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Comments

Jez

A few comments, the last of which I read was from Tom Welsh, give a depressingly partisan and simplified view of the creation of Israel. There was organised Arab rioting against Jewish residents throughout the century and it is not true to imply that the resident Arab populace were all expelled, with the exception of some villages - which was undoubtedly atrocious. As well as those Jews who who were persecuted at least as many Jews were expelled from Arab lands as there were Palestinian refugees many of whom had left expressly to return with an army to defeat the Jews, but whether Jews sought refuge in Israel, America, Britain or elsewhere they have not for 60 years gathered in camps with, under the disgraceful mandate of the UN, mandatory refugee status (Israel was even forbidden by the UNHCR from building improved homes and infrastructure for fear of altering the facts on the ground ie the Palestinians were to be retained as political pawns). Before that time Jews were an integral feature of many middle eastern cities, constituting for example a third of Baghdad. http://www.jimena.org/Countries_Left.htm http://www.forgottenrefugees.org/overview.php

Another implication of some comments is that the Jews "took" Arab land in its war of independence. In fact the Palestinian Arabs had expressly refused any Jewish state in "Muslim lands" and thereby refused the proposal for their own state, aside from Jordan which had been the majority of the Paklestinian mandate, preferring to fight for the land including land which had been purchased at great cost but whose Arab tenants were subsequently used as pawns by the former landlords. When the Jordanian army annexed the old city of Jerusalem it purposefully set about destroying the Jewish quarter - were they oppressed by Israel then?

Another implication is that the millions of Palestinians today warrant repatriation, when 60 years ago their numbers were far fewer. Israel has repatriated hundreds of thousands of Palestinians on a case-by-case basis but the suggestion that the Jews are an illegitimate occupier is nothing short of vile propaganda.

A fundamental issue is that Israel is willing to make peace deals, and so are some Arab parties, but there are terrorist parties who wish to disrupt this and anyway it is not yet in the greater Arab consciousness to stop at anything but the destruction of Israel. This fact supersedes to me all partisan argument including my own, and I believe that when the Arabs want peace and a fair settlement with Israel, it is available, not that Israel will be demanding a rightful settlement of its own in return.

No Name

A disenfranchised people will work against the state.

I have nightmares imagining what America is going to look like in 100 years: the rich have almost completely made the common man feel powerless to change the will and direction of our country.

Being the oldest surviving democracy has lead to an amazing complacency, an amazing pride, that will likely lead to a revolution.

Indian Techie

Look ma no (new) blog.

Marxist

"War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means."

Diana W

This is one of my favorite suggestions of yours yet. But I say we implement this strategy at home and lock Bush out of the White House until he writes a paper explaining how he plans to leave Iraq more stable and peaceful than before he invaded it. That should be worth a good laugh. Post it in the Oval Office as a warning to future presidents.

JF

So Palestinians use advanced weapons to make Israel uninhabitable so that they can return to their old homes. Wouldn't their old homes and the whole of territories to which they lay claim by then be also rendered uninhabitable? Am I the only one who sees a problem with this assumption?

Tom Welsh

'The citizens of Israel don’t consider themselves visitors. They can’t “go home.”'

Why not? With the exception of a few hundred thousand whose ancestors were living in Palestine before 1948, they all came from somewhere else.

You may take the view that, once people X have invaded the land owned by people Y, expelled people Y, and asserted control over the land, their right to it is absolute and unchallengeable. It is quite understandable that Americans - as well as British, French, and other colonists - should take this view, in the light of their own history. You certainly don't want to establish any precedents that could lead to the Weckquaesgeeks taking back Manhattan. No doubt Americans, as well as many Israelis, would agree with what Winston Churchill is supposed to have said:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place".

Although the reference to "a higher-grade race" may make us, with our modern sensibilities, queasy. Nor does the idea fit very well with our normal everyday ethics (or laws). If I steal your house and kick you out in the gutter, then threaten to shoot you if you try to get back in, that is a crime (actually a whole series of crimes). If you were arrested years later, and argued in court that you don't consider yourself a visitor and have nowhere else to go, the court would presumably offer you a chance to spend many years in a penitentiary. And quite right too.

