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Middle East comedy versus reality

08/04/2006

The failure of just about everyone to confront reality in the Lebanese-Israeli crisis has resulted in a series of pronouncements that belong to the realm of black humor.

Consider the following, many of which include lines that should have been delivered by the likes of Jay Leno, but instead were pronouncements of Middle East leaders.

  • Israeli PM Ehud Olmert announced that Hezbollah infrastructure was completely destroyed, and on the same day a record number of rockets fell on Israel.


  • Israeli military announces that it has considerably weakened Hezbollah, because they have already fired 3,000 rockets, and have only 6,000 left.


  • Hezbollah rocket attacks hit two hospitals in Israel;Israel is condemned for targeting civilians.


  • Reaching a new high in cynicism and obtuseness even for French diplomacy, French FM Douste-Blazy says that "Iran ...is respected and...plays a stabilizing role in the region." This was hilarious in itself. It became even funnier, not long after, President Ahmedinejad presents his plan for stabilizing the region:"the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime."


  • Lebanese PM Seniora praises the Hezbollah as fighters who defend Lebanon, as Hezbollah brings down a wave of savage destruction on the people of Lebanon.


  • A headline reads "EU enlists Syrian help with Lebanon crisis". It makes sense. Since they helped to create the crisis, they can help stop it, no? A very creative idea. Too bad nobody thought of asking for Japan's help in solving the Pearl Harbor crisis. But, guess what, the Syrians are "surprisingly" not interested, since many of the rockets that they supplied to Hezbollah have not reached Haifa yet. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad explained that Syria is against stationing any peacekeeping forces in Lebanon other than the worthless UNIFIL.


  • Hassan Nassrallah and Arab world media and leaders proclaim that the Hezbollah are winning a great victory for the Arabs, but strangely enough, they all keep insisting on an immediate cease fire. Their humanitarian consideration for the lives of Israelis is exemplary.


  • Secretary Rice announces that agreement on a cease fire resolution is a "matter of days." She announces this every week.


  • All of the above tragicomedy is due to the failure of most or all of the world's leaders and media to face up to reality. Reality is unpleasant. Nobody wants to do the dirty work of implementing UN Security Council resolution 1559 and 1680 in Lebanon, but most of the sane regimes in the world, a category that excludes Syria and Iran, desperately want to see those resolutions implemented. It is likely that even Fouad Seniora, the Lebanese PM, would explain how much he would like to implement those resolutions, if the Hezbollah were not pointing several AK-47s at him. Nobody, however, wants to implement the resolutions themselves. They want someone else to do it. This generates the comedy of those who insist that Syria or Iran or both of them should be responsible for the solution in Lebanon, when in fact, they are the cause of the problem.

    The Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports the following, an illuminating explication of the "Lebanese Democracy" that US Secretary of State Rice is so anxious to protect:


    The real battle is after the end of this war. We will have to settle score with the Lebanese politicians. We also have the best security and intelligence apparatus in this country, and we can reach any of those people who are speaking against us now. Let's finish with the Israelis and then we will settle scores later.


    So much for democracy, and for public opinion polls in Lebanon that indicate Lebanese support the Hezbollah. We can understand what will be the fate of the Lebanese who oppose Hezbollah if the war ends with Hezbollah intact.

    Even Lebanese who recognize the nature of Hezbollah however, show that they have no understanding of reality, or that they find it inconvenient to recognize reality. In the Daily Star, Michael Young writes:


    "As Ghassan Tueni recently noted in a television interview, the Israelis want Lebanon to be a failed state. A failed state invites outside subjugation, and Syria has volunteered to play this role."


    Tueni and Young didn't bother to ask themselves why Israel would want Lebanon to be subjugated, first by the PLO, and then by Syria, and then by Hezbollah. Do they think that Israel wants Katyusha attacks across its borders? Do they think that Israel wants Syria to use the Hezbolla as a bargaining chip for return of the Golan heights? Probably not, but in Lebanese political discourse, the best way to show that something is bad is to attribute it to Israel. If Israel wants it, it must be bad, so Lebanese can unite against it. Hatred of Israel seems to be the only unifying force in Lebanon. It is not a sufficient motivation for Lebanese to achieve independence.

    Thus far, it appears that nobody gained anything from this round of fighting except the Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah. The Palestinians lost because they have begun to link their cause more and more with hopeless extremist movements, and because the generic war in Lebanon eclipsed events in Gaza, which became a news backwater. More and more, following the death of Arafat, Palestinians are losing control of their destiny, and the "Palestinian cause" is once again becoming just a tool of the Arab states -- in this case Syria and Iran.

