False Dichotomies

LITERATURE HIP-HOP ISRAEL INDIA LOVE MISCELLANY

The Abbreviated Read (10)

1. Could there have been Jews in Anglo-Saxon England?

2. The Binge Trader compares the city and the IDF.

3. Therapists to the Jews.

4. George Galloway routed.

5. Home Fweet Home.  

6. Raid Gaza!

7. Kalbakken.

8. Statutory Ape.

9. Someday soon?

10. Scouse humour to the last.

89 comments

89 Comments so far

  1. Avram May 24th, 2009 10:56 am

    poor galloway – I saw that last week, he looked like an absolute fool.

  2. Gert May 24th, 2009 8:52 pm

    Not sure what the Raid Gaza! game is supposed to achieve. Disgusting, whatever it’s supposed to signify…

  3. Alex Stein May 24th, 2009 9:02 pm

    From what I understand it was made by what you might call anti-Zios…

  4. Avram May 24th, 2009 11:40 pm

    That’s what it seemed like to me Alex – I played it once in testament to you.

  5. LB May 25th, 2009 4:19 am

    2 – Freedman is really pushing the analogy.

    4 – George Galloway is an demagogue and an idiot. “We’ll see what the viewers think.” Indeed.

  6. Avram May 25th, 2009 7:25 am

    LB – the ironic thing is that so many pro-palestinians forget what the man was about in Saddam’s days; there’s a reason so many Iraqis hate his guts …

  7. Gert May 25th, 2009 6:39 pm

    Avram:

    “the ironic thing is that so many pro-palestinians forget what the man was about in
    Saddam’s days”

    No. The REAL ironic thing is that the West supported Saddam Hussein when they ‘needed’ him. The US supported Saddam Hussein when he attacked Iran. During that war Saddam Hussein used chemical munitions against Iran on numerous occasions. The West couldn’t give a fart.

    I have to laugh (or cry?) when American Neocon blogs beat themselves on the chest for deposing the Evil Dictator, considering that during the Halabja gassings you didn’t hear a peep from them about these crimes. Not a peep. Hey, he was a dictator but at least he was ‘our dictator’.

    Western hypocrisy in the ME knows simply no limits, as witnessed by its unconditional support for the criminal regime of the Zionist Entity.

  8. Alex Stein May 25th, 2009 7:07 pm

    Gert – are you now referring to Israel as the Zionist entity? Is this a new turn of phrase?

  9. Avram May 25th, 2009 10:25 pm

    Gert – you seem like a smart chap (I read your profile, so I know you’re a dude). Many countries make poor calls of judgment in ‘real time’ (ie Israel & Hamas in the 1980s etc) – vision is much clearer when you’re looking back. You didn’t hear much peeps from ‘lefties’ as Che Guevara supported nice killing sprees – people don’t peep a lot when ‘their cause’ is being served, it’s just an unfortunate part of human nature (on both right and left).

  10. Gert May 25th, 2009 11:50 pm

    Alex:

    It’s sarcasm, of course.

    Avram:

    It’s completely hypocritical to single out Galloway for meeting Saddam Hussein when what the West did [collaborated] with that regime was totally criminal. Considering also that later we got rid of him based on a complete pack of lies and that Galloway was in fact one of the few that were completely right about that.

    Where are they now, the Nick Cohens, the Christopher Hitchens and all the other ‘Leftist’ armchair generals that advocated war with Iraq? 1,000,000 deaths later and still no music from that band.

    Despite Galloway’s ridiculous speech to Saddam, he comes off looking positively saintly compared to the pro-war Left, never mind the actual perpetrators.

    As Galloway recently put it jokingly, ‘I might still make it to No10… as the last man standing!’, referring to the expenses crisis in the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’. Galloway never declared anything, not even a bus ticket…

  11. Avram May 26th, 2009 7:28 am

    If you want to ‘shower’ respect on Galloway, go ahead. Most of my Iraqi friends hate his guts – and for good reason. He’s an opportunistic idiot (I guess a politician!), who got properly embarrassed and put into his place on his very own show.

  12. Gert May 26th, 2009 4:50 pm

    Avram:

    And the fact that most of your Iraqi friends hate his guts is good enough for you… Oh, well, can you explain why these hate his guts? They wouldn’t be among the relatively few Iraqis that approved of the war, would they?

    “He’s an opportunistic idiot” is a facile and gratuitous insult with no real substance to it. Opposing an illegal war and being vindicated for it makes you an ‘opportunistic idiot’? Oh, well, if only we had more of these opportunistic idiots then… I guess Olmert, Barak and Livni were ‘brave, patriotic visionaries’ for starting the war in Gaza, a war that apart from a lot of death and destruction really hasn’t achieved anything, apart also from further tarnishing Israel’s international reputation.

    Your whole ‘critique’ of Galloway shows once again that dislike of the man runs a mile wide and an inch deep.

