False Dichotomies

LITERATURE HIP-HOP ISRAEL INDIA LOVE MISCELLANY

If I had been Binyamin Netanyahu…

This is what I would have said last week. I understand that the following may not be complete, and I’m also sorry for the occasionally cheesy language. But ideas are better than deconstructions, and it’s a shame that the many commentaries on Bibi’s speech haven’t been matched by alternative visions. So here, for what it’s worth, is mine. I hope others will pick up the baton…Hat-Tip to Nas.

 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has persisted for over 100 years because it is a conflict of right vs right. The establishment of the State of Israel marked the fulfilment of the ceaseless yearnings of millions of Jews for a return to the land from which we were exiled but never forgot, a land that we cried out for every day in our prayers and dreams, a land in which we dreamed of resurrecting our national culture, a land in which we would provide a safe haven for our brothers and sisters suffering from persecution around the world. 

 

The object of our longings was not empty. The Palestinians were the people of the land when Zionism emerged onto the scene, and with time they developed a sense of national identity of equal validity to ours. Then, however, our histories diverged. The creation of the State of Israel was a moment of supreme joy for the Jewish people, the fulfilment of our dream, the return to Zion. Just three years after the Holocaust, it felt like something akin to a miracle. For the Palestinians, though, it meant the end of their dream, and the destruction of hundreds of longstanding communities. The creation of Israel meant the Jews could finally return to their homeland, but for the Palestinians it meant going into exile.

 

Today is not the time to play the blame game or to compete over our respective victimhoods. In the future, we will have to sit down and discuss issues of Truth and Reconciliation; today more urgent tasks lay before us. The recent years have been full with failed efforts at peace, efforts which have soon given way to more bloody rounds of fighting in which we have all suffered. Again, I do not want to use this speech to analyze why these efforts have failed. The point is that despite the past we are still in a position to come to a settlement that can provide for the hopes and dreams of both the peoples in this land.

 

With this in mind, I want to clearly set out my vision for how we might achieve what many say is impossible: a final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

The guiding principle of negotiations must be the right of both peoples to realise their national aspirations in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This means partitioning the land by establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. While the precise details of the borders will be decided in negotiations, I envisage that the state will exist in the entirety of the Gaza Strip and in the vast majority of the territory which currently constitutes Judea and Samaria, which is to say the West Bank. The State of Palestine should be a fully sovereign member of the international community, with all the rights and responsibilities that accrue to any other state.

I now wish to lay out my ideas on the Final Status issues:

 

Over the last forty years, successive Israeli governments have encouraged the building of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. For two reasons: First, Judea and Samaria is the cradle of Jewish civilisation. For those who lived through the heady days of 1967, a war which we entered fearing the State was on the verge of destruction but finished stronger than ever, the return to the heartlands of the Jewish people was experienced like something akin to revelation. By returning to Hebron and Shechem, to Shiloh and Gush Etzion, we thought we were completing the Zionist vision.

 

Second, the territories we won in 1967 provided us with a strategic depth that we hoped would act as a deterrent against those who wished to destroy us. Given that Israel came under attack before we had even declared independence, these fears were not unreasonable.

 

It soon became clear, however, that the conquest of territory came at a price. Millions of Palestinian-Arabs now came under our control against our will. At the same time, the perception that we were now occupying another people increased resentment against us and served to strengthen our enemies.

 

Today this situation is untenable. While I acutely empathise with my fellow Israeli citizens, who dream of living in our sacred places, reality demonstrates that this is no longer possible without threatening the very foundations of the state. While some Israeli communities may remain, it is clear that a contiguous Palestinian state will be impossible without the withdrawal of a large number of settlers. While this will be done with a heavy heart, I am convinced that it is in the greater good of the country, and I ask the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria to cooperate with whatever decision is taken and to know that we will spare no effort in absorbing them in communities elsewhere in the country.

 

Jerusalem is sacred to us both. Today it is a multicultural city with residents from the three major monotheistic religions, and it murmurs with a magnificent variety of lifestyles and traditions. If we care about the city, though, we will have to learn to share it. I propose that Jerusalem become the capital for both Israel and Palestine, with precise details on how this will be implemented to be decided in negotiations. While this will be a difficult challenge, the discussions should be guided by the ‘Clinton Parameters’, whereby what is Jewish will remain Jewish, and what is Arab will remain Arab.  Let us make Jerusalem a model city, a flourishing, multicultural metropolis where the ancient and modern intermingle as one, a city that will embody the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, and serve as a beacon of hope for the entire world.

