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Nuanced isn't neutered

vastleft's picture

See Chris Floyd's blistering take on Israel's attacks in Gaza.

In the midst of it, he avows this:

I hold no brief for Hamas; like the Angry Arab, whose coverage of the conflict has been relentless and penetrating, I don't care for any party based on religious extremism.

Did you see what he did there?

He acknowledged a reality where Hamas isn't a cuddly mascot for our favorite team.

Did he just ruin his case, bending over backwards to support some false equivalency? No, he strengthened his case (one with which you may or may not generally concur), by showing a degree of nuance, firewalling his disapproval for Israel's tactics from any perceived tacit approval of Hamas.

When we fail to do so in this classically polarizing topic, we're undercutting our credibility. If we, say, dismiss the notion of showing Israeli victims as tiresome "recycling," we're doing the same, we're becoming boosters and haranguers instead of honest brokers.

Je répète, if Israel's culpability is as stark as its critics believe, why should lefty bloggers not welcome discussion of how its actions look in the broader context, a context which includes attacks on Israelis by Palestinians. I say that not to make excuses for Israel, but to challenge progressive bloggers to be something better than an echo chamber.

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

in any way, shape or form.

only on the humanitarian end, and in the exposing in the court of public opinion, can any voices be heard over the united and biased governments committing and/or funding and/or enabling these horrors -- here and there.

we have no seats at the table.

we are not being consulted -- ever.

nor have we ever been.

we're simply more of the powerless -- seeing wrong, and using what we have -- our voices.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Why don't we do ourselves proud and tell the most honest story we can, instead of enshrining a tendency toward tunnel vision?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

more important than being brokers or anything else -- but we are heard, if not listened to.

and because some of us are totally stricken--in a very personal sense-- by seeing our cousins Israel-- who call themselves a "Jewish state" -- doing this horrendous evil against others, given our history.

and because some of us believe that "never again" shouldn't only count when it's us Jews saying it -- and that it applies to all, everywhere.

and because it's our great and imperative responsibility as humans on Earth to lessen suffering-- not to add to it -- nor ever ever to step back and look at it objectively--ever, as if it's not connected to us.

our voices are heard -- we're just not brokers. We can only add to the international outrage, pressure our own powerful-- and aid those suffering.

We also should be voting on these things, and stop pretending Democrats are better. I do.

The honest truth is that there are no honest brokers anywhere -- especially not in the US. We paid for this--and we will pay for this in the future as well.

It harms us directly--not just the Palestinians or Israelis. 9/11 happened because of this ongoing shit, at least in part. Our Middle East strategy harms us too.

and we can't step back and look at this objectively -- it's not possible for any American to do so, nor for any human who cares about decency and ethics. We're involved in this on one side only, with billions in our money, and with blood-soaked hands -- in Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and many many other places as well.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"in the family" when it happens -- the way those of us who are Jewish and Arab especially do in this case -- then it wouldn't happen so much and so repetitively.

for some of us as well -- it's an absolute responsibililty to speak up --even more so --when it is our family/tribe/group/etc involved -- and for American Jews, we're involved 2x, tribe-wise.

we can't look at this as if it's happening to strangers -- it's not.

i find it chilling, in fact, that anyone would want to step back. what have any of us learned then from history?

how can this ever be a better place for all, if we're scolded when we take sides or called out for being biased--especially when we take the side of the harmed and the oppressed?

what are the goals here? seriously.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

One might do well to consider the world in which the more powerful side lives.

One might also consider the complexity of the power relationships. Unless of course, raging groupthink made it politically incorrect to do so.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

we see this knowing that we are the more powerful side and that we are totally a part of this -- on the side that oppresses and uses that power against others -- and has been doing so for decades.

the complexity of the power relationships are a given. we've all grown up knowing them--and knowing just how much our own country has perpetuated and exacerbated this since 1947 -- and how before us it was other countries doing so, going back thousands of years in the region.

we also know that Carter did real and tangible good on this -- and that brings us back to our own role yet again -- and why we've gone backwards immensely since then -- on this as well as everything else.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... but since you mention Carter, I'll note that I was impressed with the first few chapters of his book on I/P (I'm such a sloooow reader there are many good books waiting to be started or finished). He is unstinting about using terms like "apartheid," in the title no less, yet he is also unstinting about describing aspects of the conflict's context you'd rarely hear on a lefty blog, like the rather unhelpful policies of Israel's neighbors.

