Naomi Klein calls out an Israeli thinktank for misrepresenting her views

Israel/Palestine
on 245 Comments
Maybe you remember the Israeli thinktank that came up with a semi-deluded battleplan to counter the "delegitimizers" of Israel? In a sign that the boycott movement is having a real effect, and catching on among people of conscience in the west, the Reut Institute has called for mobilizing elites in western societies to counter the grassroots efforts to make Israel accountable for its behavior.
 
Now the battleplan is being put into effect; and just who is Reut taking on? Well, here is a Reut expert, Eran Shayshon, speaking on the CBC’s morning radio show last month about the danger posed by two Canadians, Naomi Klein and John Greyson, the filmmaker who initiated the Toronto Declaration of last year. As Klein herself has pointed out in a different context, what Shayshon is doing is all about trying to "extremize" reasonable criticisms of Israel.
 
First I will summarize Shayshon’s ideas. (To get ‘em from the horse’s mouth, go 2/3 of the way into Part 3 on the link.) And after that I publish a response from Klein.
 
Shayshon says that there is an "emerging threat" to Israel in the "political arena" that Israeli leaders are not aware of, because it is in their "blindspot." "We call it the forces of delegitimacy, which are combined of basically two arenas. One is the Middle East base… an axis stretching from Iran to Hamas and Hizbullah." And this base is not "talking any more about storming Tel Aviv with tanks. They’re talking about the implosion of Israel from within," through the pressure of delegitimzing the state and using "asymmetric warfare."

"Parallel to that there is an evolution in what we call the network of delegitimacy in the west. In this regard, we understood that it only takes a very few places to carry the burden of delegitimacy of Israel– cosmopolitan cities mainly within which political institutions, media, NGOs, converge and create a kind of special global influence. Now a few of those– if you call hubs– carry an anti-Israel sentiment which stretches far beyond legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, and we call them anti-Israel hubs…
 
"Now the evolution of these two arenas are creating a detrimental feedback loop to Israel…"
Shayshon goes on to say that in the Middle East arena, the actors are "doing everything they can to bring down the paradigm of the two state solution." While, in the "west hub," they are trying to bring on the one-state solution. Toronto is on his list because of the Toronto International Film Festival protest, and because there are "significant individuals that reside in Toronto and that promote delegitimacy like Naomi Klein, John Greyson."
(Note that the Toronto Declaration didn’t even call for boycott, it objected strongly to the Toronto film festival’s official connection with the Israeli gov’t as part of the country’s rebranding in the wake of Gaza.)

Under questioning by CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti, Shayshon concedes that "these arenas [west and east] are not connected one to the other… however, we do see a linkage… [It is] not a headquarters based conspiracy against Israel [but] delegitimacy is basically the argument or trying to undermine Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state… Naomi Klein have stated it out. That is I think a fair accusation."

This is interesting too: Shayshon said that "Those who promote delegitimacy in the west are on the edges of the margin of local politics, [presumably a reference to blogs like this one] however we do think they pose a very great threat to Israel because of a few dynamics… First of all they manage to harness soft critics of Israeli policy…

They manage to influence softer politics thru BDS. And [by] deploying the lexicon of human rights."
Tremonti objects that Shayshon is trying to muzzle criticism of Israel. He responds that it "is very important to have… criticism against Israeli policies which are wrong," but there are some criticisms that stretch far beyond the legitimate. I.e., you cannot use the word apartheid, or talk about BDS. But as Klein herself has pointed out, many reasonable people have reached just those conclusions…
 
Naomi Klein responds:
What Shayshon says about me is a flat out lie. I have made a personal choice not to advocate any particular political outcome in Israel-Palestine. He can search all my writing and public statements, he won’t find anything. What I do advocate, and what the BDS campaign advocates, is for Israel to abide by all applicable international laws. Any political outcome — whether one state, two state or more — must abide by these universal non-discriminatory principles. Though I do have personal preferences, I have no secret agenda and would support any outcome that conformed to these principles.
 
Shayshon’s other big lie is his claim that I oppose "Israel’s right to exist"; indeed that I "have stated it out[right]." Once again, I challenge him to find one single example in anything I have said or written that would in any way support this claim. He won’t find it. 
This lie could just be slander, an attempt to inflict more "shame" on BDS advocates, as the leaked internal document explained to all of us recently. But I suspect that if challenged, Shayshon would simply claim that to support BDS is to oppose Israel’s existence, a claim I have heard before. This is interesting. Since the unequivocal goal of BDS is to force Israel to abide by international law, what Shayshon seems to be saying by implication is that Israel cannot exist within the confines of international law. I would never make such an argument but it does explain the recent aggressive "lawfare" campaign taking aim at the very existence of these laws.
 
One last point: if supporting boycotts against a place means supporting its annihilation (the claim being made here and elsewhere), what precisely are we to make of the Gaza seige, infinitely more brutal than anything BDS advocates? Does that mean Israel is denying the right of Gaza to exist?
 

245 Responses

  1. Citizen
    March 14, 2010, 10:58 am

    G-D forbid anyone deploy the lexicon of human rights. You can deploy it anywhere, with
    full approval by all Jewish organizations, and by Israel–just don’t deploy it regarding the I-P factual situation, OK? Good, I’m glad you got that straight. And, BTW, just think of what US grunts are dying for, not that that matters, and just think of US tax dollars going to rich Israel while Americans are increasingly living in the streets–not even with tents like Palestinians. Hey, what’s to knock? Brooklyn jews get a good financial deal by moving to Israeli settlements. Wouldn’t Audie Murphy approve? After all, the housing market is not so good in the good old USA….

    • potsherd
      March 14, 2010, 11:08 am

      What’s happening is that Israeli hysteria is actually delegitimizing the concept of human rights. Because if human rights don’t exist, then Israel can’t be violating them.

      Max’s report of Bolton’s comments shows how this is going.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:13 pm

        Interesting. If you delegitmize the concept of human rights, where does that leave
        Israel, or even the patented Holocaust? Where the Armenians have been for so long? And the Gypsies? How about Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Tom Payne? The Magna Carta? Even JC? Old S Africa? And its replacement?

      • potsherd
        March 14, 2010, 5:47 pm

        This is called the failure to think things through.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:13 pm

        Interesting. If you delegitmize the concept of human rights, where does that leave
        Israel, or even the patented Holocaust? Where the Armenians have been for so long? And the Gypsies? How about Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Tom Payne? The Magna Carta? Even JC? Old S Africa? And its replacement?

  2. Richard Witty
    March 14, 2010, 11:14 am

    I think you give Naomi Klein (and others) an overly easy path.

    In Toronto for example, a day before the film festival statement, Naomi Klein was demonstrating in favor of BDS and making headlines. For people to conclude that that statement and the Toronto film festival statements were connected is not unreasonable.

    Its not all that different than the brouhaha over the announcement of the settlement expansion embarrassing Biden this week.

    The appearance that the statements are connected, intentional, is a reasonable conclusion.

    • Richard Witty
      March 14, 2010, 11:17 am

      On your headline. I don’t know about what the individuals that you are reporting on stated, but the efforts of Hamas and Hezbollah and your and Naomi Klein’s efforts, are connected, only very very remotely in any conspiratorial reasoning (at least for you two).

      I think it is a very reasonable assumption that Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran relish the appearance of highly critical dissent against Israel, both in current posturing, and existentially.

      And, more than that, that they are anxiously, hopefully waiting for their opportunity to achieve power on the basis of the dissent, and to stick it to Israel and Israelis when the time is right for them (and beyond words).

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 11:32 am

        On your headline.

        Witty — forever rearranging deck chairs on the Zionist Titanic.

      • Ethan Heitner
        March 14, 2010, 11:43 am

        Dear Richard-
        You don’t know what the individuals Weiss is reporting on are saying….because you haven’t read the post you are commenting on?

        I think it is a very reasonable assumption that Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, the Iranian Ayatollahs all relished the appearance of a military invasion of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’athist regime, which was an enemy to them all. That doesn’t mean George Bush was working with them, or that they were working with each other.

        The BDS call is centered on international law and human rights. Hezbollah and Hamas are movements centered on Islam. Just because Israel offends advocates of both doesn’t mean they are working together.

        P.S. here is Naomi Klein stating very clearly that the Toronto protest was not a boycott:
        link to mondoweiss.net

        I don’t know why I bother responding to you, but it would be nice if you tried a little harder as the resident “loyal opposition” around here.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 1:23 pm

        BDS is pretty radical. Naomi Klein may not mean BDS as a racialist/political isolation campaign, but MANY others that promote it do. Its hard to determine which is the majority, or which has the actual power over events around it.

        Again, one of the great flaws of the BDS campaign is its vagueness in its goals, whether the movement seeks the rationally legal minimalist interpretation of its stated demands, or the opportunist maximalist interpretation of its stated demands.

        Another of the great flaws is in the disunity of the movement to determine if its discipline is to define NO cultural interchange (no dissenters as well as PR) or just opportunistically selective interchange. (Both are flawed.)

        Finally, in the BDS demands is overtly stated that BDS is meant to be “punitive”, meaning some form of collective punishment in the name of opposing collective punishment.

        Action must be assertive to be effective. I believe that there is a qualitative difference between assertive reasoning, vs asserting punishment. Punishment is a methodology of warring, deterrence.

        At least deterrence as a warring methodology is conditional, meaning that “when our reasonable demands are met, the punishment will stop”. In contrast, TOO many that are welcomed in the BDS camp hold unconditionally contemptuous views towards Israel, instead desiring elimination of Israel as a distinct state (stated openly by those that have the integrity to be honest, and not stated by many here included who have less integrity.)

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 1:29 pm

        BDS is pretty radical.

        Back that bullshit up. The rest of your screed is worthless unless you can.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 1:31 pm

        Perhaps it is wrong to be “unconditionally contemptuous” towards Israel.

        Maybe in a few generations, my childrens children will be unaware of Israeli settlers attacking Palestinian children in the name of their “settlements,” and then we can tell them all the positive and favorable things about Israel and Jews without them growing up to see “settlers” singing off key hymns to Baruch Goldstein, just as an example. Or seeing IDF soldiers wearing horrific t shirts glorifying the killing and worse of civilians.

        Of course, that is highly optimistic, because it assumes the conflict will be long over by then. Well, that’s in the hands of the Israelis and the Muslims.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 1:40 pm

        You are apparently unaware of Palestinian factions attacking Israeli children (very violently, bombs on schoolbuses as valid resistance?)apparently.

        So, yes memories fade.

        Does the presence of bombs on schoolbuses mean that all Palestinian civilians are complicit (even the ones that voted for the bombers in elections)? No.

        That is the distinction between dissent and demonization. Dissent identifies needed conditions for improvement of relations. Demonization is unconditional, permanent, beyond the imprinting caused by traumas.

      • Ethan Heitner
        March 14, 2010, 1:42 pm

        Again, you’re not trying very hard.

        While I dispute pretty much everything you just said as being clearly and unambiguously factually wrong, it is all irrelevant to your first two posts which claim that :

        a) Naomi Klein linked BDS to the Toronto protest

        and

        b) that it is reasonable to assume that BDS supporters and Hamas/Hezbollah Islamists are working in tandem.

        both of which are laughable claims that if you continue to assert deny your claim to be allowed to participate in a reasonable conversation. If you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to stop spouting random nonsense.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 1:43 pm

        You are apparently unaware of Palestinian factions attacking Israeli children (very violently, bombs on schoolbuses as valid resistance?)apparently.

        Nakba, Witty.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 1:47 pm

        Very well.

        If the US matches the contribution it gives to Israel with equal funds to Palestine so that it can buy its own weapons of war and not resort to such depraved terrorism, would you be satisfied?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 1:49 pm

        Its the danger of posting here that one’s words will be entirely misrepresented.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 1:55 pm

        You can feel free to stop at any time, Witty.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 1:56 pm

        That would be fulfillment to you, an arms race?

        When Palestinian becomes a full peer state, then it will choose to have an army (or not). The consequences to it if it engages in war with Israel as a state, is war with Israel.

        Of course, it could play the Hezbollah game of “we are part of the state” when the consequences of that are political advantage, vs “we are not the state” when the consequences of that are less opportune.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 1:57 pm

        Seriously, by all means. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. That should appeal to your sense of “justice,” right? The strong get to push out the weak, and legitimize that later by force of arms? Like Haganah and Irgun?

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 1:59 pm

        If the Palestinians are not allowed to fight Israel at all, even through fighting fair as I suggested, then what are Palestinians supposed to do? Surrender and accept the victory of jewish chauvinism?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 1:59 pm

        When Palestinian becomes a full peer state

        You actively lobby against that, Witty. You lobby against Israel pulling out its colonizing citizens and its military occupation of Palestinian territory. I’ve said that on numerous occassions — you insist that the existing Jewish settlements must stay, and it is the Palestinians who are required to bargain for whatever scraps of land in exchange that Israel tosses their way.

