Monday, January 12, 2009

An Inexplicable Difference?


[The Golden Mosque in Samarra, the holiest site in Shi'ism, built in 852AD, was bombed and its dome destroyed in 2006. When it learned the perpetrators were Sunnis rather than Israelis, the UN resolution read more or less, "Boys will be boys". Christy and Damien were morally outraged and meant to go to the huge angry demonstration in Dublin that somehow failed to take place. But Mr. C was busy trying to wangle a date with a fat blonde waitress so he couldn't go. Mr. D. was equally morally outraged but he had a coupon for a free supersize order of chips at a McDonalds on the other side of Dublin from where the huge angry demonstration didn't happen, so he couldn't go either.]

If the Israelis were Muslims instead of Jews, would anyone really care about Israel and whether it is legitimate or not? Would the question even be asked? Wouldn't it suffice that it was created by a vote of the United Nations and the devotion of its people? Do Westerners know or care about whether Iraq or Bangladesh or Indonesia is legitimate? Does anyone ask if the 7 major language groups of Afghanistan, no one of whom is a majority, necessarily and intuitively constitute a nation? Do they care more than perfunctorily about how many people got killed, quite unjustly, in bringing those countries about? Do we know or care who was there before the current occupants? Or what became of them?

Yet their concern with Israel is obsessive. It is especially obsessive when compared to their indifference to the origins of Saudi Arabia, Chile, Zambia, or Australia.

India and Pakistan became independent the same year Israel did, 1947. More people were killed in the communal fighting and mass expulsions between the Hindus and Muslims that year than the Palestine Mandate had people. The border between the two countries, like the border between Israel and the Egyptian and Jordanian occupied areas of Palestine, was and is no more than a ceasefire line. Just as between Israel and the Palestinian territories, the borders remain hotly disputed, especially in Kashmir.

There have been five wars between the two countries. One is much stronger militarily than the other. Yet no one cries out against the stronger as automatically an aggressor because stronger. The weaker side continues to make horrific terrorist raids on the other, as last month at Mumbai. Both side have nuclear weapons, yet the Quartet does not rush in demanding peace.

Yet none of that elicits more than a yawn from the Christys and Damiens of the world. Not a single issue is different except that the scale is vastly greater. Twice as many people live in supposedly "occupied" Kashmir than live in all of Israel and the Palestinian territories combined. More than a million Indian soldiers serve in "occupied" Kashmir all day every day, year round. That is more than twice the number of soldiers Israel has ever been able to call up even for a few weeks when its very survival has been on the line.

Yet Christy does not rage, Damien is not appalled by the injustice of it all. ANSWER does not take to the streets, British and Canadian universities do not boycott, the UN does not denounce, leftwing Presbyterian churchmen do not divest. No one denies the right of India or Pakistan to exist. Why not?

It is very hard for an outsider, seeing the odd difference, not to be at a loss to explain it. What can the explanation be? What is the source of the obsessive and hostile interest?

One can note however that Europeans do not have a thousand year history of hatred of Hindus.

26 comments:

  1. Christy4:12 AM

    Boo fucking hoo.

    I have made the point that the single greatest issue that strikes at the heart of Israeli legitimacy is the issue of consent.

    You have ignored this and like you I am going to ignore this mindless babble of yours.

    Every nation is different, but the legitimacy of Israel and the horrifying undertones of Zionism can not be ignored. I suppose Ben Gurion is your hero, yes?

    "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”

    “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”

    “We must expel the Arabs and take their places.”

    This is only a start.

    I have told you that I arrived at my conclusion using the historical method of historical analysis. You have not responded. You have made a very half-hearted - if any - attempt at tackling the issue of legitimacy.

    All you have is the cowardly accusations of anti-semitism.

    You are a weak, weak man.

