Sunday, March 02, 2008

Two questions

There's a lot I don't understand about what is happening in Gaza.

Firstly, what is Hamas's strategy? It is evident that they have been baiting Israel to react in this way for a long time. The attacks on Sderot and other towns have increased steadily over the last few months, but did not produce a substantial response until Thursday when Ashkelon was hit for the first time. Israel had to do something, and now they have, which is, I can only assume, what Hamas has been seeking. But what do they get from it?

Is it to make sure that Abbas can make no deal with the Israelis? That will certainly be the short-term effect, and has been achieved many times before, the more extreme always having the last word. Is that the idea?

Is it a media event? The rocket launchers fire from Gaza’s school buildings, rooftops, playgrounds and underground pits, using civilians and children as human shields. They make it so that civilians will certainly be killed, especially children, who make the best news photos. Is it to further degrade the reputation of Israel that they make martyrs of their children?

Or is it the start of a hot summer with conflagrations to the south and then to the north? 2006 all over again.

Secondly, what can Israel hope to achieve by large scale military incursions into Gaza? I can't see a feasible military target. Hamas have been preparing for this for some time and, short of a complete occupation, what useful political or military benefit can Israel hope to gain? It might slow the rocket launchers down, but they will start again very soon afterwards.

It's not that I have an alternative strategy. The Israeli government are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They're fighting an enemy with whom they cannot negotiate because any concession they make will merely provoke another demand. I don't know what they should have done or should do. Nonetheless, it is easy to predict what will happen here. There'll be the usual media storm, with world leaders pontificating from the moral heights before international pressure forces the IDF to cease operations, and get out, and so let the whole cycle start again.

40 comments:

Riri said...

Hamas strategy is to kick the illegal settlers from their rightful land. They are fighting on behalf of a dispossessed people and the people support them because the alternative would be a life of second class citizens with no hope for a better future. Why Israel does not want to negotiate with them is what I don't understand. Actually, I do. It's because they don't want peace. They have everything on their side, weapons, the traitrous US-despots of Arab regimes, the mediatic constant mass conditionning of the masses to feel eternal guilt for the bloody Holocaust. What's so special about the Holocaust anyway, genocides have always happened and they're still happening. All we hear about is the Holocaust.

Friends of Israel keep having a go at Hamas, but they hardly ever seem to recognise that the current Israeli regime is as extremist if not more so than what Hamas' staretegy is propagated to be. And it's not like they're fighting for something that's not theirs by all international standards. Nothing like Israel to twist things to their advantage. I mean, have you see the death ratio on HR websites? It beggars belief that people still say Israel are "reacting". Who's reacting exactly?

Israel's government is the law breaker but they can get away with it because they can't do no wrong.

I just hope that when the Palestinians are completely extinguished by those child murdrers (which will eventually happen if the situation stays like this), people will have the decency not to apologise or say it was all Hamas or the Palestinians fault. No need to even try and justify the unjustifiable. Just pretend like nothing happened and carry on, please. That's life.

NoolaBeulah said...

If for one side the only acceptable outcome is the annihilation of the other, then what, for the second, is there to negotiate about? To concede anything would be, in principle, to consent to your own destruction.

You start by saying that the strategy is just that. Then you rhetorically ask why Israel will not negotiate with them, only to conclude that it is the Israelis who do not want peace! When the peace that you have defined is Israel's destruction.

"And it's not like they're fighting for something that's not theirs by all international standards." I don't know which international standards you are referring to. Israel was created by them in 1948.

Yes, the death ratios are completely uneven. That is for two reasons. Firstly, Israel has a much better army. Secondly, Hamas makes it so that there can be no other outcome.

Hamas is lobbing bombs onto Israeli towns and has been doing so since Israel conceded control of Gaza. Tell me. What should Israel do about that given the strategy and context that you have described?

Riri said...

If for one side the only acceptable outcome is the annihilation of the other, then what, for the second, is there to negotiate about? To concede anything would be, in principle, to consent to your own destruction

- Why are you so sure that the Palestinians “only acceptable outcome” is the annihilation of Israel. This is plain wrong, the Palestinians want a free country, they want a land agreement that can allow them to build a state and be independent. They want Israel to retreat to its borders. They’re fed up of living in ghettos. And assuming you are right that they want to annihilate Israel, wouldn’t that be understandable from a people who have been completely dispossessed and have suffered all sorts of abuse for 60 years? Israel is the one in the powerful position and they wanted to return to their “holy land”, fine. Is that a way to treat its inhabitants? Why not simply try and pacify them, Israel is the beacon of the Middle East and possibly the world no? We’re all looking up to Israel for examples of all-round brilliance and rectitude and nobleness, so we’re told anyway. The way they’re insisting on using military strikes speaks volumes about their true motives, even if it is true that Hamas want them annihilated (because wanting something and having the means to achieve it are entirely different things). Israel has been mistreating, abusing, destituting and slaughtering Palestinians for 6o years, try and condense that into 4 years, you know play the tape in fast forward and let me know what you see.

"And it's not like they're fighting for something that's not theirs by all international standards." I don't know which international standards you are referring to. Israel was created by them in 1948

-“ Since the war of 1967, Palestinians have come to accept the reality of Israel within the 1948 boundaries. The land dispute has increasingly focused on Israel's occupation of the remaining territories -- the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. UN Resolutions 242 and 338 stipulate that Israel must withdraw completely from these territories. Israel has not withdrawn, however, and it has built many Jewish settlements in the territories, actions deemed illegal by virtually all other states”.
Source

Yes, the death ratios are completely uneven. That is for two reasons. Firstly, Israel has a much better army. Secondly, Hamas makes it so that there can be no other outcome

I am not going to answer this or speculate any further on a clear and unambiguous statistic. I don’t dispute that Israel has the better army. You seem to be suggesting further more that the Palestinians enjoy sending their kids to be murdered by Israel, or maybe use their slaughtered children as effective justification for their terrorist acts against Israel. If you sincerely find this believable than you’ll have no trouble supporting Israel’s helping itself to such easy targets. That’ll teach those terrorist Palestinians right.

And tell me something, do you seriously believe that human beings would even consider using their children for political gain so naturally? It cannot be inherent in Palestinians can it? Even if they try and publicise it, who can blame them, their children are dead, they will never come back, why should they not grieve and lash out and tell the whole world about it? Why shouldn't they shout that they hate Israel? I don't pretend to know how Palestinians feel or how their traumatic lives are affecting their ability for lucid thought, I don't think anybody can. Am just saying I find it inhuman that some people seem to easily believe that Palestinians are the ones to blame for the masses of their dead children.

