Sunday, June 13, 2010

Does Anyone Choose the Nicest Idea?

Amos Oz is our best author. We've got lots of talented authors, but Oz is the best. That's my opinion, anyway. When Oz is good, he's very very good.

In a memorable comment, Oz once explained that when he's convinced about something, he writes a letter to the prime minster, or perhaps an op-ed. It's when he's not certain, he said, that he writes literature. So he must have been pretty certain, the other week, when he wrote a column that appeared on the front page of Haaretz, but also in the New York Times, and probably elsewhere, where lots of people read him and agreed with him.
But Hamas is not just a terrorist organization. Hamas is an idea, a desperate and fanatical idea that grew out of the desolation and frustration of many Palestinians. No idea has ever been defeated by force — not by siege, not by bombardment, not by being flattened with tank treads and not by marine commandos. To defeat an idea, you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one.
Today Dina Porat responded, in Haaretz but not in the New York Times. Porat is a professor at Tel Aviv University. She's a competent writer but not an artist, a knowledgeable person but not an orator. Her power as a wordsmith is reasonable, while Oz has the power of a world-class master. Normally, this wouldn't make much difference, since Dina Poart and Amoz Oz are both of the same political camp: secular, moderate, peace-seeking and deeply Zionist. Amoz Oz is a very public figure; Dina Porat I've known for many years. So far as I can tell, they've both been voting for the same parties, certainly for the same camp, throughout their adult lives. Yet something about the strident certainty that led Oz to pen that column set off so many bells ringing for Porat, that she publicly reprimanded him:

You say that "to defeat an idea you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one." This, too, is an enchanting phrase; one can only dream that an idea could be defeated by the proposition of another one. I'm sure you are aware that throughout history wars have been waged not only because of conflicting interests, but also opposing ideas that carried the masses on each side. The idea of white supremacy, the idea of the righteousness of Christianity and Islam, the Bolshevik and the Fascist ideas all claimed millions of victims, even though other ideas were proposed at the time. Western culture today offers an alternative to fanatical Islam: democracy, rights for women and minorities, education allowing students free thinking and choice, technological progress, independent cultural pursuits. Here is an attractive, very reasonable idea. What do you think?

Porat spends her days researching antisemitism; Oz doesn't. Perhaps that's the difference between them. It's hard to study antisemitism honestly and think people can be weened off it by civility or niceness, as if the hatred were only ever a matter of rational aggravation caused by Jewish misdeeds.

I don't pretend to be of the Porat-Oz political camp, so I'm allowed to say what they are not: Nazism was never defeated by an idea. It was defeated by the massive violence of the Red Army and the American and British air forces. Fascism wasn't defeated by ideas, either; it was destroyed by war. Even Communism was hardly defeated by an idea; it was defeated by superior economic prowess, which is why the Chinese Communist Party is still in power (that, and the treads of tanks in Tianmen Square). The human story is complicated, and there are no absolute rules for what works and what doesn't. Sometime this does, sometimes that, sometimes nothing works, sometimes no-one knows why what did work, did.

Still, it's part of our story that most Israelis know that Amoz Oz is wrong on this, while most external observers - those that care at all - swoon over the humane wisdom that he expresses.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just read Walter Russell Mead's Literary Saturday where this week he recommends books on the Napoleonic Wars that got him enthralled.

Somehow all the Oz-ses of this world seem to be convinced that once the first Kumbaya is sung together things will be alright forever.

In this vein I heard a fascinating talk with Paul Berman at Vox Tablet. IMHO excellent as long as he sticks to describing facts not so once he proposes solutions.

What I don't get is why so many of them seem to be unable to accept that there are situations with no solutions. Have they never gotten acquainted with Greek tragedies i.e. had Oedipus let his father kill him everything would have been alright?

Here's a quote from WRM describing a fact which they all seem not to want to acknowledge:

"Britain’s major allies in that war — Austria, Prussia, Russia and Spain — all dropped out or changed sides at various points along the way. By contrast both NATO and the Warsaw Pact were remarkably stable coalitions."

