Sunday, July 25, 2010

If it's in the Newspaper it Must Be True

Here's a collection of useful links from the morning's paper:

Brave and heroic criticism of Israel dept: Some of Israel's enemies are bored college students with no real challenges in life, who yearn to be part of "something big". They have no understanding and no interest in understanding the real people involved, or the impact their actions might have on those peoples' lives.

Brutal Israeli Occupation of Gaza dept: Apparently the Egyptians are willing to let Palestinians in and out of Gaza via Rafah, and thousands are going in and out, but one does need a passport. So if you hear of a story about how some Gazans can't get out for lack of a passport, who do you think should be blamed? Wrong. The PA. Apparently when Hamas kicked the PA out of Gaza in 2007, the PA folks managed to leave with all the unfilled Palestinian passports; moreover, in the years since the PA has convinced the French printer of the passports to send new ones only to Ramallah. Perfidious Israelis. And note, by the way, that there is such a things as a Palestinian passport, and also that the registry of Palestinian populace is in Ramallah. The Mondoweiss gang sometimes says that Israel's control of it proves its occupation of Gaza is still viable.

Peace negotiations and common sense dept: It seems that eventually, 18 months too late, Netanyahu has finally managed to position himself (and all of us) on the right side of the peace talks see-saw. Various international leaders are lining up to call Mahmoud Abbas to urge him to join direct talks with Israel, as Netanyahu demands and Abbas refuses. We all know that peace talks with the Palestinians can't and won't lead to peace anytime soon or even for quite a while afterwords. Which means one of the most important things an Israeli prime minster has to do is ensure that at any given moment, reasonable observers will understand that it's the Palestinian side that isn't interested, not the Israeli side. This week Netanyahu has finally succeeded, and I recommend savoring the moment since it's unlikely to last.

Backward groups in Israel dept: Stanly Fischer, governeor of the Bank of Israel, compares the conditions of Israel's Arabs and Israel's Haredi: the economic situation of the Arabs is improving. The condition of the Haredi isn't. They're growing rapidly, most of them aren't working, and their leaders don't see the problem.

Innocents abroad dept: Dipa Nrianjan, a young Indian student, tells about living in Jerusalem, being homesick, then coming back for more. It's a nice story; it depicts a couple of Israel's warts without turning them into a reason to dismantle Zionism, and along the way it also casts a bit of light on one of the most important stories of the past 15 years or so: how Israel and India are growing closer. Of course, for a while there Israel and Turkey also seemed to be growing closer, and we all know where that led to, but the connection with India may be of a different magnitude, for lack of thousands of years of animosity. I also expect that eventually India will be vastly more important than Turkey ever will be. (Though you might be interested to know that Israel's ties with Greece are improving these days, with the Greek prime minsters insisting this has nothing to do with Turkey).

Other matters dept: Normblog via Twitter sends this link. People are less important and less powerful than they'd like to think, apparently.


Anonymous said...

Re: Dreyfus
Now how is one supposed to trust a book review that ends like this:

Lee Ratner said...

I think that its instructive to compare the non-Palestinian members of the Palestinian movement to the non-Tibetan members of the Tibetan movement. We know that the non-Palestinian members tends towards even more extreme Jew-hatred and militancy than many of the Palestinians. Thats because the Palestinian leadership has long cultivated a desire to eliminate Israel and Jews from the Middle East. Its rubbed off on their non-Palestinian members.

The non-Tibetans in the Free Tibet movement are in no way as anti-Chinese or even as anti-PRC because the leader of the Free Tibet movement, the Dalai Lama himself, has strove not to cultivate hatred towards the Chinese government or people but merely to get them to leave Tibet.

The results are obvious on their face. The Free Tibet movement consists more of people who actually understand the issues and are genuinely committed to the cause. The Free Palestine people are just into the radical chic. They are fools.

Anonymous said...

What's radical chic without the social legitimization of violence?

NormanF said...

Ya'acov is right about one thing: Israel should keep the focus relentlessly on Palestinian extremism. The subject mustn't be allowed to shift back to Israel. Its time to isolate the other side and make it pay the price for its rejection of co-existence with Israel. The side with willpower and a complete belief in the justice of its cause will prevail in the trials of life.

peterthehungarian said...

There is an interesting point in the story of the Indian student:

...and I was terrified of the cars that drove too fast and never stopped for me at the pedestrian crossing.