  13. Avram May 26th, 2009 5:26 pm

    “They wouldn’t be among the relatively few Iraqis that approved of the war”

    I don’t think you have any way to prove that one way or another. Fact is, I don’t remember any opinion polls of Iraqis liking their life under Saddam or opinions about the the war itself.

    My friends’ anger at Galloway is more directed due to his ‘kind’ words at Saddam Huessin, a man most Iraqis most likely (you see, I won’t state an opinion as fact as you did) did not like (I do hope you’re not one of those who liked Saddam)

    “Opposing an illegal war and being vindicated for it makes you an ‘opportunistic idiot’?”

    Again, who was talking about the war? Are we talking about the Second Gulf War which I, like Galloway, thought was a horrible mistake (for different reasons obviously)?

    “I guess Olmert, Barak and Livni were ‘brave, patriotic visionaries’ ”

    Sheesh, you read my mind so well here. I think all three are pathetic leaders, and take off a bit of my harshness wrt Galloway, and you probably have what I think about them.

    “Your whole ‘critique’ of Galloway shows once again that dislike of the man runs a mile wide and an inch deep.”

    Not really – But your ‘deep devotion’ to Galloway, a man who shares similar anti-Zionist views to you, doesn’t surprise me nor bother me to say the least. That being said, you don’t need to get so defensive just because he was utterly embarassed on his own show … It’s not like he’s your brother or anything.

  14. Gabriel May 26th, 2009 7:41 pm

    “It’s completely hypocritical to single out Galloway for meeting Saddam Hussein when what the West did [collaborated] with that regime was totally criminal.”

    Nobody is singling him out. It was hypocritical of Rumsfeld to be shake Hussein’s hand and then try to have him killed. Plenty of hypocricy to go around. But there is a difference. The U.S. used Hussein to try to fight a bigger enemy at the time in Iran. They didn’t love Hussein, they used him. This happens in politics all the time. The West and the Soviets used each other for example. Yes, there was hypocricy there but comparing Roosevelt’s treatment of Stalin to some idiot going to Moscow and telling Stalin “Sir…- we salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability” is silly. Galloway is a scumbag. I recently saw a clip of him saying something like “I have never met a single Iranian woman who dressed in a way she didn’t want to.” but that’s just because the Iranian government pays him now. Galloway is what is wrong with the far left. Fake principles are really just attacking the U.S. and Israel while supporting dictators.

  15. Gert May 26th, 2009 9:22 pm

    Gabriel:

    “But there is a difference. The U.S. used Hussein to try to fight a bigger enemy at the time in Iran.”

    Why was Iran to be the enemy? It’s this kind of thinking we’re still paying the price for today. And what did it solve, that 8 year war? Est. 2,000,000 Arabs/Persians dead. Who gives a crap? This is what the Left (not the Eustonite Washington mouthpieces) are opposed to. And rightly so. Not you who dons a fig leaf. You’re a hypocrite.

    “They didn’t love Hussein, they used him.”

    Oh, Gabriel, that makes it perfectly alright then.

    “Galloway is a scumbag. I recently saw a clip of him saying something like “I have never met a single Iranian woman who dressed in a way she didn’t want to.” but that’s just because the Iranian government pays him now.”

    And you’re a complete idiot. Look how Tehran women dress: hell, they compete for the finest fabrics, latest designs, make up, nose jobs and more. Yes, Iran is not a completely free society but it’s far more free than you make it out to be. Your beloved US and Israel aren’t that free either.

    Galloway works for Press TV, not the Iranian Government. He speaks for him and him alone.

    “Galloway is what is wrong with the far left. Fake principles are really just attacking the U.S. and Israel while supporting dictators.”

    Gabriel is what’s wrong with the whatever-they-want-to-call-themselves: supporting the indefensible in Israel and in other places of the ME.

    Your dislike of Galloway is driven only by his just criticism of Israel, nothing more.

  16. Avram May 26th, 2009 9:34 pm

    “Look how Tehran women dress: hell, they compete for the finest fabrics, latest designs, make up, nose jobs and more. Yes, Iran is not a completely free society but it’s far more free than you make it out to be”

    Are you serious? Have you not seen how they treat a country where “there’s no homosexuals”? Do you honestly think the 20,000 Jews there are ‘so happy’ that they need to pronounce anti-Israel statements there? I’m sure you love Amnesty, care to tell me what you think of this:

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/iran/page.do?id=1011172

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/09/iran-humanrights

    http://civilliberty.about.com/od/internationalhumanrights/p/iran101.htm

    “Your dislike of Galloway is driven only by his just criticism of Israel, nothing more.”

    Is this the best you can do Gert? I mean, seriously?

    So because a man hates Israel (like you for example), that makes us crazy ‘Zios’ hate him?

    You sound so desperate with these kind of statements … I’m not sure what you’re really trying to prove.

