Monday, March 7, 2011

Roger Waters is A Fool; Rashad Bayoumi Isn't; Obama?

Roger Waters of the Pink Floyd band has announced his support of BDS, although not until a few years after doing a large concert in Israel which probably generated a spot of income, so the practical aspect of boycotting dosen't mean much. In this article he explains his decision.

I don't much follow such matters, but I expect Waters is a talented musician. His grasp on the facts of the Israel-Palestine conflict is very shaky; here's a man who can be fed contradictory lies and swallows them all unthinkingly. I was especially impressed by the fact that he returns again and again to the wall Israel has built (well, that would make sense, given Water's history of walls), without ever reflecting on the fact that the wall is actually an expression of ending the occupation: the sense of having a border is that the Palestinians will end up on one side, and the Israelis on the other, and there will be a border separating them. The wall, and partition, also contradict the right of return he supports, but no matter. The important thing is that a man with no grasp of the reality feels it's an honorable thing to make idiotic and counter-factual statements about the Jewish state, and he'll be applauded for doing so by large numbers of other malicious fools. That's the important heart of the matter.

Rashad Bayoumi isn't a fool. He's a hard-core antisemite, of the boilerplate opinion that Jews rule America and America wishes to destroy Islam, and Israel is the tool they use to attack the Muslim world from its geographic center. He's also a top fellow in the Muslim brotherhood. Just like everyone else, I don't know how influential he and his evil comrades will be in the new Arab world that will rise from the present turmoil, but it certainly needs careful monitoring at the least, and lots of careful planing: what if he turns out to be very influential? What then? Here, for starters, is a translated interview with him from last week. Listen, and shudder.

In a recent meeting between President Obama and a bunch of prominent American Jews, reports on which are conflicting because it was off the record and no official transcript has been produced, Obama seems to have
reportedly urged Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to “search your souls” over Israel's seriousness about making peace.
Furthermore, some (but perhaps not all) participants felt Obama was singling out Israel:
[T]he president also implied that Israel bears primary responsibility for advancing the peace process. They interpreted the president’s comments either as hostile, naive or unsurprising. Obama said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is eager to secure his legacy by establishing a Palestinian state and would accept a decent offer if one were on the table, according to participants. “The Palestinians don't feel confident that the Netanyahu government is serious about territorial concessions,” the president reportedly said.
I wasn't there, and don't know exactly what he said. The idea, however, that the American president thinks Israelis need to be lectured at by him or by American Jews about the threats that face them is, to my mind, extremely distasteful. The idea that the Palestinians will accept any offer the Israelis can viably make so as to end up with a small state on a fragment of the territory they feel they deserve has, alas, been repeatedly tested and has repeatedly led to disaster. Disaster in which Israelis (and Palestinians) pay a price in blood. No-one needs to expect a faraway musician to know about this, or to care; the American president, however, ought to.


Saul Lieberman said...

According to the JPost, Obama said: "I’m actually confident that TEN YEARS FROM NOW we’re going to be able to look back POTENTIALLY and say this was the dawning of an entirely new and better era.” Now there are enough qualifications in that statement to make any lawyer proud.

Unfortunately, Obama doesn't have any problem declaring that this is an opportune moment for Israel to take risks.

B said...

I don't know much about the wall, but why does it need to be partly built through the other's villages?

Y. Ben-David said...

Although I had never heard of Waters until a couple of days ago, his statement, added to that of Pete Seeger now supporting BDS and other events have now marked a watershed. It is now can no longer be a "progressive" (or "universalist" or "purificationist" or "liberal" or whatever else you might want to call it) and still support Zionism. Its now one or the other but not both. Note how Waters demands the "right of return" and the dismantling of legal vestiges of Israel being a "Jewish state".
In other words, merely "ending the occupation" is just, Israel itself must cease to exist.

Pete Seeger who was once a supporter of Israel now says he is boycotting Israel because of the JNF. When Seeger supported Israel in the past, the JNF was there, and the Nakba had already occurred, but it didn't bother Seeger. In those days nobody cared about the Palestinians. But today, Seeger, as a "progressive" has come around to the position of Waters..that Israel is inherently racist and illegitimate, even within the pre-67 borders.

A further example was the statement Jane Fonda signed regarding a Canadian boycott of an Israeli Film Festival in Toronto. That statement included a section defining Tel Aviv as a "illegal settlement". It is true that Fonda backed off her support for this statement, but it is only a matter of time until she comes around as have others.
No doubt there are threats made against these performers and maybe they are getting money for now opposing an Israel that they used to support but the line has been drawn in the sand.
"Progressives" are enemies of Israel and antisemites, at least potentially. All those who support Israel and Zionism must confront them directly. There is no use in grovelling to them anymore.

