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How To Put Your Thumb on the Scales of World Opinion. In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.
posted by scalefree (147 comments total)

 
Oh NOES. The Jews are now controlling the New Media!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:14 AM on July 31, 2006


A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.

A whole team? I thought it was just one guy calling everyone who doesn't agree with him an anti-semite.

Doesn't seem like that job needs a whole team.
posted by three blind mice at 10:18 AM on July 31, 2006


Previously mentioned.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:19 AM on July 31, 2006


Is this for real?
posted by keswick at 10:20 AM on July 31, 2006


I've asked Matt to pull the post because I want to add links to other stories about propaganda on the war, by both Israel & Hezbollah. I hit "post" too soon.
posted by scalefree at 10:22 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


And yes, it's for real.
posted by scalefree at 10:23 AM on July 31, 2006


I'm pretty sure that think tanks around the world do the same thing.
posted by jeblis at 10:24 AM on July 31, 2006


The Britney Spears fan club also pulled this dastardly stunt. Do you think they are in cahoots with the evil Zionist cabal?
posted by Falconetti at 10:25 AM on July 31, 2006 [3 favorites]


I've asked Matt to pull the post because I want to add links to other stories about propaganda on the war, by both Israel & Hezbollah. I hit "post" too soon.

Just post them here as a new comment. If I delete this post, you won't be able to post again for 24 hours anyway.
posted by mathowie at 10:25 AM on July 31, 2006


I'm pretty sure that think tanks around the world do the same thing.

Post something about global warming or gun control on your blog. You'll suddenly have new very opinionated visitors.

Don't even get me started on energy deregulation...
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 10:28 AM on July 31, 2006


Falconetti: congrats for being the first criticism of Israel = anti-semitism poster of this thread!
posted by keswick at 10:29 AM on July 31, 2006


If I delete this post, you won't be able to post again for 24 hours anyway.

Sounds kind of Anti-Submitic to me.
posted by hal9k at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2006 [10 favorites]


I've seen this happen on other sites -- strangers pop out of the blue to post prepared boilerplate pro-Israel (or anti-Israel's-critics) monologues; and often the reason isn't clear, but if you scan back through the discussion you can find an earlier comment from someone which contains the key words and phrases which presumably attracted their attention. It doesn't have any positive effect as far as influencing any discussion since it doesn't fit in very well -- a typical response would be "WTF?" But it may serve the purpose of getting their arguments returned in web searches more often.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2006


OK, it's not all fancy & pretty but here they are - THE MIDEAST PR WAR: News on a Platter & Lifting the Cover of the Hezbollah PR Effort. It's not surprising that all sides in this conflict are trying to shape opinion with propaganda techniques, but it's useful to be aware of the various efforts.
posted by scalefree at 10:32 AM on July 31, 2006


I'm pretty sure that think tanks around the world do the same thing.

I think this happened to me during Katrina. I'd rant on my blog about what was happening, and suddenly I'd get comments from complete strangers, spouting the "blame game" talking point.
posted by brundlefly at 10:37 AM on July 31, 2006


Right-wing blogs have done this for years. FreeRepublic is notorious for linking to online polls and flooding comments sections that it's actually called "Freeping" in most cases.

There are commenters like this on other sites I read too. It's ironic in the context of the Middle East issue because it's a story where honestly, what the fuck do you think playing "gotcha" cards back and forth is going to do? Loads of angry (and dead) Lebanese people couldn't give a fuck about your reminder that Hezbollah "hides among civilian populations" and loads of terrified (and dead) Israelis could give a fuck about 50-year old geographic demarcation issues.

There is a definite need to correct facts in the debate, especially with rhetoric from both sides often becoming ludicrous, violent, and racist, but I'm sadly led to believe this is just going to be a tool for, like many other boards I've read, making it easier for people to respond over and over again with canned statements.

That all said, my personal biased snark: I suppose it would be rude of me, of course, to suggest that maybe if Israel's supporters spent a fraction of the time used to push-poll various propaganda outlets about why it's okay to kill 56 women and children to suggest way to, well, not kill 56 women and children with missiles, there might be some more actual progress in the Middle East instead of a bunch of people establishing supremacy on internet message boards.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:39 AM on July 31, 2006


Distributed Trolling? Zombie networks, indeed.
posted by prostyle at 10:41 AM on July 31, 2006


Falconetti: congrats for being the first criticism of Israel

I'm pretty sure AZ did that in the very first comment.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:42 AM on July 31, 2006


I'm curious, why is noting how propaganda machines work somehow anti-Semetic? Do they use ballpoint pens? Help me out here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:43 AM on July 31, 2006


This thread is dangerous and should be removed immediately.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:43 AM on July 31, 2006


Do they send people to Metafilter?
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:45 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Falconetti: congrats for being the first criticism of Israel = anti-semitism poster of this thread!

Goddammit. I wasn't making that criticism, I was trying to be purposely hyperbolic as a joke. I thought this post sucked, so in true MeFi fashion I just came in to drop a snark turd, then leave.
posted by Falconetti at 10:46 AM on July 31, 2006


X to R: consider that over 100 rockets are daily shot into north Israel and that today Haifa managed to catch2 suicde bombers...and that the area hit by the bombs you mention housed rocketgs and that there is now confirmed proof of this: then just then you might ask why Hezbollah plants rocket launchers among civilians and makes Israel guilty for hitting back. The death of non-combatants is horrible--be it in the middle east or at Dresden (WWII) or the bombing of Lon don (WWII), or the numbers of dead in Iraq (civilians) that is now averaging 100 deaths per DAY...but don't bother to note that stuff because you are objective
posted by Postroad at 10:48 AM on July 31, 2006


*Waves to internet-scouring Zionists*
posted by jimmythefish at 10:49 AM on July 31, 2006


Also, here's an awesome example of the Zionist media conspiracy.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:49 AM on July 31, 2006


If criticizing anything Israel does is anti-semitic, then I guess I'm anti-semitic in some ways. Oh well!

Is it inherently wrong to disagree with the bombing and invasion of a sovereign nation in response to the kidnapping of two (TWO!!!) soldiers?

What about when Israel does it?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:49 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


WTF, postroad?
posted by odinsdream at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2006


"If criticizing anything Israel does is anti-semitic, then I guess I'm anti-semitic in some ways. Oh well!"

Easy there Mel...
posted by MikeMc at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2006


If I could go back & add the other links to the original post I would, because I think together they give a perspective on coverage of & opinion about the war & how it's being shaped & manipulated, sometimes clumsily but sometimes not. Just do me a favor & read the other stories before you diss the post. I know the next story I see about the war, I'll be asking myself about who was behind the scenes arranging for it, & also about what they didn't want me to see.
posted by scalefree at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2006


If criticizing anything America does is anti-american, then I guess I'm anti-american in some ways. Oh well!
posted by jeblis at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2006


Good thing there's already people here doing their work for them. Saves money.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:55 AM on July 31, 2006


Falconetti,

I disagree with you assessment, its important to know any group may auto freep a particular Blog so the users of said blog can flag and ignore them when needed.

