Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the u.s., just got a spear shoved through him by Stephen Colbert and he hasnt even noticed it yet. Tonight Colbert got Oren to appear on a comedy show, to come onstage as the punchline of comedy routine, and to yuk it up with a comedian all while defending the Israeli governments recent acts of piracy and murder in international waters. Was this deliberate sabotage by Colbert? My moneys on yes.
Colbert also made a jovial reference to sending Palestinians back where they came from — a reference that sailed over Oren’s head.
I don’t believe it sailed over Oren’s head. I think he tried, but failed, to hide the look of terror (no pun intended) on his face because he just realized he had been checkmated. The only response to Colbert’s statement was that the Palestinians cannot go back there because Jews (with the help of the Brits and U.S.) have took it away from them.
I am not sure it is murder to kill people attacking you. Nor am I quite sure it is piracy if you are not permanently seizing anything.
Israel was also helped by the Soviets at the time. While people tend to forget the Jewish refugees from Arab lands. But Israel accepted them as citizens, so they are a “non-problem”, indeed forgotten issue, while the Arabs preferred to keep the Palestinians as stateless sticks to beat Israel with. So we have third, fourth even fifth generation “refugees”.
If I break into your house, and you defend yourself, so I shoot you, I’m pretty sure that’s murder.
What, exactly, do the (numerous) crimes of Arab rulers, against both Jews and Palestinians, have to do with whether or not the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli rulers is just?
Of course, the situation would no doubt be better if Arab rulers weren’t a pack of criminals. But all rulers are a pack of criminals, so that’s a pretty slender reed to lean on, and in any case the fact that Arab rulers dispossessed and expelled a lot of ordinary Jews doesn’t somehow make it less bad that Israeli rulers dispossessed and expelled a lot of ordinary Palestinians, who had neither practical control nor moral responsibility over the actions of autocratic Arab rulers in far away countries, to whom they were not even subject to begin with, and with whom they had absolutely nothing in common besides the fact that they are, in some extended sense, members of the same ethnic group. Which is to say, nothing in common at all, of any moral or political relevance, unless you subscribe to a theory of morals and politics that allows for collective punishment and retribution against individual victims for crimes committed by unrelated third parties, based solely on their sharing an ethnicity or race. But those kinds of moral and political theories are, to be quite frank, stupid, racist, and appalling.
Lorenzo, it is well-documented that undercover Israeli operatives pursued a campaign to make things uncomfortable for the Iraqi Jews in the 1950s so they would feel they had to leave for Israel. You can look it up. Pre-1948, Zionist terrorist groups (Irgun, Stern Gang, Lehi) did everything to drive Palestinians out of their homes and villages. (Google Deir Yassin.) Paul Johnson, no left-winger, points out in Modern Times that it was the Zionists who created the terrorist model in the Middle East. In the 1950s Israel rebuffed many peace overtures from Arabs such as Nasser.
Get some facts before you write. And you should acquaint yourself with the long and honorable tradition of Jewish Anti-Zionism.
‘Terrorism’ was carried out by both sides by much much scarcer on the Haganah side than the Arabs.
Hebron Massacre of 1929
Here’s a list of Arab attacks on Jews prior to 1948.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem refused to accept any Jews and wanted total annihilation. He cooperated with the Nazis to bless a Bosnian Muslim SS division. He wanted the Nazis’ help to annihilate all Jews in Palestine.
Israel accepted its meager 1948 boundaries while not getting close to everything they wanted. The Arabs rejected the state and declared war with the full intention of either killing or “driving all jews into the sea.”
Look at the map of Israeli controlled territory in 1948 which they accepted to.
Israel offered all pre-1967 territory to the PLO + East Jerusalem. Arafat refused and declared the Second Intifada sending suicide bombers to pizzerias, busses, and jihadis into homes to kill Israelis.
The flotilla was not a ‘humanitarian’ mission. First, there were 6 ships. 5 of them had no trouble with the IDF soldiers, but the 6th one did.
You may not agree with the blockade but a blockade is a legitimate tool of war, and soldiers are allowed to inspect goods into blockaded territories. Israel was and is ready to deliver all humanitarian aid if its delivered to port of Ashdod. Hamas refused the flotilla aid when Israel offered it.
You can see the soldiers being attacked and thrown overboard here. You can see the pictures of assaulted soldiers released by Turkish daily Hurriyet here
You can claim that the blockade was illegitimate and hence this raid was wrong. But you cannot ignore the attack on soldiers when many many ships have been boarded and inspected before without incident. You cannot ignore that Israel is ready to transfer all humanitarian aid to Gaza after proper inspections for contraband.
I doubt I’ll change any minds here, as minds are almost impossible to change on the Israel-Arab issue, and thats okay.
