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Palestine now a non-member observer state thanks to landslide UN Vote, US pissed off

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Mathloom, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    The United States of America was founded by Terrorists, too.
     
  2. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    Which country was not founded at least with the help of terrorists?
     
  3. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    She's a lightening rod for settler/wingnut invective but she's very open about her own political bias. As a journalist, she does better than most about not letting that become a cognitive bias. She does a very good job of challenging all sorts of assumptions and she's not afraid to be critical of anyone.

    She also answers emails and wrote me a very long reply to all my questions.

    She's the superstar of Haaretz. It would be like kicking Kobe Bryant off the Lakers ;)
    Haaretz laid off a bunch of their staff and put up the paywall to make more money, but seriously, if she lost her job she'd be the one turning out the light. She'd be the last to go.
     
  4. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    The Italian Republic?

    The Carbonari and Garibaldi himself always worked under the authority of some kind of power and openly bore arms. When captured by anyone they fought in Europe they were considered prisoners of war and not criminals.
     
  5. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    Given just like the word “fascist”, we’ve seen “terrorist” stretched out to absolutely no meaning, none really. But perhaps Germany or Poland even then?
     
  6. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    A.B. Yehoshua makes a good point about the label "terrorist":

    link
    It's time for Israel to talk to Hamas
    Just as the PLO was transformed into the Palestinian Authority, so it is time to start treating Hamas not as a 'terror organization,' but as a government.
    By A.B. Yehoshua


    During the War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanians shelled western Jerusalem for months, besieged the city and prevented water and fuel from reaching its residents. Hundreds of civilians were killed during the shelling, yet Israel did not refer to the Jordanians as terrorists, but as an enemy. Once a cease-fire was attained, Israel began open negotiations with the Jordanians, at the end of which an armistice agreement was signed.

    For years prior to the Six Day War, the Syrians shelled towns in the Galilee, killing and injuring many. Syria's Baath constitution even contains a clause about the annihilation of Israel. Yet the Israelis never called the Syrians terrorists but rather enemies, and even reached agreements with them, including a disengagement agreement following the Yom Kippur War.

    The Egyptians under Gamal Abdel Nasser called for Israel's destruction many times and even tried to realize that goal on the eve of the Six Day War, yet still the Egyptian tyrant was never a terrorist but an enemy. Even the Nazis weren't called terrorists. Their acts of horror were perpetrated while they were in uniform, openly before all, affiliated with the regime and clearly identifiable. They were the cruelest enemy in the history of mankind, but they were not terrorists.

    The time has come to stop calling Hamas a terrorist organization and define it as an enemy. The inflationary use of the term "terror," of which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is particularly fond, impedes Israel's ability to reach a long-term agreement with this bitter enemy. Today Hamas controls the territory; it has an army, governmental institutions and broadcasting stations. It is even recognized by many states in the world. An organization that has a state is an enemy, not a terror organization.

    Is this just semantics? No, because with an enemy one can talk and reach agreements, whereas with a "terror organization" talking is meaningless and there is no hope for reaching accord. It is therefore urgent to legitimize, in principle, the effort to reach some sort of direct agreement with Hamas. That's because the Palestinians are our neighbors and will be forever. They are our close neighbors, and if we don't reach a reasonable separation agreement with them, we will inevitably lead ourselves down the path to a bi-national state, which will be worse and more dangerous for both sides. That's why an agreement with Hamas is important not only for the sake of bringing quiet to the border with Gaza, but also in order to create the basis for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

    Since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, there have been worrying signs that the Hamas government in Gaza is losing the ability to distinguish the possible from the impossible, and Israel's military blows are not only failing to sober up Hamas, but actually strengthening its martyr-driven aggressiveness. How did it happen that in the wake of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, violence exploded? There are religious fanatics everywhere, but not every fanatical government exposes itself, unnecessarily, to the devastating response of the Israeli army, one of the strongest militaries in the world.

    To understand and perhaps try to change Hamas' behavior, which has more than a smidgen of suicidal urge, Israel must hold genuine, direct talks with Hamas. Just as the "terror organization" PLO turned into the Palestinian Authority, so it is worth treating the Hamas "terror organization" as the Hamas government.

    Underlying Hamas' behavior is a contradiction: On the one hand, there throbs a justified feeling of heroism and strength since they managed to get the settlers and Israeli army out of Gaza without any pre-conditions. On the other hand, there is a feeling of deep frustration that that very act brought upon them a profound blockade, within a narrow territory, cutting them off not only from Israel but mainly from their people in the West Bank.

    And so, encouraged by their success in tossing the Israelis out of the Strip, they think they can oust them from the rest of the "conquered lands," or at least force them to lift the siege. But because they have no faith in Israel and they believe that dividing the Palestinian people into two parts is in Israel's interest, and they know that Israel will never again try to govern Gaza - instead of trying to rebuild the Gazan economy, stop the violence, and build a normal life (and thus perhaps convince the Israelis to enable them to link up with their brethren in the West Bank), they choose the way that has proven itself in the past in Gaza: unremitting aggression.

