ann Coulter, but you haven't cited any examples to support either statement. Or even explained what you mean by them, really.
Would you care to?

Postroad:

Chomsky always blames world problems on his nation.

That's obviously not true. In under seven minutes, anyone could find three examples of Chomsky blaming something on some country other than the US.

But that doesn't matter. The question isn't which country he blames or how often; the question is, when he assigns blame, is he correct? The current discussion seems to be about Iraq, so... are you saying he incorrectly assigns blame to the US for the situation in Iraq? If that's what you're saying, would you please offer something in support of this assertion?
posted by Clay201 at 12:09 PM on July 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Actually, the current discussion seems to be more about Isreal and Palestine. Sorry. I was perusing several web pages at once and got a little confused.

But yeah... are you saying he's incorrectly blaming the US for the Isreal/Palestine situation?
posted by Clay201 at 12:24 PM on July 15, 2006


Noam Chomsky is an internationally regarded linguist, theorist, and general intellectual heavyweight, generally regarded (even by those who disagree with his analyses) to be a rational, fair, and thoughtful individual.

Does it matter if Chomsky is a genius linguist? How does that relate to his opinions on U.S. foreign policy?
posted by gyc at 12:45 PM on July 15, 2006


Your argument that they are equivalent isn't incorrect, but you know that. You and we know you are an unimaginative troll. No problem. I know you don't have a critical bone in your body to analyze things, so what I say now isn't for you. As far as I'm concerned, you had your chance to try have a real conversation and have shown you don't want it. Duhhhh, I'm Mischief. My name is so clever. No one will evar figure out that I'm yanking their chain and trying to get them worked up. Duhhhhh. This is for anyone else who actually thinks that Coulter and Chomsky are the same.

Chomsky has never said Israel should walk off a cliff. What he has gone on record as saying is that they contribute heavily to the current cluster-fuck. In fact, since they hold the vast majority of the cards in the Israel/Palestine mess it's not unfair to say that they are in the driver's seat. Yes, it is a very difficult situation. If they give Palestinians all the land they want, they have a weakened geography of their own. But we keep seeing the same anti-peace song and dance out of the Israeli government that we do out of radicals like Hamas. A lot of public sound and fury ultimately signifying no real change in policy.

Whether you believe the forced resettlement of Palestinians to give Israel a state was ethically wrong or right (and I'm not sure how anyone could argue that is WAS ethical), the fact is Israel exists. Fine. Israel doesn't want to be annihiliated. Fine. I can't fault them for that.

How in the hell does that make it okay for Israel to treat it's internal Palestinians as second-class citizens and keep many external Palestinians in shitty camps? Wow... Israel gave Palestine a chunk of Gaza. Huzzah! Only they didn't give them the airspace or control of the ports in it. They wind an illegal wall throughout territories to keep the Palestinian land fractured and ineffective. They don't give them THEIR OWN MONEY, purposely starving them since Hamas won the most democratic election in Middle Eastern history. Hell, Israeli gov't. officials are on record as saying they would starve the Palestinian people. Fantastic foreign policy there... sure to achieve peace in our time.

As far as the Lebanon incursion, Chomsky hasn't said much yet. The rest of the world, however, seems to be coalescing around the opinion that Israel's destruction of civilian infrastructure is quite overreactionary. The analysis that anarchy in either Palestine or Lebanon isn't a good thing to foster, even for Israel's own existence, is just plain common sense.

So, in addition to his incredible linguistic and cognitive scientific work, Chomsky points these evident facts out. Vocally. For which the far right tries to paint him as an insane radical. While Coulter, who as pointed out has contributed nothing of any critical worth in her so-called career, goes on an on calling for judges and liberals to be murdered so she can get on tv.

Yes, they are EXACTLY the same. You putz.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:46 PM on July 15, 2006


Gandhi: "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."

Of course, Gandhi's method only works when the aggressor has a conscience (the British in this case through imperialism viewed themselves as being civilized; however, Gandhi exposed their barbarism which became extremely embarrassing). If Jews revolted in WWII, they would have been branded as terrorists by Hitler (thus playing into Hitler's hands). To be blunt, the Jews in WWII had no recourse. Gandhi's method is proven to work, but only in the proper circumstances.
posted by j-urb at 12:50 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky's analysis of politics and world events is no better than anyone else's including Coulter's, nor any worse. I agree with some of what he says, and disagree with other points, just as I do with Coulter.

What is 'full of shit' is the slavish devotion of his supporters, equivalent to that of christians and Randroids.
posted by mischief at 12:51 PM on July 15, 2006


Llyod Braun: Democracy Now, Insanity Later.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:54 PM on July 15, 2006


(1) The NYTimes article hits the nail on the head. Iran is the big winner in the Middle East. I had read the editorial the day before, but I couldn't remember where it was from (I read the NYT and WSJ, among many other things I come across on the 'net. Postroad, or at least his friend knows what's up.

(2) As far as Chomsky v. Coulter, they are entirely different people.

(3) The thing that was interesting about the Chomsky piece is that he mentions the Israeli abduction of Palestinians. Also of interest is Israel's attempts to take control over water resources by force (water is a huge issue in the Middle East). Could this all be a resource war, from the Palestinians point of view, about water?

"Well, of course, I have no inside information, other than what's available to you and listeners. What's happening in Gaza, to start with that -- well, basically the current stage of what's going on -- there's a lot more -- begins with the Hamas election, back the end of January. Israel and the United States at once announced that they were going to punish the people of Palestine for voting the wrong way in a free election. And the punishment has been severe.