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  2. Lovely jibing there Jack, truth is, its all you can seem to do. You have failed to put forward any coherent argument as Christy said, regarding the legitimacy of Israel. You cannot justify the war crimes occuring in Gaza. You fail to recognise how Israel has destroyed Gaza's economy with its harsh closure policies and oppression. All your argument consits of is.. "your anti-semitic", "you are to blame", "if Hamas fires rockets, then Israel will retaliate". Yet you cannot defend Israel's legitimacy, which in a modern political context and a historical context is illegitimate. Your debating skills consist of ignoring the points raised, giving large random chunks of shit vaguely related to points Christy, or I have raised. Maybe you should stop trying to act like some towering intellect with your posts, and instead read a little and get in touch with reality, because my Zionist friend, you are extremely deluded.

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  3. By the way, when I said unrelated chuncks of shit, I actually had not even read your large piece about India, I got a distinct smell of vindication just seeing that there. How on earth can you connect the India-PaKistani conflict to Israeli-Palestine regarding legitimacy, that is one of the most ridiculous things I've read yet. The Jammu and Kashmir region is much more complex in regards that both sides have grounds for legitimacy. The area never declared which dominion to join after the partition of the Indian sub-continent. The region, was largely populated by Muslims giving Pakistani's grounds for legitimacy if it were the will of the majority of the populace. The accession to India, by Maharaja, gives India historical grounds for legitimacy. Israel, however, has no grounds for legitimacy. Palestinians were evicted from their lands, no accession was made by the people of these lands and they were just oppressed, the Mandate was wholely illegitimate. In a current context, Israeli closure and oppression as well as its war crimes renders its position illegitimate. There is no parallels between the two cases, yet another example of a deluded Jack.

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  4. Jack, just a little word of advice, when ever you are researching matters of political and historical interest, try consult academic sources rather than wikipedia. That way you might actually learn something about the world you inhabit, it is a better option than ignorance, trust me.

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  5. Good Lord! It now occurs to me that you folks have been raised and semi-educated in so hostile an environment that you don't know even the basic facts of the situation.

    I will have to write a longer post to give you a thumbnail history, rather than a comment.

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  6. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Jack goes to great pains to use grammar correctly. (I'm beginning to feel like a moderator.) The very least you could do when quoting him is use his words... either that, or paraphrase.

    pjs - sac'to

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  7. Fig Newton2:52 PM

    Hello All,

    Well I obviously do not have quite as much time to dedicate to this discussion as many of The Scenic Route’s readership appears to possess.

    Jack and Christy have engaged in a series of exchanges that touched upon the issue of history, and more particularly historiography.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict possesses a singularly unique and contentious historiographic development. Within the discipline of those American writers and historians of Jewish background who have ventured into these turbulent historical waters, the most recent and notorious historiographic battle is evidenced by the so-called Dershowitz-Feinkelstein Affair.

    Between Dershowitz on the right, and Feinkelstein on the left, there exists a spectrum of historical viewpoints seeking to pinpoint both the factual and fictive elements of Israeli-Palestinian problem.

    I shall leave it to others to characterize the personalities of Dershowitz and Feinkelstein, it is enough to observe that both historians have taken their debate far beyond the confines of their respective monographs.

    I would like to make some basic comments related to the practice of history by each of these gentlemen. The first example arises out of the heart of the Dershowitz-Finkelstein clash and centers on a book written by Joan Peters titled From Time Immemorial (1984). The central thesis propounded that much of the Arab immigration into Palestine occurred simultaneously with the Zionist settlement of Palestine during the years of the British Mandate 1919-1948. Peters underpinned this thesis on a body of census data that Finkelstein, than a young postgraduate scholar, had some success in debunking.

    Having consulted the Ottoman and British Mandate census data myself, it is difficult to ascertain the solidity of Peter’s conclusions for the period her book chiefly covers. To that extent one may grant Finkelstein his due. However, Finkelstein went on to essentially build a career out of debunking From Time Immemorial and the alleged use of Peter’s data by Dershowitz in later monographs by that Harvard professor. I agree with some of the citation-related criticism Finkelstein levels against Dershowitz; however, it should be noted that while Peters may not have hit the mark squarely with her thesis with respect to the precise time frame, she nevertheless got a major historical dynamic correct; namely, in response to Jewish and Zionist settlement in Palestine, Muslim Arabs were encouraged to co-settle the region.