Snark Turds are also unwanted and unwarrented, please stop them, as a favor to all of us? The fact it was followed up by rebuttal Snark Turbs, shows the pointless ness of them.
posted by Elim at 10:58 AM on July 31, 2006


"Do they send people to Metafilter?"

Nah, it costs five bucks to comment here, and, well ...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:58 AM on July 31, 2006 [7 favorites]


Another interesting piece in Haaretz, about the morality of "warning" civilians to leave and then shelling their homes whether they have left (for an uncertain safety on the road) or not.
posted by mediareport at 11:00 AM on July 31, 2006


Whaa!!! Wars are full of propaganda and the presentation of it is mediated by forces that have an agenda?! My god! I have always thought that media literacy should be taught in school, starting in grade school and then all the way up through high school. That way children grow up with a critical eye towards the information they receive and are not eaily duped or manipulated by such things as online polls about the Middle East.
posted by Falconetti at 11:00 AM on July 31, 2006


By the way, scalefree, I appreciate the extra links and what you were trying to do with this post. It's a pretty fair-minded attempt at looking at the PR issues, and it's good that you made it.
posted by mediareport at 11:02 AM on July 31, 2006


The death of non-combatants is horrible--be it in the middle east or at Dresden (WWII) or the bombing of Lon don (WWII), or the numbers of dead in Iraq (civilians) that is now averaging 100 deaths per DAY...but don't bother to note that stuff because you are objective

I would think you would compare the number of Lebanese killed to the number of Israelis killed in the same period instead of using arbitrary numbers from unrelated events, but I guess my concept of objectivity differs from yours.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:02 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


This Megaphone desktop tool... is it specific to the giyus.org site? Or are there other apps out there like this? I've heard of freeping before, but didn't know there were tools for auto freeping as it were.
posted by Zinger at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2006


I thought this post sucked, so in true MeFi fashion I just came in to drop a snark turd, then leave.

So why are you still here?
posted by justkevin at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2006


Astroturfing
posted by jeblis at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2006


Falconetti: congrats for being the first criticism of Israel

I'm pretty sure AZ did that in the very first comment.


Hells yeah! My megaohone software is teh haxorz!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2006


From the article: "There are also forums where Lebanese and Israelis talk"
Links anyone?
posted by peacay at 11:08 AM on July 31, 2006


From Lifting the Cover of the Hezbollah PR Effort:
"This is a heavily orchestrated Hezbollah media event. When we got here, all the ambulances were lined up. We were allowed a few minutes to talk to the ambulance drivers. Then one by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians ... These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect.""
From News on a Platter:
There's no need to go anywhere. "The contacts can be reached by phone," the woman from the press office says. "It's better to do it that way, especially for the radio." The organizers know exactly what the reporters want. Radio and TV journalists often have to go on air so often that they barely get a chance to leave the hotel. So when a Katyusha rocket strikes, an e-mail containing a list of eyewitnesses, complete with their mobile phone numbers, is more than welcome.
posted by scalefree at 11:08 AM on July 31, 2006


"Whaa!!! Wars are full of propaganda and the presentation of it is mediated by forces that have an agenda?! My god! I have always thought that media literacy should be taught in school, starting in grade school and then all the way up through high school. That way children grow up with a critical eye towards the information they receive and are not eaily duped or manipulated by such things as online polls about the Middle East."

Well, yeah, but if you did that, the people running the show wouldn't get away with a fraction of the horseshit they do now, and we can't have that, can we?

What's good for Halliburton is good for America.
posted by stenseng at 11:09 AM on July 31, 2006


Eh is this such a suprise? People have been doing this kind of thing since the first public poll was put on the ARPANET. It's a tactic everyone is using and will continue to use till the heat death of the universe.
posted by PenDevil at 11:11 AM on July 31, 2006


This seems no different than the conservative "think-tanks" in the US that offer their viewers a pre-written letter of complaints that you can automatically send to the FTC in order to register "your" disgust with such-and-such a show. In certain cases the FTC received far more complaints than the estimate of number of people who actually watched the show in question.

The practice is nothing new. Turks have been using it for years to shout down debate on the Armenian Genocide.

Incidentally isn't it slightly ironic that a post entitled "How To Put Your Thumb on the Scales of World Opinion" would be put up by user scalefree?
posted by clevershark at 11:11 AM on July 31, 2006


That explains this Globe & Mail poll then.
posted by Flashman at 11:11 AM on July 31, 2006


Is Israel doing anything that the U.S. would not do in the same situation?
posted by hexxed at 11:14 AM on July 31, 2006


Is Israel doing anything that the U.S. would not do in the same situation?

That's not saying much.
posted by Hanover Phist at 11:21 AM on July 31, 2006


They are not bombing Iraq. Does that count?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:22 AM on July 31, 2006


clevershark: I think it is different because it enables much larger scale opinion shaping campaigns by significantly decreasing the transaction cost for the participants. Instead of bombing just one email address, poll or website, now you can quickly rampage through a whole list of forums & online polls, all pre-selected for you by the administrators of the megaphone software.

Also: thanks for the encouragement, mediareport.
posted by scalefree at 11:24 AM on July 31, 2006


Never has freeping been so organized.
posted by destro at 11:24 AM on July 31, 2006


Nah, it costs five bucks to comment here, and, well ...

Oh, dear.
posted by pracowity at 11:28 AM on July 31, 2006


So why are you still here?

I normally would not just drop a stupid snark into a thread. I am usually very good about avoiding threads I don't like. I felt guilty and wanted to follow up with a substantive comment. If trying to substantively contribute does not slake your lust, justkevin, I will have to try harder. To appease you, I am going to mortify my senses. I am typing this now with my figers painful;y ridig and at my sides. whdch is profing ton hbe very dificult,
posted by Falconetti at 11:28 AM on July 31, 2006


It helps to have clear protocols.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:28 AM on July 31, 2006


Is Israel doing anything that the U.S. would not do in the same situation?
posted by hexxed at 2:14 PM EST on July 31 [+fave] [!]


God, I'm so sick of this idiotic argument.

Get this into your head: Israel is not the United States, and never will be. Israel isn't even Korea. When Iraq unilaterally invaded Kuwait under some BS pretext, 500,000 soldiers and the largest bombing campaign in history smashed the country into submission. It never recovered. Israel is basically imitating the tactics of Iraq circa 1990.

Here are some thing the US did with respect to Iraq that Israel never did with respect to Lebanon:

- Israel never put on their case before the UN.

- Israel never asked the UN to try to negotiate a peaceful resolution (the US forced the inspectors back into Iraq, if you recall)

- Israel never consulted publicly with other nations having an interest in the matter before acting.

- Israel has no plans to stay and rebuild the civilian infrastucture of Lebanon.