Seth

Yep! And the next step in the "War on Stupid" would be to have everyone that voted Bush in for a second term sterilised. Seriously, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I'd say that Bush consistently made a complete fuck-up of everything from foreign policy to local policies such as those pertaining to stem-cell research. I can't think of a speech off-hand where he didn't make a grammatical error that made me go ::headdesk::

Yes? No? Can we all agree that stupidity is not beneficial to society? What is morality if not a list of rules to protect society? Ergo, stupidity is immoral. YAY! =D

Håkon

I think Israel won't change policies unless they have to. And the only thing they can't deal with is economic difficulties.

JShope

The Palestinians, like any good welfare case, are being paid to breed. This form of welfare, in every case, brings about a burgeoning population with no opportunities. Whether it is happening in the ghettos or Palestine, when large numbers of young people are raised with this 'handout' mentality it leads to violence.

So, is it more humane to 'pay their way' until they become too ungrateful to bear, or to let them fend for themselves in a 'do or die' situation? I don't subscribe to the theory that people desperate for food will use arms to obtain it. If they were to try, it would be immensely easier to defeat them than an army fed by our own generosity.

Our large-scale "humanitarian" handouts are making the world a more dangerous place.

Ian Smith

You could have course go back one stage and ask the question of if trying to grab land by force and terrorist action was a viable approach. Surely you can guarantee that the people that already live there won't be happy and will attack you forever to regain their land. Yet that is exact how Israel was created.

War BY stupid maybe?

Utopian

I think there might be some mileage in the idea of getting people who have been convicted of some crimes to write such an essay (perhaps in return for shortened sentences or other perks), and then to make this kind of material required reading for others who seem to be setting out along the same path.
Example titles:
How marvellous my life has become since I discovered narcotics
How alcohol improves my driving skills

Of course, the target audience are largely lemon-eaters, but it's worth a try?

Guardian1153

Which just goes to prove what I have said a million times. The human race as a whole is an unintelligent waste of space. Only when we each look at others as individuals and truly try to understand can we accomplish anything more complicated than tying our own shoe laces.

admiral krunch

But terrorism has the potential to get Israel to stop occupying muslim territory (i.e. the Gaza strip), Or maybe(just maybe) to stop bombing the crap out of muslim civilians.

Kim

Violence is usually irrational and achieves nothing, in that way it sure is stupid.

I have no idea what it's like to live in Israel or the occupied terrotories, but I think the Palestinian people do need to struggle... I genuinely hope some influencial figure of peaceful/passive resistance rises among them and starts a real movement, whether Islamic or purely political.

(Gandhi was a very spiritual man, for example, even though the Hindi religion isn't inherently a non-vioent one)

Peaceful co-existance could follow shortly afterwards.. world opinion via the US should take care of the Israeli radicals.

Kim the Humanist.

Penethra

GAZA CITY (AP) -- A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children's television program was the victim of a pretend beating death in the show's final episode Friday.

In the final skit, the "Farfour" character was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.

The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high-pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.

Israeli officials have denounced the program, "Tomorrow's Pioneers," as incendiary and outrageous. The program was also opposed by the state-run Palestinian Broadcasting Corp., which is controlled by Fatah, Hamas' rival.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Patrick

Dani--
Islam is "satanic to the core"? Is that supposed to be a joke? As religions go, Islam is neither particularly irrational nor particularly "evil." Certainly no more "evil" than Christianity. The fact that some Muslims have done terrible deeds in the name of their god doesn't make them "satanic." Christians have done some pretty terrible things in the name of their god too, as I recall. The crusades...the Spanish Inquisition...certain aspects of imperialism...yeah. I don't think any religion is really satanic to the core, except of course devil-worship.

Maggie

My first thought was, like many of you, "oh, but all they have to do is kill everyone instead of making them leave".

But I, like you, underestimated Scott. A bit of reflection exposed the flaw in that answer. He was asking how anyone could think _terrorism_ could wipe out Isreal, not how anyone could think _genocide_ could. And assuming we're talking about not actually attempting to kill everyone (which it looks like the terrorists aren't - there have got to be more efficient ways to kill more people than they normally manage to)

WCE

Terrorists are, indeed, pretty naive.