      • Mooser
        March 14, 2010, 2:09 pm

        “If you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to stop spouting random nonsense.”

        Witty pretty much gave up the privilege of being taken seriously when Phil Weiss went to Gaza, and Witty claimed Phil sold his soul to Hezbollah and Hamas for a few pieces of falafel.
        You’ll find it in the comments to the posts from Gaza by Phil Weiss.
        That about used it up, right there. And I think Witty said he was gonna tell Phil’s Dad what a bad boy Phil is, too.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:24 pm

        They should reconcile. Accept the Olmert offer of 100.1% transfer of territory.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:26 pm

        You know well that I’ve suggested the 67 borders literally (with the exception of the Jewish portion of the old city).

        Your misrepresentations of my views are sickening.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 3:31 pm

        “BDS is pretty radical. ”

        But the blockade isn’t.

        Hey Witty, was the boyott of Israel radical or do you miss the good old apartheid days?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 3:33 pm

        ”If the US matches the contribution it gives to Israel with equal funds to Palestine so that it can buy its own weapons of war and not resort to such depraved terrorism, would you be satisfied?

        Sorry for being picky Sunyata, but Israel doesn’t buy weapons, it gets them for free.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:34 pm

        The blockade is radical, as is the Hamas prior norm of hundreds of murders of civilians in terror bombings within Israel, and then later its “moderation” of shelling civilians in Sderot and elsewhere.

        What solution do you propose to that quagmire?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 3:36 pm

        ”Accept the Olmert offer of 100.1% transfer of territory. ”

        You mean the one that does not include any parts of Jerusalem?

        Oh and Witty, it’s 100,1% of 22% the Palestinians are entitled to.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 3:37 pm

        ”Your misrepresentations of my views are sickening. ”

        No Witty, it is your dohonesty, hyprocrisy, double stanards, and blatant racism that is sickening.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:43 pm

        “Blatant racism”.

        Back to “Zionism is racism”.

        If you are Palestinian, or Arab, or American, or whatever community you are a part of, I’m CERTAIN that you are both more familiar with and more sympathetic to your own community than others.

        Would that make “Palestinian resistance” racism? Possibly, or possibly not.

        The determinent to my mind is if you were willing to reconcile, to identify rational conditions to resolve conflict.

        You never answered my question (that I asked clearly perhaps 6 times) of whether your personal views towards Israel were of conditional acceptance or of unconditional rejection.

        Could you please clarify?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:46 pm

        On negotiations for land, I prefer the green line (with the exception of the Jewish portion of the old city of Jerusalem), with the rights of minorities in each community preserved.

        To portray my often-reiterated proposal as different from that is an intentional misrepresentation on your part Shingo.

      • braciole
        March 14, 2010, 3:46 pm

        Well Witty, the Palestinians learnt firsthand about terrorism from the Zionists who were the first to introduce many of the terrorist techniques to Palestine. That is why the current propaganda campaign to highlight Israeli innovations is pure bullshit -because they leave off the one area where they were truly innovative but making the claim that Zionists were the first to introduce car bombs to Palestine wouldn’t go down too well.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:48 pm

        Barciole,
        If you want to describe the conflict as mutual abuses, I agree.

        That requires the militants on both sides to acknowledge, “our militant positions were wrong, immoral.”

      • Danaa
        March 14, 2010, 3:52 pm

        Ethan, excellent reply to the local wit. note how his reply takes aim at the very ‘vagueness’ of BDS’ goals. Impugning that vagueness as a weakness to be exploited. Finding little by way of weaponry to do so other than postulating “insidious” linkages with either hamas, or hezbollah or Iran or some islamic boogey man of the day. On the assumption that if any entity benefits in any way from BDS – they can all be smeared in tandem – east and west, finally united, through some mutually assured construction pact.

        To me this shows the wit is not only sharing the vision, but reading from the same witless script Reut does. BDS’ critics all view the very absence of a specific political goal in BDS as their own achilles heel, since that makes it difficult to deploy the usual canards of equating commitment to human rights with calling for Israel’s destruction through one state or 2 state or whatever. They (feel in blank for “they”) keep raising the banner of “state your goal or forever be damned”, hoping to push various supporters to do exactly that – state a goal – so they can better be sidelined through fiery invectives of damnation-by-association.

        Obviously, it’s easier to play political football when there is a political goal to kick around. Kudos to Naomi Klein (who clearly understands the ecology of double-speak) for not succumbing to temptation. her political instincts have obviously been well sharpened through years in the trenches.

        The beauty of BDS is that it may not have a stated political goal, but it does have a center and a soul – which is simplicity itself – Humans have Rights, no matter who they are. All the witticisms in the world cannot hide that in the end the “critics” either (i) don’t believe palestinians are human, and/or (ii) believe that rights are conditional, depending on who the human is.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 3:59 pm

        Its a choice that a proponent has to make, whether to participate in the BDS campaign or not.

        If they determine that the costs and risks associated with it are greater than the benefits, then they might consider more appropriate places to put their commitment to the Palestinian people, if that is what they are concerned about in fact.

        Concern for the Palestinian people is important to encourage. Hatred for Israel is worth discouraging.

        Danaa,
        One of the ironies of BDS is that instead of asserting confidently, “all humans have rights, not just some”, it is picking some to have rights.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:28 pm

        ”Back to “Zionism is racism”.”

        It is what it is.

        ”’If you are Palestinian, or Arab, or American, or whatever community you are a part of, I’m CERTAIN that you are both more familiar with and more sympathetic to your own community than others.”

        But you don’t have legal authority to steal land from others.

        ”Would that make “Palestinian resistance” racism? Possibly, or possibly not.”

        That would be like saying that reisting rape is assault.

        ”You never answered my question (that I asked clearly perhaps 6 times) of whether your personal views towards Israel were of conditional acceptance or of unconditional rejection.”

        I answerede it about 6 times. Is the word ”yes” clear enough or do you need that translated into Wittish?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:30 pm

        ”On negotiations for land, I prefer the green line (with the exception of the Jewish portion of the old city of Jerusalem), with the rights of minorities in each community preserved.”

        Who gives a crap what you prefer? How about what is legal under international law?

        ”To portray my often-reiterated proposal as different from that is an intentional misrepresentation on your part Shingo. ”

        No, uyou’re a liar and a propagandist, thus there is no misrepresentation.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:30 pm

        ”If you want to describe the conflict as mutual abuses, I agree.”

        False. One is abuse, teh other is genocide.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

        ”Hatred for Israel is worth discouraging. ”

        That’s like saying that murderers should not be put in jail because it encourages hate for the perpetrators.

        ”One of the ironies of BDS is that instead of asserting confidently, “all humans have rights, not just some”, it is picking some to have rights. ”

        No it doesn’t. It is saying that those who oppress other’s rights shoudl face consequences, including those that allow them to do it.

      • Danaa
        March 14, 2010, 4:46 pm

        From the Witty:

        One of the ironies of BDS is that instead of asserting confidently, “all humans have rights, not just some”, it is picking some to have rights.

        But that is exactly what BDS is asserting. It is a means to bring pressure on the ONE party that is CURRENTLY violating the human rights of another. Palestinians ARE NOT depriving israelis of rights. You think they would if they could. But thoughts alone do not facts make, and the facts are what they are.

        BDS can be, BTW, as selective as you want to make it. You personally can boycott only Ahava products and others made in settlements – as many do. I can personally boycott presentations made by Ariel “academics” because I don’t recognize it as a legitimate academic institution. The rights of the individuals are hardly violated – the researchers, if they wish, can submit their papers and present them if accepted. But I don’t have to attend or quote or give credit to their contributions if I feel they do not so merit. At any given instant of time, there are hundreds of papers that receive scant attention. That I choose to exercise my god-given right to be selective in what gets quoted or who gets invited to what or who I choose to meet is my prerogative. In my case, BDS happens to be one criterion out of many that determine who and what to cite, especially when the choices are so many. It’s not much, admittedly, but every drop matters.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:48 pm

        Richard Witty, please distinguish for us all here your distinction between dissent and demonization as applied, for example to apartheid S Africa, and
        to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. That well help us understand your POV. Thanks. While your at it, you could even apply it to the German Amerian Bund that met in
        iconic NY places back in the days of Lindbergh and Father Coughlin (sic?). Heck you could even illustrate your thinking by assessing Beck and Hannity, not to mention Rachael and Obermann. Good job, I thank you in advance!

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:34 pm

        You know well that I’ve suggested the 67 borders literally (with the exception of the Jewish portion of the old city).

        That’s like saying, “You know that I’ve suggested rape is an abhorrent crime (with the exception of oral penetration)”

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:36 pm

        Lame comment. You want to divide only.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:40 pm

        Really? And who’s the one slicing up Solomon’s baby in Jerusalem, Mr. Wittypocrisy? Who’s the one openly rejecting UN 181, and every single international ruling on the matter?

        Ever the loyal Zionist. No adequate response so your only recourse is to attack me verbally and not address what I said.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:40 pm

        An even lamer response Witty. BTW you are the one oppsed to a single democratic state right? That makes you the divider.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 6:59 pm

        ”Israel does not have the means to change Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s positions or behavior.”

        Yes it does.  Israel can avoid war with both for example, by not attacking them.  In fact, Israle could push Hams towards becoming moderate by lifting the blockade on Gaza.

        ”Historically, every time peace has been approached seriously, they have intentionally disrupted it, to gain their own street cred.”

        Give an example Witty, so that I can debunk it.

        ”The vague description of the BDS demands are difficult to reconcile, especially when Hamas confirms that they mean to never reconcile with Israel, never to recognize Israel.”

        When did Hamas state that?  Of course, even if that were true, that would make their policies identical to Israel’s.

        ”I’m still waiting for the answer to the question to you personally, of whether your relation to Israel is an attitude of conditional acceptance or unconditional rejection.”

        I’ve answered yes 8 times.  How many times do you need

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 7:26 pm

        “Yes” to which?

        “Conditional acceptance” or “unconditional rejection”?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:28 pm

        Which conditions, Witty? Spell them out.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 7:30 pm

        If you want to answer the question, start with the question itself.

        Do you conditionally accept Israel, or unconditionally reject Israel?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:33 pm

        So we have to agree to conditions which you can’t even define? Or won’t?

        And you say BDS is vague?

        You’re a farce, Witty.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 7:34 pm

        ” “Conditional acceptance” or “unconditional rejection”?”

        Conditional acceptance definitely.  Conditional acceptance meaning, a contiguous, sovereign, Palestinian state with full self determination (which Israel has always rejected) along 1967 borders.  Right of return or compensation to the victims of  the Nakba.  Total control of Palestinian air space, land and sea for the Palestinian state.  East Jerusalem as the capital.

        Removal of settlements, unless the citizens agree to become Palestinian citizens.

        Now, how many times am I going to have to answer this question?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:36 pm

        Witty, how come you think Israel has every right to expel Palestinians from their borders, but Palestinians do not have that right?

        Are you motivated by race, or religion? I can’t tell sometimes.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:42 pm

        Also: no answer my question, Witty.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 8:09 pm

        “Conditional acceptance definitely. Conditional acceptance meaning, a contiguous, sovereign, Palestinian state with full self determination (which Israel has always rejected) along 1967 borders. Right of return or compensation to the victims of the Nakba. Total control of Palestinian air space, land and sea for the Palestinian state. East Jerusalem as the capital.

        Removal of settlements, unless the citizens agree to become Palestinian citizens.

        Now, how many times am I going to have to answer this question? ”

        Thanks. That was the first that I remember. Our conditions are far more similar than divergent. Were you aware of that, when you were repeating that I was racist, ignorant, lying on and on and on?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 8:22 pm

        How is that similar? You’ve stated Jerusalem is “the Jewish capital,” Witty. Has that changed?

      • aparisian
        March 14, 2010, 8:28 pm

        Witty you are a lame yourself, you are a fucking liar, full of shit. I stop reading your bullshit because i found it intolerable. Every day i read the news, i learn more about your racist state Israel and you keep spitting scum here man go Fuck yourself phony and fuck your racist Israel!

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 8:31 pm

        Indeed, aparisian. Witty routinely denies the Nakba even happened, and he has the gall to say his opinion anywhere resembles Shingo’s?

      • aparisian
        March 14, 2010, 8:38 pm

        I just can’t tolerate him anymore! he is hypocrite. I was reading this link to haaretz.com and this hypocrite is still playing Zionist games. He is not honnest, and he doesnt give a shit about peace. He is just fighting for Jewish supermarcity.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 8:43 pm

        How many mosques leveled by Zionists has Israel replaced?