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/06/12/literary-saturday-the-napoleonic-wars/

Silke

Anonymous said...

The NYT-Magazine has a long piece on Obama - the print-out is 12 pages and my image of him got vaguer with every page (I've read good stuff from Matt Bai in the past)

- but the piece made me remember the final thing that made me expect nothing good from Change and Hope:

Somewhere during the campaign Michelle Obama was quoted as having left the lawyers' office where she had met him because she wanted to get away from Corporate America.

I know that mantra well. We working folks were told it from our oh so enlightened student part timers i.e. how stupid we were to work for the evil capitalists.

Even back then in the early 70s we asked ourselves who would bring in all that money so the bleeding hearts could afford keeping their consciences lily-white.
Mind you, if she had said she wanted to get INTO charitable work, I wouldn't have minded but I minded getting classified as being of inferior ethical make-up in this all too familiar way.

And from the two she strikes me as the one who is more in touch with reallity i.e. I liked the way she padded the Queen's back, it had nothing of the slight inappropriateness that Senator Barack Obama's putting his arm over Bush's shoulder had.
-----
btw I had an exchange with Naomi Pass over at the other thread today
- it isn't worth it, reading their brochures tells one probably more and those don't demand that one appreciates their consenting to comment on a Sunday morning
- I'd understand that complaint if I had telephoned her but daring to type a comment on Sunday to which Madam Pass feels obliged to answer puts me in a position where I have to be grateful? I wonder if this guilt inducing shtick makes her good at her job.

Silke

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13midterms-t.html?ref=magazine

4infidels said...

Oz writes:

Hamas is an idea, a desperate and fanatical idea that grew out of the desolation and frustration of many Palestinians.

Actually, Hamas' ideas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose ideas grew out of the Koran, the Hadiths and the example of Muhammad...with some Nazism added to the mix.

There is such a strong desire on the part of so many to see the clash between Israel and its enemies as though it exists in a vacuum; as though it isn't one of many jihads waged against infidels over the course of 1400 years; as though it isn't just one of many spots on the globe where Muslims are "struggling" (sometimes violently, sometimes through other means) to impose Sharia over a region, people or country.

The same modus operandi is taking place in Kashmir, southern Thailand, the Philippines, Sudan, Nigeria. Muslims are incited to jihad in Islamic terms, yet also complain in Thailand, for example, that they want independence or don't get their fair share of resources from the central government...as though that justifies burning schools, beheading innocent Buddhist women and so forth. All types of atrocities against the peaceful Hindu pandits of Kashmir are justified by Muslims because they are "occupied."

And in the United States, where many Muslims claim that Islam is under attack, that a terrible backlash is always minutes away from befalling their communities and that Islamophobia is as American as apple pie and as odious as Nazi anti-semitism or KKK racism, the same motivation is at work as in the jihad against Israel, but the approach in North America, instead of terrorism, is to use our openness, our legal system, our guilt over slavery and imperialism and our desire to honor diversity and multiculturalism to their advantage. Yet in North America as in the Middle East, it is the Brotherhood, led by men of education and means, funded by petrodollars, who are appealing to fellow Muslims in Islamic terms, telling them it is their obligation not to assimilate, not to take infidels as friends and to use their women to one day conquer the infidels demographically.

4infidels said...

Silke wrote:

What I don't get is why so many of them seem to be unable to accept that there are situations with no solutions.

Not just intellectuals but almost all Westerners, especially Americans and Jews seem to have this way of thinking. Unfortunately, Israel's enemies aren't looking for win-win solutions or a fair deal that ends the conflict and so it becomes a situation for Israel to manage as effectively and humanely as possible, but not a problem that one side can solve when the other is committed to your destruction, to continued battle, to faith that Allah will ultimately deliver you victory if you just follow his precepts.

Anonymous said...