- Israel has no plans to train the Lebanese army.

etc.

These are all things the US has done, or tried to do, or did poorly, but it still did them. The US could have invaded Iraq unilaterally on 9/12/2001 with no stated reason whatsoever and nobody would have done a thing. But the US didn't do that. Bush bashing aside, they at least tred to court world opinion.

And, the downward comparison is bogus even if the situation was the same, which it isn't.

The U.S. gets to do things that Israel doesn't get to do, because the U.S. is a superpower, becasue the U.S. economy drives the gloabal economy (including Israel's), because it gives Israel money and military support every year, and because the US will be ultimately responsible for the middle east mess anyway, regardless of who is and isn't involved. Lebanese are blaming the US for the Israeli invasion, and the US had nothing to do with it. Thank you very much Israel. The Arab world clearly didn't hate us enough already for the stupid things our president did, now we have to put up with your nonsense. At least we can elect a new U.S. president. How do we get rid of your lunatic?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:41 AM on July 31, 2006 [5 favorites]


"Do they send people to Metafilter?"

Remeber Dhyot/jenleigh et all?
posted by Freen at 11:43 AM on July 31, 2006


Yeah OK, nobody wants to talk about propaganda, everybody just wants to argue about the war. My bad. Did anybody even read the other articles, even after I posted excerpts from them?
posted by scalefree at 11:52 AM on July 31, 2006


What a waste of time.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:53 AM on July 31, 2006


One man's meat....etc...
"Since 1979 Israel has received over $130 billion and continues to receive nearly 40 per cent of total US foreign aid. Direct American aid to Israel in recent years has exceeded $3.5 billion annually, with an additional $1 billion through other sources, and has been supported almost unanimously in congress, even by liberal Democrats who normally insist on linking aid to human rights and international law.

Israel’s long record of violation of international law is made possible by the heavy diplomatic support guaranteed by the US. In the past 30 years, the latter has used its veto in the Security Council to protect Israel from international criticism, censure, or sanction, more than 40 times. The last one was on July 13, 2006, when it blocked a draft resolution condemning Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip and demanding an end to the tragic humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories.

The US has to know it cannot aid and abet aggressive occupation and rampant expansionism while hoping to "win Muslims’ hearts and minds". The two cannot go together.

A series of reports and surveys have indicated growing animosity to the United States in the Muslim world.

The latest was a Pew Research Centre poll of six Muslim countries (Indonesia, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Morocco). An earlier Pew Global Attitudes survey of 50 nations in 2002 and 2003 found that the US was less popular in the Middle East than any other part of the world. Even in Turkey, a longstanding US ally, 83% had an unfavourable opinion of the US, matching levels in Jordan and Palestine". via
posted by adamvasco at 11:54 AM on July 31, 2006


i wondered what had happened to the BBC discussion forums
posted by silence at 12:00 PM on July 31, 2006


The funny thing about all this is that GIYUS itself is probably a sort of astroturf operation for US rightwingers, not a legitimate group of Israelis and bona fide sympathizers.

From the forums:

For all those who care about Israel and is searching for very good info, here is adress of excellent pro-israeli blog, not polluted by moonbats:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

posted by rxrfrx at 12:00 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Nah, it costs five bucks to comment here..."

Really? No more free memberships? Well, I guess we won't be seeing too many Jew....I'm kidding!
posted by MikeMc at 12:02 PM on July 31, 2006


Lebanese are blaming the US for the Israeli invasion, and the US had nothing to do with it.


Yeah, right. Just like Syria and Iran aren't propping up Hezbollah. This is just another war by proxy, the latest in a very long list that started in the early 20th Century and shows no sign of abating any time soon.
posted by ninthart at 12:04 PM on July 31, 2006


What is interesting is that despite the fact that the israeli military plays the media so effectively, the media doesn't want to change how it reports to the conflict in order to get more spontaneous reactions. Israel is feeding the media all the human interest and technoporn drivel because that's what the media want and continue to want. I suspect if the media in general began to ask deeper and more probing questions, the propaganda wouldn't be so effective.

The hezbollah issue reminds me of what the Iraqi information ministry did. There should be some rule requiring outlets to disclose reporting under duress so we can at least take waht we see with a grain of salt.

Ultimately, the world needs less of on the ground reporting, and more of the high level strategic analysis. WIth ground level reporting, at best you get public opinion ping-ponging with the two sides' alternating atrocities.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:09 PM on July 31, 2006


ZOA Backs Bolton Nomination bought for you by the The Zionist Organization of America
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has announced its strong support for Ambassador John Bolton to continue his tenure as US Ambassador to the United Nations and strongly urged US Senators to confirm him in his post at the world body.
posted by Unregistered User at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2006


What is interesting is that despite the fact that the israeli military plays the media so effectively, the media doesn't want to change how it reports to the conflict in order to get more spontaneous reactions. Israel is feeding the media all the human interest and technoporn drivel because that's what the media want and continue to want.

I disagree slightly. I think right now this site and pro-Israel progoganda campaigns are far more significant because the recent Qana bombing has, on a wide scale, turned opinion against much of Israel's tactics. The problem is that Hizbollah doesn't need to defeat the Israeli army wheras Israel needs to defeat Hezbollah to secure a "victory." With the standards for the latter so much higher and harder, Israel is doomed to failure, both politically and publicly.

Israel is capable of presenting a human side to this, highlighting the rocket attacks and showing their respective bodies in the rubble; the problem is that they don't have as much. Israel has killed far more innocent civilians in the last few weeks. Israel has also, as opposed to Hezbollah's attacks, devastated the very infrastructure of another country. For a nation that has thrived in the popularity front mainly because A. their status as a endangered, victimized state, and B. they are among the most efficient and strategic military forces on the planet, killing hundreds in the process of a seemingly inept and pointless shock-and-awe campaign is troubling.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:22 PM on July 31, 2006


Ultimately, the world needs less of on the ground reporting, and more of the high level strategic analysis.

Speaking of which, did anybody catch Bob Steele's keynote speech at HOPE this year, laying out his comprehensive plan to reshape the intelligence community & put Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) at the center?
posted by scalefree at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2006


Say, you guys know who really sucks? Israel!
Hezbollah totally kicks ass!
*waits expectantly*

(Also, Metallica rulez, they totally waste Crue)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2006


Smedleyman, you gotta include a poll too

israelipolls.metafilter.com
posted by rxrfrx at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2006


He's saying what we're all thinking!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2006


Metallica sux teh horse kok!! Black Sabbath wipes their asses with Metallica.
posted by Balisong at 12:31 PM on July 31, 2006


Yeah, right. Just like Syria and Iran aren't propping up Hezbollah. This is just another war by proxy, the latest in a very long list that started in the early 20th Century and shows no sign of abating any time soon.
posted by ninthart at 3:04 PM EST on July 31 [+fave] [!]


