Baby bomber
June 28, 2002 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Baby bomber Why? I mean really. Why?
posted by jackspot (53 comments total)
Sounds to me like a vague report of and obfuscated event. "The image is being taken at face value there, although there is no explanation as to why parts of the print appear to have been blacked out." Can we trust any information these days?
posted by cowboy at 6:11 AM on June 28, 2002

Aw. Babies are cute.
posted by ColdChef at 6:14 AM on June 28, 2002

Why the shock? Is this somehow out of place in a society which values blowing yourself up for political reasons?
posted by PrinceValium at 6:16 AM on June 28, 2002

Here is one explanation.
posted by anathema at 6:16 AM on June 28, 2002

sigh, it's been done before, have these people no originality?
posted by jkaczor at 6:17 AM on June 28, 2002

If anathema's link is accurate, then that is a pretty sick joke. Something akin to dressing up one's child as a KKK member I would say.
posted by a3matrix at 6:35 AM on June 28, 2002

jkaczor, the movie you mention done here: Synopsis: When a mad bomber straps a bomb to a pregnant woman, the Hong Kong bomb unit shifts into overdrive in this action-comedy.
Reading that w/ this picture, excuse me as I go puke. Blatt!
posted by thomcatspike at 6:43 AM on June 28, 2002

Isn't it worse though, a3matrix? Dressing up a baby as a KKK member doesn't imply it will die or even, nowadays, kill. The suicide bomber outfit implies it will die in order to kill others. Both are sick jokes; but one is sicker than the other.

I'd also like to deconstruct the idea of the "joke": if suicide bombers are seen as heroes and martyrs then it would be more akin to dressing up a baby as General Custer or Rambo or some similar figure. I.e. intended to be funny, but not really a joke, as there's something aspirational to it.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:47 AM on June 28, 2002

I just cannot see any rational reason for dressing a baby up as a bomber. Never a good idea. Additionally the publication of this image leaves me unclear as to what the motive is. The whole thing is messed up from start to finish.

The baby doesn't look too impressed either.
posted by jackspot at 6:56 AM on June 28, 2002

Don´t you have any American heroes that have killed someone (maybe the odd Native American or two)? Would it be as absurd to dress up a baby to look like one of them?

Or is it just that it´s a *suicide* bomber? Has America never been so downtrodden that a hero had to die for the country?

And am I the only one who thought the in message of the BBC article was "Israelis are getting worked up about this photo" rather than "look how bad this photo is"?
posted by andrew cooke at 7:14 AM on June 28, 2002

kindergarten photos refererenced by the BBC article.
posted by joemaller at 7:19 AM on June 28, 2002

coldchef there is a joke in there, somewhere.
Andrew, same thought. Yet the suicide is not funny. The article trolled, to get you worked up as funny or tragedy???
now for the I/P war. (no please) it is Friday, that is how I took the post.......................

First thought w/o reading a word, Babybo.
posted by thomcatspike at 7:24 AM on June 28, 2002

I wasn't saying it was a sick joke from my perspective, merely citing the link anathema posted that claimed a family member indicated it was a joke.

Is it worse to dress a baby up as a suicide bomber or a KKK member? Probably, maybe, doesn't really matter which one is worse, both are disgusting. But I understand your point Miguel.
posted by a3matrix at 8:02 AM on June 28, 2002

Of course, we don't bat an eyelid when we dress our kids up in Army fatigues....... or cowboys and indians etc...
posted by MintSauce at 8:10 AM on June 28, 2002

I suppose next is the pancake suicide bomber pic. Which would be strangely appropriate, come to think of it.
posted by rushmc at 8:15 AM on June 28, 2002

well rush, you thought it, show it....:) it is Friday.
or am I missing the flames..........
I'm sure we all dressed up as kids in our own heroes outfits, hell I remember kids wearing, and thought how lame.
Yet, like my brothers that really wear one for work. They only pledged an oath to serve and to protect, willing to die. But death is not what their uniform says.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:34 AM on June 28, 2002

Jeez, my whole family got dressed up as zombies last Halloween, does that make us even sicker for not just suggesting our child will be killed but actually depicting him as a rotting corpse?

The first thing I thought when I saw the link title was that some extremist group had placed a bomb in a baby carriage outside an embassy or something. That would be terrible. This is cute.
posted by SiW at 8:37 AM on June 28, 2002

If the Israelis are trying to issue this photo as propaganda, it's a pathetic own goal. All this does is strengthen my sympathy for the Palestinians, a nation so under siege that they have lost touch with what most Westerners would define as civilised life.

Let's not forget here that Palestine is the invaded nation, not Israel. The activities of suicide bombers aren't so far removed from the activities of French nationals of the Resistance in WWII. We glamourise the Resistance, so Palestinians glamourise the suicide bombers. Although admittedly the military baby is a tasteless joke.
posted by skylar at 8:41 AM on June 28, 2002

OK, I posted it on LGF, I might as well post it here.