 

As I noted at the start, the establishment of the State of Israel also meant the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Today there are millions of refugees spread out across the Arab world and beyond. Many of them live in refugee camps in which they are told that a return to their towns and villages is just around the corner, with nothing being done to improve their day-to-day lives. This deceit must end. We must solve the refugee question once and for all.

 

The return of a substantial number of Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel would go against my guiding principle for negotiations, namely the right of both peoples to realise their national ambitions in the land. A mass influx of Palestinian refugees would mean that the State of Israel would become another Arab state. As a result, we cannot accept anything more than a symbolic number of refugees, although we hold no objection to their absorption in the new State of Palestine, as long as they are offered a fair choice, one that includes third country repatriation. At the same time, we are willing to discuss issues of compensation and responsibility, as long as the Arab world is prepared to discuss the issue of Jewish refugees who were displaced from their homes.

 

The resources of the land are precious. Despite the attention bestowed upon our small piece of territory, ours is not a land rich in minerals or water. What little there is has to be guarded preciously, so that it does not go to waste. Each state should be responsible for the resources of its own territory, but should also strive to ensure that the other state has the resource it needs to provide for its people. For if our neighbours are not satisfied, then neither are we.

I also offer my hand in peace to the Arab world. There are many issues which divide us, but I believe we can make a brave peace that will lead to an unprecedented era of development and reconciliation in the region. I appreciate the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, and am keen to discuss its details with neighbouring leaders as soon as possible. Together, we can bring peace to our region.

 

To those who say these ideas are unrealistic, I say that the current reality is unrealistic. The doctrine of the ‘Iron Wall’ has determined much of our policy over the years, often rightly so. But the time has come to acknowledge that it is no longer necessary. We are a strong nation, with a strong army that is capable of defending its people. To those who would mistake our kindness for weakness, we shall know how to respond. After we embark on this process of reconciliation, there will be no turning back. To those who will beat their ploughshares back into swords our answer will be devastating. We shall not yield on our national rights in this land.

 

Although I am proposing a process which will end in the partition of the country, this does not mean that I am proposing absolute division. With time, I hope that both states will work together to ensure one another’s citizens are able to live free and productive lives, full of opportunity and excitement, each in our own state but cooperating in so many ways, to ensure that the next one hundred years will bring peace upon us all.

 

This is perhaps our last chance. If we do not grasp it there will be no forgiveness.

 

I wish you all a good night.

44 comments

44 Comments so far

  1. Gabriel June 21st, 2009 9:17 pm

    Pretty much what I would have said. I assume though, you wouldn’t have made the speech at Bar Ilan either. That audience would not have been receptive to anything remotely progressive.

  2. Ann June 21st, 2009 10:23 pm

    As said on HP, do grow up.

    And Gabriel too, with his snide ignorance.

  3. Gabriel June 22nd, 2009 12:52 am

    I know Ann. I mean, what is Alex thinking? Peace? Mutual respect? It truly is sickening.

  4. Madzionist June 22nd, 2009 5:40 pm

    This is the classic Oslo approach to the conflict. The ideas here are not new, and pursuit of such an approach has resulted in utter catastrophe for both the Jews and the Arabs alike. The Jews have faced worse terror and security threats as a result of the Land for Peace philosophy than at any time in its modern history. Policies of Moral equivalency have proven to be morally bankrupt, leading to greater bloodshed, greater suffering, and absolutely no progress to finding a final, peaceful resolution to the conflict.

    Throughout history there have been conflicts and disputes, where two opposing sides are certain that they have the legitimate claim to land or property and are willing to fight to the death for it if necessary. Now is no different, in fact it’s even deeper than any other in modern times. Expecting the Arabs to ever be satisfied with being relegated into a partitioned, disconnected state as a compromise for peace is simply naive, and in many ways insulting to their deeply held religious and nationalist beliefs. They are simply not going to just accept such defeat, resigning themselves to abandoning their dreams of regaining the entire land for themselves is not part of their vernacular…it will not happen, and the Jews will never find the peace they are seeking by going down this path.