    For all the cease-fire, neither side has a sense that the cycle of violence is over. The suicidal element now evident in Gaza can lead, with the nefarious support of Iran, to more death and destruction. Therefore it is imperative to try, by stopping demonization on both sides and by direct negotiations, to reach the outline of an agreement between Israel and Hamas that will be based on four principles:

    - Hamas' accepting strict international supervision over demilitarization of the Strip of all offensive high-trajectory weapons.

    - Opening the passage between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

    - Opening Israel's border to the controlled entry of Palestinian workers.

    - Gradually opening the safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank, based on the rules set in the Oslo Accords, in order to begin to restore Palestinian unity. This will lay the basis for negotiations with Israel, since the PA cannot reach a peace agreement with Israel without the participation of Hamas.

    Decisions of great national importance call for broad national support. This has applied to Israel, both in heading to war and signing peace agreements, and so it has been for many peoples in history. Talking with Hamas and gradually restoring its ties to the Palestinian people in the West Bank is essential both in order to eventually reach an agreement on two states for two peoples, as most of the people of Israel want, and in order to prevent the slow but continuous slide toward a bi-national state.
     
  7. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    I am glad to hear that. It must be frustrating to her as Israel increasingly moves hard right and or apartheid like.

    Hey what do you think of Norman Finkelsteins claim that Netanyahu and gang called off the latest attack, when the head of Hamas publicly taunted Israel to invade by ground again?

    http://www.indypendent.org/2012/11/30/what-really-happened-gaza
     
  8. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    Terrorists to Napoleon's French empire, no? Wanting to wipe the first french empire off the face of the map? Launching attacks, killing French civilians? France had a right to self-defense. After all, they only wanted stability. They were willing to negotiate without the interference of any countries and on a case basis. France won those lands fair and square. You get the idea.

    So considering the various mutations which all countries undergo, close to 0%?
     
  9. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    What interests me in her work is she is the first and maybe only Israeli to report on Palestine while living in Palestine under occupation. Feeling Israeli shells hitting the ground. Staying with people who endure Qassam rockets.

    She is diplomatic, but doesn't really cut Hamas any slack. I recall watching an interview where she said Hamas kicked her out of Gaza and she was pissed off about it, and how this contrasted with pre-Hamas Gaza.

    I admire journalists who are capable of standing their ground in a war zone - an Israeli Jew in Palestine, a left wing activist in Israel and still one of the most valuable members of a major newspaper. I may not agree with 100% of what she says, but she has certainly earned 100% of my respect.

    Earlier you asked me what I meant by a stateless solution: that's a completely idealistic thought which would require the existance of an international body which represents all people equally to administer the region while relying heavily on grass-roots self government. If you look at Jewish kibbutzim, it's a good example of the ground up work needed. If you look at the UN and axe veto powers, institute funding and voting proportional to populations rather than countries, it would begin to resemble an independent and representative international organization.
     
  10. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    1. We’re talking Germany, the Germany that was created in 1870.
    2. Poland disliked Napoleon. Poland. Mathloon, do you even know what you’re talking about here?

    And as I’ve said, “terrorist” is a term so vague as to mean nothing, just like “fascist”, which is meant to inject morality and feelings among those who don’t really understand this. You can scream “your terrorists are our freedom fighters” as much as you want, but that’s only a relevant factor among those who want to ascribe one side as being more moral than the other – which admittedly, is about 95% of the Great Israel-Palestinian Internet War.
     
  11. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    I find that to have little credibility, and there's a lot in the piece that's factually inaccurate. He either is misinformed or deliberately misinforming.

    Just as an example, in this piece he says that all the Hamas rockets are just empty tubes without ordinance. It's simply not true. Some of the rockets are crude homemade things with all the sophistication of an Estes rocket from a hobby store, and some do not have explosives. But some sure as hell do. And the ones that have any reach (the ones that hit Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, etc) are Iranian-made missiles. In order to make the trip, the ordinance is reduced proportionately to extend the range, but I can assure you, they are explosive. :)

    He says that Iron Dome didn't actually save any lives, I'm guessing because he thinks all the missiles weren't carrying a payload.


    Finkelstein is often very problematic that way -- he writes from his heart and not with good scholarship. He might be just as radical as Amira Hass, but Hass is a very shrewd writer and has very safe credibility.

    I can tell you that the IDF was on standby for a ground invasion and the order was given twice and called off at the last second both times. I don't think Bibi was bluffing or that he was too terribly concerned about foreign opinion. I think he made the "right" decisions in how he conducted the war. he clearly wanted to avoid a ground invasion but was willing to do it.

    Bibi and Barak are both brilliant men, especially when it comes to military affairs, and this attention to nuance is the main reason why this recent war was conducted with more precision than the last one. These things run according to plan, and Bibi followed the script (as did Hamas) and both emerged "victorious."