Silke said...

I agree with B

- it would have been much better to build the wall on the moon or even better in another galaxy.

Silke said...

I've listened to this podcast from November 11, 2010 only yesterday -
Kurtzer talks English, Stein talks German

Kurtzer's naive nannying attitude is breathtaking and he claims to have been a life-long middle-east hand. He couldn't even mediate an ordinary office feud.

only anti-Israel-ones took the micro during Q&A

Stein should have prepared his arguments in German a huge lot better than he did - but he was very good in introducing the German word "vergewaltigen" = rape during the arguments, like of course Israel is rape-able. Stein managed to draw one voice to his side, Kurtzer lost one.

link to the audio on the site

Lee Ratner said...

The reason people place pressure on Israelis and not the Palestinians or other Arabs is simple Most people know that the Israelis are capable of action and compromise but the Palestinians are not. Since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is seen as angering at least a good chunk of Muslims and most of the world thinks it is better for Israel to take hits for the sake of calming Muslims. This isn't said because it would not be diplomatic.

Micha said...

For these celebrities boycotting Israel is no different than a fashion accessory. Their understanding of these issues is on par with their understanding of how their other fashion accessories are made.

In order to deal with them, we have to shame them so that boycotting Israel will be as embarrassing as it is now to support Israel.

For that to work, Israel first should do better in conveying a message and intent for peace despite our justified pessimism about it. The celebrities need to be told that by supporting boycott they are actually supporting the opposite of the things they claim to support, namely peace, reconciliation, compromise, rejection of prejudice, non-violence, mutual respect and self-determination, pluralism, open mindedness, skepticism and all the other nice words people like to throw around while actually promoting the opposite.

Israel is loosing the propaganda war because, instead of fighting back effectively (while doing better itself as a country), it whines. Waters might be an ignorant dilettante, but he was influenced by our enemies because we abandoned the field of battle.

Yaacov said...

B -

It didn't happen. Show me a case where the fence was built through a village, with the exception of Barta'a, where the Green Line went through the village.

Barry Meislin said...

Robin Shepard, as usual, nails it:

Barry Meislin said...

Robin Shepherd (that is).

Barry Meislin said...

The I-P problem in a nutshell:,7340,L-4038453,00.html

Micha said...

The fence doesn't go through villages. It goes through east Jerusalem. It doesn't follow the green line. It does go through lands that -- allegedly -- belong to certain villages.

In any case, the left tried to make the fence a rallying cry with its weekly demonstrations in Billin, which were described as non-violent. This was supposed to inspire leftists and have a big effect. But this attempt on non-violence was doomed to failure (inside Israel at least) because:

1) Fighting non-violently against a fence that was created to stop suicide bombers was not very convincing.

2) The fence was described as a completely unnecessary act by Israel motivated by racism, whereas it was created to serve very real security needs. The indifference of the protesters to the concern of Israelis for their lives made it unlikely that Israelis would care about the concerns of the Palestinians.

3) The non violence was instrumental at best, and was not part of a non-violent ideal. And it wasn't always really non-violent.

4) The reason for protest was that the fence was build over land inside the Green line belonging to villagers. However since most Israelis are not farmers and the land taken by the fence was not some massive chunks of the west bank but mostly close to the green line, this was not something that would cause much outrage among Israelis, especially when the fence was created in response to suicide bombings.

5) Like Yaakov said, while the fence were portrayed by its opponents as another example of Israelis "stealing" Arab land, to some Israelis it seemed like a sign that Israel was working to divide Palestine/Israel, separating themselves from the West Bank. The propaganda image of the Palestinians as Indians who were quickly being pushed from their land by the cowboys/settlers was always an exaggeration.

6) The fact that Israel was going thorough the combined assault of suicide bombings and a delegitimzation campaign made any criticism against it, especially one steeped in hypocrisy and exaggeration, highly suspect even for people who had their own criticism of Israeli policies.

Silke said...

I've been following the IDF Twitter by their RSS-feed for quite some months now - for non-violent protests the anti-fencers create quite regularly injured Israeli soldiers.

Maybe the injuries are "minor" but if a stone would hit me and leave me with nothing worse than a tiny hematome I'd still consider that that happened to me in the midst of some violence other than somebody stepping inadvertently on my toes in a crowd.