At the same time, it's partly in Gaza, and sort of hidden in a way, but even more extreme in the West Bank, where Olmert announced his annexation program, what’s euphemistically called 'convergence' and described here often as a 'withdrawal,' but in fact it’s a formalization of the program of annexing the valuable lands, most of the resources, including water, of the West Bank and cantonizing the rest and imprisoning it, since he also announced that Israel would take over the Jordan Valley. Well, that proceeds without extreme violence or nothing much said about it.

Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don’t know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That’s Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; first abduction is not. Then followed the escalation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, which I don’t have to repeat. It’s reported on adequately."
posted by j-urb at 1:13 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky's analysis of politics and world events is no better than anyone else's including Coulter's, nor any worse. I agree with some of what he says, and disagree with other points, just as I do with Coulter.

If you really believe the second sentence necessitates that the first one is true, you have no more critical faculties than your average three year old. Otherwise, you are, again, a troll. Good day to you, sir. I'm not going to waste any more time on you.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:14 PM on July 15, 2006


mischief is hardly a troll, but I'd be reluctant to compare Chomsky to Coulter. Chomsky at least tries to make his arguments look intelligent. They're bad arguments, but not, I think, patently disingenuous. I think he probably believes most of it. Coulter is just a joke.

This is all kind of funny, actually, because after the first comment on this thread, I was going to ask who everyone thought was the conservative equivalent to Chomsky, but didn't want to derail it.

So, now that the thread's been derailed anyway: everyone who's saying Chomsky != Coulter, who is the conservative equivalent to Chomsky?

The first one that came to mind for me was Rush Limbaugh.
posted by spiderwire at 1:17 PM on July 15, 2006


Jesus, Mischief follows up with the "everyone's opinion is equallay valid" tart. Coulter herself knows she's playing a character, so she gives less value on her own stated opinions than you do. How stupid do you feel now?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:19 PM on July 15, 2006


... and Chomsky's NOT playing a character??? Yeah, right.
posted by mischief at 1:36 PM on July 15, 2006


who is the conservative equivalent to Chomsky?

william safire?
posted by brevator at 1:39 PM on July 15, 2006


mischief's not a troll. he might be 15 yrs old but he's not a troll.
posted by brevator at 1:43 PM on July 15, 2006


... and Chomsky's NOT playing a character??? Yeah, right.

you misspelled "nu uh!!"
posted by Space Coyote at 1:45 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky's analysis of politics and world events is no better than anyone else's including Coulter's, nor any worse.

I'm not a big fan of Chomsky, but you, sir, are clearly retarded.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:54 PM on July 15, 2006


who is the conservative equivalent to Chomsky?

Probably the closest thing to a right-wing Chomsky (and let's be honest... such a thing is pretty much an oxymoron) that I know of is Francis Fukuyama. Although, unlike Chomsky, most of what Fukuyama has prognosticated or analyzed in regards to politics has been wide of the mark, like that little Neocon thing of how to transform the Middle East.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:57 PM on July 15, 2006


spiderwire: Not Rush. Chomsky, whether right or wrong, is intellectually consistent. Rush is a shortsighted hypocrite, and everybody hates a hypocrite no matter how right they might have been at one point. I think that's the difference, or one of the differences, between Chomsky and Coulter.

On preview, the_savage_mind is on to something...
posted by peeedro at 2:10 PM on July 15, 2006


If Rush had any intellectual balls, he'd excoriate Bush for all the same reasons he loathed Clinton.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2006


How can anyone with half a brain say "Chomsky/Coulter, same difference."

There's no one on this planet that even comes close to Chomsky when it comes to dissecting a political situation AND having no axe to grind.

The guy's a treasure.
posted by wfc123 at 2:52 PM on July 15, 2006


Ah, that's why I love coming here. Basking in the respectful and fairminded debate of lefties is so refreshing.

I applaud you. And anyone who disagrees is obviously a hateful, ignorant troll.

Such ill-informed dickheads might even point out that Chomsky vigorously defended the Khmer Rouge and is, overall, an articulate but odious fraud.

Good thing Metafilter is here to offer a vigorous yet civil discourse. Who needs alternative viewpoints when the truth is but a click away?
posted by raider at 4:10 PM on July 15, 2006


Today I learned from a reliable source that the Shia have a rapture theory of thier own.Some very interesting historical revisions revealed. well worth the time,sorry no transcript.
posted by hortense at 4:19 PM on July 15, 2006


Does anyone have anything that confirms Chomsky's assertion that Israelis kidnapping a doctor and another civilian led to the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier?
posted by sien at 4:31 PM on July 15, 2006


I applaud you. And anyone who disagrees is obviously a hateful, ignorant troll.

No. "(a) troll is someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy and antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion, including the personal attack of calling others trolls."
posted by bshort at 4:31 PM on July 15, 2006


rhia: Did you even read this thread? I'd venture to say that the majority of the people here aren't exactly advocating for Chomsky. I'd hardly call this an anarchist love-fest. Go troll elsewhere and let me get my derail on.

Although, unlike Chomsky, most of what Fukuyama has prognosticated or analyzed in regards to politics has been wide of the mark, like that little Neocon thing of how to transform the Middle East.

Errr... Kosovo? I think you're choosing an isolated example. Chomsky, unlike Fukuyama, has had the wisdom to not make predictions, but his track record is not good at all. Nor has he ever, to my knowledge, publicly reneged on a major position, as Fukuyama has since the Iraq debacle. Chomsky was about as right on Iraq as he was wrong on Afghanistan.