The original photo.

Next up, Fark?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:49 AM on June 28, 2002

From the article: there is no independent confirmation of its authenticity.

I call bullshit on this story. Looks like Ministry of Propaganda crap to me. (Pardon my Orwellian cynicism.) Here's another story about it, this one has a much bigger image. I think it looks like something out of Fark personally. It's obviously been Photoshopped.

Nope, I call bullshit.
posted by dejah420 at 8:57 AM on June 28, 2002

skylar, I sincerely hope you are trolling.

Let's not forget here that Palestine is the invaded nation, not Israel.

Please explain when a Palestinian nation existed. You can't because it never did. The areas of were previously under the control of Syria and Egypt until the Arab countries attacked Israel in 1967 and 1973.

Before Syria and Egypt, the areas were under the control of the UN and before that by the United Kingdom. There has never been a Palestinian state.

Don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand.
posted by Argyle at 9:17 AM on June 28, 2002

According to this article the picture is 'probably' a scam.

And Argyle, replace Skylar's word 'nation' with 'people' or 'land' and he's fine. And for someone using bold-face type to tell others they don't understand something should know that the West Bank was held by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt. And they were never 'under the control' of the UN.
posted by cell divide at 9:25 AM on June 28, 2002

Yeah, it's long, I lost my temper. Sue me. I've got a decent analogy of the current conflict for all the Americans who support the "poor palestinians." Think of what would happen if Mexico tried to get back Texas by blowing up bars in Houston.

Skylar, let's not forget here that Palestine is A) not a nation and the B) under recognized international law, the territories belong to Israel as they were won in a defensive war and kept as buffer territories. Just because the world's billion muslims have ganged up to say that B is not true doesn't make it any less true. You don't see the suicide bombings in Jordan, with a sizable Palestinian population and claim to "Palestinian land" nor in Lebanon these days because they got kicked out.

The Tibetan suicide bombers and the Mexican suicide bombers down in Texas all thank you for your historical accuracy and attention to detail.

To give the Palestinians a state under current conditions does mean, quite literally, that the terrorists have won. A special thanks to every American who supports the Palestinians from your friends in New York, who witnessed first hand what "members of the peaceful Muslim Nation" [as they're calling themselves now] are willing to do when they don't get their way. And don't try to wriggle out of it by saying there were no Palestinians on the planes on September 11, there've been enough Palestinian suicide bombers since September 11 to kill everyone that was on every flight on those days. Same tactics, they call themselves "brothers" and they're giving one another money and logistical support. Explain to me why any sane American would, with _any_ historical background at all (say, Sudatenland?) consider giving the Palestinians ANYTHING AT ALL considering it would be won not by negotiations but by terrorism.

Explain that to me, and then tell me how "pitiful" a people are who design their bombs with nails, ball bearings, rat poison and so forth and then target civilians.

A full week long _peaceful_ demonstration/sit in, a full week without suicide bombings, a full week without preaching "Death to all the jews" in every mosque or school in Palestine would net a Palestinian homeland in that week. Nonviolent protest hasn't been tried since the start of the intifada, at least, not by the natives.

Let's recast this a touch, shall we? Let's say that this was America and Mexico. Mexico has recently decided that they want Texas back. After all, Texas is oil rich, Texas is full of Mexicans and Texas should, by god given right, be part of Mexico.

America, obviously disagrees, but is willing to talk.

The two countries sit down to talk about it. Mexico walks away because we're not willing to give them part of Washington DC, even though the Smithsonian has some Mexican artifacts. Artifacts that the whole world recognizes are Mexican, AND recognizes that America won in a war.

Mexico gets Texas, and the US agrees.

Mexico then walks away from the table because we have a tight immigration policy and won't let them settle New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, and we won't give them any part of DC at all.

So instead of taking Texas, they start sending Banditos, for two years, to shoot, bomb, mortar, and anti-aircraft-missile our civilian population. Bars in Houston are targetted. Cafes in Austin.

The Mexican people, on September 11, cheer in the streets.

America says "You can have the artifacts but we keep the smithsonian, AND you get texas, but stop attacking us, and you can't have Colorado, Arizona or New Mexico."

There is no response, but the bombings continue, and the Mexicans start doing home-breaks where they slaughter whole families in their sleep and kill the police when they come to arrest them.

The entire world says to America "don't you dare fight back, you're way too powerful, it's not fair, if you attack mexico, the rest of us are going to attack you all at the same time and you'll go down."

America makes a bloody incursion into Mexico. The attacks by mexicans stop, briefly. When the Americans pull out, the attacks redouble.

America says "if you stop attacking us for 48 hours of your own volition, we'll negotiate." The cessation never comes. As Kofi Annan is about to deliver a peace plan, two massive attacks come at the same time.