A better idea is irrelevant, as you correctly implied. People follow authority more than they think for themselves. This is even true in the seemingly rational west, but is indisputably true in gaza. Therefore it's not enough to have a better idea. That better idea has to cone from someone who has credibility as a champion of the people.

The Arabs have done a great job over the years cultivating individuals, academics and others in a position if leadership. They've done everything they could to build up the credibility of people who promote war (resistance) and to discredit the voices of peace.

But the Jews have failed at this, totally. In every one of these instances I see the Jews falling back on rational argument as if that mattered. It matters a little bit, but quite evidently not enough or even nearly enough.

Israel is some 20 years behind in this but it needs to begin cultivating people who will actually be listened to and who's opinions will be respected in some future crisis. This is particularly necessary on the political left and among Arabs, where there is not a single person today who can speak in defense of Israel without actually losing stature by doing it.

4infidels said...

Is this due to desolation and frustration?

Posted on Jihad Watch website:

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Al-Qaida-linked militants beheaded three loggers in the Philippines in apparent retaliation for government offensives in the country's south, security officials said Sunday.

The killings were carried out as the country celebrated its 112th Independence Day, the latest in a series of terror acts by the Abu Sayyaf insurgency to mark the holiday.

About 30 Abu Sayyaf gunmen ran into the three Christian men hauling timber in a rain forest near Maluso town on Basilan island Saturday. Relatives found their remains hours later, Basilan provincial police chief Antonio Mendoza said.

4infidels said...

More "desolation and frustration," this time in Somalia:

APA-Mogadishu-(Somalia) Islamist militants of the Hezbal Islam rebel group have killed two football fans and arrested ten others after attacking a house where fans were watching the World Cup game between Argentina and Nigeria in the Huruwaa neighborhood north-east of the capital Mogadishu on Saturday.

Residents say that heavily armed militants stormed a house where football fans were secretly watching the match, which has been prohibited in the Islamist-controlled regions in Somalia.

4infidels said...

The New York Daily News reports on more "desolation and frustration":

A well-known jihadi Web site called on supporters to plant fake bombs in the city to wreak havoc, exhaust law enforcement and lure New Yorkers into complacency, an FBI alert says.

4infidels said...

The Telegraph reports that Pakistani President Zardari visited Taliban in prison and told them, due to "desolation and frustration," the following:

"Reportedly, he told them they were arrested because he was under a lot of pressure from the Americans and that, 'you are our people, we are friends, and after your release we will of course support you to do your operations.'...

4infidels said...

I believe, as well, that Muhammad also suffered from feelings of "desolation and frustration":

"The apostle said, "Kill any Jew who falls into your power."

Victor said...

Yaacov, you know these people, and I don't. I spent a lot of time with Palestinians here in the US. The notion that a pluralistic, western-style democracy is preferable over tribal culture and Islamist creed is only a certainty in the minds of Western intellectuals.

Palestinian women in the villages are taught, by older women, that the more they suffer, the more their husband beats them, the greater their abuse and pain, the greater their divine reward. This is why they were created, to suffer, and G-d wants this of them, that He created them for this mission. The woman who sacrifices her liberty, her feelings, her blood, her children is praiseworthy, cherished, honorable.

Does Amos Oz ever go to the villages? Does he know who he is trying to make peace with? I mean that seriously, and not in an insulting way, either to Oz or to the felahin.

Michael Totten writes of this often, the totally divergent calculus of reason which directs the "resistance bloc" versus the West.

4infidels said...

What is so frustrating and humiliating for the Palestinians and is an "infection" (to quote Obama) for the rest of the Muslim world is that they cannot defeat that infidel state in their midst, a state run by the lowly Jews, whose place in this world is to be beneath Muslims and in the next is eternal suffering.

4infidels said...

Another point that Oz should consider...

Studies have shown that support for terrorism among Muslims increases with education and income.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:14
"I see the Jews falling back on rational argument as if that mattered"

Tony Rabbi is "embracing" NIF-Naomi over at the other thread in such a suffocating manner that it made me wonder ...

Anonymous said...

