‘Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ says violent resistance is natural response of people humiliated by collective punishment

Israel/Palestine
on 62 Comments

One of the wonderful things about the Israel/Palestine issue is that when folks wake up and see Palestinians as fellow human beings, they tend to move fairly quickly toward ideas of liberation. It’s happening all over. Here’s a great piece by anthropologist Hugh Gusterson, in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of all places, slamming Israel’s "sledgehammer" policy of collective punishment as a response to Palestinian resistance. And describing with great sympathy the corner that Israeli expansionism has placed Palestinians in. And, finally, celebrating the international "freedom riders" whose presence is so vital to the Palestinian cause. 

Notice how Gusterson, animated by sympathy, rationalizes if he does not condone violent resistance:

But Palestinians–watching bulldozers destroy the family livelihood, or the humiliation of their sisters at checkpoints, or the maiming of teenagers at street protests–are not rational actors calculating the costs and benefits of further violence. They are enraged and humiliated human beings who are embittered by life under collective punishment and determined not to surrender the one thing left to them: the ability to resist. Unless Israel wants an endless emergency, a permanent cycle of violence, their Palestinian strategy is failing miserably.

At this point some readers will argue that I have not put the blame where it truly belongs: with the Palestinian terrorists. To be sure, Palestinian militants have committed terrible crimes: blowing up civilians on buses, and randomly rocketing the homes of innocents. But Budrus dramatizes the no-win situation within which Israel has imprisoned the Palestinians. If the Palestinians resist the occupation with violence, they are condemned as terrorists, they are shot at, imprisoned, blockaded, their homes destroyed–and their land is taken away, bite by bite. If, as in Budrus, they resist with non-violence (as so many American opinion-makers lecture at them that they should), they are tear-gassed, beaten, shot at with rubber bullets–and their land is taken away, bite by bite. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

…Meanwhile, in a development the U.S. media have almost entirely ignored, the joint Palestinian-Israeli protests have continued in other parts of the West Bank.

An Israeli activist tells us in Budrus that "nothing scares the army more than nonviolent opposition." I hope this is true. The Hamas lawmaker Aziz Dweik was surely right when he told the Wall Street Journal that "When we use violence, we help Israel win international support." But maybe the deeper comment was made by Mayor Morrar when he said in a subsequent interview that "criticism of the occupation by its own people is more powerful than criticism by someone who lives under it, whose opinion is pre-determined. It is very important to find someone amongst your opponents who is willing to side with you." If the film shows us anything, it is that 10 Israeli protesters are worth 100 Palestinians. Their participation in the protests shows that Israelis and Palestinians can work together and, in a context where Israeli soldiers look awfully like Police Commissioner Bull Connor’s men beating up blacks in Birmingham, the appearance of blond-hair under the nightsticks makes it that much harder to dehumanize the protesters, that much harder for soldiers to ignore the quiet questions about the orders they are just following, that much harder for the state to simply crush resistance. So far, 600 Israeli soldiers have refused deployment to the West Bank and Gaza.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always seemed intractable. No strategy of Palestinian resistance seems to work, peace initiatives invariably falter, and meanwhile the machinery of Israeli settlement grinds on, year after year, displacing more Palestinian land into settlers’ hands. But something new and interesting has happened in Budrus. Maybe Israel’s freedom riders bring a glimmer of hope.

62 Responses

  1. Schwartzman
    July 14, 2010, 10:46 pm

    Yeah Phil, that is all fine and good. Sometimes armed resistance works, look at Jewish terrorism pre-1948. Not sure what your point is, armed resistance has been an utter failure for the Palestinians, I guess as someone with Zionist tendencies, I am all for it, but as someone with humanitarian tendencies, I don’t see what the point of would be.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 14, 2010, 11:18 pm

      You totally TOTALLY missed the point Gusterson is making. He’s not saying violence works, he’s explaining it as a natural human response..