        Israel is still leveling mosques, in fact. They were a prime target during the Gaza massacre.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 9:22 pm

        You guys are hysterical.

        In the last three comments, you put someone else’s words into my mouth. Perhaps you think of all Zionists as a type, and just interchange for fun.

        “He is just fighting for Jewish supermarcity. ” Now that was a revealing comment.

        On peace. I very much “give a shit” for peace, to be constructed by mutual recognition. I’m far further than Chaos imagines on understanding that the nakba occurred. Its just that that is not all that occurred.

        Peace recognizes mutual wrongs, and the construction and fulfillment of goals that allows for each communities health.

        Noting that attitudes are conditional, rather than unconditional, gives room for discussion, for application.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 9:31 pm

        ”Perhaps you think of all Zionists as a type, and just interchange for fun.”

        So you are not a people then Witty?

        ””He is just fighting for Jewish supermarcity. ” Now that was a revealing comment.”

        Not revealing so much as painfully obvious.

        ”I very much “give a shit” for peace, to be constructed by mutual recognition.”

        No, you want peace on terms that are beneficial to Israel, even if they disadvantage the Palestinians.

        ”I’m far further than Chaos imagines on understanding that the nakba occurred.”

        No Witty, the Nakba didn’t occur anymore than the Holocaust occurred. Freak weather is an occurrence.  The Nakba was perpetrated.

        ” Noting that attitudes are conditional, rather than unconditional, gives room for discussion, for application.”

        There’s no room for attitudes when it comes to international law. Laws are not interpreted  based on attitudes.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 9:23 am

        Witty, your selected words speak for themselves. Don’t hold your breath for many here to simply and silently nod along with what you say here. We are not, at this time, in a physical prison. Anybody happening on this site can judge for themselves whether or not responses to your words misrepresent them in whole or in part. If there is any danger here, it lurks in your use of the word
        “entirely.”

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 9:27 am

        Seems like you, Richard Witty, want to divide. Actually, your POV assumes
        a division from birth and in its scripture, does it not?

      • Mooser
        March 14, 2010, 11:49 am

        “stick it to Israel and Israelis when the time is right for them”

        Hey, Richard, it’s tough life. The colonial mandate given to Britian over Palestine enabled the Zionists to “stick it to” the Palestinians back then. And when the time comes, all the elite Jews in Israel will cut their losses, and move back to America, leaving the poor Jewish schmucks who can’t get away to get it stuck to them.

        Gosh Richard, aren’t you delighted your religion got into colonial projects? Doesn’t it give you a new reason to be proud of Jews every day?

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:55 pm

        Hey, you need to remember, Mooser, that Richard Witty is an accountant, with clients he needs to support by every step that he takes. Otherwise, why he’d be
        just an average American, no? You think his clients pay him for being objective in the name of US taxpayers? That would be like an attorney from either side of a dispute being his own judge and jury. All in the name of Justice, you know, that
        judge who was politically apppointed? Sort of, let’s follow the US Supreme Court
        candidates as we move down the decades from FDR on?

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 5:51 pm

        Hmm…that reminds me I need to pay my League For Fighting Chartered Accountancy dues.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 9:24 pm

        Wierd comment Sunyata.

        Are you here to join the fight against Zionists? To demean, rather than discuss.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 9:34 pm

        ” Are you here to join the fight against Zionists? To demean, rather than discuss.”

        Witty is prepared to discuss mass murder, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, racism, apartheid, but not demean it.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 9:44 pm

        First of all, I was merely making a reference to a Monty Python sketch. “Vocational Guidance Counselor” if you wish to youtube it.

        Second, I dislike how you think to contend with me. Playing the victim i.e. what you presumably wish to paint yourself as if my choice is to “demean” can only take you so far. I am right, regardless of how aggrieved you or other zionists wish to portray themselves. Tears do not prove innocence.

        And this is where you think to stand your ground and say “Indeed, now tell that to the palestinians.”

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 10:02 pm

        Inspiring group process on your part Sunyata. (Thats sarcastic if you didn’t get it.)

        For some reason Shingo doesn’t describe a suicide nail bomb in a cafe, school bus, hotel as mass murder.

        If you are going to oppose mass murder, really do it already.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 10:13 pm

        I do oppose mass murder, by whoever does it.

        But believe it or not, that’s not really my point, as horrible as those things are.

        My point is that it is clear that the zionist side wishes to paint anyone who is not totally for them as being nazis, as illustrated in recent posts, while at the same time daring to harbor racist feeling themselves. Even if you personally don’t believe that everyone who strongly criticizes Israel is an anti-semite, you don’t need to, you’ve found an even more clever tool: put people on the spot by trying to use their high mindedness against them, as you tried to do to me above, by saying that I am either here to discuss or to demean.

        Here’s your answer, Witty. I do not want to demean anyone. It is the zionists who wish to demean me, by insulting my good name because I don’t like their religion or their approach to governance.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 10:16 pm

        ” For some reason Shingo doesn’t describe a suicide nail bomb in a cafe, school bus, hotel as mass murder.”

        When did I deny it Witty?  i don;t recall ever making any reference to suicide bombing or cafe, school bus, or hotel.  Did you just feel the sudden urge to throw in that little non sequitir?

        But speaking of mass murder Witty, is is mass murder when it’s not a suicide nail bomb but a US supplied 500 lb bomb, or does that become self defense?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 10:19 pm

        Simple, Shingo — Witty applies one set of rules to Jews, and another set to everyone else (and as far as I can tell, a very special set to Palestinians that exonerates acts of collective punishment and ethnic cleansing against them)

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 7:56 am

        Sunyata,
        I’d recommend that you look further into your own motivations.

        It is possible to distinguish between Zionists. The thing that we share is that we believe that Israel has the right to self-govern rather than dissolve into something indistinct.

        The liberal Zionists believe that how we treat others is a component of our being, our identity, that it is important to both have a body (rather than dissolved) and use it for good.

        If you’ve concluded that you are at war with Zionism, then that is a done deal, and I hope that you will be honest enough to convey it, defining yourself as an “anti-Zionist” rather than supporting transformation.

        If you don’t like Jewish religion, and express that politically, that does correspond with a definition of bigotry.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 9:38 am

        Gee, Chaos, does’t the Talmud (not to mention the Torah’s poetry) amply supply a set of double standards? Just read the Torah’s back and forth arguments; note the assumptions common to both sides of the fierce Talmudic debates. Those angels (and devils) are really on the head of that pin–you need to realize the issue is only how many of them reside there.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 9:54 am

        Is the right to self-govern a right without limits? Didn’t Jeff Dahmer have a right to his independence? Where exactly does the island adhere to the main?
        how far under water need we go to determine that? I think you, Richard Witty,
        don’t go far enough with your snorkle and flippers. You don’t go deep down. Your “something indistinct” appears to me to be a cry for specialness. I grant you, it’s comforting to feel entitled, to appear distinct. Grow up.

        Undissolved, what is your body doing? Is it really good? Good for whom? Believe it or not, some humans likely feel they are as important as you. If they are right, what is really distinct about you?

        Do you like the Mormon religion? How about Scientology? Haggee’s faith?
        Islam? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Catholicism? All those religous groups have
        political power in various places. If you lived in Utah, and expressed concern
        about certain legislation or community activity there, would that make you
        a bigot? Were the members of the White Rose bigots when they handed out their leaflets? What definition of bigotry are you thinking of?

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

        I think it is a very reasonable assumption that the neocons and neoliberals relish the appearance of highly uncritical rhetoric concerning Israeli state actions, both in current posturing in the US Congress, and in the WH, and in the MSM, such as the NYT, and existentially.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:36 pm

        Who’s responsible for the current war in Iraq?
        link to veteranstoday.com

        Don’t forget to read the comments section below the article. It points our
        that Christian Zionists are also part of the negative agency, and those in the WASP portion of the Establishment that get their wealth and power from picking on Palestinians
        and Arabs generally, like Shrub and Chaney.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:30 pm

        Brilliant article, Citizen. Thanks for linking it.

    • Chaos4700
      March 14, 2010, 11:36 am

      Its not all that different than the brouhaha over the announcement of the settlement expansion embarrassing Biden this week.

      And what warped logical leap takes you to that conclusion, exactly?

  3. Mooser
    March 14, 2010, 11:42 am

    Israeli thinktanker says Naomi Klein is working in tandem with Hizbullah and Iran”

    I’m so glad Emma got a job!

    • Chaos4700
      March 14, 2010, 11:48 am

      LOL! Explains why she’s been so absent, I guess.

      • Danaa
        March 14, 2010, 4:02 pm

        Nah – I think she just shot her full store of arrows in one sitting. When none found their mark, went back to get some more. We should beware though – the modified “Emma program” when it returns, armed with the Megillahs of Vision (Reut)’s, the arrows will be poison tipped. I think the programmers are now analysing Donald’s responses to see if bits here and there can be converted into new ingredients. I can’t wait for Emma model 10.3x

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 4:05 pm

        The more likely reality is that she was an idealistic individual seeking good, and that you just alienated her.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 4:07 pm

        Its another irony that what you rightly criticize in Israel (exagerated reactions), your behavior illustrates even more intently.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:43 pm

        ”The more likely reality is that she was an idealistic individual seeking good, and that you just alienated her. ”

        How do you know Witty?

        ”Its another irony that what you rightly criticize in Israel (exagerated reactions), your behavior illustrates even more intently. ”

        What has been exagerated about Israel?

      • Danaa
        March 14, 2010, 4:57 pm

        Witty, I saw no indication of true idealism in her comments. Sorry – my detective nose told me she was an agent. Her disappearance confirms my (and others’) hunch. Were she truly idealistic, a few altercations would not discourage her. have you been?

        If I recall, she was treated quite well – all in all – and every attempt was made to credit her with her stated intent. it’s the single-minded zeal she displayed that betrayed her hand. This is not a trait typical of “idealists”. last I saw, most true idealists tend to have a hard time sticking to one line of reasoning.

        Which is why I suspect your motives as well, though I do see indications that, unlike Emma, you are truly self-propelled. Were it not so, the programmers would have pulled you off the job ages ago for some urgent maintenance.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 4:58 pm

        How many praying Arabs the American Jew Goldstein killed when he went home to Israel?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:23 pm

        Indeed, Ema was just a female version of Witty. Israeli terrorism was regretable, but we had to accept it as reality, while Hezbollah’s crimes were unacceptable and deserving of total condemnation and requiring comprehensive scruitiny.

        For her, a house that was destroyed in Haifa was an outrage, but a destroyed apartment block I’m Qana was an unfortunate statistic.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:28 pm

        BTW Witty, Istael bombed sputhwrn Gaza this week, which is yet another violation of the ceasefire, but I suspect you’ll argue that it wasn’t because Hamas didn’t retaliate,and if they had,they would be yo blame for escalating the conflict, which would thus prove that Hamad wee itching for a war with Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:31 pm

        Witty’s idea of a “cease fire,” like Israel’s, is decidedly… Germanic. And not in a good way.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 7:32 am

        ” I think the programmers are now analysing Donald’s responses to see if bits here and there can be converted into new ingredients.”

        Actually, I wouldn’t mind this. Supposing Emma was a fiendish hasbarist working under cover–I want more hasbarists acknowledging Israeli war crimes the way she did.

        Emma says Hezbollah committed war crimes. She’s right. Since she conceded to the fact that Israel also commits war crimes, I want more such hasbarists out there. If some propagandists think this is the way to go, I’m happy to encourage them.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 7:56 am

        Donald,

        While I admire your intellectual acumen, I get the feelign that your intellecutal vanity has backed you into a corner and you are loathed to admit that you were fooled. Whether Emma admiietd to Israel’s war crimes or not is academic, because she was determined to avoid discussion about them. War crimes are acomplexed issue, because even if it was universasly accepted that Israel had commited them, applying any form of justice is another matter. it really is of no conwequence to Israel, where are accusing Hezbollah of war crimes simply reaffirms teh mainstream consensus (in the US anyway) that they are a terrorist group.

        Even smart people are wrong sometimes.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 10:00 am

        Yep, that’s why she totally ignored the larger context to the narrow issue she
        relentlessly focused on. Don’t think that’s typical of idealistic individuals; rather, they usually do the opposite.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 3:05 pm

        ” I get the feelign that your intellecutal vanity has backed you into a corner and you are loathed to admit that you were fooled. Whether Emma admiietd to Israel’s war crimes or not is academic, because she was determined to avoid discussion about them.”

        Thanks for the compliments, btw, though it’s mixed in there with accusations of vanity.

        On Emma, it’s unproven either way and I could easily be wrong. I still think it’s a step forward if hasbarists are coming out to admit that Israel commits war crimes and they only want to point out that gee, so does Hezbollah.