Amos Oz is an artist

Paul Berman is a journalist and is praised for having based his last book on extensive meticulous careful you name it reading of Tariq Ramadan

or

Amos Oz excels at imagining

Paul Berman excels at fisking

but when it comes to proposing solutions they end up both in the same camp

i.e. both disregard what the ancient Greeks knew for sure to be human nature. Both are without a doubt aware of those old stories.
Why don't those stories resonate with them?
Why do they opt for utopianistic suggestions for solutions?
Shouldn't the fact that those old old dramas still work magic on today's stages give them pause?
Don't they ever compare their Kumbaya-istic ideas to the ancients' stark realism?

I am all for wrecking one's brain day in day out if there might be a wedge somewhere but not at the expense of disregarding current reality and that seems to me to be a new version of the Big Game with Israel misused by both sides*) as a PR gimmick

*) the basically pro-Israel side tends to conveniently forget way too often how conducive to maiming and killing Israelis any facile or unrealistic approach has proved to be.

Silke

PS: last night I listened to a bit of Bill Maher. Like Jon Stewart he doesn't get that once soldiers on your side (the west) are fighting for their health a lot of jokes are out because they stink.

Anonymous said...

4infidels
after the flotilla I talked to shop assistants whenever possible
- judging by the expression of their eyes they agreed with my basic view i.e. you allow the police to do its job and don't damage ship's railings. Vandalism is not acceptable.
(I watch their eyes because being shop assistants they may be shy to contradict a customer)
Silke

Sylvia said...

This exchange is a striking example of the distorted view of the conflict that afflicts both Western Jews and Israeli Ashkenazis. Both look at the conflict through a western prism, with western concepts as directive and western history as precedent.

Islamism is an idea that can be defeated? I don't think so. It is a strategy that has proven its effeciveness over 1400 years by colonizing 56 countries, and counting. In Islamism, every peaceful peasant, every high school student, is a reserve soldier. Will you attack peaceful peasants and high school students with tanks?
What they need in that seven member cabinet are scholars of Islam, not vote contractors or generals. We must be able to get into their heads, learn the way they think and anticipate their next move. Instead, we are doing the PA's dirty work in hope that it will lead to peace. It won't. The 2002 draft Constitution of Fath has already decreted that the future Palestinian State will be Islamic and ruled by Sharia law. So much for the wishful thinking of a secular and democratic State, with equal rights for all.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
who is the seven member cabinet?

I agree with getting into their heads etc. but I have scant hope for the scholars of Islam being of any use judging from the majority I hear interviewed on our radio (I get also told that we have quite a to be revered tradition in Islam studies, so it can't be lack of academic valour)

- it may be though that all of us may be pretty good at it if we'd just stoop "low" enough to do it the Miss Marple way i.e. "this reminds me ..."
After all all of us have met enough real life deluded one way or another fanatics face to face through our life time to know a lot more about how they tick than we realize amidst all this noise from academia that only they are qualified ...

- our (German) Islam scholars tend to sound besotted by "their" authenticity and identity and all the other cheap buzz words to gloss over what is considered just plain unacceptable behaviour even by a majority of "them" - but when rallied to a cause all that seems to be irrelevant for these well-trained minds. (who on the other hand whenever they stay within their real expertise may really have something to offer but once hubris takes over they sound beyond repair)

Silke

Sergio said...

Oz's op-ed just reminds usthat naiveté/wishful-thinking can afflict even the most talented people.

Anonymous said...

Sergio
OT but just in case you are interested in football history also - these old guys telling their stories totally charm even somebody as ignorant as myself.
enjoy!
Silke

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007zp1s

Anonymous said...

Walter Russell Mead comes up with yet another idea (I think it's not do-able and not just because we Europeans are so you-know-what)

I have learned to like WRM these last weeks quite a bit

BUT:
he uses in the piece 4 times the word suffering and 4 times it ties in with Palestinians
- Is there no suffering of Israelis? in Sderot? (I know of a lot of other sufferings inflicted on Israelis, I just keep typing Sderot because with every new rocket coming they will relive the old horrors and that is the kind of horror at least my body remembers well)

So how did it happen that even with a guy as smart as WRM and as fair-minded as he honestly seems to be, suffering is an adjective that pops into his mind only in conncection with Palestinians?