    • Chaos4700
      July 15, 2010, 12:46 am

      Sometimes armed resistance works, look at Jewish terrorism pre-1948. Not sure what your point is, armed resistance has been an utter failure for the Palestinians

      Just another capacity in which you tout your “Jewishness” as superior, huh Schwartzman? No wonder you and Witty get along so well.

    • Egbert
      July 15, 2010, 2:30 am

      “Zionist tendencies” – what Zionist tendencies do you have – racism? oppression? dehumanisation? support for a ‘pure’ state?

    • Citizen
      July 15, 2010, 4:18 am

      The point is that Rachel Corrie may not have died in vain; increasingly, it looks so. Some day she may even appear in the US MSM.

      • Berthe
        July 15, 2010, 10:00 am

        The New York Times reported the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty INSIDE the paper. It didn’t make the first page. Thats pretty huge. How BRAZEN not to report on the front page an attack that killed over 30 US servicemen. I don’t hold my breath for the mainstream media changing but the internet is a powerful thing.

    • Avi
      July 15, 2010, 6:20 am

      Yeah Phil, that is all fine and good. Sometimes armed resistance works, look at Jewish terrorism pre-1948.

      So-called Zionist “resistance” (Resisting whom, exactly? How does one who invades another’s land end up enjoying your generous label of “resistance”?) used violence to supplement the political capital that which the Zionist lobby had in London. Absent that political influence, Zionist violence would have resulted in adverse conditions for the perpetrators, the Zionists. The situation that you describe, pre-1948, is similar to the one we see today and the one we saw in 1967. When Israel attacked the USS Liberty, it relied on political capital to supplement the violence it had exacted on US forces, and pre-1948 on British forces and Palestinain civilians.

    • Avi
      July 15, 2010, 6:24 am

      Those darn HTML tags

      —————–
      <blockquote cite=""Yeah Phil, that is all fine and good. Sometimes armed resistance works, look at Jewish terrorism pre-1948.

      So-called Zionist “resistance” (Resisting whom, exactly? How does one who invades another’s land end up enjoying your generous label of “resistance”?) used violence to supplement the political capital that which the Zionist lobby had in London. Absent that political influence, Zionist violence would have resulted in adverse conditions for the perpetrators, the Zionists. The situation that you describe, pre-1948, is similar to the one we see today and the one we saw in 1967. When Israel attacked the USS Liberty, it relied on political capital to supplement the violence it had exacted on US forces, and pre-1948 on British forces and Palestinain civilians.

    • Mooser
      July 15, 2010, 10:00 am

      Another tough Jew. Maybe Murder Inc. is still hiring.
      What a terrible conflict Zionism causes. No matter how bad I feel for the Palestinians, and no matter how much damage Zionism does to the US, the thought of having those people here in the US, and representing themselves as Jews terrifies me.
      Anyway, it keeps the number of Jews in US prisons artificially low, and that at least reflects well.
      And my God, considering what they do, what wouldn’t they be in prison for?

  2. Richard Parker
    July 14, 2010, 11:12 pm

    Depends on who’s doing the terrorising. If you count state-sponsored terrorism, then Israeli terrorism has carried on until the present day. The current Likud government and its loyal opposition, Kadima, are both direct descendants of Irgun Zvai Leumi and Lehi (Stern Gang) and are made of much the same metal, (which could be depleted Uranium. or white Phosphorous, neither of which has been used by the opposition ‘terrorists’).

    If I were a Palestinian of the right age, I’d eventually join one of the terrorist organizations.
    Ehud Barak

  3. Keith
    July 14, 2010, 11:20 pm

    SCHWARTZMAN- The point of the article is that rather obviously the Palestinians are in a lose-lose situation. No matter what they do the stronger party (Zionist Israel) is going to abuse them as part of their ongoing ethnic cleansing, which is INTRINSIC to Zionism. Isn’t that obvious? What is your point? To defend Zionism by critiquing the victim?

    • Schwartzman
      July 14, 2010, 11:24 pm

      So what is the answer to a lose-lose situation Keith?

