Fearing for Israel

I am coming to fear for the fate of Israel. Iran and Syria, through Hezbollah, are testing the world to see whether they can, in the dream of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wipe Israel off the face of the map. And the world is not responding. Oh, we’re hearing calls for a cease-fire — which leaves Hezbollah still rewarded for its aggression — but even so, no one is stepping up to stand in the way of that fire. From much of Europe and the American left, we’re hearing talk about Israel’s “disproportionate use of force” in what I think is just the PC way to oppose Israel.

Hear David Rowan, editor of London’s Jewish Chronicle, in The Times of London:

Had Hezbollah’s two main sponsors cast any doubt on their determination to wipe Israel off the map, maybe the current military onslaught would have been less acceptable to the 80 or 90 per cent of Israeli voters who last week offered Olmert their backing. Yet for all Olmert’s bold pledges to “destroy every terrorist infrastructure everywhere”, if his military commanders continue to act with only American and wavering British governmental support, while showing the world too little apparent concern for Lebanese civilian deaths, the worry here is that he will only weaken further his nation’s strategic interests, and its longer-term security, as fashionable discourse from talk show to dinner party questions ever more openly Israel’s moral right to exist.

Let that last phrase echo for a moment: “fashionable discourse from talk show to dinner party questions ever more openly Israel’s moral right to exist.”

The reason Israel must exist is Europe. I am delighted to see Timothy Garton Ash say just that in an eloquent and wise column in today’s Guardian.

Yet observing European responses to the current conflict, I want to insist on Europe’s own strong claim to be among the earliest causes. The Russian pogroms of 1881; the French mob chanting “à bas les juifs” as Captain Dreyfus was stripped of his epaulettes at the École Militaire; the festering anti-semitism of Austria around 1900, shaping the young Adolf Hitler; all the way to the Holocaust of European Jewry and the waves of anti-semitism that convulsed parts of Europe in its immediate aftermath. It was that history of increasingly radical European rejection, from the 1880s to the 1940s, that produced the driving force for political Zionism, Jewish emigration to Palestine and eventually the creation of the state of Israel. . . .

Does it follow that Europeans have a special obligation to get involved in trying to secure a peace settlement in which the state of Israel can live in secure frontiers next to a viable Palestinian state? I think it does. . . . Even if you don’t accept this argument from historical and moral responsibility, Europe’s vital interests are plainly at stake: oil, nuclear proliferation and the potential reaction among our alienated Muslim minorities, to name but three. . .

How Europeans speak and write about the position of the Jews in the region to which Europeans drove them is also a matter of our own self-definition. We should weigh every word.

If we — Americans and Europeans, liberals and conservatives — allow Israel as a safe haven and as a nation to be destroyed, whether by ceaseless terrorism or by Iranian nuclear bomb, and if we allow the world to continue to be terrorized by the fanatics who now attack not only Israel but also other nations, then this will be the shameful legacy of our generation.

: LATER: I know it may be red meat to some of you, but see also John Podhoretz’ column this week on PC war:

What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?

What if the universalist idea of liberal democracy – the idea that all people are created equal – has sunk in so deeply that we no longer assign special value to the lives and interests of our own people as opposed to those in other countries?

What if this triumph of universalism is demonstrated by the Left’s insistence that American and Israeli military actions marked by an extraordinary concern for preventing civilian casualties are in fact unacceptably brutal? And is also apparent in the Right’s claim that a war against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that country’s leaders?

Can any war be won when this is the nature of the discussion in the countries fighting the war? Can any war be won when one of the combatants voluntarily limits itself in this manner?

Could World War II have been won by Britain and the United States if the two countries did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki? . . .

s this the horrifying paradox of 21st century warfare? If Israel and the United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have our foes discovered a new way to win? Are they seeking victory through demoralization alone – by daring us to match them in barbarity and knowing we will fail?

Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization – its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all – is endangering the future of our civilization as well?

Haven’t we learned that the other side — those extremists — use what’s best about us against us? Haven’t we learned that we have a common foe?

: And someone just told me to look up a column by Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler, that appeared in the New York Observer more than four years ago warning harshly of the second Holocaust. Here is a quote from an edited version that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle:

We have to examine the dynamic going on in the mind of Europe at this moment: a dynamic that suggests that Europeans, on some deep if not entirely conscious level, are willing to be complicit in the murder of the Jews again. . . .

And so there is a need to blame someone else for the shame of “European civilization.” To blame the victim. To blame the Jews. The more European nations can focus one-sidedly on the Israeli response to terror and not to the terror itself, the more they can portray the Jews as the real villains, the more salve to their collective conscience for their complicity in collective mass murder in the past. . . .

If Israel were to act with true ruthlessness to end the suicide bombings, they would tell the prospective bombers – who go to their deaths expecting that their families will celebrate their mass murders with a subsidized party and reap lucrative financial rewards courtesy of the Saudis and Saddam – that their families instead will share the exact same fate of the people the bombers blow up. That might put a crimp into the recruiting and the partying over dead Jewish children. But the Israelis won’t do that, and that is why there’s likely to be a second Holocaust. Not because the Israelis are acting without restraint, but because they are, so far, still acting with restraint despite the massacres making their country uninhabitable.

Rosenbaum wrote a followup column in this week’s March in the Observer.

: And now see Howard Kurtz contemplating why liberal bloggers seem to be saying so little about Israel.

  • LanceThruster

    Jeff,

    Always liked you; couldn’t disagree more. The danger to the world community is from Zionist thugs. They control the debate, our government, and our purse strings. Israel could have had peace from a 2 state solution if they hadn’t worked to thwart it at every turn.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are legitimate resistance movements as per international law. As an atheist, I sincerely wish them godspeed.

  • http://www.tyndallreport.com Andrew Tyndall

    Jarvis —

    The conflict you describe bears no relation to the one depicted on our television screens over the last two weeks…

    You say Hezbollah is “testing the world to see whether they can…wipe Israel off the face of the map.” Yet by an order of magnitude, it is Lebanon’s population and infrastructure that has been pummeled, not Israel’s. You yourself concede this by acknowledging that Israel’s use of force is far more lethal than Hezbollah’s (your only objection is that when it wields its superior force of arms, Israel should not be criticized as “disproportionate”).

    Speaking of disproportionate, this is what you said: “Of course, there is disproportionate use of force. Hezbollah attacked. Israel attacked back. It’s a war. Israel is going to try to win. In fact, Israel is going to try to destroy Hezbollah.” Even you insist that it is not Israel that is threatened with being wiped off the face of the map in the current conflict, but Hezbollah. Granted, you think this is a good idea. But it is not the same as Israel facing an existential threat, here.

    You say a ceasefire would leave “Hezbollah still rewarded for its aggression.” Hezbollah’s social services, communications and political infrastructure have been destroyed. Its base of popular support in southern Lebanon and south Beirut has been rendered homeless. Its militia bases have been bombed, its arsenal of rockets depleted. What sense of the word “rewarded” do you have in mind?

    You say it would be “the shameful legacy of our generation” if Americans and Europeans were to allow Israel to be destroyed. What sort of straw man is this? Which Americans are you referring to that are even countenancing support for Israel’s destruction? The Europeans you cite in David Rowan’s piece were questioning Israel’s “moral” right to exist not its existential right. In other words, if Israel insists on occupying and invading its neighbors, its right to exist is reduced merely to the realpolitical level, degraded from its previous moral claim.

