Israel Captures
January 4, 2002 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Israel Captures 50 tons of weapons smuggled from Iran on a Palestinian ship. Palestinians claim the ship has nothing to do with them, even though Israel asserts that the ship's captain and officers are all Palestinian Naval officers. Palestine says it is an Israeli attempt to ruin the mission of the American, Zinni. I think Palestinians are lying here (similar to what they have always done) ... What do you think?
posted by yevge (23 comments total)
I think you almost had a reasonable fpp until "similar to what they have always done."
posted by NortonDC at 1:52 PM on January 4, 2002

I can't off the top of my head name any other times when they have lied, but I'd like to hear some instances of both the Palestinians and Israelis lying...
posted by yevge at 2:01 PM on January 4, 2002

So, yevge, you first state that they are probably lying "similar to what they have always done," and then, in the second post in the thread, admit that you "can't ... name any other times when they have lied." And then you ask others to give you the data that you used to weave prejudice into your post?

posted by delfuego at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2002

Norton's right, no need to fan the flamewar before it starts. Just supply the article, or provide an interesting response of your own inside the thread. /meta

When you couple this with the thwarted attempt to get Saudi rockets, it's not looking especially good for the PA's credibility right now. Arafat has already used up his nine lives as a trustworthy partner. I don't expect the Israeli govt. is thinking that he can really offer them anything; even if you assume this is "extremists" who have nothing to do with the peace-lovin' fedayeen (martrys) of Yasser's al-Fatah (conquest) party, the question remains: if Arafat cannot guarantee peace, what use is any agreement with him? The Sharon view seems to be that even chaos within the territories would be preferable to Arafat.
posted by dhartung at 2:10 PM on January 4, 2002

NortonDC wrote the post i was going to write....
aside from that,

In a political/military situation they don't Lie...they just Deny. Big Shock. Yes, bad for PA credibility, either way.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:37 PM on January 4, 2002

Well one thing is for certain. At least one of the parties is not telling The Truth.

posted by ilsa at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2002

Although this probably is a waste of breath, someone should probably bring up how our government "smuggles" billions of dollars of weapons into Israel's to continue their illegal occupation.

yevge is obviously trolling with this post. However I'm sure you could find many examples of Palestinian officials lying about various issues. Politicians lie.

The situation in Israel is so unfortunate, and twisted, that I am ready to boycott reading about it until there is some good news. I thought
this was pretty interesting, though:
posted by octavius at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2002

someone should probably bring up how our government "smuggles" billions of dollars of weapons into Israel's to continue their illegal occupation

The U.S. does not 'smuggle' weapons to Israel...
I read a Newsweek article that made some very good points:

Israel is the ONLY democratic government in the region, and the only government that has been able to create a economically developed society, who's per capita GDP matches most Western nations.

It is true that Arabs are treated as somewhat second-class citizens in Israel, but what is ironic is that they have more political, economic and social rights in Israel than in ANY MUSLIM/ARAB COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST...

Over the past 30 years just about every Arab country in the region has become worse than it has, Iraq and Lebenon used to be very developed modern societies, now they are far from that.

Israel has been able to create a developed country from the same unresourceful land that the Arabs have (except they have oil)...

I don't see why it's such a surprise that the United States pours money into Israel.
posted by yevge at 4:24 PM on January 4, 2002

Iraq and Lebanon are pretty damned bad examples to use here. Doubtlessly you are aware Israel occupied Lebanon (complete with bombing and massacres), and that the US avowedly tried to bomb Iraq back into the Stone Age (that little thing we called the Gulf War).
posted by retrofut at 4:52 PM on January 4, 2002

are you saying that all of those things have occured Because the US pours money into Israel? Or because those things have happened the US pours money into Israel?
posted by th3ph17 at 4:53 PM on January 4, 2002

The Palastinians have a navy?
posted by fpatrick at 5:22 PM on January 4, 2002

Lebanon was devasted by civil war beginning in 1975. The Israeli occupation, whatever else may have been wrong with it, did not happen until 1982, at a point when the country was balkanized by 53 private armies backed by various external factions ranging from Syria to Iran to Iraq.