The reason I chose Rush over Fukuyama and Safire (I was thinking Kristol as well...) was that Rush strikes me as having a similar sort of intellectual following on the right as Chomsky does on the left. I think you could have a decent debate about whether or not Chomsky/Rush are hypocrites (Chomsky is arguing from ideology -- the difference is that he's a bit smarter, imo), but the people named above are pundits, not demogogues, and I think there's a big difference. Chomsky does have an agenda, and has been willing to give support (tacit or otherwise) to human rights abusers (Serbia, China, Khmer Rouge, etc) if it helped his argument.

(I don't think that simply because Chomsky's on my 'side' of the debate that I can't acknowledge this -- I know there's plenty of conservatives who agree with Rush in a broad sense but think that he's a tool providing easily-regurgitated spin for the masses.)

In that vein, I thought that David Horowitz or Ayn Rand might be good candidates for conservative Chomskies as well. ...In terms of quality-of-argument, I think that Safire and Kristol are legitimate examples, certainly, but in terms of cultural position/influence, I'm still on the Rush boat.
posted by spiderwire at 4:39 PM on July 15, 2006


Does anyone have anything that confirms Chomsky's assertion that Israelis kidnapping a doctor and another civilian led to the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier?

Yeah, I just saw it a few minutes ago. I'll see if I can find it again.
posted by spiderwire at 4:40 PM on July 15, 2006


wfc123 wrote:

How can anyone with half a brain say "Chomsky/Coulter, same difference."

How can anyone take that bait and allow it to sidetrack the discussion time and time again. How many times must we let Republicans used dolts like Ann Coulter to derail much needed critical analysis? I know arguing about her stupidity is easier than thinking but you have to understand that by paying her any attention at all you are falling right into the trap that's set for you.
posted by any major dude at 4:44 PM on July 15, 2006


w/r/t the capture of civilians prior to the capture of the Israeli soldiers:

Ok, maybe it was here that I saw it. Billmon says that there was an Israeli attack planned, but that the Palestinian attack on the Israeli border post prompted the Israelis to step up their response. Better confirmation of that here. (Second article is excellent, offers substantiation for Billmon's claim.)

Kevin Drum says that the capture of the two Israeli soldiers was, like the border post attack, an independent decision on the part of the Hezbollah commander who saw the Israeli soldiers relatively unprotected.

The consensus seems to be that while the proximate cause was the two separate captures of Israeli soldiers, the disproportionate Israeli response is what sent the situation into oh-shit land. There were also signs of some rapprochement with Hamas just prior to the captures, so it seems likely that the captures were in fact orchestrated to help disrupt the recent negotiations.
posted by spiderwire at 4:53 PM on July 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm just glad this is still online.
posted by gimonca at 5:29 PM on July 15, 2006


who is the conservative equivalent to Chomsky?

William F. Buckley Jr.
posted by dejah420 at 6:03 PM on July 15, 2006




I confess, I used to be one of those "conservative" Chomsky haters who never bothered to read anything he wrote, I just judged him based on what other people I used to respect said about him.

Since then I've read the things that they wrote, and I've read some of what he's written. Let's just say I have a different opinion now.

Whatever your politics, the man is brilliant. That video that circulated a few weeks ago with Chomsky and Foucalt is a great example. When someone like this speaks, its worthwhile for everyone to listen. He doesn't have an agenda, and I can't imagine he's pro-democrat any more than anti-republican.

And William F. Buckley is nowhere near the intellectual that Chomsky is, sorry. Conservatism is not a philosophy or political worldview in any meaningful way. It's a silly brand identity. It just means you are skeptical of any genuinely new ideas, which sort of implies closed-mindedness.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:09 PM on July 15, 2006


One point I will give Chomsky: his grammar is impeccable.

OK, that was pretty funny.

Man, we haven't had a Chomsky-shitfight in a looong time. What fun!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on July 15, 2006


Also: mischief's not a troll. he might be 15 yrs old but he's not a troll.

Actually, I believe mischief is one of our senior members, in chronological terms. Not that it matters much, but there you are.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:18 PM on July 15, 2006


Who, I just realized we're comparing Ann Coutler to Chomsky.

Ann Coulter, like Rush Limbaugh, is a popular entertainer, do you get that? She knows that, here publisher knows that, and the cable outlets that promote her know that. People in the 25-54 demographic don't buy pop music, but they will buy pop politics. It's the same thing, just a different medium. She's like a stand up comic that only makes political jokes. You would never cite an Ann Coulter book or column in a serious analysis of political theory or philosophy. Just like you wouldn't seriously cite Bill Nye the Science Guy for some physics proposition in an article to Physical Review Letters (no offense, Bill).

Chomsky is an academic. You can criticize him all you want, but please note there are no scholarly criticisms of Chomsky that suggest in any way that he is rwong, off-base, or his scholarship is weak. You can criticize Chomsky like you can criticize Stephen Hawking, but you'd better have a complete mastery of the subject before you start calling him an idiot.

Chomsky is one of those guys that 40 years after he's dead, conservative will be quoting to prove the democrats are doing something wrong.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:27 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky's academic field is linguistics. As such, he is a master of spin.
posted by mischief at 7:44 PM on July 15, 2006


who is the conservative equivalent to Chomsky?

William F. Buckley Jr.