The latter has never given me bad dreams the former is quite likely to do.

IDF-twitter is full of incidents that would they happen in my country all hell would break loose and the IDF doesn't even consider them worthy of a proper press release.

Therefore since I always try to put myself in the shoes of the other I'd say the anti-fencers at best supply cover for violent actors.

Barry Meislin said...

Non-violence is, of course, relative.

That the Arab propensity for prevarication has been willingly "appropriated" by the West's political, intellectual and media classes---lubricated, lovingly, by luscious quantities of lucre---essentially means that the primary features that have made Arabia great---the inability to tell truth from falsehood, together with the usual violence, intimidation, extortion, misogyny, lack of curiosity and general moral confusion---are now well ensconced around the globe.

The results shouldn't be too difficult to imagine.

Anonymous said...

"The idea, however, that the American president thinks Israelis need to be lectured at by him or by American Jews about the threats that face them is, to my mind, extremely distasteful"

You're right - Obama should just shut his mouth and keep writing the checks

Yaacov said...

The checks go, by and large, to American workers in the weapons industry. When Israel wished to buy Airbus airliners in the 1990s, it was made very clear that this was inadmissible. Only Boeings were permitted. The point being that there's no altruistic philanthropy involved. But anyway, it's not relevant. When Obama tries to force Israel into positions which will generate war, this can't be an American interest. When he insists on pretending the world isn't what it is, he does American no favors.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes, "You're right - Obama should just shut his mouth and keep writing the checks."

If he's going to open his mouth he should at least know what he's talking about and recognize the impact of his words. As to "writing the checks", he's writing lots of checks to Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon and the Palestinians. Why don't you complain about those? Heck, Clinton just authorized *another* $150 million to the PA last week. What did the US get for that besides a threat to boycott the US for its recent UN vote?

Anonymous said...

So you basically agree with the original sentiment (however irrelevant it may be). In your mind, the substantial financial, military, and diplomatic supporT the US offers Israel doesn't entitle the sitting US president to voice an opinion on its use because Israel bought Boeing jets in the 90s and Israelis "just know better."

Quf said...

Anonymous, you're a jerk.

These people are not arguing with the president's right to voice an opinion. They're arguing that his opinion is either foolish or anti-Semitic (since it's wrong).

Sérgio said...

Obama is an all-out fraud, and incompetent and irresponsible fool.

What´s amazing is that polical opinion of stupid celebrities such as rock stars and fashion designers are taken seriously and, worse, look quite similar to the views of the POTUS.

Crazy times.

Barry Meislin said...

Ah yes, Obama, the imperial president.

(Funny how these kinds of things happen, and then finding out who supports it to the hilt....)

File under: "Life's little ironies"....

Indeed, there are those who insist that Israel should allow the perverse policies of the current US administration to weaken Israel---because this is in Israel's interest (even if Israel doesn't know it).

Not to mention the world's.

And then there are those who insist that the United States should allow the perverse policies of the current US administration to weaken the United States---because this is in the US's interest (even if its citizens don't know it).

Not to mention the world's.

This past November, American voters told Obama where he could go, and what he should expect in November 2011.

Nonetheless, he still has over a year and a half to try to implement his policies of destruction...

...which is not quite so unpalatable (for all too many) merely because it attempts to freeze Israel firmly in the crosshairs.

Anonymous said...

regarding the security fence and its path....when the palestinians pulled an intifada against the king of jordan....10,000 were machine gunned down in the streets

the fence has killed not a single person

the arabs need to stop bitchin

the green line is not a border...never was meant to be

as for roger...he hasnt put out an album that has sold in almost 20 years...he is trying to stay relevant

Yaacov said...

I don't remember ever saying the POTUS wasn't entitled to an opinion. On the contrary, that's his job. Of course, when he has an opinion which is wrong, the fact that America sells arms to Israel and invests in Israeli arms-research doesn't mean his opinions thereby become correct. They remain wrong. But anyway, my original point wasn't about whether his positions are right or wrong, but about the arrogance that from his surprisingly uninformed positions, he feels Israelis need to be told they don't understand their own circumstances. They do, vastly better than he, if only because they're of immediate and existential impact. No amount of American check writing can change that: we spend our lives scrutinizing the local conditions; POTUS comes and goes, and has lots of other things on his plate, and this particular POTUS doesn't even seem willing to learn new things. That has nothing to do with checks, one way or the other.