    The Lebanese people lost a big chunk of their infrastructure and many dead (probably less than the 900 reported). Israel lost a lot of people, money, and the perception that the Israeli homefront is relatively safe. The Arab states lost because they proved their inability either to control Shi'a extremism or to protect Lebanon from the wrath of Israel. The United States and France lost because they proved they could not "deliver" either Israel or the Lebanese government and get their endorsement for an agreed plan that would end the fighting speedily and implement Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1680. The UN lost because it proved that it could not rescue Lebanon from the clutches of Hezbolla or protect it from the wrath of the Israeli government.

    A solution that involves either Syria or Iran will complete the failure of just about everyone in Lebanon. Contrary to what Michael Young wrote, Syrian involvement in Lebanon would be a disaster for Israel, even if it would result in temporary quiet. The Syrians have no problems restoring order, because they simply shoot people who resist. They aren't worried about HRW or Amnesty or critical media. Reporters critical of Syria, like those critical of Hezbollah, generally find they have health problems. The UN can investigate all they want, but they will never find proof of Syrian misdeeds, any more than they could prove that Syria assassinated Rafik Hariri (I bet you forgot about that - but Bashar Assad didn't). An Iranian-backed solution would permanently implant the Hezbollah in place of Lebanese government. Either Syrian or Iranian involvement would be a disaster for Israel, for the Lebanese who would complete the loss of their independence, and of course for the Palestinians, whose future will be permanently mortgaged.

    It is not yet too late to retrieve victory from defeat. The perception of who wins this engagement will depend entirely on the diplomatic outcome. In the unlikely event that the permanent members of the Security Council can quickly put into place a force that will replace Israel, disarm the Hezbollah and stop the flow of arms from Syria, peace and sanity could still have a future in the Middle East.

    Ami Isseroff

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    Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000496.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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    Replies: 35 comments

    I always believe the way to peace is through education and not bombs. The side with the most power has the most responsibility to not react to provication by violence. All the continuing bombing and violence in Beruit is do is causing more arabs to side with hezbolah and see them as freedom fighters not terroists. Israel is pushing the locals into the arms of terror. Use your brains not your muscles.
    David Formby

    Posted by David Formby @ 08/05/2006 11:26 AM CST

    Ami

    I heard this morning that the United States and France have agreed in principle to the terms of a cease fire. I'm assuming that they've already run it by Olmert for his approval.

    I should feel good about it, but I don't have a high degree of confidence in France, the United Nations, or John Bolton for that matter.

    Maybe this will turn out better than I can see, but I fear that Isreal's enemies are just buying time for the bing bang that will come when Iran has nuclear weapons.

    Posted by Phil Dillon @ 08/05/2006 07:08 PM CST

    When all is said and done the US could really TELL Israel to stop anytime it wanted, and Israel would find itself in a pretty tight spot if it didn't do exactly that. But the US is not. The US and others are clearly having problems with what Hizbollah is beyond their claim to be 'Freedom Fighters' defending Lebanese soil. In fact I am not really seeing too much from a few other countries who would normally be opposed to anything the US backed. I guess Israel v whoever touches on issues that dog both Russia and China in a big way too, but more importantly touches on their muslim citizenry who they would not want Hizbollah to have access to at any time ever.

    Posted by Zed Misrahi @ 08/05/2006 11:59 PM CST

    So could it be that this war was a mistake from the start and as Gideon Levy says, Israel should have cut a deal over the Golan heights a few years back and undercut Syrian support for Hezbollah?

    As things stand I reckon Hezbollah stand a good chance of being the next Lebanese government. They certainly won't have any objection to "disarming" their militia then, they can just patch it into the regular army.

    And Olmert seems to have lost his grip on reality entirely.