Other than that WRM to his credit brings up a lot of info which is routinely missing from "my" news

that said just one more but

is the number of Jewish refugees from Muslim lands really up there with the number of Palestinians? (I don't know if there is any plausible statistics dividing the having "voluntarily" fled from the expulsed, but I seem to remember that a lot more Jews were forced out than Palestinians in 48)
Are there any Jewish MPs in any of the countries from which Jews were made to flee?
and what does he mean by Gazans and harsh military rule and no mention of Hamas in the context - who is the harsh ruler?
Silke


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/06/14/the-world-must-do-more-for-middle-east-peace/

4infidels said...

Sylvia gets it exactly right!

4infidels said...

Silke,

I believe the number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries has been estimated between 800,000 and more than 1 million. So even the most conservative estimate of Jewish refugees from Arab countries exceeds the number of Arab refugees from Israel.

John Roy Carlson in Cairo to Damascus, talks about how the number of Arab refugees was being exaggerated for political purposes...and that was long before the "consensus" figure was accepted as 700,000. I forgot exactly what the number was, but I believe that Carlson and others from that era figured 350,000 was a high estimate for Arab refugees from Israel.

Samuel Katz discusses this in Battleground as well.

4infidels said...

Silke,

There was also a study done a few years back that figured that Jews fleeing Arab countries were forced to leave behind land that in total would be equal to about 5 or 6 times the size of Israel.

Anonymous said...

I've just finished reading Michael Totten's interview of Victor David Hanson - if you need the feel of somebody being with you read it - the print-out is 15 pages and they cover a lot.

teaser:
"MJT: Sure. You can say anything you want in Israel"

I have two minor reservations (what else):
One is about finishing Hamas - I think containing Hamas is more realistic because once they are taken out chances are great that chaos breaks out and even nuttier rulers come to power not to mention all the hazards that accompany an intermittent civil war - it's not like ancient times when you could annihilate total peoples - now its not 20.000 it's 1,5 million

and the other one is VDH moaning about European social entitlements. During my self-education in economics I came repeatedly across how much the US spends for that and percentage wise they are even with us if not ahead, so if the figures were correct it is just more opaque than what we do.

Silke

Anonymous said...

4infidels
thanks, no wonder they wanted them to leave
- who could resist such loot?

but I guess we have to be careful discussing that subject or some screamer will show up yelling about the N-word (I've stopped using certain words because I got a butting idea which words nutters are googling for and though I have my "fun" with them elsewhere I don't want to attract them to here)

Silke

Anonymous said...

4infidels

"(The PA never condemns these attacks.)"

and we are told they are reliable partners one can do business with (and the policeman has paid the price for the blue-eyedness of the know-it-all-crowd)

Silke

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/06/newest-terror-group-flotilla-martyrs.html

Sylvia said...

Silke

The 7 member cabinet is the government inner sanctum where decisions are made. It is composed of Netanyahu and chosen representatives.

Jews of Arab lands have been formally expelled from countries newly rich in gaz and oil at the time of their independence, such as Libya and Algeria.They were attacked, robbed, then stripped of their nationality. Algeria, for example, introduced in its 1962 Constitution a grandfather clause stating that only someone whose grandfather was a Muslim could be an Algerian citizen.

In other countries such as Iraq, Morocco, etc,they fled after they were attacked by mobs on a rampage burning breaking windows and doors in Jewish neighborhoods.

I read that the "righteous Jews" (by Mearsheimer definition) are feeling so sorry for that Israeli Arab woman MK who was on the flotilla shouting "go back to Auschwitz". Compare her situation and position to that of say, famous Jewish French singer Enrico Macias, who isn't allowed to visit the graves of his loved ones in Algeria. His father in law and mentor, Sheikh Raymond, a musician and composer, was assassinated for having the arrogance to write and play popular Algerian music in the national dialect.