    Timothy Garton Ash asserts as much in the article you quote when he insists that his fellow Europeans “have a special obligation” to help secure “a viable Palestinian state.” In the absence of such a state, he implies, the status quo in the Middle East — and Israel’s role in it — is not moral.

    Or did I misconstrue? Were you agreeing with Garton Ash’s implication when you said you “fear for the fate of Israel”? Were you fearing for its moral fate not its existential fate? In which case, I heartily concur.

  • hey

    And that concludes our communication from the grave with the Austrian Mustache.

    It’s interesting to see this struggle highlight the differences, isn’t it Jeff. We had the same clarity after 9/11, but with time the decent left were seduced back to the side of questioning America, just as the 180s lost their anger and went back to their usual pro-european, arabist, isolationist instincts. Hopefully you will see exactly what we are facing, and why so much hard, unpleasant work needs to be done. Al-Quaeda has just re-announced how their struggle stretches from Iraq to Al-Andalus and that they will not rest until at least all of what was once was Dar al-Islam is restored.

    I believe in treating every single human like a person, and so I will take them at their word. Unlike the racists leftists who believe that no one who is not a Westerner has any real desires or freedom of action, instead just reacting to the actions of the West, who are true people.

  • Jimmy

    Mr. Jaravis: I agree with 90% of what you have to say, which is an oddity for me since I do so like disagreeing with you, but I can’t accept that questioning Israel’s use of force against civilians is tantamount to questioning Israel’s right to exist. Far from it. In moderen warfare we have tools to help reduce the number of innocent civilans who are killed. Can we stop it, of course not. We have to be realistic. I agree that the world’s silence on this has been deafening. I do think Israel made a mistake when they went to a two-front war, but they really didn’t have a choice, did they? I’ve been most surprised by the silence on the far right. Considering their need for Israel to exist in order for the End Time to come about, you’d think they would be speaking out for Israel. Unless, that is, they believe were are already in the Final Days and this is just one mroe step toward millions of Jews being thrown into lake of fire. I digress.

    I agree that Israel is alone in a part of the world that hates them and we should be doing more. What that “more” is I don’t know. We certainly can’t move troops into the area. Where would they come from? Israel can’t back down because that will only make bold terrorist bastards like Hezbollah, but for the first time in a very long time I think they are struggling. Sadly, I don’t think a majority of the world cares.

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  • penny

    “Zionist thugs”? Hey, birdbrain, Arafat walked from the Oslo Accords. Remember? Your smarmy anti-semitism hasn’t gone unnoticed, you’ve got the proper buzzwords and total ignorance of history.

    Your fascist Islamic gutblower friends, those sniveling creatures hiding behind civilians in southern Lebanon that you describe as “legitimate”, will be annihilated. Too bad. So sad.

    You are a despicable creature. And, why the gratuitous reference to your atheism? Who cares.

  • http://slaterramblings.blogspot.com mark s

    simply your worst post ever – rudimentary context is what america needs

    start here

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

    before you spew your bias

  • anonymous

    This is a faux war–US v. Iran. It’s being fought by subsidiaries. That’s what this is. It has nothing to do with middle east and peace or any of it. It’s about oil.

    I think the US is winning

  • bit torrent

    It is a waste of time discussing Israel with many Americans due to the overwhelming pro bias that there is over there.

    Ten times the number of civilians killed in Lebanon compared to Israel. Maybe that news didn’t make it over there?

    Just bear in mind that almost no one anywhere else in the world shares your view. Most see Israel as a big problem and a state that regularly commits war crimes.

    I really fear disasterous consequences if Israel does not start working to improve life for the Palestinian people and does stop killing civillians in Lebanon. This won’t be forgotten.

    I can never understand how the Jews can have gone through the Second World War and then gone on to treat the Palestinians the way they have.

    Of course many Jews around the world do not agree with the behaviour of Israel either.

  • Hunter McDaniel

    I can’t believe all the commenters who want Israel to respond with some tit-for-tat, where losing 5 citizens gives them exactly that many credits to use in their response. Kind of ignores the fact that the Arab world outnumbers them 100 to 1.

    And do you understand their strategic situation AT ALL? Israel has their back against the wall in every conflict, with no room for tactical retreat. Their situation is comparable to that of Britain in 1940 – minus the English Channel.

  • LanceThruster

    Penny – the atheism was in reference to ‘godspeed’. I am a fan of Ibn Warraq (who deconstructs Islamic fanaticism). It is you who demonstrates gross ignorance coupled with the arrogance of “the chosen ones” whether or not you’re a member of the tribe yourself or just a shill for thuggishness.

    Israel is a rogue state (with nukes no less). They defy international norms and reject anything not in their favor.

    Please read the following from Counterpunch:

    Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know

    By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

    As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its borders without retaliation.

    The guiding rule in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should be denied the slightest access to any historical context, or indeed to anything that happened prior to June 28, which was when the capture of an Israeli soldier and the killing of two others by Hamas hit the headlines, followed soon thereafter by an attack by a unit of Hezbollah’s fighters.

    Memory is supposed to stop in its tracks at June 28, 2006.

    Let’s go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.

    Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.

    Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32.

    That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.

    Israel regrets… But no! Israel doesn’t regret in the least. Most of the time it doesn’t even bother to pretend to regret. It says, “We reserve the right to slaughter Palestinians whenever we want. We reserve the right to assassinate their leaders, crush their homes, steal their water, tear out their olive groves, and when they try to resist we call them terrorists intent on wrecking the ‘peace process’”.

    Now Israel says it wants to wipe out Hezbollah. It wishes no harm to the people of Lebanon, just so long as they’re not supporters of Hezbollah, or standing anywhere in the neighborhood of a person or a house or a car or a truck or a road or a bus or a field, or a power station or a port that might, in the mind of an Israeli commander or pilot, have something to do with Hezbollah. In any of those eventualities all bets are off. You or your wife or your mother or your baby get fried.

    Israel regrets… But no! As noted above, it doesn’t regret in the least. Neither does George Bush, nor Condoleezza Rice nor John Bolton who is the moral savage who brings shame on his country each day that he sits as America’s ambassador (unconfirmed) at the UN and who has just told the world that a dead Israel civilian is worth a whole more in terms of moral outrage than a Lebanese one.

    None of them regrets. They say Hezbollah is a cancer in the body of Lebanon. Sometimes, to kill the cancer, you end up killing the body. Or bodies. Bodies of babies. Lots of them. Go to the website fromisraeltolebanon.info and take a look. Then sign the petition on the site calling on the governments of the world to stop this barbarity.

    You can say that Israel brought Hezbollah into the world. You can prove it too, though this too involves another frightening excursion into history.

    This time we have to go far, almost unimaginably far, back into history. Back to 1982, before the dinosaurs, before CNN, before Fox TV, before O’Reilly and Limbaugh. But not before the neo-cons who at that time had already crawled from the primal slime and were doing exactly what they are doing now: advising an American president to give Israel the green light to “solve its security problems” by destroying Lebanon.

    In 1982 Israel had a problem. Yasir Arafat, headquartered in Beirut, was making ready to announce that the PLO was prepared to sit down with Israel and embark on peaceful, good faith negotiations towards a two-state solution.

    Israel didn’t want a two-state solution, which meant — if UN resolutions were to be taken seriously — a Palestinian state right next door, with water, and contiguous territory. So Israel decided chase the PLO right out of Lebanon. It announced that the Palestinian fighters had broken the year-long cease-fire by lobbing some shells into northern Israel.