"Never Again" eh? What a joke. Even the Holocaust victims would be turning in their graves if they knew what is being done in their name.

Hamas is lobbing bombs onto Israeli towns and has been doing so since Israel conceded control of Gaza. Tell me. What should Israel do about that given the strategy and context that you have described?

The beacon of the Middle East and of humanity and compassion should retreat to her borders and give the Palestinians a well-deserved break.

Riri said...

Colonial Realities

Out of interest, what hypothetical situation would convince you that Israel is wrong and criminal?

Hazar Nesimi said...

The beacon of the Middle East and of humanity and compassion should retreat to her borders and give the Palestinians a well-deserved break.

You all know that this will never happen. There is absolutely no way out now of this situation so there can be 2scenarious

1. All get pulled in into eventually a world-destructive conflagration that will end up in destruction of humanity, or at least of the parts i mostly care about

2. Leave Palestinians in Gaza to die at the hands of Israel for foreseable future.

Gaza is condemned by God and History to relieve the Hell on Earth. People caged and leaving like animals loosing all their human dignity. Its not just dispoportional responce, it is dehumanization of peoples that happened. Gaza should not have happened in the first place. It was a hellhole, now it is worse.

Neula-Beula I think you do not understand that in Gaza human life probably worth rather nothing and is easily disposed of. I am actually surprised that there are as of yet no waves of suicide bombers trying to attack Israeli position.

Israel, has to live with this guilt as long as it exists as a state.

NoolaBeulah said...

Why are you so sure that the Palestinians “only acceptable outcome” is the annihilation of Israel. That is what you said and what is in Hamas's charter. It was attempted in 1948, 1967 and 1973.

Why not simply try and pacify them? They have. Yasser Arafat had 95% of what he had asked for in 2000 at Camp David, and yet could not agree to end the conflict, and so he didn't. The Israelis withdrew from Gaza entirely in 2005 - this was taken as a sign of weakness, and so the baiting started.

Israel has been mistreating, abusing, destituting and slaughtering Palestinians for 6o years. The Israelis are no innocents. However, I would say that more of the blame for the situation of the Palestinians lay with Arab states that made sure they stayed refugees so as to use them as a weapon against Israel. About the same number of Jews were expelled from Arab countries in 1948 as there were Arabs who left Israel. Where are those Jews now; which refugee camps are they in? Jordan had the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 - what did their fellow Arabs do for them? It was the same fellow Arabs who killed thousands of them in 1970. If you compare the casualty figures of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with those of other, often much shorter conflicts (Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Algeria, Sudan), you can't but wonder at the inverse proportion of passion.

Since the war of 1967, Palestinians have come to accept the reality of Israel within the 1948 boundaries. Which Palestinians?

UN Resolutions 242 and 338 stipulate that Israel must withdraw completely from these territories. Israel has not withdrawn, however, and it has built many Jewish settlements in the territories, actions deemed illegal by virtually all other states. No, they don't. They say "withdraw from territories occupied in the recent conflict". The Arab countries wanted 'all the' placed before the word 'territories', but that was refused. It was merely a recognition of the fact that the 1948 borders were indefensible, and so were asking for another war.

The resolution also calls for Arab states to make peace with Israel, but that was ruled out even before it was passed. Because already 3 months before, the Arab leaders in Khartoum declared their 3 Noes: "No peace with Israel; no negotiations with Israel; no recognition with Israel". It should also be added that Israel has in fact withdrawn from about 95% of those territories, and has been recognised by Egypt and Jordan.

And tell me something, do you seriously believe that human beings would even consider using their children for political gain so naturally? If you fire rockets from school buildings, tower blocks and houses and use the population to even up the odds, then do you have no responsibility for what happens? It doesn't work against the Russians or the Chinese, but it does against the Israelis. Do you have any idea of what the casualty figures would have been if, instead of the IDF, it had been the Red Army going in?

The beacon of the Middle East and of humanity and compassion should retreat to her borders and give the Palestinians a well-deserved break. What happened when the beacon of the Middle East withdrew over the border with Gaza? To do the same in the West Bank would be to put Israel's largest cities in the range of even Hamas's missiles. It would be madness.

Out of interest, what hypothetical situation would convince you that Israel is wrong and criminal? If it became a state like most of those around it. If it used its full firepower. If it treated its Arab citizens like the Arab countries treated their Jewish ones. If its hospitals stopped treating Palestinians. If its courts stopped hearing cases brought by Palestinians against the Israeli state. If they block access to the Muslim holy sites, as did the Jordanians to the Jewish.

Nazim, I have no doubt that life in Gaza is an utter hell. Nor am I optimistic for its future (though I wouldn't put it quite as strongly as you do). But there would at least be some hope if they could just give up on the idea of destroying Israel and started trying to do something with their lives. Though still bad, at least in the 90s, it was on an upward curve. That's all gone now.

Riri said...

That is what you said and what is in Hamas's charter. It was attempted in 1948, 1967 and 1973

Look, there is no possible or nice way to steal land, everyone accepts that. So, let’s not get stuck in pretending or arguing who’s better than whom. So according to you the Palestinians should not have attempted to resist Israel in 1948, nor in 1967 or 1973? It was a perfectly legitimate thing to do. You might think otherwise, but we do not suffer from any guilt towards the Jews. The Holocaust was not our problem, it was Europe’s. Israel is a Zionist project and I refer you to the widely documented Zionist history if you really insist on starting from the very beginning – not 1948, 1967 or 1973.

If you are genuinely interested in looking at Israel from Hamas or the Palestinian or even the Arab perspective, consider the Zionists history and their multitude of “charters”. The Hamas charter argument pro-Israel people keep bringing up is a joke, they forget that what Israel represents and symbolizes to the Palestinians in light of its clearly Zionist ambitions allows them nothing more than resist till the end.

At least Hamas are honest about their motives, Israel on the other hand prefers to use ambiguous words like disaster instead of explicit ones like Holocaust. If you want to argue about words rather than actions and CONTEXT, we can spend all day here.