        As for justice for war crimes, I don’t expect that. It rarely happens anywhere, except in cases where it is politically convenient for powerful people. If Israeli officials were prosecuted, it breaks down the notion that Western democratic leaders can’t be war criminals, so Western democratic leaders who want the policy option of committing war crimes will support Israel’s position on this. What I’d like is for the average person to start seeing Israeli violence as being as real (and on a larger scale) as Hamas or Hezbollah violence.

  4. Sunyata
    March 14, 2010, 2:12 pm

    By the way…Witty, you said elsewhere that the US is not bankrolling things.

    If that is true, then what if the US government decided to join BDS and quit sending funds?

    • Richard Witty
      March 14, 2010, 3:30 pm

      The US should not join a BDS campaign against Israel. The reasons for the military support remain, and should.

      I think there should be some conditionality, proportional to unauthorized use. So, if .2 billion of the 3 billion that it received was used for unauthorized use, that should be withheld.

      The US should keep its commitments. If you wish to initiate a discussion of what commitments it should propose, that is a good discussion.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 5:07 pm

        I don’t remember such conditionality, such proportionality, being applied when
        it came to apartheid S Africa. In fact I am sure it was not done by the US government at the time, or by any Western government. Why advocate it now, and not then?
        Just what did the whites give up in S Africa? And didn’t that include volunteering to give up their Nukes? So, what’s so special about Israel? All they have to do is give
        up legal discrimination in Israel proper, and more horrible ethnic-religious oppression in their occupied lands. What’s so hard to understand, Richard Witty?
        Do you think “Never Again” applies to all humans, or only to Jews? Give us a clear statement on that question. Thanks in advance for sharing.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:16 pm

        Great point Citizen. Witty wants us all to forget that Istael has every means at it’s disposal to end BDS and that BDS is not some permanent arragent, unlike the blackafe on Gaza, which was implemented as soon as Hanas won the elections.

        The reality is that the only thing Istael stand to lose us their criminality and violence. Obviously Witty feels that Israel is weakened without these.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:19 pm

        The objective relationship between the US and Israel is DIFFERENT than the relationship between the US and South Africa, and the facts on the ground are different.

        Israel’s neighbors are still at war with Israel, after 62 years (that should change too). And, the US and Israel share close technological and intelligence relationships, allies.

        I think “Never Again” applies to all. I coined the phrase “Never Again. To Anyone, and not by my hand.” An important principle to apply in all of our relations.

        I don’t know how to apply it when others are attacking civilians. What do you recommend?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:21 pm

        I think “Never Again” applies to all. I coined the phrase “Never Again. To Anyone, and not by my hand.” An important principle to apply in all of our relations.

        I don’t know how to apply it when others are attacking civilians. What do you recommend?

        Then you’d be against what Israel did in Gaza, not for it. Same with Lebanon. Twice. At least.

        Or are you still in denial?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:22 pm

        The objective relationship between the US and Israel is DIFFERENT than the relationship between the US and South Africa, and the facts on the ground are different.

        OMFG! Did Witty just agree with Walt and Mearsheimer?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:22 pm

        Thats a silly assertion Shingo.

        Israel does not have the means to change Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s positions or behavior. Historically, every time peace has been approached seriously, they have intentionally disrupted it, to gain their own street cred.

        The vague description of the BDS demands are difficult to reconcile, especially when Hamas confirms that they mean to never reconcile with Israel, never to recognize Israel.

        I’m still waiting for the answer to the question to you personally, of whether your relation to Israel is an attitude of conditional acceptance or unconditional rejection.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:29 pm

        Historically, every time peace has been approached seriously, they have intentionally disrupted it, to gain their own street cred.

        You mean like how Hamas or Hezbollah assassinated Yitzhak Rabin? Or are you refering to November 4th, 2008?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:35 pm

        “Israel’s neighbors are still at war with Israel, after 62 years (that should change too). And, the US and Israel share close technological and intelligence relationships, allies.”

        That ‘s a lie witty and you know it. Have you forgotten about the peace initiative signed by 22 Arab states, and accepted by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran? Who does that leave to be at war with Israel?

        Or are you blaming the siganatories to that treaty for Usrael’s rejection of the initiative?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:39 pm

        Its a proposal for a possible action, not an action in itself.

        To date, 5 Arab states have exchanged diplomatic relations in some form. Egypt, Jordan, Morrocco, Turkey (not Arab), Dubai. (Are there others?)

        Currently, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, others are in a state of declared war (thankfully not active).

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:41 pm

        I agree that Israel should take up the Arab Initiative, to both clarify that it is sincere, and that it doesn’t disappear.

        It was negligent on their part to delay that.

        Again, the question to you personally Shingo of whether you conditionally accept Israel or unconditionally reject Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:42 pm

        You forgot Palestine. But then you always do, don’t you?

      • James Bradley
        March 14, 2010, 5:42 pm

        Israel does not have the means to change Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s positions or behavior. Historically, every time peace has been approached seriously, they have intentionally disrupted it, to gain their own street cred.

        Wtf are you talking about?

        Witty, I’d love to be able to debate with you, but its rather infuriating when you make up bald faced lies, or try to change the historical reality of the situation.

        Anyway, Hamas agreed to to the Arab Peace Proposal that would give you EVERY thing you ever dreamed of. Hamas, the most extreme group amongst the mainstream Palestinian groups is willing to accept less than 20% of historic Palestine and allow the Israelis to have the rest (even though the Palestinians are entitled to their entire country by international law, seriously talk about compromise!).

        How much BETTER can it get for you? What else do you want? Why does Israel continue to pretend this offer hasn’t been made THREE times in the past 10 years now, why does Israel pretend that this offer is not on the table as we speak? (and don’t pretend Olmert made an offer either, he didn’t, he merely floated an idea and added stipulations that would prevent the Palestinians from having EJ as their capital, no military, no control of airspace, no control of ports, and no borders with any other country except for Israel because Israel would be controlling the Jordan Valley)

        Hamas accepted the 67 borders, called for an end to suicide bombing, and removed the call for the destruction of Israel from their charter when they became a political party.

        Meanwhile, Israel has yet to accept the reality of a Palestinian state much less a Palestinian people.

        Seriously, don’t ever post if your going to lie about something that is BASIC knowledge.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:44 pm

        No one’s going to accept Israel on the condition that the ethnic cleansing and slaughter of Palestinians of their own homeland will be legitimized.

        Get that through your thick skull.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:47 pm

        You either have access to secret knowledge of Hamas’ positions, or you embellish their position. At the Arab League summit, they abstained from a position. (That is better than overt objection, but is not acceptance as you portray.)

        Last week, in “dialog” about the Goldstone report, Hamas spokepeople clarified that they would NEVER accept Israel at any borders, as Hezbollah has reiterated dozens of times.

        Wishful thinking is not the same as clarity.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 5:50 pm

        I agree that Israel should take up the Arab Initiative, to both clarify that it is sincere, and that it doesn’t disappear.

        It was negligent on their part to delay that.

        “Again, the question to you personally Shingo of whether you conditionally accept Israel or unconditionally reject Israel.”

        Witty are you suffering from some mental illness that prevents you from comprenhing the meaning of ” yes” as I’ve answers on 7 occasions?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:51 pm

        Hamas gave Israel a chance. The result was Operation Cast Lead.

        Israel has got to go, Witty. It’s the only way any of us see to stop the mass slaughter of Palestinians. You offer no solutions — except to turn a blind eye to the open air prison camp.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 6:02 pm

        ”You either have access to secret knowledge of Hamas’ positions, or you embellish their position. At the Arab League summit, they abstained from a position.”

        Hamas have stated they would accept the offer, not oppose to block it unlike Israel that rejects it, like it rejects the 2 state settlement and recognition of a Palestinian state.

        ”Last week, in “dialog” about the Goldstone report, Hamas spokepeople clarified that they would NEVER accept Israel at any borders, as Hezbollah has reiterated dozens of times.”

        Really?  Why not provide a link Witty? Or has that gone missing?

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 6:09 pm

        ”Its a proposal for a possible action, not an action in itself.”

        The only thing preventing it from being auctioned is Israel’s rejection of it.

        “Currently, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, others are in a state of declared war (thankfully not active).”

        False.  Lebanon have never declared war. Nor has Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, or Yemen.

        Why so many lies Witty?

      • Sumud
        March 15, 2010, 1:41 am

        Seriously poor knowledge of basic facts about the Middle East.

        Dubai is an emirate in the UAE, not a country. The UAE isn’t at war with Israel, Dubai doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel, not even convoluted relations.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 2:14 am

        But of course, because Israel is sending goon squads into Dubai to assassinate people, of course that means they must have done something to earn Israel’s ire.

        Good catch, Sumud. I missed that, but then Witty brings out the worst in me.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 10:19 am

        The Arab initiative was laid out for all to see and act on–a test of its sincerity would have been brought about by Israel and the US not ignoring it, which they effectively did. That’s not negligence, same as if wouldn’t be negligence
        if I offered out my hand to someone, and they ignored it. The lack of reprocity
        was intentional. The collective sovereign open Arab hand was left with not even a polite handshake, a mere gesture,
        in response. That you, Richard Witty characterize that phenomena as due to
        mere negligence is an insult to any thinking person on this thread.
        I suppose you characterize the recent announcement of more settlements while Beiden was in Israel assuring it we would stand with Israel against Iran with all options on the table–mere negligence too?

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 5:22 pm

        That’s nice Witty, but none of that was an answer to my question.

        My question is meant to show that, if Israel can do just fine without the US “bankroll,” then it should not matter if for whatever reason the US government decided to abandon its support.

        By the way, I don’t support BFS.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:34 pm

        I’m sure Israel benefits from the aid, and I’m also sure that if needed it could function well without the aid.

        The far right resents the US intrusion into Israel’s foreign policy, and would prefer that Israel not receive aid.

        Israel could not function without US Jewish social support though. Equal rights will not trump that sentimental loyalty among American Jews.

        An intersection of Israeli rights with Palestinian rights is really the only plausible political path short of war, which Israel would likely win overwhelmingly.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:38 pm

        Israel could not function without US Jewish social support though. Equal rights will not trump that sentimental loyalty among American Jews.

        I’m…. sorry. That sounded an awful lot like you’re saying you believe American Jews have an obligation to Israel that exceeds their obligation to the United States and their fellow citizens. Let alone their obligation to the human rights and dignity of Palestinians.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 5:43 pm

        I thought you would interpret it that way, in your anarcho-fascist reasoning.

        US Jewry supports Israel. Certainly not everyone, but Phil’s “hoping” that that will dry up in some way, even generationally, is a loopy assumption.

        Again, it compels the need for persuasion, rather than agitation and isolation.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:47 pm

        Can you just admit that you hate everything that America stands for and just get it over with? We already know you’re obsessed with keeping the Palestinians out of the Holy Land, and that you think democracy is only worthwhile as long as Jews are running things.

        What would you do, Witty, if the United States turned its back on Israel? Answer honestly. Which side would you choose?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:58 pm

        Better yet — you fled like a coward before when someone asked you whether you approve of the Revolutionary War that founded the US, when otherwise you were categorically condemning the very concept of revolution.

        Do you condemn the American Revolution, Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 8:05 pm

        “Do you condemn the American Revolution, Witty? ”

        A war 240 years ago I should laud or condemn? Do you consider that an intelligent question?

        Revolutionary war, any war, includes the willingness to fight and kill for an ideal. I guess there are some ideals that might be more important than my, family’s, neighbors, opponents lives.

        I prefer to avoid wars if reconciliation is at all possible. Don’t you? Are you willing to kill for an ideal, or suggest that others kill for an ideal?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 8:21 pm

        So you condemn the American Revolution? I just needed confirmation of that, Witty. Thank you!

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 8:21 pm

        ”I prefer to avoid wars if reconciliation is at all possible. Don’t you? Are you willing to kill for an ideal, or suggest that others kill for an ideal?”

        But Witty, you supoprted the war on Gaza in 2008, and that was certainly avoidable.  Israel had 2 chances to avoid war.

        1. They could have stuck to the ceasefire but chose not to.
        2. They could have accepted Hamas’ propposal to return to a ceasefire on December 17th, but rejected it.

        Yet, you supported Israel’s violation of the ceasefire and it’s decision to go to war. That makes you a liar and a fraud, bu we knew that already abotu you.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 7:48 am

        “So you condemn the American Revolution? I just needed confirmation of that, Witty. Thank you!”

        This is silly, Chaos. RW is hypocritical on Israel–that’s what you should focus on (and usually do). The American Revolution was a morally gray conflict–many of its leaders were slaveholders, as everyone knows, and some blacks and many Native Americans fought on the side of the British, because they knew what would happen if America got its independence. I can feel some pride in the ideals of the revolutionaries, but the reality was rather complicated.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:44 am

        I confess I was engaging in baiting, but you do admit he was being deliberately evasive.