    Palestinians had done nothing of the sort. I remember this very well, because Brian Urquhart, at that time assistant secretary general of the United Nations, in charge of UN observers on Israel’s northern border, invited me to his office on the 38th floor of the UN hq in mid-Manhattan and showed me all the current reports from the zone. For over a year there’d been no shelling from north of the border. Israel was lying.

    With or without a pretext Israel wanted to invade Lebanon. So it did, and rolled up to Beirut. It shelled Lebanese towns and villages and bombed them from the air. Sharon’s forces killed maybe 20,000 people, and let Lebanese Christians slaughter hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Chatilla.

    The killing got so bad that even Ronald Reagan awoke from his slumbers and called Tel Aviv to tell Israel to stop. Sharon gave the White House the finger by bombing Beirut at the precise times — 2.42 and 3.38 — of two UN resolutions calling for a peaceful settlement on the matter of Palestine.

    When the dust settled over the rubble, Israel bunkered down several miles inside Lebanese sovereign territory, which it illegally occupied, in defiance of all UN resolutions, for years, supervising a brutal local militia and running its own version of Abu Graibh, the torture center at the prison of Al-Khiam.

    Occupy a country, torture its citizens and in the end you face resistance. In Israel’s case it was Hezbollah, and in the end Hezbollah ran Israel out of Lebanon, which is why a lot of Lebanese regard Hezbollah not as terrorists but as courageous liberators.

    The years roll by and Israel does its successful best to destroy all possibility of a viable two-state solution. It builds illegal settlements. It chops up Palestine with Jews-only roads. It collars all the water. It cordons off Jerusalem. It steals even more land by bisecting Palestinian territory with its “fence”. Anyone trying to organize resistance gets jailed, tortured, or blown up.

    Sick of their terrible trials, Palestinians elect Hamas, whose leaders make it perfectly clear that they are ready to deal on the basis of the old two-state solution, which of course is the one thing Israel cannot endure. Israel doesn’t want any “peaceful solution” that gives the Palestinians anything more than a few trashed out acres surrounded with barbed wire and tanks, between the Israeli settlements whose goons can murder them pretty much at will.

    So here we are, 24 years after Sharon did his best to destroy Lebanon in 1982, and his heirs are doing it all over again. Since they can’t endure the idea of any just settlement for Palestinians, it’s the only thing they know how to do. Call Lebanon a terror-haven and bomb it back to the stone age. Call Gaza a terror-haven and bomb its power plant, first stop on the journey back to the stone age. Bomb Damascus. Bomb Teheran.

    Of course they won’t destroy Hezbollah. Every time they kill another Lebanese family, they multiply hatred of Israel and support for Hezbollah. They’ve even unified the parliament in Baghdad, which just voted unanimously — Sunnis and Shi’ites and Kurds alike — to deplore Israel’s conduct and to call for a ceasefire.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed these little excursions into history, even though history is dangerous, which is why the US press gives it a wide birth. But even without the benefit of historical instruction, a majority of Americans in CNN’s instant poll –- about 55 per cent out of 800,000 as of midday, July 19 — don’t like what Israel is up to.

    Dislike is one thing, but at least in the short term it doesn’t help much. Israel’s 1982 attack on Lebanon grew unpopular in the US, after the first few days. But forcing the US to pressure Israel to settle the basic problem takes political courage, and virtually no US politician is prepared to buck the Israel lobby, however many families in Lebanon and Gaza may be sacrificed on the altar of such cowardice.

  • http://www.tyndallreport.com Andrew Tyndall

    McDaniel–

    You did not mention me by name, but if I am one of the commenters you think wants Israel “to respond with some tit-for-tat,” then I must disabuse you of that notion.

    My point here is that any portrayal of the last two weeks of conflict as existential threat to Israel, where in fact Hezbollah is the entity that risks being wiped out, is unhinged from the facts.

    Israel may be in the right or it may be the aggrieved party or it may have a long-term strategic compulsion to take on Hezbollah or Hezbollah may deserve to be put in existential jeopardy…

    …but Israel is not fighting for its life here and Israel’s tactics are not moral; they are pragmatic.

    If you were not referring to my comments, then I apologize for being so defensive and repetitive.

  • Eric

    Jeez. Can of worms in the comments here.

    Everyone seems to want a clear enemy here and someone to blame, either “Zionist thugs” or foaming at the mouth Islamist fascists.

    Problem is Israel’s can be “thugs” because war and occupation are brutal and brutalizing. That does fuel extremism. And the Islamists like Hezbollah really are genocidal fascists who dream of purifying the levant of Jews (and try their best with rockets and terror). This whole situation just sucks.

    It’s a tragedy that seems to have no resolution, since if Israel does not fight (and that will kill civilians, cause more pain, and probably fuel more extremism), it will be destroyed. And if Israel is destroyed you’ll have a second Holocaust. If you don’t believe that you’re not listening to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranians, and a host of other thugs.

    So, I’m with you Jeff, I side with Israel because it is a democracy (whatever its warts and frailties) and not out to purify anything. Few on the Left seem to recognize that it’s only Israel that tollerates a self-criticizing Left. You don’t see that in Israel’s enemies, who are all way to sure of themselves and the righteousness of their cause. It’s the maximalism and absolutism of Hezbollah and its ilk that is so dangerous.

    I’m not hopeful here. A democracy has a hell of a time fighting this kind of war, and it seems clear that nobody is going to help Israel. When this is done Hezbollah will be bloodied but bolder and Lebanon will be in ruins. In all likelihood, Israel will be less secure with an intact Hezbollah to its north, little international support, and the specter of a nuclear (and wacked out) Iran. This whole thing just stinks.

  • El Campeador

    You “Fear for the State of Israel?”

    Most others simple Fear the State of Israel.

    Israel is not going to be destroyed anytime soon, the billions of dollars worth of free arms they receive from their AIPAC-controlled political puppets in Washington will see to that. It’s ovious that there is a massive gulf in arms between Israel and anyone else in the region, and no matter how much you try and convince people that Israel is in danger of “being wiped off the (proverbial) map”, you and I both know it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

    It’s the Lebanese and the Palestinians that are being destroyed, yet again, en masse, by way of collective punishment, guilty by geographic or religious association, bombed from the sky, left without water, food, roads, electricity, gasoline, runways, schools and health care.

    Once again we are subjected to the old “Israel must be allowed to defend itself, otherwise the Arabs will overrun her” propaganda, winking and nodding to Washington, speeding up arms shipments and jet fuel as yet another historic Arab capital is leveled by expansionist colonizers on live television.

    No mention of course of the first time Israel leveled Lebanon, kidnapped hundreds of prisoners to use as bargaining chips, laid waste to the region, and killed thousands and thousands of people, including 2 disgusting massacres at Sabra and Chatila.

    Without mentioning the stealing of land and water, the pillaging of Lebanon’s farmlands, Sharon’s complicity in war crimes, you pontificate about the Israeli state’s potential destruction, as if Israel is the little weakling among these Big Bad Powers, as if Israel isn’t flying over Lebanese airspace or waters with impunity, as if Israel doesn’t have an overwhelming military superiority in every department.

    Israel has a license to do whatever it feels necessary, including kidnapping, assassinating, detaining, torturing, imprisoning, killing 4 UN soldiers today or 100 civilians at a refugee camp in Qana, or blocking access to cover up evidence of killings in places like Jenin, or building walls between people and their farms, or building and hiding and hoarding WMD, or colonizing somone else’s land with heavily armed “settlers” backed or ignoring UN resolutions, or launching by soldiers, or firing American-made Hellfire missiles from American-made Apache choppers at Lebanese ambulances killing women and children.