It's a great example about how being holistic in one's thinking about I/P is not to be an Israeli apologist.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Carter actually had to ignore how the neighbors had operated in the past, and present -- he needed them to commit to different behavior starting "now" -- regardless of their unhelpfulness or helpfulness.

He had to get Egypt to the negotiating table -- regardless of many elements and facts of the situation -- and whether they were terrible or not, or dictators or not, or treated their own people well or not, or treated Israel well or not, etc.

It was despite what Egypt's population wanted. It was despite what Israel's population wanted too, in fact.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

Then Israel would have never been born as a state that treats its citizens and subjects differently, based on their ethnic heritage, and it certainly wouldn't have continued to get unquestioning support 60 years on.

Its really the nadir of self-awareness to think that treating a group of people like dirt will protect you from hatred, especially when those mistreated people share an heritage with those that surround you. The Israeli government is not really interested in "Never again", except as a slogan to keep its own citizens living in fear. It is more interested in perpetuating itself as an apartheid state, which is what it has been from the very beginning. That's what governments do (perpetuate themselves) unless they are pushed to do otherwise. Justifying violence and oppression in the name of "Never again" is the very epitome of groupthink.

empty's picture
Submitted by empty on

It seems VL by broader context you mean your context. I thought amberglow did an excellent job of providing the context - that of a fight between colonizer and colonized.

From the example you gave of Chris Floyd it seems what you want is not context but a declaration of the sins of Hamas - or maybe of the Palestinians. I have no problem with a criticism of Hamas - my views parallel those of Floyd. The problem is that the sins of Hamas are irrelevant here. Regardless of the evilness of Hamas, starving and slaughtering a captive population is wrong. When we invaded Iraq the fact of Saddam being a bad person was not relevant. Regardless of his personality defects our invasion was wrong. If you recall the discussions at that time Bush and his team spent a lot of time emphasizing the Hitler-like qualities of Saddam. Because if you started discussing Saddam you were not talking about the illegality of the invasion any more. If you want a discussion of the corruption and cruelty of Arab leaders, by all means go for it. But in the context of the ongoing slaughter in Gaza it is irrelevant; one might go so far as to call it a red herring.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

esp -- "starving and slaughtering a captive population is wrong"

it doesn't matter that they're not angels or not ruled by angels.

we're not either. no group is.

it really does distract -- and it doesn't stop the evil, nor does it help those being hurt.

it most often tho, gives the oppressors a pass, and makes it all seem reasonable and simply another topic to discuss and weigh and balance -- while people die needlessly yet again.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I guess Chris really screwed up his point with gratuitous favoritism toward Israel. Let's hope he does better next time.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Saddam was or wasn't we would have been missing a big part of the answer to the Iraq War agenda.

For one thing, those who looked at what Saddam was and wasn't could see that he was far from a kindred spirit with Al-Qaeda, a collaboration with which was one of the most popular pro-war theories.

If only the national discourse at the time had put a real-world perspective on what kind of danger he was or wasn't, and how that supposed threat would compare to the hazards of a power vacuum, ethnic cleansing, and the backlash from an ill-justified and ill-planned American attack and occupation!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

millions worldwide marched and screamed -- and the "national discourse" ignored it.

and when Pelosi promised withdrawal if we voted Dem in 06? what was the result of those lies and what did online discourse do as a result? -- they voted for more Dems and excused those lies.

and Obama's lies? same thing.

it seems to some of us that people continue to reward lies and like to feel like they're listened to -- but when push comes to shove even those who know evil is being done still vote for the enablers and still support them.

how are any of those people even able to be painted as "real-world" in any way -- except as just more enablers of all this horror?

knowing Iraq was all lies either means something real, or it didn't and doesn't -- we see that it didn't, and still doesn't.

knowing spying on us is evil, and torturing is evil, etc, either means something real or it doesn't -- again, we see it doesn't.

i'm missing how things will be different in any way, vast -- i don't see the result of "real-world perspectives" anywhere -- i see the opposite.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's entirely about injustice -- and in favor of the powerless.

...Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country.