        Because he’s painted himself into a logically fallacious corner.

        And in any event, I think it’s important to expose Witty for the fraud he is. Have you been paying attention all those times when he insists that the concept of justice is vague, to the point where the word appears in quotes every time he uses it? And his insistence that “Jews” (“Jews” only as he defines them in his warped world view) need to live a separate existence from the rest of us? And priveleged too, unsurprisingly.

        He’s attacking the very foundations of what American society was originally founded on. I’m simply trying to shine a spotlight on him so that he either has to make an open declaration, or withdraw in shame.

      • Bruce
        March 15, 2010, 9:42 pm

        It seems to me Chaos that you backed yourself in your own little corner.

        You are criticizing Witty for not supporting “the very foundations of what American society was originally founded on.” What exactly are those foundations? Seems to me the Constitution was definitely founded on slavery and the United States was definitely founded on a logic that had to lead to not only the ethnic cleaning of the American Indian, but even genocide of the American Indian. Kind of sounds rather like the original sins of Zionism we hear from you all the time.

        So if the United States joins Israel in a great Middle East War that Taxi says is only around the corner, which side are you going to be on? Still going to play the role of the patriot?

        I’d follow Donald’s advice and concentrate on Richard’s contradictions related to Israel. But then a declaration from you on the foundations of America would also be interesting.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 9:53 pm

        Oh, so you hate America too, Bruce? Good to know for future reference.

        For note, I think more people should have listened to Benjamin Franklin. He’s the reason the United States had the potential for greatness at all, and he should have been the first President (although Washington proved to be a reasonably good choice).

      • Bruce
        March 15, 2010, 10:47 pm

        You sure can throw out the questions Chaos, but you can’t answer any yourself. Don’t want to shine a spotlight on slavery or American ethnic cleansing and land stealing.

        And you certainly don’t want to say who you are going to support if America enters into a war in the Middle East. Too busy wrapping yourself in the flag and deciding who hates America.

        Washington was a good choice you say, but he owned slaves and he certainly engaged in ethnic cleansing. How do you reconcile the two?

        If I understand you correctly, Franklin is the reason America is great, and the others are irrelevant?

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:00 pm

        You know, I’d love to sit here and humor your silly little vendetta, Bruce, but contrary to popular belief, I actually do have something better to do than blog all day and night.

        You should take your, “Well if you say Franklin was so great than obviously you think everyone else was irrelevant!” straw man, stuff a mattress with it, and get some of that sleep you seem to be deprived of (among other things).

      • aparisian
        March 15, 2010, 7:30 am

        full of lies again Witty! Because this is exactly what BDS people want to achieve, they want “some conditionality, proportional to unauthorized use”. But you consider this anti-semitism, violence.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 7:44 am

        I get that Naomi Klein states that her involvement in the movement is strictly for social justice, and not racism and not puppet.

        Its a good commitment on her part, that I hope she continues and is able to in fact.

        I don’t see that the Palestinian solidarity movement is accurately characterizable in those terms.

        Aparisian,
        You repeatedly use language like “you want”, “you see”. Those are projections on your part. You don’t have a clue what I want or see, as you are only in your head, not in mine.

        You can rationally comment on what I say accurately, and maybe explain what and how you infer, but your “representation” is a misrepresentation.

      • Citizen
        March 15, 2010, 10:44 am

        Has there ever been any solidarity movement that you, Witty, would characterize as a movement strictly for social justice, and not racist, and not
        a puppet? Or do you think that all solidarity movements of the past were
        not good commitments?

  5. David Samel
    March 14, 2010, 2:29 pm

    Phil’s last point is quite significant. It is astonishing that Israel imposes a brutal siege on Gaza, depriving 1.5 million people of adequate food, water, medicine, fuel, and “luxuries” such as children’s toys, while decrying BDS as an existential threat. Can you imagine if anyone proposed treating Israelis the same way they treat Gazans? The howls about genocide would be deafening.

    • Richard Witty
      March 14, 2010, 3:30 pm

      That was Israel’s norm from 48 – 67.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 4:35 pm

        No it wasn’t. Israel received international suportr and recognition from 48-67, Gazans and Paletinians have not.

      • Citizen
        March 14, 2010, 5:16 pm

        So, Truman treated the Jews in the Brit mandate like the Israelis treat Arabs in the same land today? That was the norm? And Uncle Sam treats the Israelis like they
        treat, say HAMAS, or even the US-Israel proxy PLO? And all those US UN Sec Council
        vetoes pet the Pals? Dick Witty, you are insane; nobody woud care, except you
        are a socipathic guy. Good for you, you want your type of Jews to last forever.
        No matter the cost to the rest of the human world. You are just what every young
        US GI can’t wait to die for. Having fun?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:27 pm

        Really? And how many Israelis burned to death from white phosphorous between 1948 and 1967, Witty?

        Better still — let’s compare the number of civilians killed by Israel to those killed by all her neighbors combined. Or are you afraid to look that up?

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 5:31 pm

        With respect Chaos, it isn’t the number that really matters.

        What matters is the context. As far as I’m concerned, for Israel and Zionism to be as righteous as they portray themselves to be, even one civilian is too many.

        Idealistic? Sure, but with God, er excuse me, G_d, all things are possible.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 5:32 pm

        The numbers matter as far as triage is concerned. If someone’s bleeding from a severed leg, you don’t dress the cut on their cheek first.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 5:40 pm

        You are correct. Allow me to amend:

        The numbers don’t really matter to me, because even one is too many.

      • Shmuel
        March 14, 2010, 5:45 pm

        Anyone who can compare, let alone equate, Israel’s current brutal and deadly siege on Gaza and “Israel’s norm from 48-67″ is either a colossal ignoramus or a colossal liar. On the off chance that it is the former, Tom Segev, in 1967, does a good job describing Israel’s initial economic hardships (hardships any Gazan would give his eyeteeth for), the economic miracle of the early ’60s and the eventual slump he believes precipitated the war. Alternatively, one might speak to absolutely anyone who lived in Israel during that period. For the present situation in Gaza, a number of reports and eyewitness accounts have been cited on this blog; no need to rinse and repeat.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:07 pm

        David’s comment was on the reaction of the world to a blockade of Israel. The reaction of the world was relative silence.

        It wasn’t an “equation” but a response to a rhetorical question.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 6:08 pm

        Also, even if it could be compared, well…at the risk of sounding trite, two wrongs don’t make a right.

        One would expect a hilltop nation of priests to be more forgiving.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:09 pm

        What blockade of Israel, exactly? When has Israel ever been blockaded in any fashion as Gaza is blockaded by Israel?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:11 pm

        One would expect a hilltop nation of priests to be more forgiving.

        Not if those priests are armed with davidkas, Sunyata.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:24 pm

        The wrong that Israel is attempting to prevent is attacks on its civilians as has happened consistently every time the borders were opened indiscrimminately. There has not yet been a Gaza port.

        There is no good justification for a blockade of civilians.

        I guess you feel that you can influence Israeli behavior, whereas Hamas and Hezbollah behavior is beyond your influence, and therefore can be ignored.

        But, the conflict is constructed as a dance, a long one. So long as the resistance objections are stated in any possible interpretation of unconditional rejection of Israel, indicated by the phrase “Zionism is racism”, then Israel will rationally defend.

        As a civilized state, its obligation is to do so in a manner that inflicts the least violence on its adversaries and particularly civilians.

        The significance of the assymetric warfare inquiry, is that Hamas and Hezbollah and other factions are not states and are construed by solidarity as not required to abide by international law and are immune from criticism or immune from requirement to change behavior on the basis that they are “resistance”.

        The advocacy for isolation (BDS) and for one-state (revolution) muddies the prospects of reform and gives political cover to those that use threats as electoral opportunity.

        The history of the relations between Israel and the Arab world, and Palestinians, has been one of continual harrassment of Israeli civilians, not of acceptance.

        Its old.

        Its time for a change.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:27 pm

        The wrong that Israel is attempting to prevent is attacks on its civilians as has happened consistently every time the borders were opened indiscrimminately.

        Which borders, Witty? Original Palestine? UN 181? Post-1948, pre-1967?

        Which borders does Israel herself recognize?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:29 pm

        Between Israel and Gaza, the borders are clear.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:29 pm

        Golan Heights? Shebaa Farms? Jerusalem?

        Who is occupying whom by military force, Witty? You’d know what the Geneva Conventions mandate of Israel, were that you didn’t reject the concept of universal human rights.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:33 pm

        Israel is occupying the Golan, East Jerusalem, the West Bank.

        You haven’t heard my advocacy for the 67 borders as defining, assuming that the rights of minorities in each state will be honored and protected?

        Shabaa Farms is between Syria and Lebanon. Hezbollah uses Shabaa Farms as its “international law” excuse for not recognizing Israel, even as it has consistently stated that it will never recognize Israel in any borders, with the reasonable presumption that if Hezbollah has a veto power within Lebanese government, that Lebanon will never recognize Israel (in spite of the Arab League “promise”).

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:33 pm

        Between Israel and Gaza, the borders are clear.

        And on which side of that very clear border does Najd lie, Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:34 pm

        I don’t know what Najd is.

        If it is on the Israeli side of the international border, then it is Israeli, if on the Gazan then Gazan (not yet a state).

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:40 pm

        ou haven’t heard my advocacy for the 67 borders as defining, assuming that the rights of minorities in each state will be honored and protected?

        You don’t advocate for the 67 borders, Witty. You always insist that the Palestinians must trade land in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank for whatever scraps the Israelis are willing to throw.

        Whose military is in Shebaa farms, Witty? Has Tel Aviv ever been occupied by Lebanese troops?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:08 pm

        I don’t know what Najd is.

        Compare and contrast to:

        You don’t even know the names [of the previous Arab villages] and I don’t blame you, because those geography books aren’t around anymore. Not only the books, the villages aren’t around…

        By Moshe Dayan, in 1969.

        What happened to Najd, Witty? Do you know? Are you willing to find out? Or do you simply not care?

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 7:24 pm

        “You don’t advocate for the 67 borders, Witty. You always insist that the Palestinians must trade land in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank for whatever scraps the Israelis are willing to throw.”

        Perhaps you’ve been reading someone else’s posts and attributing it to me, or perhaps you’ve just imagined what I think, say and write.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:26 pm

        Okay then, you do advocate for the removal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank and from East Jerusalem? I want to hear you commit to it fully, the ’67 borders.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 7:29 pm

        I reject the requirement to remove the people, as Fayyad has similarly acknowledged.

        If individuals want to be Israeli, I would advocate that they move to Israel, otherwise they would be Palestinian citizens.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 7:32 pm

        So you don’t actually believe in the 1967 borders? The Palestinians have to live with having their homes removed and their families displaced by Jews like you? How did extending the offer of Zionist militants on Palestinian land to be Palestinian citizens work out in the 1940’s, Witty?

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 7:58 am

        “The wrong that Israel is attempting to prevent is attacks on its civilians as has happened consistently every time the borders were opened indiscrimminately.”

        They weren’t very serious about preventing attacks on Israeli civilians as they often attacked Palestinian civilians in the same period, and since the blockade itself was an attack on civilians. And they could impose tight controls on the borders (which means they are still occupiers) and allow much more civilian material in than they do. I’m not advocating that, by the way, because it’s still Israel lording it over the Palestinians. I’m just saying that if their first priority was the safety of Israeli civilians, their policies would be very different.

        “The significance of the assymetric warfare inquiry, is that Hamas and Hezbollah and other factions are not states and are construed by solidarity as not required to abide by international law and are immune from criticism or immune from requirement to change behavior on the basis that they are “resistance”.”

        On the extreme left you can sometimes find people taking the “by any means necessary” line. It’s stupid and immoral. It’s also not very different from the line you take regarding the Israeli use of violence and coercion. You are the one who leapt to the support of Richard Bernstein when he made his wildly inaccurate attack on HRW. HRW’s real sin was precisely the fact that it held Israel to the same standards it held Hamas and Hezbollah. All this concern about asymmetric warfare boils down to this–defenders of state violence want their favored state to have more leeway in bombing civilians without being accused of war crimes.

  6. Rehmat
    March 14, 2010, 3:19 pm

    Zionist regime’s “Iranophobia” is understandable – especially being humiliated by two Islamic resistance groups supported by Tehran, Hamas and Hizb’Allah. Hizb’Allah tops the list of the list of Israel’s fearsome enemies – so much so that Bibi called Hizb’Allah the “real Lebanese army” – an army which has no F16s, tanks or navy ships to fight the Zionist entity which boast to be world’s fourth most powerful army.