It never occurs to them, for instance, that terrorists from other groups (e.g., Hamas versus Hesbollah) routinely rat-out each other to Israeli intelligence and the CIA over differences that would seem petty to anyone else. That's the problem with zealots, they hate everyone who isn't in *perfect* agreement with their particular political or religious views.

While the terrorists are always looking over their shoulders worrying about the Israelis and the US, they don't realize that it's their own muslim brethren who are stabbing them in the back. That's why there are so few CIA field agents attempting to penetrate terrorist organizations - they don't have to. They just wait for the terrorists to bring them information on how to find other terrorists.

Like you say, "War on Stupid".

Gleetnorx

The Israelis are there on their own land since Moses.
Back during colonial times there were plent of Israelites livin there. Since the diaspora there've been Israelites livin there.

They're not gonna "leave" or back down.

That's one of many reasons why we can't win in Iraq. We're an occupying army fighting a local insurgency. We CAN just leave, get off the oil addiction, and let em duke it out between themselves. Not our problem.

The Palestinians have some legit issues, but mostly they'd rather spend the day shooting ak's into the air and shout allah akbar. Would you rather be a palestinian living under Isaeli law or a jew living in an islamic country? Give me a break.

The arabic world has always had a slaver mentality. It was those guys who started selling people to our slavers in Africa. "Old Scot slaver knows he's doin' alrite, shoulda heard him whip the women just around midnite."
So, actual work is looked down upon as beneath any sheikh worth his qat.


"Gonna be iron
like a lion
in zion" ~ bob nesta marley

"The Haj" by Leon uris

Paddy Mac

Caleb Carr, in his polemical book, "The Lessons of Terror", subtitled, "A History of Warfare Against Civilians: Why It Has Always Failed And Why It Will Fail Again", looks at the (long) history of attacking "soft targets", and concludes that no government ever changes policy, based upon the deaths of its own civilians. If he's correct, then terror is never rational, if the end is to effect political change. If the end is to kill or maim in spite, like in a long grudge match, then it makes some sense. Some people just hate "the other" enough to waste their own lives plotting or executing horrible acts of destruction against "them".

Jules

Interesting debate between historians on the origine of jews in Israel. Apparently nomadics (the hebrews who went to egypt, etc...) and sedentary groups were one and the same people. People did not conquer the land, they were living there regularly !
(and were regularly moving to other lands too - depending on climate changes, food availability, fashions, ...)

Nationalism and propaganda united people around the idea that God had given a few the right to the Land.

Even saying that the Land is theirs and they got from God, conquering in his name, is rubbish...
Why can`t they do like anyone else and just say they got the land by killink/raping/destroying/enslave whoever stand on their way ?
That`s what any other nations did elsewhere ( let`s call it "progress", "bringing civilisation" - it does this, but it does that also - ).
That`s human. I hope we harness the savage part in ourself.

Thanks for your blog and comics Mr Adams.

Seneca The Younger

Does Paris Hilton think the middle East is hot?

an Israeli

Two comments:

1) In the event of Israel being "wiped", all remaining jews will be massacred. There won't be anyone left to terrorize the Palestinians. Israel conducts a very clean war against the Palestinians, using precision weapons to reduce collateral damage as much as possible, in fear of bad propaganda. The Palestinian population is not eliminated and spawns a steady stream of terrorists. Arab states don't hold such morals. They shut down the media and massacre the enemy down to the last one. End of story.

2. The real goal of Arab terrorism is not to wipe out Israel. They're fully aware of the futility of that. The real goal is to control their own population by focusing them on "the struggle", to raise their ranking in the Islamic world by being "holy warriors" and receive funding, to draw the attention away from their corruption and to pressure Israel into greater recessions.

BSD

@ UBU WALKER:
Why is that anti-semitic. There are Jewish terrorists along with terrorists of unrelated religious backgrounds that target other groups.

Criticicising an aspect of Israel isnt tanamount to anti-semitism. Espcialy since there are many Jews that dont support Israel.

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