Barry Meislin said...

...and this particular POTUS doesn't even seem willing to learn new things.

You misunderstand, alas. (That is, you are far too kind, far too willing to give others the benefit of the doubt---a Jewish bug? or a feature?....)

This, because Obama KNOWS what has to be done in the Middle East.

(Just like he KNOWS what is in America's interest.)

There is nothing for him to "learn."

Because the only fair position to take is to promote a Palestinian state.

The only reasonable position to take is to agitate for a Palestinian state.

The only morally defensible position to take is to agitate for a Palestinian state.

The only logical position to take is to agitate for a Palestinian state.

Never mind that the Palestinians do not want a state.

Never mind that the Palestinian strategy is to, through a combination of attrition, of violence, of threats, and honeyed phrases, ultimately erase the Jewish state.

Never mind the pretzel-like contortions one must twist oneself into, the things one must ignore, the things one must deny.

The creation of a Palestinian state is the moral crusade of our time. And any opposition to anyone who opposes such a state marks earns one the curse of Cain.

(Curiously (or not), Israel supports a Palestinian state---just not one that threatens Israel's existence. But this is an oxymoron pure and simple---and so for all intents and purposes, Israel is viewed---must be viewed---as opposing such a state, earning for itself that mark of Cain, which mark pounded in day in, day out, is an essential stage in justifying Israel's eventual obliteration.)

No, there is absolutely nothing for Obama to learn except that not everyone agrees with him.

(To be sure, those that don't fall in line---they are the arrogant idiots who must be educated. And if they resist, those poor misguided folks become the stubborn and implacable enemy.)

What then?

The only question that remains for Israel (but not just Israel) is, when we all collide head-long with that brick wall called "reality," will the State of Israel, as well as the Jews of the diaspora, be prepared for the ensuing onslaught.

Barry Meislin said...

Eek. This sentence is pretty awful:

"And any opposition to anyone who opposes such a state marks earns one the curse of Cain."

Let's try this:

"And any opposition, perceived or otherwise, to the establishment of such a state earns one the curse of Cain."

Lee Ratner said...

Barry, we are all aware that the general desire in the Muslim world is for the disappearance of Israel and its replacement with a Muslim Palestinian state. We are also aware that even if a Palestinian state comes into existence in the WB and Gaza, that a sufficient portion of Muslims will still wage war against Israel in the 1948 borders.

This doesn't change the fact that Israel is seen as being in control of colonies by most of the world and that this is causing a lot of damage to Israel internationally and that eventually a solution will be forced upon Israel or Israel will be treated even more as a pariah. It also doesn't change the fact that if Israel kicks out all the Palestinians from the WB and Gaza than Israel will be guilty of ethnic cleansing and the Arab states will just put the Palestinians in camps and let them fester anyway.

Many of us in the lets create a Palestinian state now camp are aware that this will not lead to anything even remotely resembling peace. However, we believe that the negatives of the current situation in the WB and Gaza outweigh the positives and that only Israel is dynamic enough to act.

Silke said...


all nice and fine, but why are all those who stump for a two state solution sound so detached from conditions on the ground to me?

Last example former ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer to whose talk I linked to above.

If one, just one, came up with an even remotely reasonable sounding idea I would start to listen very very carefully. But to date the ones saying that the situation is an intractable one are the ones who sound sober while the others sound as if they are on an induced by heaven knows what high.

Yes I agree Israel's image will suffer, but if the alternative is enhancing its chances of getting "driven into the sea" I sure'd opt for the bad reputation. And as Shimon Stein, the historian, in the above talk so aptly reminded the listeners that the future is the future and whatever one thinks these days it may be chances are quite big that it may be something completely different. (the talk took place before the recent upheavals of the ME landscape which may or may not bode that they'll prefer to be at eachothers' throats instead of concentrating on Israel all the time).

BTW Qaradawi mentioned in Cairo the love feast between Christians and Muslims several times (link at EoZ here
and as best I know at least some Egyptian Muslims didn't follow but considered attacking Christians more laudable.

So much for any look into the future.

Why not, instead of harping on Israel this and Israel that, lobbying Christians into awareness of the fate resembling the one Jews suffered in Muslim countries in very modern times?

Silke said...

Treppenwitz has a must read up on Israel Apartheid Week touching on almost all issues of I-P very much in synch with what Yaacov keeps telling us.

insofar as the subject allows Enjoy!
Until somebody tells me about errors or misrepresentations in the piece I treat it as gospel.