    This process is discernible in Ottoman policy at least as far back as 1869, when the Porte, concerned with the increasing population of Ashkenazim, German Templar settlements, and Christians of all stripes in and around the Sanjak of Jerusalem, sought to prevent further immigration by non-Muslims who would not first admit to becoming Ottoman subjects (at its heart, this policy was formulated to counteract growing problems of extra-territoriality as well as to protect and encourage the Sephardim and Mizrahim communities already in Palestine that were Ottoman nationals). As a further measure, as stated above Muslim religious festivals were adjusted in Palestine to coincide with Easter and Passover observances; additionally, this calendar adjustment was augmented by favorable laws and programs encouraging the immigration into Palestine of Muslims displaced by the retreat of Ottoman frontiers in both Europe and North Africa. Here is a secondary source quote with reference to the primary source:

    “The first move [by the Ottomans restricting non-Muslim immigration in Palestine] was made on 17 July 1859, when a law of nationality was introduced. Coinciding with the general upsurge of xenophobia, it ordained that every resident of the Ottoman dominions was an Ottoman subject until proved the contrary. The Ottoman government, not without reason, suspected the expanding activities of the Christian Powers in the Holy Land. The colonies of German Templars, the large caravans of French, Austrian, and Russian pilgrims, the influx of Russian Jews into Jerusalem and the Safad were thought [by the Ottoman Porte] to be politically motivated. As a countermeasure the Ottoman Government encouraged the annual Nabi Musa procession , to overlap with Easter. Muslims from Algeria, the Caucasus, and the Balkans were given every facility to settle Palestine and the adjacent territories; non-Muslims were discouraged,…"[Isaiah Friedman, Germany, Turkey, Zionism 1897-1918 9 (1977) p. 35; author cites British Foreign Office Consular Records summary of Ottoman Edicts, Public Records Office, London, F.O. 195/604, no. 2, Finn to Bulwer, 24 Aug. 1859))


    It should be noted that this was not an Anti-Jewish piece policy on the part of the Ottoman Empire, the edicts dealt specifically with the extra-territorial concerns of the Porte with respect to how the Capitulations were being interpreted by Christian Powers in Palestine proper. The Ottomans continued to encourage Jewish immigration throughout the rest of the Empire during this period.

    Furthermore, the majority of western consular reports from this period record observations that Palestine was passing under Jewish control at this time. The Ottoman Edicts represent a confirmation of the strength of Jewish settlement in Palestine by the mid-nineteenth century and the steps taken to create a similar influx of Muslims into the region.

    What does this have to do with the questions raised in The Scenic Route? Well, first, even among expert historians, the historiography for this subject can become quite tangled. Second, the entire modern population of Israel-Palestine owes its present circumstances in some large measure to policy rooted in Ottoman Imperial times. These population patterns stretch back into a time-period that predates the formation of any modern concept of a so-called Westphalian state. Third, much of the evidence cited here does not treat the long-established Sephardim and Mizrahim communities in Palestine that reach back centuries.

    While the above cited example is but one, it is not difficult to expand on this material. It is difficult to understand the position that Israel is not a legitimate state, or that it is somehow illegal. All of these Ottoman era Jewish communities, at their core, were founded on properly executed leases and out-right purchase. These communities were also significant.

    In this discussion, I am making an attempt to deal with primary source documents as well as critiquing oversimplifications of historiographic interpretations drawn from them. I apologize in advance to Dangerous Dan for what might appear at first glance to be a needlessly long ramble.

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  8. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Hey, at least source wikipedia when you copy paste like that. Not nice.

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  9. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I did not use Wikipedia as a source. The source is appended to the quoted material.

    Kind Regards.

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  10. Fig Newton3:33 PM

    The above post is from Fig Newton. If anonymous is referring to the summary of the Dershowitz-Finkelstein affair, these words are my summary based on reading Dershowitz and Finkelstein. Finkelstein's own summary may be had from his monograph, Beyond Chutzpuh (2008), see preface.