This is what I mean. It's the US's fault, no matter what.

This isn't a war by proxy. The US doesn't want this and doesn't need it. The enemy is wrong, the battlefield is wrong, and the timing is wrong. Remember the Iran nuclear and North Korea missle crises? They didn't go away.

And this sure as hell does not help the Bush administrations posturing relative to Iran. If anything, Israel has single-handedly justified Iran's need for nuclear weapons. It can no longer be defined as the paranoid dreams of a rogue state. Now, there is an actual and credible threat to Iran that would justify the development of nukes as a deterrent.

I understand that it's easy, and very often correct to attribute these outbreaks to US string-pulling, but this isn't one of them. This is Israel going off the reservation.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2006


Yet Dean continues to suck AIPAC dick with his press release. Until US politicians stop doing AIPAC's bidding, nothing will change and the US mideast policy insanity will continue. Israel will drag us with them into the abyss.

Last week when I first heard Dean submission himself to AIPAC I canceled my membership to the DNC...

I just got my followup call 5 minutes ago. I told them w/Dean sucking Israel's dick (sorry, i really said it , the stress has stripped my usual composure ) maybe we can all share an after FUCK cigarette together, --even though I don't smoke--and what the hell did we need a Democrat party for anyway if they were going to start reciting from Rove/Neoco handbook.

the woman on the phone AGREED w/ me and started ranting about the massacre in Qana and how Maliki had every right to not get trapped into supporting Israel!

hahaha...
posted by Unregistered User at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2006


I'm pretty sure that think tanks around the world do the same thing.
posted by jeblis at 10:24 AM


Think tanks, not as much as PR operations. Post something on Monsanto and there is a PR operation which will show up and try to counter the claims you make.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:36 PM on July 31, 2006


Israel is capable of presenting a human side to this, highlighting the rocket attacks and showing their respective bodies in the rubble; the problem is that they don't have as much.

I think this fails because the publc knows that Israel's casualties are the result of Israel's attack on Lebanon. Israel can't claim the moral high ground here. It can't spin its casualties by saying "this is why we are fighting". This all started over two kidnapped soldiers, not two killed soldiers. Hezbollah never fired a shot.

In other words, it is very clear who shot first (Israel), the public knows it, and Israel has an uphill and in my opinion ultimately losing PR battle because of it.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that Israeli propaganda is directed almost exclusively at Americans?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:37 PM on July 31, 2006


It is not unique to Israel by any means, but they are spectacularly good at fighting public opinion rather then examining their own actions or thinking in new ways about how to solve the very real problems they face. This entire country (I am living in Israel at present) is in a state of intense denial that allows people to go on living, especially those here in the middle of the country where all is peaceful. I believe this denial has been at the heart of Israeli life since the founding of the country, and is very difficult to shake off. Thus you get amazing attempts to control the media, the message, etc. especially outside the country. Here in Israel the news is, while always presented from a Zionist point of view, fairly nuanced and balanced, especially in terms of what visual images and political discussions you'll see on TV. It's only when outsiders are discussing the issues that this machine of manipulation goes into its very impressive overdrive.
posted by cell divide at 12:40 PM on July 31, 2006


Care to read the leaflets the Israel are dropping:

To all citizens south of the Litani River
Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of Israel from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages. For your safety! We call upon you to evacuate your villages and move north of the Litani River."
posted by Unregistered User at 12:40 PM on July 31, 2006


Yet Dean continues to suck AIPAC dick with his press release. Until US politicians stop doing AIPAC's bidding, nothing will change and the US mideast policy insanity will continue. Israel will drag us with them into the abyss.

But, but...the insider baseball in DC says that Regan did what should have been done, curring foreign aid, and the Republican party got its clocked cleaned. If money makes the DC-go-round spin, the cashflow of AIPAC makes sure it'll spin.

Mike Rivero's http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ shares your love for the AIPAC. Use the search command to explore the depths of love.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:40 PM on July 31, 2006


Wish i had something to say, but i think that this quote does it better.

"But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings." - John F. Kennedy
posted by Dr No at 12:44 PM on July 31, 2006


to the WUJS: you should be stopping your government from slaughtering Lebanese instead of trolling websites.
posted by amberglow at 12:45 PM on July 31, 2006


pastabagel, pastabagel, pastabagel - are you REALLY so naive as to think that this all started with the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers? How SOON they forget - Israel's withdrawal from the Southern Lebanon security zone in 2000, and the intervening 6 years of incessant katyusha attacks from Hezbollah in Northern Israel. And yet you say - and I quote - "Hezbollah never fired a shot."

Right. That sound that you hear? That's your credibility, taking its place among the other daily contributions to septic systems around the world.

And spare me the "anything that Israel does is ok" bullshit. I have NEVER said that. Not here, and not anywhere else.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:49 PM on July 31, 2006


From rough ashlar's linked site -
The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."

All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)
Posted Jul 31, 2006 11:54 AM PST


I love that line "there is no such term as 'innocents'..." Not, "they are not innocent" which requires a judgment as to their innocence and an explanation of the framerwork in which that judgment is made, but there is no term. The word is cancelled, the concept is erased, thus any discussion of innocence is rendered meaningless. Someone's been reading his Orwell...

Then this great line "All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army ". I get that Israel is not a Christian country. Fine. But does this genius realize that a huge portion of Lebanon's population is Christian? They may be Arabs, but that doesn't make them Muslims. The LGF and Free Republic crowd might want to take notice of that fact too.

And I love the irony of a rabbi acknolwedging the power of Christian morality to undermine the willingness to kill... That's sort of the point.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:53 PM on July 31, 2006


incessant katyusha attacks from Hezbollah in Northern Israel

According to the IDF, there had been 5 katyusha rockets fired since 2000. I do not believe any of them were fatal, and all of them coincided with Israeli flyovers. There have been mortars fired and other projectiles. I'm not sure what your definition of incessant is, but it's not the one the rest of the world uses.
posted by cell divide at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2006


Dr No, didn't he die or something? Him, and that that other fella...?
posted by Unregistered User at 12:56 PM on July 31, 2006


Isn't the easy solution here just for anti-Israeli people to download the megaphone program and counter the pro-Israeli people without having to do any research at all?
posted by Captaintripps at 12:56 PM on July 31, 2006


Sometimes I wish Madagascar was the Jewish homeland after all
posted by A189Nut at 12:57 PM on July 31, 2006


You know, that rabbi's quote is exactly why the American Christian population needs to be a little more thoughtful when they go about trying to make Christianity the official religion of the United States. ou d that, you're pretty much guaranteeing that religious decisions will be based around political expediency and national need, rather than morality.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:58 PM on July 31, 2006


btw here is the IDF source for the number of katyushas prior to this current conflict.
posted by cell divide at 12:59 PM on July 31, 2006


Thanks for the source, cell divide. I admit that I was wrong about the weapons used in the attacks perpetrated on Northern Israel by Hezbollah. This is from the page you link:

105 anti aircraft attacks.
42 anti tank missile attack.
5 Katyusha rocket attacks.
7 shooting attacks.
10 explosive device attacks.
14 infiltration attempts.