None of these people or their descendants would ever contemplate a one state solution. They have nowhere else to go.

This is what the Arabo-Muslims and their supporters want you to forget when they associate Israelis with Germany and Poland.

PS: I didn't understand what you mean by N-word. Please eplain.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
thanks for solving the 7-enigma

as to driven out Jews more or less I knew or guessed all that, after all why should they have behaved any better than my forebears did before those got going in a really "orderly" way.

As callous as it may sound, lucky for those the Arabs went after that there was a place they could flee to.

But I also had a more general question i.e. have there ever been done meticulous statistics as I understand exist on the Israeli side for those who left or were made to leave around 1948? (i.e. who left due to propaganda from the Arab side, out of "normal" war-zone fright or due to Israeli pressure). When reading WRM I just guessed that the numbers wouldn't be equal as he implies.

In Germany whenever another famous painting or piece of property is being claimed we get all these to my ears cruel distinctions at nauseam. But I guess nobody cares to do them for the Jews from Muslim lands because there isn't a chance at restitution no matter how meagre anyway.

To give you an idea of how refugee/expelled figures are manipulated. The most serious count of Germans after WW2 is currently I think around 1,5 mio. Our now outgoing president put it in a speech at 3 mio i.e. only double ;) (he is from a refugee family) and WRM had the figure at 12 mio i.e. almost 10 times. The same applies to victims of the Dresden bombing there is from serious sources anything around from 10.000 to a 100.000. That's why reading figures tends to alert me into a kind of automatic control-calculation mode and since WRM used in the piece "suffering" only for Palestinians I became especially vigilant to the rest of the data/equations he inserts.

By N-word I meant Nakba - while doing my trolling over at Ibrahim's I got the impression that that is one of the buzz words the idiots are looking for and I didn't want to lure them to here.

Silke

(btw we were less than nice and welcoming to our own refugees - people my age of that ancestry easily get into hating mood towards us "indigenous" ones to this day.)

4infidels said...

Silke,

The UN define "refugee" differently for Palestinian Arabs than for any other group. Arabs from Palestine are the only people who pass refugee status on to their future generations. That is why a third-generation Arab-American whose great-grandparents fled Jaffa in 1947 is considered a "Palestinian refugee" and will go on endlessly about the horrors of statelessness. Contrast this with, for example, the children of Holocaust survivors who are born in America and are rightly not considered refugees by either the UN or common sense.

Also, looking deeper into the political motivations behind the classification of Palestinian refugees and the political motivations for creating such a class a people, one will find that the definition of Palestinian refugee includes anyone who had been in Palestine for two or more years...and of course their descendants in perpetuity. That means that an Egyptian who came to Jerusalem in 1945 because of greater economic opportunity and then went back home when he thought war was coming, can now claim for himself and all his descendants to be refugees from Palestine and victims of the evil Jewish Zionists who stole his home.

Make that person's family rich and that person born in Jerusalem (probably because his educated parents knew where the best doctors could be found), and then immediately returned to Egypt and you have Edward Said, a fraud whose entire life story is a metaphor for the lies and manipulations of Palestinian identity and supposed victimization by Zionist Jews.

This is not to say that there aren't Arabs from Palestine who lost their homes and have endured hardships and loss. But the amount of B.S., the actual level of suffering in comparison to practically every other group of refugees from the 20th century and the role that their own leaders and fellow Arabs played in creating their departure from Palestine makes this constant wine about Israel's "original sin" in defeating a genocidally-driven Arab armed attack to destroy the nascent state that the Jews created a little tough to take.

4infidels said...

PA President Abbas is another hypocrite. If the Zionist Jews have no right to live in Israel, by what right does his Algerian tribe from Damascus that settled in Safed in the 1870s? Safed was city that had significant Jewish populations going back centuries and was the place where Jews developed the Middle East's first printing press in the 1500s.