    The obvious point-scoring by the Israeli “civilian” leaders Olmert and Peretz in trying to compensate for their lack of military background by acting aggressive against civilians is a pitiful substitute for true bravery, which Israel displays in abundance while sending F-16s to bomb civilians from a safe distance above. The Israeli public don’t have the stomach to see bodies coming back from the front, so their air force is trying to starve an entire population from the air. This is a policy doomed to failure, which will create more havoc, pressure the weak Lebanese government, create more bitterness towards the Israelis, and create more orphans and recruits for Hezbollah and Hamas in the future. The Israelis have no grand strategic vision except to use overwhelming force. It’s made them no more secure than they’ve ever been.

  • THAI CHITSIGA

    Curse upon both your house’s. Oh Cain and Able!

  • penny

    Jeff, maybe you need to start examining why so many anti-semites find a home at your site.

    I was a fan of yours, seems like a lifetime ago, until you drove off any voice that didn’t do your ambivalent lefty thing – too anti pc and multi-culti for your tastes. Now, they own your site – those little smarmy lefty MSM creatures that hate Israel and the US with their terrorists as freedom fighters, root causes, all of the stuff that makes the anti-semitic left so venial and craven.

    The Lebanese don’t have clean hands in this mess having harbored Hezbollah for years after Israel left the area. Firing missiles on innocent civilians and hiding behind, literally, skirts is sickening. Your first poster is rooting for Hezbollah. Sick . But, not surprising.

  • http://leatherpenguin.com Staten Island guy

    Someone so quick to condemn Israel for its treatment of these “Palestinians” you speak of, answer me a question: Who was the President/Prime Minister/Whatever of “Palestine” when the evil Zionists “occupied” their country?

  • http://BuzzMachine marywell

    Let us all go down on our knees in true repentance for all our wrongs before Our Holy God in prayer. Let us pray for
    true peace in every hearts not hatred for any one on earth.
    If God so loved us then who are we to criticise or judge another person rationally or emotionally. Let us pray, pray and more pray. God is our strength and comfort in time of war.

  • LanceThruster

    Zionists often echo the “drive Israel into the sea” meme. Israelis/Zionists have also mapped out every bit as clearly as Hitler did in Mein Kampf the road map for ethnic cleansing. Israel is getting away with their Lebanese Holocaust and has plenty more victims left on their hit list.

    If you want to see REAL hate in action, please read on. [from: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/hatespeech.html

    1. “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies ­not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001

    2. “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

    3. ” [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs.” Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the Beasts”. New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

    4. “The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” ” Israeli Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

    5. “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

    6. “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

    7. “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

    8. “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha’aretz, 19 March 1972.

    9. David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): “If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti – Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?” Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

    9a. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : “We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. “The old will die and the young will forget.”

    10. “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

    11. “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” – Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio. (Certainly the FBI’s cover-up of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap scandal suggests that Mr. Sharon may not have been joking.

    12. “We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel… Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.” Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces – Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983.

    13. “We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return” David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar’s Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.

    15. “We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.” David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

    16. “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” Israel Koenig, “The Koenig Memorandum”

    17. “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

    18. “We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!'” Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

    19. Rabin’s description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet. “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters” Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion’s special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. From “The Arabs in Israel” by Sabri Jiryas.

    20. “There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:…the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish…with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary.” Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department. From Israel: an Apartheid State by Uri Davis, p.5.

    21. “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don’t grab will go to them.” Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

    22. “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.” Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, of 14 July 1972.

    23. “Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.

    There is a double standard at work. Israeli supporters prowl the internet and the media shouting “hate speech” not at those who actually hate, but at those who focus on the embarrassing truths Israel does not want Americans to think about while they pony up another few billions dollars. The good news is that Israel’s supporters have screamed “hate speech” and “anti-Semite” so much that the phrases have lost their shock value, which means they have lost their value to silence. Certainly I am not concerned about any labels placed on this web site by an organization of acknowledged spies. Indeed I am gratified to be recognized as such a threat to their plans and purposes. I am proud that efforts to get the truth out are working.

    This web site has had only one purpose since its creation; to make the cost of lies by politicians exceed the benefit of those lies, so that all government everywhere would discover that truth to the people is really the best policy. From the fear shown by Israel’s supporters in their hacking, smearing, and blacklisting, it would appear that this web site has at least in part been successful.

  • http://www.distant-sea.net/adagio Shar

    I can’t comprehend how there can be so many people who believe that the American war against “terror” was justified but do not believe that Israeli aggression is justified.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    John Podhoretz seems to think that the US and Israel are the same country. “If Israel and the United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have our foes discovered a new way to win?”

    Lance Thruster puts it all on “Zionist thugs”. And thinks occasionally bombing innocent Israelis is OK. “Israel could have had peace from a 2 state solution if they hadn’t worked to thwart it at every turn.
    Hamas and Hezbollah are legitimate resistance movements as per international law.”

    Penny, too, is filled with hate “You are a despicable creature.” And thinks that anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-semite, “Jeff, maybe you need to start examining why so many anti-semites find a home at your site.” Penny seems to want Jeff to censor people who have different views from her.

    To Jeff and those who are pro-Israel here. There’s been about 10 times more people killed in Lebanon than in Israel. Why not address how sad that is without saying the word, ‘but…’ Are you not concerned about the innocent civilians that are getting killed by the hundreds? Who can’t flee because all the roads, bridges, and gas stations have been bombed?

    To those who blame Israel for all of this, please explain to me how Israel is supposed to act when Hezbollah, sponsored by dictatorships in Syria and Lebanon, bombs and kidnaps people. Have you considered that perhaps many in Israel remember how the world acted while fascism spread in Europe? That’s why the term “Never Again” came about.

    I’ve read a lot of hate here tonight. The whole situation sucks. I’m with MaryWell. Let’s pray for them.

  • LanceThruster

    Shar – I never implied the US war on “terror” was justified. It is a way for neocons to consolidate power and gut the Constitution (Chimpy McFlightsuit even admitted it’s just a “goddamn piece of paper!”).

    I think if the whole truth was ever to come out about the lies and treasonous acts committed by US leadership, it would justify the reintroduction of the guillotine.

    The GWOT is just a way for Rethuglicans to be able to designate the latest Emmanuel Goldstein. (btw – that is not to excuse the Dems in AIPAC’s pocket either).

  • penny

    There’s been about 10 times more people killed in Lebanon than in Israel

    Right on that. Ten times more Hezbollah killed then IDF, you stupid ass, as there should be. Too bad. So sad. Sorry more terrorist are dying proportionately. No comfort in that for you, creep.

    Crawl back under your rock. This won’t have a happy ending for you. Keep your atheistic nihilism alive, maybe, just maybe, Al Qaida, Hamas or Hezbollah will score big for you in the future.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    Penny – were you addressing me with that last comment.

  • PSGInfinity

    Jeff,

    I’m with you. I know the comments got cranky today, but I for one understand where you seem to be coming from. As for mem I’m telling anyone who’ll listen that 2006 has an eerie, 1938 feel to it. We have very little time to stop a pan-Middle Eastern conflagration that claims 20-50 Million lives. Not to mention several hunderd thousand in the West.

    And now we see the open bigotry of LanceThruster, El Campeador, Mark S, and bit torrent. Not to mention the well-meaning foolishness of Andrew Tyndall, Thai Chitsiga and Jonathan Trenn.

    Jeff, adding to my unease is the sense that this may have a civil-war aspect to it, before it’s through.

    Scary, scary times.