... In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: 1) Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive. 2) Negotiation. 3) Self-purification and 4) Direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying of the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.
...

it seems that you have been stopping at 1 -- and that your thing with Paul was all about 1 and that somehow people aren't doing 1 correctly or fruitfully -- while the facts are evident to many of the rest of us, and those facts are bringing continued death and suffering, and that the facts are precisely and solely why we're talking about this now as opposed to last month or next month. That the facts are piling up rapidly and bloodily.

and that violence is being answered with violence -- yet again, for the millionth time -- and that people are suffering even more than they were before because of that violence being done.

also -- that the onus of govts and the powerful (and all the citizens of those govts) -- and our own responsibility -- is to be "better" in some way, as those powers pretend to be. To not use their overwhelming force against the powerless this way.

that we are helping commit the violence and have been doing so all along too -- that it's understood that we can't step back and assess -- and that we shouldn't step back because that simply enables it further, as is repeatedly shown -- precisely because we're the ones who pay for Israel's overwhelming force and who support them no matter what.

empty's picture
Submitted by empty on

Perhaps (hopefully) I am misreading you, but are you saying that if Saddam was a religious nut (like say Ahmedinejad) instead of a secular nut our invasion would have been justified? Or if ethnic cleansing had not taken place the invasion would have been justified? Or if we had better planning for occupation our invasion would have been justified? If so, our contexts are very very different. Yes the pro-war theories focused on Saddam because that took attention away from the fact that the planned invasion was a war crime under the understanding that we had championed at Nuremberg. And by focusing on Saddam and his capabilities and potential we moved away from considering what we were about to do to the evilness of the other - away from the idea of a preventive war being a war crime to a discussion of a case for preventive war. The pro-war focus on Saddam was a (successful) red herring.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

really?

i thought it was to make our lives, this country-- and world-- better. That being online and participating was vastly bigger and meant much more than just being online and participating online alone.

using the net's abilities and value --
to teach, to show, to expose, to reveal, to counteract, to connect people, and to use our voices and all that can be shown and told, like info not told elsewhere, etc -- all intended to have real-world impact -- all intended to direct people to action and focus and thought in multiple ways -- and to where action is needed -- and also importantly, to what our own --and our govt's --actions --and inactions-- mean, and result in in the real world, etc.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

discourse online brings people together, continually enlightens them and/or reveals things, and it shows and directs people towards actions -- most often in order to do something offline -- or if not, to know more about what's happening and what's needed in the real world. == esp when it comes to real-world things -- like I/P, or the need for single-payer.

much of it is reactive to the real world, and to the lack of fact and slanted coverage of everything in our media and govt -- but even that spurs people to action -- take the healthcare stuff here, for instance, and the calls for action everywhere, and the way knowledge gets spread and the impact it has.

like-- knowledge is power, and connecting and sharing with others is also powerful -- and we are powerless in many ways (altho not to the extent of Palestinians) -- but we can now make a difference in the world far more easily -- whether it's by spreading other views and facts not told us by our media and govt, or directing people to orgs that act to help others, or by talking about things, or by exposing lies, or by telling others about the past, or by telling others stuff they didn't know before, etc ...

-- and what Vast is saying seems to be requiring some equivalence be always applied in the way we talk about something -- in the form of our discourse -- or else it's biased. That unless we always mention both sides we're not honest. But we already know that "Shape of the world: views differ" is a false equivalence and that it doesn't help spread truth -- or stop horrors.

That the horrors in the real world -- which are why we're talking about I/P now -- are what matters -- not how we talk about them. That talking about or criticizing others for how they talk about something takes the focus off what we're talking about, and puts it on us instead.

Xenophon's picture
Submitted by Xenophon on

Nuanced is in the twilight zone. First of all Israel is a country "based on religious extremism." But you miss that fact in his "nuance." In missing that fact you miss the larger objective Israel's plan to destabilize the Arab world, remove the Saudis from power and install a Hashemite proxy in Mecca so that they are the dominant power in the region.

Nobody wants to be labeled an anti-Semite, especially while defending Semitic people, so you get these bizarre contortions, where Falasha, Sephardim, Arabs and Persians (ok maybe Persians are not Semitic) are not Semitic.

Along these lines, this "dance" forces you into a logic of who is more wrong. Rather than seeing the whole board and arguing the larger threat - like Israel provoking a war with Iran. Or worse creating another false flag boondoggle like Iraq - using the US as a pawn in its grab for geo-strategic position.

If we started talking about that, well then, we would be taking about severing all ties with Israel.

But as long as we worry about did I bash the Arabs enough before I called a spade a spade (which is code for they really deserved it because they are terrorist) we never get to the point of -- why not let the badass Israelis fight without our help. And without nuclear capability. Why don't we let the Arab world fight their fight without BIg Brother Uncle Sam standing behind Israel.

Better yet why don't we bring Israel up on charges and call them for the terrorists that they are? What is preemption but terrorism? Guess he missed that nuance.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

when it comes to I/P -- and that they always are used as weapons against action or censure and are always in Israel's favor -- at least to me.