Bingo.
posted by homunculus at 7:47 PM on July 15, 2006


Whatever your politics, the man is brilliant.

Chomsky is brilliant in his rhetoric, not necessarily his arguments or facts. That's his field of study, incidentally.

When someone like this speaks, its worthwhile for everyone to listen. He doesn't have an agenda, and I can't imagine he's pro-democrat any more than anti-republican.

Guh? No, Chomsky does have an agenda, politically and academically -- simply because he doesn't follow a party line doesn't change that. Ralph Nader is also neither pro-Democrat nor pro-Republican.

Conservatism is not a philosophy or political worldview in any meaningful way. It's a silly brand identity. It just means you are skeptical of any genuinely new ideas, which sort of implies closed-mindedness.

Incorrect.

You can criticize him all you want, but please note there are no scholarly criticisms of Chomsky that suggest in any way that he is rwong, off-base, or his scholarship is weak.

This is just flat wrong, and even the most cursory investigations into Chomsky's political scholarship would reveal that. He's made a art out of quoting out of context, and he has most assuredly been wrong many times, which is to be expected when you take the exact same position on every political issue over the course of a few decades. Kosovo and Afghanistan are two recent examples where he was wrong.

This isn't to say that he's always been right, but the man is not a foreign policy luminary, he's an ideologue.

Incidentally, Foucault wasn't.
posted by spiderwire at 7:52 PM on July 15, 2006


*he's always been wrong
posted by spiderwire at 7:52 PM on July 15, 2006


Noam Chomsky on kidnapping (emphasis mine):
Whether it can achieve any result, either in the secondary question of freeing prisoners or the primary question of some form of solidarity with the people of Gaza, I hope so, but I wouldn't rank the probabilities very high.

So, he just said that he hopes kidnapping works.

And that's where I lost all respect for the man.
posted by frogan at 9:07 PM on July 15, 2006


which sort of implies closed-mindedness

Quick, name a "tradtional conservative" that you agree has at least some good ideas.

Get back to us when you can do that. In the meantime, ask yourself who's being close-minded.
posted by frogan at 9:11 PM on July 15, 2006


it would appear that we've found the solution to the current crisis ... put a boxing ring on the lebanese border and have chomsky and coulter go at it ... 15 rounds ... results binding on the warring parties

really, people, does anyone involved in this mess give a damn about the sqabbles of our political pundits?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:35 PM on July 15, 2006


Nah, pt, none at all. Ann Coulter, Jon Stewart, Amy Goodman, Nancy Grace, it's all naught but entertainment.
posted by mischief at 9:45 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky is the great rationalizer: very good at compiling facts and very bad at accepting anything that doesn't fit his simplistic theories. Just look at his stance on Cambodia: it took him decades to admit a genocide happened there, because he had been a strong advocate of the Khmer Rouge while it was happening.
posted by rottytooth at 9:47 PM on July 15, 2006


I'd guess you should always want a cord to release when stripped over..

Chomsky's point is that kidnapping of soldiers isn't really kidnapping, it is really just taking POWs. I don't think I can agree, but it is actually a very interesting question. I mean, one must condemn terrorist organizations who target civilians, but.. Suppose there was a Palestinian militia that only targeted soldiers, would that be legitimate war fighting? I'm pretty much a pacifist, for me it would be wrong no matter what; but considering where I live, pacifism is a pretty easy choice.

rottytooth: Cambodia: it took him decades to admit a genocide happened there

Something strange about this. I mean, I have no idea if Chomsky expressed support for the Khmer Rouge - Sihanouk did though - politics makes strange bedfellows. Anyway, Chomsky specifically uses the Khmer Rouge autogenocide, from 1975-1979, as an example in Manufacturing Consent, published in 1988. So at best, one might call it decade(s).
posted by Chuckles at 10:33 PM on July 15, 2006


oops, clipboard problems.. That first quote was supposed to be from frogan:
So, he just said that he hopes kidnapping works.
Doh!
posted by Chuckles at 10:39 PM on July 15, 2006


Chomsky's point is that kidnapping of soldiers isn't really kidnapping, it is really just taking POWs.

Heh. So, does that make Hezbollah and Hamas ... soldiers? With all the legal weight that that entails?

Suppose there was a Palestinian militia that only targeted soldiers, would that be legitimate war fighting?

According to the Geneva Convention, if said "militia" were a recognized component of the Palestinian government, wore uniforms, etc, and a formal declaration of war is made, then yes, this would be a ... ahem ... a "legal war."

But then, of course, Israel could legally and ethically respond to these hypothetical acts of war with a warlike response.

Which is essentially the argument they seem to be making now -- that the Palestinian and Lebanese governments have Hamas and Hezbollah components to their governments, and their allowance of these armed groups to operate independently are de facto recognition of them as governmental agents, and their actions are acts of war.

So, are the guys that grabbed the Israelis terrorists or soldiers? If they're terrorists, then the captured Israelis aren't POWs, they've been kidnapped. And Chomsky is rooting for criminals. Which makes him a dick.

If they're soldiers, then it's war, war, war and no one should be surprised when Israel starts legally bombing the shit out of everything that moves. Which makes Chomsky an idiot.
posted by frogan at 10:54 PM on July 15, 2006


But Israel's government is being just as hypocritical as Chomsky, by treating it as a war, while claiming that their soldiers are innocent victims. And, of course you already know that one can't "legally" bomb the shit out of everything that moves, only "legitimate military targets".