    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

    • Citizen
      March 14, 2010, 5:22 pm

      No true racist sees any difference between a Merkhava tank or F-35 spouting phosporous and a pebble thrown by a 14 year old Palestinian girl. Give the judge a
      good brand bottle over the Xmas holidays. You know the clerk. No problem.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 5:25 pm

        I wonder if we will go back to the days of the bible, when the 14 year old girls were ‘spared’ by Moses, while everyone else was slaughtered like barnyard pigs.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:00 pm

        Read some more history Sunyata. The mutual pains are long and deep.

        It takes a healing approach to heal, not a contemptuous one.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:03 pm

        Shmuel lived in Israel and he has authoritative contradicted the garbage you spout. You have no moral high ground on telling other people to read more. Have you read Sand’s book? The Goldstone Report? No? Huh.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:04 pm

        Also? You display nothing but contempt for the entire anti-occupation movement, Witty.

        Physician, heal thyself.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:14 pm

        I criticize BDS as punitive, vague, inconsistent, counter-productive, corrupting (in demaning that proponents cease asking themselves questions, instead conforming).

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:16 pm

        In other words, you hurl a bunch of invectives at it that fly in the face of established precedent. South Africa, ahem.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:27 pm

        Those are descriptions Chaos.

        Test them. Is that liberation or punishment? Is it effective or counter-productive? Is the movement’s goals clear or vague?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:32 pm

        They are unsubstantiated invectives.

        But you go right ahead insisting that people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu don’t know what the hell they are talking about when they relate what Palestinians suffer under to their experiences of apartheid.

        You go right ahead telling those uppity colored people what to think, Witty.

      • RoHa
        March 14, 2010, 9:02 pm

        No. They aren’t spared.

        link to guardian.co.uk

        (Cue for Witty or Yonira to bombard us with links to Arab rapes of Jewish girls.)

  7. Sunyata
    March 14, 2010, 6:04 pm

    Please, Witty, address my points directly, rather than your vague appeal to mutuality.

    • Chaos4700
      March 14, 2010, 6:06 pm

      He can’t. Literally. He can’t. He has nothing.

      Expect the personal attacks to resume from him.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 6:10 pm

        What points are you making Sunyata?

        Observations of history?

        Proposals for the present -> future?

        Which would you like me to comment on?

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 6:13 pm

        Well. Time to get out the sock puppets, I guess.

      • Sunyata
        March 14, 2010, 7:33 pm

        I suppose, an an overreaching point, I would ask:

        Is there any length that is too far for Israel, in “self defense?”

        Suppose that the safety of zionism could be assured, if and only if (no third options) the israelis killed children who had not even so much as thought anything opposed to Israel. Would it then be morally acceptable to do this thing?

        Don’t contend about the realism or the abstract nature of the question, just answer it as yes or no. It’s pretty easy.

      • Richard Witty
        March 14, 2010, 8:02 pm

        There is certainly is too far. Nearly certainly, Israel went too far in Gaza, and in Lebanon in 2006.

        You know the concept of ahimsa? Ahimsa is usually interpreted as non-violence, some attempt at perfection at that.

        But, to have a body is to harm to some extent. Realistically, the best option is minimal harm. And, relative to the blockade, the humane option would be charitable in attitude, meaning that the concept of punishment is not applied, that only helping one’s neighbor is applied.

        When attacked, and over an extended period of time, rather than conditionally accepted, that charitableness gets severely tested.

        Its a dilemma for a government, whose defined role includes prominently the responsibility to protect civilians from external assault. The question relative to a war-pursuing Hamas, or Hezbollah, is posed as a question of negligence to Israeli leaders.

        It is DIFFERENT than anything that most US citizens have experienced. We have been far from the scene of war since our founding. The only wars that US civilians have been exposed to close to home are the revolutionary war (1776, 234 years ago), the 1812 war (198 years ago), the civil war (145 years ago).

        Israeli wars and the Iraq war (missiles fired from Iraq at Israel even as Israel was not a party to the coalition) are at their homes. It is more intimate, and more important to deter.

        For Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, war between Israel and Palestine is far away. They can play at it, as we can. They can help others, or they can opportune.

        The standard of perfection is the standard that Israel seeks to hold Hamas and factions to relative to shelling of civilians in Sderot and Ashkelon and other communities near the border of Gaza.

        In contrast to warring, is the prospect of real peace.

      • Shingo
        March 14, 2010, 8:19 pm

        ”The standard of perfection is the standard that Israel seeks to hold Hamas and factions to relative to shelling of civilians in Sderot and Ashkelon and other communities near the border of Gaza.”

        That standard seems to include the right to attack Gaza even when no rockets are being fired.  Tzipi Livni explained why that is.  Israel does not want the ceasfire to last too long, becasue that woudl get inteh way of Isrle’s strategic interests.

      • Chaos4700
        March 14, 2010, 8:20 pm

        Because the experiences of Israeli Jews are privileged over everyone else’s in Witty’s mind. Even those of Palestinians? ESPECIALLY those of Palestinians!

        Compare and contrast the Qassam rocket with:

        The Davidka (Hebrew: דוידקה‎) was a homemade Israeli mortar used in Safed and Jerusalem during the initial stages of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Its shells were reported to be extremely loud, but otherwise of little value, besides that of using fear tactics against the Arab forces. Due to their extreme noise and horrific explosions, they proved particularly useful in scaring away Arab forces, despite the fact that they were very inaccurate. It is nominally classified as a 3 inch (76.2 mm) mortar, although the shell was considerably larger.

        From Wikipedia. Proving once again, it Witty’s eyes, its only okay when Jews do it!

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 8:12 am

        “It is DIFFERENT than anything that most US citizens have experienced. We have been far from the scene of war since our founding. The only wars that US civilians have been exposed to close to home are the revolutionary war (1776, 234 years ago), the 1812 war (198 years ago), the civil war (145 years ago).”

        Notice that Witty avoids the blindingly obvious comparison–the displacement, ethnic cleansing and sometimes outright genocide of Native Americans. That’s the parallel to Israel and it’s a pretty close one. You had terrorism on both sides, though on a larger scale by the Westerners claiming to be “civilized”. They would act as though they were just minding their own business when “savages” (that’s 19th century lingo for “terrorist”) would just irrationally attack them. So the dilemma was how to protect innocent white people from marauding swarthy terrorists.

        So for Richard, the Palestinians are ultimately the aggressor–Israel is just the innocent victim of their irrational hatred, sometimes reacting a little too harshly. Gosh, sometimes their charity is severely tested. And one can see his point. All they want to do is enjoy what they’ve stolen in peace, maybe steal a little more, build a few houses, talk about some future peace deal where they return some small fraction of what was stolen, but they can’t live in this sort of utopia because those crazed killers fire rockets at them.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 10:31 am

        I think there are many parallels of the Native American experience and Palestinian.

        But, there are some radical myths that I don’t believe anymore.

        First, I believe that the experience of Native Americans was ultimately a great tragedy, and not primarily an oppression or genocide.

        The state sponsored settlement of North and South America were corrupt, greedy, ruthless, genocidal. The popular settlement of North America and South America were of civilians, some escaping poverty and persecution, some opportunism.

        The majority of Native American suffering occurred as the result of disease, that was entirely natural when communities from two different worlds intermingle. Both communities bore no immunity to the diseases that they other had developed some immunity to.

        There certainly was dismissal and rationalization that the native peoples were inconsequential.

        But, the overpopulation and political and religious upheavals in Europe that gave rise to the need for migration, were not the settlers fault. The analysis of demon colonizers is jaded.

        Another parallel is that the work of healing is not completed. The Native Americans are still impoverished, isolated, find it difficult to assimilate into the dominant society, spiritually alienated.

        I don’t think it happens by assimilation as a dogma, but more creatively.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 10:57 am

        “First, I believe that the experience of Native Americans was ultimately a great tragedy, and not primarily an oppression or genocide.”

        Sigh. It can be all three. And yes, disease was the biggest killer, but that just means the rest of the process amounted to a mopping up operation.

        Also, I was careful in my wording. I didn’t say it was all genocide, though some of this depends on one’s exact definition. Most often, it was more ethnic cleansing with a high death toll and in modern cases people aren’t too fussy about the exact definition of the word genocide when our enemies are doing this kind of thing. In some cases it was genocide by even the strictest definition–the governor of California sanctioned genocide against the Yuki Indians (though of course the word hadn’t been coined yet.) I’ve got a book “The History and Sociology of Genocide” and they get into some of this.

        “Great tragedy” when used as opposed to words like genocide or oppression is mealy-mouthed. The pandemics that would have wiped out the majority of Native Americans even if the Europeans had all been William Penn–that would have been a great tragedy. The theft and betrayal and racism and killings and ethnic cleansing and sometimes genocide is something more than that. You don’t have to go along with the oversimplifications of some on the left (I was naively astonished as a much younger lefty to find out that sometimes Native Americans really did commit blood-curdling atrocities) to reject your stance as a form of atrocity denialism about what happened to the Native Americans. And one can acknowledge that people who came over from Europe to settle here might have been fleeing oppression. But I see where you’re going with that particular argument and why you’re adopting this viewpoint. It won’t wash. At any particular stage the European settlers could have said “Okay, our white predecessors took this much, but we won’t take any more.” Instead, it was assumed that white people had the right to take as much as they wanted. Anyway, talking about the crimes committed against Native Americans does not entail condemning each and every white American that lived here in the period from the early 1600’s up to the present. That’s obvious to anyone except maybe ideologues on either the far left or people like you, who prefer easily refuted opponents. But many Americans did have racist attitudes. There were also white Americans at the time, the Amira Hass types of their day, who spoke out in favor of the Native Americans and some in the government who were sympathetic, but it wasn’t enough.

        “Another parallel is that the work of healing is not completed. The Native Americans are still impoverished, isolated, find it difficult to assimilate into the dominant society, spiritually alienated.

        I don’t think it happens by assimilation as a dogma, but more creatively.”

        You really want to raise the necessity of assimilating Native Americans in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Fine with me.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:23 am

        But, there are some radical myths that I don’t believe anymore.

        David Duke is calling you, Witty. He says, “Welcome to the club!”

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 9:07 pm

        If you read my post actually, you’ll see that we agree on the very vast majority of points on Europeans / Native Americans.

        I have some white friends that literally daily say thank you to the former native peoples that resided where they walk. I do when I spend time with them.

        It doesn’t change the objective circumstances nor much of emotion, but it does transform the racism that results from overt hostility and neglect.

        It can be practiced relative to Israel/Palestine. Thank you for living here prior.

        It does not address the assertion of right to reside resulting from ancestral based claims.

  8. Sunyata
    March 14, 2010, 8:11 pm

    I am heartened to hear you admit that there are lengths that are too far for Israel to go to.

    • Richard Witty
      March 14, 2010, 9:33 pm

      Sadly, they go to those points.

      The art is to construct a path by which Hamas doesn’t go to its excesses, and Israel does not go to its excesses.

      • James Bradley
        March 15, 2010, 3:02 am

        When has Hamas went into the “excessive” lately?

        They didn’t break the ceasefire, Israel did.

        Hamas has been VERY clear that the Qassam rockets were in retaliation for the occupation and blockade of the Gaza strip.

        They have stated VERY clearly that the attacks will cease when Israel lifts the blockade completely.

        Furthermore, they entered a truce with Israel and abided by that truce to the letter. They even arrested rival groups for firing rockets into Israel (rockets that don’t seem to do any meaningful damage, especially in comparison to the far more numerous 2 ton bombs that Israel drops on the Gazan civilian population on an almost weekly basis).

        So again, wtf are you talking about?

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 5:26 am

        It is an odd interpretation that Hamas “retaliation” was not excessive and undisciplined, especially given that they have changed their behavior since (a good thing).

        As, it is an odd interpretation that Israeli “retaliation” in response to Hamas “retaliation” was not excessive.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 5:35 am

        ”It is an odd interpretation that Hamas “retaliation” was not excessive and undisciplined, especially given that they have changed their behavior since (a good thing).”

        They did not change their behavioir since. In fact, Hamas’behavioir has remained unchaneged since they agreed to the ceasefire in July 2008.

        ”As, it is an odd interpretation that Israeli “retaliation” in response to Hamas “retaliation” was not excessive. ”

        That’s because Israel’s actions were not a relationa not a retaltions, but a vilation of the ceasfire and a blatant act of agression.

  9. Shingo
    March 14, 2010, 9:39 pm

    ” The art is to construct a path by which Hamas doesn’t go to its excesses, and Israel does not go to its excesses.”

    There already exists a path by which Hamas doesn’t go to its excesses.  It’s called a ceasefire. Hamas stick to ceasefires.

    Sadly ceasefires mean nothing to Israelis.

    • Chaos4700
      March 14, 2010, 10:11 pm

      Until Witty acknowledges the facts — statistically verifiable facts — that it is his precious Israel, not Hamas, that perpetuates the cycle of violence, his platitudes will continue to be hollow and his precious Zionism will continue to slide into moral depravity.