    Finkelstein, by the way, makes no attempt to explore the broad pattern that Joan Peters, and later Dershowitz suggested in their books, hence the original commentary and quotation.


    Kind Regards,

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  11. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Wow, what a surprise...Even the Nazi Pope is an anti-Semite!

    Italy rabbis pull out of dialogue, accuse Pope

    By Philip Pullella
    Tue Jan 13, 6:08 pm ET
    ROME (Reuters) – A leading Italian rabbi Tuesday accused Pope Benedict of wiping out 50 years of progress in Catholic-Jewish dialogue and announced that Italian Jews will boycott an annual Church celebration of Judaism.
    Elia Enrico Richetti, chief rabbi of Venice, said in an editorial in a Jesuit journal that the main reason for the rabbis' decision to boycott was the reintroduction last year of a Holy Week prayer for the conversion of the Jews.
    "If (to the prayer) we add the pope's recent statements on dialogue being useless because the Christian faith is superior, it is clear that we are moving toward the cancellation of 50 years of Church history," he wrote in the Jesuit journal Popoli.
    Last year the Vatican revised a contested Latin prayer used by traditionalist Catholics on Good Friday, the day marking Jesus Christ's crucifixion.
    But Jews criticized the new version because it still says they should recognize Jesus Christ as the savior of all men. It asks that "all Israel may be saved" and Jews said it kept an underlying call to conversion that they had wanted removed.
    In his editorial explaining the decision to boycott the Church's day celebrating Judaism, marked on January 17, Richetti said Italian Jewish leaders had found their discussions with Vatican officials over the prayer frustrating and indicated that Catholic leaders had treated them in a patronizing way.
    "The interruption of cooperation between Italian Judaism and the Church is the logical consequence of the position of the Church as expressed by its highest authorities," Richetti wrote.
    (Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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  12. Damien, if you admit you didn't read the post, why don't you shut your mouth about it? You're embarrassing yourself and wasting everyone's time.

    And if you don't clean up your language I will begin to routinely delete your comments. Your repetitions and denials and failure to answer challenging just mean you have no defensible position, a common misfortune.

    Being vulgar means that you are angry because you have nothing to say so you curse instead. That is not worth my or anyone's time to read.

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  13. Christy3:20 AM

    Jack,

    Any luck on getting your Jewish history thumbnail up yet? I mean, you have the arrogance to assume we are ignorant of Israeli history, then don't respond to our comments. In fact, you haven't rebutted one point of ours. The only comeback you have is accusing us of anti-semitism.

    And you seem to think you know a little about Ireland - which has been revealed for the complete and utter ignorance it is.

    From your 'anti-semitic' friend,

    Christy.

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  14. Damien5:16 AM

    I don't see any vulgar in my last three posts and it is you who has ignored my points, most recently the one which did address your ridiculous comparison between the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Pakistan-India one. In fact, it is you avoiding the questions.

    (Awaits response with typical accusations of anti-semitism, lack of a coherent argument addressing Israel's legitimacy, and trying to claim that I am the one not good with cause and effect when clearly that is your position Jack.)

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  15. Damien7:06 AM

    You keep dodging the simple principle causual fact of this conflict Jack. Israeli oppression, Israeli oppression, Israeli oppression, Israeli oppression, Israeli oppression (That's amindless debating technique I learnt from you). Though I do concur, repitition is needed to drive home a point to deluded folk like yourself. Hamas exists because of Israel. And it's no wonder that moderate people without any bias have come out to express their disgust at Zionism and the current war crimes commited in its name. Over 900 deaths, 400 women and children (rising everyday makes the world sick at the disgusting barbarous horrific actions of Israel, even your defence minister is showing some reservations to what his forces are carrying out despite Olmert's continuing support of the war crimes) And no Jack, not one word of a Jew in there, because like Christy, I could not give two damns about religion, I am more concerned about the loss of innocent life.