Israel is a sovereign nation and has a right to expect peaceful borders with its neighbors. The above list does NOT describe a peaceful border. It refutes pastabagel's assertion that Hebollah never fired a shot.

But I was wrong about the frequency that katyusha rockets were used. Thanks for setting me straight.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:06 PM on July 31, 2006



And spare me the "anything that Israel does is ok" bullshit. I have NEVER said that. Not here, and not anywhere else.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:49 PM EST on July 31 [+fave] [!]


I never said you did. I responded to this:

Is Israel doing anything that the U.S. would not do in the same situation?
posted by hexxed at 2:14 PM EST on July 31 [+fave] [!]

from above, which sort of sounds like "everything israel does is ok", but is actually qualitatively different. But again, you didn't say it.

About the rocket attacks. No, I didn't forget them. But the action that precipitated this conflict was this attack which I now learn actually resulted in some IDF soldier deaths. This is the proximate cause.

And rocket attacks do not justify bombing the airport, the harbors, and the highways, remember that from two weeks ago?

The sporadic rocket attacks are a post-hoc attempt to justify the action now. This wasn't the stated reason two weeks ago.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:07 PM on July 31, 2006


congratulations, pastabagel - you were able to find a quote by some wacko-right wing Rabbi who won't be satisfied until the Jews kill all the Arabs. Now who would have thought that anyone like that exists?

OF COURSE there are nut job extremists out there of every stripe, and OF COURSE a media that is run by corporations and thrives on printing the spectacular is going to go with inflammatory remarks. Are you taking this a step further and suggesting that the average Israeli on the street agrees with this? If so, can you back up that assertion? Can you provide ANY reason to believe that this rabbi is anything other than a far right fundy?

Shalom. Salaam.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:09 PM on July 31, 2006


Jerusalem Countdown by Pastor John Hagee, nice fella...

In need of more end of summer reading?
posted by Unregistered User at 1:10 PM on July 31, 2006


Pastabagel, Yesha is the organization of West Bank & Gaza settlers. I think it's fair to say that they're somewhat extremist and do not represent the majority of Jews or Israelis.

This council is talking out of their asses.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:12 PM on July 31, 2006


Israel undoubtedly has a right to defend and protect its borders, especially from quasi-state organizations like Hezbollah. I don't think anyone here would refute that statement. The issue so many of us take is the methods being used. India is one example of country which has endured many more border and cross-border problems but has not used draconian methods to punish those on the other side of the border. There are many, many more examples of this.

In a very different but I believe still relevent comparison, every year dozens of Mexican nationals murder American citizens and then flee to Mexico where local authorities are either unable or unwilling to do anything about them, let alone extradite them. Based on the idea that "America would do the same thing", do those of you who argue that position believe that we should start destroying Mexican infrastructure until they give up the now hundreds of murder suspects in their territory? We're talking about hundreds of Americans killed and no response from the other side.
posted by cell divide at 1:13 PM on July 31, 2006


Agreed about the proximate cause - but again I respectfully suggest that it's naive to think that these things happen in a vacuum. As cell divide's link to the IDF website illustrates, there has been a pattern of violence directed AT Israel across the northern border. Israel MUST respond. I'm not defending the extent of the response (not because I disagree, I just don't know enough about it and would rather withhold judgement at the moment), I'm simply saying that your assertion that Hezbollah is blameless - "didn't fire a shot" - doesn't hold water.

As for the "anything Israel does is ok" comment - it wasn't simply directed at you, it's just something I've been hearing alot lately. Again, I've never made that assertion, although I've been accused of it plenty.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:14 PM on July 31, 2006


Umm, Doesn't this just provide entertainment for thousands of anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish internet posters who are looking for a fight? Isn't that *good* for them?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2006


OF COURSE there are nut job extremists out there of every stripe, and OF COURSE a media that is run by corporations and thrives on printing the spectacular is going to go with inflammatory remarks. Are you taking this a step further and suggesting that the average Israeli on the street agrees with this? If so, can you back up that assertion? Can you provide ANY reason to believe that this rabbi is anything other than a far right fundy?

Shalom. Salaam.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:09 PM EST on July 31 [+fave] [!]


I was simply highlight something I found on the site that was linked in the comment before mine, and I highlighted it NOT because he said "kill all the arabs" but because of the erase the concept statement, which I'd never heard before and found curious.

I never suggested that the average israeli supports this view, and personally I don't think that they even support what their government is doing in Lebanon.

SO RELAX.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:26 PM on July 31, 2006


AstroZombie: "Oh NOES. The Jews are now controlling the New Media!"

"All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)"

This conflict is not about the Jews. It is about the secular nation of Israel.
Less than 25% of the population regularly attends religious services in Israel.
Israel is a democracy.
Therefore, at some level, Israelis are responsible for every single child who dies as a result of the blowback from their occupation of the sovereign, democratic nation of Lebanon.

I don't care if they are Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists or satanic chicken-rapists, using scripture to defend the indiscriminate bombing of civilian housing in a thinly-veiled war for a few more miles of scrubland is unforgivable.

Hopefully, the recent actions of the new nation of Israel will be combed from the beautiful, peaceful and lengthy history of the Jewish people.

Full disclosure - my job is to take care of the homeless (transient poor) - my paycheck comes from a church. Israel has become a war machine that has served only to decimate an already starving population of people who need only the slightest provocation to hate the Jews. Jews should be furious with Israel for inciting hatred against them, when the Arabs should be rightfully angry at the nation of Israel itself - rather than the Jews.
Israel creates homeless people. Israel has created almost 800,000 homeless people in the last 20 days.
This sort of brutality is not forgiven by history. To use the Holy Books to defend a bombing campaign!
God. Does. Not. Take. Sides!

Especially for Christians! Most especially!

In the garden - when the soldier finally appear to arrest Jesus, to torture him, to terrorize his followers, to hang his body on a cross! What does he say?
Does he say - "Now is the time! We have been abused for too long! Peter, draw your sword! These men will not rest until I am dead!"
NO. Peter draws his sword and Christ tells him to put it away.

And the poor! These are not even Romans Israel is fighting! These are starving, wretched people!
These are little boys and girls who have grown up in a world of poverty, terror, violence and bloodshed!
Have they forgotten the sins of Sodom??
Ezekiel 16:49 "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters
were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor
and needy."
Or the words of Israel's greatest King?
Psalm 11 -
When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?
The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.
The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked and those who love violence
his soul hates.
On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face.

We cannot love violence! Ever!