  • sam

    LanceT, here;s what your friends in Hamas are all about (by way of Opinionjournal.com):
    According to the BBC “the prisoner Hezbollah wants most” is Samir Qantar. On April 22, 1979, Qantar murdered 28-year-old Danny Haran and his 4-year-old daughter and caused the death of another Haran daughter, age 2. Haran’s widow, Smadar Haran Kaiser, describes the crime (she transliterates the murderer’s name as “Kuntar”):

    It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

    Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

    As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

    Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

    They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. “This is just like what happened to my mother,” I thought.

    As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

    By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    I guess I’m a well-intentioned fool because I’m concerned about innocent civilians on both sides. And I think that many here have proven to be intolerant of that type of concern…for both sides.

    PSGInfinity, to me it feels as if its 1938 as well. And attitudes like yours, those that disagree with the side I believe in are bigots, those that show concern for the situation as a whole are fools makes it more so.

  • sam

    jonathan…wake up and smell the coffee…hezbollah hides among the civilians of southern lebanon. In at least one case, they prevented civilians from leaving a village that was in the IDF’s sights because it was a source of hez fire. Brave men, those hezbollah “freedom fighters.”

  • PSGInfinity

    To the bigots,

    Israel’s right to exist derives from their historical tenancy, and as reparations for the Holocaust. Got a problem with Israel? Talk to Germany. And for Lance, talk to God.

    Israel’s opponents, principally the The Reactionary Left, ask the Israelis to endure thing sno one else is asked to endure.

    • Deliberately ignoring the five wars of attempted extermination in 1948, 1956, 1967 (read a real history book sometime), 1973, and 1981-1982.
    • Homicide/Suicide bombing. The use of children as suicide bombers.
    • Deliberately ignoring their enemies’ using civilians as weapons, by emplacing military targets in civilian neighborhoods. This is a violation of your precious Geneva Convention, by the way.
    • Studiously ignoring their vile media, spewing lies, hate, and indoctrination.
    • Ignoring the theft of billions of our dollars earmarked for the resettled Arabs.
    • Demanding “proportionality” in war. Akin to asking the accosted to set aside their gun, and step down to a knife, just because the attacker has a knife.
    • Demanding a standard of perfection that you’re unwilling to ask of their opponents.
    –They’re a democracy under tremendous stress.
    –Their opponents are thugs and tyrants. And thieves. And liars.

    • That’s the kicker. You demand sacrifices of Israel you demand of no one else. Do you not believe the Arabs can behave in a decent, civilized manner? And if not, doesn’t that call the basis of multiculturalism into question? But you didn’t thin that far ahead, did you? (Hint: you never do).
    But back to the Arabs. Do you not demand a similarly high standard because of their funny hats? Is it because they’re not Christians? Is it because they have brown skin? Is it because you envy Israel’s success? And, by extension, the Jewish people? And by further extension, the conservative / libertarian / Judeo-Christian (Protestant) values that made America the greatest country the world has ever seen?

    Making these demands of no one else on Earth, is bigoted. Pain and Simple. And once pointed out to you, continuing to hold them makes you an evil bigot. Kind of like your fellow travelers in the KKK, Communist, and Nazi movements. (Surprise you? Read a real history book).

    I will pray for you. You folks need help. In a Christian church, on Sunday morning. (Lance, that means you). (BTW, a Jewish synagogue is a suitable sub)

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    Sam

    Once again, you’re proving my point. I’m wide awake and fully smell the coffee. I’m not sticking up for Hezbollah. I’m not attacking Israel.

    Yesterday I ran into a friend of mine. American born of Lebanese descent. Former US Marine. Sunni Muslim. His sister was visiting family in Sidon with her four daughters. She can’t leave. It’s too dangerous to travel. All the roads are blown out. It’s a tragic situation. Am I allowed to be concerned about her without being thought of as foolish? Why is it, Sam, and you too PSGInfinity, that concern for Lebanese civlians makes one foolish?

    I remember 1983 when Hezbollah bombed the US Marine barracks and killed 241 Americans. I remember last year, after Harriri was assassinated, the Sunnis and the Christians protested, but Hezbollah remained pro-Syrian. My conern for Lebanon – or as Jeff would put it – my fear for Lebanon – does not mean that I forget what Hezbollah is about.

    I’m concerned about Israeli citizens too. I’m concerned that one of the top Iraqi gov’t officials said the reason behind the conflict between Sunni and Shiite is “Jews and sons of Jews”. Jews have been the scapegoats for failed dictators for centuries.

    Does my concern for Lebanon and its citizens somehow negate that?

  • PSGInfinity

    Jonathan,

    Its nice to see you concerned for the civilians. Really. It is.

    There is a mechanism to settle a fundamental conflict, and its called “War”. Diplomacy by other means, and all that. The best, most humane way to solve it is to get it over with as quickly as possible, because its the evenly-matched conflicts where the body count really piles up. (See WWI, for example). Assuming of course, that the winner then doesn’t massacre the loser’s population (see Rwanda).

    Forcing the Israelis to not hit targets because they were deliberately placed in civilian neighborhoods is, itself, barbaric. Prolongs the collective agony. And BTW, it Beirut was really being leveled, you would be getting no pictures, as everyone would literally be running for their lives. (See Allied firebombing raids in WWII).

    Yes, you will end up with a one-sided body count, but the aggregate death toll is near the theoretical minimum. Assuming, of course, that Israel doesn’t slaughter the losing side.

    And that gets to Jeff’s (and my) point; we do NOT know how long Israel can sustain that. I’m sorry you don’t see that. Might I suggest StrategyPage, The CounterTerrorism blog, and The Belmont Club as excellent sources of information?

  • sam

    We should be concerned about those caught in the crossfire, unfortunately the world press typically focuses on their suffering as an example of Israeli callousness, while ignoring the reason why these people are in this impossible situation to begin with.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    To Sam: by simply mentioning my concern does not mean that it if rooted in Israeli callousness. Do you understand that?

    To PSGInfinity: Your comments clearly smack of elitism. My concern for Lebanese civilians seems to irk you. Says a lot right there.

  • PSGInfinity

    Jonathan,

    Let me see if I can avoid annoying you further, because you’re clearly no dummy. You may have simply walked into a bad spot, especially given all the parrying I’ve seen / been involved in over the past three years. (I don’t presume to speak for Sam).

    The problem that I’ve had with commenters with similar points of view is that they’ve expressed similar concerns as a mask for either anti-(group) bigotry or a willful naivete. However, your thread is materially different from most threads I’ve seen like it in that you’ve shown a good, clear head to go with a caring heart. Sadly, this combination seems increasingly rare in certain circles.

    So, thanks for your comments. Now, LanceThruster on the other hand…

  • Burt

    I was going to point out the fallacies in your arguments Jarvis, then I realized: the Israelis seem intent on suicide, why should I care?

    8 million mostly European Jews settled in the middle of 320 million Arab Muslims.

    And these European transplants aren’t interested in peaceful co-existence! No, they keep trying to provoke and prod the sleeping giant which controls much of the world’s oil, and outnumbers them 40 to 1. It isn’t history against Israel. It’s statistics!

    Anybody want to start a pool for how much longer Israel can last? My own guess is 20 years, no more…

  • bit torrent

    Anyone know what percentage of people living in Israel came from America?

    Don’t try and tar everyone who dislikes Israel with the anti-semite brush. I see that happening a lot and it is nothing less than an attempt to try and intimidate people into keeping quiet. We won’t. We know that there are many Jews around the world who don’t agree with what is happening in Israel either.