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2010, 11:49 pm

        The answer is that you can die quietly or fight back and at least know that you didn’t surrender.

        It’s why we revere those Herod from the uprising at the Warsaw Ghetto.

      • James
        July 14, 2010, 11:59 pm

        it is a lose-lose situation for israel at this point too… if they were more flexible and imaginative they would see this too.. it appears israel is neither interested in the views of the rest of the world and also willing to destroy their own chances in this fragile dance they are presently involved in with the palestinian people and by extension the arab culture they are surrounded by…

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2010, 10:04 am

        “So what is the answer to a lose-lose situation Keith?

        Israel must change if it wants the least chance of surviving.
        It really doesn’t matter, Shwartzman, I’ve known you guys since I was brissed. If (that’s a laugh) some kind of peace is imposed on Israel, you guys will just attack eachother.
        Israel’s motto: Every Jew for himself, and God against all.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 10:13 am

        The answer is for others to champion the oppressed.

        The problem is that the US is championing the oppressors.

        Sometimes there is no solution. Sometimes evil triumphs. The verdict of history will condemn them at some point, but this is scant consolation for the victims.

        So it’s perfectly understandable if they decide to take revenge for their losses, when they have nothing more to lose.

  4. Keith
    July 14, 2010, 11:57 pm

    SCHWARTZMAN- The rather obvious answer is that Zionism needs to be eliminated so that Israel may become a state of ALL of its citizens, and the Jews of Israel can stop imitating the Nazis. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Schwartzman. Repeat after me: The Palestinians are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. Try it, you may grow to like it, and, you’ll be a better person for it.

    • James
      July 15, 2010, 12:02 am

      one gets the impression the indoctrination in israel is pretty severe… after reading ‘the invention of the jewish people’ it is hard not to come to this conclusion as well.. no amount of preaching is going to change israel, when it is israel that needs to recognize the importance for it’s own well being of the need to change… perhaps they must be confronted by increasingly problematic situations that bring on a crisis of much greater degree.. at present none of the one’s they continue to have seem to faze them in the least..

    • Schwartzman
      July 15, 2010, 12:13 am

      I am sick of this bullshit anyone who is pro-Israel dehumanizes the Palestinians. I hate the occupation and the Israel’s treatment of them. It is a disgrace, but turning our backs on Israel will not help the situation at all.

      I just don’t see how a bi-national state is going to improve their lives. Sure there will be one person – one vote, but the Israeli infrastructure is already set up. Do you believe that the Palestinians will be seamlessly integrated into this society? It will turn out exactly like South Africa (which was abandoned after apartheid ended). How will Palestinians be integrated into the government, the civil services, the private sector, the military, academia, etc.? These people are bitter enemies.

      This will only lead to more distrust, violence, and hatred between the two sides. The current generation will NOT be able to live together, the Palestinians need to have some sort of economic and social infrastructure of their own set-up before there is any integration of the two societies.

      Can anyone show me any precedent where the merging of two bitter enemies has ended well?

      I guess the bi-national idea is something which is easy for people to argue for if they live abroad, because they won’t have to face the realities once it is enacted. They will be forgotten about, just like the Blacks of SA were forgotten about 20 years ago.

      • James
        July 15, 2010, 12:19 am

        Can anyone show me any precedent where the merging of two bitter enemies has ended well?

        same goes for the americans in the usa and the jewish people in the usa that identify more strongly with israel then the usa… it is not going to end well…

      • Schwartzman
        July 15, 2010, 12:57 am

        what the hell does than even mean? is that like a threat? are you clairvoyant? there is sure a lot of talk lately about the future of america being bad for the jews on here. history is a big ass cycle, thank God we have a state where we can have refuge after you freaks get crazy again.

      • Chaos4700
        July 15, 2010, 1:03 am

        And you even have nukes! Samson would be proud of your “option.”

      • Doctor Pi
        July 15, 2010, 1:04 am

        James: The French and the Germans after WWII?