It is not about who’s better than who, it’s about who started all this. Hamas or the Palestinians certainly did not. Jew and Muslims were living peacefully in Palestine, farming their land until Israel decided to exist, on its own Zionist terms. They started it and they have shown no intention of giving any shred of that murderous ambition ever since. That’s what Hamas is seeking to “obliterate”, the huge injustice of it all. But of course, obliterate and Israel should not appear together in one sentence unless it is Israel who’s doing the obliterating. Otherwise it’d be anti-Semitic. Puuuuurleeeeze!

Riri said...

They have. Yasser Arafat had 95% of what he had asked for in 2000 at Camp David, and yet could not agree to end the conflict, and so he didn't. The Israelis withdrew from Gaza entirely in 2005 - this was taken as a sign of weakness, and so the baiting started.

It was certainly unwise of Arafat to walk out of the talks without even bothering to propose counter-offers to the Israeli ones. But the Israeli offers have never been reasonable, simply because they insist on creating a JEWISH state, they would never consider a solution where the refugees will be allowed to return to their lands, they would rather exterminate them or dispose of them in anyway and bring in Jews from all over the world to populate Israel. No people on earth would agree to such horrific tactics. It is Israel which has a problem living with non Jews, not Palestinians, they were living with Jews since the dawn of time, they’re both Canaanite descendents. Palestinians are people (Muslims, Christians and Jews), Jews are a religious group. Israel will never make concessions on their expansionist Zionist ambitions. The Palestinians are supposed to applaud and be happy with that? Purrrrrleeeeeeeeeze.

Again, not about who’s better than who, but who’s started it and has never since shown any sign of being prepared to negotiate sustainable peace?

The Israelis are no innocents. However, I would say that more of the blame for the situation of the Palestinians lay with Arab states that made sure they stayed refugees so as to use them as a weapon against Israel

I agree about the Arab states responsibility. But saying that such or such party has more or less blame is nonsensical. You cannot compare like for like in these complex situations, sounds like a very twisted way to let Israel off the hook by shifting the blame to other parties. Not nice and completely ineffective as a persuasion strategy.

If you compare the casualty figures of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with those of other, often much shorter conflicts (Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Algeria, Sudan), you can't but wonder at the inverse proportion of passion

Source? Give me the figures you’re talking about, I doubt you can compare such figures anyway, lots of mass murders and genocide figures are duly concealed and tempered with by officials. They certainly should not provide basis for a legitimacy argument about political or military operations. If so then by your logic, what is currently happening in Palestine is alright then, Israel is still in the green area, it can carry on its atrocious collective punishment policies and child murders as it still has way to go before counter-balancing the casualty figures you’re talking about.

Israel is a bandit state in its very foundations (charter or whatever you like to call it). No other state on the entire planet would have been allowed to exist on current Israeli terms if they were not Jewish. That’s the Zionist ideology. Not all Jews are Zionists, and trying to confuse issues by dragging innocent Jews into the debate and the poor victims of the Holocaust to justify the unjustifiable is simply immoral. Zionists should be ashamed of themselves. But they know no shame.

Riri said...

Since the war of 1967, Palestinians have come to accept the reality of Israel within the 1948 boundaries. Which Palestinians?

And now we have the “if you’re not happy about something, deny it is there” tactics. Nice. I can see now how wonderful it is to deny annoying things, things that get in the way, because denying their existence effectively means denying their right to exist. Hmm, sounds familiar.

"No peace with Israel; no negotiations with Israel; no recognition with Israel"

Yes. Replace Israel with Zionists and you might get the motivation. Israel and Zionism are one and the same. The entire history of Israel vouches to this undeniable fact. Unless you deny Zionism exists as well? Maybe Palestinians and Zionism really don’t exist, they’re figments of our imagination and all that is happening now is just a case of those barbaric Arab Muslims going mad for no reason, like people do. They’re going mad because their Holy Book tells them so. Makes much more sense that now that I think of it.

you fire rockets from school buildings, tower blocks and houses and use the population to even up the odds, then do you have no responsibility for what happens? [.....]any idea of what the casualty figures would have been if, instead of the IDF, it had been the Red Army going in?

Oh Israel is such a saint in their restraint, NOT. Where do you want Palestinians to throw their crappy Qassam rockets from? WHAT are you contesting exactly, their legitimate right to resist or the way they seem to be doing it? Why don't you run past me your view of how Palestinians should be resisting the unlawful occupation of their land and what alternatives they have? Why don't you compare their alternatives with mighty saintly Israel's? Again, comparing the incomparable, this is noway of arguing the legitimacy of actions.

The beacon of the Middle East and of humanity and compassion should retreat to her borders and give the Palestinians a well-deserved break

No it would not. The madness is what is happening now. The madness is that Palestinians have to go through tens of checkpoints before being able to go to work or visit family in their “territories”. The madness is that Israel still has control over land that the Palestinians are seemingly free to live on. The madness is that there is no way the Palestinians can live even a pseudo-normal life with a hostile state that stabs and tears across their land like a bloody sword. The madness was started by Israel is its relentless efforts to erect a purely Jewish state without any concessions on this. The madness was started by Israel when they used every possible method to steal and appropriate land and dispose of the indigenous population. The horror of their acts is returning to haunt them now. God, how the idea of an afterlife retribution comes in handy sometimes!

Riri said...

Sorry I had to split my responses to make them more manageable. Last post on the points raised by Noolabeulah:

If it became a state like most of those around it. If it used its full firepower. If it treated its Arab citizens like the Arab countries treated their Jewish ones. If its hospitals stopped treating Palestinians. If its courts stopped hearing cases brought by Palestinians against the Israeli state. If they block access to the Muslim holy sites, as did the Jordanians to the Jewish

In other words never, Israel can do no wrong.

I must say am particularly charmed by the “if it used its full firepower” one, particularly the “full” bit, puts things in perspective that does. If Israel used their full firepower the planet will be destroyed 10 times over. How lovely of them to exercise such restraint! Israel would not treat its Arab citizens badly because it made sure they’re Jews in the first place, we’re talking about how it treats non-Jew Arabs, i.e. the Palestinians. Israel’s hospitals wouldn’t stop treating Palestinians, the better thing to do would be to cut off the power supply so that Palestinians stop getting treated in their own hospitals, much more effective. Israeli courts wouldn’t stop hearing cases, but they can choose not to listen, much more effective. Israel would not block access to Muslim cities, but it can make it extremely difficult to access, much more effective.

Seriously, just give Israel the credit when it’s due. They’re brilliant. It’s fine to be a brilliant murderer, it’s just not nice to pretend you’re nicer than or more worthy of your victim on top of it.