Up until the civil war, Beirut was the cultural and academic capital of the region, the "Paris of the East", and a major tourist destination. One can say that it is a bad example because they had a civil war, but the fact remains that they had a functioning society, government, and economy, and the civil war took all that away.

The Palestinian territories had a functioning economy for part of the last decade, but chose to begin a 2nd intifada in order to achieve political ends they did not feel they would get at the negotiating table, and now they are economically devastated again.

At some point, as appealing as it may seem from a distance, one realizes that the brick wall hurts your forehead.

(The PA doesn't have a navy, but it does have a port authority. But with the intifada's violence, the European partners won't be building them a deep-water port.)
posted by dhartung at 5:35 PM on January 4, 2002

Without starting (or fanning) a flame war, let me simply point to Edward Said's eloquent statement of how many Palestinians feel.
posted by Rebis at 6:09 PM on January 4, 2002

It's just stupid to slag one side or the other in that awful mess they call the mid-East. ALL sides are to blame. No clean hands anywhere over there. The old adage "when you point a finger, four more point back at you" doesn't get any truer than when one mid-East country points fingers at another!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:18 PM on January 4, 2002

Between the time I left the office and now, the US has gone from criticizing the PA to denying that they have evidence linking the PA to the boat and suggesting that the arms were going to Hezbollah.
posted by rschram at 9:33 PM on January 4, 2002

rschram, would you have a link to that news item? I can't find it anywhere.
posted by semmi at 10:03 PM on January 4, 2002

The January 2002 edition of the Atlantic has an interesting article about the decline of the Middle East. I don't have the article handy (couldn't find it online) but it mentions the seeming incompatibility of Islamic theocracies with democracy and capitalism. Thus, to some extent, I can see Yevge's point about opportunity afforded the Palestinians. My father is of Jewish descent and I have traditionaly allied myself with Israel. However, of the $2.76 billion the United States awarded Israel in aid last year (our top recipient), how much trickled down to the Palestinians? If one argues they see this in the form of jobs, what happens when the roads are closed in times of trouble? Furthermore, why does the U.S. block the assignment of UN peacekeepers?
posted by rotifer at 12:49 AM on January 5, 2002

Reuters (linked above): ``(Zinni) expressed our strong condemnation of any attempts to escalate the conflict in the region by militant groups or others,'' Boucher said.

NYT: The officials said they had no evidence that the weapons were destined for the Palestinian Authority, and instead raised the possibility that the arms were headed to the anti-Israeli Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. [Page A5.]

Confusing, no?
posted by rschram at 1:06 AM on January 5, 2002

Here's a link to a recent Village Voice article about the level of US aid for Israel.

The $2.7 billion in foreign-aid expenditure allocated to Israel this year is apparently in addition to the $2.5 billion in military aid, 'forgiven loans' and 'special grants'.
posted by Owen Boswarva at 7:04 AM on January 5, 2002

Couldn't that $5.4 billion total be put to far better use within America's borders? There's a pile o' homeless, undereducated, abused, and ill people in the USA. Why are they less important than people outside the USA?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 AM on January 5, 2002

Since our combined domestic education, welfare and health care (mostly Medicare/Medicaid) outlays are almost $800 billion yearly, I don't think it's fair at all to say we find these people less important.
posted by boaz at 11:28 AM on January 5, 2002

rschram: The article also says that, "commandos intercepted the shipment of Iranian-made weapons on a Palestinian Authority-owned vessel. And that, The captain and some of the crew were members of the Palestinian naval police"
posted by semmi at 8:42 PM on January 5, 2002

And further info on the reality
posted by semmi at 8:23 AM on January 9, 2002

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