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2010, 1:09 am

        “thank God we have a state where we can have refuge after you freaks get crazy again.”

        Settle down SM.  When all is said and done, Israel, which is becoming the home of a Jewish Taliban, will probably be the last place you want to be.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 15, 2010, 2:17 am

        “thank God we have a state where we can have refuge after you freaks get crazy again.”

        You surely can’t be real! Are you saying that if things turn ugly for the Jews in the US , Israel is going to be your only refuge? Do you think every other country will you turn you back if you were persecuted? What type of mentality is that again?

      • James
        July 15, 2010, 9:49 am

        i believe you know a lot about crazy freaks!

        traitors are treacherous.. and, yes i’m clairvoyant…

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2010, 10:08 am

        “thank God we have a state where we can have refuge after you freaks get crazy again.”

        Because history shows us that as soon as a state succumbs to violent anti-Semitism, the first thing they do is give all the Jews a fust-cless ticket to Israel, and make arrangements for all their assets, real estate and their pets (Where’s my pony, Momila? You said my pony would be at the airport) to leave the country and be waiting in Tel Aviv.

        Schwartzman and the rest are the only people I know who make Zionism into a masturbation fantasy.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 10:15 am

        That state surrounded by enemies, in constant existential peril? That’s your refuge?

      • Berthe
        July 15, 2010, 10:33 am

        There you go with the “refuge” thing. Are you in the US? That is so offensive that Jews need a “refuge” from the rest of us, like we might turn into monsters and do horrible, violent things to Jews (like the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians for 60+ years). Thats not going to happen in the US, where Jews are probably the most successful ethnic group.

        What I do worry about happening because of Jewish “nationalism” – actually, because its such a big deal in the media, and antipathetic neocon/neolib blowhards get so much attention and because our elected officials bow and scrape to wealthy Israel fanatics like Saban for money – what I do worry about is the resentment, distrust and alienation towards Jews that non-Jews will feel. It’ll be an unpleasant, sad, confused thing, not a violent thing. In my opinion, it will be unfair because, just my opinion, I think the majority of US Jews are not Israel fanatics. Among Jews I have known personally, and I have lived in New York and New Jersey all my life so have known plenty, maybe 90% would take a trip to Hawaii over a trip to Israel.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 12:30 pm

        I take a perverse pleasure in contemplating the misery of American Zionists stuck in the theocracy that Israel is becoming, a place where, more than likely, they will not be regarded as actual Jews.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2010, 12:36 am

        Schwartzman,

        There’s no magic sure to the problems you alluded to but the 2 state option is dead.  There’s no point in deluding ourselves that this option can be resuscitated.

        Zionism was doomed and flawed from the beginning.  You asked for a precedent where the merging of two bitter enemies has ended well, but can you name a precedent where the creation of a ethnocentric exclusivity has ended well?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 15, 2010, 2:26 am

        “but turning our backs on Israel will not help the situation at all.”

        Oh yes it will. Israel needs that type of pressure in order to correct its criminal ways. No other way.

        “How will Palestinians be integrated into the government, the civil services, the private sector, the military, academia, etc.? These people are bitter enemies.”

        The zionists imposed themselves in the region without worrying about integrating with the natives.. They surely can’t complain now that the natives won’t be able to integrate! A piece of Europe in the M.E was a very wrong idea from the beginning. If they want to survive the effort to be made is theirs to make. Simple (kind of!).

      • pjdude
        July 15, 2010, 2:50 pm

        honestly I don’t think Israel will change without a looming threat of US or EU military action against it.

      • RoHa
        July 15, 2010, 7:43 am

        I much prefer the one-state concept, on moral grounds. However, if you are so certain it won’t work, I have a suggestion. Palestine should be divided into two states.

        One will be a Jewish State for those people who really want such a thing. It should take up no more than 22% of the territory betwen the river Jordan and the sea. It will have an enclave in West Jerusalem, connected by a land corridor to the rest of the state, which will be established in the south so that Eilat can be the sea-port.