    Now back to basics:


    1) Jordan lives in peace with its neighbours

    This is because the illegitimate British Mandate was scrapped post-World War II. Jordan controls it's borders and is not subject to harsh economic constraints from Israel, it has not had its institutions or opportunities for empowerment dissolved in a bath of Israeli oppression. Unfortunately, in Gaza the same conditions do not prevail. Economically Gaza suffers, its an open prison as you have admitted and you also previosuly admitted that this was the fault of Israel's deinstitutionalisation of the region if only in a benign way. See, you can answer your own questions Jack, just think things out, its not too difficult. And because of a lack of Israeli inteference and oppression in Jordan recently, the region has no huge inequalities and deprivation allowing terrorist groups like Hamas to flourish. That is why there is no Hamas in Jordan.

    2) Israel is illegitimate. Israel is illegitimate on historical grounds and political grounds. This has already been discussed at length especially by Christy and you have yet to make one relevant point that would refute any of his claims. You have just posted chuncks of "writing" (sorry about the previous vulgar) vaguely related if it all to the question of legitimacy. This debate has went around in circles forever, what is the point in completing another revolution.

    3) There can be no comparison between the conflict in the Indian subcontinent and the one in the Palestinian region.
    Both sides, India and Pakistan have grounds for legitimacy and a very sensitive process of neutral low power diplomacy and sensitive U.N. help is needed to provide a solution to Kashmir. Israel, on the other hand, has no grounds for legitimacy and has slaughtered 400 women and children in the last couple of weeks. However, it must exist for the sake of peace and co-operate with a sovereign Palestine making Hamas redundant. Only then is peace attainable. If Israel does not attempt to achieve this then it should be sanctioned for the war crimes it commits today.

    4)Neither me nor Christy is anti-Semitic
    This seems to be always your last resort. There has been no evidence for anti-Semitism. I have no personal ill will towards you or your religion whatsoever, this is not a personal attack but a political one, and I personally am completley in different to you or your religion or any religion for that matter, this is a political debate. I do care about being branded anti-semitic though, and that is what makes me angry and enraged somewhat distracting me from arguing when thats all the response that is thrown at me.

    5.) I do not condone or support Hamas in any way. They are a disgusting terrorist organisation that commit atrocities, the only difference is I see Israel in the same vein just with the capabilities to carry out much bigger war crimes, both sides are at fault. I don support Hamas attacks and I want to see a full cessation of violence from both sides. But Hamas exists only because of Israeli oppression and I can only see a solution to this problem by creating a geopolitical climate that would make Hamas and Israeli oppression and aggression redundant, that solution must be embedded in the framework of a free Palestinian state and an end to all closures. I hope the incoming Obama administration can help to achieve this, and some positive signs are coming in the last couple of days from the Obama camp.

    I hope that will clarify everything for you Jack despite the fact that I have previously stated all this. I have addressed and will address any relevant points you make that counter my argument.

    Regards,
    Damien

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  16. Christy9:47 AM

    I'm excited to see what the history thumbnail will have. I'm sure all the best and brightest scholars will be quoted!

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  17. Did any country consent to its conquest by the Muslims?

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  18. Christy12:13 PM

    Israel was created in 1948.

    Political theory was well advanced at that time.

    The conquests of the Fatimids, the Ortoqids, the Seldjuks etc. etc. etc. belong to a different era entirely.

    I must commend you however for your fantastically irrelevant point.

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  19. Fig Newton1:12 PM

    Israeli-Palestinian historiography continued.

    Hello All,

    I would like to request that proponents of the position that Israel is an illegal state put forward the documented source for this assertion. There are several positions that one might take with respect to Israel; however, the premise that Israel is an illegal state does not appear valid given historical antecedents, and the modern recognition of the state of Israel possesses solid legal documentation as well. Here is but on document touching on the modern internationally legal establishment of Israel from the United Nations Official Records of the Third Session of the General Assembly, Part 2, Plenary Meetings of the General Assembly, Summary Records of Meetings, 5 April to 18 May, 1949, an excerpt of which reads in part:

    The recommendation of the Security Council (A/818) and of the Committee in favour of the admission of Israel was the outcome of a long process begun outside me United Nations and later continued within the Organization. It was logical that the United Nations, which had created the State of Israel, should also admit it to membership.