    By the way, who exactly are we expecting to go in and disarm Hezbollah? Isn't that what the IDF is trying to do at the moment? I can't see a long queue forming for that job.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/07/2006 07:45 PM CST

    From very first comment:
    I always believe the way to peace is through education and not bombs. The side with the most power has the most responsibility to not react to provication by violence. All the continuing bombing and violence in Beruit is do is causing more arabs to side with hezbolah and see them as freedom fighters not terroists. Israel is pushing the locals into the arms of terror. Use your brains not your muscles.
    David Formby

    Mr. Formby, that is a great idealistic thought; But tell me, if I were to break into and take over your house and murder a member of your family, what kind of education are you going to give me? In that scenerio, I obviously could care less what society thinks so why bother worrying who's siding with whom. If you are under attack, you had better fight. I don't know about you but when that bully kept beating me up for my lunch money me in the past, the only time they stopped is when I (and not with just one punch to the mouth either) kicked the holy crap out of them. I have never fought on the offensive but when I've had enough and want the bullying to stop, there has to be a deterrent; unfortunately, the biggest deterrent is always force. (realisticly, not ideally) We all know it, unless you are that kid who kept giving up his lunch money and running to the teacher. We have to take the blinders off and realize that until the world is under Islamic rule, this kind of thing will not stop. Calling for the destruction of Israel and the Western civilizations should be obvious what the intent is. Put down the peace sign and wake up to what's going on, man.

    Cheers,
    Michael

    Posted by Michael Gutierrez @ 08/07/2006 07:53 PM CST

    Michael,
    for decades, IDF has been breaking into Palestinian homes and murdering members of Palestinian families in their homes. So I guess what you imply is that palestinian violence against Israel, including terrorism, is perfectly justified. As far as your second comment about school bullies, my experience with that is quite different: I ran to the teachers, and they solved the problem in a non-violent way, everything turned out all right. Sounds wimpy, but unlike escalating violence, that turned out to be a working and long-lasting solution.

    Posted by Arnaud @ 08/07/2006 09:53 PM CST

    Dear Ami

    It is odd that you dismiss Lebenese public opinion when in one of your previous articles you used Michael Young's belief that Lebenese do not support Hezbollah to support your argument. Now strangly Lebenese public opinion doesn't matter to you.

    Anyway Ran HaCohen of Yedioth Achronoth writes an interesting article which suggests Lebenon will be partitioned and Southern Lebenon is going to Israel:

    "Furthermore, this second, future UNSC resolution is made dependent on a "confirmation to the Security Council that the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel have agreed in principle to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 6 above, and subject to their approval." As any experienced observer of Middle Eastern diplomacy knows, this condition can be endlessly abused to gain time, just as we witnessed in the Oslo process with the Palestinians, and Israel has a clear interest in procrastination. As long as the two governments have not agreed – and this may take years – Israel can stay in Lebanon as an occupying force protected by a UNSC resolution.

    Not surprisingly, then, a senior Israeli official has already said that "there would be no international force, because no agreement about it would be reached." (Ha'aretz, Aug. 7, 2006, Hebrew only; omitted in the English version, and not without reason.)"

    So in order for an international force to come into southern Lebenon there has to be an agreement between the Lebenese and Israeli governments. That is not likely to happen.

    Here is the rest of Ran Cahonen's article:

    http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/?articleid=9496

    Posted by Butros Dahu @ 08/08/2006 09:34 AM CST

    Partitioning Lebanon doesn't make much sense. Effectively it would just move the border north a little. Hezbollah would still be able to fight a guerilla war against the IDF, fire rockets into Israel and would be much more able to recruit with the IDF on Lebanese soil. The status quo ante, despite the occasional border incident, would seem infinitely preferable for Israel.

    Only an effective buffer force accepted by both sides can provide a solution allowing all parties to save face. In the absence of that, Israel has to return to the 1982 situation, which was not too popular with anyone as I recall, or "declare victory and get out", which will fool no-one.

    Either Olmert & Co actually want a perpetual conflict or they are floundering without a clear plan. On balance the latter seems marginally more likely.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/08/2006 05:32 PM CST

    Arnaud's story reminds of an incident in second grade. A classmate walked up to me on the playground and clocked me, for no reason evident to me, then or now. I complained to the playground monitor, an elementary school teacher. She told me, with some heat, to go find him and hit him back!

    I protested, saying that this was vigilantism. She was firm. I roamed around looking for him, didn't find him, and we forgot about it by the next day.

    But the teacher probably figured that there wasn't always going to be a teacher around to run to, and I'd better get used to sticking up for myself.

    And had "the authorities" handled it, my assailant would have been given detention, or a black mark on his record, or, nowadays, perhaps Ritalin. All these enforced by the threat of violence. All these, in a sense, types of violence. Can't get away from violence, as Max Weber pointed out.

    Posted by Doug @ 08/09/2006 01:03 PM CST

    in my opinion
    may be the powers that be want israel to lose this one
    because they wont to clear the west bank volunterily and not by force

    Posted by skydiver @ 08/09/2006 09:58 PM CST

    It is beyond me how anyone could not be supporting Israel and what they are doing in disarming the Hezbollah. This was a two year old project that no one acted on. Who's responsible for that?....The only one with "balls" to do this is Israel and the U.S. possibly the U.K. but they're not involved.

