This week's bit of helpful corrective
February 12, 2001 5:34 PM   Subscribe

This week's bit of helpful corrective to the usual problematic coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recent election.
posted by Joe Hutch (16 comments total)

This link provides a more useful understanding of what is taking place and is not written by a woman who specializes in Islamic Studies...there is sufficient evil on both sides and that has to be overcome.
posted by Postroad at 5:50 PM on February 12, 2001

What more useful understanding? The piece only perpetuates the same biased, dismissive positions prevalent in mainstream media. Look at the begrudging language: "Palestinian intransigence, no matter how apparently legitimate."

Your vague insinuation that the original article's author is somehow less than satisfactory because of her academic specialty is pretty shameful, not to mention baseless, given that she provides statistics and the historical record.

I obviously don't post this comment expecting to change your mind but rather, again, to provide everyone else with an alternative, clarifying voice besides the perpetually distorted coverage.
posted by Joe Hutch at 8:58 PM on February 12, 2001

I'm not sure that the mainstream media's portrait of the situation is all that unsympathetic to the Palestinians. I'm not sure what qualifies as "mainstream" these days, but nothing I've read in the NY Times makes me feel any sympathy for Israel's right wing. I keep reading about Palestinian kids getting shot and their houses destroyed by helicopters. Maybe network news is different.

I found both links interesting. That the author of the first link specializes in Islamic studies should in no way be held against her. We're not looking for observers so impartial that they have nothing to do with the issue. This isn't jury duty.
posted by Loudmax at 11:15 PM on February 12, 2001

Loudmax, I'm sure someone like Postroad reads the same article and laments that not enough Islamics are being snuffed out, as there is 'sufficient evil on both sides'

the plain facts are that most Americans are indifferent to the fact that our government is the prime supporter of an illegal, immoral, and oppressive regime that thrives on the ignorance of its Patron state's citizens and lawmakers. Others seem unable to see through the layers of distortion and half-truths pushed by the mainstream media

Anyone who enters with an open mind and hasn't been sullied by the relentless propaganda from skilled and passionate Zionists will see that there is something dreadfully wrong and self-destructive about current Israeli policy.
posted by s10pen at 1:34 AM on February 13, 2001

Oh, yeah, s10...that was constructive. Foam at the mouth much?
posted by Optamystic at 2:35 AM on February 13, 2001

Tue it is that on many issues one takes either this or that side and seldom sees the wrong doing of one or the other side, though, there is much I condemn that the Israelis have and are doing. But lest you focus too narrowly on Israel's occpying lands that were taken in a war (4 of them) and with an enemy that has yet made peace with it, turn some attention to another occupation, never mentioned by the likes of Chomsky and Ed Said:,1690,News|37055,00.html
posted by Postroad at 3:36 AM on February 13, 2001

Not quite never mentioned, postroad, i.e:

"...Doubtless Lebanon should be free from the Syrian domination that was backed by George Bush as part of the payoff for Syria's participation in his Gulf war..."
Noam Chomsky "Limited War in Lebanon".
For an extensive anti-Zionist (American) Jewish Perspective on the crisis see also this.
posted by talos at 5:47 AM on February 13, 2001

Excellent post , talos. Been looking for a condensed history.
posted by ojsbuddy at 7:33 AM on February 13, 2001

if your people were being killed for simply refusing to leave their own land, you might foam a bit too Optamystic.
posted by s10pen at 9:45 AM on February 13, 2001

And that negates that there are Jews being killed for simply refusing to leave their own land too, s10.
posted by Dreama at 10:42 AM on February 13, 2001

But that is precisely the point of disinformation, Dreama... It's not the Jews land, and unless I'm misunderstanding how and where Israel came to be founded, it was been their land within the past several millenia. It was given to the Jews by the British, despite the fact that it wasn't theirs to give. The Arab Palestinians, on the other hand, have have occupied that land for several millenia.
posted by m.polo at 11:03 AM on February 13, 2001

There have been Jews there for as long as there has been anyone else there, save for when they were driven out by persecution and terror. How is any less their land -- to which they hold as legitimate a religious claim as the Moslems -- than anyone elses?
posted by Dreama at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2001

Dreama this is not a religious issue, and I defy you to present credible evidence that Jews were driven out of Israel by persecution and terror. In fact Jews were treated better in the Arab world than anywhere else in the world. The persecution and terror you speak of happened by and large on European land, and to atone for their sins the Europeans drove the Palestinian people from their land and gave it to generally wealthy Europeans who had been lobbying for years to anyone who would listen.

Their attachement to the land was so great that the same Zionist lobbyers also considered Africa and South America for the Jewish homeland.

I leave you with a quote from Ben Gurion, founder of the State of Israel quoted in "The Jewish Paradox" by Nahum Goldmann, former president of the World Jewish Congress:

"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.

Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but 2000 years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?"

Unlike many others I am willing to accept it, even if I wish every day that it had never happened. That my relations' home had never been stolen, that my family wasn't displaced all over the world, that they have ruined a once-beautiful land... at this point all I want is for them to step back from their ultra-nationalist, maximalist position and stop the oppression and give the Palestinians a chance to live and to grow. One day perhaps there can be peace, but every day that Israel enforces their brutal and illegal oppression, is another year that people will refuse to make peace.

posted by s10pen at 11:33 AM on February 13, 2001

Dear S10pen: Thpough there is much to argue about, I will confine myself to letting you know that I truly resent your remark, above, that I favor killing more Arabs. I had worked with an Arab-Amnerican at a university and was friendly with him. On the day, years ago, that another Arab attempt to destroy Israel was made, I encountered him in a cafeteria on campus. He was sitting with some 4-6 Arab students. He looked up at me, smiled, and said that soon the Israelis would be driven into the sea.
I told him that I felt saddened by the loss of any life, be it Arab or Israeli. We remained friends but a certain coldness there no doubt was on my part because of what I perceived as his elation at what at the time seemed to be going "his way."
I have served in a war zone and have been in the army twice; I have little stomach for killing, maiming, hunger etc. Now you can tell me if you want that this is what the Israelis are doing etc etc and to say this is your right. But do not tell me that I want to see more deaths. That is not your right.

posted by Postroad at 6:18 PM on February 13, 2001

Yikes! There's enough fighting in the mid-east. Let's keep the Metafilter peaceful. s10pen, for the most I agree with your political views on modern Israel, but one shouldn't stoop to ad hominim attacks on MF members.

I don't think modern Israelis would want to give up the land where they grew up any more than we Americans would want to give our land back to the Indians. The Palestinians deserve political rights just like everyone else, but they should recognize that Israel is here to stay.

posted by Loudmax at 12:13 AM on February 14, 2001

People murdering each other in the name of God because they'd rather lose their friends and families to violence than share land with someone who worships God differently. It sickens me.

You know what I think? I think that the whole area is long overdue for another Flood.
posted by emt at 2:32 AM on February 16, 2001

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