Warning ;-)

- previous posts make me guess the author may be a "settler" so beware!

Anonymous said...

" ...the arrogance that from his surprisingly uninformed positions, he feels Israelis need to be told they don't understand their own circumstances. They do, vastly better than he."

By referring to "Israelis" collectively I assume you really mean "hard-line militarists and irredentists I agree with", because there are differences in opinion across the Israeli political spectrum aren't there? Obama's prescriptions for Israel really aren't any different from Tzipi Livni's - is she "surprisingly uninformed" or are you just a chauvinist?

Barry Meislin said...

"Not really different from Tzipi Livni's" you say?

Should we take your word for it? Yes? No? Maybe? Why not?

(Let's go for, "why not?"....since Tzipi Livni seems to opt for whatever position she believes would hurt Netanyahu the most.)

But hold on a sec. Didn't the Palestinians already reject what Tzipi Livni had to offer them towards the middle-end of 2008?

(Unless your point is that not only is Tzipi Livni's position ractically identical to Obama's; it's also nothing like Tzipi Livni's. Which is an interesting point. And given Tzipi Livni's erratic utterances over the past while, it may even be true.)

Barry Meislin said...

ractically = practically

Yaacov said...

Anon -

You're really not very well informed, are you. Not even about the small matter of who I voted for (hint: Tzippi Livni). I suggest either that you chose a moniker so we'll recognize your various repeated appearances - seems like elementary politeness - or no-one will respond to you anymore, and you'll be free to spout as much nonsense as you wish, but no-one will be listening.

To all the rest of you, please don't respond to this character anymore. I won't either.

Barry Meislin said...

Lee, do you even read what you write?

Let me try to paraphrase:

"Yes, I know that the Palestinians will wage war against Israel from the 1967 borders, with the help of all those who, like them, yearn for Israel's destruction.

"But it is still Israel's best option to enable them to do this and it is absolutely in Israel's best interest."

How'd I do?

Silke said...

thanks Yaacov
you beat me to it by 9 minutes

Silke said...


Barghouti claimed that mainstream Israeli officials, and even Mossad, now think Israel is "a pariah".

I am pretty sure that Lee doesn't like that company but since they are both using the same expression I wonder who came up with it first and who is following? (jeffrey Goldberg likes it also).

Barry said...

Lee Ratner when you state: This doesn't change the fact that Israel is seen as being in control of colonies by most of the world and that this is causing a lot of damage to Israel internationally do you realize how most of the world has distorted the occupation from what was resolved in the UN?
The word colonies is also incorrect in a factual sense.
Here's a link to two
Articles by the Late Eugene Rostow
which should clarify the legal issues and which Israel should be declaring publicly, most probably to Obama's consternation:

For example, Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces "from territories" it occupied during the Six-Day War--not from "the" territories nor from "all" the territories, but from some of the territories,

Resolution 242 built on the text of the Armistice Agreements of 1949, which provided (except in the case of Lebanon) that the Armistice Demarcation Lines separating the military forces were "not to be construed in any sense" as political or territorial boundaries, and that "no provision" of the Armistice Agreements "Shall in any way prejudice the right, claims, and positions" of the parties "in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine problem."

Silke said...

leaving everything else aside Tzipi Livni sure knows how to get a photographer to make her look good, while Netanyahu let that idiot from the New Yorker? butcher him into the equal of unsavouries like A'jad?

try that with this one of Livni and you'll fail -
I sure like it when men are so lacking in vanity but they should be competitive enough to not yield that field without a fight. Remember the ancient Greeks did gorgeous jobs on depicting males? much better ones in fact than today's glossies can come up with - see example below!/image/3240876764.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_295/3240876764.jpg

or this one

Lee Ratner said...

Barry Meislin, you still haven't explained what your side wants to do with the millions of Palestinians under Israeli rule. I think that Israel would have a lot more lateral dealing with an independent hostile Palestine than subjected hostile Palestinian territories. If the Palestinians are independent and decide to wage war against Israel, they are taking the actions of a hostile state and Israel could treat the Palestinian state as such and flatten it.

You see independence as helping the Palestinians wage war against Israel. I don't. I think it will constrain their ability to act against Israel. The deep funding doesn't come from the Muslim countries but from the Western ones. Eventually, Westerners will get frustrated with the Palestinians if they continue their bloody war against Israel after achieving independence and not focus on building their own state. The more intelligent Palestinian leadership is also aware that Israel will have a freer hand in dealing with them if they are a free country with full sovereign rights. An act of terrorism against Israel would be a cause for war.