There is no justification. There is only peace. We must create peace. We must stand against war and killing however we can.
War will not create peace for Israel.
War almost wiped the Jewish people from the face of the Earth.
In their hubris, Israeli politicians have created yet another generation of terrorists.
In its hubris, Israel has lashed out in anger.
In its hubris, Israel has taken a starving nation and driven it into the ground, face-first, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces.

I used to be ardently pro-Israel. Now I am disgusted and despairing - I am afraid we will never win the peace, and I am shocked at myself when I find, in my thoughts, a question:
"Who are these people occupying the Holy Land?"

I am in constant prayer regarding this horrible turn of events.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:27 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


This isn't a war by proxy. The US doesn't want this and doesn't need it.

I can't say that this is entirely, 100% wrong; there is a significant sense in which the Israel/Lebanon conflict is an extension of the Israel/Palestine conflict, since the immediate cause for Hizbullah's actions was the Israeli offensive on Gaza. It is also a long-term strategic conflict that had been cold for several years after Israel was forced to withdraw from Lebanon after its brutal 18 year occupation of that country helped give rise to Hizbullah. However, to say that there is no element of war by proxy is either disingenuous or naïve. Israel is an outpost of US imperialism in the Middle East; its existence is intrinsically (and quite purposefully) tied to the extension of effective US hegemony in the region.

Israel's offensive on Lebanon comes just as the US military is proving completely incapable of a sustained occupation in Iraq, and as Bush's brash tactics have failed utterly in getting Iran to budge on the nuclear question in that country. The wanton and horrific devastation of Lebanon -- a country where mere months ago the government was hailed as part of a regional movement toward democracy by the US -- is an opportunity to reassert imperialist control over the region at any cost.

Israel is demonstrating that even if they don't rule you at the end of the day, they will crush the opposition and anyone who may be anywhere near an opposition fighter. It is a dangerous, frightening, and murderous demonstration, even though it is unlikely that it will crush Hizbullah in the long run. It also conveniently is distracting everyone from the situation in Gaza, where Israel is still clamping down on the Palestinian population over a single captured soldier, while it holds over 9,000 Palestinians prisoner.

The situation is damned complex, but absolving the US or whoever is beside the point. Israel is raining carnage down upon Lebanon, and its interests are intimately tied with those of the ruling class in the United States. The moral imperative is to make it impossible for Israel, which deals out the vast majority of the damage, to continue on this rampage.
posted by graymouser at 1:29 PM on July 31, 2006



I am in constant prayer regarding this horrible turn of events.

Well you know what, I've kind of given up praying for peace in the middle east. God's clearly not paying any attention at all.
posted by grahamwell at 1:39 PM on July 31, 2006


Israel is a democracy. Therefore, at some level, Israelis are responsible for every single child who dies as a result of...

I've seen this argument a few times from different people. It's very dangerous. First, it suggests that people in a dictatorship are not responsible for their government's actions because they have no control. Locke(?) said the opposite - people have an obligation to overthrow the government that denies them their natural rights. It stands to reason that if people in a dictatorship fail in this duty, it falls on someone else to do it.

In a democracy, the people can elect their leaders, thus replacing the government on a failrly regular schedule. Thus they are providing evidence that their government protects their rights based on whether that government survives the election (we assume that citizens can determine for themselves whether their government denies them their rights or not).

Fundamentally, people cannot be responsible for the military actions of their government because they do not control the operation. Americans are not responsible for Abu Ghraib because they didn't expect the military to behave that way and certainly don't support it.

The problem in all these conflicts is that only one side is a democracy and subject to its people. The other government does whatever it wants and doesn't care about it's people.

As a side note, I once saw an interview with Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the US. In trying to defend his government against charges of widespread oppression and corruption he basically equated dictatorships and democracies by saying that in a democracy, if the people don't like you, they elect you out of office. In a "monarchy", if the people don't like you, they chop off your head.

I remember thinking "not if you chop off theirs first..."
posted by Pastabagel at 1:39 PM on July 31, 2006


I normally would not just drop a stupid snark into a thread. I am usually very good about avoiding threads I don't like. I felt guilty and wanted to follow up with a substantive comment. If trying to substantively contribute does not slake your lust, justkevin, I will have to try harder. To appease you, I am going to mortify my senses. I am typing this now with my figers painful;y ridig and at my sides. whdch is profing ton hbe very dificult,

Alright, good enough, it was only a question.
posted by justkevin at 1:40 PM on July 31, 2006


Snark Turds are also unwanted and unwarrented

Speak for yourself, I think that snarkiness is one of MeFi defining qualities. Oh, and you misspelled "unwarranted".
posted by doctor_negative at 1:47 PM on July 31, 2006


Thank god for the reprieve, my fingers really hurt now.
posted by Falconetti at 1:49 PM on July 31, 2006


If you've been following the giyus alerts, you'll find that there are a lot of people arguing against Israel and some canned statments saying that site has been posted on giyus and explaining what that means. So I guess it didn't take very long for that too happen. Although there are still a hell of a lot more people arguing for Israel.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:53 PM on July 31, 2006


The situation is damned complex, but absolving the US or whoever is beside the point.

Not really: ...And there was no doubt of the missile which killed all those children yesterday. It came from the United States, and upon a fragment of it was written: "For use on MK-84 Guided Bomb BSU-37-B". No doubt the manufacturers can call it "combat-proven" because it destroyed the entire three-storey house in which the Shalhoub and Hashim families lived. They had taken refuge in the basement from an enormous Israeli bombardment, and that is where most of them died.

The whole world knows that those are our bombs Israel is using to kill their children. We'll be paying for that.
posted by amberglow at 1:59 PM on July 31, 2006


These people clearly have taken a clue from bevets.
posted by uncle harold at 2:28 PM on July 31, 2006


related thing, from Slate's really fascinating Blogging the Bible series (by someone named Plotz, no less): ...It is the work of a single tribe at war with everyone around it. Their enemies were not human: They were prey. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:57 PM on July 31, 2006


These people clearly have taken a clue from bevets.

I didn't know he had any left to give.
posted by hangashore at 3:23 PM on July 31, 2006


“Sometimes I wish Madagascar was the Jewish homeland after all” - posted by A189Nut

The Jewish homeland is not Caanan. It’s Canada. Moses had a speech impediment.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:32 PM on July 31, 2006


BBC just announced Israel cabinet decision to widen conflict 00:30 cet

Freedom is on the march...

*sigh*
posted by Unregistered User at 3:38 PM on July 31, 2006


Isn't the easy solution here just for anti-Israeli people to download the megaphone program and counter the pro-Israeli people without having to do any research at all?
posted by Captaintripps at 3:56 PM EST on July 31


I'd say so. One could also send in anonymous reports of websites that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject in hand, to annoy and more importantly to protest this ridiculous behavior. One could...
posted by ob at 3:50 PM on July 31, 2006


What I'm not hearing much of in the US media is the theory that the capture of the Israeli soldier was prompted by the capture of two Lebanese citizens as mentioned by the BBC. Right or wrong, it probably deserves some mention.