    The answer to peace is sharply dividing, not merging or subdividing. The arabs will only find peace if they are assigned a full state of their own as a Palestinian State, and since the Jews possess what they want they will need to get something at least equal if not better before they will be satisfied themselves. The way to do this is what should have been done all along: extend full Palestinian citizenship to all Jordanians and make the Nation of Jordan the Nation of Palestine.

    Already the majority of Jordanians ARE Palestinian, just as the majority of Palestinians ARE Jordanian. This integration would be the most tenable and seamless path to peace, and will only be accomplished if Jordan is fully engaged in the peace process, as much as Israel, and works toward the just and humane resettlement of all arabs west of the Jordan River who are uncomfortable having Hatikvah as their national anthem, the Mogen David as their national flag, Hebrew as their national language, and Judaism as the official religion.

    Peace is only possible when realism replaces naive idealism. The Exclusion Principle should be the guide all sides use for resolving the conflict.

  5. Alex Stein June 22nd, 2009 5:51 pm

    MadZionist – you’re no different to the rest of them. Fifty years ago, you would have been demanding both sides of the Jordan. It just takes you longer than most to come to terms with reality, that’s all.

  6. Madzionist June 22nd, 2009 6:00 pm

    Alex, exactly who are “the rest of them” I’m no different than? I find that characterization insulting and bigoted.

  7. Alex Stein June 22nd, 2009 6:03 pm

    People on the right who twenty years later start using the ideas of the left.

  8. Madzionist June 22nd, 2009 6:08 pm

    Huh?

  9. Alex Stein June 22nd, 2009 6:12 pm

    I’m saying that in the past you would have been in favour of Israel existing on both sides of the Jordan, but now you realise that the Palestinians have to live somewhere. Future MadZionists will think the same about the WB. That’s reality for you.

  10. Madzionist June 22nd, 2009 6:34 pm

    Awfully presumptuous of you, and probably a sign of your bigotry towards those on the right. In the future, kindly refrain from speaking on my behalf about what I must think or believe; I think I know that a bit better than you, and it only makes you appear petty and insecure. Stereotyping those you disagree with into neat little packages is a small way of dealing with very large and complex issues, and exposes weakness in the logic you have backing your viewpoint. In general, I think you would be much better served sticking with discussing ideas and concepts rather than speaking on the behalf of those whom you’ve never met and don’t know in the least.

  11. Gert June 22nd, 2009 8:06 pm

    Well, well, well.

    That would have been the speech of the century, of course. More significant than both Obama speeches put together, really.

    This will take real scrutiny to find a few syllables to disagree with (but in time-tested fashion, I’ll do my best ;-) )

    Now, will you humour me and have it guest posted over at HP? I can’t help but smile in anticipation of the reactions this set of proposals would get.

    But this bit appears cryptic to me:

    “First, Judea and Samaria is the cradle of Jewish civilisation.”

    Explain, please. Or is this the required ‘cheesiness’?

  12. Gert June 22nd, 2009 8:15 pm

    The difference between the New Mad Zionist and the Old Mad Zionist is the difference between the New BNP and the Old BNP.

  13. Avram June 22nd, 2009 11:18 pm

    “Explain, please.”

    Well, think of where we trace the roots of the Matriarchs & Patriarchs and where their burial grounds are (Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem etc)

  14. Gert June 22nd, 2009 11:38 pm

    Hmm… somewhat morbid, all this obsessing with one’s aunts’ and uncles’ (about 200 times removed) graveyards, if you ask me. I’d never make much of ethnocentrist, I’m afraid.

    O/T: interesting how over at HP the Iranian issue has now become a stick to beat the Left with…

  15. Alex Stein June 22nd, 2009 11:45 pm

    Gert – people often need a bit of mythology….

    As for a stick to beat the left, I think that’s a generalisation. If you mean those who seem to be defending the Ayatallah Khameini et al, then they are right to call them out on it.

  16. Avram June 23rd, 2009 8:00 am

    Without that ‘mythology’ Senor Stein, there wouldn’t have been a Zion for you to come to and become the ‘One’ who found the next John Grisham, Seth Freedman.

  17. JLev June 23rd, 2009 4:31 pm

    An interesting speech that contained the element required in such a speech:
    sat on the fence and did not outline specific policy needed to take this discussion forward. Enough with referencing past initiatives and onto the actual solutions that will resolve the ongoing issue. How do you propose to carry out these “negotiations” that you so often refer to. Please in your next article draw up a proposal that you can take to the PA and world. So at least we have a starting point. Also i think your coalition might have fallen apart after this speech, how do you propose to re-conciliate your right wing friends?