    Link: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/1ce874ab1832a53e852570bb006dfaf6/0b3ab8d2a7c0273d8525694b00726d1b

    Of course, the Jewish people created Israel in my private view; however, their act of state-creation is generally and broadly recognized and established in the Law of Nations. I somehow suspect that Damien and Christy really are attempting to discuss the status of the Occupied Territories and fully recognize that Israel is in no respect an illegal entity.

    If I am mistaken, please present the documentation to support the position that Israel is an Illegal state.

    Secondly, I have been delving into the historiography of this topic to demonstrate that there is much to debate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that, indeed, a great deal of polemic swirls around the presentation of facts related to the historic issues, even events that are but days old.

    For example Jack and Damien have been going back and forth on the issue of Hamas and the use of civilians as human shields. Human rights organizations have, here and there, sought to accuse the Israeli Defense Force of similar actions. One may pick up the thread of these accusations in the recent historiography.

    The Dershowitz-Finkelstein debates also involved a serious clash on this issue. Dershowitz, writing in his book titled Preemption: a Knife that Cuts Both Ways (2007), holds forth on a variety of subjects, one of which concerns the use of force against civilian populations. In this section of the work, Dershowitz specifically addresses the initiation of missile strikes from civilian population concentrations – precisely the situation that prevails currently in Gaza where Hamas has kept up a steady rain of rocketry directed indiscriminately against Israel. Dershowitz cites what he views as the failure of current international law to provide a framework that properly sets criteria for the outlawing and condemnation of this practice.

    Finkelstein, for his part, citing Human Rights Watch (HRW), Questions and Answers on Hostilities Between Israel and Hezbollah (2 August 2006) notes that international law condemns “the use of civilians as a shield from attack is a war crime,..” and Finkelstein continues in subordinate clause to counter-punch Dershowitz with “..it is also a crime to disregard totally the presence of civilians even if they are being used as a shield.” (Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, 2008) preface lxiv.

    While Dershowitz is concerned specifically with the Hezbollah (and we my now add the Hamas) rocket attacks generated from within civilian concentrations, Finkelstein hits back with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) practice of using so-called human shields, i.e. the use of Palestinian Arabs to approach homes of suspected those suspected of terrorist involvement, or aiding and abetting terrorist activity, in conjunction with IDF missions as an equal war-crime. (Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, 2008) preface lxiv)

    Again, Dershowitz could have been much more articulate in presenting his viewpoint, but there are several objections to Finkelstein’s analogy involving the IDF.

    It should be noted that neither Dershowitz, nor Finkelstein, nor, indeed, the United Nations, draws any distinction between strategy and tactics.

    First the Hamas practice of firing rockets is a strategy (not a tactic) that encompasses the entire civilian population of Gaza and uses this entire population as a shield. It is by legal definition, a war crime of the highest order (as Damien and perhaps D- seem to openly admit).

    Second, the IDF utilizing an interpreter to approach a target home or neighborhood to affect communication is a military tactic (not strategy) that is designed to produce a tactical outcome potentially non-lethal aimed at furthering the mission of the IDF in the Occupied Territories. The intent of this tactic is not to kill Palestinians needlessly, but to affect non-lethal contact at the same time that IDF exposure to ambush be minimized.

    It should be remarked that while an entire rocket production and launching network may be shielded behind the civilian population in Gaza, it is ludicrous to suggest that an entire IDF tactical squad (or series of squads) can shield itself behind a single Palestinian, or a small group of Palestinians employed for translation purposes. Again, either Dershowitz, nor Finkelstein, nor the UN make the slightest distinction between strategy and tactics. The same might be true for international law as it is written and this might be the proper thrust of Dershowitz’s comments.

    Kind Regards

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  20. Christy2:04 PM

    "I would like to request that proponents of the position that Israel is an illegal state put forward the documented source for this assertion."

    I wouldn't say its an illegal state persé. My problem with Israel is its historical roots. No-one here is belittling the great human tragedy that was the holocaust. However, this alone is not grounds to allow a people to have a state of their own. Because the United Nations gave the Jewish people a 'homeland' following WWII, when emotions were raw and the horrors of the war were only just being digested. Hell, were I alive then perhaps I would have been swept up in the emotion of it all and voted along with it.