Anyone who spent five minutes in India will understand the absurdity of her fear of being hit at a pedestrian crossing and of the speeding cars.

Anonymous said...

talking about newspapers:

Gabriel Schoenfeld on Iran at the WSJ some days ago has had really interesting stuff to say about
"Avoiding Another Intelligence Failure on Iran"

I haven't come across it anywhere else. Could it be that the man knows the stuff he is writing about and that he is thinking while doing it and that that is a hindrance to widespread interest? Anyway his angle is more than interesting and seems very likely to me.


Empress Trudy said...

If they had any stones either they'd become shahids or they'd resurrect the Red Army Faction. That's why we needn't worry much about what these slackers do.

4infidels said...


The Free Tibet movement consists more of people who actually understand the issues and are genuinely committed to the cause. The Free Palestine people are just into the radical chic. They are fools.

Wrong again. The "Free Tibet" movement, at least here in the US, is worthless. It has accomplished nothing for the people of Tibet, and little in the way of informing Americans on the issues beyond that Tibet isn't free.

The Free Tibet "activism" consists of putting bumper stickers on cars to let everyone in the neighborhood know that the car's owner is a more virtuous person than you. No one in the Free Tibet movement dares to go to Tibet, to participate in protests there, to stand in the way of Chinese soldiers, etc. They know that they would be killed as the Chinese are ruthless and don't tolerate dissent.

The Palestinian movement in the US, along with the media, has had the effect of hurting Israel's image and causing America to sometimes treat a democratic ally, who provides America with valuable military intelligence, as a albatross whose every action must be analyzed and criticized and whose "occupation" and self-defensive measures are beyond the pale. Meanwhile, we know China is a totalitarian government with no regard for human rights...and most Americans are fine with having a live and let live approach, without needing to reassess that relationship which threats America's national security and morality.

So the Palestinian movement has has a the great successes of causing almost all Western governments to work against Israel.

We know that the non-Palestinian members tends towards even more extreme Jew-hatred and militancy than many of the Palestinians.

I don't believe that the Palestinian supporters are more extreme in their Jew-hatred than the Palestinians themselves. That is complete nonsense! Once again you are soft-pedaling the real, intense, conspiratorial, Allah-endorsed, Mohammed-celebrated, Nazi-style, murderous Jew-hatred in the West Bank and Gaza.

Yes, there are many Westerners motivated by anti-Jewish attitudes in their support for the Palestinian movement. But there are also many in the Palestinian movement who are motivated by "radical chic," by anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Capitalist, pro-Third World and by the opportunity to be "citizens of the world" by attaching choosing the same political allies and enemies as the UN and OIC. Others believe they are standing up for the oppressed, sincerely doing what is in the best interest of peace. And then there are those who need a cause and going to Israel and confronting an IDF soldier (and getting a souvenir photo) looks dangerous but really isn't, which is why the same folks never would confront a Chinese or Sudanese soldier in the same way. Among this group of non-Arab and non-Muslim supporters of the Palestinian movement are sadly many Jews, even Israelis, and they're not all anti-Semites of the Norman Finklestein, Noam Chomsky variety.

Please don't mistake this as a defense of the Westerners in the Palestinian movement. They are motivated either by misinformation or by toxic ideological or personal motivations. These do-gooders should be ashamed of themselves, making the Jewish state, the modern home history's most persecuted people, a pariah in a world full human rights violators.

But there is one thing that distinguishes this morally stunted group of Palestinian supporters (whose support for "Palestine" is mostly motivated by being against Israel) in the West from the Palestinians themselves: a yarmulke-wearing Jew--even a Zionist-- can wander into their midst and likely emerged with no more than some hurt feelings; should that same Jew make the mistake of walking into the wrong neighborhood in "Palestine" there is a good chance he won't return in one piece.

4infidels said...


How many of the Palestinians supporters from Europe and America, who you say are more militant than the Palestinians themselves, have actually strapped bombs on themselves and taken their own life for the cause?


Anonymous said...

4infidels at 3:35
Bingo! as I would say in German

here is something that may interest you
- of course I think that because I find support of my variation in there as "opposed" to yours and I find especially noteworthy what Lee Smith says about states.

Modernity and the Muslims
A transcript of a discussion at St. Francis College
I think that this is by the same Judith Miller which makes her a bit ...