"well, they don't recognize Israel's right to exist"

"well, they're terrorists"

"well, why don't other Arab countries help them?"

"well, they're not legitimate"

"well, they want us all dead"

"well, they send rockets into our cities"

"well, they don't listen to reason"

"well, the UN is biased against Israel"

"well, God gave us Israel"

"well, they're funded by our enemies"

"well, we have to prove to all Arabs that we're strong"

"well, why didn't they accept our previous proposals?"

...

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

add up to excuses for why Israel does not treat all the people under its control equally, regardless of their ethnic or religious heritage. They are all excuses for injustice and inequality, for not treating all humans fairly.

Again, VL, the root of the problem is not the violence. The violence is a by-product. You can't have a system that treats humans unequally without engendering violence on both sides, the side that is the oppressor and the side that is the oppressed. The system demands it because humans will not accept being treated as lesser beings unless there is the threat of violence to enforce it. And some of those being oppressed will react violently to being oppressed. It is human nature. (See http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/...)

It is totally pointless to go on and on about whether violence from both sides is being treated equally. The violence is endemic to the system, and ALL of it is the result of the system, regardless of who's committing it.

Discussions of "even-handedness" don't deal with the underlying problem, which is the inequality. In fact, they deflect from viewing the problem because they implicitly assume an even playing field, when the field is all tilted strongly in favor of the oppressing group, which is in this case is Israel, which has been belligerently occupying Gaza and the West Bank for more than 60 years. And only the oppressing side has the power to end the inequality. It was so in the US and in South Africa. So what is incumbent upon anyone who seriously cares about human rights is to address the injustice and the inequality, not to sit back and count score as to whether one feels that someone else has adequately and even-handedly condemned violence.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

... Despite the endless propaganda we are subjected to, about Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims) being people who are “not like us”, whose values are inimical to our own, and with whom we are condemned to be engaged in an endless clash of civilizations, the conflict in Palestine is actually rooted in the fact that Palestinians are exactly like us.

Palestinians do not accept that equal citizenship in their own homeland should be denied them because of their ethnic/religious background, any more than Americans would accept ethnic justifications for denying them equal citizenship in the United States. Palestinians do not accept that a population that is 96.7% Muslim and Christian should be ethnically cleansed to make way for a sectarian Jewish state, any more than we would accept that the 97.5% of Americans who happen to be not-Jewish should be ethnically cleansed to make way for a Jewish state here. In short, Palestinians reject and resist Zionism because they do not accept being treated in ways that we, likewise, would never accept for ourselves.

This is not difficult to understand. ...

altho then you have to add that -- contrary to what we all believe and what we all would stand for and do in reaction if it was us -- our money, power, and official policy helps the other side alone -- always.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

I strongly recommend Lawrence of Cyberia as a website. Its written by a woman and she gets so many things just right and has a wonderful logical way of expressing things. I envy her writing skills.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Where is the yardstick for equality? Or for proportionality?

This fear that an honest accounting of the situation will lead us to false conclusions is IMHO rather vexing. One imagines that it's the M.O. of Israel's hard-liners, for example, and of all people who dehumanize others.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's foolish to treat it as if it is.

Palestinians are stateless, and fully controlled by Israel.

They have no passports -- or rights. They are wholly dependent on Israel allowing international aid--they can't even eat on their own or grow their own food or cure their own sick without Israel allowing or not allowing it. They can't even use their coast or their "borders".

And that's wholly because they were evicted from their land and forced into certain areas.

Gaza was also wholly occupied until just recently too--by Israel.

It's not a separate country -- it's part of Israel and still under Israel's total control in every way.

Even black and colored South Africans had passports -- they were totally unequal yet still citizens.

Even Native Americans were seen and treated as existing and as having rights -- you make treaties with existing groups (even if they're broken). You trade with existing groups.

Palestinians don't even have that.

An honest accounting is exactly what's already been done. The situation there is wholly unacceptable, and damages the whole world. These current actions by Israel are making it worse. Humans have rights. ...

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

of one side? You seem to have set up a strawman argument here. And what does "proportionality" have to do with oppression and inequality. If an act of violence meant to sustain a system of inequality is "proportional" does that make it excusable?