Also, why is it that the Israelis are always reported to have "arrested" someone, while the Lebanese "kidnap"? That particular word choice seems to frame the debate.

Last week, I heard a fairly horrifying statement from someone that the media should show more of the trouble in Haifa, because "one Israeli dying is like fifteen Lebanese" dying. I couldn't really say anything (never argue with a Holocaust escapee about Israel, no matter what Israel does). But the idea that someone feels comfortable stating that one of theirs is worth 15 of another group ... well, I like freedom of speech, but the attitudes behind statements like that tell me that prejudice is alive and well.
posted by adipocere at 4:23 PM on July 31, 2006


I am in constant prayer regarding this horrible turn of events.

So are these guys, but maybe in a slightly different way.
posted by telstar at 4:53 PM on July 31, 2006


CNN's Paula Zahn is on top of the story:

Monday's show

Beirut, Lebanon
The longer the conflict rages on, the louder the whispers get. Is the Mideast crisis a sign of Armageddon? Tune in at 8 p.m. ET.

posted by maryh at 5:34 PM on July 31, 2006


"This all started over two kidnapped soldiers, not two killed soldiers. Hezbollah never fired a shot."

The two kidnapped soldiers were part of a group of eight that was attacked by Hezbollah. Three soldiers were killed, and three were injured.
Link to report

I don't think this changes the morality of the situation: kidnapping is generally considered comparable to murder and the crime would be just as great if it were true that "Hezbollah never fired a shot". None the less, it's good to be factually correct.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:50 PM on July 31, 2006


In the garden - when the soldier finally appear to arrest Jesus, to torture him, to terrorize his followers, to hang his body on a cross! What does he say?
Does he say - "Now is the time! We have been abused for too long! Peter, draw your sword! These men will not rest until I am dead!"
NO. Peter draws his sword and Christ tells him to put it away.


And then the Jews get terrorized by Christians for the next two thousand years. So perhaps you should take your scripture and shove it right between your first cheek and your other cheek.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:46 PM on July 31, 2006


Wtf are you talking about, krrrlson?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:28 PM on July 31, 2006


And then the Jews get terrorized by Christians for the next two thousand years. So perhaps you should take your scripture and shove it right between your first cheek and your other cheek.

people who called themselves christians, you mean--like the holy roman empire or the nazis--people who followed christ because they thought he was the key to worldy power, not because they were humble enough to realize they had an important lesson to learn from a persecuted outcast?

imo, the whole point of jesus's teachings was to show the way to end the futile and ultimately self-destructive pathological condition of old testament-style eye for an eye morality.

seems to me, if you aren't square with that, you can scream about being a christian until your red in the face, but really, you have more in common with the ignorant mob who hung the sign around jesus' neck, mocking him as the king of the jews, while the romans tortured him to death. and that makes you just as lost as they were.

/derail rant
posted by saulgoodman at 7:38 PM on July 31, 2006


You know, the "the people who persecuted Jews weren't really Christians" argument makes about as much sense as the "Stalinists who mudered millions in the gulags weren't really communists" bunk. It allows Christians to behave as though antisemitism is somehow an abberation of history and an extra-Christian activity, when, for two thousand years, antisemitism was one of the defining behaviors of Christian Europe. Christianity without antisemitism is a recent development, and should be seen as a historical abberation -- a welcome abberation, but an abberation nonetheless.

You may be right that Christ didn't mean for Christians to be antisemitic, but groups are definied by their actual behavior, not by what we wish their behavior might have been.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:03 PM on July 31, 2006


You may be right that Christ didn't mean for Christians to be antisemitic, but groups are definied by their actual behavior, not by what we wish their behavior might have been.

Agreed. Groups should be defined by their actual behaviors, to the extent that "groups" actually behave as unitary, self-conscious entities as we like to popularly imagine--but right now, Christians are pretty much the best (if not only) friends Israel's got going. So trotting out the old "Christians have persecuted Jews forever" trope isn't going to do the cause of maintaining that historically unique relationship any favors right about now, because the World War II residual guilt seems to be wearing off.

(And as a matter of fact, I consider myself an Astro Zombieist, because I worship the one true Astro Zombie, and a cornerstone of our beliefs is that true Christians have always been faithful, if sometimes reluctant, friends of the Jews, because that's what Astro Zombieists believe. And don't you go messing with my faith now, brutha!)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:34 PM on July 31, 2006


I wonder if the alert's gone out for MeFi yet?
posted by Sukiari at 9:11 PM on July 31, 2006


Wtf are you talking about, krrrlson?

WTF I'm talking about is this: As far as I'm concerned, you're free to moralize about Israel's actions from a personal perspective or a humanist perspective, but you're not free to do so from a Christian perspective, given the proud history of Christianity. Your several hundred years of post-deicidal probation aren't over yet.


Christians are pretty much the best (if not only) friends Israel's got going.

And why do you think that is? Any theories?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:36 PM on July 31, 2006


Christians are pretty much the best (if not only) friends Israel's got going.

And why do you think that is? Any theories?


Nope. Not one. See, I'm not a Christian proper (as I've said, I'm an Astro Zombiest), and as a follower of Astro Zombie, I'm obligated to challenge the legitimacy of your existence for even asking such a pointed question (but remember, I'm speaking as an Astro Zombieist, so if you feel compelled to retaliate, please do so by bombing the hell out of the civilian centers of the country I live in--which is Canada, btw...)

several hundred years of post-deicidal probation aren't over yet.

(And just out of curiosity, when did these hypothetical Christian boogey-men commit deicide? What diety are we talking about here?)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:52 PM on July 31, 2006


Surely you understand what the deicide bit is referring to?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:03 PM on July 31, 2006


Surely you understand what the deicide bit is referring to?

Nietzsche's lofty-sounding pronouncements about God's being dead?

No, I honestly don't.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:09 PM on July 31, 2006


You know, Astro Zombies are just astronauts that have been revived from the dead and outiftted to be solar powered. We're really not worth worshipping.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:18 PM on July 31, 2006


But you've risen from the dead!
posted by saulgoodman at 10:22 PM on July 31, 2006


Isn't the easy solution here just for anti-Israeli people to download the megaphone program and counter the pro-Israeli people without having to do any research at all? --posted by Captaintripps at 3:56 PM EST on July 31

I'd say so. One could also send in anonymous reports of websites that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject in hand, to annoy and more importantly to protest this ridiculous behavior. One could...


This kind of thinking (while useful in its way) always puts me in mind of this little buddhist cartoon for some reason (the relevant link is labeled "Play Breaking the Silence Comic").
posted by saulgoodman at 10:52 PM on July 31, 2006


I heard an interview here in Israel yesterday with a former Israeli Air Force pilot, who said many in the military establishment are against this operation, but that America has pressed them very hard to keep it going. I don't know how true that is, but it definitely puts a different spin on things.
posted by cell divide at 2:26 AM on August 1, 2006


WTF I'm talking about is this: As far as I'm concerned, you're free to moralize about Israel's actions from a personal perspective or a humanist perspective, but you're not free to do so from a Christian perspective, given the proud history of Christianity.