  18. Gert June 23rd, 2009 6:15 pm

    Alex:

    Human mythologising? Sure, but there’s far too much of it. Humans have an almost infinite capacity to amplify small cultural differences, to the point where we completely obfuscate our shared humanity. Without this tendency, anti-Semitism (for instance) would never have come about.

    HP: it may be a generalisation but look at their latest pieces, including that incredibly fluffy one by ‘Nora Mulready’ (they were positively swooning over it). In the comment section one or two of them even manage to blame the theory of anthropogenic climate change on the Left!

    And then there’s that imbecile and resident philosemite, ‘Chas Newkey-Burden’. Someone (Jerkowitz, in this case) has produced another film. Another one that should really be called: “We Rock!” Another one that fails to grasp that no matter how “perfect” Israel’s democracy really is, nothing reduces the crimes committed in 1947 – 1948 and 1967 – to date. It just doesn’t work like that…

    “I don’t particularly approve of films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth, nor am I directly comparing The Case For Israel with them. But we’ve seen the massive influence they have had on the public. To convince a friend to read a book about the conflict is difficult, but to get them to watch a relatively short film is an easier prospect. We’re facing a wall of ignorance and misconceptions: Dershowitz’s brilliant, award-winning film can begin to knock it down. But only if we do our bit and encourage as many as possible to watch it.”

    In real life I’d feel like grabbing him by the lapels and asking: “Listen “MATE”, if your brother turned out to be a burglar, does that make him less of a burglar?” In the eyes of ‘Newkey-Burden’, as in the eyes of Geert ‘ik ben verliefd op Israel‘ Wilders (‘I’m in love with Israel’), the dumbfounding answer would probably be: ‘yes’.

    HP just isn’t very discerning: they shit posts, hence walking embarrassments like Chissie get a look in too.

    I take it you’re not going to have this one cross-posted? Shame: it’d be one of their best posts ever…

  19. Alex Stein June 23rd, 2009 7:03 pm

    I did cross-post this; go check it out. As you will see from the last couple of comments, I now have inspiration for my next piece…

  20. Gert June 23rd, 2009 7:35 pm

    Yes, my bad, I’ve found it now, well below the fold. 96 comments so far, can’t wait…

  21. Gert June 23rd, 2009 8:12 pm

    Oh boy, the reactions FAR exceeded what I expected. Not even the slightest shred of support (apart really from Gabriel) for what you wrote. And no dissenting AZ views either (all banned?) Looks like your plans to become PM will have to be put on hold…

    I hate to say this but if these commenters are the face of modern Zionism then the movement is in trouble. More centrist (for want of a better term) Zionists may dispute how representative the Ziopotters are of the entire movement but much of these comments chime in with ultra-Zio comments made on Ha’aretz (for instance), IMHO.

    In another one of David T.’s posts on I-P I brought up From Time Immemorial and got laughed at. Funny that, Mrs Peters’ spirit seem alive and well among some of these people…

    One priceless bit from IsraeliNurse (who also posts at Mad Mel Phlips (The Spectator):

    “I hope so Alex -not for political reasons, but because the secret to sucessfull absorbtion into Israeli society -which is what I wish you – is to be able to gradually cast off what one was before and to begin to think not like an Englishman living in Israel, but like an Israeli.”

    You haven’t been indoctrinated enough Alex, that’s your problem! Lower your Londini resistance and successful absorption into New Israel will be your reward. You’ll be talking like the next Benjamin Yahoo in no time! No more silly speeches anymore, just plain old Iron Wall!

    And so I have ammo for a new post too…

  22. Avram June 23rd, 2009 9:27 pm

    “I hate to say this but if these commenters are the face of modern Zionism then the movement is in trouble.”

    I really hate when you say things like this Gert. I’ve flipped for you once to show how stupidly narrow minded it is to say it – surely you can realize that the ‘face of Modern Zionism’ isn’t mirrored in any ‘one’ website or idea. Anything for a dig at the ideology …

    “Mrs Peters’ spirit seem alive and well among some of these people”

    She did make points however that have never been ‘denied’ by any historian (like the points of the Arab world’s treatment of their Jewish minority). Naturally however, because some of her stuff was wrong – people ridicule her non-stop. Bet that doesn’t stop people like you showering praise on such ‘visionaries’ like Edward Said, who’ve blatantly lied and are still considered ‘honest’ writers etc.