    No one else could do it, want to do it, and care to do it. The world should be supporting Israel for their efforts.
    this rhetoric about Israel shouldn't be doing this because they might create more hostility......that's nonsense........The hostility is already there.....they need to remove the Hezballoh any which way they can. Being Israel, they've chosen to do it the most humanitarian way possible. What do they get?....Condemnation.

    I really wonder about the world.

    Posted by h.r.r. @ 08/10/2006 03:34 AM CST

    Hello Michael,

    Yes, Israel is defending itself.. with that I agree. However, this goes further than the present. I wonder how you would feel if someone came to your house and resided in 1/2 while controlling the whole house? Israel's actions are contrary to the original doctrine.

    "While the Mandate was derived from the Balfour Declaration and based on it, it amplified and interpreted the declaration beyond the meaning of the original wording, perhaps unintentionally. In particular, Article 6 reads:

    ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced,

    The Balfour declaration had stated:

    it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

    Please read http://www.mideastweb.org/mandate.htm

    CB

    Posted by cb @ 08/10/2006 10:29 AM CST

    h r r

    I do not agree that bombing Beirut's airports, power stations, residential neighbourhoods, TV stations and other infrastructure is humane. Even as we speak a huge oil spill is wrecking Lebanon's coast.

    Aside from that, this invasion will not destroy Hezbollah. It will make it stronger, and weaken Lebanon's fragile government.

    Tell me how many Israelis Hezbollah killed prior to this July, and how many Lebanese Israel killed, then we will have some idea of the level of threat, and indeed who was threatening whom.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/10/2006 01:04 PM CST

    Is hezbollah the problem or is it one of the symptoms of the Israeli occupation of Palestine?
    Israel was given 50% of Palestine in 1948, ended up with 78% today, and still occupies the remaining 28% which belong to the Palestinian Arab. Keeps on grabbing land wherever and whenever it can, and treats the Palestinians very inhumanely. Is this a recipe for peace?
    Why should the Peace Zone now suggested be entirely on Lebanese soil. Why shouldn't some of it be on Israeli soil,50-50? and that portion manned by the IDF.
    Why so few people talk about the real root cause of the problem in the Middle
    East....Land..Land and Land grabbing

    Posted by Nicola @ 08/11/2006 07:15 AM CST

    You people are so full of crap, when the UN resolution gave Israel 50% of the British Mandate 7 Arab countries simultaneously declared war on the Jews and sqeezed them into 3 cities. THAT IS A FACT that cannot be disputed, but, like usual...wouldn't want to confuse anyone with the facts. Jews were being slaughtered there before there was any State of Israel, THAT IS A FACT. Israel creating buffers is nothing new, any military historian can show you that this is a method used historically by many societies.

    You make it sound like Israel was settled by people sticking guns in the back of the heads of the weak and hoarded them into refugee camps. This is horsecrap and you all know it. Go on believing it, that will certainly solve the situation.

    Arafat had millions when he died, I wonder where that came from, the mouths of his people? I wonder where it is now? In Paris' banks with his wife's name on the account? She is given $127,000 a month by the Palestinean Gov't...I don't hear any of you spouting your dismay with that? Maybe the Palestinean problem is with themselves? What a joke....

    Posted by Jewboy @ 08/11/2006 05:17 PM CST

    How about Israel stops moving settlements into those buffers? That is the point of the buffer, to put distance between Israelis and their neighbors. If you are living in a buffer zone then you should expect to have rockets fired on your head. I'm not saying that Hezbollah firing rockets at or in Israels direction is the right thing to be doing, but neither is expanding your territory by creating "buffers" then moving your people into those "buffers". Thats called a slow invasion, not tactical defense.