        It will, by the treaty which establishes it, be forbidden to have a military, or any weaponry aside from small arms for the police.

        Any non-Jew residing in the area will be free to leave, and will receive generous compensation and assistance in resettlement.

        Any non-Jew remaining in the territory will accept second-class citizenship and acknowledge that the state is to be run by Jews for Jews, so that they can get on with the main business of annoying each other.

        The other state will be a secular, democratic state in which all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, will have equal rights and equal responsibilities.

        Would that help?

      • MarkF
        July 15, 2010, 9:13 am

        I don’t feel like I’m turning my back on Israel. I feel like Israel turned it’s back on me, yet still wants my money (aid, bond drives, etc.). How can I support it when I know I would never support that behavior of the country where I live? I mean, the settlers, these folks are pretty brutal, and they have to be because of the nature of the settlement endeavor.

        In fact, I’d argue that JStreet is a response to Israel’s policies, a bit of a wake-up call. It’s a part of the U.S. Jewry that’s saying look, make peace or you’re going to see a major shift in support.

        I’m afraid I agree that there’s too much bad blood for a binational state at this point.

      • annie
        July 15, 2010, 9:32 am

        I’m afraid I agree that there’s too much bad blood for a binational state at this point.

        this is what we are supposed to believe, that zionism is out of necessity. but it isn’t, it is out of choice. obviously had a fraction of the intent , resources and energy devoted to forcibly evicting palestinians from their land been appropriated for creating a cohesive bi national state there would be one by now. there’s little will for it by design.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 10:22 am

        Fine, Schwartzman. We’re all convinced. A 2 state solution is best.

        Just tell us how you’re going to bring about an independent Palestinian state. Tell us how you’re going to shift the fanatics out of the WB and move the IDF back to I territory.

      • homingpigeon
        July 15, 2010, 12:01 pm

        “Can anyone show me any precedent where the merging of two bitter enemies has ended well?”

        Switzerland

        “These people are bitter enemies.”

        Speak for yourself and start working on yourself.

      • kjopp
        July 18, 2010, 4:16 pm

        I believe you are right. Only if their mutual economic well being is dependant on cooperation, will enmity
        gradually erode. but thats pretty far fetched also, would require world wide co-operation.

  5. VR
    July 15, 2010, 12:13 am

    A HISTORICALLY WELL KNOWN FACT

    But one denied by all colonials and imperial design, which must vilify what naturally occurs – because it is patently their fault.

  6. pjdude
    July 15, 2010, 12:33 am

    Mr.Weiss I would like to thank you for this post. it is something near and dear to me that we should understand and explore the why of things which this post does. To stop anything from happening one must know why it occurs.

  7. VR
    July 15, 2010, 12:52 am

    “So far, 600 Israeli soldiers have refused deployment to the West Bank and Gaza.”

    DON’T DO IT

  8. Debonnaire
    July 15, 2010, 4:23 am

    You can only push people so far. It’s not advanced calculus. More brutal enslavement = more dead Jews. And, as getting blown up seems to bother these people – why the hell not when you can?

  9. Richard Witty
    July 15, 2010, 4:52 am

    “One of the wonderful things about the Israel/Palestine issue is that when folks wake up and see Palestinians as fellow human beings, they tend to move fairly quickly toward ideas of liberation.”

    When folks wake up to see the other (Palestinian OR Israeli) as fellow human beings, they tend to move fairly quickly towards ideas of reconciliation, live and let live.

    SADLY, what is too often applied as Palestinian liberation is a proposed pendulum swing of ethnic cleansing.

    Is that humanist?

    • Richard Witty
      July 15, 2010, 4:55 am

      The phenomena that Guterson describes is anger. What Palestinian militancy describes is hatred.

      Its a dog fight. The way to keep a dog fight continuing is to provide for no escape route, no out.