I'm beginning to suspect that you lost respect for Chomsky long before you heard him say "I hope so" sometime yesterday.
posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM on July 15, 2006


re the kidnapping: nothing wrong with hoping something good comes out of something bad.

Chomsky didn't deny the genocide. What he did was note the predictions of genocide happened before they occured. The real genocide at the time was happening in East Timor. One of his points is that genocide is often used for political purposes. He did not deny the genocide when it occured: however he did also note that the US had some hand in creating its conditions.

Chomsky is unlike other pundits - he believes that anyone can make arguments. However, he does have academic skills - he is precise, clear and accurate. Any criticism of him - anywhere - should be backed up with facts. Because he has them. He often ends with lectures and interviews saying, in some fashion, "think for yourselves." Ann Coulter, instead, tells you to kill liberals.

I suppose he does have an ideology: advocacy of the oppressed, a support fo those who are voiceless; those who don't get a hearing in the mainstream media. The issue is, of course, that many of us subscribe to ideologies without even knowing it.
posted by john wilkins at 11:07 PM on July 15, 2006


But Israel's government is being just as hypocritical as Chomsky, by treating it as a war, while claiming that their soldiers are innocent victims.

Sorry, did I miss the part where the Israeli soldiers had invaded Lebanon in the last week or so? Last time I looked, Israel had long ago pulled out of the country.

(don't point us to conspiracy theories -- does this guy look like a Special Forces killer to you?)

Chomsky is interesting when he studies linguistics. But rooting for kidnappers and hostage-takers? DUDE.

As an aside, I read a really interesting analogy the other day. Imagine that the recent Mexican election was won by a party that a) denied the U.S.'s right to exist and b) encouraged people to kill Americans. Then a group of Tijuana cops snuck over the border in their police cars and with their police guns, grabbed a sailor from San Diego and snuck back over the border. How would you respond? Call the UN to mediate? What if more sailors continued to be grabbed and taken into hiding in Mexico? At what point do you invade Baja?
posted by frogan at 11:39 PM on July 15, 2006


Er. I think we've moved past arguing whether Chomsky == Coulter. I think the argument now is whether Chomsky is disingenuous or not. (He is.)

You don't have to be a partisan or stupid to be an ideologue -- Chomsky is a very, very good ideologue precisely because he is not those things.
posted by spiderwire at 11:40 PM on July 15, 2006


Would we all be similarly outraged if someone said, "Will Israel's stock of prisoners be useful in making a trade for captured IDF soldiers? I hope so."
posted by Wataki at 1:39 AM on July 16, 2006


Chomsky-Coulter are both clowns doing satire on crazy thinking. Relax they are both just trying to give up a big laugh.
posted by zackdog at 1:39 AM on July 16, 2006


This may be what Chomsky was talking about:

"The two captured men were brothers Osama and Mustafa Abu Muamar, sons of Hamas activist Ali Muamar."

More info at Indymedia (caveat lector): http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76854
posted by genome4hire at 2:16 AM on July 16, 2006


chomsky did deny that a genocide was happening. he said his friend rode around the country on his bicycle and saw no genocide, only pilots being strung up for bombing the country. he also said the stories of genocide from people fleeing cambodia couldn't be trusted.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 2:29 AM on July 16, 2006


Cite or shut up.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:53 AM on July 16, 2006


There are no "good guys" in any of this, they are all just different shades of evil. If they've got a gun in their hand, you can bet they don't care about anybody but themselves.

You can divide the whole damned region into perpetrators and victims.
posted by Jatayu das at 5:36 AM on July 16, 2006


windschuttle on chomsky

chomsky lies: denial of the khmer rouge holocaust in cambodia
posted by drscroogemcduck at 6:29 AM on July 16, 2006


Holy shit how weak the arguments that Hamas and Hezbollah are or aren't 'real' soldiers. Do you know what a real soldier is? A real soldier (just like a real army or a real nation) is a fiction put forward by powers who have a vested interest, for whatever reasons, in a relatively small group of people (by the standards of nations) being oppressed.

You can hem and haw all you want about Hamas being a terrorist group. They are. They are also the only way Palestinians have to fight Israel in a way that Israel cares about. If Palestinians rose up en masse, tried to conscript an army, and marched with gorgeous uniforms into Israel, they'd be slaughtered. So instead we must all respect the fiction that says that they have no right to fight in any other way than that which will get them all slaughtered.

The Palestinians are fucked. F. U. C. K. E. D. They have no way to fight for themselves that either Israel or the U.S. will 'accept'. How convenient that they can then be called a terrorist nation (well... sort of nation). Again, no one here who is simultaneously defending the current response of the Israeli government and excoriating Lebanon and Palestinians as a whole will address Israel's culpability in creating this latest scenario, nor the ongoing dilemma itself.

No. We are told on the tube again and again to put ourselves in Israel's shoes. That we Americans should imagine it was America being hit by missiles from or having a soldier kidnapped by Canada or Mexico. Firstly, if it was by an extremist group, we wouldn't blame all of Canada. We'd blame the group. We'd only blame Mexico the nation if Obrado succesfully came to power.