    Posted by OMFG @ 08/11/2006 06:58 PM CST

    Jewboy,
    How do you justify the Israeli settlements in the West bank and Gaza Strip, which account for only 22% of Palestine, Israel having the remaining 78%.
    How do you justify Israel building a fence around itself but putting it
    mainly on the Arabs land in the West Bank, breaking down their houses, etc to do this: controlling every aspect of their lives with an iron fist. Remember they were there long before the Jews came. 50% of their land was forcibly taken away by the international community and given to the Jews- do you wonder why a war broke out?
    Yes there were many conflicts before the state of Israel, because the Arabs didn't want the Jews intruding on their land. I am not saying killing people is right, I am only giving one reason why it happened. By the way, is that why Israel is now slaughtering Arabs?
    i have no problem with Israel creating buffers, all I am saying, evacuate Northern Isreal, and create the buffer on Israeli soil. How can you come into my country and set up a buffer for your safety, and not want to use your own land to do it.
    I suspect the bombing out of South lebanon is part of a grand plan, where the people will not be allowed to return to their homes( sounds familiar?), and Israel will take up residence, and lo and behold..some years later.. South lebanon is part of Israel.
    Arafat defrauding the palestinians of millions was wrong, but what does this have to do with the present discussion?.. another red herring as usual- Maybe it is Arafat who took the Palestinians' land and hoarded them into refugee camps.
    I tell you, if land is not returned and persons treated fairly and humanely, I don't see any peace in the Middle East.

    Posted by Nicola @ 08/12/2006 02:09 AM CST

    WTF? Israel has 78% of Palestine? Do you people even attempt to get the most basic knowledge of this situation before you run your mouths about it? Or is blithe ignorance that much more comfortable?

    Even including the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel of course did not take until after the Arab-instigated Six Day War, Israel makes up maybe a third of what was the Mandate of Palestine, if that.

    Why don't you cry some more about perceived wrongs from 60 years ago. That'll solve the problem. Unbelievable.

    Posted by Eric @ 08/12/2006 11:58 AM CST

    Why dont you guys think about how you would feel if someone walks into your home and 'the authourities' decides to give half of your house to that person.. would you accept it or retaliate?

    Posted by Shimana @ 08/12/2006 01:18 PM CST

    The "House" in question though is a duplex, with Israelis on one side and Arabs on another. Which family has a more legitimate right to the entirety of the complex?

    The problem is that both have legitimate claims.

    To give Israel credit though, they don't treat their Arabs well enough but they treat them far better than the Arab states treat their Jews or any other ethnic group that lives among them.

    Posted by David @ 08/13/2006 10:48 AM CST

    Nicola,
    -Settlements took sand and turned it to orange groves...under the occupation, "Palestinean" workers tripled their standard of living, something that never occured under the Syrians and Jordanians, and that is a FACT.
    -Fences protect innocents from animals.
    -When is your definition of before? 1948 or 1870?
    -Northern Israel is the buffer, schmuck, and Israel did vacate southern Lebanon only to have it infested with vermin who pointed rockets at it. Ahmadnijad is a coward, he should at least have the balls to declare war on Israel himself. Instead he fights through Hezbollah like a Puy.
    -If you want to discuss the West Bank and Gaza and the "situation", you have to discuss Arafat, he is the one that helped to escalate it. He had his own state coming out of Oslo in 1993, he gave it up because he couldn't control security. Had he cared more about his people than his own ass, there would be a Palestinean state today and we could have avoided all this bull
    **!

    Posted by Jewboy @ 08/14/2006 06:27 AM CST

    Sure and if Israel decides to claim southern Lebabnon in the future, that will also become northern Israel, and they will move people into that territory and then cry when they have rockets rainning down on them. This is analagous to telling your children it is ok to touch a hot stove, then becoming shocked when they get burned. It doesn't matter who officially is in control of the land where the buffer zone is...stay out unless you want burned. How stupid can ya get?

    Posted by OMFG @ 08/14/2006 06:42 PM CST

    It's funny how if Arab newspapers print cartoons of Jewish politicians as animals they are denounced as anti-semites, yet it's perfectly OK for zionists to indulge in this sort of racism when discussing Arabs. How are Hezbollah animals and the Israeli govt not? Who has killed more civilians here?

    Eric, counting what is now Jordan as part of "Palestine" is clearly stupid. We are all talking anout the land between the Jordan river and the sea here.

    Israel certainly was created by people having guns forced to their heads - plenty of Arab civilians were massacred - check out the mid-east-web timeline. That doesn't mean the Arabs wouldn't have done the same, but it does mean the Israelis need to stop trying to take the moral high ground. You've won the war, stop fighting already and let both sides win the peace.