      And, that is the situation that many Palestinians are now in. Chased out of their former homes, not allowed to establish new ones anywhere.

      Not by Israel, not by Egypt, not by Lebanon, not by Syria, not by the US, not by Iran, nobody.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2010, 10:18 am

        >> And, that is the situation that many Palestinians are now in. Chased out of their former homes, not allowed to establish new ones anywhere. Not by Israel, not by Egypt, not by Lebanon, not by Syria, not by the US, not by Iran, nobody.

        Love how you absolve Israel of its sins by lumping it in with other nations that are not responsible for Israel’s on-going oppression and ethnic cleansing of, and violence against, Palestinians. Since “nobody” has yet given the Palestinians a new home, let Israel be “a beacon unto the nations”, make “the better argument” and give the Palestinians a new home. It’s (literally) the least they could do.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2010, 4:28 pm

        “The phenomena that Guterson describes is anger. What Palestinian militancy describes is hatred.”

        Anger leads to hatred you dip shit.

    • pjdude
      July 15, 2010, 12:14 pm

      Sorry witty but their legal right to retun is not ethnic cleansing. removing people illegally on land to put the legal owners back on fdoesn’t qualify as ethnic cleansing plus no is talking about removing them from palestine just from the land the palestinian owners wish to return to.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2010, 4:26 pm

      “When folks wake up to see the other (Palestinian OR Israeli) as fellow human beings, they tend to move fairly quickly towards ideas of reconciliation, live and let live.”‘

      Based on what historical example Witty, or did you just think that up after smoking a joint?

  10. homelesseus
    July 15, 2010, 6:08 am

    There’s no need to consult an academic to know that resistance to Israel is not only expected, in terms of psychology, but is the only MORAL response.

  11. Richard Parker
    July 15, 2010, 9:08 am

    I do a blog at link to levantnotes.blogspot.com that, I am loth to say, is mostly made from articles cut-and-pasted from other publications (with full attributions, but no permissions). For that purpose, I read a large number of blogs, etc, covering the Israeli/Palestinian situation.

    The constant stream of Israeli atrocities is simply to much to blog about. For an idea, read:
    IMEMC – link to imemc.org
    (A typical story of theirs, about an IDF soldier getting away with murder, is at: link to imemc.org)

    Today in Palestine: http://www.theheadlines.org

    Israel Palestine – The Missing Headlines: link to israel-palestinenews.org

    Just read the leading story in each to get an idea of what I am talking about.

    Then read Ha’aretz: link to haaretz.com
    and see how many comparable cases of Palestinian atrocities you can find.

    • potsherd
      July 15, 2010, 10:17 am

      You can see that in Seham’s digest here. The list is just overwhelming.

  12. annie
    July 15, 2010, 9:23 am

    2 passages from the gusterson’s article indicate a blind spot.

    In what is hard to understand as anything other than an act of petty bureaucratic sadism, Israeli planners chose a route that separates Budrus from much of the rest of the West Bank
    …….
    Unless Israel wants an endless emergency, a permanent cycle of violence, their Palestinian strategy is failing miserably.

    the idea the planners of the wall were primarily motivated by sadism or israel’s strategy is failing is failing is false. israel’s strategy is not to end the violence, it is to use the violence as a pretext for expansion. the placement of wall is to steal more land. the cycle of violence is an approved and expected part of the strategy, the risk calculated. within that calculation there is probably an assumed future time after the ethnic cleansing has come to fruition where they will arrive at peace but we are mistaken to believe those arguing against a one state solution do so because they think it would never work. whether it would work or not work is irrelevant. if we could snap our fingers and have a perfectly cohesive one state today they would not be happy because the zionism they worship leads to only one outcome, all the land for the jews. if that means a cycle of violence until that is accomplished so be it, let that violence work in their favor, design that violence to work in their favor.

    gusterson is right wrt damn if they do damned if they don’t, that’s why palestinian violence works in israel’s favor because not only do they get the same expansion they would by beating non violent protesters to a pulp, they get the expansion as VICTIMS. to accomplish the idealized zionist state as innocent participants would be sublime, but it won’t happen because they are anything but.