“Israel” and “the Arabs” did these things? Really? Did they do them all at once, or one at a time?
Last I checked, what actually happened is that a handful of individuals who arrogantly styled themselves the rulers of “Israel” and of “the Arabs” made these decisions, claiming to speak on behalf of all of “their” people, and then used their decisions as a justification for mercilessly dispossessing, slaughtering, and otherwise “cleansing” each others’ claimed territory of a bunch of ordinary people who were never asked, never consented, and never had anything really to do with the political decisions being made.
No, it isn’t. There are no legitimate tools of war.
Government war is nothing more than political mass murder. Why would I accept that there are legitimate tools to that end?
Now, sometimes government wars can, by accident, involve legitimate acts (e.g., individual acts of legitimate defense, of self or others, against assault), even while the policy itself is criminal. But some tools of war are incapable of being used like that, because they invariably hurt or kill innocents. Firebombing cities is one such example; random bus bombings are another such example; and starvation blockades are a third. These are moral crimes, and those who kill in order to inflict them are murderers.
Good. Soldiers who attempt to commandeer ships that they don’t own are violating the rights of the travelers, are no better than pirates, and ought to be attacked and thrown overboard if at all feasible.
Here’s a libertarian (sorta) defense of Israel.
I recognize that you are anarchists. On some days, I am too a libertarian anarchist. On other days maybe not, but I understand your perspective. Almost all states (or all) indulge in criminal activities against their own populations and others. However, in this world full of states one can only compare states with other states. In that case, Israel is an ordinary criminal state, perhaps much less criminal than the Arab and American states.
No, I’m pretty sure that I can do other things. Just watch me: nobody acting on behalf of a state has the right to rob, rape, torture, expel, or kill innocent people, on the basis of collectivist demographic policies, statist “national security” interests, or for any other reason. They don’t have those rights because nobody has those rights, under any conditions.
Maybe you meant to say that comparing the actions of rulers to those of ordinary, non-ruling people, or expecting rulers to be held to the same ethical standards as ordinary, non-ruling people, is somehow inappropriate, or out of order. But why would it be inappropriate, or out of order? If everybody in the room is a liar and a murderer, that’s not an excuse for lying and murdering — although it may be a good reason to try to get out of the room as quickly as possible.
“You may not agree with the blockade but a blockade is a legitimate tool of war”
The type of blockade Israel has concocted is not a legitimate tool of anything except collective punishment and genocide.
Even if you reject Rad Geek’s libertarian ethics on the matter, this blockade fails every other ethical test. Israel is party to the fourth Geneva Convention article 33, which prohibits collective punishment, which is defined as for example: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
Then there’s the old system of international law that governed Europe for 250 years up until the 20th century. There’s an article about it here, or you can take a look at FJP Veale’s highly unpopular book “Advance to Barbarism”. The old legal system prohibited blockades except in cases of arms & ammunition (defined as Contraband), not as Israel is currently defining it, as any material that may one day perhaps be used directly or indirectly to resist the occupying army. All non-contraband from neutral countries had to pass such blockades. Since the current legal system cedes authority for determining the legality of blockades to the United Nations, and since the United States has been protecting Israel from U.N. judgement, the United States shoulders as much of the burden for the atrocities as Israel itself.
You are all furious in your righteous anarchist anger. I never disputed your point that from an anarchist perspective most state action is criminal. But thats irrelevant. We cannot go singling out Israel for mild versions of anarchist-defined criminal acts which are carried out daily by every other state.
Indeed, I bypass this whole issue and ask who wants peace? I guarantee you the Israeli voters are ready to give up as much territory as possible in order to live like a boring Baltic state perhaps. Your righteous anger should be directed at entities trying to kill Jews worldwide, and not at Israel simply because its an existing state and the Palestinian Arabs are not.
Its extremely simple. Stop trying to kill Jews and you will live in peace. Really. Stop trying to destroy Israel and you will thrive.
And you bypassed the question of 5 ships out of 6 having no trouble with the inspection. What about advance warning given by the IDF? They were told to go back to Auschwitz.
The next ship after this incident also passed without incident. So, maybe it wasn’t the IDF that was at fault with many many ships arriving without incident?
Anyway, I’m done here.
Good day, folks.
Isn’t that Callicles’ line?
Speak for yourself; I am I can and I will. But who’s “singling out?” Good lord, did you think that I don’t condemn other governments when they go to war, build border walls, or impose military blockades?
I also reject that the ongoing blockade of Gaza is a “mild version” of military criminality. Given the material condition of people trying to survive in Gaza, under the conditions created by years of bombardment, lockdowns and blockades (inflicted by Israeli state policy, and enforced by the Israeli and Egyptian government’s militaries), this is, to be quite frank, an absolutely appalling bit of denialism.