    There is no 'documentation' as you put it to deny the legitimacy of the Israeli state. Its a matter of historical investigation of the way in which the nation of Israel came into being. The United Nations is not a state-making entity - it does not have jurisdiction over the land of Palestine. That right belongs to the Palestinian people.

    As Jack quite rightly pointed out, there was no Palestinian people back then. They hadn't formed the ties of nationhood which binds a people together. The ensuing years did that.

    The Arabs were a very hard done by people, done over the allies following World War One. Yet people forget, there is an historical Syria. There is an historical Iraq (Ancient Mesoptamia), there is an historical Yemen etc. etc. etc. They (The Arab people) are as entitled to their liberty as white westerners. Lets not demean their heritage and rights to exist and form their nation state communities the way we would treat a western, white state.

    The illegitimacy of Israel from a historical point derives from the population of that area in 1948. You have not adressed how a host population can be displaced and their homes taken by a group of foreigners. Israel's biblical rights - title deeds you may put it - are irrelevant. This is precisely why Zionism is such a pernicious ideology - it is based on some biblical claptrap that the Jews have a right to Israel. They have no 'right' to Israel (As in, the control of national state functions etc. etc.) But they do have a right to migrate there.

    Similarily, the host population (The arabs) have the 'right' to reject them. Where they do not consent, then that migration is called illegal immigration.

    What Israel did effectively was create itself, knock the people who lived there out, and built new homes in their backyards. The 'Palestinians' had to pick up the rubble and move on.

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  21. Fig Newton2:35 PM

    Well Christy,

    To follow up on the historical roots, the first Dershowitz-Finkelstein post regarding Ottoman policies of encouraging European Muslims displaced by the Balkan Wars to immigrate into Palestine in the last half of the 19th century lays open the possibility that a portion of the Muslim population in Palestine came from Eastern and Southeastern Europe just as the Ashkenazim did.

    More research needs to be done on this topic, particularly from Ottoman source material; however, the logical problem is clear - one can not disallow the rights of the Ashkenazim without disallowing the rights of those European Muslims who immigrated during the same period.

    Second, Damien and yourself appear to equate the Ashkenazim with Zionism as if this is the beginning and ending of the matter; however, I would again politely point out that there is a centuries-old Sephardim and Mizrahim presence in Israel-Palestine. In the case of the Sephardim, this presence was manifest at the highest levels of Ottoman policy-making in Palestine.

    Kind Regards

    Fig

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  22. Christy3:08 PM

    I have already mentioned the long Jewish presence in Palestine, as well as the continuous migration there before the war.

    In 1948, who lived in Palestine? And did they want their lives to be changed utterly by an immigration explosion of foreigners? Or to live in a theocratic Jewish state?

    You still haven't adressed the issue of consent.

    Regards,

    Christy.

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  23. Christy3:16 PM

    I would like to clarify (Well, I've been saying this all along, but it may have been blocked out by Jack's childish accusations of anti-semitism) that I do not reject the Jewish people's right to live in the holy land. This has been said before and I recognise there was a Jewish community in the holy land long before '48. I think every human being, to an extent, has a right to go to any part of the planet he or she wishes. Just so long as they have the consent of the hosts to establish themselves there.

    Israel may have had the UN behind it in 1948, but it was still an illegitimate entity based on ignoring enlightenment political values based on consent. I will continue to use the word consent until someone adequately rebuts it because that lies at the heart of every quarrel involving Israel.

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  24. Christy3:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  25. Christy, the next comment you post containing personal abuse, and all subsequent comments from you, will be deleted.

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  26. Christy1:24 PM

    Is the word 'gobshite' censored in America? (Do you know what it means? Its a very particular Irish-ism so it might have appeared more offensive than it actually was)

    You made a very ignorant comment about how we have been 'semi-educated' and raised in a 'hostile environment'.

    Your prejudice for the Irish people is quite offensive actually.

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