NoolaBeulah said...

Forgive me. Running around like a blue-arsed fly (why do we say that?). Will try to reply tomorrow.

NoolaBeulah said...

I mentioned 1948 because, when the United Nations created Israel, it was a joint proposal, for 2 countries side by side. It was more or less the solution that you claim today's Palestinians want and the Israelis refuse. In 1948, all the Arab states, and the Arabs this side of the Jordan, refused to even consider it and attacked. Three times this has happened, and three times the intention was the same - to drive Israel into the sea, to obliterate them.

But of course, obliterate and Israel should not appear together in one sentence unless it is Israel who’s doing the obliterating.

Israel, which does have the power to obliterate, has not done so.

I refer you to the widely documented Zionist history

What Zionist history would that be?

But the Israeli offers have never been reasonable, simply because they insist on creating a JEWISH state, they would never consider a solution where the refugees will be allowed to return to their lands, they would rather exterminate them or dispose of them in anyway and bring in Jews from all over the world to populate Israel.

This language is absurd. The Arabs inside Israel are probably better off than most Arabs outside it. The Israelis have not 'exterminated', which means to kill en masse so as to wipe out. The Palestinian population now is 12 times what it was in 1948. What kind of extermination is that?

There MUST be a Jewish state, just as there are (how many?) Muslim states. To consider otherwise would be to consider suicide. There is no possibility of the right of return, as anyone who looks at the demographics realises. To insist on it is just another way of prolonging the agony. There was a great injustice done, I have no doubt of that. The causes of that injustice were many. There was Israeli terrorism, but that played a very small part in comparison to the war that was raging (armies converging from north, west, and south) and the incompetence of the Arab leadership that encouraged people to flee in the hope of creating a refugee crisis big enough for the major powers to intervene.

NoolaBeulah said...

I can see now how wonderful it is to deny annoying things

I repeat, which Palestinians?

The following comment I don't understand. What am I denying? Zionism exists, but when I use the word, it obviously means something quite different to what you mean. Palestinians is another question. The word really only came into general use after the 67 War. If you ask most people now, they think that before 1948 there was a country called Palestine and so words like 'invasion' fit. Unfortunately, there wasn't, and the only invasion was by means of refugee ships.

NoolaBeulah said...

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.
For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

That was a man called Zuheir Mohsen speaking in 1977. He was the leader of the Arab terrorist group As Saiqa. And this is Mahmoud Zahhar, Hamas's foreign minister.

“We [Palestinians] were never an independent state in history,” he notes. “We were part of an Arab state and an Islamic state.”

NoolaBeulah said...

Why don't you run past me your view of how Palestinians should be resisting the unlawful occupation of their land and what alternatives they have?

I quite understand their use of the tactic. But, then you should understand why children die when the Israelis hit back.

In other words never, Israel can do no wrong.

I did not say that. I would never say that about anyone. But you are trying to push the line that they are always wrong, and in a metaphysical sense almost. It sounds at times like Ahmadinejad with Israel playing the world's representative of Satan. A lot of sarcasm, outrage and apocalyptic rhetoric, but no discussion. It is a vile, vile situation; the people in Gaza and the West Bank and the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon have had shit poured on them for 6 decades, and I don't smell anything better in the next few either. There is no resolution that can heal the wounds that have been inflicted (whichever way you look). But if one side refuses to stop fighting until they get what they can never get, then even the minor improvements that were made in the 90s will be impossible.

Riri said...

OK, back to basics. My argument goes like this:

- We cannot approach the I/P conflict from where it all started, because no two parties would agree about the exact point of commencement of a country (any country) as such – this was in response to your statement that the Palestinians started the conflict by resisting Israel’s formation in 1948, 1967 etc.

- The basis of arguing the legitimacy of each party’s acts should be on the way Israel established itself in the region, with what means and what were its motivations and vision for itself. Why? Because of the necessity to dispossess the indigenous people that were already established in that land that Israel had to undertake in order to accomplish its State project. The wisest way to ensure general consensus is to consider the consequences of actions on all stakeholders, then work backwards to refine strategy to achieve one’s objectives. Israel is to blame in this sense because it worked out a strategy that ignored every stake-holder and insisted on pursuing it no matter what. I call this Zionism.

- This necessity puts Israel from the beginning in the position of the oppressor, the attacker, the violator. Israel as well as all the parties which helped and supported it existence on purely religio-ethnic foundations. I don’t think anybody would disagree with that, regardless of whether there was an independent Palestinian State in place at the time or not. Otherwise, it would be like saying that only human societies /communities which are organized according to modern State criteria have the right to resist being dispossessed and thrown out of their habitats. This is not right, unless you think otherwise.

- From all the possible philosophies Israel could have chosen to validate its existence, it picked the least persuasive one. Why? Because founding a “modern” State on an exclusively religious/ethnic basis cannot be argued to be legitimate, especially in a region so important to 2 other religions other than Judaism. This is certainly not a right that anyone can claim to have. Modern States come into being spontaneously through the political reorganization of a diverse people who might have various ethnic origins, religions etc. Israel is unique in the sense that their project consisted in creating a new State from scratch, entirely populated by Jews, this required an empty spot of land. The closest basis to a legitimate modern State would have been to create a State inspired by Judaism but inclusive of the indigenous population who are not necessarily Jews, the necessity to dispose of the original inhabitants who are non Jews would have been annulled. Jerusalem being a significant religious symbol for two other religions other than Judaism, this would have been the most sensible approach to opt for. They did not and threw all caution to the wind. Why? Because they ensured proper back-up and support and they had no problem using force or any means to achieve their immutable objectives. This I call Zionism.

- Israel insisted on the idea of an exclusively Jewish state. This is what I referred to as Zionist ambitions and I disagree with them, particularly in the context of a religiously charged land such as Palestine. A Zionist project could not have been anything than a destabilizing intrusion in the region. Yet, Israel forged ahead and the resentment grew. Israel cannot be described otherwise than a cancerous growth, but a cancerous growth can be benign, unfortunately Israel’s actions indicate than it is not benign.