  23. Gert June 23rd, 2009 10:53 pm

    Avram:

    [...] “surely you can realize that the ‘face of Modern Zionism’ isn’t mirrored in any ‘one’ website or idea.”

    You’re gonna have to do a whole lot better than that. You’d have to prove that this relatively small group of pro-Zionist commenters at a quite centrist blog (I actually agree with most of HP’s posts but rarely when the subject turns to Israel or Zionism) are somehow not representative at all of Zionism. That, for inexplicable reasons, this (alleged by you) unrepresentative cluster somehow mysteriously coalesces around a blog that would not otherwise be the natural habitat for most of them, considering the body of opinion at HP on unrelated topics. That is the mysterious part: a Leftist centrist pro-Zionist blog attracts commenters like that.

    HP, BTW, is considered one of the UK’s top blogs by traffic (they published that recently). I can easily believe it: it gets about the same numbers of comments as Mondoweiss (the latter raised $7,000 in donations in 2 – 3 weeks from a PayPal Donate button!)

    “Naturally however, because some of her stuff was wrong – people ridicule her non-stop.”

    Nope. People ridicule her because her work was a historical hoax.

    As regards ‘digs at the ideology’, I’m anti-Zionist, get used to it.

  24. Avram June 23rd, 2009 10:59 pm

    “it gets about the same numbers of comments as Mondoweiss”

    You see Phil finally decided to wisen up and not allow anti-Semitic comments non-stop on his website? Glad he finally woke up to the hatred his site fueled non-stop. Btw, you do use so many of his stories – you should at least reference him.

    “You’d have to prove that this relatively small group of pro-Zionist commenters at a quite centrist blog are somehow not representative at all of Zionism”

    Ok – I guess going by our past conversation on ‘Truth’, I’ll wait for it to find you. Until then, you can carry on believing that HP’s ‘Zionists’ commentators are representative of all Zionists (as it serves your stereotypes so very well).

    “People ridicule her because her work was a historical hoax.”

    Funny, I rarely see people ridicule Said and he lied through his teeth on a number of occasions. What do you think of Said?

    “As regards ‘digs at the ideology’, I’m anti-Zionist, get used to it.”

    Ok.

  25. Alex Stein June 23rd, 2009 11:35 pm

    Jonathan – good points; I guess the ideas for the speech were unfortunately formed in a vacuum!

  26. Gabriel June 24th, 2009 12:01 am

    “Until then, you can carry on believing that HP’s ‘Zionists’ commentators are representative of all Zionists (as it serves your stereotypes so very well).”

    It’s absurd. One of the first things you realise ( or should) on the net is that opinions posted on websites are not indicative of reality. This is why when people talked up Ron Paul as the GOP candidate because he was dominant on the internet, I had to laugh. If you read CIF, you’d think that Respect is the dominant party in Britain instead of an insignificant one. That’s just the nature of the internet. People with moderate views don’t look to express them with the same fervour as extremists.

  27. Gert June 24th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Avram:

    “You see Phil finally decided to wisen up and not allow anti-Semitic comments non-stop on his website?”

    The new policy is ‘self-policing’. Seems to work for now.

    “Btw, you do use so many of his stories – you should at least reference him.”

    I do. What makes you think I don’t? The same story often pops up on multiple sites: who doesn’t use Ha’aretz for instance?

    “Until then, you can carry on believing that HP’s ‘Zionists’ commentators are representative of all Zionists [...]“

    Already you’ve twisted my words to suit you. I said: IF these commenters are the face of modern Zionism then the movement is in trouble.” Note the conditional.

    Who here is going to deny that Zionism has hardened? That Israel has been sliding and sliding and sliding to the Right, to the point were its current Government includes Ultra-Nationalists like Yisrael Beiteinu? That approval ratings for the war on Gaza exceeded those of previous wars? The rise of the religio-Right? All this fits the profile of HP’s most ardent Zionutters rather well…

    Perhaps it’s you guys who are putting your head in the sand regarding the general direction of Zionism?

    Gabriel:

    “If you read CIF, you’d think that Respect is the dominant party in Britain instead of an insignificant one.”