Barry Meislin said...

You see independence as helping the Palestinians wage war against Israel.

No, I don't see that, actually. (You seem to have a knack for misconstruing arguments.)

For the following reason:
Accepting independence hinders the Palestinians' ability to wage the kind of war they wish to wage against Israel's existence (and which they've been waging since Oslo was signed---sorry, make that since 1948) for many reasons.

And it's one of the major reasons why the Palestinians don't want independence and won't accept it.

(They'll accept it when they're absolutely certain that Israel is at the crumbling/toppling stage, but not before, no matter how many nations recognize "Palestine," and whether the UN embraces Palestinian statehood---thought there will be no "whether" on this score.)

You seem to be saying that the Palestinians both realize that independence hinders the war they are waging against Israel's existence and that they want independence or that they would accept independence or that they would accept to have independence thrust upon them (were such a thing even possible).

Sorry, no.

They don't want independence.

They will not accept independence.

They will continue to fight their war against Israel's existence in the way they see fit, which at them moment means talking about a wanting Palestinian state but, in fact, not wanting it. At least, not for the foreseeable future; i.e., not until Israel is gone or practically gone (as discussed above).

The strategy's been going amazingly well for them, and they will continue to do what they've been doing so well.

(They even have Roger Waters agreeing with them that Israel must be destroyed! And who will be the next bright light to fall into line?)

I don't quite understand why all this is not understood more widely, since the Palestinians have been telling us this since 2001.

And acting on it, consistently.

It's not what we want to hear, I guess.... Or see.

Even the smarter, wiser analysts (for whom, thank the powers that be) continue to speak, at least at times, in terms of "the peace process" or "reviving the peace process" or "waiting for more encouraging times (or governments) to restart the peace process" or "jump start the peace process" or "the peace process is currently frozen."

New flash: There never was any peace process---if by "peace process" one means that two sides negotiate in good faith towards some kind of co-existence or entente. Towards some kind of compromise.

(But even this "news flash" is wrong: the Palestinians have indeed been actively engaging, and continue to actively engage, in the "peace process," since for them "peace" is defined as "a Middle East without Israel". As such, they will continue to engage in the "peace process" until Israel disappears from the map.)

There is no peace process to revive, to resusscitate, to wait for, to encourage, to jump start, to be frozen.

None. Never was.

And look where we are now.

Arafat's (and Abbas must take credit too, along with the rest of the gang) great achievement. Arafat's brilliant tactical foresight. Arafat's remarkable legacy.

But keep on looking---desperately---for "solutions."

(Or ask the Palestinians, who know just what the solution is.)

Barry Meislin said...

And as long as we're in the mood, here's something more to ignore (for those of us who still seem not to have yet gotten the message):

Remember those heady days of: "Is Arafat not able? Or is he not willing?"?? Yes, those were---these are---the days!!

File under: "Back to the future!"

Silke said...

I plead "guilty" that from the few news which reached me at the time I bought into the "Arafat is not able" meme but those MSM never managed to get me into "Israel should do this, that or the other" state, because the basic fact that If a thief can't help himself thieving, he needs to be locked up.


quite an interesting scenario you seem to imagine here:

Israel could treat the Palestinian state as such and flatten it.

Not that it doesn't sound great to me, therefore I'd greatly appreciate your citing examples when the International Community has allowed Israel to do anything remotely like that.

If you know of any instances where the Int'l ones kept quiet, when Israel "flattened" as careful as humanely possible the way that same community kept quiet when Sri Lanka "flattened" the Tamil Tigers please tell.

Is there a Goldstone report on that Tamil-Tiger-flattening? Is it even asked for? If yes by whom?

I am not judging on Sri Lanka's behaviour in the case, I know too little about it. I am just pointing out the double standard that is applied and how rose tinted a world view must be which expects Israel to be allowed to do the same.

Barry Meislin said...

I certain he didn't "flatten". (Only I am allowed to be accused of that.) I'm pretty sure it was a typo. More likely "fatten"; or perhaps, "flatter". Certainly not flatten. Heavens forefend.

But as long as we're speaking of flattening, I've always been amazed at the extent of the Grozny flattening. That was a professional job. And thorough.

How did the Russians manage that? (I guess the world admires thoroughness....)