    Posted by Spike @ 08/15/2006 12:27 AM CST

    Thank you Spike, I dont think Eric is really that ignorant, he is just trying to confuse the issue by including Jordan as part of Palestine, when he very well knows we are talking about the area which comprise what we now know as Gaza, West Bank and Israel..Palestine in 1947... and yes Israel is 78% of the total.
    I would agree that the Arabs too are just as land grabbing as Israel. Rather than ensuring that the Arab State of Palestine is formed, jordan, Syria and Egypt decided to annex the Arabs 50%, and then traded most of it with Israel after losing the 1948 war. By the way, was that legal? the Armistace
    Most of northern Israel was not theirs, that would have been a perfect buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon, Except of course, if everybody was not being greedy, there would have been no need for a buffer zone.
    Israel wants peace, but is not prepared to pay the price for peace- that is by giving up what was never theirs in the first instance.
    This is 2006, not 1948 nor 1967- everybody is exhausted- Negotiations(called diplomacy) is what will do it, not war. Even USA will soon get tired of Israel and its schoolyard bullyboy beat up tactics- if you touch me, I will pummel you until you are bloody. Imagine Israel saying they will put Lebanon 20 years back, and proceeded to do it under the pretext of finding 2 soldiers who are not even mentioned anymore.
    I am sure this last war was ill timed for the Americans, no matter what GWB says in public, I am sure they are as vex as hell- November is elections....
    Jewboy, what is the use of tripling my standard of living, and then killing me right after, or taking away every bit of my pride and dignity? ... this is a lame attempt at justifying Israel's continuing occupation of the West Bank.
    So now Arafat is no more, why isnt it happening- i.e. the independent Arab State.

    Posted by Nicola @ 08/15/2006 04:44 AM CST

    I can assure you we are sick to death of GWB and his Neo-Con war mongers! I don't know anyone who voted for GWB that wasn't an ignorant-back-woods farmer that went no further than Fox News Network for their source of political information. The Dems have had it with flip-flop artist like Liberman, and the Repulicans have had it with the Neo's. The Dems being historically pro-Isreal can't afford to continue that path if they wish to win support of the people, whom by the way, the majority, could give a flying Fk about Israel. We have our own problems and don't need Israel complicating our lives any more. Israel has become an unruley child who is trying our patience. With the exposure of their APAC spying in our DOD among many other un-ally like behaviors, Americans are becoming more and more intollerant of Israel. Israel wants to defend itself? Fine defend, that's defend spelled with a "de" not "off".

    Posted by OMFG @ 08/15/2006 06:50 PM CST

    Actually, OMFG, the polls I have seen indicate that a large majority of Americans support Israel in the current conflict, either out of sentimental attachment, because they have been convinced Hezbollah is the same thing as Al Qaeda or possibly because they remember the Beirut embassy bombing.

    I think you have some way to go before Americans (particularly voting Americans) see that uncritical support of Israel is not helping the US, the Palestinians or indeed Israel.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/16/2006 12:30 PM CST

    Stop watching Fox News polls Chris.

    Posted by OMFG @ 08/16/2006 06:43 PM CST

    Hello,

    My comment is this. Israel belonged to the Jews before it belonged to the Arabs, that is an undeniable historical fact. The Indians have more of a right to the U.S. than us Americans, because we they were here first. But we live at peace with the Indians, inspite of our injustice to them, because the Indians are peace loving people. They don't run around like demons demanding than the 'white man be wiped off the face of the map." Why? Because tbey are not driven by hate mongering religious leaders who haven't the slightest notion of what love and justice are about. Most, not all, Arabs in that region are no different than the Nazi, racist hate mongers driven by religous idealogy of conquest and rape of women (they call it marriage),most, not all Israeli's are not, pure and simple and that is why there is such much violence in that region.

    The State of Israel is about the size of New Jersey, less than one percent of all the land in the Middle East. Five million Jews are surrounded by 500 hundren million Arabs. The Jews have a right to their own homeland, especially after the holcaust. The world agreed and gave them the mandate to return to their ancient land. The Arabs did not and tried to finish the job Hitler started by declaring war on them, this is what their religion is all about war and hatred. The Palastians turned down a great deal from Clinton to get back 97 percent of the land but they rejected it because they are so full of hate, nothing but another Holocaust will quench their thirst for blood. They don't want peace, when will everyone wake up to this obvious fact, they want Muslim conquest.

    As far as the current crisis goes it will continue to be unsolvable until Yeshua, the Messiah returns and sets things in order. Then and only then will the kingdom of love rule, Jew, Arab, blacks, white and Chinese, those who been redeemed, will live together in peace and harmony. That is what I long for and with that goal I will join hands with anyone as we wait for that day.