As I've mentioned before, my sister is an Israeli Jew. She lives in Jerusalem and uses the bus for transportation. When the violence touches the Israeli side (which is the only time that it makes the news here, even though the violence touches the Palestinian side daily), I worry for her safety and hope that she does not become a victim. But I also know that she is not in danger of having her house confiscated because the Israeli government has decided to expand another Jewish area at the expense of Jerusalem Arabs who's families have lived there for centuries. She is not in danger of losing her Jerusalem residency because Israel has decided, yet again, that the ratio of Arabs to Jews there is too high. She does not have to walk miles out of her way to get to work or friends or stand in line at a checkpoint while Israeli soldiers demean her, she is not denied treatment , nor given lesser government benefits, nor is she treated as if she must be a terrorist because of her last name or the language that she speaks. Her life is infinitely better than that of the average Palestinian in the occupied territories, and is also several steps better than the average Palestinian citizen of Israel. When she is endangered, it is ultimately because the system there, in favoring her and disfavoring the Palestinians, threatens her safety by creating the very pain, anger and hatred that the state claims it needs to protect her from. And so the state creates more pain and suffering and pats itself on the back for a job well done.

You seem to want an "equality" in the discussion that does not exist in Israel. May I ask, did it bother you when South African apartheid was discussed that very little was mentioned, in a positive vein, about white South African fears, or about violence toward white South Africans? Why does this issue of "even-handedness' bother you now, if it didn't bother you then? Why does Israel get different treatment from you than apartheid South Africa?

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

a cuddly mascot for our favorite team

?

You'd probably help your point if you could actually provide a link to some such blog. I doubt that one even exists. You keep accusing without any solid proof to back up your claim.

What Chris Floyd did in this comment piece is not remarkable nor out of character for most left blogs that criticize Israel. Are you new to the issue?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Gaza: the logic of colonial power --

... An American journal once asked me to contribute an essay to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified. My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, for the Native Americans in the past, for the Jews in Nazi Germany, for the Palestinians today, to ask themselves.

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims' struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.

Counterinsurgency, now popular again among in the Pentagon, is another way of saying the suppression of national liberation struggles. Terror and intimidation are as essential to it as is winning hearts and minds.

Normative rules are determined by power relations. Those with power determine what is legal and illegal. They besiege the weak in legal prohibitions to prevent the weak from resisting. For the weak to resist is illegal by definition. Concepts like terrorism are invented and used normatively as if a neutral court had produced them, instead of the oppressors. The danger in this excessive use of legality actually undermines legality, diminishing the credibility of international institutions such as the United Nations. It becomes apparent that the powerful, those who make the rules, insist on legality merely to preserve the power relations that serve them or to maintain their occupation and colonialism. ...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

How the cocksure, moralistic, hairtrigger, groupthinking, thumb-on-scaling Obama Fan Base used to scare us?

You're all scaring me like that now.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

did that scare you? Did you also feel compelled to criticize the one-sidedness of that?

This is much more like Warren, i'd say-- but far far more deadly, and we are all far far more involved in it and have been our whole lives.

Right & wrong, and the Golden Rule, and seeing harm done to others -- it's really not nuanced, and if it's scaring you, i really wonder why.

It gives me hope, personally, to see that not everything can be excused or rationalized away or spun or balanced or weighed as equivalent or presented as such. That there still is a "common good" sometimes, too.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

since you are scared, then we must be wrong and you must be right?? Is that what you are trying to say? Its not a very honest or reasoned way to make an argument.

Could it possibly be that you are scared because you yourself are falling victim to groupthink and you are projecting it on others? Just a thought.

You may not agree with my views, but trust me, I'm not "groupthinking" at all on this subject. Most of my views on the subject vary from what is considered acceptable discourse, since I don't believe that Israel has a right to exist AS A STATE THAT TREATS ITS CITIZENS AND SUBJECT UNEQUALLY ON THE BASIS OF THEIR ETHNIC HERITAGE. (Note, that I do believe that individual Israelis have an inalienable right to exist, and that Israel as a state has a right to exist, as long as it derives its existence from the will of those it governs. Those rights I consider self-evident.) There's not a very big "group" to mind-meld with on this belief of mine, and the few like-minded individuals that do exist are constantly met with scorn and approbation from those who do groupthink on this, and unthinkingly give Israeli Jews a pass on something that they themselves would not countenance from any other group or nation.

You aren't scaring me at all, but you are reminding me of ever so many people on blogs left and right who posit that if you stack up the violence on one side and then balance it with violence from the other you can safely call a pox on both their houses, and need never address the underlying injustice of the situation.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I do believe that individual Israelis have an inalienable right to exist, and that Israel as a state has a right to exist, as long as it derives its existence from the will of those it governs. Those rights I consider self-evident.