    The main flaw Bibi and Barak have is that they are sociopaths. If you watch their interviews or speeches in Hebrew or especially see them in candid situations, like Barak's recent retirement party, you can see it coming out: they really believe they are some kind of biblical heroes or something. Barak by the way, the most decorated soldier of all time, is not welcome in the kibbutz he was born in. That's because everyone there thinks he's a narcissistic douchebag. :)

    One of the biggest flaws that foreign journalists make when covering the conflict is that they fail to understand that the decisions made by all the participants (Hizbollah, the IDF, Hamas, the PA, whomever) is about 95% about internal politics. War is just another form of negotiation to get what they want, and it's much easier than talking AND it gets you a bump in the polls.

    In short...he's not a good journalist. I wouldn't trust Finkelstein's analysis of the war, and it's not because of his politics. Even when I agree with him, his arguments are weakly composed and often lacking the right facts. I made an effort to read the whole thing, and there are many things I agree with, especially with regard to Turkey and Egypt and the relationship with the US, but I would trust the guys and gals at Al Jazeera or Haaretz even with their respective biases, to write a better analysis.
     
    #111 Deji McGever, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  12. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    Garibaldi is about the easiest military leader in Western history to defend. He's about as one of the squeakiestly cleanest figures in history you'll encounter and he generally had near universal support from the rest of the planet.

    They more uniforms (red shirts), didn't hide behind civillians and was given an official role by some political power in every conflict he was involved in (he always answered to some kind of civillian authority) A lot of historians even go as far as to say that he wasn't even technically a revolutionary.

    There are probably others, but I think the history of the Italian Republic is absolutely unique in many regards.
     
  13. AMS

    AMS Contributing Member

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    Pakistan?
     
  14. mgraye2969

    mgraye2969 Member

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    Deji, I enjoy your posts. Probably the most non-biased poster on here, but at the same time very informative.
     
  15. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Probably one of the most messed up countries in the world right now.
     
  16. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    No doubt, but adeelsiddiqui is right. Jinnah was no terrorist.
     
  17. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    There was quite a bit of violence that forced the British and the Indian National Congress to accept partition.

    Close to one million people died during partition. There was nothing peaceful about independence and there was plenty of terror in the process.
     
  18. mgraye2969

    mgraye2969 Member

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    A good read by Russell Simmons of all people.
     
  19. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    Yes but efforts to unify Germany began in the early 1800's. The UK supported it because they wanted Germans to provide a front against the French Empire. There was later much terrorism in the attempts to unify "German" territories. I recall this was mostly between Austria and someone else. However, I defer to you on the history of Europe, I have little knowledge of it. From my basic google search, the movements which gave birth to Germany were considered by the Austrian Empire to be terrorist organizations until the 1848 revolutions.

    As for Poland, I actually meant that. Should have worded it better.

    Overall, the answer is still virtually 0%, and that's even if you consider countries like Germany and their entire history of mutations as one single country.

    The premise doesn't change: Whether we agree that these people are terrorists is irrelevant. Someone considers them terrorists because the power ascribed to a new state must derail someone else's power. Someone considers them a terrorist, and the only thing which determines the validity of this claim is pre-existing power. Mongonlians can call the Taliban terrorists for 100 years - it won't matter if Mongolians are nobodies. Americans can call Mexicans terrorists for 100 years - it won't matter until someone in power calls them terrorists. So while Germany, Poland and Italy may be examples of non-terroristic unification - the fact of the matter is some emperor at that time must have considered them terrorists and if they had the power to do so, they would have crushed them while labelling them terrorists.

    As for the meaning of the term terrorist, I agree it's been rendered meaningless in the media by politicians.

    I don't agree that this makes the word completely meaningless. I don't agree that a freedom fighter is necessarily more moral than a terrorist - every freedom fighter or terrorist is as moral as their options. I certainly don't agree that every instance of the use of the word is meaningless now - this seems to be a fantastic cover for terrorism: either I decide who terrorists are or everyone is a terrorist. Not at all - it is simply a matter of highly conflicted interests - we can't let your department of defense or Al Qaeda determine who and what a terrorist is. We can let the dictionary decide what terrorists are, but that would look very very bad for the biggest terrorists.

    We have not seen a world where the hegemons haven't invaded the organizations which should determine these things. The fact that it has been a messed up process historically doesn't mean that it will always be that way and so it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to change it. We can call it anything we want, it won't matter until war is renounced. Freedom fighters can be murderers too.
     
  20. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    Would not exist without the co-operation and approval of Britain. Also, Britain would not co-operate if not for the threat of violence - in fact, they resisted till the last moment until they realized that the threat of violence was serious. The British believed that they were willing to bear arms if a part of British India was not taken away from India for the purposes of a Muslim state.

    In many ways, it is similar to Israel. A modern nation-state built specifically for a religion which received a tremendous amount of immigration and displaced a tremendous amount of people, resulting in casualties for both sides. At some point Jinnah even fantastically proclaimed that Pakistan was a matter of life or death. Nehru and Gandhi were not at all happy when Jinnah resorted to a secessionist movement.

    There was also a heck of a lot of sectarian violence as a result of the ideological movement (nationalist/Islamic) championed by the Muslim League.

    I wouldn't call Jinnah a violent terrorist or a war monger. But he's certainly no Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

    As for Pakistan, to say that it was established without the assistance of terrorists is quite far-fetched since it required the express approval of huge terrorists.
     

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