That's a pretty close parallel to what's happening in the middle east right now. It's not quite as nuanced, leaves out the factions in Palestine and so forth, but when you're talking about Mexico and America instead of Palestine Israel, what would you do?

Would you still pity the Mexicans? The Palestinians, who in recent history haven't had a state, are situated througout Jordan and Lebanon. They've got dozens of times the number of square miles of land that the Israelis do. And they're using terrorism against civilian populations to get their way.

And you, Skylar, you DARE to pity them? Explain to me the terrorism of defending your home against daily mortar, bomb and shooting attacks, and offering peace at almost any cost if only the other side will stop shoot. WHERE IS THE TERRORISM THAT ISRAEL SUPPOSEDLY PEPETRATES OUTSIDE OF ISLAMOFASCIST RHETORIC?

I try, even here on Metafilter, to keep my temper. But once in awhile it gets lost. Very often, it's in the face of boldface lies that are going to embroil the world in a world war.

Skylar - did you pity the Germans "trapped" in Czechoslovaki? How about the rest of you "I support the terrorists by calling Israel Terrorists even though their means aren't terrorist and they keep offering peace and concessions which the other side doesn't offer, while the other side calls every action by the israeli's a grave escalation" God. The world is about to erupt in world war, and you're helping. Hope you sleep well.

Bush, a man I used to loathe and absolutely did not respect, finally got it right in his recent speech. It was very Jack Ryan. "I will not negotiate with terrorists." Damn skippy. I'll vote to reelect that man, registered democrat that I am, because he knows what's at stake. Screw your morals and principles if you've got an enemy hell bent on blowing the living hell out of you. The first moral and first principle is life.
posted by swerdloff at 9:26 AM on June 28, 2002

Well put swerdloff. The Palestinian's worst enemies are their own self appointed leaders and their fellow Arabs from other countries, all of which use them as pawns.
posted by BGM at 10:06 AM on June 28, 2002

Time Line of History in the Middle East. This only goes up to 1996, but it give a decent overview of how the current situtation developed.

I will leave my personal opinions out of this discussion, because they have to do with my belief in the Bible.
posted by epoh at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2002

Screw your morals and principles if you've got an enemy hell bent on blowing the living hell out of you.

Pity you had to ruin an effective post with that. One can always find someone willing to try to kill them. If one reserved one's "morals and principles" for times of absolute peace and total security, one would wait forever.
posted by rushmc at 10:13 AM on June 28, 2002

OK, I posted it on LGF, I might as well post it here.

Um, no thanks.

And LGF links should be prefaced with a hate-speech warning. Some of the klan-rally comments on that site make Fark look like a garden party.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:52 AM on June 28, 2002

One can always find someone willing to try to kill them.

"If someone tells you that he intends to kill you, believe him." - credited to an anonymous Holocaust survivor when asked what could be learned from his experience.

Sometimes the most moral act is to do everything in our power to assure a future where moral acts are possible. This is not a suspension of morality, it is the preservation of morality.

As for the photo, it only took Reuters a full day to acknowledge that Sky News and Ha'aretz had comments from the toddler's family which absolutely validate the authenticity of the photo. Far too many people are convinced that all Jews are liars and that everything Israel says is a lie. When it comes to Israel, Reuters' policy seems to be "doubt first, fact check tomorrow".
posted by joemaller at 1:31 PM on June 28, 2002

swerdloff, you have what could be described as a one-sided view of the I/P situation. your use of language underscores your position effectively. is it possible that other peoples opinions are just as valid as your own? is it possible that given exactly the same information as yourself, someone else might not reach the same conclusions?
maybe some people resent the $8 billion dollar a year military aid that the us gives israel (considering the recent distruction of over $8 billion of palestinian infrastructure, paid for by the eu), and the myopic view of the conflict as it is portrayed in the press.
as a caller to bbc radio 4 commented today, if this was a picture of an irish child during the 80s, the americans would blame the english. why do americans have such difficulty understanding arabs? (i quote).
posted by asok at 1:55 PM on June 28, 2002

asok: it's because the arabs arn't white, duh.
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on June 28, 2002

That baby looked pretty white to me.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:12 PM on June 28, 2002

It is one sided, Asok. The billions in military aid go reasonably unused. Look, if Israel simply took the military hardware that they've got and wiped the floor with the Arab world, what then?

More importantly, why haven't they?

While Israel is a nation beseiged on all sides, it's also got its hands tied. And it ties its own hands. There's a lot of punitive building destruction, but very limited military incursions.