Abbas has admitted that his family fled Safed during the 1940s because they feared that if the Jews won, they would take revenge on the Arabs for the massacres of Safed Jews in the 1920s. He also admitted that because his father had money, the family sat out the 1948 war in comfort. For Abbas' father, Palestine was apparently not worth fighting for. And also, they felt at home elsewhere in the Arab world, as there was not separate Palestinian national identity, so an Arab of Algerian heritage, whose family had not even three-quarters of a century of history in Palestine, going to Jordan or Syria was not really different that going from Safed to Nablus.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
as second thought your explanation for that 7-enigma demonstrated again very nicely to me how much of a no-brainer comparisons from one country's system to the next are. As a life-long clerk I am aware that even a minor change in the basics may entail all kinds of unexpected consequences - so all one can "judge" is a basic feeling of freedom and not go about other states like NIF's Naomi did in the other thread and which Yaacov protested against:

Even if she or NIF act as "envoys" of the empire of today the cheek of it is breathtaking:

"Israel is not behaving as a liberal democracy in so many areas. We work to try to correct that."

http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/06/nif-supports-israels-enemies.html

Silke

Anonymous said...

4infidels
I read the Edward Said saga in bits and pieces in Commentary some years ago - unbelievable anybody with a sense of shame and self-respect would refuse to travel on such a ticket (unless in dire straights of course) - below is a link to a talk of the still revered (by Christopher Hitchens) man himself. I have listened to a maximum of about 15 minutes - his voice is so full of hatred while playing the cultured one I couldn't stand it.

The way you described the classification of Palestinians as refugees for generations and generations made me wonder whether they used as a model for that regulation German citizen law. I am told that what we have is called Ius Sanguinis and it entitles a lot of Russians with German ancestry to immediate citizenship - Mind you I don't grudge anything to anyone who comes with the intent to contribute but we had a saying at the time when the first waves came and it became obvious what a farce the rules about one German grandmother or so was and it went like: anybody who has a German shepherd (dog) in the family (Hitler's was one and she was called Blondie) - it was meant as a bitter joke because at the same time others with the "wrong" blood but in dire need had to fight hard to be allowed to stay let alone get citizenship)
the world is a terribly unjust place and everywhere everybody is allowed to say that's just how things are, only when it comes to Israel then all of a sudden everything has to be superhumanly lily-white.

Silke
PS; the other day I read a piece by Leon Wieseltier who bemoaned that the house of a highly cultured Palestinian family was now "profaned" by more simple Jewish folks living in it - what an "atrocity"!

http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/berkeley.edu.78024635.078024641.84902441?i=1648003150

Barry Meislin said...

The Palestinian tragedy is that they didn't destroy the Jewish State at its inception.

And weren't able to do so at any time afterward.

Accordingly, the only way to "roll back" that tragedy is to destroy the Jewish State. ("Better late than never", as it is said.)

And since they haven't yet succeeded, they continue to suffer ever so terribly.

And the world, sick of suffering (at least where Palestinians are concerned) has come to agree with their definition of their tragedy, which has become the world's TRAGEDY (fittingly, not to mention conveniently, caused by Jews), and has also decided to adapt the Palestinians' prescription of the REMEDY to their TRAGEDY.

And so, stay tuned.....

4infidels said...

Silke,

The difference in your example of Germany is that the state is defining who it considers a refugee or wants to offer immigration/citizenship rights.

With the Palestinians, it is the UN and international law (or at least international consensus) that defines them differently from every other group of refugees, who don't pass refugee status on to their children and whose children do not inherit any "right of return" unless the state, as in the case of Germany, wants to offer it to them.

Barry,

I agree. For the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, the real pain and humiliation is that they can't destroy that infidel state of Israel run by those supposedly lowly, weak and despised Jews.

Anonymous said...