Secondly, why shouldn't we also put ourselves in Palestian's shoes as well? What if Canada had major nuclear and conventional military force and we didn't? What if Canada, fifty-odd years ago and with the agreement of some of the rest of the world, displaced millions of Americans from their land all along the north, taking it for their own? What if what was left on our side was nothing but refugee camps for a long time? What if we were let in to Canada to do shit work and then funneled right out again on a daily basis... having to travel hundreds of miles the same do to do it on some occasions. What if our water and electricity was held hostage by Canada, our ports and our air space... what if they wound an illegal wall through our territory and created pockets of the US that couldn't be self-sufficient and yet couldn't really interact with other parts ot the U.S.? What if all proceeds from international trade were taken by Canada and administered to us at their whim? Only then, when we'd thrown out a corrupt as hell government in democractic elections, those proceeds were withheld COMPLETELY with the express and quoted reason as starving Americans into compliance? Said compliance being overturning our democratic elections?

I have zero love for the killing of innocents. I'm pretty sure that in the lifelong scoreboard of innocents killed in this pathetic game, though, that Israel is like the original Dreamteam vs. a team of handicapable pre-schoolers. The body count isn't even close. Only their actions are never called terroristic by either themselves or the U.S., regardless of how many innocent babies are killed.

One thing that Chomsky points out that I think one HAS to consider and analyze without just throwing out out of hand is that some peoples ONLY HAVE TERRORISM to use to fight. And it's only framed as terrorism because the larger powers they are in conflict with find it usefult to portray it that way. While their own tactics are considered part of the noble, 'acceptable' military tradition because, again, it suits the power structure. The smaller guys just cannot emulate that.
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:19 AM on July 16, 2006 [3 favorites]


some peoples ONLY HAVE TERRORISM to use to fight

Or they could accept that Israel is here to stay, give up their project to destroy it, and start negotiating their borders peacefully. Each assault on Israel by Palestinians and the Arab states has lost more land for the Palestinians. It really is time for a new strategy, before there's nothing left.

What if Canada, fifty-odd years ago and with the agreement of some of the rest of the world, displaced millions of Americans from their land all along the north, taking it for their own?

Nevermind that a very large minority of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern descent, whose ancestors were displaced from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, etc. I guess they don't count because Israel did the responsible thing and resettled them instead of keeping them as refugees, promising to give them back their old homes when Iraq, Iran, etc., were conquered.

We'd blame the group. We'd only blame Mexico the nation if Obrado succesfully came to power.

Are you saying that Hamas is not part of the Palestinian government? Are you saying that Hezbollah does not hold seats in the Lebanese government?

The Palestinians are fucked. F. U. C. K. E. D.

Arafat promised them Israel would be destroyed. It was a good strategy for him: keep the people focussed on Israel while he pockets the money donated by other governments and does nothing to build any infrastructure for his people. Palestinian schools still teach their children that all of Israel as a historical Arab Palestine, a mythological country that "existed" sometime after the Ottomans and before the British -- with its own currency, even. It teaches them that Arafat was born in Palestine, even though he could never get rid of that Egyptian accent. Maybe giving up on the fantasy that the entire region belongs to them would be a good way to start getting unfucked.

I have zero love for the killing of innocents. I'm pretty sure that in the lifelong scoreboard of innocents killed in this pathetic game, though, that Israel is like the original Dreamteam vs. a team of handicapable pre-schoolers.

Yes, but break that down demographically: although many Palestinian civilians have been killed, the vast majority of Palestinian dead are militants, and are young males. The Israeli dead are all over the board: children, the elderly, whoever a suicide bomber can get access to, without regard to age or sex.
posted by rottytooth at 9:28 AM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Or they could accept that Israel is here to stay, give up their project to destroy it, and start negotiating their borders peacefully.

there's a 3rd option ... disband the palestinian authority, surrender the populace to israeli governance, declare there will be no two state solution and start a civil campaign for voting rights, preferably without terrorism and violence

the bottom line here is that circumstances have made the idea of a viable, free palestinian state impossible ... and the realization of a workable government for the people of palestine cannot happen

the palestinian authority should abdicate and leave the responsibilty on the israelis to provide for the palestinian people ... they have excercised a veto power over the occupied territories for decades ... let them have ALL the power and responsibility and see if they can deal with the results

i've felt for a long time the only real solution is to go back to the 1967 borders ... but if israel isn't willing to do this ... then it's theirs ... all of it ... and they'll just have to learn to deal with it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:58 AM on July 16, 2006


Or they could accept that Israel is here to stay, give up their project to destroy it, and start negotiating their borders peacefully. Each assault on Israel by Palestinians and the Arab states has lost more land for the Palestinians. It really is time for a new strategy, before there's nothing left.

True enough, but that advice applies to Israel as well. Things aren't getting better for them with their own heavy-handed, unilateral tactics.

Nevermind that a very large minority of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern descent, whose ancestors were displaced from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, etc. I guess they don't count because Israel did the responsible thing and resettled them instead of keeping them as refugees, promising to give them back their old homes when Iraq, Iran, etc., were conquered.

Sorry... I don't follow here... when you say ancestors... are you talking hundreds of years, thousands? When's the cut-off point for who owns land? I do know there are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians alive now who were also alive when they were forced off the land their families had owned for generations and generations. I also don't understand the reference to Israel claiming to conquer Iraq, Iran, etc.

Are you saying that Hamas is not part of the Palestinian government? Are you saying that Hezbollah does not hold seats in the Lebanese government?