- One could still give Israel the benefit of the doubt and say, well, the Jews were traumatized because of the Holocaust, they were not thinking straight. The world being engulfed in all sorts of nationalistic movements at the time, the Jews could not really be blamed for insisting on creating Israel along those terms. That’s fine, but the thing is times changed since then, and Israel is still hell-bent on continuing to exist on last century’s political ideology. Their refusing to negotiate with Hamas is clear indication that they just are not prepared to make concessions on the ethnic/mono-religious State project. This I call a Zionist mindset. They do not show any flexibility at all, they’re acting along the “Us or Them” ideology and that is not right. Plus agreeing to negotiate with Hamas would not necessarily mean they accept Hamas charter, they are the oppressor they have a duty to listen to their victim’s case regardless of charters. It’s not even a case of the weakest side is the morally superior one, it is simply a case of Israel blatantly insisting on never giving peace a chance and justifying their reluctance by ever less convincing excuses. It looks like it would rather commit genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians than make a concession that would at least show good will. This I call Zionism.

- Meanwhile, the indigenous population are still stateless, hopeless and ever so resentful. Their hatred is building up and Israel is treating their resentment as an anti-Semitically motivated attitude rather than recognizing it as a perfectly legitimate and natural reaction to Israel’s cruel and oppressive tactics. Palestinians know that they cannot hope to ever have a normal life as long as Israel continues to exist on those terms, is it so hard to understand? It’s nothing to do with Israel’s right to exist (no country could be argued to have a right to exist anyway), it’s about Israel’s philosophy of existing that the Palestinians find very disruptive and destabilizing. And again, I can understand them, they are right in their unhappiness about the situation. And surely you can see how this philosophy of existence could never ever engender sustainable peace in the region? Who should reconsider their charter then?

- The point is, by insisting on their “right to exist” as a purely Jew state, and not showing any signs or readiness to re-adapt their objectives to the situation that they were responsible for creating in the first place, Israel has effectively proved that they intend to obliterate anything that stands in the way of their project. They act with fanaticism and yet accuse their victims of being the fanatic ones.

- What is happening right now in Gaza is, in my view, the best proof what Israel is after. They’re out of their minds, collective punishment is a war crime by all international standards, murdering women, elderly and babies is atrocious and saying it is inevitable makes it even more atrocious because anything can be justified by claiming it is inevitable. Israel fire 1 ton bombs to ensure they kill one Hamas militant, you tell me this is inevitable and self-defense? You tell me Hamas are responsible for this? Sorry, I just cannot believe anybody could proffer such things. I don’t care about military strategies or political targets, using them as an excuse to do such things is a tragedy in itself. What is the point of International Law? What is the point of the much acclaimed Western civilization? What is the point of Israel claiming it is the beacon of the Middle East? It has proved beyond doubt that it just is not interested in sustainable peace.

- Saying that if anybody other than Israel were in their shoes they’d have done much worse is so wrong as well. This kind of argument is speculative and it does not legitimize what Israel is doing in the least. Saying that if Arabs had the nuclear bomb they would have bombed Israel is a very naughty thing to say because it seeks to justify Israel’s horrific acts by scaring the international community and conditioning them against Arabs and Muslims, much like the US and the UK have endeavored to justify the war on terror. It is wrong and you must see that surely? The only credit of using nuclear power to kill innocent people goes to no other than the secular, democratic, Western-values-of-equality-and-freedom-saturated US. Slogans are one thing, actions are quite another.

- As an aside, I want to say that I do not consider myself an Arab, but an Algerian Muslim. I admit that there is huge resentment towards the Jews in Muslim societies, but that is a result of Israeli actions not religious doctrine, many people who do not adhere to any religion feel solidarity with Palestinians on the same humanistic basic grounds. From a religious viewpoint, the Christian extremist right is the only party likely to hate the Jews on religious grounds. Muslims recognize that the children of Israel are a special people because many of the Prophets in our Holy Book were children of Israel. What Muslims do tend to feel however is a distrust of those people of Jew and Christian faiths who harbor resentment towards Muslims and want to vilify and discredit their faith, I admit that there is this feeling in our ranks but I can’t see anything unnatural in it and it is not the same thing as religious intolerance, it is more a reaction to the religious intolerance we perceive from others towards us.

- I do not object to Israel's existence on blind loyalty grounds. I object to it on purely philosophical grounds and many people feel the same. Surely, when babies start getting slaughtered and bombed on a nearly daily basis, it is time to stop and reconsider? This is no time for pride and stubbornness, Jews should be the very first ones to recognise this in light of their religious heritage.

Based on my view of the situation, my proposed solution is the one state solution based on reconciliation and forgiveness for past violence and injustice, it will take generations to forget but in my view it is the only way to viable peace long term (but will that suit the extremist Christian right?). That's if there is going to be no reconsideration of the ridiculous way the land is split. Otherwise, if there is room to renegotiate borders, two states with a continuous Plaestinian territory not disrupted by Israeli settlements.

Riri said...

Forgot to add: regarding your view that Hamas should not complain too much when children die in Israeli retaliation, I think the same argument can apply to Israel.

i.e. Israel should not complain too much when Israeli civilians die in Hamas attacks, given that it was their Government who encouraged them to settle in Palestinian land.

This kind of argument will never be resolved and it should not form basis for discussion. The basis should be the proportion of retaliation, because there is a huge power imbalance between Hamas and Israel. In this sense the proportion of women and children who die in Israeli raids is absolutely shocking. Would you not agree with this?

Riri said...

I read this in another Forum and I thought I'd share it, I think it manages to describe my view about Israel's inflexible Zionist attitude and why Israel should accept responsibility for the nasty turn of affairs in the Middle East better than my the product of my efforts so far:

"Israel's position boils down to just this: forget the fact that we keep you caged like animals and treat you constantly with abuse; forget the fact that we keep stealing your property in the West Bank; forget the fact that we hold 9,000 illegal prisoners and practice torture; forget our endless assassinations and state terror tactics; forget the constant humiliations: if you want what Israel calls peace, you must come to us properly abased, humiliate yourself yet again, having made every concession we demand in advance.

And what does Israel call peace? I think we've all got a clear idea from decades of experience including Barak's nightmare vision at Camp David: a walled-off people with no access to the world or even each other which Israel does not control; a people with no secure property rights, indeed with no rights of any kind; a people hated and abused constantly; a people who will vote just the way Israel says they'll vote before you are called democratic; a people excluded by countless apartheid-inspired laws from enjoying what Israelis themselves call life; and a people we trust will just go away eventually because we want their property but not their presence.