  17. Gabriel May 27th, 2009 12:15 am

    “And you’re a complete idiot. Look how Tehran women dress: hell, they compete for the finest fabrics, latest designs, make up, nose jobs and more. Yes, Iran is not a completely free society but it’s far more free than you make it out to be. Your beloved US and Israel aren’t that free either.

    Galloway works for Press TV, not the Iranian Government. He speaks for him and him alone”

    Yes, that’s good arguing “you are a complete idiot”. It’s what you need to resort to because you and Galloway are so obviously wrong. Women in Iran, only a small percentage of whom are devoutly religious, are FORCED to wear clothes they don’t want to. Iranian religious police check on them in the streets. This is not some myth and there is nothing close to this in Western societies. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7457212.stm) . Of course, this doesn’t fit into your (or Galloway’s) vision of America/Israel evil/ anyone against them good so you ignore the 300+ executions a year, the rampant homophobia, the raped and murdered journalists, and the total oppression of society an instead scream about whatever is happening in Israel that day.

    “Why was Iran to be the enemy? It’s this kind of thinking we’re still paying the price for today. And what did it solve, that 8 year war? Est. 2,000,000 Arabs/Persians dead. Who gives a crap? This is what the Left (not the Eustonite Washington mouthpieces) are opposed to. And rightly so. Not you who dons a fig leaf. You’re a hypocrite.”

    Again, you just ignore parts of what I write so you can portray things in a black and white way. The West was hypocritical dealing with Iran/Iraq and I said so. However, you can’t even leave it at that. “2, 000, 000 Arabs/Persions dead. Who gives a crap?” as if the deaths were the fault of the West. Iran and Iraq were fighting and the US backed Iraq. That doesn’t mean that the US is responsible for the deaths of 2 million people. It means that Iraq and Iran are responsible for that but it’s part of the racism of the far left is that they cannot hold people to account. “The Other” have the responsibility of mentally handicapped children. They can’t help it if they are suicide bombers. They can’t help it that they oppress people. They are too stupid to be able to make decisions for themselves, they can only react to the root causes (America/Israel-always) . Incidentlly, it’s always funny to notice how the Soviets always get left out of this type of thing by the far left since the Soviets actually gave THE MOST support to Iraq during the war. In fact, this view of the world almost always leaves out the Soviet/Chinese imperialism so that America’s actions look evil as opposed to political.

    “Gabriel is what’s wrong with the whatever-they-want-to-call-themselves: supporting the indefensible in Israel and in other places of the ME.”

    No, I defend the defensible but I don’t pretend that Israel’s crimes are inherently greater than anywhere else in the world and I don’t ignore the human rights violations or other countries. I don’t pretend like the U.S. is responsible for all the problems in the world or that all the problems in the world have clear-cut answers.

  18. Gabriel May 27th, 2009 12:23 am

    I occasionally see posts on Israel by people who seriously believe that Israel has killed millions of Arabs. The entire Arab-Israeli conflict has killed something like 60, 000 people. That’s about half of what were killed in the Chechen wars, 20, 000 fewer than were killed during the Iranian revolution or in Sri Lanka and about 10% of the number killed in Angola over the past 50 years. This, of course does not excuse all of Israel’s actions nor is the conflict all about death, but it does show the massive Western hypocricy around Israel where 100 dead civilians killed by Israel leads to millions world-wide protesting while the deaths of tens of thousands elsewhere leads to complete silence. Everyone amazingly becomes a committed humanitarian when Israel is doing the killing.

  19. LB May 27th, 2009 8:29 am

    Gabriel, of course you’re right, but without expressing my view first – seriously, why do you think that is? Why do people get so worked up about Israel’s actions, but Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Myanmar/Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Congo, Venezuela, Russia, Chechnya, Somalia, Tibet, and on and on and on – barely warrant a mention by the media?

  20. Gert May 27th, 2009 5:53 pm

    I do not deny the human rights violations that take place in Iran and neither does Galloway.

    I note however that when it comes to Iran a degree of demonisation is leveled that is wholly unwarranted.

    The previous regime of the Shah was one of the most brutal in the region and it was installed by US/UK and maintained and supported by it. The Iranian Revolution, in itself a bloody affair, was a direct and very popular reaction to that.

    Barely a year later the country was attacked by the tin pot dictator Saddam when we already knew how brutal the Bath regime was and we (the West) backed him in that endeavour (afterwards we wonder why Iran feels antagonistic towards us!)

    During it he uses chemical weapons against the Kurds and many Iranian positions and we do nothing.

    Finally we concoct a cock and bull story about WMD and an alleged connection to 9/11 and lay the entire country to waste.

    Now, on equally spurious grounds, Netanyahu and his criminals, including off course many hardline Zionist Americans (Jewish or not) are clamouring for war against Iran too.