    Oh, man, you can be funny sometimes: I read CiF a lot and never even THINK about Respect. I’m not surprised to hear this from a dedicated Potter though: there CiF is considered an anti-Semitic hotbed, disguised of course as, what else… anti-Zionism. And HP is obsessed with Galloway.

  28. Avram June 24th, 2009 6:55 pm

    “The same story often pops up on multiple sites: who doesn’t use Ha’aretz for instance?”

    I do, it’s the only newspaper I actually read online about Israel.

    “includes Ultra-Nationalists like Yisrael Beiteinu?”

    You mean the party that favors two states and has no issues with dividing Jerusalem? Very very bad crowd!

    “Perhaps it’s you guys who are putting your head in the sand regarding the general direction of Zionism?”

    If you say so.

  29. Gert June 24th, 2009 7:13 pm

    You mean the party that would be willing to swap Israeli Palestinian population centers for WB settlements? Who called for the banning of Naqba commemorations? For loyalty tests?

    This is a good crowd? You believe that this constant trying to redraw borders will work?

  30. Avram June 24th, 2009 10:11 pm

    I don’t think Israel and Palestine based on ’67 borders will work. You cannot ‘destroy’ Ariel or Maaleh Adumim or various neighborhoods in Jerusalem. If you swap territories – heck, keep the Israeli-Arab triangle and give them parts of the Negev, I could care less – you’ll give the two states a far better chance to survive peacefully short term (and then long term should work itself out I hope).

    Loyalty tests … Now there’s a lot of pros & cons about this. But if you honestly looked at the frequent help afforded to Palestinian TERRORISTS (ie those looking to kill Israelis) by Israeli Arabs, you’d understand why this idea looks popular to many Israelis. It should pass once there’s quiet (if?)

  31. Gabriel June 25th, 2009 2:16 am

    “If you swap territories – heck, keep the Israeli-Arab triangle and give them parts of the Negev, I could care less – you’ll give the two states a far better chance to survive peacefully short term (and then long term should work itself out I hope).”

    I agree. I think the outrage over the idea of a land swap with populations on it is pretty ridiculous. It’s not anybody’s first choice, but if that would mean peace, it’s a small price to pay. (I also do hate the “I could care less” term which literally means “it’s important to me”. It should be “couldn’t care less”. I don’t know why the former is used so much.)

  32. Avram June 25th, 2009 8:23 am

    Whatever Gabrile, I couldn’t care less … ;)

    (Better?)

  33. Rankin Mike June 25th, 2009 12:23 pm

    Well put Stein.

  34. Daniel June 25th, 2009 2:59 pm

    Gert – you are quite obsessed with HP aren’t you?

  35. Gert June 25th, 2009 5:34 pm

    Avram:

    “Now there’s a lot of pros & cons about this. But if you honestly looked at the frequent help afforded to Palestinian TERRORISTS (ie those looking to kill Israelis) by Israeli Arabs, you’d understand why this idea looks popular to many Israelis.”

    Not really.

    Firstly, like any country Israel has plenty of laws that make aiding and abetting terrorists illegal, no matter what nationality, ethnicity or religion the particular aider or abettor is. Aiding or abetting terrorism is illegal in any country, no loyalty tests are needed to establish culpability: it’s a common law crime.

    Secondly, it creates a false sense of security: it’s like when you’re asked at the airport whether you’ve packed your bag yourself or not. Imagine the imbecile who’d answer: ‘no, I had Mahmoud over there pack it for me!’

    Thirdly, it’s a fundamental right of a citizen of a State not to feel loyal to that State (taking criminal action against that State is an entirely different thing), it’s purely freedom of expression.

    Fourthly, in the hands of an extremist Government such laws become a tool of totalitarianism: would people like Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Amira Hass etc etc pass the loyalty test? If they were honest possibly not…

  36. Gert June 25th, 2009 5:36 pm

    Daniel:

    “Gert – you are quite obsessed with HP aren’t you?”

    Assume you’re right, does that make them any less obsessed with Galloway? Does pot and kettle make the pot less black?

  37. Avram June 25th, 2009 5:48 pm

    “Aiding or abetting terrorism is illegal in any country”

    But it doesn’t stop people from helping non-stop. Now if you try to preempt it, you’ll be saving lives. I’m not sure if it would successfully preempt it but something needs to be done about it.

    “no loyalty tests are needed to establish culpability: it’s a common law crime.”

    you’re right – but that doesn’t prevent innocents – Jew & non-Jew – of dying when ‘the common law crime’ is overlooked.