I'm saying that Hamas is the democratically elected government of the PA, and that the people who did the kidnapping may or may not be some splinter group that wasn't ordered by the Hamas in the government itself. Either way, the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, after forced starving of funds when Hamas was still operating under a cease-fire, only serves to increase anarchy and the likelihood of current and future violence escalating. Not to mention raining death and destruction down on innocents. I'm saying that in no way does Hezbollah = Lebanese government any more than does the existence of certain insane, violent, far-right religious Jews in the Knesset mean that the Israeli people are insane, violent, far-right, religious people. Hezbollah has some seats. That doesn't make it the government. It's naive to think that the Lebanese government can crack a whip and make Hezbollah heel without facing civil war. Considering Lebanon's modern history, I'm sure that's what we all want to see, right?

Arafat promised them Israel would be destroyed. It was a good strategy for him: keep the people focussed on Israel while he pockets the money donated by other governments and does nothing to build any infrastructure for his people. Palestinian schools still teach their children that all of Israel as a historical Arab Palestine, a mythological country that "existed" sometime after the Ottomans and before the British -- with its own currency, even. It teaches them that Arafat was born in Palestine, even though he could never get rid of that Egyptian accent. Maybe giving up on the fantasy that the entire region belongs to them would be a good way to start getting unfucked.

So what? The diplomacy of the last ten years has not been about getting back the entire region. And while I agree that Palestinian hard-liners expect too much, you have to be blind or willfully dishonest to say that Israel has offered up any fair solutions at all. Maybe giving up on the fantasy that the entire region must be partitioned exactly the way they want it regardless of how it impacts others living in the area would be a good way to start getting unfucked.

Yes, but break that down demographically: although many Palestinian civilians have been killed, the vast majority of Palestinian dead are militants, and are young males. The Israeli dead are all over the board: children, the elderly, whoever a suicide bomber can get access to, without regard to age or sex.

While I agree that the Israeli's target militant targets and the Palestinians frequently (mostly?) target civilian targets (again, one can make a very convincing case that if they solely targetted military targets they would never accomplish anything), I'd like to know what your source is for saying that 'the vast majority of Palestinian dead are militants'. Most every time I see news of an Israeli strike, it involves more deaths of women and children than it does militant leaders. But those are just collateral damage, right? That's nothing like terrorism, right? This is why Chomsky's linguistics background comes into play... words frame the arguments, frame the way something is thought about. Nothing puts that into starker relief than the Israel/Palestine dilemma.
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:02 AM on July 16, 2006


One more thing in re targetting of civilians vs militants... you have to take into account Israeli strikes on infrastructure like water, power and transportation and what effect that has on increasing disease, hunger, death, etc.
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:07 AM on July 16, 2006


Or they could accept that Israel is here to stay, give up their project to destroy it, and start negotiating their borders peacefully.

Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank, Built Up Areas and Land Reserves

Everything a shade of blue is under Israeli control.

From the B'tselem Maps page.

Where the caption for the West Bank Settlements map reads:
As appears from the map, while the built-up area of the settlements in the West Bank covers 1.7 percent of the West Bank, the settlements control 41.9 percent of the entire West Bank.
Since 1967, Israel has established in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip 152 settlements that have been recognized by the Interior Ministry. In addition, dozens of outposts of varying size have been established. Some of these outposts are settlements for all intents and purposes, but the Interior Ministry has not recognized them as such.
See also B'Tselem - Statistics - Fatalities, where casualties are listed by name and circumstances of death.
Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the Occupied Territories, for example.
Full Data of the above.
posted by y2karl at 11:20 AM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sorry... I don't follow here... when you say ancestors... are you talking hundreds of years, thousands?

No, I mean the forties and fifties. Baghdad was one-third Jewish until Israel was formed. At that time the Jews were expelled from almost all the Muslim states and had to leave their possessions behind. The point is the Jews of Baghdad were resettled in Israel instead of kept in refugee camps with promises that they'd take over Baghdad militarily -- unlike the Palestinians of Gaza, many of whom live in refugee camps with the idea that they're going to get their old homes back in Israel proper.

So what? The diplomacy of the last ten years has not been about getting back the entire region.

The diplomacy hasn't been, but the promises to the Palestinian people by Arafat were that they would get the whole region, so that's what most Palestinians expect. It will take a fundamental change in the Palestinian popular opinion for them to settle for less.

At Taba, Israel offered borders that are identical in size to the 1967 borders (so that land that's been annexed from the West Bank would be traded for an equivalent size piece of land adjacent to Gaza). This is what was rejected by Arafat, who made no counter-offer. The problem is Arafat promised his people the Right of Return, which is not compatible with any two-state solution.

One more thing in re targetting of civilians vs militants... you have to take into account Israeli strikes on infrastructure like water, power and transportation and what effect that has on increasing disease, hunger, death, etc.

Yeah, that's a good point. It's part of the strategy of punishing Palestinians as a whole for the acts of terrorists, to take away public support for those terrorists. Hasn't seemed to work very well.
posted by rottytooth at 5:39 PM on July 16, 2006


Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank, Built Up Areas and Land Reserves...

All those settlements are there for strategic reasons. Israel gave up its settlements in Gaza, it's reasonable to expect they'd do the same for the West Bank, if/when a permanent deal is reached with the Palestinians.
posted by rottytooth at 6:02 PM on July 16, 2006


Nice op-ed in the JP about prisoners.
posted by j-urb at 11:04 PM on July 16, 2006


One thing that ... I think one HAS to consider and analyze without just throwing out out of hand is that some peoples ONLY HAVE TERRORISM to use to fight.