Maybe my breaking point was the "Massacre at Jenin" that never happened. Maybe my breaking point was Arafat saying "after two years of killing Israelis in their homes as they sleep, I'm ready to accept the Clinton plan." Maybe it's that the Arabs keep ruminating and rumbling but fail to bring fundamental _facts_ to the table about what Israel is doing wrong. Maybe it's that one side is trying to outright kill the other while the other is trying to live under seige. Maybe it's that there's no "peace process" forthcoming from the Palestinian side. Maybe it's that the $8b of infrastructure has been going towards bombs and guns and missiles. Maybe the reason that ambulances were stopped going during defensive sheild was because Palestinians have packed them full of bombs and sent them on scene. Maybe I'm just fed up with mealy mouthed moral equivocating from people lacking a basis in facts. Bring me facts. As soon as you do, and I am shown to be wrong, I will change any of my positions that require it.

I've been for a Palestinian state for many years. But since September 11th, I've been against it. I've been against giving _any person_ who would weild terror as a weapon _anything_ they ask for. That's like giving the bully your lunch money, only a million times worse. So you don't get beat up today. By tonight, the bully has a full stomache and you're hungry, and so he beats the snot out of you on that full stomache and you can't fight back because he's eaten your food.

Why is it that every time it comes down to Israel receives aid. So do the palestinians. Every family of every suicide bomber gets checks sent to them from arab nations and arab nationals. They don't need US$8b, because they've got far cheaper methods.

Are you instead suggesting that if the Palestinians had US$8b in funds they wouldn't attempt to destroy Israel? Laughable. It was in what passed for the PA's constitution until, and correct me if I'm wrong, 1998. Destroy. The country. Genocide. Wipe them from the face of the earth. "push them into the sea."

And don't try to pull the race card, the Israeli's and Palestinians are both Semitic people, both dark skinned and their languages are both equally foreign to american-european types.

Now. Facts, I will be happy to deal with. "You've got a different perspective" type moral equivocating, I will not. I am sick to death of the Metafilter "well the poor palestinians" schtick. Fine. The poor Palestinians. Instead of lifting themsevles up _at all_ they choose to blow up the flower of their youth? And you support this because they're desparate? So are the Tibetans, the Basques (who should not get what they seek until the renounce terror) the Algerians (who, after a million slaughtered, have a legit beef with the French) the Native Americans (who realized that making money was far better than making war) the native people of South America, Muslims in the Phillipines, the Tutsis, everybody in the former Yugoslavia. They'd better start indoctrinating their young now to blow themselves up by their mid twenties, because by Metafilter logic, if you're that desparate you must be right.

Either that or you're off your freakin' noodle as a nation, led by avowedly corrupt politicians who funnel those vaunted $EU8b into special accounts to keep their families safe from harm in Europe while abandoning their people. (Do some Due Dilligence on Arafats family, then we'll talk)

Facts, people. Bring me facts.
posted by swerdloff at 2:34 PM on June 28, 2002

family says dressing baby up as bomber was a joke.

Ha! Ha! Ha! now I get it!
posted by crunchland at 3:00 PM on June 28, 2002

And don't try to pull the race card, the Israeli's and Palestinians are both Semitic people, both dark skinned and their languages are both equally foreign to american-european types.

Well, that's bullshit for a start. Otherwise, why would there be separate political groups in Israel for those Jewish citizens of Ashkenazi and Sephardic origins, or the long history of discrimination against Ethiopian Jews? Really, swerdloff, if you're going to commandeer the thread with 'Give me facts', you could do with employing a fact-checker yourself. Perhaps it's because you no longer want to regard anything that departs from your prejudices as having any factual weight.
posted by riviera at 3:01 PM on June 28, 2002

Maybe my breaking point was the "Massacre at Jenin" that never happened.

130 civilians were killed in Jenin and Nablus during "operation Defensive shield" according to Israeli group Btselem. Rough IDF reports would indicate that around half of them were combatants. So there was no massacre in Jenin, so what? A lot of innocent people still died in order to enforce a policy of Sharon's that has been an abject failure. All of those non-combatants died for what? Terrorism against Israelis goes on unabated.... In Jenin people saw the scope of the destruction of homes and property and thought something awful had happened. It's not like Israel doesn't have a history of massacres. Do the names Dier Yassin (1947), King David Hotel (1947), Khan Yunis (1956), Qana (1996) mean anything to you? What is more important, the initial over-reaction by the Palestinians and the international community, or the fact that dozens of innocents were killed for nothing?

Maybe it's that the Arabs keep ruminating and rumbling but fail to bring fundamental _facts_ to the table about what Israel is doing wrong.

Are you joking? The fundamental facts have been on the table for decades, in the form of United Nations resolutions, and thousands and thousands of pages of documents prepared by everyone from Amnesty International to the US State Department. At this point I am really at a loss at how to respond to you... Something approaching 50% of Israelis think that Israel is doing something wrong (not in their terror fighting, but as in the reason terror needs to be fought to begin with), and their human rights groups (such as the aforelinked Btselem) are at the forefront of exposing them.