  • http://www.wingercomics.com/ Carson Fire

    “The conflict you describe bears no relation to the one depicted on our television screens over the last two weeks”

    That pretty much says it all, especially as we clearly see reporters performing as PR conduits for Hezbollah. Of course what we see “depicted” on TV is at odds with reality.

  • http://www.chineseadventure.com hibbs02

    Jeff, you must be shaking your head sadly as you read these posts. It is truly frightening that Jew hatred is again reaching such heights. Have barbaric fascists like Hezbollah frightened/intimidated the left into supporting them to save their own skins or was this anti-semitism just already there and is now coming to the surface. . .again?

    Either answer is shameful.

    The funniest post to me is the guy sad that Hezbollah is the one facing the existential crisis. Buddy, in case you don’t realize it: Hezbollah is not a country or a people, its a group whose sole goal is to see every Jew murdered. Should they actually be wiped out it is a good thing. See how that works there?

    My only consolation in all of this is that I believe the Jews are now and always God’s chosen people and he won’t let them be annihilated. In fact he promises that Israel will drive the countries around it mad.

    See, God keeps his promises. God bless Israel and the people who support them. To those that oppose, enjoy your madness while you can.

  • Isaac Garcia

    Jeff
    Good summation and aggregation of relevant quotes and writings.
    Great job (as usual).

    I had no idea you had so many anti-semite readers?!
    I’m a little shocked.

  • Eileen

    Jihadists like Lance Thruster have been around here spouting their vile bile, taqiyya trash talk for a couple of years now. Somehow Jeff allows them to. Actually, I look forward to August 22nd…don’t you, Lance?

    Although I know it’s not necessary, cue U.S. CentCom anyway.

  • http://blogcritics.weblogs.us Erinther

    While Iran dreams of wiping Israel off the face of the map, they have found new supporters for their projects on atomic programs. Learn more about this new supporter

  • http://www.ditisberry.nl Jaap

    Right. Let’s round this column up.
    – Questioning Israel’s excessive use of force is questioning the right of Israel to exist
    – Israel or the western world should not be led astray by universalist liberal ideas, or any humanitarian considerations for that matter, because that would prove us weak, which would result in defeat (morals dont win wars, disproportionate use of violence does, stupid!)
    – While Europe has every reason (moral obligation as well as self-interest) to support Israel with any means necessary, they seem to want to hold a more nuanced position – they seem to rather have peace than help Israel wage war on its neighbouring countries. Why, that’s strange! Europeans must still be antisemites!

    Sorry for all the sarcasm, but I thought it would be the best way to get my point across. Jeff, you’re talking ‘you’re either with us or against us’-language. Yes, we Europeans (I’m from the Netherlands, so sorry for any spelling errors) didn’t like that one either. You’re presenting some Greater Goal, raising the ante by saying Israel is about to be wiped off the face of the earth, discarding any ehtical and moral consideration and every nuance as weakness, or antisemtism. I find that distasteful, and frankly dangerous.

  • Michael

    Long time reader, first time poster. Really, could not believe your depiction of the Middle East crisis. Bears no resemblence to reality on the ground.

    “I am coming to fear for the fate of Israel. Iran and Syria, through Hezbollah”

    It is the soverign and fragile state of Lebannon we should not only worry for but cry for, such is the devestation melted out by Israel. 600 Dead to date, the majority of them civilains, civilian infrastrascture (Electricity stations, bridges) – such that the Israeli actions are close to war crimes.

    Its not that Iran /Syria is testing Israel – its that the US is punishing Iran by proxy via Israel.

    I though the readers here were some what more intelligent to equate valid criticism of Israeli with anti semitism.

    If Israel had done a prisoner swap, none of this would have started. We are talking about one of the worlds greatest armies (Supplied by the US) against a guerilla force of maybe 1,000. Why destroy a whole country.

  • LanceThruster

    I have no emnity towards Jeff and have exchanged very glowing emails with him in the past. We appear to disagree on this issue. I don’t think he’d dismiss my position as coming from a position of “Jew hatred” but who knows? I’m on warm terms with Dr. Norman Finkelstein, and my friend and lawyer (who by the Jewish definition is Jewish) is the one who opened my eyes to the justifications made from Jewish exceptionalism. To bash others for simply opposing Zionist aggression is irrational whether directed at Jew or non-Jew.

    I am not surprised that the ones making charges of racism speak of the Arab/Muslim as an inferior, neither to be trusted nor tolerated. I place no collective guilt upon Jews but see (many of) them place it on everyone else.

    Should the Lebanese Holocaust prove successful, it will expand to any other opponent of Zionism. In a just world, Zionism would go the way of the South African apartheid regime. Zionists and their lackeys are proving by their actions that justice is applicable on a sliding scale.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Well, I suppose I should thank certain of you for going out of your way to find this post and prove my point. I only wish I were wrong. But there is cause for fear.

  • Michael

    If one wants to read how this conflict was born of the 1982 Isaeli invasion, check out the BBC report by Jim Muir called History repeats with a vengeance .

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    Jeff, do you fear for the state of Lebanon as well?

  • http://www.filmbuffonline.com Rich Drees

    Can someone please explain how questioning the actions of a parlimentary democracy is automatically anti-semtitism?

  • http://www.beatcanvas.com Brett Rogers

    The ninnies of Hezbollah hide themselves and their weapons behind homes and children, and they have their defenders in your comments here, Jeff. That’s like championing child molestors.

    Good post, and good for you. This is no fight against Lebanon, but against Hezbollah. If this were a fight against Lebanon, Israel could destroy everyone there, but they’re not. Once and if Hezbollah is removed as completely as possible, then Lebanon will be rebuilt and Israel will contribute.

    I particularly agree with Podhoretz’ column. Hadn’t seen that – thanks for the link. It’s like not wanting to injure a murderous intruder in your home out of respect for his well-being. Nothing moral about that. It’s sheer idiocy.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    To me, the overall series of comments here signify why we won’t ever have peace in the Middle East. Most are talking past one another, peppering each other with insults and not showing conern for those who suffer on the ‘other’ end.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Tyndall:
    Hezbollah hit its weapons in the homes of its civilians. What responsibility do they bear? Is this one of their social programs: a chicken in every pot, a missile in every garage?

    Don’t be so purposely blind to what Ash is saying: If Europe and the American left withdraw from the view that Israel has a moral right to exist then supporting its actual right to exist falls and so does Israel.

    I believe that Israel has a right to exist and that the Palestinians have a right to a state side-by-side and that Lebanon has the right of self-determination rather than rule by proxy from Iran and Syria through the terrorism of Hezbollah.

    Jimmy:
    Of course, I agree that every civilian death — every death — is a tragedy in war and if t here are ways to reduce that carnage, then they should be taken. But note well that Hezbollah provoked this and that Hezbollah is putting its civilians in the path of danger by using them to hide weapons. Israel warns the neighborhoods before striking. What other means should be used?

    Penny, Isaac:
    I haven’t seen some of these people before. I think there is an early warning system on the internet that points out anything written about Israel or the Palestinians or now Hezbollah and it attracts some like flies.

    Lance:
    You know you’re in trouble when you start arguing that some of your best friends are Jews.

  • Pingback: Pundit Review » Blog Archive » Liberal bloggers and Israel

  • http://www.tyndallreport.com Andrew Tyndall

    Jarvis–

    Nowhere have I claimed that Hezbollah is not irresponsible. In fact some of its actions are criminal. Others of its actions are political, others indeed involve social services. However, to construe the current conflict as one in which Israel is on the defensive and is the entity facing extermination is inaccurate. You may justify Israel’s attacks on Lebanon for other reasons — but not on the grounds that Israel’s existence is at stake. It is Hezbollah that is in existential danger here (a consummation, I know, you devoutly wish for).