This guy would beg to differ.
posted by frogan at 11:32 PM on July 16, 2006


Y2Karl: those statistics are horrific. Does anyone know if Israel recognise them?
posted by verisimilitude at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2006


frogan, personally I'm in the Mahatma camp. But I've never been tested by having family members blown up or treated like animals. I have Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and other friends who have, however.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:35 PM on July 17, 2006


All those settlements are there for strategic reasons.
Since 1967, Israel has established in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip 152 settlements that have been recognized by the Interior Ministry. In addition, dozens of outposts of varying size have been established. Some of these outposts are settlements for all intents and purposes, but the Interior Ministry has not recognized them as such.

Israel has established in the Occupied Territories a separation cum discrimination regime, in which it maintains two systems of laws, and a person’s rights are based on his or her national origin. This regime is the only of its kind in the world, and brings to mind dark regimes of the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

As part of the regime, Israel has stolen thousands of dunams of land from the Palestinians, on which it established dozens of settlements in which hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians now live. Israel forbids Palestinian to enter and use these lands, and use the settlements to justify numerous violations of Palestinian rights, such as the right to housing, to gain a living, and freedom of movement. The sharp change changes Israel made to the map of the West Bank makes a viable Palestinian state impossible as part of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The settlers, on the other hand,. Benefit from all rights given to citizens of Israel who live inside the Green Line, and in some instances, ever additional rights. The great effort Israel has expended in the settlement enterprise – financially, legally, and bureaucratically – has turned the settlements into civilian enclaves within an area under military rule, and has given the settlers a preferred status. to perpetuate this unlawful situation, Israel has continuously violated the Palestinians’ human rights.
Land Grab: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank

Also from B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center For Human Rights In The Occupied Territories, see--

Land Expropriation and Settlements
posted by y2karl at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2006


Recently on national television, Vice President Cheney warned that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would prompt the collapse of governments in other countries in the region, namely Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, putting them in the hands of radical Islamist rulers.

Cheney has it exactly backwards. Our continued entanglement is what is destabilizing the region.

The escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas could become a new Arab-Israeli War. And it is precisely our actions in Iraq that have opened the door for Iran and Syria to support Hezbollah and Hamas actions without much to fear from the U.S.
A reverse domino theory may be playing out in the Middle East
Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.),
posted by y2karl at 3:44 PM on July 17, 2006


Since 1967, Israel has established in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip 152 settlements...

That Land Grab article, which is from 2002, says Israel has effectively annexed those portions of Palestinian land. This is a favorate argument of Chomsky's, to say Israel will never allow Palestine to be more than a series of Bantustans. And yet that isn't how it turned out in Gaza: the settlements there were completely abandoned by Israel.
posted by rottytooth at 6:30 PM on July 17, 2006


Gaza doesn't have water..
posted by Chuckles at 7:42 PM on July 17, 2006


This regime is the only of its kind in the world, and brings to mind dark regimes of the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.'

Israel was one of the only countries selling arms to apartheid-era South Africa, a country with its own spin on genocide at the time, when even the US had to start boycotting them. Additionally, according to most of the world's intelligence agencies, Israel had no problem co-developing nukes with the same South Africa, even going so far as to test them together in '79. I guess as long as your government doesn't explicitly call itself Nazi, it's okay to work with them.
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:52 PM on July 17, 2006


And yet that isn't how it turned out in Gaza: the settlements there were completely abandoned by Israel...

Israel gave up its settlements in Gaza, it's reasonable to expect they'd do the same for the West Bank, if/when a permanent deal is reached with the Palestinians.

It's reasonable to expect ?
How many settlers are there today in the West Bank?
According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2004 there were approximately 235,000 Israelis residing in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem)...

Does the evacuation of the settlements in Gaza and part of the West Bank mean that at the end of 2005 there will be fewer settlers than there were at the beginning of the year?
Disengagement entailed evacuation of all Gaza settlements and 4 settlements in the West Bank -- leading to the removal of around 9,000 settlers.

Provisional populations statistics for the West Bank settlements compiled by the CBS project that between Jan. 1 and June 30th -- prior to the start of the disengagement process -- the population of West Bank settlements (not including East Jerusalem) increased by around 9,370. Keeping in mind this projected growth accounts for only the first half of the year, it is clear that at the end of 2005 the total number of settlers will be greater than it was at the beginning of the year, even after taking into account disengagement.
Settlements in FocusTaking Inventory of the West Bank - September 2005
On February 20, 2005 Israel modified the planned route of the wall. While the new route runs closer to the Green Line in some areas, such as the southern West Bank, in other areas it will run far inside the West Bank in order to capture key Israeli settlements such as Ariel (twenty-two kilometers inside the West Bank), the Gush Etzion bloc (with fifty thousand settlers) near Bethlehem and the Maaleh Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem. The new route is 670 km, twice the length of the “Green Line” (the 1949 armistice line between Israel and Jordan which served as the de facto border between Israel and the West Bank after Israel’s 1967 occupation); only about one-fifth of the route follows the Green Line itself. During 2005 Israel still failed to make the case why a wall constructed entirely on the Israeli side of the Green Line would not have been at least as effective in providing security inside Israel. Instead, the current wall will bring over three hundred thousand West Bank and East Jerusalem settlers and a minimum of 135,000 acres of West Bank territory over to the Israeli side. Despite Israel’s contention that the wall is a “temporary” security measure, it captures settlements that Israel has vowed to hold onto permanently. On July 21 Sharon said that the Ariel bloc of settlements “will be part of the State of Israel forever.”
Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Overview -Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)
posted by y2karl at 11:06 PM on July 17, 2006


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