    Again, if we do enter into this folly things will turn ugly beyond belief and who will we blame? the victims, who else?

    As Tony Karon put it elsewhere: “Boy, this people really never do learn, do they?”

    The real criminal regime in the region is the Zionist one. Now it seems to be descending into a new phase of proto-fascism, loyalty tests and suppression of opinion (Naqba) included. It continues to lie own about its nuclear status, instead blaming others for starting a nuclear arms race.

    You, Gabriel, presumably on the grounds that you’re Jewish, support that. I don’t.

    In principle Israel could still redeem itself by making the necessary “concessions” [cough!] but it won’t. When negotiations finally resume (unlikely in any event) imagine the two players coming to the table for a game of Texas Hold’em, no limits. Israel has stacks and stack of chips, stacked so high it can barely see the opponent (and behind Israel stands a tall guy with a briefcase full with more chips). The Palestinians come to the table with enough to pay the small blind once and the big blind once. No prizes for guessing who’s going to win the game.

    Zionists keep telling me they want peace. Sure, but entirely on their own terms! Why would they give an inch when they have no motive to do so? There’s no one with the power of enforcement that can actually tell them to start shifting, so why do it? And they won’t…

    As Jews sans Frontieres put it:

    Herzl was ashamed of being Jewish for all the wrong reasons. His “success” is that a hundred years later we can finally be ashamed of being Jewish for all the right reasons.

    As regards Galloway: he made a stupid speech to Saddam Hussein, the West supported him materially and is thus co-responsible for at least some of the deaths that occurred on his watch. Who is the real scumbag here?

  21. Gert May 27th, 2009 7:23 pm

    BTW, I’m not Far Left, am politically unaffiliated, do not and never have supported the Soviet union, have never believed the I-P conflict cost millions of lives, I do not support Hamas (but support the fact that they were democratically elected), I do not support Hezbollah (but have no problem understanding why they are so popular in Lebanon), I am a committed anti-racist, which is one more sound reason to oppose a racist State (Israel), I do not support Iran (but believe waging war against them is totally unwarranted), I’m not anti-West (but note a catalogue of misdemeanours, crimes, miscalculations and the stench of hypocrisy up to high heaven).

    I no longer believe the I-P conflict will have a satisfactory outcome for anyone, Zionist, Israeli Arab or Palestinian alike.

  22. Avram May 27th, 2009 7:45 pm

    “I do not deny the human rights violations that take place in Iran and neither does Galloway.”

    Did you read any of the links I left for you? In one post you play down their human right abuses and then you suddenly are aware they occur. How severe are they?

    “As Tony Karon put it elsewhere: “Boy, this people really never do learn, do they?””

    You think he would have said the same thing in ’81? I personally have no idea if A-mad is serious about doing anything with those nuclear weapons, but his sickening denial of the severity of the Holocaust (how do you feel about that?) and continual provocative comments about Israel’s demise etc would worry any person who lives here.

    “but support the fact that they were democratically elected”

    Do you support what they’ve done democratically to Fatah?

    “which is one more sound reason to oppose a racist State”

    How about Egypt and their treatment of their minorities? How about Jordan? How about the “We don’t allow Jews into our country” Saudi Arabia? etc? Do you post as much about those atrocities?

  23. Gert May 28th, 2009 5:45 pm

    Avram:

    “[…] and then you suddenly are aware they occur.”

    No, not suddenly at all. I’m aware of them.

    But it doesn’t constitute an argument. Since as no Nation State is perfect or has a clean past, none of us would ever be entitled to criticise another Nation State (this is even true at the personal level).

    “I personally have no idea if A-mad is serious about doing anything with those nuclear weapons, but his sickening denial of the severity of the Holocaust (how do you feel about that?) and continual provocative comments about Israel’s demise etc would worry any person who lives here.”

    If you look at the totality of evidence, there is no good reason to believe that Iran possesses (a) nuclear weapon(s) and that in all likelihood they are trying to achieve their own form of ‘nuclear ambiguity’. They probably have the know-how. And may ‘make good’ on it when needed. How to avoid this? Turn the ME into a nuclear free zone. Simple really…

    As regards using such a weapon against Israel that would mean committing nuclear suicide. Israel even has second strike capability and an estimated 100 – 200 nuclear warheads.

    Holocaust denial is terrible but should not be punishable by collective death.

    The remarks about Israel’s demise are undoubtedly borne out of the perceived fact that Zionism will not last forever in its current form. I agree with Mr. A.: I don’t think it will survive but that doesn’t in any way, shape or form imply a violent demise.

    “Do you support what they’ve done democratically to Fatah?”

    Israel supported financially and materially an embryonic form of Hamas, presumably to try and drive a wedge in Palestinian unity and scupper the peace process. They succeeded. Now I hear you complain. A tad ungrateful perhaps?

    As Efraim Inbar said:

    “Hamas is good for the Jews! As long as they are there it is a gift to us!”

