Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Self Fulfilling Reality

If you read this BBC article from the end to the beginning, what it says is that Khaled Mashaal, top leader of Hamas, is threatening a major explosion if the Israelis and Egyptians don't lift the siege from Gaza, and this on the same day that a unit of his (Hamas) fighters initiated a battle at the fuel terminal at Nahal Oz. I remind you, tho you probably don't need the reminding, that the Nahal Oz border crossing serves the Palestinians, not the Israelis, and that it has been closed since the previous Palestinian attack, last week. You really couldn't make this stuff up, it's so blatantly idiotic.

Then again, maybe it's not idiotic at all, if you're willing to suspend normal rational belief systems, and switch over to one like this. To hark back to my Karl Popper post a few weeks ago, when the facts fit a thesis it doesn't prove more than that you've got to keep looking for other facts that will disprove it; still, when you have two alternate explanations of reality, and the facts contradict one and don't contradict the other, you can reasonably abandon the one contradicted by the facts, even if you can't yet prove the veracity of the other one.


Lydia McGrew said...

If you let people get away with crazy, irrational demand-making like this, they'll just keep pushing it. Why wouldn't they?

Sure, it's nuts. But the one piece of reality these people _are_ in touch with is the fact that many in the world will support them no matter how outrageous their behavior. More importantly, they've realized by now that Israel will not defend itself in any effective fashion. So they just keep pushing.

Y'all need a new and much more hawkish government, and you need it badly.

jessekelber said...

With people like Jimmy Carter meeting with Mashaal, why would they bother using rational thought to determine their behavior? Visits like this lend credence to the behavior of madmen like Mashaal and his Hamasniks, leading them to believe that they can get away with anything with international support.
If the world could see Hamas and Mashaal for what they truly are, this situation could be remedied much faster, instead of more young Israelis dying needlessly.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Why all this talk about Hamas, while the Tamil Tigers have been carrying out far more ferocious terrorist attacks with much heavier tolls, with none of them making headlines? Double standards!

Now seriously, folks. What Hamas does is irrational, but not more irrational than this, or this, or this, or this". A truce is possible, so long as Israel understands that truce means "no violence at all," rather than "no violence from Hamas while we continue with our settlement building and our targetted assassinations."

Lydia McGrew said...

Yeah, that's right. Building apartments in Har Homa is _just_ like sending rockets into Sderot to blow kids' legs off. It's "violence."

Moral equivalency makes me almost physically ill.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Lydia, we're talking irrationality, not moral equivalency.

It's irrational to build apartments in the settlements in the full knowledge that no peace plan can be carried out without dismantling those settlements.

It's irrational to hold peace talks, like in 1992-2001, while building like crazy in the very settlements you'll have to scrap according to the peace plan.

But you want to talk moral equivalency. OK, let's talk it. Your example is rockets on Sderot blowing kids' legs off.

Here you'll learn how Israeli soldiers broke a 4-yr-old's elbow and stomped on his stomach several times, and how they shot a totally innocent pedestrian in the stomach and left him lying in the sidewalk. THAT'S MORALLY EQUIVALENT TO THE ROCKETS ON SDEROT.

Here you have the story of Arab Mansur Taha Ahmed, who was shot in cold blood, just for fun, by an Israeli soldier while he was downloading goods from a truck in Hebron. THAT'S MORALLY EQUIVALENT TO THE ROCKETS ON SDEROT.

Of course, you didn't learn about those crimes of war because you read Western press, where it would be antisemitic to report them. I don't want you to watch Al-Jazeera, but please, read the ISRAELI press. You're in for a few surprises.

Lydia McGrew said...

Yes, I'm sure those stories are _just as well-documented_ and undeniably true as the rockets flying into Sderot over and over and over again, which anyone could see just by going there.

But in a strange, twisted-around way, we have a point of agreement: The "peace talks" _are_ irrational under the present situation. They should certainly be called off. Post-haste.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Lyida, you're going through the first phase of Israel supporters who are confronted with the truth. The phase of denial.

Please read here to learn how Israeli soldiers pressed an electric heater to the face of a young boy, beat young boys senseless, recorded everything on their cell phones and sent it to their friends. I take it that cell-phone recordings are "good documentation" to you?

You can now move on to the second phase, the phase of dismissal ("it's a tiny minority," "the very fact that these things came to public knowledge shows the good health of Israeli democracy," "what about torture in Jordanian prisons," etc.).