      • VR
        March 15, 2010, 2:21 am

        In short form correct Chaos4700, in fact there is a little statement made by Naomi in her response that sums all of this up quite well:

        “As Klein herself has pointed out in a different context, what Shayshon is doing is all about trying to “extremize” reasonable criticisms of Israel.”

        This is merely a small echo chamber where this has been played out between RW and opponents. Talk about repeating yourself.

  10. VR
    March 15, 2010, 3:34 am

    Lets take a walk through RW repetitious “extremise” nonsense –

    “the efforts of Hamas and Hezbollah and your and Naomi Klein’s efforts, are connected”
    extremise

    “BDS is pretty radical.”
    extremise

    “BDS is meant to be “punitive””
    extremise

    “TOO many that are welcomed in the BDS camp hold unconditionally contemptuous views towards Israel, instead desiring elimination of Israel”
    extremise

    “unaware of Palestinian factions attacking Israeli children”
    turning attention away from Israel, in order by default to extremise

    “Demonization is unconditional, permanent, beyond the imprinting caused by traumas. ” extremise

    “Its the danger of posting here that one’s words will be entirely misrepresented.”
    extremise opposition

    “They should reconcile” extremise by oversimplification

    “The blockade is radical, as is the Hamas prior norm of hundreds of murders of civilians in terror bombings within Israel, and then later its “moderation” of shelling civilians in Sderot and elsewhere.” justification of Israel’s atrocities, implying they are sane, not deserving of “extreme” BDS

    “Back to “Zionism is racism”.” denial of racism means that mode of BDS is extreme

    “One of the ironies of BDS is that instead of asserting confidently, “all humans have rights, not just some”, it is picking some to have rights. ” extremise

    I could go on, and on, and on. Ring the bell for us again RW, our resident village idiot (as evildoer has dubbed you).

    • Richard Witty
      March 15, 2010, 5:29 am

      Each descriptions.

      Consider them.

      BDS is not mainstream.

      • Cliff
        March 15, 2010, 5:43 am

        Witty is from exactly the type of buffoons and crooks Klein says are trying to ‘extremise’ BDS – because not only does it work, but it educates people on the Palestinian perspective and from the get-go accurately shows people the relationship between Zio and Palestinien.

        Dick, only wants to prop up the status quo and maintain the ‘peace industry’ where facts on the ground keep happening, history denied, etc. etc.

        At least, this constant back and forth proves that you’ve lost, Dick. No one will listen to you except your own side, and people don’t need to side w/ Israelis to make BDS work. Israelis of conscience will come over. BDS advocates dont have to convince racists like you.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 5:49 am

        Well put Cliff,

        Witty needs to maintain the facade that he’s at the locus of the debate and relevant and that the debate needs his involvement to work. Poor thing. It must be hard comming to terms with your own irrelevance.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:49 am

        Abolition of slavery wasn’t mainstream. Neither were civil rights for African Americans.

        Thank you for showing once again what side of the issue you are really on, Witty.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:51 am

        Oh look! And neither was the American Revolution mainstream. Funny, it seems as though your axe has landed there again! Fancy that.

  11. Shingo
    March 15, 2010, 5:37 am

    ‘BDS is not mainstream. ”

    Which is not to say it’s wrong, and it is growing.

    The boycott of South Africa wasn’t mainstream either when it started, but it was certainly moral and justified.

    • Cliff
      March 15, 2010, 5:50 am

      exactly

      BDS isnt mainstream now perhaps, but as people are simply educated on the conflict they’ll come around

    • Richard Witty
      March 15, 2010, 5:52 am

      I think BDS is wrong, as are nearly all organized shunning efforts.

      The case against BDS is very easy to argue publicly for the reasons that I’ve sited. The tools employed to support BDS by cadre are fanatic, desparate and anti-democratic.

      They employ name-calling, threat, suppression of discussion rather than reasoning, rather than even appeal to consistent and practical principles.

      And also, rather than clear description of Palestinians’ experience, in a way that compassionate people can feel good about their intentions and actual ability to help.

      The vast majority of those that are inclined to pay really any serious attention to the issue are motivated personally to be helpful (to feel good about themselves) NOT to take sides, and certainly not to demean and condemn.

      To not see that is to remain intentionally inneffective. There is no revolutionary surge among American youth, and this issue will not be the motivator except to fanatics, and in a very negative way.

      There is a sea change as to the federal government which does not perceive that it needs Israel, like the Bush administration did.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 6:00 am

        No one cares what you think Witty. Sorry to break it to you, but you need to get a grip.

        If the case against BDS is very easy to argue publicly, then even you woudl have been able to do it by now, but you’ve failed miserably. To argue that BDS is anti democratic is absurd, because Israel doesn’t get a vote in it’s punshment. Everything about Israel’s apartheid state, it’s politices of ethnic cleasning, and occupation is anti democratic.

        And yes, things are desperate for the Paelstinians, so desperate times call for desperate measures.

        Israel has had 40 years of discussion and reasoning, and has become more fanatical, more extreme and more defiant in the face of international law and criticism.

        In reality BDS is a way to insure Israel’s survival, to make it a part of the world, not an isolated fortress state. You are disgustigly deluded. You seem oblivious to the fact that Israel is blocking practical aid to the apelstinains at every turn. They are even spitting in the face of the US. Israel is out fo control and needs to be curtailed and controlled.

        The simpel reality Witty is that you are afraid and theatened becasue BDS is your biggest nightmare. BDS woudl humiliate Israel and draw the world’s attentino to the cesspit of extremism and criminality that Israel has become. Your “beautiful jewel” would be exposed.

        BDS is the only way.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 7:25 am

        If BDS is the only way then Palestinians truly have no hope at all, because it does not have the basis of traction that anti-apartheid movement had.

        There is a genuine argument for Israeli defense, and there is genuine and long-lasting sympathy for Israel as attacked perenially by its neighbors, and there is genuine and deep commitment to Israel by many critical business, political, academic and other leaders in the country.

        Phil might describe that as a roadmap to successful dissent. But, it doesn’t have the critical mass to realize a mass movement, but only an angry punitive one.

        Shingo,
        I hope that you get that your position relative to me, proposing isolation, name-calling, is indicative of your failure to persuade. And, that if you think that persuasion is the name of the game in a democracy, that you have an uphill “battle”.

        BDS is a nightmare. That is accurate. I don’t like the prospect of racially defined shunning and isolation anywhere. It sickens me to see dissent propose it in the name of affirming democracy.

        If it was so confident a cure, I would assume that you (doctor) would be able to map out the treatment clearly and confidently.

        And, I agree with you that Israel has grown more radical in its own right.

        That is one of the reasons that I regard the investment in BDS to be so tragic, that I see failure rolling down the rails, in the name of opposing failure rolling down the rails.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 7:50 am

        Witty,

        You have no shame do you? Sucha pathological liar and perebial conflater.

        The anti-apartheid had little traction for many years, but that traction gathered momentum, the same way that BDS is gatehring momentum. The alterantive, which is what you advocate, is to sit nad so nothing and watch as Israel consumed and defacates what’s left of Palestine. The fact that critical mass has not been reached is no reason not to persists. After all, the option you;re in favor of certainly hasn;t reached critical mass either has it?

        to realize a mass movement, but only an angry punitive one

        There is no argument for Israeli defense. Israle has started every war since 1948, which was the last time it was attacked by it’s neighbors.

        Witty, when as you going to get it through your mind controller skull that I have no interest in persuading you? My commentary abotu your posts is not for your benefit, but for the others on this forum. As I’ve said repeatdly, you are irrelevent to teh debate and we are leaving you behind. You still insiost that the party is all about you, but you’re history.

        You regard the investment in BDS as tragic, becasue it’s tragic for partheid Israel. Too bad I say.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:04 am

        In contrast, every war except 1956 has defensive justification that are arguable if not compelling.

        I get that you don’t see that yourself, and that you don’t believe that the rest of the world’s governments and peoples see that.

        That is one reason for the permanent absence of traction of BDS relative to Israel/Palestine.

        The substantive reason is that the relationships are fundamentally conflicts, not fundamentally oppressions. And, the resolution is through conflict resolution modes, rather than resistance modes.

        Its a fundamental difference in thinking. Its a fundamental difference in thinking between the moderate left, the liberal left and the radical left, the racist right/left, the Israeli right and the Islamic right.

        I get that you are dismissive of those that disagree with you, worse than dismissive.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 8:07 am

        “In contrast, every war except 1956 has defensive justification that are arguable if not compelling. “‘

        False. With the exceptino of teh 1973 war, every war was agressive and there are no arguments that are compelling otherise.

        “I get that you are dismissive of those that disagree with you, worse than dismissive. ”

        I dismiss you yes Witty, as do all the otherson this forum, becasue you are irrelvant.

        The rest of your post is your signature vacuous waffle.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:16 am

        1948 was defensive. 1967 was primarily defensive. 1973 was definitively defensive. Even the invasion of Lebanon was arguably defensive in origination.

        You should read more than just propaganda.

        All wars unleash unrestricted violence, and unrestricted opportunism, and in multiple parties.

        Surely, you are aware of that.

        The effort to make those conflicts into oppressions will be an Orwellian revisionism. I pray that the BDS movement is not that politically correct to impose forgetfullness on cadre, sympathizers, students, scholars, leaders.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 8:38 am

        “1948 was defensive. 1967 was primarily defensive. 1973 was definitively defensive. Even the invasion of Lebanon was arguably defensive in origination.”

        The war in 1948 started in 1947 and it’s hard to say who fired the first shot between Palestinians and Zionists. The Arab countries intervened after hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had already been displaced and/or forced out of their homes. Israel then escalated its ethnic cleansing campaign towards the end of the war.

        1967 is complicated. I gather that Nasser shot himself in the foot, basically giving Israel a pretext with his bellicose rhetoric.

        1982 was Israeli aggression–there’d been a ceasefire in place. An Israeli ambassador was attacked by a splinter faction of the PLO and that was the pretext. There had been plenty of violence in both directions before, though as always Arab civilians were the numerically the main victims of Israeli war crimes.

        One should also distinguish between leaders and civilians (on both sides). One can have a low opinion of this or that (or most) Arab leaders while also recognizing that Israel uses their crimes (real or imagined) as a cover for its own crimes. Which is normal enough. The big problem in the US is that the history has been taught to us as some sort of pseudo-biblical morality play, with innocent little Israel defending itself from hordes of fanatically hostile Arabs.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 3:29 pm

        Witty,

        Take your own advice. You should read more than just propaganda. You refuse to read anything that does not paint Israle is a glowing light.

        The 1967 war was started by Israel. Both Rabin and Begin admitted that Nasser was not abot to attack and was no threat.

        The 1973 was a hangover of the ’67 war.

        The fact that wars unleash unrestricted violence is irrelevant, thought it explain why Israel prefers to pick fights with uananrmed opponents.

        Your lies arew becomming boring and predictable Witty. You need mnew material.

  12. Cliff
    March 15, 2010, 6:25 am

    All protest, all boycotting, etc. will divide people. That’s not unfortunate, because people should be shunned and divided if they are behaving like criminals or supporting criminals.

    Israel should be shunned, it should be boycotted and isolated. It does not follow the law, it constantly commits crimes with the full-knowledge that it is committing crimes.

    Etc. etc.

    So Dick is right in one regard, BDS does identify Israel as a criminal State. And it’s true.

    So basically, BDS is bad PR for Israel and it makes those poor poor occupiers and colonizers aware of their criminality.

    • Richard Witty
      March 15, 2010, 7:33 am

      Cliff,
      I’ve been around. I’ve seen dissent go sour, to evil. Specifically, I met and interviewed proponents of two revolutionary movements in the early 80’s, Nicaraguan revolutionaries and Iranian that turned.

      I attended a press conference at the Nicaraguan embassy in 1980, in which Ortega’s brother made a presentation along with 4 other leaders of the anti-Somoza revolution. Six months later (I don’t remember the dates exactly), 2 of the presenters had been purged and executed. Similarly, with Iranian students groups in DC at about the same time. Individuals that I had conversed with were later purged and murdered.

      On some basis, racial maybe, cultural likely, political certainly.

      All for righteous zeal, blind though. Profoundly differing with the elements of what I regard as the focus of social change.

      I dont’ believe in revolution for that reason.

      BDS is also bad PR for humane dissent in this case, and in most.

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2010, 7:57 am

        BDS is the best PR for humane dissent, because it legitimizes dissent and delegitimizes teh oppressor.

        That’s the only reason you’re opposed to ir Witty. After all, you are a big fan of BDS as applied to Gaza, so you know it works.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:11 am

        Again, your inference of “fan” is a projection on your part.