So we know that you, Swerdloff, are mad as hell and have good reason to be. But what's your solution to the problem? How to not reward the terrorists but make the situation better for the vast, vast majority of Palestinians and Israelis who are not involved in any form of violence and want to live their lives in peace? How to move beyond the tit-for-tat?
posted by cell divide at 3:27 PM on June 28, 2002


So are you for taking things away that were gotten via terrorism, such as Israel for example?

Anyway, what bothers me about this whole situation is the one-sidedness people seem to take with regards to the situation. I mean, you've basically bought the Israeli line about Jenin. How can you say there was no massacre if there was no independent verification?

Sharon has literally said that his goal is not just do destroy the Palestinian 'military' infrastructure, but to make the Palestinians suffer. That's right, suffer because he believes that if they suffer enough they will give up and capitulate to Israel's demands. In other words, he's using violence to make civilians suffer in order change their opinions politically. Now, if I'm not mistaken, that's the definition of terrorism.

And if you say the Israelis aren't killing the Palestinians the way the Palestinians are killing them, you're right. They're killing a lot more. About 1.8 Palestinians civilian for each Israeli civilian killed.

The real problem here is that you are complaining about 'moral equivocation' while you are engaged in it yourself. If you are an absolutist, then you must concede that killing is wrong, and always wrong. But, you seem to think the killing of unarmed civilians is OK if your country is 'under siege', but not okay if you're an oppressed people. You are morally equivocating, and you are a hypocrite.
posted by delmoi at 3:31 PM on June 28, 2002

I'm not going to write a three-page essay to make my opinion forcibly known to everyone here. Suffice to say, all humans have a right to a home and a homeland. All people have a right to live without the fear of terrorism - yes of course - but also without the fear of tanks driving in and destroying their city. Palestine has suicide bombers, Israel has (heavily US-funded) tanks and soldiers. No-one has the moral highground here.

Margaret Thatcher used to say "I don't negotiate with terrorists". Fortunately she lost power and, after negotiating with terrorists, Britain has helped N. Ireland get one step closer to peace. Now, who else wants peace?
posted by skylar at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2002

I stand corrected about Jenin. 130 palestinian civilians, if accurate, is a massacre.

Human Rights Watch cites a total of 52 killed and of those 22 were civilians. Yes, 22 civilians killed is a tragedy. 22 civilians killed in the face of the possibility of the use of $8b of American Hardware is massive restraint.

UN resolutions (such as "Zionism is inherently racism") don't constitute facts, Cell. That's a nonstarter.

And as to "how do you propose to proceed?" I already proposed it, and have proposed it for many months on this site, check my previous comments. A one week nonviolent protest. Armed with video cameras alone. Not bombs. Not guns. Not slaughtering families as they sleep. Video cameras. Document the so-called terror perpetrated by Israel. Document the unfettered agression by Israel. Present a case to the world.

How often has Israel, since the start of this Intifada, been the aggressor without responding to an attack? So, cut me off at the knees - if the Israeli's are attacking while the Palestinians are _peacefully_ protesting, then they're in the wrong. Or when they're going about their daily business. If not, if, as they say, they're responding to terror and the terror stops and therefore so do the military incursions, then you've got your answer and solution wrapped in one. And if the Israeli's, during the peaceful protests, were to attack the Palestinians, do you not think that the US would turn their back on them? Unless you believe in the vast Jewish conspiracy, in which case, please cite facts on that one too.

The solution is that simple. Too simple to be workable because it requires unilateral peaceful action by a people taught from kindergarten to kill and destroy the jews.

The oppression stops when the terrorism stops, delmoi. World opinion would rapidly and more radically than it has turn against Israel (including the US) if, every time someone offered a "peace" initiative, there weren't more suicide bombings of civilians.

Got a cite on that 1.8::1 ratio for me? Sounds pretty grim, I agree. And killing unarmed civilians when you're being shot at by the people in their house is indeed ok. Yes. Absolutely. Otherwise you're saying you should stand in the street and allow yourself to be slaughtered, or beat a tactical retreat, only to be followed by selfsame shooters.

The cards are essentially in the Palestinians hands at this point. What could the Israeli's do unilaterally to stop the suicide bombings? But the Palestinians could stop military incursions in an afternoon by renouncing terror, and if they couldn't then the rest of the world could. One week would be all it would take for Bush to lean on Sharon hard enough to open up floodgates. Bush is on a "crusade" against terror. Stop the terror, and you lose bushes interest.

What little of world opinion there is against the Palestinians is against them for their methods, not them as a people. For attacking during holiday prayers. For breaking into homes while families sleep to slaughter them. For slaughtering people in discoteques and pizzarias. For not accepting peace as proffered. For starting the Intifada. For continuing the intifada. For aligning with Saddam. For teaching children that it's a good idea to commit genocide.