    “How about Egypt and their treatment of their minorities? How about Jordan? How about the “We don’t allow Jews into our country” Saudi Arabia? etc? Do you post as much about those atrocities?”

    How about some more “whataboutery”? China, the US, Lichtenstein, Andorra, start with A and finish with Z?

  24. Gert May 28th, 2009 5:57 pm

    Regards Iran, everyone knows that Netanyahu’s bark is worse than his bite (a real windbag). An attack on Iran isn’t on the cards, instead of ‘bomb, bomb, bomb — bomb, bomb Iran’ far more likely we’ll get ‘talk, talk, talk — talk, talk, Iran’.

    To endlessly postpone the ‘final status agreement’, Iran is worth more alive than dead to TS/J’sem.

  25. Gert May 28th, 2009 5:58 pm

    Ooops TA, not TS…

  26. Avram May 28th, 2009 6:27 pm

    Gert:

    You’re being a tad bit easy on Iran but I won’t push it anymore.

    “As regards using such a weapon against Israel that would mean committing nuclear suicide.”

    I’m not sure if that would stop them to be honest. Alas, I find it odd you can slam the Settlers (all of them mind) for their religious extremism, and not worry what that could lead A-mad to do (have you read how he feels about his religious role?)

    “Israel even has second strike capability and an estimated 100 – 200 nuclear warheads.”

    I don’t think anyone really knows that – it also depends how/where Iran bombs.

    “Israel supported financially and materially an embryonic form of Hamas, presumably to try and drive a wedge in Palestinian unity and scupper the peace process.”

    Or they thought they were a better option for a long term peace than the PLO? Again, hindsight is 20/20. I bet you get angry when those crazy Zios worry about ‘appeasing’ madmen and they cite Daladier/Chamberlain vs Hitler.

    “How about some more “whataboutery”? China, the US, Lichtenstein, Andorra, start with A and finish with Z?”

    Thanks for proving my point Gert. Perhaps if you were as interested with the racism employed by the states I had mentioned (or aware of the shit that happens there, for example, the active slave trade in Saudi Arabia), I’d believe you were ‘opposed to a Racist state’, or however you spin it …

  27. Gert May 28th, 2009 7:54 pm

    Avram:

    “I’m not sure if that would stop them to be honest. Alas, I find it odd you can slam the Settlers (all of them mind) for their religious extremism, and not worry what that could lead A-mad to do (have you read how he feels about his religious role?)”

    On the settlers, please note what I wrote in the thread above.

    To believe the Iranian regime would collectively commit suicide is actually deeply Islamophobic. The Mullahs actually use Islamic arguments to show they have no interest in nuclear weapons. Of course things may change, Ahmadinejad may not be re-elected for instance. A hardliner may take his place or a reformist. Not long to wait now…

    “I bet you get angry when those crazy Zios worry about ‘appeasing’ madmen and they cite Daladier/Chamberlain vs Hitler.”

    The appeasement thingy is a false analogy (for one, to understand appeasement you have to understand the European Interbellum – that’s complex).

    Do you support the use of military action against Iran on the spurious grounds that ‘they might attack us first’? Israel would be likely to become the pariah of the entire world. Please don’t say: ‘I don’t care'; as any other Nation Israel needs some goodwill. Today it enjoys that. But an attack on Iran won’t be OSIRAK II…

    “Thanks for proving my point Gert.”

    I haven’t proved your point. The point remains simply that no Nation is above criticism even though other Nations don’t behave saintly either.

  28. Gert May 28th, 2009 8:05 pm

    BTW Avram, you should read Gabriel Ashe’s blogpost How to make the case for Israel and win!. We Rock! They Suck! You Suck! Everything Sucks!
    It seems to have been written with you in mind…

  29. Peter D May 29th, 2009 6:15 pm

    1) So, Alex, what do you think of the number 3? As you know, I actually do to a large extent subscribe to the view that many Jews suffer from a trauma and I find the article a very feeble, unconvincing attempt to discredit it. Nowhere does it bring a good argument why this view is wrong, besides appeals to PC and insinuation that it is nothing but another disguise for anti-Semitism. Or this gem: “events like Israel’s operation in Gaza are not construed as the destructive and misguided actions of an unpleasant government, phenomena common enough in other parts of the world”. The author is either misinformed or, which is more likely, disingenuous. The government in Israel represents the will of the people of Israel, and in this particular case it did so very well, since 90% of Israeli Jews supported the war (see, e.g., this discussion)

    2) Re: singling out Israel. Phil Weiss ran a series of posts dedicated to the issue and there are some good answers that fit different people:
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/why-do-you-single-out-israel-2-more-answers.html
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/why-single-out-israelpalestine.html
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/04/why-single-out-israel-well-cause-it-arrests-our-imagination.html
    etc, but the one that I like the most is very eloquently summarized by Arie Brand here.