I just heard a German radio piece on Polisario and/or Marocco

- it seems that all kinds of UN-forces (military, legal, whatever) are working at getting some kind of election/treaty going. They are at it for a mere 20 years now and the whole thing is so interesting to the world that before listening to that piece I might have guessed right that Polisario and North-Africa are somehow related and that there is a fence or wall and a conflict there and that's it - as far as I'm concerned that is not for lack of interest
I don't know though if the fence or wall thereabouts belongs to this conflict or to another

but no Israelis - so news about it won't sell thus there are no news about it. Also the word suffering lacked in the piece including all possible synonyms-

Silke

Anonymous said...

4infidels
you are of course right - it only struck me how much the model seems to have been our law

and yes the distinction that it is a supranational wannabe emperor who is imposing the rules is important (as you must know by now I am extremely weary of Ummas in all shapes and forms and demands)

But:
wasn't it at least outwardly the same UN that decreed that there would be a state of Israel - did they maybe build this refugee lunacy already into that very first resolution?
Please don't get me wrong under today's conditions it is is such an unjust thing, equal to a demand for suicide

Silke

4infidels said...

Silke,

I am pretty sure that the UN recognition of Israel came first and then the Resolution (was it 194?) about Arab refugees and right of return came later. Also, there were Jewish refugees from the part of Palestine that Jordan occupied after the 1948 war. They were not given defined in the same way as the Arab refugees either.

Anonymous said...

Silke wrote:

"As callous as it may sound, lucky for those the Arabs went after that there was a place they could flee to."

That's not callous. Is that not why we must have a Jewish homeland? What if there were no Uzbekistan for the Uzbeks of Kygykstan to flee today? There is no Kurdistan for the Kurds of Turkey.

Nycerbarb

Anonymous said...

Nycerbarb
I just felt that the word lucky in connection with refugee was a bit insensitive

talking about callous, right now well fed North Koreans will be shown to the world -
I wish the players luck as I wish it to any sportsman but their "dear Leader" I want to ...*) for that obsenity.

Silke


*) insert your personal preference, I agree with any of them

Sylvia said...

"but no Israelis - so news about it won't sell thus there are no news about it."
Oh but they tried to inject Israel into it for that very purpose. At one point, pro-Polisario posters were spreading on the Internet that it was actually Ariel Sharon who suggested to Morocco to build that wall.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
I never heard that one but one must admire the creativity of these people.
I think though the basic problem is that they believe and want to make us believe that one has to look behind the whatever while in reality almost anybody who wants to achieve something needs group support and thus HAS to make public what he/she's after - just listen and read closely and they will tell you a lot more than those sleuths with their unidentified sources etc can ever find out. Sometimes one makes the mistake to discard as posturing what is dead-earnest and sometimes it's the other way around but on a whole it works pretty good once one has deciphered the euphemisms "they" use.

I've just plowed through a piece by that lefty Pakistani/British nutter Tariq Ali*) about Afghanistan and Iraq, America, Russia, Iran - you get it - I think he manages to include Israel twice the second time ever so slyly making it clear that the initial mujahedeen somehow became rogue because they were Mossad-trained (of course it is possible that the Americans asked some Israelis to teach the mujahedeen a bit of irregular warfare but that Israel or the Mossad twisted the politics/strategy this way or that sounds loony. How loony he is you can tell when he claims that the Marines cut bullets out of - mostly - women and children i.e. they left them inside the men and assumed they could later claim that somebody else killed the ones without bullets. One must be very willing to believe to buy stuff like that but I am told by people a lot better educated than I am that the man is a great man.

As he writes page-turner style probably a lot of people will believe that by the end of the piece they will have acquired real insider-knowledge instead of a big heap of B.S. - always if he knows that Israel and especially the Mossad is involved the rest must be true also.

Silke

*) (I must know what a nutter thinks who claims that Chavez and his ilk are the world's great hope for democracy)

http://www.guernicamag.com/features/1809/ali_6_15_10/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Emailmarketingsoftware&utm_content=1070049930&utm_campaign=TariqAliColombianCaptiveIndianSuicidesIranianFlags&utm_term=ObamasWar