    ” it creates a false sense of security”

    I agree … A lot of the things we do in this world today security wise do that.

    ” ‘no, I had Mahmoud over there pack it for me!’”

    HA HA HA … You made me laugh, I might use that line one day (but in a joke, not at the airport). Reminds me of Stiller in Meet the Parents, “Bomb ba ba bomb bomb”

    “it’s a fundamental right of a citizen of a State not to feel loyal to that State ”

    I agree with this tbh but I think something needs to be done to deter any citizen of this country (and there’s been Jews, Druze and Muslims who’ve helped ‘the enemy’) from helping terrorists.

    “would people like Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Amira Hass etc etc pass the loyalty test? ”

    Would they help a suicide bomber get into a mall? As I’m rather certain they would not, I’m sure they would. Though I honestly don’t have any clue how this loyalty test would work – and there’s a good chance MOST Ultra Orthodox Jews would flunk it too.

  38. Gert June 25th, 2009 7:04 pm

    Avram:

    “Now if you try to preempt it, you’ll be saving lives. I’m not sure if it would successfully preempt it but something needs to be done about it.”

    And before you know it you’ve squandered the Civil Rights of ordinary citizens, without much to show for…

    You could also install a program of mass surveillance. Hum, yummy!

    “Would they help a suicide bomber get into a mall?”

    We’re going in circles here: the Israeli citizen (Jew or Arab) who helps a suicide bomber is obviously a criminal. The chances that such a criminal would answer the questions asked in a loyalty test honestly and truthfully are zilch.
    Would peaceful Arab protesters be more inclined to assist suicide bombers? Careful where you go with that one…

    You’re walking headlong into a trap: the Naqba prohibition and loyalty test thingies were never designed to pass the Knesset. They were designed to attract voters. Now go put your dunce cap on and stand in the corner for half an hour ;-)

    Lieberman’s a demagogue.

  39. Gabriel June 25th, 2009 10:42 pm

    “Whatever Gabrile, I couldn’t care less … ;)

    (Better?)”

    Damn you!!! (but yes…) :)

  40. Avram June 25th, 2009 11:54 pm

    Lieberman isn’t that bad – I didn’t vote him but he’s got a better chance of bringing on a Palestinian state than Tzippi ever will have.

    “the Israeli citizen (Jew or Arab) who helps a suicide bomber is obviously a criminal”

    So find a way to stop him, or get him out of our country, before he pulls the stunt. Once you come up with the idea, I’ll find a way to get it to the Knesset.

    “he chances that such a criminal would answer the questions asked in a loyalty test honestly and truthfully are zilch.”

    Maybe we can offer him a piece of baklava to ensure honest answers?

    “Would peaceful Arab protesters be more inclined to assist suicide bombers?”

    I’ve never seen the words ‘peaceful’ and ‘suicide bombers’ in one sentence. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

    … I wonder how Alex is enjoying his 90s party.

  41. Gert June 26th, 2009 7:33 pm

    “So find a way to stop him, or get him out of our country, before he pulls the stunt. Once you come up with the idea, I’ll find a way to get it to the Knesset.”

    There’s no magic bullet, no shortcut to good old fashioned police work: ‘Hey, hey, hey, what have we here? You’re nicked, Sunshine!’

    It’s probably working alright: when was the last successful suicide attack in Israel?

  42. Avram June 27th, 2009 9:31 pm

    “It’s probably working alright: when was the last successful suicide attack in Israel?”

    Now you’ve asked an interesting question Gert – why has it been so long since we had a ‘big’ suicide bombing in Israel? Is it because of the security barrier? Is it because of the Shin Bet? Is it because the West Bank Palestinians are generally not interested in it anymore? I DO NOT know to be 100% honest – it could be a mixture of everything …

  43. Sam July 9th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Alex:A mass influx of Palestinian refugees would mean that the State of Israel would become another Arab state

    Too bad they happen to be indigenous to the land eh? Never mind that a “mass influx” of foreign Jews which they objected to has landed on their land anyway [and continues to do so]

  44. Sam July 9th, 2009 12:42 pm

    Gert:It’s probably working alright: when was the last successful suicide attack in Israel?

    Just like the Warsaw Ghetto worked to keep the Jews under control. Nothing like incarcerating those who resist occupation to deflate their sense of injury.

Leave a reply