    • potsherd
      July 15, 2010, 10:18 am

      annie, the sadism is real and deliberate. It’s part of the process of stealing the land, to make the people so miserable they have no choice but to leave it.

      • Cliff
        July 15, 2010, 10:41 am

        The sadism is most certainly intentional and part of the constant land theft.

        Then there’s the emotional blackmail + the self-loving (based on the Holocaust Industry/religion).

        Hophmi said earlier:

        If Israel eventually withdraws from the territories and there is a two-state solution, it will be because that is what we Jews want, not because you people want it. And that is the way it should be.

        I would like an American Zionist Jew to get on television and broadcast this message by Hophmi to the entire country and the world (or maybe just Europe).

        ‘We the Jews will decide what to do w/ the Palestinians and the land.’

        This is more reason why BDS and non-violent resistance are the best viable options of dissent. It also reveals how evil Zionists are for inflicting their twisted sense of morality on an entire people (whom they have to subjugate to carry out the colonial enterprise).

        This is a colonial conflict. It’s about land. A Jewish State never ever had a right to exist in Palestine, on top of the indigenous population. This conflict was always going to happen as a result of Zionist hubris.

        So enough about Islamo-blah blah and Muslims in Darfur. We get the act and the grand charade. Not working, hophmi. Maybe you should build more Holocaust Museums to make people value Jewish life above non-Jewish life.

      • MHughes976
        July 15, 2010, 11:13 am

        Sadism suggests cruelty that is sexually charged. Here the basic emotion seems to be contempt. Contempt naturally arises from the belief that ‘we are here by right, they only by our permission’. If they behave as if they had a right to be there they are upstarts and upstarts deserve every kind of humiliation that can be heaped upon them.

      • pjdude
        July 15, 2010, 12:16 pm

        its not Sadism. sadism refers to sexual pleasure derived from the causing of pain and suffering.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 12:27 pm

        I believe that by extensive sadism includes any pleasure derived from causing pain and suffering, which definitely applies in the case of many Israelis who have a chance to directly engage in it.

  13. Berthe
    July 15, 2010, 9:55 am

    I wish I could believe that non-violent protest would be effective but then I think of Rachel Corrie and Emily Henochiwicz (sp??) and they weren’t being violent. The sadistic behavior of the IDF gives me no confidence that they would give a damn about Israelis protesting the occupation. And then there’s the US Congress passing a resolution about how wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Israel is and everything it does. And shoveling money at them. Why would they change? They look to be getting worse and worse. As of now, I’m hoping that Iran gets a nuclear weapon to at least have a little deterrence in the Middle East. That seems to be something that works.

  14. Les
    July 15, 2010, 11:54 am

    The Bulletin doesn’t seem to have the same editorial board as Christian Century.

  15. joer
    July 15, 2010, 2:28 pm

    What’s missing in these discussions about violence is the concept of self defense, both individual and communal. Israel’s supporters are acquainted with this concept-look how many of them are urging an attack on Iran because Iran MAY get nuclear weapons and MAY use them against Israel. On the other end of the scale is a more immediate mortal threat-for instance, a boat you are on is being attacked by armed men in the dead of night. At that point, philosophy, strategy, tactics go out the window and you start fighting for your life. Or if an army unit is coming to invade your village and kill or kidnap people as they have done in the past, you would be likely to try to stop them with whatever means you have handy, even if it only stones and slingshots. This need to defend yourself, especially when the world has forgotten you, goes beyond being a philosophical stand; it’s imperative for survival.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2010, 4:29 pm

      “. This need to defend yourself, especially when the world has forgotten you, goes beyond being a philosophical stand; it’s imperative for survival.”‘

      Whether real or imagined. The trouble being of course, that when you’ve run out of enemies to defend against, you go looking for more enemies.

Leave a Reply