That describes my beliefs to a "T". I think one of Israel's biggest mistakes was being founded as an enthic, Jewish state as opposed to a state in which Jews live. There would have never been such the conflict as we've had if it hadn't been founded like it had.

I think this is about as nuanced as one can get, and you're exactly right. There is not much of a group to have groupthink with with our type of views. What we're expressing is down-right heretical. In the pro-Israel Jewish community we'd be called anti-Semites so fast that we couldn't even blink in time.

Really, you want to talk nuanced, you're getting it right here. Save for maybe one member using ridiculously heated rhetoric, I don't see anything here that has been the markings of a "leftist" blog, which is why the chiding is so confusing as to offend any thinking man's sensibilities.

BTW, let's make something clear, I am offended when I here any political leader(s) that use rhetoric such as "pushing (name of country) into the sea". But, there is currently a nation that not only has the means, but is actually practicing pushing another into the sea, and it ain't the Arabs.

empty's picture
Submitted by empty on

individual Israelis have an inalienable right to exist, and that Israel as a state has a right to exist, as long as it derives its existence from the will of those it governs. Those rights I consider self-evident

It is not about the right of Israel to exist, it is about the right of Israel to act in ways immoral and repugnant with impunity.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

my views of the Middle East tend to be along the lines of "what Jimmy Carter said"

Carter bascialy removed the threat of land invasion of Israel with the Camp David Accords, Begins reaction was to invade Lebanon. Carter forced him back, but shortly after Reagan took office Begin invaded Lebanon again. The results were not happy for anyone concerned.

The Israelis has been on a consistent plan to destablize life in the occupied territories. They have consistently failed to honor the promises they made in agreements.

Now had Ghandi, King, Aquino, or Walensa been in charge of the Palestinian movement they would have long since achieved the two state solution. By embracing terror the Palestinians covered their cause with shame.

So we need aggressive negoticiations. I think this attack was launched precisely with the idea of tying Obama's hands.

Anyone who has not seen the movie, Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, I recommend it. It is mostly about Carter and his book tour, but there is a lot about the West Bank in it.

happy new year

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

us Jews are not ever supposed to criticize Israel -- which is why it's even more vital and absolutely necessary for us Jews to loudly criticize Israel when it does horrendous stuff like now.

... It always fascinates me how, in the context of the Arab Israeli conflict, Jews who err on the side of Israel in all things suddenly become immediate arbiters of ethnic authenticity, as Marty Peretz does here, going after, among others, my colleague Ezra Klein and roll dog Spencer Ackerman, as a result of their criticisms of Israel's Gaza operation:

I pity them their hatred of their inheritance. Actually of both their inheritances, Jewish and American. They are pip-squeaks, and I do not much read them. But when any one of them writes a real doozey it is likely to come to my attention.

I guess I find this fascinating because when Jews do this, they sound like no one more than Malcolm X divvying up black folks into Field Negroes and House Negroes. In the minds of folks like Peretz, any Jew who does not acquiesce, without criticism, to whatever military actions Israel deems necessary is caught, like a house slave, in the throes of their own self-hatred. They are unable to unshackle themselves from centuries of anti-Semitism and self-loathing, and are doomed to justify whatever viciousness undertaken against their people out of a twisted desire to be accepted by those who hate them. Rather than looking after massa, self-hating Jews look after Hamas. ...

there's all kinds of groupthink -- on everything always, and acting on different groups and subgroups differently.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Did you see what he did there?

He acknowledged a reality where Hamas isn't a cuddly mascot for our favorite team.

There you go, again. I'm sorry your experiences with a few on the left have been so bad, but there is not a person I know that would not (and doesn't) believe Hamas actions to be wrong and counterproductive.

Here is that self-important preacher poking through, again, who seeks far too often to build straw men. I don't know where you've been, but I don't know a person on either side of this in my realm that would see Hamas as anything close to a "cuddly mascot."

This is really a red herring, as well. Hamas as a "cuddly mascot" is hardly the problem in coverage of the issue, anywhere. You've been purposefully trying to distract from the real issues, to score a side point that quite frankly isn't important.

Sorry, but you've long since tripped off your soap box on this one and bumped your head. And, that, my friend, is the danger with getting up on a unstable soap box in the first place, instead of speaking truth to real power. Guess what? That real power is not Hamas. You're not speaking to the power, you're speaking for the power.

If you're missing nuance coverage on this issue, well, you've simply ignored it.