And again, I ask you this time Delmoi, what is the "oppression" of the Israelis that doesn't have to do with maintaining security against attack? The checkpoints? Security. The water? Not security, but the water is shared. The destruction of PA infrastructure? The PA is the closest thing to a government that there is the territories, and Al Aqsa and Fatah are branches of it. If AA and F are attacking Israel, should Israel do nothing?

I reiterate, Cell, for your sake, as I've seen you posting around here and while we disagree I have often seen the logic of your arguments, that the solution is eminently simple. Palestinian unilateral peaceful protest. One week. Spend the money spent on bombs and guns on video cameras instead. Document the "atrocities" if they happen during this peaceful time. See what Israeli's do in the face of nonviolence. Worked for Ghandi. Worked for Martin Luther King Jr. They may not have acheived _everything_ they wanted, but it's an imperfect universe. At least they _acheived_. Ghandi brought the British Empire to its knees, and MLK, one of histories greatest martyrs, acheived more with I Have A Dream that Arafat has with his whole freakin' intifadah.

Lastly, as a moral absolutist, I can absolutely find a valid time when killing is acceptable. When your own life is in fear of immenently ending. It's an acceptable prerogative in the American judicial system, and it works for me. Self defense is acceptable ab initio. There is no equivocation nor hypocricy. Except about the terrorism-bore-the-US-and-Israel. That one I acknowledge requires further thought.

So there's my proposal and there are my facts and my refutations. What else have you got?
posted by swerdloff at 4:43 PM on June 28, 2002

swerdloff, there you go being fair and logical. You should know by now that's not allowed. Ten minutes in the penalty box for using your brain.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2002

You're all making good points.

One thing I'd like to think most of us would agree on, at this point, is that the Palestinians would do themselves a huge favor by renouncing violence, irrespective of the issues involved. The argument can be made that Israel is getting nowhere with its current tactics. True. But then neither are the Palestinians. The onus is on both sides.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2002

Swerdloff, if you're patient I will respond at length later (leaving the office now), perhaps over email if the thread dies, but I will say that I agree with your general principals, however I think you're missing a huge part of the equation which is the Israeli side's extremists whose ultimate goal is the destruction of the Palestinians and their removal from their homeland. The stated goal of the Likud party is no Palestinian state, ever. To ignore the fact that the Palestinians face a much more real existential crisis is to blind yourself to a major factor of this conflict. Many of the explanations for Israeli actions look good on paper, but you have to ask yourself why the situation has gotten to where it has, and a huge portion of that blame goes to the settlement policy which seeks to make any Palestinian state impossible to construct or govern.

Even having said that, I agree that the ball in is in the Palestinian court. Only the Israelis can actually 'make' peace, because they control the land and the resources, and have all the guns. But only the Palestinians can convince the majority of Israelis who actually don't want to destroy them and kick them off the remaining portions of their land to make this peace. So in that sense we are in total agreement. At the same time, I think you need to come on a trip with me to tour the West Bank and Israel and see some stuff for yourself!

One last thing, just in case I don't get back to the computer for a bit-- when I am talking about UN resolutions I am not talking about any zionism is racism crap, I am talking about unanimous resolutions calling for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, and to quit using excessive force. While the UN is not perfect and has a lot of faults, the balanced resolutions almost always pass and should be respected. This is an international issue (Israel was created by the UN!) and international opinion, especially when it is nearly (or fully) unanimous, ought to be respected.
posted by cell divide at 5:23 PM on June 28, 2002

And don't try to pull the race card, the Israeli's and Palestinians are both Semitic people, both dark skinned and their languages are both equally foreign to american-european types.

Well, that's bullshit for a start.

No, actually it's not. Israel is 82% Semitic. Most of the population was either there already or escaped persecution in other Arab countries after the state was formed. That page has an interesting, seemingly non-political modern history of Israel up to 1993, it's unclear if the figures cited include the Palestinian population.
posted by joemaller at 5:26 PM on June 28, 2002

Of course, the article you linked to was in a prominent Isreali newspaper, used the text you quoted as an example of things that were wrong and should be condemned and stamped out, and then followed with a call to give the West Bank entirely back to the Palestinians.

Find an article in a Palestinian (or Arab of any sort) news source that says that suicide bombers are inherently bad (not just potentially counterproductive), advocates understanding the Israeli position, and waiving the "right of return" in the interests of peace.

Then we can talk about parallels.
posted by jaek at 10:26 PM on June 28, 2002

Normally I don't waste time trying to argue with ignorance, but this time I'll make an exception.

I am an American from Los Angeles who moved to Jordan about three months ago. I live here with my dad and will remain here for a year. One of the main reasons why I left the United States was because I was sick and tired of the lies and misinformation in the American Media. The fact is, you will never EVER get a balanced viewpoint in the American media because it is fully under Zionist before anyone shouts "anit-semitism" I hope you know the difference between Judaism and Zionism because they are most opposites.