  30. Alex Stein May 29th, 2009 7:15 pm

    Well I think it’s a convincing article. I’ve read Rose’s The Question of Zion and didn’t think much of it; the problem is that none of this stuff has ever really been done on a large enough scale to draw any robust conclusions.

    The singling out issue is a separate one, imho.

  31. Alex Stein May 29th, 2009 7:19 pm

    Just read the Brand piece – not convinced. It’s a chicken and egg situation, but all these hasbara warriors wouldn’t be necessary if Israel got the attention of places like the Congo and Sri Lanka.

  32. LB May 29th, 2009 10:01 pm

    Peter, Alex is right. If Sri Lanka was on front page in January, at the very least alongside Israel, the “PR War” would not be nearly as intense.

  33. Peter D May 29th, 2009 10:19 pm

    LB and Alex, please, consider again what you just said. Israel does not want to be considered another Sri Lanka. It is us who get into people’s faces all the time how we’re the outpost of Western democracy in the sea of Arab tyranny. It is us who invented and use hollow slogans like “most moral army in the world” and “light unto the nations”. It is us who claim support of the most powerful nation on earth on these grounds. You cannot eat the pie and have it too, simple as that. The chicken-egg effect is secondary to this. From following people’s comments on the several blogs for which I have time, I definitely see many people irked first of all by this hypocrisy. Of course, there are also people who single Israel on pure anti-Semitic grounds, but my sense is they are in minority.

    Alex, what exactly you found convincing about the article in (3)?

  34. Alex Stein May 30th, 2009 12:26 am

    Peter – I’ve already said; he shows that these studies are driven by a pseudo-scientific approach which is hard to quantify, and is only used in examining the Israeli psyche. I don’t think it’s particularly useful, suggestions that Israeli-Jews are suffering from a collective trauma notwithstanding.

  35. Gabriel May 30th, 2009 12:29 am

    “It is us who get into people’s faces all the time how we’re the outpost of Western democracy in the sea of Arab tyranny. ”

    I think that that is incredibly simplistic and really false view of how Israelis see themselves. Most Israelis do not see themselves as a bastion of Western world in the Middle East but rather a Mdditeranean/Middle Eastern country. Anyway, the entire notion that how a country sees itself having any impact on how you judge it is absurd and an unfortunate movement in modern human rights activism which has lead to people ignoring the biggest human rights problems of our age. You can see millions of people around the world protesting Gitmo while almost complete silence to the millions dead in Africa over the last decade. Millions protest the American invasion of Iraq but there has been complete silence on the murders of tens of thousands (at least) of civilians in Iraq since. Using this logic, if you took 1932 Soviet Union, 1943 Germany, and 1989 New Zealand, the last would be the most deserving of criticism because the others didn’t see themselves as Democracies. If Israel decided that tomorrow it was no longer a Democracy and then went on a killing spree, killing say 120, 000 Palestinians over the next 10 years do you really believe that that would get the same paltry attention the Russian massacres in Chechnya did?

  36. Avram May 30th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Gert:

    “To believe the Iranian regime would collectively commit suicide is actually deeply Islamophobic.”

    So now because I don’t trust some crazy Mullahs, I’m ‘Islamophobic’. Sheesh, you do make some sweeping statements ole chap.

    “Ahmadinejad may not be re-elected for instance. ”

    Considering how the elections have been run (I’m sure you’ve been at the forefront of criticizing them), I somehow doubt it wont be A-mad again.

    “Do you support the use of military action against Iran on the spurious grounds that ‘they might attack us first’? ”

    I don’t know to be honest. Not attacking them might be the best thing and result in something positive, waiting around may leads us down the same path Gold Meir chose in 1973 (where we were lucky to get out of it with such ‘little’ damage’). I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision because I have no clue what’s the best course of action.

  37. Gert May 31st, 2009 9:37 pm

    Avram:

    The belief that ‘Mad Mullahs are out to suicidically destroy the Israel/the world’, a belief held by many, is Islamophobic indeed. And on quite a few levels too.

    Firstly it implies that such nonsense can be found in the Qu’ran, when in reality in all likelihood it can only if a reader pulls some verse completely out of context. How would you feel if a non-Jewish reader did the same with a Judaic Sacred text?

    Secondly it implies that a good dollop of Iranians (not just the ‘Mad Mullahs’) would be OK with that. Most Iranians are Muslims.

    Thirdly, it completely negates what the ‘Mad Mullahs’ keep saying that contradicts such a belief: they actually say quite frequently not to have any intentions of attacking anybody and that possessing nuclear weapons is considered unislamic in Iran.

    Fourthly, it falls in line with the often held Islamophobic belief that Islam is a ‘Death Cult’ where sacrificing one’s own life for the slaughter of many more, is actually how Muslims see things.