    Concerning Israel’s moral right to exist, I have much more confidence in the self-defense capabilities of the Israeli state than you do. To suggest that it will stand or fall on the basis of the goodwill of European and American leftists, overstates the power of whatever rumo of socialism remains there and understates the force, and alliances, supporting Israel’s “actual” (as opposed to “moral”) existence. To reiterate the second point that Garton Ash insisted on, the situation in the Middle East lacks morality sans a state of Palestine. Until that viable state is created and Israel’s policies of occupation and invasion end, then there are no “morals” in the region only “actualities.”

    Concerning Israel, Palestine, Lebanon: yes, yes and yes.

  • Harry

    “I have much more confidence in the self-defense capabilities of the Israeli state than you do.”

    Bingo. Israel’s ultimate survival is guaranteed not by Europe, nor even the United States, but by the fact they have in excess of 100 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to any point in the Middle East. If their very survival is threatened, I have no doubt the Israelis will decide the deaths of a few million in the Arab world are preferable to the extinction of Israel itself.

    What really emboldens Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, etc., is not the fecklessness of Euope or the mushy antiwar stance of the American left, but instead the conviction that Israel, along with the United States, would never, under any circumstances, ever use its nuclear arsenal against its enemies.

    There was a time, back when men named Kennedy and Johnson, were president, that the left realized that the spread of humanitarian and liberal values depended on the amount of muscle behind those values, as Kennedy demonstrated with his nuclkear brinksmanship during the Cuban missile crisis. Today, it would be impossible for even a Republican president to repat Kennedy’s feat because of the extent to which the “humane war” meme has lodged into our political consciousness. This lingering psychosis from Vietnam and the 1960s unfortunately makes proportional, measured, and effective military responses almost impossible. And that will only help bring about a scenario in which use of nukes is not only plausible but even unavoidable.

  • chico haas

    Noble or misguided, the American Left consistently determines its position with a single question: who is the underdog?

  • LanceThruster

    Jeff,

    Pretty catty and wholly inaccurate representation. I mentioned them only in regards to Jewish voices (among others) putting forth a solid argument that succeeded in bringing my views in line with theirs, not the “some of my best friends are Jews so I can’t be racist” tactic as you seem to imply. Jews can be racist as well. If you are in doubt of that, please check out masada2000.org and see how the depictions of Jews less than enthused with Zionism, such as Dr. Finkelstein, are portrayed. Does it make you racist because your views are more in line with those expressed at that web site?

    The point being that knee-jerk accusations of anti-Semitism ignore those of us choosing friendships and alignments based on the character of the individual and clarity of their insight. I know we both are fans of Howard Stern. I have not felt a need to cancel my Sirius subscription for fear of bankrolling a Jew (1/2 Jew if Howard is to be believed ;-)) because though he has blurted out solutions such as nuking Iran, I consider his views as expressing his own personal worldview (meant to be taken with a grain of salt to boot) and not as part of a global agenda. I think he is wrong on the Kennedy assassination as well. So what?

    As opposed to many of the pro-Zionist posters remarks regarding Arabs/Muslims, I have not portrayed Jews as sub-human. One can find fault with National Socialism and not hate Germans. I can offer a viewpoint on Jewish exceptionalism, the culture of victimhood, and its relation to the actions of a Zionist state and not hate Jews.

    Compare that with what I heard in a pro-Zionist forum. They said that since 95% of Jews support Zionism, that to be against Zionism was anti-Semitic. This is the just one example of the twisted logic of those arguing in favor of some of the most reprehensible aspects of Zionist rationalizations.

    Was to be against South African apartheid to be against South Africa’s right to exist? For Israel to honor its promise of a viable Palestinian state would do a lot for the validity of the insistence of a Jewish controlled state. But don’t call it a “democracy” as their version of minority rule in no way fits that description.

    So in regards to your dig, would you feel better if I referenced no Jewish voices whatsoever to try to make my case? Often I do not realize they are Jewish until someone slaps them with the “self-hating Jew” label. Often I do not realize they are Jews when I determine that I do *not* like them (such as Michael “Savage” aka Weiner).

    When I wrote to you under my real name, I praised you for your commitment to a rational methodology of discussion and debate even when I was not impressed with your arguments themselves. It appears to me that your commitment is less than absolute and even you are susceptible to the cheap shot. At least you have avoided the death threats and other smears that are common from those taking issue with the views I have openly expressed and shown willingness to discuss. It’s possible that could change sometime in the future as well. With the depth of the hatreds involved, it certainly can’t be ruled out. I could be the next Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the state.

  • ronbo

    “You know you’re in trouble when you start arguing that some of your best friends are Jews.” Yes, quite. Especially that one.

    Scary times indeed. Rosenbaum’s original piece was written after a summer in which there was a series of physical assaults against Jews and Jewish institutions (schools, cemeteries) in France. It didn’t seem to be organized, or clearly related to the intifada or anything else. At the time the Rosenbaum piece struck me as somewhat overwrought. Now I think it was prescient.

    A linguistic footnote: The language of contemporary antisemitism has long been that of the anti-colonialist left, with its double standards and false equivalencies. But what is starting to emerge is the language of the old right. In Anglophone countries the main accusation is that the Jews wield secret and illicit control over government. Oddly, though, the compaint about Jews in Europe seems to be that thay are anti-Christian. Remember the cartoon in Corriere della Sera that showed Sharon eating a baby?

  • http://www.beatcanvas.com Brett Rogers

    Chico,

    That is spot on – for most of the American Left. Then there are those, such as Jeff, for which 9/11 changed everything and “underdogs” who kill innocent people no longer have any sympathy. Thank god for those on the Left with a sense of self-preservation and decency.

    I am constantly dazzled at those who sympathize with those who purposely use civilians in their jihad war. Aren’t the civilians, unarmed and unwilling to be sacrificed for a cause that is not theirs, the ultimate underdogs? Of course they are – unless they are Israeli civilians, and then it’s somehow okay.

  • Michael

    “I am constantly dazzled at those who sympathize with those who purposely use civilians in their jihad war”

    Brett,
    Using civilains how:

    1. Lebanese Civilians
    Mitch Prothero in Salon.com on the myth that Hizbullah hides among civilians.

    ‘ Throughout this now 16-day-old war, Israeli planes high above civilian areas make decisions on what to bomb. They send huge bombs capable of killing things for hundreds of meters around their targets, and then blame the inevitable civilian deaths — the Lebanese government says 600 civilians have been killed so far — on “terrorists” who callously use the civilian infrastructure for protection.But this claim is almost always false. My own reporting and that of other journalists reveals that in fact Hezbollah fighters — as opposed to the much more numerous Hezbollah political members, and the vastly more numerous Hezbollah sympathizers — avoid civilians. Much smarter and better trained than the PLO and Hamas fighters, they know that if they mingle with civilians, they will sooner or later be betrayed by collaborators — as so many Palestinian militants have been.For their part, the Israelis seem to think that if they keep pounding civilians, they’ll get some fighters, too. ‘

    2. Israeli Civilains – I think the 600 dead and over 700,000 displaced people in Lebanon set that argument straight. Isnt it Israel that is using civilians to force the Lebanese government to take on Hezbollah and ignite another civil war as they did in 82?

  • http://www.instabloke.com BB

    The blogosphere is indeed an echochamber. Just reading these comments is proof positive why this world cannot and will not get along.