I don’t give a damn about what happens to people who are trying to murder Jews; murderers have no right to expect a peaceful life. But what you don’t quite seem to notice is that people in Gaza are starved, imprisoned and blockaded whether they try to kill Jews or not. “The Palestinians” don’t try to murder Jews as a collective; only individual Palestinians — as it happens, a tiny minority, try to do that. But the Palestinians are punished and attacked as a collective. Your collectivist musing about “Who wants peace?” (the answer is, lots of individual Jews and Palestinians do; but none of them are given the choice, because war is conducted by governments and armed factions, which operate without individual consent) completely glosses over the fundamental issue of collective punishment, in the service of cheap collectivist rhetoric.
You may want to actually find out the living conditions of Palestinians before accepting jihadi propaganda. NO one is starving. More than enough aid is getting through.
I accept the fail of collectivist logic, but I cannot escape it in this world full of states. if you want my PREFERENCE, sure, on the days i feel like an anarchist, I would love to have private communes/properties of jews, arabs etc etc enforce whatever policy they like and get rid of the States if possible.
Thats not happening, and I WILL NOT IGNORE IT, unlike you.
And MOST palestinians don’t want peace. You can find out the opinion surveys. Find out whats on their PRIME TIME television. If American Idol gives you a good sense of American popular opinion/tastes, then Palestinian and other Arab PRIME TIME TV should give you an idea of theirs. Go ahead, find out. Hitler is routinely praised, jews are described as sons of apes and pigs (thats from their HOLY BOOK- the Quran).
As much as you would like this conflict to be simply about actions of a state v a people, its NOT. Its simply about the EXISTENCE of a NON-MUSLIM state in what was for a few centuries Muslim-ruled land designated as ‘Waqf’.
Collective action sucks, States suck, but we have to deal with their acceptance. And in that world, Israel is behaving miraculously well for a state the size of new jersey surrounded by genocidal maniacs. And yes they are genocidal maniacs, their leaders, and their religion has always condemned Jews and advocated their subjugation or murder.
I’m an atheist, but I will not ignore what motivates people is sometimes religion. And that is 90% of the problem in this conflict. If every Muslim Palestinian became a Christian palestinian, the conflict would end TODAY.
And again, I understand and accept your logic. I just refuse to ignore present reality. The blockade exists to keep weapons out.
Also you completely ignore actually existing collective action – which is the so-called ‘will’ of Israeli voters. A democratic state mostly listens to the median voter. OBVIOUSLY not every voter is the same, but the median voter in Israel absolutely wants to live a boring life. You consistently ignore how this was carried out by yknow ACTUALLY EXISTING state of Israel – by withdrawing from territory it had WON in defensive wars.
In a democratic state, when the median voter is threatened with annihilation, the state will do clumsy murderous things to protect him/her. Still, in light of this, how the hell can you ignore withdrawals from Lebanon, Sinai, Gaza (gift of greenhouses Palestinians could grow food), etc? Id rather not have collective action, but this is a collective call for peace.
What occupation are you talking about as well? Do you even realize that Gaza and West Bank were part of Egypt and Jordan? No one cried occupation then. That these were not independent territories? The GDP per capita of the Palestinian territories is better than Indonesia. Israel itself has provided tons of aid and relief previously.
And after the disastrous withdrawal from Gaza, the voters were ready to withdraw unilaterally from West Bank as well.
So, again I say, think and tell me what is the actual constraint on achieving peace? Israel who is ready to sign peace treaties at a moment’s notice with Arab states (infact, has done so), or Arabs who glorify the murder of jews on prime time television? You ignore the role of religion at the peril of your own understanding of the Middle east.
And after the disastrous withdrawal from Gaza, the voters were ready to withdraw unilaterally from West Bank as well.
And that’s justification to expand settlements?
You ignore the role of religion at the peril of your own understanding of the Middle east.
Say that I walk into your home and declare that it is actually mine. You see, I just went through hell, and I want to return to what I judge to be my home. Would you regret me for the kind of books I brought into your house or that I was bringing them into your house?
Contemplationist, if we don’t look to the root of language-games, then we’re lost. Mujahideen may use anti-semitic rhetoric to fan the flames, but the spark is not Jews vs. Muslims. The spark is me telling you that your home is mine.
Yes, Hitler used the same sort of rhetoric. But did he do so — primarily — because he thought Judaism was a flawed religion or because the Jews controlled the flow of capital?
The Nazis and the violent Mujahideen are both demonic. No doubt. But if you can’t understand what’s driving them, then you might want to talk a little less and think a little more.