  38. Avram May 31st, 2009 11:00 pm

    “The belief that ‘Mad Mullahs are out to suicidically destroy the Israel/the world’, a belief held by many, is Islamophobic indeed.”

    You sound like Galloway

    “Firstly it implies that such nonsense can be found in the Qu’ran, when in reality in all likelihood it can only if a reader pulls some verse completely out of context.”

    I assume you also believe this even when Imams themselves are happily saying this on various Arab channels?

    “How would you feel if a non-Jewish reader did the same with a Judaic Sacred text?”

    Many people do, Jews included, and that means (for me at least) I read them and try and find ‘smarter’ people to help me understand context, time period etc. I am not a ‘Rabbi’ or a ‘Judaic Sacred text’ expert, so I try and use them to help better understand statements that are brought up by others.

    “Secondly it implies that a good dollop of Iranians (not just the ‘Mad Mullahs’) would be OK with that”

    Uuuuh in your mind Iguess. This is what I assume you call a ‘strawman’, right?

    “they actually say quite frequently not to have any intentions of attacking anybody and that possessing nuclear weapons is considered unislamic in Iran.”

    So the fact they’re about to possess them in (give or take) 1-5 years, A-mad is being ‘unislamic’ – as are those who are voting him in for another term? Is that how you honestly feel?

    “it falls in line with the often held Islamophobic belief that Islam is a ‘Death Cult’ where sacrificing one’s own life for the slaughter of many more”

    Which falls in line with a radical sect within Islam that does believe this, and practices it. What the % is, I doubt anyone really knows. I always say it’s the minority – but I don’t know more than that (What I’ve typed is obviously false though if you feel that ‘suicide bombings’, ‘planes crashing into high rise towers in NY’, ‘train bombs in Madrid’, ‘night clubs burning in Bali’, etc were committed by ‘fake Muslims’ who were really _____ (insert faith of your choice) …)

    Sometimes I wonder if you really believe some of the stuff you type …

  39. Gert May 31st, 2009 11:50 pm

    Avram:

    “You sound like Galloway”

    No surprise: we agree on that.

    “I assume you also believe this even when Imams themselves are happily saying this on various Arab channels?”

    You speak Arabic and Farsi now? Which Imams are you talking about now? Iranian ones? Syrian? Lebanese? Egyptian? And what exactly are they saying?

    “So the fact they’re about to possess them in (give or take) 1-5 years,”

    Not a “fact” at all. A possibility, yes. Fact, no. Big difference…

    “I always say it’s the minority – but I don’t know more than that”

    And the ‘Mad Mullahs’ belong to that minority? You know this how?

    “Sometimes I wonder if you really believe some of the stuff you type …”

    Rest assured: I do.

  40. Avram June 1st, 2009 8:20 am

    “You speak Arabic and Farsi now? ”

    No, I don’t bar a few phrases in Arabic. But my friends do, and they always confirm what the English translation (usually Memri says). In fact, some Imams have said horrible stuff in English too.

    “And what exactly are they saying?”

    That there are imams (Again, I have no idea what the # is) that preach something that many Musilms do term ‘unIslamic’. That doesn’t mean we can ‘push it under the carpet’ or pretend it’s not a major issue in the world today due to our political leanings.

    “Not a “fact” at all. A possibility, yes. Fact, no. ”

    Come on Gert, that is ridiculous. They will get nuclear weapons in the next few years – we both know that. We just don’t know what their intentions with the weapons really are.

    “And the ‘Mad Mullahs’ belong to that minority? ”

    Uuuh, because they preach something that most Muslims don’t believe in. They preach this ‘end of day’, ’72 virgin’ crap … I’m glad you agreed however with my ‘comment’ re: the minority within Islam being fundamental and dangerous – don’t worry, that doesn’t make you an ‘Islamaphobe’

  41. Gert June 1st, 2009 5:28 pm

    Avram:

    “Come on Gert, that is ridiculous. They will get nuclear weapons in the next few years – we both know that.”

    Nope, nothing ridiculous about that. We DON’T know, unless you’re a mind reader. It suits the West very well to try and isolate Iran, thus nuclear stories are enormously helpful. Cui bono. Israeli estimates are consistently more pessimistic than American ones for instance, what gives?

    We don’t KNOW with any reasonable degree of certainty.

    The ‘Mad Mullah’ aren’t even mad: they’ve shown themselves to be very skilful negotiators: giving where needed, taking when they can.

  42. Avram June 1st, 2009 10:52 pm

    “We DON’T know, unless you’re a mind reader”

    Ok dude – All these missile tests and plants are just for fun and games. I get you now. My bad, I for some reason you were just joking.

    “they’ve shown themselves to be very skilful negotiators”

    Gert in finding positives shocka.

  43. Gert June 1st, 2009 11:09 pm

    “Ok dude – All these missile tests and plants are just for fun and games.”