Yes, he is free to do it. And why are you trying to stop him? He's arguing for peace and so are you. You agree with each other. So quit hatin', yo.
posted by Laugh_track at 3:23 AM on August 1, 2006


No, I honestly don't.

Deicide in the context of Christianity usually refers to the idea that Jews are responsible for killing Jesus.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:15 AM on August 1, 2006



I heard an interview here in Israel yesterday with a former Israeli Air Force pilot, who said many in the military establishment are against this operation, but that America has pressed them very hard to keep it going. I don't know how true that is, but it definitely puts a different spin on things.
posted by cell divide at 5:26 AM EST on August 1 [+fave] [!]


Now the Israelis are blaming the Americans for an Israeli operation?! How wonderful...

So that's everyone is it? Israeli, Palestinian, and Lebanese, all blaming the U.S. for this mess. Do you really want us to step out of it? Maybe the real problem is that we pay all you brats too much money. Maybe we should cut you all off. Time to earn a fucking living, kiddies.

In fact, this is obviously bullshit of the first order. A pilot is going to have firsthand knowledge of Americans (military, civilians? Who? The ghost of Abraham fucking Lincoln?) ordering his government and commanders to keep the operation going, and then he's just going to blab about it in the press? I think not. That would be above your pay grade, as we say.

The reality is that the Israeli people don't support the war, and the stupid new prime minister is now trying to cover his ass by blaming the Americans. It's spin, pure and simple. But are you willing to buy into it?

Newsflash morons, the US has only been a global power for about 60 years. You've been killing each other over that shitty scrap of rock far longer than that. Take some fucking responsibility for your own actions. Your shitty holy land, as you call it because no one else calls it that, is not worth a single dead child, get it? Not one.

At least oil is a vital resource, I sort of understand the need to protect it, because people's lives today depend on it. What the hell is this war, the larger war even about anymore, some millennium old claim to Jerusalem?

All your fictions of false prophets standing on that spot long ago are worth precisely nothing in today's blood. It's a worthless pile of rubble that bearded idiots from all religions stand on to make proclamations to sound wise, and we in the civilized world laugh at you and say "How quaint".

Fuck Jerusalem. Maybe the United States, Russia, and China should get together and nuke that abortion of a city from the face of the planet, then you all will really have something to blame us for. Would you like that? Too bad that's not an option, because it would settle this thing once and for all. Oh, but I guess it wouldn't, because you idiots would probably fight over the ashes and the soot, wouldn't you? You'd fight over a fucking carbon atom if you could. Anything to fight. Once upon a time someone took someone's eye and you took theirs and soon you will all be fighting over cinders And it doesn't even matter which "someone" is which.

Sigh. Oh well. Go kill each other if that's what you want, and blame us for not stopping you. Kill more. Bomb bomb bomb, shoot shoot shoot, kill kill kill. Whatever.

Long live the distant past.

/rant
posted by Pastabagel at 8:36 AM on August 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


Deicide in the context of Christianity usually refers to the idea that Jews are responsible for killing Jesus.

Oh, well yeah, I know that, but your particular phrasing:

"...given the proud history of Christianity. Your several hundred years of post-deicidal probation aren't over yet..."

made it sound like you were suggesting Christians are on probation for deicide, when really, it's the Romans (and empire builders more generally, IMO) that should be on probation.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:46 AM on August 1, 2006


(good rant, btw, pastabagel!)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:49 AM on August 1, 2006


What the hell is this war, the larger war even about anymore

Water and land. The two most valuable things on earth besides (or including?) oil.

Do searches on Litani River, Wazzani River, Hasbani River... and on Sheba farms water, West Bank aquifers, etc.
posted by cell divide at 10:11 AM on August 1, 2006


Krrrlson, I'm free to make claims from my exegesis of the New Testament, and I suppose you're free to blame all Christians anywhere in every form and incarnation for the sins of our predecessors.

But, by your logic, I'm free to blame all Germans, everywhere, and their descendants, for the sins of the holocaust. And the Japanese. Oh, and your sacrosanct atheists, for the sins of Stalin.

In fact, I'm free to blame Americans for keeping slaves, and while I'm at it - no Native Americans are allowed to make any claims whatsoever about the welfare and condition of the French, because of all those horrible things Tanaghrisson did during the French and Indian War.

You are being a dick.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:27 PM on August 1, 2006


And, fwiw, I blame the Romans. Not the Jews.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:28 PM on August 1, 2006


And Christ wanted to be crucified! He was a non-violent prisoner of conscience who was tortured and murdered by imperialists.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:29 PM on August 1, 2006


The reality is that the Israeli people don't support the war...

Actually, most articles I've read recently suggest they do (the Lebanon war, anyway).
posted by Krrrlson at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2006


But, by your logic...

No, not quite. But if descendant of a Nazi officer lectures a Holocaust survivor on cruelty using quotes from "Triumph of the Will," then yes. I don't blame modern Christians for the Inquisition, but I do take offense to them preaching to their former victims using the same words their ancestors perverted.

By the way, I did expicitly state this was a personal opinion, and I never implied you blamed Jews for the crucifixion.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2006


I wasn't preaching to Jews, I was preaching to other Christians. And my ancestors didn't pervert anything. My ancestors were Jews. I'm the first Christian in my line.

It's just a book, Krrrlson. It's filled with interesting stories, some useful, some violent and useless. One of the ones I really like is the story of the peaceful Christ, in the garden, accepting his fate and admonishing his followers to not lash out against their opponents in violence. Even though they're about to crucify him.

You seem to have a lot of baggage about this.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:20 PM on August 1, 2006


Oh, the guy in Seattle who shot up the people in the Jewish Center? not an Arab, not a Muslim, not a terrorist
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on August 1, 2006


amberglow, did you read any of the stuff I wrote? I won't talk about the crimes of Israel from a Christian perspective if it's so obviously offensive to people.
I have enough respect for you guys to not want to piss you off any further.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:12 PM on August 1, 2006


my link wasn't in response to you, Baby. Talk about Israel's crimes any way you want--i'm not a giant fan (altho i'm supposed to be).
posted by amberglow at 7:36 PM on August 1, 2006


I wasn't preaching to Jews, I was preaching to other Christians.

You were passionately attacking a state that self-identifies as Jewish on a public forum, and I didn't see any "for Christian eyes only" disclaimers, so...

You seem to have a lot of baggage about this.

You know this may be the first time I spoke out against anything Christian on Metafilter? Anyway, I think the best we can do here is the ol' agree to disagree.


my link wasn't in response to you

Doesn't appear to be a response to anything connected to this thread, actually -- just another irrelevant and misleading rant.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:07 PM on August 1, 2006


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