To be sure, neither the Grozny flattening (yawn) nor the Tamil flattening (yawn), nor the Hama flattening (yawn)---nor for that matter the flattening that seems to be all the rage in Libya as we "speak" (yaawwwwn)---could hold a candle to the Jenin flattening (Grrrr) or the Gaza flattening (Grrrrrrrr).

To be sure, given the zeitgeist, if Israel, so eager to fatten Palestinians, were to flatten them, this would be perceived by the Palestinians as a tremendous, perhaps even a final victory.

(Their ideas of "win-win" may not be quite the same as ours....)

Barry Meislin said...

Should be "I'm certain he didn't mean flatten....."

Lee Ratner said...

Nope, I meant flatten. Barry, your position is that the Palestinians do not want independence until they know that Israel is at the breaking point. You also believe that the current strategy is working well for them. I agree with the latter completely and the former somewhat.

However, I still want to know what is your solution to this problem? Nobody really sees simply expelling the Palestinians from the WB and Gaza as a viable solution even among the most ardent of the Settlers. They know that this will solve nothing because the Arab countries would simply place the Palestinians in refugees and ethnic cleansing will make Israel into a pariah state like North Korea. Nor do most Israelis see maintaining the status quo as viable. Even the portion of Likud that believes in annexing the WB realizes that Israeli citizenship would have to be extended to the Palestinians.

My belief is that if Israel is dealing with the Palestinians as a hostile sovereign people rather than a hostile subject people, Israel would be freer because sympathy for the Palestinians outside the Muslim world would really decrease if they have their own country and still insist on waging war.

Silke said...


please cite examples where the International Community allowed Israel to FLATTEN, let alone finish a discriminately targetting operation.

Without examples I consider your argument to be facetious.

Also why do you continue to throw around the pariah threat, the pariah claim is a favourite with Israel's foes.

Some comments of yours make me suspect that you aren't one of those but why then do you use their language? Because to threaten Israel with pariahdom has become the new normal? amongst Jews?

Currently Stéphane Hessel is omnipresent in Germany with his book or rather pamphlet "Indignez-vous". He demands in it that Israel behave like a saint or an angel i.e. with otherworldly perfection or be accorded pariah status i.e. the old man promotes an all or nothing attitude that leaves no room for Israelis to be fallible living breathing human beings. Why do you support such a world view by threatening pariah-dom?

I think demanding super-perfection of a human is as perfidious as using insect-metaphors for them.

Barry Meislin said...

My belief is that if Israel is dealing with the Palestinians as a hostile sovereign people rather than a hostile subject people, Israel would be freer because sympathy for the Palestinians outside the Muslim world would really decrease if they have their own country and still insist on waging war.

Nice belief. Maybe you're right.

And maybe you're wrong.

But since the idea is intended to help Israel out of the jam it's currently in, you might just discover (surprise!)that the Palestinians won't be entirely persuaded. Or cooperative.

That is, getting the Palestinians to agree to your scheme might be a tad, um, problematic.

(Remind me, once again, why exactly they should agree to this?.... Oh, right: because "if Israel is dealing with the Palestinians as a hostile sovereign people rather than a hostile subject people, Israel would be freer". Ah, I see. Thanks. Well, of course they'll agree to it. No problem.)

Alas, although your plan, to your credit, is intended to help Israel, the flip side is that it essentially ignores the Palestinians (not that I see this as moral problem, given their goals vis a vis Israel; but I do see it as a practical one: it is essentially unimplementable. And what kind of plan is that?)

Thus if the Palestinians won't agree (with your plan), and if they won't accept statehood (as you plan), and if they exploit Israel's reduced borders to pound Israelis cities and towns--- i.e., "settlements within the Green line"---(as you predict, and as they inevitably will), and then Israel "flattens" them (as you forecast), what then?

Is it "All's well that end well"? Will Israel be vindicated? (Assuming she even succeeds in "flattening" them without herself getting "flattened" or partially so.)

Do you really think so?


Barry Meislin said...

(Well, maybe you---along with many, many others----will feel better about things..., which may be no small achievement....)

Or will all hell break loose, as the Mother-of-all-Richard-Goldstones/HRWs/Amnesty Internationals/Oxfams/Etc. is/are unleashed upon the Jewish State by a furious, righteously indignant worldwide fraternity; while frenzied rioting targets---Twitter? Facebook?---Jewish communities and organizations (and Americans---as we've been so lovingly warned by Walt and Mearsheimer) around the world?

Unless, of course, one believes that the Palestinians will go that extra mile (kilometer?) to help Israel out of its predicament.