Life in an arab nation is quite contrary to the way it is portrayed in American (Zionist) Media. Without going into details, I can tell you one truth: They don't hate us, they hate our government's policies, as they should (as WE should too if we are educated enough to realize that we are bullying the world over). Most Arabs here treat Americans like we are Gods and they all talk about how much they want to visit/live/see America. They don't hate us.

Some of the comments on this thread are proof that most Americans are willing to swallow all the spoonfed bullshit that is shoveled out by corporate (Zionist controlled) media without seeking out information by themselves and forming their own opinions. There are independent media sources all over the internet but alas, you won't find alot of their content or hard evidence on or

Israel is the occupier. Israel has the army, the power, the money, the weapons and the "public support". They also have the United States in their back-pocket:

"Everyone knows that we control America." - As quoted by Ariel Sharon himself on a radio station in Tel-Aviv.

For those of you Americans who defend Israel as our "friend" you might consider a few things:

1. Israel bombed the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 killing 34 of our American soldiers and wounding others. To this day, we have covered it up for them and it has been declared "a tragic accident". However, when the facts are analyzed, anyone with half a brain will realize that this was no accident but a deliberate attack on our country.

2. Israel's Mossad (CIA for the dumb) has been caught several times in espionage attempts (including one on our Embassy in Egypt), where the attack is made to look like Arabs committed the crime. (The Mossad agents in Egypt were caught by Egyptian police in mid-attempt to bomb the U.S. Embassy there). Unfortunately, you'll never hear about these stories in the U.S. Media.

3. "Prior to 9/11, the FBI had discovered the presence of a massive spy ring inside the United States run by the government of Israel. This seems a harsh gratitude from a nation which obtains 10% of its annual budget from the American taxpayer, $3+ billion a year. Over the years, American taxpayers have been required to send Israel more than four times what the US spent to go to the moon." To read about this and dozens of other Israeli acts of terrosim, go here.

4. It has since been proven that the Israeli Mossad was the mastermind behind the attack on our Marines in Beirut in the early 80s...again, you won't read about it in the NY Times anytime soon. The motto for Israeli's Mossad is "By way of deception..."

5. Our Congress and leaders all bow down to Israel. Why? For 2 main reasons: 1) The Israeli government has dirt on all of them which they use as blackmail...when President Clinton told Monica Lewinsky on the phone that he couldn't talk because there was a foreign government listening in on their conversation, who do you think that foreign government was? Do some reading and you'll find out. 2) Israeli lobby pays our Congressmen a buttload of money. Simple, ain't it?

What happens in the rare event that a major media news source actually broadcasts a legitimate story implicating Israel in any crime? It disappears, as did Carl Cameron's 4 part news story on Israeli involvement in 9/11 from FOX News websites immediately after it was put up...ask yourself why? In that news story, Cameron quotes: "Investigators within the DEA, INS and FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying ... is considered career suicide."

Terrorism is alot easier when you have money, weapons, technology and the support of the United States. It's also alot easier to make it covert and blame it on someone else, simply because you have the means. Think about it.

Palestinians have nothing. No army, no money, no good leadership and they don't even have the support of the surrounding Arab nations who give them money but don't dare give them any weapons. "The War on Terrorism" is even more pathetic than the "War on Drugs" but the effects are analogous. "Terrorism" is just a way to deflect what the real problem is: Military control and dominance and oppression of a poor people who have had their land stolen from them. According to International Law, the land belongs to the Palestinians. But when you're Israel, with the U.S. as your bodyguard, you don't have to report to anybody and can ignore international law.

Think about the fact that in our own history, we had soldiers that went into battle knowing they were going to die. They did it because they were fighting for our freedoms, there's nothing cowardly about that...unless of course it's Palestinians fighting for their freedom, then it's called "Terrorism".

HAMAS: For anyone who bothers to read these days, you can quickly find out that HAMAS was originally established by the government of Israel as a counter to Arafat's PLO. Read a little more and you'll realize that not only do many of these "suicide bombers" act out without Arafat's support, but some of them are actually under the control of the Israeli government. HAMAS is still well under Israeli control, but most Americans are either too busy, too ignorant, or don't care enough to seek out the information on their own, so we just believe the lies and media spins, because it's easier on our peace-of-mind. Next time you hear about a suicide bomber - ask yourself: which side benefits from this? The answer might shock you.

I urge all of you, who really care about what is happening in the world today (and you should, because it concerns you) to turn off your television sets and start reading and thinking for yourselves. Put down your flags and and do some serious enlightened thinking and you will see that things are really not what they seem. There are no conspiracy theories needed, we just have to read, analyze the facts and think critically.