    Todd

    Posted by Todd Weiner @ 08/18/2006 02:59 AM CST

    You seem to have your analogy twisted, Todd. First you say the Jews, like the "Indians", were there first. Then you say the "indians" are peaceable, unlike the Arabs. So who are your "indians" analagous to? Jews or Arabs?

    Of course in fact, the Native Americans fought tooth and nail to stop their country from being stolen from under their feet, and were demonised by White America for it until very recently.

    It doesn't really matter that Israel occupies a much smaller space of land than the Arabs. Most Arab countries are not at war with Israel. The issue is about the Palestinians, real people who have been dislodged from real homes, and who have to deal with real oppression and harassment by the IDF and the settler movement every day. Fina a reasonable democratic resolution of that problem and any further Arab/Muslim complaints about Israel are likely to be marginal.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/18/2006 03:45 PM CST

    Hey Chris,

    You say find a "reasonable democratic resolution to the problem and the Arabs complaints would be marginal." That is not true. For an example, and there are many, Clinton, as I mentioned in my comments, gave Arafat a sweet deal and he turned it down because he did not want peace but war and destruction of Israel. The Arab world gave Barak no credit whatsover to his overature to give back so much. Instead they fully backed Arafats subsequent uprising which killed 1,000 Jews. What does that tell you Chris? Even Clinton, a brash liberal, said this was ridiculous and unjust. The Arabs complaint,at its heart, is that Israel exists. It is hard to imagine but it seems you don't realize that the all Middle East arab countries want Israel destroyed, if they could, they are incurable racists, and like all racists, they are implacable.

    For an analogy to be valid it does not have to parallel in every point across the board. Actually, my point about the Indians was more of a "lesser to greater" argument. If you don't believe we should give back the U.S. to the Indians, and move back to Europe, when in fact the Indians have a valid historic claim to the land, then how much less should Israel, who have an historic right to the land, not have to give back the land the Palastians vacated in 1948 at the request of the Arabs countries who told them to get out of the way so they could kill the Jews, then they could come back to inhabit their homes after the Jews were destroyed. Well Israel won, the 1948 war agaisnt her Hitlerite enemies. It is hard for me to feel sorry for the Palastians when their irrational hatred for the Jews predated the Israel birh as a nation in 1947. In fact the Arab countries supported Hitler in the World War 2, because of their hatred for the Jews. That should tell you something.

    Now let me make myself clear about something. I have no bias agaisnt fundamentalMuslims although I speak out against them. I just see their hatred for what it is. It should be clear and obvious to any thinking person. God sees no difference between the rasist Muslims then the Catholic Crusaders of the Inquistions, or the Protestant murderes who killed thousands of Anabapists because of their faith hundreds of years ago, or the "Christian" Nazi's who sought to conquer the world. To me they are all the same. Their is no exuse for their actions. Believe it or not I am a Christian who is against war. People shouldn't be fighting period. But I happen to recognize the moral distintion between those who kill for self preservation and those who kill out of hatred.

    Posted by Todd @ 08/19/2006 04:19 AM CST

    Well Todd, you seem to have an impressive grasp of Arab psychology. What are you basing that on, I wonder? Tell me, how many Arabs have you spoken to, personally, about any of these issues?

    Egypt and Jordan both recognised Israel decades back. Israeli tourists are a common sight in Egypt. Morocco and Tunisia have good relations with Israel. The Arab League has stated that it will recognise Israel if it strikes a 2-states deal with the Palestinians. The "surrounded by hostile states" rhetoric is entirely unsupported by the facts. (There obviously is a "Destroy Israel" camp, but it's not running the show).

    I really suggest you get your history from other sources than the most right-wing Zionist propaganda. This very site that we are conversing on has an excellent timeline that sticks to the known facts and avoids the myths so sacred to both sides (such as the largely bogus claim that Palestinian refugees left because the Arab leaders told them to). I strongly recommend that you read it before commenting further on these issues.

    I agree with you that abolishing Israel as a nation state is neither practical nor probably even desirable (reservations about establishing a state on the basis of racial/religious identity alone aside). This is why the PLO has been pushing for a two-state solution since the late 1970's. A bit hard to see why they would do that if their real intention was to destroy Israel.

    Posted by Chris @ 08/19/2006 04:07 PM CST

    Chris,

    First things first. If it turns out that the Palastians were not asked to leave their homes by Arab leaders, I will retract that. I read accounts of this. This web site does not contradict this. It even mentions Jews and British asked them to stay and not flee, why? In time I will check my sources.