A "better" scenario you want? I don't have much to offer. Maybe the Palestinians will "see the light"? (Heh.) Maybe they'll get so bored at not being able to decimate Israelis that they'll turn their rage on one another. Maybe Hezbullah will, with uncharacteristic impatience, decide that the time has come to crush---with Allah's help (and Iran's)---the Israeli spider, but maybe they'll miss and hit Ramallah, Jenin, Al Khalil and Tulkarem instead?

Who knows?

If you're asking me for "my solution," I can't really help you.


Maybe, just maybe, there is no solution. (Try to wrap your imagination around that one.)

But that's not possible, is it?

OK, so my "solution" is that Israel and Israelis have to be prepared for no solution and that precisely for that reason, we have to be strong militarily.

And ready.

And we have to be strong morally. Internally.

We have to revamp our entire society to reflect and moral laws, along with priorities such as pushing education hard and helping the needy sectors, something that exists still, but is all too often woefully missing, woefully neglected, that has been neglected, somehow, during the past 15-20 years (or more?) of Israel's increasing prosperity.

(Perhaps because of that prosperity.)

Because meeting this need will help us meet the severe external threat that faces us (a threat that exists no matter what Obama and Thomas Friedman believe).

That we cease trying to be "a light unto the nations" and start trying to be kinder to one another, more considerate to one another. A light unto ourselves.

(Oh, and that Tel Aviv stop collecting garbage and cleaning the streets on Shabbat and holidays.)

Well, you asked....

Silke said...

As best I remember

Grosny was "flattened" because it was a leftover war from another area and thus didn't count.

Tamil Tigers were "flattened" because they were stone age communists and thus didn't count.

i.e. both were "flattened" in accordance with age-old habits.

But Israel is a modern state, a state of our time and thus it can't be permitted to flatten in accordance with age-old habits. If we'd allow that our currently fashionable Zeitgeist would lose luster and we can't have that.

And yes there are intractable situations, the ancient Greeks wrote great plays about them which we commonly call tragedies and which were explained to me in school under the heading that one is doomed to become guilty while remaining innocent and there is no exit from it.

how could Oedipus have avoided killing his father? by letting the old man have his way and get killed himself!

how could the miller's daughter spin straw to gold and thus avoid execution? By promising her first born to evil Rumpelstilzchen

(btw why do I find that fairy tale on Anglo sites missing some of its more gruesome images? Because what isn't suitable to the Walt Disney worldview isn't suitable for children? It might teach them too much of a realistic world view?)

Barry Meislin said...

...and thus didn't count...

What a relief.

For a moment there I was convinced that the reason was because Russians weren't Jews, and Sinhalese weren't Jews, and Syrians weren't Jews, and Libyans weren't Jews, and Algerians weren't Jews, and Sudanese weren't Jews, and Turks weren't Jews, and Jordanians weren't Jews and Hutus weren't Jews, and Congolese weren't Jews, and (West) Pakistanis (in the good old days) weren't Jews.....

Dear Lord, it looks like I'm locked into a neanderthalic belief system.

Can someone please help me, help me, help me find a way out. Please! Please!!

Silke said...


how about rejoicing that Israel is the only modern state of our time and thus the only one that has to operate by our current superhuman standards?

How truly modern Israel is, is proved by this Haaretz-headline from today. Never mind the No. 2 - they only put that in there so super-power doesn't get miffed and Europeans can sigh relief

Israel ranks global No. 2 for female board members, at 15%

A ranking like that obliges one to a lot. As I once saw a shop sign: We will take care of the Impossible immediately, Miracles will take a bit longer.

Barry Meislin said...

That's OK. Thanks for the advice, but I look at the long, long list of odious nations that despise Israel, and the long, long list of vile people who detest Israel and I am encouraged, refreshed, strengthened, elevated.

(Proving without the shadow of a doubt that this country must be doing something right....)

And then, and then...., I realize that there are many, many other very fine, outstanding, lovely, loving people who despise the State of Israel...and I drown my sorrows in food and on the keypad...and I say to myself (between mouthfuls) that were it not for the foul, filthy, fulsome lies of the MSM Brotherhood, such fine, outstanding, lovely, loving people might receive a more balanced, a more informed, a more honest view of things...but then I realize that not all fine, outstanding, lovely, loving people are looking necessarily for a more balanced, a more informed, a more honest view...and I take another bite....and another....

(I call them "reality bites"....)

(All I can say is that peace had better break out soon....)

Yaacov said...

I unspammed whatever was stuck...