        I am a fan of reconciliation, and the mapping and realization of a path to accomplish that in fact.

        And, I am a fan of the concept and reality of Israeli self-governance (as a haven for Jews in the world).

        The only basis that BDS has any merit is in its role as communication, education, information. But, that implies that information is to be conveyed, as distinct from propaganda.

        And, that the punitive elements of the campaign be the SMALLEST portion of it.

        Yes, I am afraid of war in the middle east, and yes, primarily for my civilian friends and family, but not only for my friends and family by any means at all.

        And, I observe that the ideological proponents of BDS are not afraid of war, are enthusiastically pushing forward full speed ahead, vaguely, punitively, less than attentively and less than ethically.

      • James North
        March 15, 2010, 8:17 am

        Richard: Please name the two Sandinista presenters you say were purged and executed. Be careful: not even Ronald Reagan and Oliver North made this charge.)

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:19 am

        I don’t remember their names. It was 1980.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 8:27 am

        I think that might have been Salvadoran revolutionaries you’re thinking of, but I’m not sure. I vaguely recall some internal murders in their movement.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:28 am

        I was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nicaraguan revolution, particularly the presence of liberation theology proponents, artists, women’s movement conspicuously in the Nicaraguan leadership.

        I didn’t discover the deaths of the two individuals until the late 80’s, from a friend who had worked on the same paper. It changed me.

        I first heard of the Iranian purges at about the same time.

      • James North
        March 15, 2010, 8:30 am

        Richard: I am very disappointed in you. I know a lot about Nicaragua; I’ve visited it several times, beginning in 1975, and I’ve never, ever heard the Sandinistas accused of executing their opponents as you charge.
        Until now, I’ve regarded you as an honest man, who was courageous enough to put his views forward in an often hostile forum. But the kind of irresponsible, unfounded charge you casually put forward about Nicaragua raises big doubts about whether I can believe you about anything else.
        Let me also point out that you are violating your own ethics. You constantly deplore harsh language, and call for persuasion — and then you accuse a political movement of murder with no evidence.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:39 am

        I continued support for Latin American solidarity, including supporting and serving as PAC treasurer in 1983 (or 82) on a non-binding initiative campaign in Portland, OR against US intervention in El Salvador.

        I really hadn’t had much contact with party oriented left politics until that year. Most of my involvement with solidarity movements to that point were with artists, musicians, theological.

        In that year, I worked in a French restaurant staffed by RCP and SWP proponents, who were good individual friends, but dogmatic when political approaches were discussed. Many of the people involved with the El Salvador campaign were SWP, again mostly really good friends personally, with the potential for bitter party discipline when politics came in.

        I don’t know how the RCP and SWP people worked together in this restaurant, as their politics conflicted often.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 8:46 am

        I’m sorry that in this case I don’t have the means to research the names.

        I didn’t see their bodies or anything close to that level of substantiation. I was told by an individual that I considered reliable.

        You’re right James. Maybe I shouldn’t have thought of or presented that as truth as I didn’t have verifiable evidence. I personally believe that it did occur.

        I attempted to google on the 1980 press conference that I attended, and couldn’t find any reference to it.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 8:55 am

        RCP? Revolutionary Communist Party?

        I knew a couple of people in that group in the early 80’s. Or rather, I was friends with one and he introduced me to a couple more that I saw once, plus he gave me copies of their newspaper. Total whack jobs. Take the silliest stereotypes of the far left that you’d find in either “Commentary” or “The National Review” and the RCP is doing its level best to live up to them.

      • David Samel
        March 15, 2010, 9:00 am

        James North, you make an interesting point about Witty, about him being an honest man, courageous to express contrary opinions in this forum. It would be nice if he were, and while I think there still would be a harsh and acrimonious response from other commenters to an honest pro-Israel sentiment, I would respond respectfully. But I discovered a while back that Witty is truly reckless. He has several times responded to my articles with truly dishonest criticism, and I am not surprised at the factual claim he makes about Nicaragua here. You may have noticed that Witty’s comments are often filled with typos and are hard to follow. The content of his posts is similarly off the cuff. Even if he thought he remembered something about Sandinista executions, it would have been a relatively easy task to quickly confirm it before making that accusation in a public forum. But Witty can’t be bothered with that. He shoots from the hip and has terrible aim.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 9:34 am

        My comments are in the context of how I formed my views about revolutionary movements, that I consider BDS as currently constructed an example of.

        Hearing of the Nicaraguan and Iranian purges, close to home of individuals that I had met, changed me.

        David,
        The web is ambiguously a publication forum. Neither I, nor most that post here, fact check. It is a rapid response setting, off the cuff. I attempt to be honest about what I know, and how I came to understand as I do.

        If I missed your point in cases, you can follow up, clarify. I am interested in speaking of what you know from what source and perspective.

  13. Donald
    March 15, 2010, 8:48 am

    “Until now, I’ve regarded you as an honest man, who was courageous enough to put his views forward in an often hostile forum.”

    Good lord, James. RW has ideologically driven double standards on human rights–when he speaks in generalities I often agree with him and even agree with part of his point here, which is that violent revolutions often end badly, but he adopts double standards that let Israel off the hook and there’s nothing admirable about this even if he is outnumbered. He obviously comes here and argues the way he does because nothing anybody says penetrates his ideological barriers. But in this case I think it’s a simple case of misinformation or mixed up memory. It’s been a long time since I read much about the Central American wars of the 80’s, but I do vaguely recall there being one or two Salvadoran left leaders who were murdered by fellow lefties (as opposed to the vastly larger number murdered by death squads) and I would bet Witty has some garbled recollection of that event.

    • Richard Witty
      March 15, 2010, 9:45 am

      I consider my views to be consistent and consistently stated.

      To summarize, I support the existence and safety of Israel as Israel, and regard defense towards that end as valid and essential.

      I support the formation of a Palestinian state at the green line (with the exception of the Jewish portion of the old city of Jerusalem).

      I support the reform of Israeli policies to a full and consistent democracy.

      I believe that external punitive measures are a counter-productive, and the persuasion of the Israeli public, the Palestinian public, and the American public is the only valid and likely successful means of accomplishing justice there that is more than just a pendulum swinging.

      On my recollection. It is that I was told by a colleague at a progressive collective paper that I was part of, that 2 members of a delegation at the Nicaraguan embassy that we saw present and spoke with privately had been purged and killed.

      • Richard Witty
        March 15, 2010, 9:50 am

        I apologize for repeating hearsay rather than holding myself to the standard of skepticism that I insist on of others.

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 10:14 am

        “To summarize, I support the existence and safety of Israel as Israel, and regard defense towards that end as valid and essential.”

        “Israel as Israel” presumably means the ethnic cleansing which resulted in the current demographic balance (with Jews in the majority) has to be maintained. It’s up to the Palestinians to decide what they are willing to accept. If they wish to have a separate state, then that’s their business. If they want their right of return, nobody can take it away.

        As for defense, if Israel ever made defense of its own citizens its top priority it wouldn’t treat ordinary Palestinians like dirt and it wouldn’t continually provoke them with its own larger scale terrorism. As it stands, it’s like saying a Mafia chief has the right to defend innocent members of his family. Well, sure, but maybe if he cares so much about his innocent children he wouldn’t be murdering and stealing on his own account and also setting such a bad example.

        “I believe that external punitive measures are a counter-productive, and the persuasion of the Israeli public, the Palestinian public, and the American public is the only valid and likely successful means of accomplishing justice there that is more than just a pendulum swinging.”

        Which would be fine, except that you downplay the findings of human rights groups about Israeli crimes and sympathize with the attackers of human rights groups, so your mode of persuasion seems to involve liberal coats of whitewash. Even if your intentions were purely good (and in reality they’re partly blind allegiance to an ideology, as Orwell describes), this approach would backfire. When you tell the truth about Hamas terrorism and downplay Israeli brutality, inevitably people start seeing the Palestinians as the primary obstacle to peace. They will criticize “settlements” as unhelpful, but they will condemn “terror” by Palestinians. The framing is clearly prejudicial against Palestinians and that’s how it has worked out for decades. The US is not going to be an honest broker with this sort of bias present. When roadblocks appear and violence breaks out, invariably the Palestinians will be blamed no matter what the facts, because everyone in the mainstream is predisposed to say that illegitimate violence comes from the Palestinians.

        But you won’t acknowledge this–it cuts too close to your ideology. Start acknowledging that Israel is often the instigator of violence and the practitioner of it on a much larger scale and it is a threat to your whole belief system.

        On the Sandinista thing, I think that was sloppy, but most people are sloppy at one point or other.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 11:34 am

        He’s only apologizing because you held his feet to the fire, Donald. He knows full well he was spouting bullshit.

        Look at it Donald, seriously. It’s fucking cookie cutter. “Oh, well I was a supporter of Palestinians liberation until such-and-such made-up incident. I was a supporter of Nicaraguan liberation until such-and-such made-up incident. I was a supporter of Iranian liberation until…”

      • Donald
        March 15, 2010, 2:54 pm

        I’ll reply to one of your other posts here, because this thread is so painfully long it’s hard to find anything.

        On the Revolutionary War thing, I know you’re trying to shame him and I do it too–try to pin him down on moral issues. But we both know it’s not going to work. He’s committed to his version of Zionism and it’s like a deeply held religious belief and he’s not going to change, or not because people expose his illogic online. The justification for us spending time on him (if there is one) is that it’s for the sake of lurkers, or it’s good practice in refuting commonly used arguments or something like that. The Revolutionary War is tangential and he actually made a decent point–why take a position on some war 200 something years ago?

        On this argument, yeah, there is the pattern you mention, but he flubbed the Sandinista thing accidentally, I think. There are other lefty causes he could use instead to illustrate the dangers of getting too enthused about revolutionaries. There’s some truth in that (of course he doesn’t apply it to his own glorious ethnic cleansers of 1948).

        Now to find the other post by someone else I wanted to reply to.

      • Chaos4700
        March 15, 2010, 3:06 pm

        I think it matters for that greater audience, Donald, insofar as that greater audience is likely to be composed primarily of American citizens, and I dare say they should very much like to know what people like Witty really think. But the only way to do that is to give them a context they understand.

        Ergo, the American Revolutionary War.

  14. VR
    March 15, 2010, 8:49 am

    He can only oblige, RW as his mental state deteriorates like all that support Zionism –

    “BDS is a nightmare.” extremise

    “I’ve been around. I’ve seen dissent go sour, to evil.” extremise

    “BDS is also bad PR for humane dissent in this case, and in most.” extremise

    “information is to be conveyed, as distinct from propaganda.” extremise

    “I observe that the ideological proponents of BDS are not afraid of war” extremise

    Anything for Israel, RW plays Quasimodo for Israel, ring the bell RW, ring that bell –

    RING THE BELL!

  15. VR
    March 15, 2010, 9:01 am

    One other important quote from Naomi –

    “But I suspect that if challenged, Shayshon would simply claim that to support BDS is to oppose Israel’s existence, a claim I have heard before. This is interesting. Since the unequivocal goal of BDS is to force Israel to abide by international law, what Shayshon seems to be saying by implication is that Israel cannot exist within the confines of international law. ”

    Only one disagreement here, Israel “refuses” to live, or exist, within the confines of International Law.

  16. VR
    March 15, 2010, 10:00 am

    Of course, we could look at this from a different angle – there has never been a US elite in history that has been subject to international law, or to be frank, to any law. Since Israel is the apple of this elites eye why should it be subjected to this “restriction?” But than again, most that post here see nothing wrong with this systemic issue – perhaps they believe once they have routed this elite, that they will lounge in the arms of some benevolent elite that will succor them and sooth their wounds. Uh oh, there I go again touching on the unspeakable – espousing that “rabid communism,” or whatever other nonsense people can think of. Why don’t you wake up?

    • VR
      March 15, 2010, 10:13 am

      This is because Israel is the colonial baby of an elite here in the states, and what baby wants baby gets. Just like others elite colonial projects from other nations were supported – why don’t you ask the lords of the English about Africa, or India (in the time). That is what Israel means every time they speak about that “special relationship” with that smirk on their faces, they are in the colonial cradle. Thios in government here are only “doing their job” which is to fawn over elite desires, whatever they may be. Oh, were you under the impression that these government representatives (for the most part) served the people? banish the thought from your minds.

  17. Chaos4700
    March 15, 2010, 11:27 am

    VR’s got Witty nailed. The way he’s going around slandering us all over and over and over again is highly demonstrative of exactly the sort of demonization Naomi Klein is talking about.

    Witty is a one man neocon Israeli think tank.

    • VR
      March 15, 2010, 1:14 pm

      There is another analogy that RW excessive blathering and bad mouthing opposition to Israel in regard to BDS is like, see if you see what I see…lol

      I CAN

      hehe

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