Nevertheless, this illogical, inhuman view is the official policy of Israel, clearly supported by Ms Marquardt-Bigman. Only Israel never, never just comes out and says so. It constantly misrepresents its true intent and blubbers about peace and motherhood while burrowing away relentlessly to collapse the homes and lives of those it should regard as neighbors.

And it calls anyone who doesn't agree ugly names.
"

NoolaBeulah said...

Inadequate apologies again. Still on the run. Probably won't get to this before the weekend now. Until then...[further apologies...]

Riri said...

OK, cheers. But when you get some time to reply, could you please try and make your thought process clear on how you view the Palestinian side of the story and also Hamas. I have focussed on my view of Israel and why I object to it but I haven't addressed any criticism to the Palestinians or Hamas. It does not mean I don't have any, it just means that I believe that Israel had also a lot to do with how the Palestinians ended up and therefore Israel has a duty to make serious attempts to rectify or at least do some damage limitation.

I know you are pro-Israel and I know from our conversations that you are a decent bloke who likes daffodils. Therefore I'd be genuinely interested to have your view of the situation particularly of the Palestinian side. My problem is, no matter how I try to look at the I/P problem, I just cannot understand how anybody can still support Israel in what it is doing. Perhaps you could help me develop insight on that?

NoolaBeulah said...

Israel is to blame in this sense because it worked out a strategy that ignored every stake-holder and insisted on pursuing it no matter what. I call this Zionism. This necessity puts Israel from the beginning in the position of the oppressor, the attacker, the violator. Israel as well as all the parties which helped and supported it existence on purely religio-ethnic foundations.

What was this strategy? To buy land? That was virtually it until WW2. They bought it, moreover, at well over the market rate and it was generally arid or swampy. Then the state was established by a UN resolution, just as Jordan had been, and Syria, Iraq and Lebanon by the League of Nations. So where's the difference?

Who supported Israel militarily? Virtually no-one. The Americans had put an arms embargo on the entire area the year before, and the great powers did nothing. Israel's weapons were smuggled from Czechoslovakia; the Jordanians were using British weapons.

Modern States come into being spontaneously

No, they don't. See above.

Because founding a “modern” State on an exclusively religious/ethnic basis cannot be argued to be legitimate

States are founded for many, many reasons, few of them 'legitimate'. Israel was founded as a home for the Jews, but it is a home for many others as well. More than a million Muslims, Christians, Druze, Baha'is, and others I can't spell, out of a total population of 6 million. Jews have an automatic right to citizenship, but others can become citizens by means similar to those in European countries. Can the same be said of the countries around it? So where's the problem?

NoolaBeulah said...

Their refusing to negotiate with Hamas is clear indication that they just are not prepared to make concessions on the ethnic/mono-religious State project. This I call a Zionist mindset. They do not show any flexibility at all, they’re acting along the “Us or Them” ideology and that is not right. Plus agreeing to negotiate with Hamas would not necessarily mean they accept Hamas charter, they are the oppressor they have a duty to listen to their victim’s case regardless of charters. It’s not even a case of the weakest side is the morally superior one, it is simply a case of Israel blatantly insisting on never giving peace a chance and justifying their reluctance by ever less convincing excuses. It looks like it would rather commit genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians than make a concession that would at least show good will. This I call Zionism.

This paragraph I find extraordinary. In 2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza. Land for peace was the slogan. No flexibility? Name me one action (not words) that Hamas has taken which would indicate their willingness to negotiate. The inflexibility has been more Arab than Israeli for just the reasons that you illustrate. The only flexibility you're interested in is Israeli willingness to dismantle their state. Any solution that does not encompass that condition is refused. The Israelis are not going to dismantle their state, and nor should they, so that is it. This has been the case since the beginning.

The Arab League, 1947: "The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It's likely, Mr Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won't get anything by peaceful means or compromise."

Note that, please. Your plan is rational and logical, but we are going to fight. And so on, down through the decades (with the exceptions of Sadat and, eventually, King Hussein). I repeat, they offered Arafat 95% of what he had asked for, and he launched the Intifada. In any other negotiation, he would have been counted the big winner if he had accepted it, but no, that would have meant accepting the existence of Israel.

Before you use the words 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' again, please bring me the figures. There's only one side that threatens to wipe out the other, and it isn't the Israelis.

Israel has effectively proved that they intend to obliterate anything that stands in the way of their project.

I repeat, Israel has handed back almost all the land they won when they were attacked by 5 nations in 1967. Please show me how that fits into this project to "obliterate anything that stands in the way".

NoolaBeulah said...

What is happening right now in Gaza is, in my view, the best proof what Israel is after...

If Israel were anything like the beast that you paint, there wouldn't have been 100 dead, there would have been thousands. It proves exactly the opposite of what you are saying. There are people launching bombs at them; what (apart from dismantle their state) are they supposed to do?

In this sense the proportion of women and children who die in Israeli raids is absolutely shocking.

The choice the Israelis have is to either do nothing, or go after the militants. The militants use civilians as shields. There can be no proportionality in such a fight; that's how assymetrical warfare works. That's the idea. This is Hamas's best weapon. I imagine what they would like is for the Israeli army to come into Gaza and be bogged down there. Thus the Americans, who would love to get some sort of peace deal on the table before Bush goes, would pressure the Israelis to make more concessions. Hamas would also have the TV pictures to keep Arab opinion on the boil. Then Hezbollah could start something from the north and the Israelis would have 2 fronts to deal with.

NoolaBeulah said...

I haven't answered all the points I would like to, but virtually every sentence contains something I would pose objections to. This is because of a fundamental difference in our worldviews. If I may presume so much, I would say that you, at least in this case and in the words about Muslims in general here, subscribe to the oppressor/oppressed paradigm. According to this view, the world is divided into the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots are in that state only because they have been put and kept there by the haves. Moreover, the haves are in their fortunate position only because they have taken it from the have-nots. The have-nots are oppressed, and there must therefore be an oppressor. Whatever the oppressed do is merely a reaction to their oppression. The more they suffer, the more they are oppressed, and the more they are justified in doing. Whatever the oppressors do is merely an extension of their oppression. They have no right even to defend themselves because in doing so, they defend oppression. The oppressors are therefore evil, a 'cancer' as you, and many others before you, have put it, and all right-thinking people should work for their 'removal'.

It is a tempting way to see the world, especially if you live in the shit the Palestinians do. Unfortunately, it is not only a gross and usually inaccurate way to see things, but it almost always guarantees that you will continue to fail. You won't find any way out of the shit because it's always somebody else's. You tell yourself that, if only the oppressors were removed, it would all be OK. You would have what they have. This is not the case.