Finally, for those of you who think that Israel is our friend and the only "democracy" in the region, think again. Israel is NOT a for yourselves. Normally I don't flood this board with links but I think this is a good cause so here's a handful.,,,,,,,, ,
posted by GrooveJedi at 3:28 AM on June 29, 2002

That might be the single biggest load of anti-Semetic jew-hatred I've seen on Metafilter. I don't have the energy to refute all of that, especially after I got the Holocaust-denial links.
posted by joemaller at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2002

Just one quick point about that zionist conspiracy - who's in it? Got names and a flowchart maybe? I certainly was never invited.

Israel has America in its back pocket?

Wow. That must be the zionist conspiracy. The world's leading power bowing to a state smaller than the size of Rhode Island. Makes logical sense to me.

I mean, I'm pretty impressed with China's pacifist tendencies since Tibet took them over.

GrooveJedi, spell out for me the "Zionist Conspiracy" if you will. Were they all the 4000 jews told not to come to work at the WTC on the day that the flights, piloted by agents of Mossad with stolen passports from poor Saudi students, turned 3000 of my fellow Americans into nothing but a national tragedy?

It's easy to say "they cover their tracks well" and that we can see the conspiracy. Especially when it's not there.

When you live in the shadows, it's difficult to see anything.

Got a citation on that Sharon quote saying he's got Bush in his pocket? Until recently, Bush restrained Sharon from using his much vaunted military. Bush stopped mainly when, after every international attempt to kick start a peace process, from zinni through bushes own speech, some palestinian group bombed a bus or a passover seder. Does Sharon have Bush in his pocket, or did Bush just implement the Bush Doctrine after Arafat proved an unworkable partner for peace.

The answer to the which side benefits from the suicide bomber is specious. First there's the "doing what they do out of desperation" card played (which is understandable from the point of view of someone who has totally lost his marbles) or perhaps it's just that if you firmly truly believe that you're going to heaven for blowing up jews, then _you benefit_. And seeing as how that's what's inculcated into Palestinian youth from age 5, how the destruction of Israel is in textbooks, it's like believing that the earth is flat. People will do it and do it because they believe it's right. Who benefits? Nobody but the families of the bombers (direct financial aid from Iraq, the Saudis and various wealthy Arab nationals) the neighbors of the bombers (they've suddenly got a dead celeb) and hamas/al aqsa whose popularity surges. Specious to insinuate that Israel, who has been _trying_ at peace, benefits from blowing up its citizens. Let me guess - Bush benefited from the WTC bombings, b/c now he's got essentially martial law, so obviously Bush did it?

Please, stay in Jordan. I've got no doubt but that Arabs love Americans. Arabs as individuals are some of the nicest and most pleasant people ever. Mention a Jew or that you know a Jew and they'll nicely and pleasant suggest that he die. Evil with a smarmy face. Get rid of the indoctrinated anti-semitism and you'll see the Saudi plan go into effect.

Either way, donkeyschlong is right. I'm thinking too hard here for a Metafilter thread. Cell, if you'd like to edify me, my email is in my "about" section.
posted by notoriousbhc at 8:18 AM on June 29, 2002

Err, egg on my face. The post by the Notorious BHC is by me, I'm at my friends computer and forgot to log my friend out.

I hope that it wasn't a member of the zionist conspiracy that made me do that.
posted by swerdloff at 8:21 AM on June 29, 2002

One amusing part of GrooveJedi's rant is that The Independent made his list of corroborating sources, right between the 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the Holocaust deniers; pretty neatly sums up that paper's credibility.
posted by boaz at 8:44 AM on June 29, 2002

The Sharon quote is a hoax. It started with this October 3, 2001 press release from the Islamic Association For Palestine.

Camera researched this (followup) after it was repeated in a syndicated column by Georgie Anne Geyer in May. The Chicago Reader also dissected the hoax last week.

The bogus quote has also been repeated as fact by several left-wing news sites and neo-nazi hate groups, even David Duke picked up on it.

That's all. I'm done with this thread.
posted by joemaller at 7:37 PM on June 29, 2002

'Palestinian people want Israel to negotiate with the PLO. But currently Israel’s leaders refuse. Talks mean admitting publicly that there is such a thing as a Palestinian people. They also mean giving up land. Territorial concessions go against Israel’s fortress mentality. And one-third of Israel’s water comes from the West Bank. The occupied territories are also considered strategically unimportant for repulsing Arab attacks.'

'Many Palestinians and Jewish Israelis have already experienced traumas of Biblical proportions. Now they must recognize that history has condemned them to live together. If these peoples are to have a future, they must accept their pasts and move beyond them. They have to meet face to face.'

the israelis seem as pig headed as some people think the palestinians to be, imho. there will be more conflicts over water as the population increases, whilst environmental destruction continues. not that i am suggesting that this is the only motivator for the oppression of the palestinians by the israelis.
posted by asok at 9:53 AM on July 3, 2002

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