    Nope, never said or implied that either.

    Is Israel the only country in the region allowed to develop a strong military?

    Do strong militaries only have one purpose (i.e. offensive)?

    They are skilful negotiators, which is strongly indicative of being entirely subject to reason. Religious follies aren’t exactly an Iranian prerogative.

    Iran want regional influence, that’s for sure. Bit pot and kettle though isn’t it, seeing what your American benefactors have been doing in the ME since WW II, Iran being a fine point in case?

    Again I ask you: does attacking Iran have a positive cost/benefit ratio fro Israel at this point in time?

  44. Peter D June 2nd, 2009 4:48 am

    Alex and Gabriel, sorry for the late reply.

    Gabriel,
    First of all, in my comment I did not say that Israel is judged by how it sees itself, but by how it presents itself to the world. Second, regardless of that, I still claim that most Jewish Israelis see themselves as a bastion of the Western World and dispute your claim to the contrary. I’d appreciate if you explain why you think so, with concrete examples, because I am incredulous you could really think so. (I would also go out on a limb and guess that chances that you and Alex would find yourselves with Israeli citizenship would have been slim had you perceived Israel as “a Mdditeranean/Middle Eastern country”.)
    Third, I disagree with your claim that “Millions protest the American invasion of Iraq but there has been complete silence on the murders of tens of thousands (at least) of civilians in Iraq since.” This is not the case from what I see on the web. People who oppose the invasion of Iraq are very likely to talk about the Iraqi civilian deaths (some estimates putting those above 1 million, see here). But there is an important point to bear in mind and that you cannot expect people to get worked up about things they have little chance to affect. Internecine violence in Iraq is terrible (regardless whether you blame it all on the American invasion or have a more nuanced view), but what exactly can the people in the West do about it? This is another reason why singling out Israel makes sense: the Western governments actually do have levers to affect Israeli policy that they don’t in other places.

    Alex,

    he shows that these studies are driven by a pseudo-scientific approach which is […] only used in examining the Israeli psyche

    Really? I actually think that invoking collective post-traumatic experiences is pretty common in historical analysis. How about post-Versailles wounded psyche of the Germans?
    Why do you think it is unhelpful? If we can identify the factors affecting what we perceive as unfortunate state of affairs (in our brains, in this case), shouldn’t we be better equipped to address them?
    I also do not see where it “shows” that the approach is “pseudo-scientific”. If I have more time, I’d go line by line of the article and show how it has no real substance behind it but innuendo and demagoguery. I realize we might both lack time for a serious point by point analysis, but I think you should re-read it with a bit more critical eye than just flowing with it because it agrees with your distaste for such approaches.

  45. Peter D June 2nd, 2009 5:12 am

    Avram,
    to chime in on the Iran nuclear ambitions debate, you say

    All these missile tests and plants are just for fun and games.

    In fact, we don’t know. American intelligence agencies reached a conclusion that Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program, and clearly Israel does not have a proof to the contrary either. They might still be engaged in a very well concealed program. Now, smart people, like Arye Amihay, ask, why on earth, if Iranians want to build a nuclear weapon, does Ahmadinejad open his big mouth with belligerent anti-Israeli statements? That’s somehow counterproductive to the effort to build a bomb without all the fuss the international community is making about it. There might be several possible answers. One would be that Iranians are not rational, but (a) there is little indication that it is so and (b) this does not leave anything for a meaningful political analysis (see Arye’s comments). Another explanation, which I prefer, is that Iranians essentially won the game with a checkmate in a few steps no matter what you do. In fact, they’d like nothing more than Israel launching a useless attack, which, besides maybe setting back the program (whatever that is) a couple of years back, would be a God-given gift to the Iranian regime, allowing it to cramp down on any internal decent, unite the rest of the Iranians behind it, consolidate their standing in the region and leave Israel with a black eye, from which it might not recover. On the other hand, even if Israel does not attack, Iranians will continue to hold the region (and the West) by the balls with the potential to build the bomb (in fact, they might prefer the route of nuclear ambiguity all the way; it works splendidly for Israel).

  46. Avram June 2nd, 2009 7:24 am

    Gert:

    “Is Israel the only country in the region allowed to develop a strong military?”

    Considering Egypt’s army, or Iran’s, or even Syria’s – the answer is a no.

    “Iran want regional influence, that’s for sure. Bit pot and kettle though isn’t it, seeing what your American benefactors have been doing in the ME since WW II, Iran being a fine point in case?”

    Since WWII? Perhaps you should read up a bit more into this history and see where US/British/European involvement in this region began … I’ll give you a hint, it ‘really’ starts with Ibn Saud.

    “Again I ask you: does attacking Iran have a positive cost/benefit ratio fro Israel at this point in time?”

    I’ve answered this already. That you choose to ignore my answer is your decision, not mine.

  47. Avram June 2nd, 2009 7:28 am