The view in the forum post is covered above. I'll try to answer your last question tomorrow.

Riri said...

Noolabeulah, there is obviously a major disagreement, so let us not dwell on it. My point of view cannot be charcoal sketched by saying it is a oppressor/oppressed analysis, my point of view was to say that if you treat people like dirt, do not be surprised when eventually they will take the law in their own hands and come after you. If you are saying that the world is like this and that's that, fine, but you have to accept that there will never be peace in the world ever as long as the world order is like this. If you're saying that the world is such that peace only benefits ordinary powerless people, but not those which the power and means to sustain wars especially if they benefit them, that's fine, but there is no real point arguing about that is there. Therefore, to say that people who suffer humiliation and injustice should know better than to fight back in order to have peace when they have the heels of the powerful firmly on their windpipe is frankly more idealistic than the way you depict my comments. Your position is still not clear to me with regards to the following:

-Do you or do you not acknowledge that Israel is occupying Palestinian territories?

-Do you or do you not acknowledge that the IDF itself uses Palestinian children as human shields?

-Are you or are you not aware that hundreds of thounsands of Israelis are living on illegal colonies and the most intense settlement building occurred after the signing of Oslo Peace accords? Are we to assume that Israel is using its citizens as human shields against Qassam Rocket attacks? (Criticism of Oslo Accords)

-Do you or do you not acknowledge that the 2005 pullout you're always quick to mention (and the only example you give of any Israeli attempt to bring about a negotiation on borders) actually resulted in the rocket attacks stopping for 1 month, but the Gazans did warn Israel that the cease fire will be contingent on Israel lifting its economic siege (the air and sea were still controlled by Israel). Did Israel lift the siege and loosen restrictions? No, it increased them. The rockets began raining down again. Read the ICRC website, unless you think it is anti-semitic or not authoritative enough.

- Do you or do you not acknowledge that by occupying Palestinian land, building a wall and pretending it is to ensure the rockets fall far away from Israeli borders is a not very convincing strategy to fight so called terrorism, but it is a good strategy to grab more land unlawfully, keep people in a cage and bomb, starve and dehumanise them nicely?

- Do you or do you not acknowledge that Hamas has repeatedly offered to negotiate a truce with Israel but Israel is just not interested in negotiating with Hamas and it keeps bringing about the pathetic Hamas charter excuse?

- Do you or do you not acknowledge that Qasam rocket attacks are a response to Israeli economic restriction, unlawful arrests of Hamas leaders, land grab tactics? Or do you see them as an attack on Israel just because of what Hamas charter says?

- Do you or do you not acknowledge the Israeli media influence and manipulation? (there has even been an academic study by a UK University on the subject. Even a former BBC Middle East correspondent had something to say about it)

- Do you or do you not ackowledge the Palestinians' right to propaganda or is it an exclusive Israeli right?

-Do you or do you not acknowledge that Human Rights would only have meaning if it was applied to all humans indiscriminately? Dehumanising a people would technically exempt them from the privilege of Human Rights (because they do not qualify to be human in the first place), but that is likely to be the strategy of a party used to play around with words, conceal facts and manipulate the media. Not that of a party which is genuinely interested in peace, even if it claims it is. (After all Hamas claims it wants to do away with Israel as well)

Your media lets you have an accurate picture of each single Israeli victim, it tells you what their job was, their age, how lovely they were as people, how they were striving to make the world a better place etc. My media shows me anonymous corpses of children, women, dismembered bodies, hundreds of them. I guess we're even on the media and propaganda front. So no need to say Hamas or Arabs are undertaking a propaganda war, because it is certainly not a war crime. Or is it?

What you have said so far is basically that this is the way the world is, live with it on its own terms, even if its terms don't really suit you or you don't agree with them. Don't try and argue, just do what everybody else is doing. That is not really something to argue about. I just want to say that I hope I have not offended you by referring to Israel as a cancer, you'd be right to interpret my comment as anti-semitic the word having now such a general definition that even some Jews are accused of being anti-semitic. But I was encouraged to hope that you won't find my comment offensive because I get the impression from your blog that you like to say things as they are.

You may find the have-nots' tendency to feel sorry for themselves and envious of the haves' advantages despisable and unproductive. But I could counter-argue by saying that I find the haves' tendency to feel more worthy of their privileges and caricutarise the have-nots' criticism as mere envy, racism and hatred equally despisable and unconstructive. And where do we go from here? Should we just walk away and give up on each other and let things carry on as they always have? I don't think so.

NoolaBeulah said...

I'll try to answer your questions tomorrow. But just a brief word about what I was after when I spoke about the oppressor/oppressed paradigm. I was not trying to say that there's no such thing as oppression, nor that anyone should accept it. Far from it. But as all good revolutionaries know, if your analysis is faulty, then you'll get nowhere.

My point was simply that the paradigm is too clumsy. It will certainly impede your understanding of your enemy. For example, in this case, the Palestinians are the oppressed/victims. To leave it at that, however, and move on solely on that basis, you miss out a lot of, shall we say, context. Let's change the word 'Palestinian' to 'Arab', because that is germane. What do you miss? You miss out the fact that 5 Arab nations attacked the 'oppressor' from all available sides 3 times. If we maintain the oppressor / oppressed paradigm, then that fact can be easily skirted over because the oppressor is evil and therefore deserves it. But if we want to understand the oppressor (even if better to defeat him when the fourth time arrives), then shouldn't we take into account the fact that he has been attacked by 'us' 3 times, not with the intention of defeating him and making him pay, getting some of his land, or even all of his land; no, the intention was to wipe him from the fact of the earth.

Wouldn't you agree that this might have some influence on the mind of the oppressor? Shouldn't you understand this?

This is just one minor example. Circumstances have changed. For one thing, the main instigator on all three occasions has now recognised the oppressor. However, I just wanted to make the point that seeing things in the way I described was limited and limiting. So too with the have-nots. (Didn't we cover this in our last discussion?) It's not a matter of worthy or unworthy; it's not personal; it's a matter of how the world works. If the have-nots want to change their situation for the better, it is not by destroying the haves that they will do this. More likely, it will be by imitating them to some degree, being used in order to use, as the Japanese, Chinese and others have done.

[Please save your reply to this until I have replied to your last. Your youthful energy is wearing me out.]