    I know a few Arabs, but what has that got to do with anything. I know no Nazis or White surpremists but I can make educated statements about their sentiments. You mention Egypt. Do you think the average person on the street wants to see Israel vanquished? Or do you think they have pleasant peaceful feelings toward Israel? Come on. It is a known fact that most Arabs in the Middle East hate the Jews and have for quite some time. If I must come up with a personal atedote, my relative works in the middle east and he related how every time the converstation turns to the Jews people become animated in their hostility towards them, and these are nominal Muslims. Just because certain leaders are willing to go for a two state solution, at least ostenibly, doesn't mean they are doing so out of the kindness of their hearts.

    They know they can't defeat Israel in true open warefare, 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1972 demonstrated that to them. There are stragetic motives, Israel giving up more land, would make them more vulnerblre to future attack.

    You say: "This is why the PLO has been pushing for a two-state solution since the late 1970's. A bit hard to see why they would do that if their real intention was to destroy Israel."

    Chris if we can't get by this point I don't know what to say. It is a known fact that Arafat never wanted a two state solution. if he did he would have not rejected the Clinton plan I spoke of in my last two messages, and started an uprising to make sure it never came about. He wouldn't have spoke of peace in English and than in Arabic spoken of anhilating Israel, he did this quite often and I heard that from both secular and relgious sources. Arafat was one of the worst charaters of history, to put a positive spin on his fork tongued rhetoric leaves me speechless. I have more respect for Hamas and Hezbolah, they put no pretenses about their motives.

    Posted by Todd @ 08/20/2006 04:31 AM CST

    Todd, have you looked at the details of the Barak proposal? They are on this site. How would you feel, as a Palestinian leader, about accepting that sort of dog's breakfast as a final settlement? There are plenty of theories about why Arafat did not accept the offer; jumping straight to "he plans to destroy Israel" is a major non-sequitur.

    Arafat was clearly a bit of a slippery character, but I don't accept either that he was one of the worst characters in history or that he was entirely untrustworthy. There is a balance sheet with entries on both sides. And what people might wish for in their hearts does not have to co-incide with what they will accept in the real world. There are plenty of Israelis who wish in their hearts for the whole of Eretz Israel, (or at least the Jordan to the sea), to be part of the Jewish State. Olmert expressed such sentiments to the US Congress only this year.

    Yes, most Muslims dislike Israel, however that is mostly because of what continues to befall the Palestinians, who they see as their bretheren. If the Palestinians and Israelis reach a genuine compromise (and we all know, really, what that would be), that hostility will lapse. Meanwhile, Israelis holiday in Egypt largely unmolested and anti-Jewish sentiment is really not a hot conversational topic on the street. People have other priorites. (And comparing ordinary Arabs to self-declared neo-Nazis is just silly).

    Posted by Chris @ 08/21/2006 03:35 PM CST

    This started with amusing quotes that seemed divorced from reality.

    What about the Chutzpah shown by the Israeli ambassador to the UN speaking in the General Assmbly, but addressing the Lebanese ambassador directly and telling him that in his heart he was grateful to Israel for what they were doing to the Lebanon

    Posted by Student @ 09/05/2006 01:24 AM CST

    Todd Weiner, where do you come off with all these illogical points.
    Todd, let me ask you something. Are you telling the readers of this website that the common Isreali citizen is full of LOVE. yea right. You complain about arabs hating jews. LOL. What about jews hating arabs. Wait a minute, last time I checked, the five million jews living in Isreal ARE NOT SAINTS. So jews do not hate Hizbollah? they do not hate Hammas? they do not hate Iran? Listen mr. weeener, just shut the fucckkk up with your moral B.S. Every human is capable of hating. That includes Jews, Arabs, and YOURSELF.

    I quote you: "My comment is this. Israel belonged to the Jews before it belonged to the Arabs, that is an undeniable historical fact"

    Geee, let me guess where you got that FACT FROM. LOL. THE BIBLE. LOL
    Of course jews lived in that area, a million years ago you moron, so what does that mean, we redraw the maps the way it was in 6000 BC.
    RECENTLY, RECENTLY in history like 60 years ago, jews, christians and moslims lived in the land today called Isreal. These PEOPLE WHERE MOSTLY ARAB JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MOSLIMS, AND NOT EUROPEAN JEWS. You do not take land from people and then expect peace and love. I have been reading comments on this website for a very long time, and I would have to say you state the dumbest non-intellectual arguments.

    Posted by john @ 09/08/2006 06:48 PM CST


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