  • JeffJarvistheZionist

    Jeff – you just lost a reader (actually a lot more I’m sure). I find it funny that the only people who support Israel in this in the ENTIRE WORLD are Jews (who feel anything other than 100% support even as Israel committs murders of hundreds of innocent people and uproots hundreds of thousands of innocent others) and Christians (who believe Israel needs to belong to the Jews so Jesus Christ can be resurrected).

    My wish for a perfect planet would be for both types of this dark ages type thinking to just dissapear, so all the rest of us could live in peace. Jeff – by not acknowledging that a Lebanese life = Israeli life you have shown yourself to be a disgusting racist – no better than the Nazis themselves.

    But it’s all good, because through this voilence Israel is only digging its own grave! In the end, everyone (and every country) gets exactly what they deserve.

  • JeffJarvistheZionist

    The UN has issued 50 resolutions condemning Israel for anti-human rights actions and violence against civilians:

    http://www.middleeastnews.com/unresolutionslist.html

    All the non-Jews and non hard-core Bush loving neoconChristians out there need to educate themselves about the issues – reality is different than people like Jeff spin it!

  • http://eclectchap.blogspot.com/ button

    *I am coming to fear for the fate of Israel.*

    If Israel has no right to exist as a separate Jewish state, then Pakistan has no right to exist as a Moslem state separate from India either.

    I’m not worried about this pragmatically because Musharhaf knows that Pakistan would be next.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Gee, guy-who-spits-Zionist-as-if-it-is-an-insult, I thought I lost you. But you came back.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    I for one will be glad to see JeffJarvistheZionist exit.

  • Ravo

    “If Islam laid down it’s weapons, there would be peace in the middle east.

    If Israel laid down it’s weapons, Israel would cease to exist.”

  • http://www.chineseadventure.com hibbs02

    Just because it is worth repeating:

    “If Islam laid down it’s weapons, there would be peace in the middle east.

    If Israel laid down it’s weapons, Israel would cease to exist.”

    I have never said that Israel is Lilly White. No country is. But the statement is absolutely true and every reasonable person knows it. As to the rest of you. . .I SUSPECT you know it too and while you will be “appalled” should every Jew in Israel be killed you seem to be supporting it through your rhetoric.

  • http://www.digitalstreetjournal.com Jonathan Trenn

    “If Islam laid down it’s weapons, there would be peace in the middle east.

    If Israel laid down it’s weapons, Israel would cease to exist.”

    I disagree. Islam is a religion. Israel is a country. It doesn’t address ethinc issues. For instance, it wouldn’t solve the Palestinian issue – there’s a lot of Christian Palestinians. And you could still have problems between Kurds and Arabs, etc.

    In other words, if Israel didn’t exist at this point, and the entire Middle East was one religion, we’d still see fighting.

  • LanceThruster

    War historian Gwynne Dyer says every nation wants to “freeze” the status quo when they have the advantage. How about if Jewish Zionists laid down their weapons prior to stealing the land from which they created the nation of Israel? The region could certainly not have faired much worse. And the claims about Diaspora Jews being rounded up for slaughter by an anti-Semitic world hardly seems rational. Jews have assimilated exceptionally well and are welcome and prominent around the globe, the exception being puzzlement over blanket support of a criminal rogue regime using the same tactics of the victimizers of Jews in the Hitler era. The aggressive actions of Israel against its neighbors, against allied countries (Pollard’s stolen security data was sold to enemies of the US for cash – heckuva job, Mossad!), and against those in the region actually seeking peace makes Jews worldwide less safe. The killing and wounding at the Jewish center in Seattle could be a portent of things to come.

    And Jeff, you could certainly clarify elements of your position if you would comment on exactly what aspects of Zionism you find positive and worthy of support. Is it a blanket assent? If every action derives from fear of the extiction of the Jewish state, are all things permissable? Is a doomsday scenario with Israel going out in scorched earth fashion with nukes within the boundries of the allowable when “fearing for Israel”?

  • http://channel4newswatch.blogspot.com Lopakhin

    Just in case anyone’s interested, several of Lance Thruster’s ‘Zionist’ quotes from earlier were made up or misrepresentations. For more information, see:

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=21&x_article=371
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=21&x_article=766
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=21&x_article=775

  • LanceThruster

    Lopakhin – Thanks for the links. I often try to get other confirmation whenever, wherever I can as well. Sometimes the “corrections” are less than crucial as in the Beirut smoke photo additions did not change the reality of a city being ravaged by the air and innocent people maimed or dying in vast numbers.

    Regarding your offerings, #371 says the part of purchasing the land is omitted. Maybe so but that would imply that the lands that Israel built upon were gained in this fashion across the board. Read this piece quoted from “1949, The First Israelis” (p. 68-91) by the Israeli historian-journalist Tom Segev. I think it puts to rest the claim that lands and property were gained by honorable means, wouldn’t you agree?

    http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story680.html

    #766 deals with control over elements of the American political landscape. If the quote is not real, the control still is. AIPAC’s ability to reward and punish based on the one issue important to them; Israel, is widely acknowledged. Add to that the fact that AIPAC does not have to register as a lobby organization of a foreign government though it should and a picture starts to emerge. Also, the amount of money in play is enormous and there is every reason to believe much of our own foreign aid comes back as lobby money used to further subvert the system.

    This is a good piece dealing with that:

    http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2006/11/blankfort-interview.html

    #775 deals with alleged racist statements by Israeli or Jewish leadership. Even if a few have proven less than accurate, the record of Jews/Israelis/Zionists in regards to the people they are brutalizing and displacing is not good. Even concerning the present, there have been many statements recently about the complete destruction of people and infrastructure, racist statements over Arabs with Israeli citizenship to get the hell out as they cannot be trusted (dual loyalty – a sore spot when leveled at Jews btw), new rules proposed restricting intermarriage, scorched earth type statements when dealing with innocent victims caught in harm’s way, and on and on.

    I would feel more confident that you and or Israel truly sought to clear the air and deal with facts if there were not so many misrepresentations of reports and quotes from the Zionist side. Some of the speeches by Ahmadinejad have been slanted, mistranslated, and misrepresented such as when he speaks of a regime falling and it is broadcast that he says the Jews will be destroyed. Granted, he has made statements elsewhere indicated his problems with the actions of the Jews of Israel, but fair is fair if you are sincere about getting the story straight.

    So where does that leave us? You listed 3 as far as I could tell, but let’s say half of the quotes I referenced do not hold up (whether they accurately reflect reality or not). Would you care to discuss in detail the ones that have not been debunked? I am particularly interested in the ones dealing with the early foundations of Zionism and Zionist thought (whether listed by me in my post or not). Some are contradictory. One says the homeland will not be created at the expense of the Palestinians, and the other says that the indigenous people are an impediment to the Zionist agenda.

    My point being that to chip away at the edges while ignoring those expressing unashamedly the plan to dominate and subjugate the locals commits the same “sins of omission” that the CAMERA Quote-busters do.

  • LanceThruster

    Lopakhin Says: ….. [crickets chirping...]

    I thought so.

    Feh!
    ~

  • LanceThruster

    Lance said: “And Jeff, you could certainly clarify elements of your position if you would comment on exactly what aspects of Zionism you find positive and worthy of support. Is it a blanket assent? If every action derives from fear of the extiction of the Jewish state, are all things permissable? Is a doomsday scenario with Israel going out in scorched earth fashion with nukes within the boundries of the allowable when “fearing for Israel”? ”

    Jeff says: ….. [crickets chirping…]
    ~

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