NoolaBeulah said...

Do you or do you not acknowledge that Israel is occupying Palestinian territories?

What are you referring to? The West Bank, or all of Israel? If the former, maybe. If the latter, no.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that the IDF itself uses Palestinian children as human shields?

No.

Are you or are you not aware that hundreds of thounsands of Israelis are living on illegal colonies and the most intense settlement building occurred after the signing of Oslo Peace accords?

I have mixed feelings about the settlements. Some will have to go in order to permit a contiguous Palestinian state. Others will need to stay for Israeli security. The Israelis have already demonstrated that they are willing to dismantle settlements - it will doubtless have to happen again to some degree. But all these things are up for negotiation as part of a different sort of settlement, one for peace, a condition on which most of the UN resolutions depend. Barak offered to get rid of most of them in 2000.

About the Oslo Accords, Wikipedia has this:

"After the signing of the agreements, Israel refrained from building new settlements although the Oslo agreements stipulated no such ban. However, it continued construction within existing settlements that fell far short of the 1991-92 level. The Israeli's trust in the accords was undermined by the fact, according to the Israeli government, that after the signing of the accords the terrorist attacks against Israel did not cease and even intensified."

NoolaBeulah said...

Do you or do you not acknowledge that the 2005 pullout you're always quick to mention (and the only example you give of any Israeli attempt to bring about a negotiation on borders)

I haven't been able to find anything on this offer. "the only example"? The Israelis sought peace before the 48 War (I quoted the reaction of the Arab League, remember?), after that war and after the 67 and 73 Wars. When it signed treaties with the Egyptians and the Jordanians, it surrendered territories on both occasions. In 2000 (I repeat again), it offered virtually every scrap of land that the PLO asked for.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that by occupying Palestinian land, building a wall ...

It is obviously a good way to fight terrorism because it has worked.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that Hamas has repeatedly offered to negotiate a truce ...

I've already spoken about this. Do you have any evidence that Hamas does not mean what it says in the charter? Why should anyone believe that a truce would not merely mean a window of opportunity to prepare better for attack? I can see no reason to trust Hamas to do anything except what they have no choice in.

NoolaBeulah said...

Do you or do you not acknowledge that Qasam rocket attacks ...

I said in my last comment what I thought Hamas's tactics were.

Do you or do you not acknowledge the Israeli media influence and manipulation?

That goes both ways. I have always thought that Israel gets awful media coverage, from the left-wing outlets for ideological reasons, from others because they go for emotional impact, and that is most quickly gained by showing suffering. The al-Dura affair was an example of both.

Do you or do you not ackowledge the Palestinians' right to propaganda or is it an exclusive Israeli right?

Certainly. Everyone can put out the propaganda they wish. It is for the media and the consumer to decide what is propaganda and what is not.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that Human Rights would only have meaning if it was applied to all humans indiscriminately?...

It is not the Israelis that do this. If you look at their press, you will find a range of opinion, some of it firmly against Israeli policies and pro-Palestinian. The same cannot be said either for the Palestinian media or much of the Arab media where the most dehumanising language is used as a matter of course.

Riri said...

Can I speak now or is the embargo still on and you are still in need of rest?

NoolaBeulah said...

Embargo? So now I'm the evil oppressor, am I?

Please speak.

Riri said...

Yes actually Noolabeulah, you have turned into an evil oppressor although I know you will never admit it. I feel so oppressed in your blog, your blog has no right to exist and yet you insist that it does. Whatever you might say in Israel's defence (and you do come across as a die-hard Israel fan), there exists an exactly identical argument in favour of Hamas and the Palestinians (am sure I come across as an equally die-hard pro-Palestinian bunny). They got themselves into a jam, they need nothing short of a miracle (the Palestinians). The Israelis only need a "lucky coincidence" that would conveniently result in the Palestinians somehow disappearing, leaving their remaining land behind, they've managed a few of these "lucky coincidences" before, they're a lucky bunch them Israelis, what with being the beacon of the Middle East and all, know what I mean. As the Chinese say, you make your own luck and I think the Israeli's know how to make their luck far better than the Palestinians do. But my money is still on Palestinians, I think there is light at the end of the tunnel for them.

You seem to think the fact that Israeli press has a range of diverse opinions is a good thing. In theory yes, but in practice, what is the use of that if it has no value whatsoever as far as policy making is concerned, especially in conflicts such as the I/P one? Or Iraq, or Afghanistan or or or. It's only good to make you feel like you're enjoying something special and nice, but trust me mate, it's an illusion. A nice illusion though.

And while we're biting each other's heads off in here, our dear friend Nazim got mugged in London!

NoolaBeulah said...

What happened? Is he all right? Where is he now?

Riri said...

Just got mugged, as people do. He is fine yes, it's just a very bad thing to go through obviously, plus he'll need a new passport. He is still in London.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Things are not that bad... well they are, as I am stuck without papers here, but I have money and friends ... but much better than for people in Gaza...
Maybe will send email later to explain.

Meanwhile read this, you'd like it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7264903.stm

Riri said...

I think Noolabeulah should take over from Tony and become the new "Middle East Peace Envoy" don't you think Nazim? I think he'd be just grand, especially when the opening phrase of his first statement will be: "Lookie here, the Palestinians have had shit thrown at them for decades now. Am here to end this shit, although I accept that shit happens."

NoolaBeulah said...

Tony's not fool enough to think he's going to end the shit. Nazim, you're right. I do like what was in that article. I'm beginning to appreciate why you respect the Turks so much.

This reminded me of something.
'Prof Gormez points out that in another speech, the Prophet said "he longed for the day when a woman might travel long distances alone".'

Someone once said that the basic theme of Western films and books was 'Build a town'. What's a real town? One that a woman can walk in alone. That defines the rule of law, and there are places here that need a sheriff.

One question. If Ataturk's actions in the 20s were sufficient to cause the Muslim Brotherhood to be created, what effect is this latest Turkish innovation going to have?

wodge said...

That's a pretty good idea, Riri.

I bet if Noola had Tony's job he would find those pesky WMDs in five seconds flat.

NoolaBeulah said...

Find the WMD? In Israel? That Saddam! His cunning knew no limits!

Riri said...

wodge is spot on again. Noolabeulah would be just the man for the job - I'd say he'd be the only man capable of finding the WMDs even if they never actually existed. He's that crafty, the antithesis of Saddam.